Corpse Party: Tortured Souls
Before I begin this review, I would like to say this: if you're expecting this to be lighthearted and full of funnies like Is This a Zombie? (Kore wa Zombie Desu ka?), please do yourself a favor and turn around. This anime does have a few joking moments, but very little. Corpse Party: Tortured Souls is not a show for those who cannot handle blood and gore. It isn't trying to fool you into thinking it's a slapstick comedy show; it is what it is: a horror series. So, with that, let's get onto the actual review.
The story for Corpse Party takes on the setting of shows like Sword Art Online, Re:Zero, and The Familiar of Zero: transporting our protagonists unwillingly to another world. But unlike the aforementioned series, this show takes a much, much, MUCH darker approach to it. Instead of fantasy and whimsy they get death and destruction. Instead of magic and wonder they receive blood and horror. You get the gist. Actually, if I had to make a more accurate comparison to any type of media, I would compare it to the Silent Hill series where the characters are forced to figure their way our of a dilapidated and decrepit hellhole or risk being turned into human stew. Unfortunately, the story does have a fair amount of flaws. The first being that towards the middle of the series, the writers seemed to become extremely lazy and chose to just fast forward it into the nitty-gritty without providing a good lot of explanation. Furthermore, the biggest complaint I had about the story was the ending, in that it seemed a bit forced and/or rushed. I suppose since it was only a four episode OVA series that the producers were on a very limited budget and couldn't cram all the story from the visual novel into the adaptation.
Sadly, the characters were another problem I had with Corpse Party. Again, there may have been a limited budget that prevented the writers from being able to give the characters a decent amount of story to pull from the original visual novel, but I suppose we'll never know. One thing I DID like about the OVA adaptation of the series was the personality change of one of the main protagonists: Ayumi. In the visual novel, she was portrayed as someone who consistently whined and never really did anything to help to greatly progress the plot, but in the adaptation she seemed to want to take charge a lot more often than her original counterpart.
I was actually a bit surprised that I admired the voice actors' performances in the anime adaptation more than the original visual novel. That's not to say that the original performances from the original voice actors did a poor job, but that they pale a bit in comparison to the OVA's voices. Both are able to provide adequate acting in many of the scenes, especially when the more dramatic scenes show up, where the voice actors are made to show emotions of extreme sorrow, horror, and, at some times, psychotic behavior that would make even the most hardcore sadist cringe.
As for the music of the series, most of the music is pretty much carried over from the visual novel, but I would like to give both praise and criticism to the opening. In the first minute or so of the opening, the music has the feel of a haunted house that really sets the tone for the anime, but the latter half seems a bit too upbeat to be in a horror anime, which was very jarring for me as the chills I received from the first half of the track were erased (I know that was a bit strange to say, but shut up).
Now, this is probably what everyone came to watch this series for: the artwork. I can say with absolute honesty that the artwork is by far my favorite part of this show. From bodies being splattered against walls to eyes being gouged out by little children, this show does kid around when it comes to blood, gore, and violence. Really, if you like seeing characters die in grisly ways and blood spraying everyone like someone just dropped a bucket of red paint, this show just might be your cup of tea (my God, what is wrong with me?).
Though the story and characters are a bit lackluster, the biggest point of glory for this series would definitely have to be in its voice acting and artwork. I DEFINITELY would not recommend this if any sight of blood, guts, intestines, or death gives you distraught. However, if this is up your alley, then by all means, give it a watch. Just make sure you have a bucket nearby. You may need it.