While I haven’t dabbled in paranormal research myself, I was into Masafumi’s quest for the truth behind the supernatural occurrences. As such, I felt as though I was observing his sphere of influence. Conversations about ectoplasmic worms, depictions of demonic possession, and the disappearances of locals — I didn’t expect those to have such attentiveness, so my viewing experience was supplemented by the emphasis on the ins and outs of Masafumi’s pursuit. Plus, I found him to be unwavering in his determination; and, as I look back at that, the first thing that comes to mind is that it’s evident that he doesn’t go about his investigation without calculating the risk. Although not much time is spent focusing on that aspect, it is conveyed as he surveys the features of each locale. In that regard, there is no shortage of sights to take in.
Demonic possession is a facet that, while it only occurs in a few instances, the overwhelming nature of it is what makes it palpable. That particular is of note, and though even though the depictions of possession don’t exactly result in a vicarious experience, those moments are enhanced by the loss of self regarding those who have no choice but to give into the influence of the Kagutaba. It is as though the demon is aware of its victims’ lack of resistance, and with that in mind, its means of possession reaches its apex due when striking at the right moment.
The time that Masafumi spends examining the tapes isn’t just for the sake of following Kagutaba’s trail — it is also for the sake of bringing attention to the weight that an image carries, which is what amplifies the effect of the video logs. That is the whether the characters in them are responding to what they experience or whether an apparition is in full view, and so there is a sense of diving into the depths of the unknown with each recording. It’s a factor that benefits from being meticulously woven into the capturing of supernatural occurrences.
I never know what to expect with found footage, so this was a gamble for me. I’m glad that I spent time with it, though, because I was blown away by it. A stellar effort.