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“Dark Gathering” is an anime that intertwines the world of the supernatural with the everyday life of its characters. The series not only offers a gripping narrative but also delves deep into the country’s rich tapestry of urban legends and real locations, making it a treat for both anime enthusiasts and cultural aficionados.
What is Dark Gathering About?
“Dark Gathering” revolves around Keitarou, a young man who possesses the unique ability to sense spirits, who was cursed by a spirit along with his friend Eiko as a child. As he navigates the challenges of college life, alongside trying to cure himself and his friend alongside Eiko’s eccentric cousin Yayoi, he finds himself entangled in a web of supernatural events. While the series has it’s ups and downs — with many citing “it’s not all that scary” — it also serves as a gateway into the eerie world of Japanese urban legends.
Real Locations and Urban Legends
Awashima Shrine is in Episode 2 referenced as the setting. In Episode 2, Keitarou’s Grandmother reveals that locals occasionally bring cursed dolls to their shrine for exorcism. The most perilous of these dolls are securely kept in the shrine’s basement, a place Keitarou was always warned against venturing into as a child. This element of the story directly alludes to the real-life Yawashima Shrine in Japan, renowned for receiving “Cursed Dolls” and conducting purification rituals for them. The shrine’s basement is particularly infamous for housing the most dangerous of these dolls. This integration of real-life locations and practices into the anime narrative adds a layer of authenticity and intrigue, making the viewer’s experience all the more immersive and chilling.
Episode 5 introduces another chilling urban legend: the “Jisastsu Circle” or the “su*cide club.” This legend speaks of a supernatural club that mysteriously appears across Japan. The leader of this club always bears the same name, regardless of its location.
Members of this club are said to take their lives simultaneously. Depending on the version of the tale, either all members perish, or a lone survivor remains. This survivor then assumes the identity of the club’s leader and establishes the club in a new location. The anime brilliantly weaves this legend into its narrative, adding layers of intrigue and suspense.
We’ll likely see more of these references as the series goes on! Did I miss any references? Let me know in the comments, and we’ll add it to this article and thank you for your help!
I personally really wish we saw more references like this in anime!