Something sinister is coming to Adult Swim’s Toonami block and its name is Housing Complex C. It’s a bit of a mundane title that doesn’t necessarily evoke any scares on its own, but it’s quite effective at describing the spooky setting of the upcoming horror anime.
Set to clock in at a total of four episodes in length, Housing Complex C is a unique horror series in that it seems to truly stew in its atmosphere. This first episode establishes the characters that live in the titular housing complex and their relationships with one another, inviting the viewer to become invested in (or at least aware of) their lives. It almost feels dull at times, though I maintain that this seemingly safe start is a great way of lulling you into a false sense of security.
But from the harsh cold open to increasingly eerie things that occur, it slowly becomes clear that not all is right in this unassuming complex. A mysterious teen shut-in who draws dark images of monsters, a mummified dog in a storage area, and other ominous secrets are just the tip of the iceberg. You quickly get the sense that not everything is right in the complex right as a number of foreigners move in to stay while working. Though one of the workers is admittedly intimidating, the culture clash between the outsiders and some of the more traditional residents is a fascinating way to heighten tension through real-world themes.
On the other hand, four episodes isn’t a lot of time in the world of anime — especially when the pacing is as slow as it is in Housing Complex C. I understand the appeal of having a horror series come out weekly throughout October and ending before Halloween, but I think this limited run means you’ve got to be a bit brisker when it comes to setting up scares. I can’t deny the effectiveness a slower pace has on creating a solid sense of emerging dread, though, so the pacing does have that benefit. We’ll have to see over the next few weeks how the show manages to use its remaining time.
The English dub’s performances are quite solid, lending a sense of realism to the seemingly mundane lives of these characters. When things start to escalate, the voice actors don’t hesitate to give it their all, so I look forward to hearing them react to the assumedly more intense reveals that will come in upcoming episodes.
I’m excited to see where Housing Complex C goes in its remaining three episodes, as there’s a lot of potential for unsettling scenarios to unfold. Though I’m a bit worried about whether or not there will be enough time to fully flesh out the sinister mysteries the series is hinting at, the unsettling atmosphere and strong performances have gotten me hooked. Housing Complex C premieres on Saturday, October 1 at midnight ET/PT on Adult Swim and on HBO Max the next day.