Gregory Horror Show
|Gregory Horror Show|
|Anime television series|
|Directed by||Kazumi Minagawa|
|Original run||October 1999 – 2003|
The first series, "The Nightmare Begins", is a set of 25 stories about a businessman arriving at the hotel after taking a train home from work. He encounters the mysterious owner of the hotel, an old mouse known as Gregory, who suggests that he stay awhile in Room 205. Gregory gradually erodes away his individuality, denouncing the first guest as nothing more than a small part of himself. The man soon becomes drawn into a bizarre series of events taking place within Gregory House as he tries desperately to escape from this purgatory. Though he escapes back to his wife and son, he finds reality too boring, and returns voluntarily. It is heavily implied that he becomes an empty shell, Haniwa Salaryman.
The second series, "The Second Guest", is similarly set with 25 stories, except this time the main victim is a woman who has just taken a taxi home from her best friend's wedding ceremony. She has had to endure many failed relationships and careers. It is also implied that her old flame was once the first guest, but their relationship went disastrously wrong. Due to her insanity from the degrading events, she starts a fire, burning down the house - however, the Gregory family survive, and welcome her into their family.
The third series, "The Last Train", is set with 26 stories during a bizarre train ride that Gregory embarks upon. It differs from the previous two series in that there is no guest, nor is the hotel the central setting. Instead, Gregory himself is the protagonist, and the series takes place on the previously mentioned train as Gregory tries to escape from his own house and his role as the innkeeper. However, like the previous two protagonists, he fails, and the train only takes him back to Gregory House.
The fourth series, "The Bloody Karte" (presented as a side series on the DVDs), is a set of 12 stories about Catherine working in a mysterious hospital.
- Gregory (グレゴリー Guregorī?)
- Voiced by: Chafurin (Japanese), Dave Pettitt (English)
- Gregory is the Innkeeper of the hotel and also the narrator, a slightly creepy old anthropomorphic mouse with an obsession for keeping guests at his hotel. He loves to mess with one's mind and has a habit of appearing out of nowhere.
- It is strongly implied that Gregory is in fact a manifestation of the hidden dreams and desires that people suppress, and his hotel the same. Although how several different people can manifest the exact same apparition is unknown, and it is highly probable that Gregory is in fact a spirit of dreams and desires, instead of a single person's manifestation. Gregory's aims seem unclear in both the game and the series, but he seems to be subservient to his mother, who is thoroughly and unambiguously wicked, unlike Gregory, consuming wayward souls to remain young. Gregory himself is more morally ambiguous, since he never overtly harms the guest, though he never makes any attempt to prevent harm coming to them. This may be because everyone in the hotel is effectively immortal, however.
- While enigmatic he is, if nothing else, polite and sincere. To the unseen guest of the 1st series, he always refers to him as "My friend" and to female guest of the 2nd series, as "My dear". One thing is clear though, Gregory is indestructible and inescapable. Even if the guest tries to flee the purgatory of his hotel, or attempt to destroy him, they'll still somehow return, and Gregory will still be there, keeping their room ready for them.
- In the third series, Gregory is more unambiguously sympathetic, trying to escape from his role as the keeper of Gregory House and enduring as many strange and bizarre events as either of the previous protagonists. Like them, he ultimately fails to escape, suggesting that even he is a prisoner in his strange world despite his ostensible mastery and ownership of it.
- In the game, a player can overhear him monologuing about how s/he wouldn't be in any danger if they simply accepted the purgatory of Gregory House, but several times in both the series and the game, Gregory is seen to be an antagonistic force, putting his guests, and even himself, quite literally through hell.
- As is typical for a man his age, Gregory also has a secret, although it is not a secret among the other residents of the hotel - a liking for dirty magazines. He often reads them when he thinks he is alone; in the game, his secret place for reading the magazines is the storeroom.
- James (ジェームス Jēmusu?)
- Voiced by: Erina Yamazaki (Japanese), Brett Bauer (English)
- He is Gregory's grandson, a mischievous young mouse who loves to play pranks on anyone he can find. He drives Gregory to despair and distraction. In the videogame, he is the one who allowed the guests to steal bottled souls from Gregory's Mama. He hates being alone, so hopes the wandering guest in the game will stay forever, so they can get up to all kinds of trouble together.
- Neko Zombie (ネコゾンビ Neko Zonbi?)
- Voiced by: Nao Nagasawa (Japanese), Kris Rundle (English)
- He is a zombie cat who once lived with a family that stayed in Gregory's Hotel. Once a glossy beautiful cat, it escaped from reality and ended up at the hotel where Gregory stitched up its eyes, mouth and ears as act of revenge, possibly against cats in general due to their inter-species conflict. His room is nothing more than a prison cell, revealing the true nature of this strange place.
- He is the character who seems the most supportive of the protagonist in both the game and the series, as he is constantly giving them hints on how to battle their inner demons. More than anything, Neko wants the guest to escape this purgatory. He also attempts to kill Gregory and his mother during the Great Fire of Gregory House (during the series, this fire is caused by him). He ends up turning to ash when Gregory House is burned down, though is heavily implied to be reincarnated along with the other guests when the hotel "resurrects" itself.
- He is a manifestation of a broken heart, stitched together by anger and misery.
- Catherine (キャサリン Kyasarin?)
- Voiced by: Ayana Inoue, Minako Ichiki (Japanese), Elinor Holt (English)
- She is a pink lizard nurse with a giant syringe. She has an obsessive desire to steal blood from guests, and searches for any excuse she can find to do so. One suck of her syringe appears to drain almost all of a person's blood.
- She easily falls in love with people with nice veins, but she is also shown to take blood for no reason other than personal pleasure, suggesting that it may be fetishistic in nature. She has had relationships with many characters throughout the house, although all of them have ended badly - usually for the other person.
- Judgment Boy (審判小僧 Shinpan Kozō?)
- Voiced by: Naochika Hayashida, Yoshiyuki Kōno, and Susumu Chiba (Japanese), Brendan Hunter (English)
- A set of anthropomorphic scales balanced between love and money. He passes judgment on all of the troubled souls of the hotel, and can see through anyone's lies. His skills at determining the truth are slightly questionable. When he's not judging others, he usually sings to himself about himself ("Do you know who I am? They call me Judgement Boy!").
- Judgment Boy Gold (審判小僧ゴールド Shinpan Kozō Gōrudo?)
- Voiced by: Naochika Hayashida (Japanese), Steve Olson (English)
- He is a solid gold Judgment boy and the boss of all other judgment boys. In the game, he trains all the other judgment boys for the final judgment and is the last guest to visit the hotel. In Bloody Karte, it is revealed that he isn't really gold; he's just gold-plated.
- Hell's Chef (地獄のシェフ Jigoku no Shefu?)
- Voiced by: Ryūzaburō Ōtomo (Japanese), Byron Close (English)
- He is the chef of Gregory Hotel that looks very much like a dark-faced candle with glowing red eyes and a giant knife that is said to cleave elephant bones like butter. He often butchers/poisons the guests that don't eat or refuse his meals (even if they are just not hungry), and then serves them to other guests. He speaks with a dark, sinister, evil voice.
- He is apparently very particular and passionate about his food preparation, and refuses to eat anyone's cooking but his own. He hates smokers/smoking because "They are the enemy of cuisine!" (he hates that it eventually numbs the taste buds). The candle on his head is almost always seen burning because it somewhat acts as his life spark - if it's blown out, he stops moving and his eyes stop glowing, and when it is re-lit, he continues as if nothing had happened.
- Lost Doll (ロストドール Rosuto Dōru?)
- Voiced by: Naoko Matsui (Japanese), Angie Beers (English)
- She is a poor girl looking forever for her doll. At first, she looks harmless but when approached or picked up, she becomes violent and she turns blue. She herself is in fact the doll she is looking for. She has a good friendship with Cactus Gunman. Her name may have once been 'Katie'. Her only friend was a doll which was her constant companion, but one day, her parents decided to dispose of the doll. The girl searched endlessly for her lost doll, until she happened upon the place known as Gregory House, where she became a permanent resident.
- Mummy Papa (ミイラパパ Mīra Papa?)
- Voiced by: Hitoshi Takagi (Japanese), Johnathan Love (English)
- He is a father dog with bandaged body and his skull partly cloven by a saber which does not affect him at all apart from a headache. He is a proud hypochondriac with a loving son.
- Mummy Dog (ミイラ坊や Mīra Bōya?, Mummy Boy)
- Voiced by: Natsumi Sakuma
- He is Mummy Papa's son, a smaller dog in dungarees and bandages with his skull partly cloven by an axe. He is also a proud hypochondriac like his father. As he suffers from constant migraines, Mummy Dog is very empathetic to those who look or feel poorly, by getting them help. Unfortunately, that medical attention usually comes in the form of Catherine.
- Cactus Gunman (カクタスガンマン Kakutasu Ganman?)
- Voiced by: Yoshiyuki Kono (Japanese), Roger Rhodes (English)
- He is a cactus in bandit clothes and sombrero who loves to challenge guests into fights. He was once a leader of revolutionaries and is infamous for his terrible aim. He is also quite the macho man, playing though while any real danger would easily scare him away.
- Cactus Girl (カクタスガール Kakutasu Gāru?)
- Voiced by: Mikako Satō (Japanese), Carol-Anne Day (English)
- She is Cactus Gunman's younger sister. She is fiercer than her brother and uses a lasso to steal other's clothes, confident of their lack of fashion sense.
- Roulette Boy (ルーレット小僧 Rūretto Kozō?)
- Voiced by: Yōko Asada (Japanese), Mariette Sluyter (English)
- He is a small red-faced child with a roulette wheel on his head. He loves to play games and challenges guests to test their luck, usually ending in terrible mishaps and accidents for the players. For this reason, Gregory absolutely hates Roulette Boy as he's always haplessly landing on unlucky squares.
- Death (死神 Shinigami?)
- Voiced by: Masashi Hirose (Japanese), Mike Shepard (English)
- He is the God of Death who visits guests in their dreams with his scythe. He seems to be manic-depressive, considering the fact that in the anime he speaks darkly with a grim voice, while in the game he has a funky and cheery presence. He wear a swedish flag in his head in reference to Ingmar Bergman movie The Seventh Seal. Death personally intervenes with the first guest, enabling him to evade Gregory, but forewarns that he may never truly escape for reality is no paradise, but a dull monotonous cycle.
- TV Fish (TVフィッシュ Terebui Fisshu?)
- It is a skeletal floating fish able to swim in the air and through walls. It has a TV for a face and projects the memories of any guests nearby passively. However, because all guests at Gregory Hotel are uncertain of themselves, the TV shows distorted images. In the anime, there are multiple TV Fish, including one with a Gregory TV satellite.
- Clock Master (クロックマスター Kurokku Masutā?)
- Voiced by: Jin Yamanoi
- He is a man with the face of a clock residing in the hotel. He has the ability to control time, although he has grown old and can't travel that far in time anymore. He usually drinks his problems away. He's a very civil and jolly fellow. However, if he catches anyone he even remotely suspects of picking on his child, My Son, he flies into a fit of time-warping rage.
- My Son (マイサン Mai San?)
- Voiced by: Maiko Itō
- He is the son of Clock Master, who is currently learning the arts of time control. He greatly admires his father.
- Dead Body (干からびた死体 Hikarabita Shitai?)
- He is a skeleton character that resides under the cemetery in front of Gregory Hotel. "Drinks his cares away" with wine until he can find a body to replace his own fragile form. He is weak to wind and water because his powdery bones can easily blow away or melt in the rain.
- Angel Dog (エンジェルドッグ Enjeru Doggu?) / Devil Dog (デビルドッグ Debiru Doggu?)
- Voiced by: Rei Sakuma (Japanese), Chris Simms (English)
- She is a canine with angelic appearance that invites you to be near her. She has somewhat of a split personality, however, and frequently changes into the Devil Dog and invites you to hell. Gregory, being the embodiment of eternal Purgatory, has a negative relationship with her, as she is the manifestation of Heaven and Hell. She acts like a teenager, arguing with Gregory about how he is always cleaning when she wants to watch football.
The anime was adapted into a PS2 game by Capcom in 2003. The general premise of the game involves the player (who can choose to be male or female) trying to escape from Gregory House, a deranged hotel run by the old mouse Gregory. The game involves having to steal bottled souls from twelve guests, and returning them to Death before going to sleep in Room 101.
In the game, Neko Zombie helped explain the gameplay and introduces the player to mental health. Mental health acts like a health gauge of the player's mental fortitude. The player must maintain a good level of mental health by sleeping, reading books, or using special "herb" items reminiscent of the Resident Evil game series. If the player's mental health completely runs out, then the character goes insane, and becomes a permanent guest at Gregory House.
While the bizarre cube-esque graphics (which were a staple of the 'anime') give the game an unusual look for a survival horror game, there is still an element of tension and unease because the player must creep around the hotel, avoiding detection by the various guests. If the player gets caught by one of them, then the guest will attack them by forcing them to watch some 'Horror Shows', a bizarre vision of violence set in a traditional Japanese theatre in which the guest will inflict severe harm upon you.
The game features a goldmine of easter eggs and backstory which either reference or expand upon certain events of the series. For example, in the 'Bloody Karte' arc, Catherine develops an attraction for Hell's Chef; in the game, the player can find a signed trading card of him in the psychotic nurse's treatment room. Also, if a player takes the time to follow the guests around the building at various points in the game, they will often divulge interesting tidbits about the hotel and each other. For example, if the player follows Gregory around early in the game, a huge amount of how Neko Zombie came to be the way he is can be learned.
A manga adaptation called Gregory Horror Show: Another World by Suzuki Sanami started in the November 1, 2007 issue of Weekly Morning magazine; it was then published as a graphic novel and released in Japan, on September 22, 2008.
It follows Tooru Takenozuka, a 22-year-old freeter who comes to the city to follow his dreams. Thanks to his status he is unable to find an apartment to live in until a seedy real estate agent introduces him to Gregory House. He ends up in Room 404 and endures the nightmarish surroundings and residents. Over the course of chapters its revealed that Takenozuka's very form and spirit, is in a state of constant flux. He is, in reality, a lot older, though part of him could never accept the fact that he grew beyond his twenties without accomplishing anything extraordinary or wonderful with his life. All of his dreams and ambitions went unfulfilled.
As Gregory is a collector of the rare and unusual, he takes an instant liking to Takenozuka. The man battles between choosing his dreams and the reality that he has responsibilities as a father. Though he manages to escape Gregory, like all the protagonists, he eventually wanders back, becoming a permanent guest who refuses to abandon his dreams.