Artist: Gorillaz vs. The Killers
♫: 492,729 plays
So, there was an anon who asked what I thought of Hitori Kakurenbo earlier today. While I’m still waiting to find out if they meant the movie or the game, I realized some people might not even know what the game is. It is, hands down, the creepiest shit I’ve ever heard of.
Did you ever play the game Bloody Mary, where you stand in front of the mirror in the dark and say “Bloody Mary” three times? Hitori Kakurenbo is Japan’s more horrifying version.
Here’s how you play. If you die, it’s not my fault.
- A stuffed animal that has both arms and legs
- Fingernail clippings (yours)
- A knife, shard of glass, or some sharp instrument
- A needle with a long piece of red thread
- A cup of salt water or Japanese sake
- A bathtub
- Someplace to hide
- A prepared will, because you’re going to die
First, name your stuffed animal. Let’s call our hypothetical teddy bear “Mister Squish”. Cut open Mister Squish and remove all of his stuffing. Replace it with the rice and your fingernail clippings. Make sure he is stuffed up good then sew him back up. Use the needle and red thread. It’s important that you use a long piece of thread so you can wrap the excess around his fuzzy, adorable body like some sort of furry bondage.
At 3am, take Mister Squish into your bathroom. Fill the tub with water. Hold Mister Squish in both hands and say out loud “For the first game, I’m (your name here) going to be it.” Say this three times then drop Mister Squish in the water.
Now, run around your house, turning off all the lights as you go. All of em, even that Spongebob Squarepants nightlight you have that you think I don’t know about but I do. You can keep your TV on but only if it’s tuned to a static-filled station. If you’re really a fan of The Ring, now is your chance to die just like in the movie!
Got all the lights off? Good. Close your eyes and count to ten. When you’re finished, open your eyes and grab the knife (or whatever sharp instrument you picked) and go back to the bathroom. Out loud, announce “I found Mister Squish!” Grab your soggy teddy and stab the shit out of him with the knife/scissors/glass/etc.
Congratulations! You won that round.
Note: The word for “it” in Japanese hide & seek or tag is “oni” - which means “devil”. This makes the next part of the game all the more terrifying.
Next, say “Now Mister Squish is it.” (AKA “Now Mister Squish is the Devil.”) Leave the still-impaled (this is very important) bear in the bathroom, either in the water or on the floor. Quickly (the instructions specifically say quickly) run out of the room. “Hide Quietly.” (Again, the instructions specify ‘quietly’.) Wherever you hide (closets are a good recommendation), make sure you have your glass of salt water or sake with you. Seriously. Don’t forget this. Just don’t.
Let’s say you pull and R Kelly and you’re hiding in the closet. (Dare I say you are “trapped” in the closet?) Stay there, listening and waiting. For what, you ask? All sorts of crazy shit, apparently. People have reported sounds (footsteps, voices and things being moved), horrible smells, changes in temperature, and having the TV suddenly switch off or the volume change dramatically. Some reported the sensation of being touched or pulled on, others said that their household pets freaked out (cowered or cried out). Whatever happens, stay hidden for as long as you can or until sunrise.
Ready for this shit to be over with? The ending ritual is extremely important. You can’t just hop out of the closet at sunrise and announce that you’ve won. Let’s say it’s still dark, something has freaked you out and you want to end the game. Take as much salt water (or sake) in your mouth as you can, holding it there while you return to the bathroom. Don’t assume Mister Squish will be where you left him. There have been people who find either him or the knife moved or missing entirely. Keep searching until you find Mister Squish. And, contrary to what guys usually say, DON’T SWALLOW! Hold that salty water in your mouth until you get that bear.
Once you find Mister Squish, spit the salt water (sake) all over him and tell him three times, “I won!”
That almost always ends the game… but you can never be too sure. As a final precaution, it is imperative you burn the stuffed animal you used. Even though the game is over, people have posted that they’ve become ill, gotten into some kind of accident, or continued to feel the presence of someone or something.
Oh, and another note of warning - DO NOT PLAY WHILE SOMEONE ELSE IS IN THE HOUSE. There is the possibility that they will be “found” instead of you. And something terrible will happen to them. You must be alone in the house when you play.
So there you go. If you want to die tonight, here is a delightful game just for you. Thanks, Japan!
OH MY GOD WHAT THE HELL WHY WOULD SOMEBODY PLAY THIS NO
ive known of this game for like 3 years now i should just play it already haha
The fact that Les Mis is a cultural phenomenon right now cracks me up and will continue to be thoroughly entertaining through the length of it’s award show permeating swan song. Let’s be real, it’s not going to win anything substantial. Maybe a Golden Globe or two, they eat movie musicals up like gefilte fish on Yom Kippur. It’s just hysterical to me that Les Mis has entered pop culture in such a fan crazy way. Like seriously, I’ve seen more Facebook conflict and status wars over this epic French Sad-Fest than I ever did during the election (I think that gives you a pretty good schism of the types of friends I have…lots of gays, not so many Republicans). It’s like all the theatre queens were like “YES THIS IS OUR TIME WE’VE BEEN WAITING FOR SO LONG EVERYONE COME BASK IN OUR NERDINESS” and everyone else is like “Whoa Hugh Jackman sings? Whoaaaa Russell Crowe does NOT sing.”
Even though I’d love to stroke my big, throbbing musical theatre Les Mis fan girl ego by writing a lengthy review of just exactly what I thought of every detail of the movie, I’ll do you all a favor and spare you. Many of my peers have done it and done it well; I’ll leave the reviews to them and the various news outlets. Instead, I’d like to take Les Everyone Dies’ (spoiler alert) brief close-up (SO close-up) in the glittering Hollywood sun to talk about a problem I have with everyone’s favorite punching bag, Eponine.
Now if you haven’t seen the movie or the musical (but really you should, if not for any other reason than to be in on all of the brilliant internet jokes this thing is fostering), I’ll give you the readers digest on poor, cock-blocked ‘Ponine. Basically when homegirl was little she was all “I’m so pretty in my stupid looking bonnet and everyone loves me” and Cosette (everyone’s vehemently loathed punching bag) was all “I’m really dirty-like seriously I’ve never had a bath-and everyone hates me”. Fast forward eight years, and-wait for it-Cosette is all bathed and beautiful and Eponine is waist-deep in rat shit and jealousy. Who woulda thunk. We find out pretty quickly Eponine has a lady boner for Marius, a bougie pseudo-renegade who wears knock-offs to fit in like his poor friends. And since two females in their sexual prime must always duke it out for male attention and affection, I bet y’all can guess what happens next. The clean, genetically perfect, white people always find each other. Marius and Cosette spot each other across a courtyard and are instantly betrothed, thanks to the laws of musical theatre and high school. Eponine might as well pack up and ship off to the Island of Misfit Tropes, because we all know this isn’t gonna end well for our little love-sick heroine.
But of course even though Eponine’s teeth are all decaying (or they should have been at least, thanks for leaving out the historical accuracy in this one instance to keep sanctimonious with conventional standards of beauty, Tom Hooper) and she probably has some sort of French gutter intestinal worm, we women all identify with her scrappy teenage moxie. She’s written to be inherently likeable and charming in a rough-and-tumble Disney princess before the fairy godmother works her magic kind of way. I mean, “On My Own” is a siren song systematically designed for the sole purpose of lulling pimply 13 year-old girls to sleep through their tears because they didn’t get asked to the Fall Mixer. I fully admit to succumbing to a sob fest or two over some tween guy while blasting this woe-is-me belt fest at full volume; I am not immune. But I would like to think I’ve grown up some from the dark ages of 7th grade, and now as an empowered grown ass woman, I take some issue with Eponine’s plight.
It is not the first and it will certainly not be the last time a female character’s plot line has revolved solely around a male, much less a male that thinks of her more as a friendly neighborhood dog than a woman with reproductive bits, but it’s bothersome nonetheless. Guys, she LIVES AND DIES (spoiler alert) for this dude that doesn’t care about her. At all. And we’re supposed to identify with that as women. Does anyone else realize how fucked up that is? It’s like they were all, “You know what’s universal that ladies identify with? Rejection. Let’s go with that.” Not cool dudes. Not cool at all. She takes a literal bullet for oblivious, pussy-whipped Marius and they sing this beautiful heartbreaking duet as SHE LAYS THERE BLEEDING TO DEATH being like “hey yeah I totally love you btw” and he’s upset for about as long as it takes the scene to change and then she’s never mentioned again. If the roles were reversed, if Marius were a woman and Eponine a man, there would be much more general outcry at his role as personal errand boy. It seems like whenever there’s a “nice guy” trope in film or TV, you hear characters saying “Aw, give the poor guy a chance. Look at him! He’s trying so hard.” Eponine don’t get none of that, not by anyone else in the play at least. “Her life was dark and cold, yet she was unafraid” is all of a eulogy she gets. Thanks Marius, you’re a grade-a asshole.
Oh ‘Ponine. Girl, you need a sassy gay friend. You know, you and Marius could have maybe have had a future together if you womaned up and told him how you felt about four songs ago, before he eye-raped Cosette and before you chose to dive in front of a rifle. Lord knows you’re a little more interesting and probably have more in common with him than that wet blanket. But of course, as all women in your situation do, you end up looking “desperate” and ultimately martyr yourself because really, if you can’t love him, you might as well be dead. Or at least that’s what the men who wrote Les Mis think.