Housing Complex C (from Adult Swim)

A bit predictable, but maybe that’s from seeing a lot of Anime in my life.

Beautifully (and frightfully) animated from top notch studio Project I. G. (They do most of the Ghost in the Shell stuff), “Housing Complex C” tells the tale of an apartment complex where several seniors and a few families reside. There’s a girl named Kimi, who lives with her mother. All the senior residents adore Kimi, treating her as a pseudo-granddaughter.

Life is going well for the residents of Complex C in the early 2000’s. They have their struggles and complaints, sure, but they have enough to get by and to stay happy.

During the series/film (I assume it was originally a film that Adult Swim & Williams Street Productions broke into four individual episodes), some newcomers move into the complex, much to the chagrin of the current occupants. However, in typical Japanese fashion, the residents are warm and welcoming. Even throwing a “get to know you” picnic.

It’s then that the strange occurrences start to happen. First, one of the elder residents, Taki, discovers a mysterious rock and some ancient language scrawled within the complexes underground storage place (which, for some reason, everyone remembers digging it out, but no one has actually been inside for decades).

Kimi, the ever-present child, loves exploring and helping to prepare for the party. She’s also befriended the new family that arrived with the Russian immigrants to work at the local fishery. The young girl in the family is around Kimi’s age, so they become quick friends.

As the story continues, strange things begin happening around the housing complex and to it’s residents. Like piles of dead animals are left outside of Kimi and her mother’s apartment door. Then there are more and more dead fish found around the complex grounds. As they approach the picnic, it seems the storage occurrences increase.

The day of the welcome picnic, everyone is in good spirits, despite having lost one of their neighbors, who just suddenly vanished, leaving behind a large moss collection in their housing unit. Then, while getting some punch and shaved ice to beat the ever-present summer heat, Kimi makes the startling discovery that someone has placed a dog’s head in the punch pot!

The story darkens from there, with Taki discovering more and more about the ancient language, the rock and its purpose, even the ancient people who once resided there and the gods they worshipped.

Without giving too much else away, I will say this. “Housing Complex C” is by far one of the best anime series that I have had the pleasure of watching in quite a while. It’s dark, gory, but also covered in a light innocence. It’ll twist and turn, and lead you the wrong way several times, and, like most of the great anime stories out there, it ends leaving us to question ourselves and what we do to each other, as well as the world around us.

Housing Complex C is currently available to stream on HBO Max.

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