31 Shinbi's Apartment Ghosts!
The Weird World of Shinbi Baby Songs
Written by Jonathan WojcikOver the course of these last 31 reviews, we've talked just a little about what a broad audience this series enjoys in its home country; adults, teenagers, kids, and even literal babies get in on the fun, and somehow, especially literal babies. You know by now that every ghoulish apparition in the franchise has a sweeter, more innocent, bite-sized design for the app games and toys, and I've talked a little about the existence of officially licensed musical videos...but unless you've already looked further into them, I'm not sure I can really prepare you for how bizarre they really get, hosted by an unrelated cartoon dragon whose channel also hosts nursery rhymes, games and songs featuring various other Korean children's characters.
We've just seen over a couple dozen decomposing wraiths and wailing banshees, victims of murder, suicide and even medical malpractice shrieking for vengeance from beyond the grave, parasitic cosmic horrors and genocidal fallen angels.
Keep them all fresh in your mind as we see just what they've all been up to, apparently, since Hari and Doori collected their dark souls:
He died a long, torturous and lonely death before he even made it to puberty, and came crawling back from beyond as a hundred-eyed abomination with the singular goal of murdering other children...so what's he to do now that his purified, human half has moved on to heaven, and his lust for revenge has passed?
BLOODY EYES RAPS ABOUT OCULAR HYGIENE.
As an expert on having eyeballs, he can at the very least dole out advice on proper eyeball care to his fellow hip, young kids in a language they can understand. And thus, on moonlit nights, if you still listen closely, you can still hear the cries of this dead boy's restless demons: YO! DON'T TOUCH THEM WITH YOUR FILTHY FINGERS, DAWG! YOU'LL GET PINKEYE!!!
The basic multiplication tables are taught across ten videos by ten different ghosts, and they're all basically the same song, but since Vilewyrm's single head splits into three during its ultimate battle, this embodiment of mankind's collective hatred takes charge of the third entry.
VILEWYRM TEACHES YOU
TO MULTIPLY BY THREE
There's far, far more than just three heads on display, however. The song goes all the way up to 3 x 9, obviously, and that's a Vilewyrm with 27 heads bursting from the tortured Earth from every direction. This, mankind, is what thou wrought. 27 war crimes. That's as much as three nines. And that's terrible.
It's obviously multi-billion-dollar megacorporations that need to hear this more than the rugrats, but wasting electricity and water is still an everyday inconvenience at home, too, so learn how to conserve power with the help of the electrical machine-ghost Heron as Grandpa Mold extolls the value of our mother Earth.
GHOSTS & DEMONS VS. GLOBAL WARMING
The implication that we should ride-share with the Grudgeful Bus, however, feels like a mixed message. Maybe that's the point. Maybe it's a threat. If you don't carpool to the office, children, you're going to have to carpool on a bus full of dead people...and sure, the bus has obviously mellowed out quite a bit by this point, but what if the bus happens to give you a ride the same day Hari decides she could use its help with a bunch of pissed off ogres, or something??
Yeah. Think about that.
Medusa, Doppelganger, Painter Wraith and the Soulless Chaser: what do they all have in common? Apparently they're all really hung up on their popularity at school. I get the first three, but I didn't think a mindless automoton really screamed "egomaniacal vanity." Maybe it's because it's built from a store mannequin? Whatever the case, the four troublemakers won't stop trying to out-sing each other in the middle of Ophikian's classroom, which Shinbi also has to attend for some reason. I'm glad the world-killing machine was put to good use, but they could at least take this seriously and show it a little more respect. It did nearly kill every last one of them, once, and I guess now we know why.
COME ON, REALLY? OPHIKIAN IS JUST TRYING TO TEACH, HERE, YOU GOTTA DO THIS NOW?
Children shouldn't have to go to school during a pandemic. Frankly, they shouldn't even really have to go to school during a normal flu season. Cutie Mama Centipede and her friends - like Golden Pig and Mimic Tiger, among others - can't do anything about that, but they can at least use their collective spookiness to put a bunch of personified germs in their place.
MAMA CENTIPEDE LEADS THE FIGHT AGAINST COVID-19.
The song doesn't specify Covid-19, but it was made and released in the fall of 2020, when kids would have been hearing a lot of scary things about a world-wide outbreak on full blast.
Hey, wait a second, that's ALREADY what Seeduce says! I guess in her post-post-mortem life, she's gone from straight up murdering and devouring digital bullies as a vigilante to just arresting them for the internet police.
SEEDUCE SAYS BE NICE ON THE INTERNET
I don't know...I kind of liked her more just eating children. LET HER DO IT HER WAY, PIGS!!!
But really now, this is cute. They're all cute, yeah, but the ghostly snake spends most of this video just reassuring everyone she can - including the viewer - that she cares about them no matter what anyone says on social media.
Here, we find the unruly spirits of darkness tasked with cutting out paper Shinbi masks, presumably as part of their spiritual rehabilitation, or maybe karmic punishment they're still paying off...but you can't expect the likes of Incubus to play by the rules that easy! He's gonna take those kindergarten safety scissors and cut wherever he damn well pleases! It's not like anyone is gonna stop him, right?!
SCISSOR SAFETY WITH PUPPET NURSE
Never fear. Puppet Nurse leads the classroom on how to make arts and crafts without screwing up your paper or hurting yourself. Obviously a bloody bandaged, scalpel fingered medical revenant knows a thing or two about boo-boos, but much more obviously, it would have the singing voice of a motherly angel and patience to match.
The even better part of this video is that they immediately repeat the song as a karaoke version.
Once again, Soulless Chaser is in a role I'm not sure I 100% understand. A lifeguard?! Shouldn't that job go to one of the many aquatic spirits? The Drowned Twins are even there as the Chaser's assistants, but aren't they the spirit world's PREMIER experts on drowning?
SOULLESS CHASER'S SUMMER SAFETY FEVER
I guess that's exactly the problem here...they're experts on drowning, but I guess they're not so much experts on, like, not drowning. I suppose that's arguably true for the various other water demons, too, come to think of it. I was wrong. Someone with no personal stakes in drowning IS probably the best choice to be in charge here.
You HAVE been trying to picture what these sequences would "really" look like too, right? That isn't just me? If it hadn't even crossed your mind I want you to re-watch this one and remember what's actually shaking its booty at the beach here.
CAREFUL, CHILDREN...THERE COULD BE A JELLYFISH.
The "Noisy Neighbor Song" seems to be a popular one sung by a variety of cartoon characters across Korean youtube and beyond, but this time, it's Death Diva demonstrating what not to do as she practices her singing and even her guitar at all hours of the day and night in a crowded apartment building.
DEATH DIVA IS A NOISY NEIGHBOR
The terrifying siren soon learns her lesson...but all for naught. No sooner does her caterwauling subside, then the very same neighbors must contend with Marionette Queen's insufferable dance practice! Perhaps this is just what they all get for eating so many babies, and stuff. Yeah, even Shinbi. Especially Shinbi.
Of course they give the Grudgeful Bus a whole song, kids love bus songs. I don't know why. Maybe because they have to ride so many buses. I remember that being an entirely miserable experience, personally, and I don't think a song would have made it any better. It especially doesn't assuage my concerns about what happens when this particular bus heeds the call of the Ghost Ball, but, at least most of these passengers are already dead.
OH GREAT NOW EVERYBODY'S ON THE BUS
This kid has seen it all by now, so she doesn't bat an eye at a bunch of dead women doing her hair, all in the employ of the horrific Bloody Mary, with the assistance of the mud-caked Virgin Spirit and the long haired Black Pearl Ghost, neither of which we reviewed, but here they are for reference:
HARI GETS A HAIRCUT...FROM HELL!!!!
Even Puppet Nurse is apparently employed by this salon, so I guess Mary just thinks any old dead woman is qualified to cut and style hair for a child, though that doesn't explain why the finishing touches are from Slenderman again. Why is he in SO MANY of these!? I mean, I know the reason is that children love him, but Hari didn't even capture or befriend Slenderman. He's still at large. He's still eating children's souls and laying eggs in other children's guts. He shouldn't be here. What kind of shady establishment is Mary running. I am positive a Slenderman qualifies as some kind of code violation. But speaking of Slenderman and health code violations...
Words...cannot begin to prepare you for the horrors that unfold here. The indescribable, sadistic wickedness on display, the utter disregard for all decency, the vulgar mockery this blasphemous demon makes of meatballs and spaghetti.....don't say I didn't warn you.
THE DARKEST MOST DISTURBING SLENDERMAN VIDEO OF ALL TIME
Hey, it's one of the two ghosts designed by a real little kid! Rock Paper Scissors doesn't have a dedicated anime episode, but this musical short gives it a fun little story in which it keeps defeating other ghosts at its trademark game, until the human kids come up with the perfect solution.
ROCK PAPER SCISSORS!
Come on, that's just gross. You are a mother. You of all half-people should know better than that. Ugh.
MAMA CENTIPEDE LOST HER BEST FRIENDS BECAUSE SHE WOULDN'T BRUSH HER TEETH
This is the "bad habits song," which has many variations. This version goes on to feature the Black Eyed Children and Bella, all learning how to bathe and use mouthwash and stop being utterly disgusting.
He's put them through a lot, okay, I think they've earned this to be honest.
EVERYONE TERRORIZES SHINBI IN THE WOODS
I love the moment where Heron and the Drowned Twins combine their powers to just electrocute his little green ass. We also have Golden Hog stealing his pizza, Slenderman taking his picture without his permission, and funniest of all: Keyclaws, master of games and puzzles, pulling his most devious machination of all, the old "hey, look over there!"
I seem to recall it not working out so great for this guy the last time he got any medical attention, so it's good to know his cybernetic specter is being treated so well. This isn't a song or even a story, but like a fabricated "gameplay video." How weird is it that that's a whole genre, now? People love to watch other people playing games and puzzles, so even a completely fake one will get views, especially with littler children who don't care about the difference either way. That said, I also couldn't stop watching this until I knew they got the job done right. They even unscrew his panels and clean the trash out of him! Have you been eating trash, dude?? You're both dead and a robot, I don't think you need to eat anything actually.
RED EYE GOES TO THE DOCTOR
This is Slenderman's rendition of the same "bad habits song" Mama Centipede was singing, but Slenderman's problem is apparently that he walks around sucking on his finger. He sucks on his finger so much that he stretches it into a long, limp, noodly tentacle finger. I don't...I don't like that. No.
BAD HABITS REVISITED
As the lost spirit of a toddler possessing a baby doll, Bella must look like a delicious turducken to demons that devour the souls of the innocent, and here, we discover that she now hangs out with other, actual, living children and even, somehow, has normal human parents...but those parents are nowhere to be seen when Slenderman comes creeping by the playground, as he is wont to do, even creepier than usual as he tries out a Pied Piper routine.
BELLA VS. SLENDERMAN: A STRANGER DANGER RAP BATTLE
Fortunately, Bella's sick rhymes teach the audience how to tell a faceless tentacle demon from their mom or dad, ignore its lies and inform the nearest trusted authority figure.
Hari and Doori did not actually defeat Slenderman in his debut anime episode, as an end-of-episode stinger showed us he still had at least one backup host. But by the end of this song, at long last, he is finally arrested by the cops and taken to jail. Why didn't anybody think of that before?!
At long last, we have one that makes 100% normal sense for these characters. In fact, the channel has posted this song over again every Halloween season, but changed which ghosts are singing along.
THE HALLOWEEN SONG!
As funny as some of these videos are, though, their existence is also genuinely heartwarming, isn't it? From an "in-universe" perspective, even the foulest abominations from the pits of hell have enough good in them to teach hygiene and safety to human children once they've chilled the heck out a little, and creatures that once existed solely as the physical manifestations of someone's pain and hatred can still have fun and make friends.
Meanwhile, looking at it from a real world perspective, we have a franchise that apparently scares the daylights out of over a million children a week, but those same children are told, by the end of most episodes, that these hideous, even deadly creatures are still a kind of people, with feelings, and in most cases won't ever hurt them again. Watching Hari and Doori deploy those same terrifying nightmares as casually as a Pikachu or an Agumon, I imagine it's hard to keep finding them all that scary. It's no wonder this series is as popular as it is: the fantasy of your own ultimate bogeymen apologizing for their evils and fighting for your protection is a hell of a lot more memorable than when children's media just reassures kids that those monsters just aren't real. Why do we expect that to work when even adults can be afraid of horror movies that they know are fake?
Knowing that there are children in this world who love these depictions of Slenderman, Bloody Mary and even Beelzebub as much as they've ever loved Big Bird, the Wiggles or the Teletubbies is downright touching, as is the recent surge of children wildly in love with even some of the darkest horror gaming villains and creepypasta icons. It just goes to show that kids really are inclined to see past "ugliness," that deep down, the human brain was born ready to accept things that might seem strange, confusing or frightening at first glance.
Somewhere out there, right now, is a kid who feels less afraid of covid-19 or even a little less hurt by internet bullies, all because their favorite dead, flesh-eating cartoon moms promised to watch out for them.