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Siren Inspirations (part 2) - Books and Movies that Inspired Forbidden Siren


Ryoko Yamagishi Self-Selection "Tsukuyomi"
Ryoko Yamagishi / Bungeishunju

The method of telling fragmented stories about myths and legends at the start and then use them as metaphors to tell a story is featured in several stories in this amazing collection of short stories. It contains all kinds of genres like fantasy, mystery, and the bizarre, all of which will torment you with an odd sense of loss when you finish reading them. Ryoko Yamagishi's method here influenced "Strange Tales of Hanuda". (Sato)


Fuyumi Ono / Shinchosha

This is an homage to Steven King's "'Salem's Lot", and the work that you could say had the most influence on Siren. This is the ultimate in modern Japanese horror, where an isolated community is beset by peril due to strange happenings, filled with cultural and customary Japanese features. That turning into a monster but still retaining human memories is the scariest and saddest thing is also a strong theme present in Siren. (Sato)

Blair Witch Maniacs

Asahi Press

This book, pointing out the main threads of the story to strengthen the worldview, was one of the sources for our idea to have the archive items. Wanting to close the gap between reality and fiction, like they did by using the internet to spread rumours across North America about the Blair Witch Project, was what we tried to do with Occult Land and the Urban Legend Investigation Team. (Sato)



Fred Chappell / Tokyo Sogensha

This famous work is a novel about the Cthulu mythos, but hardly shows fights with malicious gods. It actually has several merits as a Japanese fan of Cthulu myths, so I can't generally recommend it. Still, personally, this was the work that most made me fear beings that are beyond human understanding, and the fear of stepping outside the boundaries of earth's rules. (Sato)

Examples: The Making of 40 Photographs

Ansel Adams / Iwasaki Bijutsusha

Adams' photos, of the surface of a nearby rock to the surface of distant mountains, are taken in fine detail, surpassing beauty and turning to fear. The human eye can't focus on the roughness of the rocks and the far away mountains simultaneously. It's something you feel like you know, but have never seen before. The uncomfortable feeling it has, seeing the world you know through a slightly different filter, is both scary and interesting. Siren was created using textures based on photos, but the finer details and noise have been emphasised, showing you a range of microscopic gradation that can't be observed with the naked eye. These elements made Adams' photos a great influence. (Takahashi)    

El Topo

Directed by Alejandro Jodorowsky / 1971 / SPO

This has a strong visual impact, beauty and cruelty, and a story told characteristically in an abstract setting. It does an amazing job of showing embodiment, abstract and symbolic things, and I wanted to try putting that to practical use in Siren's visuals. I first saw it when I was in university, and when Siren was being development Toyama brought it in for the staff to all watch together, then it came out on DVD so I bought it and watched it, and after seeing it three times I don't think I've ever understood it, or that it can be totally understood. "Difficult" is "interesting". (Takahashi)

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English Translation by Chelsea