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"Would you like a room?"
Gregory Horror Show is a CGI Anime series produced by Naomi Iwata of Milky Cartoon. What can be agreed on is that it takes place in some sort of purgatory world which includes a Hell Hotel. The creator of this world is an old anthropomorphic mouse, Gregory, who also owns and runs the hotel, "Gregory House." (No, not that one.) There are three seasons, a fourth half-season on the DVDs as a side series, a Play Station 2 game, and a manga.
The first two seasons take place in Gregory House, and take place from the perspective of the season's protagonist, known as the "Guest." The season then shows what happens to him/her after finding themselves lost and finding the hotel, checking in, and eventually trying to escape back into reality and away from the Ax Crazy locals. The Play Station 2 game makes use of these seasons as a base, as it has the player control a Guest trying to escape.
The third season features no Guest character, but instead follows Gregory as he takes a ride on a sentient train to who-knows-where and comes across many familiar faces along the way. This season is a little lighter with a noticeable increase in comedic tone.
The sub-season focuses on one of the more recurring characters, Catherine, as she works as a nurse in a hospital and engages in self-deliberation about what she wants in life.
The manga, Gregory Horror Show: Another World, was created by another author and many details of the setting are so different from the anime aside from the Art Shift to the point where it seems like a Gaiden Manga (although given the nature of Gregory's world, it seems appropriate). Our guest has a name this time, Tooru Takenozuka, a 22-year-old freeter (a.k.a. NEET) who takes a room at the only apartment complex that would take him, Gregory House.
The series has a minor cult following.
- Abusive Parents: Gregory Mama is both emotionally abusive (can't go a single conversation without insulting Gregory) and physically abusive (she tends hit him in the head with her staff). She's also the only character Gregory is actually afraid of, and in The Second Guest, he briefly considers letting her die.
- Adult Fear
- Afterlife Express: The Last Train.
- Anime First: A manga series was published a few years after the anime premiered, with a new Guest and a completely different art style.
- Anthropomorphic Personification: Each of the guests supposedly embodies a universal fear. Some of the more obvious are Hell's Chef (fear of critisism) and Judgment Boy (fear of consequences.)
- Always Night: Or sometimes twilight in The Bloody Karte.
- Art Shift: Combined with Deliberately Monochrome, the real world is portrayed in black-and-white live-action.
- Ax Crazy: Damn near everyone in the hotel.
- The Bad Guy Wins: It doesn't matter how hard the Guests try to escape, how much they want to return home...Gregory will always get their souls.
- Badass: Hell's Chef.
- Berserk Button: Cigarettes dull taste buds. Hell's Chef does not take the sight of the little white things well.
"NO SMOKING! NO SMOKING!! Cigarettes are the enemies of CUISINE!"
- BFS: Hell's Chef's knife. It easily cleaves through elephant bone.
- Bittersweet / Downer Ending: Both for the first two series and the game.
- First series: The Guest manages to, with Death's help, escape Gregory House and return to reality. However, then he sees the world as gray and returns, becoming Haniwa Salaryman, who would appear at least once in every season thereafter.
- The Second Guest: Neko Zombie goes fire-kamikaze to destroy Gregory's world, and tells the Second Guest to throw herself into the flames to complete the process. She doesn't, and the hotel quickly resurrects itself, with the Second Guest becoming a member of Gregory's family.
- In the game, Neko Zombie burns the hotel down like before. The Player Character escapes back to reality, but then returns for good immediately after.
- Whether any of the endings is a Downer or a Bittersweet one really depends on your perspective of the guest's adventure and fate.
- Black Comedy
- Blatant Lies: "Those stairs get me every time."
- Boss Subtitles: In the Play Station 2 game, each resident gets one during their introduction video. Same with the manga.
- Bratty Half-Pint: James
- Call a Hit Point a Smeerp: The Play Station 2 game's health bar is a measure of mental health. When it runs out, you go insane.
- Career Versus Man: Catherine has a few struggles with this in The Bloody Karte. It comes to a peak in episode 11. Also, the root of all the Second Guest's problems.
- Catch Phrase: The Judgment Boys have one after their Judgment Game. "It was your choice, (and) now you have to live with it."
- Con Man: Public Phone.
"This phone does not accept small change."
- Cool Train: The Last Train. Gregory calls it "Ambition."
- Counting Sheep: Sleepy Sheep tries to do this, but he winds up exhausting himself and falling asleep himself.
- Creepy Child: James
- Creepy Doll: Lost Doll.
- Deadly Doctor: Catherine
- Deliberately Monochrome: Reality for the First Guest in the final episode of the original series.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: Catherine gets what can only be described as "orgasmic pleasure" from blood-drawing...and the episode of The Second Guest when she draws blood from Gregory, ignoring his pleas for her to stop, carries quite a few rape undertones.
- Don't Fear the Reaper: Death is one of the only characters that's clearly friendly to the protagonists of the series.
- Drowning My Sorrows: Inverted. The guest in the second season tries to do this, but Gregory's cocktail makes her memories become clearer instead.
- Efficient Displacement: Gregory Mama's door has a Gregory-shaped hole (poorly patched up) in the second half of the second series.
- Oddly-Named Sequel 2: Electric Boogaloo: Starting in the second season, each season and the Catherine side series had a subtitle. In order: The Second Guest, The Last Train, and The Bloody Karte.
- The manga has the subtitled Another World.
- Escape From the Crazy Place
- Evil Laugh: A few of the characters. Gregory himself has a trademark evil chuckle; it usually indicates when he's not telling the entire truth.
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin / Meaningful Name: One of the only solid parts of the show is that the majority of the resident's names are quite appropriate. For example, Cactus Gunman is a cactus with a gun.
- Fate Worse Than Death: The final fate of the guests from the first two series.
- Florence Nightingale Effect: Woe to those that fall victim to this when it happens to Catherine. The most notable example is with Cactus Gunman in The Bloody Karte.
- Freaky Friday Flip: James and Gregory for an episode and a half in The Second Guest. Gregory Mama is not amused with "Gregory's" antics.
- Frozen Face: Due to the art style, there are quite a few characters who fit this, the eyes being the only thing that moves on their face. This is averted in the manga.
- Girl with Psycho Weapon: Catherine, who has a freaking huge syringe. And she loves drawing blood with it.
- Ghost Butler: The front doors are almost always locked when the character tries to escape through them directly.
- Golem: When Neko Zombie sets the whole hotel on fire, we see that Hell's Chef is made entirely of candle wax. Logic (for what it counts in this series) suggests this.
- Gratuitous Spanish: the Cactus siblings
- The Gunslinger: Cactus Gunman. He'd probably be good at it if he could ever hit a target in front of his face.
- Hell Hotel: Gregory House
- Hotel Hellion: James causes much trouble for everyone in the hotel, but especially his "Grandpa" Gregory.
- Kill It with Fire: At the end of The Second Guest (as well as the end of the Play Station 2 game), Neko Zombie sets the whole hotel ablaze in the hopes of finally destroying Gregory's world. Unfortunately for him, the Second Guest's lesson remained unlearned.
- Large Ham: Judgment Boy. JUDGEMENNTTTTTTTTTTTTT!!!!
- Also their boss, Judgment Boy Gold.
- Loads and Loads of Characters: There are at least two dozen residents in Gregory's world, if not the hotel itself.
- Mind Screw: Not just for the viewer, but Gregory runs into a few of these during Last Train.
- The Mirror Shows Your True Self: Or does it really?
- Name's the Same: Gregory House has no relation to Gregory House.
- No Export for You: The Play Station 2 game was never released in North America. Thankfully for us English speakers, it was released in the UK.
- The Another World manga was released only in Japan.
- No Name Given: Neither of the guests have their name revealed--official material and fans just call them "Guest." Averted with the manga's guest, Tooru Takenozuka.
- Offscreen Teleportation: Gregory can do this.
- One-Scene Wonder: A good handful of the characters in the series only pop up in one short for the entire run.
- One-Winged Angel: At the end of the first season and the Play Station 2 game, Gregory becomes a huge ghost and chases you, trying to keep you from escaping to reality.
- Pet the Dog: Shockingly enough, Gregory has a few of these moments in the third season, such as with Lost Doll and Sleepy Sheep.
- Precision F-Strike: Gregory has a couple of these in The last Train.
"Ugh, damn it!"
- Pride: Supposedly the bane of Hell's Chef; he refuses to eat anyone else's cooking and he kills anyone who insults it even slightly.
- Purely Aesthetic Gender: In the Play Station 2 game, you control either a young boy or a young girl. The only thing that's different (besides your appearance) is Cactus Gunman's horror show; shooting you if you're a boy, smacking you with a rose bouquet if you're a girl.
- Reptiles Are Abhorrent: Catherine.
- Rousing Speech: Gregory delivers one to the train in The Last Train when it draws the short end of Judgment Boy's game.
Greogry: You say you don't want to lead the passengers into the depths of dispair? Well I say don't do it! Why should you let someone else decide your destination? There's only one direction: the future! Don't hesitate! Proceed straight ahead!
- Sadistic Choice: Thankfully, all of Judgment Boy's are hypothetical. Maybe.
- Salaryman: Haniwa Salaryman.
- Sanity Slippage: The hotel can only be found by people who have started to slip already. Prolonged exposure to the hotel results in even more of this. By the end of the first two series, both Guests have officially gone off the deep end.
- Schrodinger's Butterfly: Referenced in episode 21 of Last Train. When Gregory finds himself in a landscape that's apparently frozen in time, he finds out the scene is an illusion when he touches a frozen bird and it dissolves into dust.
- Single-Stroke Battle: Between Hell's Chef and Musha Dokuro in Last Train.
- Super-Powered Evil Side: Last Train seems to suggest that this applies to Lost Doll.
"Katie": I'm inside your body, inside your mind! I am your darkness, little girl!
- Surreal Horror
- Survival Horror: The Play Station 2 game, created by Capcom.
- Terms of Endangerment: Gregory calls the First Guest "my friend," and Second Guest "my dear."
- In the Play Station 2 game, Gregory Mama briefly calls the player-character "Dearie."
- Villains Out Shopping: The third season follows Gregory as he takes a vacation.
- Weaksauce Weakness: Hell's Chef becomes immobile if the flame on his hat is blown out.
- What Do You Mean Its Not Symbolic
- White Void Room: Gregory runs into one of these near the end of Last Train.
- The Wiki Rule: here; although it focuses on the PS2 game, there is also a lot of information on the anime.
- You Can Always Tell a Liar: Gregory's not the most honest guy anyway, but you know he's only telling part of the truth when he starts chuckling.
- Your Mind Makes It Real: The hotel is a manifestation of the viewpoint guest's longing for excitement.
See ya on the next trip!