I took a trip to western Japan last year, and my big regret of the trip was not finding enough time to visit Himeji castle, the best-preserved traditional castle in the country. I think it’s time to add another regret to the list: Not scheduling the trip so that it happened this week, instead of in September, so I could visit Universal Studios Japan and its nightmare-inducing new attractions.

The “Cool Japan” initiative has borne fruit in Kansai’s biggest theme park, with rides and exhibits based around four mega-popular anime and game brands, namely Attack on Titan, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Monster Hunter, and Biohazard (aka Resident Evil).

Judging by the photo above, which allows visitors to reenact the terrifying death of Eren Jaeger’s mother, they’re all designed to haunt you forever and ever. Heck, just seeing Eren and the Female Titan having it out in a full-scale model would be enough to send the kids who came for the Harry Potter section into tears, but then there’s the “Clone-oid” exhibit, featuring life-size, costumed, real-looking-yet-still-creepy statues of the cast, like an anime Madame Tussaud’s. TheEvangelion-themed “4D” movie ride and the life-size recreation of Monster Hunter creatures and weapons are less immediately unsettling, but really, pretty much anything “anime” starts to get weird when you start to have it intersect with the real world.

And that’s not even counting the stuff that’s intentionally designed to make you soil your drawers.Biohazard: The Escape is an actual haunted house attraction, challenging the strong of heart to escape a zombie-infested TV station. Check out videos of the different attractions below. It’s not quite as good as being there, but unless you can get your butt to Osaka between now and May, it might be all you’ll get.



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