Slit-Mouth Woman (Kuchisake-Onna) in Occult Academy

Occult Academy Kuchisake onna slit-mouth woman

As a kid, I went through an occult-obsessed phase. I had a series of ten books that go into vast details on the supernatural and pseudosciences. As ridiculous as some of the anecdotes and ideas are, they nevertheless instilled in me a deep fascination for UFO sightings, cultural myths, horror stories, and anything related to the paranormal. Thus, when I saw Occult Academy, I was very intrigued.

Andrea Innocent Kuchisake Onna

Besides the different occult symbols in the opening sequence (which have mostly all been keenly pointed out by some on the internet), there is also a lot of cultural references spread throughout the anime. Occult Academy includes many urban legends. I was especially delighted to see a reference to the popular and terrifying slit-mouth woman (Kuchisake-onna).

Occult Academy Kuchisake onna slit-mouth woman

In episode one of Occult Academy, Maya’s friend reminisces on Maya’s peculiar childhood friendship and supernatural explorations, such as the Ouija board and the thirteenth staircase. The most interesting for me though is when Maya scares her friend with a story: “And the girl said, ‘Am I pretty?’”

Occult Academy Kuchisake onna slit-mouth woman

This is a direct reference to the slit-mouth woman (Kuchisake-onna). The slit-mouth woman has been a popular Japanese horror legend for centuries. Originating as a story about a concubine and a samurai, the legend of the slit-mouth woman survived several iterations as it adapted to different eras. The most recent version, also the version that terrified my childhood nights, revolves around plastic surgery.

Occult Academy Kuchisake onna slit-mouth woman

When plastic surgery first became widely accessible, it was met with a lot of suspicion. The urban myth developed around this attitude. A beautiful but vain woman visits a plastic surgeon for a facial reconstruction. On the day of the surgery, the surgeon, wanting to impress the young lady, applied an exceptionally large amount of hair gel. That turned out to be disastrous. During the surgery, the woman continually gagged due to the pungent artificial smell of sterilizing solution and hair gel. The surgery was a failure and the woman left the clinic with a wide slit-mouth all the way to her ears.

Occult Academy Kuchisake onna slit-mouth woman

Her existence soon became demonized. She travels around with a surgical mask hiding her mouth. She would ask random people, “Am I pretty (kirei)?” If the person answers “yes”, she would take off her mask and ask, “How about now?” At this point, either a “yes” or a “no” would result in death. After she kills her victims, she would cut (kire) their mouths.

Occult Academy Kuchisake onna slit-mouth woman Alzheimer 13

The slit-mouth woman was a very widespread urban myth especially in the late 90’s and early 2000’s. It is really nice to see that Occult Academy includes not only the major paranormal stuff like UFOs and Nostradamus prophecies, but also a bit of popular urban culture.

Occult Academy Kuchisake onna slit-mouth woman

So far, I am enjoying this series quite a bit since it is on a topic I love. Maya is also adorably obstinate. I am not too sure about the comedy though.

*After reading the comments, I realize I should probably mention that the occult is not only about the horrific. UFO’s, prophecies, superhuman, ancient civilizations… etc. are all part of it. Horror fiction simply crosses paths with the occult at times.
*Also, Occult Academy is in no ways scary. It is a comedy. The only reason I include that scary picture is because I thought it would be fun to change the pace from all the usual fluffiness.
*I think I did a disservice to the series with this post. Again, Occult Academy is fairly light-hearted. It is not creepy at all, and certainly not terrifying.
*Occult Academy Review – The World is Ending, But Who Cares?

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59 Responses to Slit-Mouth Woman (Kuchisake-Onna) in Occult Academy

  1. mefloraine says:

    Calmly reading, getting interested, scroll down a little and, “eeeee~”. C-creepy image.

    A-anyway, I also like the way Occult Academy has been addressing legends and the creatures that spawn from them. I feel as though everything the show strives for reeks of quality.

    Reading this made me feel like I was playing Fatal Frame again, somehow. Kirie. ;x

    • Yi says:

      Sorry about that. I didn’t intend to actually surprise scare people although I did want to be a little edgier with the pic this time. Did it kind of work?

      Occult Academy is really fun to watch. It does a lot of things right. Strong premise, strong artworks, and a very lovable cast. Maya has such a stark personality. It’s wonderful indeed.

      The one thing I’m not really enjoying though is the humor. I guess it’s not exactly for me.

      I played Fatal Frenzy at a friend’s house once… That is one scary game.

  2. Nopy says:

    That picture you have there kinda scared me, I scrolled back up after scrolling down to it ^.^”

    The first episode of Occult Academy didn’t interest me very much so I passed it up. I like murder mysteries rather than occult or supernatural anime because everything is explainable through human actions.

    • Yi says:

      Sorry about that.
      I don’t mind murder mysteries either. Anyways, a lot of times, the supernatural can be explained through science or human actions, but that’s going off on a tangent. It’s also usually pseudoscience.

  3. Swordwind says:

    Hmm, so you like Occult? The art was a bit off-putting for me. Is it worth sticking with it, anyway?

    The only new series I’ve been watching are Shiki and High School of the Dead (of which I’m not terribly proud in watching).

    I’ve heard of some of the older interpretations, but the plastic surgery version is new to me. Is it supposed to be slightly moralistic?

    • Yi says:

      I like it, but not as much as I used to though as a kid. I think at one point, I just kind of realize that most of this stuff are hoaxes. They’re still fun though.
      The art is certainly a bit different. I’m still getting used to how the characters look. I’m also getting used to the comedy too. Still, I’ll be sticking with this series because the story is actually pretty good and I have an obsessive need to finish almost every series I start.
      I should start on Shiki soon. I’m also watching HSoD, and I actually like it a lot, but I’m a bit embarrassed about that too.

      As for kuchisake-onna, the plastic surgery story is the version I heard. There’s also a lot of other ones, but I think just with most urban myths, there’s no true version. Anyways, I don’t really see any morals in her tale, and I don’t think there really is. It’s simply a story for fear factors.

      • Swordwind says:

        Eh? I didn’t claim that any one version was the true one, Yi -.-

        So, you didn’t think there was a “You-should-be-happy-with-how-you-look, because-it-isn’t-necessarily-a-reflection-of-your-personality, and-even-if-it-is, clawing-at-achieving-youth-that-doesn’t-belong-to-you-may-turn-you-into-a-disgusting, psychopathic-monster” vibe? Hmm.

        • Yi says:

          I know you didn’t. You’re always very careful and exact with your words. ^ ^

          Now that you mentioned it, you’re right about the moral about vanity in that tale. I’ve always just thought the back story preyed on the fear many have about plastic surgery a few decades ago.

        • Swordwind says:

          I guess it isn’t particularly important either way.

  4. rockleelotus says:

    same as mefloraine here XD the first image got my attention and was getting more interested as i was reading along, then O_O scroll down.. dont stare… lol

    sounds cool but not sure if its a series i would watch, actually i havent been watching much anime at all lately ^^;;

    • Yi says:

      The image doesn’t really do the series justice. Although Occult Academy is indeed about paranormal stuff, it’s not scary at all. It’s actually a comedy.

      Anyways, I’ve watching a lot less anime recently as well. Just haven’t been in the mood for marathons.

  5. Ryan A says:

    Nice and creepy history on the subject. Occult is one series I am behind a couple episodes, but I do enjoy Maya as a character. Although… I like the comedy of it all, it’s kind of spooky, but not really… and that makes the funny bits more laughable I guess.

    • Yi says:

      Maya is super lovable, especially when she’s being mean. She’s a walking irony not just in her personality, but in her relationship with the occult.
      As for the humor… I don’t know. Most of the time, I kind of just roll my eyes. I guess it’s not exactly for me, or maybe I’m just not in the right mood.

  6. Always a fun task when it comes to catching some of the mythological references scattered in anime. I enjoyed doing that for one series, Mokke it was called, which felt like it was Mushishi-lite. I think Bakemonogatari draws a few elements from the supernatural too.

    This one is pretty horrifying mostly based on appearances, though I suppose the point that drives it home is the murdering which occurs shortly after the fated question is asked.

    The description of the show does look promising and only serves to remind me that I probably should be picking this one up soon.

    • Yi says:

      I looked up Mokke and I am very very interested. Supernatural, chill countryside, and slice of life seem like a really good blend, especially if it’s got a lot of cultural references. I also really need to see Mushishi… It’s been on my computer for ages.

      Anyways, I think I was kind of misleading with this post. Occult Academy is fairly light hearted. I think this post doesn’t really address the tone of the show well. Maybe including that image was a bad idea. 😦

  7. Shinra says:

    Glad you enjoy it. Me too ^^ Supernatural stuffs/occult is one of my favorite genres. (ex. xxx Holic, natsume Yuujinchou those kinds)

    The 1 thing that i like the most of occult gakuin is because of its grapics… For some reason, the characters looks so close as a real human every time i watch it. The only thing that I dont like bout it is Bunmei…. Coward main characters is always not my favorite. But Maya is awesome!!! XD

    Btw, I got scared after seeing your pics of those real slit-mouth woman… Yes, its too scary XD

    • Yi says:

      It has a very distinct style to its characters. I’m still kind of getting used to it, but it’s nice. Maya is really awesome especially. I agree about Bunmei though. He is pretty weak. Not really my kind of guy.

      Sorry about the pic. 😦

      • Shinra says:

        LoL…. Its ok ^^ The pic really makes me scared but at the same time, it helps me overcome my hatred against horror movies… XDD

        The Pic are indeed nice ^^

        (I also dont like Mikaze too…. Soooooo ANNOYING!!! ><)

  8. glothelegend says:

    When I was a kid, me and my friend were convinced that we were both aliens. This lasted till 4th grade. Presently, I no longer think that I’m an alien, but I’m still a weird fuck.

    I do believe in everything occult pretty much….except ghosts, those don’t exist.

    The slit mouth woman sounds fucking awesome and I’d invite her to any party out there, provided she wear a traditional kimono for added effect.

    • Yi says:

      That kind of reminds me of my kid days. My dream job was to be a UFO scientist and be the person to prove aliens exist. It’s not quite as weird as you or friend though.

      I’m mostly pretty skeptical about all of this stuff now though, but it’s still fun to think about. I enjoy my share of Discovery, History, or even Travel Channel’s pseudoscience programs.

      I’d totally hang out with the slit mouth woman too. I mean with a mouth like that, she probably has mad conversation skills.

  9. Xine says:

    That picture was really scary. õ_ó
    I’m really not into the genre because I get scared easily. Lol.

    • Yi says:

      In hindsight, I think that image was a mistake for this post. I was being playful, but it didn’t do the anime enough justice. Occult Academy is in a completely different genre. Topics may overlap, but the series is a rather inane comedy. It shouldn’t be scary at all.

  10. Valence says:

    I also read that they could be scared away by throwing some kind of candy.

    And that ‘creepy’ picture looks awesome for some reason.

    • Yi says:

      I think I remember hearing that about her too. All the sudden, I have a very fun imagery in mind. ^ ^

      Glad someone likes the creepy picture. Not a total debacle then.

  11. hisui19 says:

    ugh…… that’s creepy… hate those… *cry*

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  13. Shadow says:

    Cool post! I’ve caught some of the more obvious occult references, but missed this one.

    I was also fascinated by the occult as a kid (got a similar collection of occult focused books – unsolved mysteries, UFOs, etc). It was both interesting and creepy at the same time. I’d freak myself out but couldn’t stop my curiosity.

    • Yi says:

      Thanks! I think this particular one was only a few scenes and really wasn’t anything important or even representative of the kind of things Occult Academy shows. Nevertheless, I thought it was kind of fun.

      Anyways, I think many kids go through this phase.
      “I’d freak myself out but couldn’t stop my curiosity.”
      Me too!!!

  14. AS says:

    I like paranormal stuff as well. When I was a kid I used to borrow books from the library about it all the time, as the internet wasn’t well established yet lol. Good thing I didn’t get nightmares from it ^^;;. I still am interested in it and there are some TV shows on it that I like to watch when they’re on. I learned about many Japanese paranormal stuff from Pink Tentacle.

    • Yi says:

      I used to watched UFO and myth shows on Discovery and History Channel pretty often… I still do sometimes if there is nothing else on. Paranormal stuff always had this weird allure.

      Anyways, I read Pink Tentacle sometimes too. They always pop up on Google searches as well. It’s a great site. I also learned a lot about traditional Japanese myths from this really old school manga, Jigoku Sensei Nube.
      I really liked it as a kid.

  15. bluedrakon says:

    Not really someone I would like to met. Kind of makes me wonder if this is part of where the Joker (Batman Series) got his smile?

    Very spooky

    • Yi says:

      I doubt they influenced each other, although the two are really similar. An interesting convergence of ideas I guess. The joker is super awesome too! I think from a pop culture standpoint, he is a much more fascinating character, but that’s going off on another tangent.

  16. softz says:

    This is definitely not for me. I am not and will not be interested in Occult Academy after seeing the slit-mouth thingy. That’s a good heads-up for me I guess.

    • Yi says:

      Ahh… 😦

      Looking back after reading all the comments, I think this was a failed post. I completely misrepresented Occult Academy with that image.

      It’s very much not scary at all. It’s an inane comedy with an interesting story. I’m sorry I gave you the wrong idea.

  17. Dragon Of Hourai says:

    YI!! Your a Genius you just gave me and idea for the light novel i’m writing Thank You!!

  18. Canne says:

    Good thing you did not put that creepy picture on top lest I will probably not visit this blog for a week out of fear. >_<

  19. biotoxic says:

    I’ve been following Occult Academy on crunchyroll. It’s been enjoyable; not amazing, but not bad. I especially like how Maya and Uchida interact with each other. JK is weird but funny as well.

    I’m not a huge fan of occult stories or even horror movies for that fact. They are anything but scary I find. But I don’t mind watching/reading about them, you know, just in case one happens to be scary. At least it gives good ideas on how to scare others :twisted:.

    It’s also interesting to see some of the Japanese cultural occult stuff coming in, which is new to me.

    • Yi says:

      I think that’s my feeling for the series too. It’s enjoyable, but not terribly amazing. I also roll my eyes at a lot of the jokes too. The humor just hasn’t worked for me. Maya saves the show though for sure. She makes me smile.

      Anyways, reading some of the other comments, it seemed I did a decent job of creeping some people out. So I hope I gave you some good ideas. 👿

  20. lovelyduckie says:

    This is a series I’m going to wait until season 1 is done before I watch it. I love trying out series that reference myths and creatures of horror in some way. I’m curious to see a series that does this comedy style.

    • Yi says:

      It does indeed do it in comedy style. I’m not too far into it yet, but so far the references focuses more on paranormal stuff rather than traditional myths. It’s really fun to pick them out.

  21. doriinatrix says:

    I was not aware Occult Academy was filled with awesome stuff like that!…though I should have been able to guess from the title >.>
    Another anime to the to-watch pile…

    • Yi says:

      Stuff like this is one of the main draws of the series for me, so I’m glad it delivered on that front. With that said, I’m not completely in love with it, so it’s kind of fallen down the priorities for me.

  22. Reltair says:

    Man, those pictures of the slit-mouth woman are pretty scary. Occult Academy is indeed by no means scary at all.

    • Yi says:

      Yep yep. I think some of the picture choices were not so good this time because it gave a wrong impression for the series. I should probably go back to posting pretty fluffy pictures.

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  25. EmperorG says:

    The reason why I enjoyed this show was because it reminded me of my childhood favorites, like Ghostbusters, Roswell Conspiracies and Martin Mystery. It felt similar and nostalgic. Yup, I also reviewed this show as well. I wasn’t as keen in the occult as you are and didn’t notice the reference to slit-mouth woman, but it’s cool to know that they added an homage to her.

    I’ll keep my comments on this one short: Maya is awesome, Bunmei sucks, Mikaze made me very sad because I deeply hoped that she wouldn’t be who she turned out to be, yet she was exactly THAT, which upset me big time.
    In any case, I really liked this one, much more than HotD, but not as much as Shiki. Still waiting for Shiki to continue broadcasting more episodes.

    • Yi says:

      Exactly! I think a lot of us go through a phase in our childhood when we were fascinated by stuff like ghosts, conspiracies, and whatnot. This was a nostalgia trip for me too.

      Anyways, as for the characters… I have to admit. I am very behind on the series and I haven’t watched it in a few weeks, so my memories kind of hazy. Maya is awesome though and Bunmei does suck. I don’t remember who Mikaze is or maybe I just haven’t seen her.

      Still need to finish HoSD and pick up Shiki. So behind on anime. 😦

      • EmperorG says:

        Ah, I thought you had already finished Occult Academy. My mistake. In any case, do finish it when you’re able. You won’t regret it. Shiki is currently on a hiatus until further notice and will probably continue this month. HotD is already over….for now.

        • Yi says:

          Haha don’t worry about it. That’s kind of what I do with anime. I go on mini-hiatuses with shows here and there. I now have a pretty massive backlog of shows to finish. 😦

  26. LoL I saw your asterisks at the end… That’s unfortunate people are thinking Occult Academy is creepy. It’s really awesome actually. I’m not into occult or horror and such, which I thought would be what this anime is about, but hearing someone described it with the words, “thigh high and naked time traveller”, it got me, lol!

    I actually haven’t finished the show, but I’m really liking everything I’ve seen. I dont’ even know the myths and legends and all that, but I get to learn about them in Occult Academy ^_^ The cliffhanger in some episodes really make me anxious to watch the next one. I only have the last episode left, but I don’t want to finish it too fast, hahaha.

    • Yi says:

      “LoL I saw your asterisks at the end… That’s unfortunate people are thinking Occult Academy is creepy. It’s really awesome actually.”
      Yea… This post is kind of a failure. 😦

      Anyways, thigh high is what got me too. The occult angle is just a front. ^ ^

      I find myself reading a lot of wikipedia as I watch this. It’s part of the fun for me. The main plot is pretty interesting too, so I’m pretty excited to jump back into this series after a hiatus.

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