Why High-Rise Invasion Is Anime’s Silent Hill

High-Rise Invasion is an intense horror anime series that also shares some notable similarities with the Silent Hill video game franchise. High-Rise Invasion adapts the manga of the same name, this Netflix anime series follows high schooler Yuri Honjo, who finds herself trapped in an abandoned building after witnessing a gruesome murder and attempting to evade the killer. Unable to escape the building she realizes the only way to survive is to retreat up to the roof – but it’s only when Yuri’s above the rest of the city that reality sets in.

Somehow, the real world has been replaced with one where the only occupants are Yuri, the psychopaths chasing her – who are trying to kill or convince their prey to take their own lives in “hopeless despair” – and her brother. High-Rise Invasion soon finds Yuri locked in a survival horror nightmare while fending off constant attacks from masked killers in a world of skyscrapers connected by bridges. The plot setup is certainly intriguing, and also reads as distinctly video-gamey.

In fact, High-Rise Invasion feels particularly close to the Silent Hill series. The first game was released back in 1999 and has garnered a passionate following, inspiring comics, spin-off games and even two Silent Hill movies of mixed quality. The games (mostly) take place in the fictional, eponymous American town, and feature the classic survival horror tropes of fighting/evading monsters, conserving items, solving puzzles, and generally trying not to die. The series is also decidedly psychological in its approach to the genre too, often exploring themes like grief, mental health struggles, philosophy, and so forth.

In High-Rise Invasion, the new reality Yuri finds herself in is referred to as “an abnormal space,” where life as she knew it has been drastically altered. In the Silent Hill franchise, the darkly ethereal town acts as a portal to a different kind of dimension – referred to as the “Otherworld” – where physical laws aren’t the same. The player characters can slip into their own mental rabbit holes via delusions or grapple with the inner demons they harbored long before entering Silent Hill. They also find themselves tormented by monsters seemingly designed with their personal fears or phobias in mind, such as Silent Hill 2’s iconic Pyramid Head “punishing” main character James for his sins. Similarly, the masked villains in the alternate reality of High-Rise Invasion work to “drive people to despair,” seeking to either kill their prey or push them to kill themselves.

And, of course, there’s the common thread of fighting to survive against brutal, bloody odds. Whether Silent Hill players are fighting off a zombified nurse with an ax or Yuri is desperately trying to outrun masked assassins, perseverance in the face of bleak adversity is a recurring theme in both the games and High-Rise Invasion. Whether the latter will lead to as many nightmares as Konami’s classic series remains to be seen, however.

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