'The Terror: Infamy': Supernatural elements like Yurei and Bakemono from Japanese folklore work well to bring an eerie vibe onto the show
Based on supernatural entities as mentioned in Japanese folklore, or 'Kaidan', these are vengeful Japanese spirits are haunting the living for an incomplete agenda.
With all the different aspects of horror AMC's anthology 'The Terror' packs in its second season, titled 'The Terror: Infamy', it is still the supernatural elements that seem strike a chord because of their unique aura, unlike anything we have seen before. The plot revolves around the political horrors and shameful realities of the Japanese Internment camps in America, where all Japanese Americans were detained during the Second World War, and in the middle of it all we have vengeful Japanese spirits like Yureis and Bakemonos haunting the community to amp up the eerie vibe of the show.
Back during this year's San Diego Comic-Con in July, the first trailer of 'The Terror: Infamy' revealed all the ghosts that would be arriving to haunt the Japanese American community on the show, and the two most prominent ones were derived from Japanese ghost stories, or folklore, which are known as 'Kaidan'. One of the ghosts was a 'Bakemono' - or a shapeshifter of sorts, which is a being which is more of a living creature than a ghost. This being changes its forms and is not as much of a ghost as the other supernatural entity, and hasn't explicitly appeared on the series yet, unlike the Yurei, which we have seen in the form of the character Yuko on the show.
From the moment we met Yuko she has been the harbinger of tragedy. Every time a mysterious death happens or a person meets with a life-altering accident, Yuko is around. It happened in case of Hideo Furuya going blind with agonizing pain right after seeing her on the streets, and later, Yuko mysteriously seems to draw in Hideo's son, Toshiro, probably to harm him too. Yuko had also appeared to Chester at odd places, such as the brothel where she claimed to be the new girl and offered to predict his future by reading tea leaves in his cups. But it is only right at the end of the first episode that we find out the ethereal beauty is not all she seems, when she peels off her skin and reveals dark, decaying matter underneath, before casually sewing it all back up.
Even in the case of Wilson Yoshida's death, the build-up to the final act showed Yuko randomly appearing to Wilson at odd places unannounced and without any explanation. In the end, she possesses the old man to march at the American soldiers with a gun. The soldiers shoot him fatally, and that is the end of Wilson, but Yuko returns again, this time to kill the not so innocent Hideo. We see a soldier waking Hideo in the middle of the night, and walking the blind man to a deserted spot in the midst of the forest closeby. The soldier - a possible Bakemono aiding Yuko - leaves, and Yuko appears, revealing that she is back to seek revenge from Hideo, and for some reason, Hideo's eyesight returns just so he can recognize her and watch her kill him.
As is clear from the scene, Hideo had done something pretty damaging to Yuko and she is back to seek vengeance on their community now. We don't know the entire reason behind this, but that's what Yureis do. These spirits return from the grave to either haunt a place or a person and as most spirits talked about in folklores, their connection to the living world is because some agenda prevented them from passing on to the afterlife. They need their proper funeral rites for the passage and can only leave the people be once their business is finished, and Yuko's appearance in a white kimono, which is the Japanese funeral attire, and her aggressive vendetta is a further proof of the entity she is.
'The Terror: Infamy' airs on Mondays at 9pm, only on AMC.