Ghost Stories - "Am I Beautiful? Kuchisake-onna" (lost anime episode; 2000)
|The Kuchisake-onna from the preview.|
Kuchisake-onna, for those unfamiliar, is a popular urban legend in Japan. Translated as 'the slit-mouthed woman', Kuchisake-onna (according to folklore) would stalk around in a large overcoat, with a surgical mask on, and ask children if she was beautiful or not. Regardless of their reply, she would normally kill them, but not before removing her mask and revealing her horrifyingly disfigured mouth, slit from ear to ear.
The 2000 anime Ghost Stories attempted to integrate the Kuchisake-onna legend into an episode titled "Am I Beautiful? Kuchisake-onna" ("あたしきれい? 口裂け女"), although in the end it was never released. Scheduled to air in Japan on November 5, 2000 as the third episode, it was completed, (and even previewed as an upcoming episode), though was ultimately pulled before airing, after a barrage of complaints from parents worried that her disfigurement would look too much like a cleft palate. Fuji TV obliged, pulling the episode as to not offend anyone, although it never showed up in any Ghost Stories DVD releases, nor was it ever seen in the English dub of said anime.
It is unknown if Fuji TV have any plans to release the episode in the future, nor whether they even still have a copy themselves. Rumors of this episode having aired once are simply untrue; as of now, the only footage from the episode that has been seen by the public is contained in the above 15 second preview (though the plot details have also since been made available).