Thanks for that in depth post, NC.
On one hand, "wtf Japan?" On the other hand, scary monsters which are some physical amalgamation of guilt? That is an interesting fictional plot point and one which I've seen before.
Reaching a little bit here and on unsteady ground due to being a fly by fan, but if memory recalls correctly the videogame silent hill 2 had a monster in it by the name of pyramid head which was the amalgamation of the main character's guilt and grief about his dead wife. The monsters were only vanquished after he came to terms with the situation (just not before he had personal loss of one of the other characters in the game whom was killed by pyramid head, which there are several theories behind of why).
Similiar plot devices and seeing as the maker of the game was Takayoshi Sato I never even drifted the thread, cos we are still in Japan.
I either stumbled into something philosophically brilliant or it is late and I need to get some damn sleep. Probably the latter