Shippeitaro is a confusing tale, not because of the plot, but because the promises it makes to the listener aren’t what western audiences expect. It’s not that it’s bad, but the cultural norms are different in Japan than they are in the the states, even back when the story was first told/written.
By the end I was left wanting more, but not in a good way, feeling like I missed a good chunk of the story. There was a lot of information in a little over eight minutes in length, and only the surface was scratched. The complexity of the story, however, did not merit a second listen-through. Shows like Edict Zero FIS which have layers upon layers of intrigue warrant a second play through, because you know you missed a lot. Shippeitaro is just plain confusing. Perhaps that says more about me and western culture than the story itself.
I will give the narrator credit for keeping my interest at least mildly engaged and the howling cats scene creeped me out due to the sound effects, audio filters applied to the cats, and narration.
Shippeitaro is supposedly a classic in Japanese fairy tales, with many renditions out there, but in terms of the listener’s ability follow–it will vary greatly. For me, it was meh.