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Ghost Hunt
Ghost Hunt
Ghost Hunt
Anime DVD Review

First thing first: do NOT, under any circumstances, start watching Ghost Hunt in the dark. If you are a seasoned horror fan, okay, you can skip on grabbing something to hide behind but do NOT watch this in the dark. Think Mermaid Forest updated by the people from Tsukihime with a little When They Cry thrown in.

In the world created by Fuyumi Ono, best known for the 12 Kingdoms series (manga and anime), it all starts off innocently enough. You know, young teenage girls telling scary stories back and forth after school just for fun. Mai Taniyama doesn't think anything of it. Who could resist telling stories about a creepy old school that is nearby? The best part of it is not only are her friends really scared of her stories but they have also attracted the attention of a very good-looking boy. Who cares if the school weirdo keeps warning her and her friends about inviting spirits to their world with their stories? Let everyone's imaginations run all over the place; there is nothing wrong with telling her stories.

Ghost HuntUnfortunately, "everyone" eventually included herself. Mai started sneaking peeks at the old school as she walks by everyday, thinking maybe, just maybe something was staring back at her. Her curiosity got the best of her one day and she discovered something WAS staring back at her. Nothing too scary; it was just a very expensive video camera that she ended up breaking. The scary part was that now she owes the owner of that camera a lot of money. Oh, she also injured his assistant in the process of breaking the camera, so there is no way she is getting out of working for this guy. The good thing is the owner turns out to be that very good-looking guy that was interested in her stories. Bad thing is he turns out to be a ...uhmmm...we'll use a nicer word here that Mai uses to describe Kazuya Shibuya... narcissist. She even used that word to give him the nickname that everyone ended up using for him: Naru.

Working with Naru doesn't have any advantages. He's only 17 years old but he is the manager of SPR, Shibuya Psychic Research, a firm that specializes in paranormal activities. It's not that fun making tea for him and his assistant, Lin, all day long. Thankfully, there are always freelancers that Naru calls in to help, to make the days more fun. We have Houshou Takigawa, a part-time Buddhist monk and full-time bassist for a neighborhood rock band, and Ayako Matsuzaki, a self-professed Shinto priestess who can't seem to ever exorcise any spirits when Naru needs her to. John Brown, a Catholic priest from Australia, on the other hand can always exorcise spirits out of people. Masako Hara usually shows up with John. As a spirit medium, she can sense the spirits that SPR needs to deal with and be a translator of sorts. Last but not least, we have Osamu Yasuhara, a client turned part-time gofer/bus boy/assistant to the assistant.

Ghost HuntIf the strange assortment of people can't keep things fun enough for Mai, the fact that the paranormal does exist and usually wants to kill people definitely keeps her on her toes. Between haunted houses, creepy old schools, evil curses, people with psychic powers, dolls that hate adults, and her very own growing psychic powers, she doesn't need scary stories anymore. She doesn't need to be scared by stories when she is scared already by unseen children screaming for their mothers, windows and doors closing on her by themselves, spirits that choke her, and Naru wanting money back for his video camera.

After speeding through the entire first season in two days (no nights, were you paying attention?), watching behind blankets and pillows, locking all my doors, shuttering all my windows, and opening all my lights, Mai, alive in spite all the "work" she has gone through, still hasn't been able to pay Naru back but she has figured out that he's not that bad when he's not being a ...ummm... narcissist. So now like all the fans that have slowly become attached to this series, I ask, "When is the second season coming?"

Reviewed by Carolyn Whu, February 2009

Below: Scenes from Ghost Hunt.

Ghost Hunt

Ghost Hunt

Ghost Hunt

Ghost Hunt

Ghost Hunt

Ghost Hunt

Ghost Hunt Website Links:

TV Tokyo's Ghost Hunt Official Homepage (Japanese)

Funimation's Ghost Hunt Official Homepage

Del Rey's Ghost Hunt Manga Official Homepage

Ghost Hunt at About.com

Ghost Hunt (manga) entry at Anime News Network

Ghost Hunt (TV) entry at Anime News Network

Wikipedia entry for Ghost Hunt

Below: Opening titles for Ghost Hunt.

Below: Trailer for Ghost Hunt.

Below: Promotional art and scenes from Ghost Hunt.

Ghost Hunt

Ghost Hunt

Ghost Hunt

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