Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Review | Anime | Ghost Hunt

GHOST HUNT : Mai Taniyama is a 16-year-old high school student who enjoys
telling ghost stories with her friends as a pastime. Soon, she discovers
that a 17-year-old schoolmate, Shibuya Kazuya, is actually a professional
ghost hunter, and has enrolled at her school for the purpose of tracking
spirits. Along the way, Mai accidentally injures Shibuya's assistant, and in
consequence he demands Mai become his assistant at Shibuya Psychic

"How scary can an anime be?" was my first thought upon deciding to watch this anime. I had heard from various sources that this was a very disturbing series, and I was very skeptical. I mean, it's animated. You can only do so much with animation...right?

Finally, however, I refused to watch any episodes of the series at night.

Everyone loves a good ghost story. That's why Mai Taniyama and her friends sneak off to a dark room between classes to tell stories about ghosts in the school. Namely, that an old school building on campus is haunted. As a ghost story is being told, in walks their 17-year-old schoolmate, the handsome, mysterious Shibuya Kazuya. Mai's friends are instantly smitten by Shibuya's charm, and are thrilled when Shibuya offers to join their next ghost story session. Mai doesn't think much of him at first, and later thinks even less when she converses with him personally and discovers that he is a complete narcissist.

At the end of the day, Mai is caught in the way of a falling bookshelf and is pushed out of the way by a strange man, who in turn is injured instead. The man is not too proud of himself for saving Mai's life; instead he is furious with her and accuses her of being careless. How convenient that he happens to be the assistant of the self-absorbed Shibuya - whom Mai has nicknamed "Naru", short for narcissist - who is actually a professional ghost hunter, investigating the strange happenings in the school building that is supposedly haunted. Naturally, "Naru" is not too happy that Mai has injured his assistant. Naru therefore demands that Mai takes the place of his injured assistant, Lin, and aid him in his hunts until his assistant recovers. Now Mai is no longer just the storyteller: she's the story.

At first the show lags quite a bit towards the beginning. A lot of unnecessary talking is done, and, as I had predicted, nothing is scary. However, as the show proceeds, the stories get better and better, and though cheesy at times, interesting and factual in the fields of ghost hunting. Even as a child, I've been interested in studies of the paranormal, and I was very surprised at the logic used to solve the cases and how they use very true information rather than random facts that make the conclusions ridiculous. Combined with this, and the atmosphere cleverly given to the story, the show actually becomes rather disturbing, which ultimately stopped me from watching it at night.

If a child happens to express interest in watching this anime, there is no adult material at all throughout the series. Again, it is a very gruesome show and will probably disturb children, and one case near the completion of the series focuses on a man who bathes in the blood of young humans in order to live forever. This case is especially disturbing, and there are several scenes with large amounts of blood on floors and in a bathtub. Human bones, demons, and of course ghosts, are seen throughout the show. Characters get possessed several times.

I believe any fellow fan of the supernatural will want to pick up Ghost Hunt, and if the episodes don't succeed at first in getting you into the spirit of a good old fashion investigation, composer Toshio Masuda's eerie opening and closing themes of the show are bound to pull you closer to the action. If you're not careful, they may get stuck in your head as easily as they get stuck in mine (it's actually stuck right now). Ghost Hunt is a series I stumbled upon accidentally while doing a routine once-over of MyAnimeList's supernatural category, and I must say I'm not disappointed. This show was a pleasure to watch, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Overall Rating:
/ 5


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