David reviews “Ghost Hunt” (Anime)

“Ghost Hunt” anime
25 episodes available in two 2-pack DVD sets
From Funimation, easily available
Japanese and English language
Unrated, guessing PG-13

Modern Japanese high school.  Three girls are taking turns telling ghost stories.  The room is dark except for the small lights they have.  After all the stories are done the girls count off to three, if someone says “four” that is a ghost.  Imagine their surprise when a male voice says “four.”  This guy Kazuya Shibuya is there and turns on the light.  He is handsome and cool and there is some swooning.
Mai Taniyama is suspicious though, who is this guy?  He is not a student, there is something wrong in look in his eyes. A regular Nancy Drew.

The next morning Mai sees a something in the old school building next door and investigates.  It is a video camera.  A noise behind her and she knocks over a shoe shelf and would be seriously hurt if not for the guy moves her out of the way.  It is not Kazuya from yesterday, but another guy working with Kazuya.  He is hurt by the falling shelving and the camera is broken.
Kazuya takes his friend to the hospital and Mai goes to class.  After school Mai and her friends are scolded by Kuroda, another student.  Telling ghost stories attract spirits and those spirits attract more spirits.  It is dangerous and should stop.  Kuroda is psychic you know.

Kazuya tells Mai that his assistant is bed-laid and the camera broken.  She shall work off her debt by being his assistant on the old schoolhouse job.  Suspicious, yes.  Particularly when he says he is a ghost hunter.  Mai helps Kazuya set up camera equipment in the old schoolhouse.  If there are any spirits the cameras will record them.  Kazuya is incredibly self-confidant, “my brain works differently than yours,” kind-of stuck up.
Mai is hating him more and more.
Kuroda shows up and is a bit creepy.

The next morning Kazuya and Mai encounter Ayako Matsusuaki a Shinto maiden, Hosho Takigawa a monk of the rogue Koyasan sect (look up apostate priest), and John Brown from Australia.  He does Catholic exorcisms.
All hired separately to clean the old schoolhouse of spirits by the principal.  Serious overkill.
Kuroda also shows up to help, but is immediately judged by Ayako to have no powers.  Kuroda gives a scary look and a curse in exchange.
Inside the old schoolhouse Ayako encounters something that makes her believe there are spirits here.  That is when Masako Hara says there are no spirits.  Masako is a medium with her own TV show.  She is about the same age as Mai.
Kuroda comes in a says there is a spirit and it just attacked her.  Kazuya checks the camera and finds only static.
Egos are running high in front of Mai.  We see the story from her point of view.

I like that the Unreliable Witness is used.  Is Masako lying to protect her reputation?  Is Ayako lying to protect her reputation?  Is Kuroda lying about sensing spirits?  There is too much happening for it to be a high school prank.

That is most of episode one.
Stories, called Files on the show usually take three or four episodes though there are shorter ones.
The cast of characters come together with their different skill to solve various hauntings.

The series answers the question: can spirits who were not Christian in life be affected by Holy Water and Bible rites?  “Yes” and “they will be peeved.”

A rarity is that the series does not run out of steam as it goes along.  The last two stories ramp up the blood and horror.
Ask a ghost “Who murdered you?”
Writes “Vlad”
“That is strange.  Vampires are not real.  I wonder what it means?”

Shameless plug: David volunteers for Connecticon.  If you are into anime, scifi, any form of gaming and are within traveling distance of Hartford, CT the last weekend of July – visit www.connecticon.org and register!

David Anderson
Marlborough, CT


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