This is probably up there as one of my all-time favourite anime. It truly is a marvel. The story follows three children, who are tied together through their traumatic pasts. Taro faces PTSD after he was kidnapped at a young age and watched his sister die. Constantly he has dreams and nightmares of his sister, as he tries to remember her last words to him. Makoto, a brooding kid, discovers his father's body, soon after his father committed suicide directly after the kidnapping of Taro and his sister. And then there's Masayuki, who bullied a boy in his school until the boy threw himself off of the roof. The three children begin to have OBEs also known as Out of Body Experiences. Taro begins to see a therapist, Hirata who, towards the end, begins to realize that the OBEs Taro is experiencing aren't entirely due to PTSD.
I really like Ghost Hound. It was captivating, and the art was awesome. I just wish that they weren't restricted by budget failure. The anime was going steady and strong with the dark mood, and twisted psychology and 'soul travelling', until the last two episodes where they seemed to suddenly run out of money a pull a pretty sh*tty ending out of their *ss. A lot of mysteries were unsolved, or half solved so I was left scratching my head a bit. But I can't judge the whole series based on the final two episodes. It isn't really fair, because the rest of the series was fantastic. What I really liked was the mystery and dark tone. The mystery was in depth, dark, and kept me interested the whole way through, but was unfortunately cut short and wrapped up poorly thanks to budget. I loved the overall creativity of the series itself. And, finally I also enjoyed the characters and their design/art, as they tend to be a
very important component to me personally.
It's hard these days to find a dark mystery anime. A lot of anime these days tend to drift more to the lighter side of the scale with silly jokes and buxom women. But there was a certain sprinkle of innocence over top of the dark tones and enthralling mystery that kept things to a very serious level. My eyes were glued to the TV the whole time because of this fantastic set-up of tone. The over load of screaming on Taro's part was unnecessary, but an interesting choice that the creators made. The tone was a key component to making compelling mysteries. The anime was very smart with diction and dialogue as well as with the mystery. Despite the fact that all the children were, just that, children, everything was in depth, mature, and smart. I was disappointed in the end when they were unable to fully reveal and explain the reasons behind the supernatural occurrences in Suiten in an effective way, but I like the fact that it is partially up to interpretation.
I really liked how creative the series was. I probably couldn't
have thought of all those mysteries and twist and turns myself. It was
really a shame how all the creativity was flushed away with the awful
ending, but sometimes those things are unavoidable when money comes into
the question. I really wish they had spent more time developing those fantastic ideas, and using that obviously present creativity to spend time working around obstacles that the characters faced. Although, I did notice quite a few similarities between Ghost Hound and Higurashi, except Ghost Hound was obviously better executed. I liked how there was a uniqueness to the idea of leaving your body and travel around as a ghost. It seems like an already familiar topic in anime (although I can't pick any titles off the top of my head) but Ghost Hound brought it's own personal touch, such as the question of whether or not they really were out of their bodies, and how it had to be triggered.
finally the characters were just wonderful. Mainly because they really were some of the cutest little boys I had ever seen. The art was really neat, and fit the characters well, creating an overall 'cute' set-up for these guys. I liked how their clothes actually fit the setting and time period, although I was confused why Masayuki wore a different uniform than everyone else, I think it may have been his old school's (which was a tad confusing). The characters' personalities were really fun and dynamic with the series. Taro was an interesting protagonist because despite everything he had been through, and was experiencing, he was still the 'innocent eyes' of the series, much like Scout in To Kill a Mockingbird. Seeing the world more from a child's POV was a nice touch. Especially when Masayuki discovered why his daddy came home a bit late after work. On the topic of Masayuki, he was also an interesting character. Also, i definitely got rapist vibes from him. Which is really odd because they're in eighth grade or something. Moving on there was Makoto. He was really awesome. It was so interesting how his morals clashed with the overall innocent undertones of the anime, and the innocent eyes of Taro. Some of the character relations were a bit bizzare, especially how the main characters are only in the eighth grade and there's some strange past life incest thingy (but not really) and rapist vibes from both the children, and a certain balding lady towards pretty much.... everyone.
Overall Ghost Hound was really good. I can only say bad things about the final two episodes, and rapist/incest/paedophilic vibes. But I can't judge an entire series on the finale. It was a great sci-fi/supernatural thrill ride with great mystery, creativity and characters. The animation, art and colour palate was great, and the setting was super fitting to the series. I just wish they could have released more episodes. On one final note, the music was amazing. The opening started the episode with a fantastic astral jazz and mysterious feel, while the ending left you with your thoughts in a peaceful, yet dark place.