|Stand by Me crossed with X files|
I love mystery, I love not getting the whole picture or all the pieces. In life we all learn perhaps a bit too well to conceptualize and categorize everything we otherwise don,t understand. I feel that is why art exist, to nurture that side of ourselves that still craves the unknown, the things in our hearts and minds' that can not be fully quantified by mere logic or general memes'. At the very least it's the reason I love anime, especially deep psychological anime such as serial experiments Lain, (or it's sister series Boogie Bop Phantom) a show that left me with few if any concrete answers by the end, yet never the less had me hooked from compelling start to perplexing finish, it was so satisfyingly.......impenetrable.
How sad then, that Ghost hound, another series drenched in perplexing mystery and also developed by some of the same people that gave Lain her unforgettable cyber journey, ends with all it's secrets uncovered and uninteresting. the story comes off a bit like a cross between Stand by Me and the X files. Set in a small rural village called Suiten, three young boys' all of whom share traumatic memories' find themselves faced with a series of strange phenomena surrounding the sleepy mountain region. Fourteen year old Taro suffers from narcolepsy, which only makes the nightmares of his murdered older sister all the more frequent. While the brooding and distant Makoto isolates himself from both his class mates and estranged grandmother. then there is transfer student Masayuki who seems cheerful and obnoxious on the surface but it,s merely a mask to hide a terrible guilt from his own past. Together they discover there fate's may be linked to a an amazing spiritual dimension that once breached grants them the ability to leave there bodies for exetended periods. However they also learn that this strange new power may also lead them to face there deepest fears.
Ghost Hound was a show that I found hit all the right creepy notes' early on. It's a mash up of both horror and conspiracy that builds up some great tension and a few unforgettable images. Like Lain atmosphere is the show's greatest strength, however unlike Lain, this series cannot maintain it's atmosphere long enough to keep it compelling and it all just kind a fizzles out towards the end. The animation also lacks Lain's pervasive and suffocating style though early moments' like Taro's disturbing nightmares' are genuinely haunting. still at the very least the few times this show did get under my skin made it well worth watching.