#AniWednesday Rec: Ghost Hunt

Topic started by gia on June 10, 2009. Last post by Sonata 5 years, 9 months ago.
Post by gia (3,032 posts) See mini bio Level 13

This is a slightly more un-sung series than most of my past recommendations, but FUNimation's Ghost Hunt-- not to be confused with Production I.G's Ghost Hound, a very different show that came out six months after Ghost Hunt ended –is a really solidly enjoyable show, even for those less interested in horror materials like myself.

The basic setup is thus: a high school-age girl, Mai, finds herself in the employ of one Kazuya Shibuya, a very young, excessively intelligent, and extremely good-looking teenage ghost hunter. She nicknames him “Naru,” for narcissist, because he's very aware of his positive attributes. The anime series-- based on a novel series which also spawned a manga adaptation, which Del Rey has been releasing in English and you can see a preview of here –follows a series of cases which Mai, Naru, Naru's other assistant Lin, and a handful of other charming supernatural experts solve, from exorcisms to possessions to false alarms to curses and back again.
Mai and part-time bassist Monk-san shrug, while wealthy priestess Ayako watches
Mai and part-time bassist Monk-san shrug, while wealthy priestess Ayako watches

All of the characters are nicely fleshed out, and there's a fair amount of comic relief in Naru and Mai's interactions-- her bright, cheerful, but easily-frustrated self pitted against Naru's closed-off ways and biting sarcasm aren't unfamiliar, but are less common in these moe-infested days –as well as those of the secondary cast. There is, of course, some romantic tension between Mai and Naru, but it's not the primary focus of the show.

The only downside of the anime adaptation is that its final episode ends immediately BEFORE the Really Big Arc that is effectively the climax of the novel series. We're kind of having the same problem with the manga, actually, since the 11th volume has yet to be released in Japan for reasons that remain somewhat mysterious.

Soundtrack Cover
Soundtrack Cover
In the meantime, you can check out the Ghost Hunt anime, which is solidly animated by J.C. Staff, and it also has a decidedly under-appreciated soundtrack by Toshiro Masuda, who also created the music for Mushishi, Excel Saga, Mahoro Matic, and Naruto (although not Naruto Shippuden).

So the short version is: it's a strongly-plotted and well-animated show with some interesting horror stories and really fun characters. Also worth noting, it's not a moe show, a mech show, a fantasy show, or a samurai show...it's not something amazingly different overall, but it's not the same stuff that's getting pumped out all over the place these days either. (Not that anything's necessarily wrong with those shows in general, it's just nice to try something different in the midst of it all.)

The anime is currently available for free subtitled on Hulu, and I'll embed the first episode right here. You can get the entire anime series at Hulu for the time being, so click here if you decide you want to watch more!

Be sure to share your #AniWednesday recommendations in the comments here or on Twitter, as well as your thoughts on Ghost Hunt!
Post by lanaswift (636 posts) See mini bio Level 4
Seconding this. What an awesome series. It's the only one I still read fanfic of sometimes.
Post by Chicken008 (27 posts) See mini bio Level 5
Damn you Hulu, Funimation brings this Canada too..   -_-
Post by kratos1010 (78 posts) See mini bio Level 2
I finished this a couple weeks ago. The style is not fit for a horror anime, but the last two cases are darned scary!
Post by JediAutobot (29 posts) See mini bio Level 6
I love the manga, and just saw the first four episodes!  I am a scardey-cat, hate those monster jump out moments, so I figured reading a manga would spare me of that.  Boy, the tension in the manga is so awesome that I get scared without any jump moments. Great recommendation.
Post by saucysuze (1 posts) See mini bio Level 1

great post - love the hulu embed.

Post by JohnnySake (47 posts) See mini bio Level 1
I'll second or third the recommendation. One thing cool about the series is that they don't try to max out the scares right away, as they go from case to case they keep changing the situations involved. You would think the last case in the anime series would try to be the scariest, but the case before that one scared the bejesus out of me. The character interactions are interesting and not everyone is as simple as you might first think. If you try it, give it a chance and get into it for a few episodes, you may be surprised, or scared...  (insert scary laugh here)
Post by gia (3,032 posts) See mini bio Level 13
@JohnnySake: I also love that it's not really about jumping out scary, or even necessarily outright psychological horror...sometimes you just look at human nature and THAT'S the scary thing. (See: Urado.)
Post by Kuro (559 posts) See mini bio Level 6
I really didn't end up liking this show, at all.
Post by Sonata (36,364 posts) See mini bio Level 20
I might give this one a try I've been wondering about it.
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