When he was three, Taro Komori and his sister were kidnapped, but the kidnapper was run over and killed before the ransom could be delivered. The police eventually found Taro, but not before his sister had died. Eleven years later, Taro still has nightmares of the events surrounding the kidnapping and is haunted by a tall, featureless specter.
Now Taro searches for answers together with two unlikely companions: a brash transfer student from Tokyo who is himself haunted by the memory of a fellow student who committed suicide by jumping from the roof of the school, and the son of a man who committed suicide after being accused of being involved in the kidnapping. Unseen spirits, ghosts, and out-of-body experiences all combine in an intriguing exploration into the workings of memory and our perception of the world.
Title: Ghost Hunt, Collection 1
Studio: Production I.G.
Licensor: Sentai Filmworks
Japanese Audio/English Subtitles
Run time: 275 Minutes (11 episodes)
Release date: 10/20/2009
Viewable Online: YES (The Anime Network)
Discussion:Serial Experiments Lain, and that's not an entirely off base comparison. Combining the director and script writer from that show, Ghost Hound is a highly stylized story with very little dependency of verbal dialog. So much so, I'm sure you could turn off the English subtitles and still immutably know what was going on. To say I loved the "style" is an understatement. I loved the style, loved the music, loved the expression. What I'm unsure of is "if" I love the story.
Episodes 1-4 had me watching because I was intrigued, but the series took a direction decidedly different than the introduction. See, the series starts off with these incredibly aloof characters.
- Taro was kidnapped as a 3 year old. His sister died as a result.
- Makoto was the son of the man accused of kidnapping Taro. His father committed suicide as a result, and he's being lead by his cult leader grandmother.
- Masayuki, well, I don't actually know much about him. He's a transfer kid with a bunch of things going on with his family. He has a fear of heights due to a friend(?) who committed suicide. I expect more from him soon.
Don't get me wrong, the show is still exploring these themes, but they are of a seemingly secondary concern. I can't blame them, ghosts/spirits are cool and all, but I feel like we're getting distracted by these elements. Jarring, would be the word I'd use. I intend to finish out the remaining episodes, though its only to see if this new direction can reclaim the intensity/somber reality I found so intoxicating about the introductory arc.
Pros and ConsPositives
- Great music
- High style
- Dark, physiological tone
- Strong directing, unsteady direction
- High SRP for only half of a series...
- Could be hard to follow, as the series strings together only small details across many episodes.
If, Than, But...If you like these series, you might like Ghost Hunt, but...