"It’s A Ghost!" – Ghost Hunt (anime) – 7/10 Pumpkins


I figure I basically am a ghost. I think we all are. ~John Astin

Genre: Horror/Mystery/Supernatural/Shoujo

Review Status: Full (25 Episodes/25 Episodes)

Licensed: Licensed in the US

Art/Animation: Decent. The colors are a tad dull, but the dark palate works for a horror mystery. The character designs are nothing original, though.

Summary
: While at school, Tanimaya Mai and her friends like to exchange ghost stories. Apparently, there is an abandoned school building on their campus that is the center of many ghost stories. During the story, they are frighteningly interrupted by a mysterious male figure. The person turns out to be Shibuya Kazuya, a 17 year old who is president of the Shibuya Psychic Research Company. He was called by the principal to investigate the stories surrounding the abandoned school building.

The next day, on the way to school, Mai passes the school building in question. While examining a strange camera she spotted inside, she gets surprised by Kazuya’s assistant. Unknowingly interfering with the investigation, Mai breaks the camera and Kazuya’s assistant gets injured.

Kazuya forcefully hires Mai in order to pay for the camera and replace his injured assistant. From that point on, Mai begins to learn about the paranormal world and the profession of ghost hunting. (MAL.net)

Review: As far as supernatural shoujo anime goes, this is among the best. You have an interesting cast of characters, interesting supernatural happenings, some genuinely creepy moments, and the hints of a romance between her and the lead.

What this does best is present a girl who’s trying to do her best as the assistant to someone who investigates supernatural occurances. Through her clumsiness she comes into an internship of sorts- one that she’s fairly intuitive at. Often she’s one of the first people to notice something’s amiss, and later discovers that she does have some spiritual ability herself. All the characters do get their day in the sun, with an episode that features their particular skill or ability. They are a rather motley and unusual crew, though- a Catholic priest, a miko, and a Buddhist monk. They all have particular specialties and make for a somewhat interesting group.

The supernatural mysteries that occir are also fairly interesting. Sometimes things are set up to appear like they’re supernatural, and often there are actual supernatural happenings underpinning it all. The great thing is that this does have creepy moments in it. The music and atmosphere combine to make what’s happening deliciously spine-tingling. It just goes to show that it doesn’t take loads of gore or “surprise” moments to make you jumpy! And some of the mysteries are outright creepy- such as the former hospital they investigate. You also have some that are touching, such as the haunted orphanage.

Th thing is that it does start out slow. I’ll be honest- I was *merely* intrigued through the first case. The stories get better as you go on. I think that my personal faves, and the ones that tend to be the most popular, are the Doll arc, the Christmas arc, and The Bloodstained Labyrinth. Those are where the stories shine. The great thing is that this show has high re-watch value. I could watch it -and have watched it- multiple times, and haven’t been bored by it.

Unfortunately, the story is incomplete. While it does end on a good note, there are several things about the girl’s employer that remain a mystery, and some plot threads that are left unresolved. Too bad this doesn’t have a second season- I’d watch it!

Overall, this is a very decent horror show. No huge scares here, but a fun ride nonetheless!

Recommended: 13+. The scares that are here are definitely for the teen and over set due to some gore.

Other titles you might enjoy:
Psychic Detective Yakumo (anime),
Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service (manga)
Occult Academy (anime),
Bizenghast (manga),
Ghost Hunt (manga),
Natusme Yuujinchou (manga or anime),
Ayakashi: Japanese Classic Horror and the spin-off Mononoke (anime),
Zombie-Loan (manga),
Darren Shan (manga),
xxxHolic (anime or manga),
Kieli (manga),
Muhyo & Roji’s Bureau of Supernatural Investigation (manga)

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