This Halloween I have a different take on horror anime for you, as I take  a look at the anime series Ghost Hunt.

Cast & Crew

Kaori Nazuka/Cherami Leigh as Mai Taniyama
Yuuki Tai/Todd Haberkorn as Kazuya “Naru” Shibuya
Ken Narita/J. Michael Tatum as Lin Koujo
Masami Suzuki/Colleen Clinkenbeard as Ayako Matsuzaki
Kenjo Hamada/Travis Willingham as Houshou “Monk” Takigawa
Nobuhiko Okamoto/Jason Liebrecht as Father John Brown
Rie Kugimiya/Jad Saxton as Masako Hara

Directed by Rei Mano
Written by Reiko Yoshida & Rika Nakase
Animated by J.C. Staff

Available from Amazon.com and RightStuf

The Premise

Mai Taniyama is an ordinary high school student who likes telling ghost stories with her friends. She ends up getting more than she bargained for when she accidentally breaks a camera owned by Kazuya Shibuya, a ghost hunter investigating reports of a haunting in the school’s club building. Mai ends up interning at Shibuya Psychic Research Center to make up for destroying the camera, leading to her ending up in a few ghost stories of her own.

Along the way she meets four spiritualists who consult for SPRC: Lin Koujo, an Onmyouji from Hong Kong; Ayako Matsuzaki, a Shinto Miko (or Shrine Maiden); Houshou Takigawa, a Buddhist monk; Father John Brown, a Catholic priest from Australia; and Masako Hara, a medium.

High Points

Each of the arcs in the show is a fairly well self-contained ghost story, with light elements of horror, at first, combined with some well written comedy, with the level of horror involved in the stories and  the scale of the threat involved escalating as the series goes on. By the final arc, the anime is unquestionably a straight up horror series, with a particularly creepy haunting.

All of the leads have excellent chemistry, comparable to that of the Scooby Gang from Buffy.

Also, having watched the English Dub of the series on Netflix (as Netflix has problems with their subtitle timing), the English dub is very well done, with one exception…

Low Points

As someone who is from Oregon, and not Australia, it says something that even I can tell how bad Jason Liebrecht’s attempt at an Australian accent is.

Scores

Originality: This is an adaptation, but one of a manga with a fairly original concept. 5/6

Animation: This is really well animated, and some of the hauntings, particularly in the last two arcs. 5/6

Story: There are some great ghost stories here, balanced with some well written comedy for the comic relief bits. 4/6

Emotional Response: As mentioned under story, this has a nice balance of light horror and comedy. 4/6

Production: This is very well put together with some really good music. 4/6

Acting: Both the English & Japanese dubs are entertaining, with Travis Willingham in particular doing really well with some of the Buddhist Sutras that he has to chant very quickly while still being coherent. However, the Low Point does bump things down a notch. 4/6

Overall: I really enjoyed this show, and if you’re interested in a lighter horror themed series, I’d recommend picking this up. 5/6

In total, Ghost Hunt gets 31/42.

Weekend of Oct 11: Friday the Thirteenth (1980)
Weekend of Oct 18: Zeiram (1991)
Weekend of Oct 25: ???
Halloween Day: Ghost Hunt (2006)