‘Twas a dark and stormy night. The room felt vaguely humid as I sat upon my chair pondering and clawing at my hair, trying hopelessly to find a speckle of inspiration to fill the void of white paper trussed into my typewriter. The clock on the wall chimed three times shattering the stagnant silence that had been festering in the room. I cursed under my breath when came a knock, three times, at the door… “Who is it?” I called out in vague annoyance. No answer. I picked myself up trying to put aside frustration and answered the door. There was nothing behind it, only air…
Oooooooooooo, spooky spooky…
In honor of the season, I thought for the second edition of Hulu Hoop we should watch something that fits along the scary and creepy vein of anime. The kind of anime you watch at night with all the lights off just to prove to yourself just how brave you are, forgetting that later you will be trying desperately to fall asleep as you lay in bed trembling, wondering what foul and malicious spirits are lurking just outside your bedroom door or window. And luckily, one of my favorite spooky animes, Ghost Hunt, is available in subtitled form on Hulu. And while many of the episodes are relatively tame, Ghost Hunt certainly has it’s creepy factor kicked up several notches. Certain episodes, especially in the second story arc of the show, have that spine-chilling atmosphere that is requisite in any good horror film, with some genuine scary moments.
Mai Taniyama is a high school student who ends up working for paranormal investigator Kazuya Shibuya’s after she accidentally damages some of his important equipment and injures his assistant. Forced to become his temporary assistant to pay off the debt, Mai gets a first hand look at the world of the supernatural. Accompanied by a catholic priest, a Shinto shrine maiden. a monk, and a world renowned psychic, the Shibuya Psychic Research company works from case to case, investigating odd happenings and sometimes exorcising spirits.
The animation for this show was handled by J.C. Staff and I must say they did a stellar job. They managed to balance the dark and creepy effects of the supernatural, while also keeping the tone of the show a little lighter with some humor thrown in when needed. Not an easy task, because they could have easily fallen into the trap of becoming too silly and the audience wouldn’t find the show scary when it was supposed to be. The characters and animation all look great consistently throughout the series’ 25 episodes, and the story draws you in and keeps you on the edge of your seat. It’s also nice to see a show where the characters grow and develop as the series progresses, with an overarching story that blends seamlessly into each individual ghost busting chapter. Ghost Hunt also gets my award for having some of the weirdest opening credits I have ever seen, with music that sounds like it was composed by Danny Elfman.
Ghost Hunt is a great anime that probably won’t scare the pants off you, but it will make you look twice at that dolly on your shelf to make sure she’s not looking back at you…
Goodnight out there, whatever you are…
GHOST HUNT Score
Story – A
Animation – A
Music – B
Creepy Factor – AAAAAAAAAAAAH!! SHE IS LOOKING AT ME!!
Overall – A