Ghost Hunt

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vivafruit's avatar By vivafruit on Oct 29, 2007

Story

In many ways, Ghost Hunt reminds me of Jigoku Shoujo. The two anime each start out with a relatively interesting premise, but ultimately are undone by their absolute unwillingness to take any sort of risks with their story. Instead, both series dutifully trudge along the path of least resistance, and the result is depressingly conventional.

Granted, Ghost Hunt is not nearly as monotonous as Jigoku Shoujo. The series’ several plot arcs are distinguishable enough from each other to not be absolutely mindnumbing, and some of the best arcs are actively engaging. Moreover, Ghost Hunt actually attempts to keep the audience guessing, and provides plot twists that, while predictable, help to keep the show moving.

The best scenes only allow the audience to sense the ghosts indirectly. A ghost in plain sight is seldom scary, but implicit signs of the supernatural (shifting objects, strange noises, falling temperature) can be genuinely creepy. Ghost Hunt realizes this, and uses such tricks to good effect well before the spirits ever fully show themselves in a given story arc.

Still, the series is nonetheless trapped in a very rigid framework, which hurts the narrative considerably. By the end of each story arc, the audience can be completely sure that:

1. Every major character will still be alive.

2. The case will completely solved.

3. Everything will have returned to the way it was at the beginning of the arc.

This kind of story structure has traditionally suffered from poor character development, and Ghost Hunt is no exception. However, an even more devastating consequence is that this almost completely kills the suspenseful mood that the series is going for.

Higurashi no Naku Koro Ni, a superior horror anime in almost every way, is notable for having no such self-imposed restrictions. While both series have arc-based storylines, in Higurashi, anything could happen. Major characters could die, mysteries could be completely explained or remain utterly unsolved, and even the roles certain characters played could shift erratically. The result was riveting.

On the other hand, Ghost Hunt makes no such leaps of creativity, and the conservative approach dampens the excitement almost to the point of being unwatchable. Throw in some sterile, out-of-place humor, and the resulting plot is middling, at best.


Animation

While the colorful, clean, standard anime-style character designs are fine in a vacuum, they don’t mesh well with the supernatural elements and should have probably been toned down. Furthermore, most of the actual ghost character designs are not only disappointing, they’re flat-out lame.

That said, the backgrounds tend to be detailed and nicely drawn, character movement never looks too awkward, and there isn’t much reused animation.


Sound

The OP is a nice little instrumental track very much along the lines of the X-files' theme. Voice acting is fine, and the background music is serviceable, albeit somewhat forgettable.


Characters

As mentioned earlier, the characters in Ghost Hunt are very much a victim of the plot structure. There is almost no character development whatsoever, and the development that is there is irrelevant to the actual storyline. Moreover, what is there to begin with isn’t all that interesting, either; rather, they’re familiar character archetypes with almost no memorable traits.

Granted, some may be willing to forgive the mediocre cast as a necessary evil given the story structure. However, no one is going to actually like the show because of the characters.

6/10 story
6.5/10 animation
7/10 sound
3.5/10 characters
5.5/10 overall
Linkoujo23's avatar By Linkoujo23 on Jul 19, 2014

i don't like writing long reviews i keep them short and to the point

Story: their cases were a few episodes along like 3 or 4 episodes and have great storylines

and not everyone of them was scary like silent christmas was sweet and sad and cursed house was a bit creepy 

Characters: i loved the characters especially lin because he's quiet and mysterious the only character i didn't like was masako hara 

Sound: i loved the opening theme song and the english dub but i did find mai's voice annoying at times 

Animation: the animation was excellent i'm not really picky when it comes to animation

Overall: great anime full of horror and mystery

Good: great characters and storylines

Bad: that they didn't cover the forgotten children case and in the last episode when mai thought of the SPR members as family lin wasn't mentioned 

9/10 story
10/10 animation
10/10 sound
10/10 characters
10/10 overall
LeGuMa's avatar By LeGuMa on Nov 29, 2009

= Story =-=

When I started watching Ghost Hunt, I really didn't know what to expect. Up until then, I hadn't seen a series that could literally "scare" me. Other so-called horror series like Elfen Lied or Hellsing never even made me budge. I'm not saying those aren't good series ( Elfen is one of my favorites), but they didn't really live up to the horror part.

The characters very pretty good. John was really funny at times, Monk was the cool guy, and Mai was kind of annoying; but they did their job at keeping the show really entertaining.

Favorite character is Monk. I remember the lady with the broom-like spiritual incantation-stuff really bored / annoyed me. She was way too cocky, and while her silly prayers never seemed to do anything, she was still acting all high and mighty. I really hate that kind of characters in anime, as they bore me to death. They're more dull and annoying than the I Rate Gamer. Well, maybe not really that annoying, but still...

My only complaint (and a big one) would be that the series ended like utter crap. No real solid ending, just a funny picture of the group waiting for Kazuya to get better.Pretty inconclusive if you'd ask me. I've been waiting for a sequel for years, hoping they'd make the ending clearer with it, but it's not really coming out, is it...

=-= Art =-=

I don't remember much about the art, the drawing style, effects and the likes because I've seen Ghost Hunt more than two years ago. But, seeing how the series is pretty recent, I don't think there are major issues to be addressed here. It wasn't bad and it wasn't outstanding. It just was.

If there were any major flaws in the "art department" I'm sure I would've remembered them. I loved the eerie backgrounds in the episode with the creepy, bloody hallway. That was the one that really scared me.

I also liked it when there was a scary moment, and they'd show up each character's face in picture-in-picture -like squares. That was pretty cool.

But the fact that there are almost no scans of Ghost Hunt on the web doesn't really help either. Sadly, It's one of those series that there are zero to five wallpapers, and one to twenty scans. You can't really find many Ghost Hunt resources and stuff on the internet. :-L

=-= Sound =-=

The intro...one of the best intros I've ever seen. It didn't show any of the characters, as most series do in their openings. The music in it was freaky as sh*t, the weird floating lights, the faceless hooded silhouette that was gradually approaching the screen, with a fiery background and GHOSTS FLOATING EVERYWHERE, THE DARK AND WEIRD RUINS, THE WHITE FLASHES, THE CREVASSE, THE SCARY ORCHESTRA-LIKE MUSIC AND EVERYTHING ! How can it get more awesome and freaky than that? When I was watching the tenth episode or so ( don't really remember that well. it was about halfway in the series anyway), the opening started and, my cousin, was in the same room with me and she said : "what's with the freaky music?".

John's accent owned, by the way. The japanese voicing was generally good, except for Kazuya sounding like a smart a** know-it-all. He was a tad annoying at times; reminded me of Rei from NGE; the difference being that Rei isn't annoying. I can't say anything about the english dub, though; I don't watch any dubbed anime.

Also, just because of the awesome opening, I'm gonna ignore the fact that the ending sucked :d

=-= Overall =-=

It may be because horror series (and generally horror stuff) are my favorites, or because of the simple, to the point name of it, but Ghost Hunt was one of the most enjoyable and appealing series to me.

I watched it on the dvd-player so I there was plenty of space for me to get under the blanket, close my eyes and sing some Mika with my ears plugged when I got scared. Just kidding :)) it wasn't that scary. OR...was it? O.O

I appreciated the fact that there were no "classic-sucky-style ghosts". You know, those white silhouettes that looked like my grandma with a white sheet covering her. They portrayed poltergeists, ghost-dogs, restless spirits, a possessed doll and all that stuff in a way that you could tell was fantasy, but wasn't that far from reality either. Something like those documentaries you see on Discovery about "the other world". And I have to say I enjoy those a lot.

Anyway, great series,great soundtrack, good characters and crappy ending.

8/10 story
7/10 animation
8/10 sound
6/10 characters
9/10 overall
lalalollipop's avatar By lalalollipop on Jul 14, 2010

This anime was scary because of the great noise and music adding a great animation that is very realistic makes the scare-o-meter go off the charts.The only thing i didn't like was i thought the characters needed to be more serious and the never explained the naru in her dreams.

9/10 story
10/10 animation
10/10 sound
?/10 characters
9/10 overall
noname0302's avatar By noname0302 on Jul 23, 2014

This anime is great!

Lets start with the looks. The drawing is really, really good. You will love it, if you like this style. It actually remind me of Sword art online. The most important thing: the female characters actually look humanoid and not like two balloons on a stick. Everything looks great.

The characters. Almost every character is pretty complex and well done. We have a lot of character evolution and everyone get really useful at some point. They act pretty smart all the way. The main character is really calculating and smart, reminds me of Lelouch. Mei, while pretty useless at first, gradually becomes a pro.

The sounds: two words: perfect match.

The story. Some stories are a bit weaker than the others, but they are all great. Each of them is 3-4 episodes long. Each of them is really different.

One of the best series I ever watched, with 1 huge flaw. Its basically missing an ending right now. I honestly dont understand why didnt they continue the series, at least for a couple of episodes, just so we can find out the background story of Naru. Missing an ending is a huge flaw, and thats why my overall score is not consistent with the others. 

The other small problem is the weak intro. Basically nothing happens, it doesnt change, stays the same for all the episodes. It was good to establish atmosphere at  first, but gets boring really fast. 

The horror part of the series also work pretty well in my opinion.

A must watch! Have fun!

10/10 story
10/10 animation
10/10 sound
10/10 characters
8.5/10 overall