If there’s something strange, in the neighbourhood, who you gonna call? Close but no buster but that would be Mikami Reiko, one of Japan’s top ghost sweepers. Assisting Mikami is her under-paid teenage lackey, Yokoshima Tadao, and the 300 year old teenage ghost, Okinu. And episode by episode, they take care of business.
With the exception of a small number of 2-parters, the series is episodic and you can jump into any episode with little to no prior familiarity. However, in addition to the main trio, there will be some reoccurring characters such as fellow Ghost Sweepers Meiko and Emi; the alchemist Dr. Chaos and his android assistant Maria; and Mikami’s former teacher and his current discipline, Pete, a half-breed vampire.
Each character has their own function that works in a formulaic sense and do something. Unfortunately, you will need to read the manga if you want any background and development on the characters. The manga expands why Yokoshima has some spiritual prowess and also goes into the details of their back stories. But the anime does a good job of justifying it by demonstrating a lot of tabla rasa to make sort of make you forgive that. Still the series does go beyond fighting ghosts. They fight other super natural beings such as gremilns, sea creatures, and vampires. What also keeps this series from being a bit repetitive is sometimes the ghost isn’t bad, but needs help in other forms in order to move on.
In addition, the series spoofs of 90s pop culture so pop culture buffs may enjoy this. What mostly drives the series is its comedy. Even though Mikami is this sexy lady, I am glad it doesn’t get repeatedly exploited as pointless fan service. She is only used in that way a small number of times and works in the right context. Dr. Chaos being broke is another source of its comedy despite claiming to be this genius. It goes on.
The art is rather simple but still a little distinct. The design works in a way that it is easy to emulate if you want to try some fan art, but still has a sharpness that brings a mature feel.
The grainy contrast brings that urban and ghastly feel, but the bright colors with the clothing brings a convenient “flash” and youth friendly atmosphere. The action is nothing revolutionary like “Dragon Ball Z” during this time but works in its own way. Mikami uses something like a light sabre and Shinto chants to combat the ghosts which brings modern cinema with Japanese traditions. Overall, it is bearable but nothing outstanding.
Some of you may now the voice of Horikawa Ryo and Tsuru Hiromi as the voices of Vegeta and Bulma from Dragon Ball Z, but in this anime, they are the voices of Yokoshima and Mikami. If you’re familiar with Tsuru’s role as Bulma, then you will instantly recognise her voice and it works with her character with being sexy but yet all-business. Horikawa Ryo, as always seems to amaze me. Not only as his performance as Vegeta, but also as Shun from Saint Seiya. As Vegeta, he’s vicious, as Shun he is feminine, and now as Yokoshima, he is this hormone driven teenager and he just manages to pull it off. The man has many talents as a voice actor and probably one of the best. Other notable seiyuus are Chiba Shigeru as Dr. Chaos and Morikawa Toshiyuki as Pete.
The music also works perfectly with the series. The chiming synthesisers in the hook of the opening theme and the sexy jazz in the background music brings the urban feel, the supernatural, and the sex appeal come together as one and for that.
Well, this series is no Yuu Yuu Hakusho, but if you want something short and episodic and doesn’t require much of an attention span, this might be the series for you. If you want an anime to just pass the time
Ghost Sweeper Mikami while amusing in its own way is quite the repetitive anime. Every episode seems to consist of the same idea implemented in a different way. A ghost appears, a company or person requests the help of Mikami, she charges large amounts of money, insert some comedy by way of her lecherous and incompetent assistant or wacky acquaintances, a short action scene and BAM you have your self the majority of this series in a nutshell.
The animation is a lacking in design which I believe is partially due to the time it was created. The character designs are cheap looking and do not stand out among other anime that come to mind and the settings are similar in fashion and do not have any appeal to them.
The Opening theme to the show I find is actually a bit catchy and occasionally I will go back and listen to it for just that reason. However the Ending Theme I find is quite the opposite and found myself skipping it throughout the entirety of the series.
The Characters I found a bit enjoyable. Aside from the generic lecherous old man or High school student, I liked the rest of the of them. From the selfish/money hungry main character who treats her fellow characters like tools to be used for monetary gain, to a former genius alchemist who is now a kooky old man that fails at nearly everything he does.
To sum it up, Ghost Sweeper Mikami is a mediocre occult comedy with mediocre characters, and a plot that repeats it self with a different ghost, monster, or demon in each episode. I would probably not recommend this series unless someone is looking for something in its genre that can give and few laughs, and wants a somewhat lengthy series to watch.