Case Number 17395: Small Claims Court

GHOST HUNT: THE COMPLETE SERIES

Funimation // 2006 // 600 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Steve Power (Retired) // October 2nd, 2009

The Charge

"Death is temporary and far worse fates await..."

The Case

Everyone loves a good ghost story. High School Freshman Mai Taniyama is no exception. Her love of the spooky stuff finds her in the employ of Kazuya Shibuya, the head of Shibuya Psychic Research, a company whose specialty is tracking down ghosts using the latest in high tech gizmos and a squad of crack spiritual experts from several faiths.

Before Ghost Hunt, I'd never really seen anime attempt to do a real honest-to-god ghost story and succeed. The plots are there, several suitably creepy stories that cover a handful of story arcs with anywhere between two and four episodes apiece devoted to them. Sadly, the show lays the anime cheese on thick and any potential creep factor is flushed in a heartbeat by goofy Japanese high school hijinks -- whip cuts, ridiculous facial expressions, dumb as post characterizations, and all the usual trimmings aimed at the tween girl set. While the plots can get pretty interesting, there isn't one episode that doesn't contain at least one sequence I would have been embarrassed to be caught watching. The best arc of the bunch is a Christmas 2-parter that actually does a pretty solid job with the heebie jeebies, but even that falls flat by the end.

Technically, the disc is passable, but the image is soft, and I noticed more than a little image blur, or ghosting if you prefer (har har!). The sound is muffled 2.0 stereo and the dub/sub are both equally abrasive. You otaku can fill your boots with wacky over-exaggerated anime-speak to your heart's content. There are extras beyond the customary textless opening and closing, but they're ultimately image galleries and production notes. While the effort is appreciated, there's not much substance.

Ghost Hunt has a few neat ideas, but nothing really gels well enough to make an engaging whole. On top of all that, it's one ghost tale that just ain't scary.

The Verdict

Bury this one deep.

Review content copyright © 2009 Steve Power; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2014 HipClick Designs LLC

Scales of Justice
Judgment: 60

Perp Profile
Studio: Funimation
Video Formats:
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic

Audio Formats:
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (Japanese)

Subtitles:
* English

Running Time: 600 Minutes
Release Year: 2006
MPAA Rating: Not Rated

Distinguishing Marks
* Textless Open/Close
* Image Galleries
* Production Notes

Accomplices
* IMDb
http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0985285/combined