Geneon // 2004 // 100 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Mitchell Hattaway (Retired) // September 29th, 2005
Part-time dominatrix and ghost talker for hire.
Holy crap, I think I actually found something worse than Gantz.
Misaki Saiki can see dead people. She can also talk to dead people. Ghost talking doesn't cover the bills, so when she's not investigating paranormal phenomena for the government, Misaki is a dominatrix at an exclusive S&M club. That's right -- this series is about a renowned dominatrix who also happens to have the ability to converse with the recently departed. I'm not sure if this idea is inspired or ridiculous.
This disc collects all four episodes from the original video animation (OVA) series. Here is all you need to know about each installment:
* Episode 1: "Ghost Talker"
Misaki is in a sauna; she sees a spirit clinging to another of the sauna's occupants. Misaki later runs into Soichiro, her bumbling partner; while trying to convince Misaki to accept a new assignment, Soichiro trips and tears off her dress, leaving Misaki standing in her lingerie. Misaki goes to an apartment haunted by the spirits of a mother and her young daughter. She finds a man attempting to rape a teenage girl; the man gets away. Misaki learns that the girl, Ai, is the sister of the ghostly mother; Ai says her sister committed suicide after the father of her daughter (who just so happens to be the man who was trying to rape Ai) killed the child. Misaki, Ai, and Soichiro tail the suspected killer to a warehouse which doubles as a base for yakuza operations. A fight ensues, during which Misaki's lingerie sprouts magical tendrils of energy.
* Episode 2: "Bindweed"
Misaki takes a shower; she later runs into Ai on a commuter train. Ai says she can now see ghosts; Misaki tells her to ignore them. Flashbacks reveal how a young Misaki was ridiculed and shunned because of her paranormal abilities. Ai follows a ghost; Mitsuru, a schoolmate of Ai's who is obsessed with Misaki, follows Ai. Misaki visits the offices of a magazine; the editor reminds her that she has agreed to supply a pair of panties for a reader giveaway, so Misaki is forced to offer up the pair she is wearing. Misaki slips on a wet floor while leaving the building and inadvertently gives the janitor a peek at the goods. The ghost Ai is following attacks the young girl; Misaki and Soichiro arrive just in time, and Misaki's lingerie once more joins the battle.
* Episode 3: "Mad Bones"
A vacationing Misaki visits a shrine and prays for pubic hair. The bones of several young children are discovered at a nearby construction site. Misaki bathes in a hot spring, rubbing water onto her crotch in hopes of speeding up the growth process. Soichiro and Ai try to find Misaki; a cat trips Soichiro up, leaving him sprawled under the young girl's skirt. The local police ask Misaki to help them in their investigation of the unearthed remains. Misaki accompanies the police to the construction site, where she becomes possessed by the spirit of the killer.
* Episode 4: "Water Spirit"
Well, last episode's possession obviously didn't last very long, as this episode opens with Misaki and the cops in the killer's house. Mitsuru, Ai, and Soichiro meet up with Misaki. Ai and Misaki take a bath; Misaki is slapping her crotch in hopes of speeding up the growth process. They are later joined by Anzai, the female detective working the case. Anzai is taken aback by Misaki's natural lack of pubic hair; Misaki tells Anzai her crotch looks like a jungle, which upsets the detective. Misaki is once again possessed by the spirit of the killer; the possessed Misaki drives her car off a cliff and plunges into a lake. Everything gets resolved, Misaki and her friends head home, and Anzai tries the bald look.
As I'm sure you have already guessed, Ghost Talker's Daydream is pretty stupid; on top of that, it is also boring and pointless. The ideas here simply do not gel. Both aspects of Misaki's life could make for interesting stories, but there is no real exploration of either of her livelihoods. She can see ghosts? Well, just toss in a couple during each episode. She's a dominatrix? Well, just have her take off her clothes during each episode. The plotting is repetitive and clumsy: a ghost shows up somewhere, while somewhere else Misaki is getting naked; Misaki eventually meets the ghost, and eventually the ghost goes away. Yay. And magical garters? The less said about that...(And what's the big deal about Misaki's lack of pubes? Is that a cultural thing?) Although I am no fan of fan service, I recognize that there is an audience for it, but I cannot imagine there is anyone out there so desperate for some cartoon underwear as to sit through this junk.
The material sucks, but it's hard to fault Geneon for their presentation. The transfer is damned fine; it's clean and crisp, with bold, vivid colors (at times the animation can look a little cheap, but you cannot blame that on the transfer). You get three 5.1 soundtrack options (no silly stereo tracks here); there's not much action in the show, so the surround channels are primarily used to convey music. There is also some steered dialogue, which is where problems arise, as any dialogue not routed to the center channel sounds thin and tinny, especially in the DTS track (never thought I would say that). Both English tracks play slightly louder than their Japanese counterpart, but the original language track sounds smoother and more natural. Besides, the voice acting in the dubbed tracks is incredibly annoying, and there are also some unnecessary alterations to the dialogue in the English tracks. Extras include the standard clean opening animation and previews, as well as some DVD-Rom content (which is nothing to get excited about).
By the end of the fourth episode I felt like I had been whipped by Misaki, and I don't mean that in a good way. Unless you're in dire need of some cartoon boobies, I'd advise you to steer clear of Ghost Talker's Daydream.
You guessed it -- guilty.
Review content copyright © 2005 Mitchell Hattaway; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2013 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
* Full Frame
* DTS 5.1 Surround (English)
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (Japanese)
Running Time: 100 Minutes
Release Year: 2004
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Clean Opening Animation
* US Trailer
* DVD-ROM Printable Posters
* DVD-ROM Desktop Wallpapers
* Anime News Network Page
* Official Site