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Ghost Hunt
I swear I'm not lighter than a duck!
The Haxored ROSSMAN

Finally, I thought. Finally, a spooky-themed anime that I get to watch just in time for Halloween! Last year's haunted show (the magical girl/vampire series Blood +) sucked (pun intended) so damn bad that I couldn't even make it past the eighth episode. This year though, I saved this show from when I originally downloaded it (back in March or April) all the way until October just so I could watch a ghost-filled series and review it right on All Hallow's Eve... I should have just stuck to Haunted Junction; at least that show had Toilet Hanako in it.

Okay, Ghost Hunt wasn't terrible; it just could have been a whole lot more than it ended up being — on every level. Explanation to follow. There were some truly creepy moments in this thing, and if I had watched it alone in the dark I probably would have gotten the heeby-jeebies during some of the hairier scenes, but it never pushed those instances hard enough or far enough. Instead it kept throwing wackiness at the viewers and thusly completely destroying any suspense and macabreness that was previously built up. And the comedy bits weren't really all that funny either (they were obviously there just to break the tension, for whatever reason the idiot writers thought was necessary). They tried to do a Scream here — make a scary and funny mixed piece of entertainment — but their comedy simply wasn't comedic, and it ruined the scary. And because of that its purpose was tainted.

What's Ghost Hunt about? It's all about the Shibuya Psychic Research company, headed by 17 year-old Naru-chan (real name: Kazuya, the never-smiling, science-minded uber genius), and employing Jin (a tall Chinese immigrant) and Mai (a high school student with some latent psychic powers of her own). There are also the bumbling extended SPR groupies: Houshou, the guitarist monk; Ayako, the sexy Shinto miko; John, the 19 year-old Australian Catholic priest (I fucking laughed Coke Zero out of my nose when he was introduced); and Masako, the famous spirit medium. Even though these sidekicks show up in every episode they're pretty much USELESS. They always try to exorcise the spirits or whatever's haunting the place, but they're always overwhelmed or can't even grasp what's going on, and because of this you just scratch your head and wonder why the cold Naru-chan (a nickname Mai gave him because he seems narcissistic to her) keeps calling these fups in to help/hinder him on all of his cases.

Anyway, so there's the Shibuya Psychic Research company, and they get called in to investigate hauntings (of estates, people, objects, whatever). If they scientifically determine that there is a spirit or mentally fucked up psychic behind the events, they then deal with it. The way they determine the possibilities and reasonings of the hauntings really interested me; Naru-chan and Jin set up a high-tech surveillance room wherever they are, and they test room temperature, watch everything through a wide array of special cameras, and take measurements of everything and carefully (and scientifically) dissect the situation until they get to the answers that they seek. Then they try letting each of the psychics and spiritualists give a crack at casting away the spirits. They fail, but things sort of work themselves out by the end anyway (either by understanding the reasonings behind the haunting, thereby allowing the ghosts to move on, by burning down the haunted establishment so that no poltergeists can inhabit its walls anymore, or by solving the case by finding out that there was no ghost from the beginning. There was even one — hell, at least two by my count — instance(s) of the writers pulling the "haunted water well" card. Ugh, seriously, guys. No. Bad, lazy writers!

Some of the individual things that really made me scratch my noggin in confusion concerning certain story arcs are as follows (And each story arc is between 1 to 4 episodes long, with anything above 1 episode seeming to drag on forever and ever, Amen): The second case file concerns an evil spirit that threatens the life of the only child in the house that its trapped in, but the adults NEVER BOTHER to move the kid out. Even temporarily. Oh, and there's that Christmas-themed case file taking place in a church where children "occasionally" (meaning once or twice a week) get possessed by a lost spirit... Holy dog fuck, there were so many things wrong with that plot. Let's see, there was that one deaf and dumb fucker who was described as the best hide and seeker EVAR because he once hid behind a goddamn truck and nobody could find him. Later he proves to be the best hider in all of history, but at that earlier point in the story it was just ridiculous, and an obvious grasping at straws for making this kid seem like the other kids could be envious of him for SOMETHING (like when hack writers use pathetic and tripe games and toys like jumping rope or hop-scotch out to be TEH UBER things that all kids long to do all day, every day). Oh, and apparently Catholic exorcisms are relatively easy to shit out: Take one possessed kid, say ONE Our Father and two Latin words over him, and PRESTO! They don't even need any papal permissions to perform them anymore. Ullch! And just the trite attempt to YANK the viewers' heartstrings that those Churchy episodes attempted to pull... My eyes never rolled that much. And this show was simply FILLED with these kinds of really lame moments. Hackneyed moments, you might say. Quite trite. And too many characters do too many stupid things. I guess that's pretty much what moves most horror movies' plots (stupidity), I was just hoping for more from Ghost Hunt.

Like I said before (I think), the whole premise is interesting: It's a scientific and spiritual take on ghostbusting. There were moments where all the characters were talking like Ray, Egon, Winston and Peter so much so that I was just waiting for them to look up Tobin's Spirit Guide online to verify some of their theories. But in the end I just wanted more from it. Well, less copying others' works (like Haunted Junction and Ghostbusters), and more originality, more characterizations, more plot, and more faster-paced storylines.

Originally written by the author who did 12 Kingdoms.... Kinda wish he'd just FINISH that superior series up once and for all instead. Dammit.

What did I think of Ghost Hunt? Welllllll, it could have been much more. Could'a and should'a. The long story arcs are too long, and after 25 episodes you don't know much about the characters at all... and this whole this is supposed to be a character-driven series. I find that I have to give Ghost Hunt two thumbs down.


MALCOLM Z(eddemore)

.....................I'm jus' surprised that there weren't no black guy in this group who they was plannin' on feeding to a man-eatin' ghost or somethin'.

Gimme Ghostbusters any day over boring crap like this. Winston was the MAN, mothafucka!


The Spirit-Hating DR. DAVE

Do you know just HOW many ghosts and spirits are haunting my underground labs? Thousands. Probably TENS of thousands. I'm sure that at the very least 1/10th of the souls of all the men, women, children and other various critters that I've experimented on in the past (for SCIENCE, dammit!) now cruise through my corridors just looking for the way on to the next life...

Unfortunately that's apparently harder than it should be in my lab seeing as the walls are coated so thickly with lead-based paint, and partly irradiated due to that one (or 5) time(s) that nuclear reactor leaked and bathed everything with a glowing residue of pure gamma rays — half-life guaranteed to last 60,000 years; the place was dirt cheap, and the reactors and fresh paint were thrown in for free, so sue me for being frugal.

So anyway, these specters wander around, trying to possess lower creatures (so far they've been able to gain control of rats, cats, goats and platapi, but not the apes, yeti or me yet... Yet) in an attempt to (I'm guessing) either rape me up my anus, or rip the flesh from my bones and devour me for dooming their eternal souls to my half-powered lab for at the very least 60,000 years.

I'd probably hire some Ghostbusters or hunters to kick them all out for me, but even if they just charged me a dollar a spirit, I would be veeeeery much in the red. And it's bound to keep happening anyway.

Those wallet-draining ghost hacks! If they wanted to really jump start their careers they'd do my lab as a freebie, and then use it in their advertisements. "We cleared out Dr. Dave's entire underground bunker of ghosties, just imagine what we can do for you!" No, sir, I don't like it.