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Ghost Hunt: Season 1, Part 1
Ghost Hunt Season 1 Part 1
Genres: Anime & Manga, Animation
UR     2008     5hr 25min

The Dead Have Something to Say....The appeal of the unknown is undeniable and freshman Mai Taniyama is hooked. This fact, coupled with her burgeoning psychic powers, leads Mai to join the ranks of the Shibuya Psychic Resea...  more »


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Movie Details

Genres: Anime & Manga, Animation
Sub-Genres: Anime & Manga, Animation
Studio: Funimation Prod
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 10/07/2008
Release Year: 2008
Run Time: 5hr 25min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 2
SwapaDVD Credits: 2
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Languages: Japanese, English
Subtitles: English

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Movie Reviews

Even Subbed I Still Love Ghost Hunt
bibliomom | seattle, wa | 10/15/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"So, this is the DVD made from the manga which was made from the original novel . . . confusing enough?

Actually, it's awesome. The character design is good, the Japanese voice acting is excellent, and the super-suspenseful music will make you want to run screaming from the room. At least if you're as big a chicken as I am.
The show itself reminds me of the X-Files with a bit of Scooby-Doo thrown in, as *utterly* bizarre as that sounds. Scooby-Doo because there's *some* humor between the characters (about half of which are still teenagers) and, well, they have a van and drive around to different locations solving mysteries. (Well, okay -- only Lin drives the van full of equipment, but the girls *are* prone to falling down wells and/or standing around flipping their hair.)

Ghost Hunt's overall vibe *mostly* reminds me of the X-Files because each case really is a mystery -- something's obviously going on, but what? Is it really supernatural? Is it an evil spirit? A curse? Or just an elaborate hoax? And this is largely Naru's job -- to walk around looking serious, collecting evidence, building theories and trying to come up with solutions. Everyone else is largely along to assist him, provide comic relief, and to run-screaming-in-terror/come-running-to-the-rescue when creepy things jump out and try to kill you. And since Naru-tachi manages to pick up a "self-proclaimed Miko", a celebrity medium, a Catholic priest/exorcist and a hot, bass playing, part-time Buddhist Monk, you'll be up to your eyeballs in Japanese rituals and holy water. And that's not even counting the surprises that continually pop out. Spoon bending, anyone?

So, if you liked the scarier and more suspenseful X-Files episodes and find the mystery of what's-really-going-on to be appealing, you should definitely give these a try. If you're a hard core horror fan, these will probably do nothing for you, as they're more suspense and mystery than outright horror.

As for age -- I wouldn't recommend Ghost Hunt for kids young enough to be prone to nightmares, though some arcs are definitely scarier than others. I showed the Doll House arc (which is on this disc) to a group of tween girls, and while the oldest one *loved* it, the younger two were a little leary of going out to their moms' cars without someone else coming along. (I would *not* show the Urado arc on Part 2 to anyone under 13, but since it comes with the other disc set for the show, that's not really a problem.)

As for the English dub . . . well, it's an English dub. If you like dubbed anime, you'll probably like it just fine. Personally, I strongly prefer the subs and truthfully, prefer the fansubs to what I've seen on this disc. Part of it's just personal preference, but partially it's because they had to change up bits of the story to make it work in English. In the original, they laugh at John (who's from Australia) because he learned Japanese in the Kansai area and thinks that speaking in a heavy Kansai dialect is more polite. In English, they just have him speak in a terrible Australian accent and use terrible Australian tropes ("G'day!") as an excuse for the laughing. Not totally horrible, just weird.

There's also a running theme involving intimacy and honorifics in the original that gets completely lost in English, but that's not unusual either.

Now, does this matter? If you don't know anything about Japanese honorifics and the intimacy (or rudeness) involved in not using -san or -kun or -chan or whatever, then it really doesn't matter. Me -- I like to know these things and the English, by necessity, has to gloss over it. They also have to gloss over little language related hints about Naru's past, like him complaining about how bad Mai's English is and his inability to read kanji. But since they don't make it far enough into the series to *do* anything with the hints, I don't know how much that matters, either. I haven't sat down and re-watched all the episodes, but they seem to have tried to leave most of the honorifics/language based plot intact for the subs -- John still speaks with a ridiculous Kansai accent and the world is good again.

On the whole, I really love this anime. It's just scary enough for me to watch on a cold, windy night and still be able to sleep. (Well, except for the Urado arc, but all bets are off for that one.) This two disc set includes the "Evil Spirits Everywhere?!" opening arc, where everyone meets and gets to know each other, the creepy "Doll House" arc, the enthralling "After School Hexer", the hilarious stand alone "Ghost Story in the Park" and the melancholy "Silent Christmas". Thankfully they including the full arcs, so there's no partials among the thirteen episodes.

The Part 2 disc set should include the other half of the extant series. Hopefully if enough people buy the discs, they might make another season. Which would be fabulous since there were some pretty incredible reveals in the last arc, some of which had been hinted at since the very beginning. Other clues to Naru's secret backstory are left completely unresolved by the sudden series ending, so while there are plenty of good mysteries, don't expect any kind of metaplot wrap up at the end.
Ghost Hunt - A good writer meets a good idea for a good time
T. D. Paddock | 10/17/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"If you are a fan of anime, there is no question you should be buying this DVD thin-pack set! If you're just curious, this is a great starter set!

Ghost Hunt is impressive because it manages to honour the often clever manga that inspired the title. The characters are engaging. There are nods to what could be considered 'anime by the playbook', that is, features you'll find generally in an anime (probably most grating of these is the Australian accent of John Brown, the young exorcist, but the character is actually useful and good at his job, so any irritation will pass). For the most part, it's odd how the use of formula seems different in Ghost Hunt than many other titles. This is due to the care taken by the writer of the manga, which is another good buy.

The ghost stories (often mysteries) are all entertaining; this isn't a run-of-the-mill 'one haunting per-episode will be resolved' title either. The team can be mistaken. They can be misled by conflicting evidence (even prodigy, Shibuya). Thus, one 'haunting' may take a few episodes to crack. Shibuya, founder of SPR (Shibuya Psychic Research), and his loosely aligned staff often need to figure out if the phenomenon is real, and if so, whether it's caused by a disturbed person, or some other and inexplicable force (or if someone is just plain-old cracking-up).

There are enlightened debates about the cause of what can seem to be a full-fledged haunting, too. The SPR 'base-camp' at a paranormal investigation site is jammed with research and monitoring technology for just that reason. If you get the sense Shibuya's been around the block when it comes to ghosts, you'd be right. He does his homework. Logical explanations must not only be considered, but must be ruled out for a conclusive cause to be determined. Shibuya requires evidence. It's relying on that sort of thinking that allows him to be exhaustive.

Shibuya is a stoic and brooding person, logical too, and a great foil for some of the more lighthearted, or scathing members of the cast, which includes neophyte investigator, Mai Taniyama, one of the most interesting figures in the show. It's Mai who gives us our point of view into this world. She's afraid of ghosts, but adept at telling ghost stories. She seems reassured to learn, early on, that not all the hauntings are actually hauntings.

Mai has a lot of humanity but she's also a young woman, and, though she is attracted to Shibuya and doesn't bother to deny it to herself (which is refreshing in an anime), she's attracted in an appalled sort of way. Shibuya, after all, is young, exceptional, and *arrogant*: a narcissist, as she puts it (and nicknames Kazuya 'Naru').

Because Mai joins SPR mid-stream, there are many unknowns regarding the main characters she works for. There are also many things Mai doesn't understand about her own intuitions. How irritating for her that Shibuya always seems to be in the know.

Ghost Hunt is just spooky enough to give you goosebumps without keeping you awake at night (mostly). It isn't gory, but it is clever even in how it deals with peripheral characters like the concerned woman whose young niece may be haunted, and who, upon finding the little girl's room in a mess, starts her line of questioning with "You're not in trouble...".

There's a woman who knows the ropes.

For anyone looking for appealing and entertaining anime, Ghost Hunt, with its interesting characters, quirky writing, plot-twists, and absorbing hauntings, is a no-brainer.
Anime X-Files!!
Jenine Wilson | Western, MA | 03/15/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I watched the first season of "Ghost Hunt" over the weekend after reading the majority of the manga, I have to say where I enjoyed the manga I was blown away by the anime. It has been a long time since program has engrossed me the way "The X-Files" did while it was on television. I love the supernatural theme with just enough creepiness to demand your attention without tipping over into slasher horror. The anime is very slick with some great opening music and well done artwork. I like how they block out the action scenes so you can see the characters' reactions.

The characters themselves are quite wonderful with great personalities and individuality. Mai is a fantastic heroine, not whiney and whimpy about the ghosts but with enough common sense to be believeably scared by what's happeing around her. I can't wait to move on to the second season along with reading more of the manga."