Ghost Hunt (Gōsuto Hanto)

Ghost Hunt (Gōsuto Hanto) 2006

Time for more supernatural anime!

Aside from that category, to my eye Ghost Hunt fits firmly in the YA genre (to use the literature terminology). There are things like the ‘absent parent’ trope, a focus on first love and our young heroes take centre-stage (in generally believable ways).

So to switch back to anime vocab for a moment, this is a great shoujo series that I wished had been given another season. Maybe like so much anime out there, was it always partially meant to be a gateway to other media forms, or maybe – more likely I think, it just wasn’t popular enough for JC Staff to afford another season? I’m finding it hard to find much in the way of contemporary reception for a ‘non-landmark’ show from 2006.

But I guess you could say that I have a soft spot for JC Staff productions, and this feels like one of their stand-outs. Based on a series of light novels from (you guessed it) the 1990s, Ghost Hunt was an anime I stumbled across during a bit of a supernatural binge I was on a fair while back now.

And I was quite happy to find Ghost Hunt, since it featured comedy and drama while being genuinely creepy at times. I wanted to take a moment to talk genre too, because it’s very much ‘suspense’ rather than horror, so depending on your tolerance, even if you don’t like shows that are meant to be scary, I’d say that Ghost Hunt is most often ‘spooky’.

Part of what keeps the tone generally lighter a lot of the time, is the focus on humour, with banter and ribbing between a large team of characters (folks who do care for each other) as they work to solve paranormal mysteries.

I think I was especially drawn to the folklore and mythology aspects too, plus the occasional historical storyline. The season only covers a handful of ‘cases’ but the pacing is taut enough that you’re pulled along through the various 3 or 4 episode-long arcs quite nicely, I reckon.

Visually, I certainly have no complaints and Mai and Kazuya are engaging characters, probably exactly what you’d expect for leads in the age-group, but the supporting cast I enjoyed as much. There’s even a Catholic priest from Australia, John Brown, who uses the Kansai dialect. I’m not sure if I’m remembering this correctly from other shows, but it seems that because the dialect is maybe a bit ‘broader’, then it is sometimes used for AU and UK characters in anime?

Not sure how good my memory/understanding is there at all – in fact, if anyone knows I’d be interested in your thoughts 🙂

To finish at last, this is a fun suspense anime with a bit of folklore, comedy and romance mixed in. Like so many series, sadly, it never gets a chance to reveal all its secrets in regards to a certain key character, since there was no follow-up season and thus you might finish it feeling a little short-changed in some ways.

3.5 Stars

There was the occasional use of old school techniques like this or the split screen, which I liked.

15 thoughts on “Ghost Hunt (Gōsuto Hanto)

  1. I love Ghost Hunt! It’s funny and creepy at the same time and I liked that the main characters were such a multi-cultural team. The manga is great too and it still breaks my heart that we never got the final volume in print.

    I think the joke with John Brown using the Kansai dialect was that it was surprising that someone not from that region would have picked up the dialect.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Same! I probably could have been more generous with the rating, but I’m still bummed there’s no more to watch. (And I didn’t realise that about the manga, that’s a shame because I have this on my list to one day check out).

      Ah, so it’s not that he studied the language there but maybe actually learnt the Kansai dialect from someone *in* Australia, interesting 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’d still say that the manga is worth checking out, since it continues the story past where the anime ended and gets into some interesting stuff, it just sucks that we can’t get that last volume.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Sounds like I should! So, that final volume for the manga remains unreleased, but is the manga also different to the unfinished light novel series perhaps? (Either way, I’m going to miss out a bit :D)

          Liked by 1 person

          1. That I can’t say, I’ve never read the light novels. I will confess that I read scans of the last manga volume, back when I first realized that it was never going to be published in English, and it does have a conclusion, so maybe the manga is a bit different from the light novels…

            Liked by 1 person

          2. Having a conclusion is a big plus, awesome – I will do some research re: digital retailers, as I don’t have the shelf space for the physical volumes, sadly.

            (I’m especially keen to see what the ghost/dream Naru is all about :D)

            Liked by 1 person

  2. I would’ve never guessed this was a shojo work kind of like Sukeban Deka and to a lesser extent Children of the Whales. This looks like a decent watch.

    Wait, an Australian speaking Japanese with a Kansai accent? That is too hilarious to me especially since that Japanese accent has been compared to a Southern drawl in America as opposed to an Australian one. Reminds me of my Japanese class where we talked about it a little bit. My teacher was originally from Kyoto which IS in the Kansai region, but she spoke with a standard Japanese accent in both English and Japanese. One time, I said “Nanyatte?” as opposed to “Nan desu ka?/Nan deshite?” (What was that?) in that accent as a joke and she thought it was funny while saying that I sounded like I was from Osaka where that accent is huge over there. Thank you, Kawachi from Yakitate!! Japan!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, it’s probably a bit less combative perhaps, but definitely the high school aspect’s there to a greater or lesser extent.

      Cool, I hadn’t heard those comparisons, interesting! I only hear the difference in something like ‘desu’. How long long did you study Japanese for?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. All of that certainly makes sense.

        Yeah, that’s one thing that I know is different with the accents. I know a Kansai accent whenever I hear one in anime or a Japanese live-action movie. Besides Kawachi, other characters I can think of who have that same accent are Gin from Bleach, Osaka from Azumanga Daioh, and Yuu from Comic Party to name a few. Funny enough, when someone dubs a character from the Kansai region (ADV/Sentai does this a lot), the dub version talks like they’re from Texas or Alabama. I studied Japanese for a year and a half during my later high school years. During senior year, I could’ve went to Japan and have decent conversation skills, but I’m nowhere near as fluent now. My memory of that language does show up in some of my anime reviews if there’s a language reference or something.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. That’s fascinating re: Kansai getting an accent from that part of the south in those dubs, fascinating, yeah.

          That’s one hard part about a language huh, without being able to put it into action regularly, it can fade so fast – makes sense of course but I hate that, lol. Would you pick it up again one day, time permitting?

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Yup! It’s interesting when anime companies are aware of these things with languages and accents.

            That’s true. I do want to get back into Japanese at some point as well as Lingala. I fell like both languages have been slipping a bit for me.

            Liked by 1 person

          2. I’d love to make a good start on a second language, but it’s not the best year for it, I guess. Each time I want to start something new/try get back into something old, my mind just refuses.

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