Friday, April 8, 2011

Ghost Stories Anime Review

Ghost Stories
ADV Films
Complete Collection - 20 episodes
550 minutes - 5 discs
$49.98 (2008)
ISBN 702727186424
English/Japanese Audio - English Subtitles
Director - Noriyuki Abe
Studio - Pierrot
TO BUY: Ghost Stories

Synopsis: Satsuki Manshita (pronounced exactly as it's spelled) moves with her family to the hometown of her deceased mother.  She and her younger brother Keiichirou begin school and instantly discover the old abandoned schoolhouse next door is host to a legion of ghosts! On their first day they become trapped in the schoolhouse along with three other students: Hajime is Satsuki's neighbor and an unrepentant pervert who delights in catching a peek at Satsuki's panties on a daily basis, Leo is the local paranormal expert and a Jew, and Momoko is an evangelical christian and former drug-addict. The five become uneasy allies in a battle against an evil demon named Amanojaku. Satsuki finds her mother's journal which contains detailed notes on each ghost - apparently her mother confronted and sealed away the ghosts haunting the schoolhouse when she was a student many years ago. Recent construction has disturbed the spirits and released them once against to prey on the living!

The "monster squad" manage to seal Amanojaku away with the help of Satsuki's mother's journal.  Unfortunately they seal him in Satsuki's pet cat, Kaya.  He vows revenge and delights in tormenting the group as they face down all of the deadly ghosts. Can the motley crew of amateur "ghostbusters" seal the ghosts away again? 

Pros: Dub is pretty funny, they changed some major plot points which were mostly hilarious, Amanojaku as the possessed cat has some funny lines (especially in the final episode), ending theme song was surprisingly catchy  - "Sexy, sexy", includes subtitles for the original Japanese audio along with the ADV dub

Cons: Dub can be a bit over-the-top and includes a lot of pop-culture references which may not be familiar to all viewers, swearing in later episodes, show is a little corny, no nudity (the fanboy in me always demands nudity of my anime), opening theme song is weak

Mike Tells It Straight: ADV took a straight-forward, innocent show about grade school kids investigating ghosts and turned it into a rude, crude story about foul-mouthed tweens. The dub was funny and brought the story to a whole new level (low), but was more than a little offensive (racial jokes, religious jokes, inappropriate sexual jokes, swearing) and absolutely not for kids. If you're at all sensitive to any of those things then don't watch the dub (unless you just like complaining about that kind of $#%@). Fortunately the original Japanese audio with English subtitles is available to watch (which adds to the replay value) with the unadulterated storyline (which is fairly decent). Leo is not Jewish, Momoko is a psychic and very courageous, Satsuki's dad is not a drug-addict pedophile, and Satsuki's mother is not a lesbian.

Keiichirou: "Hey, can you guys hear anything?"
Satsuki: "You know what I hear? I hear the sound of you shuttin' the F@#% up!"

Hajime: [after a bolt of lightning strikes] "Holy crack addicts, it hit the gym!"

Keiichirou: "I'm gonna make a snowman and a snowwoman, and maybe even a little snow Keiichirou...but I guess I'll have to make the snowwoman dead, because Mom's dead." *cries* T_T

Satsuki: "You can mess with can pick on my little brother and friends...but don't F@#% with my cat!"

TO BUY and Recommendations: Ghost Hunt