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All right, I'm actually addressing a series today! The rest of my ten days will be reviews the way my usual posts are, but they will be things I've watched in the last year. Because I haven't kept up with the current seasons in the past (winter 2011 will of course be my first time doing that) they will simply be things I've watched, as opposed to series that aired in the same span of time. The Basics Episodes: 25Genre: Comedy, Mystery, Horror, Shoujo, SupernaturalAired: October 4, 2006 to March 28, 2007Directed by: Rei ManoProducers: J.C. Staff, Marvelous Entertainment, FUNimation Entertainment, TV Tokyo, Avex EntertainmentOpening Theme: Main Theme by Toshio MasudaClosing Theme: Ending Theme by Toshio Masuda (I am not even kidding on these songs)Review The Story: The series sets off when 17-year-old Mai Taniyama is telling ghost stories with her friends after school, in some random classroom. Without warning, they meet Kazuya Shibuya (whom Mai later dubs “Naru”, because he's such a narcissist). The next morning, when Mai is on her way to school, she unintentionally messes up some ghost detection equipment Naru has set up in an abandoned building, and gets his assistant sent to the hospital. As a result, she is expected to work for him to pay for the replacement of the camera she broke. After helping him out with the first case, she goes on to continue working for him (and falling in love with him, though there is very little emphasis on that aspect of the series). The Characters: While the characters in many series do annoy me endlessly, the ones in Ghost Hunt seriously help to make the series as successful as I felt it was. Mai herself wasn't the most exciting of main characters I've ever seen, but her perspective was interesting and it was always good to see that even as she was falling for Naru, she kept yelling at him when she thought something he was doing was morally wrong. As for Naru—well, he's very...he's a jerk 90% of the time. He's also highly intelligent, as much of a narcissist as Mai says he is, and yet you kind of have to love him. As for the other characters: Lin, Naru's assistant, doesn't get much exploration, but he does have a few shining moments; Ayako, a priestess, is funny in her own way, especially seeing her interact with Housho, a monk. Then there's John Brown, a Catholic Priest who is absolutely adorable. And we can't forget Masako Hara, the TV psychic with a serious crush on Naru. It's really seeing the group interact that makes the series work. Also, they can be compared to the Scooby Doo gang. Just sayin'. The Stories: Ghost Hunt is not told in one continuous storyline; instead they use arcs, most of which are three or four episodes long. These arcs are each their own investigation, with no overwhelming plot tying them together. The first (Evil Spirits All Over!) is the weakest in terms of story, as the “haunting” isn't all that interesting, or at all creepy the way I hoped it would be. It does, however, do its job of introducing everyone soundly. For storytelling/pulling at your heartstrings, the most powerful was the fifth (Silent Christmas). In terms of creepy-ness, the strongest two for me were the second (The Doll House) and seventh (The Bloodstained Labyrinth). Dolls are of course the most evil things in the world. Especially when they talk in scary voices and move and cannot be destroyed. Conclusion?: If you're a fan of ghost stories in any form, you'll probably enjoy Ghost Hunt. It has something for you no matter what kind of ghost stories you enjoy—from not scary at all, to chills running up your spine. It's pretty good to watch at two in the morning when you're the only one awake and have all of the lights off. And despite being about ghosts with a few moments of fright mixed in, I'd call it an easy series to relax with because you won't be forced to think. My rating: 10/10. There was absolutely nothing I would have changed about this series. The characters, the stories...okay, well one tiny bit of romance...I would have adjusted that a little, but other than that, it was brilliant. I especially love that one of the arcs has a version of the Winchester Mystery House, where I am determined to go get lost someday.
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