Ghost stories Anime review: Keeps you on your toes
Who doesn’t like a scare or two? Ghost Stories brings together a good thriller plot with past and present intertwined with an ample amount of horror and comic elements as well. Being only a season-long Ghost Stories is a good quick watch for over the weekend.
After the demise of her mother, Satsuki Miyanoshita with her younger brother Keiichiro (first grade) and her father Reiichirou move back to their hometown. Where her parents grew up. They enroll at the same school that their parents studies. And on the first day, they learn about the Old School House and the rumors of people having experienced paranormal activities.
Along with their friends, Hajime Aoyama (their neighbor), Leo Kakinoki ( their classmate with a keen interest in ghostly stories), and Momoko Koigakubo ( a senior schoolmate) enter the Old School House and have a first-hand experience of the rumors. They soon learn that Satsuki’s mother had exorcised out all these ghosts to spiritual sleep in her school days. But now due to the urbanization taking place behind the Old School House, all the ghosts have come back to haunt them.
They face a demon called Amanojoku, and with the help of her mother’s Ghost Diary, they manage to cease him. But Amanojoku gets trapped in Satsuki’s cat Kaya. Although Amanojoku is reluctant to help the humans, in the latter part he in his own cunning ways helps them exorcise the rest of the ghosts as well.
Dubbing- Language, voice, and music
Before getting into the series what the audience should be aware of is the difference between the standard episodes in Japanese with the subtitles and the dubbed version of it. In 2005 ADV studios picked up Ghost Stories to be dubbed in English. The only conditions that were put in front of them were that they should not change the names of the characters and the ghosts as well.
Secondly, no changes should be made in the way any ghost is killed as it is based on Asian ghost legends. And finally, they should not change the meaning of any episodes. What they ended up making though could only be said as a mockery to the horror element of the original content.
Don’t worry, we got you an example too!
They used the power of language, voice, and music to put more comic aspects. And it somehow takes away the real deal of what Ghost Stories was supposed to be. The dubbed version adds references from different movies and series that the English viewers may be familiar with to make it more fascinating for them. As long as the plot remains the same, but if you were to sit down and watch both the dubbed version and the one with subtitles. You could clearly point out the discrete points of differences that overall contribute to the experience of watching a series.
Dialogues or the background music and noises contribute hand in hand in the character development and the building of the plot. So if you really are to experience the true feeling of what Ghost Stories is, we suggest you watch the original Japanese version with the subtitles. Or if you just want to have a few laughs and dumb moments of humor you could always prefer the dubbed version. (We always say, prefer subs over dubbs!)
The different ghosts
Ghost Stories runs over at a length of twenty episodes. It presents some really interesting plots and ghosts. Headless Bike Rider, Da Vinci: A ghost of an art teacher, who paints his victims before their death. The Piano Ghost who plays Fur Elise and whoever might listen to him play it four times faces death. Such competent and creative ideas have been together by the producers giving it enough goofy feels.
Though every episode puts in front of you a ghost, a ghost you spend twenty minutes with learning about it. How it tends to attack its prey. The things that Satsuki and her friends face, how they try to control or put it into spiritual sleeping. And finally how it’s done. In such a way everything just seems to be very cramped up together. Too much information in very little screen time.
And then there twenty stories for you. As much as there is fun to watch all those different types of stories unfold in such quick succession. With a larger screen time and slow build-ups, Ghost Stories could have created a much better impact in the market.
Show that keeps you watching
The story is quite gripping and keeps you on your toes. Being an animated series does not take away the horror sequences. It will equally provide you with scares and squeals. It keeps the suspense intact and serves adroit solutions to the spooky complications.
Ghost Stories is more episodic, rather than following a particular theme for the entire season. And addressing that at the finale. So even if you miss one episode you are not going to miss out on any huge plot points. You would eventually catch up with it. And after a few episodes into it, the audience might feel something lacking. And that is the need for a specific subject to following around till the end.
They should have put a plot that is always present in the background in some form or the other. And finally pops up at the final making sense to all the action that took place in the previous twenty episodes. Hence being episodic based makes you feel like you’ll just have to sit through it. Rather than your suspense building up episode by episode towards the final one for an epic match-up. So instead of sitting up a whole night binging Ghost Stories, you could just watch one or two episodes at a time and go through with it slowly.
Ghost Stories also covers the emotional parts of love and sacrifice taking the audience on a ride of horror, comedy, and dramatic sentiments. Created in 2000, the animation is just on the line with a decent display. And old school work of graphics. In the world of Naruto and Pokemon, Ghost Stories might not be your ideal pick of anime but it can surely be a pretty decent layover watch.
Background score: 3/5
Overall rating: 6.5/10
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