Foreign Friday: Ghost Hunt

This week’s Foreign Friday is Ghost Hunt by Shiho Inada and Fuyumi Ono.

The Story

 Mai Taniyama and her classmates have heard the rumors that the creepy old high school is haunted–possibly by ghosts from the Second World War. So one rainy day they gather at the told school to tell ghost stories, hoping to attract one of the suspected spirits.

No ghosts materialize, but Mai and her friends do meet Kazuya Shibuya, the handsome young owner of Shibuya Psychic Research, who’s been hired to investigate paranormal activity at the school. Also at the scene are an exorcist, a Buddhist monk, a woman who can speak with the dead, and an outspoken Shinto priestess. Surely one of them will have the talents to solve this mystery. . . .

The Characters

Mai is your typical spunky high school girl. She’s ignorant of paranormal info, but she has an open and accepting mind. Kazuya, or “Naru” as Mai nicknames him, is one of those young geniuses, with a narcissistic ego to match (hence the nickname, Naru the Narcissist!) Along with a string of other paranormal experts, they create a diverse and entertaining cast.

What I Thought

Confession: I’ve only read the first volume of the series, since it’s not available in my library system. However, I have watched the anime adaptation, and from what I’ve heard, the two are pretty similar in terms of plot. That disclaimer said, here’s what I thought: It was fun and interesting. If you are a hard-core horror seeker, then it’s not for you. This is not a horror series. Instead, think if it as more of a detective story, with most of the plot having the characters collect information to solve the case. I know a lot of people don’t realize this and become disappointed. However, I felt like there was good character development, as well as a lot of solid information about different methods of spirit hunting and exorcism. If you want an entertaining story that gives you insight on what different religions and spiritualists do in the case of spirits, then it’s definitely worth reading/watching. There are 11 volumes available in English in the U.S. I don’t know if the series is complete or not.

As I said, I watched the anime adaptation, and I thought it was fun and interesting. The ending does sort of drop off, as if in expectation of a second season, but I haven’t heard of any being developed. There isn’t a whole lot of action, as per usual for a detective sort of story, but the art is good.

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