Ghost Hunt is a shōjo, supernatural mystery series about a group of psychic researchers that investigate paranormal incidents and try to resolve them where they can. This title had been on my watchlist for an embarrassingly long time, and when I started craving a good mystery, ghostly series, I picked this up because it was accessible for me. I was expecting something mediocre, to be frank, but it ended up utterly exceeding those expectations rather gloriously!
Ghost Hunt is something that I had heard very little about, which isn’t too surprising considering how old it is (2006), and because I knew so very few things going into it, all of the delightful characteristics of the serial popped out even more vividly to me. It appealed to me so much that I knew I had to write up a recommendations post for it and get more people to check it out. It truly is an underrated supernatural series, in my purrsonal opinion.
If you like paranormal shows, mysteries, and uniquely different kinds of characters coming together to solve puzzles, essentially, then check out these five reasons on why you most definitely need to add Ghost Hunt to your otaku watching list as soon as possible!
Suitable for Short Binge Sessions
There are seven cases in the whole series and each of them run between two and four episodes in length, which makes it perfect for smaller binge sessions. You can finish one case per sitting and it’s no different than watching an anime film. This is great for people who may be busy and don’t have the extra time to indulge in a single-sitting stream, or if someone has problems with watching an entire season in marathon mode. I have ADHD and struggle with the latter quite a bit, so being able to check out one case a time gave me such a comfortable and pleasant watching experience, and it also made me feel like I was making consistent progress with the anime rather than starting it up and letting it hang around my Watching List for months and months. The residual sense of accomplishment upon finishing was truly amazing.
The different cases that the motley crew of supernatural investigators work on have a decent amount of variety to them and they also vary from being wholesomely bittersweet to straight up dark, disturbing, and somewhat fucked-up. This is particularly fun if you’re like me and enjoy a spectrum of intensities with segmented mystery anime, or if you tend to prefer one genre (such as family mystery) but would like a small taste of another (crime thriller).
The variety also helps to keep things interesting and veer away from traditional formulaic pitfalls. It’s a bit of a creative risk, yet in Ghost Hunt is adds marvellously to the riveting climates that the investigators find themselves in, from a local school to a giant mansion that’s been in a family for generations to a simple church, just to name a few.
There are some cutesy moments of a young girl having a crush, but beyond that, there is no actual romance amid the main characters, in a non-case related manner. I’m not the biggest fan of romance and typically with mysteries and things, I feel that the added element of love and sentimental emotion can detract from the overall suspense and tension. Yet here we don’t have to worry about that at all, and I adored every second of it!
Because there’s no love stuff, the focus remains entirely on the cases the investigators work on with an occasional glimpse into the personal lives of the investigators themselves. Having the spotlight on the objectives at hand makes it virtually effortless to connect to each of the cast members in one way or another, as well as the unique situations that they try to resolve. It also helps to hold one’s attention much better and provided a more interactive watching experience.
A Medley of Faiths
One of the best parts of Ghost Hunt is that the approaches to supernatural elements aren’t limited to a single, solitary faith, but more of an amalgamation of them. It was so neat to watch Christian, Buddhist, and Shinto beliefs and practises coming together and being employed on a sort of common ground where needed. It depicts an open-mindedness that you don’t typically see in media, let alone anime.
Another thing that intrigued me about the diverse religions is how it influences the varying methodologies are that applied. It very much highlights the process of solving the cases rather than exhibiting a preachy superiority of one faith over another. There are some discussions to the individualistic approaches as well, and it adds some cool dimension, not only to each of the cases, but also to the investigators and how they work so damn well together as a team.
My favourite characteristic of Ghost Hunt, though, is how surprisingly spooky and even scary it became at certain times. The first couple of episodes makes the show feel like a somewhat comedic, mystery type with adorable seasoning, and while it does have these aspects, what it doesn’t hint at is how gradually frightening the series gets with the next case and then the next and the next.
The ambiance and settings, as well as the backstory and detailed particulars of the cases, combined with the music, the techniques and tactics being used, and the characters’ reactions and responses to what’s happening to them just complements the supernatural horror atmospheric features quite fabulously. It swept up my full attention and gave me a jump scare every now and again. It’s engrossing and wicked fun.
If any of these reasons stand out to you, and if you have access to a relative streaming platform for it (Funimation & Anime Lab), or physical copies, then please do take some time to watch Ghost Hunt. While it may not blow your mind, I can guarantee that you’ll be entertained and enjoy the experience of seeing it at the very least!