This is anime review 6 & is part of Halloween Week
Let’s get this out of the way right now. This is not going to be like my standard reviews. For this review, the dub will only be looked at. The sub version is terrible and isn’t worth watching. The dub, well, that’s a different story altogether.
Ghost Stories originally aired in the year 2000. The show didn’t do well. Coming out of Studio Pierrot, this 19 episode (20 if you count the OVA, which is on the DVD’s) is generally regarded as nothing to write home about as far as the original version goes. However, once EASTERN STAR got their hands on the rights for Western production the show took an interesting turn.
Basically, when adapting Ghost Stories in English the script was allowed to be whatever the voice actors wanted, so long as there was some semblance of a story and the lip-flap matched up. They did this because they knew the show would fail otherwise, and the result is definitely unique, and by far better than the original.
The premise of the show is, this girl and her brother move into a new house in a rural area in Japan. They hear about this legend of a haunted school, weird stuff starts going down after they end up exploring the abandoned school in search of their cat. The story is dumb, and honestly, that works in the show’s favor.
The story is reminiscent of Scooby-Doo, except surrounded by Japanese mythos rather than what we would normally see here in the West. With that being said, we are looking at the dub, so take this comparison and make it rated R.
What’s That Mean?
Glad you asked rhetorical me! Since you can’t really spoil this show, due to it largely being just a bunch of jokes with almost no plot, watch the video I’ll embed below. If you are adverse to language or political incorrectness then you can stop here. Otherwise, watch the first minute of so of this to get an idea of what you’re getting into.
Warning language and such. Also I don’t own the video or anything
If you thought that was funny, then this show is for you. If you were really offended, and couldn’t sit through it, then stay away, it’s just more of that, but worse (or better if you get what I mean).
Each character is a cliché or joke in order to drive the plot (basically more jokes). There really isn’t anything worth noting here, except that depending on your taste some will be funnier than others.
Animation & Sound
The animation is completely average at best. As for the sound, the dub is truly unique and makes the whole show. The music is… interesting? Yeah, let’s go with that. The opening, “Grow Up” by Hysteric Blue, is completely out of place and only adds to the charm of the show. When watching the dub, I found this enhanced my experience. As for the closing, “sexy sexy” by CASCADE, I have no clue what the thought process was here. It’s just as out of place as the opening but even more ridiculous. I don’t like it as much as the opening, but that’s just preference.
Closing Thoughts, Score, & Where To Buy
Normally this show would not be my speed and I wouldn’t even consider watching it. However, I have a policy about what I personally watch and this made the list of something to at least try. I was surprised! I was able to fully enjoy this show with only a few moments of, “oh wow that was bad” before falling into a fit of laughter.
Due to the show’s nature, this is probably one of the most unique attempts at turning an otherwise forgettable show, into a success. Many have attributed the release as “the only official abridged series to ever be released,” and I agree. It’s crude, funny, and entertaining.
I give Ghost Stories a very subjective 8/10 with the recommendation to try it. This show definitely isn’t for everyone. If that sample video above was too much to sit through, then the show isn’t for you. If you liked that though, then you are going to love the series. I wouldn’t watch this one with grandma or the kids, but if you want something more goofy, rather then scary for this Halloween, give Ghost Stories is the show for you.
The anime is available online for purchase, HOWEVER, be careful that you buy the version with the funny dub. A version was latter made with a “real” dub and it’s junk. So to avoid that, I strongly suggest buying it here from Rightstuf. It goes for about $30 and was well worth the cost for myself.