Ghost Hound
神霊狩 (Japanese)
Keywords: , , , , , ,
Notables: Animation - Production I.G.
HOSHI Souichiro
ONO Kenshou
Original Concept - MASAMUNE Shirow
R1 Distributor - Section23 Films (ADV)
R1 License - Sentai Filmworks (ADV)
R1 License - Subtitled Only
TACHIKI Fumihiko
In the mountain town of Suiten, three boys find they have a few things in common: They go to the same school, they all had traumatic experiences in their childhood, and their souls can travel to a parallel world.

Series by Shirow Masamune and Production I.G. (of Ghost in the Shell fame.) This title was released to celebrate Production IG's 20-year anniversary.

Series aired October 2007 through April 2008.
22 TV Episodes (~24min).

More information at the ↗Ghost Hound wiki-listing.

1:09min Promo - YouTube Video
1:30min Opening - YouTube Video
1:30min Ending - YouTube Video
"神霊" (shinrei) means "divine spirit"; "狩" (gari, as final part of a word) means "the hunt".
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Buy 9 9 8 8 10 9 Ggultra2764 [series:1705#1552]
Wow, this was a great thriller title. Ghost Hound implemented use of psychological and philosophical elements to look into the developments surrounding the central characters of the series and piecing together the mysterious occurrences within the small town of Suiten. Like Serial Experiments Lain, Ghost Hound retains a subdued, mundane mood throughout its run during the show's normal mode and bumps up its suspense during moments when the boys experience out-of-body experiences in the spirit realm and dream of memories from their tragic pasts. The series does rather well at fleshing out the tragic pasts of Taro, Masayuki and Makoto where the series gets into the heads of the boys as they perceive and/ or try to recall the events that occurred during their earlier years. In addition, we get to see the growth of their characters as they come to terms with their past tragedies as they come to understand their situations better.

In terms of plot developments, Ghost Hound takes its time in unveiling pieces to the various paranormal occurrences taking place in the town. Strange creatures have been spotted at random points within the town and hints are dropped over a string of crimes having occurred around the time that Taro's abduction took place. In addition, the series does bring up seemingly unconnected situations which involve a fanatic local cult, a biotech plant and the young daughter of a shrine priest that Taro takes interest in. But as the series presses on, these situations clash together where their linearity makes enough sense at resolving any lingering plot developments to Ghost Hound once the character developments with the three boys get resolved.

The major element to Ghost Hound that will make or break one's enjoyment of the series are the frequent mentions and debates of psychological and philosophical concepts. Psychological analysis is frequent as Dr. Hirata is around at a number of points to bring up mental disorders of the brain that effect patients that he helps, in particular Taro. The philosophical element comes in the form of a number of theories brought up on spiritual and existential concepts connected to the out of body experiences that the boys have in their travels to the spirit realm. I do believe that these elements are relevant within the series to keep the audience guessing over whether the experiences with the boys are the result of either a spiritual experience or something of scientific basis coming off the mental scars they had from their pasts.

The only major flaw I found within the series was its final episode where the series seemingly introduced some new concepts that it never had time to fully develop and having a bright mood which isn't consistent with Ghost Hound's earlier episodes.

In terms of presentation, Ghost Hound does well enough at delivering with visuals and music to fit in well with the blurring of moods that the show presents at various points. In terms of the normal world, the show makes use of bright colors and defined details in rendering its scenery and character designs to fit with its mundane mood. The out of body experiences and flashbacks from the boys are what lead to the title's visual highlights. Various abstract settings are shown to create a seemingly unique atmosphere for the spiritual realms that the boys visit such as the nerves that make up Taro's brain, a room full of various monitors and the real world rendered in limited color. Adding to this unique experience are occasional first-person shots from the eyes of the boys as they either go in and out of consciousness or experiencing flashbacks, such as Taro trying to catch up with his sister through an alley.

The soundtrack to the series is mostly low-key and minimal, with music only added in whenever necessary to enhance mood within tense scenes. The OP and ED are unique choices to help one get into Ghost Hound with the OP's quirky and upbeat tone plus the ED's subdued and gentle ballad.

Overall, Ghost Hound proved to be quite the interesting mind trip for me with its implementation of psychology and mysticism in exploring the tragic pasts of Taro and his friends plus the mysterious developments occurring within the town they live in. I strongly recommend this series to anyone hoping for an anime that is outside the norm of conventional titles and will keep you guessing over what direction it will lead.

Last updated Thursday, August 11 2011. Created Thursday, August 11 2011.

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