terça-feira, 25 de fevereiro de 2014

[Anime Review] Ghost Hound

Ghost Hound. One of them old animes of yore. Well, not THAT old, but... not exactly brand new either. 

Anyway, let´s review it!


Ghost Hound was one of those animes (and still is, for a lot of people) that has a lot of deep, psychological and philosophical ideas. It´s a realistic anime - you won´t see none of those super martial arts crap, none of cute little strange beings next to the protagonists, etc. None of that. With Ghost Hound, for the most part, you have a typical, quiet, cozy drama story about some characters in a rural Japan city. And that´s it. Well, without the supernatural part, of course. But for the most part, it´s very quaint... and also strange. Yeah, Ghost Hound is a bit paradoxical to me. So brace yourself for a little confusion on this review.


Back in the day (Ghost Hound began airing in 2007), when you wanted a cool, intelligent anime - none of that shounen crap for now, please! - you heard a few names. Serial Experiments Lain was one of them, of course. Evangelion was one of them. There were others, obviously. And then you heard about Ghost Hound as well. 

Ghost Hound was one of those deep anime, artsy-fartsy types like to discuss with a pedantic smile. And for the most part is very good.

It starts with the very curious backstory of a fella that had his sister killed while they suffered a kidnaping. This guy starts to have nightmares and visions where he is flying, and it gets to the point where he begins to have OBE - out of body experiences. When he begins to research about why this is happening, his story gets tangled with the story of the two other boys that compose the main group of the series, each with their own drama tale to tell. 

I liked the storytelling. I really enjoyed the way the show is exposed - how it begins. Through some recollection and thrown around imagery, we are being show the memories of the protagonist, Taro Komori, which has no idea why he is having the OBE´s in the first place. The other two protagonists also experience this, and they thus become reluctant friends. 

There´s also a lot of ambience. And to me, that is gold. There´s a lot of that feeling that they live in a creepy rural city east side of nowhere, and that´s just so amazing. That´s not to say there aren´t good people there - there is. Apparently the owner of the temple, the psychiatrist and some others. But there is also a great share of some shady stuff everywhere. And the main dish? The big bad company. The company where Masayuki Nakajima works, Japan Bio-Tech is a proverbial, text book example of a big bad corporation. Everytime it appears, you can´t help to feel that strange buzz that something is not quite right. And indeed is not, because it appears the company´s been doing some strange experiments... 

There are lots of angles and characters and intrigue, and this is AMAZING. There´s the journalist, the teacher, the deadbeat family, marital infidelity, shady experiments, lies and everything you can ask for in a series that also strays a little bit onto horror territory. 

And this makes the series memorable. 

What is not so good? 

In the end, the episodes become kinda rushed up. We don´t see much in the way of closure. Plus, there are some questions that are not made clear - is Myako some sort of reencarnation of Taro´s sister?, for instance, or what the hell was up with Makoto´s father? Or who the hell was the green haired dude?

That guy! Who the hell was that guy?

There were a lot of unanswered questions, and in the end I kind felt it became a mess. But I´m not judging the whole experience as a mess, just the final episodes. If there was a book - I don´t know if there´s one, I´m guessing not - about it, that maybe explained a bit more, or some other work that took it from where this left off... but as it is not, then I can only say the ending feels rushed. Oh well.

In the end, anyway, Ghost Hound is still recommended, but only if you have the patience to watch some slow shows - it can get really slow and quiet at times - and if your thing is more about psychological, surreal dramas. 

Anyway, so long and until the next review. 

Positive Points:
- Great ambience;
- Great characters;
- Weird setting;

Negative Points:
- It can become really slow at certain points;
- Still a bit cryptic sometimes and we have little ideia of what the writer is trying to convey;

Rating - 4 crows. 
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