Tag Archives: kazuya shibuya

Ghost Hunt (Volume 5) Manga | My Reviews 10 AUG 2008

Ghost Hunt Volume 5A very dangerous game: The students of Ryokuryou High School think they’ve been playing a fun new game called Orikiri. They have no idea that it’s actually a wicked spell conjuring up evil spirits that intend to kill their sensei! Even more troubling is that with each passing minute, the strongest spirit eerily devours the other apparitions and grows ever more destructive. Since the spirit can’t be stopped, there’s only one way to save the sensei: turn the curse around onto the students who initiated it! Mai and Naru clash mightily on this case, as Shibuya Psychic Research must choose between the sensei and the students… and time’s running out!

Ghost Hunt is a manga series based on Fuyumi Ono’s (who is best known for her Twelve Kingdoms piece of writing) twin series of Akuryou and Ghost Hunt, which details the life of young high school student Mai Taniyama and her adventures and mysteries encountered while temping for the Shibuya Psychic Research (SPR) firm, which specializes in investigating and solving all manner of supernatural phenomena. The firm is headed up by the young, enigmatic Kazuya Shibuya (nicknamed Naru, short for narcissist, by Mai) and works closely with a number of spiritual mediums and exorcist specialists hailing from across the religious spectrum. The writing and art chores for Ghost Hunt are handled by Shiho Inada.

Volume 5 continues the school story arc in which a number of students have unwittingly participated in the creation of a curse that is seemingly strong enough to actually cause the death of one of the teachers, a man particularly hated by most of the students in the school. Already, one student is dead and the mysterious happenings and accidents at the school are increasing in their intensity and level of danger and destructiveness with each passing hour.

For some or other reason the spirits are involving Mai heavily in this case, forcing her into strange visions that seem to hold the key as to what is going on here as well as telling the foreboding future which lies in wait for them all. Things are rapidly getting out of hand and even SPR is considering withdrawing from this case!

Unlike the previous volumes of Ghost Hunt, volume 5 deals a lot less with the romantic feelings that Mai feels towards Naru and far more with the actual spooky happenings going on all around them. We spend a lot of time in Mai’s freaky spirit visions and the story builds up the mystery nicely before setting the final actions in motion to bring everything to a neat conclusion by the end of the book. There’s a far greater sense of foreboding and danger in this volume and while the cute and humorous little moments do still exist, they are far outweighed by the tension and mystery that Ono and Inada create.

Inada’s artwork continues with her distinctively detailed characters with very fine line work, but her tendency to be very light on backgrounds, particularly on depth and shadowing (when she even bothers drawing something in) hurts the overall look of the book. Also her heavy and artistic use of shadows and shading to depict the spirit world and such doesn’t always come off very nicely and she struggles to sometimes build that strong feeling of dread when the story is calling out for it. Still despite these minor ‘shortcomings’, the book doesn’t look half bad, just a bit light on detail in places, and you can certainly see that by this volume she has the right feel for all her characters already.

As a read, the more serious Ghost Hunt Volume 5 is a far more mystical and horror laden outing that improves on the lighter previous volumes and actually makes for quite a decent read. It still isn’t quite as scary as you might be hoping for, but it is certainly getting there. A decent enough read, particularly for teenage girls who like a bit of light horror, a dash of teen angst, a sprinkling of romance and some good looking guys as the lead and supporting characters for eye candy purposes.

Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ghost_Hunt

Ghost Hunt (Volume 2) Manga | My Reviews 10 JUL 2008

Ghost Hunt Volume 2House of Horror: High school student Mai Taniyama, her handsome boss Kazuya Shibuya (aka Naru), and other members of Shibuya Psychic Research are now tackling the eerie case of the Morishita family. What is the tragic story hidden within the Morishita’s old house? Is it haunted by a mischievous poltergeist, or by something far more sinister?

As Mai and Naru dig deep to uncover the home’s dark secrets, they learn that every child who has ever lived there has died under mysterious circumstances. And they soon discover that the malevolent forces at the house have a disturbing face: the creepy smile of Ayami Morishita’s doll. Of course, destroying a child’s toy should be a simply matter, right?

Ghost Hunt is a manga series based on Fuyumi Ono’s (who is best known for her Twelve Kingdoms piece of writing) twin series of Akuryou and Ghost Hunt, which details the life of young high school student Mai Taniyama and her adventures and mysteries encountered while temping for the Shibuya Psychic Research (SPR) firm, which specializes in investigating and solving all manner of supernatural phenomena. The firm is headed up by the young, enigmatic Kazuya Shibuya (nicknamed Naru, short for narcissist, by Mai) and works closely with a number of spiritual mediums and exorcist specialists hailing from across the religious spectrum. The writing and art chores for Ghost Hunt are handled by Shiho Inada.

Volume 2 sees SPR tackling the case of the Morishita family’s new house, a house that is seemingly more than just a little haunted. The greatest fear is for the safety of the youngest of the Morishita family, little Ayami, and this fear soon gets translated into reality as the team eventually moves towards discovering that whatever it is that is occupying the Morishita house in known for SPECIFICALLY targeting young children!

Of course, even with all this paranormal and spooky stuff going on around her, Mai still needs to deal with those troublesome feelings that she may or may not be developing towards Naru – and at the same time compete with well-known psychic Masako Hara who seems rather open in her advances towards Naru!

Tacked on at the end of the main story arc (that concludes in this volume), we also get a complete side story that has the SPR team taking on a rather wet and vengeful spirit who likes nothing more than soaking young couples right down to the bone!

The first thing that comes to mind regarding Ghost Hunt is that if you are looking for something scary or some decent horror, Ghost Hunt is probably not going to do it for you. Instead of macabre, you tend to get saddled with a mixture of Japanese folklore, sadness and melancholy, with a lot of irrelevant humour and romance tossed into the mix. Unfortunately as such, Ghost Hunt ends up not being the most compelling of reads for most people and is perhaps aimed more at teenage girls than anything else.

Inada’s scripting is okay but the dialogue is sometimes quite subpar, though I guess the essence of Ono’s story gets captured okay which makes Ghost Hunt a success if you are a fan of Ono’s original novels in the first place. In terms of the art for Ghost Hunt, Inada is admittedly not one of the greatest mangaka of our times. The characters are all nicely detailed and the frequent switching between normal and deformed characters and facial expressions are all nicely done, but Inada’s pencils come through as very sparse and it is the backgrounds in particular that suffers for this. Background detail is fairly scarce and the tendency not to shadow any of the backgrounds leaves you with artwork that more often than not seems very two dimensional in appearance.

Ghost Hunt Volume 2 is a competent, if unexciting, piece of work and I struggle to believe that there would be a great Western audience interest in it at all. Unless you are a teenage girl who likes to look at handsome young men (boys really) and enjoys maybe the teeniest of scares/supernatural happenings, then this manga is probably not meant for you.

Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ghost_Hunt