One of the benefits of suddenly finding myself on vacation is that I can just take off and haunt the anime store whenever I want. Of course I can afford to be more discriminating as well and not just borrow any DVD or tape just to get it out of Mr. Rival’s hands.Take that you fiend! Unlike you I can afford to be nice.
I’m following so many series I’ve lost count. I think I’m up to 20 shows. Maybe more. I’ve decided to focus on a dozen right now and just catch up on the others later.
One of my current favorites is “Ghost Hunt” which chronicles the cases handled by the Shibuya Psychic Research. SPR is comprised of director Kazuya Shibuya, his assistant Lin, and part-time employee/high school student Mai Taniyama. Shibuya also uses a TV medium, a shrine maiden, an Australian exorcist and a monk who plays in a band.
Shibuya is just a teen but very smart, ultra confident and arrogant. He insults Mai a lot. She has this crush on him but isn’t afraid to sass him back and even bestowed the nickname, “Naru”, on him which is short for narcissist.
Anyway, the last case I saw involved the strange goings on at a high school. The case ended at episode 17 which I shall recount for the benefit of the peanut gallery.
A black dog attacks students, a sickening smell pervades one classroom, weird things are seen and there’s a twisted version of a Ouija board that the students play. It turns out everything is linked to a freshman who committed suicide in the fall who was into the occult and felt oppressed by the faculty and administration. Mai, whose dreams often show clues to the cases, tells Naru that the spirits are eating each other which leads him to deduce that someone used a variation of an old Chinese curse.
The target of the curse, which is fueled unwittingly by the students playing that odd version of a Ouija board, is one of the teachers – a spiteful mean man. There are only two options open to our ghost hunters. Let the curse kill the teacher or turn back the curse onto its creator. Since the student who started it is dead, the curse will rebound back onto the students who played that Ouija-like game. A horrified Mai tries to stop Naru and Lin because she feels the students thought they were just playing a harmless game and were not intending to kill anyone. Naru tells her everyone has to accept responsibility for their actions and thwarts her attempts. She rages at him and calls him a murderer.
What Lin, who is a diviner, actually does is return the curse back to wooden effigies representing the students. Naru doesn’t tell any of them this until Lin is finished because Lin wasn’t sure he could ensure the students’ safety. But it works. Mai is chastened. As she reports to Naru about the condition of the students who didn’t play the game, he apologizes for saying harsh things to her. She is dumbfounded because this is Naru who seldom admits he is wrong. It’s not fair, she says. She wanted to apologize but he did it first. He takes all the good moments, she points out. Naru smiles at her and she blushes in shock. She has never seen him smile except in her dream state when the dream Naru shows up to help her out.
It was such a sweet moment. Naru and Mai looked so cute my inner fangirl started squealing. Then reason reasserted itself and I throttled my inner fangirl to silence. It was a moment of weakness I assure you brought on by too little sleep and too many hours listening to angsty alternative music.
Mai and Naru forever! Uh, excuse me while I choke someone. Now git. Nothing to see here.