Using dreams to unravel a mystery

One look at “Ghost Hound” and you know what show got the bulk of the production money in the fall anime season. I’ve seen the first episode and I’m interested enough to want to see the succeeding episodes.

Production values are high on this show and the animation is crisp and beautiful. And if the characters look similar to the characters from that other supernatural show, “Jigoku Shoujo”, it’s because the same person did the design.

The story itself is intriguing. Our main guide to this world is Taro Komori, 14, who has out of body experiences when he falls asleep. He lives in a mountain community with his father, the local brewer, and his mother, who looks like she’s going to break down any time soon. His sister is dead.

Taro dreams about his and his sister’s kidnapping 11 years ago. I’m assuming the pretty girl lying on a cot near a young Taro is his sibling. She mouths something but he cannot make it out.

The new school psychologist, a cliche creepy-looking man, asks him if he still records his dreams and encourages him to keep doing it. Perhaps this was a suggested treatment for the boy? The viewer isn’t told yet.

We meet other kids in the area who will eventually have a tie to Taro. There’s the transfer student, Masayuki Nakajima, who is so new on campus he’s still wearing the uniform of his old school. He is trying desperately to become pals with Taro and Makoto Ogami, the moody boy who seldom goes to class.

Then there’s the still unnamed grade school girl who can see spirits and Taro’s soul when he has an out of body experience.

What is the connection between all of them? Why does Taro’s soul visit things that happened in the past? Who is this weird little girl who sees things?

Here’s hoping the other episodes will provide the answers. Or I will be reduced to muttering a tv colleague’s worn out phrase, “It raises more questions than answers.”

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