Ghost Hunt (ゴーストハント)

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/ Mai / Naru / Takigawa Housyou /

I knew Ghost Hunt through the comic version that appeared in a monthly girls’ comic magazine Nakayoshi at first. It fused the characters with plenty of personality and the mysterious elements in the horror story had a good balance. I always looked forward to seeing what happened next every month.
I noticed that it was originally written by Fuyumi Ono, who is the author of “The Twelve Kingdoms”, many years later. I remember that I thought “that’s why it was so intriguing.” I noticed it because I had already read “The Twelve Kingdoms”.
The novel version of Ghost Hunt appeared in new format, and I guess it’s as easy to start as the comics. It has also TV anime version, so it may be good to start with it, too.

The main character is a high school student called Mai Taniyama. At the beginning, she is an ordinary high school student without any special power, but she starts to do a part-time job at Shibuya Psychic Research (SPR) by chance and then takes a part in some strange phenomenon.
The members of SPR are the head chief caked Naru who is an ESP psychic and his right-hand man, called Rin, is a Taoist. Some experts, such as a Buddhist monk, a shrine maiden, a spiritualist, and anexorcist help them as well.
In addition, Naru is a nickname and his real name is Kazuya Shibuya. Because he is a narcissist (that is read “narushisuto” in Japanese), Mai picked up the nickname “Naru”.
He is self-centered with a sharp tongue, but he is fair about his job and he does job that he was ordered. In Mai’s dreams Naru always shows her his gentle smile, though…
In fact, it foreshadows the later development, but I won’t let you know the detail here. Please find out by yourself.

The customer’s requests that SPR undertakes are like ghost stories for young students, but their investigation methods are not just occult things and it’s an interesting point of this story.
They use thermograph to measure the temperature because it’s cold around ghosts, record weird sounds with a microphone, contact each other with wireless intercoms… They analyze the data to find out what kind of phenomenon is occurring and how to deal with it.
Unlike a story that people with a special powers just find a ghost, they use modern devices to investigate objectively, so I am convinced when the truth is revealed. Personally, the episode about Orikirisama was scary…Some manga and dramas made me want to try table-turning out of curiosity, but this episode told me ordinal people shouldn’t do it.

You might think Naru is my favorite, but the answer is no. My favorite is Hosho Takigawa who is called Monk by the members of SPR! He is a leader among peers and very caring. He is a son of a monk but his main occupation is a studio musician. There is an amusing anecdote about him that he descended Mount Koya because it was banned to bring CDs there.
Naru is workaholic, so Hosho often takes care of Mai and he has taught her how to protect herself who doesn’t have countermeasure against ghosts.
He looks easy-going, but actually he has an observant eye. I often thanked him when the atmosphere between Mai and Naru was tense.
In the female characters, a tsundere exorcist Masako is good. A voice actor Rie Kugimiya did the voice-over for her and it increased her attractiveness.
Of course, she has a scary side, but you will find it interesting when there is drama while getting deeply into it. I want to recommend this great work to many people.

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