Ghost Hunt Vol. #05 (Mania.com)

By:Eduardo M. Chavez
Review Date: Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Release Date: Tuesday, September 26, 2006



Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Story by: Ono Fuyumi & Art by: Inada Shiho
Translated by:Egan Loo
Adapted by:David Walsh

What They Say
The students of Ryokuryou High School think they've been playing a fun new game lately called Orikiri... but they have no idea that it's a dangerous spell that's conjuring up evil spirits meant to kill their sensei! Now there's not a moment to waste, because with each passing minute the strongest spirit is eerily devouring the others and is growing ever more dangerous and powerful!

The spirit can't be stopped, so there's only one way to save the sensei: turn the curse around onto the students who initiated it! Mai and Naru go head to head on this one as Shibuya Psychic Research must choose between the sensei or the students, and time's running out!

The Review
Naru's Shibuya Agency is running out of options. Their latest case has them going up against a curse that can no longer be contained or controlled. The monster is now overwhelming the other spirits around gaining strength with each new aberration it devours. There is no time to waste. The potential that this ghoul could begin to turn freely on the human realm is great. But they do not know the source and the motive behind unleashing this thing is dubious at best.

This could be a first for Naru, Lin and Mai. The first job abandoned by this Paranormal Agency! And if it weren't for his assistant he possibly would have left the job site altogether. Mai's visions turn things around for Naru. They are the only "evidence" they have to work on. So, when the visions show a tragedy in school, Naru and friends step up to prevent this spirit from taking lives.

Through the first three volumes of this series, I was not really finding much to talk about in Ghost Hunt. There are too characters that bring too little to this story. Add to that that there are hardly any real horror moments that gave me chills and I was actually quite frustrated with this title. The formula is very simple - haunted building, attempt to disprove paranormal activity, find real evidence and then after a dream from main character Mai the case is solved. Everything happens in the length of less than one volume.

The last two volumes have changed all that. While the horror moments are still rare, there are some thrills to be had. With this storyline actually covering two volumes, there was more time for the demon hunting to take shape. The additional time also proved to help the demon defining which made the threat seem potentially overwhelming. And unlike in previous volumes, there are moments here where the cast is actually in serious danger. In typical shojo/shonen form, the harm is relevant to the value of the character, but just seeing Naru get bruised a bit was worth the wait. So what was a weak thriller now is looking like a fine thriller mystery, where the detective work is coming together through properly placed clues and previously established paranormal methodology. The art is also improving. We are finally seeing the ghouls providing even more opportunities for "fear".

I was about ready to give up on this series like Naru was ready to give up on his case. A few changes later we both come back ready for more. (Though still uncertain about consistency.)



Mania Grade: B+
Art Rating: B
Packaging Rating: B+
Text/Translatin Rating: B+
Age Rating: 13 & Up
Released By: Del Rey
MSRP: 10.95
Pages: 182
ISBN: 0-345-49137-8
Size: B6
Orientation: Right to Left