Ghost Stories (Japanese TV series)
Cover art for the first volume of the anime series, published by Aniplex, featuring the main characters
(Gakkō no Kaidan)
|Anime television series|
|Directed by||Noriyuki Abe|
|Produced by||Yuriko Nakamura|
|Written by||Hiroshi Hashimoto|
|Music by||Kaoru Wada|
|Original network||Fuji TV|
|Original run||October 22, 2000 – March 25, 2001|
Ghost Stories (学校の怪談 Gakkō no Kaidan, lit. "School Ghost Stories"), also known as Ghosts at School, is a 20-episode anime series created in 2000 by Pierrot and Aniplex for Fuji Television, based on a book series by Tōru Tsunemitsu.
The series was licensed for the North American market by ADV Films whose English dub replaced the original script with a comedic one. It was also aired in Latin America by Cartoon Network, which had broadcast the entire series unedited on October 1, 2005. The series was also picked up by the anime television network, Animax, who broadcast the series with a different English dub unedited and uncensored under the title Ghosts at School within its respective networks across the world in Southeast Asia, South Asia, and other regions.
Ghost Stories tells the tale of Satsuki Miyanoshita, who moves with her family to the hometown of her deceased mother. On her first day of school, Satsuki; her brother Keiichirou, a first-grader; their neighbor Hajime Aoyama; Momoko Koigakubo, an older schoolmate; and Leo Kakinoki, a classmate and friend of Hajime's with a penchant for the paranormal visit the abandoned school building adjacent the current school complex and discover that the building is haunted.
It is soon after revealed that Satsuki's mother was responsible for sealing several ghosts who haunted not only the school but also the town, and now they are released due to the urbanization taking place in the surrounding area. Satsuki's mother left behind a book detailing how to exorcise the ghosts once and for all. In her first confrontation, Satsuki faces a demon called Amanojaku, but in the process Amanojaku is sealed within Satsuki's pet cat, Kaya. Although Amanojaku does not want to help Satsuki at first, the danger soon threatens to envelop the town and it is left up to Satsuki, her friends and Amanojaku to stop the ghosts. At last, with the help of Amanojaku, the friends finally are able to exorcise the ghosts.
- Satsuki Miyanoshita (宮ノ下 さつき Miyanoshita Satsuki)
- Voiced by: Tomoko Kawakami (Japanese); Hilary Haag (English)
- Satsuki is the main character of the show. She moves with her father and her little brother Keiichirou to the hometown of her deceased mother, where she finds that her mother confronted several evil entities that haunted the town, which included Amanojaku, and wrote all her supernatural experiences in a diary, which is entitled "The Ghost Journal". Satsuki is very strong, brave and determined within, but sometimes a bit moody, mostly because of Hajime's reckless behavior. She has a crush on Hajime. Her name means "May".
- Momoko Koigakubo (恋ヶ窪 桃子 Koigakubo Momoko)
- Voiced by: Kumi Sakuma (Japanese); Monica Rial (English)
- Momoko is a 6th grader and Satsuki's best friend. She seems to fear nothing, even in dangerous situations, and is very brave when it comes to helping Satsuki and the gang confront the ghosts. She also has a psychic connection with Satsuki's mother. In the ADV's English dub, she's a born again Evangelical Christian, and almost every sentence she utters contains a not-so-subtle reference to Christianity. Her name means "peach child". Momo means peach and -ko, a typical ending for female names, means child.
- Hajime Aoyama (青山 ハジメ Aoyama Hajime)
- Voiced by: Takako Honda (Japanese); Chris Patton (English)
- Hajime is Satsuki's neighbor. He is strong and courageous, but has cowardly tendencies. Despite this, he is one of the most reliable of Satsuki's friends. In the ADV's English dub, Hajime has a big ego and is much more perverted with his comments and dialogue. His name means "beginning".
- Leo Kakinoki (柿ノ木 レオ Kakinoki Reo)
- Voiced by: Makoto Tsumura (Japanese); Greg Ayres (English)
- Leo is Hajime's friend and has a big obsession with paranormal themes, and proclaims himself as a respected paranormal researcher. However, whenever Reo finds a clue pertaining to the existence of supernatural entities, it seems that the clue turns against him. Like Hajime, he tries to be brave, but most of the time shows cowardice. In the English dub by ADV, his name was romanized as "Leo", and he is Jewish. His name means "lion".
- Keiichiro Miyanoshita (宮ノ下 敬一郎 Miyanoshita Keiichirō)
- Voiced by: Kurumi Mamiya (Japanese); Christine Auten (English)
- Keiichiro is Satsuki's younger brother. He is easily frightened, fooled, manipulated and often cries, but on rare occasions shows courage in defeating the ghosts. Because of his weaknesses he often creates situations which the other characters have to solve. He creates a special friendship with the ghost Amanojaku. In the ADV's English dub, his incompetence was elevated to the state of being moderately autistic. In times of stress, as well as randomly, his speech turns into childish babbling. He behaves oddly and often busts into laughter, tears or squeals randomly.
- Amanojaku (天の邪鬼)
- Voiced by: Ryusei Nakao (Japanese); Rob Mungle (English)
- Amanojaku is a powerful entity that, long ago, was sealed by Satsuki's mother in a tree in the mountains, but was finally released from his magic prison when that tree was cut down during urbanization. However, he did not have his freedom long, as Satsuki accidentally sealed him in the body of her pet cat, Kaya. At first, Amanojaku is hostile toward the kids and takes great pleasure in seeing them in trouble, but throughout the series he develops an attachment to them (especially Satsuki and Keiichiro).
- Mr Sakata (坂田)
- Voiced by: Yutaka Aoyama (Japanese); Tommy Drake (English)
- Mr Sakata is the teacher of the class where Satsuki, Hajime and Reo attend. Despite not believing in ghosts, he suffers as a victim from many supernatural incidents. Mr Sakata is often possessed, cursed and kidnapped by ghosts. A running gag in the English Dub has him exclaiming his hatred for an unseen teacher named Ms. Hadley.
- Reiichirou Miyanoshita (宮ノ下 礼一郎 Miyanoshita Reiichirō)
- Voiced by: Takehiro Murozono (Japanese); Illich Guardiola (English)
- Reiichirou is Satsuki's father. He has no clue about his daughter's supernatural duties and also doesn't believe in ghosts.
- Kayako Miyanoshita (宮ノ下 佳耶子 Miyanoshita Kayako)
- Voiced by: Kotono Mitsuishi (Japanese); Marcy Bannor (English)
- Kayako is Satsuki's and Keiichirou's deceased mother. Through her diary it is revealed that she was an avid exorcist during her childhood. She possesses Momoko two times throughout the series to aid Satsuki against the Piano Ghost and Kutabe and once helped Satsuki and the others to escape from a powerful haunting called Anamnaneki. Her maiden name was Kamiyama. She's made a lesbian/bisexual in the ADV English dub.
On the weekend of August 19, 2005, at the 2005 Otakon anime convention, ADV Films announced an October 2005 release of Ghost Stories on DVD for North American distribution. The original Japanese audio and literal subtitle translation are also included on the DVD. The dub received favorable reviews and the original Japanese licensor, Aniplex, approved the changes. Volume one of Ghost Stories went on sale on October 22, 2005. On August 28, 2013 Discotek Media announced that they licensed the series and would release it in 2014 with the ADV dub and the Japanese audio with English subtitles. The entire series was released on a three-disc set on March 25, 2014.
The dub retains the basic plot structure and storyline, but frequently deviates from the original anime's script. Jokes include topical pop culture references, politically incorrect jokes about religion and sexuality. Although it was also unsuccessful when it first premiered, it has since become a cult classic. The script was written by ADV screenwriter Steven Foster and many of the lines were ad-libbed by the English voice actors.
- Opening Theme "Growup"
- Ending Theme "Sexy Sexy,"
- Theron, Martin (January 12, 2006). "Ghost Stories DVD 2 - Review". Anime News Network. Retrieved May 30, 2018.
- Theron, Martin (June 19, 2006). "Ghost Stories DVD 3-5 - Review". Anime News Network. Retrieved May 30, 2018.
- "ADV LAUNCHES GHOST STORIES OCTOBER 25". Anime News Network. Retrieved 2019-07-19.
- "Ghost Stories: Perhaps The Best-Dubbed Anime Around". TOKYOPOP. Retrieved 2019-07-19.
- "Discotek Licenses Ghost Stories TV Anime". Anime News Network. August 28, 2013. Retrieved September 13, 2014.
- "Ghost Stories: Complete Collection". Discotek Media. Retrieved September 13, 2014.
- Hannah, Collins. "The Story Behind 'Ghost Stories:' The Funniest (And Most Offensive) Anime Dub Ever Made". Ranker. Retrieved 21 August 2019.
- "Vic Mignogna and Greg Ayres Q&A at Ai-kon 2007". HikaruRyuu. 2007. Retrieved 2015-03-22.
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