Ghost Stories (anime)
Cover art for the first volume of the anime series, published by Aniplex, featuring the main characters
(Gakkō no Kaidan)
|Genre||Black comedy (dub version only), Horror, Supernatural|
|Anime television series|
|Directed by||Noriyuki Abe|
|Produced by||Yuriko Nakamura|
|Music by||Kaoru Wada|
|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 animation studio 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 confronation, 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. They have to sacrifice Amanojaku in the process.
- Satsuki Miyanoshita (宮ノ下 さつき Miyanoshita Satsuki?)
- 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 nickname in the Animax dub is Suki (from Satsuki). Her name means "May".
- Momoko Koigakubo (恋ヶ窪 桃子 Koigakubo Momoko?)
- 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 devout Christian, and almost every sentence she utters contains a not-so-subtle reference to Christianity. Her name means "peach".
- Hajime Aoyama (青山 ハジメ Aoyama Hajime?)
- 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".
- Reo Kakinoki (柿ノ木 レオ Kakinoki Reo?)
- Reo 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".
- Keiichirou Miyanoshita (宮ノ下 敬一郎 Miyanoshita Keiichirō?)
- Keiichirou is Satsuki's younger brother. He is easily frightened and often cries, but periodically shows courage in defeating the ghosts. He creates a special friendship with the ghost Amanojaku. In the ADV's English dub, his speech becomes incomprehensible to anyone but his sister in times of stress. He is often referred to as half-retarded. His name means "many".
- Amanojaku (天の邪鬼?)
- 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 due to 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 Keiichirou).
- Sakata (坂田?)
- 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. He is possessed, cursed and kidnapped by ghosts.
- Reiichirou Miyanoshita (宮ノ下 礼一郎 Miyanoshita Reiichirō?)
- Reiichirou is Satsuki's father. He has no clue about his daughter's supernatural duties and also doesn't believe in ghosts. His nickname is Ray in the Animax dub.
- 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, and her name in the Animax Dub was "Karen".
- Opening Theme "Growup"
- Ending Theme "Sexy Sexy,"
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. ADV's dubbed version retains the basic plot structure and storyline, but alters much of the dialogue into comedy written by ADV screenwriter Steven Foster and ad-libbed by the voice actors. 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 3 Disc set on March 25, 2014.
- Studio Pierrot's Gakkou no Kaidan website
- Ghost Stories (anime) at Anime News Network's encyclopedia
- Ghost Stories at the Internet Movie Database
- Review at The Black Moon