What I've edited on the wikipedia article on a few occasions was the reason ADV didn't do a dub that directly translated the original version, I've sited sources and still it was taken down for some reason. It was the fact that they did this that made so many people try to bury the series before it was released. Hate for ADV came left and right if you mentioned "Ghost Stories" or "Gakko no Kaiden" (School Ghost Stories), This was the dub that no hardcore anime fan wanted to see succeed. While some threw hateful comments, others were just plain confused.
Why would ADV, after so many years of being a group of anime purists (when the company was first founded there was no intention of doing any dubs) and a company that helped give the dubs crowd in the classic "Dubs vs Subs" war validity, suddenly just do a dub that was just plain silly? The reason is simple; in it's Japanese form, this series sucks. That's the reason, it's simple as that.
When this show was released in Japan, reception was bad and I can see why. Before I talk about this show itself, I want to point out that I'm actually surprised this show is bad. You've got Noriyuki Abe in the director's chair, the man behind hit shows like "Bleach" and "Tokyo Mew Mew" (these are hit shows for crying out loud!). And speaking of people attached to "Tokyo Mew Mew" and bleach, the a few members of the Japanese voice cast, such as Takako Honda and Tomoko Kawakami, were in those shows. Studio Peirrot put a lot of money into this series, and usually when a studio puts so much money into a product then that means their real serious about this. And to top it all off, this show is based on a series of best selling novels, I haven't read these books, but I'm gonna assume that they are awesome. Looking at all that I've listed above, you've got to ask yourself, how did this show fail?
Show doesn't start off too bad, actually. We get the basic story, young Sastuki Manoshita has moved with her family to the town where her deceased mother used to live (and creepily, the same house she grew up in). On her first day of school, she, her brother along and their new friends chase their cat into an old school building, and find that the school buildings haunted. Not only that, the ghosts haunting it are suppose to be sealed off. Turns out the ghosts were sealed in areas where construction was taking place, and damage to anything ghost was sealed in meant that said ghost was now set free.
Not a bad too bad of a story, if things turned out differently, this could've turned into a decent kids' series. Instead, we are faced with three main story problems, and because of this the series suffers greatly:
Problem #1: The series is more episodic than chapter based. For long running shows like "Case Closed/Detective Conan" and Naruto, this can be a good thing. If you missed an episode, no worries, you'll catch up eventually and easily when plot points come up. "Ghost Stories", however, is only 20 episodes long. This may not be a huge problem for some people, but to me, this series feels like it needs a consistent story line. Weather it would be better or not because of that, I don't know, but as result of being episodic the show feels a lot like a Japanese version of "Scooby Doo" (as others have described it).
Problem #2: If there was a movie made about a Japanese ghost legend, it's in this series. What makes movies like "Epic Movie" and "Meet the Spartans" so bad? Answer; referencing every movie in the past year, those movies concentrate more on making references than making jokes. Now, while "Ghost Stories" is nowhere near as bad as those movies, they make the same mistake. According to the ghost profiles on the DVD extras all monsters and ghosts are based on Japanese Uban and Ancient legend. With this in mind, it seems like the producers told the writers to make sure every monster and ghost made it into the series. Much like the movies above are reference happy, this movie is very ghost happy.
Problem #3: This series falls apart completely at the end. It got to the point where near the end of the series where they basically just, "Screw this," and just stopped trying. As I said, the series doesn't start off too bad, the series even has a few good episodes worth watching. But alas, the series becomes progressively bad, there become some plot twists that make no sense, there's a few continuity errors in a few episodes and as I said before, material is recycled, thus the show becomes stale. Very stale.
If I wasn't watching the english dub, I would've given up on this show. The dub stays true to the original storyline and keeps the original Japanese names, but changes everything else. The english voice cast had a translated script in the studio with them, and were told to ad-lib when it was appropriate. George Bush haters will love the Republican, the Democrats aren't even safe from the wrath of the Texas voice actors, Scientologist prepare to sue ADV films, and celebrities are ripped a new one. And aside from poking fun at famous figures, there's also quite a few clever one-liners and running gags. The spells that are chanted to seal the ghosts are often changed or twisted in meaning, the kids begin to chant it normal, "Jaku, Jaku, kick the bucket!" which suddently becomes, "Jaku, Jaku, you can suck it!" But where this dub is the funniest, is the personality changes in the characters. Satsuki becomes a fairly unlikable b!#*@, Leo is now Jewish, Hajime is a lot more perverted in the english version, and Satsuki's brother Kechiro it apparently retarded. My favorite performance comes from Monica Rial, who portrays Momoko as an overly fanatical Christian (being a Christian myself, this offends me, yet I can't help but laugh). But if there's an award for most revetting performance, it should go to comedian Rob Mungle, who portrays Amanojaku, the ghost that possesses Satsuki's cat. Rob plays this role seriously, and waits to make a joke, as opposed to making one every 3 seconds, thus making his punch lines all the more rewarding.
People tried to hate on this dub, but in the end of 2006 Anime Insider magazine named it "Best dub of the Year". All attempts to bury it have failed, and even most of the critics caved to liking it. The dub makes the series all the more watchable. If you plan on watching show in Japanese (the Japanese track is still on the DVD with translated subtitles), then go right ahead, just a word of warning, you may like it more when you're not sober.
Going into this series, anyone should know that the dub and the sub of this show are drastically different. The sub is probably more serious, and the dub is complete crack. So of course, I watched the dub version.
Ive done my fair share of watching serious animes. But once in a while its nice to sit back and relax with something light. Trust me, if you just want to laugh for half an hour, then Ghost Stories is what you want.
Story? what story? This show has the plot of an abrigged series you'd find on youtube.
To me there was a certain formula to watching
this show. Its definitely not a series someone should marathon. Nope, it should be enjoyed an episode or two at a time. Anymore and you'll find yourself sick of the studpidity.
The characters were the best part! Although, I cant remember any of the characters actual names (I gave them nicknames throughout the entire show) But besides that, the characters were unforgettable and the relationship between them was just as great. (aka. their relationship was filled with insults. Some of the best one liners were because of their insults!)
Terrible. The art was.... well, lets stick with terrible. That seems to fit pretty well.
The sound was also pretty bad. Except for the ending song. Its extremely catchy.
For this review I've said mostly bad things towards this show, yet I give it a 7 out of 10. Ghost stories is so bad its good. The show gets most of its fame from being so awful and the dub so hilarious. Honestly, I really wanted to give this show a 9/10 because I loved watching this train wreck so much.
Ghost Stories is the amazing tale of a failed anime that became a cult classic through the absurd dubbing of the now defunct ADV films. The original is quite forgettable and not worth your time, but the infamous dub is DEFINITELY worth watching.
So who the hell was ADV? Back in the 1990s and early 2000s, the Texas dub studio ADV was the main rival of Funimation. Due to a series of terrible business decisions and an industry bubble burst, they went bankrupt and their best talent was poached by their surviving rival. They are basically the WCW to Funimation's WWE or the Sega to Funimation's
Nintendo. ADV was best known for licensing, distributing, and dubbing Evangelion, Full Metal Panic, Elfen Lied, Robotech, and Welcome to the NHK. Unfortunately they also dubbed a LOT of shit titles and chose some real stinkers for their cable Anime Network and Comcast On-Demand selection.
ADV believed that they should only show the first couple episodes of good shows and show all episodes of their worst shows. That way fans would have to buy the DVDs for the good series and might watch episodes of the shows they would never buy on DVD. This strategy has a HUGE flaw. If your network is mostly filled with horrendous titles like Ikki Tousen, Moonphase, Magical Shopping District, and fucking Jungle de Ikou, then viewers are going to turn the TV off and never come back. When a Japanese studio forces Funimation to dub some series that flopped in Japan in order to recoup their domestic losses, Funi will quickly banish those series to cheap DVD without ceremony and pray that nobody finds them. ADV on the other hand would hold up those abortions for all the world to see! ADV basically said, "you bastards want to watch some free anime? We'll make sure you regret every second of it!" Consider that ADV wasn't even forced by the Japanese to license their worst show Jungle de Ikou. ADV voluntarily bought the rights from Media Blasters because their flagship network simply NEEDED a show that can melt eyeballs with its wretchedness!
The final thing you need to know about ADV is their...unique approach to dubbing. ADV really didn't believe in following the original Japanese text and was often quite liberal with their translations. This could help with comedy series where the original Japanese joke might not translate well, but it often screwed up their dramas. Every Eva fanboy can tell you that ADV's Evangelion translation omitted vital plot points, explained some things poorly compared to the Japanese text, and fundamentally misunderstood other points. Their translation of Elfen Lied also suffers from these problems. One of the key culprits of this attitude towards translation was Steven Foster. Attitudes online tend to be quite negative towards Mr. Foster, but he was very talented at spoofing terrible series with joke dubs whenever ADV gave him the freedom to do so.
Ghost Stories is a highly formulaic series about grade schoolers that fight a new ghost in each episode that is based off a Japanese urban legend or myth. The series was intended to be frightening fun for small children that introduces them to classic scary stories. The problem is that it isn't remotely scary or creepy, is WAY too repetitive, and none of the characters are likeable or memorable. The characters spend the first 1/3 of every episode denying that something clearly supernatural is supernatural. When they finally decide they are facing a ghost, the main character Satsuki gets out her dead mother's ghost journal and looks up how to defeat the ghost. They defeat the ghost and everything ends happily. That is the summary of EVERY SINGLE EPISODE! The original series is also notable for completely unnecessary and unwanted fanservice. These are supposed to be kids in elementary school and yet the anime has panty flashes every 5 seconds and a closing theme song called "Sexy Sexy". That's just fucked up! This should be the closing theme instead: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_YmDcCpD1gc
Steven Foster of ADV decided to change the characters and actually give them traits that differentiate them. One is a Jewish nerd, one is a self righteous evangelical, one is absurdly perverted, etc. The Foster dub is filled with ridiculous pop culture references and constant insults directed at the show Lost, the band Creed, Toby Keith, and Christian Slater's acting.
Be warned that the Foster dub is also wildly offensive and irreverent with frequent gay jokes and casual racist jokes. This was 2005 and this series serves as a kind of bizarre time capsule of that period and what was acceptable then. America was a lot less angry and bitterly divided. As a result, people weren't as sensitive and there wasn't the same pressure to be "PC". We all casually hated the douche in the White House in 2005, but he was an establishment dick not so different from our previous 4 asshole presidents. The hate against Obama after 2008 was completely unique and so strong that the backlash transformed the online far right from a shadow of a joke into a serious political power. Now Hollywood is cracking down hard on hurtful jokes and trying to avoid association with the new Right. Pulling a Foster and constantly using the words "retard", "faggot", and "nigga" with reckless abandon was highly frowned upon then too, but today that shit simply wouldn't fly. NO ONE would greenlight such a show with a PG rating when even South Park usually bleeps or avoids those words in 2016. It isn't the most clever dub, but it is so outlandish and shockingly tasteless that you kind of have to laugh.
The art is by Studio Dean and as you would expect it is at least passable. It isn't the prettiest series ever and doesn't have breathtaking visuals, but this thing clearly had a decent budget behind it. I'm sure the net loss in Japan was significant after this shit bombed!
The soundtrack is Kaoru Wada pretty much rehashing his work from the Inuyasha soundtrack. While I really love his work in that setting, it feels completely out of place in this spooky children's series. The same soundtrack can be good for 1 anime and a complete miss if given to another. This feels as out of place as pairing Pokemon with the band Disturbed. I already mentioned the wildly inappropriate use of "Sexy Sexy" and the opening theme while less pedophilic is still completely out of place.
This is not a good anime. This isn't the most clever writing for a dub. This absolutely IS something that you should see though. This shit is absolutely hilarious and provides a window into the state of dubbing during the anime boom years in the US. This was when studios could buy terrible anime and treat the dub like a complete joke because they were so flush with money. They were simply that confident in people buying anime in huge amounts. I miss those days sometimes. I really do.
The thing about this anime is that it is actually REALLY really bad. It bombed in Japan and it is easy to see why, the time this was released, there were so many good anime out that blew it out of the water and this anime doesn't do anything special. It tries to be Scooby Doo and also the cliche's and bland characters really hurts this show.
Aniplex was handed the English dub of the show, knowing it was a failure in Japan and probably would be a failure here, it SEEMS they didn't take the dub too seriously. So what do we get? The best
dub that has ever been done ever.
Let me try to explain; the show has so many logical fallacies and strange lip flaps, the voice actors decided to add really adult and funny jokes, often breaking the forth wall and mocking the show itself. It's like a fandub with comedians or an Abridged series, but full episodes.
The animation is poor, the story is thin and a more like villain of the week episodic series and the environments and sound designs are really really bland, what saves this show is the English Dub ONLY via Aniplex.
My advice to you is to watch the Dub, if we were basing this show on its sub in this review I would tell you to send this show to the closest pit of fire and exorcise the demons out of your house, but the English Aniplex Dub is a MUST see. Bare in mind the adult humor may be offputting to younger audiences.
LOL! I gave this anime a perfect 10 all the way through because I know it would would just tick off the anime purist. Mind you, I am giving it a perfect 10 because of the ENGLISH DUB!
What can I say about this anime that hasn't been said better here except to add to the opinion that if you have a sense of humor you WILL enjoy this anime, this dub is by the far the funniest thing I have seen in a long time. Let's just be honest, the show in Japanese sucks, plain and simple, there is just no getting around that. So
what does this Dub company do? They saw the potential for something hiliarious and had the courage to make it a go. Thus we have this epically funny anime that will keep you busting a gut the whole way through. These kids are awesome!Everything about it is awesome. If you're having a crappy day just pop it in and watch and relax and laugh. I just wish more crappy animes get the same makeover.
Trust me, if you're a person who loves to laugh you will not regret giving this anime (English dub only) a chance.
Gakkou no Kaidan is a very hilarious anime. I had the pleasure of watching it dubbed and the comedy is in it is excellent, for me it is the best part, and what made this anime such a pleasure to watch. It is full of pop culture references and one liners, making nods to every thing from politics to celebrities.
As far as story goes, it doesn't change past, the kids encounter a ghost, and fight it off, but even with its static story, it remains entertaining and never becomes dull.
The character development also remains static, none of the characters really venture past the stereotypes that
were created for them, however they are still compelling nonetheless.
I recommend it to anyone who enjoys black comedy mixed with supernatural and mild horror.
First off let me say that I am a fan of Ghost Hunt which is in many ways very similar to Ghost Stories. However after having seen both series I have to say that Ghost Hunt is clearly the better of the two. Having said that Ghost Stories is a slightly underrated series that probably does deserve a bit more recognition.
Unlike Ghost Hunt, Ghost Stories is completely episodic and all but the first and last episodes can be watched in any order and still work. There is not anything really wrong with the story but it is predictable and prone to cliche use. There are
hardly any twists and near the end it almost seemed like the writers were running out of ideas. However the stories are fairly enjoyable and some of them are genuinely creepy (I personally liked the Piano ghost episode). All in all, the story doesn't do anything more than it needs to. It doesn't leave any large plot holes and explains most things at some point or another. It does have one thing over Ghost Hunt in that Ghost Stories actually has a relatively satisfying ending.
This anime was made around the turn of the century so the art is a little old but its still fun to look at and most of the character designs are well done (particularly the female ones). The ghosts are also animated pretty well and some of them get really creative (like the broadcast ghost that is actually covered in tv static). The backgrounds were kind of bland and empty for the most part but I wont fault the series much for that since it does a good job of focusing the audience's attention where it needs to be.
The opening and closing themes were forgettable, some of the sound effects seemed delayed or out of place (I swear at one point they use a star wars laser blast sound effect when a ghost is coming out of a TV). Mind you neither the music or the sound effects are actually bad, they just aren't good either. Voice acting is a mixed bag though all of the voice actors and actresses do at least a decent job. Of particular note is Nakao Ryusei who voices the demon/cat who is a reoccurring character, his voice is instantly recognizable to anyone who watches the japanese version of Bleach as he uses the Kurotsuchi Mayuri voice for this character as well. Nakao is easily the best voice actor in this show but the main character also does a fine job and really helps make Satsuki believable.
I have to give Ghost Stories credit, most of the main characters are reasonably believable. Its important to point out that they are all Elementary School kids (most in the 5th or 6th year). The characters are designed well and the main character, Satsuki is probably one of the most believable anime characters I have seen in a long time. She is moody but likable and doesn't act overly brave but isn't a coward either. She is a normal kid and the writing for her character does a good job presenting her that way. Unfortunately most of the characters are extremely shallow. We do get some decent backstory for Satsuki that works its way into the plot at various points, but we hardly learn anything about any of the other characters. I know the other characters are not really vital but without a backstory they come off kind shallow and at some times their behavior is inconsistent (the comic relief character switches from brave to cowardly in different episodes). The character of Momoko (while wonderful eyecandy) is also kind of bland.
When I started watching this show I thought it was for kids but now having finished it I am not sure. The blood and violence are a bit toned down but there is still a fair amount of blood and death (then again Japanese children are more advanced apparently). There is also a running gag where Hajime keeps seeing Satsuki's underwear but this is done more as a kid trying to tease a girl rather than with a sense of perversion (the gag also kind of disappears later on). I have to say that overall I did enjoy watching Ghost Stories. The series did manage to hold my interest all the way through which is more than can be said for other animes.
If you like Ghost Hunt then I would recommend seeing this, its not nearly as good as Ghost Hunt but its not bad either. If you havn't seen Ghost Hunt then you need to watch it or I am calling Jigoku Shojo. Seriously though, Ghost Stories is a slightly underrated anime that at least deserves a look.
I don't know how this fell into my pilots watchlist, but I'm so happy it did. I can't believe there haven't been more animes dubbed quite like this one. This is one of those shows you need to watch the English dub of, I'll explain in a sec why.
Gakkou no Kaidan (Ghost Stories) is a pretty tame, predictable show about kids in school that accidentally release a bunch of ghosts and have to put them all back to sleep. Yeah, I know, it doesn't sound that memorable, but it's actually one of the best comedies I've seen in years and by far the most memorable.
checked out the first episode, on the English dub because I'm lazy, and the voice acting completely threw me. The voice actors that worked on the dub had nearly complete creative freedom for their lines, to the point where the actual plot dialogue is stripped to the absolute bones to make room for improvised comedy. It's hard to describe, but it feels like the voice actors saw their scenes once, pretended to be snotty little kids, then insulted each other and made dick jokes on mike. There are brick jokes, observational jokes, 4th wall breaking commentary... See? Hard to describe. It feels sort of like an abridged series, except played straight for an entire length episode.
Getting down to details, the animation itself is a little bit weak because of it's budget, it looks like it was made early in 2000s because it was. The zoom in detail shots hold up nicely, and the dynamic movements are still pretty enjoyable to watch. There is a bit of abstract horror which surprisingly stands up very well on character design even now.
The music is largely underscoring, so it isn't overly memorable but it fits the feeling well, no overall theme here. I did quite like the intro music though.
I'm not sure why the show is split into 19 episodes and 1 special, it's pretty much just a 20 episode long sketch show with Japanese cartoon actors.
The characters Should be fairly routine, nothing special to any of them, but thanks to the comedy lines each one of them is completely memorable and distinguishable. From the first episode, their personalities are made clear through the jokes and insults they sling at each other. By the end, there are so many in jokes that you've been included in that it feels like your own friends making fun of each other in front of you. Some of the best characters are the side ones that you'll only see once, but you'll still be smirking at the thought of them a good few episodes later.
I want to give away some of the jokes, but I can't. I started this not even knowing it was a comedy, and the pilot episode damn nearly made me cough up a lung laughing. There wasn't a single episode that didn't have me in pain from excessive laughter. I loved this so much I bought it. You can show this to people who hate anime and even they'll have a great time. I can't recommend this enough, as an intro show or to those of us who've wasted an excessive amount of time on cartoons. This is a goddamn treasure.
This is, without a doubt, the funniest anime dub I have ever watched. If you have anything remotely resembling a sense of humor, I highly recommend that you watch it.
The reason the ADV dub is so funny is because ADV took the original script and essentially tore it up, giving the VAs carte blanche to say whatever they wanted as long as it matched the lip flaps. As a result, Ghost Stories went from an almost unwatchable show to one of the funniest dubs in existence.
THIS IS A REVIEW OF THE DUB!!! If you watch the original Japanese version of this anime and enjoy it you are simply wrong and have terrible taste.
Ghost Stories (Gakkou no Kaidan) is a pathetic excuse for a piece of entertainment with paper characters and the most generic story lines in existence, making this "Scary" anime a complete bore. In a nutshell this anime is: buncha kids find out school is haunted so do spells from a book to make them go away.
The thing to note however is due to how bad this anime did in japan the people in charge of the English
dub for this anime, ADV Films kept to the basic storyline but changed most of the dialogue causing this anime to be possibly the only Official abridged series (note that Aniplex themselves approved of the changes) to ever be released and this is what turns this heap of trash into the cult classic that is Ghost Stories and why i feel it should be a 10.
So the synopsis written on MAL isn't exactly true, yes it holds true to the original Japanese version but the dub changes a few things up to make it more of a bearable experience, if you haven't read the story summary written by MAL i suggest you go read it now then come back to this and ill provide you with a suitable description for the dubbed series.
Keep in mind this was a last ditch hope to make this anime even watchable and boooy did it do its job well.
Years ago, all of the ghosts in a haunted schoolhouse were banished by a certain student. Now, they're back—and they want revenge...
Satsuki and her retarded brother Keiichirou are two siblings recovering from the not so tragic loss of their ugly mother. After moving to their mother's hometown, they learn that not only their mother was a lesbian but the local school they have transferred to is an old building—one said to be haunted. Despite initially brushing it off as a silly rumor, the two soon discover that ghosts are indeed real and that they're after them! Gakkou no Kaidan is the hilarious tale of the lives of these siblings and their newfound friends: Hajime the Perv, Momoko the hardcore Christian & Reo the Tight pocketed Jew (yes that's legit a thing in this anime i am not just saying this to be offensive) as they try to survive the school's ghosts—with a little help from their pet cat along the way.
As you see from my edit from the original summery of this anime, they changed a few details to draw away from the original story, on top of this the only rules they really had were no name changes and keep the rituals the same, other than this everything was fair game so it makes so many great quotes like "Wait, this is Japanese... ching chong ching", "Oh im sorry, when do you need another dramatic plot point to whip out that ghost book" and many random adverts for car insurance.
One last note on the story is the way they implement this comedy, the anime itself starts off relatively normal only having a few line that make you do a double take gradually building up to this full on comedy show that i've learnt to love.
The art is nothing special even for the time but their implementation of 3D art is notable, also the bug is synced nearly perfectly so you can't fault it
The soundtrack is fine, has some cliché horror sounds to it which actually help improve the comedy i feel.
On the other hand the intro and outro.... what the hell they don't fit in at all and these are not just added to the dub the original opening and outro are just weird mismatches but not terrible songs themselves.
Ill just fill this section with Momoko quotes...
"Lord save me for i am your favorite amongst these heavens"
"I pray that all my friends will become born again Christians"
"If you want something to happen you just need to pray... and not be a Muslim, or Jewish"
I honestly loved this anime and i will forever tell the world of its greatness... Look just watch the anime, anime watcher...
Imagine that you study in a haunted school that have so many supernatural beings that want you dead or something like that. And the only thing that could save you is... a very hilarious impromptu dubbed anime. Gakkou no Kaidan or more known as Ghost Stories is an anime praised not by the story, the art style, or even the soundtracks but for its impromptu hilarious dub. This anime is a very proof that being a creative person is above everything.
The story of Ghost Stories is mediocre at its best with repeating the same formula over and over again until 19 episodes. First, the episode
opened with a brief introduction of what the ghost of the day and what it did to its victim. Then we continue with everyday life of the gang that leads to meeting the ghost. After that, they read the mother's journal or book or whatever is that just to find it is so hard to read. Being chased or something like that and ended with some purification ritual that depends on what ghost is it. Somehow reminded me of Scooby-Doo but with real ghosts. It seemed the Japanese knew that this is a very crappy anime and said "This is a crappy anime. Just do whatever to sell this. I don't care anymore." to the Americans and somehow the Americans knew well how to make this anime very interesting : making the dub as stupid as ever.
Yes, Ghost Stories is infamous for their hilarious dub and may have the stupidest yet funnest dub in the very history of dub. The constant fourth breaking, funny dialogues, and somehow altering all of the casts background except their name. The dub does really went overboard with changing all of the casts background. There's the pervert guy, the Jewish guy, the girl who claimed being born again as a Evangelical Christian, the girl with some mood issues, and her half-retarded brother. The dub loves to referencing pop cultures and it would be great for you guys who loves this references jokes. But because the jokes that being thrown are downright very (I mean very) vulgar and borderline harsh, I know that this dub is not for anyone who easily get triggered and don't say I haven't warned you, salty bastards.
What we have to wonder is why an anime that tells a story about ghosts and their curses have an opening that is very cheerful and makes me think that this anime is a very normal slice of life anime. And don't get me start on the ending song. Why does an anime about primary school students getting chased by ghosts have an ending song that literally called "Sexy, Sexy"? Are the creators of this anime is already predicted the dub version before they even started to record the dub? Whatever the reason, it just makes the dub more hilarious than ever.
Overall, this anime's dub is a very proof that creativity could change a bad thing into a very memorable thing that still being talked until now. This anime is a pure joy of hilariousness while joking around ghosts that supposed to be scary.
Ghost Stories, oddly enough, is MUCH better in the English dub version than the original Japanese version, and it still isn't that great. The English dub tries to take an anime that takes itself way too seriously and make it funny, but even then, doesn't produce much more than a smirk from the audience. However, the Japanese version is unbearably serious and is practically impossible to watch.
The series is made up of short stories ((one per episode)) about ghosts, goblins and related demons. The main characters always get themselves involved and attempt to figure out these poorly written "mysteries" in the usual, cliche fashion.
is average, with so-so character designs you've seen before and environments that bring nothing new to the table. The ending is also unspectacular and not memorable in any way.
Watching one episode of the English dub is all I could recommend for anyone to watch because that is more than enough to know what the whole series is like. To watch more episodes is to just watch more of the same.
This is one of those shows that is really hard to talk about, especially when I talk about the dub. I normally like when the dub is at least close to the original storyline and anyone who has heard of this show would know that it isn’t the case here. There are three different versions as I have heard about this show; the Sub of course, and then two different dubs even if I have only been able to see one. The dub that I’m going to be talking about is the ADV version and not the rumored Animax version. Most of the character personalities
and such will be from the dub as well.
So starting out with the characters, there is really only One way to explain them, archetypes (Well, and stereotypical but I use that word way to often so trying to stop using it for the most part). We start out with are rather basic main character Satsuki who had just moved into a new town with her father and little brother Keiichirou. The town is special as her parents had met and grew up in that town before. On her and her brother’s first day, their cat runs into the old abandoned school and they run in after, meeting a couple other people along the way. When they do, she finds her mother’s old Ghost Journal and their adventure begins. I have no idea why the creators of this show thought it would be a good idea to make Satsuki wear short dresses for pretty much all of the shows as it never fails that her panties will be seen. You got to remember, these are young elementary students, not even high schoolers and yet they still pull perverted cracks about what color her panties are. Again, overall she is pretty basic.
Her brother Keiichirou is a little bit of a crybaby but I don’t really blame him. He is pretty much the baby of the group as he is just a first grader. He is the typical little boy who is shy and pretty new. In the dub they make it so that he is a bit special as there are times where you can only hear this incomprehensible babble coming from his mouth. Again, there really isn’t much to say on him.
The next character we should talk about it Hajime Aoyama and he is more over a perverted kid about the same age as Satsuki. He lives next door to Satsuki and the first thing we ever see him talk about is her panties after she by accident flashes him without knowing it. I actually do think he and her would make a cute couple if this was more of a slice of life instead of a supernatural show as the two just seem to work really well together.
Reo… or Leo as they pronounce it in the dub is a really big believer in the paranormal. He is always talking about he is a respected Paranormal researcher and yet you can tell he is just full of himself. A running gag in the dub is that he is Jewish which I can understand why they decided to make him that for a crazy dub as this. He has rather large glasses and the odd lips that seem to be over exaggerated.
Then there is Momoko, who is pretty much a strange mix. I tried really hard to love her character in how she isn’t normally scared by even the most dangerous of situations but I really can’t. Just something about the dub in the fact they made her a devout Christian gets on my nerves. It’s not me being sensitive to the stereotype they put for her, It’s just me being really annoyed. I grew up Lutheran in a Christian town but I’m Wiccan now. I normally wear a Pentagram around my neck and have never taken it off since I first got it about 2 years ago but because of this, there have been times I have been called a satanic being that needs to be saved or just in general called out because of it. There was even a time in which I was working as a cashier and a lady ran out of the store yelling ‘NOPE! EVIL!’ when I was trying to check her out. I am not making this up, it’s really true so when they have a character in a show who’s whole purpose in it is to be a girl that sort of forces the religion down your throat, I tend to want to punch the screen.
The Animation is pretty sub par. I do like how the 3D blends in so much with the drawn aspect but that’s the only thing that really stands out. It’s kind of cute when it wants to be, but then can go down hill pretty fast, especially during the movement. I can say that the ghosts look haunting though, and I think most of them were created based on the Japanese ghost stories most grew up with. I can see a couple of them from other games and anime that are based in the supernatural so I know the designs are not really that creative. In fact the characters are not really all that creative too.
The voices of the dub actually are very close to the Japanese voices even if the script is no where near the actual translation. There are a lot of great voice actors on this project like Monica Rial, Chris Patton, and Greg Ayres to name a few and they do a amazing job in doing the characters. You can tell how much fun they were having with the show. When I did this review before, I hated that they changed the story so much but now that I am older and better at reviewing, I can understand why they did so and it doesn’t bother me all that much anymore. I still do want to see a ‘normal’ dub of this show at some point though. There were times within this dub that made me laugh but then the rest seemed like they were trying to cram as much comedy in as they could no matter where it was going to go. Monica Rial did do an amazing job of Momoko even if I don’t like the religious talk.
The series was also translated into English by Animax and I hear that it stay’s true to the original story. It was sent out under the name Ghosts at School. If anyone has any idea where I can see this version, please let me know.
To be fair to this show, it’s not as bad as what I thought it was and the comedy may not be for everyone but it can be a little enjoyable if this is your comedy. Big warning that if you do watch this, it has a lot of swear words, sexual jokes, racist remarks, and the like.
This is simply an amazing anime, ahaha. I cannot help but laugh at every joke, every poke on this anime as I watch it. You can tell it didn't even try to go after it's original script, but that was the beauty of it, they made something boring into a comedy.
If you have a sense of humor, just watch it, you won't be disappointed. Just, the whole anime just makes you laugh as a whole and if you are watching it to be a serious dub? Then don't bother, it's not something most people would even watch. If you
are going to watch the sub, I guess you'd have a boring show? Other than that, watch it knowing that no one took it seriously.
Basically, scooby doo, but more predictable and japanese. Well, that's the original anime for you, the "sub version" of this anime is like a strong 4 at best. The dub on the other hand? A masterpiece
Imagine an abridged series going legit. Well, this anime is exactly that.
(This is second hand information) Ghost stories was poorly received in japan, so when it was handed over for redub for the west, they basically had 2 requirements. Don't change names and keep the ways the ghosts are defeated.
AND THEY WENT HAM ON IT. Event though i have no idea if that is actually true, i wouldn't be surprised
if it was.
This might just by one of the 3 perfect comedy anime, along with cromartie highschool and nichijou.
The story? There is a book with info on how to get rid of ghosts, kids fuck things up, as they do, and release some. The rest is monster of the week type of show.
The characters? There is a big "main" cast but i would consider Hajime and Satsuki the main characters. They get a funny line every now and then in the eng dub. Where the comedy happens is the other characters and their interactions. You got a girl obsessed with christianity, a jew, a talking sarcastic cat and an actually retarded (potentially adopted) little kid. Let the madness ensue.
Visuals? It looks exactly like any other middle of the road 2000s show. But hey at least it's not CG!
The comedy? It all comes from the voice acting and rewritten lines....such as.
"Bobby please forgive me for bringing you back to life, I know now that it could never work between us, as much as we want it to. Not because you're a rabbit, but because you're black"
Enjoyement, the only score that actually matters? ALL OF IT.
Now, when you start up the show it won't be all that funny. At first it's like they care about the show and try to keep it normal, fast forward 7 episodes and you have a them making dumb noises just to match the lips.
Okay, so I'll get to the dub, but frankly it feels like a different show, so I'll treat it separately.
This series is essentially Goosebumps in Japan and has a similar level of originality, narrative sophistication, and character development as what you might find there. These characters are loosely sketched and bring little memorable to the table (frankly I can't remember most of their names apart from protagonist Satsuki). The animation is not exactly stellar and most of the ghost/demon designs are rather derivative with only a few stand-outs. The stories are not genuinely scary, but it's aimed at a young audience, so I can
forgive that (and it's a little more intense than the aforementioned Western equivalent, Goosebumps, so I s'pose there's that). What is more odd is the ED 'sexy sexy' in a show about and aimed at elementary school kids and the repeated panty shots of the show's protagonist. But oh well... anime I guess.
So yeah. That's 'Gakkou no Kaidan' and my ratings above reflect THAT show.
Then there's the ADV dub, which is likely to be quite unlike anything else you've ever seen. Well, at least seen in the world of official dubs - what it does resemble is an abridged series. However this isn't a fan made project and it actually predates by about a year the first abridged series, having been released in 2005 compared to 'Yu-Gi-Oh: The Abridged Series' 2006 upload (thanks Wikipedia).
The humour is irreverent, and aims to shock, playing off the juxtaposition of the crude, very adult things being said and the childish nature of the show's characters. A hallmark of the jokes here is a dedication you'd likely not get away with these days to being politically incorrect. There's the little brother who is made severely autistic in the dub, the right-wing sanctimonious Christian Evangelical fond of reminding other characters that they will go to hell, the tight-fisted Jew, the repeated jokes about the endowment of black men delivered in casual, deadpan style, and much, much more. If you find yourself easily offended, some of this material ain't gonna be for you. There's no way this would be made as an officially licensed dub these days, but I can honestly say, I'm glad it did. Because it is damn funny.
The humour, in addition to being crude and very un-PC, is also spectacularly self-aware and freely pokes fun at the original show. Characters lampshade the repeated harvesting of tropes from everything from 'The Grudge' to the works of Stephen King. Fourth wall breaks are routine.
Things take a while to fully ramp up, but as the episodes go on, the dub cast and writer seemed to find their rhythm and abandon any pretense of making a faithful translation. Instead they throw everything at the wall and see what sticks, with evidence abounding of the ad libbed, free-styling joke writing at work here.
The whole thing isn't supremely clever and witty, but it's got enough of that to keep you going. It's fun to dip in and out of and an enjoyable way to spend a half hour or so. If I were reviewing the dub, I think I'd have landed on a 7 for it.
Now at the time of its release, the ADV dub was loathed by many puritanical Western fans as some grave insult to the Japanese craft of anime. That's nonsense. This isn't a very good show and if it had never seen Western markets to begin with, no one would have missed out. This dub takes something that could have been relegated to the trash heap and makes quality entertainment out of it. It doesn't salvage the original work, because like I've said, this dub isn't really even the same show as the original. What it does do is give us something enjoyable where there wasn't anything. Just as bad shows like SAO have given us wonderful abridged series, so has something bad here been used as the basis of something pretty great.
Don't watch the sub, don't even bother, it's not worth it. Sub is 2/10. It has 0 redeeming qualities. Mediocre art, mediocre writing, mediocre sound design, mediocre everything.
However, the dub is a different story. This dub is a masterpiece. I didn't know it was possible for a bit of script changing to make a boring intolerable anime into something I'm willing to watch if just for the jokes alone.
Though, that's about it really. The jokes are really good. The dub changes the characters by giving them outright ridiculous character traits, which I respect since it does make everything more interesting, but the story still doesn't
change, so with that said, if you want an anime to laugh at, this will probably make you laugh, but if you're looking for anything else, this isn't for you.
The ADV English Dub of Ghost Stories exists as an interesting experiment: an official abridged version that has transformed an otherwise pretty poor kid's show into an amusing series for adults. With that said, there's some issues that prevent Ghost Stories from reaching comedic glory. For one, there's often no getting away from the original's badness. By the end of the series, a few of the episodes blur together either by being pretty forgettable, similar to each other, or just downright confusing. The dub often points this out and while it can hit the nail on the head, here's the other issue and it's a
pretty key one: the dub just isn't always great.
It's a shame really because you can tell the cast is having fun (most of the time) with ripping the material a new one but certain things could have been revised. Oftentimes the actors will just speak phrases in random languages or spout plain nonsense. There's plenty of fourth-wall breaking and tons of Western references too. At times, especially early on in the series, these work wonderfully and will no doubt tickle the viewer. Same with some of the blunt lines with characters insulting each other or casually confessing dirty secrets. As the show progresses all of this can get very repetitive and tiresome, feeling as if the dub studio were running out of ideas and just wanted to get through it. And I guess that's part of the joke; hell, they even outright say it at certain points. But if that was the case then perhaps they should have only dubbed half of the episodes. Perhaps it just isn't the kind of material that anyone can successfully rip off of for a full 20 episode run (and yes, contrary to MAL's info, there are 20 episodes).
Still, with all of that said the series was pretty enjoyable overall. Certain episodes had fun little plots with some hilarious lines; the newly added characters (like Momoko's born-again preachy Christian with a history of drug addiction) are oddly endearing and props in particular to Rob Mungle for the voice of Amanojaku who is at once funny, charming, and awesome, capturing a sleek 'I'm cooler than you' attitude whilst still having you want to pat him on the head.
So, should you watch Ghost Stories? Yes definitely. English Dub. Admittedly, some episodes are completely forgettable whilst others are frustrating. A full marathon is not advised as the recurring material will become more obvious and quickly tire you. However, in bitesize chunks I wholly recommend getting through this series. The first ten or so episodes in particular are very funny and the kind of entertainment you can gather even non-anime fans around to watch for a fun night-in. The studio may have missed their mark at times but it's clear they tried their damnedest with some poor material and may Amanojaku bless them for it.
Have you ever accidentally watched a show you have not intended to watch? See, that was an easy one. It happens to everyone.
Let's swiftly move towards a less common problem: have you ever watched the series you were convinced was a different show? Now you might be asking yourself, how is this even possible, or probably what kind of a nonce could even manage such stupidity? The answer is currently typing this review.
For about two years, I have been planning to watch an anime called Kaidan Restaurant, and eventually its turn came. Unfortunately, I struggled finding a living torrent for the series, and just when
I was to give up, one of the anime sites reacted to the keyword 'Kaidan.' I was filled with joy and downloaded the series called Gakkou no Kaidan, for some reason convinced it must have been the Japanese name of it, at the time suspecting no folly.
As it happens, the theme of both animes is also similar—school children, ghosts, and urban legends. Both also target the same audience: children of middle school age, and so even as I've started the show and remembered the basics of description, I was still clueless it was not the show I was after.
Knowing it's a show aimed at children, I did not expect all this much. And Gakkou no Kaidan, indeed, did not offer much. Every episode was covering a different ghost story, either traditional or urban, and there wasn't an actual story line. On the other hand, you could see there was something to keep the series together as a continuous story rather than 20 unrelated episodes featuring same characters. Although the link was very small, shaped as a demon possessed cat, I must say it did fulfill its duty. Not too splendidly, but it did. Plus, Amanojaku is my by far favourite character.
However, now that I brought this up, I must say there wasn't any other character I liked. All of them were bland. Not even generic, just bland. Shells with no personality, unique traits or anything that makes viewers fond of the characters. I imagine this is why the humorously dubbed version of the series (the one I've discovered after completion of the series) has more success. Although an open mock, it actually gave those boring characters some.... Erm, character.
What peeved me the most was the drawing style. As an anime artist myself, I always get sensitive about anatomy, and while the body structure of characters was alright, it's often the size of their heads that concerned me. On the other hand, I reminded myself (or was rather reminded by a particular episode featuring the very first computers) the anime is nearly 20 years old and, for its time, it was great. I have checked its age on MyAnimeList, and even after checking the series on the database I have not realized that's not the show I thought I was watching. Although I admit that's when a hint of doubt flashed, as I distantly recalled the series being newer.
Now, my main enquiry with Gakkou no Kaidan is whether it is truly aimed at children or not. Once upon a time, I thought Narutaru was a lovely kid's show, but with each episode growing darker and creepier, I was soon stripped of my sweet delusions. This show, on the other hand, is not as obvious.
As I've first started watching it, I could hardly hold back a smile. As a kid I loved everything to do with ghosts, and whenever a cartoon had an episode with ghosts, mummies, or anything of the kind, it was my instant favourite. Up until the final five episodes, I was convinced a younger me would have had absolutely loved Gakkou no Kaidan.
However, I must admit, a few things about it did not seem so childish from the start. The ending theme "Sexy Sexy," seeing its translation and very sexual context, in my opinion, was not too suitable for a children's show. But actually it wasn't a big deal, and I only laughed about it. I've even showed it to my boyfriend, and both of us chuckled how cringe Japanese are.
Another thing I found mildly disturbing was Hajime's obsession with Satsuki's panties. Ecchi themes are not uncommon in anime, and probably can be seen as an essential part of it, but I have not yet seen another kid's show to have it. If it was just a single insert for the sake of laugh, I would understand it. Yet, it was a repeating theme and what was the most unsettling is that the characters are no older than 11.
As I have previously mentioned, it's the last few episodes that made me doubt. Episode 15, "Ritual of Darkness," was the first that gave me a spook and I have long stopped being a child. The next episode, on the other hand, had nothing significantly scary in it and I once again wrote it off as a simple mistake.
However, the mistake was mine. Starting episode 17, "The Horror of Bloodstained Lake," I swore that whenever my mother instincts kick in and I decide to reproduce, my children will not be introduced to this anime. As an adult, I found the following episodes scary and can only wonder how far would have my imagination gone had I seen them as a child.
A few goosebumps attacks is what made me double check the age category of this anime on MyAnimeList, just when I was two episodes away from completion. I swear my face was as scary as any ghost when the recommendation tab suggested if I like Gakkou no Kaidan, I will also like... Kaidan Restaurant. I will skip all the words I spewed out in shock, along the gasp attack I've had upon my discovery, and will simply voice my verdict.
It's not a bad show, and it does not deserve as much hate as other reviewers give it. It is quite entertaining, easy to watch, and not too demanding. There are plenty of logical mistakes an adult spots straight away, yet to children, at whom this anime is aimed, would not really notice it. However, the problem is I'm not convinced it's a kids how. In my opinion, it had too many sexual themes. Some may argue they were hardly any, but I strongly believe a children's show must not contain any. Plus, some episodes were actually scary and can give some adults (namely me) nightmares. I imagine those would scar children for life.
Oh, and I must add: I have eventually found Kaidan Restaurant and this time I'm downloading the right show.
*THIS IS A REVIEW FOR THE ORIGINAL SHOW AND THE SPECIAL EPISODE*
I watched the dub, which is notorious for its hilarity and total mock of the original show. The story isn't amazing, but the jokes (while hit and miss at times) really made it enjoyable. But as the original product is, it is just pretty bad and not very creative.
Not the worst art in the world, but very ugly and generic. Alot of times the animation and disproportion of the character's bodies will take you out of the show and make you laugh at the incompetence of the animators.
The voice actors are
hilarious in the dubbed version and make up for the extremely boring story and art that we are presented with. They wanted to have fun with the garbage they were given and it's an all around stupid, but fun experience because of this.
Generic and uncreative. Whether it be character design or personality, it's just so bad. The joke enhance them in the dubbed version, but without them, these people are all completely forgettable.
While this is a fun experience when the show is dubbed, the incompetence and uncreative nature of the original product really weighs this show down. You should only watch this a few episodes at a time, because even if there are some pretty good jokes, some reoccuring and/or stupid ones will get old really quick. I would say the dubbed version is a 6/10, while the subbed version is a 3/10.