Saiki Misaki has been able to see ghosts since she was a kid. Now, working at an S&M club, her spare time goes to sending the spirits off to the other world by having to make them realize they're dead and have to leave. This would supposedly be a little bit easier if you didnt have a background of hardship and loneliness... and a perverted employer.
Misaki Saiki is a young woman who works solving cases involving apparitions as a spiritual medium together with her associate Souichiro. She can channel the spirits and allow them to speak through her, and has also been able to see them for as long as she can remember. Her ghost hunting adventures land her into unsolved murder and suicide cases. Her second job is at an S&M club working as a dominatrix to help pay her bills.-summary
This is another one of those titles that had so much potential, but was marred by very poor direction by a hack director; a complete fool who should
have been sitting down and re-watching Satoshi Kon anime films (if he's ever watched them), to learn what it takes to make an outstanding anime that deals with such dark content. The moron in question happens to be Osamu Sekita. Ghost Talker's Daydream is among the worst anime OVA's that I came across years ago, and has been since collecting lots of dust on my shelf.
Ghost Talker's Daydream is a supernatural anime with horror elements that contains a vast amount of comedy. Among its problems happens to be that the comedy clashes very badly with the horror in an almost Elfen Lied type of way. In addition, many of the story elements seem really unnecessary, and this also goes for the secondary characters who over stay their welcomes very quickly. When you have a show that an entire secondary cast can be slightly used to not used at all, as well as a piece of the story that can be completely omitted, and the overall story can still carry on with a full head of steam, then something is very wrong. You would have to search kind of hard for poor direction like this.
I have seen some bad directing in anime through out the years, and this title is definitely among the worst to use the short episode OVA format I have ever seen. The story development is very poor. There was no real reason for the main character to parade around in a dominatrix outfit, other than to bombard the viewer with constant fan service. Her occupation as a dominatrix was barely covered and it played no factor at all in the overall story or even in the plot. It was tacked on there just because, and there are several other useless elements like these.
The supporting characters are completely disposable for the most part. The first side character to make an appearance is a girl named Ai whom is in her own bad predicament. Once her two stories were tied up, there was very little reason to keep her around. The same goes for the character Souichiro. He's the typical bumbling idiot who plays the role of the comedy relief, and does a very bad job at it. Misaki herself is almost as bad. She has the ability to battle spirits by unleashing a whip from her lower region, and during the first episode, she appears to be going through some type of ecstasy while using this attack but it's never explained why this occurs. Instead, it's dropped and she never goes through it again.
The first two stories are stand alone, while the third and fourth are two parters. The stories have some very interesting premises dealing with the demise of certain people and one even involves an unsolved child murder. Sadly, these stories are badly paced with non plot related elements being introduced. The spooky atmosphere is dealt a blow by the repeated comedy making it very hard to take this serious. There was so much room for character and plot development but they take the backseat for more fanservice, more comedy, and screen time for worthless characters. Misaki's background concerning her childhood is somewhat examined, but her character development is overall weak. The writers instead decide to focus on her fascination on growing pubic hairs because she happens to be naturally bald. Personally, I don't see the humor in this.
Although good for an OVA, the animation is not very fluid and there is a slight amount of jumpiness. The artwork has some good character designs and I'm sure some guys will get a kick out of the nudity. The camera work places a vast amount of attention on cheek and panty shots. In the music department, nothing really stood out to me but the sound effects has standout moments, like Misaki slapping her private part with handfuls of water. The BGM never gripped me in its attempt at being creepy because I couldn't take the story serious at any point. The ending theme was so forgettable to me that I don't remember any traces of it.
The anime was put into the hands of a childish director and was seriously held back due to that decision. I don't recall ever coming across any of Sekita's work before or after this; but based upon this weak effort I will go on and say that he cannot carry a story that the serious viewer would actually care about.
I have to warn those whom are not familiar with this title. Do not for any reason take serious the claims you will hear about this being for a mature audience in regards to intelligence or its artistic brilliance. There's nothing artistic or brilliant about it. This is your standard mindless anime, packed with childish sexual humor, a near rape scene, and fan service. If I were to mention any other positives about this series it would have to be the short length, and even at 100 minutes it felt too long. I couldn't possibly imagine sitting through 26 episodes of this. I only recommend this to the very easily pleased anime fan who thinks all anime is great, and that it's just the people who don't like anything.
Highs: Traces of decent ideas here and there
Lows: Hack job for the most part, not funny, disposable characters, mindless fan service
Going in, I was 50/50 on what to expect. The series was always going to be one of two types: a supernatural thriller that delves into the dark side of human nature, using S&M as a way of highlighting the depraved minds of humans, or a silly ghost story that attempts to be dark but isn't able to do so thanks to an endless stream of perverse jokes and fan service. Disappointingly, Ghost Talker's Daydream turned out to be a series that matches up with the latter.
Right at the start you're greeted with the sight of Misaki, the main character and spiritual medium of the
story, sitting naked in a bathhouse. The 'camera' moves around the room, showing another woman's breast, and the scene then finally ends. In the next scene, another main character is introduced, a male government worker (even after only just watching, I don't remember his name) who has to beg Misaki to help his organization solve crimes relating to spirits. But, of course, with this series seemingly needing to have more fan service and silliness than is good, it isn't long before the annoying government person slips, pulling down Misaki's dress in public. The two then have a very brief conversation about who the annoying government person works for and they go off to investigate a crime.
The 'plot' doesn't improve beyond that. Misaki helps the government, working at a S&M place to earn extra money, and she has to deal with the annoying government guy whenever there's work that needs doing - that's it. It's simplistic and won't hold the interest of anyone who goes into it expecting it to be deep, thrilling and/or scary.
As for character development, Misaki's past isn't really gone into at all. All you learn about her is that she saw started seeing ghosts when she was very young and had problems making friends at school as a result. There's no character development at all, and she even seems to enjoy her work since there are no tears over how she earns her money. It's a shame that the S&M side seemed to only be there as an excuse to get Misaki into kinky leather outfits... A good (and fairly unique) story could've been made out of a character earning the money to survive by entering into the (sometimes) disturbing world of sexual pleasure.
The rest of the cast are equally weak. A school girl called Ai is introduced in the first episode, showing her about to be raped (with the 'camera' focused on her panties and arse for a long time), and she then sticks around for the rest of the series once her story is resolved, the weak reason given being that she started to see spirits after the events of the first episode. The annoying government guy was there only to accidentally see panties/get involved in perverted comedy sequences and inform Misaki about unnatural crimes. And I have no idea what the forth and final main character, Mitsuru, was supposed to be doing - all he, a high school student, did for the entire series was follow around Misaki (he calls her 'Queen Misaki') with a camera, sometimes taking perverted photos...for no apparent reason.
So, the 'plot' is best described as paper-thin, the character development is non-existent and the series is generally just unimpressive where it matters. But the problems don't end there since an explanation wasn't provided for some fairly important elements, such as Misaki being able to use a supernatural whip-like weapon, which happens to come from between her legs and makes her blush and moan. Like with the reasoning behind Mitsuru stalking 'Queen Misaki' with a camera, maybe that's best just left unexplained?
The other aspects of the series - art, animation and sound - were also disappointing. The animation looked more like the average for a 26 episode TV series that came out in 2004 and not OVA quality, complete with all the usual panning/zooming and very little in the way of flashy animation. The art wasn't exactly awe inspiring, either - it looked good but, for example, not even the nipples of the huge breasted females were that well drawn. And as for the music, well...it sounded almost like the sort of poor soundtrack I expect to hear when playing low-budget PS1-PS2 RPGs and, rather than pulling me in, it simply distracted me.
Ghost Talker's Daydream is summed up by the last few minutes of the final episode. Instead of ending on a meaningful note, it ended with Misaki receiving a text from a female police officer she'd spoken to for only a few minutes (naked, with the 'camera' zooming in on both of their breasts), the text informing Misaki that the police officer had shaven her 'jungle' following their discussion. For those interested how this all came about, Misaki had gone vacation in order to grow a 'jungle' of her own in episode 3, praying at an altar and washing herself down there at a spring famous for hair regeneration.
I'm probably being a bit too generous but, since it was only 4 episodes long and it was least watchable, I'll give it 5.5/10. If the series had been longer then it's safe to say my score would've been harsher.
let me get straight to the point (any plot summary will serve you well on this one, trust me): the problem with this anime is that it's not a smart idea to choose an episodic narrative structure for an 4 episode OVA. there was simply no time to develop the characters, or any meta-plot.
the basic idea of having a spiritual medium working part time as a dominatrix does seem pretty nice to me, but not even the amount of fan service will make up for the fact that it doesn't satisfy in the end.
i'm actually quite anxious to read the manga after this, but
the anime isn't worth your time. even if you're intent on watching this because one of the main characters is a dominatrix, you'll be disappointed.
it's funny at times, the animation is quite okay, but in the end it feels completely unfinished and underdeveloped. i'm quite sure that it could have done well as a full series, but 4 episodes just isn't enough.
PLOT: Um, well Misaki is a dominatrix but also a spiritual medium and the 4 episodes follow her on three cases where she speaks with the dead and poses in skimpy leather outfits – that’s the plot in a nutshell! Really this show could quite easily have been a hentai film – all the elements are there, just no actual sex! Its quite an enjoyable watch though, mixing elements of fanservice, creepiness, action and comedy. Misaki is quite an interesting character, but we only really get hint of her backstory – I’d love to know why she
works as a dominatrix, how she came to be working for a top secret government agency on the side and what on earth that ghostly rope thing wrapped around her thighs is! The other supporting characters are completely lacking depth though – Mr Glasses man who acts as her contact agent for paranormal jobs seems to only be there to provide comic relief, Ai is the token highschool girl, and then there is Misaki’s stalker/fan who is basically just a handy plot device to get random information out of thin air! Still even though there isn’t a lot of depth to this series it isn’t bad even if the nudity and fanservice seemed kind of unnecessary most of the time (although that’s really the only thing that makes this show stand out from similar shows).
ANIMATION: Mixed bag really – some scenes are highly detailed, others look like the animators really could not have been arsed that day. Character designs are quite nice – plenty of detail on Misaki’s skimpy costumes too!
MUSIC & VOICE ACTING: Didn’t really take much notice of the music – was fitting enough though. Voice acting was very good.
All in all an average OVA to pass the time with, but nothing really remarkable. It may have been better if they had more time to develop the characters and premise better, but as it is its pretty shallow and more of an excuse to have a dominatrix as a main character than anything else.