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Ghost Stories, Vol. 1: Freshman Frights

40 customer reviews

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(Aug 23, 2005)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The serious anime fan wants two things: to watch anime, and to learn everything they possibly can about Japanese culture. Finally, thanks to ADV , otaku can kill both birds with one stone! Introducing Ghost Stories,f a series that retells traditional Japanese, folk tales in a modern setting tailor-made for the anime fan!

The title of the comedy-adventure Ghost Stories (broadcast, 2000) was originally Gakkou no Kaidan: "Ghost Stories in School." When Satsuki moves to a new neighborhood with her widowed father and little brother Keichiro, she learns that ghosts infest the abandoned school next to the one she attends. Satsuki saves herself, her brother, and her new friends, Hajime, Leo, and Momoko, from the ghosts with the help of an old spell book of her mother's--but not before a powerful spirit possesses the family cat. The translation is very self-consciously hip, with the characters taking cheap shots at Hollywood stars, Andrew Lloyd Webber, and Scientology. Nerdy "psychical researcher" Leo is supposed to be Jewish, while Momoko is an obnoxious, born-again Christian--two "types" not usually encountered in anime. Although the storylines overlap somewhat, Ghost Stories lacks the good-natured slapstick of Haunted Junction. (Rated TV PG, suitable for ages 15 and older: violence, toilet humor, ethnic stereotypes) --Charles Solomon

Special Features


Product Details

  • Format: Animated, Color, Dolby, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: English, Japanese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Section 23
  • DVD Release Date: October 25, 2005
  • Run Time: 100 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000AP31GU
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #111,698 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By L. J Lewis on June 21, 2006
Format: DVD
A bit before Ghost Stories vol 1 first hit store shelf, ADV caused an angry explosion among snotty anime purists. They revealed that they were taking this D-List title that no one had ever heard of before and had skipped on producing a faithful English adaptation. Instead, they produced a biting and very funny parody dub while leaving an accurate subtitled version intact for those fans who just have to watch it in Japanese. Thank goodness for that! In its original form, Ghost Stories is an utterly mediocre series that culls its plot-lines from well-known urban legends, ghost stories, and even horror movies. It focuses on horror elements, but by trying to remain a family-friendly show, never manages to be scary. It's faux-horror, sort of like Scooby-Doo. It's not unwatchable, but its just so average why would you want to?

This hilarious parody dub is the real selling point. Pithy, biting, self-aware, and extremely funny, the basic story-line of the original is intact, but features completely different dialogue and played for laughs. Motherless Satsuki and her mentally challenged brother Keichiiro move to a new town with their widower father. On the grounds of their new school is an old haunted school building. When they and their new friends, Leo, Momoko, and Hajime venture inside looking for Satsuki's cat, they accidentally release the vengeful ghosts previously sealed away by Satsuki's dead mother. ...And their cat gets possessed by the sarcastic demon Amanojaku. The rest of the series follows their trials and tribulations as they try to reseal these troublesome spirits.

I thought I wouldn't care to much for Ghost Stories because the first episode its not very funny. It's the episodes that follow that strike comedy gold.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Soske Sakura on November 7, 2005
Format: DVD
I'm new to anime. Though like most people, I've seen CN's offerings (ie., Dragon Ball Z, Sailor Moon, etc.). Really just the anime popular enough to cross over to an American audience. It wasn't until I finally sat down and watched the Anime Network's On-Demand programming that I really got hooked (Fumoffu!, Gantz, Demon Lord Dante, what's not to love?).

I actually first spotted "Ghost Stories" while watching Dvd Dojo, and I was immediately interested in the premise for the series ... Old Japanese folklore mixed with an off the wall sense of humor. I then spent the next two weeks trying to track down a copy, which I finally found at a local Best Buy a few days ago.

Basically, a group of kids (and their cat) find themselves exploring an old, abandoned, school house (repeatedly ;)which happens to be right next door to the the school they actually attend.

I don't want to ruin any episodes for anyone, so I will only say, that this show is hillarious! And, as an added bonus, it even manages to be a bit creepy at times.

"Ghost Stories" has officially become my favorite anime in the comedy genre, ranking right up there with my other favorite "Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu".

If you like comedy in your anime, give this one a try ... I seriously doubt you'll regret it.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Antonio D. Paolucci on November 9, 2005
Format: DVD
Ghost Stories caught me off guard. I was expecting an anime aimed at children with a few morals sprinkled in between the moments that bring easy chills (graphically drawn monsters, characters in paril). Yet it really had nothing to do with either of the above. Firstly, it's obviously not meant for scares. Secondly, I wouldn't let any child below the teenage years watch this, as the children in this anime curse (not graphic), talk about lesbianism, and have a few religiously based jokes.

What do I mean by it's not meant for scares? Well, that's easy. This anime is hilarious. It has plenty of funny one-liners (it has a Family Guy quote) and an odd collection of characters. The two main characters lost their mother and now have to put up with an over-protective father, and they just so happen to have a possessed cat. There's the everyday playboy with his nerdy ghost-expert friend. And finally, and probably the most hilarious of all the characters, there's the born-again Christian who constantly spouts her faith, especially when it really isn't needed.

Though I haven't gotten too deep into the story itself, it seems that most of the trouble surrounds an old school house where, on their first day of school, the two main characters end up getting lost in while looking for their cat. A lot of the creatures/ghosts, whatever, that show up are obviously exaggerations on some of the Japanese myths, and none of them actually have a scary look to them. They just add to the spontaneous hilarity of the jokes.

It's difficult to categorize this anime. I highly recommend it for anyone who enjoys slapstick comedy such as what is found in Slayers and Sorcerer Hunters. I would also recommend it for its simple uniqueness. I've yet to find an anime that has caught my attention like Ghost Stories has.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By peter krug on January 16, 2006
Format: DVD
Intentionally altering dialogue, changing not just the language but what the characters are actually saying for added humor, (including adding more profanity,) has been done before, at least to a much lesser degree, in shows like BURN-UP W, THOSE WHO HUNT ELVES and even PUNI PUNI POEMY. But not like it's done here.

The basic story is still the same: Satsuke (who, with her pigtailed red hair, looks alot like an elementary school version of female Ranma,) must exorcise the old abandoned school house of it's many ghosts with the help of her younger brother and three neighborhood friends, and her mother's diary. However, many other things have changed, including character's personalities. (You probably know what I mean if you've read the other reviews.)

If you don't like the type of humor here, you can still always watch the Japanese-with-subtitles version. But I watched the dub and laughed till my sides hurt. Also, if you are hearing impaired or have a friend who is, there is a third language track where it's the dub and the subtitles read what the American voice actors are saying, so everyone can enjoy it. I now own the first two disks in the series and am going to buy the third when it comes out.
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