Let me start out that this anime did it’s homework on the subject matter it deals with. Ghost Hound deals with the “hidden realm” and the realms of Psychology, where reality and the spiritual collide.
The story revolves around a little town called Suiten, the odd things that develop as three boys try to dig up the facts on a crime 11 years old, and abandoned hospital swallowed by the Suiten Dam.
The first main character is Taro, the son of the local brewer. When Taro was 3 years old he and his sister were kidnapped. Only he survived. Now 11 years later Taro is Narcoleptic, having Out of body experiences or OBEs and reoccurring nightmares. When Masayuki suggest getting a little exposure therapy at the place where Taro and his sister were held, the tree boys take their first steps into the Hidden realm.
Masayuki is the new kid in town who transferred from Tokyo when the “Japan Bio Tech” company moves into their new facility. He tries to make friends with Taro and Makoto by investigating the kidnapping incident. Although he gets ignored by the other two to start, they eventually warm up to him and become decent friends. Masayuki suffers from a fear of heights which he combats by using exposure therapy via a head mounted display virtual reality game. In the Hidden realm Masayuki evokes the weapons that he has in his game to defeat the spirit of Taro’s kidnapper that had been stuck in a loop of his last moments on earth.
Makoto is the brooding member of the group and also is a relative of Taro’s. It was Makoto’s grandmother who told police where they might find Taro and his sister. His father committed suicide shortly after Taro was found and returned home. Because Makoto was the one to find his father’s bloody corpse, he now wishes to use the hidden realm to find out the facts on why his father killed himself.
As the anime goes on Makoto learns how to change the form he takes when in the hidden realm, towards the end his shape is that of a red eyed wolf hound.
At first he is cold to both Taro and Masayuki but after the course of a few trips to the hidden realm and learning more about the kidnapping 11 years ago he warms up to the other boys. His favorite pass time is playing the guitar.
Joining the boys is Miyako. Unlike the boys she is unable to travel to the hidden realm. To make up for that she can see the boys when they are having their OBE and on occasion she is possessed by the passing ghost. She lives at a shrine with her father and helps him with exorcisms when the need arises. She is a very mature character even though she is the youngest member in the group.
Things get a little rocky between her and Taro about half way through this anime. Taro gets it in his head that Miyako is the reincarnation of his sister. Let’s just say that she didn’t take it too well. After the big showdown at the end of the series Taro and Miyako manage to make up.
Those are the main players in this anime. However they are still just kids. Let’s talk about the adults a little.
Takahito is Miyako’s father and priest at the local shrine. In his spare time he works for the University of Tokyo. When he was younger he was part of the first group to visit the village swallowed by the dam.
At the start of the anime taro is introduced to his new counselor, Hirata This is the source of most of the technical terms when it comes to psychology. Like Takahito he works at the University of Tokyo and commutes once a week to see Taro at his school.
When Taro starts to report his OBEs to Hirata he attributes it to a scientific explination. That starts to change when he starts experiencing things for himself.
Joining Hirata in the techno speak is Reika Otori. She is a part time Scientist at the Japan Bio-Tech and part time doctor.
Himeko Ogami is also a bigger adult to mention. When Taro and his sister were kidnapped 11 years ago, it was Himeko who suggested in searching at the hospital behind the dam.
She is the current head of the Ogami religious sect. It is her wish that Makoto will take over for her in time. Only Makoto has no interest in it, much link his father before him.
This anime is a neat twist of two way to think about our personal experiences. If you have taken a psychology 101 course you’ll feel right at home here. Even if you know nothing about psychology, the anime does a nice job of keeping everyone on the same page.
There is a manga to this but its incomplete and I doubt it will be finished. It’s titled: Shinreigari: Another Side. There are only two chapters and the last update was in 2008. I would have loved to see where this could have gone. we may never know.
Even if the Manga will never be finished, ghost Hound should be added to your watch list.