8 Ghost Bustin' Anime to Keep Spooks Away
by Lynzee Loveridge,
When there's something strange in your neighborhood and Dan Aykroyd is busy, there's plenty of competing ghost busters available to take on your ectoplasmic problems. Investigating the things that go bump in the night is a time-honored profession in fiction and gets much better results than the static-y recordings and suspicious temperature drops we get from our modern day "ghost hunters." Strap yourself in for spooks of all sorts in these eight anime.
Demon Fighter Kocho Even Devil Hunter Yohko got a more sexual knock-off in Demon Fighter Kocho. The single episode chronicles Kocho's attempt to exorcise a ghost from her school, except it fails because the ghost is female and Kocho's means of exorcism is using her feminine wiles. Demon Fighter Kocho isn't unique in its strange premise (which is mostly just a setup for nudity.) This is the same era that gave us Golden Boy and Kekko Kamen. Needless to say, Kocho spends a fair amount of this OVA topless and less fighting ghosts.
Ryoko's Case File Anime's own Mulder and Scully, if Scully was a snobby police detective and Mulder was her long-suffering subordinate. Together they investigate cases for the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department that cannot be solved by traditional means. They uncover scientifically-engineered crickets that cause mass suicide, giant salamanders living under a resort, human gene-splicing, apparitions appearing in photographs, and mutant trees. Ryoko uses her connections, namely the security company JACES, to handle things when the conspiracies start to get sticky.
Mob Psycho 100 Mob is our youngest spectral investigator. He knows little about the rules of the supernatural, and unfortunately his mentor is also flying by the seat of his pants. Despite this, Mob can handle most anything spirits throw at him thanks to sheer combat power. Got an entire traffic tunnel full of ghosts? No problem. Attacked by another psychic using spiritual kodoku? He'll take the spirits down one right after the other. Mob seems simple but he's nothing if not reliable.
Ghost Hunt Mai is a teenage clairvoyant who, along with her other psychic and spiritualist classmates, investigate paranormal disturbances throughout Japan. Despite initial misgivings about her abilities, Mai and the group have a pretty high success rate exorcising child-murdering dolls and tracking down serial voodoo users. She does have a nasty habit of falling into pits, namely conjured wells and manholes, but Mai always escapes by the skin of her teeth.
Ghost Sweeper Mikami If you're a rough-and-tumble hot 90s anime chick, you own a strapless mini leather dress. If you're Reiko Mikami you also wield a lightsaber and take down Tokyo's growing "homeless spirit" population. The increase in human development has displaced ghostly residents of the demolished older buildings leading some to haunt where they aren't wanted. Reiko, and her equally 90s-staple boob-crazy sidekick Tadao work for GS (Ghost Sweeper) Mikami. The duo tries to beat out the competition in highly sought after profession of Ghost Sweeping with miserly Reiko attempting to overcharge and underpay her way to riches.
Phantom Quest Corps. Phantom Quest Corps. is a four-episode OVA by Madhouse that looks an awful lot like Ghost Sweeper Mikami if you squint and tilt your head to the side. It also stars a red-head exorcist in a strapless dress and she also wields a laser sword, albeit it grows from a lipstick case. Exorcist Ayaka isn't as miserly as her Ghost Sweeper counterpart; she's perpetually broke. This is due to both the limited amount of jobs available for a professional ghost buster and her flagrantly horrible money management.
Mushi-Shi Mushi aren't ghosts, per se, but the most primitive beings still inhabiting Earth. They are invisible to the naked eye, except for the few people gifted with the ability to see them. Mushi cause all kinds of supernatural phenomenon that would usually be attributed to yōkai, ghosts, or poltergeists. Some even cause strange maladies to develop in humans that, without the aid of Mushi Master Ginko, would kill them. A silver-haired stoic nomad, Ginko travels from Place to Place fixing problems caused by mushi in a Japan of the near past.
Natsume's Book of Friends Natsume's Book of Friends is full of many, many friends. The series has its sixth season slated for this year where audiences will again follow Takashi Natsume on his quest to free all the spirits contracted in his deceased grandma's book. His ongoing quest puts him up against both dangerous and friendly yōkai that he must fight or otherwise calm so they can be free. In the meantime, Natsume also meets new people and rectify what had previously been a lonely life by drumming up the courage to build new friendships. See, Natsume is not only busting literal ghosts, but also emotional ones, too.
The new poll: Let's wind down this October of spooky polls with one to top them all: what's the best Ghost-type Pokemon?
The old poll: Which ghost would you let haunt your house?
- Yuuna Yunohana (Yuuna and the Haunted Hot Springs)
- Mavis Vermillion (Fairy Tail)
- Mayoi Hachikuji (Monogatari Series)
- Yuuko Kanoe (Dusk maiden of Amnesia)
- Yami Yugi (Yu-Gi-Oh!)
- Menma (anohana)
- I don't want a ghost in my house
- Reimi Sugimoto (JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Diamond Is Unbreakable)
- Hina (Flying Witch)
- Elaine (Seven Deadly Sins)
- Kokkuri-san (Gugure! Kokkori-san)
- Amidamaru (Shaman King)
- Sai (Hikaru no Go)
- Sayo Aisaka (Negima)
- Nadeshiko Kinomoto (Card Captor Sakura)
- Gengar (Pokémon)
- Perona (One Piece)
- Enma Ai (Hell Girl)
- Nanana Ryuugajou (Nana's Buried Treasure)
- Sanae Higashihongan (Invaders of the Rokujouma!?)
When she isn't compiling lists of tropes, topics, and characters, Lynzee works as the Managing Interest Editor for Anime News Network and posts pictures of her sons on Twitter @ANN_Lynzee.
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