Ghost Hunt

 GHOM   (Del Rey, 2005-2010)

™ and © 2005 Shiho Inada and Fuyumi Ono

A group of girls telling spooky stories in an abandoned high-school building meet Kazuya, the young head of a psychic research firm hired to look into the site’s supposed paranormal activity. One of the girls, Mai, is coerced into helping him, and soon the place is crawling with different ghost breakers (Shinto, Catholic, etc.), all trying to unravel its dark secrets.

Kazuya is a classic example of the arrogant “dark prince” type who has nothing but contempt for Mai. (She’s tricked into helping him when she accidentally breaks a piece of equipment; this ruse is so overused in manga, you have to assume that the idea of being sued is too much for the average Japanese to bear.) He’s so pretty she feverishly works to win his respect.

This one is told so unimaginatively (it’s more shaggy dog than ghost story) it’s hard to imagine it comes from a series of Japanese young-adult novels—just as it’s difficult to believe Del Rey decided to import this one after actually reading it.

— S. A. Bennett

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