Horror anime isn’t exactly rare, let alone anime that merely features the supernatural in less frightening situations. Somewhat rarer are those of the psychological horror variety, aiming to create suspense more so than scares. One example is Ghost Hound, an excellent series from 2007 that has just as incredible a production team behind it.
Focused around an incursion of the supernatural and the mortal, the series doesn’t scare so much as it absolutely creeps out. Featuring an art style that only enhances this unnerving aura, Ghost Hound is an absolute must-watch for any anime fans looking to be disturbed this Halloween. Here’s what makes it such as subtly terrifying experience.
Ghost Hound Is an Unsettling Supernatural Suspense Anime
Airing from 2007 to 2008 for 22 episodes, Ghost Hound takes place in Suiten, a small town with several harrowing and seemingly supernatural occurrences. Central to the plot is three boys named Taro, Makoto and Masayuki, all three of whom have lived rather tragic lives with rough upbringings. Noticing the supernatural “Unseen World” that can be accessed through the town, the trio realizes that this otherworldly realm is the key to understanding and overcoming their past trauma. Unfortunately, the further they go into the Unseen World, the more paranormal concepts such as ghosts begin to manifest in their town.
A local priest and his daughter Miyako become involved in dealing with the ghastly incursions, but Miyako has her own problems to deal with. Possessed and able to see ghosts, Miyako is largely shunned by society beforehand. This leaves the boys to save her, despite their very different upbringings.
Ghost Hound Is a Masterpiece Developed By Psychological Horror Veterans
The studio behind Ghost Hound was Production I.G., which was also involved with several other classic anime of similar scope. One of their most notable works was the cyberpunk anime series Ghost in the Shell, which is still seen as emblematic of anime as a whole. While that show wasn’t a horror or suspense series, it definitely had a similarly ambient tone in areas, likewise dealing with how society saw those who were different and how those individuals sought to reclaim their past. Masamune Shirow, the mangaka who originally created Ghost in the Shell, was even the showrunner for this anime. The series was also written by Chiaki J. Konaka, the mind behind the slyly petrifying Serial Experiments Lain, which is in many ways a science fiction equivalent to Ghost Hound.
Ghost Hound is a series in which each of the cast members has an important part in the plot, with key details needing to be followed throughout. Said cast is very relatable, and their trauma makes what could have been a simple show about ghosts and the supernatural into a story that’s very human. The art style is similar to Lain, being both fittingly mundane while also stylized to emphasize the more surreal elements. Even with its ghoulish paranormal concepts, it never veers into the absurd or jump-scares, attempting instead to tell a great story that just so happens to absolutely creep out anyone who watches it. Sadly, Ghost Hound isn’t available to stream through any service, but it can be purchased on DVD through Amazon.