Thursday, March 13, 2008

Ghost Hunt Vol. 1 by Shiho Inada

Main Character: High school student Mai Taniyama
Location: Japan
Time period: Contemporary
Genre: YA Manga, Fantasy, Ghosts

Mai Taniyama and her friends are in the darkened AV room telling ghost stories. As each one finishes her story, she turns off her flashlight. As the stories come to an end and the last flashlight is turned off, the girls are startled by the appearance of a young man.

The man turns out to be Kazuya Shibuya, the head of Shibuya Psychic Research Center, hired by the principal to investigate the strange occurrences associated with a derelict building on campus. Mai, though attracted by his looks, doesn't completely trust Shibuya, thinking him arrogrant and egotistical.

Besides Shibuya, the principal has also hired Ayako Matsuzaki, a Miko who can exorcise spirits; Takigawa Houshou, a monk; John Brown, a Catholic priest from Australia; and Masako Hara, a famous psychic medium. Another student, Kuroda, who claims to be psychic, joins them uninvited. Of course, each of them has a different theory as to what is causing all the odd happenings around the building. Shibuya, the logical and scientific researcher, believes that it is land subsidence. Hara-San detects no spirits, but Matsuzaki suspects poltergeists.

The answer is more complicated than any one theory, but eventually they figure it out. The ghost hunters leave and the school returns to normal. But then Mai gets a phone call from Shibuya--would she be interested in working for him permanently?

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