Let’s step a bit deeper into the past and take a look at some older anime, shall we? This is one that has especially gone under the radar. Twelve years ago, Ghost Hound was released on October 18, 2007, being broadcasted on Wowow. The source material was created by Masamune Shirow and animated by Production I.G., the studio responsible for the beautiful visuals from Psycho-Pass and Attack on Titan. Fourteen year-old Taro Komori has been suffering an extreme case of PTSD after he and his late sister were kidnapped 11 years prior. Since then, he’s been plagued by reoccurring dreams in which he slips out of his body. As the dreams become increasingly more vivid, he seeks out a psychologist who seemingly has other motives than just helping Taro. Along the way, new transfer student, Masayuki Nakajima shows a great interest in both Taro and the case that happened 11 years ago, as well as Makoto Oogami, a distant relative of Taro’s; who’s father suspiciously committed suicide right after the kidnapping of Taro and his older sister. As the three grow closer, they become exposed to the supernatural and the truth of what happened when Taro was only a child. Ghost Hound is an anime that will keep you on the edge of your seat, craving one episode after the next. While the anime itself starts off rather slow and confusing, it slowly unravels a unique story line. Each of the characters have their own personalities to them as well as some great character development. Throughout my time watching this anime, I was able to personally connect with each character, as they were all given a background story. For example, Masayuki witnessed a suicide at his old school (by jumping off the roof) as a result of bullying, developing his fear of heights. He overcomes this phobia by playing a virtual reality game where he’s flying up in the sky. Only the closest of friends urinate together. Truly a fine example of brotherhood. Ghost Hound also deals with real life issues, like parental abandonment, adultery, and mental illness. Each of these issues aren’t thrown out in your face, which I like. It’s something that you gradually become aware of. Most anime fail to tackle the latter especially. Since mental illness in one’s adolescent age poses a huge obstacle to their growth, it’s important that these things are acknowledged. The series takes full advantage of the “show, don’t tell” dynamic, allowing the viewer to piece the lore together like a puzzle. Similar to series’ like Higurashi no naku koro ni, there’s an element of psychological horror and having to figure out for yourself what exactly is going on – and when you do, everything clicks! I should also make mention of the visuals as well. The characters themselves are not particularly noteworthy, but the backgrounds and emphasis on the monsters make up for that. The animation itself flows very smoothly and has great camera angles for any action sequences. It allows for suspense to build up and time for the characters to act, and the OST helps. Ghost Hound‘s OP and ED match the simplistic style that the animation itself has. It’s nothing that sticks out too much, though the OP treats you to a Western-like classic rock track which also fits with the setting of where the show takes place: the countryside. The OST manages to stay simple but also original. Suspenseful music will make you feel suspenseful, and happy music will make you will happy. It fits, but doesn’t stick out. The majority of Ghost Hound‘s charm comes from the storytelling, and if you’re able to appreciate or look past the simplicity of the aesthetic, and enjoy the story, you’ll be in for quite a treat. Ghost Hound is currently available for streaming on Amazon Prime Please support the official release!