From the back cover:
The decrepit building was condemned long ago, but every time the owners try to tear it down, “accidents” start to happen—people get hurt, sometimes even killed. Mai Taniyama and her classmates have heard the rumors that the creepy old high school is haunted—possibly by ghosts from the Second World War. So one rainy day they gather at the old school to tell ghost stories, hoping to attract one of the suspected spirits.
No ghosts materialize, but Mai and her friends do meet Kazuya Shibuya, the handsome young owner of Shibuya Psychic Research who’s been hired to investigate paranormal activity at the school. Also at the scene are an exorcist, a Buddhist monk, a woman who can speak with the dead, and an outspoken Shinto priestess. Surely one of them will have the talent to solve this mystery…
I ended up enjoying this volume quite a lot. I’m not sure which of the creators should receive credit for the semi-spooky atmosphere throughout, but I thought it was well done. Actual creepy occurrences were pretty low, though there was a nice bit where a chair moved on its own. Mai was a fun lead character, spunky and level-headed, and I liked all of Shibuya’s gadgetry for monitoring the paranormal, too.
The basic plot boiled down to—are there really evil spirits here, or is one of these slightly suspicious so-called experts actually a fraud? It didn’t pan out the way I thought it might, but it wasn’t exactly surprising, either. Shibuya (dubbed “Naru” by Mai because of his narcissistic tendencies) was set up in an “ultimately, he’s going to be the one who’s right” kind of way, so we’ll have to see whether that continues in future volumes. He did have a distressing habit of making digs at Mai about her ignorance, but I guess we’re supposed to excuse that because of the single angsty panel in which he declares that he hates himself.
Clearly, I can find negative things to point out, but on the whole, I found Ghost Hunt to be a lot of fun and recommend it for some mildly creepy Halloween reading.
Ghost Hunt is published by Del Rey, and the first nine volumes are in print and available. The tenth will be released on April 7, 2009. The series is ongoing, but there was a two-year gap between volumes 9 and 10 in Japan, and no volume 11 has been published there yet, so it’ll probably be a long wait for anything else after April.