Ghost Hound – episode 1

November 11, 2007 on 8:45 pm | In Ghost Hound | 1 Comment

I imagine that Ghost Hound was born of this trial:

EXTERIOR: Production I.G. Tower, a building that looms ominously against a cloudy and thunderous sky. A crow caws.
INTERIOR: ISHIKAWA sits at his desk, brooding. He is attended to by SHIROW and OSHII. OSHII is humming a jolly tune to himself at a separate table.

ISHIKAWA: It occurs to me, fellows, that it is our twentieth anniversary this year. I would like to do something to celebrate. Have you got any suggestions?
SHIROW: Bugs. Bugs are huge. Also dreams?
ISHIKAWA: Yes, it sounds good. Sounds like it could be shiny. Who can we get to work on the scripts. Oshii?
OSHII: Sorry, Ishikawa, I’m writing an epic poem dedicated to the memory of my dearly beloved cat. I’ll see if I can think of anyone.
ISHIKAWA: Well, does anyone know what Konaka is up to nowadays?
OSHII: I think he’s free; he just came away from writing a series of one off mind-fuck episodes for everyone who had a space going.
ISHIKAWA: Yes, it’s what he does best. Well, we’ll put this one straight to him.

Production commences. A few months later …

INTERIOR: Production I.G. Conference Room. The first episode has just been read, and the OP presented.

ISHIKAWA: What does any of this even mean?
KONAKA: I’m pretty sure it’s profound. Besides, it’s just the first episode. It doesn’t have to mean anything yet.
ISHIKAWA: Very well, I will commission it on the strength of the OP.
KONAKA: Thank you, sir.
KONAKA makes to leave.
ISHIKAWA: And Konaka, one more thing.
KONAKA: Yes, sir?
ISHIKAWA: Boogiepop Phantom had better music than Lain.
KONAKA: *inaudible*

There was a time when I used to welcome and embrace the name of Chiaki J. Konaka (I never keep his name in Japanese order because I don’t know how … danged initial). I used to think that his work was always cool and compelling. Then, after a while, some shows would have episodes that were pointlessly confusing or convoluted, and totally different to every episode surrounding them. Every time one of these came on, I would think “this feels like it was written by Konaka” and, lo and behold, most of the time it had been.
That’s not to say that I think Konaka is a no talent hack, because he’s done a lot of good things, but he is entirely capable of obscuring his point behind smoke and mirrors and burying it in stuff that I don’t care about. It was thanks to him that I gleaned almost no fun from Magic Users’ Club TV after such a glorious run on the OVA.

Anyway, to Ghost Hound. I’m not being indignant in saying “what is this?”, because I’m more curious than that, but I think that it’s simply amazing that we’re in a day and age when a first episode doesn’t really have to do anything other than feature a boy who dreams about flying, and recalls his abducted sister on a bed, a punk kid whose father was somehow related to the abduction, and a transfer student who is uncomfortably touchy feely with the other students. The OP is grand, and so far that’s all I can really say about it.

Also, the student psychologist is blatant in his evil looking. Does no one notice? Fortunately, because of my lack of smarts and punctuality, there’s a few episodes already available to ease myself into. The key to getting back into doing fansubs rather than relying solely on my burgeoning DVD collection is to pick good shows. I burned out last year from watching too much stuff that simply wasn’t very good, and the stuff that I did consider very good got abandoned as a result.

So, Ghost Hound: you’re looking okay.

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