Ghost Hound - Collection 2 Episodes 12 - 22 DVD Review - www.impulsegamer.com -

Feature 8.0
Video 8.0
Audio 8.0
Special Features   0.0
Total 8.0
Distributor: Siren
Classification: M15+
Minutes: 272 minutes
Reviewer:
Hannah Lee

8.0


Ghost Hound - Collection 2
Episodes 12 - 22

Psychologically pulsing drama doesn’t get much better than the Ghost Hound series directed by Ryutaro Nakamura (Kino’s Journey). Bending reality through a combination of psychologically, scientifically and spiritually inclined modes of expression, Ghost Hound – Part II continues the journey of three young boys who have the ability to ‘soul-travel’ through different dimensions that suggest a parallel universe of jarring optical and sonic components.  

With histories of traumatic experiences, Taro, Makoto and Masayuki have developed friendships despite their distinctly different personalities. As the three of them continue to traverse through landscapes of psychological and metaphysical abstraction, they investigate the linkages between their seemingly separate traumas and uncover the mysteries that bind them together. Amidst this search for truth and greater understanding, the three boys are faced with the task of helping the priest’s daughter, Miyako, as she is increasingly possessed by spirits and desired by a religious sect derived from Makoto’s family history. In the course of digging up their dark past and facing the dangers of both the real and abstract world, the trio gain new perspectives, strengthen their friendship and come closer to reconciling with the painful realisations of their childhood traumas.  

As Ghost Hound amalgamates historical Japanese mythology, sci-fi ideas and theories regarding the human psyche with alternate realities, the dense and complex nature of the series’ plotline could very well confuse audiences. But through the engaging visual direction and emotionally powerful drama that sets Ghost Hound above the average anime, the highly effective storytelling techniques of Nakamura enable audiences to enjoy and follow such a theoretically charged story without too much trouble. In the second collection of the Ghost Hound series, the boys evolve into new forms that perfectly resemble their real-world selves (earlier experiences include being foetus-like forms) so that their outer-body experiences suggest a maturing process within their lives in reality, confronting their fearful memories head on and bringing the surreal into the lives of those around them. Light, motion and still, compelling close up images are used throughout the second collection in a visceral and exciting style that skilfully encompasses the extensive breadth and depth that the plot has to offer. 

In the same way that Ghost Hound immerses itself visually in constructing alternate realities, the distorted sounds of an unfamiliar dimension are scattered throughout the series with the power of engrossing audiences. With a soundscape consisting of metallic clicks, white noise and subtly electronic rings, the visuals are given an extra dimension as dramatic tension is heightened and excitement can be injected into images that are contrastingly still.  

The only ostensible flaw, however, is the easily resolved ending that presents a rather anticlimactic conclusion to the earlier episodes charged with intensity and innovative visual/sound techniques. In their fight to save Miyako from the grip of a religious order that appears more like a cult, the heroism of the three boys doesn’t seem to adequately bring all the earlier ideas and issues together and merely simplifies the intellectually stimulating nature of the series as a whole. Nevertheless, the second collection of the Ghost Hound series extends what was established in the first collection with an intriguing and psychologically engaging continuation of ‘soul-travelling’ that digs deeper into mysteries of a disturbing and dark nature.






 
 



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