When you think of anime that deserve the title of best-dubbed anime, what comes to mind? Cowboy Bebop? Dragon Ball Z? Fullmetal Alchemist? All great answers, but they’re all wrong. The definitive answer is Ghost Stories.
I first heard about Ghost Stories thanks to one of those “Best Anime You’ve Never Seen” YouTube videos. The video promised the dub is unlike any dub you’ve ever seen. If any of you watch TeamFourStar’s or Little Kuriboh’s fan-based parodies on YouTube, then you’ll kind of have an idea of what you’re getting into. But what separates those YouTube shows from this anime is that Ghost Stories is official. So how exactly did we get here?
The story surrounding the Ghost Stories dub is a rather simple one. The anime was loosely adapted from a series of successful horror light novels by Toru Tsunemitsuin in 1990. FujiTV commissioned an adaptation in 2000 by two way too recognizable studios, Pierrot and Aniplex. So what happened? The show sucked; it sucked hard. It did poorly in Japan and no American studio wanted to touch it.
So in 2005, Pierrot sold the rights for Ghost Stories to ADV in a desperate attempt to stave off bankruptcy. And thanks to this awesome Q&A Panel with Greg Ayers and Vic Mignogna, a good amount of questions are answered about the show. Pierrot only gave ADV a few rules for the dub:
- They couldn’t change the names of the characters and ghosts/monsters.
- They couldn’t change how the ghost is vanquished.
- They needed to match the lip-synching.
And that’s it. ADV had full reign to try and make Ghost Stories into a successful show. The result is a heavily improvised, hilarious script from all of the voice actors. With few exceptions, this show completely changed from a horror anime to a comedic anime; and thank god it was. The jokes are about as PC as you can expect from a show in 2005. Characters frequently break the fourth wall.
It is raunchy. It is foul. And it is downright wrong at times, but it is glorious.
Ghost Stories is a one-of-a-kind gem. However, outside of YouTube, I don’t think we’ll ever see anything like this again. Go watch Ghost Stories. It deserves to be seen.
OVERALL SCORE: 9/10
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