Throwback: Ghost Stories, the Anime That’s So Much Better in English

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Face it – most anime fans will cringe once you mention that you prefer the English dub of a certain anime series or movie. Frankly speaking, most dubs are terrible for various reasons: bad voice acting or horrible syncing to name a few. Fortunately, the anime I’m recommending today is a hidden English dubbed gem. Yes – it’s better in English. No, it’s really not that good in Japanese. Give it a try in its original dub and you’ll see why it flopped in Japan.

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Ghost Stories is the tale of Satsuki Miyanoshita, a new kid in the hometown of her deceased mother. On her first day of school, she and her brother Keiichiro are joined by their neighbor Hajime Aoyama, his friend Leo Kakinoki and an older schoolmate Momoko Koigakubo. They visit the abandoned school building and learn for themselves that the building is haunted. They soon discover that Satsuki’s mother was responsible for sealing several ghosts that haunted the not only the school, but the town as well. However, the ghosts are now released due to urbanization. Conveniently though, Satsuki’s mother left behind a book to exorcise them once and for all. They successfully seal a demon named Amanojaku, but his soul is trapped in a cat’s body. With his help, they are able to exorcise most of the ghosts and restore peace in their school and town.

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Ghost Stories finished airing in 2001 with a total of 20 episodes, but it wasn’t until 2005 that ADV films took charge of the English dub and released it in North America. Since the anime didn’t perform well commercially in Japan, ADV films was allowed to do whatever the hell they wanted with the dub so long as they keep the plot structure and storyline. So you see kids, through this we learn that one man’s trash is indeed another man’s treasure. ADV screenwriter Steven Foster injected as much humor as he can into the dialogue and some where even ad-libbed by the voice actors. What happened to the dub, you ask?

Yep... this is from the OFFICIAL English dub.
Yep… this is from the OFFICIAL English dub.

It became a gag dub featuring a mountain load of jokes of various kinds – gay jokes, religious jokes and so on. Not to mention there’s so much cultural references in it that you’d swear the screenwriter will get sued. The show became an Anime-South Park-Ghostbusters hybrid.

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The hilarity adds so much flavor to the plot that it’s even more enjoyable to watch. However, if you’re not into English dubs, the only thing that you might find appealing is the uproarious changes in the dialogue. The anime suffers from bits of bad voice acting and horrible syncing that you’ll find yourself cringing sometimes. There are also moments when the speech comes out incoherent. But I’m telling you, the English dub will catch you off guard so many times that you’ll find yourself rolling on the floor, laughing.

If you’re in need of some comedy gold to binge watch, you might as well give Ghost Stories (English dub) a try.

Have you watched Ghost Stories? What’s your favorite line from the English dub? Let us know in the comments section below! 

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