Review: The Afterschool Hexer
We’re back in school again, although this time SPR were called in to deal with a string of incidents including a haunted desk and a cursed club. Turns out a girl named Kasai demonstrated psychic talent and was then harassed by certain members of the student body and staff and declared she would ‘curse them to death’. However, Mai insists that Kasai isn’t the culprit.
This arc really brings out the investigative skills of SPR and friends as they are faced with what looks like a haunting and events that must be supernatural, but there are no spirits to be found. Thanks to Mai being clueless, many of the characters offer explanations of various phenomenon for the audience to get up to speed in a way that doesn’t feel overly forced, and the resolution is quite satisfying.
Also, while there is the investigation into the phenomenon, there’s a lot of discussion around how psychics and strange phenomenon are viewed by the public at large and how they are represented within the media. While this discussion doesn’t really come to any kind of conclusion, it certainly gets the audience thinking about their own views and how people are accepted or not within society.
- Mai continues to demonstrate growth in her abilities, even if she has no control whatsoever.
- Kazuya is at his absolute sweetest in this arc and the way he comforts Mai is the most human you will see him in the entire series.
- Takigawa and Ayako are at their most pig-headed in this episode. While they’ve butted heads with Kazuya in the previous arcs, there they seemed to have a point. Here, they seem to be objecting for the sake of keeping some tension in the group.
- The case may be solved but a lot of the emotional damage from the events in the story will remain. No clue is given as to how any of that is going to be resolved.
As a stand alone story I find The Afterschool Hexer one of the most satisfying cases in this series. It isn’t as dark as some of the cases later on, but it develops nicely and the couple of twists feel natural and planned. Well worth a watch even if you don’t watch the rest of Ghost Hunt.