Top 5 Ghost Anime – These Spooks Aren’t All Scary But They Sure Are Entertaining

List - Best ghost anime

While making this list I actually struggled a bit because while I started out looking for ghost anime I realised that anime usually has spirits, souls or all manner of other phantasm rather than straight out ghosts. Which lead me to questions like whether Noragami qualified because Hiyori spends so much of her time outside of her body?

And honestly, Noragami is awesome and should be watched but I ultimately decided to stick with somewhat more traditional ghosts on my list.

That still left me with a lot of titles to choose from. On that note I also asked twitter what they thought and as I suspected Anohana took out the top of the list though it isn’t one I ended up adding to my list. There were a lot of write in votes though so clearly plenty of ghost themed anime out there.

What made it into my top 5 ghost anime list?

Ghost Anime No. 5 – xxxHolic

Ghost Anime No. 5 - xxxHolic

Being able to see spirits has got to kind of suck and that’s definitely the experience of Watanuki in the early episodes of this ghost anime, xxxHolic.

While it isn’t just ghosts but actually a whole assortment of supernatural creatures that cause him daily grief, Watanuki meets Yuuko (for those who have watched Tsubasa Chronicles, the Dimensional Witch herself) offers to assist him in in getting what he wishes for a price.

I find it interesting that working for Yuuko Watanuki ends up having far more encounters and walks into more danger than he might have if just left to his own devices. However, he also learns more about his ability and certainly a bit more control and understanding by the end of the series.

xxxHolic is a slow burning series with each episode focusing on a particular mystery or phenomenon and usually resolved in a round about way rather than direct confrontation. Still, it remains one of my favourite ghost anime.

Ghost Anime No. 4 – Dusk Maiden of Amnesia

Ghost Anime No. 4 Dusk Maiden of Amnesia

The titular Dusk Maiden is actually another Yuuko. The Ghost Anime list must be the list for characters named Yuuko. Anyway, she’s a ghost who can be seen by a new highschool student, Niiya and together, with some other students, they run the Paranormal Investigations Club with the goal of finding out what happened to Yuuko and her missing memories.

This one gets points for the ghost being both playful and silly as well as vengeful and terrifying as the occasion calls for it. She’s also not above staging a ‘haunting’ if it serves her purpose and Niiya soon learns most of the school mysteries can be tied back to Yuuko relieving her boredom in one way or another.

While not the best anime out there as the varied tone makes the plot feel pretty disjointed at times and like it wasn’t sure what it wanted to be, Yuuko is one of the best anime ghosts I’ve seen and I certainly enjoyed spending time with her.

Ghost Anime No. 3 – Natsuyuki Rendezvous

Ghost Anime No. 3 - Natsuyuki Rendezvous

I am constantly surprised that Natsuyuki Rendzvous doesn’t get more attention in the anime community. As a romance between older characters it works very well and the ghost ex living in the flower shop just adds an extra layer of complexity to what would otherwise be a fairly standard, but solid, narrative.

Though I guess I can’t talk having also not actually reviewed the series despite owning it on DVD.

Anyway, this one isn’t scary but it does involve a ghost haunting his wife and when trying to scare off the new, young suitor doesn’t work he moves on to possession.

There’s a sweet story at the core of this one and ultimately Natsuyuki Rendzvous is one that should get talked about more often.

Ghost Anime No. 2 Spiritpact

Ghost Anime No. 2 - Spiritpact

I am going to say do not judge Spiritpact by its first episode. While this one takes awhile to get going by the end of season one it has definitely found its tone and the second season is just solid from start to finish. If you like a ghost story as well as a boy’s love romance with a bit of fighting using spiritual powers, spiritpact most definitely has you covered.

This story follows Keika who has miserable luck and is killed in a sudden accident becoming a spirit. However he’s given the opportunity to form a pact with a high ranking exorcist and so the story unravels from there.

When Spiritpact is being serious and they are facing down other spiritualist or dealing with malicious spirits the story works spectacularly well, as it does when it focuses on the growing relationship between the two main characters. Unfortunately wen it thinks it is being funny the comedy usually crashes and burns and kills whatever momentum the episode had going.

Still, by the end of season 2 I had almost forgiven Spiritpact for those early few episodes that were definitely less than amazing and I am left with very fond memories of this series and I wouldn’t mind more of it.


Ghost Anime No. 1 – Ghost Hunt

Ghost Anime No. 1 - Ghost Hunt

Yeah it is a pretty obvious choice but Ghost Hunt gives us a very traditional story of a group of characters performing paranormal investigations and occasionally running into ghosts and spirits that are causing problems for those around them. Everything from ghost hounds, fires, possessed dolls and murderous spirits appear throughout the series as the main characters carefully and methodically look into the situation.

The other part about Ghost Hunt that makes it a pretty solid choice is you don’t actually have to watch the whole series as it is broken into pretty distinct arcs, or cases, and each one can more or less be watched as a stand alone piece (admittedly, the team’s character development will make more sense if you watch in order).

Still, as far as ghost anime go, it was hard not to put Ghost Hunt as my number one choice.

List - Best ghost anime

Those were my five favourite ghost anime but I’d love to know which anime and which ghosts you would include on your list so be sure to leave me a comment below.

Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime.
Join the discussion in the comments.
Karandi James

A Special Halloween Top 5: Spirits, Ghosts, and Dead People – With Luminous Mongoose


Luminous Mongoose has had a busy month organising a number of collaborative top 5 lists for the spooky season. I was really happy they asked me to be a part of it, though I definitely struggled with time management (it has been a really busy month). Still, I love Halloween and all things creepy so getting to put together a list of top 5 ghosts seemed like a great idea.

Anyway, I’ve got the start of the list (5 – 3) but if you want to see who my favourite ghost/spirit character is, and Lumi’s, than you will have to jump over to their blog. Hopefully you enjoy the list and as always, I’d love to know which characters you would have included on your list.

Number 5:

Karandi’s Pick – Atsushi – Natsuyuki Rendezvous


He’s the jealous husband who literally won’t go away and when the new part timer who has eyes on his wife notices him, Atsushi starts out trying to drive him away. When that is unsuccessful, he takes a new approach convincing him to share his body and allow the ghost to speak with his wife. Needless to say Atsushi has a few other things in mind.

Lumi’s Pick – Son Goku (While he was dead after fighting Cell) – Dragon Ball

Son Goku.jpg

Okay, so right off the bat, counting Goku as a ghost will tell you that I’m being very loose with the entries on this list. While Goku has died as much as he has children and grandchildren, I always enjoyed his character the most when he was just a ghost exploring the afterlife of the Dragonball universe, and spectating on the affairs of his friends and family. The biggest reason why I included him here is thanks to the image above, which is the iconic Father-Son Kamehameha. Not only is it a beautiful shot, it also represents Goku passing on the torch to his son as the next savior of Earth, and it was a great send off for one of action shounen’s most iconic heroes.

At least until GT and Super crapped all over that.

Number 4:

Karandi’s Pick – Yuuko – Dusk Maiden of Amnesia


She’s forgotten plenty but Yuuko has finally found someone who can see her and she’s ready to have fun exploring the mysteries of the old school house and generally mess around. Equally alluring and scary, Yuuko appears as people think she will and she uses this to her advantage as the ghost president of the supernatural research club.

Lumi’s Pick – No Face – Spirited Away

No Face.png

No Face is a very simple but effective character. We have no clues as to his motivations, nor does he ever even string together complete sentences. All we know is that he wants to be friends with Chihiro, and gets cranky when he doesn’t get what he wants. It’s a strange thing to see a possibly centuries-old spirit act like a spoiled child, but it really works for the bizarre tone of Spirited Away. His design is  creepy and off-putting, while still being distinctly Ghibli, and that lands him a spot at number 4.

Number 3:

Karandi’s Pick Yukine – Noragami


Okay, probably not technically a ghost but he is the spirit of a dead boy who was reforged into a weapon for a god so I’m still throwing him in my list. He’s a fantastic character and while at first he comes off kind of sullen and one dimensional, his growth as a character over the two seasons of Noragami are a delight.

Lumi’s Pick – Fuko Ibuki – Clannad

Fubo Ibuki.png

Okay, major spoilers for the first arc of Clannad, so feel free to skip this if you somehow haven’t watched KyoAni’s magnum opus in terms of drama.

Having Fuko on here could be considered cheating since she is TECHNICALLY not dead, but she is the spirit of a girl in a coma, so I’m counting it. Just like Yuuko from Dusk Maiden of Amnesia, Fuko is a mysterious girl who is apparently tied to the school in some way, and has no memory of who they are.

When I first watched Clannad, I thought it was just gonna be a straightforward slice of life highschool drama, mysterious robot and girl in an astral plane aside. The reveal of her true nature was legitimately surprising and the mystery of it was intriguing.

She was the introduction of the supernatural element to the story which becomes a huge deal in the later arcs, and her arc was the highlight of my time with Clannad’s first season. Plus, her sudden reintroduction as a gag character despite her very heartfelt and emotional ending was hilarious and still completely in-character, so she makes the list at number 3!

And that’s our list numbers 5 – 3. Again, be sure to check out Luminous Mongoose’s post for the rest of the list.

Thanks for reading.

Karandi James


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Kieli Volume 1 Novel Review: Finding A Place To Be You Is Always Hard


Kieli is a lonely girl with only a ghost roommate for company until the day she meets Harvey, an undying soldier who is being pursued by the church. These two unlikely companions will travel together and may just find what they are looking for in one another.


I have to admit, there was something interesting about reading Kieli even if I’m not thrilled enough to go looking for a second book. For me, this story was great to read and I loved watching Kieli and Harvey interacting with the commentary of the ‘corporal’, a ghost who lived inside a radio they carried. But I’m also kind of feeling that for me this was enough of that story. Certainly there are wider implications and more that can go on in the world, but I liked where this story chose to finish and felt a sense of completion from it. So I am going to recommend reading this book even while I decline to read any further in the series at the moment (I may eventually change my mind).

There’s a lot of fairly familiar antics going on in Kieli with the orphan girl who is a bit different getting picked on by others in the school and being the target of mistaken charity from others. Even her interactions with Becca, the ghost roommate, are all pretty much what you would expect. However, the familiar set-up is taking place in a world that is fresh and new even while it reflects a lot of what we’ve seen before.


Set on a world colonised long ago and all but out of resources after a devastating war, there’s a sense that everything here is coming to an end and the people are just going through the motions of living because there’s nothing better to do. From a technological point of view there’s a strange mix between old and new as there are weapons and machines left over from by-gone eras that are pretty fantastic, and then there are things more reminiscent of more of the 19th Century. The mix works well to create a world that feels fresh even while a lot of what it presents has been done before.

Where it really missed a chance to distinguish itself was in the main antagonist of the novel, the controlling church and the bureaucracy beneath it. While religious organisations and dictatorship governments are pretty easy targets for dystopian settings, it felt like Kieli could have really tried something different if it wanted to given the nature of the setting and the history, and yet it does make perfect sense that the people did fall back to a theocracy of sorts.

Despite the intriguing setting, this is very much a story about Kieli and Harvey and while they are both products of the world they live in, they are first and foremost people who have been deeply hurt and for various reasons have cut themselves off from others. Despite Harvey’s secrets and the fact that they both see ghosts, they are both characters that it is easy to emphasise with and that is one of the greatest strengths of the story.

Some decent action sequences, including a train escape, and some supernatural goings on with the ghosts all make for a fairly interesting plot while we watch the two characters slowly come out of their self-imposed shells.

As I said, I really enjoyed reading this book and found it quite interesting, but for me the end point it enough. It’s like getting to the end of a movie and the characters get their happily ever after and then you realise there’s a sequel where they just kind of mess everything up for the characters again. I’m happy where this ended and where the characters are so for now I’ll leave Kieli and Harvey alone but if you are looking for something a bit interesting to read, than Kieli might just be what you are looking for.

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If you’re interested in reading Kieli Volume 1 it is available on the Book Depository.

Elegant Yokai Apartment Life Episode 1: Human Enters Apartment Full of Ghosts With Expected Results



Yushi Inaba is forced into an awkward living situation at his uncle’s house after his parents pass away. He decides that when he goes to high school, he’s going to live on his own, and finds an ultra-cheap apartment named Kotobuki-so. But it was a monster apartment, filled with monsters, humans, and ghosts!

– From Crunchyroll.


This is one show I was actually looking forward to this season, not so much because I thought it would be good, but because I just like these kinds of stories. This first episode gave me pretty much what I expected as we first meet Inaba and his friend (who is kind of suspicious), we get some exposition dumping about why he needs to find a place to stay and then we go to the apartment in question which seems perfectly normal (if a little creepy) and then it isn’t.


So pretty much everything in this first episode was okay. The introduced characters seem like they’ll be interesting enough, the apartment building and its residents and visitors seems like it will provide enough fodder for stories, and things seem to be moving along nicely. There’s nothing exceptional at all about this as a first episode but it still worked for me and I’m looking forward to future episodes. The one real positive though is that some of the scenes here are really pretty. Hopefully that can continue throughout the rest of the season.


Thanks for reading.

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Karandi James.


Dusk Maiden of Amnesia Series Review


There’s no mystery that I really enjoyed aspects of this anime. Yuuko took a place on my Top 5 list of Characters with Convenient Missing Memories and the anime made my top 5 list of supernatural anime. However, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t issues with this series. With its varying tone, characters that don’t always click, and generally a sense that the main story is really only about four episodes worth of content and the rest is just kind of padding to flesh it out to a whole season, Dusk Maiden of Amnesia is a fun ride at times but isn’t exactly A+ material.

So what is it about?

Teiichi Niiya has just enrolled in a new school and after getting lost in the old school building comes across a room that is rumoured to be haunted. There he meets Yuuko, the ghost of the school and somehow he can see and touch her. The two form the Paranormal Investigation Club to figure out the mystery of Yuuko’s forgotten past. They are joined by Kirie Konoe who can also see Yuuko but is convinced she’s an evil spirit and Momoe Okonogi who would love to see spirits but remains blissfully ignorant of most of the goings on.

Just so you know, there are spoilers in the review below.


As much as I genuinely love the experience of watching Dusk Maiden of Amnesia it is a hard anime to recommend to someone else. The biggest issue being that this story wants to be three separate anime and keeps changing its mind and shifting directions. That isn’t to say that each part isn’t entertaining in its own way, however the abrupt tonal shift and change in direction for the characters is a little bit jarring. Also, the first episode, while amusing if you watch it through after watching the rest of the anime, is a pretty terrible introduction to the series. Given how many people will stop right then and there, it isn’t a mystery as to why so few people end up talking about what is otherwise a fairly reasonable anime.

One of the positives of this story is Teiichi Niiya. As the lead in this story had the potential to be just another middle-school anime protagonist. And at first he does seem like that. He starts out fairly generic and dull in his response to Yuuko’s dilemma.

Oh, you’re dead. That’s too bad. You don’t remember what killed you? Let’s find out.

But that quickly gives way. After his initial acceptance of what Yuuko tells him and the situation he starts to realise that things are off and becomes quite active in his pursuit of the truth hidden in the school. He persists in this even after Yuuko actively seeks to stop him. So does that make him just a go-getter who won’t give up on his goal?

Not really. There are several instances where things look dicey for the pair. After Niiya breaks his leg (or his leg is broken after shadow Yuuko pushes him down a flight of stairs), and after Yuuko purposefully sheds all memory of Niiya it really does look like things are done and it takes awhile and some prompting after some events for things to get back on track.

Teiichi, while accepting enough of the premise so as to not be the annoying ‘in-denial’ protagonist (of the kind William became in Devils and Realist) is also not over-powered, super-smart, the centre of a harem (though it almost goes there) or anything really other than the descendant of someone who had been close to Yuuko and an actual nice guy (but not a complete push-over for the whole series).


Yuuko is another positive. The reason for her fairly selective memory loss is not only a plot device that is explained, but it is actually kind of clever and almost believable in a supernatural story. That the trauma of her death was too much of a burden to carry that she threw it off, creating a shadow version of herself, and then she continued to throw off any negative emotions or memories, feeding the shadow version and remaining up beat regardless of the situation, feels like something that could happen (when dealing with a ghost at least). I really liked how this part of the story played out and I loved how Yuuko utterly resisted being reconciled with her memories. And when we see how she was killed it is pretty horrible.

With these two leads at the helm, there’s a lot to enjoy about how the events in Dusk Maiden actually plays out even if it isn’t all smooth sailing.


The music and atmosphere of this show is also pretty amazing. It’s part of the reason I wish they’d played this story straight as a supernatural investigation with a hint of romance instead of trying to squeeze in the school club, slice of life, comedy elements. The old school building is dripping with atmosphere and the sunsets, lighting, use of wind, everything just creates this glorious supernatural atmosphere and it is all preceded by an opening song that while it isn’t great to listen to on its own (it’s not bad) just perfectly fits what this show could have been.

But, that brings us to some of the more negative elements of this anime.


I mentioned this before but the show does not know what it wants to be other than supernatural (which doesn’t tell you much other than that there’s a supernatural element in this case a ghost). It starts off almost pure comedy with the ghost playing with Okonogi who can’t see Yuuko, and this is almost immediately followed by the ghost trapping herself and Niiya in a food elevator which leads to the standard accidental breast grabs that show up in anime all the time.

However, after a few episodes the comedy elements seem to give out to actual supernatural investigations and several cases are taken and solved (though it turns out Yuuko’s boredom accounts for a lot of the mysteries around the school). Anyway, this is very much the kids in a club phase of the story.

Then things take a turn for the dark and it seems like they are looking for some genuine psychological horror at this phase of the story but it is hard to take it seriously due to everything that came before.

Lastly, we seem to hit upon a supernatural-romance ending. Which is sweet and dramatic and really touching but was I watching a supernatural romance?

None of these parts are bad in and of themselves and they actually do all work to form a cohesive story but it’s hard to know just who the intended audience was given very few people are likely to sit through all of those different phases happily even if it is only 12 episodes.


And of course, this anime being a school comedy goes for the classic boob grab as comedy aspect. Girls have breasts. We get it. Amazingly enough this is a known fact. Do our two female students and one ghost need to compare sizes and take any opportunity to glare at each other’s busts. Does our male lead need to actually grab Yuuko’s breast to prove he can touch a ghost?

While this isn’t over the top groping or fan-service it just doesn’t feel like it fits into this story (at least not after the first couple of episodes where it kind of feeds into the comedy elements). Normally these sorts of anime antics are ignorable, but as I said, they just don’t fit with anything else on the screen so it almost makes you wonder if they were contractually obligated to include it.


The entirety of episode 1 is a problem. As an extra or something similar, this episode isn’t so bad, but as an introduction to the series it is pretty terrible.

While I know this gets said a lot, I will say it anyway. This show does get better. The first episode is really not a good example of what this show does well nor is it particularly interesting when you don’t know or care about any of the characters. This episode fares better after you’ve watched the whole series and then when you do a rewatch you actually don’t think the first episode is so bad. I just remember it took me three goes to initially watch the anime in the first place because I kept rage quitting episode 1.

As I said, this is a hard anime to recommend but if you like supernatural stories then you will probably find lots to enjoy in this even if one or two parts of it annoy. On the bright side, none of the elements really stick around long enough to be too painful because this show just keep pushing forward.

If you’ve watched Dusk Maiden of Amnesia I’d love to know what you thought of it.

Thanks for reading
Karandi James
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Blood Lad Series Review

blood lad 4551 1

Blood Lad Overview:

In Blood Lad Staz (a vampire) rules a district in the demon world but is completely obsessed with Japanese culture from the human world. Fuyumi (a Japanese girl) somehow ends up in the demon world Staz is thrilled until she’s eaten and becomes a ghost. Staz then begins searching for a way to resurrect her.

Blood Lad Review:

Blood Lad is one of those anime that you can’t take very seriously but it’s a good ride full of zany characters and visual humour (as well as some excessive violence and a more messed up family than you expect from even anime). The biggest complaint I would raise with this series is they just kind of leave you hanging in limbo mid-way along Staz’s quest to resurrect Fuyumi.


From a plot point of view there isn’t all that much more than the overview. Staz and Fuyumi travel around the demon world encountering various other demons as they look for a solution. That said, there’s plenty of sub-plots and a lot of character back story floating around the fairly short run time. This makes what is a basic fetch quest feel like a much richer story while at the same time makes the lack of resolution even worse.

Blood Lad

The setting is also pretty ordinary (considering we’re meant to be in a demon world). While there are definitely fantasy like parts to the setting and they change scenes often, very few of the locations are all that memorable beyond their initial impression. Maybe that’s harsh but it really just felt like we were in a run down city with a few old manors and the like scattered around.


The characters are the shining stars of the anime. Staz is incredibly powerful in his district and even compared to other district bosses, but as we learn more about Staz’s family situation and background we realise that he is not the overpowered and always undefeated protagonist that he might appear to be early in the series.

Also, his overall lack of work ethic being in direct contradiction with his vow to Fuyumi makes for some interesting character reflection (I’d hesitate to call it development at this point in the story).


Fuyumi as our fish out of water, typical Japanese girl/ghost, is probably the weakest of the characters (though she does do ordinary girl well it kind of makes her the flattest of all the characters). And despite the fact that she’s supposed to be Joe Ordinary even she ends up with a far more complex story than at first anticipated.


As to other characters, my favourites are Wolf and Bell. Bell because of her very cool magic (I’d love to be able to do that trick with the frames) and Wolf because he just brings so much energy to his scenes.

There’s some great action sequences and amusing dialogue but that’s about all I can say about the series. Given it’s short run time (10 episodes) you can knock it over in an afternoon and it is an enjoyable way to pass the time.

For those who can’t stand incomplete stories I’d recommend saving yourself some pain and skipping this one. Otherwise, it is difficult to fault except that the humour doesn’t always land (but isn’t that always the case in shows that try to play for laughs).

What were your thoughts on Blood Lad?

Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime.
Join the discussion in the comments.
Karandi James