The autumn trees are as bright orange as pumpkins, the frosty cool nights are slinking every earlier into what was once daytime hours, and the stores and shops everywhere are over flowing with annoyingly over packaged teeny tiny little candy bars. The Halloween season is in full swing! On an evening not too far away, little ghosts and goblins will be rapping on doors and demanding sugar laden bribes. On a recent went walk through my neighborhood, I happened upon some work of those little ghosts and goblins when I noticed an abundance of paper and plastic ghosts hanging in every doorway, nook, and tree. They weren’t particularly scary, in fact they were actually kind of cute in a rumply kids-definitely-made-these kind of way. Though I certainly wasn’t looking for ghosts that morning, their presence made my walk quite charming! Of course, that got me to thinking, though this season specializes in the spooky, there are actually plenty of ghostly anime out there that aren’t scary at all. In fact, there are quite a few anime ghosts that I wouldn’t mind so much if they were haunting me.
Yu Yu Hakusho -Yusuke Urameshi
This tough talking teen delinquent might look rough on the outside, but on the inside he’s not a bad guy. Urameshi’s favorite hobby seems to be breaking the rules and giving his childhood friend Keiko a hard time. He wears the wrong color of uniform (because he looks better in green) he hangs out in pachinko parlors, and he even gets into fights! But when a little boy chases a ball into a busy street and is about to become another victim of Truck-kun, Urameshi leaps in to save him. Unfortunately, the lovable delinquent loses his own life in the process. But that’s not the end of the story! Urameshi continues on as a ghost detective for quite some time, before his good deeds allow him to win back his life.
Blood Lad – Fuyumi
Blood Lad is an anime about a average high school girl named Fuyumi who accidentally wanders through a doorway to the demon world and ends up in the territory of Staz, a powerful vampire and gang leader, and a total otaku fan-girl of anything human! Staz vows to help Fuyumi get back to the human realm, but the poor girl gets eaten by a plant monster before he can keep his promise. Now with a hallmark white triangle headband on, the ghost Fuyumi must trek across the demon world with Staz to find a cure for her “condition” and find a way back to the human world. And with all this insanity, monsters, and broken logic turning Fuyumi’s life up side down, it’s amazing how totally calm this high school girl manages to be. Fuyumi is a girl that rolls with the punches and just accepts life (or after life) as it is. When she’s caught by Staz’s underlings and brought to him, she doesn’t cower in fear, she sees Staz for the dorky otaku that he is. When Staz looks to manga to find answers about how to get her back to the human realm, she doesn’t spiral into dismay, but rightly understands that though the vampire’s intentions may be good, he’s not totally reliable either.
Noragami – Yukine
One of the main characters of Noragami is the shady handyman god Yato. He’s sneaky, he’s greedy, and dishonest, yet he’s also the perfect counter balance for the ghost Yukine. This troubled teen spirit that can turn into a sword isn’t just the weapon Yato uses in battle. Yukine is also the unruly little brother, when Yato needs to become more mature and parental. Yukine is Yato’s conscience when the lack luster god tries to be greedy and untrustworthy. Not to mention that he’s usually the one that pulls Yato back down to Earth when the deity is lost in the clouds. Though their relationship might be rocky at times, Yato is the big bro Yukine always needed, and Yukine is the solid ground that Yato always needed too.
Shaman King – Amidamaru
Shaman King is the early 2000’s anime about Yoh Asakura, a young shaman that enters a battle royal competition to become the next shaman king. His spirit partner is the legendary samurai Amidamaru. To fight other shaman, Yoh combines with Amidamaru to gain all of the samurai’s skills and some of his strengths. But it’s not Amidamaru’s strengths or skills that truly makes the warrior a great partner, it’s his personality. A samurai from the Warring States era of Japan, he might not be the smartest spirit around, but he has a heart of gold. Loyal to a fault, Amidamaru would do anything for a friend, even wait around for over 300 years! With the integrity of a old school warrior and the determination of someone that has lived through many hardships, Amidamaru never backs down from what he knows is right. Truly, this cheerful beefcake is a BFF that really means forever!
Toilet Bound Hanako kun – Hanako kun
In the anime Toilet Bound Hanako-kun, there are seven mysteries in Nene Yashiro’s school. And the seventh mystery can be found if you knock three times on the door of the third stall of the girl’s bathroom. What should appear is the ghost Hanako who will grant your wish for a price. What Nene found when she knocked on the bathroom door was not the ghost of a little girl, but the ghost of a teen boy. And for poor Nene, things just kept getting weirder from there! All she wanted was to make a wish for a boyfriend that would over look her pudgy “daikon” legs. What she got was turned into a goldfish, thrown back in time, and many bizarre trips into the spirit realm. Though Nene’s little trip to the potty certainly wasn’t what she was expecting, it wasn’t all bad. Though Hanako-kun wasn’t a cute little girl ghost, he is the quite powerful ruler of the seven mysteries of the school, that just happens to like Nene. Just a teeny tiny bit. This Showa era school uniform wearing ghost can be a harsh task master, demanding that Nene stops by his bathroom to clean the floor almost daily, but most of the time Hanako-kun is more mischievous and teasing than anything else. Popping out of nowhere, poking people in the cheek, and pointing out other’s foolishness, this playful trickster is more fun than fearsome.