Anime Meta-Review


Ghost Sweeper Mikami


By Date




Title Info

  • seen: 1-16 of 45
  • Series state: Can't find any more to watch.
  • type: TV
  • grade: watchable
  • made: 1993
  • Review created: Sun Dec 10 14:25:30 EST 2000
  • mod: none

An older anime, showing some signs of age and TV level production, but still a suprisingly cool watch.

Sure it's set in modern day Japan, but as any anime watcher knows Japan positively groans under the weight of spirits, demons and other monstrous denizens. Thus it is little suprise to find there are those who make a living from hunting the ghouls and ghosts that get in the way of the modern world. And, in the modern tradition, all they expect are large amounts of money for their services. The foremost ghost sweeper in Japan being the powerful, attractive and frighteningly mercenary Mikami. We get to follow her adventures as she gets called into a variety of ghost hunting missions. And these ghosts are not the creaky floors and chilly feeling type, these are the sort that terrorise entire area's and make the news headlines.

Of course Mikami is not without allies. Although given the sort of weirdo's ghost hunting attracts there's a very real possibility she'd be better of without them. Her permanent staff includes the super lecherous, grossly underpaid young guy who largely gets to serve as decoy and pack handler. And, in the first episode, she gains Okinu a young female ghost...and the most balanced and good natured of the crew despite being dead. She's working, at 30 yen an hour, to afford Ms. Mikami's services so she can go on to paradise.

And if you think her regular crew are strange try the competing ghost hunters, many of whom have reasons to try a depose Mikami. They're pretty cool and interesting though, even the most villainous. The insane alchemist Dr. Chaos and his female android, A witch with a penchant for curses, A rogue christian priest (Mikami's mentor) and his half-vampire assistant. Not to mention the coolest of all, a totally normal naieve young lady with no powers at all. Mind you her seven guardian demons always look after her....which is possibly why she doesn't get much chance to chat with normal people. They're all somewhat familiar but fairly novel and very well drawn out characters.

Likewise the ghost stories have both touch's of familiarity but enough novelty to keep you entertained. Things like a ghost train that wants to go to heaven, a gremlin on a television satellite or ghosts who want help to finish their failed bank robbery. The stories are generally interesting and novel enough to keep you entertained. Likewise they're occasionally even a touch scary, though Mikami has all sorts of power and toys with which to win the day. Even better she looks good while she does it, leading to a sizable component of entertaining action. And then there's some nice changes of pace without any ghost hunting, some character pieces and even the occasional double episode story to keep things varied.

It's still got weaknesses mind you. The dial is set on the entertaining end of the spectrum, leading to a fairly shallow feel, and the writing is at television level. In addition some of the comedy, including most of that based on her assistant's insane lust, falls pretty flat. It's just very unsophistocated and can seem quite primitive by todays standards. Although I was suprised by how risque it was at times.

Likewise the production is beginning to show it's age and some fairly weird design choices. It looks like, judging from some posters shown on one of the tapes, that the characters are drawn similar to their manga versions. That's fine, but they look a bit strange. Mikami having these weird proportions and strange eye's (with `needle' brows) that looks a bit unattractive and detracts from the planned fan-service. This style, using quite complex linework, looks even stranger when they go super deformed at which point it can be downright ugly. The voices are fine, barring the assistants over-acting, and the music is synthy but energetic stuff that sounds very `spy' movie'ish (or lupin'ish) at times.


Words by Andrew Shelton, Web by Ticti, Last Compile: Wed Aug 5 12:39:18 WST 2009