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Phantom Quest Corporation


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Title Info

  • alias: Yuu-Gen-Kai-Sya
  • seen: 1-4 of 4
  • type: OAV
  • grade: watchable
  • Other elements of this title:
    • This title appears to be an unsuccessful pilot.
  • source: commercial
  • form: sub
  • made: unknown
  • Review created: Tue Sep 18 15:59:28 EST 2001
  • mod: none

This is not one of the best known titles. And while it's fairly good fun I suspect those who do know it are going to remember it as the `pilot that failed'. Although you can entertain yourself trying to determine why there are only four episodes.


In Japan there are thousands of companies of all kinds, but there are no companies quite like Yuu-Gen-Kai-Sya, the phantom quest corporation. Amidst the towering steel and glass monoliths of Japanese industrial might the `normal' house makes how `unusual' it is quite clear. And the president of this company is no figure-head, despite doing quite nicely in the babe stakes, but is instead one of Japan's foremost ghost exterminators. No matter the problem Ayaka Kisaragi, and her team of experts, will send your spiritual problems packing.

Of course once you get inside the building things are a lot more complex. The boss might be a good ghost-buster, but she's also more than a touch wild. Prone to drinking, fits of atrocious karaoke and spending more than she makes. It falls to a young teen to try and keep this complex business afloat. In addition her `team' are more than a little odd. A wily old female mystic, a huge exorcist and a young schoolgirl with the ability to generate huge amounts of fire...albeit not with much in the way of control. Add in their rather, unreliable, contact with the police and they're awfully interesting to watch. And, in the end, they always manage to get the job done no matter the risk.


It's really good fun. Lovely production (this is Pioneer LDC after all), good stories and engaging characters. It really feels like the foundation of something good. Which is why it's so hard to explain why not only is it only 4 episodes long but it just doesn't `feel' finished. The stories are generally episodic, and the 4th is the most impressive, so it's not left hanging. And there's still enough here to make it enjoyable. But, as I mentioned, you keep wondering why there's not more.

Part of the reason for this is that there's some lovely design work. The carefully balanced characters feel like the foundation for a long series. They're interesting in themselves, interact in varied and entertaining ways, and fit all the requirements of an anime. Likewise the ghost busting side itself is bristling with detail. The monsters have personality, the stories have darkness and threat, and the tools used against the monsters are interesting and visually impressive. There's even some deeper story threads built into the background.

So, assuming that it actually was meant to go for longer, why did it not make the cut? If I had to guess I would first mention that the foundation, the spooky ghosts and ghost busting, isn't exactly that original. However I suspect one of the main things might be the attempt to make the series more `mature'. The lead is not the typical anime female, she's somewhat self-indulgent, alternatively vulnerable and brash, and at heart a strong character. She likes a good drink, calls the shots and doesn't take insults kindly. She's rather tough while being aggressively female. And I really have to wonder if this, and the reduction in her `cute' factor, lead to a lot of people passing up the series. It's a shame if this guess is true, but I honestly can't see what else is wrong with the series.

Oh well, another treasure for those willing to go for lesser known titles. I've seen this tape several times and I've enjoyed the trip on each occasion. My only problem is that I want to see more, and learn more about the characters. A desire that will, I would guess, remain unfulfilled.

Certainly the production is nothing to sneer at. There's money behind this title and, even though it isn't new by any means, it looks great. The design, scenery and motion animation are entertaining and skilled. And the characters richly express themselves. One thing worthy of note is the (early?) use of computer assistance. There's some unusual motion scenes, especially on the intro and the final fight, that hint at this. And while it fails in that you notice something is different it does lead to some rather exciting action with a real feel of a 3D space. It's also worth noting that it succeeds, on several occasions, to generate a real sense of atmosphere. The voices are excellent and the music is superb. The opening and closing music, and the animation that goes with it, being very cool indeed. Once again having a fairly mature feel to it. And, while my ears may be playing tricks on me, that sounded a lot like Megumi Hayashibara playing the female police chief (a minor part).

Other Reviews

  • THEM review A fairly direct and positive review from THEM. Good production, interesting characters and some nice stories with a good serve of humor. It sounds like they quite liked the series but didn't feel it had much in the way of weight or substance. And I agree that the characters have lots of untapped potential. They also note, fairly, some relatively mature content (4/5).
  • Akemi's AnimeWorld review Normally I don't touch `reader' reviews because I don't know the persons taste and style. But since this guy is now an official AnimeWorld reviewer I guess I can trust their word. The review is lengthy but largely dismissive, considering it unoriginal, fan oriented and under developed (3/5).
  • Anime Review review Definitely a positive review here. As much in the text of the review as the rating being reduced because the anime makes you want more! The energy, some nice touches of originality on the traditional foundation and solid production are singled out for making an entertaining anime (4/5).
  • Lord Carnage review A short review but one that clearly expresses Carnage's joy at picking up an unknown title and finding something enjoyable. Good characters, a nice mix of humor and suspense and good production ovciously keeping Carnage entertained. He still can't seem to consider much more than light entertainment though (3/5).


Words by Andrew Shelton, Web by Ticti, Last Compile: Wed Aug 5 12:39:23 WST 2009