They will make this face a lot in the course of this series.
Gakkou no Kaidan is a title that I have watched partially on Animax, and as I waited for Noir to finish being downloaded, I brought it out from my DVD collection and watched it until the end. So, let me get the review out of the way before I get started with Noir later.
The best character and the voice of reason in this anime.
Two siblings returned to their mom’s hometown after her death, and in no time the eldest sibling found out that she has to do a lot of exorcising at their new ghost-infested school. Aided by their new friends and a talking cat, the siblings went ahead with their adventure of exorcising the ghost of the week, one ghost per episode.
While this anime did deal with paranormal activities, it was nowhere near as scary as you may expect for a horror series from Japan. Anyway, the story is pretty decent but it was buried under the pile of ghost-of-the-week episodes. This means that the story is moving at a pace that is a little bit too slow for my liking. For a series that has 20 episodes, it feels like the story’s length is akin to the ones that has 13 episodes or something.
Character development is also affected by the slow pacing above, which means that many of the major characters are virtually the same at the start and the end, with the exception of the main female protagonist and also the talking cat (which incidentally is the best character in this anime). The ending seems to be hurried, compressed within a single episode when IMO it could do better in a spread within several episodes.
On an unrelated note, the alternative subtitle by Exiled-Destiny is hilarious, especially when they changed the purple-haired girl into a born-again Christian who will try to evangelise the rest of the cast whenever she can.
Quoted for Truth.
The character design is good, especially for the purple-haired (Christian evangelist) girl. Only one of the major characters has black hair, and that is not a good thing because Japanese elementary school kids do not normally dye their hair. The designs for the ghosts is also good, although not exactly original.
One of the ghosts is about to claim a victim. None of the Bible verses she usually use will be able to save her.
The voice acting in this anime is ordinary and average, with no one standing out from the rest.
One of the better-looking ghosts in the process of claiming another victim.
A positive point of this anime, the OST and both OP/ED themes are very well done. Congratulations.
The last moments of an unfortunate taxi driver.
Unfortunately, fresh from scoring high in the music section, the same cannot be said about the animation. The animation is average at best, and can be atrocious at times. In fast-paced scenes, the animation can be ridiculously good or frustratingly bad, that’s how inconsistent it can be. The choreography is not of the highest order either, but the directing is surprisingly competent when it comes to the story presentation, usage of camera angles and more, but he/she is screwing up in other areas. Trying to use techniques/methods that are applicable in typical life-action Japanese horror movies in an anime is a double-edge sword after all.
In other titles like Meitantei Conan or Tantei Gakuen Q or even in real life, he would have been dead on the spot. In this anime, he gets away with a week in hospital.
7 out of 10. Noir should come up next; it is already prepared on my hard-disk. Or maybe the first episode of the Evangelion remake. Whatever, just wait until my next review.
In Japan, ghosts that comes out from TV seems to be common. This interlaced ghost is also one of the better designed in this anime…
…while this one is one of the plainest. Voiced by Ayako ‘Nodame’ Kawasumi though.