Manga: Ghost Talkers Daydream
Misaki (right) and Ai (left).Ghost Talkers Daydream
(original title 低俗霊 Daydream) is a Shōnen
horror manga with Ecchi
overtones written by Saki Okuse and illustrated by Sankichi Meguro, of which 10 volumes were published between 2001 and 2006. It was adapted into an anime mini-series in 2004. The first six volumes have been released by Dark Horse Comics
with more still to come.
Misaki Saiki is a special young woman. Not because of her day jobs, though those are respectively as a columnist for a porn magazine and as a dominatrix for a BDSM club, but because she can see ghosts
. As such she is covertly employed as an exorcist by a government organization, the Livelihood Preservation Group.
Her liaison with the organization is Souichirou Kadotake, a Non-Action Guy
type who, despite a surprising proficiency in martial arts, is clearly in the wrong line of work, since he's scared of ghosts. She is also assisted by Mitsuru Fujiwara, a teenager with stalkerish tendencies, and Ai Kunugi, a shy high school girl with budding necromantic abilities of her own.
Contains examples of:
- Abhorrent Admirer: Misaki is neither flattered, or amused, by Mitsuru's attention and has even threatened to call the police. Not that it's done any good, since he continues to stalk her anyway; including bugging her apartment, after stealing all her panties.
- Accidental Pervert: Kadotake, with both Misaki and Ai.
- Action Girl: Misaki would rather avoid direct physical confrontations but when she has to, she delivers a beatdown.
- Adaptational Heroism: The anime paints Mitsuru in a better light by toning down his stalking so all he does is take photos of her, while she's out in public. Plus, it's it's made humorous, since he usually catches her in various states on undress, thanks to Kadotake's clumsiness. Aside from that, he's cast as one of Misaki's contacts and even helps save Ai, near the climax of the second episode.
- All Men Are Perverts: Looking at you, Kadotake, Mitsuru, and Kobayashi.
- Barbie Doll Anatomy: Averted, for women AND men.
- Barehanded Blade Block: Hilariously averted by the Yakuza thug Misaki clocks near the end of chapter 2.
- Best Her to Bed Her: Played for Laughs (and fanservice) in chapter 16, when Kobayashi fantasizes about his co-worker, Shizue, her girlfriend, Kinako, and Lisa all throwing themselves at him, after beating them at a game of Mahjong. But it's hilariously subverted when he plays his final tile and sees it's a losing hand.
- Birds of a Feather: Kadotake and Mitsuru are stalkers-in-arms.
- Bi the Way: Shizue's girlfriend, Morisawa Kinako.
- Blessed with Suck: This is Misaki's general attitude toward her abilities as a medium, since all it's ever done is alienate the people around her. As a child, it made her an outcast. As an adult, the only ones who'll have anything to do with her, aside from her clients at the Roppongi S&M Club, are Kadotake, Ai, and Shizue. Still, if nothing else, at least it pays well.
- Brother-Sister Incest: Implied by Mitsuru's sister-in-law's spirit in chapter 9. See the "Reason you Suck" Speech entry down below.
- Clingy Jealous Ghost: Yujima Hijiri was so attached to Mitsuru that, after her death, her spirit becomes frighteningly possessive of him. So much so, that she's almost always near him, and Heaven help anyone she perceives as trying to come between them; especially if they're trying to exorcise her.
- Cluster F-Bomb: Haru delivers one, here, when she senses Misaki's presence drawing near, causing her to go off on a tangent about how much she hates women, due to her own sexual inadequacy, as a hermaphrodite.
- Cowardly Lion: Kadotake is utterly terrified of spirits and spends much of his time on assignments trying not to have a heart attack. But, if it's just some hoods trying to pick a fight with him, or if they're trying to harm Misaki... that's different. That's 'cuz he knows martial arts and can give as good as he gets.
- The Cutie: Ai's 2 year old niece, Miku. Seriously, look at her.
- Distracted by the Sexy: It happens to Kadotake, while he's driving, due to trying to sneak peeks at Misaki, who was stark naked in the backseat and changing into her S&M attire. She catches him in the act and calls him on it, but he denies it. So she tests him, as seen in the Does Not Like Shoes entry, causing him to sideswipe a parked truck.
- Does Not Like Shoes: Misaki (see the Ms. Fanservice entry further down).
- Dominatrix: It's Misaki's day job at the Roppongi S&M Club, though she doesn't enjoy it. Despite this, or perhaps because of her disdain for her profession, she's become very popular with the clientele and is one of their most frequently requested Doms.
- Dramatic Wind: When Misaki summons ghosts.
- Driven to Suicide: There are numerous cases throughout the series:
- In chapter 3, one of Misaki's regulars hangs himself because the manga artist that worked for their company's publishing office suddenly quit his job. In the month that followed, their ratings steadily declined, causing Shimamura to become depressed. Which was explained in the suicide note he left behind at his office.
- Chapter 6 has a double suicide between Arisa and Naori, who Shizue had met at a bar, in Ikebukuro, the night before. Leaving Shizue to blame herself for ignoring the warning signs that Arisa was troubled about coming to terms with her sexual identity.
- In chapter 8, a cabbie named Shigeura hangs himself out of remorse, after picking up a female passenger with the intent to rape her, but he couldn't go through with it. So he called his friend, Muraoka, for advice. Instead, Muraoka raped her himself, in the backseat of Shigeura's cab, and strangled her afterward. Shigeura fled the scene in panic and committed suicide, later that night.
- The 9th chapter begins with another double suicide. this time, with the girls seen here. What's particularly notable about this instance is, one of them was Mitsuru's mentally ill younger sister-in-law.
- Chapter 12 features multiple Yuo suicide victims, beginning with Isanami and her friends, who're later found dead in the lake.
- Near the end of chapter 17, Detective Gada arranges for Haru to meet with Yuo, face-to-face. During which, she collapses in mental exhaustion. She recovers soon afterward, but says she feels ill and asks to go to the women's room.... where she leaps to her death.
- Dude Magnet: As seen in the All Men Are Perverts entries, Misaki has three guys crushing on her. Plus, she's one of the most frequently requested Doms at the Roppongi S&M Club; not that she cares for any of the attention.
- Fanservice: See the Ms. Fanservice entries further down.
- Furo Scene: Episodes 3 and 4 of the anime features Misaki visiting different onsens and hotsprings that're rumored to stimulate hair growth "down there". While the manga essentially covers the same story in chapter 11.
- Girl-on-Girl Is Hot: Invoked by Shizue, in chapter 5, when she arranges to do a photo shoot for a lesbian magazine, featuring herself and Misaki doing S&M play. The photographers were snapping so many shots that they were running out of film!
- Harmful to Minors: This applies to Ai and Mitsuru. For details regarding Ai, go here and see 'The Woobie'. Mitsuru's is covered under the "Reason You Suck" entry on this page.
- Hermaphrodite: Haru is revealed to be one as part of her backstory. Which lead to being ridiculed and bullied at school. This also caused problems in her relationship with Gada and eventually caused Haru to develop a deep seeded hatred against other women.
- Heroic Albino: Misaki.
- Hidden Eyes: When Misaki channels Ichinose, a deceased murderer, her eyes aren't visible.
- Immodest Orgasm: It was inevitable, considering her line of work, but Misaki experienced her first one on the job when Shimamura took her by surprise and went down on her. Judging from the montage of images, including a close-up of Misaki's fingers entwined in the straps on the back of Shimamura's mask, and another with her back arching while screaming to the heavens... it was a good one. She even thanked his ghost for it, at the end of the chapter.
- I See Dead People: Misaki has seen spirits since childhood and eventually learned she was a mediumnote . As such, spirits have always been drawn to her, when all she wants is for them to leave her alone.
- Ai begins to see spirits after helping Misaki unravel the events that lead to the murder of Ai's older sister and the accidental death of her niece. From then on, Ai begins to look up to Misaki and hopes to become just like her. But Misaki believes Ai's better off ignoring spirits. During the events of chapter 12, Misaki finally accepts her as her backup.
- Jailbait Wait: Seen, here, when Misaki promises to punish Mitsuru, once he's turned 18.
- Kick the Dog: Detective Gada does it to Ai, here, by forcing her to conduct a necromancy session, despite telling him she didn't know how to do it. Just look at the panel where she submits.
- Killed Off for Real: Haru, shortly after meeting Yuo.
- Knight in Sour Armor: It isn't that Misaki doesn't care about helping the departed move on, she's just tired of being bothered with it, but also realizes they're not gonna leave her alone until she does, because they're naturally drawn to her. So the only way she can find a moment's peace, is to help them find theirs.
- Lesbian: Shizue doesn't fit either extreme, making her a straight example. Her hair's short and she tends to dress casually, but she's still feminine.
- Living Emotional Crutch: Misaki is this to Kadotake and Mitsuru. Ai also becomes this to Mitsuru.
- Loners Are Freaks: Misaki was shunned by her classmates as a child because her ability to see spirits frightened them, while others thought she was weird.
- Magnetic Medium: Misaki isn't simply a medium, she's a gifted one, due to having been trained since childhood by her grandmother. As such, spirits are naturally drawn to her.
- Willing Channeler: The only way for Misaki to communicate with the deceased, is to allow them to temporarily possess her body and speak through her. Ai also begins to develop this ability, in the latter part of the manga.
- Male Gaze: Both Misaki and Ai are subjected to this at different points, such as the top panel, here, and in these panels as well. While, on this page, the top-right panel focuses on Ai's legs and the main panel is centered squarely on her thighs and panties.
- Manipulative Bastard: Yuo all the way - he manipulated dozens of people into commiting suicide (often group suicide) and many of them before or even after their death were helping him with dragging others into this because they saw him as their Messiah.
- Meeting in the Mind: Takes place in chapter 17, when Misaki finally meets with Yuo.
- Missing Mom: All Misaki knows is that her parents split up, though she neither knows what caused the split, or what became of her mother afterwards.
- Modesty Bedsheet/Towel: The anime version uses both tropes to censor certain scenes where Misaki's either sleeping in the nude, or bathing. It gets subverted in the final scene of the last episode, when her towel comes undone and falls off, exposing her breasts.
- Mood Whiplash: This applies mainly to the manga version, which can be lighthearted and humorous one moment, and downright creepy and unsettling the next, Along with copious amounts of fanservice and fan disservice, depending on on how you feel about S&M, realistic depictions of rape, and nude spirits.
- Ms. Fanservice: Misaki provides the vast majority of the T&A in the series, if not all of it.
- Foot Focus: She's frequently barefoot, especially whe she's lounging around her apartment. So expect to see plenty of close-ups of them. At one point, she causes Kadotake to nearly swerve off the road by extending her barefoot past his face and flexing it.
- Going Commando: Invoked when she had to honor her agreement to give her panties to a magazine editor as the first place prize for one of their contests. So she had to take 'em off and hand 'em over, leaving her in nothing but her jean skirt.
- Hello, Nurse!: If the anime disc's cover art doesn't make it obvious enough, Misaki's got a smokin' bod. Which you'll see plenty of, since she routinely sleeps in the nude. Plus, she gets a Shower Scene and several furo scenes.
- Of Corsets Sexy: Misaki almost always wears her S&M attire under her street clothes, which leads to public embarrassment in the first episode, when Kadotake trips and pulls down her dress, exposing her lingerie for all to see! This is also the reason Mitsuru follows her around. See the Stalker with a Crush entry further down.
- She's Got Legs: Which is the other reason Kadotake almost had that car accident, since he couldn't help looking past her foot to admire the rest of her leg. So does the camera.
- Stocking Filler: Considering her line of work, this one's a given and, like her barefeet, you'll be seeing plenty of them; especially when she's pulling them on.
- Thigh-High Boots: Same as the preceding entry. Suffice to say, Misaki is sex on legs.
- Murder the Hypotenuse: Hijiri's ghost refuses to be parted from Mitsuru and was responsible for the deaths of Toudou Satomi and housing department consultant, Futaba, for examing her apartment in an attempt to exorcise her. She was also responsible for the death of Kubota Ryouji, and nearly succeeds in killing Misaki and Mitsuru's father, for also attempting to exorcise her spirit.
- Not So Different: Yuo tries to invoke this with Misaki, believing they were the same as both grew up being expected to conform to the norms of society, despite feeling isolated from it (albeit for different reasons). Which also leads him to believe she's the only one fit to judge him since, in his eyes, the morals of the world don't apply to her. Misaki disagreed.
- Occult Detective: Misaki is a freelance medium, who occasionally works with Kadotake, a liasons officer from the Livelihood Preservation Groupnote .
- Paranormal Investigation: She and Kadotake investigate murder and suicide cases, to uncover the circumstances that lead to the victims' deaths. After which, Misaki exorcises them, by helping them find closure so they can move on to the afterlife.
- Oh, Crap: Mitsuru damn near shits himself, when Misaki finally meets him again in chapter 12. Thankfully, Ai tells Misaki that Mitsuru is no longer stalking her and asks Misaki to forgive him. Misaki agrees to let it drop and even promises Mitsuru that she'll service him, once he's legal age.
- Only in It for the Money: The reason she works both her jobs, even though she doesn't care for either profession, as seen here. Her attitude towards necromancy changes during chapter 12, see the: You Can't Fight Fate entry down below.
- Onsen Episode: Misaki is worried about her lack of pubic hair and visits several onsens that are rumored to remedy the problem.
- Parental Abandonment: Misaki's parents left her to the care of her grandparents so she could develop her paranormal abilities.
- Parental Incest: Mitsuru finds out his father used to sexually molest his younger sister-in-law, when she lets him see for himself, during the necromancy session in chapter 9.
- A later chapter reveals that she had a previous step-father, implying that Mitsuru's father wasn't the molester, but just gets dumped with the unhappiness of her spirit.
- Perpetual Frowner: This is Misaki's default expression for much of the manga. Instances where she's geniunely smiling, or happy, are rare.
- Phone Call From The Dead: Inspector Gada overhears a literal phone conversation between Isanami and Koshigaya, after their deaths, while he's in the realm of the dead.
- Police Are Useless: Averted, as the series shows the Livelihood Preservation Group and the Tokyo Metropolitan Police working toward solving various suicide and murder cases. Much of vol.8, in particular, is spent detailing what they've learned over the course of their investigation concerning Yuo and the Rock 'n Roll Suicide BBS website and also uncover Yuo's true objective. While vol.9 shows various precincts canvassing each of the known BBS heavy prefectures to try determine the location of "The Flame of Lament"note to prevent it from taking place.
- Product Placement: It crops up here and there in the manga version.
- Rape as Drama: Invoked the first episode, when Ai is nearly raped, by Koga, while making a return visit her sister's abandoned apartment. Fortunately, Misaki had been lead there by her sister's spirit, which unnerves Koga, causing him to run off.
- Also the murder victim in chapter 4, who fell prey to a serial killer, who pretended to offer her a ride home. Instead, he took her to a deserted ally where he raped and beat her. What came after can be seen here.
- During Mitsuru's backstory, it's implied that he was raped by Hijiri, whom he met through the internet. One scene shows them in bed together, during the time he was living her, but makes it unclear whether it was consensual, as he appeared to be unresponsive.
- Rape and Revenge: As a result of Muraoka raping and killing a female passenger, when his friend, Shigeura, got got cold feet and came to him for advice about what to do with her. Misaki eventually realizes what happened and uses herself as bait to lure Muraoka back to Inbanuma so their deceased spirits could exact karmic justice.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Delivered to Mitsuru from his sister-in-law's ghost, when she taunts him about whether he stole the panties off her corpse and what he probably did with them, then tells him that their father was getting the "real thing" from her.
- Reluctant Heroine: Truth be told, Misaki would really rather not be bothered with spirits, since all it's ever done is cause problems for her. As a kid, other children steered clear of her because her ability to see spirits alienated them, and her adulthood isn't much better in that regard.
- Salary Man: Mr. Shimamura, who used to work at a manga magazine publishing company and was also one of Misaki's regulars, before committing suicide.
- Saying Sound Effects Out Loud: Done by Ai, when she "yoinks" the cigarette from Kadotake's mouth, at the beginning of chapter 12.
- Scenery Porn: We could easily say the manga in its entirety, due to the painstaking attention to detail in each scene, but these two scenes, from chapter 12, is where it really shows.
- Shrinking Violet: Ai.
- Stalker with a Crush: Played Straight and for laughs with Mitsuru.
- Strictly Professional Relationship: As much as Kadotake might wish otherwise, that's the long and short of their partnership, as far as Misaki's concerned.
- Stripperific: Though she dislikes her job as a dominatrix, Misaki tends to dress as one when working as an exorcist (complete with Combat Stilettos), even though such clothing is hardly sensible in dangerous situations.
- It's heavily implied she does it for atmosphere, since the more afraid a medium is, the worst an exorcism tends to go.
- Suicide by Cop: How Koga chooses to die, because of he couldn't forgive himself for having killed Miku. So he entices Misaki to kill him, by pretending to have no remorse for what he'd done. She sees through it, but still grants him what he wants.
- Technical Virgin: At least, that how Misaki sees it, since she's never "done the deed" with anyone. Still, there was that one time Shimamura got her off pretty good, by eating her out.
- Tempting Fate: The building superintendent asks Kadotake to check Ai's sister's apartment for ghosts. Which he agreed to only because the superintendent said he hadn't seen any around, leading Kadotake to believe it was safe to go in alone. Boy, was he wrong.
- Took a Level in Badass: While Misaki is on vacation, Ai is press-ganged into helping with medium work. While she doesn't do as great a job as Misaki, she eventually reaches Plucky Girl status, enough to become a Morality Pet to Mitsuru.
- Undying Loyalty: Ms. Kuraki's guard dog, Meri. If anyone tries to harm her, he'll know... and he'll find you. Even if he has to do it from beyond the grave.
- Wardrobe Malfunction: Kadotake trips and grabs Misaki's dress while falling down, causing it to rip off and reveal her sexy lingerie underwear.
- Whip It Good: Naturally, Misaki has one. Its name is "Kinui"note and it's alive. It also feeds on flesh, as seen at the end of the first book, when Misaki allows Kinui to eat Koga.
- You Can't Fight Fate: Misaki gets told this, while she's on vacation and meets Hiratsuka, who's a retired medium. She tells Misaki that even if she tried to quit being a necromancer, the spirits would still be drawn to her anyway because she's got the gift and she's their only hope of tying up any loose ends that're binding them to their world.
- Younger Than They Look: Most of the time Misaki looks, acts and is treated like someone way older than 19, it also overlaps with her being Wise Beyond Her Years