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Literature / Ghost Hunt

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Monk: It seems like the origin of the curse wasn't the roku-bu spirits.
Naru: It's the Okobusama, isn't it?
Mai : H-How did you know?
Naru: Because my brain's better than any of yours.

Mai Taniyama, an Ordinary High-School Student, accidentally breaks a camera left in an abandoned school building. The camera later turns out to belong to Kazuya Shibuya, a.k.a. Naru, and in order to repay him for the camera, she must take the place of his injured assistant in Naru's perfectly-legitimate ghost-hunting business.

Mai and Naru are accompanied by an Australian Catholic priest, a spirit medium, a Buddhist monk, a self-styled Shinto priestess, and Naru's really tall and really quiet assistant Lin. The series was originally published as a series of novels by The Twelve Kingdoms author Fuyumi Ono; it was later adapted into a manga, and then a 25-episode anime. A manga adaptation of the relatively-unknown sequel Akumu no Sumu was also released.

Not to be confused with Ghost Hunters, the American live-action TV show.

This series provides examples of:

  • Accidental Murder: Eugene Davis. During an investigation in Japan, he was run over by a car as he was crossing a road. However, he was still alive. Apparently, what actually killed him was when the female driver panicked and decided to finish him off, throwing his body in a nearby lake. This results to Naru, who was Gene's younger twin brother, becoming the Angsty Surviving Twin.
  • After-Action Patch-Up: There is a scene like this during the Cursed House arc in the manga. It was cut in the anime.
  • All There in the Manual: There are several things about Naru that are either vaguely hinted at or not brought up at all in the anime but are explained fully elsewhere.
  • Amusing Injuries: Like so
  • Anchored Ship: In the last story, Mai discovers that the loving Naru she's been psychically dating in her dreams is actually the ghost of Naru's twin brother, Gene. After Gene's spirit is laid to rest, Mai confusedly attempts to tell Naru that she likes him, but Naru politely points out that the one she and perhaps, Masako, really loved was Gene.
    • This further explained as WordOfGod has stated, in a phamplet, that she had originally expected Mai and Naru be canon - meaning Mai eventually gets over Gene. However, the author eventually scrapped that idea, to continue with the sequel and keep the supsense/tension, and decided to do an unhappy ending and leave their relationship as is since she doesn't do "happy endings". At the very least it is confirmed that Mai and Naru do have feelings for eachother
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: Mai likens both Naru and Masako to this at the beginning of the Forgotten Children arc in the manga.
  • Asian Rune Chant: Takigawa, aka Bou-san, uses these regularly.
  • Badass Adorable: John is one of the most effective of the exorcists in the group and can at least be seen once punching spirits with holy water.
    • Mai also starts to count after she learns some evil-warding chants. She's fully there by the last arc of the manga, when she manages to project her spirit at will for the first time and walk straight into the lion's den to purify an entire room full of spirits. They even are able to deduce that it was her by realizing she was the only one capable of doing it, since exorcism is too physically demanding to use on that many targets and most of the group aren't able to purify.
  • Badass Normal: Naru never showcases any overt supernatural ability (apart from an academic knowledge of magic) and goes through practically the whole anime solving cases with little more than wits, ego and a healthy amount of skepticism. The trope is subverted in the last episode, in which we find out he does have supernatural powers, extremely strong ones, but using them taxes him so much that it can be very dangerous for him.
  • Badass Unintentional: Mai, whose main powers are powerful information gathering tools and thus allow her to find the info needed to solve things.
  • Battle Aura: Naru gets a white one with Dramatic Wind right before destroying a god-possessed statue.
  • Big Brother Mentor: Monk hits this early on for Mai. Ayako follows up soon after as a Cool Big Sis.
  • Big Damn Heroes: If we had a 500-yen coin for every time Monk burst through a door and shouted "Naumaku sanmanda bazaradan kan!"... Unusually for this trope, though, it's usually in the middle of the episode, to show that things are getting dangerous. Naru usually takes the lead in the finale.
    • In a more straightforward example, Lin in the Bloodstained Labyrinth arc. He summons his shiki right as Mai is about to be attacked by Urado, who can't be banished by an exorcism.
  • Blood Bath: Based on both the Elizabeth Bathory legend and Vlad the Impaler, one of the scariest villains was a Japanese Lord who bathed in the blood of numerous servants in the hope of extending his life and took up the moniker "Urado" (Vlad). Even more frightening is the part where dozens of young people who wander into his empty mansion disappear, even decades after Urado's death. It's implied that the power of Urado's multiple Human Sacrifices note  has preserved the spirit of Urado, and his two attendants/accomplices, in a constant re-playing loop of kidnapping and sacrifice even after Urado is no longer alive to benefit from it.
  • Bonding over Missing Parents: In the light novels, Mai realizes her job pays unusually well for such an easy, low-commitment position, and asks Naru if he employed her because they were both orphans.
    • Naru admits the fact and offhandedly tells her that people in similar situations should help each other out, and that he first found out about the fact that she was an orphan from her high school principal, way before she actually told SPR about it in the Urado case.
  • Breather Episode: Right between "The After School Hexer" (The second legitimately creepy arc in the series) and "Silent Christmas" (A bit of a Tear Jerker) comes "Ghost Story in the Park!?", the series' only one-episode arc and the only episode to contain almost nothing but comic relief.
  • Bungled Suicide: Episode 11 features a ghost who failed at killing herself several times, only to die when she tripped and hit her head on her way home.
  • Burial at Sea: After the resolution of the Forbidden Children arc, Eugene Davis was found in the bottom of the nearby lake. Apparently, his murderer dumped his body there.
  • Catapult Nightmare: Happens to Mai from time to time, most notably in the Bloodstained Labyrinth arc.
  • Celibate Hero: John. He is a Catholic Priest after all.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: The original cases are things like a girl who wants to be special subconsciously using ESP and the ghost of a child haunting a doll. By the end of the series, it's progressed to a child freezing to death during hide and seek, a demon slaughtering teenagers and bathing in their blood to stay youthful, a vengeful god who forces members of a family to kill each other out of revenge for not knowing to worship it properly, and a classroom full of elementary school children who either died in a landslide or suffocated in its aftermath. Though the series never quite loses its comedic, warm tone, the post-canon arc The House of Nightmares is almost thrilling enough as to be unrecognizable from where the series began.
    • The arc before that may be scarier, as it involved a Humanoid Abomination who Was Once a Man in a haunted house stalking the characters, actually killing 3 people and almost killing Mai and Masako before the arc is over. Also, unlike the angry god which the cast tried to exorcise, this monster cannot be exorcised, and the team didn't even try. It's only destroyed when the whole house was burned to the ground.
  • Character Name Alias: Naru. In the final volume of the manga, SPR discovers that "Shibuya Kazuya" is apparently only an alias for Oliver Davis, a famous British parapsychologist.
  • The Comically Serious: Lin occasionally has brushes with this trope, especially in the Silent Christmas story arc.
  • Conveniently an Orphan: Mai.
  • Cool Big Sis: Ayako begins to develop into this around the second arc. Despite occasionally butting heads, she looks out of the welfare of the others, especially Mai since she's the only member of the group who has zero means of defending herself from spirits.
  • Creepy Child: Creepy ghost children to be precise. Lots of them.
  • Creepy Doll: One arc is called "The Doll House" and even involves a possessed doll. Thankfully it's the only one, but it's, unfortunately, the least threatening ghost in the arc.
  • Crossover Cosmology: Among the main cast are a Shinto Miko, a Buddhist Monk, a Catholic Priest, and an Onmyoji/Taoist priest who successfully use rituals from their respective religions to interact with spirits and perform exorcisms. Natural disposition and energy is shown to be a factor in dealing with spirits, as seen when Naru describes Mai as having latent abilities as an Esper rather than developed abilities as an Esper, so it's likely that their respective religions are just ways of processing that energy in a direct and focused way (though there are differences in the effect - Monk's exorcisms, for example, are physically destructive and therefore can't be used on people, while John's don't usually harm the target). On the other hand, spirits for sure exist, and definitely remain in this life because of conflicts before their death that didn't allow them to move on.
  • Darker and Edgier: The Bloodstained Labyrinth arc is this in spades. Whereas past arcs were creepy enough as it is, this one takes all that and ramps the creep factor up. The "ghost" in question is implied not to be a ghost at all, and unlike previous cases, there are actual casualties.
  • Dead Guy on Display: The group finds a room in Urado's lair filled with shelves upon shelves of bones from his countless victims.
  • Demonic Possession: Several times. Mai even ends up on the receiving end of this trope, though the ghost in question is thankfully non malicious.
  • Demon of Human Origin: The reason Urado can't be exorcised is he's no longer a ghost: he's become something much worse. Naru flat out says calling him a demon is more accurate.
  • "Eureka!" Moment: On multiple occasions Mai has made an innocent comment that allows Naru and the rest to figure out what they're really up against.
    • So many occasions, in fact, that Naru tests her for psychic ability and realizes those 'innocent comments' are actually the result of subconscious ESP.
  • Everything's Deader with Zombies: In the final arc.
  • Evolutionary Pressure Cooker: A high school overrun by ghosts is eventually discovered to have been set up as a form or curse using the Kodoku method, mixing a Ouija board with a Chinese curse talisman and taking advantage of the spiritually isolated location to gather countless spirits and force them to devour one another until one (or, in this case, four) is powerful enough to carry out the intended deathcurse.
  • Expy: C'mon, when you first see Lin tell me you don't think of Hatori Sohma!
  • Fake Nationality: John Brown, an Australian, is voiced by the very American Jason Liebrecht, whose Australian accent is less than stellar. Though this actually manages to work because in Japanese, John does have a funny accent. He speaks with a mixture of Kansai and Australian dialects, which gives his sentences a rather odd, humorous structure.
  • Fiery Redhead: Ayako Matsuzaki. Like Mai, she has red hair and is quite confident in her abilities despite her track record in exercising spirits.
  • Fire Purifies: The only way to put Urado down for good is to burn down the entire house and purify it with fire, as he's long since turned from a mere ghost and turned into a demonic spirit.
  • Flat-Earth Atheist: The world in general is skeptical of the supernatural despite it being quite demonstrably true. At one point, a teacher claims that ghosts are nonsense moments after seeing a 7 foot ghost dog tearing up a classroom.
  • Furo Scene: Mai has one, but it's very brief and she's only seen from the shoulders up. Ghost Hunt isn't big on Fanservice.
  • Get A Hold Of Yourself Man: After Mai wakes up from a particularly terrifying dream, Ayako slaps her across the face to get her to stop screaming.
  • Ghostly Chill: Happens on occasion, usually when a ghost ramps up the haunting or becomes especially malicious. They keep thermometers in each room when possible to help track spiritual activity.
  • Gratuitous English: Right away in the first episode, a bunch of "technical terms" pop up in English that Shibuya needs to translate for Mai. Makes you wonder why he didn't just say them in Japanese. Naru can also be seen writing notes on his computer in perfect English. Justified in that Naru was adopted by a married couple of parapsychologists in England, raised there and actually is the famed Oliver Davis that gets mentioned from time to time. As such, he's probably been speaking mostly English for most of his life, and even struggles with more complex written Japanese.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: In the manga, when they first arrive at the church in Silent Christmas, Mai sees a skull at the base of the angel statues above the door, and having never been to a church before assumes it's a creepy but normal religious decoration. It's Kenji's skull, and her attention was drawn to it so quickly because her ESP was flaring up.
  • Hidden Badass: Monk. You start to get a hint of how powerful he is in the last arc of the anime and in the following arc (which is not in the anime), Naru gets a close look at his vajra and decides that he's been underestimating Monk. It's hinted that he's been keeping Mai safe even after he went missing.
    • Many of Ayako's rituals seem ineffectual early in the series; but in the final episode she performs a massive cleansing that frees the multitudes of angry spirits that have been trapped where they are. Ayako's limitations are justified in that she requires live trees to perform her cleansing ritual, which are less prevalent in the city. This is a legitimate handicap when you consider that Shinto is a religion that revolves around nature. Even if the requirements are met, however, the specific trees require a six-month rest period before they can be used again.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: If, as heavily implied, it's the case that Sakauchi created the death curse in the "Forbidden Pastime" case prior to killing himself, he's a victim of this trope, as his own ghost ends up being consumed by the spirits summoned to enact the curse.
  • Idiot Ball: Justified in that this is Mai's first year as a spiritualist and she gets better as time goes by, but she has a real trouble remembering that she doesn't have "just dreams" while on cases and thus sometimes decides something vitally important isn't worth saying. Actually, this might be an Aversion of Instant Expertise that is so often seen in fiction.
  • I Just Want to Be Special: One character's desire for people to notice them winds up creating a poltergeist and injuring several characters.
  • Implacable Man: Urado has ceased to be a ghost and instead become a demonic monster. As such, nothing the group throws at him can do more than slow him down. It takes burning down the entire house and purifying it with fire to finally put him down.
  • In-Series Nickname: Kazuya is called Narcissistic Naru (Naru the Narcissist in the English version) by Mai from the Japanese word narushisuto, or narcissist. Can also be an Insult of Endearment. In the manga, Yasuhara actually blames Mai for doing this because it hid the fact that Naru - a nickname also used by Lin, whose connection with Naru predated Mai's nickname - was actually supposed to be Noll, a shortened form of Oliver.
  • Insufferable Genius: Naru. True to his nickname, he prides himself on being the most intelligent person in the room and will happily let others know how better he is. Having said that, he's not so insufferable that he can't admit his mistakes.
  • Jerkass: Mr. Matsuyama, a teacher at Rokuryo High School, is intolerably unpleasant. He also is undisturbed by the idea of dozens of students dying so long as he lives.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold:
    • Naru is critical, harsh and is rather arbitrary in his decisions, but it is very clear that he generally has the safety of his friends first in mind. At the end of Forbidden Pasttime, he even apologizes to Mai for keeping her Locked Out of the Loop.
    • Ayako probably qualifies as well. She's rude or condescending several times, and seems to enjoy provoking the other members of the team. However, she also has several moments of being sincerely sweet and caring, and is usually the one who takes care of the injured members of the team..
  • Ki Manipulation: Some of the spells manage to resemble this. Especially the one fired off by Naru against a god in the last episode.
  • Mind over Matter: The first case of the anime series, was caused because one of the girls was desperate for there to be a haunting and so she subconsciously caused most of the poltergeist activities, not knowing she was a latent psychic.
  • Mood Whiplash: At times it can move from a serious, almost frightening, paranormal story to a romantic comedy and back so fast you wonder what just happened.
  • Multidisciplinary Team: We have a Medium, a Shinto Miko, an Onmyoji, a Catholic priest, a Buddhist Monk, a girl with Psychic Powers, and Naru. It's too many people for it to be the setup to a joke so it got turned into an anime.
  • My Parents Are Dead: In the Bloodstained Labyrinth case, Mai reveals she's an orphan, having lost her parents at a young age and lived with her school teacher before her SPR job gave her the income to live on her own.
  • Narcissist: Naru. Hence the nickname (The japanese pronounce the word like 'naru-ciccist').
  • Nice Guy: John is by far the nicest character among the ghost hunters. You can count the times he gets legitimately angry or blows up on someone on one hand alone.
    • Monk is a close second. He acts as a sort of father figure towards Mai and is generally very polite towards people.
  • No Peripheral Vision: One ghost involving a mysterious bell sound at a school ran into this issue. Specifically, the ghost is the spirit of a young boy who couldn't speak and used to go to that school — he carried a small bell with him if he wanted to get someone's attention. One day while playing hide-and-seek, he climbed up to a high, out of the way cove of the building and got stuck up there, dropping his bell onto the ground in the process and so he was never found. Monk realizes what had happened when the present-day class plays another game of hide-and-seek and observes that all the kids look around the grounds but none of them think to look upwards.
  • Not a Morning Person: Naru. He slept his way through most of vol. 8 and 9 as he was being possessed by a spirit. Lin knocked him out with a few good ol' spells. The characters were fully aware that he was going to be in a bad mood when he woke up and they dreaded having to go face to face with him. Lin and Masako will never be the same...
  • Not Using the "Z" Word: Averted. After fending off an attack by a horde of possessed corpses, Monk exclaims "What is this, a zombie movie?"
  • Odd Couple: In Episode 11 the group plays rock, paper, scissors to decide who is paired up as fake couples. John and Ayako get grouped together as a couple and its rather amusing how Ayako assures him she'll "Play Nice."
  • Older Than They Look: John. When Mai met the nineteen-year-old priest, she initially assumed him to be as young as twelve. An Imagine Spot in the anime even has him blending in with kindergarteners.
  • Old School Building: The setting for the first story in Mai's school and the site of mysterious hauntings. It's eventually revealed not to be haunted and is in fact sinking due to subsidence, with all other "hauntings" being the result of that or a serious case of bad luck. The one time something paranormal happens is because of a psychic who lost control of her power due to not realizing she's psychic in the first place.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname:
    • It's very hard to forget that Naru's actual name is Kazuya Shibuya, as most of the cast only ever refers to him as Naru, Mai's nickname for him. This continues even after they learn his actual name Oliver Davis. This is even one of the reasons they're able to deduce Kazuya Shibuya isn't his real name; Lin calls him Naru - that is, Noll, a nickname for Oliver - and not only has Lin known Naru for longer than Mai's nicknamed him that, it's unlikely Lin would go along with calling him "Naru the Narcissist" all the time.
    • Did you forget Monk's actual name is Takegawa Hosho? Don't worry, you're not the only one.
  • Ordinary High-School Student: Mai. She's the only "normal" member of the cast and lacks any knowledge of the supernatural barring familiar ghost stories. Yasuhara is also this, albeit to a lesser extent as his school is caught up in a mass series of hauntings. This dynamic switches the further along in the story they are, with Mai developing psychic abilities one after another and Yasuhara doing normal things like taking entrance exams and showing up for school.
  • Out of Focus: Generally, the series is pretty good about it. However, there are a few moments where you wonder just what character X had to do offscreen for so long.
    • Particularly glaring during the seance in Bloodstained Labyrinth. Not only is Masako, a world famous medium, not involved directly in the seance, she's not even visible for the majority of it.
  • Phenotype Stereotype: John Brown, an Australian. Averted with Naru, who is English, but nobody notices.
  • Poor Communication Kills: In "File 6: Forbidden Pastime," Naru's refusal to tell Mai his plan to reverse the curse into dolls of the students instead of the students themselves makes her see him as a murderer, explode on him, and try to deal with the curse herself rather than let innocent people die, nearly getting her killed.
  • Power at a Price: Naru appears to have no paranormal powers, but in actuality, he's an extremely strong psychic with dangerously powerful psychokinetic abilities that can easily be lethal to others. Unfortunately, Naru's SO powerful that a human body can't take the stress of wielding that much psychic energy. The one time he displays his psychokinesis to a noticeable degree (to destroy a god-possessed statue), Naru ends up collapsing from temporary respiratory and heart failure. Prior to that, he passes out and has to be briefly hospitalized after telekinetically bending a spoon.
  • Power Nullifier: Ayako Matsuzaki seems like she's a fake spiritualist for the first 25 episodes until she exorcises eight malevolent ghosts at once. Turns out all her power comes from her affinity for trees and all their previous cases were indoors, or the trees were "dead" trees.
  • The Power of Love: How Mai purifies the teacher and dead children in the cursed school.
  • Psychic Powers: At various times Mai displays precognition, postcognition, clairvoyance, claircognizance, and astral projection. There's also some extremely sensitive instincts that tell her intuitively whether someone intends her harm, and sometimes whether someone can be trusted.
    • In story arc of the manga after the last arc made in the anime, Mai singlehandedly performs a purification.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: As Naru points out, Urado's demonic spirit is kept imprisoned within the house he committed his murders in. As such, while extremely dangerous to everyone inside, he can't harm anyone outside of it.
  • Serial Killer: Urado murdered countless people to bathe in their blood in an attempt to become immortal. After death, he kept on killing people and amassed a gigantic body count.
  • Ship Tease:
    • Quite a bit with Naru and Mai.
    • Ayako and Monk, further ship-teased by Mai identifying them as Team Mom and Team Dad respectively.
    • Invoked by Yasuhara in the episode just after he is introduced. When Monk teasingly insinuates that Yasuhara and Mai like each other, Yasuhara states that he does like Mai—but he likes Naru better, and he likes Monk best of all. He then admits that he's joking. Later on, though, there is actual Ho Yay between them, some of it perpretrated by Monk himself.
    Monk: Yasuhara is among [the students to be cursed]. Do you think I'm not worried, too?
    • During the Cursed House arc, there is a scene in the manga where Yasuhara is trying to treat the large wounds on Monk's back. Monk accuses Yasuhara of being a pervert for trying to take off his shirt. The Ho Yay jokes continue for the rest of the scene.
  • Shown Their Work: When mentioning vampires, Naru mentioned the difference between Bram Stoker's Dracula versus Vlad the Impaler. Even mentions Elizabeth Bathory as the one who is actually associated with blood.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: Naru and Gene. It's even stated that the reason Naru cannot use his powers freely is because Gene was not around to help him regulate it.
  • Sneeze Cut: Two during the Ghost Story in the Park episode, both focused on Lin.
  • Sorting Algorithm of Evil: From a psychic, to ghosts, to a super ghost that grew more powerful by feeding on other ghosts, to a spirit so twisted that's moved beyond a mere ghost and became some sort of demonic monster, to finally a freaking god!
  • The Stoic: Naru and Lin.
  • Stringy-Haired Ghost Girl: If it's a Japanese-related Ghost story, you can bet this isn't far behind. Ghost Hunt does not disappoint.
  • Student Council President: Yasuhara who also acts as the Sixth Ranger or in this case the eighth.
  • Sufficiently Analyzed Magic: One of the more refreshing things about this series is how deadpan serious everyone is about their particular forms of mysticism and what they're dealing with.
  • The Summation: Every arc includes a mystery pertaining to the exact nature of its supernatural events. In most cases, these end with Naru explaining exactly what was going on. Often, he does so only after solving the problem, allowing him to be smug about having already taken the correct action without consulting his teammates.
  • Team Dad: Mai likens Monk to this at the beginning of the Forgotten Children manga-arc.
  • Team Mom: Mai likens Ayako to this at the beginning of the Forgotten Children manga-arc.
  • Tempting Fate: Near the end of episode 10, Mai muses about how it would kind of suck to have psychic powers, and that she's glad she's just an ordinary high school student. Turns out she's an Ordinary High-School Student, all right.
  • Tall, Dark, and Snarky: Naru.
  • Television Serial
  • Town with a Dark Secret: In volume 7 of the light novels it turns out that the local villages and newspapers have been covering up the disappearances (and deaths) of multiple children and didn't bother warning the group of that fact when they asked them to investigate.
  • Tragic Villain: The "The Doll House" File. It turns out that the ghost haunting the house was a distraught mother who committed suicide after her daughter was abducted, and continues to search for her in death, causing the deaths of other children living in the home. It is implied that the abductor may have killed the child, but it is never actually confirmed—although it is stated that Tomiko's body was found in the pond some six months after her disappearance. Also, the little girl currently living in the home is feared to have drowned, but luckily nothing bad ever happened.
  • Tsundere: Mai shows hints of this. Though she leans toward the Dere side of things.
    • Naru's mentor Madoka seems to have shades of this though she also leans towards Dere.
  • Twin Telepathy: Oliver and Eugene Davis. However, it was mentioned that their Psychic Link got weaker as they grew older.
  • Urban Fantasy: Ghost Hunt stays on a borderline with the genre, but the effects of the spirits and spiritualists on the team bring it close.
  • Unlimited Wardrobe: With the exception of Naru and Lin, who wear dark business suits while working cases, everyone wears a different outfit for new days.
  • Unspoken Plan Guarantee: Naru never tells anyone what he's planning, especially late in a case, despite consistent pestering from the others. On the rare occasion he does divulge what's on his mind, he's always wrong.
  • Violence Detector: Mai consistently has dreams which explain the natures of the various hauntings and the histories of those who have suffered, making it possible to solve them later.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Mai is not pleased to discover that Naru is willing to turn a death curse onto six hundred relatively innocent students (hoping that the curse would dilute itself and "merely" severely injure them rather than kill them. Maybe) just to guarantee the life of one Jerkass teacher — his justification being that, unwittingly or not, they still invoked a powerful death curse. Naru instead takes a third option and diverts the death curse to six hundred hitogatas of innocent students, leaving everyone unharmed.
  • Who You Gonna Call?: The Shibuya Psychic Research Center is basically the Ghost Hunters (of Sci-fi channel fame).
  • Workaholic: Naru and Lin.
  • Work Off the Debt: Subverted when Mai eventually learns that the camera she broke was insured. Naru just led her to believe otherwise because, she assumes, he wanted a free gofer. In reality, after finding out she was an orphan, he wanted to have an excuse to hire her and give her a way of supporting herself without making her feel like he was pitying her.
  • You, Get Me Coffee: Mai's occasionally on the receiving end of this joke. Somewhat justified in the beginning since that's what her job entails and she had no powers to speak of, and eventually she gets to be a bit smug about the fact that Naru's stopped liking tea that other people have made.
  • The "kodoku" death curse in the "Forbidden Pastime" case works by making spirits consume each other to grow stronger, until the last remaining spirit enacts the curse. At least one human spirit ends up being consumed in this process.