With the news that Dark Horse is going to continue publishing the Ghost Talker’s Daydream manga after a year and a half of no news for the series, I feel this is a fine time to highlight this mature, yet delightfully creepy story. After Perfect Blue and Ninja Scroll, Ghost Talker’s Daydream was easily the most ‘adult’ anime I’d ever watched. Likewise, when Dark Horse first began publishing the manga, I picked it up as my first horror manga series ever. Like so many anime, the manga develops the story further, and after being hooked by the OVAs I knew I had to continue exploring what Ghost Talker’s Daydream was all about.
The story centers on a young woman named Saiki Misaki whose 2nd job as a ghost talker (or exorcist) is perhaps only eclipsed in strangeness by her day job as an S&M dominatrix. Misaki is reluctant to use her talent to talk to ghosts, but she is continually pressured to exorcise ghosts by her friend Soichiro Kadotake, who works for the Tokyo Metropolitan Quality of Life Dept. Exorcism is serious business as one would imagine and throughout Ghost Talker’s Daydream Misaki encounters cases of all sorts, dreary, horrific, and often violent.
When I first watched the OVA I will say I was honestly shocked by the show. Indeed blending dark, horrific tales of murder, suicide, exorcism and more would do that; however, I was equally surprised by Misaki’s frequent ‘wardrobe issues’. In the manga, while little about Misaki’s penchant for revealing herself (usually accidentally) remains unchanged, I feel it’s comparatively underplayed. Perhaps though due to the black and white nature of the manga the visuals leave less of an impression on me? Or maybe since I’ve seen the OVA I knew what to expect? Regardless the manga and anime both earn their mature rating, not just due to sexual content alone but also due to the violence and death shown covered the story.
Of course, instead of just writing what surprised me about the story, I want to cover what I truly loved about Ghost Talker’s Daydream. Simply put Japan knows how to do scary stories, and Ghost Talker’s Daydream truly excels at bringing the creepy to life. Add in kooky characters such as Misaki, and the in between moments of comedy that ensue, and I think you’ll soon see that Ghost Talker’s Daydream is an enthralling experience. Like so many stories of suspense and fright, the further you go into the story the crazier the exorcisms become, and as the reader/viewer I just have to keep going to see what happens next! In particular, I’ve been quite interested in Misaki’s own skill and a certain added ability she has, which to prevent spoilers I’ll merely say is fascinating.
Since the manga paces differently then the OVAs, I know I’ve probably seen a lot of the story between the two mediums. However, I wanted to explore Misaki’s world further and thankfully with Dark Horse’s choice to continue publishing the series I may get that chance. While I hope to write an in-depth review of both the OVAs and the manga in the future, let me say for now if you like gruesome ghost tales, and don’t mind depictions of S&M and nudity, then I would definitely recommend giving the anime/manga Ghost Talker’s Daydream a shot.