Direction: Right to Left
by: Okuse Saki (story) & Meguro Sankichi (art)
Publisher: Dark Horse Manga
Ghost Talker’s Daydream is a horror anime created by Okuse Saki and Meguro Sankichi . It tells the story of Misaki Saiki, a young woman with a troubled past, who is a professional dominatrix in one of Tokyo’s most exclusive S&M clubs. However, her real money is something she likes even less than being a dominatrix. Ever since childhood, Misaki has had the ability to see and communicate with ghosts, and that talent is put to use by the Livelihood Protection Agency, who pairs Misaki with Souichiro Kadotake, a martial artist who happens to be deathly afraid of ghosts. Using her gifts, Misaki is able to help troubled departed spirits resolve what is troubling them and allow them to move on to the afterlife. If all THAT isn’t odd enough, Misaki is an albino AND a virgin.
Misaki is the lead of the story. She’s a dominatrix, albino, virgin, AND she see’s dead people. She hates both her job as a dominatrix, and as a ghost talker, but can’t give up either because they pay so damned well. She’s strong for the most part, but very self conscious over the fact she’s got no hair down below, and that she’s still a virgin.
Souichiro is Misaki’s assistant, he’s there to handle all of the physical side of things, such as beating up the bad guys. He’s a career civil servant, and a closet pervert whose got a small fixation on Misaki. He does have one small issue though, he’s deathly afraid of ghosts, and tends to freak out when he has to confront them.
Mitsuru, a high school boy with several issues making him a reclusive and hard to deal with person. He also happens to be a total stalker, his target: Misaki. He frequently breaks into her apartment to steal her panties, as well as following her taking photos, and occasionally offering her a bit information on her cases.
Ai, originally one of Misaki’s clients (ghost talker that is). She’s coming to terms with her families death and suffers from PTSD leading to some weird situations, especially when she starts to awaken as a Ghost Talker. She’s quiet and grown introverted, yet comes across as determined and strong at times.
I love this series!! But lets get one thing straight before we get going. Despite it’s official demographic classification, this is not a shounen title, it’s very much a seinen, this title also comes shrink-wrapped and covered in the obligatory “parental advisory” stickers.
The mixture of dominatrix and ghost talking works really well I felt. Misaki is an excellent character who really does bring the part to life. I have to admit when I initially read the blurb about her (19 year old albino dominatrix) I wasn’t sure about her. It looked and felt that Okuse was trying to put to many elements into one character. However by the end of volume one I was in love with her.
Okuse took a risk with his character concept in that she was over powered in so many areas. However he balanced this by adding elements of not so much weakness, but naivety and softness, these balance out her personality perfectly.
Meguro’s art also works well with Misaki, for the most part. I don’t like the comic aspects that crop up now and again, but i can live with those since they don’t happen very often. The character designs in general are perfect, and Misaki does look awesome in normal clothes, and damn sexy in her work clothes. Over the course of the five volumes currently available the art stays stable and doesn’t change much.
Souichiro makes a good match for Misaki, he’s not only her point of contact for her government work, but he also acts as the rough stuff guy, which considering his personality and the way he looks and acts is bloody funny. He also of course adds the comic relief, a lot of the embarrassing situation Misaki finds herself in are caused by him. I really like how he reacts to the ghosts in the series, and how he reacts to the girls in the series. He takes closet perverseness to the max.
His actual character design is pretty good. His civil servant attitude is emphasised by the way he’s always portrayed, in a suit, sleeps in his car to save time etc etc.
The best thing about the series though is the character interactions, they all work so well together.
However it is worth pointing out that even after five volumes there’s no real sense of a story to the series, it’s, so far, a “day in the life” sort of feel, or ghost of the week if you prefer. While it is true there is an underlying story (finding out who Yuo is), there’s no really powerful story. While it’s possible for one to develop, it’s going to be hard for it to really be a good flowing one with the series half over. I am hoping the focus shifts to Yuo, since that will be a good story to tell.
Another thing I’m interested in learning about is Kinu, who appears to be some sort of demon pet of Misaki’s. It wraps itself around her, and looks like it’s made of fish-net stockings at times. So far there’s not been an explanation of what it is, or it’s place in the story so I’m hoping we get one.
All told this is an excellent series with a killer story, one that keeps you hooked from the start. However it does have one down side, so far there’s no release date for the last five volumes of the series. All the Dark Horse site has is a pre order option, no due date or anything.
One other thing worth pointing out is that the title for the series isn’t official, in fact the official title of the series is Teizokurei Daydream, which translates as Vulgar Ghost Daydream. I’m guessing they changed the name slightly to make it more appealing…