At times people harbor extreme fears, phobias, of things that appear completely harmless to others. Why is it that our brains were designed this way? Why were we made to experience reactions that are completely beyond our control? What sort of survival instinct is fulfilled by suffering chronic fear from things that cannot harm us? Why must even our minds lie beyond our control?

Why? What? Who? How? People have always had the desire to question things they do not understand – especially when it comes to the supernatural.  Some people easily dismiss anything mysterious, noting that there is no way it could be real and that to think so would be ridiculous. There are others who challenge what they do not understand, using science and logic to ground beliefs and superstitions to realistic proportions.  Then there are those who may not completely understand it, but accept unknown phenomenon in its own special way.

The supernatural anime Ghost Hound strives to challenge both the viewer and the characters within on things that many people do not, and in some cases do not wish, to understand. Sometimes you must face your fears head on in order to move on with your life; other times, even that may not be enough. Centering around a tragic event that played out years before, three friends are brought together as they try to mend their lives and prevent any further harm from being done.

The amygdala governs human emotions such as fear and hate; the hippocampus is the brains information processing interface. These adjacent organs are the core of the limbic system, the neuropathways that store our memories. The word limbic is derived from the Latin word ‘limbus’ or border. In the past it referred to the frontier between one world and the next, between the hidden realm and the visible realm.

The show itself moves at a fairly slow pace, especially when it comes to the main story; however, if you are even slightly intrigued by neuroscience or the preternatural than this show might be worth giving a shot. One of the first things discovered is that we all live in something called the physical or visible realm; however, overlapping this realm and often unseen lies the hidden realm – a place where spirits dwell and inhabit. There are certain people who know of both these realms and even those that can travel in between them via something called soul traveling (a form very similar to astral projection). In addition to that transcendental skill, the show encompasses a young shrine maiden who is possessed by the gods, an old abandoned dam and hospital where spirit forms culminate, an ancient religious sect revival, kidnapping, suicide, spiritual transformation, psychological study and scientific experimentation gone awry.

Ghost Hound ranges 22 episodes with much of the show simply introducing viewers to a variety of clues and slowly leaking information throughout the remainder of the episodes.  The characters are likeable enough with their own unique quirks and personalities; although aside from each character making some stride of progress towards their own personal growth, they are not too deep or complicated. One of my favorite aspects of the show actually occurs after the credits of each episode. While previewing the next episode, interesting facts and knowledge, each somewhat pertaining to the episode, are given – oftentimes incorporating real life case studies and situations that have taken place over the years.

Memento Mori – a Latin phrase meaning ‘remember that you shall die’. Even without this admonition, human beings cannot live without contemplating death. Regardless of ones beliefs regarding the afterlife, the pain of losing a loved one is undoubtedly universal to people of all religions and creeds. Memento Mori, even unspoken, perhaps this is one of the few concepts common to all of mankind.

This is probably a show that can just as easily be watched as not. Personally, I liked it well enough but I also know it is probably not going to make the top list of shows I tell my friends they have to watch. Loving the mysterious and supernatural already, I was more than intrigued by the plethora of enigmatic facts the show provided but the slow pace of the story itself often left me with a feeling of nonchalance by the end of each episode (in other words, I wasn’t going “WHAT!? No way that just happened! *plays next episode immediately*). So, tldr; if you find yourself with an unquenchable desire for the paranormal keep this one in mind, if not, it’s probably not going to be a huge loss if you pass it up.

Here are some additional fun facts: ^^

It is said that with proper training humans can learn to control the flow of their dreams. However, neuro-scientist Francis Crick asserted that dreams were meaningless. He maintained that dreams merely exist to dispose of needless trivia accumulated in the cerebrum. According to Crick, they are nothing more than a 40 hertz signal causing a sympathetic reaction in the brain. Dreams – their form and their world: the hidden realm.

Over the years doctors have devised many different techniques to treat patients suffering from psychological trauma. One approach has the patient move their eyes while recounting their traumatic experiences. With the use of bilateral brain stimulation, it is believed the patient can more fully process their traumatic experiences thus reducing their distress. But what is it that the patient truly sees while his eyes are at work? What secrets lie behind the therapist’s finger?

A Canadian neurosurgeon named Wilder Penfield succeeded in producing the sensation of an out of body experience by using electrodes to stimulate the cerebral neocortex of his patients. Although Penfield made remarkable advances in the localization of brain functions, he never relinquished his belief in Cartesian Dualism, which asserted that the mind and body were two separate entities; even when dealing with the brain.

In 1923, a French woman known only as Madame M reported that a secret organization in Paris was imprisoning a large number of people and replacing them with imposters. She also claimed that many people in her personal life had been replaced as well including her husband and eventually the very police she complained to. Today, this delusional mis-identification syndrome is known as Capgras Syndrome, after the doctor that documented the case.

In 2003, a group led by Richard Wiseman performed an experiment during a concert in an old music hall in London. During the show they exposed the audience to ultra low frequency sound played through a seven meter long pipe. They found that 22% of the audience reported experiencing unusual sensations. Wiseman theorizes that reports of encounters with ghosts are actually caused by exposure to low frequency sounds.