Tuesday, 6 May 2008

Ghost Hound - Episode 22 (Completed)

After watching the penultimate episode of Ghost Hound, I posed the question as to whether all the various going-on in the series were linked, or simply coincidences that the human mind would naturally tie together. Did the final episode confirm that thought? To be honest, I'm not entirely sure, but I like to think so because it makes me feel ever so slightly smarter.

If nothing else, my uncertainty should confirm that Ghost Hound left a lot unexplained, just letting much of the heavy thinking that had followed the series drift away in favour of simply wrapping up the plot. Indeed, after mentioning that episode twenty-one felt really quite personally, this final episode was an intensely personal journey from start to finish for all of the major characters, ending with the inevitable 'happily ever after' reunification of all the various friends and families in a kind of Evangelion-esque 'congratulations, you didn't screw up!' finale.

On a lighter note, I also have my suspicions that this last episode was proof of some Bernard Matthews product placement, and it seems that the town of Suiten was, in the end, saved by two sentient flying frozen turkeys. You really can't make this stuff up sometimes.

I get the feeling that this final episode of Ghost Hound left us with something of a Marmite ending - You'll either love it or loathe it. After enjoying much of the 'deep' science throughout the show, I should probably be disappointed by such a 'human' ending to the series, but to be honest I rather liked it, which perhaps goes to show that the characters and their likeable traits were stronger than I'd actually noticed at any point previously. If you wanted an ending that tied everything together as part of 'the science bit' however, you'll be left sorely disappointed, with not even some psychological or philosophical explanation for what happened in sight. Perhaps, you could argue, it's simply Shirow's way of pointing out that incredible though science and the human brain are, they still can't answer every question or predict every outcome.

Overall, my final feelings about Ghost Hound are positive, albeit only just. It opened very strongly, and throughout its run had some genuinely superb moments of thought-provoking debate and psychological horror in turn, but at times it simply felt too long, to the point where I'd love to see a thirteen episode 'cut' of the series, which I'm sure would be possible. Despite sagging in the middle like an ageing sausage dog, it still managed to finish strongly, although not in the direction I expected, making it a worthwhile watch, albeit nowhere near as engaging as anything Ghost in the Shell related.

1 comment:

Martin said...

An excellent summary there. Whether it was appropriate or not, I found myself comparing Ghost Hound with Lain and think that GH actually surpasses it in some areas. Lain was all about concepts and ideas but GH seemed to sit them alongside the human element, which made it a great sci-fi headscratcher but at the same time had a lot of warmth and humanity. Granted, the likes of Lain and GitS handle the sci-fi side better in some ways but GH balanced it well with the characterisation.

Either way, it was a great show that did its creative team proud.