- Ghost Sweeper Mikami
name = Ghost Sweeper Mikami
caption = Cover of "Ghost Sweeper Mikami" DVD.
ja_name = GS美神 極楽大作戦
ja_name_trans = Gōsuto Suīpā Mikami Gokuraku Daisakusen
genre = Comedy, HorrorInfobox animanga/Manga
publisher = flagicon|Japan
flagicon|Italy Star Comics
Elex Media Komputindo
first = 1991
last = 1999
volumes = 39Infobox animanga/Anime
director = Atsutoshi Umezawa
studio = flagicon|Japan
network = flagicon|Japan
TV Asahi, Asahi Broadcasting Corporation
Italia 1, Italia Teen Television
11 April 1993
6 March 1994
episodes = 45Infobox animanga/Movie
studio = flagicon|Japan
licensor = flagicon|USA
runtime = 60 minutes
Nihongo|"Ghost Sweeper Mikami: The Great Paradise Battle!!"|GS美神 極楽大作戦!!|Gōsuto Suīpā Mikami Gokuraku Daisakusen!! is a comedic horror
mangaseries by Takashi Shiina. It was published by the weekly manga magazine " Shōnen Sunday" from 1991 to 1999. In 1993, it won the Shogakukan Manga Awardfor shōnen. The series explores some folk religionthemes such as possession, exorcism, shamanism, Yurei, and Yokai.
The series was adapted as a 45-episode
animetelevision series by Toei Animationcalled Nihongo|"Ghost Sweeper Mikami"|GS美神|Gōsuto Suīpā Mikami which ran on TV Asahiand the Asahi Broadcasting Corporationfrom 1993–1994. The anime lead to the release of a movie, which is currently the only existence of Mikami in the United States (released by Manga Video).
Overdevelopment and crowding in
Japanhas forced many of its indigenous spirits and ghoststo lose their homes. Due to problems caused by the homeless spirits, a new profession was created, the Ghost Sweepers (GS). Private exorcists for hire; they serve only the highest bidder to survive in the cutthroat corporate world. Among this, the Mikami GS Company, led by Reiko Mikami and her two assistants, the teenage boy Tadao Yokoshima and the ghost girl Okinu, is said to be the best.
The manga setup is scenario-to-scenario, with many plots intertwining classic Japanese culture and modern day realities, with occasional references to Western influences. In between these plots are some longer story arcs where new characters are introduced and the existing characters are further developed. There is no one ongoing storyline, therefore the plots are character-driven and serve to gradually develop characters, especially the main protagonists. Some of the main villains like the
yasha Medusaand Astaroth are hard to vanquish and return after some time
; nihongo|Reiko Mikami|美神 令子|Mikami Reiko:* anime voices |Hiromi Tsuru |Sharon Becker : The president and owner of the ghost sweeping business Mikami GS. Reiko has long red hair, green eyes, and usually wears a short purple strapless dress. She was initially trained by a priest of the
Roman Catholic Churchin the art of exorcismbut unlike her mentor, she was not satisfied with a life of poverty. Although she is wealthy from the success of her exorcism business, she is stingy when it comes to paying her employees, and often gouges her clients for a higher fee.: She uses a lightsaber-like spiritual weapon, various exorcism charms and martial arts when dealing with supernatural pests and entities. She apparently inherited her mother's ability to time skip. ; nihongo|Tadao Yokoshima|横島 忠夫|Yokoshima Tadao:* anime voices |Ryo Horikawa |Wayne Grayson :A high school student, working as the main assistant of Mikami. He is totally enthralled by Mikami, and often tells himself that he only keeps his dangerous job because he loves Mikami. His official wages per hour is 50 yen, later increases to 51 yen early in the manga. The plots often feature his possession. He appears at first to have dormant spiritual abilities and later on in the manga, with the help of Shoryuki, a dragon princess, Yokoshima does gain various spiritual abilities of his own. His most useful technique is using his spiritual energy to create special pearls, which grant various wishes to the user.; nihongo|Kinu Himuro|氷室 キヌ|Himuro Kinu (Okinu):* anime voices |Mariko Kouda |Debora Rabbai : A teenaged female ghost. First encountered by Mikami and Yokoshima as one of two ghosts causing chaos at a mountain hot spring, Mikami ends up "adopting" her when she doesn't go to heaven after the end of the first mission in the manga. Eventually, she ends up becoming the secretaryand errand girl for Mikami and even develops feelings for Yokoshima. : Later in the manga, Okinu does get her life back as her body was never destroyed. She is able to reunite her soul with her body (although weakly) and now lives a life of a normal teenage girl; nihongo|Pietro de Blado|ピエトロ・ド・ブラドー|Pietoro do Buradō (Pete):* anime voices |Toshiyuki Morikawa |Alan Steele : A 700-year-old half human, half vampire. He is the son of Count "Bloodeau" (Pronounced Blado) who is said to be "cousin of the husband of Count Dracula's sister". Currently, a disciple of Father Karasu. Also goes to the same school as Yokoshima.; nihongo|Father Karasu|唐巣 神父|Karasu Shinpu:* anime voices |Kazuyuki Sogabe |Yotee : A male Catholic priestexorcist and Mikami's mentor, who draws holy spiritual energy from a biblefor exorcism. He is said to be one of the best and most powerful exorcists currently active.; nihongo|Doctor Chaos|ドクター・カオス|Dokutā Kaosu:* anime voices |Shigeru Chiba | : An old senile male alchemist / exorcist with a genius level intellect. Being immortal (or at least 300 years old), he has acquired much knowledge of the supernatural. Unfortunately, he forgets something he already knows if he tries to learn something new, which leads to him constantly rereading his old books and manuscripts. ; nihongo|Maria|マリア|:* anime voices |Wakana Yamazaki | : A tough-fighting, female androidwho is the companion of Dr. Chaos. Created in the image of Dr. Chaos's love in his younger days. She is strong, fast and resistant to damage. Maria acts as Dr.Chaos' main weapon and bodyguard.; nihongo|Emi Ogasawara|小笠原 エミ|Ogasawara Emi:* anime voices |Michie Tomizawa | : A dark-skinned female voodooexorcist, chief competitor to Mikami's ghost sweeping business. Like Mikami, Emi has been the target of Yokoshima's lust more than once.; nihongo|Meiko Rokudo|六道 冥子|Rokudō Meiko:* anime voices |Kumiko Nishihara |Jeanine Bartel : An innocent-looking but extremely powerful teenage girl who directly controls 12 Shikigami, which are named after the Japanese names of the Heavenly Generals (Jyuni Shinshou), legendary Hindu figures who became Buddhists: (Indara, Ajira, Kubira, Basara, Shindara, Sanchira, Haira, Makora, Shôtora, Anchira, Bikara, and Mekira). These are animal in form, caricatures of the symbols that these figures carry, which come from the Chinese counting series Earthly Branches. Normally they are under control, but whenever Meiko becomes distraught, her "pets" destroy anything or anyone within their reach. Unfortunately for all, Meiko is sensitive, weak-willed and easily hurt, therefore the Shikigami are set on the loose very frequently. She is hinted at being a lesbianwith feelings for Mikami, who was the only person able to calm Meiko down when she first lost control of her shikigami in public. Meiko is the daughter of a famous mad scientist and a rich heiress; her mother was the former mistress of the shikigami and is still able to control them at will.; nihongo|Yakuchin|厄珍|: He is the owner of a store that deals with many magical items. He is very greedy and will often overprice his wares if he has the chance.; nihongo|Shoryuki |小竜姫 |Shoryuki: The DragonPrincess, a deity who owns a training center in spiritual martial arts on top of a sacred mountain. She helped in unlocking Yokoshima's latent spiritual skills and increasing Mikami's power. Her arch nemesis is the yasha, Medusa.; nihongo|Hyakume |ヒャクメ |Hyakume: Her name means Hundred Eyes. She is a triple eye deity with several more eyes around her body who is very curious, able to see through disguises, able to see things many miles away, and has various other sight-related abilities. She also uses a briefcase computer similar to a laptop.; nihongo|Astaroth |アシュタロス| Ashutarosu: Mikami's greatest foe, the strongest supervillain of the final major story arc in the manga. He has been around since antiquity and creates a complex plan of ruling the universe. He was thwarted once by Mikami's past life incarnation.
; Nobunaga Oda: Incarnation of the warlord
Nobunaga Oda.; Mitsuhide Akechi: A historical warrior who assassinated Nobunaga.; Ranmaru: Based on the historical Ranmaru Mori. A follower of Nobunaga. Here, his alternate form is a spider.
* Because Mikami represents an adult woman, her eyes are not drawn with as wide irises as are other female anime characters, so that the series can contain endless attempts by her male assistant to try and grope her without this being confused with groping a teenager or pre-teen.
* According to the author's note; Mikami name was based on the Asian inflation and Yokoshima is a play of word 'poison' in Japanese.
* In the UK,
Manga Videotook the bizarre decision to release only the last few episodes of the series.
* The anime was broadcasted in mostly all
Latin Americain the late 1990s and it was a smash hit in countries like Mexico(aired on Televisa) and Chile(aired on the channels Chilevisiónand Etc...TV) , however, the manga has yet to be released in Latin America. The series were so popular in the Chilean Otakuscene that Tadao Yokoshima is known as a generic perverted character for mostly all things in the mainstream Otaku community (example: If you are peeking a girl underwear, you are a "Yokoshima")
External links and references
title = "Ghost Sweeper Mikami" (TV)
ann = 2034
annfo = 182,udxdbz,ghost_sweeper_m
tvcom = anime-links
title = "Ghost Sweeper Mikami Feature" (movie)
ann = 416
* [http://popmatters.com/film/reviews/g/ghost-sweeper-mikami.shtml Ha'nts and Critters] , a review of "Ghost Sweeper Mikami", "Vampire Wars", and "Psychic Wars".
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