Legendary gag anime dub which completely changed the characterization of the source material

Ghost Stories ADV Dub

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Ghost Stories ADV Dub refers to the official English-language dub of Japanese anime Ghost Stories, handled by ADV films. The original Ghost Stories anime flopped in Japan, and when its studio, Pierrot, licensed the anime to ADV to dub, they gave the studio free rein to change whatever they wanted minus character names and general plot in the hopes it would sell. This led to writer Steven Foster radically altering the original characters and turning the series into a nonsensical comedy. The resulting dub became a cult classic, and several clips from the dub have garnered hundreds of thousands of views on YouTube.


Ghost Stories was an anime created by Pierrot studios and was based on a series of successful light novels by Tōru Tsunemitsu.[1] The series began airing in 2000 and ran for 20 episodes. Despite its strong vocal cast and popular source material, the series was generally considered a flop.

In 2005, ADV acquired the English-dubbing rights for the series,[2] and began airing the series in on October 25th of that year. Unlike most dub agreements, which generally give tight guidelines on how the material should be adapted into English, Ghost Stories' publishing studio said that only character names and story beats needed to remain the same, and everything else was fair game to be altered.

Writer Steven Foster and the cast took the opportunity to entirely rewrite the script and completely change characters. For example, in the original anime, the character Momoko is a quiet, brave girl with some psychic powers. In the dub, she is a born-again Christian and constantly makes references to her religion (shown below). Foster and the cast made the script up as they went along, coming up with jokes in the writer's room before giving performances. The resulting dub is filled with fourth-wall-breaking jokes, racial humor, sexual humor, topical humor, and gags about the anime's poor art quality (compilation shown below, right).

Critical Reception

While initially frustrating purists who disliked the radical Ghost Stories dub, it nevertheless grew into a cult classic in the fifteen years since its release. In 2006, MyAnimeList[3] wrote the dub was generally more entertaining but often featured too many topical references to be funny to broader audiences. In the 2010s, the show began receiving more critical attention. Writer's Block magazine[4] wrote that the dub was comparable to YouTube Abridged Series, which also gave nonsensical, comic dubs to children's anime shows. The series has also been written about in Ranker[5] and BloodyDisgusting.[6] It has a rating of 7.68 on MyAnimeList.[7]

Online Presence

The dub gained popularity online, as many of its clips have gained hundreds of thousands of views on YouTube. For example, a clip titled "nice ass," posted by Xxhoney_spotsxX on September 9th, 2017, gained over 960,000 views (shown below, left). A compilation of a teacher from the dub posted by RandomAnimeVidz gained over 560,000 views (shown below, right).

On October 18th, 2019, YouTuber RedBard made a video about the dub's creation, gaining over 560,000 views (shown below).

Threads about the show periodically appear on Reddit. For example, a thread about the dub posted by lil_Jessy in /r/videos[8] on January 3rd, 2014 gained over 1,900 points. Another posted by secksee on April 23rd, 2015[9] gained over 19,000 points.

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