31 Shinbi's Apartment Ghosts!

Written by Jonathan Wojcik

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There's a rumor around town that whenever the clock strikes 4:44, city bus 444 may appear at a random bus stop, and nobody who boards it is ever seen again. You may know there are several languages in which the number 4 sounds like "death!"

When Hari's little brother becomes the latest victim of the bus, she boards it herself to try and find him, leading to a nightmarish sequence as she tries not to incite the wrath of the ghastly, zombie-like ghostly passengers in a bus that's much larger and much more occupied on the inside than the outside.

With both kids trapped, it's up to their goblin friend Shinbi to try and save them, and he runs into a mysterious man who can not only see him, but has apparently been tracking the haunted bus for some time.


The helpful old man is revealed to have once been a bus driver himself, but when he swerved to avoid someone driving down the wrong lane, the bus only wound up in another, more devastating accident beyond his control. This collision threw him from the vehicle, but the rest of his many passengers were unable to open the door of the bus before it teetered over the edge of a highway ramp, killing all of them.

For years since, he has watched the haunted bus repeat the events of the accident again and again, collecting more and more passengers and adding them to its collection of souls. He believes that this is all his fault, and that he can only break the curse if he can take control of the bus and finally open the doors at that critical moment.

Shinbi and the kids help him finally board the bus again, help open the door and free the entire legion of spirits at last...but once everyone else is safe, he tries to remain aboard. He believes he must atone for failing his passengers, and that proper closure can only come if he dies like he was "supposed" to.

This is a common theme in a lot of anime, or at least Japanese anime, and this noble wish is usually honored...but today, these kids said screw that shit.

With the help of none other than Marionette Queen, the driver is saved, and the ghosts of the passengers themselves assure him that they never blamed him or ever would have blamed him for their deaths; that he had still tried his best, and they'll always be glad that he did.

And so, Hari obtains the greatest spirit summon in the history of spirit summons. While represented here as a single, stylized ghost driving a tiny bus around, the actual summon is the actual, full sized, ghost-filled bus, and literally the only thing it does is crash into things. That's its ghostly power. Hari can summon spirits and demons with all manner of amazing abilities...but sometimes she faces a problem that can be solved by smashing a bus into it, and SPEEDING BUS GHOST: DEADLY DRIVE is ready for action.


The Speeding Bus Ghost is, well, a bus. It's a bus full of ghosts. What do I review, exactly? The bus can manifest a ghostly face on is roof, formed from other faces, so that's something. The ghost passengers are also quite eerie, with vivid blue skin and oversized, luminous red eyes. Once again though, our ghost is really carried by its context, and I want to re-emphasize the novelty of an entire haunted bus as a "catchable monster." Superb.