Shinbi's Apartment Ghost Reviews:
Jack O' Lantern!

Written by Jonathan Wojcik

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SEASON 04, EPISODE 10: sorry for the poor quality (and watermarks!) of the clip I scrounged up, but it's finally HALLOWEEN! I mean, in-universe, anyway. This episode didn't actually air until December 2021, and I'm reviewing it weeks later in January 2022! During a Halloween festival, a pumpkin is possessed by an unknown spirit who begins handing cursed candy out to children, seemingly entrancing them to do whatever the spirit wants...

...But ultimately, all Jack seems to do with this power is force the children to gather around and cheer while he entertains them with fireworks, magic tricks, and finally pyromania. He sets the whole festival ablaze, making the children dance and rejoice with him as it all burns down. When anybody tries to step in and stop him, he reveals the ability to conjure a scythe blade and put up a pretty intense fight.

Jack's hold over the children deteriorates as he battles, and when the kids start crying, Jack gets surprisingly distraught that they aren't having fun with him, and becomes even more enraged at the various sets of Meddling Kids that have intruded on his good time.

It takes a lot of characters a lot of effort to finally just knock Jack's pumpkin head from his "body," which was nothing but a spectral shadow wearing a stolen Halloween costume and just sort of evaporates.


It turns out that Jack isn't the spirit of Halloween or anything so ancient; he was just a little boy who pissed a lot of people off by pulling so many pranks. One night, during a fall festival at his own village, the adults locked him up in a barn to do cleaning and chores while everyone else had fun.

So much fun, there was nobody around to let him back out or even notice at all when the barn caught fire, and what was to be a minor punishment resulted in a child burning to death. Ever since, his spirit has wanted to finally have fun with other kids like himself again - and exact vengeance on adults in the process.


Like last week's witch, my feelings on this one are a little mixed. I'm inclined to love him on the principle of being a Jack O' Lantern prankster, but while he exudes quite a bit of character and style for a Shinbi ghost, he's not really exceptional for this trope. I guess I'm saying he's a "generic" concept, but it's a generic concept that's inherently a little more fun than others. He also has to get some credit for a tragic death we haven't seen in the series before, and the more you consider it, the more horrible it really is.