Synopsis: Reiko Mikami is the best ghost sweeper in Japan. She'll accept any job no matter how dangerous as long as the price is right. In this feature, Mikami is hired to stop the impending resurrection of Nosferatu -- the most vicious and bloodthirsty vampire in history. But things don't go as planned and Nosferatu is revived, more powerful than he ever was. Mikami and company have to stop Nosferatu before he takes over the world...
Review: Although this movie is based on the anime TV series "Ghost Sweeper Mikami", you don't really need to have any TV background in order to understand what's happening. It's a standalone film, much like how the Tenchi movies manage to have their own self-contained stories without really requiring one to go through any of the TV episodes or OAVs. I would also like to make it clear that what I am reviewing is Manga's English release.
One of my main gripes about Ghost Sweeper Mikami the Movie was how Manga handled the English DVD release. First of all, the DVD cover does not make it clear that this is the movie version. The title Ghost Sweeper Mikami is simply plastered across the front, and I actually had to double check whether what I was getting was two TV eps or one full-length feature. Perhaps it was deemed unneccessary because the TV series has not been and will probably never be released in the US, but then you wouldn't release something like "Revolutionary Girl Utena the Movie" as simply "Revolutionary Girl Utena", right? As if that weren't enough, changes abound in the English version as well. The main character Reiko Mikami (that is her full name) becomes simply a woman named Mikami. Mikami happens to be her last name but I'm guessing that the people who worked on this particular release are either really not aware of that (or the TV series for that matter), or just didn't care enough to enlighten the would-be audience to make their jobs easier. Then there's the ending theme music. Instead of the original Japanese ending theme, we get a futurustic techno piece performed by some guy called DJ Acucrack that is totally out of synch with the movie's dated visuals.
Anyhow as for the movie itself, Ghost Sweeper Mikami is nothing but the usual good guys vs. bad guys fare. Mikami and company have to defeat Nosferatu and save the world, which really isn't anything groundbreaking. Of course, you'll probably enjoy it more if you have the TV background since you'll be able to get more out of the character in-jokes such as Yokoshima profusely apologizing for lewd behavior when the mystical lance Mikami is holding points to him; or the clueless green-haired girl being fooled into going to Nosferatu's castle so easily. The ending, while conclusive, had a lack of closure for the supporting characters. Whatever happened to Mikami's friends (TV regulars, mind you) who had initially been captured by Nosferatu? After showing some scenes where they were being drained of their blood we never really see them again.
The art and animation look very dated and are average at best. The character designs don't do much for me either, in fact I don't even find Mikami attractive in the least. There were also a lot of instances where a scene would seem to freeze, and I'd check if the player had paused or stuck up only to find that the disc was still running normally. If it's any consolation though the action / fighting sequences were executed very well, most especially Mikami's climactic showdown with the spider-guy. The English dubbing is okay. I thought the voices and the acting fit the characters rather nicely.
Ghost Sweeper Mikami the Movie is overall an average anime movie. It has its high points but it generally lacks the unfettered humor of the TV series, which I think is the best part of Ghost Sweeper Mikami.
Miscellanies: The Ghost Sweeper Mikami TV series is more entertaining than this movie.