A.D. Vision (commonly referred to as ADV) was an American international multimedia entertainment company.
On August 19, 2005 at the 2005 Otakon Anime convention, ADV Films announced the North American release of a Ghost Stories DVD in October of that year. ADV's dubbed version retains the basic plot structure and storyline, but alters much of the dialogue into comedy written by ADV screenwriter Steven Foster and ad-libbed by the voice actors. This split the fans, while some did not like the change, many enjoyed it. In the dub, the dialog was changed from serious to tongue-in-cheek where characters often break the fourth wall, make pop culture references (for example, in Episode 10, Hajime comments "Looks like the tunnel in GTA"), engage in brief catty celebrity satire, and use profanity. According to the voice actors appearing at convention panels, the original Japanese licensers, who were dealing with a financial loss on the anime series, had given almost free reign to the producers at ADV Films in dubbing in an attempt to break even. They were given a set of simple rules:
- They could not change the names of any of the main characters or ghosts.
- They could not change the method of each ghost's defeat.
- They could not change the overall meaning of each episode.
Needless to say, these rules were not very restrictive and some very big alterations were made to the script during production of the dub.
Changes include, Momoko, instead of a "psychic," being portrayed as a fanatical evangelical Christian. Satsuki's Mother is portrayed as a lesbian. Leo is also Jewish in the dub, and Keiichirou is depicted as "mentally challenged." Hajime stays fairly true, albeit made more perverse and offensive, sometimes saying racist and ironic things, for example: "Run like there's a big black man chasing you!"
As many purists were offended by the ADV version of the anime, the anime television network, Animax, translated the series under the title Ghosts at School. The Animax dub stayed true to the original, retained all of the original Japanese plot, character, and dialog details. This version of the dub is often overshadowed by the bombastic nature of the ADV version, and is very difficult to find.
On August 28, 2013 Discotek Media announced that they licensed the series and would release it in 2014 with the ADV dub and the Japanese audio with English subtitles. The entire series was released on a 3 Disc set on March 25, 2014.