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Kaidan Restaurant (怪談レストラン Kaidan Resutoran?) is a Japanese children's storybook series. The books take the form of horror anthologies, edited by Miyoko Matsutani and illustrated by Yoshikazu Takai and Kumiko Katō. As of 2007, there were 50 volumes published by Doshinsha.[1] Over 8 million copies of the books have published so far.[2]

The books were adapted into a TV anime series by Toei Animation, which began airing in 2009.[1] It derives its name from "kaidan", which, here, loosely translates as "thriller" (from "kai", meaning strange, mysterious, rare or bewitching apparition, and "dan", meaning talk or recited narrative; a more direct translation would be a ghost or horror story). Rather than forming a linear plot, the anime follows the anthology format of the book and tells a collection of ghost stories similar to what would be traditionally told around a campfire. The anime is frequently among the 10 highest rated anime shows of the week in Japan.[2]

The series will also be adapted as a hybrid live-action and anime feature film for August 2010.[2]


There is a loose theme throughout the series of the "Thriller Restaurant", which is introduced in the first episode. The remainder of the series is a collection of ghost stories reminiscent of the Scary Stories anthology.

Each episode is broken up into three "dishes", namely the Appetizer, the Main Dish, and the Dessert. The "Appetizer" is a short story featuring something supernatural, such as ghosts, spirits, or similar. The "Main Dish" is a longer ghost story similar to the Appetizer, usually with a twist. The "Dessert" is a brief campfire ghost story told by one of the main characters while the other two listen. These involve characters not related to the series and ends with some sort of a moral lesson.


Recurring characters

Ako Ōzora (大空 アコ Ōzora Ako?)

Voiced by: Ryoko Shiraishi

Currently attending Yamazakura Elementary School, Ako is frequently referred to as "Anko" by her friends and fellow classmates. She doesn't have an overly large fascination with ghost stories, but when she hears of one, she likes to learn more about the story and learn facts about it, such as the morals or historical significance, etc.
She is the first of her classmates to make friends with Sho after his transfer to Yamazakura.
Shō Kōmoto (甲本 ショウ Kōmoto Shō?)

Voiced by: Hiro Yuuki

Sho is a new transfer student at Yamazakura. He was popular with the girls although he is not very social, and he doesn't have many friends. He loves ghost stories and has a whole room of scary stories.
Reiko Sakuma (佐久間 レイコ Sakuma Reiko?)

Voiced by: Masumi Asano

Reiko is the chairperson for Ako's class. She believes that everything supernatural has a scientific explanation.
Ghastly Garçon (おばけギャルソン Obake no Garuson?)

Voiced by: Hiroaki Hirata

The ghost garçon (waiter) who is the manager of the Restaurant. He introduces every meal. He typically appears during the opening credits, and after the main course, to wrap up the show.

Supporting characters

Yūma (ゆま Yūma?)

Voiced by: Yoshihisa Kawahara

Takuma (たくま Takuma?)

Voiced by: Hisayoshi Suganuma

Machiko Sensei (まちこ せんせい Machiko Sensei?)

Voiced by: Machiko Toyoshima

Ishimoto Sensei (いしもと せんせい Ishimoto Sensei?)
Mari (まり Mari?)

Voiced by: Yūko Yajima

Ako's Mother (あこの おかあさん Ako no Okaasan?)

Voiced by: Ai Maeda

Ako's Father (あこの おとうさん Ako no Otousan?)

Voiced by: Kentarou Itou

Bunta Ōzora (おおぞら ぶんた Ōzora Bunta?)

Voiced by: Fuyuka Oura

Episode list

# Episode title Original air date[3]
01 Thriller Restaurant : The Kikimora's Puppet : She's Gone Forever...
"Kaidan Resutoran : Kikiimora Ningyou : Itte Shimatta Onnanoko..." (怪談レストラン : キキーモラ人形 : 行ってしまった女の子...)
October 13, 2009 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
The meal in this episode is introduced by the Garçon himself.

Thriller Restaurant
Ako is daydreaming during school when a new student (Sho) arrives and sits next to her during class. Reiko suggests that Ako shows him around town. When Ako mentions that the "Thriller Restaurant" is haunted, Sho insists they visit it, much to Ako's dismay. While there, they explore the building, and Sho records the whole thing on a camcorder. Ako answers a ringing phone, which welcomes her to The Thriller Restaurant, and is then immobilized, which Sho's camcorder reveals to be a ghost holding Ako's leg in place. They flee the restaurant, where Reiko is waiting. She tells them that she was the one who called the phone, although she never said any of the things Ako heard...

The Kikiimori's Puppet
Ako's class is brainstorming ideas for a class play when Sho suggests a Kikiimori, a ghost that takes the mantle of the Grim Reaper. After class, Ako builds a Kikiimori puppet. Sho warns them not to breathe into its mouth, as the Kikiimori will steal your soul, but Reiko does anyway. She immediately starts sobbing, saying something is "squeezing her heart". After school, Ako returns to the classroom to retrieve her recorder. Reiko appears, telling her she will die, then attacks her. Sho arrives, telling Ako to suck Reiko's spirit out of the puppet and breathe it back into her mouth, using the recorder. Once Reiko is pacified, Sho smashes the Kikiimori's wireframe, effectively destroying it. Reiko recovers, but she doesn't remember anything that happened while the Kikiimori had her soul...

She's Gone Forever...
Ako tells the story of a school that had a giant mirror along one of its stairway platforms. Rumor had it that at midnight, you could pass through the mirror into the afterlife. One day, a girl stood before the mirror, saying that at midnight, she would explore the afterlife. The next day, the girl went missing; only her shoes were left sitting in front of the mirror. She was never seen from again, and when the old building was demolished and the mirror shattered, they say her soul was lost forever...

02 The Cat Goes To School : The Path To The Bottomless Pond : Becomes A Flounder
"Neko, Gakkou he Iku : Ike no Fuchi no Michi : Hirame ni Nare" (猫、学校へいく : 池のふちの道 : ひらめになれ)
October 20, 2009 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
The meal in this episode is introduced by a bakeneko.

The Cat Goes To School
During lunch, Ako's classmate, Yoshio, is bullied by other kids because he doesn't like fish or milk, which they pile on his plate in generous helpings. The next morning, Yoshio pretends to be sick, then confesses to his cat, Totto, that he's afraid of being bullied. Meanwhile at school, Yoshio arrives, but he is acting strange. Sho notices weird hairs on Yoshio's chair, and at lunch, he shows none of his hate for fish and milk; rather, he wolfs the fish down as fast as he can, then pours the milk into a saucer and proceeds to drink it by lapping at it with his tongue. The bullies tell him to cut it out, whereupon Yoshio rips open their aprons, threatening them to never bully him again. He then runs away, and Sho and Ako follow him. He leaps over a wall, but behind it, Sho and Ako find Totto. They visit Yoshio at home, and Yoshio tells them that he had been home all day...

The Path To The Bottomless Pond
Ako and her family go to visit her grandparents in the town where her father lived when he was little. While there, he promises to take Bunta to the pond where he used to fish. He goes visiting some of his old friends, one of which relates the old story about Kenji Asada, a boy their age who drowned in the pond while fishing, and how you could still hear him calling for help. On the way home, Ako's father get's caught in the rain. He decides to take the shortcut through the forest, which takes him by the pond. At the pond, he hears a voice cry out for help. He panics and runs back home, where the family is looking for Bunta, who has gone missing. They say he may have gone fishing alone. Ako's father, realizing his grave mistake, rushes back to the pond. He finds Bunta in the tall grass at the pond's edge. Bunta says he was fishing when he slipped and fell into the pond. He was then pushed back ashore by a boy wearing a name tag that says "Asada"...

Becomes A Flounder
Ako tells the story of a girl, Midori, who came across a cursed doll. If you wanted to hurt someone, you could stick a pin in the doll and bury it while saying the person's name. Midori remembered the girl who sat next to her in class, Kanaya, who would always sneak glances at Midori's notes. Midori relates this side-glancing to a flounder, which has two eyes on the side of its head, so she buried the doll, wishing Kanaya would become a flounder. From the next day on, Kanaya was absent from class. One day, when Midori is helping at the shop, a flounder speaks to her, and Midori knows it is Kanaya. Kanaya then turns Midori into a flounder, which Midori's father then cuts up into sashimi. Ako finishes by saying the sashimi you had for dinner could have been somebody too...

03 Goodbye : The Midnight Princess : Passenger On A Rainy Night
"Ja, Baai : Mayonaka no Oujo : U no Yoru no Kyaku" (じゃ、バーイ : 真夜中の王女 : 雨の夜の客)
October 27, 2009 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
The meal in this episode is introduced by the Ghastly Widow.

Ako meets Bunta at his school, where he is participating in a Go tournament, elimination style. Bunta's first opponent is Michio Sakai, the runner-up of the previous year's tournament. Meanwhile, Michio is running late to the tournament. He runs into a crowd, who have gathered around an accident scene. Michio squeezes his way through, and makes it to the school just in time for the first match, although when he arrives, Bunta points out that he is looking unnaturally pale. The first match ends with Bunta conceding, and Michio advances his way through the bracket, but during the later matches, Michio's hand starts disappearing as he plays his piece. During the final match, Ako sees a news report saying that Michio was hit by a truck earlier that day, and had died in the hospital a few minutes ago. At this realization, Michio insists the match is finished. He wins, and his spirit moves on, saying he is finally "number one"...

The Midnight Princess
Ako and Reiko go to Sho's house, which turns out to be a funeral home, to do homework. They go to Sho's room, which is filled with shelves covered in ghost stories written in many languages. Sho reads one of them, called The Midnight Princess. At the beginning, a princess of a foreign country dies. Before she does, however, she instructs that at the event of her death, the should be put in a coffin in the church, and her coffin should be guarded by a single guard every night. Her wish is honored, but every night, the guard would disappear at midnight. One day, a guard named Joseph was assigned to guard the coffin. His mother reassured him, since he had his father's rosary, which he prayed to everyday. On the way to the church, Joseph meets a stranger that tells him to hide under the pulpit until the hour after midnight. He did so, and at midnight, the princess rose, searching for him, but could not find him. The next day, he was asked to guard the coffin again. The stranger appeared a second time, telling him to hide behind the altar this time. Again, he did so, and again, the princess could not find him. Joseph is asked to guard the coffin one last time. The stranger appears, telling him to hide in the confessional. He reveals that the princess is possessed, and the demon will die if it doesn't eat for three days. He does so, and when the demon appears, it transforms into its true form, scaring Joseph and causing him to drop the rosary. She sees him, and advances on him. He recovers the rosary just as the clock strikes one. The demon disappears, and the princess is revived. The king marries her to Joseph. The stranger appears one final time, and reveals himself to be Joseph's father...

Passenger On A Rainy Night
Sho tells the story of a taxi driver, who picks up a young girl next to a pond. She asks him to drive her to Yotsuya. She is completely silent during the entire ride. When they arrive at Yotsuya, the girl asks the driver to wait while she gets money to pay for the fare. The driver agrees, but the girl does not return for a while. Finally, he walks up to the door, and an older woman answers it. He asks about the girl, but when he describes what she was wearing, the woman reveals that it was her daughter wearing the clothes she wore on the day she died, the taxi she was driving in having crashed in to the pond. The driver rushes back to the taxi, but immediately after he closes the door, the car fills with water. The girl reappears in the back seat and asks to be taken back to the pond...

04 Spirited Away : The Elder At Well's End : The White Muffler
"Kami Kakushi : Ido no Soko Nobaasama : Shiroi Mafuraa" (神かくし : 井戸の底のばあさま : 白いマフラー)
November 10, 2009 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
The meals in this episode are introduced by a kappa.

Spirited Away
Ako and Sho visit Yamazakura shrine and find Yuma and Takuma playing video games there. They taunt Ako, implying that she and Sho are a couple. Yuma discards an empty water bottle at the yorishiro, which punishes him by causing him to vanish. Ako's mother receives a call later that night from Mrs. Ishimoto, saying that Yuma hasn't returned. Ako, along with Yuma's parents, other classmates, and the police, search the temple grounds. Meanwhile, Yuma wakes up in the yorishiro's high branches and sees the search going on. He tries to call them, but they don't respond, and when he tries to grab Takuma, he passes through him. The search breaks up and everyone goes home. Yuma tries to follow them, but a barrier prevents him from leaving the shrine grounds. Then the yorishiro tells him he must clean the whole grounds. The next day, Ako and Sho return to the shrine and find a sullen Takuma. They realize that Yuma might be spirited away, and Yuma shakes the tree's branches, revealing he is there. Later, they find him slumped against the trunk. He is overjoyed, then fervently cleans the shrine once more, afraid that me might get spirited away again...

The Elder At Well's End
Ako sees an old woman near a sealed well while passing a construction area. She flees and returns with Sho, and the two meet up with Reiko. Sho digs up a stone next to the well, which conceal a pile of sutras. The old woman appears and tells her story while Sho records on his camcorder. She tells the story of a young girl who is worked by her stepmother, who spoils her stepsister. One day, the girl drop's her stepmother's precious plate down a well, and is told to go into the well to retrieve it. she climbs down the well, and at the bottom she finds a vast meadow with a small house. Inside the house, the old woman asks her to help get rid of her lice, and the girl agrees. She returns the dish, and gives her an elegant kimono. She tells her stepmother about the old woman, who sends her stepsister down the well to get all of the old woman's treasures. The woman asks the stepsister to help get rid of her lice, which she refuses to do, and the woman slams the window shut. The stepmother goes down the well to find her daughter, but falls. The old woman then causes the well to collapse, crushing them. The old woman requests that Ako, Sho, and Reiko give the property a proper exorcism. They pass the message to the property owner, who disregards the request, since the old woman had disappeared from the camcorder's footage...

The White Muffler
Reiko tells the story of a woman stitching a muffler on a balcony. She asks Reiko if there is such thing as "the perfect crime". She tells her about a woman who grew to hate her husband, so she asked a swamp hag for advice on how to get rid of him. She says to plant silk seeds during the full moon, water the seeds during the full moon, extract the fabric during the full moon, knit a robe during the full moon, and give the robe to her husband during the full moon. She did all of this, and her husband disappeared the next day. The woman says this is "the perfect crime", and says she just finished knitting her muffler. It was a full moon that night...

05 The Wolf's Gaze : Grim Reaper Killer : You're Next
"Ookami No Hikaru Me : Shinigami Kiraa : Tsugi wa Omae da" (オオカミのひかる目 : 死神キラー : つぎはおまえだ)
November 17, 2009 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
The meals in this episode are introduced by the Grim Reaper.

The Wolf's Gaze
Ako meets up with her uncle who she loved dearly. He shows her pictures from his last trip and tells her how he plans to go to India to see the sun rise on the grasslands. Soon after that her uncle goes to India, she finds out he died in the grasslands. Her father went to India to get the body and all his belongings. Along with his stuff is a letter to Ako along with a gift. The letter says how her uncle saw the sun rise and set. Once the sun set though, wolves chased him up a tree only leaving when the sun rose again. He then tells of going to a market and buying her a gift: a cloth with a tree and shards of eyes around the bottem which he says looked like the wolves' eyes. He then says how he is going to go back and see the wolves' eyes again. Ako is very upset with his death and treasures the cloth, pinning it to the wall next to her bed. She then goes to sleep. In the middle of the night she wakes up to see that her floor has turned to grass, and a wolf is next to her bed glaring at her. Frightened by the wolf in her room, she freezes. After realising that if she doesn't move the wolf will kill her, she grabs the cloth and holds it up, repelling the wolf. The next day at school she talks to Sho about the wolf. He suggests to her that perhaps her uncle wanted her to figure it out. The next night she is woken up again, this time the wolf is on top of her. She panics, but hears her uncle's voice. The wolf then turned into her uncle. He tells her he's fine and that just because he died traveling doesn't mean she should be scared to travel. He asks her to tell her dad he's fine, then says good bye and leaves her.

Grim Reaper Killer
Ako tells Sho the story of the Grim Reaper hospital, and how her younger brother saw Shinigami. Ako's father woke up with a stomach ache and his wife forced him to go to the grim reaper hospital despite his fear of dieing. Bunto then tells his father he'd go with him. Once they get there they can't find anyone who works there. Bunto becomes thirsty and goes to buy a drink but stumbles upon another vending machine and overhears Shinigami talking. He listins in on them for a while until he drops his money and they see him. He is then chased up the steps and grabs his father leaveing with him. Ako later tells us that he just had gastridos. Later you see the doctor who works at the hospital in his hotel room. He is confrunted by the head shinigami and yells at the shinigami that it only has 3 months to live. Reversing what the doctor says the shingami gives the doctor three months to live. The doctor then dies three months later.

You're Next
Sho tells the story of a hunter who waits for his pray. He sits in a bush and watches a worm eaten by a frog the frog by a snake the snake by a bird and the bird by him. He then relises this and is killed in return.

06 Spooky School : The House On The Ridge : Princess Of The Pot
"Kowa I Gakkou : Tougeno Ichi Ken Ie : Tsubo Himesama" (こわーい学校 : とうげの一けん家 : つぼひめさま)
November 24, 2009 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
07 Lady Car : Tatty : Bells From The After-Life
"Kaa Obasan : Taachan : Ano Yo Karano Suzu No Oto" (カーおばさん : たあちゃん : あの世からの鈴の音)
December 1, 2009 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
08 Room 31 : Don't Turn Around : The Broken Photocopier
"31 Goushitsu : Furimukuna : Kopii Ki Kara Gikogikogikogiko" (31号室 : ふりむくな : コピー機からギコギコギコギコ)
December 8, 2009 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
09 I Saw My Funeral : Gift from the Water Fairy : My Wife Vanished in Morocco
"Jibun no Soushiki wo Mita : Mizu no Sei no Okurimono : Morokko de Kieta Niizuma" (自分の葬式をみた : 水の精のおくりもの : モロッコで消えた新妻)
January 19, 2010 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
10 The Mansion of Blue Flames : Her Little White House : The Ringtone from Beyond
"Aoi Honoo no Yakata : Shiroi Ie no Shoujo : Ano Yo kara no Ryaku Mero" (青い炎の館 : 白い家の少女 : あの世からの着メロ)
January 26, 2010 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
11 Whose Coat is This? : Monster Mansion : You've Got a Hand on Your Back
"Dare no Kooto? : Yuurei Yashiki : Senaka ni Te no Ato ga" (誰のコート? : 幽霊屋敷 : 背中に手のあとが)
February 2, 2010 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
12 The Changeling : Let's Go Together : Eye Spy a Heated Table
"Torikaerareta Akachan : Isshou ni Ikou : Shokudou no Kotatsu" (とりかえられた赤ちゃん : いっしょにいこう : 食堂のこたつ)
February 9, 2010 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
13 Path of the Dead : Mirror from the Sea : Nailed Down at Night
"Mouja Michi : Umi ni Tadayotteita Kagami : Ushi no Kokumairi" (亡者道 : 海にただよっていた鏡 : 丑の刻まいり)
February 16, 2010 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
14 Return My Body : Replay
"Watashi wo Kaeshite : Ripurei" (わたしをかえして : リプレイ)
March 2, 2010 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
15 You Were : I Can't Dance Without You : Empty Seat
"Omaeda : Hitori de wa Odorenai no : Kuuseki" (おまえだ : ひとりではおどれないの : 空席)
March 9, 2010 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
16 Your Beloved's Lock of Hair : Spooky Tunnel : School Spirit
"Sukina Hito no Kami no Ke wo… : Yuurei Tonneru : Gakkou Warashi" (すきな人の髪の毛を… : 幽霊トンネル : 学校わらし)
April 13, 2010 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
17 Test of Courage : Welcome Home : Beautiful Palm
"Kimodameshi : Okaeri, Anata! : Sugoi Tesou" (きもだめし : おかえり、あなた! : すごい手相)
April 20, 2010 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
18 Possessed : Rebirth : Loving Ghost
"Tsukimono : Umarekawari : Kosodate Yuurei" (憑き物 : 生まれ変わり : 子育て幽霊)
April 27, 2010 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
19 Guide to the Afterlife : The Demon's Window : Weeping Bell
"Ano Yo no Tabi no Goannai : Akuma no Mado : Naku Tsurigane" (あの世の旅のご案内 : 悪魔の窓 : 泣くつり鐘)
May 4, 2010 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
20 The Television from Space : A Nightmare in Yamazakura
"Yogen Terebi no Kai: Akumu no Tsuzuki" (予言テレビの怪 : 悪夢の続き)
May 11, 2010 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
21 That Arm : One Stormy Night
"Ude : Arashi no Yoru" (うで : あらしの夜)
May 25, 2010 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
22 Yet One Another Teacher : Cursed Goods
"Mou Hitori no Sensei : Kombini no Noroi Guzzu" (もうひとりの先生 : コンビニののろいグッズ)
June 1, 2010 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
23 Thriller Restaurant's First Guest
"Kaidan Resutoran Saisho no Kyaku" (怪談レストラン最初の客)
June 8, 2010 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}

Theme songs

Ending theme
Lost Boy
  • Performance: SEAMO

References to Modern Culture

  • In episode two, The Path To A Bottomless Pond tells of a boy who drowned in a pool, then saves another boy who falls into the same pool. This is similar to the San Antonio legend of a school bus full of children stalling on a railroad, then hit by a train. The legend says that if a car stops on the rails, an unknown force pushes the car back off.[4]
  • In episode three, The Midnight Princess tells of a young man who was saved from a grisly death by the ghost of his dead father. This is a similar version to the story of a wife who dies in a fatal crash, whose spirit seeks for help to save her still living baby.[5]
  • In episode three, Passenger On A Rainy Night tells of a girl getting a taxi ride to her house, where she is revealed to already be dead. This is a version of an urban legend, where a person (usually a young woman) gets a ride from the place of her death to an address, usually the house of a relative or close friend.[6]


External links

ru:Kaidan Restaurant zh:怪談餐館