Shipping NaruMai (Ghost Hunt) [updated 2008.05.22]


ゴーストハント 10

And fangirly shipping of NaruMai, though that should already be crystal from the post title. Still, I wanted to get those warnings out before I ruin someone's day.

He doesn't catch Mai after she faints in the "Silent Christmas" arc. He leaves that up to...

k, this is my second random shipment post; I've been itching to do it since finishing volume eight of Inada Shiho-sensei and Ono Fuyumi-sensei's Ghost Hunt (ゴーストハント) manga. However, it took marathoning the anime until episode 20 (that Impz-san blogged about and which produced some lovely speculations) to push me to post:

I ship NaruMai.

(Naru is plain "Naru" here following discovery of his real identity from the Ghost Hunt article Ryuu 'Dhieta' Nagareboshi-san wrote for the Animonster magazine March 2007 issue. In turn, that revelation came from the Akuryou novels of Ono Fuyumi-sensei. I will delve into this, so if you haven't read the article or the Akuryou novels (especially the later ones), or the overabundance of spoilers on the net, please BAIL NOW.)

Edited: I've discovered a bit more since I wrote this ship essay so I went back and tweaked.

So back to topic: I ship Mai and Naru, not because of Mai's canon "consuming passion" for Ghost Hunt's resident narcissist (nor because of something against Masako), but due to hints Naru himself dropped. I concede that I'm probably reading too much into these inklings, but then again, isn't that what shipping is about? Projecting?

So despite seeing subtext where there probably is none, here we go.

huamulan03 ships Ghost Hunt's NaruMai
Some rights reserved

He asks her to be his assistant
We now know that Lin-san works with Naru because of Naru's parents. But when the time came to hire another assistant (post Lin's ongoing recovery, not immediately after his accident), Naru goes and offers the job to... Mai? What pushed him to? I'm sure there were others who were better qualified—unless Naru's a much, much better psychic than I've given him credit for that he could predict Mai's prophetic dream ability before she'd even been exposed to supernatural happenings daily. That Naru could've wanted that same ability for the SPR—assuming he did recognize her powers prematurely—might explain it, but I choose not to think so.

Plus at first he tells her to go back to school when the case wrapped up. Yet he backtracks and asks her to fill the position.

Missing her already?

He breaks down the barrier between boss and employee by calling her Mai
Originally, I thought this development was similar to Remote's Himuro-keiji and Kurumi Ayaki-kun's What? Already!? "intimacy"—the boss chooses to blur the official lines between himself and his subordinate before time. I later found out (largely through Shadow Dreams-san) that this isn't the case. (It also doesn't apply to Remote; was misguided by the translated version.)

Be that as it may, that Naru ditches the distant Taniyama-san for the more familiar Mai early on in the series remains fact. And despite Mai protesting the yobisute (for formality's sake, I'm sure), he doesn't go back to the "polite" form.

He doesn't react to others calling him Naru
But he does the first time Mai did? And looked a li'l embarrassed about it? (Awww...)

Edited: Dropped because in a word (or in this case, a name and its Japanese pronunciation): Noll.

He looks pleased when Mai tells him he's good-looking
You think so? He goes and confirms it, too! I don't remember any instance where Naru reacts like this to a compliment on his looks from the others (I'm sure at least Ayako must've have, somewhere along the line). I guess it's different when the girl you like tells you you're bishie.

He feels bad for looking bad in front of Mai
After Bou-san and Ayako lambasts his theory of land subsidence, Naru tells Mai he's filled with self-loathing. If she wasn't witness to this, you think he would've felt that much self-hatred?

He goes through the trouble of explaining things to Mai
Naru singles Mai out for his showing off. He doesn't want anyone else to look good in front of her perhaps?

Added He uses his powers only for her or because of her
I remember two times when this happened:

  1. When he rescued Mai in the manhole in the After School Curse arc (alias the Kasai Panic case), Naru uses his powers to save them (which accounts for why he passed out afterwards). Additionally, he entertains Mai with his ventriloquism trick to further calm her down.
  2. In the same case, he bends and breaks a spoon those two times to show off in front of Mai (she's the common denonimator) - click to unhide additional babble -
  3. I wasn't originally going to include Naru bending the spoon because I had thought it was a trick. But as I wrote that — Chotto matte kudasai! — a thought strayed in. This is Naru; he really just might have used his powers... So I included it based on the rationalization that it was another showing-off for Mai's benefit.

  4. In the Cursed House arc, Naru is pushed to using her powers after Mai taunts him on how much he loves ordering people around and why doesn't he do the job himself.
  5. I know I said two (this makes it four), but I think Naru also used it when the ceiling caved in on him and Mai in Yasuhara's school.

He doesn't catch Mai after she faints in the "Silent Christmas" arc
He leaves that up to Bou-san. This deliberate no-touching policy is all the more suspicious when we factor in Naru's own brand of solicitude: this is the guy who, in the very first case, doesn't squeal on Mai's classmate (I forget her name, the one responsible for the poltergeist activity in the abandoned school building). Maybe Naru's afraid of what would happen if he does hold Mai?

ASIDE | You can really rationalize black into white when you ship ^^

He has no qualms showing her his "real" self
You're late. Tea, Naru orders Mai before the start of the case at Yasuhara's school. We already know that Naru has issues dealing with others but this level of "comfort" goes beyond his sharp-tongued usual.

She's the only one he teases
When he was pretending to be Narumi Kazuo, "Shibuya Kazuya's" assistant, in the Bloody Labyrinth case, he tells Mai that he will do the heavy lifting of the SPR equipment. You have to look at this in light of all of Naru's orders to Mai: if he thinks she can cope, he doesn't balk at telling her to do physical work—like hammering plyboards in the first SPR case. But lest we blacken out narcissist too much, it also bears noting that for all that he orders her around, he doesn't really make her lug the stuff she can't carry, so it balances out.

The Ice Man of SPR goes and makes her tea

Mai and Naru from anime ep 20

If you ship Naru x Mai too I'm sure you were waiting for this:
After Mai dreams she was murdered in the Bloody Labyrinth case, Naru doesn't come running to her room like Bou-san, John and Yasuhara do. He goes and prepares her a cup of tea instead! (Pfft!) I conjecture he wanted to do something concrete to reassure her, in place of simply going "Yoshi, yoshi" and rubbing her head like Bou-san eventually does. And look at how careful he is to preserve his distance from her. This supports my theory that he's curbing his impulse to touch.

Shibuya Kazuya ja nai!

warning This information comes c/o Ryuu 'Dhieta' Nagareboshi-san and is founded on the disclosure of Naru's real identity in Ono Fuyumi-sensei's Akuryou novel series. If you don't want  SPOILAGE,  don't. Click. The link!

If you're wondering why I didn't include all those warm and fuzzy encounters with Dream!Naru, well, it's NOT Naru. It's his twin brother Eugene, with whom Naru is telepathically linked. Naru is actually Oliver 'Noll' Davis, a well-known English psychic. He went to Japan to investigate his twin's death by hit and run and ultimately, to find his Gene's body, which the murderer had summarily disposed of in a lake. Before dying, Gene showed Naru clues to identify Gene's last resting place and it is to investigate this that Naru periodically disappears.

ASIDE, 2 | Not that we can actually describe Gene, even generously, as resting; with him constantly dogging Mai on cases, perhaps, restive?

At any rate, this is why Naru always wears black; he's mourning. According to the same Ghost Hunt article, Mai eventually discovers that Gene, who she met not much after Naru—he appears to her as early as the third episode—is not who she thought he was. For his part, before disappearing, Gene promises to meet Mai a hundred years on. (When they're both ghosts already?)

So the love triangle is not between Mai, Naru and Yasuhara but Mai, Noll and Gene??

ADDENDUM | As for Naru's dates with Masako, the Ghost Hunt article mentions that Masako actually knows that Naru is Oliver Davis, having seen a video of him before. So, that doesn't count. However, if you ship Naru x Masako, then I'm sure you can come up with your own twist/list of why's ^^

~niki DBA 花木蘭03 (huamulan03) who's trying to regain her shipper form and will likely be looking for Ghost Hunt fanlistings to join after this

copyright information
Ghost Hunt © Ono Fuyumi / Inada Shiho / Kodansha / J.C. STAFF. No infringement intended.

invaluable resources and inspirations

Animonster Vol. 96 March 2007 » Special ONSTAGE: Ghost Hunt article by Ryuu 'Dhieta' Nagareboshi
THAT Animeblog

Tweaked: 2008.05.22 (for obvious reasons)


Runesque said...

Interesting that you spoke of March Animonster's very spoilery GH article in a positive tone ^^. I made a fuss about it on a GH forum because, had I not spoiled myself by choice, I would've written to the reviewer regarding her non-use of spoiler warnings where BIG revelations are concerned. But I guess its readership don't mind spoilers...

On a side note, I'm in the very rare NaruxMasako ship. Needless to say, our ship is starving XDDD.

huamulan03 said...

Hi, runesque-san ^^ So you ship Naru x Masako? Go you! Wouldn't mind seeing your ship take then ^^

I was actually shocked at the humongous revelation, too, and was miffed at not having been warned beforehand. But in the writer's defense, I don't think it was her fault (at least, her blog's got the spoiler tags for that bit of spoilage). So what I'm trying to say is that while I may not have shown it, I was actually a tad upset at Animonster for the lack of warning. Would write them about it but they never (except for one notable time) reply to my individual emails, so...

Anyhoo, again thanks for dwopping by. Arigatou gozaimuchness ^^

~nik who's about to follow your website link for some bit of harmless "stalkin'" ^^

Runesque said...

Don't bother writing a complaint to them; they won't bother with it. Besides, it seems that all their "reviews" tend to be chock-full of spoilers and why pick up a series if you already know everything? I wish the reviewers would start forming their own thoughts as to the subjects being reviewed instead of offering facts on a platter. Hmph.

A bit of ranting aside, it seems that you're pretty much a Ghost Hunt fan. If you'd like to spoil yourself further beyond the article, you might want to consider looking at our forum. It's a sub-forum dedicated to GH with only a few active posters, but I'm sure you'll find tidbits that would be of interest as we openly discuss things that would've required spoiler tags on a public forum.

My net handle above serves as a link.

[End of shameless plug ^^]

My own NaruxMasako take? I guess I've sort of covered it on my blog. And it doesn't need justifications. It's a lost case ;_;.

Stephanie said...

...I found your blog through the Bou-san fanlisting's link list and I am now very happy I went searching. ^^; Yay ship essays!

*does happy dance*

huamulan03 said...

*joins in the happy Snoopy dance*

Hi, Stephanie-san ^^
Thanks for the propers. We aim to please here ^^

The shipment series is an ongoing one so maybe you'd like to come back every so often to see which ship/OTP is on feature.

(Yup, dat dere was a shameless plug ;) )

Subtle_Hints said...

I really love your shipment im a NaruxMai supporter as well!! i love naru and how he teases Mai..i thought i was only imagining things that naru's like showing some subtle hints of affection for mai..its really good to know that you noticed them too!!

huamulan03 said...

@ Subtle_Hints-san,

Glad you liked my turning black into white Naru x Mai shipment post. We aim to please here ^^

arvellas said...

I kindly have to disagree with the statement that Naru is Oliver Davis. Oliver Davis was introduced in the 6th volume of the manga called The Bloodstained Labrinth. He is an old man from England. Although, I suppose my source could be unreliable- mangafox.com.

Personal, NaruxMai fan

takada-san said...

takada-san desu. XD

okay, i'm really happy that you shipped naru and mai,,, omg, i love them! [and i also experience a high level of irritation with masako. grr.]

yepyep! your ship was really convincing! XD especially the 'naru-giving-tea-to-mai scene.'

i was just wondering why you didn't put every single time when naru saves mai. omg, i always love those scenes. and yea,it's alright that you didn't put the dream-naru scenes, coz it really is gene, right? [you know, when i discovered that dream-naru was atually gene in the ghost hunt novels, i actually screamed. omg, i still like naru and mai!]

huamulan03 said...

Doumo ^^ Actually, the men around Mai seem to save her with some regularity. We can even say that the first to do so was actualy... Lin-san. Sure he was trying to prevent her from touching the camera, but he still tried to shield her from the falling cubby shelf. I think it was also Lin-san who saved her a second time - in the Doll's House arc when the ghost of Tomiko's mom pulled her in the well. XD

Note that I still didn't mention those times when Naru saved Mai -- perhaps you would like to do so? ^_~

Thanks for commenting ^^ You're welcome to believe what you believe -- and to also come back for another visit ^^

Anonymous said...

Hello I'm Kai [not real name, sorry]
I love Naru and Mai but I hope it doesn't get too serious but I can see Naru doing that kind of thing.
Thankyou for pointing out the "no touching" thing, I didn't notice I thought he was just being mean letting her fall in ep 13.
"You! what if Bou-san hadn't caught her? just let her crack her head open!?"
And he does touch by holding her wrist occasionally either to move her away or as a comfort thing.
Very funny "the ice man of SPR goes and makes her tea" I love that!!!

huamulan03 said...

@Kai-san, don't worry about the nick - I just wanted to call my visitors/commenters by something other than "Anonymous-san" because on some posts there are more than one ^^;

Anyhoo, welcome! Welcome! Glad you liked the "Ice Man making her tea" - didn't all of us NaruMai shippers?

Also thanks for picking up on the not catching Mai in the Silent Christmas arc. It came about bc my shipper/Noll fangirl self just couldn't accept that he'd let Mai "crack her head open," as you pointed out.

Huggles! ^^

Kai said...

Oh yeah does anyone know where you can get the original novels?
Even in Japanese I don't care, I'll be able to read 'em in about five-ten years.
Then I could write the manga version myself if Inada-san hasn't already.
Trying to keep them in character might be tough.

huamulan03 said...

Currently investigating the novels ^^
Look for the post after I'm done, ne?

Kai said...

Right! I've decided! I'm gonna go ahead and continue the manga myself! based on a post explaining all that the novels revealed about dream naru, naru and everything else.
I can handle character interactions but I'm not sure about comedy and need some ideas for scary cases.
Also if Naru and Mai end up together I need somthing to comfort Masako. I don't want her heartbroken. I can pair her with another character or introduce someone else. Or somthing. Any ideas?

And sorry to all you Naru and Masako fans. But it wouldn't work and I would die horribly.

huamulan03 said...


Whatever makes you happy ^^ You obviously read the filling in the puzzle pieces essay by LKK-san, which is a marvelous piece of Ghost Hunt scholarship ^^

As for ideas on Masako ... A lot of FF.net fics seem to pair her up with John, though I agree with one fanfic writer, I forget who, that John is meant/destined to be single. You know. Catholic priest and all.

At the same time, OCs don't really float my boat, much as I prefer Mai over Masako. Hmm. Lemme think. If I get any brilliant ideas, I'll... where do I contact you? (Oh, you can email me your deets. These comments are so open and vulnerable. If you choose to, my email addy can be seen on the first upper righthand side widget ^^

BTW, that post on the novels I was talking about? Here's the link: The Akuryou/Ghost Hunt novels by Ono Fuyumi (backlist) *ends shameless plug and moves on to tweaking this post*

~nik who is waiting with halo slipping off for the Indonesian translation of manga volume 10

Kai said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Kai said...

Huamulan san
sorry but whats a deet?
I may be sounding like a child here but I'm not great at understanding internet language.
This is why I type like an english lesson.

huamulan03 said...

No worries, hun ^^ It's "details."

Oh and BTW, I removed your earlier comment because I'm afraid your very vulnerable email addy written without any intervening characters -- as in nici(dot)chan(at)mail(dot)com -- might get spammed. I have all of it saved as an email alert, don't fret...


Kai said...

Yeah I didn't realize about that. Thanks!

huamulan03 said...

NaruMai ship essay tweaked ^^

tiyachang2 said...

Hi there, you can call me tiya-chan~ I've been on the hunt for the light novels to read. :( It seems that my cheapskate ways can't go as far as to getting those juicy details. I really love reading this essay you've written though. xD Yay, go NaruMai!

Uhm, to arvellas-san, I know you believe that the old man in the Labyrinth arc to be Oliver Davis, but that was a fraud. He really wasn't Oliver Davis. :x I normally would let this go but I really just can't stand to correct, my apologies.

I too love the "ice man goes and makes her tea" part. xD That was creatively delicious, haha! I was a bit surprised at how of all people, HE was the one who brought her something that would calm her down well. I was really hoping for more things to go on between those two though...it'd have been nice. :( Lots of the scenes I just couldn't help but adore!

Sorry for the ramble. ^^; Heheh.

huamulan03 said...

Hi, tiya-chan-san! ^^
Thanks for dropping by and rambling. This blog actually welcomes it, considering that it's already inured from all the rambling I do ^^

Yeah, everyone seems to love that Naru brings Mai tea thing. I should rewrite this ship essay so that that's the first "evidence" everyone reads...

As for the Akuryou novels, as I noted for Kai-san, they're about as rare as... *insert appropriate metaphor here* If they're available by some miracle, they run in the thousands of yen per book. Baka-Tsuki used to do some translations but that project has now stalled.

sinmay said...

You know, Mai is the only person that Naru voluntarily touches. And I think that really means something for someone who hates being touched. Whenever Masako hanged onto him, he just stiffened up.

Like, whenever a ghost shows up before just the two of them, he'll use his arm to shield her. In the well incident, when the ghost with the scythe shows up, Naru literally sticks his arm in front of her to protect her. And there were other times when Naru touches her, like when he dragged her out of the room in Yasuhara's case.

I'd hate to be advertising, but right now I'm translating the Akuryou series, and I finished with volumes 1 and 2. Currently translating chapter 2 of volume 3 now. In case you want to see: english translation of Akuryou Series

huamulan03 said...

@ sinmay-san,
ITA on Naru only being able to tolerate Mai's touch! And thank you for leaving the link to the English translation of the Akuryou novels--you made my day ^^

~nik who asks if she can say "Suki!" now? ^^

Katherine said...



I love this, xD I've made several narumai amvs and fanfics (see links)



please check them out!

huamulan03 said...

@ Katherine-san,
I know! Isn't that just about the--
Ah well, ranting won't pull up the street dates, so never mind.
Neway, thanks for the links--I'll be sure to check them out (I think I remember seeing several NaruMai fics under "harunorin" at FF.net. ^^)

Thanks for dropping by and commenting! ^^

Anonymous said...

Mmmhm. I'm a die-hard Naru/Mai shipper so reading this just makes me feel happier about what might happen with Gene in the near future. >.<
Anyways for anyone who disagrees with the fact that Naru is Oliver Davis needs to get they're facts right. I heard the old man in the Blood Stained Labyrinth admit (in English. :P (In the anime also.)) He was not Oliver Davis. Madoka also had sent the SPR to that mansion to get rid of or study or something to do with the fake Oliver Davis. (Only Naru knew of her plot.)
Its explained later on. Just wait and see if I'm right. Anyways thanks for clearing up the mess with the no touchy. ^.^
Just like many people when in a Silent Christmas, Naru let Mai almost hit the ground, I started going on about how he was such a meany and it would have been SO MUCH cuter if he grabbed her. :3
Anyways I enjoyed your blog. Now off to read Naru/Mai fanfics! >D


huamulan03 said...

I guess that no touching's got to be the second most popular shippy thing here in NaruMai--after the making her tea thing, of course ^^

Thanks for dropping by and commenting!

Stephanie said...

hey i'm called Sami... i just went on a crazed search for the light novels and for more of volume ten then just the first 2 chapters... no luck. but i came on here to ask a question and i am saying now... this is a possible


so i know about Naru's twin and his real name being Noll... and that the Naru in Mai's dreams is the twin Gene.

now the next part i don't know the truth of, i cant remember where i found it and so it may be from a Fiction...

1. Naru and his bother were adopted and their adopted parents are from england.

2. naru thinks mai loves his brother in her dreams.

3. mai follows naru to england where she meets his parents.

4. theres a woman and i cant remember her connection (narus betrothed maybe) and theres something fishy about her... (this is the one i that's really fuzzy in my mind and i cant find reference to today)

5. there is a part when mai gets stuck in a dream and will die if Naru cant get her out... this is when he learns of gene in her dreams(i have no clue why i remember this... but i do)

all these things i found a year ago and now i cant separate fact from fiction and i cant find the light novels to help me do it... so can you guys?

huamulan03 said...

Hey, sami-san ^^
I think (someone correct me if I am wrong) that points 1-2 of your comment is canon, i.e., found in either the Akuryou series or the Ghost Hunt manga (prolly v.10).

Points 3-5, however, might be fanon, i.e., from fanfic (the plot bunnies sound familiar).

I will try to reconfirm.

Anyhoo, thanks for dropping by and commenting!

Anonymous said...

i love narumai too and i totally agree!! he's keeping his distance to not feel the urge to touch, hehehe

huamulan03 said...

Isn't he just? ^^

Maureen said...

Another Mai x Naru Shipper ^_^!
well, You can call me Maureen, Mo-chan, Momo-chan,
Sandy-chan, or Sandy-san owo. I think that Naru said in the Forbidden Pastime arc that the reason he used Mai as his assistant in episode one before her actually working for him was because he wanted free labor. The camera Mai broke was insured ^_^;;. Also, didn't Naru hold Mai's wrist/hand when the spirit appeared infront of them in the Episode 9? If point 5 is cannon, let me know please owo. That kind of reminds me of a sailor moon episode when usagi was put to sleep and mamoru was the only one that could save her :3.anyways thanks for taking the time to read.
- Momo-chan (;D)

huamulan03 said...

Hewo, fellow NaruMai shipper ^^ Yup, I remember him saying he wanted "free labor" though he didn't really need to keep her on (like he doesn't keep the Irregulars, Bou-san & Co. in his employ).

And kyaaa~ I also remember him holding her hand, actually placing himself in front of her to protect her. Thanks for reminding ^^

Also, thanks for commenting ^^

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Arigatou gozaimuchness,

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