GHOSTBUSTERS JAPAN is basically a parody of Super Sentai (I've always thought the GBs were Super Sentai without the "hi-keeba!") in that A) the heroes are totally unsuited for the job and B) they must suffer the trials and tribulations of owning a business while going to university and having lives of their own. But it is a job, and it does pay well.
If this sounds like Extreme Ghostbusters, I apologize, but it gets better: The ones who answered the newspaper ad are all otaku in their own way: we've got the anime and J-Horror fan who may or may not know more about the supernatural than he/she is letting on, the science wiz/technocrat (a girl? Could be interesting...she'd also serve as the "straight man" to the three buffoons), the car buff, and a Leisure Suit Peter type.
They each carry equipment based on four of the five senses:
SIGHT: Ecto Goggles SOUND: A powerful, high-tech listening device. SMELL: The PKE Meter picks up a ghost's trail. TOUCH: Ghosts leave slime trails, and there is a device that can determine what kind of ghost they're dealing with by analyzing samples.
But they all wear their mighty Proton Packs, newly redesigned for the 21st Century...
EDIT: Their "going into battle" catchphrase is "Kenshi!" On the one hand, it's a pun on the usual cry of "Henshin!" and on the other hand, the word translates as "autopsy."
After looking at that earlier Proton Pack sketch I did, I have decided that I'm not too keen on it after all, so I'm headed back to the drawing board.
I think all along I've had a Proton Pack that goes more along the lines of a Dyson vacuum cleaner (no Poltergust 3000 jokes, thank you very much) in mind. Some of the bits on one of those things look really futuristic, but the very basic premise behind the Japan Pack is that it's more or less all in one piece--I'll add bits to it as I go along, but it's more self-contained than Dan Aykroyd's original concept, and more streamlined and user-friendly.
As a matter of fact, you know what? The pack should in the end look for all the world like a vacuum cleaner--even the Nutrona Wand bears some resemblance. So I'll be redesigning *that* too.
I'm envisioning something like white jumpsuits with red trim around the shoulders and on the sides of the legs. Similar to the standard GB uniform, but a touch--just a touch!--more futuristic and more along the lines of a NASCAR pit crew. I think they're made of some newfangled, nonstick material that doesn't stain too badly.
I'm still not sure what I want to do with this. I've got something like an "experimental dimensional gateway" in mind that the JP Ghostbusters put their ghosts. It'd be the same process--stick your trap in the slot, pull the handle, and send 'em away--but it would open a doorway to a "pocket dimension" for a split second. But how to implement this?
I gotta admit, that first design looks pretty cool even now. Still, all the equipment's under MASSIVE redesign. While awesome, the first Pack and wand* look pretty cumbersome. Must streamline further.
NEW SECTION: THE CHARACTERS
Yes, you heard right! I have characters!
PROFESSOR KUBOTA (name TBD--this is a placeholder)
46 y/o, 5'3", portly, balding, wears spectacles. Looks like a Japanese Jason Alexander. ------------------------------------------------------------ Prof. Kubota is a madcap quantum physicist at a university (I haven't decided which one--I wrote these in my notebook in a white-hot rage). He was recently disgraced for misappropriating grant money, not that his colleagues admired his work or anything. Just before he was dismissed from the university, he began work on his magnum opus: proof that ghosts had a physical presence in our world. His lab assistant, Megumi (more on her later), handled the "ghost" stuff, while he handled the complex equations and data.
Kubota misused the grant money to purchase a Ghostbusters franchise and build prototype equipment. Initially, he and Megumi struck out like Batman and Robin, but the strain of catching ghosts proved too much for the professor. He realized that he would need a team to help him....