Review: Toilet-bound Hanako-kun – Volume 1
July 24, 2022
Many paranormal myths circulate in our society and amaze them. Toilet-Bound Hanako-kun (Jap. Jibaku Shōnen Hanako-kun ) is about the most famous legend of Kamome Academy: the school ghost Hanako in the girls' toilet. The turbulent comedy anime adapts Aida Iro's manga series of the same name, which has been released on Blu-ray in Germany since May 5, 2022 by peppermint anime. Patrick Snir
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The Seven Legends of Kamome Academy
For several years now, Kamome Academy has been famous for the rumors surrounding the seven mysterious legends that have been making the rounds ever since. One of the best-known legends is the ghost girl "Hanako from the girls' toilet", who is said to be up to mischief in the third cubicle of the girls' toilet on the third floor of the old school building and can fulfill any wish. In exchange, however, she takes away something that is dear to her heart.
Nene Yashiro, a first year student, loves the occult and is ready to embrace it. She is unhappily in love with the school crush Teru Minamoto and wishes nothing more than to win him over. So Yashiro gathers up all her courage and knocks three times on said cubicle door of the girls' toilet. While nothing unusual happens right after the ritual has been completed, Hanako-kun suddenly appears. Yashiro is shocked to discover that this isn't a girl, but a boy's ghost.
But that's not all: Instead of simply fulfilling her wish, Hanako convinces Yashiro to forgo supernatural methods, otherwise she would have to pay a far too high price for them. Hanako supports her with tips and tricks from reading a guide, which, however, turn out to be less helpful. When all matchmaking plans fail, the clumsy girl chooses a foolish path…
Cursed Scale of a Mermaid
Out of nowhere, Yashiro gets hold of a mysterious mermaid scale owned by Hanako-kun. This ensures that two people fall madly in love with each other. But that scale carries a curse that spreads to anyone who swallows it. It comes as it has to come and Yashiro swallows the mermaid scales without hesitation.
Unexpectedly, she decides without further ado not to impose the counterpart of the scales on her sweetheart and turns into a fish. As predicted, Yashiro has been cursed and with the mermaid who gave the scales haunting her, her end as a good high school student seems to be imminent. In her last need, she saves Hanako from the misery and offers Yashiro to turn her back into her human form and compensate for the curse. In return, however, she has to become Hanako's personal assistant from now on and… serve as a toilet cleaner?!
image and animation
Toilet-Bound Hanako-kun was created based on the manga series of the same name and directed by Masaomi Andō at Studio Lerche, which is known for previous productions such as Assassination Classroom , Classroom of the Elite or Astra Lost in Space . The twelve episodes were broadcast on Japanese television between January and March 2020. peppermint anime secured the license to the comedy anime and is releasing it in two volumes on Blu-ray. The original manga by Aida Iro, on the other hand, has been published in Germany since August 2020 under the title Mein Schulgeist Hanako by Manga Cult in German.
The similarities to the underlying manga template can be recognized from the very first second in the visual implementation. It doesn't matter whether it's the striking character design or the almost expressionistic look – the picture convinces in all respects with a force of dynamics. So far, Studio Lerche has succeeded in making a good adaptation with Toilet-Bound Hanako-kun , which differs from other series thanks to its unusual style.
The viewer always has the feeling that individual pages from the manga are brought to life, which further reinforces the use of overlay panels in the animation. Mayuka Itou's character design fits perfectly into the colorful setting of the series, while the playful animations contribute to the charming composition of all elements.
German translation and music
peppermint anime commissioned the Munich-based dubbing company @alpha postproduction for the German adaptation of Toilet-Bound Hanako-kun , where Tobias Ache wrote the dialogue book and Dominik Auer took over the dialogue direction. A decent dubbed production can already be seen in the first few episodes.
The casting of Maximilian Belle as the eponymous school ghost Hanako is all-round appropriate, because his acting skills skillfully cover Hanako's characteristics and of course convey them to the viewer. Lisa Dzyadyk, who speaks Nene Yashiro, can also completely convince with her performance, so that both vocally as a harmonizing protagonist duo are indispensable. But none of the other speaking roles were noticed negatively in the respective scenes either, which means that the German version has done well so far. However, the original Japanese version with German subtitles is optionally included on the Blu-ray disc.
The music, composed by Hiroshi Takaki, underscores the plot with either common, chilling sounds or idyllic melodies. These are not obtrusive, but a sound carpet for the action. The opening ( No. 7 by Jibaku Shōnen Band) is a rock introduction, while the ending ( Tiny Light by Akari Kitō) rounds off the episodes as a pop song.
Toilet-Bound Hanako-kun may not be a horror anime with scary elements, but it is an entertaining comedy with an amusing plot. Mangaka Aida Iro uses urban legends from Japanese mythology and combines them with a funny episodic storytelling. Each episode picks up on a different legend, which screenwriter Yasuhiro Nakanishi has managed to make unique in her own way and to link the plot with charming characters. Nevertheless, the pacing fluctuates a bit from time to time, but fortunately this doesn't harm the series.
An immense strength of Toilet-Bound Hanako-kun is the visual realization. Studio Lerche has succeeded in capturing the atmospheric images of the underlying manga template and adapting them into an amazingly colorful school setting. The striking character design by Mayuka Itou also harmonises wonderfully with the setting and is completely unique. Conversations between characters are occasionally punctuated by manga-style panels depicting a character's comical reaction, moments of reflection, outbursts of anger, or inner monologues. Other animation styles are used as well, with some watercolor moments at smooth transitions and then garish pop art and subtle CGI at conflicts.
Last but not least, the good German implementation should be mentioned, which also highlighted itself with clear strengths at the start. The very successful cast of funny, hilarious and profound characters is not lost and is accompanied by suitable voices. So if you're looking for a mixture of mystery, comedy and slice of life, you'll be satisfied with Toilet-Bound Hanako-kun .
Toilet-Bound Hanako-kun is a supernatural lighthearted comedy horror anime so far with an original drawing style and a memorable cast of charming characters. A refreshing change that has never existed before.