Sunday, November 6, 2022

REVIEW: Toilet-bound Hanako-kun: The Complete Series (anime TV series)

Toilet-bound Hanako-kun is a supernatural school series. I bought my copy brand new.


Yashiro Nene is a young romantic who decides to try summoning a ghost at her school that supposedly grants wishes. What she ends up with is Hanako-kun, a ghost who admits to her that he can't make her crush fall in love with her. Nene isn't willing to give up, though, and accidentally gets herself bound to Hanako-kun as his servant.

Through her association with Hanako-kun, Nene gradually learns more about her school's various supernatural "Wonders" and how they function. Unfortunately, a Wonder with a painful connection to Hanako-kun seems to be trying to upset the balance of things at the school.

This was a very good series, but I should also emphasize that it's an incomplete one. If a second season is never released, this will definitely end up being one of those series that functions better as an advertisement for the manga than something that works on its own. None of this anime's biggest questions and problems are resolved by the end.

That said, I enjoyed this a lot once I got past the first few episodes. It started off a little "monster of the week," with a few bittersweet "humans meeting the supernatural" moments, but rapidly developed into a story about Hanako's past. Nene continued to be a bit shallow throughout the series, but thankfully she wasn't just shallow - she genuinely wanted to know more about Hanako and become a stronger person. Watching her and Hanako become closer was nice.

Although the show's bright colors might trick you into thinking it's all supernatural comedy, it also goes some fairly dark places. The developments with the Number 3 Wonder were a shock, and I very much hope that a second season gets made so that I can learn more about what's going on between Hanako and Tsukasa. Although I suppose I can accomplish the same thing by reading the manga...but it's a whole lot easier and cheaper to get a season of an anime versus double-digit manga volumes. Plus, the anime gives me all that fabulous color and great voice acting. I watched the original Japanese with English subtitles (Hanako's VA, Megumi Ogata, was great), but at some point I need to listen to the English dub.

If you don't mind an anime that doesn't yet have a true ending, I very much recommend this. Crossing my fingers that it gets continued!


Textless openings and closing, and a FunimationCon interview with Megumi Ogata that I didn't watch.

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