Toliet-Bound Hanako-kun (地縛少年花子くん)
I never heard about Toliet-Bound Hanako-kun until I read an article about its anime adaptation. What attracted me to this series is the art style. This entire series has a gothic Lolita vibe, combining cuteness and darkness. In my opinion, Hot Topic should be selling merchandise from this series.
Toliet-Bound Hanako-kun is centered on a first-year high school student named Nene Yashiro who hears a rumor about a spirit in the girls’ bathroom that can grant you a wish. Yashiro happens to have a crush on a classmate named Teru Minamoto, and so she seeks the spirit of Hanako to grant her wish, which is having her crush reciprocating her feelings. However, her wish comes with a price.
She learns that Hanako is a cheeky high school boy who watches over the “Seven Wonders” of the school. At the end of the first episode, Yashiro ends up becoming Hanako’s assistant after being bounded by a mermaid’s curse. The two end up solving supernatural mysteries happening around the school that involve the “Seven Wonders.”
Every school has an urban legend that everyone knows about. In this series, these urban legends are called the “Seven Wonders” of Kamome Academy which are about the spirits that reside at the school. The rumors about these spirits are misconstrued; as a result, Hanako and Yashiro must rewrite these rumors so that there’s peace and balance in the human and spirit worlds. I like how this series creatively takes the idea of school rumors and uses it to cater to occult stories and supernatural phenomena. As viewers, we see the dangers of rumors and how these words can spread and ruin one’s reputation; in this case, the school spirits.
As I said before, I love the art in this series. The anime incorporates the comic book format where frames are used to display the setting or show movement amongst the characters. We are also provided in these frames with written dialogue and expressions alongside the spoken dialogue. The bold outlining of each character’s body looks cartoon-like as opposed to the standard anime style of art. I also like the color scheme used in this series: there’s a lot of bold colors alongside black to define the human and spirit worlds.
Even though this series has a lot of cheer and fun, the storyline is dark. We deal with spirits that succumb to grudges and loneliness. Also, each episode slowly gives hints to Hanako’s dark past: we eventually learn that he killed his younger twin brother. Yet Yashiro’s hopeless romantic antics with her many crushes balances the darkness and pain within Hanako’s heart.
There needs to be another season of this series because it’s such a fun supernatural mystery series. Also, I feel like this series deserves to be talked about in the anime community—it feels so underrated.
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