Toilet-bound Hanako-kun – Anime Preview
Synopsis: Kamome Academy is rumored to have many mysteries, the strangest of which involves the mischievous ghost of Hanako-kun. When occult-loving high schooler Nene Yashiro accidentally becomes bonded to him, she uncovers a hidden world of supernatural beings. Now the two of them are conspiring to keep the peace between student and supernatural—that is, if they can only stay out of trouble themselves. (Official Funimation Synopsis)
1st Episode Review (Warning: Minor Spoilers to Follow):
Tom: Toilet-Bound Hanako-kun blesses audiences with an unusual, yet wholly charming artstyle that lends itself to the series’ gag-like comedy. Jokes land not just thanks to comedic timing, but from the perfectly crafted art and motion comic-esque presentation that directs audience’s attention at all times. The only downside to this is when the series takes a more ‘shonen-esque’ combat feel. Then the artistic choices don’t feel quite as complementary to the content. Still, the series feels first and foremost a comedy, meaning it works more often than not and ends up a net positive.
Linny: As a fan of the manga series, I was eagerly anticipating this adaptation and am happy to find that it does indeed do the source material justice. Not only have they done a great job retaining the unique art style and colour palletes but the voice acting really brings the characters to life. Nene, our heroine who seeks out Hanako’s help in the matters of unrequited love, is extremely likable. She will either make you feel for her or connect with her as you learn about her painful past experiences with young love and rejection. Hanako himself makes for a great source of comedy, especially as he gets on Nene’s nerves with his teasing, silliness and poorly conceived schemes.
Tom: The series has an almost 4-koma gag feel to it, despite not being based off anything of the sort, meaning the comedy keeps coming fast and hard, making it a constant roller coaster of humor and thus a joy to watch. Overall Toilet-bound Hanako-kun stands out as one of the more visually intriguing anime this season, almost reaching Eizouken’s level of unique appeal. If the series can keep the gags coming, and not get too absorbed in the more actiony elements, then Toilet-bound Hanako-kun should keep up as one of Winter’s stronger titles.
Linny: Hanako-kun takes a well known superstition and puts this really novel spin on it, not only reinventing the character of Hanako themselves but also mixing superstition, a creepy vibe and comedy to deliver an interesting story woven around two very entertaining and likable leads. The one of a kind aesthetics help to make the series pop out even more and solidly land it as one of my top recommendations for this Winter.
Toilet-bound Hanako-kun is available for streaming via Funimation.