EDITOR’S NOTE: What Are You Watching? is a feature series that dives deep into why we love the anime we love. You told us what you were watching, and now we’ll dig into why.
By Aly Luskey
I don’t necessarily consider myself a picky anime watcher, but I also know there are certain things that can make the anime-watching experience much more enjoyable.
You know, things like an amazingly unskippable opening song, a unique art style and a stellar voice cast. It also doesn’t hurt when the series is based on an easily accessible manga. Thankfully, the mystical and adorable Toilet-bound Hanako-kun checks off all of these boxes.
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The series revolves around Yashiro Nene, a student at Kamome Academy. She’s bubbly and boy crazy and has a strange love for all things supernatural and spooky. That’s perfect, because her school happens to be well known for its Seven Wonders: fairly specific rumors and legends special to certain areas around the school.
Nene also has the perfect best friend, Aoi, to continuously egg her on when it comes to the rumors. Early on, Nene stumbles upon the seventh and arguably most famous Wonder: Hanako-san.
Based on an actual Japanese urban legend, Hanako-san is a spirit who haunts the third-floor girl’s bathroom. To summon her, one must knock on the third stall three times, asking for Hanako-san. She’ll then grant you any wish you might have–for a price.
Did we say Hanako-san? Well, Nene actually meets Hanako-kun. The spirit of a young boy, he’s an adorable apparition who dons a Japanese school uniform and a butcher knife.
He’s often blunt, teasing Nene about her desire for the perfect boyfriend, making fun of her daikon-like legs and the damsel in distress situations she constantly finds herself in.
But it’s not just Hanako-kun and Nene. Every single character in Toilet-bound Hanako-kun, villainous or not, is lovable and charming, with an extremely significant part to play in the series. And many of them are the other Wonders of Kamome!
Without spoiling too much, these Seven Wonders become integral parts of the story (both in the anime and the manga) especially as it dives deeper into Hanako-kun’s mysterious past. You will cry.
So yeah, I fell in love with this series almost immediately. I have a strong love for boyish, cutesy, enigmatic male characters who thrive off of teasing their counterparts, but I also love the feeling I get after finishing an episode! It sure doesn’t hurt that the series is bookended with some incredible music.
If you’re looking for a series filled to the brim with amazing characters, great plot, incredible source material (seriously, read the manga too) and a gorgeously unique art style, I highly recommend Toilet-bound Hanako-kun.
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