Jibaku Shounen Hanako-kun: The Ghost in the Girl’s Bathroom

Toilet-bound Hanako-kun

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“An unearthly apparition in a classroom illuminated by the sunset”

02 – Yousei-san

The nostalgic feeling of the afterschool sunlight – once school has come to a close for the day – with halls riddled with gossip, shared eagerly among friends. New rumors spread like wildfire, among them in particular a new set of tales centered around a mysterious group of seven supernatural events within the school. Yashiro Nene, our titular protagonist, is infatuated with a senior so far out of her reach, she is willing to do anything to attract his gaze. Desperate, she hears about someone, or rather something, that can help her; Hanako, the ghost that haunts the girl’s bathroom.

“I grant a wish for whoever summons me and take one thing as payment.”

– Hanako (Episode 1)

But when Hanako appears, contrary to rumors, he’s a boy? And he’s willing to grant her wish? For Yashiro, it seems like an easy win and she promptly accepts his advice.

01 – Hanako-san of the Bathroom

Is that really all there is to him? Something much more sinister may lurk behind the facade of this innocent, sunset-draped school…

Presentation

Jibaku Shounen Hanako-kun sports a uniquely recognizable art style compared to its counterparts that aired during the same season, sharing many of the defining traits as the artstyle and coloring in the manga. The show was animated by studio Lerche, perhaps most well known for their work on Assasination Classroom, Classroom of the Elite, and Monster Musume: Everyday Life with Monster Girls

02 – Yousei-san

The series features theme song performances by Jibaku Shounen Band (No.7, OP), and Akari Kitou (Tiny Light, ED). 

02 – Yousei-san
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(Author’s note: Elements within the anime, such as the scene above, are commonly structured to resemble panels from a manga)

Genre and Characters

(Supernatural, School, Mystery)

The story centers around Yashiro, alongside Hanako-kun, as she begins to explore the occurrences behind the school’s seven mysteries; coming to discover that the school grounds blur the boundaries between the realms of the living and the dead. Although originally introduced under the premise of a love story, the show contains minimal romantic elements (although some are present, they are not heavily emphasized). The plot features independent story arcs explored in an episodic fashion (2-3 episodes per), with larger overarching themes which begin to reveal themselves as the series progresses.

01 – Hanako-san of the Bathroom

Author’s notes

Jibaku Shounen is an oddity in the anime world, being a title which manages to capture interest and praise despite being a relatively unique genre. There isn’t much to say about Jibaku Shounen in terms of shortcomings either; in regards to most aspects it is a very well-rounded anime; great songs, a catchy soundtrack, and perhaps it’s most notable feature – the signature art and coloring style which most people will associate with the series. As for the setting, the nostalgic, yet somewhat mysterious air of an abandoned school in the evening is played upon to great effect within the story: establishing an air of childhood adventure and discovery, paired with the all-too-familiar feeling of “there must be something lurking in the shadows underneath the stairs”. That being said, while the inclusion of supernatural elements may come off as a bit surprising at first, the show veers towards the more amusing side (rather than horror) of ghost stories and rumors.

(The show also heavily references Japanese folk-stories, a plus for those interested in some of the more unique bits of knowledge.)

02 – Yousei-san

Story 8 – ★★★★★★★★☆☆
Presentation 9 – ★★★★★★★★★☆
Characters 9 – ★★★★★★★★★☆

– A rumor

2022.01.19 – #4

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