After-School Hanako-kun is set to immerse us once again in the world of Japanese urban legends and playful toilet spirits, inspired by the popular Toilet-bound Hanako-kun series. Derived from the Japanese urban legend of “Hanako-san” (or “Hanako of the Toilet”), Hanako-kun is one of Japan’s renowned bathroom apparitions.
The series follows the spirit Hanako-kun and his human companion, first-year student Nene Yashiro, as they maintain peace between supernatural forces and the students of Kamome Academy. When they’re not engaged in the battle to uphold the harmony between the living and spirit realms, how do they spend their free time? We Hanako-kun and Nene on their post-school escapades in After-School Hanako-kun Episode 1.
For those who haven’t experienced the original series, it’s a delightful plunge into the unknown, particularly with its concise ten-minute runtime, making it an easily digestible introduction. Split into two stories, After-School Hanako-kun Episode 1’s opening provides a suitable background on the notion of the Seventh Wonders of the school, the bathroom spirit Hanako (Megumi Ogata), and his relationship with Nene (Akari Kitou), his human assistant.
The show successfully captures the manga’s aesthetic, offering a swift and comprehensive look into the dynamics between these two characters and the terms of their unique arrangement. Hanako’s strong personality is evident, and it’s clear how Nene willingly accommodates his whims. After-School Hanako-kun Episode 1 balances the comically cute cruelty of Hanako with Nene’s pleasant nature. It effectively introduces the cast and their personalities in a short span, a simple but essential feature for newcomers like myself. While the initial story might throw a lot at viewers, the fast-paced plot adds to the show’s charm, complementing its webtoon-style animation.
As the second story unfolds, there is enough information for even someone unfamiliar with the original series to grasp the dynamics and become engrossed in the ensuing madness. This makes it easier to delve into the second story, where Hanako is besieged by mokke spirits, which essentially claim his toilet stall. Nene proves her proficiency in managing such situations, and the revelation that the mokke believed killing Hanako would make them the new “Wonder” is a comical twist given their adorable creature design.
The shift towards a more formal interview session to understand their intentions is entertaining, as their motivations are blatantly obvious and honest. The mokke, despite their cuteness, exhibit a wide range of weapons and harbor thoughts of world domination, which might be surprising for Western viewers. However, the humor does a great job of lightening the mood when the mokke suggest they will enslave the human population.
By faithfully adhering to the style of the original work, After-School Hanako-kun Episode 1 caters to fans while offering something distinctive to everyone else. Although the initial episode didn’t immediately draw me into the original series, I am eager to follow this colorful cast of characters in a low-pressure, ten-minute weekly format. It’s easy to become engrossed in the show, and even for those familiar with the basic concept, the series presents it in an engaging and enjoyable manner. While I hope to explore some of the flashback moments that flash by during the fast-paced runtime, I am content to savor the jokes and absurdity that come with these brief ten-minute episodes.
After-School Hanako-kun is streaming now exclusively on Crunchyroll with new episodes every Tuesday.
After-School Hanako-kun Episode 1
By faithfully adhering to the style of the original work, After-School Hanako-kun Episode 1 caters to fans while offering something distinctive to everyone else.