REVIEW: ‘Toilet-bound Hanako-kun,’ Volume 7

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Toilet-bound Hanako-kun Volume 7

Toilet-bound Hanako-kun Volume 7 continues the series’ distinctive whimsy blended with darker elements, and if Tsukasa didn’t unsettle you before, he sure will now. The manga by AidaIro takes place at Kamome Academy, where high-schooler Nene Yashiro becomes entangled with one of the school’s fabled “Seven Mysteries.” Teaming up with ghost Hanako, they set out to find out who is manipulating the supernatural legends at the academy. Published in English by Yen Press, the manga is translated by Alethea Nibley and Athena Nibley; it is lettered by Nicole Dochych.

Yashiro has been pulled into a mirror by the mysterious hands the team was trying to help. Immediately after, she meets Mitsuba. Yashiro doesn’t know this, but Mitsuba’s spirit was presumed to be destroyed, something young exorcist Kou hasn’t gotten over. How Mitsuba survived, and what exactly he is doing in School Mastery #3’s boundary is the mystery of Toilet-bound Hanako-kun Volume 7.

As always, mangaka AidaIro does a good job making the overall plot of this manga a slow burn. Just enough information is given about the situation so that readers aren’t frustrated, but nothing gets explained overly fast. Even the revelations about Mitsuba aren’t entirely wrapped up in one volume, leaving the characters relationships open for more to happen as they encounter each other in future cases. It sounds simple, but too often many series get weakened by either laying all the cards on the table too quickly, or playing none of them until readers have lost interest. Toilet-bound Hanako-kun Volume 7 has a solid balance. However, it is unfortunate that Yashiro is out of commission for a fair amount of this volume, it would have been nice to see her have more to do.

AidaIro has a very unique art style, and bold outlines and shadow are used often. It is difficult to think of any other word other than “whimsical” to describe the character designs. While this all makes the comedic moments that much funnier (ex. Hanako’s large black eyes when he is threatening to turn uncooperative supernaturals into udon) it also sends home the supernatural element. The series is all about the rumors and superstitions in a school. What can start friendly and lighthearted can grow and contort into something disturbing and heartbreaking. The series ends up being a great metaphor for growing up while also being a fun supernatural shonen. Additionally, Dochych picks great fonts that seem to be made for this series’ unique art style, and the English text blends in seamlessly with the original artwork.

Toilet-bound Hanako-kun Volume 7 has a lot of fun moments, that make the disturbing parts hit that much harder. Mangaka AidaIro does a great job of maintaining a consistent mystery without being too vague, and bringing back the tragedy of Mitsuba will allow for great character relationship growth in future volumes. A much more sinister side of Hanako’s twin brother is shown, as well. The manga continues to be a fantastic balance of whimsy and superstitious horror that can also pair as parallel for growing up.

Toilet-bound Hanako-kun Volume 7 is available now wherever books are sold.

 

Toilet-bound Hanako-kun Volume 7
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TL;DR

Toilet-bound Hanako-kun Volume 7 has a lot of fun moments, that make the disturbing parts hit that much harder. Mangaka AidaIro does a great job of maintaining a consistent mystery without being too vague, and bringing back the tragedy of Mitsuba will allow for great character relationship growth in future volumes. A much more sinister side of Hanako’s twin brother is shown, as well. The manga continues to be a fantastic balance of whimsy and superstitious horror that can also pair as parallel for growing up.