REVIEW: ‘AidaIro Illustrations: Toilet-bound Hanako-kun’ Artbook

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Hanako-Kun Review

In case it wasn’t obvious, I adore mangaka AidaIro’s series Toilet-bound Hanako-kun, which is serialized in Japan in the magazine Monthly Fantasy. I was really excited when I heard English publisher Yen Press was bringing over the companion art book for the series: AidaIro Illustrations: Toliet-bound Hanako-kun. The book contains artwork and bonus illustrations from the duration of the first eleven volumes in the series’ run. The English translation is by Alethea Nibley and Athena Nibley, with lettering by Phil Christie.

AidaIro Illustrations is a wonderful addition to the Toilet-bound Hanako-kun library. This is especially the case for me, as one of the elements I’m constantly praising in my reviews is the mangaka’s unique art style. The whimsy and slight darkness are on full display here. The beautiful volume cover art is shown in full two-page spreads, before they were modified with text to fit the covers. An additional delight is the inclusion of the cover and color pages that were included in issues of Monthly Fantasy when chapters were originally released. This is something English readers will really enjoy, as unless we order international shipping and subscriptions, we won’t have the opportunity to see the original serialized format of the work, and the fact that featured series in the magazine can have additional color spreads to promote the new chapter. A personal favorite is the two pages at the very beginning of the book, as they were art pages in the magazine to announce the new upcoming series before it debuted. Flipping through the book, you can see just how much AidaIro has grown into their art style as the popularity of the series grew.

AidaIro Illustrations also includes prints of the bonus art cards, prints, and posters that were used as promotional items for individual bookstores in Japan, depending on where the fans choose to purchase their copy of the latest volume. There are also prints of the character images drawn for café collaborations, where the illustrations would have been served sticking out of different menu items. My personal favorite inclusion is the illustrations AidaIro did for each anniversary of Monthly GFantasy. Once again, they are a cute, small celebration for the magazine that I would not have been able to experience otherwise.

If there is a downside to AidaIro Illustrations, it would have to be how little text there is. Almost any index explaining what each illustration is for, or belongs to, isn’t included until the very back of the book. While it is absolutely stunning to flip through and comes with a gorgeous gold-foil printed dust jacket, it is a skinny paperback book. For the price, it would have been neat to have a little more text commentary for AidaIro themself. Granted, this is not Yen Press’ fault, as the localization is mimicking the original Japanese release. So if little text was included, there isn’t much they can do. It is still a wonderful book to have for any fan of the series, but if you are expecting something along the lines of Tokyo Ghoul:re Illustrations: zakkiit isn’t that.

AidaIro Illustrations: Toilet-bound Hanako-kun is a great addition for collectors of the series. For the price, it would have been nice to have more text and commentary from the mangaka, but the large amount of artwork included in the book, as well as the gold-foil printed dust jacket, help to make up for that a bit.

AidaIro Illustrations: Toilet-bound Hanako-kun is available now wherever books are sold.


AidaIro Illustrations: Toilet-bound Hanako-kun Artbook
3.5

TL:DR

AidaIro Illustrations: Toilet-bound Hanako-kun is a great addition for collectors of the series. For the price, it would have been nice to have more text and commentary from the mangaka, but the large amount of artwork included in the book, as well as the gold-foil printed dust jacket, help to make up for that a bit.