Wednesday, October 1, 2003

Haunted Junction

Genre: Ecchi Comedy
Parental Guidance Recommended
1997 Nemu Muraishima / Studio Deen

Haunted Junction DVDs
Everything Haunted Junction

Cover Description:
Meet Haruto Hojo, an ordinary high school student with an unusual problem. He's got ghosts and spirits running amuck at school! Appointed President of the Saints Club, Haruto, Mutsuki, and Kazuo are charged with the task of investigating strange phenomena on campus and improve the quality of life for the school spirits that roam the halls. But how can three students handle the likes of Hanako, the sultry bathroom spirit, a Kosak-dancing skeleton, a fish monster living in the school's pool, Red Mantle, Nino-kun, and the rest of the Saito school spirits?

(12 episodes)

Crazier than Crazy. >>> by skysenshi

We've seen ghost-hunting themed anime with the likes of GS Mikami and My My Mai (see the H Index). The usual premise is that you have a bunch of exorcists for hire, ready and willing to remove supernatural problems that threaten to destroy any sense of normalcy. Haunted Junction isn't about normalcy. The Holy Student Council composed of Haruto Hojo, the son of a Christian minister; Asahina Mutsuki, a Shinto priestess; and Kazuo Ryudo, son of a Buddhist monk, coexist with ghosts mainly because they help these beings deal with their emotional baggage—not because of the need to exterminate them.

The Saito campus, where everything in Haunted Junction takes place, may seem like your regular high school at the surface. But it's actually in the middle of a spiritual plane protected by an all-knowing Chairman and his minions, The Holy Student Council. The HSC are far from your regular butt-kicking action heroes, however. Lead male Haruto is an effeminate boy who is hell-bent on resigning from his position as President, which he believes he had been duped into taking. Asahina has an unbelievably extreme shouta complex that drives her to do the most outrageous things that only true-blooded perverts are capable of doing. And Kazuo has a body that spirits love to "borrow" for personal reasons. He also has this undying obsession for the sexy ghost Hanako, who dwells inside public washrooms. We're only talking about the humans here. I haven't even begun to describe that bedlam that their seven paranormal buddies love to create. The characters, my friend, are what made Haunted Junction different from any other animated comedies I have ever seen. I must say, they're highly original—far from being cookie-cutter. I mean, come on, have you ever seen a shoujo or shounen anime that has somebody as unlikely a hero as Haruto at its helm? Or a talking lab sample whose only ability is spilling his guts out—literally? How about a male phantom that's so handsome his enemies end up having a bad case of love fever?

Haunted Junction is full of parodies and toilet humor that swings from being side-splittingly fun to downright gross. It can be hilarious or disgusting, depending on your taste. It's sort of like Akazukin Cha Cha with a bit of adult elements installed. And it's definitely ecchi—if the almost popping boobs, leg shots, incestuous to gay and lesbian themes were any indication. There are no final bosses or ultimate evils to defeat. Haunted Junction is strictly about monster-of-the-day scenarios and all out entertainment.

The art and animation are very Ranma-esque. The music reminds me of late 80s Rick Astley ("Never gonna give you up, never gonna let you down…") tunes. Good thing that didn't keep me from thoroughly enjoying this fare.

Individual Rating: Art/Animation 7; Story 9; Characters 10; Sounds 6

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