Posted by psgels on 2 August 2009 with categories: Anime Reviews



Oh boy; here’s a series that’s aiming for great first impressions. The OP and ED are sung by the Backstreet Boys of all people. The lead character, a nine-year-old boy named Ichiro, is downright the most annoying and obnoxious anime character out there: he’s loud-mouthed, a cry-baby, continually picks fights with both his friends and family. If you thought your average shounen hero was annoying, you haven’t seen anything yet with this guy. On top of that, his mother is a loud-mouthed old hag, his sister an ugly overly whiny middle schooler, his grandfather a senile old man, his father an egotistical drunk carpenter and his best friend an incredibly shy and spineless crybaby. Oh, have I already said that this is an really charming series?

Seriously though, this is a very ugly series. The screenshots above may be a bit misleading because this is a Madhouse series, so there’s bound to be eye candy somewhere, but just be glad that I didn’t take any shots of Ichiro crying, yelling, taking a dump, walking around naked, picking his snotty nose or whatever. A lot of people are going to find Ichiro and the other recurring characters very hard to swallow, and but those who do stick with this series are rewarded with a very heart-warming story about a boy who can see ghosts.

Basically, this series consists out of a couple of arcs, most of which consist out of Ichiro meets the ghost of a dead person who still has regrets left in this world, and asks Ichiro for help because he’s the only one around who can see spirits. They’re usually the spirits of people who screwed up really badly when they made the most important decisions of their or their loved ones lives and can’t leave to the afterworld until they solve these issues. The stories all have a touch of mystery, in the way that you’re never going to know what exactly the ghost wants from Ichiro when you first see them, and through a very good build-up it slowly becomes clear what their intentions are, closing off with a teary and heart-warming ending that hardly ever misses the mark. These stories, while not on the Mushishi level of quality still are nearly all very good (even the first ones) and an excellent recommendation if you’re in the mood for something sappy.

The rest of the time in this series is meant for character-building for Ichiro and the rest of the recurring side-characters. These ones obviously are a bit harder to get through due to just about everyone being obnoxious, but it’s not like they’re bad characters in any way. The characters here are really meant to be flawed, and the creators sometimes tend to take this a bit too far, but they definitely grow on you as the series goes on. I especially liked Mandame Katarina, the ghost who simply refuses to cross over to the next world because she has too much fun being a ghost.

Overall, Hanada Shounen Shi is a sappy story, but I mean that in a good way. From the outside it might look like a kiddie show, and Ichiro can and WILL get on your nerves, but despite that it again and again proves that it can be a heart-warming series.

Storytelling: 9/10
Characters: 9/10
Production-Values: 8/10
Setting: 8/10

4 Responses

  1. IWICSYI says:

    Hanada Shonen Shi is a commendable series because it is the first non-H series that animated the male genital and testis ……without any censoring.

    In all seriousness, the arc are all very well done and fun to watch . I also like the fact that they balance up the comical and heart wrenching arc .

    All in all , although it is not one of the best or one of the must watch , its underwhelming popularity sadden me . So I am actually glad that you wrote this post for this well done anime .

  2. egress63 says:

    Aha! Someone else actually watched this series! I don’t know about others but I loved Ichiro – he reminded me of Dennis the Menace. :)

    As for the stories, I loved most of them. The story in which the maths teacher meets his lost love, and especially the last story had me all choked up. and I’m male. :p

    Beautiful series. I’m glad you watched it.

  3. pizzabutter says:

    I really hope this series will get a second season. I got teary-eyed countless times and I’m not even finished with the last arc.

    A very beautiful hidden gem throughout the anime universe indeed.

  4. Thanks for giving such a nice Hanada Shounen Shi Review.I really enjoy to visit this type of blogs.Great job good going..

    shounen

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  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:48 AM)
    Ashura was an excellent example of how to through anime illicit and emotional response in an honest, non-melodramatic way.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:46 AM)
    @Bam: I’d be more than happy to take a look at some of those shorts anytime.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:44 AM)
    @Emma: there’s a lot of European animators that got active in the last 10 years or so that are really reinvigorating their animation scene, and every now and then I get introduced to some fabulous shorts.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:40 AM)
    @Emma: no I don’t really mind gory ‘for the fuck of it’ violence, I even like it in some grindhouse type of works, but I just don’t think it’s always effective as a shock factor. Live-action is the most sympathetic for obvious reasons, but there are animated works that do elicit a deep response. Probably because of circumstances but also the details of the in-between animation, which can induce certain feelings of disgust.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:39 AM)
    *here and there
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:35 AM)
    @Bam: I really wish there was more arthouse anime now to give some kind of a balance to everything thats out these days.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:33 AM)
    Now I like my exploitation every so often, but yes Bam I really do wish that adult and mature storytelling could be better associated with truly, more pure mature themes.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:25 AM)
    I get choked up over Bergmans cries and whisper and Autumn sonata, I look back on a work by Key and Jun Maeda and wonder, think of how silly it looks to me now.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:24 AM)
    I also find it easier to get an emotional response from a honest drama, live action film, largely due to the real people doing the acting. Sometimes you get an actor whose just that good too…
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:22 AM)
    I’ve gotten my odd emotional reaction here from anime and manga but a lot of the time it feels like the jump scare in a generic horror movie, I got shocked but I felt minipulated afterwards it wasn’t genuine, the same goes for some anime/manga drama when it takes a melodramatic turn instead of a bleak, honest one.

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