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..


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  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, Dec 2. 2015 05:04 AM)
    Although that one as far as I know does not have another version with better art.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, Dec 2. 2015 05:03 AM)
    The onepunch man fans will be happy to know that Bone is adapting another work by the author, Mob psycho.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Dec 1. 2015 04:46 AM)
    @Kaiser: so far it’s good. I’ve been hearing the buzz but I wished someone had nodged me to watch it sooner.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Tuesday, Dec 1. 2015 04:42 AM)
    You’ve reminded me Bam that I’d been meaning to pick up ash vs the evil dead sometime.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Dec 1. 2015 04:39 AM)
    @Kaiser: the remake was still pretty entertaining, but it lost the silly comedy edge the series was known for. I still think that the 2nd film had the most unique and prominent voice of its own, and all of that is present in the new series’ pilot. If anything Raimi cranked it up a couples of notches here and there.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Tuesday, Dec 1. 2015 04:35 AM)
    There was a mean spirited feel to the remake I found pretty appealling.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Dec 1. 2015 04:27 AM)
    @Kaiser: the original Evil Dead was playing the horror genre straight, but it had a strata of slap-stick that was partially unintended. With Evil Dead 2 he doubled down on the strange horror/comedy dynamic and it became fantastic. Army of Darkness was very entertaining, but it strayed very far from the series’ roots. The remake was only produced by Raimi, while he got back on the writer/director chair for the pilot of the new series, and proved that he still got it sharp as ever.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Tuesday, Dec 1. 2015 04:19 AM)
    Then again I believe Raimi was fairly involved with the remake.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Tuesday, Dec 1. 2015 04:18 AM)
    The remake as far as remakes go should have been worse but it worked much better than I would have thought and I say this as someone who hates reboots/remakes.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Tuesday, Dec 1. 2015 04:16 AM)
    @Bam: I’ve only partially seen the first evil dead but I don’t think its aged well, the second one I’ve seen and its hugely entertaining later on but its army of darkness that was the most enjoyable of the three for me.

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