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  • Seattle
  • Joined May 22, 2002
  • ? / F

Haunted Junction

Aug 27, 2004

Haunted Junction is basically an episodic random jaunt into the world of a haunted school and its ghosts. The only humans that we really see are Hojo, Mutsuki, and Kazumi, and then a ton of spirits and ghosts. For quite a few episodes I thought that they would literally be the ONLY humans we are introduced to, but near the end, there are a few brief encounters with other school goers. The story begins with Hojo and his two companions tracking down the 7 badges of the school. Each of these is able to summon one of the school spirits, who are all a motley crew to begin with. Each episode deals with some new spirit encounter, whether it be related to a main character or not, and how the bumbling Hojo (who just wants a normal school life) can get it under control with the help of the spirits.

Haunted Junction is a random comedy at its core, with TONS of "wtf" moments that will make no sense. The comedic level is fairly adult, with not only plenty of ecchi moments (involving the toilet Hanakos, who happen to be quite.. seductive to say the least), but a great deal of toilet humor as well! One scene comes to mind the most for making me exclaim out loud "nooo!" while laughing: One of the main characters, who is obsessed with toilet Hanako, sees her leaning over, her supple breasts pushed together, and he hears her saying she feels sick. He very eagerly places a thermometer between the breasts, then it pans out and we see that in fact, it isn't Hanako at all, but the small, old (and male) headmaster bending over, with his exposed behind sticking through a picture of Hanako. Kazumi is horrified, and while a conversation continues like nothing happened, the headmaster moves, the thermometer flies up in the air, and lands in the mouth of the unsuspecting Hojo, while everyone else becomes ill. Also, each episode ends with Hojo yelling "OH MY GOD!", which was amusing.

Although hilarious, I will say that the comedy was only sometimes funny, just like I felt about shows such as Abenobashi. When it was funny, it was really funny. When it wasn't funny, it was fairly boring and hard to keep my attention.
The animation of Haunted Junction definitely wasn't the best, but it still fulfilled its purpose. Characters themselves looked older, but had a wild, comical look to them. The colors used were fairly bland, with nothing being very vibrant except for a select number of scenes.

The monsters were definitely a highlight of the visual experience, looking anything from comical, to scary comical, to outlandish and crazy.

Since Haunted Junction was supposed to be a random type comedy, the animation was clearly supposed to be as well, and it worked. Spastic scenes were thrown together with a great deal of motion and flashing color, with scene transitions happening extremely fast and with random things (such as "Red Mantle Wipe!", with the spirit Red Mantle wiping the screen with his cape, or "cold roe!" with thousands of small roe whipping across the screen).
Definitely not a highlight of the series, since I can't remember literally one track from it. Then again, I also didn't remember it being bad either, so that's a plus. The intro song definitely wasn't a favorite of mine, nor was the ending. Fairly typical keyboard fare from what I remember.

The voice actors did help out with the tone quite a bit, from Hojo's whining tone to the cutely funny monsters.
The characters definitely were a shining part of the series, considering most of the comedy revolved around their quirks and strange habits. Kazumi, for example, was always getting possessed by a wayward spirit, at least once per episode. Sometimes the spirit was fairly benine, such as a dog. Other times, it was downright hilarious (like the spirit of a pool monster who likes to drag people under the water). His random possessions made for very comical moments. Mutsuki is a girl with a shouta complex, which was very interesting in itself, and also made for very "oh man, this is so wrong but so funny" moments. Shouta, as I didn't know before seeing this, is like a lolita complex, but for boys. As in, liking young children of whichever sex (lolita for female, shouta for male). So here we have a teenage woman who is obsessing over seeing the cute under 12 boys! Hojo was a bumbling leader of the Holy Student Body Council, who only wanted to lead a normal life, but is stuck dealing with all the spirits. And this, of course, makes all the bad things happen to him, hence causing comedic moments.

As if this wasn't enough, all the school spirits had their own quirks and behaviors that stole the show. My favorites were the skeleton and anatomy body. In one episode, they kept getting summoned and could do nothing but the Cossac dance (the russian dance where you run in place and kick your feet out). They also always ended up falling apart! The giant was hilarious, just a huge shoe. Only one of the spirits wasn't exciting, the girl in the mirror. Not only was she never shown, but her time on the screen wasn't even that funny.

Even the random monsters provided a good dose of comedy, each with unique stories and behaviors. All in all, a fine selection of characters who interacted well and interacted with the tone of the story well, and helped to provide an excellent comedy.
It's hard to rate Haunted Junction, because there were a few conflicting factors to consider. First of all, there's no denying that it was hilarious, at times. Randomness and spasticness abounded in some episodes, while being in the background in others. Each episode was fairly hit or miss if you'd like it or not, so that's a small negative to think about. The animation, while crude looking, still portrayed the humor quite well. Music was uninteresting as well.

I don't know, I still thought it was very entertaining, but I will stick with saying that you probably will like some, and dislike some. This isn't a series you can watch all the way through, and if you do, odds are you'll be bored and it won't be easy to stick with. Though I can plow through entire 26 episodes series in a matter of days, I still had a hard time finishing only 12 episodes of this in a week. Why? I'm not sure... probably because the lack of a cohesive plot, coupled with the randomness of if I'd like the episode or not.

So, if you like randomness, you really need to check this series out. There aren't that many out there that I think are truly funny like this. But on the other hand, I'd suggest watching only a few episodes at a time, and spread out amidst other plot heavy series. This way, you won't be bored, and can get a good laugh once in awhile.

8/10 story
7.5/10 animation
6/10 sound
9/10 characters
7.5/10 overall

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