Haunted Junction

VHS 2-3

Haunted Junction VHS 2-3
In the second volume (the weaker of the two), a recently departed ghost named Hanako (not Toilet Hanako) has been searching for a way to make contact with her ex-boyfriend (an idol singer) to fufill what they were going to do the night she was killed by jealous fans. Unfortunately, time is running out, and it looks like the only way she'll be able to do it is with the body of Kazuo! Then, the gang falls into a space/time hole, into an old school from the 20's. It's the ghost of a young boy who's toying with them, and unfortunately, he's just about Mutsuki's target age!

In the third volume, Haruto passes out from over-work (summoning spirits takes a lot of energy) and when he overhears the rest of them talking about him like he might die, he tries not to summon all of the spirits at once... but since the latest ghost attacks with ink, he can't tell which badge is which! And some of the spirits are absolutely worthless... Then, a girl named Yamiko insists that Toilet Hanako has stolen that which is rightfully hers -- the title of spirit! She wants a rematch, beauty pageant-style... and Kazuo is there to emcee!
Haunted Junction is probably about as good as a low-budget comedy series can get -- great timing, fun characters, satire that kicks standard anime conventions in the butt, and the occasional courtesy shot. The second and third volumes of this series continue that tradition rather faithfully.

While episode 4 needs some work (the story just doesn't move much), the other three are funny to the point of unforgettable. Despite the inconsistant art, these episodes easily make for classics up there with Akazukin Cha Cha. Some minor changes are made to the American production. Anna Exter's translations (which were accidentally uncredited) are now actually done by Kathleen Giles starting with the second volume. (The dialogue in this series is simple enough that this makes little difference.) As of the third volume, the horrible blue boxes that covered up 80% of the screen in the opening have been eliminated (although the credits that now lie on top of the Japanese ones aren't timed to be seen at the same time...), but the fonts for the subtitles have been changed to a much narrower, uglier, hard-to-read typeface.

Just as in the beginning, Haunted Junction continues to be enjoyable slapstick fare. Too bad this series is so short!
Production Info:

+ Outrageously funny, nice character designs
The animation is still cheap. The new font is really ugly.

Director: Yuji Mutoh
Series Composition:
Satoru Nishizono
Kazuhisa Sakaguchi
Hiroshi Hashimoto
Satoru Nishizono
Kazuhisa Sakaguchi
Akitarō Daichi
Masakazu Higuchi
Naoki Hishikawa
Susumu Ishizaki
Yūnosuke Itō
Hiroshi Morioka
Katsumi Terahigashi
Shigeru Ueda
Episode Director:
Naoki Hishikawa
Susumu Ishizaki
Shigeru Ueda
Shunji Yoshida
Tsuyoshi Yoshimoto
Music: Hayato Matsuo
Original creator: Nemu Mukudori
Character Design:
Atsuko Nakajima
Keiko Nakajima
Art Director: Yoshio Ito
Animation Director:
Ryōko Hata
Tetsu Inoue
Satoru Iriyoshi
Kumiko Kasuga
Fumie Muroi
Atsuko Nakajima
Sound Director: Shigeru Chiba
Director of Photography: Seiichi Morishita
Yasuo Miyakawa
Nemu Mukudori

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Haunted Junction (TV)

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