Jibaku Shounen Hanako-kun (Toilet-Bound Hanako-kun) is a Love Letter to Motion Manga

Toilet-Bound Hanako-kun is an exciting title for this Winter season for a few reasons. The reason we’re most interested in today are the beautiful visuals that make Jibaku Shounen Hanako-kun a stand-out title from this season. The art and animation are elements of the show that give it incredibly unique properties in addition to eye-catching character designs, great humour, and an overall feel that is unlike anything else this winter. The animation style of Hanako-kun makes use of minor movements of the subject and the camera to create an interesting feel that is definitely akin to motion comics. Having said that, just what are motion comics and why does Hanako-kun feel just like them? Read more to find out!

(Mmmm) - Minimal Movement

The main reason we consider Hanako-kun a love letter to motion manga lies in the nature of the visuals. The art and animation of Hanako-kun make use of minor movements in each shot or scene, but it doesn’t feel stiff or strange because the movements are fluid despite being very basic. We have many shots in which there are only one or two things in motion in the shot with a lot of camera panning and zooming. Due to the fact that the motion of the animation isn’t the main attraction when it comes to the visuals, Toilet-Bound Hanako-kun has stellar character designs, backgrounds and use of colour that may lead it to being one of 2020’s best visual exploits in the anime medium.

Having said this about the motion, we still have to commend Hanako-kun for being able to make some incredibly striking scenes, especially in more dramatic moments. This gives the show a contrast from its general feel yet even in these moments, we can feel how the scenes retain a static impression with minimal yet effective animation.

Panning In Panels

Building on the previous point about the minimal movement in each Hanako-kun scene, we have to mention the other truth about this show: each different shot has a very comic-book feel to it as the image is presented with quite a bit of camera panning from scene to scene. This gives the viewer the feeling that each scene is being scanned the same way a pair of eyes would scan the page, looking at smaller details and taking in the whole picture at once. Even the way in which some of the visuals of the characters against the backdrop are punctuated with shots of the background in between gives the anime a visually stimulating aesthetic.

Final Thoughts

Visually striking and with a fun plot, Hanako-kun is one of the Winter season’s gems and, based on appearances alone, Hanako-kun stands to be one of this year’s best visual projects. Beautiful in its listlessness and beautiful in its movement, even the show’s opening and ending themes continue Hanako-kun’s motion manga aesthetic and elevate it beyond the bounds of the anime’s actual episode runtime. Are you a fan of motion comics? Please let your thoughts be known in the comments below!

Jibaku-Shonen-Hanako-kun-1 Jibaku Shounen Hanako-kun (Toilet-Bound Hanako-kun) is a Love Letter to Motion Manga


Author: Hoshi-kun

I’m South African, harbouring an obsession for anything remotely related to Japan, mostly anime, of course. I draw sometimes. Some people call me Naledi, it’s my real name, or something like that. People think I’m stoic because I don’t smile often (I do sometimes). I like languages. Hoshi-kun and Naledi are the same side of the same coin.

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