Saito High is a high school with its spiritual beings and a principal whose hobby is collecting occult paraphernalia. The school has the prophecy-chosen members of the Holy Student Council to protect it. These students have problems of their own; Haruto Houjo, the president, has a way of summoning spirits, and would resign from his duty for a normal life if it weren't for the principal. Kazumi Ryodo, the next member, is good at being possessed and has something for the Hanako. The last member is Mutsuki Asahina, who is a master of exorcism and is attracted to small boys. Unfortunately, these three are in charge of keeping the school in line and defending the world from supernatural beings, and this mission brings them through wacky predicaments.
This is one of the best anime I've seen in a long while. Now for my review
This is standard school plagued with spirits fare for the most part. The Holy Student Council, of which Haruto, Kazumi and Mutsuki are members of, is tasked with keeping spiritual harmony at their school, and they accomplish this by going after errant ghosts and helping them either move on, or at least stop their foolish behaviours.
Although the concept of some ruling body policing otherwordly beings isn't new, this anime pulls it off in a strict school setting, and in just 12 episodes, bonds are formed within the group through
their misadventures that's a plain joy to watch. Haruto, being the unwilling President of the Holy Student Council, is able to summon all 7 school spirits at his choosing (yeah, whole new meaning to having school spirit). Kazumi and Mutsuki are son and daughter of buhddists/shintoists respectively, and all three houses for a triangle which grants Saito High its unusual paranormal phenomenoms.
Eh, not much to say here, the art is standard for anime, although the sequence of summoning the spirits is fun to watch, reminiscent of Sailor Moon (yes, you enjoyed it when you first saw Sailor Moon and her transformation, admit it) and a little bit of fan service goes a long way in anime like this, which are usually overlooked in favor of more high profile paranormal police anime (Yusuke, I'm looking at you!)
There aren't really that many special sound effects or much, but a particularly funny and enjoyable part of this anime is the summoning sequence, in which Haruto says "Welcooooome" (yes, in engrish) and every episode except the sixth, which ends in a splendid "OH MY GOD" (also in engrish) for a variety of reasons.
It is interesting to see the interactions between Haruto and his fellow Holy Council members, seeing as how he just wishes for a normal life. These interactions add a great deal of depth and conflict to what would otherwise be a happi-go-lucky anime of high school students having fun chasing after various ghosts
Lately I've been seeing a lot of short anime, like BPS, Maburaho and some others, but this one is the most that struck me, as it has real character development, interesting side stories and a lot more I don't wish to spoil. So hurry up and watch this anime! You'll be glad you did!
"OH MY GOOOOOOOOOD!"
Ok and now I'm serious. If you're a fan of comedy or youkai or maybe both you should definitely add this to your 'plan to watch' list or even watch it NOW. I'm not a beginner when it comes to anime so I'm surprised how actually good this show is.
The [PLOT-10] is pretty interesting. I'll give it 10 out of 10. Hilarious how they showed Aka Manto or Teke Teke here. You would enjoy this even if you have no clue at all about youkai, seriously!
The [ART-5] is a typical '90's anime so it's mediocre but that doesn't matter at all
thanks to this fantastic plot!
The [SOUND-6] is nothing fantastic but still not bad, so...
Sometimes main female [CHARACTERS-10] can be such dummies but not when it comes to Asahina. All of girls and boys have their own fantastic personalities and everybody have different tastes so you're going to be able to find your own personal favourite.
The [ENJOYMENT-10] as you can guess is incredibly high in my opinion but that's true. This show is something different than the others. You can laugh, cry and learn something new about youkai at the same time. Nothing more to say, no need to explain. Such a shame how unpopular this anime is in our community.
OVERALL - 9 out of 10
This is a great comedy show. With an excellent blend of a wacky, lovable cast, a light-hearted entertaining story, school spirits and ghosts you may have come across in other supernatural anime, and Atsuko Nakajima's character designs (Ranma 1/2), this show delivers laughs and keeps you laughing.
[STORY 8] Haruto Houjou just wants to be a normal student, but is suckered in being president of the Holy Student Counsel......and he hates it! Now, with his friends Mutsuki and Kazima they patrol Saito High exorcising spirits, keeping the school spirits in check. It's always fun in anime when the hero is relunctant, and Haruto plays this
role to a 10. The episodes are non-linear and each is focused on a different spirit, or Japanese folklore. The premise puts this series into the mind of Urusei Yatsura or Ranma 1/2, as there is oddball wackiness with some lunatic rouge spirit that must be put in it's place.
[ART 8] Haunted Junction's visuals are gold. It might take a little bit getting used to the long-legged, oddly shaped eyed characters, but helps so much when it comes to the visual comedy. The school spirits are adorable (except Bones Suzuki and Harou Sato, they annoyed me after awhile), Red Mantle is probably my favorite, and aside from the summon scene, the animation isn't too repetitve for a title this old.
[CHARACTER 10] I thought this cast was just going to be a run-of-the-mill trio of teens with powers. Boy, I was off. Haruto is practically driven mad by his task as president and wants to live a mundane, ordinary life. Mutsuki Asahina is the strongest of the three, and as far as I can recall, is one of the few female characters in anime with a vicious shota fetish, and it's funny watching her torment poor Nino every chance she gets. Mutsuki I find very refreshing, because way too often is the male character pervert portrayed to the point where I think it's boring now. You don't get many female perverts in anime and I really appreciate her. Kazumi, the goofball of the trio, is the labeled with the job of getting possessed to properly exorcise the renegade spirits, and has a hopeless crush on the school's Toilet Hanako, a busty spirit who charms the boys. The school spirits themselves are intoxicatingly entertaining in their individual charm. I would've opted for more Mirror Girl and less of the Bones and Sato pair, but I digress. As per comedy anime goes, the cast has to be able to carry it, and the students and spirits of Haunted Junction does to perfection.
[OVERALL ENJOYMENT 9] If you find yourself wanting to look through archives to find a great comedy anime from the 90's, Haunted Junction is worth checking out. Lightly molded in the style of Ranma and Gegege no Kitaro, it's of the wall humor mixed with a fantastic cast had me sitting through this. I wish some of the writers of comedy titles of today could do a bit of research with shows like this one and Rumiko Takahashi works and try to recapture the spirit of satire and slapstick that anime like Haunted Junction used to carry so well.
PROS: Great cast, solid retro-styled comedy, very easy to get into
CONS: Mildly underused school spirits (Mirror Girl, Giant)