Haunted Junction

Haunted Junction is an anime series
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Haruto, the son of a Christian minister, becomes the president of his high school's Saints Club, where he, Buddhist acolyte Kazuo, and wannabe Shinto shrine maiden Mutsuki must somehow keep their school's epidemic of ghosts under control.

Based on a manga by Nemu Mukudori first serialized in Monthly Electric Comic GAO, HJ is a genuinely funny look at what school life might be like with fish-monsters in the swimming pool, statues that come to life, and biology lab skeletons that dance like Cossacks. With a Christian who just wants a mundane, boring life and a Buddhist who is easily possessed, there are hilarious setups for cross-dressing and animal impersonations. Mutsuki's "Shouta Complex," however, is an unhealthy obsession with little boys, which may well have appeared like an ironic inversion of Cream Lemon's Lolita complex to the Japanese crew, but is likely to keep HJ forever off U.S. TV. As it was, the show was only shown on Japanese TV very late at night, and elements remain too risqué for children.

As for the ghostbusting, Mutsuki has a sideline in Shinto exorcisms, while Kazuo can write Buddhist charms. Haruto, however, is neglected by a writing team that knows nothing of Christianity, coming across as little more than a blond dummy in a smock who regularly yells "Oh my God!" in exasperation.

Like the later Jubei-Chan the Ninja Girl, elements of HJ rely on ethnocentric jokes liable to fly over the heads of a U.S. audience. Throwaway lines about a girl in the toilets (see Here Comes Hanako) are left initially unexplained, as is an anatomical doll named after novelist Haruo Sato and a talking statue based on a legendarily hard-working student Kinjiro Ninomiya, whose effigy can be found in many Japanese schools. Nonetheless, a fine, fun parody of school spook stories.

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Original US Poster Art

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Name Haunted Junction
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Start Year 1997
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