Despite its title suggesting the opposite, Toilet-bound Hanako-kun tome 0 is not a prequel to the stories of Hanako and Yashiro but a compilation of the pilot chapters that preceded the real beginnings of the manga. A special volume that immerses us in the origins of the series with a bonus My Dear Living Dead, the first one-shot from the duo AidaIro.
Hanako, the spirit of the toilet, is bored and hopes to be able to make herself useful soon by granting someone’s wish. His wish will be realized by a certain Yashiro, coming to meet him full of hope, without suspecting what awaits him… Discover the genesis of the manga phenomenon Toilet-Bound Hanako-Kun, through the pilot chapters of this special collection . As a bonus: AidaIro’s first fantasy story, My Dear Living Dead, meets Lily and Cult, a duo of necromancers facing a horde of the living dead…
Toilet-bound Hanako-kun tome 0 is published by Pika Edition and is sold for €7.50.
Review made from a copy provided by the publisher.
Generally, an episode 0 consists of a dive into the past in order to shed new light on a particular point in the main story. Like Jujutsu Kaisen 0, ring 0or Resident Evil 0this “volume 0” of Toilet-bound Hanako-kun could suggest that we would dive, for example, into Hanako’s past with some juicy revelations. In the end it is nothing. If the manga indeed allows us to discover the origins of the character, it is in fact about his origins as a manga and not as a protagonist. Concretely, we are facing the three pilot chapters, pre-published in the monthly Monthly GFantasy a few months before the actual debut of the manga. A hundred pages serving as a draft and offering an alternative introduction to the work that we know.
Barely a semester separating the pilot from the manga, don’t expect to discover a radically different narrative or a drawing that is still hesitant. Apart from the fact that everything is accelerated and a little less balanced, the great similarity of the story unfolding and the already well-recognizable aesthetic really gives the impression of an alternative introduction to the series. If the reading of the book is interesting from an “archaeological” point of view, it is especially on the side of the bonus story that we must turn to find the real interest of this volume. First story of the AidaIro duo, My Dear Living Dead is a 70-page short story as beautiful as it is melancholy featuring Lily and Cult, a duo of necromancers who have to face a horde of the living dead. Despite the low number of pages, AidaIro nevertheless managed to put together a very pleasant one-shot to follow, with its twists, two very endearing characters, and a catchy universe. If his story has no connection with Toilet-bound Hanako-kunit does, however, make it possible to detect here and there the bases of the future successful manga, in particular in the visual aspect and the design of the characters.
Impossible to conclude this review without touching a word about the edition. Indeed, our copy suffers from an incredible printing problem with about fifty pages printed upside down, the top and bottom being reversed and the manga going from page 50 to page 98 all at once. The problem does not stop there, the top of the pages in question being cut off, making certain bubbles simply unreadable. It is even possible to see what a filename looks like at the bottom (well, rather at the top in this case) of a page… Impossible to know the extent of this problem, even if the copy serving to this review is not a draft but a version identical to that found on the market. But a quick look on social media seems to confirm the fact that other people have had the same inconvenience. Do not hesitate to take a look before buying your copy to avoid unpleasant surprises.
A dive into the origins of manga
The one-shot in addition
Upside down pages and sticking out boxes!
By bringing together in one volume the pilot chapters of the manga and the first one-shot imagined by AidaIro, Toilet-bound Hanako-kun tome 0 is the kind of little bonus that will satisfy fans of Hanako and Yashiro. If the alternative introduction to Toilet-bound Hanako-kun is pleasant to read, it is especially in the short story My Dear Living Dead that the main interest of this volume lies. Be careful, however, to check it carefully before purchasing it, as serious printing problems have obviously affected an indeterminate number of copies.