The famous “Seven Wonders” that every school seems to have are a staple of Japanese urban legends. One of the most well-known of these tales is that of Hanako-san: the ghost of a young girl who haunts the school’s bathrooms.
Kamome Academy has its own version of Hanako-san’s legend. Rumors claim that if one successfully manages to summon Hanako-san, she will grant her summoner any wish. Lured by the gossip, many people have tried to call upon her, yet every attempt has failed. However, when Nene Yashiro, a girl hoping for romantic fortune, dares to summon Hanako-san, she discovers that the rumored “girl” is actually a boy!
After a series of unfortunate events involving Nene’s romantic desires, she is unwillingly entangled in the world of the supernatural, becoming Hanako-kun’s assistant. Soon, she finds out about Hanako-kun’s lesser-known duty: maintaining the fragile balance between mortals and apparitions.
I first watched the anime when it was airing and really enjoyed. After it ended i thought i’d give the manga a go and realized that the official translation is still only on the 2nd volume, so i decided to read it in Japanese. I checked out the page samples on Amazon and found it refreshingly easy to follow so i bought all available volumes so far. On writing this I’ve read up to the 4th volume with on average 2 chapters a day.
Edit: I’ve completely caught up to the series currently at volume 13. I burned through all the volumes in under a month because of how much i enjoyed the story, characters, and art style. After finishing i can say that this is probably one of the saddest, happiest, and fun manga I’ve ever read. In terms of difficulty there are only a handful of vocab words that were unfamiliar to me but that showed up so often that by the end of the first volume they were no longer a problem. The grammar and dialogue were easy to follow and understand, there was only one place where i felt confused (in one of the later volumes) but i quickly figured that out by just going back a page and re-reading.
Personally i’m really enjoying it. There aren’t many unfamiliar kanji and almost all the unfamiliar vocabulary can be guessed at easily. The art style is really cute, and the story is surprisingly sad as well as uplifting at times.
Overall, this is actually my first time reading a manga in Japanese and enjoying it.
Pros and Cons for the Book Club
- The story is really fun.
- The art style is great.
- The vocabulary isn’t hard.
- The dialogue is easy to follow.
- All kanji have furigana.
- The first three volumes are available in English and an anime adaptation was also recently released so going back and forth between them makes understanding the story easier.
- Some people may not understand the concept of the 7 school wonders/mysteries
- The beginning is a bit slow.
First Three Pages of Chapter One
How much effort would you need to read this book?
- No effort at all
- Minimal effort
- Moderate effort
- Substantial effort
- So much effort my head might explode
- I don’t know