Episode 11: Holy Student Council To Split Up And Disappear?

And here the bloody shoe drops, and Haunted Junction captures the awful prolonged-anime-series disease: it gets serious. It happens all the bloody time, and when there isn’t a strong dramatic foundation for it, it can be really tedious. Techni Muyo OAV has this problem, too, and I think to a certain extent Jubei-chan did, too. Here, it cuts right through everything that’s enjoyable about Haunted Junction. Thank God it only really lasts one episode.

Episode 11 starts in the faux-serious style of the very first episode, with the Chairman bidding on occult items at the Ox and Tiger Society, and there he finds a box he must win. Meanwhile, back at school, a typical problem with a school spirit transpires. All the action of the first part of the episode is nothing we haven’t seen before throughout the series, but it is handled with a singular charmlessness here. The episode just starts out boring, and from there gets way too dark.

After that school spirit is dealt with, Nanjo (also called Exorcist Joe), from the Education Board School Spirits Policy Division, decides that Saito has to be cleared of all of its school spirits, and with the help of our hero Haruto.
There’s nothing out-and-out terrible about this episode, but the few funny parts aren’t funny, and the serious aspects of the second part are dealt with in a hamfisted fashion. Nanjo is just a typical villain who can do whatever he wants regardless of help, so Haruto wouldn’t have been able to stop him if he tried. That keeps Haruto in a more sympathetic mode, but the wholesale devastation of the school spirits isn’t affecting in the least.

The problem here is that the show hasn’t really been set up right for a grim episode. The unleavened unhappiness of the second part felt out of left field, and wasn’t very convincing. It isn’t a terrible episode – it doesn’t ruin the series – but it doesn’t have the emotional tug I think it was going for.

Rating :C

About Kent Conrad

To contact Kent Conrad, email kentc@explodedgoat.com