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Haunted Junction
Reviewer: Rowena Lim Lei 12/31/1999

Haruto Houjo, Kazumi Karuo, and Mutsuki Asahina make up Saito High's "Holy" Student Council. These three work with the seven school spirits in looking after the students' welfare and dealing with various supernatural disturbances... with mixed results!
Haunted Junction is mainly about a school infested with numerous spirits and a group of special students tasked with the responsibility of keeping the peace. It's not one continuing saga because each episode is fairly self-contained and can stand alone (although watching the first ep is crucial for the sake of background information).
Three special students are hand-picked by the school chairman to form the Holy Student Council -- Haruto Houjo, the son of a minister; Kazumi Ryudo, the son of a Buddhist monk; and Mutsuki Asahina, the daughter of a Shinto priest. Haruto is appointed as the president, for only he has the ability to summon the seven school spirits. Kazumi's specialty is possession, and Mutsuki's power is exorcism. The Holy Student Council takes care of settling spiritual disputes, putting disturbed spirits to rest -- just about everything related to the supernatural within the school grounds. Because most of their time is consumed by their Holy Student Council duties, the three get academic credits even without attending classes.
A lot of what happens in Haunted Junction is character-driven. Haruto is torn between his duty as Holy Student Council president and his dream of having a normal school life without any of the supernatural stuff; Kazumi is girl-crazy and obssessed with one of the school spirits -- the sexy Ms. Hanako; Mutsuki has a shouta complex, meaning she is insanely attracted to young boys ages 12 and below (it's like the female counterpart of a Lolita complex). These quirks, along with the seven spirits' own quirks, result in various situations that range from funny to bizarre. I must warn you though that Haunted Junction has some potentially offensive content, depending on who's watching. Some may not be receptive to the whole idea of Mutsuki's shouta complex, especially as it's very aggressively portrayed. Like in one episode, Mutsuki resorts to pulling down the child spirit Nino's shorts and then taking a picture of his private part for her satisfaction. In another episode, she orders all the gradeschool boys in a classroom to strip.
The visuals are somewhat above average at best. Character designs are generally cute, but I find that there is an overall lack of refinement and consistency in the way most of the scenes are rendered. A lot of things could have been drawn and animated better, from simple movements like walking or running around to more complex ones like special attacks and so forth. Comparing the anime art to the manga art you'll see in the ending sequence(s), you'll see a great deal of difference. The anime art just doesn't measure up to the beautifully illustrated manga art.
All in all, Haunted Junction is a pretty entertaining and amusing series. It's not what I'd hail as fantastic but it had enough ooomph to keep me watching till the end.
The DVD release contains all twelve episodes.

Haunted Junction
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Review Title:
Haunted Junction
240 Minutes
General Rating:
3.5 out of 5 stars
Suitable For:
Action, Comedy, Supernatural
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