He sees dead people …

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In “Hanada Shounen-shi”, we meet a potty-mouthed brat named Ichiro Hanada.

He is the village troublemaker; the bane of pets and neighbors. He calls his mother “demon hag” and his sister “fat and ugly”. He also doesn’t care much for school and would rather chow down than listen to his long-suffering elementary school teacher.

One day while fleeing from his enraged mother on a bike, he runs into the path of an incoming truck. Next thing he knows, his soul is watching things from afar and heading upwards. But he is sent back because it’s not his time yet.

Nine stitches later, he is back home. But Ichiro can now see ghosts which is bad news for him since he scares easily. The ghosts want him to do things for them like hand over a long-delayed Christmas present or tell a loved one to keep on living.

While this little scamp grouses about helping dead folks, Ichiro often gives in to their requests because he does have a heart. Along the way, Ichiro learns about people, love and life.

Ichiro and most of the cast are ugly. You can see for yourself in these samples. But there is a charm to the characters especially Ichiro’s dysfunctional family. Most of the episodes are worth watching and guaranteed to wring a tear out of the viewer. They don’t get too schmaltzy either.

I’m warning you though. This show is not for kids. There are plenty of toilet jokes and bawdy humor plus our hero prances around in the buff in several scenes.

I would recommend it for those 14 and above.

“Hanada Shounen-shi” is one of the few anime I’ve seen that uses American songs as the intro and ending to the series. It was a jolt to hear the “Backstreet Boys” to be honest.

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