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School Mystery (1995)

Toire no Hanako-san (original title)
There are two versions of "Toire No Hanako-san." The first version, released in 1995, was set in an elementary school and centered on a boy named Takuya and a new transfer student named ... See full summary »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Takayuki Inoue ...
Takuya Sakamoto
Ai Maeda ...
Natsumi Sakamoto
Yuka Kono ...
Saeko Mizuno
Etsushi Toyokawa ...
Yuji Sakamoto
Nene Ohtsuka ...
Yuriko Suzuki
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Kanako Fukaura ...
Hiroshi's mother
Yasuhito Hida ...
Degenerate (as Yasuto Hida)
Maya Imuta ...
Yuki Miyazaki
...
Little Child
Zo Ozawa ...
Principal
Kotaro Santo ...
Hiroshi Gato
Yuka Suzuki ...
Kanako Ota
...
Hiroshi's father
Kumiko Tsuchiya ...
Miss Kubota
Sakae Umezu ...
Tsubasa Sakamoto
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Storyline

There are two versions of "Toire No Hanako-san." The first version, released in 1995, was set in an elementary school and centered on a boy named Takuya and a new transfer student named Saeko (Maeda Ai plays Takuya's younger brother). Takuya's classmates think that Saeko has been possessed by Hanako, the ghost that lives in the bathroom. The rumor is especially encouraged by a girl who has a crush on Takuya and is jealous since Takuya likes Saeko. The second version, released in 1998, centers on a group of high school girls (among them Maeda Ai and Nomura Yuka) who inadvertently release a demonic doll from a shrine outside of their school. Maeda Ai stars in both versions, although she plays a boy in the first movie, and a girl in the second. Prior to the second movie, there was a 1997 video series "Toire No Hanako-san, " that also dealt with a group of high school girls and their encounters with the infamous Hanako. Written by Rodolfo Rincon <rrincon10@earthlink.net>

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Horror

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1 July 1995 (Japan)  »

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School Mystery  »

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User Reviews

 
A Japanese Chuckie, minus the corn
24 January 1999 | by (Davenport, Iowa 52803) – See all my reviews

Toire no Hanako san is a very scary and effective adaptation of the Japanese manga of the same name. Unfortunately, unless the viewer can understand Japanese, it may be a bit difficult to follow as a subtitled version does not apparently exist. Although many horror/suspense cliches are trotted out: the ouija board (although the Japanese version, kokkuri), whispered voices, an animated doll, and a group of kids that look like they stepped right out of a Japanese version of 90210 and always go into that darkened room when they shouldn't, the movie worked for me. I thought it was an original touch how the opening narration explaining the events was played over candid shots of the young students with black strips superimposed over their eyes so as to "protect" their identities from being linked to the events that transpire. The quick glimpses of "Hanako san" (we never really see the wholly reanimated version)build tension throughout the film a la the original Alien, and the climactic scenes in the crematorium were very unsettling. It's possible this film might one day come to the attention of someone in the US film industry and be re-tooled and adapted for a US audience. However, I hope this does not happen, as so much of the cultural context and plotlines are closely linked to elements of the Japanese educational system. I think the film would best be served in a subtitled release, and I believe it would find an audience. I enjoyed this film as did my 11 year old daughter and my wife, but would not recommend for younger than 12 years old or so.


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