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The Misaki Stairs, Part 1 (ミサキ階段 其の一 Misaki Kaidan sono ichi?) is the third episode of the Toilet-bound Hanako-kun anime.

Synopsis

Nene finds out from the young exorcist Minamoto Kou that Hanako-kun committed a crime in his lifetime. Her close friend Akane Aoi, who has been worrying about Nene not being in her best spirits, suddenly disappears. Her classmates, teachers, and even Aoi's mother, no matter who Nene asks do not seem to even know who Akane Aoi is.

Nene goes on to search for Aoi on her own while relying on Hanako's help. Hanako has a certain feeling this will lead to the one of the rumoured Seven Mysteries, the one that leads to another world.

The rumour of Misaki Stairs.[1]

Funimation Description

Nene's best friend vanishes without a trace and no one else remembers she ever existed! To get her friend back, Nene is forced to call on Hanako for help and journey into a "Boundary" between the world of the living and the world of the dead.[2]

Plot

As Nene recalls Hanako-kun saying she could make friends with murderers from their previous interaction with Kou, she notes that the expression on his face seemed like he was angry. However, she deduces that it wasn't anger, but before she could finish her thoughts, Aoi calls on her. She chuckles that Nene has her head in the clouds lately, seeing that she didn't hear her until the third time. While the two of them tend to the classroom plants, Aoi suspects that Nene might have developed a crush on someone. Nene denies it, but she murmurs wishing it was. In order to cheer her up, Aoi decides to tell Nene about the second School Wonder, the Misaki Stairs.

The rumor goes as follows with forbidding one from stepping on the fourth step. If that rule is broken, the victim is dragged into the world of the dead and thus ripped into countless pieces. At twilight, that step is covered with a layer of blood from its past victims. Its location is at the B stairs of the art room. Aoi also recalls many students saying they have seen puddles of blood there as well. This sends Nene into a frightful stance, knowing all-well that Aoi's retellings may come true since reminiscing the Yousei-san incident. However, she denies being scared of the rumors, to which Aoi becomes glad to be able to tell more scary stories for Nene later on. While in the middle of their conversation, their teacher reminds Aoi that she had a career counseling appointment scheduled at 4:30 pm in the art room. In a hurry to meet up with him, Aoi waves goodbye to Nene before assuring her to feel better soon. As Nene feels touched by Aoi's thoughtfulness despite being uncomforted at the thought of being told more scary rumors, she notices some of the classroom plants have already started blooming.

The next school day, Nene notices that all of the classroom plants are now gone. As she looks around for whoever took them, she begins the suspect the Mokke for their mischief. As she approaches them, she realizes they didn't have any evidence on them before one of them offers a piece of candy to her. Peering her eyes over, she notices that Aoi's desk was missing before the teacher arrives for morning greeting. She inquires what had happened to the flowers over there that Aoi was taking care of. When her teacher replied out of confusion, he pointed to Yamabuki Lemon, who was in charge of taking care of them over the summer despite his evident carelessness of watering them too much. Her teacher also questions who Aoi was, saying they didn't have that student in their class. This sends Nene into a momentary trance as the students behind her begin questioning who Aoi was also. Nene dashes out of the classroom, wondering what was happening to everyone. She decides to call Aoi's phone number, only to receive no avail. She also checks with Aoi's mom to see if she knew where Aoi was, only to be answered that a person with that name didn't live here. She becomes more worried, knowing that even Aoi's mother didn't know who Aoi was, until a sudden drop of blood reminded her of the story that Aoi told her the day before. She remembers that Aoi was scheduled to go to the art room, and she decides to turn to Hanako-kun for assistance, before bumping into someone.

Dropping her phone onto the floor, she looks up to find a handsome guy politely lending out a hand to her. Placing a hand in his palm, he inquires if she was okay before she stutters out a thank you. Watching him walk away, she becomes lovestruck at what a gentleman he was. Until the school bell rang, reminding her that she needed to find Hanako-kun. A black paper crane is seen following her until it slips into her shoulder pocket. After school, the two of them are discussing in the girl's bathroom. Hanako-kun only lets out a brief, Hmm, as he was playing cards with the Mokke, only to be given an adamant response from Nene that she waited a long time for him. Hanako-kun states that he was busy also, and suggests calling the police. Nene says that the situation was weird, which included Aoi's missing belongings and flowers. All of sudden, Kou dashes into the bathroom, angrily accusing Hanako of possibly dealing with the mysterious disappearances of his friends, Yokoo and Satou. Nene worriedly attempts to calm him down as he continues to furiously shake Hanako into a dizzying fit.

Hanako-kun fixes his collar as he connects the students' disappearances with the stairs. Kou automatically makes an offensive stance with his sealed rateijou, before Nene blocks him while inquiring about Aoi. Hanako-kun makes a grave expression, explaining the school had seven places that are connected to the spiritual world, also known as Boundaries. The Misaki Stairs was one of them, deducing the missing students must have been taken there. When a living person wanders into the spiritual world, their whole existence from the living world is forgotten. Kou remembers that his older brother talked about Boundaries being the seas between the living and the next. It is a world where ghosts and apparitions have nowhere to go, as well as the things everyone forgot, usually consisting of dolls, retro televisions, etc. Nene worriedly clamps onto Hanako's jacket, wondering if people were able to come back from there. As Hanako watches Nene's pricking tears, he cups both of her cheeks and reassures her that it will be fine. He continues squishing and squeezing her cheeks, reminding her that he was one of the Seven Wonders and that it is his duty to maintain the order between humans and apparitions. He also remarks that she will be helping him too as he gently pats her head. Kou cuts in between the two, making Hanako-kun tease him even further by wiggling his hands. Kou defensively protects Nene, telling him to keep his hands off her. He also proclaims that he will be going in order to protect Nene, to which Hanako-kun nears him. He remarks that he won't protect Kou since he wasn't his assistant in a slightly-adamant nature. Kou replies saying he wouldn't want his help nevertheless. The two of them get into another fight as Hanako-kun teases him about getting shredded, with Nene sighing. But in the midst of their constant bicker, Nene becomes determined to save Aoi.

The three of them are in front of the stairs, watching as scarlet blood dripped from the ceiling and onto the fourth step. Kou and Nene become stunned, stuttering out of wonder and the other determined to protect. Hanako-kun signals them to go, taking his first step and counting down to the fourth. As soon as they reach the fourth step, Nene braces herself before realizing they were standing in front of a torii gate, reading Misaki. Hanako-kun fixes his cap, noting that the second School Wonder was doing their own thing with their Boundary.

The three of them proceed up the stairs, marveling at their surroundings out of wonder. Nene notes that it felt completely different from the school, until she sees a doll with a seal reading two on its face. There are similar dolls around them, all having the same bob hair-cut and kimonos with variatons of red. Hanako-kun tells them to hurry up, with Kou jumping back from a jack-in-the-box and Nene spotting a puddle. As she touches the surface of the water, she suddenly realizes her hand stills forms scales. She quickly covers it with a handkerchief as Kou asks what's wrong. Nene responds that she's fine, in hopes of not letting him know that she turns into a fish. Kou questions Hanako-kun that there was nothing here, especially when given the rumor that people will get shredded into pieces. Hanako-kun answers that it doesn't happen right away, remarking that finishing things too quickly will be boring. He startles the two of them by saying little by little seems more fun, with Kou grumbling at his stance. Hanako-kun proclaims that as one of the seven Wonders of the school, there is a need for more humans to know about them, which meant threatening them. He notes that fun things don't stick well to memory, while scary ones do. However, Number 2 was overdoing the current situation. Suddenly, a coiled telephone rang behind them. Nene hesitantly picks up the phone, asking who they were. A female voice answers the phone, introducing herself as Misaki.

Misaki states that she has taught students at the top of the stairs, with a black-and-white film replaying a woman with black hair teaching at the chalkboard. But the mirror holding her reflection breaks, as she tells them she died hereafter getting sliced up right where they were standing. Nene becomes stunned, as she tells them to find her body for her. Nene quickly questions where Aoi was, but she continues, saying the first part they needed to find was her right arm, which she uses to write chalk with. She ends off by saying class will begin soon, ushering a large sand hourglass to turn over. Nene spots a miniature shrine house with open doors, wondering if that was the place to deliver the arm. She becomes nervous, with Kou reassuring her that they will keep going. Hanako-kun advises against that, saying each School Wonder is unbeatable in their own territory, including his bathroom. But he wouldn't mind if Kou were to anger the School Wonder, nearly pushing him off the edge, until Nene starts by saying they should look for a woman's arm. Hanako-kun begins digging inside of a shelf, pulling out a sexually-enticing magazine that he claims to be a treasure. The two of them again start fighting each other, with Hanako-kun leaping away from his attacks while holding up the magazine. Nene leaves exasperatingly, going forth to look at another place, while Kou refuses to be interested in the magazine. Nene mentally chastises the boys, especially when she's a girl herself. But she becomes envious of girls having large chests and slender legs, envisioning herself being just like them before wiping away her embarrassing imagination. She returns to her task of finding the arm, before noticing a tan bra lying on a box.

The three of them meet up, with Kou holding a muscular arm and Hanako-kun holding a robotic arm. Nene becomes exasperated at their efforts while holding up a mannequin arm, scolding them for not looking for a woman's arm. The two of them cast nervous glances at Nene's direction, questioning what was off about her. In response, Nene attempts to make a dashing hair flip until the ultra-padded bra falls from her chest. The three of them stare at it with silence, until Nene throws it as far as she could. She stutters out an excuse, with Hanako-kun placing a hand on her shoulder saying she didn't have to say anything. But right after that, the hourglass finally runs out of sand, awakening a comrade of evil dolls to seek those late for class. Out of the darkness, a large scissor nearly slices them until Hanako-kun forces them to duck their heads. In a chomping stance, the three dash up the stairs out of fright. But before Nene could reach the top, she is stopped by the same dolls grabbing onto her leg. The scissors are also advancing at her, until Hanako-kun hurriedly escapes out of the mass of dolls and rescues her. He lands her on her feet, and as the scissors again advance, he ducks below its shears and lands a kick on the fulcrum. The shears are then broken into two pieces. But after a brief victory, another scissor shows up. The dolls again surround Nene, and Hanako-kun hurriedly calls out for Kou while blocking the scissor with his knife. Kou flings all of the dolls off Nene with his staff. Thus, Hanako-kun carries Nene by the waist and all of them dash away from the advancing shears. The door hasn't opened yet, but three Mokke jumps in their path, producing the three arms that they found. Kou picks one of them up before throwing it into the miniature house. Right after the arm was offered, the next door finally opens. They steadfastly go through the door before locking it, breathing out a sigh of relief.

But the next challenge is similar to the last, only with having to find her left arm that she prays with every morning. Hanako-kun answers this time, interrupting her by saying it's been a long time since they last met. Her tone shifts grimly, continuing that class will begin soon before hanging up. Nene inquires if he had known her before, to which he responds that they were both Wonders after all. The hourglass again turns over, but Kou inquires to Hanako-kun if Number 2 had a weakness. Hanako-kun affirms it, saying each Wonder had their own Yorishiro, a precious item that gives power to them. In order to explain it in better clarity, he takes a cymbal monkey toy from a Mokke, guessing it's like a battery. When the battery is removed, the toy no longer functions, similar to how a School Wonder becomes weak without their yorishiro. Without Number Two's yorishiro, she won't be able to maintain her Boundary. Kou excitedly asks where to find the yorishiro, to which Hanako-kun responds that it is hidden in the deepest part of the Boundary. He notes that it's probably way past the next door, at the top of these stairs. They become exasperated at the thought of having to climb more stairs, with Hanako-kun attempting to encourage them with positivity.

They repeat challenge after challenge, finding the body parts she requested for, before reaching the last one. The last door finally opens, revealing a bright light in their presence. Nene realizes that she's making them look for body parts since she couldn't do anything, but she begins to wonder who was the one making the phone calls.

Characters

Image Gallery

References

  1. Translated description of Episode 3 from the official site.
  2. Episode 3: The Misaki Stairs, Part 1 on FUNimation.

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