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Manga / Hanako and the Terror of Allegory

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"Folklores are alive."
Opening line

Hanako and the Terror of Allegory (Hanako to Gūwa no Terā) is a manga by Sakae Esuno, creator of Future Diary and Big Order. It ran in Monthly Shonen Ace from 2004 to 2005, and was licensed in English by Tokyopop.

When Distressed Damsel Kanae Hiranuma finds her sleep disturbed by a man with an axe under her bed, she follows a tip from an internet chatroom and pays a visit to the Allegory Detective, Daisuke Asou. Asou reveals that she has been possessed by an allegory, an Urban Legend that turns its content into reality and haunts the people who believe in it. With the help of Hanako of the Toilet, a benign allegory possessing him who assists him in hunting allegories, Asou rescues Kanae. In thanks, Kanae becomes Asou's assistant, and the three of them tackle the myriad allegory cases that come their way, while a deeper mystery of Asou's true nature slowly unfolds.

Provides examples of:

  • Asian Fox Spirit: Kokkuri
  • Balloon Belly: Happens to the entire cast at the end of the Woman in the Gap chapter.
  • Better to Die than Be Killed: Horribly subverted, the leader of the suicide club tries to kill herself quickly and "beautifully" rather than be captured by the police, but instead dies slowly, painfully, and grotesquely, screaming "this isn't the way I wanted to die!"
  • Bittersweet Ending: In-universe, this is how Mifuyu intended for her story, Hanako and the Teller of Allegory, to end. Asou and Kanae ultimately getting into the relationship with each other, but Hanako, sensing that Asou no longer needs her, disappears. The final battle is basically Asou and Kanae trying to stop her from ending her story.
  • Cute Little Fangs: Hanako
  • Deal with the Devil: The Demon in the Mirror will grant one wish in exchange for the wisher's soul.
  • Detect Evil: Asou gets the hiccups whenever he's near a person possessed by an allegory.
  • Distressed Damsel: Kanae, multiple times.
  • Dreadful Musician: Kanae can't sing.
  • Ecchi
  • Enemy Rising Behind: "This is Mary. I'm right behind you."
  • Evil Phone: While Mary is stalking you, she calls you every five minutes to give you a status update. Which culminates in the Enemy Rising Behind mentioned above.
  • Expy: In appearance only. Asou looks exactly like an older version of Yukiteru, and Kanae looks a lot like Yuno with different hair.
  • Eye Scream: The urban legend of The Piercing Hole and the White Thread and the chapter that revolves around it.
    • To elaborate: In the urban legend, a girl asks a friend of hers to pierce her ears. When the friend does so, a white thread, which turns out to be the girl's optic nerve, comes out of the piercing hole. The friend then unwittingly pulls the thread, causing the girls eyes to be pulled backwards out of their sockets.
    • Ear Ache: An spin-off of the urban legend has the girl whose ears were pierced ask you if you are wearing earrings. If you answer "yes", she'll bite off your earlobes.
  • Fan Disservice: Nozomi, Kanae's unborn twin sister, spends all her screen time naked. It's very creepy in hindsight.
    • Additionally, the female fishmen have anatomically correct breasts.
  • Full-Frontal Assault: The Woman in the Gap
  • Gainax Ending: Sure, they all live happily ever after.. but how?
  • Half the Man He Used to Be: Happens a lot in the Teke-Teke chapter.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Kanae fatally stabs herself in order to stop Nozomi from killing Asou. The only reason Kanae survives is the Ret-Gone that occurs when an Allegory is defeated undoes the wound.
  • Journey to the Center of the Mind
  • Lightmare Fuel: The Demon in the Mirror chapter quickly turns into a comic relief episode.
  • Lost in Translation: There is a possibility the title suffers from this (The correct translation may or may not be Hanako and the Teller of Allegory). Tokyopop is going to have fun with the last couple of chapters.
    • Might be a weird case of bilingual pun with the Japanese pronunciation of both being the same. As the teller brings terror.
  • Made of Plasticine: Kanae's maids. One of them is cleanly scalped by a doll with a knife.
  • Mirror Monster: The Demon in the Mirror.
  • Monster of the Week: The Allegories
  • More Teeth than the Osmond Family: The Slit-Mouthed Woman, but only because her mouth is much, much larger than her face.
  • Mundanger: In the Teke-Teke chapter, a suicide club rather than an allegory is behind the mystery.
    • Happens again in the Akagami Aogami chapter, where the culprit turns out to be a deliveryman using said urban legend as a motif for his murders.
  • Nightmare Face: Lots of 'em, but the most notable is the Slit-Mouthed Woman.
  • Occult Detective
  • Porn Stash: Inverted: Asou keeps his vast collection of eromanga lying around his office, so Kanae takes it upon herself to stash it where potential clients won't be squicked out by it.
  • Power at a Price: Asou can detect people possessed by allegories with hiccups, but if he hiccups one hundred times consecutively, he will die.
  • Puff of Logic: Because allegories only exist in the minds of people, scanning them with a computer will destroy them.
  • Ret-Gone: Because allegories only exist in the minds of people, all damage caused by the allegory will be reversed when it is eliminated. Except deaths.
  • Slasher Smile: The Slit-Mouthed Woman.
  • Suicide Pact: The suicide club in the Teke-Teke chapter
  • Superpowered Evil Side: Asou's allegorified self.
  • Techno Wizard: Hanako. Her laptop is apparently waterproof.
  • Too Spicy for Yog-Sothoth: The Demon in the Mirror is eventually driven to the brink when Kanae keeps (drunkenly) stretching the definition of "pop idol" to more and more extravagant heights, until he's begging Asou to end his torment.
  • Tomato in the Mirror: Mifuyu reveals that Asou was never "becoming" an Allegory, but that he was always one to begin with. This is later turned on her, ironically, by Asou.
  • Write What You Know: Mifuyu based Asou's appearance, the main character in Hanako and the Teller of Allegory, off her late husband, and she admits that contrary to his backstory that he was the survivor and she was the victim, the reverse is true, just instead of a decapitation, it was a car accident.
  • Urban Legends
  • Your Mind Makes It Real: Allegories can only be created by people strongly believing in urban legends.