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Hatsukanezumi no Jikan  
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Maki Takano and his three best friends Ryo, Natsume and Mei are students at a private academy for highly gifted children. Like all the other students of this isolated and heavily guarded school, they have never seen the outside world since they were brought to the school at the young age of three.
When a new female student named Kiriko Hinatsu arrives, Maki has the strange feeling that he has met her before. However, he seems to be the only person who can remember the girl. When he confronts her with his discovery, Kiriko reveals the unbelievable truth about their existence and the school they're attending.
Maki now has to decide: will he continue his school life or will he help Kiriko escape even if that means putting himself and his mental health at risk?


Related Series

Associated Names
The Hour of the Mice

Groups Scanlating

Latest Release(s)
v.4 c.37-38 (end) by Kotonoha over 8 years ago
v.4 c.36 by Kotonoha over 8 years ago
v.4 c.35 by Kotonoha over 8 years ago
Search for all releases of this series

Status in Country of Origin
4 Volumes (Complete)

Completely Scanlated?

Anime Start/End Chapter

User Reviews


User Rating
Average: 7.9 / 10.0 (326 votes)
Bayesian Average: 7.78 / 10.0
 13% (44 votes)
 19% (61 votes)
 29% (93 votes)
 24% (78 votes)
 9% (28 votes)
 4% (14 votes)
 1% (3 votes)
 1% (2 votes)
 0% (0 votes)
 1% (3 votes)

Last Updated
January 1st 2017, 9:26pm PST



Category Recommendations





Original Publisher

Serialized In (magazine)
Afternoon (Kodansha)
Morning (Kodansha)

Licensed (in English)

English Publisher

Activity Stats (vs. other series)
Weekly Pos #618 increased(+100)
Monthly Pos #1343 increased(+162)
3 Month Pos #2155 increased(+343)
6 Month Pos #3058 increased(+564)
Year Pos #3764 increased(+1013)

List Stats
On 689 reading lists
On 866 wish lists
On 591 completed lists
On 51 unfinished lists
On 240 custom lists

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User Comments [ Order by usefulness ]

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Such a shame...   
Rating: 1.0 / 10.0
by nozomiEX
October 23rd, 2018, 8:18pm
This one had me constantly wrestling with the suspension of my disbelief. I will give it some credit for attempting to explain some things, albeit not always successfully, but their are just too many logical inconsistencies and oversights that will keep you in constant enmity, raising objections in your head and losing yourself trying to suppress them to enjoy the story. There are just too many times where you will go, "But, why?" or "Wait, what about X?" or just downright make you roll your eyes in exasperation. It's not like this kind of story hasn't been done before, so I suggest if the synopsis titillated you, you ought to seek a work from a more competent author instead.
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very entertaining...couldnt put it down   
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by sarah-eats-cupcakes
April 13th, 2012, 10:17am
what makes this maga special, is the heavy symbollic hints within the story...
its a story about a group of students who want to break out of the "system" after realising that their freedom was non-esxistent up until now...but then there's the question of whether they'd rather continue living a sheltered, "fake" life devoid of negative emotions like anger or sadness or live a normal one where they're bound to live with worries and hardships
i loved the romance in here too, dont expect any kisses or sex...all romantic feelings in this manga are unrequited, but realistic; you can see clearly why and when each one of them developed these feelings

... Last updated on April 14th, 2012, 6:44am
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Rating: 8.0 / 10.0
by yuri999
October 31st, 2011, 4:45am
I would respectfully disagree with with Monkry said. The characters in LoTL were too hung up with their emotions and there was a weird disconnect with story and suspension of disbelief we can hold. But enough about that.

The Hour of the Mice shows just how much Toume Kei's storytelling has evolved and is now much more organic and settling. The story is entirely about the dynamic of the characters and how they react to the situations they have been placed in. The best part is that its quite believable and it helps that the wonderfully melancholic art just sucks you into the world.

As for the ending.... well if you've read a Toume Kei manga you know what to expect but this has got to be the most optimistic (for her) ending I've seen her write in ages. Plus the end has such a clever inversion of a trope for the main character and even then you will be content with reading this.

Spoiler (mouse over to view)
The school has closed down but Maki ended up with no one. Wow, first time I've read a manga where the main guy was alone in the end!

... Last updated on October 31st, 2011, 4:46am
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too.... plain?   
Rating: 7.0 / 10.0
by monkry
April 20th, 2011, 7:29pm
I don't know, but I read Hitsuji no Uta (Lament of The Lamb) first, then I read it.
After finishing this series, I just felt "just like that?"
The idea is good, but after felt great emotions in Hitsuji no Uta, I couldn't find it here.
Though the ending was good, not sucks like Hitsuji no Uta.
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very engaging   
Rating: N/A
by auriga
January 21st, 2011, 8:01pm
Congratulations to Toume-sensei for keeping me glued. I had doubts about her work after reading Momonchi, but this one turned my opinion around. Very engaging read. Now that I've finished it, I feel really bad that I kept it in the backburner for so long.

Probably my only complaint would be the untapped potential for romance. But then again, this isn't a romance manga. wink

Definitely reading Yesterday o Utatte now.

... Last updated on January 21st, 2011, 8:07pm
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Rating: 8.0 / 10.0
by Stella Nox Fleuret
November 5th, 2010, 5:35am
Very good, it keeps you in agony. I liked the idea of this fake life-- Children that live in this Academy and lately they find out that they are merely guinea pigs for experiments. And then, they try to find a way to escape.

Wonderful read, although I dislike the art.
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More to come?   
Rating: 8.2 / 10.0
by OppKnox
June 9th, 2009, 10:09am
A departure from darkly psychological suspense that thrives on shocks and angst alone, Hatsukanezumi no Jikan offers a comparatively mellow, meditative approach to science fiction. The kids are easy to care about, and the facility’s enigmatic passive-aggression has potential, provided the last two volumes are more informative than the first. The ease with which Maki and his friends develop self-awareness through enlightenment surprised me, but I suspect Toume is more interested in the pitfalls of freedom and free will, a theme I hope to see developed in the final volumes.
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Toume does it again.   
Rating: 9.5 / 10.0
by Crenshinibon
January 15th, 2009, 7:51pm
Another of my all-time favorites. It combines Toume's unique narrative and artistic stylization with a bit of an Orwellian edge, creating a thought-provoking environment filled with intriguing characters and concepts. Naturally, Toume's skilled use of suspense is almost perfect, and there are few to no flaws in the pacing. I am extremely saddened at the fact that this has yet to be translated to completion, and I can only hope that Kotonoha will eventually take mercy upon me and finish.
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A very good manga!   
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by Miriette Le Fay
August 24th, 2008, 10:59am
Too much good you have to read it and find out I don't will spoiler this ;) ....

... Last updated on August 24th, 2008, 11:01am
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Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by Akukame
April 25th, 2008, 1:46am
I find this to be a truly thought provoking and a very unique concept. I only hope that it can be translated to completion.

The story is very suspenseful and has a lot of questions and mysteries that surround the school and the company. Although I wouldn't entirely call it realistic, the concept is still believable and the characters are still deep and intriguing. The artwork, although its somewhat coarse, is also quite beautiful. The series isn't one that will instantly grab you, but if you give it a few chapters to build then you will find that it drags you in and leaves you lusting for more.

I think that a bit is lost in the translation of the title. Or perhaps it just it doesn't fit well in japanese either. But the title is very fitting for the manga. The story centers around a group of students at a school, that you very quickly realize is really a drug testing facility where they are the test subjects. In essence the students are lab mice (hatsukanezumi == the type of mice they use in labs). And it seems to center around their rebellion/escape (their 'time'. Jikan == hour / time). The name is actually very similar to Toume Kei's other work, Hitsuji no Uta (Lament of the Lamb), where its meant to be more symbolic and not literal.
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