I thought I’d do a single summary review for Hoozuki 07 – 13 (end) but it’s really too much of an injustice to simply lump them altogether because Hoozuki is seriously funny and worth standalone posts. I can’t remember the last time any side character was as entertaining and memorable as Nasubi and Karauri!
Nasubi (Aoyama Touko) and Karauri (Kakihara Tetsuya) are the chip and dale of hell (according to the manga) and they’re really really stitch-inducingly funny side characters. I mean, Nasubi is quite the piece of work! That ‘pharoah’ pun on ‘hello’ – so cheesy but Aoyama delivered it with such duh-ness it’s classic! In hell as on earth, there is such a thing as job rotation. Karauri is considering a future transfer to Mortal Hell (because that’s where O-Koh neesan presides) and asks to accompany Hoozuki on a field trip there. 70% of the minions who work there are females because who better to lure those sex offending depraved souls than beautiful minions. The key to surviving through Mortal Hell is to keep your wits about you and not be distracted by the bevy of beauties in the geisha quarters (for minions, not sinners of course). Except Nasubi really puts a new spin to this because this idiot is distracted by food instead! It’s hilarious when Hoozuki asks Karauri if Nasubi is, ‘alright, in every possible implication?’ You’d think he’s innocent as a child but no, he then shoots back with a very audible comment about the huge size of the stall owner’s boobs! What play is this?! He’s so straightforward and doesn’t think before speaking, just like a 5th grader (I’d give 5th graders more credit) and it’s to LOL effect.
A new Torture Task Force – the Pervy Madams (what a name…) torture team project is set up to reflect gender equality and female empowerment. Hell does keep up with the times you know. Now depending on where you stand on punishment, Mortal Hell might just be your heaven if like Karauri, you’re actually into S&M. I for one have never thought of that possibility! There’s even a cameo by Haru and Shizuku (and Asako) from Tonari no kaibutsu kun illustrating this sort of relationship does actually exist – both shows share the same director. What follows is testing the punishment out on Karauri who asks for MORE until Hoozuki takes over, to which Karauri’s true colours are shown. I couldn’t help but chuckle when Hoozuki was about to throw Karauri into the iron maiden, only to have O-Koh neesan worry about the holes it’ll cause to his clothes – that’s your main concern?!
The next story (2 in each episode) focuses on the boss-subordinate relationship between Hoozuki and Enma. Or rather, the inverse boss-subordinate relationship. Enma sprains his back but unlike your usual subordinate reaction, Hoozuki’s more concerned with the mess its caused. Hoozuki takes it upon himself to treat Enma rather than call for his arch-nemesis Hakutaku, choosing to risk failure (poor Enma) instead. It’s amusing how he simply reads a book to solve a medical problem – that may work in other contexts but not when there’s a health risk Hoozuki! Then again, they’re in Hell and technically dead already so… What ensues is predictable mayhem worth many laughs but at the expense of Enma who if you remember, is still the Great King of Hell. To see him cower in fear of Hoozuki is a running gag I’ll never get tired of because the contrast in their size and status is so great it must be exploited! Hoozuki has such condescension towards his boss, treating him like a child. How is it that Enma tolerates such behaviour? Oh yeah, right, because Hoozuki’s an effective worker and a demon through and through. The guy practically memorised the lives of all the souls who come before Enma for judgment so if that’s not something a demon can do then who can? He’s a demon who can tame a tasmanian devil (gotta love the puns)! Ah, such dynamics do not exist in the real world but only in Hell I suppose.
Now for the clincher this week. How does Hoozuki hide his pointed ears and demon horn when holidaying with animals on earth? He uses a hat and a magic incantation only the Japanese can use ~ I am ninja, this is shugyou (training) *works on 9 out of 10 Japanimation fans. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!! Absolutely loved it!