In a rare episode where both stories are related and told back-to-back, we witness the true perils of men – alcohol and women, as Yusa Kouji demonstrates why he’s the go-to seiyuu for perverted, ero-loving characters.
This was a really funny episode. Take it from someone who’s seen it 3 times for the sake of writing this very belated review. We start off with Hakutaku suffering from a massive hangover after a night with the ladies and incurring a very expensive bill in the process that ends with Hoozuki actually paying off the bill for Hakutaku. How?! What?! Read on :)
The lucky beast (literally – he is the Chinese mythological beast of luck and a beast in every sense of the word) obviously can’t handle his liquor but keeps drinking anyway (a behaviour I can attest to too sometimes…). Unlike a true heavy sake drinker (i.e. Hoozuki), Hakutaku drinks because of the accompanying women. In fact, greed is the impure reason Hakutaku learnt chinese medicine, so he can concoct all sorts of health remedies to keep up with his unhealthy pastime. Like he said though, progress only comes with greed and the greed for faster, higher viewing quality porn is the reason the Internet has come so far so quickly. Gotta take my hat off to HnR mangaka Eguchi Natsumi for coming up with such theories/logic. But not just any ordinary woman can charge him 500,000 yen for just one night. She’s none other than the number 1 seductress of all time – Daji, a woman who can bring nations (and its men) to its knees. Why is she running a brothel in hell’s geisha district instead of being punished though?
Hoozuki vs Hakutaku
Hoozuki’s a demon and he sure drinks like one. But who knew the oni’s weakness is his inability to take spice?! Kawaii ne Hoozuki-kun~ Hakutaku chides Hoozuki for not being able to eat mala hotpot (literally translated as so spicy you’ll go numb) and in return, Hoozuki chides Hakutaku’s inability to drink. Will these boys ever learn to get along? Oko neesan (the infectious Peach Maki Caramel song makes an encore here in karaoke) feels responsible as the token gentlewoman in the room and hilariously parodies twin brothers Kacchan and Tacchan from Adachi Mitsuru’s hit baseball manga & anime Touch. LOL!
Hoozuki strikes a pose and takes one for the team
Ok he actually struck many many poses this episode. Mostly his pissed off looks at Hakutaku and at the drunkards he’s had to deal with in Screaming Hell. But my favourite is when he averted his eyes when Hakutaku confronted him about eating mala hotpot. That has got to be the best look of Hoozuki so far! Also, did anyone notice when Hakutaku offered Hoozuki a solution to his drunkards situation that Hoozuki was NOT frowning for once? Can’t tell with his perpetually pinched eyebrows… Anyhow, for all the demon that he is, Hoozuki is actually a very commendable boss who looks out for his subordinates like how he created an opening for all of them to escape from Enma’s incessant talk about his grandson. That’s truly one for the team Hoozuki-kun. And then he very enthusiastically deals with the Screaming hell rebellion in order to escape himself! Ha!
Drunkards are the worse. On earth as in hell. They get so drunk they don’t remember a thing that happened in that state to have anything to repent for! And it makes sense that there’s an overpopulation of them in Screaming Hell since the post-war economic boom what with the pervasive drinkommunication culture of Japan’s workforce! The signboard outside clearly states ‘No alcohol beyond this point’ but massive 8-headed snake Orochi (equally massive an idiot and an alcoholic itself) sneaks in a huge vat of Yashiorino sake (quality stuff), leading to a mass rebellion by the drunkards who have managed to collectively corner monster Orochi into forsaking his sake to them. The mass worshiping was hysterical as Momotaro said it best, ‘I bet the ancient ceremonies were a lot like that’. How alcohol makes fools of all men. I love the tongue-in-cheek take on Japanese culture that permeates HnR. This mass rebellion was finally brought to an end by lapping up the very culture that led to the appalling number of drunkards in the first place – Hoozuki ordered the minions to dress up in suits and ties to drink with the drunkards until they’re so sick of sake they give up. That’s the only way to deal with them. But where did all that sake come from? Hakutaku’s backyard of all places! Hoozuki agreed to Hakutaku’s proposition of renting out the sake waterfall (now you see why that’s heaven?) for a sum that’s just enough to cover his womanising bills! Finally, something both of them can agree to work on!