This week it’s all about karma. Who you were in life is measured by how much offerings you get in death. Of course, those offerings don’t go directly to you, it goes to the 10 kings who govern Hell. It seems in any bureaucracy, bribery is the way of life. Even in hell. What you put in is what you get. And that applies to dieting too – incredible how the topic jumps so far yet the theme runs so close! Hoozuki shows why he’s the demon of all demons yet again.
I haven’t finished reading the Hoozuki manga but I daresay it’s better in anime format. Hoozuki reminds me of Gintama in how it parodies other shows (though not as shamelessly) – the opening sequence for the 10 kings came in like that of Star Wars’ galaxy far far away word introduction. And then Hoozuki introduces the 10 kings to Karauri by way of singing the ‘ten little indians’ song! Brilliant execution!
Speaking of the 10 kings, there’s one who looks particularly like santa… Even his chief of staff is dressed in a reindeer costume. Enma is very envious of the piety and reverence the other kings’ assistance have towards them. Compared to them, Hoozuki physically and verbally abuses Enma like a naggy mother does and the kings’ dinner sequence was hilarious in illustrating this. Then it gets carried over into the next story where Hoozuki takes on the role of Enma’s personal fitness trainer in Hoozuki’s slimming boot camp! Truly an Oni!!!
Because a woman’s more knowledgeable about dieting, Hoozuki has enlisted Oko-neesan to put the group comprising Enma, Shiro, Kakisuke, Rurio, Karauri and Nasubi (who just happen to be at the gym) through the diet in hell, literally. They alternate between the 8 Greater Hells by working up a sweat and then the 8 Cold Hells to cool down. This apparently does wonders for one’s metabolism rate (not mentioned in the story but I’m a girl and hence more knowledgeable about dieting right?), if you live to tell the tale that is. They eventually get trapped in Cold Hell because the snow storm covers their tracks before it’s even properly made (it’s so cold that normal minions don’t work there). As with most people’s reactions in this modern age, look to your mobile phones for reception to CALL for help! Alas Enma, it’s THAT freakishly cold in cold hell and obviously only Hoozuki came prepared, with canned red bean soup too!
One aspect I enjoy from Hoozuki (himself as well as the show) is how it satires Japanese society and the Japan way of life. Everyone lining up very patiently for their small punishment (it really did look like a line for vaccination Karauri) is just such a Japanese thing to do! No one complaining or shoving, every one so civil… to get their tongues cut off (according to Hoozuki it grows back; small price to pay compared to eternity in hell I suppose). And there’s the sustainability and recycling talk from Hoozuki as he discusses the massive amounts of offerings they get now because of the population explosion (that ought to taper off as we go into the age of the aging population) – take a heartbreaking moment where a girl is mourning her uncle accompanied with rain and sad music, and spin it into using the potato chips she offered, to make the potato salad the 10 kings just enjoyed at dinner – well not so much now that they know the weepy story behind its origins. This show is perfect for cynics like me.