Maybe I’ve not noticed it before. It seems that in Hoozuki, both stories presented have a running theme between them. We saw that in previous episodes 09 and 10 and this episode is all about how outward physical appearances mean SO MUCH. Don’t kid yourself, looks and appearances do matter. Suzuki Tatsuhisa (Tattsun!) guest voices as the inch-high samurai to hilariously dramatic effect this week as we also get to see just what type of woman will capture Hoozuki’s heart!
What I love most about Hoozuki is its ability to take stereotypes on its head and to create its own version of politically incorrect versions of events. It’s done that to the image of idols, the way subordinates behave against their superiors etc. and now with heroes! Week after week it’s so cynical and dry that it cracks viewers up – at least it does for me. This week, the much loved fable of issun-boshi is the latest victim of HnR as the celebrated hero is painted to be a liar, thus eternally working in hell (Momotaro’s spot on about the irony that these 2 heroes who achieved such status from fighting demons, now end up working FOR demons LOL).
The story goes – so endearing to see Hoozuki’s love for animals depicted through his puppetry storytelling here, Issun-boshi the inch-high samurai, protected a beautiful maiden (the Prime Minister’s daughter) from an ogre by being swallowed and attacking it from within. As a reward, the maiden is betrothed to him although being only an inch-high, you can imagine the awkwardness of their wedding night. When defeating the ogre who (conveniently) abandoned a miracle mallet was used to turn Issun-boshi to normal human size. Happy ending right? Not.
As Hoozuki tells us later. Issun-boshi’s a devious liar. He tricked the PM with a single grain of rice (ingenious really) into banishing his daughter, with whom Issun-boshi zealously stayed by her side. But rather than suffer in eternity in hell, Issun-boshi’s punishment for lying was to work in Unpleasant hell where liars go to provide fungus with a place to grow; Momotaro’s visit was to get certain medicinal herbs that grow on liars… eww, because although he lied, the maiden didn’t really “suffer” and the whole ogre fighting chain of events did actually happen. But now Issun-boshi’s no longer Issun and other demons have been gossiping blatantly about him as a has-been who’s not as impressive as the hero everyone knew from folklore legends.
Isshun-boshin can’t stand the looks the other demons give him and wishes he can be reduced back to being inch-tall, as inconvenient as it might be because that was his main unique selling point! But he can’t. Because Enma accidentally sat on the mallet required for that. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA I LOVE SHEEPISH-LOOKING HOOZUKI! Tattsun does a splendid job of voicing OTT Isshun-boshin who has a massive complex about his now over-compensated height, sounding deranged and angry at the same time.
In the next story, we get to the unfortunate tale of sisters Iwa hime (Shouji Umeka) (Princess Rock) and Sakuya hime (Komatsu Mikako) (Princess Blossom). The name kinda says it all about their looks. After being rejected for marriage by Amaterasu’s grandson of all people in favour of her younger sister Sakuya, Iwa hates all good-looking people (Queen Bee syndrome lol) and often creates troubles when gorgeous people are around (“the uglier offering will please the mountain” haha). The pixie-sized cute tree spirit Kodama (Hirohashi Ryou) in charge of Mt. Fuji where Iwa hime resides, is fearful (Mt. Fuji might actually erupt) of the party they’re throwing because beautiful people will be everywhere. So he convinces Hoozuki-sama to come along, hopefully to appease Iwa hime because Hoozuki doesn’t care for looks right? Plus Hoozuki’s curious about the state of affairs in the forest what with the illegal dumping this generation gets up to (the sex-depraved pollen going crazy over mating season with pistils is hysterical!) and it’s about time he goes for an inspection.
Iwa hime lays eyes on Hoozuki and who won’t be smitten by those small slit eyes belying his sadistic demonic nature? Like a high school girl, Iwa hime blushes as Hoozuki stares at her. Why’s he staring? Because when he is exposed to someone worth reform, it excites him! I so get what you mean Hoozuki! So what type of woman does Hoozuki go for (on behalf of all viewers too because aren’t you curious?!)? Of course someone as perverse as he is – no interest in overly well-behaved women and someone who will drink up his concoction of brain-tissue miso soup with a smile on their face. Yup, brain-tissue miso soup. With a smile :) Any takers yet?