Welcome to another new type of article by Honey’s Anime. It’s no surprise that there are shows out there that fans love to watch and enjoy that seem to fly under the radar. Or worse, shows, seasons, and even years, that you miss as they fly right by as you suffer from Anime Burnouttm. The worst part too, is when new seasons come out or are announced, you feel conflicted because you want to watch the new season and tell yourself that you are going to catch the previous season, but then you never do, or you forget that you said you would. The show airs, and then while everyone is talking about how great it is, you are either salty because you are missing out, or you are weeks behind as you try to rush through the previous season or seasons to catch up. Myself, I suffered from Anime Burnouttm and missed out on what appears to be a cult hit. I took a few years off because of life and moving to Japan. That stops today though.
Hoozuki no Reitetsu (Hoozuki’s Coolheadedness) may not be a blockbuster hit, but it has a 7.85 on MAL, a rare feat in and of itself since the anime community tends to like nothing unless it is action or shounen in some way, a slice of life romcom, or one those very few shows that hit it out of the park each season (Have you seen Kakegurui yet? No, seriously, have you seen it?). Hoozuki no Reitetsu is littered with favorable reviews as well on MAL which means it cannot be complete garbage right? The other item I have noticed is that no one really drags it no matter where you are online. Hoozuki no Reitetsu has either flown under the radar of enough anime fans to avoid their wrath, or just maybe, the show is good. I don’t know though. There is no way to know other than to watch it. So here we go. Twice a week, I am going to watch this show and see what it is worth. With it being just .02 points shy of Space Dandy, sharing the same rating as Nisekoi, and beating out Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai!, D-Frag!, and Hamatora which are all very popular anime, Hoozuki no Reitetsu must have some redeeming qualities. Let’s see, let’s try and give it a shot. If you are now watching it too, are going to start, or just want to re-watch it, let’s try each week to give a few episodes a shot and see what we like and don’t like about it. Let me know what you think down below too as we try this out.
Let’s Dive on In!
Episode 1: This Is Hell. Let’s Settle It With Violence.
Hell has a lot of levels. 8 levels of greater and cold levels and then another 272 subdivisions beyond that. Hell is busy and Hoozuki is running around doing inspections. The poor guy(? demon? being?) cannot even get a break as during inspections he is currently on, he is being called for more help with other inspections. Momotaro has arrived in Hell is only here to raise hell, but his assistants are almost done with working for him. He challenges Hoozuki to a duel and sends out Shiro the dog first, but Shiro is taken out almost immediately. Kakisuke comes out next swinging, but is sent packing immediately too. Lurio goes out next, but has his pride shattered by Hoozuki with a single sentence. With one swing of his club, Hoozuki destroys Momotaro’s sword as well and after accepting defeat, they are all offered jobs in Hell under Hoozuki. The animals go to work in Animal Abuser Hell torturing people who tortured animals in real life and Momotaro goes to work in the peach fields that were short on help. Later, Hoozuki is having dinner and apparently, there is TV in Hell. While eating, Hoozuki talks with the King of Hell, Enma. Hoozuki likes animals and so when he goes to the real world, he goes to zoos and then expenses everything to Hell. The topic then turns to pets. The Lord of Hell thinks about what kind of pet Hoozuki would have and is terrified. However, Hoozuki has the goldfish plants, so for the time being, nothing terrifying is coming to Hell. There is a contest each year to showcase the best goldfish plants and Hoozuki is a judge. After this, Hoozuki says he wants a woman who can handle a lot, including smiling while being strangled by an andaconda, and his unchanging face. He wins a trip at the end of the episode to Australia and go see Ayers Rock and hilariously refuses to take the King of Hell with him.
My Thoughts: I love how the OP is just them singing about Hell and being happy about a place that is supposed to be a place of eternal suffering. Momotaro is an idiot and I really hope characters like him keep coming back. Settling everything with violence seems to be a great precedence and oddly everyone is happy with the outcome that happens there. WTF are goldfish plants and how do I get seven? They look hilariously horrifying. Apparently, they can get to 3m or 10ft tall. Hoozuki is changing thoughts so rapidly while keeping the same tone and it’s actually pretty funny as well. His idea of a date is going to a cemetery. I have to say that even though this is episodic, I am really happy that I am breaking these up.
Best Part: The best part of this episode has either been how serious Hoozuki is about going on the trip and not taking the Lord of Hell Enma, or the part where Momotaro is set on not fighting, but Hoozuki cuts him off and says “This is hell. Let’s settle it with violence.” I like it so far.
Episode 2: The Japanese Version of Hell Runs Like a Company.
This episode opens with an underwear song that is pretty funny. A demon is singing it as he and another demon clean up around the river Styx and some crabs are freed from a wig. The song is the main part of the episode where it we learn that it is from Italian. We get a lovely introduction from Hoozuki who then chides them about not talking while working. When they go to hell, people leave watches, money, glasses, and wigs... which end up on the river Styx. The Australia story continues from the last episode as Hoozuki has brought the king back a souvenir! Then the conversations turns to the history of underwear. Apparently, we used to wear tiger skin as underwear in parts of the world.
Now we get to meet Satan?! Apparently, he is coming to see Japanese Hell and see what it is like. He is in control of the European Hell. Hoozuki will guide him around in lieu of Enma. Hoozuki shows him the scalding cauldron which is apparently famous around the world, but Enma has fallen in. Hoozuki tells him off, beats him, and in the process, terrifies yet bewilders Satan. They then go to Animal Cruelty Hell. Meeting the dog from the previous episode, he calls Satan, Santa, and bites his hand. Seeing Hoozuki’s goldfish plants, he is put off by them greatly and then has to eat one for dinner. Ironically though, Satan turns into a fountain of light and enjoys dinner greatly. That is until he sees Hoozuki’s medicine scrolls and screams running for his life thinking that Hoozuki is going to behead him.
My Thoughts: I really like how weird everyone is while Hoozuki is the same, unchanging, cold character. It makes for good laughs because you do not know what is going to come next to challenge Hoozuki’s level-headedness. The ED changed for the 2nd Episode which makes me believe that it is going to each time. Not bad since there are so many stories told each time. I hope snake kimono lady comes back and is either so terrifying that Hoozuki is scared of her, or she is just over the top funny. I did not laugh as much as episode one, however I still found this episode enjoyable.
Best Part: The best part from this episode was the old hag who wanted a raise and then decided the best way to do it was to put out a photobook. Sure, there should be a market in Hell, BUT W H Y. I don’t need that mental image. It did make for a good laugh after I washed my brain in bleach.
Episode 3: Even a Noble and Mythical Beast Cannot Escape Divine Wrath!
The three former allies of Momotaro have come to find Hoozuki at work for some advice on a wedding gift, but he is taking the day off from pulling an all-nighter. This leads to King Enma suggesting that they get a peach of immortality. The three animals still want to ask Hoozuki and King Enma advises them that Hoozuki is a demon when you wake him up. They go anyway, and while failing to be quiet, they wake him up. No impaling occurs though as Hoozuki is actually very calm and gets ready. The animals invite him to Shangri-La to see Momotaro and the medicine man to get a peach of immortality.
After arriving, we learn that Hoozuki and the medicine man named Hakutaku have a massive rivalry and actually look somewhat alike. In typical anime fashion, Hakutaku is Chinese, a lecher, and tries to do in Hoozuki with some poison. Hakutaku agrees though to sell Hoozuki some ginseng and goes to fetch it. However, there is a hole that Hoozuki has dug causing Hakutaku to fall from heaven, through the earth, and down into hell. After getting back they leave and the animals ask King Enma about the history of the rivalry. The two were judges at the Olympics of hell between Japan and China and they made a bet on the chest of a woman. If the next one they saw has a chest bigger than 85cm, then Hakutaku would win and less meant that Hoozuki would win. Well… wouldn’t you know it? They could not tell the gender of the person who came out. Hoozuki claimed the next person which meant he won and Hakutaku refused to accept it until it could be proven. For 1000 years they have kept up this rivalry till now. King Enma summons the individual in question who reveals that they are transgender and have not transitioned. However, neither accepts the outcome.
My Thoughts: The rivalry is funny and I enjoy it a lot. This is that umpf that Hoozuki as a series needed to make me laugh while watching. Sure, the stereotypes could have been skipped, but admittedly they are humorous at the same time. I really hope that Hakutaku keeps coming back to mess with Hoozuki over the little things because they have good chemistry on screen. I was glad to see the return of Momotaro as well…Until he did nothing. The animals were a nice touch though for sure.
Best Part: The running Ghibli Freak comment that started when Hoozuki crushed Hakutaku’s hand. Also, it was hilarious to see how bad Hakutaku was at Chinese for supposedly being Chinese.
Episode 4: We All Have a Little Darkness in Our Souls.
This episode opens up with Hoozuki going to visit the Karasu Tengu Police when he runs into Shiro the dog. They decide to take an oni taxi which looks like an old Japanese cart with a demon face on the front that talks. Apparently, they are popular in hell like the catbus from Totoro. This leads to the theory that it really is a Shinigami! Kidding. On the way, the cart tells the story of a woman who had a near death experience and the lantern within the cart begins to talk saying that she was in love with someone. Turns out he is in front of them in the other taxi. Stricken with love, the lantern rushes to him and tells him that he is 100 times more handsome than Hoozuki. This infuriates Hoozuki and he knocks them both out of the sky with his club.
Next, we catch up with Hoozuki who has just met Yoshitsune, a hero in hell who is in charge of the Karasu Tengu Police squad. This was what they originally were coming to do. He tells Hoozuki he wants to be a sumo wrestler to which Hoozuki throws him in a sumo fashion and he is freaked out.
The second half of the episode is about lazy demons who bother Hoozuki. So, he gathers them all up and selects them for re-training which includes a written report at the end. They go around visiting various levels of hell before stopping at the Lake of Blood. The spider thread comes down from heaven to offer these sinners a second chance, but Hoozuki slices it with scissors and says that a demon’s job is to make humans despair. Forget the mercy and benevolence. They reach the final level of hell which is so bad, that it is completely blurred out. After that, they meet a rabbit who, as revenge, had killed a tanuki who had murdered someone they knew. Hoozuki has her speak about various techniques and reveals that her trigger word is “Tanuki”. By referring to the sinners as sly badgers, Hoozuki makes her snaps, and she goes berserk and all out against all of these sinners. She says “We all have a little darkness in our souls” to justify her actions. The goal was to teach the lazy demons about how to be eviler.
My Thoughts: This episode was amusing to see Hoozuki snap at the beginning, but the first half is really forgettable as the rabbit really stands out in the latter half. Going from a rabbit, back to a torturous punisher and then back to a rabbit doing rabbit-like things is a really funny jump. The second half of the episode greatly overshadowed the first half.
Best Part: The freaking Ghibli joke is back again! The catbus is apparently an idol in Hell which means that, at least to this author, the catbus is a shinigami. I’ll take it. It’s pretty funny.
Episode 5: They Are in Perfect Synchronization.
The curtain rises this time on Hakutaku and Hoozuki both trying to make some sort of stew/medicine. Hoozuki is making an evil one while Hakutaku is trying to make a good one. The theories behind them are the same and we see that there are multiple methods and reasons to making them. However, both realize at the same time that they are missing something for their concoctions and need to go to the gates of Hell to get it. The animals greet Momotaro, but Hoozuki just decks Hakutaku straight in the face. We then learn that the guards of the gates of hell are a massive cow being and a massive horse being. Both are ditzy females that are in perfect synchronization and Hakutaku is trying to run for his life after Hoozuki sics the cow being on him and she crushes Hakutaku. They continue to argue and the ladies say that Hakutaku and Hoozuki are in synch. Both proclaim angrily that they are not, get what they came for, and leave.
The second half of the episode is about a Sports Day in Hell. It’s been taken to the extreme by Hoozuki who says this is to toughen demons up. The starting pistol is a bazooka shocking those in the scavenger hunt. The scavenger is not like “find a green hat” or “bring someone who has water”, but rather is savage with cards likelike “find the person you are in love with, a boss you hate, a superior who dresses poorly,” and more. We then see the events spiral out of control as Hoozuki has created extreme events. The final one uses the losers from other events and hangs them over a boiling pit of oil. Those at the top have to race a massive boulder to the bottom where the losers are hanging. At the last second, the rabbit assassin from a few episodes ago lights the boulder on fire. When everyone looks like they are going to lose and be burned, Hoozuki reluctantly hits away the boulder with his club before saying “Alright everyone, from the top once again. I want to be ready tomorrow.”
My Thoughts: They are really keeping the characters all coming back that they introduce and it’s kinda cool. I really like the twisted rabbit coming back to be part of an event as well as lighting the boulder on fire. The rivalry of Hoozuki and Hakutaku is comedy gold though.
Best Moment: When the horse and cow demons comment that Hoozuki and Hakutaku are in snych and they both scream that they are not. Their banter back and forth is really funny and Hakutaku is providing good comedy.
Halfway Mark Start!!
Episode 6: Everyone in This Carriage Probably Believes It Pooped out Your Face. *Hands Go Up*
This halfway mark episode opens with the idol Peach Maki. However, like all idols, when things do not go her way, she explodes, and this time it is on a cute cat writer named Nekomata. He gets a harebrained idea to interview Hoozuki for his gossip magazine. There is one problem; Hoozuki does not want to be interviewed nor photographed. However, Hoozuki eventually relents and the cat begins to shadow him for a day. Hoozuki does his mundane work and the cat gets bored. So, Hoozuki takes him on a tour where they run into the animals from Momotaro. Terrified that he is being cheated on, the dog Shiro worries so much, but ends up playing with the cat just like a dog would. Hoozuki agrees to the photo and Nekomata gets one with the old lady who wants to strip as jumps into a hottub the background. Hoozuki leaves for his next appointment which is Animal Cruelty Hell. He ends up sitting next to Peach Maki who has a peach on her head that looks kinda like poop. Oblivious to whom Hoozuki is, she just keeps blabbing on about strange things. They arrive at Animal Cruelty Hell. They wait, but Hoozuki gets belted with something and while Peach Maki takes out her anger on the woman who did it, Hoozuki ends up binding her in very tight ropes. Something clicks and Peach Maki is now terrified of Hoozuki.
In the latter half, we finally meet Beelzebub, servant to Satan of European Hell. He is here in Hell at the airport and Hoozuki is security. Sadly, their humor and mentalities are complete opposites and they rub each other the wrong way. After a lot of back and forth talking about Hoozuki who worked his way up in Hell versus Beezelbub who was given the position, Beezelbub leaves. We are suddenly in Beezelbub’s castle and Hoozuki shows up. Nonplussed, Hoozuki is here to sign something and then leave. As he leaves, he asks why everyone is dressed as a maid and Beezelbub explains it is what Satan wants. Satisfied, he leaves, but we learn that Hoozuki does actually like maids over miniskirts. After a unique acceptance of people other than heterosexuals, per Hoozuki’s statement, they oddly bond over it all and Hoozuki leaves. They both now like each other in their joy of maid outfits.
My Thoughts: This one was a bit of a milder episode since we needed a bit of plot. I was surprised to see Hoozuki making a poop joke. Beezelbub bonding with Hoozuki, after being roasted by him, was actually funny and cute at the same time. The final line though that Hoozuki said about not all people being into female maids was pretty cool and definitely made me raise my eyebrows. Rock on Hoozuki.
Best Moment: The best moment this time was when Hoozuki and Beelzebub went Tit for Tat against each other putting down the other for either being a self-made politician or a career politician.
Episode 7: I Am Ninja. This is Shugyou (Training)
Opens with the two little boy demons doing laundry. They realize that they want to go on a tour of Mortal Hell aka the Hell for perverts and sexual deviants. They go to ask Hoozuki and he agrees to take them. Once just outside, Hoozuki reveals that you need to be tempered and focused to work here as 80% of the demons here are women. Men tend get burnt out. The group runs into Ookou-san who offers to show them around, but Hoozuki insists he be the one to show them. She convinces him to let her lead. While explaining the various levels of Hell, she reveals that they have made an all-woman torture team. The small demon reveals that he is into being humiliated and tortured by women and they test out their tricks on him, to which, he falls for immediately. He’s a total pervert.
The second half of the episode is about Enma, the king of Hell as he judges people… or not. While carrying some paperwork, he throws out his back. Hoozuki decides that he will perform acupuncture on the king in order to help. Terrified he is going to die for real, the king calls out for help. Suddenly, the Momotaro animals show up. The bird sits on his back and we ~magically~ have animal therapy. Hoozuki then moves on to Shiatsu, but ends up hurting the king more and more. The focus returns to a mirror that reflects what people have done in the real world. The use it in judgement, and we learn that it is very sensitive when it comes to jumping around a person’s life. It’s like a VCR that moves around too quickly. Hoozuki shows himself to the animals in Australia domesticating the Tasmanian devil. He also wears a hat to hide his horn and ears, telling people that he is a ninja and the weebs suck it all up. Finally, Hoozuki ends up convincing the king to go for acupuncture and he agrees. Then with electricity, Hoozuki shocks the snot out the king and kicks him. The slipped disk goes back into the right place and magically king is better. The animals watch Hoozuki pet a koala. Hoozuki offers to pet the animals which terrifies them to no end.
My thoughts: For a midway point, I found this episode a bit slower than the others. It was even slower than the plot episodes we have had up to now and lacked laughs. Sure, the humor was there, but something about the delivery was not as funny this time around. I would put this at the worst episode thus far. Though that being said, the series is well-done overall and I really like it. If you are exacting a roller coaster of humor this episode, maybe this is the one to skip.
Best Moment: I was going to go with when Hoozuki calls the small demon a Volvox, which I had to look up. Hint: it’s a kind of algae. However, the part where they make fun of weebs with his bit about the hat was hilarious and actually funny this episode.
Episode 8: I Call It, “Vegetables and Fresh Seafood Intermingled With Deep Black Hell’s-”
Koban the journalist is back. Basically, his stories have all been flops so his boss sends him out to follow up on Peach Maki. His boss was also injured after he threw himself off of his cat tower after seeing the naked older woman. Koban prepares by watching the new Single/DVD from Peach Maki, but he and Peach Maki are both unimpressed with what she has made. Hoozuki ends up coming to the studio where she is because he wants to hear her sing… only to break down and predict her rise to fame as well as her future where she fades into obscurity.
Koban shows up and teases her about talking to man, but one deadly look from Hoozuki makes him cough up blood from his ulcer. Koban smells a scoop and tries frame Hoozuki and Peach Maki as being a couple. Hoozuki gets pissed and not only erases all of the photos on his phone, he also exposes the film in his camera causing him to snap. Koban snaps and is ready to take down Hoozuki. Hoozuki has not left though. He overhears it all and threatens him. We then see the nudist older lady has made a photobook and sends it to the Koban’s head editor who ends up injuring himself again.
The two little demons Nasubi and Karauri are back. Apparently Nasubi is a bit down because he cannot create something with that something extra. Through conversation, we learn that unexpectedly, he is very deep and talented at art. Hoozuki comes to visit him and sees all of the art he has made and is moved. We get a good dig at Hakutaku and it is really funny about poor art skills. We learn though that since he cannot afford Aquamarine paint, because it uses Lapis Lazuli in it, he has found some cursed rock and turned that into paint. Hoozuki decides to commission Nasubi to paint a mural that is fading fast at his home. Hoozuki gets the paint ready and has Nasubi paint while Karauri helps. Hoozuki reveals that Hokusai is not only popular in Hell, but he was the original painter of the mural. So Nasubi has just painted over a national treasure like it was nothing. The sun in the mural comes to life as we learn that since Hoozuki assembled the paint, he had Nasubi use the cursed paint to get it all together! The sun now comes out of the wall in a menacing manner and bites Enma on the hand. Hoozuki decides to make it an attraction because he is so impressed.
My thoughts: This episode was a lot better than the previous one and was pretty funny. Watching Peach Maki and Hoozuki together really shows that they have good chemistry and
he terrifies Koban. The second half was amusing as well. We got plot, but it did not feel like plot. It was an interesting facet to the smaller two demons Nasubi and Karauri.
Best Moment: When Hoozuki tells Karauri that the original painter of the wall mural was Hokusai and he just had Nasubi paint over it. He tells him in a deadpan, straight face and his timing is perfectly hilarious.
Halfway Mark Finish!!
Episode 9: If This is Supposed to Be a Sea Anemone Covered with Human Faces Having Their Souls Gouged Out of Them, It’s a Great Drawing.
Good Ole Hakutaku is back this time and it seems he is hung over. After insulting Momotaro, Hakutaku decides to go to mortal hell to drink. However, Hoozuki has beat him there! It seems that he and the king are here drinking and eating. Hoozuki is also miserable because he cannot stand spicy foods which sends Hakutaku on a trip to tease him. They start to trade blows until it kills the mood and O-koh has to break them up. We then get a Chinese history lesson on evil women. Apparently one of the evil women even came to Japan and seduced an emperor. She then came to Hell and now runs a fancy brothel. Apparently Hakutaku slept with her the night before.
Alcohol is what makes those with cool heads lose their cool. We are back to the restaurant where everyone is blasted. Something is going on in the Screaming Hell. The dead have stolen alcohol from Orochi and are singing about going to Heaven. Hoozuki blasts off to punish them leaving Momotaro, Hakutaku, and Enma behind at the izakaya. Screaming Hell is losing its mind as everyone is drunk. Hoozuki is berating Orochi for the fact that it brought alcohol into hell. After more stories about mythological beings, Hakutaku offers a waterfall of alcohol for rent which magically pays his bill from last night. Forcing people to drink ends up making them be terrified and the dead chill out. Hakutaku turns back to his old, womanizing ways and we are out of this level of Hell.
My Thoughts: Finally, Hakutaku gets another minute! I am so glad too that the running jokes of his atrocious art skills as well as his womanizing and alcoholism have come back. He and Hoozuki really do have magic and I would watch a whole episode of them just trading blows.
Best Moment: The best moment is when Hakutaku is being an ass to Hoozuki about spicy food then finishing it all by offering to take him on a tour of Sichuan, aka the land of hot food in China.
That's All For Now!
Come back for more later this week! Let me know if you are watching with me and let’s chat about it below!