Anime Vice News

HOZUKI NO REITETSU #1-3 -- Special Review

Do you think the afterlife just runs itself? Hell no! It takes dedicated middle managers like this unicorn dude!

Did somebody say... "weeaboo?"
Did somebody say... "weeaboo?"

SHOGUN’S NOTE: We’re still taking a break from our regular episode-by-episode write-ups in Watch & Learn to cover as many new shows debuting this season as we have time for. Read our blurbs on…

Hozuki is a bishi demon guy who is kind of a big deal in Japanese Hell. He's second only to King Enma, who passes judgement on the souls of the dead, and basically everyone runs up to him with whatever problems they have, like not having enough animal staff to attack the souls of animal torturers. To tell you much more—and thus inform you of HOZUKI NO REITETSU's story—would be a disservice to you as a viewer. It is best if you jump into it's surrealness headfirst and stare wide-eyed at just how banal torturing the damned can be when you have to deal with paperwork.

OK, fine, here's one thing: Satan comes to visit in the second episode.

Sure it's water cooler shop talk, but the cooler's actually full of human blood. Think of it as "slice of afterlife."

I get a real kick out of seeing the juxtaposition of the supernatural nature of the world with the utter mundanity of paper pushing and new employee training. It's sort of like if a Japanese person was told to make an anime based off Gary Larson's THE FAR SIDE cartoons. Everything is tinged with menace, even if you're just grabbing a quick bite to eat with the boss and discussing what's on TV.

Aw shoot, I gave you more details again. Sorry.

If there's one thing that may trip foreign viewers up, it's the fact that the show is obliquely Japanese. Characters reference particular show hosts and sub-divisions of Hell that even a rabid anime watcher would be scratching their heads over. I didn't find this too distracting. Indeed, quite the opposite; being out of my depth just made the experience that much more fun.

But that's just me. We want to know what YOU thought of HOZUKI NO REITETSU! You can watch the first episode here and leave a comment about it in the talkback below.

About the Author

Matt Murphy is a freelance nerd who has contributed to many nerd websites. You can reach him by going to where the light meets the shadow, by sending out zeta-brainwaves or by following him on Twitter @Murphix.

zaldaron Jan. 29, 2014 at 7:43 a.m.

So its like a work sitcom like perhaps the office....except the office is in hell and your boss is the Japanese Satan...I'm intrigued...

Kuma_From_Argentinaon Jan. 29, 2014 at 9:48 a.m.

I love the opening... I love the show

Murphix staff on Jan. 29, 2014 at 1:15 p.m.

@Kuma_From_Argentina: The opener is hilarious and gorgeous! I love the sort of "watercolor come to life" feel the whole show has, sort of like the much beloved OKAMI games.

Kuma_From_Argentinaon Jan. 29, 2014 at 1:26 p.m.

@Murphix: The song is so damn catchy... I cant stop humming it

zaldaron Feb. 25, 2014 at 6:50 p.m.

This is truly truly weird...you need to do a watch and learn of this one. The first episode makes me want to definitely keep up with it as time allows. Added to que. Defiantly need a cheat sheet though for all the references...and on the first episode second half - how does a demon from hell win a contest...and from the first half....heaven has tourist traps?? And boy is the relationship between heaven and hell rather more cordial than I would expect...

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