My sister called me up one day while I was at school. I had been under a lot of stress, and I gave myself absolutely no time to do anything of enjoyment, only study. She called and told me that a new anime came out that would be right up my alley. So I decided I would exercise that day for 30 minutes and watch an episode. I fell desperately in love, and each day as I exercised i would watch one episode, giving me motivation to stay fit and having 30 minutes a day to myself.
-What is the anime about?
It is about Hell and the daily situations that occur. Basically Hell is run as a business, and the story revolves around the daily problems occurring and how they are dealt with.
-Who are the central characters?
The main character, and the one from whom the name of the anime is taken, is Hozuki. He is the deputy that runs hell like a strict business. He is a sadistic demon, cold blooded and a little cruel. Though on the other hand, he enjoys cute things, fluffy things, and gardening. He is very intimidating and good at almost everything. Another central character is Enma the Great King of Hell. He judges all that die and come to Hell. He is kind of a dunder-head and gets pushed around a lot by his ‘underling’, Hozuki. He is also Hozuki’s godfather. The next character is Hakutaku, a Chinese Celestial Beast. He is a pharmacist that lives and works in Heaven. He is also a notorious womanizer and rival of Hozuki. The cast also includes many other colorful characters that are all unique and interesting.
-How is the Artwork?
The animation style is purely breath taking. It is done to look like the sumi-e ink style artistry. It gives a very oriental aesthetic distinctively antique. Seeing as how a lot of anime are very ‘western-enthused’ with Victorian era styles and such, this attempt at traditional art is super wonderful. The monsters and other mythological creatures are kept ugly, not made to look ‘kawaii’ or extremely handsome (except for Hozuki). It is nice to be able to see a diversity in character design, culturally and in looks.
-What makes the anime awesome?
It alludes to many religions and mythologies around the world. Many episodes speak of Japanese myths, some mention Greek myths, Egyptian deities, and even Christianity is connected to this. Having so many references to other culture’s religions is a dream come true for myself. You learn so much, and the dark humor makes it even better. It is a comedy slice of life that focuses at a part of culture that is usually over looked as boring or old. The fact that this anime holds almost a magical realism (type of genre google it) is what attracted me. Some may not be able to find it funny, and much of the jokes need prior knowledge of legends or even bdsm to get (they make lots of sadism joke in this).
It is bizarre and lovely, but sadly for many it will be hard to appreciate because of the dry dead-pan humor and the fact that prior knowledge in cultures need to be known to enjoy it.