Just as in this life, the afterlife needs a calm troubleshooter to deal with the bureaucratic headaches that come from keeping things in order. Enter Hozuki: a cool and collected demon who’s badly in need of a vacation.
"Dai! Jigo Jigo Bushi (大！地獄地獄節)" by Jigoku no Sata All Stars (Hiroki Yasumoto, Takashi Nagasako, Yumiko Kobayashi, Hiroki Gotou, Takashi Matsuyama, Satomi Sato, Yui Ogura, Atsumi Tanezaki x YOUR SONG IS GOOD)
Warning: the following review is also dedicated for those, who have not seen the first season yet. Cool-headed Hoozuki (鬼灯の冷徹) is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Natsumi Eguchi, which is, as of today, her only work. Hoozuki's Coolheadedness has been serialized by Kodansha in the magazine Weekly Morning since March 2011. Wit Studio (Shingeki no Kyojin, Mahoutsukai no Yome, Koutetsujou no Kabaneri) adapted the manga into a 2014 anime television series and three 2015 original animation DVDs (OADs). In 2017 Studio Deen produced an OVA and the second season of the anime series that started airing in October of the same
year. It is also worth mentioning that the manga and the anime have been featured at various times in weekly top ten lists of best-selling in their respective media.
Hoozuki's Coolheadedness centers on Hoozuki, who works under King Enma. It is possible to say that the Japanese hell only functions because of Hoozuki, who manages hundreds of demons, greets delegations from other hells, and keeps King Yama, focused on what he is supposed to be focused on. However, he is not the only one to accomplish such an uneasy task—manage the whole Japanese hell; he also has many companions to help him. Hoozuki is, perhaps, the most efficient bureaucrat in the underworld, who actually invented the system of the modern Japan’s hell. Hozuki's Coolheadedness season two answers many questions: including hell’s structure, Hoozuki’s childhood and many many more. (Side note: King Enma (the King of Hell, King Yan or Yanluo) is a wrathful god, who judges the dead. That mythological figure is also known in countries, where Buddhism is practiced, including: China, Korea, Japan, Vietnam, Bhutan, Mongolia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Myanmar and Laos).
Hoozuki no Reitetsu is massively popular in Japan; the manga regularly sells 200 000 plus per volume. That is why you might want give this show a try. It took some time for the next season to air, due to Wit’s being a huge ass and a director’s change. Anyways, here we are. Although, it was unclear which path season two is likely to follow, it turned out to be a pretty solid continuation of Eguchi Natsumi’s dark comedy work Cool-headed Hoozuki.
Animation wise, my biggest concern here was studio switch. There are some changes in season two, you will surely notice, but at the same time these minor changes are something too minor for you to notice. As you already know, Hoozuki involves Buddhism that is why the anime’s animation should be: rich, vivid, and colorful. And it manages to do so; many new characters are being introduced, many new types of scenery are being shown to the viewer and I dare say, Hoozuki is still the same as it was 3 years ago; somewhere even better than season one. Sound wise, nothing major to mention. Voice actors are still the same; opening and ending themes still have the same feeling as in season one. There are also many tracks that are heavily laced with folk elements and traditional Japanese instruments. They do help to dive in the atmosphere; however, you will hardly find anything memorable.
Perhaps, the best part about this show is its characters. The show follows two main protagonists, the first one being: Hoozuki, who is the chief secretary of the Great King. He is literally the only person to maintain order in a Buddhist hell. King Enma is the second main character of the anime. He is supposed to be the second man in hell: cold-blooded and a wise judge of the underworld; however, he is displayed as some dunce old man. In addition to this, Hoozuki no Reitetsu has also an ultra-rich variety of supporting characters, involving: Karauri and Nasubi. Their childish absurdity always creates some comic moments that will surely make you smile. Many new supporting characters are being introduced, including: Izanami, who is a goddess of both creation and death, Zashiki-warashi, who are gods that live in storage rooms; they also like pranks, and many others.
Anyways, for those who still have not seen the first season and are reading this review, I must say that Cool-headed Hoozuki is a very unique comedy, unique in a sense that it might be problematic for you to understand the humor. On top of that, the anime makes fun of Satan and Beelzebub. For instance, Satan is displayed as some horrific creature that acts like a princess. That being said, it might be popular among Japanese, but I do not think that this show might have the same popularity rate among the western viewers. Nevertheless, the show still has some good comedy in it. Cool-headed Hoozuki is also somewhat similar to Yondemasu yo, Azazel-san, Gintama, and Beelzebub. It is not a masterpiece of the comedy genre, but still is a good anime to kill your free time.
It's a very relaxing show that you can just pick up at any time of the day and still fully enjoy it. It teaches you abou mythology, mainly Japanese mythology in a funny and enjoyable way. The story centers on Hoozuki and his daily life, whether it's determining the fate of the deceased or giving tours of Japanese hell to foreigners there's always never a moment where I am bored.
The art is definitely unique unlike your traditional anime with fine line art, this anime combines both traditional japanese art styles and modern day animation to create an visual experience that seems almost normal to a
Each character has their own personalities and backstory, famous japanese folk tale characters make appearances through the entire the anime and befriend Hoozuki whether he likes it or not. I mainly really like the Dog named Shiro who is the pet of Momotaro an ancient japanese hero who set out to fight demons with a dog, monkey, and a pheasant as companions. Every character is special in their own way.
Overall, this show is just amazing and I think you should watch it as well.
Hoozuki no Reitetsu is a kind of anime where it gives you an introductory of Japanese mythology especially the Japanese underworld with a lighthearted-comedy punch into it. If you are interested in Japanese folklore and mythology, this anime can be a good start in having a crash-course introduction into it as the subject itself can be quite confusing and intimidating for someone without prior knowledge of it. However, the anime did not fail to give its viewers, regardless of their familiarity with Japanese folklore and mythology, a twist of comedy yet faithfully to the original folktales and mythical stories, to provide another way in enjoying
it. Hence, Hoozuki no Reitetsu is a refreshing approach on learning Japanese folklore and mythology.
The story picks up where the first season had ended. It retains its original storytelling style of comedic episodes with a central theme. Each episode is well-knitted to each other that the story's flow isn't disrupted and rushed. Moreover, the anime also did not fail to give its characters a new side of them that we did not see in the first season. The anime's second season revealed a lot of things about the characters in which it aids to the characters' development. We learned more about the Ten Kings and how each King conducted their trials.
Aside from teaching and introducing Japanese folklore and mythology, the anime also did not shy away from comparing Japanese mythologies with other cultures' mythologies. This is not a new thing for the anime as it is applied in the first season. Moreover, we could see a lot of similarities and differences in the world's mythologies. For instance, in that one episode, the deceased's trial and punishment in the afterlife is both presented in the Japanese and Egyptian mythologies. Hence, the anime itself, aside from branding itself as "entertainment," it did a little bit of comparative mythology (an academic field of studying mythologies wherein identifying the shared themes, motifs, and characteristics of the world's mythologies) in its own pace.
Moreover, the second season also added more information about Japanese Hell without summarising it too much that might lead oversimplification. However, the anime does simplified Japanese folklore and mythology; but the anime's production did an excellent job of trying to make it easier and simpler for both enthusiasts and the new viewers. Nevertheless, the anime did careful steps in presenting Japanese folklore and mythology without being lackluster and condescending.
Overall, the anime did a creative and entertaining way of presenting Japanese folklore and mythology in a more comfortable and lighthearted pace that will enjoy by both its' old and new audiences.
Long story short, I liked the first season more than this one.
Due to the genre - slice of life (in hell) - it is simply too uneventful at times.
The main gimmick of the season seems to be retelling of character pasts and re-imagining of japanese legends. Both of those kinda lack punch.
Although, I really enjoyed one of the episodes that displayed hell from its darker side.
The art is nice and more or less unique to this anime, however, those guys blatantly cut animation costs at every opportunity they get. It is not noticeable, but there are a lot of scenes with little movement in
it Still... in situation where something has to move, both art and animation are done very well.
One another noticeable thing is that this naime on occasion uses 3d graphics for certain scenes, and it is noticeable. But it is no worse than what was done in Overlord.
Story 4/10: Too prolonged and pretty much non-moving even for slice of life. I did like certain episode quite a lot, because they managed to portray supernatural better, but that's the extent of it.
Art: 6/10: Hoozuki has unique character style, which is nice to watch. The characters are well drawn, however the show definitely reduces animation costs when it gets opportunity. It is not easy to spot those moment,s htough.
Sound: 5/10 Doesn't really stand out in any way. First season's intro has more character in it. There are some big names among voice actors, for example Wakamoto. But.... it isn't areally special.
Character: 5/10: There's no character development of any sorts, they're almost static. A lot of scenarios revolve around characters talking to each other or retellign something, so there aren't many opportunities for them to display characters properly. Some are very stereotypical. Basically, they're mostly plot devices, so don't expect spectacular character development.
Enjoyment: 5/10. Maybe I'm getting too old for this, but I didn't have any strong feelings about this season. I really liked episode 10, but the rest didn't trigger any emotions.
Overall: 5/10. Decently done, with nice art, but by no means a masterpiece. Might be worth checking out if you have free time or really liked the first season.