Oct 14, 2020
Go Nagai and Kazuo Koike's Hanappe Bazooka is a parody of Urusei Yatsura, if Rumiko Takahashi's classic series starred a radically sexualized version of Sirene (from Devilman), who was the heroine instead of Lum! The series is what would happen if Kekkō Kamen and an innocuous alien/space adventure anime, like TO LOVEる, did a fusion dance! A bizarre and vulgar action-packed series, that has a strangely cathartic ending that is as equally as surrealistic as Cat Soup, a.k.a. Nekojiru-sō.
⚠️ Beware! Go Nagai's Hanappe Bazooka is a short OVA entry, so there are going to be spoilers! ⚠️
Synopsis: Lecherous high school boy Hanappe is visited by
two demons who step from his TV and immediately fall in lust with his mother and sister. The demons turn Hanappe's home into a meeting ground for their demonic friends and grant Hanappe the power of the Hanappe Bazooka. Now his index finger is capable of both a deadly blast and the ability to drive women in a lustful frenzy, but Hanappe isn't very good at controlling it and winds up in serious trouble.
My first impression of the series wasn't the best, there is a carbon copy of Ataru Moroboshi (the protagonist from Urusei Yatsura), but who takes it a step further and is portrayed as a disgusting, chronic masturbator. Hanappe Yamada is then visited by two demonic aliens that ruin his life and turn everything around him into a hedonistic slew of mayhem and debauchery. The Sirene look-a-like (Dance Mephisto) turns Hanappe's younger sister into her BDSM slave, Bazooka Ophisto is sexualizing his mother. Not to mention that his crush, Etsuko Takayanagi, is sleeping with their teacher for good grades!
The saving grace of this series is the climax. The trip into space leads to Hanappe coming to terms with his interpersonal issues, after encountering a gigantic Hindu god ("The Spirit of The World Tree") and has his Ma'at measured on a scale. The series also lightly implies that Hanappe is intersex, because while his soul is floating through space, The Spirit of The World Tree has a scale that he falls between that is labeled with the sign of a male AND female. This may also imply that Hanappe's crisis is a result of gender dysphoria.
The character writing seems a little bit strange, Dance Mephisto is portrayed as a (masculine) lesbian-type of a character, but then it is also implied that she has feelings of intimacy towards Hanappe during the climax! It all seems to be emblematic of something that the author couldn't perfectly embody in the length of a single episode OVA. The correlation with transgenderism is no surprise though, almost all of the men in Cutey Honey are transgendered or crossdressers, and one of the most pitiable villains of all time (Ryō Asuka from Devilman) is a hermaphrodite.
If you have a low tolerance for ecchi, I would skip this one. But, if you want a strange and almost transcendental experience, I would give this one a go (no pun intended)!
Director... unfortunately a director is not credited for this one, the studio is Studio Signal. They are credited for doing other Go Nagai adaptations, the two most famous adaptations being: Kekkō Kamen and Shuten-dōji.
I will put green checkmarks (✅) by the seiyūs with the most roles, so I can keep track of their best performances, in my opinion.
Kappei Yamaguchi as Hanappe Yamada, notable roles:
* Takuya Enoki, Akachan to Boku
* Shō Hamara, Angel's Feather
* Vergil Strauss, Apfelland Monogatari
* Arslan, Arslan Senki (OVA) ✅
* Gokū, Asobot Senki Gokū, localized as Monkey Typhoon
* Keita Aono, Betterman
* Andropov, Blue Dragon
* Haruhiko Kazama, Boku no Chikyū wo Mamotte, localized as Please Save My Earth ✅
* Kenta Ochiai, Can Can Bunny Extra
* Hifumi Yamada, Danganronpa: The Animation ✅
* Retro, Dead Leaves ✅
* L Lawliet, Death Note ✅
* Shinichi Kudō (adult) and Kaito Kuroba, Detective Conan ✅
* Enma, Dororon Enma-kun Meeramera ✅
* Yorn, Eden's Bowy
* Tarō Raimon, Eyeshield 21
* Flappy, Futari wa PreCure ✅
* Daisaku Kusama, Giant Robo
* Tsutomu Yamaguchi, Gokinjo Monogatari
* Baki Hanma, Grappler Baki
* Ryūichi Sakuma, Gravitation ✅
* Yugo, Gunnm ✅
* Bass, Hōma Hunter Lime, localized as Jewel BEM Hunter Lime
* Feitan Pohtoh, Hunter x Hunter (2011) ✅
* InuYasha, InuYasha ✅
* Zenki, Kishin Dōji Zenki
* Wan Derbard, KO Beast
* Yattarō, Kyattō Ninden Teyandee, localized as Samurai Pizza Cats
* Sabato Rokudō, Kyōkai no Rinne, localized as RIN-NE
* Tombo Kapoli, Majo no Takkyūbin, localized as Kiki's Delivery Service ✅
* Usopp, One Piece ✅
* Kuma, Persona 4: The Animation
* Ranma Saotome, Ranma ½ ✅
* Ryū-ō, RG Veda ✅
* Shū Akiba, Slow Step
* Subaru Sumeragi, Tokyo Babylon ✅
* Saburo Tenma, Violence Jack
* Jin, Yū☆Yū☆Hakusho ✅
Commentary: Wonderful seiyū! Mr. Yamaguchi is really good at conveying a complexity of emotions, with his role in Go Nagai and Kazuo Koike's Hanappe Bazooka, he could easily switch faces between an insufferable pervert and an emotionally complex human being.
Miina Tominaga as Dance Mephisto, notable roles:
* Rasa, Birth ✅
* Marcia, California Crisis
* Astaris Vega, Cosmo Police Justy
* Karin Aoi, DNA2
* Maam, Dragon Quest: Dai no Daibōken (TV)
* Ritsu Sōma, Fruits Basket (2001) ✅
* Clare Barbland, Ginga Hyouryū Vifam 13
* Lin, Hokuto no Ken 2
* Miki Hosokawa, Jigoku Sensei Nube
* Noa Izumi, Patlabor ✅
* Persia Hayami, Mahō no Yōsei Persia
* Yahiko Myōjin, Rurōni Kenshin ✅
* Rollpanna, Sore Ike! Anpanman
* Yoko Kamiya, Tokimeki Tonight ✅
* Chibi-neko, Wata no Kuni Hoshi ✅
Commentary: Weirdly enough, I would probably compare Ms. Tominaga's role as Dance Mephisto to her role as Yahiko Myōjin in Rurōni Kenshin. I know that's it's strange to compare, but they both had the same sense of youthful, masculine energy.
Kenji Utsumi as Bazooka Ophisto, notable roles:
* Senbei Norimaki, Dr. Slump
* Shen Long, Dragon Ball ✅
* Alex Louise Armstrong, Fullmetal Alchemist ✅
* Yoisho, Gamba no Bōken
* Kenji Kamogawa, Hajime no Ippo
* Raō, Hokuto no Ken ✅
* Zodd Nosferatu, Berserk ✅
* King Morpheus, Little Nemo
* Braiking Boss, Shinzō Ningen Casshern ✅
Commentary: Mr. Utsumi evokes his goofy Armstrong voice to play the lecherous demon from outer space, Bazooka Ophisto! Truly talented seiyū! He passed away in 2013, but his legacy will always be remembered!
Yumi Takada as Etsuko Takayanagi, notable roles:
* Megumi Amano, Chōjin Densetsu Urotsukidōji 2
* Saya, Cosmic Fantasy
* Midori Yoshinaga, Crayon Shin-chan ✅
* Aeka Jurai Masaki, Tenchi Muyō! ✅
Commentary: After seeing her other roles, Ms. Takada's role as Etsuko Takayanagi makes sense, she's a sexy character and equally as haughty, like her role as Aeka Jurai Masaki in Tenchi Muyō!
Kikuo Inōe as The Spirit of The World Tree, notable roles:
* Belldandy, Aa! Magami-sama! ✅
* Uraha, Air
* Sailor Aluminum Siren, Bishōjo Senshi Sailor Moon: Sailor Stars
* Chitose Hibiya, Chobits ✅
* Sanae Furukawa, Clannad ✅
* Cécile Croomy, Code Geass ✅
* Rune Venus, El Hazard
* Lust, Fullmetal Alchemist ✅
* Medina La Lugensius Electra, Fushigi no Umi no Nadia ✅
* Eluza, Gall Force ✅
* Yayoi Sanzenin, Happy☆Lesson
* Macrophage, Hataraku Saibō (TV)
* Palm Siberia, Hunter x Hunter (2011) ✅
* Goei, Ikkitōsen
* Izayoi, InuYasha
* Mimori Seira, Kaitō Saint Tail ✅
* Alv Jenever, Kiddy Grade
* Grace O'Conner, Macross Frontier ✅
* Aina Sahalin, Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team
* Tomomi Yanagihara, Natsu-iro no Sunadokei ✅
* Mizuho Kazami, Onegai☆Teacher
* Misty May, Otaku no Video ✅
* Joy, Pokémon
* Branwen, Queen's Blade
* Kasumi Tendō, Ranma ½ ✅
* Nastassja Tolstaya, Senki Zesshō Symphogear
* Mirelia Q Melromarc, Tate no Yūsha no Nariagari
* Sephie Michaela Deviluke, TO LOVEる ✅
* Yukari Yakumo, 東方 Niji Sōsaku Dōjin Anime: Musō Kakyō ✅
* Tōsen Shimogamo, Uchōten Kazoku, localized as The Eccentric Family ✅
* Starsha, Uchū Senkan Yamato 2199 ✅
* Éléonore Albertine Le Blanc de La Blois de La Vallière, Zero no Tsukaima
Commentary: The Spirit of The World Tree is one of the staples of this series, so of course, the magnificent deity is going to be played by none other than Ms. Inōe! Her role in Hanappe Bazooka is similar to her menagerie of ice queen roles, like Grace O'Conner from Macross Frontier.
Conclusively, this OVA is what happens when the animators are given free rein to do something unique, unconventional, and erotic. It's not going to be for everyone, but the ending gave me clarity and rewarded me for not dropping the OVA earlier for its (more often than not) obnoxiously lewd content. Go Nagai and Kazuo Koike's Hanappe Bazooka is a solid 6/10, meaning that I plan to purchase a copy of it on Blu-ray!
What did you think of this review?