Hell is a bureaucracy and business is running smoother than ever thanks to the demonic efficiency of Hoozuki, the chief deputy to Lord Enma, King of Hell. Whether it be offering counselling to Momotarou of Japanese folklore fame or receiving diplomatic missions from the Judeo-Christian hell; the man who runs the show from behind the Lord Enma's imposing shadows is ready to beat down to a bloody pulp any challenges coming his way, metaphorically of course...
As the poster boy for micromanagement and armed with negotiation skills worthy of Wall Street, days spent troubleshooting hell with the sadistic and level-headed Hoozuki are never dull. Full of familiar faces from popular Japanese legends and East Asian mythology working middle management positions, this referential and anachronistic dark comedy set in the underworld brings new meanings to the phrase employer liability. Just how hard can it be to manage employees from hell anyway?
Hoozuki no Reitetsu follows Hoozuki, the second in command of Japan Hell. Characters and settings are all heavily influenced and taken from old Buddhist, Taoism, Chinese, Shinto, Japanese and what-have-you legends. If you are not familiar with them, be very prepared to have a terrible time. Otherwise, this manga is a genuinely enjoyable one. Through Eguchi Nastumi's own interpretation, she brings a comical twist to legendary folklore characters such as Momotaro, Hakutaku (BaiZe) and even Satan.
I would personally very much like to emphasize on the fact that your enjoyment of this series will be heavily downplayed if you do not even slightly comprehend Asian folklore
and cultural. Not just Japan, but China and a little of India too. The fact that this comic takes place in Japanese Hell should be a good enough indicator.
This manga is written in a gag style sequence similar to Gintama, if only less plot and less emphasis on arcs. The art itself is heavily influenced by old Japanese art, due to the Eguchi Natsumi having studied Japanese art in her University. In other words, if you come into here expecting the usual flare of Anime/Manga art of 201X era, then you would be disappointed.
As the focus is towards more to the gag nature, little actual fleshed out story and character development are present. That is not to say it has none; Hoozuki does eventually make more acquaintances and have more sadistic comical adventure as the series goes on. So everyone has different interpretation of their character development. Your millage may vary!
I would recommend this manga to anyone who found Saint Young Men or games like Devil Summoner interesting. If you are of an Asian descent or are interested in Asia Cultural and Mytho, give this series a spin.
Hoozuki is the Deputy Chief to the King of Hell and like most unfortunate secretaries; he does most of the organising and scheduling while also being responsible for unforeseen obstacles while his boss does very little indeed: the life of Hoozuki sounds daunting to say the least. However, unlike most people (because obviously he isn't most people: he's a demon), he doesn't get emotional or violently stressed out, he's just so chill that if you place a giant ice cube on top of his head, it would frost over. Anyways we follow the protagonist around Hell, watching him talk to subordinates and beat the crap
out of Momotaru.
Firstly, this is a gag Manga so you should expect a lot of tongue-in-cheek humour and (un)subtle name-dropping. It's supposed to be a light read, to cheer you up or whatever. I didn't think it was a light read, I thought of it as a random and incredibly superficial chapter-episode series that tried (at times) too hard to be funny. Maybe my light reads aren't titled as 'light-read gag Manga', maybe my light reads need actual plot line and some sort of consistency between chapters or maybe Hoozuki no Reitetsu is just not a very good LIGHT READ!!!
The story is filled with characters that are so STUPID, so utterly utterly STUPID that they just vex the reader to no end. It's just like your worst nightmare of being trapped in a room with drooling idiots had found its way onto paper. The main character had to survive in this literal and metaphoric Hell surrounded by these characters or other individuals that only had names and bodies. These names-and-bodies-only characters didn't even have a full square caption to speak: no, their dialogue is literally in the background (the font is in italics and its size is small). What development? THERE IS NO CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT!
The art was pretty good, except that I wasn't really into all the horned people (I mean Satanic much?) but considering that the main scene IS Hell, I sucked it up. I really liked the fact that all the characters had unique facial features (that they actually HAD facial features was a plus) and the fact that although the proportion was iffy, the illustrator had succeeded in creating a gothic element within the scenes. The illustrator also succeeded in portraying Hell as a place that is direly uncomfortable; the pointy rocks and biting cats and dogs pretty much suck.
However, all is not forgiven [even if I liked the art]. The author had such a good initial first chapter, where did it all go wrong? Why didn't the writer try to go for a plotline instead of just episodic gimmicky chapters? Why?!
**Audience: Calm down, Maz-Maz! Don't be so melodramatic.**
Now that I'm a little less hysteric, I'd like to say that no, I do not recommend this Manga for people expecting a consistent, logical plotline with depth and character development (it just wouldn't be your cup of tea). However, I'd encourage readers who like episodic Manga which have authors that don't expect any tenuous brain activity what so ever from the readers to read this Manga: I hope you enjoy it.
Am I the only think that this series is so underrated?
We must first know that this is a gag manga, SEINEN is clearly not for children under 17 years. Don't compare this with Gintama. Don't expect this is a light reading that can be consumed raw.
The initial concept that was brought alone was heavy, there was a mixture of information on various unique cultures and mythology that were presented as simply as possible so that it would be easier to enjoy it. Adult comedy, not forgetting the satirical element, I can't recommend this to just anyone.
I didn't find a mistake in this manga, everything was
organized, even though there was a slight flaw there were many reveres that were able to cover up so that it didn't become a big hole. The theme is not magnificent but very creative. What sets it apart is how this series can keep me addicted to reading again and again.
There are a few funny facts, I will not give directions and discuss about character development. No character development is a natural thing, because it depends on the theme and various factors that must be taken into account. If you look more at chemistry, then this manga can answer it well. There is such thing as connectivity between characters that gives the impression of being stupid which is interesting to see. I'm not lying, they interact smartly.
Let's look at the main character, Hozuki has a rough personality, but I always laugh with his stupid expression and the impression of might among others. I don't know what other people see from this series, on the one hand there are many elements that we often encounter but are presented in different ways.
It's completely in a nutshell. That's about living in hell.
I will not express a hatred but I strongly disagree with the low rating given, no, try to read first without being influenced by people. If you are the type who is easily offended for small things, maybe this will not suit your taste.
It's S-A-T-I-R-E. Actually, I was quite confused about how to express it, but the influence of demographics also had an impact on the material provided in it, which is why this series goes to the seinen magazine (adult only). You get the provision of religious-cultural knowledge and on the one hand consume satire jokes. When comparing it to Gintama, they are in a class that is not much different but the overall impression, it feels like the end is not the same as each other.
As for me, this is my best no.1 comedy manga so far. No offense, I truly enjoy every single thing in it. Gag isn't something you have to take seriously. Satire, sarcasm and whatever the name must be seen from a different perspective.Look at the bigger picture, every word, absorb it, enjoy it and that's how you survive reading this. I read until volume 26 and the plot got thicker and darker.
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