Hoozuki no Reitetsu Ends

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Hoozuki eyecatchHoozuki no Reitetsu (Crunchyroll) is a fine piece of work: a sharp-witted comedy with great artwork. (I’m talking about the drawings themselves. In terms of animation it’s fine but not striking.) If you are at all interested in Japanese folklore you should check it out.
Troublesome cat
You shouldn’t be intimidated if you don’t know too much about traditional Japanese folklore. This is not one of those anime comedies where you won’t get any of the jokes unless you are immersed in Japanese popular culture. In fact, many Japanese viewers don’t know all that much about traditional folklore, so the writers are careful to fill in enough context for each character that you can usually get the point of the joke.

Iron Amaterasu
Have you never heard of Minamoto no Yoshitsune? Some of the Japanese viewers may not have heard of him either (or at least may have forgotten which famous figure from the Genpei War he was.)
Yoshitsune (traditional)
So the writers quickly mention that he was a famous general who was betrayed by his brother and met a noble but tragic end. That should be enough to understand why it’s funny to portray him as a pretty boy who is sensitive about his feminine features.
(Though he was undoubtedly a real person, Yoshitsune also qualifies as folklore since he is the hero of many fanciful tales. Pop culture references often depict him as a bishounen though that surely is not historically accurate.)
When I compare this to Chuunibyou, the season’s other top comedy, I have to admit that I like Chuunibyou better, even though it is less sophisticated. Chuunibyou is mainly a slapstick-fest but it is warm and upbeat and really likes its characters. Hoozuki is witty and clever and erudite but…well, it’s set in Hell. The characters are not people that you would actually want to meet. The main character is certainly admirable in his own way, but not likeable.
Injured editor
Still if you appreciated a well-executed show, this is well worth the time.
Peach Maki