I’m glad I don’t have to work on this series’ marketing campaign for Sentai Filmworks, because I wouldn’t want the job of trying to sell this series for all the caterpillar fungus in China. I have a suspicion anyone still watching it is pretty much bought into the sheer strangeness of it, so even as a blogger there’s no point in trying to plead the case. But I’m glad Japan exists, because this is the sort of series it’s hard to imagine coming from anywhere else.
The first part of this episode continues to play with the theme of Hoozuki and Hakutaku’s similarities. Visually I still don’t see it all that much, but the point was certainly driven home that they have a similar approach to their work. That said I still think Hoozuki no Reitetsu is winking ironically a bit when it focus on this topic so intently, because personality-wise these two could hardly be more different. Witness Hakutaku and his “wide strike zone” when it comes to the ladies. And it’s hard to imagine Hakutaku taking the kind of pleasure from trolling Hoozuki that Hoozuki does in trolling him – such as siccing “Cow-head” on him, with the reasoning that if he likes big oppai four should certainly be even better.
This whole episode does a pretty good job of hammering home the fact that while Hoozuki is a competent and responsible manager, he’s a right bastard who’s working in the right place. The first chapter starts off with him chopping up one of the damned for his nabe pot, and his take on the old “Sports Day” trope in the second is one of the most sadistic things I’ve seen in anime for a while. He replaces the starter’s pistol with a bazooka, stocks the scavenger hunt with humiliating (especially for besotted Karauri) challenges and uses the losers as props, suspended over a pot of boiling oil in the “Pythagoras Ball” game (overseen by last week’s sadistic tanuki-killer of a bunny). He even stages dog fights – which is pretty edgy territory – and imports Cerberus from Euro-Hell to take on our old friend Yashi-Yaichi (who forfeits when he gets a look at the opponent, citing the fact that Cookie is already pregnant with his puppies).
Of note in the sports festival is the fact that Nasubi is fast revealing himself to be the “Schlemiel” of the newbie minion pair – he’s definitely a guy who spills the soup, but it’s poor Schlimazel Karauri who’s going to get it spilled on him. I suspect Nasubi is one of those amiable airheads for whom the Japanese proverb “Baka never get colds” was written. Naturally he wins the scavenger hunt when his assignment is to grab someone’s wig – which Nasubi doesn’t hesitate for a moment in doing. The aforementioned “Pythagora Switch” is definitely the highlight of the festival – which turns out to be just the rehearsal for the real thing the next day.