What’s it about ?
Adaptation of a comedy manga about hell bureaucrats.
Hoozuki, our protagonist, is a key member of Hell’s administration ; more specifically, he’s the guy who’s dispatched everywhere to deal with whatever problematic situations arise. It’s way less glamorous than it sounds, as the complaints are usually petty and/or misdirected. Still, that’s his job, and he accomplishes with imperturbable (but always slightly irritated-sounding) phlegm.
King Enma of Hell, his boss, is completely overwhelmed by all the complaints addressed to him, and is all too happy to offload the whole of them onto his subordinate. He respects his competence, and spends the second half of the episode trying to make some small talk with him.
Momotarou, the Peach Boy, invades Hell in the first half to kill some demons, with his three animal sidekicks in tow. (If you’re not aware, killing demons was his shtick over in his tale.) He thinks himself a man with a mission, but really he’s just embarrassing himself, and his sidekicks are tired of his antics. Hoozuki deals with him with barely any use of violence.
(Apparently, each episode will feature two independent tales.)
Well, it’s certainly got a distinctive artstyle, well-detailed and full of background jokes. It’s good at conveying how both alien and mundane Hell is, and that’s key for the joke to work.
On an intellectual level, I appreciate what this series is doing. It’s got a decent joke at its core, the dialogue is witty, and it looks like nothing else being aired right now. I had every reason to want to like it.
Unfortunately, it’s Very Japanese Indeed : it relies heavily on folklore and pop-culture jokes I have no familiarity with. As it is, I just can’t connect with it, and enjoy it ; I’m going to have to give it a pass.