ANIME & MANGA - Article
16:00 - 13th June 2014, by NEO Staff

Hozuki no Reitetsu

Incompetent bosses, distracted underlings, endless bureaucracy: life in a corporate environment can be hell. As it turns out, life in Hell is also a lot like running a company, and the demon Hozuki is very proud of his work. The studio behind smash-hit Attack on Titan invites audiences 'downstairs' to accompany the underworld's ultimate middle-manager in his duties!

Forget the idea of a single fiery abyss - Japanese Hell is very different to anything found in the Abrahamic faiths. Chiefly inspired by Buddhism, Japan's post-death basement is split into Eight Hot Hells and Eight Cold Hells. With 272 further sub-divisions, each offering a highly specific set of infernal punishments, there's a lot to do to make sure Hell runs smoothly. Enter Hōzuki, a sharp-minded, multi-skilled demon and major-domo to Great King Enma, ruler of the dead and judge of souls.

Although Enma is meant to rule the joint, his leadership and organisational skills leave something to be desired. Instead it's Hōzuki who single-handedly keeps everything running smoothly with his fierce dedication to the dark arts of office management. An average day includes dealing with labour shortages in 'animal torturer hell', where people unkind to animals get their comeuppance at the teeth and claws of angry critters; cleaning out the Sanzu River of wigs, watches, and other remnants from the world of the living; putting up with insurrections from dead folk heroes, and shepherding Satan - king of European Hell, of course - on a diplomatic tour.

Unfortunately, even if Hell is run like a business, it's not one where Hōzuki can simply delegate tasks to his subordinates. His chief caretakers, Karauri and Narubi, are bumbling idiots, his department heads are incapable of inflicting even the most basic of punishments without supervision, and the inter-faction politics between Heaven and Hell are just a colossal headache. If it weren't for those infuriating distractions, life in Hell might not actually be that bad!

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