Anime: Haré+Guu

aka: Jungle Wa Itsumo Hale Nochi Guu

a.k.a. Jungle wa Itsumo Hare nochi Guu, Hare Nochi Guu, Hare+Guu, Jungle Hare Nochi Guu, Haré and Guu

Haré is a boy who lives in a jungle village with his young, slightly-alcoholic mother Weda. Life is good in the jungle, and Haré is a happy boy, until the day a monster eats him. He wakes up the next morning, uneaten and in his own bed. While he is wondering if it was all a dream, Weda announces that she has adopted a little girl named Guu. With her pink hair, shining eyes, and sweet smile, Guu charms Haré's mother — but when Weda's back is turned, Guu becomes a scowling dark presence that frightens Haré. Not only that, she is capable of swallowing anything she takes a fancy to — whole bananas, live birds, even people and landscapes — and Haré discovers that anything Guu swallows is still alive inside her, in a completely different world...

Haré's life turns into an endless parade of torments by Guu as he tries to keep her out of trouble, and find out what kind of creature she really is. This is all made rather difficult by the wide array of paranormal abilities she possesses, the bizarre supernatural events that happen around her, and her enjoyment in toying with Hare's neurosis.

Despite the apparent horror overtones, this is actually a rather wild and surreal comedy, kind of like the Cthulhu Mythos as written by Mel Brooks or perhaps Zucker/Abrahams/Zucker. It's filled with sight gags and absurdities (the "primitive" jungle village, for instance, is filled with all manner of conveniences such as a public address system and video games). Still, there are serious elements hidden behind the comedy — for instance, Haré is almost 10, and his mother is only 24, and he worries about why she moved to the jungle village. A severe Mood Whiplash results when it turns out Weda got pregnant ten years ago by a character who COMES BACK, making Haré realize he's been a bastard child all this time.

The Japanese title of the series, Jungle wa Itsumo Hare nochi Guu, is a rather elaborate pun that can be read several different ways, due to different readings of some of the words:

  • In the Jungle was Always Hare but then came Guu
  • The Jungle was Always Nice, Then Came Guu
  • The Jungle Is Always Sunny or Hungry

and the most obscure, a pun on a common phrase in Japanese weather forecasts:

  • The Jungle Is Always Clear, With A Chance of Showers
  • The Jungle is Always Clear, With Scattered Guu

(where "Hare" means "clear" and "Guu" means "showers").

Any way you read it, it means Guu is turning Hare's life upside down.

Haré+Guu provides examples of:

  • The Speechless: Two of the students. They're always seen in the background, and whenever one of them would speak, something seems to prevent us from hearing it.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Weda/Ueda, Leiji/Lazy, Hale/Hare, Goo/Guu, Uighur/Wiggly. In the manga, her name is spelled "Goo" in English.
  • Spoof Aesop: Frequently. And of course... it's usually Guu's doing.
    Guu: And today's lesson is... no underwear.
  • Stable Time Loop: Guu travels with Haré to the past, when his mother was young and frail, meets her outside the hospital, has a nice conversation with her, finds her dazzling, and uses "Amé" (Japanese for "rain") as a nickname. After he's back, he sees, that she named his newborn-sibling "Amé"!.
  • Super-Deformed
  • Super Mode: If pushed, Guu can transform into a much older, much more serious-looking, goddess-like version of herself. This happens very rarely and always heralds a serious asskicking.
  • The Sweat Drop
  • Teen Pregnancy: Weda, who is only 24. Though it turns out that it's actually played for drama; the implications of her age and how young she was when she became pregnant are, yes, taken seriously. The second time is shown not to be a big problem due to the whole village, Haré and Dr. Clive supporting her and her mother and even Bell, who has an lesbian crush on her, give the blessing to her wedding with Clive.
  • Tsundere: Rita.
  • Victorious Childhood Friend: Dr. Clive, Haré's father, did marry Weda, after he made her pregnant again.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: Guu can do this, apparently.
  • Vomit Discretion Shot: When Guuu boxed Haré in the belly to shut him up, he puked, but the puke was pixelized and his retching was replaced by some nice music.
  • Yandere: Yamada. She's introduced trying to kill herself in order to come back as a ghost to haunt the man who wronged her.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Weda and Haré, her son (Ame, her second son, too).

Alternative Title(s):

Hare And Guu, Jungle Wa Itsumo Hale Nochi Guu