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Manga / Hozuki's Coolheadedness

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"Attention: This manga is fiction. However, Hell may actually exist. Please take care to live an upstanding life."

A supernatural dark comedy manga by Natsumi Eguchi, which ran in the Seinen magazine Morning from 2011 to 2020. An anime adaptation ran as part of the Winter 2014 anime lineup.

Hozuki's Coolheadedness (Japanese title: Hoozuki no Reitetsu) takes place in Hell, which consists of eight fiery Hells and eight icy Hells, further split into 272 subdivisions. The manga focuses on the daily life and often silly trials of Hozuki, aide to Yama, the bumbling Great King of Hell. While Hozuki is calm, sadistic, and often frightening to deal with, his hobbies include watching nature documentaries, reading books about animals, taking vacations to Earth to visit the zoo or Disneyland, and his top priority, cultivating goldfish plants.

Tropes appearing in this series:

  • An Aesop: The second half of the first episode focuses a lot on how people should respect the Earth and treat animals with kindness.
  • Credits Gag: Episode 13's ending credits are missing the two panicked Goldfish plants... because Hozuki caught them and turned them into juice.
  • Crossover: With Onmyōji (2016); Hōzuki, Okō, Peach Maki, Karashi and Hakutaku make an appearance in the game, with the former 4 released as obtainable shikigami.
  • "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: The season 1 OP is sung by the entire workforce of Hell.
  • Exalted Torturer: The exact description of the main characters' occupation. There are even extra courses on torturing for employees who are judged to be not torturous enough.
  • Fantastically Indifferent: Every official of Hell is like this in their own way.
  • Flower Motifs: Hozuki is a name for the plant Physalis alkekengii, or "Chinese Lantern". They pop up as decorations here and there, and Hozuki's apartment is indicated by a picture of a Chinese Lantern on the door.
  • Funny Background Event: People being tortured in the background with everybody in the foreground completely ignoring it.
  • Gag Series
  • Genius Ditz: Nasubi, ditzy and childish though he may be, is a highly skilled artist and, when describing a random sketch he made to Hozuki, can readily name the styles involved. Hozuki likes his work enough to commission him to decorate a wall whose mural was crumbling from age.
  • Glory Days: Momotaro tries to relive the legendary part of his life by making troubles with the oni of Hell. The administration doesn't take kindly to his antics, since said oni are a completely different breed from their troublemaking brethren on Earth.
  • A Hell of a Time: The section of Hell for wanton alcoholics suffers from this, with the damned simply lounging about and drinking to excess. This is fixed by turning it into an endless office drinking meetup, where they're essentially force-fed booze by their manager.
  • Hypercompetent Sidekick: The eponymous character. While Hell won't fall apart simply from his absence, he has skills far exceeding what is required for his station.
  • Ironic Hell: How the place works. For example, if you were extremely mean to animals in life, you go to hell where animals torture you. Momotaro's companions get a new job to that division of Hell.
  • Killer Rabbit: One of Hell's most ruthless minions. She reacts to the word "tanuki" and vents stress from deep in her psyche...
  • Laser-Guided Karma: The story revolves around the daily life of the people doing the laser-guiding.
  • Never Given a Name: The Zashiki Warashi twins have no names of their own, having never needed them before. They're Invisible to Normals and only ever used "you" or something similar when addressing one another. Once they begin living with Hozuki in Hell, whose denizens can see and interact with them just fine, they ask for their own names. After a few go rounds, Hozuki and Momotaro discuss how boys are often named by birth order with things like Ichiro and Jiro and how this often isn't done with girls. This prompts Hozuki to name the black haired twin "Ichiko", because she is generally the one to speak first, and the white haired girl "Niko".
  • Non-Human Humanoid Hybrid: Nasubi. Half Imp, half GHOST CART.
  • "Not Making This Up" Disclaimer: Occasionally pops up during the more ludicrous stories about Hell.
  • Older Than They Look: Karuri and Nausbi look like teenagers, but are actually adult demons called Imps.
  • Old Shame: In-Universe example: Momotaro's monkey companion Kisuke deeply regrets what he did to that crab...
  • Panty Thief: For being one, the punishment is being wrapped up in underwear that had previously been worn by oni for 99 years straight.
  • Red Light District: Shugou, the Hell for punishing perverts, serves as one for the other Hell wardens.
  • Rouge Angles of Satin: Played for Laughs. What Hoozuki intended to write in his Hellish Panacea recipe was one desiccated Santa, not one desiccated Satan.
  • Satan: He runs the European Hell, and plans on annexing the East Asian one. He soon gave up on that.
  • Shipper on Deck: The yearly meeting of gods in Izumo inevitably turns into the gods matchmaking mortals together once the drink starts flowing. The gods don't manipulate emotions so much as create opportunities for mortals to meet and fall in love on their own. A whole segment is dedicated to Enma using a chance to pair up Hozuki and Peach Maki while they're both in the Mundane World.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Momotarō and his three companions are the focus of the first half of episode 1, and often make appearances after that.
    • In addition to referencing Japanese legends, there are also many modern references including Harry Potter, Castle in the Sky, and really probably too many to count.
  • Team Mom: Shikimi, a chief of staff of one of Hell's kings like Hozuki, has such a sweet and loving personality that her subordinates remark that she makes them want to call her "Mom". Visitors to the office express the same connection. Her "Mom-ness" goes so far that when someone is confirmed to be lying in her judge's court, the immediate punishment is 100 spankings on the butt administered by Shikimi.
    Hozuki: She's one tough mama of a chief of staff.
  • Too Kinky to Torture: Karauri seems to think that many men enjoy being tortured if it's by an attractive woman, with the implication being that he is the one who is into that.
  • Training from Hell: Hozuki tries to use the Hell's Minions Sports as this in a literal sense.
  • White Hair, Black Heart: Discussed in Satan's internal monologue when he's assessing Hozuki. Both Sephiroth and Gintoki (palette swapped) appear in his mind. His assessment is not that far off the mark.
  • You Remind Me of X: Hozuki looks a lot like his Archenemy Hakutaku. Momotaro points this out. Much to Hozuki's ire.
  • Zashiki-warashi: Hozuki finds a pair in an abandoned human house. They eventually come to reside in the Hell Palace.

Alternative Title(s): Hoozuki No Reitetsu