As absurd as a setting of hell can be, Hozuki no Reitetsu is essentially a workplace comedy with a dark edge. The first part features the title character having to deal with the incompetencies of his boss and having to solve problems all on his own. The second half is world building through pets. It’s a little bit of a mixed bag overall.
One thing that I found surprising about this show was just how mundane the conversations are. As Enma and Hozuki are sitting around at the cafeteria at work, they just spend their time talking about the animals appearing on TV, tastes in pets and really about how they both feel they need to take a vacation from work. I’m not sure if this was entirely needed or not. If the goal was to make these characters as boring as normal people, well done. Otherwise I’d hope that scene was just a bit of character development.
Hozuki as the title character needs to be interesting, and I don’t know if they’ve done quite enough with him to succeed. The intent is to make him a gap character. He’s looks like he doesn’t give a damn at work even though he is incredibly good at it. Yet, here is a guy in his spare time who grows championship winning goldfish and loves cute animals. I don’t know how that is going to pan out when it comes to later episodes or if it will simply be ignored.
Finally, there’s something a little surreal about seeing the TV pop up with a prize winner from Hell. In fact, it’s perfectly normal to see by the end of the episode. At least Hozuki will finally get to take that trip to Australia he has always wanted.