Pumpkin and spice, but not necessarily pumpkin spice.
What They Say:
Episode #4: “THE LEGEND OF MUSTARD / PLEASE TURNIP FOR THE DEMON PARADE”
Koban the paparazzo gets an interview with Mustard. When Hozuki gets involved in the interview as well, Koban gets far more of a performance than he bargained for.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Mustard, everyone’s favorite bunny rabbit with a knack for vengeance, is the focus of the first half of this episode. Koban, the cat paparazzo, learns that Mustard is the rabbit from the legend of Crackling Mountain and decides he simply must interview her. This leads to what can only be described as a nursery rhyme singalong as various extremely dark and twisted accounts of the legend of Crackling Mountain are recounted. It is equal parts funny, cute, and slightly off-putting. These kinds of stories and songs seem pretty universal to the human race and exist no matter where you go. You always have to wonder what people were thinking back in the old days by teaching kids this stuff. Probably “everything is going to kill you, why not sing about it.”
I do enjoy the idea that Mustard decided to work in hell because she saw the flier advertising for it. At least now I can finally understand her hatred for tanukis.
The rest of the episode briefly muses on Halloween. Hozuki draws comparisons between the Japanese festivals for the dead and the European ones, and even briefly comments on what America did to the Holiday, you know, switching turnips to pumpkins. What sets off this discussion is Haku trying to sell jack-o-lanterns to denizens of the underworld. Hozuki gets back to the root of the matter by bringing up how turnips were the veggie of choice before pumpkins, and why is Haku trying to drag Halloween customs into the eastern afterlife anyway?
The whole discussion falls apart into mostly nonsense, although Hozuki does get one last dig in at Haku when he points out his name (hozuki, the Chinese/Japanese lantern plant) is a reference to the lanterns spirits carry. Basically, he links jack-o-lanterns back to himself and causes Haku to throw a fit. Never try to win a battle of wits with Hozuki, he’ll win every time.
In this episode of Hozuki we get just a taste of Halloween as ghostly stories of revenge are told. Mustard continues to be the most adorable torturer in hell, and I do think that Koban is getting a bad rap and they should let up on the cat, he’s just doing his job. I also feel that Haku was celebrating Halloween in the most modern sense, how else is a herbalist supposed to offload a bumper crop of pumpkins? His idea of decorating the pumpkins though, that needs a little work. This might qualify as the strangest tangentially Halloween episode of any show I’ve seen.
Episode Grade: B
Streamed by: HIDIVE