Anime is going to Hell! The often funny look at the underworld in anime

Hell, or Walmart during the holidays
hell-scape with hand mountains
This construction is Dante approved!

In the Western world, going to hell is seen as a very bad thing. It’s the place where bad people go and it’s the home of devils and demons. One quick read through Dante’s Inferno, and you can get a good idea of just how bad it’s supposed to be there. The fiery hot landscape doesn’t bother you? Don’t worry the center is freezing cold! There are plenty of devils to torture you, there are spirits to drown you, and there is thousands of bad guys to share in your suffering. Though life in the dark ages was anything but pleasant, Dante made sure everyone knew that hell was even worse.

Japanese artwork of hell
A bad place to go!

In the Japanese feudal era images of hell were equally as terrifying. Much like in Western culture, hell was a bad place to go. And yet, unlike in Western culture, somewhere in history as the years progressed even hell got a dose of kawaiiness. Now it’s not that hard to find anime that is all about the softer side of the underworld.

japanese artwork of hell
300 years ago, Japanese images of hell were surprisingly similar to Dante’s Inferno

Welcome to Demon School Iruma-kun

iruma with friends
Iruma found lots of friends in hell

Welcome to Demon School Iruma-kun is an anime about 14 year old Iruma-kun. His parents are awful and make his life very hard. He has to miss school so he can work to support them. He often goes hungry or has to live in a tent, because of they squandered all the money. On top of that, they often get him involved in dangerous situations. In the end, Iruma’s parents sell him off to a demon and allow their son to be dragged to hell. . . Which was the best thing that ever happened to him. The demon he is sold to is a kind old grandpa type that just wants a cute grandchild to spoil. Iruma is showered with gifts, given all the food he can eat, is given a huge royal bedroom in his grandpa’s castle, and is enrolled in an elite private school where his new grandpa is the principal. For Iruma, hell is more like heaven!

iruma being thoughtful with friends
Oddly, such a nice boy fits in just fine!

As Miss Beelzebub Likes

miss beelzebub hugging teddy bear
Stuck in hell? Nothing a teddy bear can’t solve!

As Miss Beelzebub likes is an anime about the fallen angel (Beelzebub) and her new assistant Mullin. For a ruler of hell (aka Pandemonium) you would think that her days would be filled with torture and mistreating bad souls, but Beelzebub prefers tea and sweets to misery, and spends most of her time cuddling her plushies and playing with white fluff balls. Her new assistant Mullin is no more ruthless then his leader, and is often called a rookie with a maiden’s heart. Innocent and thoughtful, Mullin often gets embarrassed around the laid back Beelzebub, though his tsudere personality will never admit it. Instead of ruling hell with an iron fist, Miss Beelzebub and her assistants manage Pandemonium with the efficiency and enthusiasm of a girl scout troupe.

Beelzebub and mullin
The fluffier side of hell

Hozuki’s Cool Headedness

Hozuki and allies
Hozuki, a demon that takes hell seriously, even if no one else does!

Being an assistant to Enma, the king of hell and judge who decides how evil souls will be punished, isn’t all fun and games in the anime Hozuki’s Cool Headedness. When the Enma seems to act more like a jolly grandpa rather than the terrifying king of hell, someone has to keep things in order. And that demon is Hozuki. Whether he is trying to implement Enma’s hair brained plans, stopping Momotaro when the demon slayer is trashing the place, or inflicting just rewards on trouble makers that are more sneaky than smart, Hozuki is busy every day. Though his work is anything but stress free, Hozuki never loses his cool, brisk style and cut-throat personality. In fact, Hozuki is so efficient he even has time every once in a while to enjoy the softer side of hell.

hozuki presenting the king
Efficient, organized, and with impeccable taste, only the best service in hell

The anime exclamation of the week is: Samui! meaning Cold!

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I’m currently watching:

  • Mars Red
  • The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya
  • Inari Kon Kon
  • Kageki Shojo
  • Life Lessons with Uramichi Oniisan
  • Rampo Kitan
  • Mieruko-chan
  • Obey Me!
  • Case Closed/Detective Connan
  • The Great Jahy will Not Be Defeated!
  • Takt. Op Destiny
  • Fena: Pirate Princess
  • Cardfight Vanguard Overdress
  • Over Lord
  • Bungo Stray Dogs
  • Tokyo Revengers
  • Drug Store in another World
  • Backflip
  • Visual Prison

2 Comments

    1. LOL! It’s definitely not fan service, but it is a bit little kid-ish. I think it was intended for middle schoolers, so the series does get a bit silly sometimes. But it’s a lot of fun. I highly recommend it!

      Liked by 1 person

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