One shot kill hoihoi san

In a future where insects have impervious to all known pesticides one pharmaceutical company has found the answer……

A 10.5cm tall, gun toting doll called hoi hoi san .

If the following description of one shot kill hoihoi san sounds weird, then may I direct you towards some other series. If on the other hand your still reading this and want to learn more – then carry on reading….

Originally a manga series by Kunihiko Tanaka, and published in Dengeki Daioh in 2004 [ they of Yotsuba& and Gunslinger girls fame] before being adapted into a PS2 game [along with a short OVA you can watch below], and later released in the west via infinity studios in 2007 , hoihoi san takes a stab at the commercialism and the inherent need of fans to collect every last piece of merchandise and accessories in an insane grasp to either keep with the Jones or out of sheer impulse buying – an act that, as we see with the main lead character and incurable hoihoi fan Aburatsu, usually leaves him out of pocket.

Sounds like me after a trip to a convention dealers room.

And its understandable why he’s so penniless – in each chapter we seem to see an ever increasing amount of additional extras that Aburatsu splashes out on – from extra outfits, to a remote control unit to excessively over the top weaponry – portable laser rifles anyone?
Obviously there’s some tough insects in Japan.

One of the upsides for this series is that, because of it being a one shot manga, the humour and the characters remain entertaining and fresh – my hat off to the creators resisting the urge to sponge this series for all it was worth. The art too is clear and excellently detailed and, along with the writing, enable the story to be told clearly and without causing any confusion or disruption to the pace of the story.

Another major plus is that the supporting characters in this series are equally as engaging and thought out as Aburatsu – Kimiko, the pharmacy assistant whoose inital love of hoihoi is quashed after her first i9ntroduction to hoihoi’s purpose as an insect destroyer
[warning:some goo involved] as well as fellow robot Combat-san – who it turns out [thanks to some unique anti competitor programing] becomes a long running villain to hoihoi san [not that she seems to notice!].
Finally, along with the colour section at the back of the book [which includes artwork originally only available in Japan] infinity studios have published everything from the original Japanese edition [which I think adds extra value to this book, even though it slightly more pricier than standard manga books available in the UK at this time]
sadly the only two quibbles i might with this series is that not only is this a complete series [with only 131 pages] but i think this helps to keeps the series from getting too monotonous fast.
The second problem is more problematic, as Infinity studios [who were involved with the English release] have ceased trading.

But for those of you in Japan, or who know anyone who is] take heart – Kunihiko Tanaka has been working on a sequel series [called, imaginably enough, Ichigeki Sacchu HoiHoi-san Legacy] which has been running in Dengeki Black Maoh since 2007.

All in all though I’m both sad and grateful that hoi-hoi san is not a real Product – id probably be fighting con-goers for the last one in stock!

In memorium: Kawai Eri

1965 - 2008

On August 4th 2008 a 43 year old woman, who had recently been admitted into a Japanese hospital, quietly passed away, with little ceremony, and only her closest friends and family at her bedside.

On any other day this event, although tragic, would have been an all too common occurrence.

But it was who it was, and just what an effect her death had on anime fandom [and also to me] that gave this event a much greater gravitas.

Her name was Kawai Eri, and this was her all too brief life.

Born in 1965 in Tokyo Kawai Eri graduated from the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music in 1983 and wrote and performed both classical and contemporary music. In 1991 she successfully gained a singing contract with Kitty Records. Her first album, for the Fuji TV series “the adventure of Wordsworth”, was released in 1996, and was soon followed by other album collections.

However it was for her anime soundtracks that she will be both respected and remembered for. I can remember the first time I was introduced to her – it was whilst watching Aria: the animation, and I watching an episode that highlighted a character called Athena Glory as she performed a solo song called “barcarolle”

What blew me away about this rendition was the sheer passion that Kawai put into her performance – and indeed may of her testify to this.

Less known is that she also wrote the lyrics for Aria’s OP song, Undine, and she would later go on to both perform and write lyrics for songs for other anime series, such a Sketchbook ~full color’S~ [which she worked on with the band choro club, a band who she had also worked with on Aria], Bamboo blade, Utawarerumono, Ruronin Kenshin, Fate/stay night, the movie adaptation of AIR and [amazingly] Crayon shin chan.

However in July of 2008 kawai was forced to cancel a concert and some recording sessions due to ill health and less that a month later she had died, the cause of death confirmed as liver cancer.

In 2008 and 2009 a series of tribute CD albums were released. One, called “Sunflower” covered many of the anime series soundtracks she worked on. The other 2, “Memorial to the way the wind” and “oriental green” covered her other works, and included some of her previously unpublished work and tracks that she could not finish prior to her death.

Even though its been 3 years after her death I cannot help but feel that the anime community, and indeed the music world in general, has lost a rare talent – but I, and many fans of her work, will ensure that she wont be forgotten.