Wednesday, 7 December 2011

一撃殺虫!!ホイホイさん/ Ichigeki Sacchu!! Hoi-Hoi-san / One-shot Insect Killer!! Hoi-Hoi-san

In the near future, insects have grown resistant to pesticides. What will mankind do? Well, the answer is simple – they must turn to moé-moé little palm-sized robots to destroy them with guns.

This is a ten-minute animation that is something of an orphan of a franchise I’m never going to explore. It would seem that the franchise started life as a Dengeki Daioh manga halfway between a parody of the girls-with-guns subgenre that includes the likes of Gunslinger Girl and Saikano, and a sincere attempt to be an ultra-adorable part of it. A PS2 game seems to be the main iteration, but I’m quite happy for it to be an amusing and silly little curio I watched for ten minutes and laughed through most of, featuring tiny dolls with lots of firepower and adorable squeaky booties on their feet.

There’s plenty introduced in the 10 minutes of screen-time. Not only do we have the blank-faced and utterly serious little robot, but she has a rival, Combat-san, who seems determined to hunt Hoi-Hoi-san down, but always ends up getting in scrapes herself – more often than not courtesy of Hoi-Hoi-san. Then there is the unfortunate Kimi, who wanted two cute little dolls to dress up but woke up to a pile of dead, steaming cockroaches and never got over the trauma. And poor Aburatsubo-kun, who loves the little dolls he keeps on breaking. For ten minutes, there’s a lot crammed in, and the overall impression was more memorable than many a 26-episode series.

The OVA is also fan-pleasing in that it brings together two very well-known seiyuu to voice the dolls, Kugimiya Rie and Tanaka Rie, who despite being both popular and prolific rarely work together (I can only think of it happening before in Toradora), and I get a small thrill from the idea of a chibi-Suigintou hunting rather uselessly after weaponised Shana-tan.

It’s probably good to keep Hoi-Hoi-san a little rarity and obscurity. Spinning it out into a series Di Gi Charat-style would probably make the little gunslinger-bots outstay their welcome. As it is, I find them adorable!

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