Koroshiya-san

June 20, 2014

Hitman. The word brings dread to many because we all know that their best ability and job is to take other people’s life. Serious. Silent. Stealthy. Deadly. But some aren’t as stern as we think they are. Take for instance, Koroshiya-san. He is considered the best hitman in town and takes up any request to kill and will kill anything. You have somebody you want to kill, he kills for you. However… He spends most of his time ‘killing’ other things like a kid’s homework and housekeeping. Uh huh. And so this short anime that lasts only 3 minutes each tells the comical ‘assignments’ that our hitman has to undertake. And true to part of the synopsis, “… Though he does not aim to, he also never misses the laughter”.

Episode 1
Hitman just killed his target. He needs to wipe clean all of his tracks including his footprints and fingerprints. However seeing how dirty this place is, he starts cleaning the entire house! Clean freak! And when the detectives do their investigation, they know it’s the same guy… A little boy wants to be Hitman’s disciple. He thinks about it and is okay with thoughts of being the number 1 killer, number 1 big brother, etc. But when he thinks about being number 1 old man, he strangles the kid! Short of killing his Apprentice, that is. Hitman takes a haircut but the barber misinterprets the style he wanted and cuts him a Russian hairstyle.

Episode 2
Apprentice is told to get over here within 10 minutes. Not a second late. For he is testing out a new timer system in which if he doesn’t, Hitman will die! Stuck inside a giant hourglass? Hitman thinks he can handle the red light district. But he splits after his ‘first experience’. Hitman finds Apprentice has thrown away a notice about his school’s Parents’ Day. He doesn’t have any parents. Hitman will be his parent since he is his guardian. So here he is on that day, even becoming his father during visitation days and ends up as the next president of the PTA! Hitman tells Apprentice that when he receives a job, he must do it and kill whoever regardless if the target is his parents. But his parents are dead. Oh… Hitman feels sorry for asking. Apprentice asks about his parents and he complains about his dad’s lecturing and mom’s worrying and cleaning his room without consent. Then there’s the arranged marriage too… Apprentice takes it as he is living with them.

Episode 3
Before Hitman kills his target, the latter wants to hear his signature phrase. He regrets asking because it is to be a hitman that is loved by everyone. Hitman writes in the sand the kanji word for kill. He thinks he is a cool headed killing machine till a woman goes up next to him and writes massacre. He starts feeling the shivers. A guy tries to hire a hitman but it seems they are busy and fully booked till August. Even Hitman is busy doing homework! What gives?! Damn those kids for dumping their summer homework on those hitmen!!! Do them yourself! Hitman is about to kill somebody but he chants some strange spell to conjure some RPG-like sword!

Episode 4
Hitman talks to his fellow colleagues that if they are caught, they’ll be given the death penalty and need to find a country where capital punishment is abolished and will be able to live as prisoners. He writes the kanji of prisoners in a cute way and his colleagues are swooning over it. Hitman and his buddies are in a standoff. They think the other shouldn’t be on their turf. Turns out they are cleaning the bathroom and end up fighting each other! Killing each other with cleaning products?! The woman who hired them just doesn’t know what to do. Yeah. Assassins + cleaning products = dangerous mix. Hitman talks to his buddies against about the meaning of the police to them. It brings the topic of Sakurada Gate in which Hitman changes its intonation to some musical score. They like how cute it sounds.

Episode 5
Revenge Girl trains hard so she can avenge her father’s death. When she walks by Hitman, he wonders if she has come to kill him again. When she says she is going to the store to get some vegetables, he misinterprets it as going to get some sex education. Revenge Girl feels cold around the knees since her skirt is short. An English speaking foreigner asks her if she is cold so she blurts out in English that she wants a low skirt. Revenge Girl again faces off with Hitman. He wonders if she has something to cut other than him. Noting her long hair, she explains she hasn’t cut her hair and let it grow since her father died by his hands 6 years ago. She won’t cut it till she gets her revenge. She starts getting emotional and yells out about no cuts, no changes and no leaking and this causes Hitman to think perverted thoughts.

Episode 6
Hitman and Sergeant are good penpals? I don’t know. The pigeon carrying an assassination note arrives late so they write a letter apologizing about it and such. Do they really know who the other is? We see all the hitmen lining up on a sushi conveyor belt. Why? So customers can pick which one they want as their plate corresponds their price tag! There is something wrong with this system… When Hitman writes the word ‘kill’, putting it sideways makes it look like a face of an old man. When Apprentice wonders how long till he becomes a hitman, Hitman writes 63342. I don’t get this part. Is this some expenses or word play?

Episode 7
Hitman just finishes off his target so the latter puts a curse on him. Hitman takes him seriously and thinks he is done for. Even the victim thinks he shouldn’t give up so easily. Hitman and Sergeant so happen to shop at the same store. Their hands touch each other when they try to get the same thing. Under the hand of the law? So gay… Hitman is about to kill somebody via slow death but since he doesn’t know how long a silk floss should be, he takes his time ordering it and once the package arrives, they can’t resist the temptation of enjoying the soft silk floss. When will he do him in? Don’t worry, he has all the time in the world… Hitman and the victim are dressed up as animal mascots at the children’s amusement park. Sergeant is there too in a suit and wants to bring them both in. Of course it won’t be that easy so the trio start killing each other. The kids view this as the best entertainment ever! Awesome!

Episode 8
Goro the police dog tracks the scent of Hitman to his hideout and will ambush him. He fell asleep but when he wakes up, finds a bowl of food. Goro thinks he has become domesticated. Following Hitman’s footprints in the snow, he also senses cat tracks. When both footprints meet and the cat one goes missing, Goro couldn’t believe Hitman may have carried the cat in his arms. When Goro is faced with Hitman, he panics. Never had such experience before, eh? Hitman is going to drop something on him but it turns out to be a flea cleaner. Goro feels Hitman has been watching him like a stalker. Suddenly Hitman attacks and tickles him! He likes dogs, doesn’t he?

Episode 9
Hitman tells a woman if she truly wants him to take out this man. It reminds him of how he let Apprentice cut some sealed pages in a porn magazine for him. He hints to her the more she wants something to be taken care of, the less satisfying it is when it’s actually done. She understands. Hitman remembers the disappointment after looking at the unsealed page. A fortune teller knows Hitman wants some control and can make it come true for him. Turns out he wants control over the amount of additives in the foods he buy. Hitman and Apprentice eat popsicles after helping a lady to clean up her house and take out the trash.

Episode 10
Sergeant gets a taunting call from Hitman so he warns no matter where he is, he will be right on his tail and grab it. This makes Hitman think about the human tail bone which is in the butt and calls Sergeant a pervert! On another night, another taunting call. Since police and hitmen can never understand each other, they start making comparisons of things that are a total opposite of each other. Day and night, water and oil, light and shadow… Yeah, it becomes like some sort of competition to outdo the other. Adam and Eve… S&M… It lasted till morning. Running out of ideas? Sergeant soon takes a trip to start anew. He ends up at a lake named Yashiroko. But reading it in reverse reads as Koroshiya (hitman) and he starts flustering he can’t get over him!

Best ‘Cleaners’ In Town…
Argh… He really got me. Strike right in my heart. Yeah. Hitman’s antics make him look more like a joker than a killer so it is no wonder that I couldn’t help myself from laughing hard at certain scenes although there are a handful of short funny skits that I don’t really understand. But overall, this ‘funny guy’ really has the skills to ‘kill’ you by making you laugh. Like how Hitman’s best skill is cleaning. Yeah. Cleaning the house and not the bodies. Therefore I can’t complain if the comedy here kills me. I’d be laughing to death. However due to the short duration nature of the anime, it won’t end up as epic mega comedy animes like Gintama or even Kill Me Baby (another anime that features a hitman). So in this sense, sorry Hitman, you failed to kill me.

This series had some potential especially the characters but of course the duration doesn’t allow anything to be fleshed out properly and you take what they have to give all packed in that 3 minutes of silliness. Actually, only 2 minutes of it since the first minute is dedicated to the ironically named rock piece opening theme, The End by Mix Speaker’s Inc. It’s odd to see Hitman’s relationship with Sergeant and it makes you wonder if they really know who the other is. I can imagine the shock and dumbfounded manner they will break in when they do. Now that we know Hitman is an animal lover especially dogs, I wonder how this will impact on Goro. Can the canine do his job properly? Other characters like Apprentice and Revenge Girl do have their potential but limited screen time means Apprentice is reduced to just his sidekick and Revenge Girl serves more of a fanservice role.

The animation style seems to be like that of those using Flash but it doesn’t suck that bad and the characters do look decent. However it is far from looking great and as I read several few comments on this series, many didn’t like the artwork and aren’t too fond that the anime is like a bad adaptation from the yonkoma manga that it was adapted from. Since I didn’t read the manga, I can’t say. Though, I won’t say that this would be one of the greatest anime or even entering my top 500 list (that bad, huh), I would still give it points for managing to make me laugh. Even if some call the jokes boring and those who watch this is just to kill time. Maybe it’s because I’m dumb and simple. Maybe it’s because there is no plot whatsoever to drive this anime forward. I don’t know about others but if hitmen were this funny instead of scary, I’d love to hire them to be clowns at my nephew’s birthday party and then cleaning up right after it’s over.