Ichigeki Sacchu!! HoiHoi-san Manga

Ichigeki Sacchu!! HoiHoi-san
Interceptor-Doll HoiHoi-san

–> BUY from Amazon.com


HoiHoi-san MangaI first became aware of Ichigeki Sacchu!! HoiHoi-san via the 10-minute OVA released late September, 2004. I was immediately taken in by the cute bug-killing doll HoiHoi-san, her “rival” bug-killing doll from another company, Combat-san, the girl at the pharmacy (Kimiko), and customer Aburatsubo. Seeing it was from a manga, I longed hoped to read said manga. Except for a few 1-page shots that were fan-translated, I could read nothing. That changed when I discovered that Infinity Studios had licensed and translated the manga into English.

Story-wise, its sometime in the near future where bugs have become immune to pesticides. As such, clever companies created these small, cute robot dolls who are programmed to kill bugs. The first such doll was HoiHoi-san, who came with a machine gun and a hand gun to take out bugs. However, like all great dolls in Japan, you can buy different outfits for it, different weaponry, and even different programs to make your HoiHoi-san doll best suit your needs or better yet, your wants.

Another company creates a doll called Combat-san, who in addition to hunting bugs, does not take kindly to HoiHoi-san, seeing it as an enemy as well. Like HoiHoi-san, it can be customized but unlike HoiHoi-san, Combat-san can take some voice commands

The final doll in the manga is Pest-X-san, who’s an even better doll for fighting not only Combat-san, but those pesky bugs.

One of the two main human characters is Aburatsubo, who buys a HoiHoi-san combat doll, then later acquires the Combat-san doll as well. It is through him that the manga parodies the doll-collecting otaku as Aburatsubo often buys some new attachment, program, clothing, etc. for HoiHoi-san. The fact that they kill bugs is just an added bonus.

The other main human character is the girl at the pharmacy, Kimiko, who’s Aburatsubo’s age (college aged?). She had initially purchased a HoiHoi-san doll because it was cute, but then when she saw it the following morning after a night of bug slaughtering, she freaked and now hates the doll. She tried Combat-san as well, making it a dress and ordering it not to kill bugs. It did not understand an order to not kill bugs, so it continued to kill bugs (and even gives a verbal report to its owner). As such, Kimiko, who’d prevented Aburatsubo from buying it, returns it and sells it to Aburatsubo. He’s happy to receive it with what he thinks is a rare clothing item not previously advertised.

Aburatsubo becomes attracted to Kimiko, who’s not thrilled about someone so into HoiHoi-san (and Combat-san) dolls. However, mangaka Tanaka-sensei allows for a cute, if mostly one-sided, romance to happen.

The manga is mostly done as one-page entries with an excerpt supposedly taken from the owners manual as well. However, Tanaka-sensei does perform a few normal manga chapters to tell a story, mainly about Aburatsubo, Kimiko, and her best friend Mu-chan. The manga is very cute at times and humorous, though I never had any real belly laughs. The main humor comes from Combat-san’s attempts to take out HoiHoi-san or how Pest-X-san and Combat-san battle while HoiHoi-san is oblivious to the whole thing. I really did enjoy reading this one-volume manga.

As for Infinity Studios, my hat is off to them. The manga has a larger size than traditional American manga (8.2 x 6 x 0.7 inches vs 7.5 x 5 x 0.7 inches). There are several pages of full-color artwork, including a color picture of a HoiHoi-san figure that was made. The manga follows the Japanese tradition of having a color book cover. The actual cover has the same art, only in black-and-white. Translation-wise, the Japanese honorifics appear to be mostly kept intact. When we see the boss at the company that produces HoiHoi-san, he’s addressed with the “Mr” honorific. I don’t know if that was from the original Japanese (sometimes the Japanese will use “Mister”), if it replaced “sama,” or if some obscure title was used, which was turned into “Mister.”

I was surprised that Infinity Studios kept the name Ichigeki Sacchu!! HoiHoi-san rather than the English subtitled Interceptor-Doll HoiHoi-san. It is an unusual move but one that told me, “I bet the Japanese honorifics are kept in this if they aren’t even translating the title.” I was right and you guys know how much I feel that retaining honorifics in the English adaptations of manga is the proper way to do things.

Bottom line: Cute, humorous, and well worth the $11 I spent, especially since there is only one volume to the manga. Infinity Studios went that little extra mile by including the color pages and giving the manga a slip cover. While it appears that they tend to do a lot of Korean stuff (which really doesn’t interest me), I will be eying them for other manga stuff based on how they did with HoiHoi-san.

Update: I just learned there is a sequel manga to this, entitled Ichiheki Sacchu!! HoiHoi-san Legacy. I don’t believe it is licensed yet but providing Infinity Studios does as good a job, I hope they will license it.

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5 Responses to “Ichigeki Sacchu!! HoiHoi-san Manga”

  1. Anonymous says:

    You…you…you utter compilation of bad words. 🙂




  2. AstroNerdBoy says:

    I didn’t remember that you liked HoiHoi-san. ^_^;;; Its been a LONG time since that fansubbed OVA came out. To be honest, I’d forgotten all about this series until someone somewhere mentioned that the manga was out. Like you, I immediately made an order. *lol*

  3. Anonymous says:

    Oh, well of course I put my order in yesterday. That’s what birthday money is for…!


  4. Anonymous says:

    The Japanese and English release are very nearly identical; the only differences are that the English version is in English, has a glossy cover, slightly shifted color in the color pages, and a few extra pages added for advertising other publisher titles. Oh, and the copyright page has a completely different layout. Both books are the same size.

  5. […] and what is not. Take Ichigeki Sacchu!! HoiHoi-san. This started as a short manga (see my review here) and even had a short anime created in 2004. When that short hit the fandom circuit, I remember […]

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