HoiHoi-san, full title Ichigeki Sacchu!! HoiHoi-san (一撃殺虫!!ホイホイさん One-Shot Bug Killer!! Interceptor Doll HoiHoi-san?), is a manga by Kunihiko Tanaka that spawned a PlayStation 2 game and a ten minute OVA (sold with first printing of manga tankōbon.) In the year 20XX, insects have become immune to all pesticides. To combat the rising plague of cockroaches and other household pests, the tiny, doll-like extermination androids known as "Hoihoi-san" were created. They can hunt down insects and kill them with such miniaturized weapons as minuscule machine guns and tiny combat knives. They can also (and at the same time) be treated as dolls, by dressing them up in costumes and buying accessories for them. The main robot of the anime wears a maid uniform and rabbit ears as accessories.
It started out as a manga title serialized in Japanese language monthly magazine Dengeki Daioh published by MediaWorks, and later branched out to PlayStation 2 as a game and then further into numerous other media channels. The setting is in year 20XX at a time when insects are immune to all insecticides, so Japanese pharmaceutical companies have had to come up with the next level in insect extermination: small but heavily armed robots.
Hoihoi-san is the bug killing robot of the title, a 10.5 cm tall doll like robot that comes with a wide range of weapons. With this character a new level has been attained in the girls-with-guns genre: capable of an impressive rate of fire, handles a sword equally well, is dressed up very cutely, complete with bowties and booties and an expressionless face.
Not all characters in the manga appear in the OVA. The ones in the OVA are indicated by the presence of the respective seiyū in the list below.
- ID-3 Hoihoi-san (ホイホイさん?)
- Voiced by: Rie Kugimiya
- A line of insect exterminating robots made by Mars Pharmaceuticals. The designation "ID-3" stands for Interceptor Doll (Version) 3.
- Aburatsubo-kun (油壷?)
- Voiced by: Shoutarou Morikubo
- A lonely otaku whose only company is the Hoihoi-san that he dotes and spend his money on.
- Kimiko Dewa (出羽きみ子 Dewa Kimiko?)
- Voiced by: Megumi Nasu
- Kimiko works in a Kyoto pharmacy frequented by Aburatsubo-kun, selling bug killing robots and accessories. She wants a robot doll but cannot stomach the carnage.
- Mutsumi "Mu-chan" Fushikawa (不死川睦美 Fushikawa Mutsumi?)
- Voiced by: Mai Nakahara
- A friend of Kimiko-chan.
- Manager (店長 Tenchō?, "Manager")
- Voiced by: Kan Tanaka
- The owner of the pharmacy.
- Furuyashiki-san (古屋敷?)
- Furuyashiki works at Mars Pharmaceuticals, proponent of odd Hoihoi-san upgrades. Suspended from work and subsequently resigned after photos of himself wearing Hoihoi-san style maid dress were posted to the internet.
- Yazaki-kun (矢崎?)
- Yazaki works for Furuyashiki-san.
- RRX-7.8 Combat-san (コンバットさん?)
- Voiced by: Rie Tanaka
- A line of insect extermination robots created by Kinryu.
- PEST-X-san (ペストXさん?)
- The third interceptor Doll, developed by Furuyashiki in America after he resigned from Mars Pharmaceuticals. Includes special motorcycle that transforms into a set of large hands. Perceives Combat-san as its enemy.
The game, released 2003-11-27, is a third person shooter game where the main aim is to complete levels defeating hordes of various kinds of insects, all while avoiding collateral damage to furniture and other household items. Completing a level gives the player credits with which one can buy upgrades for the Hoihoi-san, ranging from the useful like missile packs, ammunition and weapons upgrade but also less useful items like new clothing and new voices.
In the game the muzzle blast is about the size of the robot, which combined with an impressive rate of fire makes for a definite statement in the girls-with-guns genre. A modicum of style, finesse and Japanese tradition is retained by featuring a katana in the weapons selection. The game allows the player to use both a katana and a machine gun at the same time.
If the player acquires all Hoihoi-san accessories, the backdrop turns pink on returning home, possibly to display the newly attained level of otakuness.
The manga follows up in the bizarreness with lines like
- "The spare ammunition kit is sold out, huh? I suppose I'll just buy her a pair of gloves."
- While a life sized Hoihoi-san is levelling Aburatsubo-kun's flat, on the telephone: "It's on a rampage? I know that already!!"
The manga and the Original Video Animation were part of a special edition package. The anime itself is only about 10 minutes long, and maintains the unusual humor by combining massive gunplay with squeaky booties. Unlike the manga, the anime is centered around Kimiko Dewa, who abhors the nightly carnage by her insect killing robots. She would rather they were more like pets and made her own costumes.
An articulated doll was produced, in a limited edition, that in the spirit of the rest of the venture features numerous weapons and shields. Due to laws in Japan the doll does not fire live ammunition, neither from the machine gun, nor from the missile launcher, so the company regretted lack of insecticidal effect. The dress can still be customised.
To complete it all a demo was made in Adobe Flash that can be used to demonstrate numerous Hoihoi-san outfits.
While the game was published officially in Japan only and neither OVA nor manga were officially translated the owners have guarded this intellectual property with unusual intensity. An unlicensed scanlator was removed at the request of MediaWorks, the Japanese publisher of the title , and the OVA posted at Youtube was also quickly removed.
In 2007 Infinity Studios released an official English language version of the first manga .
- A number of background images were made and one of them shows Hoihoi-san falling backwards while firing guns, one in each hand, in a pose and rate of fire that is very similar to that of Trinity in The Matrix Reloaded shown in the trailer.
- Combat-san's model number, RRX-7.8, is probably a parody of the original Mobile Suit Gundam RX-78.
- The name "HoiHoi" is a reference to "Hoy Hoy Trap-A-Roach" product, a baited sticky trap for roaches.
- The name "Combat" is a reference to the roach-killing gel product by the same name.
- The cover of the anime parodies Gunslinger Girl (particularly volume 1). Note the hollow eyes and the large gun case carried.