HoiHoi-san is a domestic goddess, but only on the scale of the Romans’ minor household gods. HoiHoi-san has light hair and wears squeaky booties. HoiHoi-san is a small, moe, robot. HoiHoi-san stalks the night, exterminating pesticide-resistant insects in a hail of bullets.
Combat-san is HoiHoi’s rival, another bug-exterminatrix. Combat-san seems to have a more powerful arsenal of upgrades. Combat-san is prone to overheating if she’s not given exactly compatible parts. Combat-san has dark hair, so she and HoiHoi coincidentally follow the ‘good women are light-haired and bad women are dark-haired’ rule of Victorian fiction.
This OVA provides a small, enjoyable dose of small, cute robots shooting cockroaches – and each other – up. It was bundled with a volume of the HoiHoi manga, and there was also a videogame: the whole shebang is a good example of the fluidity between media that dKiWi trumpets (I think this fluidity isn’t better, just different, but what do I know?).
We see that people buy Hoi Hoi and Combat more as dolls than as domestic utilities. This premise is an extrapolation of Japan’s predilection for cuteness, technology and cute technology. A certain amount of fun is also, I suspect, being gently poked at doll-collectors, at obsessive hobbyists in general, at the ‘girls with guns’ genre and also at the habit corporations have of making their technology incompatible with that of other companies. (Can you build your own moe exterminatrix? Are there kitbashes?) Ichigeki Sacchu!! HoiHoi-san is both something of a light satire on the selling of merchandise, and a good opportunity to sell merchandise. (Cake is being consumed yet still possessed.)
I happen to think merchandising can be a good thing, at least from the point of view of the hedonist. If you want to shift figures of cute girls, it’s best to animate lots of scenes of cute girls being cute – ideal for lovers of cuteness. Furthermore, I’ve been told that the prospect of merchandise to sell can boost an original story’s chance of getting animated. I don’t have any firm views on the superiority or otherwise of original anime (a topic for another day, perhaps), but I hope we can agree that anime would be a duller place if it was composed entirely of adapted stories. After all, they said that the conversations which led to Gurren Lagann were about how to best sell toys.
(Though the HoiHoi OVA is definitely an adaption. Or perhaps an something like an adjunct, in the way that the latest School Rumble OVA is bundled with its parent manga, and is apparently more closely tied to that parent than the television series were. Fluidity’s confusing, isn’t it?)