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a.k.a. Hare Nochi Guu, Hare+Guu, Haré+Guu, Jungle Hare Nochi Guu, Haré and Guu
Haré is a boy who lives in a jungle village with his young, slightly-alcoholic mother Weda. Life is good in the jungle, and Haré is a happy boy, until the day a monster eats him. He wakes up the next morning, uneaten and in his own bed. While he is wondering if it was all a dream, Weda announces that she has adopted a little girl named Guu. With her pink hair, shining eyes, and sweet smile, Guu charms Haré's mother — but when Weda's back is turned, Guu becomes a scowling dark presence that frightens Haré. Not only that, she is capable of swallowing anything she takes a fancy to — whole bananas, live birds, even people and landscapes — and Haré discovers that anything Guu swallows is still alive inside her, in a completely different world...
Haré's life turns into an endless parade of torments by Guu as he tries to keep her out of trouble, and find out what kind of creature she really is. This is all made rather difficult by the wide array of paranormal abilities she possesses, the bizarre supernatural events that happen around her, and her enjoyment in toying with Hare's neurosis.
Despite the apparent horror overtones, this is actually a rather wild and surreal comedy, kind of like the Cthulhu Mythos as written by Mel Brooks or perhaps Zucker/Abrahams/Zucker. It's filled with sight gags and absurdities (the "primitive" jungle village, for instance, is filled with all manner of conveniences such as a public address system and video games). Still, there are serious elements hidden behind the comedy — for instance, Haré is almost 10, and his mother is only 24, and he worries about why she moved to the jungle village. A severe Mood Whiplash results when it turns out Weda got pregnant ten years ago by a character who COMES BACK, making Haré realize he's been a bastard child all this time.
The title of the series is a rather elaborate pun that can be read several different ways, due to different readings of some of the words:
- In the Jungle was Always Hare but then came Guu
- The Jungle was Always Nice, Then Came Guu
- The Jungle Is Always Sunny or Hungry
and the most obscure, a pun on a common phrase in Japanese weather forecasts:
- The Jungle Is Always Clear, With A Chance of Showers
- The Jungle is Always Clear, With Scattered Guu
(where "Hare" means "clear" and "Guu" means "showers").
Any way you read it, it means Guu is turning Hare's life upside down.
Jungle Wa Itsumo Hale Nochi Guu provides examples of:
- Abhorrent Admirer: Dama takes this to nightmare levels if she sees any male with white hair - or even a white wig, due to their 'resemblance' to her late husband.
- Absurdly Youthful Mother
- Though it turns out that it's actually played for drama; the implications of her age and how young she was when she became pregnant are, yes, taken seriously.
- Alcohol Is Poison: A Broken Aesop in a particularly sadistic episode of the Deluxe OVA that needs to be seen to be believed.
- Alien Lunch: The characters love to eat pokute, animals with human-like faces, and manda, fruit with human-like faces, arms, and blood-red filling.
- Annoying Laugh: Guu's is not as much annoying as it is blood-curdingly creepy!.
- Another Dimension: Guu's stomach. ONE of them, at least.
- Aw, Look — They Really Do Love Each Other: There are hints sprinkled throughout the series that Guu cares more about Haré than she lets on.
- Of course, those mostly get offset by the moments when she lets him suffer.
- Balloon Belly: Guu in episode 14 and Ova Haré+Guu FINAL 2.
- Also Haré in episode 19.
- Beach Episode
- Big Eater: Guu, loosely speaking.
- Bottle Fairy: Weda
- Butt Monkey: Haré, mostly through Guu's doing.
- Can't Hold His Liquor: Haré
- Cloudcuckoolander: Marie acts like that from time to time.
- Combat Tentacles: A mild example: Guu often extends her fingerless arms dozens of feet to corral Hare whenever he tries to run away from her shenanigans. She's punched him a few times the same way, too.
- Cooldown Hug: Weda gives one to Yumi.
- Cool Old Guy: Elder, although the "cool" part is debatable.
- Couch Gag: In Guu Deluxe, Hare says something different each time during his super-fast part of the theme song.
- Creepy Child: Guu, again.
- Creepy Crossdresser: Bel, though it's only shown in the manga.
- Dark-Skinned Redhead: A few minor characters in the village.
- Deadpan Snarker: Guu is perhaps the living embodiment of this trope, as she almost never stops snarking. Even when she does, she talks in the exact same tone of voice.
- Deranged Animation: Oh yes. Often accompanied by Art Shift.
- Dirty Old Man: Elder was suspected to be one; it was actually a cat with his face.
- Does Not Like Shoes: None of the townspeople seem to.
- Double Meaning Title
- Eldritch Abomination: Guu. An (occasionally) adorable EA, but an EA nonetheless.
- Humanoid Abomination...usually.
- Epunymous Title
- Everythings Funkier With Disco
- Everything's Worse with Bears
- Extreme Omnivore (duh)
- Eyecatch, in the anime.
- Festival Episode
- Fountain of Youth: One episode features Weda and Dr. Clive being made into children by Guu, and Hare has to take care of them for a day as they rapidly grow back up.
- Freaky Friday: With Haré and Dr. Clive.
- Funny Afro: On the Elder's chest.
- Funny Background Event: Usually done by one or several groups of pokete, manda, birds, and always during scenes in Guu's stomach. It takes at least a second viewing of an episode to catch everything.
- Gag Series: Don't even get STARTED on the details!
- Gainax Bounce: Done (disturbingly) with the Elder's chest hair, in the third episode.
- Weda also has this.
- Heavy Sleeper: The aptly-named Lazy. Problem is, he's the teacher.
- Hey, It's That Voice!: Rikako Aikawa voiced Hare, and Naoko Watanabe as Guu. For dubbers, those watching this nowadays would know that Hare was voiced by Philece Sampler, who was starting her ADR anime career, and Guu by Stephanie Sheh (both credited under different names). The other characters are sprinkled with viewer déjà vu as well.
- Homage: To Aliens, of all things, complete with ominous motion tracker beeping and Hare taking the role of Hicks nervously checking the ceiling passages.
- Hopeless Suitor: Uighur with regard to Weda.
- Hot Mom: Weda
- Hot Springs Episode
- The Hyena: Wagi. Yuri Lowenthal was reported to have gotten a stomachache after every recording session!
- Idiot Hair: Haré and Weda. Perhaps it's hereditary.
- Informed Ability: Weda is supposedly a very skilled hunter, but we never get to see any of that.
- Kaiju: Haré fantasizes about Guu becoming one. And he may not be too far off the mark.
- Kafka Komedy
- Love Freak: Marie.
- Luke, I Am Your Father: Haré asks his mother one day who his father is. She pretty much tells him point blank that it's Dr. Clive. The Bad Doctor himself was also unaware. Neither of them reacts well to this revelation.
- Marshmallow Hell: See Gainax Bounce. Your eyes will never feel clean again.
- Meta Guy: Haré.
- Motor Mouth: Haré.
- Multicolored Hair: Most of the characters have at least the multi-shaded variety, including Haré.
- Nightmare Fuel Station Attendant: Guess who.
- No Fourth Wall
- Non-Nude Bathing: One episode had Guu convince Haré this was a new fad.
- Nosebleed: This is Bell's most frequent gag toward an apparent Les Yay over Weda... and she drains BUCKETS of them!
- Ocular Gushers: Poor, poor Haré.
- Older Alter Ego: Guu has one.
- Only Sane Man: Haré feels like this often, especially when the rest of the village takes the oddities that pop up in stride.
- Paper Fan of Doom: Guu uses it on the perennially annoying Wagi.
- Paranoia Gambit: While Guu starts out messing with Haré directly, as he grows wise to her ways she moves more towards simply doing nothing and letting Haré drive himself into escalating paranoia over what he imagines she might do.
- Phenotype Stereotype: Chet
- Parody: Combat video games, Power Rangers (Wendee Lee has voiced tons of characters in the actual show), and even high school anime and soap operas.
- Playboy Bunny: Weda dons the costume during the game show bit.
- Promotion to Parent: Lazy with regard to his little sister Marie.
- Raised By Animals: Rebecca was raised by Pokute, according to Elder. Also Haré, according to Guu.
- Reality Warper: This is basically Guu's shtick. Anything she wants will happen, no exceptions, no matter how crazy it is.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: "Normal" Guu has these, and they're just the tip of the iceberg as far as her weirdness goes...
- Rock-Paper-Scissors: Guu, Hare, and Wigur settle a dispute this way. Guu wins... somehow.
- Rubber Hose Limbs: Happens quite frequently to Guu, starting in the opening credits.
- Rule of Funny: Guu can basically do anything, all of which is used for the purpose of being funny. And freaking out Hare.
- Running Gag: Rain pours every time Guu's chaotic plans are complete and starts their mental breakdown on Haré. Usually at the end of an episode. Lampshaded, as Guu almost always opens an umbrella right before it does.
- Screwy Squirrel Guu.
- Seashell Bra: Worn by Guu at the beach.
- She Cleans Up Nicely: Weda.
- Sickeningly Sweethearts: Chet & Addy
- Spank the Cutie: Haré, thanks to a body switch misunderstanding.
- Sparkling Stream of Tears
- The Speechless: Two of the students. They're always seen in the background, and whenever one of them would speak, something seems to prevent us from hearing it.
- Spell My Name with an "S": Weda/Ueda, Leiji/Lazy, Hale/Hare, Goo/Guu. In the manga, her name is spelled "Goo" in English.
- Spoof Aesop: Frequently. And of course... it's usually Guu's doing.
Guu: And today's lesson is... no underwear.
- Super Mode: If pushed, Guu can transform into a much older, much more serious-looking, goddess-like version of herself. This happens very rarely and always heralds a serious asskicking.
- The Sweat Drop
- One Teacher School: Then again, this is the middle of the jungle...
- It becomes an actual two teacher school in the OVAs.
- Voluntary Shapeshifting: Guu can do this, apparently.
- White-Haired Pretty Boy: Dr. Clive. It was bleached, but then he dyed it black to get Dama to leave him alone.
- X Meets Y: None of them come close to being a perfect description of the show, but many have come up with great ones.
- Yandere: Yamada. She's introduced trying to kill herself in order to come back as a ghost to haunt the man who wronged her.