- Genre : Comedy, slice of life, Japanese Folklore
- Episodes: 12
- Studio: TMS Entertainment
A lonely young girl amuses herself by playing the popular Meiji period divination game Kokkuri-san by herself and is soon visited by the incarnations of the traditional Japanese folklore figures believed to inhabit the game: ko 狐, foxes – the divine kitsune spirit, servants of the Shinto deity Inari(link); ku 狗, tengu, the “heavenly dog”; and ri 狸, tanuki, the classic Bake-danuki of legend.
As you can clearly see, this is an epic tale soaked in Japanese mythology. Actually, it’s a silly little slice of life comedy that has pretty much nothing to do with the description above. Sorry… It did make me look up all that stuff though so in a way, it is a culturally rich tale that will teach about the folklore and legends of various places in Japan….
I have a feeling this title slipped past a lot of people when it first came out. I haven’t really heard much about it from…well anyone really. It’s too bad. Not that this is anything particularly fantastic but it is a fun little story with pretty character designs, a nice bright colour palette and a fun offbeat cast of characters tangentially based on actual Japanese lore. It’s a bit like what the Morose Mononokean **could** have been.
Being essentially a slice of life comedy, each episode is more or less a self-contained story, usually irreverent and often weird. It’s also pretty fun. Even though the series doesn’t really go anywhere in particular, it never pretends to be something it’s not. You’re not being taken on a journey here, you’re being invited to tag along on a meandering stroll, through a sunny park, on a lazy Sunday afternoon with no particular goal in mind.
Much like the rest of the show, the characters are all ridiculous, over the top parodies. However, they do all get the chance to show tiny glimpses of their more serious sides throughout the series. Usually it’s blink and you’ve missed it moments but if you do catch them, they can be surprisingly touching.
Kohina herself, the above-mentioned young girl, in the unusual dual role of both straight man and weirdo is particularly amusing. Her super deadpan humor is an effective foil to the exaggerated shenanigans of the rest of the cast and she has these scary moments of pure evil that just make you want to know more. Ok, maybe I’m the one only who wants to get to know evil people better… Her budding friendship with her classmate is unexpectedly sweet and her diet is admirable. Seriously though, this show made me so hungry…. If I had the ambition, I would go through the entire cast. They each do have something to bring and are all interesting in their own ways. But I’m lazy.
I would definitely watch another season of this. Clearly the first one was nothing but a start but it was a pretty good one.
Favorite character: Inugami – best of both worlds
What this anime taught me about myself: Apparently the Tanuki is in fact my spirit animal, from Wikipedia:
The legendary tanuki has eight special traits that bring good fortune, possibly created to coincide to the hachi symbol (八, meaning ‘eight’) often found on the sake bottles the statues hold. The eight traits are these:
- a hat to be ready to protect against trouble or bad weather;
- big eyes to perceive the environment and help make good decisions;
- a sake bottle that represents virtue;
- a big tail that provides steadiness and strength until success is achieved;
- an over-sized scrotum that symbolizes financial luck;
- a promissory note that represents trust or confidence;
- a big belly that symbolizes bold and calm decisiveness; and
- a friendly smile.
ok the scrotum thing is a little weird…
“Everyone needs to believe in something. I believe I’ll have another beer”
Suggested drink: Quick fox
- Every time Inugami changes gender – take a drink
- Every time someone is about to hang themselves – take a drink
- Every time Kokkuri-san and Inugami argue – take a side
- Every time Inugami is clingy – hug your dog, don’t have a dog? adopt one
- Every time Shigaraki drinks – join him
- Every time Shigaraki actually does something good – toast him
- Every time Kohina eats ramen – get a snack
- Every time Kokkuri-san plays mother – take a drink
- Every time Kohina says she’s a doll – take a drink
- Every time we see Jimeko – get someone flowers