- Genre : Drama, Music, Workplace, Romance, Hacker
- Episodes: 12
- Studio: Yumeta Company
Hu Li is one lucky guy! He has a dream, you see. One of those silly pipe dreams we all have, of making it huge as a signer. But Hu Li may actually have the talent to see his dream through. That is until tragedy leaves him as the sole bread earner of the family and he finds himself forced to pervert his dream. Becoming a ghost singer for a rising idol instead. Working in secret and deceiving the audience. Is it too late for Hu Li to come out of the shadows and bring his dream to light? Even though he’s bound to keep his job secret, it seems someone has found out and is working behind the scenes to make the truth come out. This could spell disaster for Hu Li but then again, it could finally be his chance. Besides, Hu Li, is one lucky guy.
I would like to start by saying this: Voice of Fox is better than you think. Of course, I’m assuming you think it’s pretty bad or you’ve never heard of it before, so you think it’s inexistent. Well just let me tell you, this little anime definitely did exist at some point….maybe… to the extent you can be certain of anything existing really…. So There!
I had spotted Voice of Fox as soon as it came out and thought the premise was quite interesting and unusual. So, I set it aside in my to binge pile, for later consumption. I was a little disappointed to see that only Karandi seemed to be following the series and it sort of came and went without much impact at all. Even the 6.6 MAL rating is just sort of whatever.
By the time I finally got to it…actually I was still really intrigued. Having it fly so low under the radar gave me nothing to go on. This was one mysterious fox indeed!
One thing I somehow never picked up on before starting the series (and only realized a few episodes in because I was dropped on my head a lot as a kid), is that this is a short program. Every episode is roughly 13 minutes so it’s only an average half season commitment. I don’t know why I always get so excited about short programs. I think it has something to do with the fact that I can review more if I can watch it in less time. In any case, this already was a point in Voice of Foxe’s favour. Try saying that 3 times fast!
Visually, the show is fine. There’s something just a little coarse in the rendering, like the image is too sharp but it’s still pretty. They do this odd thing where character eyelashes have colored gradients that match their eye color. It was a little distracting at first but once you get use to it, it’s actually a neat little trick.
One striking and odd element is that the show would regularly throw in some exceedingly cartoonish sight gags. Like characters whose eyes go heart shaped and pop out of their heads. And they would change up the entire style for these scenes, so it almost looked like an old timey 1960s American cartoon just for a second.
The entire series is focused on music and signing, so I’m happy to report that the cast all had very nice voices. Especially Hu Li, who definitely a very talented singer. Unfortunately, I would say they are all slightly better singer than actors and the script did them no favours.
Fact is, Voice of Fox is a fairly simple story with a fantastic premise which gets mired in silly and unneeded contrivances to build fake drama and rather poor delivery. The dialogue is stilted and uninteresting. Basically, you get most of the story through exposition as such conversations between characters are almost entirely utilitarian. There’s no subtlety or complexity to the text at all.
Moreover, the actual premise of a talented singer being tied to a contract that forces them to keep their gift hidden and let another take all the credit is already full of potential conflict and emotional resonance. There was zero need to throw in enormously tragic backstories and endlessly convenient plot twists. All that does is take away from said excellent premise and bog down the runtime making impossible to develop any characters. The story could have been a lot better if they had restrained themselves a bit.
I know what I just said. I am not that far gone. Now I’m going to say the opposite. The hacker-stalker character of sky is annoyingly convenient, completely unnecessary and I liked them. Having some mysterious figure find out about Hu Li and threaten his secret really wasn’t needed in any way. It falls into the stupid twists I mentioned above (there are a surprising amount) but it is still oddly enjoyable.
The short runtime, doubled with the competition aspect of the show (as the singers a all vying to become the next Star of China) and then with an extra layer of mystery, means that you don’t really have any time to dwell on what’s not working in the series. It keeps you moving along, mildly interested by the shallow riddles to solve and before you know it, you’ve watched 8 episodes.
Sure there’s some completely deranged melodrama that makes the characters seem downright unhinged, have the narrative is deus ex machina and the ending is so open ended that most people were left gripping…but I liked it. See even after reading this, Voice of Fox is better than you think.
It’s paced really well, there’s this frantic sense of goodwill and fun. I’m not sure if this was a Chinese production. The story is set in China and all the characters are clearly Chinese judging by their names but all the writing in the show is in Japanese. In any case there was something a bit foreign about it. Little touches and elements, both visual and narrative tropes, that haven’t really seen in any other anime. Making it a rather unique experience.
The characters are underdeveloped but in a campy telenovela sort of way that makes them seem amusingly unhinged (because their reactions come out of nowhere since we haven’t gotten to know them at all) rather than flat and boring. The premise is executed in a particularly clumsy and ineffective way but remains a great idea. And it’s short. I have watched worse, longer…
If you are expecting a masterpiece, this isn’t it. It’s an average show with some glaring low points and some very good elements but they can get overshadowed. Overshadowed! Get it? That’s o.k., I don’t either…
Favorite character: Suran
What this anime taught me: Burn scars are stylish AF
You can’t buy happiness but you can by beer and that’s almost the same thing.
Suggested drink: Liquefied Ghost
- Every time we see “night fox” – take a sip
- Every time the label exec is EVIL – take a sip
- Every time we hear “Star of China” – take a sip
- Every time there’s a new message from Sky – gasp
- Every time Hu L wakes up n class – take a sip
- Every time Hu Li is “haunted”– put down the glass
- Every time we hear “main stage”– take a sip
- Every time there’s applause – take a bow
- Every time there’s a dramatic hospital call at the worst possible time – curses!!!