- Genre: Supernatural, romance, comedy yokai
- Episodes: 12
- Studio: David Production
You know what’s tough? Having a defence mechanism that makes you lash out and be rude or mean to people whenever you feel shy or awkward even though you would really like to be friendly. Oh no wait, you know what’s worse than that? Having everyone think you lead the perfect life just because you come from a super rich family when in reality you’ve been isolated your whole life and most people just want to get something out of you. But that might not be as bad as having been separated from and ignored by your parents your whole life just because you are a little different from your sister. I mean it’s no wonder you’re having a tough time connecting with others. Wait wait, there’s more! As if all of that wasn’t bad enough, what if you are a half human descendent of an ancient and powerful Yokai, granting you all kinds of amazing powers with all kinds of strings attached. Actually that last part sounds not too bad. You can even go live in a mention full of half Yokai. Really attractive half Yokai. With your own amazingly loyal bodyguard! Things are looking up!
A little while ago I watched Blast of Tempest. Some of you may recall that I had picked up the series because In/Spectre had just finished and I wanted something in the same vein so AniList suggested Blast of Tempest. It was a fine series and I’m glad I watched it but it turns out that what I actually wanted to see was Inu x Boku SS. Why didn’t AniList suggest that??? Why isn’t the website psychic?
I’m not quite sure how to describe the production of Inu x Boku SS. I would call is flashy maybe? Here’s the thing, it a well made anime. A really well made anime. But I have a feeling it was on a budget. It’s super pretty, with really nice character designs, good backgrounds and very consistent art and animation. But at the same time there isn’t that much animation, the backgrounds repeat a lot and although nice enough aren’t very intricate, and the colours lack a certain depth. But it looks great! Am I making any sense? Wait, this was made in 2012? So maybe it’s just a little aged. It looks great!
Fine, let’s get to the important part, I drooled over most of the characters which was a little uncomfortable cause some of them seem very young…
Also the cast is amazing. One of my favourite ensemble casts in a while. Individually, most of the actors are worth noting but together they are even better. Great chemistry!
Inu x Boku does one thing that I usually don’t care for at all. I has a plot relevant end scene after the closing credits. There’s nothing inherently wrong with that but it does mean I can’t simply skip the end credits and go on to the next episode when I’m binging a series. And I did finish this one in just a couple of days.
However, this was heavily mitigated by the fact that Inu x Boku has an entirely different ED almost every episode. That means a new song (often sung by one of the characters) and completely new visuals and style. Even the few repeat EDs have some differences here and there to keep things fresh. I can’t quite explain why this impressed me so much but it really made a mark and I felt like I really needed to mention it in the review. You know, I might just want some more of this show.
When I say this is what I wanted to watch to quench my In/Spectre thirst, it might give you a good idea of the story. It reminded me of a mix of In/Spectre and Pandora Hearts. Which sounds pretty weird but it seems I really like that!
Structurally, Inu x Boku SS is closest to a Slice of Life, surprisingly. It follows Ririchiyo, a very socially awkward girl, as she slowly learns how to come out of her shell and make friends in her new living arrangement and at school. There is some big complicated back story of ancient Yokai and powerful families but that’s merely a backdrop. It does give you the impression that the series is just a tiny part of a much larger adventure. I may cave and get the manga eventually but I still really enjoyed it for what it was.
And what it was was a surprisingly light hearted and occasionally really funny comedy that got super romantic at the end. Like the last episode may have been a bit too romantic for my tastes but by then I liked the characters enough to just go with it.
Which is the crutch of it all. Like most SoL shows… I have a feeling some readers might feel cheated if I don’t clarify this a bit. I wouldn’t say it’s an actual Slice of Life. There is a very loose connecting thread that goes over the entire season but the action of each episode is fairly stand alone and a lot of it is just Ririchiyo and friends having fun at school or the people at the Ayakashi house playing pranks on each other or having little competitions. One episode is them burying a time capsule, another is Ririchiyo’s long lost fiancee reappearing out of nowhere to classify everything around as either a Masochist or a Sadist (a running gag I really liked). So let’s say it’s Slice of Life like.
Back to what I was saying, like most SoL like shows, your enjoyment of Inu x Boku is probably going to hinge entirely on how much you like the characters. There’s a pretty big spread of archetypes so most people should find at least one to their taste but I won’t deny a certain shoujo sensibility in the characterizations. Still, I’m going to venture that if you liked In/Spectre or Pandora Hearts, you’ll likely enjoy Inu x Boku SS. If you liked both, then you definitely will enjoy it!
Favourite character: Zange
What this anime taught me: Yoshimasa Hosoya is an amazing actor!
“You’re riding a horse full speed.. there’s a giraffe beside you.. and you’re being chased by a lion .. what do you do?.. get your drunk ass off the carousel”
Suggested drink: A Last Love Letter (isn’t that a lovely cocktail name?)
- Every time we see falling sakura petals – take a breath, there are a lot
- Every time Ririchiyo is in her Yokai form – take a sip
- Every time Sou (Inu) is being clingy – take a very small sip
- Every time we see chibi Ririchiyo – awwww take a sip
- Every time Sou sparkles – Sparkle too!
- Every time anyone other than Yuki wears glasses – take a sip
- Every time Yuki flirts with any of the girls – raise your glass
- Every time Ririchiyo gets dressed – take a sip
- Every time Ririchiyo talks about her family – take a sip
- Every time Karuta is eating – get a snack
- Every time Sou says good morning – say good morning
- Every time Ririchiyo collapses in bed – stretch
- Every time anyone mentions the letters – take a suspicious sip
- Every time anyone swoons over Sou – agree
- Every time Watanuki gets yanked by the tail – feel bad for him
- Every time Watanuki is a delinquent – take a sip
- Every time Kage comes bearing gifts – be jealous that you aren’t getting any
I filled up a pinterest board and I have enjoyed revisiting it! I hope I didn’t give you the impression that Ririchiyo isn’t great… She is! I have the pics to prove it!