Inu X Boku SS – 06

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So why in the world would I start writing about a series right in the middle?

It’s not easy to answer why I’d start covering Inu X Boku SS – at least intermittently – halfway through its run.  There are lots of reasons, starting with the fact that almost all of my blogging schedule is concentrated Saturday through Monday this season.  I was enjoying this show more than Brave 10 and PapaKiki, which I’d been tentatively blogging until this week.  There have been developments in the series in the last few weeks that were of more interest to me than the first few eps.  Mostly, though, it’s because Inu X Boku is one of the very few series that have reminded me of Petopeto-san – one of my very favorite anime ever, and one of the most underrated.  There’s a similar sly and thoughtful look at race relations as played out through the intersection between the lives of ayakashi and humans, and though the tone is very different, it’s not as different as it first appears.  Petopeto-san is a sweet show that’s darker than it seems, and Inu X Boku is a dark show that’s sweeter than it seems.

Among the other things I like about this series is that it has a new ED every week, something I’ve always been a sucker for – I like seeing the various characters showcased.  While there’s a certain formulaic quality to the premise, the writing twists it enough to make it interesting, and I especially like the fact that the lead is a tsundere who knows she’s insufferable when she’s acting like one.  It’s highly unusual to see a character visibly slip in and out of tsundere mode like this, and try to catch herself when she does it.  It’s an interesting performance by young Hidaka Rina, who’s shown me a lot in her brief career.  The storytelling is unconventional, without too much interest in traditional plot (this week’s “conflict”, with the nure-onna, lasted about five minutes).  I also find it fascinating that the look of the series is so radically different from anything else David Productions has done.

For all that, I think the most interesting element of the series for me is how much more interesting the supporting cast is than the lead pair.  That’s both a strength and weakness for a show, and the fact is, while I find Ririchiyo’s situation interesting, I don’t find watching her – especially interacting with Soushi – all that interesting.  That’s why I’ve enjoyed seeing the focus of the series shift in recent episodes to my favorite pairing, Watanuki and Karuta.  What I love about these two – aside from the fact that they’re an incredibly kawaii couple – is that their relationship is so straightforward.  They feel exactly the same way – they love each other unreservedly, even if they have different ways of showing it.  Watanuki’s hapless efforts to appear strong (take off the damn hair clips, Boy!) and to protect Karuta despite the fact that she hardly needs it are the most compelling emotional pull of the series for me.  How can you not be taken in when he says “I’m bad – I won’t be friendly!”   I love Karuta’s odd yet oddly sensible look at the world – how she doesn’t see any of the things that distract normal people, but cuts right to the essence of any situation.  “Cooking is about the possibilities” indeed.

Fortunately, though I find Ririchiyo and Soushi less than riveting they’re not such a drag that it ruins the series for me.  I like them OK – just not as much as the supporting cast.  While Karuta and Watanuki are my favorites I’m also quite fond of Renshou, who hasn’t been as prominent of late but was my main source of amusement early on – a great deadpan performance by Hosoya Yoshimasa.  Of Miyano Mamoru’s Zange I’m still not sure – Miyano-san has had an amazing year but this is a bit of a lazy performance from him, too much in his old sweet spot.  A little Zange goes a long way for me.  He does bring a broader comic element to a generally low-key show, though, and that’s a positive – the occasional outbreaks of bizarre and outlandish humor are one of the things that keeps me coming back.  I wouldn’t go so far as to call this an excellent series – it’s no Petopeto-san taken as a whole – but it sneaks up on you.  It’s interesting and deceptively heartfelt and often subtle, and those are all qualities I appreciate.  In short – Inu x Boku is a good show, and it’s providing me a good deal of enjoyment.

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  1. K

    Karuta is my favorite character. I could easily watch a sequel to this with Karuta and Watanuki as the main characters.

    I'm not as fond of the dynamic of the main couple with the 9 tails always gushing over her and going on and on over her. There is lots of room for direction and possibilities to this series so I'm interested to see what happens next. It is a good way to spend 24 minutes of your life each week.

  2. b

    So I take it this means you'll drop blogging of Brave10 and PapaKiki? Only watching PapaKiki though.

    Not watching this show btw. Is this good? Synopsis didn't strike me as interesting.

  3. I may pick up B10 again, but it airs during a tough time of the week. PapaKiki is probably done.

  4. A

    Its been a long time since I thought of Petopeto-san. Thanks for the memory jog…… to dig through the old dvds. And yes, there is a similiarity in the stories. This series is definitely more than it seems on the surface.

  5. I

    Yes finally a someone has begun blogging this, it is an interesting show. thanks GE

  6. d

    So where were you all this time Enzo?
    Pretending that it was not good enough? denial?

  7. Do I have to blog everything I watch?

  8. d

    Yes you do. Not just watching. Reading too. You are already doing manga, news flashes of TV series.
    Movies and novels are next in line.

    Might even want to blog about your next trip overseas.
    In all seriousness, it is your site so do what you want. But reading other views are always interesting. Learning different perspective helps to broaden the mind. Especially with a platform to communicate with other readers

  9. Hey, I've blogged the last two Japan trips, haven't I?

    In short, I've grown to like this show more as it's developed – the first couple of eps didn't impress me enough to blog it. It's still not a revelation, but it seemed silly to be blogging PapaKiki and not InuBoku. I'd like to keep doing Brave 10, but there's just too much to keep up with on Sunday and Monday as is. I actually quite liked the last ep.

  10. d

    Quote deafvader: "Might even want to blog about your next trip overseas."
    Next is the word I am highlighting. I actually gave up on this series on episode 2. But thanks to you, I am back on it. Perhaps if you dropped Papa and switched to this Earlier is all I am saying.

  11. We all make mistakes – better late than never…

  12. E

    This show is good.
    At first I thought it will shift into a battle anime, because he's a "Secret Service". But it's just a refreshing slice of life of these half ayakashi. It's not bad overall.
    on the other side, Papa no Iu koto is a definitely an obscene show, which would put you in risk of being arrested just by watching it, lol! Why the hell is he sleeping together with underage girls who are not even blood related and acting lovey dovey with them?! OMG.

  13. S

    You know, you might want to go arrest YOURSELF as you have just proved that you've watched the show based on that last sentence.

    And seriously, what's wrong with sleeping with little kids? You see it in American movies about children all the time -.-

  14. d

    Sleeping with kids is fine. Underage sex is wrong though.

  15. E

    Now, now. Who would arrest themselves? Instead, I would never let the authority know. :-)
    Little kids? You do realize that one of them is a middle schooler who's ripe enough for sex already. To make things worse, she's totally not blood-related to him. And she's totally clinging on to him instead of simply sleeping on the same room.

  16. F

    Not to say I support Sora/Yuuta (because I don't) but jeez talk about making a mountain out of a molehill. She has a crush, because she's a hormonal teenager, Yuuta has done absolutely nothing to encourage her, and it IS entirely possible for people to sleep "together" and it not be sexual.

    You are the one with delusional fantasies and screaming about the show being "obscene", which it isn't even remotely, unless you are unbelievably uptight and prudish.

  17. S

    It's great that you've finally fallen for the sheer cuteness of this show that you've blogged about it midway. Hope you'll continue blogging it to the end.

    And Karuta for cutest character of 2012.

  18. Watanuki may be her toughest competition.

  19. d

    Reading that post just feels weird. Must be the Chihayafuru background.

  20. A

    Nure-onna really?
    For everyone here who doesn't no what that could imply I'll tell you:
    It meams a wet woman. Let tsukkomis fall where they may.

  21. A

    ''take off the damn hair clips, Boy!''

    But they look so good!

    I'm watching this show for two reasons. Firstly that it's David productions, and the last two shows they made (Level E and Ben-To) I had enjoyed greatly (moreso with Level E tho) & because it's one of the shows Crunchyroll has available, and I wanted to make full use of my subscription.

    My impression of it so far? It's nothing spectacular, but it's pretty enjoyable. I like the Tongue-in-cheek and self aware attitude it has (the endings are major lols, since they make sure to point out that they are being filmed and the one with Soushi with the kids looking at him was just fantastic, not to mention all the stalker undertones and the fact that everyone mentions how he sparkles …)

    The voice cast is really impressive as well, and the story isn't half bad. The artwork also is lovely giving an impression that this is more like a pages animated off a manga, though the animation itself is rather limited.

    Not bad at all.

  22. Boys + Hair Clips does not equal "tough".

    Well – "I'm bad, I won't be friendly!" doesn't exactly radiate "delinquent" either. Poor kid should just give up – but at least he has a perfect soul mate to soften the blow.

  23. F

    Mostly, though, it’s because Inu X Boku is one of the very few series that have reminded me of Petopeto-san – one of my very favorite anime ever, and one of the most underrated.

    My gob, it is smacked.

    piko piko piko piko

    Anyway, I largely agree on your assesment of the show, though I'm not incredibly invested in Karuta/Watanuki. Yeah they're cute together and all, but my inherent biases push me towards a different Karuta-centric pairing. No points for guessing what it is. But despite that, they are cute, and Karuta's easily my favorite character.

    I do like Ririchiyo quite a bit, her internal monologue is always very amusing, and she's pretty awesome in a fight, with a top-tier youkai form in terms of character design. Also I want to see her do some SCIENCE!

    As for Zange and Miyano, the character was clearly written with Ishida Akira in mind, so Miyano's doing his best Ishida impression, which admittedly is pretty good, but still leaves you thinking "shouldn't this be Ishida Akira?"

  24. S

    I have mentioned somewhere before that I thought Zange is an exact copy of Xerxes Break except for the youkai and bunny ears part, not that it's a bad thing as I quite like that kind of character stereotype.

  25. S

    Nice, an Inu x Boku SS post.

    I'd have to say this was one of the better episodes, due to the fact that this might have been the first time a demon enemy was introduced in the plot, as well as outsiders witnessing the main characters in their demon forms. I hope future episodes follow up on this.

    My favorite character so far is Renshou Sorinozuka. I find his laid back personality, as well as his demon form to be pretty amusing, as well as his easy going relationship with Ririchiyo. I was surprised he, as well as Nobara, didn't show up in this episode, but it was nice seeing Karuta and Watanuki in the spotlight. It was also a nice change of pace seeing Miketsukami as a minor background character.

    Zange is an interesting supporting character, but I wonder if we will see his demon form anytime soon. I like the voice choice Mamoru Miyano gave him, reminds me of Kida from Durarara, but this time the voice is Kida's playful flirty personality, full-time in Zange's voice.

    Also there was supposed to be a serious plot set up with Kagerou in the last episode, concerning Ririchiyo and the letters, I'm curious what will become of that in the following episodes. More Kagerou would be great too.

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