Love is a many-splendored thing. It can happen when you least expect it and can happen to anyone… including a nine-tailed fox and a sharp-tongued loli, as seen in Inu x Boku SS. Alright, I think I made it sound even stranger than it is, when in reality, it’s actually pretty sweet. Enough with me ruining the vibe, let’s get to the review~
Length: 12 Episodes + 1 Episode Special
Genre: Comedy, Romance, Supernatural
Maison de Ayakashi, a luxury condo that houses humans that have inherited the blood of youkai. Since these part-human, part-youkai are often attacked by full-blooded youkai, they live in groups and support one another. Yearning for solitude due to her lack of communication skills, Ririchiyo Shirakiin takes up residency there, but it’s not solitude that she finds. Surrounded by an eccentric lot of characters—not to mention an overly affectionate and mysterious Secret Service agent of her own—Ririchiyo (and her pretentious facade) looks to overcome her deep-rooted problem.
That synopsis may make it seem like this is going to be an anime with a rather large focus on these characters using their powers to battle various youkai, but that’s actually not the case at all. From what I understand (since I haven’t read it), the manga has a greater emphasis on the youkai, but we’re spared those details in the anime. Aside from three or so encounters with youkai, the focus is on the relationships between the residents, particularly Miketsukami and Ririchiyo. There’s a real lack of good romance in yuri anime, and even though this certainly isn’t a yuri anime, there’s still a romance that turned out to be surprisingly good. Well, I’m sure some people could view it as a bit creepy, since Ririchiyo is only fifteen and Miketsukami is seven years older, but despite the age-gap, I wouldn’t go as far as to call their relationship disturbing.
Both of the main characters have quite an interesting backstory—which is something that the other characters are lacking—and it’s nice that we get to see exactly how that has shaped who they are and why they act the way they act. As far as love stories go, it’s a bit awkward, but the balance between romance and comedy feels just right. Also, we eventually get a really great love confession that validates everything that had happened up until that point. Okay, I know that I shouldn’t be going on and on about a het romance on a yuri blog, but that’s pretty much the entirety of the story. Anyway, let’s move on….
While this romance is unfolding between the main characters, the others are left to go about their business, and even though this doesn’t include anything of any significant importance, their mostly trivial matters never really get boring. Nobara fawning over any and every girl, Watanuki being the worst delinquent ever, Kagerou making everyone uncomfortable, Karuta devouring any food she can find, Sorinozuka just roaming about, and Zange being Zange; I think I just summarized nearly everything that involves them. All in all, everything falls back to the love story, which is more than enough to carry the narrative, in my opinion.
So basically, the love story of Inu x Boku SS is where the meat of the story resides, but thankfully, we have some memorable characters to accompany us along the way. The eight important characters are broken up into pairs, so let’s cover them real quick~
First off, there are the two main characters, Ririchiyo and Miketsukami. As Ririchiyo’s agent, Miketsukami shows an undying devotion and loyalty to her similar to that of a dog and their master. He actually refers to himself as her dog, and is every bit as obedient as one. Personality-wise, they seem like complete opposites, but they’re actually more like each other than they realize. The term “tsunshun” was actually invented because of Ririchiyo, as she’s sour on the outside and sad on the inside. Personally, I ship these two, since they’re just so great together. But enough about them.
Watanuki and Zange: As a self-proclaimed delinquent, Watanuki acts tough, but in reality, he’s just a straitlaced individual who’s secretly in love with Karuta. Like his name suggests, his youkai form is that of a tanuki, which is completely useless, other than for comedic (and adorable) purposes. Zange, on the other hand, is the most flashy and flamboyant of all the characters. He’s also the most mysterious, and it’s hard to imagine anyone other than Mamoru Miyano doing him justice.
Nobara and Sorinozuka: Honestly, Sorinozuka is the least interesting of the main cast, but thankfully, he’s paired up with Nobara. As someone who couldn’t care less about men, Nobara spends her time perusing smutty magazines and generally being the resident yuri perv. Her youkai form is a snow woman, which figures, since she’s always cold to Sorinozuka and any other male character that dares test her. With how much play Ririchiyo and Miketsukami get, she nobly had to represent the yuri faction, and she did a pretty good job. I don’t think she’s a very well-known character, and that’s kind of a shame, but she’s one of my personal favorite yuri characters. Much love, Nobara~
Karuta and Kagerou: Kagerou arrives late to the party, but he quickly becomes one of the most important characters in the story. As Miketsukami’s former master and Ririchiyo’s fiancé, a strange love triangle of sorts forms, which adds an interesting twist to the drama involving those two. He’s arrogant and annoying, but he’s also some of the best entertainment in the show. We have him to thank for this gem of a scene. Karuta is Kagerou’s agent and the resident glutton. She’s also the cutest bottomless food pit ever. These two are complete opposites, but they both bring a lot to the table.
This is probably one of my favorite ensemble casts that I’ve come across in anime. Nearly everyone is outlandish enough that it’s easy to take a liking to them, and memorable enough that it’s hard to forget them. It might have been nice learning more about some of the characters, but I can’t really complain with what we ultimately got.
Alright, so far, so good. When it comes to the visuals, I don’t think they matter too much in an anime like this, but that being said, this is a solid-looking show. One nice aspect of this anime is how the characters occasionally get chibi-fied (I just invented that word). Of course, it’s not impressive from a technical standpoint, but it adds to the comedy and just the overall charm of the show. So at the end of the day, this is a pretty average-looking anime. Nothing more, nothing less.
In addition to some fantastic performances from pretty much the entire cast of seiyuus, the themes are something that definitely stand out. The OP is probably in my top ten all-time favorites, and the song (Nirvana by MUCC) was actually the very first single that I bought that was featured in an anime. To make matters even better, every character has their own personal ED (even though some pairs share one). Nobara and Sorinozuka’s was my personal favorite, but there isn’t a bad one in the bunch. The background music is generally pleasant, yet I don’t think there’s anything that’s especially great. Nevertheless, having HanaKana, Mamoru Miyano, and Yoko Hikasa among the the voice actors is pretty awesome, and overall, I’m very satisfied with how the audio turned out.
As you can probably tell from the review thus far, the het romance is the foundation for this show, but that’s not to say that yuri fans are completely left out in the cold. As was the case with Loveless, there’s some yuri content to be found in even the most unexpected of places. Here, Nobara does her very best to assure that there’s some yuri love spread around in this show. Almost all of her interactions with the other girls are for comedic effect, but since when was that necessarily a bad thing? This is a comedy after all. Other than a boob-poking session and that brief shower scene with the maid (as shown above), you don’t really see her act on her desires, which is a shame. It would have been nice to get something more, but whatever. Compared to the two main characters, this doesn’t sound like much at all, yet her scenes are always entertaining and leave you looking forward to the next one. So according to our patented yuri rating system, it gets a decent yuri score.
I know, it’s a het romcom with only one measly yuri character, but if you can look past all that, there’s a nice time to be had with this anime. With plenty of comedy, memorable characters, and yes, an endearing love story, you yourself may be the one to fall in love… with Inu x Boku SS.
Total Enjoyment: 8