I’m thinking that from the age of 14-17 is the most dangerous time in a Japanese girl’s life. I’ve lost count of the amount of times crazy shit happens to female protagonists at this age (I guess boys don’t fare much better). This week we have Inu x Boku SS which is already a crazy title. I was sceptical after reading a synopsis describing a 15 year old being obsessively stalked by her supposed bodyguard but after watching the show it at least comes across more interesting and less creepy, so win?
Predictably this is a romance anime but what sets it apart from other romances is the supernatural element! Ok so not that unusual either but it actually handles it pretty well. Our story begins with a big ass building called the Maison de Ayakashi, apparently that height is for show cause there are at most like 20 people there, so great use of resources guys. Each resident is assigned a bodyguard so immediately you’re thinking “Ok so the residents must be the rich and famous right?” Well they are seemingly wealthy but that is not why they are so protected, each person living here is a hybrid of human and yokai. Guess their grandparents where exceptionally freaky. This means they can change into a demon form and only some families know about them etc. etc.
Each person has a different demon ancestor and is treated well or crappy depending on what it is. Our main character is a girl named Ririchiyo whose ancestor is an oni, yet predictably only grows some tiny horns when transformed rather than looking like a big, ugly troll (which I would have laughed a lot at… dammit). She was treated well by her family in a sense, she had a lot of prestige but she became a symbol of her family rather than being loved as a child. She moved to try to be independent and to be alone. When she arrives she is assigned a bodyguard named Soshi Miketsukami who might as well have THE HOT DEVOTED LOVE INTEREST stamped on his face as he immediately requests to be killed if Ririchiyo doesn’t want him to serve her.
Ririchiyo reacts as any normal person would, with great discomfort and fear, but gradually grows to like him and all that jazz. Miketsukami’s story was actually a hell of a lot more interesting, his demon is the nine tailed fox so the grand beast of crazy shit going down in the past. His family acted with poise and grace and… Only joking! They locked him in a room for his entire childhood. Do social workers just not check in this lala land? How were they able to keep him trapped when he has the power of the nine tailed fox? I’ve seen the anime and the movies and that is one powerful beast! Anyway, he learns that women are susceptible to cute things and managed to wrangle his freedom by first gaining pity and then just sleeping around and seducing more and more powerful women. It was actually really sad to see. So I guess that’s why he occasionally acts much like a psychopath…
The guy is absolutely devoted to Ririchiyo to an annoying degree in the sense that he doesn’t give a damn about himself in any way. She never abuses this though and is quick to set him straight when he’s acting like a weirdo. She also needs his help because her social skills are terrible. She’s the kind of girl who would try to compliment you by trying to say your hair looked nice but instead it comes out as your hair doesn’t look so ugly now! She means well but struggles a lot having had a rough childhood and being bullied, she tends to slap people down before they get to hurt her.
But these aren’t the only two crazies running around, we have the childhood friend (who hilariously is descended from a literal roll of cloth that smothers people), his bodyguard a snow lady, a cute girl descended from a giant skeleton, the oni fiancé, a version of tanuki and the multi eyed monster thing. There are also the staff of the place who are a borrower, kappa, a snake and a good luck monster. Yeah I could go into all the proper mythology but then I really would be here forever.
The demon part really just gives them some cool alternate looks and doesn’t have much to do with the plot at all apart from an excuse for them to have terrible childhoods and occasionally fight demons that are drawn to them. One other thing to mention is that these people have been reincarnated since their first birth, when they die they are reborn into the same family with no memory of their past life but looking the same and with the same powers, so let’s hope Miketsukami’s family learn their lesson…
The other characters do get some development particularly Karuta (skeleton) and Banri (tanuki) who both are roughly the same age as Ririchiyo and like each other but never move anywhere with it, at least they help Ririchiyo to stop being such a butt. Zange (the eye demon) following the rule that anime characters who always have their eyes closed are devious, knows a lot about people to tease them but also push them in the right direction. Kagerou (oni) is Ririchiyo’s fiancé, because apparently they wanna keep those blood lines trolly, and although he was hilarious with his obsession with S&M, he really felt like a shoe horned in drama bomb. They did the two guys fighting over one girl but Kagerou’s heart really didn’t seem in it to me xD
The anime is only 12 episodes long which is a shame as the manga takes a much more interesting turn right after the last episode. I will say Ririchiyo’s confession to Miketsukami was one of the most adorable and heart wrenching things I’ve seen in a while. I liked the slow build up of romance and the other characters were lively enough for me to be interested in them as well.
This anime doesn’t have a deep meaningful plot, it has sad back stories and potential but overall it’s mainly watching a really anxious shy girl gradually accept the guy who loves her for who she is to an obsessive degree xD If you like sweet romances and want something different from the usual high school back drop then this will keep you entertained for a short while. I would also recommend the manga as it starts going into crazy time travel tragedy if you like the anime.
The art style is consistent and the character designs are lovely, especially our leads and Karuta. Surprisingly I liked all of the characters, they weren’t too clichéd as they all had their own lives and it wasn’t a case of each one had a terrible problem they had to overcome each episode.
The endings are also interesting as the characters get their own versions, even if you don’t watch the anime you should totally check out Kagerou’s.