Inu X Boku SS Series Review

Overview:

Inu X Boku tells the story of Ririchiyo, a girl who knows that she has a problem dealing with other people, moving into an apartment complex for the super rich. Every tenant has a member of the secret service as a bodyguard. Turns out, the tenants are more than just rich, and Ririchiyo’s agent is more than she bargained for given she didn’t want one in the first place.

Review:

Yes, it’s another story about an emotionally closed off, super smart girl with a bad attitude being pursued by a very needy and super good looking guy who is absolutely incapable of being discouraged. Okay, that doesn’t sound all that typical and yet the first episode of this series really feels like it isn’t treading any ground we haven’t seen before.  That said, as long as you don’t instantly hate Ririchiyo, there’s actually a lot to like about this anime.

Also note that there is a reasonable age difference in the romantic pairing and some genuinely creepy stalker type moments as well as a character who is obsessed with defining the world through the eyes of S&M. If that didn’t put you off keep reading.

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I’m actually going to point out the obvious about the story. There isn’t really an overall plot. Ririchiyo moves into the complex and the story follows her daily interactions with the other inhabitants and we watch her slowly learn how to deal with them in some way. There’s also the overall romance between Ririchiyo and Miketsukami which sways back and forth throughout but there’s no overall drive behind anything really.  I should also mention that all of the main characters are possessed by a yokai (or are a throwback to one or the like) and can channel them to use their power.

Without a plot, things are definitely slow moving. Individual episodes set up minor challenges (such as Ririchiyo trying to invite Miketsukami to have coffee with her) but these don’t amount to much more than amusing or thought provoking vignettes and while we learn more about the characters through them, they aren’t exactly creating a sense of urgency.

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For me to like an anime with so little direct plot is kind of odd but I credit my overall enjoyment to the characters themselves (cliché archetypes though they might be).

Ririchiyo is a character I identify well with. She knows that she says really harsh things to others or that she comes across as harsh but she doesn’t know how to stop herself and so she makes the decision to close herself off. However, that isn’t a way one can get any better at interactions. Throughout the series she takes some major steps toward being able to interact with others, though she still hesitates and dithers. Probably the moment that annoyed me the most about her was when she first started having feelings for Miketsukami and thought that her heart racing was caused by arrhythmia. For someone so smart that was really, really dumb. I do however like her awkward overtures of friendship to the others who live in the complex and her occasionally awkward exclamations when she makes a breakthrough in her quest for self-awareness.

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Miketsukami on the other hand is an odd character. I like him as a character because he has a tragic past (which is explored well in the second half of the series), his motivation is always crystal clear and it makes sense, and all of his actions can in some way be linked to that motivation. That said, if he were a person, he would be way too creepy. His overtly clingy nature and stalker like tendencies (did you not see that wall of photos in his room) make the relationship between Ririchiyo and Miketsukami a little less than sweet. His interactions with Ririchiyo are entertaining and at times touching and I particularly like the ending where they finally realise they both suck at communicating and that they pretty much need to start over. He’s also pretty awesome in his yokai form.

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Now if you are after a cute relationship, Watanuki and Karuta just might do it for you. Karuta seems like a complete air-head obsessed with food but as Watanuki points out, she just sees the world differently. Time and again we see evidence that Karuta is actually very aware of what is going on and she deals with it in her own unique fashion. Watanuki on the other hand is a self-declared delinquent and initially is really irritating but once he calms down a little he becomes quite the sweet boy in love. These two characters are adorable to watch and their friendship/romance develops in the background as this show progresses.

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There are plenty of other characters bouncing around but my least favourite would be Kagerou, Ririchiyo’s supposed fiance. Every scene he is in he is being obnoxious. His presence does lend some needed tension and he does push some emotionally buttons that need to be hit to get any kind of plot progression but he is a really unlikable character and his departures are always greatly appreciated (and not just by the characters in the show).

Other than the characters, the other thing I found quite enjoyable was the closing credits. Each character essentially got their own song throughout the season and these added quite a bit to our knowledge of the characters and consolidated their general view of the world. Karuta’s is especially amusing and even Kagerou’s is very fitting for his character. I also really enjoy the opening theme and feel it kind of captures the feeling of the anime.

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So, not a perfect anime but, as I said at the start, if you like the characters and aren’t put off by them, you will probably find this an enjoyable watch. Thinking about it, it’s probably the fact that it’s basically a romance with a vaguely supernatural air that ultimately sold it to me, even if the romance is a little bit creepy.

As a bonus, if you would like to see a Twilight trailer parody featuring the cast of Inu X Boku, I found this shared by Nicole Parker. I found it amusing.

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21 thoughts on “Inu X Boku SS Series Review

    1. It’s kind of an odd mix in what is for the most part a romantic anime when a lot of the audience just don’t want the main couple to end up together or find the whole thing just a bit too creepy. That said, it at least stands out from the crowd of other romances.

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        1. That didn’t bother me so much as it seemed a core part of why he was so emotionally shut down. He really didn’t know how to approach an actual relationship that wasn’t a transaction. That said, it does add to the overall creepy factor of the relationship given her age.

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          1. There’s a season of anime and there’s an OVA, whether that is finished who can tell. I’m happy with the ending with the couple finally begin together but that probably isn’t story over in the manga (never read it).

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  1. It feels more like a mashup of all things popular into one multicoloured genre.
    Well with time we will know if the fun and cheerfulness will run dry or it will be worth the time

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  2. i remember seeing this awhile ago, and really enjoyed it! My favorite was definitely Karuta and Watanuki, and her song is too adorable! I actually liked Kagerou for how ridiculous he is, assigning S and M to literally everything. And seeing that he didn’t much care for Richiyo just meant less drama for me to deal with.

    I remember reading that the author for this has passed away at the age of 31. That is truly tragic.

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      1. I liked his song as well! Although Sweet Parade was my favorite and is now on my playlist, along with the OP and couple of other Mucc’s. I remember watching the OVA and you get to see the main male’s room, and that got tad more creepy. Like a shrine to Richiyo

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  3. I’ll agree with you about the characters. They’re moderately enjoyable and have enough spunk to carry the show. That being said, I don’t think they’re suited in a dramatic light, which made the last few episodes a drag for me. Should this series focus more on comedy and lovey-dovey reactions, I probably would’ve liked it more. Instead, the ending just made the structure of what little there is of a story all the more formulaic. An “eh” series for me.

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    1. The end definitely wasn’t trying to be in any way surprising. I would have definitely liked to have seen some of the other characters get some closure on their issues rather than just the main couple.

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