Why Ririchiyo Was Doomed To Fail Alone

horriblesubs inu x boku secret service 04 720p mkv snapshot 04 20 2012 02 03 22 04 52

Back again with another character; this time Ririchiyo Shirakiin from Inu X Boku SS. At some point I’m going to have to come back and look at some of the supporting cast from the story and certainly Miketsukami will need his own post but for today, I’m just looking at Ririchiyo as she is presented in the anime.

Remember if you have a character you wold like to see a post on, simply fill in the quick survey here and provided I know enough about the character I’ll take a crack at writing about them. Thanks to everyone who has suggested a character and I’m sorry to those who I can’t respond to as I just don’t know enough about the suggested characters.

All About Ririchiyo

We meet Ririchiyo as she is moving into Ayakashi Kan, determined to live on her own until she learned how to live with others… a contradiction in and of itself but one she was unable to see until it was explicitly pointed out to her. Ririchiyo has quite the sharp tongue and seems to intentionally drive others away however she later feels quite remorseful because of her actions. I was interested in her character after watching Inu x Boku SS and did a bit of looking around and apparently she falls into the tsunshun character type rather than tsundere largely because of her depression felt after the fact.


What makes Ririchiyo particularly interesting is that we meet her after she’s already made the decision that she needs to change. The story is one about her working toward achieving the change she’s already recognised is needed in her life. As such we see the character half-way along their journey and travel with her for a time before the anime ends and while she makes some interesting growth throughout her journey is far from over when the final episode comes to a close. Still, I am glad for the time we have with this character because while certain elements of her personality feel a little over done, she’s pretty entertaining to watch melt down internally as she second guesses something she’s just done.

I guess I should probably mention she’s also a descendent of a clan that is possessed by a yokai and can turn into her yokai form, a very pretty demon girl. She doesn’t use it all that often throughout the anime though but it is another reason for her personality as it is part of the reason for her isolated childhood.

Is Ririchyo a ‘poor little rich girl’?

Where Ririchiyo is a bit problematic is that in the flashbacks of her childhood, very little of it seems all that horrible. Admittedly, she is most definitely isolated and her parents do an outstanding job of making her feel cut off and emotionally detached, yet in comparison with so many other anime characters and tragic back-stories, Ririchiyo’s seems very ordinary. Particularly compared with other characters within this anime. Her warped and twisted personality may very well have nothing to do with social isolation and everything to do with her innate person and she uses her childhood as an excuse for all the barbs and prickles.


Certainly she suffers some bullying at school and comes to the realisation that even teachers treat her in certain ways because of her family connections. These things aren’t ‘nothing’ and would have an impact on her development. As would her parents rarely seeing her and blaming her for her younger sister feeling inferior. Yet the fact remains that Ririchiyo had people around her looking out for her and was well cared for even if she was not as emotionally supported as she might have been.

It might have been nice to see Ririchiyo come to the realisation that her childhood, while not brilliant or overly enviable, wasn’t the driving factor behind all of her choices or her personality.

Ririchiyo’s emotional battle to
connect with others

Regardless of the cause of her personality, Ririchiyo has made the clear decision that it is time to overcome it. She moved to be on her own in order to learn how to deal with others. This is a battle for her as it forces her to move outside of her comfort zone and to self-correct well established patterns of behaviour.


However, she isn’t always successful and we regularly see her cringing at herself or angry that she responded in a particular way. We also see her rehearsing interactions before they occur as she tries to get to an outcome that she desires. Her hard work is commendable even if it seems like for every step forward there’s a step back and she seems to teeter back and forth on the spot.

What is the affect of
Ririchiyo’s choices?

Ririchiyo continues to have quite the impact on the characters around her though the one we see most clearly is her impact on Miketsukami who meets her and tells her that she is the one who saved him. Ririchiyo has no memory of doing anything to save him and dismisses him, repeatedly, but ultimately gives him permission to be her secret service agent while she’s living in the apartment. This choice has a major impact on both characters as these two incredibly socially awkward people, who are trying to connect with the other in their own way and are actually kind (at least to one another), bump heads and try to work their way through basic interactions. Whether it is texting, inviting the other to drink some tea, or even a school drop off, these two have to figure everything out step by step.


There may not ever come a time when Ririchiyo isn’t a little too sharp tongued from time to time or feel anxious or socially awkward however her choice to change is what set the story in motion and it is what makes her an admirable character. She’s recognised a short coming and one that will impact upon her life if not addressed and she’s trying, in small ways, to learn how to live with others.

Affiliate Link – Book
Inu x Boku SS, Vol. 1

While Ririchiyo might be exaggerated
I related with her

As someone who is also incredibly socially awkward I kind of connected with Ririchiyo when watching this anime. I couldn’t relate to her childhood or the cause of her sharp tongue, but the feeling of needing to rehearse a conversation, of having to work up to going to talk to someone and then either getting tongue tied or tripping over my words, and of just waiting so long to formulate the response that the conversation had already moved on and so it was no longer even relevant was something I could very much recognise in my day to day life.

inu x boku uniform

I also recognised the desire to get better at social interactions. Amazingly enough, it is very hard to live in the world when you can’t speak to others because your tongue just glued itself to the roof of your mouth and you broke out in a cold sweat just because someone spoke to you. That said, even in my 30’s, I still have to give myself a mental pep-talk before speaking to someone I’ve never had a conversation with before.

While there are elements of Ririchiyo’s character that definitely carry a cringe factor and times when her behaviour seems really quite illogical, I found a real connection with her and it made me reflect on my own life and how far I’ve come through a desire to change. It does mean my experience with this character was a very personal one and I get other people see her a little differently.

Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime.
Join the discussion in the comments.
Karandi James

  1. Yato – Noragami
  2. Madoka – Madoka Magica
  3. Xianming Lin – Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens
  4. Liliruca Arde – Is It Wrong To Try To Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon
  5. Itsuki – The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya

Inu X Boku SS Series Review

inu x boku

Inu x Boku SS 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.

By the way, the SS stands for secret service which is mentioned about once and other than allowing the characters to have someone following them around really doesn’t change anything in the story.

Inu X Boku SS 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.


I’m actually going to point out the obvious about Inu X Boku. 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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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 Inu x Boku 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.

Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime.
Join the discussion in the comments.
Karandi James