Inu x Boku SS First Impressions – Youkai, Sparkles, and a perverted bodyguard
January 14, 2012 Leave a comment
Inu x Boku SS is the story of an abusive girl and the idiot who serves her, although in this case there is a distinct lack of tsundere’s and perverts, at least as main characters. Our heroine is diminutive Shirakiin Ririchiyo, daughter of the noble Shirakiin household as verbally abusive as she is small. Whats so interesting about Ririchiyo is that unlike many other such characters she realises that her words cause pain, and are a front for her insecurities, which she utterly detests. This is one reason why she has moved into Maison de Ayakashi, in order to be alone to build up her confidence in order to interact with other people normally.
Sounds a bit silly at first, but as the episode progressed you soon realise that the reasons for her moving are far more complicated and more interesting. You clearly get the idea that a particularly powerful trauma in her past, along with her background have had a tremendous impact on Rirchiyo, thus her frankly ludicrous plan of alienating herself from society in order to be able to interact with it (apparently).
Now, her plan might be silly and seem to lack thought, but Rirchiyo seems entirely earnest about changing herself, and that is something really wonderful to see. We also find out that the other reason for her moving to Maison de Ayakashi is to live away from the influence of her families name, something that she feels is binding her, making it impossible to truly be herself. It just so happens that Maison de Ayakashi is a mansion for the super rich and comes with a complementary secret service agent to act as a personal bodyguard, server of tea and all-round handy man/woman. In Ririchiyo’s case her secret service agent comes in the form of handsome, loyal and weepy Miketsukami Soushi, someone who seems impervious to Ririchiyo’s sharp tongue.
Miketsukami is a great character, entirely earnest and easily brought to tears at the smallest thought of leaving his diminutive charges side. I found myself liking him almost instantly; his ability to make Ririchiyo uncomfortable is great and provides some great laughs throughout the episode. It is clearly this relationship that drives the show forwards, and I think Ririchiyo and Miketsukami play well off each other with witty dialogue and wonderful overreaction from both. And more importantly, Miketsukami sparkles every time he talkes about Ririchiyo, a trait I feel every secret service bodyguard should have from now on.
Inu x Boku SS has so far entertained me throughout the first show, it was also interesting to find out that Maison de Ayakashi is a little special and was specifically designed to house people who are half Youkai. There are some really bizarre slapstick elements to this first episode, from secret service agent Yukinokouji Nobara going all yuri-crazy over Ririchiyo, from top to toe, to Roromiya Karuta transforming into some big glowing skeleton monster, only to then say in the most wonderfully deadpan voice that she was scared of the robber that she just beat up. We also have Nobara turning into a snow woman, and the guy she is guarding, the lazy Renshou Sorinozuka, can transform into a cloth monster – well, considering how strange this show already has that didn’t surprise me in the least.
What’s nice about Inu x Boku SS is that while there are these crazy elements going on with half youkai popping up everywhere that is not what the story is about. The story is about the relationship between Ririchiyo and Miketsukami, one that was formed in a past yet to be revealed. It is their interactions and what ensues that drive this story forward, unfortunately that does mean that if you don’t like the characters your unlikely to enjoy the series.
There is clearly more to Miketsukami than meets the eye – considering his name and that he has different coloured eyes should give things away a little though – and he clearly has an incredibly deep bond with Ririchiyo. I also liked how Ririchiyo, for all her arrogance and abusive speech is actually quite a fragile girl underneath, and would dearly love to make friends with others. In essence she is a girl who has difficulties interacting with others, this has been made worse because of her family name and is accentuated by her abusive way of speaking. There is also some fanservice in the form of quite a few shots of Ririchiyo’s stockings, and her wearing only a shirt to sleep in, just in case you weren’t interested in anything else.
I have a feeling I shall enjoy this show, it’s a little on the silly side, but I am curious to see how Ririchiyo can cope with living with the overbearing and Miketsukami, along with all the other dysfunctional and strange residence of Maison de Ayakashi. Its monster mansion, dysfunctional families version basically.