Sunday, April 17, 2011

Our Home’s Fox Deity vol. 1 Impression

A unique blend of relationships, humor, action and Japanese lore adds up to a truly enjoyable anime in Our Home’s Fox Deity

What would you do if a fox deity came to live with you, to protect your family? This is a question the Takagami brothers, Noboru and Toru, must answer thanks to the heritage passed on by their deceased mother. Our Home’s Fox Deity volume 1 from NIS America offers up a mixture of the spiritual heritage of Japan and it’s modern day school and daily life. Worrying about budget and a fox demon, quite a burden but the boys manage. What else is there to like, if not love, about Fox Deity? Let’s take a gander …

Kugen, spiritual fox deity and guardian bound to the Mizuchi family. Each priestess who resides over the Mizuchi knows of Kugen and sadly is destined to die at a young age. The last priestess passed without a daughter but her sons, Noboru and Toru, have been introduced to Kugen. Living a normal life, the two are quickly presented with the powers their family presents as Kugen agrees to protect them from a spirit after Toru. Freed from his (or her?) prison of decades, Kugen refuses to work for the Mizuchi family but does agree to protect the boys. See, even if he does not like it, Noboru is the eldest offspring and thus new head of the Mizuchi. The trio makes their way back to their normal house where Kugen joins them in a fox form as well as man and woman forms, depending on her mood. Soon the shrine maiden Ko, the Mamorime of the Mizuchi, joins the family and her sense of loyalty, not to mention internal dragon Rinsenmon, make things even more interesting. The group must pay a visit to the local God, Ebisu, who just happens to run a convenience store, to ask permission to remain into the land. It seems that trouble finds its way to the boys, especially Toru who seems to have more spiritual potential thus making him a target. With Ko and Kugen to protect them do the boys have anything to worry about? Besides bad food, being in the red, school, classmates and attacking spirits, guess they really don’t. Kugen also has the habit of slacking and doing whatever she wants, so the fun is just beginning.

Fox Deity is an interesting anime as it sports rock solid design, neither truly shonen or shojo but all anime. The story mixes the daily life of Japan with the spiritual heritage, feels very similar in many aspects to InuYasha. There are sweet battles and the humor of seeing both Ko and Kugen adjusting to modern, normal life makes the series light hearted yet it gets serious at times. It really is a very enjoyable series with much to be seen. The intro sequence shows there are many characters to be introduced from Misaki Sakura (schoolmate of Noboru), to the local god Ebisu, Miyako (the boy’s mother), Fukuro, Mubyo and more. Lots of characters, lots of fun and a great mixture of action, humor and seriousness.

Listen, this is one of those rare anime that hit’s on so many cylinders. The design and animation is great and it moves a story which has plenty of action and human development as well as awkward, humorous moments. Guys and gals can both enjoy this tale and really, unless the subtitles only format is a deal breaker, there is no reason to not give it a twirl.

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