Series Reivew: Inu X Boku SS (9/10)

Instant summary: A Oni incarnate girl seeks a solitary life in a mansion meant for supernatural beings like her, but turns out that her bodyguard (SS, Secret Service) can't leave her alone.

Finally, something that I expected to be great, actually turns out to be great!

I've mentioned this before, but prior to the anime's airing, I gave the manga a quick preview, and quickly got hooked. It feels like a shoujo romance story at heart, but doesn't have any of the excessive melodrama I hated so much. I usually like shoujo short stories because it presents the novelty of the story without diluting it with character exposition arcs and unrelated side stories. Those methods works to lengthen the serialization (more profit) and adds value to the secondary characters, but it doesn't do much for the story, or for the people that just aren't that into shoujo.

Inu x Boku isn't shoujo, but it has all the elements of what I liked about it. With a powerful ending and an interesting back-story, all it needs to do is to work on the execution, and it did. It's true that Inu x Boku is full of bits and pieces that have nothing to do with the storyline, but these bits develops the environment where our protagonist Ririchiyo settled into, which is rather integral to the storyline. Most importantly, these bits never took itself too seriously; they mostly serve as a bonus content to our secondary characters, or provide light humor, a distinct style of Inu x Boku.

The characters are also the main draw of the series. There's not one character I cannot find something really unique about him/her, and most importantly none of them felt even a tiny bit cliché. The one that really stands our is our main character, Ririchiyo. She's not even a tsundere, she's a tsunshun! Which means she gets depressed after being a tsun, so says Nobara. (If I see one more loli tsundere, I would have to kill Kugimiya Rie) Her monologues aren't witty, but they certainly helped expressed her character differently. Some may say that her character is too unrealistic, but even I can see part of myself in her, so I can relate. Also, while I'm never really into lolis, she certainly is cute!

And like what many other bloggers have said, the awesome ending really deserves some recognition. I'm not surprised having read the manga, but I don't think other people would expect Inu x Boku to have one of the best endings this season. Or for the past few seasons, for that matter.

I won't give David Productions too much credit, because much of the value comes from the original material. I would say, though, that it's really rare that a manga adaptation was done so smoothly. They literally animate scene-to-scene from the manga, yet the end result is completely different from, say, Deadman Wonderland. DW turns out to be shit. Inu x Boku is ingenious.

But the show isn't without fault. The lack of content in the middle of the season was obvious, and the speed at where the story progress is god-awful. Not that they don't try to fill up the blanks with comedy, but it couldn't totally cover it up. Having awkward pauses isn't ideal.

The production values were good. Not exactly brilliant in terms of animation quality, but they got the comedic timing down very well. The OP is also definitely one of the best amongst the ones I've watched this season. And oh, I'm not sure if this was the intention in the original material, but cloning Hirasawa Yui into Chino was a stroke of genius. Don't tell me no, because someone somewhere down the production line definitely see that resemblance. Dammit, it's a same face and voice!

I'm way past the point where I remember the shows that I really enjoyed, but THIS... I'll definitely remember this.

Plot/Concept: Excellent!
Story style: Awesome!
Production Values: Great
Value: 9

And remember kids, stalking isn't creepy if there's mutual love.