Animation: Fair
Depth: Good
Design: Fair
Characters: Excellent
Story: Fair

Type: TV   (12 episodes)

Vintage: 2013

Category:

» slice of life
Verdict: okay
Review:

Gingitsune


Summary: >

It's said the true inheritor of a shine can see the deities which inhabit it. As a young girl, Makoto recieved the gift after her mother passed away. Gintaro is a fox spirit who comforted her that day, and the two have spent the years together at the shrine. Now in high school, Makoto finds new challeges as she grows up, although explaining her friendship with a spirit no one else can see is a topic she avoids.


Thoughts: >

Episode after episode I'd wait for crazy drama, super natural fights, or the typical romance stuff, none of which happened. It's a bit puzzling I'd enjoy an anime in the absence of the usual anime stuff. I describe "slice of life" as anime about nothing (in a bad way), but on a rare occasion I can enjoy that kind of show too, if done the right way.

Shinto shrines are a common sight in anime, but Gingitsune has much more depth in reguards Shintoism. If you're interested in this kind of cultural aspect of Japan, I can't recommend Gingitsune enough. In Japan Shinto and Buddhism found coexistence, sometimes shrines/temples even occupy the same grounds, but they are distinct things. Sometimes I've been confused by this in anime, so watching a show that takes the time to dig into details and explnations was a real treat. Animation may not be exceptional, but designs and backdrops are top notch, so it's aesthetically a great introduction to Japanese culture.

Gingitsune is unusual with exceptional characters in a fairly unremarkable story. This anime excels in the small details about them. Each character is well crafted, with with realistic well rounded personalities, and solid back stories supporting who they are. In the case of the three girls becoming friends, they're an interesting mix in an unusual friendship. But it was the new boy, Satoru; moving into the shrine that I liked most.

Satoru became isolated due to his household situation, which made him withdrawn over time. He's excelled at academics and sports to keep busy and away from his home life. He's also attractive, drawing plenty of female attention at school. Yet Satoru is very alone. He's serious to a fault, with a personality that pushes others away. When he moves into Mokoto's shrine, the girls intrude into his space, and push at his comfort levels. I could really relate to the frustration of not knowing what to do with yourself when coping with a strange social situation. Others push at Satoru's shell, and it starts to cave in a realistic way which makes for a good story. I especially liked how Satoro and Mokoto don't get romantically involved, and feel like family.

While enjoying all this, eventually it dawned on me I had no clue know what the plot was. Gingitsune doesn't really have one. While that sounds like a bad thing, this anime has plenty of good traits to support it in absence of one - although the backstory of Gin may eventually turn into the "plot". Little of that is told thus far, but it could get fairly interesting later on. Many characters have different perspectives in their own coming of age story. That aside there's the quirky point that only Mokoto can see Gin. It's not clear if others (like her father) believe she really see's something, or if they're just humoring her. The way it plays that off in a vague way I found realistic and oddly insightful.

So Gingitsune is good stuff, even though it doesn't have much of a bigger story. Some smaller plots cover for that, and perhaps Gin's backstory will later be fleshed out, but even right now it's strangly strong for what it has - provided your okay with the tame approach to an anime which is slice-of-life.


Quote: >

Hiwako: I thought you weren't into older men.

Yumi: Handsome ones are an exception.


Screen Caps: >

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reviewed by archen in 2016