June 7, 2015
You know that spooky game that you play with your group of friends? I suppose it is only human’s nature to mess with the Ouija Board and see something supernatural unfolding before their eyes. Thus always one of those ‘great’ settings for horror movies to pick off the characters one by one. You get what you deserved. Don’t worry. Gugure! Kokkuri-san isn’t exactly a horror anime series. In fact it is filled with so much funny moments that you’d wish you want to play the Ouija Board and summon a spirit of your own. I mean, when a little girl accidentally summons a fox spirit via Kokkuri-san game (Japanese equivalent to Ouija Board), our fox spirit is appalled to see her living conditions and thus takes it upon himself to become her guardian. Lots of hilarity ensues. Oh yeah. I didn’t know summoning spirits would end up with so much fun and chaos.
Kohina Ichimatsu is playing that Kokkuri-san game alone. It is no wonder that a handsome fox spirit pops up to haunt her. You called? She coolly shuts the window and returns to her game! He breaks open but she is not amused and wants him to leave repair money and leave. Yeah, she even pokes salt in his eyes. Kokkuri wonders why she is not a bit shaken. She reveals she is a doll and doesn’t have emotions. She also has no friends. But she has lots of cup noodles in her fridge that she eats every day! Kokkuri will not allow this unhealthy diet and goes to cook for her 3 decent meals a day with 50 different ingredients! This is the first in a long time she has eaten with somebody. He wonders if she feels lonely. Well, she said she was a doll, right? Besides, it isn’t lonely around since she always hear haunting sounds in the next room. Yeah… Kokkuri chases out all the ghosts and thus begins his sole right to haunt Kohina. When Kokkuri is in the bath, Kohina summons him so he cheekily teases her that he will allow her to enter the bath with him. She calls the police and they take him away! Even when he is back, she tells him to go away. Don’t be so cruel. Please have a heart. Dolls have no heart. Kokkuri then wants her to ask him something, the reason why he is summoned. Kohina views using Google is faster. An insult? But even those questions she throws at him, he won’t answer if it is sexual harassment or cheat on her exam. Looks like he can answer tomorrow’s weather… He checks up on Google… Since he isn’t good with machines, the laptop breaks down. Kohina comforts him although it feels like she is making a fool out of him. Kokkuri then uses a lie detector to ask him questions. How old is he? Let’s just say he is 25… When he mentions about having friends as life’s treasures, she asks back if he has any friends. Can’t answer, eh? However she doesn’t want to be his friend so he threatens to hang himself!
Ironically Kokkuri is consoled by Kohina! Long ago when he was a shrine deity, people needed him but as time passes, he was abandoned. He was called many names throughout the ages and I believe “I had so many names” is not the name he wants to add to the list. Kokkuri has been watching Kohina for a long time since the time she put curses on his abandoned shrine. She was the only one who technically visited. Kohina thinks he is a stalker. One day, Kokkuri finds Kohina lying on the ground ‘malfunctioning’ and the need to replenish energy. Read: She’s hungry. Because her balanced diet is only a variety of cup noodles, he confiscates them all including her hidden stock in her closet! How many does she have?! Calling him a demon, this shaken doll whips out a light sabre to kill him! Oh sh*t! Kokkuri actually ran away! For the next few days, Kokkuri never came back despite her attempts to summon him. Not even when she is back to eating her cup noodles. And then she starts crying. You lonely, girl? She wonders if she will get to eat his cooking again. Suddenly he is back. She instantly hugs him. Missed him that much, eh? He reveals that he was watching her all along. His plan to take an indirect approach to teach her a lesson how important he is so she won’t tell him to leave worked. Kohina is now mad… Instead of jumping into his arms and accept his kindness, she beats him up all night. Wow. She really relieved all that stress.
Now that Kokkuri is staying and continuing to take care of Kohina, he also worries about her life social life. As usual she insists she is a doll and doesn’t need such. In retaliation she wants him to prove that he is real and not just a figment of a lonely girl’s imagination. Can’t, right? Kokkuri wants her to practice smiling but I guess it’s so frustrating that Kokkuri even turns into a cute fox version. Well you see, each time she smiles, let’s say her face becomes something like Picasso’s art. However she starts to worry when her smile actually scares away people and cracks glasses! And you can’t simply buy a smile at a fast food joint either. So the next time she meets with Kokkuri, he believes she isn’t ready to smile yet as it should be something natural. Kohina is still mistrustful of his words, believing he is just sweet talking now. He promises on his life he will never do such a thing. Kohina wants to make a pinky promise with him and at that very moment, she puts up the most beautiful smile ever! Kokkuri is annoyed that she can smile like that if she tries but subsequent attempts to make her smile like that ended in failure. You can call her the living Picasso…
One day, Kokkuri stumbles upon an abandoned puppy in a box. The thing is, this ‘puppy’ is a guy in suit! The moment he laid eyes on her, he instantly hugs her! And so this is how Kohina brings him home and Kokkuri instantly rejects this pervert! He introduces himself as Inugami and came to haunt Kohina and wants her to be his master. Kokkuri won’t allow it because he is a dog spirit that was sacrificed to cast a curse on someone while bringing prosperity to his master who will eventually perish. Inugami bribes her with cup noodles and she accepts his deal. Inugami goes on to admit he is Kohina’s stalker. In his last life he was indeed an abandoned puppy. Nobody gave a damn about him except Kohina who stopped and showed her warmth. It was that day she stole his heart and ever since she knows everything about her. Yes, everything. From her 3 sizes to her DNA makeup! Holy cow! Before Inugami could starts his perverted nature, Kokkuri whacks him with a frying pan and puts him in his new home outside: A kennel. To attract Kohina further, Inugami transforms into his cute tiny dog form. Kohina finds him soft and can’t stop touching him. Kokkuri wants to try but was stabbed. Inugami almost tricked Kohina in writing her name but Kokkuri found out that paper was a marriage registration form! He grinds Inugami into ground meat. You can do that with a blender? Of course you can’t really kill a dog spirit so Inugami returns to his normal form but now a woman! He is unsure of his original gender and can switch to either one. Kohina wants to see Kokkuri transform into a woman and eggs him on but he wouldn’t. Either that or transform into a cup noodle so she can eat him! Because Kokkuri won’t allow anymore of Inugami’s shenanigans, they fight outside. She is shooting him while he deflects every bullet with his frying pan. Meanwhile Kohina starts patting a stray cat and thinks she is a cat person. Immediately it is heart break for the canine duo as they team up to get rid of the feline. In their drunkard state complain and run down about cats. Just when it seems they’re heading for reconciliation, Inugami stabs Kokkuri and doesn’t have the slightest intention of making it up with him. Kohina is his. Time for the feud to start up again.
With Inugami living with them, his job other than being a watch dog is to find fault with Kokkuri and pick on him always. He is doing such a splendid ‘job’. Kokkuri enters Inugami’s kennel and it’s like another dimension with this huge space. But the thing that bothers the most is the unlimited Kokkuri merchandise he made! Oh, there is one of Kokkuri too. For him to take out his frustrations! Of course Inugami’s attitude is also a problem for Kohina as he practises selective listening. She has bought a book believed to contain secrets of controlling him but it turns out it was just a book to train your dog. And it was dirt cheap at 100 Yen! Inugami overheard this but the prospects of Kohina turning the training into some S&M session just excites him. So when their training begins, he is disappointed he didn’t start whipping her. As part of the training, Kohina takes him for walks. It started out fine until she got bored of it and let Kokkuri took over. What does this scene of 2 men walking each other look like? One night Kohina can’t sleep so Inugami suggests not counting sheep but him. Guess what? He can split and clone himself! Kokkuri, who is thinking about Kohina’s predicament as a doll, hopes for her to be happy. He goes to check on her but to his horror sees a pile of Inugamis over her and Kohina like a traumatic broken tape recorder claiming she is a doll. Kokkuri whacks all the Inugamis away to the moon. When Kokkuri is away shopping, Kohina thought she could secretly eat her cup noodle. After all that preparation, he returns and the cup noodle is confiscated. She threatens to hang herself. Inugami suggests to continuously feed her with it until she gets sick of it to the point of traumatisation. Of course Kokkuri won’t do something that cruel and punches him.
When Inugami asks Kokkuri about his haunting over Kohina, he thinks he is just like him. However Kokkuri remembers an old promise made and wonders if Kohina still remembers. Don’t count on it because she can’t even remember what she ate for dinner. Thanks to Inugami’s annoyance, Kokkuri’s stomach is stressing out! It really hurts. One night Kokkuri sees Inugami burying something. Hmm… A magazine on how to become popular? When Kohina hopes Inugami to treat Kokkuri with kindness, he doesn’t know how because he was abandoned since the day he was born and had things taken away. The only kindness he knows is of hers and she must teach it to him. Then it turns out to be an act because Kokkuri comes back with that magazine claiming one of its tactics is to play a handsome man with a dark past. Time for another fight? While they’re at it, Kohina takes this chance to eat her cup noodles. Later, Kohina and Inugami play Kokkuri-san but why summon him this way when he is in the kitchen? Her goal isn’t that. He doesn’t live up to his name and she believes doing so might make him look more credible. However an old drunk man appears. Oh sh*t. Did she go wrong somewhere? She tells him to leave but he can’t. He is unemployed and his family left him. He is homeless. You can’t throw out the homeless, can’t you? Inugami’s bite has no effect while Kohina’s personal safety alarm didn’t do its job of driving her enemy away. Is it supposed to work like that? When Kokkuri comes into the picture, he is shocked to see this old tanuki dude.
Shigaraki as described by Kokkuri is a parasitic scum who lives off others. He knows because they were ‘roommates’. Yeah. Kokkuri is forced to clean his filth and Shigaraki made a hole between their walls to become ‘neighbours’. He tries every trick to allow him to be stayed. He also mentions something about hereditary witch household that Kohina is. It is a house that houses animal spirits and usually passed from mother to daughter. Hers is currently haunted by a dog spirit. Kokkuri wants Shigaraki out because he brings ruin to all the families he has stayed with. But Shigaraki bribes Kokkuri with money. Her happiness is short-lived when the money turns into a leaf. So shocked that she goes into sulking mode for 3 straight days! Time to apologize. Here, have a cup noodle. Hooray! Poof! Another leaf… Shock! Kokkuri lets her eat the real deal and says it can’t be help since Shigaraki as a tanuki loves tricking humans. Thinking if he is in his animal form he would be cuter, Kohina requests this of him. Unfortunately he is big, ugly and not cute at all. The human form is better. He transforms into a hybrid form which is much creepier than anything! Shigaraki wants Kokkuri to lend some money and of course the fox spirit won’t lend it to him since he hasn’t paid back his borrowing then. Will he lend if he could? Of course. Here, 200 Yen. Double the amount he borrowed. Well, Kokkuri didn’t say about taking into account inflation, right? Curses! So with his hard earned savings in Shigaraki’s hands, Kokkuri tails him to see how he will blow it away. To his surprise, he bought candies for the kids at the orphanage. Hey wait a minute. This guy is pretty popular. He even donates! The orphanage lady explains thanks to him, they are able to get by. He also brought children here when they had nowhere to go. Don’t feel like burning him down now, do you? So they thought he was a good person pretending to be a worthless bum. But he says it’s his job to trick people so playing the good guy is the easiest job. Therefore he is not a good person and the least he could do is bring the kids of the families he ruined here. So he is the root of evil anyway.
Worried of Kohina’s social life in school, Kokkuri spies on her outside her class. Stalker mode? He observes how she sleeps in class and also chases down girls who tease her as a doll! Then the question that he has been burning to ask: Does she have any boys she likes? There is. Horror! But she claims she is just interested in him other than in love. But the way she describes it is no doubt that she loves him! So our mother-in-law spirits are going to check out this nice guy, Yamamoto. Guess what? He is a gray man alien!!! WTF???!!! Yeah… You shouldn’t judge a person on the looks because Yamamoto is very earthling on the inside says Kohina. She continues to explain scenes she observes of him that constitutes to be a ‘normal human’. Like riding in the basket of the bicycle of a friend over the moon… WTF… Yamamoto seems to be popular with the other boys and interacting well with them too. Kohina introduces them but his greeting is definitely not human type. As for why he is being nice to others, it is because he can take care of others. Suddenly an alien protrudes from his mouth! HOLY SH*T!!! This is his little sister whom he helps to take care when their parents are at work?! I wouldn’t have guessed it… And the odd part is nobody except Kokkuri (because he is playing the rebuking part) is afraid of seeing this scene but in awe. When it is time to go home, Kokkuri gets to see Yamamoto’s ‘parents’. A pair of MIBs!!! That’s not his parents, right? Yeah… They’re going away and the next time you see him in school is next month…
Since Inugami is in female form, Shigaraki wants to hit on her despite knowing well she is a guy. The moment is now! He won’t back down even if Inugami pumps several bullets in his head. I guess you can say he is really thick headed. And with Inugami all over Kohina, this is a cause for concern for Kokkuri has the morals of this household is falling apart. Every morning in class, there is always a vase of flowers on Kohina’s table. Nobody cares about it and certainly Kohina as a doll doesn’t. But every morning without fail there is sure fresh flowers in it. Who could it be? Ah, this stalker is always watching her… And always close to being crushed for seeing her lack of response. So when the teacher wonders if Kohina is being bullied and her reply is that she isn’t bothered, the stalker cannot take it anymore and comes in with a flying kick. Jimeko (literally means bully) wants Kohina to at least be sad for being a bully victim and admits she is the one who placed the flowers. Now that teacher has heard it, time to head to the office… When she’s back, she starts blaming her although it is clearly her fault she reaped what she sew. Even more disheartening Kohina doesn’t remember she sat next to her last year. She tries to brag about using up her allowance to buy those flowers but it just makes her look dumb. No emotional damage for Kohina. Only her wallet took a big damage. All that hard work for nothing… Why doesn’t she stop if it’s difficult for her? Well, her parents told her never to leave things unfinished. Perseverance? So why bully her? Does she hate her? She can’t say but ran away while blushing like mad. I think I know why… Flashback reveals she was a transfer student last year. She wanted to make friends but thanks to her shy tsundere personality, she failed. Her last hope is Kohina who sat next to her. She tried getting her attention but was ignored since she was engrossed thinking about cup noodles. Even when she hit her to get noticed, she was greeted with an uppercut! All her attempts to get her attention failed and soon she lost sight of her goal and started this flower bullying. I guess she got desperate. And today she’s placed magnolias which symbolize friendship. Too bad Kohina doesn’t know what it means. So frustrated…
Suddenly there is a new transfer student in class: Kokkuri! Nobody cares that he is an adult?! Kohina starts throwing rock salt (literally) at him to make him go away. But what can she do if the teacher doesn’t even believe he is a fox spirit. Seems thanks to Shigaraki’s trick, his transfer paper is actually a leaf. Kohina wants the leaf to be turned into money or cup noodles but that will constitute as a crime and stomach ache respectively. He explains about this illusion thingy but Kohina still wants to eat the illusionary cup noodles. It is just stomach ache, right? When she returns from toilet, all the girls are over Kokkuri! Man, he is popular! He looks like a lolicon in the making… Anyway when Kohina goes to him, all the girls run away. I guess she is scarier. Because Kokkuri can be a transfer student, Inugami also wants to be one. Oh, he was the one who gave Kohina the rock salt. And so nobody cares about another adult as the transfer student. Inugami then threatens Yamamoto with a gun to switch places with him so he can be next to Kohina. When Inugami turns into a female, the boys are in shock. Heck, she didn’t even try to lie about it so Kokkuri burns him! I don’t know how Kokkuri managed to convince everyone about this unnatural phenomenon. Kohina wonders why Kokkuri came to this school. Is it to make friends? Partly. He believes if he does, Kohina will also have more friends. The friend of a friend is also your friend. However with all the boys feeling reluctant to mix with those ‘adults’, Kohina says that ever since he came, the distance between her classmates has grown. He made it worse, eh? Oh, the friend of your friend is only an acquaintance. If it’s any consolation, only the distance between Kokkuri and her female classmates narrowed.
Kohina could see black floating things. No, she doesn’t have an eye problem. She can see spirits! As she is being told by Kokkuri not to make contact with them as humans can’t coexist with them, she ends up getting into trouble and being devoured by one already! He gives her a seal but she immediately tests it out on Inugami! What a waste. One evening, she sees an injured Cyclops and treats it from a distance. Technically this counts, right? When Kokkuri finds out, he immediately bats it away into space. But a few days later it returned and before Kohina could keep it a secret, Shigaraki finds out and advises her to stay away for her own good. He is going to sell it but we can see money blinding him. This leads to an argument the monthly allowance he receives from Kokkuri isn’t enough. She tells him to get a job but he replies it is his job to stay professionally unemployed. Therefore she breaks her piggy bank and gives him her entire savings of 5 years, all in 10 Yen denominations. Either that or nothing. In exchange, Kohina wants him to walk Inugami. You think Shigaraki is the master of disguise? Could have but he makes it so obvious and dumb. Because anybody could tell this grown up man in a girl’s clothes is him! There is even this dumb switcheroo trying to fool Inugami which is the real one. However the catch is that if she picks the wrong one, she’ll get to walk with the real Kohina. Inugami is in a great dilemma because she doesn’t want to call this old guy her true darling. And because of this pride, she ends up being walked by him. At first she got dragged around but subsequently Shigaraki carries her like a princess.
Kohina continues to treat and play with the Cyclops well every day. Shigaraki observes when Kohina scrapes her knee, the Cyclops is licking and staring at the blood longingly. He takes her away and warns her again. When they return home, Kokkuri gets the wrong idea the old fart licked her wounds. Time to die! When Kohina is asleep, the Cyclops sneaks into her room and is about to kill her but luckily Shigaraki intercepted and killed it. He had suspected that it has developed a taste for human blood and can no longer coexist with humans. If he let it go, it will kill other children. Before it dies, it cursed Shigaraki. The hardest part is for him to cover this up as he puts a spell over her eyes. Next morning, Kohina can’t see any more spirits. As for the scar over his right eye, Kokkuri thinks he got what he deserved for flirting with women. Later Shigaraki tries to console Kohina about not being able to see the Cyclops anymore. To his surprise, she laments that it would have been a great topping for her cup noodles as she has been feeding it every day and would have taste like it. Fearsome child… Lastly, Kokkuri is attracted by Inugami’s coffee. As usual, the latter hates and tries to annoy him. Kokkuri wants him t come clear why he hates him so much so Inugami starts reading a book with over a million reasons why he hates him! Basically he hates everything about him! Not only that, he hates everything else except Kohina. This includes hating himself. But there is one other thing he loves: Seeing the suffering of others! Maybe he should go see a therapist. Another thing that excites him most is seeing Kohina scorn him! He is so excited thinking about this that he starts to gush out blood. Inugami notices his coffee is now cold and serves it to Kokkuri while he makes himself a fresh one.
It was love at first sight. Tama the cat god starts stalking Kokkuri to a point it is obvious. The question is when she is going to confess. And true enough she does. She wants Kokkuri to give Kohina the doll to her. Hah! You think she was in love with him?! Get real! Introducing herself as the poster girl of the Japanese cafe, Nennekotei, she reveals she has a fetish for macabre dolls. At first she is confused about Kohina being a human or doll because she moves and talks but comes to conclude she is a doll. Or just in denial? Because if Kohina is not a doll, then Kokkuri is just a cosplayer in a fox gear. Besides, seeing a man with a doll is so unsuitable. Tama claims she is most suitable to own Kohina. Then here is Inugami to complicate matters… Back home, Kokkuri is tired after managing to chase her off. But he notices Kohina not moving and staying still. Is she trying to practice being a doll? Later as Inugami and Shigaraki eat with her, they think she is really taking this doll thingy serious. Till Kokkuri points out something is obviously wrong. I mean, couldn’t they tell from her looks this isn’t Kohina?! Tama must have switched her. Indeed she has. Now Kohina is at Nennekotei being served by her. This place is always empty and no customers simply because the interior decorations are so scary. But Kohina soon learns that Tama is heard to deal with. She also has selective listening. Tama tries to bribe her with a cup noodle. Kohina won’t be swayed till she learns it is original flavour. Okay! Now she lives with her. The rest go to her rescue but outside Nennekotei is a barrier blocking them. Even their website states so and an RPG-like quest on how to remove it. They thought of bringing down its reputation but it already as 1 star… Kohina discovers Tama is more demanding than Kokkuri since she is a perfectionist. The last straw came when she saw Tama trying to kill her cup noodle! I’m not sure about Kohina’s tactic of surrounding Tama with water and playing the shamisen, this was enough to ‘defeat’ her as she walks out of the cafe and return to the rest.
While cleaning the storeroom, Kokkuri sees a box and a caution not to open it. He can’t resist and does so. The curse turns him into a woman! Thinking the letter is how to cure it, to her dismay it is just a teasing I-told-you-so and burns it. Kohina discovers this as Kokkuri pleads for a way to return to normal. Words will appear if you hold that paper up to the light. Oh sh*t… Kokkuri thought her family did all this traps to protect the magic secrets but Kohina reveals that they revel in seeing others frustrated. A bunch of sadists… Kokkuri asks for her opinion about her beauty. However Kohina becomes critical. Even in his male form he isn’t fox spirit or human and doing household chores as a male is the only distinguishing factor. Turning into a woman has weakened that identity. Not wanting the rest to find this out, Kokkuri suggests running away but Kohina tells her to do it herself. Too bad the rest found out. Shigaraki immediately starts to court her and even promises to give up smoking, gambling and even find work as long as she marries him! Is this just sweet talk of a desperate man? Shigaraki tries all sorts of tricks to make Kokkuri marry him but the latter is only left in frustration that he isn’t listening. Shigaraki knows a way he can return. Remember the Frog Prince story? Not going to fall for that one! The courting continues…
Kohina finds a scroll that may contain the clue on how to turn Kokkuri back. But the moment she reads it, she becomes disappointed, burns it and falls into depression. It seems the scroll is just another mockery that she can’t turn back and will be stuck like that for the rest of her life. Feel like hanging herself? Let’s not get extreme! A few days, Kokkuri seems to be getting used to her body and it makes the rest jealous because it sounds like she’s bragging it. Heck, Kokkuri even starts becoming like a woman putting all sorts of skin care, etc. When Shigaraki won tickets for a hotspring trip, Kokkuri thought they will be going on a date. But since the others are coming and doesn’t want to be left out, might as well join in. Tama is also coming. At the expense of turning Inugami into a pet dog and taking his place. Surprisingly Yamamoto is also there although Kokkuri isn’t fond of him. Oddly, Kohina explains Yamamoto isn’t her friend but Kokkuri’s. What? Kokkuri is disappointed that this hotspring inn has none that cures his curse although Shigaraki says there may be one somewhere in town. But since they’re hungry and want to soak in first, they’ll do that later. And so Shigaraki must be feeling left out that the rest are girls and having ‘fun’. Ah well, he’s got Yamamoto fro company. He can’t take it anymore after hearing the girls ‘playing’ with themselves so he climbs over the fence to peep. To his dismay, they’re wearing bikinis as they foresee this. Then they throw whatever stuffs to make him fall back to his section. Kohina asks Kokkuri’s reason for hating being a woman. Before he could properly explain, the rest view him with scorn thinking he is bragging about it.
After everyone has a delicious dinner, Kokkuri wants to go find that hotspring but everyone is too full to move. Looks like she’ll have to find it herself. To her surprise, Shigaraki comes along and even more surprising, he is trying to be a gentleman with her. I’m sure this is confusing the hell out of her. As they search around, finally they find one and just as Kokkuri soaks in, there is a disclaimer saying it doesn’t work on middle aged women. Curses! So we see Shigaraki accompanying Kokkuri around, including playing at a shooting gallery. Kokkuri sounds like she has resigned to her fate to forever live like this. Hey, at least she can get all the lovely attention from Shigaraki. Then it gets romantic when Shigaraki carries her and spouts some pretty romantic lines like making her forget that she was ever a man. And some pretty weird trivia about the kanji writing for ‘person’ about leaning on others. Anyway Kokkuri must be feeling confused. It is the right mood as their face get closer and ultimately a kiss. At that point, the curse is broken. Kokkuri turns back into a man and this gay scene is just freaking disgusting! Oh why oh why does he have to turn back into a guy now?! And that’s how the quarrel began. The magic of the love is gone. Fighting in their animal form… Cute! Ah well, who’d knew that such a simple kiss was the breaker. As narrated, this is actually another curse of Kohina’s family that returns one to normal when they are having a touching moment with the opposite sex. To say, this means their feelings were true then? Oh God, I don’t want to think about it…
A talk about dyeing hair makes Kokkuri worried he might go bald. Thinking he is a handsome main character and won’t get that, suddenly a lump of hair in his hands. Oh sh*t! Panic time! He thought being in fox form would prevent that but he is shedding lots of fur! Absurd reasoning that he is handsome even when bald isn’t doing him any good. No, you can never look like Sean Connery! He tries to Google it but his worst fears come true when Inugami finds out. To prevent future torments, Kokkuri ‘kills’ him and buries his body! Then Kohina thought it was a joke to pull out a white hair from a person who has mostly white hair. Kokkuri is trying to contain his anger but blows his top when she mentions she is only joking. I guess he didn’t get the joke. Is this even something to joke about? Kokkuri becomes so worried that he can’t sleep and being clumsy breaking things. Hair becomes a taboo word and the slight hint of it sends him into panic mode. He rushes down to the store to buy all the hair solutions. But the more he puts, the more he shreds. Then it goes out of control. He turns into a giant lump of hairball! The rest want to sheer it. But as told, Kokkuri tends to get very emotional during seasonal shedding of hair. After convincing him that they can make him cute and stylish, he allows them to cut. But they screw up big time because now he looks like a hairless Chihuahua. The stress had him hospitalized.
Inugami is bored and goes to bug Kokkuri. However a more annoying issue is that there is no progress between Inugami and Kohina and it is already almost the end of the year. Inugami tries to talk to Kohina but she doesn’t want to be bugged while eating her cup noodles. To a point when she is so deep in thoughts of her cup noodles that Inugami is literally ignored. I guess this calls for desperate measures. Inugami leaves a note saying that he has run away and an emphasize not to come look for him. Yeah… Kokkuri is pissed to see him hiding in the lawn’s bushes. That is not even running away from home. So they ignore him and return to whatever they’re doing. Just when Inugami thought Kohina returned to find him, she remembers about her cup noodles and returns. Cup noodle > Inugami. So sad… To vent his anger, he cancels some programmed recording of their afternoon drama! However the thought that Kohina doesn’t care for him hurts deeply. He starts to monologue about the lights in the house and how he was used to staring at the stars in the sky. Now it seems he hates those lights in the house again. But there may seem to be hope when Kohina extends her hand for him to come home since there would be leftover food without him. Inugami gladly goes back into her arms only to find out it is Shigaraki in disguise! Holy sh*t! He just died at that moment. And because of that, Inugami actually ran away from home. Too traumatic to handle?
While taking a walk, Kokkuri and Kohina stumble upon a rare red maple lead. This leads them to a maple tree that is blooming with them. It is odd because now it is autumn. They see a woman, Kureha waiting at the tree as she claims she is waiting for someone. From the way she says things, she must have been waiting for a long time and she doesn’t know why this tree is blooming with red maple leaves. She doesn’t believe Kokkuri is a real fox spirit and thinks he is a cosplayer despite he transforms to show her. Anyway, she has been waiting so long she fears she doesn’t even remember how he looks like! At least she has a portrait of him. All beautified up… Since the duo are heading back to town, they could at least help her find him. A couple of rice coupon for their efforts. Wow. It must be a bargain. Kokkuri deduces Kureha must be a maple tree spirit. They go to see Tengu, the god of the mountains for information. For 3 photos of handsome young boys, he will help them out. OMG! This guy is a shotacon!!! He settles for Kokkuri transforming into a little boy and taking his pictures. WTF. Tengu has got bad news. The guy Kureha waited for died decades too. Kureha is also dead and she probably knew all that and still waited. Therefore she is a spirit bound by the maple tree. Kokkuri is embarrassed his guess was off the mark. Kohina recorded his confident deduction… When they return, Kokkuri tells Kureha the truth and she is shocked and falls into depression. It’s like all the built up stress inside her suddenly exploded. Although she knew all that, she has been doing this for so long and can’t cross over to the afterlife. She can’t give up on her own.
Shigaraki can’t stand to see a woman’s tears so he is going to show them about invoking spirits. He is a priest and can do that. So how to you summon a spirit? You whip out your handphone and call the spirit world! WTF?! But the moment they hear his name, they hang up! Oh God… Is he blacklisted? Eventually Shigaraki ran out of ‘spirit power’ and can’t call. Because his prepaid amount is empty! No more financial power! Kohina lends him her handphone and before he could mess it up, Kokkuri takes the call and thanks to his maturity, the day is saved. There is good news and bad news. Bad news always goes first, right? Kureha’s boyfriend spirit cannot be invoked because after he died, he never waited for her and requested to reincarnate immediately. The good news? She doesn’t have to wait anymore. The promise to meet was made a long time ago. For some reason, her boyfriend chose to be reborn as that maple tree. Kureha starts to remember his words about how the leaves will turn red each time they meet. Kohina and Shigaraki quip about the patient couple and match-make in heaven and Kokkuri laments he only attracts losers. If you’re wondering where Inugami is, remember he ran away from home. He got some lecturing by Yamamoto but is still adamant they must come and get him. So he goes on wandering around the world and for some reason, ended up on the moon. His thoughts matured and realizes there is no place like home because every little thought is for Kohina. E-L-K? The burning from the re-entry must hurt… In the aftermath, Kohina tries to be smart by deducing via biology about the red leaves. Everyone is surprised when the tree finally talks.
To smite Kokkuri, Inugami drinks his fox water and turns into a baby! Although he can’t talk, he thinks of using his baby appeal to appeal to Kohina. Remember, keep all dolls out of baby’s reach. Plan backfired. Shigaraki seems to have also drank it and is now a young boy. Too bad he can’t patron 18+ places. Kokkuri explains this anti-aging beauty serum of a popular brand that he bought. But does this mean Kokkuri must be really old? Because if he drinks it and didn’t turn this young… Kokkuri has a hard time taking care of their mischievousness. Then there is this ranting by Shigaraki about the allure of panties and flipping up skirt. To avoid him from doing that, Kokkuri forces him to drink more of that water and turns him into a baby to reduce his mobility. But this means another baby to look after… Kohina won’t help and secludes herself out of the babies’ reach. Because it’s dangerous when the babies get her parts? Her parts? Inugami demonstrates by swallowing and spitting out her eye! The stress of taking care of the babies got to Kokkuri that when he drinks the water, he turns into a young boy! Kohina thinks he is broken and hits him! Funny, it worked on appliances… Showing him porn magazines or the rattle sound won’t stop his crying. What did? Kohina’s broken smile. Silenced into fear… But does this mean Kohina must take care of them all? She requests them to transform into their animal version. Now to call for the animal shelter! Just joking. She calls an adult for help. Who could it be? Tama! She is more than happy to help out. Cute little boys look like cute little dolls, right? Oh no. Shigaraki almost ‘died’ when she threw him too high to the ceiling. His dead looks look like a doll and she finds it more appealing! Then she makes curry but something sinister is moving inside… Kohina checks it out only to be eaten by the pot! I don’t know how they managed to get rid of whatever predator was inside. Before going out, Tama makes Kokkuri wear girls clothes and starts snapping away. Kokkuri wants to hold Kohina’s hands so they won’t get lost but the latter refuses, claiming she isn’t fond of a boy cosplaying as a girl in broad day light. But in her heart, she is actually worried if he would return to normal and remember her. Kokkuri touches her head thinking she has fever. Kohina tags his shirt and follows him. At that point, the effect of the water wears off. What does Kokkuri look like wearing a girl’s dress in public? He is going to fall into some serious shock… In the aftermath, he calls the company to complain about the fake product he was being sold too. Oh, the other babies return to normal too.
On Christmas Eve, Kohina is thinking of sacrificing the money to buy chicken for a cup noodle toy car! Suddenly an old guy (with heavy panting) wonders if he could buy it for her! Thankfully Kokkuri is here to beat the crap out of him. Yeah. That fox spirit was tailing Kohina thinking something like this would happen. Like a stalker, eh? When the guy takes a good look at Kokkuri, he suddenly becomes afraid thinking he is a ghost. For the first time, somebody we see is scared of him. Kokkuri tries to mess with him but we learn that his fear stems from being unable to sue! Yeah. This guy is a workaholic lawyer who is out to get a present for his daughter, Noel who is around Kohina’s age. You can tell how much he cannot leave his work behind since he even thought of a law book as a present! So they agree to help him choose a present. Don’t bother asking Kohina because the cup noodle toy car is on her mind… More worries for lawyer guy because he fears getting the wrong present or just throwing a party will get him sued! After finishing their shopping, it is time to meet Noel. Inside the house, she is already drunk (on a non-alcoholic drink) and cursing other people! OMG! You do it yourself, dad. Kokkuri gives him a ribbon charm. When he talks to Noel, she starts scolding him! And you know what? He is so happy she responded instead of ignoring him! Such low standards… Noel acts like a tsundere that she doesn’t want Christmas but her body reaction is dying to celebrate it. They have lots of fun with their mini party and Kohina probably got her wish of that cup noodle toy car. When it’s time to leave, Kokkuri reminds him the charm is going to wear off. The lawyer understands and wants to have a little moment with Noel. After he is done, he is glad to have made some great memories. Thanks to this, he is ready to cross over now. Well, I suspected something like this. Yup. Mr Lawyer is a ghost and died in some accident a few days ago although in the eyes of the public he is considered missing. He told Noel he will be going away for a while so as not to ruin her Christmas mood. He reveals how he hated his workaholic father and vowed never to become like him. However, overwhelmed by everyday life, he eventually became the same. By the time he realized and regretted it all, it was too late as he couldn’t get his family to notice him. He is grateful for Kokkuri for giving him a last chance to be with his daughter. With that, he crosses over. Later on their way back, Kohina previously guessed that he was a ghost because he had no shadow. She wonders if authorities find his body today and realized he died prior to it, won’t today’s events be somewhat supernatural to Noel? Or will it be just a dream? Kokkuri believes there is proof that there was a ‘ghost’ there in that paranormal group photo they took. They realize they may have forgotten something. Indeed. Inugami is waiting back home alone for the chicken party…
On New Year’s Eve, Kokkuri is motivated to get into spring cleaning. Yeah, he loves it. But the others are not really enthusiastic and bum around under the kotatsu. So when Kokkuri manages to force Kohina to help clean (he took her New Year allowance hostage), Kohina thinks she can delegate the job to Inugami and wants him to help take out the trash. Take out the trash, you say? On no. How did he interpret that? I don’t know what Super Saiyan blast he died that he razed down the entire house! Because everything except Kohina is trash to him! Well, he forgot to burn himself. He is going to get punished by Kokkuri… I don’t know how with whatever Kohina’s family legendary items they manage to repair the house back to good as new before dinner. On New Year’s Day, they visit the shrine and it feels odd that our bunch of god deities are visiting it. Shouldn’t they be visited? As Kohina prays, Kokkuri notes about the fragility of human life and how short it is compared to the deities’. It would be painful to say goodbye again so he makes a wish that the time now would last forever. Later Kokkuri must be regretting to ask Kohina about her wish. Not only it is about cup noodles, more disheartening that the other characters are passionately mentioning about their sick fetish and dreams! More money for Shigaraki, more Kohina for Inugami, more dolls for Tama, more little boys for Tengu, to know more about Earthlings for Yamamoto and… Well, we do know what Jimeko wants, do we? Still spying from afar… Kokkuri is appalled nobody wished the same as him. And thus begins another stressful year for Kokkuri. He should have wished for more stress medication.
Happily Haunting Each Other…
Ah well, all good things must come to an end. It was an enjoyable affair from start to finish. I suppose shows like these without plots are good because you don’t have to worry and add to the stress about tying up things. The comedy is hilarious and sometimes to the point of breaking the fourth wall. Also, every character has the potential to play the part of rebuking especially Kokkuri and Kohina. For Kokkuri it feels like he is the voice of reasoning that nobody will listen to (something like Gintama’s Shinpachi) and for Kohina it leans more towards her ‘selfishness’. Uh huh. She usually rebukes because she doesn’t feel like playing along with whatever shenanigans. But this formula to some may get repetitive although personally for this season I didn’t find it boring.
There are also some touching moments like Kureha and Noel’s dad case and it adds a little drama effect into things. But of course with this series being a supernatural genre, it wasn’t surprising that they pull off some supernatural stuffs like Noel’s dad because if you were paying attention, you would have guessed it quickly that something wasn’t normal to begin with. Of course such supernatural settings aren’t enough to scare the daylights out of you.
The character dynamics are quite varied and thus making them lovable and fun. Like Kokkuri who is supposed to possess people but instead becomes a stressful guardian and housekeeper. From cleaning to cooking and doing the laundry, I guess you will never get such a good housekeeper who also looks like a handsome man as well as a supernatural deity. Some may draw comparisons with Kokkuri with Kamisama Hajimemashita’s Tomoe and personally I feel Kokkuri is better compared to Tomoe who is more stuck up and playing hard to get. Well, Kokkuri doesn’t have a girl to fall for him. Too bad… Only guys want to hit on him in his girl form… Remember, there is no real romance drama in this series! With freeloaders in the house and he as the only one doing the real work, looks like he might start losing his hair faster and get more stomach cramps thanks to all that unnecessary stress. Have you ever heard of a stressed out deity before? Kokkuri might be the first.
Despite Kohina claiming herself to be a doll and void of emotions or the need of other things (like friends), at times it may seem like she is contradicting herself. Because as we can see that she does fall into emotions like shock and depression although her facial expression remains the same. That itself is already considered as displaying emotions, right? At least in my books. Therefore coming up with such remarks feels just like an excuse to just play her role. Of course all for the sake of comedy. Especially her love for cup noodle feels like the running gag of the series. She really loves them a lot, does she? But there are some parts that may leave you wondering about her family, her past especially her connection with Kokkuri. It is very briefly hinted but nothing more explored. Don’t want to ruin the comedy?
Shigaraki isn’t as bad as it seems despite being portrayed as a lazy swindler and drunk gambler-cum-freeloader. There are times when he plays the guardian to Kohina when Kokkuri isn’t around and for a guy his age, he certainly has more experience on his side. Although, many preventable unfortunate events are actually caused by him. Uh huh. He is the root of it all. Then there is Inugami whose role on the surface looks like to spite and annoy Kokkuri to death. He does this job very well but I don’t think Inugami hates Kokkuri that much because if he did, he would have just killed Kokkuri or find a way to banish him forever from being near to Kohina. Therefore with the freeloaders constantly bugging Kokkuri, ultimately they are more family than anything. Well, I suppose this is their way of staying together.
Other supporting casts are fine too but I thought they would add more freeloaders to Kohina’s household as the series progresses. Like Tama who would have literally brought the house down if she stayed along with those guys. It will be chaotic every day since the tussle for Kohina will never end. Yamamoto as the only non-Japanese fictional creature is mysterious enough but also mind boggling enough to warrant us viewers to note why the heck nobody suspects him as different. Maybe it is good that everyone here doesn’t discriminate. It’s not the outside that counts but the inside. Some characters like Jimeko and Tengu I was hoping to make than just more than one episode appearances and even end up living in Kohina’s house. But I guess they were just side characters but their short cameos still spiced things up.
Although there are numerous animal deities in the Japanese folklore, adding too much of such ‘animals’ would have ruined the series and turned Kohina’s house into a zoo of deity animals. Imagine a dragon, a tiger, a turtle, a swan, a wolf, a snake, a monkey, a spider, etc. But oddly with a handful of Japanese folklore creatures and they even include a western sci-fi alien character, the famous kappa is nowhere to be seen…
On a trivial note, the next episode preview isn’t exactly a preview of the next episode. Instead it features a real life furry pet creature. I don’t know whose pet it belongs to (whether it is some random people or the production staff’s since all of them have names), but if you have a soft spot for animals, this is where you go “Awww… So cute!” albeit it is for a meagre 10 seconds. Though cats and dogs take up most of the segment, rabbits and parakeets are featured sometimes.
Art and drawing are pretty standard. But sometimes it feels like you have best of both worlds because for the supernatural deities, they look pretty bishoujo or bishonen in their human form whereas they become more kawaii and cuddly cute in their animal version. This includes Shigaraki because as an old geezer he doesn’t look half as bad while his new tanuki form takes on a cuter and cartoonish approach so as to appease to us viewers and go easy on our eyes :). Oddly, Tengu is always in his chibi form in the show and the only time he is in his true ‘serious’ form is in the opening credits.
Because Inugami is wearing his suit like a butler, sometimes I can’t help but draw striking resemblance of him and Kohina like that pair in Inu x Boku SS, Miketsukami and Ririchiyo. (Curiously, Miketsukami is a fox spirit and annoyingly devoted to his master). Kohina is of course modelled after the Kokeshi doll and I suppose she is a hybrid between this type of doll as well as the Hina doll. However at times you will obviously notice that Kohina has a ‘pretty face’. Instead of her typical emotionless face trademarked by her black oblong eyes, there are times when she turns into her bishoujo mode with big sparkling beautiful eyes! I love Kohina in this form because she’s cute and pretty but too bad for the sake of her character and role, we’ll be seeing more of the emotionless doll version.
Ryou Hirohashi did a pretty good job in voicing the monotonous Kohina. You might think it is an easy job not having to portray a variety of emotions but if you consider this comedy genre, my guess is that it is hard to keep your laughter and a straight face while voicing out the character. Several takes could be needed. But then again I could be wrong since she does voice similar emotionless characters before like Alice from Aria The Animation. It was definitely Daisuke Ono’s voice behind Kokkuri because from the way he goes into an emotional roller coaster, he very much reminded me of his role as that calligraphist, Handa in Barakamon. They feel so similar. Just turn this one into a fox spirit. Something in me feels that Yukari Tamura’s role as the narrator feels wasted. Not to say that she is bad in her role but I thought it is a waste for her voice to be relegated to just narrating a couple of lines in the same kind of tone. You won’t hear the typical Yukari Tamura going into her squeaky trademark voice but more of the calming and low version.
Other recognizable seiyuus include Takahiro Sakurai as Inugami (Suzaku in Code Geass), Jouji Nakata as Shigaraki (Giroro in Keroro Gunsou), Ryoko Shiraishi as Kokkuri female version (Hayate in Hayate No Gotoku), Rina Satou as Kureha (Misaka in To Aru Kagaku No Railgun) and Ai Nonaka as Noel (Kyouko in Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica). Those that I didn’t recognize but should have include Chiwa Saito as Inugami female version (Chitose in D-Frag!), and Hisako Kanemoto as Jimeko (Ika in Shinryaku! Ika Musume). Other casts include Yukana as Tama (Cecilia in Infinite Stratos), Kazutomi Yamamoto as Yamamoto (Yoshida in Blood Lad), Kousuke Toriumi as Tengu (Kiba in Naruto) and Nobuo Tobita as Noel’s dad (Domon in Flame Of Recca).
The opening theme, Welcome! Disco Kemokemoke is sung by the trio of Daisuke Ono, Takahiro Sakurai and Jouji Nakata. It is quite a catchy tune to the disco beat so don’t be surprised to find yourself wanting to get up and do a little dance or sing along to its cutesy lyrics. The ending theme, This Merry-Go-Round Song by Atsushi Suemitsu is a slow touching pop and although it may sound a bit monotonous, it isn’t that all bad. There is a piano instrumental version of it (as a special ending theme) and it sounds quite lovely. But I still prefer the opener, though.
As far as this anime is concerned, playing the Kokkuri-san game didn’t end in horrifying tragic for our little girl perhaps because she already comes from a family that holds various mysterious and weird powers. This doesn’t mean you should be taking out your Ouija Board now and start summoning spirits to your beck and call. Reality is not kind enough to give you that. You are not lucky to get that kind of treatment. The spirits will have a hard time being stressed out if everybody treats them the way you see it here. Not good for the afterlife. Nobody wants to be a stressed out spirit anyway. So respect the spirits and if you really want to help out, you can help spread the word by recommending this anime to others who haven’t it for some laughs and lessons in life. Lessons like cup noodles contain MSG so don’t go overdose yourself with it. What? You were expecting me to say something about family bonds, weren’t you?