Inu x Boku SS

October 28, 2012

The rich, famous, powerful and influential only need to have bodyguards, right? Well, in today’s very dangerous world, I guess everybody needs a bodyguard. But it’s not just ordinary people in Inu x Boku SS that need bodyguards or also known as secret service agents. Maison De Ayakashi or better known as Ayakashi Hall may look like a posh mansion for the extremely wealthy and each resident is provided with a secret service of their own. However the residents aren’t really humans. They are Atavists. As far as I understand, it is a term used to refer to the appearance of some special traits down the line of one’s generation. For example, your ancestor may have some supernatural power but it lays dormant and hidden through the next few generations till some combination of genes whatsoever makes it reappear again.

Ririchiyo Shirakiin from a wealthy family is such resident of Ayakashi Hall and an Atavist. She has trouble communicating with people and thus her move to this place to be independent. I guess some habits need some time to get use or to overcome as Ririchiyo’s past makes her putting an obnoxious and prideful front. But deep down inside, she just wants to make friends and have a normal life. Till she is assigned her own secret service, Soushi Miketsukami who is totally devoted and loyal to her. So faithful is he to her that it would seem annoying. Yes, a pest. I mean, he would really want to do everything for her. And I mean everything. It’s like he is a self proclaimed dog to her. Well actually, he’s a nine tail fox spirit. And with the other wacky residents and staffs of Ayakashi Hall, Ririchiyo seeks to understand, improve her relationship with Miketsukami and ultimately herself.

Episode 1
We see Ririchiyo move into Ayakashi Hall and meet a former neighbour who is also residing here, Renshou Sorinozuka. Room 4 is where she’ll be staying but outside her door, she comes into Miketsukami who gladly would like to be in her service. He only exists for her and if she doesn’t need him, he’ll take his own life! Extreme! I guess with his good looks and sympathetic puppy dog eyes, Ririchiyo gives him a chance. However she is sceptical that just serving her would make him happy. After all, he claims he knows her for a while. Was there somebody like him in her life before? Ririchiyo thought this loyal act wouldn’t last long but Miketsukami continues to provide his best service with a smile. She meets the other secret service personnel that include Karuta Roromiya (glutton) and Nobara Yukinojo (has fetish for cute girls. “Maniac!”). Nobara is Sorinozuka’s secret service. Miketsukami knows all about Ririchiyo that he even knows when she’s feeling down and makes her a lavender tea to calm her down. Ririchiyo remembers she was born into a rich family and a target of bullies. However due to her family’s wealth, some people suck up to her. She felt lonely because the world didn’t see her as a person, but her lineage. This has caused her bad habit to develop and thus constructed this facade. She knows she needs to change but right now will only cause unhappiness. She doesn’t want Miketsukami to get too close to her or he’ll fall victim too. But he is so touched by her story that he cried and wants to put that theory of hers to test. That night, a robber sneaks in and takes Ririchiyo hostage. He mocks that this place’s security claiming it to be the best but he easily got in. Ririchiyo’s eyes start glowing to freak the daylights out of the robber. She mentions this place isn’t meant to protect them from normal humans as they are no threat to their kind. The robber becomes scared and fires a shot. Miketsukami takes the bullet and apologizes for his lateness. He transforms into his original nine tail fox form. Now the robber is scared in his pants. He runs but bumps into another ‘monster’. Nobara the snow woman explains the residents here are all humans too but inherited supernatural traits of their ancestors. Because pure blooded demons usually attack their kind, it is best for them to stay here as a group. She doesn’t want him to call them monsters. He takes Karuta as hostage but it proves to be a big mistake as Karuta transforms into her true form, a giant skeleton. Yeah, this is one big haunted house he stepped into. Miketsukami is truly worried about Ririchiyo but she has her doubts that he is putting up this nice act just to get rewarded. He dismisses her fact and reiterates he only exists for her. Her status and origins are of no concern to him and that he owes all his love and respect to his saviour. He pledges his loyalty and wants her to accept him. I guess he won’t listen even if she declines so she tells him to do what he wants. Is that a yes? I suppose she can’t go back on her words now.

Episode 2
Miketsukami continues to suck up to Ririchiyo with nice flattery words that would melt every ordinary girl’s heart. She starts noticing an uncanny resemblance that he might really be a loyal dog. He’s a fox, remember. Sorinozuka’s true form is an ittan-momen (a scroll). He teases her about the letters she wrote when she was young but she insists that she was just practising her handwriting. Really? Ririchiyo, Miketsukami and Sorinozuka go out shopping together. Ririchiyo can’t help think about Miketsukami’s words and how much they mean to her. She wants to live up to his words but it’ll probably take time. Ririchiyo buts a handphone since she will be living on her own. Miketsukami notices how close she is with Sorinozuka so he says they’re just former neighbours and he played her big brother since she tends to make enemies. He thinks Miketsukami should call him onii-san too. Even if he was just joking, he really starts calling him that! When they get back to Ayakashi Hall, Nobara mentions Karuta is missing. The trio go out to search but need to find her before sun down since this is their most vulnerable time outside when pure blooded demons attack them. At a park, Ririchiyo is suddenly engulfed by a thick wall. Miketsukami transforms into his true form and prepare to cut it. Sorinozuka got to Ririchiyo by flying in from the top. It’s explained this youkai is called Nurikabe. One that forms a wall and blocks path of travellers at night. Well, they can’t wait till dawn. Karuta isn’t found yet and Ririchiyo begins to worry about Miketsukami. I mean, he can’t live a single second being separated from her, right? So she transforms into her true form, an oni and cuts down the wall. Coincidentally, Miketsukami also cuts the wall down at the same time, reuniting them. He was so worried that he hugged her in tears! Sorinozuka gets call that Karuta is back. Once they return to Ayakashi Hall, seems all this was a setup to throw a surprise welcome party. That night in her room, Ririchiyo adds Miketsukami’s name to her phone list and sends him an SMS. She gets worried if he receives it or not. Will he get the message? Was that good enough? Did the words she used sound strange? It’s only an SMS… And Miketsukami is so over the moon to be receiving it.

Episode 3
Ririchiyo remembers her life raised as though she was a coveted prize. Her father slapped her when she told him she was jealous of her normal younger sister. In tears, he jumped to her sister’s defence that her life will always be a pale shadow to hers. In present time, more of Miketsukami’s flattery. About the SMS, Ririchiyo claims she was just practising to send them. To her dismay, Miketsukami vows to read it every night and has done lots of backup and subscribed to a data recovery plan! For a single SMS?! Extreme! This is Ririchiyo’s first day at school at Seijou Academy and as the top of her grade, she gets to represent the students with her speech later at the reception party. Careful she is not to cause unhappiness among her peers, seems a couple of boys are badmouthing her that her relatives may have pulled some strings but she is not fazed and tells them off in her usual style. Ririchiyo finds Karuta is also in the same class with her. Then she sees Sorinozuka and Nobara peeking from the gates. To her horror, they see Miketsukami kissing a woman! Their eyes met. Uh oh. He explains she is not his girlfriend and had turned down her affections before. In order for that to end, he gave her a kiss as closure. Ririchiyo chides him of his insincerity and a despicable person. I guess flattery couldn’t save him this time. So is their contract void? Of course Ririchiyo reflects that she may be harsh and was simply taking out her frustrations on him. After all, he was the only one who saw her as who she was. Nobara helps Ririchiyo get ready for the party. Though Nobara isn’t into guys, she hopes Ririchiyo will mend her relationship with Miketsukami. I guess if she’s down, Nobara can’t have her fantasies. At the party, Ririchiyo starts regretting about the way she treated Miketsukami. The bullies misinterpret she’s having stage fright and tease her. Miketsukami couldn’t tolerate it and splash a glass of water on them. He explains about Ririchiyo’s difficulty in expression herself and will go down on his knees to apologize if they retract their statement. They do and want him to get down on his knees but Ririchiyo says no need for that and splashes a glass of water on herself. There, satisfied? Ririchiyo goes up on stage to give her speech. Miketsukami feels guilty that it’s his fault this happened. She tells him he is too naive to act for the sake of appearance and smiles back. She notes that nobody would have stood up for her like that except for him. She has found someone who tries to understand her. After her speech, Miketsukami pours a glass of water on himself in front of Ririchiyo as apology. Otherwise he couldn’t live with himself. Ririchiyo wants to make a contract for him to continue to be her secret service. Make sure you don’t go back on your word this time.

Episode 4
Ayakashi Hall gets a new tenant. He is the self proclaimed delinquent, Banri Watanuki and his overly cheerful secret service, Zange Natsume. Ririchiyo is thinking about Miketsukami once more when she bumps into Watanuki. They had a staring showdown. Huh? Watanuki introduces himself as a delinquent. Whoever in their right mind would advertise their own delinquency? But I guess nobody can take him seriously when he transforms into his true form: A cute raccoon! Natsume introduces himself by explaining his life from birth till now (cute rabbit sketches?). One of them including his sad fate as an Atavist who is able to see things and often saw more than he wanted. So he knows all about Ririchiyo. Her past, present and future. But if she wins tomorrow match, he may tell her anything. What match? Seems Watanuki has something to settle with Miketsukami. And yes, the fox and rabbit know each other since Natsume was a friend of his former master. From what I can see, Watanuki always got bullied. So is this why he wants to be a delinquent? Anyway Miketsukami’s politeness continues to piss him off. The challenge is Ayakashi Hall Walk. The team wins when they get all the signatures of the residents and employees of this building. Ririchiyo easily got Sorinozuka and Nobara’s signature (the latter probably enjoyed Ririchiyo’s attempt to pull up her skirt as instructed). Watanuki had to do some charade to earn their signatures. He did it all for nothing because they signed before he started his act. They never said they wouldn’t, right? Ririchiyo and Miketsukami go to get other signatures of the staffs: Joutarou Kawasumi (the charisma-exuding cook who claims to be a bartender and is always mixing his drink), his son Kotarou (more mature and down-to-earth than his dad), the maids that consists of Chino Motomura (a real cutie), Ayumu Warashibe (transvestite) and Yuujirou Kouda (his face is always a ‘fixed’ expression – yes, he is a guy too) and the concierge Homare Nekozuki (he may look tough but is a shy person). They’re looking for Karuta but it seems Natsume wants them to be quiet. Oh, they’re peeping on them? As you’ve guessed, Watanuki harbours feelings for her and as explained, this challenge is just an excuse for him to meet her since he was away for too long (he was away training to protect the girl he loves, claims Natsume). Of course this challenge too was to help Ririchiyo in making friends with everyone. And she learns that by living with others, hurting and being hurt along the way. What does he mean by that? Well, he just wants to be friends with everybody. Ririchiyo ponders though she has technically won the challenge, Natsume hasn’t told her the cause of her arrhythmia, an irregular heartbeat cycle. Miketsukami wants to know what Natsume had said to her but she’s not telling. He’ll make sure that rabbit won’t say anything unnecessary.

Episode 5
Ririchiyo continues to think more about Miketsukami. At the same time, she’s being getting stalker-like messages but it doesn’t bother her since she’s used to it. Sure it’s not her own secret service guy? Look at the way he fawns over her. Ririchiyo spends the day trying to figure out which letter to use and went out shopping for it. Then she gets another stalker message that she won’t be safe alone because the night is dangerous for them. Could it be this stalker is an Atavist like her? Somebody nearly grabs Ririchiyo from behind but only to be stopped by Miketsukami. Turns out to be a drunkard who quietly goes away. Miketsukami knew about this after hearing from Sorinozuka. Once again, here he goes about fulfilling his duty to protect her. Once more, here she goes thinking about the deeds he did for her and wants to understand him better. Then the real stalker appears. This narcissist clashes swords with Miketsukami. Since it looks like he has forgotten, he introduces himself as Kagerou Shoukiin, Miketsukami’s former master and Ririchiyo’s fiancee whom they used to exchange letters frequently. This eccentric guy is Karuta’s master and also the other party responsible in bullying Watanuki with Natsume. Brings back a lot of traumatic memories, eh? Since he is back from his long trip, he has souvenirs for everyone. He gives them each S&M items! So when the Ayakashi Hall people learn about this, Ririchiyo dismisses it as a pact that their families made and holds no legal weight. Sorinozuka notes she looked disappointed when the letters she wrote to him stopped coming but she merely says it’s because she couldn’t practice her handwriting. Now, this is the amusing thing about Kagerou. He is the kind of guy who views the world into 2 categories: Sadist or masochist! He proceeds to categorize everyone! Not even inanimate objects are spared! The elevator, the water and even the light bulbs got ‘classified’! Man! He’s good!!! And funny! However he has to leave for his next flight. He only came back since he heard his fiancee had moved to Ayakashi Hall and stopped by in the midst of his travel. There is something important he wants to discuss but he thinks that can wait. “So long you sex toys!” WTF?! Ririchiyo remembers she used to wait for his letter, rain or shine. Or snowing. And when it comes, you can see her face brimming with happiness. But now knowing Miketsukami once served him, does this mean he also knew she was his fiancee?

Episode 6
Besides Miketsukami, Ririchiyo has to worry about Karuta too. Eating in class like nobody’s business, staring into space and even bringing a dog to school! Worrying indeed. Ririchiyo offers her some food since she ate too early and spent all her money. Karuta hugs her and says she knew she’s a good person ever since they met. What more, Karuta says she likes her. Ririchiyo sees Natsume in school. Seems Watanuki has gotten into a fight and is at the infirmary. The reason was people started calling Karuta weird and he didn’t like that. It’s cue for them to leave when Karuta comes in. Natsume explains about them being born Atavist. Lonely creatures with a fragile grasp on the concept of family. That’s why Watanuki and Karuta share a close bond. So in addition to Miketsukami and Kagerou, Karuta is added to her list of worries. Karuta may look like a slacker but during home economics, she becomes like a guru and knows how much ingredients to put in making curry. I guess it matters when food is involved. Ririchiyo notices the band aids on her hand. She says she got it when she tried to rescue a kitten but got scratched. To her, every little animal she sees reminds her of Watanuki. Then Karuta asks if she is interested in Miketsukami. It’s that Big Bang thought again that she may have realized too late she’s in love with him. Her gratitude for him has awakened her mating instincts? WTF?! The weather turns stormy after class. Ririchiyo walking alone in the corridor is being attack by a Wet Woman (nothing sexual but spooky!). Watanuki wanted to show he is a man but his weak appearance causes him to be beaten up. It doesn’t matter if he cloned himself to hundreds. He’s still weak. Ririchiyo transforms into her true form and fights it but is hit out of the window. Some of her classmates see what’s happening. They couldn’t believe their eyes that they see Karuta jumping out and transforming into a large skeleton to save Watanuki and Ririchiyo’s fall. Though the rumours about Karuta spread that she became a skeleton or got eaten by it, it’s a good thing that nobody got it on camera. Otherwise as Miketsukami puts it, he’ll have to take them out. Ririchiyo hears the girls talking about Karuta’s huge appetite. Watanuki says not to tire herself by bothering with them. But if she needs to clobber anybody, he’ll do the job. Yeah, Ririchiyo points out she’ll need to make sure nobody clobbers him back. Karuta just takes their hands and walk home together. Having more friends is good.

Episode 7
Some demon attacks Ayakashi Hall and this activates the security that locks the gang in separate barriers. They have to wait till morning comes when the youkais disappear and the security system will shut off. Watanuki wants to rush to Karuta’s side to protect her but gets ‘persuaded’ by Natsume to do some personal training in this barrier of his to impress her. Don’t worry about Karuta. She’s got the entire refrigerator to accompany her. Sorinozuka, Nobara and Chino are together. Obviously Nobara isn’t so interested in her master and would love to spend this exclusive time with this cute maid. And of course Ririchiyo and Miketsukami get to spend quality time together. Okay, I might have exaggerated about the quality part. So what happens when you’re stuck with a guy who never tires of fawning over you? Well, he even took a picture of her and sets it as his handphone’s wallpaper. He lets her take a bath and then prepares her bed. She gets worried that he gives every priority to her and not himself. She tries to strike up a conversation but she can’t say the right words. She needs to find a way to repay his kindness. As usual, Miketsukami reiterates he only exists for her. He is her dog. What else is new? Watanuki has been training hard but realizes Natsume had tricked him. He only did that to get his mind off Karuta. Watanuki crashes down onto the floor and breaks the barrier. This weakens the security system as the youkais start breaking in. Everyone is alerted and prepares for the invasion. The best part is when Karuta is preparing to have her lobster meal, she senses Watanuki in danger, grabs a lobster and jumps to his side. With the lobster in mouth, she kicks the youkais’ ass! Woah! He didn’t even get a chance to do anything. I guess it’s not her who needs his protection but the other way round, eh? Everyone reunites as Ririchiyo notes how weak the demons are. As explained, they are Obariyon and hitch a ride on traveller’s back. Though it clings to them, they cause no physical harm. That explains why they look so cute than scary. Miketsukami dispatches the last remaining ones that cling on to Ririchiyo. That easy? So why did they want to break into Ayakashi Hall in the first place? Ah, never mind. It’s already morning.

Episode 8
Isn’t it getting annoying already? Miketsukami’s flattery and apology for just about everything? At least he’s good to have around when nobody is fast enough to stop a stray speeding baseball. Ririchiyo observes how close the others are with their secret service but not them. Even she spends more time with Karuta and Watanuki. Thinking she needs to repay him and do more to understand him, it suddenly hit her that she has never seen him eat ever since she moved to Ayakashi Hall. Seeing that he always served her tea, she will brew coffee for him and they’ll have their personal tea time together. Her coffee is perfect but now comes the hard part. How will she invite him? She spends all night coming up with plans. Whether it is made up, being straightforward or a perfect invitation (Miketsukami isn’t that kind of character so she knows well this plan will never work out), it just doesn’t feel right. Yeah, she’s losing sleep over it. Hope it doesn’t drive her crazy. At the dining hall, she tries to summon her courage but because the others are too noisy, she needs some place quiet to pull this off. She might just pull it off outside school but Karuta drags her away seeing they’ll be late for home economics. I guess that’s her favourite subject. So is inviting someone to tea beyond her communication skill? She continues to observe how close the others are. Then she calls Miketsukami to see her under the sakura tree where he wanted to test that theory of hers. He thought she was dissatisfied with his service as he notices her gloominess all day. I mean, he could tell the slightest detail of how much gram of pepper she added to her meal today which is not her usual! How she poured her sauce on eggs! How she cleaned her glasses first! That’s scary! Stalker material! Regret asking? On the contrary, she is not dissatisfied at all but doesn’t like being pampered too much and that he doesn’t play fair. He knows all about her but she has nothing on him. Oh, there he goes apologizing and that’s the kind of attitude she’s talking about. He says this is his only way to interact through others. Via servility. Though she is in no position to lecture others on communication skills, she tells him that she feels their relationship is the most distant among the rest. That’s why he’ll be joining her for tea time tomorrow with her homemade coffee. During that time, they’ll be equals. Miketsukami is so taken in by her kindness that he almost couldn’t breathe. There he goes again. Ririchiyo notes she may still be awkward with others but today she has understood him a little better.

Episode 9
There’s a note on the door that tells everyone to pick a fight. But Karuta sounds more cute than insulting! Ririchiyo is nervous waiting for today’s tea time. She gets more anxiety when she couldn’t comprehend why she picked 8pm. The waiting is just killing her. Can she survive it? While Ririchiyo accompanies Karuta to taste sampling of foods at supermarkets (it’s her way to get free lunch), the other people of Ayakashi Hall continue to ‘abide’ by that note. Oh, there’s another note saying not to talk. Lots of misunderstanding using hand signals… Is this a prank by Natsume? Doesn’t seem like it. Ririchiyo makes the necessary preparations for the tea time. She is amazed at herself for giving herself time to do the preparations. Unfortunately she finished early and there are 4 hours more to go. The anxiety continues… She gets a call from Karuta to study together with Watanuki. Karuta is so funny that she uses her pencil to decide which answer to write even if it’s the wrong subject. Miketsukami helps Ririchiyo with a maths problem. She is impressed but Watanuki notes it isn’t over with him yet even though he lost the Ayakashi Hall Walk. Natsume has this idea to settle this now. The master and secret service will form a team and go head to head in a quiz battle. The one who gets the most answer correct wins. Since Natsume is the emcee, Watanuki pairs up with Karuta. Can’t refuse that, can’t he? First round is a box quiz in which the contestants need to feel what’s inside and guess what it is. No, nothing funny or disgusting. Everyone passes and the second round is a quiz on how well you know your partner. Nobara’s one felt like just expressing about her extreme fantasies. Maniac! Oh, Miketsukami went on ranting about Ririchiyo’s habits and character down to the very last detail! Just stop! However the quiz ended since they’re out of time and you can say Ririchiyo is spared from being asked. There seems to be another note in the dining hall for them to draw Tokyo prefecture. The winner gets a Blu-Ray recorder. Start drawing! Anyway everyone went off topic with their drawing. Then there’s another (stupid) question (that nobody else wants to participate) and the prize is a seven-day vacation to Hawaii with Kagerou. Oh wait. So he’s the one behind all this notes?! Oh man! That dude is back! Welcome him back, you human chamber pots!

Episode 10
Kagerou has bought more S&M presents for them! He revs up the party with some firecrackers. Wow. It lasted for 5 hours… On to serious stuff, Kagerou won’t be long here and wants to know if Ririchiyo would like to join him on his travels. Since she can’t answer now, he allows her to take her time and when he gets back, they can have a long important chat. Thanks to Kagerou, it has gotten late so Ririchiyo postpones their tea time tomorrow after school. So it’s back to more wondering for Ririchiyo. If Miketsukami once served him and assuming he knew she’s his fiancee, is he not interested to know that aspect of her life? Even though she once wrote letters every day to him because every word written was meant for her alone, it’s not like she had something she wanted to tell him. After school the next day, Kagerou ‘kidnaps’ Ririchiyo and with Watanuki and Karuta, he forces her to spend the day with him. Yeah, more labelling of everyone and everything as either sadist or masochist! I see he hasn’t lost his touch. The dog, the tree, the table… Man, he’s really good. Ririchiyo is being dragged around town the entire day and I guess she has no say no matter how much she wants to go back. She comes back to her room late and hopes Miketsukami isn’t mad for missing the appointment. She SMS to him but he’s not replying. Could he really be mad? She goes to see him in his room and seems he just came out of the bath. However the tone Miketsukami says things indicates he is jealous she has spent and enjoyed her time with Kagerou. He reminds her of their contract they made today and Ririchiyo is not amused. Seeing he is not in his right mind today and that he is trying to suggest something, she leaves. She didn’t like it how he phrased she enjoyed herself because all this time, she wanted to go home. She starts crying just thinking about Miketsukami. Next day Miketsukami confronts Kagerou and it seems he hasn’t discussed with her about the important thing yet. Miketsukami begs him not to tell her so Kagerou asks is it to protect her or himself. He feels that his act is like looking down on him. Anyhow, he refuses! Miketsukami remains cool but seeing there is no choice, they both transform into their true forms and clash. Ririchiyo happen to pass by and see Miketsukami on top of Kagerou and the latter is stopping his sword with his bare hands. He’s still acting arrogant, though. Kagerou is impressed that Ririchiyo could order Miketsukami to back down. Noting she has put a lot of trust in him, he tells her they are partners in crime because that fox is skilled in deceiving people. He doubts he could lie to her. Miketsukami apologizes and mentions he had hoped to keep it hidden forever. But if someone is to reveal it, he would rather say it himself.

Episode 11
This flashback episode sees how Miketsukami came to where he is now. Some clans with Atavists believe their only way to achieve supremacy was to subjugate the Atavists’ power. Miketsukami was in such clan and was locked away in a room alone. The room was his world. Then he got crafty and had his first time with the maid who brought him his meals. Who could resist such a good looking person? All Miketsukami needed was to wiggle into the hearts of the woman and use this as his tool to work his way up to the clan’s powerful woman. She might be at the top but as a woman, she is lonely and Miketsukami exploits this as her pet in his quest to attain true freedom. He was rewarded with luxuries but what he wanted was freedom. At a party, he met a family more powerful than his. This woman, Ayame had strong morals and penchant for meddling so he told her his sad story about being locked up and she vows to do something about it. Though his charms didn’t work on her, she brings him in to the family and makes him the servant of her son, who is no other than Kagerou. As you can see, Kagerou is still the same guy we know in the future but because Miketsukami is so subservient to every whim of his, it makes no fun. Miketsukami is told to stay in this house till he reaches 20 years old. Only then he’ll be truly free. In the mean time, he would do what he does best to get by. Pretending, deceiving and flattering. One day Kagerou wants Miketsukami to reply a letter to his fiancee for his amusement. He read the letter and from her nice and polite words, found Ririchiyo to be a courteous, delicate young lady. He needs to portray himself as an ideal Kagerou without resorting to lies and thus create and imaginary ‘Kagerou’ that will appeal to her. Someone with lots of good values. He thought it was easy since he’s been deceiving people his life. However it’s tough since he doesn’t know what to write. So he writes as ‘Kagerou’ and their correspondence continues. He absorbed everything he could write about as they talked on a diverse range of topics from literature to music. As time passes, he noticed the peculiarities of her character and understood the kind of person she is. She noticed details that others would have ignored and saw the world in a different perspective. Miketsukami soon grew used becoming ‘Kagerou’ but realized the feelings were not his own but of this ‘Kagerou’. Because of her, he also noticed he had started to change.

One day Ririchiyo decided to come for a visit and he was curious to see what kind of girl she is. He couldn’t believe the little girl she is. The kind of words she wrote couldn’t have reflected the girl her age. Perhaps she could’ve hired a ghost writer just like Kagerou did. But the biggest surprise was how disappointed he felt. Then he found out that Ririchiyo actually wrote those letters herself. Kagerou notes how they both are the same. But Miketsukami begged to differ. She wasn’t an emotionless soul like him. It made him realized who else understood this girl. Seeing her dejected just broke his heart. Kagerou soon left for his travels and wanted him to find a good ending to the corresponding. However he continued to write (because Kagerou loved the thought on infidelity) as she became more candid with herself. He felt he wanted to be there for her but each time he is happy that she opened up to him, his heart sank because she was writing to ‘Kagerou’ and not him. For the first time, he wrote about his true self but to protect her innocence, he skipped the details. Then he got permission to live alone at Ayakashi Hall since he is going to be working as a secret service there. It is because he merely wants to be by her side. So now with the truth revealed, Miketsukami admits he had been deceiving her. He notes he wrote the letters because he wanted her to know who he was but is now afraid to face the consequences. Kagerou tells Ririchiyo that he wasn’t the one who wrote those letters but it seems she had knew it a long time already it wasn’t him! She knew Kagerou wasn’t that kind of man. Noting how boring the outcome has become, he pushes her into the elevator for a private talk. He talks out a letter with his bad writing that states “Sorry”. He admits he never expected them to grow so close and always had inferiority complex for him. That’s why he tried to drag him into his apology but it was unsuccessful. But he surprises her with the revelation that Miketsukami was the one who wrote the letters on his behalf. Then all the words the foxy guy said fell into place. She realizes what he had meant. That’s why he always understood. She goes back up and when the elevator door opens, Miketsukami immediately hugs her. He notes it wasn’t him who understood, but her.

Episode 12
Miketsukami shows all the letters he received and well kept. He wanted to return it to her but she says he could keep them. For she too had kept well all his letters. So happy he was that he made another tearful smile. Kotarou doesn’t want to bump into his dad so he rides on Sorinozuka to the rooftop. Isn’t he afraid somebody might see them? He believes people’s brains will filter them out. Caught on camera? They’ll become urban legends. Some confidence he got there. Seems Kotarou is troubled about reincarnations as Atavists and seeks his opinion. That’s pretty tough questions for a kid his age to ask. Eavesdropping Natsume had this suggestion to leave a time capsule. And since the more the merrier, he’ll get everyone in Ayakashi Hall to participate. Watanuki didn’t want to do it but after Karuta mentions about writing to his next reincarnation or that if they even still like each other then, he’s going to focus his mind on it. Speaking of the next life, Karuta says she wants to be stuffed buns filled with different fillings! Sorinozuka finishes digging a hole near a tree. Wait a minute. Isn’t this illegal digging on public land? Too late. Sorinozuka tells about the time capsule thingy to Ririchiyo and she didn’t want to participate. Okay, he’s not forcing her. Okay, she changes her mind with an excuse she coincidentally have a letter set open on her table that she wrote for sweets delivery. How convenient. But he notes how she has changed. Ririchiyo heads to Miketsukami to give him a replacement gift and to inform him about the time capsule. Ririchiyo notices the irony she came here to be alone. But now she seeks interaction and after meeting Miketsukami, she wants to change. Whether she hurts them or they hurt her, she doesn’t want to isolate herself like a coward before. Kotarou is having a hard time on what to write in his letter so Joutarou mentions if he would still be himself the next reincarnation. People are shaped by the things and emotions they encounter in life so if he has never met his mom or him, he wouldn’t have been himself. Kotarou understood that Joutarou will always be his father. After everyone has put in their letters, Sorinozuka notices the letter from Ririchiyo which is intended for Miketsukami. Did she mistakenly switch her time capsule letter with this one? Then it hit her. She let loose an embarrassing scream! I believe I never see her freak out like this! In an instant, she calls Miketsukami (wow, that’s very fast finger work) to not read it. Too late. He already it. Here comes another scream. Suddenly the world is just crashing down on her.

Because she can’t face him, she ran and hid herself at the park. She is very embarrassed with the contents of the letter since she poured out her emotions. Something one would never expect from a sharp tongue girl. She tries to reason it’s not that she wants a fantasy relationship but rather wants to repay him and be a better person. Ririchiyo realizes her handphone is off and when she on it, she instantly got a call from Miketsukami! Super fast. She panics as she hasn’t come up with a plan. Quickly coming up with all sorts of weird plans on what to say, she finally tells him the letter has no deep meaning to it and she just hoped for them to have a fruitful professional relationship. But Miketsukami remains cool and calm. From the way he said things, Ririchiyo realizes he hates himself. In return, she too realizes she hates herself. Once he arrives at the park, Ririchiyo sums up her courage to confess she loves him many times. She doesn’t care if he hates himself, at least she wants to love him. Miketsukami is so happy that he hugs her and returns the favour. I love you x 10. Or maybe more. Their happiness is cut short when a group of kids point out the duo are committing horny acts in public. Ririchiyo is embarrassed and wants him to put her down for she fears this isn’t good for the children’s emotional education. Haha. Very funny. I bet they’re learning something from this. Miketsukami isn’t listening and continues to let out his feelings. When he read her letter, he told himself not to jump to conclusions or else he would lose control. But he felt so happy that he could die. It’s a good thing that didn’t happen, eh? In the aftermath we see the Ayakashi Hall gang spending time together at the beach or having a party. Even Kagerou is back to join them. But for how long? More importantly, Ririchiyo and Miketsukami spend more time together and grow closer. Then she discovers this freaking scary thing in his secret room: A wall filled with her pictures and a big picture of her mug right smack in the middle! SCARY! What did she say about loving and accepting the way he is? Oh shi… No turning back! While the duo are lying together, Miketsukami says his dream is to start a family and have children with her. She doesn’t want to make a hasty decision so he is okay with that. I guess they’ll have many days and nights to think about that together.

OVA
Nothing new that advances the plot. Just split into 3 little stories for our little extra amusement. That’s all.

Part 1: Miketsukami’s Transformation
Taking place a while after Ririchiyo and Miketsukami are dating. Alone together in the dining hall, Miketsukami notices a very nervous Ririchiyo and this activates his mischief side to tease her. She’s cute when she flusters, right? In order for her to feel at ease, he transforms not only into his nine tail fox form but also a child version. Cute, no? Miketsukami is too cute to resist for her to say she loves him, hug him and pet him. Till she realize she fell for his opportunist trick. Since that isn’t going to work anymore, Miketsukami transforms into a full-fledged woman. Wow. He’s got a nicer body than Ririchiyo. Haha! Really, he is both female inside and outside! Care to inspect? No way! In order to help Ririchiyo be intimate, Miketsukami suggests practising being close to each other. I thought it just looked like a yuri scene. Miketsukami the seme type going all over Ririchiyo. Yeah, he’s taking advantage of her. Nobody’s looking you say? Well, here comes in Nobara. Sight of female over another female? MANIAC!!!

Part 2: Switch
So bored that Natsume presses Sorinozuka’s arm. That’s his switch of turning into Nobara? He’s shouting “Maniac!”. Natsume is having fun pressing it lots of times. Ding dong! Karuta observes this and presses Watanuki’s chest. He thought he’s supposed to imitate somebody but she says it’s a switch to make her like him more. Got to love it, right? Karuta starts pressing it furiously like as though she’s some tai chi master. So painful yet so joyful for that delinquent. Kagerou returns and Karuta presses his button on his chest. It made him say “Human chamber pot” in a robotic manner! WTF?! Nobara is disgusted that Natsume and Sorinozuka continue to play that silly ding dong game. So Sorinozuka goes up to her and presses her forehead. Reaction? She bends his finger the wrong way! Don’t ever try that again buster! Kagerou tries to press Ririchiyo’s chest but Miketsukami swiftly punches him out in the gut! As Ririchiyo ponders who started this ding dong game, she gets curious enough to press Miketsukami’s hand. His face then slowly turns to her and warns her about the delayed reaction she will get and prepare herself. She gets away as far as him as possible! Who knows he may do something perverted.

Part 3: Playing House
Koutarou is babysitting his little sister Hana so the rest wonder what she wants to do. Play house. I’m not sure if Ririchiyo is being too serious in writing down all the details for the scenario. Hana assigns Koutarou to be the father and herself as his sister. Erm? Isn’t she his sister in real life? Sorinozuka will be the grandpa, Karuta the grandma, Ririchiyo the mother while Miketsukami… The delivery guy. WTF. After ‘daddy’ leaves for work, some protest by the ‘grandparents’ about food when the doorbell rings. It is the delivery guy. Miketsukami starts flirting and seducing Ririchiyo and pushes her down onto the floor! This play house has reached adult level?! Too bad it had to be stopped since Koutarou wishes it to be kid friendly. Nobara heard there’s this cute girl over and really wants in. Oh no. So in the second round of play house, Karuta is the grandma, Sorinozuka the father, Nobara the mother, Ririchiyo, Koutarou and Hana the children and Miketsukami… The dog. WTF. As usual, Nobara hates her ‘husband’ but goes on to dote on ‘grandma’. Ririchiyo notes her ‘family tension’ and promises her siblings that she’ll work hard to get out of this house and support their education. When Miketsukami gives his 2 cents worth of opinion, hey wait. Can dogs talk? Suddenly coming into the picture is Kagerou! He claims he is the real father! Not if Nobara would allow it. With Natsume butting in as the referee, he initiates a battle between Kagerou and Nobara. But it ends as soon as it starts when Nobara drops her big ice over him. ‘Mommy’ wins. ‘Daddy’ returns only to find real ‘daddy’s’ is dead on his floor. Watanuki just ended his training when Karuta goes up to him if dinner is ready. Still think she’s playing house? Oh wait. She’s always like that.

Hmph! This Show Is An S! Make That Double SS!
That’s right! This show is an S! An S for trying to torture me with Miketsukami’s sucking up to Ririchiyo. Uhm… Make that double S. An S for trying to torture me with Ririchiyo’s constant worrying for what she can do for her secret servant. An S for ignoring Watanuki and not giving Karuta enough screen time. Oh wait. I don’t really care about Watanuki’s role :).  An S for making me find that Kagerou dude funnily irresistible. An S for trying to make me put up with 12 episodes of drama, romance and inserting some comedic bits here and there. An S for putting in some supernatural spirits even though they are considered mild and won’t scare the pants out of horror adverse amateurs like me. But overall, I guess this show is quite decent.

As realized by the socially challenged Ririchiyo herself, she changed from someone distant into someone who seeks to interact with others. If she truly wanted to be alone, she would have moved to a deserted island herself. Where would she enjoy all the modern conveniences then? She may still be a long way from ditching her sharp tongue habit but I guess her progress is considered good enough. It’s funny to see her when she flusters or panics. And for a person who always acts tough, she definitely looks funny (in a cute sense). I have to hand it to Miketsukami for being a loyal secret service and the way he uses his flowery words to praise his master. But I have to admit that it was amusing at first but the more I watch, it gets pretty annoying that I’d roll my eyes and say “Oh boy, here he goes again”. Even if Miketsukami is devoted and faithful, however I noticed that at times he doesn’t really obey Ririchiyo’s commands. This is especially if it puts him away from her. So he words it in a way, or rather persuade to make it in a way she will accept his wish. He may be a loyal dog but he’s still a sly fox. Just like everybody else in Ayakashi Hall, each of them have their own past so when the cat (or fox in his case) is out of the bag, it would have been natural for others to get mad because who would like to be deceived? Ririchiyo has been displaying a maturity level higher than her age and would put others to shame. So it’s no surprise that despite Miketsukami could really get on her nerves with his extreme admiration, because of him, she got to see things in a different light and changed herself. Likewise, if Miketsukami had not met Ayame and be made to live with Kagerou, he would have gone on deceiving others. Would he really call that kind of freedom to be true? So it’s like they both play important roles in each other life to turn over a new leaf.

The other characters are pretty amusing and memorable themselves either. At certain points I got tired of Miketsukami’s glorification and worshipping of Ririchiyo and I also got weary of Ririchiyo’s anxieties over her secret service. I know this series is focused on them but I just thought this show lacks Karuta and Kagerou, the most amusing pair that I find. Karuta is amusing because food is only on her mind. She’s cute when she’s munching. She’s cute when she’s slacking. She’s cute when she’s spacing out. She’s cute when she’s clumsy. She’s cute when she’s eating. Oh, did I say that? Isn’t it a wonder why Watanuki finds her irresistible? Seeing her just cracks a smile after the repetitious you-know-what in every episode. Anyhow, food defines Karuta and my guess is that she’ll be at a loss if she doesn’t have anything to eat. Maybe her past life was a hungry person. Does that explain why her true form is a skeleton? This show needs to have more Kagerou and it’s a shame that he only appears for a short while in a handful of episodes. I love how eccentric he is, categorizing everything into either sadistic or masochistic. He’s damn good at it. He makes me laugh. He has got a way with words too and if Miketsukami’s is polite, his is right in your face. Oh, does that make me an M?

Natsume is the other prankster and I can’t help think that he may be hiding something deeper. Maybe he just really wants to get along with the rest. Being able to see more than you want can be scary sometimes. So what better way than to liven things up by coming up with games or events that has everyone interact with each other. I wonder if the permanent big smile on his face is just how he looks like or he just loves smiling every time. Don’t remember if I had ever seen him frown. I don’t understand Watanuki’s idea of wanting to be a delinquent. Is it to attract attention? Well, it’s not really working since he is usually ignored and cut off, especially by Natsume. Perhaps he wants to show how manly he is to Karuta? From the way I see it, it looks like he needs the protection from Karuta instead. Sorinozuka looks like an eternal slacker. He doesn’t show much enthusiasm in doing lots of things and even if he does, he doesn’t show as much passion as compared to his secret service. Speaking of which, I wonder how he ended up with that snow woman maniac. I mean, she treats him coldly (literally too – freezing his warm meal on several occasions) and doesn’t hesitate to beat him up if he teases her (like how she buried him in the hole when he teased they looked like a family). Otherwise, any other girls would just turn her on and into a passionate frenzy. Nose bleeding included. Therefore it’s sometimes odd to see Sorinozuka and Nobara to enjoy reading porn together. Not exactly side by side but in the sense have the same views when viewing those Playboy magazines. The other staffs in Ayakashi Hall may make lesser appearance but they too have their quirky personalities.

Having said all these, despite being Atavists with supernatural powers, this shows that they have also a human’s side. They are not perfect and seek integration and acceptance just like normal people. They can be more humane than humans when you think about it. So I thought there would be a final arc in which some fearsome full blooded youkai will break in and attack them. Some supernatural clash and I was even prepared for a cliff-hanger ending that would suggest another season but I guess it was all the way Ririchiyo-Miketsukami bonding. And when Ririchiyo and Miketsukami became one in the end, I suppose that’s just about the end of it. My curiosity piqued a little at the end so I went to do a little research (read: go browse Wikipedia). Seems that there are 2 parts of the story (the manga is still ongoing) and that the first part as we have seen in the anime is just actually a prologue. What ends the first part is an attack by a youkai that possesses Karuta and kills almost everyone of Ayakashi Hall! Oh my. Thus the second part begins 23 years later with those killed being reincarnated. Seems pretty interesting and if a production for a second season is given the green light, I would really definitely like to know how things are played out. Will everyone still be the same as before? Did the time capsule and talk on the next life have something to do with this?

The drawing and art of the characters caters to bishie and bishuojo fans. Everybody here looks beautiful and handsome. I guess it’s like icing on your cake when you not only have a very loyal secret service guy, but when he is looking so cool and handsome like your K-Pop idol or super model. Well, if everybody in the world looks this beautiful, that word itself won’t exist since there won’t be ugly people to compare with, right? But our characters here are more than just looking good for visual aesthetics since we see them capable of certain abilities. Heck, they’re Atavists. They just aren’t part of the norm of society, that’s all. Because there are some funny moments, when this happens, the characters will turn into their chibi form. Especially when Ririchiyo flusters and panics. Sometimes when she lets loose her haughty attitude too. And Natsume’s story using his sketchbook with rabbits as his characters, that’s funny too. Initially I thought with some supernatural elements, I was prepared to be spooked but the other Japanese ghosts here won’t even scare elementary kids as they’re considered mild. At least in the way they are portrayed and explained. Plus, they don’t really seem threatening to our main casts and are easily dealt with.

Rina Hidaka as Ririchiyo did a good job in portraying her character as both a sombre but yet indecisive and vulnerable girl. She played diverse roles of characters from the simpleton Hideyoshi in Sengoku Otome Momoiro Paradox to the shy and tall Airi in Ro-Kyu-Bu and the playful and childish Last Order of To Aru Majutsu No Index. Yuuichi Nakamura as Miketsukami sounds okay. Polite, refined, gracious and soft spoken, I guess it’s a different change for a guy who voiced characters like Gray in Fairy Tail, Tomoya in Clannad and Gekkou in Itsuka Tenma No Kurousagi. Kana Hanazawa as Karuta is still recognizable even though her character lacks lots of dialogue. How can she when her character is stuffing her mouth with food half the time! Can’t talk with your mouth open, eh? Anyway this isn’t her first time voicing emotionless characters as she did so before with Tenshi/Kanade in Angel Beats and Kuroneko in OreImo. Youko Hikasa voicing another perverted character? As Nobara this time, this brings back memories of her stint as Hana in Seikon No Qwaser and Aya in Gokujo. Mamoru Miyano’s playful boyish voice suits well for this Natsume character. He has voiced funny characters like Death The Kid in Soul Eater as well as serious ones like Light in Death Note and Zero in Vampire Knight. Tomokazu Sugita as Kagerou feels like a perverted version of Gintama’s Gintoki. Other casts include Takuya Eguchi as Watanuki (Kazuya Kujou in Gosick), Yoshimasa Hosoya as Sorinozuka (Shichika in Katanagatari), Katasuki Murase as Joutarou (Koushirou of Kamisama Dolls), Minami Tsuda as Kotarou (Yui in YuruYuri), Takahiro Mizushima as Ayumu (Nagasumi of Seto No Hanayome) and Yasunori Masutani as Yuujirou (Gazelleman in Kinnikuman Nisei). At first when I thought how Chino closely resembles Yui from K-ON! and that how much she also sounded like her, true enough it was Aki Toyosaki behind the character.

The opening theme is called Nirvana by MUCC. At first I thought it was Miketsukami’s seiyuu but I guess I was wrong since it sounded so close. Thus I thought Miketsukami wasn’t really quite cut out to sing and shouldn’t be singing :p. Even so, I thought the male vocals really didn’t fit the piece very well. There are several ending themes, each sung by the seiyuu of that character and tailored to suit the personalities of the characters in the series. Miketsukami’s Rakuen No Photograph starts off with this playful beat and later has more of a pop feel in it. Of course it’s about praising his master and to be by her side. The most disturbing (and scary) thing about this ending credits animation is his wall filled with pictures of Ririchiyo! Yeah, that pretty big one too! STALKER!!! Ririchiyo’s Kimi Wa is a slow ballad despite the electric guitar in the background making it a little ‘noisier’. The duet of Watanuki and Natsume singing One Way feels like dramatic pop. The irritating thing about this piece is that while Natsume is only doing the singing, Watanuki’s ‘role’ in the song seems to be interjecting from time to time with his angst like he’s being ignored. Oh wait, he is. Because of that I thought it disrupts the flow of the music and somewhat annoying. Sweets Parade by Karuta must be the happiest one and though it’s light and fun-filled, it’s about well, Karuta and her sweets and desserts. Yum! But it doesn’t feel like she is singing her verses except the chorus and just talking (due to her monotonous expression). Another duet piece this time from Sorinozuka and Nobara entitled Taiyou To Tsuki. Not too bad a pop piece and makes you feel like wanting to get up and do a little dance. The ‘best’ song of the series of course goes to Kagerou’s SM Hantei Forum. This song is so funny! Starting off like a slow death march, it then proceeds to be full blown hard rock! The lyrics are totally hilarious with Kagerou singing about his S&M specialty. Some words are even purposely censored out! Making it more amusing is that in the credits, the staffs and characters have S or M labelled after their names! Some even have “Super” to indicate the intensity of their level! Even the production and studio house have being labelled! Most of them M, though… Super funny! So which are you? S or M? Or both?

It goes to show that even as master and servant, a fruitful relationship can blossom if they both look out and care for each other. It isn’t always a one-sided relationship in which the servant just does everything the master ones. To earn that respect and trust a two-way relationship is very well needed and if it’s a servant’s job to serve his/her master, then it’s a master’s job to protect his/her servant. It takes two to tango. Sometimes when too much love gets in the way, the question is whether they can perform their duties as professional arises. But for Ririchiyo and Miketsukami, I’m sure they can get by just about anything together. In that case, I’m just wondering who will be S and who will be M? I think I should know the answer. Too much of Kagerou’s influence has made me ending it that this blog is an S because it bores you from start to finish about this series, right? And if you actually read from start to finish, then you are M!