Posted by psgels on 30 March 2012 with categories: Anime Reviews

The most difficult review to write thsi season is Inu X Boku. Most shows were fairly straight-forward to evaluate: the likes of Chihayafuru and Natsume were really, really good, Guilty Crown was pretty bad, Black Rock Shooter was pretty decent. Inu X Boku however, is slightly more difficult.

Those who follow this blog probably know already that I’m a big fan of the producers behind this series: David Production. They really spend time into making shows work best, they don’t bind themselves to genre conventions and their stories are always very creative. It’s because of this that Inu X Boku is the worst TV-series they have done so far, because for a large majority of its airtime, it didn’t really seem to be doing that. Instead we got a fairly mellow series about a girl and her bodyguard with a bit of a combination of shounen and shoujo elements, paired with a large and mis-managed cast of side-characters. The plot and characters never seemed to be really trying to do anything, and while it certainly wasn’t bad, if you compare it to the standard that David Production has set before, then it just ends up a bit borign.

And yet, this show has flashes of brilliance. For some inexplicable reason, this series, despite its boring moments, was able to put a smile on my face with nearly every single episode. This show spends a lot of time on the insecurities of its main character, and the way they play out is actually surprisingly heart-warming. Despite having obvious trouble to keep finding enough things for the characters to do in only 12 episodes, there are quite a few really heart-warming characters in this series.

And then the final two episodes arrive and deliver one of the best finales of the entire season out of bloody nowhere. It’s only here where the writing suddenly gets 10 times better, the build-up all comes together, the characters develop brilliantly, and for the first time in years I can say that I found a show that does the bishie genre justice. Seriously, this show closes off amazingly.

These flashes of brilliance can be found throughout the series, but the big problem with the first 10 episodes is that they don’t use this often enough. The cast of side-characters in particular didn’t work out for this series, as there are a bunch of characters who have a lot of potential, yet hardly get any screentime, while there are also a few characters who just have one gimmick and keep using that over and over. The fangirl lady is by far the worst offender of this.

But you know what? Because of these flashes of brilliance, I’m going to give this show a relatively high rating, because it at least HAS them. Seriously, there are not a lot of shows I can say that of. It’s not like this show falls apart in the middle and I really have to say that I enjoyed watching it a lot. If you want to know why I’m a fan of David production though, this is not the series that best shows their talents. Instead, go pick up Level E or the Armed Librarians or something.

Storytelling: 9/10 – Surprisingly heart-warming, it knos when to get creative. Amazing finale.
Characters: 8,5/10 – Loses points on its side characters: some are fun, others are badyl written, others are underutilized. The main cast is surprisingly well developed.
Production-Values: 8/10 – Crisp animation, though nothing special.
Setting: 8/10 – The seetting is far from the main focus of this series. It’s got some nice dieas, and it’s solid, thtough.

Suggestions:
Tactics
Meitantei Loki Ragnarok

14 Responses

  1. meow says:

    Great review. Now get to bed already. XD It reads like you were writing this in the middle of the night after a hard day’s work and the sun’s about to rise the next morning.

    Or go fix your keyboard. XD

  2. psgels psgels says:

    Lol, I love how people are actually able to tell that I rushed this review. I indeed tried to rush this review out right before I left for work. Apparently I forgot to spell check…

  3. Alec says:

    Dropped this at episode 8-9. It just felt like the story wouldn’t progress. It’s like stuck in the after-introduction.

    • Scruffy says:

      I was the same but the reward for persisting with this show was pretty awesome IMHO. Ep 11 in particular was very good.

    • Gavrilo says:

      If you are looking for story progression, then the main problems are your own expectations. It’s pretty much like expecting story progression in Lucky Star, Azumanga Daioh or any other simple slice of life.

      • Alec says:

        First of all, this anime isn’t a slice of life anime, so mentioning Lucky Star and Aumanga, both of which are slice of life animes, doesn’t help.

        Seeing the positive things I see here, might as well tackle the rest of the episodes

        • Dalx says:

          Well, I think that it got a lot of Slice of Life elements in or at least took inspiration from these kinds of animes. It may have youkai and bishies but that’s second to the development of the main characters regarding their self-hate and incapability to make bonds with people.

          Wouldn’t call character study, so I go for slice of life. A chapter is just the protagonist getting a cell-phone and other things.

          Now, about the review, I agree with psgels. This is a simple yet charming series.

  4. krystallite says:

    See, the problem with story progress in this adaption was that they decided to forgo a solid middle of the series by adding in a couple of filler episodes instead of including as much manga material as possible. I suppose it was a decision between adding in some fillers and delaying the story progress so that it could end on a happy note or continuing until a HUGE turning point in the manga that completely changed the view of the series and wasn’t even guaranteed to be followed up by a second season. I am somewhat disappointed since I was expecting the latter to happen but I guess I am satisfied with this adaption knowing the restrictions they had in making it.

  5. seventh biscuit says:

    I just finished watching this.

    Definitely rewarding and heartwarming with a few bits inbetween that gave me a chuckle.

    Why the hell didn’t I notice the obvious letter foreshadowing?

  6. hmong007 says:

    I loved this series. Didn’t think it would really go anywhere and was set to be annoyed with the ending but I was pleasantly surprised with how the final two episodes dealt with the main couple.

  7. vee says:

    I found this a bit of a chore to sit through. I think I’d probably have warmed to it more if it weren’t for the persistent “service” shots of a girl that has all the sex-appeal of an eight year old. Disturbing :(

    • 'Sup says:

      Hmmm…. As for her sex-appeal, I’d say it’s very mature and deep, not at all like an eight year old. Unless you’re talking about a her physique?

      She’s sixteen, and believe it or not, many if not most asian girls that age and older have that body type. My sister for one, has the exact same build and is 21-years-old.

  8. Creamcloud says:

    I gott to wacth this show since everyone say that is great

  9. PureGOODevil says:

    Im not sure how good my opinion is since there are few mangas that turn into animes that i hate but i thought it was cute but to understand it best U NEED to read the manga which plot is so much cooler oh and they better make a season 2. What i especially liked about this was that most animes skip or get rid of things from the manga and the things they changed in this one helped the plot or were a good idea

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  • Raggers
    (Wednesday, Jul 1. 2015 11:52 AM)
    @ratsgnoF: just look at Yukinon. She has major problems to get over before she can consider a relationship with anyone. In the end Haruno was right: she relies on Hachiman too heavily and it isn’t good. If anything they need space to let her disentangle her emotions and find solid ground to her life.
  • Bam
    (Wednesday, Jul 1. 2015 10:42 AM)
    Now time to watch Fate/Zero and see what the fuss was all about.
  • Bam
    (Wednesday, Jul 1. 2015 10:41 AM)
    I think that’s a great and fair review of UBW. I would’ve gave it 8/10, but hey, close nuff’.
  • ratsgnoF
    (Wednesday, Jul 1. 2015 03:48 AM)
    How would that be toxic?
  • Raggers
    (Wednesday, Jul 1. 2015 02:31 AM)
    From a critical perspective it was rock solid. Directing, writing, soundtrack – all were excellent. A great cliffhanger for this arc of the teenage condition.
  • Raggers
    (Wednesday, Jul 1. 2015 02:27 AM)
    ratsgnoF: thanks, may skim through those later.
    Personal reaction to the finale: welp. Things are a complete mess, Yukino x 8man would be a toxic relationship and Yui x 8man would be far healthier, potentially even good.
  • ratsgnoF
    (Wednesday, Jul 1. 2015 01:43 AM)
  • ratsgnoF
    (Wednesday, Jul 1. 2015 01:41 AM)
  • ratsgnoF
    (Wednesday, Jul 1. 2015 01:40 AM)
    Here are some of the monologues that weren’t really shown in the anime. They’re very well written. https://kyakka.wordpress.com/yahari-light-novel/volume-10/first-memorandum/ https://kyakka.wordpress.com/yahari-light-novel/volume-10/second-memorandum/
  • Raggers
    (Wednesday, Jul 1. 2015 01:11 AM)
    Ah, then yes, almost certainly. I’d go as far as to expect the author also spends significant time with teenagers to capture their mentality so well.
    I imagine it’d be easier for teens to get emotionally invested, but I’d also say there’s a deeper level they wouldn’t really ‘get’ until older. We can evaluate what we see with a hindsight teens cannot have, so we aren’t worse off for being older.

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