Ok, today, lets take Inukami (literally, “dog-god”). Preferably someplace far away, because I found it to be quite aggravating. I had some expectations for it after seeing Riuva’s review, but this show just didn’t cut it. There’s simply no there, there. If you’d rather watch this series with no foreknowledge, beware, because I’m going to get into spoilers. Except they’re not really spoilers, because as of ep.11, not a damn thing has really happened, except Youko is getting along with Kouda’s ten inukami, and everyone despises Keita as a pervert when they aren’t appreciating him for his better qualities. Yawn. The opening song and animation advertises an action-adventure with magical girls, romance, and maybe a little fanservice. Perhaps it would be a nice show — if that’s what they had made. What the viewer gets is nothing like that.
Here’s the setup: In Japanese lore, inukami are “dog-gods” or powerful dog spirits; good guys. In the show, they tend to mainifest human forms (usually young-appearing) most of the time, and pair off with inukami “tamers” who wield magical powers of their own. Together, they fight against evil spirits and other unsavory things. Their existance is known to the government, who provides free medical care (to the spirits), and often contract jobs. Most tamers are drawn from the Kawahira family, who have been tamers since way back in history. As the backstory gets filled in through the first ten episodes, it becomes apparent that ritual and custom surrounds the pairing, although it’s incorrect to call it a “paring” since one tamer can accept a contract with any number of inukami. Kouda, whom we never see (
unless it’s briefly in the opening until Ep. 13), has ten, ranging in apparent age from the child Tomohané, up through the twenty-ish (appearing) Sendan.
Vows and tokens are exchanged, symbolizing an exchange of magical power, and this is only done on one designated day per year. The teenaged Keita, male lead and cousin of Kouda, as well as being the grandson of the old lady who heads the family, is a goofball that coudln’t get a contract with any inukami, and so was kicked out of the family.
How goofy is he? On the designated day, he rushed out to the forest and ran round with a bullhorn advertising for a cute young female inukami to contract with him, making it sound like he was asking for a pet. Naturally, they ignored him, thus his ejection from the family. But a couple of months prior to the opening of the series, he is called back and told of an inukami that will contract with him. Her name is Youko (or Yoko), and the process of their pairing is a tad….destructive. It seems that Youko is a very powerful and wild inukami that no one’s been able to “tame” but for some reason that Keita should know but doesn’t remember, she’s interested in him. Scoring their first match (as in ‘combat with each other’) is difficult; it seems he’s damn near indestructable, but she can knock him out and crisp him if she pushes it. As for the vows, it looks more like he’s ended up serving her, as he’s the one in the dog collar.
|Keita’s trying to get too friendly with Kouda’s inukami at the pool, and Youko is about to jerk him up short. You’re my toy, dammit!|
Cut to the opening of the series, and they’ve settled into an apartment in town; he attends high-school and they sometimes fight spirits. More often, they’re arguing/fighting, as he’s a horny teenager, and she’s pretty much a cocktease. It’s obvious that they sleep together, but it appears that’s all they do–sleep. (In ep. 11, we see them sleeping at grandma’s; she’s floating in the air overhead. Whether this was expedient while there, or the normal state of affairs, I don’t know.) Youko is self-centered, wanting him to take her on a date, give her massages and trim her tail; but not give him any of the perks tamer’s normally get, such as domestic support; that is, housekeeping. Worse, Youko leads him on with suggestive talk, but if Keita gets too rowdy (or she gets jealous), she teleports him outside, sans clothing–it’s resulted in his getting thrown into jail alongside a peeping tom and underwear thief several times. (They’re recurring characters) She treats him as a pervert and constantly destroys any porn of his she can find. Hmmm. I think I’ve seen that somewhere before too…. Ecchi nanowa ikenaito omoimasu! Now, instead of wanting to sleep with Youko, Keita referrs to her as a mutt and professes interest only in human girls.
Spoiler Warning: 3rd & 4th episodes.
|Meanwhile, Kouda’s ten inukami are having their own problems. Sendan, the leader (and younger sister of Haké, the inukami of grandma/clan leader), wants to get rid of the pacifist Nadeshiko. Worse, Nadeshiko is Kouda’s favorite, which makes the others jealous. They hatch a plan, with Haké’s help, to send Nadeshiko to teach Youko how to behave by example; but they intend to force her to stay there. Nadeshiko and Youko know each other from way back, and strangely, Youko respects only her out of the ten — but that goes by the wayside with Keita at stake. So the nine decide they have to get rid of Youko so Nadeshiko will be able to stay with Keita. In an entirely overblown reaction on everyone’s part, Youko faces off against the other nine in what is almost a battle to the death. The nine’s death that is, because Youko is ridiculously powerful by comparison, and she ‘kicks their mutts’ before Nadeshiko intervenes, forcing Youko to back down. Afterwards, Youko is supposedly a bit more helpful to Keita (not that we ever see it), and the others no longer hate Nadeshiko, which was Haké’s real plan.Hating Youko is another matter, as the relationship is a bit testy for a while before things settle down. Which not only happens too quickly to be real, but before long, Youko is siding with the ten against Keita and constantly beating him up for being a pervert towards the others.|