In my Winter 2012 Anime Round-up post, I commented that Inu x Boku SS had gotten off to a shaky start, but could potentially turn into a good series if it was done right. Honestly, I wasn’t expecting much; for reasons why, just take a read through the synopsis from MAL:
The Shirakiin house’s daughter, Shirakiin Ririchiyo, who has a complex about being unable to live independently and unprotected, feels the need to move out and live on her own under the condition of residing in the mansion named “Ayakashi Kan.” In this mansion, only those who have cleared a very strict examination could reside in it, and for each resident, they are accompanied with one agent of the Secret Service (S.S.). Although Ririchiyo has rejected the company of the S.S., while residing in the mansion she finds out that the agent dedicated to protecting her is actually the Fox Spirit whom she previously rescued.
Sounds pretty boring, doesn’t it? From the synopsis alone, I would have assumed that the series was a slice-of-life with a fox spirit thrown in to make it “unique”. I would never have assumed the series would be a comedy that’s actually funny, nor that it would have a character that matched Victorique’s adorable haughty personality (from Gosick).
I’ll admit that the story wasn’t great and felt a bit rushed near the end. Inu x Boku SS is a character-driven series so story never really paid a large part except to give some background information on the characters. Antagonists are almost non-existent, with only a couple of demons showing up to cause mischief. The only real conflict was within the characters and whether or not they could sort out their true feelings.
The strong points about Inu x Boku SS are the crazy personalities that each character has and the comedy that comes along with the interactions between them. Ririchiyo, for example, is a tsunshun, someone who acts cold towards people but then gets depressed afterwards for acting that way. Another character called Kagerou is an S&M obsessed freak that likes to label everyone and everything as either a sadist or masochist. One of the bodyguards, Nobara, has a fetish for cute girls and she’d probably be labelled as a creepy perv if she were a guy. It’s hard to describe funny moments though, so here’s one of my favourite scenes from the series:
Another of Inu x Boku SS’s strong points is the style. Ririchiyo is one of the most fashionable anime girls I’ve ever seen, just think: how many people can pull off a stylish look with a lab coat? She also does PJs very well, wearing just a white over-sized dress shirt. It’s simple and hot, but it’s in no way dirty. Other fashionable outfits include Ririchiyo’s school uniform and her “book worm” look. I was disappointed when Gosick ended because I wouldn’t get to see Victorique wear any more fancy dresses, but Ririchiyo more than made up for that.
The only thing that I really didn’t like about the series was Soushi, Ririchiyo’s bodyguard and the fox spirit. With the quirkiness of all of the other characters, having a perfect butler-type sweep-you-off-your-feet character just felt out of place. I also found him a bit annoying since he always had the same expression on his face and didn’t add anything to the comedy. In fact, Soushi was the one character that killed the comedy in the series. My view of him only shifted a bit near the end of Inu x Boku SS when the series shifted from comedy to drama in order to wrap things up.
Inu x Boku SS is by no means perfect, but the lovable characters, light humour, and non-ecchi eye candy was just enough to make the series enjoyable. At just 12 episodes, it’s a good anime to catch up on during a holiday when you just want to sit at home and relax.