What’s the show? The Helpful Fox Senko-san, Episode 1.
And what’s it about? First of all, let me just take a minute to say, this review took a lot of forethought–more than I’d ever think necessary for this kind of anime. I considered whether to approach this from a strictly feminist point of view and deconstruct its problematic gender politics. Then I thought maybe I’d review it from a more “meta” point of view and discuss the reasons for its seemingly inexplicably (and quick) high score on MAL despite being largely the same as a lot of other “moe” anime that get frequently downvoted into oblivion. But ultimately, I decided I’d review this inconspicuous slice of life anime as me.
I mean… that’s preferable, isn’t it? That’s (probably) what your readers want? Not some wanky dissertation but just your honest thoughts on a show? Maybe. I don’t know what people want, but I know what I want. And I want to enjoy a wholesome, 800 year-old fox loli making food and giving forehead pats to a tired and broken salaryman for 22 minutes.
Uh-huh and so what’s the show about? I believe I just told you! “A wholesome, 800 year-old fox loli making food and giving forehead pats to a tired and broken salaryman for 22 minutes”. That’s the show.
Okay sure. What? Don’t you believe me?
Oh, no, I believe you, I’m just struggling to see the appeal, that’s all. It’s slice of life, it’s appeal is entirely personal and subjective! That’s what makes it such a universally polarising genre!
Right. So what did you get out of the show? First of all this show has some brains behind it, whoever wrote this and likewise whoever was directly responsible for the anime adaptation somehow knew there’d be a level of discussion around this show and insulated against it with some stellar design work and storytelling.
Like? Like the fact that this anime has among the most immaculately detailed renderings of everyday modern Japan I’ve ever seen in an anime. And that’s 100% intentional to the story it’s beginning to tell. Our protagonist Nakano exists in our world, the bland, uninteresting, specific world of Tokyo, Japan. For Japanese viewers (the intended audience) or those of us who’ve visited the country these are instantly recognisable and uniquely straightforward vistas rendered in excruciating detail. They then perfectly contrast with the world Nakano’s about to be invited into–that of being pampered and doted on by the titular Senko. Hers is a world of bright colours, soft focus and ethereal whimsy, she is literally ‘anime personified’ meeting ‘humdrum normality’.
Okay then. I get what you’re saying. I do feel like you’re holding back on something, but that’s fine, you’re allowed to. Listen, I do still have a lot of thoughts on this show, it’s now been 24 hours since I started the top half of the review and I’m still debating with myself on whether to go into more detail about ~external factors~, if enough people are interested in me doing so I will but for now I’m just reviewing the product in front of me–nothing else!
And your final recommendation on said “product”? It’s cute, I enjoyed it, if you like things that are cute too you’ll probably like it too. End of review!
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