Spring 2019 Anime

Outfoxed – ‘The Helpful Fox Senko-san’ Episode 1 Review

Outfoxed - An Anime QandA Review for 'The Helpful Fox Senko-san' Episode 1

helpfulfoxsenko1

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.

So emo.

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.

Why are you looking into the camera, Senko?

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!

*yoshi yoshi intensifies*

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.

Seriously, how gorgeous does this look?!

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’.

A depressing sight for some but personally I love Japanese convenience stores!

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!

Don’t poach!

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!

I think the more important question is why isn’t there one in mine?! Wait, did I say that out loud?

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6 comments on “Outfoxed – ‘The Helpful Fox Senko-san’ Episode 1 Review

  1. Hey, nothing wrong with some escapism and wish fulfillment. As far as the “external factors” go, I haven’t read anything yet, but I can guess.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree, nothing wrong with it at all, just becomes a problem when one kind of wish fulfillment is seen as “okay” while others are not—despite very little difference between them. But then again the internet seems to like to be hypocritical.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. So this show is the male version of Dragon Maid? I’m down.

    And is this gonna be our ‘Goblin Slayer” of the season? Who knows.

    Liked by 1 person

    • There’s some parallels between this and Kobayashi. I don’t know that it’s going to get the same kind of traction in popular culture to be comparable to Goblin Slayer though.

      Like

      • Well, people need something to be butthurt about.

        Honestly, this just proves what I said in my Uzamaid review. The anime fandom (mostly the western side) is unable and unwilling to discuss the prevalence of Lolis. We just don’t know how to talk about it without getting into hyperbolic finger pointing.

        Liked by 2 people

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