Inu x Boku SS – 01 Review
The relationship between the bodyguard-butler-thingy and the tsundere-character wasn’t anything I would call dynamic. Basically it was just the same exchange happening again and again and again… Didn’t anybody from the anime-staff notice how the main-focus of this episode was a repetitive boring dialogue?
Inu x Boku SS 01 – The Bad Habits Of A Tsundere
I had a nightmarish realisation in the Tram today: My last hope of seeing a first episode in this season which will truly amaze me will be – Black Rock Shooter, the pinnacle of Otaku-pandering. Seriously at this point I’m praying that I’m dead-wrong about all the stuff that makes Black Rock Shooter as sure a failure as Guilty Crown was supposed to be a success. But that’s brainfood for later, now I wanna talk about Inu x Boku SS. Tsundere, magical sort-of boyfriend, a boring battle, flashy special powers and a lot of new friends for the self-pitying tsundere. Well, you might say the only thing this first episode lacked was a story because right now it’s just a lot of generic ideas thrown together.
The main-character is a little girl with special powers who’s rich of all things but don’t think that a rich girl with special powers has an easy life. Because normal people are such jealous lowly creatures and that’s why they harass her every day. Traumatized but still rich and very special she arrives at a new dorm where special people live with special powers. And to make them feel even more special everyone gets a personal bodyguard but not any bodyguard, I talk about other special teenagers with special powers (who cares about the specifics of the setting anyway, it’s just special powers…). The main-character has adapted to her childhood-trauma by becoming a tsundere and calling it a “bad habit”. But she’s flabbergasted to find out that her personal bodyguard ends up being a strong mix of cheese and soap. She tries to verbally abuse him like she does with everything else but he plays the straight-nice-guy-routine all the way through which irritates her even more and she has a few chances to show off how vulnerable she really is.
Now to the battle-part: Two dudes appear and get beaten up because they aren’t even one bit special.
End of the first episode.
Actually how this “sing of loyalty” usually plays out is that the servant kisses the feet of the master while grovelling on the floor before him. The scene seen in the anime is more a kind of mockery of what this should really look like.
At this point I just have to sigh when reviewing once again another new anime series of this season because I know that once again I have to talk about its generic set-up. Right now I really don’t have any clear favourite in this season which I would recommend. This season sure wasn’t very keen on leaving good impressions for those who want to have something different.
Inu x Boku SS takes it very slow for the first episode but don’t worry, this isn’t the story that will surprise you with its start. And considering that we’re talking here about an adaptation of an ongoing Manga-series it’s clear that even if it would get better the anime-original finale will probably be underwhelming as usual in these cases. So the first thing which nagged me was the slow pace with which the setting got introduced despite the fact that it’s nothing special. A special house for special people protected by less special people – and everyone has special powers. Obviously the shounen-aspect will be another one of those endless battles verging between melodrama and flashy action.
But the shounen-aspects of this show are only secondary, what this thing is really about is love. Of course it’s not a romance-series or anything, no, this is the idealistic retarded version of love. One just has to look at the two characters in the centre of the story and the whole thing gets so obvious and cheesy that any drama based on this will make me roll my eyes and sigh in disappointment. This tsundere-character may have gotten some nice introduction with the bad-habit-explanation but in the end she’s just saying “Yes, I’m a tsundere-character.”. Obviously you need something more and Senjougahara from Bakemonogatari isn’t a good character just because she spouts obvious information about some of her stereotypical attributes. There’s a lot you can make out of a stereotype with good style and a deep dialogue. This series tried to do that with the main-character and just for trying to do this, I think she’s better than the tsundere-characters you usually get to see. But what this episode does is giving the main-character an inferiority-complex. This girl is supposed to be traumatized by what other kids did to her (and probably also other stuff) and how she ended up being a pariah in her school. I guess it was good enough portrayed with the nightmares and her monologue but when it comes to interaction with her “boyfriend” then this whole thing gets reduced to the simple formula of her acting tough but being actually just a vulnerable little girl. She’s supposed to be a dysfunctional character with a serious psychological issue but for the sake of drama she gets reduced to become a self-pitying moe-blob. And that leads to my impression that any good characterization in this episode had a very shallow ring to it because this episode had no complexity whatsoever.
Yeah, that really sounds like a good plan to deal with childhood-trauma, doesn’t it?
The main-character actually is the only redeeming thing about this episode but she also gets simplified in the end to this surface-only character like the rest of the cast. Her “boyfriend” is just ashallow cheesy wish-fullfilment-crap because of how loyal, trustworthy, protective and whatnot he is. This romance is the kind of thing you might see in Twilight but vampires sparkle the shit out of you. And the most important character-dynamic of this episode ended up being sparkling crap. And since the episode actually had nothing else to do besides showing off how shallow this character-dynamic is, I don’t really want to know what will happen when this series gets really serious with the drama.
Since the rest of the cast is forgettable and the story ends up being as paperthin as it’s boring, I don’t really know whether the shounen-staff of battles will make this any better. I bet there’s a school-setting, too, also with normal people because of how the main-character has to redeem herself through love, riding unicorns and counting rainbows. And the “boyfriend” has to protect her during all this redemption-crap. And love, they have to have a lot of romantic moments that lead nowhere. That’s the kind of series I see in the first episode and it’s definitely not one for me.
The episode makes some attempts to present the main-character in a more interesting way but it’s simply drowned by the rest of the episode. Inu x Boku SS may have the ability to tell a good story but that doesn’t help much when nearly everything else about the story is so dull and uninteresting. Forgettable in nearly every way this episode failed to spark my interest for this show. Besides, there’s always the fact to consider that this is the adaptation of an ongoing manga-series and everybody should know how these usually end.
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