Wagaya no Oinari-sama

Title:Wagaya no Oinari-sama
Coo ~ Our Guardian
Our Home's Fox Deity.
Our home's honored fox god
Wagaya no Oinarisama
我が家のお稲荷さま (Japanese)
Keywords: , , , , , ,
Notables: R1 License - Kodokawa USA
R1 License - NIS America
A long time ago, a sacred fox named Kugen was deified as the guardian of the Mizuchi Family's temple grounds. Their family stories tell of how wise and magical the Kitsune (wiki) was, but also mention that Kugen was the source of much mischief and trouble, and finally had to be sealed in a small shrine in the hill behind the Mizuchi manor.

Takagami Toru is a Mizuchi descendant, who while visiting the family temple has a dark dream of a red-eyed Yōkai (wiki) appearing in the form of a woman and telling him that she will come for him. Troubled by Toru’s dreams, the Oba-priestess of the Mizuchi temple deduces that Toru is danger and hastily decides to unseal the family guardian to help defend him. Now released Kugen offers to stay on and help protect Toru from further danger. But contrary to the family legends, their 'Ku-chan' protector is not the wise and dignified creature that they were led to believe, but something altogether different. And Ku-chan can not only transform from a fox into a woman of great beauty, but can also assume the form of a man.

Based on a light novel series by Shibamura Jin, illustrated by Houden Eizou.

Animation by ZEXCS
New series first aired on April 7th '08
26 TV Episodes.

Read the translated manga online at MangaFox.

"我が家" ("wagaya") means "my/our home"; "の" ("no") is a genitive constructor; "お稲荷さま" ("o-inari-sama") is to be split into the prefix "o-" expressing respect, the middle part "稲荷" ("inari" (wiki), deity of harvest, fox god) and the "-sama" honorifix suitable for showing worship to a god; so the title should mean something like "the very honored fox god of/at my/our home" (which is pretty much what the synopsis hints at anyway).

1min Promotional Video (Japanese) - YouTube Vid
Episode Details 
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Unevaluated Stretch [series:1812#628]
(11 episodes watched):

The traditional Japanese magic and mysticism, and the fox spirit remind me of Inukami, but this show seems to be at the other end of the comedy spectrum. Magic in itself doesn't interest me much, but a fun story might be beginning with episode two, as Noboru and Tooru will apparently be bringing fox spirit girl Kuugen home with them as a sort of magical bodyguard.

Okay, after three episodes I am confident that the keyword "Comedy" is appropriate here. Indeed, comedy seems to have priority and it's not bad by any means. Watching "Kuu" and "Kou" make a mess of the household then Kuu visiting Noboru's school was fun.There is also an emotional side, such as when Kuu acts as a sort of median for the boys to communicate with their departed mother. After all the early confusion I felt about ths show's premise, I'm now pleasantly surprised at how much fun I'm having as I watch it.

The overall quality seems a little rough around the edges. For instance, a character says something unexceptional, and suddenly the credits are running. How should I summarize WnOs? A mix of fairly funny but thinly spread jokes, and not too serious fights among supernatural beings who normally look and act like ordinary Japanese citizens (the local God doubles as a convenience store manager). Sometimes things get serious and dangerous (though not to the extent that you think), and sometimes it's just goofy fun, as in episode 11 where Kuu and Kou go looking for part time jobs. It is a little different, though I'm not certain whether that results in more enjoyment or confusion. Probably the former, with a definite dose of the latter, because though it's not one of my current favorites, I faithfully watch this show.

Last updated Saturday, August 02 2008. Created Sunday, April 13 2008.
Unevaluated Jan-Chan [series:1812#967]
(twenty episodes watched)

Reminiscent of the story told in Shounen Onmyouji, this is a story of the mystical or spiritual world intersecting with the ‘ordinary’ world. Two boys (Toru and his older brother, Noburu) are the direct descendants of an important spiritual or priestly family, who find themselves targeted by spirits and deamons from the ‘other world’.

To help protect themselves from these attacks, they find themselves having to depend on and living with a fickle and troubling fox-deity named Ku-chan and a spiritual servant (or sentinel) from their family named Kou-chan, both of whom have been sealed away for many hundreds of years and have no clue about living in current day Japan.

The adventure in this series comes from their encounters with the various spirits and magical creatures (drawn from Japanese folklore) and the humor comes from the misunderstandings and odd circumstances that befuddle Kou-chan and Ku-chan as they learn to adapt to life in modern day Japan. There is even a hint of school romance as Sakura, one of Noburu’s classmates, worries about the appearance to these two ‘girls’ in Noburu’s home and tries muster enough bravery to share her feelings.

This is proving to be an interesting and fun story appropriate for all-ages that cheerfully mixes the issues and concerns of modern life with the mysticism and lore of older Japan.

Ok .. 2008 is the anime year of the cute and sexy fox-girls. Horo (of Ookami to Koushinryou) represents the mature and sultry type of fox-girls. Chizuru Minamoto (of Kanokon) can represent the wild, loose and gregarious type of fox-girls. And this series fox-character, Kugen, can represent the transgender or gender-ambiguous type of fox-girls (or is it fox-its?? ... errrr ...you know what I mean.)

Last updated Monday, September 29 2008. Created Sunday, April 06 2008.

Other Sites
Japanese Series Web Site http://www.mediaworks.co.jp/contents/oinarisama/index.php
Wikipedia Entry for this series http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wagaya_no_Oinari-sama

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