Gugure! Kokkuri-san

Title:Gugure! Kokkuri-san
繰繰れ!コックリさん (Japanese)
Keywords: , , , , , , ,
Notables: HIROHASHI Ryou
ONO Daisuke
SAKURAI Takahiro
A little girl named Kohina ends up summoning a Kokkuri-san, a low ranking spirit in Japanese folklore. The Kokkuri-san she calls ends up being a white-haired handsome, young man. Although he had intended to merely haunt her at first, he becomes worried about her terrible eating habit of cup ramen for every meal, and decides to protect her instead.
(Synopsis courtesy of ANN)

12 episodes
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Unevaluated Stretch [series:2980#628]
(Three episodes watched):

The opening scene of traditional Japanese temples and the mention of a fox spirit didn't encourage me, since I can't remember those motifs being used in any outstanding anime recently. I was expecting this to be a show that would be so dull that watching just one episode would sorely test my patience. But what I got, to my pleasant surprise, was somewhat different. Gugure! has an unusual trait for an anime comedy: it is genuinely funny. I had been wondering if all of the good comedians got swallowed up by the live-action industry, or if manga jokes just didn't convert well to animation, but here's one show that makes the viewer not just smile but actually laugh. Perhaps laughing is made easier by the dynamic personalities of the main characters. There's Kohina, an emotionless little girl who describes herself as a 'doll', since those don't have emotions either. There's Kokkuri, a lonely deity who was once widely worshipped but is largely ignored nowadays. Kokkuri takes pity on Kohina but could use some pity himself--which of the two needs help the most? Why does Kohina live alone, and how has she become so emotionally dysfunctional? You want to know. So, while many mediocre comedies need a plot to pick up the slack, here's a genuinely funny show which seems to have an interesting plot of some sort as well. I bet this will be the best comedy anime of the season, and take the place of last season's Barakamon as the starring comedy with a message as well.

Episode two involves a second deity showing up to act as a competitor for the attention of Kohina. This one is a dog spirit, thus leading to the usual dog spirit/fox spirit rivalry. This is still a funny show, but introducing a new character uses up all the available time (and the OP sequence and illustration above suggest several more characters are on the way), which means there's no progress towards explaining why Kohina is in the situation that she is and whether there will be any story behind the jokes. I can't help feeling that the more characters there are, the less likely that there will be a moving and interesting plot; maybe there won't be any at all. If there were only Kohina and Kokkuri, the show would have little choice but to tell a story, whereas more wacky characters offers more opportunities for jokes instead; and even relatively good jokes can get tiresome for me if there's no serious story. This show had seemed to have great potential in episode one, but episodes two and three (where yet another laughable deity shows up) seem to drop the intriguing premise and instead run with pedestrian jokes. I am reduced to wondering if the series will be worth watching at all. I started watching episode four, but found it to be so tiresome and unfunny that I soon quit and switched to something else. Kohina is a novel character, and Kokkuri is OK, but everybody else is more annoying than funny, and watching them argue endlessly is very tedious. It seems unlikely that this show will go anywhere, which is a major disappointment.

My favorite line (so far): "You could at least pretend to be a little scared" --Kokkuri

Last updated Saturday, November 29 2014. Created Tuesday, October 14 2014.

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