This is one of the funniest comedies I’ve ever seen, anime or otherwise. The ridiculous character/dialogue driven humor combined with the heartwarming moments between characters made this a memorable watch! Gurure! Kokkuri-san is also the anime that helped me get used to subtitles.
Comedy | Supernatural | Shonen
Fall 2014 | 12 Episodes | PG-13
Little Kohina lives alone; she sees herself as an emotionless doll who doesn’t need to have feelings or care, not even about her lack of friends or her diet (as she only eats instant cup noodles.) When she summons a ghost by playing the Kokkuri game alone, the fox spirit who shows up decides to haunt her. Finding her as lonely as himself, Kokkuri-san determines to become her guardian and help her become a girl again (…he also wants to cook her food more nutritious than cup noodles.)
Soon after, two more spirits begin to haunt Kohina, much to Kokkuri-san’s disgust. Kokkuri-san clashes protectively against the two new spirits… but somehow, the four of them begin to form one odd family of misfits. They begin to experience the most weird and hysterical mishaps together… And it’s hysterical.
The biggest draw about this anime is its comedy power; this is why I so highly recommend it! I haven’t laughed so hard at something in a long time. The straight-forward translation of the subtitles, Kohina’s doll voice, the spirits having the most ridiculous problems, the film references–Gugure! Kokkuri-san had my splitting my sides with laughter nearly every week. I was in tears from laughter multiple times!
I shall discuss the four characters below and what I like about them. As it is a very character-driven anime, this would be the best way to review it. 🙂
Kohina is an elementary school girl, but because she sees herself as an emotionless doll, she’s shown as a doll. Kohina is hysterical because she speaks and reacts with a deadpan expression and monotone voice–even when things around her are ridiculous and bizarre. Her biggest love is cup noodles and it’s all she thinks about.
I adore Kohina. What makes her so endearing is that we know she does care no matter how ‘doll’ like she acts. Her love of cup noodles rubbed off on me–this is why I include “cup noodles” in my blog’s tag line!
Oh Kokkuri-san. He’s my favorite character. For a fox spirit, he can cook nutritious meals, keep a clean house, and protect Kohina from perverts…well, he tries to. Kokkuri-san is firm but kind; much comedy comes from him trying to deal with emotionless Kohina or responding to the horrid-ness of Inugami and Shigaraki. I love watching him attempt to keep cup noodles away from Kohina and valiantly try to make her smile…
Kokkuri-san is the most normal of all the characters and makes a fantastic guardian for Kohina. I repeat, he’s my favorite character!
The fun thing about Kokkuri-san (and the other spirits too) is that he can transform into his animal form at will. It’s hysterical to see Kokkuri-san randomly cleaning the floor as a fox, and then chase after Inugami as a human in the next shot! He’s an adorable fox…I want a stuffed animal version of him!
Inugami is the second spirit to haunt Kohina. When alive, he’d been an abandoned dog who nobody wanted. Before death, Kohina had happened to notice him. Inugami is now obsessed with Kohina, completely in love with her…to point of giving off perverted vibes… As you can imagine, Inugami and Kokkuri-san become mortal foes! XD
Inugami not only switches between dog and human form but also goes from being a male to a female. These transitions, mixed with Kokkuri-san’s disgust for this “stalker”, create for many humorous moments! Although Inugami comes off as creepy stalker, I still like his character as he added a lot to the show!
Shigaraki soon joins the odd trio. He’s a drinking, lazy tanuki spirit who’s your basic bum (a tunaki is also known as the Japanese raccoon dog.) He and Kokkuri-san actually have a past and Kokkuri-san is not happy about seeing him again. Shigaraki is a bit of a rough diamond but there is a sliver of gold in that old heart of his.
Once I saw a peak at Shigaraki’s good side, I quite liked him. He’s a bit more emphatic than Inugami in my opinion. He also has some pretty cool tats on his shoulders. XD
If you can’t tell from the descriptions of these wacky characters, this show’s ridiculous. BUT it works because it knows it’s ridiculous. The show is pretty episodic, with a different mishaps occurring or side characters being introduced to get hysterical reactions from the main characters.
Gugure! Kokkuri-san also has several compelling moments between characters that tug one’s heart, often at the most unexpected times. This element of emotion is what carries the show from great to amazing.
As I said above, this was the first anime I viewed without finding the subtitles a detraction. In fact, I would say an English dub would not have the same charm as the original Japanese voices give. The actress for Kohina is hysterical and I absolutely love the voice actor for Kokkuri-san!
On more technical terms, the animation is great, going from gorgeous character designs and scenery to the wacky comedy facial expressions and backgrounds. This show also features one of my most favorite opening songs of all time!
It’s hard to do this show justice by talking about it. It’s incredibly unique and quirky, so one can only truly understand its potential by watching it. Gugure! Kokkuri-san is one of my favorite anime, one of my favorite comedies, and a true unique gem from the anime industry!
If you have seen this one, what did you think of it? What’s one of your favorite lines or characters? Did you enjoy it as much as I?
Star Value: 5/5 | Re-Watchabiliity: High | Definition: Gloriously Ridiculous