Inugami-san to Nekoyama-san Review

This is review number three hundred and ten and a half. This anime is part of the Spring 2014 lineup. The anime I’ll be reviewing is Inugami-san to Nekoyama-san. It’s a twelve episode anime that runs for three minutes. It’s about a bunch of girls like liking each other. Yes, damn it. This is exactly what it is but not really because it’s safe for work. Let’s just read on.

Story

Yachiyo Inugami acts like a dog but she actually love cats. Suzu Mekoyama acts like a cat but she actually love dogs. This series follows the pair as they admire each other, poke fun of each other and even tease each other. Along with their group of friends, they happily enjoy each other’s company both friendly and intimate.

Taking the Pants Off

Here we have another anime short. This one is the standard less than five minute anime where it features one central theme and repeatedly uses it all throughout its episode run. I was ready to write this anime off as another boring marshmallow show (cute girl doing cute things slice of life garbage) when I glanced at the title poster. I kind of grew a raging hatred for these shows after constantly reviewing the same sh*t over and over. I saw the first episode though and I was thoroughly surprised. I can’t really give it justice. You just have to see it for yourselves. Take a look at this:

And this:

And this:

Yes, damn it. It’s a girl on girl anime. It’s a full shoujo ai series about girls teasing each other and enjoying the hell out of it. As a respectable male adult, you can never underestimate my interest of watching two girls rub faces together. After reviewing some many gawddamn otome anime as well, I certainly welcome the sight of seeing girls tease each other for a change. Of course, there is nothing too extreme in this anime but I believe the screenshots speak for themselves. Three minutes goes by fast when you’re anticipating the characters turning this marshmallow show into something more mature for its innocent content.

inugami5

The show is about two girls. One is named Yachiyo Inugami, who despite having “dog” (inu) in her name, is a massive cat lover. The other character is named Suzu Nekoyama, who despite having “cat” (neko) in her name, is actually a big dog lover. The characters act like their name though. Yachiyo acts like a dog with her energetic personality and Suzu acts like a cat with her submissive personality. They immediately like one another because of their love for their favorite animals that the other partner seems to emulate. They hangout a lot and tease each other from time to time.  Yes, the teasing also escalates leading into some intimate sexually driven scenes that I’m sure you’ll enjoy. It’s not overly dirty though. The scenes are smartly restrained making sure it just teases the situation and never actually crossing the line. There are scenes where characters have their faces too close to each other but they never actually kiss. There’s a scene the character hug each other but it never really leads into groping (even though you are banging your hand at the table expecting it) and some fantasy scenes also implies something naughty without actually doing it. I personally don’t see a lot of girl on girl anime so I actually quite enjoy the interaction in this show. The shoujo ai scenes are nicely executed while the show still stays true to its marshmallow origins.

The girl on girl is especially cute because of this layer of innocence among the characters. It’s established early on that the characters have a puppy dog crush with each other. Suzu gets jealous when Yachiyo is close with other girls and Yachiyo is often coming up with ideas to tease Suzu in unexpected ways. This innocence adds a lot for when the girls starts getting frisky with one another. It has a really smart balance between cute puppy dog couples and raging lesbian boners that I really enjoy. This anime is still a comedy though so the shoujo ai scenes are also inherently funny so I do admire the wonderful execution in this show. As the show progresses, you’ll soon enjoy the character interaction as the anime slowly strays from its shoujo ai elements. Yeah, sadly, the girl on girl scenes tones down a bit during the second half of the show. There’s not a lot of steamy skin to skin action moving forward but I think it is replaced with some nice double entendre jokes. It still stays true to its theme while it features other elements of the anime. I like some of the dialogues as well because they do possess some nice shoujo ai ideas without really acknowledging it. Some of the girls are just really perverted in a way and it’s often funny how the audience can relate to some of their fantasies and innocent fetishes.

As I said though, the shoujo ai elements die down towards the end because it needed to feature something else. At its core, this anime is still a marshmallow show. These are four panel adapted slice of life cute girls doing cute things kind of show. They’re all the f*cking same. It’s always about a group of girls experiencing school life and hanging out together while they poke fun of each other. They’ll be drinking tea, eating cake and doing normal school girl stuff together. Marshmallow shows look different from one another though because of a certain theme they utilize. For this one, the girls having fun eventually turn into girls having fun. Did you get the joke? No? Anyways, the show still has those dull episodes where characters just talk. Typical four panel anime often set its joke up with a random conversation that the characters will turn into something funny. It can get a bit tasking considering you’re in it for the shoujo ai. Thankfully, the three minute runtime does make it tolerable. To be fair, the show still brags fan service while it features boring dialogue but it doesn’t prevent my mind to wander away from the uninteresting exchange between the characters. Thankfully though, the dry appeal of the marshmallow element is nicely counterbalanced by the vibrant character interaction in the show.

As always, it’s the characters that make this show special. Marshmallow shows are repetitive garbage and you can really only invest in it once you grow to like the characters. In this show, it’s fairly easy after you realize the girls want to eat each other. Yachiyo is your typical loud mouth character that has a lot of energy. She speaks a lot of her thoughts and she often act out her fantasies. These sexual thoughts are often directed at Suzu who happily lets Yachiyo do them to her. Yachiyo is also your resident idiot who sets up a lot of the jokes in the show. I personally love how her ponytail wags when she gets excited. It’s adorable. Suzu is ten times more adorable though. She is likened to a cat. She is quiet but really possessive and also really submissive. You have to appreciate a submissive cat because it works on soooooo many levels. The anime also constantly pokes at her cat-like attributes like refusing to go into the pool because she hates water or how she can get drunk when she gets a hold of some catnip. I love Yachiyo and Suzu’s playful relationship. Yachiyo’s aggressive attitude works great with Suzu’s meek one. It makes the shoujo ai elements all the more fun to watch. The group is complete with another character named Aki Hiiragi. She is a close friend of the two main characters and she is the level headed character in the show. She is the straight man to all the jokes of the show and she is often the first to react when something shoujo ai is about to happen. She has her moments as well though and I think her appeal as being the “straight” girl that suggestively might go both ways is pretty cool as well. She has no pair in the show but she is often paired with a lot of characters which I really love about her.

As the show progresses, more couples are also introduced. This is basically what killed the shoujo ai momentum. Constantly introducing new characters kind of killed the mood since the focus in on the new girls. They have their own thing going like a strict girl that is likened to a monkey or a twin tailed girl with a senior partner. Adding them to the mix does open up new shoujo ai possibilities but it actually lessened them as their inclusion brightened up the marshmallow aspect of the anime. More girls equal more opportunity to have festival and pool episodes. Again, the interaction is pretty bright and engaging but I prefer more girl on girl than anything else, like as promised, damn it.

Still, for a marshmallow show, this one is pretty decent. The characters, the jokes, and the teasing work strong together and they really add up to an enjoyable anime. While it still possesses some of the dry aspects of a four panel slice of life cute girl doing cute thing show, it is outweighed by all the positive elements of the show. So I think this show worked out great. Studio Seven does a lot of less than five minute shows. I think that’s all they ever do. Well, that and some really poor quality hentai shows. They’re pretty lazy in their animation but I think they did show improvement for this anime. They kinda got a bit weird after releasing poor quality shows like Ai Mai Mi and the third season of Recorder Randoseru. Inugami to Nekoyama seems to exhibit crisper animation that I haven’t seen from this studio before. Good for them. I enjoy seeing improvement from small studios. Hopefully, they’ll eventually dare themselves to release a regular anime series. They shouldn’t stick to four panel manga though. Most small time studio does that for their first regular shows and its safe crap. You won’t impress people with that and you’ll soon be forgotten after all your efforts. I bet they’ll play around with more LTFM titles until they find their footing so I’ll be crossing my fingers for now. Some points for Shinpei Nagai though. This director has only done hentai titles for his entire existence but his weird talents sort of added tons for his first non-hentai venture. The shoujo ai elements sing well and I think it’s because the director is adept at making 2D characters have fun. He should do more non-hentai titles that welcome his weird talents.

Sight and Sound

Kuzushiro specializes in one thing: yuri. Yeah, that’s right. This mangaka is known for her actual girl on girl works which are pretty good. I had to read one since she kinda knows how to set a good pace for same sex teasing. She has a knack for making innocent characters do a lot of not so innocent things. This mostly comes through because of her stunning designs. It’s nothing new. I think it’s a standard for yuri to have bold lines and smudges. Kuzushiro’s design is pretty good looking because she makes really beautiful slender girls. The bodies are absolutely sexy with a deep emphasis on their slender frame hiding behind their school uniforms. Beautiful legs, a decent slim body for their height and rocking pair of legs are some of the parts she likes to emphasize. Add a strong and attractive face then you basically just created characters that readers would really want to see f*ck each other. I personally like the contrasting design in the seme and uke interaction.  The seme or dominant partner is often the tomboyish girl. She’ll have short hair and a facial expression that she wants to eat you. Her seme have a gentle design though with light strokes counter their fierce personality. The opposite goes for the uke. Her submissive girls exude innocence with their gentle face and cute façade. Their design has some really dark inking and bold lines though as if suggesting they’re pretty much as wild as the seme. I like it a lot. It encourages the reader to get their imagination going with her impressive character design. Of course, when the seme and the uke meet, fun things will happen.

Studio Seven is able to capture her fierce design but I must complain that the color palette made Kuzushiro’s design look tamer than it should be. I guess it’s to hide the fact that her designs are made for yuri and they wanted to tone it down to a shoujo ai. They still retain the details that make her design work like the beautiful hair and the strong faces but the seme/uke appeal is lost. It adds a different experience in the manga so I’m a bit bummed it wasn’t carried over in the show. Anyways, the animation is decent. As I said, it’s a better presentation than the usual Studio Seven anime because it does standout wonderfully. The director also employed some wonderful touches to make some scenes really steamy and make some dry scenes look great. The character interaction is nicely captured by the animation and does brighten up every moment of the show. The anime also employed some nice camera angles you don’t really see from less than five minute shows like this one. I guess what I’m trying to say is that you can tell a great deal of effort is given to the animation and this gave us a clean and crisp show that is enjoyable to watch.

The anime has no OP. The ED song is “Zettai♡Fukujuu Sengen” by Yachiyo Inugami (CV: Sumire Uesaka) x Suzu Nekoyama (CV: Nao Touyama). It’s a cute and catchy song sung by the two main characters. The lines are a bit suggestive but I do love that catchy beat. The voices are also pretty good. It’s the annoyingly cute kind of singing that is tolerable to a degree. The ED sequence features all the characters and the two main ones holding hands at the end. It’s cute and it does feature the clean animation Studio Seven seems to have learned.

Overall Score

6/10 “If it had more shoujo ai scenes then I would rank it higher but the dry marshmallow elements held it back from its potential greatness.”

I’m serious. If the show consistently gave us girls teasing other girls then I would happily give this anime an eight. Sadly, it’s your run of the mill slice of life cute girl doing cute things show with just a dash of shoujo ai. The manga is actually more daring so I suggest you try reading it as well. If you like shoujo ai then you’ll like this anime and if you love watching marshmallow shows then this three minute anime will certainly hit the spot. You won’t lose much from watching such a short show and there are some wonderful scenes here and there. I do recommend it but that’s the TPAB, who’ve seen too many otome anime, suggesting this show though.

Thoughts~

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