Kanokon: The Girl Who Cried Fox
On his first day at high-school, Kouta Oyamada is approached by Chizuru Minamoto, who wants to meet up with him in private in the music room. When he enters, she confesses her interest in him, but loses control of her human form, revealing the fox deity underneath. Nevertheless, Kouta promises not to reveal her secret, and so begins a school year full of romantic shenanigans.
Ok, here's the skinny: While I haven't actually read the light novel -- I don't even know if it's been translated or anything -- I did partake in seven chapters of the manga, which is part of the reason why I eventually went for the anime. The manga, while no work of genius by any stretch of the imagination, nevertheless managed to keep a level head and do what I suppose its type tends to do. Namely, tell a somewhat typical love-and-courting story between two people, with one of the two's unusual origins making things a wee bit difficult at times. The manga quickly reveals that Chizuru and her brother aren't the only animal spirits attending the school by a longshot, and does an admirable job of setting up the whole premise by letting people know what was going down.
In the anime, however, the only thing going down is Chizuru. On Kouta. Also, take a look at this:
What the hell happened to their facial features? I don't think I've ever seen an anime conversion of a manga that so drastically changed the character designs around. Compared to the sharp linework of the manga, here we have soft, featureless designs in the anime. What's worse; while they look somewhat even-aged in the manga, in the anime, Kouta looks like a little boy. No, seriously. I'm surprised they didn't just go all the way and rename him Shota-kun. In fact, I think I'll do just that for the rest of the review. Maybe this wouldn't be so disturbing if Chizuru didn't make her wishes so blatantly clear. She wants to play "hide the wiener" with Shota-kun. Badly! And so, the viewers will have to endure watching her try to rape Shota-kun again and again and again.
It gets even worse when Nozomu Ezomori comes along. She's a wolf girl, and her appearance looks every bit as young as Shota-kun, which brings the entire thing into even more disturbing territory. Naturally, Chizuru takes none to kindly to the interference, which gets the whole "flat chested wolf/flabby meat" verbal fight mode started. And, of course, since neither of the two feels any particular shame, they will engage in this ridiculous tug-of-war in open daylight -- in the middle of the classroom, if need be, which earns Shota-kun the name of "the Great Ero King" or some such.
Christ! Please, someone... tell me that the manga doesn't devolve into this kind of nonsense. Please!
Anyway, did I mention that Chizuru has a gigantic rack? Well, I should, because you will get to see it often. They definitely ranks among the boobiest boobs to ever boob the boobtube, and for most of the show, I was under the impression that they would be the cause of Shota-kun's inevitable demise. Well, that, or the lack of air, but who's paying attention to THAT sort of thing when your face is full of breasts? It's not just Chizuru's stalkerish behavior either that puts the "eh" in "ecchi", but the fact that Shota-kun isn't completely adverse to this despite his many complaints. As if they ever needed to, the two actually create a game out of it; "Spoiled child", which consists of... him willingly letting her smother his face with her breasts. Also, just FYI; she likes being spanked. She's a baaaaad girl.
Do I even NEED to comment on this?
So that the show won't just turn into the Japanese National Championship Dryhumping Competition for its entire runtime, we do get some vaguely episodic stories from time to time. One seems to center around the wolf-girl's brother putting a curse on Shota-kun so that he feels pain when he's sexually excited, wherein Chizuru almost goes mental because she can't treat him like she usually does. Later on, we get the genius of a plot where Chizuru's sister puts the entire school into a field of frost and ice, and I'm sure you can see where THAT is going, right? "Let's share body heat, Shota-kun." And THEN, there's the two episodes where Chizuru gets affected by a breast-removing poison -- yep, she becomes as flat-chested as the wolf girl -- which leads to a mad search for various remedies. This involves many culinary recipes that would make lifestyle magazines cry tears of inspired joy, plus copious amounts of chest massages that would make MEN'S magazines cry equal amounts of tears for the very same reason. Except not really, because in those episodes, she doesn't have her chest. Well, thank god for small miracles, I guess. No, wait! That just makes the scene appear even worse. What the hell am I saying?!
And that's all you really get. The show does try to introduce an ambigious villain near the end, which is a part that doesn't really go anywhere, because it keeps itself far too busy being as perverted as humanly possible without crossing the line into porn territory. Rosario+Vampire has nothing on this show, and neither does To Love-Ru, even though the three share a lot of common elements. (Although in all fairness, the To Love-Ru anime does get dangerously close to this show in the "boneheaded stupidity" department, which also mean they have something in common by being based on manga that aren't exactly good, but a whole lot better than the anime.)
You know, I'm really not trying to be too judgmental with slightly perverted shows, but Kanokon just crosses that line... well, a few lines, in fact. There's also the matter of completely downplaying the whole "human/spirit relationship problematic" side of the story into almost nothingness. The whole reason for the show to exist seems to be to get Shota-kun to say "I love you" to Chizuru. And while that isn't necessarily a bad thing by itself, the aforementioned problems just make it all the more apparent that his -- and by extent, ours -- path is much too bumpy (hurhur) to make it particularly enjoyable. This one can safely be ignored for the sake of either the manga or another show altogether.
I think there was supposed to be a second star in there somewhere, but someone must have smothered it to death with her chest. Sorry. — Stig Høgset
Recommended Audience: Oh dear. Well, since Chizuru is making her chest known to the world and Shota-kun's face every chance she gets, and also because there's a LOT of dry-humping abound, I think it's safe to say that this show is hardly for anyone but the "Porky's" generation of the new millennium. I'm sure the sale of Kanokon body pillows must have skyrocketed once this anime hit the market.
Version(s) Viewed: Prerelease fansub
Review Status: Full (12/12)
Kanokon: The Girl Who Cried Fox © 2008 Xebec / AT-X
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