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[R1 DVD box art]
AKA: Wagaya no Oinari-sama, 我が家のお稲荷さま。(Japanese)
Genre: Supernatural comedy action show.
Length: Television series, 24 episodes, 23 minutes each
Distributor: Licensed by Nippon Ichi Software America. (Yes, the same people who publish the Disgaea series. No joke.)
Content Rating: PG (Light violence and fanservice.)
Related Series: N/A
Also Recommended: Spice and Wolf, Shrine of the Morning Mist, staying the hell away from Kanokon.
Notes: Based on the light novel by Jin Shibamura. There is also a manga adaptation by Suiren Shofu, serialized in Dengeki Comic Gao!
Rating: Three StarsThree StarsThree Stars

Our Home's Fox Deity

Synopsis

To protect two brothers of the Takagami family, Tohru and Noboru, the fox spirit Kugen Tenko is released from her seal. While she originally didn't want to follow the order of the priestesses that had him/her imprisoned, he/she agreed on it when he/she learned that it was a request by the mother of the two.


Review

What does it mean to give something -- or someone -- a second chance? Our Home's Fox Deity seem to have a clear message with this when it sets the Kugen Tenko -- a spiritual fox being of sorts -- free so that it can guard the Takagami brothers. For me, it was buying the show, even though I initially rated it two stars.

It may seem like a rash decision on both our parts, at least at first. But the show didn't exactly leave the best of first impressions, and the taint of this lingers for quite some time. On closer scrutiny, however, I can easily see how I might have been a little hard on the show. Certainly, the concept isn't the worst out there, if not necessarily the most original. Yes, we have two male leads, but one of them is basically a child and the other shows absolutely no romantic interest in the girls that are more or less shepherded into his home.

I have to admit What initially made me seek out the show was the artwork by Eizō Hōden, but also partially because I had recently seen Spice and Wolf, another show about an animal spirit that ventured into the human world. (Eizō Hōden would go on to do character designs for another show I somewhat recently reviewed: Asobi ni Iku Yo, but at the time I started watching it, I wasn't aware of that.)

If you come for the art, though, be prepared for disappointment, because, sadly, Our Home's Fox Deity is a show that only looks good on stills. When things start moving, that's when you'll notice the visual shortcomings. Animation tend to fluxuate between passable to the point where it looks like ass. Which is a real shame, because character design is actually pretty stable all across the board. Most of the attention has been put towards the action scenes, which is good, at least.

One of my initial complaints about the show was the comedy, and indeed, even on rewatch, it's pretty damn awful. Not in that they are particularly offensive, but Our Home's Fox Deity's idea of a joke is centered around things like Ko's complete detachment to general human behavior and common sense, or the Kugen Tenko's general eagerness in partaking in stuff that's new to her. (And seeing as she's been sealed inside a shrine for a hundred years, that accounts for a lot.) Some of the jokes don't even make any damn sense. Why would Ko, who has had shrine maiden combat training most of her life, be so clumsy as to be unable to hold breakable stuff in her hands without dropping it? Are we supposed to only find it funny because it keeps the elder Takegami brother fretting over the household budget? Again, it's never really offensive, but it still leaves you feeling awkward.

If you take this away, you're left with something akin to Ah! My Goddess, or maybe the "modern era" parts of Inuyasha would be a better reference of comparison. The central core of Our Home's Fox Deity is mostly about spirits and local deity living among human beings, with the occasional "fight of the week" from the spirit beings that come looking for the Takagami blood, mostly to dine on it.

These are the parts of the show that are actually entertaining. Even if they depend too much on Tohru being too much of a trusting child -- you'd think even he would learn after a few times -- Our Home's Fox Deity seems to at least take its subject matter seriously. If you read my first review; do you remember my closing comment about Tenko's lack of common sense and TV shop? All I can say is that this is the time where the next episode previews starts lying to you. In fact, the third disc -- that is, the first disc in the second pack -- actually has a story arc spread over most of the episodes on that disc. It's also where Our Home's Fox Deity starts involving "interspiritual" politics (I would've used the term "interpersonal", but more than half of the cast are non-human), which is the show's strongest point.

It should also be noted that I was wrong about Our Home's Fox Deity having a main overarcing plot. It doesn't, at least not outside of the whole "Tenko Kugen living with the Takagamis and acting like their guardian" thing. Even if the show settles most of its problems by the last episode, it's still very open-ended, obviously due to being based on an unfinished light novel. So if you are the kind of person who's displeased by non-closure on shows like Ah! My Goddess, you will feel the same about this show. But as far as light entertainment goes, it was certainly better than I first gave it credit for.

A show that actually shows some definite improvement when it stops trying to be funny all the time.Stig Høgset

Recommended Audience: Aside from one bath-scene with Ko and some random breast-related comments from time to time, the show is as clean as the aforementioned Ah! My Goddess. Cleaner, in fact, seeing as AMG has Urd and Our Home's Fox Deity does not.

There's also some light violence in it, but nothing too extreme. Most of the fights are centered around magic attacks, none of which draw blood. I don't even think anyone dies in this show.

It's equally light on the side of fanservice. Some quick lingerie/swimsuit/cleavage shots and one joke about chest size (or lack of it) is all you get.



Version(s) Viewed: Prerelease fansub; R1 DVD
Review Status: Full (24/24)
Our Home's Fox Deity © 2008 ZEXCS
 
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