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[R1 DVD box art.]
AKA: タユタマ -Kiss on my Deity- (Japanese)
Genre: Romance, comedy, drama.
Length: Television series, 12 episodes, 23 minutes each
Distributor: R1 DVD from Sentai Filmworks
Content Rating: 14+ (Some violence, some light fanservice.)
Related Series: N/A
Also Recommended: Natsume Yuujinchou, Ah! My Goddess, Inuyasha.
Notes: Based on a visual novel videogame by Lump of Sugar for the PC (adult) and the Xbox 360 (all-ages version.)
Rating: Two StarsTwo Stars
 

Tayutama ~Kiss on my Deity~

Synopsis

A long time ago, three dangerous Tayutai was sealed inside a stone marker by another Tayutai, KikuramiKami and her human aide. Unfortunately, due to unexplained reasons, KukiramiKami was sealed inside with them all. (Apparently, a lot of lesser Tayutai was sealed with them as well. Don't ask; I have no idea.)

Enter present day. Yuuri Mito, while attending school, checks on that very stone, and decides to perform a spirit transfer spell before the stone is destroyed by way of construction work. Unfortunately, accidents happen (as they are wont to do) and the spirits are all released. KikuramiKami, having lost most of her strength through the long years inside the stone, transforms into a young girl to preserve her powers, and makes a vow to make the human and the Tayutai come to an understanding.


Review

So yeah, that's pretty much the main plot in a nutshell, save for a few extra details.

Like so many shows before it, Tayutama ~Kiss on my Tildes~... er, I mean... ~Kiss on my Deity~, is based on an erotic Visual Novel videogame. What this means is that the show is mainly about a male lead getting into various shenanigans with the female cast, the most common difference being whether the show will decide to base its main draw on either the story or the fanservice, or, in some rare cases, both. Tayutama has apparently chosen to play it by storyline, because fanservice and general ecchiness has been kept to an absolute minimum.

This is sadly not a good thing in this case. While shows like Kanon, Fate/Stay Night or the hard-to-pronounce Utawarerumono has proven that games based on porn games can be turned into entertaining viewings on the strength of their presentation and writing abilities, more often than not, creators of anime based on these games tend to take the lazy route and let the game languish in fanservice hell.

To its credit, Tayutama doesn't entirely depend on this. The story is fairly straightforward and hardly difficult to follow. In fact, it could have used some embellishing at times, because it's rushing through the story arcs as if it was running out of gas and decided to get the most mileage out of it before the tank became empty.

One nice and not-so-nice part about this anime is the visuals. The characters are generally pleasant to look at, so fans of the game or just cute somewhat moe-ish girls in general will probably be pleased with this title, even if they'd be disappointed with the animation, which is generally lazy. Even the intro animation isn't anything special, which is usually where even bad anime get to shine for a token moment. On a stranger note, the show is also kind of hung up on the whole "taking the Dutch Angle... TO THE EXTREME!!!" thing with shots like this:

I dunno. Maybe the cameraman just keeled over, but the director just said: "The camera is running. Just leave it like this. We can use it."

And yes, at its soul, Tayutama is a harem anime. Which, in this case, means lots of cute things can and will happen. Oh, did I mention that KikuramiKami turns into a little girl with fox ears? And that Yuuri names her after her favorite snack; Marshmallows? And, of course, Mashiro, now complete with a cute lisp, totally takes to Yuuri and promises to become his waifu. But since Yuuri is a decent guy and doesn't want to boink a little girl, he tries to get out of it by saying she has to become an adult first. And then, the very next day, she's all grown up due to... well, uh... LOOK OVER THERE!

Anyway, now that Mashiro is all grown up and stuff, she progresses to not-so-subtle come on to Yuuri, much to the consternation of Ameri, who proceeds to accidentally walk in on every single moment the two of them have together. And when that isn't happening, it's mostly because all of them are out in public, where Yuuri's best friend keeps chastizing him for living with such a babe. Yeah, it's that kind of comedy, so you better get used to it.

Also, Mashiro has dog ears. Or maybe they count as fox ears, though I'm not entirely sure what kind of Tayutai Mashiro is. She's got a tail too, but her hair is so ludicrously long that it's probably easy for her to hide it there. Not that anyone would look anyway, seeing as her ears are freaking huge, and tend to accentuate her emotions all the time. Despite this, people didn't really notice until she got accepted in Flawless, because it didn't really become a plot point until then, I suppose.

This is the part that actually hurts this show the most. It's basically written with a complete disregard for logic and common sense. Part of this should probably be blamed on the complete lack of story and character introductions, which is again where the show gets lazy, because it implies that you as the viewer should have played the game to get the most out of the show. But I don't think even the game could have justified how some of the character, most notably Mashiro, is treated. In the anime, she is quickly enrolled at Flawless, which is basically the "better" half of the school everyone is attending. Its student roster is also pretty much solely made up of girls -- kind of a MariMite throwback, if you will, where everyone acts all polite and says "gokigenyo" to each other a lot -- compared to the other half, the less perfect "Slightly". Yes, the school halves are called "Flawless" and "Slightly".

However, despite being "Flawless", the school community takes less than ideally to Mashiro's revelation. When being asked about her ears and tail (that noone apparently noticed until then -- no wonder they're called "Flawless", I guess), Mashiro comes clean and says they're a part of her. Because of her completely outrageous claims, she's locked inside the "reflection room" and accused of lying and playing pranks on her fellow students. I guess performing a medical examination on her would be too inconvenient for the plot, because that'd resolve the issue about her ears and tail being real a little too easily. That, and "Flawless" is, as Ameri puts it, a little too hung up on appearance. Where imprisoning people in places called "the reflection room" fits into the whole "worrying about appearances" deal is anybody's guess, especially when words leak so easily that even the "Slightly" students can run outside on school grounds screaming about it at the top of their lungs. Not to worry, though, because the moment Yuuri heard about it, he immediately put all his efforts into helping her out of there. And of course he has to do this because Mashiro refuses to use her powers in the name of bettering the relationships between human and Tayutai.

It's a shame too, because I like most of the characters in the show. Ok, so Yuuri is as dull as they come, even if he's got the cojones to get angry at girls when they act like idiots. Even better, the "Flawless" student, Mifuyu actually has the good grace to realize when she's in the wrong and reflect on it, even if she's not doing that in the "reflection room". Mashiro is fairly ok for a fandom bait character that includes partially lolidom, the furry ear aspect AND the goddess/spiritual being fandom. That, and she never gets violent or particularly abusive, though she does have a sceming streak in her.

As for Ameri, I kind of feel sorry for her, because she's mostly relegated to playing the parts needed to get the scenes moving. Does the show require her to be the jealous walk-in? She's on it. Does the main lead need someone to come help them out of a bind during a secret mission? She can do that. She even plays the part of the antagonist in a debate against why the Tayutai should ever "get along" with the human beings just so that Yuuri can blow off some righteous steam as needed and more. It's almost like she's playing the part of all available routes in the game in one go for this show, and I think I have to respect that. But seriously, girl...

...that's too much ribbons and hair there. Too much! I mean... jeez, you need a haircut, girlfriend. Either that, or you need to go more easy on the styling products. Because seriously, that's a whole lotta hair. Can you imagine ending up sitting behind her in the theater? She'll easily block at least three seats with that hairdo.

To be honest, harping on this show makes me feel kind of bad. It's honestly trying to tell a decent story about the possible friendship between two different races. The problem is that Natsume Yuujinchou, a "Slightly" (har har) older show, does this a hell of a lot better than Tayutama ~Kiss on my Hair Products~... er, I mean... well, you know. I'm honestly surprised that it even got licensed. Yeah, the game it was based on was pretty damn popular in Japan -- mostly due to its character designs, which I have to admit I like -- but that doesn't necessarily mean it'll do well in America, right? I guess if you're REALLY in a pinch for compliments, Tayutama ~Kiss on my Furry Ears~ does constitute more value for money than shows like Shuffle or the Memories Off OAVs -- even more so the really iffy stuff like Kiss X Sis or Kanokon -- but really, is that the kind of argument you'd like to use to justify spending time or money on any kind of anime title?

I can't really in good conscience recommend this show when there are so much better offerings around. It might be worth a rental if you just want to gawk at the pretty girls, though I'd think the actual game would be better for that purpose. I guess it could be worth watching if you want to amuse yourselves by trying to make heads or tails out of the insane rambling that makes up most of what Tayutama ~Kiss on my Random Plot Points~ has to offer, which is, of course, best enjoyed with a group of like-minded friends.

It's not the worst kind of god-awful crap. It's just very incoherent and badly made.Stig Høgset

Recommended Audience: You get to see the adult Mashiro naked once, though she's mostly covered up by her impressive hair. Also, the EEEEVIL Tayutai drains human beings for energy, which makes them die by shriveling up. (Which you also get to see once.)

Other than that, it's pretty tame stuff.



Version(s) Viewed: Prerelease fansub.
Review Status: Full (12/12)
Tayutama ~Kiss on my Deity~ © 2009 SILVER LINK, Lump of Sugar.
 
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