Label: MVM Entertainment
Release Date: 12th August 2013
Release Type: DVD
Ririchiyo Shirakiin is the newest resident of the mysterious apartment building known as the Maison De Ayakashi which is home to a wide variety of humans who possess supernatural abilities that they have obtained thanks to their ancestors. Each resident is given a Secret Service Agent whose sole purpose is to protect and obey their masters orders.
Ririchiyo gives off an air of superiority and takes up residence at Ayakashi to get some peace and quiet from her high maintenance life. Enter Sōshi Miketsukami, a Secret Service Agent and reincarnation of the Nine-Tailed Fox, who swears to serve Ririchiyo like a dog. It is then only a matter of time before our new resident is forced to realise who she truly is.
Inu X Boku Secret Service aired on Crunchyroll in 2012, so this release is pretty quick to arrive on our shelves. For this reason a good chunk of us will have already watched the series with subtitles only. This release of course has the dubbed option as well – but how does it fare up with the original?
Let’s get the negative out of the way. The voice acting in Inu X Boku SS is a real let down, specifically in our main character Ririchiyo. The character’s personality appears strong but is really delicate and vulnerable – a typical tsundere. However, acting by Hilary Haag(Mio Aoyama – The World God Only Knows and Fuko Ibuki – Clannad), is completely unsuited and unnatural.
To say this may be a little rash, but from watching the subbed version of the series, Hilary’s take on the part completely changes the whole anime into something that is like all the other fantasy slice of life series out there. Instead of misunderstood and something of a mystery, the main character comes across as obnoxious and irritating.
Ririchiyo’s complicated personality and aloofness previously made all the slice of life elements (chibis, perverted humour etc) feel balanced. The series becomes more about our hero’s developing relationship with her Secret Service Agent, rather than the people around her – who just aid in this development. However, without her balanced personality, all of these elements seem to fall out of place, and what is left is a big mess of comedy and slapstick humour.
Early on, each character’s monster form is introduced. There is a wide range here from the elegant fox spirit, to the large skeleton made from the bones of people dead from starvation. Of course every one of these are beautiful, despite their reference to rather gruesome Japanese folklore.
This initial introduction allows for the plot to not focus on their powers, rather the story they create together. The plot may not be all that gripping in terms of action, but their developing relationships are enough to push you easily through the series. Characters blend well together and with very little back-story, each one stands out in their own right.
Many of the episodes revolve around the characters in their rooms, downstairs in the dining room, or outside in the garden. They seemingly don’t have any hobbies apart from possibly eating and loafing around. The story is pretty mundane but it all revolves around one key aspect – the fact that Ririchiyo is treated like a princess. She is doted on, brought tea whenever she wants and even has her food sliced for her. The only reason we don’t hate her – she is absolutely clueless as to how to react to it all.
Inu X Boku SS is a truly heartwarming story that any slice of life fan should stick with. There is only one thing you must do, and that is watch it with subtitles.