What is it like to be a real temple maiden? What it is like to really be able to see the holy messengers? What is it like to be different? What is it like to not open a review with a series of questions?
“Gingitsune” tells the tale of Makoto Saeki (the one with the broom). She is a temple maiden and can see these heralds from the gods on high. Dad Tatsuo (carefree schlub at the far right) does not have this ability, so he has to rely on Saeki to help him out. There used to be two heralds at the temple (and there seems to be a rule that there are to be two), but Gingitsume (or ‘Gin’, as he is known, that really, REALLY big fox herald) is all there is. His partner left (or died or was recalled or went sightseeing) and he spends his days sleeping and eating tangerines.
He is a grumpy number, but if you had been around for 800 years or something like that, you’d be cranky as well. And I can’t imagine how his underwear rides up on him. That would make me very cross, especially if it was that way through the whole Meiji restoration!
Twin forces invade Saeki’s life. The first are her two friends to the left, Hiwako Funibashi and Yumi Ikegami. Hiwako is class vice-president and was a bit off a stiff, but loosened up when she got to the shrine. Yumi sought some romantic help from Makoto and became friends that way. They drop by the shrine to visit and help out with events and things.
The other force was Satoru Kamio (Mr Grumpy right behind Gin). He is another person who can see the heralds and has one of his own, Haru. Haru is young by herald standards, merely 80, and is a legacy from Satoru’s grandfather to him. Haru is a bit of a hot potato and gets into lots of fights and arguments with everyone, especially Gin, who views Haru as an annoyance with much to learn and who has zero respect for the Elders.
The show details how all of these dynamic forces interact with one another and what it means to have a special gift.
I liked this show, especially Dad. He is an easy-going person, despite having no real special abilities. Makoto is learning how to be a friend on so many fronts and keeping her fractious relationship with Gin together (whom I feel is afraid that Makoto may walk away some day and then he would really be all by himself). You don’t really learn anything about temple life or what is needed to keep them going, but it is an amusing show. And the relationship between Haru and Gin is always interesting to watch. It’s the zeal of youth vs the wisdom of maturity. It’s not a high recommendation, but it is a solid recommendation when you get tired of Giant Fighting Robots.
On a scale of 1 to 10:
Artwork 8 (Lovely scenery)
Plot 7 (Rather standard)
Pacing 8 (Keeps one’s interest)
Effectiveness 7 (No great truths are learned)
Conclusion 7 (It reaches a ‘coupler’, but doesn’t really end)
Fan Service 0 (A similar show would be “Honey and Clover”)
Overall 7 (Not enough real conflicts)
And remember, it’s first run until you’ve seen it. May I have my tangerines, please?