The Helpful Fox Senko-San Episodes 3 & 4

Welcome, one and all, to my continued weekly review series for The Helpful Fox Senko-San, aka Sewayaki Kitsune no Senko-san. The first two episodes were a lot of fun, so I’m sticking with that here as I play catch up. Let’s get into it.

Koenji is a lot of fun as a character.

Episode three is titled As long as you’re happy. This one started out with Nakano and Senko playing a fighting video game. Nakano wins easily and tries to claim his prize: more fluffing of Senko’s fur. The whole thing gets noisy, with Senko yelling that he has a scary look on his face, and their neighbor Koenji starts knocking on the door. When nobody answers, she simply forces it open, sees what’s going on, starts to call the police.

Now, this whole scene was, in some ways, what you’d expect. Koenji sees things from the outside and thinks that Nakano has kidnapped and is abusing a little girl. He tries to argue his way out of it, and Senko ends up stepping in. She tells Koenji that she came of age many years ago anyway, so it’s fine if he puts his hands on her, and invites her in for food. What I found interesting was that Nakano realized part way through the conversation that he did essentially attack Senko. From that moment on, he doesn’t actually try to fluff her fur again. It’s like it gave him a wake-up call about his aggressive behavior and now he’s changing.

Anyway, the meal bit was funny. Koenji loved the food and it totally changed her personality from angry neighbor to overly happy and of the belief that if someone feeds you, they can’t be bad. We also learn that she works and studies at home. When she asks about Nakano and Senko’s relationship, she clearly isn’t listening to, as she doesn’t pick up on Senko saying she’s his wife AND mother. Koenji does end up asking about Senko’s ears and tail though, and pretty much prompts the answer that it’s a cosplay from an anime called Little Yoko, Inari Girl. The pair get away with that, and Nakano ends up introducing Senko to the show via the latest episode. She gets hooked and he buys her the full series so far. The whole thing was quite sweet, because Senko was really getting into it, and her tail was wagging happily from the get-go.

Next, they need to go shopping, as the fridge is pretty bare. This was a charming little section. Nakano was worried about Senko’s appearance and was right o give her a disguise, but she was actually pretty much fine. We learn that she’s an agricultural deity and can tell which vegetables are best by looking at them. She also grabs a ton of fried tofu and floats to reach the higher shelves. That last move leads to a little girl spotting her tail, but her Mum isn’t paying attention and thinks her daughter means a ponytail. That was pretty funny.

In the end, they talk about the experience. Senko enjoys shopping and is capable of doing it alone, but if being there makes Nakano happy, she thinks he should come along. He realizes that this is the first time he’s enjoyed shopping in a long time and decides to stick with her on his days off. Super Senko-san Time this episode sees her invite us to go shopping with her. She gets offered a bunch of samples and feels guilty about it. That’s about it.

helpful fox senko ep 4 hairball
Senko is feeling sad.

Episode four is titled Why must you work on a day off!? Sadly, in reality, sometimes you have to. Anyway, Nakano comes home from work looking even more tired than normal, and Senko is shocked to find that he has to work on his day off. This all leads into Nakano needing to go to bed early, and Senko insisting that he should let her gently wake him with love rather than rely on his mobile phone alarm. He agrees, and she climbs into bed with him and lets him hug her tail so that he’ll get to sleep easier. Senko ponders how his attempts to not be pampered are quite adorable, and drifts off herself.

What happens should be fairly obvious. She wakes up and tries to wake him, and he asks for five more minutes. She agrees, then decides that mornings must make him weak, so now is a good chance to pamper him without complaint. She uses his sleepy state to get him to agree to sleep in, and when he does finally awake, he realizes that he now can’t get into work and will have to make up for it.

The second half of the episode is really more about Senko attempting to get to grips with the modern world. While Nakano is at work, she decides to try out a few modern conveniences. This was full of cute moments. My favourite was her scared dog style reaction to when the vacuum cleaner turns on, complete with raised hackles and hiding under the covers, growling at the machine. Senko’s reading glasses and notebook are also cute. Mostly, things go well to start with. Senko finds a few things she can work, and a few she can’t, and it all gives her some time to make umeshu plum wine and watch some more Little Yoko, Inari Girl. Unfortunately though, she panics when she can’t get the volume on the TV down, and everything gets set off, tripping the breaker switch.

When Nakano comes home, Senko is sat in the dark, looking dejected and surrounded by fox fire. She calls herself a giant hairball, and Nakano says it’s oaky, and flips the breaker switch again, restoring power. The fridge food is fine, but the freezer tofu will probably need using, which upsets Senko, as she thinks she’s causing him trouble. Nakano, in a sweet moment, says that it’s fine because just coming home to her smiling face is enough for him. That gives Senko a flashback to him smiling during their previous encounter.

We then cut back to the other two kitsune. They think that Senko is screwing up, so the white-haired Shiro decides that she should step in. Finally, Super Senko-san Time this episode sees her welcoming us home after a tiring day and says we should go to bed early and sleep next to her. As we’re having trouble sleeping, she gives us her tail to fluff, and our eyes start to close. When that fails, she tells us to close our eyes and she’ll sing us a lullaby.

That was an interesting run. There was a definite shift in tone between Nakano and Senko, as he really didn’t try to do anything lewd during the second of the two episodes. It would be nice if that move away from the more sexualized scenes of the first two episodes remains in place. It coincided with Nakano beginning to view Senko as more of an old lady than a child too. We’ll see where that leads.

The flashback was much shorter this time. I’m beginning to wonder if the scenes where she met him working in the fields were from a previous life though, and maybe he’s the reincarnation of someone that helped her. I’m also looking forward to seeing what chaos will ensue with two foxes living there. I suspect it’ll all end up becoming a bit of a harem set-up though. Oh, and it’ll be interesting to see how big a role Koenji serves now.

So, those were my thoughts. But what about yourselves? Did you enjoy these episodes? Do you agree or disagree with any of my observations? Let me know in the comments below.

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