Welcome, one and all, to my continued weekly review series for The Helpful Fox Senko-San, aka Sewayaki Kitsune no Senko-san. I’m now up to episodes 7 and 8. Let’s get into it.
Episode 7, You smell like another fox, was in many ways, what I’ve come to take as a typical episode, with two distinct parts to the story. The first half was about back pain. You see, Nakano tries to help Senko tidy up after a meal, but he hurt his back at work carrying heavy stuff. Fun fact, that actually happens to regular staff a lot. Though moving heavier stuff isn’t meant to be part of most office workers’ jobs, it does fall on you fairly regularly. There were many days in fact that I had to shift tables, drawer towers, and carts of files around. I feel your pain Nakano!
In another familiar moment for me, Senko offers to help by giving him a massage by standing on his back. Those can be pretty good. Nakano wasn’t so thrilled though, thinking it’s a little too kinky, and convinces Senko to use her hands instead. That works fine until he needs more pressure, and he ends up having to give in to her using her feet. Being only 25kg, she’s not too heavy though and he does enjoy it. He gets to return the favour too.
This whole scene was pretty cute. The pair were very playful, poking fun at how cute they find the noises each other made. Even with the kink reference, it wasn’t actually particularly lewd either, which was nice, as it could easily have gone that way. Meanwhile, Shiro was continuing to watch from the Fox Realm and commented on Naknao’s silly faces.
The second part of the episode opens with Nakano dreaming about olden times again, and Senko cooking for him. He eventually heads to work, and there’s an amusing moment where Senko tells Koenji that he seemed very happy when she stood on his back, taking her aback. The key thing there though was that Koenji has noticed how much happier Nakano is now. Unfortunately for him, his regular nemesis – the colleague needing help with a project overhaul – pops up and he misses the last train home. Just as he thinks he’ll have to stay at the office again, Shiro pops up to make the save.
I loved this whole section. Some of it was what you’d expect; Shiro was playful and ended up with a brain freeze when Nakano gave her an ice cream as an offering, and Nakano was his usual kindhearted self, giving Shiro his jacket to cover up a bit. The best bit was that there was some actual story progression too.
While Shiro led Nakano through the magical realm to get home, she asked him if he ever wonders why a demi-god is doing so much for him. Nakano can only think of what Senko said I the first episode – a point that Shiro picks up on with her mind reading – but nothing else. Shiro asks if he knows about his ancestor, and he confirms that he doesn’t but begins to realize that his dreams are related to that. When asked if he would be okay with it if Senko was actually thinking about his ancestor rather than him, he says yes because he’s just happy to have her in his life, and feels like, with her bright smile, she’s happy too.
That was sweet. Shiro also pointed out that she would have left him there if he’d turned out to be a bad guy, and Nakano points out that she does look out for both him and Senko. That was a nice touch because, while Shiro’s general attitude makes her more like a hyperactive child, she is clearly capable of being more mature too.
The episode ended with some more playful teasing as Senko jokingly complained about him spending the night with another fox and smelling like them. After that, we got Super-Senko-san Time, with the fox taking us for an evening walk to watch the sunset and make wishes when she spots that one of our eyelashes has fallen out.
Episode 8, I’ll make you forget all about it, was a beach episode. This one was actually a little different to the last one in that it was one larger story rather than having two defined sections. So, the basis of this one is that Nakano has his Summer Vacation – a whopping one day – and Shiro pops up to take them all to the beach to relax.
You’d think that the portaling there would clue Koenji in to the two ladies being actual kitsune, but no. She was unconscious when they travelled, for one. When Senko puts on a fox fire display at the end, Koenji thinks they’re fireworks too. I guess that she’s so wrapped up in reality and the fantasy of anime and manga being separate things that she can’t quite see the magic for what it is. It was nice learning that Shiro ahs been spending time with Koenji (Or Jasuko as she calls her)
Anyway, this was surprisingly low on fan service given the setting. We get a moment where Shiro is showing off her swimsuit, and another where Koenji’s white top gets soaked, but otherwise, it was harmless frolicking through the sand and water. There was another sweet moment where neither Nakano nor Senko think they know how to paly on the beach anymore, and Nakano says he’d be happy no matter what they do, as he has her with him. That all ends with the group playing pairs volleyball, resulting in Shiro’s competitive side coming out and Senko hurting her back trying a power-up move.
Lunch time comes and they decide to have a BBQ. This is aided by Koenji having done some beach related impulse buying when Shiro first mentioned the idea to her. Being the over-excitable pair, Koenji and Shiro run off to catch food with their bare hands, as that’s the thing that they forgot to buy. Nakano helps Senko set the grill up and heads off to look for anything they can use to cook with too.
This is where Nakano stumbles upon a food shack. While it’s initially empty, a mysterious woman soon appears. It’s the other kitsune that we’ve seen before, though Nakano doesn’t know that yet as she’s covered her foxy appendages. She points out that it’s unusual for them to get visitors all the way put here, but she can always pretend she didn’t see him, and points to table behind him. A whole ton of food has appeared, and she disappears before he can refuse it. When he mentions it to Senko she says that it would be impossible for it to be a human as the beach is in a place between his and her realm.
Amusingly, Shiro and Koenji only managed to catch seaweed, a point that delights Shiro but not Koenji. With the stuff Nakano got though, it’s fine, and the BBQ goes well. There’s some nice contrast come the evening with Shiro and Koenji playing sparklers in an excited fashion, wile Senko and Nakano do so more calmly. Nakano’s mood drops when he says that he thinks it’s sad as the fireworks will burn out just like his soul when he goes back to his lame office job tomorrow. Senko cheers him up though, saying that everything has to end, and while it’s sad, there’s no reason to let yourself suffer because of it. She promises to make him forget being sad because the future is full of possibilities. The episode then ended with the nine-tailed kitsune watching from afar and saying ‘why yes, everything has to end eventually’, then disappearing. Meanwhile, Super Senko-san Time sees her give us a shell to hear the ocean.
Okay, these were probably my favourite episodes yet. The cute moments were cute, we got some story progression, and an ominous proclamation that Senko and Nakano’s time together will have to end eventually. The series seems to have found its footing here, balancing out the relaxing domestic household moments with some real warmth and a growing story to run alongside the otherwise household driven scenes. By doing so, it feels like it has moved away from being inoffensive fluff to having some real potential as a series. If it keeps this quality up, I’ll be very happy.
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.