Inugami-san to Nekoyama-san Episode 1 [Anime Review]April 16, 2020
Welcome, one all, to a new weekly review series. What are we looking at? Well, that would be…Inugami-san to Nekoyama-san. Starting life as 4-Koma yuri series in Comic Yuri Hime, the anime adaption started airing back in early 2014 and ran for a total of 12 episodes and an OVA. Now, this started as a Patreon exclusive series, BUT…since I’m revamping that particular tool, I decided to not let the posts go to waste, and get them started up here! Today, I’m looking at episode one, Inugami-san and Nekoyama-san.
When The Characters Are Intrinsic To The Joke…
Being less than four minutes long, the episode – and I would imagine the later ones too – rely heavily on the likability of the two leads, Inugami Yachiyo and Nekoyama Suzu. In that regard, this seems to fare pretty well.
The two girls are opposites, and we see their main traits pointed out early on. Yachiyo’s surname starts with Inu (dog) and she has a dog-like personality, but she loves cats. Suzu’s surname starts with Neko (cat) and she has a cat-like personality, but she loves dogs. It’s a simple joke and ties in with the yuri theme as the girls love the animal most like their respective crush.
As a result, Yachiyo plays the overexcited role while Suzu is more restrained but prone to lashing out. Which leads to clashes without hatred. Meanwhile, their joint friend Aki plays the strait-laced onlooker, not really trying too hard to keep them under control. Again, simple stuff, but it works well in this format.
The general humour does well too. This actually surprised me. Honestly, with the way it leaned so heavily into the two thinking about things of a carnal nature, I thought it may grate on me a little. I have no issue with the subject, and let’s be fair here, it’s not exactly unheard of for teens to think about it, but an over-reliance on that angle can kill enjoyment for me.
Here, it didn’t reach that point. I’m putting that down to the short, digestible segments. This was essentially a short run of skits, after all. Plus, some of it was really good natured, and played into their personality traits. For example, Yachiyo asks Suzu why she likes dogs so much. She replies that, “dogs are friendly and will play with you. And you can teach them things, like ‘shake’”. When she held her hand out to demonstrate, Yachiyo responded by placing her ‘paw’ in Suzu’s hand, leading to embarrassment form both.
My favourite moment though was probably the ending of the episode. After Suzu says that she wishes she could stay with the dog forever, Yachiyo comes up with a solution: get married! Suzu declines as, if she said yes now, it would seem like she was hooked by the dog. There’s no pretence that this isn’t a lesbian love story, but the subtle acknowledgement of attraction there was actually quite sweet, even with Yachiyo’s exuberant reaction.
This was well done. A lot of the gags wouldn’t work with different characters, at least in their current format. The dog/cat dynamic is so important to how a lot of it plays out, and that makes the characters feel important here. It’s clever in that regard.
It seems weird to use that title. 2014 was only 6 years ago. At the same time though, the art style is very reminiscent of the shows I watched as a kid – which, at 35, was a lot more than 6 years ago – such as Cardcaptor Sakura and Pretty Cure. I can even see some Sailor Moon in there.
The animation is fine. On a purely technical standpoint, it’s not on par with the modern classics, but it’s not painful to watch at all. There were some nice little touches that tied into the general feel of the show though. It’s subtle too. Like when Suzu is grumpy, her hair flicks out like downturned cat ears, and when Yachiyo is happy, her ponytail wags like a dog’s tail. That was good.
The VAs do a good job playing the quirky humour with some energy, and the end theme is quirky goodness. So, really, there’s not a lot to complain about.
That was good fun. I do worry that it’ll either shift to leaning into the sex humour too heavily, or that we won’t get an actual getting together scene at the end, but so far, so good. But what about yourselves? Have you seen this show? What did you make of this episode? Let me know below!