English: Gingitsune: Messenger Fox of the Gods
Synonyms: Silver Fox
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Oct 7, 2013 to Dec 23, 2013
24 min. per episode
PG-13 - Teens 13 or older
L represents licensing company
Score: 7.301 (scored by 8981 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
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SynopsisGintaro is a fox spirit that has been protecting the small Inari temple since the Edo era. Saeki Makoto's family possesses the power to see the gods' agent, but the ability is limited to one living relative at a time. When Makoto's mother passed away while she was still young, Makoto inherited the ability as the sole remaining family member. With the help of fox spirit's power, Makoto and Gintaro help the people of their community, in spite of their many differences.
(Source: MangaHelpers, edited)
Related AnimeAdaptation: Gingitsune
Characters & Voice Actors
Stories with spirits and humans from literature are always a fascinating tale. The concept of blending between the lines of fiction and reality can be an intellectual story to tell. Often times, fantasy literature brings elements of suspense, horror, and power struggles into stories involving clashes between spirits and humans. However, stories can sometimes be just simple and straightforward. Take Gingitsune for example. It’s a series that defines itself as a fantasy slice of life that is simplistic but yet charming, sensible, and alluring.
Gingitsune is an anime series based off of the manga of the same name written by Sayori Ochiai. The setting takes place in the modern ages but fuses it with traditional Japanese themes to transform it into a product of elegance. In such an age is a young child named Makoto Saeki, the only child and daughter of a widowed shrine priest in an Inari Shinto Shrine. She may seem ordinary but Makoto possesses a very special gift – the ability to see heralds. As a well-known phrase goes, “with great power comes great responsibility”, Sekai now plays the role of a girl that can change people’s lives. She’s not alone either because Gintaro, an anthropomorphic fox whom Sekai can only see, becomes her partner and guardian of the shrines.
As what it is, Gingitsune isn’t a horror story or vengeance with anguish spirits out to get back at humans. Rather, it’s a simple slice of life fantasy story that conveys the life of Makoto Saeki. More importantly is also the significance of character relationships. This is especially true earlier on as we get to witness how Makoto interacts with others, in particular Gintaro. The duo often works together because of Makoto’s circumstances of being unable to accurately tell fortunes. This is a problem as most Sekai priestesses are proficient in the art of fortune telling. Luckily, Gintaro serves as her helping hand as the duo are able to serve their roles with Makoto bringing many hopes and promises. As promising as the series goes, the story seems to be a bit slow at first. Most episodes focuses on specific events that can be simple as solving a problem to more complex issues dealing with human relationships. This is where Makoto comes in as her ways of thinking is beneficial with human knowledge. On the other hand, Gintaro comes into play whenever there is a supernatural problem that becomes more than what Makoto can handle on her own.
Because the series isn’t focused exclusively on an ongoing story or arcs, there can be some issues with pacing. It sometimes may feel slow further evidenced by its serene atmosphere. The way it presents the series is simple but yet offers a concept that can be captivating. Most of this is captured by character interactions. Makoto and Gintaro is an odd duo to get to know just by simple observation. Gintaro often finds Makoto as a nuisance and is indifferent about human affairs. However, there are various times when he truly cares for Makoto’s well-being and offers her useful advice. Makoto can be a bit argumentative with Gintaro’s actions or ways of thinking. Yet because a human and spirit relationship can be complex, the duo can work out problems collectively to protect and help the helpless.
As the series goes on, there are also other characters’ relationships and backgrounds revealed. This includes another prominent successor of the shrine, Satoru Kamio. The young man can be considered a prodigy especially in the arts of kendo. But unlike Makoto, he didn’t grow up in a very well treated environment. In fact, his childhood had people mistreat him and causes the young man to be isolated as who he is today. His closest friend and fox herald is an 80-year old being named Haru. Unlike Makoto and Gintaro, the relationship between Satoru and Haru can be quite one sided at first. Haru often cares for the well-being of Satoru, so much that it borders on obsession. (Typically involves members of the opposite sex) Unfortunately, Satoru seems to rarely respond in a way that can be deemed as appreciation which because of his stoic personality. It is not until later though where their relationship is more emphasized and viewers will get to see how much they develop. Relationships are also further explored in a realistic manner especially involving parents. We get to see how children respects their elders and holding responsibility of their future. They represent the future generations as comparisons are made throughout the series of how the new generation are similar to their ancestors.
A fantasy modern slice of life is not complete with its heralds. Throughout the show, other characters of supernatural nature shows up including dog-like heralds, turtles, or playful monkeys. There is a sense of comedy representing some of these characters that contrasts the usual vengeful spirits greatly. In essence, they also represents human characteristics such as Haru’s jealousy, the turtles’ humbleness, or the monkeys’ playfulness that of a child. It’s fun to see it from a more human perspective and how they compare as if they were one of us.
Comedy wise, the series is lighthearted and avoids crude or shock value. There’s virtually no fan service as it avoids the typical beach/onsen episode. Instead, it relies on natural humor with some sarcasm and gags such as Gintaro’s love of oranges. Also surprisingly enough, there is minimal romance that is often played out as a causal sense. Otherwise, most relationships are based on events from the past such as Makoto’s introduction to the series is when she was a young child. She witnessed the first sight of Gintaro that changed her life forever. With clever usage of flashbacks, it’s also easy to feel what the experiences the characters have gone through. It can create mixed responses but surprisingly can be pragmatic. Furthermore, some of these stories sends a message with a tag of morality labeled. Unfortunately for action junkies, there isn’t much intensity or rivalries going on throughout the series. It takes on the more slice of life approach rather than the typical ‘save the world’ trope. As a simple fantasy life story, this is what it should be.
Artwork wise, Gingitsune is easy to see visually. Human characters are designed to look human while heralds are colored with fantasy tones. The shrines are designed as being simple, realistic, and natural. There’s a sense of mystical atmosphere that the shrines also brings out that can make viewers wonder what goes on behind its history. It’s not a magic story but creates that atmosphere of innocence such as Makoto and Haru. The studio Diomedea is involved with the project that has a history involved with supernatural stories such as Nanatsuiro Drops, Squid Girl, and Sola. Here, they do their job with consistency to bring this fictional story to life.
Soundtrack is moderate with only some outstanding features. The OST generally remains the same with its serene tones. The OP song, "tiny lamp" by fhána works well but lacks any catchy moments that captures the essence of the series. There’s also hardly any notable characteristics regarding its ED song. But if we were to discuss voice acting, then Gintaoru’s VA should definitely be one to mention. Shinichiro Miki plays the role of Gintaoru with his talent that represents why he is a prominent voice actor in the seiyu industry. The way his character speaks out often comes with a sophisticated tone that combines elements of sarcasm, pride, and maturity.
I’ll admit, this show is not the type of anime for everyone. If you’re looking forward to a complex action fantasy with plot twists and struggles, then GIngitsune is the wrong show for you. Instead, this show fits more of a fantasy slice of life with dynamic character building based on relationships, past lives, and construction of friendships. Although it lacks a complex love polygon, the parental love that the characters presents is very realistic. The elements of fantasy and realism fused creates a line that blurs together creating a charming story. As relaxing the series can be, there are times when it feels slow paced or simply put…boring. But if we look carefully, it’s easy to tell that Gingitsune is nothing about saving the world or exorcising evil spirits. Not every fantasy story has to be about defeating evil. Gingitsune is about ordinary people doing extraordinary things.
This is why I like animes, after getting thoroughly disappointed by watching something with excellent animation and music fall way beyond mediocrity due to lack of originality, unnecessary fan-service and a crappy sense of humor; getting angry at yet another butchering of a video game adaption into a utterly stinking pile misdirection and lack of effort; and laughing at a purely unrealistic and shameless attempt at seinen through yet again short skirt wearing superhuman schoolgirls, I get to experience a show like Gingitsune. This anime is not trying to achieve any new grounds and actually does not attempt at anything other than simplistic beauty, tries to teach us some values with so refined subtlety and courageously realistic presentation of the relationships that we observe and gain just by leading our everyday life.
Among other things Gingitsune is the story of the daughter of a priest, Makoto Saeki who lives in a Inari shrine with his father, from early childhood she has the power of the sight as she can see gods' heralds, which in her shrines case is the lazy and obnoxious fox spirit Gintaro. Early on the story mainly focuses on how with the help of somewhat reluctant Gintaro, Makoto helps the people around her. Through her unique relation and ability she gain new friends and even meets other heralds. At a first glance and after the first few episodes it might seem a bit too simplistic slice of life with such a slow pace and an all together happy-feelings kind of a show. But soon it delves into much serious ground with the introduction of the character Satoru who like Saeki has the power of the sight, but very unlike Makoto had a troubled childhood and due to circumstances had to live his shrine forever. He comes to live with the little family in Makoto's shrine and we get a little look at his tragic past with the early lose of both of his parents and how his troubled childhood made him a total introvert and socially awkward individual who's only attempt at happiness is through Kendo and the relatively young fox spirit Haru.
As the story progresses through quite a slow pace we get to learn some nice life lessons as well as get to experience quite a varied array of different emotions sometimes even through the eyes of many of the side characters which was quite unique, these nice change of viewpoints felt very natural. There were even a few of episodes where the focus is completely withdrawn from some of the main characters to let viewers fully appreciate the emotions and turmoils of other characters. The writers viewpoint on romance and modernized relationships along side traditional influences were quite refreshing, as he tries to portray relationships in a more realistic way. The involvement of the characters with each other through their daily life, the slow progression of their attitudes and views on others were really done with vivid imagination. This is how real world works mostly (not like the fast to fall in love and fast to get together world of the animes and mangas). There are all kinds of romances; the subtle yet slow development of feelings, the unrequited emotions of someone falling for a guy/girl with a big age difference; even the amazing feeling of love at first site; everything was done quite naturally and with a lot of skills.
Another important aspect for me was the clear line of demarcation that was put between the world of heralds and humans. Heralds with their long years of life are so much more different in their views of the ways of the worlds, the beautiful imagining of their emergence into the supernatural world through flashbacks were quite nicely done to.
Overall the so simple, minimalistic yet beautifully imagined story, even without no real on going plot-line or even distinct beginning or end was one of the best aspects of the show. It gets 9 out of 10 from me.
As expected characters are the real highlights and driving force of this elegant tale. Makoto is a naive yet energetic girl, who gets into lots of fights with Gintaro yet somehow always makes up with him as he is kind of family member to her; although she tries to use the power of the herald sometimes for her benefit yet at the end of the day learns the real importance of using the power for others. Through her growing up in this beautiful shrine with her loving father and Gintaro she slowly understands various aspects of being special. As she gains friendship of other people in her school and her interaction with the people visiting the shrine she tries to always do what is best for the people around her at the end of the day in her own particular way. Ginataro on the other hand may act very arrogant and annoyed at Makoto but deep down really adores the girl. By living for thousands of years he had learned many things about the fragility of human life and the freedom of simple belief. Her lectures to Makoto and others not only gives us funny moments but sometimes even gives quite a few good life lessons.
Satoru is perfect example of someone brought up with the cruelty of this modern world. Through losing his parents in early childhood and then his grandfather after that, he learned the sadness of reality very young. By the neglect and prosecution of his aunt's family he has grown into an introvert, a socially awkward young man who thinks he has to do everything by himself. Through his journey to the new shrine and school we as viewers get to experience the joy of being accepted and even loved, the joy of getting new friends and over all the joy of learning to live for your own-self again. Haru is a real cute character who seems kind of one dimensional at first with her short-temperament, being too proud and obsessive affection for Satoru. But through her beautifully told back-story we get to learn her tragic entry into the world of heralds as well as the special and unique bond that she shares with Satoru. There was some really emotional and memorable scenes in her past indeed.
The other characters were also very deeply detailed in respect to such a short series. Makoto's two friends, the carefree and adventurous Yumi and the gentle and intelligent Funabashi; the other heralds and even some people in the lives of the side characters (like Yumi's boyfriend, Funabashi's fathers assistance/driver, Satoru's kendo team members etc) gets their story told in somewhat short yet delicately careful details.
The characters are quite well imagined and does the show justice, so gets 9 out of 10.
The animation gives us nicely detailed scenery in and around Saekis' small shrine and also other beautiful landscapes are thrown to give the atmosphere that much of a push towards a mixture realism and supernatural. The subtle color and stylistic changes that was introduced when we were getting flashbacks along with the beautiful music was really something that added to the total experience.
The realism even persisted with the character designs as the writer avoided including unnaturally good looking and well endowed designs and used simple yet appropriate imagining. This was a really welcomed change after the plethora of too good looking or too cool looking characters that are now-a-days overflowing the anime scene in general. I, myself really enjoyed the animation although it felt a bit aged to be honest while comparing it with some of the works we are seeing these days. While it does not actually hold anything back from the experience it was indeed something that should have been looked upon. the art/animation gets 8 out of 10.
The soundtrack/music isn't anything special in spite of use of nice in-show music specially in the flashback scenes. The total in-show music as a whole does something in adding to the overall enjoyment as giving new dimensions to the experience but some of the tunes were a bit over used to be honest. On the other hand while being quite appropriate the OP and ED didn't really do anything for me as I mostly skipped them after a few listens.
The real achievement in this regard for Gingitsune is the excellent voice acting. The voice actors really did put in their best efforts and really gave the emotions that much more vigor and realism through their works. Special mention should be given to the voice actors of Gintaro and Satoru as their efforts really caught attention and made it that much more easy for us viewers to relate with them and appreciate their dilemmas. The music/soundtrack gets a score of 8.5 out of 10 from me.
Despite all of its strong point this show is not something for everyone. This is a show for people who enjoys the simplicity of life, the joy of living each day and the greatness of having people around you who care about you. For me the slow pace of the story with its unique blend of realism with supernatural; the portrayal of various aspects of relationships, friendship and love and the overall simplistic nature of the messages given like the life lessons that we get to learn everyday just by being alive was a very enjoyable experience.
I will recommend this to any lovers of slice of life and seinen out there. Believe me, although it may not seem so now, you will really enjoy this if you just give this a try.
Overall Score -
8.5 out of 10. read more
Both anime revolves around a girl who lives in a shrine and has the power to see the inari's that live in the shrine, both are daily life events and are cute and funny at times.
A heartwarming story about a girl, Inari shrine, and spiritual creatures resides within it. It also contains supernatural elements and small hint of romance
Main character from both series are shrine priestess. The bridge between humans and god/spirits is a central theme. They can see and interact with them. Both dealing with Fox deity who watches over the main character. Giving them advice. One series deals with the daily life of a shrine priestess while the other is the romantic side of it. Similar feeling are presented in both anime. From the animation, music/ost, and character design.
The stories of both series takes place in a similar setting involving shrines and priestesses. Our main female protagonist is a shy girl but is helpful, compassionate, and caring towards others.
For the stories, there are supernatural elements such as spirits and otherworldly beings that inhabits the worlds they are living. Some of them are helpful while others tends to cause a bit of trouble. The main girl deals with these beings on a daily basis.
Gingitsune has a slice of life feling while Inari, Konkon, Koi Iroha has more romance. Both of them are adapted from manga and follows their perspective stories.
Both stories involve fox (Inari) shrine settings. It is the common place for people to go to. From the preview of Inari Konkon at least, it seems that both anime will have very beautiful scenery in it. Both anime are adaptations of their respective mangas.
Another similarity is the reference to the deity in both shows. The deity in Gingitsune is not present, although he/she is mentioned. Inari Konkon has this deity (Ukano Mitama) present as one of the main characters.
Gingitsune is slice of life while Inari Konkon is romance. Both however rely a lot on character interactions for the story. The main characters in both stories make mistakes but grow and learn from their experiences.
The story follows a girl who live close to a Shrine and has the ability to see any Spirits in front of her perspective view. Some characters can also see spirits, but other characters can not. The girl usually have a conflict of herself and ask the spirit to cooperate with her or do things by herself. It has a good, calm atmosphere filled with comedy and romance around the show.
Not much of a difference since both have the same characteristics. Although Gingitsune focuses on Heralds and help her needs, while Inari, follows a girl who a spirit gave her powers by transforming.
Both are school life series that involve shrines and fox spirits.
While Gingitsune is a light hearted anime which is specially focused on friendship, Inari, Konkon, Koi Iroha seems to be a romance comedy which involves other genres such as fantasy and supernatural.
Fruits Basket and Gingitsune involve a modern-life setting mixed with presence supernatural beings. The main female characters get involved with these beings as they come to understand them.
The atmospheres of both series are similar and involve character relationships. Fruits Basket adds a taste of romance to its story, while Gingitsune generally maintains a slice-of-life tone. There is drama, comedy, and sometimes more emotions that come to surface.
The settings of both series are also similar.
Both shows about friendship and life as a teenager in general with supernatural elements. And they both have the same warm, positive feeling to them.
A young girl gets entangled with supernatural beings after the loss of her mother. These two anime are common on the grounds of a protagonist sharing the secret of seeing and sharing life with the supernatural being (in the case of Fruits Basket it's the Sohma family and in the case of Gingitsune it's the spirits at the shrine).
The protagonists themselves are similar in that they are very positive, loving and want the best out of everyone they interact with. The art style is somewhat similar as well.
However, I would say Fruits Basket has a little more romance and the story behind the surrounding characters is darker, whereas the story of Gingitsune is best described as light-hearted and portrayed in a slice-of-life style.
Opening Theme"tiny lamp" by fhána
Ending Theme"Gekkou STORY (月光STORY)" by SCREEN mode
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AnimeYO! [AnimeYO!] (Brazilian Portuguese)
Related Clubs!~~tsubasalover's Friendships~~!, Japanese Monsters Club, Ami Koshimizu Fan Club, Slice of Life Club
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