Like many hardworking members of the workforce, Kuroto Nakano is perpetually stressed out by his job. Still, since he lives alone, he must carry on to sustain himself. Little do humans like Kuroto know, this stress takes the form of darkness residing within a person's body and will bring one's life to ruin.
Fox deities can see this darkness and have the duty to save people before it is too late. To help rid Kuroto of his stress, Senko-san, an eight hundred-year-old foxgirl, volunteers to take care of him, and will do everything she can to ease the tension in his weary soul.
Remember that time when your parents, grandparents, sibling, teacher, your best friend, your lover, or someone told you that ‘there’s no such thing as free lunch?’ Tell that to Kuroto Nakano and he may surprise you. It just happens so one day when he comes home after a long day of work and finds a kitsune demi-goddess in his home!
Sewayaki Kitsune no Senko-san is about the fluffiest anime you can find this year. Literally, Senko’s long smooth tail combined with her gentle personality brings a feeling of easiness. Nakano’s miserable life changes forever after meeting Senko. From the very first episode, I was prepared of
nothing less than a relaxing slice of life comedy. It’s what makes the manga so charming to read with the amount of daily life adventures…and misadventures. Animated by Dogakobo, this was also the perfect choice for a studio. They’ve been known to be involved with a lot of slice of life content, though recently leaning more into the ‘cute girls doing cute things’ category. This show makes that mold in some ways with an adult main character and demi-goddesses that does more than cute things.
Slice of life, as everyone knows, is not much about a linear plot or complex storytelling. If you’re new to the genre, that’s ok because it’s easy to discover why the genre works so well for this anime. From day one, Senko decides to take care of Kuroto without any form of real payment. It’s essentially free lunch with some added bonus such as Senko’s fluffy tail. Besides that, Nakano can hardly resist the adorable charm of Senko and the being taken care of after a long day. Anyone who works the generic 8-5 pm shifts will know how enduring that can be. What awaits Nakano at home is this adorable little goddess declaring her duties to take care of him. While not being experienced like a housemaid, she is very much devoted to her promise. When Nakano feels down, she tries to cheer him up; often with the aid of her tail if necessary. When he needs advice, Senko becomes his personal life coach. It seems Nakano’s life really turned around with this newfound luck.
Or does it?
As this all sounds like him winning the lottery, it’s not as easy as it seems. Other characters such as the kitsune Shiro and Nakano’s neighbor Yasuko also gets involved in their lives. Contrary to Senko, Shiro treats Nakano more as a servant. On the other hand, Yasuko also gets very curious about Senko. With her otherworldly appearance, she becomes a joke for cosplay. Later in the story, we have the alluring kitsune Yozora entering Nakano’s life and aims to show her seductiveness. But really, there’s not much else to add for its main cast or is it necessary. The anime is aimed to be as relaxing as it can be. Despite the additional elements of drama, this never turns into a moody show with oversaturated melancholy. This may surprise viewers considering the way the synopsis sounds at first. Realistically, Nakano does feel a heavy weight in his life. He works at a company with long grudging hours that puts a stress on his mental health. If you put yourself in his shoes, you’ll understand.
At some point in this anime, I asked myself the real reasons to watch this in the first place. The simple answer is to relax and enjoy the simplicity of slice of life. While there’s some subtle romance elements and minor drama, it always succeeds at what a slice of life show is. Here, we have 12 episodes that ranges from the reality of a stress at work to a relaxing day at the beach. Senko is also way too charming to keep eyes off of despite her inexperience with working with modern technology. However, the overall vibe of the show may occasionally rub viewers in the wrong way. There’s the age difference and it doesn’t help that Nakano gets mistaken for a pervert early on. Senko herself is also a target for hilarious borderline fan service moments. The show aims to bring comedy but there’s definitely some hidden innuendo when Nakano buries himself into Senko’s fluffy tail. I mean, the show is trying to be fluffy, right….?
Finally, I do want to applaud the voice acting for such a small yet talented cast. Senko’s dialect contains an accent of formal Japanese and ancient speech tone. With her personality, it makes her sound very distinctive compared to other characters. We also shouldn’t forget the colorful and vibrant upbeat theme songs performed by the voice actors themselves. The fact is, there’s a lot of talent that went into this show beyond just the adorable character designs and charm.
I love a classic slice of life anime these days and Sewayaki Kitsune no Senko-san managed to be just that. The author knew what they were aiming for from the start and this anime turned out to be a terrific picture. It uses supernatural characters to blend in with real life segments to bring about this charming creative work. Now, maybe there is such a thing as free lunch.
What we have here is something that is “supposedly” a living embodiment of a sub-genre that’s been around on the fringes of anime for decades, but is only really of late being recognized as a distinct category. That would be the “healing” series, which is closely related to slice-of-life but legitimately a discrete subset of it. Many may think this show takes it quite literally, as the titular kitsune does to the protagonist exactly what these sorts of series purport to do for the audience. But, if you are able to take a step back outside of the wish-fulfillment, you’ll see that it is quite
the opposite. And believe me, it took me a few episodes to take that step, admittedly.
Adapted from Rimukoro’s manga of the same name, Sewayaki Kitsune no Senko-san knows exactly what it’s doing with all the tail and ear stuff—can’t forget the loli and lolicon jokes. And frankly, I find the omakes to be quite creepy, given the context of whom they’re aimed at and how they’re intended to be watched. This is the kind of wish-fulfillment where you’re supposed to project yourself onto the main protagonist and get your weekly dose of ecstasy, which many may mistake for “wholesome relaxation”. Stressed from work? Always tired? Single? Depressed? Lonely? This is pretty much Nakano—our lead who is a stand-in for the audience. The issue here is that one can’t simply find him and his situation relatable, because cute demi-gods that look like loli’s with fox ears and tails are NOT REAL. Instead, Nakano and his situation are desirable. And this is the root problem for this series, in that it can’t be considered an actual healing anime.
Sewayaki Kitsune quickly establishes itself as a male fantasy, the kind where it's intended to have the audience wish their life was exactly like Nakano’s. If you relate with what you desire then you’re setting yourself up to be miserable in the long run, because the only thing you will look forward to is not having what you want. After all the luxurious pampering and care Nakano receives from Senko-san, he actually barely changes to better himself. He is fine with his current situation because he becomes addicted to having his desires fulfilled by her. He doesn’t bother looking for another job, he doesn’t bother to work on his health, he doesn’t bother to learn how to cook, etc. Why should he? He has a demi-god fox loli to do all that for him, as well as having someone who he can indulge in all of his fetishes. She is like a drug to him, and he is hooked to her like a crack addict. What happens if she were to leave him? He goes straight back into the depressed, tired, lonely man who can’t even look after himself.
When a supposed “healing” series is pandering to your desires, it does not fix your problems. In fact, it makes you more contempt in what others have. So, when a series like this finishes up, what is the end result? Emptiness? Once the one thing that was fulfilling the audience’s desires concludes, they can now only go back to their boring lives (those that somehow find Nakano relatable that is) which in turn only affects their mental health. For these reasons, Sewayaki Kitsune is NOT a healing anime. It’s like a hi-five to a generation of wacko’s who pat themselves on the back for not actually improving anything or themselves. Then there are the distinct ecchi elements–one episode it is the tail, then the next it is the ears—and even if people say that Senko-san is unaware of the subtext, Nakano most certainly isn’t. In a scene where she climbed into bed with him, again, that almost bordered on creepy. Then you have all the suggestive stuff and literal orgasms. Again, this is part of the wish-fulfillment and pandering to the target audience’s desires.
Then you have the “Super Senko-san Time” segment at the end of each episode when you’re supposed to self-insert yourself into the show while Senko-san talks to you, POV styles! Like a visual novel, which takes the wish-fulfillment to the next level. To be honest, I personally think that these segments would have been the best version of this adaptation. Making it a shorter anime works for it since there is barely a plot, the character writing is bland, the gaps between genuine hilarity increases with each passing episode. Honestly, this show isn’t as worse as the others of its kind out there, I’d go as far to say this is tamer with its perverted nature, but I got to call it for what it is. There are tons of other subtextual things to name, but I think I made enough clear points already. Moving on, studio Doga Kobo really know how to adapt “moe” anime perfectly, especially in terms of visuals. They are a match made in heaven with these types of series.
I don’t think I could recommend Sewayaki Kitsune. Rather, I could recommend another show which aired recently (this past Winter season), and it is actually a healing series. “My Roommate is a Cat” would be perfect for those looking for something that is all about trying to improve yourself, and “gain” what you desire. Motivating the audience to become a better person through the lives of the main protagonist, and his pet cat, who are striving for more. There is no 800-year-old demi-fox god who looks like the typical cute loli, there are no creepy elements from the protagonist, and there is absolutely zero otaku pandering. Better recommendations are Natsume’s Book of Friends and Mushishi. If you’re the curious kind, I recommend not to binge watch it.
Everyone has times of stress and turmoil. Be it sleep deprivation due to long work hours, arguments with a spouse, or even the little things like extended commutes. All the things that chip away at you piece by piece. There is no doubt that we have to discover ways to negate all of our pent up stress. Like most people here on MAL one of the ways I do so is by watching anime. I have engrained the habit of always looking forward to a handful of airing anime each season. I take the liberty to fully indulge myself into whatever I'm
watching and I truly am a sucker for a good comedy, for better or for worse. I have found that the anime which resonates with me are ones that don't necessarily have a conclusive beginning, middle, and end. But the ones that are meant to convey an emotion or a mentality. Regardless of race, gender, age, sexual orientation, we can all appreciate the times of youth when life was simple. The feeling of having all the time in the world to do as you please, even at times not doing anything at all. The ignorance of society's burdens, and the pampering of a loved one. This is exactly what Sewayaki Kitsune no Senko-san offers.
Like the saying goes "don't judge a book by its cover." Yeah, sure they threw the 800-year-old loli card into the mix but don't let that fool you. This anime is not a harem or anything promiscuous. The closest thing I can compare Sewayaki Kitsune no Senko-san to is a spa. Each episode like a pampering session. Deep tissue massage, manicures, aromatherapy, the whole nine yards. This anime is the embodiment of relaxation. It is that warm and fuzzy feeling you can only achieve from indulging yourself. It is light hearted and goofy. One that you can reminice of the better times. I can't help but feel rejuvinated after each and every episode. If you are in search of something cheerful that can brighten your day, please give Sewayaki Kitsune no Senko-san a watch. You may go in a skeptic, but I promise you will come out feeling spoiled.
Sewayaki Kitsune no Senko-san is not your typical slice of life. The reason for that is because of the focus of the show. This anime tells about a demigod fox named Senko who one day decided to take care of our poor and miserable Nakano who's exhausted from work. That's it, there is hardly anything more of it. What makes it not typical is that the focus is on self-insert.
This show tries to makes Nakano simple so it is easy to self-insert ourselves. This is, of course, to make you fantasize how lovely it is to have someone like Senko take care of you.
This point is further reinforced by the extra parts post-ending song. This part is the real self-insert with the first-person perspective. It is fanservice, but not the lewd kind of fanservice. And as bonus info, this anime likes to present about fluffy tails of Senko and the other demigod foxes.
The fact that this is anime focuses on self-insert is not the bad thing about it. It does it, and it does it pretty well. The bad thing about this anime is the lack of depth. Nakano and Senko can be very shallow characters. There are not much to see from them as the focus is not on the characters. Side characters get it worse, as they get even less screentime than the main characters.
I won't deny that the art and sound are great to help you feel relaxed while Senko does whatever different things she does each episode. The animations are not a spectacle, but I argue that sound and music usage is more important at keeping the viewers relaxed.
And so, here is how Sewayaki Kitsune no Senko-san stands. This anime is a great watch to help you relax by self-inserting yourself into the position of Nakano. Enjoy Senko pampering you with her fluffy tail. However, it has hardly anything to offer in terms of character depth. Characters and their interactions won't be memorable. Just focus on Senko taking care of you and It will be good to enjoy.