The Shirakiin house's daughter, Shirakiin Ririchiyo, who has a complex about being unable to live independently and unprotected, feels the need to move out and live on her own under the condition of residing in the mansion named "Ayakashi Kan." In this mansion, only those who have cleared a very strict examination could reside in it, and for each resident, they are accompanied with one agent of the Secret Service (S.S.). Although Ririchiyo has rejected the company of the S.S., while residing in the mansion she finds out that the agent dedicated to protecting her is actually the Fox Spirit whom she previously rescued.
I really enjoyed this manga.
I watched the anime adaptation a while ago and I decided I should read the manga to see what happened after that ending.
What I found was a dramatic story that had me crying for the last - at least - 25 chapters.
I love every character, since they are all refreshing and funny. As for the story, yes, it is a bit confusing, but I seriously recomend to continue on reading, since everything will be clarified in due time.
I don't regret reading this manga at all, I found it to be funny, dramatic and both heartbreaking and heartwarming.
“Inu x Boku SS” seemed like a pretty innocent manga when I picked it up at first. The beginning chapters revolved around a spoiled little girl who had trouble making friends because she was a huge tsundere, so the majority of her comments were scathing insults. Immediately afterward, though, she regretted her words but could do nothing to recant them.
Then there was him, the SS agent assigned to protect her in that tall building filled with other weird misfits. He was loyal as a dog to her and soon enough, it was revealed that the SS was not composed of ordinary bodyguards, nor were the
people they protected average. Everyone involved had the blood of demons inside of them, so they could transform into powerful and formidable hybrids. And then?
In the beginning the manga was mildly interesting. Ririchiyo is intriguing enough; she’s a very cute little girl with a smart mouth that she can’t seem to control, and her interactions with her clingy servant Miketsukami are comical. After getting to know the rest of the curious tenants in the complex “Ayakashi Kan,” which took up a chunk of time, there was the development of her relationship with Miketsukami. Admittedly I was not shipping that a whole lot, but given their revealed history it was only natural that the chips fall as they did.
Strangely enough, though, after that whole part about the characters becoming some endearing family, the manga seemed to reach another arc where the supernatural stuff really kicked in. There was a conflict that involved some ultimate demon gathering where some mind-control stuff seemed to be going on. That was where the plot really took off, bringing in some alternate timelines or something and I was a little bit confused, but mind you, not as confused as when I was reading “Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicles.” While the character development in the first arc was pleasant to read, it was not as riveting as this demon arc where lives were threatened and the world seemed to cave in on itself. I’m not even entirely sure I understood what went on myself, but I definitely read a lot more chapters in one day than I did before.
That short, lithe, and long-haired girl Ririchiyo makes for a distinct protagonist. She considers herself independent, intelligent, and self-sufficient. Even if that’s the case, she’s required to be accompanied by a member of the SS for safety, a fact that she ignores at first until she sees Miketsukami’s loyalty to her. After spending more time with him, her confidence seems to waver and more of her vulnerabilities show. She certainly demonstrates character development as a result of her involvement with him, which is shown beautifully in their relationship. Her ornery side seems to fade and she’s all the more enjoyable to hang out with, as the other characters comment.
Miketsukami appears to be the nicest of all gentlemen when he is introduced, having a curious infatuation with his master Ririchiyo, but he hides a lot of secrets. I’m not entirely sure I know everything about his character even after finishing the manga, but I’ll let you know he has a lot of dirt. I suppose it’s a little typical for the extremely nice guy to be hiding a huge secret, but it really turns his whole personality around. On the plus side, he’s very handsome and a skilled fighter.
After the first few chapters, it became obvious to me that this manga was driven by its characters. The mangaka was able to make it extremely original because of them, with so many different body types, personalities, and powers. I can’t say that I disliked any of them because they all had their perks. I even liked the ones that were probably supposed to be annoying because they were funny.
That would be the selling point, so to speak. I’ve seen clips from the anime and it doesn’t compare at all; the author draws the characters so wonderfully. The colored images are drawn with pale shades and delicate lines. I always like seeing Ririchiyo’s long hair and Nobaru’s shrine maiden outfit. It reminded me a lot of how modern shoujo manga is drawn, and I checked several times to make sure that this manga was a shounen.
Even if the story did pick up in the last two-thirds, I’m not sure I would say this is one of my favorites. It seems to be very popular from what people say about the anime, though, and seeing as the manga is the source material it should be even better. I was thrown off by the plot twists, though, and found my initial opinion about it changed at the end. It was worth it to see the great artwork and cool characters, though.
I really shouldn't trust MAL ratings for manga. As I'm writing this, Youko x Boku SS has a solid 8 rating, meaning a lot of people considered it really good, even though it has vapid, one dimensional characters, not very good art and actually very bad visual storytelling. It's entertaining and inoffensive, but that is a 6, not an 8, so of course I read it just to be sure this wasn't another BDSM manga with inflated reviews due to a niche audience.
It isn't, I swear. There is nothing overtly ecchi or kinky going on, despite the fact that most character seem to be
kinky in one or other ways (it's just never really show, only suggested. You hardly get the main couple kissing, let alone anything else).
What happens is: this story has a major tone-shift after chapter 18. I liked it, someone else might have gotten furious, it depends on the reader. The thing is, twists apart, there is very little change to the characters. No one develops new depths to their character and any lessons that seem to have been learned don't really change the way they act. None of the unsaid things about the setting are told. It's not a bad story, but it's told in a very roundabout way, with way too much filler and fan service.
Not really recommended, unless you have a lot of time in your hands (like, for an instance, if you're at home because of an illness, like I was).