Sep 20, 2009
ace52387 (All reviews)
Inukami are dog spirits, and Keita comes from a family that uses these spirits along with their own spiritual powers to rid the world of evil. Youko is Keita`s Inukami, but she`s not like the others. Not obedient nor respectful, she is a big burden on Keita financially. Youko does, at the very least, love him. She is prone to jealousy though, and extremely possessive, not to mention starved for attention, but Keita is a free, perverted soul who does his best to escape her grasp and hit on all the women he comes across. It`s too bad for him that Youko can teleport and control fire.

A vast majority of Inukami is episodic. Youko and Keita get caught in situations while extinguishing evil at the request of others. Very slowly, a central story line involving Youko`s father and a perverted wizard develops, but it works within the episodic Inukami framework. The smaller subplots all involve Youko and Keita abusing each other. Keita takes advantage of his Inukami`s naivete to hide his unfaithful intentions while Youko, ever the sadist, will often tease Keita into situations where he`s the most vulnerable, only to suddenly humiliate him. She`s not beyond outright delivering simple and straightforward vengeance when she feels wronged either. Youko, unlike most tsundere`s, makes it clear to all that she wants Keita, or rather, she already sees him as her property. Her innocent notions of romance, cuddling, going on dates, receiving courting gifts, gives her sadistic nature a playfulness that makes it easy to laugh at. Her favorite form of torture is teleporting Keita out of his clothing, buck naked in the middle of the street. It may sound harsh, but Keita`s closet exhibitionism keeps him from being traumatized. Youko`s violence doesn`t stem from misunderstandings ala Love Hina. Keita`s punishments are his just deserts. His humorous ambivalence, or even outright aversion to Youko`s tenderness alone warrants a smack. Add to that his shameless sex drive and a pompous chauvinism, and it feels good to see the bastard hurt a little.

For a harem girl, Youko is quite a joy to watch. She`s innocent at heart, mischievous with her lover, but at the same time easy to anger, and frighteningly belligerent. Her abusiveness with Keita is a slap on the wrist compared to the hell she`d unleash if prompted by her jealousy and possessiveness. The gloves are off for people who stand between her and her cozy relationship with Keita. It might sound biploar, a murderous violence with innocent affection behind it, but it all makes sense under her territorial nature; almost like a nurturing beast protecting its offspring.

Inukami is splashed with harem drama, but its sense of humor is its boon. At least half of the scenes that are built like a corny attempt at a tear jerker are, at the last moment, twisted into one of its ridiculous jokes. Aside from the lovers` spats of Youko and Keita, the humor in Inukami is totally inappropriate, and i mean that in a good way. The Inukami world is full of freaks with all kinds of sexual "hobbies". The villain in the first episode is a restless soul who shoots people with a beam from his genitals, stripping them of their clothing, and he`s one of the tamer ones.

The minor characters; the freaks, perverts, Youko`s ridiculous father and the exhibitionist wizard display their rather nasty perversions so openly and proudly, so earnestly that it`s hard not to laugh at how harmless yet disgusting they are. One of them is a salary man, complete with a suit, who spends all his screen time tied up in bondage fashion with ropes, screaming to be punished. He doesn`t even untie himself to walk. Most of the real cast was quite a drag though. Keita`s cousin`s 10 Inukami, which he encounters quite often, are a gang of shamelessly unoriginal harem characters. Keita himself is something of a cliche harem anime lead: perverted most of the time, but unnaturally caring at others. Keita is a functional, if simple character when he is a skirt chaser, but his sex driven mind is so extreme that it`s hard to see him in any other role, much a considerate prince charming that the girls swoon over. The kindness is such a sudden and contradictory shift that it feels unnatural.

As fun as it is to watch Inukami`s twisted humor, it is just as unbearable when it doesn`t have the good sense to stay away from drama. Towards the end, a story that actually takes itself seriously develops, which peaks at a long and melodramatic battle between the heroes, and a real villain. Not some exhibitionist or pervert, but maybe the embodiment of evil itself. Putting aside its unbearable cheesiness, it just feels completely out of place in the established Inukami world. It begs the question why a harem comedy based on perversion of all sorts suddenly wants a Sailor Moon-esque ending.

Inukami is quite long, and eventually Youko`s violence becomes more and more simple. It is too often devoid of the trickery by both parties that made the abuse fun earlier in the series. Keita doesn`t even attempt to escape Youko before setting his lecherous sights on some other girl. In fact, he`ll holler at girls when she`s right next to him, evidently, asking to be burned to a crisp.


It`s easy to recommend the first 2 episodes to anyone who`s okay having a little male nudity with their fan service, but the humor becomes more and more tainted with standard harem fare as the series moves on, and the ending takes an epic turn for the terrible.