“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.