Kotono MitsuishiEriko MatsuiYuka OtsuboAi Orikasa
Tsugumomo
Medium: TV, series
Year: 2017
Writer/director: Ryoichi Kuraya
Original creator: Yoshikazu Hamada
Actor: Ai Orikasa, Ayana Taketatsu, Eriko Matsui, Hiroki Goto, Hiromi Igarashi, Hitomi Ohwada, Honoka Inoue, Kana Yuki, Kikuko Inoue, Kotono Mitsuishi, M.A.O, Mikako Komatsu, Naomi Ozora, Noriko Shibasaki, Rumi Okubo, Ryou Hirohashi, Sachi Kokuryu, Shiho Sasaki, Shinya Hamazoe, Yo Taichi, Youhei Hamada, Yuka Otsubo, Yuko Sanpei, Yurika Kubo
Keywords: anime, boobs, fantasy, yokai
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Format: 12 episodes
Url: https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/anime.php?id=18895
Website category: Anime 2017
Review date: 15 October 2018
Tsugu momo
I enjoyed it, but it's capable of being pretty offensive. The original manga's worse, mind you. I've seen that called "porn with a plot", whereas the anime's a lot more family-friendly. However we're still firmly in "get away from me, you deviant freaks" territory, with plenty of scary content. I won't say that watching it makes you a paedophile, but it's not without scenes that appear to have been written with an eye to paedo appeal. The show's also looking for the lighter side of incest, sexual harrassment and female-on-male rape.
It's also a sexy harem show with one boy (Kazuya) and lots of girls (Kiriha, Kukuri, Chisato, Kokuyou, Sunao, Kasumi, etc.) It has supernatural battle scenes, girls in the bath and a nice-guy protagonist who's perpetually not taking advantage of sexual opportunities. It's as if we're back in the 1990s and the last twenty years of anime never happened.
Compared with other anime, though, is it that bad? With the sexual content... yes, it really is. Most shows don't go this far. Nude bathing scenes are one thing, but Kazuya's multiple orgasms are unusual. Kiriha bathes with Kazuya, sleeps naked with him and is highly aggressive sexually. (Well, in all ways, actually.) I bet she made him come at least once during the series and it hardly improves things to argue that he might have been asleep at the time. Kazuya's sister wants to shag him. Sigh. (Mind you, I get the impression that they might have cut back her involvement for the anime.) Taguri Kaneyama is just appalling. You can see that the intention was for her to be a harmless comedy character, but... yow. Finally, as for the little girls, technically they're among the show's oldest characters, being supernatural entities who've suffered a temporary energy-drain effect, but that's no excuse.
In short, it can get dodgy. It never actually crosses the line of "ARREST THIS ANIME NOW!!!" It's watchable. However it's cutting it fine and I didn't enjoy ep.6, which turns the Kazuya-Chisato relationship (which will never go anywhere) into a point-scoring romantic simulation game.
That said, though, it passed my test of "do I like and believe in these characters?" The harem angle is fairly muted, with most of the cast having no noticeable romantic interest in Kazuya. Kiriha is a sexual predator (but benevolent) and Chisato has always liked him, but that's it. I enjoyed seeing their interactions. Kiriha is a loud, peremptory abuse-machine who calls Kazuya her servant and orders him around, but she's also very fond of him and fiercely protective. She'll go unhesitatingly into mortal combat on his behalf. That's worth something. She's actually a piece of clothing, incidentally, which has become magically sentient as per the Japanese legend of tsukumogami. This is the foundation of this series, with Kazuya having to cope with Shinto gods and both benevolent and hostile tsukumogami. (Yes, Kiriha is benevolent. You don't want to mess with the hostile ones.)
The show's tsukumogami supernatural battles are also quite well done and not without consequences. If you get possessed by a bad tsukumogami and the relationship doesn't end in the right way, you'll have to atone for it. Some of these atonements are comparatively light, but others aren't. I also liked the last few episodes that introduced an enemy who treated her tsukumogami badly and made Kazuya want to beat her in combat not just for the sake of beating her, but to prove her wrong.
I think Chisato's one of the weaker characters, though. Her introduction made me dislike her, with her "guardian of morality" violence. Later episodes quietly forgot about that, but didn't manage to find anything better to do with her and I actively disliked ep.6.
This is the kind of anime that will have uncensored episodes on the Blu-rays. It's sleazy, sometimes in an alarming way, but most of it's perfectly okay. Most of the show is a fast-paced, energetic, likeable anime about a good-natured orphan who attracts supernatural entities, including bad ones. The battles are good. The cast are lively. (Kiriha's hair colour reminds me of Tenchi Muyo's Ryouko, by the way.) I'm not convinced I'd enjoy a second season as much, since I'm pretty sure the harem angle would get more foregrounded as the story went on, but I'd still watch it.