First Look: Konohana Kitan

Manga Adaptation by Lerche
Streaming on Crunchyroll

Premise

Yuzu, a fox girl, has been employed at a hot spring inn run by other fox girls. It’s a popular place for the visiting youkai to stay, so the girls are always meeting interesting people, and hearing curious stories.

Euri’s verdict: Cute girls do cute things but they’re foxes now

This show starts off really well, starting on a shot of a bustling youkai-filled village. We get a fun little goof pretty quickly that shows that the youkai are going to be weird and wonderful, and we get to see the grandeur of the inn that Yuzu, our protagonist, will be working at. Soon after we’re thrown into the opening sequence, which plays a suitably pleasant song while the animation whisks us around the inn and teases a few characters that will show up later in the series. Following this we meet the intimidating fox youkai that runs the inn, and watch Yuzu’s mother-figure help get her a job at the inn. So far so good, and a promising start to the show. They Yuzu is dragged into the baths and scrubbed down by two other employees, because this is an anime.

That’s where the show really nosedived for me, which really says a lot when this is literally only 4 minutes into the show, but even looking past the three or so bath scenes this episode is packing, it doesn’t live up to the expectations it set in the first few minutes. That’s not to say it’s awful; while I would have loved for it to have been similar to Flying Witch in the way it explores spirits and the supernatural in a playful way, there’s a little more to this show than just fox girls bathing.

Our first encounter with a customer is a youkai who is selling medicines. We learn pretty quickly that Yuzu is clumsy, and that one of her coworkers has little patience for it, but we also learn that she’s very knowledgeable. While the coworker treats the customer in a very ‘by the book’ way, Yuzu relies more on her experiences outside of the inn. She disagrees with purchasing medical goods from the doctor as a form of apology, as it could mean medicine is being held from the people who really need it, and she plays along with the doctor’s request to find stars even though it seems childish to the coworker. It seems clear that these two will be spending a lot of time learning from each other, which is pretty typical for a show like this.

The other half of the episode involves Yuzu spending time with another coworker – a young fox girl who doesn’t speak much and doesn’t seem to do any work, either. The show wraps this segment up with Yuzu claiming that she was able to see her surroundings much more clearly when she was able to relax with her, but honestly, I found myself pretty bored by it. It’s cliche to start, and seemed more like an excuse to make the cute girls do cute things. If you’re into that, you’ll probably like this show. If you want something more substantial, the jury’s still out on whether this show will deliver on that. Keep an eye on episode two, but I’m not holding my breath.

Jel’s verdict: You Are All Fired

It only took four minutes to get the main character, who I will emphasize has the body of a very young child, naked. So you can go ahead and put that asterisk on what could have otherwise been a pretty chill, cute slice of life show. That’s not to say it would be good otherwise. The cast is full of uninspired stereotypes and the supernatural element is completely ignored. I know the word moe isn’t used all that much these days but it is clearly alive and well here. How else would we get 24 minutes of a clumsy little girl being bad at her job and being naked for half the episode? Throw in some classic queerbaiting and all the checkboxes are checked. Nothing to see here, move along.

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