wag the dog

Categories: anime


Yet another supernatural harem series. How does Inukami stack against Maburaho and other similar shows? Not badly if you tossed out the first two episodes.


“A dog teaches a boy fidelity, perseverance, and to turn around three times before lying down.”– Robert Benchley

I was looking up to see if Horie Yui had any meido roles, and I stumbled across something while browsing ANN. Generally, a show’s ranking distribution is roughly Gaussian around a value, like for Samurai 7 or Chobits. The distrubition for Inukami, on the other hand, seems to flow from two values, an 8 an also under 4. I think it’s because of how Inukami starts out, some people would say, “No way in hell I’m going to continue watching this crap” after the first (or first two) episodes and rank it low. I wouldn’t blame them… with Haruhi, Higurashi, Ouran, Gun Musashi, Utawarerumono, Planet of the Beast King, and other fine shows, there’s better stuff to watch that season. Then there’s people like me who saw the meido (Nadeshiko) in the OP and decided to stick around for a few more episodes… and then found… “Hey, this show’s not half bad!”


Inukami is a yet another novel anthology turned anime, and at its heart is the relationship between the Inukami User (Keita) and his Inukami (Youko). The plot is yet another comedy-harem-romance-action hybrid with Keita and Youko going around town killing demons like what Ichigo and Reika did early on in Bleach. The two kinda get along but mostly don’t get along… Youko wants to experience the finer things in life and relationships and can be quite jealous… and Keita is a notorious womanizer. I just love Youko’s emo rages… she’s a green haired, slightly less horny Ayumi. The two abuse and berate each other quite a bit… if you’re looking for Belldandy and K1 or even Kira and Fllay, keep looking. You won’t find it here.


Surrounding Youko and Keita are other Inukami and their users, like Keita’s cousin who has a Charlie’s Angels-like harem (think Sister Princess…) of Inukami with Nadeshiko, the meido, being the prize. (Top twenty meido, definitely.) Unlike other Inukami, she’s a pacifist and tireless domestic worker… yet she possesses a yet unreveled power that surprises Youko’s. Youko even fondles her… anyway, moving on before I become meido-calcified. Keita’s grandmother and her all-powerful Inukami, Hare, round out the rest of the cast.


For the most part, I enjoyed the episodes that I have seen past the second one, and most of the stories seem to focus on Keita and Youko’s relationship more than the actual demonhunting. The stories aren’t overly complex (Magikano-level) but that’s expected from the genre. Episodes are generally fast-paced without too much downtime.

The animation fluctuates between quite good to average and is one of the better looking 4×3 shows left. Despite seeming like it is going to be a raunchy harem comedy, there’s a distinct lack of traditional fanservice shots, though Youko’s clothing rarely leaves much to the imagination. (And Inukami does vary the clothing and hairstyle worn by Youko… which always gets brownie points from me. If she would have tossed on a meido outfit to compete against Nadeshiko when that meido moved it, I probably would have been talking even more about Inukami.)

The voice cast is led by Horie Yui (Youko), and she does a pretty good job… reminds me of Eri. None of the other seiyuu made an impression on me, good or bad. The OP, Hikari by Horie Yui, is quite catchy and nicely animated. Probably my favorite Horie Yui tune since “guru-guru-maru.”


Nothing beyond the first two episodes screams, “It sucks!” or “It’s worse than Kage Kara Mamoru” or any generic harem anime to me. It doesn’t outright suck like Koi Koi 7, Love Love, Futakoi, or Rizelmine, but it also doesn’t prompt me to write a 2,000 word blog post about it like I would for Mahoraba or Haruhi Suzumiya. I’d pretty much lump it with Magikano, Maburaho, Phinal Approach, Dual!, UFO Princess Valk, Love Hina, Tsukuyomi Moon Phase (same director), and other slightly supernatural harem-comedy shows. If you liked the series listed, you’d probably like Inukami.

It has more plot than the average h-game turned harem anime (To Heart 2, Lamune), better animation, and definitely sits better in my stomach than Amaenaideyo. But, remember, it’s still a harem-comedy… generally watching harem-comedies for plot and character development is as futile as funeral services in Sunrise shows.


Why were the first two episodes so bad? If you’re making a comedy-harem-romance-action anime that’ll probably mostly appeal to hormonal men, it’s probably a bad idea to have the first episode revolve around nakkid men. It’s probably an even worse idea to have the second episode revolve around nakkid men who think that they’re dogs such that they dry hump other men. It’s probably a “couldn’t be any worse” idea to introduce nipple beam lasers… and not what you would think. In other words, do yourself a favor and deep six these two episodes along with the last six episodes of Kare Kano. I have no clue why the animators chose to lead off with these two and potentially alienate their fanbase. They should have just started with the “how Youko met Reita” story.

Inukami‘s not a perfect series, and it has its shares of other problems… through Keita’s cousin’s Inukami harem, they introduce a shitload of extraneous characters that don’t do much and take away valuable screentime from Nadeshiko and Youko, the characters who should be carrying the show. The animation quality also varies a lot… especially the profile views for Youko. It’s like they couldn’t agree how to draw her. And, finally, Keita is an ass. He’s not easy to like like Zero Louise’s Saito or Kyon.

I hope people will give Inukami a first (or second) chance… just when you do, don’t watch the first two episodes.

“Do you like my ponytail?”

(For putting up with this post, here’s Hikari.)

16 Responses to “wag the dog”

  1. Yeah, the first two episodes made me want to rethink watching the show. But after I saw a few reviews on other blogs (Random Curiosity) I decided to keep watching. It’s a pretty fun show to watch.

  2. If/when the subbers make it to episodes 12-14 or so (I forget the actual numbers, but it was the one with the whole boxing thing and Youko’s spirit form), the payoff is pretty damn good. The show is just so very very excellent when it’s serious, but the male nudity jokes can get pretty tiresome pretty quickly.

  3. I’m pretty much of the same opinion about Simoun. Everyone takes a look at the first episode and thinks it’s all about girl-girl kissing and patterns which blow things up. While those things do play a minor role, there’s far more, you’ll realise if you keep watching.

    Thanks for telling me that Inukami isn’t the screw up I thought it was after episode one, I’ll be sure to check out all the released subs tomorrow/later after I get some sleep.

  4. Yeah, I decided to watch Inukami. I found episode one to be funny, but episode two was pretty bad. I did like the series, so I kept watching it. The subs should be catching up soon considering now that two groups are working on it.

    I’ve been trying to convince people to watch it, as I have for Haruhi Suzumiya. Some people saw first episode of Haruhi, and just hated it, so I had to convince them to keep going. Pretty much the same with Inukami, though I do doubt that it would get as popular as Haruhi did. It’s still a great anime though, and I encourage others to watch it.

    Also, this article was on tv.com before, but seems to be gone. It was also on reuters or whatever, but I can’t seem to find it anymore either.

    “TOKYO (Hollywood Reporter) – Japanese police are trying to identify cremated human remains that were mailed to the headquarters of a TV station by a viewer who was incensed at missing a cartoon.

    A plastic bag containing ashes and shards of bone was delivered to TV Tokyo along with a note protesting TV Tokyo’s decision to extend live coverage of the world table-tennis championships.

    The viewer wrote that he had set his video to record the popular “Inu Kami” cartoon.

    “Many of the people who watch our animated programs are very enthusiastic about them and we did receive a number of letters and e-mails complaining about our decision to continue the table-tennis coverage,” said Tom Oki, a spokesman for the channel. “This one seems to have been a big fan of the show.”

    Police were called as soon as the bag was opened, Oki said, and the remains are being tested for DNA. He added that the police do not appear to be very optimistic that they will be able to identify the remains as the pieces of bone are quite small.

    “We sometimes receive threatening letters and every once in a while a knife in the post, but I’ve never heard of human ashes being sent before,” Oki said.

    Reuters/Hollywood Reporter”

  5. I find the little hystograms at ANN immensely useful. They also appear to be free of ballot-stuffing; I am curious how they do it. However, you must make significant adjustments for the sample size. At the current 24 votes, ANN’s rating means nearly nothing. It only stabilizes at about 80 to 100. You can see quite easily how the graph smooths with the increase in votes. The one of Haibane Renmei is quite a sight!

    I do not think I ever saw a dual-peak graph for any show. Naruto has a very small hump at -7 level (disgruntled elitists are not numerous).

  6. What I love about the show is it really isn’t just a fanservice show, which is what I was worried it could be by looking at the website.It does have it but isn’t the main thing, it never! has panty shots.

    I’m a guy (who like to go! out! with girls) and the naked men rule! lol It makes the show different. I hate yaoi but I like how they did it here :) Though… if they didn’t have the elephent it would be totally!!!! different story :p Plus keita is great! one of the better male leads in a while. Seems like I disagree alot with somepeople here ^^; no problem ;)

    Wouldn’t call it a harem show, there is a harem but its not Keita’s most of the girls hate him. Sometime we see they understand him but they are far from loving him, which is great! I dont like actually harem shows >.> so I dont like the label put to such a good show. Sorry.. dont know how serouis you were but somepeople might get the wrong idea..

    If there is one area the show could improve on is the advertisment of the show ^^; I know people who love every aspect of it. But also pentaly of guys dont really enjoy the show much, since they were expecting it to be different..

  7. Yeah, I was also completely like: “WTF?! This is just too stupid to watch” after the 1st(and 2nd) episode.
    But I always give new shows a decent chance and view at least the first 3 eps before I drop it, so luckily Inukami started getting better then, so I’m still following the series.
    I’ve had the same with Simoun, until we got Aeru I found an annoying show, but now I find every ep. watchable as long as she is in it… ;)

  8. I liked the first episode because I thought it was kind of funny. The second episode was going a little too far, but I loved how they tossed in that Nausicaa Valley of the Wind reference in it. Anyone catch that?

    Keita is sort of an ass, but I think he’s a fine main character. Actually, anyone other than “spineless nerd with glasses” or “unnervingly asexual nice guy who can’t just pick a girl” is okay by me.

  9. >> The viewer wrote that he had set his video to record the popular “Inu Kami” cartoon.

    And I thought I was bad. Fanboys are fearsome. (Though if they pre-empted Haruhi for table tennis, I’d go on a twenty-six state killing spree.)

    >> It does have it but isn’t the main thing, it never! has panty shots.

    You know it’s only a matter of time. :)

    >> Nausicaa Valley of the Wind reference in it. Anyone catch that?

    I “watched” the last half of that second episode audio only. The heterosexual in me wouldn’t allow otherwise. And, for everyone else, I’d suggest to just skip it. Don’t come crying back to me with “IT BURNS! THE GOGGLES! THEY DO NOTHING!”

  10. After doing research for a shonen-ai novel, I dn;t think anything can burn mye eyes this week.
    Yaoi is a dark, dark, and twisted world.
    Seeing two dog-boys prance around nude will seem like normalcy compared to the nashtyness I’ve had to endure lately.

  11. I stopped watching the show after five episodes. I don’t really know why….

  12. I didn’t really like the first two episodes but I know that you shouldn’t judge an anime by the first two episodes so I continued to watch it and it actually got better…besides it was created by people who made some of my favorite harem anime….Yes I caught the many refrences of other anime in it.

  13. Inukami… how to describe thee…

    Well… now that I had cleared most of my Spring2006 anime series, I had decided to give Inukami a chance… When I initially saw the episode 1 screenshots from Random Curiosity, horror would best describe my immediate reaction.

    Omni’s continued blogging of the series however, made me curious enough to see why he wasn’t blind from self-eye-clawing yet.

    Now… I have a fairly high tolerance to men macho-ing it out in anime, but parts of my soul still died after the nipple lasers and crotch shots.

    My sole consolation at that point was the OP. Think of the OP… short-term pains for long-term gains… Think happy thoughts… happy thoughts…


    Then episode 2 came along, and… and… I was so thankful that it was so absurd so as to transcend horror into hilarity. The Nausicaa parody helped too. Of course, I could have been tearing up from grief and not laughter, but I needed to stay positive if I wanted to continue watching.

    From then on, things picked up. Although I still cringe from time to time. For the most part, Inukami succeeds in tickling my funny bone. The constant parodies, cameos and homages help too. Ranging from Nausicaa, LNanoha, Dragonball, Cardcaptor Sakura, etc…

    The odd thing is… I don’t find myself attaching to any of the characters( as of Ep10). I normally would have a favourite character by now, one that I would cheer on. The last anime series to have me wait long for a favourite character is Utawarerumono( Touka).

    Hmm… closest I have to a favourite at the moment would be Tomohane I guess…


  14. I’ve seen episodes 1-13 and I am totally in love with this show. I’ve heard it only gets better after the mid-point. It’s beginning to take a very dramatic turn and it has me intrigued. The pacing of the storyline is it’s best appeal, IMO.

    I noticed exactly what you meant when you said it didn’t seem like the artists could agree on how Youko should look. It seems like the equipment and art supplies the studio is using is partially to blame as well. Color fades in and out, features are distored… this element could surely use a makeover.

    I was brave for the first two episodes. If it weren’t for Youko’s incredible cuteness (Yui Horie did an excellent job making her totally kawaii), I probably would have stopped after being traumatized by the sausage-fest I was forced to endure. Luckily I saw the humor in it as well and was pleased to find something new with a plotline so mundane.

    I’ll be watchin’ and spreading my love for Youko and Nadeshiko across the internets in the meantime ^_^

  15. I totaly like this anime cartoon(Inukami)….. Well i dont like the frist 2 episodes but after that……the cartoon is geting COOL!!!!!!I just accually tought it was boring frist but if u keep wathing it….U r so going to like it.

  16. lol i sooo disagree with you lot.
    When i first accidently stomped on this series, and watched the first 3 minutes
    of the 1 episode, i got complitely and entierly sold out to the series.
    The first episode made me laugh my guts out, with that maniac running around
    the city and waving his ” elephant ” around, theres no better way to make you
    crack up.

    They made this series in a very unice way, ive never seen anything like it.
    It takes a big professional to make it, in the way to catch the viewers attention
    already at the first minute of the series.
    First the misterous fight and then the awesome opening song that takes
    you on for a great ride. Already by then i got interested. By the end
    of the first episode i was complitely sold out to it, after rofl while watching
    the crazy novilist run around the city.

    Also i find it pritty hard to call it a harem-comedy as that was hardly if at all
    the direction of the series. It went to present more humor and romance
    then a harem or porn like scenes. Oh sure, theres plenty things like that in
    there but thats not what caught my eye.

    The guys who made the series did a great job, made me actualy follow the
    life of the characters and live through the events with them. I tryed watching
    some similar series but they werent even getting close to inukami.
    Its just too good.

    By now to most of you i already sounded like a wierdo but ill take the top
    wierdeness when i say that the only and the very only down side of this
    show is that it has a Very Little ammount of episodes.
    Only 26 episodes !! I guess i got spoiled by Naruto that goes over 200
    but oh well. I still wanted to see some more of it after the last episode !!!

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