Saturday, November 11, 2017

KONOHANA KITAN

"I can only compare it to the feeling of sitting outside in the rain. The sound is everywhere, but you're dry. The mug is warm in your hands, and you close your eyes to listen. Yes, this is what it should be like. You're happy and at peace to have dwelled in this moment in time. Things will not always be like this. This too shall pass. It was beautiful while it lasted. Let us relish this."

The whole monster and animal girl craze has gotten majorly out of control, and to be honest, anything involving that has been a major turn off for me. The fandoms are just too weird, and the shows themselves are bizarre. A Centaur's Life and Monster Musume. That's literally all the proof I need. So when I saw that this was essentially an anime about fox spirit girls, I internally groaned and thought about how I was going to complain about this series and how crappy fandoms ruin everything.

However, as soon as I watched the first episode, I was blown away and hooked. I've been eagerly waiting every week for a new episode, and I've genuinely been enjoying KONOHANA KITAN. I think that it doesn't encompass any of the weird things the hybrid fandom brought to the table, and it has such rich character development and a beautiful plot line. The artwork is also incredibly captivating, so much time and effort have been poured into this anime. A lot of good shows have come out this season, but KONOHANA KITAN is definitely one of my very favorites.



I wasn't expecting the series to have such intricate depth. Every episode they're building layers and layers, and it's truly heartwarming and captivating. The characters start out in fairly straightforward stereotypes, they're interesting and the setting is given in the first episode. However, when time passes, more is revealed about each main and supporting character. Their motivations, history, fears, shortcomings, aspirations, and sincere feelings are all revealed. I'm so happy that I'm finally able to say this about an anime: everything makes sense! There is character buildup, nothing they do is without reason, there are events and feelings in their lives that have built them into the people they are today. They are far from shallow, they are complex individuals.

The plot is arranged in a way that allows for character development, but also for side arcs. The audience is introduced to the guests at the inn, who each have their own struggles, wishes, or dreams. All of these are realized at Konohatei, where the staff works as hard as they can to leave a lasting impression on their guests memories. The side arcs often intertwine with the bigger picture to reveal revelations. It's very interesting how there are so many references to Japanese folklore, as well as other cultures. In episode six, there's a reference to the River Styx. While it's not uncommon to see references to other cultures and weave stories around them, overlapping varying cultures is rare.

The use of color and flowers to accent certain scenes is spectacular. I'm a really big fan of the flowers and plan on doing a research article on them soon. Hopefully, I can get it out before anyone else can. The animators tend to use darker colors in scenes where more traumatic or depressing things are happening, which is a huge contrast to the brighter, more pastel colors that come afterward when things are resolved or the characters come to a deeper understanding about themselves.

There are a lot of instances where things seem somewhat sexualized. The only explanation I can offer, which should blow everyone else out of the water, is that its feel-good yuri. I'm not entirely sure if this is where it's going, but I'm fairly sure that this is blatant yuri. The fox girls have deep relationships with each other, built on trust, experience, and tender love for someone they genuinely care about. It's not any of that fetish-type stuff made for fanservice. Instead, it's just pure relationships that are growing and unfolding at a slow pace, somewhere in between the line of friends and partners.

A sweet anime that just makes you happy. It doesn't make you pine or cry, it just makes you feel settled and cleansed. It might make you cry, but it also renews you and makes you feel as if you gained some sort of deeper understanding of life. I can't think of a better way to describe it than what I said in the very beginning. This too shall pass. Let us relish it.