The following show is about a group of lesbian fox girls working at a hot springs inn serving guests based Japanese mythology and folklore. That should be more than enough to get most Yuri fans interested but of course I need to elaborate so join me as we take a look at Konohana Kitan.
Genres: Slice of Life, Iyashikei, Supernatural, Yuri
Themes: Japanese Folklore and Mythology, Spirits, Gods.
Number of Episodes: 12
Plot Summary: Kokohana-tei is a hot spring hotel located in an inn town where many people go to visit. The story portrays the lives of fox girls who work at the hotel and their various guests.
In my life before seeing Konohana Kitan there had been only one anime in existence that I deemed “Perfect”. That being Mouretsu Pirates. What that means is MP had EVERYTHING I like about anime in it. It is the perfect overall show FOR ME. Konohana Kitan is the second anime to receive the prestigious and ultra rare “Perfect/10” G-Rating. One would read this and think that means the show is flawless and that there is absolutely nothing wrong with and ANYONE can watch a show like this and enjoy it. No. Like I said the Perfect/10 applies to me. MP is the perfect overall anime while KK is the perfect “iyashikei” anime, meaning a show meant to help cleanse the viewer’s mind and soul after coming home from a stressful day in the real world. That is what KK is for me.
So KK, as stated in the introduction, is a show about fox girls (six of them lesbians) working at an inn that serves various guests that include the traditional humans, animal people and more importantly beings throughout Japanese mythology and folklore such as oni, gods, wandering spirits and even souls given corporal form. I mentioned Japanese mythology and folklore because many of the characters and locations come from said sources from the easily recognizable Kappa to the goddess of bubbles. Almost every character that is not an animal-person is someone that viewers not familiar with Japanese culture will have to look up information on after the show properly explains who or what they are and where they come from. Having said that it is absolutely not necessary to be Japan-savvy to enjoy this wonderful show. It is, like other shows centered around JP mythology and/or folklore, very interesting to look up and learn more about them.
Besides the cast’s diversity the other appeal about them is their personal problems they all have. What I mean is each one has relatable personal problems that because of the supernatural element in the show become more interesting than they already are. the problems range from familial ties and responsibilities to more profound topics like existentialism, creationism and the life cycle. Most of the characters have an interesting story to tell.
Even the Konohana-tei hotel/inn and the world it is set in have interesting stories behind them. As the show progresses viewers learn bits and pieces about the world and its denizens of all shapes, sizes and species complete with their own life cycles. Some of its secrets are spelled out while others require careful observation, specifically one recurring guest in particular (Hint: Mask.). Speaking of secrets expect to see several surprises upon the first blind viewing…and the feels, lots AND LOTS of feels.
As the above image shows but a small glimpse of, the anime is BEAUTIFUL! Well it has to be since it is an iyashikei show. The world Konohana-tei is set in oozes with visual beauty and wonder from the character designs to the changing weather from Spring to Winter. Nothing short of spectacular. The soundtrack is relaxing and Japanese in the best way with both its OPs and EDs also being relaxing. Fun fact: because the show takes place throughout the four seasons, each Volume of the Blu-Ray collection has a different ED based on the setting.
Since I already talked about the guests and other characters Yuzu meets throughout her time at Konohana-tei let us talk about the main six next and cover the yuri element at the same time as they are split into three couples.
First of all we have leading lady Yuzu and Satsuki. Yuzu is a walking time bomb of infinite cuteness whose kindness and adorableness mask a very clever, observant and intelligent fox. She may come off as naive and eager to serve at first glance but quickly surprises with her social and observation skills she learned from her loving mentor Lady Bikuni. She is also the same age as Satsuki. Speaking of Satsuki is a serious girl who does not tolerate anyone not doing/focusing on their assigned duties but is kind behind that stern wall. Besides being kind she is also a tsundere. There are only two people who can break through her stern wall, that being Kiri because of her sly nature and Yuzu for…obvious reasons. The same goes for Yuzu with Satsuki. She is the only one whose emotional influence on Yuzu is as strong as Lady Bikuni’s.
Out of the three main couples Ren and Natsume give off the strongest yuri vibes. Think Yoko X The Ayaya (Kiniro Mosaic)…but unlike Yoko Natsume is much, MUCH LESS distant, if you know what I mean. Ren is a short bishoujo who somewhat similarly to Satsuki gives off tsundere vibes but is more strict about neatness and tidiness. She herself strives on looking as good as possible and being courteous…though she is easily irritable. Also like Satsuki she is super nice behind her wall of strictness. My comparing the two is purely due to their tsundere similarities. How they express themselves both interpersonally and intrapersonally, completely different, especially when it comes to…you know. Natsume is the cool chick of the group. I do not want to say tomboy but that is the best way to describe her. Besides that as I already mentioned she is far from oblivious to what goes on around her.
Lastly we have Kiri X Sakura, aka the age-gap couple. Kiri is a sly and naughty fox who has an answer to most things and often shows off her veteran prowess both in her brains and body. Sakura is kind of the “Kanna” (Dragon Maid) of the show except she only speaks when necessary. The childlike innocence and wonder that made the aforementioned dragon child so much fun to watch are present with Sakura as well. Unfortunately the one itsy-bitsy-teeny-tiny little nitpick I have with the show is that we did not learn very much about their relationship. All viewers get are some scenes showing they have much more than a mere “adult taking care of child” relationship. Oh well. This does not detract from my (and I imagine many others) enjoyment of the show in the slightest. Just something I would have loved to get more info on. Maybe someday.
Overall Konohana Kitan is easily one of my favorite shows of the Fall 2017 season, top two easily. The show ended with a delightful whimper (No galactic explosion but something fantastic regardless), telling me the tales of the gay foxes is obviously far from over. As usual with these shows I am left hoping we will somehow get more in the future and it does not end up being yet another “manga lure”. Having said that this show still deserves its “Perfect/10” G-Rating. A must watch for SoL fans and Girls Club aficionados (Even though this is technically, in theory, not a Girls Club show). Iyashikei fans are also invited to give this one a look. You never know.