The Kokkuri-san Divination Game (similar to a Ouija Board) is a game where a group of three people ask a Japanese fox ghost called Kokkuri-san to answer questions by moving a coin on a paper board. However, a person must never play Kokkuri-san also unless they want to be haunted by Kokkuri-san.
Kohina Ichimatsu is an anti-social elementary school girl and self-proclaimed doll who summons Kokkuri-san by playing the game by herself. The summoned Kokkuri-san is a handsome white-haired young man who decides to haunt Kohina at first. However, after watching Kohina’s bad eating habits and lonely lifestyle Kokkuri-san decides to take care of her to make sure she grows up properly. Soon afterwards, a dog ghost called Inugami and a raccoon ghost called Shigaraki also become freeloaders at Kohina’s house. How will Kohina the doll deal with the trio of ghosts that now haunt her?
Gugure! Kokkuri-san is a hilarious show revolving around an elementary school girl and a fox ghost. The girl, Kohina Ichimatsu, lives alone, eats only cup ramen and is a self-proclaimed doll. The fox ghost, Kokkuri-san, is a white-haired handsome young man who is baffled and disgusted by Kohina’s lifestyle. Each episode involves the hilarious high jinks as Kokkuri-san manages the Kohina’s house and its residents.
There is no real over arching story to Gugure! Kokkuri-san (“Gugure”), instead it is an episodic slice of life-like plotline based on Kokkuri-san being a substitute parent to Kohina. Each episode viewers get to watch Kokkuri-san attempt to bring an emotionally detached cup ramen loving doll pretending girl back towards humanity.
The setting is Kohina lives alone in her huge house and viewers have no clue what happened to her parents. The summoned Kokkuri-san has watched Kohina for a long time and finally appeared before her when she played the Kokkuri-san Divination Game all by herself. After Kokkuri-san threatens to haunt Kohina, she states that she does not fear him because she is a doll with zero feelings. Kokkuri-san quickly realizes that Kohina is lonely in the huge house and eats only cup ramen which Kohina claims is sufficient fuel required as a doll.
With each episode new supporting characters are introduced including others ghosts, gods, and even aliens. While watching Gugure I never felt bored or uninterested. I looked forward to the next episode wondering what problems Kohina and the ghostly gang would create for Kokkuri-san that week.
The only purpose for the story is to create setting for gags and it achieves its purpose well. However, at the end of the season I had a lot of questions regarding some of the characters which went completely unanswered. For example, probably the biggest question on my mind was why an elementary girl lives in a huge house by herself? Where are Kohina’s parents (a question Kohina always evades in the show)? I expected the last episode to have some answers and was sorely disappointed when it was just another episode.
The art is above average with lots of good looking scenery shots and settings. The colors are bright and fun giving off a light-hearted feel. While I found a lot of the characters to be average including the good looking Kokkuri-san, I absolutely loved the artwork on Kohina. Her constant appearance as a doll that changed every once in awhile to regular human was very well done. It was both entertaining and made me look forward to the next time I might get to see human Kohina. Other characters like Kohina’s alien classmate Yamamoto-kun were hilarious and their ordinary appearance added to comedy.
One point that I have to mention is the amazing job that was done on the opening theme. The opening theme (discussed in music) is entertaining, fun and makes me want to sing and dance along with the characters. The artwork for it really added to atmosphere created by the opening theme.
The music for Gugure was really well done. From the starting scary ambiance in episode 1 to amazing and addictive opening theme to the background music, all of really came together in harmony.
The opening theme is very addictive and after the first listen viewers start singing and dancing along with the song. The ending theme is also good but pales in comparison to the starting theme, making it feel forgettable. The biggest reason for this is that the ending theme is completely opposite in feel and tone to the opening theme.
The voice acting is on point and makes the characters come alive. I especially think that Kohina’s voice actor Ryou Hirohashi was very effective in getting across Kohina’s personality through her voice acting.
I did not really have any complaints about the music and sounds in Gugure everything was very well done and achieved the humor it aimed to achieve.
The characters of Gugure are hilarious and on point with their roles. There are so many times during the season when I wanted to shoot Inugami for being a pain in Kokkuri-san’s ass. This only went to show how well the characters’ personalities and traits were developed.
Kohina pretends she is an emotionless doll and for most of the show she is on point with this personality trait. However, the rare occurrence of a human smile such as her pretty human smile made me feel like Kokkuri-san’s efforts were bearing fruit and the story was moving along.
Kokkuri-san is Kohina’s polar opposite. While Kohina is a loner emotional doll that with horrible eating habits, Kokkuri-san is likeable, social, great homemaker, cook and very much like the perfect mother-figure. The two characters give off great chemistry and truly make Gugure very enjoyable.
The other characters, even regulars like Inugami and Shigaraki, all feel like supporting characters in Kohina and Kokkuri-san’s world. They all achieve their purpose and bring brightness to Kohina’s home all at the same time.
The one thing I did not like was how the characters were randomly introduced with no really back story accept a remote connection to one of the main characters. But this is something I got over very quickly.
Overall, Gugure! Kokkuri-san is a half-hour of fun and enjoyment. The twelve episode season feels really short and I definitely want a second season. Lastly, the ending of Gugure! Kokkuri-san is probably one of the best endings of the 2014 anime year because of the unexpected “sad ending” to a comedy series which elevated the Gugure! Kokkuri-san is a higher level as an anime.
Who is your favorite character of Gugure! Kokkuri-san? What did you think about the ending? Leave a comment below and let us know your thoughts on Gugure! Kokkuri-san.
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