Gugure! Kokkuri-san Chapters 0 – 4 Review

Gugure! Kokkuri-san:

Chapters 0 – 4 Review

Reviewed by: Linny

Someone's clearly overstayed their welcome.

Someone’s clearly overstayed their welcome.

Synopsis: Kohina is a grade schooler being haunted by all sorts of traditional Japanese folklore beings, such as a Kokkuri, an Inugami, and seems to only be attracting more of such kind as time passes. Kokkuri-san stays with Kohina as he feels for the little girl who claims to be a robot and subsists solely on a diet of cup ramen (by her own choice). However, Kohina herself makes this a chaotic life as she fights back and tries to dismiss him constantly, while Inugami makes it all worse by his less than legal and inappropriate intentions towards poor Kohina.

Review (Warning: Some Spoilers to Follow):

Now, before we get to the actual review, let me just reassure you that the chapter information I provided is NOT a mistake. And here’s a screenshot of the actual content index of Gugure Kokkuri-san volume 1 to prove my point.

Do not worry, there are no Chapters 0.2,0.3,0.4,0.6,etc...that I know of.

Do not worry, there are no Chapters 0.2,0.3,0.4,0.6,etc…that I know of.

The great part of these pre-chapters, 0,0.5 and 0.8 is that they offer multiple takes on the established intorductory part of the story for readers who have already seen the anime. For those picking up the manga without any prior knowledge of the show, two things: one, you might find it a little confusing when Haunting 1 rewinds to the first meeting of Kohina and Kokkuri-san, but as this is a simple 4-koma comic, it most likely won’t throw you off. And two, if you are NOT okay with a seemingly adult male/female constantly making sexual and romantic advances at a young child, even when played for comedy, then you might want to stop reading. The ‘good’ news is that the manga makes it clear that Inugami’s inappropriate behaviour is exactly that, inappropriate and vulgar, and he is ALWAYS physically harmed or shut down for his crass behaviour.

Run, Kohina, run!

Run, Kohina, run!

For readers who worry about just how much fresh material there actually is in the manga, the first few ‘pre-chapters’ really help to reassure you as they do have a decent amount that wasn’t ever covered in the anime. They’re almost like an abridged supplemental. The entire layout of the manga is a little different from a standard 4 koma as a lot of times the panels are much more detailed visually than normal 4 koma, and often the stories seem to carry on and continue beyond 4 panels, while still packing a punch with its jokes. The story moves fast, with each chapters only having around 17 pages each, and each page packed full of jokes and meta references.

Gug1

Meta joke executed flawlessly.

Chapter 1 is all about introductions and setting up the relationship between Kohina and Kokkuri-san. We get to see Kohina reveal her secret nature and why Kokkuri-san decides he wants to stay with her and look after her. A new main cast character, Inugami is promptly introduced in Chapter 2 and things quickly enter the creepy and uncomfortable territory with his entry into the story. If you are new to Gugure Kokkuri-san, Chapter 2 should help you decide if you want to stick with this story as the Inugami-induced jokes only get more exaggerated as the story continues. If you already feel too disturbed by Chapter 2, it’s best that you stop there.

By Chapter 3, regular life continues..or as regular as it can get in the crazy world of Kokkuri-san. Kokkuri-san tries to help Kohina with her school homework and we are treated to another brilliant volley of jokes from this simple premise.  Wrapping up this review is the 4th chapter, which is all about finding out how Kohina handles the summer heat, what Kokkuri-san’s secret hang up is, and how Inugami continues to complicate the lives of Kohina and Kokkuri-san both.

Poor Kokkuri-san.

Poor Kokkuri-san.

For those of you who enjoy humour that might be considered disturbing by others, or sheer absurd gags, Gugure! Kokkuri-san could be a perfect fit. Yes, there are definitely disturbing elements in the story, but for those familiar with the wackiness of Japanese and Anime/ Manga humour, this series isn’t going to scandalize you. The jokes come hard and fast in true 4 koma style, with the visual style being a mix between the classic 4koma layout and more traditional full length manga. It should make it easier reading for those who dislike the scattered and compact story telling style of some 4koma. The story isn’t all off coloured or extreme jokes as you get some heartwarming moments in a tale of someone caring for an adorable young child. I do think Inugami and the jokes based around him can get extremely uncomfortable, so when picking this up, or recommeding it to friends, please ensure that all parties involved are okay with jokes of that nature. Other than that, if you’re looking for a no holds barred gag fest that doesn’t ever censor itself, or are an established Gugure! Kokkuri-san fan, I wish you a happy reading time!

Gug5

And now you know the origin of the big bell he wears/wore in the anime.

 

Gugure! Kokkuri-san is available digitally via Crunchyroll.com.

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