Gugure! Kokkuri-san Chapters 5-8 Review Discussion
Reviewed by: Linny
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.
Chapter Synopsis (Some spoilers but not really because it’s a 4-koma): Inugami continues to torture Kokkuri-san and mentally scar Kohina but Kokkuri-san might have discovered Inugami’s secret shame. Then we discover that Kohina has a secret of her own at school. And finally, halloween is here but all Kohina wants is cup ramen and not treats.
Review (Warning: Spoilers to Follow):
We dive back into the slightly awkward as we watch Inugami continue his inappropriate advances and fantasies towards Kohina..which is clearly played for humour but is more likely than not to make most readers with a more western sensibility wince. It’s main redeeming factor is the fact that Inugami does keep suffering severe consequences for his behaviour and is always shot down despite his best efforts. It did make for some amusing sequences as Kohina and Kokkuri try to figure out a solution to his brazen ways and when Kohina and Inugami finally had a heart to heart talk, it did feel genuinely touching and emotional for a 4-koma series. Of course, a comedy can’t have you feeling that way for too long, and the almost immediate twist in atmosphere is both sudden and complete, so you know this series won’t stop from poking fun of anything and everything.
We do start to see chapters that seem a little more serious such as one that focuses on exploring how Kohina is a loner at school and shunned by her classmates. It evokes a genuine feeling of sympathy and worry as Kokkuri-san observes her solitary and isolated school life. But of course, jokes start to pop up before anyone gets even the least bit teary-eyed so it only makes it more clear that you are only being made to feel sad as a set up and not as a serious part of the story telling.
The rest of the chapters basically keep repeating that pattern. Inugami incessantly hassles and irritates Kokkuri, while Kohina is more or less of an apathetic observer who only gets involved when she is forced into it. There’s some sweet moments scattered here and there to elicit a heart warming smile but for the most part Gugure! is sworn to be a true 4-koma through and through. If by the end of these 8 chapters, well basically volume 1, you still have’t been won over, your opinion is never going to switch as Gugure! sticks to its formula relentlessly. However, if you’ve loved it so far, the only danger at this point is the fear that you will tire of the incessant slapstick comedy that’s always about Kokkuri san being hassled, Inugami being a pervert, and Kohina being a rather strange child who attracts some rather mysterious and supernatural characters.
Gugure! is most definitely not for everyone. You need to be able to laugh at darker jokes, and be able to see the humour in situations and themes that are socially frowned upon. If you can, then Gugure! will delight you on every page, but if you want a comedy that’s constantly making fresh jokes, this is not going to be the series for you. Gugure! has a theme and it will run it into the ground if it has to. Thankfully, it has a quirky but still adorable protagonist and Kokkuri-san himself makes for a great straight man to all the weirdness that surrounds him. If you like Kohina and Kokkuri, you will probably enjoy yourself all the way through. If not, just stick to the anime to get just enough of the story and the humour in a well paced format and a concentrated dosage.
Gugure! Kokkuri-san is available digitally via Crunchyroll.com.