Konohana Kitan – Anime Preview
Synopsis: Konohana Kitan is the heartwarming story of a new apprentice named Yuzu, and the other fox girls who work at a hot spring hotel called Konohatei. The staff at Konohatei live by one belief: no matter who one may truly be, no matter what, anyone who is a guest is a god. Of course, that includes you. Let the hospitality of Yuzu and the Konohatei heal your tired soul. (Official Crunchyroll Synopsis)
1st Episode Review (Warning: Minor Spoilers to Follow):
Linny: Konohana Kitan employs soothing pastel colours for its character designs and backgrounds, with imagery that’s sure to immediately let a viewer know that they’re in for a comforting and cute watch. Enough work and detail has been put into the animation to ensure that nothing sticks out like a sore thumb and everything looks good, even eye catching, in many sequences.
Tom: Yuzu, our main character, is cute. She’s a hard worker, if a bit new to things and perhaps a tad ditsy. She’s endearing enough that her struggle to perform her new job remains engaging, even as the show stumbles in the second half of the first episode. We’re only really introduced to two of the other girls working at Konohatei. First is Satsuki, a hard working, no fun allowed girl who’s the first to take Yuzu under her wing. Then there’s Sakura, a laid back child-like girl who’s quiet and reserved. Both characters, like our lead, are quite moe, likely to appeal to fans of such adorable and cutesy oriented slice of life.
Linny: Like all moe shows, the girls all have well defined stereotypical personalities you’d find in similar tales. There’s the innocent and clumsy newcomer, the strict mentor, the playfully laid back and teasing leader, and the quiet oddball. Everyone has their defining trait for now, none of them terribly original but fans of such staples should be happy to see their favourites appearing so early on.
Tom: The narrative for Konohana Kitan starts out with a couple great jokes, and remains sweet all the way through, but gradually becomes far too laid back. Rather than establishing more of its setting, the show chooses to wallow in the easy going, relaxing atmosphere many slice of life aim for, but sometimes become too wrapped up in. The show quickly loses whatever humor, and interest it was developing with Yuzu’s budding understanding of her job and actively becomes a slog/bore to sit through.
Linny: That is definitely a bit of a shame for comedy lovers like us because Konohana Kitan DOES kick off with a pretty solid gag, raising expectations. And while there is one more joke in the episode that had us guffawing again, the rest of it turned extremely easy going and laid back, making it seem unlikely that it’s ever going to be anything more than another moe show with cute girls in it.
Tom: I’m not quite so ready to write it off just yet. Konohana Kitan holds some premise, but it entirely hinges on which half of this first episode it’s more like. Is the series more about Yuzu, and the other workers struggling with little issues that pop up day to day at the Konohatei? Or is it more about the relaxed, easy going atmosphere when work is done for the day? Right now I’d say Konohana Kitan is potentially worth a look in, but I can’t give it a full recommendation when it has the potential to be little more than a lazy slog.
Linny: My best guess for the future tone at this point is that it should please anyone interested by the idea of a moe series focused on the workers at an old and mythical Japanese inn. Its main focus for now seems to be providing an atmosphere of calm and cute and if that’s your jam, what are you waiting for? Check out Konohana Kitan ASAP.