[Review] Konohana Kitan – Episode 1

Welcome to our 2017 Fall Anime Reviews. We’ll be tackling a few of the new shows airing this season in fairly brief reviews. The reviews will only cover the first episode of each series unless one catches our eye.

Let me just get this out of the way first: Yuzu’s hair unreasonably frustrates me to no end. I don’t even know why. This is coming from someone who watches Yu-Gi-Oh!.

As a person who just returned from Japan and visited a couple ryokan and onsen, I was mildly curious upon learning about this series the other day. Though I never finished it, I did enjoy what I watched of Restaurant to Another World last season, and the premise reminded me of it. So here I am, longing for that show’s same nostalgia feel. Take me back to Yamanouchi, Konohana Kitan.

Okay, so we’re not really in Japan. This show takes place in…somewhere…like Japan? But with animals. (That definitely does not narrow it down in terms of fictional anime worlds.) Anyway, it’s good this series doesn’t take place in Japan, because the cast makes an inordinate amount of ruckus for a traditional Japanese inn. Said cast members include six foxgirls: Yuzu, the anxious but sweet new girl, Sakura, the quiet and aloof one, Satsuki, the serious and harsh one, Kiri, the jovial and wise one, and then Ren and Natsume, neither of whom really display much personality in this first episode. Neither does Kiri, really, but that’s at least the impression I got from her. In all honesty, the cast is really close to feeling like it was just ripped out of a encyclopedia on character archetypes. So far, there seems to be very little to the characters underneath their surfaces, especially, Sakura, who seems unrealistically quiet and detached just for the sake of it. But the angle the show takes regarding Yuzu and Satsuki’s situation with a guest gives me hope that there is room for these characters to grow beyond one or two defining traits. The two end up playing off each other’s strengths to resolve a situation where a customer slips and falls due to Yuzu’s carelessness. It’s nice to see someone like Satsuki become humbled so soon, so perhaps there will be more surprises down the road.

Stylistically, I can’t seem to get a grasp on this show. Some scenes appear to rely on vivid colors to sell them, whereas others use a softer touch to really accent the cuteness the show seems to be going for. The latter is not really my cup of tea, and the former just looks a little lazy at times, especially regarding the cherry blossoms in the beginning, which lack detail. (Though the cherry blossoms later in the episode are much more defined.) I can’t really put my finger on the exact reasons, but some scenes just look different than others – some are more cute, while others look more like “traditional” anime. It may just be the juggling act the show seems to be doing between being a more cutesy “moe” show and a calmer, slice-of-life piece.

There’s no denying this is a feel-good series. There’s not much going on in terms of plot. My guess is this will turn into a guest-of-the-day type deal, but this genre is not exactly my forte, so who knows! It’s doubtful I’ll cover this show anymore, but I’ll probably stick with it a while. After all, it does invoke a calming sense of nostalgia. It may not be Yamanouchi, but it’s pretty close.

 

Konohana Kitan - Episode 1

Konohana Kitan - Episode 1
7

Writing

7.0 /10

Visuals

6.5 /10

Enjoyability

7.5 /10

Pros

  • Soothing to watch
  • Fanservice attempts at least remain tasteful

Cons

  • Yuzu's flustered nature is better in small doses
  • Characters border on being archetypal cutouts
  • Fanservice attempts are unnecessary
DaCrowz
Founder of Cards on the Table, DaCrowz continues to profess that his opinions on manga, movies, and shows are somehow in good taste despite the fact that he would likely give an "A" rating to the Prison School anime. When he is not being mistaken for Nicholas Hoult in public, he puts most of his energy into convincing the Yu-Gi-Oh! community that Volcanic Scattershot is staple for any deck.