#«Gingitsune»: A real slice-of-life insider tip
With a considerable delay, Anime House has now brought the slice-of-life title «Gingitsune» to domestic disc shelves. Does the motto apply here: what takes a long time will finally be good? Find out in our review of the Blu-ray box!
- Label: Anime House
- Publication: 02.06.2023 (Handel)
- FSK: Approved for ages 6 and up
- Duration: approx. 300 minutes
- Image format: 16:9
- Resolution: 1920 x 1080 p
- Genre: Slice of Life, Fantasy
- Languages: German, Japanese (DTS-HD MA 2.0)
- Subtitle: Deutsch
- Number of discs: 2
- Packaging: Softbox in the O-Card slipcase
- Extras: Booklet, Clean Opening & Ending
As the rightful heir to an Inari shrine, 16-year-old Makoto Saeki has the rare ability to see spirits. The surly fox spirit Gintaro, Inari’s messenger of the gods, has been her best friend since childhood and Makoto not only uses his advice but also his ability to see into the future to help the people who come to the shrine with their worries. But that doesn’t always go smoothly. In Makoto’s everyday school life, things sometimes go haywire. And then Makoto’s father also takes in the closed Satoru, the heir of another shrine – and with Satoru a second fox spirit moves into the Saeki shrine.
Personaly thinking (Warning, spoilers!)
When Anime House announced in October 2021 that they wanted to release “Gingitsune” on Blu-ray, very few people even knew about the existence of this title. The anime from 2013 also tends to eke out a niche existence on the internet. However, after watching the series, I can say that Anime House has had a lucky hand with title selection here. Because although this does not uproot any trees in terms of story, you could describe it as a small “slice-of-life pearl”.
In the series we accompany the sometimes a little confused but kind-hearted Makoto in her everyday life at the shrine and at school. After initial difficulties, she made two new friends there, with whom she went on shopping trips or overnight parties. At the same time, the series has a spiritual component with the grumpy fox spirit Gintaro and the other messengers of the gods that Makoto gets to know in the course of the anime. Contrary to what you might think at first glance, the ghosts play a rather passive role overall. Gintaro, who has known Makoto since childhood, is more in an advisory position. The whole thing gets a bit mixed up when the cheeky and argumentative Haru finds her new home as the second fox spirit in the shrine. From time to time, more serious tones were thrown into the casual everyday events. These mainly affect the loner Satoru, who finds it difficult to open up to others due to past experiences. But he also goes through a character development in the course of the anime.
In the abstract sense, “Gingitsune” thus performs a balancing act between everyday events with comedy elements and rather quiet moments to pause. The supernatural element in the form of the messengers of the gods gives the anime an interesting twist, but doesn’t overpower the clear slice-of-life focus. Above all, the title can score with characters to like. Accordingly, it’s not a bad thing for me personally that the individual fragments of the story are rather loosely connected. The focus here is on enjoying life.
In terms of animation, «Gingitsune» has a rather simple, but in my opinion very appealing drawing style. Of course, like many other series, the title also uses some still images, but these are within reasonable limits and don’t catch the eye in a negative way. The animations themselves appear natural and are completely sufficient for the dialogue-heavy title. I particularly liked the character designs and some nice lighting effects. Overall, the anime is very colorful and playful, which I think fits well with the setting. The sharpness of the image material is completely sufficient for an anime from 2013.
The band’s song “tiny lamp” serves as the opening of the series slope. I was a little skeptical when I first heard it, but as the episodes progressed I had to hum along to the catchy melody in the chorus at the latest. There are also some nice J-Pop harmonies towards the end of the song. The ending song «Gekkō Story» by Screen Mode has a slower tempo and, like many other animes, forms a counterpoint to the faster opening. The song is therefore well suited to end the episodes. Apart from that, however, it could not convince me as a «tiny lamp».
The background music made a positive impression on me. The pieces used are very nicely composed and, in terms of the cast, harmonize well with the shrine setting. The pieces in their own scenes also seem a little more “present” than in other series, where they often only function as accessories. Here’s an interesting anecdote: one of the pieces from the “Gingitsune” soundtrack was even included in the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games used.
German localization (8/10)
The German synchronization was created at the HNYWOOD GmbH in Heilbronn under the dialogue direction of Markus Lange. The dialogue book was penned by Robert Weber. Similar to “Hanasaku Iroha”, the German version shows that the Heilbronn works no longer have to hide behind anime synchros from the dubbing strongholds of Berlin or Hamburg. Lisa Müller brings the lively Makoto to life with her voice in a believable and lovable way. I also particularly liked Matthias Hoff on the fox spirit Gintaro as well as the likeable Lisa Cardinale, who I was able to get to know personally at AnimagiC 2022 and who speaks Hiwako Funabashi in “Gingitsune”. Due to location, there were a few isolated outliers among the minor roles, but these were the minority compared to the aptly cast regular cast.
The mix reproduced the corresponding spatial conditions in all scenes well, for example the difference between the interior of a car and a larger room was also clearly perceptible acoustically. When listening to the Japanese soundtrack for a short while, it seemed pretty “lazy” in comparison, so the German version has the edge here. Apparently there was a blunder on only one take. Here, for no apparent reason, a heavy reverb effect was used outdoors. However, since the affected area is very short, this is not of great importance.
As with other Anime House releases, all episode titles and other captions have been translated with well-placed and color-matched subtitles. Thumbs up!
Packaging & Extras (5/10)
As with all other “Premium Collections” from Anime House, a wide O-Card was chosen for the packaging, which encloses two normal Amarays. Unfortunately, the edges of the O-Card are very prone to kinks and the soft boxes can quickly slip out if handled carelessly. However, since “Gingitsune” is a very niche series, a real slipcase would hardly have been an option anyway. So the O-Card is a compromise that looks more appealing on the shelf than two individual Amarays. In my opinion, however, the O-Card design and the associated cover artwork have become a real eye-catcher and stand out positively.
Unfortunately, the extras are very poor. In addition to the textless versions of the opening and ending, which can be found on almost every anime Blu-ray, only a booklet was included. This has only a few pages and contains episode and character descriptions. Accordingly, the awarding of points in this category is restrained.
Anyone who is a slice-of-life fan and possibly has a soft spot for Japanese temples should definitely give «Gingitsune» a chance. Due to its rather calm, exuberant nature, the anime is also a good way to switch off after a long day without making the series seem irrelevant. Unfortunately, there is not much added value in terms of packaging and extras, but the German synchro is convincing. All in all, a real slice-of-life insider tip!
|Story (double weighted)||7/10|
|Packaging & Extras||5/10|
>>Here you can buy «Gingitsune» on Blu-ray!<<
Thanks to Anime House for providing the review copy!
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