What They Say:
Kugen meets its sibling, Gyokuyo, for the first time in centuries during the joyful clamor of the Culture Festival at Akagi. Though Kugen thought nothing of the time it remained sealed, Gyokuyo saw things differently. Swearing revenge on the humans who harmed its only kin, Gyokuyo plots various schemes. Even more trouble comes to the Takagami brothers involving gods, werewolves, and the lost clan of the oni!
The monolingual presentation for this release is pretty good with a standard stereo mix encoded at 224kbps. The show is more dialogue than anything else but when it dips into the realm of action it holds up pretty well. The dialogue doesn’t stretch the mix much since it’s all fairly relaxed most of the time and it’s rare more than one person speaks at a time or is off the center part of the stage when doing so. It’s not a huge standout show with the action but it has a good sense of self when it gets rolling which allows it to have some impact to it. The mix doesn’t overwhelm but it serves the material well and the Japanese language track here is pretty much spot on throughout.
Originally airing in the spring of 2008, the transfer for this TV series is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and is enhanced for anamorphic playback. The two disc set contains the second twelve episodes spread out in a six/six format. The show has a good bit rate to it and a very good look overall with a lot of bright, clean colors that stand out well. There’s a lot of detail to the show in the backgrounds and the animation has a lot going for it throughout. It’s not a show that’s very flashy, but it has some strong moments in the action scenes when they arrive. There’s little in the way of noise overall and it’s free of cross coloration while only having a touch of aliasing during some panning sequences. Overall the look of the transfer is very good here and it represents the source material well.
This series is just like everything else from NIS America in that it gets a really great presentation for its packaging. The oversized box is done in portrait mode with a gret large cast show of all the main characters from this arc that really pops with its color and design even with the pink background. The hair and outfits really stands out beautifully here and looks amazing. The back side goes with a simple pair of the two foxes of this set as they’re in girl mode looking cute and sexy which can be a little unnerving. Unfortunately, as great as the release looks at first blush, a closer look at it reveals some issues. When you look at the detail of certain parts of it, such as the logo and the character artwork, you can see that it’s not smooth and clean linework. Compare the “volume 2 premium edition” piece on the bottom to the series logo and you can see how soft it really is. I love the colors of the artwork and the look of it all, and from a distance of like a foot and a half to two feet away it looks good, but when you get clero to it you can see the flaws in the source material used. It’s like an image that was upscaled slightly and has lost resolution because of it.
Within the box we get the two clear thinpak cases where each of the volumes has a different groping of the characters in their usual street clothes and the like. It’s all set against a nice soft yellow background with light flowers on it. The framing is nice in that it gives it an older feeling that ties in well with the theme of the show. The back covers are laid out the same with the background wrapping around of the checkered look while having an image associated with every episode number and title listed. The discs features are clearly listed with bonus features for the second disc laid out very cleanly. The technical grids are well laid out with everything clear and and accurate. The reverse sides are done with either yellow and white checkered or blue and white checkered patterns. .
Like previous NIS America releases, the real big bonus item here is the hardcover book that’s included. The book is presented as a Takagami family album and it’s filled with lots and lots of great pictures and a mixture of promotional artwork as well that’s labeled as such. There’s the inclusion of some character profiles as well that’s done with a bit of text and images of various characters that’s fairly standard. What really sells it is the great looking gallery that really shines here and shows off the characters very, very well.
The first batch of extras are on the second volume as we get a few commercials from before the show started and after and in general as well. In addition to that, we get a set of four short clips that highlight parts and characters of the series to help flesh things out just a touch. Add in the clean opening and closing and you have a decent selection of basic extras.
In the keepcase for the second DVD, an additional disc is included that has more extras on it. What this set has is a good amount of extras that are divided up into twelve parts as they were released at different times with the original Japanese releases. There’s a screening at one event, a theme song convention extra and four parts from a couple of the Japanese stores from the release events that happened. There’s a huge, huge amount of content here that’s basically all live action and encoded fairly low as there’s something like over four hours of material from all the events. It’s essentially overwhelming from a review standpoint but for fans of the cast, the show and those wanting to see the Japanese release events at various stores, it’s an amazing treasure trove of material.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The second half of Our Home’s Fox Deity brings out another twelve episodes of the surprisingly charming and low key series that manages to avoid big moments that would feel out of place. The first set introduced us to the core cast of characters for the series and how Kugen ended up living with them and watching over young Toru as the new head of the family. A number of other deities and related started to appear since once you’re aware of one, another is certainly easier to see. The adventures the characters had were fairly limited in a way, more verbal sparring than anything else, but there were some dangers along the way that Ku had to step in to handle since the family was threatened.
With this set of episodes, there’s a good variety of material here but the first disc actually spends most of its episodes on one storyline which works rather well. The show has a bit of a mishap occur when a package ends up at Noboru’s house that Ko actually signs for. It turns out that inside is a young white haired woman that’s all wrapped up in bandages who can’t seem to talk. Toru takes to her quite easily and strongly as he gets protective about her and spends his time playing and talking with her. While he spends that time with her at the house, out in the world Noburo is getting picked up at the head of the family when he’s not and being accused of stealing the Byakki. Nobody actually says what it is, but it’s obvious quickly that Toru has the Byakki at the house.
The larger elements that figure into this storyline are what makes it really interesting. Members of the oni clan that are in the area want the Byakki as they’ll be able to use her in order to re-establish their clan and gain back a modicum of power after being largely dispersed to the four corners over the years. While they go through some rather poorly thought out plans in order to get the Byakki back for their leader, Enju, another group is watching all of this and getting involved. We’ve had whispers of the Overseers before, but they have a larger issue with the Byakki as her true power is to draw spirits to her which could cause significant problems if she begins to talk. She’s been sealed before and they need to perform that seal again before something catastrophic occurs. And in the middle of all this is a young boy who wants to protect the Byakki and finds himself having to make some very hard choices as everything starts coming together.
Our Home’s Fox Deity does throw in some standalone material that’s fun and some that’s not so fun. One that works really nicely is when it’s discovered that a Binbogami has appeared in the town and that can caused problems of poverty and luck disappearing. Because of that, a reward is offered to find it since it’s Halloween and he can blend into the crowd easily and gobble up a lot of luck at numerous households. It’s a very cute episode with all the kids involved and the costumes they wear as well as the general confusion. Not so fun is an episode that has Ku and Noboru off on a trip where they do an overnight at an inn only to discover that a mystery is involved. It’s all by the numbers, which Ku likes since it’s like on TV, but because of that and the self aware aspect of it that’s hurting it the most. With all the key things pointed out right from the start, you can see where it’s going to go and it’s more of a chore to watch than anything else.
As the season winds down, it actually does a decent job of avoiding what a lot of shows do at this point by going big and overly serious. We do get a two part storyline involving students getting turned into powerful werewolves, but it’s one of those kinds of stories that gets wrapped up pretty quickly and easily once a bit of work is done. There’s just more of a continued threat against Toru more than anything else. As it does get to the end though, as the manga is ongoing still, they do get a little serious as events transpire that has Kugen being told he has to protect the family from afar rather than living with them as Tama sees them the wrong way with Noboru ordering Kugen around and similar. Rather than having it go on for several episodes with lots of drama, it’s all kept to the final episode and resolved quickly so the show can move forward again if there was more to be made.
Our Home’s Fox Deity proved itself to be a very charming show that avoided a lot of obvious story ideas and methods of execution. It was fairly relaxed for the most part but it also knew when to step things up a bit. The larger storyline that could have defined the second half of it ended up being taken care of with the first disc over several episodes and that let the remainder of it all play out in a way that wasn’t stressed or forced. It had a good bit of fun, some serious material and a greater sense of bonding and family among the characters involved. This show is one that I went into with pretty much zero knowledge and really enjoy it a lot. NIS America put together a very good release here overall in combination with the first set that makes it a big plus for fans and one that everyone else should try out and discover.
Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitles, Clean Ending 2, TV Commercials, Events and Interview Footage of Japanese Voice Actors with Yukana (Kugen/female), Yuichi Nakamura (Kugen/male), Saori Hayami (Ko), Daisuke Ono (Ebisu)
Readers Rating: [ratings]
Released By: NIS America
Release Date: February 22nd, 2011
Running Time: 300 Minutes
Video Encoding: 480i/p MPEG-2
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70″ LCoS 1080P HDTV, Sony PlayStation3 Blu-ray player via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.