English Dub Review: The Helpful Fox Senko-San “Is This Less Embarrassing For You?”

Perfect! Even better than Mama!

Overview (Spoilers Below)

Nakano has been craving cheese gratin lately, so Senko decides to ask Koenji how to make it. She, Senko, and Shiro all get into the basics of cooking cheese gratin (while Shiro narrowly dodges having her powers be found out by a very naive Koenji.) Koenji finds herself impressed with how fast Senko learns — all while Shiro is trying to sneak in her favorite ingredient (sugar.) Koenji then introduces the archaic pair to a toaster oven, and after the dish is finished, they eat it with glee. Senko thanks Koenji, and they agree to cook together again sometime (with Shiro as the taste-tester and flame controller.) Nakano eats the cheese gratin Senko prepared and is in awe at her take on the western dish. They comment on how her style is still present, even though it’s not something she normally cooks.

Later, Senko comments on how long Nakano’s hair has gotten and offers to cut it for him. She gives him multiple different styles until she finally lands on a classic. Then, she insists on washing his hair as well, giving him the full salon treatment. Nakano comments on how nice he feels (and looks) and Senko accidentally lets it slip that it’s her first time cutting hair like this (and that she had to magically reattach a piece of his hair she accidentally chopped.)

Our Take

This anime really tries to be as wholesome as it can be with its childlike-presenting protags — which is to say, it’s still really hard to consider this show wholesome when in every episode someone describes how “nice” Senko’s tiny features are (such as her hands when she’s massaging Nakano’s hair.) How do none of these writers understand the subliminal implication of drawing/presenting characters this way? The grim answer is that they do understand and just don’t care, but the optimistic answer is that writers/artists like these are so onboard with the cutesy style of making everything chibi/kawaii, that they don’t realize the side effects. Seriously: What would be so unappealing about Senko looking like an adult? They seem to have no problem with portraying an adult woman (Koenji), so what’s the big deal?

On the subject: Koenji is a pretty realistic depiction of an (otaku) woman in her 20’s. For that matter, Nakano is also a decent representation of a scruffy guy who definitely exists. Both characters do something pretty smart: they both depict the most-likely representation of both genders who would watch the show. Women obsessed with anime/manga, and men who want to live out their dream of dating a fox girl — they’re both pretty tactical portrayals.

Anyway, the episode was pretty much just Cooking Mama with a side of haircuts. Episodes with group activities (as in where Senko, Shiro, Koenji and Nakano are all/mostly together) tend to be the most “wholesome” — but again, the thing preventing everyone from enjoying the show to its fullest potential is glaringly obvious. The art/animation does pretty much everything else right, but if we don’t protest these things in the anime industry, when will they stop?

Also — isn’t cheese gratin with macaroni in it just mac ‘n’ cheese?

Kayla Gleeson

Kayla Gleeson is an entertainment writer and media player, with work involved in shows such as Anthony Bourdain's "Parts Unknown" and Chicken Soup for the Soul's "Hidden Heroes." In addition to her work on BubbleBlabber, she also has dozens upon dozens of published articles for RockYou Media. Aside from immersing her life in cartoons, she loves to write and read poetry, be outdoors, go to conventions, and indulge in Alan Resnick stylings of comedy.

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