Flash Review – Tamamo-chan’s A Fox! (Vol. 1-2)

For centuries, Fushimi Tamamo has stood guard to the torii gate of Kyoto’s Inari Shrine. One day, however, she decides she wants to experience the schoolgirl life and thus dips out on her duties. Being a fox spirit, she has to disguise herself to blend in, but her disguise is less than convincing. Being found out would land her back on permanent guard duty, so her classmates agree to keep hush-hush about her crappy disguise and enjoy school life with a literal blessing in homeroom.

The Downward Dog:

Living with the gatekeeper to a deity would shake up anybody’s daily life, through the curses and blessings Tamamo bestows to people, but this is nothing more than a quirk. A walking, talking servant of a shrine would make national headlines, but there’s never any danger of Tamamo’s secret being exposed, even when they go out in public, where there are children, who can see her true form, and there’s never a misunderstanding, either, like that she’s a furry. The characters treat her existence like it’s the normalest thing in the world despite the claims of abnormality, so it’s like the manga is trying to hold an awkward pose in a game of Twister.

The Lack of Bite:

Scenes are shared through four panels, with the last reserved for punchlines, but I can count on one paw the number of instances a joke had teeth. Buildup’s so weak and so is delivery that the typical scene amounts to Tamamo’s friends suspecting she’s carrying apples in a basket, but when they lift the lid, it’s just oranges inside.

The Nonexistent Attention Sp—Squirrel!!

Chapters typically revolve around a theme, such as going to the beach or kicking back at a friend’s house, but the manga can never pick one scene and stick with it. It reads like it had a brainstorm of chapter ideas and then decided to use it all. On occasion is a scene or joke I enjoyed, but those are scant, and before you can think, “I’d like to see more out of this,” it’s drowned beneath an everlasting spate of sludge.

The Verdict:

Dull, unexciting, and barely a glitter of charm. This manga is too jumpy for its own good and tucks its tail between its legs at the thought of taking a skit to a fifth panel. I envy that Tamamo’s enjoying the schoolgirl life, because reading about her life isn’t enjoyable in the slightest.

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