Gingitsune: Messenger Fox of the Gods focuses on a girl named Makoto Saeki, who lives at a shrine with her father. Makoto is able to see Gintaro, the fox spirit who is the shrine’s herald; however, she is the only person who can actually see him. While Makoto’s father may be the priest at the shrine, he married into the family and as such cannot see Gintaro.
This episode introduces a new character named Hiwako Funabashi, a girl in the same class as Makoto and Yumi. Hiwako comes from a tea ceremony family, her father is a member of the Diet, and Hiwako is the Vice President of the student council.
The audience is introduced to Hiwako when she scolds Yumi for chatting with Makoto before starting their volleyball game for PE. Yumi gets into an argument with Hiwako, and then brushes her off for being too bossy. After Yumi leaves, Hiwako asks Makoto if she lives in a shrine. When Makoto answers in the affirmative, Hiwako tells her she should choose her friends more carefully. Hiwako also adds that Makoto needs to stop distracting the other students with her fortune telling.
The next day at school, Yumi and Makoto just make it to school when they see Hiwako’s fancy car pull up and her driver letting her out. Yumi makes some disparaging comments about Hiwako, and Makoto asks why they can’t all get along. Yumi says she wants nothing to do with Hiwako, but might change her mind if Hiwako apologized to her. Makoto tries to act as a go-between and asks Hiwako to apologize to Yumi. While Hiwako admits to putting Yumi in an uncomfortable situation, she doesn’t see any reason to apologize.
The episode sees some girls that Yumi talks to giving Hiwako a hard time. They start by claiming to help Hiwako with turning in reports because she was busy, but then not actually handing them in. The episode culminates with these girls harassing Hiwako in the girls’ bathroom, and Makoto and Yumi end up getting dragged into the situation as well. Without providing a “spoiler,” I will say that at the end of this episode, it’s very clear that Hiwako is going to become a major character in the series.
Gintaro isn’t as important to the story in this episode as he was in episode one; however, this makes sense, since most of the action took place at school rather than at the shrine. But in the few scenes that Gintaro does appear in, it’s very clear that while he may have a bit of a gruff demeanor, he really does care about Makoto and her well-being.
Episode two has a strong emphasis on Makoto trying to bring cooperation between her new friend Yumi and with Hiwako, and there’s also a message about being honest with yourself that applies to both Makoto and Hiwako.
I thought the harassment storyline with Hiwako and the girls in her class came off as being rather realistic. From what we learn in the bathroom scene, it appears that it’s more than just Hiwako’s attitude towards others that caused this particular group of girls to gang up on her. And that reason falls into the typical drama that is seen in middle school and/or high school.
Overall, I will say that I thought episode two of Gingitsune: Messenger Fox of the Gods was stronger than the first episode. That’s not to say that I thought the first episode was bad, though, because I enjoyed watching the first episode. It just means that I thought the second episode was even better than last week’s.
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