This episode sees Makoto, Satoru, Gintaro, and Haru making a trip to visit the lion-dog heralds. On their way there, Makoto finds Shohei, Yumi’s boyfriend, at a temple. The group learns that Shohei lives there, and that he’s waiting for Yumi to come over and visit the cat that she helped to rescue earlier in the series.
When Yumi gets there, she invites Makoto and Satoru to come inside the temple. While they’re there, they learn mysterious happenings have been going on at the temple: stuff falling down during meditation, candles going out when there wasn’t any wind, and the yard getting messed up right after they clean it. They suspect that there might be ghosts.
Satoru and Gintaro notice a shrine near the temple, and they both sense something from it. Makoto and Satoru, along with their heralds, discover that there are two monkey heralds: Fuu and Fuku. These monkey heralds enjoy playing practical jokes and making mischief.
A lot of the episode focuses on Makoto, Satoru, Gintaro, and Haru interacting with the monkey heralds and on Makoto’s desire to try to make them stop what they’re doing.
At one point, while Yumi has the cat in her arms, it gets scared and jumps out of her arms. Yumi spends quite a bit of the episode looking for the cat, while Shohei investigates incidents that seem to be connected with the ghosts. With Yumi and Shohei off doing other things, it makes it easier for Makoto and Satoru to interact with the monkey heralds, so those without the Sight don’t think that these two are talking to themselves.
With the introduction of the monkey heralds, I believe we have now met all of the humans and heralds that make an appearance in the opening credits of the series. I’d be surprised at this point if any other characters that could play a major role in the series will be introduced.
I have a feeling that we’ll be seeing more of these monkey heralds, especially since they reside at a shrine that’s run by the family of Yumi’s boyfriend. I feel rather confident that a reason will come up for Makoto, Satoru, and their heralds to drop by the temple again.
One thing that was kind of neat about this episode was that it enabled the viewer to understand the differences between a shrine and a temple, and how normally you don’t see both at the same spot. During the episode, we also learn the reason why the heralds here are monkeys.
As a Westerner, I appreciate how this series starts to give a better understanding to the viewer of both the Shinto and Buddhist beliefs and how these belief systems work. Gingitsune: Messenger Fox of the Gods has an enjoyable plot, but that plot is complemented by the cultural and religious information that is included in the episodes.
Gingitsune: Messenger Fox of the Gods is a series I look forward to watching every week, and I can’t wait to see what happens in Episode Eight.
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