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; while Makoto’s father may be the priest at the shrine, he married into the family and as such cannot see Gintaro. In episode four, a boy named Satoru and his small fox herald, Haru, moved into the shrine with Makoto and her father.
This episode sees Makoto wondering what she should choose to do with her life after high school. Her father asks if there’s something that she wants to do. He explains that Makoto’s mother had a lot of things she wanted to do, but she had no choice but to take over the shrine. He also says that her mother had wanted Makoto to have a choice, and that he thinks she should do what she wants and that he will support her decision, no matter what. Later, Makoto has a conversation with Gintaro, and she learns a little more about both of her parents than she had known previously.
A lot of the episode focuses on getting the shrine ready for the summer cleansing ceremony. A couple of new characters are introduced during the preparations: Takami Yoshitomo and Etsuko Toyokura. Takami is a childhood friend of Makoto’s father, and he is also a former priest. He now owns a bar. Etsuko is Matoko’s father’s sister. The audience learns that Toyokura was Makoto’s father’s last name before he got married, and that he comes from a family that runs a well-known brewery.
The episode ends with the preparations being completed for the cleansing ceremony. According to the preview for the next episode, the cleansing ceremony will be taking place in episode 12.
While there may not have been a lot of action in this episode, per se, it was still rather important. Through some of the conversations that we see in the episode, the audience gets to learn more about both of Makoto’s parents. It was interesting to learn that there was at least one piece of information that’s revealed that surprised Makoto; the piece of information in question is the fact that people objected to Tatsuo and Yuko getting married. After learning that Tatsuo came from the brewery family and was expected to take over the business, I feel safe in saying that this is where the objections from his side of the family would have come from. By marrying Yuko, he left the business behind and came to be a priest at the shrine.
This episode also went into a bit of detail to explain how the summer cleansing ceremony is performed and why it is performed. I’ve said this before, but it’s worth repeating: I truly appreciate the effort this series takes to explain the religious aspects that appear in this series. As a Westerner, I enjoy learning about these aspects that I probably wouldn’t find out much about otherwise. This series is able to provide that kind of education for a viewer, but it’s still an enjoyable and entertaining viewing experience.
It appears that episode 12 is the final episode of Gingitsune: Messenger Fox of the Gods, so I’m interested to see how the summer cleansing ceremony will be used to bring the series to a close.
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