Anime Blu-ray Review: Gingitsune: Messenger Fox of the Gods Complete Collection

Gingitsune: Messenger Fox of the Gods Complete Collection has one disc with all 12 episodes of the series. The release only has Japanese audio with English subtitles.

Gingitsune: Messenger Fox of the Gods Complete Collection
English Publisher: Sentai Filmworks
Format: Blu-ray
Release Date: March 31, 2015

The series focuses on a high school girl named Makoto Saeki. She lives at a shrine with her father, Tatsuo. Her father is the priest, and her mother had been a shrine maiden; Makoto’s mother died when she was four years old. Makoto is able to see Gintaro, the fox spirit who is the shrine’s herald; however, at the beginning of the series she is the only one who can see him. While Makoto’s father may be the priest at the shrine, he married into the family and as such cannot see Gintaro.

During the series, Makoto becomes friends with two of the girls in her class: Yumi Ikegami and Hiwako Funabashi. Yumi is laid back but stubborn, and she has an interest in animals. Hiwako is a model student from a wealthy family, and she’s also the student council vice-president. She starts out being cold to others because of her strict upbringing, but she changes after becoming friends with Makoto and Yumi. Yumi and Hiwako don’t get along very well at first, but this changes as the series progresses.

In episode four, a boy named Satoru Kamio comes to the shrine to live with Makoto and her father. Like Makoto, Satoru also has the sight, which allows him to see heralds. Haru, a herald from Satoru’s shrine, tags along with him. Satoru starts out being rather distant from others, due to being raised by relatives who mistreated him after his grandfather died. Satoru is also proficient in kendo.

To me, one of the strengths of Gingitsune: Messenger Fox of the Gods is how the series was willing to delve into Japanese religion and culture. This makes sense, since the main character lives in a shrine. As a Westerner, I enjoyed 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 doesn’t feel like you’re being “hit over the head” with it.

After watching the 12 episodes of the series as a simulcast, I found the characters to be realistic and engaging. I also found myself drawn into the drama that the show presented in many of its episodes. Re-watching it again in 2020 after getting this Blu-ray release, I found Gingitsune: Messenger Fox of the Gods to be a “wholesome” anime. It was definitely the type of show I needed to see after experiencing a year like 2020.

Admittedly, there’s no true conclusion to the series, because the manga was still ongoing at the time the anime was being produced. As of this writing, the manga is still ongoing. However, for the kind of story that Gingitsune: Messenger Fox of the Gods is telling, I don’t think there necessarily needs to be a true ending.

The Blu-ray video for this set has 1080p High Definition / 16×9, while the audio is Japanese DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0. I had no complaints about either the video or audio quality of this release.

Since all 12 episodes were included on the one disc in this set, it’s not surprising that the bonus features on this release were very “bare bones.” Like with many of Sentai Filmworks’ releases, the only extras included here are a textless opening, a textless closing, and trailers for other Sentai Filmworks releases.

If you’re already familiar with Gingitsune: Messenger Fox of the Gods and want to add it to your anime home video library, then this is the release that you need to pick up.

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