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Manga / Gugure! Kokkuri-san

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Kohina Ichimatsu is an elementary school student who calls up fox-spirit Kokkuri to ask questions as part of a divination game. Unfortunately, she ignores the rules and does it alone, so Kokkuri shows up in person to haunt her... and ends up being so horrified by Kohina's solitary life that he appoints himself her Parental Substitute.

Hilarity Ensues. No, seriously.

Gugure! Kokkuri-san is a yonkoma comedy manga by Midori Endō published in Gangan Joker, and ran for 114 chapters. An anime by TMS Entertainment started airing as part of the Fall 2014 Anime season on October 5th 2014. It's licensed in the US by Sentai Filmworks.


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Tropes:

  • The Alcoholic: Shigaraki is never on-screen without a drink in hand.
  • Amusing Injuries: From Inugami turned into smoothie with a blender to Shigaraki getting impaled with a spade, and more.
  • All Just a Dream:
    • Whenever a chapter gets particularly weird (and that's saying something), it would likely end with it being someone's dream. An example is when the whole world becomes infected by the Inugami mould.
    • At the end of the manga, the youkai reveal that Kohina was in a coma for most of the manga, as they were trying to buy time for her to revive. Kokkuri and friends were real, but the life she lived was not.
  • Animal Jingoism: As canines, Kokkuri and Inugami bond over their mutual hatred/jealousy of cats in episode 2.
  • Art Shift: When Kohina has major Not So Stoic moments she shifts from her normal Super-Deformed look to the more realistic style of everything around her.
  • The Atoner:
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    • Every cent that Shigaraki steals goes towards funding an orphanage for the children of families he's destroyed.
    • It turns out Kokkuri-san is this as well, as a personal promise to help Kohina after failing to repay her in a previous life.
  • Bad Powers, Good People: Shigaraki is an interesting case. As a trickster spirit, he's bound to deceive people and lead them to ruin. He makes no attempt to stop himself, but it's quite clear he isn't proud of what he does and does what he can to make up for it.
  • Barrier Maiden: It's revealed that Shigaraki was the one that created the illusion of Kohina's life to hide her from death until they could fix the mistake, forming a barrier for her to live in inside the Underworld. He's no longer able to hold it once Kohina knew where she was, as he can't defy the law of causality.
  • Because You Were Nice to Me:
    • Inugami's reason for falling for Kohina is because she showed him kindness when s/he was a puppy.
    • Kokkuri as well, though in Kohina's past life.
  • Bigger on the Inside: Inugami's dog house, thanks to his powers.
  • Black Comedy: It has its moments of dark humour. Notable is Kokkuri putting up a noose in Kohina's backyard when he realizes he has absolutely no friends, or a light producing a rainbow after refracting off of Inugami's arterial spray.
  • Boke and Tsukkomi Routine: The humor often relies on a character making a gag and another character criticizing said gag. However, Kohina and Kokkuri's roles are so vaguely defined that they often switch between them depending on the joke.
  • Bookends: The final chapter has Kohina living on her own again now that she's been fully resurrected, but unfortunately this time it's not a prank. Just like when Kokkuri was away the first time, she enjoys herself and pigs out on ramen, but she comes to realize that she misses everyone's companionship. When she tearfully plays the game a second time during Christmas, they all come back to her, having spent that time assuring they would be able to stay with her in the human world.
  • Brick Joke:
    • After Inugami turns into a woman in episode 2, Kohina asks Kokkuri to turn into a woman, and he refuses to. Flash forward to episode 7, where he opens a cursed box and turns into a woman.
    • Shigaraki mentions the story of the Princess and the Frog as a method of undoing a curse that's put on Kokkuri. It ends up being exactly what they need.
    • Kohina jokes about Tama's mother being now a shamisen. note  Fast forward to episode 11, and she arrives at Kohina's house with a shamisen, saying that she "brought her mother".
  • Cast Full of Pretty Boys: Every male character with a face is a bishounen. Even Shigaraki is something of a Silver Fox.
  • Cats Are Superior: Kokkuri and Inugami take turns drunkenly ranting about this trope after Kohina decides to pet a stray cat and says she was more of a cat person. Additionally, Tama is shown as the only one able to curbstomp Inugami while evading his/her retaliation.note 
  • Character Filibuster: Kohina delivers several long speeches, mostly about cup noodles.
  • Children Are Innocent: Deliberately invoked by Inugami and Shigaraki when their ages are reverted to that of an infant and small child. Shigaraki plans on using it to get away with flipping women's skirts and Inugami hopes to score points with Kohina.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Given how they behave on a daily basis, it's easy to forget that Inugami, Shigaraki and Kokkuri are an Eldritch Abomination, an ancient trickster spirit and a minor deity.
  • Dancing Theme: The OP is one big, groovy disco party.
  • Dead All Along: Kureha in episode 10 and the lawyer in episode 12.
  • "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: Kokkuri sings the opening theme "Welcome!!DISCO Kemokemoke"; and he, Inugami and Shigaraki also converse in it.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: While Chapters 0 to 1 only show Kohina and Kokkuri, its anime adaptation Episode 1 also briefly shows Inugami and Shigaraki for foreshadowing before they are properly introduced later.
  • Easy Amnesia: Unlike Shigaraki and Inugami, Kokkuri loses his memory when he's turned into a small child by the de-aging water. It all comes back when the effects wear off, but he can't remember what happened while he was changed.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Inugami is a shape-shifting, reality-warping monster whose biological sex can change on a whim, with a singular all consuming obsession with Kohina and sadistic hatred of literally everything else. Fortunately, he/she/it isn't as actively malevolent or clever as most examples of the trope.
  • Evolving Credits:
    • The final shot of the OP features more and more characters standing beside Kohina as they are formally introduced into the series. Additionally, the ED turns into a montage of Kohina playing with her caretakers as the series goes on.
    • Shigaraki gains a scar in his appearances during the OP and ED after episode 6.
    • Kokkuri as a woman is shown with the other girls starting from episode 8, and is also shown at the end of the OP with everyone else in episode 8.
    • You might miss the red-leafed maple tree that shows up in the opening of episode 11.
  • Exact Words: Kokkuri tells Shigaraki he will only lend him money if he pays back double the considerable sum of money he borrowed from Kokkuri when they were last staying together. Shigaraki finds this agreeable and immediately gives Kokkuri double what he borrowed: 200 Yen. See, when he lent Shigaraki 100 Yen during the Meiji Era that was a lot of money but thanks to inflation it is now pocket change and Kokkuri didn't say anything about adjusting for inflation.
  • Excited Series Title: Gugure! Gugure!
  • Expy: Jimeko is essentially a Fun Size version of Asuka, from her personality right down to her hairstyle.
  • Fountain of Youth: Kokkuri buys a bottle of magical Water of Youth, which both Shigaraki and Inugami steal and accidentally turn themselves into small children.
  • Friendless Background: Both main characters.
  • Friend to All Children: Shigaraki. Kokkuri and Inugami can't stand him, but he gets along quite well with Kohina, and the children at the orphanage absolutely love him.
  • Gag Series
  • Gender Bender:
    • Inugami can't actually remember what his biological sex was prior to becoming a spirit, so he freely transforms from a man to a woman to a genderless dog chibi as it fits his mood.
    • Kokkuri becomes trapped in female form when he opens a cursed box in the Ichimatsu family storeroom.
  • Guns Akimbo: Inugami is frequently armed with two guns.
  • Hot Springs Episode: In Episode 8 the group visits the hot springs, partly to relax and partly to help Kokkuri change his gender back.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Kokkuri frequently berates and insults Inugami for pestering Kohina in ways that Kokkuri himself is guilty of. He claims it's fine when he does it because his intentions are pure.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Shigaraki gets impaled by a spade for trying to peek into the bath.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: Kokkuri is probably a lot older than the 25 years he'd like to claim. Kohina is an elementary student. Nevertheless, even though Kokkuri's acting as a Parental Substitute, they still consider each other friends.
  • Invisible Writing: The box that cursed Kokkuri holds only a piece of paper saying, "I told you not to open it." Kohina reveals that more words would appear if it's held up to the light, but Kokkuri has already burned it to ash in frustration.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Shigaraki may be a lazy bum and unrepentant lech, but he has a kind heart beneath it all.
  • Jumping the Gender Barrier: Shigaraki has no problem with hitting on Inugami's and Kokkuri's female forms. He even asked female!Kokkuri to marry him and kissed him.
  • Laser Blade: Kohina found one of these in the storehouse. Your guess is as good as ours as to where it came from.
  • Lighter and Softer: The anime omits the darker gags that could be found in the manga, like Kohina joking about Pater Familicide as her backstory.
  • Little Bit Beastly:
    • Kokkuri usually appears as a human with fox ears and tail.
    • Inugami gains a tail and ears only when in female form, for obvious reasons.
  • Loophole Abuse: Shigaraki can only use his powers to deceive humans, so he takes away Kohina's ability to see spirits, so he doesn't have to tell her that he put down her pet cyclops after it tried to kill her in her sleep.
  • Magic Feather: Kokkuri gives the lawyer in episode 12 a yellow ribbon so he'll have the confidence to talk to his daughter, though it obviously doesn't do any such thing. It's actually enchanted so that the daughter will be able to see her dead father's ghost. Afterwards, she keeps it as a memento of her father's love.
  • The Men in Black: Men in black suits occasionally show up and take Yamamoto-kun away for a while.
  • Moment Killer: The series THRIVES on killing nice moments. One of the biggest is when Shigaraki and Girl!Kokkuri share a tender moment after Shigaraki promises that he'll always support Kokkuri, man or woman, because they're friends. Just as it seems Kokkuri is finally accepting of becoming a woman and about to kiss Shigaraki the curse breaks and returns him to normal.
  • Multiple Demographic Appeal: While published in a shounen magazine, the reverse harem Cast Full of Pretty Boys is much more likely to appeal to women.
  • Non-Nude Bathing: In episode 8, the girls wear swimsuits at the hot springs as they knew Shigaraki would try to peep on them.
  • Not So Different: Inugami and Kokkuri, as much as Kokkuri would like to deny it. Inugami even points out Kokkuri does a lot of the same things he does. Kokkuri insists he has purer intentions (which is probably an accurate statement). They also both hate cats and have identical reactions when Kohina pets a stray cat.
  • On the Next: Averted in favor of videos of fluffy animals.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname:
    • Kokkuri, who's had so many names he's lost track of which is his real one.
    • Kohina can't remember what Jimeko's real name is, despite the latter having been her seatmate last year, so she calls her 'Jimeko', from ijimekko (bully).
  • Ouija Board: The Kokkuri-san divination is basically a form of this, except it uses a coin and a hand-made board.
  • Papa Wolf:
    • Kokkuri, naturally, as he frequently worries about Kohina's wellbeing and safety (her poor eating habits are what convinces him to look after her in the first place).
    • Shigaraki as well, surprisingly enough. Despite his mischievous and laidback nature, he likes to take good care of children and protects Kohina from her pet cyclops when it tries to kill her in her sleep.
  • Playing with Fire: Kokkuri can create and hurl blue spirit fire.
  • Reincarnation: It turns out that Kohina knew Kokkuri in a previous life, when she was an Ill Girl. She dies young, unfortunately.
  • Room Full of Crazy:
    • Every square inch of Inugami's room is filled with various pictures, figures and plushies of Kohina. And a doll of Kokkuri he uses for... "stress relief".
    • Tama's café is decorated with macabre dolls and is poorly lit. It's no wonder it doesn't see a lot of business.
  • Rugged Scar: Shigaraki gets a scar when he saves Kohina from the cyclops, emphasising that he is tough and get serious.
  • Running Gag: Kokkuri getting stress-induced gastritis, most often due to Inugami's misbehaviour.
  • Ship Tease: Kokkuri and Shigaraki get a lot in episode 8. But it's all for naught when Kokkuri is turned back into a man.
  • Shout-Out:
    • In Chapter 1, the narration blatantly skips a month of Kokkuri and Kohina's friendship development, and the annoyed Kokkuri compares it to being attacked by King Crimson.
    • In Episode 2, a drunk Kokkuri complains about how popular "that cat with the ribbon" and "the cat robot" are.
    • Yamamoto is a walking E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial reference.
    • Meanwhile, Yamamoto's dad is modeled after the Alien, while his mom is apparently the Predator.
    • In episode 8, Kokkuri and Shigaraki pass by a hot spring that removes a curse turning you into a panda while trying to find one that will turn Kokkuri back into a man.
    • The explanation for how Kohina's house got back to normal after being blown up by Inugami in episode 12? The Ichimatsus apparently have the Seven Balls of Wish Granting for safekeeping.
  • Skinship Grope: Tama and Inugami waste no time in feeling up Kokkuri when they all go to the hot spring.
  • Spoiler Opening: The show's opening credits rather prominently displays Shigaraki, Tama, Jimeko, Yamamoto-kun, etc... long before they are introduced in the show proper.
  • Super-Deformed:
    • Kohina's usually portrayed in a chibi style to emphasis her unemotional nature.
    • Kohina's stalkers also have super deformed fluffy animal modes that they use mainly to gain sympathy with her.
  • Third-Person Person: Kohina addresses herself by saying "Ichimatsu", her family name.
  • Touched by Vorlons: Kohina eventually gains the ability to see ghosts and minor spirits as a result of living in close proximity to powerful spirits like Kokkuri, Inugami and Shigaraki. This is not a good thing, as most of these spirits are hateful and hungry.
  • Troll:
    • Inugami. His one love, other than Kohina, is the suffering of others.
    • Kohina's ancestor, the first head of the Ichimatsu family. His dying wish was to leave behind cursed objects with convoluted solutions purely to frustrate people. The Ichimatsu family motto is "make them suffer again and again", suggesting the family followed in his footsteps.
  • True Love's Kiss: When Kokkuri gets trapped in his female form, Shigaraki suggests him to try to break the curse with a kiss like in The Frog Prince tale. Kokkuri obviously rejects the option. And surprisingly, it works!
  • Tsundere:
    • Jimeko, to a ridiculous degree. She's even referred to as a tsundere by the narration. She's also a deconstruction of the trope: not only does she come off as an ordinary jerkass to everyone (and thus alienating the entire class), but also she fails to earn Kohina's friendship, only provoking mild irritation in her. And earns an uppercut for her efforts.
    • Noelle, the lawyer's daughter in episode 12, complains about suddenly having to throw a Christmas party while she happily sets everything up. In fact, she's so stereotypical that it annoys Kohina and Kokkuri.
  • Unexplained Recovery: Kokkuri kills and buries Inugami when he discovers that Kokkuri is trying to search for hair growth products online, and remains dead or a ghost for about half the episode. When the second half starts, Inugami is perfectly fine with no indication of how he came back.
  • Verbal Tic: Kohina usually ends her sentences with -nano desu.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: Inugami is capable of freely changing his body shape and size. Kokkuri claims he can do the same, but so far the results are unconvincing, outside of changing into his chibi-fox form.
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: Which can be seen as combined with Vomit Discretion Shot. We get to see Kokkuri and Shigaraki vomiting after almost sharing their kiss, and their vomits were rainbow hued, complete with sparkles.
  • Weirdness Censor: Absolutely nobody at Kohina's school - not even Kohina herself, she of the many animal spirits - will acknowledge Yamamoto-kun isn't human.
  • When She Smiles: Although Kohina trying to make herself smile has disastrous results, when she rarely naturally smiles it's absolutely heart-melting. Especially so in the final chapter.
  • Yandere
  • Youkai: Several: kitsune, tanuki, tengu, dogs, cats...
  • Year Inside, Hour Outside: Although her time spent hiding in the Underworld spanned at least a few years, Kohina was only missing for 49 days in the human world.
  • Your Days Are Numbered: Due to a clerical mistake, Kohina was fated to die young. So Kokkuri and the gang try to prevent her from doing so by hiding her in a fake version of her house to buy her more time.

Alternative Title(s): Gugure Kokkurisan

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