Tue. Jun 18th, 2019

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The Helpful Fox Senko-san – The Peak of Healing Anime

What if there was an anime whose whole idea is to help the viewer? To help him/her feel better? To make the viewer feel relaxed? What if there was an anime whose whole idea is to calm the heart of the viewer? To help him/her realize that not everything is as bad as it seems? The Helpful Fox Senko-san is that anime. Today I'll take a look at what seems like the anime equivalent of a „full restore“.

The Helpful Fox Senko-san – The Peak of Healing Anime

What if there was an anime whose whole idea is to help the viewer? To help him/her feel better?
To make the viewer feel relaxed?
What if there was an anime whose whole idea is to calm the heart of the viewer? To help him/her realize that not everything is as bad as it seems?
The Helpful Fox Senko-san is that anime.
Today I'll take a look at what seems like the anime equivalent of a „full restore“.

Premise

The Helpful Fox Senko-san, or Sewayaki Kitsune no Senko-san, follows the life of Nakano, a salaryman who works for an exploitative company. As such, he is often forced to work overtime, and is constantly overworked. This leaves Nakano with very little time for cooking, cleaning, taking care of himself, and basically any other thing other than work.

But one day, his difficult, monotone life is intruded upon by the fox Senko-san.
She is actually a fox goddess that's over 800 years old, but has the appearance of a little girl, which makes sense, because „anime“...
She actually appears because she wants to take care of Nakano, to pamper him, and to help him in any way she can.
After the initial shock, she starts cleaning, cooking, and doing all kinds of task to help Nakano relax.
She also provides him with a lot of emotional support, and lets him touch her fox tail on occasion, because it makes him feel better.

Iyashikei

So what makes this anime a „healing“ anime, or 'Iyashikei'?
Iyashikei is a term used for anime and manga that are created with a specific
purpose of having a healing, soothing or relaxing effect on the audience.
An anime can have that effect in many different ways. It can have „cute girls
doing cute things“ approach, a soothing or maybe childlike soundtrack, colorful
animation, escapist scenery (for example, grassland or forest scenery),
supportive, and carefree narrative and dialog, over the top comedic scenes,  etc...
The Helpful Fox Senko-san contains all of that. Except escapist scenery,
because it takes places in a city.
I've seen many Iyashikei anime, but in no other anime did I find so many
Iyashikei tropes as I did in The Helpful fox Senko-san. That's why, for me,
this anime is the peak of healing anime.
I'm not saying that as an anime that it is better than some other healing anime,
such as Mushishi, Natsume Yuujinchou, Usagi Drop...because it's not, but it has
the strongest healing effect, for now.

The Helpful fox Senko-san has another thing going for it. It has something that
no other anime has, at least to my knowledge.
It' called „Super Senko-san Time“, and it takes place at the end of every
episode, after the ending credits.
It's basically a scene where the viewer is put into the place of a protagonist,
and has a first person view on Senko-san, where she ask you a couple of
questions, provides advice, and is overall extremely supportive whilst talking
directly to the viewer. When I saw that that after the first episode, I was
quite suprised.

Effect

I can't tell you what kind of effect Senko-san will have on you, because we're all different, and we react differentely to different kind of stimulus, but I can share my experience, so I'll do that.
At the time when the first episode aired, I worked a lot. With my full time job, my YT channel, and some other side projects, I worked for around 12-14 hours a day, everyday. I wasn't forced to do it, but I wanted to, because I like making anime content, but it certaintly took a toll on me.
So there I was, at midnight, watching the first episode of this extremely supportive anime, telling me (the audience) that it's okay to relax, to think about myself, and that everything is going to be alright.
That night I cried myself to sleep, but I was happy. That is the kind of an effect that The Helpful Fox Senko-san had on me. Granted, I'm an extremely emotional person, so I doubt that I'll have the same effect on you. But the amplitude of the effect does't really matter. If you're in need of a bit of emotional support, supportive words, or just want to relax for a bit, then go and watch The Helpful Fox Senko-san, the most Iyashikei anime I've seen.

You can watch it legally on Crunchyroll, on the following link: https://www.crunchyroll.com/the-helpful-fox-senko-san

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