Lets first talk about the title. This is a Chinese donghua or manhua, or manga or comic– what ever you want to call it, it all translates the same. So, there are three names for this show. The English is Fox Spirit Matchmaker, the Chinese Huyao Xiao Hongniang, and the Japanese enmusubi no youko-chan. This isn’t going to get confusing at all.
Secondly, we are just chucked into the story. No soft landing on kid gloves, just chucked in there. I didn’t land gracefully. At all. I like myths and legends from all different cultures so the lore wasn’t the problem. It was the plot. I felt like it was more the fourth or fifth episode rather than the first.
So much was going on! You have Susu who wants to be a high level fox spirit, I think. And she doesn’t want to get married. Then you have Yuechu, who desperately wants to get married to foil the plans of his family for an arranged marriage. Then you have the sand foxes, who want to get the lost memories of their princess.
Yes, this is all the first episode. I don’t understand what’s going on. I mean I do. But, context, people, context! So much is happening so fast. I need exposition!
All in all, it’s interesting enough that I want to know what’s going to happen. I hope they’ll explain everything and I just have to hope I’ll understand it.
It’s interesting, I’ve been watching anime now for over a decade, so culture, timing, comedy for a Japanese audience isn’t something I have a problem with. This one is different– it is not Japanese, it is Chinese and you can tell.
I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, it’s just different. Different in a good way. I’m in no way saying this is bad because it’s Chinese, I’m saying, oh this is different. Let’s take a look at that. Everyone needs to do that more often, instead of sticking to what they know and only doing that thing. You become stagnant and don’t grow.
So bring it on China, show me what you got.
All images belong to Haoliners Animation League, and Tencent Animation