I just finished watching Inu x Boku SS and, I have to say, except for the fanservice and mediocre storyline, I really enjoyed watching the growth in the main character Ririchiyo Shirakiin.
Inu X Boku SS is a 12-episode anime about a group of humans with youkai ancestors that live together in an upscale apartment complex called Ayakashi. Each member is assigned a Secret Service agent to protect them from various baddies from Japanese legend. Ririchiyo is a “throwback,” which means she received a large amount of youkai blood. As a result, she has been treated her whole life as more of a good luck charm than a person. This is because the throwback is believed to be the key to the mysterious wealth gained by families with youkai blood. The status makes her a person either used or envied by those around her.
At the beginning of the show, Ririchiyo’s life, although filled with luxury, has left her lonely and exceedingly guarded. It has caused her to form this bad habit when interacting with others where she puts on an air of superiority and rudely speaks to anyone reaching out to her, regardless of whether they are reaching out in kindness or meanness. She even has difficulties letting down her guard with her agent, Sōshi, who freely, genuinely and excessively compliments and serves her in a kind of obsessive manner.
Even with excessive encouragement, she is too afraid of getting hurt and continues the front she learned as a child. She pushes him and the other members in the apartment away by speaking or acting rudely and then retreats into her shell to lament the way she acted and long for easier connection with those around her.
It isn’t until the last episode that she finds the courage to come out of herself by putting Sōshi’s feeling first. After seeing the pain he is in, she bravely lets go of her efforts to protect herself and is completely open with him.
“I’m afraid. But, up to now, I’ve hurt many others all to protect myself. That’s why, if it will give you even a tiny bit of courage, I don’t mind getting hurt this time.”
It really made me think about my own actions. As Christians, we’re supposed to be able to be identified just by the way we love each other.
“ But I am giving you a new command. You must love each other, just as I have loved you. If you love each other, everyone will know that you are my disciples.”
But, for me at least, it’s not as simple as it sounds. Truly loving some one requires not only putting that person first but opening yourself up to allow that person to possibly hurt you, especially if that person is an enemy. That possibility makes me afraid, makes me want to withdraw and, if I do withdraw, makes me regret.
Despite the risk, I want to be able to live my life loving in such a way that it won’t be a question whether or not I’m one of Christ’s followers. I want to keep remembering that being able to show love to someone is vastly more important than protecting my own feelings and interests. Love, in any form, always involves risk. If we make protecting ourselves our first priority, then we will never be free to love.