First Impression: Otaku Elf

Koito is a miko at a traditional Shinto shrine…inhabited by an actual, genuine elf! Her name’s Elda, and she’s a shut-in otaku. Then a surprisingly catchy OP plays. Afterward, Koito struggles to get through a ritual prayer with the ridiculous “goddess.” Later, at school, a worn-out Koito talks to her friend Koma. For all Koito’s complaining, we learn that she really does seem to care for Elda and wishes to help Elda out of her shell. Koito introduces Elda to her younger sister Koyuzu. Later, Elda and Koito have a falling out. Koito reflects on the snowy night after her mom’s funeral when the mysterious woman in white comforted her. Elda reveals that the reason she took up her shrine goddess role was because of a promise she made several hundred years earlier to a guy named Ieyasu Tokugawa. Wait, what?! And Elda blows Koito’s mind by revealing she was indeed the glamorous woman in white from all those years ago.

This is obviously a comedy. I mean, with the premise of an otaku elf living in a Shinto shrine, the jokes practically write themselves. So this episode’s humor was a given. What really surprised me was a conversation Koito has with an elderly parishioner, who mentions how comforting it is to have a deity (in this case, Elda) who doesn’t change. That point is fascinating because the Bible also emphasizes the true God’s unchanging nature as something that should bring comfort to believers. If future episodes continue to bring the silliness and combine it with such thoughtful consideration of what it means to be a god, this could turn into a really interesting show. It’s certainly piqued my interest.

Otaku Elf is streaming on HiDIVE.


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