Kevin Swift can’t talk to women. The reason? Shōnen love comedies and a lot of them. It’s not a big issue in his life but it will become very soon. On his way home, he rescues a fox who actually turns out to be a kitsune, a shape shifter who unfortunately transforms into a beautiful woman with the figure to seduce all men. Lillian is her name and she declares her love him no matter what he says. Can Kevin Swift balance the seductive fox woman, the girl who he’s been chasing after since when they were children, and the struggles of high school?
Today I’ll be looking at A Fox’s Love by Brandon Varnell, the first book in the series of American Kitsune. There’s a large amount of influence of anime and manga in this book as it is primarily inspired by ecchi anime such as To Love Ru and Rosario + Vampire. The story plays out like those particular shows and it does a pretty decent job conveying those sexual hijinks. But while tapping into that particular genre, it takes hits in a variety of areas.
The story starts off simple enough; our main character, Kevin, is on his way home when he encounters a fox, hurt in the middle of a alleyway. Worried sick, he takes the fox home and nurses it back to health. What he doesn’t know is that the fox is a kitsune and upon transforming into a beautiful woman named Lilian, the fox girl throws herself at our main character. There are lot of situations where Lilian tries to be intimate with Kevin such as sleeping, kissing, and being very physical with each other, to Kevin’s dismay.
While there’s a lot of moments like these, it feels stagnant at times until the plot moves forward. If I had to say, it seems as if this was a slice of life ecchi with a bit of actual conflict shoved in at the end to set a resolution for the story. Speaking of resolution, while there is a conclusion to the story in this book, there still are quite a number of plot elements left hanging, leaving questions unanswered. Lindsey and Eric are the biggest contenders to this as they imply some tension but drops it off immediate as they move to the next classroom. We are also inferred magical powers and other family members of Lillian but I’m under the assumption those will be covered in more detail in the next book in the series.
The majority of character interaction is between our two main characters as Kevin deals with all of Lillian’s antics. There are traces of increasing development between the two as they spend more time together but I can’t help but only remember situations where Kevin has to deal with the astounded and appalled nature of his rather forgettable classmates. There’s a lot of characters introduced in this book but most of them don’t make a outstanding impression and they feel two dimensional and flat.
From a writing standpoint, the book does a good job conveying the awkward sexual situations to the reader. It’s heavily detailed with the actions of the characters and the thoughts of the main character. Otherwise, it’s average as the story moves from scene to scene. There’s also lots of references to various pop culture, TV Tropes, and times where the characters break the 4th wall. However, these can be hit or miss depending on the reader.
There’s a few illustrations spread out in the book similar to a Japanese light novel, but most of these illustrations are used to help visualize the scene. For the character design, there is a mix between a cartoonish and manga art-style.
A Fox’s Love is a tribute to the ecchi genre and is catered to those specific fans. If you’re a fan of the fanservice heavy romantic comedy, I would check this book out as there might like the interaction of the main two characters. However if this type of genre isn’t fit for you, naturally I don’t recommend it as there isn’t much besides its appealing points.
Rating: Average – Recommended*
* = Recommended if you’re curious and a fan of the ecchi genre.
Author: Brandon Varnell
Illustrator: Kirsten Moody
Copy was provided by Brandon Varnell