Inu x Boku SS: That Isn’t How Narcissism Works

Narcissism. It’s what jealous people call my ability to recognise my own greatness.

I started this show without much of an idea as to what it was. I knew it was made by David Production of Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure fame but otherwise I had no expectations. So I watched the first episode to get a feel for it as part of my 2012athon. It gave me very little indication as to what to expect.

We spend the entire episode walking around our dorm room setting being introduced to characters before we get any semblance of what they’re about or why we should care. The series background is mostly set up in the second episode which means it’s very hard to care about the characters we’re introduced to even if those introductions themselves are mildly entertaining.

Except for one. Our presumptive protagonist Ririchiyo. She’s immediately given some background in the form of her own narration. She tells us of her “bad habit” of verbally abusing people, apparently she can’t control it. She then tells us of her backstory as a rich child who was never able to live normally with people either praising or lamenting her for her familial ties. She also has supernatural powers but the writers fuck that part of the narrative until the last 5 minutes, because the character introductions were so engaging.

It’s a backstory for and presentation of one particular type of character. A narcissist. She’s been treated special her entire life, had servants attending to her throughout her childhood, been treated as such due to her family name and in fact is literally special due to her powers. An environment that cultivates narcissists.

This of course is evidenced by this “habit” of hers, verbally abusing others, usually by implying they are beneath her. Also, when her dog, whatever is name is, swears loyalty to her without regard to her family name she notes how that she had always wanted someone to say such a thing to her and her alone. This is a fine and effective, if not very nuanced, way of setting up this type of character which, if handled correctly, could turn out to be a very interesting one.

There’s only one problem.

THAT’S NOT HOW NARCISSISM WORKSvlcsnap-000022

I’ve spent my time thus far explaining how the shows portrayal of Ririchiyo in the first episode does a good job of setting us up with a narcissistic character. It’s a shame they contradict this WITH THE FIRST DAMN LINE OF NARRATION. 

She says that what she does in regards to her verbal abuse is a “bad habit”. Narcissists do not think like this. They are usually unaware of their own narcissism or (like me) do not see it as a problem. That’s sort of what narcissism is by definition, she wouldn’t see this as a fault. So when she goes around showing concern for complete strangers (which is not impossible for narcissists) and having such an insight into her own “problem” (which is) it directly contradicts the characterization of Ririchiyo I assume they want to portray. But I can’t be sure because they show two sides to her character that shouldn’t be able to coexist.

And remember that this is the only character that one would have reason to care about at this point, being that the only other character that gets much in the way of characterization along with a reason for us to care is a person who lives solely to serve her.

I’m two episodes in and I don’t care about any of the cast, I’m confused as to what the plot and themes are meant to be and the one character I could care about is 2 characters stapled together at the abdomen. If not for the 2012athon I would have dropped Inu x Boku SS by now. This show better step it’s fucking game up.

 

I hope you enjoyed this semi-structured rant, I’ve been a bit busy over the last couple days so writing became a bit more difficult so please forgive the shorter piece today. Please follow the blog below if you did in fact enjoy this.

Thanks for reading,

Psychime

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4 Comments

  1. I don’t think they intend Rurichiyo as a narcissistic character. She’s more suffering from social anxiety cultivated through an inability to form genuine relationships and covering it with her overly confident and fairly abrasive external behaviour. But yeah, if the characters didn’t grab you in ep 1 they aren’t really going to change. I quite enjoyed this anime but freely admit it isn’t very good.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If that’s the case they probably should’ve tweaked her backstory a bit. Again I probably wouldn’t really mind if the other characters gave me anything to go on but I’m made focus on her. Oh well.

      Liked by 1 person

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