Konohana Kitan is the story of kitsune (fox) girl Yuzu, an energetic young newcomer to the staff of Konohanatei, a traditional Japanese style hot springs resort inn bustling with visitors both human and spirit. The story follows Yuzu and the guests and staff of Konohanatei, the vast majority of the former also being cute fox girls! With good variety in looks and temperaments you're sure to fall in love with the characters of Konohana Kitan, be it the cool-headed, purple-haired workaholic Satsuki; the energetic tomboyish Natsume; the refined, feminine fashionista Ren; the lovable genki-girl Yuzu herself, or any other number of the charming staff and guests.
While definitely not strictly a fanservice show, Konohana Kitan does take advantage of its onsen setting to showcase the beauty of its characters bathing and relaxing in the water. Konohana Kitan takes the “hot springs episode” trope common in anime several notches higher, with many episodes featuring multiple shots of the kitsune cuties bathing. Throw a little yuri into the mix and things get pretty steamy, geothermal springs notwithstanding. Here are our picks for the 5 best fanservice moments in Konohana Kitan!
5. “Where's an Egg?” in Episode 4
This scene demands inclusion based on novelty value alone. After a strange dream where Ren sees Yuzu running away from a bunch of giant eggs, she wakes up with a huge bulge on her stomach. This is played up for pregnancy jokes and other gags as one might expect. Since Ren sleeps next to Natsume she demands that she “takes responsibility” for what she thinks is their child (despite both of them being female). Natsume opens up Ren's kimono to see what's actually going on which reveals the bulge is actually a giant egg!?
The mysterious egg is attached right below Ren's navel which we see in a revealing shot that serves as probably the strangest instance of fanservice in Konohana Kitan. Natsume tries to pull it off to no avail, shaking Ren's petite body around without success. While not the most overtly sensual scene, it's quite memorable. It's cute seeing how flustered Ren is around Natsume (whom she has a crush on) and how seriously Natsume seems to take the situation despite its obvious absurdity, plus we get a little peek at Ren's body!
4. “Enter Yuzu!” in Episode 1
Ah, beginning episodes are always a lot of fun and set up your expectations for what's ahead. Episode 1 is the start of Yuzu's adventures in Konohanatei after her adoptive mother Bikuni drops her off after she and Yuzu meet with the owner Okami and manager Kiri. The main cast is introduced and Yuzu begins learning what her new job entails but not before a little titillation!
Yuzu is surprised by an “All right, clothes off!” from Kiri almost as soon as she walks into the next room from where she was meeting with Okami. Yuzu is super kawaii as we see her embarrassingly trying to cover herself up (with limited success) while Natsume and Kiri tease her as she's being washed. The playful camera movement further highlights this short but sweet look at our similarly short and sweet protagonist!
3. “Bubble Butt” in Episode 9
Oh my goddess! In episode 9, Konohanatei receives a surprise from the high-ranking goddess of water bubbles Awanami. She arrives completely unannounced, which leaves the staff a bit flustered trying to make sure their important guest is well taken care of. Ren, who we learn from Natsume has always wanted to serve an important deity, is ecstatic when Kiri chooses her to be Awanami's head attendant but is annoyed that she is paired with the often clumsy newbie Yuzu.
Being that this is a bathhouse, we inevitably see the lovely goddess without the trappings shortly after she is introduced with a classic slow pan upwards and subsequent shots from both front and back showcasing her heavenly body! As somewhat of an aside, we'll also mention that she doesn't suffer tail-related bottom-blockage as our main cast does. If you were a little put off by that aspect of our foxy friends, Awanami offers some divine retribution!
2. “Tiny Cutie” in Episode 10
A misunderstanding caused by the impetuous Sakura eating all of the snacks in the attendant room leads Satsuki to be shrunk down to a tiny size after she accidentally eats a special medicine that was set aside for a guest to return to his original size. Now less than a foot tall, Satsuki is on par with living doll Okiku and is similarly given a cute, handmade dress by Ren to wear, much to Okiku's chagrin.Told that the effect will simply wear off over time, Satsuki's day is spent riding around on Yuzu's shoulder, comically giving her and others orders.
After the work day is over, we see Satsuki and the rest of the staff bathing together, which has some sexy shots of the girls. The most notable being a dramatic shot of Yuzu quickly standing up from the water to declare she really wants Satsuki back to her normal self after Natsume makes a joke about things working out fine with Satsuki being tiny and a short shot of Satsuki herself bathing in a tiny wooden cup. What really takes the cake, though, is shortly after when Satsuki wakes up next to Yuzu the next morning completely nude! A glorious side shot! Apparently, during the night, the medicine man brought the antidote and Kiri gave it to her while Satsuki was sleeping. Kiri teasingly jokes about the cure being from a lover's kiss, which leads to even more precious, blushy embarrassment.
1. “Sakura Satsuki” in Episode 2
Another Satsuki scene! One of Satsuki's notable traits is her incredible work ethic; diligent to the point of overdoing it and being a workaholic. Satsuki thinks that if she works especially hard that it might let her leave Konohanatei sooner and become a shrine maiden like her sister Hiiragi who was chosen over her by her parents to take on that role. However, Kiri insists that she takes off the next day. While initially annoyed to be out of her normal schedule, Satsuki -with a little help from Yuzu- lets loose and enjoys herself for a change.
This brings us to our number one favorite fanservice scene in Konohana Kitan! Sitting in the onsen under a shining full moon, we find Satsuki brooding about her situation only to be surprised by a special cherry blossom bath by Yuzu, who throws the petals when Satsuki is underwater. The floating blossoms paired with moonlight and the misty water make for an especially beautiful backdrop that enhances Satsuki's exquisite form in a series of sexy shots. Add some sake-influenced playfulness with Satsuki pulling Yuzu into the bath and this showcase of Satsuki's rarely-seen lighthearted side is a highlight of the series fan's won't soon forget!
Konohana Kitan was a whimsical iyashikei experience that ventured enough out of the usual “cute girls doing cute things” formula to be a memorable slice-of-life in the fall 2017 season. With its beautiful color palette, interesting supernatural bathhouse setting somewhat reminiscent of Spirited Away, and well-developed, intriguing characters taken from Japanese mythology, Konohana Kitan is quite enjoyable even without the fanservice; but if you're looking for some, you're in for an extra treat, especially if you're partial to fox girls or onsen!
With hot springs, hot girls, and hot situations, Konohana Kitan has a lot to love! What do you think of our list? If we're missing your favorite steamy scene or you just want to talk about your favorite characters and moments feel free to leave us a comment below. We hope you enjoyed your stay at Konohanatei!