Shinkuro is a highschool student who lives on his own in a run-down apartment building -- poor as a church rat. He scrapes by by taking jobs from Benika, a female 'fixer'. Shinkuro's specialty is being a 'mediator' -- which often means beating the crap out of someone until he listens to the request of the other side. He's trying to gain Benika's trust and thus get bigger (and more lucrative) jobs from her.
One day, Benika comes to him with a little girl in tow. She ran away from home (and/or Benika abducted her) and Shinkuro has to be her bodyguard in the 'outside world'. This little girl is none other than Murasaki Kuhoin, apparently a daughter of the rich and very powerful Kuhoin family. She is snobbish and demanding, which is a bit exasperating to poor Shinkuro. It takes some time (and a slap or two from Shinkuro) to make her behave, and she learns what it means to be 'outside' and live your life with the people you depend upon.
And then her family shows up to take her back...
There's more going on, of course. It turns out that the Kuhoin can't reproduce normally -- only brothers and sisters can conceive together, which I'm sure isn't helping much in the 'fixing genetic defects'-side of things. But then again, the Kuhoin are ancient and powerful enough to get away with pretty much anything. And so, if a female child is born, she is hidden away in something called the 'inner sanctuary'. (Which is why legally, Murasaki doesn't even exist!) The males are introduced to the world, and they seek a partner who is let in on the secret. This woman whom they marry will be the 'mother' of their male children as well, and so the cycle repeats again.
Murasaki's mother asked Benika, who did the security of the Inner Sanctuary, to take her outside -- and Benika could not refuse the request of a dying mother (which is also why she got stuck with Shinkuro as well). And so one night she took Murasaki with her. But Murasaki is the last remaining Kuhoin female -- and so she is of the utmost importance to the family. They bring the full force of their resources down on Benika and, by extension, on Shinkuro. Another of Benika's underlings, Yayoi, gets caught up in things as well.
Shinkuro has a secret. He lived with the family of one of his classmates, and he had something called a 'horn' implanted in him. It's a sharp piece of bone that he can eject from his elbows -- quite handy, but it tends to overtake him with bloodlust. Hence he tries to do without it, but sometimes he must go all-out...
The series is a pretty interesting mix of slice-of-life and action. When Shinkuro is not beating people up (which is animated very well, by the way), he is trying to get Murasaki to behave during their visits to the bathhouse, or taking her to the shrine for the 3-5-7 festival. And while the series is short, it only takes two episodes for you to care deeply for the characters. There's a lot of backstory and character development crammed into the mere twelve episodes -- and the ending is quite satisfying too!
Visually, the series is very nice. The character designs are detailed and precise. The animations are fluid, and the characters move like actual people would move -- Murasaki moves like a seven-year old girl. It's little cues like that which gives this series another layer of depth.
The voice acting is very good as well. I especially liked the voice of Murasaki, but all characters are voiced very well, and their emotions shine through.
- Crammed full of character development;
- Visually very appealing;
- There's an actual plot with an actual ending!
- If I have to think of one, it would be that some of Shinkuro's flat-mates are quite annoying...
All in all, a very interesting series to watch. I'll give it an 8.