I really wanted to like Shadow of the Fox. The description alone reminded me of many animes that I binged on in high school and early college. But as I started reading Shadow of the Fox, I was turned off by–oddly enough–how much it reminded me of anime that I binged on in high school and early college.
After a certain point I felt like I was reading well written crossover fanfiction for Kenshin and InuYasha. For anyone who hasn’t watched InuYasha, know that there is a recap at the beginning of every episode that takes up almost the first half of the episode. Between the jumps back and the exposition, I simply couldn’t get through it.
So I tried to listen to it.
And that, my friends, was a mistake.
The narrators felt like they knew they were reading something bad and tried to add more emphasis in their performance to cover it up. Think back to a drug assembly: some college kid looking for money steps up on stage and tries to make teen relevant jokes. The audio book felt akin to that level of awkwardness between the uneven levels and the awkward voice acting.
Often, I felt like I was being talked down to as an audience member. Things were over explained in purely expository dialogue that just felt like they should have been finished with “as you well know.” Yokai are demons, as you well know. Kistune are fox demons and they’re tricksters, as you well know. Daimyo are lords and leaders of their households or clans, as you well know.
Ultimately, what I did manage to read felt formulaic and awkward.