First Look: The Morose Mononokean

mononokean

Alternative titles: Fukigen na Mononokean
Manga Adaptation by Pierrot+
Streaming on Crunchyroll

Premise

Hanae Ashiya is looking forward to starting high school, but finds himself unable to get there after a strange yokai begins following him around. After a week of not making it to class, he calls on the help of an exorcist to help rid him of the creature.

Euri’s verdict: The Koromon Spin-Off We All Need

The Morose Mononokean is the most promising anime I’ve seen so far this season. It’s incredibly charming, has good, interesting characters, and sets itself up to have unique individual episodes. There are hundreds of anime that explore the myriad of yokai, but this has made me eager to see more, specifically the yokai themselves and their designs. There’s something a bit Pokémon-ish about it, which comes from the show’s efforts in treating the yokai-of-the-week as an animal, not a spirit.

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Given that we’ve only had an episode with the big-eyed fuzzball I’m frankly impressed that the show managed to make us care about it so quickly, especially as it’s been so bad for our protagonist’s health. We see it attacked by Ashiya, seen him beg for the yokai to be exorcised, and you feel bad for it while also understanding why its got to that point. Seeing it open up after playing on the roof was adorable, and it was heart-wrenching to see it leave. Heck, this show’s going to be jammed full of yokai and I want this one back, something that the anime’s opening fortunately seems to support.

This show is very promising. I’m already completely sold on its ability to deliver interesting yokai and stories around them, but I think it’ll be the characters that will make or break it. So far so good of course, but I’d like to see a cast with the kind of range we saw in Flying Witch last season. If we get close to that, I can definitely see this being one of the top contenders for the season.

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Artemis’ verdict: Delightful

I hadn’t expected much out of this one to be honest, mostly because while I adore stories about yokai – particularly ones set in a bright slice-of-life setting – the last several anime within the supernatural comedy genre haven’t exactly been of the highest calibre (looking at you, Gingitsune/Kamisama Kiss/Inari, Konkon, Koi Iroha). The Morose Mononokean, on the other hand, seems to be far more up my alley than any of these, in large part thanks to the comedy actually working for me for a change – to say nothing of the beautifully vibrant artwork and surprisingly slick animation. Seriously, was anybody expecting this show to look this good? Best of all though are our two main characters, who did not rub me the wrong way even once throughout the entire episode. That may sound like an easy goal but believe me, the number of titles that I’ve given up on solely because I couldn’t gel with the cast, even though the story itself may have been perfectly decent, is very impressive. If The Morose Mononokean can keep up this kind of fun chemistry the whole way through, and of course stick with the charming atmosphere it has going on, then it could well end up being one of my favourites of the season.

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One thought on “First Look: The Morose Mononokean

  1. I was kind of surprised by this anime as well because I hadn’t really heard anything about it. I’m kind of hoping the second episode is similar.

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