A girl suddenly starts seeing monsters around her but nobody else can see them. Rather than trying to run away or face them, she instead musters all of her courage and ignores them. Join in ... Read allA girl suddenly starts seeing monsters around her but nobody else can see them. Rather than trying to run away or face them, she instead musters all of her courage and ignores them. Join in on her day-to-day life as she keeps up her best poker face despite being surrounded by mon... Read allA girl suddenly starts seeing monsters around her but nobody else can see them. Rather than trying to run away or face them, she instead musters all of her courage and ignores them. Join in on her day-to-day life as she keeps up her best poker face despite being surrounded by monsters.
Mieruko-chan is a horror-comedy anime featuring Miko Yotsuya, a young teenage girl who goes about her daily activities, except she kind of has a tiny problem. That is if seeing horrifying ghosts amounts to being a small problem. For whatever reason, Miko is able to see ghosts, yet ignores them. But, in truth, Miko is scared silly due to her predicament, but if she wants to avoid the consequences of her acknowledging the ghosts, she has to suck it up.
For the first few episodes, we do get a formula: Miko sees a scary ghost; sometimes scary ghosts would go after her friend Hana so she tries to pretend to not see the ghost. As more characters are introduced into the anime, we get more of the basic ingredients for the plot of the show. With this episodic flow, the show can get predictable as a result of the premise.
But, starting from episode 6, there comes a drastic change in the formula of the show which can potentially build towards big lore drops. For instance, we have yet to hear an explanation of how Miko was cursed with seeing ghosts, and what prominence this has over professional mediums. In short, the first few episodes do fall short because of the predictability, but episode 6 onwards does have the potential to improve on the world-building.
What also works for the show is that, while it is a horror-comedy, it is also surprisingly emotional and heartwarming. Believe me, I watched the show not expecting to be hit with the feels train. These moments are not contrived and feel genuinely earned and heartfelt my favorite one being the ending showing what happened with the scarred man and his pet cat.
The animation. It isn't necessarily visually eye-opening, but it befits the tone of the show. Of course, there are elements of it like fanservice often coming from lingering shots of Miko's legs or Hana's chest, but it does it in a balanced way where it is not distracting.
While the normal world is more or less bland/mundane, what makes it are the designs of the ghosts. The ghosts are truly terrifying and potentially mind-shattering to look like. They move in inhuman actions much like reanimated corpses; they are shrouded in darkness, and sometimes they even emit insidious fumes. Looking at the manga, it looks like they took a book out of the Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark movie by translating the illustrations over to the big screen. It should come as no wonder why Miko tries to ignore them at all costs.
As for the characters: Miko. Poor, poor, poor Miko. She does not deserve to suffer like this and sometimes, I am often compelled to give her a pat on the back and tell her that everything's okay. Yet at the same time, it is amusing to see her being scared. Just really cute whenever she is. Yet despite her fears, there are moments where she has to swallow her fears and put her foot down if it comes to possible danger Hana might face, or helping the ghosts in some way.
Hana. She is really the best friend that anyone would want. She is very loving and compassionate, and she has your back. With her, her immediate characteristic is that she is always hungry and she scarfs down several sweets frequently despite never gaining weight from them. Starting around the halfway mark of the anime, she is getting targeted by spirits as it turns out because of the excessive aura she projects. To think about it, imagine ghosts dropping tiny ghosts on a barbie and you'd get why ghosts single Hana out.
Our tritagonist is Yulia. She already appeared in earlier episodes and for the most part quietly observed Miko. As it would turn out, much like Miko, Yulia can see ghosts...but she is unable to see the larger and more potentially dangerous variants.
Yulia is a complicated character for me. I like her Gothic aesthetic and character design, and it is intriguing to have someone else being able to see ghosts except with one key difference. At the same time, Yulia can also be annoying and self-absorbed with believing that she is the big cheese when it comes to her medium abilities despite not being able to exorcise ghosts herself.
When she starts to suspect Miko as also having "the gift," she becomes the "rival" of Miko and completely misinterprets her actions as her trying to show off her skills when it is painfully obvious that she had her all wrong. This came to be after she locks Miko in the ballroom which led to the most memorable part of the episode where Miko chokeholds Yulia in order to protect her. While she is egotistical, it is explained briefly via flashback that she was bullied for her claims over clairvoyance. So it makes sense that she would want to believe that she was not alone. Hopefully, Miko will come around to clear up these misunderstandings.
For other characters, we have the Godmother of Downtown who is a fortune-teller with actual psychic abilities despite having the looks and attitude of a scammer but is willing to help Miko. Miko's parents appear and they are depicted as being your typical good parents to their children. But Miko's Dad's role in the story is such a huge twist, it makes you reevaluate what you had witnessed.
And then there's Miko's little brother Kyousuke who, for all intended purposes, is more or less the man of the house. He is introduced as being suspicious of the oddities happening with his sister and wants to protect her. He is a good boi.
With that, I'd say that Mieruko-chan is worth looking into. While it starts off formulaic, it shifts into high gear due to the one decision that Miko makes that could lead to more reveals down the line. Even then, I would also recommend it largely because of the designs of the ghosts.
- Nov 15, 2021