Hello and welcome back to Otaku Thursday! So, it’s spooky season–well into it–and Star and I have decked out our living spaces with Halloween things. We absolutely love this time of year, especially as we prepare for 13 Days of Otakutober which will be starting next week! We’ve got some fun and spooky posts planned out for festivities, but for today, as we prep for such activities, I’m going to be focusing on yet another first impressions. But to keep in the spirit (ha. See what I did there?) of Halloween, let’s touch on a horror anime–well, a horror comedy. Today, we’re talking about Mieruko-chan.
So, Mieruko-chan opens up to a girl going about her day. She wakes up, looks out the window, brushes her teeth. All appears normal. All appears fine. Then we skip to opening credits. The opening credits are…interesting. They look cute–colorful, nothing is wrong. But the song is chaotic. Star put so eloquently as to say that the singer literally sounds like they are having a panic attack at the beginning and the end. It’s extremely unsettling. Which makes sense because when we dive back into the meat of the episode, we see more and more sus things happening around Mieruko-chan. A hand print on the mirror she wipes away, maybe a shadow in the background, a missing keychain. The small things build together until finally, it manifests in front of Mieruko–it being a grotesque ghost that is trying to get noticed (imagine a –“notice me senpai” moment but horrifying). Our home girl looks at the creature and–nothing. She carries on her day, seemingly ignoring the ghost (the same thing I do to people when they’re trying to hit on me and I’m too busy to care).
This happens several more times in the episode before the end where finally, if you haven’t already been clued in at that point, she pretends she doesn’t see a ghost even when freaking out internally. Which, lo and behold, is actually the premise of the show. This poor girl is haunted, constantly, by these ghosts who she is terrified of. But she’s gotta keep it cool. Which honestly, she deserves applause for as some of these instances are genuinely terrifying to think about. Like, spoiler alert, if there was a demon just chillin under my blanket saying ‘mama’ I would not be able to just lower the blankets and go back to sleep. Girl how? I know you’re scared, you know you’re scared, but you manage to keep your cool. I think I’m going to rather enjoy this. Was it exactly what I had imagined by the premise? Nope. Not even a little. In fact, I thought they’d really play up that she wasn’t afraid of ghosts. The fact tat she’s terrified? Delightful (yes I know I’m a bit of a masochist).
In all kinds of technical terms though–animation, music, story. It’s like decent but nothing amazing. The animation and character designs are pretty subpar. I will say I like the fact that Mieruko-chan always looks tired–haunted by the ghosts that won’t even leave her alone in her dreams. Aside from that, the anime is filled with gratuitous fanservice shots–if you’ve seen the first ep…you know what I mean. But the thing that really stands out to me is the sound mixing and music. Despite it being really slow, the music and sound cues really know how to make it feel like your classical horror movie where you’re just waiting for the paranormal things to start happening. It’s a nice touch–making the cute anime that seems very mundane completely unsettling with the use of typical horror sound cues and creepy or off putting music. In terms of the story–well, it’s only episode one so I wouldn’t have a good idea of it yet but I think it’ll just be the daily life of this poor, poor girl–and I’m so here for that! Give me some nice comedy horror in the spooky season. I am so ready.
So there you have it. Is Mieruko-chan going to be the anime of the season? NO. But it is going to be an anime that you don’t want to miss. It’s funny, a little creepy (but not really), has cute anime girls, gratuitous fanservice moments, and a nice unsettling soundtrack to get you in the Halloween mood. If you’ve already tuned into the first episodes, let us know what you think so far! Do you love it? Hate it? Drop your opinions in the comments.