Welcome back. This week Irina and I are covering episode 12 of The Morose Mononokean Season 2. Irina is bold and in blue, and I’m in red.
I don’t even know where to start this week. This episode was just really great to watch. It felt like so much happened and yet I was genuinely surprised when the end credits started rolling because it felt like no time had passed. Did you like it?
I immediately jumped on my computer to make sure it wasn’t the last episode. This episode more than ever, I had the sinking feeling I would have to start a new manga collection. And I’m the type of cray I can’t just read them online because…crazy?
Ok short answer (too late): Yes, I liked it!
Once again, I am left wondering just how much the Legislator is manipulating the situation. Kuruo’s sudden visit to White Sand Prison and her wink as she asked Abeno to accompany her just seemed to suspect to really just assume it was a coincidence. And yet, what does she have to gain in this situation? It would really be nice to know if the Legislator is pulling the strings and if he is, what he is trying to get from it all.
Right from the first instants, where Ripou mentions that the prison is “not well guarded on the inside” I had my suspicions.
On a technical note, I was reminded how great Ripou’s voice is. He has this way of playing with inflection that makes everything sound just a little fishy. Something is definitely up.
I found Abeno’s sneaking around the prison to find the library unintentionally hilarious. For someone who is usually so straightforward and upfront, sneaking just doesn’t suit him and he’s not very good at it. I did like that he kind of panicked and took the book accidentally. It seemed like a fairly natural reaction of someone who is not used to being underhanded. Also, his freak out when it poked out of his clothes was also pretty priceless.
I was actually sort of freaked out at Kuruo mentioning that the medicine was used for torture. This season is slowly shifting the tone of The Morose Mononokean into something much more threatening.
I do agree that seeing Abeno flustered is a bit of a treat. I wouldn’t mind seeing more of that, if I wasn’t worried about him. I’ve been worrying about Abeno for no particular reason since season 1 and now everything’s converging on him.
It was really great to see those gorgeous Underworld vistas again!
There were however two things with this early part of the episode that bothered me. The first was that somehow Abeno had apparently had time to read the whole account, or at least a large part of it, which makes you wonder how long it takes to deliver medicine. But the second was just how easily he found exactly what he was looking for. Admittedly, the library was neatly ordered, but it still seemed far too easy that the first book he took off the shelf had the account he was looking for and he managed to find that account in the book with very little difficulty. It is a minor complaint but it just seemed too simple.
I agree with the second part but I’m not sure about the first. I thought he had flipped to a random page and that was all that he read. I may just be charitable.
That the Legislator ends up with the book just brings me back to wondering what he’s up to and how much he’s actually involved in everything.
I think it’s a power play. He wants to take some authority away from the other two. The Executive and the Justice also seem a lot closer to each other than to the Legislator, there may be something to that. But let’s go back to the mundane world, because they are slowly weaving the two together.
I really enjoyed Hanae’s attempt at bribing Yahiko to show him what Sakae looked like. It was such a typical interaction between them with Yahiko just crushing Hanae and stringing him along. It is nice to know that despite Hanae’s awakening power some things haven’t changed.
I like Yahiko quite a bit. I shouldn’t, but I do. Seeing those two together was a fun little romp and a break in the tension.
But, then we get into the final part of the episode where Hanae and Abeno are asked to go check out a shrine by Zenko. I really want to just swat Zenko’s father. He sent them there, through Zenko, without giving them all the information he had and that just seems really reckless.
OK, three things I noticed in the last prt. First, the mundane world was awash in yellow. The palette was warm and pale. Yellow is happy, obviously sunny but it’s also associated with lies. There’s something we don’t know going on.
Second, they really insisted on the spiderweb imagery, especially in connection with Abeno. He’s being ensnared. The web was also tinted yellow, just like Abeno’s hair…
Finally, the web and spider motifs were superimposed over an adorable little pig yokai, which to me instantly brought up the idea of Charlotte’s Web.
Wow, that is really Charlotte’s Web. I hadn’t thought of that.
Then of course the whole thing ends on a cliffhanger as we go into the final episode of the season. I will admit, this season has been a lot more exciting and interesting than season one so I am definitely anticipating that final episode.
Hence me looking up if it’s the final episode and finding out the MAL thumbnail has a picture of Sakae’s face right on there which is a bit of a spoiler…
There are two other things I enjoyed this episode. The first was Hanae’s sister and her phone call. While it is mostly disconnected from a lot of the rest of the story, I kind of like this deeper look at his family given that was missing entirely from season one. Also, with the current drama all revolving around the man who may have been his father, it is nice to see the other family members getting a bit of screen time.
The other thing I really enjoyed was the visual contrast between the underworld and the mundane world. I’ve appreciated this even in season one, but this episode did an excellent job of showcasing the vastly different colour palettes used for the two settings and honestly it just made the episode a visual feast for the eyes.
The episode had some truly beautiful scenery in both worlds. It was great to watch.
I am also going to give this episode bonus points for using Fuzzy as a projectile weapon.
I knew you would pick up on the Fuzzy attack. It was very pokemonish. I want to see Natsume just flinging Nyanko at things. I know we’re not comparing the two shows but it would be hilarious. Besides, we are then shown that a powerful yokai seems to have been sealed in a little offering shrine. What am I supposed to think about?
Oh, now I want to see that. And Nyanko’s reaction afterward because I’m better he would definitely pay Natsume back for doing that to him.
Anyway, one episode to go and I can’t wait.
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