I said in my review of episode 1 of Mieruko-Chan that there was a lot of potential for Miko and Hana as characters and episode 2 firmly cements their friendship and chemistry as almost the entire episode revolves around their interactions as Miko continues to pretend not to see ghosts. And it works incredibly well as the two complement each other nicely and it really does feel like a comfortable and genuine friendship.
Mieruko-Chan is developing a solid friendship at the core of this story.
However, I also pointed out that some of the fan-service in Mieruko-Chan felt a little out of place and the pandering shots this week as the girls change in the locker room and the groping ghost both continue the trend.
While I’m not against nudity, the locker room scene the lingering camera on Hana’s bare middle didn’t add anything to the overall set-up of the scene. Basically, Hana and Miko are overhearing a conversation about a ghost show on TV and that prompts Hana to discuss something she saw on TV involving a severed head in a locker.
The set-up is solid and the pay-off, when Hana gets Miko to open her locker, works. You know exactly what to expect, and Mieruko-Chan is self-aware enough to point out that its a bit of a trope, but that doesn’t stop it working. Nor does it prevent the second round jump scare from working when Hana can’t reach her phone on the upper shelf and Miko needs to reach up to the shelf where the head is placed.
Sometimes things are classic for a reason.
That said, despite being set in a locker room, I’m not finding the scenes of the girls changing really adds much to the overall situation and really all it will do is put some viewers off. It isn’t the kind of fan-service that is actually going to draw in viewers so it just feels kind of there.
Then of course Mieruko-Chan introduces a ghost made up of groping hands and has quite a few more lingering shots of Hana’s over-sized bust.
Which is kind of a shame because this sequence actually gives us Miko’s first real attempt at intervening with the ghosts and yet its marred by poorly delivered fan-service.
I can’t really figure it out given the handsy ghost crawling out of the desk is actually a pretty cool visual and it latching onto Hana is the right kind of creepy. The gratuitous focus on breast gropes though just feels again unnecessary and I think will put off more viewers than it really draws in.
We get two more ghostly encounters in this episode. The first involves Hana accidentally lining up in a queue of ghosts rather than the living humans when she goes to buy doughnuts with Hana. From start to finish this sequence works.
Actually, I’m starting to see the comedy label for Mieruko-Chan. While not much is laugh out loud funny, the story is sequences more like a series of vignettes each with a basic set-up and then a punch line.
The punch-line of the line-up sequence is kind of brilliant and one of those moments you just kind of have to watch to really appreciate Miko’s thanks to Hana at the end of the sequence.
Finally Mieruko-Chan brings us a missing cat sequence where Hana picks up a stray and then advertises on social media that she’s looking for a home for it. Here we get the second time we see Miko really use her vision to change her behaviour and I’m going to leave it at that. I will just say I hope there’s more to this scene and that we see these characters again.
There’s a lot to like about Mieruko-Chan in episode 2 and I’m loving the short snippet ghostly encounters. Miko and Hana are also great together and I’m curious to see what Miko will do next when she sees a ghost doing something she just can’t ignore.
Images from: Mieruko-Chan. Dir. Y Ogawa. Passione. 2021
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