If I ever get around to doing a list of my favourite anime friends I kind of feel Hana and Miko from Mieruko-Chan will deserve a place on that list. These two characters are delightful together. While Miko is capable of carrying a scene all on her own (or at least on her own save for the creepy ghost thing) the trust, love and sense of fun that exists when these two girls are together in a scene is an almost unbeatable combination.
Mieruko-Chan Hasn’t Been a One-Trick Pony
Despite my fears in episode one that Mieruko-Chan might become stale or formulaic, through good characters and clever writing each segment of each episode so far has actually worked pretty well. I’ve yet to feel like we’re stuck on repeat even if the running gag is that Miko is pretending not to see the ghosts.
Episode three is divided into three main set-ups with the final act being the longest and most complicated and actually doing a bit of world building.
Mieruko-Chan started this week with a simple scenario: Miko catching a bus and in the end missing her stop as she endeavoured not to see the multi-headed monstrosity that was at first sitting in the seat in front of her. It’s a straight forward play on the basic premise. There’s a ghost that Miko can see and she’s going to pretend she can’t.
Though, perhaps its mocking laugh and text-like speech of O-M-G was more off-putting than its appearance.
Again, this is a situation very similar to the bathroom sequence we have seen previously or even the ghost in the school hall in episode two. However there’s some decent tension built up in the scene as Miko hesitantly reaches for the stop button on the bus and then steadfastly stares at her phone rather than getting off in order to avoid making the ghost aware she could see it.
The second segment this week was perhaps the most entertaining and kind of build off the idea from episode two that Miko can get a sense of someone’s personality from the ghost near them. Mieruko-Chan had Miko waiting in a café for Hana when she spots a ghostly woman hanging around a guy who clearly thinks he’s quite attractive. After Miko has stared at the ghost the guy gets the wrong impression and smiles at her.
This is apparently sufficient to set the ghost woman off as she approaches Miko quite jealously.
I won’t spoil the punchline of how Miko managed to throw this ghost off but it was pretty hilarious and was perhaps my favourite scene so far in this series. Again, it is Miko’s deadpan delivery that really just makes it work.
And if that wasn’t entertaining enough, the girl the guy is actually waiting for then turns up with a host of male ghosts trailing in her wake. It’s just the icing on the cake of a very effective sequence.
Then, we move into the final act of episode 3 Mieruko-Chan. This involves the girl at school spying on a fortune teller and it’s pretty much implied that the fortune teller is related to her but I’m assuming that’s a later on plot line. Instead, the focus shifts to Hana and Miko who have been out buying prayer beads approaching the fortune teller because Miko’s beads keep breaking (of course Miko knows this is because of the scary ghost following her but Hana just thinks it is a shoddy product).
I love the old lady as she at first aims to scam them and then decides she wants to help Miko. Just as you think this is a lovely redemption story for the little old-lady there’s another twist that leaves the fortune teller somewhat dumbstruck and Miko once again without a solution to her ghost issue.
It’s a solid segment and brings the best of Mieruko-Chan to the foreground with Hana and Miko’s friendship really shining through, a great ghost design, a punch line that really gets a laugh, and an unexpected outcome to the whole segment. It also opens up the possibility that we’re getting closer to a couple more characters coming into this story now that they’ve established the set-up.
Mieruko-Chan isn’t a laugh a minute comedy but there’s definitely a solid reward at the end of each section and the mix so far of creepy supernatural and humour is actually working quite well. I’m definitely sold on Mieruko-Chan after three episodes and I really hope it continues to build on this.
Images from: Mieruko-Chan. Dir. Y Ogawa. Passione. 2021
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