Mieruko-Chan spends episode 5 introducing us to Yulia/Yuria, another girl from Miko’s school and the one who was spying on the Godmother in the episode 3. Turns out she isn’t related to the Godmother but was trying to be taken on as an apprentice and she’s pretty saddened to see the Godmother’s shop has closed.
I’m not really sure how I feel yet about Yuria. On the one hand, she’s been appearing in brief glimpses since episode one and given her striking hair colour it was obvious she was going to become a character of note but her introduction here isn’t great as we meet a character who can see things but seems to think she knows a lot about everything and as a result is going to get herself into trouble.
Mieruko-Chan delivers another solid episode though not I’m not sure if I’m going to like Yuria.
The set up this week in Mieruko-Chan is simple and instead of progressing through a series of ghostly encounters instead we have Yuria’s story and then one other story involving Miko. We see how she meets the Godmother and asks to be taken on as an apprentice. The Godmother turns her down and then gives her some beads to make her go-away.
We then see some of Yuria’s personality. As she walks away with the beads she assumes that being given them means the Godmother has accepted her as an apprentice. This misinterpretation of events becomes a standard feature of Yuria’s as the episode progresses.
When Yuria returns to the Godmother’s shop she finds it closed down and the guy across the road tells her that the Godmother shut it down after her last couple of customers, who just happen to be walking down the mall right then and there, and he directs Yuria’s attention to Miko and Hana.
Here we get a sense of Miko’s normal day as we see from the outsider’s perspective how a walk with Hana goes. Yuria is watching and can see a ghostly shape that Hana is about to walk through (seriously, Hana is always about to walk into or through a ghost) but at the last moment Miko calls out that there is a cockroach and causes Hana to swerve aside.
It’s a fairly clever scene and Mieruko-Chan makes sure that all the pieces are in place for Yuria to draw the conclusion that Miko can see ghosts without ever having Miko confirm it.
Of course we then go from fun potentially supporting character to where I get iffy about whether I’m going to like Yuria’s character. To force an admission from Miko, Yuria essentially draws some little spirits into the equipment room in her school’s gym and then confronts Miko, who plays real dumb.
There’s a few issues with this approach in Mieruko-Chan. It kind of reminded me of the time Ishida wanted to prove he was stronger than Ichigo in Bleach and so summoned a whole bunch of Hollow’s to town. I mean, really? We still aren’t sure if the ghost things in Mieruko-Chan are actually dangerous (though some of them certainly look it) but why draw more of them to you?
Though again, the scene reveals more than it might have when we realise that yes, Yuria is seeing ghosts, but she isn’t seeing everything Miko can see. In fact, while Yuria is quite clearly seeing the small ghosts, there’s a great big thing harassing the both of them while they speak that she clearly cannot sense at all. So while Yuria might understand a little of what Miko is going through, Miko is clearly in a league of her own.
Now, there’s not a lot of comedy in the build up of this sequence in Mieruko-Chan however the fall-out after Miko essentially knocks Yuria out to protect her is pretty funny. Largely because we see the scene in the infirmary from both perspectives. Firstly we see Miko telling Yuria she might be better off pretending not to see in her usual calm manner accompanied by her usual thoughtful interior monologue concerned about putting Yuria in danger (even though the girl did just shut her in an equipment room with ghosts).
Then we see the sequence again from Yuria’s point of view where she radically reinterprets the situation casting Miko in the role of villain ordering her silence.
I somehow suspect that Yuria is going to continue to be a bit of a pain due to her own delusional take on things.
The final segment of Mieruko-Chan this week has Miko assisting an old lady home but then encountering a ghost. This actually turns into a pretty heart-warming segment and I really thought this was a great way to wrap up the episode.
While I’m still on the fence about whether I like Yuria’s character, I really am continuing to enjoy Mieruko-Chan each week and episode 5 is another very watchable and quite enjoyable episode. They keep finding ways to keep the basic premise fresh and Miko really is a great central character who manages to make each scenario interesting. Very much looking forward to the next episode.
You can read the full season review here.
Images from: Mieruko-Chan. Dir. Y Ogawa. Passione. 2021
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