I will admit that Yuria was not my favourite addition into Mieruko-Chan given I was pretty happy with the Hana/Miko dynamic and honestly, Yuria strikes me as a bit of a brat. Still, episode 7 builds on the events from the shrine in episode 6 and finds a way to integrate Yuria more into the core cast here.
Now haunted tunnels are definitely a staple of most supernatural shows and its definitely a trope anime has explored before. My clearest memory comes from Psychic Detective Yakumo, but haunted tunnels pop up a lot, so not really surprised that this ghostly anime has decided to have the girls visit what is clearly going to be a haunted tunnel.
Mieruko-Chan sends its trio of lovely ladies into the dark.
For those who have been watching the series so far, you might wonder just why Yuria is suddenly hanging out with Miko and Hana. The set-up is a bit silly but it does make sense given what we know of her character and based on the events of the last episode.
Mieruko-Chan reminds us that Hana is oblivious to all the supernatural things around them by having her proudly displaying her picture from the shrine last week (you know the one where instead of a sunset behind her there’s actually some kind of shrine spirit destroying an evil spirit). Based on the number of likes that photo is getting online, Hana has decided to get into photography.
Seeing a way in, and wanting to prove herself stronger than Miko, Yuria inserts herself into the plot by offering to take Hana to a great spot to take photos over the weekend. Only problem is they just have to walk through this dark tunnel to get to this amazing view.
With Miko not willing to mention that she can see ghosts, so can’t explain why she doesn’t want to enter the tunnel, and Hana wanting another great photo, it is more or less inevitable that the trio will enter the tunnel.
One of the things I don’t like about Yuria’s character is her penchant for making assumptions about things around her. When we first really got to know anything about her in Mieruko-Chan, it was finding out that she assumed herself to have been accepted as an apprentice of the god-mother, meanwhile the god-mother just wanted her to go away.
Since that introduction, Yuria’s made a lot of assumptions about Miko and her actions and it continues in this episode as Miko simply goes through the process of removing a stone from her shoe and then tidying herself up after falling. I guess this technically is being played for laughs. Mieruko-Chan is technically listed as comedy. However, right from the start the strength of this anime isn’t in the moments when it tries to be funny.
What makes this episode ultimately work is again seeing Miko try to navigate wanting to get her friend (and herself) out of danger without revealing that she can see, as well as the ties the solution this week has to the conclusion of last week.
And also, while I still don’t love Yuria as a character, she was fully integrated into the friendship group by the time they wound up the story and ended up eating together. They even symbolically show Yuria potentially moving on from her self-made grudge when Hana sends her a photo of the three of them together and Yuria chooses to make it her new background, removing the god-mother who has already left the story.
While the comedy isn’t exactly great, there’s a lot to love about Mieruko-Chan and this episode was a nice solid build-up of supernatural antics with friendship sitting at the core of the solution and all and all was pretty satisfying to watch.
You can read the full season review here.
Images from: Mieruko-Chan. Dir. Y Ogawa. Passione. 2021
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