Here we are at the end of the season and it is time for one last chat with Irina about The Morose Mononokean (at least this season and fingers crossed that we eventually get a third). We’re over on Irina’s site today so to check out our full discussion about The Morose Mononokean Season 2 Episode 13 hop on over and be sure to leave us a comment.
Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime. Join the discussion in the comments. Karandi James
Hi Irina, welcome to another week. I’m really continuing to enjoy The Morose Mononokean this season and this episode was a great mix of fun, a few reveals, and just being calm and relaxing to watch. Though my favourite part was definitely seeing Abeno as a little kid because that was so cute. What was your favourite part?
I’m not sure. Little Abeno is adorable but I also liked exhausted Yahiko in kitsune form AND they gave us a halloween episode in February which made me really happy. I just enjoyed this episode overall.
As an aside, I let the intro play again and the OP is really growing on me. Mind you, I liked it to begin with! It’s a good OP. Quietly this season is turning out to be really enjoyable.
I think I prefer the ED though the OP is definitely growing on me.
Perhaps I should actually put my thoughts into some kind of order. The start of this episode was great because it showed that Abeno does plan to look into Hanae’s dad even though Hanae didn’t really want to pursue it. Also, the Legislator clearly knows what he is up to but isn’t stopping him (nor does it seem like he plans to help). I’m really curious now as to how this is all going to come together.
You know, I sometimes wonder whether Rippou actually cares about Abeno. I mean beyond just the fact that he’s an employee and entertaining. The Legislator is likely to “like” people because they are useful to him. I don’t think Rippou has any attachment to Hanae beyond the fact that he’s a novelty but when it comes to Abeno, sometimes there seems to be something almost tender in their relationship.
Completely one sided of course.
However, after that, Abeno goes to school and we have what should be a standard school festival kind of event. Still, The Morose Mononokean manages to make that quite fun. Watching Hanae and Abeno go around dressed as a witch and a grim reaper was pretty funny by itself but Abeno’s commentary on Hanae’s sale’s pitch was hilarious. What did you think of their antics?
They made a great odd couple and it’s nice to see the tension go out of their relationship.
Actually really liked Zenko in these scenes. I think she was a perfect straight man to their respective types of eccentricnesses that brought everything together. This is why I like school festival episodes. They’re just mindless fun and it makes me feel comfortable.
And if you throw in Yokai….
Of course we need some sort of yokai story going on and we get that when Zenko reveals she let Yahiko come to the school festival. I kind of can’t believe she gave in knowing Yahiko the way she does, but I must admit he was making it hard to say ‘no’. Anyway, it gave Abeno a good excuse to ditch the festival, and the reaper costume, and go play.
But before they do, great little haunted house scene. I really wanted to know what that “happy ending” was. It seemed like something to behold!
What did you think of Yahiko and Abeno’s play date?
What I really liked was they didn’t waste this. It wasn’t just Abeno goofing off with Yahiko. Abeno used the opportunity to find out what Yahiko knew about Hanae’s father and Yahiko actually transformed into someone he met with Aoi (the old master of the Mononokean). However, that raises more questions than it answers given they clearly don’t match the image we’ve been seeing in Hanae’s memory and it is revealed that Hanae’s father might have died the year he was born so I’m left wondering who he met. So much intrigue. And I really want to know more. What about you?
Before the transformation scene, we did see the little Hanae flashback to meeting his dad in the snow and well, we do see his hair in those scenes and it isn’t blonde. I thought it was odd but chalked it off to the shadow of the hood or something.
But then when I saw Yahiko transform, I realized it may be more than that. I mean the only person to ever call hm blond with gold eyes is Hanae’s mother. Her memories may have been played with.
It’s a nice little mystery they’re setting up, that’s for sure. Although I remain more curious about Abeno’s past. Of course there’s still time.
And still there is more to the episode with Hanae and Abeno traveling to a cliff to do a job for a yokai and it turns out it is a yokai that Abeno met when he was still just an employee of the Mononokean. All of that leads to the most adorable flashback ever with little Abeno.
Is this the first time we see Aoi? I may have just forgotten but I was really surprised she was a cat. I guess it’s her form in the mundane world. But still, that was a very young Abeno up on a high hill with and unpredictable yokai and a cat to defend him.
Yeah, there’s the question of where is Abeno’s family and why are they letting a child that young traipse around with a cat. There’s definitely a lot more to this story.
Okay, this wasn’t the most focused of episodes but I absolutely loved it. So many good things happening and so many interesting things to speculate about.
I agree. In fact when the ending credits started I was stunned. Like 10 minutes had barely gone by. I’m looking forward to more. I’m starting to worry a bit that I’ll be sad if it doesn’t get another season…
Of course, I’ll have to leave you with my Fuzzy screencap of the episode and I’m so giving it to this adorable shot of Fuzzy trying to climb back up a cliff to get into the Mononokean. Too adorable.
This was a good screencap episode. I’m a little jealous!
We’re back over on Irina’s blog this week as we review episode 9. Taking a break from underworld politics this week there’s a firm family focus and a bit of back story on Ashiya that we’ve been missing so far. Very enjoyable episode so be sure to head over to Irina’s blog and check out our thoughts on it.
Do you know what the perfect show to watch this season is when you are not in such a great head space? Definitely The Morose Mononokean. While My Roommate is a Cat would run it a close second, I could feel my shoulders releasing a great deal of tension while watching this week’s episode of The Morose Mononokean and it wasn’t just because I got to see Fuzzy eating Fairy Floss (I guess I should also go American and I think that should be Cotton Candy?).
Anyway, Irina and I are back covering episode 8 of The Morose Mononokean. How are you this week Irina?
Exhausted. Work has been kicking my behind laely but it’s nice to feel like you’ve really earned your weekend, you know?
And I definitely agree that Mononokean is one of those weightless relaxing show that helps you drift away with the pretty colours.
While I honestly loved how relaxing it was watching the episode this week, compared to some of the episodes this season, episode 8 is a little bit underwhelming. It does the job and it definitely hits the sweet relaxing tone it is aiming for as Zenko, Abeno and Hanae accompany Keshi to the festival, some great screen caps to be found in that sequence, but realistically we don’t get into the real meat of the episode until later on when Hanae actually calls Abeno on hiding jobs from him.
For awhile I was tempted to call this a filler episode but we actually got a few clues regarding what’s happening in the bigger story AND some very nice character growth.
I have to say, the fillerish first half did have me reflecting on the summer festival trope in anime and I’ve decided I quite like it. I’m not sure why but these very predictable and similar episodes always make me smile. This one was no exception. It was just sweet to see that little doll get her simple wish. And kitsune masks are the best accessory.
Do I just point out that this is probably Hanae at his finest this week. Sometimes he gets a little silly and he regularly is the one who has the big reaction to unusual things or the emotional response while Abeno remains stoic. However, this week, while he certainly still has his emotional moments, we see a more mature side of Hanae as he doesn’t whinge at Abeno for keeping him out of the loop but rather calmly points out that he is an employee and he’ll help out with any job.
Definitely. The interplay between Hanae and Abeno this week was a big step forward in their relationship.
The problem is that Hanae and to a lesser extent Abeno, are rather underdeveloped characters all things considered. So although we can easily infer that Hanae’s recent experiences with the executor, his banishment rendering him unable to help and Abeno’s sacrifices have all served to force him to grow up and mature. It’s also difficult to truly appreciate this growth as he was sort of hollow to begin with.
This said, I’m a sucker for friendship storylines, this spoke to me.
I definitely have to agree about them both being underdeveloped characters. That comes back to last week where we were discussing how the yokai wanting to be human plot kind of felt like a Natsume episode but this show really isn’t comparable. I think it is the lack of development with the characters that really makes this one a far less compelling watching experience when compared. Every character in Natsume just makes me fall in love with them, whereas with this one I’m really fairly indifferent to the majority of the characters.
Moving away from comparisons though, there are great moments to be found in this episode, however I didn’t really feel that the episode flowed particularly well. Much like last week, I felt the transition between sections was a bit abrupt. I do get the connection with Abeno collapsing after sending Keshi back being the catalyst for Hanae to really put together the fact that he’s being left out of jobs, but still it was quite jarring to jump straight from that to the watermelon splitting (and the really are hitting all the Summer tropes with school camp, festival, and watermelon splitting even if we didn’t get to the beach to do it).
I don’t know. The transition didn’t really bother me. There was a connective thread and the tone remained constant.
The mid episode story change seems to be over this week in any case. Both threads wrapped up rather nicely. I’m willing to bet we are going to have another underworld politics episode next week.
But what did you think of this week’s Karandi?
Despite some of my minor issues with the episode, I do have to admit it is continuing to keep me intrigued about the political situation in the underworld as well as wanting to know what the Executive is actually up to. Hopefully we’ll get some resolution on that by the end of the season otherwise it will be very frustrating as we wonder if a season three will ever come out.
There is enough time to reach some type of conclusion with the Executor I think but Abeno’s greater backstory will probably stay a mystery for a while. With my predicting capacities, they’ll tell us all about it next episode. That would be pretty cool actually.
Catch you next week for episode 9, and of course, I’ll leave you all with a cute picture of Fuzzy.
We’re over on Irina’ blog today reviewing the most recent episode of The Morose Mononokean. So hop on over and check out our thoughts on this one. It’s a bit of a mixed bag episode but still plenty to enjoy.
Hi Irina, we’re back again for another week of the Morose Mononokean. I am so glad we decided to cover this one together because it has so far been a lot of fun.
Surprisingly, ths season has managed to recapture the easygoing if somewhat shallow charm of the first and add in some actual substance. I’m quite impressed.
I was starting to get a little jealous of Irina given episode 4, which was the last write up on my site, was a little bit ordinary and then episode 5, on Irina’s, was amazing. However, episode 6 kind of made me get over that because wow that was an intense episode considering we spent most of it playing hide and seek.
I preferred it to last week, myself.
There was a really nice balance this week of humorous moments to the more serious. It was like this anime decided to showcase he best it could be all in one episode.
This week, Abeno’s character was really interesting. There were moments where his concern for Hanae were really clear. I loved at the start how he tried to convince Hanae to have some time off and when that didn’t really work he decided to train him to use his detection abilities. I love that this is pushing the plot as well as continuing to develop the relationship between these two characters, plus it is kind of cool that Hanae can now detect yokai and not just find metal things (though I wonder if the two skills are connected).
There was a line towards the end of the episode where Abeno mentions that if ever Hanae is in trouble he should not hesitate to use his power and how he would need to protect himself once they were no longer together. This line stuck with me. Foreshadowing?
Yeah, that worried me as well. Does Abeno know something we don’t? Is there some fallout from last week they are keeping us in the dark about?
I did worry a bit about this episode when they went on the photography trip and Yahiko came along to play hide and seek. I felt that this was a sure sign that we were about to diffuse the tension that had been building up after last week but then The Morose Mononokean just went for it. That scene in the inn between Hanae and Yahiko sent shivers down my spine and it kind of makes that situation in the underworld in season one make sense now. I particularly liked that even the next day, Yahiko seems to finally see Hanae as someone to take seriously and not just mock anymore.
This was a fantastic scene. It completely reframed both characters. Yahiko is occasionally a bit annoying but he is a very powerful Yokai that seems to have had a bit of a difficult past. The scene brought his hurt and vulnerability to the forefront, making his usual over excited mischievous nature much more endearing. It was also a great animation of fear. I really loved Yahiko’s stunned and hesitant mouvements. It really brought the point home.
On the flipside it also somehow manage to make Hanae believably menacing. I would not have thought that was possible.
Totally agree. Hanae’s growth as a character this episode was brilliant as well. The obvious learning to use his detection power was cool, but so was his understanding of Abeno’s position and starting to realise that he wasn’t the only one affected by the events of last week. I’m hoping we keep heading in this direction and learning more about this power the boys have and maybe even why they have it at some point. I did feel really bad for Hanae when Fuzzy was hiding in the corner and seemed to be scared of him but it was kind of scary given Hanae wasn’t really in control of what he was doing for a moment.
Hanae is a bit of a ditz and as the point of view character, we never really got to properly explore what all the responsibilities and abilities Abeno has are costing him. He’s obviously isolated from both human and yokai in a way Hanae never was but this time, as Hanae’s own powers and experiences with the underground start to grow, he’s finally realizing that his friend may not have had it easy all this time.
As much as I loved the ongoing motherly plot thread of Abeno taking care of Hanae, I was pretty touched by Hanae thinking of Abeno for once.
Of course, I’m now paranoid every single time I see a crow in this anime that it is the executive spying on them. The fact that it is most likely true doesn’t help. I’m sure there are some perfectly innocent crows somewhere but the ones that look pointedly at Abeno and Hanae probably are there to watch them.
I do find it weird that Hanae still has human friends given how often he blows them off. Even in this episode he agrees to go on the trip with them and then literally spends no time with them. He doesn’t sit with them on the bus, he runs straight past them when they are out taking photos. You have to wonder why they keep making an effort. Certainly some of the time it is his job interfering but on this trip he didn’t have that excuse so you have to wonder why they don’t call him on it.
I honestly had a flashback to Sanrio Boys and how horrible Kota was to his friends.
Anyways in my head, Hanae walks to and from school with them every day and they joke around and have a great time. Also they might be thinking he has a little thing going on with Abeno and are leaving them their space because they’re good friends and hopeless romantics.
However, the best thing about this episode – more Fuzzy.
Did you notice him randomly blushing to the beginning of the episode?
This season is starting to show a very intriguing overarching plot thread. More than once they’ve had seemingly fluffy filler episodes get interrupted by rather serious consequences. I’m looking forward to seeing where it goes.
Welcome back to another week and I am really happy to continue covering The Morose Mononokean with Irina. I will be in red and Irina is in blue (and in bold-italics). Hopefully you enjoy the post.
Well, the heat has continued more or less uninterrupted which makes for a great excuse to stay home on the weekend and watch anime. And what better way to start Sunday morning than with this cutie-delightful episode.
Oh we are talking weather again!!! Sweet. We had one hot day where everything melted and then it got back to being cold so now everything is ice! EVERYTHING. Walking the dog is an adventure! Poor boy slides so much. I know I shouldn’t laugh….
Sounds pretty cute to me watching a dog sliding on ice. Episode 4 takes us back to a strictly yokai of the week approach and while the preview for the next episode suggests we’re getting back into the whole ongoing story the season has set up, this one pretty much introduces us to a new yokai via Yahiko. I will say this episode seems to be trying to make up for the absence of cute last week with plenty of moments between Yahiko and the truly adorable Kinako and also quite a few scenes with Fuzzy in them. It is almost a cute yokai overload and I loved it.
I was thinking of this while watching: which do you find cuter, the yorkie like Kinako or do you stay loyal to your favorite fulffball Fuzzy?
Easy, totally Fuzzy. Still, Kinako was cute.
It is kind of nice to see The Morose Mononokean return to this standard meet a yokai and convince it to return to the underworld formula. Mostly because I’d almost forgotten about the fact that yokai apparently struggle to stay in the mundane world. When we’re constantly seeing Fuzzy and Yahiko just kind of chilling with the other characters you almost forget that there are reasons why Abeno sends the other yokai ‘home’. Then again, I’m struggling to remember why, other than an attachment to Zenko and Abeno, Yahiko doesn’t want to return to the underworld. I may need to go back and remember. Unless you know?
He actually is being punished. He bit Zenko back when Abeno was a kid and he as to help out with the temple I think as long as she’s there.
This said, even back then there was something a bit off about Yahiko. We know he’s not actually a kid and in fact a pretty powerful yokai. There was always some friction with the underworld but I’m not sure we now the exact nature of it. I just remember that even when he was playing with little Abeno (ho was adorable) there was already something sad about Yahiko.
There isn’t a huge amount more to pull out of this episode. Watching Yahiko and Kinako play in the temple yard was really adorable. Seeing Kinako nearly disappear was heartbreaking, as it was supposed to be. The ultimate compromise solution suggested by Hanae is fairly typical Hanae, though once again he’s exhibiting interesting characteristics hearing Kinako’s voice as she nearly disappears. However, despite the story being fairly unremarkable it hit all the right notes.
The obvious parallels between losing a beloved pet really twisted up my heart strings. It wasn’t that great an episode. The writing was a bit graceless and I found having two squeaky voiced characters chattering through most of it a bit annoying and yet I can’t say I didn’t like it.
It was in fact the most reminiscent of season 1 episodes so far.
It’s just that I’m very curious about the trouble brewing in the Underworld and I’m impatient to get back to it.
I do want to say that sunset was gorgeous. For a last sight of the mundane world, Kinako really lucked out.
So not much to complain about this week. It was a great episode watching the characters going through their usual routine helping a yokai return to the underworld. We got to see Zenko and Yahiko properly (they’ve only really had a bit of a cameo in a previous episode this season) and Kinako was super cute. Looking forward to next week.
As I watched the episode I thought this is sweet, a bit saccharine maybe. OK it could use some subtlety, these characters are caricatures at this point and then BLAM, closing credits. Honestly, it felt like the episode had lasted all of five minutes.
Whatever is shortcomings, it really was paced fantastically. The story poured over me gently and the entire thing flew by before I even noticed it. For that I have to say kudos. I can’t wait to see what this skill can do with a meatier storyline!
That wraps up week 4 of The Morose Mononokean. Use the links below to check out our previous posts and hopefully you will join us next week over on Irina’s blog when we discuss episode 5.
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