The Morose Mononokean Season 2 Episode 12 With Irina and Karandi

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Welcome back. This week Irina and I are covering episode 12 of The Morose Mononokean Season 2. Irina is bold and in blue, and I’m in red.

I don’t even know where to start this week. This episode was just really great to watch. It felt like so much happened and yet I was genuinely surprised when the end credits started rolling because it felt like no time had passed. Did you like it?

I immediately jumped on my computer to make sure it wasn’t the last episode. This episode more than ever, I had the sinking feeling I would have to start a new manga collection. And I’m the type of cray I can’t just read them online because…crazy?

Ok short answer (too late): Yes, I liked it!

Once again, I am left wondering just how much the Legislator is manipulating the situation. Kuruo’s sudden visit to White Sand Prison and her wink as she asked Abeno to accompany her just seemed to suspect to really just assume it was a coincidence. And yet, what does she have to gain in this situation? It would really be nice to know if the Legislator is pulling the strings and if he is, what he is trying to get from it all.

Right from the first instants, where Ripou mentions that the prison is “not well guarded on the inside” I had my suspicions.

On a technical note, I was reminded how great Ripou’s voice is. He has this way of playing with inflection that makes everything sound just a little fishy. Something is definitely up.

I found Abeno’s sneaking around the prison to find the library unintentionally hilarious. For someone who is usually so straightforward and upfront, sneaking just doesn’t suit him and he’s not very good at it. I did like that he kind of panicked and took the book accidentally. It seemed like a fairly natural reaction of someone who is not used to being underhanded. Also, his freak out when it poked out of his clothes was also pretty priceless.

I was actually sort of freaked out at Kuruo mentioning that the medicine was used for torture. This season is slowly shifting the tone of The Morose Mononokean into something much more threatening.

I do agree that seeing Abeno flustered is a bit of a treat. I wouldn’t mind seeing more of that, if I wasn’t worried about him. I’ve been worrying about Abeno for no particular reason since season 1 and now everything’s converging on him.

It was really great to see those gorgeous Underworld vistas again!

There were however two things with this early part of the episode that bothered me. The first was that somehow Abeno had apparently had time to read the whole account, or at least a large part of it, which makes you wonder how long it takes to deliver medicine. But the second was just how easily he found exactly what he was looking for. Admittedly, the library was neatly ordered, but it still seemed far too easy that the first book he took off the shelf had the account he was looking for and he managed to find that account in the book with very little difficulty. It is a minor complaint but it just seemed too simple.

I agree with the second part but I’m not sure about the first. I thought he had flipped to a random page and that was all that he read. I may just be charitable.

That the Legislator ends up with the book just brings me back to wondering what he’s up to and how much he’s actually involved in everything.

I think it’s a power play. He wants to take some authority away from the other two. The Executive and the Justice also seem a lot closer to each other than to the Legislator, there may be something to that. But let’s go back to the mundane world, because they are slowly weaving the two together.

We do see these two together a lot.

I really enjoyed Hanae’s attempt at bribing Yahiko to show him what Sakae looked like. It was such a typical interaction between them with Yahiko just crushing Hanae and stringing him along. It is nice to know that despite Hanae’s awakening power some things haven’t changed.

I like Yahiko quite a bit. I shouldn’t, but I do. Seeing those two together was a fun little romp and a break in the tension.

But, then we get into the final part of the episode where Hanae and Abeno are asked to go check out a shrine by Zenko. I really want to just swat Zenko’s father. He sent them there, through Zenko, without giving them all the information he had and that just seems really reckless.

OK, three things I noticed in the last prt. First, the mundane world was awash in yellow. The palette was warm and pale. Yellow is happy, obviously sunny but it’s also associated with lies. There’s something we don’t know going on.

Second, they really insisted on the spiderweb imagery, especially in connection with Abeno. He’s being ensnared. The web was also tinted yellow, just like Abeno’s hair…

Finally, the web and spider motifs were superimposed over an adorable little pig yokai, which to me instantly brought up the idea of Charlotte’s Web.

Wow, that is really Charlotte’s Web. I hadn’t thought of that.

Then of course the whole thing ends on a cliffhanger as we go into the final episode of the season. I will admit, this season has been a lot more exciting and interesting than season one so I am definitely anticipating that final episode.

Hence me looking up if it’s the final episode and finding out the MAL thumbnail has a picture of Sakae’s face right on there which is a bit of a spoiler…

There are two other things I enjoyed this episode. The first was Hanae’s sister and her phone call. While it is mostly disconnected from a lot of the rest of the story, I kind of like this deeper look at his family given that was missing entirely from season one. Also, with the current drama all revolving around the man who may have been his father, it is nice to see the other family members getting a bit of screen time.

The other thing I really enjoyed was the visual contrast between the underworld and the mundane world. I’ve appreciated this even in season one, but this episode did an excellent job of showcasing the vastly different colour palettes used for the two settings and honestly it just made the episode a visual feast for the eyes.

The episode had some truly beautiful scenery in both worlds. It was great to watch.

I am also going to give this episode bonus points for using Fuzzy as a projectile weapon.

I knew you would pick up on the Fuzzy attack. It was very pokemonish. I want to see Natsume just flinging Nyanko at things. I know we’re not comparing the two shows but it would be hilarious. Besides, we are then shown that a powerful yokai seems to have been sealed in a little offering shrine. What am I supposed to think about?

Nyanko Attack!

Oh, now I want to see that. And Nyanko’s reaction afterward because I’m better he would definitely pay Natsume back for doing that to him.

Anyway, one episode to go and I can’t wait.

Me neither!

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Karandi James
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The Morose Mononokean Season 2 Episode 11 With Irina and Karandi

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This week we are back on Irina’s blog so be sure to go check out our thoughts on this adorable little episode featuring the cutest yokai birds with ear wings. Granted, there isn’t a lot of competition for birds with ear wings but seriously this was adorable. Also some good plot development stuff and some great character moments.

Seriously though, for Irina and my complete thoughts on The Morose Mononokean Season 2 Episode 11 head over to Irina’s. If you’ve missed our previous posts they are linked to below and be sure next week to catch our review of episode 12 right here.

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Karandi James
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The Morose Mononokean Season 2 Episode 10 With Irina and Karandi

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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.

The Morose Mononokean Season 2 Episode 10

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.

The Morose Mononokean Season 2 Episode 10

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?

The Morose Mononokean Season 2 Episode 10
Not sure he was worried about the lack of costume.

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.

The Morose Mononokean Season 2 Episode 10

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.

The Morose Mononokean Season 2 Episode 10

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.

The Morose Mononokean Season 2 Episode 10

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.

Child services?

The Morose Mononokean Season 2 Episode 10
This is definitely not adequate supervision for a child while on a ledge.

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.

The Morose Mononokean Episode 10

This was a good screencap episode. I’m a little jealous!

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Karandi James
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The Morose Mononokean Season 2 Episode 9 With Irina and Karandi

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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.

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The Morose Mononokean Season 2 Episode 6 With Irina and Karandi

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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.

The Morose Mononokean Episode 6 - Abeno and Ashiya sending yokai home.

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.

The Morose Mononokean Episode 6 Abeno and Ashiya

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?

The Morose Mononokean Episode 6 Abeno reminds Ashiya to work on his detection skills.

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.

The Morose Mononokean Episode 6 Ashiya and Yahiko

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.

The Morose Mononokean Episode 6 Ashiya asking Yahiko not to scare him.

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.

The Morose Mononokean Episode 6 Yahiko transforms into a giant crow.

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.

The Morose Mononokean Epsidoe 6 Fuzzy

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.

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Karandi James
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The Morose Mononokean Episode 5 With Irina and Karandi

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This week Irina and I discuss underworld politics as Hanae and Abeno face perhaps the most dangerous situation yet. Check out the full post on Irina’s blog this week. Next week we’ll be back here with episode 6.

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The Morose Mononokean Season 2 Episode 2 With Irina and Karandi: We’re Making New Friends

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The Morose Mononokean is back for its second episode and that means Irina and I are back to discuss what’s new for Abeno and Hanae as we pick up from that surprise first episode cliffhanger.

I was looking forward to this episode. Not so much because the cliffhanger had me on the edge of my seat but I find the Morose Mononokean universe comfy and cozy. It was a wonderful way to spend an afternoon as the outside world is grey, windy and freezing!

I agree, definitely a great way to spend some time (morning for me but given it’s already in the high thirties and just getting hotter, I’m not leaving the air conditioning today).

The Morose Mononokean - Hanae

I wasn’t really surprised to learn that Hanae wasn’t really in danger (while it was possible it didn’t seem likely this early on). Then again, given how season one dealt with its cliffhangers I wasn’t really surprised this one diffused pretty quickly. What I did like was that even though the threat more or less sorted itself out, we transitioned very quickly into seeing Hanae helping find the gold-shiny thing and this linked back to his previous efforts at finding a ring. Hanae has some odd quirks and eventually they are going to have to explain why a seemingly normal human can pull this kind of thing off.

The Morose Mononokean - Hanae finding the ring

The one thing I didn’t like was that the episode felt the need to flash back to Hanae finding the ring. Realistically most people watching this will have seen the first season and that was a moment that stood out for Hanae because it was particularly strange. Then again, how did you feel about it, Irina?

Actually, I appreciated it. I had quite liked that episode in the first season but I probably wouldn’t have recalled it if it weren’t for the flash back. Since it was just a short scene, I really didn’t find it dragged down the narrative at all.

What struck me most was the disconnect between the beast and it’s voice. I really didn’t match it’s looks and for some reason I loved it. Just hearing that sightly whiny bored tone coming out of a regal liger made me happy. I could no longer take him seriously but that’s ok.

The Morose Mononokean Episode 2 Hanae and Beast

I have to agree about the voice. At first I was wondering who was talking and then I realised it was the beast.

Of course, regardless of what we end up learning about Hanae he is a complete goof. The Goro Express moment is an excellent example of Hanae at his silliest though it does get him where he needs to go. I was actually surprised when the whole delivery seemed pretty straight forward. I kind of expected more from the actual handover of the document.

I don’t know if you’ve had dogs growing up. To be honest I was an adult when I got my first dog but Buddy is pretty big and I’m pretty small so he does come up roughly to my waist. If I could ride him I would never walk again. I have Neverending Story envy.

The Morose Mononokean Episode 2 Hanae riding the beast

Yes the hand off was very easy….suspiciously easy…. The again, he is on the authority of the legislator and that may carry some weight.

Maybe. The Legislator continues to be a great character in the show. It is so hard to know how seriously we should be taking him and whether or not things work out for him by coincidence or really careful planning and manipulation. His interactions with Abeno are great because Abeno is usually such a hard character to read because he’s either stoic or annoyed (usually at Hanae). When the Legislator is playing with him though we see a somewhat wider range of responses.

I think we discover more about Abeno and Rippou when they’re not together. We don’t quite know the end game here. A lot of Yokai seem antagonistic to humans which is why Hanae has to be so careful so I wonder where the Legislator actually stands. Asking a question like *if you could save only one, would it be Yokai or Human? Is super ominous. Does he think it may come to that?

The Morose Mononokean Episode 2 Rippou (The Legislator)

The again, they are framing the story to make him appear sympathetic for the most part.

That question is a little bit leading only I have no idea where it is going.

I wasn’t overly sold on the Hanae getting sick at the end as a final complication for the episode though. It did give Abeno an excuse to leave to fetch something to fix him which allowed the conversation between the two yokai, but it just felt really contrived to me.

The Morose Mononokean Episode 2 Abeno looking at Hanae

I actually thought he was faking it for a while. I also wondered why Abeno felt it necessary to put on a tie to run to the convenience store. The whole scene was a bit unbalanced but I did enjoy the party leading up to it.

I always loved the running gag of Shizuku being jealous of Hanae because Koura wants to use his body parts for medicine. It’s so delightfully weird.

Delightfully weird is an excellent description.

Then we get that final moment with the other yokai discussing the new employee. I wonder if Hanae’s life is about to get more interesting?

The Morose Mononokean Episode 2 - yokai

I bet it is. That final yokai we saw only in silhouette was considerably more threatening than what we usually get from this show. They might be ramping up the stakes a bit and I’m here for it.

The final thing I want to raise was that Fuzzy was absolutely adorable this episode. Much like Platelet sightings during Cells at Work, I could happily watch this show just for Fuzzy moments. Is there anything else you want to look at?

This episode was clearly a setup for the future events of the season. I don’t have much to say about it out of context like this. I did however get a few random thoughts while watching:

  • Although Yahiko isn’t the cutest little fox yokai I’ve seen, he’s still pretty darn cute.
  • “Hindsight” isn’t really that complicated a word
  • Where did the tail ring go when the beast transformed into a humanoid form? Just curious….
The Morose Mononokean - Beast in human form

That’s all I have!

Although this wasn’t the most eventful episode it still served the story well. I am looking forward to next week as I was to this. I also realized that it was over before I knew it which is always a good sign.

All three of your random points make perfect sense, particularly the one about the tail ring. I was definitely wondering where that went.

I’m with you in that I’m definitely looking forward to next week with this anime.

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Karandi James
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Fukigen na Mononokean Tsuzuki (Anime) Intro Theme
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