Top 5 Anime With Fairies

Tuesday's Top 5

Fairies are fun to see in stories because there’s so many variations and forms on the idea of what a fairy is. From The Seven Deadly Sins to Amagi Brilliant Part, fairies show up over and over again. This list are my favourite appearances of fairies in anime (not necessarily best anime).

As always, I’d love to know your take on the list so please leave me a comment with your favourite anime that includes fairies.

Number 5: Midnight Occult Civil Servants

While starting his new job, Arata finds himself dealing with creatures called Anothers and as the only one who can understand them he ends up having to negotiate with these beings on numerous occasions. One of my favourite groups that turned up from time to time throughout the stories were the little fairies that lived in the park. Whether they were mad because the humans messed up their offerings or allowing themselves to be bribed for directions with cookies, these little creatures were always cute when they showed up.

Number 4: The Ancient Magus’ Bride

I genuinely couldn’t have made this list and left The Ancient Magus’ Bride off of it. This one gets points for being very detailed in its folklore and taking a more traditional approach to fairies and their rules. While they may not be as cute as some of the other entries, the attention to folklore here gives this one a well-deserved place and while the anime ended up dragging on a little bit, the magic and magical creatures were definitely a highlight and worth watching for.

Number 3: Sword Art Online Fairy Dance Arc

This may well be one of the most hated of all the SAO arcs and yet while the end of this arc brings us a psycho villain whose motive and actions are entirely flawed, the game that this arc is set in looks beautiful. The different fairy races that the characters can choose from, the flight mechanics, and the magic are just brilliant and I’d honestly love to play this game (provided it wasn’t being run by a made person using it to test mind control on people).

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Number 2: WorldEnd

Here’s a different kind of fairy. These ones I’m never really sure if they are actually fairies, leprechauns, or something else entirely but it is a fun take on the story and the girls are all quite fun to get to know. Used to fight beasts with magic weapons and slowly losing control of their powers or losing their memories, the story here is tragic and yet quite compelling for the most part. If only the mid-season had managed to hold up its end this one would have a lot more discussion around it.

Number 1: Humanity Has Declined

How on Earth could I not have put these adorable and incredibly creepy fairies as the number one on the list. The story takes place as humans are declining and fairies have returned. The main character has the job of liaising with the fairies as they pursue new entertainments. They latch on to any idea and go crazy with it but just as quickly move onto the next thing (kind of like watching the progress of the internet in fast forward really). Whichever way, these little guys are a must see.

And that’s my list this week but be sure to let me know what your favourite anime with fairies are.

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Karandi James
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Midnight Occult Civil Servants Anime Review

Let’s Talk It Out

Mayonaka no Occult Koumuin only has a score of 6.82 on MAL and that’s no real surprise. A visually dull anime with a slow story about a character who can talk to supernatural creatures isn’t exactly ticking everyone’s box of a must watch. Arata has no other power. No magic banishing spells or supernatural mojo to back anything up. He literally can just speak with these Anothers and so we spend a lot of the series either sitting around the office or walking around the city having conversations. It isn’t exactly designed to be riveting entertainment.

Mayonaka no Occult Koumuin - You Can Talk To Them?

Despite that, this ended up being an anime I loved coming back to each week. The slightly darker and more mature tone was appealing and the absence of explosive fight sequences was kind of a nice relaxing view after the powerhouses of the season, Attack on Titan, Demon Slayer and One Punch Man were done. While there is certainly more this narrative could have done to play to its strengths, there was definitely enjoyment to be had in watching Arata slowly growing into his job and figuring out what he could do with his gift and what his limitations were.

Midnight Occult Civil Servants - Arata

The story is decidedly episodic with only one or two episodes carrying over to the following week. The general set up is something weird happens and Arata and his co-workers go investigate or Arata just happens to stumble upon something weird and gets involved. Over the episode we see the various characters talk about how inscrutable Anothers really are while Arata has his doubts and ends up trying to speak with the Another and then one way or another, the situation resolves itself.

Great suggestion.

Where Midnight Occult Civil Servants fell a bit flat was despite  the incredibly dangerous scenarios set up at times with humans being kidnapped or falling into comas they pretty much without fail saved everyone and restored them to how they were. It kind of deflated a lot of the tension that could have naturally existed in this story because the Anothers were using a very different set of values to govern their actions and by default they didn’t see their actions as evil. There was a lot that could have been explored here and yet it really wasn’t.

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The other area, outside of the visuals, where I found this anime lacking from the experience it could have been was in Arata himself. As a character he’s a little bit of a space cadet early on and while that makes sense given he’s been thrown in the deep end, it doesn’t really give him a chance to establish his values. As the story progresses, we see him become more determined and assertive of his views, but he still doesn’t have all that much of a personality.

Arata - Midnight Occult Civil Servants

And for a story based around a character who can talk to supernatural creatures, he doesn’t say a lot that is all that profound or interesting. In one case he’s negotiating with an Another that is transporting humans to her realm and then stealing their emotions in a bid to recover something she is searching for. Arata’s argument that it is wrong makes sense but when she disagrees he doesn’t back it up or propose any kind of alternative. He merely reiterates the point and then acts shocked that she doesn’t get it.

For the rest of the department the characters get some development but by and large remain fairly one note. While we do have a case involving the sister of one of Arata’s collegues, outside of this we just have them standing in the background a lot of the time or cautioning Arata. They also endlessly reiterate that you can’t negotiate with Anothers and that Anothers are dangerous but despite being tasked with dealing with Anothers they seem to know practically nothing about them.

As the story progresses we see more and more often human antagonists that seem to exist simply to oppose Arata’s views on the Anothers and while these characters could have been nuanced and interesting, they end up being one note characters who hate Anothers because ‘insert tragic back story’.

Tragic back story always comes with a scar – Anime Logic.

Basically we have all the ingredients for a more subdued dark urban fantasy but the anime itself doesn’t really deliver. The warning signs are there from the OP with a really great song and absolutely boring visuals that do not do the music justice at all. The idea is solid but the execution is shaky.

When we throw in the visuals which are poorly contrasted and routinely dull or ugly to look at and we end up with an anime that is difficult to recommend, yet I’ll do it anyway. As a break from stories about the power of friendship, high school girls being cute, shouty protagonists proving their values with their fists, or protagonists finding themselves in fantasy lands and suddenly super powerful, Mayonaka no Occult Koumuin is actually quite refreshing in its own way. While it never reaches its potential its an easy watch and one I enjoyed week to week.

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Midnight Occult Civil Servants Review Episode 12

A Sleepy But Satisfying Conclusion

Mayonaka no Occult Koumuin Episode 12

This one ended as it began with Midnight Occult Civil Servants slipping away without fanfare or anything overly noteworthy; just a sense of a story going quietly about its business without putting on airs or drawing attention to itself. Whether or not you like it will entirely depend on your particular fondness for the slow and steady tone of the story or quiet interactions with the supernatural that seldom have world ending consequences.

In this quiet little episode, Arata is taken to a field by some fairies where he meets an Another that seems to have amnesia. So begins a long and tiring journey as Arata seeks a new home for the Another the old fashioned way; he literally walks and looks around Tokyo for a place for the god to go.

While there are certainly some surprises and upsets along the way, and the god learning that he was draining the life force from Arata quite unintentionally certainly gave a bit of time pressure to the resolution, mostly this was Arata going about his job. Yes, his very mundane job as a civil servant even if the service he provided had supernatural connections.

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There’s nothing in this final episode that will push the undecided into watching this series but it feels like a nice way to bookend the story as Arata’s wanderings bring many of the minor characters that we didn’t see last week come back into play even if only for a few moments. We also see that Arata now deals with the Another’s in a calm manner and he deals with unexpected problems in a sedate fashion.

All and all, it was a satisfying watch even is a fairly unspectacular one.

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Midnight Occult Civil Servants Review Episode 11

Let’s Get To Work

Mayonaka no Occult Koumin

Part two of the story in the stadium and we see Arata using the connections he’s made to clean up the mess made by city hall. Midnight Occult Civil Servants is definitely laying it on thick with their messaging about governing bodies having a human only focus and trampling nature in the process to the detriment of human lives however with gods and Anothers in the mix it all kind of works.

Despite Arata’s general ‘good guy’ status, there are serious questions being raised about his team leader. Despite the dire situation he still wasn’t willing to actually help out with the scene until he was given full control over the situation and who knows what else he managed to negotiate. He certainly looks out for his own interests even in the midst of an emergency.

However, Arata reconnecting with the Another’s he helped early on in this series and calling on assistance to clean up the mess was actually pretty neat. Prior to now we’ve moved from character to character and it has been difficult to really see if any kind of relationship was established by their actions or if they were just passing by. While the Another’s don’t exactly leap at the chance to help humans, they do see the sense in helping Arata in return for his earlier assistance and the promise of potential future assistance.

I’d like to say that they did a pretty good job of making the silk spinning scene exactly what it needed to be. It gave us a sense that some of the barriers between Anothers and humans were coming down and a small measure of camaraderie over a joint venture was formed even if humans were still very wary of the Another’s. They also gave us enough sense of beauty and other-worldliness to make it just fit appropriately.

There’s another episode to go and I’m curious how they will wrap this one for the season. I actually wouldn’t mind another season. While this one is hardly going to top the season, it has been consistent viewing and reasonable low-key entertainment and it will be a shame to see it go.

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Midnight Occult Civil Servants Review Episode 10

Do You Think He Realises He Was Wrong Yet?

Midnight Occult Civil Servants Episode 10

Pride comes before the fall and the government guy certainly is going to learn that after this week. Midnight Occult Civil Servants picks up immediately from the events of the last episode and shows the divide between Arata and the rest of the group he’s working with widen as their very different views on the Another’s clash head on.

This episode got a bit dark, so here’s a yokai cat being tickled just to make you smile.

A new case is brought to Arata’s attention and they head to the stadium where it turns out there are eggs or coccoons scattered about. Naturally Arata can’t converse with the cocoons which leads the government guy to the false assumption that Arata is useless and that the only possible action is burning them. You can already tell this is going to end well.

What we end up with is a cliff-hanger episode that is about as exciting as this anime gets. It is hopelessly predictable and yet satisfying because of it. What makes it even better is the guy who was kind of staying neutral in the war or words between Arata and the government guy calls Arata to beg him to help when everything naturally falls apart.

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It will be interesting to see how the team handle the situation next week. I kind of would have liked a little more from this episode in terms of suspense and I’m sure that with some better visuals the reveal of the Another at the end could have been spectacular. Still, it was good enough and interesting enough for what it was and I am enjoying this from week to week.

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Midnight Occult Civil Servants Review Episode 9

I Didn’t See That Coming

Midnight occult Civil Servants Episode 9

Midnight Occult Civil Servants Episode 9

After the light midnight stroll we had last week, this episode of Midnight Occult Civil Servants was a slap across the faces folded by a glass of freezing water tossed over our heads. And while there were certainly hints early in the episode that it was going to get a little darker the twist at the end actually did catch me off guard because I just didn’t believe this anime was going to go there.

Arata - Midnight Occult Civil Servants

As usual the episode begins with a new case to deal with and we see the team doing the usual office things before Arata gets assigned to go and look into a situation where a child has gone to sleep and won’t wake up. After Arata’s on his way we learn from Kyoichi and Theo that there have been cases like this one before so they suspect Arata can handle in. Then there’s a weird moment where Arata gets sent to work with the government office. This would have made more sense early in the episode before he picked up the case but it seems to just kind of get thrown in.

However, right from meeting the two guys Arata is now working with, you kind of know things aren’t going to go well. There’s a guy with a scar on his eye-brow who seems to have an intense hatred of the Anothers and you can see the ideological clash that’s coming even if not the consequences.

The actual hunt for the Another goes much smoother than normal. They talk to the brother of the most recent victim and find out the location the kids were dreaming of and off they go. It does strike me as weird that the mother wasn’t present during this interview but that’s a minor detail.

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I’m just going to say, the Another they find this week is really cute. Arata plays a game of tag with it, has a bit of a chat and more or less resolves the issue. Then get prepared for the slap in the face as that government guy you just knew was a problem takes matters into his own hands. The idea of who is more monstrous, monsters or humans, isn’t exactly a new one for supernatural stories to delve into however I was shocked by the callous cruelty on this one.

Mostly it makes me very curious as to what the last couple of episodes will bring for Midnight Occult Civil Servants as there’s plenty of fodder to dig into here but will it do it justice?

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Midnight Occult Civil Servants Review Episode 8

A Supernatural Stroll Through Tokyo

Episode 8

There was something pleasantly subdued about the episode this week. After the attempted rising tension last week that kind of fizzled, Midnight Occult Civil Servants could have pushed for an escalation but instead decided to focus on kind of what the title of the anime implies: the day to day of civil servants. As such, while there are some interesting moments to be found in this episode it really is just a series of events in the days following the last episode.

We begin with some housekeeping as Kyoichi files paper work for his sister given she’s suddenly reappeared after many years and she’s still 17 years old. We also see Arata and Kyoichi take their sister and friend shopping for clothing. It is all just mundane stuff and yet adds a little bit of realism to the scenario presented here with employees watching over encounters with Anothers.

They also confirm that Arata is Seimei’s descendant, although I kind of thought that was already pretty obvious. While it seems like just something else thrown in early on the end of the episode circles back to this with Kohaku (Huehuecoyotl) leading Arata on a tor of Tokyo that ultimately ends in a garden that clearly belonged to his ancestor.

Throw in an encounter with a crow who also knew Seimei as well as the ongoing disturbances caused by Kohaku’s presence creating yet more work for Arata’s co-workers as he unknowingly follows Kohaku across half of Tokyo, and the episode is complete with very little actually happening and yet this episode still felt like it has a place as it builds on the relationship forming between Kohaku and Arata, continues to look at Arata’s connection with Anothers, and continues to examine the role of the civil servants in all this.

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Where the episode is at its weakest is in the visuals. The walk around Tokyo takes us to some very familiar sites but the visuals just aren’t up to the task. It may have been worth have less locations and more detail, or possibly just hoping for a bigger budget for this anime altogether, but basically the visuals are a noted low-point and make this one a harder sell than it should be.

We do however get the occasionally striking image such as Kohaku in the garden.

On that note, I love the opening song to this anime but the visuals are utterly failing to live up to the music and would love it is someone had done an AMV to this one because it could be aweseome.

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