“Every day, when I wake up, I make a wish. That today I won’t see them.”
I loved Mieruko-chan the manga so I couldn’t resist doing a review of Mieruko-chan Season 1! For those who haven’t read the manga, Mieruko-chan is a genre bender, is a genre bender, incorporating humor, slice-of-life, and horror and follows Miko, a girl who can see spirits. In many ways it’s the lighter, less gory version of Corpse Party: Tortured Souls.
It’s an odd blend of genres, but Mieruko-chan makes it work, balancing ghastly apparitions with wholesome moments. The designs for these spirits are one of the biggest draws of this anime. Each one is unique and horrifying, with ample details that imply how they died, or what keeps them from passing over. It’s a unique ecosystem full of mystery and one of the best things about the series. There’s even a few real life references to murders and Japanese urban myths scattered here and there.
Like most in the slice-of-life genre, Mieruko-chan can have its slow moments, or scenes that just feel like filler. There’s a hint throughout the season of something grander, something more sinister, in the wings. But just as things are gaining momentum the season wraps things up abruptly, and we’re left with more unanswered questions than when we started.
I’d be giving an incomplete review of Mieruko-chan Season 1 if I didn’t mention the fan service. For the first few episodes, it was impossible not to cringe as opaque shirts turn gauzy and pants became inexplicably tight. It’d be fine if these moments didn’t rupture the tension but they’re frequently out of place and tone deaf. But don’t despair, after a few episodes it tapers off. Mostly.
As a lover of slice-of-life and horror, Mieruko-chan scratched an itch I didn’t know I had. But as much as I loved the friendships, wholesome moments, and great designs, Mieruko-chan Season 1 feels disorganized with pacing that never really hits the mark. It’s perfectly average, and that’s perfectly okay.
If you’re a manga reader, I still recommend you watch the anime! Seeing the ghosts come to alive is worth it on its own, but there are a few added scenes that add a bit more depth to the characters (main and side), some of which are truly memorable.