A Touch of Hell
- Episodes : 13
- Genre : Comedy, Demons, Supernatural
- Airing Date : January 2019 – March 2019
- Producers : Pierrot Plus
Fukigen na Mononokean Tsuzuki (The Morose Mononokean II) Introduction and Story
Typically, the spiritual and mortal worlds do not fraternize. The latter is likely to react to the discovery of a Hell or Heaven by declaring war, while the former may accidentally spark an apocalypse or something of the sort. Generally speaking, it is better for all involved if youkai remain the stuff of legend (or anime).
Fukigen na Mononokean Tsuzuki is the sequel to 2016's supernatural comedy with the same name. Following a close encounter with the cutest youkai ever, Hanae Ashiya ends up indebted to Haruitsuki Abeno, the current master of the Mononokean, an entity responsible for exorcizing demons caught among humans. Continuing from the previous season, Ashiya is still working under Abeno in order to repay the grumpy exorcist for saving his life. However, news about the Mononokean's newest recruit soon spreads across the Underworld. Crucially, certain powerful figures are not thrilled that a human has learned about the existence of youkai. In fact, some believe the only way to guarantee the Underworld's safety is to remove Ashiya from the picture.
Preserving the first season's sense of humor and whimsy, the Morose Mononokean II delves deeper into the rules governing the Underworld along with Ashiya's own family history.
1. A Strained, Albeit Beautiful, Friendship
Although a great deal of time is dedicated to the exploration of the Underworld and cases involving stowaway youkai, The Morose Mononokean II's success hinges entirely on the dynamic between Ashiya and Abeno. One is energetic, approachable, and prone to fits of panic; conversely, the other hates crowds, noise, and appears to always be in complete control. Haruitsuki and Hanae are polar opposites. As the leader of the Mononokean, Abeno is responsible for the safety of both the human and demon worlds. Despite the weight of the world on his shoulders, and the fact Ashiya tends to unwittingly push the exorcist's buttons, Abeno steadily takes a liking to his employee. Ashiya is not the only one maturing through this relationship, as Abeno grows more and more in touch with his human side.
2. An Executive Touch
The Morose Mononokean II's premise may lend itself to action but the anime is as far removed from the genre as possible. Abeno is not training Ashiya to ultimately save the planet from an invasion led by the demon lord. The Morose Mononokean opts against a traditional villain. Youkai are not evil and the same extends to humans, even if bad apples exist on both sides.
The Executive is the closest thing to an antagonist. That being said, Gyousei is by no means an evil character. Along with holding great influence over the Underworld, Gyousei is responsible for protecting youkai from the potential threat presented by humans. As such, he turns his attention to Hanae, going as far as to seek his elimination. The ruthless Gyousei is a fantastic character who instills a great deal of tension while remaining reasonable in his motives.
3. Beneath the Surface
Not to take anything away from Hanae, as the endlessly optimistic teenager compliments Abeno’s stoic personality, but the protagonist lacks much in the way of depth in the first season. The Morose Mononokean II adds some much-needed nuance to the protagonist, which mainly arrives in the form of daddy issues. The protagonist’s relationship with his family is explored in a way that feels natural, particularly in Hanae’s interactions with his sister. A supernatural anime with a touch of humanity.
1. An Incomplete Story
As Kiri Wazawa's manga is ongoing, Fukigen na Mononokean Tsuzuki never had any chance of concluding Hanae and Haruitsuki's story. It is hardly unusual for an anime adaptation to essentially conclude with a plea to read the manga. Permitting the series provides a reasonably satisfying climax, all can be forgiven. Although far from the worst offender, The Morose Mononokean II does not fully explore many of the interesting plot threads introduces throughout the twelve episodes. Hanae faces plenty of challenges throughout the season, yet, once the season's final credits roll, the character only seems to have taken minor steps forward. A particularly fascinating concept involves Hanae's absentee father, but the finale raises more questions than answers.
Enjoy the ride but be prepared for a bit of frustration.
The Morose Mononokean II is a worthy successor to 2016's entertaining first season. In most ways, the sequel expands upon the ideas planted by its predecessor. Hopefully, a third season is announced that continues Ashiya and Abeno's journey!
Did you agree with our review? Is The Morose Mononokean II worth watching? Please let us know in the comments below!