What would you do if you had the ability to see ghosts? Would you try to exorcise them? Help them? Study them? Well, Miko Yotsuya’s strategy is just to try her best to ignore them… no matter how terrifying they are. This long-suffering high schooler is the leading lady of Fall 2021’s Mieruko-chan, a comedy about her stressful daily life trying to avoid attention from the horrific ghosts and ghouls she sees absolutely everywhere. But can an entire series run on just that simple premise? Let’s check out what the first few episodes have given us so far!
Comedy and… Ecchi?
Mieruko-chan (a pun combining Miko’s name with mieru, meaning “to be seen”) draws most of its comedy from Miko’s desperate attempts to live an ordinary life despite the spirits of the dead lurking around every corner. The ghosts have genuinely freaky designs that grotesquely distort the human body into abominations that look like they’re straight out of a Junji Ito manga; although they suffer the same problem as the Junji Ito Collection anime where the complex designs lose some of their fear factor in motion, their pulsating sketchy linework and mottled fog-like overlays make up the difference pretty well. All of this clashes beautifully with the cute slice-of-life style the rest of the anime uses, as seen in scenes such as the one where Miko has to covertly get a many-limbed creature to stop groping her ditsy friend Miko at school.
Wait... groping? Yes, despite not being marketed as such, Mieruko-chan features ecchi moments several times an episode—whether it’s lovingly detailing the panty outline on Miko’s butt, showing off Hana’s colorful array of frilly bras, or throwing in random acts of groping from beyond the grave, you’ll certainly get an eyeful of more than just ghouls in this anime. If you were curious, the current record for “shortest time from Funimation logo to ecchi moment” is 19 seconds, from episode 4. Not that we’re necessarily complaining, or saying that the extra titillation takes away from the story, but it’s just a bit perplexing...
Heartwarming If you Know Where to Look
However, it’s not all dark comedy and out-of-nowhere boob shots in Mieruko-chan—Miko’s strange ability actually has the potential to do good in the world. When she and Hana are trying to find someone to adopt a stray kitten they found, she’s able to tell that the scary-looking man who approaches them is a better pet owner than the handsome man because the former has happy-looking cat spirits hanging off of his shoulders instead of the latter’s evil cat spirits. She also helps a senile old woman regain some of her former self by passing on a message from her husband’s ghost, and she can even sense her father’s spirit wandering around their home sometimes (luckily, he isn’t a grotesque monster because he’s presumably at peace). These little heartwarming scenes tie everything else in the anime together and give Miko some much-needed happiness to make up for how much suffering she goes through on a daily basis.
Mieruko-chan is a fun little anime that can help take the edge off after watching some of this season’s much more serious entries like 86 Season 2 or The Night Beyond the Tricornered Window (which has almost the exact same premise as Mieruko-chan, but genderswaps the characters and trades the comedy for boys love). Time will tell if it can keep its main comedy element from getting old in later episodes, but we’ll certainly stick around to see what it comes up with!
What did you think of our impressions? Are you a fan of the random ecchi moments or not? Let us know in the comments, and thanks so much for reading!