Hello everyone, as I have mentioned yesterday, I’m having a technical crisis of not being able to take screenshots, and hence, this post will be another boring, imageless one.
Malevolent Spirits: Mononogatari is adapted from Onigunsou‘s manga with the same name. The studio behind this adaptation is Bandai Namco, whom we’d know recently from Tiger and Bunny, Welcome to the Demon School, Iruma kun!, or Raven of the Inner Palace.
Did I know this series beforehand? I didn’t.
What is it about? Entities that possess an inanimate object and take a form are called Tsukumogami. Having lost his siblings to a tsukumogami that went berserk, Hyouma Kunato believes it’s best to return these beings back using whatever means available because you’ll never know what they are capable of or what kind of harm they might cause. He won’t be taking chances.
His grandfather, the current head of the clan, adheres to his rule of not using violence unless the situation desperately calls for it since most of the time tsukumogami want to be led back anyway. Seeing his grandson not being able to get past his hatred, he sends him to live with an unconventional family for a while: a young woman that lives in a house full of tsukumogami.
What to look out for? Safe to go in.
What do I think? This one is tough to review. I kind of find it bland, but… still charmed somehow?
Malevolent Spirits: Mononogatari doesn’t walk a path that hasn’t been threaded before. Even from the summary above, any seasoned anime fan can guess where or how the story will go. Hyouma will keep denying tsukumogami can be relied on, while Botan, the young woman who lives with the tsukumogami will teach him a thing or two about love and acceptance. The production team might even sprinkle crumbles of romantic attraction or we-now-live-together tropes further down the road, who knows? The premiere doesn’t tell me that this series might take an unexpected but interesting turn.
We have yet another red(ish) hair with emotional issues, and although he’s not as charming as Bisco, I’ll take him. His anger is pretty toned down and comes off as more bottled up than lashing out on others the second they touch him. I warmed up to Botan a bit more, she comes off as slightly air-headed but not to the degree of being annoying. I found myself wanting to see how this arrangement will progress.
Not sure that it’s because it’s the first episode, but the flow of the interactions feel stiff. The characters themselves sound OK, but more than talking to each other, they feel like they deliver their lines and wait for others to do the same. Hope the chemistry between the cast gets better along the way because these found family stories are much better when you have characters that feel close and feel like a family.
The stylistic choices for characters looked a bit flat, but looking at the manga panels, I can say that it’s probably done to reflect the visual tone of the source material. The fight scenes in the second half were painful to watch and even though the production team used music to enhance the effect, the stiffness of the movement or the disrupted flow was still obvious. However, the animation and the sound effects used during the sending-off/sealing were super pretty. What stood out to me the most, however, was the opening scene where we witness Hyouma’s loss. But since I can’t take any screenshots or make gifs right now, you’ll have to see it for yourself. : D
Will I continue watching? I feel like I haven’t said a lot of positive things about Malevolent Spirits: Mononogatari but there’s something there, maybe the familiarity of the plot, that makes me want to stick around and see how it goes. I especially want to know more about Botan.
What are your thoughts on Malevolent Spirits: Mononogatari? Did you pass this one, or are you a yokai anime fan and are keeping up with it? Does the flow get better in the following episodes? Let me know what you think, and see you tonight with another review!
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3 Replies to “MALEVOLENT SPIRITS: MONONOGATARI — FIRST IMPRESSIONS”
I watched the first few episodes, and the first one was really stiff and I thought the voices of the main characters felt really bland and lifeless. Yet by the end of the second episode a lot of the problems seem to have been largely cleared up! The characters seem to talk much more naturally to each other, Hyouma seems to be a lot less stiff, and the personalities of the Tsukumogami start to reveal themselves. It’s really surprising how much better the second and third episodes are compared to the first one!
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Thank you for addressing these points and really happy that these problems clear up later on! Because the premise was quite interesting, even though it’s not a very original one. 😀 I will proceed watching it with more enthusiasm knowing this ~
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