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EP. REVIEW: The Morose Mononokean


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tsvkkis



Joined: 21 Dec 2015
Posts: 87
PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2016 1:08 pm Reply with quote
Before this show aired, I thought it would be some type of cringey, too much over exaggerated comedy that would barely be entertaining. I'm glad I have been proved wrong because this show is a delight with a warm plot that I can warm right up to. I wish I could wait till the end to binge watch the whole thing, but unfortunately, it's too tempting to watch each episode a week. My favorite characters so far would have to be the Yokai themselves with Abeno following not to far behind, Ashiya is pleasant enough as main characters go, but his voice when he yells sometimes annoys me. All in all, this show doesn't fall behind in terms of other shows also currently airing which makes me happy.
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Agent355



Joined: 12 Dec 2008
Posts: 5015
Location: Crackberry in hand, thumbs at the ready...
PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2016 4:21 pm Reply with quote
This show is such a fun, sweet comedy, and the perfect pallet cleanser after the dark, heavy Re;Zero on Sundays (or the dark, dramatic Orange. Or the action packed, somewhat dark Zesteria, Sundays are full of anime this season!) I like Ashiya a lot, he wears his heart on his sleeve and works well as a "straight man" comedically to the supernatural antics. I like Abeno, he's sarcastic and snarky, definitelt the type to push others away while still caring a lot for them (I'd call him "tsundere" but that term is so overused). The show gives me the impression that there is more to him than meets the eye, probably a dark past of some sort. They have a great dynamic together, whether or not you're prone to shipping (this not being a BL, I'm guessing it's a lost cause outside doujinshi, but that's never stopped shippers). I'm not the biggest fan of youkai stories, or, worse, monster/adventure of the week tales, so I was surprised by how much I liked the first 3 episodes, but I really loved them. Great character development and humor is the key. I just feel the story needs more characters--hopefully Zenko (is that not the *best* name for the daughter of a Buddhist monk?) will become a semi regular. I hope we meet the other characters from the OP soon, too.
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Hameyadea



Joined: 23 Jun 2014
Posts: 3679
PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2016 12:52 pm Reply with quote
I enjoy the show's light-hearted approach to dealing with yōkai, and it has a good portion of comedy and drama to keep each episode going without losing its momentum.
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sunflower



Joined: 04 Sep 2005
Posts: 1080
PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2016 2:33 pm Reply with quote
This is nice to watch while waiting for Natsume Yuujincho to come back. It's a less effective version of that show, but it still is better than the other Natsume wannabes I've seen.
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Agent355



Joined: 12 Dec 2008
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Location: Crackberry in hand, thumbs at the ready...
PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2016 5:06 pm Reply with quote
I was under the impression that The Book of Friends isn't really a comedy, just a drama. I never saw the anime, but I've read a little of the manga, and it could've used more comedy, imho, because all that melodrama weighs it down some. Is the anime more like The Morose Mononokean?
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iatheia



Joined: 20 Jun 2009
Posts: 130
PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2016 7:32 pm Reply with quote
This is pretty much a romcom version of Natsume Yuujinchou. Downplay Ashiya's role to just being there just for 1 or 2 episodes, move all the yokai from the underworld and into the real world, and substitute exorcism for name returning, and it will be Natsume exactly.

To summarize, I approve. Binge-read the manga, I suppose the anime will catch up with the manga by the end of the season. Such a pity that there aren't more chapters.
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Wingbeats



Joined: 23 Feb 2015
Posts: 272
Location: Boise, Idaho
PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2016 11:02 pm Reply with quote
I'm reminded heavily of Natsume as well. This show is definitely more goofy and light-hearted (while Natsume is a bittersweet drama), both deal with boys having troubles with effectively neutral yokai.

While I would say this show isn't as emotionally effective to me as Natsume, I am definitely enjoying this show as a warm and fuzzy tide-over until the next season of Natsume is out Smile
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tophg



Joined: 22 Apr 2016
Posts: 22
PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2016 11:56 pm Reply with quote
Yep, definitely resonates with Natsume on many levels, and also Kamisama Kiss without the central romance - the cynical master/hapless apprentice dynamic being key to the comedy in all three, with different mixes of sweet & sour. Noragami also springs to mind in terms of the world-building, mining of Japanese folktales and general comic antics.
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Gina Szanboti



Joined: 03 Aug 2008
Posts: 9519
PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2016 12:58 am Reply with quote
Quote:
Episode 4 at least starts to deliver there, even if it leaves us with more questions and answers.

I'm assuming you meant more questions than answers, but either way, it sounds like a criticism, which I don't get. Only 4 episodes in there should be more questions than answers. It's not a case of "even if," it's "while also." (parse that one, grammarians!)

One of my own questions is that I don't know who or what Mononokean refers to. I thought Abeno was the (acting) Mononokean and the scroll was a youkai. But this time it sounded like the actual Mononokean was the scroll (which I adore, btw), since Abeno seems to have to obey it and he delivered its message to Ashiya, and then it sounded like the Mononokean is the room where Abeno hangs out. Abeno wouldn't need to open the door to get back if he went alone because he and only he could go straight there from the room Mononokean's nigiriguchi? So what exactly does Mononokean actually mean?
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CrowLia



Joined: 24 Feb 2012
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Location: Mexico
PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2016 1:03 am Reply with quote
From what I understand, the Mononokean is the room itself, which is a yokai that uses the wall scroll to communicate. Abeno is the "Master of the Mononokean", but I guess he's known just as "Mononokean" for short
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Gina Szanboti



Joined: 03 Aug 2008
Posts: 9519
PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2016 1:14 am Reply with quote
Ok, I think that makes sense. It's the title that doesn't, because the personality revealed by the scroll is hardly morose. Smile
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CrowLia



Joined: 24 Feb 2012
Posts: 5376
Location: Mexico
PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2016 1:24 am Reply with quote
^I guess the title is referring to Abeno, but "The Morose Master of the Mononokean" is kind of long for a show that's not based on a LN for otaku Laughing

The "an" in Mononokean is written with the kanji for hut/cabin/hermitage to I guess it's reasonable to say the term is originally referring to the room-yokai. Abeno himself has been called by other yokai as both "Master of the Mononokean" and just "Mononokean", which is why I'm guessing the show's title is referring to him, but I agree it's confusing
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Gina Szanboti



Joined: 03 Aug 2008
Posts: 9519
PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2016 7:26 am Reply with quote
CrowLia wrote:
The "an" in Mononokean is written with the kanji for hut/cabin/hermitage

Ha, that's interesting. I thought it was was part of the English translation with the -an suffix to denote a person, as in electrician or grammarian. So I figured a Mononokean would be a person who specializes in mononoke. Probably why my fingers keep trying to spell it mononokian. Very Happy
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Peebs



Joined: 07 Dec 2005
Posts: 380
PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2016 7:56 am Reply with quote
Fuzzy's blush and smile at the end made the world a bright place again. That's all that matters to me.
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sunflower



Joined: 04 Sep 2005
Posts: 1080
PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2016 9:23 pm Reply with quote
I loved how they painted the underworld. It was so bright it hurt my eyes.
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