Elegant Yokai Apartment Life
by Anne Lauenroth,
How would you rate episode 11 of
Elegant Yokai Apartment Life ?
This week's progression of the story of the haunted teacher doesn't offer much in terms of big surprises. It is indeed a cautionary tale, showing us and Yushi what could have happened if he'd become as empty on the inside as Miura, whose failure/inability to work through the trauma he suffered at his old school made him vulnerable to possession by an id monster, in his case misogyny incarnate.
Emotions so strong that they remain as memories in the places where they were experienced become divorced from their original bearer, gaining a life of their own as a formless monster that seeks an empty vessel to inhabit. With nothing left to counterbalance the hatred drawn to him, Miura is the perfect vessel.
What happened to him at his old school must have been truly awful to render a grown man unable to overcome trauma induced by teenaged girls. I can imagine a couple of scenarios that might have required professional help to work through, but Miura apparently chose to withdraw into himself instead. Yushi wants to help him (without putting any obvious emphasis on their stories' similarities), but as exorcism has fallen out of vogue over the past couple centuries, he's in need of some advice.
Unfortunately, Kotobuki-so's A-list mentors are out of town, so it's up to Sato and Mariko to provide some helpful assessment. That's a first for Mariko, who we've so far only known as that busty ghost lady acting inappropriately to add some attempted levity to a scene. Of course, the next boob jiggling isn't far behind, but what we learn about her adds at least 1.5 adjectives to her character apart from her physical attributes.
Views on demonic possession and mental health issues might have changed over the course of history, but getting the help one needs is still somewhat up to lucky circumstances. Where people with medical conditions were branded possessed and ostracized in the past, today's real supernatural problems are equally misdiagnosed. Of course, had Miura gotten some psychological assistance earlier on, he might not have become as susceptible to the id monster's possession, so the two aren't mutually exclusive.
Apart from some emotional whiplash between psychological trauma/assault of high school girls and delicious croquettes/supposedly hilarious male purikura photos, things progress in a pretty formulaic way. Yushi and his human friend get attacked, which leads to Yushi formulating a solution with the help of his supernatural friends; he decides to act despite feeling outgunned, and of course we end with his human friend in grave danger, confirming how far they are in over their heads. Since Tashiro looks alive and well in the preview, someone will come to the rescue, and it looks like it's going to be Akine for a change rather than Hase. (Watching The Exorcist should have reminded Yushi that things didn't end so well for the priest doing the exorcising on his own, but he was too distracted by the magic of Ruriko's croquettes to pay sufficient attention.)
The Petit Hierozoicon proves useful this week, with Mr. Sleepy Owl acting as a valuable source of knowledge even though it has to be wormed out of him. Fool, on the other hand, disappoints with not following through after pushing Yushi into getting involved in the first place. At this point, I'd be curious to see what the book's residents are up to when they aren't summoned by their master. They're obviously communicating with one another when he's not looking, so are they inhabiting some magical parallel world where they eat, drink, and read manga? Maybe an OVA could shed some light on the matter.
Elegant Yokai Apartment Life is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
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