Elegant Yokai Apartment Life
Episodes 7-9

by Anne Lauenroth,

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Elegant Yokai Apartment Life ?

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Elegant Yokai Apartment Life ?

How would you rate episode 9 of
Elegant Yokai Apartment Life ?

After beating up some bullies with the combined powers of Hase's awesomeness and Yushi's mostly (but recently less so) useless magic book, it's time for Yushi to start his magical career under the relentless but effective guidance of senpai Akine (waterfall training simulation with the garden hose included). Just when the new Bookmaster is ready to open up to his closest "normal" friend on what his life's really all about these days, the latter has overcome his initial shock and invites himself over.

Originally, I had thought Hase not entering the apartment right away when Yushi invited him in was because he sensed his friend's reluctance. But when Hase (whose perfection in every aspect of life is almost scary) goes through a speed run of what seems like easy adjustment only to admit how freaked out he was all day (and week) afterwards, he turns out to be the true perfect friend, proving Yushi's fears of being rejected the moment he shared his most secrets unfounded. The lesson here is as simple as it is sweet: people who care about you will accept you with all your weirdness and baggage, even if they need some time to overcome initial prejudice or fear. Because Hase is such a pro at everything he does, he doesn't just accept but even embraces Yushi's weird yet charming life at the Yokai Apartments, quickly becoming a regular and welcome guest. In fact, his fatherly bond with Kuri might just end up playing a role in the ghost kid finding peace at some point in the future.

Used to being the smartest, best-mannered, and most popular person in the room, Hase seems almost overjoyed to have found people even he can still learn from, appreciating the uncertainties of life as part of what makes it interesting. When Ryu gets back for some bathtime Jaws scar comparisons (far from a mature pasttime), we revisit the growing up vs. simply growing old theme. This isn't so much a competition of manliness, but proof of the pain these people experienced and learned to live with, just like Yushi did. He's still mourning what he (and the world at large) lost, but he's slowly learning to appreciate the here and now, with all the mysteries it still provides. He might not be powerful enough to protect his friends from physical harm, but at least he can help put a crying child to bed. Or rather, one of the Petit Hierozoicon's residents can, with a melody reminiscent of something written by the great Morricone and probably the show's score at its least random. It's nice to see the book becoming more useful – there's only so many times the same joke will stay funny.

Seeing the new freshmen all nervous and insecure reminds Yushi and the audience of how much he's truly grown in just one year. And when the new English teacher is set up as the bringer of future supernatural trouble, Yushi will soon have to realize that he doesn't live in two separate worlds anymore, just in a more complex one, where spaces he so desperately defended as "normal" are just as prone to supernatural pain as everything else. He's definitely growing up instead of just older.

Elegant Yokai Apartment Life continues to be an enjoyable watch without ever quite reaching beyond a sometimes too-modest "pleasant".

Rating: C

Elegant Yokai Apartment Life is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.

Anne is a translator and fiction addict who writes about anime at Floating Words and on Twitter.

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