How to keep a mummy
Episode 5

by Lauren Orsini,

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How to keep a mummy ?

Sora and Tazuki are adjusting nicely to their paranormal pets. So this week, How to keep a mummy threw a dragon into the mix. In “Go Away Kindness, Go Away Fear,” the boys' bubbly classmate Motegi encounters a creature whose existence seems laser-focused on fixing her phobia—and maybe somebody else's past trauma as well. As usual the story is simple and sweet, not especially strong on logic, but always pleasant to watch.

Motegi doesn't mind creepy crawlies, but for some unexplained reason, she can't handle lizards at all. So when the spitting image of a miniature Dragonite appears in her home, she goes ballistic. We don't yet know why this dragon is here, but he seems harmless enough. He's also cutely considerate of Motegi's fears. With this bare thread of reasoning, it seems inevitable that Motegi and her dragon will become inseparable. She dubs him Isao (I think the others react with surprise because it's a very ordinary and old-fashioned name), and their bond is formed in record time. Somehow Motegi gets over her phobia of lizards within an afternoon, even allowing him to sit in her backpack (imagine letting a creature that makes you cringe sitting right next to your pencils and books).

While Motegi's ready embrace of Isao doesn't make much sense right now, I suspect that there's a lot more development to come. Even if Motegi has gotten over her fear, there's still the wrinkle of Tazuki's flashback, involving a baby dragon just like this one. Last episode made it pretty clear that Tazuki has some unresolved trauma and a scar on his arm to match. Tazuki has hidden his reaction well for now, but he and Motegi still have some stuff to discuss when it comes to Isao. Even so, there's no doubt in my mind that cuteness will save the day.

Meanwhile, Mii-kun is facing a fear of his own. Lured by the promise of two stories at bedtime, he's staying at home all by himself—without crying—while Sora is at school. Mii-kun remains the heart and soul of this show because How to raise a mummy has nailed his point of view. He loves Sora and wants to do whatever he can to be a Good Mummy. On the other hand, the world is large and frightening to a mummy his size. These two concerns are frequently at odds in Mii-kun's mind. That was the logic behind this episode's Mii-kun system overload, in which his conflicting orders (act like a toy in front of Motegi, greet Sora home from school) lead to a flustered, tearful eruption. In the end he gets along well enough with Isao, because Mii-kun's occasional neuroses are never enough to interrupt a cute inter-species playdate.

Once again, this story arc is not over. Sora reflects on how easily Mii-kun gets lonely, and yet Mii-kun was afraid to be sent back “home” to Egypt. It's not like he can simply read a book about pets to solve that one, any more than Motegi can figure out that Isao likes tofu through anything except trial and error. More answers—and more adorable playtime—surely lie ahead. Like Motegi says, “It's like I'm in a picture book.”

Rating: B

How to keep a mummy is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.


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