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Tonari no Yōkai-san
Episode 6

by James Beckett,

How would you rate episode 6 of
Tonari no Yōkai-san ?
Community score: 4.1

tonari-no-yokai-san-ep-6.png

Even though the (literally) dimension-shattering twist of last week's episode was wrapped up shockingly quickly by the end, there was still a lot of pain lingering in Yuri's heart from the rift in her family. As it turns out, not even swapping places with a completely human doppelganger from another reality is a replacement for a good old-fashioned face-to-face conversation with Dad. It shows deep down, even the shapeshifting bakegitsune are just as human as the rest of us

Now, I'll be honest with you all: While I still enjoyed this chapter of Tonari no Yōkai-san, “Episode 06” marks the first time where the series has threatened to become, well, a little boring. Don't get me wrong, I'm happy to see Yuri reunite with her brother Tsubaki, attempt to make peace with her dad, and ultimately find solace in her loved ones in Fuchigamori—that stuff is cute. It's just that the very stifled and reserved atmosphere of Yuri's part of this week's story is just a bit too muted for my liking. Yuri's conflict with her folks doesn't make for very compelling drama. It is also just tense enough to prevent the story from functioning as a more deliberately paced slice-of-life tale. Like I said, this was still a solid episode, but it's far from my favorite thing Tonari no Yōkai-san has had to offer.

I think another reason that Yuri's story doesn't hit quite right is that it isn't enough of an attention-getter on its own to warrant a whole twenty minutes of runtime. Still, the other threads of the episode aren't exactly bringing down the house with intrigue. Buchio is as perfect as always, though the belated payoff of him getting a driver's license is little more than a cute afterthought. Mutsumi and Jiro get some more time together back at Jiro's anchor tree—though the scene mostly mines the same material as before with Mutsumi being feisty and emotional in her devotion to Jiro while Jiro remains as wistful and pensive as ever. If anything, the duo's evolving relationship has me wondering whether the show is trying to imply that Jiro and Mutsumi might grow to care about each other as, you know, more than close friends. Given the genuinely incomprehensible age gap between the two… I dunno, y'all. I hoped we wouldn't have to tangle with those kinds of messy storylines in this show.

The strangest thing about “Episode 06” is that its most entertaining and intriguing sequence comes after the end credits have already finished rolling. I've already talked about how much I love TnY's ability to shift into Spooky Mode™ at a moment's notice and the schoolkids' encounter with a ghostly bakedanuki is a prime example of this. Even if this wasn't my favorite outing with the Yokai crew, I'm still very willing to stick things out to see how the show continues to weave all of its fascinating threads together. More ghosts, please!

Rating:

Tonari no Yōkai-san is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.

James is a writer with many thoughts and feelings about anime and other pop-culture, which can also be found on Twitter, his blog, and his podcast.


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