Midnight Occult: Episodes 1-3 Review

Many anime bloggers are writing seasonal anime reviews episode-by-episode as they air. I decided to try to a variation of this myself and see if I enjoy it. I’ve waited for the first 3 episodes of seasonal anime to air so I can conduct reviews of the first fourth of Spring 2019. Now I’ll begin my 3 episode review of Midnight Occult Civil Servants, the currently airing fantasy show based on the manga by Yoko Tamotsu and animated by LIDENFILMS studio.

Story 7/10

I think this series has a solid story concept, with Anothers living among humans, and Miyako one of the very few who can communicate with them. I look forward to seeing a lot of mythical creatures. While the first episode wasn’t presented too well, the second showed a little more of the history of Miyako, the personalities of Sakaki and Seo, and it moved at a faster pace. We also got to learn about some more fantasy creatures in episode 2. Going into episode 3, I expect there to be a powerful plot hook to keep audiences interested. We did get something like that: the inclusion of Kohaku and his history. Episode 3 was sometimes irritating because the main character still acts so clueless. In the end, though, he pulls through.

Art 6/10

So far the art doesn’t look like anything special, but it’s still slightly above average. I’m not even exactly sure why, but I get irritated very easily by CGI in anime. There were a few painful to watch shots, like the angels flying away at the end of the first episode, but mostly, CGI is used sparingly or in less annoying ways compared to other shows I’ve seen this season. The character designs are satisfactory, though much simpler than I expected. The creature designs are a bit boring in episodes 1-3, but I hope they will imrove. Coyote’s design was decent. The backgrounds are quite nice. In episode 3, the CGI for the zombies (Kyoushi) was annoying.

Sound 8/10

Seo/Theo is played by Irino Miyu

I love the sound so far. The instrumental music was great and helped keep the first episode interesting when I wasn’t sold on the story concept yet. I personally love both the opening and ending songs, though I can tell they aren’t the kind of style that will please everyone. The opening is called “dis-communicate” and is sung by Jun Fukuyama! Fangirl Squeal!!! The ED is called “Yakusoku Overture” and is sung by Shunichi Toki, who also plays Kohaku/ Coyote.

I like the seiyuu, although the simple script hasn’t given them the chance to show much of their talent so far. Irino Miyu, voice of Ritsu in Mob Psycho and many other memorable characters, plays Seo. Jun Fukuyama played Miyako; he is known for funny roles like Koro-sensei in Assassination Classrooom and the main character in Working/Wagnaria, as well as Lelouch in Code Geass. Sakurai Takahiro plays (Satoru) Kanoichi. He’s in everything. Recently, he was Reigen in Mob Psycho. It took 3 episodes, but I recognized Tomoaki Maeno (voice of Sakaki) from when he played Decim in Death Parade and Tenga in Kiznaiver. Those are my favorite four in the voice-acting cast.

I wish someone knew who did the voice of Kanoichi-san (the woman), because she sounds hella familiar and I can’t place where I’ve heard her. Senda Reiji has a good voice, too, but I can’t put my finger on where I’ve heard it recently.

Characters 6/10

(Yuki, a catlike Another)

It’s too early to tell about the characters. They have interesting enough concepts. I’m a fan of Theo; he’s quite attractive and has an intense personality. I also like the laidback Sakaki and of course the man who can talk to Anothers, Miyako. Yuki is adorable in his own way. As of episode 3, I thought the characters were still a little too boring. They should be more interesting by this point in the story. The only ones piquing my interest are Seo and Coyote by end of episode 3.

Enjoyment: 6/10

I was skeptical at first and I didn’t really want to watch Midnight Occultic Civil Servants because the description sounded boring. As I watched, I was able to pay attention through the first slow half of episode one, mostly because I like listening to Jun Fukuyama, who plays Miyako Arata. The second half of episode one surprised me. I liked it! I’ve always loved the concept of a character who can talk to and communicate with nonhuman creatures. Episode 2 was pretty enjoyable, what with Yuki joining the characters, but a it felt a little bland somehow. As for episode 3, it was exciting compared to previous episodes, but compared to other anime, it just could not establish any sense of suspense, thrill, or even creepiness.

Score So Far: 6.6 Fine

I’m excited to see what else this anime has to offer. I hope the pacing and action begin to pick up soon, but it looks like it might not be that way for this series. It’ll probably continue to be lacking in the story and art departments, but I’ll be surprised if I don’t come to love these characters, even with their development being so slow. I don’t know yet if this is a show I would recommend, but I’ll keep watching it because it has some concepts I really like.

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