Hmm this is a tough day or two lately for blogging. My mood’s been all over the place, and often very nasty, due to a slight medication change and some family holiday drama. So when I watched episode 8 of Midnight Occult Civil Servants, I found it difficult to enjoy. It’s a case of mood influencing enjoyment of an anime. I guess that’s something I need to be careful of as someone who tries to be a mostly consistent fan and critic.
One thing that this episode kept metaphorically screaming at me was how bad the visuals really are for this series. (Not counting Seimei’s garden.) Maybe I shouldn’t say bad– just extremely simple. The drawings looks like pictures from an elementary school coloring book. The colors are kind of boring and washed-out. The creature designs still aren’t any more creative than they were 4 episodes ago when I last complained. Oh, but speaking of creatures, it was still fun to see some youkai I’m familiar with. The woman with the excessively long and stretchy neck is called a Rokurokubi. Thanks to Saranzanmai, we’re all very familiar with kappas now, and some of those appeared, as did the shape-shifting tanuki or raccoon dogs.
I still like the characters, even though their stories are a little dull and their lines can be pretty bad. Theo works hard at his job, even long nights on the computer, and I admire him for it. Sakaki is more cheerful than we’ve ever seen him thanks to his sister being back. There’s some tension between Izumi and Arata because of the danger of the job Arata has and the way he hasn’t told Izumi much or relied on her at all emotionally. Even longstanding relationships can break over seemingly small things like that. I hope Izumi stays around.
The music that starts at 10:20 is a piece we’ve heard before, a jazzy track that’s great for studying or brainstorming. I’d like to have that on my playlist. I hope the OST for this anime becomes available to legally buy through safe channels in the near future. I’ve mentioned this before, but even though I’m a big fan of Jun Fukuyama, voice of Arata, the opening song he sings isn’t that good. I prefer the ending theme, personally, which is sung by the seiyuu who did Kohaku’s voice. (His name escapes me.)
In the middle of the episode, there’s a fun scene where the crow spirit Kuro (meaning black) scuffles with Yuki the cat-like youkai. The humor of the scene got a good grin out of me. I live in a neighborhood with a ton of cats, and while we have a few small and pretty songbirds, there are mostly birds like crows, jays, mockingbirds, and grackels, which can all be pretty noisy and prone to fighting. I see cats, squirrels, and birds fighting in the mornings fairly often. It can be funny. But when it’s two supposedly noble, ancient youkai fighting like common city animals, pretending it’s dignified, it’s damn hilarious.
Arata is an interesting character, as this episode pointed out, because the ears of sand ability gives him the double-edged sword of being able to sympathize with Anothers. It was both interesting and moving to hear Kohaku’s perspective on how he didn’t exist as Kohaku for all the long years since Abe Seimei’s passing. Because he sounded a bit sad when he spoke of it, Kohaku seems more “human” now. He went to such lengths in episode 3 to make Arata say his name because he wanted to exist as the being that Seimei named and befriended.
Thanks to the disastrous but humorous effects of Arata walking with Kohaku all the around the city, I smiled and laughed again. It has many faults, but Midnight Occult Civil Servants is still a fine show in my opinion because, look at what it did today! My mood improved once I finished it. This is Anime Rants. Ja ne, minna! 🙂