(Spoiler warning for Midnight Occult episode 9!)
Brief Synopsis of this episode?
When a dream demon causes kids to enter comatose states, Sakaki sends Arata to take care of the job without him or Theo. Working with Arata, though, is a high-ranking member of the Nocturnal Affairs organization, Kanoichi Satoru. Also with Arata and Satoru is a man named Shimizu, who we briefly met in a past episode. Satoru and Arata don’t seem to like one another since they disagree on how to treat and think of Anothers. However, they are both polite until near the end.
In an abandoned building, Arata finds the child-like demon who can trap people within dreams. With Arata being who he is, he quickly becomes friends with the little creature, and convinces it to stop trapping people. Once Arata brings the demon outside, though, Satoru traps it with a painful exorcism technique and then eliminates its existence by stomping on it. Needless to say, Arata isn’t happy. He gets even angrier as Satoru mocks him and says he’s not trustworthy.
Thoughts about the story/plot?
As everyone know who has watched this this show to this point, Midnight Occult has a mostly episodic plot, and it’s not a very strong concept: dealing with a new mythical creature or yokai every week. (The series is still enjoyable, though, because it’s laidback, occasionally interesting and educational, and usually funny.) But episode 9 broke that standard plot to pieces, because the yokai wasn’t appropriately handled, but eliminated from existence. This is thanks to the new character introduced, Kanoichi Satoru. It really makes me wonder if maybe we’ll have some slightly more intense or interesting episodes here in the last quarter.
Thoughts about the characters?
I thought it was interesting to see Arata contrasted with Satoru. The latter thinks Another are pests or else natural disasters– “rats or typhoons” — whereas the former can communicate with them and knows they are sentient beings. Arata is open, emotional, and understanding, while Satoru is guarded, skeptical, and harsh-mannered, at least when challenged.
Thoughts about the sound/audio or art/visuals?
The visuals are pretty bad, as usual, but the music is fine, and even enjoyable. I like most of the seiyuus, too. Kanoichi Satoru is voiced by Sakurai Takahiro, and I’m not certain who did Shimizu, but it sounds a lot like Aoi Ichikawa. Sakurai was easy to recognize and is always good to hear. I never get tired of hearing the seiyuu behind Arata, Jun Fukuyama. There was some excellently creepy music in the background starting around 6 minutes or so. Also, the track that begins at 20 minutes is perfect for reflecting how Arata feels after Satoru eliminates the dream demon.
Thoughts about the Another this episode?
The dream demon is quite unsettling, actually. A demon that terrorizes children in their dreams before finally driving them into comas and trapping them in a dream-world? That’s really freakin’ scary, in concept. I almost can’t blame Satoru Kanoichi for disposing of the creature. Of course, it turned out that the dream demon was only lonely, and would be likely to stop trapping people if it found a new place to play with a lot of people around. It seemed moved and happy to make friends with Arata, someone who could see it. Rest in peace, little demon.
What did you enjoy most?
I know it’s not true, but I enjoyed playing around with the idea that Arata is, like Satoru said, one of the Anothers, and a servant of Huehuecoyotl. If it were true, it would be fascinating, and Arata really could cause Tokyo to collapse if he manipulated the Anothers the right way. I doubt there will be any development on these themes, but it’s possible that Arata could use his friendship with Kohaku and ask him to prevent Anothers from being killed unnecessarily. Anyway, this has been Anime Rants, covering another entertaining episode of Midnight Occult Civil Servants.