“Kagurazaka no Shiroi Nekomata” (神楽坂の白い猫又)
Pretty much all the series I watched last week had a really decent first episode but one of the reasons this is the first one I’m reviewing this week is because Midnight Occult Civil Servants not only had one of the best opening episodes but truly made me fall in love with the characters and the world in moments.
So did it live up to its first episode going forward?
There was so much to unpack in this episode it is hard to explain if I’m honest. Compared to the very nice and soft opening episode this one plunged us into the midst of mystery and drama as not only did Arata’s family bloodline get thrust into the spotlight but we have a proper threat as a Kisha shows up with another Another who seems interested in Arata himself.
For a start I couldn’t find anything online about Kisha’s, in fact the bird they described seems to actually be a mythological bird from Chinese lore called a Jiu-Tou Niao (the Bird with Nine Heads) or Gui Che (Ghost-Vehicle) which, as the first name points out, is a bird with nine heads but ten necks and the tenth neck constantly pours out blood. It is actually a pretty horrific sounding creature that actually has a interesting story in reality being such a stupid creature in some stories that even Anna’s favourite bird of all the simple Duck told it that it was stupid.
In this it is a bringer of bad news and not just because they say it is a bringing of bad news but because it brings along with it someone who is looking for Arata.
This all then ties back to Arata’s bloodline.
The Ears of Sand thing can’t be passed down generation to generation as we learn when we meet Yuki. Yuki is a Nekomata who seemingly was domesticated by a great-great-great Grandfather of Arata’s who also had Ears of Sand because they come from the Abe no Seimei bloodline. Hence with the old Tengu called Arata that and now the new guy is so overly enthusiastic about meeting him again. Why we learn it isn’t passed down is because Yuki has been on his own for about a century according to himself, Arata as a child was able to see him and he had been waiting to be able to talk to him, I actually thought the little time it took to tell that story was perfect. It was really emotional and you felt for what actually was a big, annoying talking cat for being left to guard all these books and stuff but end up just being on his own.
Arata’s skills is seemingly what the bad Another is here for, he knows of Abe no Seimei and like the Tengu doesn’t seem to differentiate between Arata and what must be a ancient relative of his. Arata being a idiot also leads him and Sakaki into a trap set by this Another where they come face to face with Zombies.
So much happened in such a small amount of time. Arata met loads of Anothers, Tanobu arrived to thank him and then flew off again, we learnt that people were using British Magic to make weapons and such…
It filled up with so much world building but never took away from building a interesting story that ended with me sitting with my mouth hanging open and complaining that the episode had ended.
For me this is actually looking to be the strongest show this season and I really want to know what happens next.