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Mayonaka no Occult Koumuin anime cover

Score: 6.79/10

Mayonaka no Occult Koumuin

Eng Title : Midnight Occult Civil Servants

JP Title : 真夜中のオカルト公務員

Year : 2019

Genre : Demons, Fantasy, Mystery, Shoujo, Supernatural

Season : Spring 2019

Status : Complete

Rating : PG-13 - Teens 13 or older

Episodes : 12/12

Duration : 23 min. per ep.

Studios : LIDENFILMS

Synopsis

The Nocturnal Community Relations Division is a team of people who specialize in solving cases involving the ominous occult creatures of the night unseen by ordinary humans. Young and unsuspecting Arata Miyako has been assigned to the Shinjuku Ward Office of the division, where he meets his fellow members Theo Himezuka and Kyouichi Sakaki. On his first night, Arata finds himself on a mission where he discovers to his surprise that not only does every supernatural creature he once thought to be fictional actually exist, but also that he is the only human who can understand their non-human speech. Arata's surprises do not end there, as later that night, he meets a legendary creature called a Tengu that refers to him as the famous Heian-era exorcist, Abe no Seimei. Unfamiliar with the exorcist, Arata pays no mind and continues to work with his team, utilizing his unique ability to assist in the resolution of their cases. Mistaken by many occult creatures as Abe no Seimei and quickly becoming notorious for his special ability during his work, Arata becomes curious of his origins and invests himself more into solving cases regarding occult creatures he encounters once he learns of a certain connection between himself and the exorcist. However, Arata will quickly find that dealing with supernatural creatures is not as simple as he thought, as danger begins to play a fundamental role in his everyday findings and his ability starts to present an unexpected issue. [Written by MAL Rewrite]

Stories about secret government agencies who deal with supernatural matters are commonplace in anime, so what separates this title from a crowded pack? Well, this particular government agency seems to be staffed entirely by bishonen.

Actually, there’s more to it than that. This particular variation on the concept also brings up a few other interesting notions. In this world, mythological creatures from various different belief systems coexist, even if not always peacefully, in a Japanese park. More unusually, being able to see supernatural creatures doesn’t automatically mean you can communicate with them, and these civil servants aren’t exceptions to that rule. The audience piecing this together alongside Miyako makes for a neat story hook, and it also turns Miyako from “the newbie learning the ropes” to a resource of incalculable value to the Nighttime Relations office. That also opens up a big mystery as to why Miyako has this ability, though the episode ends with the implication that he’s the descendant or reincarnation of the famous onmyoji mystic, Abe no Seimei. The mystery then becomes whether or not someone in power knew enough about that and channeled him into this position.

Miyako’s abilities and the circumstances under which he came into the job aren’t the only intriguing details, although it does give him a critical role as an interpreter and possible diplomat to the “Anothers,” fueling potential conflicts in the future. The bit about the police tape that produces a mystic barrier was an amusing twist, but so are the designs for the Anothers. This isn’t the only time I’ve seen angels being portrayed as extra-large, but it does make for a much starker visual difference between them and the tengu. Other supernatural creatures are more typical in design but still well-drawn. The opener and closer also promise more handsome guys (including some supernatural ones) and lavish displays of color.

The real question is whether or not the series has enough appeal to attract viewership beyond the otome and BL fans that it is obviously aimed at. So far I think it’s a borderline case, but I would give it a tentative recommendation for now. You can also free Mayonaka no Occult Koumuin anime watch online and free anime download.

With the abysmal number of people watching this series, it's SOOO easy to forget that this anime ever existed in the eyes of potent men, at least it was for me anyways. I really also find it hard to understand why this series GOT a green light, because, more than the manga (translated) adaptation that doesn't exist (as of this review and probably forever), I hardly doubt that even the Japanese people watching this would be happy about this. However and anywho, the crux to this series is about a new working-adult recruit called Miyako Arata. He is assigned to the Nighttime Regional Relations Department squad in Shinjuku, of which, each of Tokyo's 23 wards has departments like this, founded to mitigate paranormal and occult-related events. Unbeknownst to anyone, Arata's special skill is the Ears of Sand, which translates to the understanding of non-human speech, and through mythical Yokai creatures, many say that Arata is the Heian-era exorcist, Abe no Seimei, resurrected in spirit. And that's the story overall, because we only get to watch and listen Arata's special skills as one that we wished to have if we could have a superpower of sorts. Plus, his interaction with the Shinjuku crew and the never-ending groups of Yokai that revere the Seimei spirit into reconciliation, just like a Yokai councilor. Needless to say, you can easily pass by the episodes with a nap, as it doesn't really try to engage with the audience well with its overarching episodic story lines. The character count doesn't pay too well-off either. Seo Himezuka and Kyouichi Sakaki, the 2-man crew that has been in the job more than Arata doesn't strike off as redundant or useful (depending on their help to Miyako), but foremostly being assistants to helping solve daily crimes that involve Yokai, and often the 3-man crew are able to get by nicely. Even through the progression in this series of Arata meeting the mischievous Aztec god Huehuecoyotl and working together with misunderstanding colleagues from the various wards, and Sakaki saving his family member, that "meh" experience stays stagnant, as if there isn't any story nor character development to try to take advantage of to establish a base to the anime. Nein, I say. Liden Films' art and animation is getting much worse, but thankfully it doesn't detract from the watching experience that is this and last season's Mahou Shoujo Tokushusen Asuka, which is plenty fine for its target demographics. Trying to play on the available budget offered is a good advantage, but if this is all it has to offer, I would still gladly watch it. Musicality-wise, Evan Call is back to do the music for this series, and I can only really say it's one of the more mellow music soundtracks (as opposed to Violet Evergarden), but more action-y type of music. Both the OP and ED, performed by the characters themselves (Arata for the OP and Huehuecoyotl for the ED) fit the premise for the occult-feelings of the anime to a T. Not the greatest sounding, but not bad either. Overall, this anime just reeks stagnancy for me. All the while I try to watch this with an open mind that it will eventually get better, it instead went onto an entirely different route that hopes the aesthetics will somehow make up the difference in viewership. And it honestly never did. And I'm finally done watching this show, on with the OVAs later in the year!

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