The Nocturnal Community Relations Division // Occult Koumuin Ep. 2 Review
The White Nekomata of Kagurazaka: Episode 2 Review
We begin episode 2 of Mayonaka no Occult Koumuin pretty quickly after we left off. Miyako Arata wakes up after passing out, and meets his new boss Senda. Seo informs us all about how his power is called the Ear of Sands. This makes him rather special and unique. They don’t get very far into his connection to Abe no Seimei.
Compared to episode 1 we did get a lot more plot progression. We had a villain introduced, and some possible side plots to keep an eye on. We already knew that our world extended beyond Shinjuku, but this episode took us beyond that into Chiyoda, and Arata’s old home.
From a flashback we learn that this isn’t the first time Miyako Arata has been compared to the legendary onmyoji Abe no Seimei. His grandfather reveals that he is in fact a direct descendant from him. His connection is reinforced when we meet Yuki, a giant white nekomata cat spirit that has bee guarding the ancient texts of the Miyako clan. Its clear this is an important story thread we are going to follow this season, but there really isn’t a lot of follow up until the last minute.
Predjudice Against Another
Sakaki and Seo both seem rather prejudiced against Anothers. I think a lot of it stems from seeing them as non-human, and therefore non-sentient. If they can’t understand them, then they must not be smart. Clearly there are some Another that are never going to pass a Turing test, but how can they not see the intelligence of the angels or the tengu?
I like that Arata’s gift and newness is challenging them. He does in fact see the Another as beings worthy of compassion. His interaction with the zashiki warashi proves that. This spirit has been around for hundreds of years, and only just now does the Chiyoda ward know her name, Suzuka. Arata doesn’t have years of experience in treating Another like dogs or cats. He isn’t wizened to the old ways of the bureau. Maybe some of the other members of the Nocturnal Community Relations Department should start listening to Arata.
“The Oni Is Coming”
Its a little unclear what Suzuka the zashiki warashi is referring to when she says the oni is coming. Is the oni buried deep underneath the shrine in Chiyoda, or does this refer to our newly minted villain? If its underneath the shrine, then our heroes better hurry to get back her missing hair.
While Arata’s newness is definitely to the betterment of the whole department, it is also going to cause some problems right away. When they go to find the source of the fire he touches something he shouldn’t. Sakaki would do well to teach him not to touch anything anymore until Arata has some more service time under his belt. I know that he is new and doesn’t know any better, but I am not entirely of the belief someone that new would in fact do something that stupid. It advances the plot, but lets not pretend it isn’t unfair to make Arata so deliberately stupid.
There isn’t much after Sakaki and Arata vanish into thin air. We find them at the bottom of a cavern seemingly inside of the small mountain. There we meet our villain. No particular introduction, but a light bit of monologueing. Then suddenly zombies. Quite a few zombies. Lets see how our heroes will get out of this one.
I could have used a little more time getting to know our villain. Its a great tease and all, but I want to know he is convinced that Arata is the reincarnation of Abe no Seimei. It is especially important our villain seems to have experience with this thousand year old onmyoji.
Overall I am a bit disappointed in Mayonaka no Occult Koumuin Episode 2 the characters not named Arata. Sakaki, Seo, and the Chiyoda agent all seem to have a backwards opinion of Anothers. I hope that this is really setting them up to turn them all around by the end of the season.
[Sources and Further Reading]
[Images via Crunchyroll]
[Episode 1 Review]