When Miyako Arata joins the Shinjuku Ward Office, he thinks he's gotten a normal civil servant job. But it turns out he's joined the Night Community Exchange Department, one of which operates secretly in each of Tokyo's twenty-three ward offices. Their job is to resolve occult issues concerning non-human beings. Accompanied by his senpai and department head Sakaki Kyoichi and the occult obsessed Himetsuka Seo, they work night after night, facing off with beings whose existence defies the laws of our world.
Angels and Tengu Above the Shinjuku Skyline
The White Nekomata of Kagurazaka
Trickster with Amber Eyes
Fixed-Point Observation in Kabukicho
The Parallel World Elevator of the City Hall Observation Deck
Devil and Sense of Loss
Sense of Loss and Proof of Despair
Old Coyote and the Garden of Falling Stars
The Dream Demon of the Haunted Apartment Block
White Cocoons and Blue Flames
The Ears of Sand and the Guts of a New Employee
Shinjuku Ward Nocturnal Community Relations Division
Let me begin with that this is show is underrated. I heard no one talk about it when it came out which is kind of sad, so I am going to give my honest opinion on this show. Story The story follows an episodic format mostly, but there are a few stories that form part of the world. I also liked that they didn't stick with only Japanese mythological creatures, but we also got to see some from different cultures too. I actually even did research on the Aztec god, Huehuecoyotl because this show mentioned him. The concept may be something that you have seen before, but the stories has themes about relationships between humans and supernatural creatures and how you can always rely on them following human morals since at the end of the day they're not humans. The theme of coexisting is strong and the way it is executed is pretty nice, however there were a few things in the story that were left unsolved, which I can't get into specifics without spoiling the show. Animation For the character design, we have the guy who made the same design of the anime Love and Lies, which if you have seen Love and Lies you can tell the characters were made by him. The animation in this show was pretty standard, but it did have some really beautiful scenes like a garden scene that we get to see and another scene in the later episodes of the show. Overall, the quality of the animation maintains itself in this show, and the character designs manage to keep the show interesting. Sound The guy that made the music for Violet Evergarden was behind the soundtrack for this one. Also, we get an OP sung by the main character and I am kind of a sucker for those. Both the OP and ED were pretty catchy songs and the rest of the soundtrack was on par with the anime. This guy knows how to make music. Characters I liked what they did with Arata here, he may be soft-hearted, but he's aware of his limits and knows that being too sympathetic may cloud his judgement as well which is a nice change from the standard nice guy. For the other two, I would have liked to see more of Seo's past as we did get to see how Kyouichi ended up joining the organization, but in one of the episodes we get some mysterious flashback regarding his past job which we never got clarification for. Also, there was an interesting character that could have gone against Arata's beliefs but due to the show's runtime we never got to see him oppose Arata on a much grander scale. Despite this show not being perfect, I recommend people to give it a watch as I actually ended up enjoying this show much more than I originally thought I would.
The story and structure of this show is really nothing new but is well executed. Is very similar to Natsume's Book of Friends, the type of show that makes emphasis on the understanding of different cultures, personalities, and ideologies; using the Yōkai (supernatural monsters, spirits, and demons in Japanese folklore) as a simile for what the show is trying to say. The show is mostly episodic with a few stories spanning 1-2 episodes, but there is a progression done through character development, which is what keeps this show together and entertaining. The animation is on par with other animes of the time, nothing too fancy, but it has good character designs that help keep the show interesting. The stories present and contrast different aspects of the human/Yōkai relationships that are increasingly more complex and dangerous. There is little comedy and some slight mysteries are presented. Sound effects and music are on par with the show feeling and the dub is pretty good, I prefer to watch dubs for these types of shows where the dialog is more predominant than graphics and action. Overall, this show may not be for everyone, you'll especially like it if you enjoy slice-of-life shows that deals with customs and understanding, everyone else may be better moving into other shows.
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