The Morose Mononokean

Alt title: Fukigen na Mononokean

TV (13 eps)
3.949 out of 5 from 4,783 votes
Rank #1,110
The Morose Mononokean

Ashiya has spent the first seven days of high school stuck in the infirmary because of a youkai attaching itself to him. He ends up asking the owner of a small tea room called the "Mononokean" for help. Mysterious stories involving the very morose owner of Mononokean guiding the youkai that happened to wander into this world go to the next world.

Source: Crunchyroll

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This anime isn't anything special. I guess the first couple of episodes are interesting as they introduce the two main characters and give the context in which the story should unfold. Except it doesn't. There is no story. Just one episode after another of the same thing that gets repeated and doesn't lead anywhere. There is also no character development. So why bother?  Hanae is a student who gets possessed on his very first day of high school by a youkai. He's desperate to get rid of it because it seems to rob him of all of his energy and vitality. So when he meets Abeno who as a profession exorcises youkai, he asks him to help. Abeno exorcises the youkai, but then expects Hanae to work part-time for him to repay his debt. It's a youkai-of-the-week format as our two main protagonists encounter a different youkai each episode and assist it in reaching the underworld. I initially said the first couple of episodes were interesting because they outline the relationship between Abeno and Hanae as they get to know each other. But after a sort of friendship and trust is established - there is no further development.  So there you have it. It's not terrible, but I really don't see why anyone should watch this. There's no plot worth mentioning, the characters are likeable but not so original or peculiar as to get you hooked on the anime, the relationship between the two reminded me of the typical romance-anime one between a cool tsundere and their naive, clumsy, affectionate and overly enthusiastic counterpart - except it's not a romance anime. And, lastly, if you like anime about youkai and japanese folklore there are more captivating ones like xxxholic, mushishi or mononoke. 


First of all, this anime is UNFINISHED. As it stands, it's essentially a giant teaser for the manga. Ashiya is about as stereotypical a main character as one can get, and Abeno his friend/master isn't much better. Their chipper/dour dynamic is tired, and you've seen it before. Often. In fact, I feel that a majority of the appeal of this show is counting on fangirls being able to ship them together, because there isn't much else going for either of them aside from the possibility they might boink.There are a few underlying plot elements that are mentioned but never examined again, likely due to it only being one season. Even the designs of the main characters and the yokai they encounter feel uninspired. And you know, after 13 episodes, I still don't understand why a Mononoke master has to go to high school, when he constantly tells his pupil to stay away from humans! I would say the only thing I enjoyed about this at all was the animation, but a majority of anime coming out these days look great, so that's almost a moot point.  If this was made to see if it would do well before continuing, I can see why no more seasons were produced. It isn't the best example of its genre, nor even a slightly memorable one. Because it's more or less a sample of the source material, none of the characters have enough time to develop, and in all honesty even if they did, I find it difficult to believe you would care much. I certainly didn't. It's your typical episodic yokai anime with polish, but no substance. Skip it and go for Mononoke TV or Natsume Yuujinchou, which are far better and more interesting productions.

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