Plot: On his first day of high school Hanae Ashiya becomes possessed by a yokai. No matter what he does, Ashiya cannot get rid of the mysterious creature and it ruins the high school life he has dreamed of. Out of desperation Ashiya calls upon the help of Abeno, the master of a strange tea room known as the Mononokean. While Abeno can help him, help doesn’t come cheap, and the cost of getting rid of the yokai is part-time work with the sullen Abeno.
Thoughts: The Morose Mononokean is a supernatural comedy and pulls off both elements quite well during its thirteen episode run. Abeno, the master of the Mononokean, is a serious guy who prefers to spend his time helping yokai and not people, while Ashiya is much more sentimental and signs up for a lot more than he realized when he becomes a part-time worker for the Mononokean.
The story is episodic in nature but works well with the plot. Each arc introduces a new yokai or character and the show does a good job of never forgetting a character. This is one thing I really liked about the show. An early arc introduces us to a girl named Zenko and I was sad to think she would be left behind once her arc was over. Turns out the story had much more in store for her after her introduction. I was quite glad for this as Zenko quickly became my favorite characters of the series.
The art is also nice. Both the humans and the yokai each had their own unique style but the best part of the art was definitely the backgrounds. The mundane world looked great but the underworld looked amazing. This background felt like more traditional Japanese art and honestly is a huge highlight of watching the series.
The sound department was a little more average. Personally the only way I can describe the soundtrack is decent. There are a few tracks that are notable such as the music that plays during the episode title but other than that I don’t remember any songs really sticking out at me. The opening and the ending were also a little strange. The opening has a nice tone and tune but I often found myself skipping it, which isn’t common for me. Then there’s the ending. It definitely has better music than the first. In fact the music I most associate with this show is tune of the ending. However I was disappointed in the singing. Ashiya and Abeno’s voice actors sing the ending theme. Together the two sound great however Ashiya’s singing (done by voice actor Yuki Kaji) sounded a little strange and it tended to make me want to skip this song too. Basically I wouldn’t expect to be blown away in the sound department of this show.
Conclusion: If you are looking for a good show to relax to that isn’t plot heavy, this is your show. Bonus: it comes with some genuinely fun laughs and a rather cute ending. Another bonus: it’s an easy show to watch an episode, move on, watch an episode, move on, etc. Basically anyone who’s interested in a light, fun time, check out The Morose Mononokean.