Take two for the urban fantasy anime series Midnight Occult Civil Servants (Mayonaka no Occult Koumuin), and while it hasn’t quite wowed me the way I thought it would, Episode 2 ‘The White Nekomata of Kaurazaka’ introduces a ton of new supernatural beings! If the series has anything going for it right now, it’s definitely the supernatural elements…
Original Japanese Title: 神楽坂の白い猫又
After the events of the first episode, the team looks into Arata’s ability to understand Anothers and their search for answers takes them to the Miyako family home. There they meet a friendly nekomata from Arata’s past who guards the Miyako records. He allows them to conduct their research, but the team is interrupted by a string of incidents all tied to an unknown Another…
New Characters: This week’s episode introduced us to quite a few new faces, including the team’s boss, Reiji Senda! It’s still fairly early in the series, so there are sure to be more characters as the series progresses.
I had a dream: At the start of the episode, Arata has a dream about his past that quickly spirals into nightmare territory. The dream starts off simply enough, with a young Arata and his grandfather discussing their family connection to the famed onmyōji, Abe no Seimei. However, young Arata doesn’t much care for the history lesson and walks off and that’s where things take a turn for the bizarre. Suddenly a group of Anothers appear and start calling Arata, Abe no Seimei.
A Villain Appears?: The team is on the trail of a rogue Another who is shaking things up in the city. They realize too late that the culprit is collecting ingredients for some type of ritual… they also seem to be well acquainted with Arata…
Themes and Trivia
Ears of Sand: The ability to hear a language, in this case the language of the Anothers, and understand it perfectly without any prior knowledge of said language.
Nekomata: Is a type of two-tailed cat yokai. There are two types: ones that lived in the mountains and ones that were once raised as pets and became nekomata after reaching an advanced age. They are said to have human speech, and to have the ability to walk on two legs, much like how Yuki does in the episode.
Izuna: A lesser weasel-like supernatural creature from Japanese folklore also known as Kuda-gitsune or Kanko.
Onmyoji: Are occultists, practitioners of Onmyōdō. They served in a number of roles, but were most often associated with spirits, supernatural activities, and the occult. The most famous onmyoji was Abe no Seimei.
Zashiki warashi: Are house spirits (yokai) that inhabit homes and buildings protecting them from harm and occasionally pulling small pranks. They always take on the appearance of young children, and seeing one is said to bring good fortune.
Oni: Are a type of yokai, supernatural demon, devils, ogre, or troll from Japanese folklore. They are often depicted as large grotesque figures with horns and red, blue, or green skin and carrying an iron kanabō club.
Mt Hakoneyama: Also known as Mount Hakone, is a dormant compound volcano located in Japan near Lake Ashi.
Abe no Seimei: One of the older tengu addresses Miyako as Abe no Seimei at the end of the episode, much to his confusion. Abe no Seimei (安倍 晴明) was one of Japan’s leading onmyōji during the Heian Period (794 – 1185). While Abe no Seimei was a prominent Japanese historical figure, after his death in 1005 he became a common figure in Japanese folklore as well. Legend says that he wasn’t entirely human, having a human father and a kitsune mother and because of this was able to control minor oni and commune with supernatural beings.
This week we’re introduced to a potential antagonist which isn’t a surprise since the character appears in both the opening and the ending theme… There’s really not much to go on in that department, but seeing as they summon a horde of zombies at the end of the episode, it’s safe to assume they’re not exactly friendly.
It’s only Episode 2, so Midnight Occult Civil Servants is still working on laying out a firm foundation for the rest of the series, but, there’s nothing especially mind-blowing to report. Though, I will say that I am curious to know what Arata’s connection is to Abe no Seimei. Is he a reincarnation? A relative? Abe no Seimei himself? The sky’s the limit with this one.
I will admit that I like Yuki the nekomata. He’s big ole sweetie pie and I really hope he sticks around, since having an Another on the team would really give things some much-needed balance. I noticed this in last week’s episode, but it’s even more plain here: everyone (not including Arata) is pretty prejudiced against Anothers to the point that I can’t figure out how they were able to maintain this degree of peace with the Anothers without someone like Arata translating for them. They legit assume every supernatural being is a threat and go in guns blazing… How the hell is that beneficial to any type of positive relations? I’m starting to think that the members of the team are the bad guys…
Down the Rabbit Hole
Episode 2 takes us deeper into the world of Midnight CIvil Servants introducing us to some new supernatural beings and characters. The divide between humans and Anothers is fleshed out a bit more and I’m starting to question the intentions of the Nocturnal Community Relations Department…
I’ll be back next week with another Midnight Occult Civil Servants review, but in the meantime, be sure to check out MANGA.TOKYO’s other amazing Spring 2019 reviews!!
NEXT TIME: The Trickster with Amber Eyes ( 琥珀の瞳のトリックスター)
This series is also part of our weekly anime previews.
Mayonaka no Occult Koumuin (Midnight Occult Civil Servants)
Spring 2019 | Anime Info | Simulcast