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Mieruko-chan Episode 11 Review – Best In Show

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Mieruko-chan Episode 11 Review – Quick Summary

In Mieruko-chan Episode 11, “She Looks,” Miko began to feel desperate. The presence of Zen Touno, the teacher surrounded by angry cat spirits, was taking an ever greater toll on Hana. In fact, it had gotten to the point that Hana had to constantly snack during class, or she might pass out. So Miko came up with a plan: Follow Zen until he threatened a cat, then call the police. But Miko being Miko, she did not want to put Hana at risk, so Miko followed Zen alone. Was that wise? What will Miko do if he discovers her? And will the spirit that seems to follow Zen object to Miko’s presence?

Note: This post may include spoilers, so be cautious.

Favorite Quote from Mieruko-chan Episode 11

Maybe Hana wasn’t surprised because they know each other so well! Capture from the Funimation stream.

Miko didn’t want to scare or worry Hana, so Miko kept her plans to tail Zeno secret. As the two walked out after school, Hana asked Miko to come to Mrs. D’s. If I remember correctly, that’s where they sell the butt buns that Hana is so fond of.

I still chuckle every time I think of butt buns. I guess the 12 year old boy in me is alive and well!

Miko said she had plans, much to Hana’s shock.

“Wait, like a boyfriend?” Hana asked.

“Yep, that’s totally it,” Miko said, with only a hint of sarcasm (04:41).

I laughed, until Hana replied, “Okay, then I’ll go get some donuts with my ‘boyfriend!’” She saw through Miko’s sarcasm a little too quickly, if you ask me!

Best in Show Moment for Mieruko-chan Episode 11

I think Miko’s done ignoring and running. Capture from the Funimation stream.

Setup: Miko Put the Pieces Together

I bet you know what my favorite moment is. The series has been driving towards it since episode 1. In this episode, we got two keys to help us understand just what this moment meant to Miko. More importantly, those keys helped us understand the cost Miko was willing to pay for her friends.

First, she realized that she had used two of the three interventions the god of the shrine had given her. She wanted to save the one she had left for an important occasion. She used that desire as one excuse for following Zen by herself. But the key here is that she knows: One more save, and she’s on her own.

Second, Miko demonstrated a willingness to do what she thought was right, in spite of a potential personal cost. Case in point: She screamed at Zen to stop him from touching the cat, despite her plan to call the police. She did that because she felt the cat’s life wasn’t worth the wait for the police to arrive. 

Miko’s heart is absolutely in the right place. But she needs help interpreting what she’s seeing. Capture from the Funimation stream

Then, Miko became aware that her perceptions, while horrifyingly clear, are vague in key ways. The cat spirits weren’t from Zen killing them. He had tried to save him. The spirits clung to him because someone had killed them, but it wasn’t Zen.

And then there’s Zen’s mom. Miko learned of her impact on Zen though the vet named Satoru. Zen’s mom had been hyper controlling. She had found a kitten Zen had been raising, and she destroyed it, calling it “vermin.” Satoru had been Zen’s childhood friend. His mom had told him to stay away from her son.

“Don’t look at him,” she hissed at him.

Sound familiar?

Delivery: Miko Goes on the Offensive

Miko is a kind-hearted young woman. She embarked on her Zen-trailing mission to protect Hana. Now, she realized something terrible. Zen was innocent. He not only did not harm the cats, he loved them. Worst of all, the apparition that clung to him and told Miko not to look at him? That was his dead mother. His dead controlling mother.

If Miko wanted to help Hana, and if she wanted to help Zen, then she had to play a card that was hers and hers alone. She made the decision to do something that flat out terrified her. 

She had talked to Satoru on the roof of the hospital. Now, she re-entered Zen’s room (it’s a long story how he ended up in the hospital!). She asked Zen if he would consider adopting the cat he’d just saved. Miko knew that would be a good path for him to take, both to renounce the hold his dead mother had over him, and because he honestly loved cats. 

Zen didn’t feel like he could give himself permission to do that. The dead mother sensed a threat to her power, and she began screaming at Miko. Miko pressed forward, trying to get Zen to admit he loved cats. But the controlling spirit’s hold on him was too strong.

Mama sensed a threat to her authority. Miko might have taken a step back in fear, but it was only one, single step. Capture from the Funimation stream.

The screams escalated.

Her hands trembling in fear, Miko, staring at the floor, said (21:08), “Haven’t you done enough?”

Then she looked the dead mother square in the face and said, “Please, set him free.”

What came next was cool and all. I always love seeing the attendants (Sankai) in action. But in that instant, Miko went on the offensive. Knowing it would cost her the last protection, she acted to save Zen, and by saving him, Hana. We toss the word “hero” around a lot, but damn, I think Miko really earned it in this episode.

What did you think of Miko’s covert tail tactics? What were your favorite moments in this episode? Feel free to let me know in the comments!

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2 thoughts on “Mieruko-chan Episode 11 Review – Best In Show

  1. You know, I really like the writing here. Let me explain. I didn’t expect Zen to actually rescue cats at all. That was quite the surprise. But, looking back, I did have a chance to be suspicious, but I wasn’t, and this time I think I know how the show pulled it, too, and it’s pretty clever.

    Remember Zen’s first appearance? When Miko said “Not him!” he just asked “So I can’t have this cat?” And then he accepted it just like that and walked away. I thought that was odd. It wasn’t inconsistent with psychopath behaviour (he had those strange eyes), but usually in anime when people don’t get what they want you get some sort of “tsk” or something. He just walked away, and I didn’t know how to read this. I could have been suspicious right there, no?

    Well, the other guy came along, and the cat got a good home. And here’s the usual pretty boy/scary guy dichotomy we see a lot. Don’t judge a book by its cover. Bad guy/good guy – appearance flipped. Metafiction staple. I thought Zen would be a one-off character, and that was my interpretation of the scene.

    But really, the show was already preparing another layer of “You can’t judge a book by it’s cover,” using the meta-fictional layer as a cover. Zen just walking away like a little boy used to not getting candy – not much a hope dashed, it was worth trying – is so in character. I didn’t interpret it like that in the scene he first appeared. I didn’t know how to interpret it, but just ignored the niggle – until this episode. Now I finally understand, and I was well and truly surprised.

    This show knows what it’s doing and at times it’s really impressive.

    And, yeah, Miko directly addressing a spirit is a first, and if that’s not a key moment, I don’t know what is. Fear protects and fear misleads, and it did both in this episode. The writing in this show can be pretty smart at times.

    1. I expected good writing in Jobless Reincarnation, so when I got it, I was still impressed, but not surprised. With this show, I was hoping to be mildly entertained. But the subtlety of the writing was surprised and impressed me. It’s been a lot of fun to review!

      Also, I really liked your description of how the show pulled off Zen’s twist.

Please let me know what you think!

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