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Mieruko-chan Episode 8 Review – Best In Show

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Mieruko-chan Episode 8 Review – Quick Summary

In Mieruko-chan Episode 8, “The Things She Sees,” Miko Yotsuya and her brother Kyousuke went shopping for a gift to their mother. Nothing could be more wholesome, right? Well, first there was a long-necked ghost in the changing room. To that ghost’s credit, she thought Miko looked good in the dress she tried on. But that was nothing compared the what Miko saw on the train ride home…

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

Favorite Quote from Mieruko-chan Episode 8

This young woman has nerves forged in steel, then reinforced with adamantine. I have no idea how she keeps up with the sheer variety of her encounters! Capture from the Funimation stream.

As she walked from the final bus stop to her home, she passed a ghost (Apariation? Ghast? Ectoplasmic representation?) that had obviously not survived a car wreck. Since this ghost wasn’t particularly gruesome, she began to reflect on her life. She asked herself what she was really seeing. She thought about why she had started seeing them. Things like that. I thought that was the sign of a healthy mind!

Even more impressive, she began to wonder if she should take them head on, like Yulia Niguredou or Mitsue Takeda seemed to do. She had almost convinced herself to try when she came across a particularly Cthulhu-like creature standing at a vending machine. It turned to look at her, its many tentacle-snouts dripping viscous fluids.

“Nope,” Miko said to herself (18:25), the fluid cascading all around her. “Don’t know how I can even face this one.”

I respect her courage. I also respect her discretion.

Best in Show Moment for Mieruko-chan Episode 8

It turns out abject terror isn’t the only thing Miko has to contend with! At least her brother has her back. Capture from the Funimation stream.

Setup: Miko Has to Peak, Doesn’t She?

If I’m not careful, I tend to be one of those glass half full sorts of people. More accurately, I’m one of those “the glass is half full because someone drove a spike through the base and it’ll bleed out soon” kind of guy. But let’s not quibble. The point is that even if I’m enjoying a series as much as I’m enjoying Mieruko-chan, there’s a little voice in the back of my mind whispering something. It’s whispering, “Sure, this episode was fine. But what about the next? Or next? I bet they blow it big time!”

In the case of Mieruko-chan, that little voice seized on the fear that sooner or later, the show would run out of interesting ways to make Miko’s encounters interesting. The whole schtick revolves around Miko trying desperately not to react to the horrifying creatures/ghosts/monsters. Sooner or later, those encounters are going to run out of steam, aren’t they?

This was unsettling, sure. But not terrifying. A sign the show’s losing steam? Oh, me of little faith… Capture from the Funimation stream.

We started off in episode one with the stakes being Miko herself. Could she keep herself safe from reacting? That escalated until she was naked and alone in the bath when one of them showed up. Then she had to save Yulia in episode five. In episode six, she had to shield Hana from a supernatural battle that rivaled warring gods. Finally, in episode seven, only Miko’s quick thinking seemed to save both Hana and Yulia. 

Was that the limit? Would Miko have to do something like save whole class? Maybe an entire city’s population? We’ve seen her under threat, her under intimate threat, and her friends under threat. What could top all of that?

“Watch and learn,” Mieruko-chan said. And it then proceeded to top itself.

Delivery: Miko Hasn’t Peaked Yet!

Let’s Build Tension, Master Class Level

Miko and her brother Kyousuke spent the day looking for a present for their mom. Encountering ghosts, too, but nothing too out of the ordinary. Kyousuke had fallen asleep and had leaned against her. She smiled at how cute he looked because he was drooling.

Then she heard the axe.

One of the most formidable monsters we’ve seen to date entered the train car from the rear. It taxed Miko’s self-control to not to obviously react. The creature stopped at the first passenger, who was as asleep as her brother. As she watched, horrified, it lifted its axe and drove it straight into the last passenger’s skull. “Wrong one,” it growled (06:23). The passenger appeared unharmed. It shuffled sideways a few steps, then repeated the process on the next passenger.

Okay, this one looks, um, interesting… Maybe the show’s not running out of steam after all! Capture from the Funimation stream.

I’ll tell you what, the level of anxiety I felt for Miko and Kyousuke was as high as any character in any horror film I’ve ever seen. I expected that Miko would be okay. She’s the main character, after all! But Kyousuke? I have no idea if Miko’s plot armor covers him. The monster worked its way up the line, sleeping figure by sleeping figure, trying to cleave the skull of each. Miko’s fear grew with each stroke, until the creature was right beside her. This time, the passenger to her left had a little black smoke trickling out of her mouth. And this time, when the creature swung the axe, it connected with something infesting the woman. It heaved whatever it was out of the woman. The axe wielder didn’t eat or kill the screaming infestation. It just stuffed it into a bag. 

Using Doubt to Racket Up Tension

Poor Miko! She had no idea what had happened. Had she just seen an exorcism? Was the woman beside her spirit-sensitive like Yulia or Mitsue? Was whatever was inside the sleeping woman the result of being able to see the creatures?

See how the show built tension? They not only gave us a line of people that basically constituted a Countdown to Miko. They played on our uncertainties about the rules of this world. Those are the same uncertainties that Miko has, so they merged our perspective with hers. 

Now, the creature stopped in front of Miko. It raised its axe again. And Miko closed her eyes.

So terrified she couldn’t stop the tears, Miko could not see how she would stop herself from reacting. Not with that thing swinging its axe straight at her skull. Capture from the Funimation stream.

For an instant, we had to wonder: What happened? Did she pass out? Then we learned that the train had stopped. And so had the axe, half way through Miko’s head (09:46). The creature removed the axe and moved on.

That would be a good enough place to leave off, wouldn’t it? That was an amazing moment! But there was one loose end. I’m a rational person. I also pretend to be a writer, and that part of my brain that tries to work out plot (which is separate from the part that forecasts doom) said, “Dude, no way she walks away from that unscathed. She had never been more terrified in her life!”

There Were Consequences

My brain, bless its little heart, was on to someone. Miko forced her brother to get off at the wrong stop. When he asked why, Miko covered her mouth and said in an embarrassed tone (11:04), “I need underwear.”

When that creature had swung its axe, Miko’s poor bladder said, “I’ve had all I can stands; I can’t stands no more!” I, for one, completely understand. What an ordeal! I can’t believe this is the first time, in fact.

Miko could not even correct her brother for fear of drawing him into her world. She’s got it rough! Capture from the Funimation stream.

Oh, I’d be remiss if I didn’t note that her brother tried to be understanding. “Boy, girls have it rough,” he said. Little dude gets points for trying to get a good and supportive brother!

What did you think of the baby ghost? What were your favorite moments in the show? Please feel free to let me know in the comments!

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8 thoughts on “Mieruko-chan Episode 8 Review – Best In Show

  1. This was my favourite episode so far!! I think, in order to enjoy the show at this point, you have to try and put yourself in Miko’s shoes, rather than thinking logically. She doesn’t understand the rules, and as far as she knows, one wrong move could potentially result in something awful. (She doesn’t know she has plot armour, after all!)

    She’s literally watching horrifying spirits eating each other and tearing each other to shreds. Who wouldn’t be scared? Even if the axe guy didn’t seem to be hurting anyone, it would still be terrifying to watch an axe come swinging towards your head, and for all she knows it could be different for her because of her powers.

    But despite all the fear, she still tried a few times to connect with the spirits and help them, or at least help the people being affected by them.

    She’s just a teenager, but she’s being so brave and so kind that I’m rooting for her to figure things out, and not have to be terrified all the time!

    Also her brother was adorable! His reaction to her discreetly saying she needed new underwear was a 10/10 supportive brother move.

    Honestly, I love this show so far, and I’m excited to see where it goes from here. More and more lore is getting introduced in each episode and I’m super invested in all the characters now.

    ‘Cute girl sees ghosts and tries to ignore them’ sounds like a simple concept, but somehow the writers keep finding new ways to make it interesting!

    1. I think you hit the nail on the head: From Miko’s perspective, this is terrifying stuff. And despite her near constant terror, she still acts to protect Hana, or Yulia.

      Her brother was great in this episode. It’s great seeing a brother/sister relationship that’s based on familial trust and love. I’ve missed that. Not throwing shade at Oreimo, but Miko and Kyousuke have a great wholesome vibe going on!

  2. For me, as creepy as the ghosts may appear, in order for me to stay invested in her terror, there has to *eventually* be *something* which happens to validate it. Eight episodes in, NOTHING has actually happened to anyone alive. The ghosts and other spectral figures may interact with each other, perhaps even destroy each other, but not a one of them has actually done anything which has truly hurt a living person. As such, her fear is, quite honestly, getting a bit old, even outright ridiculous. It *could* be sustained a bit longer if, say, someone like the godmother actually sat down and explained to this girl what is worth being afraid of and what is basically harmless, but it’s just getting annoying at this point.

    Thus, this episode, which had a ghost actually doing something that involved the living, could have illuminated things a little. Did the woman who had that dark thing pulled out of her suffer any harm? Or was she perfectly fine? It was certainly legitimately terrifying to watch that axe come down into people’s heads again and again, because an axe coming at your head is going to invoke some perfectly legitimate fear responses. But as that ghost was doing something, searching for something, what was it? If it didn’t hurt the other humans, but still had a specific purpose, could it hurt a spiritualist instead, as someone who is aware of it? But we got no answers at all. So, falling axes aside, how are we to stay invested in this constant fear response towards something which has thus far been proven to be entirely unable to hurt her?

    …and *then* they brought in the substitute teacher, that vile fiend which has the screaming ghosts of cats and whatever else clinging to him. And NOW we have a definite, legitimate, immediate, and physical threat. One which she can see, but can’t say anything about, but which we KNOW for certain is absolutely evil and dangerous. NOW we have a scary story!

    1. The woman who had been host for the creature looked to be sleeping more peacefully afterward. So I think there’s at least some evidence that could be interpreted that the axe-dragging ghost helped the woman.

      But if they can help the living, doesn’t that mean they can hurt the living? If that thing inside the sleeping woman was hurting her, wasn’t that proof that harm is possible?

      I still feel invested. But then, I’m not the most reliable judge. I liked the Asterisk War, after all.

      Yeah, the substitute teacher is a game changer. We can debate the effects of the supernatural on the living. But it’s clear the living can wreak havoc on other living! So that’s going to be interested.

      I’d actually like to see some kind of joint human/supernatural response. But we’ll see!

  3. She ought to have learned an important lesson here. Once again she encounters a ghost that looks horrific but isn’t doing any harm. If anything, it was a good guy, sucking the other ghost out of the woman and taking it away. She also saw again that ghosts really can’t hurt her or other people. The axe went in and nothing happened.

    She should know by now that most ghosts who become attached to a person are really just filling unmet psychological needs based on mutual personality traits. The world is FULL of ghosts and encountering them is an everyday occurrence. Nothing to freak out over.

    The baby ghost was just sad beyond description. I wanted to see her react to it more. I want to see her think about what is happening more. I want her to show even the tiniest bit of curiosity about them, maybe do a bit of analysis on the fly. Having her freeze in horror over and over again loses its charm. She become a one trick pony and that trick eventually wears out.

    This late in the season I want her character to have more of an arc. She doesn’t have to turn into Natsume or Geiko but I don’t see much growth going on at all.

    1. From her perspective, I’m not sure it was clear that the ghost was performing a public service. Was it an exorcism? A bounty hunt? Miko didn’t know — but looking at it through her eyes, it felt terrifying to me!

      I agree the show will sooner or later have to answer the question of what impact the dead can have on the living. Mitsue Takeda was concerned enough about it to leave the city to retrain. And she has the most experience of anyone we know. So I’m not quite ready to conclude that ghosts are harmless.

      The last ghost she expressed curiosity about was that little dude ghost under the vending machine. That ended in a way that didn’t give her positive reinforcement!

      I think she did show some growth in this episode. She tried to convince herself to confront the multi-snout creature but couldn’t bring herself to.

      I’m still really enjoying the show. I’m really curious what’s going to happen with that substitute teacher.

Please let me know what you think!

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