Anime Best in Show

Review: Midnight Occult Civil Servants Episode 02 – Best in Show

Quick Summary

In Midnight occult civil servants episode 2, "The White Nekomata of Kagurazaka," Arata Miyako discovers that not only is he the descendant (reincarnation?) of Abe no Seimei, but his ability to understand the Anothers has a name: Sand Ear. Once the other prefectures learn of his ability, Arata finds himself in high demand, and his boss Reiji Senda wants to take full advantage of that demand by accumulating favors. Two significant events happen to Arata in rapid succession: First, he meets an old friend as he and his co-workers search his family's archives for information about Abe no Seimei. Second, he meets a powerful and cruel new enemy -- an enemy that is as angry about his relationship to Abe no Seimei as his boss is happy about it. Will Arata survive the encounter? 

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

Yeah, it's sappy, but how can I remain unmoved by a nekomata being reunited with a human it had loved after being alone for so long? Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Best Moment in the Show

Arata remembers his grandfather talking about Abe no Seimei. Well, more accurately, he remembers that his grandfather talked, but he doesn't remember many of the details, because he was a kid, and he was too busy doing kid things. Kyouichi Sakaki and Seo Himezuka accompany Arata to his family's archives (which are in fairly large storehouse on his family's property -- this family is apparently very well off!) to see what they can find out about his lineage. Once inside, they're surprised to find a cat -- a cat with two tails! As soon as it saw Arata (6:14), it jumped up on its back legs, grew to be as tall as Arata, and threw itself into his arms. It only took Arata a moment to remember the creature's name, which was Yuki. He had played with the very same cat when he was a child, and the cat -- or nekomata -- was ecstatic to see him. Arata's ancestor -- not his grandfather, but someone very far back in Arata's past -- had ordered Yuki to stand guard over this storehouse. Which he did, all alone, for hundreds of years. Arata playing with him as a child was a brief respite, but otherwise, Yuki had been very alone. Yet he wasn't willing to disobey orders. It took Arata saying that Yuki should come with him to his office, where they were planning to store the material from the storehouse, so he could still guard it, yet not be alone anymore. When Arata said he wanted to have Yuki around, the poor nekomata started sobbing with joy and said (8:25), "I was so lonely by myself!" It was a little sappy, but I thought it was a beautiful moment. 

8 thoughts on “Review: Midnight Occult Civil Servants Episode 02 – Best in Show

    1. And it came out of nowhere, too! I didn’t see anything about it before the season started. The OP is enjoyable, isn’t it?

      I’m really liking the vibe. It reminds me a _little_ of a less shocking Kolchak: The Night Stalker from the 1970s.

  1. I’m enjoying this show so far. Mind you, half the fun is in seeing how the Japanese misinterpret Western folk beliefs, but they can say the same thing with our fixation on samurai and such. The show itself has been wondrously ridiculous and fun!

    1. “The show itself has been wondrously ridiculous and fun!”

      I think that’s a good description! I really helps if I don’t take it too seriously. So far, I’m really enjoying the show’s ambiance.

  2. So, why did Yuki immediately reveal herself as a nakomata this time round, but not back then? I found that scene a little confusing to be honest. It’s not a big deal, and didn’t ruin the emotional drive of the scene, but I can’t help wondering whether I’m missing something here.

    I don’t remember much else from this episode, to be honest, so if this were to be my favourite scene it’s because it’s the only one I can think of. On the whole, I liked this episode a little less than the last one, but then it was a solid bridge and not really meant to be stand on its own. Solid character and setting introductions, but not much else.

    1. “So, why did Yuki immediately reveal herself as a nakomata this time round, but not back then? I”

      That’s… a good question! Maybe nekomata interact differently with children?

      Now I’m going to wonder about that!

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