Anime Best in Show

Review: Midnight Occult Civil Servants Episode 11 – Best in Show

Quick Summary

In Midnight occult civil servants episode 11, "The Ears of Sand and the Guts of a New Employee," the kaikogami (a patron god of silkworms) was furious with Satoru Kanoichi and all humans for burning over half of the silk cocoons and the little silk weavers within. The metropolitan bosses called Reiji Senda and begged to "borrow" Arata Miyako, but he's reluctant to say yes. After all, Satoru seriously disrespected Arata, and what's to say the he wouldn't do it again -- further dooming both Satoru and his entire team? Will Reiji relent? And even if he does, can Arata do anything to appease the kaikogami that's on the verge of becoming a tatarigami (a spirit that brings death and destruction)?

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

Best Moment in the Show

Midnight Occult Civil Servants Episode 11 Review: Arata rides in the arms of an angel

Talk about making a grand entrance! Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

After Reiji's seriously astute political maneuvering to get the case placed in his jurisdiction, he led his team (Arata, Seo Himezuka, and Kyouichi Sakaki) to the stadium. Once there, they found that Satoru had cut himself free and was trying to murder Manari-sama, the huge moth Another who had produced the silk cocoons. Arata had to physically knock him out of the way until Reiji could get the governor of Tokyo to order Satoru to stand down. 

Arata approached Manari-sama, who was still blackened by the purging flames Satoru had used. She was understandably angry; actually, she was about to launch into a destructive rage (i.e., turn into a tatarigami) against the entire country. Not even counting the harm he had done her personally, Satoru had also destroyed half of her silk cocoons and the little creatures within -- who were to spin the silk when they "hatched." Without that silk, she could not make her offerings to the Japanese gods. If she didn't do that by dawn, the gods would then not grant them "the power of the sun" (8:54). 

Which means they were on the verge of a country-wide catastrophe.

Arata offered her a deal: He would help harvest the silk and bundle it into bales that she could transport at sunrise. Dubious, yet seeing no other way, she agreed. This is when Arata demonstrated some admirable initiative.

Midnight Occult Civil Servants Episode 11 Review: Teamwork saves the day

Impressive team effort. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

With the backing of the governor, Arata and his team brought in all of the Nocturnal Community Relations Division staff to begin harvesting. Everyone worked hard (with Satoru continuing to passive/aggressively mope), but it became clear that they didn't have the manpower. Arata disappeared.

This sets the stage for my favorite moment. Dawn approached relentlessly. Satoru quipped that the Ears of Sand had failed when everyone heard something from the sky (12:40). Looking up, they saw a fleet of gigantic angels followed by smaller but more numerous flying humanoids. Guess who was in the vanguard, riding in the arms of one of the angels? Yep. It was Arata.

Remember the angels and the tengu from the first episode? Using his Ears of Sand, Arata had convinced them to help. 

I haven't been so happy to see the arrival of airborne assistance since the arrival of the Eagles when Frodo and Sam were dying on the slopes of Mount Doom.

And that's saying something!

4 thoughts on “Review: Midnight Occult Civil Servants Episode 11 – Best in Show

  1. It was nice seeing Arata using the connections he had made and bringing those characters back in to help with the crisis. I just wonder what they’ll do next episode now.

    1. “It was nice seeing Arata using the connections he had made and bringing those characters back in to help with the crisis”

      It really tied the series together, didn’t it? If was perfectly in keeping with his character, too!

      “I just wonder what they’ll do next episode now.”

      Like I said to Dawnstorm, I’m a little worried about what kind of present Kohaku will bring back!

  2. I was quite happy with the episode, but it’s pretty much what I expected. I do still wonder what role Arata would have played in coming events, had Kanoichi actually killed the silk goddess. “Blessing of the sun”? You think Kanoichi would have antagonised Amaterasu and similarly powerful figures? You remember what effect Kohaku had, just by strolling through town? I thought it was implied that the festival is rather important to a host of similarly powerful creatures. And I’m not convinced Kohaku is on top, here.

    The very resolution, with different people having different perspectives on that, didn’t actually properly take that into account. There’s a basic question here, and it’s respect: how much does respect rely on power and threat? So there are two problems: Problem one, and the easier one, is that I think Kanoichi didn’t have as much power as he thought he did, and he’d have found out, maybe even with just the Silk Goddess, here. But the second problem is one of basic, power-independent respect. With an attitude that get to be as selfish as possible, all that remains is power. And that’s, in part the problem: in what ways does respect play out? For example, the silk goddess was willing to punish humans indiscriminately for something that some of them did. It’s a bit like us taking anit-biotica and killing a lot of bacteria (including some of the benefitial ones) to avoid an illness, isn’t it? What makes Kanoichi stand out in the show is his complete and utter disinterest in communication. Everyone else who was sceptical tended to warn about the danger of misunderstandings (because they’re different). Kanoichi seems to think it’s not even worth trying.

    And the ending let this stand. loosely lumping it together with glasses guy’s position (I keep forgetting his name) – as if that was the same problem. (Owing a debt to the tengu is a valid concern, for example, because it’s not quite clear how big the negotiation range is here; it’s bad enough between culture, but with supernatural creatures, things like promises are little more concretely part of their make up. I’d think it’s a worthwhile risk, but I’d agree that this is something worth talking about.)

    What’s most important about the ending, though, is that a lot of people had first hands-on experience of collaborating with Anothers. That’s quite a feat.

    1. “I thought it was implied that the festival is rather important to a host of similarly powerful creatures. And I’m not convinced Kohaku is on top, here.”

      I wondered about that, too. I’m not sure what, if anything, Arata could have done if a much more powerful Another — like Kohaku or even more powerful — had become angry.

      If I have a disappointment with the episode (and it’s small), it’s that the episode played out, as you said, “pretty much what I expected,” without exploring the possible human world changing impact of Kanoichi’s actions.

      “Everyone else who was sceptical tended to warn about the danger of misunderstandings (because they’re different). Kanoichi seems to think it’s not even worth trying.”

      I would have liked to have seen the series explore that, but at this point, I feel like I’m nit-picking. The show already exceeded my expectations, and I appreciate that! Maybe I should turn my previous statement around and say that this series excited my imagination — I’m thinking about the possibilities this world introduced, and that’s a great thing!

      “What’s most important about the ending, though, is that a lot of people had first hands-on experience of collaborating with Anothers. That’s quite a feat.”

      Wasn’t it, though? Some of the closing shots with everyone standing together were great.

      I’m really curious about what the last episode will be about — and what kind of gift Kohaku is bringing back!

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