「まだ見える」 (Mada Mieru)
“She Still Sees Them”
I’d have to say this third episode of Mieruko-chan is where it looks like the show is coming into its own. Although you still get the same story of Miko having to avoid interacting with cursed ghosts, this episode does a great job at making me laugh as hard as I shout.
INVENTIVE BRAND OF HUMOR
While past episodes made most of its comedy steer around Miko’s misfortune, Episode 03 gave me The most laughs I’ve had during Mieruko-chan because of how ridiculous the world around her is. The tension from the first segment on the bus lingers for a long time, but once the gyaru cluster ghoul leaves the bus, it’s immediately broken when the same lines the ghoul yells are parroted from a nearby gyaru girl who is very much alive. It’s an awkward exchange that’s made all the hilarious when all the girl can do when reacting to Miko’s frown is quietly end her call and sit in silence.
Much of this episode’s comedy revolves around the clusters of ghosts that just so happen to swarm the worst places. The playboy having a ghost of a jealous girlfriend is expected given his history, but seeing his girlfriend teeming with the spirits of spiteful boyfriends was astounding. On a similar note, I was both started and cackling when Miko immediately saw swarms of ghosts mulling about the alley Hana wanted to take as a shortcut.
THE “WOAH” MOMENTS
Even when there’s a few milder jokes like the satisfaction Miko got from warding off the lower-level ghosts with the prayer beads or Hana having a good time eating the butt cakes, it was a very memorable episode because of how startling so much of it was. There was a heavy amount of tension this time around with how many close shaves that Miko had throughout this one.
The bus scene was tense enough with how much build-up there was towards the reveal that the one person sitting near the front of the bus was moving closer and closer towards her until they sprouted three heads. I also had the same amount of dread I’d have during a tense horror film when the hanged man ghoul shattered her prayer beads, forcing her to have to feign ignorance towards the ghost congregation as Hana kept wanting to linger around to return the beads and pick up her stuffed rabbit.
But that doesn’t mean that even its freakiest moments couldn’t sprinkle in some humor. Miko getting noticed by the girlfriend ghost was genuinely terrifying because it was the first time she had a noticeable reaction towards a ghost. Luckily, it ended up being really funny when she wound up tricking the ghost by admiring a buff pro wrestler that looks nothing like the playboy on her phone. It was also funny to see how the fortune teller ended up retiring from the scam artist business because even her strongest prayer beads from when she was in tune with the supernatural shattered because of the hanged man. In a way, this episode reminded me of some of Sam Raimi’s horror films that shared a campy joy in some of the most unsettling imagery of the undead.