Comic Books Magazine

Instant Analysis: The Morose Mononokean, Volume 2

Posted on the 20 November 2015 by Kaminomi @OrganizationASG

After a few months of silence The Morose Mononokean has returned! We pick up right where we left off: Ashiya is off to retrieve a mask for a mononoke who left it behind the last time he was exorcised (since you have to cry to get the mask back, mediator Abeno probably didn’t want to do it himself). While the story doesn’t involve any grand twists, it’s still a pleasant read.

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We get a surprising amount of backstory and development on new character Fukwiwara Zenko — almost more than we’ve had on Ashiya and certainly more than Abeno has received so far — but her story about parental expectations neatly matches up with Ashiya’s and serves to develop him as well. Since she can’t see demons it seems a bit odd that Abeno promises to explain what was really going on to her when she can but come to think of it, the story also hasn’t explained how Ashiya can see them either. We know it happened recently; logically it must have happened when he picked up the fuzzball in the very beginning of the story, and if it was such a simple act then maybe she’ll gain the sight too.

The story may play its cards close when it comes to actual youkai, but our next story takes us to the underworld itself so some answers should be forthcoming in the next volume. In fact, the biggest “answer” so far it just another question: Is Abeno himself human? I had assumed so since he is Ashiya’s classmate (and I would imagine a youkai could get out of school easily) but before they cross into the underworld he instructs Ashiya not to reveal that he’s human and we see that the youkai are skillful shapeshifters. Even the fact that Ashiya’s clothing has Abeno’s crest (or rather, the emblem of “the mononoke” which looks suspiciously like the tea house’s tatami mats) doesn’t tip off any of it’s residents that he’s human, therefore, is the “mononokean” literally a denizen of the underworld?

This volume ends on another cliffhanger so I can’t answer that even if I want to! I don’t expect a lot of answers out of the next volume but it looks like we may get a few and perhaps yet another reoccurring cast member.

Want to catch up? Check it out on Crunchyroll!

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