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It’s so cold again…. This winter has been non stop up and down in temperature and as a result the entire world is essentially a skating rink. Everything had been covered in thick slippery ice for months. In other words, the perfect day to stay at home and catch up on some Morose Mononokean. And of curse to discuss it with Karandi.

The Morose Mononokean Episode 9 (25)

I have occasionally wondered about Hanae’s dad, and much more frequently about Abeno’s home situation (does he live alone?). But I figured this was one of those animes that used the absentee parents trope and there was nothing more to it. Did you see this coming Karandi?


I did not see this coming. Actually, after the hospital scene I started wondering if they were implying Abeno and Hanae were related and I’m still wondering that a little bit. Though, given Abeno doesn’t have a lot of first hand information about Sakae that seems a little less likely. I dunno…..

Still, this is a great development because Hanae’s mother clearly can’t see the yokai and I’ve always kind of wondered where Hanae got the ability from. As to Abeno, I’d love any of his history at this point because he is still quite the enigma even after nearly two seasons of this anime.

The Morose Mononokean Episode 9 (34)
c’mon…give us a smile

Let’s face it, any excuse to see more of that blonde bishie is fine by me. Mind you, I’m really looking forward to going back to the Underworld Powers story arc but I can’t say I disliked the softly bitter sweet story of the Ayashi family. It was one of those episodes that felt at once light and purposeful.

Yes, as much as I’ve enjoyed learning more about the underworld, this is another part of the story that has been badly in need to some focus and I quite enjoyed this shift.

For a bit of context, after Hanae’s mom is taken to the hospital for a collapse due to anemia, Abeno brings Hanae to see her. Hanae quickly realizes she’s being haunted and takes care of it but through discussion realizes his father may have seen yokai as well. When Hanae returns home, he gets a surprise visit from his older sister and tries to get a bit more information on his father. Essentially that’s what happens.

The Morose Mononokean Episode 9 (9)
Hanae looks a lot like his mom

In that hospital scene with Hanae’s mom meeting Abeno for the first time, I really thought she had a crush on him. A boy like a sunflower. I was all like go Hanae’s mom! Very Mrs. Robinson!

Again, that’s kind of why I wondered if they were implying a connection between Hanae’s father and Abeno. It seemed like a really random observation by Hanae’s mother otherwise.

Actually, I was a little taken by surprise that Hanae’s mother hadn’t already met Abeno. Then thinking back I realised she hadn’t, but it just seemed really weird that in all the time Hanae has been working for Abeno she never met him.

Abeno is not exactly the sociable type. I still wonder why the guys at school seem to like him so.

The Morose Mononokean Episode 9 (5)
Abeno showing his warmest supportive expression

But talking about mom not seeing yokai, I guess it’s not unexpected that Hanae’s dad could see yokai but why would he look like Abeno? I’ve also been getting the vibe that Hanae and Abeno’s connection runs a little deeper than a chance meeting. Brothers from a different mother?

Family of exorcists? Different branch of an ancient bloodline? Random coincidence? I’m kind of hoping they do explain.

Hanae’s sister seems like fun. In fact, the entire Ayashi family are rather pleasant. Did you like her Karandi?

Not sure. Her immediate over reaction and jumping to CPR when Hanae collapsed was a little silly, though fits with this anime in terms of occasionally just going for random ‘humour’ where it doesn’t quite go. Also her bitterness towards her father is understandable but makes it hard to get a read on her as a character. She was a little all over the place this episode.

The Morose Mononokean Episode 9 (24)
whoa…too close

We get some mixed messaging when it comes to Hanae’s dad. On the one hand it seems like he abandoned his family so there are still some hard feelings there but they also paint a picture of a man who seemed to love his wife(?) and children very much. I wonder what happened.

I’m really hoping Abeno looks into it regardless of Hanae’s comment that his family is just the three of them. Honestly, not looking into it now would be hugely frustrating given they could have just not mentioned the father at all if they weren’t going to pursue it. And yes, I very much wonder what happened though I came up with a cool theory that probably won’t be right but it could be interesting.

The Morose Mononokean Episode 9 (18)
wait…what cool theory?

That family of three comment Karandi is referring to came in the next scene. Hanae went straight to Abeno with all the information he had gathered and that’s when the bitter started to pile up. It seemed like a man matching Hanae’s dad had come across the Mononokean in the past but Abeno had been told he died 100 years ago.

We also found out that yokai have a skewed concept of time, that’s why Yahiko though he played with Abeno 30 years ago. I must say I wondered about that at the time. I sort of figured that Abeno was a lot older than he looked, this would match his personality as well. But no, it turns out Yahiko, and most yokai are just space cadets. You would think they would see time as slower considering their long lifespans…

I liked the different time thing as it is something that comes up quite regularly with yokai. Though generally speaking they think almost no time has passed (such as Natsume where the yokai are always surprised to learn that Reiko is already dead and Natsume is her grandson). Still, it is a nice bit of detailing and it helps make previous comments (such as the 30 years) make a bit more sense.

The Morose Mononokean Episode 9 (27)
we didn’t see Yahiko so here’s this guy instead

In the end we got a few answers and a lot of questions. There was something tenderly painful about the episode. This quiet loss of a family calmly torn apart. I’m thinking the father left to protect them from the yokai around him. A fate that seems common for those who can see the unseen but maybe there’s more to this story.

Okay, my theory, and only because I’d really like this story to tie into the whole underworld politics thing… What if the Executive, who hates humans and particularly humans who can see yokai, had something to do with Hanae’s father’s disappearance? Now that would be a very cool story line to pursue.

Ohhh bringing the two arcs together. That would be nice. I really like that!

The Morose Mononokean Episode 9 (35)
turns out it’s 12….

On a lighter note, Hanae regularly carries Fuzzy in his arms. This must look super odd to people that can’t see yokai… At least nyanko is visible to humans.

I was wondering at the hospital what the nurse thought he was doing when he had his arm across his body (and we know he was holding Fuzzy but nobody else would have).

I really enjoyed this episode. I think it started asking a lot of the questions I’ve wanted answers to in the human world and pretty much season two of the Morose Mononokean continues to improve on the foundation built in season one. This is becoming quite the intriguing story.

Agreed, I’m looking forward to next week an I kind of want to see your theory come true now.

The Morose Mononokean Episode 9 (12)
what are you doing with your arm???

Of course I have tons of pics…Pics are fun!

7 thoughts

  1. I saw something like that coming… because they mentioned it in the preview last week. Didn’t say anything last week, when you said they might be going back to the underworld story line, because I figured some people might skip previews on purpose.

    It’s entirely possible the two arcs are intertwined, though. One thing I’ve always wondered is who the previous master of the Monokean was, and how unusual or common it is for it to be human. I can’t remember if we ever learned that.

    I always liked the mum, but the Ashiya kids both wear their hearts on their sleeves, and this can be a tad exhausting if they’re worried. They’re likable, though.

    1. I tend not to watch next on tags because I’m use to binging anime and it gets annoying seeing the same thing twice in a row…

      I guess I should start though

      1. I actually only fastforward through ending sequences, to see whether there’s a post credit scene. And then it depends on my mood whether I watch the preview or not. I’m not particularly interested in previews themselves, though some shows have amusing ones (with characters bickering amongst each other who gets to do the preview, for example, and then the preview ends with them having wasted its entirety on the bickering – there were still images, though – I’ve seen this particular pattern more than once, but can’t remember an example).

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