Why this horror anime deserves all the hype

Why this horror anime deserves all the hype

At first glance, Mieruko-Chan seems like the usual schoolgirl anime, but you better not blink because the moment one opens their eyes, they will be surprised by the monstrous creatures on the screen. Mieruko-Chan is a horror-comedy anime that follows the title character Miko Yotsuya as she struggles with the ability to see ghosts and other evil spirits while navigating her daily school life.


Based on Tomoki Izumi’s manga The girl who can see them, Mieruko-Chan premiered in fall 2021. The 12-episode anime was created by Studio Passione, which has quite a portfolio of horror and comedy anime including Higurashi no Naku Koro ni and High School DxD. After the first promotional trailer, fans were already hyped and expected it to be one of the most popular anime of the season. In fact, it’s a great anime for first-time viewers.

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An unexpected story

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What does Mieruko-Chan unique is the fact that unlike most other anime, where the main character with psychic abilities tries to hone their abilities in order to use them for different reasons (saving lives or for their own benefit), Miko tries to continue her normal life. Even when she sees the most horrific ghosts, she pretends she can’t see them. Additionally, while Miko can see these spirits, she has no power to stop them from doing the horrible things they do. Things get difficult for Miko when the monsters begin to torment her energetic best friend, Hana Yurikawa. Since there isn’t much Miko can do to protect her best friend, she visits an ancient shrine to ask for help and protection from the ghosts and monsters she sees.

Miko gets what she wants when two twin shrine spirits appear to protect Miko and Hana whenever their lives are threatened by a supernatural being. However, it seems that protection comes at a price as indicated in the last episode of the series. It seems that the twin gods at the shrine are not exactly good spirits. They only agree to protect the girls three times, and it also comes at the cost of Miko’s life, as hinted in the last episode when the deity tries to devour Miko. The moment is broken when Miko wakes up from a dream, but the show hints that maybe Miko’s dream could become a reality.

Another big thing about Mieruko-Chan is that it doesn’t really spell everything out for the audience. It is a good example of “Show. Do not tell”. It gives hints to the audience as the show progresses. While the first few episodes may be confusing to most, as the show doesn’t explain the weird things going on around them, it’s worth it when the pieces fall into place. In fact, the little hints in the early episodes make the final episodes even more exciting.

Related: Why Toonami’s Shift to Horror Anime Is Great for the Late-Night Block

Bone-chilling horror

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Studio Passione has had some experience when it comes to producing horror anime, which is why it’s not too surprising that Mieruko-Chan does a good job of delivering gruesome horror. It has quite a few moments that are quite dark with an eerie and eerie atmosphere.

The portrayal of Miko’s turmoil is done brilliantly. The way she clutches her book tighter, to the way her body stiffens as a brief look of terror flashes through her eyes, is enough to make the audience feel the same uneasiness and terror as her. One can easily imagine that they are in Miko’s place as the horror before her causes her eyes to fill with fearful tears. The voice actor, Sora Amamiya, also does a good job, especially during Miko’s inner monologue, where her voice is often a bit shaky and dripping with fear.

Related: 7 Weird Ways Anime Characters Got Powers

The mysterious shrine spirits

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The supernatural beings that Miko encounters on a daily basis are terrifying enough, now she must face the shrine spirits, who are almost as powerful as a deity. In fact, Miko misinterprets them as a god and his two servants. As the show progresses, it becomes more and more apparent that something is not quite right with the gods, and some form of impending doom awaits Miko. It’s also interesting how the anime sets the shrine gods apart from the other monsters with their golden aura, but does little to make them seem less scary. The final moments of the anime seem to further emphasize this when not only does Miko dream of the gods trying to devour her, but they are also watched for by the girls.

Characterization and relationships

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Miko quickly became a favorite among fans of the show. Despite being constantly surrounded by gloomy, hideous spirits, Miko is not always a gloom. She can be quite sweet at times, especially when it comes to helping her best friend, Hana. An endearing moment is when she willingly goes into a haunted house just to help Hana get some free donuts. In fact, the relationship between the two girls is actually quite loving. It’s clear that Miko values ​​her friendship quite a bit and just wants to get rid of the ghosts that swarm around her friend. Additionally, just as Miko tries to help Hana by praying to the shrine spirits, Hana also unknowingly saves Miko from the monsters she sees.

Contrasting atmosphere and animation

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The animation of the show is in place. The first few minutes of the anime tricks the viewers into thinking that it is an average school anime. The bright, vibrant colors in the animation make it seem as if nothing is out of place. It is only when the monsters appear that the audience sees the contrasting atmosphere that Miko sees. It creates an eerie atmosphere as the vivid colors of mundane life merge with the dark, terrifying aura of supernatural spirits. The anime does justice to the manga’s art, especially when it comes to the depiction of the supernatural. The way the animation is expertly drawn, fans don’t even need the dialogue to know what’s going on. Mieruko-chan has the whole “show don’t tell” theme going pretty well.

Exciting soundtrack

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Perhaps the credit for the gloomy, terrifying atmosphere is partly due to the soundtrack. The eerie, shrill sounds set in a frightening and disorienting atmosphere, which makes one feel goosebumps on the arms. In addition, the opening, “Mienai kara ne!?and ending theme, “Mita na? Mita yo ne?? Miteru yo ne???, is both quite catchy and pop. It’s interesting how both themes are quite cheerful, but mix in a few screams and shrills to add an eerie vibe to the songs. Honestly, given the anime and its narrative, the music is quite fitting. One can’t help but hum along to the opening and ending as it appears on screen. The opening and closing music is just as, if not more, addictive as the show itself.

Mieruko-Chan ticks most of the boxes when it comes to horror anime. It has the atmosphere, animation and a fitting soundtrack that are all essential when it comes to setting up a bone-chilling narrative. Plus, with the open ending of the first season, a second seems like a possibility for the future. The anime is definitely worth watching, especially for anime fans who want to see something a little different from the norm.

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