There is no doubt Malevolent Spirits has the potential to be one of this season’s favorites. Whether you’re a fan of where it goes from here or not I think you could agree that this is a pretty good first episode and the only thing truly missing was some real action. Smack dab at the beginning of the episode you’re hit with the bloody backstory of our protagonist Hyoma Kunato’s personal grievance with the beings known as Tsukumogami. These beings are apparently spirits that possess inanimate objects to take on a physical form. It’s clear from this that the series is sure to give an interesting new twist to some traditional Japanese folklore.
Hyoma’s family is a part of the Saenome Clan who are responsible for helping these spirits return to their world, but he isn’t exactly concerned with doing that peacefully. His Grandfather Kohei Kunato on the other hand seems like a much more friendly guy. After being fed up over constantly having to lecture Hyoma about only using violence as a last resort he’s forced to take what he calls drastic measures. He assigns him to begin living with a family of Tsukumogami serving a human master in the hopes of changing his attitude. He’s told that if he refuses all of his “Saenome” qualifications will be stripped so it’s clear he has little choice in the matter.
The moment that Hyoma arrives at their home he makes it clear immediately that he distrusts all of the Tsukumogami and believes they are simply using their Master. The last comment bothers everyone but especially sparks some tension between Hyoma and the Tsukumogami named Nagi. He decides to challenge Hyoma and the two characters start sparring giving us a preview of the kind of action to expect in the series. Nagi appears to have some kind of shape-shifting ability that allows him to create swords to fight with. Hyoma’s abilities on the other hand are not as clear but he appears to be very well-trained in martial arts and wields a mysterious spiritual power.
The significance of the rings he holds in between his hands is unclear. They must be some kind of “Saenome” weapon and I’m interested in seeing how he uses them going forward. The scuffle between the two ended rather abruptly when the Tskumogami realized that their Master is returning home. In a very comical scene, the other Tsukumogami breaking up the fight fail to properly coordinate and end up only restraining Hyoma. Their Master Botan Nagatsuki arrives just in time to see Hyoma on the ground in front of 6 very guilty-looking Tsukumogami.
Needless to say, I doubt this helps his hatred of them. This was pretty funny to me and I’d say it’s probably my favorite scene. The episode did a great job of leaving you wanting to see more and I’m certain the next few will also. It’ll be interesting to see how many fans the series can entice as the season goes on.
Malevolent Spirits: Mononogatari is streaming now on Crunchyroll.
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