After a great introductory episode, the 2nd installment of Malevolent Spirits: Mononogatari certainly did not disappoint. Hyouma starts to make some progress on his personal healing and we get a couple of tastes of action. The action is relatively brief so there is nothing to really get excited about. We do however get some great character development, which I would say is a pretty fair trade-off. Nagatsuki Botan makes her stunning debut (much adorbs) and we learn more about the inner workings of the Saenome Clan. As far as the Tsukumogami are concerned, I think that this episode does a great job of humanizing them, not only for Hyouma but for the viewer as well.
It starts off on the heels of the first episode with Botan apologizing to Hyouma for her “family’s” treatment of their guest. Hyouma (in a rather formal fashion) wastes no time giving her essentially the same spiel he gave the 6 Tsukumogami of the family previously. Remember the one about his feelings towards Tsukumogami and how they could just be using her? That’s the one. Only this time since he’s trying to convince her he lays it on very professional-like and requests that she basically give up on the family they have for a “normal life”.
This is probably why it’s repeated throughout the episode how presumptuous he is. As you can imagine, of course, Botan is having none of it and Hyouma is quickly dismissed and given a hard 3-day deadline (by our feisty little deuteragonist) in which he must either leave or start showing some more open-mindedness. In Botan’s words “he’s so uptight” that he makes this into a goal of gathering a signature of approval from all 6 Tsukumogami; he’s more than aware of how much being sent home early could cost him. The first to give their stamp of approval turned out to be Nagi.
Shortly after Hyouma and Botan’s face-to-face, he invites Hyouma on a work assignment with him. This gives us our first brief taste of action for the episode as they team up against a newly born and violent Tsukumogami to seal it away. It also allowed the two to bond and better understand each other even if it did literally give Hyouma hives. We also get a significant heart-to-heart between the two when Hyouma reveals his troubled past and his future goal which looks to be his sole intention of being a Saenome and making sure he becomes the next head of his family.
Nagi also opens up himself too informing Hyouma that the Nagatsuki Family is infamously hated by other Tsukumogami as “Hunters of their Own Kind”. This is made even more apparent later when Hyouma accompanies the Tsukmogami Suzuri and Kagami on the next work assignment. Hyouma finds all of them to be rather unprofessional on the job but he promised to try his hardest to get along; he’s serious about not making himself out to be a liar. If my hunch is correct Suzuri’s “Lady’s Man” persona is going to be pretty entertaining throughout the series.
Kagami seems to be fond of snacks and has a very curious ability that’s revealed on their assignment. For the first time, Hyouma is part of the special exception process that allows some peaceful Tsukumogami to remain in their world. The interactions in this episode helped Hyouma to understand the fears and motivations that different Tsukumogami can have. Hopefully, this allows him to view them less like monsters. This anime is sure to have plenty of “feels” going forward but judging from the preview after the end credits, next episode we may finally get to see some real action.
Malevolent Spirits: Mononogatari is streaming now on Crunchyroll.
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