Takahiro SakuraiJun FukuyamaTomoaki MaenoMiyu Irino
Midnight Occult Civil Servants
Also known as: Mayonaka no Occult Koumuin
Medium: TV, series
Year: 2019
Director: Tetsuya Watanabe
Writer: Tatsuto Higuchi
Actor: Jun Fukuyama, Kazutomi Yamamoto, Koji Yusa, Miyu Irino, Shun'ichi Toki, Takahiro Sakurai, Tomoaki Maeno
Keywords: yokai, anime, fantasy, vampires
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Format: 12 TV episodes + 3 OVAs
Url: https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/anime.php?id=21190
Website category: Anime 2019
Review date: 11 December 2020
Girlie Air Force
I quite like it. It's probably not good enough to rewatch or recommend, but it's fine. There was a point halfway through the TV episodes where I started wondering if the format was flat, but it ended up being a reasonably entertaining show.
It's about civil servants in Tokyo. Governments have civil servants for everything, which here includes the supernatural. They call such beings "Anothers". You can't tax them, or even understand what they're saying, but you can still try to resolve the problems they create. (They're not the police, though. The cops have their own supernatural affairs department, known as Section Zero.) Our protagonist, Arata Miyako, is the descendant and possibly the reincarnation of a famous mystic from 1000 years ago, Abe no Seimei.
He can also understand Another languages, which gobsmacks his colleagues. He has a magical gift called Ears of Sand, so for the first time the Nocturnal Community Relations Division has someone capable of talking to the supernatural beings it was created to manage.
It's clearly a show for fangirls, with the core cast all being male and handsome. (Theo looks like a girl, mind you.) A slight problem with some of the early episodes is that it's just civil servants doing their job. They're nice people who are trying to help the city's angels, tengu, etc. but the situations aren't personal for them. Fairly generic protagonists are making the supernatural stories less interesting than they should be... but this problem gets fixed. Arata acquires some unconventional flatmates, while one of his colleagues has a missing sister. One story arc introduces a spectacular piece of shit who works for Tokyo central government and holds opinions somewhere between "racist" and "genocidal". In the OVAs, Theo has a friend he's been seeing for fifteen years, but has never been able to talk to.
There's some stupidity, though. Arata's colleagues hold it as an article of faith that Anothers don't share human values. You can't do deals with them and you can't negotiate. In some quarters, it's believed that communication itself is impossible. However, no one's even heard of being able to talk to them, as Arata can, so what grounds do they have for that oft-repeated claim that you can't negotiate? And why do they assume that this would apply to him? (Besides, the claim is insulting. You can negotiate with dogs and toddlers, in a basic way.)
Essentially, anyone who can say "I've never thought about why Anothers do anything" has already invalidated his right to be part of the grown-ups' discussion. There's a lot of that, albeit in a mild-mannered way.
The mythology is detailed and good. It's true that wolfsbane was said to grow from Cerberus's saliva, for instance.
I ended up enjoying this show. It doesn't have a particularly strong basis for its drama, with its core cast having by default no connection to anything. They're doing their jobs. That's it. However the show finds some worthwhile exceptions to that rule, while there are some satisfying or even shocking story arcs. Don't fall in love with a demon. Ewwww. I particularly liked eps.9-11 (showing up a bastard) and eps.14-15 (Japan's last vampire). The show doesn't warrant more than a weak recommendation and I don't think I'll ever rewatch it, but it's not too bad.