Takuma TerashimaRisae MatsudaHitomi HaradaArisa Komiya
Miss Kuroitsu from the Monster Development Department
Also known as: Kaijin Kaihatsu-bu no Kuroitsu-san
Medium: TV, series
Year: 2022
Director: Hisashi Saito
Writer: Katsuhiko Takayama
Original creator: Hiroaki Mizusaki
Actor: Arisa Komiya, Ayana Taketatsu, Fumi Aikawa, Hitomi Harada, Kaori Maeda, M.A.O, Risae Matsuda, Satomi Amano, Satsumi Matsuda, Shun'ichi Toki, Takuma Terashima, Tetsu Inada, Yuichiro Umehara
Keywords: anime, fantasy
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Format: 12 episodes
Url: https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/anime.php?id=24507
Website category: Anime 2022
Review date: 5 December 2023
Kaijin Kaihatsubu no Kuroitsu san
I'd been looking for anime that was okay for a 5-year-old and a 10-year-old. Bing, this came up, so I saw it with Misaki and Natsuki. You'd never call this deep or emotionally rich drama, but we enjoyed it and it's worth watching.
It's an affectionate parody of tokusatsu hero shows, not to mention giant robots, magical girls, etc. Our protagonists are villains. They work for an evil organisation called Agastia that wants to conquer the world and their job is to build the monsters that fight heroes every Saturday morning... and always lose. Did you ever wonder where all these kaiju came from? Answer: here. Miss Kuroitsu builds them. Professor Sadamaki designs them. Agastia funds them, although not always adequately and our protagonists' most fearsome enemy is their budget.
In other words, it's a workplace comedy. The show's joke is that Agastia is just like any other company, except with evil goals and surprisingly good management skills. You'll probably prefer Megistus to your own manager at work, because he's trying to be the best boss ever. He doesn't execute his underlings for failure. He doesn't even believe in blame, because it leads to people trying to protect themselves instead of sensibly discussing how to stop mistakes from happening again. This is an evil boss so keen on corporate compliance that he refuses to authorise one killer monster because some dodgy ingredients got into the supply chain and it would be dangerous if a member of the public ate her.
Agastia's executives aren't all that good, obviously. Its supreme leader (Akashic) will make dumb suggestions like "turn that monster into a cute girl" and of course her subordinates daren't say no. (Poor Wolf-kun. When he asks why Kuroitsu and Sadamaki didn't also make his mind female, the answer of course is, "You think we have the budget for that?!?") We also learn in ep.2 that departmental coordination is a pain in the arse and that giving everyone in the company a voice in your development process is a recipe for disaster.
There's a comedic disparity between the strongest and weakest members of Agastia, incidentally. Kuroitsu's monsters always lose. The executives, on the other hand... holy shit.
I love the non-Agastia supporting cast too. The best (and apparently not in the original manga!) are two temps who keep taking part time gigs from the Death Staff Temp Agency. Ever wondered where all the cannon fodder goons in hero shows come from? Answer: here. The money's good, but you get beaten up by superheroes. Then we have the bar for retired superheroes and villains (yes, both), with the best barmaid ever. Plus, of course, two magical girls. (The boy who turns into a girl reminded me of Cure Black in his/her transformed form. The one who's already female is a bit of a bitch and almost more villainous than the actual villains. Megistus points out that their employers are breaking labour laws and that Agastia wouldn't employ children even in non-combat roles.)
There's mild fanservice. Wolf-kun might be a boy inside, but he's eye candy. That's doubly so in ep.1. That said, though, the show avoids sleaze and Agastia's staff are all focused on their jobs. Megistus would sooner bury himself head-first in the ground than put a subordinate into a potentially suggestive situation. (Wolf-kun fancies Kuroitsu, but that's just because he's a teenage boy and his chances there are zero anyway. There's also the predatory Skylla in ep.11, but even then the show goes to absurd lengths to avoid showing or doing anything. When Wolf-kun and Skylla jump out of a hot spring, they're clad in "bubbles" that you'd think were body armour.)
This one's good fun. It got a thumbs up from everyone watching it in our house. I know we missed a ton of references to real tokusatsu shows, but that doesn't matter. The "villains" are lovely and it ends with a big "everyone fights the hostile foreign takeover firm" battle episode that'll make you smile. Everyone gets to shine there. Everyone. The production quality slips a bit towards the end, with ep.10 looking like garbage (while also having one of the season's most charming stories). It's a laugh, but be aware that it doesn't really have a story arc. It's just twelve episodes of Kuroitsu's daily life at the office... which is an evil supervillain lair and she's Dr Frankenstein.