Are you a victim of unwanted spirit possession? Is there a ghost you need sent up and away...or down to burn for all eternity? If the answer is yes, then you need Muhyo and Roji, experts in magic law. Serving justice to evil spirits is their specialty.
10 Years ago, I discovered what the Shounen Jump was and how many of my then-favorites originated from that magazine, and naturally, the next step was checking out as many other series as I could. Muhyo and Rouji was one of them that immediately struck a chord with me due to subject matter, character designs and a general inexperience with Manga.
So even as a seasoned, somewhat jaded viewer 500 Anime later, I got a little excited when this anime adaptation was announced, even though the red flags were apparent right from the start. 12 Episodes was just way too optimistic of a runtime to
comfortably fit in 150 manga chapters and Studio DEEN is known for being a mixed bag with more bad results than good. But my nostalgia and not having done anything with the Manga in years made me want to check it out regardless.
Sadly though, the Anime turned out to be a run-of-the-mill Shounen-Manga adaptation with poor choices in Sound effects and animation. The Moving-Manga-aesthetic drags the pacing down immsensely and every time I hear that "whoosh"-sound effect of Muhyo's book, I keep waiting for the Log Horizon OP to start playing. There are very apparent cut corners that become glaring distractions once you notice them and there was very little care that went into thinking about how to adapt this Manga into a moving medium.
But isn't it worth watching out of care for the source material reardless, like with that poor excuse for an Ace Attorney Anime adaptation?
In this case... no.
Turns out the source material wasn't nearly as good as I remembered to begin with.
Starting with what was good, I enjoyed Muhyo as a characer still, and I was very happy to hear which voice actor they picked for him. He's harsh and antisocial at times, but also very sharp and you get the feeling there's a reason behind it. The aesthetic that drew me in back in 2008 also translated very nicely into a medium with color.
That's... about it.
Rouji, his sidekick/comedic relief, is a butt monkey who was already dated by the time this Manga came out. The jokes surrounding him as well as their relationship get really old really fast, and Muhyo doesn't even seem to need his contribution all that much - outside of the paperwork Rouji probably does - and doesn't seem to generally care that much for him, except maybe when Roouji's actual life is on the line.
You have to wonder why Rouji puts up with all this abuse and why Muhyo treats him like this.
Of course there is a bit of a backstory to them, but to a newcomer especially it's kinda off-putting.
The little episodic stories each episode focusses on really aren't that interesting or original, the one-off characters don't contribute anything of value.
I was willing to try and get enjoyment out of this show for the sake of nostalgia, despite it's aforementioned flaws, but once that ran out, there was really nothing left.
It's a mediocre adaptation of an unoriginal, painfully average Shounen Manga - there really is nothing to see here. There are a ton of better Shounen, better episodic (Ghost) stories and certainly more better animated shows out there.
The magical world and spirit realms seem to follow their own written laws... or more like there is this duo of spirit cops who are here to cast punishment upon those spooky beings who don't.
The story is pretty funny. Random people come to this duo because there is something clearly possessing them, followed by our dudes trolling these clients with all sort of magic tricks and whatnot. Typical episode centers around our client getting close to nervous breakdown in public forum because these spirits are also further trolling them. Not sure what these characters did to deserve this, but they are really hopeless and
scared so that's kinda cool to watch.
The single best part about this show is the 1st main character dude who is a midget and fat also. Whenever someone is about to lose their shit over ghosts or whatever, this dude is smirking and enjoying every second of it. People embarrassing themselves and acting hopeless in front of him seems to be his fetish -- if not the sole reason that makes his life worth of living. Sick bastard, truly.
Appreciating this anime may not be the easiest as it does not value characters all that much. Rather offers some quite miserable tales that focus on despair, death of a loved one, bullying, and in generally relies on some edge and dark feeling stuff. The actual drama writing can also be quite uninteresting, the episodic nature makes the pacing awkward and overall, this anime doesn't really have much to offer. Basically no one will even remember it exists week after it ends.
Production wise this thing airs on a day time and is considered a shonen anime, so some censorship exists in the broadcasted version at least. For example, many of the death scenes are not even animated, only shown in black'n white still pictures. As a conclusions: watch the first episode, drop or continue. Whatever you do, this thing is not what the cover picture of premise promises.