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.
Summer season had really interesting anime on their chart, and Muhyo to Rouji was one that looked appealing to me when I was looking up for summer seasonals. Summer was actually pretty dull honestly, there weren't many anime that looked good and it felt boring at first, luckily there were some anime that turned to be pretty good and there's Muhyo to Rouji, an overlooked anime that caught my interest when it first aired. It started really good, however, it weakened episode by episode.
So what's Muhyo to Rouji about? Muhyo to Rouji settles on the real world featuring the everyday life of Muhyo, an executor
of the magic law, and his assistant Rouji, who "helps" him exorcising evil spirits around the town. The first episode of the series already settles a dark atmosphere when it comes to these evil spirits and how Muhyo sentences them to an execution that comes from hell itself with the help of the magic law and their articles. The magic law is actually a double edged sword for many reasons, if the executor gives the wrong accusation, whatever he called from his book will turn against him and will left the evil spirit unaffected. The magic law also allows to makes a contract with hell for an exchange of "Ren" in order to summon hell executioners, which is also the energy that's used to make magic spells. If you run low of Ren your body will weaken and will need rest in order to restore the Ren used, or, in extreme cases, you'll need help to restore Ren from others.
At first, the series seems to go on an episodic nature, but later on, the plot moves further into Muhyo's past introducing us into the "magical world", and thus the evil entities that betrayed the magic law will cause chaos around the magical world in order to dispose of Muhyo.
The animation looked cool at first, until you realize that Studio Deen is recycling scenes from previous episodes (Like the magic law summon) which will make it feel repetitive to a certain extent. Other than that, I think the animation is okay for the most part. There are some hell summons that looked really nice, "The train to hell" was one of them, there are other interesting summons that got summoned (no shit) later on the series. The sound department was okay for the most part, the voice acting was decent and the OP and ED were good, they sound kinda classic (well Muhyo to Rouji's manga is kinda old, so its to be expected I guess)
Then there comes the weakest part of this series, their characters. Most of them are your typical generic bunch of tropes. We have Rouji who is a wimp who cries for everything and its pretty much useless but somehow gets acknowledged by his superior, We have a Female that serves no purpose but to be Fanservice (I forgot her name lol), we have the common pervert guy that gropes the breast of said fanservice girl (at least he has some relevance in the later episodes) and we have Muhyo, who is the hero of the show. The rest of the cast is forgettable including the main villain of the show, who has something against Muhyo's extremely good traits with magic and wants to bring him down no matter the cost. The show tries to "develop" Rouji as Muhyo's apprentice but most of the times he ends up being useless.
Enjoyment 7/10: Despite the dull characters and the dull storyline, I managed to enjoy this series. The magical world, the hell summons and the spells were really nice, there were some evil spirits that were deadly and some of them were a bunch of really weird creatures that seemed interesting. I really wished the show could have focused more on world building around legends and poltergeist rather than going to the magical world and confronting Enchu's lackeys, but well, that's it.
Who likes magic this anime is a full plate! And it's not just magic, here we also have lots of action, comedy and even a hint of terror.
The anime begins by portraying its protagonists as spiritual detectives who are solving random cases with their magic rights. One as the boss and another as the helper. Do not go weighing that the anime is only in this as soon as new characters are introduced and a much heavier storyline is appearing behind. The characters in the great majority are well worked with their motivations developed and are quite charismatic.
The anime also has a good plot twist,
not something extraordinary but it sure will surprise you. The only problem was its end ... it was not bad but I expected more, at least it left a good gap for a 2nd season.
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.