Fukigen na Mononokean, or The Morose Mononokean was arguably one of my favorite animes of its season. It was pretty and I enjoyed the setting and the characters. The plot was self contained- everything that was there, I enjoyed.
Now that’s not to say it wasn’t missing things. Because oh boy, the implications that this show made and didn’t follow up on, the little nuggets it left for us to find but that it never addressed, its really frustrating.
The premise is that there is a Mononokean, and its Master, Abeno Haruitsuki. He posts an ad for an employee and Ashiya Hanae finds it and applies and they exorcise yokai together.
So already two things come to mind.
- A Manga titled Demon Prince of Momochi House was about the Master of a Mononokean who became a yokai in order to defend the Mononokean. It was a stationary Mononokean, unlike the one in Fukigen, but it took its Human master and transformed them into a Yokai.
So Abenos a yokai?… Nope. He’s human. Its mentioned about.. 3 times in the show that he is Human. We don’t ever meet his parents but I don’t see how that would change anything. Nothing made mention to a vague past or possibly being half human only. Images of him as a kid (7 years old) showed him in training to work with the Mononokean with the first Master. But they delayed that fact for a good 6 episodes.
- And then there is his name. Abeno. Abe no… Abe no Seimei, the Onmyouji. His Given name isn’t Seimei, but it is Haruitsuki, with is close to the alternative name Drifters gave their Seimei character: Haruakira.
I do believe there is a connection though, because in episode 12, the Legislator finds it ‘funny’ that Abeno would take in a human named Ashiya. No context is given, so I just assumed there was some language-based humor or connection. WELL.
Ashiya Doman was a rival Onmyouji to Seimei, and believed himself to be better and challenged him to a magical duel. The two had history that ended with Seimei slitting Ashiyas throat.
- Ashiyas role in this whole ordeal as well. He at one point is engulphed in energy, that I don’t see as being theoretical determination. So it had to be physical. If it was a theoretical determination element, in a yokai anime, then that’s very poor decision making.
But Ashiya is clearly developing some form of ability, that is either latent like his Yokai Sight was, and just needs a strong enough trigger, or he is developing an ability because of his sudden, and quite massive exposure to yokai and the Underworld. Abeno would have had years of slow training to become used to the yokai energy but Ashiya just tossed in haphazardly.
Is this addressed in the anime? Kind of. A yokai at the end of the series who planted an idea nugget that Ashiya was becoming dangerous, recanted that statement in the final episode! “Oh, and here I thought Ashiya was dangerous” Bruh!
The energy is never addressed and the situation is never replicated.
- Another statement that fueled my intrigue was ‘it wasn’t your fault’ made by the Legislator, to Abeno, which put him in a bad mood. Clearly this memory being brought up was aggravating for the boy, and there had to be a story behind it!
Do we find out about it? HA nope. From what I can gather from other statements in the series, it had to do with a human getting too close to a yokai, and the human died. But why would that make Abeno sad? He’s a human! He couldn’t have outlived a yokai. So maybe his parents went through that.. Maybe the first Master died and left him behind, maybe the first master was a yokai!
We don’t know much about the first master, we never see him, but yokai are surprised he’s dead, and many assume Abeno killed him.
But that doesn’t explain what ‘isn’t your fault’!
- The medicine. One of the first yokai that Ashiya is on the job for is a green fuzzy thing. Its official name? Big Daddy Scree. I have no idea what type of yokai it is. Fukigen wasn’t… concerned with giving us info on the yokai involved (Which drove me up the wall)
Anywhoo, Abeno has this pouch with this ball or medicine, that he considers precious. He gives the pouch to Ashiya because they are going to let Ashiya be kidnapped, and Abeno would seek out that pouch if it was the last thing he ever did. So that pouch and its contents were very very important to him. Later in the episode he opens the pouch to reveal a small ball of medicine. The medicine causes excruciating pain for the ingester, but allows them to free the yokai and have him exorcised.
So the medicine had a purpose, but why was it so precious to him? Later on when they need to refill the medicine and travel to the Underworld, they encounter Scree who has come to the same pharmacy to get more of the medicine.
So why does the yokai want more medicine that would cause him pain when he’s already free. The yokai was just given the medicine before Abenos arrival, so the pair has to wait in the underworld while its made. The packet that was shown to be given to Scree was a powder medicine, but when Abeno receives his medicine, a sound effect was injected, that sounded alooot like balled objects colliding. What shape is this medicine! Why is it precious!
So a lot of this show was a mystery, and none of the cliff hangers or intriguing parts seemed to live up to their promise or even be concluded. Its frustrating to say the least.
But again, what the show did provide was good. I enjoyed the stories and the characters on their own.
So have you seen Fukigen? Did any parts frustrate you that I didn’t mention? Let me know down below!!
Thanks for reading!