Anime featuring spirits and other supernatural cultural concepts are becoming more common, allowing viewers in Japan and around the world to explore the world of yokai. The latest series to do so is the upcoming Malevolent Spirits: Mononogatari. While the name might suggest an entirely different franchise, Mononogatari showcases the good and bad side of the title’s spirits in a slightly different way.
Discussing the morality of mystical spirits in the human world, Mononogatari forces a human tasked with sealing them away to reconsider his feelings towards them. Highly anticipated by fans of the creepy seinen, the show is sure to make inroads into an already crowded anime season like that of 2023. Here’s what fans of the manga and newcomers to Malevolent Spirits: Mononogatari need to know.
The plot of Malevolent Spirits: Mononogatari
The world of Mononogatari is populated by numerous spirits collectively known as tsukumogami or marebito. These creatures can be both good and evil, mostly due to their ability to possess inanimate objects. The protagonist is Hyouma Kunato, a member of the Saenome clan who has the task of sending these spirits back to their realm. Though he is meant to do so relatively peacefully, he is far from kind to the tsukumogami, as he holds a strong grudge against them due to his past.
Hyouma’s hatred of spirits alarms his grandfather, who foresees a potential catastrophe. So he sends him to live in Kyoto with Nagatsuki Botan. While her new acquaintance holds a grudge against the marebito, she lives with them like family. Now that she meets her “friendly” tsukumogami lei six, lei Hyouma may – or may not – completely change her mind about the creatures.
Malevolent Spirits: Mononogatari Trailer
While the Mononogatari synopsis might suggest a setting fit for a fantasy series, the trailer for the anime shows that it will be a much more action-packed story. The general premise is clear: Hyouma is sent to live with Botan and his very human looking tsukumogami. Naturally, Hyouma doesn’t seem to get along with any of them, so much so that Botan threatens him with expulsion. The action sequences and magic used evoke many shonen anime, with the series fitting in the vein of Bleach and many of today’s darker shonen titles.
News on the production of Malevolent Spirits: Mononogatari
Mononogatari originated as an Onigunsou manga, which began publishing in Miracle Jump in 2015 and then moved to Ultra Jump in 2016. The latter is home to many seinen manga, most notably Crazy Diamond’s Demonic Heartbreak, one of the sections of Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure. The series is still ongoing, with 14 volumes collected so far (although the series has only now been localized in the West to coincide with the anime’s release). The anime adaptation was announced in November 2021, with Bandai Namco Pictures producing the series. This animation studio, a subsidiary of the Japanese media giant, has done some notable projects, including Welcome to Demon School! and the comedy adaptation Gintama.
Ryuichi Kimura is directing Malevolent Spirits: Mononogatari, while Keiichiro Ochi is writing the screenplays, Shiori Fujisawa is doing the character designs, and John Kanda and XELIK are in charge of the music. “Koigoromo” and “Rebind” are the opening and ending theme songs, performed by Arcana Project and True respectively. Takeo Otsuka and Yuki Takada voice Hyouma and Botan, while the cast is completed by tsukumogami Nagi, Yu, Kagami, Suzuri, Haori, Kai and Itsuki, voiced by Chikahiro Kobayashi, Reina Ueda, Aimi Tanaka, Yoshiki Nakajima, Miyuki Sawashiro, Taiten Kusunoki and Azusa Tadokoro. Other characters include Tsubaki Kadomori (Saori Onishi), Taiju Kadomori (Nobuaki Kanemitsu), Shota Kadomori (Shohei Tabuchi) and Umekichi Kadomori (Shinya Takahashi).
Malevolent Spirits release date: Mononogatari
Mononogatari is about to be released in the form of souls: those who want to see evil spirits tamed won’t have to wait much longer. The series will air in Japan on January 10, 2023 on Tokyo MX, BS11 and other channels. Streaming service Crunchyroll has licensed the series for viewers outside Asia, though the lack of an announced English cast suggests that only the subtitled version will be available for now. The airing times of the anime are as follows:
- Pacific Standard Time: 7.00am (Sunday, January 9)
- Central Standard Time: 9.00am (Sunday 9 January)
- Eastern Standard Time: 10.00am (Sunday 9 January)
- Greenwich Mean Time: 3.00pm (Sunday 9 January)
- Indian Standard Time: 8.30pm (Sunday 9th January)
- Central European Time: 16.00 (Sunday 9 January)
- Australian Central Standard Time: 1:30am (Sunday 9 January).
Malevolent Spirits: Mononogatari Trailer, Release Date, Plot and Latest Updates