How to Keep a Mummy – Anime Preview
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Synopsis: Kashiwagi Sora is living a normal high school student life, when his “adventurer” father sends him a mummy from his travels in Egypt! Sora balks at the letter from his crazy dad (“I found a cool mummy, so I decided to leave it with you, son!”) at first, but the mummy that emerges from inside the huge coffin is a mere 12 centimeters tall–small enough to fit in the palm of his hand… Not only that, it’s shy, a crybaby, and most of all, heckin’ cute. And so, Sora and ends up keeping the mummy, naming his new little buddy “Mii-kun.” But living with a mummy might be easier said than done…! (Official Crunchyroll Synopsis)
1st Episode Review (Warning: Minor Spoilers to Follow):
Linny: It’s clear from the description that How to Keep a Mummy wants to be a cute slice of life with a supernatural twist, something to make audiences laugh and tingle with delight as often as possible. Unfortunately, the show is hindered in this attempt thanks to its extremely laid back story telling that comes off more so as slow and plodding, with an art style that isn’t the best at truly showcasing the cuter moments. That’s not to say that the entire episode looks bad. It’s just that to really sell the cute factor, the story needed a more moe look, though perhaps that actually could work in its favor by attracting viewers who like cute stories but dislike the more prevalent moe anime art style.
Tom: That slow nature ends up making the show devoid of anything else. Cute, adorable antics seems about all How to Keep a Mummy has time for. For example characterization is pretty minimal. We get the most bare bones anime protagonist I’ve seen this season. Outside of a naturally assumed good guy persona, all we really know about Kashiwagi Sora is that his dad sends him horrible supernatural ‘pets’ that largely turn out bad for him. Like most comedic anime heroes, he’s fairly calm until he screams his shock/surprise at something. And that’s it, that’s his character. I’d argue the mummy gets more characterization than him, showing a whole range of emotions from fear of abandonment, unease at eating new foods, desperately seeking affection etc. That’s still not saying much though as otherwise the Mummy spends at least 70% of its screen time gushing tears.
Linny: As someone who has read the first volume of the manga, I can vouch that the show does a great job of capturing the colours, tone and art style of its source. This is probably going to be a huge positive for fans of the manga but for newcomers to the series, it could draw mixed reactions as the art style has a tendency to look a bit basic and unimpressive.
Tom: Things are just too slow here. It’s a fun premise, one I kept thinking “how can this be bad” even when Linny warned me she didn’t think much of the manga. But How to Keep a Mummy really drags its feet, as if the Mummy’s adorableness in and of itself is enough to hold your attention. But pay offs to what few gags the series has are just too obvious, too low-key and nowhere near funny enough. Slice of Life can be slow, but the best of them balance that laid-back nature with something else. How to Keep a Mummy is just too lopsided.
Linny: Having reviewed the manga for my CrunchyCrawl series, How to Keep a Mummy had already seemed like a story that lacked depth and was most likely suitable only for those who wanted a cute, fluffy story that could maybe elicit a smile but rarely, if ever a throaty laugh. I’m convinced that maybe the manga might be a better way to experience this tale as the anime seems to try and stretch out content, thus making the story feel even slower than it should be. As it stands now, How to Keep a Mummy (the anime) is probably going to best be enjoyed by fans of the manga wishing to see their favourite characters animated and in full colour. If you find yourself somewhat drawn to the characters or set up but discouraged by the slow pace, you could try giving the manga a chance instead.
How to Keep a Mummy is available for streaming via Crunchyroll.