Muhyo & Roji’s Bureau of Supernatural Investigation – Anime Preview
Synopsis: 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, the experts in supernatural law. Serving justice to evil spirits is their specialty. (Official Crunchyroll Synopsis)
1st Episode Review (Warning: Minor Spoilers to Follow):
Linny: As someone vaguely familiar with Muhyo & Roji’s origin manga, I’d like to start by mentioning that the anime does a good job of polishing up the art style to look more appealing and updated without losing the nuance of the series’ character designs. This means if you found the art in the manga a little distracting or off-putting, the anime does a good job of evening out its more peculiar look while keeping the essence of the original style intact enough for fans to be happy. So what you get is a show that looks very presentable in this day and age despite originating from a 14 year old manga, while also retaining a fair amount of its unique visual charm.
Tom: It really does look great and this first episode manages to sell its creepy atmosphere thanks to that animation coupled with intense sound design, making for a strong introduction to Muhyo & Roji’s world. While the show does get silly at times, it does so appropriately, never breaking up the more tense moments for a little jest here or there, letting everything settle and the emotions to run high before finally, after it’s all said and done, letting us calm with a few little gags and goofs. Shonen frequently pepper in the comedy too often, as if allowing audiences to wallow in a tense atmosphere goes against the very grain of fiction itself. But Bureau is one of those series that knows when to keep it serious, and when to offer the laughs for relief.
Linny: Muhyo & Roji seems (so far) to be a nice fit for those who enjoy their scary stories with a nice mix of comedy to keep things from getting too scary or intense. Like Tom just explained, Muhyo & Roji does a good job of keeping the horror and comedy aspects balanced, spread out in such a way as to compliment rather than clash with each other. The comedy in this episode mainly arises from the interactions between our two titular protagonists, who periodically engage in playful or energetic banter to lighten up the mood.
Tom: As someone who hasn’t read the manga, what’s here seems near perfect for an introduction. We get into the story, the first case, and close it all out without too much filler, giving us the gist of what to expect week to week, and a tease for whatever overarching narrative will ultimately define the series later on. There’s maybe a few cut corners, like rushing us through any kind of initial introduction for its characters, but is so good at sprinkling their more outrageous personality traits in otherwise that everything flows together anyway.
Linny: As much as we have been showering Muhyo & Roji with praise, there are a few hiccups. Nothing major but for example, Muhyo & Roji have one of the most classic and popular anime dynamic/relationship; that of the eclectic genius paired with the kindhearted and earnest assistant. Basically Holmes and Watson. It’s done well but for those completely disenchanted with the trope, it may be a slight blemish on the series.
Tom: Bureau gets a tad melodramatic during its more emotional, darker segments, but for a series clearly aimed at young teenagers, it still works quite well. It’s not really my cup of tea in all honesty, and I probably won’t continue past this first episode, but the impression I have after this premiere is a positive one, and I feel comfortable in recommending this series to anyone looking for a solid supernatural shonen to flit half an hour away with.
Linny: While it’s clear that there’s a bigger plot line yet to be fully unwrapped, the show prominently displays how Muhyo has a rule to NEVER let their clients meet or interact with them once their problem has been solved. This could either be a sign that we are going to get a fair amount of similar one off stories of the boys helping many different people deal with paranormal problems…or we are going to meet a client they just can’t seem to avoid/shake off sooner or later. Either way, if the sound of a supernatural shonen with a nice dash of comedy and a small sprinkling of shonen tropes sounds promising to you, Muhyo & Roji’s Bureau of Supernatural Investigation definitely deserves a spot on your must try list.
Muhyo & Roji’s Bureau of Supernatural Investigation is available for streaming via Crunchyroll.