A little hilarious, a little confusing, a little pretty, a little relatable even, Miss Kuroitsu from the Monster Development Department combines the fantastical with the mundane and does it pretty well. The show fits squarely in the entertainment department; no fancy artistic frills adorn this work! But as a kind of satirical comedy, you wouldn’t expect too much of that. […]
A little hilarious, a little confusing, a little pretty, a little relatable even, Miss Kuroitsu from the Monster Development Department combines the fantastical with the mundane and does it pretty well.
The show fits squarely in the entertainment department; no fancy artistic frills adorn this work! But as a kind of satirical comedy, you wouldn’t expect too much of that. It is entertaining, if only mildly. But sometimes even that’s okay. I don’t need to laugh my head off at every comedy. Not everything needs to be exceptional for me to like it. This show is kind of ordinary, but I don’t mind it being like that. I get what it is and I like it for that.
Miss Kuroitsu is just your everyday corporate employee: her life is slowly being consumed with her job. Deadlines, requirements, budgets, restrictions, policies, meddlesome requests from higher officials, irritating setbacks, and frustrating encounters with similar employees from other similar companies. Only, her work isn’t the typical kind of corporate work, even for an R&D department: she works for an “evil organization,” and her task is to create monsters.
Monsters? The premise will make you chuckle. Kuroitsu-san, like many workers, has found herself on this career path but doesn’t necessarily take much thought to how she got there or where she’s going next. She just puts her heart into her work as much as she can everyday. Creating monsters.
Kuroitsu is devoted to creating monsters. I doubt it’s her heart’s desire in life, creating monsters, though I guess it really isn’t for anyone—well, except for maybe a few people I know—but she goes at it. Corporate needs this that or the other, and she has to help the people in her department create a monster that fits all the requirements.
Okay so she creates monsters Hawk. What about her though? You got me there: other than being single-minded and sufficiently energetic, there isn’t much to her. Or any or these characters. They have some basic personality traits and that’s about it. It’s sort of like I can’t distinguish between Kuroitsu the worker and Kuroitsu the person. This show is really all about her at her work, and it’s kind of funny for that, but I don’t really learn much about Kuroitsu the person.
The people in her department? Let’s not get too carried away and say “people.” She works with her boss, Sadamaki, a man who wears a visor over his eyes for half the show until suddenly he we see him without it outside work, kind of a funny moment. But that’s the only human in her department. As far as I can tell, that’s the only other person in her department until they create monsters that work alongside them.
So they create these monsters, and part of the funniness of the show is that the monsters never quite work like they’re supposed to. One outgrowth from that is that oftentimes the monsters end up not fulfilling their primary role, the one which they were created for, and end up in random roles in random places throughout the corporation. Some of these end up working with Kuroitsu in Monster Development.
Chief among these is the wolf demihuman creatively named “Wolf Bete” and affectionately called “Wolf-kun” by Kuroitsu. He was intended to be an attack-based monster meant to face off with one of the various “heroes” of the world (more on that in the Story section), but not only does he end up losing that battle, he didn’t turn out right when he was birthed. Or I guess I should say “she.” What was designed as a “he” ended up turning out as female in body! Not all goes according to plan in the Monster Development Department.
She’s really funny. She protests about the mistake in her design all the time. Her mind sometimes thinks like a guy, and yet she’s trapped in this young, sexy body that Kuroitsu dresses in girlish ways. So Wolf-kun ends up being sexy in all the wrong ways pretty often, and she can’t stand it! And yes, the only reason we continue to see her after her failed battle with the Blade Hero is because she continues to help out as a sidekick to Kuroitsu.
All the random characters are the best part of this series though. Some of them are more “main” than others, but they appear rather randomly all the same. Akashic, the leader of the evil organization, is a little girl both mentally and physically. She will show up for no reason in Miss Kuroitsu’s department and start insisting on modifications to the monsters or whatnot. Megistus is another leader close to Akashic, and he is simultaneously serious, “evil,” corporate, and funny all at once. The episode where he’s trying to hire a couple of people is really funny.
The side characters outside of Agastia or even funnier. Heon is Kuroitsu’s counterpart in another evil organization, and has the tsundere hots for Sadamaki. She brings several really funny monster characters into the series. The spider girl is hilarious. So is the bold cat girl Elbucky who aggressively attaches herself to Wolf-kun and causes him no end of consternation. Then there are a handful of “ordinary people” side characters. The girl who keeps signing on for these one-off jobs is really funny too. She keeps signing up even after she gets burned the first time and ends up in a violent battle of heroes versus monsters. Then of course you have the various heroes (and two magical “girls”), most of whom just come and go, but we do follow Blader around a little, both in his hero and personal lives. It’s kind of funny that he’s the sympathetic shop worker where Kuroitsu goes to buy stuff after work.
Not a single character is remarkable in this show, but all of them contribute just enough to make this show entertaining. All the characters are pretty different, which is kind of interesting. Not that this isn’t the case with most characters on some level, but sometimes characters seem cut from the same mold and then altered a bit here and there. These guys and girls all seem pretty different, and they’re all fun in their own ways.
I’m not talking about the chicken.
The height of typical for this light comedy genre. Nothing is overdone, nothing is too flashy, nothing is spectacular. It’s fantasy-comedy anime artwork.
A lot of things made me wonder about what target audience demographic the studio wanted for this show, but one of the biggest was the coloring. It wasn’t nearly as saturated as I would’ve expected of this genre. The implication of this is that the show is not targeted at younger audience. This kind of makes sense, as the show is kind of about big business, and most children wouldn’t care anything about that. But the show was too simple overall to feel like it was aimed at young adults. Yet here is this coloring on this artwork that was just a little too dull sometimes, and it made me wonder.
Wolf boy, cat girl, alligator man, pretty woman…sounds like the lyrics to a song right? That’s basically the character design for this show. Girls with pretty eyes and lots of different hair colors and mildly but obviously sensual forms (and outfits) and lots of very non-threatening monsters. And the animal-eared girls. I know some people love that kind of thing. It doesn’t really get me going one way or the other, but if you like your animal-eared girls, you get several of them here. And one hydra girl.
The artwork is a little too underwhelming overall. It’s almost too typical, if that makes sense. Typical is fine for many things, and typical works fine for this anime, but the artwork is a little too ordinary somehow, almost like little effort was put into it. Normally I’d fault an anime for that, but I can’t be certain that’s the case here. It’s just very typical and that’s all there is to it.
The premise is simple: the battle of good versus evil rages on in our world, but we rarely know what goes on behind the scenes of these battles. Every episode that I remember starts with a narrator monologue saying this in so many words, and as soon as that little spiel ends we are snapped into the corporate-world side of things, with Kuroitsu fuming about budgets and designs and all that stuff. The contrast is very intentional and underlies all the humor in this show.
There’s not much to it, but I like it. Corporate mentality and the bs they tend to spew is an easy target for satire, and this show takes advantage of that in a harmless and fun way. It isn’t trying to make some big point with its satire; it just makes fun of corporations as a means of creating humor. It works. I laughed at a lot of the things they poked fun at. Anybody that’s had any experience with how large corporations work will easily recognize what’s going on here and find it amusing. So it works.
The other part of the premise is the evil versus good thing. The good guys are “professional heroes,” something we’ve all become accustomed to seeing in hero anime. But they’re not the focus of this tale. The focus is on the stereotypical evil organizations that the heroes have to fight against. It’s here that the business satire focuses. The evil organizations have many facets, running as shadow organizations under various legitimate fronts. One of those facets is creating the monsters that heroes attempt to terrorize society and battle the heroes. And they aren’t always very successful in their attempts to create these monsters. Our story focuses on Kuroitsu in her monster development efforts, and the outcomes of her efforts are rarely as she intends.
I mentioned about Wolf-kun turning out as a female werewolf type creature instead of a male, but then we have things like the chocolate monster who is ill-conceived and rushed out due to deadlines, the hydra girl whose hydra heads all have different personalities, the mummy girl who can’t speak but decides she wants to become an idol—I didn’t get it, but I felt like this might’ve been a nod to Zombie Land Saga—and of course the chicken who…never mind, I’m not talking about the chicken. So things don’t go as planned usually, and it makes for funny situations.
Each episode has a new story and usually a new character to go with it. There’s no continual thread running through the story other than Agastia’s ongoing battle with Blader, though nothing comes of that other than little new developments in their various encounters. Kuroitsu is usually trying to create monsters with specific features that are meant to beat Blader, but none of it ever works out. The story doesn’t require many details. Each episode is really simple with no real surprises. It’s just pretty much the same kind of thing every week.
Which is funny actually, because we are talking about corporate work environments here sort of. Things stay pretty much the same day to day, week to week there. Intentionally or otherwise, this anime pretty much shows things chugging along inevitably week after week, all pretty much the same every time, with new little crises and resolutions scattered along it. Typical corporate environment. Only this time we’re talking about an organization that creates monsters to fight heroes.
That’s pretty much it. It’s entertaining, quirky, a little different, but not much beyond that. Other shows have made fun of big businesses working in fantastical areas before—Sentouin comes to mind most recently—but it’s rare enough that it’s usually somewhat fresh every time around. It’s only ever mildly funny, but always wholly entertaining.
The long titles were funny. It was so intentionally overdone. I never could read them all the way through by the time their frames disappeared.
This wasn’t the first show I’d pop on the day it would come out, but I never stopped watching it either. Some shows will totally have my attention and I’ll watch them the moment they come out with a new episode, and some shows will lose my interest and I’ll either wait for a few episodes to go by and then catch up later, or pretty much stop watching them altogether, with some slight intention to return to them in the future. Then there are shows that are in between those two situations, where they’re just interesting enough to keep my attention, entertaining enough for me to push the play button on them, but not so deep, intricate, confusing, or otherwise problematic, to make me avoid them until I’m “more in the mood” or whatnot. This show was definitely in that category.
So while I might not be super excited about a second season, I wouldn’t mind it either. I presume another season would be very similar to this first, and I would look forward to it with the same willingness I did this one. Anime should, above all, be entertaining, and this show is at least that. Average doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Predictable doesn’t have to be a bad thing. As long as a show knows what it is and doesn’t try to be something other than that, all of those things are fine. This show doesn’t take itself too seriously, and as such is funny enough to be entertaining without being pompous or silly or boring. I’m satisfied with it.