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Mieruko-Chan - What We Know So Far

Back in March, Japanese media company Kadokawa announced that the 2018 horror-comedy manga, "Mieruko-chan," would be coming to television screens. The anime is based on the print series by Tomoki Izumi, about a teenage girl who starts to see terrifying monsters as she goes about her everyday routine. Anime News Network, quoting English publisher Yen Press' blurb about the narrative, said, "Her response was not to run, not to face them, but to do everything she can to completely ignore them! Can she keep a straight face and continue her day-to-day life while surrounded by horrifying monsters?"

The new series sounds charming, relatable, and also somewhat frightening, which could earn it a spot amongst the most-anticipated upcoming titles for anime fans. According to an official trailer released at the time of the announcement, "Mieruko-chan" is currently in production — but as with so many Japanese productions, additional information isn't as easily available on this side of the world, especially for those who don't read Japanese. Here's what we do know so far about the animated show.

What is the release date of Mieruko-chan?

According to the bio attached to the show's official Twitter account, as well as its latest teaser, "Mieruko-chan" is set for an October 2021 launch. Comic Natalie reported that the series will be broadcast in Japan on TOKYO MX, BS Nippon Television, AT-X "and others" when it airs. It is unclear when an English-subtitled or -dubbed version might be available and through which network or streaming service it might come. 

It doesn't appear that an English cast has been attached, but both official trailers have been released with English subtitles, so Kadokawa is clearly trying to promote the show to international audiences early. Hopefully, that means there's a plan in place for a North American release sooner rather than later. 

If you'd like to get a head start on the story, there are currently five volumes of the manga out in Japanese, with three available in the U.S. through Yen Press. "Mieruko-chan Vol. 4" is due out in bookstores like Barnes and Noble, Amazon, and Books-A-Million on Nov. 23, 2021.

Who are the characters in Mieruko-chan?

The main character in "Mieruko-chan" is Miko Yotsuya, the student who can see otherworldly creatures haunting herself and her friends. The Japanese version features Sora Amamiya in the role of Miko, but there are other important roles to fill, too. Miko has a best friend named Hana Yurikawa, who will be played by Kaede Hondo, and the two have a classmate named Yuria Niguredo (Ayane Sakura), who appears to understand Miko's secret. Anime News Network reported that the show is in production already, and there's a full crew attached to the series. Yuki Ogawa is directing the anime for production company Passione.

Characters in the manga can be expected to appear in the anime, and some have appeared in the trailers already. According to fan-populated sources, the series could also include fortune-teller Mitsue Takeda (the "godmother of downtown"), substitute teacher Zen Touno, Miko's mom Miki no Haha, her protective brother Kyousuke Yotsuya, and Romm Shindou, who happens to be a purveyor of items for those who can see spirits. Fans will also get to know a number of spirits: shrine spirits and the Shrine God, the Axeman Spirit, the Alley Spirit, the Box Spirit, the Tiny Old Man Spirit, and the Roaster Spirit.

What is the story in Mieruko-chan?

As a young woman who can suddenly see spirits that everyone else can't, Miko starts off by finding ways to ignore them — trying objects like prayer beads and salt to help keep them at bay. This appears to be complicated by the fact that the ghosts know she is watching and invade the spaces she goes to in her everyday life, like changing rooms. Eventually, she realizes that it's just not working. In fact, Hana's life aura starts to get drained whenever the substitute teacher (who appears to be haunted by a group of not-corporeal cats) enters the room. So, her friends are in danger and that means she just can't stand by. A trip to a shrine is in order, so she can find answers.

It remains to be seen exactly how closely the anime resembles its source material, and how many episodes "Mieruko-chan" will have to tell its animated story.