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Mokke episode 1 – what demons do you face today?

No, it’s not a vastly impressive show that wows people or grabs them, shakes them, and then blow their senses away. But it’s effective, emotional and yet restrained, sad and yet hopeful. What seems weak can actually be strong.

A lot of stories, anime or not, allegorizes the troubles we encounter daily, others choose to encase these troubles with something supernatural. Buffy the Vampire slayer the TV series is a great example of that. I mean, it’s hard enough to be in a high school, but just imagine some of the troubles one encounters in high school is caused by demons and vampires! Also, that show takes place around LA, in the fictional(?) Sunnydale. And we all know that there are parts of LA that people do die regularly, perhaps not as much as Iraq, but death becomes a frequent event there. Back to Mokke.

Mokke takes place in a rural town. But that doesn’t mean deadly things don’t come and try to take one’s life. After all, life and death happens anywhere.

Obstacles in life happens anywhere as well, and in this episode, the older sister, Shizuru, learns to deal with the first obstacle that she has to confront.

It really doesn’t matter what the demon (obstacle) is, but what her grandfather asks is what really matters: “What are you afraid of?”

Let’s talk about the background story a little bit more. Shizuru and Mizuki are two young girls sent away by their parents to live with their grandfather and grandmother. Shizuru is the older sister and Mizuki is the younger sister. Shizuru can see ghosts/demons, and Mizuki can’t, but Mizuki gets possessed by them quite easily.

Shizuru is the responsible older sister (played wonderfully by Kawasumi Ayako), and Mizuki is the mischievous younger sister (played by Mizuki Nana) that although not completely immature (as we’ll see later), but certainly doesn’t quite obey the rules set for her safety.

I think the portrayal of these two kids are quite realistic. In fact, Mizuki talks about her worries of the future near the end of the episode. Shizuru, on the other hand, doesn’t want to talk about it in front of Mizuki.

The music is all right and sets the mood well, until when something strange happens, then the music, which then uses traditional Japanese instruments all of the sudden brings us directly into the show and keeps your attention there. The urgency makes a great impact on the viewers.

Even though Shizuru has no demon-ass-kicking powers like Buffy, nor can she hack and slash like Clare (incidentally, Kosaka Ryo, the singer for the ED of Claymore, is the singer for Mokke’s OP), but she finally learns to deal with the demon (obstacle) and defeats it. Even though it’s episodic and she defeats it by the end of the episode, I didn’t feel that the act was cheap. It is true that with only 24 minutes, obviously there aren’t going to be a lot of mental struggles going on. But when it mattered, she stepped up to save her sister.

She learns to confront her first demon, and I felt like spanking Mizuki for breaking the rule that the grandfather set.

But the ending turns out to be good despite what happened.

It’s a refreshing and surprisingly good beginning for a show and I’m looking forward to more of this show – I only hope it doesn’t turn into a kiddie show.

89% recommended for your daily anime diet.

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