Title:Mieruko-chan Vol. 4 Author: Tomoki Izumi Publisher: Yen Press Language: English Format: Paperback Pages: 146 Genre: Sci-Fi, Supernatural, Horror Publication Date: November 23, 2021
The fourth volume of Mieruko-chan revisits the old fortune-teller who sold Miko her prayer beads. Turns out her name is Mitsue Takeda but she prefers to be called Mitsue! She receives a letter one day along with a social media image of Miko and Hana at the shrine. Things take a weird turn when Mitsue rushes out because she says that the shrine doesn’t actually exist!
Meanwhile, Miko and Hana head to the movies and then run into a really odd person named Rom who is trying to sell power stones. Apparently, Miko discovers that he can see the monsters as well and his power stones have an actual effect on them. Miko contemplates getting in contact with him but opts to go pay a visit to the shrine. She lies to her brother and says that she’s going out shopping with Hana.
When she goes to where the shine is supposed to be, she ends up in the depths of the woods surrounded by the monsters until Mitsue shows up and helps her escape. She takes Miko out to dinner and they have a nice coded chat about the monsters. Mitsue has found a new purpose in life and decides to reopen her shop. She claims that she is going legit until a certain someone shows up right as she’s about to gather some stuff for dealing with the shrine!
The biggest focus in this volume was on Mitsue and her reintroduction to the series. The fact that Miko made her change her ways and go back to being legitimate was a little funny back in the first volume; however, seeing just how awesome Mitsue was in this volume made me feel a bit guilty for laughing at her. She, apparently, can and cannot see the monsters. She can sense their presence but she cannot see their physical manifestation. Still, she has an ability to sense whether or not they are malicious.
She has some history with the shrine along with the two spirits that had come to Miko’s rescue. Those spirits show back up; however, it’s rather confusing on whether or not they are truly on Miko’s side. Mitsue seems to know something about them and feels compelled to deal with the shrine before they can make another move.
Next, we have another new character in Rom Shindou. He seems like a carny-style fortune-teller; however, he is pretty legitimate. He has his own syndicated television show and even tries to get people to sign up for his mailing list by promising them special discounts on his stones… and even a drone that squirts holy water everywhere. To normal people, he seems like some shady sham of a character, but to those who can see the monsters, he is the real deal. He also has a tie-in with another character that should be rather interesting.
This volume sure made this series take a complete 180. While it started off as a meek and timid girl trying to avoid looking at monsters, it has taken a turn into a legit paranormal sci-fi series with the reintroduction of Mitsue and the introduction of Rom. Rather than just pretending to avoid monsters, we’ve entered the realm of possible Ghostbusting. Not sure how this is going to tie into the rest of the series but it definitely is an interesting twist.
Depending on how long this arc will last, it could define a whole new direction for the series or it could simply just be a small arc before we return to the way things were in the beginning. Either way, I can’t really predict what will happen and that’s a good thing. When the door is wide open for things to go in any direction and it’s doing it in an interesting and compelling way, then you know you have the makings of a good series on your hands!
In any event, I’m really interested to see what Mitsue is going to do about the shrine and just what Rom’s going to do when it comes to Miko and Hana! Let’s also not forget Yuria, too! She witnessed Rom’s tv program and now she’s infatuated with him as well! Yuria is just… yeah…
I have a funny feeling that she’s going to end up as Rom’s unwanted sidekick. Of all of the things I cannot predict, one thing I can see happening is her becoming the one person who can cause Rom to break character in a hilarious way! We’ll see if that comes true or not!