Mieruko-chan: Miko Uses the Classic Haunted House Setting to Unwind

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Episode 9 of Mieruko-chan, "Things She's Seen Before," now streaming on Funimation.

The constant jump scares, surprise encounters and grotesque spirits that make up most of Miko’s days have taken a toll on the typically apathetic girl throughout Mieruko-chan. Ignoring the paranormal phenomena around her always served as a way of coping with her inexplicable abilities, but suppressing all that fear and anxiety hasn’t been great for her wellbeing.

Miko still hasn’t adjusted to seeing the spirits of the dead in nearly every facet of her daily life, with each day bringing a new challenge to overcome. The added presence of Zen and a foreboding warning from a female ghost haunting him only adds to the mounting pile of stress Miko is under. Luckily, an otherwise routine outing manages to give her a much-needed moment of catharsis in Episode 9.

An event at a haunted house prompts Miko, Hana, and Yulia to visit the attraction. Though the conventional décor and atmosphere of the makeshift building don’t initially faze Miko, her attitude changes when she realizes it’s the perfect place to let out some of her pent-up fear.

The simulated horror the haunted house offers acts as the perfect cover for Miko, giving her the opportunity to finally vent some of her frustrations. No ghost would pay her any mind given her surroundings, which momentarily spares her from the reality that’s been so negatively affecting her throughout Mieruko-chan. It’s a simple solution to a bizarre problem, but Miko manages to take full advantage of it and comes out of the haunted house much happier than she was going in.

Miko and friends in a haunted house in Mieruko-chan

For the first time in Mieruko-chan, viewers get to see Miko genuinely happy without some paranormal phenomena getting in the way. Her life has been dominated by the ghosts around her since she first started seeing them in Episode 1. This momentary respite from the genuine horrors that surround Miko might be more important than it seems given the uncertainty that hangs over her moving forward.

Miko will still have to tolerate Zen’s presence at school, as the substitute teacher looks to have his fair share of warning signs looming around him. While she might not want to get involved, Mieruko-chan's pattern so far seems to indicate that she will in one way or another. The presence of the shrine maidens and the large spirit’s “three times” statement remains a mystery. While the maidens have been helpful to Miko so far, there’s no telling how much longer she can rely on them. Thankfully, if Episode 9 proved anything, it’s that Miko can at least count on her friends going forward.

Yue, Hajime and Shea in Arifureta anime