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Miss Kuroitsu from the Monster Development Department

Entry updated 11 April 2022. Tagged: TV.

Japanese Anime tv series (2022). Original title Kaijin Kaihatsubu no Kuroitsu-san; vt Kuroitsu-san in the Superhuman Research & Development Department. Quad. Based on the Manga by Hiroaki Mizusaki. Directed by Hisashi Saitō. Written by Katsuhiko Takayam. Voice cast includes Satomi Amano, Tetsu Inada, Kaori Maeda, M.A.O. (Mao Ichimichi), Takuma Terashima and Yūichirō Umehara. Twelve 24-minute episodes. Colour.

Secret Society: Agastia, led by the Superpowered Lady Akashic (M.A.O.), seeks world domination. There are other fiendish organizations with the same ambition; but, as Chief of Staff Megistus (Inada) points out, they have all been stopped in their tracks by their respective heroic nemeses (see Superheroes). Agastia has its own hero to combat – Divine Swordsman Blader (Terashima) – but Megistus assures Lady Akashic they will not suffer the same fate – for their Monster Development Department is preparing a new creation, "so terrifying it will shake the world to its core!"

Meanwhile, in that development department, Scientist Miss Tōka Kuroitsu (Maeda) is melodramatically complaining to Dr Hajime Sadamaki (Umehara) about the proposal he "banged out in 10 minutes" for the underwhelming Nessie Monster – called Nesuomonster – which she then has to convince the Agastia board to approve: "This proposal excises the usual bluster ..." "The other ones were mostly bluster?" Not unsurprisingly, it is rejected: Megistus also points out they should have called it Nesuko, so "creating a pun with the Japanese name of Loch Ness, Nesu-ko!". However, though a workaholic multi-tasker himself, Megistus visits the department later to reprimand the staff for over-stretching themselves and not taking annual leave: "Blader's destruction is of utmost importance, but your health is your finest asset."

The series is a workplace comedy, with Monsters. Despite Secret Society: Agastia's ambitions, it is not overly wicked, strictly forbidding terrorist attacks on ordinary people and valuing its staff. Miss Kuroitsu's greatest fear is a pay cut, whilst most of her problems arise from corporate politics: interference from other Departments, vaguely worded instructions, budget constraints, unfeasible deadlines and impractical demands from the boss. The childlike Lady Akashic insists the monsters should be cute (defeated monsters often end up working for Agastia's corporate front's amusement park). Other villainous organizations have more toxic work environments and less stringent morals: Lady Akashic beats up another group's monster for threatening a child. Divine Swordsman Blader has his own problems; unknown to Miss Kuroitsu he is the young man serving at her local fast food restaurant, who has difficulty finding a work/Superhero life balance. In the season finale a foreign evil society, Zet Arc, try to acquire Agastia as a stepping stone to dominating the Asian market; when Agastia hesitates, they attempt a hostile takeover – "An Invasion," observes Lady Akashic. However, Japanese Heroes and Villains unite behind Agastia, and in the end Swordsman Blader and Miss Kuroitsu – as Black Blader (originally intended to be the former's nemesis) – defeat Zet Arc's leader, despite his Powered Armour.

The show is an amusing and fond Parody of Tokusatsu shows such as Ultraman, Kamen Rider and Super Sentai, where brightly costumed heroes battle deliberately absurd monsters; the Magical Girl genre (see Sailor Moon) is also sent up. The focus is on Humour, and though serious issues are approached, they are not engaged with. For example, monsters have no rights, whilst one, Wolf Bete (Amano) was grown as a wolfman but was changed into a wolfgirl at the last moment on Lady Akashic's instructions, and so feels themself trapped in the wrong body (see Transgender SF) – they end up becoming Miss Kuroitsu's assistant, and the focus of much of the show's Fan Service. [SP]

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