HomeAnimeANIME REVIEW | Striving for Top Villainy with Miss Kuroitsu

ANIME REVIEW | Striving for Top Villainy with Miss Kuroitsu

ANIME REVIEW | Striving for Top Villainy with Miss Kuroitsu

Back in the old days, all villains needed to summon monsters was a magic wand and a loud command. But in today’s modern work climate, the simple ways are no more. Now we have large staff, focus groups, accountants, and other folks that work behind-the-scenes to help craft the new big baddie. At least, that’s how it seems to be, according to this season’s Miss Kuroitsu from the Monster Development Department.

Based on the manga by Hiroaki Mizusaki, the series follows Toka Kuroitsu (Kaori Maeda), an assistant for the evil organization Agastia’s Monster Development Department. There she and her team must create new monsters to send off to fight the heroes. Leading the secret society is Akashic (M.A.O), whose personality makes it tough to say no to even the weirdest suggestions. Fortunately, Kuroitsu has plenty of help from the likes of Dr. Sadamaki (Yuichiro Umehara), the gender-flipped Wolf Bete (Satomi Amano), and the very nice, very evil Chief of Staff Megistus (Tetsu Inada).

The organization’s main target is the superhero Divine Swordsman Blader (Takuma Terashima), who’s real identity is that of convenience store worker Kenji. He has a crush on frequent customer Kuroitsu, who has no idea she’s his prime enemy. There’s also the magical girl duo of Magia Zwart (Yui Horie) and Magia Rose (Yukari Tamura), whose manager is more concerned with making money with Pilia Magia merch than saving the world. On top of that, there’s a bucketload of other sentai heroes waiting to lay waste to the monsters Agastia’s Monster Development Department unleashes.

A lot of the comedy in Miss Kuroitsu from the Monster Development Department spawns from its sentai origins. The tokusatsu genre has been a staple of Japanese television since the 1960s, with the likes of Ultraman, Kamen Rider, and Gridman splattered all over televisions and toy stores. With this long history, there are a lot of jokes that pull from these classic series, be it a one-off line to even a full-blown parody of a sentai hero. (It should be noted that many of the heroes showcased here are legit real-life costumed vigilantes that live in Japan!)

One of the funniest aspects of this show is the treatment of both the heroes and villains at their respective companies. The evil Agastia’s Monster Development Department cares about union laws, making sure monsters are up to Japanese code, and even reminds its employees to take a break when they feel exhausted. A great example of the nobleness of the villains comes in Episode Two, where the intimidating Megistus allows Kuroitsu to take his hotel room while he stays at a crowded hostel. Not only do they care for their employees, but they share a deep understanding on how their image should be portrayed.

But the real comedy comes into play when it’s time to create monsters. Because of budgetary reasons, many of the creations require a lot of scaling down in the final version. Cannon Thunderbird (Shun’ichi Toki) goes from being a badass bird of war to an adorably fat chicken with a Saiyan scouter meter. Hydra (Fumi Aikawa) goes from eight-headed menace to cute little girl with four bickering serpent heads. Perhaps the funniest joke involves the Valentine’s Day-themed Melty (Miyu Tomita), whose debut is called off for a reason that I can’t spoil in this review.

With that being said, it’s hard not to address the concept of Wolf Bete. The joke regarding them is that they were supposed to be a boy wolf, but their gender was changed midway through without fixing it in Wolf’s brain. Because of this, the character constantly fights with its gender identity. There are gags about this fact that work, alongside others that can border on being slightly transphobic. (Honestly, this gag is done a whole lot better in another anime series that’s currently airing.)

Meanwhile, heroes in Miss Kuroitsu from the Monster Development Department are treated more like cash cows than the defenders of justice that they are. The Pilia Magia duo wish to defend the Earth, but their staff are more concerned with them pushing toys, merchandise, and anime tie-ins. Despite the good nature of Zwart and Rose, they’re forced to go with the flow, even if it goes against their best judgment. It’s when they infiltrate a job interview with Megistus when they realize that they might be in the wrong business, especially when the villain says they’d never exploit children for their own financial gain!

As for Divine Swordsman Blader, his story can be a little shaky at times. It’s funny knowing that Kenji just found the powers one day, and has no idea who’s behind its creation. There’s also his silly crush on Kuroitsu, who may or may not have feelings for him in return. But when it comes to his actual fights, he’s really only there to add a little emphasis for the impending joke of the fight. Other than that, Blade could’ve easily been replaced with many of the other real-life sentai heroes that cameo in the series.

Overall, Miss Kuroitsu from the Monster Development Department delivers sharp satire about tokusatsu heroes and even the modern-day work place. While it’s animation may not be the best (done by new studio Quad), the writing and fun characters make it one of this season’s biggest surprises. You may need to know a bit about sentai heroes and the Japanese business world to fully get its humor, but for the most part, Miss Kuroitsu from the Monster Development Department does a solid job showing the good side of villainy.

Voice Acting: (Japanese dub)
Final Grade (not an average):

Miss Kuroitsu from the Monster Development Department can be viewed on Crunchyroll and VRV. It has been licensed by Crunchyroll. Episodes 1-9 were observed for review. Promotional consideration provided by Ellation.

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The J-POP king of America, Evan has been bringing the hottest sounds of the Land of the Rising Sun to the English-speaking public since his college radio days. He's also an expert in the gaming, anime, & manga realms, never afraid to get critical when the times call for it. Born & bred in Boston, he achieved his biggest dream yet by making the big move to Tokyo, Japan in Summer 2023! For personal inquiries, contact Evan at evan@b3crew.com. For press/band inquiries, write to us at thebastards@bostonbastardbrigade.com. (Drawing by AFLM of Wicked Anime)