If you didn’t watch Miss Kuroitsu from the Monster Development Department, you’re missing one of the closing season’s gems.
Miss Kuroitsu is an up-and-coming researcher in the Monster Development Department of Agastia. She is the principal protagonist in the series. She has the lofty goal of working her way into upper management. Management appears to be very powerful monsters who have been promoted out of fieldwork. Agastia’s objective is world domination by evil thru ethical means. Its monsters are developed in a lab and then imbued with a personality. Miss K gives her monsters more free will than most.
Her immediate supervisor is Hajime Sadamaki, a good-looking guy who hides behind a VR visor most of the time.
Wolf Bete was supposed to be a male monster with wolfman-like powers but unfortunately had his body switched to female after his mind had already been developed. This is gender dysphoria with a humorous spin and I am sure there is no shortage of people who might want to be offended. Wolfie, as he’s called, has a crush on Miss Kuroitsu. In theory, Agastia is supposed to be looking for a way to produce a male body to transfer hin mind into but it doesn’t look like they are trying very hard.
Absolute Zero Lord Megistus Is the chief of staff – head of HR. He is powerful and menacing but is really an enlightened executive who looks out for the well-being of his subordinates. Akashic, a little girl who wields immense power, is the President and CEO of Agastia. There are several other members of the board of directors. Everyone meddles in the Monster Development Department’s affairs and everyone has to approve everything, making actual monster development difficult.
Kenji Sadamaki is a convenience store clerk who is secretly the Divine Swordsman Blader. Blader appears to be the primary hero that Agastia is up against. Their monsters are designed with the intent of defeating him but always seem to fall short.
Kenji is a rare freelance hero who lacks any corporate sponsor. He’s just doing it just because a hero is what he wants to be. Wolfie almost defeated him but when Wolfie’s clothes were torn off Blader locked up due to extreme sensitivity to the sight of a female body and Wolfie locked up due to extreme embarrassment. Call it a draw?
A number of monsters were developed in the quest to take out Blader and other local heroes. For example, Canon Thunderbird was originally supposed to be a giant mecha with railguns and atomic lightning blasts. After innumerable delays due to corporate bureaucracy, modifications due to the whims of other department managers, and extreme budget constraints, he turned into a large bird with a pistol and a data screen over one eye. Hydra was supposed to be a monster with eight heads that spit venom and had quick regeneration capabilities. She was scaled back to a small girl with 4 snakes that sprout from her back and constantly argue with each other. The two monsters develop a thing for each other.
One of the principal themes of this anime is the absurdity of corporate life. One may dream big but when confronted by economic realities and the vagaries of managerial idiosyncrasies, those dreams get scaled back. Products (monsters) are turned out that don’t quite meet the requirements they were built for. Blader becomes a virtually unbeatable hero because designs are downsized, corners were cut, and materials are outsourced to the lowest bidders. Micromanagement and the personal preferences of department heads get in the way.
Not every monster corporation is good to work for. One of the competing monster corporations is called Black Lore. It was revealed that they do not pay overtime nor do they offer paid vacation. Fortunately, the directors of Agastia are good-hearted and find a place in the business for monsters who don’t quite make it. Agastia also owns an amusement park where some of its failed monsters work.
As if Wolfie wasn’t enough gender dysphoria we have the Magical Girls: Pilia Magia, Yūto Higatani, and Reo Shikishima. (Their merchandise is licensed by their sponsor. It’s how they make their living.) They also number among Agastia’s opponents. Reo is a temperamental tsundere type who is jealous of Yuto’s larger post-transformation breasts. Yuto is no more happy with his transformed body than is Wolfie – but at least he gets to change back.
There’s also the Death Staff Temp Agency. If you need henchmen to show up for an operation as cannon fodder, Death Staff is the place to go. Heiki Matsuyama Is a foreman for the company. Karen Mizuki – a girl from rural Japan who came to Tokyo looking for work – gets contacted by Heiki and is contracted out on various assignments. Each time she gets beaten up, she swears she is going to quit – but she needs the money and keeps going back.
This is an anime that does not take itself too seriously. Even the episode titles are a parody of the often excessively long titles we sometimes see in manga. If you parse the title carefully, you can get a vague idea of what the upcoming episode might be about.
If adorable characters are your bag and you’d have fun with a satire on corporate life, this anime is probably one you should watch. Got nothing else to do until the next season begins, right?