Rikuo Nura lives in Ukiyoe Town and looks like your typical junior high student. But unlike his classmates, he lives in an old, Japanese-style house full of yokai that serve him. Unbeknownst to many, Rikuo is the grandson of Nurarihyon, who is the leader of all yokai. Rikuo is regarded as the Third Heir of the Nura Clan, but has yet to officially take his seat. Just to keep some additional tension, there are some mild romantic complications around the fact that Kana, the girl who likes Rikuo, is rather upset by the attention shown to him by his ghostly female yuki-onna minder. I love yokai, particularly traditional ones. In that sense, this anime has a good Inuyasha feel to it. It also reminds me of “The Book of Friends“, Ushi and Tora, and for the reluctant heritage/transformation aspect, Kyou Kara Maou. I am looking forward to seeing this anime progress and hop that no M. Night Shyamalanic twists corrupt the story.
It’s a very good anime, certain parts the animation looks a little weird and they used CGI but besides that the story line is very good and the characters seem well thought out. Its hooks you in the first few seconds of the show, you’ll instantly want to know what happens next. Speaking of which, Viz decided to tease us by only releasing this set in volumes which breaks up the seasons into different sets. Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan at this stage shows considerable promise but not originality. As the various other yokai factions come to light, it’s apparent that they relate to various folktale horror creatures that have aspects of snakes, rats, spiders, cats, crows and so on, which brings to mind a similar treatment in Stan Sakai’s Japanese folktale inspired comic creation ‘Yusagi Yojimbo’. If not original they at least have good personalities and strong character designs.
Each character is so different yet you admire each one of them, and each small plot adds to the main plot, which makes the adventure even more interesting. I find myself eagerly waiting for the next episode because the story does move fairly quickly (unlike a lot of other anime) so there’s always a new development in each show. The themes of comradery, loyalty, family duty, friendship, isolation, and denial are all mixed together. I also love how there is a LOT of Japanese culture reflected in the characters and the entire anime theme. The DVD set are basic but good. Generally the video quality is fine, with bold colours and reasonable sharpness and clarity. The more I watch this show, and the more I see the kinds of reactions its getting from its fans, the more I realize that this is really a “training” show of sorts for people newer to anime than anything else.
The last episode had the paranormal hunting crew heading to a mountain retreat to have some fun and naturally they ended up on a mountain with a whole lot of yokai presence on it. The clan that resides there, the Gyuki clan, is an associate clan of Rikuo’s family so there’s a good sense of familiarity among them. And that’s the main focus of things here as this fairly mysterious person runs about making problems and eventually revealing himself and going all out, including a direct attack on Oikawa that nearly does her in. There are no extra features on the set, not even textless openings or closings, although that is hardly a loss since the meat and potatos is so imaginative and fun. At this stage there’s nothing particularly original but its still quality anime that you should invest in since future volumes will be coming shortly from VIZ Media.