2 Aug 2010

Nurarihyon no Mago (Anime) Impressions

Nurarihyon no Mago (2010)
Format: TV Series, 24 X 22 minutes
Studio: Studio DEEN
Potential: 3-4 stars
The story revolves around a boy who has the power to transform into a yokai (demon/monster), though not at will. His yokai form is set to succeed his grandfather to be the Supreme Commander in the Parade of 100 demons.
Summary: Despite some typical Shounen cliches, this series surprisingly void of fanservice or awkward comedy. Pure Shounen action-adventure series full of Japanese folklore and well written characters. Shows a lot of potential and could be the sleeper hit this season!

Steep in Japanese folklore and Shounen-ness, this series reminds me a little of Inuyasha and how awesome it's world, full of Japanese yokai, was. The problem with Inuyasha was that, well, it was a little too long and the story got messy at times (with several characters fighting several enemies in different locations). While this format could work very well, it requires a lot of skill on the writer's side to balance things out. That's why I'm cautiously optimistic about Nurarihyon, and hoping it won't fall into these trappings.

Studio DEEN consists of EX-Sunrise staff, but their quality isn't exactly well known. Just look at their recent shows like Giant Killing. Disappointing to say the least. Despite that, this show looks good, with clean animation and some CG which isn't too intrusive. However, dig deep into their history and you'll find gems like the Rurouni Kenshin OVA series. This studio isn't without star animators. Monster Designer Shinobu Tagashira (Steamboy, Tekkonkinkreet, Rurouni Kenshin OVA), Animation Directors Akiko Matsuo (Soul Eater, Kuchu Buranko, Death Note), Hirofumi Morimoto (Rurouni Kenshin TV), Masaaki Sakurai (Ergo Proxy, Monster) and Yuka Kudo (Darker Than Black,  Rurouni Kenshin OVA, Fullmetal Alchemist) all do excellent work, so we might see some awesome fight scenes in the future!

Overall, a surprising good show that seems to be holding back. If comments from some manga readers are right, the story should get even better very soon.

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