Nura: Rise of the Youkai Clan

Alt title: Nurarihyon no Mago

TV (24 eps)
3.933 out of 5 from 12,235 votes
Rank #1,170

It is said that the spirit who stood at the helm of the night parade of a hundred demons was the supreme commander of all monsters and lord of Pandemonium, Nurarihyon. Young Rikuo comes from the bloodline of Nurarihyon and is one-quarter demon. Though he has the ability to communicate with, and command youkai he has no intention of succeeding his grandfather as head of the Nura clan, instead choosing to live a normal human life. However, with his family and aides all waiting for him to fully accept the succession and his ‘Night Rikuo’ alter-ego determined to become the next leader, can the young schoolboy fight his fate as a Nura to lead the night parade?

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Nurarihyon no Mago is an almost typical shonen show with an almost typical premise. Why “almost” you may ask? Well, the lead character is voiced by Jun Fukuyama, and that magically makes everything look better for the casual viewers. Damn, how easy it is for people to like a show for what is going on behind the scenes and not on the stage. If the above magician’s trick isn’t enough to con you, then you will mostly see this anime as something average with some rare outbursts at good. And by average I am referring to how it follows the basic shonen formula, minus the constant shouting and perpetual on-going training and fighting.If you look who else is on the production team besides the above wet dream then prepare to encounter a nightmare. The animation studio is THAT PIECE OF SHIT Studio DEEN! I get Goosebumps just by mentioning the name; OH THE HORROR! Nobody with minimum taste is going to like anything that comes out of the back hole of that crappy studio. As for the director, his entire roster is full of mediocrities, with the only exception being Ranma ½ and even there it was rather good because of the source material. They still ruined it after season four though. So the lead hero is a combo of a harem lead and a shonen lead. And no, don’t believe that this makes a good spin on the formula because it’s not a blend but a disjoined coexistence. He has a split personality! His harem side is that of the archetypical weak dork with glasses, going to school and constantly being ridiculed at every turn of the way with his lame behaviour towards women and his zero power. His shonen side is on the other hand a dark personality living within him, coming out for some hours every night and kicking ass of monsters. Definitely cooler but with very broken powers and eventually nothing but the typical dark hidden personality all shonen leads have.So he is the son of a very powerful youkai and destined to succeed him one day. Yet all he wants is to have a normal school life, even if he is useless. At this point I was clearly seeing this as a rehash of Hitman Reborn, with some Inu Yasha action with youkai; definitely nothing we haven’t seen before. The support characters are other youkai at his service or human schoolmates and platonic romantic interests that typically head nowhere because of his harem side. In fact, most of the show is not going anywhere for the same reason. Despite him playing it courageous and strong willed, when the time comes he still is completely useless to do anything unless he transforms to his cooler alter ego; something that happens only at specific hours and not at will. Thus he is plain bothersome to follow around and you mostly wait for the action to come along.The plot is basically him trying to live a normal life and keeping his secret hidden from his human friends, while looking for a killer youkai that is after his family. Sounds ok but the pacing is terribly slow to the most part and the rest of it follows the typical stuff we see in shonen. The cast is also way too big in number and most of them are practically background decoration. Furthermore, the story is very light and often comedic thus most characters are treated as nothing but comedy generators with various silly gimmicks. The youkai for example are named after and defined by a quirk in their look, a thing that makes them all shallow and eventually passable. The humans on the other hand are too normal to stand out for anything particular in whatever they are doing. When the plot feels like it, it provides immersion to some of them and fleshes them a bit with flashbacks and daily activities. Yet to no avail, as eventually nobody’s story is important to the plot or even that special to remember as a stand alone. The focal point of the whole story is of course the cool lead alter ego and his amazing voice actor. Well ok, even that ain’t anything special as he beats all monsters easily and the action choreography doesn’t excel anywhere. It is simple and, like everything else in this show, slow. There is no true challenge in battle and the search for the killer is simplistic at best. Most problems came to them instead of looking for them anyway. The production values are… cute. That is the best way to describe them. There were no special in the setting, which was typical school grounds and traditional estates. The colours and the detail in drawings were ok, albeit too commonplace in most anime and thus again rather boring. Make that too boring if you add the slow plot. In all the artwork is typical but nice, while the animation is scarce as a cheap way to save money and slow down the plot. As for the soundtrack, well, it’s a mess. The openings are good, the endings are ridiculous jpops, and the BGM is soft to the point you don’t even notice it. Overall, nothing exciting, or atmospheric, or memorable. As for voice acting… WHO CARES; FUKUYAMA IS HERE; ALL HAIL LELOUCH! So is it a good show? Well, it could have been if it had a faster plot, better action, more secondary character impact in the story, and if Fukuyama wasn’t the one and only thing the producers based on for the show to sell. Plus the premise is a rehash of other shonen which are more enjoyable in overall (not by a lot but they are). So no, I don’t consider this a worthy anime unless you are looking for an average time killer or you are Fukuyama fangirls. There are many people who loved this show by the way and recommend it like it’s some sort of masterpiece. In my eyes they are all nothing but Narutards who got bored of fillers and eat up any mediocrity that pops up and fizzles away. Don’t pay attention to them. And now for some excused scorings. ART SECTION: 6/10 General Artwork 1/2 (generic) Character Figures 1/2 (generic) Backgrounds 2/2 (basic but fitting with the feeling of the series) Animation 1/2 (basic) Visual Effects 1/2 (basic) SOUND SECTION: 6/10 Voice Acting 2/3 (corny but fitting with the feeling of the series) Music Themes 2/4 (average) Sound Effects 2/3 (ok I guess) STORY SECTION: 4/10 Premise 1/2 (typical) Pacing 1/2 (slow) Complexity 1/2 (not much) Plausibility 0/2 (none) Conclusion 1/2 (cheesy) CHARACTER SECTION: 5/10 Presence 1/2 (generic) Personality 1/2 (cheesy) Backdrop 1/2 (generic and simplistic but it’s there) Development 1/2 (overblown but it’s there) Catharsis 1/2 (overblown but it’s there) VALUE SECTION: 1/10 Historical Value 0/3 (none) Rewatchability 0/3 (nothing worth to rewatch) Memorability 1/4 (nothing worth to remember) ENJOYMENT SECTION: 2/10 Seen it all before, in a much better way, by a studio that is not DEEN. VERDICT: 4/10


I have seriously no idea why anyone would like this series. The pacing is terrible (24 episodes that with cutting out entire filler could have made a above average 1 season), characters are bland and there's just too many of them, lastly - the story, "character development" and ending itself is just plain dumb... "Story" and Characters SPOILER ALERT - do not read next paragraph if do not enjoy spoilers. Anyway, the "story" you can read in summary above but how does it look in reality? For first half a season (or something close to it) you watch as the main protagonist wines and wines about he does not want to lead demons and wants to live a normal* life, how does he end? After few of his friends and his grandfathers minions are in danger and he rescues them he like "Aw well, might as well accept it" without "much effort" making his initial refusal just pointless. In the meantime we see his comrades yapping in the background and getting their handed to them just to be saved in the pintch only later on for them to overcome their enemies without any real effort (maybe in the first fight everyone had a cold or something...). When there is no fighting in the night amongst demons we have BY THE BOOK school anime with pure CLICHE to the point where you can puke with that stuff (most common offender is leader of the occult reaserch club protagonist and his friends belong who wishes to see a demon BUT FAILS TO SEE AT EVERY, i mean EVERY DAMN TIME!!!).When it comes to indiduals each and every is bland and boring. If anything, the only nice enough characters I liked were the Crow Siblings but their screen time was so sparse that I didn't remember about the until they popped out again. Besides that - too manyand history/background we get in story or flashbacks nut is not really relevant to the story so it is just a pointless filler. Lastly the ending which made me puke rainbows and friendship. Imagine badguy seemingly starting a war in which during climax he slaughters his minions and precious comrades and when the good guy is about to finish him - someone stop his and everyone is like "Awwww the daddy says to forgive his son who just had a bad day, yeah lets do that" the end... Who the hell wrote this crap?... END of the SPOILERS Spoilerless version - both characters and the story presented is a crap an unispired 10year old could have written. Visuals/Audio Wouldn't say they were bad but nothing breath taking either. Both are average at best with Audio having that only one redeming (and overused) track, besides that - nothing memorable. Overall Don't watch it unless you're starting with anime but even then, there are far better to watch instead.

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