Review: Nurarihyon no Mago

Nurarihyon no Mago Review

Mimi: I stopped blogging Nurarihyon no Mago at episode 20 due to my lack of interest in the series, but it really started to get annoying at episode 18. This isn’t a bad show, but it really is your generic shounen at best. The first season is all about build-up. You simply learn about the characters as they interact and fight against weak, stereotypical villains. During this time, Rikuo gets his first experience as the third heir of the Nura clan. He comes to accept his responsibility, earns the trust of fellow youkai, and protects his human friends. There’s not much more to this, honestly. I assume that the real heart of the story is saved for season 2.

First, on to the things I did like. The main lead, Rikuo, is a very likeable character. He is reserved, sensible, and kind, and his youkai side is just plain cool. He is fun to watch when he interacts with other youkai, such as when he tries to control his group and bumps heads with a few of his own guys. Even though his clan urged him to become leader, there were still a few who judged him and didn’t think he was ready; Rikuo had to prove that he was. As a kid who once hated youkai and didn’t want to be involved in the clan’s affairs, he really had to go through drastic character development to become such a strong-willed, responsible leader by the end. That is what this season was meant to achieve, and it did that well. I also took a liking to his close youkai buddies; they have creative character designs and abilities.

But unfortunately, everything else about this show was pretty average. It became tiring to watch Rikuo’s human friends all of the time. They were repetitive and annoying; all they wanted to do was explore haunted buildings in search for youkai, and the result was the same every time. Their comedy got old fast. I do appreciate that a couple of them had been fleshed out, but I still didn’t like them that much. Only Kana and Yura were major exceptions because they held deeper connections with Rikuo.

Next up, the villains. They are simply the worst part of the show. They’re evil to the core and have a one-track mind to defeat Rikuo. Towards the end of the series, all they do is angst, spout out the cheesiest lines ever, and follow predictable patterns of behavior (such as killing their own allies). Talk about boring. These goons are just for laughs, especially when they yap their mouths off during a fight, giving their opponents plenty of time to power up. Meh.

Was this series worth it? Guess we’ll have to find out when season 2 arrives, which I plan on following.

Mimi’s Score: 6 Meeps out of 10 (Fine)

Nurarihyon no Mago Episode 20

“The Curtain Rises in the Darkness”

Summary: Inugami continues to angst.

Mimi: Urg, there are so many annoyances here. The characters always hesitate to do anything. Inugami must yap his mouth before attacking and pause to let someone else talk. And when the Nura clan members have Inugami in their grip, they just try to reason things out, allowing him ample time to transform into a stronger youkai. When he finally has the opportunity to kill Rikuo, the sun goes down extremely fast. Of course Rikuo is going to transform by nighttime and defeat him. I hate it when convenience is used like this. Did they really have to speed up the sun? Eventually, Inugami’s leader pops by to save him, and he tells Rikuo that next time they meet, he’s dead. Oh my, I feel so much suspense!

And about Rikuo’s friends…they’re just the same as always, getting chased around by youkai. Kiyotsugu constantly misses out on the action while poor Jirou has to witness everything. It’s just repetitive and not funny anymore. And how could they care so long about that stupid projector and not notice anything prior to Inugami’s second transformation? Cuz so much was happening… Well anyways.. On to the next episode. Wait, woah, there are only 4 episodes left? Hope they can squeeze in another Rikuo and Kana moment… ^^

Nurarihyon no Mago Episode 19

“The Evil Dog Howls at the Ruins”

Summary: Inugami makes his move.

Mimi: Out of all the villains, I’ve been looking forward to Inugami’s fight the least. Just can’t stand the guy’s tongue. =P Well, I have a lot of things to complain about here, and not just in regards to him. How many times have we seen Rikuo’s friends investigate an old building rumored to have youkai? How many times have we seen Yura tagging along and thinking ‘There’s a chance that something is wrong.. Oh no, I think I sense strong youkai energy!’ How many times have we seen Rikuo lose sight of his friends and nervously try to hide what’s going on in front of them? Way too many times… I’m getting tired of this, honestly.

And about Inugami… He’s just jealous of Rikuo’s acceptance from youkai and humans. He tries to set up a plan to harm Rikuo’s friends, and then kill Rikuo, but when the time comes to do something, all he does is rant: “I hate you! How can you care about humans! All humans hate youkai! They treated me like a monster! You are so weak! You are a spoiled brat! Blah blah blah.” I found that to be really annoying. If you wanna kill Rikuo, just kill him..don’t give a grand hate speech for half an hour, allowing Rikuo’s youkai buddies to have time to show up. Meh…

Nurarihyon no Mago Episode 18

“Natsumi and Lord Senba”

Summary: Rikuo’s classmate, Natsumi, gets cursed by Lord Sodemogi.

Mimi: This is probably one of the sweetest and most endearing episodes we’ve had so far. It’s about time that Rikuo’s classmates get a little more fleshed out. Continuing on with the shrine crisis from the last episode, Rikuo is tightening his guard around the few shrines that remain, although they’re not all easily located.

One such local shrine has a deity called Lord Senba who has the power of healing. However, he has been weakened significantly throughout the years because people stopped coming to pray to him…all except for Natsumi. She has been praying to him since she was a little girl because she believes that he healed her grandmother one time. After she is cursed by Lord Sodemogi, the Nura clan hastily defeats him, and Rikuo’s friends pray to Lord Senba to heal Natsumi. At the very end, Natsumi meets the deity while she’s half conscious and gets healed. Very nicely wrapped up! Though I’m not really sure what Rikuo’s friends were told to believe during Natsumi’s hospitalization…

As a side note, Digimon Xros Wars episode 14 should be subbed fairly soon, and there’s no new episode this week~ I will blog it as soon as I get my hands on it.

Nurarihyon no Mago Episode 17

“The Sublime Spirit Burns Crimson”

Mimi: Did anyone else go “o_O” at Kiyotsugu’s laugh? That guy sure can get excited… xD

Anyways, the concept of this episode is intriguing. One of the Seven Phantom Travelers called Lord Sodemogi has a specialty to kill local deities. Rikuo finds out that a number of shrines have been destroyed lately, and this can lead to bad consequences. It is explained that the local deities attract the fears and beliefs of humans, supporting the foundations of the Nura Clan. If they’re destroyed, then people will turn to the Shikoku Youkai to appease their beliefs and fears. Rikuo sends out his members to the remaining shrines to guard them. Once he locates Lord Sodemogi, the rooster youkai and the big strong one appear. The best fight of all is between the crows and the rooster since they use aerial attacks; fire vs wind. At last, he meets his doom in one big firework explosion. And awww at the little girl! :3 Though I’d have nightmares for a month..

Oh and finally, Rikuo’s grandfather does something. He gets in a fight with an old youkai friend I guess, and he stumbles upon the Kingpin of Shikoku’s Youkai Clans, aka their headquarters. He sits down to have a drink with Inugamigyobu-Tanuki, but that’s all we get to see for the moment. Looks like he’s getting to the heart of the matter.

Nurarihyon no Mago Episode 16

“The Fighting Girls”

Mimi: Noice!! So I see the trend in the battles now. Each one of the Seven Phantom Travelers will fight a member of the Nura Clan who has similar powers. This time, it’s the youkai with the crazy hair called Kagibari-Onna. She infiltrates the youkai restaurant and works there under a disguise, slowly getting information from one of Nura’s clan members (unintentional of course). Then one day, she bumps smack into Yura and finds out that she’s the Onmyouji who fought them earlier. Fearful of her, she runs off to escape. Although Yura chases after her, by some odd trick, she ends up at Rikuo’s mansion. She tells him about her encounter with Kagibari-Onna, and Rikuo plans to confront her at the restaurant.

Realizing that she had been found out, Kagibari-Onna flees away and hunts down Yura; surly she is working with the youkai and leaked information about her–so she thinks. She would have defeated Yura (she fell unconscious) if it weren’t for Kejourou. She had been sent by Rikuo to be a secret bodyguard for Yura all this time. So Kagibari-Onna and Kejourou have a duel with their hair, which is funny and awesome, and Rikuo pops up (with the most awesome entrance ever) to give the villain a rough hair-cut. However, he lets her go so she can tell her leader not to send women for his dirty work anymore, lol.

Yura regains consciousness after it’s all over, and Rikuo stuck around enough to say “Yo, take care of yourself.” Poor Yura is just getting teased by these guys..and I wonder if she’ll take a hint soon. Overall, a very enjoyable episode, even more so than the previous one. But…what’s Rikuo’s grandfather doing taking a random hot spring bath during all of this?! Lol. xD

Nurarihyon no Mago Episode 15

“Fierce Fire and Sudden Rain”

Mimi: The rooster youkai sets a part of Rikuo’s mansion on fire, and the Seven Phantom Travelers leave coolly afterwards. Kappa uses his water manipulation powers to stop the fire, and the very next day, everyone chips in to repair the damages. Things seem okay enough for Rikuo to invite his friends over because he wants to protect them. Meanwhile, Mezumaru and Gozumaru track down one of the phantom travelers called Gangi-Kozo who can also manipulate water. They find themselves in trouble, and Kappa ends up fighting Gangi. Gangi doesn’t seem to be as powerful though and is nearly defeated; In the nick of time, the rooster youkai flies down to rescue him.

I thought that the water fights were pretty cool. I wonder if Rikuo will usually just have his fellow clan members fight the different enemies, leaving just the boss for himself. That would be nice, as we would get to see more types of powers. As for the scenes with Rikuo’s friends though, they were rather boring to watch, but what can ya do? So which youkai shall they fight next week?

Nurarihyon no Mago Episode 14

“The Inugamigyobu-Tanuki Tamazuki’s Beckoning”

Mimi: Just as a heads up, I skipped episode 13 because I heard it was a recap. No point in watching that, right?

As for this episode, it’s awesome, even though it’s a “calm before the storm” kinda thing. Rikuo’s grandfather has still not returned, and everyone is going into a panic. So Rikuo is trying to keep everyone calm the entire time. The enemies show up at the end of the episode, attacking an innocent member of the Nura clan, and then they fully reveal themselves. The music played during this moment when they did a close-up on each monstrous face really made them feel creepy. That rooster guy is really something else, lol. I wonder what the leader’s true form looks like. I know he can’t be all that good looking inside.

Oh yeah, and there’s a new OP! I don’t think it’s as good as the first one though.

Nurarihyon no Mago Episode 12

“Tamazuki And The Seven Shadows”

Mimi: Gomen for the late post (if anyone cares)! Well, there’s actually not much to say about this episode. Rikuo’s grandfather easily wins against the new villain after Yura couldn’t handle him anymore (he has mysterious powers, ne?). Yura doesn’t see this, but she reunites with him to confirm that he is okay and to see that the villain is suddenly gone. Meanwhile, Rikuo learns that his grandfather is missing, and everyone’s starting to worry. Sometime after school when he’s walking around with Kana, Oikawa, and Aotabou, the other mysterious villains show up and declare that they’re going to win over his territory. They’re called the “Seven Phantom Travelers” or the “88 Demons of Shikoku.”  I’m not impressed by their ring leader, but we’ll see how they’ll turn out. For the moment, I’m most interested in Rikuo’s grandfather’s involvement in this, as he is not planning to go home just yet..

Nurarihyon no Mago Episode 11

“The Vanguard Wind Blows from the West”

Mimi: Cool, Yura just got some big points for awesomeness. While I still can’t imagine her defeating Nurarihyon someday (surly emotions will get in the way of this), she does some pretty neat stuff here. Even Rikuo’s grandfather is impressed.

The first half of this episode focuses on investigating those three mysterious youkai. One of the members of the Nura Clan (whom we never really got to know) volunteers to do this but winds up dead, which affects all of them. Rikuo wonders why this has to happen as soon as he takes up the position to be the Third Heir. So now Rikuo is being appointed several more bodyguards, as well as the other big-shot youkai.

Now, the second half of this episode is where it’s all at. Rikuo’s grandfather takes a walk around town (why does he not look so alien-ish to anybody?) and bumps into Yura by accident, and they go sit in a park together. Yura confides in him about her job as an Onmyouji, and how she is starting to have second thoughts about youkai. Are they really that evil? He assures her that they are and pretty much encourages her to continue along her path. Suddenly, one of the mysterious youkai villains attacks them (he manipulates wind), and Yura shows off her mad skillz. It is a shock to Rikuo’s grandfather that she can summon several shikigami at once, so I wonder how he’s going to act towards her now. One things for sure–they can’t keep up innocent, friendly appearances forever.

As for the new villains, they don’t feel like anything special. They’re probably just small-fry and will all be obliterated quite soon.