Otome Youkai Zakuro
Mimi: When this anime first came around, it didn’t seem to attract much positive attention. The main lead appeared to be your typical tsundere, and anime that are all about youkai have been done to death already; why should this one be particularly special? Well, I certainly thought it turned out to be better than Nurarihyon no Mago, a popular anime about youkai and spirits that aired at the same time. Otome Youkai Zakuro is a very good series from start to finish, and it immediately attracted me because of its gorgeous battle scenes, music, and charming characters.
The story focuses on issues where humans and spirits try to coexist; the spirits are for the most part feared and discriminated, but some of them deliberately cause trouble. This is where The Spirit Affairs steps in, a small organization of half-spirits that investigates and solves the troubles growing between humans and spirits. The military decides to get involved however, and each half-spirit is partnered up with a human to do their work. It is very interesting where this concept goes because the half-spirits and humans are very insecure about each other at first. Although the half-spirits are supposed to be helpful, they have been overprotected by their caretaker, Kushimatsu, to be all that comfortable around humans. This series aims to strengthen their relationships, as they slowly come to understand each other and grow closer, and this is done in some of the most charming and beautiful ways.
Although the story appears to be very simple, it gradually unravels into something darker and more complex, and there are plenty of mysteries to keep you entertained, such as Zakuro’s past, her mother’s whereabouts, and Lieutenant Hanadate. Trust me, it’s not all light-hearted and fluffy. The story never feels dragged on, and the characters are continuously developing. As a whole, this series is neat and well-paced, and each character has room to grow and become quite likeable. Furthermore, the action is absolutely stunning to watch, and there is a bit of romance, which contributes to the excitement to the show.
There are only a few nitpicky things that might turn some people off. Yes, the characters are a bit on the clichéd, predictable, and cheesy side at times. You just know how some situations are going to turn out. But that doesn’t really harm the series in my opinion because the setting is unique enough, and the characters’ individual stories are well-told. Plus, this show has a couple tricks up its sleeve for the last half. ^_~ Definitely check this out if you’re in the mood for a solid, charming, yet dark story about youkai and humans living together.
Mimi’s Score: 8 Meeps out of 10 (Very Good)
Alex’s Score: 9 Meeps out of 10 (Great)