Monday, 17 March 2014

REVIEW FOR NURA RISE OF THE YOKAI CLAN SERIES 2 PART 1

 

 
Nura Rise of the Yokai Clan Series 2 Part 1
Released By: Manga Entertainment
Rating: 12
Running Time: 250 Mins
Audio: English & Japanese: DD 2.0
Release Date: 10/3/2014
Reviewed By: Sandra Scholes

This goes back in time to when Rikuo Nura was only eight-years-old, and just getting to know his fellow yokai within his family. As we know, there are a lot of them, but why doesn't anyone else at school believe they exist?

From episode one, Rikuo wants to be big and strong like the other yokai in the clan and likes his daily ramen eating trips with his grandfather, the former ruler of the clan, but also realises he isn't like the other yokai in his family. He is nice, cuddly and most strange of all, he likes being around the humans, a trait that the rest of the family don't understand. Tama is one of his friends from school he meets on the bus there, and as we remember from the previous series, she thinks his house is haunted jut from looking at it.

This look back to the beginning of Rikuo's beginnings shows what the other yokai thought of him as only a quarter of his blood is from his grandfather. He wasn't thought of as much of a yokai due to his resemblance to a human, also, he goes to a human school and his yokai family thought he might become weak as a result. When a certain yokai tries to take over the Nura clan, they see Rikuo turn into his true yokai self as he protects those he loves. Even with his brief show of might, he is still regarded as unworthy to become the third heir to the Nura clan. Through the influence of Rikuo being their leader, impostors have been trying to take over the bars they go to, but it isn't long before they are got rid of once they are discovered. Rikuo in his yokai form is gathering his army of a hundred yokai in his attempt to become the Lord of Pandemonium. During his search he has already found a kindly yokai who was once tied to an unworthy family. So far things have been going so well and Rikuo had convinced most of the yokai in his family not to attack or hurt humans when a group of onmyoji start to attack members of his family. Rikuo keeps getting close to humans at school, but he didn't bank on a close friend of his having an onmyoji brother who hates all yokai. It doesn't help that he wants to kill Rikuo while in his boy form, but as she is an onmyoji too, this will be a real test of freindship and family honour that could end up with a bad result.

While the other yokai try to get the better of the Nura clan, Rikuo is one step closer to becoming the Lord of Pandemonium, but over the course of time he proves he is worthy of being a yokai leader, and a good yokai at least. What is fun to watch is Rikuo by day looking like a kid who most other kids would kick sand at in school, but by night he ends up as a pipe-smoking lady-killer. For most of disc one, Rikuo spends his time in his yokai self battling evil yokai and trying to get his new woman away from a dangerous enemy. One thing you will notice is the fact therre is a cast of hundreds - of yokai that is, Yuki-Onna, Tengu, Kappa, and Rokuro-Kubi are but of a few you will encounter and they are all just as much fun as the anime as it will appeal to older teens who also watch Bleach, Naruto and xxxHolic.


There are some funny bits in this series:
* Ritsuo's grandfather using his invisibility magic to get out of paying for ramen at a noodle bar
* Japanese lore enthusiasts would know that Yuki-Onna's a good cook even though her food is cold sometimes!
* When the teacher is trying to explain that yokai's don't exist in real-life and that his research is actually right, not Ritsuos.
* Ritsuo teasing the other yokai - especially Yuki-Onna, poor girl!
Contains episodes 1-13

Bonus Material: None.

Verdict: This is an enjoyable romp through Japanese folklore with good humour and some excellent visual effects.