Nura Rise of the Yokai Clan anime review

Nura Rise of the Yokai Clan anime review
Rikuo Nura, is 3 parts human and a quarter Demon, lives in a house of spirits with his grandfather, The current clan head of the Nura youkai. Rikou is set to be the next clan head, despit the fact he dilikes his demon side. He soon come to terms with his demon blood and decides to take his position as young master of the Nura house. However there are those who will certainly not allow it to be easy.

It has long been a plot twist to keep characters “human”, that the protagonist is always part human, whether it be a quarter, half, 1:10,000 et cetera. Sometimes it works such as in the old series “Sabrina the Teenage Witch” which is running rampant on Australian television again, and sometimes it makes no difference, such as Elfen Lied… which you can consider the Diclonius part-human yet it doesn’t keep them from ripping peoples heads off. Nura follows Rikuo, a teenager who lives two lives, the Yokai clan life at night and the human life during the day.  From past experience, this is usually a hit or miss scenario… so is it hit or miss? Read on for my review of Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan Volume 1.
While the day belongs to humans, the night belongs to yokai, supernatural creatures that thrive on human fear. Caught between these worlds is Rikuo Nura. He’s three-quarters human, but his grandfather is none other than Nurarihyon, the supreme commander of the Nura clan, a powerful yokai consortium. So, Rikuo is an ordinary teenager three quarters of the time, until his yokai blood awakens. Then Rikuo transforms into the future leader of the Nura clan, leading a hundred demons.

To be honest, when you first pick up the book and start reading, you get the impression of a design overload, which draws away from the attention of the initial storyline. However, the story begins with Nuraihyon in a meeting with his yokai clan members discussing the next head of the clan whilst Rikuo is off for a leisurely day at school. Of course, he is late so he misses being in a tragic bus accident involving all his non-Yokai believing friends. He takes the reins of clan leader to rescue his friends from the accident that has befallen them and seems to have been a death trap for him…

The primary storyline seems to be his job as Yokai clan leader and his reluctance to bring fear and trauma to the humans, alongside how yokai change his school life and cause danger to him, and his friends, both yokai and human alike. To be honest, it is a solid storyline, however it is let down by the fact that I found myself more drawn to the design then anything else, and the text was honestly tiring to read for whatever reason. I will admit it is not regularily my genre, but it was still good enough that I think I would continue reading it into the second volume onwards and I think the storyline will pick up, indicating some more action following this volumes cliff-hanger. But with enough characters and a rather open plot still, I think this could prove a worthwhile investment into continuing the series.

In terms of design, as stated above, it is damn impressive. In terms of character design, the sheer number of yokai designed in this volume was considerably high and were all designed creatively. The human characters appear in two forms, the younger, what I would assume late-elementary school age in the first chapter or two and then moving on to the more high school age appearance. Whilst it would have been nice if they remained one age or the other as there isnt much plot defining the change, at least the characters still retain their unique facial traits from the age jump. The Yokai Rikuo is rather well designed as well, and is a nice change from the rather plain looking human Rikuo. Yuki Onna is most probably my favorite character in terms of designs… most probably the most human designed Yokai and they do her design rather well.

In terms of backdrops, they do use the dreaded white background a lot, however they fortunately in a number of occasions just overload characters onto the screen, which actually looks rather creative. The backdrops they do use however suit the environment they are designed for and often have a creepy tone which adds to the overall mood of the storyline. Very good job in both departments.

There is a small amount of bonus content included in the manga. This includes:

•Pre-content message from Hiroshi Shiibashi
•A page of artwork between chapters
•Some sort of script titled “-Yokai Debate at Dawn -: Nura Clan Who’s Who” and “A meeting of the Kiyojuji Paranormal Patrol”
•Short mini-manga titled “Family Feud”
Whilst there is a considerable amount of  content, I do think this series would benefit more than anything from a Yokai Compendium every volume detailing some of the yokai of the Nura clan, considering how many appear in this volume alone…

Personally, I thought this was a relatively good manga introductory volume. It might sound like a generic concept for a series, it is pulled off relatively well and I would recommend giving it a shot, especially if you like creative monster designs if anything else.

Better than review, is a Trailer video of: Nura Rise of the Yokai Clan. Watch it now:
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