Lolis-er, little kids now play with swords
Anaaga: I never expected that Nura no Mago would actually get a second season. SECOND SEASON. This is surprising, since the first season is, well….um… Anyway, let’s hope that the second season is better, waaaayyy better than the first one. *crosses finger*
Hime: Nura 2! The first one was like an orgy of Jun’s deliciously sexy vocal range. Here’s hoping the second season is more of the same!
I fuckin love this part of the OP
The first episode starts with chibi Rikuo playing around with another Nurarihyon youkai, which I think is his father, and another girl. As Rikuo runs off somewhere (bad omen), Nurarihyon youkai start mumbling this overly-romantic poem, and I suspect that he’s telling the little girl the poem. Jeez, pedobear much? Anyhow, my suspicion is correct, since the next thing you know is the little loli takes out a knife and stabs Nurarihyon youkai from the back. When Rikuo comes back, the only thing he sees is the youkai dying and the loli girl smiling like an evil villain. So much for a happy childhood memory.
Nurarihyon youkai gets killed by a loli before making his debut as a pedobear
Three years after that incident, Rikuo is one hella healthy kid, too energetic to the point where even the youkais in his house can’t escape his traps. Like any other kid, his dream is to be like someone he admires. In his case, he wants to become the leader of the Nura Clan, something that his father was years ago. He loves the youkai in his life, and he’s happy with them…
Rikuo: Into SM play since he was young
Rikuo: Into world domination since he was small
…Until he found out that most humans (more like his little friends) don’t believe that youkai exist. Plus, youkais are creepy, according to his friends. He doesn’t believe his friends at all, until he attends one of the youkai meeting in his house. His grandfather decides to step down and have a new leader, and he picks Rikuo as the candidate for the Third Heir. Third Heir, or Third Leader? Whatever it is, it’s the third leader of the Nura Clan. But Rikuo doesn’t really care about that; he’s too shocked when he heard the bad deeds the youkai in that room did to humans. Aren’t youkai supposed to be good and caring? Still in stage 2, which is denial, Rikuo runs off from the room. He can’t take the evilness after all.
Rikuo is depressed because of The Ugly Truth (love that movie). He doesn’t get depressed for a long time though, since he found that the bus he’s supposed to be in is stuck under a collapsed tunnel. Obviously, it’s the work of the fugly youkai that kills little children because he’s a pedobear. The pedobear youkai thinks that Rikuo shouldn’t be the leader at all since he’s a human, so he decides to finish him off. Also, Rikuo has no fear, something that every clan leader should have, which gives the evil youkai more reason to kill him.
Rikuo is about to save his friends with his fellow youkai, but the bald monk stops him. Why? Because youkais aren’t supposed to help humans; their fear is what makes youkai strong. Angry Rikuo is angry, and he transforms into…
Chibi night Rikuo. Night Rikuo goes to to the tunnel with an elaborate introduction like any other main characters of various anime, and, of course, kills the pedobear youkai. The usual anime routine. And don’t forget, introduction of the side characters too. Anyhow, seeing Night Rikuo in action, the bald youkai realizes that fear isn’t the negative emotion that the humans have, but this fear is the ability to make both humans and youkais awed. After giving the declaration of his ambition to be the Third Leader, Rikuo collapses and changes back into his human form. Booo.
Four years after that, Rikuo is finally the leader of the new Nura Clan. Not everybody’s happy about that, of course. Even the inside youkai want to get rid of him.
YOUKAI GIFS BY HIME:
BACKSTABBED, Smoke Machine
Boiling blood; Epic pose is epic
String Guy; Yuki Onna
Sword to the face; Nura owns everything and is still very graceful about it
DAT SMIRK; MORE OF DAT SMIRK
Nurarihyon was a very unique thing for Studio DEEN. It was well staged, had good music and, most surprisingly of all, a consistent high quality of animation. It looked great. But it wasn’t without its foibles. It wasn’t very popular during it’s first run, and while there were certainly worse shows airing that season, people just weren’t interested. And why should they have been? It was boring. Nurarihyon moved at a snails pace, you could have bounced off the walls for days without injury, there was so much padding, and…I’m running out of metaphors. The point is, irritating side characters took center stage ahead of a cast that should have been explored and utilized, because on the surface they appeared much more interesting. The only main character that got any development was Gyuki! And his arc was a complete paradox of “the fact I’m a traitor actually means I’m loyal to the point of INSANITY”. I wanted to see more of the sick bird guy, of Yuki-onna. Hell, we never even got a good explanation of how Rikuo’s whole Day/Night thing works. Hey, it’s hot, sure, but it’s not like he gets shot with the Dying Will Bullet. IT STILL NEEDS EXPLAINED. My love of Jun and his – sexy one minute and adorable the next – voice got me through season one only mildly disgruntled. I thought the finale was good for the most part and there had been so much build up I think that if it had been any less at that point I would have gone batshit insane. Luckily, though, it didn’t dissapoint. The designs of most of the characters, most noteably Nura’s epic horizontal hair-do, are unique and interesting. They fit very well into what my perception of an anthropomorphic “Youkai” should look like.
THIS however, Nura 2…starts with a flashback. Oh, dear…’cause nothing says heart-pounding action than stuff that happened YEARS AGO. I’ll admit, the initial grainy flashback pertaining to the murder of, I’m guessing Rikuo’s father, was very creepy and well done. In fact, it was so good that it really pissed me off when it dissolved into the real episode and was turned into a joke. Srsly? You have a genuinly eerie sequeance, that I’ll admit totally grabbed me, and then you laugh it off with a stupid game? DEEN, you really have no idea what you’re doing honey, do you? That aside, these characters that I thought were annoying before…became 10x more annoying when they were chibi-fied. The fact that most of the episode follows chibi Rikuo, yano..NOT voiced by Jun, certainly didn’t help. Have I mentioned that he’s by far the best thing about this show? I did? WELL, DUH. It did make me laugh when he went through puberty in all of 5 seconds, though, and changed into his Night form for the first time. And I have to admit, DAT SEXY JUN voice coming out of chibi Rikuo was pretty badass. Though they really are hitting us over the head with the whole day/night = child/adult thing. Spiderman was more figgin subtle, it’s called subtext for a reason guys. If that is what they’re doing, god forbid DEEN might actually try and pull off a metaphor. The complete and utter fickleness of Rikuo’s character was kind of jarring this time around. I don’t remember him being written quite so bad in S1. His emotions and opinions towards the youkai change in a nanosecond. Blegh. It was a mess.
But…and it pains me to say this, even after all that…there is still an attraction to it for me. I dunno if it’s Jun or if I’m just a straight up masochist. There’s something about Nurarihyon that I like, and that keeps me watching despite all the other stuff. The staging and animation during the fights is gorgeous. When they try, the outcome is great. The problem is, the problem always is with DEEN, that they are lazy fuckers. They don’t often try. They take shortcuts. They herpderp their way through an episode. But…fuck it, I can’t stay away. I really am a masochist~
Like Hime, I’ll rant a little bit more than usual xD If you follow my twitter or read the Summer Review already, it’s obvious that I LOVE LOVE LOVE Nurarihyon no Mago manga. I think the story arcs are great, and I totally love the inkish vibe the art gives.
If you don’t know about NuraNoMago (a little bit of summary for the first season here), it’s about a boy name Rikuo who’s a quarter youkai. He’s supposed to be the leader of the Nura Clan already, but, explained in this episode, he doesn’t really like youkai due to his childhood trauma. Later on, he accepts his youkai side and becomes the Third Leader. He meets various enemies, who test his strength and his worthiness as the new Nura Clan Leader. (This is a summary to make up the lack of NuraNoMago season one on Meta).
Since I like NuraNoMago A LOT, you might think that I like season one. Actually, no, I don’t. Heck, season one is all a blur to me now. I can’t remember much except few episodes of it, and that’s not a good thing. Why don’t I like season one? Like Hime said (she basically said all my though. Tsk.), season one is boring. It’s really really boring. The anime is just so slow, you will doze off in the middle of watching it. That’s just how slow it is. I LOVE the mangal; the manga is interesting as hell. Probably it’s how the manga is being animated, but all the exciting parts of NuraNoMago is so…normal in the first season. So that’s the reason why I was surprised when I found out about the second season. Why would they make a second season of something so boring? And I don’t think it’s that well-received too, so why? Meh, maybe it was famous. Maybe. So I downloaded season two’s episode one, thinking that maybe they’ll make season two better.
And I was wrong. This first episode is BORING AS HELL. Out of all chapters, they just have to take this chapter as the first episode… Why? Why are you doing this, DEEN? At least start the first episode with something that won’t make me fall asleep! Sure, you can use this as episode two, but why episode one? Don’t you know that the first episode decides how many audience you will get? I mean, if some people find the first episode to be BORING, why would they even bother to watch the second episode, thinking that episode two might be boring too? At least I know some people with that kind of attitude. SO WHY!? Goddamnit Deen, this is why I don’t like how you’re treating NuraNoMago. The animation is pretty good for a DEEN anime, but damn it, put some effort in the story too! Especially if the audience watch this series for the first time, why are you giving them bunch of chibis, where one of them change at night!? They won’t know how great GREAT this Loli Arc here! GGGR, DEEN, GGGGGRRRRRRRRR.
Okay, at least the start of the episode was good. You don’t find lots of lolis backstabbing people in the first few minutes of an anime. And the actions at the end, with Rikuo’s followers. WHICH I think they should have more scenes instead of that stupid Kana. Yuki-Onna <3 Also, the animation is great, just like the first season. Something unexpected from DEEN. ANYHOW, I’m complaining a lot here, and I really hope DEEN will do better with the later episodes. The story arc for the second season is great, and I’ll be disappointed if it’s being animated badly. Or boring-ly(?). I do hope you’re sticking around even though I complain about this, because the Loli Arc is REALLY REALLY REALLY GREAT.
And DEEN, I’ll be watching you! *glares*