Tokyo Ravens – 03

Natsume: Wait, you mean it’s not as long as this sword?!        Bakatora: It’s only about this long…

Tokyo Ravens is as frenetic as ever. But now that we’ve gotten the opening act out of the way, perhaps things will slow down a bit when we get bogged down in Onmyoji School. No doubt Bakatora will have a hard time adapting, given he’s never been able to see spiritual energy before.

Prodigal Child Defeated

The fruit of her efforts.

To save a regurgitation on the events of this episode, let’s just say Suzuka is defeated. And looking back at the battle, I don’t know if she’s really displayed anything befitting of her title of Divine General. It feels like all this time, she’s only had the overwhelming advantage due to her two very powerful automatons, which are production models and not her own creations. Is it simply her ability to control them that makes her impressive? Because other than that, she’s shown us nothing else fancy. Granted, she’s able to almost carry out the Taizan Fukun Ritual and she also created a ridiculous number of charms using her own blood. But the former apparently follows a cookie-cutter format with chant and location set, and she was only able to do it by stealing Natsume’s powers. And the latter I’m sure anyone with enough will-power could do, plus it was all meaningless before Bakatora’s own righteous will-power. So all in all, either this supposed child prodigy got shafted in her appearance here, or she’s not that big of a deal in the end. Which only makes the onmyoji police look even more pathetic.

Hokuto, Again

I love its childish curiousness even in the heat of battle.

Just when we thought we’d seen the last of Hokuto, she appears again! Well actually it’s a different Hokuto this time in name, which turns out to be the Tsuchimikado family’s trump card guardian dragon. The moment Natsume uttered the name “Hokuto”, I was prepared for something ridiculous like a giant Hokuto appearing and catching Bakatora. But a dragon is fine too. Basically this new Hokuto is some sort of rare beast that’s super powerful and of course super hard to control. It just does what it wants once it’s summoned by Natsume, but luckily it at least turns on Suzuka’s automatons when they stupidly provoke it. No doubt having a dragon around will come in handy for future battles, so I’m sure we’ll see some training arc soon enough (especially with Bakatora enrolling in Onmyoji School) where Natsume and Bakatora eventually gain the respect of the dragon and it finally heeds their orders explicitly.

A scene from the past.

But dragons aside, we actually do meet the Hokuto we know and love again. It’s not so subtle, but I’m glad things turned out this way in the end. So at the end of episode 2, Natsume drops a “Bakatora”, which raised a few eyebrows. And after the questionably anticlimactic confrontation with Suzuka (our heroes win by throwing a box at the connection to the other realm and casting some pentagram spell), she appraises the shikigami that used to be Hokuto and makes some suspiciously detailed remarks. Then come the end of the episode, she receives Bakatora as he arrives at Tokyo and lo and behold she starts talking like Hokuto (using boku and Bakatora again). She uses the excuse that it’s just family tradition to speak masculinely, but at this point she’s not fooling anyone. Except for Bakatora, of course.

You expect too much of this guy, Natsume.

Anyway, point is Natsume was Hokuto all along. Which makes a lot of sense seeing as the latter kept trying to convince Bakatora to become an onmyoji, which would only lead him back to Natsume. So when you think about it, Natsume was basically plotting to get her man back to her in a very sneaky way. What a girl. Plus, now we also realize that the usually reserved onmyoji actually has a rather spunky side to her. Which I’m completely fine with.

Extras

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All things considered, Tokyo Ravens continues to do a great job. The CG here, which there was plenty of, is again top-notch. But I’m not going to beat that dead horse. There are definitely a few potential inconsistences when you look back on things, such as how Natsume was able to manipulate Hokuto into saving Bakatora when she had her powers stolen at the restaurant, but let’s not sweat it. That stuff can easily be explained away with MAGIC, quite literally. Regardless, the plot is moving ahead nicely, with Bakatora finally going to Onmyoji School and the brief vision he has of Yakou and someone who looks to be the legendary onmyoji’s familiar. I’m getting some gender-reversed NatsumexBakatora vibes here. Touji is also revealed to have spiritual powers due to being in a spiritual disaster. But honestly do we believe Touji’s words? That guy is more suspicious than a cat with a feather in its mouth. But hopefully we’ll hear what his real story is soon enough.

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23 Responses to “Tokyo Ravens – 03”

  1. Iron Maw says:

    To save a regurgitation on the events of this episode, let’s just say Suzuka is defeated. And looking back at the battle, I don’t know if she’s really displayed anything befitting of her title of Divine General. It feels like all this time, she’s only had the overwhelming advantage due to her two very powerful automatons, which are production models and not her own creations. Is it simply her ability to control them that makes her impressive? Because other than that, she’s shown us nothing else fancy. Granted, she’s able to almost carry out the Taizan Fukun Ritual and she also created a ridiculous number of charms using her own blood.

    You hit nail on the head yourself. Suzuka wasn’t even serious with either Harutora or Natsume and let her two powerful familiars fight autonomously without direct commands. She was to busy hurry with ritual to bother with them. Not really something you can judge here full ability on.

    • FlameStrike says:

      Hmm I thought it was something like that. Her automatons’ movements looked suspiciously slow and robotic. I chalked it up to animation lazyness and PIS at first, but it could be all part of the story. After all it looked like she wasn’t paying any attention to the battle.

      Hokuto’s (the girl) true identity does fill in a few plot holes though. Like how she was able to exactly show up in time to save bakatora in ep2, or why she was so happy at being called cute in ep1. I’m really looking forward to see the gang in the future. It looks like that wierd furry loli who likes to stab and twist is going to show up too.

  2. Iron Maw says:

    *her*

  3. Liza says:

    Oh poor Suzuka. ._. I was expecting something like that to happen but poor girl. At least she did not have to kill her brother.

    I was actually confused about what Bakatora did when he threw that…medicine cabinet(?) at the spirit thing. What in the world was in there?

    Other than that, dang he is dense with the whole Hakuto thing. ._. But hey, I guess in his shoes, I would not realize it either since it isn’t something you would automatically think of when you meet someone with a similar speech-pattern(and even calling by the same name…)

    • Iron Maw says:

      The anime left this out, but the cabinet was full Tsuchimikado spell charms which basicially overloaded the spirit link/vein through share power. Not huge deal it wasn’t in though.

      • Sumairii says:

        That’s good to know. Dunno why they couldn’t have taken about 5 seconds to mention the contents of the cabinet, but it’s nothing to get worked up about as you say.

      • Liza says:

        Ohhhh. That makes sense. Thanks!

    • zztop says:

      I looked at some translated manga releases after watching this ep.
      The box contained various magical artifacts which they brought to stop the ritual, and Haru threw it hoping that at least 1 of the artifacts could break the dark spirit bond possessing the corpse.

    • Krono says:

      lol in many anime series main guys are usually very dense so I’m not too surprised. I do have to agree that it would not come to my mind at first, but I’d at least get suspicious that the two were connected.

  4. BlackBriar says:

    The action kept me entertained enough that I didn’t realize the near 24 minutes passed so quickly.

    Suzuka’s outcome couldn’t have been anything but a bad end. Moreover, she was warned by family members who knew the ritual and its unpredictabilities more than anyone else. As for the battle with the automatons, it was sloppily done because Suzuka wasn’t concentrating on it as much as she was preparing the rituals. I’d say she was in full form in the previous fights.

    It’s tomboyish but I like Natsume’s new look as much as her shrine maiden’s and she’s even better with that pony tail. She may be the master of the relationship with all her family knowledge but after the fight with Suzuka and each one barking orders to the other, I have a feeling Harutora and Natsume are going to get about equal amounts of lecturing from one another.

  5. zztop says:

    If you notice this ep, the colour of the 4 torii gates surrounding the altar correspond to the 4 symbols of the Chinese constellation*.

    1)Red torii: the Vermilion Bird (Chinese: 朱雀; pinyin: zhūquè) of the South

    2)Black torii: the Black Tortoise (Chinese: 玄武; pinyin: xuánwŭ) of the North.

    3)Blue torii: the Azure Dragon (simplified Chinese: 青龙; traditional Chinese: 青龍; pinyin: qīnglóng) of the East

    4)White torii: the White Tiger (Chinese: 白虎; pinyin: baíhŭ) of the West

    It’s these little details I enjoy looking out for.
    *You may be more familiar with the Japanese names, but remember that Omyodo was formed based on Chinese yin-yang and geomancy principles! :)

    • Karakuri says:

      Oh, I never even noticed that. So by that logic, how likely is it that the coloured… smoke or whatever it is appearing before the various characters in the OP has to do with the Chinese elements? The colours seem a little off, but I guess apparently wood’s green can be replaced with blue.

      • zztop says:

        I think the smoke’s just visual effect. Dont worry too much about it.

        • Karakuri says:

          Hmm, damn. I thought I was onto something. The placements in the star were right and everything. OTL

          It would be cool if they did correspond though, since each element has core emotions, behaviours, and a bunch of other random (seemingly unrelated) things attributed to them.

  6. zztop says:

    I like the CG in this one. Especially the dragon.

    • d-LaN says:

      IMO, Arpeggio and TR are on competition for the best CG of the season when it comes to non-human object.

      • BlackBriar says:

        Arpeggio should be winning by a land slide because it’s all CG and that’s something that isn’t seen often. A very rare occurance.

        • Highway says:

          Arpeggio doesn’t have the texture mismatch that Tokyo Ravens does between the obvious CG things and the rest of the anime.

        • d-LaN says:

          Apparently people in the forums don’t agree. But w/e, quite a bit of Arpeggio CG look quite alike with traditional animation so I’m cool. (Some parts looks weird, but no big deal to me)

          Then again, this is the same forum tht have ppl claiming the CG for BRS anime sucks.

  7. Karakuri says:

    Maybe this has to do with my unhealthy love of the OP, but this is the fall anime who’s concept I like the sound of the most. …Though that’s not to say that the actual content is the greatest thing ever. I’m still really looking forward to seeing where this goes though~.

    • Liza says:

      I am obsessed with the OP too! I listen to it at least once per day. It’s really bad. XD I can’t wait until the full version is out.

    • Highway says:

      I actually like the sound of the OP, even though it’s a little different from what I usually would like.

      I’m all about the White Album 2 OP, tho. I could listen to that style of music for weeks.

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