Tokyo Ravens – 04

Dat tail.

So Tokyo Ravens turns into a generic high school romcom in every sense of the genre. But you know what? I’m perfectly fine with that.


Raven School

Move over, class A bitch coming through.

Objectively speaking, this episode of Tokyo Ravens used some very standard tropes and developments. Bakatora plays the dumb lead role to a tee, but I can’t really fault him for that. He’s not had training for 16 years and only recently gained the ability to see spiritual energy. So of course the guy is going to fail at onmyoji studies initially. I will admit it’s impressive to get a 0 on what must be a qualitative test. You’d think that since he actually bothered to answer the questions, surely he might get at least some points. But it just goes to show that Bakatora literally knows not one single technical detail on the onmyoji arts. Anyway, what our hero lacks in the knowledge department, he makes up for with heart. And we’re going to find out next episode if he also makes up for it with skill.

What lies behind his smile?

Next we have the homeroom teacher, Jin. This guy is all about contradictions. In spite of his seemingly lazy and uncaring attitude, he is anything but. Jin has some ideologies that clearly go against the school’s philosophy of survival of the fittest. And he doesn’t hesitate to state his mind. He’s also surprisingly quick to take action when he needs to make a point, in contrast with the slow drawl of his speech. So basically he takes the role of that watchful teacher who keeps an eye on and subtly encourages the main character’s growth from a casual distance. Nothing new, but again, I like the way these things are being presented here. We get the feeling that Jin is just a standard good guy, but the mystery surrounding his circumstances (like his leg) keep us on edge.

Got enough Aki Toyosaki to go with your fox girl?

Finally, we get the moeblob character of the show. I don’t know if I should call this generic, as we should pretty much take moeblobs for granted nowadays. But that’s a discussion I don’t intend to delve into at the moment. Yes, said moeblob is indeed that fox spirit we’ve been seeing in the previews all the time. She finally makes her long-anticipated appearance. And I have to say while I was initially skeptical of how big a deal it would be, her introduction was every bit as entertaining as the previews promised. Kon is a furry little ball of fiesty energy. And a fitting familiar for our idiotic protagonist, as she’s a bit scatterbrained herself. I’m sure this won’t be the last time she gets into a compromising position with Bakatora, to the chagrin of Natsume. So here’s to more good ‘ol “it’s not what it looks like” moments in episodes to come.


Forced to take on an identity.

Rumor has it Natsume is Yakou reborn; we’ve already heard this. But while we would have expected everyone to be savvy about it (Yakou is pretty damn famous), we didn’t get a feel for the impact of the speculation until now. Apparently it’s so bad that cults built around a falsely elevated image of the guy are harrassing Natsume. That sort of thing fortunately hasn’t made its way into the classroom, but clearly just bearing the Tsuchimikado name is enough for some students to make a big deal about it. Well, technically it was only one student. And it could be that Kyouko just has an inferiority complex and wants to prove the superiority of her clan over that of the Tsuchimikados. But seeing as her father and grandmother are two very prominent members of the onmyoji association, I would say her displeasure at the Tsuchimikados is misplaced.

I dunno about you, but this guy looks shady as heck.

And speaking of rumors, it seems the other students are under the impression that Natsume is male. Not too surprising, considering she makes a point to conduct herself as such in public. But one has to wonder why that false image hasn’t been exposed already. From what I can tell, students live in the typical dorm setup. Which usually means males and females are separated by floor, if not by building. So shouldn’t it be pretty obvious when Natsume is going in and out of a room on the girls’ side? Also, I doubt the instructors at the school are as ignorant as the students (like Natsume’s supervisor). Maybe it’s only Tenma who remains in the dark then?


Show ▼

At first glance, Tokyo Ravens is devolving into something quite generic. But I think the world building it’s continually doing in the background more than makes up for it. We’ve only experienced “onmyoji” sort of from afar until now. Even during the little altercation with Suzuka, we’ve not gotten a good glimpse of the inner workings and finer details of the onmyoji society. So I’m glad that we do get to dive into Raven School and experience onmyoji training and politics on a personal level. From petty student conflicts to brewing conspiracies, I’m liking the direction the show is taking.


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48 Responses to “Tokyo Ravens – 04”

  1. Iso says:

    Is Kon being voiced by Toyosaki Aki some kind of tribute to K-On! or just an honest coincidence? lol

    • Sumairii says:

      Nothing is ever a coincidence. =O

      • Iso says:

        Speaking of which, how did you arrive at the conclusion that other students are under the impression that Natsume is male? I didn’t see anything in the story that implies so.

        • Sumairii says:

          I just assumed the class shared Tenma’s ignorance. A bit of a jump, but I can see it being the case since Natsume dresses in the male uniform.

          • Iso says:

            And again, where did you infer that Tenma thought Natsume was male? Suddenly I’m beginning to question if I was paying attention during the episode…

            • Sumairii says:

              Tenma refers to Natsume in a sort of masculine way (-kun) when he was chatting with Bakatora and Touji. But apparently -kun can be used to address both males and females, so take that with a grain of salt.

            • Iso says:

              Exactly, -kun seems perfectly acceptable to me given that they are classmates. What Highway said about how everybody knows that she is female but interacts with her as a male seems plausible to me though. Guess we’ll need to wait for more episodes to come out before we can confirm this…

        • Highway says:

          I’ve been seeing other blogs where people assume the same thing. I thought it was pretty obvious that Natsume was a girl to everyone, but either everyone knows and is going along with the way she’s presenting herself, or noone knows and she’s fooling them all.

          And boy, that will be fun if Harutora and Natsume ever end up together, and everyone thinks Harutora’s like ‘that’.

        • Iron Maw says:

          It’s not just an impression, they actually do see Natsume as a (bishy) male. The head Tsuchimikado family is always traditional known as male in public.

    • Sumairii says:

      Happy belated birthday to her as well.

    • skylion says:

      The fox sez kon.

    • BlackBriar says:

      It’s an NCIS rule to never believe in coincidences.

  2. Highway says:

    I was surprised Harutora was THAT dumb. I mean, the guy wouldn’t know what a clue was even if it transformed into a familiar and actually TOLD him what was going on. And with Touji in the Charlotte Dunois role, we get them all pointed out to us, although noone actually fills in Bakatora.

    I didn’t mind the romcom-y aspects of it either (haha, words you don’t expect to hear from Highway: “I wish they didn’t have any romance…”), although the combo of Super Tsundere Natsume and Super Idiot Harutora might get old. I mean, we’ve already got Ichika to fulfill our needs for completely moronic MC’s.

    • Sumairii says:

      I can’t read moonrunes so I couldn’t understand what was on the test. I assumed the content was a little more on the technical side (if that even exists for onmyoji), which would make Bakatora’s failure more understandable.

      I definitely agree Bakatora needs to step up his game and stop being oblivious. The end of the previous episode almost made me want to reach into my monitor and smack his face. But I still hold on to the hope that he did realize Natsume was Hokuto at the very last moment. Not that this makes the classroom scene this episode any less annoying.

    • Iron Maw says:

      To be fair, Touji admitted he wouldn’t have figured it out if weren’t for him having “spirit sight”. Everything after that fell into place afterward. So I say you we should cut Haru some slack here. It’s not as Natsume making it easy for him.

      • Highway says:

        I’m talking about more in general. Harutora picks up on zero social cues, leaving Touji sitting next to him and rolling his eyes at Harutora’s dumbness. Mostly about Natsume liking him.

        • Iron Maw says:

          That’s not too hard to see considering his impression of her originally back during ep 1-3 before Hokuto up and died.

    • skylion says:

      might get old.

      I put up with Ranma and Akane for years. I can take it in a 2 cour show.

  3. Foshizzel says:

    Fox-girl is the best character so far! I love listening to Aki Toyosaki as a “hyper” character and this role reminds me of Uiharu of Railgun and Yui from K-on.

    I think there is something sneaky about the teacher with that pegleg xD

  4. zztop says:

    Haru: How does (your tail) work?

    Thus proving that Harutora really is a big bakatora…
    (- ~ -”)

    But I’m wondering how the writers will pull off the Yakou plotline. Do you think he’ll be ultimately ‘evil’, ‘the misunderstood good guy’, or ‘the talented but flawed genius who reincarnated himself to start anew, damn the consequences’?

    • Sumairii says:

      My personal opinion is Yakou will be that gifted genius who is misunderstood and kept at arm’s length by the rest of the community when really, he just wants some company (like playing shogi with a little girl). So basically he’s not a bad person, and I’m sure he had some good reason for pulling off the disastrous Taizan Fukun Ritual. We just don’t know it yet.

    • Sumairii says:

      Also, I agree Bakatora asking how Kon’s tail works is a great display of his stupidity. Did he not consider that her tail works just like the tail of any other animal with a tail?

    • BlackBriar says:

      Calling Harutora an idiot for such a stupid question would probably be a mild understatement.

  5. zztop says:

    Off topic, who would like to see Captain America battling the dark spiritual forces of the Japanese Imperial Army?

    I mean, if we got him battling the Germans with sci-fi weaponry in movie 1, would anyone like to see him battling the onmyou-powered troops and onmyouji of the Imperial Army?

    • skylion says:

      That would be interesting. But, I would much rather see Marvel Characters battling the Samurai Brides.

      • zztop says:

        That one with the voluptuous girls, right?

        Has there ever been a type of crossover West-Japan anime where the Japanese content is 100% Japanese, the type that would only sell to the Japanese crowd? Not the watered down Japan elements for the West.
        Like, if they did an Avengers-go-to-Japan animated special with the shocking twists(and violence) of Valvrave, the manservice of Free!, and the ecchiness of Samurai Brides.

        I understand there were some Marvel-sponsored anime of Marvel superheroes, but those were rather Western-structured, from the one I watched.

  6. Iron Maw says:

    BTW Sumairii, we find out in a side story later that Natsume actually lives in a apartment, hence why she hasn’t been exposed.

  7. skylion says:

    As you say, Sum, it’s good that they’ve started to build up the world of the onmyoji; that could be a character in it’s own right. The cults of personality surrounding Yamou are a big part of that, and I very much appreciated that detail in the story.

    And I think if I started talking about Kon, I would never stop…

  8. Liza says:

    Kon is SO CUTE! 😀 I love her so much which is great since I thought I would not like her.

    I’m also liking all of the new characters introduced in this episode. ^_^ Come on Haratora and Kon, you can do it!

    My love for Touji is also growing. That guy, I hope we see him in action soon. He has to be able to do something fancy for being able to get into the school right?

  9. BlackBriar says:

    Kon is too good for the likes of Bakatora. “How does your tail work?” Seriously… She’s a fox spirit and foxes naturally have working tails.

    That new homeroom teacher gives me the creeps. He reminds me of that equally shady professor Kanae Sumeragi from Dansai Bunri no Crime Edge.

    That’s a lot of pressure on Natsume’s back. Gotta wonder how she puts up with it on daily basis.

    As for Touji. He may not be from a prominent family like Harutora and Natsume but I can already tell he has the makings of a badass Shaman. He also seems savvy where information is concerned.

    • skylion says:

      reminds me of that equally shady professor

      ….only more interesting…

    • Liza says:

      Gahhh! I forgot about that guy! Dang…now I can’t look at him from the same way again…

    • Iron Maw says:

      About the tail:
      I don’t think that’s what Harutiora’s question was about. He wanted to know mechanics behind it(i.e is reflex or thought) fomr her personally, not have her pull her pants down. XD

      Honestly it’s not something people should really give him grief for, nor does it really make him stupid.

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