Tokyo Ravens – 05

Kon: Master why have you forsaken me?!

The Yakou fanclub is still after Natsume, the plot and romance thickens, and Touji is looking as suspicious as ever. What else is new?

 

Pretty Dumb for a Cult

Am I creeping you out yet?

As you may recall, we’ve heard that Yakou has a fanclub in the form of a cult that takes every opportunity to harrass Natsume. To solidify our negative view of these fanatics, this episode throws us in the middle of one of their plots. That instructor from last episode whom I was suspicious of is revealed to be a magic investigator. Then it is further revealed that he is actually a Yakou fanboy who wants to become Natsume’s familiar. To that end he tries to kill Natsume’s friends. Yeah. I don’t know about you, but that’s just stupid. The cult was made out to be pretty serious business, and I had taken them as such. But now that I’ve seen what one of their members is like, I can’t decide if they’re a serious threat any more. These guys may have infiltrated the Onmyoji Bureau, but if all they can do is kidnap Natsume and threaten her friends, they start looking like the Team Rocket of Tokyo Ravens. Sure, the guy here almost got our heroine to consent to his being her familiar (just look at how ridiculous that statement is), but not for a single moment did I feel that the situation was really that urgent.

Hidden Talents

He actually looks reliable!

Since the Yakou cult is so stupid, let’s forget about it for a moment and instead focus on Harutora. That’s right, he’s graduated from Bakatora in my book thanks to his display here. First there’s the showdown with Kyouko. Harutora may have lost, but I’m thinking the kendo sword exploding was probably an indication that his spiritual power was too much for it to handle or something. So really Kyouko got lucky. Then we have his fitting in with and making friends with the class in spite of the initial awkwardness (no thanks to Kyouko). That’s something that I’m sure will be important for the aloof Natsume down the road as she makes more friends of her own. Finally, we have our hero leading the charge to save Natsume from the clutches of crazy fanboys. And this time he’s actually pretty useful. We don’t see too much in the way of offense from him (the closest thing is his cracking the oni’s mask), but Harutora certainly proved himself able to stand against magical attacks beyond mock battles and organize (to a certain extent) a counterattack. For that, I give him brownie points. So at this point I am very pleased with the growth that we’ve been seeing from the guy. It’s just enough to make him useful, yet not too overwhelming that he’s suddenly become OP overnight.

It’s tough being mysterious.

Moving on, we have Touji. Two things to note here. In a previous episode, he mentioned he got his powers from a spiritual disaster. This episode, he refers to Kakugyouki, one of Yakou’s familiars, in an almost nostalgic manner. There’s only one notable spiritual disaster that we the audience know of at this point: the Taizan Fukun Ritual. Combine this with Touji speaking of Kakugyouki with seeming familiarity, and I think you can see what we’re being led to believe. It’s not too much of a stretch to speculate that the mysterious lad might have been alive during Yakou’s time. And if we’re feeling bold, it might even be possible that he actually served Yakou in one way or another (like maybe as a familiar). This would explain his knowledge on just about anything onmyoji. Although we do see here that he apparently is in the dark about the Yakou fanclub. But a bunch of idiots salivating over the thought of his former acquaintance or perhaps master is probably beneath his notice.

Spice Things Up

So dreamy~

In spite of everything, Tokyo Ravens must be getting pretty boring though. Because the show saw fit to introduce some curveballs into the romance. Remember how Kyouko was being a royal pain last time? Turns out she’s just frustrated because Natsume is ignoring her. And actually she likes Natsume and wants to get together with “him”. Why? Because supposedly the two met when they were younger and made some sort of promise. Come on Tokyo Ravens, just go ahead and say it; you know you want to. That promise was probably to get married or something. Actually, now that I think about it, it’s also possible the promise was for her to become Natsume’s familiar. Sound familiar? See what I did there? But you know what, that’s all for nothing. Because later on when she’s gushing about Natsume to Harutora, our hero has this brief vision of a young Kyouko. And to maximize drama, I foresee this meaning the Tsuchimikado whom Kyouko met in her youth is actually none other than Harutora. Though I don’t see how anyone could mistake Harutora for Natsume or vice versa, The two look nothing alike.

Extras

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As before, I’m really enjoying Tokyo Ravens right now. I will say that the battle with the fake Kakugyouki felt a bit too much like a contrived development purely to demonstrate Harutora’s growth and Natsume’s acceptance of friends. But why get worked up about that? I personally think it’s very well that Natsume is starting to open up to others. This will be a good opportunity for her to grow as a person, and hopefully grow out of the Yakou mold that others are trying to force her into. Remember how Yakou was also alone and just wanted to have friends? If Natsume can avoid this, I’d say she’s on her way to becoming her own person and accomplishing what the great onmyoji could not, reincarnation or not.

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27 Responses to “Tokyo Ravens – 05”

  1. skylion says:

    As a battling supernatural show, I thought this did a good job, not remarkable, but good. It wasn’t so much the actual action, but the the start of character growth and the emergence of this nakama. It has to happen, so get it done with sooner rather than later.

    I like your theories about Touji. Perhaps he is there to see one of Yakou’s hidden agendas through. He can’t leverage Natusme outright, but he can get to her though Bakatora? (sorry, couldn’t resist…he’s still baka).

    And you know, I would have been right there in that gaggle of school girls. Kon is brilliant. It’s neat to hear Aki-chan in her wheelhouse, yet with an actiony style character.

  2. zztop says:

    What is your impression of the Yakou cultist?

    Are they truly playing out Yakou’s (possible) sinister last wishes, or are they just a bunch of nuts who believe what they want to believe and misinterpret Yakou’s teachings to suit themselves?

    • Sumairii says:

      I’m thinking the latter. I still believe Yakou isn’t a bad guy, which would make the cult just a collection of delusional nutjobs.

  3. MgMaster says:

    This was actually my least favorite episode of Tokyo Ravens so far.Last week I was worried that it’d go into generic-school-romance-with-magic territory,using as many cliches as it can,but it only did half of that and it set up for some interesting rivalries between the students that could make for some better relationship(not necessarily the romantic type) developments between them.

    It’s not that much of an issue I guess…butI feel that they could’ve taken some time until Harutora got accepted by everyone in his class as it could’ve made us cheer for him that much more.

    • Sumairii says:

      I see what you mean. I’ve also heard other people complain about how fast things happened in this episode, and I agree the show could have used maybe a couple more episodes to establish the camaraderie. But at the same time, I don’t think the episode gave off too much of a rushed vibe to be too off-putting.

      • MgMaster says:

        In the end,it’s kind of staying true to itself I guess.I’ve always seen Tokyo Ravens as another mediocre shounen,magic,school,romance show(which can be fairly enjoyable as long as one doesn’t expect too much) that has the potential to be more than that,but it’s like the show itself just doesn’t wanna do it and is content with just being mediocre.That’s my main gripe here :)

  4. Iron Maw says:

    This what happens when you rush an entire volume by jamming it into two episodes and cutting/changing quite a lot of scenes and build up in the process. Anything wouldn’t look very good that. The other manga adaptation presented the fights and arc as whole much better. Yako Disciple for example wasn’t nearly as unstable and his motivation for abducting Natsume and how he did it were different aside from summoning Kakugyouki.

    TR is definitely much better than your average LN, the cast and how plot presents itself being one of big reasons, but that’s harder to get across when things aren’t display as they should.

    That said, I don’t this was bad episode it just could have been so better with proper pacing. I just hope the staff does a better job from here on out, because ep 1-4 showed the can adapt the material reasonably well.

  5. Iron Maw says:

    This what happens when you rush an entire volume by jamming it into two episodes and cutting/changing quite a lot of scenes and build up in the process. Anything wouldn’t look very like good that. The manga adaptation presented the fights and arc as whole much better. Yako Disciple for example wasn’t nearly as unstable and his motivation for abducting Natsume and how he did it were different aside from summoning Kakugyouki.

    TR is definitely much better than your average LN, the cast and how plot presents itself being one of big reasons, but that’s harder to get across when things aren’t display as they should.

    That said, I don’t this wasn’t a bad episode it just could have been so better with proper pacing. I just hope the staff does a better job from here on out, because ep 1-4 showed the can adapt the material reasonably well.

    • Iron Maw says:

      I meant “Anything wouldn’t look very good like that”

      Gosh, I need some sleep. -_-

      • zztop says:

        So what was the crazy cultist’s motivation for kidnapping Natsume in the manga and LN?

        • Iron Maw says:

          Harutora actually.

          Generally speaking, after watching the mock battle with Kyouko he did not consider Harutora worthy of associating with Natsume (who they refer to as King) over them. To them Harutora’s influence on Natsume was making her act improper and interfering with the training to awakening Yako, while tarnishing their “image” of her.

          I’ll avoid getting too detailed from there, you can just read Chapters 6-14 of the manga since the anime more or less covered most of the important points of the arc despite ramming most of it. The staff did left out two highly important scenes at the second half of chapter 13, but I suspect they are going to put in the beginning of next episode before they start the side stories.

    • Sumairii says:

      Interesting. Yet again we see the difference between the perceptions of those following the source material and those who don’t. I personally see the episode as only slightly hurried. But if it really did squeeze so much from the LN/manga in, and I don’t doubt what you say, then for sure Tokyo Ravens can come across as disappointing.

      • iron maw says:

        Well as I said before I don’t feel this was a bad episode, espeically for those who haven’t read the source, but it could bettet with more proper spacing.

      • Iron Maw says:

        Well, as said earlier for anime only viewer perspective this was a fine episode for most part since it covered a lot of ground, and development while establishing character relationships in a timely manner. As adaptation it doesn’t hold up as well IMO.

        Considering the medium we talking about, the former matters much more than later in the end anyway. So all good as long as you enjoyed it.

  6. Karakuri says:

    Mr “Runs like a girl” is the most moe thing in this show. …Though I’m really wondering what he’s even doing there at this point. Everyone else seems to have some sort of connection to Natsume or something to do with Natsume. Tenma is just kind of the classmate who was there at the wrong (or right?) time. Or at least that’s what it looks like at the moment. Maybe he has more relevance somehow.

    • Iron Maw says:

      He was setup there to facilitate Natsume’s awakening as Yako while working under the Magic Investigation Bureau as Natsume’s bodyguard from other fanatics like him on the surface. He had always been planning on kidnapping Natsume, but Harutora’s presence caused him to be hasty and move up his plans.

  7. Di Gi Kazune says:

    Doko loli(shota) kitsune?

  8. Cybersteel says:

    Yuri

  9. Iron Maw says:

    BTW Sumairii, you hit bull’s eye about happened to the bokken in the mock fight. Next episode should confirm/talk a little more about it especially since they removed a scene that dealt with that here.

  10. Iron Maw says:

    I foresee this meaning the Tsuchimikado whom Kyouko met in her youth is actually none other than Harutora. Though I don’t see how anyone could mistake Harutora for Natsume or vice versa, The two look nothing alike.

    Meant to put this in my other post, but the flashback was longer in the manga (part of the second half of ch 14 is about this). Briefly, what happened here is that when Kyouko and Haru had met as children she had assume “he” was Natsume and due to a situation at that time (and her being pushy haha) he never got the chance to correct her when the promise was made.

    • Sumairii says:

      How about appearances though? Surely Kyouko would realize that the kid with spiky blond hair is not the same person as Natsume with long, black hair? People can change their appearances to a certain extent with time, but that feels like a rather dramatic difference to me.

      • iron maw says:

        The problem was that she met him only once which was eons ago, so her memory of his appearnce Is a bit vague. Natsume could have gone through any number of change physically since then.

        • Cybersteel says:

          Bakatora used to be black?

          • Iron Maw says:

            lol, I mean that he could have dyed his hair and such. You also have to remember that he too had forgotten about meeting Kyouko up on till she did that posed which jogged his memory somewhat.

  11. Highway says:

    This show certainly has different feel than I was expecting, but it’s more into the range of what I like, rather than what I dislike.

    Get ready for “reverse trap living in the boys dorm” shenanigans!

  12. BlackBriar says:

    So many misunderstandings and more are piling up. I can’t wait for when everything hidden gets blown out of the water and in their faces.

    Cultists are a lost cause as a whole. They only focus on their beliefs and don’t care what others think even if they tell them they’re wrong and this one was stupid beyond belief.

    Just how far apart is the generation gap between the Tsuchimikados and the Kurahashis? If they were once blood related to a certain degree, even if Natsume is hiding her true gender, wouldn’t that make Kurahashi’s affection incestuous?

    Other than when he has to fight, Harutora is quite a pacifist in my opinion. Normally, when someone disrespects another, you’d expect a similar response in return.

    • HannoX says:

      In many cultures there’s nothing wrong with marrying your first cousin. I don’t know how Japan views that. However, it’s more likely they’re second or third cousins. If they were first cousins you’d think even a slacker like Harutora would know the families are related.

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