Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Anime review: "Nurarihyon no Mago"

I don't know why or when I put "Nurarihyon no Mago" in my wishlist, but I have watched it last week because I felt like watching some simple shounen action anime. It turned out that I should have picked something else.

"Nurarihyon no Mago" is a typical shounen anime. Nura Rikuo is a high-school boy, proper and a do-gooder. But he is also grandson of leader of strong Nura demon clan, legendary Nurarihyon. He lives with his grandfather, mother and numerous demons from the Nura clan. Despite his inheritance, he refuses to follow his demon side and wants to live as a human, together with his friends from school, who are unaware of anything. But things are getting complicated in demon world and Rikuo's thirteenth birthday, mark of demon's majority, is coming close...

As I said, "Nurarihyon no Mago" follows typical shounen tropes. A kid who doesn't want to accept his other side, being pushed into it by circumstances and care for his friends. Also, there is a stream of gradually stronger enemies, culminating in fight against leader of another demon clan (based on tanukis).

But in realization, this anime doesn't suffice. First few episodes are very bad, too generic and childish. This is also true for the main character, who is bland. There is a predictable pattern - Rikuo is attacked, defended by his demon friends/servants until they prove to be too weak and then his alter ego appears who wins everything with no effort, paralely spattering cool sayings.

There is no concern for consistency: e.g. when a building explodes, what happens with destroyed parts? Another: one room is breaking apart, while people in the next one don't realize a thing. There are only confused explanations about relationship between demons and humans. Prior history and Rikuo's origins are totally neglected, even though missing of his father just begs for explanation. The ending is pretty dull, especially the last fight. Also, what was the point with the sword??

I don't even want to go into characters. They are tropes, with no background, no dimension and no character. They also scream and shout a lot.

I had big doubts after first three episodes whether to continue watching it. There are few good episodes in the middle, but even they are nothing to be proud of. I finished it more to confirm my opinion that this is a bad anime.

Design of characters and background is also bad, so the anime doesn't have anything commend itself on visual or audio side. That CGI train was especially irritating. There are 24 episodes.

All in all, "Nurarihyon no Mago" is one of the worst anime I have watched in a long time, and I wouldn't even recommend it to most avid shounen action fans. If you want to watch a really good shounen anime with demons, watch "Kekkaishi"!

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