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Nura: Rise Of The Yokai Clan Sets 1 and 2 Blu-ray Reviews

Nura- Rise of the Yokai Clan Set 1 Blu-ray Nura- Rise of the Yokai Clan Set 2 Blu-ray.jpg

“Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan” is a unique anime series that doesn’t quite deliver.

In the 13 episode set 1 of “Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan” (with the 13th episode being a re-cap special “Lord Gyuki’s Rebellion: The Whole Story”), the story revolves around Master Rikuo Nura who is the grandson of Yokai ruler Nurarihyon (AKA Lord of Pandemonium). Rikuo is set to be the third heir of the Nura clan of Yokai, but he’s more concerned with wanting to be normal since hs is part human. Rikuo seems disinterested in being a ruler, but will he embrace his destiny? That’s the main question.

Aside from that central story, there are several other key plots and subplots involving a building haunted by Yokai, a Yokai ally named Zen, a onmyoji student named Yura, a paranormal investigation group (headed by Rikuo’s human friends), the rat clan kidnapping Yura and Kana, Rikuo’s night form powers, Gyuki’s past, Kana being trapped in a mirror, a rival Yokai group leader named Tamazuki, assassination attempts on Nurarihyon, and power struggles.

In set 2 (comprised of episodes 14-26 with episodes 13 and 26 being re-cap specials), Rikuo faces several challenges as he is now in charge with Nuarihyon gone. The most immediate one is with Inugamigyobu Tamazuki and his 88 Demons of Shikoku want to take over the Nura clan. While most of the second half of this anime series is comprised of power struggles and battles leading to an inevitable showdown between Tamazuki and Rikuo, there are a few plots involving someone infiltrating the Nura clan, shrines being destroyed, deities, Lord Sodemogi, the villainous Yosuzume and Tamazuki’s 7 Phantom Travelers Yokai.

Like a number of anime series, “Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan” has a tonal crisis. When the show focuses on comedic hijinks (such as Rikuo hiding the truth about himself from his friends), overblown action or silly Yokai characters, it’s decidedly less interesting. When the show becomes more serious and character oriented, it really starts to pique your interest. This is especially apparent with stories involving Gyuki’s past, Rikuo’s Night Form, and Rikuo’s inner conflict. Unfortunately, those moments can never quite save the series.

The central problem with “Nura: Rise of the Yokai” is that it never quite takes advantage of the enticing premise. There’s so much that can be explored in the Yokai world, but instead, the writers do very little with it. The second half is particularly very light in the plot department as it becomes clogged up with repetitive power struggles.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: Widescreen 1080i. How does it look? Decent. The stylish flashbacks and colors look crisp but the transfer isn’t anything to get excited over.

Audio Tracks: English and Japanese DTS-HD. 2.0. How do they sound? The English voice actors try too hard and don’t really even match the characters. The original language Japanese track is the clear victor here.

Set 1 Extras:
* Neon Alley and “Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan” trailers
* Color production art and production art still galleries.
* Clean opening.

Set 2 Extras:
* Neon Alley and “Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan” trailers.
* Color production art and production art galleries.
* Clean opening

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May 1, 2016 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , ,

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