Wait, this was supposed to be a complete filler? I really would not have guessed if I wasn’t told this in advance, because this was actually a very good calm before the storm episode, which did exactly what the previous episode failed to do: create an atmosphere and tension. The sense that something really major is going to happen.
On top of that, it also fleshed out Tamazuki, telling a bit about his past and the weapon he wields (why didn’t the manga do that, I wonder?), and I liked the little talk that Nurarihyon had with the tanuki. On top of that, it also was an interesting idea for him to look up Kana, not to kill her, but out of simple curiosity. The dialogue in this episode felt quite natural and overall it really made up for the previous episodes (also notice how everyone is suddenly moving in the backgrounds).
And yet this remains a very strange adaptation. Just like how JC Staff put the wrong director on Bakuman, Studio Deen put Junji Nishimura on the wrong project: this episode really shined because of his influence, but he really is a guy who is at his best when working on original stories. I have to confess that my favourite parts of this series were indeed around the anime original scenes, and yet at the same time this series just glances over the supposed best parts of the manga and keeps delaying the point at which it is supposed to get really good.
I know that there are a lot of rumours and all, but I’m only convinced when an official announcement will arrive on the second season. At the moment, there are a lot of parallels with Letter Bee’s first season, which also padded itself out in order to put the good stuff in a potential second season, but there’s one crucial difference here: with Letter Bee, you could really see that it was building up to something amazing. I’m not seeing that with Nurarihyon no Mago. For all I know the story could end perfectly just at episode 25, and the only single indication I have that the story will end up awesome is the words of some of the manga readers.
Rating: * (Good)