You know these really long shounen fighting series, of which people say “yeah, it starts bland but after 30 or so episodes it gets really good”. That’s this show; at least according to the many people who have read the Nurarihyon no Mago manga. And yes, it has only 25 episodes.
Nurarihyon no Mago does have a fairly intriguing premise, chockful of the Japanese Shinto culture. It’s pretty solid in the way that it builds up its main characters, side characters, setting and premise. A lot of episodes of this series go into background, fleshing out the different characters, so much even that building up is pretty much the only thing it does. In order to see it pay off, we’re going to have to wait for the second season and because of that I can’t really recommend this season standalone because 25 episodes is a long time to sit through.
The different story arcs throughout this series aren’t bad; they’re just unremarkable. The main problem is that Rikuo (the main character)’s grown up form is just too powerful, taking away the tension of all of the fights he’s in. It establishes a lot of character background, but never really uses it, and that’s my main problem with this series: there is hardly anything that keeps your attention. The biggest culprit is the second half of this series: a lot of build-up there goes into Rikuo’s classmates, who in the end turn out to have no purpose whatsoever in the main story of that arc, leaving the really imporant characters of that arc way too underdeveloped.
Compare that to Letter Bee’s first season: that too went on for really long, yet at least that one delivered some great standalone stories, and kept viewers on a hook with a terrific cliff-hanger towards its second season. Nurarihyon no Mago has none of that. If I hadn’t heard the praises that the manga readers give to the chapters that follow the point where the series ends, I might even have dropped this show.
|Storytelling:||6/10 – It’s an entire series of build-up. That’s not good storytelling!|
|Characters:||8/10 – A solid cast with likable characters. Nothing special, though.|
|Production-Values:||8/10 – Great character and youkai designs, animation that’s nothing special.|
|Setting:||8/10 – Again, an interesting background for the second series to work with. It will, right?|