Posted by psgels on 21 December 2010 with categories: Anime Reviews, Nurarihyon no Mago

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?

Letter Bee
The Law of Ueki
Hikaru no Go

8 Responses

  1. n says:

    well…duh…over half of it it’s fillers. -_-

    it’s like the first couple of episodes of bleach plus crap tons of fillers. you don’t even come close to the meat of the series…just a bit at the beginning and crap tons of fillers.

  2. Kalandra says:

    If half of it is fillers, I might say its a pretty good rating.

  3. mds says:

    just forget this crap,
    the Ao no Exorcist anime that come next year will be much much MUCH better

    and it’s A-1 Pictures,by the way.

  4. psgels psgels says:

    Kalandra: it’s indeed not as simple as that. None of the fillers try to be pointless and either try to give some extra depth to one of the characters or try to flesh some of them out a bit more. The big problem with this however is that it makes it a ridiculously unbalanced series that just goes on for way too long.

    mds: A-1 Pictures isn’t a guarantee, though. They’re either really good or really bad as well. Just look at Togainu no Chi for a bad example.

  5. Houlgrave says:

    I dunno psgls, I could have told you 20-something episodes ago that this was a waste of time and energy. :/

  6. Puran says:

    This looked mediocre from the start, then it proceeded to get worse. It’s ok, I think psgels followed it because he has a soft spot for Deen (which after Shion no Ou I can kind of understand).

    Even with more episodes coming out, I don’t look forward to this.

  7. Westlo says:



    Kalandra: it’s indeed not as simple as that. None of the fillers try to be pointless and either try to give some extra depth to one of the characters or try to flesh some of them out a bit more. The big problem with this however is that it makes it a ridiculously unbalanced series that just goes on for way too long. ”

    The other problem is the majority of those characters mean nothing in the big scheme of things. It would be like if Bleach gave Orihimes best friend Tatsuki (Bleach should’ve done more with her..) episodes and episodes of development in the first 26 episodes and than she does nothing period for the next 200.

  8. TempestGarden says:

    I am playing “catch up” with this series as I have been doing for a little while now. I am currently at episode 15 and I determined to finish it. I don’t hate this show, but I will agree with the general consensus that it could be a lot better. I would rather finish it and check out the next season then not finish it and find out later that the next season is way better.

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  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, Nov 25. 2015 07:58 AM)
    @Aidan: Something always feels off to me when you criticize clannad, I mean I’m critical enough of key these days too but it seems odd that you rank it as an 8 on MAL when you’ve always made it sound its more of a high 6 or a 7.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, Nov 25. 2015 03:45 AM)
    But I’m no fan of gung-ho soldier games/most fps games so I am glad clannad, a visual novel outsold call of duty.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, Nov 25. 2015 03:44 AM)
    I said it once I’ll say it again. I preferred the clannad movie over the tv series, had more style, a more mature feel to it and cut out all the superfluous arcs/comedy for the better. It also concludes better than the series. The emotional involvement in the kyoani version doesn’t work for me anymore, doesn’t hold up. However the film remains emotionally engaging after revisiting it.
  • AidanAK47
    (Wednesday, Nov 25. 2015 03:19 AM)
    Holy hell Clannad is selling like hotcakes on Steam. Even beat Call of Duty in sales at one point.
    Kinda happy to see a VN get recognised and it would help open up the market for more titles to come over. But..well..Clannad really isn’t all that great.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, Nov 25. 2015 02:29 AM)
    I can remember when I first got into anime when I was a whole lot younger I always said I would watch lodoss war, El Hazard and slayers, yet I never ended up doing so…
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Tuesday, Nov 24. 2015 05:34 AM)
    Ha, the child in me would love to see a film like that I’d imagine, when I was young I was pretty crazy about Egyptian supernatural stuff.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Nov 24. 2015 05:23 AM)
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Nov 24. 2015 05:22 AM)
    @Kaiser: yeah, even tho it was his highest grossing movie it managed to brought his career to a stand-still. His next film Gods of Egypt looks like it could be fun, albeit it’s just as much as a CGIfest as I, Robot. Egyptian stuff is admittedly rather intriguing, I remember a 2004 French film Immortel ad vitam that blended that with modern themes that became popular for a while.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Tuesday, Nov 24. 2015 04:50 AM)
    *remove second and
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Tuesday, Nov 24. 2015 04:50 AM)
    @Bam: Regarding dark city, such a shame the director of that followed up dark city and the crow and with Irobot.

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