Oh heck, Persona is dropped. I know that everyone keeps going on about being faithful and all, but this should not be taken to the extreme, where a show is trying to be so faithful and sacrifices being enjoyable and interesting for it in the process.
The next question was though: what series should I replace this with? Kimi to Boku? Nah, that series is 50% good drama and 50% pure annoyance. Bakuman? No, that one has turned into a cheesy soap opera lately. Squid Girl? Again no, because it’s clear that it has run out of jokes. Guilty Crown? Hell no, because of how abysmal the male lead is. That only left two other options, but after watching this episode I figured to choose this one above Horizon.
Hell, Nurarihyon no Mago is a very flawed series. Its pacing is way too damn slow, but now that it has finally gotten to the point where everything’s coming together, I might as well follow it till the end. I mean, it’s about bloody time.
And don’t get me wrong, the new director for the second season fits this series much, much better. Junji Nishimura needs to be put on original series. That’s where this guy really shines. The new guy meanwhile has done a really good job on directing this thing, but with the source material being like it is, there is very little you can do about it. This is the problem with just about any shounen jump series: they all take bloody ages to get to where they want to be. Who the hell found it a good idea to include two whole training arcs in the same arc? These two arcs were by far the biggest flaw of this second season. They completely broke up the flow and took bloody ages to actually finish.
However, now that that’s all done, we can finally get to what we’ve been looking forward to for nearly five months now: Nura and his army taking on Hagoromo Gitsune and her army. And now that we finally got to this point, this episode did deliver here. This episode in particular had some great youkai design, and actually moved quickly, as what you’d expect from an all out war.
The atmosphere also really worked here, plus the art direction has improved massively in this new season. I mean, this series had Mariko Oka (the character designer of Jigoku Shoujo and Ghost Hound), and yet the first season made the character designs all look bland. This season is different: Mariko Oka took the greatly diverse designs from the manga, turned all of them into very vastly different anime character designs, and finally the animators with their crispness managed to show how much care went into all of these designs.
Rating: ** (Excellent)