Bah, the creators couldn’t go through with it. In this episode, Nue is defeated… and retreats, along with the other evil youkai around him. It’s a shame: this would have been a great point to just close off this series.
But this also settles it: for me, this series has ended right now. The thing is: Abe no Seimei retreated in order to recover. This will take about 1 year. So yeah, we’re going to do the bloody cycle all over again, and train for a full year to get stronger in order to be able to fight him again. I do not have patience for that. Even if there will be a third season, I’m not going to watch this. This is just right for a conclusion, I don’t want to watch this drag out any longer. This shows that even with a director who really fits this series, there’s only so much you can do with this kind of source material.
And besides, this episode was really good apart from the retreat. With this, this show at least left a good taste behind, rather than what happened last year. The fight against Nue was the action packed climax I had been expected, and Rikuo came with a very good way to defeat him: just use the power of all of his comrades at the same time. Things got even better in the second half, in which a dream sequence reunited all three generations of the Nura-clan. That kind of closure, I can live with.
Also was this really Studio Deen? I mean, the animation throughout this entire episode was really good here. The camera angles were just excellent, the use of colours was really good, and especially the sparring match between the three Nura-commanders was quite nicely animated.
After this though, I really do hope that Studio Deen will get back to what they were good at. They once were the studio that might be bad at animating, but made up for it by picking up a lot of shoujo and seinen, daring and original premises and deliver a lot of bold and new storytelling ideas. The last show that had that was Giant Killing, and even that show came after a long drought. Nurarihyon no Mago was nice, but it wasn’t why I became a fan of them. It’s such a shame to see talent go wasted like this, especially after how Gonzo is showing that you CAN crawl back up from these depths.
Rating: ** (Excellent)