Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan Episode #16 (Mania.com)

By:Chris Beveridge
Review Date: Monday, October 18, 2010
Release Date: Monday, October 18, 2010

The tension rises and then dissipates quickly as the threat against the Nura clan is examined.

What They Say:
Kagibari-Onna, one of the Seven Phantom Travelers, has infiltrated the Nura Clan by working as a waitress at Bakenekoya. But Yura isn't fooled by her disguise and informs Rikuo.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
After the recent incidents and the rise to power of the group seeking to destroy the Nura clan, everyone is pretty much on edge at this point. Security is being beefed up and the Karas-tengu are being utilized even more to keep an eye on things and gather more information. With the attack that happened, there's definitely more tension out there and even Yura is really aware of what's happening. Her concern as an Onmyouji comes in that she sees that if humans get involved in this apparently growing war between yokai, it could lead to disaster. Especially as the secret is still largely kept about what's going on in this otherworldly clan.

Yet even in the middle of all this, Rikuo has classmates over at his residence where they're doing activities for school with Oikawa leading the charge for physical activities. With the element of danger out there, certainly there are ways to beg off of such things so as to not put people in trouble. And trouble is definitely out there as they get a hint at where one of their targets is as Rikuo, in his night form, leads an attack against Kagibari at the restaurant she's at which serves yokai in general. Their move gives her the chance to run but the name is out there and what she looks like, which sets into motion more events as they need to stop her because of what's happened previously.

And just as the episode starts to build up strength, it ends up sputtering out as Kagibari sneaks away into the shadows and the focus shifts to Rikuo's human friends. Which is fine, but they're not really all that interesting for a lot of this, even as numerous Yokai watch on and glimpses are caught but not believed. The human element of the show continues to be one of the weak points of the series outside of Yura since she's more aware of things and segments in this episode only reinforce it. The characters are nice enough but the dynamic of it leaves you wanting since it's pretty empty for the most part. When it does shift back to Kagibari with Yura, it's a bit better since the danger side rises up but the show has lost a lot of its tension and mood by that point because of the detour into pointless material.

In Summary:
Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan again manages to be a terribly uneven episode. It starts off with something serious and then does things that doesn't help the situation in the slightest. When it does get back to the interesting storyline, as interesting as anything has been with this show I guess, it shifts out of it once again for something pointless on the side. What's become more apparent as the series progresses is that Yura is the only character I even remotely like and she's the only one that seems to have her head about her in general, outside of night time Rikuo at least. The more I watch this show the more I wonder if the manga is just as uneven in telling the story. Once every few episodes it seems to get everything right but then botches it in some way. It's a frustrating experience to be sure.

Features
Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitles

Review Equipment
Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70" LCoS 1080P HDTV, Dell 10.1 Netbook via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.



Mania Grade: C
Audio Rating: NA
Video Rating: NA
Packaging Rating: NA
Menus Rating: NA
Extras Rating: NA
Age Rating: 13 and Up
Region: All Region DVD
Released By: Viz Media
Running time: 24
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Widescreen
Disc Resolution: 480i/p
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan