If forced into a resignation of position, will the young man who doesn't want to be the Third Heir accept?
What They Say
It's been some time since Nurarihyon excommunicated the Kyuso Clan. Kyuso, the head of the clan, kidnaps Rikuo's classmates Kana and Yura and demands that Rikuo abdicate his succession to the Third Heir...
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Nura rolls right along with another episode that is slowly getting Rikuo ready for the position that he needs to inherit. Generally, a character that's going to inherit a position takes one of three different approaches. One is that they take it on silently, learning and working hard at it so they can master it even if they resent it and possibly look for a way out of it as they get older. The second is that they rebel constantly while being drawn into it, causing them to either become someone who can take on the role seriously with a new edge or they escape it entirely. The third, which fits our Third Heir, is to simply whine and practically cry about it as they hurt those closest to them and lash out like a petty child. Rikuo is a hard character to like because of this.
This episode revolves around something that Nurarihyon did some time back in which the problems caused by the Kyuso clan became such an issue that Nurarihyon ended up excommunicating the entire clan. Time has passed as Kyuso is now trying to take advantage of the situation by trying to force Rikuo to give up his position as the Third Heir. That would be the victory he wants in order to shame the clan that Rikuo seems to not want to be a part of sometimes, even with as little yokai blood as he has. Kyuso takes a cowardly approach to revenge though as he kidnaps Yura and Kana while they're out and uses them as the wedge to try and take down Rikuo. So he has the choice to either man up about it or let Kyuso win.
Being told to resign his position is an easy way out for Rikuo considering he's said he wants out from the beginning. In an exchange with his grandfather, he lashes out easily saying he doesn't want to be a part of the family. It's a fairly straightforward teenager approach, one that doesn't surprise, but it illustrates how poor his upbringing has been to allow him to get to this point. That's what the third route tends to bear out in that those who have raised him haven't done a good enough job guiding him, one way or the other, to his destination and finding his way. Rikuo's approach is to let others make the choices for him and to take the easiest way out when he has to make a decision himself, even if it hurts those that are the closest to him.
The only thing that saves this episode from a total loss is that there are two versions of Rikuo at play here. While his daytime version should rightly be removed from his position and sent on his way after his initial decision here, it's the night time incarnation that makes the definitive move against the Kyuso clan. And while it certainly makes sense, it only cements all the more that Rikuo is not ready for any of this by any stretch of the imagination. It's a rare series that really makes me dislike the lead character, especially considering how many milquetoast characters have been leads, but Nura has accomplished that in spades with just one episode. Now I'm just curious if they can find a path to actually make me enjoy it after the choices made so far.
Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitles
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.