Nurarihyon no Mago – 3

Nurarihyon no Mago continues to settle into a nice rhythm, not spectacular in any one area but a nice mix of humor, action and character interaction. The pacing of this series continues to be as good as any this summer, each episode feeling well thought-out and conceived.

We briefly met Keikan Yura (Ai Maeda) at the close of episode two, but the last member of the main harem makes her meaningful entry this week. As hinted at last week, turns out she’s an onmyouji, who specializes in the use of Shikaigami. When Rikuo’s youkai otaku friend Kiyotsugu decides to hold the inaugural meeting of his Supernatural Squad meeting at Rikuo’s house, he invites new student Yura along as she seems to possess a thorough knowledge of youkai – and trouble is on the way. What follows is a frequently hilarious comedy of errors as Rikuo desperately tries to hide the fact that his house is a den of demons of all stripes from his friends – and that’s before he even knew Yura’s true nature. All the while a clan of rat youkai are causing trouble, which Yura and Kana are destined to stumble into.

The central dynamic of the story – Rikuo’s dual identity and the struggle to keep the two halves of his life separate – is hardly novel or original. But it’s executed pretty well here – the tone is generally light-hearted, in a GeGeGe no Kitaro sort of way – but there’s enough menace in the youkai world to give the story a little edge. I could have used more Yuki Onna here – I could always use more Yuki Onna – and it struck me as odd that despite being on a youkai hunt, no one in Rikuo’s class made note of his grandfather’s head except dimwit Shima, and he laughed it off. Nevertheless, it was an enjoyable episode. This series has been remarkably consistent right from the beginning and I’m looking forward to seeing the layers of the demon world slowly revealed.

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