Nurarihyon no Mago – 6

I’m liking where this series is going. The last couple of episodes have been the strongest so far, with 5 triumphing on great atmospherics. 6 was the best-paced episode of the series, solidly involving from start to finish with a nice mix of humor and suspense.

We continue where we left off, with the Kiyo Supernatural Squad having been joined the the occult professor, revealed to be a puppet of one of Gyuuki’s minions. The trap having been set, the gang proceeds to an inn on the evil mountain, giving us a low-key but amusing onsen half-episode. While the girls (sans Yuki Onna and Yura) soak, the boys (and Yuki Onna) set off on Kiyo’s heels as he hunts for youkai. Well, there are more here than he’s bargained for – including Gozumaru, who commits the unpardonable sin of stabbing my precious waifu Yuki Onna in the foot. As Yura protects the girls from low-level demons and Kana searches for Rikuo in a jealous worry Gozumaru, having split up the gang, prepares to eliminate Yuki Onna once and for all. But Rikuo has something to say on the subject…

There was some nice development here. I think we saw a real milestone moment as, for the first time, Day Rikuo inserted himself in a highly dangerous situation to save Yuki Onna (hey – who wouldn’t?). Night Rikuo never appears – it’s the human boy who stays Gozumaru’s sword and prepares to fight. Whether this represents his strong feelings for Yuki Onna or a more accepting attitude towards his responsibilities, we shall see.

I also enjoyed the continued development amongst the other characters. Yura has the best line of the episode (“I better separate my shikigami from my old receipts”) and generally shows her wounded pride. Kana is endearingly neurotic about Yuki Onna’s laser-like focus on Rikuo. The others are still mostly two-dimensional, but we have a lot of time to go yet and a lot of characters to get to. I was a bit worried for a while – liking the show, but generally unmoved. After the last two episodes the quality of the source material and direction is starting to shine through.

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