Nurarihyon no Mago – 11

Nurarihyon is settling into a nice rhythm as it enters the middle of its planned run. Different characters are getting their chance in the spotlight every week, and overall the quality of the storytelling has been consistently good. It’s easy to tell that we’re progressing into the meat of the manga now that the exposition is mostly over.

After Kana’s central role last week, it’s Yura’s turn to shine – she even stars in her own PC game. Among the boys, Grandpa Nurarihyon has his moment in the sun this week, too. The Nura Clan is under attack, this time from a powerful wind youkai from the West and his followers. The first to fall is a powerful but elderly ally of Nurarihyon, Lord Hihi – victim to the slashing of a wind attack that packs venom to boot. A state of emergency is declared in the Nura Clan, with additional bodyguards assigned to all the major players. Except the Supreme Commander, of course – he sneaks off to town to buy sweets and ogle pantsu, unguarded apart from little Natto Kozo, leaving Karasu Tengu in a panicked snit. We’re also given longer introductions to a variety of youkai we’ve seen only at a distance thus far, in their new role as bodyguards.

The entire sequence where Grandpa meets up with Yura in town was charming and very effective. He appears in many respects to be a normal old man – strolling and shopping, ogling young girls, complaining about progress and modern life. They meet up as she finds herself caught in a mad rush at a sale, and ends up assigning herself to be his protector when the Kaze Clan attacks him. He’s torn between the need to protect his identity and the desire to protect her, though as an onmyouji she’s nominally the enemy. But it turns out she’s just fine on her own – dispatching one shikigami to spirit Grandpa to safety, she produces no less than three others to fight off the enemy despite taking a few slashes in the process. Has she been touched by the poison?

While there were a few moments of visible decline in animation quality – and this is the time in a two-cour series when we usually see them – DEEN is generally doing a very solid job here. The BGM is excellent, and I’m continually struck by just how good the OP and ED are both musically and visually. The look of the series and character designs have won me over, and as an adaptation the pacing has been extremely consistent. I still haven’t been flat-out wowed by any one complete episode, but there’s been nothing here I haven’t liked either. All in all, this is one of the series I’m really looking forward to following this autumn.

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