Nurarihyon no Mago – 20

The race to the finish continues, with the biggest remaining mystery not what happens on-screen, but off. Will we get a second season, or does this story have to wrap after 24 episodes?

All things considered, this was a solid effort. Nurarihyon definitely has a penchant for fleshing out its villains with background, and Inugami was no exception. His back story was actually rather interesting – he tried to blend in as a human as a child – with that tongue? In fact he says he never knew he was a youkai – with that tongue? In any case it’s no surprise that he was spurned at all turns, leading him to fall under the sway of Tamazuki and his group. Inugami draws his power from hate, and the more he hates humans, the stronger he gets. He has a rather unique transformation sequence, which involved not only turning into a giant wolf demon but detaching his head from his neck. As always, each member of the Shikoku Seven has a counterpart in the Nura Clan, and in this case its Kubinashi, who flies to Rikuo’s defense along with the rest of his inner circle as the Supernatural Squad gets slit up by gender and deals with demons of their own. Except for Kiyotsugu, of course, who ends up a day late and a yen short as usual.

The only thing that really bothered me about this episode was the fact that the Inugami battle was resolved by the sun setting and Rikuo changing form – I could see it coming a mile away, but I really hoped they wouldn’t go there. Inugami was pretty strong – he took Kubinashi, Yuki-onna and the others for a pretty good ride until Youkai Rikuo showed up. Of course, this also served to display Rikuo’s true strength, as he dispatched Inugami without much trouble. Sooner or later Grandpa Nurarihyon is going to have to work his way back into the story but for now, he appears to be content drinking sake in a sylvan Shikoku glade…

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