Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan: Demon Capital Set 1 (a J!-ENT Anime Blu-ray Disc Review)
February 20, 2014 by Dennis Amith
“Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan: Demon Capital Set 1” is action-packed, darker and exciting series! I definitely enjoyed it much more than the first series. Recommended!
Image courtesy of © Hiroshi Shibashi/SHUEISHA, Nurari Project. All Rights Reserved.
TITLE: Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan: Demon Capital Set 1
YEAR OF RELEASE: 2011
DURATION: 13 episodes (325 Minutes)
BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080i High Definition, English and Japanese DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0, Subtitles: English
RATED: TV 14
COMPANY: Viz Media
RELEASE DATE: January 28, 2014
Original Creator: Hiroshi Shiibashi
Directed by Michio Fukuda
Series Composition by Hideaki Koyasu
Music by Kazuhiko Sawaguchi, Keiji Inai, Kouhei Tanaka
Character Design by Mariko Oka
Anime Production: Studio DEEN
Featuring the voices of:
Aya Hirano/Mela Lee as Kana Ienaga
Jun Fukuyama/Darrel Guilbeau as Rikuo Nura
Jun Fukuyama/Grant George as Rikuo Night
Mamiko Noto/Melissa Fahn as Hagoromo-Gitsune
Ai Maeda/Sophie Roberts as Yura Keikain
Akira Ishida/Vic Mignogna as Tamazuki
Ami Koshimizu/Julie Ann Taylor as Sasami
Chikao Ohtsuka/William Frederick as Nurarihyon
Hiro Shimono/Doug Erholtz as Kurōmaru
Hiroki Yasumoto/Kyle Herbert as Aotabō
Hiroyuki Yoshino/Jason Wishnov as Gozumaru
Jouji Nakata/Taylor Henry as Gyūki
Junji Majima/Spike Spencer as Karasu Tengu
Kana Asumi/Wendee Lee as Saori Maki
Kishô Taniyama/Sam Regal as Kiyotsugu Kiyojūji
Peace has returned to the Nura Clan following their victory against the Shikoku yokai, but things do not stay quiet for long. Ryuji Keikain, brother of Yura the Onmyoji, arrives in Ukiyoe Town bringing dire news: Hagoromo-Gitsune, the great yokai who was once stopped by Supreme Commander Nurarihyon, has returned! The Third Heir Rikuo Nura must now travel across Japan to gain new powers and allies in order to face down his most powerful enemy!
When Nura was younger, he saw the face of a woman who slaughtered his father.
As the adventures of Nura continues, as he gathers his 100 yokai, an amazing threat takes place as Hagoromo-Gitsune, the great evil Yokai that his grandfather, the Supreme Commander Nurarihyon had defeated 400-years-ago has returned.
And now Nura must prepare for the battle of the lifetime as he and his fellow yokai must take on Hagoromo-Gitsune and her large following of yokai. Will Rikuo Nura convince others to join him in the battle to stop this powerful enemy?
Find out in the sequel for “Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan”, check out “Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan: Demon Capital Set 1”!
What is “Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan: Demon Capital Set 1”?
In 2008, mangaka Hiroshi Shiibashi created “Nurarihyon no Mago”, first published in Shueisha in 2007 and then received a serialization in Weekly Shonen Jump in 2008. With a total of 25 tankobon volumes as of December 2012, the popular manga series would receive a 26-episode TV adaptation back in 2010 courtesy of Studio DEEN, followed by a 24-episode sequel titled “Nurarihyon no Mago: Senen Makyo”.
The series is directed by Junju Nishimura (“Kyo kara Maoh!”, “Dog Days”, “Ranma 1/2”, “True Tears”), series composition by Natsuko Takahashi (“Bleach”, “Brothers Conflict”, “ATASHIn’CHI”, “Gankutuou: The Count of Monte Cristo”), music by Kouhei Tanaka (“Dirty Pair”, “Ah! My Goddess”, Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure”, “Gad Guard”, “One Piece”) and character design by Mariko Oka (“Hell Girl”, “Hetalia the Beautiful World”, “Tactics”).
And now, Viz Media will be releasing Shiibashi’s popular hit anime series on Blu-ray and DVD in May 2012 and will be titled “Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan”.
“Yokai” which means ghost/demon spirits from Japanese folklore, plays a big part in the anime series, as it is said that a head of the Nura Clan would lead the Yokai (who typically see humans as their enemies).
But fast forward to modern times in which the elder Nurarihyon, the Supreme Commander of the Nura Clan has decided that with his grandson Rikuo Nura (who inherited a 1/4 of his grandfather’s blood) now turning 13-years-old, he wants him to succeed him as the leader of the Yokai. Rikuo may look nerdy and weak on the outside, but inside him is great power.
But with Rikuo being raised to live a human life and doing good deeds, unlike previous masters of the yokai, Nura cares about the humans, and not so much of yokai’s evil nature and wants to establish peace, by doing good deeds. And that includes turning into the Third Head, in which his Yokai blood activates and awakens his yokai form when there is impending danger, and turns him to this white hair, brave and powerful individual.
But he knows his role in the family and that he would be the third head of the Nura clan but he intends to live a normal life.
In the sequel, “Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan: Demon Capital”, Nura has decided that he is up to becoming “The Lord of Pandemonium” and accepting that he is 1/4 yokai, but unlike other yokai, he wants yokai to coexist with humans and believes it is possible. But also to stop violent and evil yokai.
But unfortunately, the most powerful yokai, Haguromo-Gitsune has been released from her 400-year curse. And now she is pregnant, hungry and wanting to destroy humankind with her fellow powerful yokai.
And as the yokai are on the hunt for human liver, Rikuo and his followers are determined in stopping her. Moreso, because Rikuo has a personal score to settle with Haguromo-Gitsune.
“Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan: Demon Capital” features the following characters:
Rikuo Nara – A 13-year old student and the main protagonist of the series. Because he inherited 1/4 of his grandfather’s blood, Rikuo is chosen by his grandfather to be the next Master of all yokai. But as most yokai do not like to be around humans, because Rikuo has lived a normal lifestyle, he has compassion towards humans and is not thrilled of having to be the next head of the Nura clan. Whenever there is danger, Rikuo’s yokai blood awakens (only during the night) and he is able to switch to his yokai form (known as “Night” Rikuo).
Nurarihyon – The grandfather of Rikuo and Supreme Commander of the Nura Clan. He likes pranking humans and wants his grandson to succeed him as head of the clan.
Tsurara Oikawa – One of Rikuo’s protectors with the power of freezing things. She is disguised as a school student and is often overprotective of him. His friend Kana wonders how close he is with Tsurara.
Aotabo – A degenerate priest and the strongest yokai in the Nura Clan. He has become one of Rikuo’s protectors.
Zen – A poisonous bird yokai and childhood friend of Rikuo. He is disappointed that Rikuo has become soft and not sure if he Rikuo has what it takes to be the next head of the yokai.
Kubinashi – One of Rikuo’s guardians and is known for his head floating on top of his body, without a neck.
Kana Ienaga – Rikuo’s childhood friend and neighbor and also a member of the Kiyouji Paranormal Patrol. She likes Rikuo but is jealous of Tsurara always around him. She has a history that involves a yokai from her past.
Kiyotsugu – Obsessed with Yokai and the leader of the Kiyouji Paranormal Patrol.
Yura Keikain – An onmyoji of the keikan House who specializes in shikigami. She was raised to see yokai as evil and her goal is to fight and destroy Nura (not knowing that Nura is the master of the yokai). She is also a member of the Kiyouji Paranormal Patrol.
Hagoromo-Gitsune – A great and powerful yokai that was defeated by the Supreme Commander Nurarihyon. But after being sealed with a 400-year curse, she has now been released and wants to destroy humankind alongside her powerful yokai.
“Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan: Demon Capital Set 1 is presented in 1080i High Definition. The animation is vibrant, well-detailed and the art backgrounds are painted with great detail and for the most part, this is a very colorful anime series which I didn’t detect any banding issues, nor did I see any artifacts or softness. Colors are sharp, black levels are nice and deep, line detail is very good and the series looks fantastic on Blu-ray!
The lossless soundtrack for “Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan: Demon Capital Set 1” is in Japanese and English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0. As one can expect from a front channel driven soundtrack, dialogue is crystal clear but I wished the soundtrack was given the 5.1 treatment because it’s an action-driven series with many characters. But that’s how TV series are in Japan and the overall soundtrack provides clarity and good dynamic range. As for the acting, acting on both soundtracks are magnificent. The Japanese soundtrack features veterans such as Aya Hirano, Jun Fukuyama, Ai Maeda, Chikao Ohtsuka, while the English dub features great voice acting from Darrel Guilbeau, Grant George, Kayla Yesratsian and Mela Lee and many others.
“Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan: Demon Capital Set 1” comes with color production art, production art, omake, clean opening and a trailer.
When it comes to anime that deal with yokai, there have been interesting series in the past. From “Ghost Sweeper Mikami”, “Ghost Hunt”, “Phantom Quest Corp.”, “Haunted Junction”, “Kamisama Kiss” to name a few.
But what makes “Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan” stand out from the other anime series is the fact that its protagonist is a 13-year-old boy named Rikuo who was chosen to lead yokai, despite not exactly wanting to help them because he has lived a human life up to now.
But when he turns 13 and his grandfather wishes he succeed him as the Supreme Commander of the yokai, not only has Rikuo’s life has changed, but he now knows that because of what he is, what will he become, makes him a target for other yokai clans wanting to rule, but also them targeting his innocent human friends.
As the first series dealt with Nura resisting of wanting to lead the yokai, he has pretty much accepted his new life, but also maintaining his humanity and believing in a peaceful coexistence between humans and yokai.
But with the sequel “Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan: Demon Capital”, life has changed for the yokai as something sinister is coming!
As the onmyoji are preparing their battle with what may be the most powerful yokai in existence, for Nura and the others, the name Hagoromo-Gitsune is a name that yokai fear.
Fear because of the evil nature of the yokai but her strong and unbelievable power. But surprisingly, she was defeated by Super Commander Nurarihyon, Rikuo’s grandfather.
But as others prepare to fight the great evil yokai, we see how she was originally defeated by Nurarihyon, but also Rikuo begins to have memories of the person that murdered his father.
But as Rikuo is not powerful enough to take on Hagoromo-Gitsune, nor does he have his band of yokai followers, Rikuo must do all he can to find yokai and allies to help him defeat the greatest evil, who has been released from her 400-year imprisonment.
And now Hagoromo-Gitsune wants to destroy mankind! Can Rikuo and the others stop her?
The storyline is also exciting and fun. While Rikuo’s friends still do play a part in the series, not as much as the first series, as the threat level is much greater and many new characters are introduced.
As for the Blu-ray release, the animation is well-done and this sequel alone is much more action-packed and captivating versus the first series. While the first series was full of laughs, this second series has humor but also has its share of violence and blood. But picture quality is good, while lossless audio English and Japanese DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 and features crystal clear dialogue. As for special features, you get the usual art gallery, omake and Japanese trailers plus clean opening.
Overall, “Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan: Demon Capital Set 1” is action-packed, darker and exciting series! I definitely enjoyed it much more than the first series. Recommended!
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