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Film Friday- Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan

Film Friday- Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan

An anime adaptation by Studio Deen began airing in Japan on July 5, 2010. Also, a second season called Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan – Demon Capital  began airing in Japan on July 3, 2011. The anime episodes have been streamed on Viz Media’s anime streaming site, Viz Anime, since July 2010, while the first manga volume was released February 2011.  A Drama CD was released in December 2009.

The anime series, produced by Studio Deen, premiered on July 5, 2010 and is licensed for North America by Viz Media under the name Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan. New episodes, subtitled in English, are made available for streaming on their website several hours after they air in Japan. The opening themes are Fast Forward and Sunshine performed by Monkey Majik and the ending themes are Sparky☆Start and Symphonic Dream performed by Katate Size (Aya Hirano, Yui Horie and Ai Maeda). The anime is slated to be released on eight DVDs. The second season, Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan – Demon Capital, premiered in Japan on July 3, 2011 and was made available for streaming with English subtitles the next day. The season follows Rikuo as he trains for his upcoming battle with Hagoromo Gitsune.

The English dub of the series was posted for streaming on Viz Media’s online network, Neon Alley, which starting on October 2, 2012.

Main characters

Rikuo Nura  
Rikuo is the third and current head of the Nura Clan. He is the son of Rihan and Wakana Nura, and grandson of Nurarihyon. Although he appears to be an average 13-year-old, he is 1/4 yōkai, and is destined to take over the title of Master of all yōkai from his grandfather, though the main conflict for the first portion of the series lies in his rejection of the idea.
As a child, Rikuo respected and looked up to yōkai, playing pranks on members of the Nura house and often declaring he would become more yōkai-like and take over as the Third Head. However, after a discussion at school, he came to realize the evil nature of yōkai deeds and decided to set himself firmly on the path of living a strictly human life. Since then, he has attempted to become more like a normal human by doing all sorts of good deeds. Even though he appreciates all that his yōkai underlings do for him, he is nevertheless desperate to prevent his school friends from learning of his connection to yōkai. Despite this, in times of impending danger, his yōkai blood awakens and he changes into his yōkai form. He is later able to transform at will, provided that it is nighttime or he is in the dark and reverts to normal in sunlight (specifically, since he only has one fourth of yōkai blood in him, he can only keep his yōkai form for six hours – one fourth of a day). After being tested by Gyuki, Rikuo he decides to accept the position of the Third Head and save both humans and yōkai.
In contrast to his yōkai form, which is confident, strong and inspires “Fear” among his allies, leading many of them to join him, the human Rikuo is seemingly weak but very clever. He is easily able to manipulate one of the council members into isolating himself during a meeting and rationalize against the dissolving of the Gyuki Clan. Though originally he had no recollection of changing to his yōkai form, by the time he faced Gyuki, he admitted to pretending to have no recollection to distance himself from the world of yōkai. Later, he is shown interacting and communicating with his yōkai form. Together they plan to form a Hyakki Yakō of their own. He decides to leave the human side of things to his human form and handle the yōkai-side of things as his yōkai self.
After losing to his grandfather, he is taken to the yōkai village of Tono to train. There, he learns how to use his Fear against other yōkai. He departs for Kyoto to face Hagoromo Gitsune in order to save Yura and avenge his father. After losing to Tsuchigumo, he undergoes three days of training with Gyuki. It is during this training that he first learns how to use the technique of Matoi with Zen. Finally having accepted that he is both human and yōkai, Rikuo becomes even more powerful.
Rikuo’s primary weapon is the spirit blade Nenekirimaru, which was designed to only harm yōkai. However, the blade broke when he tried to hurt Abe no Seimei. Rikuo has since asked a member of the Keikain House to create a more powerful blade for him and it is currently being forged. For the time being, Rikuo uses the tree branch he used to defeat both of Kidomaru’s yōkai bodyguards when they attacked him at the Tono Village.
Tsurara Oikawa 
Tsurara is a Yuki Onna who is Rikuo’s trusted attendant and part of Rikuo’s new “Hyakki Yakō” who follows him to school disguised as Tsurara Oikawa. She is affectionate towards Rikuo and is jealous when other girls pay him attention. Other members of the Nura household believe the situation would become worse if Tsurara were to see what other females did to Rikuo. She is overprotective of Rikuo when he is his “day” or human form and expresses great concern for his well being, which is the reason why she is always around him at school (which causes misunderstandings and concern on Kana’s part). She also acts as a cook and, though her food is delicious, most of the time it is chilled or cold. Prior to Rikuo awakening for the first time, she was “easy pickings” for his pranks. She also admires Rikuo’s yōkai form because she finds him very reliable and magnificent. Tsurara is the daughter of Setsura, who was attracted to Nurarihyon in his prime; Tsurara seems to have inherited her mother’s trait for falling for the Supreme Commanders of the Nura Clan. She is oblivious to the fact Shima has a crush on her.
She also has a fear of Yura as she is an onmyōji and a rivalry with Kana (going so far as to nearly freeze her). However she protects Kana as her death would sadden Rikuo. Tsurara is confident that she’ll eventually win Rikuo’s heart since they both have yōkai lifespans. She goes to Kyoto to protect the Investigation group along with Aotabo. Later, she rejoins Rikuo but is kidnapped by Tsuchigumo. She is later freed by Rikuo and performs Matoi with him, becoming the second of his subordinates to do so. After the defeat of Hagoromo Gitsune, and Abe no Seimei’s departure from Kyoto, Tsurara returns to the Nura house. When Rikuo becomes the new head of the Nura Clan, Tsurara is “promoted” into the elite class of the family, becoming one of the clan’s new subcommanders under Rikuo. As a result of her new position, she is given command over one of the clan’s territories (which was under her mother’s supervision) and is currently working to build up her own “clan” and gain subordinates in order to strength Rikuo’s Hyakki Yakō. The Tsurara Clan currently consists of 20 demons that appear from bowls for shaved ice and the yōkai who served under her mother.
In an omake where her mother demands that she take the lips of the third heir, she is stuck with Rikuo in a confined space after an accident in the storage room and is apparently almost kissed by him before being interrupted by Aotabo barging in to rescue them. Tsurara is left thinking there is hope for a chance of Rikuo loving her.
Yura Keikain 
An onmyōji of the Keikain House who specializes in shikigami, she can control four of them at the same time which impresses even Nurarihyon. She was trained by Akifusa and raised to see yōkai as evil, and seeks to complete her training by defeating Nurarihyon and then inheriting the household. When her brother reveals Rikuo to be a yōkai and Nurarihyon’s grandson, she says she can accept it if it’s him. She has returned to Kyoto to deal with Hagoromo Gitsune and has currently retreated to the Keikain main house.
She fights against yōkai using shikigami; Rokuson the deer, Bukyoku the samurai, Tanro the white wolf and Rentei the koi fish, which she merges with it to form a holy-water cannon. Recently she has also added Kyomon, the elephant, to her arsenal. She is also the only member of the Keikain house who can summon and use “Hagun” to increase her own powers, and is the first since Hidemoto to be able to do so. It is because of this ability that Yura has been designated as the heir and future head of Keikain House. This also implies that after she dies, Yura will become part of Hagun, like Hidemoto did.
Kana Ienaga 
Kana is Rikuo’s childhood friend and neighbor. She first appears in the original Nurarihyon no Mago One-Shot as Yura Usami and says she hates things relating to yōkai and spirit mediums. Kana appears to be somewhat a magnet for drawing in yokai as they usually come after her. She is hinted to have some affection for Rikuo, as she gets jealous on seeing Rikuo and Tsurara together. Rikuo made a promise to help her if she is ever in need. After being kidnapped by a yōkai on her 13th birthday, she was saved by “Night” Rikuo and was taken to a yōkai party. The next morning Kana asked Rikuo if he was friends with his yōkai form and blushed when Rikuo asked why. It is evident that she has fallen for “Night” Rikuo to the point that she blushes whenever she thinks of him. However, it is also hinted that she is starting to like Rikuo as she is much concerned and distracted when Tsurara is close to him. After learning that Rikuo and his yōkai form are one and the same entity, Kana’s affections are no longer divided.

Manga Monday- Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan

Manga Monday- Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan

Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan, known in Japan as Nurarihyon’s Grandson, is a manga series written and illustrated by Hiroshi Shiibashi. The series was first published in Shueisha as a oneshot in 2007. The manga has been continuously serialized in the Japanese manga anthology Weekly Shōnen Jump since March 2008 and has been collected into 25 tankōbon volumes as of December 2012. Viz Media acquired the licensing rights for a North American release of the manga and anime adaptations.

Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan is written and illustrated by Hiroshi Shiibashi and has been serialized in the manga anthology Weekly Shōnen Jump since March 2008. As of December 4, 2012, the series has been collected into 24 tankōbon volumes by Shueisha, with the first being released on August 4, 2008. In the thirtieth issue (2012) of Weekly Shōnen Jump, it was announced that the manga would be leaving the magazine for the conclusion to its final story arc which will run in the seasonally published Jump NEXT! Starting on August 11, 2012 the first of three chapters will be published with a 64-page chapter, and will continue in October and December. The manga was licensed for an English language release by Viz Media who publishes the series chapter wise in its manga anthology Weekly Shonen Jump Alpha since the magazine’s launch on January 30, 2012, and in bound volumes since February 1, 2011. As of February 5, 2013, 13 English-language volumes have been released. The first tankobon was translated by localization company AltJapan Co., Ltd.

The covers of each volume make a continuing picture of all the characters.

Plot

Rikuo Nura is 3/4 human and 1/4 yōkai, in which he has a human form in the day but transforms into his yōkai form at night. He lives in a house full of yōkai along with his yōkai grandfather. Trying to escape his fate, he does good deeds in order to avoid becoming a yōkai, despite his grandfather’s wish that Rikuo succeed him as the Third Head of the Nura Clan. Rikuo is different because he helps humans. He eventually comes to terms with his yōkai blood and decides to take up the position of the Third Head of the Nura Clan. Multiple factions aim to stop him or usurp his position, and he must gather friends and allies, a new Hyakki Yakō under his banner of “Fear”.

Storyline

Gyuki’s Test Arc
The Kiyojuji Paranormal Patrol travels to Mt. Nejireme at the invitation of a supposed yōkai specialist. However, the invitation turns out to have been a trap by the head of the Gyuki Clan. Separated, the members of the Kiyojuji Paranormal Patrol must deal with yōkai of the Gyuki Clan and Rikuo ultimately faces Gyuki himself. Rikuo learns that Gyuki set up the trap because he didn’t want the Nura Clan, which he greatly cherishes, to suffer under the influence of a weak leader.The two clash and Gyuki is overwhelmed by Rikuo’s night form. Afterward, Rikuo decides to take up the mantle of Nurarihyon and officially become the next Nura Clan head.
Shikoku Arc
When one of the board members of the Nura Clan is attacked and killed, and Nurarihyon subsequently disappears without notice, the Nura Clan is thrown into chaos. Trying to keep them together, Rikuo encounters a rival faction from the Shikoku area who intend to take over the Nura Clan’s territory. Their leader, Tamazuki, is ruthless and willing to sacrifice his subordinates to further his own goals. Rikuo and his Hyakki Yakō battle with Tamazuki and his Hachijuuhakki Yakō (consisting of 88 demons, instead of the 100 of a Hyakki Yakō) and emerge victorious.However, Rikuo decides to spare Tamazuki after the battle at the request of his father – who Nurarihyon had gone to visit. Tamazuki is spared under the condition that he build a memorial in honor of the subordinates who died by his hand.
Past Arc
The story of Rikuo’s grandparents Nurarihyon and Yohime, the creation of the spirit blade Nenekirimaru and the battle against Hagoromo Gitsune 400 years ago.
Tono Arc
When Haguromo Gitsune resurfaces in Kyoto, Rikuo is determined to fight her and take revenge for his father’s death – as well as rescue Yura, who has gone to aid the rest of the Keikain family in protecting Kyoto. However, as he is still too inexperienced and weak, his grandfather asks the head of the yōkai Tono Village to take in and train Rikuo. After an encounter with one of the Kyoto Yokai, Rikuo comes to realize what sort of power the yōkai Nurarihyon possesses and, having grown stronger, leaves along with several Tono Yokai to return to the Nura House and prepare for the assault on Kyoto.
Kyoto Arc
Rikuo, along with the vast majority of the Nura Clan and several yōkai from Tono, invade Kyoto. Nearly all of the onmyoji barriers around the city have been destroyed by Kyoto Yokai, and the Keikain House itself struggles to fight against Hagoromo Gitsune’s forces. They ultimately join forces with Rikuo’s Hyakki Yakō to replace the fallen barriers and stop Hagoromo Gitsune from giving birth to a new evil.
Hundred Tales Clan Arc
After the battle with Hagoromo Gitsune’s forces and the resurrected Abe no Seimei, also known as Nue, Rikuo and the Nura Clan are challenged by the remnants of the Hundred Tales Clan and its executives. The clan was once led by a human named Sanmoto Gorozaemon who grew in power by spreading stories about yōkai and in turn created them. The group was destroyed by Rihan and the Nura Clan 350 years ago. Now, the clan is encroaching on the Nura Clan’s territory and working to revive Sanmoto’s main body, which resides in hell.
Gokadoin House Arc
Following the battle with Sanmoto Gorozaemon and his Hundred Tales Clan, it was revealed that the onmyoji sect known as the Gokadoin House is composed of Abe no Seimei’s descendants who used Seimei’s forbidden research on immortality to prolong their lives. When the Gokadoin house starts mobilizing to “purify” the land of yōkai and humans, Rikuo starts to establish an alliance between the various yokai clans throughout Japan.