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.

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