DVD Review: Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan – Season 1 Part 1

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Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan is the latest ‘Shonen Jump’ anime series to reach UK Shores, but what is it like compared to other Shonen Jump titles that are already available? Find out in our DVD Review of Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan – Season 1 Part 1.

Synopsis:

Rikuo Nura, is 3 parts human and a quarter Demon, lives in a house of spirits with his grandfather, The current clan head of the Nura youkai. Rikou is set to be the next clan head, despit the fact he dilikes his demon side. He soon come to terms with his demon blood and decides to take his position as young master of the Nura house. However there are those who will certainly not allow it to be easy. (via Fetch Publicity)

Our View:

Nura: Rise of the Yokai clan tells the tale of Rikuo Nura, a twelve year old boy who is three quarters human and one quarter demon, who has been pre-destined to be the next heir to the Nura Clan. The Nura Clan is a Yokai (Demon) clan filled with hundreds of Yokai, all of which reside within the main household and obey Rikuo’s wishes. Despite Rikuo’s blood heritage he wants to lead a normal human life and have nothing to do with the Nura Clan, but other Yokai outside of the clan want him dead and the Nura Clan destroyed. It’s an interesting concept for a story, and one that fits well, in my opinion, within the boundaries of the Shonen Jump universe.

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For the most part Nura: Rise of the Yokai is your typical Shonen styled anime with crisp visuals, enticing soundtrack, an extended catalogue of characters (with too many to name) and impressive action sequences  – all of which combined together make an enjoyable viewing experience. However Despite the impressive visual quality of the show it can feel slow and confusing, especially during the first 13 episodes, as more work is put into the character development rather than the history and back-story of the Yokai itself.

It’s not entirely a bad thing, as it makes you start to care about the characters on screen, but in some circumstances it just slows down the overall story – a perfect example of this is the origin of Gyuki , whereby an entire episode, as well as a re-cap episode, is dedicated to how Umewakamaru, a noble boy, became Gyuki the demon on Mt. Nejireme and then later the protector of the Nura Clan Border.

That being said the majority of Yokai information comes in the form of the Kiyojuji Paranormal Patrol, a club that Rioku Nura attends with his friends and its here that the founder, Kiyotsugu, explains to the group the history of the Yokai and the different types that are available. In reality the overall story of the Yokai is delivered to viewers in a combination of different ways, such as the Nura Clan, attacking enemies and the Kiyojuji Paranormal Patrol – with each offering their own perspective of events that combine into an ever developing, but interesting plot that only gets better as time goes on.

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I won’t spoil the story too much, but within the first 13 episodes of the series viewers are introduced to the main cast of the show, such as the main Nura clan members as well as it laying down the foundations for upcoming stories, such as Rikou coming to terms with his Yokai side as well as the introduction of the mysterious Seven Phantom Stranglers.

Extras:

Depsite this release being spread out over three DVD disc’s, there are no extra features except two trailers for other Manga UK / Kaze UK releases. The trailers included are the same on all three disc’s and they are Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion – Season 1 and Persona 4 – Part 1, both of which appear at the start each disc and can be skipped if needed.

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Overall:

This Season 1 Part 1 release by Manga Entertainment UK (and Kaze UK) features 13 episodes, 1 of which is a re-cap episode, over three DVD Disc’s, with the first disc featuring five episodes and the remaining two disc’s featuring four episodes a piece. While this release does not offer feature any extra features, it does offer a sharp visual viewing experience, even by DVD standards, that is matched up with an impressive and enjoyable soundtrack, better yet the included English Dub Audio is extremely enjoyable to watch with the voices, in my opinion, matching the characters personality thats being displayed on screen.

While Part 1 of Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan features sharp visuals and an immersive soundtrack, its the shallow, slow-paced, events of the series that let it down. As instead of focusing on the main plot, such as Rioku becoming the head of the Nura Clan, it gets distracted with other topics, such as the Gyuki segment – which is then later repeated as a 1 episode re-cap.

I’m not saying that Nuria: Rise of the Yokai Clan is bad show, in fact I think its brilliant, but after watching the first few episodes many will feel sceptical about continuing, especially if the disc has been rented / borrowed, as it’s not explained what exactly Yokai are and why maintaining clan control is important until towards the end of this release,however for those that do continue to watch then you’ll be rewarded with an enjoyable show with the best yet to come.

Score: review-stars-3

Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan – Season 1 Part 1 will be available on DVD from the 8th April 2013 within the UK.

About Scott Emsen
Scott is the Founder and Executive Editor of AnimeBlurayUK but in the past he has worked at ZOMGPlay, Rice Digital and Funstock and was once a Community Moderator for the Nokia N-Gage forums. Based in the UK, he loves anything related to Games & Anime and in In his spare time you'll mostly find him playing on one of his many gaming consoles; namely the PS Vita, PS4 or Xbox One.

One Response to DVD Review: Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan – Season 1 Part 1

  1. Pingback: Quick Look: Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan – Season 2 Part 1 | AnimeBlurayUK

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