Monday, January 10, 2011

Whats up with Yokai themes recently?

Both my son and I have been enjoying Shonen Jump magazine each month. I actually renewed his subscription for another year. He was a bit upset this past issue as there were no cards in the magazine. There is usually a rare Yu-GiOh! card, but not this week.

What I enjoy most of all is the introduction of new stories and Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan was one of them (also known as Nurarihyon no Mago). For some reason I have been getting more interest in Yokai themed stuff recently. I guess it started with Yokai Doctor manga (which seems to have dropped after vol 3) and then Kekkaishi anime on Adult Swim.

I was reading Nura and liked the story idea as well as the internal conflicts. Here is a brief summary which I "borrowed" from another site:

"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, despite the fact he dislike 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."

It is a common story in most anime/manga, but one that is re-told in a great way. Here we have a part human son to a Yokai clan leader. Now Yokai are always suppose to cause humans issues, but for this clan it seems an off-balanced responsibility. Most of the Yokai follow Nura because he has the bloodline, while others want to destroy him to get the power that is not for a human to possess.

It is nice to see how his human heart / soul interacts with his 1/4 Yokai self. As we see, strength of ones convictions always seems to keep us moving forward. In order to lead the Night Parade of a Hundred Demons, he has inspire True Fear into them all. Not sure if that is possible for a 12 year old boy, but we will see. It must also be odd for him to have so many retainers ready to do his bidding with powers that can be impressive at times. Even with all this available to him, he does not want the mantle of power from his Grandfather to lead the clan. I am looking forward to seeing how this pans out.

I will be looking for the manga at my Borders store, but also will catch up on the anime series. It may take some time to catch up on the anime as it is already at 26 episodes - arg!


  1. I love Rikuo simply for his badass-ness. I of course, is talking about the adult youkai Rikuo. This is a good find indeed.

  2. I think Yokai themes have always been fairly common. I have no idea if Shonen Jump/Viz happens to be bringing more over to the US lately. But I do love Yokai tales, I'm particularly fond of Yokaiden which is actually an OEL series. Although I believe it's incomplete.

  3. @kluxorious ~ He is a bad ass older man and can't deny that

    @lovelyduckie ~ I have to seen some older ones, but I guess I have been playing close attention recently

  4. I'm with lovelyduckie. I think Youkai themes have always been around, so I'm not sure if there is a sudden increase.

    I love youkai stories/ premises, so if they are indeed on a rise, that's great! Now time to give these manga a try.

  5. @Yi ~ I guess I was living under a rock or something - is that the sun - blinding


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