Nurarihyon No Mago

Nurarihyon No Mago

I’ve been meaning to review some of the current mangas that I’m reading, other than the usual titles like Naruto, Bleach, One Piece and so on. So, read on for an excerpt and analysis about Nurarihyon no Mago! (Translated, the title means: Grandson of Nurarihyon)

Excerpt:

The story kickstarts with Rikuo Nura, a kid who is 3/4 human – but 1/4 demon (youkai). He lives with his grandfather (Nurarihyon, who is the Supreme Commander of the Hyakki Yakou) along with a number of other youkais who make up both servants and those beneath the command of Nura demon clan. A kind, and unassuming child, Rikuo cares deeply for his friends, and tries hard to be just normal, doing good deeds to escape from becoming next in line for the position of the Supreme Commander. However, just sometimes, in the night, his youkai blood takes over and…

Characterisation:

Rikuo Nura:
is actually a fairly timid-looking bespectacled and kind middle-school boy, which struck me as rather bland…until he turns into his demon self (a younger looking version of Nurarihyon in his heyday). Only able to transform to his demon self during the night, Rikuo spends a lot of time yearning for human friends (since most of his friends are youkais) and eventually makes a few in his new school. He also eventually ends up being dragged into a youkai-investigation team, Kiyo Cross Alliance, in school, which makes for a lot of comic moments as he tries to hide his youkai self from them. The contrast/blend of his two vastly different personalities is handled extremely well, layering the character with much depth – and of course, comedy.

Yuki-Onna:
one of Rikuo’s loyal retainers, also known as the Snow Woman (literally translated from Japanese). She seems to entertain some romantic feelings toward Rikuo, although I suspect that loyalty to the heir of the Supreme Commander position is partially mixed in with those feelings. Certainly, she (and the rest of the youkais) have never understood Rikuo’s yearning for human friends, but respect and fear for their new Supreme Commander (as Rikuo takes up the reins later) keep them together with him.Yuki-Onna also follows Rikuo to school in disguise as a human, in order to protect the timid-looking Rikuo in his human form.

Kana-Chan:
is one of Rikuo’s first friends, and also I think the one whom he holds romantic feelings for. Having seen the night Rikuo in his demon form, however, Kana seems to have a crush on Rikuo’s demonic form, after having been saved a few times by him (unknowingly). She thinks that Rikuo is friends with his night form, and often hopes that night Rikuo will turn up unexpectedly to save her in sticky situations. She was originally afraid of youkais, but due to Rikuo’s interference and help, she eventually loses her fear of them.

Yura-Chan:
is another one of Rikuo’s precious friends, but ironically is an Onmyoji, a practitioner of magic arts used to defeat or destroy youkais. Although she has even met Nurarihyon, Rikuo’s grandfather, when Rikuo’s friends dropped by his house for a visit when he fell ill, she did not originally know that Rikuo, or his grandfather, were youkais. However, in recent chapters, Rikuo was forced to show his true form in order to protect her in battle when her brothers turned up and started to destroy youkais under Nura rule in town. A stubborn girl with a good heart, Yura-chan originally seemed like a cold and icy person, but her demeanour was soon melted by Rikuo, Kana and their circle of friends.

Analysis:

Art: 3.5/5
since I tend to a different style of art, and I sometimes find that the characters aren’t drawn with enough distinguishing features (other than Rikuo / Nurarihyon) so I can’t quite tell them apart on occasion.

Storyline: 5/5
I generally like supernatural stories involving youkai, so this was a plus point, but I also enjoyed the storytelling process here, and I loved the way the characters were brought across. Lots of Japanese myths and legends are also thrown into the mix, and the mangaka created enough interesting arcs such that the reader is continously learning about a different facet of Nurarihyon and his reign over the Hyakki Yakou. I can’t wait for the next chapter (Chapter 63) of the current arc to come out actually, which should nearly finish the arc for Spirit Blade Nenekirimaru.

Should you like to read it online, you can read the chapters of Nurarihyon No Mago at Onemanga or Mangafox.

Signing off,

The Big One

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