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Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan Episode #19 Anime Review

Nura continues to swing between which story it wants to tell, often seeming to want to focus more on the silly character material rather than the continuing threat presented to them by the Seven Phantom Traveler's group. With a little bit of information from those higher up in the food chain, we're given clear notice that the group is not to be taken lightly and that one among them, a young man named Inugami, is especially dangerous and should be treated thusly. Of course, all of that is really nice and helpfully, but the show wants to spend a good part of its opening segment focusing on the paranormal research group and their silliness.

The gag of having the paranormal research gang running around Rikuo's house and not catching sight of any of the many yokai there was cute at first but it's definitely becoming overused as a way to ease tensions and throw in a little comedy. And it continually puts Rikuo in an awkward position since he has to try and make nice with everyone while hiding the secrets of the family. The whole group has become something of a joke at this point and while I do get that you can find some humor in it, particularly if you're relatively new to anime, but the leader makes me want to throttle him regularly while the rest of the group almost feels practically nameless at this point, which is not a good sign for how well they've interacted.

Can the episode be saved? If you go by past episodes performances, it all comes down to the final quarter of the episode where things can potentially come together. While the group does its hunt throughout the abandoned building, essentially just in the lecture hall, there's the threat of Inugami. The show does a really nice job with the visuals of the dilapidated building and how things are falling apart all around them, but it's when Rikuo arrives on the scene and Inugami makes his play that it all picks up. It's not so much that it's exciting, but it's an actual moment or two of action where the various powered yokai get to cut loose a little bit. It also gives us Inugami, having been described as incredibly dangerous, acting out. But he doesn't really come across as any more dangerous than anyone else we've seen in the series so far, so that little bit of importance clued in to us early on doesn't make sense. Yet. Perhaps. Hopefully.

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