Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan Episode #20 Anime Review

One of the amusing parts of reviewing episodes on an individual basis rather than four episode discs or full on collections is seeing how they handle their episode summaries. Some tease, some spell out every plot point. Some phone it in like this one where it basically says, 'expect some action, folks. It's gonna get messy.' And admittedly, that's something that's really needed at this point after so much setup and missed opportunities, Nura has needed something big. But can that simple summary express what is really here with Inugami cutting loose and giving the audience what it needs?

It does start off well with a brief bit of back story for Inugami as we see him as a troubled yokai who has been unable to fit in with society and has been lashing out ever since. It's surprisingly well animated compared to a lot of the series so far as it has some very appealing character designs for background characters and the settings are spot on. It's a very short piece but it's so nicely moody and atmospheric that you can almost forget what show you're actually watching. And even when it does shift to the battle, with Inugami transforming into a wolf creature who them has his head separate from his body to go wild in the main room, almost bouncing from place to place to attack, it's just as well done for the most part. It's a short burst of much needed action with a dark feeling to it that you really feel like we're dealing with a potentially dangerous yokai.

With the mild exploration of Inugami's past, we do see some of how he was manipulated by Tamazuki, but it's quickly apparent that it was all willing on Inugami's part simply because he was looking for a place to belong. It's hard to turn Inugami from this position based on how his life has gone and it's completely understandable, but everything with him is just prelude for what's to come from Tamazuki. He's laid an interesting trap for Nura and the others by using him since he's the literally exploding with anger which causes his transformation to be even bigger than before. Inugami may not be the most interesting of characters, but he's brought a real sense of danger and excitement to Nura with his arrival and bloodlust that has him tearing up the residence. It may all be fairly goofy plot oriented stuff at this point, and it's hard to see Nura and the others really treating it seriously since they're trying to reason with him, but for the most part this manages to be a very exciting episode because of Inugami.

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