Rikuo’s worked hard to hide his yokai side from humans — what happens when that cover is blown?
Story/Art: Hiroshi Shiibashi
Translation: John Werry
What They Say:
While the day belongs to humans, the night belongs to yokai, supernatural creatures that thrive on human fear. Caught between these worlds is Rikuo Nura. He’s three-quarters human, but his grandfather is none other than Nurarihyon, the supreme commander of the Nura clan, a powerful yokai consortium. So, Rikuo is an ordinary teenager three quarters of the time, until his yokai blood awakens. Then Rikuo transforms into the future leader of the Nura clan, leading a hundred demons.
Content: (please note that portions of the review may contain spoilers)
The flashback arc gets a quick wrap up, as we see how Kurotabo finally joined Rihan’s demon parade and how Sanmoto was, initially, defeated. Rihan’s human form finally makes an appearance, and while there’s not such a stark difference here as between Rikuo’s two forms, it helps remind readers, for Rikuo’s sake, how being part human is both a weakness, and a strength.
In the present time, Rikuo runs into serious trouble as the parts of Sanmoto gather and prepare to attack Rikuo and the Nura clan. Kudan, a yokai with a human head and a cow’s body (Shiibashi continues to provide an menagerie of creepy yokai) is born and predicts that the country will be destroyed, unless Rikuo Nura, “the cursed one who exists between human and ayakashi,” is killed. This sets every human who learns of the fact after Rikuo, resulting in a chase through Ukiyoe as humans try to force not only his change into a demon, but to murder him as well. Things are further exacerbated by the Hundred Tales clan, as they force the Nura clan to hunt them through the city, while also attacking the Nura yokai and inciting more and more humans — who Rikuo does not wish to harm — to seak out Rikuo’s death.
As Rikuo tries to keep himself, and clan members like Yuki-Onna, from harming humans in their attempt to escape, things get more complicated as Rikuo abruptly has to deal with his friends discovering his true identity. Rikuo’s classmate Kana is actually the reason he finally shows his demon form, as he protects her from an attacking yokai. In the bustle that follows there’s little time for Kana to form a real reaction, but as it’s been hinted that she has a crush on both of Rikuo’s forms, it seems less likely that she’ll be angry than pleased with the developments once the confusion wears off. Kyotsugu is the other human friend who stumbles on this knowledge, not from seeing it like Kana, but because he was present at Kudan’s birth and prediction. Before the fight and chase through the city begins, Kyotsugu acts strangely towards Rikuo, and when it’s confirmed through television footage he has an extreme reaction. Due to his love of yokai, in particular the yokai leader who saved him and that busload of children as a child, you’d like to think he’s only in shock, but there’s no telling what misinformation, and hurt at being basically lied to, will bring.
After the end of the Rihan flashback, Rikuo’s new story arc gets to a fast start as he races to save himself, his friends, and all the people of his city before the Hundred Stories clan can get him killed. The story gets a little cluttered here, with the confusion of who’s chasing who and, once again, all the new faces mixing with an already sizable cast that we have to keep track of. But, so far, it’s a thrilling part of the story, bringing about some emotional stress as Rikuo’s well-protected secret, meant to protect his precious life as a human, is blown not only to his friends but everyone in the city. The fights, which will likely take up some time, will certainly keep readers hooked for a little while yet, but more than that I look forward to the aftermath, when Rikuo must put the pieces together and see what becomes of his double life.
Content Grade: B
Art Grade: A-
Packaging Grade: B+
Text/Translation Grade: B-
Age Rating: 13+
Released By: VIZ Media
Release Date: February 4th, 2014