Nura: Rise of The Yokai Clan
Review for TRB.
Nura: Rise Of The Yokai Clan (Volume One)
Author: Hiroshi Shiibashi
Translator: Yumi Okamoto / Cindy Yamauchi
“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.” (Hirsoshi Shiibashi, Nura: Rise Of The Yokai)
The first time I tried reading this, I was surprisingly bored. I figured it was just another book about a boy and his monster friends all living happily doing nothing at all, which to be honest, seemed excruciatingly lame and down right boring. The second time I tried reading it, I decided to at least see what happened after that part, just incase anything happened. While nothing really entertaining nor interesting happened within the first part of the book, I kept pushing forward, page after page, word after word, determined to find something, ANYTHING, that would help restore my faith in it.
I finally got that restoration when Rikuo Nura, the grandson of the Supreme Commander, changed into a Yokai, changing the entire scenario of the book. I was excited, and wanted more and more. The story had me hooked as each new piece of the story began unfolding. I was convinced that this was going to be a truly great story. My excitement was short lived, however, as the book soon returned to the same old story as before. The only difference is that now the story seemed to revolve around trying to get Rikuo Nura to become the new Supreme Commander, and protecting him from the Yokai creatures who wanted him out of the way so that they could become the Commander.
There were only a few events that saved the book for me. The humorous events of attempting to hide the truth about the Yokai’s existence from fellow class mates, and the introduction of a new enemy, a sort of exorcist for the Yokai. This creates a huge issue for the main character, Rikuo Nura, as part of his grand secret…is that he is part Yokai. Though it is a small amount, his blood is one quarter Yokai, and three quarters Human. How this happened, mind you, is not explained very clearly in this book, though I suspect we may find out later in later volumes.
While it is not my personal preference for a manga book, I would recommend this book to people who prefer to read about fantasy and Japanese myth, or people who enjoy books that involve supernatural / paranormal activity. This series is heavily written on these elements, so anybody who doesn’t find interest in these kinds of manga, I would suggest picking a different book. All in all, I would say it was a good book, though I still say it didn’t fall within my preferred range.
As far as age goes, I would suggest mid teen to older teen readers, simply because of the content within (some readers may find the supernatural content “scary” or “frightening”), and because of mild amounts of blood and violence.