|Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan|
Japanese manga cover of the first volume of Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan
(Nurarihyon no Mago)
|Written by||Hiroshi Shiibashi|
|English publisher||Viz Media|
|Magazine||Weekly Shōnen Jump|
|Original run||March, 2008 – ongoing|
|Directed by||Junji Nishimura|
|Written by||Natsuko Takahashi|
|Music by||Kohei Tanaka|
|Network||Yomiuri TV, Tokyo MX, Chukyo TV, BS11, Animax Asia|
|Original run||July 5, 2010 – December 27, 2010|
Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan, known in Japan as Nurarihyon no Mago (ぬらりひょんの孫, "Nurarihyon's Grandchild") is a manga series written and illustrated by Hiroshi Shiibashi. The series was first published in Shueisha as a oneshot in 2007. The manga has been continuously serialized in the Japanese manga anthology Weekly Shōnen Jump since March 2008 and has been collected into 15 tankōbon volumes as of March 2011. A Drama CD was released in December 2009.An anime adaptation by Studio DEEN began airing in Japan on July 5, 2010, with the first season consisting of 26 episodes.
Viz Media acquired the licensing rights for a North American release of the manga and anime adaptations. The anime episodes have been streamed on Viz Media's anime streaming site, Viz Anime, since July 2010, while the first manga volume was released March 2011.
PlotRikuo Nura is part human and a quarter yōkai (demon). Rikuo is able to turn into his yokai form only after the sunsets when the moon is out, he turns back into his human self when the sun rises. This happens because he is only a quarter yokai. He lives in a house full of spirits along with his yōkai grandfather. Trying to escape his fate of acting like a yōkai, he does good deeds in order to avoid becoming one, despite his grandfather's wish to succeed him as master of the Nura yōkai clan. Rikuo is a different yokai because he helps humans. He eventually comes to terms with his demon blood and decides to take up the position of Young head of the Nura house. Multiple factions aim to stop him or overtake his position, and he must gather friends and allies, a new Hyakki Yakō under his banner of "Fear".
- The Kiyo Cross Squad travels to Mt. Nejireme at the invitation of a supposed yōkai specialist. However, the invitation turns out to have been a trap by the head of the yōkai Gyūki Clan. Separated, the members of the Kiyo Cross Squad must deal with yōkai of the Gyūki Clan and Rikuo ultimately faces Gyūki himself. Rikuo learns that Gyūki set up the trap because he didn't want the Nura Clan, which he greatly cherishes, to suffer under the influence of a weak leader, they clash and Gyūki is overwhelmed by Rikuo's night form. Afterward, Rikuo decides to take up the mantle of Nurarihyon and officially become the next Nura Clan head.
- When one of the board members of the Nura Group is attacked and killed, and Nurarihyon subsequently disappears without notice, the Nura Clan is thrown into chaos. Trying to keep them together, Rikuo encounters a rival faction from the Shikoku area who intend to take over the Nura Clan's territory. Their leader, Tamazuki, is ruthless and willing to sacrifice his subordinates to further his own goals. Rikuo and his Hyakki Yakō battle with Tamazuki and his 88 kiyakou (consisting of 88 demons, instead of the 100 of a Hyakki Yakō) and emerge victorious, but spare Tamazuki in the end at the request of his father - who Nurarihyon had gone to visit. Tamazuki is spared under the condition that he build a memorial in honor of the subordinates who died by his hand.
- The story of Rikuo's grandparents: Nurarihyon and Youhime, the creation of the spirit blade Nenekirimaru, and the battle against Hagoromo-Gitsune 400 years ago.
- When Haguromo-Gitsune resurfaces in Kyoto, Rikuo is determined to fight her and take revenge for his father's death - as well as rescue Yura, who has gone to aid the rest of the Keikain family in protecting Kyoto. However, as he is still too inexperienced and weak, his grandfather asks the head of the youkai Toono Village to take in and train Rikuo. After an encounter with one of the Kyoto youkai, Rikuo comes to realize what sort of power the youkai Nurarihyon possesses and, having grown stronger, leaves along with several Toono youkai to return to the Nura main house and prepare for the assault on Kyoto.
- Rikuo, along with the vast majority of the Nura Clan and several yōkai from Toono, invade Kyoto. Nearly all of the onmyouji barriers around the city have been destroyed by Kyoto youkai, and the Keikain house itself struggles to fight against Hagoromo-Gitsune's forces. They ultimately join forces with Rikuo's Hyakki Yakō to replace the fallen barriers and stop Hagoromo-Gitsune from giving birth to a new evil.
- Following a time skip, the Nura Clan begins to expand its territory in order to prepare for the coming battle with Seimei. Various yōkai appear and cause interference with the expansion, one of whom was the Tooryanse Slasher, who tells Rikuo of the Hundred tales clan.
- Sakazuki (杯事) is the term used for a pledge of loyalty made over an exchange of wine or sake. This pledge is taken very seriously, and is akin to a blood pledge, linking fellow yōkai of different families. A 50-50 portion division gives equal footing to both parties, and is considered a sakazuki of sworn brothers. A 70-30 portion division is a pledge of fealty between a boss and his subordinates, and requires a great amount of trust on the part of both parties.
- Ikigimo is a term for when a person's liver is taken out while they are still alive. Many yōkai in Nurarihyon's time believed that by ingesting the life force (i.e. liver) of infants, priests/priestesses and imperial princesses, their strength would increase.
- Osore (畏, lit. "Fear" ) is the term that denotes the unique skills and traits of each yōkai. It refers to the "Fear" of the unknown, an emotional reaction produced when the yōkai represent themselves as "monsters". It is especially important for leaders who wish to draw together gangs of yōkai. There are different types of "Fear" depending on the species of yōkai, such as water or ice. It also plays an important role in battles between yōkai, in which they must "scare one another".
- Hatsu (鬼發, lit. "Manifestation" ) is the first stage of activating "Fear", and is simply an attempt to scare an opponent by exerting a frightening aura. Those affected by "Manifestation" will experience an overwhelming sense of intimidation, and depending on their opponent's skills, may hallucinate. This aura produces a palpable wall of pressure in the atmosphere, and cutting through this tension to reach the enemy is an important part of yōkai combat.
- Hyōi (鬼憑, lit. "Haunting" ) is the second stage of activating "Fear" used in yōkai battles. It is the process by which a yōkai materializes their "Fear" into an attack that can harm their enemy by severing their "Manifestation". Yōkai can produce a variety of attacks and techniques based on their type of "Fear".
- Matoi is a special technique allowing the leader of the Hyakki Yakō to strengthen their "fear". This technique was created by the Second Head of the Nura Clan, Rihan Nura, and will only work for a leader who is part human. The explanation for this requirement is that the leader must have a 'human heart' to be able to empathize or 'understand' his subordinates, in order to invoke Matoi. The technique works by 'layering' or 'covering' the leader in his subordinate's fear, which augments and strengthens his own power. The leader literally 'wears' his subordinate, which also gives him access to his subordinate's unique abilities (when Rikuo used Matoi with Tsurara, his attacks gained the ability to freeze his targets). When Matoi is invoked with a subordinate for the first time, a tattoo-like marking appears on the leaders body, symbolizing the pact they have made.
AnimeThe anime series, produced by Studio Deen, premiered on July 5, 2010 and is licensed for North America by Viz Media under the name Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan. New episodes, subbed in English, are simulcast each week on their website several hours after they air in Japan. The opening themes are Fast Forward and Sunshine performed by Monkey Majik and the ending themes are Sparky☆Start and Symphonic Dream performed by Katate Size (Aya Hirano, Yui Horie and Ai Maeda). The anime is slated to be released on eight DVDs. A second season has been announced.
Data BookA character data book titled Nurarihyon no Mago: Official Character Data Book: Ayakashi Hiroku (ぬらりひょんの孫 キャラクター公式データブック 妖秘録, Nurarihyon no Mago: Kyarakutā Kōshiki Dēta Bukku: Ayakashi Hiroku) was released on July 2, 2010. At 264 pages, it contains information on all the major factions in the series, as well as on Shiibashi and his assistants.
Light NovelA light novel adaptation written by Satoshi Oosaki with art by Hiroshi Shiibashi was published by J-Books in December 2009. It features the stories of Nurarihyon and Youhime's wedding ceremony and a strange encounter between Zen and Kuroumaru, as well as an original tale centering on the yōkai who live in Ukiyoe Town.
ReceptionThe first tankōbon ranked 9th on Tohan manga charts,the third ranked 5th, the fourth ranked 10th, the fifth ranked 9th, and the sixth ranked 8th, and each volume starting from the third sold over 100,000 copies.
Weekly Shōnen Jump allows its readers to vote on their favorite manga, giving out the Future Gold Cup award each year to the most popular manga one-shot it publishes. In 2007, Nurarihyon no Mago ranked number one in the Future Gold Cup.