Some may think that this is a bit of an overstatement, but when it comes to its popularity as an anime it comes up short. Nurarihyon no Mago is incredibly interesting as it delves into both Japanese Folklore as well as action. Despite being interesting, however, it never found its way to the top of the charts. Instead many have forgotten a treasure, lost in the sands of time.
A Summary of Nurarihyon
Before we begin to look at the anime, Japanese folklore has us look at Nurarihyon in general. Derived from Japanese stories, Nurarihyon is said to be a Youkai with an elongated head. Besides that his appearance resembles an elderly man in wealthy clothing, stealing foods from the rich. Much of this is seen in the anime as well, however, they depict him as both a younger and older spirit when Youkai truly doesn’t age. However, the story is focused on the grandson of the great Youkai, Nura Rikuo, a human child with ¼ the blood of a youkai. With the previous successor dead, Rikuo must now be the one to take control of the Youkai Army that was created by his grandfather. Yet succession is not easily accepted as many do not believe this young child is able to unite them all.
While I do like the concept and watched the anime when it did come out, it did feel like it didn’t gain steam fast enough. Not a failure in its own rights, but at the same time, it never gained enough momentum to stay afloat. It did manage 48 episodes despite this and I eventually found myself turning to the manga as well. In my opinion, if an anime makes you want to read into it deeper, the underlying potential is great.
Is it a masterpiece? I would have to go with no, but I find well told Youkai stories to be incredibly fascinating. With a large amount of research in Japanese Folklore required, the hard effort didn’t go unnoticed. While it is not the flashiest anime/manga it does take you on an interesting journey, something that shouldn’t be missed.