October 30, 2010

Otogi Zoshi (Heian Arc)

Otogi Zoshi is a uniquely developed anime. It is broken into two arcs that take place in two completely different time periods. In essences, the series feels like two separate anime predicated along a similar theme.

As a whole, the series is made up of 26 episodes. For this review, I will be discussing the first 13 episodes, which is known as the Heian Arc. Before I get into too much about this particular arc, I'll discuss briefly the theme for this series. The show is based around the theme of using Onmyo practices to preserve universal balance and protect the people in the Capital City of Japan from harsh living.

In the Heian Arc, the balance of power is held in the 5 elemental Magitama. The Magitama represent the Yin and Yang of the universe, and their relationship to each other can maintain or disrupt the balance of power. The story itself takes place during the Feudal period in Japan. The main character is Minamoto Hikaru, who pretends to be her dead brother Minamoto no Raiko. She is on a quest to collect all 5 of the Magitama of Power in order to protect her home (The Capital) from poverty and hardship.

As the story progresses, Hikaru learns of the power that the Magitama have and becomes aware of the destructive power that they also possess if aligned in a manner that disturbs the balance of the elements. Throughout the story, the idea of reincarnation is often addressed and is used to foreshadow the setting for the second arc (Tokyo Arc).

As a whole the first arc was entertaining to watch. The animation style was very clean and modern. The character design was very similar in animation to shows such as Afro Samurai, where the characters almost have an element of looking like they are being viewed through a wet glass. There are great battle scenes, cool character designs, and the music is very fitting for the setting. I would recommend adding this show to your collection for those who enjoy good Feudal time period anime.

The Tokyo Arc will be reviewed soon so stay tuned.......

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