June 29, 2012

Nabari no Ou

Set in modern day Japan, two worlds exist, the Outside World and the Nabari World, where shinobi live amongst regular people. A young boy, Hikaru Rokusho, learns from his school teacher that there is an ancient powerful scroll which lives inside his body that has the power to rule the world. Hikaur is a very apathetic individual who has no real desires wants nothing more than to be rid of this scroll which is causing all of the ninja clans to try capturing him for their own ambitions. What Hikaru doesn't know is that his school teacher has a secret that he has been hiding from everybody which explains the events of 10 years ago, shaping the world that Hikaru lives in today.

When selecting this anime, I wasn't really sure what I was in the mood to watch. I would go through constant interest changes which has made it difficult lately to sit down and watch a series from beginning to end in a reasonable time frame. I managed to get through Nabari no Ou in about a week, which given my track record lately for finishing series, some have extended out to months. I was quite entertained with this for the most part. There was a good contrast of action, drama, and slice-of- life elements woven into the storyline. I don't think I found myself once wishing an episode would "just end".

Having always been partial to anime with themes of ninja incorporated into them, this was a refreshing change from series such as Naruto. Many of the themes and tones were clearly directed to a more adult audience. Being able to watch a show that closed off the story in the ending episode was also a huge positive. All too many times I pick up an anime and the last episode is either rushed, incomplete, or left open for a possible second series that never seems to come. On the flip-side of the coin, often when a series does have some form of solid conclusion, the plot is often shallow and lacks any complexity in order to make an easy close off at the end. Needless to say, Nabari no Ou had a deep storyline while also keeping pace throughout the plot progression and providing closure in its conclusion.

The characters in the show were well developed and for the most part quite memorable. While there were some aspects of the character development that I wasn't as interested in, such as the questionable relationship between Hikaru and Yuite, I thought that the character development team did a great job as a whole. The artwork and animation style is very modern and resembles such shows as Clamp or Gundam Seed Destiny. The music wasn't the most memorable, however, throughout the show I did find that the soundtrack was utilized well to express the themes and tones present in the dynamics of the story.

Overall, Nabari no Ou is an excellent series and very entertaining. While there are elements that may not appeal to all audiences, such as the odd relationship between some of the males in the show, this is still a solid anime that is sure to entertain most anime fans.

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