The first season of Nura was a prime example of a show with wasted potential and poor storytelling, repeating the same unoriginal story each episode. When it was announced that the show was getting a second season, I went in reluctantly fearing it would be as disappointing as the first season, but I was pleasantly surprised to discover that Nura: Demon Capital is not only great, but it’s well on its way to becoming one of my favorite shonen anime of all time.
Demon Capital starts off with a prequel episode that goes back further than the original series, giving an insight into Nura’s childhood and first night becoming the great demon Nurarihyon (note: The demons in the show are known as Yokai). The first episode does a great job at informing newcomers of how the demon hierarchy works while also dropping hints at Nurarihyon’s true potential. The show quickly gets new viewers caught up with who the characters are and what’s going on in the world, meaning that people who decided to skip the first season will be able to understand and enjoy this season just as much as anyone else. It should be noted that while Nura: Demon Capital does start a new story and re-write some characters personalities, it’s recommended that new viewers watch the recap episode that was at the very end of season one to be fully caught up with some characters relationships.
The story from there goes off to tell an epic tale about Nurarihyon’s many battle with the feared fox demon Hagoromo Gitsune over hundreds of years before finally reaching the current Nurarihyon and his Demon Clan. The story does jump around quite a bit at first, going between three timelines in the span of four episodes, but once episode six rolls around the story settles down to tell a brilliantly written and well executed story.
The first season of Nura had the large issue of having Nura always be in his human form consistently complaining about not wanting to be a demon. The season never went anywhere and there was a severe lack of character development. Demon Capital recognizes this, and makes up for lost time by having Nura’s demon form be at the forefront of the entire series. For the first few episodes he still maintains his human form, but once he turns into Nurarihyon he never turns back. Nurarihyon doesn’t complain about his demon brethren, instead he makes time to connect with them, building strong relationships throughout the show that really show the characters development.
Of course the shows biggest change is that it’s become more action packed, as well as a lot darker. For a show about demons fighting to the death, the first season was surprisingly child friendly and only started to get dark near the final episodes. Thankfully, Demon Capital doesn’t waste time when it comes to being dark. The Demons act like truly scary folktale monsters, they try to eat people, they attack children, and they scream in pain as the blood pours from their bodies when they are sliced in half. The change of tone also makes the fights far more intense than the last series, as the first season never dared to show characters being attacked, not even showing their blood. But this time around, characters actions and attacks give of the honest feeling that they want to brutally murder each other. I won’t go into spoilers, but hot damn do the fights get intense. There were times I was so hyped I was yelling at my TV over how awesome the fights were. If you like high paced and brilliantly animated fights, Nura has you covered.
I’m saving my in-depth review for when the entire series is out. Once I’ve seen the entire series, I’ll go more into detail about the aspects of the show I loved, such as the artwork and use of CGI, as well as the aspects I think could have been improved. But until that day, all I can do is sing about how much I’m enjoying Nura: Demon Capital. If you liked the first series, or even if you felt it was a letdown, you should certainly check out Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan: Demon Capital Part One, because I have a feeling you’ll be surprised with how good it is.
+ Vastly improved from last series
+ Amazing fights
+ Great animation
– English dub is hit and miss
+ Wonderful artsyle
– Part one ends on a recap episode
Thanks to Manga UK for supplying a review copy