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In the days of old, people feared yokai. The one who stood at the helm and ruled the Night Parade of One Hundred Demons, was known as the Supreme Commander of the yokai. They had another name for him… the Lord of Pandemonium… Nurarihyon.
Nurarihyon no Mago ("Grandson of Nurarihyon") is a manga series, now an anime, about a boy named Rikuo Nura who is one quarter youkai. Rikuo is constantly pressured into taking over the Nura youkai clan by his grandfather, the Nurarihyon, but he strongly disapproves of what the clan does, so he refuses. At night, Rikuo has to ability to transform into a full youkai, and a very powerful one at that, though he does not retain any memories of when he transforms.At first the series is an Monster of the Week series dealing with the boy trying to live a normal life, and keeping the truth about himself and his family from getting out to his normal school friends.His friends include Kana Ienaga, his Childhood Friend who is afraid of youkai, and Kiyotsugu, the class president who is a wannabe demonologist and major fanboy of Rikuo's youkai side. He often has to handle threats to his friends and school, and deal with occasional assassination attempts by yokai who want to take over his clan. The cast is rounded out by the yokai retainers who live in his family's mansion and his own personal bodyguards. Most of the youkai characters are based off of actual mythological youkai.Shortly, however, the series undergoes a significant change, as Rikuo admits to knowing about his demon side, quits trying to be normal, and decides to work at becoming the successor. From this point on the plot gets much more interesting and the action far better as he and his followers deal with various threats to the Nura clan.As of December 28, 2012, the series has ended with 210 chapters.The 24-episode first season of the anime has completed it's run in Japan and available to watch on Hulu under the title Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan. A second season ran during the Summer 2011 Anime Season.
Provides examples of:
Absurdly Youthful Mother: Rikuo's mother is said in the debut one shot of the series to be 30, which can be assumed to be true in the main series, since nothing has contradicted it, yet she doesn't look like it.
Accidental Pervert: Kurotabou accidentally gropes one Rikuo's schoolmates on a train and nearly gets arrested for it, thankfully she believes him.
Alcohol-Induced Idiocy: Rikuo is this in the omakes, or rather, Alcohol Induced Sex Drive. while everyone is pushing Rikuo to have a new heir while the comment on the Second's virility, someone accidentally slips him a drink. Hilarity Ensues as a smashed Rikuo proceeds to prove his heritage by flirting with everything that looks female, including a crossdressing Mezumaru and his mother.
It's based on the fact than a yokai can possess a human. Rihan/Rikuo allows his follower to possess his human nature and they allow him to stay in the driver's seat, which is possible because of his yokai nature. So basically it's a beneficial possession. It really does require a HUGE amount of trust on both parts of the equation. It remains to be seen if this is a power available to anybody with sufficient amounts of both human and yokai heritage. The white snake girl from the tales of the school story, for instance.
Back from the Dead: Abe no Seimei AKA the Nue; Harogomo Gitsune's current form was Rihan's resurected first wife, an ayakashi who couldn't bear him children. She's dead now, but her true companions are confidant that they'll be able to revive her. She's back as of chapter 200.
Body Horror: Anything to do with Sanmoto Gorōzaemon , who is freaking huge and ugly and fat even as a normal human, and when he transform into a yokai, his flesh MELTED AND SPLIT INTO A HUNDRED PARTS, which in turn become grotesque Yokai themselves.
Minagoroshi Jizou, can possess and control others by going into them and taking the shape of a small eyeball in the back of the body. When Minagoroshi Jizou left Akifusa's body, the small eyeball in the back of Akifusa's body burst out and became Minagoroshi Jizou's head. Now, considering Minagoroshi Jizou is the left eye of Sanmoto...
Bullying a Dragon: In the Hundred Tales Arc, the people are really pushing Rikuo despite knowing the fact that he could easily kill them all (if he was evil, instead of trying to save them).
Calling Your Attacks: Used straight by just about everyone who does any fighting, but actually subverted by Ryuuji, who uses a different name for his shikigami and his attacks, in order to fool his opponent.
At first it seems like Yosuzume has a ridiculous case of this, switching between every major villain group with the introduction of each new arc, but towards the end it's revealed that she's actually been working for the Gokadoin the whole time.
Clingy Jealous Girl: Both Nura clan Yuki-Onna are a mild example of this. The one in the past with Rikuo's Badass Grandpa, Setsura, wasn't exactly thrilled when Nurarihyon decided to marry Rikuo's grandmother, and the one in the present, Tsurara, sees Rikuo's childhood friend Kana as some sort of rival, contemplating freezing her occasionally.
Creepy Child: Hagoromo Gitsune current incarnation apparently killed Rikuo's father, when she was around six years old, Rikuo stumbled across her covered in his blood.
And one of her subordinates is another one of these.
Does it count if the "child" was a grown man who decided to go back into his mother's womb to become immortal? 'Cause that's what the nue is.
Curb-Stomp Battle: The Nue, AKA Abe no Seimei, delivers one to Tsuchigumo. This was foreshadowed by Tsuchigumo, who couldn't wait to battle the first thing in ages that could possibly beat him.
Tsuchi-Gumo. Just... Tsuchi-Gumo.
Cut Short: The manga wasn't doing too hot in the ratings and ended up getting canceled shortly after chapter 207 was released. However, the mangeka was given the ability to write three final monthly chapters, 208, 209 and 210, to at least give the final battle against Seimei, and the rest of the Gokadoin household, some form of a conclusion.
Dangerously Genre Savvy: To make up for lacking the talent with shikigami his sister has, Ryuji has developed a rare power. He lies, constantly, while fighting. He lies about where his attacks are coming from, what the limits on his powers are, and even the name of one of his shikigami.
And now we have the Hundred Tales Clan, who, having decided that they can't beat the Nura clan in a straight fight, decide to undercut them by taking aim straight at the Masquerade, outing Rikuo as a Yokai to the humans and actually forcing him to transform in public, in front of his childhood friend for that matter.
Dangerous Thirteenth Birthday: It's not only the age of adulthood in the youkai world, but Kana was cursed by the Purple Mirror to die at that age.
Defeat Means Friendship: Gyuuki is this, twice. Rikuo's grandfather beat him and made him his friend centuries earlier, then Rikuo does the same when he and Gyuuki end up fighting.
Kurotabou. At first tasked to assassinate Rihan, Kurotabou learns he has been brainwashed by Sanmoto Gorozaemon and joins the Nura Clan after helping Rihan dispose of Sanmoto and his former group, the Hyakku Monogatari.
Delinquents: Aotabou falls ass backwards into becoming the leader of a Japanese delinquent biker gang.
Does This Remind You of Anything??: After Rikuo uses his new Matoi ability with Tsurara, allowing them to combine their attacks, other characters talk about using it with him, and the conversation makes it seem like they all want to sleep with him. This comes complete with Tsurara becoming angry that Rikuo has already used Matoi with other people and refusing to do it with him again when he asks.
Also, after he uses the Matoi ability, when he asks Itaku to use the Matoi ability with him, the dialogue sounds like he wants him to sleep with him.
Rikuo: Itaku, you're amazing. I want you, Itaku.
Itaku: ....huh? Rikuo: * clarifies*
In chapter 158, Rihan explains how the Matoi works and makes an...interesting observation on Kurotabou.
Rihan: Ho...So in addition to your habit of swinging them around when you think the person is an enemy, your weapons actually shrink when you feel pressurized!
Kuro: Will you stop it! And you're drinking already?!
Dragon with an Agenda: Minagoroshi Jizou to Hagoromo Kitsune and the Kyoto youkai, assisting their efforts to successfully reincarnate the Nue/Abe No Seimei in order to give him Maou's Hammer in accordance with Sanmoto Gorouzaemon's deal with him, for the purpose of furthering the plans of the Hundred Tales clan.
Driven to Suicide: Implied with Rihan first wife, Yamabuki Otome who couldn't bear his children due to Gitsune's curse. When her memory returns after the Kyoto battle, she tells Rikuo that he's the son they should've had.
Dungeon Bypass: Chapter 170 Torii and Maki display Genre Savvy by hiding with a group of girls in a place where Mook Youkai can't enter without permission. So, the one making the Youkai simply turns the walls and windows into Youkai, bypassing the permission thing.
Early-Bird Cameo: The anime seems to be putting great effort into having Gyuuki appear every other minute.
Mr. Fanservice: Nurarihyon, Rihan, Night Rikuo and Zen. Oh boy... All four are good looking and have been shown shirtless at one point
Evil Weapon: Maou'sHammer. It absorbs the spirits of those it kills and transforms them into power for its wielder. The more it kills, the more it looks like a living thing. It was originally Sanmoto's heart.
Filler: The anime is extending the Shikoku arc using more encounters with the enemy.
Foil: Arguably, Kubinashi and Itaku, especially with regards to how they look at and treat Rikuo. Kubinashi also appears gentle but he has a dangerously murderous side, while Itaku is brusque and rough, and the gentleness is buried very deep.
Godzilla Threshold: With the Gokadoin House and the reborn Abe no Seimei threatening to wipe out all yokai in Japan, Nurarihyon decides to resurrect Hagoromo-Gitsune, the previous Big Bad of the series. It works.
Goggles Do Nothing: Rikuo has excellent eyesight and wears his glasses to better establish his diligent human persona, not because he needs them.
Guys Smash, Girls Shoot: Held in the majority of cases (i.e. Rikuo and Yura, Rikuo and any girl he teams up with), especially if "girls" excludes Awashima. Somehow even maintained in teams of two ranged fighters, as with Kubinashi and Kejouro.
Identical Grandson: Demon Rikuo looks almost exactly like his grandfather the Nurarihyon did when he was young. Likewise, Tsurara is the splitting image of her ancestor, Setsura.
Idiot Hero: Averted with Rikuo. He uses his cunning as his main weapon while in human form. The conference to determine the Nura clan successor, where Rikuo manipulates his main opponent into embarrassing himself, is a particularly good example.
And while peeking at Tsurara sleeping. Though he seems much more interested in Tsurara than the boobs he is squished against at that moment.
Mayfly-December Romance: Nurarihyon who is a youkai married Youhime, a human (albeit one who possessed healing powers). 400 years later Nurarihyon is still alive while Youhime have died, although it isn't revealed yet how.
Nigh-Invulnerability: Rikuo's current ultimate power is to invert his normal invisibility and activate the Made Of Air variant of this, opting for being totally visible, but untouchable. HE can cut or burn his enemies though.
No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Tsuchigumo is implied to deliver one during chapter 96. In a later chapter, he is likened to earthquakes, typhoons and plagues, saying that "you have no choice but to wait until he passes by".
Rihan and Wakana and with Yamabuki-Otome before her
Rikuo and Tsurara as confirmed by the author in the omakes
Older Than They Look: Youkai generally don't look their age, since their lifespan is much longer than a human's, anyway, so they age differently from humans. In the case of Rikuo's grandfather, it's more like there is no way to show that he way over 400 years old (and if we assume he was a fully grown-up youkai by the time he met Rikuo's grandmother, this trope applies to him back then already). Rikuo's father didn't look like a four hundred years old half-youkai, either. Rikuo's mother is a human example, looking younger than her 30 years.
Out of Focus: Averted with natural offenders the Kiyo Cross Squad. While it seems the watchword for new readers should be "don't get attached to those guys" as the series drifts away fromschool shenanigans—and they do get progressively less screentime over the first more shōnen-esque arcs—they actually maintain a presence throughout the series, playing an important role in the final arc.
Playing with Fire: One of Rikuo's techniques is to ignite a bowl of sacred sake, and breathe lightly into it, causing fire to go everywhere. As long there are ripples in the bowl the fire will keep burning.
Post Humous Character: Rihan. He is dead by the time the series start, yet he is an important point in the plot.
I will fill this world with something pure. Pure black, like these black eyes, this black hair, and black clothes...
Sealed Evil in a Can: When Hagoromo Gitsune the seals in Kyoto, she manages to uncover many yokai that were imprisoned by them, who then join her army. She's a can herself, considering she contains a nue. Also somewhat inverted with Karasu-tengu in Chapter 154.
Ship Tease: Rikuo and Tsurara has a few of them, but chapter 136 in particular is really strong, Rikuo appears to pick her up while it was snowing and share an umbrella together, and there are romantic other moments.
Shirtless Scene: Young Nurarihyon is naked from the torso up while fighting against Hagoromo Gitsune. Rikuo also does this in his fight against Tsuchigumo
Stalker with a Crush: Sort of. Rikuo's grandfather did watch Rikuo's grandmother for a while from the shadows, eventually falling for her and deciding to marry her despite her being human and him being a youkai. And theoretically Tsurara, but she follows him because she is Rikuo's bodyguard, so it's more a case of Subordinate Excuse.
Surprisingly Good English: The second opening has flawless English, as well as an impressive amount of rhyming considering their singing another language.
Take Me Instead: Torii offers herself to save her friend Saori from being turned into a youkai. However, her plan backfires when the bad guy tells her that she will be the one who will devour Saori.
Talking Is a Free Action: What works in the manga becomes very obvious in the anime as characters talk right through battles with formidable opponents.
Too Dumb to Live: Humans. Even when heads start flying, they still have no sense of self preservation. The ones in chapter 162 also have no qualms about video taping and mocking what they think (and are correct in thinking) is a youkai, but that's more What an Idiot. Not to mention the Kikyo Cross Squad. After seeing all the death and destruction youkai can cause and nearly dying more than once, they're still chasing after youkai.
In the case of the Kikyo Paranormal Patrol, it seems to be mostly the club president that suffers from this with the others more or less following for either for the fun stuff that goes on when they're just humoring him, or when they're trying to keep him from getting killed.
Theme Naming: Rihan and Rikuo are half and one quarter youkai respectively.note for those confused han is Japanese for half.
There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Kurotabou unleashes the full 200 weapons of Anki Kuroenbu on tiny Sodemogi-sama during his rescue of Kokehime to the point you can hardly find him in the mass of spears, swords, chains, and other projectiles.
Transhuman Treachery: Akifusa of the Onmyouji seems to be on the side of the youkai, but it turns out a yokai was controlling his mind.
Ungrateful Bastard: The first thing Abe no Seimei does after being reborn is toss his mother, who has endured countless reincarnations, into hell. Apparently becoming leader of all the Youkai in Japan requires you to be just that evil.
The humans that Rikuo saves in chapter 162.
The Unmasqued World: Barring someone with mass amnesia powers or a really, really good cover story this is what's happened after an oracle-creature predicts that Rikuo will destroy the world.
Voluntary Shapeshifting: Rikuo is the obvious example, shifting back and forth between his human and demon forms (though he can only maintain his demon from for one quarter of the day and only outside of sunlight). But the other demons are able to assume human form to go out in society. We mainly see Rikuo's bodyguards, with Yuki Onna being a girl in his class, Aotabou being a local delinquent, Kurotabou being a business man and Kappa being another student.
We Are Struggling Together: It becomes very difficult for Rikuo to unite the yokai clans against their common enemy, Abe no Seimei and the Gokadoin House. Once the danger is over, they go their separate ways.
Weirdness Censor: The Nurarihyon's main power. He has this as a constant power around himself, allowing him to walk around in his demonic form and have everyone simply assume he's a normal old man. Even exorcists. He and Demon Rikuo can ramp it up to create functional invisibility, for use in combat, stealing, and dine and dashes.
What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?: Nurarihyon is described as "A yokai that sits in someones house and drinks their tea," which sounds pretty lame when you first think about it. Essentially this is the ability to enter and leave without being noticed. But since it ends up being a kind of invisibility, it turns out that Heart Is an Awesome Power.
Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: Rikuo's mother unexpectedly shoots Tamasaburo, to the surprise of the other Nura clan members. When they ask why she even has a gun, she responds that she's a yakuza's wife, after all.
Wife Husbandry: An inverted case of it. Depending on how you look at it, Tsurara is confirmed to be at least 16 years older than Rikuo and they're considered the third generation official couple.
Not Me This Time: In chapter 133 of the manga it's revealed that Hagoromo Gitsune took over Yamabuki Otome's body right after she had killed Rihan, not before. In Yamabuki Otome's defense, she was brainwashed into doing so.
Subverted in an earlier arc involving a minor character.
Yakuza: Most of the youkai clans are basically yakuza, complete with symbols.
The Nura clan tends to lean more heavily toward a samurai clan at times, but that's probably because they're the heroes.
Rikuo's Mother even lampshades this when she pulls out a gun and shoots a youkai trying to assassinate her she says she pulled it out of her bosom because shes' a Yakuza wife and shes' always wanted to do that.
Youkai: Quite a number of the cast are youkai of all kinds; the series is about them and generally a universe where youkai are more or less well hidden from the humans.