Ok, so here’s nabari no.1. Let’s first take a look at the anime series’s name : Nabari no ou. A quick reference to ANN provides two alternative titles or should I just say, translated titles : Ruler of Nabari and 隠の王 (Japanese). The latter title in japanese using kanji has the words “隠” which is similar to a chinese word for ‘hidden’ and ‘王’ which is exactly the same as King/ruler in chinese. So we can conclude that Nabari no ou means the ‘King of the hidden’ (kingdom/ninjas etc.) OR it could mean ‘Hidden king’. I’m opting for the latter after watching the first episode. Summary and thoughts after the break.
edit 16/4/2009: Realised this post is still getting some traffic so I have to apologised for this lengthy summary full of spoilers. Moved the ‘Thoughts’ section to the front so you can bypass the summary without getting spoiled. Enjoy.
I know many people out there are comparing the main plot device to be VERY similar to naruto. Young boy with sealed power within him, can’t control it initally blah blah but let’s take it in another direction. For example, the art of the series looks more similar to series like Rahxephon and nodame cantabile with their watercolour styled background. A check on the studio reveals it to be J.C. who did the nodame cantabile series as well as the rahxephon movie. I was right about the similarity in style. This doesn’t really hurt the fluidity of the fights though, it’s still pretty good and cool. The insert music are also very appropriate for the different moments in the episode. I especially like the part at 21:42 when they begin the insert for the introduction of the villians. The series wasn’t as serious as I thought it would be what with the various light hearted moments by miharu when he turned on his boyish charms on kumohira whom I have no idea why he reacts that way to him. Perhaps we will know in future hm? I thought how the story was carried forward felt a teeny bit similar to D.grayman where you have a serious moment followed by a lol moment and then so on. I hope this doesn’t continue, especially with the enemies because that in my opinion, that would deteriorate the seriousness of the situation in nabari and turn it into another D.gray-man.
To be honest, I ain’t that impressed by the first episode in terms of plot and the cool factor. Much information was given away about the hijutsu. The fights ain’t that spectacular (too much naruto I guess). I wasn’t as awe as I was by heroic age’s first episode (which overall turned out to be a GREAT disappointment). I will probably follow it for two more episodes to see how it goes. And oh, I don’t read the manga. I like to be surprised.
On a dark stormy rainy day (didn’t our english teachers taught us not to use such clique openings?!), a young teenager boy carrying a small boy was intercepted and surrounded by a sea of ninjas while fleeing from them. Unloading the small boy and whipping out a single kunai, the young teenger prepared to fight to the death. Thunder roared and the small boy had a newtype reaction to the thunder. Energy enclosed the both of them and whipped outwards.
Fear written over face literally
Strange hieroglyphs started crawling up the young boy’s face and the result?
Tentacles and mikuru beam.
What looks like roots erupted from the ground seized all enemies. At the same time, the young boy gave off a huge beam into the sky. (Nope, that’s not dynames sniping.) The teenager was surprised and asked/cast a spell the young boy, miharu, to forget everything. We then see a flash of miharu, the main character of the series in a school uniform.
After the awesome opening song, a grown up bored looking miharu is shown staring out of the windows of his class during lessons. His thoughts reflect his indifference to the people and things around him.
Where’s deathnote to cure my boredom.
Meanwhile, a new teacher Yamase-sensei, was introducing himself as a substitute to their original teacher, Sakamoto-sensei who is supposely sick(According to Group C, resigned due to sickness). After class, miharu was approached by one of his classmates, Aizawa Kouichi who wanted to travel home together. We get to know miharu’s full name which is Rokujou Miharu. Miharu feign an air of disinterest and finally asked who he was. Aizawa was somewhat surprised and started explaining that due to his surname starting with the first alphabet, he had always faced ‘problems’ in kindergarten onwards (subtle hint to miharu that he should at least know the guy whose name is first on the class list).
Poof. David copperfield-ed.
Of course miharu didn’t give a shit proper answer and hightailed out of there. Aizawa chased after him and tried to befriend him through the use of first name basis. Aizawa reveals he has a request to make. Miharu uses his grandmother advice of not lending money to other students as an excuse to ‘escape’ from aizawa. Aizawa continues chasing miharu and bumps into their new teacher. Exchanging farewell greetings, their new teacher gave Aizawa a weird look as they separated. Catching miharu once again, Aizawa reveals that he wants miharu to join a club upon which another character enters the fray in a unique way.
Join our (gymnastics) club!
It appears the character who tripped, fell down, did a hand stand and landed on both feet was another teacher, Kumohira-sensei. After some crapping about training during his free time, he turned his attention to miharu and declares that he needs to train as well and urged him join their(aizawa and his) club.
Join your circus and be a clown?(Not impressed)
Aizawa reveals that Kumohira will be the club advisor and that the club will be a sport clubs. Kumohira goes on to add that the sports club will involve many kinds of martial arts training.
In the end, aizawa managed to explain the club’s purpose of training the mind together with the body instead of aiming for competitive games. Miharu asked for the name of the club which turned out to be ‘Ninjas doing ninjutsu, Nindou Club’ which seriously turned miharu off. They were interrupted by miharu’s family cat, shiratama. Before parting ways, Aizawa urged Miharu to take his time to consider joining the club. Aizawa while alone commented that the wind was picking up speed. As Aizawa walked away, Yamase-sensei observed him from behind while on the top of a roof and gave a gay grin(he sounded like that chinese gay guy from code geass R2).
We then get introduced to a small eatery( I think) which Miharu is operating where some customers(landlords?) openly praised his culinary skills and believed them to be as good as his grandmother’s. We also get to know that miharu is currently in the second year of his junior high. The focus jumps to a programme broadcasting on the TV in the store with a political columnist, Hattori Toujuurou being interviewed by a few reporters. He goes on to to make a point about the stability which the world has finally come to (I wonder what instability the world has faced during the past years) and quickly jumps to his next point about how the world need to give a thought to the future. He added that wisdom and knowledge would be key in securing the future of the world which he believes will change to the world if both can be obtained.(Important point to take note)The customers/landlords were memerised by the politician even though they admitted to each other that they don’t really understand what he was saying and then laughing about it.
Kumohira made his entrance and had a close shave with some pretty sharp objects that happened to slip out of miharu’s hands, flew across the room, and land on the right of kumohira’s face, impaling itself into the wooden frame of the door.
Learn how to act cute Part I
Miharu turned on his zomg boyish charms and apologised for the intentional slipup. The next scene shows miharu serving kumohira a drink and rejecting kumohira’s offer to join his club, advising him to look for other students to join. Kumohira took the chance of whispering into miharu’s ear that he is being ‘targeted’ when miharu hunch over to make some uhm, japanese food (beats me what it is, please advise?). Miharu gave a stunned look and kumohira pressed on about how miharu should have felt it.
Miharu immediately turned around and turn on his boyish charm again. Kumohira made a funny face and back away from miharu, unknowingly burning his right palm on the stove at the same time. We get flashes of two people doing flash steps ninja! style followed by kumohira explaining that shinobi(ninjas) live in the shadows of the world. Miharu gave a deadpan acknowledgement while cooking some food and kumohira buried his head into his palm. After some thought, kumohira used an analogy of everything having two sides to it, in the case of shinobi, living and training on the underside while the rest of the world lives on the surface. Kumohira reveals that he learned the art of nindou from his grandfather since his youth and let out the name of this underworld as the world of ‘nabari’. Miharu was startled by this remark, screwed up his food (I think) and asked for proof. Kumohira was equally startled and flipped his chair to face miharu while chanting ‘nin nin…’ and failed to make anything happen.
Learn how to act cute Part III
Miharu once again turned on his boyish charms and act all amazed by the relevation. Kumohira nosebleeded appears touched and cries out in tears while a devil’s tails and wings pops from the back of miharu. Kumohira finally got seriously while blushing (hardo gay?) and exclaimed that he is to be taken seriously and that things will be too late if anything goes wrong. Miharu nonchalantly asked whatever could ever happen and kumohira blew his top, slams the table, stood up and shouted that he could be killed, attracting the other customer’s attention. Kumohira realised his mistake and used a movie line as smokescreen to cover up the real meaning behind his outburst and the others gave a sigh of relief. We fast forward to see Aizawa making some pretty neat quick moves and stops before a temple.
This is No.47, I’m been pursed by a yoma. Suspected awaken. Request for backup.
Yamase, their new substitute teacher was drawn out by aizawa’s questioning and yamase goes on to remark that Aizawa has had special training resulting in his leg power. Back at the store, miharu’s grandmother found out that they were out of katsuobushi, a kind of dried and fermented tuna and miharu offered to go and buy some. He was immediately stopped and grabbed by the hand by kumohira.
Sorry darling but this is the last time we will ever meet.
Miharu turned on his boyish charms once again to get out of kumohira’s grip (the look on his face was pricless). Once out of the store, miharu turned serious and admitted to himself that he does feel like he’s being watched while watching someone else at the same time. An inner female voice started whispering to him about awakening soon while he climbed some steps to the temple? The next scene showed yamase holding a kunei to aizawa’s throat who questioned calmly his motives to which yamase asked whether aizawa is the hijutsu. Aizawa commended his organisation on their resourceful while neither confirming nor denying yamase’s repeat questioning. Yamase got impatient and pressed on more aggressively. Meanwhile, miharu was drawn closer and closer to both ninjas and asked for the identity of the voice within him. Eventually, miharu chanced upon them and aizawa shouted for him to run. Yamase threw a small shuriken at miharu which was deflected by a gust of wind that surrounded miharu protecting him. Yamase quickly concluded that miharu is the hijutsu and leapt towards him. Intercepting yamase, aizawa skillfully reposition himself between miharu and yamase. Activating a spell, he transported miharu and himself to a nearby forest. Yamase gave off a whistle right after they escaped(kakashi doggie style?). Upon landing, aizawa reveal that it won’t be long before the enemy catches up. Right after finishing his statement, three enemies turned up. Miharu decided that even though he doesn’t know what’s going on, he concludes that they wanted him and ran towards yamase/attempted to run away?. Miharu was grabbed by yamase who confided in him that they wanted something inside of him(10 tail demon witch?) One of the two enemies who deftly appeared behind miharu reveals that their boss will be the king of nabari once he gets his hands on the hijutsu. Aizawa rushes forward to engage both enemies but proved no match for them. Aizawa shouted to miharu not to follow yamase after which the wind really pick up in speed and a strong reasonance occurred within miharu telling him it’s ok to kill them. In the meantime, we catch kumohira trying to pick up the trail of his missing beauty student and was caught in a strong gust of wind and wondered worriedly if ‘it’ had started.
The surrounding area around miharu turned really dark while he continues to get pestered by a female’s voice who goes on about how he must hate being used by others. The enemies were not too happy with the change and started worrying. The voice then told him that he can’t avoid battle and hieroglyphs started crawling up his face again just like what happened in the past to that young boy(which should be him in the past). Plant’s stems started popping out from beneath him and he was forced into doing a hand combination which turned the mutated growing plants aggressively against the three enemies. Kumohari reaches just in time to see aizawa plunged his katana into miharu’s chest. Miharu questioned his move and kumohari shouted for aizawa to stop. Aizawa attemped a sealing spell that started drawing out the hieroglyphs from the hilt of his katana.
I have a nice boat. Wanna come? Reservations to be made only at midnight.
We enter the matrix mind of miharu and finally get to see the ‘person’ behind the voice who promised to grant miharu’s any wish. We get to see a flashback of someone saying ‘forget it all’. Miharu awakes from his dreamland, glanced up at aizawa and blasted him away who was caught in air by kumohira. Kumohira chatised aizawa for the futility of his actions of trying to seal part of the hijutsu into the katana. The voice continues pressing miharu to make any wish and wonders aloud why he wasn’t making any. In the meantime, the enemies were being grabbed by the roots and hung in the air. One of them died. Miharu saw i and hugged himself in fear. Kumohira rushed to the thick of things literally, plucked out the katana and called for a seal release. The pain was too much to bear and miharu fainted thus sealing the hijutsu who smugly proclaim that miharu will make a wish sooner or later.
We fast forward to see miharu recovering in a hospital with aizawa watching over him. Aizawa apologised that he thought it was the only way to stop the activation. Kumohira makes an entrance and corrected him that it wasn’t an activation, just the wisdom of the hijutsu flowing out. He adds on that miharu is still unable to control this power.
Shucks, I didn’t grow any boobs after what I gone through?
Miharu lifted his shirt to reveal that the stab wound was totally healed by the hijutsu as explained by kumohira. Taken aback by miharu’s sudden interest in hijutsu, kumohira explained that hijutsu is shinrabanshou, a high level ninjutsu used by ancient ninjas which currently resides in miharu’s body. Miharu didn’t really get it so kumohira further elaborated a little on the usage of shinrabanshou and the history of it. Apparently, whoever forcibly activates it tended to end up with gooey grey matter. Miharu wondered aloud how it ended up in him but kumohira had no answer/refused to answer, and asked for it to be taken away supported by aizawa at the same time. Kumohira refuted their queries and answered that it would be done if it could already be done. As kumohira crapped on about the world of ninjas and the independent and largest ninja group, ash wolf and their eagerness to obtain the hijutsu, a second wave of ninjas appeared on the hospital grounds crashing into miharu’s ward right after they escaped from it. Kumohira warned miharu never to give away himself to anyone nor the hijutsu(it’s evil eh?) A chase ensues and kumohira exclaimed that miharu’s carefree days are over. They were soon pin from the front and back with kumohira swiftly taking out the two ninjas from the back while posing the objective of becoming the king of nabari to miharu.
Oops, I did it again.
After taking out the third assailant, kumohira met up with aizawa who had difficulty with his second foe to discover that miharu had vanished again. Miharu in the meantime was trying to run away from reality by repeatedly repeating to himself that he wasn’t going to get involve. Yamase shoved him against the wall on the roof and told him that he wasn’t going to kill him but leave a mark on him for rememberance of him before handing over to his boss. His sweeping kunei was blocked by kumohira who critised yamase for not following the code of ninjas of reporting right after completing a mission.
A thousand years of toothache!
Kumohira striked out at yamase with his palm, breaking two of yamase’s front teeth in the process and proclaims his undying love resolve to protect miharu at all cost. After everything died down, we see miharu washing his face in the hospital grounds. Aizawa started to say something but was interrupted by kumohira. Miharu questions the reason behind aizawa’s and kumohira’s resolve to protect him. Both of them sheepishly looked elsewhere and miharu rudely told them to not bother him anymore. Kumohira dapped one of his fingers into a deep cut he had and caught up with miharu to write a character using dried blood on miharu’s forehead. Kumohira reveals his true identity at that moment as Kumohira Tobari Durandal, ninja of the banten group.
Will you marry me?
Kumohira kneels before miharu to propose pledge his loyalty to miharu to become the king of nabari to stop all conflicts(where have I heard that before…). Miharu pulls off his disappearing act once more and walked away non-chalantly while mumbling about the hijutsu. He then spoke in a serious tone about desiring to return to his carefree days.
The next day, we find out that yamase who was involved in an ‘accident’ was to be replaced by none other than kumohira.
Surprise! You’re on candid camera!
Miharu hightailed out of the classroom just before kumohira came over to his table to ‘encourage’ him to join the sports club.
We then get introduced to the villian of the show, who is none other than..the political columnist from before. Now we know why he was crapping on about wisdom being key to securing everyone’s future, or perhaps, his group’s future. Looks like there are at least five more monkeys from this group for the threesome to deal with.
Close your eyes while I jackoff surf some sites.(Yes, it’s safe.Warning: for mature audience only. No nudity.)
In the preview, it looks like we will have new FEMALE (at least) character, Raimei going by the title of the next episode to join the merry threesome. Miharu doesn’t look at too happy about her though.