Tokyo Ravens: Episode 1 – “SHAMAN CLAN -Promise-“

Tokyo Ravens is an anime based on a light novel written by Kohei Azano and illustrated by Sumihei. The anime is produced by 8-bit, and is directed by Takaomi Kansaki. As of this writing, this series is being simulcast at FUNimation’s website on Tuesdays.

The main character of Tokyo Ravens is Harutora Tsuchimikado, a young man born into an onmyo family, but has no power whatsoever. He is a member of the Tsuchimikado branch family, and the branch family is expected to serve the members of the main family. When Haruota was younger, he promised to become the familiar of Natsume, his cousin in the main branch of the family.

Harutora is pretty much a slacker, and he prefers to spend time with his friends, Touji and Hokuto. Hokuto keeps trying to convince Harutora to become an onmyo mage, but he keeps telling her that he can’t be a spirit seer because he can’t sense spiritual presence. He also points out that Natsume has already been declared the next head of the family, and that it feels nice that no one has any expectations of him. Throughout this scene, it’s very obvious that Hokuto is in love with Harutora, but he’s too dense to figure it out.

Harutora has a chance meeting with Natsume, who has come home on break from her school in Tokyo. After some small talk, they get into an argument. Touji later tells Harutora that he thinks Natsume was trying to tell him that she’s lonely.

During the last bit of the episode, Harutora, Hokuto, and Touji go to a nearby summer festival. While at a shrine, Hokuto makes a wish for Harutora to become an onmyo mage. Harutora gets upset with her, and Hokuto runs off, crying. After she leaves, a young blond-haired woman named Suzuka Dairenii approaches them; she’s one of the Twelve Divine Generals. For some reason, she thinks that Harutora is Natsume, and she is wanting Natsume to participate in an experiment. The episode concludes with the Magical Investigation Bureau coming to arrest Suzuka for suspicion of use of forbidden magic.

This first episode is definitely an establishing episode so the audience has an understanding of the characters and the world that they inhabit. Admittedly, it kind of has a slow start; however, once the episode reaches the summer festival, the action starts to pick up. By the end of the first episode, enough elements are established to make a viewer interested in coming back to watch the next episode to find out what happens next. For me, probably the biggest question I had when I finished this first episode is, “What exactly did Suzuka do in order for the Magical Investigation Bureau to suspect that she’s using forbidden magic?” Another question I had afterward was, “Will Harutora end up becoming Natsume’s familiar, and if so, how?”

When I finished watching the first episode of Tokyo Ravens, I was left with the impression that the series shows a lot of potential. I will definitely watch the next episode to see if I that potential begins to materialize.

Additional posts about Tokyo Ravens:

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