Manga Review: Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan Volume 25

Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan is a series that focuses on a young man who has grown up around a clan of yokai.

Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan Volume 25
Written by: Hiroshi Shiibashi
Publisher: Shueisha
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: February 3, 2015

The main character of the series is Rikuo Nura. He is the grandson of Nurarihyon, the supreme commander of the Nura clan. The Nura clan is made up of yokai, but Nura is only one-quarter yokai, since his mother was a human. His grandfather intends for Rikuo to become the head of the Nura clan once his yokai powers are realized.

Since Rikuo grew up around yokai, he thought they were cool and didn’t realize that humans thought that yokai didn’t exist. One day, Nurarihyon announces his intention to make Rikuo the next head of the clan at a meeting. This doesn’t go over well Gagoze, a high-ranking yokai. He tries to kill Rikuo while he’s on the school bus. Rikuo actually missed the bus, so he goes to help the kids trapped in the bus. During a confrontation with Gagoze, Rikuo suddenly transforms and taps into his yokai powers. Unfortunately, he has no memory of this happening afterward.

The story fast forwards a few years, and Rikuo wants to embrace his human side and no longer desires to become the next head of the clan. Meanwhile, Rikuo finds himself recruited into a new club at school that is dedicated to tracking down yokai, because the head of the club wants to find the yokai who saved his life during the bus accident that happened earlier in the story.

I have to admit that prior to reading Volume 25, I have only read the first volume of Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan. I understood a little bit about what was going on, and I was able to piece some things together as I read the story in this volume. While it could be hard for me to follow what was going on at times, I think I have the basic gist of what happened during the climax that led to the conclusion of the series.

Volume 25 is the final volume for Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan, and a lot has changed since the beginning of the series. One of the major changes is that Rikuo comes to terms with his yokai blood and takes on the position of the Third Head of the Nura Clan. Of course, Rikuo now has multiple factions after him to try to stop him or to usurp his position.

This volume includes the final two chapters of the series, which are full of confrontations that ultimately help to bring about the end of the story. These chapters are also very action-oriented, and there several pages where there’s much more focus on the action than on dialogue.

The climax sees Hagoromo-Gitsune, an ayakashi, going up against her son, Abe no Seimei (who is determined to take control of the world). But when it looks as if Seimei will have the upper hand, Rikuo, who has transformed into his yokai form, appears with his allies and makes an uneasy alliance with Hagoromo-Gitsune. But together, the two of them work to take down Seimei; and in the process, secrets are revealed. The very end of the story is narrated by Yuki-Onna as a letter she’s written to Rikuo, and it lets the reader see what has happened to the various characters after the final battle. I thought this made for a nice way to end the manga, especially for readers who have followed this series all the way to this point.

There are also a total of five bonus stories included in Volume 25, and most of them are set after the end of the main series. Three of the stories are serious in nature, while two are more on the comedic side. Four of the stories focus on Rikuo, while the fifth one focuses on Ryuji. I enjoyed all but one of these stories, which was one of the comedic ones. This particular story shows Rikuo getting drunk at a celebration and flirting with just about every female there. While there was a second comedic story, at least the other one truly added something of value to the characters it featured. This was also true for the three serious stories. The Rikuo getting drunk story just felt weak when compared to the other four stories included in Volume 25.

Even though I’ve only read the first and last volumes of Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan, I really got the sense after reading Volume 25 that this was a nice send-off for the series and the characters. I expect that long-time readers of the series may also feel the same way. And after reading Volume 25, I think I need to find time to read Volumes Two through 24 in order to fill in that huge gap and learn how the story reached the point it did in Volume 25.

The reviewer was provided a review copy by VIZ Media

Additional post about Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan:

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