Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan‏ Volume 1 by Hiroshi Shiibashi

9/10 Shiibashi's unique artwork deserves praise.

“While the day belongs to the humans, the night belongs to yokai, supernatural creatures that thrive on human fear.”

This is not the beginning of a book based on Disney’s Monsters Inc, rather the opening lines from the manga (Japanese comic), written by Hiroshi Shiibashi. It is one of my favourite, lesser known manga’s and it tells the story of the twelve year old Rikuo Nura, who is the reluctant heir to the Yokai clan, torn between becoming a demon who terrorizes humans when all he wants to be is just another human boy.

Nura:  Rise of the Yokai Clan, tells the tale of this unlikely hero, whose Yokai blood works, unknown to him and transforms him into the deadly Lord of Pandemonium, the Nurarihyon, whenever there is danger around him. He then proclaims he is ready to take up his destiny but when he reverts back to the glasses-totting middle school kid he has no memory of before and swears never to bow to the evil deeds of the yokai.

Shiibashi’s artwork has been praised and claimed to be unique and yes, for sure, I love how even in the smallest panels he manages to show intricate details, which is the main reason I love this manga. Also, the character of Rikuo is one we can all relate to. One where your destiny goes against everything you believe in. Then, can you change it? Or is it inevitable? Added to the strong message of the manga is the classic manga-style humor, the exaggerated emotions and a pack of really funny and loyal Yokai who will follow their human master anywhere. This is a must read, and a pretty good introduction to anyone willing to take a plunge into the fantastical world of manga and anime. Trust me, there is no end!

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