“Human and Spirit Relations” – Otome Youkai Zakuro (anime) – 6/10 Turkeys

Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds. ~Albert Einstein

Genre: Historical/ Romance/ Comedy/ Supernatural

Review Status: Partial (5 Episodes/ ? Episodes)

Licensed: Licensed in the US

Art/Animation: The colors are bright and cheerfully vibrant, the animation average. The art is also average, with rather ridiculous hairstyles for some of the girls.

Summary: It’s the Meiji Era in a slightly alternate Japan, and the Gregorian calendar has just come into effect. The fox-eared girls living in the youkai part of town are about to be put to work together with a delegation of young human soldiers, to promote interracial understanding. So what will happen when Zakuro’s strong personality collides with human sensibilities?(from B-U)

Review: This is an interesting take on your usually romcom. Youkai, instead of having disappeared sometime in the country’s past, are slowly being driven out and away from Japanese cities due to their Westernization. In doing so, the half-youkai girls are paired with military men, and they begin to investigate misunderstandings between the humans and spirits.

It’s interesting because you get a better look into Japanese beliefs and mythology better than in many anime you will see. The incidences they investigate are just as interesting, but that may be due to my not having seen very many of them. There were about three over the five episodes I watched.

The relationships between the girls and men are what get front and center, with the incidences being catalysts for them. You have one pair getting together by the fourth episode, and another one brewing heavily. It’s also obvious that Zakuro will be pairing up with her partner, Kei, before the anime ends. But in the meanwhile, they must deal with some obvious dislike from the Japanese people.

Though I stopped at the fifth episode, a plot against the main heroine was well underway. While it does seem promising, with clues about Zakuro’s past being key to what’s going on, it wasn’t enough to compell me to finish watching.

While the anime isn’t bad, I didn’t find anything about it very gripping. Everything about it seems fairly… average. From Zakuro being the only one who truly fights, to who hooks up with who, to there being a mysterious past, it all has been done before. It does it in an interesting way, but not enough to interest me in watching further.

Overall, this is a good show if you’re into action and romance with a supernatural twist. If you aren’t that much into romance or want a little more from your anime, not so much.

Recommended: If you’re into period or supernatural romances. 13+ for minor and implied violence and death.

Other titles you might enjoy: Victorian Romance Emma (manga and anime),
Kanon 2006 (anime),
Air (anime),
Ouran Host Club (anime and manga),
Princess Tutu (anime),
Spirited Away (anime),
Ah! My Goddess (anime and manga),
Gakuen Alice (manga)


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