Otome Yokai Zakuro: First Impressions
No doubt about it: this is going to be epicness in motion.
Air Date: 10/4/10
Studio: J.C. Staff
Plot: In an alternate history of the Meiji era where humans and magical beings known as “younin” live side by side, half-younin girls team up with army lieutenants to fight younin wrongdoers. (From ANN)
Normally, shows that feature mimi chicks (I just made that up, lawl) are either fanservice-ridden or just plain sucky. Or at least that’s what I’ve found…you just can’t find a good nekogirl anime these days, and Tokyo Mew Mew disappointed me, I’m not gonna lie. (How did that come up? It’s so freaky…Zakuro, Zakuro~) And so came Otome Yokai Zakuro to remedy the situation. Aha, correction: so came a bunch of bad@$$ half-demon, half-human, fox mimi chicks to remedy the situation, with the one and only Zakuro to lead the way with a devilish fanged smile and an uber sword from a sakura branch.
Let me get this straight right off: I’m all for this chick. As if the trailer didn’t make her seem epic enough, the first episode opens with…well, it’s not just a compliment to Zakuro in the opening, actually. It really hooked me from the start—it features Zakuro in a heated battle with a gigantic demon, but with no background sound effects. The scene takes place on a bridge over a wide stream, and the moonlight gives everything a haunting quality added to what actually IS playing in the background: Hotaru, Hozuki, and Bonbori chanting an eerie song while Zakuro lets that demon have it in the messiest way possible.
It was AWESOME. And, of course, after she’s finished off the demon, Zakuro raises her bloodstained face to the camera, gives her devilish grin, and states simply: “You’re very welcome.” Or, according to the fansubs, she does~
And then it continues to the uber OP, which I will HAVE to download when it comes out in full:
Okay, so we’ve got Zakuro, who’s most likely gonna make my list of favorite anime characters. And I’ll probably keep ranting about her. But now I’ve gotta get into the others, so let’s start with the basics: the secret wussy, Kei.
This guy is either grown-up Tadase or Tamaki’s ancestor, I swear; his solution to every pickle he gets himself into (curse my little sister for getting me into saying “pickle”) is to sparkle, look hot, and make roses bloom all around his head like all bishonens who use the same tactic do. And then his voice gets all echo-y and seductive, and, poof, no more trouble! xD At first, this has Zakuro head-over-heels in love, but when she finds out how much of a wuss he really is, she goes all Yurippe on him and will probably be making his miserable life even miserabler in the near future. You go, girl!~ However, I do hope that he stays a wuss. His reactions to yokai are just hilarious; what’s an awesome ninja chick fight without comic relief?
The one thing that irked me was the immediate romance. Of course, it’s in the OP, but…well, wouldn’t it have been more fun if it grew over time, with Zakuro cutting anybody down who tried to say she was in love, and Kei spazzing? Meh, can’t be helped. I just hope it goes for deeper love rather than just “Oh, you’re hot, sweet, let’s go on a date, I’m over my fear of humans now” END OF ANIME. That would be an insult to such an epic opening~
Now we have my nominee for couple of the century: Hotaru, the girl who seems to be Zakuro’s second-in-command and voice of reason, and Riken, the dude who seems to be…uh…Kei’s second-in-command. So the wingwoman gets a guy—that seems nice and all, but, really, I’m actually looking forward to this more than any Zakuro X Kei bits. It’s just so…CUTE! xDD So, while she and Zakuro were walking along the outside of the ministry headquarters, Hotaru mentioned that she thought her parter (Riken) was “big and scary,” and, of course, he walks by just after she finishes her sentence, proving that the heard it. Zakuro, in her aweshumly aweshum way, turns away from the chibi-spazzed Hotaru with a simple “Not my problem!” and leaves her to…chibi-spaz. Later, she’s looking for some sort of box in a store room for the “flower viewing” (still not tooootally sure what that is, but whatever), and when she finds it, she can’t reach it; instantly, a pair of hands reach out from behind her, lift the box, and hand it to her. Of course, it’s Riken; she thanks him, but then he gets down on one knee (the similarity to a certain other way that gesture is used is probably what made me squee so much), looks up at her, and says, “Am I big and scary now?” And Hotaru is just speechless and it’s all so CUTE, especially since Riken has been Mr. Seen-And-Not-Heard so far. Ritaru fangirls will now receive a warm welcome here at TechnoSora!
And then we’ve got the twins, Hozuki and Bonbori…not much to say there; they’ve got drill-ish hair that even Ganryu notices (and ends up sticking his foot in his mouth because of it), and they’re actually not all that annoying. They’re there for comic relief too, I guess, and to provide…well, I’m guessing they’re there to fill in the demon girl/soldier ratio, and, since they’d need three, I guess going for a pair of moe-moe-kyun identical twins was kind of a win-win to the creators. (Plus, it gives them an excuse to let the little lieutenant get glomped against his will~) Ah, and Ganryu. Yes, he’s the “little lieutenant,” for lack of a better word. Where Kei is at least in his very late teens, maybe early twenties (though that may not work out for the plot), Ganryu must be…hmm…maybe around my age, even. You know the type: wide eyes, innocent type, most likely a female seiyuu. Of course he gets the moe twins as his partners; now they have a continual purpose in the series! (Lawl, naive-ish boy gets even-more-naive girls. Where have I seen this before? Oh, I know! Steel Angel Kurumi! Dx)
And then, of course, all the minor yokai. Kushimatsu, the cartoony horse-headed…matron? Head shrine maiden? Whatever; all I know is, if I were watching this show when I was seven, she would’ve given me nightmares. But no matter~ Sakura and Kiri, the pumpkin-headed baby demons, are actually pretty kawaii, despite their…ah, pumpkin heads; and I’ve got a feeling that this one dude, Mamezo, will be appearing again.
Man, he’s gotta be my second favorite character! xD Already, I’ve taken a liking to him; his voice fits in just a way that every time he opens his mouth, I feel like laughing. It’s all nasally and…loud and…perfect~ And he’s kinda cute, you’ve gotta admit. Plus, he scares the living crud out of Kei! How much more perfect could you get?~ And he provides Zakuro with her sword, so you can’t really do without him, anyway.
All right, I think I’ve covered enough. My final word: this show is going to be made of so much win, it’ll feel like a face slap after I watch an episode~ So I’m definitely going to continue. Zakuro is just awesome, Kei is the perfect comic relief, Hotaru X Riken fo’evah yo, and Mamezo is just…cool! Keep up the great work, J.C.!
Ah…nothing good is airing anymore, at least ’til the fourteenth, if I even feel like watching Kuragehime. So I may or may not do that; meh, maybe I’ll do one on Yakumo. I was thinking about just testing Yosuga no Sora, even though the trailer makes it look like fanservice central, and even that Squid Girl show that came out today looked kind of interesting. Or I might just continue with reviews for other shows that have already aired that I’m watching (which was the original plan for this blog), like…I dunno. I was thinking Familiar of Zero. That would be fun! More J.C., too! xD Meh, whatever. I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it. For now, I know that Otome Yokai Zakuro is going to be epic, epic, epic. Stay tuned!