I had pretty high hopes for Nabari no Ou from its first couple of episodes, and this third instalment of the series was a rich reward for that faith. Quite simply - It was awesome. Think Naruto, but with more interesting characters, less stupidly over-the-top jutsu and more 'real' fighting, and some truly sparkling animation. Oh, and set in the 21st century to boot.
After taking Rokujo to Fuma village at the end of the last instalment, only to find it virtual decimated by attackers, this episode sees Rokujo and his trio of protectors come face to face with these adversaries. From then on, almost the entire episode is a pitched battle between the two sides, which while being pretty typical for this genre of show in its content still managed to be highly impressive, with the show's animation quality in particular really shining through. Nothing was spared in showing off the delivery and consequences of each and every attack and injury, making for a gory scene which managed to remain gritty in its realism in a way that you would never hope for from Naruto. To add to the 'cool' factor, this episode wasn't afraid to use its modern day setting to the full, mixing in a gun-wielding ninja amongst all the more traditional fighting fare.
Of course, such an action oriented show won't be for everyone, but if you're a bit of a sucker for this kind of thing then Nabari no Ou is looking to be grade A material and then some. It's possibly the best looking anime I've watched this season (and yes, that includes Code Geass R2) which also has some decent characters that hold promises of going beyond your usual vacuous all-action types, with its main protagonist in particular looking to be a very intriguing personality in particular.
I wasn't prepared to nail my flag to the mast after the opening two episodes of this series, but now I feel that I am - Watch Nabari no Ou, it's brilliant stuff.