After veering from seat of the pants action to sendantry between episodes three and four, the fifth instalment of Nabari no Ou finds itself somewhere in-between the two, whilst also succeeding in turning out to be a rather good episode overall.
Much of the focus this time around was on Raimei, who I have to confess to having a bit of a soft spot for. While we saw her attempting to extract information about something (or rather someone) previously back in episode three, in this episode we find out why - Needless to say, it's all down to a rather severe bout of family troubles. As an extension of this, she also has to admit that her entire reason for getting close to and protecting Rokujo was in the hope that she'd be able to use his power to find and bring her errant sibling to justice, something that she claims is no longer her motivation for sticking around. After all that, we're left with one very big cliffhanger for episode six, to leave me depressed at the thought of having to wait another week for my next fix.
I've mentioned it previously about this series, but it's worthy of being brought up again - One of the real plus points of Nabari no Ou is the way that it mixes everyday, modern life with the secret existence of the various ninja villages and clans. This is more than just a visual element to the series, it runs through everything from the decisions that are made through to the different ways characters seek to solve problems - While some (notably Thobari) are well and truly ensconced in a modern way of thinking that values the life of all and sundry, the 'old school' characters within the show have no qualms about their colleagues dying for the cause in the name of honour. The attempt to keep balance between the everyday world and Nabari also rears its head at times, with the deaths of ninjas having to be explained (i.e. made up) as deaths in the 'real' world as well.
Couple that interesting take on your typical ninja-based series with some beautiful animation and characters designs, and throw in an interesting and engaging plot, and you have yourself Nabari no Ou. While it has been a little inconsistent with regard to episode quality, at its peak it really is a formidable show, and I'm hoping that this particular episode sees it begin to build up a head of steam to avoid those fluctuations in quality as the series continues.