Thursday, 15 May 2008

Nabari no Ou - Episode 6

While the third episode of Nabari no Ou proved to be a turning point in my belief that it could become a quality series thanks to a fantastically realised and action packed offering, so episode six has helped to solidify my beliefs in a very different way.

After the cliffhanger of episode five, this next instalment begins with Raimei and Kouichi regaining consciousness to find Miharu Rokujo nowhere to be found, and leaving us with much of the episode concentrating on dialogue between Miharu and the 'Kira' user Yoite. Here, we learn just why Yoite wants the Shinrabanshou held within Miharu, and are left with a real potential turning point in the series that even the normally apathetic Rokujo is unable to ignore.

While anyone watching this series for the action alone may be disappointed here, the dialogue and character-focused nature of this episode are both vital and intriguing in their content, representing some sea changes in some of the major relationships and power bases of the show. In essence, Rokujo is no longer able to play his almost 'early Shinji Ikari-esque' role of running away and not caring about the wider issues at stake, as his hand is forced to make decisions that will affect many of those closest to him. We also see Thobari's role as the head of those protecting Miharu suffer, as his overly emotional nature when dealing with Rokujo's disappearance and subsequent poor judgement leads him to be shouted down by, most notably, Kouichi. All of this is without Yoite himself, who has proved himself to be far from the 'monster' we've seen him as thus far - Although highly mentally unstable, you could even question whether he's a bad guy at all, which will doubtless be a question for another day.

All of this adds up to provide Nabari no Ou with a most welcome extra layer over what we've seen before, giving it some not insubstantial depth beyond some cool fight scenes and the general 'woah, ninjas' exclamantions that tend to follow a series of this ilk. Add in the continuation of that great juxtaposition of real world and life as a ninja (carry out a mission for your village or finish an article for your real life job - a problem we've all had to face before. Well, kind of) without forgetting the top-notch animation, and this definitely appears to be a series that is going places provided that it can produce the goods from the seeds that it has now sown.

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