Sunday, May 29, 2011

OTOME YOUKAI ZAKURO "Demon Maiden Zakuro" [Complete Series]


"Demon Girl Zakuro," an ongoing favorite in Gentosha Comics's Monthly "Comic Birz," is being adapted into anime form! Watch Lily Hoshino's gorgeous characters in motion!
This story takes place during the Westernization Movement in an alternate world where humans and spirits coexist as young half-spirit girls team up with army officers to battle against spirits who would do wrong!
Onward with the spirits!
[CrunchyRoll description of Otome Youkai Zakuro "Demon Maiden Zakuro")

Original Japanese Title: Otome Youkai Zakuro
Dubbed by: Undubbed.
Animation: J.C. Staff
Manga adaption?: Yes, "Otome Youkai Zakuro" by Lily Hoshino.
Rating: (rating unknown)

{I, the reviewer, give Otome Youkai Zakuro "Demon Maiden Zakuro", 7 out of 10!}

COMMENTS

I remember seeing clips of this anime in a Multi-Editor AMV mix for the song "Watercolour" by Pendulum. I instantly wanted to know what anime that was so I could watch it. It was called Otome Youkai Zakuro, and luckily, it was available for streaming at CruncyRoll. It was a rather short series, only 13 episodes, so it shouldn't take too long to finish. So, I began watching it.

The first sequence we see is Zakuro, our heroine, in battle. She quickly takes down a huge monster with ease. This takes place in a slightly alternate Japan, during the Westernization. In this alternate world, spirits and humans coexist. However, many humans do not like or fear the spirits. The military starts this thing called Spirit Affairs, where soldiers would be paired with a half-spirit to investigate several human-spirit cases. The soldiers sent are Agemaki, Riken, and Ganryu. Agemaki is paired with our heroine, Zakuro, whose specialty is fighting. Riken is paired with Susukihotaru, whose specialty is sensing the feelings of living beings, as well as objects. And then Ganryu is paired with the twins, Bonbori and Hozuki, whose specialty is singing during battle and magic rose petals.

It's kind of hilarious how Agemaki is apart of Spirit Affairs, due to the fact he is deathly afraid of spirits. It probably doesn't help he is paired with the hot-tempered Zakuro, who isn't afraid to call him weak and a wuss. Despite the odd pairing, they end up being our main canon couple and eventually start to have feelings for each other. As the series progresses, we learn that there's a secret about Zakuro. Kushimatsu knows about it and Zakuro begs to know but Kushimatsu tells her that it's not yet time. We do know she is very powerful, and there are other spirits after her. Why is that?

All in all, I highly enjoyed this series. It was rather fun and intense to watch. I loved to see how the relationships between the half-spirit girls and their soldiers developed, as well as all of the comic relief between them. The story in itself was rather interesting, mostly revolving around Zakuro's past. There were even moments where I cried, as some of the stories are sad. And a few of the battle scenes were intense enough to put you on edge, wondering if they'll be able to make it out. Though I wouldn't call this much of an action show. It's a bit of a slow paced series, mostly focusing on character developement and finding out about Zakuro. But the action that does take place is rather satisfying and executed very well, and happens often enough. I also really liked the character designs and animation. The colors were very beauty and I love the way the eyes look. The ending was decently satisfying. When I say "decently" I don't mean that I didn't like the ending (I did, it was cute) but I still wish there was more. But I can tell you that everything is pretty much wrapped up in the climax, leaving no more questions about Zakuro. Anyway, it's not perfect, but is still worth a try.

Recommend?
Sure. It's a cute, engaging series, with a storyline interesting enough to keep you hooked. Plus it doesn't take long to finish and it wraps everything up fairly well in the climax.

[VIEWING PLEASURE]

[MUSIC]
The music is pretty nice and fitting for the show. I especially love the opening song, as well as the song the twins sing.

[SUB VS. DUB]
There is currently no dub for this anime. However, the original Japanese is done well with splendid acting.

[MOVIES/MANGA]
"Otome Yokai Zakuro" by Lily Hoshino. No movies that I know of.

[RELATED TITLES]

[DVD EXTRAS]

[CONTENT CARD]

[LANGUAGE]
I acutally don't remember any. If there was, it must of been very minor.

[TABACCO/ALCOHOL/DRUG USE]
The shop owner of Ori's is seen smoking on her first appearance. At the ball, both Bonbori and Hozuki get a little drunk.

[SEXUAL CONTENT/NUDITY]
In the opening sequence, there is some brief undetailed nudity of the twins. Zakuro is also seen naked in the opening, but is covering herself with her arms. The shop owner of Ori's is very well endowed. When Zakuro meets her, the first thing she says is "they're huge!"
Also, The Black Widow is even more endowed and there were a couple of shots focusing on her cleavage line. When Agemaki and Zakuro go to a village for a case, they both have to sleep in the same room and Zakuro freaks out (nothing happens between them, though).
(SPOILERS! When Hanadate (the soldier Zakuro crushes on), who is revealed as Lord Omodaka captures Zakuro, she is chained to a bed and he tries to kiss her and probably go further, but she pushes him away. He wants her to bear his child. He senses some of her power on Byakuroku and kisses her, pulling her in very close. Also, we later find out that Omodaka and Zakuro have the same mother, but Omodaka only wants Zakuro to bear his child, though it still seems like incest there is no love, and he never actually gets the chance to wed and mate with her anyway.)

[VIOLENCE/BLOOD AND GORE]
In the first episode, Zakuro kills a huge monster and there's blood all over her face. When Susukihotaru is entranced by the demonic blade and tries to kill Mugi and the Ori's shop owner, Riken stops her by grabbing the blade and there's some blood. The Black Widow seduces men and eats them (but it's not shown). During one case, Agemaki and Zakuro are faced with a huge monster that feeds on women and children. The cave which it dwells has skeletons of the victims and it's breath smells of rotting corpses. Most of the battle scenes aren't very bloody, though there are alot of injuries.
(SPOILER! When Zakuro sees her mother's memories, there is a scene where her father is killed in front of her mother and his blood splats all over her face. When Zakuro finally defeats The Black Widow, Omodaka rushes to where the mother's body is, and finds she has finally decayed).

[RELIGIOUS MATERIAL]
The entire premise of the show is about humans and spirits coexisting with each other. Zakuro, Susukihotaru, and the twins are Half-Spirits, half human and half fox spirit. They have powers and fox ears on their head. There is a place called The Village Of Oracles, basically the spirit world. When pregnant women are spirited away, they come back bearing half-spirits. So there's alot of magic use and spirits.
(SPOILER! The reason why spirited away women bring back half spirits is because a ceremony is conducted to transform their child into a half spirit. Females are the lucky ones, 'cause for the most part they look human, but males do not).

*EPISODE LIST*
1. Prepare to be Bewitched
2. Crimson Brilliance
3. Tragic Past
4. Timid Distance
5. Sticky Trap
6. Onward Together
7. A Feline Home
8. Fickle Rain
9. Joy Of Love
10. Creeping Shadows
11. Hollow Touch
12. Looming Crisis
13. The Brilliant Finale

2 comments:

  1. Glad that you liked it. 7 was my original rating for it, too, actually. I don't remember why I changed it, really.

    In any case, I definitely recommend checking out 'Erin' on Crunchyroll. Great series.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you for the recommendation, it is now on my CR Watchlist ^.^

    ReplyDelete