With so many series out this fall, it’s not surprising that one of them deals with youkai like Nurarihyon no Mago, one of my three summer carryovers. No biggie though, Zakuro wastes no time establishing itself as its own animal. Certainly, both deal with crossing between the human and spirit worlds, but in this case, by design: the army assigns three young lieutenants to support four half-youkai maidens in the fight against ‘youkai gone bad.’
That may sound a little dry, but it’s all in the details. Zakuro, the maiden with the biggest chip on her shoulder, is kind of a tsundere-lite, becoming instantly smitten with her lieutenant until she discovers he’s scared to death of youkai. The lieutenant himself, Kei, is the son of a high-ranking officer, and is determined to get over his fear. The best scenes of the episode were these two trying to feel each other out. I’m looking forward to how they both develop.
I appreciate how each lieutenant has their own girl to worry about (one of them has two), so there’s little chance of love triangles or competitions that will waste time. They’ve already been paired off, and they seem like good fits. The episode also mixed in some respectable comedy and a smidgen of social commentary, and was book-ended by action scenes that were most elegant and graceful, eschewing the typical weapons-clanking and screaming for some actual lyricism. Nice start. Rating: 3