Seriously, I need to read some actual Shinto texts one of these days. I’ve been circling around the center, dealing with take-offs over the source material for this whole time, and I know I’d benefit from getting the firsthand experience. “Yokai” sounds an awful lot like the “Yoki” of CLAYMORE and all the 100 or so demons in this show certainly have a distinctly-Japanese appearance, which all leads me to believe that this must be classical folklore in the same fashion that those PERCY JACKSON books drew from Greek mythology.
The comparison to young adult is apt in more than a few ways, actually, because I’ll go ahead and play the card that I feel a little too old for this show. Many of these shows walk a delicate balance between being acceptable for kids and being of interest to adults, but there is a difference between something that’s rated “teens and up” and something that’s best limited to a certain age group. Anime’s strict classifications of what material’s intended for which audiences has usually been quite vexing to me, but I’d say this is a case where it would be appropriate. This looked like it was going to be some feudal ninja show - - an edgier riff on PEACE MAKER with supernatural elements, perhaps - - but it plays a bit like Harry Potter’s semester abroad in Tokyo. Not only does the main kid have a moppy haircut and big glasses, but he’s also got that ol' ambivalence about his otherworldly heritage that’s looking very likely to play out in a school setting.
It could make for a moving coming-of-age epic; it could very well get darker throughout the season. Frankly, though, if I’ve got my select choice of new shows to take on, I think I’d rather go for something with some blood in its teeth. I want to see some skulls cracking, man! And even this show's more fanciful weren't spellbinding enough to make me want to lean in the other, less agro direction.
Watch this episodes "Becoming the Lord of Pandemonium" below, decide for yourself.