|A beautiful period piece with a twist|
The show opens to some creepy girls singing a song about existence, Flowers, Butterflies and Ogres as one of them cuts down an Ogre looking beast. After the titles we jump to an officers room as he is briefing three soldiers of there new positions at The Ministry of Spirit Affairs. Back at the Yōkai, the Yōkai, (who will be referred to from now as spirits) talk about the coming guests. Zakuro who is sternly against the westernisation of Japan is expectedly pissed about the situation, while Hotaru Susuki and the twins Hoozuki and Bonbori are a more excited by the situation.
The officers arrive and are paired up with the spirits, youngest Ganryu Hanakiri is paired with the twins and they seem to love it. Second in command, Riken Yoshinokazura is paired with Hotaru who is intimidated by him due to his militaristic behaviour. Finally the leader Kei Agemaki, who it turns out has a deep fear of spirits, is paired with Zakuro. The officers spend their first night at the Yōkai and after one too many bumps in the night, Kei reveals to Zakuro in a moment of weakness that he is deeply afraid of spirits. The next day the soldiers start to adapt more to their new environment, Kei is less afraid of the humanoid spirits, Riken tries to be more gentle with Hotaru and Ganryu just makes a fool of himself. They go to a festival where a lightning beast attacks and the girls dispatch it.
The episode is a remarkable to look at, the art is insanely detailed and shaded almost perfectly, as a person who loves simple art and animation for me to say that is something special. The main characters are aesthetically pleasing to look at with character traits shining through their designs, for example the twins look sweet and carefree while Hotaru looks delicate. The only complaint I have is that the secondary characters, like the dog spirit who acts as a mother, are all very plain in contrast. The sound design is very good with most songs being highly string based and with very little electric sounding music. The voices of the characters are good especially Ganryu’s who sounds like a young boy trying to do a big boy voice much like the look of his character.
I’m really looking forward to seeing more of Otome Yokai Zakuro’s setting it is very enchanting because it spells the end for the traditional Japan, a world where spirits and samurai live, and modern Japan, a place of robots and technology. In fact, this conflict could be what propels Otome Yokai Zakuro into greatness.