It’s a race against time that won’t end well.
What They Say:
Harutora and Natsume interrupt Suzuka as she tries to bring her older brother back from the dead.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Tokyo Ravens certainly went for some difficult material in the precious episode as we had Suzuka trying to toy with Harutora for her own reasons and we end up with a dead Hokuto along the way. Whether it’s meaningful in the long run, in that it’s more than just the motivation to get Harutora off his ass and doing what needs to be done, remains to be seen. But as an early motivator, it definitely works well to spur him to action and to have her memory as something to reach towards in doing something good. It was also an event that shows that there is an element of danger in this series, which is certainly needed in order to make it have some resonance.
Suzuka’ goal of bringing her brother back to life is the early focus here as she sits at the temple on the mountain and orchestrates everything. She’s intent on crrying through her familial duty hereand provides a somewhat calmer storyline that runs early on while Harutora and Natsume are racing to stop her while being pursued by other demons. Natsume gets to come across well here as she rides her flying horse but also introduces a classic Chinese style dragon here named, of all things, Hokuto, that saves Harutora along the way. It adds a great level of fantasy to the show than what we had early on, but it also feels like a pretty decent and natural progression even in the third episode to do something like this. And it makes for one heck of a smooth and slick aerial battle as they fight their opponents that Suzuka has set upon them.
The first half covers the back and forth well as it has some great looking scenes and good character moments, which all leads to the resurrection event itself. And it’s not one that goes well as her brother, upon being awakened, is pretty vicious towards her. The dashes of past we see between them is good, but it’s seeing how Harutora takes it so personally – not a surprise after losing Hokuto – and he just dials it up several notches to truly impress with his actions. It’s not a terribly long action sequence, but it works well to show his intensity but also the very emotional reason that Suzuka was doing what she did. Ntasume sort of gets lost in the second half to some degree, but as it finishes out and we get the epilogue that moves us towards Tokyo, you can see how her presence will be far more s the show goes on.
Tokyo Ravens has another good episode here as it finishes out the opening arc of the series by working through a good range of action and emotion to bring it all together. Almost serving as a prologue to get things in place – name in Tokyo – the show does some engaging things here with the way it unfolds, especially in providing a proper pairing with Natsume and getting Harutora to really take things seriously and do what must be done. The arc works well, though I suspect it’ll play even better in marathon form, and is one of those series that feels like it’s an under the radar work that needs to get a bit more attention as it all comes together. I’m still looking for that moment or shift that will make it into something special, but it’s definitely close to being there already.
Streamed By: FUNimation
Sony KDL70R550A 70″ LED 1080P HDTV, Apple TV via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.