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sterfish's Shounen Onmyouji Tv Review

Shounen Onmyouji

Shounen Onmyouji tv Review

Abe no Masahiro is the grandson of the famous Onmyouji Abe no Seimei; a fact he is constantly reminded of. When Masahiro was young, he had a second sight, the ability to see ghost, spirits and demons. He believed he had lost the ability, later realizing that his grandfather had sealed his power.
One day, he meets a mononoke who refuses to tell Masahiro his name, so Masahiro names him "Mokkun". He soon learns the mononoke's true name is Touda, and that he was one of his grandfather’s twelve shikigami.
Soon after meeting him, Mokkun breaks the seal on Masahiro's second sight.
Masahiro then sets out to prove he’s more than just Abe no Seimei’s grandson and to become the greatest Onmyouji, even better than his grandfather.

Based on the synopsis by Mew1Mokuba.

Story & Characters

At first glance, Shonen Onmyouji may seem like a typical shonen action show with a boy fighting a "monster of the week." However, it's more than that. It's actually a unique combination of action with shoujo-style character development/relationships. It starts off a little slow but before you know it, you're emotionally invested in the characters.

The show revolves around Masahiro, the grandson (and apparent heir) of the great onmyouji (or priest) Abe no Seimei. Masahiro's constant companion is Mokkun, a cute creature who is actually the powerful Guren, one of the twelve Spirit Summons who serve Abe no Seimei. By day, Masahiro trains to be an onmyouji and at night, he uses the skills his grandfather taught him to fight evil spirits. There are two arcs in the series. The first focuses on an extremely powerful foreign spirit while the second features a mysterious woman with ties to Seimei's past.

What drives this show, however, are the character relationships. Masahiro and Mokkun/Guren are best friends through and through, something which contributes to the show's most emotional scenes. Then, there is the budding romance between Masahiro and Akiko, an Imperial Princess. Their scenes are cute as Akiko's powerful spirit-sensing ability leads their paths to cross often. There is also the love/hate relationship Masahiro has with his grandfather. Abe no Seimei counts on his grandson one moment and playfully downplays his abilities (to motivate him) the next.

It should also be noted that this show does a good job balancing the amount of characters it has. There's not enough room to talk about the rest of the supporting cast such as the other Spirit Summons, Masahiro's "rival" in the Onmyou dorm, the minor demons that help him, or the god that takes a liking to him. All the characters that appear make an impact and even when their scenes are minimal, they never seem half-baked.

Shonen Onmyouji's story is not a complex one, but it's better than you'd expect. This show is quite enjoyable and gets better as it goes along, especially towards the end. As a result, the story gets an 8.

Rating: 8

Art

The art in Shonen Onmyouji doesn't particularly stand out but it suits the show's action/shoujo aesthetic. The male characters are clearly meant to be more attractive than the female characters. Masahiro looks a little less masculine than similar heroes and Guren fights without a shirt. Even Abe no Seimei gets into the act as he fights using his soul (which so happens to look like his younger self). The female characters are still quite pretty, though.

The various creatures and demons in this show have interesting designs. They are suitably cute or creepy. I like Mokkun's design in that it's completely nondescript. He's not a dog, cat, rabbit, or any combination. This is a show that doesn't shy away from violence. It can be a bit more graphic than you'd think with characters covered in blood and creatures that are eaten.

The only thing that bugs me about this show's design is how some characters (such as Guren) have heads that are too small in comparison to their bodies.

The art is pretty good but not spectacular. As a result it gets a 7.

Rating: 7

Sound

The sound for this show is truly a mixed bag. The opening and ending songs are good. The soundtrack works well in the show but it's not good enough to enjoy by itself.

The Japanese voice acting is pretty good. I especially like the difference in the way Mokkun and Guren sound. Mokkun still sounds tough but just smaller. What is going to drop this score, however, is the English dub.

Watching the English dub of this show will make you appreciate how far North American anime dubs have come. The English dub for Shonen Onmyouji was produced in Singapore and doesn't feature any voice actors that American anime fans would know. A few years ago, dubs like this would be considered decent. It seems to be pretty close to the original and the actors have no trouble pronouncing Japanese words. However, the actual performances leave something to be desired. For example, the voice for Abe no Seimei sounded like a younger actor trying to sound old as opposed sounding like a real old person.

Okay soundtrack, good Japanese version, and slightly subpar English version results in a 6.

Rating: 6

Presentation

Overall, this is a show that sneaks up on you. You'll try to write it off as a simple action show, a mediocre product destined to fade into the woodwork. However, once you start watching, you end up enjoying it more than you thought. By the end, you'll wish there were more episodes.

I think this show is one of the more underrated anime series out there today. It's fun to watch, has great character development, some decent action, and a conclusion that gets you emotionally involved. If you're sick of the same old same old, this show is a light and welcome change.

For being a unique hybrid of action and shoujo sensibilities that's enjoyable, the presentation gets an 8.

Rating: 8

Final Verdict

7.50 (good)

Reviewed by sterfish, Feb 28, 2009

Comments

  1. narunarunarunaru Feb 28, 2009

    i am starting in watching this anime... its a bit historical, isn't?

  2. shawn2death Mar 01, 2009

    This anime is written according to Abe no Seimei's history. But I do not know whether his grandson is an exist person or no...
    I love this anime so much because it's related to the Onmyoudou and spirits.
    Due to that, I choose to do a research on Onmyoudou for my religion studies in my university last year >.<
    I like the character design for the twelve heavenly god too :D
    The opening is great. The combination of Kajiura Yuki's composed music and lyric with Hikita Kaori's voice is perfect! XD

  3. Kiara4ka Mar 01, 2009

    I saw all this anime episode... I liked the story & the art too very much...
    Really good anime ^^

  4. kitsunesama Mar 09, 2009

    Seen the series and I pretty much agree with the review. Loved the way spells are pronounced in this series.

  5. chumbariwap123 Apr 22, 2009

    wooo :D good review

  6. arifffahdlanbinamin Apr 24, 2009

    this one great

  7. Kaji666 May 03, 2009

    I tried watching it but couldn't make it past the first episode. Maybe I'll try again.

  8. setenay May 29, 2009

    thanks, i want to watch it now ^^

  9. lordryo Jul 21, 2009

    I liked your review.

    merged: 07-21-2009 ~ 03:34pm
    This is a good one.

  10. SchRita Aug 23, 2009

    Thanks for the review!

  11. ShadowNeo Aug 26, 2009

    wooo :D good review

  12. Rodrigo0010 Sep 03, 2009

    Very good. Thanks for the review!

  13. SchRita Oct 28, 2009

    Thanks for the review!

  14. animalandia Nov 13, 2009

    Le falto la imagen para conocer a los personajes

  15. SchRita Dec 22, 2009

    Thanks for the review!

  16. back07 Jul 05, 2012

    nice review, thanks for sharing
    :D

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