Silent, apathetic, yet mischievous, 14-year-old Rokujou Miharu is the bearer of the hijutsu, "Shinrabanshou," a powerful technique many ninja clans desire to possess to become the ruler of Nabari. Fellow classmate Kouichi and his English teacher Kumohira are both secretly Banten clan ninjas, pledging themselves to protect Miharu from his many attackers. Keeping apathetic, Miharu attempts to reject their invitation to join their ninja "club." However, after numerous attacks, he finds no choice but to join their group as a means for his survival. Slowly, Miharu takes a step closer to becoming the ruler of Nabari.
People will look at this and say: "Another ninja anime?". By now, the big and world-wide known title I don't even have to mention is burned into people's minds, and although it wasn't the first or last anime about ninjas, it's now become an easy reference.
I say you should forget that anime if you want to watch Nabari no Ou.
The plot here, more than the fights, more than the neat skills, is the most important thing. And the main characters, are, surprisingly, the main hero and the main villain. Wait, what?
In our story, Miharu Rokujou has the greatest and secret art of the ninjas within himself, and the whole world of Nabari, the hidden world of said ninjas, want him because of it. There is no good or evil, no black and white. There are those that want to use the power, Shinrabanshou, and those that want to get rid of it before something bad happens.
Our "hero", Miharu, rejects all shounen stereotypes and actually couldn't care less. All he wants is to go back to his old, carefree life. The others surrounding him carry powerful stories of betrayal, emotional weaknesses, and the relations between the characters just builds up. Some of them even end up surprising you, acting way colder than you thought they could.
And the villains, they don't actually sound like villains at all. In the dark world of Nabari, it's either kill or be killed, so you can't really say because they're murderers that they're evil, and that's what makes it more interesting. And the best character interaction comes from the worst killer with our main "hero".
The art isn't astonishing, but isn't bad either. Very nice colors, and smooth animation. The only complaint is that, as I said before, the main concern here is the plot. If you're in here for great action, you're just going to disappoint yourself. Nice background music, catchy opening song, very touching ending song that somewhat makes you relate to the pain inside each character.
Nabari no Ou is an anime about the art of the ninjas, and although not action-filled, it has a consistent plot and interesting characters that just might surprise you. If you want to get a break from the "other" ninja anime, or if you just want to watch a good ninja anime, then you should give this a try.read more
Nabari no Ou decided to take the ninja theme and put a little twist on it - the ninjas exist in modern times. I'm not saying this hasn't been done before, but it's definitely a change of pace from most ninja anime where ninjas are completely different from our contemporary culture. Nabari no Ou is about a boy named Miharu who has a powerful forbidden art called the Shinrabanshou inside him, a skill that can give infinite knowledge to the user, thus giving them the ability to grant wishes. Once his schoolteacher recognizes him, things pick up from there and he is dragged into the underground ninja world so they can seal the Shinrabanshou in his body (you didn't think using it wouldn't have a consequence, right?).
At first, I was pretty disappointed with the series. It seemed to be the same old tired ninja series with nothing special to offer. They didn't execute the modern day ninja as nicely as I'd have liked them too. However, about 10 or so episodes in the show started changing focus. Yes. Instead of running around to get scrolls, Miharu was becoming obsessed with a boy named Yoite. From this point on, some really complex character relationships start to form, creating a sort of soap opera effect that keeps you watching. It gets ridiculously melodramatic at points (running in the snow at Christmas after someone, a character going into a coma, Yoite being unable to accept kindness...) but it's impossible to not get sucked in by the drama. I feel this may not be as interesting for guys though, because the relationships become borderline yaoi at a certain point, so some guys may not have the same interest in the series after the "boy love shift" occurs.
The story itself ends up getting lost amongst the drama and character relationships. The epic hunt for all the scrolls is pretty laughable because the only enemy is a group called Kairoushuu....You would think every ninja clan in the world would be trying to collect scrolls to get their hands on Miharu's power but nope. Just one group. Anyways, Kairoushuu is the worst villain group ever. The villains aren't evil - they constantly help the heroes. In fact, they constantly run to them and provide them with information or even work alongside them. It creates no tension at all. Oh, and the leader? His final "battle" with Yoite ends in....5 seconds maybe? That's just pathetic. Don't even get me started on how bad the ending was. It went from EXTREME ACTION into the quaint, melancholy ending of japanese drama series. There is no plausible way for it to have been more anti-climactic.
Lastly, the characters need some work. Nabari no Ou wanted to be like Bleach so they put in a hole flock of characters - many of which they don't even use for anything interesting. They build up something about a character (Oda and Katou's relationship, Aizawa's 'secret' or Hattori's assistant) and then don't touch it any further. Personally, I would like to know how Oda and Katou hit it off afterwards, or see Aizawa use his EPIC secret in abttle at least more than once in 26 episodes. Even seemingly main characters end up just spectating or flouncing around, like Kumohira-sensei. At a certain point, the designs even started to get less interesting. However, the main characters they DO focus on are pretty captivating.
Overall, I can see that this series has some minor flaws (too many characters, plot could use work) but it really is very enjoyable. Some may watch for the fights, but I watch for the character relationships.read more
In life, many people (through different experiences) learn the value of human relationships; be it the relationship between lovers, siblings or friends. They learn it is okay to have selfish desires once in a while and what a person can mean to another.
Thus we come to Nabari no Ou (English: King of Nabari), an anime which attempts to present multiple character relationships and the complexities of human interaction with a bit of ninja action to spruce things up.
The story is one that had an interesting premise: The apathetic Miharu is told that he holds the power of the Shinrabanshou, a technique desired by the entire ninja world named “Nabari”. He doesn’t really feel anything towards the responsibility until he befriends Yoite, a merciless killer who is on the side that wants to attack Miharu. They both forge an unlikely bond they never had before and Miharu promises to wipe Yoite existence from the face of the earth with his power.
Unfortunately the rest of the show does not live up to this premise. It not only follows this summary, but the stories and relationship of those around them, as well as the entire Nabari conspiracy and plots to overthrow the ninja world. And that is where the first mistake appears. In an attempt to create an eco-system like story where everything affects everything else it dangers itself into using every cliché imaginable. Clichés aren’t necessarily a bad thing when used properly, and Nabari no Ou doesn’t, the worst cliché being “The Chosen One” seen one-too many times. Praise has to come to Yoite’s and Miharu’s ambiguous connection though. If there was a spark of originality it would be them – the friendship between the main protagonist and main antagonist.
As aforementioned, there is an attempt to display meaningful character relationships and it remains just that – an attempt. The failure of this is due to the superficial cast of characters seen a hundred times, seen in a hundred different anime. There’s the spunky girl, the geeky yet strong boy, the all-knowing mysterious guy who randomly pops up, the emo and the beautiful ninja showing a bit too much of that cleavage. I don’t believe it is a bad thing to have the obvious traits in the typical character; but these characters are just outright boring and bland with nothing remotely important to give to the show.
How all the characters affect and are intertwined with each other could more or less be summed up with the following motion: Yawn. Caring less about these people with such pathetic reasoning and whimsical basis for relationships and justifications would be a challenge. Take Miharu’s and Yoite’s relationship for example: Basis for such an excellent bond? Because they are both lonely. The arbitrary relationship was so irrational it might as well be deemed as “Love at first sight”, in which case the anime also had gay undertones.
Miharu also becomes one of the most boring hero’s I’ve seen in any show. Primarily because he is an overly passive one. No, really, he does NOTHING. Most of his screen time consists of him crying for Yoite and waffling on about life.
Now we come to the ‘ninja’ aspect. I was actually looking forward to this part as I thought if anything could redeem this show it would be the action. Again, I was left thoroughly disappointed. We all know how the ‘Ninja’ genre isn’t really taken too literally in anime since they’re about as sneaky and invisible as a bearded lady; but even so, that is no excuse for calling this a ninja anime then having no attributes to the genre in it whatsoever. To call this a ninja anime is like calling Death Note a romance just because an infatuated broad comes along and speaks about “dates” and “boyfriends” or Fruits Basket a shounen because of the odd duel. Out of the 520 minutes you would have wasted watching this show, about 8 minutes of that is filled with rather poorly choreographed action.
Nabari’s uniqueness stems mainly off of the art. It easily catches the viewer’s attention with the sketch-like drawings and water colour inking which makes the entire show looks like a painting. But ‘uniqueness’ doesn’t always mean ‘good’. The low-budget quality of art becomes irritable; especially the sickly anorexic character designs which made me want to force feed them all.
The music themes were assets to the show as well as being a liability. The themes played throughout the show usually consisted of high pitched violin solos which added to moments of drama – a fine piece; however it was the only piece memorable. It wasn’t that it was particularly outstanding but it was CONSTANTLY being recycled over and over again to the point where it Britney Spears’ “Toxic” would’ve sound more appealing to me. The OP song is skipable as it is too annoying to sit through 1:30 minutes of a j-pop opening that sounded like it was sung through the nose.
Being an English dub fan I wasn’t impressed at all by the voice acting. Most of the English voice were just average. Brenda Palencia is an excellent voice actress to portray young boys, but her voice did not fit well with Miharu's character -- probably because of Miharu's split character at times, especially when he to play “cute”. On the other hand, the Japanese seiyuu, Rie Kuguyima did an excellent job in portraying both Miharu’s real personality and his fake one. However, there is one English performance I can truly applaud -- and that is Joel McDonald, who played the emo-like Yoite. He gave the character more personality than the art or character’s actions ever could. Choosing between the English and Japanese audio is a matter of preference -- both versions are equally listenable; so if you enjoy a certain language more than the other then go with it, since there is no extra merit to listen to the opposite language to your preference.
The dialogue was definitely the worst part of the show. Firstly, I wanted to chuck a thesaurus at whoever the screenwriters were due to the fact that the word “apathetic” was mentioned every five agonizing minutes. How about words like “indifferent” or “nonchalant”? Then there was the rest of the dialogue: biggest bull I have ever heard. Nabari no Ou will make you cringe at the unoriginal waffling, and mostly unimportant dialogue. You could forward ten minutes to find that they are STILL babbling on about the same subject.
A dragged out story. Annoying, stereotypical, carbon copy characters. Repetitive sound. Low budget animation. Rubbish action. And the most pretentious dialogue ever. I’m not kidding you when I say this is bad, but by all means check it out for yourself if you’re that much of a masochist. read more
Nabari no Ou is not a ninja anime. Yes, the synopsis would disagree with me, but after watching all 26 episodes, the ninja aspect of Nabari no Ou is pretty much unimportant to the central story.
Nabari no Ou is more about the relationship between Yoite and Miharu. They meet each other as enemies, but as the story progresses, they slowly become friends. Yoite wishes Miharu to end his existence using the power Shiranbanshou, while Miharu tries to master this technique to fulfill his wish.
The story, is at best, mediocre. From the synopsis, I was lead to believe this series would be action-packed. But it really isn't. There is little to none ninja/fighting scenes, and most of the story is told through the characters' interactions and dialogues. Nabari no Ou isn't quite episodic, but I actually wish it was. After 26 episodes, there isn't really much content. Many of the events that occur in the middle of the story really has nothing to do with the main plot. If you had missed half of the episodes in the middle, you'd be perfectly fine. Nabari no Ou's story was rather dull for 26 episodes; it would've been much better had it been 12 or 13 episodes. However, the progressing bond between Miharu and Yoite was done very well, and the end, although not exciting at all, was very satisfactory and conclusive.
The characters were quite weak for the most part. Nabari no Ou had a serious problem with transition in terms of character reactions and personality. For example, near the end of one episode, a certain character laments over a dreadful event and grieves. The next episode, right after the event passes, and the next arc comes along, that character acts as if nothing bad had happened. This happens many times to many characters throughout the episodes. It seriously kills any affection for Nabari no Ou's characters, and watchers really can't identify with such characters that seem obviously fictitious.
The art is unarguably one of the better aspects of Nabari no Ou. Characters are quite skinny, but then again, that's perfectly normal in anime. What I really enjoyed is the background scenery. Edges and lines are not sharp, and the coloring reminds me of pastels and crayons. The backgrounds provide a really peaceful and tranquil atmosphere for Nabari no Ou.
The sound consists mostly of serene background music, and during scenes of action, music filled with anticipation kicks in. Overall, the background music wasn't spectacular, but there wasn't wrong with it either.
Overall, I feel Nabari no Ou could have been so much better if it was only 12 or 13 episodes long. The plot is quite simple and straightforward, and having 24 episodes with such a short plot creates repetition and dullness in Nabari no Ou. If you decide to watch Nabari no Ou, I highly recommend skipping scenes or fast forwards parts. You won't miss anything important.read more
The colorful world of anime has given birth to some awesome ninja characters over the years. Some of which surpass the others. Whether it be for their swift speed or amazing techniques, each warrior is a master in their own right. Come meet 15 of the best anime ninja warriors out there!