May 5, 2017
GrayRealm (All reviews)
Jigoku Sensei Nabe. I mean Nube.

This is a fairly faithful adaptation of manga, which, unfortunately, skips several manga chapters, and tones down material quite a lot (I suppose to make it suitable for TV). Due to doning down of material it is also weaker than manga counterpart.

It is a very solid/quality show, which is, unfortunately not outstanding. It has couple of amazing episodes, and few great moments, but number of those is fairly small. Out of 49 episodes maybe 5 were truly memorable. The rest is just alright.

Differences compared to manga: some of the brutal/gory moments from manga are toned down, changed or removed. Several deaths do not occur in anime, and gory horror moments are heavily toned down when possible. For example, instead of open wounds on sliced monsters we see silhouettes, some people don't die horribly in this adaptation, and so on. Also... compared to manga, story feels less dynamic.

Due to (slightly) toned down story you'd think this almost qualifies for kid's show... but on occasion it throws body horror and very tense moments. Which doesn't happen often. Still, it definitely feels like an attempt to make the story more child-friendly.


Here's detailed breakdown:

Story: 6/10
The story mostly follows episodic monster of the week structure, occasionally some events happen across multiple episodes. Meaning that even though though episodes are mostly unrelated to each other, few events happen in order. The reason why the story is 6/10 and not 5/10 because of few episodes I liked where the anime managed to shine (by being darker or more interesting). At core material is pretty much close to some sort of campfire stories and describes supernatural occurrences that are inexplicably centered around the same school.

Art: 5/10:
It is a tv show from 1990s. It wasn't done on shoestring budget, and doesn't look terrible (for example, it looked much better than Narutaru), but it could've been better. Animes of comparable quality would be.... hmm.... perhaps, slayers tv series, or ranma. Meaning fairly well detailed, but not outstanding.

Sound: 5/10:
Opening starts almost as a death metal composition, but quickly devolves into a sillier tune. There was a small number of interesting motives in background music, but overall music doesn't stand out and is forgettable.

Characters: 4/10:
Characters are not very well portrayed. They aren't stereotypical or bad, but they're not very believable. Due to amount of supernatural stuff that occurs in the school in question it is hard to believe when Nube dismisses someone's concern, or when people act in reckless fashion regarding possible yokai. Nube as a character is quite annoying, I also strongly disliked Ritsuko sensei. The problem with Nube is that he is portrayed as a completely incompetent idiot when it comes to women (or anything that is not yokai), and in some scenes I was feeling sorry for his objects of romantic interest. Ritsuko-sensei are completely one-dimensional and barely displays any character, ever, her primary job is getting angry at Nube. Quite a lot of characters are close to being one-dimensional, meaning they do what plot tells them, most of the time. The most interesting characters from the whole cast were Miki, Kyoko and to some extent Hiroshi. Yukime was also somewhat interesting, but Ritsuko sensei, and Nube's antics pretty much impacts show negatively.

Still, some of the side characters were interesting and amusing, which included some of the youkai.

Enjoyment: 5/10.
IT was alright, but that's about it. I'm not sure why I watched it, but I didn't hate it. I did enjoy few rare episodes that were of higher quality.

Overall: 5/10.
It is a decent show, but not a masterpiece.
I think checking out the manga instead of anime might be a good idea with this one. Overall the anime gives impression of being aimed at either children or young kids, if not for the occasional instances of body horror. Art style isn't bad, and some of the characters are cute. So... may be worth picking up for retro visuals or to kill some time.