Tokyo Ravens 東京レイヴンズ
This anime starts out with beautiful scenery and vibrant greenery. There are beautiful graphic nature scenes throughout it that are stunning and detailed like a painting.
Licensed by Funimation
Produced by Geneon Universal Entertainment, Tokyo MX, Fujimi Shobo, & four other producers
Genres: Magic, Mecha, School, Romance, Supernatural, Government Organizations
The start of this anime lets you know that it focuses on folklore and mythological creatures because we can see a young boy promising a young girl that he will become her shikigami and protect her.
Shikigami are from Japanese folklore; they are smaller gods. Shikigami can take the form of an animal, bird, human, or paper doll/origami. Shikigami serve a master; a person with spiritual or magical capabilities such as a priestess, shaman, exorcist, or witch.
Years have passed by since the young boy named Harutora asked to be that girl's shikigami. Harutora has grown up and he is now a high school student. He has a normal life and spends his days with his two friends, Touji and Hokuto.
Harutora comes from a powerful family of shamans. He is suppose to inherit the family line, and he is at the age where he must decide whether or not he wants to become a shaman himself. Harutora does not believe that being a shaman is meant for him however, since he can not see spirits or sense spiritual energy. Harutora has no faith in himself or his own abilities, but both of his friends believe in him, and they hope that he will become a shaman in the future.
After Harutora and his friends separate, he runs into the girl named Natsume, who he met when he was a child and who he wanted to protect as her shikigami. Natsume is only in town for a week. She is very dedicated to her role as her family's heir; her seriousness about her role leads to a small disagreement between her and Harutora, who does not plan to be his family's heir, so Natsume leaves Harutora upset. Natsume and Harutora used to be close as children, but age and time has separated them.
The world that Harutora lives in is one where exorcists and spiritualists are constantly needed to maintain stability in society. In Japan, the Shamanic Bureau handles unruly or dangerous spirits who would disrupt the people's way of life, so the Shamanic Bureau is similar to a police department, except that it handles supernatural disruptions.
Supernatural disruptions happen often, and in fact, just recently, Harutora heard about a major disruption from an evil spirit that terrorized Tokyo in the news. This is normal life though, so the following day, a festival took place in Harutora's town; he and his friend's went to it.
At the festival, Harutora and his friends had fun playing games and eating sweets. The festival environment also made Harutora's feelings for Hokuto come to the surface.
Unfortunately though, the fun did not last. After spending some time at the festival, a strange looking woman showed up.
At the same time, Hokuto runs off because Harutora and her got into an argument after Harutora found out that Hokuto made a wish for him to become a shaman. Harutora feels pressured by everyone to become a shaman, but all he wants is to enjoy his time with his friends; he expects support from them, so the pressure from Hokuto bothers him a lot and feels like a betrayal.
After the argument, the strange girl showed up in front of Harutora and his friend Touji. This young girl is a great divine general named Dairenji Suzuka. Suzuka is about to attack Harutora and Touji thinking that one of them is Tsuchimikado Natsume (the young girl that I mentioned earlier that Harutora wanted to serve as a shikigami when he was a child). Suddenly though, military vehicles show up and set up a barrier to stop Suzuka from attacking them.
The military vehicles are from the magic police who came because Suzuka used forbidden magic. Suzuka is threatened by them and told that if she does not stop what she is doing, she will be killed. Suzuka resists arrest though, and chooses to fight the police with her artificial familiar, which was made by the Shamanic Bureau.
During this fight scene, the graphics become more HD at times; the magic spells and the effects are detailed and different from the rest of the graphical designs used earlier in this anime. The effect reminds me of some of the Japanese role-playing games.
Unfortunately, the magic police are not equipped to handle someone as powerful as Suzuka, so they are decimated quickly, and Harutora is captured by her.
Hokuto returns and tries to help Harutora, but this exposes that Harutora is not Tsuchimikado Natsume. This causes Suzuka to leave a threat for Tsuchimikado Natsume with Harutora. Then this first episode ends with a big surprise that I did not see coming! Suzuka kisses Harutora in front of Hokuto, which breaks her heart. Then we are left wondering what will happen next.
Final Thoughts? Is This Anime Worth Watching?
This is an interesting anime. I really like that it adds a unique twist by mixing historical and supernatural with mecha. I think the closest thing that I can compare this anime to is Final Fantasy, since it brings in gods/shikigami and mixes it with mecha and magic.
Also, the design of Suzuka and her clothing reminds me a lot of Megumi Shimizu in the anime Shiki. I love Suzuka's design more than any of the other characters in this anime, so I hope that she will appear more throughout this anime!
All-in-all, I think that this is a nice anime that will spike your interest. There will likely be many more fight scenes, some adventure, and Harutora may find himself surrounded by all new characters like Tenchi was in Tenchi Muyo. So I do think that this is a fun anime. This anime will appeal most to people who like mecha, priestesses, magic, the supernatural, and crime-themed animes.
Have you seen this anime? What did you think of it?
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