Friday, November 6, 2009

Nabari DVD Set 1 Impression

Nabari DVD set 1
Nabari: The Complete Series Part One on DVD from FUNimation is a must have for Naruto, Ninja Scroll and Persona (art) fans. Yeah this is a lofty list of ‘must’ but when you breakdown this first collection it hits on so many levels with these groups … it’s excellent, just excellent on every level. That’s this guy’s opinion but see why I think this way then take a chance; this is not a long shot, not at all.

The ninja world exist in modern times. It’s the Nabari world, one where ninja clash in the shadows and carry out their assigned missions while leading normal, daily lives and blending in. Miharu finds himself smack dab in the middle of this world due to his possessing the Shinra Banshou. This power is coveted by every faction on the Nabari world as Miharu can rule if he so chooses, but guess what, he really could care less. As he’s recruited into his school’s ninja club by Kouichi and Kumohira, who also protect him from an assassination attempt, Miharu has no choice but to confront this new world and the power within himself. Miharu soon finds himself joined by a vengeance seeking samurai and ends up an ally with one as doomed as himself in Yoite. Miharu is exposed to an assassination attempt, attack on a ninja village and the pull of various ninja factions for his services. Miharu must navigate these waters as the Kouga, Fuuma, Togakushi and more all push and pull on Miharu as nothing more than a piece on a greater chess board. The players are many, factions divided and goals very similar but which path will Miharu choose … that’s the fun of the journey.

So story wise I am not, 100% not, going to ruin this anime for anyone. Miharu is the main character but there are so many more, the Kouga mentioned come in at the end of this collection but they offer a third faction to go with everyone else and each faction has such unique looking, speaking, acting characters. It’s a very deep world to explore. This deep world of ninja draws comparison to Naruto as does Miharu possessing such a deadly power. The Nabari world is like a modern day Ninja Scroll with the cast of characters while its diversity does favor Naruto. The characters from the teacher Togakushi to the gloomy Yoite can also compare to Kakashi and Sasuke in some instances. What I’m getting at is Nabari feels like a more grown up, modern Naruto which is one of the highest compliments I can pay. The action is outstanding as is the character development which gives everyone involved more than just surface development. Everyone has a background, demons and skeletons they must encounter and there really is no true good vs. evil but rather tons of gray. The story moves along at an excellent pace and is quite enjoyable. I’ve not mentioned Miharu is a twisted little sucker as he takes pleasure in torturing and manipulating others, good and funny.

The art is some of my favorite due to its being so similar to Persona 4 and 5 on PlayStation 2 as well as Tokyo Majin also from FUNimation. There is a realism to each design, a coolness that is not matched in many series. Time was put into stylish clothes and looks that match the personality of each character, it looks quite good. The settings are normal, not outlandish it’s everyday settings. Just look at the cover, watch the trailer, this series rocks.

Overall Nabari is a ninja anime fans dream, a great extension to any Naruto fans anime library and what drew so many into anime back in the 80’s and 90’s. This is high praise for a series, I know, but I really enjoyed it and think you will too.

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