Yatagarasu Is the Anime to Watch Right Now – This Week in Anime

Nick and Steve dive into the political intrigue of supernatural crow individuals and uncover the most effective anime airing proper now.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by the individuals on this chatlog usually are not the views of Anime Information Community.
Spoiler Warning for dialogue of the collection forward.

YATAGARASU: The Raven Does Not Choose Its Master, The Apothecary Diaries, Raven of the Inner Palace, and The Twelve Kingdoms are at present streaming on Crunchyroll, whereas Ōoku: The Inner Chambers is accessible on Netflix.


Hey there Steve, inform me, have you ever heard?


Nick, I can actually say that I’ve not.

You gotta be kidding me! Everyone’s heard! Concerning the Fowl! Everyone is aware of that the chook is the phrase!

When you ask me, that is absurd.

Absurd that extra individuals aren’t watching Yatagarasu, I imply.
Belief me, in the event that they’re studying this column, they’ve heard. Our coworkers and boss have been simply shy of evangelists for the present for weeks now. They actually simply recorded an unscheduled podcast episode simply to speak about it.

If there have been ever per week that necessitated that, it is this one! I recommended this column matter earlier than we even bought the landmine of an episode that simply detonated, so chalk that as much as lucky timing. Yatagarasu has spent a lot of the season as a sluggish burn with numerous buzz, however now it is extra akin to a raging hearth with followers screaming left and proper in shock and delight. It is the right time to hop aboard, catch up, and take a look at all the gorgeous kimonos.

Don’t be concerned concerning the blood in that final one.

It is most likely simply victory wine. You know the way these wacky, rich nobles simply like to drink!

Want I may look so dignified sitting in my workplace chair with a scotch on the rocks.

So yeah, in case anybody right here hasn’t made time for A Courtroom of Crows and Ravens, Yatagarasu is the most recent in a mini-trend of courtly dramas, all constructed across the battle, intrigue, and thriller of semi-fictional palace life. This one simply occurs to have extra chook murders. Birder, if you’ll.

Weirdly, although, it is not the one current imperial court docket drama to characteristic corvidae in its title. We will thank Raven of the Interior Palace for blazing that path. Add on prime of that final yr’s Ōoku adaptation and the favored Apothecary Diaries, and you have got what appears to be like like a sample. Does this imply I foresee palace intrigue supplanting the isekai onslaught within the coming anime seasons? One can hope!

On the one hand, that will most definitely increase the common for any given anime season. Alternatively, that will be my private hell. As a lot as I benefit from the intrigue of all these reveals, they are often depressing for me, notably as a result of I am horrible at maintaining observe of names basically, particularly names from my non-native language the place half the characters have the identical garments and haircut. The one purpose I am right here to cowl this present immediately is due to the type souls at NHK who’ve complete character list with profiles and everything.
That is a hump I’ve suffered prior to now, however I believe I managed to clean it out by studying The Story of the Heike epic whereas following The Heike Story anime. Someplace amongst the litany of ministers and nobles with a number of barely completely different titles, issues clicked and rewired my mind. I like to recommend it! But it surely’s additionally actually cool and thoughtful of this manufacturing to have that information, particularly when the primary episode throws one or two dozen names at you.

I do not know, man. Ever since reviewing The Twelve Kingdoms, I spontaneously convulse when individuals get a number of names and titles.

Look, it is fundamental math: the extra vital you might be, the extra names you might have. You gather them. Like Pokémon.
The purpose is, collection like this include at the very least a minor speedbump at the beginning, which is why I think the preferred ones are those who eschew the stuffy politicking for one thing else. Yatagarasu manages to work as a result of it has two parallel narratives with completely different mysteries that bleed into each other. In the meantime, The Apothecary Diaries has moé Walter White.

I am nonetheless not absolutely caught up with Higher Name Maomao, however its early episodes make for a hilarious comparability. The setting, in that case, is kind of secondary to the poison gremlin and her medical mysteries—fairly easy stuff. In the meantime, Yatagarasu dunks you within the deep finish of an ongoing political battle that solely grows knottier. They could share numerous style signifiers, however their approaches diverge instantly.

True, Yatagarasu is filled with individuals digging their talons and beaks into the fetid flesh of courtly life, whereas Maomao desires nothing greater than to remain the hell out of that enterprise for her personal good. But I believe they’ve an actual kinship in how they each readily acknowledge the cruelty of their programs.

That is the crux of every thing with regards to these court docket dramas. As fashionable authors and audiences, we instinctively latch onto their dearth of liberty—a monarchy sustained by the subjugation of everybody from its the Aristocracy to its peasants. What I particularly like about Yatagarasu is the way it hones onto the system itself as its personal self-sustaining jail. Even the crown prince, destined to be probably the most highly effective determine in Yamauchi, is however a cog fastened in that machine, and he spends the overwhelming majority of his effort preventing in opposition to these machinations as finest he can.

That is the half that hooked me probably the most. All of the conniving and veiled threats within the palace are partaking, and so they flesh out the forged in vital methods, however Yukiya’s outsider perspective gave me a foothold.

Man, I really like Yukiya. I could also be biased towards any character launched by getting the snot kicked out of him, however Yukiya actually earns his place as the guts of the story.

He is an awesome viewers surrogate since he is the one character who completely doesn’t need to be blended up in all this. We study in a while that there are numerous private causes behind that, however for a lot of this primary half, he is the snarky child standing to the facet and mouthing, “What the fuck???” as all this chook enterprise goes down.

It is also the place you may see Yatagarasu‘s narrative construction shine. When you discover the Cherry Blossom Palace facet of issues too dry, you’ve got bought Yukiya’s loud mouth and the Prince’s wacky schemes to boost your spirits. When you assume the boys are too boisterous, then you might have the subtler thoughts video games and intense melodrama of the potential consorts. And in the event you like each side, then each episode is a deal with.

It is also excellently produced, which is way more vital than you may assume. Whereas there’s sparingly little motion, numerous effort is spent on smaller however no much less momentous sequences. Asebi’s koto enjoying stands proud for simply how effectively it captures the ethereal fantastic thing about her efficiency. I’ve seen/heard numerous koto enjoying in anime, however this is without doubt one of the solely instances it is caught in my mind afterward.

It is a attractive present! I used to be initially shocked to see Yoshiaki Kyougoku on the helm since I do know him finest as Laid-Back Camp‘s authentic director. Cup noodles and campfires are a far cry from homicide plots and double-crosses. However you may see the continuity within the quantity of polish this manufacturing provides to Yatagarasu. The storyboards, colours, composition, compositing, and so forth are persistently glorious and evocative.

The course actually sells all of it. Together with maintaining every episode partaking at the same time as we wait weeks for issues to repay, it simply sells the sense of place and emotional depth of any given scene. You’ll be able to sense when a personality is holding one thing again and pay attention to every thing not being stated in any given dialogue. That is all vital as a result of if you do not have that stage of ambiance, you get Ōoku: The Interior Chambers.

The principle draw of those court docket dramas is the byzantine plots stretched over a very long time and huge forged, so Ōoku‘s robust conceit and writing let the anime get away with so much. However I might say the pageantry is an integral a part of their enchantment, too. As a lot as we would admonish these programs for his or her practices, their aesthetics are engrossing. I really like to take a look at ornate kimonos and austere structure framed by pure magnificence. And, to your level, Yatagarasu typically finds clever methods to compose these scenes, for instance, using the hugeness of the Cherry Blossom Palace to emphasise the loneliness of its denizens.

I do not even actually imply the standard of the artwork. Yatagarasu‘s course is at all times sharp and motivated, so even episodes of individuals speaking in several rooms are engrossing. Ōoku at all times had the power of a daytime cleaning soap opera, and it dragged so much. Even loopy scenes, like an outdated girl threatening a monk to get his dick moist, felt uninteresting.

In the meantime, Yatagarasu persistently throws stunners left and proper. It may be quiet, moody, bloody, and melodramatic. In all instances, it pulls you into the display screen.

Most significantly, it backs up all that pomp and circumstance with some actually well-done storytelling. It is glorious at laying out breadcrumbs, which solely is smart contemplating all of the corvidae.

They’ve even bought a 3rd leg to assist choose up all these tasty morsels. And for good purpose, since you’ll want all your appendages and schools to observe together with how deep these schemes go.

And I suppose we will get into spoiler territory now. If you have not watched the present—and you need to need to watch it now as a result of we have executed a bang-up job promoting it—then proceed at your personal peril. However severely, test it out. It is the spring season’s darkish horse. Or darkish raven. I imply, they name some ravens on this present horses, however we needn’t get into all that.
Hell yeah, let’s get into a very powerful and controversial plot twist in the entire present: Masuho’s haircut.

HUGE glow-up.

I dunno; I believe she must get into the salon and have it touched up earlier than I could make a name. Perhaps she ought to attempt bangs.

Hey, contemplating she did it on the spot, with a knife, and as a logo of her realization that she’d moderately select the shackles of a monastic life than be sure eternally to the petty politicking and depersonalization of the ruling class, I give her a thumbs up.

Good for her. I am actually glad she bought that second of self-actualization and that no different large occasions occurred instantly earlier than or after!

It is legit insane what number of plot twists and payoffs they squeezed into this week’s episode. Current episodes have been rife with equal developments, however their sheer focus right here is sort of a gigantic exhalation of air after holding one’s breath for 11 weeks.

It is wild as a result of a lot of the drama with the potential consorts has been veiled behind innuendo and implication. The Prince and Yukiya’s storyline is at all times lively and shifting issues ahead, but it surely was weeks earlier than we began understanding something past the floor for the women. Yukiya can be on the market preventing for his life. In the meantime, there’s an enormous battle among the many ladies-in-waiting over the title of an instrument. Now, BOOM, every thing’s coming to a head.

To be truthful, the women had some gentle murder happening as effectively. However that, too, we’re discovering out, wasn’t what it appeared.

I imply, it looks like someone forgot they seem to be a goddamn chook individual and dying from a fall. I hope she had a really personal funeral, or else that girl was going to get roasted even earlier than the cremation.

I really like that Yatagarasu is, like, 85% simply unusual imperial intrigue you’d discover in some other Japanese regime on the time and 15% about people who can remodel into large birds on the fly. Complete episodes can go by with out reminding you of that. However the stability feels proper to me—only a sprint of crow individuals.

It is fairly enjoyable. There have been a number of moments the place I might neglect that everybody on display screen can flip into an enormous corvid and get shook by one among them going Crow Mode. I particularly love that there are ranges of presentability about it, like how in the event you put on your magically showing Feather Robes, it is the equal of exhibiting as much as work in your health club sweats.

It is one other place the place the worldbuilding shines, as a result of all the crow stuff, whereas delicate, is inexorably built-in into all points of life in Yamauchi, like how the Cherry Blossom Palace is constructed wayyy excessive up, solely accessible by crow carriages. Or the believably complicated distinction between kin’u as a political place and kin’u as a literal golden raven.

It even ties into the mysteries, just like the intruder who dies in chook kind and thus is sort of unimaginable to establish. I positive hope there are no wild double-bluffs or emotional meltdowns over that!

All’s effectively that ends effectively! Shiratama solely went a little knife-crazy within the interim. No hurt, no foul.

Some very harmed fowls, although.

I will not lie, the screencaps of Shiratama going full-on Dear Brother melodrama mode are what bought me to choose up the collection lastly. After which it handled me with none apart from Rie Kugimiya delivering these dulcet mindbroken tones. This present is only one delight after one other.

What I particularly like about Shiratama’s story is how that freak out is not simply an “oh, she’s sort of tousled” second however an ideal instance of how the calls for of courtly life and noble lineage have wrecked her sense of self. Shiratama is not some loopy monster however a lady who’s had her existence whittled down since childhood and who’s lastly reached a breaking level.

Yeah, principally each character is a nuanced product of their atmosphere—particularly, the actually cutthroat atmosphere of royalty. Merely current in that world is tantamount to each hurting and being harm. That is what finally bonds Yukiya and the Prince collectively since they’re each sensible and succesful scions who understand that enjoying the idiot was their finest likelihood at minimizing the harm inevitably left of their wake.

Eh, not everybody is that difficult. Like, Asebi’s simply there to have every thing defined for the viewers’s profit. In any other case, with how little she has happening, she may as effectively be a lamp that is excellent at string devices.

It sort of looks like an oversight to not present the opposite viewers with a surrogate for her sense of compelling interiority, however I suppose no story is flawless. I imply, it is not like Yatagarasu would preserve emphasizing her simplistic naivety simply to drag the rug out from us on the most dramatic second doable.

So yeah, if anybody was questioning why Lynzee and James convened an emergency podcast to yell about this, it is as a result of practically everybody watching this present has been ready/hoping for some sort of twist with Asebi. This doe-eyed damsel has gosh-darned and gee-willikered her means by the whole season, so the reveal that she may need been orchestrating an entire completely different conspiracy from behind the scenes is bonkers.

It is so nice. Like, she felt off all season, however I did not know the way or if Yatagarasu may assemble a heel flip that would not appear foolish. And to be frank, we have not gotten by all of it but, so the jury remains to be out. However I am tremendous glad they are going there. It feels proper. Like, all season, you might have characters saying that the East Home is understood for his or her craftiness, and all of those seemingly disconnected occasions have come collectively to prop up Asebi because the default consort candidate, so the narrative has been laying the groundwork all this time.

I am actually to see the way it develops this a part of her story. Some of us are most likely anticipating an Ace Attorney-style meltdown, however I hope it seems Asebi actually was as harmless as she appears and simply took all of the skullduggery as a part of the sport. It’d emphasize how even “harmless” minds will be contorted to suit the poisonous conformity of the system.

I concur. The writing and its twists have persistently subverted my expectations for the higher, so I belief Yatagarasu to do one thing fascinating with this. And let’s not neglect that the anime will proceed airing into subsequent season, so this is not even the climax. We have got extra crow craziness ready within the wings.

It is good to have a present like this to sit up for, particularly contemplating how I’ve struggled with a few of its contemporaries. You briefly talked about Raven of the Interior Palace, and as a lot as I attempted to get into that present, one thing within the early episodes simply by no means clicked with me.

I have not seen that one myself, so I am going to throw in Chris and Nicky’s column for reference. However yeah, of this current batch of court docket dramas, I’ve vibed the toughest with Yatagarasu. It is a classically constructed story that respects my time and intelligence, and that is an more and more uncommon discover in anime. I am glad to have it.
Of the current crop, I might give it and Apothecary Diaries the most important recs. They’ve very completely different constructions and tones, however each method related concepts from completely different paths.

Nevertheless, solely Yatagarasu has sage phrases about social media utilization.

So forward of her time and so proper.