First Impressions: Yozakura Quartet

Demons and humans mingle

in a world of mystery and magic.

I have to say, I haven’t been this excited about watching a new series (well, new to me) in quite a while. Maybe it’s just the mood I’m in as I prepare for NaNoWriMo next week, but the first episode of Yozakura Quartet hit all the high notes for me: cool characters with interesting powers, an identifiable setting with magical elements, outfits I could totally see myself cosplaying…

Hime: badass at large, master of all she surveys.

In episode one we get introduced to a world in which demons mingle with humans in a city built around a cherry tree that doubles as a gateway between the demon realm and the human realm. (Got all that?) When demons get out of hand, a human has to “tune” them to send them back to their world. Only one human can do this (and you’ll meet him soon!)… A cute girl with cat ears uses a speaker system set up around the city to warn people to stay indoors because a serial gunman is still on the loose. During this warning we get introduced to Hime, a clearly badass girl who leaps around rooftops and wears a crazy long scarf. (Yes, I want to cosplay as her.) She meets up with a guy in a suit and insists that he call her “Mayor.” They briefly discuss that something must be done about this gunman, then they make their way back to headquarters, which is where the cat eared girl, Ao, has been broadcasting from. There’s also a girl in a green jacket, Kotoha, and a random guy, Akina, walking around. (To be fair I didn’t catch most of their names in this episode alone, but I went ahead and looked it up to make things less confusing.) This is clearly our team of town defenders.

Meet our gang of super-ish demon-y heroes, aka the titular "Quartet."

We get flashes of the crazed gunman doing his best to terrify young girls and getting disappointed when they faint. Because he likes scaring them. Because he’s a dick. (As most crazed gunmen are.) At headquarters the team discusses the fact that the gunman recently escaped from prison. They’re also concerned with making contact with a new demon resident, because they don’t just defend the town, they also counsel demons in need. Later on that night the gunman has said new demon in his grasp, but Hime and her team manage to rescue her, though the gunman escapes. They check on new demon girl and help her recover in the town hall, but the crazed gunman has taken a TV host hostage live on-air and demands to see “the mayor.” Hime shows up and does some badass bullet deflecting with her sword. The gunman tries to escape again, but now the whole team gets to showcase their talents.

Akina shows us how it's done. Merely human? I don't think so!

Cat-eared Ao whips off her hat and uses her ears like satellites to discover where the gunman has disappeared to. Kotoha freezes everything, including his guns, then creates a bunch of guns out of thin air and shoots them all at the gunman. This, oddly, doesn’t kill him, but he is down for the count until new demon girl shows up brandishing a gun. She’s promised to help him take out all the humans because a human once hurt her and gave her a scar. Akina steps up and tells her that he’s human, but he’s also making a cool glowing shield thing with his hands (told you that you’d get to meet the human who can “tune” soon enough). New demon can’t bring herself to shoot him, but the crazed gunman grabs her gun and fires. However, the glowing light coming from Akina plunges forward and takes out crazed gunman. His body lies on the street, and Hime says that he must not have been possessed that much. (So was he a human possessed by a demon, or was he a demon possessed by another demon? Who knows at this point.) During this street fight a dude with cat ears has been watching from the rooftops above. He talks to himself about how interesting it is to see a dragon (Hime), a satori (Ao), a kotodama (Kotoha), a human (Akina), and an ogre (the guy in the suit) working together. Fin!

Can't wait to see what this guy's deal is. Meow!

This episode is a folklorist’s dream, and as I am a folklore and fairy tale geek, I’m incredibly excited about seeing what the rest of this series has to offer. The art is good, if nothing special, and the same can be said for the music. But the subject is a fascinating blend of magical realism and mythology. That alone would float my boat enough to keep me watching, but I’m also intrigued by these characters, especially Hime. Great characters and a gripping story in a magical setting = anime gold. Yozakura Quartet certainly seems to have the ideal set-up based on the first episode, and if the pace keeps up its excellent blend of comedy and action, I could see this easily becoming one of my favourite anime series.

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. peach☆beach
    Nov 04, 2011 @ 01:21:36

    heyy i love this manga, i didn’t know it was turned to an anime
    it was actually recommended to me because i was searching for
    something that has a similar art to Persona 3 & 4
    and i got addicted to the story line
    and i love Hime’s character so much!

    Reply

    • Miss Pink
      Nov 04, 2011 @ 23:48:06

      I’ve only seen the first two episodes as of now, but I really like what I’ve seen. I can’t wait to see more! And Hime is totally my fav. 😉

      Reply

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