Title: Otome Yokai Zakuro
English Title: Maiden Spirit Zakuro
Genre: Supernatural, Historical, Romance, Action, Comedy
My Rating: 4 Stars
Content Rating: 15+ (some disturbing images)
Check it out: Crunchyroll
Synopsis (taken from Wikipedia):
During the Westernization of an alternate Japan, humans and spirits coexist. To maintain harmony between the two, the Ministry of Spirits is established and humans and spirit representatives are chosen. Lieutenants Kei Agemaki, Riken Yoshinokazura, and Ganryu Hanakiri are chosen to be the human representatives and are partnered with Zakuro, Susukihotaru, and Bonbori and Hozuki, respectively. However, Zakuro cannot stand humans who accept Jesuit practices so easily and Agemaki has a severe fear of spirits.
This anime is beautiful; the art is lovely, the storylines are fascinating, and it was far too short. There is a certain softness to the animation style that is just gorgeous.
There is romance for every type here: the main character, Zakuro, fights her attraction to the main male character, Kei, and their relationship is based on fighting and sarcasm. They, of course, have the most dynamic relationship, taking the entire series to realize their true feelings for each other.
Then there is the sweet, shy girl, Susukihotaru, and the tall, dark and silent Riken. They were absolutely adorable, and easily my favorite couple of the show. He was constantly worried about protecting her, and she was just so sweet and adorable, and I don’t think he could help himself.
Last but not least, we have the twins, Bonbori and Hozuki and the guy who looks like he’s about fifteen, Ganryu. I got more of a friendship vibe from them, but there were definitely some odd moments. The twins are very forward, and poor Ganryu doesn’t really know how to handle them. They were sweet though, even though it was a little weird at times.
Most of the anime is about these characters seeking out spirits who are causing problems or are haunting places. They try to calm the spirit and persuade it to stop making difficulties for whoever has hired them. Things get a little crazy when people from Zakuro’s past show up.
Zakuro is awesome; she’s super great at beating people up with her tiny magic knife. The other three sing while she fights…apparently this helps? Not really sure about that, but it was certainly atmospheric. They take down many malevolent spirits.
The villains are VERY creepy. Sometimes Anime has super cheesy villains; not here. Who they were and what they did creeped me out to the max.
There are some interesting ideas involving the Westernization of Japan. In fact, it’s a big character point that Zakuro hates Western things, and Kei is deathly afraid of the half-spirits. It’s one of the things they have to overcome in their relationship.
Lots of romance, action, and magic; Otome Yokai Zakuro is a beautifully animated show that retains the beauty of the old world while bringing in the new.