Nabari no Ou

Plot: Miharu Rokujo is your average student with a not-so-average apathy toward the world around him. When he suddenly starts getting attacked by ninja, he finds out that he has the Shinrabanshou -- a scroll containing the most powerful secret art of the hidden ninja world, or Nabari -- inside of him. His teacher, Tobari, and fellow student, Koichi, hop on as his protectors, and Tobari wants Miharu to become the king of Nabari. But all Miharu wants is to get the Shinrabanshou out of him so that he can return to his normal life.

To that end, Miharu and co., with the help of newcomer, Raimei, seek out Kotaro Fuuma, an expert on ninja arts. In his village, Miharu is again attacked, this time, by a group of Iga ninja called "Kairoshu" -- one of which is a boy named Yoite, who uses the dangerous forbidden art, Kira. Miharu and co. return to their home village of Banten safely, thanks to Kotaro Fuuma. However, shortly thereafter, Yoite kidnaps Miharu. Claiming to hold Miharu's friends' lives hostage, Yoite forces Miharu to make a deal: if Miharu will agree to use the Shinrabanshou to erase him, he will make Miharu the king of Nabari. So begins an awkward partnership as the opposing sides race to gather the forbidden arts in an effort to remove the Shinrabanshou from Miharu... (A-)

Characters: A

Art & Animation: A-

Voice Acting: Original Japanese-- A / Dub-- B

Music: A-

Objectionable Content: Blood, suggestive themes, profanity

Other: A ninja drama that borders on shonen-ai and uses a few Naruto-like plot devices. Where Nabari differs is its setting and characters: this one takes place in a more modern, realistic world; the characters aren't all gung-ho, either -- rather, this takes a darker look at the world of the ninja as Miharu is dragged deeper and deeper into it.

I have only read parts of the manga, where it starts to split off from the anime and explore more of the series' questions.

Overall Score: B+

Recommendation: 2/5

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