Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan, known in Japan as Nurarihyon no Mago (ぬらりひょんの孫, "Nurarihyon's Grandchild") is a manga series written and illustrated by Hiroshi Shiibashi. The series was first published in Shueisha as a oneshot in 2007. The manga has been continuously serialized in the Japanese manga anthology Weekly Shōnen Jump since March 2008 and has been collected into 17 tankōbon volumes as of July 2011. A Drama CD was released in December 2009. An anime adaptation by Studio DEEN began airing in Japan on July 5, 2010, with the first season consisting of 26 episodes.
Viz Media acquired the licensing rights for a North American release of the manga and anime adaptations. The anime episodes have been streamed on Viz Media's anime streaming site, Viz Anime, since July 2010, while the first manga volume was released February 2011.
Rikuo Nura is part human and a quarter yōkai (demon). Because he is only a quarter yōkai, Rikuo is able to turn into
his yōkai form only after sunset, when the moon is out; he turns back into his human self when the sun rises. He lives in a house full of spirits along with his yōkai grandfather. Trying to escape his fate, he does good deeds in order to avoid becoming a yōkai, despite his grandfather's wish that Rikuo succeed him as master of the Nura yōkai clan. Rikuo is a different yōkai because he helps humans. He eventually comes to terms with his demon blood and decides to take up the position of Young Head of the Nura house. Multiple factions aim to stop him or usurp his position, and he must gather friends and allies, a new Hyakki Yakō under his banner of "Fear"
- Sakazuki (杯) is the term used for a pledge of loyalty made over an exchange of wine or sake. This pledge is taken very seriously, and is akin to a blood pledge, linking fellow yōkai of different families. A 50-50 portion division gives equal footing to both parties, and is considered a sakazuki of sworn brothers. A 70-30 portion division is a pledge of fealty between a boss and his subordinates, and requires a great amount of trust on the part of both parties.
- Ikigimo (生き肝) is a term for when a person's liver is taken out while they are still alive. Many yōkai in Nurarihyon's time believed that by ingesting the life force (i.e. liver) of infants, priests/priestesses and imperial princesses, their strength would increase.
- Osore (畏, lit. "Fear") is the term that denotes the unique skills and traits of each yōkai. It refers to the "Fear" of the unknown, an emotional reaction produced when the yōkai represent themselves as "monsters". It is especially important for leaders who wish to draw together gangs of yōkai. There are different types of "Fear" depending on the species of yōkai, such as water or ice. It also plays an important role in battles between yōkai, in which they must "scare one another".
- Hatsu (鬼發, lit. "Manifestation") is the first stage of activating "Fear", and is simply an attempt to scare an opponent by exerting a frightening aura. Those affected by "Manifestation" will experience an overwhelming sense of intimidation, and depending on their opponent's skills, may hallucinate. This aura produces a palpable wall of pressure in the atmosphere, and cutting through this tension to reach the enemy is an important part of yōkai combat.
- Hyōi (鬼憑, lit. "Haunting") is the second stage of activating "Fear" used in yōkai battles. It is the process by which a yōkai materializes their "Fear" into an attack that can harm their enemy by severing their "Manifestation". Yōkai can produce a variety of attacks and techniques based on their type of "Fear".
- Matoi (鬼纏) is a special technique allowing the leader of the Hyakki Yakō to strengthen their "fear". This technique was created by the Second Head of the Nura Clan, Rihan Nura, and will only work for a leader who is part human. The explanation for this requirement is that the leader must have a 'human heart' to be able to empathize or 'understand' his subordinates, in order to invokeMatoi. The technique works by 'layering' or 'covering' the leader in his subordinate's fear, which augments and strengthens his own power. The leader literally 'wears' his subordinate, which also gives him access to his subordinate's unique abilities (when Rikuo used Matoi with Tsurara, his attacks gained the ability to freeze his targets). When Matoi is invoked with a subordinate for the first time, a tattoo-like marking appears on the leaders body, symbolizing the pact they have made.
The anime series, produced by Studio Deen, premiered on July 5, 2010 and is licensed for North America by Viz Media under the name Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan. New episodes, subtitled in English, are simulcast each week on their website several hours after they air in Japan. The opening themes are Fast Forward and Sunshine performed by Monkey Majik and the ending themes areSparky☆Start and Symphonic Dream performed by Katate Size (Aya Hirano, Yui Horie and Ai Maeda). The anime is slated to be released on eight DVDs. A second season was announced and began broadcasting in Japan on July 3rd, 2011; as well as a 24-hour delayed broadcast with English subtitles on Hulu.com