Shikabane Hime: Kuro
A direct continuation of Shikabane Hime: Aka, taking place six months after Tagami Keisei’s death at the hands of the Akasha and Shichisei (Seven Stars), a group of elite Shikabane who act on more than just regrets. As per Keisei’s dying wish, Kagami Oori formed a temporary contract with Makina to save her from degenerating into a mere Shikabane. Since then, Oori has been training to become a proper monk so that he can remain contracted to Makina and help her fight against the Shichisei, the ones who originally killed Makina, the entire Hoshimura family, and now Keisei. However, the traitorous monk Shishidou Akasha has sided with the Shichisei in an attempt to destroy all Shikabane Himes and the entire monk organization that uses them, the Kougon Sect. Source: AnimeNewsNetwork.com
The Kuro series is different from Aka in the sense that Aka took its time to develop the characters and had Shikabane Himes fight other random Shikabanes not related to the main plot. But in Kuro, it pretty much starts off knocking down members of Shichisei one by one. This made the battles felt more personal and that definitely makes it more interesting. However, even with the strong plot, battles felt uninspired as it was done with rather mediocre animation which, I’m glad to say, did improve later on in the series. Thankfully, the story gets interesting as the focus is now on the battle between Shichisei and everyone else.
There were actually a lot of parts where I got really irritated by Makina, which was later revealed that it was all part of a certain plot or plan which is actually very well scripted. I should have known better before hitting the hate button.
Akasha just plays a very interesting villain. His hate is well justified and his character is well explored. Definitely the most interesting character since a while now. Even his past was more interesting than Oori’s.
During the first few episodes, Makina’s negativity really tested Oori for his resilience to remain as her Contracted Priest as she still couldn’t let go of Keisei. And Makina running amok didn’t help things between Oori and Kougonshuu either.
Episode 8 and everything about Oori’s past starts unveiling itself. And finally the cat revealed its true nature. Kudos on finally making use of the cat and giving it a well thought-out role to play. Well, it had to be a role of certain significance after all that tagging along.
For what felt like an exciting plot already, I didn’t expect the ending to be able to get every more exciting. And finally upon reaching episode 12, Congrats! You are now left hanging! It ended in the middle of a battle. Just like that! -_-“ PppfFFfffTTttt… However, I remember reading somewhere about episode 13 coming out in August. So be patient and cross your fingers hoping it will be worth the wait.
And now, the issue which always ticks off a nerve or two in me. Some of the characters proportions are getting crazier by the episodes. You would expect Kougonshuu to be wiped out by now seeing how they seem to only contract Shikabanes with insanely huge stuffs (think Itsuki, Fresh, Minai) instead of more “combat friendly” figured Shikabanes (think Saki). Hmm… I just thought of this, but the most “decent” sized figure belongs to Saki and her contracted priest is the only female in Kougonshuu. Coincidence? I think not. Now what does that tell you about Kougonshuu and how farked up their priests are? “Enlightment” my arse.
Initially Shikabane Hime: Aka started off with a bang. But halfway along the series, the tempo was lost and I couldn’t feel the enthusiasm. Then Shikabane Hime: Kuro came. Sure it starts off with the main battles right away, but still it didn’t feel motivated. Halfway through the Kuro series and things really starts to pick up a notch. I really enjoyed the plot and script from the second half of the series on, things were unpredictable and kept me on the edge of my seat. Now if only the rumored 13th episode comes out sooner before I lose the flame.
Shikabane Hime: Kuro