Review by: Sophie Stevens
Publisher: Geneon Entertainment (FUNimation Entertainment)
MSRP: $29.98 US
Running Time: 100 minutes
Rating: 13 and Up
Release Date: Available Now
The first cut isn’t always the deepest.
I have to admit that I was a bit late coming into the Shonen Onmyouji party. Having reviewed Volume 5, I did manage to track down the other four volumes and I found myself really enjoying the story of a young boy who is destined to becomes a more powerful spiritual leader than his own grandfather. Now the series ends with the final four episodes (making it 26 episodes in total) in Volume 6 of a series that was just too inviting to pass up.
In the aftermath of the events that unfolded in the last episode of Volume 5, Episode 23 begins with Masahiro recovering from his injures after his confrontation with a possessed Guren. To his surprise, his best friend – who had assumed the more adorable Mokkun form for so long – had nearly killed him by order of the villainous Chishiki no Guuji. Injured both physically and emotionally, Masahiro ignores his pain and attempts to look for a way to save his friend. To keep up appearances, he even attempts to continue his rounds with other Onmyouji.
He does discover the spirit carriage in the middle of the night and his spirit friends do offer him a ride to Kifune where he seeks the wisdom of the God of Takaokami. She reveals to him that he only has two choice in the matter concerning Guren and one of them is to receive the power to kill a deity. If he doesn’t do anything the alternative is that the gate to the underworld will open and thus destroying the world of the living. This is way too much responsibility for a boy to handle and he’s given some time to think it over.
Meanwhile, Kazane is waiting near the entrance of the Returning Path when her trusty bird Kai suddenly breaks free of the hold Chishiki no Guuji had on it. The bird can talk and it even leads Kazane to make a most startling revelation. Of course, Chishiki becomes aware that his servant has poked her nose in something she shouldn’t have seen and the truth – at last – is revealed. Unfortunately for Kazane, she has come to find out the truth a little too late and she is attacked by vengeful spirits freed by Chishiki as he breaks the first seal.
In the meantime, Masahiro comes to a painful decision and makes a promise with the God of Takaokami. Armed with the power to kill a shikigami and his friends that are prepared to defend him to the very end, Masahiro sets out to finish this nasty business. Grandpa Seimei also heads out to Izumo with the rest of the shikigami crew that protects him. When they arrive, it is Rikugou who arrives in time to see what fate befalls Kazane. Their reunion is actually quite heartbreaking. Could it be that Rikugou is in love with a mortal woman?
In the final two episodes, Seimei tells his grandson to concentrate on guarding the gate to the underworld. He knows that Guren is there attempting to open it so Masahiro does as he’s told while his grandfather takes on Chishiki no Guuji in their final battle. Their fight is nothing short of dramatic and spectacular. Meanwhile, Masahiro arrives in time to face his friend that attacks once again. The ultimate sacrifice is made to protect the final seal in a climax that is quite surprising. I won’t say more because I would be spoiling the last minutes of the series.
Shonen Onmyouji, Volume 6, is a truly memorable and highly enjoyable end to a great series. It’s last four episodes does a great job of concluding the saga that began well enough and ends up in a more exciting and surprisingly intriguing way. If you’ve been following the series from the very beginning then you will definitely be satisfied with the ending of this one.
DVD REVIEW BREAKDOWN
Still badly injured from his encounter with a possessed Guren, Masahiro turns to the God of Takaokami to grant him powers to take on a shikigami. Meanwhile, Kazane’s fate is connected with the truth behind Chishiki no Guuji’s plot to open break the seal that will destroy the world. It’s deep stuff, alright.
VIDEO QUALITY: B+
The animation looks great and even more so thanks to the Anamorphic Widescreen presentation.
AUDIO QUALITY: B
The English dub voices aren’t the strongest and that’s too bad but at least the Japanese voices do justice to the characters. The music is also excellent in the series and I’ve grown fond of the opening and closing songs.
There are only three previews to be found on the disc and a few viewing options as well. Seeing as this is the final volume, it would have been nice to have seen some extra features.
Volume 6 of Shonen Onmyouji finally ties up the loose ends and Masahiro must make the ultimate sacrifice that will either destroy the world or end the life of a very close friend. In the end, the final four episodes of this series do not disappoint in the very least and make this a fitting end to a great series.
COMPLETE SERIES GRADE: B+
Geneon’s list of anime gems is an impressive one and Shonen Onmyouji is definitely one of them. Sure, it not always felt like the masterpiece is should have been but what we have here is an anime that, ultimately, just kept getting better and better. At 26 episodes, the series as a whole is a delightfully entertaining tale that is not only likeable but also memorable.