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Shonen Onmyouji: The Complete Series Box Set
Shonen Onmyouji The Complete Series Box Set
Actors: George Cahill IV, George N. Cahill III, Ron Studd Jr.
Director: Paul John Pistore
Genres: Anime & Manga
NR     2009     10hr 25min

Abeno Masahiro is the grandson of the great sorcerer Abeno Seimei. Unfortunately for him, his grandfather did such a great job in the past, he really hasn?t had a need to perform any magical duties and as a result, Masahir...  more »

     
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Movie Details

Actors: George Cahill IV, George N. Cahill III, Ron Studd Jr.
Director: Paul John Pistore
Genres: Anime & Manga
Sub-Genres: Anime & Manga
Studio: Funimation/Geneon Entertainment
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 10/27/2009
Release Year: 2009
Run Time: 10hr 25min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 4
SwapaDVD Credits: 4
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 7
Edition: Box set
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: Japanese, English
Subtitles: English

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Movie Reviews

The Full Anime DVD Release Arrives At Last
ONENEO | Buffalo, NY | 10/15/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Shônen Onmyôji is a pretty rich franchise and odds are pretty good that you may have encountered it in some variation in the past. Based on a 25-volume light novel in Japan (by Mitsuru Yûki/ illustrations done by Sakura Asagi), it has made its way to the United States in the form of drama CDs, a video game on the Playstation 2, and even a DVD release of the anime from Geneon.

After releasing only two volumes of the anime to North America, Geneon pulled out of the anime game and that's where this FUNimation Complete Series comes into play. This is the first time all 26-episodes of the program have been released to the United States in a single box set collection.

Released across six discs, Shônen Onmyôji The Complete Series comes packaged in three thin packs (each housing two DVDs) within an outer cardboard slipcase and consists of episodes 1-26. The show comes in at a total runtime of 625 minutes and wears an appropriate if slightly conservative Suggested 13 & Up rating due to animated violence and adventure qualities.

Language options are standard sub & dub with both an English dub and original Japanese soundtrack (either in Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo) & the choice of English subtitled if so inclined to turn them on.

Extras include textless opening and closing songs, and a host of fresh Funimation trailers.

The story goes something like this: Abe no Masahiro is the grandson of the great onmyôji (sorcerer), Abe no Seimei. Despite being taught the ways of magic from his grandfather, Masahiro finds very little reason to flex his "magical muscles". In fact the poor kid feels like a bit of hack when compared to the greatness of his grandfather's reputation.

In true "use it or lose it" tradition, the lack of spell casting in Masahiro's life actually results in the disappearance of one of his main gifts: The ability to see ghosts. Deciding to take it as a sign to pursue other avenues, Masahiro nearly puts it all behind hum until an entity drops down from the clouds one day with a message: Masahiro is to continue the work started by his grandfather regardless of his own fears and failures.

In case your Japanese history isn't up to snuff, Abe no Seimei is an actual person in Japanese history with a reputation of having the trust and confidence of the emperor back during the Heian era in Japan (which is the setting for the anime as well).

What makes this piece so charming is the intermingling of actual Japanese history, culture and beliefs with a fictional and funny character in the foreground to tie it all together.

Despite a title that insinuates endless scrapping and tournaments, Shônen Onmyôji is actually a blend of comedy, historical and supernatural elements of Japanese culture, action, and a bit of romantic interest to keep things interesting.

The art is consistently solid without resorting to flashy CGI segments or gimmicks to lure viewers. Perhaps the show's greatest strength however is its pacing, which establishes a nice hardy clip early on and doesn't waste a whole lot of time venturing off on tangents or setting up story threads that lead nowhere (which is often a legitimate concern with 26-episode runs).

The characters are well developed and manage to accomplish the difficult task of teaching history without drawing attention to this fact or sacrificing entertainment value to do so.

The English dub is quite well done but the visuals and themes simply work better in the native Japanese dialog track. While it isn't openly said, the Japanese voice actors must surely have had a lot of fun working on the project.

In all this is a solid series that's finally getting the complete DVD release it has deserved much to the delight of existing fans who were left high and dry after only two volumes a few years ago and anime buffs in general seeking a unique twist on history."
Art like Inuyasha with a better storyline
innerstillness | 07/12/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)

"An Onmyouji is a Japanese Wizard who battles demons and seals evil spirits, helping the spirits of dead humans to find peace. The main character in this anime is the grandson of the greatest of these wizards in Japan, Abe no Seimei. This 13 year old boy, Masahiro, had his second sight sealed by his grandfather when he was very young to protect him from discovery by demons who might wish to devour or possess him. Not knowing this, Masahiro is miserable, being the only one in his family who lacks the power to see spirits and battle them as an Onmyouji. He tries everything from caligraphy to playing the flute before an encounter with a powerful demon leads to the restoration of his second sight.

The story follows Masahiro as he learns to become an Onmyouji with the irritated and nagging assistance of his super-powerful grandfather and a smart-mouthed, furry white spirit guide. The anime is not a fight-the-monster-of-the-day type anime, it follows a larger story arc, with each individual episode fleshing out and continuing the main storyline. This box set, 26 episodes, can really be characterized as two dominant storyarcs, the first 10 episodes or so cover the invasion of foreign demons from the west, and the last two thirds of the season covers the quest for revenge by a mysterious female wizard and her shadowy master. The story is successfully resolved in the last episode, and so even if a second season is never released, this is a wonderful, complete storyline.

The strongest assets to this anime are the careful pacing, with a good balance of character development and magical combat, and the intriguing magical themes, based on the Shinto religion of Japan. For example, Shikigami serve the great Onmyouji Abe no Seimei. Shikigami are powerful spirits born of human emotion and desire that become immortal, minor gods. Other Shinto themes that flow through the story include sacred shrines, purification, Japanese divination, curses and paper talismans.

Imagine Miroku from Inuyasha (without being a pervert, and as an immature 13 year old) and you get a good idea of the combat skills of the main character. He uses prayer beads and paper talismans to cast powerful spells to seal or destroy demons. I was actually really impressed by the quality of the magical combat, with light and form and action. The spells are believable, and the shikigami who serve Seimei all have their own unique abilities, both magical and weapon-skills. The fact that the main character isn't a weapon wielding brute jumping around the battlefield is made up for by the magnificent combat by the shikigami, and it is far more believable, since as a young boy, his only real advantage on the battlefield is his powerful magic."
Gentle boy priest tames rouge shikigami, who turns into Cute
Gemseeker | NH, USA | 03/30/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This series has long been overlooked. Masahiro is a kind, hard-working boy whose Second Sight was sealed away by his own grandfather while he was a tiny child. Masahiro, who despite being named successor of his grandfather Abe no Seimi, --a very powerful onmyouji (priest who drives away evil beings)-- has spent his life in his grandfather's shadow, and he hates it. Everyone expects great things from him not because he shows any ability (in fact, he even tries different careers) but simply because he's "Abe no Seimi's grandson".

One day he meets a rabbit-like creature he names Mokkun, who can talk and becomes very protective of the Masahiro. Soon the two are battling demons, and when Mokkun's life is in danger, Masahiro's second sight returns. He also learns that Mokkun is in fact Guren, one of the 12 shikigami--ancient powerful beings (who look human) who have chosen to serve his grandfather, a man who won their love and trust. The shikigami are reluctant to transfer their loyalty to Masahiro because they don't want to admit that Abe no Seimi is getting old and will, like all humans, eventually die.

This anime series is unusual in that there are several distinct story arcs, with an underlying plot that ties up nicely in the end. One storyarc is about how Masahiro wins the love of a princess (who has a strong second sight herself) while battling a huge winged tiger-demon, one is about exorcising the spirits of dead people, and the underlying story is about a tragedy that occurred between Guren and the grandfather 50 years ago, during a battle with an enemy who they thought had been defeated...

One thing I appreciate about this series is that most people behave realistically. I get tired sometimes of the over-the-top reactions from a lot of anime characters. The other students at Masahiro's apprentice hall don't insult him to his face or physically bully him, but rather make comments that are subtle insults, and Masahiro doesn't get mad because he can understand things from their point of view, and he responds in a refreshingly mature, respectful way. (Actually, it's Mokkun who gets angry.) I also love the period clothing, the kimonos and onmyouji garb, which may or may not be realistic with the bright colors used (Japan had silk a few hundred years ago, right? Wasn't silk often dyed very bright colors, at least for people of high rank?)

What I like best about this series is the strong bond that grows between Masahiro and Mokkun/Guren. Immortal Guren has spent his life sullen and angry to the point that even the other shikigami avoid him/fear him, but when baby Masahiro treats him with love, not fear, violent Guren slowly grows gentler and more content. As Mokkun, he shows a playful, teasing side he could never express as the human-like Guren, and even loses his temper in a way that makes me laugh--he stands up on his rabbit-like hind legs and stamps his little rabbity foot!

Oh, and watch this in Japanese--both Mokkun and Masahiro sound like girls in English, and the grandfather was voiced by a young guy who was trying to sound old, but the gravelly voice he uses is disturbing--makes me feel like I have to clear my throat just listening to him. One last niggling detail--since this series was done in the last days of Geneon company before it died, the quality control for the subtitles wasn't as good as usual. I caught many grammar mistakes.
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