The anime called Onmyoji just released on Netflix on November 28, 2023 and it goes straight toward coolness right away. Not because it’s a special anime that has been hyped up over a year by anime fans, but because it tells the story about Abe no Seimei, an onmyoji, that lived in the Heian period, the period between the years of 794 to 1185.
Onmyoji was one of the official positions belonging to the Bureau of Onmyo of the Ministry of the Center under the ritsuryo system in ancient Japan. It was assigned as a technical officer in charge of divination and geomorphology, based on the theory of the yin-and-yang five phases. To put it simply, Onmyoji are people that have a job to perform prayer, do exorcism and give farmers directions and advice about the right time to plant rice.
What attracts me to this anime is the epic story of Abe no Seimei fighting demons. There are lots of other adaptations that tell the story about the life of Seimei, like the PlayStation 2 game called Kuon, which changes the Seimei gender. So what makes this story different?
This anime is an adaptation of a novel with the same name that was written by Baku Yumemakura. It tells a fictional version of Heian, and the friendship between Abe no Seimei and a nobleman that likes to play flute, Minamoto Hiromasa.
The story starts with Hiromasa asking help from Seimei about a sight of an ox cart that moves without any ox moving it. At first, Seimei refused to help. But, after Miramasa mentioned about “Demon Princess”, Seimei became interested in doing his own research about the case.
After research and observation that Seimei and Hiromasa do, it turns out that the demon princess was a girl that the emperor loved, but never had a chance to meet with her again. Because of the loneliness that the girl felt and the desire to meet with the emperor, the girl became a demon. To exorcise her, Seimei makes an illusion of the emperor saying “I love you” to the demon princess and starts chanting the exorcism spell.
This 13-episode anime tells a lot of story about friendships and relationships, especially between Hiromasa and Seimei. Seimei, who isn’t really interested in making connections with other people, finally opens his eyes, after Hiromasa asks a lot of requests, and helps him in solving all the cases that happen around the city.
This anime has an enjoyable phase. It’s not too fast, but not too slow either. For 13-episode anime, this anime is not rushing anything to the core of the plot. The way each episode plays out is to start from the case, followed by the research of the problem, flashback of each demon or people with the problem, and the conclusion which can be in that episode or next episode.
Most of the episodes from this anime also have a good message for the audience, which is that friendship and connection between people is important. Almost all of the episodes tell about that message. Seimei, who had a hard time making friends since he was a kid, slowly started to open his eyes and accept people around him, especially Muramasa. In one of the episodes he is even willing to give his soul to resurrect Muramasa from death.
Not only for humans, this anime also gives a good impression for friendship between human and animal, or human and demon. There are two cases for that. One in episode 5, where a famous poet writer has good friendship with a demon who helps him make poetry. The other one is in episode 6, where a princess makes friends with a weird looking bug that later becomes a great humanoid butterfly.
But sadly it only has 13 episodes. It could be more fun if there are more episodes to watch, since how fun the story and each case that this anime gives to us. The epic story of Abe no Seimei and Minamoto Hiromasa fighting the demon and solving the case is really fun to watch.
In conclusion, Onmyoji is a good anime to watch. Other than the interesting figures that this anime has, the phasing of the story makes this anime suit to watch during your free time. This anime also gives good messages for the audience that friendship is something that cannot be ignored, and connection between people is something precious that needs to be protected.
Our Score (9/10)
Director: Soubi Yamamoto
Production: Marvy Jack/Netflix
Fidellis Cesare Castro