Netflix’s Onmyoji Anime – Review

It has been a week since the Onmyoji anime premiered on Netflix. The anime tells the story of Abe no Seimei, who is popular as Merlin the Magician of Japan. For the record, this isn’t the first time Abe no Seimei appears in the anime. There are multiple cameos from the Gintama to the female Abe no Seimei in Garo: The Animation.

But, what makes this anime different than those cameos? How close is this anime to actual Japanese History? Below, we’ve gathered information related to Netflix’s Onmyoji anime. It also includes the impression after watching the anime without spoiling the story. Read on!

About Onmyoji Anime

The Netflix Onmyoji is based on historical fantasy novels by Baku Yumemakura in 1986. The novel tells about a fictionalized version of the Heian-era legendary figure, Abe no Seimei, the master of the Japanese form of cosmology.

Over the years, his work has already had several adaptations in many categories. The first adaptation was a manga by Reiko Okano from 1993 to 2005. Then, the manga got a sequel that ran from 2010 to 1017 named Onmyoji: Tamatebako. Munku Mitsuki made another manga adaptation and serialized it from 2012 to 2015.

Not only that, this series also got movie adaptations. Those two movies premiered in 2001 and 2003. Later, the Chinese film industry released The Yin-Yang Master: Dream of Eternity based on Baku’s novel in 2020. A year later, a different Chinese film was released entitled The Yinyang Master. This time, the film is based on the NetEase mobile game, Onmyoji.

Onmyoji Anime Staff and Cast

Netflix released the first anime adaptation of Onmyoji in the format of Original Net Animation (ONA). They announced the anime at their Tudum’s virtual event in September 2022. Soubi Yamamoto serves as the director at Marvy Jack (Spice and Wolf 2), while Natsu Hashimoto and Yuiko Kato are in charge of the script.

Onmyoji anime premiered on November 28, 2023. The series can only be streamed on the Netflix streaming service. 

The official X of Netflix announced the main cast for Onmyoji anime on September 1, 2023, and later, unveiled the English dubber for the anime. The cast includes:

  • Kenji Hamada / Armen Taylor as Imperial Prince Atsumi
  • Yui Ishikawa / Kira Buckland as Tsuyuko
  • Daisuke Namikawa / Howard Wang as Abe no Seimei
  • Shintaro Asanuma / Greg Chun as Minamoto no Hiromasa
  • Rina Sato / Rebeka Thomas as Ashiya Doman
  • Daisuke Kishio / Todd Haberkorn as Kamo Yasunori
Onmyoji anime Japanese Cast
Onmyoji anime Japanese Cast – Source: @Netflix

Onmyoji Anime Impression

From the perspective of the historical Anime, Onmyoji anime brilliantly pictures the situation in the Heian period. Starting from the clothing, makeup, and building, all of them are created meticulously to depict the cultural essence of that time.

The narrative also offers a light structure with a spice of comedy. Though it lacks depth which is comparable to other fantasy anime, it also means that the anime becomes an easy-to-follow anime which makes it enjoyable to watch.

Moving on, the music used in this anime is good, but not that great. The studio could make the song better to elevate some scenes. Yet, they mostly stick to the serene song that pictures the aesthetic era.

Just like the music, the visual also comes out average. In some parts where it shows a regular conversational scene, it turns out to be just okay. But, when the fighting scene begins, the movement begins to drop. Sure, no one expects the Ufotable type quality, but as the “fighting monster” anime series, the fighting visual should be enhanced more.

Overall, Onmyoji anime turns out to be your average anime. But, it brings a great historical fantasy theme that doesn’t really mislead the actual legend. For casual historical fans, this show is the best way to enjoy the mystique legend of Abe no Seimei.

Onmyoji Key Visual
Onmyoji Key Visual – Source: @Netflix

Story

Far back in the Heian period, there was a renowned onmyoji Abe no Seimei. Someday, a court noble, Minamoto Hiromasa, came to him for consultation about a Youkai sighting believed to be a Demon Princess. Despite being reluctant, Abe Seimei humored his request and tried to resolve the malicious spirit problem.

That marked the first meeting of Seimei and Hiromasa. Their dynamic chemistry continued to the point that they had to protect the capital from the opposing onmyoji, Ashiya Doman, who desired for emperor’s demise.

Conclusion

Onmyoji anime offers the aesthetic of the Heian era full of mystic creatures. It has a light story to swallow so the fans will find it pretty enjoyable. Unfortunately, it isn’t one of the best anime Netflix has released so far.

For better or worse, Onmyoji anime is a decent anime series in the historical fantasy genre, But, because Baku’s Onmyoji is so popular even after decades, will it get a sequel? Let’s hope so. Just stay tuned for more anime updates in Animefleek!

When does the Netflix Onmyoji anime premiere?

The anime premiered on November 28, 2023, on Netflix.

What is Netflix’s Onmyoji Anime based on?

The anime takes Baku Yumemakura’s novel as its base.

How many episodes does Onmyoji anime have?

The anime has a total of 13 episodes.

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