Every season, there’s at least a few anime that people overlook. And I mean ones that are good. One that stands out to me last season was Koukyuu no Karasu, or Raven of the Inner Palace. I wasn’t sure how it would be initially, but it quickly became one of the anime I looked forward to every week. Let’s take a quick minute to shine a light on this one.
The josei anime follows Liu Shouxue (or Ryuu Jusetsu, depending on translation, lot of Chinese themes in this one), the “Raven Consort”. This position is unique within the palace, and this consort possesses unique, mystical powers. With this premise, it follows almost a “case of the week” format with some overarching plot connecting them together.
The plot was pretty enjoyable. The main plot has a lot of mystery about it, while each of the individual cases are interesting in their own right. Most of the intrigue is with regards to the true nature of the Raven Consort, but don’t expect it to play a major focus early on. It develops at a fairly casual pace.
For me, the real selling point (as it usually is in most series) was the subtle romantic story between Shouxue and the new emperor, Xia Gaojun (or Ka Koushun, respectively). Seeing these two interact with each other was very sweet, while still being able to have a bit of professionalism for their two roles. As Shouxue warms up to Gaojun, it just gets better.
The other characters were also good. The only issue I had was being unable to keep track of each person’s name. The eunuchs all have very similar designs too, so that doesn’t help. Frankly, Jiu-Jiu was the best side character, but I’m clearly biased here.
I think what will stick with me the most, though, is the character and scene designs. Shouxue stands out as one of my favorite character designs from last season, and I suspect I’ll remember her for a long time to come. All of the mystical moments were really cool and well-animated. The show gave me so many things to post on social media. It was just a well-made anime.
Overall, this series was quite good. It had an interesting plot with likable characters. The supernatural mystery stuff was always something I found cool. I enjoyed the subtle romance between our two lead characters, and there’s no shortage of depth for them.
As I mentioned at the start of this, I feel like it was kind of forgotten by most anime fans. That’s really why I think I wanted to talk about this today. While it might not be for everyone (as no anime ever is), it’s definitely worth more attention than I feel like it got. That’s all I have to say on this though. Catch you next time.