Fantasy court intrigue anime centers on eccentric retainer to noble prince
NHK announced on Tuesday that it is producing a television anime adaptation of Chisato Abe‘s Karasu wa Aruji o Erabanai (The Raven Does Not Choose its Master) novel, the second novel of her Yatagarasu novel series. The anime will premiere on NHK in April 2024.
The books center on the world of the yatagarasu (the Japanese name for a variant of mythical god-crows that appear in East Asian folk mythologies). The yatagarasu are able to shape shift between human and crow forms, and live in the world of Yamauchi, a parallel world created by the yatagarasu god Yamagami. Within Yamauchi, the yatagarasu live in a society evoking Heian-era Japan, and the parallel world remains connected to our human world.
Karasu wa Aruji o Erabanai centers on a beautiful but eccentric yatagarasu boy named Yukiya, who is selected to become the imperial prince’s retainer. The story unfolds as Yukiya and the prince become embroiled in court intrigue and conspiracies.
Abe launched the novel series with the first novel Karasu ni Hitoe wa Niawanai in 2012. The first part of the novel series has six novels (of which Karasu wa Aruji o Erabanai was the second novel, released in 2013) and one side story novel. The second part of the novel series has so far inspired three novels (the latest of which was released in October 2022), and one side story novel.
The first two novels in the series have inspired manga adaptations. Natsumi Matsuzaki drew the manga adaptation of Karasu ni Hitoe wa Niawanai, which ran in Kodansha‘s Comic Days app from June 2018 to April 2020. Kodansha is releasing the manga in English in its K MANGA service with the title A Raven for All Seasons. Matsuzaki launched the Karasu wa Aruji o Erabanai manga in Kodansha‘s Evening magazine in May 2020, and moved to Comic Days in December 2021, where it is ongoing.