Flame of Recca

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Flame of Recca
Cover of Flame of Recca volume 1
Front cover of volume 1 of the Flame of Recca manga
烈火の炎
(Rekka no Honō)
Genre Adventure, Action, Fantasy, Romantic comedy
Manga
Written by Nobuyuki Anzai
Published by Shogakukan
English publisher
Demographic Shōnen
Magazine Weekly Shōnen Sunday
Original run April 1995February 2002
Volumes 33 (List of volumes)
Anime television series
Directed by Noriyuki Abe
Studio Studio Pierrot
Licensed by
Network Fuji TV
Animax
English network
Original run July 19, 1997July 10, 1998
Episodes 42 (List of episodes)
Game
Flame of Recca: The Game
Developer Konami
Publisher Konami
Genre Fighting
Platform Game Boy Advance
Released December 20, 2001
Game
Flame of Recca: Final Burning
Developer Konami
Publisher Konami
Genre Adventure, Fighting
Platform PlayStation 2
Released June 10, 2004
Portal icon Anime and Manga portal

Flame of Recca (Japanese: 烈火の炎 Hepburn: Rekka no Honō?) is a manga series written and illustrated by Nobuyuki Anzai, which was adapted into an anime series spanning forty-two episodes by Studio Pierrot. The series has also been adapted into two video games; Flame of Recca: The Game for the Game Boy Advance and Flame of Recca: Final Burning for the PlayStation 2.

The manga was originally serialized in Weekly Shōnen Sunday from 1995 to 2002. The 329 chapters that composed the series were compiled into 33 tankōbon volumes by Shogakukan. Both the anime and manga were licensed for North American distribution in English by Viz Media. [1] The anime has since been picked up by Discotek Media who will re-release the series on DVD in 2015.[2]

Plot[edit]

Flame of Recca follows the story of a teenage boy named Recca Hanabishi, who is interested in ninja and claims to be one himself. He often gets into fights because he made it publicly known that the person who manages to defeat him will earn his services as a loyal ninja. Despite this, he eventually pledges his loyalty and services as a ninja to Yanagi Sakoshita, a girl with the innate ability to heal any wound/injury, because of her kindness and compassion. Recca soon discovers that he possesses the innate ability to control/manipulate flames, and eventually learns that he is actually the son of the sixth generation leader of the Hokage, a ninja clan that was wiped out by Oda Nobunaga in 1576, roughly 400 years before the series' present day.[3]

The Hokage ninjas wielded mystical objects called madōgu (魔導具?), which are referred to as "psychic devices" or "elemental weapons" in the English versions of the series. Madōgu grant their users special abilities, such as allowing their users to manipulate certain elements (as in the case of the Fūjin, which allows its wielder to manipulate the element of wind) and enhancing their user's strength/skills (as in the case of the Dosei no Wa, which increases its user's physical strength and the Idaten, which increases its user's running speed). Oda Nobunaga had invaded the Hokage in 1576 for the purpose of acquiring these weapons, and the series' main antagonist, Kōran Mori, is searching for a madōgu that will grant him eternal life. Recca and his friends become entangled in Mori's quest for eternal life as he initially attempts to kidnap Yanagi, believing that her healing powers will help him achieve immortality. This leads them to join the Ura Butō Satsujin, a tournament wherein the warriors that wield madōgu gather to battle each other. After successfully winning the tournament, Recca and his teammates discover that Mori was on his way to acquire the Tendō Jigoku (天堂地獄 Heaven and Hell?), a madōgu said to grant its user eternal life, and once again attempt to stop him.

Though initially following the same basic storyline, the Flame of Recca anime series ends right after the Ura Butō Satsujin ends, while the manga goes on to include the subplot involving the Tendō Jigoku. The anime also omits certain characters from the story,[4] and several of the characters' physical appearances are slightly different from the manga.[5]

Characters[edit]

The main characters of Flame of Recca as they appear on the cover of Flame of Recca Original Soundtrack Vol. 1. Clockwise from top-left: Fūko Kirisawa, Domon Ishijima, Kaoru Koganei, Yanagi Sakoshita, Recca Hanabishi, and Tokiya Mikagami
  • Recca Hanabishi (花菱 烈火 Hanabishi Rekka?) Voiced by: Kōsuke Okano (Japanese), Scott Roberts (English)
Recca, the primary protagonist of the series, is a high-school teenager obsessed with ninja and anything related to ninja. Recca was born the second son of Ōka, the leader of the Hokage ninja clan that existed over 400 years ago. Recca's older half-brother, Kurei, was supposed to be the heir to the leadership because he was the eldest and was born with the ability to control fire, but Recca also exhibited the same abilities as an infant, and is declared the true heir of the Hokage leadership. In an attempt to save him during the slaughter of the Hokage ninja clan, his mother (Kagerō) used a forbidden technique that opened a portal that would transport him into the future, where the main storyline during the modern day begins.
Yanagi is a teenage girl gifted with the innate ability to heal any kind of physical injury, and Recca immediately offers to serve her as her loyal ninja after seeing her compassion when she healed a severely injured puppy in a local park (in the anime series, she heals Recca after a pile of metal pipes collapsed on top of him). She is the prime objective of the series' main antagonist, Kōran Mori, as he believes that her healing powers will help him attain eternal life.
Fūko, a tomboyish teenage girl, is Recca's childhood friend who has always aspired to defeat him in battle so that he would serve her as her ninja. She initially gets irritated by the fact that Recca chose to become Yanagi's ninja just because he wanted to. For this reason, she decides to accept the aid of Kagerō, who offers to lend her Fūjin (lit., god of wind, a powerful madōgu that controls wind) in order to enable her to defeat Recca. In actuality, Kagerō implanted a stone in the Fūjin that allowed her to brainwash Fūko, but Recca manages to defeat Fūko and destroy the sphere. Fūko ends up befriending with both Yanagi and Recca after the incident, and she keeps the Fūjin and wields it throughout the series.
Domon is Recca's schoolmate who, like Fūko, has always wanted to defeat Recca. However, he is never able to do so, and ends up befriending and joining forces with Recca. Domon wields the Dosei no Wa ("The Ring of Saturn"), a madōgu which enhances his physical strength. Later in the series, he also wields the Kuchibashi-Ō ("Beak King"), a super-sharp snapping claw with an extendable chain, and the Tetsugan ("Iron Ball"), which transmutes his entire body into a living iron golem for brief periods.
  • Tokiya Mikagami (水鏡 凍季也 Mikagami Tokiya?) Voiced by: Hikaru Midorikawa (Japanese), Paul Hunter (English)
Tokiya is Recca's upperclassman and wields the madōgu Ensui ("Dark Water"), a sword that utilizes water to create its blade and is capable of creating and controlling all three states of water (liquid, solid and gas). Tokiya wanted to take Yanagi from Recca because she looks exactly like his sister, Mifuyu Mikagami, who was murdered when he was young. He uses the Hyōmon Ken style which was developed specifically for the Ensui. Tokiya joins forces with Recca in attempting to rescue Yanagi from Kōran Mori's mansion, and he continues to be part of their team throughout the rest of the series.
Kaoru was once a member of the Uruha, but eventually becomes a member of Recca's team "Hokage" in the Ura Butō Satsujin. He wields the Kōgan Anki, a puzzle-like weapon that has five different forms.
Kage Hōshi, whose real name is Kagerō, is the first antagonist of the series, and is later revealed to be Recca's mother. She possesses the 'Eikai Kyoku' ("Shadow Ball"), which allows her to teleport through shadows, show people the past, and perform acts of scrying. She performed the Jikuryūri (a technique which allows the user to travel or send another person to a different time) to save the infant Recca from being killed along with the rest of the Hokage clan, but is cursed with immortality as a result of using the technique.
Kurei is Recca's half brother who is four years older than he is. Born as the first son of head of the Hokage Clan, he was supposed to inherit the title, until the birth of Recca, which disputed the status of him and his mother. He is also a flame master with the power of the phoenix, being able to capture the soul of a dead person in his flame. The most notable manifestation of his flame power is Kurenai (紅), his former lover whose soul was absorbed into his flame after being killed by Kōran Mori.

Media[edit]

Manga[edit]

The Flame of Recca manga was originally serialized in Weekly Shōnen Sunday from 1995 to 2002, with a total of 329 chapters. The series was compiled into 33 tankōbon (collected volumes) and was published by Shogakukan from September 18, 1995 to April 18, 2002.[6][7] Shōnen Sunday also released the manga in 17 wideban volumes and, beginning in 2010, as part of its Comic Bunko label.[8][9][10][11] The manga was licensed for North American distribution in English by Viz Media and United Kingdom distribution in English by Gollancz Manga. Viz released all 33 volumes from July 30, 2003 to November 10, 2009, while Gollancz released ten volumes between March 6 and November 28, 2006.[12][13][14][15] Viz did not censor nudity in their publications of the manga, but starting from volume 20, the female characters' nipples have been removed.[citation needed]

Anime[edit]

Flame of Recca was adapted into a 42-episode anime series produced by Studio Pierrot, and aired in Japan from July 19, 1997 to July 10, 1998 on Fuji Television.[16] Flame of Recca has also aired on the satellite network Animax in Japan and Asia.[17][18] Pony Canyon has released the entire series on DVD and laserdisc, while Geneon released it in two DVD boxsets on April 22 and June 24, 2005 in Japan.[19] In North America, Viz Media released the series in ten separate DVD volumes between October 26, 2004 and January 9, 2007.[20][21]

There are several notable differences between the anime and manga, such as the character designs (e.g. Fūko has purple-violet hair in the anime, but has brown hair in the manga) and in the storyline itself (e.g. In the anime, Yanagi's healing powers are first revealed when she heals Recca after he gets injured while protecting her and a child from being crushed under metal pipes,[22] but in the manga, Yanagi heals Recca when he gets injured while protecting her from a group of male students who were forcing her to go with them[23]).

CDs[edit]

Flame of Recca Original Soundtrack Vol. 2 cover

The Flame of Recca anime series featured background music composed by Yusuke Honma. The series featured "Nanka Shiawase" (なんか幸せ?, lit. "Something Happy") by The OYSTARS as its opening theme, and used "Love is Changing" (西田ひかる?) by Hikaru Nishida and "Zutto Kimi no Soba de" (ずっと君の傍で?, lit. "By Your Side Forever") by Yuki Masuda as its ending themes for episodes 1-32 and episodes 33-42 respectively. All the songs were released in singles, and all except "Zutto Kimi no Soba de" were included in the original soundtracks.[19] Flame of Recca Original Soundtrack Vol. 1 was released by Pony Canyon on December 6, 1997, and features background music used in the series, as well as the series' opening song and first closing song.[24] Flame of Recca Original Soundtrack Vol. 2 was released by Pony Canyon on May 4, 1998. It includes more background music used in the series along with a special CD drama entitled Recca no Honō SPECIAL CD DRAMA: Daitōron Kai Tsuyoi No Wa Dareda?! (「烈火の炎」 スペシャルCDドラマ: 火影大討論会 強いのは誰だ?!?, lit. "Flame of Recca Special CD Drama: The Great Debate, 'Who is the Strongest?!'").[25]

Video games[edit]

The cover of Flame of Recca: Final Burning

Flame of Recca has been adapted into two games to date.

Flame of Recca: The Game (烈火の炎 -THE GAME- Rekka no Honō: The Game?) is a fighting game released by Konami on December 20, 2001 for the Game Boy Advance.[26] In this game, the player selects a character and presses certain button in order to make them move, attack, dodge, and perform special moves. Apart from having an HP bar, the selected character a power bar which increases when the character deals damage and decreases when the character performs a special move. Each character has his/her own set of special moves that do greater damage than normal attacks, and one super move that deals a significant amount of damage. There are nine playable characters for this game.

Flame of Recca: Final Burning (烈火の炎 -FINAL BURNING- Rekka no Honō: Final Burning?) is an adventure/fighting game released by Konami on June 10, 2004 for the PlayStation 2.[27][28] A limited number of soundtrack CDs and sets of four bookmarks with character illustrations by Nobuyuki Anzai were given out along with the game CD.[27] The game's graphics and full motion videos are done in 2D animation. The game utilizes a split-screen format wherein players must press different button combinations to make their selected character perform specific moves. Certain cutscenes require the player to determine what the selected character will do next through choosing from a given set of options. An example of this would be when the player is required to choose if Koganei will dodge or stay put when the building he is staying in starts to collapse. Flame of Recca: Final Burning features 24 playable characters.

The series' protagonist has also appeareded in the 2009 Konami fighting game Sunday VS Magazine: Shuuketsu! Choujou Daikessen! for the PlayStation Portable.[29]

Reception[edit]

Jason Thompson, author of Manga: The Complete Guide, described the manga version of Flame of Recca as "polished and quick-paced", and that it "reads like a more carefully plotted, more extreme version of YuYu Hakusho."[30] Patricia Duffield, a columnist for Animerica Extra, felt the story and artwork continuously evolved with characters and their unique weapons. "Although the series seems to have a tendency toward male fan service, Flame of Recca can be as enjoyable for gals as it is for guys." Duffield concluded, "If lots of ninja action with supernatural flair interests you, give Flame of Recca a try."[31]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/convention/2004/anime-expo/4
  2. ^ "Discotek Licenses Flame of Recca TV Anime Series". Anime News Network. 2014-06-17. 
  3. ^ Nobuyuki, Anzai. "Chapter 237". Flame of Recca Volume 24. Shogakukan. 
  4. ^ The team called Saakasu, who forfeit against Recca's Team Hokage in volume 10, chapter 78 of the manga, are not included in the anime; the anime shows Raiha of Uruha Ikazuchi forfeiting instead.
  5. ^ A few examples would be Tokiya Mikagami, whose hair appears to be brownish throughout the anime series while being light blue-green on the covers of volumes 31 and 25 of the manga, and Fuuko Kirisawa, whose hair and eyes appear to be red-violet and blue respectively in the anime while shown to be brown and green on the cover of volumes 11 and 30 of the manga.
  6. ^ "烈火の炎 1" [Flame of Recca 1] (in Japanese). Shogakukan. Retrieved 2010-11-06. 
  7. ^ "烈火の炎 33" [Flame of Recca 33] (in Japanese). Shogakukan. Retrieved 2010-11-06. 
  8. ^ "烈火の炎 1" [Flame of Recca 1] (in Japanese). Shogakukan. Retrieved 2010-11-06. 
  9. ^ "烈火の炎 17" [Flame of Recca 17] (in Japanese). Shogakukan. Retrieved 2010-11-06. 
  10. ^ "烈火の炎 1" [Flame of Recca 1] (in Japanese). Shogakukan. Retrieved 2010-11-06. 
  11. ^ "烈火の炎 5" [Flame of Recca 5] (in Japanese). Shogakukan. Retrieved 2010-11-06. 
  12. ^ "Flame of Recca, Vol. 1". Viz Media. Retrieved 2010-11-06. 
  13. ^ "Flame of Recca, Vol. 33". Viz Media. Retrieved 2010-11-06. 
  14. ^ "Flame of Recca Volume 1". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2010-11-06. 
  15. ^ "Flame of Recca Volume 10". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2010-11-06. 
  16. ^ "studioぴえろ 作品年表(テレビシリーズ/テレビスペシャル)" [Studio Pierrot Works Chronology (TV series/TV special)] (in Japanese). Studio Pierrot. Retrieved 2010-11-06. 
  17. ^ "烈火の炎 作品トップ ANIMAX" [Flame of Recca Index Animax] (in Japanese). Animax. Retrieved 2010-11-07. 
  18. ^ . Philippine Daily Inquirer. April 4, 2006title=Religious wars on TV turn viewers off. http://www.accessmylibrary.com/article-1G1-144083493/religious-wars-tv-turn.html. Retrieved 2010-11-07.  Check date values in: |date= (help); Missing or empty |title= (help)
  19. ^ a b "烈火の炎(ファンカタログ) - ぴえろ" [Flame of Recca (Fan Catalog) Pierrot] (in Japanese). Studio Pierrot. Retrieved 2010-11-06. 
  20. ^ "Flame of Recca, Vol. 1 (DVD)". Viz Media. Retrieved 2010-11-06. 
  21. ^ "Flame of Recca, Vol. 10 (DVD)". Viz Media. Retrieved 2010-11-06. 
  22. ^ "Hime to ninja mezameta chikara!!". Flame of Recca. Episode 1. July 19, 1997.
  23. ^ Nobuyuki, Anzai. "Chapter 001". Flame of Recca Volume 01. Shogakukan. 
  24. ^ "「烈火の炎 」サウンドトラックVol.1" [Flame of Recca Soundtrack Vol. 1] (in Japanese). Amazon.com. Retrieved 2010-11-06. 
  25. ^ "烈火の炎 ― サウンドトラック2+スペシャルドラマCD" [Flame of Recca Series 2 Special CD Soundtrack] (in Japanese). Amazon.com. Retrieved 2010-11-06. 
  26. ^ "烈火の炎〜THE GAME〜" [Flame of Recca: The Game] (in Japanese). Nintendo. Retrieved 2010-11-06. 
  27. ^ a b "烈火の炎 〜Flame of Recca FINAL BURNING〜" [Flame of Recca: Final Burning] (in Japanese). Konami. Retrieved 2010-11-06. 
  28. ^ IGN Staff (June 15, 2004). "Now Playing in Japan". IGN. Retrieved 2010-11-06. 
  29. ^ Spencer (March 2, 2009). "Konami's Manga Fighter Contains A Ton Of Characters". Siliconera. Retrieved 2010-11-06. 
  30. ^ Thompson, Jason (2007). Manga: The Complete Guide. New York: Ballantine Books & Del Rey Books. p. 108. ISBN 978-0-345-48590-8. 
  31. ^ Duffield, Patricia (May 2001). "Flame of Recca". Animerica Extra (Viz Media) 4 (6). 

External links[edit]