The Law of Ueki
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|The Law of Ueki|
The cover of volume 1 of the manga, published by Shogakukan
(Ueki no Hōsoku)
|Written by||Tsubasa Fukuchi|
|Magazine||Weekly Shōnen Sunday|
|Original run||2002 – 2005|
|Anime television series|
|Directed by||Hiroshi Watanabe|
|Network||Animax, TV Tokyo|
|Original run||April 4, 2005 – March 27, 2006|
|The Law of Ueki Plus|
|Written by||Tsubasa Fukuchi|
|Magazine||Weekly Shōnen Sunday|
|Original run||2005 – 2007|
The Law of Ueki (うえきの法則 Ueki no Hōsoku?) is a Japanese manga series by Tsubasa Fukuchi. It was first serialized in the manga magazine Weekly Shōnen Sunday in 2002 and ended in 2005. Sixteen tankōbon volumes was compiled and published by Shogakukan. An anime adaptation was first broadcast on TV Tokyo on April 4, 2005, ended with 51 episodes on March 27, 2006. It was produced by Studio Deen. A manga sequel, The Law of Ueki Plus (うえきの法則プラス Ueki no Hōsoku PURASU?), continues the series as of September 2005 by the same author and in the same magazine.
The manga was licensed for distribution in North America by Viz Media, while the anime adaptation was licensed by Geneon. On July 3, 2008, Geneon Entertainment and Funimation Entertainment announced an agreement to distribute select titles in North America. While Geneon Entertainment will still retain the license, Funimation Entertainment will assume exclusive rights to the manufacturing, marketing, sales and distribution of select titles. The Law of Ueki was one of several titles involved in the deal. However, the rights to the series expired due to low sales. ImaginAsian TV broadcast the anime series to the American audience starting early 2007.
The story starts out with the Battle of the Supernatural Powers, a tournament to decide who will be the next god of The Celestial World (rendered as God Candidates in the Animax version and Kami (天界人) in the Japanese version).
Each candidate (100 in total) is required to choose a junior high school student to act as their fighter. The student is given a unique power and told to eliminate as many enemies as possible. The winning God Candidate will become The New God of Heaven and the winning student will receive the Blank Zai (or talent), a talent that can be anything they choose.
While this leads many students to thoughts of greed and selfishness, Kosuke Ueki decides to take it upon himself to win this tournament to keep that power away from those that would abuse such a gift.
The Law of Ueki Plus
Two years after the tournament in The Law of Ueki, Kosuke Ueki is now a 3rd year student in Hinokuni Junior High School. For some reason, everyone in the real world has lost their memory of their most important person, including his friends who participated in the tournament two years ago. Ueki is the only one unaffected, and is fighting in order to restore everyone's memories. He follows a little sheep named U-lu (wool in English) to another world called Hangekai where he meets new companions and gains new abilities.
Initially, fights in the tournament consist of a battle between two power users - one wins by knocking the other opponent out.
When a knock-out is obtained, the loser will lose their power and the winner will gain a talent Zai (才?), which is a talent of some sort (e.g. "talent of running," "talent of studying," and so on). A power user who has lost a fight is disqualified and their power is labeled "retired."
The rules for the combatants of the tournament revolve around the talents:
- Power users are not allowed to use their powers against non-power users, or they lose one talent for each hit.
- If the power user loses all of his/her talents, then he/she will disappear.
- Every time a power user knocks out another power user, he/she will gain another talent, senseless or not.
- If, for any reason, both contestants become unconscious at the same time, the round is a draw: no talents will be gained, and no powers are lost. The contestants must be knocked out within 5 seconds of each other, or the last contestant wins.
There are also rules which apply to the Celestial World Candidates, also known as God Candidates. The punishment for breaking them is that the candidate is sent to Hell.
- Candidates are not allowed to interfere with their power user's fight. This means that they are not allowed to provide their power users with more supplies to use their power (this may only apply to during a fight), or even save them from dying.
- Candidates are only allowed to grant a power to one individual. However, it is possible for two candidates to give a power each to one person; if found out, though, it will lead to a disqualification of both candidates.
- Candidates cannot harm any non-power users, the same rule apply on power users.
Near the end of the tournament, power users are allowed to form groups of five for "battle royale"-style fighting. Knock-outs during this stage do not result in losing powers. Each team is given a penalty if it loses, such as having all of the members die or losing their hair in addition to losing their powers.
To decide who receives the Blank Talent among the winning team, a device is used to measure the growth in power that each participant has shown from the beginning to the end of the tournament. To decide who is to become King of the Celestial World, the winning team votes which of the candidates should be given that honor.
All heavenly beings, or Celestials, have the potential to master a total of ten attacks which correspond with different levels of their growth. These attacks are called Jingi, or "sacred treasures". Higher level sacred treasures have a higher damage capability than lower ones. If a heavenly being is a power-user (having received a power from a God Candidate), their power is merged with their sacred treasures, becoming Neo-Celestials. In the case of Ueki, he manifests these abilities through his talent of tree growth. A heavenly being's sacred treasures with no special powers will take the form of stone. In the Battle Game, there are only six heavenly beings: Ueki, Robert, Kilnorton, Diegostar, Balo and Ban Dicoot, but only Ueki and Robert are level 2 power users.
List of sacred treasures
- The 1-star sacred treasure, gained through consciousness/realization of the fact that the user is a heavenly being. It is a large cannon grown out from the user's arm that fires a large ball at the opponent. For Ueki, a large cannon grows out from a tree and fires a large ball of wooden strands at the opponent. It is first seen in the first intro of the show when Robert Hayden as a child is pointing it at the sky. The first time it is used is in the battle between Ueki and Alessio Iuliano
- The 2-star sacred treasure, gained through perseverance. It is a giant arm shield grown out of the ground to protect the user from attacks, but it can also be used offensively by striking at enemies. It is first seen when Ueki was defending himself from Tenko.
- The 3-star sacred treasure gained through firmness. The user must master "A heart that never wavers no matter what" (Fuwaku). Ranma is a gigantic sword grown from the arm of the user. Ueki's Ranma grows out from a tree to strike the opponent. It is first seen in the battle where Ueki uses it to retire Oni. The shape of the blade is controlled by the user(like Margarette).
- The 4-star sacred treasure, gained through body and strength. Mash is a cube-like big mouth that chomps the opponent. It can jump out of the ground towards the opponent. Ueki's Masshu is a big mouth with tree legs that comes from the ground to chomp the opponent. It is first seen in the second battle between Ueki and Don. Masshu can be used to defend against attacks as well by chomping on Kurogane, Ranma and Pick. Notably, Robert can make his Masshu travel along the ground, and make it turn red or blue to make the opponent drawn to or pushed away from the ground, which was seen when he was battling Ueki in the Dogura Mansion
- The 5-star sacred treasure gained through centralization. Pick is a large column that quickly shoots out from the arm of the user towards the opponent. It can be pointed downwards to propel the user upwards or it can be detached from the arm and used as a ramp. Ueki's Pick grows from a tree and has yellow and black stripes. Each heavenly beings' Pick are made from differing matter and have different markings on them, but Robert Haydn's pick is the shape of a corkscrew and Balo's pick is also pointed at the end. Pick is first seen in the battle between Ueki and Yunpao in the Dogura Mansion.
- The 6-star sacred treasure, gained through anticipation. Raika is a pair of rollerblade-like attachments on the user's feet allowing them rapid movement on the ground but the user is unable to jump. It is first seen in the battle between Ueki and Carl Pacchio.
- The 7-star sacred treasure, gained through speed. A grid of light appears on the ground, followed by a boxed wall that shoots up from anywhere on the grid to capture the opponent. Any attempts to attack while inside the box are futile and can be directed back at the captured. The opponent only has half a second to avoid imprisonment. It is first seen in the battle between Ueki and Caption (Though there is speculation that it was first shown when Robert encased Ueki in a special transparent room during Mori and Kabara's fight that meet Gulliver's effects).
- The 8-star sacred treasure, gained through capturing. The appearance is that of a massive whip. It is a highly flexible weapon which can be turned in any direction desired by the user. It is first seen in the match between Ueki and Guitar.
- The 9-star sacred treasure of flight, gained through balance. A pair of wings will appear on the user's back, granting them flying capabilities. It is first seen in the second opening theme of the series, although it was first used in a fight between Ueki and Anon. The color of the wings varies from user to user.
- Known as archenemy in the manga. The 10-star sacred treasure, gained through will. Summons a creature that varies from heavenly being to heavenly being. Maoh is a formless weapon. The power of the summon is based on the will of the fighter, which in Ueki's case was to protect his friends. Ueki's Maoh takes the form of Kobayashi and is relatively weak compared to Anon's Maoh due to his low will power. But due to an increase in Ueki's wishes to save his friends, his Maoh's strength increased and he gained control over it.
- Robert's Archenemy is an extremely monstrous black skeletal ram and is the embodiment of his hatred for humanity. It is used by Anon after he absorbs Robert. Maoh can only be used only four times in a lifetime. First mentioned in the ending scenes of the battle between Robert Haydn and Ueki. First appearance in the battle between God and Margarette, although it was attempted by Robert in the Dogura Mansion where he was prevented by Kobasen along with the ending of round 1.
- This level is attained only by Robert Haydn, Kosuke Ueki, God, and Margarette (Robert's God Candidate).
Super Sacred Weapon -Creation (Demi-Weapon - Dentso)
- The unknown sacred treasure that changes the geography of any place. Only God has this power, but since Anon can absorb powers from whom he devours, he wields it and creates the pathway, where the last battle takes place.
Every middle school student has talents that help them in battle or in life. An important rule in the tournament to prevent power users from attacking anyone they please is that the power user will lose a talent if they attack a non-power user, but they can gain a random talent by knocking out another power user. If the power user loses all their talents, they will vanish.
Ueki starts the series with eleven talents: Girl charisma, ability to study, ability to run, accuracy, ability to eat fast, ability to search, lottery, animal charisma, ability to swim, ability to dodge, and the ability to imitate. However, those soon begin to dwindle down because of his desire to protect innocent civilians with his powers, a source of endless frustration to Mori.
"The Talent of Blank Zai"
The talent of blank zai is a reward of winning the battle that allows the winner to write any talent they desire down and instantly become the best in existence with this talent, no matter what it is.
Robert Haydn's name and personality is a reference to the African American poet Robert Hayden (1913–1980). His entire childhood was fraught with traumatic events and parental abuse. One of his more famous poems "The Whipping" was about a child who was being beaten by his grandmother, with underlying symbolism of slavery.
- No Regret by Kumi Koda (Episodes 33-51)
- Lyricist: rom△ntic high
- Composer and arranger: Greenwich Fields
- Kono Machi de wa Dare Mo ga Mina Jibun Igai no Nani Ka ni Narita garu (この街では誰もがみな自分以外の何かになりたがる?) by The Ivory Brothers (Episodes 33-42)
- True Blue by Hitomi Shimatani (Episode 51)
|Source||Reviewer||Grade / Score||Notes|
|Anime News Network||Carlo Santos||Overall (dub): D
Overall (sub): C
|DVD/Anime Review of DVD 1|
|AnimeOnDVD||Chris Beveridge||Content: C
The Law of Ueki was also adapted into a PlayStation 2 and Game Boy Advance game released only in Japan. The PlayStation 2 game is called "Ueki no Hōsoku: Taosu ze Roberuto Jūdan!!" (うえきの法則: 倒ぜロベルト十団!?) while the Game Boy Advance game is called "Ueki no Hōsoku: Jingi Sakuretsu! Nōryokusha Battle" (うえきの法則: 神器炸裂!能力者バトル?). They are based on the story of the anime.
References in other media
- "FUNimation Entertainment and Geneon Entertainment Sign Exclusive Distribution Agreement for North America" (Press release). Anime News Network. 2008-07-03. Retrieved 2008-07-03.
- "The Law of Ueki." Animax India. March 15, 2007. Retrieved on July 23, 2009.
- Web Sunday on Law of Ueki Plus (Japanese)
- Avex Mode on The Law of Ueki (Japanese)
- TV Tokyo on The Law of Ueki (Japanese)
- The Law of Ueki (anime) at Anime News Network's encyclopedia
- Funimation's The Law of Ueki webpage
- Geneon's The Law of Ueki page (Archived)