Ushio and Tora
|Ushio and Tora|
Cover of the first volume of Ushio and Tora, 2004 re-release
(Ushio to Tora)
|Genre||Adventure, dark fantasy, supernatural|
|Written by||Kazuhiro Fujita|
|Magazine||Weekly Shōnen Sunday|
|Original run||January 1990 – October 1996|
|Volumes||33 + gaiden|
|Original video animation|
|Directed by||Kunihiko Yuyama|
|Produced by||Hiromu Takao|
|Written by||Kenji Terada (1-10)|
Kunihiko Yuyama (11)
|Music by||Shirō Sagisu (1-6)|
Kei Wakakusa (7-10)
Hiroshi Okamoto (11)
Etsuko Yamakawa (11)
|Released||September 11, 1992 – October 1, 1993|
|Anime television series|
|Directed by||Satoshi Nishimura|
|Produced by||Hidenori Itahashi|
|Written by||Toshiki Inoue|
|Music by||Eishi Segawa|
|Original network||Tokyo MX, Sun TV, KBS, TV Aichi, BS Fuji|
|Original run||July 3, 2015 – June 24, 2016|
Ushio and Tora (Japanese: うしおととら Hepburn: Ushio to Tora) is a supernatural manga by Kazuhiro Fujita, serialized in Shogakukan's Weekly Shōnen Sunday between 1990 and 1996, and compiled into thirty-three tankōbon volumes. It was adapted into two OVA series (with a parody episode) and an anime television series adaptation, the latter produced by MAPPA and Studio VOLN, which began airing on July 3, 2015, and finished airing on June 24, 2016; it has been licensed by Sentai Filmworks in North America. In 1992, the manga won the 37th Shogakukan Manga Award for the shōnen category.
Ushio and Tora centers around the travels and battles of Ushio Aotsuki, who is constantly being stalked and aided by a gigantic, supernatural, and sometimes invisible tiger-like monster named Tora.
Ushio's family maintains a temple in Japan, where 500 years ago, his samurai ancestor battled that same monster to a standstill, and eventually trapped him against a rock using a cursed spear called the "Beast Spear", which grants strength, speed, and endurance to the wielder in exchange for his soul. Ushio accidentally unsealed the cave Tora was trapped in.
Initially, Ushio refuses to remove the spear pinning Tora down (as Tora made the strategic blunder of mentioning that the first thing he would do upon being freed would be to devour Ushio), but Tora's unsealed presence attracts various monsters to the temple. Ushio is forced to free Tora, who would like to eat Ushio, but dares not since Ushio keeps the spear close by. The series focuses on their relationship, interspersed with battles against mythological foes, and with Tora's attempts to grapple with modern life. During the regular battles, Ushio slowly begins to notice that as much as Tora claims to be irredeemable, the demon takes to fighting evil and defending the innocent with more enthusiasm than he cares to admit.
The story also includes Ushio's relationships with two girls: the tomboyish Asako Nakamura and the feminine Mayuko Inoue.
Episodic in nature, most of the manga consists of a series of fights with different yōkai or other creatures from Japanese myths. Major arcs in the storyline:
- The Beginnings
- Journey to Asahikawa
- Crisis at Kouhamei Sect Monastery
- The Kansai Yōkai Army
- Artificial Monster Technology
- The Final Battles
Ushio and Tora, written and illustrated by Kazuhiro Fujita, was first serialized in Shogakukan's Weekly Shōnen Sunday, from issue #6 of 1990 to issue #45 of 1996. Shogakukan collected the 313 individual chapters into thirty-three tankōbon volumes, with the first volume released on November 17, 1990, and the last one on December 10, 1996. An additional Gaiden volume was released on May 17, 1997.
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (March 2018)
Ushio and Tora was adapted into two OVA series by studio Pastel: one with six episodes released from September 11, 1992 to February 1, 1993 and one with four episodes released from June 11, 1993 to August 1, 1993. A single episode parody OVA was released on October 1, 1993.
An anime television adaptation was produced by MAPPA and Studio VOLN. It was directed by Satoshi Nishimura and written by Toshiki Inoue and Kazuhiro Fujita, featuring character designs by Tomoko Mori and music by Eishi Segawa. The anime was split into two parts: the first part (episodes 1–26) aired between July 3, 2015 and December 25, 2015, and the second part (episodes 27–39) aired between April 1, 2016 and June 24, 2016. It has been licensed for a UK release by Manga Entertainment. For episodes 1 through 26, the opening theme is "Mazeru no Kiken" (混ぜるな危険 Mixing Danger) by Kinniku Shōjo Tai while the ending themes are "HERO" by Sonar Pocket and "Makeruna Chiisaki Mono Yo" (負けるな小さきものよ lit. Don't Lose the Small Things) by Wakadanna. For season 2, episodes 1 through 13, the opening theme is "Shuugawari no Kiseki no Shinwa" (週替わりの奇跡の神話) by Kinniku Shōjo Tai while the ending theme is "Kessen Zen'ya" (決戦前夜 lit. The Night Before the Decisive Battle) by Lunkhead.
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