Ushio and Tora

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Ushio and Tora
Ushio and Tora vol 1 (2004).jpg
Cover of the first volume of Ushio and Tora, 2004 re-release
うしおととら
(Ushio to Tora)
GenreAdventure,[1] dark fantasy,[2] supernatural[3]
Manga
Written byKazuhiro Fujita
Published byShogakukan
DemographicShōnen
MagazineWeekly Shōnen Sunday
Original runJanuary 1990October 1996
Volumes33 + gaiden (List of volumes)
Original video animation
Directed byKunihiko Yuyama
Produced byHiromu Takao
Tatsuo Ōba
Fumio Ueda
Written byKenji Terada (1-10)
Kunihiko Yuyama (11)
Music byShirō Sagisu (1-6)
Kei Wakakusa (7-10)
Hiroshi Okamoto (11)
Etsuko Yamakawa (11)
StudioPastel
Licensed by
Released September 11, 1992 October 1, 1993
Episodes11
Anime television series
Directed bySatoshi Nishimura
Produced byHidenori Itahashi
Shinji Sekizawa
Shigeki Ozaki
Kazuo Ōnuki
Written byToshiki Inoue
Kazuhiro Fujita
Music byEishi Segawa
StudioMAPPA
Studio VOLN
Licensed by
Original networkTokyo MX, Sun TV, KBS, TV Aichi, BS Fuji
Original run July 3, 2015 June 24, 2016
Episodes39 (List of episodes)
Wikipe-tan face.svg Anime and Manga portal

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;[4] it has been licensed by Sentai Filmworks in North America. In 1992, the manga won the 37th Shogakukan Manga Award for the shōnen category.

Story[edit]

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:

  1. The Beginnings
  2. Journey to Asahikawa
  3. Crisis at Kouhamei Sect Monastery
  4. The Kansai Yōkai Army
  5. Artificial Monster Technology
  6. Brainwash
  7. The Final Battles

Media[edit]

Manga[edit]

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.[5] Shogakukan collected the 313 individual chapters into thirty-three tankōbon volumes, with the first volume released on November 17, 1990,[6] and the last one on December 10, 1996.[7] An additional Gaiden volume was released on May 17, 1997.[8]

In 2012, Fujita drawn two-chapter Ushio and Tora short to raise funds for areas devastated by the March 2011 earthquake.[9][4]

Anime[edit]

OVAs[edit]

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.[10]

Television series[edit]

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.[3] 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.[11] It has been licensed for a UK release by Manga Entertainment.[12] 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.

Video Games[edit]

Ushio To Tora game was released for the Super Famicom (in Japan only) on January 25, 1993. The game is an action title created by Bandai. Players can take the role of Ushio or Tora.

Reception[edit]

It received the Shogakukan Manga Award for shōnen in 1992.[13] Aside of it, Todd Ciolek of Anime News Network described Ushio and Tora as a "not-unwatchable demon-hunting series".[14]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Ushio & Tora". Sentai Filmworks. Archived from the original on August 30, 2018. Retrieved July 19, 2018.
  2. ^ ダークファンタジーまとめ (in Japanese). Akiba Souken. Retrieved August 30, 2018.
  3. ^ a b "Ushio & Tora TV Anime Confirms Split Season Plans, More Cast". Anime News Network. 2015-06-24. Retrieved 2016-03-16.
  4. ^ a b "Ushio & Tora Supernatural Battle Manga Gets TV Anime". Anime News Network. 2015-02-02.
  5. ^ うしおととら. WebSunday (in Japanese). Shogakukan. Retrieved November 16, 2018.
  6. ^ うしおととら 1 (in Japanese). Shogakukan. Retrieved July 24, 2018.
  7. ^ うしおととら 33 (in Japanese). Shogakukan. Retrieved July 24, 2018.
  8. ^ うしおととら外伝 1 (in Japanese). Shogakukan. Retrieved July 24, 2018.
  9. ^ Nelkin, Sarah (November 8, 2012). "Ushio to Tora Manga Returns in Quake Charity 1-Shot". Anime News Network. Retrieved November 22, 2018.
  10. ^ "ビデオ編" [Video Releases]. 1998 Animage Pocket Data Notes. Animage Pocket Data Notes (in Japanese). Tokyo, Japan: Tokuma Shoten. March 1998. p. 96.
  11. ^ Komatsu, Mikikazu (2016-03-14). "Megumi Hayashibara Voices Hakumen no Mono in "Ushio and Tora"". Crunchyroll. Retrieved 2016-03-16.
  12. ^ "Manga Entertainment Acquires A Certain Magical Index: The Miracle of Endymion and Ushio & Tora". Anime News Network. April 29, 2017. Retrieved April 29, 2017.
  13. ^ 小学館漫画賞:歴代受賞者 (in Japanese). Shogakukan. Archived from the original on November 10, 2018. Retrieved November 22, 2018.
  14. ^ "Fly With the High - The X-Button". Anime News Network. January 20, 2010. Retrieved February 12, 2014.

External links[edit]