Ushio and Tora

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Ushio & Tora
Ushio and Tora vol 1 (2004).jpg
Cover of the first volume of Ushio & Tora, 2004 re-release
うしおととら
(Ushio to Tora)
Genre Adventure, comedy[1] supernatural[2]
Manga
Written by Kazuhiro Fujita
Published by Shogakukan
Demographic Shōnen
Magazine Weekly Shōnen Sunday
Original run January 1990October 1996
Volumes 33 (List of volumes)
Original video animation
Directed by Kunihiko Yuyama
Written by Kenji Terada
Music by Shirō Sagisu
Kei Wakakusa
Studio Pastel
Licensed by
Released September 11, 1992 August 1, 1993
Episodes 10
Original video animation
Comical Déformer Ushio & Tora
Directed by Kunihiko Yuyama
Written by Kunihiko Yuyama
Music by Hiroshi Okamoto
Etsuko Yamakawa
Studio Pastel
Released October 1, 1993
Runtime 30 minutes
Anime television series
Directed by Satoshi Nishimura
Written by Toshiki Inoue
Kazuhiro Fujita
Music by Eishi Segawa
Studio MAPPA, Studio VOLN
Licensed by
Original network Tokyo MX, SUN, KBS, TVA, BS Fuji
Original run July 3, 2015 June 24, 2016
Episodes 39 (List of episodes)
Wikipe-tan face.svg Anime and Manga portal

Ushio & Tora (Japanese: うしおととら, Hepburn: Ushio to Tora) is a supernatural manga by Kazuhiro Fujita. It was adapted into three OVA series 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;[3] it has been licensed by Sentai Filmworks in North America.

Story[edit]

Ushio & 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 enthusasim 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

Volumes[edit]

Anime[edit]

OAVs[edit]

Ushio & Tora was adapted into three OVA series: one with six episodes released from September 11, 1992 to February 1, 1993; one with four episodes released from June 11, 1993 to August 1, 1993; and one single episode OVA released on October 1, 1993.[4]

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.[2] 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.[5] It has been licensed for a UK release by Manga Entertainment.[6] 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 Chiisakimono 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.

Episode list[edit]

Season 1[edit]
No. Title Original air date
1 "The Fateful Meeting of Ushio and Tora"
"Ushio to Tora Deau no En" (うしおとらとであうの縁) 
July 3, 2015
While cleaning out some books from the store room, Ushio stumbles upon a door. Upon opening it, he finds a beast inside, which is stuck because of a spear holding it in place. The beast asks him to remove the spear, since only a human can do it. But since he says that he'll eat Ushio and wreak havoc among humans, Ushio doesn't help him. The beast's aura leaks, attracting many other yokais and Ushio is forced to free him to exterminate all the other yokais. 
2 "The Stone Eater"
"Ishikui" (石喰い) 
July 10, 2015
While cleaning in the school, Asako and some other girls get trapped by a Stone Eater yokai. 
3 "The Demon That Dwells In the Painting"
"E ni Sumu Oni" (絵に棲む鬼) 
July 17, 2015
A girl named Reiko is carrying a death wish, since her father, who has turned into an oni is haunting her and hurting anyone who gets close to her. 
4 "Tora Goes to the City"
"Tora Machi e Yuku" (とら街へゆく) 
July 24, 2015
The Gamin (a family of 5 demon heads) are released and they go eating any girl around the city who bears a resemblance to Mikado Hizaki, who had sealed them a long time ago. Mayuko Inoue bears an uncanny resemblance to her and is out alone, shopping. 
5 "Exorcist Hyou"
"Fujushi Hyō" (符咒師 鏢) 
July 31, 2015
An exorcist named Hyou is searching for the yokai, who killed his wife and five-year-old kid and took out his right eye and left three long scars on his face, to exact revenge. He thinks Tora might be the yokai and arrives to Japan. 
6 "Spectral Sea"
"Ayakashi no Umi" (あやかしの海) 
August 7, 2015
While at the beach, Tora is requested by Umizatou to get rid of a yokai whom he is unable to subdue. The yokai is made of souls of those who died at sea and it is eating both humans and yokai. Tora gets caught when the yokai tried to eat him. Asoko and a little kid get trapped too. Its up to Ushio to save them. 
7 "Folklore"
"Denshō" (伝承) 
August 14, 2015
Ushio demands his mother's whereabouts from his father, who promptly escapes. After Shigure reports about Ushio, the Beast Spear and Tora to higher ups, he is asked to monitor both Ushio and Tora to see their worth. When they are attacked, Shigure deems Ushio and Tora to be worthy and gives money to Ushio to go meet his uncle, and learn more about his mother from the journey. 
8 "He's in the Sky"
"Yatsu wa Sora ni Iru" (ヤツは空にいる) 
August 21, 2015
While traveling to Hokkaido by air, Ushio and Tora meet the demon Fusuma who tries to crash the plane to savor all its occupants. 
9 "Mad Wind"
"Kaze Kurui" (風狂い) 
August 28, 2015
Ushio is requested by the Kamaitachi siblings to kill their third sibling as he is causing trouble to humans, after they are forced to move out of their home in the mountains. 
10 "The House Where the Kappa Lives"
"Kappa no Iru Ie" (童のいる家) 
September 4, 2015
Ushio sees a girl at an onsen. Later he saves her from an accident. She is Saya Takatori, the white haired girl, who is guarding the Zahiki Warashi of the Takatori house, Omamori, from leaving so that the house remains prosperous. 
11 "Mirror of a Single Strike"
"Ichigeki no Kagami" (一撃の鏡) 
September 11, 2015
Ushio is staying at the Kamaitachis' house when he sees Asako calling out Mayuko with a face full of fright. After asking a mirror elder, he comes to know that a mirror demon has kidnapped Mayuko inside the mirror. 
12 "The Road to the Touno Youkai Battle (Part 1)"
"Tōno Yōkai-sen Michiyuki ~Sono Ichi~" (遠野妖怪戦道行~其の壱~) 
September 18, 2015
After parting with the Kamaitachi siblings, Tora and Ushio head to their next destination Touno. On the way however they are attacked and separated by youkai who wish to kill Ushio. A conversation with a friendly kappa youkai reveals that the true reason is his mother and tells a story of Hakumen no Mono, a ruthless human and demon-killing youkai from China that retreated from a war with both factions long ago. Before he can finish with the truth about his mother, Ushio must flee from the attacking youkai once more. Elsewhere, Tora struggles to understand why he's changed so much when challenged by a fellow youkai past, Hitotsuki, one who is part of the group hunting Ushio. 
13 "The Road to the Touno Youkai Battle (Part 2)"
"Tōno Yōkai-sen Michiyuki ~Sono Ni~" (遠野妖怪戦道行~其の弐~) 
September 25, 2015
After escaping the attacking youkai and saving an old man, Ushio recovers his strength and rests at a bakery in a small town. Ushio relates to them his struggles and how many people have been endangered since he pulled the spear. Ushio is reunited with the Kamaitachi siblings and the team tries to resist the youkai forces. They are saved by Tora and escape. However, a mist warps Ushio to a humble mansion of the leader of the mountain youkai. The leader relates the remainder of the tale of why the youkai seek vengeance against Ushio. His mother is part of a line of women tasked with upholding a barrier keeping Hakumen no Mono dormant yet preventing the other youkai from exacting their revenge on the monster. After Tora battles Hitotsuki, all the youkai cede and allow Ushio to continue his journey. 
14 "Chasing Hiyou ~ Successor"
"Hiyō Tsuiseki ~ Denshōsha" (婢妖追跡~伝承者) 
October 2, 2015
Hakumen no Mono, sensing the coming of the Beast Spear sends out its familiars or hiyou to destroy the spear and its wielder. Ushio ends up encountering one of the successors trained by the Kouhamei sect to wield the Beast Spear, Seikimori Hinowa. She demands the spear, stating that Ushio's lack of training has been the paramount factor in why so many people have been put in danger. Ushio ends up giving up the spear but when Hinowa encounters a more powerful hiyou, she finds that it will not lend her its power. Ushio and Tora return to save her and she acknowledges Ushio's worth for a time. Later, as the duo try to head to their next destination, Tora is sidetracked by a duel with another one of the successors, Akiba Nagare. Tora defeats him and relates that the reason he continues to follow Ushio is that he's never bored when he's with him. 
15 "The Crossroads of the Chase ~ Successor"
"Tsuigeki no Kōsa ~ Denshōsha" (追撃の交差~伝承者) 
October 9, 2015
As the Hiyō possess a bus in which Ushio is traveling to kill him, along with the rest of the passengers, Ushio must rely on the help of Akiba Nagare and Tora to stop them. 
16 "Transformation"
"Henbō" (変貌) 
October 16, 2015
Another of the successors, Satoru Moritsuna, attacks Ushio, even as he is accompanied by Jun Moritsuna, Akiba Nagare and others. After determining that Satoru Moritsuna's head is possessed by the Hiyō, Ushio has to decide whether to enter Moritsuna's body to defeat the Hiyō, and risk himself turning into a monster, or not. 
17 "To Kamui Kotan"
"Kamui Kotan e" (カムイコタンへ) 
October 23, 2015
As Ushio turns into a monster, all the people he has met and saved gather to save him. Jie Mei gathers the five girls Ushio has strong bonds with - Asako, Mayuko, Reiko, Saya and Yū to save Ushio. They are to comb Ushio's hair using the comb that his mother gave him, to return Ushio back to his human self. 
18 "Revival: And Finally..."
"Fukkatsu ~ Soshite Tsui ni" (復活~そしてついに) 
October 30, 2015
After the girls finally manage to save him, Ushio enters the cave where Hakumen no Mono resides along with Tora. 
19 "The Demon That Turns Back Time"
"Tokisaka no Ayakashi" (時逆の妖) 
November 6, 2015
Once inside the cave, Ushio and Tora are carried over to the past by a time manipulating yōkai. There, they bear witness to how Hakumen no Mono first attacked the king and people of China, destroying the city and killing the parents of Jie Mei and Giryō. 
20 "The Demon Returns"
"Ayakashi, Kikaesu" (妖、帰還す) 
November 13, 2015
Ushio is further witness to the creation of the Beast Spear. As Jie Mei and the time manipulating yōkai bring them back Ushio and Tora to the present, Jie Mei also tells Ushio the reason why the barrier was created around Hakumen no Mono and also about his mother. 
21 "The Fourth: Kirio"
"Yoninme no Kirio" (四人目のキリオ) 
November 20, 2015
Kirio pays a visit to Ushio to take the Beast Spear from him. But they are interrupted when Kuragi, an insect like yōkai, who is avatar of Hakumen no Mono attacks the Kōhamei Sect headquarters, unstoppable by any. Ushio and Kirio are taken there by Shigure where Ushio meets Mikado Hizaki. Later, as Ushio falls after failing to defeat Kuragi, Mikado Hizaki freezes the monster and Kirio finishes it off. Mikado Hizaki dies after exhausting her powers. Afterwards, we see Kirio telling his mother how he finished the monster himself, and that no one believes him when he says that they don't need the Beast Spear to defeat Hakumen no Mono. She gives him the Beast Spear's red cloth and tells him that if no one believes, it is ok to break the spear to show them so. 
22 "Great Summoning: Destruction of the Beast Spear"
"Gekishū: Kemono no Yari Hakai no Koto" (激召~獣の槍破壊のこと) 
November 27, 2015
As Ushio becomes depressed due to his inability to save Mikado Hizaki, Tora tried to fire him up by verbally insulting and fighting him, but leaves once it is proved useless. Kirio comes to steal the Beast Spear from Ushio along with a few supporters and snatches it from Ushio using the red cloth. When Nagare arrives to warn Ushio, he is joined by Tora in the search of Kirio. Hinowa joins Ushio in the search of the Spear. The group arrive at a facility and find the diary of Kyōra, the creator of the Elzaar Scythe. They come to know of a woman named Towako (who is the one who took the red cloth and acts as Kirio's mother) who helped him greatly in achieving success in his researches in creating the Elzaar Scythe, Kuin and even Kirio. 
23 "Eternal Solitude"
"Eigō no Kodoku" (永劫の孤独) 
December 4, 2015
24 "The Fools Gather at the Banquet"
"Orokamono wa Utage ni Tsudou" (愚か者は宴に集う) 
December 11, 2015
25 "H.A.M.M.R~The H.A.M.M.R Institute"
"H.A.M.M.R~Hama Kikan" (H・A・M・M・R~ハマー機関~) 
December 18, 2015
26 "TATARI BREAKER"
(TATARI BREAKER) 
December 25, 2015
Season 2[edit]
No. Title Original air date
27 "The Wind Blows"
"Kaze ga Fuku" (風が吹く) 
April 1, 2016[5]
28 "I Won't Lose Anyone Else"
"Mō Kobosanai" (もうこぼさない) 
April 8, 2016
29 "The Night of the Crescent Moon"
"Mikazuki no Yoru" (三日月の夜) 
April 15, 2016
30 "The Journey of No Return"
"Fuki no Tabi" (不帰の旅) 
April 22, 2016
31 "To the Sea of Chaos"
"Konton no Umi e" (混沌の海へ) 
April 29, 2016
32 "Mother"
"Haha" (母) 
May 6, 2016
33 "The Beast Spear Destroyed"
"Kemono no Yari Hakai" (獣の槍破壊) 
May 13, 2016
34 "Tora"
"Tora" (とら) 
May 20, 2016
35 "Hope"
"Kibō" (希望) 
May 27, 2016
36 "To the Promised Night"
"Yakusoku no Yoru e" (約束の夜へ) 
June 3, 2016
37 "The Ultimate Insult"
"Saikyō no Akutai" (最強の悪態) 
June 10, 2016
38 "The End"
"Saishū Kyokumen" (最終局面) 
June 17, 2016
39 "The Fate of Ushio and Tora"
"Ushio to Tora no En" (うしおととらの縁) 
June 24, 2016

Reception[edit]

It received the Shogakukan Manga Award for shōnen in 1992.[7] Aside of it, Todd Ciolek of Anime News Network described Ushio and Tora as a "not-unwatchable demon-hunting series".[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Ushio & Tora". Sentai Filmworks. Retrieved July 19, 2018. 
  2. ^ a b "Ushio & Tora TV Anime Confirms Split Season Plans, More Cast". Anime News Network. 2015-06-24. Retrieved 2016-03-16. 
  3. ^ "Ushio & Tora Supernatural Battle Manga Gets TV Anime". Anime News Network. 2015-02-02. 
  4. ^ "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. 
  5. ^ a b Komatsu, Mikikazu (2016-03-14). "Megumi Hayashibara Voices Hakumen no Mono in "Ushio and Tora"". Crunchyroll. Retrieved 2016-03-16. 
  6. ^ "Manga Entertainment Acquires A Certain Magical Index: The Miracle of Endymion and Ushio & Tora". Anime News Network. April 29, 2017. Retrieved April 29, 2017. 
  7. ^ 小学館漫画賞:歴代受賞者 (in Japanese). Shogakukan. Retrieved 2007-08-19. 
  8. ^ "Fly With the High - The X-Button". Anime News Network. January 20, 2010. Retrieved February 12, 2014. 

External links[edit]