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
ImprintShōnen Sunday Comics
MagazineWeekly Shōnen Sunday
DemographicShōnen
Original runJanuary 24, 1990October 23, 1996
Volumes33 + gaiden (List of volumes)
Original video animation
Directed byKunihiko Yuyama
Produced by
  • Hiromu Takao
  • Tatsuo Ōba
  • Fumio Ueda
Written by
Music by
  • Shirō 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 by
  • Hidenori Itahashi
  • Shinji Sekizawa
  • Shigeki Ozaki
  • Kazuo Ōnuki
Written by
Music byEishi Segawa
Studio
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 Japanese supernatural manga series written and illustrated by Kazuhiro Fujita. It was serialized in Shogakukan's Weekly Shōnen Sunday between 1990 and 1996, and compiled into thirty-three tankōbon volumes.

It was first adapted into two OVA series (and a single parody episode) produced by Pastel and released from 1992 to 1993. In 2015, an anime television series adaptation produced by MAPPA and Studio VOLN aired from July 2015 to June 2016.

In North America, the OVA series has been licensed by ADV Films in 1998, and re-released in 2003, while the anime television series has been licensed by Sentai Filmworks in 2015.

In 1992, Ushio and Tora won the 37th Shogakukan Manga Award for the shōnen category. As of 2015, the manga has over 30 million copies in circulation.

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.

Episodic in nature, most of the story consists of a series of fights with different yōkai or other creatures from Japanese myths. The story also includes Ushio's relationships with two girls: the tomboyish Asako Nakamura and the feminine Mayuko Inoue.

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, published on January 24, 1990 to issue #45 of 1996, published on October 23, 1996.[4][5][6] Shogakukan collected the 313 individual chapters into thirty-three tankōbon volumes, with the first volume released on November 17, 1990,[7] and the last one on December 10, 1996.[8] An additional Gaiden volume was released on May 17, 1997.[9] In 2015, Shogakukan re-released the series into twenty volumes in kazenban format published between May 18, 2015 and December 16, 2016.[10][11]

In 2012, Fujita drawn two-chapter Ushio and Tora short to raise funds for areas devastated by the March 2011 earthquake.[12][13]

Anime[edit]

Original video animations[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.[14]

In North America, ADV Films released the first two episodes on VHS in 1998, but the project was abandoned.[15] In 2003, ADV re-released the series on DVD, with a new dub and including all the episodes.[16][17]

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.[18] For episodes 1 through 26, the opening theme is "Mazeru na 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.[19][20] 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.[21][22]

In North America, both seasons were streamed on Crunchyroll.[23][24] The series has been licensed by Sentai Filmworks in 2015, and was streamed with an English dub on Hidive in 2017.[25][26] It has been licensed for a UK release by Manga Entertainment.[27]

Video games[edit]

Ushio to Tora game was released for the Super Famicom (in Japan only) on January 22, 1993.[28] The game is an action title created by Yutaka. Players can take the role of Ushio or Tora.[29] Ushio to Tora: Shin'en no Daiyō was released for the Family Computer on July 9, 1993.[30]

Ushio is also featured as a playable character in the Weekly Shōnen Sunday and Weekly Shōnen Magazine crossover game Sunday vs Magazine: Shūketsu! Chōjō Daikessen.[31]

Reception[edit]

As of 2015, Ushio and Tora has over 30 million copies in circulation.[13] The manga received the Shogakukan Manga Award for shōnen category in 1992.[32]

Todd Ciolek of Anime News Network described Ushio and Tora as a "not-unwatchable demon-hunting series".[29]

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. June 24, 2015. Retrieved March 16, 2016.
  4. ^ 週刊少年サンデー 1990/01/24 表示号数6 (in Japanese). Agency for Cultural Affairs. Retrieved September 13, 2019.
  5. ^ 週刊少年サンデー 1996/10/23 表示号数45 (in Japanese). Agency for Cultural Affairs. Retrieved September 13, 2019.
  6. ^ うしおととら. WebSunday (in Japanese). Shogakukan. Retrieved November 16, 2018.
  7. ^ うしおととら 1 (in Japanese). Shogakukan. Retrieved July 24, 2018.
  8. ^ うしおととら 33 (in Japanese). Shogakukan. Retrieved July 24, 2018.
  9. ^ うしおととら外伝 1 (in Japanese). Shogakukan. Retrieved July 24, 2018.
  10. ^ うしおととら 完全版 1 (in Japanese). Shogakukan. Retrieved September 13, 2019.
  11. ^ うしおととら 完全版 20 (in Japanese). Shogakukan. Retrieved September 13, 2019.
  12. ^ Nelkin, Sarah (November 8, 2012). "Ushio to Tora Manga Returns in Quake Charity 1-Shot". Anime News Network. Retrieved November 22, 2018.
  13. ^ a b Loo, Egan (February 2, 2015). "Ushio & Tora Supernatural Battle Manga Gets TV Anime". Anime News Network. Retrieved September 13, 2019.
  14. ^ "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.
  15. ^ Toole, Michael (February 12, 2012). "A Tale of Two Dubs - The Mike Toole Show". Anime News Network. Retrieved September 13, 2019.
  16. ^ Macdonald, Christopher (November 25, 2002). "Ushio & Tora dub details". Anime News Network. Retrieved September 13, 2019.
  17. ^ "Ushio & Tora: Complete Collection". ADV Films. Archived from the original on April 2, 2003. Retrieved September 13, 2019.
  18. ^ Komatsu, Mikikazu (March 14, 2016). "Megumi Hayashibara Voices Hakumen no Mono in "Ushio and Tora"". Crunchyroll. Retrieved March 16, 2016.
  19. ^ Rafael Antonio Pineda (June 17, 2015). "Ushio & Tora TV Anime's Promo Video Previews Theme Songs". Anime News Network. Retrieved September 13, 2019.
  20. ^ Ressler, Karen (September 8, 2015). "Wakadanna Performs Ushio & Tora Anime's New Ending Theme". Anime News Network. Retrieved September 13, 2019.
  21. ^ Hallmark, Kyle (April 3, 2016). "Ushio & Tora Anime's Return Previewed in Ad". Anime News Network. Retrieved September 13, 2019.
  22. ^ Rafael Antonio Pineda (February 16, 2016). "Lunkhead Performs Ushio & Tora's New Ending Song". Anime News Network. Retrieved September 13, 2019.
  23. ^ Ressler, Karen (July 2, 2015). "Crunchyroll Adds Ushio & Tora Anime". Anime News Network. Retrieved September 13, 2019.
  24. ^ Ressler, Karen (March 24, 2016). "Crunchyroll to Stream Ushio & Tora Season 2 Anime". Anime News Network. Retrieved September 13, 2019.
  25. ^ Hodgkins, Crystalyn (July 2, 2015). "Sentai Filmworks Acquires Ushio & Tora, Gate, School-Live!, Wakaba Girl, Aoharu x Machinegun Anime". Anime News Network. Retrieved September 13, 2019.
  26. ^ Ressler, Karen (August 16, 2017). "HIDIVE Streams Ushio & Tora English Dub". Anime News Network. Retrieved September 13, 2019.
  27. ^ "Manga Entertainment Acquires A Certain Magical Index: The Miracle of Endymion and Ushio & Tora". Anime News Network. April 29, 2017. Retrieved April 29, 2017.
  28. ^ うしおととら (SFC) (in Japanese). Famitsu. Retrieved September 13, 2019.
  29. ^ a b "Fly With the High - The X-Button". Anime News Network. January 20, 2010. Retrieved February 12, 2014.
  30. ^ うしおととら 深淵の大妖 (FC) (in Japanese). Famitsu. Retrieved September 13, 2019.
  31. ^ サンデーVSマガジン 集結!頂上大決戦 (in Japanese). PlayStation. Retrieved September 13, 2019.
  32. ^ 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.

External links[edit]