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Anime Review – Ushio and Tora

Once more, thanks to Crunchyroll, I’m keeping as up to date with anime as I possibly can be. Perhaps soon I’ll get around to watching the incredibly popular Attack on Titan properly? Regardless, last week, I finished watching You and Me 2, which left me very happy. In it’s place, the streaming service offered me Ushio and Tora, an anime that seems to be entirely different to You and Me 2, so not sure where the algorithm from. Regardless, I decided that since it offered it to me, I may as well make the most of the service and watch the anime.

Following Japanese folklore of demons (or yokai) quite closely, Ushio and Tora is an anime about a boy who accidentally lets loose a bunch of demons unto the world after encountering one himself for the first time. Ushio and Tora has been released in the past, all the way back in 1992 in fact. This anime that I’m reviewing now is a new version, a whole series which is set to span 39 episodes. The manga started all the way back in 1990, so what does this new anime series have to offer us?

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Story

Ushio Aotsuki, the son of a temple priest, is set to look after the temple whilst his father goes on holiday. Ushio is told plenty of stories of demons and an ancient spear that is keeping them at bay. Whilst this all seems like superstitious mumbo jumbo to anyone in the modern age, it turns out that his father might not be telling lies at all. As it transpires, there is a trapdoor leading to a basement within the temple and so Ushio decides to investigate.

Within the chambers of the basement, there is a demon called Tora, who has been trapped for over 500 years. He is speared to the wall and threatens that if he is unleashed, he’ll wreak havoc upon the world, like he used to. Ushio decides that’s not such a good idea so leaves him there… But now that the trapdoor has been opened, all sorts of yokai are taking over the temple grounds. Calling upon Tora, Ushio frees Tora… But to what consequence?

Visuals

The art style of Ushio and Tora is very distinctive. Rather than take my word for it, why not check through the gallery I’ve put together?

Audio

I love the voices in this show. It seems that the voice actor Tasuku Hatanaka was a fantastic pick for Ushio who I pick up to be a little bit brash and a little cocky and arrogant. He seems to have boundless energy and the voice actor really lets this seep through in his performances. Couple this with the voice actor for Tora, Rikiya Koyama, who was also the father from Shokugeki No Soma. The talent pool in the voice actors and actresses in this show is fantastic.

The quality of the music in this is brilliant too. It’s all very subtle and atmospheric for the situations. From violins during sad moments and full fledged guitar work for action scenes, the audio changes masterfully as the story develops.

Overall

I don’t think this is an anime for everyone, but I certainly had a lot of fun watching it! I will be watching all of this as it unfolds.

I think you need to be looking for something funny, but at the same time be a fan of all that is action packed in anime. With this in mind, I’d sort of call this a Shounen Comedy. If you don’t like a bit of boyish action in your anime, this probably won’t be the one for you. From a samurai who somehow makes Ushios hair so much longer, to the action of the yokai fights, this is bound to be one that young boys (and indeed girls) will adore.

What are your thoughts on this? Did you ever get to watch the original stand alone episodes from the 90s? Let us know what you think in the comments below, or over on Facebook and Twitter.

4 responses

  1. It’s cool that studios are adapting older mangas, which have finished, rather than ongoing ones. It’s a strategy that worked well with Parasyte.

    Liked by 1 person

    July 22, 2015 at 11:39 pm

    • This one struck me as a bit odd. I never knew anything about Ushio and Tora before this, so I thought “Hey, this sounds a bit different.”

      Started to watch and was pleased to see it was a bit different and its age. It seems like it’s going to be a fun ride! There’s so many good anime out right now!

      Liked by 1 person

      July 22, 2015 at 11:47 pm

  2. Despite the fact this series has brought up the rear of my weekly rankings so far this season, I am really enjoying it. It’s keeping very much to the tried and tested shounen action/comedy tropes, and is very much ‘monster of the week’ so far. Despite that, it is amusing, I love the interactions between Ushio and Tora, and the 90s character designs given HD anime treatment is something I love.

    Hopefully it’ll really start to shine once a major villain appears or a longer plot arc starts, it’s under that assumption that I’ve picked it up. Shounen series can be slow burners.

    Like

    July 28, 2015 at 2:36 pm

    • Yup, thats certainly true about Shounen anime! I never got to see,the originals, so I found Ushio and Tora really quite ‘new’ and refreshing.

      The designs are superb and look sooo good in todays standards. It feels like the anime is a labour of love, if you catch my meaning.

      Excited by it, even if it literally just popped outta the blue!

      Like

      July 28, 2015 at 3:51 pm

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