Animation, Anime,  Treasures to share ❤️

Ushio to Tora (2015-2016)

[TV Series] “Ushio to Tora” – 2 seasons

I really like this anime and have seen it several times. The story revolves around Ushio and Tora, a human and a yokai who are forced to team up to exterminate yokai who prey on humans.

Ushio came face to face with a yokai who was trapped in the trap door of his warehouse impaled by the “beast spear”. This is the yokai his father talked about since he was little. This yokai (Tora) asks him to deliver him, announcing his intention to devour him afterwards! So it’s better not to deliver it. But Ushio now sees the yokai because by opening the trapdoor, Tora’s evil aura attracted evil yokai who attack humans. Ushio therefore has no choice, he must free Tora to help him kill the yokai. Tora only obeys him because he threatens to impale him again because the spear gives him the strength and power of a long-haired samurai capable of defeating yokai (including Tora). Ushio is vulnerable without this spear so he must keep it close to him 24 hours a day to avoid being devoured by Tora.

We therefore follow Ushio and Tora’s fights with the yokai. Seeing their bond of enemies transform into a very beautiful friendship is very beautiful.

It is thus through the episodes that they will learn to know each other. Their daily life is punctuated by arguments, bloody fights and misunderstandings. They must learn to trust each other. And with each successful rescue, they become a little more attached to each other. Their bickering has become their little ritual that makes those around them smile because they no longer believe them when they talk about their promise. Where only Tora has the right to devour Ushio, and only Ushio has the right to kill Tora and no one else. It is with this promise that they manage to watch over each other and form a fantastic tandem!

The tone is very quickly set with the first episode. It’s very gripping and funny! I really like the humor in the anime. It’s a deeper story than that, a story of friendship and alliance between humans and yokai to fight the “Pale Being”, absolute evil. The yokai hate humans but contact with Ushio makes them reconsider. The Spear of the Beast has a dark and bloody history to reveal to us. The spear chose Ushio and Tora in its quest for revenge. Their fate made me feel strong emotions, it’s very moving. Deeply moving. There are beautiful messages of love behind sacrificed lives.

Who is Tora?

“Tora” is the name Ushio gave him because he looks like a tiger. Ushio loves to threaten him or hit his head with a spear every time he spins a bad trick. These scenes are very funny and amusing because where has this big human-eating monster feared by everyone gone?! I really like his childish side, marveling at discovering new things, like television, taking the bus (there wasn’t all that 500 years ago), learning to do the gun with the hands to splash the other. It was funny the scene where Tora stole Ushio’s sausage while eating his hand! These are really their little moments of complicity and their quality moments.

Tora has an ego that makes me laugh a lot and which is what makes him charming because no one should dare touch his prey (Ushio). For example (episode 3) he sees that Ushio is in bad shape and he asks Ushio to beg him to help him while crying. But it was too late, the yokai took it with him. And then he turned red as he pulled her out of the other world, saying angrily: “Why do you prefer to be eaten by another monster than me? Come on, I’m going to eat you right away“! And even in the middle of an important fight, they find ways to argue!

Tora’s past

Tora was locked in the trap for 500 years. We’re going to find out who he once was. He was known by the yokai as Nagatobimaru, a large youkai over 2000 years old. It is also known as Azafuse. The yokai are all surprised to see the largest demon team up with a human to kill their fellow monsters. So he gets called all the names. In addition to allying themselves with Ushio Aotsuki, the son of this woman they hate so much. But no matter, Tora makes them understand that he is no longer who he once was by telling them that they must call him Tora. This statement shows that he has changed and that he likes being Tora.

500 years ago a great battle took place with demons and the Pale Being. It was during this battle that Tora disappeared and that we will understand the circumstances of his disappearance linked to the beast’s spear.

Tora and Mayuko, Beauty and the Beast

His objective is also to devour Mayuko because he finds her very appetizing that he salivates over her because she is so natural and bears no artifice (perfume, jewelry). By protecting his prey (Mayuko) from danger, he saved her life several times. Which is worth all the gratitude of Mayuko who offers him a hamburger to thank him. And since then he started to like hamburgers while waiting to eat Ushio and Mayuko.

I really liked episode 24, the scene where Tora wanted to please Mayuko who was playing the bride. At the moment when Tora had to say “Yes to be his wife” they were interrupted. But Tora asked him not to forget their oath. They are really adorable together. It’s like “Beauty and the Beast”! And Tora who agrees to call Mayuko by her first name, which means that he no longer sees her as food to eat. It’s really very beautiful and touching their bond.

I am totally won over by this orange ball of fur! I think it’s a very beautiful creature from Kazuhiro Fujita’s imagination.

Ushio Aotsuki

Ushio is a 14-year-old high school student, raised alone by his father (Shigure Aotsuki) who is the Head of Fugen-In Temple. The father seems not to be an exemplary parent in Ushio’s eyes and that’s what’s quite funny, the son seems to be more responsible and adult than the father so it ends in blows! The whole neighborhood knows that this is a normal situation. The father makes me laugh a lot. He has the art and way of running away from problems. By the way he played the stupid father to protect Ushio, his real job is to seal the monsters wherever they are, that’s why he is often traveling and absent as a parent.

Ushio grew up thinking his mother was dead, he was a turbulent, angry and violent child. Fortunately he was well surrounded, he has a childhood friend Asako who has a fiery temperament, she manages to shake him up with her punches to put him back on the right path. Asako’s best friend is Mayuko. Mayuko clearly sees that behind the arguments between Asako and Ushio hide their true feelings. These two love each other without ever admitting it.

“Mud is nothing at all”

Ushio can no longer live like an ordinary man since he held the spear of the beast. Ushio is courageous and perseverant. He doesn’t give up. He has a deep sense of justice to the point of defending Tora for crimes he did not commit. He will do anything to save the lives of his friends and humans. Besides, Tora finds that Ushio is a funny human being because he is different from other humans. He always thinks of others, of saving the lives of others instead of worrying about his own life. By working with Ushio, Tora will over time understand what drives Ushio so much to save humans. Their friendship will cause problems in the world of humans and yokai. But thanks to their friendship, they will fulfill their destiny. They are the hope of humanity.

Mayuko was won over by Ushio when she was a child. She adopted Ushio’s philosophy, saying “Mud is nothing.” Her new hat flew into the swamp and she was crying. So Ushio went to get it with his legs covered in mud. The most important thing is the hat she is holding on to and the mud is nothing. So she applies this to make important choices in her life.

Ushio’s journey & his beautiful encounters

Ushio learned from the leader of the yokai that his mother is still alive. His father asks him to go meet his mother Sumako Hizaki to get the answers. He has to go to Asahikawa, in Hokkaidô and gives him his mother’s comb.

So we find out everything that happens and why the yokai hate his mother. Ushio’s destiny is already mapped out by his mother who predicted in a dream that she will give birth to a son, a being capable of killing the Pale Being by wielding the spear in a spirit of justice. She will call him Ushio so that he will have the strength to never give up on anyone.

We also discover through Ushio’s journey the history and birth of the Pale Being, absolute evil! This is really scary. The yokai in this anime are superbly well drawn! Scary in appearance but endearing deep down, sometimes more human than humans. It’s really a great lesson in accepting our differences. There are good and bad humans. We must go to humans who understand and accept them.

There is episode 9 which moved me a lot. Raishin and Kagari are two yokais, who ask Ushio to kill their brother Jûrô who is sowing chaos by killing the villagers. And yet these two hate humans but they have no choice but to ask Ushio for help.

During their journey, Ushio and Tora will have very nice encounters with humans and yokai. It’s really very moving and endearing. The closer he gets to the truth, the greater difficulties they will face. But together, everything seems possible! The hope is there. So here they are, off to new adventures! It’s really a very gripping anime with incredible stories around the Spear of the Beast. There are really some very touching episodes and show us all the beauty and richness of life through relationships of friendship and love!

[Shonen-manga] Ushio to Tora – 33 volumes (1990-1996)

I read the manga after watching the anime. I had already had a glimpse of this manga when I was a teenager but it was in the Japanese version. So when I saw that the anime was released, I was very excited and happy to discover it. I was not disappointed at all because the original work was well respected. I therefore highly recommend reading this manga! I love seeing at the start of each volume seeing Tora in Super Deformed in the company of the secondary characters they will meet.

Fan Art

For the pleasures of the eyes…

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