They’re the best Anime that 1992 has to offer! We counts down the best anime to come out this year, including the likes of Youjuu Sensen Adventure Kid, Choujin Densetsu Urotsukidouji: Mirai-hen, Teito Monogatari, and more!
6: Youjuu Sensen Adventure Kid
English: Adventure Kid
MAL Score: 5.30
Episode 1: A young man named Norikazu finds a computer from World War II buried in his back garden. When he activates it, he and a girl named Midori are transported to Hell where erotic creatures and monsters of different kinds live. They meet some friends including a sexy elf type woman named Eganko who falls in love with Norikazu, and a perverted monster prince who is soon enslaved by Midori. Using their new friends the pair try to make the dangerous journey back home.
Episode 2: Having made their way back home the adventure duo find the world they knew is gone, and is now ruled by the demonic computer which first sent them to Hell. They travel back in time to World War II Japan in an attempt to stop the world from being changed. Notably, in doing so they witness the atomic bomb being dropped on Hiroshima, and there is an appearance of the Enola Gay, as well as numerous symbols of Japanese culture at the time.
Episode 3: This episode has a humorous love-quadrangle plot, where Eganko comes up with a plan to make Norikazu fall in love with her with a love potion, and simultaneously make Midori fall in love with an egotistical young man from her school. Unsurprisingly their plan backfires and everyone gets what they deserve.
This first Ep is proving to be a test for the main couple or at least for our Adventure kid.
The old man..Who controls this world..In my opinion is not that evil he watched his wife get raped…And as watching she starts to love it…and even dis him..saying the rapist is better…Now I wont call her a slut but…She is highly sex deprived…A year with out any from her husband..this made her crack and go sexually crazy…Watching this..Made him crack…And then he created this world I am sure he killed the rapist too..now It seems he is testing our main characters love for his woman..Putting them through little insane situations..And so on..
5: Choujin Densetsu Urotsukidouji: Mirai-hen
English: Urotsukidoji III: Return of the Overfiend
Japanese: 超神伝説うろつき童子 未来篇
MAL Score: 5.71
Twenty-five years ago, the world was annihilated. With the coming of the Overfiend, God of all Gods, the human, demon, and beast realms collapsed together in chaos. With the promise that he would be born in 100 years to re-create his failed world, the Overfiend settled back to sleep within his mother’s womb.
But something has gone terribly wrong…
Now the Overfiend is born prematurely and awaits the coming of his natural the enemy, the Lord of Chaos. His only hope for survival are Amano Jyaku and his sister Megumi. But destiny has moved in ways that even the Overfiend could never predict, as a new race of half-breed demon beasts has evolved.
As Amano travels to the kingdom of Azuma to investigate the appearance of the Lord of Chaos, he is swept up in the world-conquering schemes of Caesar, Azuma’s dictator.
Against the backdrop of a demon beast slave revolt and the return of the diabolical Munhihausen, only Amano and the demon beast Buju can save the world from another fiery destruction. With the fate of the earth and its inhabitants hanging in the balance, all wait to see what the coming of the Lord of Chaos will bring…
The Urotsukidouji films are a little bit strange. Many of the core events in these movies are caused by really stupid bullshit, and character motivations tend to be varying degrees of all over the place, not to mention how they all feature some of the most hilariously bad english dubs i’ve ever seen. However, the darkness sometimes becomes so weird and twisted that one can’t help but be enthralled, to the point that a few of the attempted emotional moments aren’t as hard to take seriously as one might think at first.
Very schlocky, but also lovable. The animation is violent, disgusting, and really cool if you like that sort of thing.
This installment is no different, except for a few more glaring hiccups along the way than the first two had.
For example, one of the main characters starts out as a raping, pillaging asshole, but is transformed into a caring father figure in the space of about two seconds by the eyes of a child. It made a little bit of sense within context, but was so painfully melodramatic that I couldn’t forgive it.
The main villain does the same thing with his daughter, except he turns back into a rapist two times (one of those times raping HIS OWN DAUGHTER(!!!)) and still gets plenty of stupid redemption scenes.
Also, this may just be the opinion of someone who’s been spoiled by the hentai of this generation, but I don’t think I would be breaking my VHS to rewind these sex scenes if I owned this in the 90’s, so don’t get your hopes up for anything special in that department unless you’re into the fucked up subject matter or you like inuyasha porn or whatever.
If you like gory 90’s anime, really bad dubs, and weird shit, you should check this series out.
And if you’re a fan of the first two movies, you’ll definitely like this one, just be prepared for a little more cheese.
4: Teito Monogatari
English: Doomed Megalopolis
MAL Score: 5.96
When an evil sorcerer bent on crushing the “greatest city on earth” uses dark powers to awaken the destructive spirit of Tokyo’s historic “guardian,” Taira no Masakado, occultists, children, and scientists become embroiled in a ruinous struggle spanning two decades.
I’ve seen much worse. Much, much worse. This was reasonably solid and had a fair mix of good and bad points. At 3 hours it’s probably a little longer than necessary, and the transitions between leaps in time are a little awkward. Although some cheese is present, it never gets ridiculous enough to where you can’t take it seriously. In fact, part of the reason I kept watching was because despite being fairly silly at times, it still presented itself in a manner that at least made an effort to tell a real story.
Not the most original of stories, naturally, but few seldom are. I always say it’s more important how you tell a story than the particular story itself. A good writer can make even mundane everyday situations interesting. So to that effect, I’d say Doomed Megalopolis brings just enough intrigue with the introduction of plot elements, the development and progression of events, and the characters involved. There were a lot of confusing plot moments, like the ending, where something may get resolved, but you are left wondering, "So what was the point of all that?"
The chars are somewhat interesting, at least there was a respectable balance between realistic and symbolic ones. Not sure any of them are really developed well enough to be particularly memorable, or at least, the more memorable ones are probably the least likable ones…
The art was fine. Typical of its time. Nothing really stood out to me as bad or ugly, however, there was more nudity than really needed. (To make whatever point one tries to make by including nudity that is…) Also, the main villain really looks A LOT like Bison from Street Fighter :p
Mind you, the only version I have is the dubbed. This was probably my biggest problem with this DVD. I had my volume maxed at 100 just to be able to barely make out what the hell they were saying.
The base is there. I mean, it’s based off a novel, so it’s quite literally there. However, it feels incomplete, since it technically is- it’s based specifically on the first four books of the novel (which is around 1/3rd of it). It’s a darker (AKA more violent and sexualized) adaptation of the source material, which I’m okay with, but I can see that driving away potential viewers. The nudity is almost, if not always, unnecessary. Even if you don’t mind the darker aspects of it, you’ll most likely find that the story feels unfocused and even rushed at times. There’s lots of confusing plot elements, which can be explained with the knowledge that this isn’t actually the full story, but that doesn’t help anyone who’s unfamiliar with the novel viewing this for the first time.
Pretty standard for the time. Nothing really stood out to me, be it in a good or bad way. I personally really like this type of old anime styles that are a bit more on the realistic side, but that’s personal preference. Again, too much unnecessary nudity, that’s really my only complaint with it. Some of the animation was pretty good, too.
I watched the original japanese version, and there was an instance where I couldn’t hear what was being said (or sung, in this case)- I thought something was up with either the video or my headphones, but nope. The sound was just meant to be really, really quiet. Other than that, it sounded okay for the most part, keeping in mind that this is an old anime, of course.
None of the characters are fleshed out properly. This is a huge shame, especially with the main antagonist, Katou, and Yukari, another main character. These two are the focal points of the story, but just about nothing gets revealed about their past. The lack of development is a shame, especially in the case of Katou- we get to know he wants Tokyo to be destroyed, but not why, and that left me wanting more.
I know I’ve been complaining for about the entirety of this review, but I actually really enjoyed myself watching this OVA. In fact, there wasn’t really a point where I was bored viewing it. It’s just a shame that when analyzing it further I couldn’t get more than what I saw.
It’s not awful. In fact, I would recommend it to people who are into weird and/or old anime that doesn’t get talked about much. But if you haven’t watched it, don’t set yourself up to be disappointed- it’s fun and short, but it’s nothing spectacular. I can see that there was effort put into it, but it could’ve been better. And hey, it actually left me wanting to read the original story, so I guess there’s that too.
3: 3×3 Eyes
English: 3×3 Eyes
MAL Score: 6.75
3X3 Eyes is the story of a young man named Yakumo Fuuji, who through a strange series of events becomes the immortal slave of the last of a race of 3 Eyed demons. The demon absorbs his soul to save his life, making him immortal in the process. Now, he begins a journey with the female demon in an attempt to find a way of becoming human. Of course, there are many complications along the way, not the least of which being that the demon is a female with a split personality, one achingly cute and the other being no-nonsense destructive power, and the romances that develop between.
3×3 Eyes is a series most older anime fans have heard of, but relatively few have actually seen. The manga is a 40 volume epic that ran from 1987 to 2002. In the United States, Dark Horse adapted the first few volumes of the manga thanks to some generous financing by rock musician Rob Zombie. Thanks Rob! Unfortunately, nobody bought it and Dark Horse soon cancelled. Basically, this was never a very popular franchise in America despite the best efforts of a certain Hellbilly. On the other hand, 3×3 Eyes was a huge hit in Japan and I guarantee you’ve all seen tropes that this series started.
I mentioned the manga was 40 volumes, but guess how long the anime is? Just 7 episodes! The first OVA is 4 episodes and the second is 3 episodes! Both OVA series were made long before the manga finished, so the anime just kind of ends with no real conclusion. It also has a VERY rushed feeling. It doesn’t have any time to really build up its characters or explain the little details. In the first episode, the demon girl Pai runs into a drag bar and meets our main character. He claims he’s not a transvestite and only does this for money, but nothing further is explained. How the HELL did he stumble upon this job of all things? Why is he so desperate for money? The manga has time to explain stuff like this, but the anime just wants to cover as much plot as it possibly can. You’ll have a million questions and the answer is always “Go read the manga”.
Plot and characters
Deep in the mountains of Tibet, there was once a powerful race of demons. These demons were immortal and immortality tends to lead to eventual insanity and endless suffering. So, the demons created a magical statue that turned them human and gave them the gift of mortality. Unfortunately, one of the demons wasn’t present for the ceremony and has spent 100 years searching for the statue and trying to become human. This last member of the 3 eyed, Tibetan demons is a girl named Pai. A Japanese archeologist discovers Pai and promises to help her, but soon contracts a fatal illness. On his death bed, he sends Pai to find his son Yakumo in Tokyo, so that Yakumo can carry out the promise in his stead. Too bad for Pai, other species of demons desire her powers and pursue her relentlessly. One of these demons quickly kills Yakumo, but Pai absorbs his soul and saves his life by making him an immortal undead. Now he’s bound to Pai as her immortal servant and together they need to search for the statue, which could potentially turn both Pai and Yakumo back into mortals.
While only 9,000 people on MAL have seen 3×3, around 250,000 have seen “Is This a Zombie”. That series was basically created as a spoof of this one. A magical girl turns a hapless guy into her immortal undead servant. Remember Highschool DxD? That was ALSO created as a complete ripoff/spoof of 3×3. Familiar of Zero? Also wouldn’t exist without 3×3.
However, 3×3 wasn’t just a huge influence on a sub-genre of echii. Pai’s immortality caused her to lose her sanity and develop an extra personality she talks to. Whenever Pai is in danger, she switches between her sweet and innocent persona to her bad bitch persona. Both Chobits and Elfen Lied were originally created as tributes to 3×3 Eyes. While almost nobody outside Japan has seen this series, almost ALL anime fans have seen something it directly inspired.
The art is actually some solid work by Toei, which is something I rarely get to say. This was a 1991 OVA and Japan still had plenty of money for generous animation budgets back then. 3×3 effectively uses a dark color palette to create a moody and gothic atmosphere. The character designs are pretty neat, although it’s kind of weird to watch an anime where everyone has teeth. Every time somebody opens their mouths, they have teeth and prominent incisors. It’s shocking for me to not just see an upside down red triangle that flaps open and shut.
It’s a Kaoru Wada soundtrack. Have you seen Inuyasha? Have you seen Ninja Scroll? You’ve basically heard this soundtrack.
While far from a perfect adaptation, 3×3 is a pretty decent OVA and is fascinating for fans of anime history. Before watching this series, I had no idea how incredibly influential it was on other anime! Since this is only 7 episodes, I highly recommend giving it a try!
3×3 eyes is about Yakumo, a sixteen year old student, who is working in a gay bar, as a cross-dresser in order to make ends meet. He meets Pai, an immortal, who has been sent by his estranged and now dead father from Tibet to help her become human. To really make sure he follows through with this, Yakumo is turned immortal himself and the only way to turn back is by helping Pai. This is the first episode and the basic premises of the plot has been set, you are already pulled into the supernatural world of monsters, immortals and magic with Yakumo. Usually something like this would come off a bit unnatural due to the fast pace of the story and all the elements being introduced so quickly, but somehow it works, especially when you watch all the OVA. The four episodes gives you a good idea of what type of story of 3×3 eyes is and also leaves you on a bit of a cliffhanger at the end just to leave those who haven’t read the series to want more.
I thought what was quite well done is after their little adventure in the first episode was how Yakumo still found the whole thing quite unsettling, since he couldn’t just get up and leave his whole way life like that. It is realistic for anyone in his position, as it isn’t the easiest thing to go off and leave your friends and your whole way of life to go off on an adventure with someone to become human. Most series of this kind have the protagonists suffer this kind of dilemma, but they related it very well to a major point of the series: what’s so great about being mortal, or better said what’s so great about being human? They tie this in quite nicely.
The art is quite nice and has certainly stood against time and each character is realistic looking, Yakumo actually looks like a Japanese boy. How many times do you get a Japanese boy actually looking like, well, a Japanese boy in anime? Yakumo’s eyes is a good example of this, they are mostly closed since they are supposed to be slit eyes, you know the eyes Japanese actually do have. The animators uses the art also to show the split personalities Pai has, by making her have more gentle features to represent her cheerful and child-like personality. The second personality is not only distinguished by the opening of her 3rd eye, but also alter her whole face expression to represent her arrogant and cold personality.
I’ll give a special mention to the background of Hong Kong, I loved it! The grittiness of the markets in the final episode is tastefully done.
There is very little to say about the sound, nothing too out of order. A bit dated, but typical of its time, 90s background music with synths thrown in for good measure. It suits the mood of the anime, as it’s quite dark, especially the main theme.
Our two protagonists are both interesting characters, who don’t fall into the trap of cliché anime characters. Yakumo is a good-hearted sixteen-year-old, who means well. It was nice to find an anime character, who I thought I could actually be friends with. He is just very likable. (Seriously people, most of characters in anime do you think you could actually handle them for more than 10 minutes in real life?) Pretty much by the end of the series, most of his body has been broken in some kind of way, good thing he’s immortal, isn’t it? So you’d want to like him.
Now, Pai really is up there with one of the most original characters in anime, a schizophrenic girl: one personality is sweet and innocent, the other is stoic and ruthless. Both have their merits and neither of them irritate you, even the colder persona grows on you, unlike another schizophrenic in another series I could mention! Her multi-personality is also reference to the Hindu deity of Parvati, since firstly that’s the name of her second personality, who was known to have several personalities. This was another favourable aspect of the series since they used some culture background to help create characters and certain plot devices, but neither wholly relied on it that you suddenly needed to start picking up textbooks or wikipedia -(ing) on the Hindu religion.
The other characters each proved their worth and were all likable. I had a little soft spot for Lee Ling Ling, deputy editor for an occult magazine, but doesn’t believe in the occult and just uses it as a vice to make money. And she can really kick ass!
So why did I give it 8 instead of something higher, well, the problem was 3×3 eyes isn’t my cup of tea. So why all these positives you may ask? It did everything well and everything I’ve stated here is the truth, but you see it still does not make me want to go off and read the manga. 3X3 eyes is quite a classic and is something every enthusiast of anime and manga should read or watch at some point, as it’s the first to use this storyline and do it better than most. I did want to know some more at the end of the series, since the audience is left on a cliffhanger and I’ll definitely go and watch the second set of OVA, but I’ll spare myself the manga. This is simply something to do with my taste of anime and manga rather than with the series. I would recommend a watch (it’s only 4 episodes long) and see how you fair this!
The 3×3 eyes OVA gives us a good idea about what to expect from the manga and the producers use the 4 episodes to introduce the series quite well without trying to outdo itself. It does what it set out to do and you couldn’t ask for anymore than that!
The contents of “3×3 Eyes” reminds me slightly of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”, as it involves a couple of people going around killing weird monsters, but it’s more bloody than Buffy. The action scenes are pretty awesome, but the storyline’s pretty thin: they slay monsters in order to obtain this statue of humanity thing. And then in the next episode, the statue gets lost again so they end up having to do it all over. Yeah… not exactly the most intricate of plots. Just to top it up, it had a pretty crappy ending too. I didn’t really like the humour contained in the anime either. The anime’s saving grace lies in its central pair of characters – they were very likeable and it was interesting watching their relationship grow.
That pretty much sums it up I think – there’s really not much more that can be said about an action heavy OVA that only has 4 episodes. 😛
2: Kyoushoku Soukou Guyver II
English: The Guyver: Bio-Booster Armor
Japanese: 強殖装甲ガイバー II
MAL Score: 7.02
Sho and his friend Tetsurou stumble upon an odd alien artifact while walking through the woods. Then, the alien artifact breaks free of its metallic bonds and enters Sho’s body, turning him into the Guyver. With this new power, Sho must do battle with the evil Chronos corporation and their genetically enhanced Zoanoids, who seek to get the Guyver back into their labs. No one close to Sho is safe from Chronos. He must fight.
Ultra Violence, Gore, Mecha-ish body suit(not huge ass robot), Fantasy/Monsters-Alien things, and superish kind of power(the suit). What more do you want? It would be considered cheesy and cliche these days, but back in the day, this was the shit. If you liked Ninja Scroll, Wicked City, Fist of the North Star, Akira, Urotsukidōji etc, then i’m pretty sure you would like this too. I don’t remember any nudity or sex scenes though.
I watched this years ago, so i’m rating everything based on current day expectations. However, i’m rating the enjoyment factor on what i remember. It was great then, and i’m guessing it’s still great now since i don’t mind watching older ‘b-grade’ stuff, and i really like my R rated manga.
The first four episodes are lackluster in almost all areas, most notably to me would be the bad and inconsistent animation. The battle scenes are poorly done; many battles are flashes followed up by falling limbs, blood spurts, or lengthy stills. Even some of the more gory scenes are weakly done. The artwork is also poor even by late 80’s standards with some generic character designs, which are total eyesores concerning the biological monsters called Zoinoids.
The series definitely shows its age in the visual department. Many fans believe it’s wrong to knock the series for its dated visuals but I choose to believe otherwise, especially when comparing the series to other 80’s anime such as Neo Tokyo or even the original Bubblegum Crisis, which both pre-date the Guyver by the way, and still manages to hold up to some degree. It’s also no real surprise to me that some of the fans never even heard of the former.
The basic premise is the main character Sho battling the biological beasts sent by Chronos. There are obstacles thrown in Sho’s way, and the plot is fairly simple but I won’t say it’s predictable. At times, the story becomes tedious because the characters are pretty bland and a majority of the new supporting characters are disposable.
The story makes attempts towards depth by revealing a character with a hidden motive, which questions his allegiance, sincerity, and traces back to the first volume. There is also talk of greater beings with immense power; but none of these things really come to fruition, because the series ends leaving it wide opened with plenty of loose ends left untied.
The final two episodes are by far the best. One provides plenty of background which can actually be thought provoking, especially to those whom have some belief of man’s origin supposedly being linked to extra-terrestrials. The action scenes are also the best here with some well animated and brutal action; but don’t expect them to be on the same level as the first volume. These battles can’t compare with the feuds that took place with the agile behemoth Enzyme, or the highly equipped and combat ready Hyper Zoinoid Team Five.
The artwork is also a big step up in the final two episodes with a very clean and well detailed polish. The soundtrack replays many songs from the first volume; a couple are new and the songs does manage to fit with what is taking place on the screen. The English dub to the show is horrible to say the least. The Japanese seiyuu really isn’t too much better either. At least the opening and ending songs are much, much better, and aren’t lifeless as opposed to the English tracks.
The Japanese sub also contains the uncut version of episode 12. I don’t find it to be much of a big deal, simply because the only difference is the fan service via full female nudity. However, you would be surprised as to how many fans actually complained about this being removed.
Guyver is a series that can only be valuable to the most die hard anime fans and lovers of really old anime titles. I recommend it to them and the curious. If you don’t fall into those categories then I recommend skipping it. I would instead recommend the 2005 remake. Although the remake contains an opened ending as well, there are still many areas where it out does its predecessor by leaps and bounds; but there are still better anime series out there to choose from with actual endings.
Lows: Very crude artwork, with some bad and reused animation at times, opened ending
First of all,it was the first anime i’ve ever seen! I remembered was 6 years old, my father took me from a kinder gurden,we went to a video\audio technics shop,there on screens was the Guyver…wow,it impressed me,i was so excited…My father noticed my interes,so it wasn’t a problem,he bought it
So many years passed but I still love it.
+Breathtaking plot,the story won’t let you get out of a screen!
+great animation (those monsters are so cool,how was I not afraid of them when i was a kid O,o), a lot of blood,meat 😀
+Characters’ temper and their nature are showed well!
So,I’m reading the Guyver manga at the moment,and so bad there are only 12 series 🙁
1: Ushio to Tora
English: Ushio and Tora
MAL Score: 7.15
Ushio thinks his father’s tale of an ancient ancestor impaling a demon on a temple altar stone with the legendary Beast Spear is nuts, but when he finds the monster in his own basement, Ushio has to take another look at the family legend! Fortunately, Ushio knows it’s best to let sleeping dogs lie and leave captured demons where they are. Unfortunately, the release of the monster’s evil energies begins to beckon other demons to Ushio’s hometown! To save his friends and family from the invading spirits, Ushio is forced to release Tora from his captivity. But will the cure prove to be worse than the curse? Will Ushio end his life a Tora-snack? Or will the Beast Spear keep Tora in line long enough to save the city?
The series started out as a 33 vol. manga that was featured in Shonen Jump Sunday, which eventually won the Shogakukan Manga Award in 1992. The manga quickly became a 10 episode seires which was a shortened version of the Manga but depicting many of Ushio’s and Tora’s main battles.
The story is pretty solid and resembles many themes to Animes based on Japanese mythology. The main character Ushio was forced to release a demon that was imprisoned underneath his family shrine, which was imprisoned by the Beast Spear for 500 year, in order to protect his friends from demons that were running amok in his hometown. After that the Demon, which he calls Tora (due to his tiger like appearence), begins to haunt him and says that he’ll eat him when he drops his guard. At that point Ushio keeps the Beast Spear with him at all times to protect others from Demons.
Character wise, they are pretty generic. There is the typical Tomboyish girl childhood friend and timid girl classmate that hang around Ushio most of the time. Tora is big talker, thinking highly of himself all the time until the spear is pointed at him. Ushio develops a strong bond with Tora which is typical, and that’s basically it. The entourage of villains in this series isn’t strong, mostly random mythical monsters out for revenge or reeking havoc, but that’s okay.
If you’re looking for high class animation with CG and all that stuff, you ain’t finding it here. This is early 90’s work so you get what you see. A few cut and paste scenes and not much detail on the character expressions. But that is what is great about old school anime, if it weren’t these kinds of animes you really wouldn’t have high budget stuff like Soul Eater, Code Geass, and Inuyasha.
In the long run, it is worth watching and keeps you asking for more. The action series will get you addicted and might want you to start reading the manga, I know I will. Take my word for it, if you are such a Shonen fan or you just like animes with Mythological overtones this is your stuff.
PS; Sunday Vs Magazine is a bad fighting game but so addictive!!! Check it out anyways.
The story is pretty straightforward it doesn’t get very deep or complicated, its very episodic and is mostly about your enjoyment instead of anything deep. That being said i found pretty much every episode enjoyable and had a good time with the series as a whole. I like the character interactions and the different situations they got put in where they would have to develope more of a love hate partnership. I do wonder if it woulda held up past 10 episodes though or if i would have grown bored eventually.
As far as characters the only two worth mentioning are ushio and tora obviously. Ushio a fun character cause is really quite strict and simple, he doesn’t trust tora but he has to rely on him to protect everyone in town from demons and vengeful spirits. On the other side of that tora is a petty and rotten beast who often remarks about how he wants to kill or devour people. The characters really mix like oil and water for the most part but as the show progresses they start to work together in more of a dysfunctional partnership instead of two people at each others throats.
As far as Art goes the show had some pretty good monster designs and had a lot more detail than i see in most modern anime. Aside from the highschool kids everything looked pretty unique. The backgrounds and scenery were also detailed and really conveyed the atmosphere of certain scenes. The Audio was not incredible but it was good for the most part and the voice acting was both comical and serious at times which is a good. I find it particularly rare that a voice actor has the ability or versatility to convey comedy and seriousness and make it feel convincing enough.
I enjoyed this short series a lot and i think most people would get some enjoyment of it especially if they liked old spirit hunter animes.
Long story short, Ushio to Tora is basically Natsume’s Book of Friends as a shonen action series. It’s got the relationship between a normal kid who can kick demon ass and a talking cat who threatens the kid just as much as he saves him from danger just like Natsume, but instead of wanting to heal demon’s hearts (although there’s some of that in this series) they’re out to prevent ’em from eating people’s heads off. And of course, Ushio doesn’t have Natsume’s personality at all, acting more like every kid shonen hero out there from the bull-headed determination to his obliviousness to girls – not helped by the fact that his two childhood friends belong to the opposite sex, one of whom is a tsundere and that’s pretty much all you need to know and the other is basically that friend you talk to a lot and that can cause misunderstandings if you overdose on said discussions. But not having Natsume’s personality is a good thing in this show’s case, because I can’t see Natsume surviving Tora’s antics, let alone the demons that aren’t willing to compromise at all when it comes to snacking on human flesh.
The basic hook of the series is that after accidentally discovering the giant tiger in his basement, Ushio unleashes some kind of spell that attracts all sorts of demons to his area and in order to fight them, he must use a magic spear that turns him into an instant fighter and makes his hair grow long for some reason. However, since the spear was the only thing keeping Tora sealed, and since Tora is also a demon who feasts on humans, he has to keep the tiger in line and Tora isn’t exactly a nice guy to begin with. I don’t think I’m spoiling anything here when I say that the main appeal of the show is their relationship and how it grows from really grudging allies to slight less grudging allies, and I’m definitely not spoiling anything when I say that other than that, there’s nothing really all that special about these ten episodes that you couldn’t get from something like YuYu Hakusho or Inuyasha aside from the fact that there are some mass casualties in the real world.
Ushio to Tora, to put it lightly, is a big product of its time and unless you’re a huge fan of the shonen action genre or have nostalgia for the 90s, there’s not really much to get excited for here. Now since there’s only ten episodes, the series only covers the smaller arcs that make up the beginning of the manga without getting into anything real meaty; but even by those standards, the arcs themselves aren’t exactly the most engaging things, mostly consisting of basic monster-of-the-week stuff that introduces one or two new plot elements into the mix, but not much more than that. The last one sort of gets interesting due to its environmental agenda, but the fact that you need to resort to that lame method of instilling importance into your story doesn’t really speak well of the entire product. Seriously, was environmentalism as big in manga as it was for American films/cartoons back in the late 80s/early 90s? Was everyone just trying to copy Miyazaki during that period?
The humor is also pretty dated, being as basic shonen as it gets, with a mix of “I don’t really love him” humor from the tsundere childhood friend. Just about the only jokes that amused me was when Tora was interacting with humanity and getting screwed for it, and it wasn’t exactly comedy that would make the Brits smirk. In fact, that pretty much describes Tora in general. Like I said, he’s the only real interesting character and his relationship with Ushio is the only big draw the show has amongst all the other tepid cliches. But even that positive point is hampered by the fact that he’s not exactly Hobbes or even Nyanko-sensei in terms of personality. It’s really hard to describe his appeal in words beyond the basics I’ve already outlined, so all I can say is he’s similar to Hades from Disney’s version of Hercules in that he’s the one lone bright spot due to how amusing he is, but not enough to really carry the entire product.
Not that I’m saying the product isn’t fun, because it is. Kinda. Well, it’s passable at the very least. But passable ain’t good enough for me I’m afraid, and it doesn’t help that unless it’s really well-executed, the kind of product that Ushio to Tora is will never be able to really grab me. I’ll still be watching the remake because…well have you seen the rest of the Summer anime? It’s got to be better than 90% of them. And at the end of the day, I’m still really interested in seeing what Mappa does with the project. But unless they add something real meaty to the original material, it’ll probably just be something I watch once and forget over time. Assuming it doesn’t go longer than my patience will allow me to keep it on, that is. How many cours is that remake anyways? The original manga is over 33 volumes and given Mappa’s high hopes for the project, I’m afraid it’ll go on for a long LONG time.
Did YOUR favorite anime make the cut? Let us know in the comments below!
1. Ushio to Tora
2. Kyoushoku Soukou Guyver II
3. 3×3 Eyes
4. Teito Monogatari
5. Choujin Densetsu Urotsukidouji: Mirai-hen
6. Youjuu Sensen Adventure Kid