Going Down The List: Ushio to Tora

(MAL LINK)

Ushio to Tora is a pretty recent show (Summer 2015) based on a not-so-recent manga (1990-96). This meant that it ended up being quite a bit different from more modern battle shounen anime, especially in terms of story. I’m generally not the biggest fan of these kinds of shows, so it was nice to see something refreshingly different for a change, even if it came from 25 years ago.

GDTL Ushio to Tora 1

Ushio to Tora is not a very complicated story. Basically it’s just “boy finds magic weapon and a demon who wants to eat him but ends up being his friend, boy learns about great evil approaching, boy battles great evil, end of story”. The titular Ushio is a pretty normal boy, at least by older shounen manga standards, and there’s nothing super special about the demon Tora either (aside from a tragic backstory). If written now, I would probably consider Ushio to Tora to be pretty boring, but because it’s so old (relatively), it actually feels kind of new and novel again.

GDTL Ushio to Tora 2

The other thing (in my opinion) that sets it apart from battle shounens in general is the fact that it’s not a very long story. The manga is 33 volumes long, but the anime managed to go through the entire story in 39 episodes. Sure, the finale wasn’t the most climactic thing ever, but I’m glad I at least got to see the ending. And as a whole, I think Ushio to Tora was just a really cool show, so the particulars of the story didn’t matter that much to me anyway.

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