|Overall||Art||Animation||Character Design||Music||Series Story||Episode Story||Reviewer|
Ushio to Tora TV
Ushio and Tora is another reboot of an older manga series, this one based on a 90s shounen supernatural action-comedy of the same name that had an OVA adaptation previously done in 1992. The series is focused on a middle schooler named Ushio gaining possession of a demon-slaying spear called the Beast Spear that unseals a demon he names Tora and the two grudgingly cooperate with one another to slay demon threats. Early episodes of the series have a similar focus as the 90s OVA adaptation in mixing around the comical chemistry between Ushio and Tora as they butt heads with one another and having to slay whatever "demon of the day" is threatening the human populace. But gradually, the plot becomes more serious as it presses on with delving into the threat of Hakumen no Mono, a major enemy threat that the OVA never got into due to its source material still ongoing at the time of its run. The threat of Hakumen no Mono helps add more depth to the series as it fleshes out the origins of the Beast Spear, more new characters get introduced to ally or oppose Ushio and Tora against the threat of the demon, more of Ushio's character is fleshed out and a number of characters die in halting Hakumen no Mono's threat to Japan thus adding some tragedy to the mix. This serious bent, combined with the title's often dysfunctional and comical chemistry between Ushio and Tora, lends the series a great balance of comedy, action and drama. The show has a couple shortcomings in that the final couple episodes introduce elements of sci-fi that clash with the supernatural bent of the series rather badly and that the anime ends inconclusively, though the latter point is a minor issue since this remake will continue into April 2016. Still, Ushio and Tora was easily among the better offerings of 2015 that I seen thanks to its nice mix of fun and serious moments in the bond of its titular characters and is a worthwhile title if you crave supernatural action-comedy anime.
Last updated Friday, December 25 2015. Created Friday, December 25 2015.
Ushio to Tora TV
(Three-and-a-half episodes watched):|
Well, episode one was basically a retelling of the basic story from episode one of the old OVAs, about how a deal is made between Ushio and Tora. My memory is far from perfect, but it struck me as being virtually identical to this point, and I didn't notice any differences in plot or characters at all. The character designs and action animation of this show struck me as pretty good. So far it is neither better nor worse than the OVAs, it is essentially the same. I did get the impression once or twice that the dialogue could have been spiffed up a bit; that might give a better impression of Ushio as a likeable person rather than just a troublesome teen who is always feuding with his father (but I didn't dislike him). The question for me is what sort of content will there be in 39 episodes when, if I remember correctly, the OVAs didn't have nearly as much time to them. Will such a quantity of new stuff be any good? I just hope this won't be a fight-of-the-week show where a new demon shows up in each episode and Ushio and Tora kill it somehow. What it needs is an ongoing plot in which the two of them slowly come to respect and like each other (and maybe Ushio's love life goes somewhere), rather than an endless stream of fights and increasing stale jokes about an unchanging relationship. Perhaps my problem is that I am pretty tired of 'demons' from Japanese mythology; time after time we've been warned that these terrible creatures will turn up some day (but some hero will deal with them). It's hard to be frightened by something that seems to make about as much sense as Santa Claus. I tried watching another episode, number four, but quickly tired of it. Another problem with this series might be how predictable the stories are: a new group of demons come to town, they are after the long-dead woman who hurt them long ago, one of Ushio's female friends looks just like this woman... and you can already tell pretty much what's going to happen. The stories are simplistic and predictable, and I don't have time for anime on a par like this. This is indeed seeming like a fight-of-the-week show to me, and I think I will stop pretending and drop it.
Last updated Saturday, December 26 2015. Created Friday, July 17 2015.
|Official Japanese Series Web Site||http://ushitora.tv/|