Ushio & Tora

(26 episodes, + another season already scheduled for Spring 2016 after a break)

What’s it about ?

Calvin & Hobbes, shonen style ! Well, kinda.

Adaptation of a manga series from the early 90s that already got a few OVAs at the time. I have no clue why the franchise is seeing new life now, nearly 20 years after it ceased publication.


Ushio, our protagonist, is the young heir of a temple that supposedly hosts an enchanted lance that can drive out demons and other mystical nasties. Not that he cares ; he’s mostly concerned with playing around and leading a normal life. Your typical jock kid, really : good at sports and athletics, terrible in other school subjects.

Daddy, the current priest, isn’t the best role model anyway. He keeps droning on and on about the temple’s legacy, but never actually explained it properly to Ushio. Also, his sudden island vacation this morning (“the third time this month, Dad ?”) means that he’s not around to provide any exposition when the plot actually kicks in.

Today Ushio discovers that Sacred Spear is indeed hidden in one of the temple buildings’ basement ; it’s trapping there an ancient, powerful demon who would really like him to remove the spear and free him. He would me more convincing without the mwahahah-ing and his promises to kill the kid afterwards. So Ushio just leaves him there and goes to school.

Asako (standard issue tsundere, and maybe as strong as Ushio himself) and Mayuko (more open about liking him) are the two of his classmates we get to know a bit. And they happen to be visiting just as a number of small-fry demons, attracted by Ushio unearthing the trapped monster, start roaming around. Well, crap.

So Ushio frees him to get his help… and promptly gets backstabbed for his trouble. Fortunately, he’s still got the lance, which makes it clear who’s in charge here. He nicknames his new familiar “Tora” (because it vaguely looks like a tiger) and has it dispatch most of the small demons, finishing them off with the lance. (Which somehow gives him super-long hair while wielding it. I have no clue why.)

Ushio forces Tora to stick around, as more minor demons are bound to show up for a while ; they’re both obviously planning to backstab each other. (Ushio sealing Tora back for good, and Tora killing Ushio somehow for the humiliation.) And of course, since only Ushio can see Tora, it looks to the likes of Asako & Mayuko that their friend is talking to his imaginary pet. Eh.

Production Values

Wow, early ’90s character designs ! But hey, they’re decently animated, so no complaints from me.

Overall Impression

Well, this is kinda fun, in a very dumb way. The retro style works. And it’s amusing how everyone is terrible as hiding how little they think of others.

But I think I’m done. It’s a rather generic shonen show all told, and I’m not in the market for those, really. Especially as it’s going to be running for a while.

Source: [In Which I Review] New anime, Summer 2015 – Page 3

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I've been kinda blogging about anime for years... but mostly on forums (such as's Tangency) and other sites. This site is an archive for all that stuff, just in case.

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