The OG Ninja Anime
- Episodes : 42
- Genre : Action, Adventure, Martial Arts, Shounen, Super Power
- Airing Date : July 19, 1997 – July 10, 1998
- Studios : Studio Pierrot
Rekka no Honoo Introduction
Recca Hanabishi is the ultimate ninja otaku and loves getting into fights. Thanks to his father being a fireworks manufacturer, he loves to use them as ninja tactics in his fights. As it turns out, he’s really from an actual ninja village 400 years in the past. As to why he ends up in 1990’s Japan, Kagerou, his real mother, magically sent them there to protect him from Oda Nobunaga and it made her into an immortal (and she can no longer touch her own flesh and blood). Not only did Recca make it to modern Japan, so did Kurei, his half-brother, who was adopted by an evil businessman who seeks immortality. As it turns out, both brothers can control fire and they must face each other for the fate of Recca’s true love, Yanagi, who may hold the key to immortality.
What We Liked About Rekka no Honoo
For those that love ninja and fighting anime, Flame of Recca is certainly a series to check out. Though it comes across as relatively trendy in relation to Shounen, it has many qualities that still stand out even to this day. You have a large diverse cast of characters, a great amount of comedy, and exciting fights.
1. Energetic Soundtrack
The music to this anime is very high spirited and addicting. Nanka Shiawase, the opening theme, has an excellent control with its guitar riffs and the delivery of the lyrics are very much in-tune with the atmosphere. As for the ending theme, Love is Changing, it’s just one of those songs you can enjoy in a car after a nice date. As for the general background music, it gets you pumped like you’re playing a fighting game so it perfectly suits the action.
2. Awesome Action
If you enjoyed the action to Yuu Yuu Hakusho due to its creative use of tactics, Flame of Recca offers the same thing but with its own flavor. Considering that ninjas are the theme to this anime, strategy plays a significant part to the first two-thirds of this series. Each character has a fighting style that is unique only to themselves, and they all have ways of fighting one another, or for team ups. Despite the elemental nature to their powers, science also comes into play. For example, when Recca faces Tokiya in the Mirror House, it’s natural for the layman to think that Tokiya should win because his powers are water and Recca uses fire. But if Recca amps up the temperature to his fire, then he can absorb the water via evaporation. But like Yuu Yuu Hakusho, it eventually becomes a tournament oriented anime.
3. Top Notch Seiyuu Cast
Skip the dub and watch the Japanese version instead. For starters, Hikaru Midorikawa, one of the best seiyuu of all time, plays Tokiya. As opposed to playing someone as romantic as Tamahome in Fushigi Yuugi, his portrayal to Tokiya has a sense of isolation and hostility, but still cool. As for Kurei, the series’ villain, he is played by Ryotaro Okiayu, who you may know as the voice of Yuu from Marmalade Boy, Treize from Gundam Wing, Berserker from Fate/Zero, and Tezuka from Prince of Tennis. While he has mostly played handsome characters, Kurei is still a handsome man but with a pretty bad burn on his face, but nowhere near as bad as Freddy Kruger’s.
1. It’s Incomplete/You Have to Read the Manga in Order to Finish
Like Rurouni Kenshin, Flame of Recca is one of those anime titles that ends prematurely and with many loose ends. So if you want to see how the story progresses after the tournament saga, then you have to read the manga. While its final arc isn’t anywhere near as awesome as Rurouni Kenshin’s Jinchu Arc, the manga to Flame of Recca is certainly worth checking out. The action is still incredible, and the story actually solves how Kagerou and Recca can 100% reunite as mother and son. Plus, the manga further goes into depth with Kurei’s backstory and fully develops him.
OK, so we sort of bent the truth that the ending to Flame of Recca was never animated. If you want to enjoy the ending to Flame of Recca by the same animation studio, soundtrack and seiyuu cast, you’re going to have to import the PS2 game, Final Burning. Through that game, you can view animated cutscenes. However, certain elements from the manga are still removed in the game but it’s still something. However, the game is exclusively in Japanese and if you want to play Japanese games on your PS2, you have to use a converter in order to play it (or buy a Japanese PS2), and Japanese skills (or a translation guide) are required.