It was recently announced that Kazuhiro Fujita's supernatural battle manga Ushio to Tora will have an anime adaptation released this summer. The manga originally ran from 1990 to 1996. It also had three OVA’s released around that time, for a total of ten episodes.
Here’s what we know about the people and companies involved in the series. Attached to the project as director is Satoshi Nishimura (Trigun, Hajime no Ippo). Toshiki Inoue will be in charge of the scripts. He has worked on countless projects, since the late 80’s, including anime, live action television, and films. His credits include: Yu-Gi-Oh!, Dragonball: Curse of the Blood Rubies, and Death Note. Lastly, Tomoko Mori will be the lead character designer. Mori has worked on previous anime as a Guest Character Designer, Animation Director, and Key Animator. Curiously enough, this will be Mori’s first project as Character Designer.
The series will be handled by two animation studios: Studio VOLN. and MAPPA. Studio VOLN is the newer company of the two. Ushio to Tora will be one of its first projects. However, MAPPA has a been producing anime since late 2011. The founder was originally a producer for one of the most well-known anime studios, Madhouse. It has since established itself as a strong up and coming studio through its successful projects, most notably:
- Hajime no Ippo: Rising (co-produced with Madhouse)
- Terror in Resonance
- Garo: The Animation
- Shingeki no Bahamut Genesis
For those of you who are unfamiliar with Ushio to Tora, here’s a short description of the premise:
Ushio Aotsuki’s family maintains a temple in Japan. Since he was a child he has been told countless stories of how demons and ghosts actually exist in the world. They are tremendously powerful, however they appear invisible to the average person. Unfortunately, he never believed his father’s outlandish tales.
One day he comes face to face with a demon who had been trapped underneath the temple. It had been pinned by a spear for 500 years. The creature tries to trick Ushio into pulling the “cursed spear” out and freeing him. That encounter attracts a horde of evil spirits that threaten to destroy his home and kill his friends.
But, the ancient, evil “youkai” hints that he may be able to help. Ushio is left with the hardest choice of his life: watch his close friends die or unleash one of the most powerful demons onto the earth?
Honey’s Anime Review
The series will contain a lot of supernatural battles and a strange relationship between the tiger-demon Tora and the kindhearted Ushio. Throw in a love triangle between our protagonist and two girls from his school, and now you have the makings of a classic anime scenario from the 90’s. The original anime series felt like a mix of Yu Yu Hakusho & Tenchi Muyo, but slightly more comedic and goofy. So, if you’ve seen those shows you have a basic feel for what Ushio to Tora will be like.
As of right now, we don’t have any information about whether this will be a reboot or if it will pick up where the OVA’s left off. But, most likely it will start from the beginning with a clean slate. The series is still a few months away. So, we should be receiving some more details as we near the release date.