Short Anime Review: Ushio and Tora

When I first stumbled upon this show on Crunchyroll a few years back, I was immediately struck by the artwork and it’s homage to the old style of animation. I decided to give it a go and was pleased to see the writing also seemed pretty nostalgic.

Long ago, a ferocious monster terrorized the land, until a samurai, wielding the legendary “Beast Spear”, sealed him away. 500 years later, a middle school student named Ushio Aotsuki accidentally uncovers the monster in a hidden cellar under his family’s temple. The unsealed monster and the spear attract many other supernatural creatures to the temple and Ushio is forced to release the monster in order to defeat them. Ushio names the monster “Tora” and unwillingly work together to battle other spirits and demons. – Crunchyroll

As it turns out, this series is actually a reboot of a ten episode series from about twenty years ago. Considering its positive reception, I’m actually pretty surprised it took so long for the show to be remade. The “chemistry” between Ushio and Tora, the beautiful use of color, and the use of Japanese culture and mythos really bring this anime together. This is really just a 90s’ shounen remade to fit the times. That said it follows a pretty predicable storyline and typical tropes.

Now for a bit of a confession — I haven’t actually finished this series yet. In fact I’m really only about halfway through it, so I’d feel bad about giving it a rating at the moment. I’m mostly writing this now because I really enjoy the art and nostalgia factors. Overall I’d say it’s a run-of-the-mill anime, but one that’s worth giving a watch anyway.


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