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Ushio & Tora (1998)

Ushio and Tora (original title)
An ordinary boy who wields a magic spear and a demon find themselves reluctant allies against the supernatural threats to the world.

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Gamin Daughter (voice)
Julie Burks ...
Asako's Mother (voice)
Jessica Calvello ...
Asako (voice)
Mandy Clark ...
Mayuko (voice)
...
Additional voices (voice)
Illich Guardiola ...
Juro (voice)
Jay Hickman ...
Gamin Son (voice)
...
Girl
Theodore Horrocks ...
Additional Voices (voice) (as Ted Horrocks)
Danielle Kimball ...
Little Girl (voice)
Mike Kleinhenz ...
Ishikui (voice)
Larry Koteff ...
Additional Voices (voice)
Gene Landry ...
Stone Eating Chameleon-Demon (voice)
Kelly Manison ...
Gamin Mother (voice)
Carol Matthews ...
Mayuko Inoue (voice)
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Storyline

Ushio is just an ordinary boy who found a magic spear under his temple home. More importantly, he also discovers an annoyed tiger-like demon named Taro, who has been pinned by that spear for centuries. Of course, Ushio doesn't release him, but the demon's exposed presence releases other dangerous supernatural creatures to the temple which forces Ushio to remove the spear, and to release the demon in order to confront the menace. The pair are successful, but now Taro is free and is itching to eat Ushio at his first opportunity. However, the spear is magically able to change Ushio into a powerful warrior and more importantly, those initial demons are but the first in a wave of mystic threats to the world. Against these circumstances, this fractious pair find themselves allies and defenders of the innocent as they learn to get along in their strange relationship. Written by Kenneth Chisholm <kchishol@home.com>

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15 August 1998 (USA)  »

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Ushio & Tora  »

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User Reviews

Demon-fighting anime with a new twist and some laughs
3 August 2008 | by (Bronx, NY) – See all my reviews

"Ushio & Tora" is yet another anime series about a reckless boy whose father is caretaker of a repository holding an ancient demon and whose impulsive curiosity winds up freeing the demon. "Tenchi Muyo" covered similar territory the same year (1992), only Tenchi's demon was a luscious silver-haired female named Ryoko who develops quite an attachment to the hero. This one's a little different. The demon is male and cat-like, with some tiger stripes, a lion's mane, etc. and it wants nothing more than to eat the boy and wreak carnage among humans. But Ushio, the boy, keeps Tora, the demon, in check with the Beast Spear that originally impaled Tora and kept him imprisoned for 500 years. Ushio uses his pull over Tora to make him combat other demons, including one that attacks Ushio's school in the second episode and turns some of the girls to stone, including Asuko, the one Ushio likes. All this gives Ushio a sense of duty and responsibility he didn't have earlier. Plus, it gives Tora a sense of companionship with someone else, a feeling of friendship. Much to their horror, they begin to bond over their shared experiences. It's actually quite touching. And funny.

The animation is quite good, too, with lots of the usual ancient occult imagery surfacing and some really well-done action animation. I'm not so crazy about the human character designs, though. None of them are terribly well-drawn or attractive. But Tora is an interesting creation. Based on watching the first two episodes, I can say that the show moves well and offers a nice mixture of genuine suspense and demon-fighting thrills, mixed with humorous banter between the title characters. The director is Kunihiko Yuyama, who's better known for directing the Pokémon movies.


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