Anime Review #2: Ushio to Tora (Spoiler-Free)

Anime Title: Ushio to Tora (TV) うしおととら
Production Studio: Studio MAPPA
Director: Satoshi Nishimura
Composer: Eishi Segawa
Air Date: Summer 2015
Episode Count: 26
Genres: Action, Adventure, Comedy, Demons, Shounen, Supernatural

To start off I have got to be honest and say how I have a far different opinion on this series compared to what some other people might say about it.

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~Story 7/10~

The story of UTT is quite simple, it mostly focuses on our two main characters: Ushio and Tora. It shows the long history of this world: how the spear was made, it shows what Ushio’s family history is like, how the world has advanced over time, the history of Tora and all the other monsters in the world. But for the first half of the show it is quite simply an “monster of the week” type series which I personally am totally fine with, but for the second half of the series most people might have a problem with but personally I enjoyed it even more than the first half… which this second half is where the story actually gets started and talks about the several things that I mentioned above.ushio_to_tora_by_v_sil-d91htli.jpg

~Characters 8/10~

The cast of characters in this series is vast and severely underdeveloped and this is where most people have the biggest problem with the show, but the thing that makes me completely fine with it is how this show is a journey where the two main characters travel from town to town. It is with this large amount of traveling that makes me completely fine with it, because the two main characters might end up meeting many different people along the way in which they serve their main role in the episode or two that they star in… and then Ushio and Tora move onto the next town where they end up meeting the next person.

(One other thing about how people complain about the episode where they have girls comb Ushio’s hair… it is mostly there in my eyes just to give more screen time to those character whom we have never seen since the episode they starred in.)

As for the main characters: I love them… but of course they are not the most well written characters, but they work well with this world and more important with each other. You can tell throughout the entire series that there is a love hate with one another, they pass jokes around with one another, they make fun of one another, and even fight/argue with each… but in the end they are always willing to get each other out of trouble, no matter the circumstances and over time you can tell how they are growing closer to one another as the episodes go by. Also… Tora is best boy of the year.b5_hyoshi

~Comedy 8/10~

The jokes in this series as I mentioned above, it is mostly just back and forth fighting between our two main characters: Ushio and Tora. And is mostly there for the sake of being comedy relief and in my opinion, it works really well. Every so often it is poorly timed, but it only exists for maybe a quick one liner or so, just long enough for the character to make fun of the situation and then later snaps back into reality and becomes serious about the situation once more. But just remember comedy is entirely subjective, but personally I really enjoyed it.12109323_10207692819384338_8043335225662688480_n.jpg

~Music 8/10~

The Soundtrack isn’t amazing but it isn’t terrible either, but it does work extremely well with the show. The opening is very 90’s focused and I feel as if it helps get you in the mood for the type of show that this show is, it isn’t the best opening ever but it does work really well with the context. The Ending themes, they are both really well made songs but personally I have a lot of fun with them but… I feel as if I will forget about them by the end of Winter 2016 season.54230681_p5.png

~Art/Animation 10/10~

The art makes me feel as if I am watching an 90’s shounen, which is exactly what the show should feel like, because it is an 90’s shounen except it is made in the current modern time. The animation itself is solid, it is always consistent, and there are no animation derps or horrible cgi… if there even is any in the first place.thsr.jpg

~Dialogue 7/10~

It is not anything extremely thought provoking or memorable for the matter of fact, but it works for the type of series that Ushio to Tora is. But if I was to make one critique about it, is how the writers of the show really need to learn about “Show Don’t Tell”. Here is a screenshot I took that was near the end of this season, but I felt like it needed to be addressed http://i.imgur.com/zK7YmoM.png … It mostly shows how there is a female character who is upset about an action that was made by another character’s actions, but instead of showing the raw emotion that the character is feeling through different facial expressions or body movements or even just make her her yell about what her thoughts are don’t just flat out say “I am angry”, because by saying that you are telling that you are angry yet on screen you do not appear to be angry at all.Screenshot 2015-09-04 12.51.16.png

~Final Thoughts~

In the long run, I remember seeing this show listed on anichart just before the show aired and I wasn’t expecting much, it looked good but I wasn’t entirely positive about whether I would love the series or hate it so I went in not expecting much (this also occurred with Rokka no Yuusha & Arslan Senki). In which I ended up being extremely blown away about how much I loved this series, and ended up noticing how I continuously loved the next episode more than the last and this cycle continued throughout the entire series. This series was one of the few where I was counting down the days till the next episode was released. BUT one thing I had to mention is how even tho this show got mixed reviews, I still raved on about how much I loved it and this ended up pissing off a few people because it just ended up being a coincidence about this show got mixed reviews (where this is also the case with Arslan Senki). It isn’t my fault about how much I love a series, if I really enjoy something I will talk about it… shouldn’t that be common sense?

Anyways, I am really excited to see where this story is heading with the upcoming Season 2 that is going to airing in Spring 2016. But no matter the problems I have with the series the positives far outweigh the negatives. And in this case, I give Ushio to Tora an 8/10 with an enjoyably rating of 9/10… and also has earned a spot on my Top 10 favorite series that I have seen to date (for now).

~Similar Anime Recommendations~

Hunter x Hunter 2011, Nurarihyon no Mago, and Yu Yu Hakusho

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~Upcoming Review~

Stay tuned in until next week when I review Tokyo Magnitude 8.0

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8 Comments Add yours

  1. jin0uga says:

    Interesting review. Quite a few shows in 2015 flew below my radar, I’ll be sure to check this one out.

    Like

    1. There were quite a few great shows from 2015 that went completely unnoticed. Here is a list of a few great ones: Akagami no Shirayuki-hime, Arslan Senki, Assassination Classroom, Death Parade, Durarara x2, Gakkou Gurashi, Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron Blooded Orphans (no prior knowledge is needed to watch this), Osomatsu-san, Parasyte, Rokka no Yuusha, Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso, Shirobako, and Ushio to Tora 2015.

      Like

      1. jin0uga says:

        Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso was pretty popular as was death parade. They were amazing though, so their popularity was deserved at least. Parasyte is another gem, I wished more people would have watched it.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yeah, I was mostly listing all of my favorites from the year. But I did also forget to mention Shokugeki no Souma as well.

        It would be awesome if you could check out the shows that I mentioned, even if it were for just one episode (especially Osomatsu-san).

        Like

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