I remember back in the mid-90’s when Ushio and Tora was released as a ten episode OVA series back on VHS and eventually DVD some years later. While I never got the chance to check it out like I wanted, I recall the trailers and promos for it vividly. Looks like I finally got my chance to see the anime as it was intended, as it was remade into a 39 episode series in 2015 which Sentai Filmworks has released as the Ushio and Tora: Complete Collection set. These five discs of fun and fury will scratch the anime itch for those who watch, and serves as a delightful show for fans and newcomers as well.
Our young hero Ushio is a typical young man making his way through life and school, but his home which is also a temple for evil creatures and spirits isn’t so typical. After numerous times of hearing his father speak about the monsters that dwell within and their duty to keep them locked up, Ushio is past tired of hearing about it. Sadly he learns it’s real the hard way when he comes across a tiger-like demon named Tora that’s locked down in the basement and pinned by a magic spear. Naturally Ushio wants nothing to do with Tora and sets off to leave, but when other demons begin to sense Tora’s energy and head to the temple, Ushio is forced to remove the spear and fight them off. To add insult to injury, the spear becomes bound to Ushio after freeing Tora, and it falls to the two of them to go on a quest to stop the demons and free Ushio from the spear’s curse.
Watching this series gave me a nice feeling of nostalgia of my teen years checking out fun and action packed shows such as Ranma ½, as there’s a certain feel about it that shares close ties with older anime shows. Given that it was originally created in the early 90’s, and that they’ve managed to keep that same kind of humor and action blend going strong with this new series certainly helps out. It was also nice seeing it in high definition on Blu-ray, as the visuals and audio come in clean and clear. There’s not much in the special features area outside clean opening and ending credits, but it comes as no surprise given how long and entertaining the series is.
If you’re an anime fan of the 90’s like I am, or if you’re just looking to scratch that fun/action-filled anime itch, you’re going to want to pick up the Ushio and Tora: Complete Collection as it’s some of the most fun I had watching anime this year. Some fun, cool characters combined with loads of humorous and action packed adventures make this a series you’ll want to hunt down for your temple.