Recaps for Ushio and Tora

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Ushio & Tora Episode #39 Anime Review (Series Finale)

As the saying goes, "all good things must come to an end" and after 39 episodes it’s finally time for Ushio & Tora to draw to a close. It’s a bit of a bittersweet feeling for me, and that more or less matches the mood of the finale here, as the long battle with Hakumen finally draws to its conclusion. With all the show’s managed to accomplish over the course of it’s run, there wasn’t much room to doubt that it could deliver on a satisfying finale, but that certainly doesn’t make what happens here any less compelling. Having finally been called out on his hypocrisy, Hakumen admits to his envy of Ushio and his friends, despising them for living happy lives while he had to live in the darkness alone. Tora links this to Nagare’s situation and finally tells Ushio the truth about his death, but Tora now understands that nothing is accomplished by giving into that sense of envy, and the same can be said for the departed souls of both Hyou and Nagare himself who decide to lend the duo a hand. But Hakumen still isn’t finished yet as he decides to blind himself in order to hide his fear of the of the Beast Spear, and attacks mercilessly by continuing to sense it’s presence near Ushio. READ MORE...

Ushio & Tora Episode #38 Anime Review

We’re finally inching towards the end of Ushio and Tora’s journey as the show now hits its penultimate episode. After spending the last few weeks battling Hakumen, it’s all coming down to a one-on-one standoff between our heroes and the monster, and it’s one that’s chockful of just about every shonen trope you’d expect from that kind of set-up. Of course it’s hard to deny what works, and this episode certainly knows that, as it all helps to lay the groundwork for a strong finale. As Hakumen continues to be pushed back. and everyone starts to overcome their fear, the beast begins to wonder where it all went wrong. He soon realizes that Ushio and Tora are the real problem here, and lures them into a one-on-one battle so he can finish them off himself. This proves to be a bit trickier than our heroes accounted for as Hakumen unleashes the full force of his powers, and ends up using the duo’s strengths against them. With the battle in his favor, Hakumen proclaims that the two of them are weak, and that whatever desire they have to help others is nothing more than a sense of self-satisfaction that’s there to make up for that weakness. Ushio doesn’t entirely disagree with that notion, but he feels that even if it’s just self-satisfaction on his part, he still can’t help but reach out to others. Hakumen vows that his darkness will drag everyone into the night, but if Hakumen’s the night then Ushio and Tora are fighting with the sun on their side, and the light they’ve spread over the course of their journey has touched the hearts of everyone they’ve encountered. READ MORE...

Ushio & Tora Episode #37 Anime Review

Now that all the loose ends are out of the way. it’s time to get back to the battle with Hakumen. The beast is finally starting to find himself on the defensive, but he’s not going down without a fight, and it’ll take the combined efforts of all of Ushio’s friends to stop him. That includes Tora too, meaning that after a few episodes of separation, it’s finally time to get our main duo back together. While Ushio and the yokai continue keeping Hakumen at bay. Tora finds himself wallowing in defeat. For as long as he could remember, he’s always prided himself on being a loner and holding his own against anyone he’s gone up against. Since meeting Ushio though, that side of himself has gradually started to vanish, but Ushio’s rejection has left a hole in his heart and without a purpose. That’s when the ever reliable Mayuko goes to look for him, but rather than trying to convince him to fight, she instead ends up confessing how much she wishes he could go back to being human so they could be together. Her little declaration of love has an effect on the big guy, and when she reminds him of how much he cares about Ushio too, Tora starts to realize that he’s not as alone as he thinks. He and Ushio have gone through too much to call it quits, and now that Mayuko’s restored his fighting spirit, Tora goes to join the fight. The reconciliation between the two has about as much banter as you’d expect, but that just makes it all the more touching as the bond between them is stronger than ever. READ MORE...

Ushio & Tora Episode #36 Anime Review

Now that everyone has their memories back, it’s finally time to get back to the last battle with Hakumen…kinda. There’s still one little loose end to cover before things can really focus completely on that, and it ends up making this episode a bit of a juggling act. Unfortunately that doesn’t give this episode much in the way of breathing room, but it holds together tightly enough to keep the momentum going. Things open up where the left the last time as Ushio and his yokai allies move out to face Hakumen. In the process he tries to save an unconscious Tora from Hakumen’s clutches and apologizes for having lost faith in him. Having understood the lesson of Tora’s backstory, Ushio summons together the shards of the Beast Spear in order to make a new one, but rather than being fueled by hatred, this time it’s powered by the hope and compassion of his loved ones. This new Beast Spear proves to be more than Hakumen can handle, and everyone from the HAMMR scientists to the newly revived soul of the former Oyakume, joins in sealing. Now it’s Hakumen who’s finding himself on the ropes, and as each of his various avatars are destroyed he’s left with no choice but to rely on Guren for help. READ MORE...

Ushio & Tora Episode #35 Anime Review

So shonen tends to get a pretty bad rep for being simple. A lot of the time we tend to draw our attention towards things that feel more complex or challenging, and the typically straightforward beats of most shonen narratives don’t tend to offer much in the way of that. Still there’s something to be said for simplicity, and sometimes you only need enough execution for one good idea to make something resonate with people. This week’s Ushio & Tora is entirely tied around one core theme, and it’s the same one it’s been building up for the last couple of weeks. Under most circumstances that could get tiring, but the show gets enough mileage out of that single theme to make for one of it’s most compelling episodes yet. Now that we’ve gotten through Tora’s part in Hakumen’s origins, Kirio continues the story as it moves on the other Beast Spear wielders. Each one was consumed by their hatred of Hakumen, and turned into an Azafuse as they became eternally bound to the Beast Spear and it’s own undying hatred. Seeing this endless cycle of hate leaves Kirio to question if beating Hakumen is even worth the cost, but Mayuko and the others feel that it can be broken if the spear’s wielder has enough hope inside of them to stand against it. Ushio comes to this realization too as after seeing Tora’s story, he now knows that instead of fighting Hakumen with hatred, what really matters is fighting to protect his loved ones. READ MORE...

Ushio & Tora Episode #34 Anime Review

With the Beast Spear shattered and Ushio’s spirits in similar straits, the series faces it’s darkest hour as seemingly nothing can stop Hakumen. So what better time than now for a little history lesson? This week’s episode is all about Tora’s long awaited backstory, and while this might seem like an awkward time to tell it, there’s enough parallels to what’s currently happening to make it a worthwhile detour from the big battle. Now that Ushio’s at the bottom of the ocean, everyone finds themselves helpless against Hakumen, and even the other yokai do little to slow him down. That’s when Kirio arrives and reveals that through a bit of time-travelling he managed to track down Hakumen’s origins, and Ushio manages to see those origins himself through some visions. Once there was a man named Shagakusa who was considered to be cursed because he was born under a shooting star. He grew up hating the people who ostracized him, and even when he grew up to become a celebrated warrior, he still felt scorned and continued to hate them in turn. However, all of that changed through the efforts of one of his servants named Raama and his sister. She attempted to convince him that his hatred wouldn’t change anything for him, and over time, the two of them began to slowly soften his heart. READ MORE...

Ushio & Tora Episode #33 Anime Review

The end is nigh as Hakumen has finally revived and things are looking worse than ever. Now it’s up to Ushio to bring down the beast once and for all, but it’s a task that’s easier said than done when dealing with a monster that spreads fear everywhere it treads. Ushio’s been through quite a bit over the course of this series, but this week’s events finally push him to his breaking point, and the fallout has some devastating consequences. With Hakumen now able to roam free, the pillar that sealed him starts to crumble and takes Japan with it as the country starts to sink. Panic spread everywhere as everyone in the nation gets a full view of Hakumen’s terrifying form, and he feeds on every bit of that fear as it only makes him grow stronger. Even Ushio’s not immune to this effect, as he can’t help but find himself feeling utterly helpless in the face of this monster and wants desperately to just run away with his mother. She, on the other hand, has steeled herself to finish Hakumen no matter the cost, but when she tries to slap some sense into Ushio it ends up having the opposite effect. Instead of calming him down his fear only ends up turning into rage: rage at Hakumen for repeatedly robbing him of all the people he loves. READ MORE...

Ushio & Tora Episode #32 Anime Review

Ushio originally began his journey with only one goal in mind: to come face to face with his estranged mother. Things have changed quite a bit since then, but after about 20 or so episodes of waiting, it’s finally time for their little family reunion. Surprisingly said reunion ends up forming the majority of this episode, but unsurprisingly it also makes for a genuinely heartwarming experience. After successfully hijacking a submarine, Ushio and the engineers make their way towards pillar. Along the way they end up getting blocked by some of Hakumen’s aura, but seeing Ushio’s earnest desire to see his mother motivates the engineers to help him and press on ahead in spite of the risk. As Ushio prepares himself see his mom. his feelings on the matter are a bit divided. Part of him understands why she abandoned him, while the other wants to let her have it for having left both him and his dad alone all this time. It’s all pretty difficult for him to process emotionally and while parental abandonment for a "good" reason is another relatively ancient cliche for this kind of story, seeing him trying to find a way to come to terms with it makes it feel a bit easier to be invested in. READ MORE...

Ushio & Tora Episode #31 Anime Review

With last week’s bit of reflection behind us, the stage has been set for the final battle, and the show wastes no time in kicking it off with a bang. This time around things are centered around Nagare and we quickly learn the true motivations behind his betrayal. What they actually ended up being turned out to be pretty different from my expectations, though, as Nagare’s character ends up taking a strange but fairly compelling twist and one that results in a rather grim conclusion. As Ushio and Tora head off to intercept the JASDF, they find themselves once again stopped by Nagare who’s looking to settle the score with them. Tora decides to stay behind and face him alone while Ushio tries to reason with the army before it’s too late. Unfortunately, the consequences of Hakumen’s memory wipe strike again, as none of them believe Ushio about the seal, but when a pair of disgruntled engineers happens to overhear him they decide to help Ushio hijack one of the submarines so they can get to the pillar first. Just as they get ready to leave, however, Asako arrives thanks to some help from HAMMR and has one last moment with Ushio. READ MORE...

Ushio & Tora Episode #30 Anime Review

Ever since the new season began, Ushio & Tora’s been pulling out all the stops in gearing up for the big showdown with Hakumen, and the show’s really been putting it’s best foot forward in that respect. This week’s events finally draws all of that set-up to a close but not before dropping a couple more bombshells and gearing up our heroes (quite literally in fact) for the end of their journey. However even in the midst of all that’s happening, the show still manages to find some time for reflection, and this episode makes it clear just how big a journey it’s been. It’s been a while since we last saw Atsuzawa and the JASDF, but they return this week to relay some crucial information to Ushio. Unfortunately on the way to their base, Ushio and Tora end up getting attacked by Nagare, but unlike their other allies apparently hasn’t lost his memory. Instead, he claims to have joined up with Hakumen but before we can find out why the people from H.A.M.M.R. arrive to take them away, and as they’ve also managed to avoid Hakumen’s memory wipe via the power of science, they provide a bit more detail on what’s happening. According to them, both the Azafuse and the Kakumei sect monks who lost their memories sealed themselves away in stone in order to avoid the reach of Hakumen’s powers, but should return to normal in time for the final battle. Though while they might be willing to wait to fight him, Hakumen isn’t wasting the opportunity to take them out while they’re vulnerable and has already sent some of his forces after them. To make matter’s worse, by disguising himself as Jie-Mei, Hakumen’s managed to convince the JASDF to nuke the pillar sealing him, and they need to be stopped before it’s too late. READ MORE...