Ushio to Tora – 30

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“Never a dull moment” is an overused phrase, but with Ushio and Tora it really fits.

Ushio to Tora - 30 -1Ushio to Tora is one of the most efficient anime I can remember.  It almost never wastes a moment on-screen – everything is pointing towards a destination, and the direction is always forward.  But even more particular to this series, it never seems to waste a cast member either.  As I think back on the first 30 episodes I’m legitimately struggling to think of a character who had a significant speaking role who simply disappeared after “their” episode (assuming they didn’t die of course).  They always come back, showing up at a time and place that feels perfectly logical.

Ushio to Tora - 30 -2Do I remember the names of the two scientists who worked at HAMMR with Helena?  Heck, no – but somehow when I saw them sitting there wearing crowns of Hiyou, it didn’t surprise me a bit.  They were waiting to greet Ushio and Tora, who’d been collected by the JSDF for an urgent reunion.  What did surprise me, however, was that Nagare-niichan seem to have gone over to Hakumen no Mono’s side.  That’s what he said anyway when he ambushed the truck carrying UshiTora to HAMMR time, and judging by his actions he certainly meant it.

Ushio to Tora - 30 -3I’m not at all sure what’s going on there, since Nagare seemed to be a pretty straight shooter when we last met him.  No doubt there’s a lot of deception taking place around the story at the moment – Hakumen no Mono has sent a minion dressed as Jie Mei to convince the army (including Natsuzawa, yet another character looped back into the plot) to fire a missile at Hakumen’s hidey-hole off Okinawa, presumably killing Ushio’s mom but leaving Hakumen intact.  But Nagare swears he’s not being controlled or deceived, so I suspect there’s something deeper going on here – blackmail, maybe?

Ushio to Tora - 30 -4Fortunately for the world, the two scientists at HAMMR have seen through Hakumen’s ploy and recruited Ushio to put a stop to it.  On the way to Okinawa he and Tora stop off at Fugen’in, but they have unexpected guests waiting for them there – Guren and his underlings.  They’ve stopped by to destroy the Azafuse, but having Ushio and Tora there is a nice bonus.  They’ve leveled up since Ushio met them, but fortunately for him the two scientists have given Ushio the Bone Eater’s armor for protection.  It’s a hell of a battle but with the fractured Azafuse’s help Ushio and Tora manage to win the day – though at the cost of Ushio’s house.

Ushio to Tora - 30 -5I rather like the last moments of this episode, full of kenshou as they are.  The destruction of that house and the little make-believe Tora and Ushio put on in the storehouse has the feel of a watershed moment, the true end of Ushio’s childhood innocence and the beginning of the final battle.  Ushio is right, Tora has changed a lot in the past year – though he has too, of course.  Things are definitely in quite a mess though – not only has Hakumen no Mono once again succeeded in forcing his enemies to waste their time fighting each other, but Asako has fled the hospital and is wandering the streets in a daze, looking for the boy who helped her survive the fires of Hell.  I can’t help but think that’s going to be relevant next week…





  1. M

    So Nagare Akiba randomly appears out of knowhere, cuts truck in half, and then leaves immediately afterwards just to tell Ushio he has decided to join Hakumen no Mono’s side?

    This show has pacing issues.

  2. “Ushio to Tora is one of the most efficient anime I can remember.”

    The first season was efficient. This one is a bit more than that – it’s pushing it the other side, packing so much stuff that has to happen in each episode you don’t get the time to let that sink it. I suppose it’s because they need to adapt the whole manga and the episodes aren’t enough, and I hope they’re just getting that out of the way so that they can go back to a more relaxed pace for the ending, but these latest two episodes have been a rushed mess. In this sense I found the final “acting” scene very relieving not just because it was a genuinely funny and emotional moment, but because they finally took their time to build some atmosphere rather than advance the plot there. I hope it’s the sign that the big hurdle is past us and from now on we’ll go back to a tight but not hurried pace like we’ve seen in the previous season.

  3. Well, they have to adapt a 50 plus part story in 38 episodes… They did it fine in the first season, but the latter parts are longer and pack lots of stuff. Sincerely, this manga needed at least 100 episodes to be adapted at a regular, as in not as rushed, pace.

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