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Last checked: August 19, 2015
Ushio and Tora (うしおととら Ushio to Tora) is a yōkai manga by Kazuhiro Fujita. It received the Shogakukan Manga Award for shōnen in 1992. It was adapted into three OVA series: one with six episodes released from September 11, 1992 to February 1, 1993; one with four episodes released from June 11, 1993 to August 1, 1993; and one single episode OVA released on October 1, 1993. The anime was released in the United States by ADV Films.
It centers around the travels and battles of one Ushio Aotsuki (蒼月潮 Aotsuki Ushio), who is constantly being stalked and aided by a gigantic, supernatural and sometimes invisible tiger (Some people describe it as akin to Calvin and Hobbes on acid).
Ushio's family maintains a Shinto temple in Japan, where 500 years ago, his samurai ancestor battled that same tiger to a standstill, and eventually trapped him against a rock using, a blessed spear called the "Beast Spear", which in addition to its intrinsic formidability as a weapon, can also boost the physical powers of the user. While cleaning out the temple storage, Ushio accidentally unseals the chamber which Tora was trapped in. Initially, Ushio wisely refused to remove the spear pinning Tora (とら, Japanese for tiger) down, as Tora unwisely makes the strategic blunder of mentioning that the first thing he would do upon being freed would be to devour Ushio; but Tora's unsealed presence attracts various demons to the premises, and Ushio is forced to free Tora in exchange for his help. The series focuses on their relationship, interspersed with battles against mythological foes, and with Tora's attempts to grapple with modern life and gobble up Ushio.
Won the Seiun Award for Best Comic of the Year in 1997. It also received the Shogakukan Manga Award for shounen in 1992.