Ushio and Tora Episode 3 [The Picture of Dorian Gray]
And so we return to our lovable inuyasha/wolverine/demon friend that is Tora, and our snarky Yusukeish human that is Ushio. And I have to say, for an actiony comedic show, this week, it had a lot of plot going on. Sure it was episodic plot, but it had a lot going on. So, I suppose then I should just jump right into the recap less this become over 1000 words. Okay, here we go.
So the episode picks up with the father of Ushio telling him about the history of the beast spear and how a wanderer came to defeat Tora and they sealed him under the storage shed and how never to open the doors. Um..oops. Too late
As Ushio really loves art, he and the two girls head off to the museum to check out some paintings from this artist that Ushio really likes, until eventually they comes across this one picture of a portrait of a girl sitting on a chair. (it is only a photo as the real portrait was willed to the daughter)
It was the last portrait he made before he died and the bitch girl seemingly thinks it looks like someone she knows.
The next day at school Ushio sees the girl that was in the portrait and it turns out that she is the daughter of the late artist. She is very depressed and has tried to commit suicide four times at this point, but has been stopped all four times.
Wanting to get to know what’s going on he talks to bitch mcbitch face and she tells him (after grilling him to make sure he doesn’t have a crush on her because she’s a huge jerk like that)
Apparently she was very popular in school, a bunch of guys asking her out, however, every time, they would meet with a fate that almost killed them, and after that, blaming herself, she tried to kill herself. Not deterred by this, obviously as he’s the main character and has a beast spear, he decides to go talk to her because he wants to draw her.
On the way he’s stopped by a school bully who turns out to be the girl’s childhood friend as he explains to to Ushio how the father was left by his wife when she ran away to be with one of his art students. It drove him crazy and put all of his hatred into a final painting.
They decide they have to do their best to help her and Ushio tries to befriend her. Seeing this (as the father is now a demon that resides in the painting) he tries to attack Ushio with a tornado, but is slashed at by Tora and retreats.
Seeing this, Reiko (the girl) tries to jump off her house and kill herself, but is saved by Ushio and the bully guy.
Using the power of friendship, the two of them convince her that she should live and she decides she wants to, but is pulled into the painting along with the bully friend.
Ushio is also sucked into the painting while Tora, being the tool that he is and unable to understand what friendship is, tells Ushio that if he begs him, he’ll save him.
See, this is a dynamic I really like. Tora has never had a friend before, and, last episode, Ushio begged Tora to save the girls, and then thanked him. This is something that he never had before and liked the feeling, although he doesn’t want to admit it to himself. So when he got that good feeling from helping him after he begged last time, he tried to replicate it. Only this time, Ushio doesn’t beg, and Tora is forced to save him of his own accord, once again conflicted with the emotions inside of him.
This is a very well done way of showing this character’s growth and it makes me very interested in their journey as friends. Unlike Inuyasha who’s like in one episode “Grr I kill you bitch” and in the very next episode is all like “meh. s’all good”. Writers like Rumiko Takahashi want to get into the romantic angst so quickly and then let it be stagnant for 150 episodes that they forget a thing called “pacing”. This show however seems to be doing it nicely.
Anyway, I got off topic. Tora saves them and then Ushio destroys the painting.
Now that the demon part is destroyed, the soul of Reiko’s father is free to go to heaven and tells them thank you for what they have done for taking care of Reiko and freeing him in a pretty sweet moment.
And that’s basically where the episode ends.
Honestly, I really did like this episode. It had a lot of heartwarming feelings to it, and dealt with a pretty deep issue that comes with being haunted. There were pretty honest and realistic reactions from Reiko during the events of this and you could tell, albeit he turned into a demon, Reiko’s father really did want to protect her above all else. It’s more of a lesson showing us that anyone can succumb to darkness but it’s never too late for redemption.
Oh, and also Reiko’s mom is a fucking whore. I know this is not the message they mean to convey, but she leaves her husband and her daughter to be with his younger art student. What a winner you picked out there buddy. I’m actually kind of annoyed she didn’t show up or get any comeuppance in this episode. I mean, her daughter’s father dies when the girl’s in middle school and she doesn’t even take her in afterwards, leaving her to live alone. What a bitch.
All in all though, this episode had a lot of good moments whether it be the relationship of Ushio and Tora growing, or Reiko determining her own self worth in a Robin from One Piece sort of way,
With the exception of bitch girl, I really don’t have a whole lot of problems with this show so far. It keeps me interested, it doesn’t overstay its welcome, and while the plots may be episodic, so far, I wholeheartedly recommend this show. Now let’s just hope I don’t eat those words later.