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Hero Tales
Herotalesvol1.jpg
Cover from the first volume from Hero Tales
獣神演武
(Jūshin Enbu)
Genre Adventure, Fantasy
Manga
Author Huang Jin Zhou
Illustrator Hiromu Arakawa
Publisher Japan Square Enix
English publisher United States Yen Press
Demographic Shōnen
Magazine Japan Gangan Powered (former)
Monthly Shōnen Gangan (current)
United States Yen Plus
Original run 2006 – ongoing
Volumes 4 (List of volumes)
TV anime
Director Osamu Sekita
Studio Studio Flag
Licensor Japan GENCO
Canada United States Funimation
Network Japan TV Tokyo
Original run October 7, 2007March 30, 2008
Episodes 26
Anime and Manga Portal

Hero Tales (獣神演武 Jūshin Enbu?) is an ongoing Japanese manga currently serialized in Square Enix's Gangan Powered. The original story is by Huang Jin Zhou (A unit composed of Hiromu Arakawa, Genco and Studio Flag) and illustrated by Arakawa. The motif of the story are Chinese wuxia drama and novels. The world view is rooted in Chinese folklore and history, as well as having an element of fantasy.

Contents

Plot

A period piece, Jūshin Enbu features Taitou, a young man who hates the empire that rules at the time, with his sister Laila as they learn of a mysterious power Taitou holds, unbeknownst to him. Taitou is the incarnation of a mysterious star that grants him a huge amount of power that he has yet to fully master. Joining them is Ryuukou, who has power similar to Taitou, just more honed.[citation needed]

After Taitou's coming of age ceremony, which required him being beaten by Ryuukou, he is given the Kenkaranpu, described as a conqueror's sword, which Taitou is not even capable of drawing. Soon after, he and Laila are greeted by a man named Shimei, who wanted to take the sword. After a quick exchange of blows, Shimei explains the source of Taitou's power, the star Hagun, one of the most powerful Hokushin-Tenkun. When Shimei uses his own sword's power to cause Laila to stop breathing, Taitou becomes so angry he releases Hagun's power, draws Kenkaranpu and pins Shimei to the wall by throwing the Kenkaranpu through his stomach. He then turns to Ryuukou and attacks.

Despite his best efforts, Ryuukou could not overcome Hagun's power. It was only a resuscitated Laila's intervention (along with a nasty head butt) that brought Taitou to his senses. However, they all soon learn that Shimei had escaped with the sword.

At midnight, Taitou sneaks out to recover the sword. As he is leaving Ryuukou and Laila quickly join him on his journey.

Characters

The Two Noble Spirits (二天神尊)

Taitou Shirei (岱燈獅麗)

The main protagonist. A 16 year old youth. He is very headstrong, does not like losing, and though reckless is quite a skilled fighter. He opposes the officials in order to protect the people and his companions. He also has a habit of repeating himself when flustered or angry.
He has the Hokushin-Tenkun mark of Hagun (破軍) on his right shoulder.[citation needed] He is also part of the law enforcing organization, Seiryutou (青龍党, Holy Dragon Group), which is based at Lotus Temple at Taishan. The group take care of events from rebel raids to violence inflicted by officials. The group overestimated their strength and took on Keirou and in the end lost most of their people. Taitou, seeking revenge for his comrades, left on a journey to train up.
In the manga, the Kenkaranpu (賢嘉爛舞) was to be given to Taitou on his coming of age ceremony by Sonnei but it was seized by Shimei, turning the journey to that of the recovery of the sword.[citation needed] In the anime, the sword was taken by Keirō after a fight between Taito and the general during the former's invasion of the temple.[citation needed]

Taitou meets the emperor later on in the anime and it is revealed that Taitou is the older brother of the emperor and that they were separated because Taitou bore the 'Hagun' mark.[citation needed]

Keirō (慶狼)

35 years old. He has the Hokushin-Tenkun mark of Tonrou (貪狼) on his left shoulder. A general of the imperial army and the leader of the Black Wolf Party. He aims to be the emperor of the Ken Empire and to this end forced his way into Lotus Temple with his troops to retrieve the sacred sword Kenkaranpu. It is said that the one who unsheathe it will get the right to rule as Emperor.[citation needed] To get the sword many monks and Seiryutou members were killed.[citation needed]

The Five Divine Warriors (五神闘士)

Ryūkō Mouten (劉煌孟甜)

The 18 year old bearer of the Bukyoku (武曲) mark. Uses a staff in battle, he is the adopted son of a master from another temple of the Rikka Sect. A serious person who expects highly from himself.[citation needed] He has a bad sense of direction. The Bukyoku mark is at his right pec. Keiro is his real father. He is also in love with Rinmei.[citation needed]

Hōsei Meitoku (鳳星銘徳)

The 17 year old bearer of the Rokuson (禄存) mark. The archer of the group. Thought to be a carefree person but he is also a hot-headed person. The Rokuson mark is at the back of his right hand.[citation needed]

Koyō Mougai (虎楊蒙骸)

The 22 year old bearer of the Monkoku (文曲) mark. The leader of a group of sea bandits. Although a big, lively and rough person, he has skillful fingers and has interest in cooking and make-up. He wields an eight-section staff. The Monkoku mark is at his neck.[citation needed]

Shōkaku Chōyō (将鶴張楊)

The 24 year old bearer of the Renjō (廉貞) mark. He is the teacher of the current emperor Taigatei. Usually seen smiling and basically a calm person, under that exterior he is actually a tactician that resorts to any means to keep the Ken Empire going. Any unknown action he takes is usually for the good of the Ken Empire. The Renjou mark is at his right palm. In the anime, it is revealed that he is actually afflicted with some sort of fatal disease, and expects to die soon.[citation needed]

Rinmei Shokan (麟盟詔韓)

The 20 year old bearer of the Komon (巨門) mark. In love with Ryuukou but she hates his unsociable attitude. She cooks for the temple Ryuukō is from. She is concerned that she looks older than her age. She is the type that becomes scary when angry. The Komon mark is at her right thigh.[citation needed]

Others

Laila Seiren (頼羅青蓮)

14 years old. Taitou's little sister (not by blood). She is the daughter of Souei, the leader of Seiryutou. She is often seen quarreling with Taitou and has not lost in them. But actually she cares a lot for her 'brother'. The only person who can stop Taitou when he acts recklessly.[citation needed]

Taigatei (汰臥帝)

A 16 years old, the young Emperor of the Ken Empire. Fainthearted and has no self thought. He resembles Taitou.(his twin brother (episode 17))[citation needed]

Shimei (史明)

A follower of Keirou. He holds the demon sword of all seeing eye, Banshoushimei (萬詳史明) and is able to use spells. In the anime he is revealed to be a demon who thrives on negative emotions.[citation needed]

Souei (曹栄)

Taitou's and Laila's father. A former member of the Imperial Army, now leader of Seiryutou. After having roamed the Empire, his master Sonnei asked him to settle down at Lotus Temple.[citation needed] In the anime he is killed by Shimei.

Sonnei (孫寧)

High priest of Lotus Temple (the headquarters of the Rikka Sect[六伽宗]) and former master of Souei. A master of the gaiden technique (外伝法) who is well known in the Empire. Has a weakness for women.[citation needed]

Kouchou (孔凋)

A subordinate of Keirou. A quiet and unsociable person. In the anime, he is Taki's real father.[citation needed]

Taki (侘姫)

Keirou's adopted daughter who entered the Court as a princess candidate. She eventually marries Taigatei in the anime.[citation needed]

Chouka (趙香)

  • Voiced by: Junko Kitanishi
Originally from a foreign country but stowaway to the Ken Empire. She was then picked up by Keirou and now serves him loyally. Now a court lady attached to the Emperor where she guides the weak-willed Emperor to follow Keirou's wishes. She distrusts Ryuukou and Shōkaku, despite them claims to serve Keirou. In the anime, Shōkaku deducts, apparently correctly, that she is in love with Keirou.[citation needed]

Production

The origins of Hero Tales came from a work by doujin group "Dennou Sanzoku Bukando"(電脳山賊武漢堂) called "Shishi Juushin Enbu"(獅子獣神演武). The work is an illustrated net novel and later released as a doujinshi. Dennou Sanzoku Bukando is the doujin group formed by Hiromu Arakawa and Zhang Fei Long. Juushin Enbu is announced after seven years of conceptualizing and planning.

The events that led to the announcement of Juushin Enbu (from Hiromu Arakawa interview, Pafu -March 2007 issue): In 2005, Huang Jin Zhou brought the plan to Hiromu which is then brought to Square Enix. In the beginning of the project, Hiromu was only in charge of character design. Huang Jin Zhou took care of other matters such as creating the scenario. Before the serialization, Hiromu and Studio Flag took seven years to conceptualize this original story.[1]

Media

Manga

Authored by the group Huang Jin Zhou, Hero Tales started serialization in Square Enix's Gangan Powered since 2006. After Gangan Powered's last issue in 2009, the series continued serialization in Monthly Shōnen Gangan.[2] The series is also collected tankōbon volumes by Square Enix. The first volume was published on August 11, 2007.[3] As of June 22, 2009, four volumes have been released in Japan.[4] The first tankōbon was published in English by Yen Press in October, 2009[5] and began serializing in Yen Plus February 2009 issue.[6]

Volume list

No. Japanese English
Release date ISBN Release date ISBN
1 August 11, 2007[3] ISBN 978-4-75-752065-3 October, 2009[7] ISBN 0-7595-3116-1
  • 01. Hagun Roars (破軍吼ゆる?)
  • 02. It Rains (雨降りて... Ame Ori Te...?)
  • 03. Night of Falling Stars (星の降る夜 Hoshi no Furu Yoru?)
2 January 22, 2008[8] ISBN 978-4-75-752208-4 February 2010[9] ISBN 0-7595-3117-X
  • 04. Wolf's Shadow (狼の影 Ōkami no Kage?)
  • 05. Ephemeral (うたかた Utakata?)
  • 06. Starry Night (そこにある闇 Sokoniaru Yami?)
  • 07. Planning Mischief... (蠢動せし... Shundō Seshi...?)
3 September 22, 2008[10] ISBN 978-47-5-752325-8
  • 08. Jaw of the Wolf (月狼の贄 Tsuki Ōkami no Ago?)
  • 09. Jaw's Night (贄の夜 Nie no Yoru?)
  • 10. Separated People (うしなわれしものたち Ushinawa Reshimono Tachi?)
  • 11. Black Dragon (黒き龍 Kuroki Ryū?)
4 June 22, 2009[4] ISBN 978-47-5-752581-8
  • 12. [untitled]
  • 13. People Made Anew (新たなる者 Arata Naru Mono?)
  • 14. Falling Feathers (散ル羽根落布 Chiru Hane Rakufu?)
  • 15. Arika (在処?)

Anime

On October 7, 2007, an anime series based on the manga premiered in TV Tokyo under the title of Juushin Enbu -HERO TALES-(獣神演武 -HERO TALES-). The series is produced by Studio Flag and directed by Osamu Sekita. Manga illustrator Hiromu Arakawa was also in charge of making the characters designs.[11] With a total of 26 episodes, the anime aired from October 7, 2007 to March 30, 2008.[12][13] On January 7, 2010, Funimation Entertainment announced that it has acquired the anime.[14]

Opening theme

"Winterlong" by Beat Crusaders
"Flashback" by High and Mighty Color

Ending Theme

"Kakegae no nai Hito e (かけがえのない人へ)" by Mai Hoshimura
Komorebi no Uta by High and Mighty Color

References

  1. ^ Gangan Powered No.7
  2. ^ "Gangan Joker to Replace Gangan Powered, Wing Mags". Anime News Network. March 1, 2009. http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2009-03-01/gangan-joker-to-replace-gangan-powered-wing-mags. Retrieved July 26, 2009. 
  3. ^ a b "Amazon.co.jp 獣神演武 1" (in Japanese). Amazon.com. http://www.amazon.co.jp/dp/4757520654. Retrieved 2008-10-19. 
  4. ^ a b "Amazon.co.jp: 獣神演武 4" (in Japanese). Amazon.com. http://www.amazon.co.jp/dp/4757525818. Retrieved 2009-06-27. 
  5. ^ Yen Press » HERO TALES story by Huang Jin Zhou, art by Hiromu Arakawa
  6. ^ Yen Press » The Secret’s Out!
  7. ^ "Yen Press» HERO TALES Volume 1". Yen Press. http://yenpress.us/?page_id=556#V1. Retrieved 2008-10-19. 
  8. ^ "Amazon.co.jp 獣神演武 2" (in Japanese). Amazon.com. http://www.amazon.co.jp/dp/4757522088. Retrieved 2008-10-19. 
  9. ^ "Yen Press» HERO TALES Volume 2". Yen Press. http://yenpress.us/?page_id=556#V2. Retrieved 2008-10-19. 
  10. ^ "Amazon.co.jp 獣神演武 3" (in Japanese). Amazon.com. http://www.amazon.co.jp/dp/4757523254. Retrieved 2008-10-19. 
  11. ^ "Hero Tales Anime Staff, First Manga Compilation Announced". Anime News Network. June 22, 2007. http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2007-06-22/hero-tales-anime-staff-first-manga-compilation-announced. Retrieved July 26, 2009. 
  12. ^ "獣神演武1" (in Japanese). TV Tokyo. Archived from the original on July 26, 2009. http://www.webcitation.org/5iZP4S9xo. Retrieved July 26, 2009. 
  13. ^ "獣神演武2" (in Japanese). TV Tokyo. Archived from the original on July 26, 2009. http://www.webcitation.org/5iZP6fDEJ. Retrieved July 26, 2009. 
  14. ^ "Funimation Entertainment Acquires Jyushin Enbu Hero Tales From Media Factory". Anime News Network. 2010-01-07. http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/press-release/2010-01-07/funimation-entertainment-acquires-jyushin-enbu-hero-tales-from-media-factory. 

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