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Introduction

I'm not really sure if it's just self-satisfaction. But... If I wish for it, and someone can be saved... If I cry, and I can cry all of someone's tears for them... Then I'll wish. I'll cry as many times as it takes. And I'll stand! I'll stand and fight!

—Ushio, Chapter 310

Ushio Aotsuki (蒼月潮, Aotsuki Ushio) is the protagonist of the Ushio and Tora series. He is the fourteen-year-old son of Shigure Aotsuki and Sumako Aotsuki, and resides with his father in Fugen'in, a temple which belongs to the Aotsuki lineage. As he was told that his mother is deceased and his father is often away, Ushio usually lives alone until he frees Tora, the yokai who was trapped in his temple's hidden basement for 500 years.

Education-wise, Ushio is in his second year at Koyo Junior High School (8th grade), where he is in class 7 along with Asako Nakamura.

Ushio is destined to wield the Beast Spear just as his samurai ancestor once did 500 years ago. When his friends are in danger, he immediately strives to protect them and fights the yokai who put them in harm's way. He eventually sets out with Tora on various adventures in order to discover who and where his mother really is, although Tora only tags along with the excuse of not letting any other yokai eat Ushio because he wants to do so himself.

He becomes renowned throughout the series by several yokai and humans alike. Due to holding the responsibility of wielding the Beast Spear, the Kohamei Sect and the successors of the Beast Spear test Ushio to see if he's worthy. Furthermore, the yokai fear him and many attempt to kill him so that they can destroy the spear. However, his caring and protective nature allow him to eventually befriend some humans and yokai who were initially against him.

Ushio's ideals motivate humanity and distinct yokai communities to become allies and unite their forces in the battle against Hakumen no Mono.

AppearanceEdit

Ushio is shorter than other students his age, including Asako and Mayuko, but he has a lean muscular build. He has short, spiky black hair and thick eyebrows. He typically wears a striped shirt with rolled-up sleeves along with jeans but he changes clothes frequently while on his adventures. During school he wears the regular male uniform, which is a black gakuran on top of a white dress shirt. In the manga, he also wears Shinji Tokuno's overcoat for some time.

While wielding the Beast Spear, his hair grows much longer and he is often shirtless in this form. His eyes also grow larger, his irises become thinner, and a few of his upper teeth grow into small fangs.

When beginning to transform into an Azafuse due to repeated use of the Beast Spear, his appearance drastically changes. Ushio's eyes become giant shattered circular blue crystals, his face shrivels and wrinkles around his eyes, his eyebrows grow larger and split into four, his nose shrinks and appears squished into his face, his upper head starts growing fur, and all of his teeth become fangs.

Ushio bears many wounds from his various battles against yokai and events that occurred in his childhood. On the day he battles Hyo, Ushio gets four temporary scars on his right eye from Tora's claws, who attempted to kill Ushio while he was asleep.[5] After fighting Juro, Ushio receives a cross-shaped scar on his forehead that remains visible for the rest of the series.[6]

Near the right side of his stomach is a scar he got during a fight with his father about getting rid of a beehive, going down diagonally from his right shoulder to his chest is a scar from Ikkaku (Hitouban Family in the anime), and on his back are three scars from Oni's claws. Additionally, he has scars from when he tried to get a kaiju handicraft project that Asako and Mayuko made out of yogurt containers back from a dog[7], from the yokai in Tono, from the icicles of Yuki-onna (Ishikui in the anime), and one on his leg from falling off a jungle gym. Despite being shirtless many times, these scars are never drawn on his body except for when he's showing them off to his mother as no big deal.[8]

Episode 5 - Ushio's Tora Eye Scar Episode 32 - Ushio's forehead scar Episode 32 - Ushio's Beehive Scar Episode 32 - Ushio's Ikkaku or Hitouban Scar Episode 32 - Ushio's Oni Scar

PersonalityEdit

Ushio tends to be loud, violent, brash, and stubborn. As a result, he is often disrespected by his classmates and even his teacher. They say that he's an idiot, absolutely no good at studying, shows other people his answers so openly, wears them out because he's so loud, seems really violent and no good at discussing things, interesting but has no delicacy at all, and that it's a pity that he's trying to be good at art but his drawings are horrible. Furthermore, he seems to be disorganized and lacking in hygiene, as his female classmates say that the inside of his desk is terrible since it contains a ham sandwich from three months ago and a shirt that got soaked in the rain from last month.[9]

Episode 1 - Ushio lecturing his father

Ushio disrespecting his father

While Ushio typically respects his elders and other people that he meets such as Hyo, Kagari, Raishin, Nagare, Yamanmoto, and Mikado Hizaki, there are a few exceptions of individuals whom he blatantly insults and picks fights with. For example, Ushio often gets into physical conflicts with either his father or Tora over meaningless disputes and refuses to back down until he loses or the other side gives up. He also verbally mocks Asako occasionally, albeit the latter physically attacks him frequently as well. Although some of his non-serious arguments were started by another person, Ushio provokes them further by retorting instead of calmly resolving the situation.

He can be naive and may say hurtful comments without thinking beforehand. Ushio is unaware of how Mayuko, Saya, and Yu feel about him, while the three of them have already figured out that they can't compare to Asako in his eyes. He also appears to be sexist due to his adolescent ignorance and being raised without a mother, as shown when he mocks Hinowa for being strong in spite of being a girl and that she could leave fighting bakemono to other men.[10]

The best thing a man can do in his life is to stop a girl's tears, don't you think?

—Ushio to Nagare, Chapter 89

Episode 28 - Ushio risks his live to save Asako

Ushio risks his life to save Asako

Despite displaying a large amount of negative behaviors, Ushio is balanced with many positive traits as well. Some of his male classmates praise him for his incredible reflexes and strong athletic abilities in any sport. He is extremely altruistic, as he often sacrifices himself in various battles for the sake of saving another whether it involves his family, friends, former enemies, or complete strangers. In order to save Asako and Mayuko, he's willing to go as far as turning completely into stone, risking being trapped in a mirror world for eternity, and even jumping into a raging fire to ensure their safety. Ushio is compassionate and capable of providing empathy when the situation calls for it, as his tears convince Juro to change his mind about despising humans.[11] Ushio also dislikes when people are singled out because he's experienced what it's like to be alone, and he tries to convince his class not to be mean to Minoh, undeterred by the fact that she attacked and targeted him earlier.[9]

Ushio is determined throughout the series and strives to get his own way. By constantly getting closer to Reiko and pressuring her to be a model for a portrait he wanted to draw, he was effectively able to stop her from committing suicide and also resolved the situation with her demonic overprotective father.[12] He strongly opposes the thought of someone dying, and gets sentimental from the various deaths in the series of those close to him when he wasn't able to help them. His righteous spirit angers him whenever he sees someone committing wrongdoings such as the H.A.M.M.R Institute, but he is capable of forgiving them when he discovers they aren't as bad as he thought.

RelationshipsEdit

FamilyEdit

Shigure AotsukiEdit

Episode 1 - Ushio calling his dad a baldy

Ushio calling his dad a baldy

Although Ushio and his father care for each other, the two have a slightly violent relationship and get into fights over trivial matters. Despite having many squabbles, Ushio has never won any of them. Shigure had to deal with the stress of taking care of Ushio on his own. When Ushio was a child and went missing one night, Shigure worries and strictly disciplines him after Asako finds him injured from fighting a dog. Ushio's dad often lectures him about the existence of bakemono on a daily basis while the two are eating. However, Ushio typically ignores him and focuses on getting more food.

Episode 7 - Ushio defending his dad

Ushio taking his dad's side

Since he doesn't want his son to get into danger, Shigure tends to be secretive regarding certain topics such as his true occupation as a chief priest that exorcises yokai, and the identity of Ushio's mother. Ushio had underestimated his father and feels like he's seeing a dream when his dad reveals his power against Tora. Shigure is protective of his son and allows Ushio to escape when Shigure's superiors attempt to take the Beast Spear from him. Angered about the priests harming his father, Ushio stays back and tries to defend his father by fighting the priests as well. When Ushio worries about his dad's situation, Shigure says that he'll be fine and thinks to himself how he's a father who hasn't done a single fatherly thing.

Sumako AotsukiEdit

Ushio was always told by Shigure that his mother passed away. As a result, growing up without a mother left him feeling lonely. If anyone teased him about his mother, he got incredibly angry and would hit his opponent until they cried. One day, Asako's father found out about Ushio's behavior and taught him a lesson. After telling Ushio that his mother is always watching him, Ushio never beat up another kid again. When he is told by Umizato that his mother is still alive, Ushio immediately confronts his father demanding to know the truth. He ends up having to go on a journey to find out about his mother, which also involves defeating Hakumen.

As he heads toward his mother in the bottom of the ocean, he contemplates about whether he should complain to her about how much his dad has gone through, how he doesn't know his own mother's face, and how he's been so lonely at times. He decides not to say any of that, and thinks it's unfair that she has to stay alone in such a place fighting Hakumen for her whole life.

Episode 32 - Sumako about to pat Ushio's head

Sumako about to pat his head

When the two finally meet for the first time, Ushio acts awkwardly out of shyness from not knowing how to react. He couldn't say anything to her knowing what she's been going through as well. Sumako immediately bows down to her son and says she doesn't deserve to be called his mother. She mentions having to leave him just as he began to crawl and points out how big he's gotten. Sumako then asks how he got the scar on his forehead and almost cries when she realizes how much he's suffered while she wasn't there for him. She begins saying that she doesn't expect Shigure or Ushio to forgive her, but Ushio says it's not like that at all. He fumbles and takes off his shirt to show her all the various scars he's gotten as no big deal, and that they weren't her fault. Ushio then wipes the dust off her body and Sumako requests if she can stroke his hair. He feels embarrassed but asks a request of his own, mumbling about wanting to have his mom's home-made miso soup when everything is over.

Sumako slaps Ushio when he gives up on defeating Hakumen and just wants to run away with his mother. He takes the slap to heart and directs his anger and hatred toward Hakumen, which then leads to his loss. After the final battle, Sumako returns to live with Shigure and Ushio. Ushio still feels embarrassed when Sumako cares for him, but they are peaceful together and he finally gets to eat her cooking.

Mikado HizakiEdit

Mikado Hizaki is a distant ancestor of Ushio's, whom his mother descended from. Mikado requested to see him before the battle with Kuragi, and states that there is no greater joy for her than to be alive to see the Beast Spear's successor. Ushio was nervous to go meet such a famed person by himself. Once he sees her, he notices that she resembles Mayuko, who he says is reliable when Mikado asks if they get along. Ushio switches from casual to formal speech, but Mikado tells him to come closer and offers him candy. At first he says he's not a kid and doesn't need it, but then his stomach growls and the two laugh together.

Episode 21 - Ushio reminded of his mom

Ushio reminded of his mom

Ushio is relieved because he thought someone who sealed Hakumen for 300 years would be scary. He says she's a great lady, and looks a lot younger and prettier than he thought. When she notices that his sleeve is torn at the elbow, she's unable to give him a needle and thread, but Ushio had a sewing box with him from Asako's mother and begins to stitch it by himself. Mikado is reminded of her own children and decides to stitch it for him. Ushio points out how nice she is and says he doesn't remember his mother but believes that his mom is as nice as Mikado. Mikado replies that his mother is much nicer than she is. She is very thankful that Ushio ended up being the Beast Spear's wielder. She is glad that she got to meet Ushio at the end of her time and has no regrets if her body was to be destroyed that night.

When Mikado sacrifices herself to seal Kuragi, Ushio blames himself for being weak. She tells him not to cry and that no one should blame themselves because it was her destiny. Before passing away, she tells them that Ushio would not be able to defeat Hakumen alone, and that everyone must work together. Ushio still believes it's his fault afterwards and mourns her loss.

FriendsEdit

ToraEdit

Asako NakamuraEdit

Ushio and Asako were childhood friends.

Mayuko InoueEdit

Mayuko was one of Ushio's friends since childhood along with Asako.

Reiko HanyuEdit

Kenichi MasakiEdit

Nagare AkibaEdit

Ushio looks up to Nagare as if he was an older brother, and only calls him Nagare nii-chan.

Jie MeiEdit

GiryoEdit

HyoEdit

Yu HiyamaEdit

Saya TakatoriEdit

Kagari and RaishinEdit

IzunaEdit

Hinowa SekimoriEdit

Satoru MoritsunaEdit

Jun MoritsunaEdit

AlliesEdit

Shinji TokunoEdit

YamanmotoEdit

ShinnoEdit

Goro & AkabaneEdit

Antagonists & Former EnemiesEdit

Hakumen no MonoEdit

Michio HanyuEdit

JuroEdit

This section requires expansion.

Major BattlesEdit

QuotesEdit

What kind of a moron would let a yokai that sees humans as food run free?

—Ushio to Tora, Chapter 1

Make sure your incompetent sidekick doesn't hold you back.

—Ushio joking about Asako to Mayuko, Chapter 2

Don't lose! Don't lose! You can do it! Keep it up! If you guys lose, our class will be 4th place. So, come on! You can do it!

—Ushio cheering on Asako during her volleyball match, Chapter 3

You'll never understand...Sorry. You won't be able to eat me, after all. All right. Come at me, Ishikui. I'll give you horrible indigestion, though!

—Directed to Tora before Ushio fully turns to stone, Chapter 4

I think art is amazing. It's so full of freedom! I think the best ones are made with unexaggerated love. And Master Hanyu's works are the best!

—Ushio at the art gallery, Chapter 5

My desire to create isn't gonna go away because of something like that.

—Ushio upon learning of Reiko's curse, Episode 3

You wanted to die because you thought you were alone. But now, I won't let you say that you're alone! There are two people here who don't want you to go! Well? Are you going to climb up or go away forever?

—Ushio to Reiko, Chapter 8

TriviaEdit

  • Ushio Aotsuki's full name means "tide" and "blue moon" respectively.
  • In the two Japanese fan polls, Ushio was consistently the second most popular character, losing to Tora who ranked first both times.

ReferencesEdit

  1. Chapter 5: The Oni That Dwells In the Painting Part 1, Reiko
  2. 2.0 2.1 The Pictorial Book of Ushio and Tora
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Chapter 221: TATARI BREAKER Part 1, KIDNAPPING
  4. Chapter 227: TATARI BREAKER Part 7, CRITICAL CONDITION
  5. Chapter 16: Exorcist Hyo Part 2, The Assassin Visits
  6. Chapter 40: Chaotic Wind Part 2, Tora Meets with Misfortune, Ushio Battles a Yokai
  7. Chapter 47: Mirror of a Single Strike
  8. Chapter 281: Sea of Thunder Part 3, Collapse of the Stone Pillar
  9. 9.0 9.1 Chapter 184: The Seal of Gedo Part 3, Minoh
  10. Chapter 154: Incitement ~ Destruction of the Beast Spear Part 9, Hinowa and Ushio (1)
  11. Chapter 43: Chaotic Wind Part 4, Ushio Stands Still and the Wind Whirls in the Sky
  12. Chapter 9: The Oni That Dwells in the Painting Part 5, Portrait of Reiko

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