Flame of Recca is a manga series written and illustrated by Nobuyuki Anzai, which was adapted into an anime series spanning forty-two episodes by Studio Pierrot. The manga was serialized in Weekly Shōnen Sunday from 1995 to 2002. The 329 chapters that composed the series were compiled into 33 tankōbon volumes by Shogakukan. Both the anime and manga were licensed for North American distribution in English by Viz Media. Jason Thompson, author of Manga: The Complete Guide, described the manga version of Flame of Recca as “polished and quick-paced”, and that it “reads like a more carefully plotted, more extreme version of YuYu Hakusho.” Patricia Duffield, a columnist for Animerica Extra, felt the story and artwork continuously evolved with characters and their unique weapons. “Although the series seems to have a tendency toward male fan service, Flame of Recca can be as enjoyable for gals as it is for guys.” Duffield concluded, “If lots of ninja action with supernatural flair interests you, give Flame of Recca a try.”
The Flame of Recca manga was serialized in Weekly Shōnen Sunday from 1995 to 2002, with a total of 329 chapters. The series was compiled into 33 tankōbon (collected volumes) and was published by Shogakukan from September 18, 1995 to April 18, 2002. Shōnen Sunday also released the manga in 17 wideban volumes and, beginning in 2010, as part of its Comic Bunko label. The manga was licensed for North American distribution in English by Viz Media and United Kingdom distribution in English by Gollancz Manga. Viz released all 33 volumes from July 30, 2003 to November 10, 2009, while Gollancz released ten volumes between March 6 and November 28, 2006. Viz did not censor nudity in their publications of the manga, but starting from volume 20, the female characters’ nipples have been removed.
Flame of Recca follows the story of a teenage boy named Recca Hanabishi, who is interested in ninja and claims to be one himself. He often gets into fights because he made it publicly known that the person who manages to defeat him will earn his services as a loyal ninja. Despite this, he eventually pledges his loyalty and services as a ninja to Yanagi Sakoshita, a girl with the innate ability to heal any wound/injury, because of her kindness and compassion. Recca soon discovers that he possesses the innate ability to control/manipulate flames, and eventually learns that he is actually the son of the sixth generation leader of the Hokage, a ninja clan that was wiped out by Oda Nobunaga in 1576, roughly 400 years before the series’ present day.
The Hokage ninjas wielded mystical objects called madōgu, which are referred to as “psychic devices” or “mystical weapons” in the English versions of the series. Madōgu grant their users special abilities, such as allowing their users to manipulate certain elements (as in the case of the Fūjin, which allows its wielder to manipulate the element of wind) and enhancing their user’s strength/skills (as in the case of the Dosei no Wa, which increases its user’s physical strength and the Idaten, which increases its user’s running speed). Oda Nobunaga had invaded the Hokage in 1576 for the purpose of acquiring these weapons, and the series’ main antagonist, Kōran Mori, is searching for a madōgu that will grant him eternal life. Recca and his friends become entangled in Mori’s quest for eternal life as he attempts to kidnap Yanagi, believing that her healing powers will help him achieve immortality. This leads them to join the Ura Butō Satsujin, a tournament wherein the warriors that wield madōgu gather to battle each other. After winning the tournament, Recca and his teammates discover that Mori was on his way to acquire the Tendō Jigoku, a madōgu said to grant its user eternal life, and once again attempt to stop him.