Film Friday- Flame of Recca

Film Friday- Flame of Recca

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 series has also been adapted into two video games; Flame of Recca: The Game for the Game Boy Advance and Flame of Recca: Final Burning for the PlayStation 2. The anime has since been picked up by Discotek Media who re-released the series on DVD in 2015. Though it begins by following the same basic storyline, the Flame of Recca anime series ends right after the Ura Butō Satsujin ends, while the manga goes on to include the subplot involving the Tendō Jigoku. The anime also omits certain characters from the story, and several of the characters’ physical appearances are slightly different from the manga.

Anime

Flame of Recca was adapted into a 42-episode anime series produced by Studio Pierrot, and aired in Japan from July 19, 1997 to July 10, 1998 on Fuji Television. Flame of Recca was also aired on the satellite network Animax in Japan and Asia. Pony Canyon has released the entire series on DVD and laserdisc, while Geneon released it in two DVD boxsets on April 22 and June 24, 2005 in Japan. In North America, Viz Media released the series in ten separate DVD volumes between October 26, 2004 and January 9, 2007.

There are several notable differences between the anime and manga, such as the character designs (e.g. Fūko has purple-violet hair in the anime, but has brown hair in the manga) and in the storyline itself (e.g. In the anime, Yanagi’s healing powers are first revealed when she heals Recca after he gets injured while protecting her and a child from being crushed under metal pipes, but in the manga, Yanagi heals Recca when he gets injured while protecting her from a group of male students who were forcing her to go with them). The anime was aired in the Philippines by GMA Network in 1999.

Protagonists

Recca Hanabishi 

the primary protagonist of the series, is a teenager obsessed with ninjas and anything related to ninjas. Recca was born the second son of Ōka, the leader of the Hokage ninja clan that existed over 400 years ago. Recca’s older half-brother, Kurei, was supposed to be the heir to the leadership because he was the eldest and was born with the ability to control fire, but Recca also exhibited the same abilities as an infant, and is declared the true heir of the Hokage leadership. In an attempt to save him during the slaughter of the Hokage ninja clan, his mother (Kagerō) used a forbidden technique that opened a portal that would transport him into the future, where the Flame of Recca storyline begins. Recca’s flame power is derived from eight Flame Dragons named Saiha, Nadare, Homura, Setsuna, Madoka, Rui, Kokuu, and Resshin. Recca’s powers were apparently so strong that they had to be sealed with a wrist guard. In the end, the eighth dragon Resshin (actually Recca’s father Ōka) reveals that Recca’s flame has no original form (something every Flame Master’s flame is supposed to have, such as Ōka’s and Kurei’s phoenix flame), thus Recca is the true cursed child, fated to end the Hokage. Ōka reveals that if Recca becomes the ninth dragon, he would become “a stupid, useless dragon with no ability whatsoever, a waste of space inside Kurei”. After the destruction of the Tendo Jigoku, every remaining madogu disintegrated to naught, as well as Recca and Kurei’s flame powers.His appearance varies slightly between the anime and manga, as in the manga, his hair has a red highlight and bright blue eyes, and in the anime his hair is a dull blue highlight and his eyes are a similar color.

Yanagi Sakoshita 

is a teenage girl gifted with the innate ability to heal any kind of physical injury, and Recca immediately offers to serve her as her loyal ninja after seeing her compassion when she healed a severely injured puppy in a local park (in the anime series, she heals Recca after a pile of metal pipes collapsed on top of him). She is the prime objective of the series’ main antagonist, Kōran Mori, as he believes that her healing powers will help him attain eternal life. In the manga, it is revealed that she is the reincarnation of Sakura-hime, the daughter of Oyakata and princess of Sawaki clan, who lived over 400 years before the series’ actual story-line.

Fūko Kirisawa

a tomboyish teenage girl, is Recca’s childhood friend who has always aspired to defeat him in battle so that he would serve her as her ninja. She initially gets irritated by the fact that Recca chose to become Yanagi’s ninja just because he wanted to. For this reason, she decides to accept the aid of Kagerō, who offers to lend her a powerful madōgu that controls wind called Fūjin in order to enable her to defeat Recca. In actuality, Kagerō implanted a stone in the Fūjin that allowed her to brainwash Fūko, but Recca manages to defeat Fūko and destroy the sphere. Fūko ends up being friends with both Yanagi and Recca after the incident, and she also keeps the Fūjin and wields it throughout the rest of the series.Fūko is often described as tomboyish by other characters, and is often laughed at or teased when she shows or says something sensitive or feminine. Fūko greatly respects human life, and hates those who take it for granted. This characteristic is shown on several occasions, the first being when one of her opponents, Fujimaru, states that he would do anything and kill anyone – even women and children – to achieve victory. Fūko’s character design varies in the adaptations of the series. While she has brown hair and green eyes in the manga and both of the Flame of Recca video games, she has red violet hair and blue eyes in the anime series.

Antagonist

Kurei 

is Recca’s older half brother. He was born in 1571 (four years prior to Recca’s birth), and is the firstborn son of Flame Master Ōka and his mistress Reina. He was initially recognized as the next leader of the Hokage clan due to his innate flame powers, but the Hokage elders label him as a cursed child when his younger half-brother, Recca Hanabishi, also exhibits the same powers. Kurei was supposed to be killed in order to save the clan, but due to Kagerō’s intervention, Kurei and his mother are exiled instead. Kurei then eventually attempts to kill Recca, and ends up imprisoned for his crime. He eventually escapes the prison when it is destroyed during Oda Nobunaga’s raid on the Hokage village, and he jumps into the time portal Kagerō opened in order to save Recca by sending him into the future.Kurei is then found and adopted by Tsukino Mori, the wife of one of the series’ main antagonists, Kōran Mori. Kōran raises Kurei to become a “machine”, repeatedly telling him that he does not need human emotions and that he should just throw them away. Upon seeing how much Kurei loved his mother, Kōran has her transferred to a different house and keeps her under house arrest. When Kurei ends up falling in love with Kurenai, Kōran Mori’s adopted daughter, Kōran has her killed. This causes Kurei to despise his adoptive father, but since Kōran is holding his mother hostage, he obeys Kōran’s orders. Kurei is the leader of the Uruha, a group of skilled warriors hired to serve Kōran Mori and to assist Kurei in missions that Kōran orders him to undertake. Like his father and his half-brother, Kurei has the innate power to produce and manipulate fire. The main form of his flame is the Phoenix, and is shown to be of a different color compared to Recca’s (Kurei’s flames are purple in the anime series and a different shade of red in the Flame of Recca video games). Kurei has the ability to absorb souls into his flame, and use them to produce humanoid flames that fight for him and obey his commands. The first time Kurei absorbed a soul into his flame was when he absorbed Kurenai’s soul right after Kōran killed her. The second instance of this was when he absorbed the soul of a loyal member of the Uruha named Jisho (this is not shown in neither the anime nor the video games). His power is not limited to absorbing just one soul at a time, as shown by his absorption of several souls after an opponent slaughters many men in the latter part of the manga.Kurei is also capable of executing non-flame based techniques such as Wakemi, a technique that allows him to produce multiple, solid duplicates of himself that possess his powers and skills. In the last part of the manga, he is shown to be able to use the Jikuryūri, a technique that allows its user to open a portal in time.

 

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