Friday, April 21, 2006

Otogi Zoshi

Those who enjoy the famous Hikaru no Go manga or anime might be interested in learning more about the Heian period in which Fujiwara no Sai is placed. During the Heian period, the powerful Taira clan had control of Japan and fought continuously with the Minamoto. During the Gempei war, the Minamoto gained control and established the shogunate. It is at this time period, within the Minamoto clan, that we find the anime Otogi Zoshi. Minamoto no Yorimitsu, also known as Raiko, has taken ill, and his sister Hikaru must disguise herself as Raiko and attempt to save a Kyoto full of corruption. Hikaru must find missing Magatama, curved beads resembling one half of a yin yang. With these Magatama, there is hope of reviving of dying world.
Each DVD disc is accompanied with a companion disc which explains the accuracies and inaccuracies of the series from a University professor. For those who enjoy anime, it might be a fun way to learn about the Heian period, but the companion discs are a must. It is an enjoyable series, but I had hoped for more. When I read about an anime placed in the Heian period, I had hoped for more history. It has action and drama, as well as more Taoism and the 5 element theory than I would have expected, but is a little light on the history lessons.
Apart from Minamoto no Raiko, look for Abe no Seimei, the famous Onmyoji.
The 10 discs are probably a better deal to watch through than buying... and save your money for the Hikaru no Go anime.




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