[[caption-width-right:250:Hikaru disguised as her brother (right) and with her hair down (left).]]

''Otogi Zoshi'' is an {{anime}} produced by Creator/ProductionIG, which follows the story of Hikaru and a number of people surrounding her. While at first it may look to nothing more than HistoricalFiction with fantasy elements mixed in, that's only true of the first half. Halfway through, the series goes through a combination {{Timeskip}} / GenreShift to present day where strange UrbanLegends keep coming true. The two plots do overlap.

The first half (episodes 1-13), labeled the Heian [[StoryArc Arc]], appropriately takes place in the city of Heian (modern day Kyoto) during the Heian Period. Heian is becoming a corrupt and run-down city. Selfish {{samurai}} and [[UsefulNotes/{{Onmyodo}} onmyoji]], who care only about gaining political power, are everywhere. To make matters worse the city is suffering from famine and widespread disease. To combat this, the Imperial Court decides to send Minamoto no Raikou, a famous samurai well-known for his archery skills, to recover a [[MineralMacGuffin legendary gem]] ([[PublicDomainArtifact a magatama]]) said to hold mysterious power to save the world. However Raikou falls ill, so his sister, Hikaru, [[SweetPollyOliver disguises herself to make the journey in his place]]. Traveling along with her guard, Tsuna--though [[ActionGirl she's quite combat capable]] herself--she meets many people and learns that the situation is more complex than it first seemed.

Most of the story's second half (episodes 14-24) makes up the Tokyo Arc. It follows the same group of characters from before, except they've been [[{{reincarnation}} reincarnated]] into modern day [[TokyoIsTheCenterOfTheUniverse Tokyo]]. There Hikaru lives the life of a mostly OrdinaryHighSchoolStudent. She also acts as the landlady for the Villa Minamoto apartment complex, where her friends and tenants Tsuna, Sadamitsu, Urabe, and Kintaro live--though timely rent payments are left to be desired. But one night, on the one year anniversary of her brother Raikou's disappearance, Hikaru suddenly gets a lead on where he went. While following Tsuna on an odd job based around an [[UrbanLegends urban legend]], Hikaru spots her brother on a [[AfterlifeExpress phantom train]]... Though Tsuna saw nothing, she's determined to investigate. The next day she gets an even bigger set of clues in the form of strange photos taken by Raikou. Like clockwork, incidents happen one after another in the photographed places, with Hikaru (and her friends) getting involved each time. At the same time, a mysterious man in a trenchcoat keeps appearing, warning Hikaru to stop.

The series finishes off with two "Special Arc" episodes that takes place before the start of the Tokyo Arc proper. One follows Urabe, and the other, Mansairaku.

It was later adapted into a two-volume {{manga}}.

* ActionGirl: Hikaru, although notably less so in the Tokyo arc. Urabe, also less so in the Tokyo arc.
%%* AfterlifeExpress
%%* AnimeThemeSong
* AscendToAHigherPlaneOfExistence: [[spoiler:Hikaru and Mansairaku disappear after floating up in a pillar of light at the end of the Heian Arc. Mansairaku ends up ageless because of it, while Hikaru's case is a DoubleSubversion. She reincarnates and seems perfectly normal, but it turns out [[TheChosenOne she's the only one who can fix the weird stuff going on]].]]
* ATwinkleInTheSky: Blink and you'll miss it, but it happens to Kintaro in episode 10.
* BadassLongcoat: Mansairaku in the Tokyo Arc.
%%* BareHandedBladeBlock
* BatmanGambit: [[spoiler:Abe no Seimei manipulates Hikaru and the others into gathering the magatamas in a specific order, such that they can be placed in a [[ElementalRockPaperScissors pentagram of enmity]], which will destroy Heian.]]
* {{BFS}}: Ivan wields one.
* BigBadFriend: [[spoiler:Mansairaku is actually Abe no Seimei.]]
* BigEater: Kintaro
* {{Bishonen}}: Mansairaku, namely. As well as Sadamitsu, in the second arc.
* BlandNameProduct: Lucky Seaven cigarettes, Pizza Hot.
%%* BloodFromTheMouth
* BodyguardCrush: A reversed case - Tsuna is revealed to have a crush on Hikaru.
* BrattyHalfPint: Kintaro
* CampGay: A background character in episode 25.
* ChekhovsGun: [[spoiler:The piece Hikaru's flute chips off the magatama of fire ends up as the gem on her necklace in modern day.]]
* ChivalrousPervert: Sadamitsu
* TheChosenOne: [[spoiler:Hikaru's the only one that can fix the distortions in the Tokyo Arc.]]
* ColorCodedForYourConvenience: [[spoiler:The magatamas, according to their elemental associations.]]
* ContemplateOurNavels: The entirely of episode 26.
* CoolShades: {{Subverted}}, as the shades Sadamitsu occasionally wears in the Tokyo Arc just make him look like more of a RummageSaleReject. Later played straight by Mansairaku in episode 26.
* CorruptBureaucrat: The Ministers of the Right and Left.
* CreepyChild: Matsumushi, Abe no Seimei's mute helper. [[spoiler:Namely when she murders Urabe.]] Not so much in the Tokyo Arc, though.
* DiedStandingUp: [[spoiler: Raikou]] and [[spoiler: Tsuna]].
* DisabilitySuperpower: {{Averted}}. [[spoiler:When Tsuna starts going blind in his other eye, he has trouble fighting, and eventually dies because of it.]]
* DualWielding: In the Heian Arc, Sadamitsu and at least one GiantMook wield two swords.
%%* ElementalRockPaperScissors
%%* EpisodeTitleCard
* EtTuBrute: [[spoiler:Hikaru is horribly torn up at Mansairaku's betrayal.]] In addition to [[spoiler:Urabe. She is, as Tsuna points out, an onmyoji through and through.]]
* EyepatchOfPower: Not an actual eyepatch, but in the Heian Arc Tsuna always keeps his right eye closed, since he's blind in it.
* EyeScream: Hikaru fires an arrow into a GiantMook's eye.
* ExecutiveMeddling: The Tokyo arc was made with a tight budget, on a tight schedule. ''And fourteen different directors.''
* FortuneTeller: Urabe is one post-timeskip, though not the old Gypsy sort.
* TheFourGods: They even include the fifth one in the form of a yellow kirin.
%%* GenreShift: Complete with a new theme. The [=DVDs=] even serve as a LampshadeHanging, changing from black labels (part 1) to white labels (part 2). [NOTE: This example doesn't explain which genres are being shifted.]
* HauntedTechnology: The subject of an [[UrbanLegends urban legend]].
%%* HeroStoleMyBike
* {{Historical Domain Character}}s: Lots of characters take names from/are based on real historical figures.
** MeaningfulName: Or the names are significant in other ways: The kanji in Mansairaku's name are the same as for Manzairaku, an ancient Japanese Bugaku court dance. As presented in the Heian Arc, Mansairaku is a Bugaku dancer. The difference in the translation ("sai" vs. "zai") may simply be a preference of the translator. [[spoiler:Manzairaku music and dance is associated with extremely long life, literally 10,000 years, which is also appropriate for this character.]]
* IdiosyncraticEpisodeNaming: The Tokyo Arc episodes are all named for places.
* [[IllGirl Ill Boy]]: Raikou in the Heian Arc.
* InASingleBound: Shuten Doji can jump quite high, even when badly injured.
* InvisibleToNormals: It varies depending on what's going on, but more than once in the Tokyo Arc, Hikaru sees something supernatural while Tsuna doesn't at all.
* JigsawPuzzlePlot: Once the Tokyo Arc starts, it dips into this. Luckily it all makes sense in the end.
%%* LimitedWardrobe
* LoveTriangle: Not as overt as some, but it's there.
* MalevolentMaskedMan: [[spoiler:Abe no Seimei.]]
* ManipulativeBastard: [[spoiler:Abe no Seimei, see BatmanGambit above.]]
%%* MineralMacGuffin
* TheMole: [[spoiler:Urabe is secretly working for Abe no Seimei, though she doesn't know his goals.]]
* MoodWhiplash: After [[spoiler:Heian is destroyed in episode 13, and Hikaru and Mansairaku [[AscendToAHigherPlaneOfExistence disappear in a pillar of light]]]], the scene suddenly cuts to the oddly cheerful Sadamitsu and Kintaro.
%%* {{Mooks}}, and a few {{Giant Mook}}s
* MysteriousProtector: Mansairaku
* NotWhatItLooksLike: One episode of the Tokyo Arc has Hikaru and some others mistake Tsuna and Ibaraki for fiances.
* OffModel: The art suffers in a few quick sequences, and the second half is generally of lower quality than the first.
* OnTheNextEpisodeOfCatchPhrase: "Don't miss it!"
%%* OurWerewolvesAreDifferent
%%* ParentalAbandonment
%%* PastelChalkedFreezeFrame
* PhenotypeStereotype: Ivan and his son are both blond with blue eyes, although it makes one wonder what actually drove him that far from his native Russia. Especially ''before'' the word "Siberia" was even coined...
* PillarOfLight: [[spoiler:Five of them, ColorCodedForYourConvenience, are part of Abe no Seimei's ritual to destroy Heian.]]
* PublicDomainArtifact: The magatama [[spoiler:(actually more than one in the end)]] that the group is searching for.
* RainOfArrows
* RedemptionEqualsDeath: [[spoiler:Urabe dies after explaining that she only helped Seimei out of the desire to help Heian, but that Seimei's plan will destroy it. Then in the Tokyo Arc, Mansairaku dies after helping Hikaru to prevent the destruction of Tokyo.]]
* RedEyesTakeWarning: Shuten Doji
* RedSkyTakeWarning: [[spoiler:Earthquakes in one episode of the Tokyo Arc make the earth flash red once.]]
* {{Reincarnation}}
* TheReveal: [[spoiler:What's behind Abe no Seimei's mask? Mansairaku.]] Then in the Tokyo Arc, though the audience knows it ahead of time, Hikaru's MysteriousProtector turns out to be [[spoiler:Mansairaku]]. [[spoiler:Learning that triggers her memories of her past life.]]
* RummageSaleReject: Sadamitsu in the Tokyo Arc.
* {{Samurai}}
* ShaggyDogStory: Fairly early on, [[spoiler:Hikaru and company manage to find the magatama, but by the time they bring it back, Raikou is dead. And not only that, they need ''two more'' for them to be completely useful.]]
* SnowMeansDeath: [[spoiler:In episode 26, Mansairaku finds the old man beneath the tree he's been meeting him at before. The old man has passed away, with the snow falling on him.]]
* TheSpeechless: Matsumushi is mute.
* StoryArc
* SuperStrength: Kintaro in the Heian Arc. [[spoiler:Shuten Doji has it too - [[JustifiedTrope though fittingly]] - after transforming to his giant form.]]
* SweetPollyOliver: Hikaru, of course.
* TalkingIsAFreeAction
* TimeSkip: The Tokyo Arc takes place in modern day. The final chapter of the Heian arc is followed by a whopping 1000 year timeskip.
* TimeStandsStill
* TogetherInDeath: In the Heian Arc, [[spoiler:Shuten Doji and Ibaraki die together, though there is the bump that Ibaraki killed him in order to help Hikaru's group.]]
* TokyoIsTheCenterOfTheUniverse: In the Tokyo Arc, of course. It's because [[spoiler:the events at the end of the Heian Arc led to different capitals getting destroyed through the course of history, and [[CaptainObvious Tokyo is the modern day capital]].]]
* UntranslatedTitle: Otogizoushi means, according to Wiki/ThatOtherWiki, "Companion tales".
* UrbanLegends
* WeirdnessMagnet: Hikaru quickly becomes one in the Tokyo Arc. [[spoiler:It turns out that her ''necklace'' is the actual WeirdnessMagnet.]]
* WellIntentionedExtremist: [[spoiler:Abe no Seimei wants to rid the world of suffering, but to do so, he destroys Heiankyo.]]
* WhamEpisode: Episode 12 in particular.
* WhiteMaskOfDoom: Seimei's Noh mask.
* WhoWantsToLiveForever: [[spoiler:Mansairaku laments living so long, and thanks Hikaru when she frees him from it.]]
* YouGottaHaveBlueHair: Deep red hair, actually. Mansairaku has two prominent locks of it in the Heian Arc, then in the Tokyo Arc ''all'' his hair is red. Everyone else has realistic hair colors.
** [[spoiler:This is a rather broad hint about Mansairaku's true identity and a nod to Abe no Seimei's half-human nature. According to actual Japanese folklore about him, his mother was a kitsune (a supernatural fox). Hence, the red hair.]]