Shurato Hidaka is a young martial arts champion about to compete for the title of Grand Champion of the Junior Tournament in Japan. Against him, his childhood best friend, Gai Kuroki who is also his greatest rival. As the final match is about to commence, a beam of light teleports them to an alternate reality known as Tenkuukai
("Heavenly World") where both discover they are the reincarnations of ancient spirits that are to protect the goddess Vishnu, along with her personal guard.
Shurato later dons a shakti
, a holy armour with a lion-motif that he owns as the King Lion Shurato (Shura-Oh Shurato
). However, Gai makes a quick Face-Heel Turn
and goes serving the Asurah leader Indra who had the goddess petrified and framed Shurato and his fellow guardian Hyuga for the deed. Shurato has a hard time confronting Gai since his new persona is completely different from the man he used to know
. From now on, Shurato will have to accomplish his destiny and prove his innocence as well as free Visnu from her stone prison, with the help of the three only guards who believe in his innocence (Hyuga, Ryoma and Reiga) and Lakshu, a spirit priestess who falls in love with him.
This little known anime, also known as Legend of Heavenly Sphere Shurato
, was released in 1989 along with the manga of the same name. Due to the character design and the fact that the characters use a full body armour very similar to those of Saint Seiya
, the comparison was quickly made and the show was often accused of being a knock-off of the latter
. Shurato is still notable to this day for being the only Anime
to date to rely entirely on Hindu mythology instead of Japanese and Chinese myths.
- Action-Hogging Opening: The opening of Record of Lodoss War: The opening was packed with action, and featured an absolutely gorgeous, detailed and fluid animation, considerably better than that one used in the series.
- Agent Peacock: Reiga, to the point that Shurato calls him "okama" when he's mad at him.
- Alas, Poor Villain: The three "bad" Hachibushu (Dan, Kuya, Renge), since neither of them is oh so evil. They're all Anti Villains who genuinely believe they're trying to punish those who are to blame for Vishnu's condition.
- Surprisingly, Indra gets one of these too.
- Ambiguously Brown: Dan.
- Animal Motifs: For most of the armoured fighters.
- Shurato - Lion
- Gai - Wolf
- Reiga - Phoenix
- Hyuuga - Tiger
- Ryoma - Dragon
- Dan - Rhinoceros
- Renge - Unicorn
- Kuuya - Water Buffalo
- Akaranata - Bat
- Trylo - Wyvern
- Kundalini - Snake
- Back from the Dead: After their defeat, the rogue guardians are resurrected by Vishnu herself.
- Barrier Maiden: Lakshu, unbeknownst to everyone.
- Big Bad: Indra
- Bigger Bad: Shiva
- Brainwashed and Crazy: Gai. Indra, apparently.
- Broken Bird: Renge. And her sister Sati And Mina, in the OVA.
- Co-Dragons - The Rogue Guardians Hiba-Oh KŻya, Nara-Oh Renge and Hiba-Oh Dan.
- Dark Action Girl: Renge and Trylo.
- Distressed Damsel: Lakshu in rare occasions.
- Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors
- Evil Chancellor: Indra.
- Five-Man Band
- Follow the Leader: The whole series is very similar to Saint Seiya in many parts, especially the armours and the characters.
- The Heart: Lakshu
- The High Queen: Vishnu. Lakshu is supposed to become this, as Vishnu's successor.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Dan.
- Human Popsicle: What eventually happens to Renge.
- I Know You Are In There Somewhere Fight: Attempted more than once by Shurato, who stubbornly believes Gai can be saved. Never really works, but he keeps trying despite the warnings of the others. Until almost the end... and it's still not enough to save his life.
- I Sense a Disturbance in the Force: All characters have Sohma which is a spiritual energy that can be sensed from a distance.
- Ill Boy: Marici
- Love Hurts: Renge is Indra's Love Martyr, and she suffers a lot for it. Hyuga has a crush on her alongside his Ho Yay with Ryoma, and he's not happy to face her either. The local Ill Boy Marici is Renge's Unluckychildhood Friend. O U C H.
- Names to Know in Anime: Most of the voice-acting cast is made of well-known artists such as Toshihiko Seki (Shurato), Kazuhiko Inoue (Reiga), Megumi Hayashibara (Renge), Koichi Yamadera (Ryoma) etc...
- Only Child Syndrome: Averted for most of the cast. Almost everyone has brothers and sisters: Shurato himself has a little sister named Yumiko and Gai has an older sister named Mina.
- Raised by Grandparents: Shurato and Yumiko's grandfather helps their mom, Kiriko, to raise them.
- The Quest: For Shurato and Co., save Vishnu and clear Shurato's name.
- The Quiet One: Kuya.
- Sim Sim Salabim: Averted. Despite its evident Hindu motif, the series avoids using stereotypes linked to Indian people.
- Terrible Trio - The Wild Beasts
- Trapped in Another World: In the Tenkukai.
- Undying Loyalty: A big problem for Renge and Dan. Renge feels this towards Indra, who saved her life and trained her; on the other hand, Dan has it for Vishnu, who treated him kindly. Indra obviously uses this to make them join him.
- Also to Hyuuga, who struggles at first with his beliefs and what he should do. He chooses believing in Vishnu and Shurato, so Indra becomes his Broken Pedestal.
- Unwitting Pawn: The rogue guards Renge, Dan and KŻya to Indra.
- Woman in Black: Shiva
- Woman in White: Vishnu