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Anime / Onmyou Taisenki

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"Those who made contracts with the Shikigami and set forth into battle... Were called Toujinshi."

Onmyou Taisenki (The Chronicles of the Great Yin-Yang War) is a 52 episode anime series from 2004, directed by Masakazu Hishida and produced by Studio Sunrise. It is loosely based on the manga series of the same name, set years in the future with new protagonists.

The story follows Riku Tachibana, a shy and kindhearted 12 year old boy who lives in a shrine with his adoptive grandfather. Riku has few friends and has often been bullied due to making strange hand gestures during class, that his grandfather taught him.

Riku makes friends with a mysterious boy, and is convinced to let him visit the shrine after school. After the boy is blocked from entering by a magic barrier, he attacks Riku's grandfather using a device called a "Drive" to summon "Shikigami" or ritual gods which make contracts with humans to fight with them.

Attempting to protect his grandfather, Riku picks up the Drive located in the shrine with them and makes a contract with Kogenta, a white tiger with a hot-blooded passion for fighting. Now that he has made a contract, Riku is a Toujinshi, and is swept up in a war between the Heaven and Earth Toujinshi.

This show provides examples of:

  • Abusive Parents: When he's barely older than a toddler, Riku's father tries to force him to form a contract with a Shikigami and to fight in wars for the sake of everyone in his village.
  • All of the Other Reindeer: Riku is picked on by other kids at his school for always making strange hand gestures resembling those done to pray at a shrine.
  • All or Nothing: If Riku or any of the other Toujinshi are defeated in a match, they will be separated from their Shikigami, forget all their memories with them and never be able to be a Toujinshi again.
  • Amnesiac Hero: After Riku's mother sends him a thousand years into the future to save him from being forced to become a Toujinshi, he forgets all memories of his parents and what Toujinshi are.
  • Apologizes a Lot: Early on in the series, Riku's shy and pacifist nature often cause him to apologize a lot, even during fights.
  • Childhood Home Rediscovery: Subverted. After Riku remembers that his parents actually died over a thousand years ago, and his mother used a portal to send him to the future, his friends and fellow Toujinshi offer to help him use the same portal to visit his home again. However, after Kogenta's friendship made him realize that they were abusing him, he declines the offer and states that this current time period is his real home.
  • Children Are Innocent: Riku's innocence leads him into making several unsavory friends, and lands his grandfather in the hospital after exhausting his magic power to try and protect him from them.
  • Domestic Abuse: When Riku's father catches his mother trying to send Riku a thousand years into the future he shoves her to the ground and begins attempting to make Riku use his Drive.
  • Happily Adopted: Riku lives alone at a shrine with his adoptive grandfather far away from town. He seems happy where he is though, and his grandfather is shown to be very caring, and patient.
  • Luminescent Blush: Riku does this to Kogenta several times over the course of the series when thanking him for his help. Eventually Kogenta returns the blush as well.
  • Parental Abandonment: Riku lives alone with his adoptive grandfather, and tells other kids that his parents are no longer around. It's later revealed that he was actually born over a thousand years in the past, and his mother sent him to the future after his father attempted to force him to fight wars with a Shikigami, due to his being a descendant of the originator.
  • Reluctant Warrior: Riku only signs a contract with Kogenta because he wants to save his grandfather from the Shikigami attacking them. During the rest of the series, he often tries to come to peaceful resolutions. Kogenta on the other hand...
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Riku and Kogenta.
  • Supporting Harem: Riku's childhood friend Momo, and their cat loving classmate Rina who gets lovestruck whenever she sees Kogenta.
  • Talking Animal: Kogenta, and many other Shikigami in the series are anthropomorphic animals capable of talking to their Toujinshi, as well as others.