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Manga / Flame of Recca

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Recca Hanabishi, since he was young, has always been able to produce flames from his right hand, but has almost no control over anything besides their perpetuated existence. It is only after a fateful meeting with a woman named Kagehoushi, who proceeds to try to kill his new friend Yanagi Sakoshita, that Recca seeks to improve his control over these skills and the real story begins. Meanwhile, certain malevolent parties seek to acquire Yanagi, who possesses the power to heal with a mere touch, for their own ends.

Flame of Recca (Rekka no Honoo) is a manga penned by Nobuyuki Anzai, which originally ran in Weekly Shonen Sunday from 1995 to 2002. While a lot criticized it as a Follow the Leader style manga to YuYu Hakusho, it nevertheless attained some sort of strong cult following, and they indeed came to their own identity. It received an anime adaptation in 1997 that has a very mixed reception due to only spanning to the first two arcs (Kurei Mansion arc and Ura Butou Satsujin arc) and had a Gecko Ending instead of fillers in fear of overtaking the manga. Still a very solid manga series.


Recca and friends appear in the Massive Multiplayer Crossover game, Sunday VS Magazine: Shuuketsu! Choujou Daikessen. And previously, there was a Gameboy Advance game with the same title, a traditional fighting game, and a Playstation 2 game titled Flame of Recca: Final Burning, a cutscene-based fighting game. Both of them chronicled the final SODOM arc, and Final Burning had a distinction of competently animating the final battle scene, some even saying better than the original anime.

Not to be confused with the proto-Bullet Hell video game Recca.


This series provides examples of:

  • Aborted Arc: The immortality the series' Big Bad so desperately seeks is possessed by Recca's mother, Kagerou, rather than Yanagi through her healing powers. Kurei notices this at one point, but he never winds up divulging this information to his boss and the plot point serves as nothing more than a justification as to why Kagerou is still alive.
  • Action Girl: Fuuko, every Uruha female fighter (save for perhaps Kirito).
  • Actor Allusion: The dragon-themed referee is voiced by Konami Yoshida, who in a few years before, have voiced a more major character: A magical girl with dragon guardian spirit.
  • Adaptational Badass: In Final Burning, during the final battle against Tendou Jigoku, both Tokiya and Kaoru managed to get back up and help stall Tendou Jigoku's assault against Aoi instead of staying unconscious.
  • Adaptational Wimp: Kind of downplayed in the anime: Team Kuu were still formidable fighters, but in the manga, with the exception of Saichou's Madogu Shikigami, none of the team members use any Madogu whatsoever, everything they do can be traced to mere training. In the anime, however, those abilities, from rubber band body and going berserk after three strikes on the head, came from Madogu.
  • Aloof Big Brother: Kurei
  • Amazon Brigade: Neon's Uruha Oto
  • Art Evolution: The original art work for the series was very bland and crude, but by the end of the series, the characters and background were very visually appealing.
  • Badass Adorable: Kaoru, oh so very much. Ganko.
  • Badass Normal: Domon initially
  • Battle Butler: Raiha, Neon, Jishou, most loyal of Kurei's followers, act kind of like this
  • Bishōnen: Tokiya and Raiha.
  • Bittersweet Ending: In the manga, Kurei decides to go back in time forever. Guess who follows him? Kaoru. Leaving the rest of the Team Hokage behind, for the sake of Kurei.
  • Blessed with Suck: One of the final twists in the manga version: Kurei was the rightful heir as the Hokage leader because his flames have an animal aspect, The Phoenix. But we know how his life turned out to be, so...
  • Blood Knight: Setsuna, who doesn't care about anything other than killing and has threatened to kill Recca if he were too weak on more than one occasion.
  • Bloody Murder: When desperate, Tokiya can use his own blood to power his sword. And Hiruko has a Blood-manipulating Madogu.
  • Boobs of Steel: Neon, the strongest woman of Uruha (at least during Kurei's reign)
  • Broken Pedestal: Meguri Kyouza, Tokiya's sensei, thought to be the killer of his sister... but it doesn't seem to be that way actually.
  • Bumbling Dad: Ouka AKA Resshin, although the anime condensing the plot means that Ouka is portrayed as a normal stoic dad, instead of being prone of silliness. Also Recca's adoptive father Shigeo.
  • Cain and Abel: Recca and Kurei.
  • The Chosen One: Subverted: Recca was actually the cursed heir, while Kurei was innocent.
    • Double Subverted in that Recca's status as the cursed heir was a Prophecy Twist. He was destined to end the clan, but not through ruination: He was the one who would finish their duty by defeating a great evil and eliminating the necessity for the clan's existence.
  • Cloning Blues: Renge, clone of Kurei. Also Aoi.
  • Clothing Damage:
    • Fuuko. A lot. This is also how Domon accidentally defeats Kirin when she has a temporary wardrobe malfunction.
    • Neon. Talk about utterly shameless fanservice.
  • Creepy Crossdresser: Aoi. Recca confirms this first before proceeding to kick his ass.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Nearly any with Kurei after the tournament.
    • From earlier:
      Hanabishi Recca vs. Nagai Mokuren: Fight lasted 0 Minutes 1 Second; Recca wins.
    • On the bad guys' side, during the Sealed Lands arc, right after beating Mokuren and Mikoto and taking a few damage, Tokiya gets immediately confronted by one of the Shishitens, Aoi, and not only the Shishiten are of a higher rank than Mokuren and Mikoto combined, Aoi's Madogu directly counters Tokiya's fighting style. In one swift panel, Tokiya is down on his own blood.
  • Cursed with Awesome: The other half of the last twist in the manga: Recca finds out from Ouka that if somehow he fails to keep his promise to Yanagi, he'll turn into the 9th Flame Dragon with NO SPECIAL ABILITIES WHATSOEVER since his flames don't have an animal aspect and he is, in fact, the cursed flame wielder.
  • Cute Little Fangs: Kaoru.
  • Daddy's Little Villain: Renge thinks she's this to the Big Bad, but in actuality, he kept her around just so he could devour her to be immune to Kurei and Recca's flames.
  • Damsel in Distress: Yanagi IN SPADES. Compassion and Healing Hands aren't that useful in repelling captors. Although it does work against an Attempted Rape by Mori, but only because her powers are the stark opposite of his. May also count as foreshadowing, since this is also how Tendou Jigoku is defeated in the end.
  • Dead All Along: Noroi. He's also The Virus.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Tokiya often plays this part
  • Defeat by Modesty: Kirin, who despite her Stripperific dressing style is actually very self-conscious about her body, so when she accidentally exposes herself to Domon she's treated to an unstoppable barrage of perverted thoughts from him, to the point where she has to turn her mind-reading madogu off.
  • Defrosting Ice Prince: Tokiya, and to a lesser extent Rasen after finding out he never lost his emotions in the first place.
  • Demon King Nobunaga: Subverted. When Nobunaga was first mentioned, he was described as a demon-like warlord that if he gets his hands on the Madogu, the world would be doomed, and thus Ouka decided to have the clan commit a Heroic Sacrifice of fighting the Oda troops without Madogu, dooming them in process. In the manga, Kurei came back in time to kill Nobunaga right in the middle of Honnoji. Nobunaga is not a demon, but more of a normal ruthless warlord for its time (and wasn't as vile as the warlord that caused Ouka his greatest failure), accepts that Kurei's desire for vengeance against him is an inevitability, and allows him to take vengeance.
  • Determinator: Recca most prominently, but the rest of Team Hokage just don't seem to know when to quit and quite a few of their opponents seem to be Made of Iron as well.
  • Distressed Dude: Mikagami, although he's also an efficient fighter if he's not so unlucky. See Good Is Dumb entry.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: In the anime, Kurei and Mori Kouran die in a car crash. However, it's somewhat implied that Kurei may have survived.
  • Dub Name Change: In the Filipino dub:
    • Yanagi Sakoshita - Anna Yanagi
    • Domon Ishijima - Max Domon
    • Kagerou / Kage Hoshi - Emma Kagehoshi
    • Fuuko Kirasawa - Aira Kirasawa (odd in that Aira is also a valid Japanese name)
    • Tokiya Mikagami - Dylan Mikagami
    • Kaoru Koganei - Lorkhan
    • Kouran Mori - Augustus Mori
    • Nagai Mokuren - Gideon
  • The Dulcinea Effect: Recca to Yanagi. He doesn't know her well before the series begins and yet he's willing to fight other super powered people to protect her. Though he does have his reasons, see Lady and Knight.
  • Dumb Is Good: Most of Domon's victories are credited due to his dumb luck. So if you start out dumb, you're good. If you don't start out dumb, however... look at what happened to Mikagami.
  • Elemental Powers: All of the Magodu have domain over a particular "element", though the definition of "element" can be quite loose:
  • Enemy Mine: An epic one in the final story arc. Against the Tendou Jigoku and Mori Kouran, the Hokage and their opponents-turned-allies friends put aside the differences with the Uruha and work together to ensure Mori is down for good.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Kurei loves his moms, past and present. Justified for the second part when all you have is a horrible father
  • Evil Plan: Big Bad Mori Kouran wants to capture Yanagi because he thinks her Healing powers will make him immortal. Recca gets involved because she's his princess and he has to protect her.
  • Expy:
    • Recca Hanabishi, a Delinquent high school boy, Jerk with a Heart of Gold with tendencies to fight off and has innate power of flames... Minus the ninja obsession, he could pass up similarly to Kyo Kusanagi. Furthermore, he also had a tenacious rival who had similar connections with him and had purple colored flames instead, which makes Kurei the equivalent to Iori Yagami (just less obsessed with the rivalry).
    • The connections between Joker and Nanashi from MÄR, another series by the same author has caused a lot of people to speculate that they are the same people.
    • A straighter example with Joker also resembles Pandora from MIXIM.
  • Faux Action Girl: More Played for Drama, not as a cause of ridicule. As revealed in the manga, Meguri Kyouza planned to inherit the Hyoumon Ken style right into Tokiya despite him being too young. Mifuyuu intervened and offered herself as the next inheritor of Hyoumon Ken, bearing the name Meguri Kyouza, so Tokiya didn't have to. She was noted to be an exceptional swordswoman and a fast learner. When Mori's assassins attacked, Mifuyuu had the idea to use Ensui and utilize her Hyoumon Ken to drive them away, but she had to cover for Tokiya and got murdered before she could showcase the result of her training on screen.
  • Flipping the Bird: The manga engages in this quite a lot, especially at the finals of Ura Butou Satsujin:
    • When Mikoto accuses Recca of running away like a coward when his Flame Dragons got taken away by Kokuu, Fuuko and Domon flip their birds while saying he's just gone to the toilet.
    • Recca flips the bird at Kurei when Kurei gives Recca the option to surrender rather than fight. This causes a bit of a crisis for Joker when the extremely innocent and sheltered Meno asks him what the gesture means.
      Joker (thinking): How am I supposed to explain F**K to someone like Meno? Recca, I hate you.
  • Gag Boobs: Yanagi's apparent lack of big boobs (or maybe she's just outclassed by the rest of the ladies) has been the subject of various jokes.
  • Gambit Roulette: The entire Ura Batou Satsujin was a ploy to get Kurei killed. Should that fail however, Team Hokage's loss would mean that he gets Yanagi to further his goals. Ultimately fails on both goals, but he had a backup plan all along.
  • Gecko Ending: The anime ends after the tournament, and changes the final battle so that Recca and Kurei have to team up against a clone of Kurei that uses green flames (oddly not using Renge, despite her already appearing), and then Kurei gets run over by a car driven by Mori Kouran which proceeds to blow up. However, it's implied that Kurei might have survived the crash and still has it in for Recca; since he's surived arguably worse situations in the past.
  • Good Is Dumb: Apparently, once Tokiya starts to let go of his cruel ways, he becomes subject of getting caught. TWICE. So much for being the cruelest.
    • Although his loss in the Sealed Lands was the result of being almost completely outclassed and/or ambushed by Aoinote .
  • Healing Hands: Yanagi's power.
  • Highly Visible Ninja: Double subverted by Recca, as during his first mission, he dresses as a traditional ninja. However after that, he wears normal every day clothes. Same with the rest of Team Hokage.
    • Recca is so highly visible that he sets off fireworks to announce his presence before laying siege to the enemy headquarters. His allies are Not Amused.
    • In the anime, Kurei also wears a cloak of a rather bright shade of red.
  • How Do I Shot Web?: Cruelly subverted when Recca's dragons get stolen at one point and Setsuna, who barely tolerates fighting alongside Recca, does NOT want to take orders from anyone else and fries the thief.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: Domon expresses these feelings in the final arc.
  • Identical Grandson: Sort of, Recca's adopted father looks a lot like his biological father from the past; also Yanagi is more or less implied to be the reincarnation of a similar princess Recca's father once failed to protect.
  • Idiot Ball: Mikagami was always played out to be a genius and then there's that moment when he was tricked by Marie into drinking from a drugged cup. Not even the faintest suspicion of how she offered the SAME cup!
  • Immortality Seeker: Big Bad Mori Kouran as well as Kaima, in order to fulfill their own lusts: money, possession (Kouran), and murder (Kaima).
  • Lady and Knight: Technically Recca is a (self-proclaimed) ninja but otherwise fulfills the role of the White Knight by pledging his loyalty and service to Yanagi, who in turn, is a Bright Lady by her compassion. She uses Healing Hands to help others but needs Recca to keep her safe.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: First done by Kagehoshi's reveal as Recca's mother. Subsequently, Recca's father is Oka, aka the Flame Dragon Resshin.
  • Madness Mantra:
    • Chapter 193 of the manga has TITS TITS TITS TITS TITS TITS TITS TITS TITS TITS TITS TITS TITS TITS TITS TITS. It Makes Sense in Context, really. Probably the most awesome mantra ever.
    • Renge thinks "GONNA DIE GONNA DIE GONNA DIE" when she witnesses, and then realizes, just how much more powerful Kurei is compared to her.
    • Aoi has one in "FAILURE FAILURE FAILURE FAILURE FAILURE FAILURE" due to her inability to create flame.
  • The Magic Goes Away: In the manga ending, because Recca managed to protect the one dear to him (Yanagi), thereby averting the curse of the Flame Dragons, everything Hokage related will vanish, including all Madogu, Kagero's immortality, and the flame spirits (Yanagi still made it back, sorta). This is also why Kurei is capable of opening one last time portal to assassinate Oda Nobunaga and will not be suffering immortality.
  • Mask Power: Kurei, and the mask hides a horrible scar. Same thing goes to Noroi.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • Fuuko means "wind child", appropriate given her madogu, and she lampshades this at one point)
    • This extends to everybody in Team Hokage. Recca is "Fierce Fire", Domon is "Earth Gate" (and his last name has the character for "rock/stone" in it), Tokiya's name has the character for "frozen" in it (and his last name has the character for "water"), Kaoru's last name has the character for "gold/metal" in it, Kagehoshi has the character for "shadow"
    • Some of the villains get in on the act, too, like Mokuren (Wooden Lotus), the guy with plant-based powers.
  • Moses in the Bulrushes: Two, in a variation involving time travel.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Fuuko's clothes have a tendency to... explode.
  • Murderous Mannequin: Ganko, Mikoto to a greater extent
  • Musical Assassin: Neon's Fukyou Waon is a flute, but after Tokiya destroys it, she goes Dual Wielding.
  • My Greatest Failure: Pretty much the catalyst of being turned into a Flame Dragon, if a Hokage flame wielder die with regret unfulfilled, they're cursed to become a Flame Dragon that inhabited the next wielder. All Dragons have one, but we only see two of them: Kokuu for creating Madogu and leading his rival Kaima into the path of evil; and Ouka for failing to protect Princess Sakura, Yanagi's ancestor. Ouka urges Recca to defy the trope by successfully protecting Yanagi, and in the end of the manga, he succeeded.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Kukai does this to Recca when the latter awakens his Superpowered Evil Side.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Raiha and Joker, two Enigmatic Minions.
  • Odd Couple: Kirin and Rasen.
  • One-Man Army: Raiha's Uruha Rai consists no one but HIMSELF. He also manages to defeat all of his opponents in the Ura Butou Satsujin aside from Uruha Kurenai. He also busts into the Sealed Land and SODOM in order to save Fuuko and aid Kurei.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Fuuko to Recca
  • Panty Shot: A few by Fuuko in her school uniform near the beginning of the anime, especially during one fight scene. But it all ends after she changes her outfit for the rest of the series, trading in the skirt for short shorts.
  • Paper Master: Saicho from the Kuu.
  • Pointless Band-Aid: Recca's. Or is it?
  • Quirky Miniboss Squad: Several
  • Revenge: Tokiya's purpose of life, until he later discards it.
  • Say My Name: Combatants often call each other out during battle, and allies offer support; at the end of the series, Yanagi requests this of Recca, since he'd called her "princess" throughout the entire series.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!:
    • Kurei starts giving a speech on how Recca and Yanagi will never see each other again once Kurei crushes him, and, well...
      Kurei: "Even I have this much generosity. That is to say—
      Recca: "Shut the fuck up, Bitch." *Flips him off* "Here's my answer."
    • Recca got a bigger one near the end of the fight and it is a Moment of Awesome.
  • The Stoic: One of Recca's opponents in particular claims to have no emotions. It is eventually revealed that he had been suppressing them after he accidentally erased his mother's existence with his madogu and his stoicism breaks after his battle against Kagehoshi.
  • Swiss Army Weapon: Kaoru's madogu.
  • Technicolor Fire: Kurei's blue flames
  • Title Drop: When Yanagi is turned into Recca's flame spirit, they say she's "the flame of Recca."
  • That's Gotta Hurt: Really, pick any moment where Recca gets beaten down and seemingly defeated. The tenacious little bastard somehow gets up every time, mostly for Yanagi's sake.
  • Token Evil Dragon: Setsuna. The rest of the dragons are amiable enough, but Setsuna is a completely sociopathic, unpleasant, murderous bastard, along with a bloody evil backstory to hammer the point home.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Domon rose up from being the team's weakest member to possibly one of the more overpowered character ever; the rest of Team Hokage also upgrade themselves several times throughout the series.
  • Tournament Arc: Played straight, then subverted in the end when Recca outright refuses to join an exhibition tournament.
  • Ultimate Blacksmith: The Hokage clan had two ultimate blacksmiths, Kokuu, who believed that weapons should only be used defensively, and Kaima, who believed that weapons were made to kill. Their creations reflect their opposing philosophies.
  • Vengeance Feels Empty: The whole character arc of Mikagami Tokiya. He starts out as a cold, distant jerk dedicated for only one thing: vengeance for his dead big sister. It's not until he found his not-so Evil Counterpart, Kai, who is bent on vengeance against how he's always considered second-fiddle by Tokiya's master, that his vision on vengeance-driven life starts to shake and eventually be destroyed: Kai dedicated himself so much in his vengeance with Mikagami that even after he actually won against Tokiya (since Tokiya is a Glass Cannon), he felt so empty that the only path he saw is to be Driven to Suicide. However, he gave a stern warning for Tokiya to not follow his path, and to go with it, one more Awful Truth, putting Tokiya's shattered resolve in trial: The murderer of his sister is his master. It's not until the final arc that he confronted his master to find out that it's his grandpa, and he just took credit of the murder because he felt guilty of unable to protect said sister from being murdered protecting Tokiya and wanted to atone by having Tokiya kill him. As a result of 'melding' with the Hokage, infected with their optimism and discarding the majority of his cruel ways (even at cost of becoming a Distressed Dude several times), Tokiya took the lessons at heart and refused to take vengeance, and once the story is over, he's changed into a warmer man.
  • Weapon Wields You: Weapons created by the bloodthristy Kaima are hard to control at best, and can tend to have their own minds.
  • What If?: Final Burning has this in play, in which the player can modify the outcome of certain events without greatly affecting the plot:
    • If Fuuko grabbed the cut bridge by Kirito quick enough, she would instead be the first to witness her secret having an age-manipulating Madogu and then fought her monster first before Koganei, instead of falling and rendered unconscious requiring Raiha to protect her.
    • Tokiya can simply state he's not thirsty against Marie, resulting him not get drugged and having to fight Poochy on his own. Alternatively, Domon can get too hasty in accepting Marie's offer, resulting him getting drugged and trapped along with Tokiya (he wouldn't drink on the undrugged spot unless Marie drank first), resulting Recca solely defeating Poochy and equally giving a friendly mock to Domon in addition to Tokiya after the battle concluded.
  • Who Wants to Live Forever?: Kagehoshi is immortal... and doesn't like it.