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  • Alternate Character Interpretation: Is Dakki's ploy to steal Jyoka's body and merge with the planet a way for her to achieve the ultimate power or is it a Heroic Sacrifice made for the sake of the world? Was it a combination of the two? Did she act so horribly because she was naturally evil, or because she was following Jyoka's commands to bring down the Yin dynasty so that history conformed to what she wanted?
  • Americans Hate Tingle: The original series became very unsuccessful in Brazil mostly because of its dub, that was done in United States with an amateur cast of immigrants who hadn't too much experience with voice acting at the time.
  • Angst? What Angst?: Taikoubou rarely angsts seriously or for very long. Lampshaded by Ki Hatsu, who resents not being allowed enough time to mourn the passing of his father.
  • Awesome Music:
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    • The 1999 version main theme. It's a bit calm and soothing to the point you remember some good nostalgia with the song but it also has the energy and passion to the point you're wanted to do some adventure. It helps that the singer, Chihiro Yonekura (of Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team fame) is also known for her captivating voice.
    • The 2018 version main theme wasn't that bad either, given the one who sang it is Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and it's a pretty nice and energetic song if you get past the typical grunges from the band.
  • Broken Base: Hakyu Hoshin Engi. While this anime aims to follow the manga unlike the previous series, it has one of the most rushed pacings ever, considering the studio aims to adapt the manga's 23 volumes in only 23 episodes. Although initially ecstatic at the long-awaited remake, the fans' enthusiasm cooled down within the first four or five episodes, and they began to complain about the downright ridiculous amount of material that has been skipped, the mediocre animation and character models and even the music.
  • Complete Monster:
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    • Ryogaku is an assassin that was sent by Chou Komei in order to stop Taikobo and the Zhou Empire from revolting. To this end, he injects the heroes and Dakki's father, So Go, with a virus in order to make them surrender and fight each other, hiding the cure. By their next fight, he took one of the heroes mother as a hostage inside a monster's belly in order to prevent attacks. The monster is actually his son, Bagen, who he made into a mindless monster under a false pretense that Bagen would be made stronger.
    • 1999 anime: So Dakki lacks any redeeming qualities of her original manga counterpart. Taking over the kingdom of Yin, Dakki enthralls King Chuo to her, having the people starved and worked to death while she happily kills those she deems "traitors", including slaughtering civilians en masse. Dakki has one minister imprisoned for opposing her and later murders his eldest son, before cooking him into steak and feeding him to his father. In another incident, Dakki manipulates the disgrace and suicide of the king's lawful wife before attempting to purge his family. Finally, Dakki mutates King Chuo into a monster, having him massacre the people of Yin for a laugh and attempts to torture his most loyal retainer to death in their fight, caring for nothing but her sadistic whims.
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    • 2018 anime & manga: Jyoka, the Signpost of History and one of the original inhabitants of the world, is an ancient being manipulating all the misfortunes of the planet. After losing their homeworld, the alien beings traveled to earth where Jyoka became obsessed with human evolution, manipulating history before exterminating all life when it failed to conform to her wishes. Despite being sealed away by her fellows for her evil, Jyoka reaches out and guides more and more death and destruction, even empowering the wicked Dakki to bring the Yin empire to ruin and kill countless innocents before attempting to exterminate all life and start the cycle anew.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Chokomei is so over the top, he could not be more noticeable.
    • Judging by the amount of fanart dedicated to her, Kinkouseiba also counts.
    • Ryukitsu Koushu enjoys a great deal of dedication from the fans as well.
    • For a character who only appears in a few scenes, Kashi continues to feature in fanart, even twenty years after the manga ended.
    • Shuushi has a surprising number of fans as well.
  • Evil Is Sexy: Dakki, in both the remake and manga version. Her fashion choices sometimes feature a skimpy costume (her original anime version dressed more modestly) and her alluring, easygoing attitude could attract some people. However, deep down inside, she is a sadistic monster who manipulates King Chuou and enjoys the suffering of other people.
  • Fridge Horror: Although played for comedy, the talking sword can feel pain. Think about it.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: This tied with Dragon Ball was popular for making an alternate portrayal of a pre-existing Chinese mythological figure with their name converted into a Japanese reading from Chinese with the exact same ways of writing it; speed up to two specific characters' debuts in the Warriors Orochi series, and what happens when you hear their names (Sun Wukong and Taigong Wang) in Japanese on'yomi?
  • Magnificent Bastard:
    • Though spending much of his time observing the major events, Shinkohyou proves himself to be one of the strongest and most compelling rivals of Taikoubou. Defeating Taikoubou for mocking his fashion sense, Shinkohyou leaves his Worthy Opponent ecstatic at facing challenging combat. Trying to stop the crown prince of the Yin Empire from fleeing, Shinkohyou gives him and his brother a Motive Rant so enlightening that they betray Taikoubou. Though seemingly villainous for much of the story, Shinkohyou is truthfully a neutral Trickster who switches sides based on which he finds more entertaining.
    • Chou Koumei is one of the strongest Kingo Island Sennin under Youkai Tsuten Kyoshu and the instigator behind a battle between the aforementioned and Kongrong Mountain to test his super paopei, destroying the relationship between the two groups. Teaming up with Dakki, Chou Koumei puts a series of maneuvers in play to stop the Zhou Empire from revolting against Choka. Kidnapping Taikoubou's companions to get him to fight, Chou Koumei takes advantage of the former fleeing from combat to turn his spirit beast into stone, forcing him to confront him. After seemingly defeating Taikoubou, Chou Koumei attempts to change the story by making another manga to replace it and when Taikoubou is resurrected, Chou Koumei turns himself into a plant and tries to drain the Earth of its nutrients. Even when finally defeated, Chou Koumei remains cordial, proving himself to be one of the most respectful and interesting opponents of the series.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Dakki in the anime crosses it when she turns Zhou into a monster and has him kill the entire population of Yin For the Evulz
  • Nightmare Fuel: Dakki and Kibi making Hakuyūkō into hamburgers (in cooking show format, no less) and then feeding him to his own father. This becomes a plot point when Ki Shou eventually dies of malnourishment after he refuses to eat anything after that incident. To make this worse, the last shot we see of the confrontation between Dakki and Hakuyuukou is her standing before him holding a knife. In the novel, Hakuyuukou dies a slow, agonizing death by receiving a thousand cuts.
    • Also a shot of her eating the flesh of corpses of the snake pit victims, looking like she was in ecstasy.
    • Dakki's torture devices, such as the Houraku.
    • Bagen the human paopei's appearance will give you nightmares.
    • Zhou's enhanced appearance, unlike the manga where it was a rock gorilla, is a demonic looking monster.
    • Jyoka has been shaping the world according to her wishes and mercilessly destroying it every time something goes in a slightly different direction. And she has been doing it for millions of years.
    • The last line of the manga manages to switch the horror to our side by implying that the real world outside the manga is still under the influence of the signpost.
  • Tear Jerker: Despite being a light hearted story with plenty of comedy, the entire second half of Houshin Engi fits this trope.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: Some fans were not pleased with the direction taken by Fujisaki's art in the 2018 Houshin Engi sequel, feeling that he lost his distinctive style.
  • What an Idiot!: Kishou gives his youngest son Raishinshi to a sennin who shows up from nowhere and of whom he knows nothing about. The aforementioned sennin proves to be an abusive Mad Scientist who puts young Raishinshi through hell and practically imprisons him in the floating sennin world, cutting off any means of escape or contact with his family and ultimately feeds him a fruit which changes his biological makeup, causing him to grow fangs and wings. Raishinshi escapes (turns out that making a kid who hates you more powerful than you is a bad idea), but is so ashamed of his new body that he feels he cannot return home like that.
    • So Go, the real Dakki's father, leaves his rather plain daughter with the "palace beauticians" (Kijin and Kibi in disguise). After the fox sennyo possesses So Dakki's body, the girl becomes completely unrecognizable. So Go marvels at the transformation, but ends up actually believing that a woman who looks and acts absolutely nothing like So Dakki (even her voice is different) is in fact his daughter.
  • Too Cool to Live: Bunchu, Hiko, most of the 12 Elite Sennin, Tsuten Kyoshu, Hakuyuko, Cho Komei, Tenka and Ki Sho, basically anyone who overshadows Taikobou as a hero.
  • The Woobie: Ki Shou is one of the four rulers that pledge their loyalty towards the Emperor of Yin, King Chuo. However, after discovering the decadence and depravity committed by King Chuo and his current wife, Dakki, he was taken as a captive for 7 years. When one of his son, Hakuyuuko, tries to save him from the Yin Empire's clutches which resulted in Hakuyuuko getting brutally executed by Dakki and his flesh was made into hamburgers, Ki Shou was forced by Dakki to eat said hamburgers which resulted in him seriously traumatized that he has serious trouble ingesting food afterward and eventually dies in his older years.

Alternative Title(s): Houshin Engi

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