y . o . t . o . d . e . n
Yotoden is the very first anime I ever watched and has remained my favorite anime through all my years of anime fandom. I often wonder why the series has stayed as obscure as it has, for it truly contains some of the most wonderful animation, art, music, story development, and characterization the world of anime has to offer. To each his/her own, I suppose. Below, you will find some basic information on the anime, manga, CDs, and drama track, as well as several valuable Yotoden links.
Yotoden: Chronicle of the Warlord Period, originally released in Japan between the years 1987 and 1988, consists of three OAV episodes--Chapter I: Break Out; Chapter II: Demonís Cry; Chapter III: Flames of Anger (Emotion). Each episode is approximately 40 minutes in duration, making a total of about two hours. In 1989, the three OAV episodes were compiled into one volume--Wrath of the Ninja: The Yotoden Movie. This compiled version is only about 90 minutes long, painfully cutting out a chuck of the great original footages in exchange for a small amount of new, but nevertheless, mediocre scenes. In addition, for North America, this compiled version was only released in its horrendously dubbed format. In conclusion, if you havenít seen the anime yet and want to, please watch the OAV episodes first; canít stress that enough. (Ironically enough, I had actually watched the movie version first, so you can imagine my ecstasy when I discovered the actual OAV episodes.) Thanks to Bishonen no Mikoís very comprehensive coverage of the series on her website, lazy people like me can just point to the link and say: ďPlease visit Sakon no Miko's Yotoden Hall for all the Yotoden essentials, including a complete synopsis of the series.Ē ^_^;
The manga was published after the anime and ran for a year in Newtype. The manga differs from the anime in some significant ways, but overall, the skeleton of the story and the main characters remain the same. I only have the first half of the manga, since the rest of it was never published in book format. ;_; If I ever manage to dig up some back issues of Newtype, I will most likely post up a translation of the manga. For now, you can find a bit more information on the manga at Sakon no Miko's Yotoden Hall. I also have some more details in the Horai-do Cave section about Sakonís flashback in the manga.
There are two Yotoden OST CDs: Break Out Chapter and Flames of Anger (Emotion) Chapter. Sonmay also released a compilation of the two CDs titled Best Collection, which comes in handy in the event that you canít find the OSTs or just want to save some money. At any rate, I would highly recommend these CDs.
The Drama Track
Contained within the second Yotoden OST-Flames of Anger (Emotion) Chapter-is a drama track titled Eternity Chapter. This drama track is 21 minutes and 18 seconds in duration. The story takes place after the end of the anime. Ayame meets a strange old man on a mountain path and gets invited to drink sakť with him. After a few cups of sakť, the conversation between the two takes a strange turn as the old man discloses his knowledge of the Legend of the Swords of Sorcery and what took place between the Shadow Warriors and Mori Ranmaru. Suddenly, the old man reveals his true intention and tries to kill the startled Ayame; however, using the power of her magical weapon, Ayame manages to defeat and dispel him. At this point, Sakonís spirit appears in front of the injured Ayame and encourages her to go on. (AwwÖ ^_^) You can find the mp3 of the entire conversation between Sakon and Ayame in the Voice section.
Bishonen no Mikoís Shrine of Bishonen: A must visit for fans of lovely anime men. Specifically, Sakon no Mikoís Yotoden Hall contains comprehensive information and a wonderful collection of Yotoden images.
Aka Tombo Yotoden Merchandise Files: Everything you ever wanted to know about Yotoden merchandise. Very useful and interesting.
Below are two very good Yotoden sites in Japanese. If you donít speak Japanese, but are patient enough to click through some links, you will be rewarded with some nice Yotoden fanarts.
Hayate no Sakon