Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
Cit utawarerumono - Eruruu-Aruruu-Hakuoro fire.jpg

"The Utawarerumono. The One of Whom Legends Are Sung."

In a World in which everyone is a Little Bit Beastly, a strange man wearing an even stranger irremovable mask is found in the forest near a village after a great earthquake. Suffering from serious injuries and having no memory of who he is, he is found and nursed back to health by the local herbalist and her granddaughter. As he recovers his strength, he becomes accustomed to the peaceful farming village and the odd animal traits of its inhabitants, but soon those peaceful days are shattered by violence, and this man, given the name Hakuoro, finds himself inevitably drawn into the center of one conflict after another...

Based on the Visual Novel / Strategy RPG by Leaf, translated by Mirrormoon. Licensed by ADV.

A sequel, Utawarerumono: Itsuwari no Kamen, was released in 2015.

Select characters appear in the Examu fighting game, Aquapazza

Tropes used in Utawarerumono include:
  • Abdicate the Throne - The Oruyankuru in favor of his daughter.
  • Adipose Rex - Sasante and Inkara, the first two major villains of the series, are fat, hedonistic and ultimately incompetent.
  • Amnesiac God
  • Annoying Arrows - Arrows are not effective against major characters. Archers can kill somebody with one hit, but only random Mooks and villagers. They don't even try shooting at major villains.
  • Ax Crazy - Hauenkua drives a giant mecha and giggles psychotically while squishing innocent people with it. He encourages invading countries just for more opportunities to use said mecha (can't blame him there) and pouts like a little kid if he can't. And yet he's still one of the most influential court advisors.
  • Badass - Karura is all badass. Benawi, Genjimaru and Touka also have their moments.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For / Deal with the Devil - Witsarnemitea loves to grant 'wishes', particularly in the mysterious backstory. For instance: DO YOU WANT A STRONGER BODY? DO YOU WANT TO LIVE FOREVER? ENJOY BEING TURNED INTO A RED JELLY, ASSHOLE. DO YOU WANT TO LEARN MORE ABOUT ME, PHILOSOPHER? HOW ABOUT I TAKE COMPLETE CONTROL OVER YOUR BODY FOR THE REST OF ETERNITY. LOL. Sometimes you have to swear your entire being away in a contract in order to get help, though.
    • In the case of the red jelly, he wasn't "granting" the wish so much as punishing the guy in a rather ironic manner. Said asshole did deserve it too, what with killing his wife.
      • Killing the wife is a nice way of saying they dissected a pregnant woman for no reason, and to no end, and are quick to dismiss any emotional ties by being very offhand about replacing her.
    • His nice side is a little better about this, never actually doing anything about the single wish he grants. In fact, he dismisses his claim later. Plus he helped Aruru out again for free.
      • One could also see that scene as not him actually demanding Aruru to give herself up to him to save her sister but rather determining how much devotion she truly had, and rewarding her for being willing to give herself up. It could be taken as closer to asking whether she'd be willing to do an Heroic Sacrifice and giving her the benefits of that willingness. It fits better with the whole theme of the show from the nice side
  • BFS - Too strong to wield an ordinary sword without breaking it, Karura demands a custom sword be made that is unbendable, unbreakable, and without need for sharpening. What she gets is a massive sword more closely resembling a club that only she is able to lift. People hit by it tend to splatter. For a test run, she splits a giant boulder.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Sure, the wars are finally over and it's implied the word will be a lot calmer, however, Hakuoro is sealed away. The where-are-they-now style epilogue shows that most of the cast have still not entirely moved on.However, at the very end of both the game and the anime, Eruru (after a short inner monologue about how she will wait for as long as it takes for Hakuoro to return) turns toward something/someone the viewer cannot see and smiles.
    • It is also hinted at the end of the game before Eruru's monologue that Urtoriy, Kuya, Kamyu and Aruru sense Hakuoro in some way.
    • The game version may be somewhat more poignant; Yuzuha has given birth to Hakouro's child and died with Oboro taking care of the child and leaving Benawi in charge.
  • Black Comedy Rape
    • Dori and Gura (all off screen) ply their master Oboro with sake until he passed out and somehow end up in a naked heap with him on the floor by morning. (These are evidently crossdressing boys, remember, who were disappointed when Hakuoro turned down a chance to check their gender.
    • Another time Oboro passes out (game only), they are very grateful at being given the task of dragging him back to his room ("Can we really?! Thank you, sir!"). Hakuoro decides it's best not to think about it.
  • Bleached Underpants - The original PC version had H-scenes, of course.
  • Blue with Shock: Hakuoro's face (at least, the part that isn't covered by his mask), turns blue when Oboro picks up Touka's doll...and it falls apart. See Oh Crap below.
  • Bottle Fairy - Karura always bring a jug of sake with her.
  • Brain Bleach - Hakuoro quickly goes into denial about the significance of the scene where Oboro gets drunk and he tells the twin archers to take care of him. They're a liiiittle too eager.
    • The English dub voice was less ambiguous, and a few viewers didn't realize until that point that they were supposed to believe it was male.
  • Break the Cutie: KUYA.
  • Catapult Nightmare - Hakuoro.
  • Chained by Fashion - Karura.
  • Chaste Hero - In the oblivious sense, not the nonsexual sense, obviously. He has a vague idea that his relationships with other girls might make Eruruw jealous - but doesn't really think about why she would be - at one or two points and realizes Karura is where she wants to be now, but attributes the wrong (or incomplete to be more accurate) reason to it. And maybe Yuzuha, but he seems to think all she wants is a baby. Quite dense there, Hakuoro.
    • it is later revealed that, at least in Eruruw's case, he thought she was merely acting on their contract, and didn't actually love him.
  • The Chessmaster - Dii
  • Chick Magnet - 90% of the cast is apparently in love with Hakuoro, including some guys.
  • Childhood Friend Romance - Nuwangi's chief motivation is his love for Eruruw, but due to being corrupted by luxury he has strayed far from the kind boy he used to be. Though she says during their last conversation that she used to love him, he ruined all his chances with her all by himself long ago.
  • Conspicuous CG - A number of scenes, but especially in battles requiring large numbers of mooks/redshirts, and not always ones in the background.
  • Cool Mask - Hakuoro. Not even he knows what he looks like without the mask, so you know he means business. In fact, the scientists who originally recovered and studied him even found a way to improve their health and longevity by donning duplicates of his mask... until he smote them.
  • Cuteness Proximity - Touka
  • Dark Is Not Evil - Hakuoro's brutally violent, covered in shadow god-monster form, the "God that Brings Misfortune," is Witsarnemitea's good side.
  • Days of Future Past - At first glance the series appears to be set in an alternate interpretation of the twelfth century. As the story continues, some irregularities appear in the form of GIANT WALKING MECHS.
  • Designer Babies - Everyone[1] are descendants of genetic experiments. [2]
  • Developer's Room - Your reward for beating the game. You aren't even notified of that.
  • Distracted From Death: Teoro shows up in time to warn the cast that an incoming army has slaughtered practically everyone from his village. Hakuoro is so busy responding that he doesn't notice Teoro bleeding out minutes later.
  • Dropped a Bridget On Him - Inverted: We're led to believe that Kuuya of Kunnekamun is a boy king, but Hakuoro learns that "he" is in fact a girl with a tenor voice. Played straight with the twin archers, which many refuse to accept based on a few scenes that even Hakuoro doesn't want to think about.
  • Earth All Along - A far future Earth, no less.
  • Eureka Moment - In the original visual novel, Hakuoro studies a strand of Mutikapa's fur in frustration, unable to explain why the creature fled the previous night when it had him and Eruruw in its grasp. Unable, that is, until Aruruw drenches him and the fur in tea and this trope ensues.
  • Evil Laugh: Niwe and Hauenkua are very fond of these.
  • Expy: Hauenkua, who has silver hair, drives a giant red mech, and is an Ax Crazy Blood Knight. Don't we know you from somewhere?
  • Fan Nickname - Karura --> "Carrier", a reference to the StarCraft unit made in a fansub and popularized by a shopped doujin page. "Carrier has arrived."
    • Memetic Mutation - Also, the series' title was dubbed too difficult to say/type, so some * channers refer to it as "Underwater Ray Romano", which, combined with some interesting shops of Ray Romano scuba-diving, naturally leaves many newbies wondering just what the heck the series is about.
  • Fan Service - It's pretty light on it, compared to a lot of other anime, but there are some notable examples. In the first episode, the moments around Eruru's tail (see Fantastic Arousal) may count as this. In a later episode, the cat, when hungry, tries to get milk from Eruru, and then says (according to Aruru) he feels sorry for her, provoking an extremely flustered reaction. (While a slightly more logical interpretation would be that he is referring to the lack of milk or trying to apologize, but of course the size of her breasts is the obvious implication.)
    • Then Karura came along, and when Eruru asked her to remove her clothes so she could look for further injury, the first thing she did was say, "Oh, so that's what you're in to." Cue another shocked reaction from Eruru.
  • Fantastic Arousal - In the first episode, Eruru gets flustered when Hakuoro touches her tail. For a second she looks like she really likes it (here ears even perk up!), then gets very embarrassed, blushes furiously and shoves him - injury and all! - to the ground shouting NO!. Hope it was worth it, Hakuoro!
    • A few moments later in the same episode, two children flick her tail running past, evoking a similar reaction, though the emphasis is put on her anger. In retrospect, she seemed pretty lenient with Hakuoro after what could have been interpreted as him trying to grope her, though details on the issue of a girl's tail as a whole are few.
    • She may be more willing to forgive Hakuoro since he is an amnesiac outsider and probably doesn't know about the whole tail-touching thing. She was also probably embarrassed by the two boys because (a) they were younger than her and trying to get a rise out of her, and (b) Hakuoro was there watching her, so she probably didn't want to appear indecent or lacking in decorum.
  • Fantastic Racism: Everyone hates the Kunnekamun (rabbit-people), regularly invading their homeland and slaughtering them. Though in this case it might have more to do with religious intolerance than flat-out racism. This eventually leads the Kunnekamun to attempt to unite the entire world through conquest.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture - The whole world setting = Medieval Japan but with more Ainu people.
  • Fictionary - The game uses a variety of made-up terms, helpfully supplying a 'translation' above each term.
  • The Gadfly - Karura towards Hakuoro and Touka. Of course, if you're the type that goes to Karura for advice on how to get into bed with Hakuoro, you pretty much deserve what you're going to get.
  • Genius Ditz - Touka. How can you be such a skilled fighter and presumably commander as well but still end up... well, TOUKA. See below for prime example before she even joins you. Also the doll chasing incident. And pregnancy advice from Karura. And bodyguard skills vs. alcohol tolerance.
  • Gorn - Quite a few examples. Karura gets pretty good at invoking this, graphically bisecting mooks (and punching their heads off) and creating a shower of blood and dismembered limbs every time she swings her sword. And once the Humongous Mecha arrive for the first time, it gets even worse. It literally rains blood at one point.
  • Gosh Hornet: In chapter 2 of the manga, Aruru tries to get honey from a beehive while the group is hiking in the mountains. She winds up falling from the tree, taking the hive with her, and everyone gets stung. It never got animated though.
  • Gratuitous Japanese - In the English Dub, Kamyu constantly calls Aruru "Aru-chan."
  • Gravity Is a Harsh Mistress - Touka takes pause for a good helping of Visible Silence after the bridge she was standing on falls out beneath her.
  • High School AU: There's a Sound Drama with almost all characters from the series attenting a modern japanese high school, the CD also featured some artworks with the characters sporting their school uniforms.
  • Honor Before Reason: Touka doesn't even let reason enter her mind...
  • Hot Chick with a Sword: Karura and Touka fits in this one.
  • Human Popsicle - Iceman. Frozen by a god, so don't try this at home.
  • Humongous Mecha - There is a nation composed of a religious minority who have giant mecha given to them by their god to defend themselves. Considering the rest of the world hasn't even invented gunpowder...
    • Your millage may vary on that one. Aside from armor, there are little to no mechanical parts on the Avu-Kamuus themselves. In fact theyre quite squishy and bleed profusely when destroyed. Unlike EVAs, they have zero mechanical parts to speak of.
  • If It's You It's Okay - Gura and Dori for Hakuoro.
  • Ill Girl - Oboro's sister, Yuzuha.
  • Implacable Man - Karura. She easily shrugs off being stabbed in both arms and is able to kill a dozen random mooks with a single swing of her giant sword (Super Strength helps).
  • Instant Sedation - Eruru, being The Medic, subdues her sister with an anesthetic in five seconds and succumbs to it herself in two.
  • The Kid with the Remote Control - Aruruw raises a tiger-like cub to giant proportions and later rides on it into battle.
  • Kick the Dog: Oh man, where to begin with this series? Well, it all starts with cutting down old ladies and things go from there.
  • Little Bit Beastly - Everyone is some kind of animal person, with a given nation generally being of a specific species. Hakuoro starts out in a 'dog' nation. There are also bunny, tiger and bird people. Children inherit the animal traits of their mother.
  • Madness Mantra: Played for Laugh's

"Benawi opens the door"
Oboro:Benawi! Yuzuhah is-!
Munto:The princess is-!
Benawi:They got away...They got away...They got away...They got away...They got away...

  • The Man Behind The Man Behind the Man
  • Market-Based Title - ADV Films initially announced that Utawarerumono (roughly, "the one being sung") would be released under the name "Shadow Warrior Chronicles". The huge uproar in anime-fandom that followed persuaded them to leave the title be.
    • This one was actually a mistake from ADV's side, mixing names with another one.
  • My Master, Right or Wrong - Benawi and Kurou.
  • Nakama - Holy crap. From Aruru referring to Hakuoro as her father, to Oburo referring to him as "brother", to the long speeches about family, it's nakamatastic.
  • Nintendo Hard - Good luck trying to beat the game on anything above Normal difficulty. And good luck to ya if you try to do Hard3.
  • Off with His Head - Karura and Touka are fighting mooks. Touka kills about twenty in three seconds while Karura watches. Mook attacks Karura. Karura punches his head off.
  • Oh Crap: See Blue with Shock, above.
  • One-Winged Angel - Both Hakuoro and Dii transforms into something best described as an armoured Godzilla.
  • Physical Godzilla - Two, even.
  • Picture Drama
  • Proud Warrior Race Guy - Touka and Genjimaru.
  • Really Gets Around: Hakuoro in the Visual Novel / Strategy RPG, differing itself from other games from the genre where The Protagonist must choose a heroine whom he will "consumate", Hakuoro will get hot with them by the course of the plot, he doesn't need to choose anyone and neither the girls ask for him to do so, as a Feudal Lord they see as it is Hakuoro's right to have that many women.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning - Villainess Mutsumi has red eyes, as does the normally blue-eyed Kamyu when she goes into vampire mode.
  • Running Gag - The endless stacks of documents Hakuoro has to inspect and sign. Whenever he complains about the amount, someone (usually Benawi) brings more.
  • Schizo-Tech - The rabbit-people go to war with Eva-style Humongous Mecha. In a medieval-fantasy setting. Oh how the Hilarity Ensues...
    • Then again, they actually are in the future and these are actually artifacts left by eugenistic humans (with a very weak immunity system) from the (relative) past.
  • Screaming Warrior - Oboro starts out as this kind of character. He is later reprimanded during training for giving himself away with this. In the anime, he is later shown going out of his way to not scream during battle, after realizing how ridiculous and inefficient it is.
  • Self-Imposed Challenge - The game awards numerous titles for various achievements, such as being undefeated, reaching a certain level, or using everyone's finishing moves.
  • The Social Darwinist - Dii. All of his manipulation is to pit all of the nations against each other to weed out the weaklings.
  • Spell My Name with an "S" - Eruruu or Eruruw? Dii or Diy? Also Karura or Karula. Just don't say "Eluluu"...
    • To be fair, everything in the 'verse that doesn't sound like Japanese is subject to this.
    • The dub of the anime did some interesting things. Some worked (Eluluu, not matter what the above troper says), some were a bit weird (Karula).
    • Now, we have Aquapazza butting in on the matter. Touka is still Touka and Kamyu is Camyu, but Karura is Karulau, Hakuoro is Hakuowlo and Urutori/Urto-whatever is Urthury.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers - It is hard to get more star crossed than the emperor of a nation and the man that nation proclaims is the devil. It doesn't end well for Kuuya and if the love hadn't occurred in the first place, the penultimate arc would have ended much more happily for all involved.
  • Starter Villain - Nuwangi.
  • Stock Footage - Very, very noticeable in war scenes in the anime.
  • Super Strength - Karura (again).
  • Suspiciously Vague Age - Kamyu and Aruruw are pretty clearly right about at the start of puberty and Eruruw is only a few years older. There's no way Eruruw or Kamyu (both of whom have sex scenes) are over about sixteen.
  • The Worf Effect - In the anime, Badass Ninja Oboro loses every single duel with a named character.
  • Title Drop - The quote at the top of this page comes from a line near the very end of the game.
  • Trying to Catch Me Fighting Dirty - At at least two points, someone will note that their opponent is 'cheating.' The first is the inclusion of a giant kitty mistaken for its mother, a forest god, in a battle and the second is when Touka is trying to follow Hakuoro and every single main character gets in her way pretty much. This is acknowledged by said dirty cheaters.
    • Used in a serious case later in the anime, where Hakuoro reinvents gunpowder as a weapon, and destroys an entire enemy camp with it. Many characters are sickened by how terrifyingly powerful it is, and it's treated as one of the most morally ambiguous acts the main characters have done.
  • Tsundere: Kuuya
  • Turn-Based Strategy: And a pretty interesting one at that.
  • Unusual Ears - Besides the kemonomimi, we have examples of furry elven ears and wing-ears
  • Updated Rerelease: It got two, one for PlayStation 2 and the other PSP, it brought the possibility to use items in battles, and an extended plot with more Feudal Lords to be fought in the middle of the story.
  • Utopia Justifies the Means - Kuya's plan to unite the world through violent, bloody conquest in order to force coexistence between all races.
  • Victory Is Boring - Hakuoro discovers that running a country is far more tedious than liberating one. As in Running Gag, it involves a mountain of paper work as well as managing delicate foreign relations. Since its only a third into the game, it does not remain boring for very long...
  • Weapon of Choice - Hakuoro: Steel Fan (Waaay more painful that it sounds), Oboro: Twin Swords, Benawi: Halberd, Karura: Huge Sword-thing.
  • White-Haired Pretty Boy - Dii
    • Also Hauenkua.
  • Wham! Episode: Episode 22. Hakuoro turns into the god-monster in front of Elulu. Aruru is killed, and then comes back to life, thanks to a deal with said god-monster in a flashback where Aruru is killed again. And then Hakuoro has a flashback. To modern times.
  • What Have I Become? - Hakuoro goes through this upon learning that he is some sort of God-like beast and not a human
  • Wholesome Crossdresser - In the game, Hakuoro mistakes the archer twins Dori and Gura for girls at first, until they happily offer to give proof to the contrary. The anime sidesteps the question of their gender, which is probably for the best...
    • In the end of the first special episode, the archers are pictured half undressed, showing Underboobs.
  • Witch Species - The winged people are the only ones with magic. Not really.
  • Yandere - Nuwangi, the ultra rare male example.
  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle - Pulled multiple times. Defeating Nuwangi and establishing Tusukuru isn't the end. The defeats of Orikakan and Niwe only take us to the halfway mark.
  1. except Hakuoro
  2. The scientists used his DNA to make said experiments stronger or something. However, it does explain the zombies from the Niwe arc and later.