Devil Hunter Yohko (魔物ハンター妖子 Mamono Hantā Yōko?) is an anime series created by Madhouse, produced by Toho, and published in North America by ADV Films. Devil Hunter Yohko was ADV Films' (then A.D. Vision) first VHS release. ADV co-founder, Matt Greenfield, said the reason Yohko was chosen as the first release was because "we wanted something that was really very unique, that people were going to say 'Whoa! What was that?', because at the time no one in the US had seen anything like this." Toho reluctantly licensed Devil Hunter Yohko to ADV, making the title ADV's first; even though Shozo Watanabe, the general manager of the Los Angeles office of Toho, expressed concern that ADV would not be able to handle the distribution of the film, Toho was unable to find another distributor, so it selected ADV. The story was adapted into a manga by Gaku Miyao. The anime was re-released to DVD in 2002, commemorating the tenth anniversary of its original release by ADV.
Devil Hunter Yohko is about a boy-crazy sixteen-year-old girl named Yohko Mano who banishes demons from the Earth. Yohko is voiced by Aya Hisakawa in the original Japanese dialogue. In the English dubbed version she is portrayed by Amanda Winn-Lee.
For centuries, the Mano family has been slaying demons. Yohko's grandmother, Madoka, is the 107th Devil Hunter, and Yohko's mother, Sayoko, would have been the 108th, but for a small hitch: A Devil Hunter must be a virgin to take on the power and responsibility. Sayoko became pregnant before Madoka could reveal the family's secrets, and so the job fell to Yohko Mano, Sayoko's daughter, who is placed as the 108th Devil Hunter. Now as a Devil Hunter, Yohko must face off against demons while trying to live her life as a boy-crazy schoolgirl.
- The heroine of the anime. Yohko Mano is your typical schoolgirl who is crazy for handsome guys. Her grandmother gives Yohko the responsibility to be the 108th Devil Hunter and continue their family's legacy of Devil Hunters. She now fights as a devil hunter against demons that appear and interrupt her life and ruin her chances of ever getting with the guy of her dreams. As the story goes on, Yohko appears younger. In part 1, she was drawn with a lot of detail, giving her a mature look. By part 6, less detail and a younger look were used.
- A sidekick, or apprentice under Yohko. She is a devil hunter in training. Azusa is from a mountain village and came down seeking Yohko to be trained. Although she is not a skilled fighter and can be a klutz, Azusa fights alongside Yohko where she can and continues to learn to become just like her master, Yohko.
- Grandmother to Yohko Mano and mother of Sayoko Mano, Yohko's mother. She was the former 107th Devil Hunter but now is too old to continue being a devil hunter, although she still has some skill and fight in her. She passes the title of Devil Hunter to Yohko to continue the family legacy.
- Daughter of Madoka Mano and mother to Yohko Mano. She was supposed to be the 108th devil hunter but became pregnant with Yohko (Only virgins can become Devil Hunters). She had a very frank and open opinion on sex and even gave Yohko a package of condoms in the first episode. This attitude, like most things in the series, was later toned down greatly in subsequent episodes.
- Yohko's best friend. Chi (her nickname) seems to have an extensive information gathering network and tends to know about most of the events going on at the school. She usually supplies Yohko with info (sometimes pictures) on the most handsome guys. She employs herself as Yohko's "manager" and assist Yohko where she can, although she does tend to get herself caught in the line of fire.
- The very first Devil Hunter from the Mano Family. She is very skilled as a devil Hunter and is able to fend and defeat any demon, even the most powerful of all demons, Tokima. In several artworks, she is portrayed with a white devil hunter outfit with pink hair. In the anime however, she wears a red devil hunter outfit and has light green hair.
- Tokima Voiced by: Issei Futamata
- The strongest of all demons, Tokima is one of the first formidable demons and enemy of the Mano Family. Tokima is very powerful and has the ability to manipulate time and space. He was responsible for allowing demons to enter the human world and almost brought the world to the brink of hell, until the first Devil Hunter, Haruka Mano, defeated and sealed him. Every generation, Tokima manages to free himself, only to be beaten and sealed again by that generation's devil hunter. Not only is he extremely powerful, he is extremely clever and cunning.
- Chiaki Mano
- Twin sister of Madoka Mano and Grandmother to Ayako Mano. Chiaki competed against Madoka to see which of the two would hold the title of the 107th Devil Hunter. Chiaki lost to her sister and because of this, she grew bitter of Madoka and left the family house, stealing the Whip of Destruction in the process. She now trains Ayako and Azusa 2 to defeat the 108th Devil Hunter, Yohko Mano, to prove that Ayako is the true 108th Devil Hunter.
- Ayako Mano Voiced by: Aya Hisakawa
- Granddaughter of Chiaki Mano and cousin to Yohko Mano. She was trained by Chiaki Mano to defeat Yohko and become the true 108th Devil Hunter. Ayako shares a very similar appearance to Yohko, thus making them look like twins. However, Ayako has lighter hair and her eyes are a bit more narrow than Yohko's, and her Devil Hunter uniform is black, not red. She is the wielder of the Whip of Destruction, which she uses at its full potential. Together with Azusa 2, she had planned to take the Devil Hunter title from Yohko and claim it as her own. However, they joined forces to fight a very powerful demon, one Ayako had accidentally released, which temporarily shook her confidence. Afterwards, Ayako decided she needed more training and left to improve herself, parting with her cousin on more amiable terms.
- Azusa 2
- Sidekick to Ayako Mano. She looks very much like Azusa Kanzaki. Since she never mentioned her actual name, Madoka dubs her with the name "Azusa 2." She is very much like Azusa, both in appearance and in skill, which means that she too is a klutz at times and not very skilled in fighting. She does seem to have a bit more experience in combat, although not much of a difference compared to Azusa Kanzaki.
Items and weapons
- Yoma Ring
- The Yoma Ring been handed down through generations of the Mano family, and has been worn since the time of the very first Devil Hunter: Haruka Mano. The ring is required for the bearer to transform into a devil hunter. The ring actually holds some bindings of the demon Tokima's power, the power to manipulate time and space. The Yoma ring seems to be able to sense or detect other supernatural phenomena.
- Hair ornaments
- Yohko wears clasps of red stone, called shimi-seki, in her braids; they seem to react to other shimi-seki stones, and Yohko can use them in conjunction with her ring to bind demons with ropes of red light. It could be they hold some reserves of power, as they shattered when Yohko poured everything she had into defeating a demon in "Devil Hunter Yohko 3". It is said to be customary for Devil Hunters to wear them in some way.
- Soul Sword
- Yohko's primary weapon as a Devil Hunter. Yohko transforms into her outfit first, and then calls upon the Soul Sword to fight demons. It also seems very likely that there is some sort of connection between the Yoma Ring and the Soul Sword. The sword is able to disengage the hilt from the blade, after which the remainder can be used like a short ax. Devil Hunters also have the ability to recall the blade to their hand should they drop or become separated from the sword. It is also the traditional weapon of most Devil Hunters.
- Whip of Destruction
- Ayako Mano's primary weapon. When Madoka's sister, Chiaki, lost to Madoka in the fight to become the 107th devil hunter, Chiaka disappeared the next day, never to be seen again, but in the process, she stole the Whip of Destruction, another weapon belonging to the Mano family and the line of Devil Hunters. The handle of the whip is very similar to the Soul Sword. At the tip, there is a ball with three claws attached. The exact power of this item is never really stated, but Ayako Mano, Yohko's cousin, seems to be able to use the weapon to its full potential.
- Spear of Fuma
- Azusa Kanzaki's primary weapon. No special attributes are shown from this weapon because Azusa is still inexperienced and currently in training. It does seem to have the same feature as the Soul Sword when it needs to be recalled to the owner.
- Devil Hunter Yohko
- Yohko Mano is introduced. Yohko goes about her daily life; day dreaming about a cute guy named Hideki. Yohko learns that her family has a long history of being devil hunters. But this time the demons decide to take out the next devil hunter before she can fight back. After a failed attempt to take Yohko's virginity (so that she can't become a devil hunter), the demons decide to use Hideki as bait. Yohko must become the 108th devil hunter and rescue the man of her dreams. The English-dubbed "Special Edition" of this episode restores approximately 30 seconds of assorted footage that was cut from the final Japanese print of the film.
- Devil Hunter Yohko 2
- Yohko trains to become a good devil hunter. Nearby a local construction site destroys a forest in which sleeping spirits lie. The spirits are disturbed by this and start harassing the construction workers. Azusa Kanzaki, a Devil Hunter in training, is introduced. Azusa came to become an apprentice to Yohko. The two team up to fight against the spirits that are harassing the workers.
- Devil Hunter Yohko 3
- Yohko has a dream about a man named Master Biryu. Yohko is transported to another dimension and learns that Biryu has been imprisoned. Yohko learns that she must save Master Biryu (although she develops a crush on him). Meanwhile, Azusa saw Yohko disappear and attempts to get Yohko back with Yohko's friend, Chi. They manage to get to where Yohko is, but fail and manage to get themselves back where the started. She must fight the demon holding Master Biryu captive in order to free him.
- Devil Hunter Yohko 4-Ever
- A tribute to Devil Hunter Yohko, with a collection of music videos. These videos feature songs from the series(including three new songs), put to scenes from the anime, colored manga picture, an original animated video featuring chibified versions of Yohko and Azusa, and two live videos.
- Devil Hunter 5: Hell on Earth
- Madoka, Yohko's grandmother, senses the return of Tokima: the demon who from the time of the first devil hunter has been the enemy of the Mano family, is approaching. Tokima appears and possesses Ryuichi Asakura, a man who Yohko has a crush on. Tokima tricks Yohko and gets near the clock where Tokima is sealed, but is repelled by special talismans. The next day, Madoka ends up with her past youthful body! Tokima possesses Azusa who takes the clock. Yohko fights Azusa trying to stop her from destroying the clock. Yohko is tricked and "killed". The clock is destroyed and the demon's power released. Yohko is taken to the time of the very first Devil Hunter, Haruka Mano. The two go back into the future and fight against Tokima.
- Devil Hunter Yohko 6: Double Jeopardy
- Ayako Mano, who is nearly identical in appearance to Yohko, is introduced; she has spent her life training and honing her abilities so that one day she may defeat Yohko and become the devil hunter of the Mano family, and now she is ready for the final confrontation. Yohko continues to live her life and is unaware of Ayako until she starts stealing away every guy that Yohko has a crush on. Then one night while taking a bath, Yohko hears something outside and gives chase. She then meets up with an Azusa look-alike. She and Ayako attack the unsuspecting Yohko with crushing attacks, while Yohko parries the onslaught. The fight stops, but Ayako vows to finish the fight. Madoka reveals a certain part of her past that relates to the encounter. Yohko's teacher, whom she has a crush on, is used as bait to lure Yohko. Ayako and Yohko meet face-to-face for the showdown. The fight awakens a demon who sleeps deep within the earthand the two must learn to fight together to fend off this powerful creature.
- Episode 1 End Theme: "Go, Go! Love Coup (Koi de Coup d'État Go Go; 恋のクーデター・ゴーゴー)" by Aya Hisakawa
- Episode 2 End Theme: "Not So Fast, Sexy Girl (Tokoro ga Dokkoi! Sexy Musume; ところがどっこい! セクシー娘)" by Kaori Honma
- Episode 3 End Theme: "So Bad Boy" by Aya Hisakawa
- Episode 5 End Theme: "I Like the Way I Don't Give Up on Myself (Ganbaru Watashi ga Suki; 頑張る私が好き)" by Aya Hisakawa
- Episode 6 End Theme: "Touch My Heart" by Aya Hisakawa
The series was adapted into a number of video games by Masaya (a division of NCS Corporation); Mamono Hunter Yohko: Makai Kara no Tenkosei for the Sega Mega Drive, Mamono Hunter Yohko: Distant Voice and Mamono Hunter Yohko: Exchange Student for the PC Engine.
- Mamono hantâ Yôko at the Internet Movie Database
- Mamono hantâ Yôko Part 2 at the Internet Movie Database
- Mamono hantâ Yôko Part 3 at the Internet Movie Database
- Mamono hantâ Yôko Super Music Clip at the Internet Movie Database
- Mamono Hunter Yôko 5: Kôin haô no ran at the Internet Movie Database
- Mamono Hunter Yôko no jijô at the Internet Movie Database
- Devil Hunter Yohko (anime) at Anime News Network's Encyclopedia