Hoshin Engi (封神演義 Hōshin Engi?), also known as Soul Hunter, is a Japanese manga series by Ryu Fujisaki. Hoshin Engi was inspired by an ancient Chinese novel Fengshen Yanyi. The story involves the Chinese mythology and history of China, in particular the last members of the In (Yin Dynasty aka Shang Dynasty) and the plot to overthrow them.
The manga series was serialized in Weekly Shōnen Jump magazine from 1996–2000 and compiled in 23 tankōbon volumes by Shueisha. VIZ Media has acquired the rights to the manga, with bimonthly releases starting June 5, 2007. Also of note is that the manga has been re-released and re-compiled into fewer larger volumes with new cover art, illustrations and afterwords. The 18 Kanzenban volumes were released periodically between July 2005 and June 2006 in Japan only.
The story has been adapted into an anime series, broadcast on Japanese TV in 1999 and released in North America on DVD as Soul Hunter in 2001. It is 26 episodes in length. As of January 2009, Shomei TV announced their intentions to remake the anime series if they received 10,000 signatures.
Characters from the series appear in Jump Ultimate Stars.
The story is set in legendary China. A beautiful female fox spirit named Dakki (妲己)?) is controlling the emperor Chu-o (紂王 Chū-ō?) and the ruling (In (殷) dynasty, and is using her power over him to do evil in the nation. An immortal-in-training named Taikobo (太公望 Taikōbō?) is chosen by the great immortal sages for the Houshin Project (封神計画) — to seal away or destroy the evil demons that infest the world. In the course of his adventures, Taikobo gathers other powerful companions and sets out to seal away the demons and eventually destroy Dakki herself.
There are significant plot differences between the novel, manga series and anime.
The 23 manga book series follows the adventures of Taikobo and his trusty "Rei-jū" (霊獣?) ('Spirit Beast' or 'Riding Beast') Sū-pū-shan (四不像). Taikobo was given a mission by Genshi-tenson (元始天尊) (Taikobou's mentor and the leader of the Sennin (仙人) World - Konron (崑崙)) to complete the Houshin Project.
The goal of the Hoshin Project, as explained by Genshitenson, is to trap Dakki and her minions in a 'middle' world between the Sennin World and the Human world, renamed 'Shin' (神?) (Deity or Gods) World (Named 'Shinkai' in the English version). Taikobo's mission is to hunt down the 365 people whose names were written on the Hoshin Scroll. As Taikobo defeats and seals off each of the 365 people on the scroll, their souls are instantly transported to the Hoshindai (a floating island made to trap souls) and sealed there for all times.
At first, Taikobo refused to take up such a troublesome mission but when threatened with expulsion from Konrong, he quickly relented. After that, he was given a Pao-pei (宝貝?), Whip of the Gods (打神鞭 Dashinben?), as his weapon along with Suppushan.
Upon leaving Konrong, Taikobo and Supushan immediately met up with the first person listed on the Houshin Scroll, the all powerful Shinkouhyou (申公豹 and his Riding Beast - Kokutenko(黒点虎). After a short battle between the two Doushi (道師?), in which Taikoubou was easily defeated, Taikoubou suspected that the order of the Houshin Scroll is sorted according to strength (Shinkouhyou being the first on the list) and decides to avoid fighting him. Aiming for the core of the whole problem, he enters the capital, Chouka and defeating one of Dakki's sisters, Ou Kijin (who reverted back to her original form, a stone lute), he used her to enter the service of the emperor in order to spot Dakki's weakness. Furious with her sister's plight, Dakki contrives a plan to reclaim her sister and Taikoubou, overwhelmed by her guile, was defeated and was about to be thrown into the taibon (a pit full of poisonous snakes) along with some of the Kyou clan, when during a commotion caused by them, Buuseiou Ko Hiko saved him. It was then that he came to a realization that there was no way he could take on Dakki and her followers on his own. That's why he set off searching for strong fighters to join him on his quest to rid the world of Dakki. Taikoubou soon met up and joined forces with Nataku (哪吒), Raishinshi (雷震子), Kou-Tenka (黄天化) and Youzen (楊戩).
As the series progresses, Taikobo slowly realises that there is no hope in disrupting Dakki's strangle hold on the Yin Dynasty or her influence over Chuuou. As such, he abandoned the kingdom and requested that Ki Shō (姫昌) form a new Monarchy to rival the Yin, renamed the Shū Dynasty (周) with their new emperor - Bu-ou (武王) who is the second son of Ki Hatsu who had died due to self-starvation caused by Dakki serving him his son as a hamburger during his capture. Taikoubou then became the Military advisor to Zhou, helping the Western Army conquer the lands once owned by Yin.
Bunchū (聞仲), the senior advisor to the emperor Chū-ou in the country of Yin and also a pao-pei user, sees Taikoubou as an obstacle and sent out some of his best Doushi companions to attack Taikoubou and company. The ensuing fights between the two groups eventually lead to the involvement of almost all members of the 2 Sennin Worlds - Konron (where Taikoubou originates) and Kingou-tou (金鰲島?) (where Bunchuu learnt his arts). At the climax of the Sennin war, both worlds were completely destroyed with hundreds of souls sealed into the Houshin Dai. And though Bunchuu was eventually defeated, Taikoubou lost many friends and his home in the process.
Eventually, after Taikoubou and the Zhou army successfully defeated Chuuou and officially declared the fall of the Yin Dynasty, Taikoubou and company decided to leave the Human world and return to what's left of the Sennin world. It is then revealed to him that there is possibly a third Sennin World, one that belongs to Dakki, and is probably where she and the last of her minions fled to when the Yin country was finally conquered.
Genshitenson also reveals to Taikoubou that the real goal of Houshin Project isn't just about defeating Dakki, it is about defeating the eternal being supporting Dakki throughout all her chaos years - Jyoka (女媧), one of the ancients.
The ultimate enemy of Houshin Engi - Jyoka is a "Jui Que", one of 5 'aliens' which landed on the Earth millions of years ago. Jyoka had a dream to recreate her home world on Earth (which had self-destructed some time ago), but the other aliens disagreed and enclosed her in a glass cage. Later, she was able to move about in her "soul" form and direct the trend of history to her liking. This is when she met up with Dakki and the two started working together to make Jyoka's dream come true. Each time history diverts from what Jyoka wants it to become, she completely destroys the civilization that existed and started all over again, like a child moulding a perfect sand castle. No one really knows how many civilisations Jyoka had destroyed throughout time in her pursuit to perfectly replicate her old home, but when asked why she's trying to do this, Jyoka simply states that she would like to know what would have happened if her home planet had not made those simple mistakes that led to its own destruction.
After hearing the ultimate truth, the Sennins retaliated against Jyoka. Soon, she finally decided to destroy Earth once and for all, and find another world in order to replicate her old home. The battles raged for a while before the deceased Taikoubou (who had 'died' recently) reappeared in front of his comrades again. This time, it is revealed that he was once one of the "Jui Que" as well, the last of the 5 aliens and was left on this earth for the sole purpose of killing Jyoka once and for all. Using the energy of his friends as well as those souls trapped in the Houshin Dai, Taikoubou (now renamed 'Fukki') was finally able to defeat Jyoka and release the world from her influences.
Just prior to this happening, Dakki somehow managed to take over Jyoka's body for a time and merged with the life energies of the Earth, becoming the mother of all life. After the fight with Jyoka ended, Jyoka selfishly asked Taikoubou to disappear together with her, afraid of being left alone again and since Taikoubou felt that he had done what he had set out to do, complies (also due to severe injuries in the last fight). When he was about to fade away, Dakki came and saved his life, thus reviving him.
In the epilogue, Youzen was made the Headmaster of the new Sennin World, with Choukei (Bunchuu's only disciple) representing the Youkai (demons) and Nentou-doujin (ex-Juunisen, who helped defeat Jyoka) representing the Humans, supporting him. Genshi-tenson manages the ex-Houshindai, which houses all the souls which had been houshined, and dispatches them to the Human World if their help is needed. Since these souls are invisible to the Human eye, they are able to solve matters without being seen. When Supushan and Bukichi went to the Human World to update Buou on the happenings of the Sennin World, they found out that Taikoubou is still alive (he visited Buou before they arrived) and went in search for him but to no avail as Taikoubou seemed keen on avoiding them to the extent of following them behind their backs without them knowing, and somehow prevents the people they meet from revealing his whereabouts.
In the end, Supushan and Bukichi returned to the Sennin World to request Youzen's help. While Taikoubou was lazing around, Shinkouhyou approached him and wanted a duel but left saying that it would be boring if his only rival were to perish so quickly by his hand. Taikoubou then disappeared to places unknown...
The 26-episode storyline somehow follows the main plot of the manga, with the young (72 years old) "doushi" (Apprentice to a Sennin) Taikoubou told to go from the Sennin (Immortal) world to Earth (and specifically Yin China) to hunt down 365 renegade evil spirits in order to bring down the fall of Queen Dakki, a Fox spirit who has enslaved the Emperor.
Taikoubou recruits Nataku, a human/weapon hybrid, and Raishinshi, a would-be vigilante, in his quest to hunt down Dakki. He is later joined by Youzen, the Tensai (Genius) Doushi of Kunlun and Kou Tenka, the son of the duke Kou Hiko. He also rides a talking 'hippopotamus' (actually a Reijuu) named Suppushan, who remains the most popular character of the series.
Ki Shou, the Lord of the West, is a man who is unwittingly destined to found the Zhou dynasty. Imprisoned for trying to stop Dakki's evil, he suffers a grievous guilt when his son is murdered and served to him as a meal, causing him to refrain from eating. Escaping from his captors, he returns with an army to overthrow the Yin with the help of Taikoubou.
In the midst of this historical drama, the Immortal High Council (a group of three Immortals seemingly of a higher position than Genshi-tenson) is plotting some form of magical spell that requires the capturing of many souls, which made them deliberately lie about the purpose of the Houshin Project to Taikoubou.
The anime ends with Dakki's death due to the combined efforts of Taikoubou's group and Shinkouhyou, with the Juunisen making a short appearance near the end and no mention of Jyoka.
Science and technology
The Houshin Engi world is extremely anachronistic and features both primitive and futuristic levels of technology.
Paopei are very versatile instruments created by Sennin. The Seven Super Paopei were the ones left from the Original People, and all the rest are copies made from those. Paopei can only be used by Sendou, those born with Sennin bones which are trained to be used to power paopei. If someone born with these bones is not trained, then they become a Tennin, and the potential of their skeleton creates almost super natural strength or speed; however, they would never be able to use a Paopei. It is possible to transplant Sennin bones into a normal human, as in the case with Younin, but it does not appear to be a common practice. There are such beings as "human Paopei," that is, a living being created from a paopei. They all have a core they are built around, and can take extensive damage and be rebuilt so long as the core remains intact.
Besides paopei, there are spells, an ancient form a magic rarely used by the time series takes place. The only ones seen in the series are the peaches that can turn water into sake, Youzen's transformation technique, and Nentou's various fighting and healing abilities.
Konron (Kun Lun)
- The protagonist of the series. He is a disciple at Konronsan and Genshitenson's best pupil. He received the Hoshin project from Genshitenson, and became a strategist to defeat the collapsing Yin Dynasty and to help the Buo of the Shu. Although he wears very strange clothes, he has the sharpest mind in Konron. Taikoubo was the son of the leader of the Kyo tribe, and was named Ryo Bo, but he lost his parents in a Yin human hunt. After twelve years on earth, he became a disciple, and with 30 years of study, attained Senin level power. Though, Taikobo is still an average Senin with a low rank, he is the personal disciple of the leader of Konronsan, Genshitenson, so his position in the Senkai (spirit world) is high. At the beginning of the story, he receives an antenna-shaped Paopei called 'Dashinben.' (Later, because of the Orb of Revival, the Dashinben gets an upgrade, a larger shape and improved abilities.) Eventually, he gets the paopei 'Kyokoki' that can absorb Konronsan's energy for recovery, and the super paopei, 'Taikyokuzu,' that negates all other paopei's power and can heal injuries. Basically, his speciality is fighting by wits, and using cleverness to swindle his enemies, so that sometimes even his allies boo him. His constant companion, main ally, and mode of transportation is the spirit beast, Supushan. Taikobo's real age is at least 72 years old, and contrary to his boyish appearance, love of peaches and sweet things, and dislike of shots and medicine, his speech and mannerisms are that of an old man. His personality is aloof, and he has a strong belief in a peaceful human world. Additionally, he is left-handed, but during the fight with Inkou (the older) he lost his left arm up to the elbow. Soon after, he received an artificial arm created by Taiitsu Shinjin.
- Although Taikobo is often criticized by other characters for being very 'un-protagonist-like,' he was voted first in a Jump magazine character poll twice. From time to time, the author changes his drawing into a simple shape, with a circle and two points for a head and a stick figure like body. The last volume of the Kanzenban came with a limited edition plush toy of this form.
- Supushan (四不象 Sūpūshan?, Sibuxiang)
- Taikoubou's spirit beast who has the appearance of a white hippo (his original design was more like a dragon). Suupuushan uses the inflection "~su" at the end of sentences. He has adult-like and serious personality. Originally, he lived in his birthplace in the Suupuu valley in Northern Europe with his parents, Suupuupapa and Suupuumama, but Suupuupapa, Genshitenson's spirit beast, was greatly wounded in a battle with Chou Koumei, and was forced to retire. In order to support the family, a young Suupuushan went off to work. From the beginning, he carries the Orb of Revival, which he uses to come back to life in a temporary adult form after he was killed in the battle with Chou Koumei. In his adult form, his voice and speech patterns change, and, like all adults of his species, can eat paopei energy. The battle with Bunchuu activates a licence designating Supushan as an adult, and from that point forward he is able to transform at will. Later, he receives a second Orb of Revival recovered from the ruins of Kingo Island.
- Nataku (哪吒, Nezha)
- A living human-paopei (divine superweapon) hybrid, he has once been dead and revived with the aid of Taiitsu built via lotus plant. He exists largely to fight and is more "directed" by Taikoubou (provided that he actually listens), albeit at times that became hazardous to Taikoubou's health as Nataku has no qualms about shooting his weapons at people. He can fly thanks to his special paopei, Fuukarin, boots which have a metal wheel under each one. His weapons are his iron bracelets Kenkonen which work as homing missiles and hit the target with tremendous impact. Throughout the manga Nataku gets several "up grades", namely from Taiitsu who gives him new weapons. Towards the end, Nataku becomes paopei "customized" and had the super paopei Kinkousen (previously wielded by Chou Koumei).
- Nataku may seem cold and emotionless, but, according to himself, he has a serious grudge against his father who was responsible for destroying the grave his mother made for him when he died; Nataku has had many chances to kill his father, but never did. Nataku also has a soft spot for his mother, and also for Ko Hiko's fourth son Tensho, whom he took care of after most of his family died.
- A disciple at Konronsan. Actually, he is the son of the leader of Kingoto, Tsutenkyoushu and a yokai senin. He surpassed his teacher and has power equal to a senin, but because he does not want to take a student, remains one himself. His senin name is Kenseijiro Shinkun. He is a person of extreme confidence and takes great pride in his appearance. At first, he doubted Taikobo's strength, and proposed a test, but finally approved of his means and became an ally. He has the ability to change into the body of any living thing, although his favorite transformation is that of Dakki. When transforming into a doshi or senin, he can use the other's paopei, but if they are a higher level, he cannot copy them perfectly. Because of his ability to transform without using paopei, even the Seninkai call him the genius disciple. Halfway through the series, he learns how to use a partial transformation and only change part of his body. This way, he can use a number of paopei at one time. When he becomes hanyotai, his strength is increased. His own paopei are 'Sansento,' a giant fork shaped weapon that can release a shock wave, and 'Kotenken' a paopei with the appearance of a dog which lives in his sleeve and can be called to attack enemies or used as a riding mount to fly. Towards the end, he obtained the super paopei 'Rikukonhan,' which wraps up enemies so that not even their soul escapes. After the final battle, he founded the new Seninkai.
- Bukichi (武吉?, Wu Ji)
- Voiced by: Naomi Nagasawa
- A tennendoushi who used to be a woodcutter in Seiki. He proclaims himself as Taikobo's disciple. His aspiration to become Taikobo's disciple was quickly refused, but later, he saves Taikobo's life, and eventually travels together with him. His personality is natural and true to himself. His eyesight is 10.0, can perceive infra-red light, and can see in the dark. He has the ability to run on water. When he is overly emotional, his fighting strength increases a surprising amount, even enough to injure senin. He has had an abundance of unusual part time jobs, including elephant trainer and bird breeder. Although no one except sendo should be able to touch paopei, Bukichi is seen many times coming into contact with them.
- Raishinshi (雷震子, Leizhenzi)
- As an infant, he was saved by Ki Sho and became his 100th child. He only had one senin bone, however, he became the disciple of the eccentric Konronsan senin, Unchushi. Under his modifications, Raishinshi's skin became black, and he grew the wind and lighting controlling, wing-shaped paopei, Tensoyoku, from his back. With that power, he successfully escaped from Unchushi's tyrannical experiments, and thought to return to his father, but concerned with his current form, he instead gained fame as thief for the people, during which he fought and lost to Taikobo. At this chance, he disbanded his group of thieves, and after training in Konronsan, he participated in the Shu revolution.
- Because he was busy having his wings remodeled (increasing power and upgrading to three pairs), he has proportionately less screen time than other characters. However, toward the final battle, his number of appearances increase. In the manga version, by the time of his father's, Ki Sho's, death, they had not met, but in the anime they are reunited. Raishinshi is a comedy relief type character with a hot temper.
- Originally, the Yin's Chinkoku Buseio. He is the father of Ko Tenka and Ko Tensho. His superhuman is strength is such that he can destroy even paopei with his bare hands. His body can endure very strong poisons, and he has the force of will to withstand mind control by a super paopei, as he is a tennendoushi (a human with senin bones). For generations, his ancestors served the Yin, so he was loyal to Chuo, but could not withstand Dakki's conniving. He met Taikobo who came to defeat Dakki, and they immediately trusted and respected one other. Some years later, Hiko lost his wife, Kashi and his sister, Koshi, to Dakki's schemes and decided to leave the Yin. After which, he was appointed Kaikoku Buseiou by Ki Shou of the Shuu. He has a rough and cheerful personality. Before he left for the Shuu, he was friends with Bunchu, however, afterwards, they were irreconcilable and ended up fighting during the Sennin war, during which Hiko was hoshin-ed. In the anime, he lived, and he and Bunchu parted on friendly terms.
- Voiced by: Isao Yamazashi
- A disciple at Konronsan, and Ko Hiko's second son. One of the Juunisen, Seikyo Dotoku Shinkun, discovered and recruited him as a doushi. He appeared to save his father, who was being chased by pursuers from the Yin rebellion. He has his father's upstanding spirit and fighting skills, but his mother's, Kashi's, black hair. He uses the inflection "-sa" at the end of a sentence, and is always smoking a cigarette. He is master of the lightsaber-like paopei, 'Bakuya no Hoken,' and later receives a fire-emitting, boomerang paopei called 'Karyuhyo,' and the tiny 'Sanshintei.' Lastly, he could use the 'Bakuya no Hoken 2,' which has a blade on either side of the handle. Because of his absolute self confidence in close combat, and too much of a warrior's spirit, he extremely hates to lose. As a result of a cursed wound received from one of Chou Koumei's yokai senin subordinates, his life was shortened. He fought Chuo in order to avenge his mother, but the moment he defeated him, he lost his resolve. Immediately after, he was run through by the sword of a nameless soldier and hoshin-ed; this only happens in the manga, however, as he lives in the anime and even appears to have a love interest. He has a rough attitude and would jump to conclusions.
- Ko Tensho (黄天祥 Kō Tenshō?, Huang Tian-Xiang)
- Voiced by: Sachi Matsumoto
- Ko Hiko's fourth and youngest son, a Tennendoshi who inherited his father's strengths. He views Nataku as a friend and older brother, perhaps ignorant of the destructive tendencies Nataku possesses. After his mother, aunt, father and brother die, Tensho closed himself off, until Nataku told him that he would take care of Tensho, and that he would never lose or die. At first, Tensho used a spear for a weapon, but after his father's death, switched to using Hito.
- To Sengyoku (鄧蝉玉 Tō Sengyoku?, Deng Chan-Yu)
- Originally a doshi from Kingoto, she was dispatched by Bunchu as a spy. As a result of falling in love with Dokouson, she turned traitor and joined with the Shu along with her father, Tokyuko. The wrong impression is a violent, wholeheartedly bright young girl. She is not good at telling things like hippos or Capybaras, but she gets along with Supushan and calls Dokoson 'Honey.' Her Paopei, 'Gokoseki,' has the ability that once thrown, it will always hit its target, and give them the appearance of wearing too much make-up, but there was a limiter that suppressed its power to 1/5. When the limiter was canceled, its destructive power increased. After the final battle, she got her wish and married a reluctant Dokoson.
- Igo (韋護?, Wei-Hu)
- The disciple of one of the Juunisen, Doko Tenson. There is little known about him before he came to the Seninkai. He likes bad puns and sake. However, he is more serious than he appears. His sense of touch is finely attuned, and he uses that in order to fight. His paopei, 'Goumasho' is a boring, blunt weapon, like a rounded club, which transforms into a sharp edged sword. The side of him that comes out from being around Taikobo is mercenary like and lazy.
- Ryuukitsu Koushu (竜吉公主 Ryūkitsu Kōshu?, Long Ji Gongzhu - Gongzhu (lit. princess))
- A pure blooded Sennyo (a child of two Sennin parents), she can only live in the pure air of the Sennin world, and as the air of the human world is poisonous to her, she rarely descends there. She wields the water paopei, Muroken Konmo, and is constantly surrounded by a protective water veil. She is said to be at a very high level, comparable to Dakki or Bunchu, but because of her condition, she does not fight often.
- Unchuushi (雲中子 Unchūshi?, Yun-Zhong-Zi)
- Raishinshi's master, Unchuushi is one of the freaks of the Sennin World (along with Doutoku and Taiitsu). He likes biology to the point of obsession, and regularly performs experiments on people. Raishinshi is one of the best examples, being given the apricot which would give him wings, then having his wings made bigger and multiplied when asleep. Unchuushi was overjoyed when he found a parasitic paopei on himself, finally given the chance to experiment with his own body.
- Voiced by: Katashi Ishizuka
- He does not have a paopei, as he trained in martial arts while in Konron (although he did use a sword to duel Buseio), and his reijyu, Shinyo, is the leader of all birds, therefore, he also has the power to control them. He has a strange way of talking, and is a character that goes at his own pace.
- The Junisen (十二僲 Jūni Sen ?, Shi-Er Xian)
- A group of elite Sennin.
- Nento Dojin (燃燈道人 Nentō Dōjin?, Ran-Deng Dao-Ren)
- A former member of the Juunisen who left Konron 500 years before the beginning of the series during a staged fight with Genshitenson. By leaving the Sennin world, he was able to hunt down Jyoka in secret. He can fight both with and without paopei, and can even stop a super paopei with his bare hands. He cares very deeply about his half-sister, Ryukitsu Koshu, to the point that other characters comment on his devotion.
- Fujiryu re-used an earlier design he made for the game "The Great Sennin World War" and recolored the character to create Nentou.
- Taiitsu Shinjin (太乙真人?, Tai-Yi Zhen-Ren)
- Taiitsu Shinjin is the machine-crazy Sennin who is responsible for putting the Reijyu into Inshi's (Li Sei's wife, and Nataku's mother) stomach, creating the birth of the paopei human Nataku; in a sense, he is Nataku's father. Despite that, Taiitsu is "bullied" by Nataku for repair of his broken paopei, or demanding new paopei (however, Taiitsu still seems to view Nataku as a son, and cares deeply for him). Even though Taiitsu is rather weak, he is acknowledged as one of the Junisen because of his ability to create paopei; many things like the Kokinrikushi (the flying robot paopei) and Konron 2 were made by Taiitsu. Although he has made many paopei, his main one is a nutshell-like protection paopei (its main use is to shut Nataku in whenever he disobeys him).
- Taiitsu also provides some of the comic relief in the story in that he is scared of heights, and that he will always look for the camera and look into it while talking.
- Fugen Shinjin (普賢真人?, Pu-Xian Zhen-Ren)
- Fugen is Taikobo's kind-hearted friend from when the two did their training together, and he is a person very much like Taikobo, in that he does not wish for anyone to get hurt, even if it means the sacrifice of himself. In battle, he always aims for negotiation, and is always smiling even in dire situations. Fugen is also the one who gave Taikobo a straight fishhook, saying that the fish shouldn't suffer just for the sake of Taikobo thinking. He is a Sennin well-versed in chemistry, and his paopei is one which controls the atoms. He is one of the Konron Junisen, the one who replaced Nento Doujin after his faked death. His disciple is Mokutaku.
- Fugen lives for Taikoubou alone, deciding years ago that he would not allow Taikobo to die, no matter what. He was killed in the Great Sennin War, and Taikobo is later seen crying.
- Gyokutei Shinjin (玉鼎真人?, Yu-Ding Zhen-Ren)
- Gyokutei Shinjin is the stereotype "cool" guy, and takes everything too seriously. He is Yozen's master, and one of the few people Youzen sees as being above him, even when Youzen's abilities surpass Gyokutei's. He was killed by Otenkun in the Great Sennin War while protecting Youzen. Gyokutei's paopei, "Zensenken," is of a slicing type, being able to cut at high speeds. He is one of the Konron Junisen.
- Seikyo Dotoku Shinkun (清虚道徳真君 Seikyo Dōtoku Shinkun?, Qing-Hu Dao-De Zhen-Jun)
- Doutoku is a Sennin obsessed with sports, and also the master of Ko Tenka. He wields the Bakuya no Houken 2, the same as Tenka's lightsaber-like paopei, except double-ended. Before his death in the Great Sennin War, he entrusts Yozen with his paopei, to give to Tenka. He is one of the Konron Junisen.
- Doko Tenson (道行天尊 Dokō Tenson?, Dao-Xing Tian-Zun)
- A member of the Juunisen who has the appearance of a baby with a long tail. He ends his sentences with "-chu" and acts cutely, although at times he has a much harsher personality, such as when Nataku threatened to leave him behind in Kingo. His paopei, "Bannou Bouchou," looks like a knife. His disciple is Igo.
- Koseishi (広成子 Kōseishi?, Guang-Cheng-Zi)
- A militaristic member of the Juunisen and Inko's master. His paopei is the Bantennin. He was killed in the Great Sennin War while fighting Bunchu.
- Sekiseishi (赤精子?, Chi-Xing-Zi)
- A member of the Junisen, he wields the Onmyoukyou paopei. He trained the younger brother Inkou, and always has a visor over his eyes and carries a sword. He was killed in the fight with Bunchuu.
- Reihodaihoshi (霊宝大法師 Reihōdaihōshi?, Ling-Bao Da Fa-Shi)
- A member of the Juunisen who has the paopei "Rakkonsho". He was killed in the fight with Bunchu.
- Kuryuson (懼留孫 Kūryūson?, Jiu-Liu-Sun)
- A member of the Juunisen with the paopei "Konsenjou." He was killed in the fight with Bunchu.
- Monju Koho Tenson (文殊広法天尊 Monju Kōhō Tenson?, Wen-Chu Guang-fa Tian-Zun)
- A member of the Juunisen with the paopei "Rurihei," a rocket-launcher type. He was killed in the fight with Bunchu.
- Jiko Dojin (慈航道人 Jikō Dōjin?, Ci-Xiang Dao-Ren)
- A member of the Juunisen, and one of the first to die in the fight against Bunchu.
- Koryu Shinjin (黄竜真人 Kōryū Shinjin?, Huang-Long Zhen-Ren)
- A member of the Juunisen, and one of the first to die in the fight against Bunchu.
Kingo (Jin Yao)
- Tsuten Kyoshu (通天教主 Tsūten Kyōshu?, Tong-Tian Jiao-Zhu)
- One of the Sandai Sennin (along with Genshi Tenson and Taijo Roukun) and leader of the Kingoto Yokai. He wields the Super Paopei, Rikukonhan. It is revealed during the course of the series that Youzen is his son, whom he traded with Genshi Tenson for O Eki in order to ease tensions between Kingo and Konron.
- Cho Komei (趙公明 Chō Kōmei?, Zhao Gong-Ming)
- Voiced by: Takehito Koyasu
- One of the Sankyou Sennin, a plant based Yokai known for his fabulousness. He has the Super Paopei Kinkousen, which has the appearance of a pair of gardening shears. Its attack releases seven rainbow dragons when fully utilized. He also created the Bakuryusaku, a projection paopei that took him 1000 years to develop. He uses random French phrases in his speech, and is often seen holding a wine glass. His houhin is remarkably gorgeous, including a circle of light and a choir of cherub angels.
- The Unshou Sanshimai (雲霄三姉妹 Unshō Sanshimai?, Yun-xiao San Ji-Mei)
- Chou Koumei's three younger sisters, Venus, Queen and Madonna. Their real names are Unshou, Keishou, and Hekishou, but they refuse to be called by that. They use the paopei Kinkousen, Kongenkinto, Kyodaibaopeerobo, and the Mysterious Veil. Venus is in (very unrequited) love with Taikoubou, and Madonna is constantly eating. Madonna is extremely obese but can move by eating special candies made by her sisters, Queen looks like a hideous old witch, Venus looks like a very muscular cross dressing man in a nurses outfit. Together they can use "Khyuukyokkukougajin" which creates a dimension where the three sisters are the size of giants and the enemy is shrunk to the size of ants on a humongous table full of candy.
- The Jutenkun (十天君 Jūtenkun?, Shi Tian-Jun)
- The parallel organization to Konron's Juunisen. The Jittenkun is a group of ten yokai sennin, headed by Outenkun. They use "Juuzetsujin" dimensional Paopei. They can combine they dimensions (mostly in pairs that have dimensions that compliments one another).
- Otenkun (王天君 Ōtenkun?, Wang Tian-Jun)
- Originally a human disciple of Genshitenson's named Ou Eki, he was traded to Tsuuten Kyoushu for Youzen in order to maintain relations between Kingo and Konron. Because Kingou does not allow humans, he was locked away until Dakki appeared and split his soul into three and giving them yokai bodies.
- He has the paopei Kousuijin which causes acid rain, and the paopei dani, an animal type peopei like Youzen's Koutenken, but in the form of tiny ticks that secretly latch onto sennin and drain their energy as if they were constantly using a peopei.
- Chotenkun (Zhang) (張天君 Chōtenkun?, Zhang Tian-Jun)
- One of the Jutenkun who controls the dimensional paopei "Kousajin" which creates a sand dimension. He can control all the sand in his dimension and as long as the enemy is in his dimension they start to dehydrate and crumble into sand adding to the dimension. He has very long arms and walks on his fingers with his feet curled up under him, he also wears an armadillo mask with a body and tail that covers his back. He was defeated by Youzen.
- Sontenkun (孫天君?, Sun Tian-Jun)
- A yokai with the appearance of a toy. His dimensional paopei, "Keketsujin," uses the form of a child's room, where he has control over all his toys (he can make them explode to attack), as well as the ability to turn his opponents into toys if they lose against him in a game. He is killed by Gyokutei Shinjin.
- Totenkun (董天君 Tōtenkun?, Dong Tian-Jun)
- A Jutenkun who looks like a bug. His "Fukoujin" dimension paopei only has one pillar suspended above a thin net that can cut through flesh, and permeated by a strong wind. He is killed by falling off the pillar, after being tricked by the Ko family.
- Entenkun (袁天君?, Yuan Tian-Jun)
- A member of the Jutenkun who controls the ice dimension paopei, "Kanbyojin." He is indirectly killed by Fugen.
- Chotenkun (Zhao) (趙天君 Chōtenkun?, Zhao Tian-Jun)
- A different Choutenkun to the one above, his appearance is that of a talking stone slab monolith, his dimensional paopei is called "Chiretsujin." He is killed by Nataku.
- Yotenkun (姚天君 Yōtenkun?, Yao Tian-Jun)
- A Jutenkun who is dress in a priest like robe, he wields the dimensional paopei "Rakkojin", which is a variety of paper runes that cause explosions or fire beams (both attacks damage the enemies body and soul). He fights together with Kinkou Seiba. He is killed by Igo.
- Kinko Seiba (金光聖母 Kinkō Seiba?, Jin-Guang Sheng-Mu)
- A Jutenkun who that wears a witch's hat and a cloak which renders her whole body invisible except for gloved hands. She wields the dimensional paopei "Kinkojin" which can bend or emit light. Those trapped in her dimension are forced to fight their own shadows (dealing damage to themselves) unless they stay out of the light she emits. She fights as a team with Yotenkun. She is killed by Nataku.
- Hakutenkun (柏天君?, Bai Tian-Jun)
A Jutenkun that appears as a some kind of stone alter. It wields the dimensional paopei "Retsuenjin" which can created powerful balls of flames (akin to volcanic eruptions). Working together with Shintenkun's "Tenzetsujin" to create a barrage of flaming meteors. It is accidentally hoshin-ed by Madonna.
- Shintenkun (秦天君?, Qin Tian-Jun)
- Twin yokai who are always conjoined together. They wield the dimensional paopei "Tenzetsujin" which creates an outer space like dimension full of meteors. Working together with Hakutenkun's "Retsuenjin" to create a barrage of flaming meteors. They are accidentally hoshin-ed by Madonna.
- A benevolent and decent man who rules the West of China. He had 26 wives and 100 children. He is reluctant to turn on his Emperor, despite the absolute evil that the man engages in until his son's murder. He died of self induced starvation because he could not bring himself to eat after learning that he had eaten his eldest son (in the form of hamburgers).
- Ki Sho's oldest son. He is true to himself, capable and handsome, but in order to save Ki Sho, he went to the capitol of the In, Choka, and was killed by Dakki and made into hamburgers.
- Ki Hatsu (姫発, Ji Fa) Shu Buo (周武王 Shū Būō?, Zhou Wu-Wang)
- Ki Sho's second oldest son. He is a gambler, pervert, and idiot, but also capable of ruling a country justly. After his father Ki Shou died, Hatsu took on the throne, leading the Shou to victory against the Yin. When first introduced, Hatsu was a pervert deep in debt, but at the end, he was a king who the people greatly admire and like.
- Ryo Yukyo (呂邑姜 Ryo Yūkyō?, Lu Yi Jiang)
- Yukyo is one of the few left of the Kyo clan, a relative of Taikobo. Yukyo and Ryo Bo are the only remaining members of the royal bloodline. She was raised by Roshi via hologram. After helping Ki Hatsu win the battle in Bokuya, she stayed in Choka, and eventually became his wife.
- Nankyuu Katsu (Nankyū Katsu 南宮适?, Nan-Gong Kuo)
- A general of the Shu. After Kou Hiko came to the Shuu, he dropped to the No. 2 position, so they clashed all the time, but after Hiko's death, Nan Kyukatsu became depressed and missed their competition. He is a very hot blooded man.
- Voiced by: Edwin Neal
- The evil but coward father of Nataku is a former Senjin. Instead of a man with good personality, in the manga, he only shows his weakness to his children. Thanks to Taikoubou, Risei wants to change his personality and goes to Konron to continue study Taoist.
- Inshi (殷氏?, Yin Shi)
- Voiced by: Lara Toner
- Wife of Ri Sei and mother of Nataku, Mokutaku and Kintaku. She is pictured as a somewhat beautiful woman, but with no spectacular intellectual abilities. In fact, we could say Inshi is air headed and doesn't think much. She loves Nataku but refuses to understand both her son's and her husband's mistakes. She does not seem to be bothered by Li Sei's hatred towards Nataku, nor to the latter's attempts at killing his father. She is Nataku's weak point and some enemies took advantage of this weakness on various occasions. Not much is seen of Inshi during the anime or the manga.
- Ki Tan (姫旦?, Ji Dan) Shuukou Tan (周彸旦 Shūkō Tan?, Zhou-Gong Dan)
- The intelligent younger brother of Ki family. He helps his brothers to rule the country and train the Shuu forces.
- The last Emperor of the Yin dynasty. Chu O, originally a good emperor with only weakness in woman, obeys almost all of Dakki's whims. His moments of sanity are rare and only Bunchuu's influence managed to have an effect upon him. He is the husband of Kyohi and Koshi (actually, his harem consists of almost 200 women) and father of Inko (Yin Jiao) and Inko (Yin Hong). Before Dakki put him under his control, the Emperor cared about the people and his family but after the misfortunate marriage with the fox yokai, he lost all his senses. It is said Chu pocesses Herculean-like strength and has been know to easily wrestle lions and bulls with his bare hands.
- Overtaking So Dakki's body (a young woman who was brought to the imperial palace to be Chu O's 200th wife) Dakki the Sennyo bewitched the Emperor with the aid of her spell of Temptation. Chu O became nothing but a puppet in her hands, doing exactly as Dakki pleased and having very rare moments of sanity. The vixen demon is 5,000 years old, very beautiful and intelligent to the point when she could be labeled as "genius". In the manga, her character is more complex, but in the anime, she is pictured as the evil, selfish Empress who wants nothing but power and cares only about herself and her two sisters (not blood related, however) O Kijin and Ko Kibi.
- She is capable of using multiple paopeis at once (ex: two fans, the Veil of Temptation). Her most important paopei is the Veil of Temptation and she is rarely seen without it. It emits a strong scent which affects all men and bring them under control. In order to resist the spell, one needs an iron will. After her descend into the Human World, she took many names (Ou Shi, Bakki) and seduced the leaders, living in luxury. At first, she was content to throw extravagant and expensive parties, but after several hundreds of years, she mastered the Temptation spell and began her reign of cruelty.
- Dakki obviously enjoys other people's torment. She even built torture devices like the Horaku or the Taibon (a pit full of poisonous snakes). She is a very good actress and is capable of hiding her emotions. Another ability would be her good knowledge of human psychology. In the manga, when Chu O's first wife was imprisoned, Dakki knew the woman could not stand the pressure any longer and allowed the guard to give the true empress anything she wished for, knowing that she will ask for a dagger in order to commit suicide. She predicted Bunchu's reaction when Ko Hiko left Choka. Bunchu and Hiko were friends and Bunchu would rather kill Hiko himself than let Dakki decide how and when it would be done.
- She shows sympathy only to her sisters and to her adopted son, Ou Eki/O Tenkun. Cruel as Dakki might be, she is not be entirely evil in the end. In the manga the reason Dakki worked for Jyoka was at first due to her desire for power. But after she learned about the Ancients and that they fused with the planet, she was deeply affected and so her secret goal became to obtain Jyoka's body so she too may become one with the world. In this way she was able to save Taikobo at the end.
- Voiced by: Ryōka Yuzuki
- The youngest of Dakki's sisters, she is 1,000 years old and a yokai sennin. Her true form is that of a stone lute. Ou Kijin can be hot headed and this gets her into trouble twice in the manga. The youkai sennin is smart, but she is eventually outwitted by Taikobou. She has an older sister, Ko Kibi, to which she shows affection, especially in the anime, where they can often be seen together. Kijin has the Shiju Hagoromo, made by Tsuten Kyoshu from the silk of a poison moth. In the anime, she has a foul-smelling green dust, which she can ignite and cause great damage (she has the hagoromo in the anime too, but it seems it's for decorative purposes only, because she does not use it at all).
- One of Dakki's sisters. Although she is far older than Kijin, she's very childish to the point of being creepy. Her real form is that of a bird (a time bird, whose feathers can turn anyone they touch younger and younger until they are nothing). She acts in a silly manner most of the time and does not understand much, but is caring towards her elder and younger sister (in the manga, she saves O Kijin after she lost a battle and returned to her original form). She has a major crush on Supushan and even surrendered her Nyoi Hagoromo to Taikobo in order to prevent him from hurting Suupuu (of course, that was one of Taikobo's tricks). She has a transformation ability which rivals Yozen's. With the aid of her Hagoromo, she can transform into anyone, even Dakki.
- Voiced by: Takashi Matsuyama (Japanese), Robert Kraft (English)
- The Yin military strategist, he has been protecting the Yin because of a promise he made to his comrade Shushi, a lively young woman he once trained with. Bunchuu has been the Yin's strategist and protector for 300 years and he had 30 emperors under his care. He was a disciple of T-san and became the second strongest under T-san. Determined to protect the Yin Dynasty, he was a formidable enemy. In the anime, he was the first who killed Dakki, after the Yin dynasty had fallen. His only close friend was Hiko, whose death prompted him to render his obsession meaningless and subsequently chose to end his own life. Bunchu's end is very impressive in the manga: his spirit travels back to Choka and he bows one last time to Emperor Chu O. Then, he travels to the Yin burial grounds and sees the spirit of Shuushi, who thanks him for "doing such a great job" with the dynasty. Bunchuu's spirit is seen later in the Houshindai, when he told to his follower Cho Kei to find his own path.
- In the anime Bunchu does not die. After Dakki is defeated, he flies off on his spiritual beast. When asked where are they going, he answers: "Who knows?"
- Kashi (賈氏?, Jia Shi)
- Voiced by: Kara Bliss
- Wife of Buseio and mother of his four children. Kashi is considered to be one of China's most beautiful and graceful women. Her beauty is renowed and reached even Chu O's ear, triggering the unfortunate events that led to her tragic death. She loves her husband deeply and takes great pride in being his wife. In the anime, she took care of the princes while their mother was imprisoned and even went out to face Dakki, in hope of getting Kyohi freed. She is pictured as being a kind, loving and at the same time strong woman, who endangered herself for the sake of the princes, whom she considered "the country's future".
- In the manga, her character gets less scenes and her most important one is when she visits her sister-in-law and falls into Dakki's trap (chapter 26).
- Unlike the manga, in the anime her soul is sent to the Hoshindai.
- Koshi (黄氏 Kōshi?, Huang Shi)
- In the novel, she was called "Concubine Huang" and was one of many Chu O's wives. She is the younger sister of Buseio Ko Hiko. In the manga, she was confined to the imperial harem, but in the anime, she seems to be free to go wherever she wants. Koshi is an admirable character: she tried (in vain) to save the Empress from the soldiers who came to arrest her and even blocked their way in a desperate attempt to prevent them from taking away the Empress. She was the one who took the two princes and placed them in Kashi's care. She is very close to Kashi and tried to protect her from the Emperor's eyes; she was outraged when she died because Chu O violated the rite between an Emperor and his vassals. Realising that Dakki will hold her as a hostage against her brother, she threw herself off the balcony and granted Ko Hiko his freedom.
- Unlike the manga, in the anime her soul was sent to the Houshindai.
- Kyohi (薑妃 Kyōhi?, Jiang Fei)
- Voiced by: Ellie McBride
- The lovely daughter of the King of the East, she was considered the most beautiful woman in the empire by her husband (that is, before he saw Dakki and Kashi). Mother of the two princes and legal wife of the Emperor. After Dakki appeared and took over the Emperor's mind, the Empress became very depressed and could often be found crying. After her father was killed, she was accused of treason and imprisoned. Her royal pride and perhaps desperation determined her to commit suicide in her cell. In the anime, Kyouhi not only looks totally different from her manga counterpart, but she's a more lively character. Described by Buseio as being one of "the most refined ladies of the country" she was a kind, fair and generous person, loved by her people. At the end of Hoshin Engi, there are some family scenes from the life of the royal couple. She always stood by her husband's side and they were shown having a happy marriage. But after Dakki showed up, Kyohi became sad and placed a lot of pressure on her son, Inchao's shoulders, because she wanted him to become a good emperor and an honorable man, "just like his father". After Dakki accused her of plotting to kill the Emperor, she is imprisoned. Meanwhile, Kashi takes care of her children, thus becoming Dakki's next target. When she found out about Kashi's summoning, Kyohi foresaw Dakki's plan and tried to stop her by ordering her servant to go and call Buseio immediately. Buseiou and Bunchuu tried to make a plan to save the Empress, but failed to present something viable in time. Dakki convinced the Emperor to set his wife free and summoned her to the throne room. Kyohi defies Dakki, but in the end, she is forced by the Emperor to accept her gift. The gift proves to be a dagger that sticks to the hand magically. Scared, Kyohi hides the dagger from the inquiring Emperor, but eventually she unwillingly reveals the dagger. Framed, she sees no other way out and stabs herself with the dagger. Her last request was for Buseiou to take care of her children.
- Both the manga and the anime Kyohis were sent to the Hoshin Dai. The only difference was that the manga Kyohi's human soul flew to the platform of souls, determining Taikobou to return to the Sennin World to investigate. Also, in the manga, her name changes into Kyoshi after the first half of the manga.
- Shinkohyo (申公豹 Shinkōhyō?, Shen-Gong Bao)
- The most powerful doushi under Dakki's Allies. At the beginning of the manga, he prefers to stay outside of the affair, as to watch it from an angle, and see how things turn out. He is also the first doushi listed on the Hoshin, and is also the first to confront Taikobo (and asks him with an air of excitement if he is on the list to begin with). He, like Taikobo, has a spirit beast named Koutenko. Shinkyohyo's only paopei is the Raikouben; which he as only used against Taikobo. Raikouben's power was so tremendous that when Shinkyohyo first used it, he himself said that he was shocked at its abilities. Towards the middle of the series, he decides to side with Dakki, and persuades Chuuo's eldest son to fight for the Yin. Eventually, though, when Dakki tries to escape Taikobo, she is attacked by Shinkohyo's Raikouben, and helps weaken her when Taikobo slices her in half. Shinkyoho was the only doushi on the Hoshin list that did not get sent to Houshindai, and was still on Earth with Taikobo in the last chapter.
- Taijo Roukun (Roshi) (太上老君 (老子) Taijō Rōkun (Rōshi)?, Tai-Shang Lao-Jun (Lao-Shi))
- One of the Sandai Sennin, he is extremely lazy and spends most of his time sleeping. He created the resilient Taida suit to help him sleep peacefully. He use to be Shinkouhyou's master.
The Original People
- Jyoka (女媧?, Nu Wa)
- The strongest of the five original people to come to Earth. She has the paopei "Sangashashoku" and "Shihoken." Her designs were to create the earth's history exactly the same as her world that evolved to the point where it was destroyed. The other original people, not wishing for history to repeat itself, argued against this plan and put Jyoka in an eternal sleep, while they merged with the life of the planet, eventually creating the Sennin and Yokai. Jyoka has the ability to work behind the scenes as a spirit, while her body still sleeps, and subtly changes the world to more resemble her own, but when the histories diverge, she simply destroyes the world and starts over. No one knows how long this cycle has been continuing until the current history. She has the ability to split her soul, which along with her regenerative abilities, make her a very difficult enemy to destroy completely. In the final battle, her body is taken over by Dakki before she can reach it, and Dakki uses that body to become the Great Mother and merge with the earth, like the other original people.
- There is much foreshadowing of Jyoka's appearance throughout the manga; for instance, Chou Koumei's ship is called the 'Queen Joker.'
- Fukki (伏羲?, Fu Xi)
- One of the original people, and the creator of the Houshin plan. He has the peopei Dashinben, Taikyokuzu, Chusenjin (snow that damages the soul), and Bansenjin. Fearing Jyoka's revival, he chose to remain and not merge with the earth like the other original people. He became a human named Ou Eki and approached the Sandai Sennin with the Houshin plan, becoming Genshitenson's disciple. Genshitenson, realizing O Eki's ability to split his soul, divided him into two, returning one to O Eki (who would be traded with Tsuten Kyoshu for Yozen, and would become Otenkun) and keeping the other, eventually placing it in Ryo Bo, a deceased baby of the Kyou tribe (who would become Taikobo). Ou Eki loses his memories of being one of the original people, and does not regain them until Taikobo and Otenkun merge to create Fukki. After merging, Fukki retains the ability to split, and can return to being Taikoubou and Otenkun at will.
A video game based on the manga was created for the PlayStation and the Wonderswan. Several audio dramas were released in 2005.
Four characters of Hoshin Engi appear in Jump Ultimate Stars for Nintendo DS. Out of these, only Taikobo can be controlled by the player. The other three appear as either support (So Dakki) or help komas (Otenkun and Subushan).
- Fengshen Yanyi - the ancient Chinese novel which was the inspiration for this series.
- Mystic Heroes - a video game adaptation of the novel Fengshen Yanyi
- Official site (Japanese)
- Ex:Magazine Review of the TV Series
- Soul Hunter (anime) at Anime News Network's Encyclopedia