?) is the title of a series about a fictional world in the style of feudal Japan. The series first began as a Japanese adult AVG+SLG(S-RPG) by Leaf which was released on April 26, 2002. A manga version was created in 2005 and was first serialized in Dengeki G's Magazine
. An anime adaptation started airing on April 3, 2006. The American rights to the Utawarerumono
anime were initially held by ADV Films, who completed a full DVD release of entire series. In July 2008, Funimation announced that the license to Utawarerumono
(and other titles formerly held by ADV) had transferred to them.
Hakuoro wears an irremovable mask over the top part of his head extended down to just under the eyes. He is found badly injured by Erurū, Arurū and their grandmother in a nearby forest and they nurse him back to health. It is soon apparent that he has lost all of his memories, and he additionally finds that the state of the world varies significantly from his expectations (e.g. certain anatomical attributes are now considered normal, such as ears and tails). In place of his forgotten name, he is given the name Hakuoro (白皇, meaning "White Emperor" in Ainu, also the name of Erurū and Arurū's father). His main weapon of choice is a large metal fan that was given to him by Tusukuru. He quickly captivates and gains the trust of those around him, and soon finds himself in a growing position of leadership.
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Although it seems for a time that his identity is Rakshain, a murderous traitor, it is eventually revealed that he is the embodiment of the good half of the god Witsarunemitea and he recalls his memories as Iceman. After Hakuoro's final battle with the darker half of Witsarunemitea, the halves join together once again, with Hakuoro's side straining to maintain dominance. He decides to seal himself away so that his other side will not cause anymore destruction, and bids farewell to each of his comrades. Eruru confesses her love for Hakuoro and, in the anime, the two share a kiss. Hakuoro says that he will return and Eruru says that she will wait for him. The conclusion hints that Hakuoro returns through the final scene with Eruru, and this hint is especially strong in the anime.
In the earliest of Hakuoro's memories, he is seen as an archeological research scholar who stumbled upon Witsarunemitea's fossil hidden in an advanced laboratory. An unknown scientist catches him and explains that he did not want anyone to know of this forgotten deity; the "missing link" in human evolution-- for he felt that it should not exist. To protect its concealment, he shot the archeologist and his blood landed on the fossil. Witsarunemitea then awakened and restored him in exchange for taking his body as a vessel so that he will not be disturbed again. As a symbol of the contract, he acquired the mask which represents Witsarunemitea. Much later, his frozen body is found by researchers who unfreeze him and dub him 'Iceman'. Although initially under the pretense of helping him, the researchers were actually interested in researching his ability to survive outside of a greenhouse environment and interested in further increasing their longevity. Artificial beings based on his body were created for further studies, including subject #63 whom he named "Mutsumi". He then escaped with subject #3510 who he named Mikoto, and had a child with her; although they are both eventually recaptured. The scientists dissected Mikoto, which caused Iceman to go into a rage and awaken his abilities as Witsarunemitea. Realizing what he is doing, he asks Mutsumi to destroy him; but she is unsuccessful. Instead, she manages to seal him, but he is separated into two: Hakuoro possessing his good side and his human form; and a formless evil side that must possess a host body to gain physical form. However, the seal cannot hold indefinitely and the two halves periodically become free. In the current timeline, Hakuoro awakens with no memories, and the latest of the forms taken by the darker side is that of the Onkamiyamukai scholar Dii.