Laughing Under the Clouds
|Laughing Under the Clouds|
Cover of the first volume of Donten ni Warau as published by Mag Garden
(Donten ni Warau)
|Published by||Mag Garden|
|Magazine||Monthly Comic Avarus|
|Original run||March 15, 2011 – July 27, 2014|
|Anime television series|
|Directed by||Hiroshi Haraguchi|
|Written by||Yuuya Takahashi|
|Music by||Shuichiro Fukuhiro|
|Network||NTV, BBC, BS Nittele, AT-X, SUN|
|Original run||October 4, 2014 – December 20, 2014|
|Directed by||Katsuyuki Motohiro|
|Written by||Yuuya Takahashi|
Laughing Under the Clouds (Japanese: 曇天に笑う Hepburn: Donten ni Warau, also referred to as Cloudy Laugh) is a Japanese supernatural manga series by Karakara-Kemuri. It was serialized by Mag Garden on Monthly Comic Avarus magazine. It has been adapted into an anime television series. The anime has been licensed for streaming in North America by Funimation. A sequel entitled Donten ni Warau Gaiden was released in 2014. Another titled Laughing in Limbo (Rengoku ni Warau) was released in 2014 which is set 300 years before Donten ni Warau. A live-action film adaptation is scheduled for release in 2017.
In 1878, the Meiji Restoration occurred. Because of this, the country faced many criminals, such as samurai rebelling against their fallen positions. Many were arrested, but they soon broke out of their jail cells and rampaged across Japan. Therefore, the government did their best to prevent this by building a giant prison in the middle of Lake Biwa. However, to get these criminals to the prison, they needed a form of transport. In this way, the Kumō brothers were given the responsibility to take these criminals to their final resting place.
- Tenka Kumō (曇 天火 Kumō Tenka)
- Voiced by: Yuichi Nakamura (Japanese); Christopher Wehkamp (English)
Tenka is the eldest of the three Kumō brothers, as well as the 14th head of the shrine. He is both the father and mother figure to his younger brothers after the death of their parents. When in combat, Tenka is known to be strong enough to defeat dozens of prisoners in an instant with nothing but a fan, as well as being quick on his feet. He refuses to let his siblings take part in any battles, always rescuing them from dangerous situations. He shows symptoms of being the Orochi's vessel, and is promptly prosecuted without a trial, but is later revealed to be alive under the protection of the police. After fighting against the Orochi and Fuma ninjas (including Shirasu and his younger brother), he sustained wounds that left him at wheelchair, unable to walk again.
- Soramaru Kumō (曇 空丸 Kumō Soramaru)
- Voiced by: Yūki Kaji (Japanese); Dave Trosko (English)
Soramaru is the second eldest of the Kumō family. His elder brother, Tenka, entrusted him with the family's twin swords, which he practices with everyday. Even throughout combat and practice, the swords remained in their sheath. Soramaru also struggles with the fact that he is weaker than Tenka, not being able to be recognized as a strong man who is worthy of protecting his household. He suffers from memory loss due to the childhood trauma of witnessing his parents' murder and nearly being strangled to death. This experience also causes him to develop an extreme aversion to having his neck touched. After Tenka's alleged death, Chutaro's disappearance and Shirasu's betrayal, Soramaru's negative feelings causes his mental state to deteriorate and he eventually turns into the real vessel of the Orochi. Later, with Nishiki, Chutaro and Tenka´s help, Orochi is separated from Soramaru, with Abe no Sousei's Katana, and Chutaro and Takeda´s help, kills the Orochi once for all.
The youngest of the family, Chutaro is the fastest of the brothers when it comes to speed. He also has a friendly relationship with the shrine's tanuki. After learning that Tenka was actually not the real vessel of the Orochi and has died for nothing, he decides to seek revenge and leaves the Kumō Shrine with Kogami Naoto. Later, he discovers that Tenka is still alive, and reforms his way. He cooperates with Soramaru and Takeda in the finishing blow to kill Orochi.
- Shirasu Kinjō (金城 白子 Kinjō Shirasu)
- Voiced by: Takahiro Sakurai (Japanese); Robert McCollum (English)
Kinjo is a freeloader at the Kumō shrine. Because of this, he does a lot of the household chores, such as serving tea to guests. He is also one of the last remaining members of the Fuma clan, known as ninjas that were independent of master or money, loyal only to themselves. Kinjou was rescued by Tenka and is now his close friend. It is later revealed that his true that identity is the 10th head of the Fuma clan, Fūma Kotarō, and that his real objective has always been to resurrect the Orochi. He and his younger twin brother faked the Fuma massacre then separated ten years ago in order to lie low and prepare for the return of the Orochi. The younger brother was planted within Gokumonjou to gather support, while the elder brother joined the Kumō family to protect the Orochi's vessel. He was also responsible for the murder of the Kumō brothers' parents. "Shirasu Kinjo" is only an alias given to him by the Kumōs and means nothing to him. Later, when the Orochi is killed, he is confronted by the Kumō siblings, but prefers to commit suicide by jumping off a cliff.
Botan, out of an initially unknown motive, has joined forces with Tenka in search of the Orochi's vessel. She first appears to be Chutaro's schoolteacher, but is later revealed to be a Shikigami that played an important role in the sealing of the Orochi during its last awakening three hundred years ago. Later, when Orochi resurrects in his full form (separated from Soramaru) she is about to be destroyed when Hirari remembers and saves her.
- Abe no Hirari (安部 比良裏 Abe no Hirari)
- Voiced by: Kenichi Suzumura (Japanese); Micah Solusod (English)
Hirari is a one-armed police officer who often dreams of an unknown but beautiful woman. The woman is later revealed to be Botan, and the reason behind his inexplicable dreams is because he is the reincarnation of a man whose fate has been tightly intertwined with hers. At midst Orochi´s awakening, Hirari remembers all about Botan and confesses his long lost love for her.
Nishiki first appears as a prison guard in Gokumonjou. She is later revealed as one of the last remaining members of the Fuuma clan. However, she is not considered a pure and full-fledged Fuuma as she has not completed the coming-of-age ceremony. This accounts for her unusual appearance of having only one purple eye and half of her hair being white. She has developed feelings for Soramaru and is very protective over him.
Yamainu (Orochi Extermination Squad)
Captain to the Yamainu Squad, he is skilled at hitting the enemies vital points to knock them out. He used to be very good friends with Tenka before the latter's desertion. He becomes Soramaru´s teacher to help him to be stronger, and reconciles with Tenka during Orochi´s revival.
- Kiiko Sasaki (佐々木 妃子 Sasaki Kiiko)
- Voiced by: Sayaka Ohara (Japanese); Colleen Clinkenbeard (English)
Member of the Yamainu Squad, she is skilled at using two revolvers to fight. She is Tenka and Sousei´s childhood friend since Yamainu´s begin, and she is the moderator between her friends´conflicts.
- Seiichirou Takamine (鷹峯 誠一郎 Takamine Seiichirō)
- Voiced by: Hiroki Yasumoto (Japanese); Christoper R. Sabat (English)
Vice-captain to the Yamainu Squad, he is skilled using a big broadsword in combat. He is Takeda Rakuchou (a novice in the Yamainu Squad)´s teacher in combat.
- Mutsuki Ashiya (芦屋 睦月 Ashiya Mutsuki)
- Voiced by: Yūki Fujiwara (Japanese); Clifford Chapin (English)
Member of the Yamainu Squad, his speciality is using magic and sorcery, including summoning Shikigamis as familiar to gain information.
- Zenzou Inukai (犬飼 善蔵 Inukai Zenzō)
- Voiced by: Takahiro Fujiwara (Japanese); Cole Brown (English)
Member of the Yamainu Squad, his speciality is fighting with his bare hands.
The oldest member of the Yamainu Squad, his speciality is fighting with claws.
- Rakuchou Takeda (武田 楽鳥 Takeda Rakuchō)
- Voiced by: Hiro Shimono (Japanese); Joel McDonald (English)
The newest member of the Yamainu Squad, he fights using a Katana. He is Seiichirou´s disciple and Soramaru´s rival/friend, and he gets easily jealous when Nishiki is near to Soramaru.
A fisherman who is known as "a maniac who kills government officials without hesitation, striking down those who oppose his way." He uses a special sword that comes out of both his sleeves in the form of several blades attached to each other. He later escapes from Gokumonjou and lures Chutaro away from the Kumō Shrine, promising him vengeance. During Orochi´s revival, he is saved by Chutaro when a tree was about to stamp him, and, as in return, helps Chutaro (from the shadows)saving him from a Fuma ninja.
He is Shirasu´s younger twin brother with the same name, therefore, his "shadow". The remarkable differences between him and his brother are longer hair worn in a ponytail, wearing a fox mask that hides a grievous scar on the right side of his face. He was a prisoner in Gokumonjo prison, where he gets all personnel and prisoners at his favor by providing them opium. He joins his brother to awaken Orochi, but eventually their plans are frustrated by the Kumo siblings and Yamainu´s progress. He sacrifices himself trying to kill Tenka and Sousei in Orochi´s beam, but is the only one to die, with Tenka and Sousei sustaining grievous burns.
He is the father of Tenka, Soramaru and Chuutarou and was the one who founded the Yamainu Squad and worked as its instructor. Taiko was not a Kumo by birth, but a son-in-law adopted into the family by marrying with Koyuki, his wife. Eleven years ago prior to the beginning of the series, he and Koyuki were assassinated by a masked Fuma, later revealed to be Fuma Kotaro (A.K.A. Shirasu Kinjo).
He was the head of the Kumo family from 600 years ago prior to the series who, along with Hirari Abeno, helped Botan to seal the Orochi. He used the Kumo Ceremonial Swords that Soramaru wields in the future as his main weapon and has a Tanuki as his familiar (same as Chutaro).
The series uses three pieces of theme song: two opening themes and one ending theme. "Biran no Kaze" (毘藍ノ風, Purifying Wind) by Ryūji Aoki is used as the opening theme for the first 6 episodes while "Ruten no Hi" (流転ノ陽, Recurrent Sun) also by Ryūji Aoki is used as the second opening theme from episode 8 onwards. The ending theme is "Attitude to Life" by Galneryus.
|No.|| Official English title
Original Japanese title
|Original airdate||English airdate|
|1||"Three Brothers, Standing Under the Clouds"|
"Sankyōdai, donten ni tatsu" (三兄弟、曇天に立つ)
|October 4, 2014||November 1, 2014|
|2||"Cutthroat, Sneering at the Clouds"|
"Satsujinki, donten ni azakeu" (殺人鬼、曇天に嘲う)
|October 11, 2014||November 8, 2014|
|3||"Second Son, Undercover in Prison"|
"Jinan, kangoku ni moguru" (次男、監獄に潜る)
|October 18, 2014||November 15, 2014|
|4||"Fuma, Sneaking through the Prison Gate"|
"Fuma, kangoku ni shinobu" (風魔、監獄に忍ぶ)
|October 25, 2014||November 22, 2014|
|5||"Tenka, Shaken by Turmoil"|
"Tenka, fuon ni yureru" (天下、不穏に揺れる)
|November 1, 2014||November 29, 2014|
|6||"The Sun, Disappearing into the Clouds"|
"Taiyō, donten ni chiru" (太陽、曇天に散る)
|November 8, 2014||December 6, 2014|
"Utakata ni warau" (泡沫に笑う)
|November 15, 2014||December 13, 2014|
|8||"Boy, Lamenting in the Rain"|
"Shōnen, uten ni dōkoku su" (少年、雨天に慟哭す)
|November 22, 2014||December 20, 2014|
|9||"Successor, Standing under the Murky Sky"|
"Kōkei-sha, nigori sora ni tatsu" (後継者、濁り空に立つ)
|November 29, 2014||January 3, 2015|
|10||"White Darkness, Switching Back"|
"Shiroki yami, ura ni soru" (白き闇、裏に反る)
|December 6, 2014||January 10, 2015|
|11||"The Sun, Shining Again in the Clouds"|
"Taiyō, donten ni sai honō" (太陽、曇天に再炎)
|December 13, 2014||January 17, 2015|
|12||"Brothers, Gathering Under the Sun"|
"Kyōdai, taiyō ni tsudou" (兄弟、太陽に集う)
|December 20, 2014||January 24, 2015|
- "Animax Asia Airs Snow White With the Red Hair Season 2, Laughing Under the Clouds in September". Anime News Network. August 29, 2016. Retrieved September 2, 2016.
- "Donten ni Warau Supernatural Manga Gets Anime Green-Lit". Anime News Network. August 9, 2013. Retrieved 25 August 2014.
- "Kousuke Toriumi, Hiroshi Iwasaki Join Donten ni Warau Anime's Cast". Anime News Network. August 25, 2014. Retrieved August 25, 2014.
- "Funimation Streams Gonna be the Twin-Tails!!, Ushinawareta Mirai o Motomete, Daitoshokan no Hitsujikai, Garo, Bahamut, Donten ni Warau, Lord Marksman & Vanadis". Anime News Network. 2014-10-03.
- "Live-Action Laughing Under the Clouds Film Casts Shunsuke Daito". Anime News Network. September 3, 2016. Retrieved September 4, 2016.
- "Clifford Chapin (Voice Actor)". Retrieved January 7, 2015.
- Official manga website (Japanese)
- Official anime website (Japanese)
- Donten ni Warau (manga) at Anime News Network's encyclopedia
- Laughing Under the Clouds (anime) at Anime News Network's encyclopedia