Manga Monday- So I’m a Spider, So What?

Manga Monday- So I’m a Spider, So What?

So I’m a Spider, So What? is a Japanese light novel series written by Okina Baba and illustrated by Tsukasa Kiryu. The story is about a girl who was reincarnated as a dungeon spider, and her struggle for survival. The series has received a manga adaptation, and an anime television series adaptation by Millepensee premiered in January 2021.

Plot

In another world, the Hero and the Demon King continue to oppose each other. The grand magic from the Hero and the Demon King crosses over worlds and explodes in the classroom of a certain high school.

The students who died in the explosion are reincarnated in that alternate world. the protagonist, who has the lowest standing in the class, was reincarnated as spider. This is a story of she who has become a spider doing whatever she can in order to live.

Media

Light novels

Okina Baba originally serialized the series as a web novel on the user-generated content site Shōsetsuka ni Narō starting on May 27, 2015. Fujimi Shobo acquired the series for print publication, and published the first light novel, with illustrations by Tsukasa Kiryu, in December 2015. Yen Press announced during their panel at Sakura-Con on April 15, 2017 that they had licensed the series.

Manga

Asahiro Kakashi launched a manga adaptation of the web novels in the Kadokawa Shoten’s Young Ace Up manga website on December 22, 2015. The manga is also licensed by Yen Press.

Anime

It was reported on July 6, 2018 that the series would receive an anime adaptation, according to an early look at the wraparound jacket band on the fifth volume of the manga adaptation. The report was confirmed at Kadokawa’s booth at Anime Expo later the same day, and it was announced that the adaptation would be a television series. Originally set to premiere in 2020, it was rescheduled to premiere on January 8, 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The two-cour series is animated by Millepensee and directed by Shin Itagaki, with Okina Baba and Yūichirō Momose overseeing the series’ scripts, and Kii Tanaka designing the characters, and Shūji Katayama composing the series’ music. Jōtarō Ishigami is producing the series. The opening theme song is “keep weaving your spider way” performed by Riko Azuna, while the ending theme song is “Do Your Best! Kumoko-san’s Theme” performed by I (Aoi Yūki). It is licensed by Crunchyroll outside Asia. Medialink has licensed the series in Southeast Asia, and is streaming it on their Ani-One YouTube channel and Bilibili.

Reception

The light novels and manga had a combined 1.2 million copies in print as of July 2018. The light novels ranked third in the tankōbon category in the Kono Light Novel ga Sugoi! 2017 rankings, and second in the 2018 rankings.

Film Friday- Wise Man’s Grandchild

Film Friday- Wise Man’s Grandchild

Wise Man’s Grandchild is a Japanese light novel series written by Tsuyoshi Yoshioka and illustrated by Seiji Kikuchi. It began serialization online in January 2015 on the user-generated novel publishing website Shōsetsuka ni Narō. It was acquired by Enterbrain, who have published eleven volumes since July 2015 under their Famitsu Bunko imprint. A manga adaptation with illustration by Shunsuke Ogata began serialization on Kadokawa Shoten’s Young Ace Up website from March 2016. It has been collected in thirteen tankōbon volumes. An anime television series adaptation by Silver Link aired from April 10 to June 26, 2019.

Characters

Shin Wolford
A Japanese salary-man who worked for a science textbook publisher, was killed by a truck and reborn into another world with his memories intact. Raised and trained by Merlin Wolford, Melida Bowen, and Michel Collins, thereby making his magical and combat skills beyond S-rank. Shin can also create and modify magical gear to what can be considered National Treasure level equipment. Being raised in the woods, however, his social and worldly skills are a bit lacking. He has the leadership of his own Ultimate Magic Research Society and obviously tops S-rank. Sicily was enamored with Shin from their first meeting and is overjoyed when she becomes his fiancée. Like his grandfather, Shin can cast magic without verbal or somatic components (since he considers aloud spell names embarrassing) and has created many unique spells like the gate and extra-dimensional storage spaces. His element compress in water & heat and his strongest arsenal is Hydrogen Bomb. Based on the recollection of his previous world, Shin’s knowledge of science and astronomy revolutionize the world’s magic tools. Over the summer break, Shin and his grandparents did intensive training with the Ultimate Magic Research Society to prepare for massive demon outbreaks while deployed in a special unit called the Ultimate Magicians, hopefully, to prevent other students from getting conscript into war. Soon afterward, Shin’s (Earth-modern) appliances prompted him to open his own shopping mall. His title is Demon Lord, which he does not like.

August von Earlshide
The son of King Diseum and the crown prince, he also goes by “Aug” or “Gus” to his friends. He is respected by his peers and, like his father, considers one’s abilities to take precedent over their peerage, but does not use his influence unless necessary. Aug inherited his father’s traits. Shin and Aug have a cousin-like relationship. Aug enjoys watching when Shin gets in over his head during social actions and likes to manipulate Shin to act on his plan. He also keeps Shin prudent from introducing new magic and tools that would throw the world out of balance. Aug’s childhood friends, Julius and Thor, feel pressured because he talks to Shin casually. Even Elizabeth is irritated by their closeness until Aug ease her mind when he provokes Shin to confess to Sicily. He acquired the title ‘Thunder God’ after electrocuting a giant crocodile and is the 2nd S-rank.

Maria von Messina
A red-haired second daughter of a Countess and is a friend to Sicily. Maria is a very upfront and vocal lady; she is also an obsessive fangirl of Merlin and Melida. She teases Sicily over her crush on Shin and tries to offer her support in their relationship. Due to her indifference, Shin does not treat her like a nobleman’s daughter. Her title is Valkyrie and is the 3rd S-rank. She does not like her title as it implies she will be a virgin for the rest of her life and never get married.

 

 

Sizilien “Sicily” von Claude
A beautiful, timid; soft-spoken blue-haired girl being called a Saint, and is the third daughter and fourth child of the Viscount Claude, who works at the Finance Bureau. Sicily is unassuming with what many consider the loveliest features. She is smitten with Shin the first time she meets him after he rescues her and Maria from a group of thugs. As she and Shin started going out she tends to be a little aggressive towards him and others. Sicily excels in healing magic and thanks to Shin’s tutoring her forte is now only second best to Shin’s. She is the 4th S-rank and received the title ‘Holy Maiden’ for being a savior of Swedes Kingdom civilians increasing her popularity, including her and Shin’s engagement. She’s now targeted by Zest and his scouts, as she is deemed to be Shin’s weakness.

 

Manga Monday- Wise Man’s Grandchild

Manga Monday- Wise Man’s Grandchild

Wise Man’s Grandchild is a Japanese light novel series written by Tsuyoshi Yoshioka and illustrated by Seiji Kikuchi. It began serialization online in January 2015 on the user-generated novel publishing website Shōsetsuka ni Narō. It was acquired by Enterbrain, who have published eleven volumes since July 2015 under their Famitsu Bunko imprint. A manga adaptation with illustration by Shunsuke Ogata began serialization on Kadokawa Shoten’s Young Ace Up website from March 2016. It has been collected in thirteen tankōbon volumes. An anime television series adaptation by Silver Link aired from April 10 to June 26, 2019.

Plot

A young salaryman who died in an accident was reborn in another world filled with magic and demons. As a baby, he was picked up by the patriot hero “Sage” Merlin Wolford and was given the name Shin. He was raised as a grandson and soaked up Merlin’s teachings, earning him some irresistible powers. However, when Shin became 15, Merlin realized, “I forgot to teach him common sense!” Diseum, king of the Earlshide Kingdom, recommends Shin to attend his Magic Academy, on the agreement of not using Shin for political warfare. In the capital, Shin rescues two girls, Maria and Sizilien, from thugs, and later he would inaugurate a club that consist of him and others.

Media

Light novel

Tsuyoshi Yoshioka originally started the series as a web novel. The series was acquired for print publication by Enterbrain, who published the first light novel on July 30, 2015.

Manga

A manga adaptation, illustrated by Shunsuke Ogata began serialization on Kadokawa Shoten’s Young Ace Up website since March 2016. Thirteen tankōbon volumes have been released as of February 4, 2020.

Film Friday- Ascendance of a Bookworm

Film Friday- Ascendance of a Bookworm

Ascendance of a Bookworm is a Japanese fantasy light novel series written by Miya Kazuki and illustrated by Yū Shiina. It was serialized online between September 2013 and March 2017 on the user-generated novel publishing website Shōsetsuka ni Narō. It was later acquired by TO Books, who has published 25 volumes since January 2015.

A manga adaptation of the first part with art by Suzuka was serialized online via Niconico Seiga website between October 2015 and July 2018. It was collected in seven tankōbon volumes by TO Books. Both the light novel and manga are published in English by J-Novel Club. An anime television series adaptation by Ajia-do Animation Works premiered the first part from October 3 to December 26, 2019, with the second part airing from April 5 to June 21, 2020. A two-part OVA episode released on March 10, 2020. A third season has been announced.

Anime

An anime television series adaptation was announced on March 7, 2019. The series is animated by Ajia-do Animation Works and directed by Mitsuru Hongo, with Mariko Kunisawa handling series composition, Yoshiaki Yanagida and Toshihisa Kaiya designing the characters, and Michiru composing the series’ music. The first part ran for 14 episodes, which aired from October 3 to December 26, 2019, on ABC, Tokyo MX, Wowow, and BS Fuji. Sumire Morohoshi performed the series’ opening theme song “Mashiro”, while Megumi Nakajima performed the series’ ending theme song “Kamikazari no Tenshi”. It covers Part 1: Daughter of a Soldier of the light novel. The second part, which ran for 12 episodes, aired from April 5 to June 21, 2020, and covers volumes 1 and 2 of Part 2: Apprentice Shrine Maiden of the light novel. Sumire Morohoshi also performed the second part’s opening theme song “Tsumujikaze” (Commotion). The OVA episode numbered 14.5 consists of two parts called “Eustachius’s Incognito Operation Downtown” and “Visiting Missus Corinna” and aired on March 9, 2020. The production of a third season was announced on July 12, 2020. Crunchyroll has licensed the series and has partnered with Sentai Filmworks for distribution in North America.

Characters

Myne
The titular bookworm, Urano (a college student) was on the cusp of being a librarian when she was ironically crushed to death under a pile of books during an earthquake and reincarnated as a sickly five-year-old girl named Myne, but in a world where books are only for extremely rich nobles. Her frailty is due to a rare disease known as the “Devouring,” which consists of high fevers that spark whenever the host is stressed or depressed. Now, Myne has to put her book-knowledge to the test in order to become a librarian in her new world.
Ferdinand
The High Priest in the city of Ehrenfest.
Tuuli
Myne’s elder sister by one year who follows her mother’s craft in becoming a seamstress.
Effa
Myne and Tuuli’s mother who is a seamstress by trade and works at a dye factory.
Gunther
Myne and Tuuli’s father who works as a soldier and a guard for the city of Ehrenfest.
Lutz
Myne’s childhood best friend who helps her in her business to make paper and create books. He initially wanted to be a traveling merchant, but after being dissuaded by Otto, he decides to work with Myne and be the muscle to her brain. He is the first to suspect that Myne is not who she used to be and has been in fact taken over by someone else.
Otto
A former traveling merchant and now soldier and military accountant of Ehrenfest. He teaches Myne how to read and write the language of the new world.
Benno
A city merchant who takes Myne and Lutz under his wing and helps them grow their bookmaking business. After realizing the potential Myne and Lutz have at their craft, he is insistent on training them to be merchants and argues against others who want the pair for themselves.
Mark
An assistant at Benno’s store who helps Myne and Lutz on their journey.
Gustav
The head of the Merchant Guild in Ehrenfest and Benno’s senior. He agrees to allow Lutz and Myne to become temporarily registered merchants after seeing the products the duo are able to create.
Freida
Gustav’s granddaughter who wants to buy one of Myne’s hairpins to wear at her baptism. Like Myne, she has the incurable illness known as the “Devouring.”
Gil
A young grey-robed boy who is placed as Myne’s retainer. He is pompous, brash, and believes himself superior to Myne, even though he is beneath her in the temple hierarchy. He eventually comes around and serves Myne faithfully after she shows him kindness and compassion.
Fran
A grey-robed young man who is placed as Myne’s retainer. He is quiet, follows the rules, and is highly devoted to the temple. He is the first retainer to earn Myne’s trust and becomes her right-hand man.
Delia
A young grey-robed girl who is placed as Myne’s retainer. She is out to annoy and frustrate Myne on the High Bishop’s orders, hoping she will grow up to be his concubine if she’s successful. After Myne threatens to send her back to the orphanage, she changes her ways and serves Myne faithfully but still retains her snarky attitude.

Manga Monday- Ascendance of a Bookworm

Manga Monday- Ascendance of a Bookworm

Ascendance of a Bookworm is a Japanese fantasy light novel series written by Miya Kazuki and illustrated by Yū Shiina. It was serialized online between September 2013 and March 2017 on the user-generated novel publishing website Shōsetsuka ni Narō. It was later acquired by TO Books, who has published 25 volumes since January 2015.

A manga adaptation of the first part with art by Suzuka was serialized online via Niconico Seiga website between October 2015 and July 2018. It was collected in seven tankōbon volumes by TO Books. Both the light novel and manga are published in English by J-Novel Club. An anime television series adaptation by Ajia-do Animation Works premiered the first part from October 3 to December 26, 2019, with the second part airing from April 5 to June 21, 2020. A two-part OVA episode released on March 10, 2020. A third season has been announced.

Plot

The story follows Motosu Urano, a book-loving post-secondary student and soon-to-be librarian who ends up crushed to death beneath a pile of books during an earthquake. With her dying breath, she wishes to be reincarnated in a world where she can read books forever. Urano awakens in the body of a weak, five-year-old girl named Myne in a world where books are scarce and only available to elites. Myne, retaining her memories from her previous life, decides to create and print her own books so that she can read again.

Media

Light novels

It was originally published by Miya Kazuki as a free-to-read web novel on Shōsetsuka ni Narō in 2013 until it was acquired by TO Books which published the first volume in print in their TO Bunko imprint with illustrations by Yū Shiina in January 2015. As of June 2020, the series will have accumulated over 23 volumes, divided into five parts.

Manga

A manga adaptation was published by TO Books and follows similar format as the novels. Part 1, subtitled If there aren’t any books, I’ll just have to make some!, was illustrated by Suzuka, serialized in Comic Corona from October 2015 to July 2018, and was compiled into a total of seven volumes. Suzuka continued to illustrate Part 2 subtitled Become a Shrine Maiden for Books! which began serialization in Comic Corona on September 24, 2018 and currently has a total of three volumes. Part 3 subtitled Spread the Book on your Territory! is illustrated by Ryo Namino and began serialization in Comic Corona despite Part 1 still being ongoing at the time. Part 3 currently has three volumes.

Other

Five fan books were published by TO Books and released on March 10, 2017; December 9, 2017; November 10, 2018; January 10, 2020; and November 10, 2020. TO Books has also published four Drama CDs that were released on September 9, 2017; June 9, 2018; June 10, 2019; and December 10, 2019.

Reception

The light novel series has over 1 million copies in print. The series ranked fifth in 2017 and first in 2018 and 2019 in Takarajimasha’s annual light novel guide book Kono Light Novel ga Sugoi!, in the tankōbon category.

Film Friday- The Quintessential Quintuplets

Film Friday- The Quintessential Quintuplets

The Quintessential Quintuplets is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Negi Haruba. It was serialized in Kodansha’s Weekly Shōnen Magazine from August 2017 to February 2020. The series follows the daily life of a high school student Futaro Uesugi who is hired as a private tutor for a group of quintuplets, Ichika, Nino, Miku, Yotsuba and Itsuki Nakano, who perform poorly academically. At the very beginning of the story, it is indicated Futaro will marry with one of the Nakano quintuplets but the identity of the bride is unknown until near the end of the story.

An anime television series adaptation produced by Tezuka Productions aired from January to March 2019 on TBS and other channels. A second season by Bibury Animation Studios premiered in January 2021.

The series is published in English by Kodansha USA under the Kodansha Comics imprint. The anime series is licensed in North America under a Crunchyroll–Funimation partnership.

The series is a commercial success, being the 5th best selling manga in 2019, and the 3rd best selling manga in the first half of 2020 in Japan. In 2019, the manga won the award for the shōnen category at the 43rd annual Kodansha Manga Awards.

Main characters

Futaro Uesugi

A blunt, friendless highschool student that is very academically gifted. Futaro lives with his sister and father in a small apartment. He is serious and dedicated to his efforts in helping the Nakano sisters improve their grades. He likes dishes that Raiha cooks, but hates raw fish. His favorite drink is barley tea, his favorite animals are gorillas and his daily convention is storing one coin. In his student handbook he keeps a photo of a girl he met in Kyoto while he was in sixth grade, who was his inspiration to study. It is later revealed that she is one of the Nakano Quintuplets.

Nakano Quintuplet sisters

The sisters are all physically identical with large blue eyes, light-reddish hair, cute expressive faces and shapely figures. Despite their different hairstyles, the sisters are experts at impersonating each other and often do so for pranks or convenience. They were born on May 5 and live together in a rich high-rise apartment and by following the “go-toubun” (five portions, divided equally) philosophy given by their late mother, consider themselves five parts of one whole. Although they share terrible grades and no desire to study, they can be honorable and appreciate the work that Futaro is dedicating towards them.

Ichika Nakano
The eldest sister, she has short hair without any accessories. Ichika acts like a responsible older sister – she’s caring, thoughtful and wise. She enjoys sleeping and her room is incredibly messy. She aspires to become a movie actress and dedicates most of her time and resources to do so, to the point of having to quit schooling in order to focus on her acting career. She likes salted fish but hates mushrooms. Her favorite drink is frappuccino, her favorite animals are hippos, her favorite TV program type is drama, her best subject is mathematics, and her daily hobby is jogging. She falls in love with Futaro and wanted to confess to him, but hearing Nino confessing to Futaro prevented her from doing so. As she grew to accept she wanted Futaro for herself, she became misguided and started using underhanded methods to get closer to him and sabotage her sisters in the process. She used Miku’s disguised as a way to “cheat” her way into his heart, almost sabotaging Miku’s chances to confess in the process. It’s revealed that she met Futaro 5 years before the start of the story: after Futaro and the girl from the photo (Yotsuba) had spent the entire day together and both went to the inn the quintuplets were staying at, she was interested in him and played cards with him while Yotsuba was gone, with Futaro himself unaware that he was interacting with another quintuplet. She had forgotten about this exchange until they reunited years later, when he put a blond wig as a disguise, resembling the way he looked years ago. After getting called out by Futaro on her schemes and realizing the error of her ways, she helps Miku properly confess to Futaro and decides to stop pursuing her love towards him, lying to him that their moments together were all “lies”. She becomes his guide on his path to accept he was in love and becomes the first quintuplet in knowing his choice. After Futaro’s choice at the end of the school festival, she congratulates him and pushes him to be more open with his feelings. 5 years later, she becomes a famous actress around the world.
Nino Nakano
The second sister, she has very long hair with two butterfly-style accessories on the sides. Due to her poor eyesight, she has been wearing contact lenses for the past three years but still takes five minutes to put them in. Although she is caring and playful with her sisters, she shows a grumpy and somewhat aggressive personality to outsiders. She likes pancakes, but hates tsukemono. Her favorite drink is warm water, her favorite animals are rabbits, her favorite TV program type is variety shows, her best subject is English, and her daily convention is putting on a facial mask and doing yoga. She is also fashionable and skilled at cooking, hinted to have dreams of becoming a chef. She views Futaro as an interloper to the sisters’ unique relationship and has gone to extreme, sometimes illegal lengths to ban him from their apartment. She’s afraid to be left behind and desires to find her own path, but she’s afraid to let go of the past and the dynamic she had with her sisters since they were kids; her problems with Fuutaro comes from the very fact that she sees him as the one changing the status quo she had grown accustomed to, which sometimes generates conflict between her and her sisters.
However, she starts seeing Fuutaro as someone who respects her feelings and one who desires to see the Nakano quintuplets together as a family, melting her heart. After fully realizing her feelings, she becomes the first quintuplet to successfully confess to Futaro, taking a straight-forward approach on her love towards him ever since in order to gain his affection, often clashing with the third sister, Miku, acting like rivals. After Futaro’s choice at the end of the school festival, she becomes upset with Yotsuba’s consideration of her feelings as she sees it as pity. After a heartfelt exchange, she accepts Yotsuba’s resolve, acknowledging her as a rival and warns that she will take any chance on taking Futaro away if their relationship ever falls apart. 5 years later she opens the Nakano Bakery shop with Miku, borrowing the place of the former Uesugi restaurant.
Miku Nakano
The third sister, she has medium-length hair, “emotionless” eyes and normally a specific pair of headphones around her neck. She has a quiet and passive personality, few friends, and interest in warlords of specific eras of Japanese history. She likes matcha, but hates chocolates. Her favorite drink is green tea, her favorite animals are hedgehogs, her favorite TV program type is documentary, her best subject is social science, and her daily convention is divination. She seems to be the first one to fall in love with Futaro. Her cooking skills are abysmal, but after Futaro said that he preferred girls who can cook, she began focusing to improve that talent. While taking confidence in her pursuit of Futaro, after seeing her sisters one by one starting to pursue his affection as well, made her shyness bloom, even more, seeing her sisters as better candidates for his love and grew scared of “playing fair” against them who had a more aggressive approach. She manages to successfully confess to Futaro the second time, though she leaves it vague to make him embarrassed. After this, she regains her confidence and goes for a more assertive/aggressive approach similar to Nino’s. She decides to pursue culinary arts after realizing she likes to “make stuff”, regardless if it is for Futaro’s sake or not. After Futaro’s choice at the end of the school festival, she counsels Yotsuba into accepting the other sisters’ frustration and anger and that she should pursue her own happiness. She ultimately realizes that despite not being Futaro’s choice, she is happy that she has become a unique individual and takes pride in it. 5 years later she opens the Nakano Bakery shop with Nino, borrowing the place of the former Uesugi restaurant.
Yotsuba Nakano
The fourth sister, she has medium-length hair and a ribbon styled into two vertical “ears”. Always cheerful, friendly and good at sports, her constantly active personality can annoy others. She likes citrus unshiu, but hates bell peppers. She likes watching anime and loves drinking carbonated fruit juice. Her favorite animals are camels, her best subject is Japanese, and her daily convention is watering plants. She has received 0% scores on school tests. Her actions usually suggest either a complete absence of thought or unconscious intricate plans far beyond anything the other characters could imagine. She is the only one to immediately accept Futaro as their tutor. She’s supportive and always looking out for other people, especially her sisters and Futaro. She has a bad habit of putting others’ needs above her own.
Later it’s revealed that she’s the girl from the photo, the one Futaro met 5 years before the start of the story during a school trip at Kyoto. She met him by coincidence, getting him out of a complicated situation and spent the rest of the day together. Connecting after enjoying their adventure during the day, both promised to improve their grades in order to apply to highly profitable jobs and make their respective families have a better lifestyle, specifically Raiha for Futaro and Rena for Yotsuba. However, due to her own low self-confidence and identity issues while growing up, as well as Rena’s death soon after the Kyoto trip, she slowly started growing distant from her sisters, seeing them getting slightly better grades than her with little effort while she studied hard with unsuccessful results, frustration building on her. She then decides to focus on clubs and develop her athletic abilities, dropping studying completely as she lost her resolve, changing her mindset from self-improvement to competition for recognition above her sisters and be recognized as the superior of the sisters. That ultimately costs her getting expelled from her previous school, but her sisters refuse to leave her alone and follow her.
Therefore, her selfish mind view was shattered and developed a selfless devotion towards them and started to prioritize their own happiness and desires over her own. She refuses to tell Futaro who she is after meeting with him at the start of the story because she views herself as a failure due to not being able to fulfill the promise they made and decides to support him on his school and love life, ignoring her own feelings for him when she sees her sisters slowly falling for him and actively pursuing his love. However, her subtle yet meaningful support throughout the series ends up getting noticed by Futaro, ultimately leading to him falling in love with her and choosing her at the end of the school festival. Initially she refuses and runs away, but after hearing Futaro’s confession, she becomes unable to hold her feelings down and confesses her love. After the school festival, she decides that before dating Futaro she needed to talk with her sisters about their feelings and her own, especially Nino and Miku. After coming to terms that she can pursue her own happiness, she accepts both Futaro’s re-confession and proposal and they become a couple. Five years later, she lives together with Futaro at Tokyo and celebrates her wedding ceremony. In the final chapter, it’s revealed she is the one who kissed Futaro under the bell while disguised as Itsuki, event which Futaro in the future narrates as the moment he started seeing his bride as “special”.
Itsuki Nakano
The fifth and the youngest sister, she has an expressive ahoge, long hair with two twirling “streams” and two stars beside her eyes. Her blood type is A. She has a two-faced personality; she’s always friendly with acquaintances and classmates but Futaro’s presence immediately puts her in attack mode due to his past insults. She loves to eat food and studies seriously, even though her methods need improvement. She likes meat and curry but hates umeboshi. Her favorite animal is the kangaroo. Her favorite TV program type is wasei-eigo. Her best subject is science and her daily convention is exercising abdominal muscles and doing yoga. Ever since she was little, she was close to her mother, Rena. After her death, she decided to cope with her loss by trying to replace Rena as the mother-figure of the quintuplets, with unsuccessful results. This makes her act properly towards others and is strict with her sisters at times, taking her mother’s advice seriously, whether it’s about how they should act with each other or how they should be careful when picking their romantic partner. After thinking about what to do with her career path, she decides to follow her mother’s footsteps and become a teacher, despite her low grades. During one point of the series, she dresses as the girl from the photo, nicknaming herself “Rena” (after her mother) and meeting with Futaro in the present in order to sever ties with him and forcing him to move on from their promise. Later (after the reveal that “Rena”/Itsuki was not the girl from the photo) it’s revealed that she was asked by Yotsuba (the girl from the photo) to perform this task, as she herself isn’t good with disguises and doesn’t want her identity revealed to Futaro and felt their promise was holding him back from enjoying his school life like a normal student. However, later in the series, Itsuki felt she couldn’t keep the secret hidden much longer as she thought of it as unfair to both Yotsuba and Futaro and decided to dress as “Rena” on her own once again to make Futaro remember who he met, only for her advances to be rejected by him, who had since figured out the girl of the photo was one of the quintuplets, though not exactly which one, and he was sick of playing along with their tricks. After Futaro makes his choice, Itsuki goes under a brief period of self-doubt, unable to congratulate him on his decision and realizes her hidden feelings for him. However, after overhearing Yotsuba and Nino’s discussion, she decides to let go of those feelings by realizing that “a fruitless love can also be beautiful”, deciding to treasure her memories with Futaro instead. 5 years later, she becomes a teacher.

Production

The idea of “a group of quintuplets falling in love with the same person” existed even before the serialization of Haruba’s previous work, Karma of Purgatory (2014-2015), but was very simple at that time. The idea was denied by his editor-in-charge. A year after, after the end of Karma of Purgatory, he discussed with his editor-in-charge what to serialize next. Among the few ideas being come up with, the “quintuplets” idea was included again, which was accepted by the editor this time. After failures in two to three serialization committees, finally it was decided to have a one-shot manga published first. The one-shot received positive reviews and therefore went on to serialization.

Haruba finished drawing the last chapter on February 10, 2020.

Characters

It was decided the protagonist should be quintuplets at the very beginning. When later the idea of quadruplets and sextuplets was raised, it was rejected very quickly, around 30 seconds. Haruba said it might be a reference to Super Sentai when he came up with this idea. Similar to Super Sentai, Ichika (yellow), Nino (black), Miku (blue), Yotsuba (green) and Itsuki (red) are all represented by a colour. The design of the quintuplets started from his favourite existing female characters from “some slice-of-life works only with girls”, around 15 to 20 of them. The idea of adding numbers in their names was after the design was almost confirmed.

The hair colour of the Nakano quintuplets are different when being coloured, which was suggested by Haruba himself, such that they are more distinguishable from each other. The hair colour of the bride in the flashforward is therefore a colour-in-between.

Story

The flashforward that Futaro will eventually marry with only one of the Nakano quintuplets was for eliminating the possibility of marrying all five of them, which would be a lazy ending. It was also decided all quintuplets would anyway have negative feelings towards Futaro from the beginning because Haruba wanted to write how their relationship improved from hate to love in the story, except Yotsuba, who has to act as Futaro’s guide for the development of the story.

While it is normal for harem romantic comedy manga to have sexy depiction, Haruba tried to avoid it to some extent after Vol. 1. In his opinion, showing panties which are being worn, i.e. panchira, makes characters less mysterious and then less interesting to the readers. To keep the characters interesting, the sexy scenes were intended to be ambiguous but not straightforward, leading to readers’ imagination. The swimsuit appearance of the Nakanos was finally revealed in Ep. 92 as Haruba thought an episode of swimming suits should exist before finishing the story.

Manga Monday- The Quintessential Quintuplets

Manga Monday- The Quintessential Quintuplets

The Quintessential Quintuplets is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Negi Haruba. It was serialized in Kodansha’s Weekly Shōnen Magazine from August 2017 to February 2020. The series follows the daily life of a high school student Futaro Uesugi who is hired as a private tutor for a group of quintuplets, Ichika, Nino, Miku, Yotsuba and Itsuki Nakano, who perform poorly academically. At the very beginning of the story, it is indicated Futaro will marry with one of the Nakano quintuplets but the identity of the bride is unknown until near the end of the story.

An anime television series adaptation produced by Tezuka Productions aired from January to March 2019 on TBS and other channels. A second season by Bibury Animation Studios premiered in January 2021.

The series is published in English by Kodansha USA under the Kodansha Comics imprint. The anime series is licensed in North America under a Crunchyroll–Funimation partnership.

The series is a commercial success, being the 5th best selling manga in 2019, and the 3rd best selling manga in the first half of 2020 in Japan. In 2019, the manga won the award for the shōnen category at the 43rd annual Kodansha Manga Awards.

Plot

High school student Futaro Uesugi is an academically gifted student that leads a difficult life — his mother has died, he has no friends, and on top of all that, his father has incurred a large amount of debt.

An opportunity presents itself when the rich Nakano family transfers to his school. Futaro is promptly hired as a highly-paid tutor. However, much to Futaro’s dismay, he discovers that his five charges — identical quintuplet sisters of varied personalities — have no interest in studying at all and have abysmal grades. Some of the quintuplets are against having Futaro, whom they view as a stranger, in their apartment, but Futaro’s diligent tenacity gradually convinces those girls to accept him and to improve their grades.

Throughout the series, Futaro develops special relationships with each of the quintuplets. Through a flashforward, it is revealed that he eventually marries one of them, but her true identity is only revealed near the end of the series.

Media

Manga

The Quintessential Quintuplets is a manga series written and illustrated by Negi Haruba. Before the serialization, a one-shot manga of the same name had been published in 2017 issue 8 of Kodansha’s Weekly Shōnen Magazine on August 9, 2017, and received positive comments. On December 4, 2019, Haruba announced that the series would end on its 14th tankōbon volume. The series finished on February 19, 2020.

The series has been published in English by Kodansha USA under their Kodansha Comics imprint digitally since June 28, 2018, with a line of physical releases beginning publication on January 1, 2019. As of August 2020, all fourteen digital volumes have been published.

The “all-colour” version of the manga series began serialization in Kodansha’s online manga platform MagaPoke (Magazine Pocket) on February 26, 2020. Currently 9 tankōbon volumes have been published.

Commercial

In October 2017, a television commercial for the manga was released where Ayane Sakura voiced all five girls.

Anime

An anime television series adaptation was announced in the combined 36th and 37th issue of Weekly Shōnen Magazine on August 8, 2018. The series is directed by Satoshi Kuwabara and written by Keiichirō Ōchi, featuring animation by Tezuka Productions, character designs by Michinosuke Nakamura and Gagakuga, and music by Natsumi Tabuchi, Hanae Nakamura, and Miki Sakurai. The series aired from January 10 to March 28, 2019 on the TBS, SUN, and BS-TBS channels. The series ran for 12 episodes. Crunchyroll streamed the series with Funimation providing the English dub as it airs.

A second season was announced in a special event for the first season on May 5, 2019. Kaori is replacing Satoshi Kuwabara as the director of the season, and Keiichirō Ōchi is returning to write the scripts. Bibury Animation Studios is replacing Tezuka Productions as the animation studio. The season was originally scheduled to premiere in October 2020, but due to issues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic the anime premiered on January 8, 2021.

For the first season, Kana Hanazawa, Ayana Taketatsu, Miku Itō, Ayane Sakura, and Inori Minase performed the opening theme song “Quintuplet Feelings” as the group The Nakano Family’s Quintuplets, while Aya Uchida performed the ending theme song “Sign”.

For the second season, The Nakano Family’s Quintuplets will perform the opening theme song “Gotōbun no Katachi” and the ending theme song “Hatsukoi”. Bilibili is streaming the second season in Southeast Asia.

Games

Characters from the series appeared in a collaboration event in the mobile game Venus 11 Vivid!! from May 25 to May 31, 2019.

The first mobile game based on the series The Quintessential Quintuplets: The Quintuplets Can’t Divide the Puzzle Into Five Equal Parts has been released in 2020.

A visual novel titled Gotoubun no Hanayome ∬: Natsu no Omoide mo Gotoubun is currently in development by Mages for the PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch consoles. It features an original story in the deserted island setting, and is currently planned for release on March 25, 2021 in Japan.

Exhibitions

Multiple exhibitions were held across Japan starting from 2019, including Tokyo, Osaka, Niigata and Nagoya. Besides, an overseas exhibition was held in Taipei, Taiwan in July 2020.

Reception

Sales

The manga series has 2 million volumes in print as of January 2019. By February 2019, the manga series had over 3 million volumes in print.

In Japan, The Quintessential Quintuplets was the 5th best selling manga in 2019 and the 3rd best selling manga in the first half of 2020, coming after Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba and One Piece.

Critical response

The Quintessential Quintuplets received positive reviews, most notably for its romantic comedy and harem elements. Paul Jensen of Anime News Network found the series enjoyable and rated a 4 out of 5 to the series, as he commented “The jokes are funny, the characters range from tolerable to likable, the fanservice doesn’t go overboard, and there’s no creepy or obnoxious plot point to spoil the party. There’s nothing revolutionary about it, but it does a lot of basic things well without showing any major flaws, and that’s enough to make this premiere good clean (well, clean-ish) fun.” Patrick Frye of Monsters And Critics noted that there was “little to no ecchi shenanigans or degrading fan service and the girls move beyond the initial stereotypes and become fleshed-out characters that create a fun dynamic with the main character, Futaro Uesugi. Audiences are tired of watching a lucky everyman stumble his way through unlikely scenarios. Instead, Futaro’s no-nonsense attitude wins the day.” Kyle Rogacion of Goomba Stomp praised the plot of the anime but criticized its art style and fanservice gags. The series has a current score of 4.6 out of 5 stars on Crunchyroll as of November 2020.

Awards and nominations

The series was nominated for “Next Manga Award 2018” organized by Niconico. Receiving 16,106 votes, the series eventually ranked eighth overall. In May 2019, it won the award for Best Shōnen Manga at the 43rd annual Kodansha Manga Awards, alongside To Your Eternity. On the award ceremony of the 43rd annual Kodansha Manga Awards, as one of the judges, Ken Akamatsu praised The Quintessential Quintuplets as “the ultimate complete version of harem bishōjo romantic comedy” with “very high quality of illustration”.

Film Friday- Toilet-Bound Hanako-kun

Film Friday- Toilet-Bound Hanako-kun

Toilet-Bound Hanako-kun is a Japanese manga series by Iro Aida. It has been serialized in Square Enix’s shōnen manga magazine Monthly GFantasy since 2014. It has been collected in fifteen (and ongoing) tankōbon volumes. The manga is licensed in North America by Yen Press. An anime television series adaptation by Lerche aired from January to March 2020.

 

 

 

 

Characters

Protagonists

Nene Yashiro 
is a first year high school student at Kamome Academy. She summons Hanako and wishes for her crush, Teru Minamoto, to return her feelings. A turn of events again, Hanako swallows a scale from the same mermaid to inflict himself with her curse and spread its effects, permitting Yashiro to remain human unless she is immersed in water. Having bound their souls together through the curse, he has Yashiro become his human assistant as payment. Yashiro works with Hanako to change and spread new rumors of supernaturals in the school to keep them under control. She is capable of destroying a School Wonder’s yorishiro, their source of power; upon doing so, she falls asleep and views the memory associated with the yorishiro.
Yashiro’s best friend is Aoi Akane, who loves to tell her new rumors. She wears two hair clips resembling magatama and a skull brooch on her school uniform. Yashiro is a very positive, sensitive, and caring girl. She is deeply insecure and genuinely fears that no one will ever love her back; after receiving the curse, she confesses to Hanako that she had realized what her true wish had been: she wanted someone, anyone, to return her feelings, not Teru specifically. Yashiro is insecure about her large ankles, often being compared to daikons as a running gag in the series.
Despite repeatedly claiming Hanako is not her type and Hanako’s relentless teasing, she cares immensely for Hanako and after learning about his past, wants to be able to protect him. She is intuitive and sensitive to changes in his personality, and is deeply affected whenever she learns new information about his past life.
Hanako-kun
The most famous rumor in the school, Hanako-kun is the Seventh Wonder of Kamome Academy. According to his rumor, Hanako can be summoned if one knocks on the third stall of the third floor of the girl’s bathroom in the old school building; he is able to grant wishes to those who summon him in exchange for a suitable price. The strongest and the leader of the Seven Wonders, Hanako fights with a kitchen knife and his two haku-joudai, spirit orbs that assist him in monitoring others and granting him immunity to exorcism lightning. His duty is to monitor all apparitions in the school and maintain the balance between humans and apparitions.
Though childish and mischievous, Hanako puts up a front to mask his true emotions and is rather serious beneath the surface. He takes his duties seriously, having been promised by God that he would be absolved of his past sins if he fulfilled his duties. He is secretive about his past life. Previously, his name was Amane Yugi and he also attended Kamome Academy. A second-year middle school student in 1969, he often came to school with bruises and cuts, having been repeatedly abused by someone he refused to reveal the identity of. He harbored a deep passion for astronomy and had dreams of becoming an astronaut and going to the moon. According to Tsuchigomori, the Fifth Wonder and his homeroom teacher at the time, Hanako was destined to become a science teacher, until his fate changed for unknown reasons. He killed his younger twin brother, Tsukasa Yugi, and died young. Hanako is the only known person to ever have altered his fate.
By inflicting himself with the Mermaid’s Curse, he bound his and Yashiro’s souls together. Though he often teases her, Hanako comes to deeply cherish Yashiro and will go to extreme lengths to help her when she is in need.
Kou Minamoto
is a third-year at Kamome Academy’s middle school division and the second eldest son of the Minamoto Clan, a family of strong exorcists that believe all supernaturals are inherently evil. He uses a spear called the Raiteijou, a weapon passed down in the Minamoto family that transforms the wielder’s spiritual power into lightning that exorcises supernaturals. Tasked by his older brother, Teru, to exorcise all Seven Wonders, Kou attempts to exorcise Hanako but does not possess enough spiritual power to do so. Not giving up, he tags Hanako and Yashiro around the school for a while and comes to the realization that Hanako did not seem to be an ‘evil’ supernatural. As a result, Kou vows to learn more about him and other supernaturals (like Mitsuba) before blindly exorcising them, much to the dissatisfaction of his brother.
When Kou finds Mitsuba haunting the lockers, he offers to spend the day with him in attempt to fulfill his final regrets so he can pass on peacefully. The two were in the same homeroom class in first year and Kou feels guilty for not remembering. After Tsukasa turns Mitsuba into a violent supernatural against his will, Kou watches Hanako destroy Mistuba and is devastated by the loss of his friend. Enraged and upset, he vows to get stronger to destroy evil supernaturals like Tsukasa.
Kou is a seeker of justice with a brave and kind personality, though he often finds himself in trouble due to his inexperience and low spiritual power. He is protective of Yashiro when he interprets Hanako as being mean or perverted. A running gag in the series is his earring on his right ear, an omamori that says traffic.
Sōsuke Mitsuba
was Kou’s middle school classmate in their first year who was killed in a freak accident. He became a ghost and haunted the middle school lockers, calling out to students and hoping someone would remember him. Kou sees him after hearing about his rumor and though he doesn’t remember him from school, decides to help him fulfill whatever regret was keeping him at the school in order to help him pass on.
Mitsuba regrets having no friends while he was alive, and in his wish to Tsukasa, said he wanted everyone to remember him. Because Tsukasa believed his initial wish was too vague, he decides that Mitsuba’s real wish was that he wanted to stay with his friends forever. He grants him this wish instead and changes Mitsuba’s rumor, turning him into a violent supernatural against his will. Tsukasa forces Mitsuba to kill Kou and fulfill his wish of being with his friend forever (through death), but Hanako arrives and destroys Mitsuba before he can do so. Tsukasa saves a part of his soul and recreates a new Mitsuba by attaching it to a body formed of low level spirits he had killed. After killing No. 3, Tsukasa forces the new Mitsuba to eat No. 3’s heart to become the new Third Mystery. Despite not being the original and having no memories, the new Mitsuba has the same personality and dreams of the old one, now wishing to become a real human.
Previously, Mitsuba didn’t have friends because he was narcissistic and rude. Hoping to change in middle school, he repressed his personality, but then became bland and easily forgotten. He was a talented and awarded photographer in the school’s photography club. Mitsuba makes up insulting nicknames for people; he calls Kou ‘hella lame traffic safety earring’, Yashiro ‘daikon-senpai’, and Hanako ‘crazy knife’. However, underneath his rudeness and narcissism, Mitsuba is desperate to be happy and becomes dejected when he thinks about his failures in his original life.

 

Manga Monday- Toilet-Bound Hanako-kun

Manga Monday- Toilet-Bound Hanako-kun

Toilet-Bound Hanako-kun is a Japanese manga series by Iro Aida. It has been serialized in Square Enix’s shōnen manga magazine Monthly GFantasy since 2014. It has been collected in fifteen (and ongoing) tankōbon volumes. The manga is licensed in North America by Yen Press. An anime television series adaptation by Lerche aired from January to March 2020.

Manga

Toilet-Bound Hanako-kun is written and illustrated by Iro Aida. The series started in the July 2014 issue of Square Enix’s Monthly GFantasy, published on June 18, 2014. Square Enix has compiled its chapters into individual tankōbon volumes. The first volume was published on May 22, 2015. As of January 8, 2021, fifteen volumes have been published.

In North America, Yen Press announced in July 2017 that they would publish the manga digitally. In July 2019, Yen Press announced the print release of the series.

Anime

An anime television series adaptation was announced in the April issue of Monthly GFantasy magazine on March 18, 2019. The series is animated by Lerche and directed by Masaomi Andō, with Yasuhiro Nakanishi handling series composition, and Mayuka Itou designing the characters. Hiroshi Takaki is composing the music. It premiered from January 9, 2020 to March 26, 2020 on TBS, SUN, CBC, and BS-TBS. Chibaku Shōnen Band performed the series’ opening theme song “No.7”, while Akari Kitō performed the series’ ending theme song “Tiny Light.” The series has run for 12 episodes. Funimation has licensed the series for a simuldub.

Plot

Kamome Academy is famous for its rumors regarding its Seven Wonders and supernatural occurrences. Nene Yashiro, a first-year high-school student who loves the occult and wishes for a boyfriend, summons the Seventh and most famous Wonder, “Hanako-san of the Toilet”, a girl who allegedly haunts the bathroom and can grant wishes for the right price. Upon summoning her, Yashiro discovers that “Hanako-san” is nothing like the rumors say; Hanako is a boy. With a turn of events, she is spiritually bound to Hanako and becomes his assistant, helping him destroy evil supernaturals and change rumors in order to maintain the balance between the spirit world and the human world. Along the way, Yashiro learns about her connection to the spirit world and the dark secrets regarding Hanako and his past.

 

Film Friday- Death Parade

Film Friday- Death Parade

Death Parade is a 2015 Japanese anime television series created, written, and directed by Yuzuru Tachikawa and produced by Madhouse. The series spawned from a short film, Death Billiards, which was originally produced by Madhouse for the Young Animator Training Project’s Anime Mirai 2013 and released on March 2, 2013. The television series aired in Japan between January 9, 2015 and March 27, 2015. It is licensed in North America by Funimation and in the United Kingdom by Anime Limited, the latter of which was eventually cancelled. The series was obtained by Madman Entertainment for digital distribution in Australia and New Zealand.

Plot

Whenever someone dies, they are sent to one of many mysterious bars run by bartenders serving as arbiters inside a tower in the afterlife. There, they must compete in Death Games with their souls on the line, the results of which reveal what secrets led them to their situation and what their fate will be afterwards, with the arbiters judging if their souls will either be sent for reincarnation or banished into the void. The series follows Decim, the lone bartender of the bar where people who died at the same time are sent to, known as the Quindecim bar, and his assistant.

Media

Death Billiards

Death Billiards was produced by Madhouse as part of the Young Animator Training Project’s Anime Mirai 2013 project, which funds young animators, alongside other short films by Trigger, Zexcs and Gonzo. Death Billiards and the other shorts each received 38 million yen from the Japanese Animation Creators Association, who receives funding from the Japanese government’s Agency for Cultural Affairs. The short was created, directed and written by Yuzuru Tachikawa. The short, along with the other Anime Mirai shorts, opened in 14 Japanese theatres on March 2, 2013.

Death Parade

An anime television series based on the short, titled Death Parade, aired in Japan on Nippon TV between January 9, 2015 and March 27, 2015. Produced by NTV, VAP and Madhouse, the series is created, written and directed by Yuzuru Tachikawa, with Shinichi Kurita designing the characters and Yuki Hayashi composing the music. The opening theme is “Flyers” by Bradio while the ending theme is “Last Theater” by NoisyCell. The anime is licensed in North America by Funimation, who simulcast the series as it aired. It was also acquired in the United Kingdom by Anime Limited, however, it was later announced that the release was cancelled and delisted. A broadcast dub version began streaming from February 18, 2015, both on Funimation’s website and a Dubbletalk programming block which is streamed on Twitch.

Reception

A poll done on the Japanese video-sharing service Niconico at the end of the Winter 2015 airing anime season, ranked Death Parade 9th as the users favorite anime of that season. The English dubbed version of the anime had nominations for “Best male lead vocal performance in an anime television series/OVA” and “Best female lead vocal performance in an anime television series/OVA” and it won the “Best vocal ensemble in an anime television series/OVA” for the “BTVA anime dub television/OVA voice acting Awards”. IGN listed Death Parade among the best anime series of the 2010s.

Main characters

Decim
The bartender of the Quindecim bar (located on the 15th floor) who oversees the Death Games between people who have died and must be judged. His hobby is making mannequins that resemble guests which made an impression on him. He is supposed to have no human emotions, just like all arbiters who are referred to as dummies because they have never lived or died. As a risky experiment, Nona allows him to develop his interest in learning about human emotions.

 

Chiyuki
A human who initially has no memory of her life or her real name and is simply referred to as “the black-haired woman”. She works as an assistant at Quindecim, learning the methods that arbiters use to judge human souls and helping Decim learn about human behavior.

 

 

Nona
Decim’s boss, with the appearance of a young girl. She reports to Oculus and manages the arbiters, primarily working on the 90th floor and sometimes overseeing the games.