Kare Kano (Japanese: 彼氏彼女の事情 Hepburn: Kareshi Kanojo no Jijō?, lit. “His and Her Circumstances”) is a manga series by Masami Tsuda. It was serialized in LaLa from 1996 to 2005 and collected in 21 tankōbon volumes by Hakusensha. It depicts the romance between “perfect” student Yukino Miyazawa and her academic rival Soichiro Arima, and the relationships of several of their friends.
The series is licensed and was published in English in North America by Tokyopop.
Yukino Miyazawa is a Japanese high school first-year student who is the envy of classmates for her good grades and immaculate appearance. However, her “perfect” exterior is a façade, an egocentric charade she maintains to win praise. In the privacy of her own home, she is spoiled, stubborn, a slob, and studies relentlessly and obsessively to maintain her grades. On entering high school, she is knocked from her position at the top of the class by Soichiro Arima, a handsome young man whose very existence Yukino considers a threat to the praise on which she thrives, and she vows to destroy him. When Soichiro confesses that he has a crush on her, Yukino rejects him then boasts about it at home. Her observant little sister Kano points out that her rivalry with him comes from admiration, causing her to rethink her own feelings.
Before she can figure out if she hates or likes Soichiro, he visits her home and discovers her being herself. He uses the information to blackmail her into doing his student council work. At first Yukino accepts it, coming to realize that he is also not the perfect student he pretends to be. Tired of being used, Yukino revolts and Soichiro apologizes, and admits he still loves her and just wanted to spend time with her. Yukino realizes she loves him as well, and together they resolve to abandon their fake ways and be true to themselves, though she initially has trouble breaking her lifelong habit of pretend-perfection and her competitive ways.
As the series progresses, Yukino is able to open her true self to others and earns her first real friends beyond Soichiro. It is eventually revealed that Soichiro was striving to be perfect in order to avoid turning “bad” like the parents who abandoned him. Falling in love with Yukino, he is able to become more true to himself, but he also finds himself becoming increasingly jealous of Yukino’s change bringing new friends and new activities into her life, and of her having parts of her life that don’t involve him. When Yukino unknowingly hurts him, he becomes even more jealous and afraid, and begins to wear another façade of the “perfect boyfriend” in an effort to protect her from his “ugly” self.
The return of both of his parents into his life sends Soichiro into a dark area, but helps him finally break free to truly be himself as Yukino and their friends help him learn to lean on and trust others. The end of the series shows Yukino and Soichiro in their 30s, with their three children, and gives updates on the various friends they made along the way.
Cowboy Bebop is a 1998 anime television series animated by Sunrise featuring a production team led by director Shinichirō Watanabe, screenwriter Keiko Nobumoto, character designer Toshihiro Kawamoto, mechanical designer Kimitoshi Yamane, and composer Yoko Kanno. The twenty-six episodes (“sessions”) of the series are set in the year 2071, and follow the lives of a bounty hunter crew traveling on the Bebop (their spaceship). Cowboy Bebop explores philosophical concepts including existentialism, existential ennui, and loneliness.
The series premiered in Japan on TV Tokyo from April 3 until June 26, 1998, broadcasting only twelve episodes and a special due to its controversial adult-themed content. The entire twenty-six episodes of the series were later broadcast on WOWOW from October 24 until April 24, 1999. The anime was adapted into two manga series which were serialized in Kadokawa Shoten’s Asuka Fantasy DX. A film was later released to theaters worldwide.
The anime series was dubbed in the English language by Animaze and ZRO Limit Productions, and was licensed by Bandai Entertainment in North America and is now licensed by Funimation. In Britain, it was licensed by Beez Entertainment and is now licensed by Anime Limited. Madman Entertainment has licensed it for releases in Australia and New Zealand. In 2001, Cowboy Bebop became the first anime title to be broadcast on Adult Swim in the United States.
Cowboy Bebop became a critical and commercial success both in Japanese and international markets (most notably in the United States), garnered several major anime and science fiction awards upon its release, and received universal praise for its style, characters, story, voice acting, animation, and soundtrack. In the years since its release, critics and reviewers, from the United States in particular, have hailed Cowboy Bebop as a masterpiece and frequently cite it as one of the greatest anime titles of all time. Credited with helping to introduce anime to a new wave of Western viewers in the early 2000s, Cowboy Bebop has also been labelled a gateway series for the medium as a whole.
In 2071, roughly fifty years after an accident with a hyperspace gateway made the Earth almost uninhabitable, humanity has colonized most of the rocky planets and moons of the Solar System. Amid a rising crime rate, the Inter Solar System Police (ISSP) set up a legalized contract system, in which registered bounty hunters (also referred to as “Cowboys”) chase criminals and bring them in alive in return for a reward. The series’ protagonists are bounty hunters working from the spaceship Bebop. The original crew are Spike Spiegel, an exiled former hitman of the criminal Red Dragon Syndicate, and his partner Jet Black, a former ISSP officer. They are later joined by Faye Valentine, an amnesiac con artist; Edward Wong, an eccentric girl skilled in hacking; and Ein, a genetically-engineered Pembroke Welsh Corgi with human-like intelligence. Over the course of the series, the team get involved in disastrous mishaps leaving them out of pocket, while often confronting faces and events from their past: these include Jet’s reasons for leaving the ISSP, and Faye’s past as a young woman from Earth injured in an accident and cryogenically frozen to save her life.
The main story arc focuses on Spike and his deadly rivalry with Vicious, an enforcer for the Red Dragon Syndicate. Spike and Vicious were once partners and friends, but when Spike began an affair with Vicious’ girlfriend Julia and resolved to leave the Syndicate with her, Vicious attempted to have Julia kill Spike. Julia goes into hiding to protect herself and Spike, while Spike fakes his death to escape the Syndicate. In the present, Julia comes out of hiding and reunites with Spike, planning to complete their plan. Vicious, having staged a coup d’état and taken over the Syndicate, sends hitmen after the pair. Julia is killed, leaving Spike alone. His heartbreak feeds his desire to kill Vicious once and for all. Spike leaves the Bebop after saying a final goodbye to Faye and Jet. Upon infiltrating the syndicate, he finds Vicious on the top floor of the building. In a final battle, Vicious is killed and Spike severely wounded. The series ends as Spike descends the main staircase of the building into the rising sun. He falls to the ground, leaving his ultimate fate ambiguous.
This series was written to match the music for each scene so the music fits into the series very powerfully. Below are the opening and the ending theme for you to enjoy!
Toady’s post is on Samurai Deeper Kyo volume 1 by Akimine Kamijyo. It is the first in the series and is 208 pages long. It is published by Tokyopop. The cover Kyoshiro on it with a shadow behind him of someone going to attack. The intended reader is someone who likes samurai stories, historical (sort of), and surprisingly romance; older teen and adult only. There is language, sexuality, and lots of violence in this manga. The story is told from third person god point of view with the characters thoughts being read by the reader. There Be Spoilers Ahead.
From the back of the book- 1604 A.D. Four years after a devastating civil war, Yuya Shiina earns a living by hunting outlaws. When she captures Mibu Kyoshiro for a small bounty, she has no idea about the dark secret he carries within. Kyoshiro shares his body with the spirit of Onime-no-Kyo, a legendary assassin who has killed a thousand men.
Review- I love this manga so much. I read it 10 years ago when it was first brought here to the USA. The art is very good, the story is interesting, and the characters are intense. Yuya and Kyo are OTP to this day. It is all about the characters to me. Yuya is a very determined young woman who wants revenge for her brother’s murder. Kyo is a jackass. He wants to be free of Kyoshiro again and be the most powerful warrior. The only reason he does not kill Yuya is she head-butts him and tells him that she will not beg for her life. If he is going to kill her then do it, otherwise get out of her way. The art plays a very big part of telling the story. Kyo’s eyes are very expressive. His face when Yuya heat-butts him is hilarious; pure disbelief. No one stands up to him like she did/does. At least no one that he thinks as weaker than himself. One thing Kyo/Kyoshiro are not the same person. They are different people from the same family. That is something that you have to remember as you are reading the series. Plus Kyo would kill anyone who thought he was anything like Kyoshiro. I do not think that Kyoshiro has an opinion about that at all.
I give this first volume a Five out of Five stars. I bought this manga with my own money many years ago and I am looking forward to rereading and falling back in love with Kyo.