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Month: March 2017

Film Friday- Excel Saga

Film Friday- Excel Saga

The manga was adapted into an anime television series by Victor Entertainment, which was taglined Quack Experimental Animation. Directed by Shinichi Watanabe and featuring animation from J.C.Staff, the series premiered on TV Tokyo in 1999. TV Tokyo only aired twenty-five of the series’ twenty-six episodes, with the finale having been intentionally made too violent, obscene and long for broadcast on Japanese TV. As such, it was only included in the DVD release of the series, although it has since been broadcast in other markets.

Victor Entertainment contacted Shōnen Gahosha about adapting Excel Saga into an anime, and the two companies approached Rikdo. Shinichi Watanabe was chosen as director. Watanabe added his own alter ego, Nabeshin, and expanded several elements. He says that the Great Will in the manga was “conveyed just as words,” and he himself developed its appearance, eventually settling on the “swirling, talking cosmos.” He also increased Pedro’s role in the story from a single frame in the manga. Watanabe says he was pleased with that aspect of his work, noting that “Pedro’s situation was considered unsuitable for broadcast in Japan”. The anime production staff was given the freedom to do anything they wanted as long as they kept the theme of the series intact, and Rikdo requested they created a separate timeline. Rikdo would later become influenced by the anime series due to its quick broadcast in comparison to the monthly schedule of the manga. The anime makes frequent use of parody and in-jokes as comedic devices, with each episode having a genre-based theme. This extends to the animation, with several characters designed in the style of other works, such as those by Leiji Matsumoto. Kotono Mitsuishi was chosen to play the role of Excel, and Watanabe was impressed with Mitsuishi’s rapid delivery of her lines, saying that “she really pushed herself to the limit and beyond.” He also says, “at times she was too fast, and there was plenty of time left to match the lip-synch”. In such cases, either he would add new material or Mitsuishi would ad-lib. At first Rikdo felt stunned and uncomfortable at hearing Excel speak, but he called the casting “amazing” and was pleased to hear his favourite voice actors read lines from his work.

An anime adaption was produced by J.C.Staff and directed by Shinichi Watanabe. Twenty five episodes were broadcast on TV Tokyo between October 7, 1999 and March 30, 2000. At the publisher’s request, the anime series follows a different storyline from the manga, however Rikdo was pleased with the adaptation. Victor Entertainment produced the music of the series, which was composed and arranged by Toshio Masuda and directed by Keiichi Nozaki. Director Shinichi Watanabe wrote the lyrics for the opening and closing themes,. The opening theme which were performed by Yumiko Kobayashi and Mikako Takahashi who were credited as The Excel♥Girls . The lyrics for the opening theme Love (Loyalty) were written “on the train, five minutes before the deadline”. The closing theme was Menchi’s Bolero of Sorrow The two themes were released together as a CD single on November 3, 1999.

A twenty-sixth episode, Going Too Far, was deliberately created to be too violent and obscene for broadcast in Japan and was instead included as a DVD bonus. Watanabe commented that it “felt good to go past the limits of a TV series”, although he thinks it “is not something that you should do too often”. In Japan the series was released on 12 DVDs between March 1, 2000 and January 24, 2001.

The series was licensed for an English language release in North America and the United Kingdom by ADV Films and in Australia and New Zealand by Madman Entertainment. The English adaptation initially starred Jessica Calvello, with Larissa Wolcott taking over the role after episode thirteen after Calvello had damaged her voice during production. In North America, ADV released the series on six DVDs between June 11, 2002 and April 8, 2003. A complete collection of the series was released on July 6, 2004 as Excel Saga – The Imperfect collection and re-released in different packaging on August 1, 2006 as Excel Saga – Complete Collection. In the UK, the series was first released between May 19, 2003 and March 15, 2004. A complete box set was later released as Excel Saga – Complete Box Set on July 2, 2007. The UK license for the series expired in January 2008. The series was broadcast on UK TV channel Rapture TV from January 2, 2007.

On October 30, 2010, Excel Saga was re-licensed in North America by Funimation Entertainment, who re-released the complete series to DVD on May 17, 2011.

Wednesday News- March 22, 2017

Wednesday News- March 22, 2017

News-

How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom: Novel 1- https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/review/how-a-realist-hero-rebuilt-the-kingdom/novel-1/.113627

Go Behind-the-Scenes of Ghost in the Shell’s Amazing Props- https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/interest/2017-03-22/go-behind-the-scenes-of-ghost-in-the-shell-amazing-props/.113718.

Do Japanese Fans Care What’s Popular Overseas?- https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/answerman/2017-03-22/.113730

No Game, No Life Zero Anime Film Slated for July 15- https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/daily-briefs/2017-03-22/no-game-no-life-zero-anime-film-slated-for-july-15/.113740

 

Anime-

  • Attack on Titan: Junior High Limited Edition BD/DVDPl
  • Attack on Titan: Junior High BD/DVD
  • BlazBlue Alter Memory BD/DVD S.A.V.E. Edition
  • Girls und Panzer: This is the Real Anzio Battle! BD/DVD
  • Mezzo DVD
  • Pokémon the Movie: Volcanion and the Mechanical Marvel DVD

Manga-

  • Accel World GN 7
  • Akame ga KILL! ZERO GN 5
  • The Asterisk War GN 3
  • Barakamon GN 13
  • Blame! GN 3
  • Blood Lad GN 8
  • The Boy and The Beast GN 3
  • Bungō Stray Dogs GN 2
  • A Centaur’s Life GN 11
  • Clockwork Planet GN 1
  • Danganronpa: The Animation GN 4
  • Death March to the Parallel World Rhapsody GN 2
  • The Devil is a Part-Timer! GN 8
  • Dragon’s Rioting GN 6C
  • Forget Me Not GN 7
  • Fruits Basket Collector’s Edition GN 11
  • Goodnight Punpun GN 5
  • Handa-kun GN 5A
  • He’s My Only Vampire GN 10
  • The Honor Student at Magic High School GN 6
  • How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend GN 5
  • Kin-iro Mosaic GN 2
  • Kiss and White Lily for My Dearest Girl GN 1
  • Lord Marksman and Vanadis GN 3
  • Love at Fourteen GN 6
  • Master Keaton GN 10
  • Merman in My Tub GN 6
  • My Youth Romantic Comedy Is Wrong, As I Expected @ comic GN 4P
  • Of the Red, the Light, and the Ayakashi GN 6
  • Prison School GN 6
  • School-Live! GN 6
  • Strike the Blood GN 6
  • Sword Art Online: Progressive GN 5A
  • Terra Formars GN 17
  • That Wolf-Boy Is Mine! GN 4
  • Today’s Cerberus GN 3
  • Twinkle Stars GN 2
  • Twittering Birds Never Fly GN 3
  • Übel Blatt GN 8
  • UQ Holder! GN 10

Other-

  • Accel World Novel 9
  • Durarara!! Novel 6
  • Log Horizon Novel 7
  • Re:Zero Novel 3vel 6A
  • C
Manga Monday- Excel Saga

Manga Monday- Excel Saga

Excel Saga is a manga series written and illustrated by Rikdo Koshi. It has been serialized in Young King OURs since 1995, and its individual chapters were collected and published in tankōbon volumes by Shōnen Gahosha. The series follows the attempts of Across, a “secret ideological organization,” to conquer the city of Fukuoka as a first step towards world domination. The title character of the series, Excel, is a key member of the group working towards this goal, while the city is defended by a shadowy government agency led by Dr. Kabapu.

Plot-

Believing the World to be corrupt, the secret organization Across plans to conquer the world. The first step in the plan for world domination is to begin by focusing on one city in order to minimize setbacks. Across consists of the leader of the organization, Il Palazzo, and officers Excel and Hyatt. Excel and Hyatt live in an apartment building in the city, along with their pet dog Menchi, who is also their emergency food supply, and are later joined by Elgala, another Across officer. Living in the neighboring apartment are three guys: Iwata, Sumiyoshi and Watanabe, and other building dwellers such as co-worker Matsuya, and later Ropponmatsu, who all work for the Department of City Security under Dr. Kabapu, who intends to stop Across. Eventually the members of Across begin making appeals directly to the City’s citizens before Il Palazzo publicly declares the existence of Across and its intentions to the public. Hyatt is captured and Excel and Elgala are later held in an immigrant detention center before being rescued by Il Palazzo, who begins the new phase of his plans.

Since its August 2003 release in North America, the manga has been among the 50 top-selling graphic novels on three occasions.

Film Friday- Appleseed

Film Friday- Appleseed

Appleseed is a Japanese cyberpunk-style OVA adaptation of the manga of the same name created by Masamune Shirow. The anime takes place in a non-determined future. The anime, produced by Bandai Visual in 1988 and animated by Gainax. The anime departs greatly from the manga’s storyline, sharing only the characters and setting.

Plot-

After World War III, the General Management Control Office constructs an experimental city known as Olympus. It is inhabited by humans, cyborgs, and bioroids. Bioroids are genetically engineered beings created to serve Mankind. They oversee all the administration duties of Olympus. Olympus was meant to be a utopian society, but for some, it feels more like a cage. Calon Mautholos, an Olympus city police officer, is one of the many who feel that way.

Calon secretly conspires with a terrorist, A. J. Sebastian, to destroy Gaia, a super computer that runs the various utilities and networks of Olympus. Out to stop them are Olympus City ESWAT (Enhanced SWAT) team members Deunan Knute and Briareos Hecatonchires. Deunan and Briareos are determined to stop the terrorist plot by any means necessary.

Appleseed  is a 2004 Japanese computer animated anime science fiction action film directed by Shinji Aramaki and based on the Appleseed manga created by Masamune Shirow. It features the voice acting of Ai Kobayashi, Jūrōta Kosugi, Mami Koyama, Yuki Matsuoka, and Toshiyuki Morikawa. The film tells the story of Deunan Knute, a former soldier, who searches for data that can restore the reproductive capabilities of bioroids, a race of genetically engineered clones. Although it shares characters and settings with the original manga, this film’s storyline is a re-interpretation, not a true adaptation. This Appleseed film should not be confused with the 1988 OVA which was also inspired by the manga. Appleseed received a theatrical release on April 17, 2004.

Appleseed XIII  is a 2011 Japanese CGI anime adaptation of Masamune Shirow’s science fiction manga series Appleseed. Composed of 13 episodes, the series retold the exploits of ES.W.A.T. member Deunan and her cyborg partner Briareos. The series was produced by Production I.G and under the direction of Takayuki Hamana with Junichi Fujisaku as script supervisor. All 13 episodes were compiled into two feature-length films. The first feature film titled Appleseed XIII: Tartaroswas announced by Shochiku and released on June 13, 2011. The second film, Appleseed XIII: Ouranos was released on October 24, 2011.

A North American release of the TV series was released in June 2013. It was licensed by Funimation.

Wednesday News- March 15, 2017

Wednesday News- March 15, 2017

News-

Live-Action Tokyo Ghoul Film Opens on July 29- https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2017-03-14/live-action-tokyo-ghoul-film-opens-on-july-29/.113397

The List: 7 Beauty & The Beast Couples- https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/the-list/2017-03-11/.113303

Rumiko Takahashi’s Manga Top 200 Million Copies in Print Worldwide- https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2017-03-15/rumiko-takahashi-manga-top-200-million-copies-in-print-worldwide/.113452

Sword Art Online: Ordinal Scale English Dub Screenings Begin April 22 in U.S.- https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2017-03-14/sword-art-online-ordinal-scale-english-dub-screenings-begin-april-22-in-u.s/.113434

Anime-

  • Appleseed XIII BD/DVD S.A.V.E. Edition
  • Ben-To BD/DVD S.A.V.E. Edition
  • K: Missing Kings BD/DVD
  • K: Missing Kings DVD
  • Kokoro Connect BD
  • Kokoro Connect DVD
  • Wolf Children Collector’s Edition BD/DVD

Manga-

  • Complex Age GN 4
  • Don’t Be Cruel: Akira Takanashi’s Story GN 1P
  • Finder GN 8
  • Hana & Hina After School GN 1
  • The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess GN 1
  • Maria Holic GN 9
  • Mysterious Girlfriend X GN 5
  • Ranma 1/2 Omnibus GN 19
  • RG Veda Omnibus GN 2
  • RIN-NE GN 23
  • The Seven Deadly Sins GN 19
  • The Seven Princes of the Thousand Year Labyrinth GN 2

Other-

  • Danganronpa 1-2 Reload PS4 Game

 

Manga Monday- Appleseed

Manga Monday- Appleseed

Appleseed  is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Masamune Shirow. The series follows the adventures of ESWAT members Deunan Knute and Briareos Hecatonchires in Olympus. Like much of Masamune’s work, Appleseed merges elements of the cyberpunk and mecha genres with a heavy dose of politics, philosophy, and sociology. The series spans four volumes, released between 1985 and 1989.

Originally published in Japan in 1985, Book One Appleseed: The Promethean Challenge was published directly to paperback instead of being serialized, a rarity in the Japanese manga market. This was soon followed by the publication of Book Two, Appleseed: Prometheus Unbound, Book Three Appleseed: The Scales of Prometheus in 1987, and Book Four Appleseed: The Promethean Balance in 1989. Rumors of a possible Volume 5 still persist today, though Shirow had mentioned that he has no plans of pursuing it for the meantime. From 1988 to 1992, Appleseed was published in English by Eclipse Comics, packaged by Studio Proteus. The manga is currently published by Dark Horse Comics. In 2004, a special edition compiling the first two volumes was released, under the title Appleseed 01&02.

Plot-

Appleseed takes place in the 22nd Century, after the non-nuclear Third World War has decimated the Earth. While countries like Great Britain, USA and China have difficulty maintaining order and power, international organizations like the “Sacred Republic of Munma” and “Poseidon” have been established in the aftermath.

The main characters are Deunan Knute and Briareos Hecatonchires, former SWAT members of the LAPD. They are found in the desolated city and invited to join the prestigious ESWAT (Extra Special Weapons And Tactics) organization in the utopian city of Olympus, the new world’s most powerful state. Roughly one half of Olympus’s population are bionically augmented.

The series follows Deunan and Briareos as they protect their new home from both foreign and domestic threats to its security.

 

Film Friday- Ceres, Celestial Legend

Film Friday- Ceres, Celestial Legend

Ceres: Celestial Legend, known in Japan as The Mystery of Ceres , is a fantasy shōjomanga series written by Yuu Watase. Studio Pierrot adapted the series into a twenty-four episode anime series that premiered in Japan on WOWOW on April 20, 2000 and ran until September 28, 2000. The anime series was also licensed by Viz, but has since been re-licensed by Discotek Media.

Characters

  • Aya Mikage: Aya is a sixteen-year-old high school girl and the protagonist of the story. She is a direct descendant and reincarnation of a Tennin named Ceres, who uses her as a medium for existence. The Mikage family considers Ceres a threat and continuously tries to take Aya’s life. Aya is horrified but determined to right the past wrongs of her family and recover Ceres’ hagoromo so that her family will no longer suffer in fear of her. She falls in love with Toya, and they conceive a child together. In the sequel Episode of Miku, Aya gives birth to a girl named Miku and, three years later, a boy named Aki-(Miku’s younger brother), who is the look-alike reincarnation of her late twin brother. She has blonde hair, light blue eyes and wears a small pair of red earrings that she had given to her brother.
  • Ceres: Ceres is a powerful Tennin (Celestial Maiden) from legend who married Mikagi, the founder of the Mikage family. While she is powerful and volatile, she needs her hagoromo (celestial robe) to recover her true form and full abilities. She has repeatedly attempted to manifest herself through certain female descendants of her bloodline when they reach the age of sixteen. Because her tragic past was misinterpreted by her descendants, her reincarnations are relentlessly killed by the Mikage family.
  • Toya: Toya is Aya’s main love interest in the series. He is a mysterious young man who has absolutely no memory of his past or his true nature; his only clues are two names: “Toya” (“ten nights”, his name), and “Mikage”. He originally works for Mikage International until he fell in love with Aya, rebelling against them to protect her. It is later revealed that he met Aya when she was a six-year-old child. Toya is the embodiment/offspring of the hagoromo of Ceres. He sacrifices the manna bestowed upon him by the celestial robe to give him immortality, saving Aya and protecting their two young children, Miku and Aki. He has pale white skin, brownish red hair, green eyes and is often seen wearing clip-on earrings on both his ears. His fighting outfit is a long forest green coat with a navy blue crop top, along with matching pants and black monk strap shoes.
  • Aki Mikage: Aki is Aya’s twin brother, a gentle and caring person who becomes a medium for the spirit of Mikagi, the founder of the Mikage family. Mikagi in Aki’s body aggressively pursues Aya and Ceres, and almost rapes Aya. In the end Aki sacrifices his life to destroy the violent and hateful spirit. In the sequel Episode of Miku, he is reborn and reincarnated as Aya and Toya’s second child Aki, and Miku’s younger brother. The uniform at her previous school Sarashina High School was a white polo shirt with an aqua marine vest and a grey skirt.
  • Suzumi Aogiri: A widow and a C-Genomer (Tennin descendant) from the Kansai region, Suzumi is the head of a branch of one of the Aogiri family’s schools of Japanese dance. She welcomes Aya into her household when she discovers Aya has become Ceres’ latest medium. Suzumi cannot become a Tennin like Aya, though she does possess some psychic/psionic abilities, such as clairvoyance, premonition, and powerful telekinesis. She is capable of making protective celestial amulets that possess enormous power.
  • Yūhi Aogiri: Yūhi is the adopted younger brother of Suzumi’s deceased husband Kazuma. Early in the series, he wears a headband enhanced with strong Tennin magic made by Suzumi, designating him Aya’s bodyguard. He has a strong unrequited love for Aya. Though attracted to Yūhi, Aya ultimately comes to see him as a close friend on a strictly platonic level, and Yūhi is able to accept the fact that Aya only loves Toya. Later, he begins to care deeply for Chidori Kuruma. A notable martial arts expert, he is also an extraordinary cook which had learned from his mother.
  • Kyū Oda, “Mrs. Q”: The Aogiri’s household help, “Mrs. Q” is a gnome-like woman known for her reckless driving and ridiculously ugly appearance, despite her consistent claims that she is a beautiful woman. She’s convinced that she and Toya are made for each other.
  • Chidori Kuruma: A C-Genomer from Tochigi Prefecture, Chidori is a cheerful high school girl who looks and acts child-like until she transforms into a Tennin. She cares very deeply for her younger brother, Shota, who was hospitalized upon her introduction into the story. She can transform into a Tennin at will or whenever she gets mad or upset. She seems to have developed deep romantic feelings for her crush Yūhi, and later dies for his sake just as she is about to confess that she had always cared for him. The Mikage scientists identify Chidori’s Tennin type as Pallas. She has wavy salmon pink hair that is often worn in two pigtails; her school uniform is a periwinkle colored blazer with a red tie, a navy blue skirt, and wears black socks with brown shoes.
  • Yuki Urakawa: Yuki is a high school girl and a C-Genomer who goes the same school as Yūhi and Aya. She is quiet and has a weak constitution, so she can’t transform into a Tennin, but she can manifest pyrokinesis. She has a relationship with her teacher Mr. Hayama, who is actually an agent sent by Mikage International to capture and eliminate Aya and Ceres. In the end, Urakawa burns the agent with her powers and hugs him, causing the fire to kill her as well. She wears a sailor styled school uniform that is red and yellow, complete with a grey bow tie, white socks and black shoes.
  • Miori Sahara: Miori is Aya’s distant cousin and a C-Genomer from Shizuoka Prefecture. She was Toya’s lover in a fake past that Kagami implanted in him who was mostly known as Toya Mizuki. She is an ordinary high school student of the co-ed Kaisei High School living a normal, happy life with her mother, until her mother was summoned by the Mikages and killed at the main house when Aya first transformed into Ceres. She pretends to become friends with Aya when Aya transfers to her school, then transforms into a Tennin to take on Aya (as Ceres) and avenge her mother’s death. She later commits suicide-(in front of a huge crowd) as her final act of “revenge” against Aya, to which Toya witnesses. Miori is identified by the Mikage scientists as possessing the same Tennin type as Aya. Here school uniform is a silver colored blazer with a black skirt, and a red ribbon.
  • Shuro Tsukasa: An Okinawan C-Genomer, Shuro was raised as a man by her family out of a fear that she would one day take away the family’s heirloom, Ceres’ hagoromo, and ascend to heaven. She is GeSANG’s famous pop star alongside her cousin Kei Tsukasa, who she is in love with. She dies near the end of the series while attempting to free the C-Genomes. Shuro has the ability to magnify her voice to an amplitude that can rupture a person’s heart when she transforms into a Tennin. Mikage scientists identify her as Tennin type Juno.
  • Kagami Mikage: Kagami is Aya’s distant cousin and director of the C-Project (Celestial Project) conducted by Mikage International. He is one of the few members of the Mikage family who wants to meet Ceres and does not fear her. At times he seems in love with her. Kagami wants to capture Ceres and study her, to harness the ability of the Tennin and learn their true nature. He aims to better humanity by creating a perfect human race, though his methods are less than moral. His personality developed from a tragic childhood, where his mother beat him for not being the best. He wears glasses, has dark grey hair, and wears a dark blue blazer, with a turquoise shirt and yellow tie underneath.
  • Alec / Alexander O. Howell: Alec is a Scottish scientist who studied in the U.S. and speaks Japanese with a thick accent. He is a certified genius with a very high IQ and a complete otaku. He works for Mikage International and provides advanced technology for the development of C-Project. As the project progresses, Alec finds that the situation is not what he expected, and tries to back out because of his own moral convictions. He has yellow colored hair with his bangs parted to the side, a pair of spectacles over his nose, and wears a red shirt with blue jeans and a lab coat.
  • Gladys Smithson: Gladys is an American colleague of Alec who also works for the C-Project at Mikage International. She’s responsible for the C-Genomer’s power growth and development. She dies when she puts herself between Mikagi and a pregnant Ceres. She has white hair that is worn in a bun and wears a magenta colored blazer with an orange dress underneath.
  • Wei Fei Li: Wei is a young, skilled martial artist from China hired by Mikage International. Wielding a vicious chain whip and various tiny throwing blades, he is often sent out to capture C-Genomers or perform other covert tasks. When Toya tries to leave the headquarters together with Aki, Wei is sent stop them, and Toya takes out his left eye and wear a white bandage to cover it up. Wei is Aki’s and Shiso’s caretaker and bodyguard, and Toya’s replacement. He seems to be calm most of the time and does not complain, but he harbors a grudge against Toya for his injury. He has dark green hair, brown skin, and grey eyes; his fighting outfit consists of a light purple Chinese styled coat with blue high healed boots.
  • Shiso Mikagi: The founder of the Mikage family, Mikagi, first lived during the Jōmon period of Japan. He began as a gentle, kind young man. Ceres falls in love with him, and when their family is attacked and he is ashamed of his inability to protect them, she grants him power. His growing strength drives him mad, and his love becomes an obsession that drives him to hide the hagoromo, causing Ceres to fear for her children’s safety. When she leaves, he chases her and kills their first child, so Ceres kills him, covering his body with lacerations that remain when he manifests in Aki. He will stop at nothing to make Ceres his again.
  • Assam: Assam is a young assassin from Indonesia hired by Kagami to replace and kill Toya. He wants the C-Project to stop using children as objects of war.
  • Shouta Kuruma: A 9-10 year old elementary school student and is Chidori’s younger brother, after getting involved in a terrible bus accident two years ago, he was (temporarily) paralyzed from the waist down causing him to use a wheelchair for mobility. When he met Toya at the hospital he was staying at, he saw him as one of his best friends; he stood up for the first time in episode 11 and he can also be seen walking in episodes 19 and 20, he has peach colored skin, hazel eyes, and chestnut brown hair. His dream career is to become a pilot and enjoys looking at the sky.
  • Miku Mikage: Aya and Toya’s daughter who turns 3 year old in Episode of Miku. Because of her young age, she has a tendency to mispronounce words even ones that are simple; on the manga covers she has red hair just like her father Toya, but in a bob cut. She is the big sister of Aki, a younger version of Aya’s brother.
  • Mrs. Mikage: Aya and Aki’s mother. After witnessing her daughter Aya transforming into Ceres, she ends up in a coma throughout the rest of the series due to psychlogical shock.
  • Mr. Mikage: Aya and Aki’s father. He died at the beginning of the series when he tried protecting Aya from getting killed by her evil grandfather, however he is shown in flashbacks.
  • Maya Hirobe: Is a bespectacled teenage girl and student at an all-girls school called Tsukashima High School. In the manga she met Aya after getting attacked by a strange dog; her picture is only shown once in the anime-(in episode 17).
  • Dr. Kurotsuka: A male doctor who runs a clinic in Niigata. After Toya was found unconscious at a nearby beach by a group of kids, Kurotsuka took care of him and nursed him back to health, that was until Toya escaped from the hospital and was trying to regain his memories; Despite his tough-looking appearance, he’s very friendly, has a sense of humor and was even kind enough to lend Toya his motorcycle to rescue Aya. He has sanpaku styled eyes, a tan skin complexion, and dark brown hair.
Wednesday News- March 8, 2017

Wednesday News- March 8, 2017

News-

Yen Press to Publish The Royal Tutor, Kakegurui, Sekirei Manga in Print- https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/daily-briefs/2017-03-07/yen-press-to-publish-the-royal-tutor-kakegurui-sekirei-manga-in-print/.113115

What Do Miko (Shrine Maiden) Actually Do?- https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/answerman/2017-03-08/.113120

Inuyasha Stage Play Reveals Cast Visuals for Kagome, Kikyo- https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2017-03-08/inuyasha-stage-play-reveals-cast-visuals-for-kagome-kikyo/.113130

Hakuoki: Kyoto Winds PS Vita Game Slated for May in N. American, Europe- https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2017-03-07/hakuoki-kyoto-winds-ps-vita-game-slated-for-may-in-n-america-europe/.113123

Anime-

  • Miss Hokusai BD/DVD/Digital HDP
  • Miss Hokusai DVD
  • Phantasy Star Online 2: The Animation BD
  • Phantasy Star Online 2: The Animation DVD
  • STARMYU BD/DVD
  • Turn A Gundam Collection 2 BD
  • Wanna Be the Strongest in the World BD/DVD S.A.V.E.
  • Sekai Ichi Hatsukoi – The World’s Greatest First Love DVD
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! Arc-V Season 1 Complete Collection BD
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! Arc-V Season 1 Complete Collection DVD
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! Arc-V Season 1 Volume 2 BD
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! Arc-V Season 1 Volume 2 DVD

Manga-

  • Anonymous Noise GN 1
  • Bleach GN 69
  • Bloody Mary GN 6
  • A Certain Scientific Accelerator GN 5
  • Everyone’s Getting Married GN 4
  • Haikyu!! GN 9
  • Hunter X Hunter GN 33
  • Ichi-F: A Worker’s Graphic Memoir of the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant GN
  • Interviews with Monster Girls GN 3
  • Kimi ni Todoke GN 26
  • The Legend of Zelda Legendary Edition GN 3 (The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask and The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past)
  • Masamune-kun’s Revenge GN 4
  • Natsume’s Book of Friends GN 20
  • Nichijou GN 7
  • Ninja Slayer Kills GN 4
  • Nisekoi GN 20
  • One Piece Omnibus GN 19
  • One-Punch Man GN 11
  • Persona 3 GN 3
  • Persona 4 GN 6
  • Platinum End GN 2
  • Pokémon Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire (Pokémon Adventures) GN 3
  • Pokémon the Movie: Volcanion and the Mechanical Marvel GN
  • Skip Beat! GN 38
  • Tegami Bachi GN 20
  • Welcome to the Ballroom GN 3
  • Yo-kai Watch GN 7

Other Releases

  • Atelier Firis: The Alchemist and the Mysterious Journey PS4 Game
  • Fate/Complete Character Material Artbook 2
  • Fate/Grand Order Original Soundtrack I CD (Import)
  • Naruto: Sasuke’s Story Novel
  • NieR Automata PS4 game
  • Sword Art Online the Movie: Ordinal Scale Original Soundtrack CD (Import)

Manga Monday- Ceres Celestial Legend

Manga Monday- Ceres Celestial Legend

Ceres: Celestial Legend, known in Japan as The Mystery of Ceres, is a fantasy shōjo manga series written by Yuu Watase. It was originally serialized in Shōjo Comic from May 1996 through March 2000 and later reprinted by Shogakukan in fourteen collected volumes.

The series focuses on Aya Mikage, who learns on her sixteenth birthday that she is the reincarnation of a celestial maiden (Tennyo) named Ceres, and her twin brother Aki the reincarnation of Ceres’ former husband, Mikagi. Ceres begins manifesting in Aya, and to save her brother she must find Ceres’ lost celestial robe (hagoromo), while avoiding being killed or captured by family members who want to use Ceres’s supreme celestial abilities for their own personal gain.

The manga series is licensed for English language release in North America by Viz Media. In 1998, it won the Shogakukan Manga Award for shōjo.

Plot-

Aya Mikage and her fraternal twin brother, Aki, go to their grandfather’s home for their sixteenth birthday, unaware that it’s actually a test to see if they have angel or celestial maiden blood. Aya learns she is the reincarnation of a supremely powerful celestial maiden called Ceres. When she transforms into Ceres, Aya obtains supernatural abilities of flight, long-distance teleportation, telepathy, powerful telekinesis, premonition, and superhuman speed; she can also project destructive pink energy blasts from her hands, and create impenetrable shields and barriers of pure pink energy. According to the legend, Ceres will kill the entire Mikage family in revenge for stealing her hagoromo (celestial robe), thus preventing her returning home to Heaven. Because of this, Aya’s family attempts to kill her, but she is saved by Suzumi Aogiri, another Tennin descendant with supernatural abilities, and Suzumi’s brother-in-law, Yūhi. Aya struggles to control Ceres’ power. Her brother Aki is eventually completely taken over by the vengeful spirit of “Mikage”, the original ancestor of the entire Mikage family who stole Ceres’ celestial robe, forcing her to stay with him on Earth. Aya promises Ceres that she will help find the celestial robe in exchange for not killing those who hunt her, especially Aki, since Aya still loves them as family.

Aya also wrestles with her strong romantic feelings for Toya, a former servant of the Mikage. Toya is trying to kill her as well, and has lost his memory of his past. However, he begins to reciprocate Aya’s feelings, and they conceive a child together. Toya regains his memory and learns that he was the immortal humanoid organism, also known as “the manna,” that the celestial robe created to help it reunite with Ceres.

In the end, Aki, having resisted Mikage’s spirit, sacrifices himself to save Aya, and Toya sacrifices his own manna and immortality to save Aya and their unborn child. Months later, Aya and Toya await the birth of their child, knowing that Toya may or may not have limited time left to live, however Toya did claim that he will live longer, for his new family’s sake.

Film Friday- Ghost in the Shell

Film Friday- Ghost in the Shell

Movies-

One: The film’s plot follows the hunt by the public-security agency Section 9 for a mysterious hacker known as the Puppet Master. With the assistance of her team, Motoko Kusanagi tracks and finds their suspect, only to be drawn into a complex sequence of political intrigue and a cover-up as to the identity and goals of the Puppet Master.

The overarching philosophical themes of the film include self-identity in a technologically advanced world. The music, composed by Kenji Kawai, includes an ancient Japanese language in a wedding song that serves as a key piece of music leading up to the climax of the film. Widely considered to be one of the greatest anime films of all time, critics particularly praised its visuals, which were achieved through a combination of traditional cel animation and CG animation. The film has served as inspiration for filmmakers such as the Wachowskis.

Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence: known in Japan as Mobile Armored Riot Police: Innocence, is a 2004 anime/computer-animated science fiction sequel to the 1995 film Ghost in the Shell. Released in Japan on March 6, 2004, and in the US on September 17, 2004, Innocence had a production budget of approximately $20 million (approximately 2 billion yen). To raise the sum, Production I.G studio’s president, Mitsuhisa Ishikawa, asked Studio Ghibli’s president, Toshio Suzuki, to co-produce.

With a story loosely connected to the manga by Masamune Shirow, the film was written and directed by Ghost in the Shell director Mamoru Oshii. The film was honored best sci-fi film at the 2004 Nihon SF Taisho Awards and was in competition at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival. The soundtrack for the film was released under the name Innocence O.S.T. and a related novel called Innocence: After the Long Goodbye was released on February 29, 2004. This film makes many allusions and references to other famous works, such as The Future Eve. The foreign DVD release of the film faced many issues ranging from licensing to audio.

Plot-

In 2029, the world is interconnected by a vast electronic network that permeates every aspect of life. Much of humanity has access to this network through cybernetic bodies, or “shells”, which possess their consciousness and can give them superhuman abilities.

Major Motoko Kusanagi, an assault-team leader for the Public Security Section 9 of an unnamed post-WWIII Japanese city, “New Port City”, is assigned to capture an elusive hacker known as the Puppet Master. Her team, Batou and Ishikawa, use triangulation to seek out the Puppet Master. Their suspect is a garbageman who believes he is using a program obtained from a sympathetic man to illegally “ghost-hack” his wife’s mind to find his daughter. Kusanagi and her team arrest him and the man who gave him the program, but discover that their memories were either erased or implanted: “ghost-hacked” by the Puppet Master.

A facility is hacked and programmed to assemble a female cybernetic body. The body escapes but is hit by a truck; Section 9 investigates and examines the body, which seems to have a human “ghost” inside—perhaps the Puppet Master himself. Officials from rival agency Section 6 visit Section 9 and explain that the body was made to lure the Puppet Master’s ghost and trap it inside. Kusanagi espies the conversation and decides to disconnect her consciousness from her current body and connect or “dive into” the body and face the Puppet Master’s ghost. Before she succeeds, the ghost activates the body. Section 6 storms Section 9 and reclaims the body.

The information from the body leads Section 9 to uncover the mysterious Project 2501. Section 6 claims the project was created to catch the hacker, but it was initiated before his appearance. Section 9 speculates that the project itself created the Puppet Master, who then escaped, and Section 6 now wants him back. Daisuke Aramaki, head of Section 9, suspects that the project and the Puppet Master are tools of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The escape might lead to the release of secrets that could embarrass Section 6 and the Ministry.

The getaway car carrying the Puppet Master meets another, and they split off. Batou stops the first car and realizes it is a decoy. Kusanagi follows the second car to an abandoned building in an area affected the hardest by flooding from the rains, where she is ambushed by an invisible spider-like armored vehicle using therm-optic camouflage. Batou arrives in time to save the badly damaged Kusanagi. With Batou on guard, Kusanagi faces the body stolen by Section 6. The Puppet Master reveals himself and explains that, under Project 2501, it was created by Section 6 to hack ghosts for individuals and Section 6. While wandering various networks, the Puppet Master became sentient and began to contemplate its existence; it was troubled by the fact that it could not reproduce or die. It plans to merge with Kusanagi’s ghost to experience mortality; Kusanagi would live on with its ghost. As it could not crack Section 6’s attack protection, it was forced to escape in a physical body.

Batou tries to disconnect the drive, but the Puppet Master ghost-hacks him. Helicopters from Section 6 arrive with orders to destroy everyone inside to cover up Project 2501. The Puppet Master disrupts their targeting systems. As it starts merging with Kusanagi, snipers blow their heads off, along with Batou’s arm.

Kusanagi wakes up in a child-sized cyborg body in Batou’s safehouse. Batou explains that her original body was destroyed in the fight; he recovered her head and attached it to the new body. Kusanagi acknowledges she is now neither herself nor the Puppet Master, but a combination of both. Batou says he will always be there for her. She leaves the house and gazes out over New-Port City.

TV Series-

Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex is an anime television series produced by Production I.G and based on Masamune Shirow’s manga Ghost in the Shell. It was written and directed by Kenji Kamiyama, with original character design by Hajime Shimomura and a soundtrack by Yoko Kanno. The first season aired on SKY PerfecTV!’s Perfect Choice from October 2002 to October 2003 and was positively received by critics. A second season titled Ghost in the Shell: S.A.C. 2nd GIG aired on Animax from 1 January 2004 to 8 January 2005.

The series centers on the members of an elite cybernetic law enforcement unit known as Public Security Section 9 as they investigate cyber-crime and terrorism cases; these cases often are connected to their pursuit of an elite “Super Class A” hacker and corporate terrorist known as “The Laughing Man”. A series of associated short comic animations, titled Tachikomatic Days, aired after each episode. These shorts star the Tachikoma “think-tanks” from the main series, and they typically relate directly to the story of the preceding Stand Alone Complex episode.

The first season was also adapted into a feature-length OVA titled The Laughing Man, which was released in 2005 and two manga series in 2009. The series had also received video game spin-offs for the PS2, PSP, and mobile phones. 2nd GIG was also later adapted into a feature-length OVA entitled Individual Eleven, which was released in 2006; Solid State Society, a TV-film sequel to the Stand Alone Complex series, was also released in that year.

Plot-

The members of Section 9. From bottom left to top right: Paz, Borma, Saito, Batou, Motoko, Togusa, Aramaki, and Ishikawa

The series takes place in the year 2030, where many people have become cyborgs with prosthetic bodies. Primarily set in the fictional Japanese city of Niihama, Niihama Prefecture, the series follows the members of Public Security Section 9, a special-operations task-force made up of former military officers and police detectives. While the group investigates various crimes, both seasons feature ongoing investigations into two incidents that embroil the group in corruption within other branches of the Japanese government.

The first season of Stand Alone Complex focuses on the Laughing Man incident, wherein a hacker ultimately reveals to the Major that he had discovered that several micromachine manufacturing corporations, in association with the Japanese government, suppressed information on an inexpensive cure to a debilitating cyberization disease in order to profit from the more expensive micromachine treatment. He abducted one of the owners of the company and attempted to force him to reveal the truth on live television, resulting in the hacker live-hacking everyone’s vision and cameras at the event to cover his face with the stylized laughing face logo that became synonymous with his image. His popularity spawned several genuine imitators, resulting in the series’ titular Stand Alone Complex. When Section 9 discovers that these companies and several Japanese politicians later used the Laughing Man’s image to garner public support and profit, they begin a campaign to disseminate the truth, ultimately leading to the Cabinet labeling them as domestic terrorists and forcibly disbanding them, resulting in the capture of several members and the apparent death of Motoko Kusanagi. However, it is all a ruse to deceive the government, and the very alive and well members of Section 9 regroup to bring the micromachine corporations and corrupt politicians to justice, resulting in the dissolution of the current Japanese government.

The second season, 2nd GIG, set two years after the events of the first season, explores the political and social ramifications of the two world wars that took place prior to the events of the series. At the time of the Third and the Fourth World Wars, about three million Asians became refugees and were invited into Japan as a source of cheap labor. These “invited refugees”, based on the reclaimed island of Dejima, soon became unemployed in the post-war period, and their social unrest borders on outright war. Section 9’s involvement in the refugee issue begins after they successfully stop a hostage crisis caused by a terrorist group known as the Individual Eleven, after which newly elected Prime Minister Yoko Kayabuki officially reinstates the organization. The group seems to be modeling themselves after the May 15 Incident, where a group of naval officers assassinated the Prime Minister and then gained the support of the public, and hope to stir up the refugees’ spirits by fighting for them against the Japanese government. The group also comes into contact with Kazundo Goda, head of the Cabinet Intelligence Service, who gets assistance from the group in defusing several instances between the refugees as well as assisting him in transporting plutonium through Dejima, result in several failures and refugee deaths, further straining relations. Section 9 ultimately discovers that Goda has been manipulating both events behind the scenes, leaking the social virus that creates the Individual Eleven ideology and creating a new Stand Alone Complex, as well as the intentional failures with the refugees. However, he cannot account for the charismatic Hideo Kuze who genuinely believes in the best for the refugees and helps rally for their independence from Japan. Throughout the investigation, Kusanagi discovers she may know Kuze from her childhood. Ultimately, Goda is found guilty of his part in the refugee incidents and killed before he can defect to the American Empire, but not before his ministrations also result in the death of Kuze.

In the film Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex – Solid State Society, taking place two years following the resolution of the Individual Eleven incident, the Major has left Section 9, and Togusa is now field commander, leading an investigation into several deaths of refugees from the Siak Republic, which results in the discovery of a government computer system coordinating the kidnappings of 20 thousand abused children who have had their cyberbrains replaced and placing them under the care of several senior citizens made comatose by another government program that takes care of all of their bodily needs. Their investigation, which brings the Major out of hiding, reveals an entity known as the Puppeteer behind the kidnappings, but the Puppeteer is a rhizome formed by the collective will of the senior citizens, and it was only the Siak Republic’s intent to use the kidnapped children in their plans that led to their downfall. However, the investigation further reveals that a member of the House of Representatives is also using the children for his nationalistic purposes, and Section 9 with the Major infiltrates a welfare center where the MP brainwashes the children, resulting in the Puppeteer revealing his own identity that the senior citizens wished to give the children free will in their future, with the politician interfering in that new plan.

Live-action film-

In 2008, DreamWorks and Steven Spielberg acquired the rights to produce a live-action film adaptation of the original manga. Avi Arad and Steven Paul were later confirmed as producers, with Jamie Moss to write the screenplay. In October, 2009, it was announced that Laeta Kalogridis had replaced Moss as writer. On January 24, 2014, it was reported that Rupert Sanders will direct the film, with a screenplay by William Wheeler. On September 3, 2014, Margot Robbie was in early talks for the lead role, but by October 16, 2014, the lead role was instead offered to Scarlett Johansson. On January 5, 2015, Variety confirmed that Johansson would star in the film. Paramount Pictures will co-produce and co-finance the film and handle overseas distribution. The film is scheduled to start production in early 2016 for a March 31, 2017, release date by Touchstone Pictures. But in September 2015, it was reported that DreamWorks and Disney would not renew their distribution deal, set to expire in August 2016, with The BFG being the last film to be released under the original agreement. Due to this, Universal Studios will handle the domestic distribution for the film. On October 23, 2015, Jonathan Herman was hired to write the script. On November 10, 2015, Variety reports that Pilou Asbaek was cast as Batou. On November 19, 2015, Deadline reported that Sam Riley was in talks for the role of the film’s villain The Laughing Man, but on February 4, 2016, Variety reported that Michael Pitt was in talks for the role.