Browsed by
Tag: anime

Film Friday- Hunter x Hunter

Film Friday- Hunter x Hunter

In 1999, Hunter × Hunter was adapted into a 62-episode anime television series produced by Nippon Animation and directed by Kazuhiro Furuhashi. The show premiered on Japan’s Fuji TV and ran until 2001. Three separate original video animations (OVAs) totaling 30 episodes were subsequently produced by Nippon Animation and released in Japan from 2002 to 2004. A second anime television series by Madhouse aired on Nippon Television from October 2011 to September 2014, with two animated theatrical films released in 2013. There are also numerous audio albums, video games, musicals, and other media based on Hunter × Hunter. The manga has been translated into English and released in North America by Viz Media since April 2005. Both television series were also licensed by Viz, with the first series having aired on the Funimation Channel in 2009 and the second series premiering on Adult Swim’s Toonami block since April 16, 2016.

Anime

First series (1999)

The first Hunter × Hunter anime adaptation was produced by the company Nippon Animation and directed by Kazuhiro Furuhashi, who had previously directed the Rurouni Kenshin television series. A total of 62 episodes of Hunter × Hunter were broadcast on the Japanese terrestrial television network Fuji Television from October 16, 1999 to March 31, 2001 during the same Saturday evening timeslot as the anime version of Togashi’s previous series YuYu Hakusho. Additionally, Hunter × Hunter has aired on the satellite television station Animax. Although it closely follows the manga, the violence in the anime version is lessened for younger audiences. Marvelous Entertainment has released all episodes of the series in Japan on DVD in 13 separate volumes between September 20, 2000 and September 19, 2001.

Viz Media licensed the Hunter × Hunter anime for distribution in the Region 1 market, with English voice-work handled by The Ocean Group at Blue Water Studios in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. The series was released on four DVD boxed sets from December 9, 2008 to December 1, 2009. Starting with the second set, Viz partnered with Warner Home Video to distribute the DVDs. Hunter × Hunter began airing in the United States on the Funimation Channel in the spring of 2009.

Original video animations

When the Hunter × Hunter anime covered most of its source material by 2001, Nippon Animation made the decision to end the adaptation rather than continue it with filler. Due to fans’ unsatisfied reactions to the conclusion of the television series, three subsequent OVAs were produced by Nippon Animation. These carried the plot from where the broadcast left off during the Yorknew City arc and covered the Greed Island arc. The first OVA series was directed by Satoshi Saga and ran for eight episodes in four released volumes from January 17 to April 17, 2002. The second OVA series, Hunter × Hunter: Greed Island, was directed by Yukihiro Matsushita and ran for eight episodes in four released volumes from February 19 to May 21, 2003. The third OVA series, Hunter × Hunter: G.I. Final, was directed by Makoto Sato and ran for 14 episodes in seven released volumes from March 3 to August 18, 2004. After the original anime’s initial run on Animax, the OVAs were aired successively. Viz has shown no intention of releasing English versions of the OVAs.

Second series (2011)

A new Hunter × Hunter anime adaptation was announced in July 2011. Instead of continuing the story from the OVA series, it restarts the story from the beginning of the manga in an attempt to adapt it more accurately. The series is directed by Hiroshi Kōjina, produced by Madhouse, scripted by Jun Maekawa, and character designs were created by Takahiro Yoshimatsu. The series began airing Sunday mornings on Nippon Television starting October 2, 2011. It switched to airing at 1:29 am on Tuesday nights from October 8, 2013 onwards. The series ended on September 23, 2014 after 148 episodes. An hour after each episode aired in Japan, American website Crunchyroll provided English subtitled simulcasts in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand. The series started airing on Animax Asia on April 24 2012. On October 9, 2015, Viz Media announced their license to the reboot anime at their panel at New York Comic Con. They will release the anime on DVD/Blu-ray with an English dub. On April 1, 2016, it was announced that the series will premiere on Adult Swim’s Toonami block, which began airing on April 16, 2016.

Films

Before the first anime television series was created, a short film adaptation of Hunter × Hunter was shown as part of the 1998 “Jump Super Anime Tour” alongside similar adaptations of Seikimatsu Leader den Takeshi! and One Piece. Produced by Studio Pierrot and directed by Noriyuki Abe, it depicts the early events of the manga up to Gon’s ocean voyage from Whale Island.

A film adaptation by the second television anime’s staff called Hunter × Hunter: Phantom Rouge, featuring an original story, was announced in March 2012. It was released on January 12, 2013 by Toho. It centers around Gon and his friends efforts to retrieve Kurapika’s eyes which were stolen by Omokage, the original person with the No. 4 spider tattoo. The film is based on an unpublished story manga creator Yoshihiro Togashi wrote around 10 years before.

A second film was announced following the first one’s debut titled Hunter × Hunter: The Last Mission. The film has some focus on Netero, the chairman of the Hunter Association as Gon and his friends discover the dark secrets behind his past. The movie was released on December 27, 2013. The DVD and Blu-ray was released on July 23, 2014.

Plot

The story follows a young boy named Gon Freecss, who was told all his life that both his parents were dead. But when he learns from Kite, an apprentice of his father Ging Freecss, that he is still alive and has since become an accomplished Hunter, Gon leaves his home on Whale Island (くじら島 Kujira Tō) to take the Hunter Examination in order to become a Hunter like him. During the exam, Gon meets and soon befriends three of the other applicants: Kurapika, the last remaining member of the Kurta clan who wishes to become a Hunter in order to avenge his clan and recover their scarlet-glowing eyes that were plucked from their corpses by a band of thieves known as the Phantom Troupe. Leorio, a prospective physician who, in order to pay for medical school, desires the financial benefits that Hunters receive. And Killua Zoldyck, another twelve-year-old boy who has left his former life as a member of the world’s most notorious assassin family. Among many other examinees, Gon continuously encounters Hisoka, a mysterious and deadly transmuter who takes an interest in him. After passing by many trials together, Gon and his friends end up passing the exam except for Killua, who fails after killing another applicant due to being controlled by his brother, Illumi, and runs away to his family’s estate in shame.

After Gon and the others convince Killua to rejoin their side, Leorio and Kurapika depart temporarily for their own personal reasons, while Gon and Killua set for the Heavens Arena (天空闘技場 Tenkū Tōgijō), a skyscraper where thousands of martial artists compete daily in fighting tournaments, seeking to improve themselves, and gain monetary rewards. There they meet a kung fu master named Wing, who trains them in utilizing Nen, a Qi-like life energy used by its practicers to manifest parapsychological abilities, and is also considered to be the final requirement to pass the Hunter Exam. Sometime later, Gon and his friends reunite again in Yorknew City (ヨークシンシティ Yōkushin Shiti) where they have a clash with the Phantom Troupe. In the occasion, some of the members of the band of thieves are killed by Kurapika and he is forced to give up the chance of hunting down the rest. In order to rescue Gon and Killua, who were captured by them, but not without succeeding in sealing the powers of their leader Chrollo Lucilfer.

A few days later, Gon and Killua achieve their objective and begin playing Greed Island, an extremely rare and expensive video game with Nen-like properties following some clues about Ging’s whereabouts. While exploring the game, it is revealed that its scenario is actually set somewhere in the real world, created with Nen by none other than Ging himself. Outclassed by the difficulty of the challenges in the game at first, they are soon joined and trained by Biscuit Krueger, an experienced teacher of Nen and kung fu master. During their stay on Greed Island, Killua takes a short break to apply for the Hunter Examination again, this time passes with success. The trio then complete the game together against all odds and Gon obtains the right to choose the artifacts from the game necessary to reunite with his father.

However, Gon decides to have Killua accompany him to meet his father using the aritfacts, but they send them to meet Kite instead. The duo then decide to help with Kite’s research, and upon discovering a giant insect limb the group discovers that it came from a man-sized Chimera Ant queen. An insect that devours other creatures and then gives birth to progeny that inherit the characteristics of the different species it has eaten. The queen washes up onto an island nation called the Neo-Green Life (N.G.L.) Autonomous Region, where she quickly develops a taste for humans and builds a colony powerful enough to overcome the population, specially when its offspring learn the power of Nen after consuming some Hunters. Upon facing the Chimera Ants, Kite sacrifices himself to allow Gon and Killua to flee and alert the Hunter Association. After months of preparation, the Association sends a team of some of their most powerful Hunters, including Netero, the president of the Association himself to defeat the Ants and their king Meruem, whose subjects secretly overthrew the government of the nearby Republic of East Gorteau as part of their plan of subduing all of mankind. Despite losing to Meruem in combat, Netero ends up killing him with a bomb implanted in his body that poisons him to death soon after. In the occasion, Gon has a showdown with Neferpitou, the Ant who killed Kite and despite having exacted his revenge is hospitalized and in critical condition.

After the Chimera Ant incident is resolved, the Hunter Association’s top echelons the Zodiacs, from which Ging is a member, begin the process of choosing Netero’s replacement as Chairman, while Killua returns home to ask for his younger sister Alluka to save Gon’s life. However, his family is unwilling to risk losing Alluka or having her dangerous powers used against them, but after evading his older brother Illumi’s attempts to intercept him, Killua manages to bring Alluka to Gon’s side and have him fully recovered, before sealing her powers completely to ensure that she can have a normal life. Killua then parts ways with Gon, as he wants to travel the world with Alluka who had never seen the outside world before, while Gon himself finally meets his father and learns the true nature of his quest.

Some time later, Netero’s son Beyond assembles an expedition to the Dark Continent (暗黒大陸 Ankoku Tairiku). The forbidden, vast area outside of the known world that is sponsored by the Kingdom of Kakin. Fearing that the expedition may bring disaster to the world, just like it occurred in previous attempts, the world’s five greatest powers accept that Kakin join their ranks in exchange for full authority over its findings. To accompany Beyond and prevent him from doing something unexpected, the Zodiacs decide to watch over him and invite Kurapika and Leorio to join them. Replacing Ging and the former Vice-Chairman Pariston, who assembled their own team by Beyond’s request.

Wednesday News- September 20, 2017

Wednesday News- September 20, 2017

News-

Steins; Gate Elite Game Teased as ‘Full Animation Adventure’- https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/daily-briefs/2017-09-20/steins-gate-elite-game-teased-as-full-animation-adventure/.121586

Live-Action Anonymous Noise Film’s Trailer Previews Theme Song- https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2017-09-20/live-action-anonymous-noise-film-trailer-previews-theme-song/.121596

Cardcaptor Sakura’s Clear Card Arc TV Anime Slated for January 7- https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2017-09-20/cardcaptor-sakura-clear-card-arc-tv-anime-slated-for-january-7/.121617

Why is Sentai Filmworks Phasing out DVDs?- https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/answerman/2017-09-20/.121593

Anime-

  • Matoi the Sacred Slayer BD
  • Matoi the Sacred Slayer DVD
  • One Piece Collection 20 DVD Uncut
  • Ranma 1/2 OVA and Movie Collection DVD
  • Ranma 1/2 OVA and Movie Collection Limited Edition BD

Manga-

  • Alice in Murderland Graphic Novel (GN) 7 (Hardcover)A
  • As the Gods Will: The Second Series GN 20 (Digital Only)P
  • The Asterisk War GN 5
  • Barakamon GN 14
  • Big Order GN 3Pl
  • Bungo Stray Dogs GN 4C
  • Bloom Into You GN 3
  • A Bride’s Story GN 4P
  • Bungo Stray Dogs GN 9 (Hardcover)
  • Descending Stories GN 19
  • The Devil is a Part-Timer! GN 10
  • Dragon’s Rioting GN 8C
  • Dreamin’ Sun GN 3
  • Fuuka GN 14 (Digital Only)P
  • Golden Kamuy GN 2C
  • Goodnight Punpun GN 7A
  • The High School Life of a Fudanshi GN 2Pl
  • Handa-Kun GN 7
  • Hotaru’s Way GN 3 (Digital Only)A
  • House of the sun. GN 7 (Digital Only)
  • How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend GN 7C
  • Kakegurui – Compulsive Gambler GN 2An
  • Kasane GN 5 (Digital Only)
  • Kin-iro Mosaic GN 4Ci
  • Kiss Me at the Stroke of Midnight GN 1A
  • Master Keaton GN 12Ple
  • My youth romantic comedy is wrong as I expected GN 6
  • No Game No Life, Please! GN 2
  • Nichijou GN 10
  • Of the Red, the Light, and the Ayakashi GN 8
  • Plum Crazy! Tales of A Tiger-Striped Cat GN 2A
  • Peach Heaven GN 6 (Digital Only)P
  • Puella Magi Homura Tamura GN 3Ci
  • Puella Magi Tart Magica: The Legend of Jeanne d’Arc GN 4A
  • Rose Guns Days Season Three GN 1P
  • The Royal Tutor GN 3
  • School-Live! GN 8A
  • The Seven Deadly Sins GN 22
  • Strike the Blood GN 8
  • Sweet Blue Flowers GN 1A
  • Sword Art Online: Mother’s Rosary GN 3Pl
  • Sword Art Online: Phantom Bullet GN 3
  • Today’s Cerberus GN 5
  • Tokyo Tarareba Girls GN 7 (Digital Only)Pl
  • Welcome to the Ballroom GN 7C

Other-

  • Accel World Novel 11A
  • Baccano! Novel 5 (Hardcover)
  • Black Bullet Novel 7
  • Death March to the Parallel World Rhapsody Novel 3
  • Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? Novel 9P
  • Marvel vs CAPCOM PlayStation 4/Xbox One/PC GameCit
  • Mary Skelter PlayStation Vita Game
  • My youth romantic comedy is wrong as I expected Novel 3
  • Overlord Novel 5 (Hardcover)
  • Strike the Blood Novel 7

Film Friday- Aria the Animation

Film Friday- Aria the Animation

The series has been adapted as an anime television series, with a first season broadcast in 2005, a second season in 2006, an OVA released September 2007, and a third season in 2008 that ended around the same time as the manga serialization.

The anime is licensed in North America by The Right Stuf International, which released all three seasons a box sets under its Nozomi Entertainment imprint between 30 September 2008 and 2 March 2010.

The series is set in the 24th century on a terraformed Mars, now named Aqua, and follows a young woman named Akari Mizunashi as she trains as an apprentice gondolier (known as Undines). The series has been praised for its calm pacing, optimistic worldview, beautiful art, and, for the anime, the quality of the soundtrack. A new OVA, called Aria the Avvenire, was released in the 10th anniversary Blu-Ray Box sets of the anime series between 24 December 2015 and 24 June 2016.

Characters

Akari Mizunashi  
Voiced by: Erino Hazuki
A native of Japan on Manhome (Earth) who immigrates to Aqua when she is 15 to become an undine. While not as skillful at rowing a gondola as Alice nor as familiar with the history of her adopted city as Aika, Akari makes friends quickly and easily converses with customers and other strangers. She is depicted as optimistic and cheerful, finding enjoyment in things or events that others think humdrum and mundane, for which Aika and Alice call her “mysterious”; in the anime, Aika and Alice separately comment that Akari seems to attract mysterious phenomena to her. Akari often says Hohe or Hahi, which is her short version of “wow.” When Akari used gondola simulations on Manhome, she accidentally learned how to row backwards and has to relearn the proper method when she starts at Aria Company; however, as Alicia puts it, “When rowing backward, Akari-chan is unrivaled!”
Most chapters of the manga and episodes of the anime are framed with narration taken from e-mails written by Akari. In the anime, the recipient is a young girl named Ai, a customer in the first episode who becomes Akari’s pen pal, but in the manga the recipient is someone she does not name and is referred to as zenryaku but has never seen.
At the start of Aqua, Akari arrives on Aqua as a new Pair (apprentice) at Aria Company. In chapter 5 of Aqua, when Aika is promoted to Single (journeyman), Alicia tests and promotes Akari as well. Later, in chapter 58 of Aria and episode 12 of Aria the Origination, after Aika is promoted to Prima (full undine), Alicia gives Akari the test for Prima. When Akari passes, she is given the title “Aquamarine” (遙かなる蒼 Harukanaru Ao, lit. “Distant Blue”).
Alicia Florence 
Voiced by: Sayaka Ohara
The only other undine with Aria Company, Alicia is one of the Three Water Fairies of Neo-Venezia, known by the title “Snow White”. At the start of the series, she is 19 years old and the most popular undine in the city, noted especially for her graceful rowing style. She was promoted to Prima at 15, the youngest ever to do so. Like Akari, she is relaxed and easy-going, but she also likes to tease others, especially her childhood friend Akira. Her favorite phrase is ara ara (“Well Well”) and she frequently giggles, to Akira’s annoyance. According to Grandma Akino, she is an excellent undine because of her ability to enjoy everything.
At the end of the series, Alicia announces her upcoming marriage (though to whom is never stated) and retirement to take an administrative position with the Gondola Association. She tells Akari she had put off her Prima exam because she had been planning to retire after that, and did not want to leave her student and friend. According to issue No. 6 of Monthly Undine, after her retirement, “Snow White” is designated the 8th “honored appellation” by the Gondola Association, as an undine who made great contributions to the industry.
Aika S. Granzchesta
Voiced by: Chiwa Saitō
The first friend Akari makes on Aqua, Aika is 16 when they meet. Aika is a Pair and then Single at Himeya Company. She is the only daughter and heir of Himeya Company’s owners, but does not enjoy the distinction as she feels the company’s employees fawned on her too much. Aika speaks bluntly and often responds to Akari’s idealistic comments with “Embarrassing remarks are not allowed!”. Despite their contrasting personalities, she gets along well with Akari and Alice, but frequently squabbles with her mentor, Akira, whom she resembles. Aika considers herself reliable, especially compared to distractible Akari and antisocial Alice, but both her friends call her a crybaby for her tendency to tear up when emotional. She is proud of her gondola skill as an undine, and can be very competitive about it. She also greatly admires Alicia, and finds any excuse to visit Aria Company—and once tells Akari that if not for her family obligations, she would have joined Aria Company. Over the course of the series, Aika develops feelings for Al.
In chapter 58, Aika becomes a Prima, taking the title “Rosen Queen”. She takes charge of a newly opened Himeya branch office, in preparation for one day taking on the whole company.
Akira E. Ferrari 
Voiced by: Junko Minagawa
One of Neo-Venezia’s Three Water Fairies, and a native of Aqua. As a Prima undine, Akira is called the “Crimson Rose” (真紅の薔薇 Shinku no Bara) and is famed for her conversational skills. She has many admirers among her customers, especially her female ones, but she considers herself very feminine. In flashbacks, Akira is shown as very tomboyish when young, to the point of using a male pronoun for “I”and being mistaken for a boy by Akatsuki. Akira is mentor to Aika, who calls her the Demon Instructor for her strictness and her loud, brusque personality. Akira is particularly harsh with Aika because she believes there is potential in her, and Aika admits that it is only due to Akira’s strictness and honesty that she has become a good undine.
Akira and Alicia are childhood friends, and their relationship mirrors Aika and Akari’s, though Alicia teases Akira far more than Akari does Aika. Akira still resents that Alicia became a Prima before her. Upon Alicia’s retirement at the end of the series, Akira becomes the undisputed top undine in Neo-Venezia.
Alice Carroll 
Voiced by: Ryō Hirohashi
Alice is a 14-year-old undine for Orange Planet. She first appears (in volume 3 of Aria/episode 3 of Aria the Animation) as a standoffish, detached girl. Aika later describes her as anti-social and complains about her tendency to put on a grim face and speak in a quiet voice. Alice speaks in a deadpan manner, though she frequently uses dekkai as an intensifier. Although initially only a Pair, her rowing already surpasses both Aika and Akari’s—for which skill she was scouted by Orange Planet despite her young age. Despite working for rival companies, Alice, Akari, and Aika often practice together, and Alice sincerely enjoys the others’ company, though this does not stop her from telling them to be quiet when they argue. Because of her age and lower status, Aika often addresses her as “kōhai-chan”. Through her friendship with Akari and Aika, Alice lightens up as the series progresses, though she still struggles with her detachment.
For a long time, Alice was not confident in her singing skills, until Athena advises her simply enjoy what she sings and not worry about her performance. In volume 11 of Aria, after Alice graduates from middle school, she is promoted to Prima straight from Pair, the first undine to do so, and is given the title “Orange Princess”. Her name comes from Lewis Carroll, author of Alice in Wonderland.
Athena Glory
Voiced by: Tomoko Kawakami
One of Neo-Venezia’s Three Water Fairies, known by the title “Siren” for her beautiful singing voice. She is Alice’s mentor at Orange Planet. She is quiet most of the time and often appears to be an airhead who does not pay attention to her surroundings (in the anime, she is shown more than once forgetting to duck while rowing under a bridge), but she genuinely cares about Alice. Athena has a strange laugh that comes out sounding as though she is angry. She was a trainee undine with Alicia and Akira, and joined them in joint practice sessions much like Akari, Aika, and Alice do now. At the conclusion of the series, Athena semi-retires from being an undine in order to debut as an opera singer.
Wednesday News- September 13, 2017

Wednesday News- September 13, 2017

News-

The Best and Worst Pokemon Movies of All Time- https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/feature/2017-08-16/the-best-and-worst-pokemon-movies-of-all-time/.120164

What Are School Culture Festivals Really Like?- https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/answerman/2017-09-13/.121278

English Version of Digimon Links Smartphone Game Listed on Google Play- https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/daily-briefs/2017-09-13/english-version-of-digimon-links-smartphone-game-listed-on-google-play/.121309

Your Chance to See The Hayao Miyazaki’s first feature Film You Probably Haven’t Heard of- https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/advertorial/2017-09-11/your-chance-to-see-the-hayao-miyazaki-first-feature-film-you-probably-havent-heard-of/.121009

Anime-

  • Chihayafuru Season 1 BD
  • Chihayafuru Season 1 DVD
  • Chihayafuru Season 1Premium Box Set
  • Tamako Love Story BD

Manga-

  • Blame! Master Edition GN 5 (Digital)
  • Complex Age GN 6
  • Domestic Girlfriend GN 6 (Digital)
  • Don’t Be Cruel GN 5
  • Grand Blue Dreaming GN 1 (Digital)
  • Hayate the Combat Butler GN 30
  • Kase-san and… Shortcake GN
  • Kiss Him, Not Me! GN 12
  • Love’s Reach GN 3 (Digital)
  • Love Stage!! GN 7
  • Magical Sempai GN 1 (Digital)
  • Mikagura School Suite GN 1
  • Non Non Biyori GN 8
  • Psycho-Pass: Inspector Shinya Kōgami GN 3P
  • Rogue Samurai GN 2 (Digital)

Other-

  • Occultic;Nine Novel 2A
  • Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of DANA PlayStation 4/PlayStation Vita Game

Film Friday- Samurai Gun

Film Friday- Samurai Gun

Samurai Gun was adapted into a 13-episode anime series directed by Kazuhito Kikuchi. The anime is licensed in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Germany by ADV Films, which co-financed the series’ production. There has been no announcement of the manga being translated into the English language. As the title suggests, it features samurai using guns.

The Anime Review writes http://www.theanimereview.com/reviews/samuraigun.html

Samurai Gun Vol. 1

I’ve always been a James Bond fan. When I was a kid, I thought all the incredible gadgets were way cool. I mean, who wouldn’t want a minijet to get to school or a watch that cut through steel and located nuclear bombs at the same time? Of course, none of those items ever really existed except in the minds of the filmmakers (and occasionally in the head of Ian Fleming, his creator). But what if the Bond adventures skipped the glitzy stories of a modern secret agent, transplanted the wild thingamajigs into the last days of the Shogunate, and focused on a reluctant warrior living in a world with tons of anachronistic weaponry? That’s ultimately the scenario behind Samurai Gun, an uneven but entertaining release from ADV Films. If the show weren’t so dark in tone, seeing a ninja warrior with an Uzi or a bad guy with a rocket pack would be cause for laughs. But Samurai Gun is a deadly serious show that stands out because it doesn’t play up the absurd elements; instead, it takes them for granted. It does come close to my tolerance threshold for sex and violence, and I’m not sure it quite works, though I’d probably watch another disc to find out.

Samurai Gun follows the tale of Ichimatsu, a one-eyed warrior with a distaste for killing but a desperate look in his eyes that betrays his desire for revenge on those who slaughtered his family in front of his eyes years ago. He hangs around in the red light district, though he only visits one girl named Ohana and never even touches her, just wanting a friend. But what makes him a truly dangerous character is his skill with a pistol (despite the lack of depth perception from lacking an eye, I guess). He’s recruited for a number of missions to hunt down killers and other nefarious characters indiscriminately murdering throughout the countryside. Though he says he doesn’t want to be involved, when true justice needs to be served, he’s the go-to guy. But certain Shogunate forces want to put down these vigilantes, forming an Anti-Samurai Gun legion. And with all sorts of new technology at their disposal, they have the means to stop Ichimatsu and his friends from keeping their own sense of order in this bizarre alternate Japan somewhere around the turn of the 20th century.

The animation feel of Samurai Gun is a mixture of splattery samurai horror OVAs released in the ’90s and popular programs like Cowboy Bebop and Samurai Champloo. The artwork itself, however, doesn’t stand up to either of those two programs; it’s a bit less complicated, though enjoyable enough to watch. The music is all over the map, with a bit of hard rap rock starting it off and a standard ballad closer, but the score for the episodes themselves was actually quite good. There is a certain inconsistency, as the soundtrack does flip from orchestrated numbers to upbeat rock at times, but overall the score enhanced the show considerably.

There’s a “kitchen sink” mentality to Samurai Gun that is at once invigorating and infuriating. Ichimatsu is a reluctant hero who sounds like Shin Kazama from Area 88 in insisting that he doesn’t want to kill any more, but it really doesn’t take much to get a gun in his hand. He flips back and forth from sullen loner to Han Solo rogue. Although we get his backstory almost immediately, his characterization is enigmatic. Whether this is intentional or simply laziness will likely be determined by whether or not Ichimatsu’s character shows any growth over the remaining nine episodes of the series. On the other hand, the third episode focuses on Ohana, and though her tale of life as a forced prostitute isn’t unique, its telling proves that the Samurai Gun crew can provide compelling stories in this backdrop. Although we don’t learn a lot about each of the principle characters, what we do discover about Ichimatsu’s friends makes them more than ciphers. If the first volume of Samurai Gun had focused more on characters rather than on gory action, I would have been more impressed.

However, this show dwells a little too long in the land of the brutal and grotesque, and the sensitive should stop reading and find something else to watch. Though by no means as gory or unsettling as the recent Gantz or Elfen Lied, Samurai Gun has a large share of violence for violence’s sake. Going back to the Bond analogy, virtually every enemy here turns out to be a raving psychopath that makes most of the loony villains in the Bond series look placid by comparison. I mean, these are leering, jeering, over-the-top sadists who get their kicks from hunting down, torturing, and otherwise abusing women. Granted, one of Ichimatsu’s companions is a woman who can take care of herself, but most of the women depicted here are busty victimized whores. With loads of blood and lingering shots on dead bodies, there’s a cruelty here that’s unnecessary. There’s no nudity, but there are still explicit silhouetted sexual situations on display that make this a show for grown-ups only. Finally, the sub and dub give you quite different programs. There are a couple of profanities and an occasional crude joke in the sub, but the dub is rife with all sorts of really harsh language. As a result, the tone changes, making the dub darker and nastier. Be warned.

On to the final big question of Samurai Gun…does the anachronism of the show hurt it? Only if you’re expecting a show about sleek men with sharp swords. Frankly, I thought the intermixing of steam engines and automatic weapons with the history and concept of pre-industrial Japan was unique and entertaining. Some will find it silly, but if you can suspend your disbelief, it works. Yes, it’s an alternate universe. So what? Science fiction doesn’t have to have a monopoly on speculative histories, whether future or past. But admittedly, going in aware of the scenario does make it a more comfortable experience.

The first volume of Samurai Gun left me personally conflicted. The leads have potential, and if the relationship between Ichimatsu and Ohana is explored and grows, I’d be most happy. The conflict between Ichimatsu and the Anti-Samurai Gun forces could also prove to be worthwhile. But if they continue to tell these gruesome side stories about crazy killers in the woods, I won’t be around for too long. Unlike the previously mentioned Gantz and Elfen Lied, there really isn’t a mystery to be solved or another compelling reason to keep watching through some offensive elements. I’m going to give this one a low recommendation because I did enjoy most of it for what it is, but whether I’ll finish the series is a question of where it proceeds from here.

Samurai Gun Vol. 1 — graphic violence (particularly towards women), profanity/crudity (PG-13 in the sub, R in the dub), sexual situations, rated TV-MA — B-

Wednesday News- September 6

Wednesday News- September 6

News-

Anime-
  • Fairy Tail Collection 9 BD/DVD
  • The Good Witch of the West BD
  • The Good Witch of the West DVD
  • Gosick Part 2 BD/DVD
  • The Heroic Legend of Arslan Season 2 BD/DVD
  • Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam: A New Translation BD
  • Regalia: The Three Sacred Stars BD/DVD
  • Tsukiuta. THE ANIMATION BD/DVD

Manga-

  • Anonymous Noise Graphic Novel (GN) 4
  • Arpeggio of Blue Steel GN 11
  • Bloody Mary GN 8
  • Boruto GN 2
  • Captain Harlock: Dimensional Voyage GN 1
  • Death Note All-In-One Edition GN
  • Everyone’s Getting Married GN 6
  • Golden Time GN 8
  • GTO: Paradise Lost GN 5 (Digital)
  • Haikyu!! GN 15
  • Kimi ni Todoke GN 27
  • Kounodori: Dr. Stork GN 3 (Digital)
  • Mobile Suit Gundam Wing Endless Waltz: Glory of the Losers GN 2
  • My Love Story!! GN 13
  • Naruto: Chibi Sasuke’s Sharingan Legend GN 1
  • Nisekoi – False Love GN 23
  • One Piece Omnibus GN 21
  • One-Punch Man GN 12
  • Pumpkin Scissors GN 13 (Digital)
  • Queen’s Quality GN 1
  • Skip Beat! GN 39
  • Sweetness and Lightning GN 8
  • Tales of Zestiria GN 2
  • Waiting for Spring GN 2A
  • Yozakura Quartet GN 16 (Digital)P
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! Arc-V GN 2

Other-

  • Knack II PlayStation 4 Game
  • Utawarerumono: Mask of Truth Playstation 4/Playstation Vita Game

Film Friday- Vampire Knight

Film Friday- Vampire Knight

Studio Deen produced a twenty-six episode anime adaptation of the Vampire Knight manga, using many of the same voice actors featured on the drama CDs and directed by Kiyoko Sayama. The episodes started airing on TV Tokyo in Japan on April 7, 2008, and ran until the season conclusion on June 30, 2008. The episodes were also aired at later dates on TV Aichi, TV Hokkaido, TV Osaka, TV Setouchi, and TVQ Kyushu Broadcasting Co. The second season, named Vampire Knight Guilty, premiered on the same station October 6, 2008. The final episode aired on December 29, 2008. On July 24, 2009, Viz Media announced it had acquired the license for the Vampire Knight anime and would begin releasing it to DVD on July 20, 2010. In the UK, the first volume was officially released on DVD via Manga Entertainment on November 22, 2010. In Australia, ABC3 began airing the series (English-language version) in March 2011 and began repeats on July 3 later that year.

The series uses four pieces of theme music. The opening themes of both the first and second season are performed by the duo On/Off, with “Futatsu no Kodō to Akai Tsumi” (ふたつの鼓動と赤い罪) as the opening for the first season, and “Rinne Rondo” (輪廻 -ロンド-Rinne) as the opening for the second. Kanon Wakeshima performs the first season ending theme, “Still Doll”, and also the second season’s ending theme “Suna no Oshiro” (砂のお城). The soundtrack is composed by Takefumi Haketa and consists of 30 tracks (including the opening theme and ending theme).

Vampire Knight was made available for streaming on Hulu and Netflix.

Plot

Yuki’s earliest memory is of a stormy night in winter, where she was attacked by a rogue vampire and rescued by Kaname Kuran, a Pureblood vampire. Now ten years later, Yuki Cross, the adopted daughter of the headmaster of Cross Academy, Kaien Cross, has grown up and become a guardian of the vampire race, protecting her childhood crush, Kaname, from discovery as he leads a group of vampires at the elite boarding school. At her side is Zero Kiryu, a childhood friend whose hatred for the creatures that destroyed everything he held dear leaves him determined never to trust them. This coexisting arrangement seems all well and good, but have the vampires truly renounced their murderous ways, or is there a darker truth behind their actions? In this world of secrets, nothing is as it seems. The price of misplaced trust may even be worse than death. Should Yuki truly find out what was in her past, is the truth going to hurt her worse than not knowing?

Wednesday News- August 30, 2017

Wednesday News- August 30, 2017

News-

Live-Action Film Gets New English-Subtitle Trailer, November 3 Theatrical Release- http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2017-08-30/live-action-blade-of-the-immortal-film-gets-new-english-subtitled-trailer-november-3-theatrical-release/.120740

Code: Geass: Akito the Exiled BD+DVD- http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/review/code-geass/akito-the-exiled/bd-dvd/.120522

Sengoku Night Blood TV Anime Reveals Key Visual, Staff- http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2017-08-30/sengoku-night-blood-tv-anime-reveals-key-visual-staff/.120737

Konohana Kitan Anime Premieres October 4- http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/daily-briefs/2017-08-30/konohana-kitan-anime-premieres-october-4/.120736

Anime-

  • Endride Part 2 BD/DVD
  • A Journey Through Fairyland DVD
  • Marmalade Boy Collection 1 DVD
  • Nightwalker: The Midnight Detective DVD
  • Nutcracker Fantasy DVD
  • Pokemon XY& Z Set 1 DVD
  • Ushio & Tora BD
  • Ushio & Tora DVD
  • The Wonderful Wizard of Oz BD
  • The Wonderful Wizard of Oz DVD

Manga-

  • Absolute Duo GN 1
  • Aho Girl GN 2
  • Akashic Records of Bastard Magic Instructor GN 1
  • Alive GN 21 (Digital)
  • Altair: A Record of Battles GN 3 (Digital)
  • Black Panther and Sweet 16 GN 1 (Digital)
  • Cardfight!! Vanguard GN 9
  • A Certain Scientific Accelerator GN 6
  • Corpse Princess GN 12 (Digital)
  • DAYS GN 4 (Digital)
  • Don’t Meddle With My Daughter GN 1
  • Elegant Yokia Apartment Life GN 1 (Digital)
  • Furari GN (Hardcover)
  • Giant Killing GN 5 (Digital)
  • House of the sun. GN 6 (Digital)
  • Kigurumi Guardains GN 1
  • The Manga Guide to… Microprocessors GN
  • Monster Musume GN 12
  • Pandora in the Crimson Shell: Ghost Urn GN 8
  • Saki GN 11 (Digital)
  • Toilent-Bound Hanako-kun GN 1 (Digital)

Other-

  • Demon King Daimaou Novel 2 (Digital)
  • Everybody’s Golf Playstation 4
  • Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle Nintendo Switch
  • Nisemonogatari Novel 2
  • Mikagura School Suite Stride After School Novel 1
  • Warriors All-Stars Playstation 4
  • Yakuza Kiwami Playstation 4

Film Friday- Bleach

Film Friday- Bleach

Bleach is a Japanese anime television series based on Tite Kubo’s manga of the same name. The series ran for a total of 366 episodes. Bleach was produced by Studio Pierrot and directed by Noriyuki Abe. Bleach’s Japanese and English voice actors include some of the most credited and well known voice actors, including Masakazu Morita and Johnny Yong Bosch. The music was composed by Shirō Sagisu, who also composed the music for Neon Genesis Evangelion. A total of fifteen opening themes and thirty ending themes were used throughout the series, featuring a diverse group of Japanese artists.

Bleach follows the adventures of Ichigo Kurosaki after he obtains the powers of a Soul Reaper (死神 Shinigami, literally, “Death God”) — a death personification similar to the Grim Reaper — from another Soul Reaper, Rukia Kuchiki. His newfound powers force him to take on the duties of defending humans from evil spirits and guiding departed souls to the afterlife. The anime adaptation includes original storylines not found in the manga; including repeated appearances and stories containing these original characters. Studio Pierrot produced the series from 2004 to 2012, consisting of 366 episodes. Viz Media obtained foreign television and home video distribution rights to the Bleach anime on March 15, 2004. Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim block began airing Bleach in the United States on September 9, 2006. The series’ international release extends through dozens of countries in several languages, such as Spanish, French, German, Brazilian Portuguese and Tagalog.

Plot

The anime adaptation of Bleach adapts Kubo’s manga, but also introduces several original, self-contained story arcs. In Karakura Town, a 15-year-old high school student Ichigo Kurosaki becomes a substitute Soul Reaper when Rukia Kuchiki, a Soul Reaper, cannot fulfill her duties after engaging in battle with a particularly powerful Hollow. Although initially reluctant to accept the heavy responsibility, he begins eliminating Hollows in Rukia’s place and during this time discovers that several of his friends and classmates are spiritually aware and have powers of their own: Uryū Ishida is a Quincy who can utilise spirit particles, Orihime Inoue possesses a group of protective spirits known as the Shun Shun Rikka and Yasutora Sado (“Chad”) has strength equal to the Hollows encased in his tough right arm.

When Rukia is sentenced to death for her transgressions in the human world and taken back to the spirit world of Soul Society, Ichigo heads there to seek out the assistance of Kisuke Urahara and Yoruichi Shihōin, unbeknownst to him as being two exiled Soul Reapers, to allow himself and his friends to save Rukia. After Ichigo and his friends battle many Soul Reapers, it is revealed that high-ranking Soul Reaper Sōsuke Aizen framed Rukia for the crime and has been illegally experimenting on Soul Reapers and Hollows. Aizen plans on taking over Soul Society via use of the Hōgyoku, a legendary substance that can turn Hollows into half Soul Reapers and vice versa, increasing their powers greatly. He escapes into Hueco Mundo, the realm of the Hollows, and later abducts Orihime as she is instrumental in creating the Oken, a power that will allow him to kill the Soul King, the ruler of Soul Society.

After being trained by the Vizards, other exiled Soul Reapers who were unwittingly subjects of Aizen’s experiments and developed Hollow powers, Ichigo and his friends travel into Hueco Mundo to save Orihime, facing Aizen’s army of Arrancars, Hollows given Soul Reaper abilities, who are led by an elite group of ten known as the Èspadas that are composed of ten Arrancars with exemplary strength. Along with Aizen, Gin Ichimaru and Kaname Tōsen, the Èspada as a group possess comparable strength to Soul Society’s Gotei 13 Soul Reaper captains. After finally reaching Orihime, Aizen reveals her kidnapping was a distraction to allow him to take Karakura Town, as its spiritual energy is what is needed for the Oken. After training from his father Isshin, another exiled Soul Reaper, Ichigo and the Soul Reapers face off against Aizen, Soul Reapers who aligned with his cause, and his most powerful Èspadas, resulting in Aizen’s surrender and the loss of Ichigo’s Soul Reaper powers as he uses a sacred technique to seal Aizen away for good.

Nearly two years later, Chad reveals to Ichigo that he has found people like him, known as Fullbringers, in a group known as Xcution. The Fullbringers can give up their powers to restore a Soul Reaper’s powers and they plan on doing so for Ichigo, who begins to use Fullbring as well. However, it is all a ruse by their leader Kugo Ginjo, a Fullbringer and former Substitute Soul Reaper, to steal Ichigo’s powers to empower the rest of them. Ichigo ultimately has his Soul Reaper powers restored when he finally earns proper trust from the Soul Society. The captains and lieutenants then share their powers with Ichigo who defeats Ginjo and the other members of Xcution, and returns to his duty of protecting Karakura Town proudly as a Substitute Soul Reaper.

Several original story arcs are presented. The Bount arc in season 4 focuses on spiritually aware humans who are immortal so long as they absorb souls. Their leader Jin Kariya seeks to destroy Soul Society for the constant hunting of the Bount, and he and Ichigo battle for the fate of Soul Society. Another storyline is the introduction of captain Shūsuke Amagai, the replacement for Gin Ichimaru after he joined Aizen in his betrayal. Amagai seeks revenge against Commander Yamamoto for the death of his father, and uses the Kasumiōji family’s Bakkōtō weapons in his plans. Ichigo battles Amagai, who acknowledges the shame of his actions and commits suicide. The third original arc features the evil Zanpakutō Muramasa, which has the ability to turn itself and other Zanpakutō into spiritual beings to take revenge on Soul Society for imprisoning its master Kōga Kuchiki. After he is successful, he is double-crossed and transforms into a monstrous creature that Ichigo defeats, but not before Muramasa reveals the intention was to have Soul Reapers and Zanpakutō communicate on equal terms. The fourth and final original arc features an event in which Kagerōza Inaba creates modified soul copies of many members of the Gotei 13, placing them in Reigai bodies. Inaba sought to capture Nozomi Kujō in order to fuse with her and once again become their original being Ōko Yushima. Upon fusion, Yushima sought to destroy the Soul Society.

Character Special: Bleach- The Bad Guys… well some of them

Character Special: Bleach- The Bad Guys… well some of them

Hollows

Sōsuke Aizen

Bounts

The Bounts (バウント bounto) are a group of humans with special abilities. They are the main antagonists during the anime-exclusive Bount and Bount Assault on Soul Society arcs. The Bounts live eternally due to an accident during a scientific experiment earlier in the Soul Society, where they were created, and began to eat the souls of human beings to gain more power. They each have a unique weapon known as a Doll, a familiar which is its creator’s power given physical form. Dolls are mostly self-sufficient creatures when released, although they tend to be used as weapons in various ways such as a large battle axe or a snake, as a sword and whip. Their leader Kariya, motivated by the destruction of himself and all connected to him, plans to invade the Soul Society along with the remaining Bounts to destroy it and themselves. However, with the exception of his friend Gō Koga, Kariya managed to have his forces wiped out by the Soul Reapers prior to himself being killed by Ichigo Kurosaki. IGN criticized the Bounts as being “lame bad guys,” noting that the bittō (the Bounts’ mosquito-like creatures that collect souls) in particular were like “something straight out of a bad sci-fi movie,” but admitted the Bounts were “decent plot devices” to develop the other characters.

Xcution

Xcution (エクスキューション Ekusukyūshon) is a secret organization in Naruki City that makes itself known to Ichigo seventeen months after he loses his Soul Reaper powers and serve as the main antagonists in the first arc after the timeskip. The group is made up of humans whose preborn encounter with hollows resulted in them becoming outcasts who possess a power known as Fullbring (完現術(フルブリング) Furuburingu, lit. “Final Manifestation Art”), an ability to manipulate the “soul” of an object to bring out its full potential. But a Fullbringer’s true power comes from enhancing the soul of an object they are compatible with, such as a prized possession. However, the effects of a Fullbringer’s power will cease once the user is dead. Using Tsukishima’s Fullbring, Xcution’s other members had placed themselves in a fabricated notion that they need a Soul Reaper to become normal humans and train Ichigo to use Fullbring. But once Tsukishima restored their memories, the group reveals their real intention to take Ichigo’s Fullbring powers. Though Xcution got Ichigo’s Fullbring, they were scattered after Ginjō’s death.

Wandenreich

The Wandenreich (見えざる帝国(ヴァンデンライヒ) Vandenraihi, “Invisible Empire”) are a group of Quincies under Yhwach who serve as the antagonists of the final storyline of the series. Their attire usually consists of long white trench coats fitted with numerous buttons, a cape, a belt (usually a piece individual to each member), and a five-pointed cross, the Quincy Zeichen, somewhere upon the uniform. The Wandenreich named their group from the act of hiding themselves and their fortress Silbern (銀架城 (ジルバーン) Jirubān, German for “Silver”, Japanese for “Silver-Wrought Castle”) within a pocket dimension in the Seireitei’s shadows called Schatten Bereich (影の領域 (シャッテン・ベライヒ) Shatten Beraihi, “Shadow Realm”). Apparently founded by the survivors of the Quincy massacre a millennium ago, the Wandenreich have been preparing to exact revenge on the Soul Reapers once amassing enough power to do so once their leader is revived. In the aftermath of Aizen’s defeat, the Wandenreich conquered Hueco Mundo and captured numerous Arrancars (including the former Espada Tier Harribel) to serve as their personal Vanguards and foot soldiers. The Wandereich orchestrated two invasions on the Soul Society, the first leading to the notable deaths of Squad One’s Lieutenant Chōjirō Sasakibe and Head-Captain Yamamoto. After having absorbed the Soul King and altered the Royal Palace by submerging it with the Silbern, renamed the Wahrwelt (真世界城 (ヴァールヴェルト) Vāruveruto, German for “True World”, Japanese for “True World Castle”) the Wandenreich plans to create a new world order as envisioned by Yhwach, which would require a total genocide by destroying the Soul Society, the Real World and Hueco Mundo, and create this new world for Quincys from the ashes of destruction he intends to cause in all the spiritual and physical world as Askin Nakk Le Vaar thought, but the truth is that, after absorbing Ichigo’s powers after defeating him and the last two Sternritters survivors, Yhmach reveals his true goal is to eliminate all life in existence for bringing ruin and death to all living begins (including his children, the Quincys) in existence, for all eternity.