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Film Friday- Marmalade Boy

Film Friday- Marmalade Boy

The series was adapted by Toei Animation as a 76-episode anime television series which aired on TV Asahi and Fuji TV in 1994 to 1995. This was followed by a prequel theatrical anime movie in 1995. The series was also adapted as a 30-episode live-action television series that was broadcast in Taiwan in 2002. They were also unable to renew the license for the first twenty-four episodes of the anime.

Toei Animation adapted Marmalade Boy into a 76-episode anime television series which aired on TV Asahi in 1994 to 1995. This was followed by a prequel theatrical anime movie in 1995. The anime series was licensed for Region 1 DVD release by Tokyopop, which released the series in four box sets. Tokyopop’s license had since expired, leaving the anime out of print, until May 6, 2017, when Discotek Media announced they have licensed the anime, and would release the series in two DVD sets. The first set (episodes 1-38) has been released on August 29, 2017, and the second set (episodes 39-76) on November 28, 2017. An SD on BD Set has been announced for 2018.

The movie for the anime acts as a prequel to the story. Taking place as a flashback after Yuu kisses Miki in the nurse’s office, he recalls the first time he met Miki, shortly after his parents told him of their impending divorce and spouse swap. He found Miki practicing tennis in the park and spent the rest of the day following her around, eventually finding out she was to be his new stepsister. According to this movie, Yuu was in love with Miki before the family’s meeting. The second Discotek set, as well as the upcoming SD on BD set has the movie packaged in there.

Miki Koishikawa 

is a lively high school student, who is on the Toryo High School tennis team. She is cheerful, friendly, supportive, outspoken, a big girly girl and good-hearted. On the other hand, she can also be insecure, whiny, clingy, and very emotionally dependent on others. She had a part-time job working in an ice cream parlor, called Bobson’s. Later, she works in a small decoration shop.

When she was in junior high, she confessed her love to a male friend of hers named Ginta, but it was a disaster and Miki ended up heartbroken. Eventually she got over it and became friends with him again.

While Miki was in high school, her parents went on a trip to Hawaii and decided to swap spouses with another couple. The other couple had a son the same age as Miki, and they all moved into a large house to live together. That boy was Yuu Matsuura, and Miki started to fall in love with him as they came to know each other better. However, Miki was very uncertain of herself and became jealous because Yuu was always surrounded by other girls, several of them being very beautiful and mature while Miki believes herself to be only average-looking and childish. She and Yuu eventually became a couple, but they didn’t tell their parents because they believed their parents would disapprove. They confessed their love to each other in episode 25, and started dating in episode 26. Due to Yuu being away in New York, and Miki tired of worrying all the time, she broke up with him in episode 62. But the two got back together in episode 71 when he returned for summer break. A misunderstanding causes Yuu to believe that they are half-siblings, and he breaks up with her without telling her the real reason, thinking the truth would be more painful. But after some time trying to make the right decision, they decide to marry and ask for their parents’ approval. There, they learn that they are not related and receive their parents’ blessing. By the end of the anime, they marry; at the end of the manga, they make plans to marry after college.

Yuu Matsuura 

is the male protagonist of the series. Miki gives him the “Marmalade Boy” moniker as she thinks that he is like marmalade – pretty looking, and sweet only on the surface, yet bitter. Compared to Miki, Yuu’s character is almost a complete opposite to hers, as he tends to be more detached, less emotional, and less open about his feelings. He admits to admiring Miki’s ability to show her emotions clearly, and it being one of the reasons he fell in love with her. Yuu is smart and naturally athletic, being able to excel in almost every sport although he did not join any clubs in order to focus on his studies. Yuu’s dream is to become an architect and in the anime he leaves to attend St. Andrews high school near New York City to study it there. Yuu teases Miki a lot, but this is his way of showing affection for her. His first kiss with Miki is a complete surprise for her because she had only met him a few days prior at an introductory dinner attended by both their families. The Marmalade Boy Movie, which is a prequel to the TV series and set a few days before this dinner, reveals that Yuu fell in love with Miki before they actually met. It shows that he saw Miki when she was out and followed her, witnessing her interactions with the Gastman Team, all without her knowledge.

One of Yuu’s biggest goals, in addition to being an architect, is to uncover his paternity. A series of unfortunate events leads him to believe that Youji is not his biological father. Nobody knows of his quest at first, especially Miki, as he researches various individuals who may or may not have fathered him, accumulating with him believing that Jin is his father, and Miki to be his half-sister. However, it is revealed that Youji is his true father and is free to continue his and Miki’s relationship. At the end of the anime, they marry; in the manga, they are making plans to marry after college.

Ginta Suou 

is Miki’s best male friend and a member of the Toryo tennis team. Miki has had a crush on him since junior high and confessed her feelings to Ginta in a note. However, the note was found by Ginta’s classmates, and Ginta downplayed it, without knowing at the time that she was watching, although he felt the same way about Miki.

Although he did find out that Miki had witnessed his denial of any interest in her, he was unable to tell her how he really felt until high school. The romantic tension between them comes to a head with Yuu’s appearance, which makes them realize that they still have feelings for each other. He decides to go along with Yuu’s ex-girlfriend Arimi’s proposal that they pose as a couple in order to drive a wedge between Miki and Yuu. In the process however, he starts to develop genuine feelings for Arimi, which she later reciprocates.

Meiko Akizuki 

is Miki’s best female friend. Meiko is the only child of wealthy parents and is very mature and beautiful. However, her family life is troubled because her parents are unfaithful to each other and constantly argue. She falls in love with Shinichi Namura after realizing that he has the maturity that she craves, but their relationship as teacher/student proves to be a huge hindrance. After finally gaining her parents’ approval, they are able to marry.

Arimi Suzuki 

is a former classmate of Yuu’s at his previous high school. She convinces Yuu to be her “boyfriend” for three months, during which they act as a couple on a trial basis. Arimi attempts to make Yuu to fall in love with her during this time, but fails. At the end of the three months, he still thought of her as a friend.

Miki’s indecisiveness about Ginta and Yuu frustrates her, as she does not think that Yuu deserves someone who cannot commit to one person. Arimi teams up with Ginta in an attempt to drive Yuu and Miki apart from each other. However, she eventually realizes that Yuu’s behavior around Miki indicates that he does like her, so she stops her pursuit of him. Some time later, she develops feelings for Ginta and they become a couple.

Film Friday- Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan

Film Friday- Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan

An anime adaptation by Studio Deen began airing in Japan on July 5, 2010. Also, a second season called Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan – Demon Capital  began airing in Japan on July 3, 2011. The anime episodes have been streamed on Viz Media’s anime streaming site, Viz Anime, since July 2010, while the first manga volume was released February 2011.  A Drama CD was released in December 2009.

The anime series, produced by Studio Deen, premiered on July 5, 2010 and is licensed for North America by Viz Media under the name Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan. New episodes, subtitled in English, are made available for streaming on their website several hours after they air in Japan. The opening themes are Fast Forward and Sunshine performed by Monkey Majik and the ending themes are Sparky☆Start and Symphonic Dream performed by Katate Size (Aya Hirano, Yui Horie and Ai Maeda). The anime is slated to be released on eight DVDs. The second season, Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan – Demon Capital, premiered in Japan on July 3, 2011 and was made available for streaming with English subtitles the next day. The season follows Rikuo as he trains for his upcoming battle with Hagoromo Gitsune.

The English dub of the series was posted for streaming on Viz Media’s online network, Neon Alley, which starting on October 2, 2012.

Main characters

Rikuo Nura  
Rikuo is the third and current head of the Nura Clan. He is the son of Rihan and Wakana Nura, and grandson of Nurarihyon. Although he appears to be an average 13-year-old, he is 1/4 yōkai, and is destined to take over the title of Master of all yōkai from his grandfather, though the main conflict for the first portion of the series lies in his rejection of the idea.
As a child, Rikuo respected and looked up to yōkai, playing pranks on members of the Nura house and often declaring he would become more yōkai-like and take over as the Third Head. However, after a discussion at school, he came to realize the evil nature of yōkai deeds and decided to set himself firmly on the path of living a strictly human life. Since then, he has attempted to become more like a normal human by doing all sorts of good deeds. Even though he appreciates all that his yōkai underlings do for him, he is nevertheless desperate to prevent his school friends from learning of his connection to yōkai. Despite this, in times of impending danger, his yōkai blood awakens and he changes into his yōkai form. He is later able to transform at will, provided that it is nighttime or he is in the dark and reverts to normal in sunlight (specifically, since he only has one fourth of yōkai blood in him, he can only keep his yōkai form for six hours – one fourth of a day). After being tested by Gyuki, Rikuo he decides to accept the position of the Third Head and save both humans and yōkai.
In contrast to his yōkai form, which is confident, strong and inspires “Fear” among his allies, leading many of them to join him, the human Rikuo is seemingly weak but very clever. He is easily able to manipulate one of the council members into isolating himself during a meeting and rationalize against the dissolving of the Gyuki Clan. Though originally he had no recollection of changing to his yōkai form, by the time he faced Gyuki, he admitted to pretending to have no recollection to distance himself from the world of yōkai. Later, he is shown interacting and communicating with his yōkai form. Together they plan to form a Hyakki Yakō of their own. He decides to leave the human side of things to his human form and handle the yōkai-side of things as his yōkai self.
After losing to his grandfather, he is taken to the yōkai village of Tono to train. There, he learns how to use his Fear against other yōkai. He departs for Kyoto to face Hagoromo Gitsune in order to save Yura and avenge his father. After losing to Tsuchigumo, he undergoes three days of training with Gyuki. It is during this training that he first learns how to use the technique of Matoi with Zen. Finally having accepted that he is both human and yōkai, Rikuo becomes even more powerful.
Rikuo’s primary weapon is the spirit blade Nenekirimaru, which was designed to only harm yōkai. However, the blade broke when he tried to hurt Abe no Seimei. Rikuo has since asked a member of the Keikain House to create a more powerful blade for him and it is currently being forged. For the time being, Rikuo uses the tree branch he used to defeat both of Kidomaru’s yōkai bodyguards when they attacked him at the Tono Village.
Tsurara Oikawa 
Tsurara is a Yuki Onna who is Rikuo’s trusted attendant and part of Rikuo’s new “Hyakki Yakō” who follows him to school disguised as Tsurara Oikawa. She is affectionate towards Rikuo and is jealous when other girls pay him attention. Other members of the Nura household believe the situation would become worse if Tsurara were to see what other females did to Rikuo. She is overprotective of Rikuo when he is his “day” or human form and expresses great concern for his well being, which is the reason why she is always around him at school (which causes misunderstandings and concern on Kana’s part). She also acts as a cook and, though her food is delicious, most of the time it is chilled or cold. Prior to Rikuo awakening for the first time, she was “easy pickings” for his pranks. She also admires Rikuo’s yōkai form because she finds him very reliable and magnificent. Tsurara is the daughter of Setsura, who was attracted to Nurarihyon in his prime; Tsurara seems to have inherited her mother’s trait for falling for the Supreme Commanders of the Nura Clan. She is oblivious to the fact Shima has a crush on her.
She also has a fear of Yura as she is an onmyōji and a rivalry with Kana (going so far as to nearly freeze her). However she protects Kana as her death would sadden Rikuo. Tsurara is confident that she’ll eventually win Rikuo’s heart since they both have yōkai lifespans. She goes to Kyoto to protect the Investigation group along with Aotabo. Later, she rejoins Rikuo but is kidnapped by Tsuchigumo. She is later freed by Rikuo and performs Matoi with him, becoming the second of his subordinates to do so. After the defeat of Hagoromo Gitsune, and Abe no Seimei’s departure from Kyoto, Tsurara returns to the Nura house. When Rikuo becomes the new head of the Nura Clan, Tsurara is “promoted” into the elite class of the family, becoming one of the clan’s new subcommanders under Rikuo. As a result of her new position, she is given command over one of the clan’s territories (which was under her mother’s supervision) and is currently working to build up her own “clan” and gain subordinates in order to strength Rikuo’s Hyakki Yakō. The Tsurara Clan currently consists of 20 demons that appear from bowls for shaved ice and the yōkai who served under her mother.
In an omake where her mother demands that she take the lips of the third heir, she is stuck with Rikuo in a confined space after an accident in the storage room and is apparently almost kissed by him before being interrupted by Aotabo barging in to rescue them. Tsurara is left thinking there is hope for a chance of Rikuo loving her.
Yura Keikain 
An onmyōji of the Keikain House who specializes in shikigami, she can control four of them at the same time which impresses even Nurarihyon. She was trained by Akifusa and raised to see yōkai as evil, and seeks to complete her training by defeating Nurarihyon and then inheriting the household. When her brother reveals Rikuo to be a yōkai and Nurarihyon’s grandson, she says she can accept it if it’s him. She has returned to Kyoto to deal with Hagoromo Gitsune and has currently retreated to the Keikain main house.
She fights against yōkai using shikigami; Rokuson the deer, Bukyoku the samurai, Tanro the white wolf and Rentei the koi fish, which she merges with it to form a holy-water cannon. Recently she has also added Kyomon, the elephant, to her arsenal. She is also the only member of the Keikain house who can summon and use “Hagun” to increase her own powers, and is the first since Hidemoto to be able to do so. It is because of this ability that Yura has been designated as the heir and future head of Keikain House. This also implies that after she dies, Yura will become part of Hagun, like Hidemoto did.
Kana Ienaga 
Kana is Rikuo’s childhood friend and neighbor. She first appears in the original Nurarihyon no Mago One-Shot as Yura Usami and says she hates things relating to yōkai and spirit mediums. Kana appears to be somewhat a magnet for drawing in yokai as they usually come after her. She is hinted to have some affection for Rikuo, as she gets jealous on seeing Rikuo and Tsurara together. Rikuo made a promise to help her if she is ever in need. After being kidnapped by a yōkai on her 13th birthday, she was saved by “Night” Rikuo and was taken to a yōkai party. The next morning Kana asked Rikuo if he was friends with his yōkai form and blushed when Rikuo asked why. It is evident that she has fallen for “Night” Rikuo to the point that she blushes whenever she thinks of him. However, it is also hinted that she is starting to like Rikuo as she is much concerned and distracted when Tsurara is close to him. After learning that Rikuo and his yōkai form are one and the same entity, Kana’s affections are no longer divided.

Film Friday- Ao Haru Ride

Film Friday- Ao Haru Ride

An anime television series, produced by Production I.G and directed by Ai Yoshimura, premiered in Japan at midnight on 7 July 2014. A live-action film adaptation was released in December 2014. A drama CD has been released as a tie-in with the 10th volume of the manga. An OAD has been released as a tie-in with the 11th volume of the manga. Translations of manga volumes have been released in Germany, France, Italy, Taiwan, Poland, and Mexico.

Anime

An anime television series adaptation, produced by Production I.G and directed by Ai Yoshimura, premiered in Japan on 7 July 2014. Weekly broadcasts started at midnight on Tokyo Metropolitan Television (Tokyo MX). The opening theme for the series was performed by a collaboration between two Vocaloid creators CHiCO and HoneyWorks, while the ending theme was performed by Japanese rock band, Fujifabric. In addition, the three-member girl band Chelsy provided an insert song for the series. An Original Anime DVD is also slated for release tie-in with the 11th volume of the manga series. The anime has been licensed by Sentai Filmworks. It premiered with subtitles in 2015 on Anime Network On Demand.

Film

A live action film directed by Takahiro Miki was released on 13 December 2014. It stars Tsubasa Honda as Futaba Yoshioka and Masahiro Higashide as Kou Mabuchi. Izumi Fujimoto plays Yūri Makita, Yua Shinkawa plays Shūko Murao and Ryō Yoshizawa plays Aya Kominato. The film has grossed ¥1.90 billion (about US$16.0 million) at the Japanese box office.

Main characters

Futaba Yoshioka 
Voiced by: Maaya Uchida

Since middle school, Futaba has always believed that boys were too rough and violent. Kou Tanaka was the only exception, and Futaba wanted to know him better. The two share brief, sentimental memories, including a plan to go to the summer festival together. After accidentally telling Naitou, Kou’s friend, that she hates all boys within Kou’s hearing proximity, she worries about his opinion of her but convinces herself that he understands he is an exception. The summer festival arrives, and Kou doesn’t show up. Returning from the summer vacation, Futaba hears that Kou transferred to another school without explanation. Futaba realizes how much she liked Kou and regrets not telling him how she felt.In high school, Futaba’s character is drastically different. No longer feminine or cute, she makes herself as unattractive as possible. Futaba was an outcast in middle school because the girls were jealous of her popularity with boys. Determined to have friends in high school, she sacrifices her true, girly self for her classmates’ approval but in the middle of the first year she decides to be true to herself. Futaba is strong-willed, stubborn and passionate. She eventually falls in love with Kou again (they also share some kisses during a school festival). However, she constantly worries that he has no feelings for her and believes that she’s clinging to the past. After confessing and being rejected by Kou (Chapter 28), she decides to move on and dates Toma. By chapter 45, she decides to reconcile with Kou and they start dating afterwards. Futaba is portrayed by Tsubasa Honda in the film.

Kou Mabuchi 
Voiced by: Yūki Kaji

During his time in middle school with Futaba, Kou Tanaka was rather small and gentle. He became very fond of her throughout their experiences together but seemingly disappeared during a summer break. Making an appearance in Futaba’s high school, it is revealed that he was unable to attend the summer festival because of familial issues. No longer “Kou Tanaka”, he is now referred to as “Kou Mabuchi”. His personality has also taken a turn, for he is now more masculine, sarcastic, and crude. In addition, he has extremely pessimistic views about his brother and himself. Despite these changes, Kou remains a kind person. When Kominato visited his house and found his secret box full of things from middle school, Kou confessed to Kominato that he still likes Futaba. To him, Futaba seems to be a remainder of his happier days — the days before his family experiences turmoil. He is trapped between his sympathy for Narumi, his old junior high school mate from Nagasaki, and his feelings for Futaba. When he settled things up, Futaba is already Kikuchi’s girlfriend. Realizing that Futaba is already Kikuchi’s girlfriend, he comes to realize how many people he has hurt in his life. He discusses to Kominato about how he had hurt everyone around him that he dearly cared about especially Narumi, Futaba, and himself. At the same time, Narumi comes to final confrontation with Mabuchi saying that she will never stop loving him and pleads to make him understand that she is the right person to be with Mabuchi, and how Futaba does not understand him at all. Mabuchi, however, cannot stop thinking about or loving Futaba, therefore, he decides to reject Narumi’s feelings, but still considers her as a friend along with an apology for hurting her. Narumi leaves Mabuchi a kiss saying that she doesn’t want to end things in a negative way, and decides to let him go. As Mabuchi becomes more honest with others including himself, he finally realizes that he doesn’t need to hide his feelings anymore and decides to finally pursue Futaba in order to be with her. He and Futaba later on reconcile and start dating. Kou is portrayed by Masahiro Higashide in the film.

Yūri Makita 
Voiced by: Ai Kayano

Introduced in the first chapter, Yūri’s high school life is parallel to Futaba’s middle school life. She is very cute, causing her to be despised by many girls in her class, and she is often left alone. Yūri gets by very well, however, for she prefers to be hated for who she truly is than to be liked for someone she isn’t. Yūri and Futaba soon become best friends. She falls in love with Kou after he helps her during a class leader’s camp. Yūri greatly treasures her friendship with Futaba, but often gets jealous of Futaba’s closeness with Kou. After getting rejected, she finally moves on and is now dating one of Toma’s friends, Uchiyama. Yūri is portrayed by Izumi Fujimoto in the film.

Shūko Murao 
Voiced by: Mikako Komatsu

Much like Yūri, Shūko is another “lone wolf”. She is very beautiful but has a cold exterior that drives others away. Due to experiences in middle school, Shūko fails to trust girls. Eventually, her trust in female relationships is restored after becoming friends with Futaba and Yūri. She softens up and also becomes close friends with Kō and Aya as well, so close that Aya mistakenly implied her having feelings for him. She has been in love with Tanaka-sensei, Kou’s older brother, since her first year of high school after attending a guidance session between the two of them but is soon rejected due to their teacher-student relationship (Chapter 27). In Chapter 48, she finally accepts Aya’s feelings and they start dating. Shūko is portrayed by Yua Shinkawa in the film.

Yōichi Tanaka 
Voiced by: Daisuke Hirakawa

Kou’s older brother by eight years. He works as an English teacher at Futaba’s high school. Entering high school, Futaba was initially interested in Yōichi as he reminded her of Kou. However, she was unaware that the two were brothers. Yōichi knows about Shūko’s crush on him but always rebuffs her advances, telling her that he will never see her as anything more than a student. However, he never hesitates to help her in times of need and is happy whenever he sees that she is fitting in. He enjoys a playful ‘rivalry’ with Aya over Shūko. He often gives Futaba advice whenever she feels unsure about herself or about Kou. Although it is hinted that he actually does have feelings for Shuko him saying to Aya “Before I can’t keep my feelings under control, I’ve been hoping for some great guy to come by and swoop Murao off her feet.”Yōichi is portrayed by Yū Koyanagi in the film.

Film Friday- Detective Conan aka Case Closed

Film Friday- Detective Conan aka Case Closed

The series received an anime adaptation by Yomiuri Telecasting Corporation and TMS Entertainment. The anime resulted in animated feature films, original video animations, video games, audio disc releases and live action episodes. In 2009, a television special titled Lupin the 3rd vs. Detective Conan was aired featuring characters from Lupin III.

Funimation licensed the anime series for North American broadcast in 2003 under the name Case Closed with the characters given Americanized names. The anime premiered on Cartoon Network as part of their Adult Swim programming block but was discontinued due to low ratings. In March 2013, Funimation began streaming their licensed episodes of Case Closed; Crunchyroll simulcast them in 2014. Funimation also localized the first six Case Closed films, while Discotek Media localized the Lupin III crossover special and its film sequel. Meanwhile, the manga was localized by Viz Media, who used Funimation’s changed title and character names.

Anime

The anime version of Case Closed is produced by Yomiuri Telecasting Corporation and TMS Entertainment. Over 800 episodes have aired in Japan since the anime’s premiere on January 8, 1996, making it the fifteenth longest anime series to date. Initially, Shogakukan collected and released the episodes on VHS video cassettes between June 1996, and October 2006. Four hundred and twenty-six episodes were released on VHS until Shogakukan abandoned the format and switched over to DVDs, starting over from the first episode. For the fifteenth anniversary of the anime series, the series was made available for video on demand. Case Closed was later broadcast in North America on NHK’s cable network TV Japan. Crunchyroll began simulcasting the series in October 2014.

In 2003, the first 104 episodes were licensed by Funimation for distribution in North America, under the title Case Closed because of legal considerations. The Case Closed anime has also been released in other languages such as French, German and Italian. Case Closed debuted on Cartoon Network as part of their Adult Swim programming block on May 24, 2004; no more than 50 episodes were licensed from Funimation due to low ratings. The Canadian channel YTV picked up the Case Closed series and broadcast 22 episodes between April 7, 2006, and September 2, 2006, before taking it off the air. Funimation made the series available with the launch of the Funimation Channel in November 2005; it was temporary available on Colours TV during its syndication with the Funimation Channel. A separate English adaptation of the series by Animax Asia premiered in the Philippines on January 18, 2006, under the name Detective Conan. Because Animax were unable to obtain further TV broadcast rights, their version comprised only 52 episodes. The series continued with reruns until August 7, 2006, when it was removed from the station. The California based channel UTB aired Detective Conan with English subtitles from 2011 until 2014, until episode 421.

Funimation also released DVDs of their dubbed series beginning August 24, 2004. Initially, the releases were done in single DVDs and future episodes were released in seasonal boxes; 130 episodes have been released in total. The seasonal boxes were later re-released in redesigned boxes called Viridian edition. Funimation began streaming Case Closed episodes in March 2013. Hanabee Entertainment licensed the series for distribution in Australia.

In January 2016, 52 episodes of the anime appeared on Netflix, initially under its original title Detective Conan before changing to its English moniker Case Closed. The episodes are listed as “season one”, although in reality they are episodes #748 to #799. The episodes are only available in Japanese, but are subtitled. The availability is likely part of Netflix’s efforts to expand its anime catalog.

Films

Twenty-one feature films based on the Case Closed series have been released. They are animated by TMS Entertainment and produced by Yomiuri Telecasting Corporation, Nippon Television, ShoPro, and Toho. The first seven were directed by Kenji Kodama, films 8–15 were directed by Yasuichiro Yamamoto, and films 16 and onwards have been directed by Kobun Shizuno. The films have been released in April of each year, starting in 1997 with the first film, Case Closed: The Time Bombed Skyscraper. The twenty first film, Detective Conan: The Crimson Love Letter was released on April 15, 2017. The second film and onwards were the top twenty grossing anime films in Japan. The revenue earned from the films funded Toho’s other film projects. Each film was adapted into two film comics which were released in the fourth quarter of the same year. Funimation released English dubbed versions of the first six films on Region 1 DVDs between October 3, 2006, and February 16, 2010.

Original video animations

Two original video animations series were produced by TMS Entertainment, Nippon Television, and Yomiuri Telecasting Corporation. The OVA series Shōnen Sunday Original Animation are yearly mail order episodes available to subscribers of Weekly Shōnen Sunday. The first Shōnen Sunday Original Animation was available in Weekly Shōnen Sundays 26th issue in 2000, with eleven OVAs released as of 2011. The first nine episodes of the OVA series were later encapsulated into four DVD volumes titled Secret Files and were released between March 24, 2006, and April 9, 2010. The second OVA series, entitled Magic File, consists of yearly direct-to-DVD releases. The first Magic File was released on April 11, 2007, and contained four episodes from the anime series. The subsequent Magic File OVAs contained an original plot with background ties related to their respective Case Closed theatrical films, beginning with the twelfth film Detective Conan: Full Score of Fear.

Television special

A two-hour television special titled Lupin the 3rd vs. Detective Conan was produced by TMS Entertainment, Nippon Television, and Yomiuri Telecasting Corporation and aired on March 27, 2009. It was first announced in the 9th issue of Weekly Shōnen Sunday in 2009. The plot follows Kudo as he investigates the death of the Queen of Vespania while Arsène Lupin III from the Lupin III series attempts to steal the Queen’s crown. The special earned a household record rating of 19.5 in Japan. VAP released the special on DVD and Blu-ray Disc on July 24, 2009. The special is followed by Lupin the 3rd vs. Detective Conan: The Movie which takes place after the television special.

Video games

Case Closeds expansion into the video games industry followed behind its foray into animation. On December 27, 1996, Detective Conan: Chika Yuuenchi Satsujin Jiken was released for the Game Boy. Since then, 20 games have been released with Detective Conan: Kako Kara no Zensōkyoku Prelude set for Spring of 2012 for the Nintendo DS and PlayStation Portable. Currently, the majority of the games have only been released in Japan, though Nobilis has localized Case Closed: The Mirapolis Investigation for the PAL region. All dedicated Detective Conan games released for the Game Boy, Sony’s consoles, the WonderSwan, and the Nintendo DS have been developed by Bandai. Banpresto developed the Case Closed titles on the Game Boy Color and Game Boy Advance while Marvelous Entertainment developed Case Closed: The Mirapolis Investigation.

Audio CDs

Katsuo Ono composed and arranged the music in the Case Closed animation; his works have been released on several CDs. Two image albums, comprising several songs sung by Japanese voice actors of the characters in the animation, were also released. Several theme music were performed by pop musicians such as B’z, Zard, and Garnet Crow. The first four theme music were released by Universal Music Group and all releases thereafter were by Being Inc.

Live action drama

Four live action drama TV specials and a TV series were created by Yomiuri Telecasting Corporation and TMS entertainment based off the series. The first two specials aired in 2006 and 2007 featuring Shun Oguri portraying the teenage Jimmy Kudo and Tomoka Kurokawa as Rachel Moore. The third and fourth TV specials aired in 2011 and 2012 featuring Junpei Mizobata as Jimmy and Shioli Kutsuna as Rachel. The cast used for those TV specials were used for the television series which aired between July 7, 2011 and September 29, 2011.

Film Friday- Anonymous Noise

Film Friday- Anonymous Noise

The manga has been recently adapted into an anime television series that aired from April to June 2017 and a live-action film. An anime television series adaptation was announced via the cover of the 10th issue of Hana to Yume in April 2016 and aired on April 11, 2017 on Tokyo MX, Kansai TV, and BS Fuji then finished on June 27, 2017. The anime is licensed by Sentai Filmworks in North America for streaming and home video release that held world premiere screening of the first episode at Anime Boston on April 1, 2017 ahead of its release in Japan. Prior to the anime, an internet radio show to promote the series titled Fukumenkei Noise in NO hurry to Radio; began broadcasting on April 8, 2017. The show is hosted by Saori Hayami and Daiki Yamashita, the voice actors for Nino and Yuzu, respectively.

Live-action film

A live-action film adaptation was announced via the 21st issue of Hana to Yume in October 2016. Koichiro Miki is directing the film; he and Rie Yokota are writing the script. Principal photography began in November 2016. The film will be released on November 25, 2017 in Japan.

Main characters

Nino Arisugawa
Nino is a first-year high school student who has loved singing since young, being gifted with an extremely resonating voice. She was in love with her singing partner and neighbour Momo until he moved away suddenly, leading to the string of events that let her meet Kanade, whom she called Yuzu. After he leaves her too, she continues to sing for 6 years in hopes that her voice will reach them.
Kanade Yuzuriha 
Kanade is a second-year high school student who is known for drinking milk constantly. He nicknames Nino “Alice” from her surname. He initially had writer’s block until he met Nino, whose voice reignites his feelings and passion to keep composing, forming a masked band known as “in NO hurry to shout”. He has been in love with Nino but dates Miou from coercion on her part.

Film Friday- The Irregular at Magic High School

Film Friday- The Irregular at Magic High School

The year 2013, an anime adaptation by Madhouse was announced and was broadcast between April and September 2014. The Irregular at Magic High School franchise had been localized for English by two companies: The light novels and one of the manga adaptations are licensed by Yen Press while Aniplex of America licensed the anime series. The anime series was simulcasted on four networks, and was later made available on Netflix.

Plot

The series is set in a world with an alternate history, where magic exists and has been polished through modern technology. However, the ability to use magic is determined by genetics, limiting the amount of magicians in existence. Following the Third World War, the world’s superpowers shifted to these four nations: The United States of North America (USNA), New Soviet Union, the Great Asian Alliance, and Japan. In Japan, the magic community is informally governed by the ten master clans in lieu of the government. Due to the limited amount of magicians, they are treated as commodity and are forced to enter magic related schools and professions. Nine magic high schools exist in Japan; they each specialize in different aspects of magic and are simply referred to by their numbers.

The story follows Tatsuya Shiba, a bodyguard to his sister Miyuki Shiba who is also a candidate to succeed the master clan, Yotsuba. They enroll into First High School which segregates its students based on their magical abilities. Miyuki is enlisted as a first course student and is viewed as one of the best students, while Tatsuya is in the second course and considered to be magically inept. However, Tatsuya’s technical knowledge, combat abilities, and unique magic techniques causes people to view him as an irregular to the school’s standardized rankings.

Anime

An anime adaptation of the light novel was announced during the Dengeki Bunko Fall Festival on October 6, 2013. It is directed by Manabu Ono and animated by Madhouse. It premiered on Tokyo Metropolitan Television, Gunma TV, and Tochigi TV on April 6, 2014; nine other networks and three streaming services broadcast the series afterwards. The final episode premiered on September 28. The individual episodes were later encapsulated into ten DVD and Blu-ray volumes released between July 2014 and April 2015.

In March 2014, Aniplex of America announced its acquisition for streaming rights to the anime series; much later they unveiled their plans to release the series into three Blu-ray volumes which segregate the episodes by story arcs. Four networks simulcasted the series with English subtitles: these include Aniplex Channel, Crunchyroll, Hulu, and Daisuki. In June 2014, the Australasia distributor, Hanabee Entertainment, announced its licensing of the series for streaming and home media release. Months later, Netflix made the series available on their network. Animax Asia also began broadcasting the series in July 2015.

Three related media to the anime were created. The first is a super deformed short series titled Get to Know Magic Studies! by Aniplex. These shorts were uploaded on Aniplex’s YouTube channel, and was later English subtitled and uploaded on Aniplex of America’s channel. An internet radio show titled The Irregular at Magic High School Web Radio Full Bloom! Bloom Broadcasting Committee, premiered on March 23, 2014 and is hosted by Sora Amamiya and Yuiko Tatsumi, the voice actresses for Honoka Mitsui and Shizuku Kitayama respectively; the radio show episodes was later made available for purchase on CD. The third is a radio drama DVD which was released in December 2014 and is based on the light novel’s Recollection Arc.

An anime film called The Irregular at Magic High School The Movie: The Girl Who Calls the Stars was revealed in the 19th light novel volume which was released in March 2016. The film is scripted by the series creator, Tsutomu Satō, and premiered in Japan on June 17, 2017.

Film Friday- Kimi ni Todoke

Film Friday- Kimi ni Todoke

Two anime adaptations of Kimi ni Todoke were aired in Japan, produced by Production I.G. The second season of the anime was announced in Betsuma Magazine, began airing in Japan on January 4, 2011 and lasted for 12 episodes. A live action film adaptation was released in 2010 starring Mikako Tabe and Haruma Miura.

Anime

The first season of the Kimi ni Todoke anime adaptation aired between October 2009 and March 2010. A second season was announced in the November 2010 issue of Betsuma magazine. The second season aired in Japan on NTV on January 2011. Both seasons of the anime are produced by Production I.G. and directed by Hiro Kaburagi. The music is done by S.E.N.S. Project, with the opening sung by Tomofumi Tanizawa and the ending by Chara. NIS America announced at Anime Expo 2011 that they have licensed the first season of Kimi ni Todoke. They released the first season on DVD/Blu-ray on January 10, 2012, and released the second season later that year.

Live-action film 

The February 2010 issue of Bessatsu Margaret (released in January 2010), announced that a live-action film adaptation of the series had been approved. Mikako Tabe and Haruma Miura starred in the film, released in Japanese theatres on September 25, 2010 and directed by Naoto Kumazawa. The Live-action movie was released on Blu-ray and DVD on March 11, 2011.

Characters- 

Yoshiyuki “Zen” Arai 
Voiced by: Takuma Suzuki
The original home room teacher of Sawako’s class. He and Pin have the same surname, but are not related. To distinguish between the two teachers Yoshiyuki Arai is nicknamed “Zen”, which is an alternate reading of the kanji for “Yoshi”. He seems to be afraid of Sawako and the rumors surrounding her as “Sadako”. Early in the series, he falls ill and has to take a leave of absence from school; because of that, students often believe that Sawako has cursed him. Arai is newly-wed and eventually retires from teaching in order to help his wife’s family business (a sake brewery), resulting in Pin taking over his class permanently.
Shino 
Voiced by: Kanae Oki
The only link to Sawako’s past, Shino was her elementary school classmate and the only person who Sawako talks to as the series begins. During elementary school, by mistake, Shino called Sawako “Sadako.” When they attended the same middle school, the boys in their class, afraid by Sawako’s appearance, heard rumors that she was known as “Sadako,” and since then it became her nickname. It is because of this, that Shino feels guilty about the rumors circulating over Sawako that started from her calling her “Sadako.” Thus she cares about Sawako and whether she is fitting into high school. Shino is in a different class and regrets that she doesn’t get to see Sawako very much. She is a cipher, appearing only occasionally as a catalyst for Sawako’s interactions with other people. Perhaps for story reasons, Sawako is too modest to consider her as a friend.
According to Shiina, Shino was an unnamed character in the manga, but was named by the staff for the anime. Shiina also wrote that “Shino-chan in the anime is really cute.”
Chigusa Takahashi 
Voiced by: Yurin
A classmate of Sawako, Takahashi sits behind Sawako after the seating arrangements change for the third term of first year. She enjoys teasing Sawako and Ayane remarks that Takahashi is eccentric.
According to Shiina, she was just Takahashi-san in the manga, but has the given name Chigusa in the anime show and from volume 10 onwards.
Yagi
A classmate of Sawako who sits next to her after the seating arrangements change during the third term of first year. He often consults her on supposedly spiritual or occult concerns.
Mogi 
Mogi is a new character introduced in the recent chapters of the manga. He is a boy from Class 2-B. In Chapter 54, he asks Ayane to date him, to which she immediately agrees. Ayane breaks up with him in Chapter 59.
Film Friday- Shaman King

Film Friday- Shaman King

An animated television series was co-produced by TV Tokyo, NAS, and Xebec, which aired on Japan’s TV Tokyo network from 2001 to 2002. The manga has also been reprinted in a kanzenban edition, and has spawned video games, a trading card game, and many types of Shaman King-related merchandise.

The anime series was licensed in North America by 4Kids Entertainment in 2003, and aired on Fox Box. Exclusive video games were released by 4Kids Entertainment in North America and Europe.

The episodes of the Shaman King anime series are directed by Seiji Mizushima and co-produced by TV Tokyo, NAS, and Xebec. At an early stage of anime production, Takei himself helped the anime’s staff. However, he soon left the staff due to his time limitations as he was working in the manga. The 64 episodes were aired between July 4, 2001, and September 25, 2002, on TV Tokyo in Japan. 4Kids Entertainment obtained the rights to broadcast the Shaman King anime in the United States, where it premiered on Fox Box on September 6, 2003.

The episodes were collected into 16 DVD compilations by King Records in Japan and released between October 30, 2001, and January 22, 2003. The DVDs were later collected and released in three box sets between August 27, 2008, and December 25, 2008. Five DVD compilations of the English adaptation have been released by Funimation Entertainment between October 19, 2004 and March 29, 2005 in an uncut form.

At Otakon 2015, former Madhouse president and current MAPPA president, Masao Maruyama, expressed his desire to work on a reboot of Shaman King. In February 2017, while answering a fan’s question, Takei revealed on his official Twitter that he received an offer for an anime remake of Shaman King, but he had to turn it down because they were not able to use the first anime’s voice actors and soundtrack music.

Main characters

Yoh Asakura

is the main protagonist of Shaman King. An easy-going young man with the ability to see ghosts, he quickly becomes friends with Manta and reveals that he is training to eventually become the Shaman King. Though he is too lazy to train properly, he is motivated by a promise he made to his fiancée, Anna Kyoyama, to give her an easy life once he becomes Shaman King. While he remarks that he wants to become Shaman King in order to live a carefree and easy life, those closest to Yoh know that he wants to create a world where no one has to suffer from loneliness like Yoh did as a child because he was a shaman and nobody understood or accepted him.

Unexpectedly, he is not only the latest descendent of the Asakura family, a family famed for their spiritual powers, but also the twin brother of Hao Asakura, who is a reincarnation of the immensely powerful founder of the Asakura family and the primary antagonist of the series. As a result, Yoh is the Asakura family’s greatest hope of finally defeating Hao at last and saving the world from impending destruction. During the Shaman Fight, Yoh is the leader of Team Funbari Hot Springs. In the manga, when it becomes apparent that current known methods of training will not allow any shaman to defeat Hao, Yoh is sent to hell to train, an honour given to him by Lady Sati, and is granted the power of purification. He becomes one of the Five Elemental Warriors and gains the Spirit of Earth.

Anna Kyōyama

is Yoh Asakura’s fiancėe and a powerful itako (a spirit medium in English anime), with the ability to summon and channel spirits even from heaven. She is unrelentingly brutal with Yoh’s training in order to ensure he wins the Shaman Tournament and becomes Shaman King. Anna attends Shinra Private Academy along with Yoh and Manta. She has previously appeared in Hiroyuki Takei’s other works, including Butsu Zone and Itako no Anna, and is notably the mascot for the Aomori Prefecture’s police force.

After being abandoned by her birth parents due to her abilities, Anna was adopted by Kino Asakura, Yoh’s grandmother who resides in Aomori, as one of her apprentices. Her surname, Kyoyama, was given to her by Kino and is an alternate reading of the characters for Mount Osore, where Anna was found. Though most itako are blind, Anna is fully sighted and extremely powerful; her considerable spiritual strength allows her to seal Hao’s guardian spirits Zenki and Kouki and take control of them. Her powers originally included the ability to read minds, which caused her to create powerful demons from negative emotions, until she was saved by Yoh and Matamune and the ability was sealed. Out of deep gratitude for how he saved her life, she believes that it is her responsibility to train him hard so that he can achieve his dream of becoming Shaman King. Despite how badly she seems to treat Yoh, she openly admits that she loves him, expressing jealousy when she thinks he is interested in other girls and breaking down only when she believes that Yoh is truly in danger in contrast to her unflinching confidence in him under other dangerous situations.

Her strong will and blunt personality often inspires fear in her close friends, particularly Yoh. She is one of the few who does not openly express fear to Hao, who is intrigued by her attitude and acknowledges her strength and how she reminds him of his mother, Asanoha Douji. However, she genuinely cares for those important to her, especially Yoh, and merely is dedicated to be “the ultimate Shaman Queen” and wife to Yoh, the first real friend that she ever had in her life.

Manta Oyamada

known as Mortimer “Morty” Manta in the English anime and Mortimer “Morty” Oyamada in the video games, is Yoh’s best friend and the first human to try and understand Yoh without any discrimination. An intelligent and thoughtful boy who carries a book with him every day, he attends Shinra Private Academy with Yoh and Anna. He is physically very short, a fact that he is extremely sensitive about, and has been mistaken as a Koropokuru, a shy nature spirit from northern Japan. Though he is not a shaman and unable to use his spiritual powers like Yoh and Anna, he is capable of seeing spirits and faithfully stands by Yoh. Throughout the series, Manta acts as the primary narrator of the events in Shaman King.

In the manga and original Japanese anime, his family owns the Oyamada Electronics Company, and therefore is very rich. His parents disapprove of Manta’s friendship with Yoh while his younger sister, Mannoko, seems to enjoy making fun of Manta. He has a strained relationship with his family, who plays little role in the story and, following their initial appearance, they are never seen again in the manga until a brief appearance by Mansumi toward the end of the series, where the Oyamada president leads several battle ships to destroy and capture Shamans. In the manga and Japanese anime, Manta has an assistant, Tamurazaki, though he is mostly Mansumi’s lapdog and winds up gunning down at least one of Hao’s followers. While he is unable to help Yoh to become stronger as a shaman, Manta uses what advantages he has to support his friend, such as his incredible wealth to help Anna reach the United States to bring the Ultra Senji Ryakketsu to Yoh after he has left to find the Patch Village.

In the anime, during the Shaman Tournament, Manta becomes a shaman with Mosuke, Amidamaru’s best friend who forged Harusame, as his Guardian Spirit. His relationship with Mosuke soon parallels Yoh’s own relationship with Amidamaru, as well as their existing relationships with their best friends. Because Manta is untrained as a shaman, he is unable to maintain spirit form from losing furyoku quickly and generally communicates with Mosuke through his laptop. During the final battle against Hao, Manta is able to use his laptop to form a hammer-shaped Oversoul to knock out Hao’s shikigami and force his friends to calm down long enough to regroup and defeat Hao. In the manga, Manta is generally an observer throughout the Shaman Fight and often questions his presence in a battle that he cannot directly contribute to. At the conclusion of the series, he appears at the head of the Soul Train to save Yoh and his friends from falling into oblivion, expressing happiness and relief that he could finally help Yoh. Several years later, he attends college in America, studying ways to combine shamanism with business, and brings presents for his friends at their reunion at Funbari Onsen.

Hao Asakura

is the main antagonist of Shaman King, currently the second reincarnation of his original self and the twin brother of Yoh. He is the most powerful participant in the Shaman Tournament, with Furyoku at 1,250,000, an extremely high level compared with the other characters’ Furyoku levels in Shaman King. While he exhibits ruthlessness towards his opponents, he acts surprisingly easy-going and affable, similar to Yoh’s personality.

Originally, one thousand years ago, Hao was the founder of the Asakura family and a powerful Onmyōji priest who possessed incredible spiritual powers, including the ability to sense the thoughts and desires of those around him. Regarded as a master of the Wu Xing pentagram, he was able to control the five elements that give form to creation. However, his compassionate heart was overcome by his deep-seated desire to avenge his mother’s death and his growing hatred of humans because of their selfish natures. Failing to win his first Shaman King tournament because of the combined efforts of the Asakura family to stop him, Hao was able to reincarnate with full awareness of his past life in time to participate in the next tournament and again for the current tournament.

In his second life five hundred years later, Hao was reincarnated as a member of the Patch tribe, who would be an ancestor to Silva, and massacred the Seminoa tribe. After successfully taking control of the Spirit of Fire, an elemental spirit that embodies the essence of one of the five elements of nature, he attempted to become Shaman King again. Despite possessing such advantages, he was defeated by Yohken Asakura, one of his descendants, and the spirit Matamune, who reluctantly put aside his love and loyalty for Hao for the sake of saving the world.

In his most recent reincarnation, Hao chose to reincarnate as a member of the Asakura family, as a pair of identical twins, splitting his soul between himself and Yoh, as the children of Keiko Asakura. In hopes of at least stopping Hao until the next Shaman Fight, Keiko’s father, Yohmei, and her husband Mikihisa, decided to kill both children. However, following his rebirth, Hao escaped from the Asakura family with the help of the Spirit of Fire, while badly burning Mikihisa and sparing his twin brother with the promise to reclaim him some day. In the months leading up to the tournament Hao began to kill prospective competition while gathering an entourage to assist him in winning the current Shaman King tournament.

Hana Asakura

is the son of Yoh Asakura and Anna Kyoyama. He was first introduced in the Shaman King sidestory “Funbari no Uta” as an infant travelling alongside Ryu to find The Five Elemental Warriors, story which is concluded in the finale of Shaman King. In the sequel Shaman King Flowers a teenage Hana acts as the leading character. He is depicted as a Shaman having Yoh’s spirit guardian, Amidamaru, alongside him using him with the Futsu-no-Mitama no Tsurugi weapon to create two Oversouls, O.S. “Oni Kabuto” and O.S. “Oni Kabuto Though”. He lives Tamao Tamamura’s care while his parents are absent. Hana is bored with his life and finds the appearance of his fiancé Alumi Niumbirch and his proclaimed enemies Yohane and Luka Asakura as a way to kill his boredom. Hana also possesses several Oni sealed inside him that will be summoned when he is in danger in order to protect him. They were placed by his uncle, Hao Asakura, when he was a baby.

Film Friday- Paradise Kiss

Film Friday- Paradise Kiss

The series has also been adapted into a 12 episode anime series, produced by Aniplex and Studio Madhouse, and which was aired in Japan on Fuji TV’s Noitamina programming block and on the anime television network, Animax, who have broadcast the series across its respective networks worldwide, including Japan, Southeast Asia, South Asia and East Asia.

Produced by Madhouse Studios, the Paradise Kiss anime series began airing on October 10, 2005. Some well-known personages are staffed on the production of the Paradise Kiss series including director Osamu Kobayashi and Nobuteru Yūki, character designer and animation director for the opening sequence. It has been aired by the anime television network, Animax across its respective networks worldwide, including Japan, as well as Southeast Asia, South Asia and East Asia, where the series received its first ever international broadcasts. The anime was licensed for release in North America by Geneon Entertainment. On July 3, 2008, Geneon Entertainment and Funimation Entertainment announced an agreement to distribute select titles in North America. While Geneon Entertainment will still retain the license, Funimation Entertainment will assume exclusive rights to the manufacturing, marketing, sales and distribution of select titles. Paradise Kiss was one of several titles involved in the deal.

Live-action film

Together with the Japanese production company IMJ, Fox International produced a live-action, Japanese-language film based on Paradise Kiss; The film has an estimated budget of US$3–4 million.

The Paradise Kiss live-action features Keiko Kitagawa as Yukari Hayasaka and Osamu Mukai as George. Other cast members are Natsuki Katō as Kaori Aso, Aya Ōmasa as Miwako Sakurada, Kento Kaku as Arashi Nagase, Shunji Igarashi as Isabella Yamamoto, and Yūsuke Yamamoto as Tokumori Hiroyuki.

The film was released in Japan in June 2011. It featured the songs ‘HELLO’ and ‘YOU’ by YUI.

Characters

Miwako Sakurada

Miwako is the bubbly, pink-haired student of Yazagaku who works with George to run their brand, Paradise Kiss. She is the younger sister of the Happy Berry brand’s creator/president, Mikako Kouda, who is the protagonist in Ai Yazawa’s Gokinjo Monogatari work, and feels pressure to live up to her success. Miwako tends to act in a rather childlike manner, both in her Lolita style dress and unique vocabulary. She carries around a jar of konpeito candy that makes her feel better by reminding her of how she is loved. Because of her cute personality, she is adored by many of the characters and becomes Yukari’s closest friend, even offering her a place to stay when she needs it. Unbeknownst to Yukari, Miwako was a childhood friend of Hiroyuki and his first love.

Arashi Nagase

Arashi is a student of Yazagaku with a taste for punk style and alternative music. With his distressed jeans and safety pin piercings, Yukari flees when he tries to scout her in the streets of Tokyo. George enjoys harassing the serious-minded punk. Miwako reassures her that though Arashi looks intimidating, he is very kind. He is Miwako’s childhood friend turned boyfriend, and this was the cause of the split in friendship between Miwako and Hiroyuki, having told Miwako that she could no longer see him anymore. Arashi despises being compared to Hiroyuki for any reason as he secretly believes himself to be inferior to the clean-cut prodigy. He even breaks Miwako’s phone when he realizes she is texting Hiroyuki. By the end of the manga, Hiroyuki and Miwako help him to get over his inferiority complex, and the three childhood friends attend a New Year’s celebration together. When the members of ParaKiss engage in outrageous behavior, Arashi is usually the voice of reason. He is the one that talks most directly to Yukari about her decision to drop out of school. He is the son of a musician, Risa Kanzaki, who is a good friend of Mikako Kouda. (Both characters appear in Gokinjo Monogatari.) Arashi and Miwako eventually marry and have a daughter who looks much like Arashi (whom Hiroyuki believes would look cuter if she had looked like Miwako instead).

Isabella Yamamoto

Isabella is the mother figure to the members of ParaKiss. This tall Yazagaku student is the epitome of high class and femininity. Isabella inspired George’s very first dress during childhood, and often had the habit of taking every piece of clothing that he finished. As a child, she had always wanted dresses, and George was the one that fulfilled her wish. Isabella encourages Yukari when she needs it the most, whether it be regarding George or her abandoned studies. Notably, Isabella is a transgender woman, and she is mortified when anyone refers to her as her birth name, Daisuke.

Hiroyuki Tokumori

Yukari’s classmate, an intelligent and handsome prodigy who is the object of Yukari’s affections at the beginning of the story. Hiroyuki was once in love with Miwako, but Arashi forbade her from seeing him. He gives advice to Arashi on how to come to terms with his feelings for Miwako and his past actions and soon after the three of them mend their friendship. Hiroyuki is at the top of his class and aspires to become a physician. He eventually falls for Yukari, who foolishly assumed that a girl like her would never show interest in him. In the manga, Hiroyuki expresses his frustration at always being second-best in anything but academics, referring to Miwako choosing Arashi and to Yukari being in love with George. Son of Gokinjo Monogatari character, Hiroaki Tokumori (“Toku-chan”).

The music of ParaKiss is so great that I have attached the opening and closing songs below. I found one of my favorite bands from this series!

 

Film Friday- Louie the Rune Soldier

Film Friday- Louie the Rune Soldier

The Rune Soldier anime consists of 24 episodes. The episodes are either a stand-alone adventure, or a story arc consisting of multiple episodes. In general the plot of each episode or story arc revolves around the group looking for, finding, and participating in an adventure. Probably due to interpretation or stylistic differences most episodes have a verbal spoken and written name that does not match exactly.

The anime had an NTSC release of September 13, 2005 by Section 23. There were 6 discs total.

As there is not much else written about the series I am going to summarize the first few episodes.

Episode 1 “The Hero Descends

The episode introduces the main characters, beginning with Melissa, Genie, and Merrill. While investigating a ruin they indicate their need for a magician to join them to open a magically sealed door. Three days later they have traveled to the town of Ohfun. Merrill and Genie individually meet Louie with mixed results. Merrill believes him to be a pervert because he was being chased by a group of angry women and that he falls, while thanking her, and pulls her shorts down. Genie meets Louie while she is being confronted by a group of their rival adventurers. They claim she has insulted them by running into one of them and not apologizing. Louie appears, impossibly wedged in a slight opening between the town wall and a building. He precedes to attack the three men using his fists. Genie sees Louie as a reckless thrill seeker.

Later, Melissia, Merrill, and Genie have met up at a tavern. Merrill reveals she has learned of a pub that magicians frequent. The next night, they meet up at the pub, and approach Ila. She in turn introduces them to Louie. All three refuse Louie in joining them. Ila and Louie inform them that Louie is likely the only magician willing to join them. As Louie tries to convince them of his worth, he irritates Genie and she confronts him. He refuses to back down and pulls out a magical device, that he drops and damages the pub. Luckily he was the only person left in the pub as everyone else fled. Later still the three girls meet at apparently a new tavern, they are drinking and angrily discuss Louie’s incompetence. Melissia then reveals she will be undergoing her “Sacred Ritual of Revealing,” the next day. This is a Mylee rite that reveals a Champion to whom the priestess must serve. She envisions a dashing knight, and gets lost in her daydream of their adventures together.
The next day opens on Melissia giving a sermon on Champions and heroes. She then speaks with Anna, Ganet, and Joan, three younger priestesses who believe she will be shown her champion. She calmly advises them that it may not be successful, and then when alone giggles and sings about getting her champion. The next scene shows Louie being released from jail and we find his adoptive father Master Carwes, arranged for his early release. He goes to the magician’s guild and tries to attend classes but cannot get the idea of adventuring out of his mind. He and Iila talk in his dorm room, about his apparent lack of talent and dedication to his studies. As they speak about the three adventurers, they both conclude that the adventurers are looking for a magician to complete their group. Louie leaps to the conclusion that they want his help, but cannot ask him directly. He tells Ila the only member of the group he knows how to find is Melissia since she is a Mylee priestess. Genie and Merrill meet up at Genie’s home outside Ohfun and their conversation turns to Louie. They decide to go see Melissia to see how her “Ritual of Revealing” has gone. Melissia is shown entering a sacred room of the Mylee temple with Chief Priestess Jenny officiating the rite. Melissia now alone and nude enters a pool of waist high water facing a statue of Mylee. To her delight, the deity speaks to her stating the next person she sees will be her champion. During the rite Louie arrives at the temple and is driven off by the three young priestesses. He then meets Genie and Merrill and after Genie pulls her sword on him, he runs away with Merrill and Genie in pursuit. As he navigates the temple he is constantly confronted by and attacked by a small army of young priestesses. He finally evades them and climbs to the top of the temple. Genie and Merrill are already there and begin to attack him. Louie pulls out his magic wand and begins to cast a spell, which backfires and destroys part of the temple roof. He falls through and lands in front of Melissia. Melissia screams, realizing Louie is her destined champion.

Episode 2 “The First Experience

The girls confront Louie in Genie’s home and Melissia reveals her revelation that Louie is her champion, much to her despair. Even Louie doubts the validity of this revelation. He then uses it to convince the girls to take him on their adventure. Melissia indicates she is forced to go with him if it his wish. In preparing for the adventure Louie receives a charm for his magic wand, from his adoptive father Master Carwes, and sword training from Genie. Upon leaving for the adventure Louie receives what will become a recurring task of carrying the party’s equipment and provisions. Upon reaching the ruins Louie is left to move rubble from the entrance, only Genie helps out with moving the final, and largest stone. Louie then attempts to open the sealed door with his magic, but is forced to read some cheat note to complete it. Upon entering and exploring the underground ruins, the group come to a dead end room and begin to search for secret doors, Louie, by luck alone, effortlessly finds a hidden door, and envisions finding a mountain of treasure that will earn him the affections of all three girls. Instead he finds a small group of monsters called goblins. He tries to flee and rejoin the girls who were on the other side of the room. When he is struck on the back of the head he loses control of himself and begins to brawl with the goblins. While he successfully defeats them, the girls have a running dialogue of their despair at Louie not accepting his role as their magician, instead of their fighter. Louis breaks his magic wand by using it like a club. In the end they find no treasure, but Louie comments on his happiness to have been on the adventure. This provokes Merrill to punch him.

Episode 3 “The Big Scuffle

The group returns to Ohfun. The girls are still angry from not finding any treasure and use Louie’s needing a wand to use magic to abandon him until he can find a replacement wand. The girls are individually shown complaining about Louie to people they know in town. They meet up an inn and Ila and Louie meet them. Ila proceeds to give Louie three useless magical items: a cloak that can make him invisible, but is too small, a box containing an illusion of a cooked chicken, and a whistle than can call demons to your location, but does not allow you to control them. When Merrill comments on how useless each one is, Ila comments that they would be more useful than non-existent teammates. This angers the three girls and Louie, perceiving their hostility, quickly excuses himself and Ila. This leads to the girls “grudgingly” helping Louie out when he decides to stock up on gear and get the wood required for his new wand. In the end, not being able to live with Louie’s probable death upon entering the Phantom Forest alone hanging on their collective conscience, they decide to accompany him.

Episode 4 “The Phantom Forest

The group has made their way into the forest and are finishing up a group of monsters summoned when Louie blew the whistle. After cleaning up and preparing to obtain the wood he needs, Louie notices a presence and gives chase to it, despite the girls’ protests. A chase ensues, and Louie is soon captured by the presence – a female elf named Ceresia. Breaking free of his bonds, he turns the tables on her and captures her, after which the team questions her. Louie’s simple nature soon finds the party prisoners in the elven village whose lands the forest is a part of. Not wanting to see what vile fate the elves have in store for them, and to show them that humans are not monsters the elves thought them to be, Louie blows the whistle, summoning more monsters, and causing the village to panic. The party takes advantage of the confusion by breaking out, and instead of running for it Louie beats the summoned monsters with a wild boar carcass and later with his fists. They bid Ceresia farewell and return to Ohfun.

Episode 5 “Inexperienced Extracurricular Activities

One of Melissa’s duties as a priestess of Mylee is to help train the young priestesses. Melissa goes to some ruins with 3 trainees to help them get experience in defeating monsters. Merill and Genie decide to come along for support and Louie, unable to resist the pull of adventure, tags along too. It turns out the ruins are infested with zombies, and once inside the floor collapses and Melissa and Louie get stuck together. They eventually find their way out, and the rest of the group leaves Louie floundering trying to find his magic wand.