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Film Friday- Made in Abyss

Film Friday- Made in Abyss

Made in Abyss is a manga series by Akihito Tsukushi about a young girl who finds and befriends a humanoid robot and descends with him into the titular Abyss in search of her mother. It has been serialized online in Takeshobo’s digital publication Web Comic Gamma since 2012 and has been collected into seven tankōbon volumes. An anime television series adaptation by Kinema Citrus aired its first season from July 7 to September 29, 2017, and a sequel film is in production.

Reception

Made in Abyss has been met with critical acclaim and widely considered to be one of the best anime shows of 2017. Nick Creamer of Anime News Network praised the anime for being adventure-focused, as well as its efficiency in establishing its premise. Creamer also praises it for its artwork and music that highlights the beauty and terror of the Abyss. Julian Malerman of THEM Anime Reviews praises the show for being a well-executed emotional drama saying “The manner in which the show approaches this conclusion is often brutal and alienating, but the final answer is simple and pure. It sings.”
The series was awarded Anime of the Year and Best Score at Crunchyroll’s 2017 Anime Awards.

Main

Riko 
is an energetic and trouble-prone 12-year-old girl who wants to emulate her late mother, a legendary Cave Raider named Lyza the Annihilator who disappeared in the Abyss ten years ago. Riko is currently a Cave Raider-in-training at the Belchero Orphanage. Despite strict orphanage policy on turning over all finds to pay for operating costs, she has secretly taken possession of one of her finds, the Star Compass, which she hopes to use in her exploration of the Abyss. Her mother gave birth to her during a mission in the Abyss. As a result of the Curse, she wears glasses as she develops a headache if she does not view the world through a crystal lens.
Reg 
An amnesic robot with the appearance of a human boy, down to having a belly button. Having no memory of his own name, he was named Reg after a dog Riko used to own. Surprisingly, he can consume organic food despite being classified as a machine. His mechanical arms are extensible, and can also fire a deadly energy beam capable of melting even stone, which Riko dubs the “Incinerator”.
Nanachi 
is a Hollow with somewhat rabbit-like features. As a human child, Nanachi and a young girl named Mitty were sent down to the sixth layer in one of Bondrewd’s experiments. On their return, Nanachi’s humanity was partially lost, while Mitty lost all of her humanity and became a grotesque, immortal assortment of flesh and misshapen limbs. Nanachi escaped with Mitty from Bondrewd’s laboratory to spare her the pain of his cruel experiments, cared for her until after her death, and then agreed to join Riko and Reg on their travels to the lower layers. Nanachi uses gender-neutral pronouns, and the writer has left Nanachi’s gender intentionally ambiguous.
Mitty 
A strange, amorphous creature that lives with Nanachi on the 4th Layer of The Abyss. In the past, Mitty was a normal human girl (with red hair and dark skin) who lived with Nanachi and a large group of other orphan children in a mechanical, cave-like area. Because of the gruesome experiments performed by Bondrewd that she had to endure in the past, her appearance resembles that of a misshapen cat with a large mouth, one eye, and the personality of a friendly dog. Her condition also made her “immortal”, where a stab wound or other injuries cannot affect her in any way; after a while, in order to avoid leaving Mitty all alone, Nanachi (who was originally against the decision) ultimately decides to have Reg shoot and kill Mitty with his Incinerator so she could finally be at peace.

 

Film Friday- Itazura na Kiss aka Playful Kiss

Film Friday- Itazura na Kiss aka Playful Kiss

Itazura na Kiss is a Japanese shōjo manga series written and illustrated by Kaoru Tada. Itazura na Kiss was first serialized and published in 1990 by Shueisha through Bessatsu Margaret magazine. It became successful very quickly and became the manga series that Tada became known for in Japan. The manga became so popular that three live TV series have been made so far in 1996, 2005, and 2010, with a sequel of the 2005 drama in late 2007. In 2013, a remake of the Japanese live TV series, called Mischievous Kiss: Love in Tokyo, was made. Despite its success, the manga was never completed due to the unexpected death of the author in a house accident while she was moving to another house with her husband and son. However the manga series continues to be published with the permission of the artist’s widower. The series was recently adapted into three live-action films. A drama CD series was released in 2005–2006 and a 25 episode anime adaptation aired in 2008. In an interview, the author’s widower, Shigeru Nishikawa, revealed that the manga’s intended finale was to be conceptualized in the anime for the first time. Scripts regarding the plot of the anime closely followed the author’s planned ending.

Anime

Itazura na Kiss was adapted into a 25 episode anime by TMS Entertainment and shown on TBS from April 4, 2008 to September 25, 2008. The opening theme was “Kimi, Meguru, Boku” by Motohiro Hata, and the primary ending themes were “Kataomoi Fighter” by GO!GO!7188 and “Jikan yo Tomare (Stop Time)” by Azu featuring Seamo. Discotek Media licensed the anime and put it out on DVD in late 2014.

Films

  • Itazura na Kiss: The Movie – High School (2016)
  • Itazura na Kiss: The Movie – Campus (2017)
  • Itazura na Kiss: The Movie – Proposal (2017)
  • Fall in Love At First Kiss(一吻定情)(2019)A Taiwanese film adaptation starring Jelly Lin as Yuan Xiang-qin and Darren Wang as Jiang Zhi-shu. It will be released on 14th February 2019.

TV dramas

In 1996, Itazura na Kiss was first adapted into a Japanese television drama of the same title, which ran from 14 October to 16 December 1996 for 9 episodes every Monday at 20:00 until 21:00 JST. This version did not cover Kotoko’s and Naoki’s married life.
In 2005, it was adapted into two Taiwanese dramas, It Started with a Kiss and its sequel They Kiss Again, both starring Ariel Lin as not-so-bright Yuan Xiang Qin and Joe Cheng as the genius Jiang Zhi Shu.
In 2010, it was adapted into a South Korean drama series Playful Kiss starring Kim Hyun-joong of SS501 as the perfectionist Baek Seung-Jo and Jung So-min as the clumsy Oh Ha-Ni. The series consisted of 16 TV episodes and 7 webisodes.
In 2013, another Japanese remake aired on Fuji TV under the title Mischievous Kiss: Love in Tokyo. It starred Miki Honoka as Aihara Kotoko and Furukawa Yuki as Irie Naoki. At the end of 2014 was aired the sequel -Mischievous Kiss 2: Love in Okinawa- with both lead actors reprising their roles. The second season ended in March, 2015.
In 2015, it was adapted into a Thai drama series Kiss Me รักล้นใจนายแกล้งจุ๊บ. It starred Pirath Nitipaisankul and Sucharat Manaying, and aired on True4U.
In 2016, it was adapted into another Taiwanese drama, Miss in Kiss, starring Esther Wu as Yue-Qin and Dino Lee as Zhi-Shu. It has 48 episodes (30 minutes each) from December 8, 2016 – March 24, 2017.

Characters

  • Kotoko Aihara 
    is a ditzy and poor achieving high school student. She has been in love with the handsome and intelligent Naoki Irie since their first year in high school after hearing his speech at the opening ceremony. She eventually writes a love letter to Naoki, but is rejected right away. On the same day as her confession, Kotoko’s poorly constructed house is destroyed in a mild earthquake, and she and her father Shigeo are invited to stay at a house owned by her father’s close friend Shigeki. Arriving to the house, she is shocked to find out that Shigeo’s friend is the dad of Naoki, and that she will be living in the same house as him. In the beginning of their new life together, Naoki often teased Kotoko, but the two eventually warm up to each other. Naoki later realizes that he is in love with Kotoko and confesses to her, and the couple marry in their first year of college (the third year in the manga version). Kotoko is known as Kotoko Irie onwards. After coming back from her honeymoon with Naoki, Kotoko decides to become a nurse, so that she could be a wife fit for Naoki. After several years of marriage, Kotoko has a daughter with Naoki named Kotomi.

 

  • Naoki Irie 
    is the smartest and most handsome guy in his high school. He is rumored to have an IQ of 200, and is praised by his peers as being perfect all around. He receives a love letter from Kotoko, but rejects her before she finishes confessing, explaining that he despises “dumb girls.” When Kotoko and her father move in with Naoki and his father, he gives Kotoko many hardships and maintains a rather cold attitude towards her, although he secretly began to fall in love with her, because he believed that the trouble she caused made his mundane life more interesting. Though Naoki’s grades allow for him to attend any university of his choosing, he eventually decides to attend the same college as Kotoko. After his wedding to Kotoko, Naoki becomes a doctor.

 

Film Friday- Assassination Classroom

Film Friday- Assassination Classroom

A single original video animation adaptation by Brain’s Base based on the series was screened at the Jump Super Anime Tour on October to November 2013. This was followed by an anime television adaptation by Lerche, which began airing on Fuji TV in January 2015. This adaptation has been licensed by Funimation for release in North America. The series was obtained by Madman Entertainment for digital distribution in Australia and New Zealand. A live action film adaptation was released on March 21, 2015, and a sequel, titled Assassination Classroom: Graduation, was released on March 25, 2016.

Anime

An original video animation based on the series was produced by Brain’s Base for the Jump Super Anime Tour and shown at 5 Japanese cities between October 6 and November 24, 2013. An anime television series based on the manga began airing on Fuji TV from January 9, 2015 and ran for 22 episodes. The anime television was directed by Seiji Kishi at Lerche, with Kazuki Morita as character designer and Makoto Uezu as the lead scriptwriter. An OVA episode was included on the first BD/DVD volume released on March 27, 2015, following a screening at Jump Special Anime Fest in November 2014. The anime has been licensed by Funimation, who are simulcasting the series as it airs and began a broadcast dub version from February 18, 2015. The first opening theme is “Seishun Satsubatsu-ron” while the second opening theme is “Jiriki Hongan Revolution”); both are performed by 3-E Utatan. The ending theme is “Hello, shooting star” by Moumoon. The second season of the anime began airing on January 7, 2016, and ran for 25 episodes. Anime Limited has licensed both seasons in the UK. On June 30, 2016, they announced two anime films, one titled Assassination Classroom the Movie: 365 Days, the other one Koro Sensei Quest and both aired on November 19, 2016. When Koro Sensei Quest aired they announced an anime adaption which will be the sequel of the movie, and more details will be revealed soon.
In the Philippines, a locally dubbed version started airing on March 12, 2018 in GMA Network with an alternate title, “Invincible Teacher”

Film

A live-action film was released in Japan on March 21, 2015. It opened at number one on the Japanese box office with $3.42 million and as of April 5, 2015, has grossed over $20 million. It was the tenth highest-grossing Japanese film at the Japanese box office in 2015, with ¥2.77 billion (US$23 million). A second film, titled Assassination Classroom: Sotsugyō-hen, was released on March 25, 2016. In English, the title of the sequel is Assassination Classroom: Graduation.

Video games

A video game based on the series, Assassination Classroom: Koro-sensei’s Great Besiegement!!, was developed by Bandai Namco Games and released on Nintendo 3DS in Japan on March 12, 2015.
Koro-sensei appears as a playable character in J-Stars Victory VS, originally released in Japan for PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita on March 19, 2014, with an international version, J-Stars Victory VS+, released for PS3, PS Vita, and PlayStation 4 in Summer 2015.

Characters

Koro-sensei 
Koro-sensei is the main protagonist and anti-hero of the series. He is the homeroom teacher of Class 3-E of Kunugigaoka Junior High School. He is initially thought to be the perpetrator of the explosion of the Moon, which has rendered it permanently in a crescent shape; this is later revealed to be false, as the true culprit was a mouse implanted with his cells that had been sent to the moon as part of an experiment. Despite not having the intention to get killed, he offered to governments all over the world a chance to kill him under the condition that he is allowed to be the homeroom teacher of Class 3-E until the end of the year, when he will destroy the Earth unless he is killed. He is dedicated to his task as a teacher and imparting his knowledge of assassination to the students, despite knowing full well that he is their target. However, he is able to connect with each student individually, which is why all of his students respect him, despite knowing that he will destroy the planet in a year. He takes a form similar to an octopus with eight tentacles and his skin color changes depending on his mood. He is able to move at a maximum speed of Mach 20 (15345.383 miles per hour), which allows him to travel across the world in a short amount of time and makes him a hard target to hit. He is also intelligent to the point that he could teach almost every subject to all of his students single-handedly. He does however have a number of weaknesses, mainly to special rubber knives and BB pellets specifically designed to work against his body.
While he is initially believed to be an alien, he later reveals that he was once a legendary human assassin who was the first ‘God of Death’. After being betrayed by his apprentice, he was captured and sent to a facility where a series of experiments were performed on him, transforming his body. Koro-sensei was born in the slums of an unknown third world country, where he soon learned he had a natural talent for killing and an inborn lack of empathy. He became an assassin, murdering anyone for the right price, even world leaders and the heads of entire militaries. However, after being captured and used as a guinea pig, he begins to learn compassion and empathy from a female titan intern with whom he becomes close. His decision to become a teacher involves his promise to the intern who thought that he was suitable to become one, later revealed to be Class 3-E’s former teacher, Aguri Yukimura, who was selected to be his observer during the experiments performed on him. According to Koro-sensei, his lifespan will be over by the end of the school year in March, and if he is not killed by then, the whole planet will perish with him due to the explosive release of the anti-matter in his body that was generated by the experiments performed on him. After a vicious clash with Kōtarō Yanagisawa, the scientist responsible for his current condition, and his former apprentice, the second ‘God of Death’, and using all of his energy left to save one of his students who was mortally injured during the confrontation, an exhausted Koro-sensei bids farewell to his students and finally allows them to kill him, with Nagisa ultimately doing so by stabbing him in the heart. After being assassinated, his body disintegrates into multiple floating orbs of light while his clothes are left behind.
Koro-sensei’s name is a pun on the words korosenai and sensei.
Koro-sensei appears as a playable character in the video game J-Stars Victory VS.
Nagisa Shiota 
Nagisa is one of the students in Class 3-E, the main student character, and the manga’s narrator. Nagisa is seen as one of the weakest students in the class due to his small stature and mediocre physical abilities that are comparable to some of the girls in the class. However, he is actually the most talented to become an assassin out of all the students, something that is acknowledged by Koro-sensei and Karasuma. He is able to draw closer whilst hiding his blood lust to make a surprise attack and is able to make his opponents falter through his blood lust alone. Nagisa usually writes down Koro-sensei’s weaknesses, which at first seem minor (since they do not look like major weaknesses). However, some of them are eventually revealed to be useful as the students are almost able to kill Koro-sensei because of one of these weaknesses. Outwardly friendly and polite to his friends and everyone, he hides a somewhat darker side of him as an assassin that is not noticeable during daily classes and is only revealed during training and assassination time. When engaged in battle, Nagisa becomes a brutal assassin who would throw away his life if it meant killing his target. According to Karasuma, whenever Nagisa unleashes his killing intent, he is not training and truly goes for a kill.
At home, Nagisa lives with his chronically absent father and abusive mother. His mother tries to live vicariously through him by making him follow her exact life plan for him, because she experienced a lot of failure in life, and was also never allowed to look like a “pretty girl” by her parents. This causes her to constantly tell him she wishes he was born a girl and make him grow his hair long, which she only lets him tie up because if she unties it he still looks like a girl. His mother is also the foundation for his assassination talents, because whenever he tries to defy her when she is in what he perceives as a “gloomy” moment, she grabs and screams at him, so he learned to tell the difference between her “cheerful” and “gloomy” moments, in order to prevent some of her abuse. Nagisa realizes that this is similar to the “Wavelengths of Consciousness” that the “God of Death”, the world’s best assassin, talks about. After this realization, he tells Koro-sensei he has the talent to be an assassin in a career planning meeting. His home life improves and his desire to be an assassin wanes after he saves his mother from an assassin, which in turn gave him time to realize his talents can be used to save people and she realized that she cannot hold onto him forever. When the time comes for Class 3-E to finally end Koro-sensei’s life, Nagisa offers to deal the killing blow, which he regrettably does. During the graduation ceremony, Nagisa learns, much to his joy, that before his death, Koro-sensei talked with his father as well and helped him reconcile with his mother. During his time with Koro-sensei, Nagisa eventually realizes that he wants to be a teacher like him. After completing his studies, he becomes an intern at Gokuraka Private High School assigned to a dysfunctional class full of male delinquents and gang members, much to his chagrin. Nevertheless, he sets to work teaching and rehabilitating delinquent students while intimidating them into compliance with his blood lust. In addition, Kaede implies that he will begin teaching at the old Class 3-E building in the future. He is also shown to have trimmed his long hair, although he sadly notes that he has not grown significantly taller at all since then. When Sumire Hara asks Kayano how things are between her and Nagisa, she bashfully replies that he is focused on his career at the moment.
Kaede Kayano / Akari Yukimura
is one of Nagisa’s classmates and close friends, being the one who is mostly seen with him. She has an apparent affinity for pudding, once attempting to assassinate Koro-sensei with a giant pudding with explosives inside. She experiences a slight inferiority complex when it comes to sex appeal, especially her bust size, as she usually gets flustered towards girls with large breasts. Kaede is the smallest student in Class 3-E and is even shorter than Nagisa and Manami. She is also the student who comes up with Koro-sensei’s name.
At the start of winter, she reveals her true identity to be professional method actress Akari Yukimura, the younger sister of Aguri Yukimura, the former Class 3-E teacher. Believing Koro-sensei to be her sister’s killer, she stole and implanted tentacles from Shiro’s facility onto the back of her neck and changed her identity in order to infiltrate Class 3-E, using her acting skills to hide her extensive blood lust from everyone until she was ready to make her move. However, using her tentacles in battle puts her life at risk, just like what happened with Itona, and before she dies, Koro-sensei manages to remove them from her body once Nagisa calms her down with a kiss, shocking her to the point of passing out. It is also revealed that the time she spent with Koro-sensei and Class 3-E made her urge for vengeance falter over time and made her believe that there was more to Koro-sensei’s past than what she had assumed. She then spends the winter break recovering at a hospital, and upon returning, decides to hide her newfound feelings for Nagisa in order to not give him trouble during their mission to assassinate Koro-sensei. During Koro-sensei’s battle with Yanagisawa and the second God of Death, Kayano attempts to intervene, making use of the kinetic vision she obtained during the time she implanted the tentacles in her body, but is mortally wounded by the enemy, and to save her life, Koro-sensei performs an intricate surgery to restore her body up to the cellular level in order to save her life, a procedure he developed to ensure that the tragedy that happened with her sister would not be repeated, but exhausting himself in the process. After Koro-sensei’s death, she resumes her acting career, becoming even more famous than before. When Sumire Hara asks Kayano how things are between her and Nagisa, she bashfully replies that he is focused on his career at the moment.
Karma Akabane 
is one of Nagisa’s closest friends and considered to be the strongest and smartest among the Class 3-E students. He is the first one to be able to inflict injuries on Koro-sensei during their first meeting. He was suspended from school prior to Koro-sensei’s arrival by his class’ homeroom teacher due to his extremely violent behavior. Unlike most students in the class that were relegated there due to their low grades, Karma is one of the school’s most gifted students as he is the only one able to match Gakushū in terms of test results and grades, but developed a rebellious attitude due to his previous teacher’s betrayal after he severely wounded a top third-year student while saving a bullied student from Class 3-E, as despite believing he has done the right thing, his teacher revealed that he was only siding with him due to his grades to increase his reputation and did not want to be held responsible for what happened. Karma then brutally beat the teacher, leading to his transfer to Class 3-E. Because of this experience, Karma originally distrusts Koro-sensei, but Karma begins to accept him after realizing Koro-sensei is unlike the other treacherous teachers at the school. After the battle to decide whether they should kill Koro-sensei or not, he grows closer to Nagisa and even begins addressing him without any prefixes. He is also one of two to tease Kaede about her feelings towards Nagisa together with Rio. After graduation, he decides to enlist on a government test with the intent of carving his own territory in politics.

 

Film Friday- Food Wars

Film Friday- Food Wars

An anime adaptation by J.C.Staff aired between April 3, 2015 and September 25, 2015. A second season named Food Wars! The Second Plate aired between July 2, 2016 and September 24, 2016. The first cour of the third season, referred to as Food Wars! The Third Plate aired between October 4, 2017 and December 20, 2017. The second half aired between April 9, 2018 and June 25, 2018.

Anime

An anime adaptation was announced on October 2014 by Shueisha. The anime was directed by Yoshitomo Yonetani at J.C.Staff with Shogo Yasukawa as the series scriptwriter and starred Yoshitsugu Matsuoka as the main character, Sōma Yukihira. Crunchyroll began streaming the anime on April 3, 2015. Sentai Filmworks licensed the anime for digital and home video release in North America. For the first fourteen episodes, of the first season. The show’s opening theme was “Kibō no Uta”  by Ultra Tower, and the ending theme was “Spice”  by Tokyo Karankoron. From episode fifteen onwards, the opening theme was “Rising Rainbow” by Misokkasu, while the ending theme was “Sacchan’s Sexy Curry” by Seiko Oomori. A 25-minute original video animation was bundled with the 19th volume of the manga, which was released on July 4, 2016.

A 13-episode second season, titled Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma: The Second Plate aired between July 2, 2016 and September 24, 2016. The second season’s opening theme song is “Rough Diamonds” by SCREEN mode, and the ending theme song is “Snowdrop” by Nano Ripe.

The first cour of the third season aired between October 4, 2017 and December 20, 2017. The first opening theme song was “Braver” by Zaq, and the ending theme song is “Kyokyo Jitsujitsu” by Nano Ripe. The second half aired between April 9, 2018 and June 25, 2018. The second opening theme is “Symbol” by Luck Life, and the ending theme song is “Atoria” by Fo’xTails.

Video games

Food Wars! has produced two games released in Japan. Shokugeki no Soma: The Dish of Friendship and Bonds is a visual novel developed by FuRyu and published by Bandai Namco Entertainment. It was released for the Nintendo 3DS on December 17, 2015. A teaser trailer was revealed on May 24, 2015.

The game features an original story that takes place in Europe while characters from the series interact among each other. In addition, the characters will be voiced by their respective voice actors from the anime. Gameplay requires little interaction from the player as most of the duration of the game is spent on reading the text that appears on the screen which represents either the dialogue between the various characters or the thoughts of the protagonist. Like many other visual novels, players will go through all kinds of situational events as the original story unfold.

Shokugeki no Soma: The Ultimate Recipe is a mobile game published by Bandai Namco Entertainment. The game was released for iOS and Android on August 17, 2015.

Soma Yukihira

is a 15-year-old chef who has been working at his father Joichiro’s diner, Yukihira Family Restaurant, since he was a young child. His main goal in cooking is to provide the customer with any dish they order anytime they want. When his father closes the diner to work overseas, Soma enrolls in the Totsuki Saryo Culinary Institute. Although his future classmate and entrance exam judge Erina Nakiri refuses to accept his dish, Erina’s grandfather, the dean of the academy, accepts him, after which he declares in front of the entering class ceremony that he will win the top spot in the school. He resides in Polaris Dorm, room 303.

Like his father, Soma enjoys experimenting (although they often have horrible results), sees failure as a learning opportunity, and is normally laid-back until during cooking matches, where he can get quite serious. Due to undergoing regular cooking matches with the far superior Joichiro, Soma has grown not to be afraid of any cooking challenge no matter how insurmountable it seems. He does not have a particular specialty, but rather utilizes his rare creativity to create free-style and innovative dishes to clash with other chefs in order to continuously improve himself.

Erina Nakiri

is a 15-year-old first-year student at Totsuki and the granddaughter of the school’s director Senzaemon. She was the valedictorian of Totsuki’s junior high and is the youngest student to join the school’s Council of Ten Masters. She has long blond hair. She is renowned for her extremely delicate and refined palate, called Divine Tongue (anime: God’s Tongue), where she tries foods from the top restaurants in Japan; those whose dishes are judged incompetent have their reputations forever tarnished. During the tasting process, she imagines vivid scenarios such as relaxing in the hot springs and encountering a lowland gorilla in the same springs, or meditating on a waterfall and having a jukebox drop on her head.

At the start of the series, she conducts the entrance exam for transfer student candidates who must make a dish involving eggs, causing every candidate except for Soma to withdraw. Although she internally recognizes that Soma’s dish was impressive, she rejects him because of his “commoner” background, but is later annoyed that Soma was admitted to the school anyway. She then vows to make his life miserable.

Megumi Tadokoro

is Soma’s classmate at Totsuki and next-door dormmate at Polaris. Hoping to help her family’s bed-and-breakfast the Shokei’en Inn, she leaves her snowy harbor town in the Tōhoku region, and enrolls in Totsuki’s junior high program. However, her shyness and stage fright causes her to perform poorly; she ranks at the bottom of the class and is placed on academic probation at the start of her first high school year, It also takes her three months to pass the Polaris Dorm entrance exam. After meeting Soma, she boosts her courage and confidence, and she improves her grades. She enjoys making comfort foods which impart feelings of familial love and nostalgia in those who taste her dishes. She has experience with dried and pickled vegetables, having dealt with them back in her home town. Outside of cooking, she is also a table tennis player, winning prefectural tournaments in elementary school and having turned down going to a sports junior high.

During the first-year cooking camp, she is fired by alumni judge Shinomiya for altering his dish. When Soma tries to stand up for her, challenging Shinomiya to a shokugeki, director Gin Dojima arranges for Megumi to face Shinomiya in the competition. Although she initially loses that match, the other alums, including Gin Dojima, pitch in their support, and she is retained. She later qualifies for the main tournament in the Fall Classic.

 

Film Friday- Fruits Basket

Film Friday- Fruits Basket

The series was also adapted into a 26-episode anime series, directed by Akitaro Daichi. A new anime television series adaptation produced by TMS Entertainment and directed by Yoshihide Ibata will premiere in April 2019.

Anime

Directed by Akitaro Daichi, the twenty-six episode Fruits Basket anime series was animated and produced by Studio Deen. It premiered on TV Tokyo on July 5, 2001, with the final episode airing on December 27, 2001. Some parts of the plot deviated from the manga and were portrayed differently, such as Momiji and Shigure’s behaviors. Throughout production, Daichi and Takaya ran into disagreements, including the cast, coloring details, and Daichi’s storytelling style, leading Takaya to disliking the series.

The series was released in Japan in nine individual DVD volumes by King Records, with each volume containing three episodes except for the first volume, which contained two. The first volume was released on September 29, 2001, with subsequent volumes released on a monthly basis until the final volume was released on May 22, 2002. A series box set was released on April 25, 2007, containing all twenty-six episodes, as well a message card from Natsuki Takaya, a 60-page deluxe booklet, and a bonus Fruits Basket CD soundtrack.

Funimation aired the series with their English dub on the Funimation Channel as well as on Colours TV and also licensed it for Region 1 DVD release. It released it in the form of four individual volumes containing 6-7 episodes and a complete series box set. On November 20, 2007, Funimation re-released the series as part of their lower priced Viridian line, with the new release containing the complete series in a thin-packed box set, and then in August 1, 2017 on an upscaled Blu-ray in a standard and collector’s edition. In the United Kingdom, FUNimation originally distributed the series through MVM Entertainment, but then changed distributors in November 2006 to Revelation Films. Revelation re-released the four individual volumes under their label. They also released the series box set on January 22, 2007. MVM re-licensed the series in late 2011. In Region 4, the series was released as a complete series box set by Madman Entertainment on October 15, 2003.

A new anime adaptation has been announced. Funimation announced that the new adaptation would air in April 2019, and would adapt the entire manga. The adaptation will also include a new cast and staff, with TMS Entertainment handling the production. Yoshihide Ibata is directing the series, with Taku Kishimoto handling series composition and Masaru Shindou handling character designs. Funimation has also licensed the series for streaming and home video distribution.

Other

In 1999 the magazine Hana to Yume released a special Fruits Basket drama CD which had a four-chapter original story and short talk sections between each section. Released before the anime came out, this CD had a completely different voice cast. The CD was a promotional item with a limited run and is now unavailable. As well as the drama CD, there have been two music CD releases of Fruits Basket to coincide with the anime adaptation, Memory for You and Four Seasons (also known as Song for Ritsuko Okazaki).

Natsuki Takaya has created one art book and two fan books for Fruits Basket. The art book, containing 101 pages of illustrations, was published by Hakusensha on April 16, 2004. The first fan book, Fruits Basket Fan Book – Cat, which contained 192 pages of story summaries, character biographies, and activities, was published in Japan on May 19, 2005. Tokyopop released it in English on September 11, 2007. The second fan book, Fruits Basket Fan Book – Banquet, was published in Japan on March 19, 2007 and contained 187 pages; it was scheduled to be published in English by Tokyopop on April 27, 2010.

Fruits Basket has also resulted in the creation of a variety of merchandise, including plushies of the various zodiac animals, wall calendars, clothing items, key chains, wall scrolls, buttons, figurines, and school supplies. A collectible card game based on the series was also created and published by Score Entertainment which can be used for playing Dai Hin Min as well as other games.

In 2008, the all-male theatrical troupe Gekidan Studio Life announced it would be producing a theatrical adaptation of Fruits Basket, using only performers who would be making their stage debuts. The production is expected to run for two weeks at the Galaxy Theater in Tokyo starting February 25, 2009.

Tohru Honda
aged 16–18, is an orphaned high school student who, at the start of the story, lives in a tent before she encounters the Sohma family. More specifically, she begins living with Shigure, Yuki, and Kyo Sohma in exchange for housekeeping. She loves to cook, describes herself as an excellent housekeeper, and has an after-school job as an office janitor in an effort to pay her tuition fees and avoid being a burden to her grandfather. Throughout both the manga and anime series, it is noticeable from those around her that she has a good heart and genuinely cares about those in her life. Although knowing the Sohma’s curse, Tohru embraces the family and their secret.
Kyo Sohma
aged 16–18, is cursed by the cat, an animal not in the Chinese zodiac, but which legend says would have been if it had not been tricked by the Rat into missing the induction feast. In an author’s note, Natsuki Takaya described the character of Kyo as a powerful force that pulled the story of Fruits Basket along. In spite of his cold and aggressive nature, Kyo’s heart later softens upon realizing Tohru’s care for him be sincere. Their bond not only encourages Kyo to have a change of heart, but it also allows Kyo to trust in Tohru when he’s to expose what it means to be excluded from the zodiac.
Yuki Sohma
 aged 16–18, is the Rat of the Chinese zodiac and younger brother of Ayame. Yuki is depicted as an attractive, reserved, and accomplished young man with many admirers, but who finds being friendly difficult. He’s been able to confide to Tohru without problem and has expressed vulnerability as one who has the Sohma curse.

 

Film Friday- Buso Renkin

Film Friday- Buso Renkin

The manga has been adapted into an anime television series, which was produced by Xebec and was broadcast on Japanese television network TV Tokyo from 2006 to 2007. In December 2007, the anime was announced for North American DVD release by Viz Media. In 2009, the series made its American television debut on the Funimation Channel, with American broadcast rights acquired by Funimation from Viz Media. The series has also spawned two drama CDs, two light novels, a PlayStation 2 video game, and many types of Buso Renkin-themed merchandise.

Anime adaptation

In Japan, the Buso Renkin manga was adapted into an anime series which ran on TV Tokyo; it was directed by Takao Kato, written by Akatsuki Yamatoya, and produced by Xebec. Buso Renkin aired between October 4, 2006, and March 28, 2007. The episodes were later released by Geneon Universal Entertainment in nine DVD compilations between January 25, 2007, and September 21, 2007. DVD box sets containing all twenty-six episodes were released on November 26, 2009, and on February 27, 2013. Geneon Universal Entertainment released an animation soundtrack CD for Buso Renkin on January 25, 2007.
On December 8, 2007, Viz Media announced the release of the English dub, which would be released in two DVD sets of thirteen episodes each. The first set containing episodes one to thirteen was released on April 29, 2008. The second set containing episodes fourteen to twenty-six was released on October 7, 2008. Funimation launched Buso Renkin on their Funimation Channel on April 27, 2009, marking the series’ American television debut. On December 20, 2009, the first three episodes from the series were officially uploaded to Hulu and Viz Media’s portal. Two episodes were uploaded weekly thereafter; the final episode was uploaded on March 8, 2010. Beginning on October 2, 2012, Buso Renkin was streamed on Neon Alley.

Related media

Shueisha released two drama CDs for Buso Renkin. The first CD was released on May 26, 2005, and the second CD was released on October 6, 2006. It also released two “Expert CDs”, which features the radio drama, opening and ending themes and unreleased soundtrack songs. The first CD, Expert CD 1, was released on March 28, 2007. The second CD, Expert CD 2, was released on June 8, 2007.
Two light novels were written by Kaoru Kurosaki, illustrated by Watsuki, and published under the Jump J Books line by Shueisha. The first one, Buso Renkin Double Slash, was published in October 31, 2006, and Buso Renkin Slash Zeta  was released on May 25, 2007. A guidebook titled Buso Renkin Infinity was published by Shueisha on May 2, 2007.
Two Nintendo DS fighting games, Jump Super Stars and Jump Ultimate Stars, have featured characters from the series. A PlayStation 2 video game developed and published by Marvelous Entertainment was released on June 28, 2007, under the title Buso Renkin Youkoso Papillon Park e. In Japan, action figures, T-shirts, a trading card game series, key chains, straps, and a variety of other products were sold as merchandise for the series.

Kazuki Muto 
A 16-year-old boy who was killed by a homunculi when trying to save Tokiko Tsumura. When Tokiko replaces his heart with a buso renkin to revive him, he decides to help in the fight against the homunculi and is later asked to be an Alchemist Warrior by Captain Bravo, which he accepts due to his will to protect his sister Mahiro and his friends. His buso renkin is Sunlight Heart, a spear-lance; it has a cloth that turns into energy which allows to be used as propulsion or as a blinding light.
Tokiko Tsumura
A 17-year-old alchemic warrior. Seven year prior the series events, all the people in her school except for her are killed by homunculi, and she is rescued by Mamoru Sakimori. As such, she is serious almost all the time. The incident also left her with a scar, which could have been removed by using alchemy, but she decides to keep it as a reminder of her will to fight. Her buso renkin is Valkyrie Skirt, an execution scythe that attach to her thighs and is controlled via her synapses.
Koushaku Chouno 
A 19-year-old genius student. He is deathly ill with an unspecified disease, and learns about the process of making homunculi through research notes from his great-great-grandfather, experimenting with various animals first. Later, he turns himself into a human-type homunculus and renames himself Papillon. He kills his all family, but is subsequently killed by Kazuki.He is later revived by L.X.E., and wants to fight Kazuki once more; he is first prevented because he is still ill, and then because Kazuki is being chased by the Re-Extermination Squad. To prevent Kazuki’s death, Papillon re-creates the white kakugane using Alexandra Powered’s research. He and Kazuki finally have their showdown, but in the end he loses to Kazuki, who refuses to kill him again. His buso renkin is Near-Death Happiness , a black gunpowder that can assume any form—it takes the form of butterfly wings as a reflection of his soul—and be detonated remotely.

 

Film Friday- Kenichi The Mightiest Disciple

Film Friday- Kenichi The Mightiest Disciple

An anime adaptation by Tokyo Movie Shinsha aired 50 episodes from October 2006 to September 2007. Brain’s Base produced OVAs for the series, which continue from the Ragnarok Arc. The first OVA was released on March 14, 2012, the second OVA was released on June 18, 2012, and a third OVA was released on November 16, 2012. The fourth and fifth OVA were released as a double feature on September 16, 2013. The sixth and seventh OVA were released on November 18, 2013. The eighth and ninth OVA were released on February 14, 2014. The tenth and eleventh OVA were released on May 16, 2014.

Anime

An anime adaptation of Kenichi: History’s Strongest Disciple animated by Tokyo Movie Shinsha first started airing on October 7, 2006. It aired a total of fifty episodes, covering from the beginning of the story to the confrontation against the top members of Ragnarok. Funimation has dubbed the series. All 50 episodes have been released as of May 25, 2010. The rights of the series expired in 2018.
The series made its North American television debut when it aired on Funimation Channel starting October 26, 2009. All 50 episodes have been shown.
An OVA produced by Brain Base was released on March 14, 2012. The story continues from the Ragnarok Arc entering the Yomi arc. The second OVA featuring later story in the yomi arc was released on June 18, 2012, and a third OVA was released on November 16, 2012. The fourth and fifth OVA were released on September 16, 2013. The sixth and seventh OVA were released on November 18, 2013. The eighth and ninth OVA have been announced and released on February 14, 2014. The tenth and eleventh OVA were released on May 16, 2014. The main cast for the OVA series is the same from those of the anime series except for Rie Kugimiya who replaces the late Tomoko Kawakami as Miu and Yuzuru Fujimoto who replaces the late Hiroshi Arikawa as her grandfather Hayato.

Kenichi Shirahama 

  • First appearance: Battle 1
  • Type: Sei/dou(currently specializes in sei)
  • Type: Katsujin Ken
  • Martial Arts: Karate, Jujutsu, Chinese Martial Arts, Muay Thai, Hybrid martial arts (Ryūsui Seikuken, Korui Nuki, Mūbyoshi), and Weapons.

Protagonist; currently in his second year of high school. A main point of humour in the series centers on the multiple, varied, and imaginative training methods his masters devise toward making Kenichi stronger, which often exhaust him. The manga follows Kenichi as he continues to train, and eventually live, at the Ryozanpaku dojo, fighting increasingly capable enemies.
His strongest ability, according to the masters, is that he lacks any form of sakki (killer intent); in expression whereof, he is kind, compassionate, thoughtful, timid, polite and moral to a fault, and adheres to a strict code of morals. As a result, Kenichi has made many friends, mostly of former enemies, and wins the affections of Renka Ma, Miu, Izumi, and Li Raichi. His attachment to Miu is usually used as comic relief, in her inattention thereto, though in the final chapter of the manga photographs on Kenichi’s desk show he married Miu and they had a daughter. In most battles, Kenichi often fights by interchanging various techniques from the different styles of his masters, making his fighting unorthodox and hard to predict.

Miu Fūrinji  

  • First appearance: Battle 1
  • Type: Dou
  • Type: Katsujin Ken
  • Martial Arts: Hybrid Martial Arts, Pencak Silat

Miu Furinji is Kenichi’s classmate: the granddaughter of Hayato Furinji and the daughter of Saiga Furinji, the leaders respectively of Ryozanpaku and Yami’s One Shadow Nine Fists. Miu came into Hayato’s care when his son (Saiga Furinji) murdered several of his friends and his wife, sparing Miu by accident. Thereafter Miu learned martial arts from her grandfather. Before Miu transferred to her present place, she attended a famous school, but was ill-treated by other girls for her high grades, her athletic ability, and especially her appearance. Although attractive, smart, athletic, and kind, Miu is often clumsy among her fellows, and requires Kenichi’s support in making friends. Miu has a great fondness for kittens and becomes hostile towards anyone who harms one. She is prone to rash decisions in money-making. While her exact martial arts disciplines have not been stated, she has shown knowledge of several styles. Her fighting style is graceful and fluid, taking advantage of her agility, coordination, and flexibility, and makes heavy use of kicks. Her skills have been honed until where she will reflexively throw anyone who sneaks up behind her, especially Kenichi, which is a running gag of the series.

Hayato Fūrinji

  • First appearance: Battle 6
  • Type: Dou / Sei
  • Type: Katsujin Ken
  • Martial Arts: Hybrid Martial Arts/Furinji Style

Hayato is Miu’s grandfather and the elder of the Ryōzanpaku Dojo. He is also known as mutekichōjin (translated “The Invincible Superman” in English materials). He is very tall, very muscular, and possesses tremendous vitality despite his advanced age. Not much is known about Hayato’s past, but flashbacks have revealed that he was very reckless and violent in his youth. It has also been shown that Hayato used to travel the world with Miu and help people in need. Hayato is a kind old man but still possesses a reckless streak and can be arrogant. He attempts to convey his plans to others through a blunt manner of speech. He is fond of Kenichi, calling him “Ken-chan”, and is the only one who apologizes to him for difficult exercises.
Whilst fighting Kenichi and Miu at a tournament, Akisame comments that he still is the most powerful man in the world when he closes his eyes. In this state, he remains strong enough to tear a tree in half while simultaneously effortlessly battling Miu and Kenichi, using only 0.02% of his strength. He is capable of throwing kicks so fast that cameras slowed down to 1/1000 of a second can only catch a glimpse of them, and he can move fast enough to run on water.
Hayato is also shown to be pragmatic with his approach to martial arts, as when he asks Kensei Ma to help with Miu’s training and encourages Miu to use what [a rival teacher] Junazard taught her.
It is hinted in the end that Kenichi somehow managed to surpass his strength since photos of Kenichi supposedly married to Miu are shown. He had always sworn he would only allow Miu to marry someone capable of defeating him first.

Shio Sakaki

  • First appearance: Battle 7
  • Type: Dou
  • Type: Katsujin Ken
  • Martial Arts: Karate

Sakaki is a 30-year-old master of karate who claims to hold 100 dan. He is a tall man almost always seen wearing a leather jacket and has a long scar across the bridge of his nose. Little is known about Sakaki’s past; but he has mentioned that he used to travel the world and fight, and he also at one point belonged to a group that consisted of himself, a French martial arts master named Christopher Eclair, and an Englishman named Mycroft; but left them when their activities brought harm to the innocent, and later buried them alive. It is unknown when he came to Ryozanpaku, but he is one of the junior members along with Apachai and Shigure. He is often depicted as fierce in conversation and embarrassed by trivial things, and tends to quarrel with others, especially Apachai. He also gambles and drinks frequently and often places bets on Kenichi.
Sakaki is well-versed in multiple forms of karate and can survive a fall from one of the top floors of a tall building without any noticeable injury. He has yet to be noticeably injured in any of his battles, including his fight with Yami assassin Christopher Eclair and his brief encounter with Silcardo Jenazad, a member of Yami’s One Shadow Nine Fists. Silcardo was so impressed by Sakaki’s skill that he seeks a battle to the death. His abilities are further cemented by the fact of his win/loss record of 125/126 against fellow Karate master Akira Hongō.

Apachai Hopachai

  • First appearance: Battle 7
  • Type: Dou
  • Type: Katsujin Ken
  • Martial Arts: Muay Thai and Muay Boran

Apachai is a 28-year-old master of Muay Thai and is known as the “Death God” (“Grim Reaper” in the English anime) of the Muay Thai underworld fighting circuit. He is extremely tall and powerfully built, has tanned skin, and is usually seen wearing a tank top and shorts with bandages wrapped around his hands and feet. Apachai has been fighting life or death battles in underground Muay Thai fights since he was a teenager. Later, he was an enforcer for a cruel pirate who (accidentally) fed Apachai while he was starving in a harbor in Thailand. He served this man faithfully until Hayato Fūrinji brought his misdeeds to Apachai’s attention. The two of them then defeated the pirates, and Apachai has been at the dojo ever since.
Apachai enjoys playing with children and animals. He has a habit of saying the syllables “apa” when he speaks and sometimes yells it while training or fighting. As a result of his violent past, Apachai subjected Kenichi to the hardest exercises; but is very fond of Kenichi and is the only master who consistently shows an open concern for him. Apachai has a voracious appetite, often consuming large meals with incredible speed, and even eating other people’s shares. He can be easily distracted and persuaded by food. Apachai later becomes “legend of the giant”, which famous for basketball players in Kenichi’s school and firefighters. He is extraordinarily strong, able to shatter stone statues and kick down trees without any apparent difficulty. Despite his incredible size, he is able to dodge bullets while fighting. Even while holding back, Apachai was able to stalemate a master level fighter by the name of Kei Retsumin, a man who had once killed an entire village of people by himself. He was also able to hold his own against Hayato Fūrinji, although quite young when the fight took place. As a running gag, he is somewhat incapable of holding back during training.

Shigure Kōsaka

  • First appearance: Battle 7
  • Type: Sei
  • Type: Katsujin Ken
  • Martial Arts: Weapons

Shigure is a 23-year-old weapons master, who dresses in a small pink kimono; underneath she wears bandages over her chest and a fundoshi. When fighting seriously, she dons chain mail. Shigure’s past has been shown more in depth than any of the other masters’: in so far as that she lived initially with her father, a weapon maker and master who made swords for Yami. Akisame, seeking to find the maker of a particular sword, met Shigure’s father, who requested that Akisame kill him. When Akisame refused, the man forced him into a fight, which Akisame won; whereupon Shigure’s father stated that he wanted his daughter to see the fate of a weapons’-maker, and took his own life. After defeating some Yami members, Akisame took Shigure to live with an old man who taught her the Kosaka fighting style. She remained there until the old man died, after which Akisame took her to Ryozanpaku. There, she speaks very little and is given to sleeping, or walking, on the rafters of the building. Before Kenichi came to the dojo, she rarely interacted with its other residents except Akisame and Apachai and even refrained from eating with them. After Kenichi’s arrival, she became more social. Despite her slenderness, she is very strong; even capable of cutting metal with a dull-edged spoon or dislocating the cannon of a tank. Shigure has a pet mouse, Tochūmaru, used mostly for comic relief but extraordinarily strong for a mouse, beating one of Boris’s men with nunchaku and, in an omake, beating a cat with its tail.

Akisame Kōetsuji

  • First appearance: Battle 7
  • Type: Sei
  • Type: Katsujin Ken
  • Martial Arts: Jujitsu

Akisame is a 38-year-old Jujitsu master, and the first master to train Kenichi. He is an old friend of Miu’s father, Saiga. Despite his apparent fragility, he is immensely strong and capable, and can easily interpret other characters’ unspoken thoughts. Additionally he has mastered calligraphy, painting, pottery, and sculpting, and builds contraptions as both training devices for Kenichi and power sources for the dojo, including a treadmill generator. He also owns an orthopedic clinic and can reset bones with ease. He has proved to be a good trauma surgeon also, and speaks Russian fluently.

Kensei Ma

  • First appearance: Battle 7
  • Type: Sei
  • Type: Katsujin Ken
  • Martial Arts: All Chinese Martial Arts (preferred fighting style is soft forms)

Kensei is a 42-year-old master of Chinese Kenpō. He is very short, balding, and always wears a hat. He has been training in martial arts since he was very young and was the leader of a large martial arts alliance in China, which has 10,000 followers, which he left behind. He has a wife and three children in China, including a 16-year-old daughter named Renka, and an older brother named Sougetsu, who is a member of Yami. Kensei himself is often shown trying to take pictures of attractive women, particularly Shigure and Miu; but results in pictures of other things nearby, which he sells to Kenichi. Kenichi has absolute trust in Ma and has stated that he has never questioned his convictions as a martial artist.
Ma is a very experienced martial artist, having been trained since he was very young, and purportedly knows all martial arts indigenous to China. In spite of his small size, he is able to destroy a small bridge with a single kick and to rend the flesh of Diego Carlo, a man said to possess a body hard as steel, with his bare hands. He is very agile, capable of jumping from atop one moving car to another. Ma runs an acupuncture clinic and usually, along with Akisame, mends the wounds of Kenichi and the others. The characters in his name of ‘Kensei’ are pronounced ‘Jianxing’ in Mandarin, or literally “Sword Star”. This differentiates him entirely from Isshinsai Ogata’s moniker Kensei, pronounced ‘Quansheng’ in Mandarin, literally “Fist Saint”.

 

Film Friday- Battle Angel Alita

Film Friday- Battle Angel Alita

Two of the nine-volume comics were adapted into two anime original video animation episodes titled Battle Angel for North American release by ADV Films and the UK and Australian release by Manga Entertainment. Manga Entertainment also dubbed Battle Angel Alita into English. A live-action film adaptation titled Alita: Battle Angel is scheduled for release on February 14, 2019.

OVA

A two-episode OVA was released in 1993, incorporating elements from the first two volumes of the manga with changes to the characters and storyline. According to Kishiro, only two episodes were originally planned. At the time, he was too busy with the manga “to review the plan coolly,” nor was he serious about an anime adaptation. It remains the only anime adaptation of Battle Angel Alita to date and there are no plans to revive it. Alita as depicted in the CG movie A 3-minute 3D-CGI rendered movie clip is included in volume 6 of the Japanese Gunnm: Complete Edition. It showcases Alita in a Third League Motorball race with players from two of her races such as “Armor” Togo, Degchalev, and Valdicci, and depicts events from both of those races.

Film

Director James Cameron has rights to the film adaptation of Battle Angel. Cameron is said to be a big fan of the manga, and he was waiting until CGI technology was sufficiently advanced to make a live-action 3D film with effects comparable to Avatar.

Alita was originally scheduled to be his next production after the TV series Dark Angel, which was influenced by Battle Angel Alita. After Avatar, he stated he would work on Avatar sequels before starting Alita.

Cameron’s producer Jon Landau said, “I am sure you will get to see Battle Angel. It is one of my favourite stories, a great story about a young woman’s journey to self-discovery. It is a film that asks the question: What does it mean to be human? Are you human if you have a heart, a brain or a soul? I look forward to giving the audience the film.” It will likely not hit screens before 2017. Landau half-jokingly stated that the project may be titled Alita: The Battle Angel, because of Cameron’s tradition in naming his films with either an “A” or a “T”.

Cameron’s film would be a live-action adaptation of the first four volumes of the manga series; “What I’m going to do is take the spine story and use elements from the first four books. So, the Motorball from books three and four, and parts of the story of one and two will all be in the movie.” He has also stated that he has no one in mind for casting yet.

In October 2015, it was reported that Robert Rodriguez will direct the film with Cameron and Landau producing. On April 26, 2016, both The Hollywood Reporter and Variety reports that Maika Monroe, Rosa Salazar, Zendaya and Bella Thorne were in the running for the lead role. At near the end of May 2016, Salazar was cast as Alita. The film is scheduled for release on July 20, 2018. On February 7, 2017, The Hollywood Reporter reports that Jennifer Connelly will be joining the cast as one of the villains. On December 8, 2017, the first trailer for Battle Angel was released to the public. It was reported by JoBlo.com in February 2018, that the film was delayed to December 21, 2018. In late September 2018, it was announced that the film was delayed again, to February 14, 2019, in order to allow “more room to grow in the box office”, as well as avoiding competition with WB’s Aquaman, Paramount’s Bumblebee and Universal’s Welcome to Marwen.

In November of 2018, Titan Books published Alita: Battle Angel – Iron City, a prequel novel for the film. The novel was written by Pat Cadigan, a notable science fiction author.

Video game

Gunnm: Martian Memory is an action RPG video game for the PlayStation by Banpresto. It is an adaptation of the manga, following Alita (Gally) from her discovery in the Tiphares dump heap by Daisuke Ido up through and beyond her career as a TUNED agent. The story includes additional elements that Kishiro had conceived when he ended the original manga in 1995, but was unable to implement at the time, which involved Alita going into outer space. He then expanded the story, which formed the basis for the manga Battle Angel Alita: Last Order.

Related works

  • Ashen Victor, a story set six years before the beginning of Battle Angel Alita. It primarily tells the story of a Motorball player and it sets the evolution of the game into what it becomes in the Battle Angel Alita series.
  • Battle Angel Alita: Last Order, a continuation published monthly in Ultra Jump, and then in Evening.
  • Battle Angel Alita: Mars Chronicle, a continuation of Battle Angel Alita: Last Order published in Evening.

 

 

Film Friday- Princess Tutu

Film Friday- Princess Tutu

Princess Tutu is a Japanese magical girl anime series created by Ikuko Itoh in 2002 for animation studio Hal Film Maker. Inspired by ballet and fairy tales, particularly The Ugly Duckling and Swan Lake, the story follows a duck who is transformed into the mythical ballerina Princess Tutu in order to save the shattered heart of a storybook prince come to life.

The first season was broadcast in Japan in 2002 and the second in 2002 and 2003. It was also adapted into a two-volume manga. Both the manga and anime series were licensed by ADV Films in 2004 for distribution in North America, then by AEsir Holdings when ADV Films closed in 2009, but it’s upcoming Blu-ray Disc release will be distributed by Sentai Filmworks, as the latter two are parts of Section23 Films. The series explores the concepts of destiny and free will. Reviewers point out that although Princess Tutu is nominally a magical girl series, it is more of a “fairy tale set to ballet with a few magical girl elements mixed in,” and its use of dance in lieu of violence to solve conflicts carries “surprisingly effective emotional appeal.”

Anime

Princess Tutu was originally aired in two seasons. The first season, “Kapitel des Eies” (“Chapter of the Egg”), consisted of 13 half-hour episodes. The second season, “Kapitel des Junges” (“Chapter of the Fledgling”) in R2 DVDs, and “Kapital des Kükens” (“Chapter of the Chick”) in R1 DVDs, was aired as 25 quarter-hour episodes and one half-hour episode; to conform to the format of the time slot, each episode was halved. These were brought back together in the DVD release as 13 complete episodes.

North American DVD releases

In 2004 ADV Films announced that they had licensed the anime series for distribution in North America. ADV Films produced English adaptations for all episodes and, beginning in 2005, the series was periodically released as single DVD “volumes” that each contained several episodes. In 2007 the series was released as a complete DVD collection of all 26 episodes. In 2011 AEsir Holdings announced the licensing of the series and the release of a complete DVD collection of all 26 episodes distributed by Section23 Films. In 2018, as AEsir Holdings and Sentai Filmworks are parts of Section23 Films, the latter will release a complete Blu-ray collection of all 26 episodes on December 11, 2018.

Main characters

  • Duck 
    is a friendly, kind-hearted duck who was turned into a pre-teen girl by Drosselmeyer by a magical pendant. Like a duck, she is easily excitable, clumsy, and talkative. If Duck removes the pendant or quacks while talking, she transforms back into a duck, and must touch water while wearing the pendant to return to her human form. The pendant also allows Duck to transform into Princess Tutu
    As Princess Tutu, Duck is wise and graceful. According to Drosselmeyer’s writing, Duck/Tutu would turn into a speck of light and vanish if she confessed her love to Mytho. In the anime, despite her feelings for Mytho, she develops a close relationship with Fakir as the story progresses and they help each other out in their shared desire to protect Mytho and restore his heart. While it’s never explicitly confirmed if she actually does grow to have feelings for him, she does muse that Fakir gives her strength. In the manga, her feelings for Mytho are left open-ended, with Rue competing for his heart. Duck’s name in the manga is Ahiru Arima, which is retained in the English adaptation.

 

  • Mytho
    is the noble and kind Prince and protagonist of Drosselmeyer’s story “The Prince and the Raven”. He sacrificed himself to protect the weak and needy by shattering his own heart to seal away the monstrous Raven. Despite having become a popular senior at Gold Crown Academy (Kinkan Gakuen) and known throughout the student body to be a very talented ballet dancer, he possesses no emotions, and is largely dependent on his roommate and childhood friend Fakir for his well-being and survival. As Tutu restores his emotions, he finds himself both afraid of and drawn to her, holding a desire for her to return the rest of his heart and know what she thinks of him. He is later corrupted by The Raven’s blood that Kraehe put on one of his heart shards, and so attempts to steal girls’ hearts as a sacrifice to The Raven. While Mytho’s true personality does try to fight back against the corruption, as it progresses he becomes increasingly unstable and verbally abusive to Rue. In the end however, with her help he overcomes The Raven’s blood when the last heart shard is returned. Ultimately, because of this, he chooses Rue to be his princess. At the end of the anime, Mytho’s real name is revealed to be Siegfried, which, incidentally, is the name of the Prince in the ballet Swan Lake, from which the series borrows many plot elements.

 

  • Fakir 
    is Mytho’s roommate and a talented ballet dancer in his own right. Initially he is extremely possessive of Mytho, displaying a need to be in control of everything the prince does and discouraging his emotions as they are gradually restored in a forceful and almost abusive manner. He also acts rude or hostile towards anyone who appears to be growing close to Mytho, including Rue, Duck, and especially Princess Tutu. Eventually Duck learns that Fakir’s harsh behavior came about only because he wanted to protect Mytho from repeating the tragic events of the past, which he felt he could only do by preventing Mytho from regaining his heart. Duck however helps him realize that Mytho wants his heart back. Fakir is the reincarnation of the Knight in Drosselmeyer’s story, who died to protect the Prince; Fakir was even born with a birthmark on his chest that resembles a scar, which lies in the same place as the wound that killed the Knight. It’s later revealed that Fakir is a descendant of Drosselmeyer and inherited his ability to bend reality with his writing. He tried using his power to stop a raven attack when he was young, but failed and his parents were killed. This made him shut away the knowledge of this power until Duck convinces him to try again. When he chooses to pick up the pen once more, he eventually realizes that he can only successfully write stories about Duck. By the end of the series he has fallen in love with Duck, which is exemplified through his promise to stay by her side forever.

 

  • Rue
    is an advanced ballet student, and greatly admired by Duck and the other pupils. She is aloof, and only Duck dares to approach her and make friends. She has loved Mytho since childhood after he defended her from crows, and now takes advantage of his apathy to pretend they are a couple. Like Duck, she also has a magical princess alter ego, Princess Kraehe
    the daughter of the Raven. Her jealously interferes with Tutu’s attempts to restore Mytho’s heart, fearing that he will fall in love with someone else. Her father, The Raven, uses her as a means to revive him, but in the end she learns she is not a raven, but rather a human girl kidnapped as a baby during The Raven’s attack on the town. When it appears Mytho will give himself to The Raven, Rue sacrifices herself instead, admitting she had always loved Mytho. Touched by her selfless act, Mytho regains his heart and rescues her, asking her to be his princess. In the manga her name is Rue Kuroha, and is much colder and more cruel. Kraehe (also spelled Krähe) is the German word for “crow”.

Antagonists

  • The Raven 
    is the monster from Drosselmeyer’s story The Prince and The Raven and is one of the main antagonists of the anime. Unlike Drosselmeyer, The Raven was mentioned in the first half of the anime and only appears in the second half of the anime. Mytho shattered his heart to seal up The Raven, who then requires the sacrifice of young, beautiful hearts which he will eat to restore his form. He stole Rue from her parents as a child and raised her as his daughter, calling her Princess Kraehe. The Raven is cruel and abusive to Rue, and orders her to corrupt Mytho with The Raven’s blood. When Rue’s love for the Prince eventually lets him break free from the tainted heart shard, he rescues her and together they defeat The Raven. The character does not appear in the manga, albeit brief mention by Edel.

 

  • Drosselmeyer 
    is an elderly man with a long, white beard, and though he is long dead is one of the main antagonists of the anime. Author of The Prince and The Raven, he is bored with happy stories so he enjoys watching Duck, Fakir, Mytho, and Rue struggle with the tragic fates he wrote for them. He posthumously influences their lives via a machine in the clock tower. Drosselmeyer died after the angry townsfolk cut off his hands to stop him from warping reality with his writing, but he managed to bring the writing machine into existence by writing in his own blood. His name comes from the godfather of the children in the opening of Tchaikovsky’s other work The Nutcracker: one Christmas, Drosselmeyer gives a wooden doll to his niece Clara, who rejects its ugliness but later realises it is magical. He is not present in the manga.

 

Film Friday- Bio-Booster Armor Guyver

Film Friday- Bio-Booster Armor Guyver

Guyver has been adapted into a single OVA titled Guyver: Out of Control (1986, based loosely on the first volume), a 12-episode anime OVA series (1989 to 1992, based on the first four volumes), two live action movies (1991’s The Guyver and 1994’s Guyver 2: Dark Hero) as well as a 26-episode anime series (2005 to 2006, based on the first ten volumes).

Guyver: Out of Control

Guyver: Out of Control is a 1986 short horror original video animation based on the manga. It was released in the U.S. and Canada in 1993 by L.A. Hero under the Dark Image Entertainment label. It has since been out of print in North America. The story follows high school students Shō Fukamachi and Mizuki Segawa who accidentally discover one of three Bio Booster Armor units stolen from the Chronos Corporation. When Shō and Mizuki are attacked by a Zoanoid, the unit comes into contact with Shō and bonds with him, transforming him into Guyver I and promptly destroying the Zoanoid assailant. Meanwhile, a female Chronos agent named Valcuria acquires a second unit and becomes Guyver II. She then abducts Mizuki in order to challenge Shō for the Guyver I unit. On Anime News Network, Justin Sevakis called it an “extremely dated piece of pulp that still somehow manages to be fun”.

Characters

Cronos

Genzo Makishima  

Director of Cronos’ Japan Branch, he is in charge when the Japan Branch loses the Guyver Units. While initially one of the people in charge of developing new Zoanoids, Genzo has, unknown to him, fallen behind in this category as well once Dr. Barcas begins designing Hyper Zoanoids, Zoanoids of highly enhanced capabilities. His failures to retrieve the Units as well as come up with any significantly new Zoanoid designs results in Commander Richart Guyot relieving him of duty. Genzo is then used as a guinea pig for the new “Enzyme” Zoanoid prototype, a Zoanoid specifically designed to destroy the Guyver Armor by dissolving it with its acid. After he retrieves Guyver I’s Control Metal in battle, he is ordered by Guyot to self-destruct when the dissolving Guyver I attacks Enzyme.

Oswald A. Lisker / Guyver II 

A Cronos agent, or as he describes himself to Shō, “an inspector from Cronos HQ”. Lisker was in Japan to supervise the transfer of the inactive Guyver Units to Cronos headquarters and was considerably annoyed to discover Makishima had managed to lose them. When one damaged unit was recovered, he insisted on taking a look at it and involuntarily became its host. As the second known activated Unit, he was called “Guyver II”. A man vain of both looks and martial arts skills, he decided to take on the task of retrieving the Unit Shō had bonded with. His Control Metal, which had been damaged when the Unit was initially lost, malfunctioned under the stress of combat. Shō took advantage of his weakened state and struck the metal, causing further malfunction. The control metal burst out of his head and the organism that made up the armor began to consume Lisker’s body. Shō then used his Mega-Smasher to put him out of his misery. Lisker is tall, with curly blond hair.

Zoalords

  • Archanfel  
Quite easily the most powerful being on Earth, Archanfel appears to be a young, fair-haired man with pointy ears and cat-slitted eyes. He is the founder, creator and ruler of Cronos. He is an extremely powerful psychic and possesses amazing battle abilities. Archanfel was created by “the Creators” to be the leader of all the Zoanoids and the people on Earth. The Zoacrystals that give Zoalords their powers were all cultivated using Archanfel’s crystal as a base.
Quoted from book 14, page 16:
“And then… cleaving and cultivating one of Archanfel’s Zoacrystals, we created eleven others. Accepting one of them, I became a Zoalord. In the centuries since then, I have searched for the ten chosen people who would become Zoalords as well.”
Although powerful, he has been increasingly dormant since prehistoric days. When the Creators withdrew from Earth, they attempted to destroy it with a gigantic meteorite which was stopped by Archanfel at great cost to himself.
  • Hamilcar Barcas 
Co-founder of Cronos and the second eldest member of the Council of Twelve. He is responsible for designing and creating the first Hyper Zoanoids and completing the final work on most of the Zoalords. He is over 400 years old and is, in fact, the person who awoke Archanfel from his long slumber. He is widely believed to be the top scientist of Cronos and is said to have greater telepathic prowess than any other Zoalord, save for Archanfel. His seniority among the others has resulted in many of the Zoalords to look up at him with much respect and as such he is occasionally referred to as “Old Bal” by those closest to him.
  • Sinn Rubeo Amniculus  
Discovered by Barcas 370 years ago in Armenia. He is a close friend of Freidrich von Purgstall and commands Cloud Gate after his death. He is considered to be the third-in-command of Cronos after Barcas. His brief appearance as a Zoalord showcased his incredible capabilities by being able to target various missiles in long range and in all directions, then destroy them with precision.
  • Friedrich von Purgstall 
Discovered by Barcas 215 years ago in Vienna. He generally seems to be more compassionate toward the civilian population than the other Zoalords. He is one of the weakest in close-range battle, but his lightning-based power can be formidable. Laser weapons are ineffective against him, as he can absorb and redirect the attacks. Unintended for hand-to-hand fighting, his physical defense is minimal. He was murdered by the rogue trio of Zoalords after being severely weakened from his battle with Guyver I.