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Manga Monday- Vampire Knight

Manga Monday- Vampire Knight

Vampire Knight is a Japanese shōjo manga series written by Matsuri Hino. The series premiered in the January 2005 issue of LaLa magazine and has officially ended. Chapters are collected and published in collected volumes by Hakusensha, concluding with nineteen volumes released in Japan. The manga series is licensed in English by Viz Media, who has released all nineteen volumes. The English adaptation premiered in the July 2006 issue of Viz’s Shojo Beat magazine, with the collected volumes being published on a quarterly basis.

Two drama CDs were created for the series, as well as a twenty-six episode anime adaptation.

Manga

The first chapter of Matsuri Hino’s Vampire Knight premiered in the January 2005 issue of LaLa. The individual chapters were collected and published in tankōbon volumes by Hakusensha, in nineteen volumes which were released in Japan. The series is licensed for an English language release in North America by Viz Media. In addition to publishing the individual volumes, the series was serialized in Viz’s Shojo Beat manga anthology from the July 2006 issue until the magazine was discontinued after the August 2009 issue. It is licensed for English release in Australia and New Zealand by Madman Entertainment, which released fifteen volumes. The final volume was released in English on October 14, 2014 by Viz Media.

Since the manga’s conclusion, Hino began releasing a series of special chapters, which takes place after the end of the final volume. On November 8, 2013, Hino released the first special chapter titled “Life ( Inochi)“, which was licensed and released digitally by Viz Media on December 9, 2014. The second special chapter, titled “I Like You (あなたのことが好きです Anata no koto ga sukidesu)“, was released on February 10, 2015. On December 10, 2015, the third special chapter, titled “Love’s Desire (愛の望み Ai no nozomi)“, was released. On February 10, 2016, the fourth and final special chapter, “Between the End of One’s Life and Heaven (命の終わりと天国の間 Inochi no owari to tengoku no aida)“, was released. The Lala issue also announced that a volume compiling the special chapters will be released in June 2016. It also announced that Hino will also be releasing a brand new, spin-off manga called “Vampire Knight Memories”, which began in June.

Film Friday- Bleach

Film Friday- Bleach

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

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

Plot

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hollows

Sōsuke Aizen

Bounts

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

Xcution

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

Wandenreich

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

Character Special: Bleach- The Good Guys

Character Special: Bleach- The Good Guys

Ichigo Kurosaki

Ichigo Kurosaki (黒崎 一護 Kurosaki Ichigo) is the main protagonist of the Bleach series. An orange-haired high school student, Ichigo becomes a “substitute Soul Reaper” after unintentionally absorbing most of Rukia Kuchiki’s powers. His cynical nature at first makes him ill-disposed towards the duty, but, with the passage of time, he accepts and welcomes the strength his Soul Reaper powers give him. When creating the manga series, Kubo commented that Rukia Kuchiki, the first character he created, did not seem like a lead character, so he created Ichigo to be the series protagonist. Ichigo is voiced by Masakazu Morita in Japanese and Johnny Yong Bosch in English.

Rukia Kuchiki

Rukia Kuchiki (朽木 ルキア Kuchiki Rukia) is a Soul Reaper who is assigned hollow extermination duties in Karakura Town. Rukia meets Ichigo for the first time when she breaks into his house, not knowing that Ichigo can see her. Their relationship further complicates when Rukia tries to save Ichigo and unintentionally transfers too much of her Shinigami powers into him. Rukia is left with little powers left and cannot return to Soul Society. She assumes a temporary lifestyle as a regular human and enrolls into Ichigo’s high school and takes up residence in his closet, while teaching him how to be a substitute Soul Reaper in her place. Rukia was the first character of the series created by Kubo, her design being the one he decided to use for all the other Soul Reapers. Rukia is voiced by Fumiko Orikasa in Japanese and Michelle Ruff in English.

Orihime Inoue

Yasutora “Chad” Sado

Uryū Ishida

Uryū Ishida (石田 雨竜 Ishida Uryū) is a Quincy, a descendant of a line of near-extinct, priest-like, hollow-hunting archers, who were historical enemies of the Soul Reapers. He bears a deep grudge against all Soul Reapers, including Ichigo, and is an early antagonist in the series. He comes to view Ichigo differently over time, and eventually becomes a valuable ally and a friendly rival. As a Quincy, Uryū possesses the supernatural power to gather invisible “spirit particles” called reishi from the atmosphere. Once gathered, these particles can be shaped into spirit-energy constructs, foremost among them a bow and arrow, and to fuel various magical spells and superhuman abilities. Uryū is voiced by Noriaki Sugiyama in Japanese and Derek Stephen Prince in English.

Renji Abarai

Manga Monday- Bleach

Manga Monday- Bleach

Bleach is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Tite Kubo. Bleach follows the adventures of the hotheaded teenager Ichigo Kurosaki who inherits his parents destiny, after he obtains the powers of a Soul Reaper (死神 Shinigami, literally “Death God”)—a death personification similar to the Grim Reaper—from another Soul Reaper, Rukia Kuchiki. His new-found powers force him to take on the duties of defending humans from evil spirits and guiding departed souls to the afterlife, and set him on journeys to various ghostly realms of existence.

Bleach was serialized in the Japanese manga magazine Weekly Shōnen Jump from August 2001 to August 2016, with its chapters collected into 74 tankōbon volumes. The series has spawned a media franchise that includes an anime television series that was produced by Studio Pierrot from 2004 to 2012, two original video animations, four animated feature films, ten rock musicals, and numerous video games, as well as many types of Bleach-related merchandise. A live-action film adaptation is scheduled for release in 2018. English-language releases of Bleach are coordinated by Viz Media, which has released several volumes of the manga each year since 2004, and published chapters of Bleach in its Shonen Jump magazine since November 2007. Viz Media secured foreign television and home video distribution rights to the Bleach anime in 2006. Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim began airing dubbed episodes of Bleach in the United States that Fall, and Hulu later began to stream subtitled versions of the anime a week after each episode aired in Japan. Viz Media has also released each of the Bleach feature films in English.

Bleach received the Shogakukan Manga Award for the shōnen demographic in 2005, and is among the best-selling manga in both Japan and the United States. Bleach has sold more than 90 million copies in Japan since its publication, and continued to perform commercially despite significant downturns in both the Japanese and English manga markets. Among critics, Bleach is most commonly praised for its action scenes and art but criticized for its plot elements.

Production

Bleach was first conceived from Tite Kubo’s desire to draw a Shinigami (Soul Reaper) in a kimono, which formed the basis for the design of the Soul Reapers in the series and the conception of Rukia Kuchiki. The original story concept was submitted to Weekly Shōnen Jump shortly after the cancellation of Kubo’s previous manga, Zombiepowder, but was at first rejected. Manga artist Akira Toriyama saw the story and wrote a letter of encouragement to Kubo. Bleach was accepted for publication a short time later in 2001, and was initially intended to be a shorter series, with a maximum serialization length of five years. Early plans for the story did not include the hierarchical structure of the Soul Society, but did include some characters and elements that were not introduced into the plot until the Arrancar arc, such as Ichigo’s Soul Reaper parentage. The series was originally meant to be named “Black” due to the color of the Soul Reapers’ clothes, but Kubo thought the title was too generic. He later tried the name of “White,” but came to like “Bleach” more for its association with the color white and that he did not find it too obvious. In the series’ eighteenth volume, Kubo commented that both chapters 150 and 151 were the first consecutive pair of colored chapters to have been published in the Weekly Shonen Jump. This brought happiness to the author.

Film Friday- D.N. Angel

Film Friday- D.N. Angel

Xebec adapted the manga into a 26-episode anime series which aired in Japan on TV Tokyo from April 3, 2003 until September 25, 2003. The anime was later adapted into second two volume manga series, a PlayStation 2 video game, and a series of drama CDs.

Anime

D.N.Angel was adapted into a 26-episode anime series produced by TV Tokyo, Dentsu and Xebec which aired in Japan on TV Tokyo from April 3 to September 25, 2003. The series was directed by Koji Yoshikawa and Nobuyoshi Habara.

The series was originally licensed for release in North America and the United Kingdom by ADV Films. While in the UK the series is no longer licensed, in North America Discotek Media have announced the rescue-licensing of the series. The series is licensed in Australia and New Zealand by Madman Entertainment.

Five pieces of theme music are used in the anime adaptation. The song Byakuya -True Light- (白夜 〜True Light〜, “White Night -True Light-“), by Shunichi Miyamoto, is used for the opening for twenty four episodes. Vic Mignogna, the English voice actor for Dark Mousy, covered the opening for the English dub. For the ending theme, Yasashii Gogo (やさしい午後, “Gentle Afternoon”) is used for the first twelve episodes, and Hajimari no Hi (はじまりの日, “The Day It Begins”) is used for episodes 13-23 and episode 25. Both songs are performed by Minawo. Episode 24 uses the song “Caged Bird”, by Shunichi Miyamoto, for its ending, while the final episode of the series uses Miyamoto’s song Michishirube (道標, “Guidepost”).

Main Characters

Daisuke Niwa

Character Voice:

  • Anime: Miyu Irino, Tomoko Kaneda (younger version)
  • Drama CD: Sōichirō Hoshi
  • English Dub: Kevin Corn

Daisuke Niwa (丹羽 大助 Niwa Daisuke) is the series protagonist who, after turning 14 and confessing his love to, and being rejected by his crush Risa Harada, discovers that a boy called Dark lives within him. Afterwards he transforms into Dark whenever he experiences feelings of love or intimacy with the girl he loves, but Dark can choose not to come out if he so wants. Initially this is Risa Harada, but after she rejects him, Daisuke finds himself falling in love with her twin sister, Riku Harada, who does return his feelings after realizing how kind-hearted and gentle he was. Perceptive, athletic, and artistic, Daisuke is also skilled in dodging traps, picking locks, and other thieving-type activities, due to the daily life-threatening trials his family has him undergo when he gets up in the morning and returns from school in the afternoons.

Though he regularly argues with his alter-ego Dark, he expresses concern for him when he is in danger or in pain. He misses Dark when they are separated within the series through magic, and their dynamic is that of an older/younger brother.

Dark Mousy

Character Voice:

  • Anime: Ryotaro Okiayu
  • Drama CD: Masaya Onosaka
  • English Dub: Vic Mignogna

Dark Mousy (ダーク・マウジー Dāku Maujī), is half of the Koku Yoku, an artwork created by the Hikari family, who has appeared in the first male of the Niwa generation for the last 300 years. Once Dark appears, his host will change into Dark whenever he is around the person he loves or thinks about them a great deal, though in the Anime, Dark can choose not to appear at such times. At the start of D.N.Angel, Dark had lain dormant for 40 years as his previous host, Daiki Niwa, only had one female offspring. When Emiko’s son, Daisuke, reached 14, he became Dark’s new “tamer” or host. Known to the public as “Kaitou Dark”, (translated as “Phantom Dark” in the ADV Films dub of the anime) Dark steals the cursed art pieces made by the Hikari family, which the Niwa family then seals away to prevent them from causing any more trouble. He primarily uses With as his wings, as using his own true wings causes Daisuke’s body tremendous harm. Though he and Daisuke often argue over missions and Risa and Riku Harada, its apparent that Dark cares for his host, taking care not to harm him by using too much of his magic and protecting him when possible. For fun Dark often teases his host Daisuki. Their relationship is often that of older/younger brothers.

Candid and confident, Dark can also appear to be arrogant and something of a playboy, flirting shamelessly with girls. Dark is a notorious flirt, but there are very few he truly cares about. In the anime, he said that he is willing to kiss anyone since it is like a greeting to him rather than something meaningful. After Dark’s reappearance, Daisuke’s crush, Risa Harada, falls in love with him and begins to pursue him. He initially flirts with her, seemingly to annoy Daisuke, and goes on several dates with her. In the anime, Dark rejects Risa’s feelings after telling her that he was once in love with her grandmother and only humored Risa’s attraction because she reminded him of his lost love.

In the manga, Dark is instead more attracted to Riku (the sight of Riku caused Dark to transform into Daisuke) while Daisuke was interested in Risa (the sight of Risa would cause Daisuke to change into Dark). His feelings later change and he starts to like Risa more, while a relationship strengthens between Daisuke and Riku. In both the manga and anime, Dark’s romantic feelings are unanswered.

Risa Harada

Character Voice:

  • Anime: Masumi Asano
  • Drama CD: Sakura Tange
  • English Dub: Luci Christian

Risa Harada (原田 梨紗 Harada Risa) is Daisuke Niwa’s friend and his initial object of affection. At the start of the series, she rejects his confession of love, feeling that he is too “normal” and only able to see him as her friend. After seeing Daisuke’s alter ego Dark, she falls in love with the thief and believes that he is the mysterious person she is destined to be with. Innocent, spoiled, and depicted as “girly-girl”, Risa is often seen as the opposite of her twin sister Riku, though both show the same stubbornness and tenacity, particularly when it comes to people they care about. She is initially confused with Riku and Daisuke falling in love, and so she becomes jealous, but realizes that she was more afraid of losing her older sister and her friend than wanting Daisuke for herself, and becomes supportive of their relationship.

Wanting to be with Dark, Risa begins taking great risks to try to see him during his thieving adventures. Dark initially accepts her affections, then rejects her when he realizes she truly loves him. However, Risa refuses to give him up and after noting that she has “become a lady” he agrees to go on a date with her. During the date, she is kidnapped by Argentine who takes her to his world and demands that she, as Dark’s “maiden”, help him become more like Dark.

Satoshi Hiwatari is also seen as showing a bit of concern for her in the manga, deliberately transforming into Krad—something he normally fights—to try and save her when he sees her falling from a tower during Argentine’s attack.

As the series progresses, Risa’s attitude and childish behavior dies down a bit, though she retains her girly nature. She has made several accounts of being more responsible than she was at the beginning of the series. Stated by Riku herself that her sister was just ‘too nice’, example being when they were children Risa gave up her bunny to Riku who had lost her teddy bear despite loving her bunny a lot. Risa also cares about both Riku and Daisuke, feeling that Daisuke has finally ‘got his act together’ and sees him in a new light. Risa has made many mature decisions and has shown that, despite her selfishness, she can be just as kind as her twin sister, Riku.

In the anime adaptation, Risa’s crush on Dark appears to die down towards the end of the series, because in the anime, Dark had already fallen in love 40 years ago with the twins’ grandmother, Rika. Instead, she finds an interest in Satoshi at the end. Not wanting to tarnish those feelings or end up as a replacement, Risa gradually stopped pursuing Dark as a romantic interest. In the manga, however, this plot does not exist. Her feelings for Dark still remain strong, even when Dark told her that he wasn’t human.

Riku Harada

Character Voice:

  • Anime: Sara Nakayama
  • Drama CD: Yuka Imai
  • English Dub: Hilary Haag

Riku Harada (原田 梨紅 Harada Riku) is Risa Harada’s twin sister, and a friend of Daisuke Niwa. Athletic and intelligent, Riku is depicted as a tomboy, who is more serious, and down-to-earth than her sister. Though more outspoken than Risa, Riku can be shy and Risa notes that her sister doesn’t realize just how popular she is. Though the girls are different in personality, Riku is protective of her sister and they share a tight bond. When Risa is kidnapped by the Argentine, Riku falls into a coma.

Though Riku initially appears to only see Daisuke as a friend, its soon revealed that she harbors romantic feelings for him, though he initially can only see Risa. After her sister rejects him, Riku begins to see him less as clumsy and unreliable, coming to see his strengths and admitting to the feelings she herself had been denying. While trying to sort out her feelings, she remembers that they had met as children when he’d helped her retrieve her precious teddy bear from over a fence one night. Eventually she admits her feelings, but initially is disbelieving when Daisuke tells her he feels the same. Realizing he is speaking the truth, they become a couple.

Riku intensely dislikes Dark, feeling he is nothing but a thief and a playboy, however when Risa is in danger and he promises he will bring her back, she begins to soften her stance towards him. She also sometimes compares him to Daisuke, though she does not yet know that Daisuke is Dark.

In the anime adaptation, Riku is more uncertain of her relationship with Daisuke, temporarily hating that he calls both her and Risa “Harada-san”. She thought Dark stole her first kiss but it was actually Daisuke. When Dark was going to kiss Riku, Dark turned back to Daisuke. At the end of the anime, Riku is the only person not in the Niwa or Hikari/Hiwatari family to know that Daisuke is Dark.

Antagonists

Satoshi Hiwatari

Character Voice:

  • Anime: Akira Ishida
  • Drama CD: Tomokazu Seki
  • English Dub: Greg Ayres

Satoshi Hiwatari (日渡 怜 Hiwatari Satoshi) or Satoshi Hikari (氷狩 怜 Hikari Satoshi) is the police commander in charge of capturing Dark. He is extremely intelligent, Satoshi graduated from high school at the age of eight, and obtained a college degree at the age of 13. He enrolled in Daisuke’s middle in order to be closer to Daisuke, whom he knew was Dark’s alter ego. Calm and composed, he often pays little mind to those around him and rarely shows his emotions causing others to find him distant and cold. Daisuke seems unaffected by his distant nature, and insists on becoming his friend. Reluctant at first, Satoshi comes to accept Daisuke’s friendship, though later withdraws from school to try to distance himself from Daisuke again out of fear. He eventually returns to offer to aid rescuing Risa from Argentine. Satoshi is the last heir of the Hikari family, which created powerful artworks that the Niwa family has been stealing for years via Dark. In the anime version, Kosuke made a play on words with Satoshi’s last name being synonymous with light (also pronounced ‘hikari’), though the kanji for Satoshi’s family name actually means ‘ice hunter’.
Although he is just as capable of creating artwork as his ancestors have been, he avoids doing so. This is both to go against his fate and to avoid creating any more dangerous artworks. In the anime, he was shown painting in flashbacks of when he was a child and getting praise from his adopted father before the man became abusive.

After his mother’s death, Satoshi was adopted by the Hiwatari family. His adoptive father appears to be aware of the Hikari and in the anime adaptation attempts to use the power of the artworks for his own purposes, eventually getting killed by one of the artworks he tries to harness the power of. Satoshi is shown to have a strong dislike for his stepfather, and refuses to play along when the man tries to pass the two of them off as a close family.

Much as Daisuke houses the soul of Dark Mousy, Satoshi holds that of his opposite, Krad. Unlike Dark, Krad is homicidal and cares nothing for Satoshi, causing Satoshi to regularly fight to keep him inside. It is suggested that Satoshi wears glasses as a way of helping him keep Krad in check, as he notes that he does not actually need them and once they are removed he almost immediately feels Krad trying to emerge.

In the manga version, Satoshi and Daisuke are inconvenient but genuine friends who both try to protect each other from their alter egos, and their friendship is tested and strengthened by their mutual afflictions. However, the closer they grow to friendship, the more complicated their rivalries become. Satoshi has an intense dislike for Dark, similar to Dark’s dislike of Krad. It is told bluntly by Satoshi to Daisuke that if the curse continues as is, then Satoshi will be killed by Krad.
In the anime, It has been stated by Dark that Daisuke is the one who causes Satoshi to turn into Krad. Satoshi wants to be close to Daisuke despite the danger of Krad to both of them.

Several times in both manga and anime, it is made apparent just how little Krad cares for Satoshi. Whereas Daisuke is spared the pain of enduring the magic used by Dark via With, and Dark trying to keep the magic use to a minimum, Krad often uses the max amount of power he can summon, and when he takes over his white wings rip from Satoshi’s back causing him great pain, and leaving two narrow injures on his back where the wings once were.

Krad

Character Voice:

  • Anime: Takeshi Kusao
  • Drama CD: Taiki Matsuno
  • English Dub: Illich Guardiola

Krad (クラッド Kuraddo) is an entity similar to Dark, living inside his “tamer” Satoshi Hiwatari. He is Dark’s opposite in many ways, including his name (‘Dark’ spelled backwards), having blond hair, wearing white attire, and always speaking very politely using an extremely formal speech pattern. Krad is Dark’s and, by extension, Daisuke’s worst enemy, repeatedly attempting to kill them both. Though Krad refers to Hiwatari as Master Satoshi and as “his everything”, he shows little regard for Hiwatari’s wishes and well-being. He ignores Hiwatari’s repeated attempts to get him to leave Daisuke alone and regularly uses his magic without limit, causing Hiwatari to collapse in agony. Like Daisuke, Hiwatari has little control over his transformation though he can force Krad to go back inside his body at times.

Manga Monday- D. N. Angel

Manga Monday- D. N. Angel

D.N.Angel is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Yukiru Sugisaki. The ongoing manga premiered in Japan in the Kadokawa Shoten shōjo magazine Monthly Asuka in November 1997. The series went on an extended hiatus after the August 2005 issue, returning in the April 2008 issue. Kadokawa Shoten has collected the individual chapters and published them in 15 tankōbon volumes so far. The manga series is licensed for English language release in North America and the United Kingdom by Tokyopop, which has released 13 volumes of the series as of 2011.

Plot

The aforementioned commander of the police is a classmate of Daisuke’s named Satoshi Hiwatari. Hiwatari suffers from his own version of the phantom-thief curse, and a bond forms between Hiwatari and Daisuke because of their similar afflictions. Hiwatari carries the alter-ego named Krad. However, though Dark and Krad hate one another, Hiwatari and Daisuke maintain a strained but genuine friendship, despite Dark’s constant moaning. Dark steals certain artistic objects of value, works made by Satoshi’s ancestors, because they contain dangerous magical properties. Some of them, such as “The Second Hand of Time” and “Argentine” also have personalities of their own. Some of the objects that he steals are quite dangerous. Dark’s method of stealing is based on garnering attention; before stealing, Emiko will send out a warning of what will be stolen.

Manga

Written and illustrated by Yukiru Sugisaki, D.N.Angel premiered in Japan in the November 1997 issue of the Kadokawa Shoten magazine Monthly Asuka. New chapters were serialized monthly until Sugisaki put the series on an extended hiatus after the August 2005 issue. The series eventually returned to serialization, starting in the April 2008 issue of Monthly Asuka, where it continues to run. The individual chapters are collected and published in tankōbon volumes by Kadokawa Shoten. The first volume was released on November 13, 1997; as of September 2010, 15 volumes have been released.

Tokyopop licensed the series for an English-language release in North America and the United Kingdom, with the first volume of the series released there on April 6, 2004. On November 8, 2005, Tokyopop released a box set containing the first two volumes of the series. A total of 13 volumes have been translated and released as of December 8, 2009. However, Tokyopop announced that its North American division would close on May 31, 2011, leaving the fate of the manga’s localization in question. In 2014, Viz Media picked up the digital publication rights to the manga for Kindle.

In August 2003, while the primary series was on hiatus, a second manga series, D.N.Angel TV Animation Series began serialization in Monthly Asuka. Also written by Sugisaki, the short series was based on the anime adaptation, which had diverged from the storyline of the manga series. D.N.Angel TV Animation Series finished its serialization in the October 2003 issue. It was published in two tankōbon volumes by Kadokawa Shoten.

Film Friday- Cromartie High School

Film Friday- Cromartie High School

The series aired in the United States on the cable network G4 on its Barbed Wire Biscuit late-night block and on the UK satellite channel Rockworld TV. There are also many pop culture (especially music) parodies in the characters, chapter names, episode names, CD covers, and DVD covers of this series.

Characters

Main characters

Takashi Kamiyama (神山 高志 Kamiyama Takashi)
  • Voiced by: Takahiro Sakurai (Japanese); Ben Pronsky (English)
  • Japanese live-action movie actor: Takamasa Suga
The main character of the series, originally just another above-average student until he decided to enroll at Cromartie. Everyone else at Cromartie assumes that he’s the toughest kid in school, since a rabbit would never go into a den of lions. He has ambitions to change the school for the sake of bettering its student body. In secret, he is an amateur comedian who writes and sends jokes to be heard on special radio stations under the penname of “Honey Boy” (ハチミツ Hachimitsu). In later episodes, he becomes the number one boss in Japan after winning the National Boss Championship, only winning after being the only one to answer the first question correctly. He later defeats the legendary biker Sadaharu in a race.
Shinjiro Hayashida (林田 慎二郎 Hayashida Shinjirō)
  • Voiced by: Takuma Suzuki (Japanese); Illich Guardiola (English)
  • Japanese movie actor: Mitsuki Koga
Kamiyama’s first friend at Cromartie, noted for his purple mohawk. Hayashida is the one delinquent that helps Kamiyama blend into the bewildering environment of Cromartie High. Although streetwise, he is dumber than the gorilla and doesn’t even understand basic math. His signature purple mohawk was revealed to be fake in episode 17, but in episode 8 you can see him take it off for a brief second.
Akira Maeda (前田 彰 Maeda Akira)
  • Voiced by: Tetsu Inada (Japanese); Andy McAvin (English)
  • Japanese movie actor: Hiroshi Yamamoto
A delinquent who claims he was always getting into fights and never lost a single one (he claims to have won a 5-against-1 fight), he is ignored and disrespected because he lacks a nickname. (In the manga, he chooses the nickname “Dragon of Razors” with the help of Hokuto’s lackey, who himself decides on “The American Dream”, though no one else seems to acknowledge those names.) Often the most conservative of Kamiyama’s friends (and really, quite possibly the only one who actually possesses common sense), he is also frequently abducted by delinquents from Bass High School and is often the unwilling host of Cromartie High gatherings at his house. He bears a great resemblance to his mother, whose appearance normally horrifies everyone else. His name is a parody of a famous Japanese wrestler.
Shinichi Mechazawa (メカ沢 新一 Mekazawa Shin’ichi)
  • Voiced by: Norio Wakamoto (Japanese); Jay Hickman (English)
  • Japanese movie actor: Shinji Takeda (voice)
One of the most notorious delinquents of Cromartie. Though there is a rumor that he may be perhaps a robot, no one but the main characters (Kamiyama, Hayashida, Maeda, etc.) seems to notice, including himself. At one point he ends up in a motorcycle accident and is repaired, only to end up combined with his motorcycle into an even stronger motorcycle, complete with missiles and rocket boosters. He is also known as a smooth-talker and is considered very charismatic, regularly getting first place in popularity polls. He has a little brother, identical but one-fifth his size, named Beta, also known as Mini Mechazawa.
Beta Mechazawa (メカ沢 β Mekazawa Bēta)
Also known as Mini Mechazawa or just “Beta,” he is the little yet older brother of Shinichi Mechazawa. Mechazawa Beta, who can only say “Meka-ratta” despite being “more advanced”, is also a cellphone. Meka-ratta is a parody of the lead character from Obake no Q-tarō, a ghost who is unable to speak human language and hence can only say “bake-ratta.” Like Mechazawa, he is often mistaken for something else, such as a tea canister, and is stepped on often due to his small size.
Freddie (フレディ Furedi)
  • Japanese movie actor: Hiroyuki Watanabe
A mute with a nearly uncanny resemblance to Freddie Mercury, lead singer of the band Queen. Hayashida claimed that as long as he attended, Cromartie would be the “Olympics for delinquents”. Although he never speaks and people assume he is a mute, Freddie actually has a good singing voice and the only occasion people can hear his voice is when he sings (as seen in the manga episode of Mechazawa’s birthday). The bottom of the microphone stand is broken, referring to Freddie Mercury’s gimmick. He also rides to school on an incredibly large, incredibly powerful, possibly wild horse named Black Dragon (Kokuryu in Japan, a reference to Raoh’s horse Kokuoh in Fist of the North Star), which waits outside the bathroom while he’s “doing his business”.
Gorilla (ゴリラ Gorira, Hiromi Go (豪 ヒロミ Gō Hiromi))
A gorilla who appears often at Cromartie High. He sometimes wears a watch and is considered smarter than most of the main characters. It has been revealed that his superior is a monkey. He is also an extremely talented sushi chef. His real name is a parody of a famous Japanese singer. He has also a sister who looks just like him but has prettier eyes and red/pink flower on her left ear.
Yutaka Takenouchi (竹之内 豊 Takenouchi Yutaka)
  • Voiced by: Ryō Naitō (Japanese); John Gremillion (English)
  • Japanese movie actor: Yoshihiro Takayama
The leader of Cromartie High’s first-year students. Known to be an incredible fighter and a reliable person. His weakness (unknown to everyone else) is motion sickness. Though he loves field trips and excursions in general, he hates having to travel, because he gets sick very easily, and struggles with all of his might not to vomit. His name is a parody of a famous Japanese actor. His parents are unseen.
Takeshi Hokuto (北斗 武士 Hokuto Takeshi)
  • Voiced by: Norihisa Mori (Japanese); Jason Douglas (English)
  • Japanese movie actor: Noboru Kaneko
A son of a chairman for a major zaibatsu, who is also the chairman of the board for several high schools throughout Japan. He used his father’s influence to rule every school he goes to, until he came to Cromartie, not knowing that the school is municipal. He also arrives wearing the wrong uniform (white, instead of the standard black). Despite his setbacks, he continues to plot how to rule this school, if not all of Japan or even the world. As a result of his luxurious, extravagant life, he thinks all people below him are pigs.
Hokuto’s lackey (北斗の子分 Hokuto no kobun)
  • Voiced by: Akio Suyama (Japanese); Greg Ayres (English)
  • Japanese movie actor: Sadayoshi Shimane
Nameless in the series. While he does have a name, no one seems to be interested in knowing it (including Hokuto himself), and they simply refer to him as “you”, “other guy”, or just “Hokuto’s lackey”. There was actually a controversy among the students, when he said he did not want to be called “Hokuto’s lackey”. Every time he tries to say his name though, something generally absurd happens and cuts the event short. In the manga, he helps Maeda come up with the nickname “Dragon of Razors”, and Maeda suggests for Hokuto’s lackey the nickname “The American Dream” (アメリカンドリーム Amerikandorīmu). They are both satisfied with their new nicknames, but no one else acknowledges them.
Masked Takenouchi (マスクド竹之内 Masukudo Takenouchi)
  • Voiced by: Takaya Kuroda (Japanese); George Manley (English)
  • Japanese movie actor: Itsuji Itao
Before coming to Cromartie, he was a hijacker who tried to commandeer the plane that students of Cromartie High School were taking to go on a field trip to Kyushu. Being agoraphobic, he feels quite uneasy among strangers. When talking with Takenouchi about this problem, he ends up in a situation where he succeeds in the hijacking, but ends up staying in Japan. In the meantime, Takenouchi ends up in the Nevada desert in America. To maintain anonymity, he constantly wears a white wrestling mask, with the kanji character for bamboo, 竹 (The first character in “Takenouchi”), which leaves everyone in Cromartie High with the impression that he is Takenouchi, although no one questions his presence even after being seen alongside the real Takenouchi. He frequently imparts elderly knowledge (being presumedly in his 30s) to the other students when they face contentious issues. In the manga, he becomes the successor of pillow-jutsu, the fictional technique of softening pillows with a sharp blow with a long stick, but this is given only very brief mention in the opening animation of the anime.
Noboru Yamaguchi (山口 ノボル Yamaguchi Noboru)
  • Voiced by: Yuuto Kazama (Japanese); James Reed Faulkner (English)
  • Japanese movie actor: Shoichiro Matsumoto
The leader of Destrade High School’s first-year students. He has the nickname of “The Unsinkable Battleship”, which is coincidentally the nickname of professional wrestler Stan Hansen who is extremely popular in Japan, and is mentioned to be a member of a bike gang called “Earth, Wind, Fire, and Water” in his spare time. (“Ash, Wind, Fire” in Japan; both are parodies of an American Funk band Earth, Wind & Fire.) His cronies believe that he hates jokes, since he’s always so serious. In truth, he is a connoisseur of sophisticated humor, despising the sophomoric jokes that his friends prefer. He is also a postcard comedian (someone who sends jokes in the mail to be heard on the radio). His pen name is “Ajishio Taro” (roughly, “Salt Boy”), and he is rivaled only by Kamiyama, who he initially knows only as “Honey Boy.” He is easily recognized by his large afro hairstyle and his ever-constant sunglasses.

Wednesday News- August 9, 2017

Wednesday News- August 9, 2017

News-

“Hakuoki: Kyoto Winds” Brings Historical Romance to PC on August 24- http://www.crunchyroll.com/anime-news/2017/08/09/hakuoki-kyoto-winds-brings-historical-romance-to-pc-on-august-24

“Kino’s Journey” Anime Character Designs Showcased- http://www.crunchyroll.com/anime-news/2017/08/09/kinos-journey-anime-character-designs-showcased

Fall Festival To Reveal Next Stage of “Sword Art Online” Plans- http://www.crunchyroll.com/anime-news/2017/08/09-1/fall-festival-to-reveal-next-stage-of-sword-art-online-plans

Gosho Aoyama’s “Detective Conan” Manga Reaches Its 1,000th Chapter This Week- http://www.crunchyroll.com/anime-news/2017/08/08-1/gosho-aoyamas-detective-conan-manga-reaches-its-1000th-chapter-this-week

Manga Monday- Cromartie High School

Manga Monday- Cromartie High School

Cromartie High School by Eiji Nonaka, is a Japanese comedy manga, which was adapted into an anime and a 2005 live-action movie titled Cromartie High – The Movie directed by Yūdai Yamaguchi. It follows the everyday life of Takashi Kamiyama and his odd classmates at Cromartie High School, an infamous school for delinquents. Both the manga and anime have been released in North America by ADV Manga and ADV Films respectively. However, the manga is not yet completely published in North America due to restructuring issues at ADV. Discotek Media has since licensed the anime, after ADV’s closing in 2009. The manga won the 2002 Kodansha Manga Award for shōnen. The series is a parody of Japanese “yankii” (juvenile delinquent) manga of the 1970s and 1980s. The style of art resembles Ryoichi Ikegami’s works such as Crying Freeman or Sanctuary.