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Other Tuesday- Character Special: Fullmetal Alchemist

Other Tuesday- Character Special: Fullmetal Alchemist

Edward Elric 

Edward “Ed” Elric, the “Fullmetal Alchemist”, is the youngest State Alchemist in history, joining the program at the age of 12. He and his younger brother, Alphonse, scour the world in search of the Philosopher’s Stone, in the hopes of restoring their bodies. Edward lost his left leg in a futile attempt to revive his mother, Trisha, using Alchemy, and lost his right arm in exchange for attaching Alphonse’s soul to a suit of armor. Edward now employs the use of metal prosthetics, known as automail, as replacement limbs. However, as attempting to resurrect a human opens a portal called the Gate of Truth to allow the committer/s to see the Truth , Edward gained great knowledge of the universe as well as the powerful ability to perform transmutations without transmutation circles. Edward is smart, brave and even bold, but also has a prideful tendency to be harsh and arrogant. He harbors a sharp sensitivity to his short height; a recurring gag in both manga and the anime series is for Edward to overly react to people who call him short.

Alphonse Elric 

Alphonse “Al” Elric, is Edward’s younger brother. Together, both of them scour the country in search of the Philosopher’s Stone in the hopes of restoring their bodies. Unlike Ed, who lost one of his legs in the failed attempt to revive the brothers’ mother, Al lost his entire body. At the last moment, and at the cost of one of his arms, Ed sealed Al’s soul in a giant suit of armor, making Al almost invulnerable.

Winry Rockbell 

Winry Rockbell, a childhood friend of Edward and Alphonse Elric, lives in Resembool with her grandmother, Pinako Rockbell, who raised her after the death of her parents during the Ishbal War. Her parents were killed by Scar in a blind rage. Winry is a practicing and gifted automail mechanic, following in her grandmother’s footsteps, continually designing and maintaining Edward Elric’s automail prosthetics. Winry is often used as an unwitting hostage by the homunculi to ensure the Elrics’ subservience to the State. A running gag in the series is that she will violently attack Edward whenever he upsets her in some way, usually whenever he breaks his automail in combat. She and Edward get married in the concluding moments of the manga. In the first anime, her parents were executed by a younger Roy Mustang under Military order.

Roy Mustang 

Colonel Roy Mustang, the “Flame Alchemist”, is a State Alchemist and Edward’s direct superior. He is promoted to Brigadier General at the end of the series and is a General in the epilogue. He aims towards becoming the next Führer of Amestris, heavily relying on the support of his loyal subordinates to propel him along that path. Mustang would find this path interrupted by the murder of his best friend and confidant, Maes Hughes, afterward, beginning an almost behind-the-scenes investigation into finding the true culprit.

Riza Hawkeye 

First Lieutenant Riza Hawkeye is Roy Mustang’s most trusted and dearest subordinate. She often carries out many of the tasks he is too lazy to do, acts as his personal assistant, and protects him from danger. She holds a strong sense of admiration for him, even willing to put her own life at risk; Roy returns this, and occasionally refers to her as “My Queen”, his chess code name for her. She also doubles as his voice of reason, keeping cool in heated situations, and scolding him when he allows his emotions to get in the way. Riza and Roy seem to share a close relationship as she identifies him as her most precious person. Riza specializes in firearms, particularly sniper rifles, and can hit nearly any target with lethal accuracy. In the series, she adopts a dog named Black Hayate from Kain Fuery that she raises with stern discipline; when Hayate urinates indoors, she fires a number of warning rounds at the wall around the dog to reinforce that doing so is against established protocol.

In the form of a tattoo on her back, Riza bears the final notes to her father’s work on Flame Alchemy, and his legacy as an alchemist and Mustang’s teacher. After seeing what Mustang was capable of during the Ishbal War with such ability, Riza begs Roy to burn the tattoo, fearing the damage future flame alchemists could cause. Riza is reassigned as King Bradley’s personal assistant to be used as a hostage when Mustang learns the homunculi control the State. When she discovers that King Bradley’s adopted son, Selim, is a homunculus as well, she sends her discovery to Mustang in code as soon as she can. She eventually defects from the military to help Mustang overthrow King Bradley. Arakawa received various questions regarding the future of her relationship with Mustang and commented that, while Hawkeye stays with Mustang, a marriage would still be possible despite military regulations.

Other Tuesday- Character Special Shugo Chara!

Other Tuesday- Character Special Shugo Chara!

Shugo Chara! is a Japanese shōjo manga created by the manga author duo Peach-Pit. The story centers on elementary schoolgirl Amu Hinamori, whose popular exterior, referred to as “cool and spicy” by her classmates, contrasts with her introverted personality. When Amu wishes for the courage to be reborn as her would-be self, she is surprised to find three colorful eggs the next morning, which hatch into three Guardian Characters: Ran, Miki, and Su.

Peach-Pit uses Amu to explore differences between one’s true self and the self that is presented to others. Like Jun Sakurada in Peach-Pit’s previous work, Rozen Maiden, Amu tackles issues such as alienation and fitting in at school. Unlike most heroines in other magical girl series, Amu is neither the perfect sweetheart nor a complete klutz. Amu gets grumpy and frequently talks back to others in contrast to the polite schoolgirls that fill the genre.

Amu’s Guardian Characters—Ran, Miki, Su, and later Diamond—aid her in her quest of self-discovery. Each Guardian Character represents an aspect of Amu’s true self. Ran represents Amu’s desire to be more honest and athletic, Miki represents Amu’s desire to be more level headed and artistic, Su represents Amu’s desire to be more caring and improve her domestic skills, while Diamond represents Amu’s desire to shine in front of others and be a good speaker. Moreover, the Guardian Characters are more than mere mascots who help Amu learn about her true self. They can also perform a “Character Change” where Amu’s personality is replaced by an entirely different one.

However, Amu is not the only one with Guardian Characters. Each of the Guardians—Tadase Hotori, Nadeshiko Fujisaki, Kukai Soma, and Yaya Yuiki—have their own Guardian Characters. Amu also encounters Ikuto Tsukiyomi and Utau Hoshina(Tsukiyomi), two siblings who also have Guardian Characters and are employed by the Easter Company to search for the Embryo.

Eventually, Nadeshiko Fujisaki and Kukai Soma leave the Guardians and are replaced by Rima Mashiro and Kairi Sanjo, respectively. Kairi later leaves and is replaced by Nagihiko Fujisaki, Nadeshiko’s real identity.

Main characters

Amu Hinamori 

Amu Hinamori , the series’ protagonist, is a student of Seiyo Elementary. Amu’s classmates see her as “cool and spicy” Amu can be identified as a Tsundere (Mean and Cold to opening up to other people), but Amu’s true character is shy and timid. Part of the reason for this misunderstanding is the trendy punk goth clothing her mother buys for her as well as the way she expresses her shyness. However, when Amu wishes for the courage to become her would-be self, three colorful eggs appear. When they hatch, they reveal Amu’s Guardian Characters: Ran, Miki, and Su.

Amu becomes a member of the Guardians, the school’s student council, and discovers that each member has a Guardian Character. Amu’s position with the Guardians is the Joker. Her task as the Joker is to search for and purify X Eggs and X Characters (also, in the second season, she purifies Mystery Eggs, the corrupted forms of people’s would-be selves). Ran, Miki, and Su help Amu with her task through a process called Character Transformation, which is enabled by the Humpty Lock and grants Amu special abilities depending on the Guardian Character. Later on, Amu also creates a fourth egg, known as Diamond. In the second season, when Amu shows her true potential, the Humpty Lock increases in power. Thus, new transformation scenes are used…

Amu’s main love interests are Tadase Hotori and Tsukiyomi Ikuto. Throughout the first half of the series, Amu had a crush on Tadase and blushed every time she was in his presence. She initially regarded Ikuto as a jerk and pervert, but she grew close to him as he aided her countless times. When Ikuto first confesses his love to her, she thinks he is teasing her and dismisses it. When Tadase asks Amu if it is okay for him to fall in love with her, she is thrilled at the progress in their relationship but soon finds herself drawn to Ikuto. She was saddened when Ikuto decided to leave in search of his father. Because of this, she realizes that she truly loves Ikuto. After he confesses to her and kisses her close to the lips, she refuses to admit her feelings for him, which prompts Ikuto to make a deal with her that he will get her to fall in love with him. In chapter 48, Amu confesses to Tadase’s older self that she had liked Tadase for his outer character. Although they have a much better relationship than before, Amu remains stubborn about her feelings for Ikuto. In the final chapter of Shugo Chara Encore, she is happy to reunite with him and is seen holding hands with him at Sanjou and Nikaidou’s wedding. Amu’s primary rival is Utau Hoshina, Ikuto’s younger sister, who is jealous that Ikuto shows an interest in Amu instead of her. They soon become good friends after Utau leaves Easter. In the end, she chooses Ikuto in the manga. However, it is heavily implied that she ends up with Tadase in the anime.

Amu gains the Dumpty Key from Yoru and uses it to unlock the Humpty Lock. In some of the later chapters, when Amu opens the Humpty Lock with the Dumpty Key, she and Tadase see more of Ikuto’s past. Their journey ends when Amu Character transforms with Diamond, and she and Ikuto fight briefly. Ran, Miki, Su, and Diamond all combine their powers, making Amu character transform into Amulet Fortune and Ikuto character transform into Seven Seas Treasure.

Amu ventures to the Eggs’ Cradle, a place where unborn and “lost” Shugo Chara reside, in order to search for four colored shards representing each of her Shugo Chara in an attempt to bring Ran, Miki and Su back. In chapter 44, Diamond tells Amu that Ran, Miki and Su have “disappeared” and that she will help Amu find them as her “navigator”. Diamond becomes Amu’s guide in the Eggs’ Cradle in Amu’s search for the four coloured shards. She finally comes to terms with the loss of her Guardian Characters at the end of the journey, however as she returns she realizes that she has Ran, Miki, Su and Diamond back in Egg form much to her relief and later joy as they are born again later in Shugo Chara Encore.

Ran 
Ran is the first to hatch from Amu’s eggs and represents Amu’s desire to be more honest, confident and athletic. Ran is frequently cheering Amu on. During Character Change, Amu gains, thus, and increased her athletic abilities. During Character Transformation, Amu becomes Amulet Heart, with a cheerleader inspired outfit. In chapter 38, Ran undergoes a new Character Transformation, along with Miki, Su, and Diamond; becoming Amulet Fortune. In chapter 44, she disappears along with Miki and Su, and later Diamond as well when Amu no longer needs them. In Shugo Chara Encore at the very end of the last chapter, she and Amu’s other Shugo Chara emerge hatch again at Sanjou and Nikaidou’s wedding much to Amu’s joy.
Miki 
The second Guardian Character to hatch is Miki. Miki represents Amu’s desire to be more sharp, level headed, and artistic. Miki is also the one to help Amu make fashion choices. Reflecting Amu’s love interests, Miki has shown an interest in Tadase’s Guardian Character, Kiseki, Ikuto’s Guardian Character, Yoru, Kukai’s Guardian Character, Daichi, and Nagihiko’s Guardian Character, Rhythm. During Character Change, Amu gains increased artistic abilities. During Character Transformation, Amu becomes Amulet Spade. In chapter 38, Miki undergoes a new Character Transformation, along with Ran, Su, and Diamond; becoming Amulet Fortune. In Shugo Chara! Doki, Miki is the only one out of Amu’s Guardian Characters to be able to sense Mystery Eggs clearly. In chapter 44, she disappears along with Ran and Su, and later Diamond as well when Amu no longer needs them. In Shugo Chara Encore, she returns along with the others and together catch the wedding bouquet for Amu who accidentally threw it back in the air again.
Su 
The third Guardian Character, Su, represents Amu’s desire to be more caring, sensitive and improve her domestic skills. However, Su is prone to silly mistakes. She is very fond of Amu’s teacher, Yuu Nikaidou. Amu gains an improvement in cooking and cleaning skills during Character Change, as well as becoming “too girly”. During Character Transformation, Amu becomes Amulet Clover with an outfit just like Su’s. In chapter 38, Su undergoes a new Character Transformation with Ran, Miki, and Diamond; becoming Amulet Fortune. In chapter 44, she disappears along with Miki and Ran, and later Diamond as well when Amu no longer needs them. She and the others make an unexpected return toward the end of the last chapter of Shugo Chara Encore as they appear to be reborn again from Amu’s feelings.
Diamond 
Diamond is Amu’s fourth Guardian Character. Diamond represents Amu’s desire to be more calm and optimistic. Unlike most Guardian Characters, she is supposedly the most powerful. She becomes an X Egg when Amu dislikes all the changes that were happening in the spring. While collecting X Eggs with Yukari, Utau finds Diamond’s egg inside the box. She soon hatches into a X Character. Unusually, she is not shaped like the usual X Character; she looks like a normal Guardian Character, but with a white X-shaped clip covering her black diamond-shaped clip. Because of this, Amu doesn’t know Diamond’s true name. In the Japanese versions, Diamond’s name is shortened to Dia. Utau uses X-Diamond to extract heart’s egg of other people by character changing with her. X-Diamond can Character Transform with Utau, becoming Dark Jewel, however, the transformation does not last very long. When Amu is finally able to prove to Diamond that she does have enough confidence to shine she reverts into her true original form. Together they undergo a Character Transformation, becoming Amulet Diamond. Afterward, Diamond returns to her egg until she sees that Amu “shines again”, but secretly comes out as a spirit at times. Diamond is shown to be an air-headed character. In chapter 38, Diamond comes back when Amu “shines”. After character transforming and fighting with Ikuto, she, Ran, Miki, and Su combine powers with Amu; becoming Amulet Fortune. In chapter 44, Diamond tells Amu that Ran, Miki and Su have “disappeared” and that she will help Amu find them as her “navigator”. Diamond becomes Amu’s guide in the Eggs’ Cradle in Amu’s search for the four colored shards. Coming to terms with herself and the future, Amu accepts the loss of her Guardian Characters and Diamond disappears as well, guaranteeing that the four of them will always be watching over her. In Shugo Chara Encore, Diamond and the other three have hatched again and save Amu’s catching of the thrown bouquet. When Amu Character Changes with Diamond in Shugo Chara Party’s Shugo Chara Dokki Doki, Amu doesn’t really do much but smile and sparkle, disappointing Ran, Miki, and Su.

Tadase Hotori 

Tadase Hotori  is a boy in the same year as Amu and serves as King’s Chair of the Guardians. Like Amu, he is actually a shy person and is not good at public speaking; instead, he Character Changes with his Guardian Character, Kiseki. Although he is popular with the girls, when a girl confesses their love to Tadase, he will have Kiseki reject her. However, whenever he hears the word “ouji”, or anything resembling the word “ouji”, he Character Changes into an egotistical king who seeks world domination. Amu develops a crush on Tadase soon after she transfers into the school. His love interest is Amulet Heart, Amu’s Character Transformation with Ran, but it later becomes Amu herself. In episode 39, Kiseki’s egg turns into an X Egg because Tadase lost his self-esteem by not being able to find the Embryo. With the help of Amulet Heart, Tadase turns back to normal. Tadase has known Ikuto and Utau since childhood, but he does not talk about it in detail until the Guardians are about to face Utau in their final battle. Amu and Tadase reconcile soon after, though. Later on, he agrees to help Amu save Ikuto from Easter. Tadase confesses his love for Amu in chapter 28 (episode 74 in the anime) behind Amu’s house while Ikuto was hiding in Amu’s closet. Ikuto overheard and made fun of Tadase, only to protect him, which he knew nothing about. When Tadase was facing against Ikuto in chapter 35, his staff becomes a sword called Royal Sword in episode 99. Tadase ventures into the Eggs’ Cradle with Amu, but subsequently gets separated from Amu due to a meteor shower. The future Tadase, who looks like Tsukasa helps Amu and reveals himself to be Tadase. In episode 127 of the anime, he kisses Amu on the cheek and tells her that he’ll always be by her side.

Kiseki 
Kiseki is Tadase’s Guardian Character. Kiseki was born for a combination of Tadase’s desire to be stronger and the dream of world domination. Because of this, Kiseki is extremely egotistical and often demanding, and doesn’t like obeying others. He frequently calls other Guardian Characters to go on “Special Secret Meetings.” A running gag is that the other Guardian Character will almost always ignore him when he starts up a meeting. Kiseki is aware of Tadase’s crush on Amu and acts the same way as Amu’s Guardian Characters whenever Tadase seems to be confessing to Amu. Kiseki holds a grudge against Ikuto’s Guardian Character, Yoru. During Character Change, Tadase gains the confidence to overcome his shyness. However, sometimes Tadase will become an egotistical person who seeks world domination. Although Tadase could not Character Transform with Kiseki at first, they later gain this ability with the help of Amu after Kiseki’s egg gets tainted with an X, becoming Platinum Royal.

Ikuto Tsukiyomi 

Ikuto Tsukiyomi is a teenage boy in high school, contracted by Easter to find the Embryo. He often helps Amu even though he works for Easter. Ikuto actually despises Easter and tries to wrench himself free from them by trying to find the Embryo to grant that wish. He possesses the Dumpty Key which pairs with Amu’s Humpty Lock which at first did not fit in the keyhole. Like his father, Ikuto is a skilled violinist. He is the current owner of the Dumpty Key, which originally belonged to Aruto, his father, although Tadase’s father had it for a little while. His father is presumed to be dead, but Ikuto refuses to believe it and has set out on finding him. As her status as the only daughter of the past president of the Easter Company, his mother was forced to marry the company’s director after her husband’s violin was found in a foreign country. From her second marriage, she bound her children into working for Easter. Ikuto’s personality is aloof, mysterious, and a little naughty. He likes teasing people, especially Amu and Tadase. He is also the older brother of Utau Hoshina. As the series goes on, he grows very strong feelings for Amu — he confessed that he loves her in the same chapter Tadase did, although she believes that he is teasing her. He later surrendered himself to Easter, not wanting to get anyone else involved in the mess he made. In the manga timeline, it is shown he character transformed with a new black Guardian Egg to become Death Rebel, shocking Amu. In chapter 38, he character transforms with Yoru and the black egg into Seven Seas Treasure. In chapter 39, it’s said that Ikuto may have two eggs, one is possibly still inside him. In one of the later chapters, Ikuto calls Amu ‘princess’ and she replies by asking him to thank her for making him get back to normal. Ikuto swears that this time he will be the one to protect her. In chapter 43, Ikuto confesses to Amu he will never see her again as he is going to search for his father. Ikuto returns for Yukari Sanjo and Yuu Nikaidou’s wedding. Amu is very happy and relieved to see him. He promises that he would show Amu sides of him that she has not seen, but only when he returns for her when she is older, he then later kisses her on the nose. At the wedding Ikuto and Amu are seen holding hands and Amu says she knows she can reach the future without letting go of his hand.

Yoru 
Yoru is Ikuto’s cat-like Guardian Character and represents Ikuto’s desire to be free. Yoru often goes out by himself and enjoys causing trouble for the Guardians and their Guardian Characters for fun. When Ikuto and Yoru undergo a Character Transformation, they become Black Lynx. Yoru became hysterical when Ikuto does the Death Rebel Character Transformation in chapter 31. During this time, he also could not track Ikuto because the hypnotizing tuning fork confuses him. Later on, when Racquel and Tadase find Ikuto being controlled by Easter, Yoru takes the Dumpty Key and gives it to Amu. In chapter 38, he along with the black egg, combine powers with Ikuto to become Seven Seas Treasure. In chapter 46, Amu finds a dazed Yoru in the Eggs’ Cradle. He and Amu fall out of the Egg’s cradle and see Ikuto. In chapter 48, when Yoru sees how happy Ikuto is, he comments him for having become a “true alley cat”, and goes back to being a heart’s egg inside of Ikuto.

Utau Hoshina/Tsukiyomi 

Utau Hoshina is a junior high student model turned singing idol. She is actually Ikuto’s younger sister, Utau Tsukiyomi. Utau had tried to find the Embryo to release her brother from Easter, but she never succeeded. Utau is very attracted to Ikuto and becomes extremely jealous of Amu because Ikuto shows an interest in her. However, she eventually accepts Amu and they become friends. She becomes good friends with Kukai in the anime and manga, and soon starts a relationship with him.

She was the vocalist of the indie band “Black Diamond” which is produced by her manager, Yukari Sanjo, as a method of using the CDs of their music to draw the eggs out of children and make them into X Eggs. She only sang in Black Diamond whilst in a x-chara change with x-Diamond. X-Diamond was found during one of her x-egg withdrawal sessions. Utau mainly uses X-Diamond to extract the heart’s egg of other people since X-Diamond can withdraw more x-eggs than Il can and El refuses to do anything. X-Diamond can Character Transform with Utau, and become Dark Jewel, however, the transformation lasts only a short period of time. When the plan fell apart, Utau quit Easter with her manager and became a singer on her own, without Easter contracting her.

Il 
The devilish Iru is the first of Utau’s two Character Guardians introduced in the story. Iru seems mean and unkind, but it’s just her character. Sometimes she can be helpful and sincere, but she dislikes nagging. She represents Utau’s energetic and playful side. During Character Transformation, Utau becomes Lunatic Charm, with the attack Nightmare Lorelei and later, Lilin Trident. When Iru felt lonely because Eru wasn’t there for her to tease and when she felt that Utau was ignoring her because of Diamond, she Character Transforms with Amu, becoming Amulet Devil.
El 
El is Utau’s second Guardian Character and is the complete angelic opposite of Il. El often nags, likes correcting people about their choices that she considers wrong herself, and helps those who are troubled by love. Because El was treated badly by Il and ignored by Utau, she left home and wound up in Amu’s care. El can perform a Character Transformation with Amu, resulting in Amulet Angel, which surprised Utau. However, as Amu is not El’s real owner, the Character Transformation remains powerless with no real abilities. Whenever El performs a Character Transformation with Amu, Amu usually ends up being embarrassed due to El’s over-the-top antics. Eru finally performed a Character Transformation with Utau, forming Seraphic Charm. Later in the manga series, Utau uses White Wing to help the Guardians help Ikuto.

Other Tuesday- Revolutionary Girl Utena Character Special

Other Tuesday- Revolutionary Girl Utena Character Special

Character Special:

Utena Tenjou
Utena is a tomboyish, courageous and naïve character who lives to emulate the idealized prince figure from her childhood. She is forthright, honest and friendly. Nearly all the girls in school adore her. She both subverts and conforms to the stereotypes she embodies as a noble warrior and a naïve magical girl in danger of becoming a damsel in distress. The series chronicles her journey to protect her friend Anthy and become a truly noble Prince. Utena’s relationship with Anthy, going from close friends to family to blooming into love, is one of the most important themes in the series; both Utena and Anthy were confirmed to be in love by director Kunihiko Ikuhara. In the manga, Utena’s relationship with Anthy is only that of friendship and it’s hinted she has feelings for Touga. In the movie, Utena went to Ohtori to find Touga after the two apparently broke up. She mistakenly believes Anthy is the cause for the breakup, but soon forms a relationship with Anthy. Their relationship becomes more sexually-tinged compared to the TV series. The characters are seen kissing both in the TV show credits and the movie. Her Dueling Rose is white.
Anthy Himemiya
A mysterious, shy girl whose vapid expression and superficial politeness mask a complex, darker personality. It is said that she has no thoughts or desires of her own; she will do anything her master expects of her. Because of her “doormat” behavior, other characters tend to project their wants or desires onto her, and she is always the target of their eventual rage. Her past and current personality are simultaneously tragic and sinister, and her personality shifts between selfless love, passive-aggressiveness, cruelty and learned helplessness. Like Utena, Anthy also subverts and conforms to the stereotypes she embodies as both a damsel in distress and a witch. Near the end of the series she betrays Utena and stabs her with the sword of Dios as she cannot accept a prince that is a girl. When, despite this, Utena tries to save Anthy and takes the Swords of Hatred in her place, Anthy in a way has been revolutionized by Utena and is no longer in control by Akio nor is she longer the Rose Bride. She leaves the school to find Utena. In the manga she forms a strong friendship with Utena and nothing more. In the movie, Anthy’s role as the Rose Bride is more explicit as it’s shown she will have sex with whomever is the current champion. In the movie, Anthy is portrayed as much less manipulative and more open.
Akio Ohtori
Anthy’s sensual and mysterious older brother, the acting chairman of the academy, and the main antagonist of the series. His incestuous and power-driven relationship with Anthy is key to understanding her behavior. Although almost non-present in the first season of the TV show, he later plays a pivotal role in the second and third seasons. Akio’s given name is derived from the Japanese name of Venus as the Morning Star, which is identified with Lucifer. In the TV series, Akio used to be Dios and was the reason and cause of Anthy’s suffering and Utena’s desire to be a noble prince. Akio schemed from the start in order to take Utena’s Sword, since he no longer has the power of nobility or to gain the same power he used to have when he was Dios. In the manga, Dios and Akio are not the same character but gods who became separated after Akio killed Dios to gain full power. In the movie, Akio is already dead and Dios is created by Anthy’s magic.

Student Council

Touga Kiryuu
President of the Student Council and Ohtori’s resident playboy, Touga is an arrogant and handsome young man whose desire to be powerful drives him to cruel, unscrupulous deeds and whose manipulative abilities are second only to Akio. He is the only regular Council Member who deliberately involves himself in Akio’s plans. Despite his talent and intelligence, Touga eventually realizes that he’s not as influential as Akio, and this causes him to change his ways as he tries to discover a new method to gain power. In the manga his sexual behavior is downplayed and he becomes a servant to Utena in order to help her as well as get close to her. In the movie, he used to be Utena’s boyfriend but something happened that caused them to drift apart. In the movie, instead of Dios, Touga is the main motivation for Utena to go to Ohtori. He is gentle and noble but it is shown in a flashback that he was raped by his adopted father, which explains his loose sexual morals. An episode was planned that focused on this aspect of Touga’s past in the TV series, but due to Takehito Koyasu’s absence this plot point never came to be. His Dueling Rose is red.
Kyouichi Saionji
Vice-president of the Student Council and captain of the kendo team. Kyouichi is temperamental, egotistical, prone to angry rages, and often cruel. Kyouichi’s lack of self-control stems from insecurity, a lifelong rivalry against Touga from which he is always at the losing end, and the fear that everyone and everything he knows will eventually die. He is obsessed with Anthy because he views the Rose Bride as a mindless doll who will never disobey him, and thus be with him forever. His Dueling Rose is green.
Miki Kaoru
Miki is an ingenuous and polite seventh grader who befriends Utena, despite their role as possible opponents in the duels. He is especially known for his skill with the piano. In spite (or because of) his genius, he is lonely, sheltered and insecure, and seeks a person who is just as pure and talented as him. With the exception of their two duels, Miki is mostly a friend to Utena. In the anime he has a crush on Anthy, whereas in the manga he has a crush on Utena. His Dueling Rose is light blue.
Juri Arisugawa
The captain of the academy’s fencing team, Juri is one of Ohtori’s most highly respected students, and even the teachers appear to be in awe of her. Her aloof, intimidating manner hides her secret love for her childhood friend, Shiori. Of the Student Council Duelists, she is thought to be the most noble, and thus the one with the most potential to become a Prince, but her nobility and the strength that comes with it are constantly undermined by her desires and despair. In the manga she is deeply in love with Touga and hates Utena for being a rival to his heart. Her Dueling Rose is orange.
Nanami Kiryuu
Touga’s dramatic younger sister, often used as comic relief throughout the series. Her love for her brother borders on obsession and incest, and she is often seen using devious means to punish the people who take Touga’s attentions away from her. Despite this, she displays a certain childish innocence in her desires, that is distinctly at odds with Akio and Anthy’s relationship. Though her motivations are considered the least ambitious out of all the Duelists, they are no less real to her, and she suffers just as much as all the other Student Council members throughout the series, being a constant victim of her brother’s manipulations. She is only shown in a photo in the manga and has no role in the movie, but is briefly shown as a cow, referring to one of the “gag” episodes of the series where Nanami turns into a cow. Her Dueling Rose is yellow.
Ruka Tsuchiya
A master swordsman, Ruka is the former captain of the fencing team and a former member of the Student Council. His cunning, manipulative behavior belies a hidden desperation to live and help the one he loves, and his influence on Juri becomes one of the major turning points for her character. His Dueling Rose is dark blue.

Black Rose Duelists

Souji Mikage
Souji is the pink-haired head of the popular Mikage Seminar at Ohtori Academy. He wishes to kill Anthy and install a gravely ill boy, Mamiya Chida, as the Rose Bride in order to save him from terminal illness. Mikage uses manipulation and psychology to control students close to the Council members in order to create a Duelist who can beat Utena.
Kanae Ohtori
Akio’s fiancée, daughter of the school’s Trustee Chairman. She has a strained relationship with Anthy, who she finds “creepy and intolerable”, and considers Anthy an obstacle to her relationship with Akio. Though she loves Akio very much, she feels distant from him and becomes the first Black Rose Duelist.
Kozue Kaoru
Miki’s twin sister, Kozue feels overshadowed by her brother’s talents and reacts by sleeping with many different men. She’s extremely possessive of Miki to the point where she physically hurts anyone who tries to hurt or “steal” him. In the manga, Kozue’s brother complex is purely innocent and she acts more like Nanami does in the TV series. In the movie, Kozue is in a implied incestuous relationship with her brother but Miki is shown breaking it up. Later on, Kozue is shown as a car implying she is either also helping Miki to escape Ohtori or simply helping Utena and Anthy.
Shiori Takatsuki
Shiori is the catalyst for Juri’s current broken state of mind. She simultaneously idolizes Juri for her brilliance and feels envious of her for it. Her extreme lack of self-worth is the reason for the rocky relationship between the two, and it reaches a breaking point when Ruka re-enters Ohtori Academy. According to Kunihiko Ikuhara, Shiori was ironically also in love with Juri the entire time but she believes Juri’s affection towards her was out of pity, not love. She thus wants to remain in control of their relationship by never confessing to Juri so she will be the winner of their rivalry. In the movie, she is the main antagonist who manipulates Juri’s feelings for her so Juri can duel with Utena.
Mitsuru Tsuwabuki
Nanami’s most devoted lackey, a boy in fourth grade. Mitsuru is obsessed with serving Nanami and wishes to be her adored “brother”. He is extremely confused about love, sex and adulthood in general. Mitsuru’s fruitless attempts to experiment makes him a Black Rose Duelist.
Wakaba Shinohara
Wakaba is the most outwardly cheerful person in the series and is Utena’s best friend, but she feels surrounded by “special” people and doesn’t know how to become special herself. Wakaba sees herself as a perfectly average person and is only happy when she takes care of people because she does not feel like she has any other talents. Wakaba does not realize the importance of her role in the story — her crush on Kyouichi Saionji and his rejection caused Utena to become involved in the duels in the first place, and her empathy and passion rescued Utena from a slump after the first Touga duel.
Keiko Sonoda
Keiko is one of Nanami’s sidekicks who follows her only because she has a crush on Touga. Her jealousy, though as simple as Nanami’s, is strong enough for Souji to take advantage of her mind.

Other Tuesday- Full Metal Panic! Light Novels

Other Tuesday- Full Metal Panic! Light Novels

Full Metal Panic! is a series of light novels written by Shoji Gatoh and illustrated by Shiki Douji. The series follows Sousuke Sagara, a member of the covert anti-terrorist private military organization known as Mithril, tasked with protecting Kaname Chidori, a hot-headed Japanese high school girl.

Individual chapters are published on Monthly Dragon Magazine, followed by a paperback compilation released by Fujimi Shobo’s Fujimi Fantasia Bunko. The novels are split between stories focusing on Sousuke’s mission as a soldier of Mithril and comedic side stories centered on his life at Jindai High School.

The series has been adapted into different media; including three anime television series: Full Metal Panic! by Gonzo in 2002, Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu and Full Metal Panic! The Second Raid by Kyoto Animation in 2003 and 2005 respectively. An OVA was also released in 2006; and five different manga series.

Tokyopop licensed the novels for English-language publication in North America and released parts of the series, while ADV Films licensed and dubbed the first season and the spin-off. The second season was licensed by Kadokawa Pictures USA with ADV Films producing the dub yet again. Mandalay Pictures acquired the film rights to the series in 2009. At Anime USA 2009, Funimation announced that it had acquired the rights to the first and second series of Full Metal Panic! and both were re-released and remastered on DVD and Blu-ray in 2010. The series began airing in North America on November 22, 2010, on the FUNimation Channel. The Fumoffu series made its North American television debut on the FUNimation Channel on November 15, 2010.

A spin-off to the light-novel series called Full Metal Panic! Another was serialized between 2011 and 2016. Another received a manga adaptation split in two series, the second of which is still being published.

Light novels

The light novel series Full Metal Panic! is written by Shoji Gatoh and illustrated by Shiki Douji. It was serialised by Fujimi Shobo in its monthly magazine Gekkan Dragon Magazine since June 1998 and published under the Fujimi Fantasia Bunko imprint in tankōbon format since September 1998. Gatoh often found delays in writing of the novels, which led to delays to the publication of the series’ volumes. The series focuses on Sergeant Sousuke Sagara’s arrival to the Jindai High School where he was assigned to protect the student Kaname Chidori while also acting as a student.

A total of twelve full length volumes have been released from September 18, 1998, to August 20, 2010. In parallel to the twelve volumes, nine autoconclusive light novels of the series (which form the short story collection) have also been published from December 17, 1998, to August 20, 2011. Finally two more volumes titled Side Arms focusing on the past of some characters (which form the side story collection) and the birth of Mithril and Amalgam have been published on April 20, 2004 and July 20, 2006. In contrast to the full length volumes, short story collection focuses on the comedy elements from the series. In January 2010, Gatoh wrote another of these stories in celebration of Gekkan Dragon Magazines 300th issue, which has been included in the last short story collection volume. Another series of spin-off novels has been released by Naoto Ōguro with supervision of Shoji Gatoh from August 20, 2011 to February 20, 2016, consisting of thirteen volumes and set years after the original series’ ending. The light novels have also been adapted into various manga, as well as three anime television series and an OVA episode for which Gatoh was also part of the staff.

Tokyopop licensed the Full Metal Panic! series for North America release, publishing the first regular light novel on September 11, 2007. The latest released volume is the fourth on February 1, 2011, which is a compilation from the original fourth and fifth full length volumes from the series. No short story collection volumes nor side story collection ones have been published and the company has shut down its publishing operations in North America on May 31, 2011. In 2015, at Anime Expo and San Diego Comic-Con, Tokyopop announced that it would be relaunching its publishing operations in North America in 2016 and that they will consider light novels, but nothing has been disclosed about Full Metal Panic! novels publication.

Other Tuesday- The Record of Lodoss War Light Novels

Other Tuesday- The Record of Lodoss War Light Novels

The first volume forms the basis for the first eight episodes of the Record of Lodoss War OVA series, as well as the Record of Lodoss War: The Grey Witch manga series. The second was also adapted in manga form, and as a four-CD radio drama. The final five episodes of the OVA series are loosely based on the story told across the third and fourth novels and, having caught up with the ongoing novelization at that point, feature an original ending. The Record of Lodoss War: Chronicles of the Heroic Knight TV series is a more faithful adaptation of volumes three to seven. The first collection of short stories was adapted into the Record of Lodoss War: Deedlit’s Tale manga series.

Mizuno later went on to pen two new series of novels: a prequel titled Legend of Lodoss (1994 to 2002) and a sequel titled Record of Lodoss War Next Generation (1998 to 2006), the first of which forms the basis for the Record of Lodoss War: The Lady of Pharis manga series.

Record of Lodoss War Online

The Japanese online game company GameOn announced that it acquired the global license to make an online game for computers and mobile phones based on the Record of Lodoss War fantasy franchise from Kadokawa Production and Slowcurve. Ryo Mizuno, the novelist and co-creator of the franchise, will serve as a supervisor on the development of the online game. GameOn plans to release the game outside Japan. GameOn also said that the new game will not be browser-based. The game, Record of Lodoss War Online was released in February 2016.

Other Tuesday- Fist of the North Star

Other Tuesday- Fist of the North Star

Novels

An original novel was written by Buronson and Tetsuo Hara titled Shōsetsu Hokuto no Ken: Jubaku no Machi which was published by Jump Novel in Japan on December 13, 1996. The novel was the basis of the later three-episode OVA series New Fist of the North Star. A novelization of the movie Legend of Raoh: Chapter of Love in Death written by Eiichi Sakaki was published by Tokuma Novels on March 10, 2006.

There has also been two cell phone novels released via the mobile site Hokuto no Ken DX. Raoh Gaiden, a novelization of the manga of the same name, and Kenshiro Gaiden, an original novel by Jotaro Higashi.

Live-action film

An American-produced live-action movie version of Fist of the North Star was released in 1995, directed by Tony Randel based on a script by Peter Atkins and Wynne McLaughlin. The movie, loosely based on the Shin storyline of the manga, stars Gary Daniels as Kenshiro, Costas Mandylor as Shin and Japanese actress Isako Washio as Yuria, with Malcolm McDowell as Ryuken and Chris Penn as “Jackal” (actually a renamed Jagi). It also featured a cameo by professional wrestler Big Van Vader as Goliath, and Kevin Arbouet as “Rao” (unrelated to the actual Raoh from the manga). The movie was released straight-to-video in the US and Japan (though it did receive a premiere on HBO). The Japanese dubbed version used the original voice actors from the 1980s anime series.

Video games

The four Hokuto no Ken video games for the Famicom.

Numerous video game titles based on the Fist of the North Star have been produced since the 1986 release of Enix adventure game, simply titled Hokuto no Ken for the PC-88. The earlier games in the franchise were released by Sega for the Mark III and Mega Drive and by Toei Animation for the Nintendo’s Famicom, Game Boy and Super Famicom. These titles included side-scrolling action games, role-playing video games and competitive-style fighting games. The two Sega titles were released overseas without the Hokuto no Ken license under the titles of Black Belt and Last Battle, while a couple of the Toei titles, namely Fist of the North Star for the NES and Fist of the North Star: 10 Big Brawls for the King of Universe for the Game Boy, had American releases with the license intact. Further games were released for the Sega Saturn, PlayStation, Arcade, PlayStation 2 and Nintendo DS among other platforms. In 2000, Konami released an arcade game based on the franchise titled Fighting Mania. Another arcade game, a 2D fighting game simply titled Fist of the North Star, was produced by Sega and Arc System Works in 2005. Both games saw international distributions, although the PS2 version of the fighting game was released exclusively in Japan. Tecmo Koei produced a Dynasty Warriors spinoff focusing on the events from the first half of the manga, titled Fist of the North Star: Ken’s Rage. It which was released in Japan on March 25, 2010, and later in North America on November 2, 2010, and Europe on November 5, 2010. A sequel, Fist of the North Star: Ken’s Rage 2, expanded on the first game and incorporated the events from the second half of the manga. It was released in Japan on December 20, 2012, and in North America on February 5, 2013. On August 25, 2017, Sega announced a new game, Hokuto ga Gotoku, for release in 2018 on PlayStation 4. The game is being developed by the team behind the Yakuza series and features similar gameplay and elements.

In addition to traditional video games, the franchise has inspired a series of typing software, an online MMORPG, and numerous pachinko and pachislot machines, mainly produced by Sega Sammy Holdings.

Reception and legacy

Fist of the North Star was one of Weekly Shōnen Jump’s most popular titles during the 1980s. It is one of the best-selling manga series in history, having sold approximately 100 million copies. In a poll conducted by TV Asahi in 2005, the Fist of the North Star anime series ranked 26 in a list of Top 100 Anime series. In a second poll in 2006, it ranked 89. In a celebrity version of the poll, it ranked 15.

Anime News Network was critical of the anime series, comparing it to “the Go Nagai steaming pile of crap Violence Jack“.

Berserk creator Kentaro Miura has named Fist of the North Star as the work that has had the biggest impact on his own.

Light Novel Tuesday- Earl and Fairy

Light Novel Tuesday- Earl and Fairy

The Earl and the Fairy (Hakushaku to Yōsei) is a completed series of light novels written by Mizue Tani and published in Japan by Shueisha. The story is serialized in Cobalt magazine and illustrated by Asako Takaboshi (Ayuko).

Shueisha has commercially released two drama CDs and a manga adaptation has begun serialization in The Margaret since the September issue in 2008. An anime adaptation was broadcast from September to December 2008. A visual novel for the PlayStation 2 was released on April 30, 2009. As of December 2013, 33 volumes of the light novel have been published in Japan by Shueisha.

Characters

Lydia Carlton
Voiced by: Nana Mizuki

Lydia Carlton, the daughter of Professor Carlton, is a 19 year old fairy doctor. She has the rare power to see fairies, an ability she inherited from her mother. Lydia also possesses green eyes, a trait of those with the gift to see fairies. (Her eyes are green-gold.) She is independent and kind, and doesn’t hesitate to help others. She ends up working for Edgar as his consultant on fairy-related matters after helping him retrieve the Merrow’s Sword (key to him being recognized as the Blue Knight Earl by the Queen of England). Her goal is to become a full-fledged fairy doctor, and frequently places herself in danger willingly when it comes to anything to do with problems between humans and fairies.She appears to have some self-esteem issues, referring to her own hair as “rust-colored” and comparing herself to her mother, who was apparently a woman of considerable beauty; everyone who knew her mother before she died says that they don’t look anything alike. Once, in an outburst, she confesses to Paul Ferman that she thinks that she isn’t cute at all, and that it’s part of the reason why she tries so hard to help in other ways (by working hard). Her physical differences from her parents also leads her to wonder if she is, in fact, a changeling. It is later revealed that she is indeed part fairy; her mother Aurora was half-fairy (due to familial circumstances that forced the real Aurora to be exchanged with a half-blood changeling). Because of past difficulties, Lydia dislikes the idea of falling in love and even seems to be afraid of it. When she was a child, she was given a love letter by a boy who – as it turns out later – was dared to do so by his friends, crushing her. She also used a “spell” to ward off Kelpie so that he would not come near her, as his aggressive advances were troublesome to her. At first, she also rejects Edgar’s advances and brushes them off, but as she falls in love with him, she demonstrates substantially less distrust of his confessions of love. Lydia currently is considered Edgar’s fiancee, a status she vehemently denies, despite Edgar’s overt courtship of her and multiple fairies calling her that. She obtained this status when she accepted a moonstone ring (previously owned by Gwendolen, the countess of one of the past Blue Knight Earls before Edgar), which effectively meant that she accepted his proposal. The moonstone ring apparently has some protective powers of its own; it prevented Lydia’s soul from being fully trapped by the fairy world in volume 6 of the novel series, as well as enabled Lydia to break Kelpie’s spell on her when he tried to bring her to the fairy world by magic (to prevent her from being hurt in the crossfire between Edgar and the Prince). Though Lydia despises Edgar in the beginning, it is known she has undressed herself in front of him when spilling tea on her dress. When this incident occurs Edgar is outside the bed room door observing Lydia change, which makes him want her more than before for her beauty and personality. Recently, Lydia has truly accepted Edgar’s proposal, and afterwards it is shown that Lydia has hence been accepted as part of the Blue Earl Knight’s family (as Edgar’s fiancee). When she takes what should have been a fatal blow from the Blue Earl Knight’s sword, she emerges unscathed, proof that the sword has acknowledged her as the Knight’s family. Following this revelation, she becomes able to form a shining bow from Gwendolen’s moonstone ring, and is able to use it to repel Unseelie Court. Strangely, even though he is the Blue Earl Knight, the sword still inflicts physical harm on Edgar. This is supposedly because Edgar’s blood has been “dirtied”.

Edgar J. C. Ashenbert
Voiced by: Hikaru Midorikawa

Edgar is a flirtatious man in his early twenties with very distinctive ash mauve eyes. When he was young his parents were both murdered and he himself was thought to be dead. As a result, he was shipped to America as a white slave. He was subsequently framed as a mass murderer and forced to flee from America for his alleged crimes. Stripped of his honorable name, Edgar embarks on a journey to find the famed Sword of Merrow. By obtaining the sword, Edgar hopes to assert himself as the “Earl of the Blue Knights” thus acquiring a respectable title and gaining a fabricated sense of honor. In his quest to find the Sword of the Merrow, Edgar captures Lydia Carlton, believing her eyes to be the key to finding the legendary sword. He gradually falls in love with Lydia, and is frustrated and confused that she continually avoids his advances. He openly shows his love for her, in ways which Lydia often feel are embarrassing. He tells her it makes him uneasy to see her communicate with other men so easily and is unnerved by her friendship with Paul. Edgar was heir to a dukedom (the highest rank in the British peerage) before his family was murdered. He was then captured by an organization headed by a mysterious figure known only as the Prince. There, he was groomed to be the Prince’s successor, learning all the knowledge that the Prince possessed, including how to ruthlessly make use of the people around him. Later, he managed to successfully flee the organization, taking Ermine and Raven with him, among other supporters. However, on more than one occasion, Edgar has wondered whether he is becoming more like the Prince by making use of the techniques taught him by the Prince in his quest for survival after his escape. Later, it is revealed that the Prince murdered his parents to capture Edgar, believing him to be the most suitable successor to the Prince’s name. This is because Edgar was of both royal blood, and blood related to the Prince, and would hence easily absorb the Prince’s memories. This is quite literal, in that the Prince was a title carried by several generations of Princes. Each generation would groom a new successor by breaking the Prince-to-be’s own self-consciousness and forcing him to learn the original prince’s knowledge, mannerisms, behavior, etc. to the point that when the Prince transfers the memories from the entire lineage of Princes into the Prince-to-be, the new Prince accepts the memories so naturally that he believes himself to be the Prince. Edgar was also trained as such, but he retained his own personality and will, and was not broken when he fled the organization. After meeting Lydia, as well, he begins to recall his kinder side that had been pushed under in his desperate bid to escape, and becomes increasingly less “Prince-like”. He maintains, though, that he cannot fully let go of the knowledge he learned by the Prince’s side, because they are weapons that he needs in order to protect his loved ones. Later, in order to save Lydia, he steals the Freya (a red gem created by a powerful wyrm, that is able to absorb and transfer memories) containing Prince’s memories. In doing so, he absorbs the memories and effectively becomes the Prince. However, Edgar still retains his original personality, although he is also shown to be deeply uneasy about how long he could keep his own will. He quickly maneuvers events such that Lydia becomes his fiancee. He does, however, maintain relations with other paramours for some time even after claiming engagement to Lydia, which makes her ever more distrustful of his advances. Later, he decides to be truly faithful to Lydia alone. It is shown that as time progresses, he falls deeper in love with her; in the beginning of their partnership, he treats Lydia as a pawn (he uses her as bait without her consent to lure his enemy out into the open, although notably he also attempts to protect her by ordering Raven to trail her). At the time, Lydia mused that she’s in an extremely ambiguous position, in that she is enough of an outsider that Edgar treats her as a pawn, but enough of a comrade that Edgar feels an obligation to protect her.However, later, Edgar becomes uncertain of the wisdom of involving her in the battle between the Prince and himself, as he cannot guarantee her safety. It comes to the point that he continuously contradicts himself by wanting to keep Lydia with him, but also wanting to keep her safe by pushing her far away from himself. He is severely possessive, and it has been noted by Lydia that he “cannot tolerate anything that belongs to him being taken away by another”. This possessiveness extends to Lydia also; Edgar has been known to become jealous of many men who appear interested in Lydia, or whom Lydia are friendly with. On one occasion, when Raven accidentally saw Lydia dressed in a revealing Arabic costume, Edgar commands him to forget what he saw. Initially, his driving goal was revenge on the Prince for murdering his family, no matter the sacrifice. In order to achieve this goal, he cares little for his own life. After the Ashenbert family’s banshee saved him at the cost of her own life and entrusted the key to the land of Ibrazel to him, however, he tells Lydia that his thinking has changed, and now he understands that as the current Blue Knight Earl, even if he does not possess the ability to see fairies, he will persevere and find a way to defeat the Prince as the duty that comes with his title. He also tells her that he will no longer treat the preservation of his own life as cavalierly as he did before.

Raven
Voiced by: Tomokazu Sugita

Raven is 18 years old at the beginning of the series, and Edgar’s personal servant. He is Ermine’s half-brother. He possesses mysterious green eyes and exceptional fighting skills. It is revealed that Raven was born with a sprite residing within him, and for this reason he was not acknowledged by many. Edgar has mastery over the sprite, and hence Raven. According to Raven, Edgar would never take advantage of this power. And because Edgar accepts him despite his obscurities, Raven is pleased to serve him.When Raven and Ermine were young, they were taken in by Prince’s organization. Raven was then trained by fighting masters, but due to the speed at which he surpassed them, and his inability to control his sprite’s killing impulses, as well as his own indifference to killing them in the course of his training, he eventually ended up being chained and locked away. This was where he met Edgar for the first time, when Ermine brought Edgar to meet Raven, telling her brother that “she had found his master”. While the sprite within Raven was supposed to serve and protect the king of Raven’s (and Ermine’s) tribe, Raven immediately accepted Edgar as such. It was then that he received the name “Raven”, which Edgar gave him to signify that he was to be the master of his sprite from now on, instead of the other way around. It is shown, however, that the sprite’s obedience to Edgar is not absolute. When the sprite’s killing lusts override Raven’s own will, even Edgar is unable to stop it.Later on, it is revealed that there are two sprites within him; one of them is a giant serpent, and the other as a giant bird. The giant serpent is the original servant of his tribe’s king, while the giant bird is a manifestation of one of three magical gems sealed within Raven. This is hinted at early on in the series, when Kelpie met Raven for the first time and was unable to immediately identify whether he was a “snake” or a “bird”. His loyalty to Edgar is virtually absolute, and Edgar believes from the bottom of his heart that Raven is one of the few who will stand by him no matter what. He will attempt to accomplish every task Edgar assigns him, even if that includes standing by while Edgar is in danger.Because he was treated as a killing machine in the past, Raven has become almost emotionless, responding to the commands of those he obeys, and very little else. As the series wears on, however, he begins to show emotions of his own, a fact Edgar is glad about. He also becomes more receptive to other peoples’ emotions and begins to display consideration towards them. Together with the slow regaining of normal human emotions, he also begins to express opinions to Edgar, such as stopping Edgar from irritating Nico, and butting in sharply when another woman attempts to seduce him (because he understands that Edgar giving in would have repercussions on Edgar’s and Lydia’s relationship). He is deeply happy about Lydia marrying Edgar, and is, in fact, frequently anxious that Edgar might do something that would make her turn away from him. Once, when Edgar asked him which female Raven thought suitable to be his countess, he answered that he would prefer Lydia to be the one. His relationship with his half-sister Ermine seems rather distant, due to his upbringing. He places Edgar far above Ermine, and sought to kill her after her second betrayal. However, he was also the one who pleaded with Edgar on Ermine’s behalf to allow her to serve Edgar again after her first betrayal, and he had also hidden his suspicions about Ermine from Edgar briefly despite his overwhelming loyalty to Edgar. He apparently does not like how young/childish his face appears, as he was noted by Ermine to have brooded over how a couple of maids thought he was only 15 years old. He is apprenticing under Tompkins in order to learn the skills of a butler. Lydia surmised that this is in preparation for the day Edgar defeats the Prince and obtains true peace, and Raven’s fighting skills will no longer be useful to Edgar. He forges a tentative friendship with Nico, standing up for Nico in the face of Kelpie’s wrath.

Nico
Voiced by: Hiro Yūki

Nico is a fairy who takes on the form of a cat. He accompanies Lydia on her journey with Edgar.While he can walk on four legs like a normal cat, he prefers to walk on two legs like a human. He is able to turn invisible, and can read and write human language. Nico was Lydia’s mother’s companion, as well.He likes liquor, and fine tea. He is also very particular about being treated like a gentleman rather than a cat, and as such obsesses over his attire (most frequently a single neck ribbon, but he has been known to wear suits and tailcoats), and the state of his fur and whiskers. On a few occasions, Edgar has provoked him deliberately by scratching Nico and petting him like a mere cat.He is rather cowardly, often disappearing when things turn nasty. Despite his inability/unwillingness to engage in physical combat, his assistance is valuable to Lydia. He often gathers information for Lydia from the fairies in the area, as well as acts as a guide when Lydia needs to travel to or from the fairy world. He is also something of an adviser to Lydia.In recent times, Edgar has taken to bribing Nico with things like fine food or a gentleman’s “essentials” (a cane, a tailcoat, letter-writing set, etc.), in order to find out developments around Lydia.

Other Tuesday- Kino’s Journey Light Novels

Other Tuesday- Kino’s Journey Light Novels

While there is a new manga about Kino’s Journey I was not able to find any accurate information about it which is why I did not write about it on Manga Monday.

Light novels

Kino’s Journey began as a series of light novels written by Keiichi Sigsawa, and illustrated by Kouhaku Kuroboshi. The series originally started serialization in MediaWorks’ now-defunct light novel magazine Dengeki hp with the release of volume six on March 17, 2000. The first volume of the series was published on July 10, 2000 by ASCII Media Works under their Dengeki Bunko publishing imprint. As of October 10, 2014, 18 volumes have been published. The eighth volume of Kino’s Journey, originally published in October 2004, was Dengeki Bunko’s 1000th published novel. An additional volume entitled Kino’s Journey -the Beautiful World- Country of Theater -Kino- was only released as a promotional gift for the second animated movie. A collection of special chapters entitled Kino’s Journey: the Sigsawa’s World came with the first volume of ASCII Media Works’ light novel magazine Dengeki Bunko Magazine on April 10, 2008.

In commemoration of Dengeki Bunko’s 20th anniversary, Kino’s Journey was serialized weekly from April to September 2013 in several Japanese regional newspapers. The ten stories serialized during this period were included in the 17th volume published in October of the same year. The previous 16 volumes were released with new cover artwork also in commemoration of the anniversary.

The light novel series has also been translated into Chinese, Korean, and German. Tokyopop licensed the novels under the original title Kino no Tabi for release in North America, and the first volume was published on October 3, 2006. The chapter order of Tokyopop’s English release of the first volume differed from the original Japanese release. According to Tokyopop representatives, there are issues with the licensor that have left them unable to release further volumes of the series. Tokyopop used an image from the sixth chapter-title page from the original novel for use as the English novel cover.

The first volume of a spin-off of the regular series titled Gakuen Kino was published on July 10, 2006 under Dengeki Bunko; as of July 10, 2010, four volumes have been released. The series is a collection of parodies originally published in three spin-off magazines of Dengeki hp: Dengeki p, Dengeki h, and Dengeki hpa. The spin-off features Kino as a magical girl in a school setting. Gakuen Kino was translated into Chinese and Korean.