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Film Friday- Say ‘I love you’

Film Friday- Say ‘I love you’

An anime adaptation by Zexcs aired between October 6 and December 30, 2012; the anime is licensed by Sentai Filmworks. A live action film was released on July 12, 2014.

Anime

An anime adaptation by Zexcs began premiered on Tokyo MX October 6, 2012. The series was later aired on tvk, BS11 and AT-X. It was later licensed by Sentai Filmworks for release in North America. The opening song is “Friendship” by Ritsuko Okazaki and the ending theme is “Slow Dance” by Suneohair.

Film

The wraparound jacket band of the 11th volume of the manga announced in 2013 that a live action film was greenlit for release in 2014. The film was both directed and written by Asako Hyuga. Haruna Kawaguchi and Sota Fukushi were cast as Mei Tachibana and Yamato Kurosawa respectively. The film was released in Japan on July 12, 2014. Its main theme song is “Happily” by One Direction.

Characters

Mei Tachibana
Voiced by: Ai Kayano (Japanese); Caitlynn French (English)Live-action Actor: Haruna Kawaguchi

Since Mei used to be constantly bullied as a child and her classmates blamed her for an accident she never did, she decides to never befriend anyone again and all she needed to survive was herself. At first, she is viewed by others as “freakishly gloomy” and someone who “doesn’t speak” but in addition to being anti-social and clumsy, she is also observant, kind, honest, supportive, and funny . As she eventually falls in love with Yamato Kurosawa, she starts to believe that not everyone is selfish and finally begins to have true friends

Yamato Kurosawa
Voiced by: Takahiro Sakurai (Japanese); Leraldo Anzaldua (English)Live-action Actor: Sota Fukushi

One of the most popular boys in his school. He was known for having kissed almost every girl in his school. When he first meets Mei, she kicks him. He then gives her his cellphone number. When a stalker harasses Mei, she calls Yamato for help and when he arrives, he kisses Mei to get the stalker to go away. Over time, Yamato falls in love with Mei and they start dating. He cares for Mei more than anything and her feelings matter the most to him. Asami describes Yamato as someone who thinks of others more than anyone else, protects what should be protected, and cares for others despite having his own problems to deal with. He even sleeps with Aiko because she was depressed. When it comes to his career choice, after encouragement from Mei, he decides to become a photographer, with help from Kitagawa.

Asami Oikawa
Voiced by: Risa Taneda (Japanese); Monica Rial (English)Live-action Actor: Rima Nishizaki

Mei’s classmate and friend who has complex feelings about her large chest. She hates it when people always stare at them and that no one seems to like her for who she is. She idolizes Yamato because he defended her from boys teasing her about her chest in middle school, and wishes for a prince of her own to protect her. She starts to date Kenji after he confesses he likes her for who she is, not just the size of her breasts.

Kenji Nakanishi
Voiced by: Nobunaga Shimazaki (Japanese); Greg Ayres (English)Live-action Actor: Tasuku Nagase

One of Mei’s classmates, and a good friend of Yamato’s. He is perverted and has a big crush on Asami. Using Mei’s help, He eventually confesses to her. The two become a couple.

Aiko Mutō
Voiced by: Yumi Uchiyama (Japanese); Carli Mosier (English) Live-action Actor Rika Adachi

A classmate of Yamato and Mei’s. She’s brazen and bad-mouthed, but has a nice and friendly side. She’s liked Yamato ever since he told her that her natural self was the prettiest, but he doesn’t reciprocate her feelings. She strongly believes that love requires self-sacrifice and effort, which prompts her to go to extreme lengths for her boyfriends, for example she used multiple cosmetics to look pretty despite breaking out for her old boyfriend. She lost 20 kg to try to get Yamato to become her boyfriend, but this caused her to have scars due to sudden weight loss. After Mei stands up for her, she learns to accept Mei as a friend and supports her through tough times. She ends up dating Masashi.

Masashi Tachikawa 
Voiced by: Junji Majima (Japanese); Clint Bickham (English)Live-action Actor: Ryosuke Yamamoto

Aiko’s lover and the only one she feels she can show her “entire” body to. He loved her even when she was fat.

Manga Monday- Say ‘I love you’

Manga Monday- Say ‘I love you’

Say “I love you”. is a Japanese manga by Kanae Hazuki. In North America, the manga is published by Kodansha Comics USA. The manga is both written and illustrated by Kanae Hazuki and began serialization in Japan in Kodansha’s Dessert magazine. It was later obtained by Kodansha Comics USA for publishing in North America starting in April 2014. The sixth manga volume was released in two versions, a regular edition and a special edition with the latter being bundled with a special CD. The eleventh manga volume was also released in both regular and limited editions with the latter being bundled with an original video animation DVD. Seventeen tankōbon volumes have been released as of October 11, 2016. The manga will end serialization on July 24.

Plot

Quiet and unassuming Mei Tachibana has spent her high school years without making friends or getting a boyfriend because of a childhood incident that left her believing that people will betray each other sooner or later. She encounters a popular boy named Yamato Kurosawa, he becomes interested in her, and it is through their tentative friendship and blossoming relationship that Mei ultimately begins to branch out and befriend others.

 

Film Friday- Earl and Fairy

Film Friday- 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. An anime adaptation was broadcast from September to December 2008. An anime adaptation of the light novels was announced in February 2008. It ran from September 2008 through December 2008. There are 12 episodes. Kōichirō Sōtome directed the anime while the series composition was done by Noriko Nagao. The animated character designs will be done by Maki Fujii while the animation will be done by Artland. The anime is licensed by Discotek Media.

Characters

Kelpie
Voiced by: Takehito Koyasu

An impolite and arrogant water horse[Celtic folklore] who aggressively pursues Lydia. Bound by the moon spell, which drives away unwanted advances from fairies, Kelpie must bring Lydia the “moon” in order to win her over, although it’s clear to everyone but Kelpie she has no interest in him. He follows Lydia all the way to London to bring her back to Scotland. Despite his aggressiveness, Kelpie genuinely loves and cares for Lydia, and comforts her when she’s confused (though she protests at times). His true form is that of a black horse, while his human form is that of an attractive young man with dark hair and eyes (his pupils are white swirls). His eyes are able to bewitch both men and women alike, and he has relatively strong magical powers. He has the ability to purify water and cleanse toxins.”Kelpie” is the name of his species, and not his given name Cain. He and Lydia first met in Scotland. At the time, a middle-aged woman came to Lydia with her tale of a young man whom she was in love with. Lydia discovers that the man is a Kelpie; the younger brother of the Kelpie that wants to marry Lydia. After being convinced of their love, Lydia eventually aids the woman and younger Kelpie in their relationship. Despite first appearances, Kelpie (for the sake of the rest of this article, Kelpie shall refer to the main story’s Kelpie) demonstrates considerable concern for Lydia. He has saved Lydia (and inadvertently, Edgar and Co. as well) on several occasions, and has gotten hurt on one occasion in her defense. He recuperates quickly when in water. At least twice, he has tried to protect Lydia by taking her from Edgar’s side, as he believes that her being by Edgar is dangerous for Lydia. He is also considerate of Lydia’s feelings; rather than blaming her when she broke the spirit of their deal (that she would stay in the fairy world with him if Kelpie would save Edgar), he told her that he would wait until she no longer had anything holding her back in the human world. He continues to stand by Lydia even after she chooses Edgar over himself, and once told Lydia that she is the first fairy doctor to have obtained a Kelpie; (Kelpies are, as a rule, feared by most other beings as they feed on almost anything they can kill, including fairies). When Edgar first meets Kelpie, he takes an instant dislike to the fairy because of Kelpie’s good looks. Because Edgar believes that most of his own allure comes from his charming looks and silver tongue, he’s wary of other men with similar beauty. Typically Kelpies will take a female human form. Kelpie’s own male form with his dark locks of hair may be a nod to the Manx [Glashtyn].

Ermine
Voiced by: Sayaka Ohara

Raven’s half-sister and Edgar’s dear friend. Edgar would do anything for her if it will make her happy. She is a beautiful woman who has fine fighting skills (though she is not on par with Raven), with short black hair, snow-white skin, and a womanly allure that “is not dimmed by her wearing male clothes” most of the time. She was in love with Edgar, and the Prince used this fact to his advantage and turned her spy against Edgar. Later, she confesses her betrayal to Edgar and commits suicide by jumping into the sea. Later, she is revived by the Selkies on Ulysses’s command, and becomes a Selkie. After reuniting with Edgar’s group, she serves him for a further amount of time before betraying him yet again. The reason for her betrayal is yet unknown, but she claims to Kelpie that her soul’s master is and always will be Edgar. In addition, she attempts to discreetly tip the scales in Edgar and co.’s favor when she can, such as by dropping hints to Kelpie; she tells him that there’s a reason why she must not be kicked out of Prince’s organization yet, but does not state it openly. While she does not openly express her affection for Raven, she has been shown to worry about him. Later on, Ermine relates to Lydia that when they were still under the Prince’s organization, she was the woman “given” to Edgar (as his sexual partner). Edgar, however, refused to touch her because he understood that it was the Prince’s way of training Edgar’s sexual inclinations to match his own. When the Prince realized this, he raped her in front of Edgar.Lydia believes that Ermine is the one whom Edgar truly loves (she bases this conclusion on a few things, like how Edgar is never flirtatious towards her – Lydia takes this as a sign that Edgar loves her so deeply he cannot bring himself to be shallow with Ermine – as well as him muttering her name before falling into sleep while holding Lydia). As such, even after she is vaguely conscious of her feelings towards Edgar, she continues to reject acknowledging them as it would be too painful for her to be with Edgar if his heart is with another. However, it was truly hinted in the light novel how Edgar had only considered Ermine as family, wanting her to be a woman just like others.

Paul Ferman
Voiced by: Hiroshi Kamiya

Paul is a human in his late-twenties who is trying to become a great artist. He was invited to Edgar’s ball, and met Lydia there. While helping Lydia, getting Kelpie off of her, the moon ring accidentally slipped onto his finger, and wouldn’t come off. He seems to be on friendly terms with Lydia, though it makes both Kelpie and Edgar uneasy. His inspiration for art are the fairies, and he has always loved them but cannot see them, so he doesn’t know if they are real or not, but likes to believe they are. His father was killed by the Prince’s organization, and he has since joined an organization – the Scarlet Moon – that opposes the Prince’s. Paul had once aspired to be a poet, but after meeting Edgar as a child, he is persuaded by Edgar to pursue painting instead. Paul is devoted to Edgar for that piece of advice and encouragement. Later, Edgar tells Lydia in private that he persuaded Paul to do so because his poetry was so horrible that he would never make a living through it, while bad art could find at least find a buyer or two. However, despite his slightly dismissive words, Edgar remains a faithful customer of Paul’s. After finding out that Edgar had inherited the Prince’s memories, he still decides to be loyal to Edgar, and states that Edgar was merely another victim, who sacrificed himself to protect his friends.

Professor Carlton- Lydia’s father
Voiced by: Tōru Ōkawa 

He cares for his daughter deeply but isn’t above calling her a tomboy. He works as a professor in a London university, specializing in gems and minerals. Unlike the “younger” generation of researchers, he is not only knowledgeable on the scientific aspects of his specialization, but is also heavily interested in the romantic aspects of it; he has extensive knowledge on several famous gems and their stories. He is accepting of the slightly dangerous nature of Lydia’s job, and respects her decision in working as Edgar’s consultant. He is, however, extremely suspicious of Edgar’s intentions towards his young daughter, because he believes that noblemen would not seriously pursue women born into the lower classes. Because he has been living apart from Lydia, it comes as something of a shock to him that she is already of marriageable age. When he went to Mannon Island, he found Edgar and Lydia escaping from pursuers. Edgar takes the opportunity to glibly proclaim his undying love for her and ask for her hand in marriage, although Lydia immediately and heatedly protests the joke. This apparently “shocks” Carlton into realizing that Lydia has grown up. Lydia has observed that his constant protests that she is “still a child” may reflect this. However, he has lately approved of Lydia’s and Edgar’s engagement. He eloped with Lydia’s mother, Aurora, but the circumstances of their courtship are unknown to Lydia (who is understandably curious). In a sidestory, however, it transpires that he merely intended to “rescue” Aurora from her dismal fate in the Makhil family, and that Aurora was the one who proposed to him. He is extremely embarrassed about having been proposed to (instead of the other way around, as was the norm at the time), and intends to carry that particular secret to his grave.

Aurora- Lydia’s mother 

She died before the beginning of the series. Lydia looks up to her, and she is the inspiration behind Lydia’s determination to become a good fairy doctor. Aurora was born in the Highlands, to the McKeel family (which has deep connections with fairy folk). However, she later learns that she was not her parents’ true daughter, but a changeling. This is because of a deal that was made with a family of fairies. According to lore, a Seer sleeps in the Highlands, who will one day awake to lead the battle against the “Prince of Disaster”. In order to awake however, he requires life energy that is more potent in women, and more importantly, women carrying fairy blood. In order to ensure that such a woman is available for the Seer’s awakening during times of crisis, the McKeel family has for generations traded their first-borns with a particular fairy family’s first-borns, and essentially cross-mated them, thereby strengthening the life energy of the resulting offspring. Aurora was one such changeling, but she rejected her fate and instead fled her homeland with Professor Carlton. She died young, supposedly due to an illness. However, unknown to even Professor Carlton, she had once ventured into the Highlands and opened the Seer’s coffin (19 years before the beginning of the series), and as such had her life drastically shortened.

Tompkins
Voiced by: Chafurin

Edgar’s kind butler who gives him advice regarding his love life here and there. He has Merrow blood, and his face vaguely resembles a fish’s. He also states that he has a fin on his back. When he met the leader of the Merrows for the first time, the leader mistook him for his ancestor, and said that “he is almost human now”. He takes pride in being able to accomplish any task related to his duties that Edgar gives him, no matter how rushed the deadline or how ludicrous it is.

Ulysses
Voiced by: Mamoru Miyano

A mysterious, young blonde man who has the power to see and communicate with fairies, just like Lydia. Unlike Lydia, however, his fae powers do not stop there, and he has been shown to be able to command fairies such as spectral hounds, a type of Unseelie Court (malicious fairy). This is later revealed to be because he is of the Blue Knight Earl’s direct bloodline. He was, however, not recognized as an heir because his parents were not wed. He has, in fact, attempted to obtain the Sword of the Merrow before (and hence establish himself as the Blue Knight Earl). But because he interpreted the last line of the fairies’ riddle as the Merrow requiring a blood sacrifice in exchange for the sword as Edgar did initially, he was washed out to sea by the Merrow. He was the one to command the Selkies to revive Ermine as a Selkie when she committed suicide by jumping into the sea.

Jimmy

Has the appearance of a young boy with glasses and dark hair, but is really the favorite servant of Ulysses, being a member of the Unseelie Court. He is a spectral hound, and can shapeshift at will.Before Lydia and the others knew what he was, he spied on them by acting as a messenger and friend of Slade and the Scarlet Moon organization, under Edgar.

Prince

A character shrouded in mystery. The original Prince was created in the Highlands, by making a human baby drink the essences of powerful Unseelie Court. By doing so, the human baby was infused with the knowledge and ability to manipulate Unseelie Court, as well as their arcane magic. As a human, the Prince ages; however, through the use of Freyr (a red gem created by a powerful wyrm), he is able to transfer his memories and abilities to the next Prince, a candidate who is chosen and carefully groomed. The candidate is forced to learn and memorize all the current Prince’s knowledge as well as mannerisms. As the grooming process goes on, the candidate eventually begins to lose his original personality. As such, when the Prince’s memories are transferred, the candidate effectively believes himself to be the true Prince. The “Prince” (really the current generation Prince) is the main antagonist of much of the beginning of the series, although he only makes his appearance in one of the later novels. He is apparently heavily disabled (he moves in a wheelchair and is wrapped in bandages due to burn scars), and as such only sends his henchmen at the beginning. Later, when Edgar inherits the Prince’s memories out of necessity, he instead begins to be hunted by those who seek death of the Prince. He also battles with the Prince’s memories within him, and is deeply uneasy that he would eventually change into the Prince.

Gladys Ashenbert

The last of the Ashenbert main bloodline. (Ulysses is considered to be from a side-branch of the main family.) She is mentioned several times throughout the series, and died about a hundred years before the beginning of the series. As a woman, she was never officially recognized by the King of England as the Earl of Ibrazel.It is revealed that she made herself into a “living sacrifice” in order to strengthen the London Bridge’s barrier against Unseelie Court.

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.

Manga Monday- Earl and Fairy

Manga Monday- 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). As of March 2011, four volumes of the manga adaptation of the series have been released by Shueisha under their Margaret Comics imprint. Viz Media has published the series under the name of “The Earl and The Fairy” in their Shojo Beat Manga label.

Story

The story, set in Victorian Britain, follows the adventures of 17-year-old Lydia Carlton, nicknamed the “Fairy Doctor” due to her interest and understanding of fairies. Her life takes a 180-degree turn when she meets Edgar J.C Ashenbert, the “Legendary Blue Knight Earl” and his crew on a sea voyage to London. Edgar hires her as an advisor during his quest to obtain a treasured sword that was supposed to be handed down to him by his family.

Film Friday- Peach Girl

Film Friday- Peach Girl

The series was adapted as a Taiwanese drama in 2002 and a Japanese animated television series in 2005. On mid-March of 2016, the live-action film adaptation was announced. The film was released in Japan on May 20, 2017. The animated TV series is distributed by Funimation Entertainment in North America.

Characters

Momo Adachi
The main character. Her given name means ‘peach’ in Japanese. She has tanned skin and light hair (derived from her constant swimming in chlorinated pools while on the swim team), mistakenly giving others the impression that she is a “beach bunny”, lover of the Ganguro style, or sexually promiscuous. On the contrary, Momo is a shy, insecure girl. She has loved Toji for many years, although later on she finds herself falling in love with Kairi. When she found out Toji disliked girls with tan skin, she started to avoid swimming pools and wore a lot of sunblock to get her skin to its original color (presumed to be fair). Later on, Momo finds out that Toji never said he disliked girls with tan skin. Her friend (Ryoko) from junior high had made that up because she had liked him too. She is often confused later on when she likes both Toji and Kairi at the same time, causing several disputes between the two boys.
Sae Kashiwagi
The main antagonist who does everything to ruin Momo’s life. Her fair features (pale skin, dark hair) serve as a contrast for Momo; her “innocent” appearance belies her scheming, mischievous, trouble making nature. She is the one who spreads malicious gossip about Momo; something Momo knows, but has trouble dealing with, as people are more apt to believe in Sae than the ‘airheaded ganguro girl’ to the point that Toji believed Sae over Momo (who was currently his girlfriend). She often uses the gossip to make people dislike Momo, as a result of her own jealousy and insecurity. She spreads rumors that she is dating Toji, and that Momo is trying to steal him from her when it is actually the other way around. She really is mean and doesn’t care for Momo and isn’t her “real” friend. All she wants is popularity in school, to humiliate Momo, and to get Toji all for herself. She will stop at nothing to complete this task. Later, she dates a male model named Jigoro and in the end exploits him to help break up Toji and Momo, the nastiest scheme she has ever plotted. She begins to repent after she falls in love with Ryo and understands the hurtful feeling that she caused Momo, when Ryo seemingly gets her pregnant (it later turns out to be a medical condition that simulates pregnancy) and subsequently abandons her.
Kairi Okayasu
A popular and carefree classmate of Momo’s. Sae goes after him after Momo lies that she likes him to protect her and Toji’s relationship, but he is the only boy to see straight through Sae for what she really is. He has the reputation of being a playboy, something he is not exactly proud of. He thought that Momo was the one who once gave him CPR when he had nearly drowned at the beach when they were younger; only to later find out he had been saved by the local male lifeguard. His interest in her is renewed when Sae spreads rumors about them being a couple; he adds to this by claiming he has kissed Momo. When Momo is upset by his rumor, he tries to make the rumor true by kissing her unexpectedly in the beginning of the series.
After the two start dating, his insecurities about relationships are revealed to stem from his unrequited love for Misao, the school nurse and Kairi’s former tutor. However, after he confesses and is shot down by her, he actually feels relieved and confident to pursue his relationship with Momo. He begins fighting over her with Toji and in the end they get back together.

The English-language manga uses the non standard romanization “Kiley Okayasu“. Other groups, such as FUNimation, Kodansha, and non-English language publishers, use “Kairi”.

Kazuya “Toji” Tojigamori 

A boy who has been Momo’s crush since junior high school although she never then confessed to him due to a friend saying he “doesn’t like girls with tan skin”. He overhears Momo confess her love for him to Kairi and then eventually dates Momo but Sae wants him for herself. He has a good heart, but tends to be hard headed and oblivious to what is in front of him, believing what Sae says over what Momo says, much to the frustration of Momo. Sae later blackmails Toji into dating her using pictures of Momo and Jigoro in a hotel bed together. He then breaks up with Momo. After this Momo starts dating Kairi.

The Tokyopop manga renders his family name as “Toujikamori”.

Misao Aki 

The school nurse and a big sister figure for Momo. Misao was once Kairi’s tutor and crush, and an old flame of Ryo’s. Although she dated and broke up with him, she still loves him.

Ryo Okayasu
Kairi’s older brother who works in the video game industry. He serves as a male counterpart to Sae, only he is significantly more dangerous. Ryo is in love with Misao, and dated her briefly, but Misao broke up with him because of his cold and manipulating attitude which is revealed when he smacks Sae after hurting Misao.
Sae meets him and quickly falls for him because of their obvious similarities, though Ryo barely takes the relationship seriously and treats Sae poorly. When Sae tells him she is pregnant with his child he gives her money. Ryo is quite touched by Sae when she tells him she wants to make a family with him that will love him. After they find out Sae had a false pregnancy, the two split. However, Ryo stills feels happy about what Sae told him, and seems to be interested in having kids.
Goro Ooji
He is called Jigoro (ジゴロー Jigorō) and is a male model who is smitten with Sae and unaware of her true personality. She uses him in her schemes against Momo.
Morika
A young woman who once dated both Okayasu brothers, Morika has a grudge against Ryo and tries to use Kairi against him. Morika hires some thugs to beat up Ryo as revenge for using her.

 

Manga Monday- Peach Girl

Manga Monday- Peach Girl

Peach Girl is a Japanese shōjo manga series by Miwa Ueda. A high school drama centered on character Momo Adachi, her love life, friendships and rivalries, it was published in Japan by Kodansha in Bessatsu Friend from 1998 to 2003 and collected in 18 volumes. A manga sequel set 10 years after the original manga, titled Peach Girl Next, began its serialization on Be Love on August 12, 2016.

The North American version of the manga is published in two parts by Tokyopop: Peach Girl, covering the first eight volumes of the Japanese release; and Peach Girl: Change of Heart, comprising the final ten books.

Plot-

Momo Adachi is a former member of the high school swim team. She tans easily and her hair is bleached out; unfortunately, she is stereotyped by her ignorant classmates and is forced to endure rumors about being an “easy girl” who has had many sexual relationships. Her only friend is Sae, who is actually responsible for spreading the nasty gossip due to her jealousy of Momo. Momo is in love with Toji, a taciturn baseball player, but the scheming Sae also has her sights set on the boy. Momo’s life is further complicated with the introduction of Kairi Okayasu, a wise-cracking playboy who is determined to make her his. He reveals to Momo that she had saved him from drowning the summer before high school started.

Things become even more complicated when Sae, in an attempt to make Momo miserable, spreads rumors about Momo and Kairi making out. The rumor about the kiss between the two is true, but it was Kairi who initiated it while Momo remained stunned by the interaction. When Toji is hospitalized, Sae convinces Toji to break up with Momo. Thanks to Kairi, he finds out about all the lies and rumors Sae has made up. Toji saves Momo from being bullied (thanks to Sae’s lies again) and tells the truth about him and Momo, resulting in the students apologizing to Momo and hating Sae. Toji and Momo get back together, but Sae later tries to complicate their relationship again by threatening to discredit Momo with her newly acquired access to the mass media. Though Toji is initially defiant, he reluctantly breaks up with Momo to protect her. Momo is heartbroken at first, particularly due to not knowing that it is part of Sae’s schemes. However, she eventually begins dating Kairi, whom she had previously considered annoying, and soon begins to fall in love with him. When it is revealed to Momo why Toji broke up with her, Momo is left to choose between Toji and Kairi. More problems arise and the love triangle intensifies.

In “Sae’s Story”, Sae is left back a year, for she was always skipping classes. She is too stubborn so she goes to Momo’s and Kairi’s university every day. Toji goes to a good university by himself. Sae then meets one of her childhood sweethearts, Kanji (or Monkey Boy), who left for Malaysia when they were young, and promised to marry Sae when he was back. In love with Sae, Kanji follows her around, trying to win her over. He takes care of Sae’s dog, Sora, when her parents would no longer let her keep it. The dog walks with a little limp; one day when Sora tried to follow Sae, she threw a rock at its paw and injured it. Sae starts modeling and pretends she goes to college with Momo, when she is really still in high school. She meets Honda and works for CC as a model. She meets a guy named Takuma, and he later turns her down. Sae meets another guy named Shinji but realizes he never really liked her. All these ups and downs make Sae realize that Momo, Kairi, and Kanji are the only people who care for her.

Manga Monday- Yona of the Dawn

Manga Monday- Yona of the Dawn

Yona of the Dawn is a Japanese manga series by Mizuho Kusanagi, serialized in Hakusensha’s shōjo manga magazine Hana to Yume from August 2009. It has been collected in twenty-four tankōbon volumes.

Plot

The story follows the redemption of Yona, the sole princess to the Kingdom of Kouka. Yona lives the carefree life of a princess in Hiryuu Castle, being sheltered by her pacifistic father, King Il, and protected by her bodyguard and childhood friend Son Hak. During a party being held for her sixteenth birthday, her other childhood friend and love interest Soo-Won comes to pay tribute to her. Intending to tell her father that she cannot forget her love for Soo-Won, she visits King Il’s chambers and witnesses him being killed by Soo-Won, who reveals that he will now properly rule Kouka. Hak intervenes and saves Yona, and they escape from the castle to Hak’s birthplace, the Village of Wind. Under the suggestion of Hak’s grandfather Son Mundok, Yona and Hak search for an oracle named Ik-Soo, who then tells them the legend of the first king of Kouka, Hiryuu, and the Four Dragon Warriors who unified the kingdom. Yona and Hak, joined by Ik-Soo’s assistant Yoon, begin a journey to find the descendants of the legendary Four Dragon Warriors in order to survive and save the Kingdom of Kouka.

Manga

Mizuho Kusanagi launched the series in Hakusensha’s Hana to Yume manga magazine on August 4, 2009. The series has been collected into 24 bound volumes. On October 9, 2015, North American manga publisher Viz Media announced at their New York Comic Con panel that they have licensed the manga and will begin releasing it in summer 2016. The series went on hiatus starting with 2016’s eleventh issue, on April 25, 2016, due to the earthquakes in Kumamoto, where Kusanagi lives. It resumed in the twelfth issue on May 20, 2016.

Main characters

Yona 

Yona is the sole princess of Kingdom of Kouka. Her mother was killed by insurgents when she was young, leaving her father, King Il to raise her up with Son Hak and Soo-Won. Being a princess, she was initially dependent, spoiled and, naive. However, after her father’s death and Soo-Won’s betrayal, she decided to be more independent and become strong enough to fight and protect herself.
As such, she requested Hak to teach her archery and sword. While astoundingly hesitant to kill, she eventually overcame this hesitation during the battle against Kum-Ji. She is said to be the reincarnation of Hiryuu, the first king of the Kingdom of Kouka, who also had red hair. Being the reincarnation of Hiryuu, the four legendary dragons’ blood will react the moment they lay their eyes upon her and they will hear the voices of the original four dragons’ oath to protect Hiryuu. Yona travels around the country to learn about the outside world as well as protect her country and her people in secret. Although Yona cannot forgive Soo-Won, some part of her still cares about him and she admits she doesn’t wish to seek revenge against him. Over time, she seems to move past her previous affections for Soo-won and develop new feelings for Hak, which she fully realizes are romantic by chapter 110. She later resolves to someday release him of his role as her bodyguard, and return his freedom to him so that he can live out his life in whichever way he wants. She primarily uses the bow and arrow in combat and later learns to wield a sword.
Son Hak  

He is Yona’s childhood best friend and bodyguard, as well as the former general of the Wind Tribe. He is known as the “Thunder Beast” for his astounding lightning-fast fighting skills, earning him the title of the strongest soldier in the Kingdom of Kouka. His talent had already been recognized since he was thirteen years old and he was the first person to defeat a general in combat at such a young age. He was orphaned as either a young child or an infant, and was adopted by the previous Wind Tribe general, Son Mundok, as his grandson. He is falsely rumoured to be the murderer of King Il and to have kidnapped Yona, due to them disappearing from the palace the night of his death without public explanation.
Hak is usually sarcastic and nonchalant, occasionally teasing Yona, although he actually cares deeply for her and vows to protect her at all costs. He was a good friend of Soo-Won before his betrayal, and seems to have loved Yona from a young age. However, knowing that Yona had feelings for Soo-Won, Hak has been suppressing his own feelings in favor of Yona and Soo-Won living happily together. He vowed to be Soo-Won’s right-hand man if Soo-Won were to marry Yona and become king. Though he suppresses it for a long time, he was deeply hurt by Soo-Won’s betrayal and has had an arguably harder time coming to terms with it than even Yona. Hak is shown to be extremely protective of Yona early on, but he later grows out of it and begins taking pride in her fiery side. In combat, Hak uses a guandao (a glaive-like bladed pole weapon) as his main weapon, though he also appears to be highly proficient with bows, swords and hand-to-hand combat.
Yoon 

He is an orphan boy who was taken by the monk, Ik-Soo, as an apprentice, when he was a child. Because of his cute face and expertise at cooking and making medicine, he is often mistaken for or teased to be a girl. He found Yona and Hak when they fell from the cliff after being attacked by Tae-Jun’s ambush. He initially disliked Yona for being an ignorant princess, but after witnessing Yona’s bravery and willingness to educate herself, he apologized. His initial hatred for nobles stemmed from the fact that Ik-Soo was banished from the kingdom by Soo-Won’s father, and as well from his own poverty-stricken upbringing. He always dreamed of going on a journey so that he could learn more about medicine and the world, but never did so before due to the fact that he did not want to leave Ik-Soo. After some convincing, Yoon decided to leave and start travelling with Yona and Hak. Once the Four Dragons are assembled, he becomes something of a medic and caretaker for the group, and harbours a close, sibling-like relationship with Yona. He is the only true non-combatant in the group, though he is capable of making explosives.
Soo-Won 

He is Yona’s cousin as well as her first love; a pretty boy with golden hair. After Yona’s mother died, Soo-Won was the one who encouraged Yona and promised to be by her side in her mother’s place, and he was Hak’s best friend and confident. When around others, he maintains an outward personality of clumsy and air-headed to hide his true intelligence and shrewdness. According to Soo-Won, his father was killed by Yona’s father, King Il (although it was covered up to be seen as an accident). This, along with the country suffering under Il’s pacifist rule, lead Soo-Won to conspire with the Fire Tribe to kill Yona’s father, and take over the throne. With King Il dead, Yona missing and presumed dead, Soo-Won is crowned the new king. Even though he seemingly hates King Il and declared he will dispose of anyone who gets in his way, Soo-Won still genuinely cares for both Yona and Hak. He hides the fact that Yona is still alive from his followers, and pointedly avoids arresting or attacking Hak when given the opportunity. Despite the underhanded method he chose to gain the throne, he has actually been somewhat of a good influence on Kouka, hence, Yona decides she does not want to seek revenge on him.

Dragon Warriors

Kija 

The descendant and inheritor of White Dragon’s claw. Kija spent most of his life isolated in his hidden village whose people venerated him. He is naive and gullible, with a crippling fear of bugs. Out of all four dragons, Kija was the most immediately loyal to Yona, having been raised on the tale of Hiryuu and feeling a strong duty as the White Dragon. As all the previous White Dragons were raised much the same as he was and bore the same eagerness to serve Hiryuu, Kija is the unknowing vessel of the departed spirits of several generations of White Dragons. His father–the generation of White Dragon before himself–was so upset that a new dragon had been born, he slashed Kija across the back shortly after his birth. As such, he was kept away from Kija until the moment he died and Kija still bears the scars across his back well into adulthood. Originally, he often bickered with Hak, believing that an outsider has no place protecting Hiryuu’s incarnation and taking offence to Hak’s “White Snake” nickname for him. However, as time went on, they develop respect, trust and friendship over their mutual desire to protect Yona. He also harbours a small crush on Yona, but instead actively chooses not to interfere with her growing affections for Hak. Kija wields his dragon claw in combat, which grows massive in size and is said to be able to cut through anything. When not in combat, he wraps his claw in bandage to avoid attracting attention.
Shin-Ah 

The descendant and inheritor of the Blue Dragon’s eyes. In contrast to Kija’s people, Shin-Ah’s village feared the inheritors of the Blue Dragon’s powers, believing them to be cursed. So much so that when Shin-Ah was born, his mother killed herself. Because the villagers believe that those who look the dragon in the eyes will turn into stone, Shin-Ah had a lonely childhood and thus, grew very quiet and socially-awkward. He was raised by the previous Blue Dragon, Ao, who taught him swordsmanship and his duty to protect the village. Soon after Ao’s death, Shin-ah used the power of his eyes to protect his village from approaching soldiers, killing all of them. This forced the entire clan into hiding. He saves Yona from a malicious villager when she got lost in the caves and eventually chooses to leave the village with her. While growing up Shin-Ah was referred to only as the Blue Dragon and did not have a name until Yona named him. Shin-Ah’s eyes are able to see great distances and disrupt the nerves of anyone glares at until it kills them. After using these eyes, however, Shin-Ah’s body becomes paralyzed for short time. To avoid making eye contact, Shin-Ah covers his face with mask, though he later takes to wearing a blindfold to avoid the attention his mask attracts. Shin-Ah is usually accompanied by his pet squirrel, Ao, named after the previous Blue Dragon. Shin-Ah is extremely loyal to Yona, due to the fact that she gave him a name and was one of the first people to treat him with kindness in over a decade. He mainly wields a sword in battle, choosing not to use his powers for anything other than a last resort.
Jae-Ha 
The descendant and inheritor of the Green Dragon’s right leg. Jae-Ha was kept prisoner in his village until he eventually escaped and joined a pirate crew. Jae-Ha tries to avoid Yona because he did not want to be constrained by his duty, and he initially declines Yona’s invitation to join her. However, he is intrigued by Yona’s spirit and determination, and despite his concerns that his dragon blood is influencing him, he leaves the pirate crew and joins Yona on her journey. Jae-Ha is laid back, flamboyant and a womanizer. He is aware of Hak’s feelings for Yona and likes to tease him about it, much to Hak’s frequent annoyance. Despite his earlier reservations about joining them, Jae-Ha eventually becomes a surrogate older brother to the group, and develops a close friendship with Hak–who only ever refers to him as “Tareme”, often translated to “Droopy Eyes”. He harbours some romantic affection toward Yona himself, but chooses not to pursue her due to their age gap and out of respect for Hak and the obvious feelings Yona holds for him. Jae-Ha’s dragon leg allows him to jump incredibly distances which allows him to travel quickly and see things from up high. However, his power is useless when he is under water. He can enlarge his leg, however he does not like to do so since he dislikes the look of the dragon’s leg. Jae-Ha mainly utilizes his powerful leg for close-combat and throws daggers as ranged weapons.
Zeno 
The Yellow Dragon warrior. In contrast to the other dragon warriors, Yona did not have to go searching for him as he wandered into their camp. Zeno is cheerful and upbeat, and is usually smiling–behaviours adopted from his late wife, Kaya. Seemingly air-headed, Zeno is actually the most observant of the group, quickly noticing changes or anything unusual. It is revealed that Zeno is the original Yellow Dragon Warrior who served King Hiryuu (making him about two thousand years old) and that he has been spying on Yona ever since she fled the castle. He also visited the young Dragon Warriors when Yona was born, which is only very vaguely recalled by Kija, who was four at the time. Zeno admits that, unlike the other three dragons, he did not sense any ‘awakening’ when he first saw Yona and does not initially show any special abilities. Zeno’s dragon power is immortality; his body regenerates, even if he is beheaded or burned alive. When he uses this power, dragon scales cover his body and he becomes as strong as the White Dragon and can jump as high as the Green Dragon. Zeno used to live in Hiryuu palace and functioned as Kouka’s first Priest, but he was forced to leave when the public started to notice that he did not age. Zeno usually wields a shield in combat to protect Yun and Yona from projectile attacks. He often reserves his power for a last resort, as they do entail him to very seriously injure himself before activation.

Manga Monday- The Heiress and The Chauffeur volume 1 review

Manga Monday- The Heiress and The Chauffeur volume 1 review

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Today’s post is on The Heiress and The Chauffeur volume 1 by Keiko Ishihara. It is the first in a duology. It is 192 pages long and is published by Shojo Beat. The cover has the two main characters on it looking at the reader. The story is told from third person close of the two main characters moving one to the other as the story goes. The intended reader is someone who likes cute shojo stories, historical romance, and pretty art. There is no foul language, no sexuality, and very mild violence in this volume. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the back of the book- At an all-girls school during the Taisho era in Japan, rumors swirl that heiress Sayaka Yoshimura is having a forbidden love affair with her chauffeur, Shinobu Narutaki! Sayaka scoffs at the rumors, but could a romance between master and servant actually be brewing?
Sayaka wears a crimson ribbon that signals she is at the top of her class, and her classmates all revere her. So when Narutaki ignores decorum and breaks school rules to protect Sayaka, will she stand by him or dismiss him as the school demands?

Review- This is a very cute story. Sayaka is a cute heroine and Shinobu is very sweet. They were friends as children and now they are young adults with all the expectations of that on them. The stories in this volume are mostly about Shinobu being seen as less than because he is servant and is from a poor background. Sayaka is very modern because she believes that people are not where they come from or how much money they have. So she gets into trouble with her opinions but she gets rescued by Shinobu a lot. But it is a very sweet, cute story and I look forward to the next volume with them.

I give this volume a Five out of Five stars. I get nothing for my review and I bought this manga with my own money. 

Film Friday- Magic Knight Rayearth

Film Friday- Magic Knight Rayearth

The manga was adapted into two anime series in 1994 and an original video animation (OVA) in 1997.

Differences in the anime adaptation

The first season remains mostly faithful to the first arc of the manga aside from the inclusion of the original character Inouva and a multitude of subplots, but the second season shows a rapid departure. Most notable differences are the creation of two anime-only antagonists, Nova and Lady Debonair, who were born from the intense despair of Hikaru and the people of Cephiro respectively after the death of Princess Emeraude. It is also revealed by the Rune Gods that the girls were summoned back to Cephiro by their own will, most notably Hikaru’s as her strength of heart also allowed her to become the new Pillar, a position she rejects in a similar fashion to the manga.

Anime

The anime series aired first on Japan’s Yomiuri TV and on NNS in Tokyo on October 17, 1994, and ended on November 27, 1995. It was directed by Toshihiro Hirano and co-produced by Yomiuri TV and Tokyo Movie Shinsha (now TMS Entertainment). The anime had 2 seasons, lasting 49 episodes altogether. The TV series was licensed in the U.S. twice, first by The Ocean Group and second by Media Blasters and was dubbed by Bang Zoom! Entertainment. The anime series was also aired on the Philippine television network ABS-CBN in 1996, dubbing in Filipino language and aired every Sunday at 9:00 am at the first season and moved to 10:30 am in 1997 for the second season. At the time, it became popular to average Filipino female children and became one of the Philippines’ highest-rated anime television of the 20th century, and helping to revitalize Filipino interest in anime. It was later aired on GMA Network on November 26, 2001, but on a weekday basis and with a Tagalog dub produced by Telesuccess Productions. It was released on both VHS and DVD. On November 21, 2014, Discotek Media announced they have license the TV series and will re-release the series on DVD and Blu-ray.

OVA

A three-part OVA was released in Japan a few years after the end of the manga and the TV series (July 25, September 26, and December 10, 1997). The OVA was named simply Rayearth, and its story was quite different from the original. The characters are all the same, but the relationships, places and events changed radically.

In the OVA, Hikaru, Umi and Fuu are already friends who go to the same school and will soon be leaving for high school. Suddenly, a strange fairy (which turns out to be Mokona, the creature from the original series) appears in front of them. At the same time, strange monsters and wizards start to appear in the city of Tokyo. One of them is Clef, who tries to guide the three girls in order to let them become the Magic Knights, awaken their Mashin and fight against the evil wizards from Cephiro, who are trying to invade the human world. In this version, Ferio, who is a sorcerer under Princess Emeraude’s command, is not her brother. Eagle Vision fills that role instead, as well as being the main antagonist after he tricked Zagato to commit suicide in order to bring upon a false balance to Cephiro. His ties to Autozam are non-existent in this version, as he is a citizen of Cephiro from the start. He would put a spell on Emeraude to convince her that Zagato is still alive, so that the sorcerers of Cephiro can continue to exist on Earth as the two worlds would soon merge and each sorcerer would battle against the Magic Knights. Lantis is also introduced right away as being an ally to the Magic Knights and against Eagle’s plans. The only other characters that are in the OVA are Ascot and Alcyone, with none of the other characters are featured.

The OVA is licensed in the U.S. by Manga Entertainment, who opted to use a different New York-based voice cast for its English release, which was produced by Skypilot Entertainment.