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Film Friday- Princess Tutu

Film Friday- Princess Tutu

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

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

Anime

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

North American DVD releases

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

Main characters

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

Antagonists

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

 

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

 

Manga Monday- Princess Tutu

Manga Monday- Princess Tutu

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

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

Manga

A manga adaptation of the anime series was written by Mizuo Shinonome and published in Japan by Akita Shoten in the shōnen manga magazine Champion Red. Two tankōbon volumes of the manga series were published in 2003. The Japanese manga series was translated to English and published in North America by ADV Manga in two volumes.

Note: The English language manga continues to use the Japanese name “Ahiru” rather than the name “Duck” used in the English language version of the anime television series.

Plot

Once there was a writer named Drosselmeyer, who had the power to make his stories come to life. But he died before he could finish his final tale, The Prince and the Raven, leaving the two title characters locked in an eternal battle. After many years, the Raven managed to break free into the real world, and the Prince pursued him. To seal away the Raven’s evil, Prince Siegfried shattered his own heart with his sword, causing him to lose all his memories and emotions.

Drosselmeyer, now a ghost, decides the story must have an ending. He finds it in the form of a little duck, who has fallen in love with Mytho, the empty remainder of Siegfried. He gives her a magic pendant that can transform her, first into an ordinary human girl, then into the graceful ballerina Princess Tutu, another character in the story. As Tutu, it’s Duck’s job to find all the scattered shards of Mytho’s heart and return them to him.

But not everyone wants Mytho to get his heart back. Rue, the Raven’s daughter reborn as a human, has fallen in love with him too, and worries he might not return her feelings if he has a heart. Her desire to stop him from regaining his emotions unleashes her ability to transform into Princess Kraehe, Tutu’s evil counterpart. Fakir, the boy who found and took care of Mytho after he escaped the story, also tries to stop Tutu, fearing that the story progressing means the Raven will return and Mytho will have to risk his life fighting it again.

What’s more, Duck learns that part of Princess Tutu’s story is that she can never confess her love to Mytho, or else she’ll turn into a speck of light and vanish. However, it becomes clear that Mytho wants his heart restored, so despite Fakir and Kraehe’s interference, she persists.

Eventually Fakir accepts Mytho’s choice and decides to help Tutu, even discovering her true identity as a Duck and becoming good friends with her. He also learns he’s a descendant of Drosselmeyer, meaning he too has the power to make what he writes a reality. Rue finds out she’s not the Raven’s daughter, but a human child he stole to serve him.

After most of Mytho’s heart is returned to him, the seal trapping the Raven begins to break. Finally able to feel love again, Mytho realizes he loves Rue – just as the Raven kidnaps her. Duck discovers her pendant is the final shard, meaning she must give up her life as a human to return it. She eventually finds the courage to do so, and becomes a humble duck again.

Mytho and the Raven battle once more. When the fight turns bleak, Mytho considers shattering his heart to seal the monster away again. Duck begins dancing to show him he must not give up. As she does, Fakir writes a story about how she never stops, no matter how many times the Raven’s minions attack her. Together they create hope, which gives Mytho the strength he needs to rescue Rue and defeat the Raven. Mytho asks Rue to be his princess and they return to his kingdom inside the story. Duck and Fakir continue their relationship, even though she’s stuck in her duck form. With nothing left to do, Drosselmeyer departs in search of another story.

 

Film Friday- Kiss Him Not Me

Film Friday- Kiss Him Not Me

An anime adaptation by Brain’s Base aired in Japan between October and December 2016. An audio drama adaptation of the first chapter was released on January 13, 2015.

Anime

An anime television adaptation of the manga was announced in the Bessatsu Friend magazine’s April 2016 issue. Brain’s Base produced the anime, with Hiroshi Ishiodori directing, Michiko Yokote handled the series composition and Kazuhiko Tamura designed the characters. The series aired in Japan between October 6, 2016 and December 22, 2016 and simulcast by Crunchyroll, and Funimation streamed an English dub. The opening theme is “Prince×Prince” by From4to7, while the ending theme is “Dokidoki no Kaze” by Rie Murakawa. Anime Limited has licensed the series in the UK.

Characters

Main characters

Kae Serinuma 
A fujoshi in her second year of high school and part of the history club, who becomes excited over the sight of two boys together. Initially possessing a chubby appearance, Kae loses weight after a week of mourning over the death of her favorite anime character, becoming attractive as a result. Despite becoming the object of affection for several boys as a result, she still thoroughly enjoys her otaku hobbies and is unsure how to deal with the attention she gets from the boys.
Yūsuke Igarashi 
One of Kae’s classmates, who is part of the soccer club. He is characterized as “the boy next door” type and is the most competitive out of Kae’s suitors. He was polite with Kae before losing weight but he only became interested in her because of her appearance. After spending more time with Kae, he gets to know her more as a person, making him realize how admirable and interesting Kae actually is, and causing him to truly fall in love with her.
Nozomu Nanashima 
One of Kae’s classmates, who is categorized as a “bad boy tsundere” type. He used to be a soccer player when he was much younger, but lost confidence following an incident with Yūsuke. Although he portrays a tough exterior, he is actually quite soft-hearted and very kind when he wants to be. He has a younger sister and is good at housekeeping.
Shima Nishina 
An androgynous first year girl who is the descendant of a rich family and is skilled in both sports and arts. According to the boys, she is “Takarazuka-like prince type”. Like Kae, she is also a fujoshi and even runs her own dōjin circle. Having had trouble being respected for her art due to her family’s status, Shima came to admire Kae from even before her transformation after she complimented her work thus receiving the motivation to pursue drawing. She is bisexual in the manga, but the anime portrays her as having more of a platonic friendship with Kae rather than a romantic one although her actions do hint more towards romantic feelings. Her flirtatious personality does not change thus she is still considered a member of Kae’s harem, even as a girl.
Hayato Shinomiya 
is a first year student and member of the health committee, who started having a crush on Kae after she lost weight. He has an effeminate appearance, prone to blushing and getting flustered, and is often characterized as a tsundere by the other boys. He owns a female iguana named Thor, whom he cares for dearly.
Asuma Mutsumi
A third year student who is president of the history club and one of the few people who liked Kae before she lost her weight, but doesn’t realize it until later on in the series. While more laid back and less competitive than the other boys, he can become aggressive when someone picks on Kae. He’s very open minded and doesn’t seem to notice nor mind any of Kae’s otaku eccentricities.

 

Manga Monday- Kiss Him Not Me

Manga Monday- Kiss Him Not Me

Kiss Him, Not Me, known in Japan as Watashi ga Motete Dōsunda, is a Japanese romantic comedy shōjo manga series written and illustrated by Junko. It is published by Kodansha since 2013 on Bessatsu Friend magazine. Fourteen volumes compiling the chapters have been released so far. It is published online in English by Crunchyroll and the volumes will be published by Kodansha USA.

Reception

Volume 3 of the manga reached the 44th place on the weekly Oricon manga chart and, as of June 15, 2014, has sold 17,994 copies; volume 4 reached the 43rd place and, as of September 14, 2014, has sold 22,107 copies; volume 5 reached the 17th place and, as of January 18, 2015, has sold 41,112 copies.

The manga won Best Shōjo Manga at the 40th Kodansha Manga Awards. It was number four on the 2015 Kono Manga ga Sugoi! Top 20 Manga for Female Readers survey.

Plot

Kae Serinuma is a fujoshi, a female manga and anime geek who loves reading yaoi material and imagining men together in romantic relationships, both fictional and real. When one of her favourite anime characters is killed off, Kae is so shocked that she locks herself in her room for a whole week. When she eventually comes out, she discovers that she has lost a lot of weight. She becomes a beautiful girl that catches the eye of four boys at her school: Yūsuke Igarashi, Nozomu Nanashima, Hayato Shinomiya, and Asuma Mutsumi. Despite learning about Kae’s bizarre tendencies, the four boys, along with another fujoshi girl named Shima Nishina, all fall for Kae and begin competing with each other for her affection, much to Kae’s frustration as she wants them to fall in love with each other.

 

Film Friday- My Love Story!!

Film Friday- My Love Story!!

An anime television adaptation by Madhouse began airing in April 2015 and a live action film adaptation of the same name was released on October 31, 2015.

In November 2014 it was announced that the series was being adapted into an anime series. The anime was directed by Morio Asaka at Madhouse, with Natsuko Takahashi as the scriptwriter and Kunihiko Hamada as the character designer. The anime began airing on NTV from April 8, 2015 and is being simulcast by Crunchyroll. The opening theme is “Miraikei Answer” by Trustrick while the ending theme is “Shiawase no Arika” by Local Connect. The soundtrack is composed by S.E.N.S. Project. The final episode of the series, originally scheduled for September 16, 2015, was delayed to September 23.

Film

A live action film adaptation of the same name was released on October 31, 2015. It starred Ryohei Suzuki, Mei Nagano and Kentaro Sakaguchi.

Characters

Makoto Sunakawa 
Takeo’s next door neighbor, childhood friend, and classmate, who he calls “Suna” for short. Compared to Takeo’s boisterous personality, Makoto is level-headed, studious, and rational, though he will occasionally burst into stifled laughter upon witnessing Takeo’s unique behavior. Because Makoto is so handsome, all of the girls Takeo liked ended up falling in love with Makoto instead. Despite his endless stream of admirers, Makoto remains single, as he rejected every girl that’s confessed to him because of their insulting comments they made about Takeo. Although not nearly as outgoing as Takeo, he nevertheless values his friendship, noting that his life would be “boring” if Takeo were not around. Makoto is always watching out for Takeo and is willing to sacrifice his own happiness for his friend.

Ai Sunakawa
Makoto’s older sister and a college student. Takeo mentions that she, like her brother, is a great and kindhearted person. She has had a secret crush on Takeo ever since he compared her to a flower when they were children. Only her brother and her colleague Oda know about her feelings for Takeo.

 

Yuriko Gōda 
Takeo’s mother, who always works hard for her family. Takeo is extremely protective of her, though she insists he worries for no reason as she was once an amateur wrestler and when she was giving birth to Takeo she actually helped carry another woman into the maternity room when she went into labour first.

Yutaka Gōda Image result for My Love Story!! Yutaka Gōda
Takeo’s father, who has a rather handsome appearance. He fell in love with Takeo’s mother when he saw her put herself in harm’s way to protect someone else and decided he wanted to be the one to protect her.

 

 

 

 

Manga Monday- My Love Story!!

Manga Monday- My Love Story!!

My Love Story!!, is a Japanese romantic comedy manga series written by Kazune Kawahara and illustrated by Aruko. The manga was serialized in Shueisha’s Bessatsu Margaret magazine and is being published in English by Viz Media.
The series debuted as a 100-page special in Bessatsu Margaret Sister in October 2011 before becoming serialised in Bessatsu Margaret, ending with a 100-page final chapter on July 13, 2016. The first volume was released by Shueisha on March 23, 2012, and the thirteenth and final volume was released on September 23, 2016. Viz Media has licensed the series and released the first volume on July 1, 2014.

Reception

It won the award for Best Shōjo Manga at the 37th Kodansha Manga Awards. It was number one on the Book of the Year list of Female-Oriented Comics from January to June, 2013 by Da Vinci magazine and number five in the annual list of 2012. It was nominated for the 6th Manga Taishō. In Takarajimasha’s 2013 edition of the guidebook Kono Manga ga Sugoi!, a survey with more than 400 manga professionals, it was selected as the best series for female readers; in the 2014 edition, it was the 15th best. The fifth volume was the 53rd best-selling manga volume of the first half of 2014. It was also nominated for the 18th Annual Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize “Reader Award”. In 2016, the manga won in the Shōjo category at the 61st Shogakukan Manga Awards.

Story

The story follows Takeo Gōda, a tall and muscular student who doesn’t have much luck with women, as every girl he likes ends up falling for his best friend, Makoto Sunakawa, who is charming and good-looking. This all changes when he saves Rinko Yamato, a petite shy girl who, above all other expectations, falls in love with Takeo, beginning a unique love story.

Characters

Takeo Gōda  Related image
The protagonist of the story and a first-year student at Shuei High School. He is very tall and muscular, easily dwarfing everyone around him. Women tend to find his appearance off-putting or frightening, likening him to a bear or gorilla, but Takeo nevertheless has many friends due to his popularity among men, who are inspired by his strength, physique, and vitality. Despite his hulking appearance and strength, Takeo has an affable personality and is actually extremely kind and selfless, quickly helping others without a second thought throughout the story and never holding a grudge for things people say about him. Near the beginning of the story, he saves Rinko from a groper and quickly develops feelings for her, but mistakenly thinks that she likes Makoto. Rinko later on confesses her love to Takeo, to which he gladly accepted.

Rinko Yamato
A girl whom Takeo saves from a groper on a train. After Takeo saves her, she immediately fell in love with him. Unlike most girls, who find Takeo frightening, Rinko admires his strength, confidence, and kindness, and she doesn’t seem to pay any mind to his unusual size or appearance. She attends Koizumi Girls’ Academy and is very skilled in baking and making sweets. Rinko is the first girl who has been called “a nice girl” by Makoto, presumably since she’s the first to look past Takeo’s appearance. It is later revealed in an extra chapter, the true reason why she really fell in love with him was because Takeo saved her when she was younger and met her for the very first time, though he mistook her for a guy when she was lost in a dark cave before meeting her again on the train, unaware that she was the same person he met many years ago.

 

Film Friday- Tokyo Mew Mew

Film Friday- Tokyo Mew Mew

The series was adapted into a 52 episode anime series by Studio Pierrot. It debuted in Japan on April 6, 2002, on both TV Aichi and TV Tokyo; the final episode aired on March 29, 2003. Two video games were also created for the series: a puzzle adventure game for the Game Boy Advance system and a role-playing video game for the PlayStation. 4Kids Entertainment licensed the anime series for North American broadcast under the name Mew Mew Power. Heavily edited and dubbed, 23 episodes of Mew Mew Power aired on Cartoon Network and 4Kids TV in the United States and the entire 26 episodes aired on YTV in Canada. 4Kids Entertainment was unable to license the remaining 26 episodes of the series, thus were unable to complete its broadcast. They have never released the series to home video.  The anime adaptation received high ratings while airing in Japan, resulting in numerous marketing tie-ins. Despite criticism for extensive editing that removed most of the Japanese elements, the Mew Mew Power dub became the highest rated 4Kids show during its broadcast. It was licensed for regional release in several other countries instead of the original Japanese series.

Ichigo Momomiya

is the series’ main protagonist and the leader of the Mew Mews. She has short red hair which is usually tied up in pigtails. Ichigo (13 years old at the beginning of the series) is merged with the DNA of the Iriomote Wild Cat, giving her the ability to transform into Mew Ichigo, a powerful and heroic cat girl with pink hair. The transformation also causes her to exhibit various feline mannerisms while in her human form. At first, her cat ears and tail appear when she is excited, but eventually her cat DNA grows strong enough that when she kisses anything, she turns into a small black cat. She remains in a cat form until someone (human or animal) kisses her.

At the start of the series, Ichigo has a crush on Masaya Aoyama. Although she believes that he is oblivious to her feelings, he later returns them and they begin dating. Midway through the series, Ichigo gains a mysterious protector, the Blue Knight. Throughout the series, Ichigo repeatedly rejects repeated advances by Quiche and although she can not accept his final declaration of love, she cries over his death and holds him as he dies. Ichigo dies after transferring her own life force into Masaya after Masaya kills himself and Deep Blue. She is subsequently revived by the last of the mew aqua which was housed within Masaya. Before Masaya goes off to study abroad in England at the end of the series, Ichigo participates in a mock wedding with Masaya. Tokyo Mew Mew a La Mode reveals that Ichigo lost all of her Mew Mew powers because of the Mew Aqua’s influence and joined Masaya in England, but returned to Japan when her powers began to manifest again to aid in the battle against the Saint Rose Crusaders.

Minto Aizawa

Minto Aizawa is a blue-haired girl who is the second Mew Mew to be introduced in the series. Infused with the genes of a Blue Lorikeet, Minto grows a bird’s tail and a pair of bird wings when she transforms into Mew Mint. Initially depicted as spoiled, snobbish, and self-centered because of her wealth due to her being born into a rich family, she is shown to be an empathetic person who cares deeply about her friends as the series progresses. In the beginning, Minto called Ichigo a Vulgar person. Minto idolizes fellow Mew Mew Zakuro Fujiwara. Minto owns a pet Pomeranian named Miki.

Retasu Midorikawa

is a green-haired girl who is the third member of the Mew Mews formally introduced to the readers. Infused with the DNA of a Finless Porpoise, Retasu’s legs can change into a porpoise’s tail while she is underwater, greatly improving her swimming ability and giving her an appearance of a mermaid. In the anime adaptation, this change can only occur when Retasu is in the presence of Mew Aqua. Retasu is portrayed as a shy and intelligent character lacking self-confidence and is the subject of frequent bullying from three girls. She is afraid of her Mew Mew powers at first, causing them to go out of control at her school until she is calmed by Ichigo and Minto. The other members of the group consider Retasu to be a kind and selfless person. As the series progresses, Retasu becomes a more confident person through the other Mew Mews’ regular encouragement. In the anime, Retasu has a strong love interest towards Ryou and kissed him once, that only Bu-Ling is aware of their relationship.

Bu-Ling Huang

is a blonde-haired girl who is the fourth Mew Mew introduced to the readers and the youngest of the bunch. Infused with the DNA of a Golden Lion Tamarin, Bu-Ling grows a monkey tail and ears while transformed, and fights with a pair of rings. Bu-Ling is introduced as being a busker due to her acrobatic skills to earn money for her family. The other Mew Mews agree that her monkey DNA is a perfect match for her personality as she is full of energy and loves having fun, to the point Minto considers her very immature or childish. A running gag when it comes to referencing the Mew Mews’ DNA had Bu-Ling thinking that her DNA is a lion where she is always corrected that she has the DNA of a Golden Lion Tamarin. Despite her age, Bu-Ling is raising her five younger siblings and managing the family finances while their father is training in the mountains. The manga never mentions Bu-Ling’s mother while the anime adaptation states that she died. Midway through the series, Bu-Ling befriends Tart when he captures her and holds her hostage. She is reluctant to fight Tart during the final battle until he affirms they have no choice, and cries over him after he is defeated. Bu-Ling kisses Tart at the end of the series and tells him she does not want it “to be goodbye.” He replies by saying that he may return to see her. In the anime adaptation, the relationship between Bu-Ling and Tart is expanded and the circumstances of their initial friendship changes – instead of being saved by the Mew Mews, Tart himself saves Bu-Ling from an underground cavern when he realizes that she is suffocating from a lack of oxygen.

Zakuro Fujiwara

is a purple-haired girl who is the last of the main Mew Mews introduced and the oldest of the group. As with the others, she first appears at the endangered animal exhibit without being named. Zakuro tends to be a loner and initially refuses to join the other Mew Mews, but changes her mind after they come to her aid. Infused with the DNA of a Gray Wolf, Zakuro has a wolf tail and ears while in her Mew Mew form. Zakuro is a professional model and is presented as a mature character. As her biggest fan Minto effuses, Zakuro has “long, glossy, raven hair” with “dark, intelligent, yet sensitive eyes” and “long, strong and thin legs”. Zakuro’s background is more developed in the anime adaptation and she is said to be estranged from her family since leaving home two years earlier.

 

Manga Monday- Tokyo Mew Mew

Manga Monday- Tokyo Mew Mew

Tokyo Mew Mew is a Japanese shōjo manga series written by Reiko Yoshida and illustrated by Mia Ikumi. It was originally serialized in Nakayoshi from September 2000 to February 2003, and later published in seven tankōbon volumes by Kodansha from February 2001 to April 2003. It focuses on five girls infused with the DNA of endangered animals which gives them special powers and allows them to transform into “Mew Mews.” Led by Ichigo Momomiya, the girls protect the earth from aliens who wish to “reclaim” it.

Well received by English-language readers, several volumes of the manga series appeared in the Top 50 sales lists for graphic novels in their respective months of release. Critics praised the manga as a cute and entertaining series with free-flowing style and character designs. à la mode received praise as a good continuation of the series, but was also criticized for offering nothing new.

Plot

In Tokyo, Japan, a young girl named Ichigo Momomiya attends an endangered species exhibit with her “crush” Masaya Aoyama. After an earthquake, Ichigo and four other girls are bathed in a strange light. A cat appears before Ichigo, then merges with her. The next day, she begins acting like a cat and making cat puns. After meeting Ryô Shirogane and Keiichirô Akasaka, Ichigo learns that she was infused with the DNA of the Iriomote cat. Ryou and Keiichirou explain that this allows her to transform into Mew Ichigo, a powerful heroic cat girl. She is ordered to defeat Chimera Animas—alien parasites which infect animals and turn them into monsters. Ryou and Keiichirou instruct Ichigo to find the four other girls from the exhibit—the remaining Mew Mews.

The first Mew Mew Ichigo encounters is Minto Aizawa, a spoiled, wealthy girl and ballerina who is infused with the genes of the blue lorikeet; Retasu Midorikawa, a shy but smart girl who endures constant bullying from three girls and absorbs the genes of the finless porpoise; a hyper and yet young girl named Bu-Ling Huang who receives the genes of the golden lion tamarin; and Zakuro Fujiwara, a professional actress and model infused with the genes of the gray wolf.

The five Mew Mews battle the Chimera Animas and their alien controllers Quiche, Pie and Tart. Quiche falls in love with Ichigo where he tries to gain her love despite the fact that he is trying to eliminate the other Mew Mews. Pie and Tart later join Quiche in trying to destroy the Mew Mews.

As the fighting intensifies, the Mew Mews are tasked with finding “Mew Aqua”, a material created from pure water that contains immense power for combating the alien attacks and can be sensed by the Mew Mews. During a battle with Quiche at an aquarium, Ichigo is in danger of losing when the mysterious Blue Knight appears and rescues her. He returns periodically throughout the series, protecting Ichigo from various dangers. It is later revealed that the Blue Knight is in fact Masaya. Shortly after this discovery, Masaya collapses and transforms again. This time, he transforms into Deep Blue, the alien leader who wants to destroy humanity. After explaining to Ichigo that Masaya was a false form for temporary use, Deep Blue attacks the Mew Mews. Pie and Tart try to stop the other mew mews while Ichigo goes after Deep Blue. He and Quiche battle and Deep Blue wins. Masaya’s personality briefly reappears and he uses the Mew Aqua inside Deep Blue to save Ichigo and Tokyo, killing himself in the process. Crying over his body, Ichigo pours her power into Masaya to save his life, losing her own in the process. Masaya kisses her, changing her back to a human and revives her. Ryou gives Pie the remaining Mew Aqua to save the aliens’ world, after which Quiche, Pie, and Tart say their goodbyes and return to their own world.

Sequel

In the two-volume sequel Tokyo Mew Mew à La Mode, Ichigo and Masaya move to England to study endangered species. The remaining Mew Mews continue to eliminate the Chimera Animas left behind by the aliens. They face a new threat in the form of the Saint Rose Crusaders: humans with special powers who desire to conquer the world and create a utopia while taking over the remaining Chimera Animas. Berry Shirayuki becomes the sixth Mew Mew and temporarily takes Ichigo’s place as the leader. Berry is the first Mew Mew to be infused with the DNA of two endangered species, the Andean mountain cat and the Amami rabbit. As one of the strongest Mew Mews, Berry is targeted by two of the Crusaders, who attack her at school. Ichigo returns to provide assistance during this battle. For their final attack, two Crusaders hypnotize the citizens of Tokyo and set them against the Mew Mews. Berry and her childhood friend Tasuku Meguro use their new-found feelings of love to reverse the hypnosis and cause a change of heart in the Crusaders.

 

Film Friday- Wolf Girl and Black Prince

Film Friday- Wolf Girl and Black Prince

Wolf Girl and Black Prince is a Japanese shōjo manga series written by Ayuko Hatta. It was adapted into a drama CD in 2013. In 2014, the May issue of Shueisha’s Bessatsu Margaret magazine announced that an anime television had been green-lit. The anime ran from October 2, 2014 to December 21, 2014 lasting twelve episodes. The opening theme is “LOVE GOOD TIME” by SpecialThanks and the ending theme is “Wolf Heart” by Oresama. An OVA was released on 4 October 2015.

Live-action film

A live-action film adaptation directed by Ryūichi Hiroki premiered in Japanese theaters on May 28, 2016. It was grossed US$10,639,039 at japan box office.

Characters

Erika Shinohara
The main protagonist of the series. Erika often tells tall tales about her having a boyfriend and takes a photo of a random guy to show as proof. However, the guy turns out to be Kyoya Sata, who also goes to her school. After some pleading, he agrees to pretend to be her boyfriend under the condition that she become his “pet dog.” She eventually falls for him, despite his cruel attitude towards her and desperately tries to win his affection.
Kyōya Sata 
At the beginning, when Erika suggested her idea of faking lovers, Kyōya agrees to it with a “Prince Charming” attitude. However, shortly after, he blackmails, torments and makes her his “dog”. Gradually, he starts to genuinely care for her and becomes jealous whenever she gets close to other guys. He also develops a protective attitude towards her. As the series continues, he realizes his actual feelings for her and that she is not just a way to “pass time”. He is actually more of tsundere hiding under the disguise of a sadist. Once Kyōya learns that he could lose Erika to Yū, he goes after her during their date and confesses his feelings for her. Kyōya also has an older sister who more or less shares his sadistic tendencies, and a fun-loving, rather hare-brained mother.
Ayumi Sanda 
Known also as San-chan, Sanda is a short-haired girl and initially the only one of Erika’s friends to know the “fake boyfriend” situation. She is the complete opposite of Erika, being mature, self-reliant, and quiet. She is also the classmate of Kyouya during their first year. Though Sanda had a short interest in Kyoya, she considers her friendship with Erika to be more important than her crush. Later into the series, she also becomes close to Takeru.
In the film adaptation, Sanda studies in a separate, all-girls, school from Erika, making her a stranger to Kyoya.
Takeru Hibiya 
Kyōya’s best friend from middle school who is inheriting his family’s cafe business. He is a hot blooded man with a simple and clear personality. He fully supports Erika and Kyoya’s relationship, being relieved that Kyoya is finally able to befriend someone other than himself. Later into the series, Takeru becomes close to Sanda, which initially causes Nozomi’s jealousy, as he thinks that their and Erika and Kyoya’s relationships will make him the only single in their group.
Nozomi Kamiya 
Nozomi is a super flashy guy and belongs in the same year as Kyouya and Erika. Also, he is a sort of a playboy type. He can easily remember the names he just acquainted to, especially cute girls name. When he first sees Kyōya, Nozomi believes he is the same as himself, even when he learns that Kyōya and Erika are dating. He tries to get him to come around to his way of thinking; that it is no fun being held down by one girl. However, Kyōya refuses and says how pointless it is to have meaningless flings with various girls, causing Nozomi to give up. He also decided that he should find someone special to him as Erika is to Kyōya. Since then, he becomes a part of their group and even briefly becomes worried that he will be left as the “third wheel” after finding out that Takeru and Ayumi are attracted to each other.
In the film adaptation, Nozomi’s personality is combined with that of Yoshito Kimura, a minor character who wants to date Erika just so he can get his revenge at Kyoya. Because of this, he never befriends Erika nor becoming a part of her group.

 

Manga Monday- Wolf Girl and Black Prince

Manga Monday- Wolf Girl and Black Prince

Wolf Girl and Black Prince is a Japanese shōjo manga series written by Ayuko Hatta.

Plot

Erika Shinohara is a high school student who desperately wants to fit in a clique so she would not become lonely. However, because her clique consists of girls who have boyfriends, she has to resort to tell lies about having one herself. To make them more authentic, Erika takes a photo of a random guy in the street. Unfortunately, the guy, Kyoya Sata, turns out to be the most popular boy from her school. Erika asks him to pretend to be her boyfriend, which he agrees to under one condition: that she become his “Wolf Girl” by acting like a pet to him.

To her dismay, Erika discovers that Kyoya is far more dark-hearted than the “princely” personality he feigns towards others; he frequently gives snarks, insults, and generally has a cynical view of the world. Despite this, Erika is slowly attracted and eventually falls in love with him. Kyoya in turn softens and finds out that he is attracted to her as well, something that is cemented when Erika quits being the Wolf Girl after a misunderstanding, which he responds by “promoting” her to become his actual girlfriend.

Erika and Kyoya go through their high school years as a couple while having to face many challenges, including love rivals for each other, misunderstandings, and jealousy. They also learn to understand and change for the benefit of each other. In the process, they befriend three people who form a part of a group: Erika’s self-reliant best friend, Ayumi Sanda; Kyoya’s hot-blooded best friend, Takeru Hibiya; and the flamboyant Nozomi Kamiya, who becomes their classmate during their second year. Near the end of the series, the couple also have to face the truth of a long-distance relationship when Erika has to move to Kyoto to attend a vocational school for glass making; the two ultimately decide on working it out somehow.
Seven years after graduation, the group have attained each of their preferred professions, with Erika herself becoming a glass maker. She has also married Kyoya, with whom she has a daughter, Yuina.