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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.

Manga Monday- Magic Knight Rayearth

Manga Monday- Magic Knight Rayearth

Magic Knight Rayearth is a Japanese manga series created by Clamp. Appearing as a serial in the manga magazine Nakayoshi from the November 1993 issue to the February 1995 issue, the chapters of Magic Knight Rayearth were collected into three bound volumes by Kodansha, and published from July 1994 to March 1995. A sequel was serialized in the same manga magazine from the March 1995 issue to the April 1996 issue, and was published by Kodansha in three bound volumes from to July 1995 to April 1996. The series follows three eighth-grade girls who find themselves transported from modern-day Japan into a magical world, where they are tasked with rescuing a princess.

Rayearth combines elements from the magical girl and mecha anime genres with parallel world fantasy.

In 1997, Tokyopop licensed Magic Knight Rayearth for an English-language translation in North America, and serialized it in its manga magazine MixxZine The English version of the manga was at first issued in a flipped left to right format, but was re-released in the original right to left format in later editions. The English version of the manga also at first continued the volume numbering through the two series, such that Magic Knight Rayearth II volumes #1-3 were numbered as volumes “#4-6” (i.e., the 2000/2001 release of Magic Knight Rayearth volume 4 has the same content as the 2003/2004 re-release’s Magic Knight Rayearth II volume 1).

It would appear that Tokyopop has lost their license for the series, as Dark Horse Comics announced at their San Diego Comic-Con International 2009 panel that they would be publishing the series in a new omnibus edition in honor of Clamp’s 20th anniversary. Dark Horse published the omnibus editions from July 6, 2011, to April 12, 2012.

The series is also licensed in French by Pika Édition.

Plot-

Magic Knight Rayearth focuses on three eighth-grade girls: tomboyish and headstrong Hikaru Shidou; the quick-tempered and no-nonsense only child Umi Ryuuzaki; and intelligent and ladylike Fuu Hououji. While on a field trip to the Tokyo Tower with their respective schools, the girls find themselves drawn into another world, Cephiro. There they learn that Cephiro is influenced by one’s will and that the Pillar maintains Cephiro through prayer. The girls are then tasked with rescuing the current Pillar, Princess Emeraude, from her abductor, the high priest and antagonist Zagato, after which they will be returned to Tokyo.

Guided by the creature Mokona on their quest, the girls discover their respective element-based magic and awaken the three Rune-Gods (魔神? Mashin), who can take the form of giant robots that the girls must pilot. As the girls progress on their journey, they overcome their differences, learning how to work together and accept each other as friends. After the girls find and destroy Zagato, they finally reach Emeraude, but they learn that she had fallen in love with Zagato, which had hindered her ability to pray solely for Cephiro’s well-being, and imprisoned herself as a result. Feeling responsible for her actions, she summoned the Magic Knights to kill her, as no one from Cephiro could harm the Pillar. Her dark side then takes over, seeking to destroy the Magic Knights for killing her love. After a short defensive fight against Princess Emeraude, the Magic Knights have no choice but to kill her. They then find themselves transported back to Tokyo.

The second part of the series deals with the complications caused by Princess Emeraude’s death. Set a year later, it opens with the three protagonists struggling with their guilt and despair over their role in her death. Meeting again at Tokyo Tower, they find themselves transported mysteriously to Cephiro again, and discover that only a single piece of Cephiro remains, which holds a castle where the survivors gather to take refuge. With the Pillar gone, Cephiro is, for the most part, defenseless, and the girls are saddened to learn that a new Pillar must be chosen by the Pillar system before the whole planet is destroyed. Three warring planets begin their attempts to conquer Cephiro: Autozam, a technologically advanced world which intends to use the Pillar system to remove the pollution in its air; Fahren, whose childish ruler Lady Aska plans to turn it into a world of her whims; and Chizeta, an overpopulated world whose sibling rulers Tatra and Tarta see Cephiro as a potential colony.

As the Magic Knights help defend the castle, they each agree that the fate of the planet should not be the responsibility of only one person which, like Princess Emeraude, effectively prevents that person from ever being able to live and love freely. What’s more, they are certain that when a new Pillar in chosen, something may eventually hinder them from praying solely for Cephiro’s well-being, cause them to summon new Magic Knights to kill them, and bring Cephiro to near-destruction again until a new pillar is chosen, much like Emeraude, which would cause the cycle of events to continue endlessly. Some of the survivors believe this idea as well, particularly Lantis, a powerful magic swordsman and Zagato’s younger brother, who wishes to end the Pillar system for those reasons.

Eventually, Mokona narrows the candidates down to two: Hikaru and the sickly Eagle Vision of Autozam, who is friends with Lantis and, as such, wishes to end the Pillar system for him with his eternal sleep. As the two undergo the test to become the new Pillar in a recreation of Tokyo, Mokona reveals itself to be the creator of Cephiro and its laws, which it had created after sadly witnessing the violence and destructive nature of the people on its earlier creation, Earth. It was responsible for bringing the three girls back to Cephiro. In the end, Hikaru becomes the new Pillar of Cephiro, and brings Eagle Vision back to Cephiro with the help of Fuu and Umi, against Mokona’s insistence that only one may return. Hikaru then rebels against the Pillar system, decreeing once and for all that the fate of the planet should not be the responsibility of one person. Mokona accepts their decision and leaves with the three Mashin. The manga concludes with the three girls’ return to a new Cephiro to visit their loved ones, as they work with the rulers of the other planets to solve their planets’ problems, and contemplate Mokona’s wish to allow the three protagonists to bring change to Cephiro.

Manga Monday- Kamisama Hajimemashita

Manga Monday- Kamisama Hajimemashita

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Kamisama Hajimemashita or ‘How I became a God’ is a 25 volume manga by Julietta Suzuki. It was published from February 20, 2008May 20, 2016 in Japan and is still being released here in the US by Shojo Beat which is owned by Viz Media. The basic plot is: After Nanami’s father runs away due to gambling debts and she is evicted from her apartment, Nanami meets a strange man hanging from a tree because he is being chased by a dog. The man’s name is Mikage. She saves Mikage from a dog and tells him her story. He gives Nanami his house as a thank you for saving him. She accepts the offer because she is homeless. When Nanami arrives at Mikage’s home, she is shocked to see that it is not a normal home but a shrine for worship. After that she is greeted by both Onikiri and Kotetsu who are the keepers of the shrine. She then meets Tomoe, Mikage’s familiar, and she learns that Mikage used to be the Earth Deity of the shrine and has bestowed upon her his mark so that she may be the new deity. At first Nanami is reluctant, but as she lives with Tomoe, Onikiri and Kotetsu she begins to understand and works hard in her new position as the Earth Deity. As the story progresses Nanami finds herself falling in love with Tomoe, but he rejects her because the love between a human and a yokai is taboo. Despite saying that, Tomoe finds himself falling in love with her too.

This is mostly a supernatural comedy manga with strong romance themes.  Nanami is a great heroine with a heart of gold, Tomoe is a great foil for her, and the side characters add so much favor to overall story. I love this manga and it’s one that if you like any of the above things you need to give it a try!

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