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Film Friday- Kimi ni Todoke

Film Friday- Kimi ni Todoke

Two anime adaptations of Kimi ni Todoke were aired in Japan, produced by Production I.G. The second season of the anime was announced in Betsuma Magazine, began airing in Japan on January 4, 2011 and lasted for 12 episodes. A live action film adaptation was released in 2010 starring Mikako Tabe and Haruma Miura.


The first season of the Kimi ni Todoke anime adaptation aired between October 2009 and March 2010. A second season was announced in the November 2010 issue of Betsuma magazine. The second season aired in Japan on NTV on January 2011. Both seasons of the anime are produced by Production I.G. and directed by Hiro Kaburagi. The music is done by S.E.N.S. Project, with the opening sung by Tomofumi Tanizawa and the ending by Chara. NIS America announced at Anime Expo 2011 that they have licensed the first season of Kimi ni Todoke. They released the first season on DVD/Blu-ray on January 10, 2012, and released the second season later that year.

Live-action film 

The February 2010 issue of Bessatsu Margaret (released in January 2010), announced that a live-action film adaptation of the series had been approved. Mikako Tabe and Haruma Miura starred in the film, released in Japanese theatres on September 25, 2010 and directed by Naoto Kumazawa. The Live-action movie was released on Blu-ray and DVD on March 11, 2011.


Yoshiyuki “Zen” Arai 
Voiced by: Takuma Suzuki
The original home room teacher of Sawako’s class. He and Pin have the same surname, but are not related. To distinguish between the two teachers Yoshiyuki Arai is nicknamed “Zen”, which is an alternate reading of the kanji for “Yoshi”. He seems to be afraid of Sawako and the rumors surrounding her as “Sadako”. Early in the series, he falls ill and has to take a leave of absence from school; because of that, students often believe that Sawako has cursed him. Arai is newly-wed and eventually retires from teaching in order to help his wife’s family business (a sake brewery), resulting in Pin taking over his class permanently.
Voiced by: Kanae Oki
The only link to Sawako’s past, Shino was her elementary school classmate and the only person who Sawako talks to as the series begins. During elementary school, by mistake, Shino called Sawako “Sadako.” When they attended the same middle school, the boys in their class, afraid by Sawako’s appearance, heard rumors that she was known as “Sadako,” and since then it became her nickname. It is because of this, that Shino feels guilty about the rumors circulating over Sawako that started from her calling her “Sadako.” Thus she cares about Sawako and whether she is fitting into high school. Shino is in a different class and regrets that she doesn’t get to see Sawako very much. She is a cipher, appearing only occasionally as a catalyst for Sawako’s interactions with other people. Perhaps for story reasons, Sawako is too modest to consider her as a friend.
According to Shiina, Shino was an unnamed character in the manga, but was named by the staff for the anime. Shiina also wrote that “Shino-chan in the anime is really cute.”
Chigusa Takahashi 
Voiced by: Yurin
A classmate of Sawako, Takahashi sits behind Sawako after the seating arrangements change for the third term of first year. She enjoys teasing Sawako and Ayane remarks that Takahashi is eccentric.
According to Shiina, she was just Takahashi-san in the manga, but has the given name Chigusa in the anime show and from volume 10 onwards.
A classmate of Sawako who sits next to her after the seating arrangements change during the third term of first year. He often consults her on supposedly spiritual or occult concerns.
Mogi is a new character introduced in the recent chapters of the manga. He is a boy from Class 2-B. In Chapter 54, he asks Ayane to date him, to which she immediately agrees. Ayane breaks up with him in Chapter 59.
Light Novel Tuesday- Kimi ni Todoke

Light Novel Tuesday- Kimi ni Todoke

Kimi ni Todoke has been adapted into two series of light novels in Japan released by Shueisha, one under their Cobalt imprint and one under their newer Mirai Bunko imprint. Fifteen volumes have been released so far in the Cobalt imprint series; the first was released on August 1, 2007 and most recent on January 30, 2015. They are being written by Kanae Shimokawa, who also novelized the Nana movie and Yukan Club. Thirteen volumes of the Mirai Bunko version have been released thus far; the first on March 1, 2011 and most recent on June 5, 2015.

A separate volume was released September 11, 2009. The volume took the place of the manga in Bessatsu Margaret magazine while Karuho Shiina took a break due to her pregnancy; it contains the story of Kazehaya and Sawako’s first meeting, before the events of the manga.


Ume “Kurumi” Kurumizawa 
Voiced by: Aya Hirano (anime), Mirei Kiritani (live-action)
A girl who appears friendly and sweet to everyone around her, she has had a huge crush on Kazehaya since their first year of middle school; as a result, she understands his personality well, despite the fact they were never close friends. From when she was first seen, for many chapters she was known only as “Kurumi”, which Sawako mistook to be her given name. She dislikes her given name, Ume, because it sounds old-fashioned and prefers to be called her nickname, “Kurumi.” Kurumi is extremely jealous of Sawako, which led her to spread fake rumors of Sawako’s only friends at the time, Yoshida and Yano, using Sawako’s name. Kurumi does not attend the same class as Sawako or Kazehaya. During the next series of events it comes out that the middle school “Kazehaya is Everyone’s” alliance had been Kurumi’s idea, in order to preserve her own chances with Kazehaya. She eventually confesses her love to Kazehaya, but receives an expected rejection. Because she is always surprised with Sawako’s naiveté, Kurumi, in her own words, “You just don’t get it, do you?! Sawako-chan, when I’m talking to you … I get irritated and say what I really mean…”, and regards her as a rival for Kazehaya’s affection. Following Kazehaya’s rejection, she becomes colder to her classmates, but is able to finally express her feelings and personality. When Sawako hesitates on expressing her feelings, Kurumi tells Sawako that Sawako is not worthy of being a rival, but changes her mind after hearing that Sawako and Shota have become a couple. She even defends Sawako against some other jealous girls, and got angry at Miura Kento for saying unnecessary things to Sawako that had caused a rift between Sawako and Shota. Despite Kurumi’s harsh personality, she is deep down, a stubborn, clear minded young woman who had stooped to unfair tricks to win a person’s heart but has since learned better.
Kento Miura 
Voiced by: Mamoru Miyano (anime)
A student who sits next to Sawako at the beginning of their second year. Miura considers himself fairly popular among the girls, but he immediately expresses an interest in Sawako that Kazehaya becomes a little jealous. Miura assumes Kazehaya likes Sawako because he feels sorry for her, and tries to persuade Kazehaya to not be as involved in Sawako’s life. His interference with Sawako and Kazehaya’s developing relationship irritates Ayane. He expresses gratitude over the fact that the two began dating before he fell in love with her. In recent chapters, however, it hints that Kento may be developing a sort of attraction for Ayane and has helped her through some difficult times. He tends to help girls with broken relationships, as he continues to grow feelings for Ayane, he seeks advices from Sawako and Kazehaya. It is from Kazehaya that Kento finds out that Ayane has been slapped by one of her ex-boyfriends.
Tomoko “Tomo” Endo  and Eriko “Ekko” Hirano 
Voiced by: Mayuki Makiguchi (Eriko Hirano), Voiced by: Miho Miyagawa (Tomoko Endou)
Endou and Hirano are classmates of Sawako, and also members of her study group. After Sawako begins to open up, Endou and Hirano become some of her first friends and try to find ways to encourage her to be less formal around them. They both become close friends of Sawako, who shows her appreciation of their friendship by making them Christmas gifts in addition to those she makes for her parents, Ayane, Chizuru, and Kazehaya.
Soichi “Joe” Jonouchi 
Voiced by: Masahiro Yamanaka
One of Sawako’s classmates, easily swayed by other people. He generally appears in the background. Jounouchi is very attached to Kazehaya, which usually results in him unwittingly interrupting conversations between Sawako and Kazehaya. At one point, he is rejected after confessing to a girl he liked and is comforted by Kazehaya. After hearing about how Yano broke up with her boyfriend, he sets his attention on her though she is not interested in him. It appears Joe is a character used for comedic value, often blundering with simple tasks or interrupting serious moments. He does not seem to take hints nor does he often realize his mistakes when they are pointed out.
Toru Sanada 
Voiced by: Wataru Hatano
Tōru is Ryu’s older brother by eight years and Chizuru’s crush since she was young. Although he is Ryu’s brother and they resemble one another, their personalities are nearly opposite. Tōru resembles Kazehaya personality-wise and looks extremely refreshing, except much more mature. He lives three hours away from his parents’ house but much to Chizuru’s surprise, on his visit with the family he introduced his fiancee. He cares about Ryu and Chizuru a lot, and eventually tells Chizuru he loves her like a little sister. He calls Chizuru by the nickname “Chii” because a person has to smile when saying it, and he wanted to cheer her up.

Manga Monday- Kimi ni Todoke

Manga Monday- Kimi ni Todoke

Kimi ni Todoke: From Me to You  is a Japanese shōjo romance manga by Karuho Shiina. It has been published by Shueisha in Bessatsu Margaret since 2005 and collected in 29 tankōbon volumes as of November 13, 2017. In 2008, it won the Best Shōjo Manga award in the 32nd Annual Kodansha Manga Award. The series was also nominated for the first Manga Taisho awards in 2008.


Sawako Kuronuma – dubbed Sadako by her classmates for her resemblance to the character from The Ring – has always been feared and misunderstood because of her appearance; rumors around school report that she can see ghosts and curse people. However, despite her ominous appearance, she is actually a sweet and timid girl who only longs to be able to make friends and be liked by everyone else. When her idol, the popular boy Kazehaya, begins talking with her, everything changes. She finds herself in a new world, making new friends and talking to different people, and she can’t thank Kazehaya enough for giving her these opportunities. Slowly, but surely, a sweet love blossoms between the two as they overcome circumstances and obstacles that stand in their way.

Originally planned on being a one-shot to be compiled in her previous work, Crazy For You, Shiina decided to expand the story and make it into a full series. It has been running in Japan in Bessatsu Margaret since the September 2005 issue of the magazine, with 29 compiled volumes as of November 13, 2017. Shiina took a break starting in the March 2009 issue to have a baby; serialization resumed in the October issue. With the release of the September 2017 issue of Betsuma, on August 12, 2017, Kimi ni Todoke entered its final arc. The series is licensed by Viz Media for an English-language North American release. The manga will conclude in November 2017.

Characters – 

Sawako Kuronuma 
Voiced by: Mamiko Noto (anime), Mikako Tabe (live-action)
Sawako is a shy yet honest girl in search of friendship, but her resemblance to the horror film character Sadako Yamamura makes this difficult. Her shy and modest nature prevents her from correcting people’s misconceptions, to the point that most of the school believes her name is, in fact, “Sadako.” She is rather short – a characteristic inherited from her father, who is only 160 cm tall – but during a soccer match at the school’s sports festival, it is revealed that she is surprisingly fast, to the point that some people believe she is teleporting. A running gag is that she takes everything people say very seriously, and tends to over-analyze a situation. When she is deep in thought, her dark appearance often terrifies her peers.
Sawako has always desired friends and acceptance, and thanks to Kazehaya’s kindness, she gradually begins to open up to her classmates and talk to different people. She is grateful to Kazehaya, and idolizes him for giving her the opportunities to make many close friends, which come to include Yano, Yoshida, Kazehaya and Ryu. Forever humble and unassuming, Sawako is very modest towards her newfound friendships that Yoshida actually has to tell her point-blank: “Did you know? Without realizing it … we were already friends!” Yano and Yoshida admit that Sawako’s ‘like’ for Kazehaya is probably stronger than the ‘like’ she expresses for themselves.
In chapter 34, Kazehaya practically confesses his feelings right in front of her, but Sawako believes it is just a misunderstanding and that he simply likes her as a friend. After everything is cleared up, the couple officially starts dating, though rumors pop up that Sawako somehow used black magic to get him. In chapter 71, she overhears her classmate asking if Shota and her are steadily dating, and she becomes confused about their relationship. After Shota turns away when she grabs his coat, she cries and admits that she wants to be with him, and asks if he is still in love with her. In her shock, Shota kisses her 4 times.
Shota Kazehaya 
Voiced by: Daisuke Namikawa (anime), Haruma Miura (live-action)
Kazehaya is Sawako’s outgoing and friendly classmate, and also her idol. His popularity is so widespread that during middle school, the many girls that liked him had to form a “Kazehaya is Everyone’s” alliance in order to maintain some level of peace among his admirers; more than half of these girls now attend his high school. Kazehaya falls in love with Sawako shortly after meeting her, and admits (though not to Sawako) his feelings, unaware that she feels the same for him. During their second year of high school, he begins to wonder if she actually does like him as she does not give him chocolates on Valentine’s Day, not knowing that she had been too nervous to give him any. After the ordeal, he seemingly becomes calmer and shows a depressed and expressionless face more often. However, after being confronted by Ryu (influenced by Chizuru) and Pin, Kazehaya goes to Sawako as his friends jokingly remark that he likes Sawako; however, Kazehaya takes the remark seriously and agrees, subsequently confessing directly to Sawako. However, after Sawako’s misunderstanding of his confession, he believes she rejected him. However, in chapter 40, he is finally able to confess his feelings to her, and they are officially dating. Kazehaya is prone to become easily jealous and overprotective of Sawako, and deeply treasures her. He seems to avoid Sawako because he wants to be careful in loving her because in chapter 58, the two almost end up kissing and he is worried that Sawako may end up thinking too much about it. In chapter 71, Sawako starts asking if he is still in love with her, he quickly kisses her.
Ayane Yano 
Voiced by: Miyuki Sawashiro (anime), Natsuna Watanabe (live-action)
Ayane is a close friend of Sawako. She is the arguably the most mature of the group and she has a boyfriend in college as well as having her ears pierced multiple times. Initially Shiina conceived of Yano and Yoshida as a pair, and in the first two chapters the two are difficult to tell apart. She then redrafted the characters, combing Yano’s hair and styling it in a fashion that looks like a pony-tail. Kurumi starts a rumor that Ayane played around with more than 100 guys in middle school, and that she and Yoshida are thug underlings of Sawako’s in high school. Perceptive and intelligent, Ayane tends to take just enough information to leave others wondering, thus forcing them to move forward. She was also able to figure out that it was Ume who spread the rumors, getting Ume to admit it, and discovering that Sawako, “liked” Kazehaya. Although she is usually calm and collected, she is easily infuriated if someone hurts Sawako and does not hesitate to attack the one she believes is responsible (frequently Kazehaya) with kicks and sharp words. She is also fairly intimidating when angry, being called scary by Chizuru a number of times. Later on she breaks up with her boyfriend, who had begun to become too possessive of her: calling her all times of the day, wondering what she has been up to, and checking if she has been with any guys. After she suggests they break up, he slaps her across the face, and when he tries to apologize and asks her back, she realizes that the man she liked was not her boyfriend but rather who he was when they started dating. After Sawako and Shota finally become a couple, Ayane comforts the girls that were potentially Sawako’s rivals. When Chizuru tells her she is too nice, Ayane denies it, but is surprised when Pin affirms she is nice, and she starts developing feelings for him. When schoolmate Mogi confesses to her, she agrees to date him, which shocks everybody. However, it appears that she is not in love with him, and her feelings towards Pin seem to increase. However, starting from chapter 59, it has been strongly hinted that Kento has feelings for Ayane. In chapter 71, she told Sawako that she’ll go home with Kento. After that, Pin tells Sawako that maybe they got together already.
Chizuru Yoshida 
Voiced by: Yuko Sanpei (anime), Misako Renbutsu (live-action)
Yoshida is another close friend of Sawako. She is the tomboy of the group, and she even admits this when Ryu calls them brothers, where she argues about who is the older rather than that she is not a ‘brother’. She can be very emotional at times, usually seen humorously crying after a touching moment between her friends. She has a soft spot for innocent mannered people, so she takes a near instant liking to Sawako. In Kurumi’s fake rumors it was passed around that she was a former Yankee, though Chizuru just takes the rumor as a means of scaring people off or as a joke for her friends. One of the rumors states that Chizuru holds a record of ninety nine straight wins on being able to beat a guy on a one on one fight (Chizuru took credit of this rumor, she herself stated that her streak was broken when she lost to her hundredth opponent, Ryu Sanada). Chizuru is mostly on the slower side of things; she did not realize that Sawako liked Kazehaya until after the Kurumi confrontation and that Kazehaya liked Sawako (even though she and Ayane planned many events for them) until late in the series, after they started their second year of high school. She is a close childhood friend with Ryu Sanada, her neighbor, and she went to the same middle school as Kazehaya and Ryu. Because of this, Ryu’s family regards Chizuru and her family as their own and vice versa. She has a crush on Ryu’s brother, Toru, since she was very young knowing the age gap between them. When Toru visits with his fiancée, she realizes that he will only see their relationship as just siblings. She is very dense to the fact that Ryu loves her, even interpreting him saying “I love you” as an expression of their friendship. When he confesses to her again, this time making it clear, it shocks her to the point where it becomes difficult to talk to him normally as she never thought about him like that and believes that they can’t go back to how they were before ever again. But she begins to grow feelings for Ryu and in chapter 88 she confesses to Ryu and he kisses her.
Ryu Sanada 
Voiced by: Yuichi Nakamura (anime), Haru Aoyama (live-action)
Ryu is also member of Sawako’s group of friends. He is the son of the ramen shop owner of Chizuru Yoshida’s favourite ramen shop. He is quiet most of the time and rarely talks, but still can communicate well with Sawako, as they both don’t talk much anyways. Ryu and Kazehaya became friends when they were on the baseball team during middle school. He is also close childhood friends with Chizuru and does not deny having feelings for her, such as simply smiling when Sawako asks if he and Chizuru are dating. He later confirms his love when he confesses that he likes Chizuru to Sawako. While his love is one-sided, he is very patient with Chizuru realizing that Chizuru probably won’t like him in a romantic sense, at least not right away. He’s more than willing to comfort Chizuru if she’s depressed, though he would rather have her mad at him as he knows Chizuru can vent out her emotions better. Ryu also seems to like animals a lot; when Shota was going to walk “Maru”, his adopted puppy, home with Sawako, Chizuru pulled Ryu away telling him he’s going to walk with Ayane and her instead. While being pulled away from Shota’s puppy, he cried out for it. A running gag in the series is that he has a very hard time remembering a person’s name (with the exception of Kazehaya and Chizuru as he’s known them for a long time, and after some time later Sawako and Ayane). In chapter 43, he casually tells Chizuru that he loves her and she is totally shocked. However, in chapter 59, he truly confesses his love for her, but she replies saying, “I have never looked at you in that way”. In response, he smiles and says, “I know.”
Kazuichi “Pin” Arai 
Voiced by: Yūki Ono (anime), Arata (live-action)
Arai is the temporary homeroom teacher for Sawako’s class, taking over when the previous homeroom teacher became sick during the summer holidays while Sawako was helping him. Sawako, being formal, always refers to him as “Arai-sensei,” while almost everyone else refers to him by his nickname, “Pin.” Pin is a great fan of baseball as well as the school baseball team’s coach. He used to be part of Kazehaya’s father’s league team, so he has known Shota since when he was young. A loud and eccentric man prone to believing the silliest things, Pin apparently enjoys interrupting people. He nicknames the puppy that Sawako and Kazehaya find by the river “Pedro Martínez” after the legendary baseball pitcher, which Sawako suggests be shortened to “Maru”. A running gag through the series, despite being a teacher he is prone to actions that are more suited to a teenager, such as eagerly running to the bathroom when he heard about a fight yet became depressed when Sawako and her friends were making up rather than fighting. He and Ayane tend to run into each other a lot, often bickering loudly as they walk away, though on rare occasions he will give her advice (though it comically ends in his ruining the moment to praise himself). He also has a false impression that Sawako is an exorcist. But for how he acts, Arai is rather insightful and is very helpful when it comes to his students, especially when he was suggesting career paths for Sawako, Ayane and Chizuru that best suit their talents and abilities. Pin also has a habit of believing girls in Sawakos year fancy him and often turns them down when they speak to him, stating that he’s just too old for them.

Film Friday- Revolutionary Girl Utena

Film Friday- Revolutionary Girl Utena

The anime series is divided into four story arcs, in each of which Utena comes to face a different challenge at Ohtori Academy. In all of them, Utena must defend her title as the owner of the Rose Bride, with the intention of protecting Anthy. The duels almost always occur when someone with the Rose Crest ring challenges the current Engaged, though the Engaged may challenge other Duelists as well. No refusal is accepted. The matches occur in the dueling arena, a large, high platform in the academy’s outskirts, which is only open to duelists. The Rose Bride pins roses to the Duelists’ jackets. They then sword fight until one duelist wins by knocking away the opponent’s rose with his or her blade.

(The story arc names below link to more details than given here as well as the episodes.)

  • Student Council Saga
Episodes 1 to 13. This first part of the series introduces Utena, Anthy and most of the main characters. It depicts how Utena ends up winning the Rose Bride, and her initial duels against the Student Council members. They in turn insist for various reasons on fighting in order to defeat Utena and win Anthy in order to gain the power to revolutionize the world.
  • Black Rose Saga
Episodes 14 to 24. After repelling the Student Council’s attempts to take Anthy, Utena faces another obstacle, Souji Mikage. Disguised as a genius 18-year-old school counselor, he uses his powers of persuasion and knowledge of psychology to put people under his control by coaxing them to confide their deepest hostilities and fears. Almost always, these people are students whose problems stem from conflict with Utena, Anthy and the Student Council. He then sends them, wearing black Rose Crest rings on their fingers and frozen, black roses on their chests to fight Utena. This arc also introduces Akio Ohtori.
  • Akio Ohtori Saga
Episodes 25 to 33. After solving the Mikage situation, Utena must fight rematches against the Student Council, whose members attain new abilities upon meeting Akio. At the same time, she finds herself the target of Akio’s seduction, creating a rift between her and Anthy.
  • Apocalypse Saga
Episodes 34 to 39. As the conflict escalates, the dark secrets of the duels and Akio and Anthy’s true intentions behind them are unveiled, and Utena confronts Akio in a final duel to free Anthy from his influence.

A movie, Adolescence of Utena, was released in theatres in 1999. A number of stage productions based on the franchise were also produced in the mid-1990s, including the “Comédie Musicale Utena la fillette révolutionnaire”, staged by an all-female Takarazuka-style cast.

The main character is Utena Tenjou, a tomboyish teenage girl who was so impressed by a kind prince in her childhood that she decided to become a prince herself, expressed in her manner of dress and personality. She attends Ohtori Academy, where she meets a student named Anthy Himemiya, a girl who is in an abusive relationship with another student. Utena fights to protect Anthy and is pulled into a series of sword duels with the members of the Student Council. Anthy is referred to as the “Rose Bride” and is given to the winner of each duel. It is said that the winner of the tournament will receive a mysterious “power to revolutionize the world”, and the current champion is constantly challenged for the right to possess the Rose Bride.

Other Tuesday- Revolutionary Girl Utena Character Special

Other Tuesday- Revolutionary Girl Utena Character Special

Character Special:

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

Student Council

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

Black Rose Duelists

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

Manga Monday- Revolutionary Girl Utena

Manga Monday- Revolutionary Girl Utena

Revolutionary Girl Utena is a manga by Chiho Saito and an anime directed by Kunihiko Ikuhara. The manga serial began in the June 1996 issue of Ciao and the anime was first broadcast in 1997. The anime and manga were created simultaneously, but, despite some similarities, they progressed in different directions.

Utena is a highly metaphysical, surreal and allegorical shōjo series. It contains a mix of borrowed visuals from Takarazuka theater, shadow puppetry and classic douseiai-style shōjo manga.

Manga plot

Utena is seen as having conflict with the staff of her current school and they call in her aunt, who is an interior decorator. Utena’s friend Kaido is introduced and the two seem to have a strong friendship. It is then explained that Utena may be as headstrong as she is because of her parents’ death at such an early age. Utena gets a letter from someone who has been sending her letters every year when the roses bloom. She says it started after she was rescued by her prince as a little girl. Kaido is intent on finding out who is sending her the letters. Later on Utena meets a co-worker of her aunt’s, Aoi Wakaouji. He seems to bear a strong resemblance as well as the same ring as Utena’s prince. She is drawn to him but only to have her hopes that Aoi is her prince shattered when she catches him and her aunt in a passionate moment. From there the scene from her childhood is recreated right in front of Kaido’s eyes. He informs her that he found that all the letters reveal themselves to be a picture of Aoi’s alma mater, an exclusive prep school. From this knowledge Utena decides to change schools. She leaves a heartbroken Kaido, who it seems has feelings for Utena, to find her prince.

On May 20, 2017, Shōgakukan announced that a new chapter will be published in the September issue of its magazine Flower (to be released on July 28, 2017). Shōgakukan didn’t precisely state if other chapters would be released past September. Chiho Saitō is still in charge of the drawing.

Film Friday- Snow White with the Red Hair

Film Friday- Snow White with the Red Hair

An anime adaptation produced by Warner Bros., Hakusensha, Showgate, The Klockworx Co. Ltd., Hakuhodo DY Media Partners, Docomo Anime Store, BS Fuji and Bones aired the first half of the season in Japan between July 6, 2015 and September 21, 2015. The second half of the season aired in Japan between January 11, 2016 and March 28, 2016.


An anime television series adaptation was announced in 2015 April issue of Hakusensha’s LaLa magazine. The anime adaptation is produced by Warner Bros., Hakusensha, Showgate, The Klockworx Co. Ltd., Hakuhodo DY Media Partners, Docomo Anime Store, BS Fuji and Bones, which handled the animation. The anime was directed by Masahiro Andō and the script was written by Deko Akao with character designs by Kumiko Takahashi. The opening theme is “Yasashii Kibou” by Saori Hayami and the ending theme is “Kizuna ni Nosete” by Eyelis. Funimation has licensed the series for online streaming in North America. AnimeLab has secured streaming rights in Australia & New Zealand. An Original Anime DVD (OAD) bundled with limited edition of 15th volume of the original manga. The 30-minute OAD features the same cast and staff with the anime television series. It adapts three chapters from the original manga (chapter 41, special chapter from volume 7, and special chapter from volume 11), and will not air as part of the anime television series. The OAD ending theme is “Ginsekai” by Eyelis.

The second season of the anime television series aired in Japan from January 11, 2016 to March 28, 2016. The opening theme is “Sono Koe ga Chizu ni Naru” by Saori Hayami and Ending theme is “Page ~Kimi to Tsudzuru Monogatari~” by Eyelis.

Main characters

Voiced by: Saori Hayami (Japanese); Brina Palencia (English)
Shirayuki is the main protagonist of the story. Born with rare red hair, she often has to hide it due to how it easily attracts attention. She escapes from the kingdom of Tanbarun after its prince orders her to become his concubine. Independent and persistent, she meets Zen on her second day in the kingdom of Clarines and befriends him after tending to his wounds. Later, she is accepted as a royal pharmacist and trains under Garack and Ryu. Shirayuki has demonstrated her abilities as a pharmacist in various situations, particularly in identifying and controlling disease outbreaks in foreign areas. She has a close relationship with Zen, and falls in love with him over the course of the story despite opposition due to their difference in social status. She moves into the east wing of Wistal Castle in chapter 49, and is later reassigned as a pharmacist to Lyrias for two years in chapter 53.
Zen Wistalia
Voiced by: Ryōta Ōsaka (Japanese); Josh Grelle (English)
Zen is the second prince of Clarines, and meets Shirayuki on a trip outside the castle. Shortly after befriending her, he is poisoned by an apple meant for Shirayuki, but obtains the antidote with her help. Initially, Zen is often seen escaping his duties to experience Clarines first-hand, though he has since taken more responsibility over official work. He has a close relationship with his three aides, Mitsuhide, Kiki, and Obi, and has both their respect and genuine loyalty. Over the course of the story, he falls in love with Shirayuki, and rescues her from various dangers.
Mitsuhide Lowen
Voiced by: Yūichirō Umehara (Japanese); Ian Sinclair (English)
Mitsuhide is one of Zen’s closest aides, he was appointed by Prince Izana to watch over Zen (despite initially wanting to be Izana’s retainer) and is a skilled swordsman. Though their relationship was initially rocky, he is seen by Zen as both a close friend and reliable aide. He is extremely loyal though somewhat clumsy at times, as well as a little silly. In chapter 92 he is offered a marriage proposal by Kiki Seiran, which he declines.
Kiki Seiran
Voiced by: Kaori Nazuka (Japanese); Jamie Marchi (English)
Kiki is one of Zen’s closest aides, and arrives at the castle some time after Mitsuhide. As the heir to the household of the Seiran family, her father expects her to return home to assume responsibility after her time serving Zen. Reserved, independent and intelligent, Kiki is extremely loyal to protecting Zen (and later Shirayuki as she becomes part of Zen’s life) and is most often seen with Mitsuhide. She has stated (to Zen) that when the time comes, she will propose to Mitsuhide. Like Mitsuhide, she is skilled at swordplay and is often seen training the soldiers or dueling with him. In chapter 92 Kiki confesses and proposes to Mitsuhide, which he later declines.
Voiced by: Nobuhiko Okamoto; (Japanese); Austin Tindle (English)
Obi is one of Zen’s self-proclaimed aides. Originally sent by Marquis Haruka as a way to scare Shirayuki out of the castle, he later pledges himself to Zen after being discovered. It is hinted that he has feelings for Shirayuki, but his loyalty to both Zen and Shirayuki prevents him from acting out on his feelings. Obi has a relatively mysterious past as a loner, but finds himself drawn to protecting Zen, Shirayuki, and their respective goals. He later becomes Zen’s official messenger. With his quick movements and reflexes, he is often sent by Zen to protect Shirayuki at times when he cannot leave his royal duties. He has been seen using the alias “Nanaki”.
Manga Monday- Snow White with the Red Hair

Manga Monday- Snow White with the Red Hair

Snow White with the Red Hair is a Japanese shōjo manga written by Sorata Akizuki. It was serialized in Hakusensha’s bi-monthly shōjo manga magazine, LaLa DX but has since moved to monthly LaLa and is published in collected volumes by Hakusensha.


Shirayuki is a normal herbalist in the kingdom of Tanbarun with one unique feature: her beautiful red hair. Due to her unusual hair color, Shirayuki was raised to always be careful of showing her hair in new surroundings and grew to be an independent young woman. However, her hair gets her noticed by Prince Raj, who orders her to become his concubine. Refusing his orders, she cuts her hair and leaves it behind as part of what he wanted and escapes to the neighboring kingdom of Clarines. On her way there, she meets and befriends Prince Zen and his two aides Mitsuhide and Kiki. When Zen is poisoned by an apple meant for Shirayuki gifted by Raj, Shirayuki successfully obtains the antidote and decides to accompany the trio to Clarines. Shortly thereafter, Shirayuki passes an exam for a position to train in the palace as a herbalist. Shirayuki and her friends find a place in Clarines and carries out her duties as a court herbalist. Over the course of the story, Zen and Shirayuki begin to fall in love with each other and eventually begin a romantic relationship, in spite of opposition due to their difference in social status.


The manga was serialized in Hakusensha’s monthly shōjo manga magazine, LaLa DX in 2006 but has since moved to LaLa and is published in collected volumes by Hakusensha. As of April 2017, 17 volumes have been published in Japan. It has been licensed in France by Kana and in Taiwan by Sharp Point Press. The eleventh volume ranked 21st in Oricon’s weekly manga ranking for the week of January 6.

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.