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Film Friday- Kaichou wa Maid-sama!

Film Friday- Kaichou wa Maid-sama!

A 26-episode anime adaptation produced by J.C.Staff aired between April and September 2010.

The October 2009 issue of LaLa announced that a 26 episode anime television adaptation of the series would be produced. It was broadcast in TBS and BS-TBS during Spring 2010. The April 2010 issue of LaLa revealed the broadcast date to be on April 1, 2010 at 1:55 midnight. The adaptation was also present at the Tokyo International Anime Fair with Ayumi Fujimura, Nobuhiko Okamoto, Kana Hanazawa and Yū Kobayashi’s attendance. The anime series is licensed by Sentai Filmworks, with The Anime Network currently streaming the series on their video portal. Anime distributor Section23 Films released the first subtitled-only set on DVD, June 7, 2011. The second subtitled-DVD set was released on August 2, 2011 A complete collection on DVD was released on October 9, 2012. Sentai Filmworks & Section23 will re-release the series on DVD and Blu-ray, with an English dub on January 27, 2015.

The staff list was announced and Hiroaki Sakurai directed the series with series composition done by Mamiko Ikeda who previously worked on the series composition for Emma: A Victorian Romance series and most recently the Rental Magica series and Hanasakeru Seishōnen, while the animation character designs by Yuki Imoto and music composed by Tōru Motoyama. The series was animated by J.C.Staff who previously worked on Honey and CloverToradora! and Nodame Cantabile. Ayumi Fujimura and Nobuhiko Okamoto took on the role of Misaki Ayuzawa and Takumi Usui respectively.

Main characters

Misaki Ayuzawa 

The titular character of the story, 16-year-old Misaki Ayuzawa is the first female student council president at Seika High. She is known for her extremely bossy and strict attitude towards boys, and relentless attempts to reform them to live up to what she considers are acceptable standards of behavior. Though many of the male students fear and hate her, the ones who get to know her come to see that she is actually very fair and willing to help anyone who needs it.
She eventually becomes widely respected for her good grades, her great athletic skill, and her many accomplishments as president. Her negative attitude towards males is mostly attributed to her father amassing a huge debt and then disappearing. Misaki became determined to make sure her sickly and helpless mother, Minako would not have to work so hard to support both Misaki and her younger sister, Suzuna. After her father left, she studied hard and learned martial arts and became Seika’s president. To this extent, she secretly, and at first reluctantly, works as a maid-waitress at Café Maid Latte. Misaki is always driven to do her best regardless of the endeavor, and has a strong sense of justice, though she also has a tendency to be too selfless for her own good.
At Café Maid Latte, Misaki is called “Misa-chan” by her coworkers and customers. Misaki was shown being the most passionate with her job when she was dressed as a male and appealing to woman, saying she would like a guy like herself.
Despite her initial annoyance towards Usui and her belief that his interest in her stems from being the only one who knows she works as a maid-waitress, she is in love with him. However, Misaki always denies her feelings for him and becomes awkward whenever a potentially intimate moment arises between them. In chapter 57, she eventually confesses her feelings for him and they become a couple, though secretly at Misaki’s insistence to preserve her reputation as the student council president. When Usui reveals that he is to transfer to Miyabigaoka, she openly reveals their relationship to the students at Seika High, despite the potential damage it may cause to her appearance. When told that Usui would be going to England, Misaki is shocked but keeps her composure and openly accepts his choice. After Usui stops texting her from England she seeks the help of the Miyabigaoka High School President, Tora Igarashi, for a way to travel to him. The deal between the two is for Misaki to travel to see Usui, but in return she must tell Usui to not cut all ties between himself and the Walker Family; benefiting Igarashi in him being in contact of a person of noble blood such as Usui. Usui and Misaki reunite in England and return home to Japan to finish out their high school years. In chapter 81, Misaki and Usui get engaged, and in chapter 85, Misaki becomes a diplomat/lawyer while Usui becomes a respected doctor and they get married.

Takumi Usui 

The most popular male student in Seika High, Takumi Usui  is a 17-year-old boy who appears to take little interest in anything and prefers to observe things as they unfold. He has blond hair, which he inherited from his mother, and is extremely handsome, so much that even a few boys at Seika High are infatuated with him solely because of that. He also inexplicably wears glasses only at home. Usui proves to be extraordinarily talented in a number of different fields, including cooking, the violin, chess, martial arts and table etiquette. He also gets excellent grades and is an excellent athlete. However, he reveals very few details about his past willingly. He has taken an interest in Misaki because she stands from everyone else and her hard work makes her unique. He expresses his feelings mainly by teasing her and passing perverted comments to see her funny expressions, and she nicknames him “perverted outer-space alien” as a running gag in the series is Misaki wondering whether Usui is even human when he comes out relatively unscathed from a fall that would mortally injure someone on spot. Usui was also the first Seika student to discover Misaki’s maid secret and even though he is concerned about her risky work habits, she brushes it off as him wanting to blackmail her. As he has been in love with Misaki since the first time they met, he dislikes it and becomes jealous, though he has trouble expressing it, whenever other boys get her attention, including Shintani and Tora.
At Misaki’s insistence, Usui reveals that he is an illegitimate child. His mother, a Japanese-English woman from the wealthy Walker family, had an affair with an unknown Japanese man (later revealed to be a butler of the Walker family); his mother died in childbirth. To conceal his origins, his maternal English grandfather sent Usui to live with his mother’s Japanese grandmother’s family, resulting in little contact with his older half-brother. Adopted by his mother’s cousin, Usui’s education was primarily through tutors, partially explaining his academic excellence (as shown when he checkmates the vice president of the Miyabigaoka high school chess club in very few moves). However, he became bored of the isolation and randomly selected a standard high school to attend; after enrolling in Seika High, he moved into a high-rise condo where he lives alone. During his first year at Seika, he quickly became popular among the girls, but not being interested in them, he systematically rejected them whenever they confessed to him, thus earning Misaki’s resentment of him. Within his class, even his classmates respect him and he is called “Usui-san”.
In chapter 32, Usui confesses to Misaki during the school’s firework festival and they share a kiss, though the relationship does not become formalized until Misaki herself confesses her love to him in chapter 57. He is forced to transfer to Miyabigaoka High School for his third year of high school., though he still makes an effort to go out of his way to see Misaki every day. When in England, Usui texts Misaki every day and continues to tease her, such as by asking for the color of her underwear, until his brother takes his phone away. The event triggers Misaki’s deal with Tora Igarashi so she could go to England and meet with Usui, while Usui himself struggles in his confinement by his brother and maternal grandfather, the latter of whom still disowns him for being an illegitimate child. He eventually reunites with Misaki and reveals their relationship in front of the nobility. Usui is allowed to head back to Japan only if he agrees to keep his relations with the Walker family. Despite never attaining his grandfather’s approval, Usui is wed to Misaki in chapter 85 and becomes a doctor for his family.

Yuki Ochimura ni Ojou-sama!, a crossover between Kaichou wa Maid-Sama! and Yuki wa Jigoku ni Ochiru no Ka released by the Hiro Fujiwara in 2016 is set 12 years after the marriage & it is revealed that Usui & Misaki have a 10-year-old daughter called Sara and an 8-year-old son called Rui.

Manga Monday- Kaichou wa Maid-sama!

Manga Monday- Kaichou wa Maid-sama!

Maid Sama! is a shōjo manga series by Hiro Fujiwara. It was serialized in Hakusensha’s monthly shōjo manga magazine, LaLa. There are 18 published volumes under the Hana to Yume Comics imprint in Japan. At their Anime Expo 2008 panel, North American publisher Tokyopop announced its various newly licensed series and that Kaichō wa Maid-sama! would be titled Maid-sama!.

Maid Sama! is written and illustrated by Hiro Fujiwara. This series was serialized in Hakusensha’s shōjo manga magazine LaLa, and the serial chapters collected into volumes. The first volume was released on September 5, 2006.
Outside Japan, the series was once licensed by Tokyopop, and it’s been relicensed by Viz Media in North America, JPF in Poland, Pika Édition in France, Carlsen Verlag in Germany, Panini Comics in Italy, Mexico and Brazil, and Everglory Publishing Co in Taiwan. In Indonesia, the series was published by M&C Comic.
The series ended on September 24, 2013.

Plot

Once an all-boys school, Seika High, infamous for its rowdy students, has recently become a co-ed school. However, with the female population still remaining a minority even after the change over the recent years, Misaki Ayuzawa works hard to make the school a better place for girls. She puts a lot of effort into academics and athletics, and earns the trust of the teachers. Eventually, she becomes the first female student council president. Misaki has gained a reputation, among the male students body as a strict boy-hating demon dictator and as a shining hope for the teachers and fellow female students. However, despite her reputation, she secretly works part-time at a maid café in order to support her ill mom and sister by returning the huge debt their father had left them.

Unfortunately, Misaki’s secret is soon discovered by Takumi Usui, a popular boy at Seika High. Instead of exposing it to the school, though, Usui keeps it for himself and even becomes a regular customer at the café, much to Misaki’s chagrin. Known for being a genius in pretty much everything from academics to athletics and for having rejected numerous confession of his female peers, Usui takes a liking to Misaki because all the other girls only care about Usui’s looks. After going through various awkward situations, including being confronted by a forgotten childhood friend of hers, Misaki falls in love with Usui, who reciprocates, and the two soon become a couple.

However, their relationship is troubled by Usui’s difficult familial past coming back to haunt him. Being an illegitimate child of a wealthy English noble family, Usui technically cannot form a relationship with anyone not in his social standing, Misaki included. Misaki has to see Usui being forced to transfer to a prestigious rival school Miabigaoka, and then away from Japan completely when his family takes him back to England. By working through complicated and difficult ways, however, Misaki manages to find her way back to Usui, who concludes that he will continue his relationship with Misaki no matter what. At the end of the year, on graduation day, all the staff in Maid Latte come and Misaki finally reveals her secret also saying that she has no regrets. In the epilogue, after solving the differences with Usui’s family, Misaki and Usui finally hold their wedding ten years later.

Film Friday- Shugo Cara!

Film Friday- Shugo Cara!

Shugo Chara! has also been adapted into a fifty-one episode anime television series of the same title produced by Satelight under the direction of Kenji Yasuda and debuted on October 6, 2007 on TV Tokyo. On July 20, 2008, Anime News Network reported that the Shugo Chara! anime would be continued for a second year under the title Shugo Chara!! Doki—, the first episode airing on October 10, 2008; the official anime website later announced an October 4, 2008 start date.

On October 3, 2009, Shugo Chara! began featuring another series. The new program, Shugo Chara Party! containing Shugo Chara!!! Dokki Doki and Shugo Chara Pucchi Puchi! follow the current anime series as its power-up. The last episode aired on March 26, 2010.

Anime

Shugo Chara! was adapted into an anime television series of the same title in 2007. The television series is produced by Satelight under the direction of Kenji Yasuda and was first broadcast on the Japanese network, TV Tokyo. Consisting of fifty-one episodes, the first episode, “A Guardian Character is Born!”, aired on October 6, 2007. The episodes are rebroadcast by five other networks within a few days after the initial broadcast on TV Tokyo.

Six pieces of theme music by the J-pop group Buono! are used for the first season—two opening themes and four closing themes. The opening theme for the first twenty-six episodes is “Kokoro no Tamago”; and the last twenty-five episodes, “Minna Daisuki”. The closing theme for the first twelve episodes is “Honto no Jibun”; episodes thirteen to twenty-six, “Ren’ai Rider”; episodes twenty-seven to thirty-nine, “Kiss! Kiss! Kiss!”; and the last twelve episodes, “Gachinko de Ikō!”. There are also four insert songs, all sung by Nana Mizuki: “Meikyū Butterfly”, first sung in episode 12; “Black Diamond”, first in episode 39; “Heartful Song”, first in episode 47; and “Taiyou ga Niau yo”, first in episode 93.

A second year of episodes, under the title Shugo Chara!! Doki—, began airing the week after the fifty-first episode, on October 4, 2008; previously, Anime News Network reported that it was scheduled for October 10, 2008 on AT-X. Two opening themes sung by Shugo Chara Egg! and another two by Guardians 4 have been used; the opening theme for the first twelve episodes is “Minna no Tamago”; the second is “Shugo Shugo!”, used in episodes sixty-five to episode seventy-six; and the third opening is “Omakase♪Guardian” , by Guardians 4. The fourth and final opening is “School Days” sung by Guardians 4. The ending theme is “Rottara Rottara” by Buono!. A second ending theme, “Co-no-Mi-chi”, also by Buono!, took its place from episode 69 to 76. The third ending, “MY BOY”, also sung by Buono!, started showing from episode 77 to 89. The fourth ending theme is called “Take it Easy!”, also sung by Buono!, took its place from episode 90 and on wards. The opening theme for the Shugo Chara!!! Dokki Doki segment is “Watashi no Tamago” performed by Shugo Chara! Egg, while the opening for Shugo Chara! Party itself is “Party Time!” by Guardians 4. The first ending is “Bravo! Bravo!” performed by Buono!.
Crunchyroll announced on November 19, 2008 that it will be streaming Shugo Chara! with English subtitles along with other anime series from TV Tokyo.
On August 25, 2009, Anime News Network reported that a new series will premiere in Japan on October 3, 2009. This series is titled Shugo Chara Party! featuring anime and live-action segments contains the Anime Shugo Chara!!! Dokki Doki, the “power-up” of the Shugo Chara!! Doki— anime as its main segment and Shugo Chara Pucchi Puchi!, anime shorts starring Ran, Miki, Su, and Diamond. Director Kenji Yasuda continued to oversee both Shugo Chara!!! Dokki Doki and Shugo Chara Pucchi Puchi!.

Other Tuesday- Character Special Shugo Chara!

Other Tuesday- Character Special Shugo Chara!

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

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

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

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

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

Main characters

Amu Hinamori 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tadase Hotori 

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

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

Ikuto Tsukiyomi 

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

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

Utau Hoshina/Tsukiyomi 

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

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

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

Manga Monday- Shugo Chara!

Manga Monday- Shugo Chara!

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

Shugo Chara! is serialized in the magazine Nakayoshi and published by Kodansha in Japan. Del Rey has licensed the English language manga rights, releasing the first volume on March 27, 2007. It won the 2008 Kodansha Manga Award for best children’s manga.

 

Manga

In December 2005, Peach Pit announced that they were working on a new shōjo manga series called Shugo Chara! The first chapter was published in the February 2006 edition of Nakayoshi magazine. The first volume collection was then republished on July 6, 2006 by Nakayoshi publisher Kodansha. In addition to the regular volumes, the series is being released in limited editions in Japan, each of which include different cover art from the regular editions, metallic foil sleeves, and a set of postcards featuring Amu in various outfits and poses following the color theme of the dust jackets. Del Rey Manga announced that it acquired the English language rights to Shugo Chara! during Manga NEXT 2006 and released the first volume on March 27, 2007. Kodansha USA published the entire series in 2011.
The series was put on hiatus along with two other series, Rozen Maiden and Zombie-Loan, in December 2008 due to a sudden illness and hospitalization. One month later, Peach-Pit announced that all three series will resume and thanked their fans for the support during the illness. There is a spin-off manga series called Shugo Chara Chan!, featuring drawings by Mizushima Naftaren, which is in yonkoma (4-panel) comics style and focuses on Amu’s guardians. Currently there are three volumes. There is no special edition version of the spin-off series. The January issue of Kodansha’s Nakayoshi magazine confirmed on December 1, 2009, that Peach-Pit would be ending the Shugo Chara! manga in the next issue on December 28. A sequel series was later announced, titled Shugo Chara! Encore!, and ran between April and September 2010 issues of Nakayoshi.

Plot

The main protagonist of the story, Amu Hinamori, is a female student attending Seiyo Elementary. At first glance, her classmates refer to her attitude and appearance as “cool and spicy” and rumors speculate about her personal life. However, her real personality is that of a very shy girl who has trouble showing her true personality. One night, Amu wishes for the courage to show her “would-be” self, and the next morning, she finds three brightly colored eggs — pink, blue, and green — in her bed. These eggs hatch into three Guardian Characters, or “Shugo Charas”: Ran (pink), Miki (blue), and Su (green). The Guardian Characters aid Amu in discovering who she truly is and help fulfill Amu’s dreams. Amu’s life becomes much more complex, as she struggles to deal with her “would-be” selves and Seiyo Elementary’s Guardians, who each have a Guardian Character of their own. People with Guardian Characters can “chara-nari” (character transform) or “character change”. Each transformation has special powers, mainly for attacking or defending. Character changes have special powers too, but have more practical uses. Later on, they recruit Amu as the “Joker” to search for X Eggs and X Characters, the corrupted forms of people’s dreams, so the Guardians can purify their dreams. In Japanese, the egg is shortened.
Meanwhile, the Easter Company is extracting people’s eggs, in search of a special egg called the Embryo. The Embryo is believed to grant any wish to the one who possesses it. However, the process creates X Eggs and X Characters. Later on in the series, a fourth (yellow) egg named Diamond is born. Unlike Amu’s other Guardian Characters, she is only seen a few times in the series. Due to Amu’s mixed feelings before Diamond was born, she becomes an X character and is “stolen” by idol singer Hoshina Utau, who uses Diamond to character change for her concerts, planned by Easter as part of their plan to get the Embryo. Later on, Diamond is purified and becomes a regular Guardian Character. She would then appear in times of heavy crisis.

 

Film Friday- Marmalade Boy

Film Friday- Marmalade Boy

The series was adapted by Toei Animation as a 76-episode anime television series which aired on TV Asahi and Fuji TV in 1994 to 1995. This was followed by a prequel theatrical anime movie in 1995. The series was also adapted as a 30-episode live-action television series that was broadcast in Taiwan in 2002. They were also unable to renew the license for the first twenty-four episodes of the anime.

Toei Animation adapted Marmalade Boy into a 76-episode anime television series which aired on TV Asahi in 1994 to 1995. This was followed by a prequel theatrical anime movie in 1995. The anime series was licensed for Region 1 DVD release by Tokyopop, which released the series in four box sets. Tokyopop’s license had since expired, leaving the anime out of print, until May 6, 2017, when Discotek Media announced they have licensed the anime, and would release the series in two DVD sets. The first set (episodes 1-38) has been released on August 29, 2017, and the second set (episodes 39-76) on November 28, 2017. An SD on BD Set has been announced for 2018.

The movie for the anime acts as a prequel to the story. Taking place as a flashback after Yuu kisses Miki in the nurse’s office, he recalls the first time he met Miki, shortly after his parents told him of their impending divorce and spouse swap. He found Miki practicing tennis in the park and spent the rest of the day following her around, eventually finding out she was to be his new stepsister. According to this movie, Yuu was in love with Miki before the family’s meeting. The second Discotek set, as well as the upcoming SD on BD set has the movie packaged in there.

Miki Koishikawa 

is a lively high school student, who is on the Toryo High School tennis team. She is cheerful, friendly, supportive, outspoken, a big girly girl and good-hearted. On the other hand, she can also be insecure, whiny, clingy, and very emotionally dependent on others. She had a part-time job working in an ice cream parlor, called Bobson’s. Later, she works in a small decoration shop.

When she was in junior high, she confessed her love to a male friend of hers named Ginta, but it was a disaster and Miki ended up heartbroken. Eventually she got over it and became friends with him again.

While Miki was in high school, her parents went on a trip to Hawaii and decided to swap spouses with another couple. The other couple had a son the same age as Miki, and they all moved into a large house to live together. That boy was Yuu Matsuura, and Miki started to fall in love with him as they came to know each other better. However, Miki was very uncertain of herself and became jealous because Yuu was always surrounded by other girls, several of them being very beautiful and mature while Miki believes herself to be only average-looking and childish. She and Yuu eventually became a couple, but they didn’t tell their parents because they believed their parents would disapprove. They confessed their love to each other in episode 25, and started dating in episode 26. Due to Yuu being away in New York, and Miki tired of worrying all the time, she broke up with him in episode 62. But the two got back together in episode 71 when he returned for summer break. A misunderstanding causes Yuu to believe that they are half-siblings, and he breaks up with her without telling her the real reason, thinking the truth would be more painful. But after some time trying to make the right decision, they decide to marry and ask for their parents’ approval. There, they learn that they are not related and receive their parents’ blessing. By the end of the anime, they marry; at the end of the manga, they make plans to marry after college.

Yuu Matsuura 

is the male protagonist of the series. Miki gives him the “Marmalade Boy” moniker as she thinks that he is like marmalade – pretty looking, and sweet only on the surface, yet bitter. Compared to Miki, Yuu’s character is almost a complete opposite to hers, as he tends to be more detached, less emotional, and less open about his feelings. He admits to admiring Miki’s ability to show her emotions clearly, and it being one of the reasons he fell in love with her. Yuu is smart and naturally athletic, being able to excel in almost every sport although he did not join any clubs in order to focus on his studies. Yuu’s dream is to become an architect and in the anime he leaves to attend St. Andrews high school near New York City to study it there. Yuu teases Miki a lot, but this is his way of showing affection for her. His first kiss with Miki is a complete surprise for her because she had only met him a few days prior at an introductory dinner attended by both their families. The Marmalade Boy Movie, which is a prequel to the TV series and set a few days before this dinner, reveals that Yuu fell in love with Miki before they actually met. It shows that he saw Miki when she was out and followed her, witnessing her interactions with the Gastman Team, all without her knowledge.

One of Yuu’s biggest goals, in addition to being an architect, is to uncover his paternity. A series of unfortunate events leads him to believe that Youji is not his biological father. Nobody knows of his quest at first, especially Miki, as he researches various individuals who may or may not have fathered him, accumulating with him believing that Jin is his father, and Miki to be his half-sister. However, it is revealed that Youji is his true father and is free to continue his and Miki’s relationship. At the end of the anime, they marry; in the manga, they are making plans to marry after college.

Ginta Suou 

is Miki’s best male friend and a member of the Toryo tennis team. Miki has had a crush on him since junior high and confessed her feelings to Ginta in a note. However, the note was found by Ginta’s classmates, and Ginta downplayed it, without knowing at the time that she was watching, although he felt the same way about Miki.

Although he did find out that Miki had witnessed his denial of any interest in her, he was unable to tell her how he really felt until high school. The romantic tension between them comes to a head with Yuu’s appearance, which makes them realize that they still have feelings for each other. He decides to go along with Yuu’s ex-girlfriend Arimi’s proposal that they pose as a couple in order to drive a wedge between Miki and Yuu. In the process however, he starts to develop genuine feelings for Arimi, which she later reciprocates.

Meiko Akizuki 

is Miki’s best female friend. Meiko is the only child of wealthy parents and is very mature and beautiful. However, her family life is troubled because her parents are unfaithful to each other and constantly argue. She falls in love with Shinichi Namura after realizing that he has the maturity that she craves, but their relationship as teacher/student proves to be a huge hindrance. After finally gaining her parents’ approval, they are able to marry.

Arimi Suzuki 

is a former classmate of Yuu’s at his previous high school. She convinces Yuu to be her “boyfriend” for three months, during which they act as a couple on a trial basis. Arimi attempts to make Yuu to fall in love with her during this time, but fails. At the end of the three months, he still thought of her as a friend.

Miki’s indecisiveness about Ginta and Yuu frustrates her, as she does not think that Yuu deserves someone who cannot commit to one person. Arimi teams up with Ginta in an attempt to drive Yuu and Miki apart from each other. However, she eventually realizes that Yuu’s behavior around Miki indicates that he does like her, so she stops her pursuit of him. Some time later, she develops feelings for Ginta and they become a couple.

Manga Monday- Marmalade Boy

Manga Monday- Marmalade Boy

Marmalade Boy is a shōjo manga by Wataru Yoshizumi. It was published by Shueisha in the magazine Ribon from May 1992 to October 1995 and collected in eight tankōbon volumes.  The manga was published in English by Tokyopop, which also licensed the anime series. Tokyopop has since lost the license to the manga series, as Shueisha refused to renew it, leaving the releases out of print.

Marmalade Boy first premiered in the May 1992 issue of Ribon where it was serialized monthly until its conclusion in the October 1995 issue. The 39 unnamed chapters were collected and published in eight tankōbon volumes by Shueisha starting on December 12, 1992; the last volume was released February 20, 1996. Shueisha later republished the series in six special edition volumes. The first special edition volume was released on March 15, 2004, with new volumes published monthly until the final volume was released on August 11, 2004.

The series was licensed for an English language release in North America by Tokyopop. The individual chapters were serialized by the company’s manga anthology, Smile, from December 2001 through April 2002. Tokyopop released the first collected volume of the series on April 23, 2002, releasing new volumes monthly until the final volume was released August 5, 2003. It was one of the first manga series that Tokyopop released in the original Japanese orientation, in which the book is read from right to left, and with the original sound effects left in place. Tokyopop’s volumes of the series are out of print. Shueisha refused to renew the company’s license of the series after becoming part-owner of rival publisher Viz Media. It is also licensed for regional language releases in France by Glenat, in Mexico by Grupo Editorial Vid, in Spain by Planeta DeAgostini Comics, in Italy by Planet Manga, and in Germany by Egmont.

In the week of March 31, 2013, a sequel to Marmalade Boy titled Marmalade Boy Little went on sale in the year’s fifth issue of Cocohana. While Miki and Yuu make appearances, the new series, set 13 years after the end of the earlier one, focuses on Rikka Matsuura and Saku Koishikawa, Yuu and Miki’s respective sister and brother.

Novels

The final volume of original Japanese release of the Marmalade Boy Japanese light novels. Marmalade Boy was adapted into a series of Japanese light novels by Yumi Kageyama, with Wataru Yoshizumi acting as illustrator. The ten volume series was published under Shueisha’s Cobalt Bunko label from July 1994 through March 1996.

Plot

Miki Koishikawa’s ordinary life as a sophomore in high school is turned upside down when her parents suddenly announce that they are getting divorced in order to swap partners with a couple they met back in Hawaii. They seek her approval of the shocking change, and while at a restaurant during dinner where Miki meets the other couple as well as their teenage son Yuu Matsura, who is around her age, she reluctantly agrees to the arrangement. At first, Yuu appears to be a complete jerk who takes every opportunity to make fun of and tease Miki, but he actually turns out to be fun and attractive, and Miki finds herself falling in love with him. Little by little, she accepts her new family arrangement and opens up to Yuu as they become best friends.

After a while, Miki and Yuu’s relationship starts to become complicated because of the former relationships that they’ve had and developed with other characters. These include Miki’s long time classmate and former crush from middle school, Ginta Suou, and Yuu’s former girlfriend from his previous school, Arimi Suzuki. A secondary subplot develops when Miki’s best friend, Meiko Akizuki, herself starts to have her own problems because of the relationship she has gotten into with one of the school teachers, Shin’ichi Namura.

Throughout the series, Miki and Yuu’s relationship is further developed and tried, influenced by the other characters around them and the relationships that they develop with these characters.

Film Friday- Ao Haru Ride

Film Friday- Ao Haru Ride

An anime television series, produced by Production I.G and directed by Ai Yoshimura, premiered in Japan at midnight on 7 July 2014. A live-action film adaptation was released in December 2014. A drama CD has been released as a tie-in with the 10th volume of the manga. An OAD has been released as a tie-in with the 11th volume of the manga. Translations of manga volumes have been released in Germany, France, Italy, Taiwan, Poland, and Mexico.

Anime

An anime television series adaptation, produced by Production I.G and directed by Ai Yoshimura, premiered in Japan on 7 July 2014. Weekly broadcasts started at midnight on Tokyo Metropolitan Television (Tokyo MX). The opening theme for the series was performed by a collaboration between two Vocaloid creators CHiCO and HoneyWorks, while the ending theme was performed by Japanese rock band, Fujifabric. In addition, the three-member girl band Chelsy provided an insert song for the series. An Original Anime DVD is also slated for release tie-in with the 11th volume of the manga series. The anime has been licensed by Sentai Filmworks. It premiered with subtitles in 2015 on Anime Network On Demand.

Film

A live action film directed by Takahiro Miki was released on 13 December 2014. It stars Tsubasa Honda as Futaba Yoshioka and Masahiro Higashide as Kou Mabuchi. Izumi Fujimoto plays Yūri Makita, Yua Shinkawa plays Shūko Murao and Ryō Yoshizawa plays Aya Kominato. The film has grossed ¥1.90 billion (about US$16.0 million) at the Japanese box office.

Main characters

Futaba Yoshioka 
Voiced by: Maaya Uchida

Since middle school, Futaba has always believed that boys were too rough and violent. Kou Tanaka was the only exception, and Futaba wanted to know him better. The two share brief, sentimental memories, including a plan to go to the summer festival together. After accidentally telling Naitou, Kou’s friend, that she hates all boys within Kou’s hearing proximity, she worries about his opinion of her but convinces herself that he understands he is an exception. The summer festival arrives, and Kou doesn’t show up. Returning from the summer vacation, Futaba hears that Kou transferred to another school without explanation. Futaba realizes how much she liked Kou and regrets not telling him how she felt.In high school, Futaba’s character is drastically different. No longer feminine or cute, she makes herself as unattractive as possible. Futaba was an outcast in middle school because the girls were jealous of her popularity with boys. Determined to have friends in high school, she sacrifices her true, girly self for her classmates’ approval but in the middle of the first year she decides to be true to herself. Futaba is strong-willed, stubborn and passionate. She eventually falls in love with Kou again (they also share some kisses during a school festival). However, she constantly worries that he has no feelings for her and believes that she’s clinging to the past. After confessing and being rejected by Kou (Chapter 28), she decides to move on and dates Toma. By chapter 45, she decides to reconcile with Kou and they start dating afterwards. Futaba is portrayed by Tsubasa Honda in the film.

Kou Mabuchi 
Voiced by: Yūki Kaji

During his time in middle school with Futaba, Kou Tanaka was rather small and gentle. He became very fond of her throughout their experiences together but seemingly disappeared during a summer break. Making an appearance in Futaba’s high school, it is revealed that he was unable to attend the summer festival because of familial issues. No longer “Kou Tanaka”, he is now referred to as “Kou Mabuchi”. His personality has also taken a turn, for he is now more masculine, sarcastic, and crude. In addition, he has extremely pessimistic views about his brother and himself. Despite these changes, Kou remains a kind person. When Kominato visited his house and found his secret box full of things from middle school, Kou confessed to Kominato that he still likes Futaba. To him, Futaba seems to be a remainder of his happier days — the days before his family experiences turmoil. He is trapped between his sympathy for Narumi, his old junior high school mate from Nagasaki, and his feelings for Futaba. When he settled things up, Futaba is already Kikuchi’s girlfriend. Realizing that Futaba is already Kikuchi’s girlfriend, he comes to realize how many people he has hurt in his life. He discusses to Kominato about how he had hurt everyone around him that he dearly cared about especially Narumi, Futaba, and himself. At the same time, Narumi comes to final confrontation with Mabuchi saying that she will never stop loving him and pleads to make him understand that she is the right person to be with Mabuchi, and how Futaba does not understand him at all. Mabuchi, however, cannot stop thinking about or loving Futaba, therefore, he decides to reject Narumi’s feelings, but still considers her as a friend along with an apology for hurting her. Narumi leaves Mabuchi a kiss saying that she doesn’t want to end things in a negative way, and decides to let him go. As Mabuchi becomes more honest with others including himself, he finally realizes that he doesn’t need to hide his feelings anymore and decides to finally pursue Futaba in order to be with her. He and Futaba later on reconcile and start dating. Kou is portrayed by Masahiro Higashide in the film.

Yūri Makita 
Voiced by: Ai Kayano

Introduced in the first chapter, Yūri’s high school life is parallel to Futaba’s middle school life. She is very cute, causing her to be despised by many girls in her class, and she is often left alone. Yūri gets by very well, however, for she prefers to be hated for who she truly is than to be liked for someone she isn’t. Yūri and Futaba soon become best friends. She falls in love with Kou after he helps her during a class leader’s camp. Yūri greatly treasures her friendship with Futaba, but often gets jealous of Futaba’s closeness with Kou. After getting rejected, she finally moves on and is now dating one of Toma’s friends, Uchiyama. Yūri is portrayed by Izumi Fujimoto in the film.

Shūko Murao 
Voiced by: Mikako Komatsu

Much like Yūri, Shūko is another “lone wolf”. She is very beautiful but has a cold exterior that drives others away. Due to experiences in middle school, Shūko fails to trust girls. Eventually, her trust in female relationships is restored after becoming friends with Futaba and Yūri. She softens up and also becomes close friends with Kō and Aya as well, so close that Aya mistakenly implied her having feelings for him. She has been in love with Tanaka-sensei, Kou’s older brother, since her first year of high school after attending a guidance session between the two of them but is soon rejected due to their teacher-student relationship (Chapter 27). In Chapter 48, she finally accepts Aya’s feelings and they start dating. Shūko is portrayed by Yua Shinkawa in the film.

Yōichi Tanaka 
Voiced by: Daisuke Hirakawa

Kou’s older brother by eight years. He works as an English teacher at Futaba’s high school. Entering high school, Futaba was initially interested in Yōichi as he reminded her of Kou. However, she was unaware that the two were brothers. Yōichi knows about Shūko’s crush on him but always rebuffs her advances, telling her that he will never see her as anything more than a student. However, he never hesitates to help her in times of need and is happy whenever he sees that she is fitting in. He enjoys a playful ‘rivalry’ with Aya over Shūko. He often gives Futaba advice whenever she feels unsure about herself or about Kou. Although it is hinted that he actually does have feelings for Shuko him saying to Aya “Before I can’t keep my feelings under control, I’ve been hoping for some great guy to come by and swoop Murao off her feet.”Yōichi is portrayed by Yū Koyanagi in the film.

Manga Monday- Ao Haru Ride

Manga Monday- Ao Haru Ride

Blue Spring Ride is a Japanese shōjo manga series written and illustrated by Io Sakisaka. It began serialization in the February 2011 issue of Shueisha’s Bessatsu Margaret and ended in February 2015.

Manga

Blue Spring Ride is written and illustrated by Io Sakisaka. Serialization began in the February 2011 issue of Shueisha’s manga magazine Bessatsu Margaret. The first tankōbon volume was released on 13 April 2011, and the twelfth volume was released on December 12, 2014 along with the anime’s 13th and final episode. The manga series ended on 13 February 2015.

Tokyo Pop released a German translation of the first volume in December 2012 and, as of June 2014, has released seven volumes under the title Blue Spring Ride. Kana released a French translation of the first volume on 5 July 2013 and, as of July 2014, has released six volumes under the title Blue Spring Ride. Panini Comics released an Italian translation of the first volume in September 2013 and, as of May 2014, has released five volumes under the title Ao haru ride – A un passo da te. Tong Li Publishing released a Chinese translation of the first volume in January 2013 and, as of June 2014, has released seven volumes under the title 閃爍的青春. Waneko released a Polish translation of the first volume in February 2014 and, as of June 2014, has released three volumes under the title Ścieżki Młodości. Viz Media announced during their Anime Boston2018 panel that they will publish the manga in English. The manga has sold over 5.84 million copies as of 9 May 2014.

Plot

Futaba Yoshioka is a 17-year-old high school student who has an inferiority complex, as she has the need to fit with her female friends by acting brash towards the male students, due to a history of attracting the latter which made other girls jealous and ostracize her, as a result causing her to feel that her life is nothing interesting. She finally abandons her facade when she befriends fellow outcast Yuri Makita, who is adamant in keeping her “cutesy” personality in exchange for being ostracized. At the same time, Futaba is surprised when she reunites with Kou Tanaka, whom she befriended during middle school and with whom she had mutual love until he abruptly moved away to Nagasaki to live with his late mother. She is disappointed, however, as the new Kou is going with his mother’s surname “Mabuchi” and seems to be a completely different person than she knew back then, as he is now a rude, cold, and sneaky individual. Kou enrolls in the school under supervision of his brother, Yoichi Tanaka, who teaches at the school.

However, Futaba and Kou have to work together when they apply for the class representative positions, assisted by event representatives Yuri, the also-outcast Shuko Murao who harbors feelings for the elder Tanaka brother, and her admirer, Aya Kominato. The five attend the leadership training and are able to form a bond. After the training, Yuri realizes that she has fallen in love with Kou and confesses during summer festival, but is rejected. Instead, she decides to support Futaba’s attempt to woo him and ends up falling in love with Uchiyama, a member of the school band. Meanwhile, after an embarrassing first meeting, Futaba is admired by Toma Kikuchi, Uchiyama’s bandmate, who begins inroads to make her turn from Kou and fall for him. He gets his attempt when Kou’s middle school friend from Nagasaki, Yui Narumi moves to Tokyo and begs him to take care of her. This causes Futaba to think that anymore attempt to woo Kou is futile, and, after a formal rejection from him, accept Kikuchi’s confession.

Nevertheless, Futaba struggles to erase Kou from her mind and be serious in her relationship with Kikuchi. Kou, who is revealed to have always loved Futaba after all those years, realizes that Narumi is dragging him back and decides to end their relationship. As Futaba’s relationship with Kikuchi becomes complicated with Kou making moves towards her, she chooses to separate from Kikuchi at the end of the school year. With Kikuchi out of the picture for Christmas, Futaba agrees to meet Kou in the same place where they promised to meet years before until his transfer, but it is cut short when Kou is involved in an accident. At the hospital, Futaba and Kou declare their love for each other.

The new couple’s first task together is helping Kominato confess to Murao. At the start of the new school year, Tanaka also decides to move to the United States to pursue further education and discover new things, wishing his brother happiness out from sulking about their mother’s death. To assure his family that he is well, Kou reverts his surname back to Tanaka. The series ends with Futaba and Kou seeking refuge from the rain at a temple like they did years before, which Futaba interprets as the evidence that something interesting has finally started for her.

Film Friday- Anonymous Noise

Film Friday- Anonymous Noise

The manga has been recently adapted into an anime television series that aired from April to June 2017 and a live-action film. An anime television series adaptation was announced via the cover of the 10th issue of Hana to Yume in April 2016 and aired on April 11, 2017 on Tokyo MX, Kansai TV, and BS Fuji then finished on June 27, 2017. The anime is licensed by Sentai Filmworks in North America for streaming and home video release that held world premiere screening of the first episode at Anime Boston on April 1, 2017 ahead of its release in Japan. Prior to the anime, an internet radio show to promote the series titled Fukumenkei Noise in NO hurry to Radio; began broadcasting on April 8, 2017. The show is hosted by Saori Hayami and Daiki Yamashita, the voice actors for Nino and Yuzu, respectively.

Live-action film

A live-action film adaptation was announced via the 21st issue of Hana to Yume in October 2016. Koichiro Miki is directing the film; he and Rie Yokota are writing the script. Principal photography began in November 2016. The film will be released on November 25, 2017 in Japan.

Main characters

Nino Arisugawa
Nino is a first-year high school student who has loved singing since young, being gifted with an extremely resonating voice. She was in love with her singing partner and neighbour Momo until he moved away suddenly, leading to the string of events that let her meet Kanade, whom she called Yuzu. After he leaves her too, she continues to sing for 6 years in hopes that her voice will reach them.
Kanade Yuzuriha 
Kanade is a second-year high school student who is known for drinking milk constantly. He nicknames Nino “Alice” from her surname. He initially had writer’s block until he met Nino, whose voice reignites his feelings and passion to keep composing, forming a masked band known as “in NO hurry to shout”. He has been in love with Nino but dates Miou from coercion on her part.