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Film Friday- Fist of the North Star

Film Friday- Fist of the North Star

Fist of the North Star was adapted into two anime television series produced by Toei Animation, which together aired on Fuji TV and its affiliates from 1984 through 1988, comprising a combined total of 152 episodes. Several films, OVAs and video games have been produced as well, including a series of spin-offs centering on other characters from the original story. English adaptations of other Fist of the North Star media have been licensed to other companies, including the TV series and the 1986 film.

Part 2

The peace that follows Raoh’s downfall does not last long and the world returns to turmoil several years later. Kenshiro rejoins his former travelling companions, Bat and Rin, in their battle against an oppressive Empire, fighting under the banner of the Hokuto Army. The Hokuto Army learns that the Empire has been taken over by an usurper named Jakoh, who has imprisoned the Celestial Empress and has been blackmailing her bodyguard, the Gento Kōken successor Falco, to do his evil bidding. The Hokuto Army fight their way into the central capital and free the Empress, who is in fact Rin’s long-lost twin sister Rui. With Rui now freed, Falco turns on Jakoh and kills him, foiling his ambitions.

However, Rin is taken captive by the remnant of Jakoh’s forces and is sent off to the mysterious Kingdom of Shura, a brutal land of warriors ruled by three overlords who have all mastered the ways of Hokuto Ryūken, a martial art which branched off from the same clan alongside Hokuto Shinken into the ways of darkness. Kenshiro defeats Han, the third-ranking overlord, who reveals that the Kingdom of Shura was Kenshiro’s birthplace. Moreover, Kenshiro also learns that Hyou, the second overlord, is his biological older brother, who lost his memories of Kenshiro after being separated as children and was corrupted into the ways of evil. Following a long gruelling battle, Hyou recovers his memories and reconciles with his long-lost brother. Kenshiro seeks out the highest-ranking and most powerful of the three overlords, Kaioh, who is in fact Raoh’s biological older brother. Kaioh plans a conquest to rule the post-apocalyptic world in the name of evil by wiping out the followers of Hokuto Shinken. With Hyou’s help, Kenshiro uncovers the sealed testament of the Hokuto Shinken founder, Shuken, which holds the secret to overcoming Kaioh’s ultimate technique.

Kenshiro emerges victorious over Kaioh and rescues Rin, leaving her under Bat’s care as he goes on an adventure with Raoh’s orphaned son Ryu. Meanwhile, a villain named Bolge appears, seeking revenge against Kenshiro for blinding him in a fight a long time ago. Bat brands himself with Kenshiro’s seven scars and fights in his place, only to be crucified by Bolge and tortured to near-death. Kenshiro rescues Bat, then fights and kills Bolge, while Rin regains her memories and professes her love to a recovering Bat. Afterwards, Kenshiro leaves and continues his role as the Post-Apocalyptic Savior, defending the weak and fighting off the greedy and violent, as the world finally begins to recover from the nuclear war.

Other Tuesday- Fist of the North Star

Other Tuesday- Fist of the North Star

Novels

An original novel was written by Buronson and Tetsuo Hara titled Shōsetsu Hokuto no Ken: Jubaku no Machi which was published by Jump Novel in Japan on December 13, 1996. The novel was the basis of the later three-episode OVA series New Fist of the North Star. A novelization of the movie Legend of Raoh: Chapter of Love in Death written by Eiichi Sakaki was published by Tokuma Novels on March 10, 2006.

There has also been two cell phone novels released via the mobile site Hokuto no Ken DX. Raoh Gaiden, a novelization of the manga of the same name, and Kenshiro Gaiden, an original novel by Jotaro Higashi.

Live-action film

An American-produced live-action movie version of Fist of the North Star was released in 1995, directed by Tony Randel based on a script by Peter Atkins and Wynne McLaughlin. The movie, loosely based on the Shin storyline of the manga, stars Gary Daniels as Kenshiro, Costas Mandylor as Shin and Japanese actress Isako Washio as Yuria, with Malcolm McDowell as Ryuken and Chris Penn as “Jackal” (actually a renamed Jagi). It also featured a cameo by professional wrestler Big Van Vader as Goliath, and Kevin Arbouet as “Rao” (unrelated to the actual Raoh from the manga). The movie was released straight-to-video in the US and Japan (though it did receive a premiere on HBO). The Japanese dubbed version used the original voice actors from the 1980s anime series.

Video games

The four Hokuto no Ken video games for the Famicom.

Numerous video game titles based on the Fist of the North Star have been produced since the 1986 release of Enix adventure game, simply titled Hokuto no Ken for the PC-88. The earlier games in the franchise were released by Sega for the Mark III and Mega Drive and by Toei Animation for the Nintendo’s Famicom, Game Boy and Super Famicom. These titles included side-scrolling action games, role-playing video games and competitive-style fighting games. The two Sega titles were released overseas without the Hokuto no Ken license under the titles of Black Belt and Last Battle, while a couple of the Toei titles, namely Fist of the North Star for the NES and Fist of the North Star: 10 Big Brawls for the King of Universe for the Game Boy, had American releases with the license intact. Further games were released for the Sega Saturn, PlayStation, Arcade, PlayStation 2 and Nintendo DS among other platforms. In 2000, Konami released an arcade game based on the franchise titled Fighting Mania. Another arcade game, a 2D fighting game simply titled Fist of the North Star, was produced by Sega and Arc System Works in 2005. Both games saw international distributions, although the PS2 version of the fighting game was released exclusively in Japan. Tecmo Koei produced a Dynasty Warriors spinoff focusing on the events from the first half of the manga, titled Fist of the North Star: Ken’s Rage. It which was released in Japan on March 25, 2010, and later in North America on November 2, 2010, and Europe on November 5, 2010. A sequel, Fist of the North Star: Ken’s Rage 2, expanded on the first game and incorporated the events from the second half of the manga. It was released in Japan on December 20, 2012, and in North America on February 5, 2013. On August 25, 2017, Sega announced a new game, Hokuto ga Gotoku, for release in 2018 on PlayStation 4. The game is being developed by the team behind the Yakuza series and features similar gameplay and elements.

In addition to traditional video games, the franchise has inspired a series of typing software, an online MMORPG, and numerous pachinko and pachislot machines, mainly produced by Sega Sammy Holdings.

Reception and legacy

Fist of the North Star was one of Weekly Shōnen Jump’s most popular titles during the 1980s. It is one of the best-selling manga series in history, having sold approximately 100 million copies. In a poll conducted by TV Asahi in 2005, the Fist of the North Star anime series ranked 26 in a list of Top 100 Anime series. In a second poll in 2006, it ranked 89. In a celebrity version of the poll, it ranked 15.

Anime News Network was critical of the anime series, comparing it to “the Go Nagai steaming pile of crap Violence Jack“.

Berserk creator Kentaro Miura has named Fist of the North Star as the work that has had the biggest impact on his own.

Manga Monday- Fist of the North Star

Manga Monday- Fist of the North Star

Fist of the North Star is a Japanese manga series written by Buronson and illustrated by Tetsuo Hara. Serialized in Weekly Shōnen Jump from 1983 to 1988, the 245 chapters were initially collected in 27 tankōbon volumes by Shueisha. Set in a post-apocalyptic world that has been destroyed by a nuclear war, the story centers on a warrior named Kenshiro, the successor of a deadly martial art style known as Hokuto Shinken, which gives him the ability to kill most adversaries from within through the use of the human body’s secret vital points, often resulting in an exceptionally violent and gory death. Kenshiro dedicates his life to fighting against the various ravagers who threaten the lives of the weak and innocent, as well as rival martial artists, including his own “brothers” from the same clan.

The original manga was published in English by Viz Communications as a monthly comic book, and later by Gutsoon! Entertainment as a series of colorized graphic novels, although neither translation was completed.

Plot

Part 1

In the 1990s, civilization was ruined as a result of a worldwide nuclear war and many creatures died out. However, mankind survived and entered an age where the strong ruled over the weak, as the few survivors fought over whatever supply of food and uncontaminated water remained in the wasteland of the world.

Kenshiro, successor to the ancient assassination art of Hokuto Shinken, wanders into a village in search of water when he is caught in a trap and imprisoned by the local defense force. In prison, he befriends a young orphaned girl named Rin who nursed him back to health. When the village is attacked by a biker gang and Rin is taken hostage by their leader, Ken breaks free from his cell and rescues Rin, defeating the gang leader with his deadly martial art technique. Kenshiro leaves the village and continues his journey, now accompanied by a young boy named Bat. He becomes involved against the King organization after witnessing the many atrocities they have committed. As he infiltrates the gang’s stronghold in the city of Southern Cross, he finds out that the leader of King is his old nemesis, the Nanto Seiken master Shin, the man who engraved the seven scars on Kenshiro’s chest and kidnapped his fiancée Yuria. Kenshiro emerges victorious against Shin, only to find out from Shin that Yuria is no longer with him, having taken her own life in despair by jumping off the roof of Shin’s palace.

After Shin’s downfall, Kenshiro settles in an oasis where he is reunited with Rin, who wandered off searching for Kenshiro after leaving her village. Having acquired a reputation as a saviour after defeating other organizations such as the Golan army and Jackal’s gang, Kenshiro is hired by a certain village to serve as their guardian against the Fang Clan, a group of bandits who are terrorizing the locals. With the help of village leader Mamiya, a female warrior who bears a striking resemblance to his lost love Yuria, as well as fellow guardian Rei, the successor to the Nanto Suichōken style, Kenshiro succeeds in vanquishing the Fangs.

However, Kenshiro learns that his three former brothers-in-training in the ways of Hokuto Shinken are still alive and sets off on a journey to find them. He finds out that Jagi, the second youngest, seeks vengeance against him after being disfigured in a past altercation. Jagi is quickly eliminated and Kenshiro goes on to search for the second eldest, a gentle healer named Toki who surrendered the Hokuto Shinken succession after becoming terminally ill due to exposure to nuclear fallout. Kenshiro finds out that Toki is being kept prisoner in the dungeon city of Cassandra, which is controlled by a ruthless warlord known as the Ken-Oh (King of the Fist), who seeks to conquer the post-apocalyptic world by imprisoning everyone who could oppose him. Ken-Oh is in fact the eldest of the four Hokuto brothers, Raoh, who has broken the law of Hokuto Shinken by killing his master after refusing to surrender the succession. After freeing Toki, Kenshiro returns to Mamiya’s village to defend it from Raoh, but the long gruelling battle ends in a stalemate and the two warriors are forced to settle their differences another day. Rei is fatally wounded as a result of a previous battle with Raoh and he spends the last few days of his life tracking down his nemesis Juda, successor of Nanto Kōkakuken, who once tormented Mamiya in the past. After defeating Juda, Rei goes on to die, at peace with himself.

With Raoh still recovering from his wounds, another warlord, the Nanto Hōōken successor Thouzer, proclaims himself as the Holy Emperor, having enslaved children in order to construct a mausoleum for himself and his deceased master. Kenshiro joins a resistance movement led by the Nanto Hakuroken successor Shew, who sacrified his eyesight in the past to rescue a young Kenshiro. When Shew is captured and executed by Thouzer, Kenshiro confronts Thouzer and foils his ambitions. With Thouzer now gone, Raoh recovers from his wounds and goes on to resume his reign of conquest. Toki, who is on the verge of dying, uses his remaining strength to challenge Raoh as part of a childhood promise they made to each other, but is ultimately no match for him. Raoh can’t bring himself to land a killing blow on his own brother, and spare Toki’s life. With Toki no longer in condition to fight, Kenshiro is left as the only one who can defeat Raoh.

The Last General of Nanto appears and decides to side with Kenshiro in order to defeat Raoh, sending out her five guardians, the Goshasei, after Raoh. Kenshiro and Raoh both learn that the General’s true identity is Yuria, who was rescued by the Goshasei after her attempted suicide in Southern Cross and was hidden away. After a series of numerous events and battles, Kenshiro emerges victorious over Raoh and he is finally reunited with Yuria. However, the victory is bittersweet, as Yuria, having affected by radiation sickness, has only a few years left to live. Kenshiro leaves his friends and spends the final few years of Yuria’s life with her.

Film Friday- JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure

Film Friday- JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure

A six-volume original video animation adaptation of the later half of the series’ third story arc was released from 1993 to 1994 by studio A.P.P.P., followed by another seven-volume series covering earlier parts of the arc from 2000 to 2002. A.P.P.P. also produced a theatrical film of the first arc in 2007. In 2012 an anime television series produced by David Production began broadcast on Tokyo MX and covered the first two-story arcs of the manga in 26 episodes. A second 48-episode season covering the third arc was broadcast in 2014 and 2015, and a 39 episode season adapting the fourth aired between April and December 2016.

Plot

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure tells the story of the Joestar family, a family whose various members discover they are destined to take down supernatural foes using unique powers that they possess. The manga is split up into 8 unique parts, each following the story of one member of the Joestar family, who inevitably has a name that can be abbreviated to the titular “JoJo”. The first six parts of the series take place within a single continuity, while parts 7 and 8 take place in an alternate continuity.

Part 1 Phantom Blood
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure volumes 1 to 5. In the 1880s in Great Britain, the young Jonathan Joestar meets his new adopted brother Dio Brando, who only wants to usurp Jonathan as heir to the Joestar family. However, his attempts are thwarted and he resorts to using an ancient Stone Mask which transforms him into a vampire. Jonathan, with Italian Hamon master Will A. Zeppeli and former street thug Robert E.O. Speedwagon at his side, must now find a way to stop Dio using his newly found affinity for the Ripple martial arts now that Dio’s sights are set on nothing less than world domination.
Part 2 Battle Tendency
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure volumes 5 to 12. In New York City in 1938, Joseph Joestar, grandson of Jonathan, who has a natural affinity for the Hamon technique, becomes entangled in his grandfather’s destiny when the Pillar Men, supernatural beings of impossible power, awaken after failed experiments by Nazi German special forces. Joseph ultimately teams up with Caesar Zeppeli, Will’s grandson, and Caesar’s teacher Lisa Lisa, a woman mysteriously tied to Joseph, to stop the Pillar Men from obtaining a mystical artifact in Lisa Lisa’s possession that will grant them complete immortality and bring about the end of the world at their hands, so long as Joseph can master the Hamon technique to beat the Pillar Men in a rematch for the antidotes to poisons they implanted in his body.
Part 3 Stardust Crusaders
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure volumes 12 to 28. In 1989, Jotaro Kujo, a Japanese high school student, places himself in jail because he believes he is possessed by an evil spirit. His mother Holly calls on her father Joseph Joestar to talk sense into Jotaro, and with the help of his ally the Egyptian fortune teller Mohammed Avdol, reveals that Jotaro has in fact developed a supernatural ability known as a Stand that has run through the family due to the revival of their ancestor’s foe Dio. After thwarting an assassination attempt by transfer student Noriaki Kakyoin who is under Dio’s thrall, Jotaro and Joseph discover that Holly is dying from her own Stand. Jotaro resolves to hunt down Dio, and Joseph leads him, Avdol, and Kakyoin to Egypt, using their Stands to battle more Stand-wielding assassins along the way, gaining allies in the French swordsman Jean Pierre Polnareff who wishes to avenge the death of his sister, and the stray dog Iggy, before 50 days elapse and Holly dies.
Part 4 Diamond Is Unbreakable
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure volumes 29 to 47. In the fictional Japanese town of Morioh in 1999, Jotaro arrives to reveal to Josuke Higashikata that he is the illegitimate son of Joseph Joestar and to warn him that Morioh is beginning to be filled with Stand users due to a mystical Bow and Arrow that bestows Stands on those struck by the arrowheads. After Josuke takes revenge on a Stand user who killed his grandfather, he agrees to help Jotaro hunt down the holder of the Bow and Arrow, gaining allies in Josuke’s friend Koichi Hirose, who is hit by the arrow, Okuyasu Nijimura, whose brother was using the Arrow until it was stolen from him, the famous manga artist Rohan Kishibe, and even his estranged father Joseph Joestar. Along the way, the group deals with the various new Stand users throughout Morioh, including several of Josuke, Koichi, and Okuyasu’s classmates, until the death of one of their friends leads to the discovery that one of the new Stand users is the serial killer, Yoshikage Kira.
Part 5 Vento Aureo
Le Bizzarre Avventure di GioGio volumes 47 to 63. In 2001, Koichi Hirose is sent by Jotaro to Naples to investigate Giorno Giovanna, whom Jotaro has discovered is Dio’s son fathered before his defeat in Cairo 12 years earlier, to see if the boy has a Stand and if he is evil. Koichi ultimately discovers the boy’s Stand and his pure goals for reforming the mafia from the inside out, and Jotaro lets him live his life. Giorno ultimately joins a squad of Passione, a Stand-using mafia, led by Bruno Bucciarati, who leads Giorno, Leone Abbacchio, Guido Mista, Narancia Ghirga, and Pannacotta Fugo on a mission to Capri to retrieve his former superior’s riches, being attacked by rival mafioso along the way, and then are tasked by Passione’s boss to escort his daughter Trish Una throughout Italy and protect her from others in the gang who wish to use her to find out his identity.
Part 6 Stone Ocean
Stone Ocean volumes 1 to 17 (JoJo volumes 64 to 80). In 2011 near Port St. Lucie, Florida, Jolyne Cujoh is arrested and sent to the Green Dolphin St. Prison for murder. Her estranged father Jotaro visits her and reveals that she has been set up in order for one of Dio’s disciples to kill her within the prison. After revealing that a gift he gave her has awoken her latent Stand powers to protect her, he is attacked, and his Stand is stolen from him by the prison chaplain Enrico Pucci, Dio’s disciple. Jolyne works with fellow inmate Ermes Costello, who has also had a Stand awoken in her, to retrieve her father’s Stand, gaining allies in the boy Emporio Alniño, other inmates Narciso Anasui and Weather Report, and the sentient Stand-using plankton Foo Fighters to save her father and stop Pucci before he can use his Stand to recreate the universe in Dio’s image.
Part 7 Steel Ball Run
Steel Ball Run volumes 1 to 24 (JoJo volumes 81 to 104). In an alternate timeline in 1890, Gyro Zeppeli travels to the United States to take part in a cross-country horse race known as the Steel Ball Run. His skill in a mystical martial art known as Spin, which he controls with steel balls, garners the interest of former jockey turned paraplegic Johnny Joestar, particularly after a Spin-infused ball briefly restores Johnny’s ability to walk. Johnny travels with Gyro on the race to learn the art of Spin from him in hopes he can be cured, but they soon discover that the race is a ploy set up by Funny Valentine, the President of the United States, to search the country for the scattered parts of a holy corpse that imbue their holders with a Stand, so the President can use the entire corpse to his own patriotic ends, even if it means the disruption of other dimensions with his Stand’s ability. Gyro and Johnny work together, along with fellow racers Mountain Tim and Hot Pants and race organizer Stephen Steel and his wife Lucy, to stop the President from his plans, as they threaten the very world, all while dealing with Valentine’s hired assassins in the race, including the charismatic racer Diego Brando.
Part 8 JoJolion
JoJolion is currently being published, beginning with the 105th overall volume of JoJo. In 2012, in the same universe as Steel Ball Run, the town of Morioh has been devastated by the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, which has caused mysterious faults colloquially known as the “Wall Eyes” to appear in town. Local college student Yasuho Hirose is near one of the Wall Eyes when she discovers a young man buried in the rubble, and a strange bite mark on him. She nicknames him “Josuke”, as he cannot remember his own name, and after following a lead that he may be “Yoshikage Kira”, an attack by a Stand user leads them to find the real Yoshikage Kira’s corpse. Josuke is put in the care of the Higashikata family, whose patriarch Norisuke IV seems to know more about Josuke than he initially lets on, but Josuke himself discovers that the Higashikata family and Yoshikage Kira’s family are linked due to Johnny Joestar’s marriage to Rina Higashikata in the late 19th century. Josuke and Yasuho ultimately discover that Josuke is in fact Yoshikage Kira, mysteriously fused with another person, and Yoshikage Kira possessed the knowledge to cure a curse that has plagued the Higashikata family for centuries. Norisuke IV wants that knowledge back to save his grandchild from the same fate he and his family has suffered, but a mysterious race of rock men and Norisuke IV’s own son Jobin seem to be conspiring against them to both prevent Josuke from regaining his memories and from lifting the curse on the Higashikata family.

Light Novel Tuesday- JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure

Light Novel Tuesday- JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure

Several light novels based on the JoJo series have been written, each by a different author, but all including illustrations by Hirohiko Araki. The first, based on Part 3, was simply titled JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, released on November 4, 1993, and written by Mayori Sekijima and Hiroshi Yamaguchi. Le Bizzarre Avventure di GioGio II: Golden Heart/Golden Ring written by Gichi Ōtsuka and Miya Shōtarō, was released on May 28, 2001, and based on Part 5. Both of these novels received Italian translations and releases; the first in 2003, often with the added subtitle of The Genesis of Universe, and the second in 2004.

In 2000, it was announced that Otsuichi would be writing a novel based on Part 4. The novel proved difficult to complete; in Kono Mystery ga Sugoi! 2004, Otsuichi claimed to have written over 2000 pages, but thrown them all out. Intent on writing a novel that lived up to the manga, it took him until 2007 to complete The Book: JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure 4th Another Day.

In April 2011, it was announced that Nisio Isin, Kouhei Kadono, and Ōtarō Maijō were each writing novel adaptations of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure in celebration of the series’ 25th anniversary. Kadono’s, titled Purple Haze Feedback, was released on September 16, 2011, and is based on Part 5. Isin’s was released on December 16, 2011, based on Part 3 and titled JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure Over Heaven. Maijō’s novel, Jorge Joestar, was revealed in July and released on September 19, 2012. It tells the story of George Joestar II, son of Jonathan and father of Joseph, in his childhood growing up on La Palma where he is known as “Jorge Joestar” as well as an alternate version living in Japan named “Joji Joestar” investigating mysteries behind the appearance of a moving island. It features characters from and inspired by nearly every part of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure.

Manga Monday- JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure

Manga Monday- JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Hirohiko Araki. It was originally serialized in Weekly Shōnen Jump from 1987 to 2004 before being transferred to the monthly seinen magazine Ultra Jump in 2005. The current story arc, JoJolion, started in 2011. JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure is currently Shueisha’s second largest manga series with its chapters collected into 120 tankōbon volumes and counting.

The JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure manga has over 100 million copies in print, making it one of the best-selling manga series in history, and has spawned a large media franchise that includes several novelizations and video games, action figures, a jewelry line, and even snack foods. From 2003 to 2005, Super Techno Arts released both OVA series in North America. Viz Media released a translation of the third part of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure in North America from 2005 to 2010, but began publishing the series from the beginning in 2015.

Written and illustrated by Hirohiko Araki, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure began serialization in Weekly Shōnen Jump in its combined issue #1-2 of 1987, which was published on January 1, 1987. The chapters are collected and published into tankōbon volumes by Shueisha, with the first released on August 10, 1987. The series is broken into arcs or parts, each of which stars a different descendant of the Joestar family. During Part 5, which takes place in Italy, the series’ title was occasionally written in Italian as Le Bizzarre Avventure di GioGio. After volume 63, each parts’ tankōbon have started the number count back at one; see Stone Ocean, Steel Ball Run and JoJolion. The series was switched to the magazine Ultra Jump in 2005, during Steel Ball Run, with the chapters now published monthly. JoJolion, the current arc, began on May 19, 2011. A sōshūhen edition that aims to recreate the manga as it was originally serialized in Weekly Shōnen Jump with color pages, promotional text, and next chapter previews, began being published in October 2012. That same year, the first three Parts of the series were digitally colored and released as digital downloads for smartphones and tablet computers. A hardcover re-release of the first three Parts, including colored pages from their original serialization, was collected under the title JoJonium between December 4, 2013, and March 4, 2015.

Araki makes frequent references to real-life musicians and fashion designers in the series, causing its English publisher to take stricter legal precautions than usual.

In the early 1990s Viz Media had planned to release an English-language version of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure in North America as “The Strange Adventures of Jojo“, evident by an advertisement in their newsletter at the time, Viz-In. It is suspected the plans were canned after Baoh, another series by Hirohiko Araki, sold poorly. The series was brought up again for talks in 2002, for release as individual monthly chapters. However, by this time, that publication format for manga was becoming less popular in North America.

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure finally received a North American release in 2005, in the graphic novel format, similar to its Japanese tankōbon. However, it is only of the series’ third part, Stardust Crusaders, which is the most popular and well-known. Originally published bimonthly, the volumes were later reduced to a quarterly release. The first volume was released on November 8, 2005, and the last on December 7, 2010. Viz’s release changed the names of several characters due to copyright concerns and included some censorship, with scenes of animal violence redrawn by Araki himself. JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure has also seen domestic releases in Italy by Star Comics, in France by J’ai Lu and Tonkam, Taiwan by Da Ran Culture Enterprise and Tong Li Publishing, and in Malaysia by Comics House.

In 2013, Viz revealed that they planned to release the third part digitally and expressed interest in further material of the series, however, they explained the difficulties due to the numerous blatant references to real-life musicians and fashion designers. Viz Media began publishing the JoJonium edition of Phantom Blood digitally in September 2014, with a three-volume hardcover print edition that includes color pages following throughout 2015. They then licensed the four-volume part 2 Battle Tendency, which they began publishing digitally in March 2015 and in print in November 2015. Viz began re-releasing Stardust Crusaders in the hardcover format in fall 2016. At Anime Expo 2016, Viz Media announced they will be publishing part 4 Diamond is Unbreakable.

Film Friday- The Ancient Magus’ Bride

Film Friday- The Ancient Magus’ Bride

Wit Studio produced a three-part prequel OVA of the manga and is doing the production for an anime television series adaptation that began airing in October 2017.

Characters

Chise Hatori
The protagonist and titular character of the story. She is the apprentice and future bride to Elias Ainsworth. Her father and brother abandoned the family when she was young, and her mother committed suicide in front of her. Feeling unwanted by her relatives, she sold herself into slavery so that she did not have to worry about anything, with Elias purchasing her. She is a Sleigh Beggy, a special magus who can draw magic from her surroundings and within herself, at the cost of dying young because of the strain in her body, hence why Elias took her in, hoping to prevent her death. She has about three years left to live naturally at most.
Elias Ainsworth
The Child of Thorns, Chise’s master and fiancé, once apprenticed to Master Lindenbaum. A being with both fae and human elements, his origins are a mystery. Known as the Thorn Sorcerer, the other faeries see him as an abomination, something he does not mind. Besides using glamour to hide his appearance, he can control and also turn himself into shadows, and when angry enough, he takes on a more monstrous form. He can even change his head to a human’s using magic. Despite claiming to lack human emotions, after some time caring for Chise he has slowly developed a true fondness for her. However, his innate lack of understanding certain human emotions makes Lindenbaum call him a child. He dislikes children. He says they do not have magic powers, but they are talented in being able to see the true nature of things, so sometimes he is found out. He is called “Pilum Muralis” by the wizards.
Ruth 
Introduced in chapter nine, he is Chise’s familiar, a black grim who was originally a church guard dog who chased away grave robbers and evil spirits. He was formally called Yuris and used to be owned by Isabel in chapter ten. He thinks of himself as a human, thus able to maintain human form, until he remembers who he is in chapter twelve. He shares a mental link with Chise and considers her a sister.
Angelica Varley
Introduced in chapter two, she is an old acquaintance of Elias. She is a witch and a technician of the Magus Craft. She has a daughter named Alucia Barlei.
Her father was a technician of the Magus Craft. Even though her father was a magician, Angelica, who only had the quality of a sorcerer, could not directly learn the ways of her father. She worked hard to find her own method of performing magic.
Silver
Introduced in chapter two, she is the fairy landlady of the house where Elias and Chise reside. Originally a banshee (chapter twenty four), she is now silent and takes care of the housekeeping duties in the household.
Lindenbaum
Introduced in chapter three, he is Elias’s magician Master, commonly referred as Lindel, lives in the Land of Dragons, the last sanctuary of dragons. He is the caretaker of the dragon’s nest. His title is Echoes, Song of Flowers and has lived for hundreds of years.
Manga Monday- The Ancient Magus’ Bride

Manga Monday- The Ancient Magus’ Bride

The Ancient Magus’ Bride is a Japanese fantasy shōnen manga series written and illustrated by Kore Yamazaki. The series is published in Japan by Mag Garden in its Monthly Comic Garden magazine. The manga is licensed in North America by Seven Seas Entertainment.

Plot-

Hatori Chise is only 15, but she has lost far more than most. With neither family nor hope, it seems all doors are closed to her. But, a chance encounter began to turn the rusted wheels of fate. In her darkest hour, a mysterious magus appears before Chise, offering a chance she couldn’t turn down. This magus who seems closer to demon than human, will he bring her the light she desperately seeks, or drown her in ever deeper shadows?

Kore Yamazaki began publishing the series in Mag Garden’s Monthly Comic Blade magazine in November 2013. The magazine ceased publication on September 1, 2014, at which point the series was moved to the new Monthly Comic Garden magazine, while also continuing to be released on the Monthly Comic Blade website. Seven Seas Entertainment licensed the series for publication in North America in October 2014.

A drama CD was bundled with the limited edition of the fifth volume, released in March 2016.

Film Friday- Black Clover

Film Friday- Black Clover

An original video animation produced by Xebec had its first trailer released on November 27, 2016, while an anime television series adaptation by Pierrot premiered on October 3, 2017.

Anime

An original video animation produced by Xebec that is based on the series was shown at the 2016 Jump Festa between November 27 and December 18, 2016. It was bundled with the 11th volume of the manga, which was released on May 2, 2017.

At the Black Clover Jump Festa event on December 18, 2016, an anime television series adaptation by Pierrot was announced. It is directed by Tatsuya Yoshihara, with Kazuyuki Fudeyasu writing scripts, Itsuko Takeda doing character designs, and Minako Seki composing the music. The anime premiered on October 3, 2017. Kankaku Piero is performing the opening theme, ”Haruka Mirai” (Distant Future), while the ending theme is “Aoi Honō” (Blue Flame) by Itowokashi. The series will run for 13 episodes. Crunchyroll is streaming the series. Funimation have licensed the series and will stream the English dub.

Main characters

Asta
Asta is an orphan who was left under the care of a church during his infancy. Since he has no magic power, he overcomes his weakness by training his physical strength. He is the wielder of the five-leaf clover grimoire and a member of the Black Bull squad. He uses an anti-magic sword that is capable of nullifying any form of magic called the Magic Cleaving Sword, and an anti-magic sword that is capable of absorbing and using other magic called the Magic Eating Sword. The Magic Eating sword was found in a dungeon and was not made by his Grimore, but it became part of it later, after Asta used it. According to the Witch Queen, Asta’s swords used to belong to the Elf Elder, a powerful mage who once nearly destroyed the world with the ancient demon that he conjured through forbidden magic. The anti-magic energy is constantly flowing through the swords, causing many people to be unable to wield the swords. However, since Asta was born without magic, he was unconsciously able to stop and start the flow of that power. After his arms were healed by the Witch Queen, the flow of the power has gone faster, resulting in Asta able to become the vessel to the force of anti-magic itself.
Yuno
Yuno is an orphan who was left under the care of a church during his infancy. He is the wielder of the four-leaf clover grimoire and a member of the Golden Dawn squad. He uses wind-based magics and the chosen partner of Sylph the wind of the 4 great attributes. Sylph, often tries to play around with Yuno, but due to his serious demeanor, he is often found complaining. His serious attitude was born when Asta was injured defending him as a child. When Yuno was being bullied, Asta jumped in, and fought them back. Yuno could only admire how Asta saved him, despite not having magic, and it made him feel ashamed and to make up, he trained himself to become his equal, in a moral sense.
Noelle Silva
Voiced by: Yuki Kana
Noelle Silva is a member of the Black Bull squad and the second daughter of the Clover Kingdom’s royal family, House Silva. She uses water-based magics but is unable to control it, which led to her disownment by her family. To cope with her uncontrollable magic, she uses an item to adjust her magic. It is later revealed that she unconsciously wishes to not hurt anyone, which is why her magic always misses, but she has begun to breakdown that barrier for the sake of protecting her friends.

Manga Monday- Black Clover

Manga Monday- Black Clover

Black Clover is a Japanese fantasy shōnen manga series written and illustrated by Yūki Tabata. The series is published in Shueisha’s Weekly Shōnen Jump magazine in Japan, and Viz Media is publishing it in their Weekly Shonen Jump digital anthology magazine in the United States. The story centers around a young boy named Asta, seemingly born without any magic power, something that is unknown in the world he lives in. With his ambition, newfound abilities, and friends, he aims to be the Wizard king.

Yūki Tabata launched Black Clover in the twelfth issue of Shueisha’s shōnen manga magazine Weekly Shōnen Jump on February 16, 2015. The manga is Tabata’s second series in Weekly Shōnen Jump: his first series, Hungry Joker, was launched in the magazine on November 12, 2012, where it ran for 24 chapters before being cancelled in 2013.

On February 9, 2015, Viz Media announced that they would publish the first three chapters of the series in their Weekly Shonen Jump digital magazine as part of their “Jump Start” program. On March 30, 2015, they announced that the series would join their weekly lineup, beginning with chapter 4 on April 6, and publishing at an accelerated rate until the chapters were current with Japan. Plans to release the series in print were announced in during their panel at New York Comic Con on October 9, 2015.

Plot

Asta and Yuno are orphans who were raised together from birth after being abandoned at a church orphanage on the outskirts of the Clover Kingdom at the same time. In a world where everyone has the natural ability to perform a kind of magic, or a Magical Power, Asta is the only person born without any, leading him to train physically as compensation. Conversely, Yuno was born as a prodigy with immense magical power and the talent to control it. When they are 15, Asta and Yuno are granted the ability to become wizards known as Magic Knights by receiving grimoires, with which all magical power is channeled. Yuno is granted a wind-based grimoire held by the kingdom’s first Wizard King, while Asta does not receive one. However, when a thief incapacitates Yuno to try and sell his grimoire on the black market, Asta summons his own grimoire, which contains the rare and mysterious Anti-Magic (enabling him to cancel out all magical effects), to defeat him. The story then follows the two boys in their time within separate squads in the Magic Knights, as they build a friendly rivalry to try and become the Wizard King themselves.