Manga Monday- Hoshin Engi

Manga Monday- Hoshin Engi

Hoshin Engi, also known as Soul Hunter, is a Japanese manga series by Ryu Fujisaki. Hoshin Engi is inspired by the Chinese literary classic Investiture of the Gods, a shenmo novel. The story involves the Chinese mythology and history of China, in particular the last members of the In (Yin Dynasty aka Shang Dynasty) and the plot to overthrow them.
The manga series was serialized in Weekly Shōnen Jump magazine from 1996–2000 and compiled in 23 tankōbon volumes by Shueisha. Viz Media acquired the rights to the manga, with bimonthly releases starting June 5, 2007. The manga has been re-released and re-compiled into fewer larger volumes with new cover art, illustrations and afterwords. The 18 kanzenban volumes were released periodically between July 2005 and April 2006 in Japan only.
The story has been adapted into a 26-episodes anime series titled Senkaiden Hōshin Engi, broadcast on TV Tokyo in 1999 and released in North America on DVD as Soul Hunter in 2001. In January 2009, Shomei TV announced their intentions to remake the anime series if they received 10,000 signatures.
A new 23-episode anime television series adaptation titled Hakyū Hōshin Engi and featuring a new cast aired from January to June, 2018. Fujisaki also wrote a short manga series that was serialized in Weekly Young Jump from April to June, 2018.

Manga

Hoshin Engi is written and illustrated by Ryu Fujisaki. It is based on the Japanese translation novel by Tsutomu Ano of the Chinese literary classic Investiture of the Gods, published by Kodansha between November 8, 1988 and January 6, 1989. The manga series was serialized in Shueisha’s Weekly Shōnen Jump magazine from June 24, 1996 until November 6, 2000. The series was compiled into 23 tankōbon volumes published by Shueisha between November 1, 1996 and December 22, 2000. The manga has been re-released and re-compiled into fewer larger volumes with new cover art, illustrations and afterwords. The 18 kanzenban volumes were released periodically between July 4, 2005 and April 4, 2006 in Japan only.
In North America, Viz Media announced at the New York Comic Con 2007 that they had acquired the rights to the manga. The first volume was published on June 5, 2007, and the last volume on June 7, 2011.
In 2018, Fujisaki wrote a short manga series that was serialized in Weekly Young Jump from April 26 to June 14. A tankōbon volume was released on July 19, 2018.

Plot

The story is set in legendary China. A beautiful female fox spirit named Dakki is controlling the emperor Chū-ō  and the ruling In dynasty, and is using her power over him to do evil in the nation. An immortal-in-training named Taikōbō is chosen by the great immortal sages for the Hōshin Project — to seal away or destroy the evil demons that infest the world. In the course of his adventures, Taikōbō gathers other powerful companions and sets out to seal away the demons and eventually destroy the fox spirit Dakki.
There are significant plot differences between the novel, the manga series and the animated adaptations.

Manga plot

The 23-volume-long series follows the adventures of Taikobo and his trusty “Rei-jū” Sū-pū-shan. Taikobo was given a mission by Genshi-tenson. Taikobou’s mentor and the leader of the Sennin World – Konron to complete the Houshin Project.
The goal of the Hoshin Project, as explained by Genshitenson, is to trap Dakki and her minions in a ‘middle’ world between the Sennin World and the Human world, renamed ‘Shin’ (Deity or Gods) World, named ‘Shinkai’, Realm of the Gods. Taikobo’s mission is to hunt down the 365 people whose names were written on the Hoshin Scroll. As Taikobo defeats and seals off each of the 365 people on the scroll, their souls are instantly transported to the Hoshindai (a floating island made to trap souls) and sealed there until all the 365 souls are gathered.
At first, Taikobo refused to take up such a troublesome mission, but when threatened with expulsion from Konron, he quickly relented. After that, he was given a Pao-pei, Whip of the Gods, as his weapon along with Supushan.
Upon leaving Konron, Taikobou and Supushan immediately met up with the first person listed on the Houshin Scroll, the all-powerful Shinkouhyou and his Riding Beast – Kokutenko. After a short battle between the two Doushi, in which Taikoubou was easily defeated, Taikoubou suspected that the order of the Houshin Scroll is sorted according to strength (Shinkouhyou being the first on the list) and decides to avoid fighting him. Aiming for the core of the whole problem, he enters the capital, Chouka and defeating one of Dakki’s sisters, Ou Kijin (who reverted to her original form, a stone lute), he used her to enter the service of the emperor in order to spot Dakki’s weakness. Furious with her sister’s plight, Dakki contrives a plan to reclaim her sister. Taikoubou, overwhelmed by her guile, was defeated and was about to be thrown into the taibon (a pit full of poisonous snakes) along with some of the Kyou clan, when during a commotion caused by them, Buuseiou Ko Hiko saved him. It was then that he came to a realization that there was no way he could take on Dakki and her followers, on his own. That’s why he set off searching for strong fighters to join him on his quest to rid the world of Dakki. Taikoubou soon met up and joined forces with Nataku, Raishinshi, Kou-Tenka, and Youzen .
As the series progresses, Taikobo slowly realises that there is no hope in disrupting Dakki’s strangle hold on the Yin Dynasty or her influence over Chuuou. As such, he abandoned the kingdom and requested that Ki Shō  form a new Monarchy to rival the Yin, renamed the Shū Dynasty with their new emperor – Bu-ou, who is the second son of Ki Hatsu who had died due to self-starvation caused by Dakki serving him his son as a hamburger during his capture. Taikoubou then became the military advisor to Zhou, helping the Western Army conquer the lands once owned by Yin.
Bunchū, the senior advisor to the emperor Chū-ou in the country of Yin and also a pao-pei user, sees Taikoubou as an obstacle and sends out some of his best Doushi companions to attack Taikoubou and company. The ensuing fights between the two groups eventually lead to the involvement of almost all members of the 2 Sennin Worlds – Konron (where Taikoubou originates) and Kingou-tou (金鰲島) (where Bunchuu learnt his arts). At the climax of the Sennin war, both worlds were completely destroyed with hundreds of souls sealed into the Houshin Dai. And though Bunchuu was eventually defeated, Taikoubou lost many friends and his home in the process.
Eventually, after Taikoubou and the Zhou army successfully defeated Chuuou and officially declared the fall of the Yin Dynasty, Taikoubou and company decided to leave the Human world and return to what’s left of the Sennin world. It is then revealed to him that there is possibly a third Sennin World, one that belongs to Dakki, and is probably where she and the last of her minions fled to when the Yin country was finally conquered.
Genshitenson also reveals to Taikoubou that the real goal of Houshin Project isn’t just about defeating Dakki, it is about defeating the eternal being supporting Dakki throughout all her chaos years, one of the ancients.
The ultimate enemy of Houshin Engi – Jyoka is a “Jui Que”, one of 5 ‘aliens’ which landed on the Earth, millions of years ago. Jyoka had a dream to recreate her home world on Earth (which had self-destructed some time ago), but the other aliens disagreed and enclosed her in a glass cage. Later, she was able to move about in her “soul” form and direct the trend of history to her liking. This is when she met up with Dakki, and the two started working together to make Jyoka’s dream come true. Each time history diverted from what Jyoka wants it to become, she completely destroyed the civilization that existed and started all over again, like a child moulding a perfect sand castle. No one really knows how many civilisations Jyoka had destroyed throughout time in her pursuit to perfectly replicate her old home, but when asked why she’s trying to do this, Jyoka simply states that she would like to know what would have happened if her home planet had not made those simple mistakes that led to its own destruction.
After hearing the ultimate truth, the Sennins retaliated against Jyoka. Soon, she finally decided to destroy Earth once and for all, and find another world in order to replicate her old home. The battles raged for a while before the deceased Taikoubou (who had ‘died’ recently) reappeared in front of his comrades again. This time, it is revealed that he was once one of the “Jui Que” as well, the last of the 5 aliens and was left on this earth for the sole purpose of killing Jyoka once and for all. Using the energy of his friends as well as those souls trapped in the Houshin Dai, Taikoubou (now renamed ‘Fukki’) was finally able to defeat Jyoka and release the world from her influences.
Just prior to this happening, Dakki somehow managed to take over Jyoka’s body for a time and merged with the life energies of the Earth, becoming the mother of all life. After the fight with Jyoka ended, Jyoka selfishly asked Taikoubou to disappear together with her, afraid of being left alone again and since Taikoubou felt that he had done what he had set out to do, complies (also due to severe injuries in the last fight). When he was about to fade away, Dakki came and saved his life, thus reviving him.
In the epilogue, Youzen was made the Headmaster of the new Sennin World, with Choukei (Bunchuu’s only disciple) representing the Youkai (demons) and Nentou-doujin (ex-Juunisen, who helped defeat Jyoka) representing the Humans, supporting him. Genshi-tenson manages the ex-Houshindai, which houses all the souls which had been houshined, and dispatches them to the Human World if their help is needed. Since these souls are invisible to the Human eye, they are able to solve matters without being seen. When Supushan and Bukichi went to the Human World to update Buou on the happenings of the Sennin World, they found out that Taikoubou is still alive (he visited Buou before they arrived) and went in search for him but to no avail as Taikoubou seemed keen on avoiding them to the extent of following them behind their backs without them knowing, and somehow prevents the people they meet from revealing his whereabouts.
In the end, Supushan and Bukichi returned to the Sennin World to request Youzen’s help. While Taikoubou was lazing around, Shinkouhyou approached him and wanted a duel, but he left saying that it would be boring if his only rival were to perish so quickly by his hand. Taikoubou then disappeared to places unknown.

Setting

The fantastic world of Hoshin Engi encompass both the pre-historical world – in which primitive human society coexist with the revered divine gods and goddesses – and the futuristic world – in which highly technological weaponry, combat strategy, as well as futuristic visions, are employed. Paopei, the sacred weapons used by Doshi and Sennin alike, are versatile instruments created Sennin.
The Seven Super Paopei were the ones left from the Original People, and all the rest are copies made from those. Paopei can only be used by Sendou, those born with Sennin bones which are trained to be used to power paopei. If someone born with these bones is not trained, then they become a Tennen Doushi, and the potential of their skeleton creates almost super natural strength or speed; however, they would never be able to use a Paopei. It is possible to transplant Sennin bones into a normal human, as in the case with Younin, but it does not appear to be a common practice. There are such beings as “human Paopei,” that is, a living being created from a paopei. They all have a core they are built around, and can take extensive damage and be rebuilt so long as the core remains intact.
Besides paopei, there are spells, an ancient form a magic rarely used by the time series takes place. The only ones seen in the series are the peaches that can turn water into sake, Youzen’s transformation technique, and Nentou’s various fighting and healing abilities.

Film Friday- The Twelve Kingdoms

Film Friday- The Twelve Kingdoms

The Twelve Kingdoms is a Japanese series of fantasy novels written by Fuyumi Ono and illustrated by Akihiro Yamada. The first entry in the series called The Twelve Kingdoms: Sea of Shadow was published by Kodansha in Japan in 1992; the last Kodansha volume was released in 2001. In 2012 the series was resumed under the Shinchō Bunko line from Shinchosha. Shinchosha has also begun reprinting the older volumes with new cover and interior art from Akihiro Yamada. The first new publication of the series in six years was announced for a 2019 release date.

The Chinese mythology-influenced books were adapted into an anime television series by Pierrot in 2002. It aired on Japan’s NHK from April 9, 2002 to August 30, 2003, and totaled 45 episodes.

The novels were licensed in the United States by Tokyopop and the first four volumes were released between March 2007 and November 2010 as part of their Pop Fiction line. Subsequently, the English license reverted to Kodansha. The entire anime series has been released on DVD and Blu-ray in the United States by Media Blasters, which are now out of print. Now, the license is transferred to Discotek Media for a complete series Blu-ray released in 2019.

Overview

The Twelve Kingdoms is a series of novels that focus on a world inspired by Chinese mythology, where twelve different kingdoms exist under the rule of an individual chosen by the Tians. The series does not exclusively focus on one character, though the stories of Youko Nakajima, the protagonist of the first novel, and Taiki, the protagonist of the second book, are most prevalent in the series.

Characters

One of the major stories of the series centers around a red-haired girl named Youko Nakajima from Japan who is suddenly transported to the world of the Twelve Kingdoms and searches for her destiny. However, neither the series nor the anime concentrates solely on Youko and they do tell stories of other characters. The anime uses Youko as a framing device for telling other stories while the novels do not.

Each of the Twelve Kingdoms has a monarch and a Kirin, a mythological beast who first selects and then serves the monarch of his or her kingdom and can assume human form. Though only a few rulers and Kirin are in the main focus of the story, many are encountered in the series and play a significant role.

The novels focus on several characters other than Youko, including Taiki, a timid rare black Kirin who serves the ruler of Tai, and Enki and Shouryuu, the Kirin and King of En respectively. Other major characters include Keiki, the Kirin of Kei who brings Youko to the Twelve Kingdoms; Gyousou, a general chosen by Taiki to become King of Tai; Shushou, the Queen of Kyou; Shoukei, the disposed princess of Hou, and Suzu, a peasant girl who is unexpectedly transported from Japan to the Twelve Kingdoms.

Anime adaptation

Plot

The anime casts Yoko Nakajima, a Japanese girl who is suddenly transported to another world and eventually discovers that she is the empress of the kingdom of Kei, in the role of the main character; however, in the novels, Yoko is only one of many main characters and her story is focused upon in only two novels.

The anime focuses on the Kingdom of Kei and the events surrounding it. Several of the other countries are introduced, the most prominent being Kou, En and Tai, while Kyou, Hou, Sai and Ryuu play a minor role compared to the other three. The rest of the kingdoms are only introduced by name and a brief description of the current ruler and taiho. The anime also introduced the characters Asano and Sugimoto to accompany Yoko to the Twelve Kingdoms. Their role is to externalize some of Yoko’s problems that were internal in the novels.

Kingdom of Kei inhabitants

Youko Nakajima

is a sixteen-year-old honors student in Japan who lives an ordinary life. Her primary worries are her naturally red hair (it was speculated by some students and a teacher that Youko might’ve dyed her hair red) and an inexplicable recurring dream that haunts her. When a man named Keiki suddenly appears at her school, he bows at her feet, swearing loyalty to her and offering protection. The school is attacked by a giant bird and she reluctantly accepts his oath. He gives her a sword and transports her across the Void Sea to the Twelve Kingdoms, where she ends up in the Kingdom of Kou.

Youko is initially confused by the changes that have been brought onto her including a complete change in her appearance that she cannot see herself and being stranded in an unknown land with no means of returning home. These changes cause her to cry constantly, lapse into a state of helplessness, and complain about interfering in other beings’ lives no matter what the situation. As she searches for Keiki, she finds herself constantly battling against Youma and being betrayed by civilians of Kou many times. While Youko becomes wary of trusting others, she eventually comes to befriend and trust a hanjyu named Rakushun. They escape to the Kingdom of En where Youko learns that she is the heir to the throne of the kingdom of Kei. Although she is initially reluctant, Youko accepts the position through her growth in the story. In a later story arc as the newly appointed queen, Youko learns of several problems in her kingdom including a revolt in the Province of Wa. Subsequently, she is pulled into the search for Taiki when the Tai general Risai beseeches Youko’s help in finding him.

As the ruler of Kei, she is given the regnal name of Sekishi (Red Child), because of her bright red hair and because her councillors initially view her as a child. Despite being a weak character to begin with, appearing very withdrawn and not wanting to do anything that would bring attention to herself, Youko grows in strength and maturity, becomes empathetic towards the people around her, thinking articulately about her actions (especially as queen) and continues to do so until the end of the series.

Keiki

is a Kirin and the Saiho of Kei. Like all Kirin, Keiki abhors violence and prefers peaceful resolutions. Keiki appears as a very quiet and unemotional type, however does have caring qualities, especially seen towards the Kirin Taiki. In spite of being gruff and somewhat unapproachable, he is actually very sincere and loyal to Youko.

Before meeting Youko, Keiki had taken a long time before selecting Youko’s immediate predecessor, Joukaku, to become the ruler of Kei. However, she was an ineffective ruler and fell in love with Keiki; her jealousy resulted in irrational acts including expelling all the women from the country and executing those who remained. Keiki contracted Shitsudou and in order to save his life, Joukaku abdicated her throne and killed herself after a short reign of six years and was posthumously known as Yo-ou (the Prophet). Cured of his illness, Keiki set out immediately to find a new monarch for Kei.

He eventually finds Youko Nakajima, who had been living as a taika in Japan without any knowledge of the Twelve Kingdoms, and forcibly brings her back to the Twelve Kingdoms. They are separated on arrival and Keiki is captured and enchanted by Kourin, the kirin of Kou, so that he is unable to speak, summon his Shirei, or return to human form. Forced to appear before Joyei, Joukaku’s sister and pretender to the throne of Kei, Keiki remains a prisoner of the false ruler until Youko, aided by the King of En, rescues him and frees him from his enchantment. After liberating Kei, Keiki continues to advise Youko on statecraft and politics.

Aozaru

is the physical manifestation of the sentient spirit of the scabbard of the Suigūtō  (the Water Monkey Sword). The sword is a royal treasure to the kingdom of Kei and can only be wielded by the kingdom’s rightful ruler – as such, Youko is the only one who can draw the sword from its sheath. The sword was forged from a water demon that a previous great ruler of Kei had defeated while the scabbard was created from a long-tailed monkey demon. From the scabbard hangs a large jewel that can heal the one who holds it.

The sword is not only capable of killing demons and sages and breaking substances like metal chains, but is also capable of presenting visions of the past, future, and things in the distance. The sword and scabbard must be kept together, otherwise the phantasms of the sword appear unchecked while the spirit of the scabbard is free to act as it wishes. When Youko loses the scabbard during an attack by Kikis, it appears in the form of Aozaru, the blue monkey, and taunts her with her doubts while the sword presents her with visions of things she does not wish to see. Eventually, Youko, overcoming her own doubts, kills the monkey and picks up the dead scabbard. Because she has killed Aozaru, the sword can be drawn from the sheath by anyone, though it can be wielded effectively only by Youko.

Seikyou

has long served as the Chosai, the top administrator, of Kei. Seikyou works to convince Youko that Koukan, the leader of the province of Baku, is a threat to her. After an assassin plots to kill Youko, Seikyou advises Youko that Koukan planned it and that she should execute him, but Keiki advises her to listen to Koukan before acting. When Youko orders Koukan to report, Seikyou has him attacked, forcing him to flee. Seikyou continually seeks to confuse Youko, telling her that Gahou is corrupt but advising that no action be taken against him, even though Seikyou secretly supports Gahou. He repeatedly seeks meetings with her when Keiki is not present so that the kirin cannot advise her. Youko, citing Seikyou’s attempts to manipulate her and his failure to better safeguard her life, demotes Seikyou and appoints Keiki as chosai. When Youko leaves to study with Enho, Seikyou takes advantage of the situation to usurp Keiki’s authority. When the rebels become a threat to Gahou, Seikyou sends a royal army force under general Jinrai to Shisui to scare the rebels into surrendering, unaware of Youko’s presence in Wa because she told everyone in the court except Keiki that she was going to En. Seikyou’s plan fails because Youko appears to take control of the royal forces and she redirects them against Gahou. After Shoukei convinces Youko that Seikyou is the mastermind behind the plot, Youko has him arrested.

 

Novel Monday- The Twelve Kingdoms

Novel Monday- The Twelve Kingdoms

The Twelve Kingdoms is a Japanese series of fantasy novels written by Fuyumi Ono and illustrated by Akihiro Yamada. The first entry in the series called The Twelve Kingdoms: Sea of Shadow was published by Kodansha in Japan in 1992; the last Kodansha volume was released in 2001. In 2012 the series was resumed under the Shinchō Bunko line from Shinchosha. Shinchosha has also begun reprinting the older volumes with new cover and interior art from Akihiro Yamada. The first new publication of the series in six years was announced for a 2019 release date.

The Chinese mythology-influenced books were adapted into an anime television series by Pierrot in 2002. It aired on Japan’s NHK from April 9, 2002 to August 30, 2003, and totaled 45 episodes.

The novels were licensed in the United States by Tokyopop and the first four volumes were released between March 2007 and November 2010 as part of their Pop Fiction line. Subsequently, the English license reverted to Kodansha. The entire anime series has been released on DVD and Blu-ray in the United States by Media Blasters, which are now out of print. Now, the license is transferred to Discotek Media for a complete series Blu-ray released in 2019.

There are nine novels in the Twelve Kingdoms series, including two short story collections. The novels are illustrated by Akihiro Yamada. Some of the novels have been published in two volume editions such that the total number of volumes consists of twelve books (as released in Japan).

U.S. release

On May 11, 2006, U.S. publisher Tokyopop said in an interview with comic book news website Newsarama that it would be publishing the novels under its “Pop Fiction” imprint. The first book was released in March 2007. The first four books have been released; after the licensing rights to the series reverted to Kodansha, the English publication status of the fifth book and onward will be dependent on Kodansha USA.

Setting

The Twelve Kingdoms tells several stories from the world of the Twelve Kingdoms, located on a group of several islands in another dimension accessible from our world through portals created from naturally-occurring magic (though the other way around is normally impossible). The portals occur in the ocean waters of Japan and China, and every so often will end up dragging someone from our world from those waters to the kingdoms’ islands, and/or on rare occasion, pulling an unborn child from the kingdoms into our world, causing them to be born there. On the islands, magic works and societies similar to those of classical Japan and China exist. While the inhabitants of the kingdoms are aware of the existence of our world as the lands of Hourai (Japan) and Kunlun (China), the reverse is not true for any inhabitants of our world. The inhabitants of the kingdoms speak a different language than the languages of our world, both of which can be learned by either side. Only by through extraordinary circumstances can the two worlds affect each other to a respective certain extent.

In this world, there are a total of thirteen lands. At the center of the world lies the Koukai (the Yellow Sea) and Five Mountains where the Gods communicate their will to the Twelve Kingdoms of the world. Each of the Twelve Kingdoms possess their own ruler and its own Kirin, a divine creature which embodies the will of heaven and is entrusted to choose a kingdom’s ruler by Tentei: Emperor of Heaven, and serve as the ruler’s aide. The ruler will have immortal life as long as they keep the kingdom healthy and their heads are not severed from their body. If the ruler’s Kirin dies or is killed, the ruler will die within a year.

The Koukai, known as the Yellow Sea, is surrounded by four inland seas: the Black Sea in the north, the Blue Sea to the east, the Red Sea in the south, and the White Sea to the west. Eight of the Twelve Kingdoms (Kei, En, Ryu, Kyou, Han, Sai, Sou, and Kou) border at least one of these four seas, extending from the center like the petals of a flower. The remaining four kingdoms (Tai, Hou, Ren, and Shun) are not part of the central mainland and are isolated by the Kyokai  (Void Sea) which surrounds the lands of the Twelve Kingdoms.

 

Film Friday- Hayate the Combat Butler

Film Friday- Hayate the Combat Butler

Hayate the Combat Butler is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Kenjiro Hata. It was serialized in Shogakukan’s Weekly Shōnen Sunday magazine from October 2004 to April 2017. Shogakukan released 52 volumes in Japan from February 2005 to June 2017. Viz Media publishes an English edition in North America. The manga is about a boy who starts a new job as a butler and the events he experiences with his employer. The style of the manga has a comedic gag with a slight harem feel and constantly breaks the fourth wall. The series includes numerous references to other anime, manga, video games, and popular culture.

A 52-episode anime adaptation of the manga by SynergySP aired between April 2007 and March 2008 on TV Tokyo. A second, 25-episode anime season by J.C.Staff aired between April and September 2009. Bandai Entertainment licensed the first anime series in 2008, but the series went out of print in 2012. An anime film adaption produced by Manglobe was released in August 2011. A third, 12-episode anime television series by Manglobe, based mostly on an original story not seen in the manga aired between October and December 2012. A fourth anime season aired between April and July 2013. Sentai Filmworks has licensed all four seasons of the anime.

Anime

The Hayate the Combat Butler 52-episode anime aired on TV Tokyo in Japan between April 1, 2007 and March 30, 2008, produced by animation studio SynergySP and with music by Kōtarō Nakagawa. The series also aired on the CS television network Animax starting on October 25, 2007, where it received its satellite television premiere, and was shown uncensored. The series was licensed in North America by Bandai Entertainment in 2008, but in February 2012, the company stopped releasing titles beyond February 7, and in April of the same year, the rights to the series were dropped, making the releases out of print. Sentai Filmworks has since re-licensed the series for a digital and home video re-release.

An original video animation episode was released on March 6, 2009 in DVD and Blu-ray formats. A second anime season of Hayate the Combat Butler, titled Hayate the Combat Butler!! (an additional exclamation mark) aired 25 episodes between April 4 and September 18, 2009, produced by animation studio J.C.Staff. Unlike the first season, the second season retcons the events of the first season by claiming at the onset that a month has passed since Hayate became Nagi’s butler. Furthermore, the second season is more faithful to the manga than the first season. On July 21, 2010, Animax Asia began airing the second season, including the OVA, with English dubbing done again by Red Angel Media along with Cantonese and Mandarin dub. The second season has been licensed by Sentai Filmworks.

An anime film adaptation, produced by Manglobe and directed by Hideto Komori titled Hayate the Combat Butler! Heaven Is a Place on Earth, was released in Japanese theaters on August 27, 2011. The film was licensed for streaming and home video release by Sentai Filmworks in August 2015. A third anime television series, titled Hayate the Combat Butler: Can’t Take My Eyes Off You and produced by Manglobe, aired 12 episodes between October 4 and December 20, 2012. Instead of being a sequel to the 2009 anime series, Can’t Take My Eyes Off You features a new story written in part by the original creator Kenjiro Hata and is mostly based on his original ideas that never made it to the manga. Despite that, the third season takes place chronologically nine months after the beginning of the first, and six months after the second, eventually becoming part of the main series canon. The third season has been licensed by Sentai Filmworks and was released on DVD and Blu-ray on April 28, 2015. A fourth anime television series, titled Hayate the Combat Butler: Cuties, aired between April 8 and July 1, 2013, and is basically composed of short stories, each one focused on one of the main characters from the manga. The fourth season has been licensed by Sentai Filmworks. A three-part OVA series produced by Manglobe was released as part of the series’ tenth anniversary between June 18, 2014 and December 16, 2014.

Characters

Hayate Ayasaki 
Hayate is the title protagonist 16-year-old butler of the Sanzenin family. Hayate Ayasaki has had to work to support his parents’ bad habits since the age of nine, always moving from job to job, before he was found out to be underaged. The experience gained in those days does mean, however, that of all the characters, he possesses the most extensive practical knowledge of how the world operates. Hayate’s dad refused to get employed, while his mother is a compulsive gambler, and the whereabouts of his older brother, Ikusa, were unknown. These events led to their bankruptcy—they abandoned Hayate and made an attempt to sell him to the Yakuza to ease their financial burdens on Christmas Eve, a debt of 156,804,000 yen. With not many choices left to him, Hayate conspired to kidnap someone to get ransom money. He found a girl, Nagi Sanzenin, and told her that he would kidnap her. However, Nagi mistook his words for confession of love, so he was later employed as Nagi’s new butler. As a butler, Hayate is capable of all aspects of housework, but it is his ability in repelling attacks from almost anything (despite his bad luck) that makes him a “combat butler”. He once demonstrated a skilled use of firearms (being able to wield an MG3 single-handedly) and is practically invincible with physical powers far surpassing that of any normal human being. In the beginning of the story, Hayate often mentioned Nello and Patrasche from the novel A Dog of Flanders, and compared his miserable situation to the characters’ life.
In addition to looking poor and needy, Hayate can also appear to be extremely feminine. This has led to him being forced to wear girls’ clothing or cosplay in feminine outfits such as nekomimi, a maid and so on. Later on, this female alter-ego is given a name: Hermione Ayasaki. He has been forced to cross-dress at other times.
Hayate had a girlfriend named Athena, who was responsible for teaching him cleaning and swordsmanship, as well as for building his strong body. Athena taught him that he must be economically strong if he wants to date with a girl. They had a falling out after his parents pawned an “engagement” ring she gave him. In chapter 239, after being asked by Hinagiku how he feels about Athena, Hayate describes Athena as “Not like the others,” and ultimately tells Hinagiku that he is in love with Athena. Athena would soon be possessed by King Midas and attack Hayate. Isumi and Sakuya explained to Hayate about Athena’s possession and the importance of the King’s Jewel. However, Hayate was unable to choose whether to keep the stone for Nagi’s inheritance or to destroy it to save Athena. In the end, it was Nagi who made the choice, noticing Hayate’s troubles. She destroyed the King’s Jewel and Hayate was able to beat King Midas and rescue Athena. Both of them quickly embraced each other, after a long time since 10 years ago. Athena told Hayate of what happened after he left, about how a man came to save and free her from The Royal Garden. Hayate immediately recognized the man as his brother Ikusa. After these events, he tells him that she is the one he loved (in past tense), and he comes to deciding he wants to protect Nagi. Hayate would go back to Mykonos for one more day of vacation before returning to Japan.
Back in Japan, Hayate had to deal with the problem of Nagi losing the inheritance of the mansion. In the end, Hayate met Klaus who showed him an old house, “Violet Mansion” where they will settle in. After that, Athena appeared again in chapter 300, to ask Hayate where his brother was. She told him that she would appear again, and that he should act like they had never met before. She also stated that Hayate was the one she trusted most. When Hayate saves Ruka from a moving truck and apologizes to her for lying to her thinking that he was a girl from their first meeting, and soon Ruka falls in love with him. Recently Hayate, Linn, Tama discovered a mystery room (in chapter 368) partitioned in the storage room. After Isumi disables the barrier, Hayate discovers that the room holds the same coffin he saw in the Royal Garden 10 years ago. Shortly after that, Yozora shows up and burns the coffin whilst battling Isumi briefly. He later hosts a welcome party for the Violet Mansion tenants. Ruka offers to help pay off his debt along with hers before proclaiming her love for him, though Hayate declares he will continue to be Nagi’s butler until she is a happy grown mistress. After the school excursion competition in America, Hayate wins the prize to pay off his debt though choose otherwise to remain as Nagi’s butler. When the anniversary of their first meeting comes, the truth of the relationship is exposed due to Hayate’s parents intervention, leading Hayate to painfully regret and wishes they never met and arrives in a world where Ayumu rescued him instead of Nagi while caught in the King’s Jewel’s dream world. Ayumu gives Hayate a newfound resolve then went to Nagi and reassures her that the fun things and his desire to protect her were real. After the battle for the Sanzenin inheritance ends, Nagi bravely fires him, which prompts Hayate to find what he wants to do with his new life, after two years he encounters a self-sufficient Nagi in the same place he met her, and tells her that even when he’s not her butler anymore the desire of protecting her and wanting to be by her side hasn’t changed.
Currently there are a total of 12 people in love with Hayate, many of which he has no clue to their true feelings due to his dense nature. They are: Hinagiku, Ayumu, Ruka, Izumi, Isumi, Maria, Nagi, Sakuya, Athena, Konoha, Yomi, and Kotetsu (Homosexual). However, Hayate has only shown interest in Hinagiku, Ayumu, Maria, Athena, Ruka and Nagi in the very end of the manga.
Nagi Sanzenin
The main female protagonist Nagi Sanzenin, 13-year-old, biracial, is the only heir to the Sanzenin fortune. She is short-tempered, spoiled, immature, but kind and cute. She has an otaku-level hobby with manga, anime and video games, and draws her own manga. Nagi has a large crush on Hayate, and she thinks that Hayate loves her since they first met. She sometimes tries to make him take an interest in her in many ways. She gets really jealous when Hayate makes some good statements on other girls. However, Hayate never understands why Nagi is mad at him, until finally Chiharu spoke about Nagi’s feelings (in chapter 553) to him.
Nagi’s only surviving family is her grandfather, whom she greatly dislikes. She regards Maria as an older sister figure. Nagi’s mother, Yukariko, is shown in volume 12 of the manga. She cares for her family and friends, but she doesn’t want to show her concern directly, she usually shows her concern with “formal words”. Because of her pampered existence, she lacks any worldly knowledge and is even incapable of looking after herself. Nagi is mortally afraid of the dark (due to an incident with Isumi), and so shares her bed with Maria at night. Since going outside is very dangerous because of her status, Nagi favors staying at home, not liking company in general. Hayate managed to convince Nagi that sports is good for her body, and she is able to get into 2nd place on the Hakuō freestyle marathon thanks to Hayate’s absorbing training and her huge amount of love for him.
While Hayate always reminded her to gather experiences on the outside world, she always thought that will be boring or she will always get lost and risk being kidnapped. Because of her family’s wealth, she became the prime target of criminal organizations. Maria always states to her that without Hayate she will always get lost or in danger. Nagi disliked being a target and spent most of her days indoors playing video games and watching TV and hence slowly becoming a hikikomori. She begins to go to school more often after Hayate transfers to her school. Despite her laziness, Nagi is a highly intelligent student. She skipped grades and is currently in the first year of high school and in the same class as Hayate.
In Shimoda, Nagi decided to take Hayate and Maria on a trip to visit a mysterious meteorite that seems to enhance growth, along with other special powers. Nagi decided to help the alien, Maya, to find its misplaced spaceship. Nagi and Maya find the spaceship at the Saginomiya’s place. Nagi accidentally boards on the spaceship, luckily Hayate saves her. When Maya sends Hayate and Nagi home, Hayate encounters Nagi’s mother, Yukariko, in a dream and finds out the reason why Nagi comes to Shimoda every year is to remember the anniversary of her mother’s death.
On the other hand, in Episode 52, during Golden Week, Nagi, Hayate, and Maria travel to Mykonos Island. Hayate got summoned back to the past when he jumped into the sky to get Nagi’s hat back. At that time, Nagi feels uncomfortable going outside, because the Sicilian Mafia is after her. However, Hayate manages to defeat the Mafia but he made a few holes on Nagi’s hat. Nagi doesn’t mind and said that the holes are proof that Hayate saved her life. After this incident, Nagi falls for Hayate even more because he has vowed to protect her in the past, present and future. Both Nagis (The one in the present and the one from the past) fall for Hayate deeply. During Hayate’s struggle to make a choice whether to destroy the King’s Jewel to save Athena, Nagi sensed Hayate’s dilemma and decided to destroy the king’s jewel out of her own accord so that Hayate could now protect her truly, and not her fortune. She came across Athena on the last day of Golden Week. After coming back from Golden Week trip, Nagi was forced to leave her mansion due to her forfeiting her inheritance after she destroyed the King’s Jewel. Later Nagi, Hayate, and Maria stayed at Yukariko’s Violet Mansion and started new life.
Trying to sell her doujinshi to the public, Nagi went to show her hard work to Ashibashi-sensei but was shocked to realize her hard work was not good enough. Making a bet to sell out her doujinshi at the last Doujinshi convention, Nagi gets help from both Chiharu, Hayate, and Kayura in coming out with ideas to create her own doujinshi compare to Ruka her rival. After the Comisun event, Nagi decide to make a comeback at the Tokyo Big Sight to where the biggest doujinshi competition will be held there. Believing that having supernatural experiences will help create a concept manuscript for a new manga, Nagi takes an itinerary to Kyoto, but later got lost on the empty streets of Hokkaido until she’s found late at night by Dr. Kurosu. Nagi determined to win the competition for Hayate’s sake when Ruka confronts her feelings for him. As Nagi’s manga, “30 Days of Soul Burning“, is being sold and read, she soon realize what she had sincerely desire in her life.
Back home, Nagi is informed by her grandfather, that she can be reinstated as the heir should she brings him a King’s Jewel. After a failed attempt to obtain it from Hayate’s brother, Nagi orders Hayate to steal the Jewel in possession of Mikado instead. Despite knowing that he was robbed, Mikado accepts it back and agrees to have her become the Sanzenin heir once again. On the next Christmas Eve, Nagi finds out Hayate’s true feelings and falls into great depression, and without Maria, her broken spirit unlocks the King’s Jewel power awakening in a dreamworld where Hayate loves her for real. After reconciling with Nagi, Hayate made it so she won’t suffer the same fate as her mother, rescuing her but staying in the dreamworld as he couldn’t leave, back in the real world a tearful Nagi shouts Hayate’s name, and he appears by her side thanks to their strong bond. Nagi gives Hisui the “Loto’s Key” and the inheritance, saying she doesn’t need it anymore as she is gonna earn her own money, but wishes to eat cake with Hisui sometime, after that she fires Hayate freeing him of his duty to protect her, telling him to live as he wants and love whoever he wants, Hayate accepts and leaves a tearful Nagi. After a timeskip of two years a now self-sufficient Nagi attends a normal middle school, living with Chiharu and Kayura who have failed to pay next year’s tuition for Hakuou Academy. On another Christmas night, Nagi’s about to get kidnapped in the same place she was rescued by Hayate, but this time she takes care of the situation herself, an observing Hayate surprised at her growth and tells her that even when he’s not her butler anymore, his desire of protecting her and wanting to be by her side hasn’t changed, and that there is “something he needs to tell her,” in which a smiling Nagi happily replies that “the night is young”, locking hands after that and walking together, implying that this time their feelings are mutual and not a misunderstanding.

 

Wednesday News- January 15, 2020

Wednesday News- January 15, 2020

Final Fantasy VII Remake Game Delayed to April 10- https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2020-01-14/final-fantasy-vii-remake-game-delayed-to-april-10/.155335

Takashi NoguChi Launches Kōdō Wolf  Racing Manga- https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2020-01-14/takashi-noguchi-launches-kodo-wolf-racing-manga/.155282

Demon Slayer Manga Takes 19 of Top 20 Spots on Amazon’s Weekly Ranking- https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2020-01-14/demon-slayer-manga-takes-19-of-top-20-spots-on-amazon-weekly-ranking/.155344

La-Mulana 1 & 2 Games’ Trailer Streamed- https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2020-01-14/la-mulana-1-and-2-games-trailer-streamed/.155338

Fate/stay night Anime Director Yuji Yamaguchi Passes Away- https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2020-01-14/fate-stay-night-anime-director-yuji-yamaguchi-passes-away/.155277

Anime

  • Clockwork Planet Essentials BDP
  • Dragon Ball Super Part 10 BD
  • Dragon Ball Super Part 10 DVD
  • Gamers! Essentials BD
  • Knight’s & Magic Essentials BD
  • Magical Girl Spec-Ops Asuka BD
  • The Price of Smiles BD

Manga

  • 1122: For a Happy Marriage GN 4 (Digital Only)
  • Ace of Diamond GN 24 (Digital Only)
  • Case Closed Graphic Novel (GN) 73
  • Domestic Girlfriend GN 23 (Digital Only)
  • Do You Love Your Mom and Her Two-Hit Multi-Target Attacks? GN 2
  • Ex-Enthusiasts: Motokare Mania GN 2 (Digital Only)
  • Farewell, My Dear Cramer GN 6 (Digital Only)
  • GE – Good Ending GN 1 (Digital Only)
  • Giant Killing GN 18 (Digital Only)
  • Himouto! Umaruchan GN 8
  • Hina Matsuri GN 6
  • Hitorijime My Hero GN 6
  • If I Could Reach You GN 3
  • Knights of Sidonia Master Edition GN 4
  • The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess GN 6P
  • Persona 5 GN 1
  • Pokémon Sun & Moon GN 6
  • Shadow Student Council Vice President Gives Her All GN (Digital Only) (
  • Shigeru Mizuki‘s Kitaro: The Trial of Kitaro GN 4
  • Splatoon GN 8
  • Star Wars: The Legends of Luke Skywalker GN
  • To Love Ru Darkness GN 14
  • Uzaki-chan Wants to Hang Out! GN 2
  • Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches omnibus GN 21-22P
  • Yo-kai Watch GN 13
  • Yowamushi Pedal GN 13

Other

  • Atelier Ayesha: The Alchemist of Dusk DX PS4, Switch, PC game
  • Atelier Dusk Trilogy Deluxe Pack PS4, Switch, PC game
  • Atelier Escha and Logy: Alchemists of the Dusk Sky DX PS4, Switch, PC game
  • Atelier Shallie: Alchemists of the Dusk Sea DX PS4, Switch, PC game
  • Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot PS4, Xbox One, PC game
  • If It’s for My Daughter, I’d Even Defeat a Demon Lord Novel 9 (Digital Only)
  • Infinite Stratos Novel 11 (Digital Only)
  • Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation Novel 5 (Digital Only)
  • Orangeblood PC gameC
  • Seirei Gensouki – Spirit Chronicles Novel 8 (Digital Only)
  • Tokyo Mirage Session #FE Encore Switch game
  • The Underdog of the Eight Greater Tribes Novel 1 (Digital Only)

 

Manga Monday- Hayate the Combat Butler

Manga Monday- Hayate the Combat Butler

Hayate the Combat Butler is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Kenjiro Hata. It was serialized in Shogakukan’s Weekly Shōnen Sunday magazine from October 2004 to April 2017. Shogakukan released 52 volumes in Japan from February 2005 to June 2017. Viz Media publishes an English edition in North America. The manga is about a boy who starts a new job as a butler and the events he experiences with his employer. The style of the manga has a comedic gag with a slight harem feel and constantly breaks the fourth wall. The series includes numerous references to other anime, manga, video games, and popular culture.

A 52-episode anime adaptation of the manga by SynergySP aired between April 2007 and March 2008 on TV Tokyo. A second, 25-episode anime season by J.C.Staff aired between April and September 2009. Bandai Entertainment licensed the first anime series in 2008, but the series went out of print in 2012. An anime film adaption produced by Manglobe was released in August 2011. A third, 12-episode anime television series by Manglobe, based mostly on an original story not seen in the manga aired between October and December 2012. A fourth anime season aired between April and July 2013. Sentai Filmworks has licensed all four seasons of the anime.

Manga

Hayate the Combat Butler is written and illustrated by Kenjiro Hata. It began serialization in Shogakukan’s Weekly Shōnen Sunday magazine on October 20, 2004, and concluded on April 12, 2017. Shogakukan published the chapters in 52 tankōbon volumes from February 18, 2005 to June 16, 2017. Viz Media publishes the manga in North America and released the first volume on November 14, 2006. The most recent English release is volume 34, on September 9, 2019. The English translations are done by Yuki Yoshioka and Cindy H. Yamauchi, and the English adaptation is done by Mark Giambruno.

Reception

Over ten million copies of the manga and other Hayate-related books have been sold in Japan as of January 2009. Carlo Santos of Anime News Network gave Volume 14 of the manga a C+, citing Hata’s overextension of a complex work with multiple simultaneous plotlines and constant scene changes. He does note that Sakuya’s birthday party as an example of the work’s strong point. Chris Beveridge of Mania.com gave part six of the anime an overall B rating. Although, in his opinion, the storyline and nature of the anime has not changed much, he was suddenly captivated. Beveridge sums up these feelings for the final episodes by noting that they “had a certain flavor and flow to them that left me pretty happy, which is a surprise after five volumes that left me feeling ambivalent at best.”

Plot

Hayate Ayasaki is an unlucky 16-year-old boy who has worked since childhood to make ends meet due to his parents’ irresponsible behavior. On Christmas Eve, he finds out his parents have run away from home while shouldering him with a massive ¥156,804,000 gambling debt. The Yakuza (from whom the money was borrowed in the first place) plan to settle the debt by selling his organs. While running away from the debt collectors, Hayate meets Nagi Sanzenin, a 13-year-old girl and the sole heir of the wealthy Sanzenin estate, and her maid Maria. Due to a misunderstanding, Nagi falls in love with Hayate. After he rescues Nagi from kidnappers, she hires Hayate as her new butler.

Aside from performing his ordinary duties as a butler, Hayate must fight to protect Nagi from harm, a difficult task since her life is always in danger because she is the target of individuals who covet her family’s fortune, and sometimes must deal with her extravagant requests, oblivious to Nagi’s true feelings for him. Later in the story, Hayate must juggle the feelings of several other girls, Ayumu Nishizawa, his former classmate; and Hinagiku Katsura, the student council president of Hakuō Academy. Hayate had a romantic relationship with a childhood friend, Athena Tennousu, who is chairwoman of the board of Hakuō Academy.

Due to the events of Golden Week, involving Hayate and Athena, Nagi ends up forfeiting her inheritance. With the last of her savings, Nagi and Maria move with Hayate to an old apartment building called “Violet Mansion” owned by her late mother Yukariko, and rents its extra rooms for income: having Chiharu Harukaze, the secretary of Hakuō Academy; Hinagiku, Ayumu, Athena (in child-form), Kayura Tsurugino, an “elite otaku”; and Ruka Suirenji, a pop idol who also develops feelings for Hayate, as its tenants.

After a series of adventures with the tenants, Nagi manages to reclaim her fortune. On an excursion in America, Hayate finally pays off his massive debt, but decides to keep working as Nagi’s butler, especially when the battle for the Sanzenin inheritance intensifies. Athena eventually regains full strength and Maria resigns as Nagi’s maid. On Christmas Eve, the “misunderstanding” of Hayate and Nagi’s relationship is exposed, creating a rift that leads to the final battle. Hayate rescues Nagi from the godly Royal Garden, but she decides to relinquish her status as an heir and concedes the rights to her cousin Hisui Hatsushiba, before firing Hayate to set him free. Two years later, a self-sufficient Nagi reunites with Hayate in the place they met for the first time, where he tells her that despite not being her butler anymore, he still wants to be with her, and that there is “something he needs to tell her”, before locking hands and walking together under the starry night sky.

 

Film Friday- Honey and Clover

Film Friday- Honey and Clover

Honey and Clover is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Chica Umino. It is also known as HachiKuro and H&C. It is published by Shueisha, initially serialized from June 2000 to July 2006 in the magazines CUTiEcomic, Young YOU, and Chorus, and collected in ten bound volumes. The series depicts the lives and relationships of a group of art school students who live in the same apartment building. In 2003, the manga won the 27th Kodansha Manga Award for shōjo.

The series was adapted as an animated television series by J.C.Staff, initially broadcast on Fuji TV in two seasons from April to September 2005 and June to September 2006. The series was also adapted as a live action movie, which was released in theaters in Japan on July 22, 2006, and two separate live-action television dramas in 2008, one broadcast in Japan on Fuji TV from January 8, 2008 to March 18, 2008 and the other broadcast in Taiwan on CTS beginning on May 25, 2008.

Anime

The anime television series was produced by J.C.Staff and consists of 36 episodes in broadcast in two seasons on Fuji TV in the Noitamina programming block. The first season was directed by Ken’ichi Kasai, and consisted of 24 episodes that aired from April 14, 2005 and September 29, 2005 plus two DVD-only episodes. The second season was directed by Tatsuyuki Nagai, and consisted of 12 episodes that aired between June 29, 2006 and September 14, 2006.
Both seasons were rebroadcast in Japan by the anime CS television network Animax, which also later broadcast the series across its respective networks in Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, and other regions. The series was first broadcast in English on Amimax’s Southeast Asia network starting August 1, 2006.
The anime featured numerous sponsors, including clothing brands We, Adidas, Head Porter, Visvim and Sally Scott, as well as Weider in Jelly in the second season.
Funimation got the broadcast rights to Viz Media’s dub and it premiered on the Funimation Channel on September 19, 2009. Viz Media have subsequently released the entire series across three DVD collection sets. In Australia, the anime is distributed on DVD by Madman Entertainment. In May 2019, Discotek Media announced the license of the series.

Main characters

Yūta Takemoto
A second-year art student, age 19 at the start of the series, living in the same apartment complex as Mayama and Morita. Takemoto is the main character and acts as the point-of-view of the series, and often as narrator of episodes. He is depicted as the most mellow of the main characters. He falls in love with Hagu immediately after being introduced by his professor but keeps his feelings to himself through most of the series. Because of his inability to act upon his feelings as freely as Morita, Takemoto decides to act as a brother-figure to Hagu, giving her friendly support when needed, for example, building her sophisticated dollhouses at her request. Later in the series, as a result of his conflicted emotions, Takemoto develops a stomach ulcer, forcing him to repeat a year of school. Early in the series, he questions his vocation as an artist, but over the series he becomes comfortable with himself. After a bicycle trip to Cape Sōya, the northernmost point in Japan, Takemoto gains the confidence to tell Hagu how he really feels. Although Hagu does not accept him, Takemoto admits that just meeting her and the time they spend together has influenced him.
Hagumi Hanamoto
Usually called “Hagu” by her friends, she is an 18-year-old first-year art student at the start of the series. She is depicted as appearing and acting several years younger than her true age. Despite her appearance, she is a gifted artist and her work is highly praised by art professionals. She is shy and very nervous when interacting with people, to the point of becoming physically ill from stress, with the result that other art students think she is strange. She was raised by her grandmother in a sheltered environment, where she learned to draw sketching the ever-changing view from her porch. When Morita and Takemoto first meet Hagu, they both immediately fall in love with her, although they express it in different ways. Hagu spends most of the series unaware of their feelings for her, seeing them as friends. After Takemoto confesses his feelings for her, she begins avoiding him, and at the end of the series she admits she loves Morita. However, she returns to Shūji because she cannot imagine a life without drawing.
Shinobu Morita
A sixth-year art student, age 24 at the start of the series, in the same apartment complex as Takemoto and Mayama. Morita is depicted as a perpetual student, unable to graduate because of persistent absenteeism. This is mainly due to his work, which forces him to go missing for several days, after which he sleeps for at least 48 hours. Morita is considered mysterious by the other students, prone to bizarre behavior such as creating a version of Twister with too many colors. He is a perceptive person who cares for his friends Takemoto and Mayama but often expressing himself tactlessly, and who is not generous with his money and food. He also expresses his desire for Hagu in quirky ways, such as forcing her to dress up as a mouse because he likes cute things. Later in the series, he departs for a year in America, and eventually the others learn he has been moonlighting as an award-winning CGI artist.
Takumi Mayama
A fourth-year art student, age 22 at the start of the series, in the same apartment complex as Takemoto and Morita. He acts as a senpai (senior) to Takemoto and tries to help Morita get up for early morning classes. Early in the series, Mayama helps Rika Harada out with various errands at her design firm, Harada Design, during which time he develops feelings for Rika. The series initially leaves unclear whether Mayama takes advantage of Rika’s disability to fulfill his desires, but it is later shown that Rika reciprocates his feelings. At her urging, Mayama begins working for a different design firm, but after it breaks up, near the end of the series, he returns to work for Rika. Despite Yamada’s throwing herself at him, Mayama considers her only as his close friend, but he becomes protective of her when a colleague with a reputation for playing girls develops an interest in her.
Ayumi Yamada
A third-year art student, age 21 at the start of the series, specializing in ceramic arts. She is well-known by other students for her pottery and her nickname Tetsujin “Iron-lady” for running 6 km to school every morning to help her dog lose weight. She is depicted as a beautiful young woman, who catches the attention of her male friends and coworkers. Yamada is deeply in love with Mayama, but he does not return her feelings and repeatedly encourages her to find someone else. Later in the series, she is angered by Mayama’s sudden protectiveness when he tries to shield her from his former boss, Nomiya. Yamada is close friends with Hagu, who addresses her by first name. At the end of the series, Yamada continues as a graduate student in art, while making pottery for Harada Design.

Wednesday News- January 8, 2020

Wednesday News- January 8, 2020

Yen Press Licenses That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime: The Ways of the Monster Nation Manga- https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2020-01-06/yen-press-licenses-that-time-i-got-reincarnated-as-a-slime-the-ways-of-the-monster-nation-manga/.155096

Review: Vinland Sagahttps://www.animenewsnetwork.com/review/vinland-saga-episodes-1-24-streaming/.155028

Makoto Fugetsi, cocho’s Granblue Fantasy Manga Ends- https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2020-01-07/makoto-fugetsu-cocho-granblue-fantasy-manga-ends/.155126

Plunderer Anime Runs for 24 Episodes- https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/daily-briefs/2020-01-07/plunderer-anime-runs-for-24-episodes/.155109

The Winter 2020 Anime Preview Guide- https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/preview-guide/2020/winter/.154997

Anime

  • Berserk Complete Series BDP
  • Black Clover Season 2 Part 2 BD/DVD
  • A Certain Magical Index Season 3 Part 2 BD/DVD
  • Dagashi Kashi Season 2 Essentials BD
  • ENDRO! Complete Series BD
  • The Girl in Twilight BD
  • Hinomaru Sumo Part 1 BD
  • Pokémon – Diamond and Pearl: Battle Dimension Complete Collection DVD
  • Space Dandy Complete Series Classics BD
  • Spice & Wolf Complete Series BD
  • Yu-Yu Hakusho Season 3 Steelbook BD
  • Zombie Land Saga Season 1 BD/DVD
  • Zombie Land Saga Season 1 Limited Edition BD/DVD

Manga

  • Akashic Records of Bastard Magic Instructor Graphic Novel (GN) 8
  • Animeta! GN 2
  • Anonymous Noise GN 18
  • Bakemonogatari GN 2
  • Black Clover GN 19
  • Chio’s School Road GN 7
  • Daytime Shooting Star GN 4
  • Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba GN 10
  • Don’t Call Me Dirty GN
  • Dr. Stone GN 9
  • Dungeon Builder: The Demon King’s Labyrinth is a Modern City! GN 1
  • Grand Blue Dreaming GN 9
  • Haikyu!! GN 36
  • Harem Days The Seven-Starred Country GN 13 (Digital Only)A
  • An Incurable Case of Love (Koi wa Tsuzuku yo Doko made mo) GN 2A
  • Kaguya-sama: Love is War GN 12
  • Legend of the Rainbow GN 3 (Digital Only)
  • The Magic in this Other World is Too Far Behind! GN 3 (Digital Only)C
  • Marginal Operation GN 2 (Digital Only)
  • My Room Is a Dungeon Rest Stop GN 1
  • The Promised Neverland GN 13
  • The Seven Deadly Sins GN 36 (Digital Only)
  • Snow White with the Red Hair GN 5P
  • Tales of Berseria GN 2
  • Tomo-chan is a Girl! GN 6

Other

  • An Archdemon’s Dilemma – How to Love Your Elf Bride Novel 3
  • Arifureta – From Commonplace to World’s Strongest: Zero Novel 2
  • Demon Lord, Retry! Novel 2 (Digital Only)
  • Der Werwolf – The Annals of Veight Novel 6 (Digital Only)
  • Full Metal Panic! Collector’s Edition Omnibus Novel 1 (hardcover)
  • In Another World With My Smartphone Novel 18 (Digital Only)
  • Infinite Dendrogram Novel 4
  • Magic User: Reborn in Another World as a Max Level Novel 1
  • Monster Hunter World: Iceborne PC game
  • Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation Novel 4
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion TV Animation Production Art Collection Artbook (hardcover)
  • Otherside Picnic Novel 2 (Digital Only)
  • PERSONA 5 the Animation The Artworks Material BookA
  • Sword Art Online Novel 18
  • There Was No Secret Evil-Fighting Organization (srsly?!), So I Made One MYSELF! Novel 2 (Digital Only)An

 

Monday Manga- Honey and Clover

Monday Manga- Honey and Clover

Honey and Clover is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Chica Umino. It is also known as HachiKuro and H&C. It is published by Shueisha, initially serialized from June 2000 to July 2006 in the magazines CUTiEcomic, Young YOU, and Chorus, and collected in ten bound volumes. The series depicts the lives and relationships of a group of art school students who live in the same apartment building. In 2003, the manga won the 27th Kodansha Manga Award for shōjo.

The series was adapted as an animated television series by J.C.Staff, initially broadcast on Fuji TV in two seasons from April to September 2005 and June to September 2006. The series was also adapted as a live action movie, which was released in theaters in Japan on July 22, 2006, and two separate live-action television dramas in 2008, one broadcast in Japan on Fuji TV from January 8, 2008 to March 18, 2008 and the other broadcast in Taiwan on CTS beginning on May 25, 2008.

In 2003, the manga of Honey and Clover won the 27th Kodansha Manga Award for shōjo. About.com’s Deb Aoki lists Honey and Clover as the best new josei manga of 2008. Yū Aoi won the award for Best Actress at the 28th Yokohama Film Festival for her role as Hagumi Hanamoto in the live-action film.

Manga

The Honey and Clover manga was written and illustrated by Chika Umino and published by Shueisha. The first fourteen chapters were serialized in the josei (aimed at younger adult women) manga magazine CUTiEcomic from June 2000 to July 2001, when serialization moved to Young YOU. With the demise of Young YOU in 2005, it moved to Chorus, where it ran until July 2006. The 64 chapters were collected in ten bound volumes. The series was also issued in a ten-volume box set in May 2007.
The manga is licensed in North America by Viz Media, which began serializing it in Shojo Beat magazine in August 2007. It is also licensed in France by Kana, in Germany by Tokyopop Germany, and in Thailand by Bongkoch Comics.
In commemoration of the success of the live action drama series, a two-chapter spin-off was released from 2006 to 2008, again written and illustrated by Umino Chika, bringing the story to a final close.

Plot

Yūta Takemoto, Takumi Mayama and Shinobu Morita are three young men who live in the same apartment complex and are students at an art college in Tokyo.

One day, they are introduced to Hagumi Hanamoto, the daughter of a cousin of Shūji Hanamoto, an art professor, who has come to live with Hanamoto and has become a first year art student at the art school that everyone attends. Yuta and Shinobu both fall in love with Hagu, but Yuta hides his feelings and tries to be a friend to Hagu while Shinobu expresses his love in ways that seem only to scare Hagu, such as calling her “Mousey” and constantly photographing her. Hagu herself, though initially timid and afraid of company, gradually warms up to the three.

The group comes to include Ayumi Yamada, a master of pottery who is well known by her nickname “Tetsujin” (Iron Lady), who becomes very close to Hagu. When not at school, she helps run the family liquor store. While Ayumi is popular with many young men, she falls in love with Takumi, who does not recipocrate her feelings and considers her a very dear friend. Instead, Takumi pursues an older woman, Rika Harada, a widowed friend of Professor Hanamoto who runs an architecture studio she founded with her late husband.

The story follows these five characters in their love triangles, unrequited love, graduating from college, finding jobs, and learning more about themselves.

 

Film Friday- MÄR

Film Friday- MÄR

Märchen Awakens Romance, officially abbreviated as MÄR), is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Nobuyuki Anzai, serialized in Shogakukan’s Weekly Shōnen Sunday from January 2003 to July 2006. MÄR follows 14-year-old junior high student Ginta Toramizu who is transported into a fantasy-based world known as MÄR-Heaven. As Ginta ventures in the world of MÄR-Heaven, he encounters allies and antagonists.

An anime television series adaptation titled MÄR Heaven was broadcast in Japan on TV Tokyo from April 2005 to March 2007.

In North America, Viz Media has licensed both the MÄR manga and anime for an English-language release.The manga was published between July 2005 and June 2007. The anime aired first in July 2006 on Toonami Jetstream, an online service from Cartoon Network, and then on the network itself, as part of the Toonami programming block in December 2006.

A sequel entitled MÄR Omega by Anzai and illustrated by Kōichirō Hoshino was published in Weekly Shōnen Sunday from July 2006 to June 2007.

Anime

An anime adaptation titled MÄR Heaven, produced by SynergySP premiered in Japan on TV Tokyo on April 3, 2005 where it ran for 102 episodes until its conclusion on March 25, 2007.

In North America, the anime was licensed by Viz Media and aired on Cartoon Network’s online broadband service Toonami Jetstream in July 2006, and the series premiered on their television programming block Toonami,on December 23, 2006. It also premiered in Canada on YTV channel on June 1, 2007. Viz Media began releasing the series to DVD on June 12, 2007, with each disc containing 4 episodes. Four volumes were released before Viz delisted the series in favor of other titles. In June 2011, the first 52 episodes were available on Netflix’s Instant streaming service.

Ginta Toramizu

A fun-loving, care-free boy with a ponytail who uses Babbo as his ÄRM. Ginta is a fourteen-year-old boy as a 2nd year student in Japan. He has always had a daydreaming problem; falling asleep in class happens on a regular basis. Ginta’s dreams are about a fantasy world in which he is the hero. On many occasions he tells Koyuki, the only person who believes that his dreams are real, about the dreams and how one day he will go to the place he sees when he’s asleep. Many of his classmates and teachers pick on him for sleeping in class and Ginta often ends up getting beat up or running around the school as punishment.
Ginta’s mother doesn’t like to hear of his dreams because of his father who disappeared about six years ago. He had the same dreams as well and she is worried that Ginta will leave her. She writes fairy tales, or märchen, for a living. She also playfully beats Ginta up for playing too many video games and slacking off at school.
One day, however, Ginta was sent to the fantasy world he dreamed of, MÄR Heaven. Being originally from another world (Earth) he was originally weak and nerdy (a stereotypical otaku) until he arrived in MÄR-Heaven, where he gained superior physical ability, 20/20 eyesight, and his path happened to coincide with that of the ÄRM of legend Babbo.
Ginta later finds out that he was brought to the fantasy world by a boy named Alviss so that he can save the world from the Chess Pieces. He uses the unique ÄRM Babbo, which was used by the head of the Chess Pieces six years prior, to create Team and defeat the Chess once and for all. He harbours a secret crush on Koyuki, who eventually reciprocates his feelings as she journeys with Ginta as Snow.

Babbo

is a unique ÄRM that was first wielded by Phantom and is later wielded by Ginta. He resembles a metal kendama. He contained the soul of the previous Elder of Caldia.

Babbo has many forms:

  • Babbo Version 1A: Hammer Arm – Babbo becomes a gauntlet over the user’s hand with a metal ball at the end. The base of the gauntlet has the same design as the hammer part of Babbo’s normal form.
  • Babbo Version 1B: Dagger Arm – Babbo becomes an extension for the first version where a dagger appears in the place of a metal ball.
  • Babbo Version 2: Bubble Launcher – Babbo turns into a gun that Ginta wields. This form can shoot exploding bubbles. Ginta uses this for long range attacks.
  • Babbo Version 3: Gargoyle – Babbo turns into a giant Gargoyle creature that levitates with a giant crystal as his lower waist and holds a ring in his mouth. He can use the ring to fire a strong beam that uses a lot of magical power. Because this version is a Guardian ÄRM, Ginta can’t move when he uses it, but it also is very dangerous…if he is reckless with it, Ginta’s spirit energy will be crushed (he may also lose his sanity).
  • Babbo Version 4: Alice – Babbo turns into an angelic female Holy ÄRM that uses healing magic, which is effective for counter-attack and protection against Darkness ÄRMs. Babbo becomes embarrassed after the transformation.
  • Babbo Version 5: Cushion Jelly – Babbo turns into a giant jelly that protects Ginta and absorbs all physical attacks used by the enemy. This form will also render Ginta motionless.
  • Babbo Version 6: Puss in Boots – Babbo turns into a larger version of Puss in Boots where he gains immense speed, has a knife hidden in one of his boots, and the ability to use ÄRM like Fresh Bonito (a Weapon ÄRM that resembles a fish that is actually strong) and Mr. Replacer (a unique ÄRM that resembles a doll that can substitute for Ginta when he is about to be attacked).
  • Babbo Version 7: Unification – Ginta used this form to get his father’s mind back into his body.
  • Babbo Version 8: Reverse Gatekeeper Clown – Exclusive to the manga, Babbo turns into a form that resembles Gatekeeper Clown that allows a certain number of people to go through by the dice that it rolls. Ginta and his dad used it to go back to Earth following the defeat of Caldia’s Orb.
  • Babbo Version 8: Omega Gargoyle – Exclusive to the anime, Babbo turns into a golden version of Gargoyle where it is strengthened by the hopes and dreams of everyone on MÄR-Heaven.

Dorothy

The beautiful 16-year-old Princess of Caldea who is also a witch of immeasurable power, and the younger sister of Diana: Queen of Chess Pieces (the former princess of Caldia). She is the step-aunt of Snow (although she and Snow have some trouble accepting this) and thus, she bears the responsibility to put a permanent rest to Diana’s actions in accordance to the laws of their birthplace, the magic kingdom Caldea. She is first to appear walking up to Ginta. Since she saw the great strength of Ginta, she asked him to help her get ÄRM. When he refused, she offered up a Weapon ÄRM that was completely useless. Ginta agreed not knowing a thing about the ÄRM, so they enter the cave of where the ÄRM is sealed. Later, when they arrive at the ÄRM’s location they have to face a powerful Guardian ÄRM, Brikkin. As Dorothy fights it with her Guardian ÄRM Flying Leo, Ginta gets the ÄRM who calls himself Babbo, then Flying Leo breaks, and so with Babbo he beats the Guardian Brikkin. Later they argue over Babbo to the point when Dorothy tried and failed to pick up Babbo because it was too heavy thus Ginta got Babbo. Disappointed she flew away on the Nature ÄRM Zephiroth’s Broom.

Dorothy has an interest in stealing any uncommon ÄRMs she comes across (which is also her other duty on Kaldea’s behalf), heaping up into a wide variety for her collection, but she seems to prefer Guardian ÄRMs and Wind-themed ÄRMs in battle. Dorothy’s moods can vary from the sweet, kind-hearted girl to the pitiless, cruel fighter who could kill her enemies without any second thought. She also has a notably large crush on Ginta, leading her to smother him with attention, much to Princess Snow’s dismay.

During the last Chess battle with the Chess Pieces, when she was against Chimera, part of her dress were ripped away to expose a majority of her left breast (but not enough to expose her nudity), while a portion of the dress at her right hip was exposed too. Many viewers also commented on the ‘intentional’ attention on her breasts, when her breasts shake when Dorothy was surprised at Chimaera’s Ghost ÄRM, a close up at her breasts at a view slightly behind Dorothy, and when Ugly Hag was touching her breast while she was struggling against a pair of Ogre Hands. There is also a joke-skill that Dorothy has, called mostly ‘Defy Gravity’, made out when Chimera takes Dorothy’s leg and turns her upside down, but her dress does not slip down to reveal a likely genital (since it was speculated that with no brassiere, there will be no undergarments). This fact is also supported as the story never shows undergarments, as when Pinocchio uses his multiple hands to grab both of Dorothy’s legs and spreads them, while pulling her towards a chainsaw to cut her into half from between the legs, only her lap and thigh can be seen, with a slip of the dress between her legs.

Dorothy is inspired from the Wizard Of OZ from her name being the same as the main character except instead of defeating a witch she is one. She also has allusions to it from her ÄRM including: Scarecrow who is pretty dumb like the scarecrow from the original was supposed be, Rain Dog which is named TOTO like Dorothy’s from the wizard of Oz, Flying Leo a combination of the cowardly lion and the flying monkeys & Ring Armor which looks the tin man. And Like her counterpart she also has to kill a witch although in this case it’s her sister and not the wicked witch of the west.

Dorothy’s ÄRM consists of:

  • Andarta – A Dimension ÄRM that allows Dorothy to teleport to anywhere that she has been.
  • Antidote Tonic – A Holy ÄRM used to cure poisons.
  • Broom of Zephyrus – A Nature ÄRM that takes the form of a metal broom that is always seen near Dorothy. Besides using it as her mode of transportation, Dorothy can shape the wind with it.
  • Crazy Quilt – A Guardian ÄRM that takes the form of a loud-mouthed whimsical puppet with dirty clothes and no legs.
  • Flying Leo – A Guardian ÄRM that summons a flying lion.
  • Ring Armor – A common Guardian ÄRM that summons a living suit of armor that is often used to test an enemy’s strength.
  • Ring Dagger – A Weapon ÄRM that Dorothy uses when she doesn’t want to use up her Broom of Zephyrus.
  • Rock Giant Golem – A Guardian ÄRM that resembles a giant suit of rock armor. It originally guarded Babbo until it was defeated and ended up in Dorothy’s possession.
  • Scarecrow – A Guardian ÄRM that takes the form of a scarecrow whose hat can turn into a drill.
  • Toto – A Guardian ÄRM that is the name of a Rain Dog (a three-tailed dog) that can eat absolutely anything.
  • Watching Bird – A Dimension ÄRM that takes the form of a purple hummingbird that can watch anything and send the hologram of what it sees back to the user where it is shown on the ground.
  • Zipper – A Dimensional ÄRM that summons a zipper that Dorothy uses to store her extra ÄRM.