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Month: January 2019

Wednesday News- January 30, 2019

Wednesday News- January 30, 2019

News: A Silent Voice Film Ships on BD/DVD in North America on April 2- https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/daily-briefs/2019-01-29/a-silent-voice-film-ships-on-bd-dvd-in-n-america-on-april-2/.142475

Everything You Need to Know about MANGA Plus by Shueisha- https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/feature/2019-01-27/everything-you-need-to-know-about-manga-plus-by-shueisha/.142401

Review: Tsurune: Kazemai Kōkō Kyūdō-bu Episodes 1-13 streaming- https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/review/tsurune/kazemai-koko-kyudo-bu/episodes-1-13/.142628

Resident Evil 2 Remake Game Ships 3 Million Copies Worldwide- https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/daily-briefs/2019-01-29/resident-evil-2-remake-game-ships-3-million-copies-worldwide/.142710

Anime

  • The Ancient Magus’ Bride Part 1 BD/DVD
  • The Ancient Magus’ Bride Part 1 Limited Edition BD/DVD
  • Beyblade BD
  • Black Butler Complete Box Set BD
  • Divine Gate Complete Series Essentials BD
  • Gangsta. Essentials BD
  • Girls’ Last Tour BD
  • Girls’ Last Tour Premium Box Set BD
  • Lupin III: Part II Collection 3 DVD
  • The Night is Short Walk On, Girl BD/DVD
  • Shin Tetsujin 28 BD
  • Tetsujin 28: Morning Moon of Midday BD/DVD

Anime

  • Altair: A Record of Battles GN 9 (Digital Only)
  • Ani-Imo GN 1-4 (Digital Only)
  • Arakawa Under the Bridge Graphic Novel (GN) 5
  • Ayanashi GN 4 (Digital Only)
  • Captain Harlock The Classic Collection GN 3 (Hardcover)
  • Demon from Afar GN 4-6 (Digital Only)
  • Elegant Yokai Apartment Life GN 10 (Digital Only)
  • First Love Monster GN 3-4 (Digital Only)
  • Forest of Piano GN 10 (Digital Only)
  • Golosseum GN 5
  • He’s My Only Vampire GN 1-3  (Digital Only)
  • Hotaru’s Way GN 7 (Digital Only)
  • Inside Mari GN 2
  • Kase-san and… GN 1-4 (Digital Only)
  • Kindred Spirits On The Roof GN (Digital Only)
  • Magical Girl Spec-Ops Asuka GN 5
  • Masamune-kun’s Revenge GN 1-8 (Digital Only)
  • My Boy in Blue GN 6 (Digital Only)
  • Now Loading…! GN
  • Pokémon Ranger and the Temple of the Sea GN (Digital Only)
  • Pokémon: The Rise of Darkrai GN (Digital Only)
  • Pokémon: Giratina and the Sky Warrior! GN (Digital Only)
  • Pokémon: Arceus and the Jewel of Life GN (Digital Only)
  • Pokémon: Zoroark: Master of Illusions GN (Digital Only)
  • Pokémon: White: Victini and Zekron GN (Digital Only)
  • Pokémon: Kyurem vs. the Sword of Justice GN (Digital Only)
  • Pokémon: Genesect and the Legend Awakened GN (Digital Only)
  • Pokémon: Diancie and the Cocoon of Destruction GN (Digital Only)
  • Pokémon: Hoopa and the Clash of Ages GN (Digital Only)
  • Pokémon: Volcanion and the Mechanical Marvel GN (Digital Only)
  • Princess Resurrection Nightmare GN 2 (Digital Only)
  • Prison School GN 9-16 (Digital Only)
  • Saki GN 18 (Digital Only)
  • Secret of the Princess GN (Digital Only)
  • The Seven Deadly Sins GN 30
  • Tetragrammaton Labyrinth GN 1-6 (Digital Only)
  • Ultra Kaiju Humanization Project GN 2
  • The Voynich Hotel GN 3
  • Wish GN

Other

  • Ace Combat 7 PS4/Xbox One/PC Game (digital)
  • Arifureta Zero Novel 2 (Digital Only)
  • Kingdom Hearts III PS4/Xbox One Game
  • Koimonogatari Novel
  • Masquerade and the Nameless Women Novel
  • Outbreak Company Novel 7 (Digital Only)
  • Song of Memories PS4 Game

 

Manga Monday- Buso Renkin

Manga Monday- Buso Renkin

Buso Renkin is a manga series written and drawn by Nobuhiro Watsuki. It follows Kazuki Muto, who becomes an alchemical warrior in the battle against alchemical monsters known as homunculi. Watsuki envisioned the manga as his last shōnen manga, and then he tried to do as much as he could with that genre. It was serialized in Shueisha’s magazine Weekly Shōnen Jump from June 2003 to April 2005. The individual chapters were republished by Shueisha in ten tankōbon volumes. The series has been licensed by Viz Media for North American release.
In Japan, the Buso Renkin manga has sold over 3 million volumes and was nominated for a Seiun Award. It received a mixed reception from manga and anime publications. Watsuki’s art received the most positive comments from reviewers, while other aspects of the manga, such as its action and characters, have divided critics’ opinions. The anime, which critics described as a generic shōnen fighting series, received mostly negative reception.

Manga

The chapters of Buso Renkin were written and illustrated by Nobuhiro Watsuki and were serialized in Shueisha’s shōnen magazine Weekly Shōnen Jump from June 23, 2003, to April 25, 2005. Only the first 79 chapters were serialized in Weekly Shōnen Jump; the final chapter was published in another magazine from Shueisha in two installments. Shueisha published the individual chapters in a series of ten tankōbon (collected volumes), which were released between January 5, 2004, and April 4, 2006. In North America, Viz Media released the manga’s ten tankōbon volumes between August 1, 2006, and February 5, 2008. The manga has been licensed in Brazil by Editora JBC, France by Glénat, in Germany by Tokyopop Germany, in Italy by Panini Comics, and in Spain by Planeta DeLibros.

Plot

The narrative of Buso Renkin follows Kazuki Muto, who saves Tokiko Tsumura and is killed by an alchemical monster known as a homunculus. Tokiko, an alchemist warrior, feels responsible and revives him by replacing his destroyed heart with a kakugane (核鉄). The kakugane is an alchemical device which, when activated, takes a weapon form based on its user’s personality, forming a buso renkin—the only thing that can destroy a homunculus. Kazuki creates his own buso renkin and joins Tokiko in the fight against the homunculi and their master, Koushaku Chouno. Chouno, who has renamed himself “Papillon”, is killed by Kazuki, but is later resurrected by the L.X.E., a humanoid homunculi group led by Chouno’s great-great-grandfather Bakushaku Chouno, now calling himself Dr. Butterfly. In various battles, Kazuki, Tokiko and Captain Bravo (their team leader) destroy most of the L.X.E.’s members. After learning that Dr. Butterfly believes him to be weak and useless, Papillon rebels against the L.X.E. and kills Dr. Butterfly.
Before his death, Dr. Butterfly drains the energy of the students at Kazuki’s school to heal and revive Victor, a being superior to humans and homunculi. Victor is confronted by Kazuki, but Victor is not interested in fighting and leaves. During the battle, however, Kazuki’s kakugane is revealed to be the same type as the Victor’s—a black kakugane created by the Alchemist Army as a prototype to the philosopher’s stone. The black kakugane absorbs human life forces; to prevent this from happening, Kazuki’s death is ordered by the Alchemist Army. Captain Bravo tries to kill Kazuki, but Tokiko finds him alive. A team is commissioned to confirm Kazuki’s death, but Kazuki, Tokiko and Gouta Nakamura (an Alchemist Warrior and former protégé of Tokiko’s) fight their way past the members of the Re-Extermination Squad. Later, Kazuki’s death is postponed because, as the Alchemists’ leader explains, their top priority is to defeat Victor.
Kazuki and Tokiko find the white kakugane, which can negate the effects of the black kakugane and is guarded by Victor’s daughter Victoria, who is herself a humanoid homunculus. During the Alchemist Army’s final battle against Victor, Kazuki applies the white kakugane to Victor, but it only weakens him. To protect humankind from both of them, Kazuki propels himself and Victor to the moon. Later, Papillion creates a white kakugane to heal Kazuki. The Alchemist Army rescues Kazuki, creates another white kakugane and restores Victor’s humanity. Reunited with his daughter, Victor asks the Alchemist Army to turn him into a homunculus and tells them that he and his daughter will lead all the homunculi to the moon. The Alchemist Army dedicates itself to research a way to revert homunculi back into humans, ending their war activities. All Warriors abdicate their kakugane. Kazuki and Tokiko return to their daily lives together while Papillon becomes an urban legend throughout Japan.

 

Film Friday- Kenichi The Mightiest Disciple

Film Friday- Kenichi The Mightiest Disciple

An anime adaptation by Tokyo Movie Shinsha aired 50 episodes from October 2006 to September 2007. Brain’s Base produced OVAs for the series, which continue from the Ragnarok Arc. The first OVA was released on March 14, 2012, the second OVA was released on June 18, 2012, and a third OVA was released on November 16, 2012. The fourth and fifth OVA were released as a double feature on September 16, 2013. The sixth and seventh OVA were released on November 18, 2013. The eighth and ninth OVA were released on February 14, 2014. The tenth and eleventh OVA were released on May 16, 2014.

Anime

An anime adaptation of Kenichi: History’s Strongest Disciple animated by Tokyo Movie Shinsha first started airing on October 7, 2006. It aired a total of fifty episodes, covering from the beginning of the story to the confrontation against the top members of Ragnarok. Funimation has dubbed the series. All 50 episodes have been released as of May 25, 2010. The rights of the series expired in 2018.
The series made its North American television debut when it aired on Funimation Channel starting October 26, 2009. All 50 episodes have been shown.
An OVA produced by Brain Base was released on March 14, 2012. The story continues from the Ragnarok Arc entering the Yomi arc. The second OVA featuring later story in the yomi arc was released on June 18, 2012, and a third OVA was released on November 16, 2012. The fourth and fifth OVA were released on September 16, 2013. The sixth and seventh OVA were released on November 18, 2013. The eighth and ninth OVA have been announced and released on February 14, 2014. The tenth and eleventh OVA were released on May 16, 2014. The main cast for the OVA series is the same from those of the anime series except for Rie Kugimiya who replaces the late Tomoko Kawakami as Miu and Yuzuru Fujimoto who replaces the late Hiroshi Arikawa as her grandfather Hayato.

Kenichi Shirahama 

  • First appearance: Battle 1
  • Type: Sei/dou(currently specializes in sei)
  • Type: Katsujin Ken
  • Martial Arts: Karate, Jujutsu, Chinese Martial Arts, Muay Thai, Hybrid martial arts (Ryūsui Seikuken, Korui Nuki, Mūbyoshi), and Weapons.

Protagonist; currently in his second year of high school. A main point of humour in the series centers on the multiple, varied, and imaginative training methods his masters devise toward making Kenichi stronger, which often exhaust him. The manga follows Kenichi as he continues to train, and eventually live, at the Ryozanpaku dojo, fighting increasingly capable enemies.
His strongest ability, according to the masters, is that he lacks any form of sakki (killer intent); in expression whereof, he is kind, compassionate, thoughtful, timid, polite and moral to a fault, and adheres to a strict code of morals. As a result, Kenichi has made many friends, mostly of former enemies, and wins the affections of Renka Ma, Miu, Izumi, and Li Raichi. His attachment to Miu is usually used as comic relief, in her inattention thereto, though in the final chapter of the manga photographs on Kenichi’s desk show he married Miu and they had a daughter. In most battles, Kenichi often fights by interchanging various techniques from the different styles of his masters, making his fighting unorthodox and hard to predict.

Miu Fūrinji  

  • First appearance: Battle 1
  • Type: Dou
  • Type: Katsujin Ken
  • Martial Arts: Hybrid Martial Arts, Pencak Silat

Miu Furinji is Kenichi’s classmate: the granddaughter of Hayato Furinji and the daughter of Saiga Furinji, the leaders respectively of Ryozanpaku and Yami’s One Shadow Nine Fists. Miu came into Hayato’s care when his son (Saiga Furinji) murdered several of his friends and his wife, sparing Miu by accident. Thereafter Miu learned martial arts from her grandfather. Before Miu transferred to her present place, she attended a famous school, but was ill-treated by other girls for her high grades, her athletic ability, and especially her appearance. Although attractive, smart, athletic, and kind, Miu is often clumsy among her fellows, and requires Kenichi’s support in making friends. Miu has a great fondness for kittens and becomes hostile towards anyone who harms one. She is prone to rash decisions in money-making. While her exact martial arts disciplines have not been stated, she has shown knowledge of several styles. Her fighting style is graceful and fluid, taking advantage of her agility, coordination, and flexibility, and makes heavy use of kicks. Her skills have been honed until where she will reflexively throw anyone who sneaks up behind her, especially Kenichi, which is a running gag of the series.

Hayato Fūrinji

  • First appearance: Battle 6
  • Type: Dou / Sei
  • Type: Katsujin Ken
  • Martial Arts: Hybrid Martial Arts/Furinji Style

Hayato is Miu’s grandfather and the elder of the Ryōzanpaku Dojo. He is also known as mutekichōjin (translated “The Invincible Superman” in English materials). He is very tall, very muscular, and possesses tremendous vitality despite his advanced age. Not much is known about Hayato’s past, but flashbacks have revealed that he was very reckless and violent in his youth. It has also been shown that Hayato used to travel the world with Miu and help people in need. Hayato is a kind old man but still possesses a reckless streak and can be arrogant. He attempts to convey his plans to others through a blunt manner of speech. He is fond of Kenichi, calling him “Ken-chan”, and is the only one who apologizes to him for difficult exercises.
Whilst fighting Kenichi and Miu at a tournament, Akisame comments that he still is the most powerful man in the world when he closes his eyes. In this state, he remains strong enough to tear a tree in half while simultaneously effortlessly battling Miu and Kenichi, using only 0.02% of his strength. He is capable of throwing kicks so fast that cameras slowed down to 1/1000 of a second can only catch a glimpse of them, and he can move fast enough to run on water.
Hayato is also shown to be pragmatic with his approach to martial arts, as when he asks Kensei Ma to help with Miu’s training and encourages Miu to use what [a rival teacher] Junazard taught her.
It is hinted in the end that Kenichi somehow managed to surpass his strength since photos of Kenichi supposedly married to Miu are shown. He had always sworn he would only allow Miu to marry someone capable of defeating him first.

Shio Sakaki

  • First appearance: Battle 7
  • Type: Dou
  • Type: Katsujin Ken
  • Martial Arts: Karate

Sakaki is a 30-year-old master of karate who claims to hold 100 dan. He is a tall man almost always seen wearing a leather jacket and has a long scar across the bridge of his nose. Little is known about Sakaki’s past; but he has mentioned that he used to travel the world and fight, and he also at one point belonged to a group that consisted of himself, a French martial arts master named Christopher Eclair, and an Englishman named Mycroft; but left them when their activities brought harm to the innocent, and later buried them alive. It is unknown when he came to Ryozanpaku, but he is one of the junior members along with Apachai and Shigure. He is often depicted as fierce in conversation and embarrassed by trivial things, and tends to quarrel with others, especially Apachai. He also gambles and drinks frequently and often places bets on Kenichi.
Sakaki is well-versed in multiple forms of karate and can survive a fall from one of the top floors of a tall building without any noticeable injury. He has yet to be noticeably injured in any of his battles, including his fight with Yami assassin Christopher Eclair and his brief encounter with Silcardo Jenazad, a member of Yami’s One Shadow Nine Fists. Silcardo was so impressed by Sakaki’s skill that he seeks a battle to the death. His abilities are further cemented by the fact of his win/loss record of 125/126 against fellow Karate master Akira Hongō.

Apachai Hopachai

  • First appearance: Battle 7
  • Type: Dou
  • Type: Katsujin Ken
  • Martial Arts: Muay Thai and Muay Boran

Apachai is a 28-year-old master of Muay Thai and is known as the “Death God” (“Grim Reaper” in the English anime) of the Muay Thai underworld fighting circuit. He is extremely tall and powerfully built, has tanned skin, and is usually seen wearing a tank top and shorts with bandages wrapped around his hands and feet. Apachai has been fighting life or death battles in underground Muay Thai fights since he was a teenager. Later, he was an enforcer for a cruel pirate who (accidentally) fed Apachai while he was starving in a harbor in Thailand. He served this man faithfully until Hayato Fūrinji brought his misdeeds to Apachai’s attention. The two of them then defeated the pirates, and Apachai has been at the dojo ever since.
Apachai enjoys playing with children and animals. He has a habit of saying the syllables “apa” when he speaks and sometimes yells it while training or fighting. As a result of his violent past, Apachai subjected Kenichi to the hardest exercises; but is very fond of Kenichi and is the only master who consistently shows an open concern for him. Apachai has a voracious appetite, often consuming large meals with incredible speed, and even eating other people’s shares. He can be easily distracted and persuaded by food. Apachai later becomes “legend of the giant”, which famous for basketball players in Kenichi’s school and firefighters. He is extraordinarily strong, able to shatter stone statues and kick down trees without any apparent difficulty. Despite his incredible size, he is able to dodge bullets while fighting. Even while holding back, Apachai was able to stalemate a master level fighter by the name of Kei Retsumin, a man who had once killed an entire village of people by himself. He was also able to hold his own against Hayato Fūrinji, although quite young when the fight took place. As a running gag, he is somewhat incapable of holding back during training.

Shigure Kōsaka

  • First appearance: Battle 7
  • Type: Sei
  • Type: Katsujin Ken
  • Martial Arts: Weapons

Shigure is a 23-year-old weapons master, who dresses in a small pink kimono; underneath she wears bandages over her chest and a fundoshi. When fighting seriously, she dons chain mail. Shigure’s past has been shown more in depth than any of the other masters’: in so far as that she lived initially with her father, a weapon maker and master who made swords for Yami. Akisame, seeking to find the maker of a particular sword, met Shigure’s father, who requested that Akisame kill him. When Akisame refused, the man forced him into a fight, which Akisame won; whereupon Shigure’s father stated that he wanted his daughter to see the fate of a weapons’-maker, and took his own life. After defeating some Yami members, Akisame took Shigure to live with an old man who taught her the Kosaka fighting style. She remained there until the old man died, after which Akisame took her to Ryozanpaku. There, she speaks very little and is given to sleeping, or walking, on the rafters of the building. Before Kenichi came to the dojo, she rarely interacted with its other residents except Akisame and Apachai and even refrained from eating with them. After Kenichi’s arrival, she became more social. Despite her slenderness, she is very strong; even capable of cutting metal with a dull-edged spoon or dislocating the cannon of a tank. Shigure has a pet mouse, Tochūmaru, used mostly for comic relief but extraordinarily strong for a mouse, beating one of Boris’s men with nunchaku and, in an omake, beating a cat with its tail.

Akisame Kōetsuji

  • First appearance: Battle 7
  • Type: Sei
  • Type: Katsujin Ken
  • Martial Arts: Jujitsu

Akisame is a 38-year-old Jujitsu master, and the first master to train Kenichi. He is an old friend of Miu’s father, Saiga. Despite his apparent fragility, he is immensely strong and capable, and can easily interpret other characters’ unspoken thoughts. Additionally he has mastered calligraphy, painting, pottery, and sculpting, and builds contraptions as both training devices for Kenichi and power sources for the dojo, including a treadmill generator. He also owns an orthopedic clinic and can reset bones with ease. He has proved to be a good trauma surgeon also, and speaks Russian fluently.

Kensei Ma

  • First appearance: Battle 7
  • Type: Sei
  • Type: Katsujin Ken
  • Martial Arts: All Chinese Martial Arts (preferred fighting style is soft forms)

Kensei is a 42-year-old master of Chinese Kenpō. He is very short, balding, and always wears a hat. He has been training in martial arts since he was very young and was the leader of a large martial arts alliance in China, which has 10,000 followers, which he left behind. He has a wife and three children in China, including a 16-year-old daughter named Renka, and an older brother named Sougetsu, who is a member of Yami. Kensei himself is often shown trying to take pictures of attractive women, particularly Shigure and Miu; but results in pictures of other things nearby, which he sells to Kenichi. Kenichi has absolute trust in Ma and has stated that he has never questioned his convictions as a martial artist.
Ma is a very experienced martial artist, having been trained since he was very young, and purportedly knows all martial arts indigenous to China. In spite of his small size, he is able to destroy a small bridge with a single kick and to rend the flesh of Diego Carlo, a man said to possess a body hard as steel, with his bare hands. He is very agile, capable of jumping from atop one moving car to another. Ma runs an acupuncture clinic and usually, along with Akisame, mends the wounds of Kenichi and the others. The characters in his name of ‘Kensei’ are pronounced ‘Jianxing’ in Mandarin, or literally “Sword Star”. This differentiates him entirely from Isshinsai Ogata’s moniker Kensei, pronounced ‘Quansheng’ in Mandarin, literally “Fist Saint”.

 

Wednesday News- January 23, 2019

Wednesday News- January 23, 2019

Review: Juni Taisen: Zodiac War BD/DVD – https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/review/juni-taisen/zodiac-war/bd/dvd/.142359

Yakuza Kiwami Game’s PC Version Previewed in Video – https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2019-01-22/yakuza-kiwami-game-pc-version-previewed-in-video/.142420

The Mike Toole Show: Old School Isakai – https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/the-mike-toole-show/2019-01-21/.142332

Review: Kakuriyo: Bed & Breakfast for Spirits GN 1 – https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/review/kakuriyo/bed-and-breakfast-for-spirits/gn-1/.142193

Anime

  • Citrus BD/DVD
  • Hataraki Man BD
  • JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders Egypt Arc Set 3 Limited Edition BD
  • JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders Egypt Arc Set 3 DVD
  • Land of the Lustrous Steelbook BD
  • One Piece 3D2Y (One Piece “3D2Y” Ace no Shi wo Koete! Luffy Nakama to no Chikai) TV Special BD/DVD
  • Pandora in the Crimson Shell: Ghost UrnEssentials BD

Manga

  • 10 Dance GN 1
  • Ace of the Diamond GN 19 (Digital Only)
  • Ao-chan Can’t Study! GN 4 (Digital Only)
  • Aoba-kun’s Confessions GN 8 (Digital Only)
  • Aoharu x Machine Gun GN 14
  • Battle Rabbits GN 1-4 (Digital Only)
  • Black Butler GN 27
  • Blissful Land GN 2 (Digital Only)
  • Boys Over Flowers Season 2 GN 10 (Digital Only)
  • BTOOOM! GN 23  (Digital Only)
  • The Case Study of Vanitas GN 5
  • A Certain Magical Index GN 16
  • Danganronpa 2: Ultimate Luck and Hope and Despair GN 2
  • Death March to the Parallel World Rhapsody GN 6
  • The Delinquent Housewife! GN 3
  • DIVE!! GN 1
  • ēlDLIVE GN 8 (Digital Only)
  • For the Kid I Saw in My Dreams GN 1 (Hardcover)
  • Golosseum GN 5 (Digital Only)
  • High School Prodigies Have it Easy Even in Another World GN 2
  • Hitorijime My Hero GN 1
  • I Want to Eat Your Pancreas GN
  • Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? GN  10
  • Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? On the Side: Sword Oratoria GN 6
  • Kakafukaka GN 4 (Digital Only)
  • Kakegurui – Compulsive Gambler GN 8
  • Kin-iro Mosaic GN 8
  • Monster Wrestling GN 1
  • Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun GN 10
  • Murciélago GN 9
  • Nyankees GN 1
  • PTSD Radio GN 6 (Digital Only)
  • Sacrificial Princess and the King of Beasts GN 4
  • The Saga of Tanya the Evil GN 5
  • Sekirei GN 7
  • The Seven Princes of the Thousand-Year Labyrinth GN 1-4 (Digital Only)
  • Shut-In Shoutarou Kominami Takes on the World GN
  • Teasing Master Takagi-san GN 3
  • Today’s Cerberus GN 11
  • Waiting for Spring GN 10
  • The Witch’s House – The Diary of Ellen GN 1
  • Yuri Is My Job! GN  1
  • Zo-Zo-Zombie-kun GN  2

Other

  • Apparently it’s My Fault That My Husband Has The Head of a Beast Novel 2  (Digital Only)
  • Death March to the Parallel World Rhapsody Novel 7
  • Death Note Light up the NEW world Movies BD/DVD
  • Death Note Movies 1-2 BD/DVD
  • Final Fantasy VII Lateral Biography Turks Novel
  • Goblin Slayer Novel 6
  • How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom Novel 2
  • In Another World With My Smartphone Novel 12 (Digital Only)
  • Log Horizon Novel 11
  • Overlord Novel 9 (Hardcover)
  • Resident Evil 2 PlayStation 4/Xbox One Game
  • Senran Kagura Burst Re: Newel PlayStation 4 Game
  • A Sister’s All You Need. Novel 3
  • Strike the Blood Novel 11

 

Manga Monday- Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple

Manga Monday- Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple

Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple  is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Syun Matsuena. It was serialized in Shogakukan’s magazine Weekly Shōnen Sunday from May 2002 to September 2014.
The manga is a remake of Tatakae! Ryōzanpaku Shijō Saikyō no Deshi, which was serialized in the monthly magazine Shōnen Sunday Super, publishing five tankōbon between 2000 and 2002.
The first tankōbon was published on August 9, 2002.

Manga

The manga series is written and illustrated by Syun Matsuena. It was serialized in Shogakukan’s Weekly Shōnen Sunday from May 1, 2002 and finished on September 13, 2014. The manga is a remake of Tatakae! Ryōzanpaku Shijō Saikyō no Deshi, which was serialized in the monthly magazine Shōnen Sunday Super.
Shogakukan has released chapters in tankōbon format under Shōnen Sunday Comics imprint and as of now 61 volumes has been published. The first volume was published on August 9, 2002, and the latest on November 18, 2014. Shogakukan also released limited edition versions of several volumes beginning with volume 35. The series is licensed in France by Kurokawa.

Story

The story focuses on Kenichi Shirahama, a 15-year-old high school student and a long-time victim of bullying. At the beginning of the story, he befriends transfer student Miu Fūrinji; and desires to become stronger, he follows her to Ryōzanpaku, a dojo housing several masters of diverse martial arts, led by her grandfather Hayato Fūrinji. After learning basics from Miu, Kenichi overcomes a high-ranking member of the school’s karate club, and becomes a target for all the delinquents in the school. While initially training to protect himself, Kenichi eventually becomes a full disciple of Ryōzanpaku, and becomes enamored of Miu. Subsequently, Kenichi’s daily routine is divided between training under the six masters of Ryōzanpaku, and his fights against the members of ‘Ragnarok’, a gang of bullies trying alternately to recruit or to vanquish him. After Ragnarok is disbanded, Kenichi and Miu are targeted by Yomi, a group of disciples personally trained by a master of an organization rivaling Ryōzanpaku, Yami. While the masters of Ryōzanpaku and their allies follow the principle of always sparing their opponents’ lives (Katsujin-ken), the members of Yami believe that any means of defeating an opponent is valid, including murder (Satsujin-ken). In the struggle between the two factions, Kenichi, Miu, and their allies fight the members of Yomi, while his masters confront the members of Yami. The conflict between the two factions culminate with the final battle to stop Yami’s main objective, which is to usher a new era of chaos and warfare in the world, also known as “The Eternal Sunset”. Once the Eternal Sunset is prevented and their main leader is defeated, Yami and Yomi are disbanded as well. Kenichi then continues to train at Ryōzanpaku, and years later he becomes a famous novelist, but it’s hinted that he also becomes Miu’s husband and a martial arts master more powerful than her grandfather, the Elder, who had always sworn he would only allow Miu to marry someone capable of defeating him first.

Terminology

The series makes use of several in-universe concepts including:

Dou ()
The word “Dou” means motion. Users seem to rely heavily on instincts and brute strength when fighting; but Dou fighters have a technique of interpreting an opponent’s movements. According to James Shiba, a Dou fighter focuses on making their ki “explode” after channeling it through a target to deal damage. According to the manga, Apachai, Sakaki, and Miu are all Dou types.
Sei ()
The word “Sei” means silence. Users focus their attention on changes in the environment and react to imminent danger. These traits are evident in Kensei, Akisame, Hayato, and Kenichi. This principle requires calm and clarity of mind. Ryūto Asamiya also seems a fighter of the Sei class; but in an experiment conducted by his master Ogata, he tried to embody both Sei and Dou styles at the same time, incurring some damage to himself.
The Path of Asura
The path of the martial artist who pursues power in order to kill. Isshinsai Ogata walks this path and tries to convince Kenichi to follow him, with no success.
Killing Fist (殺人拳 Satsujin-ken)
Literally “the Death giving fist”: the belief that bare-handed martial arts were created as killing weapons. Despite this a follower is not obliged to kill an opponent. Yami embodies this principle.
Saving Fist (活人拳 Katsujin-Ken)
Literally “the Life giving fist”: the belief that bare-handed martial arts were created in defense of innocent lives. Its guidelines are ‘not to kill and not to be killed’. The masters of Ryozanpaku maintain this principle.

 

Film Friday- Battle Angel Alita

Film Friday- Battle Angel Alita

Two of the nine-volume comics were adapted into two anime original video animation episodes titled Battle Angel for North American release by ADV Films and the UK and Australian release by Manga Entertainment. Manga Entertainment also dubbed Battle Angel Alita into English. A live-action film adaptation titled Alita: Battle Angel is scheduled for release on February 14, 2019.

OVA

A two-episode OVA was released in 1993, incorporating elements from the first two volumes of the manga with changes to the characters and storyline. According to Kishiro, only two episodes were originally planned. At the time, he was too busy with the manga “to review the plan coolly,” nor was he serious about an anime adaptation. It remains the only anime adaptation of Battle Angel Alita to date and there are no plans to revive it. Alita as depicted in the CG movie A 3-minute 3D-CGI rendered movie clip is included in volume 6 of the Japanese Gunnm: Complete Edition. It showcases Alita in a Third League Motorball race with players from two of her races such as “Armor” Togo, Degchalev, and Valdicci, and depicts events from both of those races.

Film

Director James Cameron has rights to the film adaptation of Battle Angel. Cameron is said to be a big fan of the manga, and he was waiting until CGI technology was sufficiently advanced to make a live-action 3D film with effects comparable to Avatar.

Alita was originally scheduled to be his next production after the TV series Dark Angel, which was influenced by Battle Angel Alita. After Avatar, he stated he would work on Avatar sequels before starting Alita.

Cameron’s producer Jon Landau said, “I am sure you will get to see Battle Angel. It is one of my favourite stories, a great story about a young woman’s journey to self-discovery. It is a film that asks the question: What does it mean to be human? Are you human if you have a heart, a brain or a soul? I look forward to giving the audience the film.” It will likely not hit screens before 2017. Landau half-jokingly stated that the project may be titled Alita: The Battle Angel, because of Cameron’s tradition in naming his films with either an “A” or a “T”.

Cameron’s film would be a live-action adaptation of the first four volumes of the manga series; “What I’m going to do is take the spine story and use elements from the first four books. So, the Motorball from books three and four, and parts of the story of one and two will all be in the movie.” He has also stated that he has no one in mind for casting yet.

In October 2015, it was reported that Robert Rodriguez will direct the film with Cameron and Landau producing. On April 26, 2016, both The Hollywood Reporter and Variety reports that Maika Monroe, Rosa Salazar, Zendaya and Bella Thorne were in the running for the lead role. At near the end of May 2016, Salazar was cast as Alita. The film is scheduled for release on July 20, 2018. On February 7, 2017, The Hollywood Reporter reports that Jennifer Connelly will be joining the cast as one of the villains. On December 8, 2017, the first trailer for Battle Angel was released to the public. It was reported by JoBlo.com in February 2018, that the film was delayed to December 21, 2018. In late September 2018, it was announced that the film was delayed again, to February 14, 2019, in order to allow “more room to grow in the box office”, as well as avoiding competition with WB’s Aquaman, Paramount’s Bumblebee and Universal’s Welcome to Marwen.

In November of 2018, Titan Books published Alita: Battle Angel – Iron City, a prequel novel for the film. The novel was written by Pat Cadigan, a notable science fiction author.

Video game

Gunnm: Martian Memory is an action RPG video game for the PlayStation by Banpresto. It is an adaptation of the manga, following Alita (Gally) from her discovery in the Tiphares dump heap by Daisuke Ido up through and beyond her career as a TUNED agent. The story includes additional elements that Kishiro had conceived when he ended the original manga in 1995, but was unable to implement at the time, which involved Alita going into outer space. He then expanded the story, which formed the basis for the manga Battle Angel Alita: Last Order.

Related works

  • Ashen Victor, a story set six years before the beginning of Battle Angel Alita. It primarily tells the story of a Motorball player and it sets the evolution of the game into what it becomes in the Battle Angel Alita series.
  • Battle Angel Alita: Last Order, a continuation published monthly in Ultra Jump, and then in Evening.
  • Battle Angel Alita: Mars Chronicle, a continuation of Battle Angel Alita: Last Order published in Evening.

 

 

Wednesday News- January 16, 2019

Wednesday News- January 16, 2019

In/Spectre Supernatural Mystery Gets TV Anime by Brain’s Base- https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2019-01-14/in-spectre-supernatural-mystery-gets-tv-anime-by-brain-base/.142034

Shelf Life: Princess Tutu- https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/shelf-life/2019-01-14/.141999

Cencoroll Anime’s Project Relaunch is TV Edit, More News Slated for March- https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/daily-briefs/2019-01-15/cencoroll-anime-project-relaunch-is-tv-edit-more-news-slated-for-march/.142082

Masaaki Yuasa’s ‘Kimi to, Nami ni Noretara’ Anime Film Reveals Lead Cast, Character Details- https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2019-01-14/masaaki-yuasa-kimi-to-nami-ni-noretara-anime-film-reveals-lead-cast-character-details/.142047

Our World is Ended PS4/Switch Version Slated for March in the West- https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2019-01-14/our-world-is-ended-ps4-switch-version-slated-for-march-in-the-west/.142043

Anime

  • Black Clover Season 1 Part 3 BD/DVD
  • Black Clover Season 1 Part 3 Collector’s Box BD/DVD
  • Hunter x Hunter Set 5 BD
  • Hunter x Hunter Set 5 DVD
  • Overlord II Season 2 BD/DVD
  • Overlord II Season 2 Limited Edition BD/DVD
  • Rocket Girls BD

Manga

  • APOSIMZ Graphic Novel (GN) 2
  • Back Street Girls GN 7 (Digital Only)
  • Baki GN 8 (Digital Only)
  • Children of the Whales GN 8
  • Clockwork Planet GN 9
  • Creature! GN 6 (Digital Only)
  • Dead Dead Demon’s Dededededestruction GN 4
  • Die Wergelder GN 2
  • Fire Punch GN 5
  • He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not GN 1 (Digital Only)
  • Kira-kun Today GN 3 (Digital Only)
  • A Kiss, For Real GN 6 (Digital Only)
  • Love Game Shuffle GN 1 (Digital Only)
  • Mobile Suit Gundam Wing Endless Waltz: Glory of the Losers GN 10
  • No Game, No Life GN 2
  • Shinobi Life GN 5 (Digital Only)
  • Shōjo Fight GN 6 (Digital Only)
  • Sota’s Knife GN 16-20 (Digital Only)
  • Squirming in the Darkness GN 1 (Digital Only)
  • Sweetness and Lightning GN 11
  • Tokyo Revengers GN 3 (Digital Only)
  • Ultraman GN 11
  • Wandering Island GN 2
  • Wu Zetian GN 1 (Digital Only)
  • Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches GN Omnibus 17-18
  • Yokai Girls GN 6

Other

  •  Demon King Daimaou GN 9 (Digital Only)
  • Infinite Dendrogram GN 8 (Digital Only)
  • Onimusha: Warlords PS4/Xbox One Game

 

 

Character Special- Battle Angel Alita

Character Special- Battle Angel Alita

Protagonist

Gally/Alita

is the main protagonist. She is known for her fighting prowess as a practitioner of the powerful cyborg martial art Panzer Kunst and skill at the most popular sport in The Scrapyard, motorball. Alita is occasionally referred to as “octopus lips” due to her pouty expression. Alita’s background and history were briefly hinted at, but were not fully explored until Last Order, which reveals that she was highly instrumental in creating the world within which both manga series are set.

Alita takes on a variety of roles through the manga, starting out as a hunter-warrior or licensed bounty hunter. She later becomes a motorball player, two years after which she is recruited by the Tipharean Ground Investigation Bureau to be an elite member of the TUNED, unknowingly serving as the basis for the development of their combat cyborgs known as the AR (Alita Replica) series which debut towards the end of the original series. In Last Order, a replica of her spearheads a team called the Space Angels which includes three other replicas that competes in the LADDER-sponsored Zenith of Things Tournament.

The original Alita was Ido’s black cat, who died a month before he found the remains of cyborg Alita in the Tiphares junkyard and is her namesake. Gally the cat was a male, and Ido’s friend Gonzu comments that it is strange to name a girl after a male cat. The cat makes an appearance in the manga as part of a dream that Alita experiences while being trapped in Desty Nova’s Ouroboros program. In the dream Alita is named “Gally” while the cat is named “Alita.” Nova himself appears in this dream as “Uncle Nova,” reflecting that he cannot get along with the cat. After Kaos in the guise of a dream Den attempts to rescue the real Alita from the Ouroboros and begins fighting with the giant Great Martian King dream robot, the dream Alita and dream Gally merge, appearing in the form of the real Alita. The side story “Holy Night” reveals that Ido took the original Alita in shortly after he arrived in the Scrapyard, at least five years before he found Alita in the Tiphares junkyard. A replica of her with the memories, brain chip, and, initially, the combat abilities of the original is in Last Order.

Daisuke Ido 

is a cybernetics physician (cyberphysician), a doctor who specializes in operations on cyborgs who lives in The Scrapyard. He is responsible for restoring Alita after finding her in the Tiphares dump heap, a massive pile of garbage ejected from Tiphares. Ido also has a second line of work as a hunter-warrior. He is a former citizen of Tiphares, the great floating city suspended over The Scrapyard, as is indicated by the mark on his forehead, and is the first Tipharean introduced. After being expelled from Tiphares for unknown reasons, Ido trained as a cyberphysician and – five years before the main story starts – opened his own clinic.

Ido considers Alita to be like a daughter to him and their relationship progresses through several stages as Alita grows mentally and emotionally. As Ido wanted Alita to remain pure and unsullied, he is originally opposed to her becoming a hunter-warrior, but accepts her decision. He later accepts her decisions to play motorball and “leave the nest” after retiring from motorball. Ido is later nearly driven to madness and erases his own memory after learning the secret of Tiphares. Daisuke Ido has no active role in Battle Angel Alita: Last Order besides appearing in Alita’s thoughts, that is until the Alita Quest arc.

Desty Nova

is a former citizen of Tiphares who has used his extensive scientific knowledge and expertise in nanotechnology to save Makaku and Jashugan, as well as resurrect Ido and Alita from states that would normally be classified as ‘dead,’ even in this world where cyborgs are commonplace. He fled Tiphares to obtain the freedom necessary to experiment with live humans, a component he deems necessary in his research of karma and psychological capacity. A dream sequence shows that had his situation been different, he could have easily been a loving, protective father figure for Alita. He has injected himself with nanomachines that can repair dismemberment and give him pseudo-immortality. Nova possesses knowledge of the secret of Tiphares, one that could drive its citizens mad if released. Nova has a perk for the dessert dish flan, and can often be seen eating it, boasting that he thinks better while enjoying it. His name is a reference to the song “Astronomy” by Blue Öyster Cult.

Although he is generally villainous in the original series, Nova exists as much more of a neutral, ambiguous figure in Last Order, where he is one of Alita’s key allies. Nova has two assistants, but they do not appear in Last Order.

A prodigal scientist who goes beyond the seemingly mad, amoral man and becomes a more complex ally and adviser. He appears in several different incarnations due to his “Stereotomy” ability, an atmospheric nanotechnological process that, should Nova be killed, automatically restores him as he was before death, right down to his memories and even clothing.

Original Nova 
At the end of the original series, Alita decapitates Nova in battle, however, he survives regardless thanks to a second “back-up” brain bio-chip stored in his abdomen. After killing Alita with a bomb, Nova transports her remains to Tiphares and, along with assistant Jim Roscoe, resurrects her at the start of Last Order. Later he creates the Stereotomy process (making him effectively immortal) and exposes the brain bio-chip conspiracy to the Tipharean population; mass insanity quickly devastates the metropolis and Roscoe himself kills the Original Desty Nova, looting his two brain bio-chips. These bio-chips would later fall into Alita’s hands.

Nova II
After Roscoe kills the Original Nova, the Stereonomy process creates “Nova II”. This version of Nova decides to replace Alita’s living brain with a bio-chip before she awakens from her resurrection, placing her brain in a protected crate known as the “F-Box”. After Alita awakens, he insinuates himself as an ally of an unsuspecting Alita, offering to help her locate the brain of Lou Collins in exchange for bodyguard duties as he travels to Ketheres. Once at Ketheres, Nova II encounters Aga Mbadi, who explains that he, along with the Tipharean citizenry, are “manufactured” with the eventual goal of producing geniuses such as himself. Mbadi then defeats Alita and her team and captures Nova II, destroying his body and keeping the bio-chips with the intent of assimilating them into his mind; he later decides instead to resurrect Nova II as his new assistant and henchman: “Super Nova”.

Super Nova 
Mbadi creates a powerful new body for Nova II later dubbed “Super Nova”. The bio-chip pair of Nova II are now housed inside the skull and run parallel to each other, similar to Mbadi’s own ability, and making this Nova more intelligent yet far more ruthless and vicious. Super Nova is also empowered with a hacking ability similar to Mbadi’s, called “Secare Deum”; like his superior, it gives him complete mastery over electronics and machinery in his presence. Super Nova confronts Alita at the Incubator where Lou Collins’ brain is held, revealing that the F-Box contains Alita’s own brain, and offers a trade in exchange for inserting Alita’s brain into the Incubator. He then destroys Alita when she attempts to renege on the deal afterward; Alita survives the ordeal more powerful than ever, but Super Nova remains a serious threat and major villain.

Porta Nova
After Alita survives her defeat after first meeting Mbadi, she recruits hacker Ping Wu, using the Original Nova’s bio-chips as collateral. Wu installs one of the chips into a portable device he dubs “Porta Nova”. This version of Nova is incapable of independent movement, but is able to hack into computers alongside Alita and Wu. He accompanies Alita on her mission to raid the Incubator at Ketheres where Lou’s brain is held, providing helpful advice and support. As one of the Original Nova’s bio-chips, he has no memory of any event later than his death at the hands of Jim Roscoe. Porta Nova is present when Alita encounters Super Nova at the Incubator, and is destroyed completely by Super Nova himself after he refuses to work with his more diabolical persona.

Nova X 
When Nova II’s body is destroyed by Mbadi, the Stereotomy process once again creates another version of Nova back on Tiphares. This version of Nova has no unique ability of his own, and has no shared knowledge of events with other Novas after Nova II is killed. Nova X is primarily interested uniting the surviving Tiphareans against aggression from the outer space factions, often espousing the values of flan as he does so. Nova X is later recruited by Porta Nova to help battle Super Nova, who reveals that all life on Earth is soon to be purged by Ketherean forces. However, when Porta Nova and Alita are both destroyed, Nova X is forced to make a hasty escape.

Kaos 

is Desty Nova’s son and a popular late-night radio host. He is extremely fragile. Kaos only sees in infrared wavelengths and hears and speaks at radio wavelengths. Those that see him in person must use special transceivers for communication. Kaos is an expert of psychometry, a unique talent to read the memories of inanimate objects. For example, he can channel the memories of a katana to learn sword skills and the memories of a computer to hack it. He and his team of molemen dig up artifacts from the bygone era, and he uses the memories contained in these artifacts as the basis for his radio show. Kaos also has a dark side in the form of Den, a manifestation of uncontrollable rage that has been with him since he was a child. Although Den exists in a physical form, he and Kaos are linked by an EPR transmitter Nova installed in Kaos’ chest.

Antagonists

Jashugan 

Jashugan, known in Japan as Jasugun, is the current reigning champion of the most popular sport in the Scrapyard, motorball, a cross between Ancient Roman gladiatoral combat and speed skating. Jashugan is perhaps the one opponent whom the series protagonist Alita respects the most, largely because they are similar in many respects. The two also “see each other as competitive rivals instead of hated enemies”. Jashugan’s only family is his younger sister Shumira.

Jashugan’s background prior to his motorball career is not revealed, nor how long he has been competing in the sport. In ES 571, five years before Ido found Alita in the Tiphares junkyard, Jashugan was a rookie in the highest motorball league, the Top League. He and his rival Esdoc were involved in a deadly accident in which Jashugan sustained massive brain damage. He would have died had not Desty Nova intervened and performed reconstructive brain surgery on him. Using a Tipharean technology called Gehirn Umbao (German for “brain rebuild”), Nova used nanomachines to rebuild the column structure of Jashugan’s cerebral cortex and strengthen his neurons with artificial proteins. The reconstruction helped Jashugan survive and become the motorball champion. This was in stark contrast to Ed, who also survived, but became dependent on acceleration drug injections to stay competitive, which resulted in a side effect called “Terminal Frost” which forced his eventual retirement. The relationship between the two is cordial, but deep down Ed still seeks to surpass Jashugan, and tries to do this vicariously through Alita after he becomes her manager years later in ES 578.

Jashugan paid a high price for his brain reconstruction as a side effect has been the constant risk of death, and he has suffered an increasing series of spasmatic attacks that have caused his heart rate to flatline. He has recovered from these attacks on his own in the past, but during a race that is watched by Daisuke Ido, Shumira, Alita, and Ed in which he is forced to pit by one of these attacks, it takes Ido’s intervention to save his life. After this, Jashugan knows that his death is near, but cannot reconcile himself to his “absolute death”.

Jashugan is a master of the Maschine Klatsch, a formidable cyborg martial art of which he is the only practitioner of following the death of his master shortly before his own death. He is also adept at focusing his chi. This enables him to concentrate a lot of power into even a normal civilian cyborg body and defeat opponents in powered-up cyborg bodies. After Ed’s retirement, no other motorball player can match him in combat except for Alita and her Panzer Kunst.

Jashugan is so good that when he races, he must handicap himself by removing his right arm and face three-man challenge teams. His motorball body has two grinders built into each arm capable of rotating at high speeds, which increases the deadliness of his Maschine Klatsch as they can tear through cyborg armor and dismember opposing players. Nonetheless, his flatline attacks have resulted in him participating in fewer races over time.

After she meets Jashugan, Alita challenges him to an arm-wrestling match with her heart literally as the stakes. The match appears to end as a draw, but Jashugan afterwards notes that he would have lost had it gone on for longer. To save Alita face, he proposes that they meet again on the motorball circuit on the condition that she assemble a challenge team of at least five members including herself. Knowing that he is close to death, the match is the one thing that he has to look forward to in order to fight for Shumira and uphold his honor as champion. Prior to the race, Ido, as Jashugan’s personal tuner, prepared a direct interface so he could transmit Shumira’s brainwaves to Jashugan’s brain if necessary should he suffer another flatline as a contingency, a measure he took that saved Jashugan before. Jashugan nullifies this however, by administering a sedative to his younger sister, setting himself up for a deathmatch with Alita.

During the challenge race, Jashugan rips through Alita’s teammates in seconds, leaving the two of them alone to fight it out. Trading blow for blow, Jashugan nearly has Alita at one point, but she is saved by Tiegel (one of Alita’s teammates, who manages to distract Jashugan for a few seconds). In the final moments of their battle, right when he’s about to win, Jashugan suffers a flatline attack and becomes unable to move. Alita then deals him a killing blow, however, Jashugan’s fighting spirit is so strong that he manages to reanimate his “dead” body through raw chi power. He stands up, attacks Alita and completely defeats her before “dying” for good.

The side story “Sonic Finger” shows Alita and Jashugan’s fight on TV and reveals that Alita has a poster of Jashugan on her apartment wall when she is living on her own after retiring from motorball. Twelve years after their match when Alita infiltrates Desty Nova’s hideout, the Granite Inn, in search of Nova, she encounters Jashugan in a dream sequence when she is trapped by Nova’s Ouroboros program. Forced to confront her inner doubts and fears, Alita fights Jashugan again and, this time, defeats him. He congratulates her and encourages her to “aspire to reach heights I was unable to attain”. Alita’s victory enables her to break out of the Ouroboros and confront Nova. Kishiro has said of this second fight that Alita and Jashugan “had to confront each other again”, as “many things had not been said” during their first fight.

Jashugan has also appeared in Alita’s thoughts in Last Order, when she was fighting Caerula Sanguis.

Makaku 

Born as a human, Makaku spent his entire life in the sewers of the Scrapyard, captivated by the life he could see outside. Three years before the beginning of the main story, Makaku was burned with a flamethrower by a pair of Scrapyarders while looking at the goings on through a sewer grate. He survived the attack, but his body began to rot and he nearly died. Desty Nova found Makaku and offered to give him a new, personalized body reflecting his innermost desires.

Makaku’s new cyborg body consisted of a large head attached to a long, maggot-like body, which allowed him a great deal of mobility. He was also characterized by his long tongue and tendency to slobber. A large spike on top of his head could be fired as a single use projectile weapon. However, Makaku’s deadliest ability was being able to take over the bodies of other cyborgs by using his body to jack into their spinal columns and then remove their heads with his newly-won control. He would take over powerful cyborg bodies and use their strength to acquire brains (preferably human, but even dog) in order to eat them to satisfy his endorphin addiction. Makaku justified his existence in destruction, and despite a bounty being placed on him, was so formidable that no hunter-warrior dared go after him for years.

Makaku is the first major adversary that Alita faces. In their first fight she succeeds in crippling the body he is then possessing as well as blinding him in his left eye by impaling it with one of her arms. However, her first cyborg body is destroyed in the process. Makaku survives the fight and almost kills Ido by impaling him with his head spike, swearing vengeance on both him and Alita before escaping. He seeks out the reigning champion of the coliseum, Kinuba, to take over his custom-built Power Body. Makaku then goes up against Alita in her new Berserker Body in the Scrapyard sewers. After a long fight, the Power Body is destroyed and Makaku nearly kills Alita in a plasma explosion that he triggers. However, she creates an electromagnetic barrier to shield them both, enabling her to talk with him. Makaku tells her his life story, revealing that she is the first person who seriously took notice of him by trying to stop him. For the first time in his life he is at peace as he is consumed by the plasma.

Zapan 

was a hunter-warrior who became embittered against Alita after she questioned his bravery in front of the other hunter-warriors at Bar Kansas and defeated him and a large number of them in a brawl. Since this incident he nursed a grudge against her but did not try to confront her directly. He noticed that Alita had taken an interest in Hugo as well as the latter’s connection to Vector, who was the top dealer in the Scrapyard’s black market parts. Zapan uncovered Hugo and his accomplices as criminals engaged in cyborg spinal column theft and nearly captured him. He reported Hugo to the Factory when he went to collect the bounties on Hugo’s accomplices, informing Alita, who was also there, what had happened to Hugo. Deducing that she would attempt to flee with Hugo, Zapan took Daisuke Ido hostage and rounded up numerous hunter-warriors and a netman. He confronted Alita when she was on her way back to Ido’s clinic with Hugo’s body, but his plan was foiled when it appeared that she had taken Hugo’s head. However upon closer investigation he saw that she had connected her life support system to it, keeping his brain alive. When he tried to get the head, the netman warned him that stealing another hunter’s bounty was illegal, allowing Alita to attack him and shear his face off. Zapan fell off the high rise they were on, but survived. He later obtained a new face and began working in a soup kitchen with Sara, the daughter of Murdock. Sara accepted Zapan and became his lover despite her father’s opposition. The night of Alita’s challenge race against Jashugan, Zapan saw the broadcast and was struck by a sudden fear that resulted in him clawing off his second face. He accidentally killed Sara when she tried to stop him and thus became a bounty, being hunted by Murdock for three years.

Murdock finally confronted Zapan in the sewers with his four cyborg dogs, but Alita intervened and gave Zapan the opportunity to attack her while her back was turned and she played a song on a portable keyboard. Zapan could not bring himself to attack and was torn to pieces by Murdock’s dogs. However his head survived and was recovered by Barzarld. Desty Nova was able to partially restore Zapan’s brain and in response to its deepest desire for revenge, released the safety lock on the Berserker Body to allow the brain to merge with it. However the body went out of control and after fusing with Zapan’s brain destroyed Nova’s lab and manor, killing Ido who had been there in an attempt to recover the Berserker Body from Nova. Zapan tracked Alita to Bar New Kansas but when he found that she was not there he killed Gonzu and the hunter-warriors who attacked him. Murdock faced him and allowed Shumira and Master to escape, destroying the bar and dying in the process, but Zapan survived. He then went on a rampage through the Scrapyard which the Factory Army was powerless to stop. Alita confronted him the following day armed with a revolver equipped with bullets tipped with collapser nanomachines that Nova had developed to destroy the Berserker Body at the molecular level. Despite a close, tough fight, she was able to fire two rounds into Zapan, which caused the Berserker Body to break down. Zapan made a last-ditch attempt to absorb Alita, which she thwarted by swallowing some of the collapser. Prior to his death Alita saw a vision of him and Sara together in which Zapan expressed regret for what he had done and was forgiven and accepted by Sara. Before hitting the ground his last act was to form a pair of wings to break Alita’s fall. Despite surviving the fight and defeating Zapan Alita was sentenced to death by the Factory for the Class A crime of using a firearm.

 

Manga Monday- Battle Angel Alita

Manga Monday- Battle Angel Alita

Battle Angel Alita (known in Japan as Gunnm(literally gun dream), is a cyberpunk manga series created by Yukito Kishiro in 1990 and originally published in Shueisha’s Business Jump magazine.

Manga

The manga was first published in Shueisha’s Business Jump magazine. It was then serialized from 1990 to 1995 in nine tankōbon. In the U.S., Viz originally released the story in a 25-page comic book, it then followed the same volume format as its Japanese counterpart. Along with the rest of the series, Kishiro’s original Battle Angel Alita manga is licensed for North American publication through Kodansha USA. Battle Angel Alita was licensed for international release in a number of languages and regions. It was published in Spain by Planeta DeAgostini, in Brazil by Editora JBC, in France and Netherlands by Glenat, in Poland by JPF, in Germany by Carlsen, in Taiwan by Tong Li Publishing and in Argentina by Editorial Ivrea.

Another series titled Battle Angel Alita: Holy Night & Other Stories (Ganmu Gaiden) was published in Ultra Jump from January 24, 1997 to December 19, 2006. It was released in a single volume on December 19, 2007. It is composed of four short side stories: Holy Night, Sonic Finger, Hometown and Barjack Rhapsody. The series has been licensed by Kodansha USA, who published it digitally on October 30, 2018 and as hardcover on November 20, 2018.

A 6-volume special edition titled Gunnm: Complete Edition was released in Japan on December 23, 1998. The series was released in B5 format and contains the original story, but with a different ending accommodating for the continuation of the story in Battle Angel Alita: Last Order. Also included are rough sketches, a timeline and the first three Battle Angel Alita: Holy Night & Other Stories short stories.

A novel was released on April 4, 1997, by JUMP j-BOOKS, as part of the Japanese publisher Shueisha.

The series is set in the post-apocalyptic future and focuses on Alita, a cyborg who has lost all memories and is found in a garbage heap by a cybernetics doctor who rebuilds and takes care of her. She discovers that there is one thing she remembers, the legendary cyborg martial art Panzer Kunst, which leads to her becoming a Hunter Warrior or bounty hunter. The story traces Alita’s attempts to rediscover her past and the characters whose lives she impacts on her journey. The manga series is continued in Battle Angel Alita: Last Order and Battle Angel Alita: Mars Chronicle.

Plot

Battle Angel Alita tells the story of Alita (“Gally” in the original Japanese version), an amnesiac female cyborg. Her intact head and chest, in suspended animation, are found by cybermedic expert Daisuke Ido in the local garbage dump. Ido manages to revive her, and, finding she has lost her memory, names her Alita after his deceased cat. The rebuilt Alita soon discovers that she remembers the legendary martial art Panzer Kunst, although she does not recall anything else. Alita uses her Panzer Kunst to first become a mercenary Hunter-Warrior, killing cyborg criminals in the Scrapyard, and then as a player in the brutal sport of Motorball. While in combat, Alita awakens memories of her earlier life on Mars. She becomes involved with the floating city of Tiphares as one of their agents, and is sent to hunt down criminals. Foremost is the mad genius Desty Nova, who clashes with Alita before becoming her ally.

The futuristic dystopian world of Battle Angel Alita revolves around the city of Scrapyard, grown up around a massive scrap heap that rains down from Tiphares (Salem in the anime). Ground dwellers have no access to Tiphares and are forced to make a living in the sprawl below. Many are heavily modified by cybernetics to better cope with their hard life.

Tiphares exploits the Scrapyard and surrounding farms, paying mercenaries (called Hunter-Warriors) to hunt criminals and arranging violent sports to keep the population entertained. Massive tubes connect the Scrapyard to Tiphares, and the city uses robots for carrying out errands and providing security on the ground. Occasionally, Tiphareans (such as Daisuke Ido and Desty Nova) are exiled and sent to the ground. Aside from the robots and exiles, there is little contact between the two cities.

The story takes place in the former United States. According to a map, printed in the eighth volume, Scrapyard/Tiphares is near Kansas City, Missouri, and the Necropolis is Colorado Springs, Colorado. Radio KAOS is at Dallas. Figure’s coastal hometown is Alhambra. Desty Nova’s Granite Inn is built out of a military base – NORAD at Cheyenne Mountain Complex, Colorado.

Battle Angel Alita is eventually revealed to take place in the 26th century. The sequel Battle Angel Alita: Last Order introduces a calendar era called “Era Sputnik” which has an epoch of AD 1957. The original Battle Angel Alita series begins in es. 577 (AD 2533) and ends in es. 590 (AD 2546), Battle Angel Alita: Last Order is mostly set in es. 591 (AD 2547), and Battle Angel Alita: Mars Chronicle currently alternates between es. 373-374 (AD 2329-2330) and es. 594 (AD 2550).

 

Film Friday- Princess Tutu

Film Friday- Princess Tutu

Princess Tutu is a Japanese magical girl anime series created by Ikuko Itoh in 2002 for animation studio Hal Film Maker. Inspired by ballet and fairy tales, particularly The Ugly Duckling and Swan Lake, the story follows a duck who is transformed into the mythical ballerina Princess Tutu in order to save the shattered heart of a storybook prince come to life.

The first season was broadcast in Japan in 2002 and the second in 2002 and 2003. It was also adapted into a two-volume manga. Both the manga and anime series were licensed by ADV Films in 2004 for distribution in North America, then by AEsir Holdings when ADV Films closed in 2009, but it’s upcoming Blu-ray Disc release will be distributed by Sentai Filmworks, as the latter two are parts of Section23 Films. The series explores the concepts of destiny and free will. Reviewers point out that although Princess Tutu is nominally a magical girl series, it is more of a “fairy tale set to ballet with a few magical girl elements mixed in,” and its use of dance in lieu of violence to solve conflicts carries “surprisingly effective emotional appeal.”

Anime

Princess Tutu was originally aired in two seasons. The first season, “Kapitel des Eies” (“Chapter of the Egg”), consisted of 13 half-hour episodes. The second season, “Kapitel des Junges” (“Chapter of the Fledgling”) in R2 DVDs, and “Kapital des Kükens” (“Chapter of the Chick”) in R1 DVDs, was aired as 25 quarter-hour episodes and one half-hour episode; to conform to the format of the time slot, each episode was halved. These were brought back together in the DVD release as 13 complete episodes.

North American DVD releases

In 2004 ADV Films announced that they had licensed the anime series for distribution in North America. ADV Films produced English adaptations for all episodes and, beginning in 2005, the series was periodically released as single DVD “volumes” that each contained several episodes. In 2007 the series was released as a complete DVD collection of all 26 episodes. In 2011 AEsir Holdings announced the licensing of the series and the release of a complete DVD collection of all 26 episodes distributed by Section23 Films. In 2018, as AEsir Holdings and Sentai Filmworks are parts of Section23 Films, the latter will release a complete Blu-ray collection of all 26 episodes on December 11, 2018.

Main characters

  • Duck 
    is a friendly, kind-hearted duck who was turned into a pre-teen girl by Drosselmeyer by a magical pendant. Like a duck, she is easily excitable, clumsy, and talkative. If Duck removes the pendant or quacks while talking, she transforms back into a duck, and must touch water while wearing the pendant to return to her human form. The pendant also allows Duck to transform into Princess Tutu
    As Princess Tutu, Duck is wise and graceful. According to Drosselmeyer’s writing, Duck/Tutu would turn into a speck of light and vanish if she confessed her love to Mytho. In the anime, despite her feelings for Mytho, she develops a close relationship with Fakir as the story progresses and they help each other out in their shared desire to protect Mytho and restore his heart. While it’s never explicitly confirmed if she actually does grow to have feelings for him, she does muse that Fakir gives her strength. In the manga, her feelings for Mytho are left open-ended, with Rue competing for his heart. Duck’s name in the manga is Ahiru Arima, which is retained in the English adaptation.

 

  • Mytho
    is the noble and kind Prince and protagonist of Drosselmeyer’s story “The Prince and the Raven”. He sacrificed himself to protect the weak and needy by shattering his own heart to seal away the monstrous Raven. Despite having become a popular senior at Gold Crown Academy (Kinkan Gakuen) and known throughout the student body to be a very talented ballet dancer, he possesses no emotions, and is largely dependent on his roommate and childhood friend Fakir for his well-being and survival. As Tutu restores his emotions, he finds himself both afraid of and drawn to her, holding a desire for her to return the rest of his heart and know what she thinks of him. He is later corrupted by The Raven’s blood that Kraehe put on one of his heart shards, and so attempts to steal girls’ hearts as a sacrifice to The Raven. While Mytho’s true personality does try to fight back against the corruption, as it progresses he becomes increasingly unstable and verbally abusive to Rue. In the end however, with her help he overcomes The Raven’s blood when the last heart shard is returned. Ultimately, because of this, he chooses Rue to be his princess. At the end of the anime, Mytho’s real name is revealed to be Siegfried, which, incidentally, is the name of the Prince in the ballet Swan Lake, from which the series borrows many plot elements.

 

  • Fakir 
    is Mytho’s roommate and a talented ballet dancer in his own right. Initially he is extremely possessive of Mytho, displaying a need to be in control of everything the prince does and discouraging his emotions as they are gradually restored in a forceful and almost abusive manner. He also acts rude or hostile towards anyone who appears to be growing close to Mytho, including Rue, Duck, and especially Princess Tutu. Eventually Duck learns that Fakir’s harsh behavior came about only because he wanted to protect Mytho from repeating the tragic events of the past, which he felt he could only do by preventing Mytho from regaining his heart. Duck however helps him realize that Mytho wants his heart back. Fakir is the reincarnation of the Knight in Drosselmeyer’s story, who died to protect the Prince; Fakir was even born with a birthmark on his chest that resembles a scar, which lies in the same place as the wound that killed the Knight. It’s later revealed that Fakir is a descendant of Drosselmeyer and inherited his ability to bend reality with his writing. He tried using his power to stop a raven attack when he was young, but failed and his parents were killed. This made him shut away the knowledge of this power until Duck convinces him to try again. When he chooses to pick up the pen once more, he eventually realizes that he can only successfully write stories about Duck. By the end of the series he has fallen in love with Duck, which is exemplified through his promise to stay by her side forever.

 

  • Rue
    is an advanced ballet student, and greatly admired by Duck and the other pupils. She is aloof, and only Duck dares to approach her and make friends. She has loved Mytho since childhood after he defended her from crows, and now takes advantage of his apathy to pretend they are a couple. Like Duck, she also has a magical princess alter ego, Princess Kraehe
    the daughter of the Raven. Her jealously interferes with Tutu’s attempts to restore Mytho’s heart, fearing that he will fall in love with someone else. Her father, The Raven, uses her as a means to revive him, but in the end she learns she is not a raven, but rather a human girl kidnapped as a baby during The Raven’s attack on the town. When it appears Mytho will give himself to The Raven, Rue sacrifices herself instead, admitting she had always loved Mytho. Touched by her selfless act, Mytho regains his heart and rescues her, asking her to be his princess. In the manga her name is Rue Kuroha, and is much colder and more cruel. Kraehe (also spelled Krähe) is the German word for “crow”.

Antagonists

  • The Raven 
    is the monster from Drosselmeyer’s story The Prince and The Raven and is one of the main antagonists of the anime. Unlike Drosselmeyer, The Raven was mentioned in the first half of the anime and only appears in the second half of the anime. Mytho shattered his heart to seal up The Raven, who then requires the sacrifice of young, beautiful hearts which he will eat to restore his form. He stole Rue from her parents as a child and raised her as his daughter, calling her Princess Kraehe. The Raven is cruel and abusive to Rue, and orders her to corrupt Mytho with The Raven’s blood. When Rue’s love for the Prince eventually lets him break free from the tainted heart shard, he rescues her and together they defeat The Raven. The character does not appear in the manga, albeit brief mention by Edel.

 

  • Drosselmeyer 
    is an elderly man with a long, white beard, and though he is long dead is one of the main antagonists of the anime. Author of The Prince and The Raven, he is bored with happy stories so he enjoys watching Duck, Fakir, Mytho, and Rue struggle with the tragic fates he wrote for them. He posthumously influences their lives via a machine in the clock tower. Drosselmeyer died after the angry townsfolk cut off his hands to stop him from warping reality with his writing, but he managed to bring the writing machine into existence by writing in his own blood. His name comes from the godfather of the children in the opening of Tchaikovsky’s other work The Nutcracker: one Christmas, Drosselmeyer gives a wooden doll to his niece Clara, who rejects its ugliness but later realises it is magical. He is not present in the manga.