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Month: May 2019

Film Friday- Nichijou

Film Friday- Nichijou

A 26-episode anime adaptation directed by Tatsuya Ishihara and produced by Kyoto Animation was broadcast in Japan between April and September 2011, after an earlier original video animation (OVA) was released in March. A PlayStation Portable game by Vridge and Kadokawa Games was released on July 28, 2011, entitled Nichijou: Uchuujin. Madman Entertainment licensed the anime series in 2011 for Australian and New Zealand distribution, releasing the DVDs in April and May 2013. Funimation released the anime on Blu-ray and DVD in February 2017.

Anime

Kyoto Animation adapted the Nichijou manga into a 26-episode anime television series directed by Tatsuya Ishihara and an original video animation (OVA) episode. The anime adaptation was first announced on May 22, 2010 through the July issue of Shonen Ace magazine. The OVA, titled Nichijou Episode 0, was bundled as a DVD extra with volume six of the manga series on March 12, 2011. The anime series aired in Japan on TV Aichi from April 3 to September 25, 2011 and was also simulcast by Crunchyroll under the name My Ordinary Life. The series was re-edited into twelve episodes for broadcast on NHK Educational TV in January 2012. The series also incorporates skits from Arawi’s other manga, Helvetica Standard, which is published in Kadokawa Shoten’s Newtype magazine. Bandai Entertainment had originally licensed the anime, but its release was later cancelled. However, Madman Entertainment managed to release the series in Australia and New Zealand in subtitles only. It was released as a two part collection containing 13 episodes each. The first part was released on April 11, 2013, while the second part was released on May 9, 2013. Funimation later licensed the series in North America and released it on February 7, 2017. A dubbed re-release by Funimation will be available on July 23, 2019.

The Nichijou anime has reportedly had low BD and DVD sales, and did not come close to meeting the break even line according to animation director Shunji Suzuki. The first DVD volume sold 924 copies in its first week of sales, while the second and fourth BD volumes sold over 2,000 copies each in their first week.

Anime News Network reviewer Carl Kimlinger gave the series a B, stating that the anime is a “slice-of-life comedy with a penchant for lunacy and a taste for huggable cuteness…”, giving praise especially to Kyoto Animation’s lively animation of the series: “a rare chance to see talented animators fully indulging their love of the art.” Fellow ANN reviewer Theron Martin stated in his review of “Nichijou Episode 1” that despite the series’ ability to entertain, it is “absolutely not a series for everyone”. Chris Beveridge of the now defunct Mania.com reviewed the first four episodes, giving each succeeding episode a lower grade (B for episode 1 down to D+ by episode 4). Beveridge stated in his review of episode 4 that “[Nichijou is] so full of fluff and pointlessness that it’s hard to get enthused about.”

Characters

Main characters

Yūko Aioi
Yūko is an energetic 16-year-old high school girl with short brown hair. Her nickname is Yukko (ゆっこ). Because she is often too lazy to do her own homework, she always copies from either Mio or Mai instead. Although she is a generally an easygoing person, her mood changes instantly when she is insulted. She sometimes greets her friends with “selamat pagi” (Malaysian, Bruniean and Indonesian for “good morning”).
Mio Naganohara
Mio is a bright and cheerful girl, sporting light blue hair pulled into pigtails and held by two small wooden cubes (however, when at home or asleep, her hair is untied). She has a crush on Kojiro Sasahara. At first glance, she appears quite ordinary in comparison to her friends Yūko and Mai but actually harbors a very short temper, prone to tantrums and acts of violence in order to avoid humiliation; even assaulting a police officer to keep her yaoi manuscript from being discovered. She often has to humor Yūko to make her happy. Being a talented artist, she occasionally draws homoerotic pictures of Kojiro in her notebooks and, under a male pseudonym, has entered several erotic manga into contests that promise serialization to the winner. Near the end of the manga, Mio finally wins one of the contests she entered, though it is unknown whether or not she actually accepted the publisher’s offer due to her paranoia about her art. She is 16 years old.
Mai Minakami
Mai is a quiet and intelligent girl who wears glasses. Before the events of the manga series, Mai had lived in Alaska and moved to Japan due to her father’s job. She excels at a wide range of activities, including fishing, wood carving, and arm wrestling. Despite her serene and rather unemotional demeanor, she has a rather eccentric sense of humor, often frustrating her friends with her pranks. Her sometimes deadpan mannerisms often make people wonder what is going on in her head. She has two pet dogs named Oguri Cap and Pyon.
Nano Shinonome
Nano is an android schoolgirl, built by the Professor. Despite being a year old, she has the height and appearance of an average teenager. She worries about keeping her identity as a robot from other people, even though the large wind-up key on her back makes it quite obvious. Her limbs will sometimes fall apart, revealing items that the Professor installed into her system without her noticing, ranging from beam-firing weapons to Swiss rolls. She acts like the Professor’s caretaker, and spends her days helping her and doing all the household chores. Although she was technically never born, her “birthday” is March 7.
Professor
The Professor is an intelligent eight-year-old scientist. She built Nano herself, and often makes various adjustments to her, but adamantly refuses to remove the wind-up key on her back because she thinks it is cute. Her favorite animal is the shark. She does not go to school, since she already graduated, and instead spends her days playing around in the house. Despite her intelligence, she acts like a spoiled child most of the time, as she throws tantrums to get what she wants. She likes snacking, playing around, and sharks. She also enjoys spending time with Nano’s friends, particularly Yūko due to her approval of “cool things” and Mai because she gives her shark-themed chocolates and drawings. She didn’t like Mai at first because she let her dogs corner her and Sakamoto on the street, but warms up to her when Mai draws a shark for her.
Sakamoto
Sakamoto is a black cat. He wears a red scarf made by the Professor, which allows him to speak. He was originally named Taisho and was the pet of Kana Nakamura until he fell out of the window of her house, and he was found by Nano before mysteriously turning up at the Shinonome home. He decided to stay with Nano and the Professor because of Nakamura’s constant unintentional neglect. In cat years, he is 20 years old, older than both Nano and the Professor, and tries to act like the adult of the house, but to his shame, he occasionally succumbs to his cat-like habits. A running-gag is his tendency to endure the Professor’s comically horrific physical abuse, usually in the form of a childish booby-trap or the rope noose she uses to walk him.

 

Wednesday News- May 29, 2019

Wednesday News- May 29, 2019

Review: The Promised Neverland Gn 9 – https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/review/the-promised-neverland/gn-9/.147171

Dimension W Manga Ends in June – https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2019-05-27/dimension-w-manga-ends-in-june/.147149

Attack on Titan 2: Final Battle Game’s Video Previews Features, Story Mode – https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2019-05-28/attack-on-titan-2-final-battle-game-video-previews-features-story-mode/.147202

Nichijou Anime’s English Dub Video Previews Mio – https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2019-05-27/nichijou-anime-english-dub-video-previews-mio/.147187

Anime

  • Chio’s School Road BD
  • DARLING in the FRANXX Essentials BD/DVD 2
  • Eden of the East Essentials BD
  • Junji Ito “Collection” BD
  • Kämpfer BD
  • Maken-Ki! 2 Essentials BD
  • Maquia – When the Promised Flower Blooms Limited-Edtion BD
  • Nagasarete Airantou BD
  • Rage of Bahamut Genesis Essentials BD
  • Sonic X The Complete Series BD
  • Tokyo Ghoul:re BD/DVD 1
  • The Twelve Kingdoms The Complete Series BD

Manga

  • All Out!! GN 10 (Digital Only)
  • All-Rounder Meguru GN 10 (Digital Only)
  • Asahi-sempai’s Favorite GN 3 (Digital Only)
  • Back Street Girls GN 11 (Digital Only)
  • Banana Fish GN 8-13 (Digital Only)
  • Battle Royale: Angels’ Border GN 1 (Digital Only)
  • Boarding School Juliet GN 10 (Digital Only)
  • Boys Over Flowers Season 2 GN 11 (Digital Only)
  • Chi’s Sweet Adventure Graphic Novel (GN) 4
  • Domestic Girlfriend GN 18 (Digital Only)
  • Elegant Yokai Apartment Life GN 13 (Digital Only)
  • Eve And Eve GN
  • Forbidden Scrollery GN 7 (Digital Only)
  • Gleipnir GN 2
  • God Sider Second GN 1-9 (Digital Only)
  • Holy Corpse Rising GN 7
  • Hotaru’s Way GN 9 (Digital Only)
  • I’m Standing on a Million Lives GN 1
  • Inside Mari GN 4
  • Kakegurui twin GN 2 (Digital Only)
  • Kin-iro Mosaic GN 9 (Digital Only)
  • Magical Girl Site GN 9 (Digital Only)
  • Magical Girl Spec-Ops Asuka GN 1-6 (Digital Only)
  • Masamune-kun’s Revenge GN 10
  • My Boy in Blue GN 9 (Digital Only)
  • My Monster Secret GN 16
  • My Sadistic Boyfriend GN 2 (Digital Only)
  • Ojojojo Omnibus GN 2
  • The Rising of the Shield Hero GN 11
  • Servamp GN 12
  • Shibuya Goldfish GN 4(Digital Only)
  • Shinobi Life GN 8 (Digital Only)
  • Sword Art Online: Hollow Realization GN 3 (Digital Only)
  • Tales of Wedding Rings GN 6 (Digital Only)
  • Tokyo Alice GN 11 (Digital Only)
  • Trinity Seven GN 16 (Digital Only)
  • The Walls Between Us GN 6 (Digital Only)
  • Yokai Rental Shop GN 1-4 (Digital Only)

Other

  • Demon King Daimaou Novel 11 (Digital Only)
  • Der Werwolf – The Annals of Veight Novel 4 (Digital Only)
  • Division Maneuver Novel 2 (Digital Only)
  • How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom Novel 3
  • Lapis x Labyrinth PS4, Switch game
  • Little Friends: Dogs & Cats Switch game
  • Monster Girl Doctor Novel 4
  • Our World Is Ended PS4, Switch, PC game

 

 

Manga Monday- Nichijou

Manga Monday- Nichijou

Nichijou  (lit. Everyday) is a Japanese comedy manga series written and illustrated by Keiichi Arawi. The manga began serialization in the December 2006 issue of Kadokawa Shoten’s manga magazine Shōnen Ace, and was also serialized in Comptiq between the March 2007 and July 2008 issues. Kadokawa Shoten later published all chapters of the series in ten tankōbon volumes from July 2007 to December 2015. Set in a suburban Japanese town, Nichijou is populated by an ensemble set of characters, featuring moments from their everyday lives which alternate between the mundane and the strange, without much focus on a narrative.

The manga and anime series were initially licensed in North America by Bandai Entertainment in July 2011, but both releases were cancelled due to the company’s downsizing. The manga series was later licensed for publication in English by Vertical, with the first volume released in March 2016.

Manga

Nichijou began as a manga series written and illustrated by Keiichi Arawi. It uses a combination of normal comic format and four-panel comic strips. Originally, the manga was meant to be a short, stand-alone series which was serialized in Kadokawa Shoten’s Shōnen Ace magazine between the May and October 2006 issues. Starting with the December 2006 issue, the manga began regular serialization in Shōnen Ace, and was also serialized in Kadokawa’s Comptiq magazine between the March 2007 and July 2008 issues. The first tankōbon volume was released in Japan on July 26, 2007. The manga series ended with its tenth volume, which was released on December 10, 2015, along with a limited edition commemorating the tenth anniversary of the series, which included a 120-page companion book.

Bandai Entertainment initially licensed the manga in July 2011, but later cancelled its release by October due to downsizing of the company. JManga, an American digital manga platform, was able to release the first four volumes of the manga through its website before shutting down in May 2013. The manga series was later licensed for publication in English by Vertical, which released all ten volumes in 2016 and 2017. Beginning in January 2012, the manga has been released in Finland by Punainen Jättiläinen under the name Arki, which is Finnish for “weekday”. It was translated into Finnish by Antti Kokkonen. The Nichijou manga series sold 1,005,300 tankōbon volumes in 2011, reaching 49th place in the year’s best-selling manga series chart released by Oricon.

Plot

Nichijou follows the everyday lives of various people in the town of Tokisadame,[1] mainly focusing on the energetic Yūko Aioi, the bright and cheerful Mio Naganohara, the quiet and deadpan Mai Minakami, the anxious robot Nano Shinonome, her young creator the Professor, and a talking cat named Sakamoto, along with an ensemble cast of characters. Random and/or outlandish events regularly occur throughout the series, mainly through the mundane situations each character undergoes.

In the anime series, Nano receives the most prominent story arc out of all the characters; the first half of Nichijou pertains to her desire to become a student in high school, while the second half deals with her own fear of being revealed to be an android while at school with Yūko, Mio, and Mai. Vignettes which are mostly unrelated to the main focus of the series are placed throughout each episode, some of them adapted from Arawi’s manga Helvetica Standard.

 

Film Friday- Drifters

Film Friday- Drifters

Drifters is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Kouta Hirano. The manga started serialization in Shōnen Gahosha’s magazine, Young King Ours, on April 30, 2009. It centers on various historical figures summoned to an unknown world where their skills and techniques are needed by magicians in order to save their world from total destruction. An anime television adaptation aired between October 7, 2016 and December 23, 2016. A second season of the anime series has been announced.

Anime

A 150-second anime adaptation of Drifters was packaged with the final volume of the Hellsing Ultimate video series in December 2012. The short, produced under the supervision of Ryoji Nakamori, technical director Kazuya Miura, and animation director Masayori Komine, featured the voices of Yūichi Nakamura as Shimazu Toyohisa and Mitsuru Miyamoto as Murasaki, with music composed by Yasushi Ishii.

In the May 2015 issue of Young King OURs, it was announced that a Drifters anime adaptation was in the works. A production site for the anime has been released. It was announced on September 19, 2015 that the anime will be directed by Kenichi Suzuki, produced by NBCUniversal Entertainment Japan, animated by Hoods Drifters Studio, written by Hideyuki Kurata and Yōsuke Kuroda, and will feature character designs by Ryoji Nakamori. Yasushi Ishii and Hayato Matsuo will both compose the music together. The opening theme, “Gospel Of The Throttle 狂奔REMIX ver.”, is performed by Minutes til Midnight, while the ending theme, “Vermillion”, is performed by Maon Kurosaki.

The 12-episode series began airing on October 7, 2016 on Tokyo MX. A specially edited version of the first and second episodes with a runtime of 36 minutes was bundled with the manga’s fifth volume, and released on June 6, 2016. A special limited-pressing Blu-ray box set was released on December 30, 2016. The box set includes all twelve episodes (with added unaired footage), an exclusive box illustrated by Hirano, a 200-page animation sketch collection by chief animation director Ryoji Nakamori, a 52-page booklet, a bonus extras disc, and a two-CD original soundtrack. The bonus extras disc will contain an omake titled “Kokuō-sama Go-Ranshin“, promotional videos, and other materials. Customers who pre-ordered the box set from participating retailers before November 6, 2016 will receive an exclusive illustration card set. Additionally, the box set includes a form for advance ticket sales for an event that will be held on April 2, 2017, at Maihama Amphitheater in Chiba.

In Japan, the anime is exclusively streamed on the AbemaTV service simultaneously as the anime aired on Japanese television, starting on October 7 at 11:00 p.m. The series has been licensed by Funimation for streaming in English-speaking countries and home video and on-demand distribution for the U.S. Additionally, Funimation streamed Drifters in English beginning on November 6, 2016, at 10:00 p.m. ET. As part of Funimation’s partnership with Crunchyroll, Crunchyroll also streamed Drifters as it aired in Japan. Drifters was also broadcast on Aniplus Asia. Funimation released a DVD/Blu-ray combo package for Drifters on October 3, 2017. Universal Pictures UK acquired the series for the United Kingdom and Ireland, and will release it on October 8, 2018. Universal Sony classified the series for release in Australia and New Zealand, and will release it on October 17, 2018.

At the end of the anime’s twelfth episode, a second season was announced with the message “See You Again, Tokyo 20XX”. On October 10, 2017, it was announced the thirteenth and fourteenth episodes, the first two episodes of the second season will be released on December 23, 2017 on Blu-ray discs in regular and limited-edition versions. The limited edition includes an outer case illustrated by manga creator Kouta Hirano, a jacket illustrated by character designer and chief animation director Ryoji Nakamori, a bonus video, a drama CD, a 72-page booklet, and a “mystery disc.” A fifteenth episode was announced to be released with the manga’s 6th volume on November 30.

Ends

Members of the Ends. From left to right: Jeanne d’Arc, Gilles de Rais, Hijikata Toshizō, the Black King, Grigori Rasputin (partially unseen, second from left), Anastasia Romanova (partially unseen, first from left).

The opposing force in the unknown world and primary antagonists of the series, the Ends are, like the Drifters, mainly composed of powerful historical figures who died under unorthodox and often violent circumstances. Unlike the Drifters, however, the Ends are revered humans that have forsaken their humanity, and are thus capable of using supernatural powers. Most of the Ends are driven completely by an intense hate for humanity for the various betrayals each suffered back on Earth. They seem to have been brought into the new world by EASY, who is at odds with Murasaki.

EASY 
An arrogant and short-tempered young woman with long, black hair, and violet eyes. Apparently at odds with Murasaki, she is responsible for the Ends, an opposing force similar in origin to the Drifters. She primarily uses her laptop to keep tabs on the battles taking place in the other world. In the corridor, she is associated with and accompanied by darkness.
Black King 
The leader of the Ends. He claims that he once tried to “save” humans, but he has since shifted his agenda towards non-humans after humans “denied” his efforts. His identity has yet to be established, but he is shown to possess healing powers and the ability to multiply any life form he wishes, infinitely producing food or wood. He also has puncture scars in both of his palms. His ultimate goal is to eradicate all humans and create a new civilization of non-humans in a perpetual Dark Age, ensuring that they never advance far enough to become as destructive as humans, creating what the Black King believes will be a utopia. In order to achieve this, the Black King has instructed Rasputin to create a simple alphabet and a syncretic religion to allow the different non-human races to find a common ground.
Hijikata Toshizō
The former vice-commander of the Shinsengumi who died fighting in the name of the Tokugawa Bakufu during the Boshin War. Hijikata has the ability to use smoke to manifest ghostly images of members of the Shinsengumi and uses them to cut apart his enemies. He has become Toyohisa’s rival following a battle between the two that ended in a draw.
Jeanne d’Arc
The heroine of the Hundred Years’ War between France and England. Jeanne, who was driven insane after being burned at the stake, now desires nothing more than to see the world burn. As an End – with her Christian crosses now upside down – she has manifested the ability to manipulate fire. Surprisingly, she seems to be self-conscious of her (lacking) femininity, though this could be another result of her insanity. After being defeated by Toyohisa, Jeanne is able to flee the scene alive due to Toyohisa’s personal oath to never kill a woman, leading Jeanne to vow revenge.
Gilles de Rais
A French nobleman who was once one of Jeanne’s companions-in-arms, but was later executed for multiple cases of alleged murder, sodomy, and heresy. He possessed incredible strength and durability. He continued to accompany Jeanne to battle as a spearman, remaining loyal to her until his death. He was defeated by Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, whereafter he disintegrated into salt. An enraged Jeanne swears to avenge Gilles de Rais’s death. He is the first of the Ends to be killed in the series.
Anastasia Nikolaevna Romanova
The youngest daughter of the last Russian tsar, Nicholas II. Anastasia and her family were shot by a Bolshevik firing squad when Anastasia was seventeen. She has the supernatural ability to create blizzards. Anastasia is depicted as an emotionless woman with little interest in the war between the Ends and Drifters. She apparently has some attachment to Jeanne, as Rasputin noted that she was angered that Jeanne was hurt during her battle against Toyohisa.
Grigori Rasputin
A famous Russian mystic who once held a great influence over the Russian Imperial Court because of his ability to supposedly heal the Romanov’s hemophiliac heir, Alexei. He now serves the Black King as a spymaster for his army, and is often seen by Anastasia’s side. Similar to the Octobrists, Rasputin uses magic to possess others via the use of talismans, which he also uses for communication among the Black King’s army.
Akechi Mitsuhide
A former general and samurai who served under Nobunaga before his betrayal in 1582, resulting in the latter’s (historical) death during the Honnō-ji incident. He is eager to kill Nobunaga during the war between the Drifters and the Ends.
Minamoto no Yoshitsune
A ruthless general of the Minamoto clan and Nasu no Yoichi’s former commander. During the Genpei War, Yoshitsune resorted to dishonorable tactics to achieve victory, something Yoichi despises about him. Likewise, Yoshitsune mocks Yoichi for trying to follow the code of Bushido once they are transported to the new world to fight. His status as a Drifter or End is unknown, and he often remarks that he will go the side that provides him with the most amusement. Yoshitsune is currently aligned with the Black King’s army.

 

Wednesday News- May 22 , 2019

Wednesday News- May 22 , 2019

Review: Made in Abyss Movie 2: Wandering Twilighthttps://www.animenewsnetwork.com/review/made-in-abyss/movie-2/.146875

Crunchyroll Adds Kyo Kara Maoh! Anime Seasons 1-2 – https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2019-05-22/crunchyroll-adds-kyo-kara-maoh-anime-seasons-1-2/.146964

Crest of the Stars– The Complete Series DVD – https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/review/crest-of-the-stars-the-complete-series/dvd/.146842

God Wars: The Complete Legend Game’s PC Version Launches on June 14 – https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/daily-briefs/2019-05-21/god-wars-the-complete-legend-game-pc-version-launches-on-june-14/.146953

Anime

  • Gonna be the Twin-Tail!! Essentials BD
  • Katana Maidens: Toji no Miko Part 2 BD
  • Land of the Lustrous BD
  • Pokémon Sun & Moon Adventures BD
  • Sagrada Reset BD
  • Sword Art Online Alternative: Gun Gale Online BD 2
  • Yuri Kuma Arashi Essentials BD

Manga

  • 10 Dance Graphic Novel (GN) 3
  • Angels of Death Episode.0 GN 2
  • Anne-Happy GN 9
  • Ao-chan Can’t Study! GN 7 (Digital Only)
  • Arte GN 1 (Digital Only)P (Digital
  • Blank Canvas: My So-Called Artist’s Journey GN 1
  • Children of the Whales GN 10
  • Chio’s School Road GN 4
  • Creature! GN 14-18
  • Defying Kurosaki-kun GN 9 (Digital Only)
  • Didn’t I Say to Make My Abilities Average in the Next Life?! GN 3
  • Dimension W GN 14
  • Elfen Lied Omnibus GN 1
  • Forbidden Scrollery GN 7
  • Graineliers GN 3
  • Grand Blue Dreaming GN 6
  • Happy Sugar Life GN 1
  • Hinowa ga CRUSH! GN 2
  • Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? Familia Chronicle Episode Lyu GN 3
  • Kakafukaka GN 7 (Digital Only)
  • Kakegurui twin GN 2
  • Kin-iro Mosaic GN 9
  • Kiss and White Lily for My Dearest Girl GN 9
  • Laid-Back Camp GN 6
  • Little Witch Academia GN 3
  • Love in Focus GN 2
  • The Magnificent Grand Scene GN 6P (Digital Only)
  • Mega Man MasterMix GN 1
  • Mobile Suit Gundam Thunderbolt GN 11
  • My Boy GN 4
  • My Solo Exchange Diary GN 1-2 (Digital Only)
  • Ōoku: The Inner Chambers GN 15
  • Overlord GN 10
  • Persona 4 GN 10
  • Ping Pong Dash!! GN 11-15 (Digital Only)
  • Possessed by a Ghost GN 1
  • The Quintessential Quintuplets GN 3
  • Ran And The Gray World GN 3
  • Re:ZERO -Starting Life in Another World- Chapter 3: Truth of Zero GN 7
  • Saint Seiya: Saintia Shō GN 6
  • Secret of My Uniform GN 1 (Digital Only)
  • Seto Utsumi GN 6 (Digital Only)P (Digital Only)
  • Shibuya Goldfish GN 4
  • Shoulder a Coffin, Kuro GN 7
  • Sword Art Online: Hollow Realization GN 3
  • Tales of Wedding Rings GN 6P
  • Teacup Toy Boy GN 1 (Digital Only)
  • Though You May Burn to Ash GN 5
  • The Twisted King and I GN 1
  • Trinity Seven GN 16
  • Urusei Yatsura GN 2
  • Wolf Children: Ame & Yuki GN 4 (Digital Only)P
  • Yuri Is My Job! GN 3

Other

  • Atelier Lulua: The Scion of Arland PS4, Switch, PC gameP
  • Ascendance of a Bookworm Novel 1 (Digital Only)
  • Death March to the Parallel World Rhapsody Novel 8
  • Goblin Slayer Novel 7
  • The Master of Ragnarok & Blesser of Einherjar Novel 7 (Digital Only)
  • Mushoku Tensei – Jobless Reincarnation Novel 1
  • Neptunia Shooter PC game
  • Overlord Novel 10 (hardcover)
  • The Art and Making of Pokémon Detective Pikachu art book
  • A Sister’s All You Need. Novel 4
  • Strike the Blood Novel 12
  • Sword Art Online Novel 16
  • Torture Princess – Fremd Torturchen Novel 1
  • Wolf Children: Ame & Yuki Novel (hardcover)

 

 

Manga Monday- Drifters

Manga Monday- Drifters

Drifters is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Kouta Hirano. The manga started serialization in Shōnen Gahosha’s magazine, Young King Ours, on April 30, 2009. It centers on various historical figures summoned to an unknown world where their skills and techniques are needed by magicians in order to save their world from total destruction. An anime television adaptation aired between October 7, 2016 and December 23, 2016. A second season of the anime series has been announced.

Drifters is serialized in the Shōnen Gahosha Young King Ours magazine and sold under the same publisher in Japan. It is licensed in North America by Dark Horse Comics, in France by Éditions Tonkam, in Germany by Panini Comics, in Italy by J-POP, in Taiwan by Tong Li Comics and in Poland by Japonica Polonica Fantastica.

Plot

Shimazu Toyohisa, while involved at the Battle of Sekigahara, manages to mortally wound Ii Naomasa, but is critically injured in the process. As he walks from the field wounded and bleeding, Toyohisa finds himself transported to a corridor of doors, where a bespectacled man at a desk waits for him. This man, Murasaki, sends Toyohisa through the nearest door where he wakes up in another world. There, Toyohisa meets other great warriors like him who have been transported as well, to be part of a group known as “Drifters”.

This world contains both native humans and a number of fantastical races, including elves, dwarves, and hobbits. However, the world is at war, with the humans waging a losing conflict against another group of great warriors, the “Ends”, who wish to take over the world and kill all of the Drifters. Under the Ends’ command are many terrible creatures, including giants and dragons, which they use to destroy everything in their path. At the start of the series, the Ends’ army has control of the northern part of the continent, and are trying to invade the south through a pivotal fortress at the northernmost tip of a nation called Carneades. Meanwhile, the “Octobrist Organization”, a group of human magicians native to this world, attempts to bring together the many individual Drifters to save their world from the brutal Ends.

Drifters

The titular Drifters are heroes, leaders, and great warriors from different eras and cultures that have been brought to an unknown world by Murasaki, where they are meant to fight the Ends. A common element to the Drifters is that, although they are driven by violence, victory, and conquest, most of them are not cruel and do not tolerate the hurting of innocents. Unlike the Ends, the Drifters have no magic abilities unless they were born with them, and therefore must largely rely on their technology and tenacity to survive.
Murasaki 
A mysterious and calm bespectacled man who is responsible for the appearance of the Drifters, using them as a means to right the wrong of the Ends’ conquest of the unknown world. He is seen sitting in the middle of the door corridor, smoking, and reading a newspaper that gives news of the events relating to the Drifters. In the corridor, he is associated with and accompanied by light.
Shimazu Toyohisa
The leader of the Drifters. Historically, he died in 1600 during the Battle of Sekigahara. When he first arrived in the new world, he was critically injured, only to be brought to Nobunaga and Yoichi’s hideout by the young elves, Marsha and Mark. Although impulsive and reckless, Toyohisa possesses a fearless, determined, and chivalrous spirit, assisting the elves and dwarves by liberating them from the Orte Empire. Born and raised in a war-torn era, Toyohisa has a keen sense for battle and tactics, though he remains unaware of these talents himself. Toyohisa primarily uses a nodachi in battle, though he is seen carrying a wakizashi. He also carries a Tanegashima on the back of his waist, which he only uses when his swords are infeasible to use against his enemies.
Oda Nobunaga
A famous warlord who conquered most of Japan during Sengoku period. He is known for being the daimyō who took the first step of unification of the Japan, and the first Japanese military commander to utilize arquebuses in battles, using one as his main weapon in battle as a Drifter. Historically, he died during the Honnō-ji incident, the mutiny conducted by Akechi Mitsuhide. As a Drifter, he has only aged six months since arriving in the new world. Nobunaga is highly ambitious and cunning, desiring to establish a multiracial federation in the new world with Toyohisa as their leader. Nobunaga acts as the group’s military strategist.
Nasu no Yoichi
A very effeminate man of nineteen. His full name is Nasu Suketaka Yoichi, though he is simply known as Nasu no Yoichi. Although he lived hundreds of years before Nobunaga and Toyohisa, Yoichi is the youngest in the group. Born as the youngest of eleven siblings, Yoichi is a powerful warrior and military commander who served Minamoto no Yoshitsune during the Genpei War. Yoichi’s exploits were recorded throughout Japanese history, including in The Tale of the Heike, though Nobunaga notes that Yoichi acts very differently from these historical accounts. During the Genpei War, he was forced to commit several dishonorable acts by Yoshitsune, despite having a strong belief of Bushido. Now as a Drifter, Yoichi resolves to maintain his honorable nature, and he is the most level-headed of the trio. Yoichi acts as the group’s archer, killing fleeing enemies.
Hannibal Barca
A famous Carthiginian military commander. Now a Drifter and elderly, he is first seen arguing with Scipio Africanus over the latter’s “plagiarism” of Cannae at the Battle of Zama. Despite nearly being killed by the Black King’s army, Hannibal still insists that victory is still possible. After being separated from Scipio, Hannibal becomes depressed and senile, but he is still able to articulate battle tactics to his fellow Drifters via indirect means. He acts as Nobunaga’s military advisor since being left in Toyohisa’s group’s care.
Scipio Africanus
Hannibal’s Roman adversary during the Second Punic War. As a Drifter, he is as old as Hannibal, who he is seen constantly arguing with, claiming that “a winner takes all” since he won at Zama. Nevertheless, Scipio respects Hannibal greatly. Originally traveling with Hannibal and the Wild Bunch gang, he was accidentally separated from them and is currently in the company of Naoshi Kanno and Tamon Yamaguchi.
Butch Cassidy
Leader of the Wild Bunch gang. He, along with Sundance Kid, was transported from Bolivia, and is now fighting against the Black King and his armies. Unlike his partner, Butch has a hot-blooded and wild personality. He favors the use of firearms, particularly a pair of pistols, in battle.
Sundance Kid
A member of Butch Cassidy’s Wild Bunch. He, along with Butch, was transported from Bolivia, and is now fighting against the Black King and his armies. Unlike his leader, Kid possesses a calm and collected personality. Kid favors the use of firearms in battle, such as shotguns and a Gatling gun.
Naoshi Kanno
During a battle with the Black King, with the Drifters’ side under attack by dragons, Japanese World War II fighter pilot Naoshi Kanno is transported into the world in his plane. When the dragons’ attacks trigger memories of the bombing of Tokyo, he attacks the dragons in anger. His plane later crashed and he soon found himself worshiped as a god by a tribe of anthropomorphic dogs, only to be found by Scipio, who decides to use his status to unite the various anthropomorphic animal tribes under him to bolster the Drifters’ army. He does not initially trust Butch or Sundance Kid, as they are American, but Butch manages to convince him that they are Bolivian instead. He is addressed as Sugano Nao in the Dark Horse translation, an alternate reading of his name.
Tamon Yamaguchi
An admiral of the Imperial Japanese Navy during World War II. Tamon arrived in the new world along with the aircraft carrier Hiryū, and has since formed an uneasy alliance with the leaders of Gu-Binnen, a merchant guild, assisting them against the war with the Orte Empire by leading the guild’s griffin naval forces.

 

Film Friday- Terra Formars

Film Friday- Terra Formars

Viz Media began publishing an English translation in 2014. Two original video animations (OVAs), abridging the Bugs 2 arc were released in 2014, and an animated television series, covering the Annex 1 arc was also shown in 2014. A live action film adaptation directed by Takashi Miike was released in 2016.

Anime

An anime adaptation produced by Liden Films began airing on September 26, 2014, and finished airing on December 19, 2014 with a total of 13 episodes. The anime is licensed in the United Kingdom by Kazé UK and in North America by Viz Media. Madman Entertainment acquired the series for release in Australia and New Zealand.

A sequel to the anime titled Terra Formars: Revenge was announced in November 2015, with changes to the series’ main staff and the main cast returning to reprise their roles. Liden Films and TYO Animations produced the sequel. The anime premiered on April 2, 2016.

An OVA adaptation of the manga’s Earth Arc was planned for a May 2017 release, but was delayed to an August 2018 release instead.

Film

A live-action film based on Terra Formars was developed with Takashi Miike directing. It was released on April 29, 2016.

BUGS 2

Shokichi Komachi 
is one of the three Japanese members of the BUGS 2 expedition sent to Mars and one of the only two who survived. Despite disliking conflict, has a strong sense of justice. When he was 15 years old, he saw his childhood friend Nanao’s stepfather abusing her and killed the man with his bare hands to protect her. After being released from juvenile prison, he underwent the bugs procedure to follow after her.
He was 22 years old when he was sent to the second expedition and after seeing almost all his companions killed by the Terraformars including Nanao, he swore to one day return and enact his revenge. He indeed returns 20 years later as the Japanese leader of Annex I’s squad 1. Komachi’s powers are based on the Asian giant hornet, giving him enhanced strength and the ability to inflict lethal doses of poison with his stings. He is mortally wounded by Joseph during their fight, but he manages to kill him thanks to an overdose of the transformation drug keeping his body together.
Ichiro Hiruma  
The other survivor of the BUGS 2 expedition when he was 18, Hiruma swore to never return to Mars after what happened. Being the eldest of eleven siblings, he tried to betray the rest of the BUGS 2 crew along with one of his comrades, Victoria Wood, in order to gain more money by bringing a roach egg, but the egg hatched faster than expected and killed Victoria. He was saved by Shokichi and they fiercely fought the rest of the roaches. He eventually becomes the Prime Minister of Japan and works to enforce his country’s position among the countries leading the Annex I mission. Hiruma’s powers are based on the sleeping chironomid that just like its larva, bestows him with a seemingly invulnerable carapace along enhanced strength.
Nanao Akita 
Shokichi’s childhood friend and love interest who, after her stepfather was killed by Shokichi, joined the BUGS 2 crew. All she wanted was a peaceful life with Shokichi after returning to Earth, but tragically she was the first victim of the Terraformars when one of the roaches snapped her neck, dying in Shokichi’s arms. Her powers were based on the silk moth, but died before being able to show them, until one of the Terraformars managed to copy her powers twenty years later.
Donatello K. Davis
The Captain of the BUGS 2 mission and Michelle’s father. His powers were based on the Paraponera clavata, an ant so ferocious that even Army Ants will steer clear of its path, and is believed to be the world’s strongest insect. He was capable of splitting in two the previously untouchable roaches with the pure strength of his arms or crush their heads with one hand. His power allowed him to fight off a horde of roaches singlehanded, giving time for his crew to escape. He was murdered by Victoria Wood. His daughter Michelle inherited his ant powers. Twenty years later, Michelle faces a roach that stole his powers.

 

Wednesday News- May 15, 2019

Wednesday News- May 15, 2019

2nd Made in Abyss Compilation Film Opens in U.S. on May 27 – https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2019-05-14/2nd-made-in-abyss-compilation-film-opens-in-u.s-on-may-27/.146694

Review: My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! Novels 1-3 – https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/review/my-next-life-as-a-villainess/all-routes-lead-to-doom/novels-1-3/.146584

Shelf Life: Adieu Galaxy Express 999https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/shelf-life/2019-05-13/.146625#express

Review: The Magnificent KOTOBUKI Episodes 1-12 streaming – https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/review/the-magnificent-kotobuki/episodes-1-12/.146639

Review: Collide Chapters 1-4 – https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/review/collide/chapters-1-4/.146606

Anime

  • Armored Trooper Votoms OVA Collection BD 1
  • Guilty Crown Essentials BD
  • Lucky Star Essentials BD
  • Princess Mononoke Collector’s Edition BD

Manga

  • Fire-Hot Aunt GN 9 (Digital Only)
  • Fullmetal Alchemist Fullmetal Edition Graphic Novel (GN) 5 (hardcover)
  • How NOT to Summon a Demon Lord GN 4
  • Kino’s Journey – The Beautiful World GN 2
  • Kira-kun Today GN 7 (Digital Only)
  • Love Massage: Melting Beauty GN 3 (Digital Only)
  • Magical Girl Special Ops Asuka GN 6
  • Pokémon Sun & Moon GN 4
  • Ran the Peerless Beauty GN 3 (Digital Only)
  • Record of Grancrest War GN 3
  • Requiem of the Rose King GN 10
  • Sailor Moon Eternal Edition GN 4
  • The Seven Deadly Sins GN 32
  • Sorcerous Stabber Orphen Heed My Call, Beast! GN 1
  • Sota’s Knife GN 21-39 (Digital Only)
  • A Strange and Mystifying Story GN 7
  • Tokyo Revengers GN 7 (Digital Only)
  • Yōkai Watch GN 11

Other

  • Amagi Brilliant Park Novel 5 (Digital Only)
  • The Greatest Magicmaster’s Retirement Plan Novel 1
  • In Another World With My Smartphone Novel 14 (Digital Only)
  • Toradora! Novel 5

 

Manga Monday- Terra Formars

Manga Monday- Terra Formars

Terra Formars is a Japanese manga series written by Yū Sasuga and Michio Fukuda. Illustrated by Michio Fukuda. It is serialized in Shueisha’s magazine Weekly Young Jump since 2011. Also, a spin-off manga titled Terra for Police started on May 10, 2014 in Jump X.

Reception

It was number one on the 2013 Kono Manga ga Sugoi! Top 20 Manga for Male Readers survey. It was placed second in Zenkoku Shotenin ga Eranda Osusume Comic 2013, a 2013 ranking of the top 15 manga recommended by Japanese bookstores. It was nominated for the 6th Manga Taishō. The 6th volume reached the number one place on the Oricon weekly manga chart in the week of August 19–25, 2013, with 317,248 copies. As of February 2015, Terra Formars 11 first volumes have sold over 10 million copies. As of August 2015, the series had sold 13 million copies. As of April 2018, the manga had over 16 million copies in print.

Plot

In an attempt to colonize Mars, 21st century scientists are tasked with terraforming the planet. Their goal is to seed the planet with a modified algae to absorb sunlight and purify the atmosphere, and cockroaches, whose corpses spread the algae across the planet as they feed.

Five hundred years later, the first manned ship to Mars lands and its six crew members are attacked by giant mutated humanoid cockroaches with incredible physical strength, later labeled “Terraformars”; the crew is wiped out after sending a warning back to Earth. Two years later, BUGS II, a multinational expedition of genetically modified humans, is sent to collect 10 samples of both sexes of roaches, and exterminate the mutated bugs to take control of the red planet. Only two survivors manage to return to Earth, one swearing to return and avenge their fallen companions. As a third expedition is assembled questions are raised about the true origin of the Terraformars and their connection with an unknown disease afflicting mankind, the Alien Engine Virus, or A.E. Virus. To fight the Terraformars’ strength and agility, members of the second and third expedition undergo genetic modification to inherit the characteristics of other organisms, only possible after having a special organ implanted with a 36% chance of surviving the surgery itself.

The third expedition ends with most of its crew members killed as well, be it by fighting the Terraformars, or amongst themselves in the multi-sided conflict between the various factions aboard the ship, each with own opposing interests. Despite that, the few survivors manage to collect enough samples for the research on a cure to the A.E. Virus and return home. However, a new fight against the Terraformars begins when it is revealed that the creatures arrived on Earth long before, and after multiplying on an alarming rate and adapting themselves far better to their new environment than they did to their homeworld, they start their plan to take over the planet.

 

Film Friday- The Rising of the Shield Hero

Film Friday- The Rising of the Shield Hero

The Rising of the Shield Hero is a Japanese light novel series written by Aneko Yusagi. Originally published as a web novel, the series has since been published by Media Factory with an expanded story-line featuring illustrations by Seira Minami. As of February 25, 2019, twenty-one volumes have been published.

The novel series was adapted into a manga series by Aiya Kyū and published by Media Factory, with thirteen volumes released as of April 23, 2019. Both the novel and manga series were licensed by One Peace Books and were published in North America starting in September 2015. The 25-episode anime television series adaptation produced by Kinema Citrus premiered in January 2019. The anime series is licensed in North America by the Crunchyroll-Funimation partnership.

Anime

An anime adaptation was announced in June 2017. The television series is produced by Kinema Citrus and directed by Takao Abo, with Keigo Koyanagi handling series composition, Masahiro Suwa designing the characters and Kevin Penkin composing the music. The series premiered on January 9, 2019 on AT-X and other channels. It will run for 25 episodes. The first opening theme is “RISE,” performed by MADKID, while the first ending theme is “Kimi no Namae” performed by Chiai Fujikawa. The second opening theme is “FAITH,” performed by MADKID, while the second ending theme is “While I’m Next to You” performed by Fujikawa. For episode 4, Asami Setō sang an insert song titled “Falling Through Starlight” as her character Raphtalia. Both Crunchyroll and Funimation are streaming the anime. Crunchyroll streamed the show in both the original Japanese version and the English dub. However, Funimation indefinitely delayed its release on its streaming service.

Main characters

Naofumi Iwatani 
Naofumi is the Hero of the Shield, he was a university student who was summoned from another world after finding a book about the Four Heroes. Originally an open minded person, he becomes cynical and mistrustful of others due to being looked down by his fellow heroes, subjected to religious prejudice from citizens, and being robbed and falsely accused of rape by Myne. It is only after Raphtalia defended him and proclaimed her loyalty that Naofumi began to slowly open up to those around him and realizing his mistakes. Viewing his role as a Hero burdensome, having been summoned against his will, Naofumi shows little remorse in using underhanded tactics to ensure the survival of his party despite the criticism of his fellow Heroes/allies. Generally reluctant to trust strangers, often asking to be paid upfront or using slave curses to prevent lying, he tries his best to live up to the expectations of those who have placed their faith in him or treat him as an equal.
After defeating Kyo and ending the threat of the Spirit Tortoise, Naofumi is given control of Raphtalia’s hometown. He soon plans to rebuild and make a makeshift army to fight against the Waves and remaining Guardian Beasts, purchasing the original displaced inhabitants and other slaves to repopulate. He often enjoys pretending to be the villain, much to Raphtalia’s annoyance and the amusement of his allies, and working as a merchant/craftsman in his spare time. Believing he’ll one day return home, he considers himself a foster parent to Raphtalia and Filo and desires to make sure they can protect themselves in his absence.
Although Naofumi has a slow start because of the public’s perception of him and being unable to attack enemies directly, he is still able to keep up with his fellow heroes and even outshine them due to unlocking a wide variety of shields that boost his allies and passive skills. Given his high defenses, he is able to shrug off most attacks and displays immunity to most poisons, being only vulnerable to attacks that use his stats against him such as Hengen Muso. His strongest shield, the Shield of Wrath, allows him to counterattack opponents with cursed flames that rise with his anger at the cost of temporarily decreasing his stats and threatening to allow his inner darkness to take control.
Raphtalia 
The Vassal Katana Hero and Tanuki Demi-human. Originally living in a village on Melromarc’s coast, Raphatalia was left orphaned in the wake of the first Wave to strike the world. Shortly after, she and her fellow villagers were captured and sold into slavery by Melromarc’s Royal Knights. First purchased by a nobleman, she is physically and emotionally tortured out of racial resentment towards Demi-humans and left a shell of her former self. Near death and suffering from panic attacks, she was sold back and later purchased by Naofumi who, unable to fight himself and spite towards Malty, desired to use her as his sword in the coming Waves.
Under Naofumi’s protection, Raphtalia becomes a skilled swordfighter and is able to find closure from her past traumas. Able to see past Naofumi’s cynical nature, she falls in love with him and does her best to help him overcome his resentment towards others and losing himself to the Shield of Wrath, even volunteering to have her slave curse re-applied after it is forcibly removed as a sign of devotion. It is later revealed that through her Tanuki herritage, she is a heir to the throne of Q’Ten Lo, her father having eloped to Meloromarc and putting her at odds with her distant relatives.
Technically a 10 year old girl, being a Demi-human, Raphtalia’s body is able to age to that of a young women as her levels increase. Due to this, she often gets annoyed when Naofumi treats her as his daughter or is oblivious to her feelings; the latter believing she is only focused on getting stronger. While traveling in Kizuna’s world, she is chosen as the wielder of the Vassal Katana (Sever Star Hammer in the Web Novel). She also specializes in Light/Dark magic and is able to turn herself and allies invisible or generate illusions.
Filo
A Filolial Queen. Hatching her from an egg purchased from the Slave Trader, Filo is the youngest of Naofumi’s allies. She is part of a monster species called Filolials that enjoy pulling carts, and having been raised by a Hero, develops into a Queen. As a Queen, she resembles a large flightless owl and possesses higher attack strength and speed than normal members of her species. In addition, she possesses the unique ability to shapeshift into a young blonde girl with wings, retaining the strength of her true form.
Young and boisterous, she has a short attention span, has a ravenous appetite, and often fights Raphtalia and Gaelion for Naofumi’s attention, much to his and others annoyance. Also highly impressionable, she has been shown to pick up on some of Naofumi’s habits much to Raphtalia’s distress. A capable learner, she is able to use advanced wind magic spells and many of the teachings of Hengen Muso with minimal instruction. Her skills are recognized by her Queen predecessor, Fitoria, and is given some of her power.
In spite of her sometimes overbearing personality, Filo is able to quickly make friends with others and takes other Filolials on as her underlings. True to her Filolial instincts, her favorite hobby is to pull a custom cart Naofumi made for her. While in Kizuna’s world, due to Filolial’s not existing, she is transformed into a species called a Humming Fairy, losing her strength in favor of being able to fly and cast magic through singing.