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Month: August 2019

Film Friday- World Trigger

Film Friday- World Trigger

World Trigger, also known in short form as WorTri, is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Daisuke Ashihara, which was initially serialized in Weekly Shōnen Jump from February 2013 to November 2018, and later transferred in December 2018 to Jump Square. An anime adaptation of the series produced by Toei Animation started airing on October 5, 2014; the series ended on April 3, 2016.

Anime

An anime adaptation of World Trigger was announced on May 27, 2014 and was to start airing in October 2014. On July 8, 2014, it was revealed that the anime adaptation would be produced by Toei Animation. On August 4, 2014, the anime’s official website revealed the voice cast (in Japanese alphabetical order): Nobuhiko Okamoto, Rie Kugimiya, Hideyuki Tanaka, Nao Tamura, Jun Fukuyama, Tomo Muranaka and Yūki Kaji. It also revealed that the anime would be broadcast on TV Asahi. An event was held on Roppongi Hills Arena (TV Asahi’s “Summer Festival” venue) revealing the full cast and the characters they would be playing. On August 6, 2014, the combined 37-38th issue of Weekly Shonen Jump revealed the roles for some of the cast, as well announcing the addition of Yūichi Nakamura as Yuichi Jin. On August 11, 2014, the official website for the anime was updated to reveal the rest of the cast members’ roles and a promotional video for the anime was posted. On August 20, 2014, Weekly Shōnen Jump‘s 39th issue revealed more of the anime’s cast. On August 25, 2014, the anime’s official website revealed the anime would premier in October 5, 2014. On August 29, Weekly Shōnen Jump‘s 39th issue revealed the staff, with Mitsuru Hongo directing the anime at Toei Animation with series composition by Hiroyuki Yoshino. Toshihisa Kaiya and Hitomi Tsuruta were announced as character designers and animation directors, and Kenji Kawai composing the music for the soundtrack. The series was slated to run for 50 episodes, but ended up having 73 episodes. On September 10, it was revealed that the Nagoya trio Sonar Pocket would perform the anime’s opening theme, “GIRIGIRI”. Like in most of the TV anime that are broadcast on TV Asahi in Japan, the World Trigger anime incorporates all the credits into the opening theme and there is only an opening for the show and no ending for the show.

In summer 2015, the World Trigger Summer Festival 2015 event announced World Trigger: Isekai Kara no Tōbōsha, a brand new series with an original story not presented in the World Trigger manga, and with new characters and concepts. This “new series” actually ended up being the “Fugitve Arc” of the anime, which ran from Episodes 49 to 63. On March 7, 2016, it was confirmed that the World Trigger anime would end, after it was announced that TV Asahi would be replacing the time slot airing it with sports programming.

In July 2015, it was announced that Toei would be producing an English dub with Ocean Productions. The series began airing in the United States on Primo TV on January 16, 2017.

The series ranked 10th in the Tokyo Anime Award Festival’s top 100 TV anime series of 2016. During NHK’S top 100 anime voting, World Trigger placed 158 out of 400, tied with Detective Conan: The Darkest Nightmare.

Main characters

Yūma Kuga 
Coming from the Neighbor World, he has a laid back attitude, and isn’t very knowledgeable of Japanese customs, leading him into confusions with the wrong people. When he was 11, he and his father Yūgo Kuga were on a war in the Neighbor world, lending their power to an old friend of his father. In an occasion where his father told him not to follow him, Yūma disobeyed his father, sneaking into battle, which caused his death. His father, finding his dying son, sacrificed his life to create a Black Trigger to revive Yūma. Yuma’s dead body is sealed in a ring that also holds his black trigger and he received a body made from trion. His guardian, Replica, told him to go to the Human world and see if Border could find a cure to his condition (though he wanted to bring his father back instead), only to find out they didn’t know the answer either. In chapter 33 he officially joined Border as a C-Rank attacker in Mikumo Unit. As he explained, he’s what they actually call a “Neighbor”, and the creatures that have been attacking the human world are actually “Trion Soldiers”, drones created to perform different tasks. He received the nickname “C-Rank White Devil”, and in the B-Rank Wars, his nickname becomes “White Nightmare”, due to his white hair and ferocity in battle. Despite his young appearance, he is 15 years old. He is an Attacker that uses Scorpion to fight in the Rank Wars. He also possesses a Side Effect which enables him to accurately determine when a person is lying.
Osamu Mikumo 
A Border agent with low Trion level. He is usually referred as simply “Four Eyes” by people outside the Mikumo unit. He later promoted into B-Rank Border and later became a Shooter and the leader of Mikumo Unit, also known as Tamakoma Second. He became Chika’s protector after her older brother (and his tutor) disappeared mysteriously, and joined Border in order to be better able to protect her, but the examiner suggested him to become an Engineer or Operator, due to his low trion. Unable to accept this, he imprudently tried to infiltrate Border’s headquarters and negotiate with them, but he was almost attacked by a Bamster, which was destroyed by Jin. He befriended Yūma after he was transferred to his school. He is 15 years old. He is a Shooter.
Yūichi Jin 
Yūichi is an A-Rank Solo Attacker (originally S-Rank) at Border with precognitive powers. He is a very friendly and carefree person. He is a self-proclaimed “Talented Elite”, but his skills and strategies in battle are more than enough to back up his confidence. His mother was killed by Neighbors but despite that, he doesn’t hate Neighbors, as he has been to the Neighbor World and knows not all Neighbors are evil. He was the one who invited Yūma to join Border. Like Yūma’s father, his mentor Sōichi Mogami sacrificed his own life to create a Black Trigger, which Yūichi competed for, and later gave it away so that Yūma could officially join and be recognized as a Border agent by Headquarters. He is 19 years old.
Chika Amatori 
A girl with huge trion level, which “attracts” Trion Soldiers towards her. Her brother Rinji and friend were captured by the neighbor, and tired of running away and looking for a way to rescue them, she joins Border as a C-Rank Sniper in Mikumo Unit. She purposely keeps herself away from others because she is afraid she’ll cause them to be captured by Neighbors and she doesn’t want to get hurt. She also has a side effect that allows her to feel the presence of Trion Soldiers and hide her presence from them. Izumi labeled her as “Tamakoma’s Trion Monster”, due to her huge amount of trion. In the B-Rank Wars, the official nickname is “Super Trion Monster”. She has short hair styled in a hime cut, with a cowlick in the middle. She is 13 years old.
Replica 
Yūma’s guardian, created by his father to protect Yūma and teach him right from wrong. He has information on various countries that Yūma and his father visited. He was the one who told Yūma to come to the human world. Replica told Osamu Yūma’s story, and asked him to give Yūma a new goal. At the end of the large scale invasion by Aftokrator, Replica is severely damaged. While in this state he, with the help of Osamu, infiltrates the black trigger ship and manages to send the ship back. While this ultimately saved Osuma and Chika, replica was unable to leave the ship. It is currently unknown if he managed to survive or if he is still “alive” or not.

 

Manga Monday – World Trigger

Manga Monday – World Trigger

World Trigger, also known in short form as WorTri, is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Daisuke Ashihara, which was initially serialized in Weekly Shōnen Jump from February 2013 to November 2018, and later transferred in December 2018 to Jump Square. An anime adaptation of the series produced by Toei Animation started airing on October 5, 2014; the series ended on April 3, 2016.

The manga was written and illustrated by Daisuke Ashihara. Individual chapters have been serialized in Weekly Shōnen Jump since February 2013, and are collected into tankōbon volumes published by Shueisha. As of June 2019, twenty volumes have been released in Japan. Viz Media has licensed the series. Due to health issues on the part of the author, it was put on hiatus after the 50th issue of 2016. The series returned in issue #48 of Weekly Shōnen Jump on October 29, 2018 and ran until issue #52 on November 26, then it was transferred to Jump Square on December 4, 2018.

In the year of 2016, a survey conducted by Oricon found that World Trigger was the 18th best-selling manga, with about 2,234,851 copies sold. Rebecca Silverman of Anime News Network said that “World Trigger is an exciting read that distributes its information organically rather than relying on info-dumps.” In a 2016 reader’s poll on goo, the series ranked the fifth most likely to become a Weekly Shonen Jump signature series. However, the anime received criticism stemming from Toei’s handling of the adaptation. Gabriella Ekens from Anime News Network referred to the production as “incompetent” and “baffling”, stating “World Trigger isn’t a bad show, but it’s a terrible adaptation.”

Setting

In Mikado City (280 000 inhabitants), a “gate” to a different world suddenly opens one day. Monsters called “Neighbors” start appearing from the gate. Humans are overwhelmed at first when their weapons are found to be useless against Neighbors, until a mysterious organization appears that is able to repel the Neighbors’ attacks. The organization is called the National Defense Agency, or “Border,” and has appropriated the Neighbor technology called “Triggers,” which allows the user to channel an internal energy called Trion and use it as a weapon or for other purposes. By activating a trigger, the body of users is replaced by a battle-body made of trion which is stronger and more resistant. Members of Border are divided in three ranks, A, B, and C, with only the members of rank A possessing the most powerful triggers, comparable in strength to those of Neighbors.

Plot

Four years later, people in Mikado City have grown used to the occasional battles with the Neighbors, and have returned more or less to their everyday lives. Border has become popular. One day, a mysterious white-haired student transfers to the local school, named Yūma Kuga. Kuga is in fact a strong humanoid Neighbor, a fact that he wants to hide from Border. In the school he meets another student, Osamu Mikumo, who is secretly a C-class Border trainee. Since Kuga is completely oblivious about life in Mikado City, it falls to Mikumo to guide him through it, and to prevent him from being discovered by Border.

 

Film Friday- Mushishi

Film Friday- Mushishi

Mushishi has been adapted into an anime television series by Artland which aired in Fuji Television between October 2005 and June 2006. It has been licensed by Funimation to its release in North America, while Madman Entertainment and Revelation Films licensed it for Australia and the United Kingdom respectively. A second anime series aired between April and December 2014, which has been licensed in North America by Aniplex of America, with two television specials airing in 2014 and an anime film released in 2015. A live-action film, directed by Katsuhiro Otomo, was released in late 2006. It has also spawned a video game and many types of Mushishi-related merchandise.

Plot

Mushishi is set in an imaginary time between the Edo and Meiji periods, featuring some 19th-century technology but with Japan still as a “closed country”.[5] The story features ubiquitous creatures called Mushi () that often display what appear as supernatural powers. It is implied that there are many more lifeforms more primitive than “normal” living things such as animals, plants, fungi, and bacteria, and Mushi is the most primitive of all. Due to their ethereal nature, most humans are incapable of perceiving Mushi and are oblivious to their existence, but there are a few who possess the ability to see and interact with Mushi. One such person is Ginko (ギンコ), the main character of the series voiced by Yuto Nakano in the original version and by Travis Willingham in the English dub.[6][7] He employs himself as a Mushi Master (蟲師 mushi-shi), traveling from place to place to research Mushi and aid people suffering from problems caused by them.

The series is an episodic anthology with no overarching plotline in which the only common elements are Ginko and the Mushi. Ginko is a man with one green eye, who not only can see various types of mushi but also attracts them. Because of this ability, he is constantly wandering and smokes in order to keep the mushi away. He appears to have a generally laid back personality, however, he can be very serious and focused on his work when it comes to protecting people from mushi. He stresses that the mushi are not evil, but merely trying to survive like everyone else. A majority of the stories do not focus on Ginko but rely on him as a catalyst to move the story forward by diagnosing or curing mushi-related illnesses and phenomena.

Anime

The Mushishi anime adaptation was animated by Artland, directed by Hiroshi Nagahama, and produced by a group called “Mushishi Production Committee”, which consists of Marvelous Entertainment, Avex Entertainment and SKY Perfect Well Think. The first 20 episodes of the series originally aired between October 23, 2005 and March 12, 2006 on Fuji Television. A digest was broadcast on May 7, 2006 by BS Fuji, which aired the last six episodes from May 14 to June 18 of the same year. Marvelous Entertainment and Avex released the series from January 25 to September 27, 2006 in five DVDs for sale, and at the same time in nine DVDs for rental. On March 28, 2008 a DVD box set containing all episodes was released; it was followed by a Blu-ray box set on March 27, 2009, and a Limited Edition Blu-ray box on December 20, 2013.

The anime series’ licensing was announced by Funimation to North American release in January 2007. To promote the series’ release, it hosted Nagahama at the Anime Expo 2007 between June 29 and July 2. In addition, Funimation exhibited the first four episodes in New York and Texas’ locations such as ImaginAsian Theater, Studio Movie Grill, and Alamo Drafthouse, on July 23 and 24 of that year. The series was released in six DVDs between July 31, 2007 to February 26, 2008 by Funimation, which also streamed series on its own channel, Hulu, Joost, Anime News Network, Crackle, as well as distributed it to Comcast cable service. Funimation also released four box sets with all episodes: on December 16, 2008, on October 6, 2009, on July 6, 2010, and November 8, 2011. In United Kingdom, the series was released between October 22, 2007 and November 17, 2008 by Revelation Films in six DVD. Madman Entertainment acquired the series’ distribution rights at AVCon in 2007, releasing it in a six-discs box set on January 14, 2009 in PAL region.

Based on the 2013 two-chapter side story, a special titled Mushishi Tokubetsu-hen: Hihamukage  was broadcast on Tokyo MX, Tochigi TV, Gunma TV, and BS11 on January 4, 2014, and streamed by Niconico. Aniplex released the special on DVD and Blu-ray on April 23, 2014. A second anime television season titled Mushishi: Zoku-Shō started airing on April 5, 2014, on Tokyo MX and other channels. As with the special, the second season featured the same director, the same studio and main cast from the first season. After the broadcast of the tenth episode on June 21, the “first half” was finished. Another special, Mushishi: Path of Thorns, aired on August 20 on BS11. The latter half of the second season started to air on October 19, and ended on December 21, 2014. Zoku-Shō first DVD compilation was released on July 23, 2014 in Japan, and the sixth—and last–was released on July 22, 2015. A sequel anime film titled Mushishi: Bell Droplets, based on the manga’s last arc, was announced in December 2014 and released on May 16, 2015 in Japan.

Hihamukage was streamed by Crunchyroll for premium members on January 4, 2014, and made available for free user a week later. In March, the second season was licensed for streaming by Aniplex of America and Crunchyroll as Mushi-Shi -Next Passage-. In November, Madman Entertainment acquired its home media release rights for Australia. Late in the same month, Madman also licensed the series for streaming and made it available on its site AnimeLab. Madman released a DVD box set containing all Next Passage‘s episodes, Path of Thorns and Bell Droplets on December 7, 2016.

Wednesday News- August 21, 2019

Wednesday News- August 21, 2019

5 Digimon Anime Shorts Planned for 20th Anniversary Memorial Story Project- https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2019-08-20/5-digimon-anime-shorts-planned-for-20th-anniversary-memorial-story-project/.150252

Review: Accomplishments of the Duke’s Daughter GN 4 – https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/review/accomplishments-of-the-duke-daughter/gn-4/.150158

New Saukra Wars Game Gets Manga on September 12- https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2019-08-21/new-sakura-wars-game-gets-manga-on-september-12/.150279

Pokemon Sword/Shield Games’ Video Previews New Town- https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2019-08-21/pokemon-sword-shield-games-video-previews-new-town/.150255

Dragon Star Varnir Game Launches on Steam on October 9- https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/daily-briefs/2019-08-21/dragon-star-varnir-game-launches-on-steam-on-october-9/.150209

Anime

  • ACCA: 13-Territory Inspection Dept. Essentials BD
  • Attack on Titan: Junior High Essentials BD
  • The Big O Steelbook BD
  • Free! Dive to the Future Season 3 Limited Edition BD/DVD
  • Keijo!!!!!!!! Essentials BD
  • Orphen BD
  • Pocket Monsters: Diamond & Pearl Complete Season DVD
  • Record of Grancrest War BD 2
  • Ronja the Robber’s Daughter BD
  • Waiting in the Summer BD

Manga

  • Barakamon Graphic Novel (GN) 18
  • Boarding School Juliet GN 7
  • Cardcaptor Sakura Collector’s Edition GN 1 (Digital Only)
  • A Certain Scientific Railgun GN 14
  • Creature! GN 19 (Digital Only)
  • Defying Kurosaki-san GN 11
  • The Devil is a Part-Timer! GN 14
  • Fairy Tail: 100 Years Quest GN 1
  • Farewell, My Dear Cramer GN 2 (Digital Only)
  • Go with the Clouds, North by Northwest GN 2
  • Golden Kamuy GN 11
  • Harem Days The Seven-Starred Country GN 11 (Digital Only)P
  • Investor Z GN 4 (Digital Only)P (Digital Only)
  • Log Horizon GN 1 (Digital Only)
  • Love Voice GN 1 (Digital Only)
  • Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid: Elma’s Office Lady Diary GN 2
  • Mushoku Tensei – Jobless Reincarnation GN 9 (Digital Only)
  • Mobile Suit Gundam Thunderbolt GN 12
  • Mushoku Tensei – Jobless Reincarnation GN 9
  • O Maidens in Your Savage Season GN 3
  • Ran And The Gray World GN 4
  • Shinobi Life GN 11 (Digital Only)
  • Somari and the Guardian of the Forest GN 2 (Digital Only)
  • Sorry For My Familiar GN 5
  • Stravaganza GN 1
  • Sword Art Online: Hollow Realization GN 4
  • The Tenth Prism GN 4 (Digital Only)
  • Tokyo Alice GN 14 (Digital Only)
  • Tokyo Ghoul:re GN 12
  • Triage X GN 18
  • Trinity Seven GN 17
  • Urusei Yatsura GN 3(Digital Only)P (Digital Only)
  • Vampire Dormitory GN 1 (Digital Only)
  • Wonderland GN 3

Other

  • Bungō Stray Dogs Novel 1
  • I Saved Too Many Girls and Caused the Apocalypse Novel 15 (Digital Only)
  • Mega Man Battle Network Official Complete Works Art Book (hardcover)C
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion: ANIMA Novel 1 (Digital Only)A
  • Oninaki PS4, Switch, PC game
  • Outbreak Company Novel 10 (Digital Only)
  • Puyo Puyo Switch game
  • Reincarnated as a Sword Novel 3 (Digital Only)
  • That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Novel 6
  • Yakuza 3 Remastered (The Yakuza Remastered Collection) PS4 gameA
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! Legacy of the Duelist: Link Evolution Switch gameP

 

Manga Monday- Mushishi

Manga Monday- Mushishi

Mushishi is a manga series written and illustrated by Yuki Urushibara. It was serialized in Afternoon Seasons Zōkan from 1999 to 2002, and in Monthly Afternoon from December 2002 to August 2008. The individual chapters were collected and released into ten tankōbon volumes by Kodansha. Those volumes were localized to North America by Del Rey between January 2007 and August 2010. The series follows Ginko, a man who dedicates himself to keeping people protected from supernatural creatures called Mushi.

The Mushishi manga has been well received both by the public and critics. In Japan, it has frequently ranked in the weekly top ten list of best-selling manga, and the entire series has sold over 3.8 million copies. Both the manga and the anime have received several awards such as the Kodansha Manga Award and the Tokyo Anime Award, and numerous publications have praised them.

Manga

Written and illustrated by Yuki Urushibara, it debuted as an one-shot in Monthly Afternoon on January 25, 1999. Later, it was serialized in the Kodansha seinen manga magazine Afternoon Seasons Zōkan from 1999 to 2002. It moved to Monthly Afternoon on December 25, 2002 and was serialized until August 25, 2008. Kodansha collected the chapters into ten tankōbon, and published them under the Afternoon KC line from November 22, 2001, to November 21, 2008. On November 21, 2013, Kodansha started to re-release it under the aizōban format in their KC Deluxe line, concluding with the tenth on July 23, 2014.

At the 2006 Comic-Con, Del Rey Manga announced that it had licensed Mushishi for an English-language translation in North America. Del Rey published the first volume on January 30, 2007, and the last volume, a combined edition covering volumes 8 to 10, was released on July 27, 2010. Kodansha USA also released the manga in digital format between July 29, 2014, and August 12, 2014. The manga was also licensed in some countries such as in France by Kana, in Italy by Star Comics, in South Korea by Daewon C.I., and in Spain by Norma Editorial.

In addition, two additional chapters were published in the magazine on November 25, 2013 and December 25, 2013, respectively. They were encapsulated into a single tankōbon titled Mushishi Tokubetsu-hen: Hihamukage and released on April 23, 2014.

Film Friday- Love Live!

Film Friday- Love Live!

Love Live! School Idol Project is a Japanese multimedia project co-developed by ASCII Media Works’ Dengeki G’s Magazine, music label Lantis, and animation studio Sunrise. The project revolves around a group of nine schoolgirl friends who become idols in order to save their school from shutting down. It launched in the August 2010 issue of Dengeki G’s Magazine, and went on to produce music CDs, anime music videos, two manga adaptations, and video games. A 13-episode anime television series produced by Sunrise, directed by Takahiko Kyōgoku, and written by Jukki Hanada aired in Japan between January and March 2013, with a second season airing between April and June 2014. Both anime series and film are licensed in North America, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand by NIS America, MVM Entertainment and Madman Entertainment, respectively. An animated film titled Love Live! The School Idol Movie was distributed by Shochiku and released in June 2015. A follow-up project focusing on a new set of idols, titled Love Live! Sunshine!!, launched in 2015. A second film, Love Live! Sunshine!! The School Idol Movie: Over the Rainbow, was released in Japan on January 4, 2019.

Anime

A 13-episode anime television series produced by Sunrise, directed by Takahiko Kyōgoku, and written by Jukki Hanada aired in Japan on Tokyo MX between January 6 and March 31, 2013 and was simulcast by Crunchyroll. The opening theme is “Bokura wa Ima no Naka de” and the ending theme is “Kitto Seishun ga Kikoeru”; both are performed by μ’s (Emi Nitta, Aya Uchida, Suzuko Mimori, Yoshino Nanjō, Pile, Riho Iida, Aina Kusuda, Yurika Kubo and Sora Tokui). An original video animation episode was released on November 27, 2013. A second season aired on Tokyo MX between April 6 and June 29, 2014, also airing on TV Aichi, Yomiuri TV, and BS11, and was simulcast by Crunchyroll. The opening theme is “Sore wa Bokutachi no Kiseki” and the ending theme is “Donna Toki mo Zutto”; both are performed by μ’s. An animated film titled Love Live! The School Idol Movie was released in theaters on June 13, 2015. It was released on Blu-ray in Japan on December 15, 2015. A second film, Love Live! Sunshine!! The School Idol Movie: Over the Rainbow, was released in Japan on January 4, 2019.

Both anime series and the first film are licensed in North America by NIS America, who released the premium edition of the first season on Blu-ray on September 2, 2014 and an English dubbed version was released with the standard edition of the first season, along with the premium edition of the second season, on February 14, 2016, as well as the standard edition of the second season on April 12, 2016. The series also began airing on Mnet America from February 5, 2016. The film was released in North America by NIS America on June 28, 2016 in a premium edition, and July 26, 2016 in a standard edition, both with an English dub. MVM Entertainment released the first series in the United Kingdom on July 27, 2015 on DVD, with plans to release it on Blu-ray Disc in 2016 with an English dub. MVM Entertainment also released the second series in 2016. Madman Entertainment released the first season in Australia and New Zealand on June 10, 2015 on DVD.

Video games

A free-to-play game titled Love Live! School Idol Festival as developed by KLab and released by Bushiroad for iOS devices in Japan on April 15, 2013. The game is a collectible card game with elements of rhythm game and visual novel genres. A version for Android was also released. The game was localized into English and released worldwide on May 11, 2014 for both iOS and Android devices, and also received localizations available in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and South Korea. At the end of September 2016, the English version of the game added Korean support due to merging between the two servers. An updated version of the game titled Love Live! School Idol Festival All Stars, which will also feature members of Aqours as well as a new set of characters known as Perfect Dream Project, will be released in 2019.

A series of three rhythm-action video games developed by Dingo Inc., titled Love Live! School Idol Paradise, were released on August 28, 2014 for the PlayStation Vita. The three games were released as Vol. 1 Printemps, Vol.2 BiBi and Vol.3 Lily White. These games sold 88,169 physical retail copies altogether within the first week of release in Japan.

Rin Hoshizora became the new face of the Puyo Puyo games in 2015 as part of a campaign by Sega to market the popularity of the anime by giving her a place on all of their current franchises. A mobile gamed titled Puchiguru Love Live! revolves around the mini-stuffed dolls sold resembling the characters. It was released on April 24, 2018 for Android and iOS, and was shut down on May 31, 2019.

Manga Monday- Love Live!

Manga Monday- Love Live!

Love Live! School Idol Project is a Japanese multimedia project co-developed by ASCII Media Works’ Dengeki G’s Magazine, music label Lantis, and animation studio Sunrise. The project revolves around a group of nine schoolgirl friends who become idols in order to save their school from shutting down. It launched in the August 2010 issue of Dengeki G’s Magazine, and went on to produce music CDs, anime music videos, two manga adaptations, and video games. A 13-episode anime television series produced by Sunrise, directed by Takahiko Kyōgoku, and written by Jukki Hanada aired in Japan between January and March 2013, with a second season airing between April and June 2014. Both anime series and film are licensed in North America, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand by NIS America, MVM Entertainment and Madman Entertainment, respectively. An animated film titled Love Live! The School Idol Movie was distributed by Shochiku and released in June 2015. A follow-up project focusing on a new set of idols, titled Love Live! Sunshine!!, launched in 2015. A second film, Love Live! Sunshine!! The School Idol Movie: Over the Rainbow, was released in Japan on January 4, 2019.

Print media

A manga adaptation titled Love Live!, written by Sakurako Kimino and illustrated by Arumi Tokita, began serialization in the January 2012 issue of Dengeki G’s Magazine. The manga ended serialization in the magazine’s May 2014 issue and was transferred to Dengeki G’s Comic starting with the June 2014 issue. The first tankōbon volume was released on September 27, 2012, and three volumes have been released as of May 27, 2014. The second manga titled Love Live! School Idol Diary, written by Kimino and illustrated by Masaru Oda, began serialization in the June 2014 issue of Dengeki G’s Comic. The first volume of School Idol Diary was released on September 26, 2014.

A light novel series titled Love Live! School Idol Diary is written by Kimino and contains illustrations by Yūhei Murota, Natsu Otono and Akame Kiyose. ASCII Media Works published 11 volumes between May 30, 2013 and August 29, 2014. A fan book titled History of Love Live! was released on September 10, 2014, which features the Love Live! articles published between the July 2010 and February 2013 issues of Dengeki G’s Magazine.

Plot

Honoka Kōsaka is a girl who attends Otonokizaka Academy. When the school is scheduled to be closed due to a lack of applicants, Honoka becomes determined to save it. Honoka goes to UTX, where her little sister planned to go for high school, and sees a crowd watching a music video of A-Rise, UTX’s school idol group. Learning that school idols are popular, Honoka and her friends follow A-Rise’s footsteps and start their own school idol group called μ’s (ミューズ Myūzu, pronounced “muse”) to attract new students. Once they successfully prevent Otonokizaka Academy from closing, the girls from μ’s set their sights higher. They participate in Love Live, the ultimate school idol competition featuring the best groups in the country. Despite winning the competition, the girls from μ’s disband soon after for their own personal reasons, and because the third-years are graduating.

 

 

Film Friday- Angelic Layer

Film Friday- Angelic Layer

The manga was adapted into a 26-episode anime series produced by Bones titled Angelic Layer: Battle Doll which aired on TV Tokyo from April 1, 2001 – September 23, 2001. Seven volumes of videos were released by ADV Films on VHS and DVD in 2003. It was re-released in 2005 as a five volume box set. North American publisher Dark Horse Comics re-releases Angelic Layer in omnibus format in 2011. Sentai Filmworks will re-release the series under their Sentai Selects label on November 24, 2015. Anime Limited announced they would release the series in the UK in 2018.

Reception

Angelic Layer has received mixed reviews. THEM Anime Reviews on the other hand gave Angelic Layer a 5-star rating, noting that the character designs were well presented and the animation was colourful, also that Angelic Layer portrayed the concepts of friendship and how “through common interests, even very different people can be friends”. Angelic Layer won the Animation Kobe Award for TV Feature in 2001. Anime News Network however, was less kind, comparing it to Pokémon and Digimon, and calling it a glorified tie-in to “a toy you can’t purchase.”

Misaki Suzuhara

is a timid, sweet-tempered, and kind 12-year-old girl who has just moved to Tokyo to live with her aunt. In the manga she is more overreactive and easily excited. She had been living with her grandparents in Wakayama while she went to elementary school, but saved her money so she could afford to go to middle school in Tokyo. She worries about the fact that she is small and unathletic, and is sometimes mistaken for an elementary school student. She sees Angelic Layer as a way to prove that there is nothing wrong with being small. She started playing Angelic Layer after seeing the white angel Athena on a video screen outside of Tokyo Station (she was unaware that she was seeing her own mother’s angel). Her angel is Hikaru, and she is known as the “Miracle Rookie”. She is nicknamed Misakichi by her friend Tamayo.
In volume 7 of the manga Chobits, she is seen with Minoru and two other visitors at the hospital visiting Kaede.

Ichiro “Icchan” Mihara

nicknames himself Icchan to hide his true identity from Misaki. He is 28 years old and often acts eccentric, spontaneous, and immature for his age. He often jumps out of random places, shouting “Icchan go BOOM!”, to scare Misaki and Ogata. He is ingenious and dead serious when it comes to Angelic Layer. In the manga, Icchan is the president of the Piffle Company, creators of the Angelic Layer toys. In the anime, Icchan is the “father” and creator of Angelic Layer, having developed the game over seven years with the help of Shuko Suzuhara. Icchan was an employee at a hospital that was trying to treat Shuko’s neurological condition. They were developing the angels as part of their research into creating prosthetic limbs which could be controlled by brain waves. When the research funding was cut off, Icchan and Shuko created Angelic Layer in order to help fund further research.
According to volumes 7 and 8 of the Chobits manga, it is heavily implied that Icchan is the late husband of Chitose Hibiya and the creator of the persocoms. Since he and Hibiya could not have children, he made two special persocoms, the Chobits, to be their children. They were named Freya and Elda (later known as Chi). The Chobits were created using information gathered from the research performed for the Angelic Layer project. In the Chobits anime, Icchan only appears in one scene but is not explicitly named.
In a letter on Clamp’s website about Mugen no Yami – echo of the past, Clamp mentioned their “long time friend Ichirou Mihara”, who is the vice president of the video-game company Arika, so this is most likely the source of the character’s name.

Hatoko Kobayashi

is a 5-year-old known in the Angelic Layer world as the “Miracle Kindergartner”. She is Misaki’s best friend and Angelic Layer mentor. Even at a very young age, she is intelligent, mature, and hard-working. She is an expert at Angelic Layer, often winning her games in mere seconds. She wins all ten of her games at the Tokyo prefecture games, and is the defending champion of the Kantō regional games. She is fiercely competitive, and often works to increase her angel’s speed and power. She likes to poke fun at her brother Kotaro for his apparent ineptness when it comes to his crush on Misaki. Hatoko treats Misaki like her student rather than her nee-chan (sister). Hatoko’s angel is Suzuka.

Kotaro Kobayashi

is a 13-year-old middle school classmate of Misaki, whom he has a crush on, and Hatoko’s elder brother. He is always being assaulted by Tamayo and her various martial arts techniques, of which he has been a victim since he was four years old. He becomes jealous of Ohjiro’s advances towards Misaki, going so far as to try to attempt to play a quasi-match of Angelic Layer against Ohjiro, despite the fact that he had never played it before. His family owns a karate dojo. Kotaro has practiced karate himself, showing Misaki some of his knowledge in hopes that Misaki can use it to help Hikaru win. In the manga, he and Misaki fall in love and date. He resembles Hiromu Shinbo from Chobits.

Tamayo Kizaki

is 13 years old, and is a friend and classmate of Misaki. She nicknames Misaki “Misakichi” and is rather eccentric. One of her favorite activities is practicing her martial arts techniques on her unwilling friend, Kotaro. She always cheers for Misaki at Angelic Layer matches and defends her against those who question her ability. In the anime, it is revealed that Tamayo has always held intimate feelings for Kotaro, while in the manga, she only sees him as a close friend. She offers to be Misaki’s “second” in her national game match against the Angelic Layer Company’s angel when Hatoko is ill. Misaki accepts Ohjiro’s offer instead.

  • The martial arts Tamayo has mastered are wrestling, karate, K-1, kenpō, boxing, judo, capoeira, and taekwondo.
  • In the anime she ends up with Kotaro after telling him how she feels. In the manga, Tamayo falls in love with Ohjiro Mihara.

Ohjiro Mihara

is 15 years old and is Icchan’s younger step-brother. He has been involved with Angelic Layer for many years, in large part because it was what brought him and Icchan together after their parents married. Ohjiro competes in Kobe, and was the champion of the Kansai Regional games, as well as being the runner-up in the national tournament for two consecutive years.In the manga he is reassuringly asking what color are Misaki panties then running away. He has a desperate desire to defeat Shuko Suzuhara’s angel, Athena, to get over a childhood crush he had on her. His angel is Wizard. In the anime, he falls in love with Misaki.

Shoko Asami

is Misaki’s aunt and Shuko’s younger sister. She is 26 years old. Her hairstyle bears a resemblance to that of Takako Shimizu in Chobits. She demands that Misaki and her friends call her “Miss Shoko” instead of “aunt” (“obasan” in Japanese) because she is still “an attractive young newscaster.” She often covers Angelic Layer events for the local news station, where she works. Misaki lives with Shoko when she moves to Tokyo.

Shuko Suzuhara

is Misaki’s mother and Shoko’s elder sister. She is 31 years old. In the anime, it is explained that Shuko left Misaki at the age of five to be taken care of by her grandparents under the guise of work, when in reality she was going to Tokyo to search for a cure her neurological disease. This disease inhibits nerve signals from reaching to or from her legs. Ichiro Mihara was a doctor attempting to work with her to find a cure when the two started Angelic Layer as a way to do research and raise funds. Shuko, or “Shu” as she is called when playing Angelic Layer, is the undisputed champion with her angel Athena, having won the past three national championships. Over the past seven years, she has avoided meeting Misaki, as she is afraid of what Misaki would think of her. In the manga, Shuko has extreme anthropophobia / social anxiety disorder about socializing with those she loves. She works for the company behind Angelic Layer.

 

Manga Monday- Angelic Layer

Manga Monday- Angelic Layer

Angelic Layer is a manga series released by Clamp. The manga is published in Japan by Kadokawa Shoten, and in English originally by Tokyopop, but has since been re-licensed by Dark Horse Comics. It is the group’s first work to use a quite different art style unseen in any other CLAMP series, which uses a more distinctly pared down style. There is less emphasis on detail and more on accentuated posing and gestures. This kind of artwork would later be used in series like Chobits and Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle.

Angelic Layer takes place in the same universe as Clamp’s later work Chobits, which similarly deals with the relationship between humans, human-created devices, toys, and godlike power. Several characters also appear in Clamp’s Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle including most of the main characters, as well as the angel Blanche.

Plot

The primary protagonist is Misaki Suzuhara. Despite her short appearance she is a seventh grader who just moved to Tokyo to live with her aunt, Shouko Asami. After arriving in the city outside of Tokyo Station, Misaki watches a battle between two dolls on a big live-screen called Angelic Layer, a highly popular game in which players (called Deus) buy and custom-design dolls known as Angels that are moved by mental control when on a field called the “layer.”

Interested in learning about Angelic Layer, an eccentric man wearing a white lab coat and glasses, calling himself “Icchan“, encourages Misaki to purchase and create her own angel. She wants the angel to be “a short girl, but strong and happy”, and names it Hikaru, based on Hikaru Shidō from Clamp’s Magic Knight Rayearth (a manga in Angelic Layer’s world). Even though she’s clueless about the game, Misaki soon competes in tournaments and is assisted and watched carefully by Icchan. Later, Icchan’s identity is revealed as Ichiro Mihara, the co-creator of Angelic Layer.

Misaki begins studying at the Eriol Academy, an educational institution which include grades from kindergarten through high school. There she becomes friends with Hatoko Kobayashi, a very intelligent and mature kindergarten girl who is a famous Deus and an Angelic Layer expert. Her incredibly fast angel Suzuka is a favourite contender in tournaments. Misaki also befriends Hatoko’s older brother Kōtarō and his friend Tamayo Kizaki, a girl fascinated by martial arts. Both turn out to be Misaki’s classmates.

While adjusting to her new surroundings, Misaki is also gripped by her past. Her thoughts often dwell on her mother, whom she has not seen since pre-school. Eventually, Misaki learns that her mother was key in the development of Angelic Layer, which she worked on in an attempt to develop a perfect prosthesis for her multiple sclerosis, which has confined her to a wheelchair. Her mother is also the Deus of Athena and the champion of Angelic Layer.

The differences in the anime series: Misaki names her angel of her favorite doll from childhood. The ending to the manga also has different couplings. In the manga, Misaki’s mother does not have multiple sclerosis. Icchan plays an important role in the Chobits storyline, but this connection was reduced to a single scene in the anime; the Chobits anime was also made by a different company. Kaede’s younger brother Minoru is also a Chobits character.

 

Film Friday- Love Hina

Film Friday- Love Hina

A twenty-four episode anime adaptation of the manga series, produced by Xebec, aired in Japan from April 19, 2000, to September 27, 2000. It was followed by a bonus DVD episode, Christmas and Spring television specials, and a three episode original video animation (OVA) entitled Love Hina Again. The anime series, special, and OVA were licensed for release in North America by Bandai Entertainment. In July 2007, the license was acquired by Funimation, who released a boxset of the television series in February 2009. The series is also licensed in Australia by Madman Entertainment and in the United Kingdom by MVM Films.

In Japan, the television series was released on nine DVDs by Starchild Records between August 3, 2000 and April 2, 2001, and sold over 1 million copies. Love Hina is credited with being one of the first anime series to be available unofficially as a digitally produced fansub, with multiple groups working on the series. The popularity, and widespread availability of the series in this form meant that several potential licensors of the series such as ADV Films had concerns over licensing the series. The series was later licensed in North America by Bandai Entertainment, who released six DVDs between February 19 and November 19, 2002. In July 2007, Funimation Entertainment announced they had acquired the license to the series after Bandai’s license had expired. A new boxset of the television series across 4 discs was released by Funimation on February 24, 2009. It was then re-released as part of Funimation’s Viridian Collection on July 27, 2010. In the United Kingdom, the series is licensed by MVM Films, who released the series on six DVDs between September 6, 2004 and March 7, 2005, and as a boxset on May 14, 2007. In Australia and New Zealand the series is licensed by Madman Entertainment, who also released the series across six DVDs between September 18, 2002, and February 11, 2003. A box set was later released on December 3, 2003.

After the television series was completed, a Christmas special, Love Hina Xmas Eve: Silent Night, was produced and shown on December 25, 2000 on TV Tokyo. A DVD was released in Japan on July 4, 2001. It was then released in North America on December 3, 2002 and in the United Kingdom on November 7, 2005. The Spring Special Love Hina Spring Special: I Wish Your Dream was also shown on TV Tokyo on April 2, 2001. The DVD was released in Japan on August 1, 2001, in North American on March 18, 2003 and in the United Kingdom on May 16, 2005. Finally, an OVA series called Love Hina Again was released on DVD in Japan in 3 parts between January 26, 2002 and March 27, 2002. A CD single featuring the opening theme “Kirari Takaramono” and the ending theme “Be for Me, Be for You” was released on February 28, 2002. A solo version was used for the first episode, and a duet with Yūji Ueda was used for the third episode. The North American and United Kingdom releases of Love Hina Again grouped the 3 parts together on one disc and were released on September 2, 2003 and January 7, 2008 respectively.
After the end of the television series, Love Hina Final Selection was released, containing a summary of the series and “Love Live Hina”, a live concert featuring all of the main cast members.
The anime was later used as the source for a film comic, Love Hina Anime Comics, which told the anime story in comic form using stills from the show as the comic panels. The anime Comics series follows the story of the television series, unaired 25th episode, and the Xmas and Spring specials and each volume contains 3 exclusive trading cards. The film comics also contain anime production info.

Keitaro Urashima

is a 19/20-year-old second-year ronin studying to enter Tokyo University. As a child, the young Keitaro made a promise with a girl, based on a story the children overheard that two people who love each other will live “happily ever after” if they enter ‘Todai’. Keitaro is set on gaining entrance to Todai to fulfill the promise he made to his childhood friend, even though he cannot properly remember either her name or her face. Later, in volume 13, it is revealed that Todai may not even refer to Tokyo University after all.

After failing to pass the entrance exams on his second attempt Keitaro’s parents seem either unwilling, or unable, to let him continue living at home while he studies. He then receives a call from his grandmother. As a result, he travels to “Hinata Inn”, a hotel owned by his grandmother to find a place to stay and study. Following a misunderstanding where the residents believe him to be a burglar and peeping tom, Keitaro discovers the hotel is now a female-only dormitory.

To compound the confusion, Keitaro’s Aunt Haruka mistakenly assumes he has passed the entrance exams and is already a Todai student; consequently the residents agree he can stay. When he fails to correct her and is discovered to be lying, he is forced to leave until Haruka announces that the deeds to the inn have been transferred to Keitaro by his grandmother: Keitaro is, in fact, the new landlord.

Naru Narusegawa 

is a 17-year-old, just about to graduate from high school, and a resident of the Hinata Inn. She is very intelligent, having placed top in the nation in the college practice entrance exams at their cram school. She is popular, beautiful but constantly tries to hide this as she studies to gain entrance to Todai. However, she has an extremely fiery temper and has a tendency to inflict violent physical punishment (mostly on Keitaro). She arrived at the Hinata Inn as a result (she believes) of her friendship with Kitsune, who introduced her to Granny Hina. At that stage she does not remember staying at the Hinata Inn as a very young child.

Of all the girls at the Hinata Inn, she is most often the unwilling and unwitting victim of Keitaro’s clumsiness, which often results in her ending up naked, partially clothed, or placed in any number compromising positions. Keitaro invariably suffers as a result.

Despite initially taking a (literally) violent dislike to Keitaro, she comes to develop very strong feelings for him. The main part of her character arc is that she has great difficulty in admitting these feelings, both to herself, to the hopeless Keitaro and to the world in general. Due to this she often becomes annoyed or irritated with Keitaro when she believes he is not taking things seriously. Naru had repeatedly denied having feelings for Keitaro even when asked. Naru while speaking to Mutsumi has said “What could you possibly see in a guy like that? You probably don’t know this Mutsumi-san but he’s clumsy, stupid, and a total pervert that has no redeeming qualities whatsoever!”. She also says to Kanako she would definitely spy on him or sabotage any dates he did get but finds the idea of dating him herself disgusting. This comment and similar situations are played for laughs. When they do date, she hits Keitaro occasionally.. Like Keitaro, she strives to get into Tokyo University for two reasons: the first is a promise she made to her one-time tutor (and object of an enormous crush) Noriyasu Seta, the second is the dimly recalled promise made to someone whose name and face she cannot remember.