Browsed by
Month: September 2019

Manga Monday- Barakamon

Manga Monday- Barakamon

Barakamon is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Satsuki Yoshino. It started serialization in Square Enix’s Gangan Online February 2009 issue. The story follows Seishu Handa, a calligrapher who moves to the remote Goto Islands off the western coast of Kyushu, and his various interactions with the people of the island. An anime adaptation by Kinema Citrus aired in Japan between July and September 2014. Funimation has licensed the series for streaming and home video release. In February 2014, Yen Press announced they have licensed Barakamon for English release in North America.

A spin-off manga series Handa-kun started serialization in the November 2013 issue of Square Enix’s Monthly Shonen Gangan magazine. An anime television adaptation by Diomedéa aired in Japan between July and September 2016.

Manga

Barakamon began serialization in Square Enix’s Gangan Online February 2009 issue. The first tankōbon volume was released on July 22, 2009; twelve volumes have been released as of September 22, 2014. It was announced in the seventeenth volume that the manga would be ending with the release of the eighteenth volume in December 2018. The series was licensed by Yen Press in February 2014, who released the first volume on October 28, 2014.

A spin-off/prequel manga, titled Handa-Kun, written and illustrated also by Satsuki Yoshino, started serialization in Square Enix’s Monthly Shonen Gangan in the November 2013 issue. It focuses on Seishu’s life as a high school student, six years prior to Barakamon. The first tankōbon volume was released June 21, 2014; four volumes have been released as of August 12, 2015. The spin-off ended in the Monthly Shōnen Gangan magazine’s July 2016 issue, which was scheduled for release on June 11, 2016.

Plot

Seishu Handa is a professional calligrapher, despite his young age. When the elderly curator of an exhibition criticizes his calligraphy for being too unoriginal (“like a textbook”), Seishu gets angry and punches him. Because of this, his father sends him off for a retreat on Goto Island, near Kyushu. There, he meets the colorful villagers, interacts with them, and begins to find his own style.

The title of the series means “energetic/cheerful one” in the local provincial Goto Islands’ dialect. The first episode is also called “Barakakodon/ばらかこどん” which means “energetic/cheerful kid”, which refers to Naru Kotoishi, a very hyperactive kid that comes into Handa’s life.

The story of prequel spin-off Handa-kun is about the hilarious high school days of the calligraphy genius, Seishu Handa, who was also protagonist of Barakamon.

 

Film Friday- Figure 17

Film Friday- Figure 17

Figure 17 – Tsubasa & Hikaru is a Japanese anime television series animated at OLM, Inc. and directed by Naohito Takahashi. The series featured character designs by Yuriko Chiba and music by Toshihiko Takamizawa (of the rock band The Alfee). The series is unusual due to it having an hour time slot per episode (46 minutes of actual episode) rather than the standard half hour time slot.

Plot

The anime covers a small portion of the life of the timid, shy, Tsubasa Shiina, a grade schooler who is forced to move to Hokkaidō from Tokyo with her father as he pursues his dream of becoming a baker in the aftermath of her mother’s death. At her new school, she is so shy and unsociable that her classmates ignore her at best, and abuse her inability to defend herself at worst.

Shortly after the two begin to settle in, an alien spaceship comes crashing down to earth in the forest behind her house. Stumbling across the ship with her dog, Tsubasa discovers the pilot, unconscious and wounded, and a monster who is trying to kill him. When the monster attacks, the alien wakes and tries to fight off the monster. Tsubasa, in her fright, runs for the ship to hide from the monster. The monster quickly takes care of the alien, seemingly killing him and in the process releasing him from some sort of transformation, and then tries to reach into the ship to get at Tsubasa.

In its effort to reach her, the monster accidentally cracks a mysterious container, the contents of which leak out onto the floor next to Tsubasa. Moments later, the liquid converges upon her and transforms her into what appears to be a young teenage equivalent of the form the man had possessed while fighting the monster. With the aid of this mysterious ‘power-up’, Tsubasa is able to defeat the monster, though doing so is somewhat accidental on her part.

When the battle is over, instead of simply reverting to her usual form, Tsubasa finds that the strange substance has turned into a near-perfect copy of herself on separation. This new girl introduces herself, claiming the name Hikaru. The alien awakens, but does not transform into the appearance he had on Tsubasa’s arrival at his ship. Together, all three return to Tsubasa’s house and stay the night in her room.

The next day the man introduces himself as D.D. -an alien- and explains that he was transporting the seeds of a monster called a Maguar, when suddenly one of the seeds hatched and attacked him, forcing him into a crash landing on Earth. Unfortunately, the Maguar that Tsubasa defeated was only 1 of 6 that he had been transporting, and D.D. explains that the other 5 have escaped the ship and are each scattered somewhere throughout Hokkaidō.

He tells the girls that he needs them to help him destroy the remaining 5 Maguar since the atmosphere of the earth has enhanced both Hikaru- who is a form of combat suit known as a Figure- and the Maguar in a similar way, while he waits for reinforcements.

To facilitate the problem of suddenly having a twin that no one knows about, D.D. decides to modify the memories of Tsubasa’s father, making him believe that he had twin daughters all along, and that Hikaru was simply living elsewhere with an aunt. D.D. proceeds to monitor the Maguar from his ship, while Tsubasa and Hikaru live together at Tsubasa’s house, go to school together at Tsubasa’s school, fight together as Figure 17 against the Maguar, and essentially become siblings in a more emotional sense.

Each episode consists of about 35–40 minutes of Tsubasa’s & Hikaru’s school life, and is typically concluded by about 5–10 minutes of Maguar fighting. The main point of this series is more about Tsubasa growing up and learning how to cope with life events- such as the loss of her mother and her familiar environment- than the alien-monster fighting which is present throughout each episode. The plot is driven as much by Tsubasa learning from Hikaru and her experiences with her new sister at school as it is by the presence of the Maguar, and there tends to be less cross-interference of mundane and fantastic life than is typical of ‘magical girl’ type anime.

Manga Monday- Figure 17

Manga Monday- Figure 17

Figure 17 – Tsubasa & Hikaru is a Japanese anime television series animated at OLM, Inc. and directed by Naohito Takahashi. The series featured character designs by Yuriko Chiba and music by Toshihiko Takamizawa (of the rock band The Alfee). The series is unusual due to it having an hour time slot per episode (46 minutes of actual episode) rather than the standard half hour time slot.

Media

Anime

Bandai Visual distributed the series on DVD in Japan in single-episode volumes, totaling 13 volumes. It was licensed in North America by Media Blasters (under the AnimeWorks label) and released in six DVD volumes from 2003 to 2004, as well as a boxed set in 2005. This version was also licensed in Australia and New Zealand by Madman Entertainment.

Manga

A manga adaptation of the series was illustrated by Guy Nakahira and published in the magazine Dengeki Daioh. Spanning only two volumes, the adaptation is considerably shorter than the TV series, condensing most of the series’ storyline, removing some of the supporting characters and shortening the fight scenes to only a few pages. The manga was licensed in North America and translated in English by ADV Manga.

Novel

A novelization of the series was penned by screenplay writer Shoji Yonemura with illustrations by character designer Yuriko Chiba and published by Dengeki Bunko.

Soundtrack

The series’ soundtrack, released by Lantis, consists of the background music. The opening and ending themes are not available on this disc. In addition, an image album was released, featuring songs performed by Akiko Yajima and Fumiko Orikasa.

Film Friday- Ai Shite Knight

Film Friday- Ai Shite Knight

Ai Shite Knight is a shōjo manga created in the early 1980s by Kaoru Tada. An anime version of the story in 42 episodes was also produced in 1983-1984 by Toei Animation. A live action adaptation was also produced.

Anime

The anime version of “Ai Shite Knight” was produced by Toei Animation in 1983-1984, for a total of 42 episodes directed by Osamu Kasai, a veteran Toei director. The “Ai Shite Knight” anime presents some significant changes in the storyline and modifications in the characters’ stories, and covers only one part of the story narrated by Tada in the manga. It was developed to target a younger audience than that of the manga with some aspects toned down and simplified.

Famous voice actress and pop idol Mitsuko Horie provided the voice of Yakko in the anime. Isao Sasaki was the voice of Go, Katsuji Mori of Satomi, Takeshi Aono of Shige-San, and Yūko Mita of Hashizo. Masa Amamori provided the voice of Juliano. Mitsuko Horie also sang “Koi wa Totsuzen”, the song featured in the opening credits of each episode.

Characters

  • Yaeko (Yakko) Mitamura
Yaeko (Yakko) (born September 15) is 18 years old at the beginning of the story. Yakko works at her father’s okonomiyaki restaurant “Mambo” in Osaka as well as attending evening classes at the university. Yakko is a romantic and a little naive, and she is flattered by the attention paid to her by one of the regular customers of her father’s restaurant, handsome and long-haired Satomi Okawa. One day she casually meets two people that will change her life: Go Kato and his little brother Hashizo. Yakko soon discovers that Go and Satomi are friends and both members of an emerging rock band, “Bee Hive”. She is attracted to them both but soon realizes she will have to make a choice between them. She becomes Go’s girlfriend, although his career as a musician causes more than one problem for their relationship.
  • Go Kato
is the lead singer of “Bee Hive” and a student at the university. He lives with his little brother Hashizo in a small apartment and is trying to become a professional and successful musician. He is cocky but charming and has a reputation of being a playboy. However, when he falls in love with Yakko, he becomes totally devoted to her, although he has to struggle with juggling his musical career and romantic relationship.
Even though Isao Sasaki is a singer, Go’s songs are actually sung by Ai Takano in the anime.
  • Hashizo Kato
Hashizo’s real name is Hideki, but he was given the name “Hashizo” by his brother Go when he went to live with him after the death of his parents. Hashizo is Go’s half-brother, being the son of Go’s father and his mistress. After their death in car crash, Go decided to look after his baby brother although still very young himself, and they have been living together ever since. Hashizo is a very responsible little boy and, because of Go’s career as a musician, he spends a lot of time alone with his best friend, the cat Juliano. When he meets Yakko, he becomes very attached to her, and the “Mambo” becomes his second home.
  • Satomi Okawa
Satomi is Go’s best friend and the keyboard player for “Bee Hive”; he comes from a wealthy family and is an incredibly talented musician. Opposite to Go, he is calm and more introverted. He is also a university student and gives private keyboard lessons in his spare time. He falls in love with Yakko even before Go does, and when he finds out that Go is also after Yakko, he leaves the band for some time. He finally realizes that Yakko has chosen Go, and returns to the band. He helps Yakko and Go through difficult times as a good and faithful friend.

 

Wednesday News- September 18, 2019

Wednesday News- September 18, 2019

Fairy Fencer F: Advent Dark Force Switch Game Gets Physical Release This Winter- https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2019-09-17/fairy-fencer-f-advent-dark-force-switch-game-gets-physical-release-this-winter/.151188

Danganronpa Manga’s Takashi Tsukimi Launches New Manga on Thursday- https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2019-09-18/danganronpa-manga-takashi-tsukimi-launches-new-manga-on-thursday/.151241

Pokemon Sword/Shield Games Reveal New Pokemon Sirfetch’d- https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2019-09-18/pokemon-sword-shield-games-reveal-new-pokemon-sirfetchd/.151245

NHK Launches Inuyasha, Ranma 1-2 Creator Rumiko Takahashi Mega-Poll- https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/interest/2019-09-17/nhk-launches-inuyasha-ranma-1-2-creator-rumiko-takahashi-mega-poll/.151228

Funimation Adds Fairy Tail: Dragon Cry, Free! Anime Films- https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2019-09-17/funimation-adds-fairy-tail-dragon-cry-free-anime-films/.151224

Anime

  • The Case of Hana & Alice BD
  • Classroom of the Elite Essentials BD
  • Di Gi Charat Ultimate Collection BD
  • Initial D Theatrical Collection BD
  • Nobunagun Essentials BD
  • Phoenix Perfect Collection BD
  • Pokémon: Black and White 4-Movie Collection BD
  • Pokémon: Black and White 4-Movie Collection DVD
  • Super Lovers Complete Series Essentials BD

Manga

  • 20th Century Boys The Perfect Edition Graphic Novel (GN) 5
  • After the Rain GN 5
  • Ajin – Demi-Human GN 13
  • BEASTARS GN 2P
  • Breath of Flowers GN 2P
  • Cats of the Louvre GN
  • Children of the Whales GN 12
  • Danganronpa Another Episode: Ultra Despair Girls GN 1
  • Defying Kurosaki-kun GN 12 (Digital Only)
  • Devil’s Line GN 13 (Digital Only)P
  • Dorohedoro GN 23
  • Dragon Quest Monsters+ GN 4
  • Fairy Tail: Happy’s Heroic Adventure GN 1 (Digital Only)
  • The Great Cleric GN 2 (Digital Only)
  • Harem Days The Seven-Starred Country GN 10 (Digital Only)
  • The Ideal Sponger Life GN 3
  • If I Could Reach You GN 1
  • I Hear the Sunspot GN 4
  • I’m Standing on a Million Lives GN 3
  • Levius GN (hardcover)
  • Living-Room Matsunaga-san GN 6 (Digital Only)
  • Made in Abyss GN 7
  • Magical Girl Spec-Ops Asuka GN 7
  • No Guns Life GN 1
  • The Quintessential Quintuplets GN 10 (Digital Only)P
  • The Seven Deadly Sins GN 34
  • Shinobi Life GN 12 (Digital Only)P (Digital Only)
  • Somari and the Guardian of the Forest GN 3 (Digital Only)
  • Tokyo Alice GN 15 (Digital Only)
  • To the Abandoned Sacred Beasts GN 8-9 (Digital Only)
  • Uzaki-chan Wants to Hang Out! GN 1
  • The Way of the Househusband GN 1
  • Witch Craft Works GN 12 (Digital Only)

Other

  • Ai: The Somnium Files PS4, Switch, PC game
  • Amagi Brilliant Park Novel 7 (Digital Only)P (Digital Only)
  • The Combat Baker and Automaton Waitress Novel 1 (Digital Only)
  • How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom Novel 4
  • The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening Switch Game
  • The Master of Ragnarok & Blesser of Einherjar Novel 9 (Digital Only)
  • Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch Switch game
  • Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch Remastered PS4, PC game
  • Restaurant to Another World Novel 2
  • Restaurant to Another World Novel 3 (Digital Only)
  • Sega Genesis Mini console

 

Manga Monday- Ai Shite Knight

Manga Monday- Ai Shite Knight

Ai Shite Knight  is a shōjo manga created in the early 1980s by Kaoru Tada. An anime version of the story in 42 episodes was also produced in 1983-1984 by Toei Animation. A live action adaptation was also produced.

Plot summary

“Ai Shite Knight” is set in Osaka and tells the story of Yaeko “Yakko” Mitamura, an 18-year-old girl working in her father’s Okonomiyaki restaurant. One day Yakko meets a little boy named Hashizo and his odd cat Juliano. Hashizo had lost both parents when still a baby and has been brought up by his elder brother Go. Go Kato is the lead singer of the emerging rock band “Bee Hive.” When Yakko meets Go and his friend and “Bee Hive” member Satomi Okawa, an unexpected series of events and a tangled romance unfold.

The main narrative of “Ai Shite Knight” is essentially a love story, but has interesting and innovative elements introduced to it by Kaoru Tada, most notably the portrayal of the Japanese music scene in the early ’80s. In creating characters such as Go, Satomi and their band “Bee Hive”, Tada was inspired by well-known bands of the time such as “The Stalin”, “Novela”, “Primadonna” and “44Magnum.” Tada also plays with sexual provocation and sexual ambiguity, mainly embodied by the character of “Kiss Relish” vocalist Kazuma Kataoka/Sheila, although these elements were considerably toned down in the anime version of the story.

 

Film Friday- Dororo

Film Friday- Dororo

Dororo is a Japanese manga series from the manga creator Osamu Tezuka in the late 1960s. An anime television series based on the manga consists of 26 half-hour episodes that aired in 1969. It was also made into a live-action film in 2007. A 24-episode second anime television series adaptation by MAPPA and Tezuka Productions aired from January to June 2019.

During the late 1960s, manga featuring demons was popular among kids. Dororo was first serialized in Weekly Shōnen Sunday between August 27, 1967, and July 22, 1968, before being cancelled. Parallel to the anime broadcast the manga was then concluded in Akita Shoten’s Bōken’ō magazine.

Tezuka’s childhood memory of his friends pronouncing dorobō as dororo inspired the title of this work. In the live action movie series, the name is explained to be a southern term for Hyakkimaru, meaning “Little Monster”.

The anime series bears the distinction of being the first entry in what is now known as the World Masterpiece Theater series.

Anime

The first anime series was broadcast between April and September 1969. Unlike the manga, the anime version has a conclusive ending with Hyakkimaru slaying his father Daigo Kagemitsu. In 2008, Anime Sols began a crowd-funding project for official streaming of the show. Funding for the first half of the show reached its goal, and the funding continued for the second half. However, Anime Sols folded, and Discotek Media picked up the project and released it on DVD in 2016, including the show’s color pilot in the set.

A 24-episode second anime television series adaptation by MAPPA and Tezuka Productions was announced on March 2018. The series aired from January 7 to June 24, 2019 through Amazon. The anime aired on Tokyo MX, BS11, and Jidaigeki Senmon Channel. Kazuhiro Furuhashi directs the series, with Yasuko Kobayashi handling series composition, Satoshi Iwataki handling character designs, and Yoshihiro Ike composing the music. Twin Engine produces the series. The first opening theme “Kaen” is performed by Queen Bee, while the first ending theme “Sayonara Gokko” is performed by Amazarashi. The second opening “Dororo” is performed by Asian Kung-Fu Generation and the second ending theme “Yamiyo” is performed by Eve.

Characters

Characters and voice actors appearing in the anime and video game.

Hyakkimaru 
is a rōnin during the Sengoku period and the son of Kagemitsu and Oku Daigo. Due to a pact forged by his father with 48 sealed demons, the un-named baby was born malformed, limbless and without facial features or internal organs. The infant was set adrift in the river and was subsequently found and raised by Dr. Jukai who gave the child prostheses including a special blade grafted into his left arm forged out of vengeance to kill supernatural entities. The boy became nearly invincible as a result of the prostheses and healing magic. During his travels, he earned the name “Hyakkimaru” among other names for his inhuman nature.
Dororo 
is a young thief who joins Hyakkimaru in his travels and adventures. In the original manga and 1969 anime adaptation, Hyakkimaru learns that Dororo is female with the latter continuously insisting she is a boy, though this is because her parents raised her as one. In the 2019 version it is revealed earlier, though Hyakkimaru makes no note of it. Dororo’s bandit father Hibukuro was wounded by a samurai official and later died. Her mother froze to death while fleeing in the snow, but before she died she drew a map on Dororo’s back to locate money hidden by her father at Bone Cape.
Kagemitsu Daigo
Hyakkimaru’s father and Samurai in the Muromachi period, Lord of Ishikawa and vassal to the governor of Kaga Province. So that he might rule the land and protect it from the repeated famines, epidemics, droughts and disasters that plagued neighboring domains, he forged a pact with 48 sealed demons where each could obtain a piece of his newborn child’s body.
Tahōmaru Daigo
Younger brother of Hyakkimaru and the second son of Kagemitsu Daigo. Born after Hyakkimaru was abandoned.

 

 

 

Jukai 
A skilled doctor and surgeon who used healing magic and alchemical methods to create prostheses for the child who became Hyakkimaru.

 

 

Biwa Hōshi
An unnamed blind travelling monk and a biwa hōshi (lute priest). He is an excellent swordsman who carries a sword inside his biwa.
Mio
Hyakkimaru’s first love, a beautiful prostitute who took care of orphaned children. She died protecting the other children from a raid ordered by Kagemitsu. In the manga and first anime she dies before the action starts and therefore is seen only in flashbacks, but in the 2019 anime she shows up in person.
Itachi-no-Saigo
A bandit who betrayed Dororo’s father Hibukuro and sided with the authorities. He later kidnapped Dororo to get the map to find the money hidden by Hibukuro.
Nota
A puppy wearing a hat that travels with Hyakkimaru. Original anime character only and does not appear in the manga. Makes a cameo appearance in the first episode of the 2019 anime.

Wednesday News- September 11, 2019

Wednesday News- September 11, 2019

Review: The Twelve Kingdoms The Complete Series Blu-ray – https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/review/the-twelve-kingdoms/the-complete-series-blu-ray/.150674

Zenonzard The Animation Episode 1 Slated for January – https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/daily-briefs/2019-09-10/zenonzard-the-animation-episode-1-slated-for-january/.150941

Funimation to Screen One Piece Stampede Film in U.S., Canada This Fall – https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2019-09-10/funimation-to-screen-one-piece-stampede-film-in-u.s-canada-this-fall/.150948

Sword Art Online: Alicization – War of Underworld Anime Premieres on October 12 – https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/daily-briefs/2019-09-10/sword-art-online-alicization-war-of-underworld-anime-premieres-on-october-12/.150939

Review: My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! GN 1 – https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/review/my-next-life-as-a-villainess/all-routes-lead-to-doom/gn-1/.150736

Anime

  • The Book of Bantorra Complete Collection BD
  • Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu Classics BD
  • Full Metal Panic! The Second Raid Classics BD
  • Infini-T Force Complete Series BD
  • Lord of Vermilion: The Crimson King BD
  • My First Girlfriend is a Gal Essentials BDP

Manga

  • Arifureta – From Commonplace to World’s Strongest: Zero Graphic Novel (GN) 1P
  • Become You GN 1
  • The Brave-Tuber GN 1
  • Chio’s School Road GN 5
  • Edens Zero GN 4
  • Fate/Grand Order – mortalis:stella GN 1
  • Giant Killing GN 16P (Digital Only)
  • Hayate the Combat Butler GN 34
  • How NOT to Summon a Demon Lord GN 5
  • Inside Mari GN 6
  • King’s Game GN 4 (Digital Only)
  • The Knight Cartoonist and Her Orc Editor GN 2 (Digital Only)
  • Love Me, My Knight GN 4 (Digital Only)
  • Mizukagekusa GN 2 (Digital Only)
  • Mushoku Tensei: Roxy Gets Serious GN 2
  • My Boy GN 5
  • Pokémon Sun & Moon GN 5
  • Queen Bee GN 1 (Digital Only)
  • Red Riding Hood’s Wolf Apprentice GN 3 (Digital Only)
  • The Slime Diaries: That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime GN 2 (Digital Only)
  • Splatoon GN 7
  • The Tenth Prism GN 5 (Digital Only)
  • There’s a Demon Lord on the Floor GN 7
  • Tokyo Revengers GN 11 (Digital Only)
  • Yo-kai Watch GN 12P

Other

  • Cooking with Wild Game Novel 4 (Digital Only)
  • Daemon X Machina Switch Game
  • How NOT to Summon a Demon Lord Novel 10 (Digital Only)
  • Utawarerumono Zan PS4 Game

Manga Monday- Dororo

Manga Monday- Dororo

Dororo is a Japanese manga series from the manga creator Osamu Tezuka in the late 1960s. An anime television series based on the manga consists of 26 half-hour episodes that aired in 1969. It was also made into a live-action film in 2007. A 24-episode second anime television series adaptation by MAPPA and Tezuka Productions aired from January to June 2019.

During the late 1960s, manga featuring demons was popular among kids. Dororo was first serialized in Weekly Shōnen Sunday between August 27, 1967, and July 22, 1968, before being cancelled. Parallel to the anime broadcast the manga was then concluded in Akita Shoten’s Bōken’ō magazine.

Tezuka’s childhood memory of his friends pronouncing dorobō as dororo inspired the title of this work. In the live action movie series, the name is explained to be a southern term for Hyakkimaru, meaning “Little Monster”.

The anime series bears the distinction of being the first entry in what is now known as the World Masterpiece Theater series.

Dororo was first serialized in Weekly Shōnen Sunday between August 27, 1967 and July 22, 1968, before being cancelled. Parallel to the anime broadcast the manga was then moved and concluded in Akita Shoten’s Bōken’ō magazine, from May to October 1969. Akita Shoten published the manga in four tankōbon volumes between August 12, 1971 and May 20, 1972. As part of its Osamu Tezuka Manga Complete Works edition, Kodansha compiled the manga in four volumes published between March 12 and June 12, 1981. Akita Shoten republished the manga in a three-volume deluxe edition between August 23 and October 18, 1990, and a new three-volume bunkobon edition under its Akita Bunko imprint on March 28, 1994.

In 2008, Vertical Inc. released an English translation of Dororo in three volumes, published between April 29 and August 26. In 2009, it won the Eisner Award in the “Best U.S. Edition of International Material—Japan” division. In 2012, Vertical republished the manga in a single volume edition on March 20.

A remake manga illustrated by Satoshi Shiki entitled Dororo to Hyakkimaru-den started in the December issue of Akita Shoten’s Champion Red released on October 19, 2018. The first tankōbon volume was published on April 19, 2019.

Plot

Dororo revolves around a rōnin named Hyakkimaru and young orphan thief named Dororo  during the Sengoku period. The rōnin was born malformed, limbless and without facial features or internal organs. This was the result of his birth father daimyō Kagemitsu Daigō forging a pact with 48 sealed demons so that he might rule the land and increase its wealth and prosperity. In return, he promised the demons anything that they wanted which belonged to him. This enabled them to roam free and commit atrocities along the countryside.

After his mother Oku was forced to set him adrift on the river, lest he be killed by his father, the infant was subsequently found and raised by Jukai-sensei, a medicine man who used healing magic and alchemical methods to give the child prostheses crafted from the remains of children who had died in the war. The boy became nearly invincible against any mortal blow as a result of the prostheses and healing magic. Grafted into his left arm was a very special blade that a traveling storyteller presented to Jukai-sensei, believing it was fated to be within his possession given that ever since the boy had been discovered, the doctor had been visited by goblins. As revealed in a short tale about the blade’s origin, the blade had been forged out of vengeance to kill goblins as well as other supernatural entities.

After the sensei was forced to send him on his way because he was attracting demons, the young man learned from a ghostly voice of the curse that had been set upon him at birth and that by killing the demons responsible he could reclaim the stolen pieces of his body and thus regain his humanity. Across his travels, he earned the name “Hyakkimaru” among other names for his inhuman nature. On one such hunt of a demon, Hyakkimaru came across a young orphan thief named Dororo who thereafter travels by his side through the war-torn countryside. When Hyakkimaru met Dororo, he had already killed 15 demons.

Throughout their journey, Hyakkimaru killed 6 more demons, bringing the total to 21. Along the way, Hyakkimaru learns that Dororo was hiding a big secret. Dororo’s father, Bandit Hibukuro, hid money he saved up on his raids on Bone Cape to later be distributed to the people squeezed dry by the samurai. Itachi, a bandit who betrayed Hibukuro and sided with the authorities, crippled Hibukuro. Hibukuro escaped with limping legs, along with his wife and young Dororo. Hibukuro dies trying to let his family escape. Fearing that she will die, Dororo’s mother prayed to Buddha and, with her blood, drew the map that will lead him to Bone Cape. Three days later, she froze to death.

Itachi kidnapped Dororo and used the map on his back to lead them to Bone Cape. A mysterious boatman ferried them to the Cape but he had two demons sharks with him. One of the sharks ate half of Itachi’s bandits while the other shark left with the boatman. However, Dororo and the remaining bandits managed to kill the shark. When the boatman and the second shark returned, Dororo was able to separate the boatman and the shark. Hyakkimaru arrived to stab the shark in one of its eyes, but It escaped. They held the boatman prisoner and then they landed on Bone Cape.

The boatman told the thirsty bandits of a spring not too far from their camp and they went to drink, leaving Itachi, Dororo, the boatman and Hyakkimaru. Dororo later found their corpses and blood leading to the half-blind shark. Hyakkimaru killed the shark and the boatman, then recovered his real voice. Itachi went to search for the money but only found a letter from Hibukuro saying that he hid it somewhere else. The Magistrate arrived under the pretense of getting rid of the bandits but actually came for the treasure. Hyakkimaru, Dororo, and Itachi kill them, but Itachi was left for dead. Hyakkimaru and Dororo continued on their journey.

Sometime later Hyakkimaru learns that his father, Kagemitsu Daigo, was possessed by the 48 demons, and went to slay him. Things were going badly on the Daigo clan’s land and the citizens were forced to build a fort for him. The slaves were planning a rebellion but one of the slaves told Kagemitsu of their plans and he was prepared. His archers shot and killed many slaves and the remainder hid in a tunnel they had built under the fort.

Hyakkimaru left Dororo and ran into the fort. Dororo joined the slaves in their ambush, but Kagemitsu Daigo’s soldiers caught Dororo. To prove his loyalty, Kagemitsu told Hyakkimaru to kill Dororo. Hyakkimaru acted as if he was about to kill Dororo but turned around and threw his sword into the dark stabbing the physical manifestation of the 48 demons, however, some of them managed to escape. The slaves charged through the tunnel and attacked Kagemitsu ‘s soldiers. Kagemitsu, weak because of the slain demons, escaped with his wife Oku.

After he regained his eyes, Hyakkimaru figured out that Dororo is female, though Dororo rejects the notion and refers to herself as a boy despite Hyakkimaru’s insistence to act more feminine. This is in part due to Dororo being raised as a boy by her parents in order to be tough. Hyakkimaru also wanted Dororo to fight with the farmers against those in power because Dororo’s father was a farmer. Hyakkimaru gave his sword to Dororo, the one that she had desired throughout the series. Hyakkimaru planned to continue his journey alone, agreeing to meet Dororo again when Hyakkimaru’s body was whole. They parted, with Dororo crying at the doors. It wasn’t until 50 years later when the last of the 48 demons was slain.

 

Film Friday- K-On!

Film Friday- K-On!

A 13-episode anime adaptation produced by Kyoto Animation aired in Japan between April and June 2009. An additional original video animation (OVA) episode was released in January 2010. A 26-episode second season, titled K-On!! (with two exclamation marks), aired in Japan between April and September 2010, with an OVA episode released in March 2011. An animated film based on the series was released in Japan on December 3, 2011. Bandai Entertainment had licensed the first season until their closure in 2012. Sentai Filmworks has since re-licensed the first season, in addition to acquiring the rights to the second season and film. The title of the series comes from the Japanese word keiongaku, which means popular music. K-On! has achieved strong sales in Japan, and by 2011 gross revenues had reached over ¥15 billion.

Anime series

A 13-episode anime adaptation directed by Naoko Yamada, written by Reiko Yoshida, and produced by Kyoto Animation aired between April 3 and June 26, 2009 on TBS in Japan. The episodes began airing on subsequent networks at later dates which include BS-TBS, MBS, and CBC. The TBS airings are in 4:3 ratio, and the series began airing in widescreen on BS-TBS on April 25, 2009. Seven BD/DVD compilation volumes were released by Pony Canyon between July 29, 2009 and January 20, 2010. An additional original video animation (OVA) episode was released with the final BD/DVD volumes on January 20, 2010. The BD/DVD volumes contained extra short anime titled Ura-On!.

The series later began airing on Japan’s Disney Channel from April 2011. Animax has aired the anime in Hong Kong, Thailand, and Taiwan. Both an English-subtitled and English-dubbed version by Red Angel Media began airing on March 16, 2010 on Animax Asia. At their industry panel at Anime Expo 2010, anime distributor Bandai Entertainment announced that they have acquired K-On! for a DVD and Blu-ray Disc release, with Bang Zoom! Entertainment producing an English dub for the show. The series was released over four volumes in standard and limited editions for each format starting on April 26, 2011. Bandai released the full first season on DVD under their “Anime Legends” line on February 7, 2012. Manga Entertainment released the series in the UK in individual DVD volumes during 2011, and in a complete DVD of the first season on April 30, 2012. A planned BD box set release in 2012 was cancelled. Sentai Filmworks has licensed the first season and re-released the series on DVD on September 23, 2014. Sentai also re-released the series on Blu-ray on September 1, 2015.

It was displayed on screen at the Let’s Go live concert in Yokohama, Japan on December 30, 2009 that a second season would be produced. The second season, titled K-On!! (with two exclamation marks), aired with 26 episodes on TBS in Japan between April 7 and September 28, 2010. An additional OVA episode was released with the final BD/DVD volumes on March 16, 2011. As with the first season, the BD/DVD volumes contained extra short anime titled Ura-On!!. This season has also aired on Animax Asia starting October 20, 2010. Sentai Filmworks licensed the second season and released the series on DVD and Blu-ray in two boxsets released on June 19, 2012 and August 28, 2012 respectively. The series continues using the English dub cast from the previous season.

Main characters

Yui Hirasawa
is the lead guitarist and split vocalist of the Light Music Club who plays a Heritage Cherry Sunburst Gibson Les Paul Standard electric guitar (before she knew how to play the electric guitar, the only instrument she knew how to play was the castanets) that she nicknames “Gīta”. She does not get good grades in school (though when properly coached, she can achieve astounding results) and is easily distracted by trivialities (mainly those deemed cute and adorable). Yui is clumsy and easily spaces out most of the time; as a result, she can be forgetful and is sometimes oblivious to the situation around her. Yui has shoulder-length, brown hair (a little longer than Ritsu’s) which she accessorizes with two yellow hair clips, and brown eyes. She takes a huge liking for any kind of food (though she never gains weight, which is greatly envied by Mugi, Mio, and Sawako). She has a younger sister named Ui, who is very mature and acts as the “older sister” of Yui, taking care of her and keeping her in line. Yui works extremely hard to get better at playing guitar. During performances, Yui plays with amazing energy and joy which usually results in great response from the audience.
As a musician, Yui has absolute pitch—she can tune her guitar perfectly without a tuner, which greatly impresses Azusa, who has played the guitar much longer than Yui. She has a very easy-going nature, but has incredible focus and retention when she has a clear goal in sight; unfortunately, this is limited to only one subject at a time, and her other skills deteriorate quickly (for example, Yui is at one point pressed to make up failing test scores, and she quickly brings her math skills up to par at the expense of her guitar knowledge). Despite all of this, Yui is still devoted to her band and will always practice hard enough for the club. At school, she has become quite admired for her great voice. However, she is known to forget her lyrics mid-performance as well as overdoing things, making her unable to perform sometimes. Mio was the lead vocalist at first, since Yui could not play the guitar and sing at the same time. Yui is also known to write childish lyrics as Ui has assisted her in creating them.
Mio Akiyama
is the bassist, songwriter, and split vocalist for the light music club. She is a shy girl who is in the light music club. She plays a left-handed, 3-Color Sunburst Fender Jazz Bass with a tortoiseshell pickguard, though is shown playing a Fender Precision Bass in the first manga volume. She uses D’Addario EXL160M medium bass strings. Her bass is given the name Elizabeth later in the anime. While she originally intended to join the literary club, she was forced into the light music club by her childhood friend and the club’s president/drummer, Ritsu. She gets excellent grades in school and is often mature and strict especially where Ritsu is involved; her weakness is the horrific; she is often incapacitated with fear when stories involving ghosts, blood, injuries, haunted houses, barnacles or other disturbing topics come up. She also has a fear of being in the spotlight and gets embarrassed easily, and is often subject to teasing from Ritsu and Sawako, their club adviser and eventual third-year homeroom teacher. Mio has long, straight black hair and gray eyes (that are angled slightly more than the other characters). She cites that she chose bass since it is not the center of attention in the band, unlike the guitarist. Mio is more technical when it comes to music, and Yui often comes to her when she is in need of more guitar tutorials.
Mio is the split vocalist of the band, though given her dislike of being center stage, she tries to avoid taking the lead vocal if possible, generally singing if Yui is unable to. She writes most of the songs, although they usually feature some odd and overly girlish lyrics like “Light and Fluffy Time”. As she is left-handed, she becomes entranced whenever she sees left-handed instruments because of their rarity. After their first live performance, the attractive Mio gained a huge fan following (in no small part due to an unfortunate accident that occurred at the end of the show), led by an infatuated former student council president. Also resulting from her sudden popularity, most of her classmates voted that she portray Romeo in their class play. Mio comes to greatly enjoy her time at university as she encounters many new experiences. She is also able to overcome some of her shyness and make new friends such as Sachi and Ayame.
Ritsu Tainaka
is the self-proclaimed president of the light music club and the leader of Hokago Tea Time who plays a yellow Rick Marotta Signature Yamaha Hipgig drum kit (with an add-on floor tom in the opening credits only) combined with a cymbal set from Avedis Zildjian, though is shown playing a white Yamaha Absolute Series drumkit in the anime’s closing credits. She has an ambiguous yet upbeat personality, much like Yui, but often has trouble remembering important club activities and announcements and gets constantly rebuked by Mio and Nodoka for forgetting to send in important forms concerning the club. Ritsu is cheerful, often likes making jokes and is sarcastic most of the time. She is skilled at brainstorming ideas that earn money for the club. Ritsu has shoulder-length, brown hair, with her bangs pulled back with a yellow hairband, and gold-colored eyes. She wears her school jacket open. She says she chose to play the drums because they are “cool”, but later admits that she has trouble playing instruments which involve intricate finger movements such as the bass, guitar and keyboard.
She is Mio’s childhood friend and will often take the opportunity to tease her whenever Mio is cowering from something. She is also known to become easily jealous of Mio’s other high school friends, even going as far as spying on Mio when on outings with them. Ritsu is always on the go and will stop at nothing for the success of the light music club. Despite her rough mannerisms and speech, she gets cast as Juliet by the majority of her classmates in their class play rendition of Romeo and Juliet and, in the end, manages to act like a proper girl. In the anime, she states her favorite drummer is Keith Moon of The Who. She is skilled at cooking. She has a younger brother named Satoshi.
Tsumugi Kotobuki
Tsumugi, often referred to as Mugi  by her friends, is a wealthy Kansai girl with a gentle and sweet personality who plays a Korg Triton Extreme 76-key keyboard, though she is also seen playing a Korg RK-100 keytar in the closing credits of the first season, and a Hammond organ in the closing credits of the second season. She originally intended to join the choir club, but joins the light music club instead after receiving an invitation and encouragement from both Mio and Ritsu. Tsumugi is considered a piano prodigy since she has been playing the piano since she was four and has experience in winning various piano contests. Tsumugi has written several songs for the light music club, as well as singing the back vocals in several other songs. She is a good student and has long, pale blonde hair, blue eyes, unusually large eyebrows that apparently run in her family, and a fair complexion that the other characters do not have, but she does not get sunburned. She however, has great difficulty playing electric guitar.
She is the daughter of a company president, and her family has several villas in various places around Japan (and even one in Finland). Since her father also owns a maid café, she often brings confectionery and an assortment of sweets and pastries to the club room, and she diligently makes tea with a tea set which is kept in their club room. Despite her wealth, she is fascinated by and finds joy in “normal” activities, such as ordering fast food, sharing french fries with her club mates, holding down part-time jobs and haggling over prices. Tsumugi displays a rebellious streak occasionally, diverting from her normally well-behaved and mature demeanor to the surprise of the others. She also displays a childlike eagerness from time to time, and possesses unusually high strength, being able to effortlessly carry around her own keyboard, Ritsu’s drums, amplifiers, and at one point beating an arm-wrestling game in an arcade.
Tsumugi is often entranced by the sight of two girls interacting closely together, sometimes imagining something more risqué in her head. While a lot of things do not bother her, she is fairly conscious about her weight (just like Mio), and she gets a bit anxious when her family’s staff start spoiling her friends during villa visits. She later begins learning how to play the guitar from Azusa. Tsumugi has a childhood friend several years younger than her named Sumire Saitō, who is a daughter of the family that serves the Kotobuki household. Tsumugi grew up home schooled, and therefore spent very little time in the outside world. Because of their close friendship, Sumire would purchase everyday items for Tsumugi, like manga that she was not normally allowed to see. Tsumugi was rather taken by some of the yuri manga she received, which may have influenced her later perceptions about relationships. When Sumire started high school, Tsumugi wanted her to experience the light music club on her own, but due to Sumire’s shyness Tsumugi came up with the excuse of sending her to the club room to pick up the tea sets that had been left there and told Sawako when Sumire did join that it was okay to leave the tea sets there.
Azusa Nakano
is a student in the same year and class as Yui’s sister Ui, who joins the light music club and becomes the rhythm guitarist, playing a Fender Mustang electric guitar. She eventually names her guitar Muttan, as it is a Mustang. She is a self-proclaimed “novice” guitarist who has been playing the guitar since she was in the fourth grade, and her parents are working in a jazz band. She is more serious than the other girls, and does not like to admit how she really feels. She often finds herself bewildered by the tea parties and cosplaying aspects of the club, when she would rather just practice, and is curious about how the club is able to play so well despite their problems and lack of practice. However, she has a certain weakness for cakes and can be calmed down rather easily, sometimes by just being petted. She is constantly a victim of Yui’s physical affection and is nicknamed Azu-nyan after trying on a pair of cat ears and meowing (“nyan” being the equivalent of “meow” in the Japanese vocabulary). Despite this, Azusa is not too good with cats. Azusa has long black hair, which she wears in pigtails, and brown eyes. While Azusa is talented in guitar, she has trouble singing while playing unlike Yui and Mio.
In the band, she looks up to Mio the most due to her maturity and the fact that she is an experienced bassist, even trying to give Mio chocolate on Valentine’s Day. However, she sometimes unintentionally makes remarks concerning Mio’s weaknesses, such as her weight. She also finds Mugi very beautiful, and envies her hair and large eyes, and later starts teaching her how to play guitar when the two are alone in the club room. Since joining, Yui comes to her for advice on playing guitar, as well as maintenance. She gets a tan extremely easily, once during their time at the beach and another during a music festival (even after applying sunscreen). As a result, she frequently gets sunburned as well. She gets lonely very easily, and often worries that everyone in the club will leave her, as they are one year older and eventually will graduate. Due to this, the rest of the girls buy her a turtle to look after, naming it Ton.
Outside of the band, she often hangs out with Ui and Jun whenever the other girls are busy. When the others graduate, she becomes the new light music club president alongside Ui and Jun, who decide to join her. Together with two new members, Sumire and Nao, they form a new band called “Wakaba Girls”. During the Wakaba Girls’ first summer training camp Azusa reveals to Sawako her belief that she is unable to act like a proper president for the light music club; however, Sawako suggests that there is no proper way to define what it means to be a president and that Azusa will do just fine. While on that same training camp Azusa is convinced by the others to become the band’s vocalist despite her prior reservations on the issue.