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Month: December 2019

Manga Monday- MÄR

Manga Monday- MÄR

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

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

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

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

Manga

MÄR is written and illustrated by Nobuyuki Anzai. The series was serialized in Shogakukan’s Weekly Shōnen Sunday from January 22, 2003 to July 19, 2006. The series was compiled into fifteen tankōbon volumes published by Shogakukan between May 17, 2003 and August 11, 2006.

In North America, the series was licensed for an English language release by Viz Media. The first volume was released on May 3, 2005 and the fifteenth on September 18, 2007.

A sequel titled MÄR Omega, written by Anzai but illustrated by Kōichirō Hoshino, was published in Weekly Shōnen Sunday from July 26, 2006 and June 27, 2007. It was compiled in four tankōbon volumes published between December 16, 2006 and August 10, 2007.

Plot

Ginta Toramizu is a 14-year-old junior high student from Tokyo who is portrayed as a typical video game geek and underachieving student who is a fan of fairy tales. One day and without warning, he finds himself summoned to the mysterious world of MÄR-Heaven which he has only seen before in his dreams and in his mother’s books. In this fairy tale world, Ginta’s physical weakness is replaced with superior physical strength, incredible stamina and endurance, and being able to see without his glasses.

Upon meeting a mysterious 16-year-old witch named Dorothy, Ginta is introduced to the powerful magical accessories and weapons called “ÄRM” (pronounced air-um). Dorothy plans to steal the mysterious ÄRM Babbo from a trap-guarded cave, and brings Ginta along to assist her, intrigued by his unusual strength and abilities. Babbo is revealed to be an extremely special and unique ÄRM, as he possesses a will of his own and the ability to speak. Displeased with the fact that Babbo is so cumbersome, Dorothy gives Babbo to Ginta instead taking the guardian arm that guarded the chest, departing with a warning that others will try to steal Babbo from him.

He continues on a journey of discovery, reveling in this new world. When he encounters the farmer Jack and his mother who are troubled by two werewolf brothers, he finds that he misses the real world. Ginta resolves to find a way to reach home while enjoying as much of MÄR as he can along the way with Jack journeying with him.

However, it is not long before Ginta learns that the world of MÄR-Heaven is not as peaceful as it seems when he is attacked by thieves wishing to steal Babbo. Upon meeting Alviss (who summoned him to MÄR-Heaven using a ÄRM known as the Gate Keeper Clown), he learns of the sinister “Chess Pieces” and how they had tried to take over MÄR-Heaven six years earlier. Alviss reveals that he summoned Ginta in order to gain assistance from an “other-worlder” in the upcoming war, as was done previously, and that Babbo originally belonged to one of the knights of the Chess Pieces.

Gaining both allies and enemies, the series follows Ginta as he opposes the Chess Pieces led by Chess Piece King Orb, Queen Diana and her servant Phantom.

MÄR Omega

The story started 6 years after the second War Games, about Kai, the adoptive son of an ÄRM smith from Harnau City in MÄR Heaven, who idolizes Ginta and Babbo for defeating Phantom at the end of the 2nd War Games. He always wants a good ÄRM for himself, which is often ridiculed by others since Kai possesses no potential whatsoever of magic power, much to his personal dislike, since at the time throughout MÄR-Heaven ÄRMs are already in wide use (especially a new type called fake ÄRMs, activated without the need of magic power), and Kai himself inherited a magic stone from his dead parents, a memento highly suggested his family’s relation to the sorcerer kingdom Kaldea. When Kai was delivering ÄRMs to another city, he walked past a mountain and suddenly got attacked by a remnant of the Chess Pieces. While searching for cover from the Chess Pieces’s wind Nature ÄRM, Kai jumped into a pond and woke up the most unthinkable underwater resident – Babbo. Using the ÄRM Kai defeated the Chess Piece, one amazing yet inexplicable feat: how was he, a normal boy, be able to fight with the ÄRM up til then can only be wielded only the warriors of legend, Ginta and Phantom.

Leaving the question hanging, the two returned to Kai’s city, only to find themselves in an even tighter situation: among those who came to admire Babbo, there are Kai’s fake ÄRM user friends, and they were all out to take Babbo – to bring it to a sinister mysterious figure who was watching them the whole time. When the emergency arose, Kai had no choice but to resort to his last option – put the magic stone he owned into Babbo, and forth reborn to the world of MÄR-Heaven the most powerful Guardian recognized, Gargoyle. Gargoyle easily defeated the guardians and returned their owners’ consciousness, but then it was Kai’s turn to face trouble with his ÄRM: he lost contact with Babbo inside Gargoyle, and the monster would have ravaged the whole town if not for the timely restraint from Alviss with his familiar 13 Totem Poles attack, allowing Kai enough time to regain synchronization with Babbo, returning him to normal.

Saving everyone no time to ponder on what had happened, the Cross Guard’s young warrior’s unexpected arrival brought an even more unexpected truth: those fake ÄRM all used so at their own ease didn’t, indeed, require a proper amount of magic power from the users, but it sucked from them a worse fuel – their life energy, and through that, their minds could be controlled like a puppet dancing to death. It has not yet been revealed to why people used the fake ÄRMs or who made the fake ÄRM, however, as the one controlling everyone took a sudden desperate move to seal the town except Alviss, Kai, Babbo and Kai’s female friend Elise, introducing himself. Although he was easily defeated by Kai and Alviss, the town couldn’t be returned, and for that they had to consult Caldia -birthplace of all ÄRMs and magic users.

In Caldia, they were welcomed by Dorothy and a new male character named Inga into the Grand Elder’s palace. All answers for their questions were ready, coming down to a legend descending the magic kingdom for 300 years: the fake ÄRMs were not actually the work of many sorcerers, but rather only one’s – the dark magician with infamy for his experiments of human mind manipulation, went by the name of Unwetter. Babbo – the Elder of Caldia in his time – confronted the man and succeeded in consigning him and his malicious creations into oblivion, just before Babbo himself died, transferring his soul into the ÄRM and erasing every memory related to that accident. It’s unknown for the Grand Elder himself, however, as to why the supposedly sealed fake ÄRMs were once again spread throughout MÄR-Heaven now, how the supposedly dead Unwetter could be revived, and what purpose would be served with the claiming of Babbo. Either way, until these riddles could be solved, Babbo would be taken into custody, which of course met with Kai’s disagreement.

Relented, the wizard postponed the deal with Babbo… only if Kai could prove himself worthy of wielding it, inside Dorothy’s training Dimension ÄRM with Inga’s witness. They were not disappointed, however, as when facing with the danger of death, Kai suddenly unleashed all his dormant magic power – which was so powerful that it did not only confirm his relation to the magic kingdom, but also suggested a direct blood connection to Babbo. No sooner had they discovered that than the fake ÄRM users presented themselves before Caldia, to continue the accomplishment of their objective: take Babbo back to their master Unwetter.

Kai and crew are able to fight them back with the assistance of Inga. Inga is a descendant of Unwetter and by following Caldia’s law he must seek Unwetter out and kill him. Kai then finds out that he truly is a descendant of Babbo. Kai, Inga, and Elise all volunteer to go and find Babbo’s magic stones which would restore his memories of the Grand Elder who fought fake Arms and Unwetter 300 years prior to the story. The three are sent to Luberia to start their quest where they are to be helped by Nanashi (Dorothy says she’ll help). Kai beats Atmos and saves MÄR-Heaven.

 

Film Friday- Kuroko’s Basketball

Film Friday- Kuroko’s Basketball

Kuroko’s Basketball, known in Japan as Kuroko no Basuke, is a Japanese sports manga series written and illustrated by Tadatoshi Fujimaki. The English rendering The Basketball Which Kuroko Plays also appears in the artwork of the Japanese version. It was serialized in Weekly Shōnen Jump from December 2008 to September 2014, with the individual chapters collected into 30 tankōbon volumes by Shueisha. It tells the story of a high school basketball team trying to make it to the national tournament.

By April 2014, Kuroko’s Basketball had 27 million copies in circulation. It was adapted into an anime television series by Production I.G that began airing in 2012, with a second season that began airing in October 2013 and a third season that began airing in January 2015. A sequel manga by Fujimaki titled Kuroko’s Basketball: Extra Game began serialization in Jump Next! on December 29, 2014. Viz Media has licensed the manga for publication in North America. An anime film adaptation of the Kuroko’s Basketball: Extra Game manga premiered in Japan on March 18, 2017. In December 2015 a stage play adaptation was announced, set to open on April 2016, followed by more stage adaptations.

Anime

An anime adaptation based on the manga is produced by Production I.G. The series premiered on April 7, 2012 and ended on September 22, 2012. On April 5, 2012, Crunchyroll announced that they would simulcast the anime as part of their spring lineup of anime titles. As of September 22, 2012, the anime ended with a total of 25 episodes. The second season premiered on October 6, 2013 and ended on March 29, 2014, also with 25 episodes. The third season premiered on January 10, 2015  and ended on June 30, 2015, with a total of 25 episodes. Three compilation films that compiled the anime series’ Winter Cup arc opened in Japan in 2016. The first compilation film opened on September 3, 2016, titled Winter Cup Compilation ~Shadow and Light~, the second compilation film opened on October 8, 2016, titled Winter Cup Compilation ~Beyond the Tears~, and the third compilation film opened on December 3, 2016, titled Winter Cup Compilation ~Crossing the Door~.

An animated film adaptation was announced at the KuroBas Cup 2015 event on September 20, 2015. The film, titled Kuroko’s Basketball The Movie: Last Game, will adapt the Kuroko’s Basketball: Extra Game manga. It was released in Japanese theaters on March 18, 2017. The staff and cast from the previous seasons returned to reprise their roles in the film.

Characters

Seirin High

Seirin High’s basketball team was founded only the year before the manga; despite this setbacks and only including freshmen, the team made it all the way to the final league in that year’s Inter-High school tournament. This year, the team’s notable newcomers include Tetsuya Kuroko, the main character of the manga, as well as Taiga Kagami.

Tetsuya Kuroko
He is the “phantom” sixth man of the “Generation of Miracles”(Teiko Middle School’s basketball team). Kuroko is Seirin’s secret weapon. Although he was an essential member of his middle school basketball team, unlike his former teammates, Kuroko is largely unknown. This is because he is so small, frail, unnoticeable, distressingly slow, and easy to miss. However, he is greatly respected by everyone. Kuroko capitalizes in the skill of misdirection, using himself as a relay to redirect his teammates’ passes to another free player and make virtually unstoppable steals, getting the ball to and between his teammates faster than opponents can react, while at the same time remaining “invisible” to his opponents. His near-invisibility makes him highly susceptible to on-court injuries however, and is not effective indefinitely. If he is left in play too long, opponents grow used to his misdirection tactics; as such, he must be placed on the bench at varying points in any match to prevent this. He mostly plays the position of a small forward based on defensive matchups and substitution strategies, but in recent chapters of the manga his position is listed as a questionmark. This is because Kuroko is difficult to place in one of the five basketball positions, his role in the team applies to none of those, but mostly as a pass-first point guard based on size and passing abilities but his dribbling and playcalling ability is not as advanced or polished as an average point guard. As revealed by Aomine and later in the Teiko arc, Akashi was the one who taught Kuroko his playing style. Also, his misdirection is inspired from the book “Techniques in Guiding Lines of Sight” and developed it due to his sharp observation skills. Because he has learned new skills like the “Phantom Shot” and the “Vanishing Drive”, his lack of presence wears out, because these skills require to hold the ball and the crowd turns their attention on the one who holds it. This the reason why Akashi didn’t teach him how to develop his basketball skills.[3] During the second season of the anime series and the eleventh volume of the manga, he developed a new technique, called the “Vanishing Drive”. Midorima explains the mechanics of the skill during Seirin’s second match against Touou; the move itself is basically a cross-diagonal move (a duck-in) to where the opponent’s eye field can’t see. Kuroko bends over in a specific angle at drives following a specific route, that the opponent’s eyes can’t follow. Kazuya Hara of Kirisaki Dai Ichi has speculated that Kuroko uses blinking to bypass the defense, but this has been proven wrong. The real Vanishing Drive is a collaboration with Kagami. Similar to Kuroko’s misdirection, Kagami draws the attention of the opponent to him, just for a second, and that makes it possible for Kuroko to pass his opponent successfully. This technique is effective enough to pass through the defenses of Midorima and Takao (who possesses the Hawk Eye). The only one so far who has beaten it, is Aomine. Because of the two’s mutual understanding about basketball, closing his eyes (making Kagami’s misdirection ineffective) and by following Kuroko’s breath, Aomine was able to crush down the Vanishing Drive. During the game against Tōō Academy, Kuroko performed his Ignite Pass Kai, a new, upgraded version of his Ignite Pass, which is a very powerful pass that pushes the ball at a blinding speed that it even flies past Aomine’s hand when he tried to block it. Midorima stated that the Ignite Pass Kai is much like a bullet being fired out of a gun. Kuroko’s special ability is the Misdirection Overflow, where when Kuroko’s misdirection runs out on him, his teammates have the ability to do the Vanishing Drive. This technique is specially created to decrease the accuracy of shots. However, when this happens Kuroko is just a regular member on the court without any special talents. He also is helped by Aomine on his shooting skills, creating a shooting style that uses misdirection- the Phantom Shot. The essence of this technique is to use the palm of his hand to thrust the ball forward, although this will mess up the shooting posture. Furthermore, because of the strange shooting position, the ball looks lower than a usual shot. Instead of shooting above one’s head, the Phantom Shot releases from the chest. The opponent naturally looks lower because of the ball’s position, so his view is limited. By following a fast release, Kuroko can shoot the ball through the opponent’s field of vision, like a floater with less arc, with the ball seemingly disappearing in thin air. Apart from his lack of presence, Kuroko acquired his own version of the Emperor Eye- the Quasi-Emperor Eye- that is different than Akashi’s in the sense that Kuroko’s Emperor Eye cannot predict the movements of his opponents (which Akashi’s Emperor Eye can), but rather the teammates whom he is familiar with. However, due to his long-term observation of his teammates and the trust he built up with them, his Quasi-Emperor Eye can predict movements one step ahead of Akashi’s. He also uses this to change his passing routes and his teammates passes if he sees the ball will be stolen. When Kagami reaches the Zone’s 2nd gate, the gatekeeper is none other than Kuroko himself. Kuroko respects but doesn’t like Midorima because of his way of thinking; Midorima also has similar feelings toward Kuroko. Kuroko considers himself a “Shadow”, whose goal is to help his “Light” achieve greatness. Kuroko calls Kagami “his Light”. He also has a tendency to speak and act completely deadpan, and a running gag involves his teammates, thinking they are alone, talking to themselves only for Kuroko to answer them, apparently having been in the area long before they arrived. However, despite his initially kind personality, he gets extremely furious at the sight of dirty play, when his teammates are already injured by foul methods in the Kirisaki Daiichi game. His aura changes so drastically, even Kagami got scared when he saw him get angry. When he gets angry, it gets very hard to beat him, as he is filled up with fighting spirit. Also, when the situation worsens, he seems to turn talkative.
Taiga Kagami
A naturally gifted basketball player, Kagami easily makes his way into Seirin’s starting line-up as a freshman power forward. He has been said to be equal to the Generation of Miracles, even some of the Miracles themselves. When he first returned to Japan, he was disappointed by its relatively low level of basketball skill compared to that in the United States. However, since starting high school, Kagami has been spurred on by his desire to compete with the “Generation of Miracles”. While he is a powerful all-around player, Kagami’s unique skill is his ability to jump at impressive heights, his jump is said to get higher and higher as a match progresses. This skill facilitates not only his most common move, the dunk, but also allows him to defend well against taller players. At, he has a poor shooting which forces him to rely on his jumping power to dunk. But as time progresses, he trained his left hand and significantly improved this, enabling him to pass the ball to Kiyoshi at the last second against Touou and win. When he makes a jumpshot, he also stays in the air longer than the blocker, making it almost unblockable. The drawback to this capability is that his body is still underdeveloped thus he often injures himself. Having trained extensively since the InterHigh school championships, he is capable of dunking from the free-throw line: a feat that put him on the same league as the Generation of Miracles. The result of his training is that he is able to jump high enough to touch the top of the backboard. He is also able to jump from far away in a difficult position and still be able to block a shot. Facing Touou a second time, Kagami displayed a never-before-seen skill: a high-level tactical battle. This is a very realistic simulation of a basketball one-on-one in one’s minds by reading his opponents subtle feints or moves. Kagami used this to play a simulation of a one-on-one against Aomine and accurately determined that he would lose, forcing him to pass the ball to Izuki and withdraw from his one-on-one against Aomine. Like many of the other developed characters, Kagami hosts a signature move. It is called Meteor Jam and was taught by the basketball coach he shared with Himuro in America, Alex Garcia. The technique possesses enough power to even penetrate through Murasakibara’s defense, however, the wrinkle to this technique is that it requires massive jumping power to throw the ball into the hoop and thus can only be executed in the Zone. As Kuroko has chosen Kagami as his new “Light”, Kagami is also bolstered by Kuroko’s techniques. Kuroko is the one normally to calm Kagami down, normally with hits or punches to get Kagami focused. Like Aomine, he also has the rare power to enter the “zone”. In this state, his speed, strength and jumping power are greatly augmented that he can keep up with Aomine, overpower Murasakibara who is stronger than him (even blocking his full-powered Thor’s Hammer) and leap even higher to block Himuro’s Mirage Shot. Kagami’s seemingly wild reflexes is compared to a tiger by other players. Apart from basketball, he is a great cook, and taught Riko how to cook curry when she came for his help. He is also a glutton and is able to eat at least five times a normal meal. It is worth noting that Kagami is the only Zone user to have entered it more than once in a match and the only player to have opened the Zone’s second gate, known as the “Direct Drive Zone”, the Zone’s true form. Schoolwork greatly contrasts Kagami’s well-polished basketball skills: it is seen that his grades in every subject are atrocious, including English, even though he has lived in America.
Junpei Hyūga
Captain of the Seirin team, Hyuuga is a clutch shooter, his capabilities escalating immensely when the team is in a pinch. Along with Hyuuga’s change in skill comes a change in personality; normally Hyuuga is a collected and calm individual, but when he isn’t, he becomes heated and rude. This is called “clutch time” and happens primarily when the match intensifies but he has been seen acting like this outside of games. He is the best shooter on the team, regularly making three-point shots throughout the course of a game. Prior to the addition of Kuroko and Kagami, he was one of the centerpieces of the Seirin team’s ‘run and gun’ play style, catching balls scooped by Kiyoshi near the net to shoot as three-pointers. He is also seen being able to shoot a three-pointer two meters from the three-point line. His special move is called “Barrier Jumper”, in which he takes a quick jab step away from the opponent and successfully make a jumpshot. The downside of this technique is that, when used repeatedly, the defender starts to adjust to its timing. Near the end of the 4th quarter of the Seirin vs Rakuzan match, he manages to perfectly copy Mibuchi’s “Earth Shot”. Notably, he is the only player in the series so far to receive a technical foul (for excessive complaining) and out of all the players in Seirin, he has the highest shooting success rate. Also, prior to the four fouls he received in the finals against Rakuzan, he is also the only player who has almost never been seen subbed out once. This is most probably due to him being the captain and the only shooting guard in the team. He is very big on respect for the seniors.
Shun Izuki
Acting as the team’s “control tower”, Izuki is always calm and collected. While he has no special physical abilities, he has the “Eagle Eye”, a mental skill that helps him visualize the court from any point of view and make accurate blind passes. Izuki’s special move is called Eagle Spear, in which he steals the ball from an opponent using his arm to knock it away in their blind spot. His Eagle Eye helps him in doing so, associated with his ability to think ahead before the opponent. His Eagle Eye has developed to the point that he can pass through Yosen High’s Eagle Wall and predict Hayama’s Lightning Dribble. However, his Eagle Eye has a blind spot unlike the Hawk Eye, which Mayuzumi takes advantage of. He loves puns, a running gag being that he makes them quite frequently much to the chagrin of his teammates.
Shinji Koganei
Considered a jack of all trades, master of none, Koganei is a fairly skilled all-rounder, having started playing basketball during his first year in high school. This is driven home when his coach denotes his special skill as ‘being able to shoot from any point on the court, with a so-so accuracy rate’; a decidedly normal ability. He serves as the sixth man of Seirin’s team, often coming off the bench for the other players, and has the most energetic personality out of all the players on the team. He is, however, quite intelligent, ranking in the top 20% of his class, though he does not excel in any particular subject. Players compare Koganei’s seemingly wild reflexes to that of a feral cat. He is the only non-prodigal player to possess this skill, having acquired it from his experience in playing tennis.
Rinnosuke Mitobe
A stalwart player, Mitobe is very quiet and reserved. Although he is never shown speaking (except for in VOMIC), Koganei seems to understand his gestures and expressions perfectly. A hard worker with excellent defensive skills, he is also an accomplished hook shooter. He lives in a small house with a very large family, and is tasked with making and serving breakfast. He was the team’s starting center while Kiyoshi was injured.

 

 

Satoshi Tsuchida 
While a regular member of the team in his first year, Tsuchida now sees little game-time due to the addition of Kuroko and Kagami. Good with rebounds, he is apparently not quite as skilled as the other regulars, but remains a key component of the old team’s playing style.

 

 

Teppei Kiyoshi 
The progenitor of Seirin’s basketball team and its former ace, Kiyoshi is the last of the original Seirin team members to be introduced, due to a hospitalization for a knee injury he received during a game. Rumored to be very capable, his preferred position is point guard, but since their team lacked any other player with the body size to play center, he offered to fill that hole. On Koganei’s suggestion, he tried to play both, despite the inherent impossibility. With big hands that allow him to palm the ball with ease, Kiyoshi possesses impressive ball-handling skills for a center (he has been seen successfully shooting a three-pointer during their match against Yosen), and an uncanny sense of timing that allows him to make a move, observe his opponents’ reaction, and then counter it in the last second, all in the blink of an eye. This ability is referred to as the Right of Postponement. Because of his large hands, he uses these for something entirely different: rebounding. Instead of jumping towards the ball with both hands, he has gained the ability to grab the ball with only one hand. This gives him the advantage of recovering the ball in the air quicker and with a longer extension. This technique is dubbed “Vice Claw” and it allows him to compete and beat taller players during rebounds. He has obtained this skill after strengthening his hand muscles by catching a big rock. He is renowned and respected by many players in the realm of high-school basketball, and is one of the few players to have held his own against the Generation of Miracles during their peak. While he is currently able to play, the knee injury he sustained during his freshman year was quite severe: formally speaking it required surgery, but the process would make him unable to play basketball for the rest of his high school career. He instead opted to rehabilitate without invasive procedures, though he would only be able to do so for one year at the most. Despite this setback, he vows to make the most of the time he has. Although Hyuuga thinks he is weird, he respects Kiyoshi greatly. Kiyoshi is the most optimistic of his teammates, often offering encouragement with a big smile.
Among high school basketball players, he is one of the “Five Uncrowned Kings”, a group of five prodigal players, though overshadowed by the Generation of Miracles, of similarly great prowess and skill. It was recently discovered that the only ones who can mirror the growth of the Uncrowned Kings are Hyuga and Izuki. Known for his stabilizing presence and extreme unpredictability due to the Right of Postponement, Kiyoshi is known as the “Iron-Heart”.
Riko Aida
the team’s coach, is a second-year student. One reason for her unique position as a student coach is her ability to immediately scan and evaluate the physical capabilities of players at a glance. She gained this ability from going to work with her father, who works as a sports trainer, and spending her time looking at the muscles of athletes and their related data. She is very devoted to her job as coach, so she diligently researches other teams to devise strategies against them. Riko even uses her father’s sports facilities for the team’s unique training, which eschews weights for activities like practicing in the pool and drilling basics. Nevertheless, while extremely intelligent, her emotions are often flighty, switching from intensely heated to happily nonchalant at the drop of a hat. Her punishments on her team are very harsh. She is a very bad cook, almost always adding supplements in the team’s dishes.
Tetsuya #2 
Kuroko’s pet dog found in the streets. He was taken in by the team as a sort of mascot, picking up the name Tetsuya #2 for his eerily similar eyes to Kuroko. He is an Alaskan Malamute pup that now wears a Seirin jersey numbered #16. Though Kagami is the only one reluctant to accept their new teammate, he eventually does after the dog proves to be surprisingly helpful and saving Kagami from a possible injury from torn shoes. He now joins the team wherever they go, most often hiding in a bag carried by Kuroko.

 

Manga Monday- Kuroko’s Basketball

Manga Monday- Kuroko’s Basketball

Kuroko’s Basketball, known in Japan as Kuroko no Basuke, is a Japanese sports manga series written and illustrated by Tadatoshi Fujimaki. The English rendering The Basketball Which Kuroko Plays also appears in the artwork of the Japanese version. It was serialized in Weekly Shōnen Jump from December 2008 to September 2014, with the individual chapters collected into 30 tankōbon volumes by Shueisha. It tells the story of a high school basketball team trying to make it to the national tournament.

By April 2014, Kuroko’s Basketball had 27 million copies in circulation. It was adapted into an anime television series by Production I.G that began airing in 2012, with a second season that began airing in October 2013 and a third season that began airing in January 2015. A sequel manga by Fujimaki titled Kuroko’s Basketball: Extra Game began serialization in Jump Next! on December 29, 2014. Viz Media has licensed the manga for publication in North America. An anime film adaptation of the Kuroko’s Basketball: Extra Game manga premiered in Japan on March 18, 2017. In December 2015 a stage play adaptation was announced, set to open on April 2016, followed by more stage adaptations.

Manga

Written and illustrated by Tadatoshi Fujimaki, Kuroko’s Basketball was serialized in the manga anthology Weekly Shōnen Jump from December 8, 2008 to September 1, 2014. The chapters were collected and published into 30 tankōbon volumes by Shueisha, the first on April 3, 2009 and the last on December 4, 2014. Fujimaki began a sequel titled Kuroko’s Basketball: Extra Game in Jump Next! on December 29, 2014. At their New York Comic Con panel, North American publisher Viz Media announced their license to the manga. They began releasing the series in 2-in-1 editions in 2016.

Reception

The Kuroko’s Basketball manga had sold nine million units in Japan by September 2012. As of 2013, the manga had sold over 23 million copies. This number grew to 27 million by April 2014. Individual volumes frequently appeared on the lists of best-selling manga in Japan, and many editions have been in the 2012 Top-Selling Manga. Kuroko’s Basketball was the third highest selling manga series of 2013, with 8,761,081 copies sold in a year. DVD sales of the anime series have also been featured in the Japanese anime DVD ranking various times.

Plot

The basketball team of Teiko Middle School rose to distinction by demolishing all competition. The regulars of the team became known as the “Generation of Miracles”. After graduating from middle school, these five stars went to different high schools with top basketball teams. However, a fact known to few is that there was another player in the “Generation of Miracles”: a phantom sixth man. This mysterious player is now a freshman at Seirin High, a new school with a powerful, if little-known, team. Now, Tetsuya Kuroko – “the sixth member of the “Generation of Miracles”, and Taiga Kagami – a naturally talented player who spent most of middle school in the US, aim to bring Seirin to the top of Japan and begin taking on Kuroko’s former teammates one by one. The series chronicles Seirin’s rise to become Japan’s number one high school team. The Generation of Miracles include Ryota Kise, Shintaro Midorima, Daiki Aomine, Atsushi Murasakibara and Seijuro Akashi.

Seirin High team fought Ryota Kise’s team first in a practice match. Although Kise was capable of copying all of Kagami skills with added strength and speed, Kuroko’s abilities helped narrow the distance and eventually, Seirin won this game. They then met Shintaro Midorima in the preliminaries of Interhigh. The game was much more difficult, not only because Midorima and the last 3 members of “Generation of Miracles” are considerably stronger than Ryota Kise, but also Kuroko’s ability of misdirection was completely shut down by Takao’s Hawk Eyes. They managed to defeat team Shutoku but their winning streak ended after they lost badly to Touou Academy, whose basketball team contained the Ace of the “Generation of Miracles” – Daiki Aomine. After this game, they lost their remaining two matches against Senshinkan and Meisei, and were eliminated from the Interhigh. However, a new player arrives to join Seirin – Kiyoshi Teppei, the man who formed the Seirin Basketball team. They spent the entire summer training for the Winter Cup, even coincidentally meeting Shutoku while training.

In the preliminaries, they met team Shutoku again. This match ended into a tie, so Seirin needed to defeat team Kirisaki Daichi. Kirisaki Daichi’s captain was Hanamiya Makoto, a member of the Uncrowned Kings well-known for his underhanded methods to win a match. However, they won and gained a ticket to the Winter Cup.

In the first round, they met Touou – and Aomine – again. But with the awakening of Kagami and the Kuroko’ Misdirection Overflow, they finally defeated Daiki Aomine. In the quarter-final, Seirin won a tough match against the team of the Center of “Generation of Miracles” – Atsushi Murasakibara. They are set to play against their first rival – the team of Ryota Kise in semi-final. An extremely hard match against the power of Perfect Copy, Seirin won and came to the final. The final was where Seirin must fight team Rakuzan – the Emperor. This team’s Captain was the former Captain of the “Generation of Miracles” – Seijuro Akashi. The game ended with Seirin High’s victory and they were announced as this year’s champion.

 

Film Friday- The Rose of Versailles

Film Friday- The Rose of Versailles

The Rose of Versailles, also known as Lady Oscar or La Rose de Versailles, is a Japanese shōjo manga series written and illustrated by Riyoko Ikeda. It has been adapted into several Takarazuka Revue musicals, as well an anime television series, produced by Tokyo Movie Shinsha and broadcast by the anime television network Nippon TV. The series remains incredibly popular in Italy.

The Rose of Versailles focuses on Oscar François de Jarjayes, a girl raised as a man to become her father’s successor as leader of the Palace Guards. A brilliant combatant with a strong sense of justice, Oscar is proud of the life she leads, but becomes torn between class loyalty and her desire to help the impoverished as revolution brews among the oppressed lower class. Also important to the story are her conflicting desires to live life as both a militant and a regular woman as well as her relationships with Marie Antoinette, Count Axel von Fersen, and servant and best friend André Grandier.

It features elements of the yuri genre embodied in the relationship between Oscar and her protégée Rosalie Lamorlière, the secret daughter of the scheming Madame de Polignac. Rosalie refers to Oscar as her first love. Many of the court ladies also greatly adore Oscar, openly admiring her at parties and become very jealous when she brings female companions to them.

Anime

In 1979, The Rose of Versailles was released in Japan as a 40-episode (and 1 recapitulation) animated television series, which ran from October 1979 to September 1980. Besides Japan, the series has also been broadcast in several other countries of Europe and Latin America under the title of Lady Oscar. The anime was directed by Tadao Nagahama (episodes 1-18) and Osamu Dezaki (episodes 19-40), who brought a cinematic approach to the series. Shingo Araki was the animation director and co-character designer along with Akio Sugino and Michi Himeno. Kōji Makaino was in charge of the soundtrack.

The production staff included the most recognized animation professionals then, who contributed in the making of the 40 episodes of the anime. In spite of the difficulties they had to go through, the staff could continue with their work and took advantage of the problems. The most important of said incidents was the change of direction at the middle of the project, which marked a notable difference between the first half of the anime (directed by Tadao Nagahama) and the second one (directed by Osamu Dezaki).

The anime was finally aired on October 10, 1979 in Japan on the channel Nippon TV. From this point on, the series would be aired every Wednesday until September 3, 1980, with the airing of the last episode.

Films

There have been two films based on the Rose of Versailles series. A third film was in pre-production 2007-2009 at Toei, but later reports claim it has been cancelled.

Lady Oscar

Lady Oscar is a 1979 film, written and directed by Jacques Demy, with music composed by Michel Legrand. Lady Oscar is a French-Japanese co-production, and was shot in France. Frederik L. Schodt translated the entire manga series into English as a reference for the producers of this film, but gave the only copy of the translation to them and it was lost.

Inochi Aru Kagiri Aishite

Inochi Aru Kagiri Aishite (I’ll Love You as Long as I Live) is a film that summarizes the whole anime. It was released first on video on May 21, 1987 and received a theatrical release on May 19, 1990.

Main characters

Oscar François de Jarjayes

is a beautiful woman who was raised as a boy by her father. She is educated in such diverse arts as fencing. Eventually, she commands the Imperial Guard of Queen Marie Antoinette. She has no reason to pretend to be a man because most of those at Versailles know that she is a woman. Oscar falls in love with Hans Axel von Fersen, a Swedish count. But Fersen has eyes for the queen only, and treats Oscar like a friend without knowing her true feelings for him. When the revolution begins, André tells Oscar that he loves her, and she realizes that she loves him too.

André Grandier

is the friend of Oscar and the grandson of her nanny, André and Oscar learned the arts of fencing and horsemanship together when they were children. As they grew up, Oscar became the Dauphine’s guard and the class gap between them widened.

André is secretly in love with Oscar, but he never tells her until both of them decide to help the insurgents when the French Revolution begins. Oscar initially refuses his extreme advances, but later realizes she does not want to marry any other men for fear of hurting him, before realizing she also loves him back, but did not understand the nature of her love at first.

Later in the series, André loses sight in his left eye in order to save Oscar who had been captured by the Black Knight; his condition slowly worsens until he is completely blind. André is a very sensitive and passionate man, suffering for his unrequited love for Oscar but being unable to quench his desire for her and vocally siding with the commoners in their plight.

Sadly André dies from a stray bullet the day after Oscar’s declaration of love, able to share only one night of passion with the woman he lived for.

Marie Antoinette

married the Dauphin to seal the alliance between his grandfather Louis XV and her mother, Empress Maria Theresa of Austria, when she was 14. After her marriage, she realizes that Madame du Barry, King Louis XV’s mistress, is against her. The princess, horrified by what she had heard about du Barry, decides to never speak to her. Meanwhile, she meets Count von Fersen, who becomes her lover.

Madame du Barry, always plotting against Marie Antoinette and Oscar, fulfills her desire to be greeted by her. After the death of Louis XV, Madame du Barry is forcibly removed from Versailles and sent to a convent.

Marie Antoinette, after several conflicts with her husband, starts feeling lonely. Fersen, who had left France on Oscar’s advice, returns. Rumors swirl about the Queen and the Count, and Fersen leaves again. A depressed Marie Antoinette befriends the Duchess de Polignac. Polignac leads Marie Antoinette to her downfall. Marie Antoinette is described as a “lively, silly girls of shoujo manga”.

Hans Axel von Fersen

is a handsome Swedish aristocrat who comes to the court of Versailles and becomes involved in a forbidden romance with queen Marie Antoinette. It is revealed in the series that Oscar also has strong feelings for Fersen.

Rosalie Lamorlière

is the adoptive daughter of a commoner named Nicole Lamorlière. She is described as “a stereotypical good girl, sweet, obedient and timid”. Her biological mother is the Duchess de Polignac, referred to as Martine Gabrielle. Nicole tells Rosalie the truth when she is dying after being hit by a carriage. Rosalie swears that she will kill the person in the carriage that killed her mother. She tries to kill Oscar’s mother, Lady Jarjayes, because she thought Lady Jarjayes was in the carriage, but Oscar stops Rosalie. Oscar decides to help her, and she teaches Rosalie the art of fencing, manners, history, and other courtly skills. Rosalie comes to admire and love Oscar greatly.

Rosalie tells Oscar about Martine Gabrielle. At a party, Rosalie recognizes the Duchess de Polignac and tries to kill her, but Oscar stops her and tells her that killing her won’t bring her mother back, and if she killed her, she would be executed. Later Oscar and André discover the true identity of Martine Gabrielle and her relationship to Rosalie.

Rosalie ambushes Polignac’s carriage in front of Polignac’s daughter, Charlotte, but Oscar stops her. After an incident where Charlotte loses her mind and commits suicide, the Duchess de Polignac goes to Jarjayes’s Mansion and tells Rosalie that if she didn’t come with her, she would tell the authorities that Oscar was the protector of the sister of Jeanne of Valois-Saint-Rémy, the mastermind of the “Affair of the Diamond Necklace”. Rosalie decides to go; soon, she realizes that the Duchess de Polignac intends were to marry her to the Duke of Guiche, Charlotte’s ex-fiancé and cause of her suicide. She escapes, and marries Oscar’s friend, Bernard Chatelet and meets Oscar again during the Storming of the Bastille.

After the storming of the Bastille, the people burst into Versailles and take Marie Antoinette prisoner. Marie Antoinette and her family are taken to a prison, where Rosalie serves the queen as a servant, telling her all she knew about Oscar. Marie Antoinette, before the day of her execution, gives Rosalie a rose she made out of cosmetic paper, and tells her to paint it with Oscar’s favorite rose color. After The Rose of Versailles ends, she appears in its sequel, Eikou no Napoleon – Eroica.

 

Manga Monday- The Rose of Versailles

Manga Monday- The Rose of Versailles

The Rose of Versailles, also known as Lady Oscar or La Rose de Versailles, is a Japanese shōjo manga series written and illustrated by Riyoko Ikeda. It has been adapted into several Takarazuka Revue musicals, as well an anime television series, produced by Tokyo Movie Shinsha and broadcast by the anime television network Nippon TV. The series remains incredibly popular in Italy.

The Rose of Versailles focuses on Oscar François de Jarjayes, a girl raised as a man to become her father’s successor as leader of the Palace Guards. A brilliant combatant with a strong sense of justice, Oscar is proud of the life she leads, but becomes torn between class loyalty and her desire to help the impoverished as revolution brews among the oppressed lower class. Also important to the story are her conflicting desires to live life as both a militant and a regular woman as well as her relationships with Marie Antoinette, Count Axel von Fersen, and servant and best friend André Grandier.

It features elements of the yuri genre embodied in the relationship between Oscar and her protégée Rosalie Lamorlière, the secret daughter of the scheming Madame de Polignac. Rosalie refers to Oscar as her first love. Many of the court ladies also greatly adore Oscar, openly admiring her at parties and become very jealous when she brings female companions to them.

Manga

The Rose of Versailles is one of the most influential manga ever written. The manga was serialized in Shueisha’s Margaret in 1973, and became an instant success. It was published on 24 May 1982 and contains 10 volumes.

A lesser-known “sequel”, or spiritual successor, to this manga is Eikou no Napoleon or “The Glory of Napoleon”. Published in 1986, the manga has a few of the original characters but mainly focuses on the rise of Napoleon I of France and the First French Empire.

A short sequel ran in Margaret from April 2013 to February 2018.

In 1983, the first two volumes of The Rose of Versailles were translated into English by Frederik L. Schodt for the purpose of teaching English to Japanese speakers and released in North America by the North American branch of Sanyusha. The Rose of Versailles was the first commercially translated manga to be available in North America. A snippet of the translated manga was also included in Schodt’s Manga! Manga! The World of Japanese Comics book. Udon Entertainment has officially announced the publication rights, with a scheduled release for 2016. As of January 2018, Udon reported that most of the translation was complete and the series was going through editing. It will be published in early 2020 in hardcover.

Gaiden

The Versailles no Bara Gaiden series is a collections of short stories written by Riyoko Ikeda. These stories were published in two separate magazines in 1974 (first publication) after the serialization of the manga The Rose of Versailles, and 1984–1985 (second publication).

The gaiden stories were adapted into musicals in 2008–2009.

Reception

The Rose of Versailles is currently 14th on the list of all-time best-selling shōjo manga, having sold a grand total of 15 million volumes worldwide and 12 million in Japan only, a “nation-wide best seller”. In terms of circulation per volume, it is in fourth place with an average of 1,500,000 sales per volume. It is not well known in North America (except in Quebec) due to its age and lack of publicity, but remains a treasured classic in Japanese manga. The anime was ranked in the top 50 of a list of favourite anime series in 2005. So far, the manga and anime have been translated into Arabic, Turkish, Korean, French, Spanish, Italian, German, Indonesian and Chinese. The “immense popularity” of the 1974 Takarazuka musical gained widespread attention, including academic attention, for not only Rose of Versailles, but for the field of shōjo manga. The research that went into the setting of Rose of Versailles led some teachers to use it in their classrooms and purchase it for their school libraries, which was a “Japanese educational first”. The popularity of the manga also created a boom in the study of the French language and made France, particularly Versailles a popular tourist destination for Japanese travellers.

Moto Hagio believes the popularity of The Rose of Versailles influenced publishers to routinely collect serialized manga in paperback format.

Susan J. Napier has described the court of The Rose of Versailles as being “a particularly good example of idealized Western Otherness”. Tierney says that the aesthetics of The Rose of Versailles cannot be described as purely Japanese or Western. Deborah Shamoon says that Rose of Versailles can be used to track the development of shōjo manga from being “a genre for children to being one for older readers”. The bloody end of the main characters, while shocking, also whet the audience’s appetite for more serious stories. Shamoon sees the Oscar-André relationship as very different from the Cinderella-Prince Charming stories which “dominated” shōjo manga in the 1960s, where the female protagonist would lose her identity to her boyfriend. Shamoon considers that the Oscar-André relationship follows the pattern of pre-war dōseiai shōjo novels, which featured same-sex love between girls. Kazuko Suzuki says that after RoV, “several works” were created with “nonsexual” female protagonists like Oscar, who realize their “womanness” upon falling in love.

The Rose of Versailles is famous for having the first “bed scene” in manga that was depicted by a woman, which has had a “profound impact” on female readers, including fan criticism of the adaptation of this scene to the anime. Yukari Fujimoto has said that “for us junior and senior high school girls at that time, our concept of sex was fixed by that manga”.

Development

Ikeda’s editors were opposed to her idea of a biography of Marie Antoinette, and only its popularity among readers kept The Rose of Versailles in publication. Ikeda had read Stefan Zweig’s biography of Marie Antoinette in high school, and the first chapters focus on the queen, casting her as a shōjo heroine, and Du Barry as a rival. Oscar was created as a supporting character. Oscar eclipsed Marie Antoinette in popularity and due to reader feedback became the main character until her death. Ikeda was influenced by second-wave feminist ideas when creating The Rose of Versailles, using the French Revolution to depict the “inner revolution of the Japanese women” at that time.

Plot

The setting is in France, before and during the French Revolution. In the early part of the series, the main character is the young, flighty Queen of France, Marie Antoinette, however later the focus of the story shifts to a woman named Oscar François de Jarjayes. Oscar’s father, General Jarjayes, despaired over never getting a son (he had six daughters), and decided to raise his youngest daughter as a man. He trained her well in the arts of fencing, horsemanship and medieval combat. Oscar often practiced her skills with her best friend, companion and (technically) servant, André Grandier, whom she almost always defeated. André is the grandson of her nanny and thus they spent most of their time together in harmonic friendship; near the end of the story, this friendship blossoms into mutual love.

Oscar is the commander of the Royal Guard and responsible for the safety of Marie Antoinette, as well as the rest of the royal family. The story revolves around Oscar’s growing realization of how France is governed, and the plight of the poor. Another important storyline is the love story between Marie Antoinette and the Swedish Count Axel von Fersen. The affair between the two is the subject of rumours through all of France, endangering the Queen’s reputation and driving Oscar to request the Count to leave the country.

After the Count decides to leave and sign up for the American war of independence, Marie Antoinette becomes lovesick. She spends money in excess – expensive jewellery and clothes, attending balls every other night – to distract herself from pining for the only man she loved. This, in turn, weighs on the taxpayers of France, and poverty spreads throughout the country due to Marie Antoinette’s squandering of money. Both the Affair of the Diamond Necklace and the appearance of the infamous Gabrielle de Polastron, comtesse de Polignac are central plot events taken from history, as well as the French Revolution and the fall of the Bastille – all given interesting interpretations through the fictional character Oscar and her companions.

On July 14, 1789, the Taking of the Bastille, the crowds rebel but lack strategy, giving the military the advantage and making themselves easy target for cannon fire. However, Oscar and the regiment B then arrive to help organize the insurgents. During the following fierce battle, Oscar is shot and killed, but the Bastille eventually falls, symbolically striking down the French monarchy. After the Bastille is taken, the revolutionaries burst into the Palace searching for Marie Antoinette and her family. Many guards are killed and the royal family taken prisoner. Big trials are started for Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI, but finally, both are declared guilty and guillotined.

Film Friday- Code Geass

Film Friday- Code Geass

Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion, often referred to simply as Code Geass, is a Japanese anime series produced by Sunrise. It was directed by Gorō Taniguchi and written by Ichirō Ōkouchi, with original character designs by Clamp. Set in an alternate timeline, the series follows the exiled prince Lelouch vi Britannia, who obtains the “power of absolute obedience” from a mysterious woman named C.C. Using this supernatural power, known as Geass, he leads a rebellion against the rule of the Holy Britannian Empire, commanding a series of mecha battles.

Code Geass was broadcast in Japan on MBS from October 6, 2006 to July 29, 2007. Its sequel series, Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion R2, ran as a simulcast on MBS and TBS from April 6, 2008 to September 28, 2008. The series has also been adapted into various manga and light novels with the former showing various alternate scenarios from the TV series. Bandai Entertainment also licensed most parts from the franchise for English release in December 2007, airing the two TV series on Adult Swim. Most manga and light novels have also been published in North America by Bandai. A compilation film trilogy that recapped the events from both seasons of the anime series, with altered storylines for various characters, was released in 2017 and 2018. A new film, titled Code Geass: Lelouch of the Re;surrection, taking place after the Zero Requiem of the recap films’ universe, was released in theaters on February 9, 2019.

The anime television series has been well received in Japan, selling over a million DVD and Blu-ray Disc volumes. Both seasons have won several awards at the Tokyo International Anime Fair, Animage Anime Grand Prix, and Animation Kobe event. Critics have praised the series for its narrative, characters, strong voice acting, large audience appeal as well as the cross conflicts shown among the main characters and the moral questions presented.

Plot

Lelouch vi Britannia is an exiled Britannian prince, son of Emperor Charles zi Britannia and his royal consort Marianne vi Britannia. Lelouch has a sister, Nunnally vi Britannia. Marianne was brutally murdered in the palace and Nunnally, who witnessed the murder of their mother, was so traumatized she lost both her sight and ability to walk. Lelouch is furious with his father, believing his father failed his mother and sister by turning a blind eye to their mother’s death and failing to pursue their mother’s killer.

Lelouch and Nunnally are sent as political pawns to Japan to lull the Japanese government into a false sense of security. After the siblings are sent to Japan, Japan is attacked and defeated by Britannia. With the ruins of Japan as a background, Lelouch vows to his Japanese friend Suzaku Kururugi that he will one day obliterate Britannia as an act of vengeance against his father.

Seven years later, Lelouch (now going by the name Lelouch Lamperouge), is now a popular yet withdrawn student at Ashford Academy. Lelouch becomes involved in a terrorist attack and finds a mysterious girl called C.C. (C2), who saves Lelouch’s life from the Britannian Royal Guard, by making a contract with him and granting Lelouch a power known as Geass. This power, also known as the “Power of Kings”, allows him to command anyone to do whatever he wants, including bending their will to live, fight, or die on his behalf. This power can affect an individual just once and only through direct eye contact. Lelouch decides to use his Geass to find his mother’s murderers, destroy the Britannian Empire, and create a better world where Nunnally can live happily. In the process, Lelouch becomes Zero, a masked vigilante and the leader of the resistance movement known as The Black Knights, gaining popularity and support among the Japanese on his way towards the rebellion of Britannia. However, this does not come without a cost. Caught up in a conflict where he does not know the full extent of his powers, Lelouch will have to battle Suzaku, a resistance member named Kallen Stadtfeld, the strongest army in the world, his own half-siblings, and many others in a battle that will forever change the world.

Main characters

Lelouch Vi Britannia

the Eleventh Prince of the Britannian Imperial Family and seventeenth in line for the throne. His father is the Britannian Emperor, Charles zi Britannia, and his mother was Marianne vi Britannia. For questioning his father’s cold apathy of his mother’s assassination and his sister Nunnally’s disablement, Lelouch and Nunnally were sent to Japan as political hostages. Taken into the residence of the Prime Minister of Japan, Lelouch and Nunnally soon formed a strong friendship with the Prime Minister’s son, Suzaku Kururugi. When Britannia invaded Japan, he went into hiding with his sister, taking refuge with the Ashford family. Seven years later, he discovers C.C., who grants him a Geass that allows him to command any person to follow his subsequent order. Seeking to build a peaceful world for his sister even though all she wants is to be with him, he begins to orchestrate a revolution, pursuing the destruction of Britannia under the guise of his masked alter-ego, Zero. As Zero, he creates a military force known as the Black Knights, formed from the members of a group originally known as the Japanese Resistance.

Suzaku Kururugi

is Lelouch’s childhood friend and son of Japan’s last prime minister, Genbu Kururugi. He murdered his father when he was a child in the belief that it would end the war between Britannia and Japan, but only paved the way for Japan’s conquering. Traumatized, he also begins to find a way to liberate Japan. However, in stark contrast to Lelouch, he claims to support reformism and that achieving results by wrong or illegal methods is meaningless, wanting to change Britannia from within. As such, he is aligned against Zero’s Black Knights, but nevertheless intent on changing the Britannian Empire for the better. In reality, however, this is an illusion, as Suzaku actually wishes to be KIA in order to atone for his father’s death. Suzaku is an Honorary Britannian and part of the Britannian army, later becoming the pilot of the experimental Knightmare Frame Lancelot as a member of the R&D Division. In the second season, Suzaku is granted a position in the Knights of the Round by the Emperor for his capture of Zero. At the same time, however, he becomes a repeatedly hypocritical antivillain, focusing on publicly exposing and killing Lelouch in an attempt to avenge the death of his girlfriend, Euphemia, and is not above murdering and torturing others to get his way. Over the course of the second season, he slowly starts to see the error in his ways, and eventually becomes part of the Zero Requiem.

C.C.

is an immortal “witch” who bestows the power of Geass upon Lelouch under the condition he grants her greatest wish, later revealed to be for Lelouch, let alone anyone, to kill her. She oversees Lelouch’s activities and assists in his plans in order to ensure that he remains alive to fulfill their contract. She is the main female protagonist of the series. Lelouch often refers to her as the witch and himself as the “demon lord”. She is seen to be quite close to Lelouch and advises him whenever he is feeling lost. C.C. often comes to get Lelouch out of a tough situation when his identity is about to be revealed. Despite this, she routinely gets on his nerves, often sneaking out without his permission or ordering Pizza Hut (which sponsors Code Geass in Japan) with his credit card.

Kallen Kouzuki

is a half-Britannian, half-Japanese teenage girl. Her father is Britannian and her mother is an Eleven; her father comes from a prestigious Britannian family, known as the Stadtfeld family, which Kallen benefits from. She attends the Ashford Academy, where she pretends to be a sickly, milquetoast student to explain her prolonged absences and changes her appearance. She later becomes a member of its student council and one of the school’s most outstanding students. In school, she is known by her legal name but she prefers her mother’s maiden name, and goes by the alias Kallen Kōuzuki (紅月カレン Kōzuki Karen) during her revolutionary activities. Kallen is initially a member of a Japanese resistance cell led by Ohgi, using her brother’s death as motivation, and later joins Zero’s Black Knights. She is the group’s most talented pilot and on par with the Knights of the Round. Throughout the series, her devotion to Zero is unmatched among any of the other members of the Black Knights, almost being Lelouch’s female counterpart. Conversely, she dislikes Lelouch, despite constant remarks from others about intimacy in their relationship, and is dismayed when her Knightmare rival, Suzaku, reveals that Lelouch and Zero are the same person. However, when she learns more about Lelouch’s noble desires via C.C. and Nunnally, she helps protect his identity and ultimately develops feelings for him.

 

Wednesday News- December 10, 2019

Wednesday News- December 10, 2019

Danganronpa’s Kazutaka Kodaka to Announce New Game on Monday- https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/daily-briefs/2019-12-09/danganronpa-kazutaka-kodaka-to-announce-new-game-on-monday/.154122

Kochikama Manga Returns to Shonen Jump for Special 1-Shot- https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/daily-briefs/2019-12-09/kochikame-manga-returns-to-shonen-jump-for-special-1-shot/.154136

Viz Manga, Manga Plus Add Agravity Boys Manga in English- https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2019-12-09/viz-media-manga-plus-add-agravity-boys-manga-in-english/.154120

Steins; Gate: My Darling’s Embrace, Steins; Gate 0 Games Get New Western Releases- https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2019-12-10/steins-gate-my-darling-embrace-steins-gate-0-games-get-new-western-releases/.154198

Re:Zero Anime’s Season 2 Slated for Next April After Updated 1st Season- https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2019-12-10/re-zero-anime-season-2-slated-for-next-april-after-updated-1st-season/.154180

Anime

  • 18if Essentials BD
  • The Disastrous Life of Saiki K. Season One Essentials BD
  • Gakuen Basara BD
  • Heavy Object Complete Series Essentials BD
  • KADO – The Right Answer Essentials BD
  • Millennium Actress BD/DVD
  • Seitokai Yakuindomo BD
  • Seven Mortal Sins Essentials BD
  • Snow White with the Red Hair Complete Series Classics BD

Manga

  • 1122: For a Happy Marriage GN 3 (Digital Only)
  • A.I.C.O. Incarnation GN 3 (Digital Only)
  • All Out!! GN 11 (Digital Only)
  • Amber Silhouette GN 2 (Digital Only)
  • Aria: The Masterpiece Graphic Novel (GN) 4
  • Arifureta: I Heart Isekai GN 1
  • Boarding School Juliet GN 9.
  • Don’t Count Your Tanukis GN 6 (Digital Only)
  • Dragon Quest Monsters+ GN 5
  • Edens Zero GN 5
  • Ex-Enthusiasts: Motokare Mania GN 1 (Digital Only)
  • Farewell, My Dear Cramer GN 5 (Digital Only)
  • Gambling Apocalypse Kaiji GN 1
  • Gantz Omnibus GN 4
  • The Golden Sheep GN 2
  • Granblue Fantasy GN 2
  • Heavenly Delusion GN 1
  • The Ideal Sponger Life GN 4
  • I’m Standing on a Million Lives GN 8 (Digital Only)P
  • I Shall Survive Using Potions! GN (Digital Only)
  • Kiss Me at the Stroke of Midnight GN 10
  • Komi Can’t Communicate GN 4
  • Missions of Love GN 19
  • Pleasure & Corruption GN 1
  • Plus-Sized Elf GN 4
  • Our Dreams At Dusk: Shimanami Tasogare GN 4 (Digital Only)
  • Re:ZERO -Starting Life in Another World- Chapter 3: Truth of Zero GN 9
  • The Rising of the Shield Hero GN 12
  • Seven Days: Monday-Sunday (Seven Days: Monday-Thursday, Seven Days: Friday-Sunday) GN
  • Sleepy Princess in the Demon Castle GN 10
  • Yuri Is My Job! GN 5.

Other

  • Arifureta – From Commonplace to World’s Strongest Novel 7
  • Deadly Premonition Origins Switch game
  • Dragon Quest Builders 2 PC game
  • How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom Novel 5
  • Sexiled Novel 2 (Digital Only)
  • Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz HD PC game
  • WorldEnd:What Do You Do at the End of the World? Are You Busy? Will You Save Us? Novel 5

 

Manga Monday- Code Geass

Manga Monday- Code Geass

Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion, often referred to simply as Code Geass, is a Japanese anime series produced by Sunrise. It was directed by Gorō Taniguchi and written by Ichirō Ōkouchi, with original character designs by Clamp. Set in an alternate timeline, the series follows the exiled prince Lelouch vi Britannia, who obtains the “power of absolute obedience” from a mysterious woman named C.C. Using this supernatural power, known as Geass, he leads a rebellion against the rule of the Holy Britannian Empire, commanding a series of mecha battles.

Code Geass was broadcast in Japan on MBS from October 6, 2006 to July 29, 2007. Its sequel series, Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion R2, ran as a simulcast on MBS and TBS from April 6, 2008 to September 28, 2008. The series has also been adapted into various manga and light novels with the former showing various alternate scenarios from the TV series. Bandai Entertainment also licensed most parts from the franchise for English release in December 2007, airing the two TV series on Adult Swim. Most manga and light novels have also been published in North America by Bandai. A compilation film trilogy that recapped the events from both seasons of the anime series, with altered storylines for various characters, was released in 2017 and 2018. A new film, titled Code Geass: Lelouch of the Re;surrection, taking place after the Zero Requiem of the recap films’ universe, was released in theaters on February 9, 2019.

The anime television series has been well received in Japan, selling over a million DVD and Blu-ray Disc volumes. Both seasons have won several awards at the Tokyo International Anime Fair, Animage Anime Grand Prix, and Animation Kobe event. Critics have praised the series for its narrative, characters, strong voice acting, large audience appeal as well as the cross conflicts shown among the main characters and the moral questions presented.

Kadokawa Shoten has published four separate manga adaptations, each containing an alternate storyline. The first four of the manga series have been licensed for an English language release in North America by Bandai Entertainment. The first, Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion, by Majiko~! and originally serialized Monthly Asuka, focused on the protagonist of the series, Lelouch Lamperouge, with few differences from the anime’s basic storyline. The most noticeable difference from the anime version is the absence of the Knightmare frames. Its chapters were collected in eight tankōbon volumes released from December 26, 2008 to March 26, 2010. Bandai’s English adaptation of the series was published from July 29, 2008 to February 15, 2011.

The second manga is Code Geass: Suzaku of the Counterattack. It was written by Atsuro Yomino and serialized in Beans A magazine. It focuses on the character Suzaku Kururugi in an alternate reality, where he fights against the criminal organization known as the Black Knights. It was released in two volumes on June 26, 2007 and September 26, 2008. The first English volume was released on January 6, 2009, and the second followed it on October 13, 2009.

Code Geass: Nightmare of Nunnally, serialized in Comp Ace and written by Tomomasa Takuma, focuses on Lelouch’s sister, Nunnally Lamperouge who goes into searching her missing brother when her health is restored by an entity named Nemo. It was published in five volumes from June 26, 2007 to April 25, 2009. The English volumes were published from June 9, 2009 to March 23, 2010.

A fourth manga adaptation, Code Geass: Tales of an Alternate Shogunate, was serialized in Kerokero Ace. Set in an alternate 1853, Lelouch is the commander of the Shogunate’s military counterinsurgence brigade known as the Shinsengumi, which fights the Black Revolutionaries, a rebel group led by a masked individual known as Rei. It was released on a single volume on October 25, 2010, while the English version was published on May 10, 2011.

In late 2009, Bandai announced a new project greenlit for 2010. A manga, titled Code Geass: Renya of Darkness, was the first product announced. The story takes place in the same official Code Geass history as the anime, but in a different era with the anime director Goro Taniguchi scripting the story. The title character, Renya, is a 17-year-old boy who encounters a mysterious, perpetually young witch named “Reifū C.C.”, who has appeared in Japan’s historical Edo era to seek a new partner for a covenant. It began publication in the May 2010 issue of Shōnen Ace. Bandai Entertainment announced that it will publish the manga in English as with the other adaptions. On January 2, 2012 as a part of Bandai Entertainment’s announced restructuring, they have since, among other titles, revoked publishing of Code Geass: Renya of Darkness for English release.

The spinoff Code Geass: Oz the Reflection takes place between the first and second seasons of the anime television and is told from two perspectives. The photo story in Hobby Japan centers around Orpheus Zevon, a young terrorist with the Knightmare Frame Byakuen who is in pursuit of his lover’s killer. The manga in Newtype Ace revolves around Oldrin Zevon, a girl in the Britannia Empire’s anti-terrorist unit Glinda Knights who pilots the Knightmare Frame Lancelot Grail. The story of Oz the Reflection and Akito the Exiled takes place at the same time in between season 1 and 2 of the TV series.

Setting

In an alternative timeline, the world is divided into three superpowers: the Holy Britannian Empire (the Americas; also called Britannia), the Chinese Federation (Asia), and the European Union (Europe and Africa; previously known as the Euro-Universe, also known as Europa United in Akito the Exiled). The story takes place after the Holy Britannian Empire’s conquest of Japan on August 10, 2010 a.t.b., by means of Britannia’s newest weapon, the “Autonomous Armored Knight”, or “Knightmare Frame”. In turn, Britannia effectively strips Japan and its citizens of all rights and freedoms and renames the country Area 11 with its citizens referred to as Elevens.

Film Friday- Gokusen

Film Friday- Gokusen

Gokusen is a manga series by Kozueko Morimoto. The story follows Kumiko Yamaguchi, the granddaughter of a yakuza boss and teacher at an all-male private high school. In 2008, an SP manga was out, featuring some of Yankumi’s (Kumiko) old students who are by now working adults.

In 2002, the manga was adapted into a television drama with Yukie Nakama in the title role. A second series was produced in 2005. The third season of the (live action) series was aired as Nippon Television’s 55th Anniversary Program in 2008.

A 13 episode animated adaptation by Madhouse ran on Nippon Television from January 6, 2004 to March 30, 2004.

A movie as part of the drama series was released in Japanese theaters on July 11, 2009.

Characters

Kumiko “Yankumi” Yamaguchi
is a 23-year-old university graduate and is newly hired at Shirokin Gakuen. She is very idealistic and wants to inspire her students and help them graduate high school. Since the age of 7, when her parents died, Kumiko has been living with her grandfather, who is the head of an influential Tokyo Ninkyo group. Despite this strange upbringing and the bizarre mannerisms she has picked up from it like her use of yakuza slang and a habit of running from the cops when she sees them, Kumiko is a good-hearted girl who has a strong faith in her students even when they think the world is against them. Her belief in them and her combat skills help her earn their respect. They give her the nickname “Yankumi,” something she greatly likes. It is also revealed that she is attracted to men in a fundoshi; going into a trance when she saw Shin in one. In the 2008 SP manga, Yankumi finally returned Sawada’s feeling after Sawada saved her from a gang of bikers. A running gag for the drama series is that with each new series almost everyone has completely forgotten she is next in line to run the yakuza, even when asking a fellow teacher from a previous series he replied only with a puzzled look on his face. Another running gag is in the beginning of each new series, she is shown incapable of teaching unless she is teaching the delinquents of the school and, more often than not, scaring her students with her unusual behavior.

Shirokin High School

Shin Sawada
18-year-old Shin is the leader of class 3-D (17-year-old leader of 2–4 in the manga). He is cool, level-headed, smart, and somewhat introverted. Everyone in the class looks up to him. When he was in middle school, he punched a teacher for refusing to apologise to an innocent student the teacher had been unfairly harassing. He knows right away that something is not normal about their new teacher and keeps an eye on her. He’s the first one who found out Yankumi’s true identity and later confesses to her [in the manga’s last chapter] that he is in love with her. In the manga, he is given the alias of “Young Master Red Lion” from Kyou. Shin’s father is a high ranking police official. At the end of the series he wanted to become a Yakuza lawyer so to be with Kumiko, and when he confessed to her, it appeared that everyone knew of his feelings for her, even the teachers, except for her. In the drama, his father is a senator. An amusing aspect of this series is that whenever he thinks he’s on a mission to save Kumiko, he always gets beaten up and she continuously has to come to his rescue. He never returned in the sequels in the live-action series as he decided to go abroad as a social worker. While in the Special Manga 2008, Sawada is a top student of Toudai University and he has a stable life and job. As he’s seen taking Yankumi out for a movie with his own car and constantly with her, stating why he was so cooperative with her back then was because he liked her at first sight and set up their casual meeting to turn it into a date. For the first time he is shown with emotion when one of Yankumi’s new students tricks her into fighting a gang of bikers and he goes off to save her – he managed to save her.

Youichi Minami
He is one of Shin’s friends. He always gets into fights, like everyone else. He had gotten into a fight with Ichiro Tsuruta, and was beaten by him. Minami is the tough guy of the group. In the anime and manga he is often seen with Noda, indicating a close friendship. In the drama he was a ladies man, but in the anime/manga he was considered the ugliest.

 

Haruhiko “Uchi” Uchiyama
He is the guy with a weird purple hairstyle. In the drama, he has long hair that he bleached blonde. He’s also one of Shin’s friends. He was lost in Okinawa when they had a trip there and he gave Kumiko and Shin a lot of problems during that time. When they finally found him, Kumiko smacked him until his face was swollen. In the drama, he is a tough guy with a soft spot for his mother. His nickname is Uchi. In the manga, he is the first of the group to get a girlfriend when he starts a relationship with a horror-obsessed girl named Shiori. She constantly terrifies him with horror stunts. After a while, he seems to embrace her love of horror, even thinking about becoming a monster movie make-up artist.

Teruo “Kuma” Kumai
Large and tough, Kumai (called “Kuma”, or “Bear” by everyone) always seems to be getting into trouble. He’s either getting into fights, or being accused of theft, or being attacked by a rival school. Kuma and Shin are best friends. They grew up together, and Kuma calls Shin “Shin-chan”. Even Kuma’s mother was friends with Kumiko before she became a teacher. He is also the only former student of Yankumi’s shown in the second and third drama seasons. He eventually marries his first love and later becomes a father. Throughout the seasons he helps Yankumi when he sees her students getting into some kind of trouble and becomes a mentor to them as well. In each new series of the drama there is always a kid who greatly resembles Kuma in Yankumi’s class.

 

Takeshi Noda
He is also one of Shin’s friends. He was the one who thought of giving Kumiko “Yankumi” as her nickname. Takeshi Noda is a member of class 2–4. Although not typically a main cast member, in one episode (in the drama), he becomes obsessed with the teacher Shizuka Fujiyama. Hurt when she threw away a present he gave her, Noda takes a picture of her at her secret second job: hostess of a bar. He then sends the picture to the head teacher and almost gets Shizuka put on probation for a week, to be fired if class 3-D does not get at least a 30 on their English mid-finals. In the manga, he is the first of his classmates to figure out that Shin likes Yankumi and gets Shin to admit so. In the manga, he is much more involved than in the anime or drama. He is also much smarter in the manga, like one instance when Ms. Fujiyama was being stalked, Noda made many suggestions as to how the stalker could follow Ms. Fujiyama. One thing he has in common with his drama counterpart is his sense in fashion, as demonstrated in the chapter of the manga “Protect our F-cup”, where he dresses Yamaguchi in his sister’s clothing in which Uchiyama and the others (first in disgust) found that the outfit worked well with her. He is often seen with Minami in the anime and manga, indicating a friendship between them, possibly being best friends. In the anime and manga he is accused of being a thief (similar to Uchi’s situation in the drama).

Shizuka Fujiyama 
is another female teacher hired by Shirokin Gakuin at the same time as Yankumi. In the drama, Fujiyama teaches English. In the anime she teaches music. One of her students once attempted suicide and she learned a lesson because of that incident. She started a choir club in school. In the drama, Fujiyama wears her normal clothes all the time, but in the anime and manga she wears a tracksuit like Yankumi does. Fujiyama used to teach middle school students, and is very happy to be teaching at a high school. She jokes about which boys are cute, and whom she would sleep with. In the manga, she developed a crush on Kyo-san and tries to meet him, but she doesn’t believe he’s her “knight”. Since she daydreamed him younger looking.

Goro Sawatari
The School’s Vice-Principal is Yankumi’s main nemesis amongst the school staff. In episode 13 he was the 3rd person to find out about Yankumi’s secret only to realize that she resigned. Also he tried to use a camera when he witnessed a fight only to be caught by Kyo. He is only majorly featured in the drama and anime. In the drama, despite initially antagonistic towards Yankumi and her class, he was undeniably portrayed as more benevolent than his anime incarnation. His state of benevolence was shown to be more prominent in Gokusen 2, where among the last few episodes, he deliberately informed Yankumi that her class attempted to boycott their graduation unless she calls off her resignation. It would seem that the drama-version Sawatori has grown to respect the headstrong and dignified educator that Yankumi is, despite knowing that he also risked getting fired in the process (he was poised for promotion). He was later seen a month after graduation, apparently assigned to another school (claiming to have resigned from the last one). He has a wife in the drama who runs an arranged marriage business, though he is constantly seen enjoying himself with younger women. A running gag in the drama is that he is able to instantly retain his status as Vice-Principal with each new school, even leading Yankumi to question how he does that.

Gonzou Shirakawa
The School’s Principal. He does have a great knack for popping up suddenly at unusual times to point out useful information. In the manga and anime, the Koucho is this happy little bald guy who likes to wear bow ties. He knows that Yankumi is next in line to the yakuza, and discovered that was one of the main reasons he hired her, because he knew she would be able to easily handle that class.

Wednesday News- December 4, 2019

Wednesday News- December 4, 2019

Follow Vulpix’s Journey Across Hokkaido on 15 Pokemon Manhole Covers- https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/interest/2019-12-02/follow-vulpix-journey-across-hokkaido-on-15-pokemon-manhole-covers/.153909

The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel III Games Gets Switch Version in Spring 2020- https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2019-12-03/the-legend-of-heroes-trails-of-cold-steel-iii-game-gets-switch-version-in-spring-2020/.153938

One Piece Gets New Novel About Nami- https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2019-12-03/one-piece-gets-new-novel-about-nami/.153919

PlayStation Awards 2019 Winners Announced- https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2019-12-03/playstation-awards-2019-winners-announced/.153930

Anime

  • Bleach Set 5 BD
  • Chain Chronicle: The Light of Haecceitas BD
  • Is This a Zombie? Complete Series BD/DVD
  • K-ON! Ultimate Collection BD
  • Kiss Him, Not Me! Essentials BD
  • Koro Sensei Quest! Essentials BD
  • Mai Mai Miracle BD
  • Meiji Tokyo Renka BD
  • Seven Senses of the Re’Union BD
  • Tsuki ga Kirei Essentials BD

Manga

  • Ao Haru Ride Graphic Novel (GN) 8
  • An Archdemon’s Dilemma: How to Love Your Elf-Bride GN 2
  • Ascendance of a Bookworm GN 2
  • Attack on Titan GN 29
  • Dragon Ball Super GN 7
  • Drifting Dragons GN 5 (Digital Only)
  • Drifting Net Café GN 5 (Digital Only)
  • Emanon GN 3
  • Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma GN 33
  • GUT’S GN 7-10 (Digital Only)
  • Happy Sugar Life GN 3
  • Harukana Receive GN 5
  • Inside Mari GN 6
  • Jujutsu Kaisen GN 1
  • Konosuba – God’s Blessing on This Wonderful World! GN 9
  • LDK GN 14
  • Magical Girl Spec-Ops Asuka GN 8
  • Marginal Operation GN 1
  • Mizukagekusa GN 3 (Digital Only)
  • My Hero Academia GN 22
  • My Sweet Girl GN 9 (Digital Only)
  • One-Punch Man GN 18
  • One Piece Omnibus Edition GN 30
  • Our Fake Marriage GN 2 (Digital Only)
  • Paradise Kiss 20th Anniversary Edition GN
  • Penguindrum GN 1
  • Platinum End GN 10
  • Queen’s Quality GN 8
  • Smile Down the Runway GN 4 (Digital Only)
  • Takane & Hana GN 12
  • To Write Your Words GN 1 (Digital Only)
  • Vinland Saga GN 11 (Digital Only)
  • We Never Learn GN 7
  • Yona of the Dawn GN 21

Other

  • Cooking with Wild Game Novel 5 (Digital Only)
  • Heroland PS4, Switch, PC game
  • How NOT to Summon a Demon Lord Novel 7
  • If It’s for My Daughter, I’d Even Defeat a Demon Lord Novel 6
  • In Another World With My Smartphone Novel 7
  • The Magic in this Other World is Too Far Behind! Novel 6
  • The Master of Ragnarok & Blesser of Einherjar Novel 10 (Digital Only)
  • Raging Loop PC game
  • Re:ZERO -Starting Life in Another World- Novel 11
  • Reincarnated as a Sword Novel 4 (Digital Only)
  • SaGa SCARLET GRACE: AMBITIONS PS4, Switch, PC, iOS, Android game
  • So I’m a Spider, So What? Novel 7 (Digital Only)
  • Waku Waku Sweets Switch game
  • Wolf & Parchment Novel 4
  • You Call That Service? Novel 1