Browsed by
Month: August 2020

Manga Monday- Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?

Manga Monday- Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?

Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? and with English subtitle Familia Myth, is a Japanese light novel series written by Fujino Ōmori and illustrated by Suzuhito Yasuda. SB Creative has published fifteen volumes since January 2013 under their GA Bunko imprint.

It has received two manga adaptations as well as an anime television adaptation by J.C.Staff, which aired from April 4 to June 27, 2015. An OVA was released on December 7, 2016. A second anime season and an original anime film adaptation were both announced in February 2018. The film, titled Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?: Arrow of the Orion premiered on February 15, 2019. The second season aired from July 13 to September 28, 2019. A third anime season and an OVA episode were both announced on September 27, 2019. The third season was slated to air in July 2020 but was delayed to October 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Additionally, a spin-off light novel series titled Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? On the Side: Sword Oratoria began in January 2014, and another spin-off light novel series titled Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?: Familia Chronicle (illustrated by Nilitsu) began in March 2017. Both spinoffs have also received manga adaptations, and a television anime adaptation of Sword Oratoria aired from April 14 to June 30, 2017.

Manga

The series has been adapted into three manga series. The one based on the novels is illustrated by Kunieda and started serialization in Square Enix’s seinen manga magazine Young Gangan from August 2, 2013. It has been collected in ten tankōbon volumes. Yen Press announced at their New York Comic Con 2014 panel the rights to publish the manga in North America.

The Episode Ryu manga series is a special story focused on character Ryu Lion from the main series.

A four-panel manga series titled Dungeon ni Deai o Motomeru no wa Machigatteiru Darō ka 4-koma: Kamisama no Nichijō by Masaya Takamura began serialization in Square Enix’s online manga magazine Gangan Online from August 14, 2014.

Setting

The story takes place in the fictional city of Orario to when gods all came down seeking excitement, limiting their divine powers to perceive and experience the hardships that thrives on the lower world. Offering mortals to fight monsters assorted in an underground labyrinth known as Dungeon. Adventurers visit the dungeon to defeat monsters and take their crystal shards, which are used to craft magic items, among other treasures; however, they can also be exchanged for the world’s currency. The people of Orario join groups called Familia, who serve a range of functions from dungeon crawling to crafting items. Each Familia is named after and serves a resident deity. In a fashion similar to role playing games, the adventurers are grouped into levels, increasing their levels and abilities according to their achievements.

Film Friday- Golden Kamuy

Film Friday- Golden Kamuy

Golden Kamuy is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Satoru Noda. The story follows Saichi Sugimoto, a veteran of the early twentieth century Russo-Japanese War, and his quest to find a huge fortune of gold left by the Ainu people, helped by a young Ainu girl named Asirpa. The Ainu language in the story is supervised by Hiroshi Nakagawa, an Ainu language linguist from Chiba University. The manga won the ninth Manga Taishō award in 2016.

An anime television series adaptation by Geno Studio premiered with two seasons from April to December 2018. A third season will premiere in October 2020.

The series has been licensed for an English-language release by Viz Media in 2016.

Anime

The opening theme is performed by Man with a Mission.

The anime television series adaptation is produced by Geno Studio. It is directed by Hitoshi Nanba and written by Noboru Takagi, with music by Kenichiro Suehir, art direction by Atsushi Morikawa, and CG direction by Yuuko Okumura and Yasutaka Hamada. Kenichi Ohnuki is adapting the character designs for animation, while Koji Watanabe designs firearms, Shinya Anasuma designs the props, and Ryō Sumiyoshi designs the animals. The series’ opening theme, “Winding Road”, is performed by Man with a Mission, and the ending theme, “Hibana” is performed by The Sixth Lie. Like with the manga, Hiroshi Nakagawa, an Ainu language linguist from Chiba University, works on the anime as an Ainu language supervisor.

The anime was announced in July 2017 in Weekly Young Jump, and aired for twelve episodes starting from April 9 to June 25, 2018 on Tokyo MX, ytv, STV, and BS11. Golden Dōga Gekijō, a series of 25-second animated shorts based on extras included in the Golden Kamuy manga volumes and Weekly Young Jump, is directed by Kenshirō Morii and produced at DMM.futureworks and W-Toon Studio. It premiered on April 16, 2018 online.

At the conclusion of the first season broadcast, a second season was announced and aired from October 8 to December 24, 2018. The second season’s opening theme, “Reimei”, is performed by Sayuri and My First Story, and the ending theme, “Tokeidai no Kane” is performed by Eastern Youth.

On July 7, 2019, it was announced that the series will receive a third season. On March 13, 2020, it was announced that the third season is set to premiere in October 2020.

The TV series is simulcast on Crunchyroll, and an English dub started streaming on Funimation starting on April 30, 2018. The series will also be released across three DVD and Blu-ray volumes in Japan, starting in July 2018; they had originally been planned to release starting in June, but were delayed one month to allow for improvements to the footage compared to the TV broadcast version. The Japanese home video volumes will include the Golden Dōga Gekijō shorts, including four episodes that are exclusive to the first volume. An original video animation (OVA) based on the manga’s “Barato” arc was released on DVD in a bundle with the manga’s 15th Japanese volume on September 19, 2018. A second OVA was released with the manga’s 17th Japanese volume on March 19, 2019. A third OVA based on the manga’s “Monster” arc was released with the manga’s 19th Japanese volume on September 19, 2019.

Characters

Saichi Sugimoto
A demobilized soldier and veteran of the Russo-Japanese War. He served a private first class in the 1st Division of the Imperial Japanese Army, and fought in the battle of 203 Hill. He was feared for his savage fighting style and amazing toughness on the battlefield, gaining the nickname “Immortal Sugimoto”. He seeks the gold to provide for Umeko, the blind wife of his dead comrade Toraji.

Asirpa
A young Ainu hunter who meets Sugimoto after saving him from a wild bear, and later partners with him to find the gold. She seeks to avenge her father, whom she believes was murdered by hunters searching for the gold. Her Japanese name is Asuko Kochoube.

 

 

Yoshitake Shiraishi 
A tattooed Abashiri convict and master escape artist. He is initially captured by Sugimoto, and later agrees to a truce after they need each other’s help to survive the bitter cold after they fall in a river. He is based on Yoshie Shiratori.

 

Wednesday News- August 26, 2020

Wednesday News- August 26, 2020

Crunchyroll Announces New Membership Tiers With Offline Viewing, Multiple Concurrent Stream- https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2020-08-25/crunchyroll-announces-new-membership-tiers-with-offline-viewing-multiple-concurrent-streams/.163274

Review: My Hero Academia: Make It! Do-or-Die Survival Training- https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/review/my-hero-academia/make-it-do-or-die-survival-training/.163021

‘Love Me, Love Me Not’ Anime Film Features Cameos by Live-Action Version’s Cast- https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2020-08-26/love-me-love-me-not-anime-film-features-cameos-by-live-action-version-cast/.163306

Finale Episodes Princess Tutuhttps://www.animenewsnetwork.com/review/princess-tutu/episodes-25-26/.163169

Anime

  • Caligula BD
  • Combattler V BD
  • Crusher Joe OVA Series BD
  • Domestic Girlfriend Premium Box Set BD
  • Fuuka Essentials BD
  • Gundam Reconguista in G Movie Part 2 Perfect Pack BD (import)
  • Human Lost BD
  • Kiki’s Delivery Service Steelbook BD/DVD
  • Lupin III: Dragon of Doom BD
  • Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind Steelbook BD/DVD
  • The Pet Girl of Sakurasou BD
  • VS Knight Lamune & 40 Fire BD

Manga

  • Abe-kun’s Got Me Now! GN 3 (Digital Only)
  • Accomplishments of the Duke’s Daughter Graphic Novel (GN) 6
  • Akashic Records of Bastard Magic Instructor GN 9
  • Arifureta – From Commonplace to World’s Strongest: Zero GN 3
  • ASHIDAKA -The Iron Hero- GN 1 (Digital Only)
  • Astro Boy GN 15-16 (Digital Only)
  • Attack on Titan GN 31
  • Bakemonogatari GN 4
  • Beast Children GN 1-3 (Digital Only)
  • A Centaur’s Life GN 18
  • A Certain Magical Index GN 22
  • Chi’s Sweet Home Complete Box Set GN
  • D-Frag! GN 14 (Digital Only)
  • Destiny Lovers GN 3
  • Double Taisei GN 1-3 (Digital Only)
  • Drifting Dragons GN 5
  • Fiancée of the Wizard GN 1
  • Fire Force GN 19
  • A Gentle Noble’s Vacation Recommendation GN 1
  • The Girl With the Sanpaku Eyes GN 1
  • Guilty GN 6 (Digital Only)
  • Hayate the Combat Butler GN 13-14 (Digital Only)
  • High School Prodigies Have It Easy Even In Another World GN 8
  • Hotaru’s Way GN 15 (Digital Only)
  • I Fell in Love After School GN 7 (Digital Only)
  • Im: Great Priest Imhotep GN 4
  • Inside Mari GN 7
  • In/Spectre GN 12
  • Interspecies Reviewers GN 4
  • Kounodori: Dr. Stork GN 16 (Digital Only)
  • Laid-Back Camp GN 9
  • Love Massage: Melting Beauty Treatment GN 6 (Digital Only)
  • Lychee Light Club GN 13 (Digital Only)
  • Magika Swordsman and Summoner GN 13
  • The Misfit of Demon King Academy GN 2
  • My Dress-Up Darling GN 2 (Digital Only)
  • My Room Is a Dungeon Rest Stop GN 3
  • Non Non Biyori GN 13
  • Re:Monster GN 5
  • Rent-A-Girlfriend GN 2
  • RIN-NE GN 11-12 (Digital Only)
  • Sazan & Comet Girl GN (Digital Only)
  • School-Live! GN 12
  • Smokin’ Parade GN 8
  • Suppose a Kid From the Last Dungeon Boonies Moved to a Starter Town GN 2
  • Sweet Reincarnation GN 3 (Digital Only)
  • Utsubora: The Story of a Novelist Novel 1 (Digital Only)
  • Waiting for Spring GN 13 (Digital Only)
  • Wave, Listen to Me! GN 3
  • When We Shout for Love GN 3 (Digital Only)
  • The World’s Strongest Rearguard – Labyrinth Country’s Novice Seeker GN 2

Other

  • Adachi and Shimamura Novel 3 (Digital Only)
  • Arifureta – From Commonplace to World’s Strongest Novel 9
  • Captain Tsubasa: Rise of New Champions PS4, Switch, PC game
  • Death end re;Quest 2 PS4 game
  • Demon Lord, Retry! Novel 4 (Digital Only)
  • The Garden of Words Novel (hardcover)
  • Giraffe and Annika PS4, Switch game
  • Goblin Slayer Novel 10
  • Jump Force Deluxe Edition Switch game
  • Kandagawa Jet Girls PS4, PC game
  • Katanagatari Novel 4 (hardcover)A
  • Monster Girl Doctor Novel 6 (Digital Only)
  • Monster Tamer Novel 1 (Digital Only)
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion: ANIMA Novel 3
  • The Saint’s Magic Power Is Omnipotent Novel 1 (Digital Only)
  • Udon’s Art of Capcom 2 Artbook (hardcover)

 

Manga Monday- Golden Kamuy

Manga Monday- Golden Kamuy

Golden Kamuy is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Satoru Noda. The story follows Saichi Sugimoto, a veteran of the early twentieth century Russo-Japanese War, and his quest to find a huge fortune of gold left by the Ainu people, helped by a young Ainu girl named Asirpa. The Ainu language in the story is supervised by Hiroshi Nakagawa, an Ainu language linguist from Chiba University. The manga won the ninth Manga Taishō award in 2016.

An anime television series adaptation by Geno Studio premiered with two seasons from April to December 2018. A third season will premiere in October 2020.

The series has been licensed for an English-language release by Viz Media in 2016.

Manga

Golden Kamuy is written and illustrated by Satoru Noda. It began serialization in Shueisha’s Weekly Young Jump magazine on August 21, 2014. The series has been collected into 22 tankōbon volumes as of June 2020. Viz Media announced that they licensed the manga at New York Comic Con 2016, and they have been releasing volumes in North America since June 2017.

Reception

Golden Kamuy had 5 million copies in print as of April 2018. It charted on the Oricon Japanese Comics Rankings for the week of April 18–24, 2016, with volume seven placing eighth place. By June 19, 2019, the date that manga Volume 18 was released, the total number of copies printed had reached 10 million.

The series won the ninth Manga Taishō award in 2016. It was nominated for the 20th and 21st annual Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize in 2016 and 2017, and won the 22nd in 2018 in the Grand Prize category. It was also nominated for the 40th Kodansha Manga Award in the general category, and for an Eisner Award for best US edition of an Asian comic. It was ranked second in the 2016 edition of the Kono Manga ga Sugoi! list for male readers.

The British Museum in London used an image of the character Asirpa to promote its Manga exhibit, which ran from May 23 to August 26, 2019.

Plot

Saichi Sugimoto, a veteran of the Battle of 203 Hill in the Russo-Japanese War, works as a miner in Hokkaido in order to provide for the widow of his dead comrade. He hears a dubious story about a hidden trove of Ainu gold, the location of which is hidden in the tattoos of a group of convicts who escaped from Abashiri Prison. When he discovers that the story is true, and that multiple other groups are in pursuit of the gold, he decides to search for it along with Asirpa, a young Ainu girl.

 

Film Friday- Chihayafuru

Film Friday- Chihayafuru

Chihayafuru is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Yuki Suetsugu. It has been serialized in Kodansha’s Be Love magazine since December 2007. It is about a school girl, Chihaya Ayase, who is inspired by a new classmate to take up Hyakunin Isshu karuta competitively. A 25-episode anime television series adaptation aired from October 2011 to March 2012. A 25-episode second season aired from January to June 2013. A 24-episode third season premiered in October 2019. Three live action film adaptations were released from 2016 to 2018.

The manga has won the Manga Taishō and the Kodansha Manga Award. Since its fourth volume was released in March 2009, it has regularly appeared on the Japanese Comic Ranking chart, and in 2016 was estimated to have over 16 million copies in print. Its popularity has boosted the profile of competitive karuta in Japan.

Anime

A 25-episode anime television series adaptation, produced by the studio Madhouse under the direction of Morio Asaka, aired on Nippon Television from 4 October 2011 to 27 March 2012. The screenplay was written by Naoya Takayama and character designs were by Kunihiko Hamada. The music was composed by Kousuke Yamashita, and the sound director is Masafumi Mima of Techno Sound. The series was simulcast by Crunchyroll. Animax Asia aired an English version of the anime from 13 February to 18 March 2013. The series was released in nine DVD and Blu-ray Disc volumes from 21 December 2011 to 22 August 2012. A Blu-ray Disc box set was released on 18 July 2013.

A second 25-episode season, Chihayafuru 2, aired on Nippon Television between 11 January and 28 June 2013, and was simulcast by Crunchyroll. An original video animation episode was released on DVD bundled with the special edition of the 22nd manga volume on 13 September 2013.

A 24-episode third season was originally announced to premiere on Nippon Television’s AnichU block in April 2019, with the main cast and staff reprising their roles, but was delayed and aired from 22 October 2019 to 24 March 2020.

Sentai Filmworks licensed the first two seasons of the anime series for home video release in North America. The series’ first episode premiered with English subtitles on the Hidive streaming service on 15 June 2017. Sentai Filmworks’ dub is streamed by Hidive starting from 29 August 2017. The first season was released on DVD and Blu-ray on 12 September 2017. In December 2019, Sentai Filmworks announced that they had licensed the series’ third season.

The first season’s opening and ending themes are “Youthful” by 99RadioService and “Soshite Ima” by Asami Seto respectively. 99RadioService released “Youthful” as a single on 30 November 2011. The original soundtrack with character song albums was released in two volumes on 18 January and 28 March 2012. The second season’s opening and ending themes are “Star” by 99RadioService and “Akane Sora” by Seto. The third season’s opening and ending themes are “Colorful” by 99RadioService and “Hitomebore” by Band Harassment.

Other

Kodansha released several guidebooks for the series, with the first released on 9 November 2011. It provided a study guide for the poetry and background for the story.

A 4-volume novel series, Chihayafuru: Chūgakusei-hen, was published by Kodansha under their KC Deluxe imprint between 9 September 2012, and 13 December 2013. The books were written by Yui Tokiumi and illustrated by Yuki Suetsugu and follow the middle-school years of the three protagonists. A manga adapting the novels, written by Tokiumi and illustrated by Oto Tooda, was published in Be Love from 13 October 2017 to 1 November 2018 and compiled into three volumes.

On 11 April 2015, it was reported that the series would be adapted into a live-action film. A live action film adaptation titled Chihayafuru: Kami no Ku was released on 19 March 2016, with a second film, Chihayafuru: Shimo no Ku, released on 29 April 2016. Starting on 20 February 2018, five webisodes titled Chihayafuru: Tsunagu were aired on Hulu Japan. Chihayafuru: Musubi, a third and final feature length film in the trilogy, was released on 17 March 2018.

A 3-volume novelization of the films, Eiga Chihayafuru, was published by Kodansha under their KC Deluxe imprint. The first two volumes were released on 11 March 2016 and the third on 13 February 2018. The books were written by Yui Tokiumi, based on screenplay by Norihiro Koizumi.

Another 3-volume novelization of the films by Yūki Arisawa, Shōsetsu Chihayafuru, was published by Kodansha under their Kodansha Bunko imprint in 2018. The first two volumes were released on 16 January and the third on 15 February.

Chihaya Ayase 
A determined high school girl who was inspired by Arata in elementary school to play karuta and to dream of becoming the “Queen” of karuta. She begins a karuta club at her high school with Taichi. She is first introduced to competitive karuta by her childhood friend, Arata. Karuta has remained as Chihaya’s passion despite being separated from Arata. She has an exceptional hearing ability that gives her an advantage in playing karuta. While she is beautiful, she is considered too weird, her classmates referring to her as a “beauty in vain”. She is crazy about karuta (her friends calls her “karuta baka”), to the point that she can be oblivious to other people’s feelings. Chihaya is the captain of Mizusawa Karuta Club. She works very hard at improving her karuta skills, and reaches Class A near the beginning of the series. She is a strong, passionate person who loves karuta and is dedicated to her teammates and friends. Chihaya shares a strong bond of trust and friendship with Taichi and appreciates his skill in leading the club, though oblivious towards his feelings for her. Chihaya cares deeply for Arata, despite their long-distance relationship. While on the telephone with Arata, she realizes that she will always love him and karuta.
Taichi Mashima 
A good-looking, all-rounded sportsman and Chihaya’s childhood best friend. His mother is very strict with him, telling him that he should stick to activities he can win at. He seems to have feelings for Chihaya although he had a girlfriend at the beginning, and is jealous of her feelings for Arata. Taichi is the president of Mizusawa Karuta Club. He is a talented student and an athlete, at the beginning of the series he claims to have outgrown ‘karuta’, but then, after watching Chihaya excelling and obviously having fun, he decides to help her form a karuta club. He has good analytical skills and a good memory when playing karuta, but he has very bad luck. Due to this, he ends up staying in Class B longer than supposed to. He has been in love with Chihaya ever since childhood (and eventually realizes his feelings) but never confessed to her. When Sumire tried to confess to Taichi, he tells her that he would rather have a relationship with the girl he loves than with a girl who loves him, indirectly indicating Chihaya. He cares for her very deeply, being there for her every time Chihaya gets upset or sad. He has serious character to make up for Chihaya’s comical character. As a child, Taichi was a rich, spoiled child and disliked Arata, making fun of him for being poor, but as soon as he, Chihaya, and Arata started to play Karuta together, they became friends. In love, Taichi still views Arata as his enemy.
Arata Wataya 
was a transfer student to Chihaya’s elementary school, grandchild of an eternal master karuta player, Arata inspires Chihaya to take up karuta. He has difficulty fitting in at Chihaya’s elementary school because of his Fukui dialect and passion for karuta, but Chihaya befriends him. His dream is to become a karuta Meijin. After graduating elementary school, he returns to Fukui to care for his grandfather. After returning to Fukui, he quits karuta because his grandfather died while Arata was competing in a karuta tournament to rise to A-rank. However, after Chihaya and Taichi visit him in Fukui, he regains his resolve to play competitive karuta again. He has beaten “The Queen” Shinobu Wakamiya and is aiming to beat “Master” Hishashi Suo to claim the position of “Master”. Arata cherishes his friendship with both Chihaya and Taichi, albeit romantically to Chihaya. Later in the manga, Arata confesses his love to Chihaya, also informing her of his move back to Tokyo. Arata then excuses himself, leaving Chihaya flustered and speechless.

Thursday News- August 20, 2020

Thursday News- August 20, 2020

Heaven’s Design Team Anime’s Teaser Unveils More Cast- https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2020-08-19/heaven-design-team-anime-teaser-unveils-more-cast/.163074

Touhou Sky Arena: Matsuri Climax Game Gets PC Release- https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2020-08-19/touhou-sky-arena-matsuri-climax-game-gets-pc-release/.163058

Shirobako Anime Film Returns to Theaters With Remastered Footage on August 28- https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2020-08-19/shirobako-anime-film-returns-to-theaters-with-remastered-footage-on-august-28/.163075

Review: Final Fantasy XV: The Dawn of the Future- https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/review/final-fantasy-xv/the-dawn-of-the-future/.162739

Anime

  • Beyond the Boundary Collector’s Edition BDPl
  • Ensemble Stars! Part 1 BD
  • Fragtime BD
  • Island Essentials BD
  • Pokémon – Diamond and Pearl: Galactic Battles Complete Collection DVD

Manga

  • The Ancient Magus’ Bride: Jack Flash and the Faerie Case Files Graphic Novel (GN) 1P
  • Angels of Death GN 10
  • Aoharu x Machine Gun GN 18
  • As Miss Beelzebub Likes GN 10
  • Bibi & Miyu GN 1
  • Black Butler GN 29
  • Bloom Into You GN 8
  • Blue Flag GN 3 (Digital Only)
  • Cardcaptor Sakura Collector’s Edition GN 5 (hardcover)
  • Cells NOT at Work! GN 3 (Digital Only)
  • Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair GN 2
  • The Death of Replicist GN 2
  • Dolly Kill Kill GN 5 (Digital Only)
  • Don’t Toy with Me, Miss Nagatoro GN 3
  • Fairy Tail: Happy’s Heroic Adventure GN 5 (Digital Only)
  • Flower Demon Door of the Sakaimeya GN 4P
  • The Fox and Little Tanuki GN 2
  • GE – Good Ending GN 8 (Digital Only)
  • Gleipnir GN 7
  • Golden Kamuy GN 17
  • Haganai: I Don’t Have Many Friends GN 18P
  • How NOT to Summon a Demon Lord GN 8
  • How to Train Your Devil GN 3
  • I Don’t Know How to Give Birth! GN
  • Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? On the Side: Sword Oratoria GN 12
  • The Island of Giant Insects GN 5 (Digital Only)
  • Kakegurui – Compulsive Gambler GN 12
  • Kakushigoto: My Dad’s Secret Ambition GN 6 (Digital Only)
  • Living-Room Matsunaga-san GN 8 (Digital Only)
  • Loner Life in Another World GN 1
  • Magia Record: Puella Magi Madoka Magica Side Story GN 2
  • Mikami-sensei’s Way of Love GN 8 (Digital Only)
  • Moonlight Moratorium GN 3 (Digital Only)P
  • O Maidens in Your Savage Season GN 7
  • Ōoku: The Inner Chambers GN 17
  • Orient GN 5 (Digital Only)P
  • Overlord: The Undead King Oh! GN 4
  • Parallel Paradise GN 2
  • Phantom Tales of the Night GN 5
  • Plus-Sized Elf GN 5 (Digital Only)
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica Complete Omnibus Edition GN
  • Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai GN
  • Redefining the META at VRMMO Academy GN 3 (Digital Only)
  • Reincarnated as a Sword GN 3
  • The Rose of Versailles GN 3 (hardcover)
  • Saiyuki The Original Series Resurrected Edition GN 2 (hardcover)
  • Saki the Succubus Hungers Tonight GN 3
  • Shōjo Fight! GN 12 (Digital Only)
  • So I’m a Spider, So What? GN 8
  • Space Brothers GN 37 (Digital Only)
  • Spirits & Cat Ears GN 9
  • Sweat and Soap GN 3
  • Sword Art Online: Hollow Realization GN 6
  • Teasing Master Takagi-san GN 9
  • That Blue Summer GN 8 (Digital Only)
  • Toilet-Bound Hanako-kun GN 13 (Digital Only)
  • To LOVEru DARKNESS GN 16
  • Toradora! GN 9
  • Urusei Yatsura GN 7
  • Venus In The Blind Spot GN (hardcover)
  • Yuuna and the Haunted Hot Springs GN 10 (Digital Only)P
  • Zo Zo Zombie GN 8

Other

  • 86 Novel 5
  • Aokana: Four Rhythms Across the Blue PS4, Switch game
  • Bleach: Brave Souls PC game
  • Bottom-tier Character Tomozaki Novel 4
  • The Demon Sword Master of Excalibur Academy Novel 1
  • Didn’t I Say to Make My Abilities Average in the Next Life?! Novel 10 (Digital Only)P
  • The Dirty Way to Destroy the Goddess’s Heroes Novel 4
  • Do You Love Your Mom and Her Two-Hit Multi-Target Attacks? Novel 6
  • Final Fantasy I*II*III Novel
  • How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom Novel 12 (Digital Only)
  • Rascal Does Not Dream of Petite Devil Kohai Novel 2
  • Skeleton Knight in Another World Novel 5
  • Slayers Novel 1 (Digital Only)
  • Sword Art Online Novel 20

Manga Monday- Chihayafuru

Manga Monday- Chihayafuru

Chihayafuru is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Yuki Suetsugu. It has been serialized in Kodansha’s Be Love magazine since December 2007. It is about a school girl, Chihaya Ayase, who is inspired by a new classmate to take up Hyakunin Isshu karuta competitively. A 25-episode anime television series adaptation aired from October 2011 to March 2012. A 25-episode second season aired from January to June 2013. A 24-episode third season premiered in October 2019. Three live action film adaptations were released from 2016 to 2018.

The manga has won the Manga Taishō and the Kodansha Manga Award. Since its fourth volume was released in March 2009, it has regularly appeared on the Japanese Comic Ranking chart, and in 2016 was estimated to have over 16 million copies in print. Its popularity has boosted the profile of competitive karuta in Japan.

Manga

The manga has been serialized in Be Love since 2007, and has been collected by Kodansha into 44 tankōbon volumes as of May 2020. According to the author, the manga was close to ending in late 2019. Kodansha has also published the first three volumes in a two-volume bilingual edition, with English translations by Stuart Varnam Atkin and Yōko Toyozaki. On 14 February 2017, Kodansha Comics began publishing a digital edition of the series in English; 20 volumes have been released as of June 2020. The manga is licensed in French by Pika Édition, in Korean by Haksan Culture Company, in Taiwanese by Tong Li Publishing, and in Thai by Bongkoch Publishing.

Reception

Chihayafuru won the second Manga Taishō award, and the 35th Kodansha Manga Award in the shōjo manga category. When Chihayafuru won the Manga Taishō award, it was commented that the series combines elements of the sport genre and literary elements with a discerning eye on the subject matter. The manga had sold over 16 million copies in Japan as the first half of 2016, and its popularity has boosted the popularity of competitive karuta. The manga has regularly appeared on Oricon’s Japanese Comic Ranking chart. Between March 2009 and September 2011, the fourth through fourteenth volumes all appeared in the top 25 during the week of their release and the week after.

Among North American reviewers, Gia Manry, writing about the first episode of Chihayafuru, felt that despite the animators’ efforts, karuta seemed boring, and criticised the overuse of CG sakura, describing it as a “mixed bag” of an anime. Bamboo Dong says that Chihaya’s passion and characterisation make karuta interesting. Carlo Santos felt that the series was the “first genuinely good show of the season”, citing its characterisation, unusual subject, and polish of the first episode. Marcus Speer enjoyed the production values of the first episode, but felt that the theme songs were “standard fare”. He was intrigued by how the characters’ childhood impacted on their present interactions. Theron Martin appreciated the focus on the characters rather than the game, feeling that while the teenage Chihaya seemed “gimmicky”, her younger self was “quite likable”. Chris Beveridge praised the tension shown between Arata and Taichi in the second episode’s karuta match. Theron Martin felt the second episode’s karuta tournament was tense and compelling, and that despite the plot unfolding in a predictable fashion, the execution made this forgivable.

Crunchyroll’s editorial team chose Chihayafuru as one of the best anime of the 2010s decade and writer Humberto Saabedra commented, “You might expect such a series to be dry and uninteresting, but Chihaya’s journey from bright-eyed freshman player to wiser and well-practiced is why the series shines”. Writing for Forbes, Lauren Orsini considered it to be one of the five best anime of 2011; she wrote, “Even Western viewers will quickly become invested in the fast-paced drama of competitive karuta“.

Development

An Edo period karuta card with the Kami no Ku, or “upper phrase” from the Chihayaburu Tanka and the attribution to “Ariwara no Narihira Ason” written on it. The name of the series comes from this Heian Era poem.

Yuki Suetsugu belonged to a karuta club in high school and feels that the school years are a period of a person’s life where “you can dedicate the most genuine part of yourself to something.” The name of the series is a poetic Makurakotoba, or pillow word, and comes from the first five syllables of the seventeenth poem in the Hyakunin Isshu poetry anthology, a collection of 100 poems which are printed on the karuta cards. In this poem chihayaburu is used as an epithet to kami and can be translated into English as “shaken in fury” and “swift in fury”, according to Edwin A. Cranston, or “awesome”, as offered by Joshua S. Mostow.

Plot

Chihaya Ayase is a girl who has spent most of her life simply supporting her sister in her model career. That changes when she meets a boy named Arata Wataya, a talented karuta player. After becoming friends, he believes that Chihaya has potential to become a great player. As Chihaya takes on a new dream of becoming Japan’s best karuta player, she is soon separated from her karuta playing friends as they grow up. Now in high school, Chihaya is reunited with her childhood friend, Taichi Mashima. Together, they form the Mizusawa Karuta Club. With her teammates and friends supporting her, Chihaya strives to become the best karuta player in the world and to one day be with Arata again.

 

Film Friday- Peacemaker Kurogane

Film Friday- Peacemaker Kurogane

Peacemaker Kurogane is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated created by Nanae Chrono. It is unrelated to the Peace Maker manga by Ryōji Minagawa. The story begins in 19th century Japan before the Meiji Restoration, a chain of events that led to enormous changes in Japan’s political and social structure while the seeds of the revolution are being planted. The story follows the boy protagonist, Tetsunosuke Ichimura, who joins the Shinsengumi while seeking strength to avenge his parents’ death at the hands of a Chōshū rebel.

The prequel of Peacemaker Kurogane, Shinsengumi Imon Peace Maker  was published by Enix in the magazine Monthly Shōnen Gangan. Shinsengumi Imon Peace Maker was licensed in North America by Tokyopop.

Anime

An anime television series adaptation by Gonzo and produced by Geneon ran for 24 episodes, which aired on TV Asahi between October 7, 2003 and March 24, 2004. The US license for the anime is held by ADV Films under the title Peacemaker. The anime mostly follows the plot of the original manga Peace Maker, but also introduces characters that are only shown in Peacemaker Kurogane. The anime aired in the United States on Showtime Beyond, alongside Chrono Crusade. On June 25, 2010, anime distributor Funimation Entertainment announced on their online panel FuniCon 4.0, that they have acquired rights to the series along with 3 other ADV title, after ADV’s shutdown in 2009. The anime was broadcast in France by Déclic-Images. It was broadcast in Spain by Buzz Channel. It was broadcast in Saudi Arabia by space power, in the Philippines by QTV and Hero.

The anime uses two pieces of theme music. “You Gonna Feel” by Hav is the opening theme, while “Hey Jimmy!” by Hav is the ending theme of the anime.

Gonzo Digimation released the anime’s seven DVDs between December 21, 2003 and June 25, 2003. Gonzo Digimation released the DVD box set, containing all 7 DVDs, on December 22, 2004. ADV Films released the anime’s seven DVDs between September 14, 2004 and September 13, 2005. ADV Films released the DVD box set, containing all 7 DVDs, on November 15, 2005.

On April 14, 2016, it was announced that the manga would receive a new anime adaptation, which was later confirmed to be a two-part anime film that adapted a later arc of Peacemaker Kurogane. It is directed by Shigeru Kimiya and written by Eiji Umehara, with animation produced by White Fox and character designs by Sayaka Koiso. The first part titled Peacemaker Kurogane: Belief premiered in Japan on June 2, 2018. The second part titled Peacemaker Kurogane: Friend premiered on November 17, 2018.

Drama and animation CDs

On December 21, 2003, Geneon released an animation soundtrack CD for Peacemaker Kurogane. Geneon released a set of 5 Drama CDs for Peacemaker Kurogane. The first CD was released on December 21, 2003, the second CD on January 23, 2004, the third CD on February 25, 2004, the fourth CD on March 21, 2004 and the fifth CD on April 23, 2004 The songs were sung by Mitsuki Saiga, Yuka Imai, Joji Nakata, Takaya Toshi, Junichi Suwabe, Kappei Yamaguchi and Kenji Nomura. On November 25, 2005, Geneon released a Drama CD for the second season of Peacemaker Kurogane. The songs were sung by Mitsuki Saiga, Joji Nakata, Takaya Toshi, Kappei Yamaguchi, Kenji Nomura, Kousuke Torimi and Takahiro Sakurai.

On March 10, 2004, a soundtrack CD was released for the opening theme of Peacemaker Kurogane, “You Gonna Feel” by Hav.

Live-action TV

A ten-episode live-action TV series adaptation of the manga aired on TBS entitled Shinsengumi Peace Maker. It premiered on January 15, 2010, and concluded on March 19, 2010.

Characters

Shinsengumi

Tetsunosuke Ichimura
The protagonist of Peacemaker Kurogane who was historically an actual member of the Shinsengumi. He is short, strong-willed and often underestimated by his peers. Tetsu also has a cheerful, active and competitive personality. He joins the Shinsengumi in order to become strong and to avenge the death of his parents at the hands of a member of the Chōshū clan, and ends up working as a page to Hijikata. At the time in 1864, Tetsu had psychogenic dwarfism and has not grown physically for two years due to his emotional scar. He has been more-or-less adopted as a mascot/little brother figure by the senior members of the Shinsengumi. He cries a lot.
Tatsunosuke Ichimura
Tatsu’s over-protective, easily worried and rather high-strung older brother/guardian (also an actual member of the Shinsengumi). He is polite, soft spoken and down to earth. After the death of their parents, he had to take care of himself and his brother. He in accordance with his more pacifist outlook, works only as a bookkeeper for the Shinsengumi. He has tried to put all thoughts of revenge for his parents’ deaths out of his mind, but convincing his younger brother to do the same is a little more difficult. Tatsu has a habit of apologizing for his little brother.
Sōji Okita
The first unit captain of the Shinsengumi. He is deceptively delicate-looking and has an overall sunny disposition that occasionally borders on childishness, but displays frighteningly deadly skill in combat situations. He shares a strong bond with Hijikata and is also one of the only people who has a deep understanding of Tetsu. He takes Tetsu seriously and often practices with him. In addition, Okita loves children and is rarely seen without his piglet Saizo when he is off-duty. He is the Shinsengumi’s best swordsman. Although he denies it, Okita is diagnosed with tuberculosis later in the series.
Toshizō Hijikata
The Shinsengumi’s second vice commander, Hijikata hides his compassion behind a cold and ruthless front, and is known as “the demon of the Shinsengumi”. A brilliant strategist and fighter, Hijikata’s talent for battle is extraordinary. When dealing with enemies, his method is highly practical and often reckless. He counts Kondō, Yamanami, and Okita among his closest friends, and is a stern master to his page Tetsu. His hobby consists of writing haiku.
Sanosuke Harada
The tenth unit captain and the best spear fighter in the Shinsengumi. Sanosuke is best friends with Nagakura Shinpachi and Todo Heisuke, forming a trio known as “The Three Comedians”, whose chief hobby seems to be annoying Tetsunosuke. He has a scar on his stomach from a failed seppuku attempt and is very proud of it.

 

Shinpachi Nagakura 
The second unit captain of the Shinsengumi. He introduces himself to Tetsu as “Sanosuke’s keeper.” Like Tetsu, he is often underestimated by his height (and young appearance — he looks like a child, but is actually in his 20s). In fact, he is extremely skilled with his sword and is a swordsman of Okita’s level. He is also quite the joker, especially in conjunction with Sanosuke and Heisuke.
Heisuke Tōdō
The eighth unit captain of the Shinsengumi. Heisuke is the youngest member of Kondō’s group and the youngest captain of the Shinsengumi. Since he has a slight infatuation with small, cute animals, he always calls Tetsunosuke “Puppy Boy” (much to Tetsu’s dismay).

 

 

Hajime Saitō
The third unit captain of the Shinsengumi. The droopy-eyed and soft-spoken Saitō has a supernatural ability to sense ghosts, spiritual auras (which unnerves many of the other members), and is able to perceive information about future events. He has an inexplicable camaraderie with Okita. Also considered the best swordsman of the Shinsengumi at the same level of Okita Souji.

 

Keisuke Yamanami
The first vice commander of the Shinsengumi. Yamanami (often called “Sannan” by Kondō and Hijikata, which is an alternate reading of the kanji in his name) is a good-natured and thoughtful figure, providing a counterpoint to Hijikata’s blunt and Machiavellian tendencies. He also loves children and takes a shine to Tetsunosuke. He is beloved by his fellow Shinsengumi members, and, like Hijikata, is firmly opposed to putting a sword in Tetsu’s hands. He is carrying on a clandestine affair with a Shimabara courtesan named Akesato.
Isami Kondō
The commander of the Shinsengumi. Kondō is presented as a grandfatherly, slightly-clueless figure who is still fully aware of his and his organization’s goals. He opposes Hijikata’s mistreatment on Tetsunosuke.

 

Ayumu Yamazaki
The “den mother” of the Shinsengumi, Ayumu (most often known as “Ayu-nee”, or “big sister Ayu”) is the cook and housekeeper at the Shinsengumi compound. A pretty woman with a motherly nature, Ayumu is fully cognizant of what the people around her do for a living, and acts as a sort of big-sister figure to Tetsu. She is Susumu’s older sister, and, like him, a shinobi. She mentions in one episode them as being apart of the Oniwaban. While Susumu is based on the actual spy, Ayumu is a fictional character. She dies during the course of the anime by the hands of the Choshū clansmen.
Susumu Yamazaki
Ayumu’s younger brother, Susumu is one of the Shinsengumi’s spies, reporting directly to Hijikata. A skilled shinobi and information-gatherer, his nature emulates that of his superior’s. He often cross-dresses (quite convincingly) to gather information.
Saizō
Okita’s piglet pet. He lives with his “family” at the Shinsengumi Headquarters. He also has a habit of chasing Tetsunosuke more often than anyone else.

Manga Monday- Peacemaker Kurogane

Manga Monday- Peacemaker Kurogane

Peacemaker Kurogane is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated created by Nanae Chrono. It is unrelated to the Peace Maker manga by Ryōji Minagawa. The story begins in 19th century Japan before the Meiji Restoration, a chain of events that led to enormous changes in Japan’s political and social structure while the seeds of the revolution are being planted. The story follows the boy protagonist, Tetsunosuke Ichimura, who joins the Shinsengumi while seeking strength to avenge his parents’ death at the hands of a Chōshū rebel.

The prequel of Peacemaker Kurogane, Shinsengumi Imon Peace Maker  was published by Enix in the magazine Monthly Shōnen Gangan. Shinsengumi Imon Peace Maker was licensed in North America by Tokyopop.

Manga

Peace Maker

Peace Maker (Shinsengumi Imon Peace Maker (新撰組異聞PEACE MAKER, Shinsengumi Imon Pīsu Meikā)) was published from April 12, 1999 to August 11, 2001 in Japan by Enix magazine Monthly Shōnen Gangan and was compiled in six volumes by Enix.

The sequel to Peace Maker transferred to Mag Garden’s Monthly Comic Blade. Mag Garden republished Peace Maker in five tankōbon volumes on September 10, 2005.

Mag Gardened edition was licensed and published in North America and Germany by Tokyopop. Tokyopop released Peace Maker’s five tankōbon volumes between August 14, 2007 and November 4, 2008. Later, Tokyopop re-released the manga through Madman Entertainment. The first volume was released on November 10, 2008. The second was released on February 10, 2009. Tokyopop Germany released the manga’s 5 tankōbon volumes between December 2005 and June 28, 2006. The manga was also licensed and published in Italy by Star Comics and in France by Kami. Kami released the manga’s 5 tankōbon volumes between September 20, 2006 and July 11, 2007.

Peacemaker Kurogane

Peacemaker Kurogane itself was started as a new series in Mag Garden’s Monthly Comic Blade in 2001 and transferred to Monthly Comic Garden in 2014. Mag Garden released the manga’s first five tankōbon volumes between October 10, 2002 and March 10, 2005.

Peacemaker Kurogane was licensed by ADV Manga, which released three volumes between October 4, 2004 and March 22, 2005 before putting it on hold indefinitely. After the license lapsed, Tokyopop acquired it and released the manga’s first volume on March 10, 2009. It released four volumes in total. The manga was licensed and published in France by Kami, and in Germany by Tokyopop. Tokyopop Germany released the manga’s first five tankōbon volumes between June 1, 2005 and October 1, 2005.

Reception

Mania.com’s Megan Levey commends the tension and emotion of the second volume of Peacemaker Kurogane that “seems to just ring from the pages”. Mania.com’s Megan Levey commends the third volume of the manga for its “very close facial expressions” in its artwork but criticises the manga’s color pages for coming “across as extremely flat and somewhat washed out”.

Peacemaker was ranked 9th as the “Favourite Anime Series” in the 26th annual Animage readers’ poll. THEM anime reviews comments that the “drama of the series is paramount” but its comedy is lame. Animefringe.com criticises the protagonist of the series, labelling him as “an annoying brat that cries and moans when he doesn’t get what he wants”. Mania.com’s Chris Beveridge commends the anime for its slowly revealed “supernatural elements” as well as the simplicity and comical nature of Saizō the pig. John Sinnott at DVD Talk praises the first DVD of Peacemaker for its original language version over the English dub because Ayumu’s English voice actress uses “one of those fake southern accents that are really horrible”. DVDtalk’s John Sinnott criticises the fifth DVD of the anime for “the lack of focus this series has”. Brian Hanson at Anime Jump criticises the anime for aping Rurouni Kenshin as well as not displaying the qualities of other Weekly Shōnen Jump anime when it becomes “surprisingly violent”. DVD Verdict’s Judge Jeff Anderson commends the anime for its “CGI that blends well with the animation” and English dub that has a much more dynamic sound than the original Japanese track. Science Fiction Weekly’s Tasha Robinson commends the anime for its “highly textured, detailed and beautifully rendered semi-historical drama, very much in the spirit of Rurouni Kenshin” whenever Tetsu “drops to the background” or “shuts up for a few scenes”.

Plot

The story is focused on the main character, Tetsunosuke Ichimura, who is an energetic, short and very childlike fifteen-year-old (16 in the manga). He and his older brother Tatsunosuke are left to fend for themselves after the vicious murder of their parents. While Tetsunosuke wants to get revenge, his pacifist brother is not so inclined. “Tatsu” joins a special police force dubbed the Shinsengumi, as an accountant to earn a living, his brother “Tetsu” wishes to join as a soldier to seek his revenge. The story chronicles Tetsu’s trials and tribulations as a struggling page craving redemption. He develops relationships with all the legendary members of the Shinsengumi army helping them with their various struggles as he constantly battles his own against himself. At the story’s climax, Tetsu discovers himself and the overwhelming responsibility the power he is searching for holds.

Film Friday- Gurren Lagann

Film Friday- Gurren Lagann

Gurren Lagann, known in Japan as Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, is a Japanese mecha anime television series animated by Gainax and co-produced by Aniplex and Konami. It ran for 27 episodes on Japan’s TV Tokyo between April 1, 2007, and September 30, 2007. It was directed by Hiroyuki Imaishi, written by veteran playwright Kazuki Nakashima, both of whom would later collaborate on two more projects, Kill la Kill in 2013 and Promare in 2019, and had been in development since the participation of the famed animator in the Abenobashi mecha-themed episodes by the same studio. Gurren Lagann takes place in a fictional future where Earth is ruled by the Spiral King, Lordgenome, who forces mankind to live in isolated subterranean villages. The plot focuses on two teenagers, Simon and Kamina, who live in a subterranean village and wish to go to the surface. Using a mecha known as Lagann, Simon and Kamina reach the surface and start fighting alongside other humans against Lordgenome’s forces, before fighting the forces of their true enemy.

In North America, although initially announced to be licensed by ADV Films in 2007, the license was transferred to Bandai Entertainment in 2008 and then transferred to Aniplex of America in 2013. In the United Kingdom, it was licensed by Manga Entertainment in 2007, then transferred to Beez Entertainment in 2008, and then transferred to Anime Limited in 2013. The Sci Fi Channel acquired the broadcasting rights of Gurren Lagann and began airing the anime on July 28, 2008, as part of Sci Fi’s Ani-Monday anime block. The anime won several awards at the Tokyo International Anime Fair and the Animation Kobe and Japan Media Arts Festivals.

A manga adaptation was published by ASCII Media Works between 2007 and 2013. Bandai Entertainment licensed the manga and released it in English in North America. A series of four light novels was published by Shogakukan between 2007 and 2008. A Nintendo DS video game was released in October 2007, bundled with a special episode of the anime series. Two animated film versions were produced; the first premiered in Japanese theaters on September 6, 2008, and the second premiered on April 25, 2009.

Anime series

Produced by the animation studio Gainax and directed by Hiroyuki Imaishi, Gurren Lagann aired in Japan on TXN stations between April 1 and September 30, 2007. The anime has 27 episodes plus two specials, the first being the uncensored version of the sixth episode, and the second is episode 5.5, a bonus that came with the Nintendo DS game.

The English version had been previously licensed by ADV Films, but was later acquired by Bandai Entertainment. A subtitle-only version was released in three volumes in July 2008, and an official English dub with the first two volumes released on November 18, 2008 called “Gurren Lagann Set 01”. The show premiered on the Sci Fi Channel on July 28, 2008 as part of Sci Fi’s Ani-Monday anime block, airing two episodes each week (and three the final week). The European distribution branch of Bandai, Beez Entertainment, distributed the series in the UK and Europe but has gone out of print since January, 2012. In 2013, Anime Limited announced that they have the distribution license for Gurren Lagann on DVD and Blu-ray in the UK. In 2014, they released a limited Blu-ray Ultimate Edition on October 20, 2014, featuring the entire series, both film adaptations and the complete Parallel Works series, as well as a hardcover artbook. A standard edition Blu-ray containing the complete series was also released on the same day with the DVD release following later that year. The English version also aired on Animax across its English-language networks in Southeast Asia and South Asia starting on May 22, 2009. It was broadcast in Italy on Rai 4 between September 24, 2009 and April 1, 2010. Aniplex of America re-released the series in a limited edition DVD box set on May 9, 2013. A Blu-ray Disc box set, which includes both the television series and the two film adaptations, was released on June 26, 2013. Adult Swim began airing the series in English as part of the Toonami block on August 16, 2014.

Music

Taku Iwasaki composed the show’s main background music. Four theme songs are used for the episodes; one opening theme and three ending themes. The opening theme is “Sorairo Days” by Shoko Nakagawa. Starting from episode 17, the second verse and chorus was used, as compared to the first verse and chorus used in the previous episodes. For episodes 1 through 15 the ending theme is “Underground” by High Voltage. “Happily Ever After” by Shoko Nakagawa was used in episode 16. “Minna no Peace” by Afromania was used for episodes 17 to 27.

Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann Character Song was released on July 25, 2007, by Aniplex, including image songs by the main voice cast, with songs sung by Tetsuya Kakihara (Simon), Katsuyuki Konishi (Kamina), and Marina Inoue (Yoko), the latter of which is a playable song in Dance Dance Revolution SuperNOVA 2. In addition, several music compilation albums have been released, most consisting of background music.

Main characters

Simon
is the main protagonist of Gurren Lagann. He is introduced as a fourteen-year-old digger from Giha village who is looked down upon by many of his peers for his timid and weak character. He greatly admires Kamina, one of his few friends in the village, and refers to him as his brother despite them not being related by blood. Simon spends much of the first quarter of the series following after Kamina, but gradually acquires his own fighting spirit and determination over the course of the series, acting on his own more often until his personality mirrors that of Kamina. His discovery of the Core Drill and the Gunmen Lagann are what set the events of the series in motion. Throughout the series, Simon primarily pilots Lagann (Japanese for “head/face”), which is capable of producing drills from any part of his body when he reacts to Simon’s Spiral energy. He uses this ability to combine with Kamina’s Gunmen, Gurren, to form Gurren Lagann. He can also take control of other Gunmen using this ability.
Kamina
is a refractory youth from Giha village who dreams of leaving his underground home and going to the surface world, which he saw as a child. His extremely passionate and self-confident personality causes him to act as a foil for the more timid and weak-willed Simon, and serves to instill courage within Simon. He is known for wearing sunglasses along with a tattered cape that had belonged to his late father. He wields a nodachi he stole from the chief of Giha village and his catchphrase of “just who the hell do you think I/we am/are?!” becomes the battle cry of his group. Although Kamina is killed significantly early in the show, his actions greatly influence the entire series, as he founds Team Gurren (later renaming it Team Dai-Gurren) and acts as its leader to combat the threat of Lordgenome and the beastmen. Early in the series, Kamina hijacks a Gunmen he names Gurren (Japanese for “scarlet”), which he pilots while combined with Simon’s Lagann to form Gurren Lagann.
Yoko Littner 
is a young woman from Littner, a village neighboring Giha, and is introduced as a member of a small resistance against the beastmen. She helps introduce Simon and Kamina to the surface world, and becomes a member of Team Gurren soon after. She falls in love with Kamina early in the series, and thinks little of Simon until he begins showing signs of self-confidence. After Kamina’s death, she tries to help Simon cope and forms a sisterly relationship with him. Instead of piloting a Gunmen, she wields a high-powered energy rifle and uses her superb marksmanship and wise counsel to help her teammates.
Nia Teppelin 
is a major character introduced later on in the series. Having lived a sheltered life as the daughter of Lordgenome, the main antagonist of the first half of the series, she is ignorant of the war between the humans and Lordgenome until she is abandoned by her father and discovered by Simon. She is a very polite and naive girl who is curious about the world, and acts as a soothing influence for Simon following his depression caused by Kamina’s death. The two fall in love and become engaged at the start of the second half of the series, after which she is discovered to be an agent of the Anti-Spirals. During this time, Nia is taken over by a cold and uncaring personality called “Messenger Nia” and forced to fight Simon against her will until Simon rescues her. Because her existence is tied with that of the Anti-Spirals, however, she fades away with them after they are defeated, but keeps herself alive long enough to marry Simon.