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Month: December 2020

Manga Monday- Antique Bakery

Manga Monday- Antique Bakery

Antique Bakery is a manga by Fumi Yoshinaga depicting the lives of four men who work in a small bakery. It was published in Japan by Shinshokan and in English by Digital Manga Publishing. The series won the 2002 Kodansha Manga Award for shōjo manga. The manga was adapted as a Japanese TV drama, with the title Antique or Antique Cake Store, that was broadcast on Fuji TV in 2001, an anime television series, airing on July 3, 2008 on Noitamina, and a Korean live-action film.

Yoshinaga’s spinoff dōjinshi

Fumi Yoshinaga has published spinoff dōjinshi of Antique Bakery, showing both “slash” stories involving characters shown to be straight in the manga series, but also showing stories which were only alluded to in the manga. Yoshinaga feels that these stories are too explicit for the shōjo manga demographic, and Akiko Mizoguchi points out that they are in the boys love genre and it would be “unheard of” for these stories to be published by another publisher, despite their popularity in the dōjinshi world. The existence of these stories has never been announced in Wings or in the books collecting Antique Bakery. There were seven available as of August 2003, increasing to fourteen dōjinshi as of 2011.

Live-action TV drama

The television series differs perceptibly from the story of the manga. While the four main male characters remain the same in many of their relationship dynamics, the BL/homosexual aspect of the original manga is significantly reduced to almost nothing. There is the notable addition of Momoko Itsuki, a female sports journalist who appears in the first episode of the series.

 

 

Korean live-action movie

Anime

Animated by Nippon Animation, it features opening and ending themes by popular band Chemistry. A subtitled US release by Nozomi Entertainment has been announced for April 2011.

Reception

Comic Book Bin’s Avi Weinrib enjoyed DMP’s scratch-and-sniff covers. Al Kratina found Antique Bakery “fluffy, light, and disposable”. Chris the 4th Pip thought the characters showed “surprising depth”.

Janet Houck, writing for Mania Entertainment, felt that the story of the first volume was choppy, using many flashbacks, and that the volume should have been given a higher rating due to its depiction of Ono’s backstory. David Welsh enjoyed the character-driven story, especially the Christmas story, which was rooted in a business perspective. Jessica Brooks of Anime Jump enjoyed that although food-themed manga is usually about food preparation, instead Antique Bakery is about customer satisfaction. She also noted that Ono’s homosexuality was essentially “played for laughs”, although she did not feel this was a negative. Tom Rosin, for MangaLife, felt that the first volume was “about cakes more than anything else”, and that he felt hungry after reading Tachibana’s sales pitches. Katherine Dacey, writing for Pop Culture Shock, felt that the main theme of the series was a “slice of life friendship story”. Johanna Carlson noted that the series is faux-yaoi. Robin Brenner, writing for TeenReads, noted that the series’ plot is not “the point” about this manga – the funny character interactions and elegant character artwork are.

The series won the 2002 Kodansha Manga Award for shōjo manga. The English edition of Antique Bakery was nominated for an Eisner Award in 2007, in the category “Best U.S. Edition of International Material – Japan”.

Film Friday- Jujutsu Kaisen

Film Friday- Jujutsu Kaisen

Jujutsu Kaisen is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Gege Akutami, serialized in Shueisha’s Weekly Shōnen Jump since March 2018. The individual chapters are collected and published by Shueisha, with thirteen tankōbon volumes released as of October 2020. In North America, the manga is licensed by Viz Media which publishes the series in print since December 2019. Shueisha publishes the series in English on the Manga Plus app and website.

A 24-episode anime television series adaptation produced by MAPPA premiered on MBS in October 2020. The anime is licensed by Crunchyroll for streaming outside of Asia, who premiered an English dub in November 2020.

As of October 2020, the Jujutsu Kaisen manga had 10 million copies in circulation, including digital versions.

Production

In 2014, Gege Akutami started working as assistant to Yasuhiro Kanō in Kiss x Death. He published his first work the same year, titled “Kamishiro Sōsa”, a one-shot chapter published in Shueisha’s Jump NEXT! vol. 2 on May 7, 2014. His next work was No.9, with a one-shot chapter published in Jump NEXT! vol. 2 on May 1, 2015, and another one-shot in the 46th issue of Weekly Shōnen Jump on October 10, 2015. Akutami would publish the one-shot “Nikai Bongai Barabarjura” in the 2016 44th issue of Weekly Shōnen Jump, released on October 3, 2016. This one-shot was nominated for the 11th “Gold Future Cup” contest of the magazine. In 2017, Akutami published Tokyo Metropolitan Curse Technical School, a 4-chapter series that ran in Jump GIGA from April 28 to July 28, 2017. This series would serve later as a prequel to Jujutsu Kaisen, being retroactively titled as Jujutsu Kaisen 0. Akutami began the publication of Jujutsu Kaisen in the 2018 14th issue of Weekly Shōnen Jump, released on March 5, 2018.

Akutami said that the message of Jujutsu Kaisen is that nobody has the absolute truth, not the “good guys” nor the “bad guys”, and if nobody is right, then nobody is wrong neither, and that each character acts according to their own ethics. Akutami is particularly a fan of Yoshihiro Togashi, author of Yu Yu Hakusho and Hunter × Hunter. He stated that the Sensui arc of Yu Yu Hakusho inspired him to create evil characters with the goal of eradicating humanity, for whom the readers, nevertheless, would feel certain empathy for. Akutami stated that with Sukuna and Mahito he wanted to avoid the typical “deep down they are good” idea, and stated that they are intrinsically evil beings who like make humans suffer, but he said that it cannot be proved that they are wrong, adding that Mahito was like Thanos in Avengers: Endgame, as Akutami never felt hatred for him.

Akutami stated that Neon Genesis Evangelion influenced him to develop the mythological aspects of the series. He is also a fan of horror films, whose influence is noted in the series, expressing as well that he used to be obsessed with found footage films. His art style is influenced by Yoshihiro Togashi, Masashi Kishimoto (Naruto), Yusuke Murata (Eyeshield 21 and One-Punch Man illustrator) and Tite Kubo (Bleach). Akutami said that he wanted his art style to get as close as possible to Togashi’s style. Regarding the process of character creation, Akutami stated that they must fall within the canons of shōnen manga in order to capture the attention of readers. Yūji is largely inspired by Akutami’s older brother, who is, in Akutami’s own words, his opposite, as he had succeeded in sports and study. For some characters, like Panda and Toge Inumaki, Akutami first created their visual aspects, while the character of Satoru Gojō came from an idea, which represents the paroxysm of force. Akutami said that Sukuna was his first favorite character, due to his design that was influenced by everything he had read, but Kento Nanami was the first character that he created and developed on his own, making him his current favorite character. He also stated that he plans to introduce Yūji’s mother in the story, and he knows when she will make her first appearance. Akutami also stated that the magic system presented in the series is largely based on Yoshihiro Togashi’s Hunter × Hunter, which fights, in Akutami’s words, “rejects emotional arguments”, but Akutami said that like Daisuke Ashihara, World Triggers author, whose magic system is also similar to Togashi’s, he is trying to find and develop his own style. He stated that he had the ending and the main stages of the story planned, but the path between the two remains “fairly free”.

Characters

Yūji Itadori
A teenager athlete who joins his school’s Occult Club to avoid the track team. After finding and opening a box containing a cursed charm resembling a rotting finger, his school is attacked by phantom-like creatures known as Curses. In order to protect his friends, he consumes the rotting finger and becomes possessed by a Curse known as Ryoumen Sukuna. He later joins the Tokyo Metropolitan Magic Technical College under the tutelage of Satoru Gojō, where he is placed under a sort of death sentence, which has been suspended until he consumes all of Sukuna’s fingers in order to kill himself and Sukuna at the same time.

 

Megumi Fushiguro
A sorcerer studying in first year at the Tokyo Metropolitan Magic Technical College under the tutelage of Satoru Gojō. He meets Yūji when trying to locate a high-grade cursed charm talisman at his high school. He is the one that convinces Satoru to try to save Yūji from his execution after his possession by Sukuna. He uses his curse power to create spirits  out of his own shadows to exorcise Curses. He has been noted to have high potential as a sorcerer by several other powerful people, including Sukuna himself.

 

Nobara Kugisaki
A sorcerer studying in first year at the Tokyo Metropolitan Magic Technical College under the tutelage of Satoru Gojō. She transferred to the college so that she could live in Tokyo without any expenses. She meets Yūji Itadori and Megumi Fushiguro during her first official mission as a sorcerer. She uses a charm weapon hammer and nails infused with her curse power to exorcise Curses.

 

Satoru Gojō
A sorcerer working as a teacher in the Tokyo Metropolitan Magic Technical College. He teaches Yūji Itadori, Megumi Fushiguro and Nobara Kugisaki. He convinces his superiors at the college to keep Yūji alive until he consumes all of Sukuna’s fingers. Even though his title of ‘The Strongest’ is self-proclaimed, most allies and enemies alike never actually dispute the title and generally consider him to be one of the most dangerous people alive. As a result, he is widely respected and venerated by sorcerers, even by those in the college’s sister school in Kyoto, and holds high influence in the sorcery world. He uses his curse power to control the space around him in innumerable ways.

 

Manga Monday- Jujutsu Kaisen

Manga Monday- Jujutsu Kaisen

Jujutsu Kaisen is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Gege Akutami, serialized in Shueisha’s Weekly Shōnen Jump since March 2018. The individual chapters are collected and published by Shueisha, with thirteen tankōbon volumes released as of October 2020. In North America, the manga is licensed by Viz Media which publishes the series in print since December 2019. Shueisha publishes the series in English on the Manga Plus app and website.

A 24-episode anime television series adaptation produced by MAPPA premiered on MBS in October 2020. The anime is licensed by Crunchyroll for streaming outside of Asia, who premiered an English dub in November 2020.

As of October 2020, the Jujutsu Kaisen manga had 10 million copies in circulation, including digital versions.

Manga

Jujutsu Kaisen is written and illustrated by Gege Akutami. Akutami first published in 2017 a 4-chapter series in Shueisha’s Jump GIGA, titled Tokyo Metropolitan Curse Technical School, from April 28 to July 28, 2017. It was later published in a single volume, retroactively titled Jujutsu Kaisen 0, on December 4, 2018. Jujutsu Kaisen started in the 2018 14th issue of Shueisha’s Weekly Shōnen Jump, released on March 5, 2018. Its chapters are collected and published by Shueisha into individual tankōbon volumes. The first volume was published on July 4, 2018. Thirteen volumes have been released as of October 2, 2020.

Shueisha began to simulpublish the series in English on the app and website Manga Plus in January 2019. Viz Media published the first three chapters for its “Jump Start” initiative. In March 2019, Viz Media announced the print release of the series in North America. The first volume was published on December 3, 2019, and six volumes have been published in English as of October 6, 2020.

Light novels

Two light novels written by Ballad Kitaguni have been released under the Jump J-Books imprint. The first, titled Jujutsu Kaisen: Soaring Summer and Returning Autumn, was released on May 1, 2019. The second light novel, titled Jujutsu Kaisen: The Path of Roses at Dawn, was released on January 4, 2020.

Anime

An anime television series adaptation was announced in the 52nd issue of Weekly Shōnen Jump published on November 25, 2019. The manga author Gege Akutami and the main cast members appeared at Jump Festa ’20 on December 22, 2019. The series is produced by MAPPA and directed by Sunghoo Park. Hiroshi Seko is in charge of the scripts, Tadashi Hiramatsu designed the characters, and Hiroaki Tsutsumi, Yoshimasa Terui and Arisa Okehazama composed the music. While the anime had an advanced streaming debut on September 19, 2020, it officially premiered on MBS and TBS’s Super Animeism block on October 3, 2020. The series will run for 24 episodes. From episode 3 onwards the series includes post-credits anime shorts titled “Juju Sanpo”, which focus on the daily lives of the main characters. The first opening theme is “Kaikai Kitan”, performed by Eve, while the first ending theme is “Lost in Paradise feat. AKLO” performed by ALI. The second opening theme is “Vivid Vice”, performed by Who-ya Extended, while the second ending theme is “Give it Back”, performed by Cö Shu Nie.

The anime is licensed by Crunchyroll for streaming outside of Asia. Crunchyroll has released streaming dubs for the series in English, Spanish, Portuguese, French and German that premiered on November 20, 2020. The English dub will premiere on HBO Max on December 4, 2020.

In Southeast Asia, Medialink licensed the series and is streaming it on iQIYI

Plot

Yūji Itadori is an unnaturally fit high school student living in Sendai with his grandfather. He regularly avoids the track team due to his aversion to athletics, despite his innate talent for the sport. Instead, he chooses to join the Occult Research Club, where he is able to relax and hang out with his seniors, and leave school by 5:00 pm to visit his grandfather in the hospital. While he is on his deathbed, his grandfather instills two powerful messages within Yūji – “always help people” and “die surrounded by people”. After his grandfather’s death, Yūji interprets these messages as one statement – everyone deserves “a proper death”. He is then confronted by Megumi Fushiguro, a sorcerer who informs him of a high-grade cursed charm talisman at his school that Yūji recently made contact with. His friends at the Occult Club unsealed the talisman, a rotting finger, which attracted Curses to the school, creatures that are brought about through negative emotions and are strengthened by consuming magical powers present in sorcerers or such charms. Unable to defeat the Curses due to his lack of magical powers, Yūji swallows the finger to protect Megumi and his friends and becomes the host of Sukuna, a powerful Curse. Due to Sukuna’s evil nature, all sorcerers are required to exorcise him (and by extension, Yūji) immediately. However, despite being possessed, Yūji is still able to retain control over his body for the most part. Seeing this, Satoru Gojō, Megumi’s teacher, decides to take him to the Tokyo Metropolitan Magic Technical College to propose a plan to his superiors – postpone Yūji’s death sentence until he consumes all of Sukuna’s fingers, allowing them to kill him once and for all.

Reception

The series had 600,000 copies in circulation as of December 2018, 770,000 copies in circulation as of February 1, 2019, 1.1 million copies in circulation as of February 2019, 2 million copies in circulation as of June 2019, 2.5 million copies in circulation as of November 2019, 4.5 million copies in circulation as of May 2020, 6.8 million copies in circulation as of September 2020, and over 10 million copies in circulation (including digital copies) as of October 2020, having grown 400% in one year, and about 230% in a half year. Jujutsu Kaisen was the 5th best-selling manga series in 2020, with 6,702,736 copies sold.

The series ranked 1st on the “Nationwide Bookstore Employees’ Recommended Comics of 2018” by the Honya Club website. It won the 3rd annual Tsutaya Comic Awards in 2019. In 2019, the manga was nominated for the 65th Shogakukan Manga Award in the shōnen category. The series ranked 31st on the 2021 “Book of the Year” list by Da Vinci magazine.

Leroy Douresseaux of Comic Book Bin gave the first volume a score of 8.5 /10. Douresseaux praised the series for its characters, plots, settings, and internal mythology, and described it as a “combination battle manga and horror comic book”. Shawn Hacaga of The Fandom Post, in his review of the first volume, compared the series to early Bleach and praised it for its world, lore, characters and artwork, concluding that it is a “solid first volume”. Hannah Collins of Comic Book Resources found parallels between Yūji and Sukuna and Marvel Comics characters Eddie Brock and Venom. She also noted similarities to Bleach, Blue Exorcist and Tokyo Ghoul. Collins commended the manga and regarding its then recently announced anime adaptation concluded that Jujutsu Kaisen is a “darkly enjoyable action series that’s sure to be one to watch out for in 2020”. Rebecca Silverman of Anime News Network ranked the first volume as a C. Silverman praised the series’ use of Japanese folklore and yōkai elements, comparing this and Akutami’s art style to Shigeru Mizuki’s GeGeGe no Kitarō, but criticized the story for being “very generic”. She concluded; “It has the potential to be more as Akutami gets more comfortable with the serialization process and figures out precisely where the story is going, so it may be worth a second book to be certain. But as of this one, it’s just okay, making it the kind of series that gets damned with faint praise”.

Film Friday- Log Horizon

Film Friday- Log Horizon

Log Horizon is a Japanese novel series written by Mamare Touno and illustrated by Kazuhiro Hara. It began serialization online in 2010 on the user-generated novel publishing website Shōsetsuka ni Narō, being later on acquired by Enterbrain and published as a light novel in Japan since 2011. Yen Press began publishing an English translation in 2015. The series follows the strategist, Shiroe, and the other players of the long-lived MMORPG Elder Tale after they find themselves whisked away into the game world following a game update.

The novel has received four manga adaptations, with one based on the main story and the other three revolving around characters in the series. An anime television series adaptation animated by Satelight aired on NHK Educational TV between October 5, 2013 and March 22, 2014. A second season by Studio Deen aired between October 4, 2014 and March 28, 2015. A third season by Studio Deen is set to premiere on January 13, 2021.

Main Characters

Shiroe
is the main protagonist of the series and Log Horizon’s founding guild master whose is an Enchanter class with a Scribe subclass, enable him to cast powerful support spells on his allies and accurately draw maps of the places he has visited while eventually develop new spells which can fundamentally change the natural laws of the world. His real name is Kei Shirogane, a socially awkward engineering graduate student who played Elder Tale for almost eight years. During that time, Shiroe was the strategist of the long-disbanded Debauchery Tea Party, an informal (non-guild) group of elite players who completed high level group quests known as Raids, and gained infamy as “Shiroe the Strategist” or the “Villain in Glasses” for his sometime unethical approach in solving a solution. Shiroe initially had strong reservations about joining guilds until the aftermath of the Apocalypse and the ensuing despair among the players convinces him to establish of Log Horizon, organizing Akiba’s Round Table council through a highly complex plan to buy Akiba’s Guild Building so he can remove criminal guilds from Akiba by banning them from the Guild Building premises.
Naotsugu
is Shiroe’s best friend and was also a member of the now-disbanded Debauchery Tea Party group. His real name is Naotsugu Hasegawa (葉瀬川 直継, Hasegawa Naotsugu). His main class is “Guardian”, allowing him to use heavy armor and weapons along with powerful defense spells to protect him and his companions as well as various trap spells to deal intense damage, while his secondary class is “Border Patrol”. He calls himself an “open pervert”, claiming that unlike some men he doesn’t hide his perverted nature from others and is very proud of that fact. He has a tendency to get on Akatsuki’s bad side with his perverted comments and a running gag is their confrontations usually ending with him getting a knee to the face, before she asks Shiroe for permission to do so. In the real world, he worked as a salaryman.
Akatsuki
is an Assassin within the world of Elder Tale. Her secondary class is “Tracker”, which enhances her assassin skills with stealth and detecting abilities. She was initially acquainted with Shiroe after having partied with him to complete quests prior to the Apocalypse. Despite appearing to be a pre-teen, she is a college student like Shiroe. After Shiroe helps her, she starts referring to him as her “Lord” and joins his party, claiming that it is out of gratitude but it is later shown that she is infatuated with him. She has a violent relationship with Naotsugu because of his “open pervertedness” and usually resorts to pre-emptive violence to stop his perverted comments before they can be spoken.
Nyanta
is a felinoid Swashbuckler. He was the former Chief of the Debauchery Tea Party and an old friend of Shiroe’s. His subclass is chef, which allows him to make delicious foods using ingredients, which is quite a reprieve from the tasteless pre-made food that is offered in Elder Tale, and ends up being an important plot point. Before the Apocalypse he was part of a guild called “The Cat Food Guild”, which was composed solely of cat people. It disbanded after their house caved in due to bad weather.

 

 

Light Novel Tuesday- Log Horizon

Light Novel Tuesday- Log Horizon

Log Horizon is a Japanese novel series written by Mamare Touno and illustrated by Kazuhiro Hara. It began serialization online in 2010 on the user-generated novel publishing website Shōsetsuka ni Narō, being later on acquired by Enterbrain and published as a light novel in Japan since 2011. Yen Press began publishing an English translation in 2015. The series follows the strategist, Shiroe, and the other players of the long-lived MMORPG Elder Tale after they find themselves whisked away into the game world following a game update.

The novel has received four manga adaptations, with one based on the main story and the other three revolving around characters in the series. An anime television series adaptation animated by Satelight aired on NHK Educational TV between October 5, 2013 and March 22, 2014. A second season by Studio Deen aired between October 4, 2014 and March 28, 2015. A third season by Studio Deen is set to premiere on January 13, 2021.

Plot

By its eleventh expansion pack, the massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) Elder Tale has become a global success, with a user base of millions of players. However, during the release of its twelfth expansion pack: Homesteading the Noosphere, thirty thousand Japanese gamers who are logged on at the time of the update suddenly find themselves transported into the virtual game world and donning their in-game avatars. In the midst of the event, a socially awkward gamer named Shiroe, along with his friends, Naotsugu and Akatsuki, decide to team up so that they may face this world, which unfortunately has now become their reality, along with the challenges and obstacles ahead of them.

 

Manga Monday- Log Horizon

Manga Monday- Log Horizon

Log Horizon is a Japanese novel series written by Mamare Touno and illustrated by Kazuhiro Hara. It began serialization online in 2010 on the user-generated novel publishing website Shōsetsuka ni Narō, being later on acquired by Enterbrain and published as a light novel in Japan since 2011. Yen Press began publishing an English translation in 2015. The series follows the strategist, Shiroe, and the other players of the long-lived MMORPG Elder Tale after they find themselves whisked away into the game world following a game update.

The novel has received four manga adaptations, with one based on the main story and the other three revolving around characters in the series. An anime television series adaptation animated by Satelight aired on NHK Educational TV between October 5, 2013 and March 22, 2014. A second season by Studio Deen aired between October 4, 2014 and March 28, 2015. A third season by Studio Deen is set to premiere on January 13, 2021.

Media

Light novels

Log Horizon began as a light novel written by Mamare Touno. It initially appeared in installments on the user-generated content site Shōsetsuka ni Narō (“So You Want to be a Novelist”) starting on April 13, 2010, and subsequently published in book form by Enterbrain since March 2011. Yen Press obtained the rights on its light novel imprint to release the novels in English from 2015.

Manga

The novel series has received four manga adaptations, all written by Mamare Touno. The first adaptation is illustrated by Motoya Matsu and titled, Log Horizon Gaiden: Honey Moon Logs It began serialization on January 27, 2012, and is published by ASCII Media Works in the Dengeki Daioh magazine. The second adaptation is illustrated by Kazuhiro Hara and titled Log Horizon. It began serialization on May 18, 2012, and was published by Enterbrain in the Famitsu Comic Clear web magazine. Yen Press obtained this manga for an English release. The third adaptation is illustrated by Koyuki and titled, Log Horizon: The West Wind Brigade. It began serialization on July 9, 2012, ended on March 9, 2018, and was published by Fujimi Shobo in the Age Premium magazine. Another manga illustrated by Sōchū and titled, Log Horizon Gaiden: Nyanta-honcho Shiawase no Recipe began serialization on December 21, 2012, ended on March 31, 2018, and was published by Enterbrain in the Comic B’s LOG magazine an collected in six volumes. A manga Log Horizon: Kanami, Go! East! illustrated by Kou was serialized in Comic B’s LOG from October 1, 2015, to December 1, 2016, and compiled in two volumes.

Anime

A 25-episode anime adaptation produced by Satelight aired on NHK Educational TV from October 5, 2013 to March 22, 2014. The series was streamed as a simulcast by Crunchyroll in North America and other select parts of the world.

A 25-episode second season produced by Studio Deen aired from October 4, 2014 to March 28, 2015. Both seasons have been licensed by Sentai Filmworks in North America for digital and home video release. For both seasons, the opening theme is “database” by Man with a Mission featuring Takuma. The ending theme for the first season is “Your song*” and for the second season it is “Wonderful Wonder World*”, both performed by Yunchi.

A 12-episode third season titled Log Horizon: Destruction of the Round Table has been announced, and was originally scheduled to premiere in October 2020, but was delayed to Winter 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The third season premieres on January 13, 2021. The third season is named after the title of Volume 12 of the web novel series and the official acronym is DORT. The staff and cast will reprise their roles from the second season. On October 5, 2020, Funimation announced they would stream the third season of the series.

Reception

Rebecca Silverman of the Anime News Network noted that the series has “its own unique take on what has become a subgenre of fantasy” when compared to the previous Sword Art Online and the earlier .hack series. With respect to the anime adaptation, Silverman noted that one of the major drawbacks was the artistry. She held the designs of the characters with small regard, calling them “somewhat bland and generic in design, which is a bit of an accomplishment given how many character creation options there apparently are”. She used the design of Akatsuki as an example, explaining that the character’s beauty has to be constantly reminded to the audience despite the fact that “she’s one of the less striking female characters on screen”. Another issue Silverman pointed out was the apparent overuse of Naotsugu’s perverted nature for comedic relief and finding that for some viewers he may be “line-crossingly obnoxious”. Despite these drawbacks, Silverman remarked that the “show shouldn’t be dismissed as ‘just another ripoff’ before giving it a chance” since “it has the potential to expand rather than rehash the basic premise of players trapped in a game”.

Film Friday- Violet Everygarden

Film Friday- Violet Everygarden

Violet Evergarden is a Japanese light novel series written by Kana Akatsuki and illustrated by Akiko Takase. It won the grand prize in the fifth Kyoto Animation Award’s novel category in 2014, the first ever work to win a grand prize in any of the three categories (novel, scenario, and manga). Kyoto Animation published the first light novel on December 25, 2015, under their KA Esuma Bunko imprint.

A 13-episode anime television series adaptation by Kyoto Animation aired between January and April 2018 with several advance screenings taking place in 2017. The series was awarded Best Animation at the 2019 Crunchyroll Anime Awards. An original video animation episode was released in July 2018, and a spin-off film premiered in Japan in September 2019. A second anime film, Violet Evergarden the Movie, was released on September 18, 2020.

Main characters

Violet Evergarden
Violet is a newcomer to the CH Postal Company, and works as an Auto Memory Doll—a ghostwriter for people who cannot write or are looking for help expressing their emotions in letters.
As an abandoned and nameless child, Violet was found by navy officer Dietfried Bougainvillea on an island where he and several members of his crew were forced to land after a naval engagement. Her combat prowess was discovered when she killed several soldiers who attempted to rape her before he could stop them. Violet then stalked and killed all the other crew members. For reasons he did not understand, Violet spared Dietfried and obeyed his orders. Later, Dietfried brought Violet home and “gave” her to his brother Gilbert in the military as a gift for his promotion to major, intending for Gilbert to use her as a “tool” for war while not wanting to handle Violet himself. Gilbert instead treated her as a human, taught her how to speak, read, and write, and named her Violet, wishing she could grow up to be as beautiful as the flower. During the war, she repeatedly played a vital role in battles. Trying to save Gilbert in the war’s decisive battle, she lost both her arms. With the war over, her arms were replaced with advanced metallic prosthetics, and she decided to become an Auto Memory Doll in order to learn the meaning of the words “I love you”—Gilbert’s last words to her before they became unconscious in the battlefield.
The light novel series (Vol. 1) explains elements of Violet’s origin that have only been hinted at in the first season of the anime series. Violet’s origins are entirely unknown. She is found on the island by Dietfried, but there is no indication of where she is from or how she got there and she has no memory of her life before meeting Dietfried. Dietfried shows Gilbert why Violet should only be a “weapon” by arranging for her to fight and kill five thieves and murderers he caught on his ship. Later, Gilbert shows the military Violet’s skills by having her battle and kill ten death-row convicts in a military “training ground”. The anime shows flashbacks to this latter incident without explaining it. Gilbert’s special forces unit is used as cover and support for Violet’s military activities. The novel also strongly hints that Violet may possess superhuman strength, but it is her remarkable skills at killing that are most notable.
Claudia Hodgins
A former army commander, Claudia is the president of the CH Postal Company. He was a good friend of Gilbert during their time in the military and Claudia attempts to help Violet take the first steps of her new life in order to absolve himself of his own guilt, stemming from Violet’s treatment back in the military.
Gilbert Bougainvillea
A major in the Leidenschaftlich Army, Gilbert came from an aristocratic family. Although he treasures Violet much more than anything else, he never expressed his feelings to her because of their identity as soldiers. It is his final words to her—”I love you”—that drive her to move forward on her new path as an Auto Memory Doll. The only memento of Gilbert that Violet has is an emerald brooch that reminds her of Gilbert’s eyes. As he wanted Violet to live a life like a normal girl, instead of a tool, he told Claudia to announce that he is missing from the war and declared dead. However, he recovered from his injuries and lived in a rural place before meeting Violet several years later.

Light Novel Tuesday- Violet Evergarden

Light Novel Tuesday- Violet Evergarden

Violet Evergarden is a Japanese light novel series written by Kana Akatsuki and illustrated by Akiko Takase. It won the grand prize in the fifth Kyoto Animation Award’s novel category in 2014, the first ever work to win a grand prize in any of the three categories (novel, scenario, and manga). Kyoto Animation published the first light novel on December 25, 2015, under their KA Esuma Bunko imprint.

A 13-episode anime television series adaptation by Kyoto Animation aired between January and April 2018 with several advance screenings taking place in 2017. The series was awarded Best Animation at the 2019 Crunchyroll Anime Awards. An original video animation episode was released in July 2018, and a spin-off film premiered in Japan in September 2019. A second anime film, Violet Evergarden the Movie, was released on September 18, 2020.

Reception

Violet Evergarden: Eternity and Auto Memory Doll was originally scheduled for a limited two-week release in Japan. The film ranked 6th at the Japanese box office in its opening week, and due to its successful release was extended for a longer theatrical run. The film subsequently earned 831 million yen ($7.9 million).

In the first weekend of Violet Evergarden the Movie‘s release, the film grossed ¥559 million over the 5-day holiday weekend in Japan coming in at No. 2 behind Tenet, outpacing the financial performance of the first film, Violet Evergarden: Eternity and Auto Memory Doll By its tenth week in release, the film had sold over 1.3 million tickets and earned 1.9 billion yen ($18.3 million); the film remained in the Japanese top 10 box office rankings for ten straight weeks. The film also earned the distinction of being the first original anime film (rather than a compilation film) to open in the Dolby Cinema format in Japan.

Plot

The story revolves around Auto Memory Dolls: people initially employed by a scientist named Dr. Orland to assist his blind wife Mollie in writing her novels, and later hired by other people who needed their services. In the present time, the term refers to the industry of writing for others. The story follows Violet Evergarden’s journey of reintegrating back into society after the war is over and her search for her life’s purpose now that she is no longer a soldier in order to understand the last words her mentor and guardian, Major Gilbert, had told her: “I love you.”