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Month: March 2021

Film Friday- Twin Star Exorcists

Film Friday- Twin Star Exorcists

Twin Star Exorcists is a Japanese shōnen manga series written and illustrated by Yoshiaki Sukeno. The manga has been serialized in Shueisha’s Jump Square magazine since October 2013, with individual chapters collected into twenty-four tankōbon volumes as of March 2021. The story revolves around Rokuro Enmado and Benio Adashino, a pair of young and talented exorcists, who (according to a prophecy) are destined to marry and have a child that will be the ultimate exorcist.

The series was adapted into an anime television series by Studio Pierrot, that ran from April 6, 2016 to March 29, 2017. The manga series has been licensed for an English language release in North America by Viz Media, publishing the first volume in July 2015. A video game was developed and published by Bandai Namco Entertainment for the PS Vita and released on January 26, 2017 in Japan.

As of December 2018, three light novels and two spin-off manga series have also been published and released in Japan.

Media

Anime

An anime television adaptation was announced on the January 2016 cover of Jump Square on December 4, 2015. The series is directed by Tomohisa Taguchi and written by Naruhisa Arakawa, with animation by Studio Pierrot. Additionally, Shishō Igarashi is serving as assistant director, Kikuko Sadakata is designing the characters, and Itsuko Takeda is serving as chief animation director. The series’ first opening theme song is “Valkyrie -Ikusa Otome-” by Wagakki Band, while the first ending theme is “Eyes” by Hitomi Kaji. The second opening theme, “Re:Call”, is performed by the idol group i☆Ris, while the second ending theme, “Yadori-boshi” is performed by the two-man group Itowokashi. The third opening theme, “sync” is performed by lol, while the third ending theme “Hide & Seek” is performed by Girlfriend. The fourth opening theme, “Kanadeai” is performed by Itowokoashi, while the fourth ending theme “Hotarubi” is performed by Wagakki Band.

The series began airing on April 6, 2016 on TV Tokyo and other TX Network stations, and later on AT-X and ended on March 29, 2017 with 50 episodes aired. Animax Asia aired the series with English Subtitles. Crunchyroll is simulcastin the series worldwide outside of Asia, and also released the series on Blu-ray + DVD with an English dub. Part 1 (Episodes 1-13) has been released on July 24, 2018 with a collector’s box to store the later three parts, and Part 2 (Episodes 14-26) on September 18, 2018. Part 3 (Episodes 27-40) was released on November 13, 2018, and Part 4 (Episodes 41-50) on January 8, 2019. Chinese streaming site iQiyi has listed the series with fifty episodes.

The anime is licensed in North America and the United Kingdom by Crunchyroll, with home video distribution handled by Funimation in North America and by Anime Limited in the UK.

Video game

A video game adaptation of the series from Bandai Namco Entertainment was announced on September 3, 2016. The battle adventure game was released for PlayStation Vita, and features Rokuro as a playable character. It features an alternate setup with five different girls as candidates for the title of Twin Star, including Benio, Mayura, and three other characters designed exclusively for the game by original creator Yoshiaki Sukeno. The game was released to Japan on January 26, 2017.

Characters

Twin Star Exorcists

The Twin Star Exorcists are a couple of exorcists destined to be the parents of the “Miko”, the reincarnation of Abe no Seimei and the ultimate exorcist that is said to be capable of cleansing every kind of evil spirit. The Twin Star Exorcists also have a special, exclusive ability called “Resonance”, that allows them to combine their forces to increase the power of their attacks or access abilities that no other exorcist possess. It is also revealed that the Twin Stars are not proper exorcists, but rather “Vessels” made by Abe no Semei and Ashiya Doman. They do not have guardian spirits, but rather their powers come from the entire world around them. The Male Twin star, made by Semei, is a vessel for the Yang energy and the Female Twin Star, made by Doman, is a vessel for the Yin energy. Both energies normally act as polar opposites to each other, but it is only through a fusion of both powers that the Miko is born, who is not a reincarnation of any spirit, but rather an embodiment of the two powers in one form.

Rokuro Enmado
The main protagonist. A brash and headstrong 14-year old exorcist who once motivated to be the strongest and cleanse all Kegare and sins. Rokuro was found by Seigen in Magano when he was 6 and had no memory of his past, after which Ryougo took him in. However, Yuuto Ijika caused a tragedy at the Hiinatsuki Dormitory which forced Rokuro in taking the lives of his friends who had been forcibly corrupted. Following this, his right arm was corrupted as well and became part Impurity with great offensive power. This tragedy made him nearly abandon exorcism until he met Benio, who inspires him to fight as an exorcist again. Despite not liking the idea of being her groom at first, he later develops feelings for her. During the time skip, Rokuro elevates in his studies and training, making him popular in high school. Rokuro becomes head of the former Adashino House on Tsuchimikado Island. In the climax of Kegare escaping into reality, Rokuro and Benio are rejoined after a long separation. Benio’s fate as an Impurity doesn’t change Rokuro’s feelings for her. The pair live peacefully on the island in the process of four years. Rokuro soon obtains a fragment of Yuto’s yang energy that slightly awakens his own transformation. After persuading the islanders to make an exception of Benio’s misconduct, she and Rokuro officially get married. In the manga, it is eventually revealed that the Twin stars are not truly human, and Rokuro is a vessel for Yang energy. He was created by Abe no Seimei, in other words her son, so it appears as though his Guardian Spirit is Seimei, but in reality neither him nor Benio has a Guardian spirit. In the anime, he is actually the Hajo-ó (Cataclysm King or Star Destroyer King), an extremely powerful Impurity created by Abe no Seimei who is destined to wipe out humanity should they become a threat to the world.
Benio Adashino
The main heroine. A serious, 14-year old girl, she vowed to become the strongest exorcist and destroy all Kegare in order to avenge her parents’ death, who died protecting her. She wears a fox mask during battle. Upon meeting Rokuro she inspired him to return to being an exorcist, and despite not agreeing with the idea of becoming his bride, she secretly admires him for his tenacity, claiming that it is his sole redeeming quality. Benio has a taste for Ohagi. She admired her brother Yuuto until she learns his true colors. She loses both of her legs in the battle against Yuuto, but in the process, gets Impurity legs as replacements from Kamui (like Rokuro’s arm) increasing her speed abilities to fight beside Rokuro. After the time skip, both seem to have become even closer with Benio silently noting that she has fallen in love with him. When receiving Sayo’s enchantment, Benio’s guardian appears to be of a dark entity that rivals with the Basara Impurity and is revealed by Kuzunoha to be Ashiya Doman, Abe no Seimei’s archrival. She later loses her ability to exorcise and decides to stay while Rokuro leaves to Tsuchimikado Island ahead of her, but before that, she confirms her love for him and kisses him for the first time. She later learns from Chinu, the first impurity, that she has not actually lost her powers, but is awakening her real powers instead; the powers of Yin, as Benio is not a human, but an Impurity in a human’s skin. Experiencing the oppression of past Lunas and noticing a weren’t beside them, Benio unlocks her Impurity transformation and rejoins Rokuro just in time for their rematch against Yuuto. After the second time skip, Benio, gains an eyepatch similar to Yuto’s. Benio’s secret is eventually expose and place in custody. Rokuro busted her out and convinces the exorcist community to trust Benio again and accept their marriage.

 

 

Manga Monday- Twin Star Exorcists

Manga Monday- Twin Star Exorcists

Twin Star Exorcists is a Japanese shōnen manga series written and illustrated by Yoshiaki Sukeno. The manga has been serialized in Shueisha’s Jump Square magazine since October 2013, with individual chapters collected into twenty-four tankōbon volumes as of March 2021. The story revolves around Rokuro Enmado and Benio Adashino, a pair of young and talented exorcists, who (according to a prophecy) are destined to marry and have a child that will be the ultimate exorcist.

The series was adapted into an anime television series by Studio Pierrot, that ran from April 6, 2016 to March 29, 2017. The manga series has been licensed for an English language release in North America by Viz Media, publishing the first volume in July 2015. A video game was developed and published by Bandai Namco Entertainment for the PS Vita and released on January 26, 2017 in Japan.

As of December 2018, three light novels and two spin-off manga series have also been published and released in Japan.

Plot

Rokuro Enmado is a young boy who used to be a powerful aspiring exorcist, before a tragic incident left his friends dead and made him abandon the profession. One day, he has a fateful encounter with Benio Adashino, a girl around his age and a well known exorcist from the east. According to a prophecy, Rokuro and Benio are the “Twin Star Exorcists” and are destined to marry and have a child known as the “Miko” which will be the ultimate exorcist, capable of cleansing all evil spirits (Kegare) from the world and ending the war that has lasted over a millennium.

Reception

Volume 1 reached 11th place on the weekly Oricon manga charts, with 29,527 copies sold; volume 2 reached 23rd place, with 30,734 copies; volume 3 reached 46th place, with 38,835 copies; volume 4 reached 24th place, with 37,900 copies; volume 5 also reached 24th place, with 47,489 copies; volume 6 reached 32nd place, with 48,029 copies; volume 7 reached 20th place, with 48,762 copies; and volume 8 reached 11th place, with 56,947 copies.

Volume 3 of the English translation appeared on the New York Times Manga Best Sellers list for two non-consecutive weeks, first at 8th place and then at 6th.

Media

Manga

Yoshiaki Sukeno began serializing the manga in Shueisha’s Jump Square magazine on October 4, 2013. A special chapter was published in Weekly Shōnen Jump in April 2016.

Viz Media licensed the series for publication in North America, with the first volume released on July 7, 2015.

Spin-offs

The first spin-off manga series, Sōsei no Onmyōji: SD Nyoritsuryō!! is a comedy spin-off comic, written by koppy and supervised by Yoshiaki Sukeno. It is published at the official website of the original manga, as well as the magazine Saikyō Jump. The content of this manga is canon, showing personalities of many characters. The compiled volume was published and released on March 3, 2017 in Japan.

The second spin-off manga series, Sōsei no Onmyōji: Tenen Jakko: Nishoku Kokkeiga is a manga adaptation of the light novel Sōsei no Onmyōji: Tenen Jakko, written and illustrated by the same authors. The back-story focuses on the characters, Seigen Amawaka and Yukari Otomi. The spin-off series was launched by Yoshiaki Sukeno on Shueisha’s Shonen Jump+ website on August 27, 2018. The compiled volume was published on December 4, 2018 in Japan.

Light novels

As of December 2018, three light novel adaptations have been published and released by Shueisha under its JUMP j-BOOKS imprint. The light novels are titled in the following order; Sōsei no Onmyōji: Tenen Jakko, Sōsei no Onmyōji: Shiga Kenbyaku and Sōsei no Onmyōji: Santen Haja. Each novel features a back-story from the perspective of different characters from the main series, serving as prologues to the main story. The light novels are written by Hajime Tanaka and supervised by Yoshiaki Sukeno.

 

Film Friday- Beet the Vandel Buster

Film Friday- Beet the Vandel Buster

Beet the Vandel Buster is a Japanese manga series written by Riku Sanjo and illustrated by Koji Inada. It takes place in a fantasy world where humans have been suffering from the attacks of the demon-like Vandels. (“Vandel” is a portmanteau of “vampire and “devil”.) Humans can fight back by becoming a Vandel Buster, a paid monster and Vandel assassin. The protagonist of the story, Beet, is a young boy who becomes a Vandel Buster to be like his heroes, the Zenon Warriors.

The manga was published in Shueisha’s Monthly Shōnen Jump in Japan from 2002 until September 2006, when Inada became ill. On December 17, 2015, it was reported that the manga will resume in the Spring 2016 issue of Jump SQ.Crown. The manga ran in Jump SQ. Crown until October 2016 and it is currently published in Jump SQ.Rise.

Viz Media published the first twelve volumes in English. An anime adaption was produced by Toei Animation and Dentsu and aired on TV Tokyo. It ran for 52 episodes, followed by a sequel, Beet the Vandel Buster: Excellion, which ran for 25 episodes. The anime was licensed in North America by Illumitoon Entertainment, who only released one DVD containing 4 episodes with an English dub track.

Main characters

Beet
The fifteen-year-old protagonist of the story, Beet is the leader of his own group of Vandel Busters, called the Beet Warriors. His dream is to end the dark century, and to kill all the vandels so they will stop killing humans. At the beginning of the series, he received five Saiga from the members of the Zenon Warriors, which are his major weapons in fighting vandels. He is strong when fighting monsters and Vandels but is weak when fighting humans. He also keeps mentioning that Poala will be his future wife.

 

 

Poala
Beet’s childhood friend, and the second person to join the Beet Warriors. She is a beautiful girl mentioned by Kissu and some other busters. Though beautiful, she is also an intelligent and wise girl, but often lets her anger towards others get the best of her. Poala is shown to be quite good with fire tengeki, but has trouble controlling its raw power. She is fairly skilled in tengeki. She is also known among Vandel Busters as Beet’s future wife.

 

Slade
Slade is a Vandel Buster and a rival of Beet’s whom he has known since his training journey. Like Beet, he is highly skilled in the use of spears, which has been developed by the 120 bouts he and Beet have fought. His main weapon is Wind Tengeki, which makes up his saiga, the Silent Grave. Despite his outward attitude towards Beet, he cares for him, but also believes he is too naive. He is also a friendly rival with Beet and hopefully a new member for the Beet Warriors.
Milfa
Milfa is a Broad Buster (BB) who is very upbeat, big fan of the Zenon Warriors and has a dream to either marry Zenon, Beet, or Kissu. She may even become a new addition to the Beet Warriors. She is especially skilled in the Lightning Tengeki, which also makes up her saiga, the Lightbolt Grasper.
Kissu
An old friend of Beet. He is a genius and master of tengeki, using his abilities to rival even the strongest busters. He is trying to redeem himself in his eyes and the eyes of Beet for teaming up with a Vandel, and Beet’s biggest enemy, Grunide.
Zenon
Beet’s older brother and leader of the Zenon Warriors. His saiga is the holy Excellion Blade, which was passed onto Beet. Upon meeting Cruss, Beet learns that Zenon used “the power beyond saiga” to handle Beltorze before being sucked into a dimensional rift. His current state and whereabouts are unknown.
Laio
Member of the Zenon Warriors. Laio’s fiery saiga is the Burning Lance, which was passed onto Beet. Taught Beet how to fight with the spear. After the encounter with Beltorze, his whereabouts became unknown.
Cruss
Member of the Zenon Warriors. Handsome and skilled with the power of water, uses the saiga ‘Crown Shield’ which he passed onto Beet. He had lost his memory until after the battle with the Vandel Garownewt. Told Beet what he remembered about the fight with Beltorze and helped him sharpen his skills with the Crown Shield saiga.
Bluezam
Member of the Zenon Warriors. To match his immense size, he wields the Boltic Axe, which was passed onto Beet. After the encounter with Beltorze, his whereabouts became unknown.
Alside
Member of the Zenon Warriors. His saiga is the Cyclone Gunner, which was passed onto Beet. After the encounter with Beltorze, his whereabouts became unknown.
The Winged Knight
A buster who saves Beet’s life when he encounters Garownewt. He also teaches Beet how to properly wield the saiga within him. His presence is an enigma, yet he seems to know the Zenon Warriors somehow.

Terms

Busters
Vandel Busters are often called Busters. To become a Buster, one applies at the Buster “house” to get a brand that indicates their level. Elders have the special ability to scan a buster’s eye to prove kills and advance levels. Levels are similar to RPG game level systems in that the more monsters or Vandels one kills, the higher one’s level. Levels are represented in Roman numeral like characters that represent numbers, with each line representing a level. The buster’s level is more a reflection of how much they have done, rather than how strong they are. Elders also give monetary rewards for slaying Vandels and Monsters, allow for the formal formation of groups, and give information. Each “house”, in each town, is under the jurisdiction of the Busters Association. (Similar to the vandel hotel)
Busters can work either individually or in groups. Buster are policed by a group known as the Broad Busters, commonly referred to as BB, and must have at least a minimum level of 40. Busters fight with Divine attack (energy in the forms of Air, Fire, Light, Thunder, and Water), or their own individual Saiga (A magic weapon made of divine energy), the ultimate weapon used to fight evil. Normally, a Buster is not able to produce a Saiga until they have mastered a certain level of divine attack.
Tengeki
Tengeki (called “Divine Power” in the English manga) is the main weapon that only vandel busters can use. It is described as “the ability to grasp heaven” because no one else besides busters can use it. The ability to use tengeki is activated when one first becomes a buster and receives their buster branding. Tengeki is assorted in five categories: fire, water, wind, lightning, and light. Each element is more powerful than another but weak against another. The order goes water puts out fire, fire “burns” through wind, wind cuts through lightning, and lightning shocks water. Light isn’t included in this because light is its own separate element and does not exist in the natural world. Below is a list of each tengeki and a summary of them overall.
Fire Tengeki: The Divine Power of Fire is characterized by its explosiveness and ability to burn through anything. Common attacks are fireballs, long bursts of flame, and focusing the flame into various shapes. Fire can also be focused through weapons to extend the user’s reach of where the flame hits. The highest level of attack, called “burst end,” focuses and compresses the fire tengeki into a ball that causes an enormous explosion when hit against something. Divine Fire is the best style for close range attackers, and it is the most commonly seen style among busters. Examples of Fire Saiga are Beet and Laio’s Burning Lance and Jiiku’s Blaster Edge. Most Fire Saigas are regular weapons that focus fire around the weapon, increasing the damage it can cause.
Wind Tengeki: The Divine Power of Wind is characterized by two things: its ability to cut and slice through vandels, and its ability to blow away monsters. Common attacks are creating blades of air focused to various degrees, which can slice through objects. Another common attack is to create tornadoes and hurricanes, which can blow opponents away. Wind Tengeki can also be focused through a weapon, either increasing its cutting ability or extending its reach. A high level attack, called Linear Gust, focuses Wind Tengeki to a great degree and the tengeki pushes through a monster’s body, piercing it and exploding from within its body. Divine Wind can also be focused by skilled users around the body, which results in a shield of wind all around the user. A high level defense technique is to focus the Wind in the normal way of a shield, but is focused so that when a vandel comes within reach of the shield, the air will slice up the vandel. Wind is mainly used in mid to long range attacks, but it can also be used at close range. Wind Saigas are commonly shown to compress air for attacks, like Alside’s Saiga Cyclone Gunner, which uses compressed balls of air for ammo. A close range example would be Slade’s Saiga Silent Gaive. Silent Gaive is a spear compressed to the limits, so it can cut through virtually any vandel. Wind is the second most common element seen.
Water Tengeki: The Divine Power of Water is very flexible and flowing. The most common attack for Divine Water is to focus the water into ice, and fire it at opponents, which leaves them frozen. Afterwards, they can be smashed into smaller pieces. Ice is also commonly focused into different shapes, like knives or needles, which are thrown at the opponent. A very high level attack associated with this is to focus the water in the air above the monster into needles, which can drop on the opponent. Another common attack is to focus and compress water into various shapes (most commonly seen is a stream of water) and fire it at opponents. This will either push the opponent back, or if focused enough, grind through the opponent. A high level attack, developed by Kissu, is called Frozen Wave of Divine Blue, which is a highly compressed arrow of ice tengeki. When it hits an opponent, it goes right through them, freezing them completely and destroying them in the process. Less commonly seen techniques, only associated with water, are healing powers. By focusing the water tengeki on a wound, highly skilled users can heal injuries. An example of a Water Saiga is Cruss’s and Beet’s Saiga Crown Shield. This shield is called “strongest shield in the world,” and it deserves that reputation. It can block many powerful attacks, and like water, it flows from offense to defense. If the user needs to attack (which is not very often, considering that it is a shield saiga), it can transform into a ball with a very very long chain attached to it, which can pound vandels into the dirt. Beet used this technique to kill the Phantom Beltorze. Another side technique associated with the crown shield is that it can cure poison by using water tengeki to push poison out of the body. Because of these techniques, water can be used for close range and long range attacks. However, it is mainly used for midrange attacks. Divine Water is the 4th most commonly seen tengeki.
Lightning Tengeki: The Divine Power of Thunder is characterized by its supersonic speed, repulsion/attraction of the electromagnetic force, eye blinding brightness and unpredictable movement. Common attacks include focusing lighting in the hand and throwing it like a ball, or conducting it through a weapon to increase its damage. Skilled users can focus their lighting tengeki in the air, causing lighting to hit opponents. A unique defensive technique shown by Milfia is to conducting lighting on yourself, super charging your body. This createa a rather nasty shock when anyone touches you, be it friend or foe. This technique is dangerous for those who are not very skilled, because if one messes their control of lighting it could go throw your body and stop your heart. Like other elemental saiga, lighting saiga have more than one side to them. For example, Beet’s and Bluezam’s Boltic Axe appears to be just a giant golden axe, but there is more to the saiga than that. The axe is easily capable of cutting through bedrock, which makes it handy for killing vandals. When Beet swings the axe, he is capable of letting out a condensed form of lighting tengeki that can cut through hard boulder. However, its greatest ability lies in the axe itself. When Beet’s life is in mortal peril, a seal in the axe opens up, and begins to suck anything and everything in the area into the void, acting as a black hole. This technique is so powerful, it drove off three seven star vandels from the area in seconds. Another example of a lighting saiga is Milfia’s Lightbolt Grasper. Basically a giant pair of pinchers, this saiga is able to grasp enemies and hold them down, making it easier for teammates to attack. In extreme situations, Lightingbolt Grasper is able to clamp onto enemies and drive stakes from the saiga into the ground. Then, Milfia fires off an incredibly condensed ball of electricity, which can be controlled to move vandels hundreds of feet into the sky.
Vandels
The Vandels are creatures that have a demonic appearance and whose sole purpose seems to be terrorizing humanity. Vandels have a base called the vandel hotel located at the end of the world. The dark house of sorcery is responsible for creating Monsters for the Vandels who order them as well as giving money and marble shaped “Stars” for killing humans and destroying towns. They also provide fortress construction for Vandels, luxuries, etc. The Vandels pay for monsters that they order and other things through dark currency (Humans use MG coins).
Vandels can use dark attacks to attack. Like Divine attacks, they can come in several forms: fire, water, wind, lightning, and sorcery. Vandels control the dark power with their horns, which is the hardest part of the vandel’s body. If the horn of a powerful vandel is severed, the uncontrolled dark power will accumulate inside his body. The moment the vandel dies, it cause an explosion that is five times as powerful as a first-class dark attack.
Vandels start out with one “Star” and like levels, more work is required to gain one Star if the Vandel already has several. Supposedly, the first Vandel to obtain eight Stars will become the new leader of the Vandels. The stars shatter when a Vandel is killed.
Each Vandel’s body is different, granting them all manner of unique abilities; weapon generation, monster storage, and being able to regrow an entire body from a golf ball sized “core” just to name a few. There is also much more variation in the first class dark attacks then in their divine counterpart. Rozzgoat’s version of Inferno looks like a giant centipede of fire with one eye but another Vandel’s Inferno would look completely different.
“The Eyes of Darkness” are the gods and creators of the Vandels. Outside of Shagi and some of the other workers at the vandel hotel, their existence appears to be unknown.
Encyclopedia of Monsters
All the monsters a Vandel can order are listed in this encyclopedia. It is also divided into sections like trees, caves, bogs, etc. The stronger the monster the more expensive it is. Low level monsters are like animals in both intelligence and appearance. They do not take instruction. They just obey instinct. Higher level monster are much smarter and/or stronger but do not reproduce naturally. They must either develop from weaker monsters, or be purchased.
In the past, Vandels could make their own monsters. Grineed, “The Clever Honcho of Deep Green” rediscovered the lost knowledge of creating monsters so that he no longer had to buy them from the Vandel Hotel. He died before passing on his knowledge.
Monsters can be “special ordered”. This means that they have abilities beyond what is normal for that kind of monster. An example is Dangol, a protector bug with human speech and intelligence, who served Grineed as a personal assistant and punching bag/stress release device. Another is Hazan, Beltorze’s Hound Knight, who was created in response to a demand for “a strong monster who will not be a burden.”
There are two basic philosophies on monsters. Some Vandels like to buy large numbers of cheap monsters while others prefer a small number of powerful monsters.
Saiga
Saiga are the trademark weapons of Vandel Busters. They are created from a Vandel buster’s divine force, and are generally gained in levels 30 and up. A Saiga is a Vandel Buster’s soul, and is best wielded by the owner or another who wields said Saiga with the whole of their soul. A Vandel Buster’s Saiga can be transferred to another Vandel Buster, or even a normal human to save their life. Upon it being transferred, that person can wield the Saiga at their own will, regardless of their prior training as a Vandel Buster, or lack thereof. Each Vandel Buster can only have one Saiga from their soul, unless the Saiga of another Vandel Buster is transferred to him or her. The Saiga reflects the owner’s fighting style, abilities, and overall soul. It also seems to represent the imagination and cleverness of the user. For example, in episode, a seemingly dumb man used a divine fire saiga in the shape of a sword, which doesn’t have any unique properties besides a regular fire saiga. On the other hand, Slade’s saiga represents his cleverness by making it invisible and being incredibly thin. Saiga can have several different forms, which can allow a Vandel Buster to fight in many different situations. For example, Cruss’ Saiga Crown Shield is a shield, which can turn into a flail-like weapon for offense. Another example is Alside’s Saiga Cyclone Gunner, which can change into different forms: a regular gun, a sniper mode, and a blade for close combat.
The five saiga of the Zenon Warriors are:

  • The axe “Boltic Axe”, the saiga of Bluezam,
  • The shield “Crown Shield”, the saiga of Cruss
  • The sword “Excellion Blade”, the saiga of Zenon,
  • The spear “Burning Lance”, the saiga of Laio
  • The gun “Cyclone Gunner” the saiga of Alside

Manga Monday- Beet the Vandel Buster

Manga Monday- Beet the Vandel Buster

Beet the Vandel Buster is a Japanese manga series written by Riku Sanjo and illustrated by Koji Inada. It takes place in a fantasy world where humans have been suffering from the attacks of the demon-like Vandels. (“Vandel” is a portmanteau of “vampire and “devil”.) Humans can fight back by becoming a Vandel Buster, a paid monster and Vandel assassin. The protagonist of the story, Beet, is a young boy who becomes a Vandel Buster to be like his heroes, the Zenon Warriors.

The manga was published in Shueisha’s Monthly Shōnen Jump in Japan from 2002 until September 2006, when Inada became ill. On December 17, 2015, it was reported that the manga will resume in the Spring 2016 issue of Jump SQ.Crown. The manga ran in Jump SQ. Crown until October 2016 and it is currently published in Jump SQ.Rise.

Viz Media published the first twelve volumes in English. An anime adaption was produced by Toei Animation and Dentsu and aired on TV Tokyo. It ran for 52 episodes, followed by a sequel, Beet the Vandel Buster: Excellion, which ran for 25 episodes. The anime was licensed in North America by Illumitoon Entertainment, who only released one DVD containing 4 episodes with an English dub track.

Story

The story is set in the “Dark Ages”, a term referring to the time since Vandels appeared and started attacking humans. Beet is a boy who dreams of joining the “Zenon Warriors”, a group of “Vandel Busters” who are considered to be the strongest on the continent. When the group comes to protect his village from the Vandel, Beltorze, Beet tries to join them but is rejected.

When Beltorze appears, the Zenon Warriors seem to have the upper hand until Beet cheers them on, causing the Vandel to notice his presence. Beltorze attacks Beet, and the Zenon Warriors are forced to break formation to help him. Beltorze uses that moment to attack again, which mortally wounds all of them. Hidden in the smoke, the Zenon Warriors decide to rescue Beet’s life by putting their life force into their “Saiga” and giving them to Beet. When Beet complains and asks them why they are doing this, it is revealed that Zenon is Beet’s brother. The now weaponless Zenon Warriors then emerge from the smoke and continue to attack Beltorze. When Beet regains consciousness, both Beltorze and the Zenon Warriors are gone. Guilt-ridden and sad, he cries and vows to destroy all the Vandels and end the Dark Ages. He then goes on a three-year training expedition.

His childhood friend, Poala, who Beet keeps impressing that she is going to marry him, later joins Beet and they form the “Beet Warriors”. As the story continues more is learned about the fight between the Zenon Warriors and Beltorze and the fantasy world of Beet is expanded on.

The manga series had been on hiatus since September 2006 because of Koji Inada’s sickness. It went off hiatus and starting published again in spring 2016 but went on hiatus again later that year.

Conception and development

Sanjo and Inada described the partnership as a “50/50 between the know-how from the long years we’ve been a team, and tackling new difficulties.”

Reception

As of April 4, 2018, the first 13 volumes of the manga had 4 million copies in print.

 

Film Friday- Moriarty the Patriot

Film Friday- Moriarty the Patriot

Moriarty the Patriot is a Japanese mystery manga series written by Ryōsuke Takeuchi and illustrated by Hikaru Miyoshi, based on Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes series. It is a prequel, focusing on the youth of Holmes’ nemesis, mathematics prodigy, William James Moriarty. An anime television series adaptation by Production I.G aired from October to December 2020. The series is a split-cour anime, with the second half set to premiere in April 2021.

Anime

An anime television series adaptation was announced at the Jump Festa ’20 event on December 22, 2019. The series is directed by Kazuya Nomura at Production I.G, with Tooru Ookubo designing the characters and serving as chief animation director. Gō Zappa and Taku Kishimoto are in charge of scripts, and Asami Tachibana is composing the music. While the first episode was pre-screened on September 21, 2020, the series officially aired from October 11 to December 20, 2020 on Tokyo MX, BS11, and MBS. The opening theme song, “DYING WISH”, is performed by Tasuku Hatanaka, while the ending theme song, “ALPHA”, is performed by STEREO DIVE FOUNDATION. Muse Communication has licensed the anime in Southeast Asia and South Asia, and is steeaming it on its Muse Asia YouTube channel. Funimation also acquired the series to stream on its website in North America and the British Isles. The series will run for 24 episodes, with the 13-episode second half set to premiere in April 2021.

Stage play

Two stage musical adaptations ran in Japan between 2019 and 2020.

Characters

William James Moriarty
The middle Moriarty brother and a crime consultant. He possesses great intelligence and uses it to come up with the perfect crimes in hopes of ending the class system and reforming society. He helps victims of class-influenced crimes get their revenge by setting up a crime scene where their victims do the killing without leaving any evidence of their involvement behind. William was originally raised in an orphanage before being adopted by Albert and assumed the identity of the real William after he was killed through one of his crime schemes.

 

Albert James Moriarty
The oldest of the Moriarty brothers. He is the only true Moriarty of the brothers as he adopted William and Louis after witnessing how broken his real family is and came to believe in William’s dreams of remaking society.

 

 

 

Louis James Moriarty
The youngest of the Moriarty brothers. He was raised in an orphanage alongside William. As a child, he suffered from an unknown illness and would have died until Albert’s father was manipulated into getting him life saving surgery, curing his illness. He is devoted to William and obeys his every order.

 

Sherlock Holmes
Moriarty’s rival, he is a consulting detective who helps Scotland Yard with criminal cases that they can’t solve.

 

 

John H. Watson
Watson is a veteran who was a combat medic in the First Anglo-Afghan War as well as Sherlock’s flatmate who helps him solve cases.

 

 

Fred Porlock
An associate of William’s who is a master of disguise and martial arts, including the deadly use of knives and firearms. He acts as William’s spy and information gatherer and very rarely speaks unless delivering the information he has gathered. Despite his withdrawn personality, at heart he is quite gentle and kind, especially around children and hates when children are the victims of crimes.
Sebastian Moran
Sebastian is one of William’s associates. A career soldier who was encouraged to leave the army after he began turning to a life of crime. He is a firearms expert, able to hit his targets at quite extreme distances, especially with rifles and acts as William’s soldier, bodyguard and assassin. He has expressed a willingness to sacrifice his own life if William requires it and believes in his dream of a better society.

 

Mycroft Holmes
Sherlock’s older brother.

 

Irene Adler  
An associate of Holmes and Moriarty and expert cross-dresser and spy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Manga Monday- Moriarty the Patriot

Manga Monday- Moriarty the Patriot

Moriarty the Patriot is a Japanese mystery manga series written by Ryōsuke Takeuchi and illustrated by Hikaru Miyoshi, based on Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes series. It is a prequel, focusing on the youth of Holmes’ nemesis, mathematics prodigy, William James Moriarty. An anime television series adaptation by Production I.G aired from October to December 2020. The series is a split-cour anime, with the second half set to premiere in April 2021.

Manga

The manga series, written by Ryōsuke Takeuchi and illustrated by Hikaru Miyoshi, began serialization in Shueisha’s shōnen manga magazine Jump Square on August 4, 2016. As of November 2020, it has been collected in thirteen tankōbon volumes. The manga is licensed in North America by Viz Media.

Plot

In the late 19th century, the British Empire has become a global power. Due to the strict class stratification, the average citizen has little chance of successfully rising up to the top, where the despicable nobility rules over them all. After Albert Moriarty’s family adopts two orphans, William James and Louis James, he learns that they share a common hatred for the corrupt British nobility with William James calling himself a “crime consultant”. They scheme together to kill Albert’s cruel blood related brother, also named William, burn down the family estate, and then start a new life together aimed at using illegal means to destroy the class system which had plagued the country for centuries. While enacting an elaborate scheme to murder a noble who was hunting commoners, William James Moriarty encounters Sherlock, who is able to deduce a third party was involved in the murder. This piques Moriarty’s interest in Sherlock and leads him to frame Sherlock for murdering a count to test his abilities.

Film Friday- Horimiya

Film Friday- Horimiya

Hori-san to Miyamura-kun is a Japanese shōnen web manga series written and illustrated by Hiroki Adachi, under the pseudonym Hero. It was self-published on Hero’s website, Dokkai Ahen, from February 2007 to December 2011 in a four-panel format. The series received a print publication by Square Enix, who compiled the chapters in ten volumes under its imprint Gangan Comics from October 2008 to December 2011. Additional side-story chapters, were compiled as Hori-san to Miyamura-kun Omake. Since 2012, Hori-san to Miyamura-kun was adapted into an original video animation series.

Daisuke Hagiwara adapted the manga under Hero’s supervision under the title Horimiya, which has been serialized in Monthly G Fantasy since October 18, 2011, and is published in English by Yen Press. An anime television series adaptation of Horimiya by CloverWorks premiered in January 2021. A live action and TV drama adaptation premiered in February 2021.

Characters

Kyoko Hori

Kyoko is a beautiful, bright, popular high school girl, but at home, she takes on a different look, dressing down and removing her makeup, tying her hair back, and doing housework while taking care of her little brother. She does not want her friends to see her in that state, but when Izumi Miyamura does, they agree to keep their real personas a secret. She begins to have romantic feelings towards Miyamura. She heard his confession to her when she had a cold and said she heard everything he said. They became a couple after she admits Izumi is her boyfriend when her father asked her when Izumi was present.

 

 

Izumi Miyamura

At school, Izumi appears to be a gloomy otaku fanboy with glasses and keeps to himself. However, outside of school, he is rather good looking and laid back, with a punk-styled look and nine piercings (four on each of his ears, and one on his lip), as well as tattoos. Despite his school appearance, he has only a casual interest in manga and has mediocre grades. His family runs a bakery. He accepted his lonely existence but upon learning that Kyoko does not mind how he looks, he slowly gained confidence and friends among his classmates. Unlike his gloomy image in school, Izumi’s look outside school would have easily gained him popularity with his pretty face that he hides under glasses. Izumi grows his hair long to hide his ear piercings, and wears long-sleeved shirts to cover his tattoos. He finds Kyoko’s real side to be cute, even when she gets angry. He was fine with being friends but his honest attitude allows him to tell Kyoko the things he admires in her. They officially became a couple after Kyoko’s dad asked Kyoko whether Izumi is her boyfriend.

 

Manga Monday- Horimiya

Manga Monday- Horimiya

Hori-san to Miyamura-kun is a Japanese shōnen web manga series written and illustrated by Hiroki Adachi, under the pseudonym Hero. It was self-published on Hero’s website, Dokkai Ahen, from February 2007 to December 2011 in a four-panel format. The series received a print publication by Square Enix, who compiled the chapters in ten volumes under its imprint Gangan Comics from October 2008 to December 2011. Additional side-story chapters, were compiled as Hori-san to Miyamura-kun Omake. Since 2012, Hori-san to Miyamura-kun was adapted into an original video animation series.

Daisuke Hagiwara adapted the manga under Hero’s supervision under the title Horimiya, which has been serialized in Monthly G Fantasy since October 18, 2011, and is published in English by Yen Press. An anime television series adaptation of Horimiya by CloverWorks premiered in January 2021. A live action and TV drama adaptation premiered in February 2021.

Plot

Kyoko Hori is a bright and popular high school girl, contrasting with her classmate, the gloomy and apparently nerdy glasses-wearing boy Izumi Miyamura. Outside of school, Hori is a homebody who dresses down and takes care of the household and her younger brother Souta. She tries to keep this a secret from her classmates. One day when Souta returned home with a nosebleed, he was helped by someone sporting multiple earrings and tattoos as well as a punk-styled appearance. The person recognizes her and reveals himself to be Miyamura. The two agree to keep their real personas a secret from their schoolmates, but start relating to each other as friends and later as a couple.

Media

Manga

Hori-san to Miyamura-kun

Hori-san to Miyamura-kun is written and illustrated by Hiroki Adachi under the pseudonym Hero, which was posted on their website from February 2007 to December 2011. It later received a print publication by Square Enix, who compiled the chapters in ten volumes under its imprint Gangan Comics from October 22, 2008 to December 28, 2011.

OVA

Six original video animations based on the Hori-san to Miyamura-kun manga have been produced. The first OVA was released on September 26, 2012, the second on March 25, 2014, the third on March 25, 2015, the fourth on December 14, 2018. Episodes 5 and 6 are slated for a May 2021 release.

The ending theme for episode 1 is “Shirotsumekusa” by Asami Seto as Kyoko Hori. The ending theme for episode 2 is “Ame Oto” by Yoshitsugu Matsuoka as Izumi Miyamura. The ending theme for episode 3 is “Shiranai Sekai” by Seto as Kyoko Hori. The ending theme for episode 4 is “Hinata” by Matsuoka as Izumi Miyamura.

Anime

A 13-episode anime television series adaptation of Daisuke Hagiwara’s Horimiya was announced on September 17, 2020. The series is animated by CloverWorks and directed by Masashi Ishihama, with Takao Yoshioka handling series’ composition, Haruko Iizuka designing the characters, and Masaru Yokoyama composing the series’ music. It premiered on January 10, 2021 on Tokyo MX and other channels. The opening theme song is “Color Perfume” performed by Yoh Kamiyama, while the ending theme song is “Promise” performed by Friends.

Funimation licensed the series outside Asia and is streaming it on its website in North America, the British Isles, Mexico, and Brazil, in Europe through Wakanim, and in Australia and New Zealand through AnimeLab. Medialink has licensed the series in Southeast Asia and South Asia, and is streaming it on Bilibili only in Southeast Asia. The company later began streaming the first episode on their Ani-One YouTube channel for a limited time, from February 13 to March 15, 2021. On February 5, 2021, Funimation announced that the series would be receiving a simuldub, which premiered the next day.

Live-action film and TV drama

A live-action film and a television series adaptation was announced on November 23, 2020, with the main cast and staff being revealed on December 21, 2020. The film and TV drama are produced by Horipro and directed by Hana Matsumoto. The theatrical edition was released on February 5, 2021, while the television version began broadcasting on MBS’s Dramaism programming block and TBS beginning on February 17, 2021. The opening theme is “What Do We Do?” and the ending theme is “Lamplight”, both performed by Toketadenkyu.

Reception

Volume 2 of Horimiya reached the 15th place on the weekly Oricon manga charts and, as of December 2, 2012, had sold 43,735 copies; volume 3 reached the 32nd place and, as of May 4, 2013, had sold 75,124 copies; volume 4 reached the 21st place and, as of November 10, 2013, had sold 96,786 copies; volume 5 reached the 8th place and, as of May 11, 2014, had sold 171,530 copies; volume 6 reached the 2nd place and, as of November 16, 2014, had sold 208,788 copies.

Horimiya was number 6 in the Nationwide Bookstore Employees’ Recommended Comics of 2014.