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Month: April 2021

Manga Monday- An Incurable Case of Love

Manga Monday- An Incurable Case of Love

An Incurable Case of Love is a comedy romance manga series created by Maki Enjōji that was originally released on March 8, 2016. It is published by Shogakkan and the serialization is by Petit Comic in Japan. VIZ is the publisher of the manga in English. The series currently consists of seven volumes in Japanese, with two in English. A live action series is planned in January 2020.

Plot

Nanase Sakura is a 23-year-old rookie nurse. She met Doctor Kairi Tendo several years ago and fell in love with him. To meet him again, she studied hard and became a nurse. After 5 years, she finally meets Kairi Tendo again, but he has a totally different personality than what she imagined. Kairi Tendo, who is 31-years-old, is commonly referred to as the “Devil” at work. He is a level-headed perfectionist and often makes biting remarks to doctors and nurses. Nanase Sakura works hard to receive recognition from Kairi Tendo and she also expresses her feelings honestly to him. Due to her persistence, Nanase Sakura becomes well known at the hospital and she picks up the nickname of the “Warrior.” Meanwhile, Kairi Tendo becomes attracted to Nanase Sakura.

Characters

Nanase Sakura is a main character in the An Incurable Case of Love manga and live action series. She is portrayed by Moe Shiroishi. Sakura is a hopeless romantic for her colleague Tendo. Despite him being spiteful, pejorative, and chastising towards her, Sakura earnestly wishes to continue being a nurse.

Kairi Tendo is a main character in the An Incurable Case of Love manga and live action series. He is portrayed by Takeru Sato. Tendo is a serious and candid person. He’s said to have a nasty personality and doesn’t treat people well, aside from a small fraction of nurses that get along with him. Because of his personality, people always try and transfer to another doctor that goes through his department.

 

Film Friday- Xam’d: Lost Memories

Film Friday- Xam’d: Lost Memories

Xam’d: Lost Memories, known in Japan as Xam’d of the Forgotten Memories, is an anime series, conceptualized by Bones and co-developed by Sony Computer Entertainment, Aniplex and Bones, which made its debut on Sony’s inaugural launch of the PlayStation Network (PSN) video download service at E3 in the United States on July 16, 2008, in Japan on September 24, 2008.

Plot

Sentan Island exists in a state of dreamlike tranquility, surrounded by the Yuden Sea, cut off from the war between the Northern Government and the Southern Continent Free Zone. Akiyuki Takehara lives on Sentan Island along with his mother Fusa. Despite his mother’s strained relationship with his father, Ryuzo, the town doctor, the bond between father and son remains strong.

One day the island’s tranquility is shattered, when Akiyuki, along with his best friends Haru and Furuichi, are caught up in an explosion on a school bus by a mysterious pale, white haired girl named Nazuna. The explosion produces a mysterious light which enters Akiyuki’s arm and a blue gem appears. With no time to understand what has happened, and a brief exchange between Nazuna and Akiyuki is transformed into a creature called Xam’d. As Xam’d, Akiyuki uses his newfound powers to fight off monstrous invading forces to save Haru, only to be stopped by a mysterious girl who offers him a choice: come with her and live, or stay and turn to stone. Accepting her offer, Akiyuki embarks on a journey of discovery that will take him to new lands, and help him understand the connection between himself and the world of Xam’d.

Media

Anime

The series received its television premiere across Japan on MBS, CBC, Tokyo MX and other Japanese broadcast networks from April 2009, featuring new opening and ending theme sequences. Xam’d: Lost Memories spanned a total of 26 episodes. On its launch week, its pilot episode was the most downloaded video on the PlayStation Network at E3. On June 24, 2010, Sentai Filmworks announced that it had sub-licensed the series for home video distribution across North America, where the first half season set was released on DVD and Blu-ray Disc on September 21, 2010. The second set was released on November 9, 2010 on DVD and Blu-ray.

Manga

The manga adaptation of the series, written by Masahiro Kawanabe, began serialization in Ace Assault and Shōnen Ace since December 9, 2008, after it began release on PSN Japan.

Music

The score to the series is composed by Michiru Oshima, known for her work on the Godzilla movie franchise and the Fullmetal Alchemist anime series. For both the 2008 PlayStation Network download distribution and the 2009 television broadcast, the Japanese electronic rock band Boom Boom Satellites performed the opening themes while Japanese-American vocalist Kylee made her debut performing the ending themes. For the PSN distribution, the opening was “Shut Up and Explode” from the Boom Boom Satellites’ 2007 album Exposed and the ending was “Vacancy”. For the syndicated TV broadcasts, the Boom Boom Satellites’ 2009 single “Back on My Feet” was used as an opening theme and Kylee’s songs “Just Breathe” and “Over U” were used as ending themes. For the TV broadcasts, both the old PSN and new TV themes were used in different combinations, each with different animation sequences.

Manga Monday- Zodiac P.I.

Manga Monday- Zodiac P.I.

Zodiac P.I. is a mystery manga series written and illustrated by Natsumi Ando. Appearing as a serial in the monthly shōjo manga magazine Nakayoshi from the April 2001 issue to the January 2003 issue, the chapters were compiled into four bound volumes by Kodansha and published from November 2001 to March 2003. Set in present-day Japan, the series focuses on Lili Hoshizawa, a teenage detective who uses astrology to solve cases.

In North America, Tokyopop licensed the series for an English-language translation, and published it from July 2003 to December 2003, although the translation has since gone out of print. The series has also been translated into other languages. The series has been generally reviewed as being light entertainment.

Plot

Set in modern-day Japan, the series centers on 13-year-old extrovert Lili Hoshizawa, who uses astrology to solve crimes, and manages her missing mother’s fortune-telling business on the side. Her childhood friend, Hiromi Oikawa, assists her, after he returns from the United States, where he studied criminal psychology. As Detective Spica, Lili uses the magical star ring, left to her by her missing mother, to aid her in solving crimes by consulting with one of the twelve astral spirits in the ring and learning the victim’s horoscope. Her father, Inspector Hoshizawa, disapproves of her actions. Periodically, she encounters rival private investigator Sirius, who tests her mystery-solving skills.

While solving cases, Lili eventually learns from Hiromi’s elder sister, Megumi Oikawa, that Hiromi’s allergy to girls resulted from her: ten years ago, he waited in the rain for Lili to show after he left her a love letter. Lili encounters Zeus, a fortuneteller and hypnotist who kidnaps her father. After Hiromi rescues him, Zeus takes Hiromi captive and demands the star ring in exchange. Realizing that Sirius is her missing mother, Lili frees her from Zeus’s hypnosis. Lili learns that her mother disappeared to protect her family from Zeus, who hates Sirius, as he believes that she kidnapped his girlfriend and caused her to become comatose. Lili uncovers the truth: his girlfriend feared that he desired the star ring more than her love and asked Sirius to stage a kidnapping and have him decide between her or the star ring. When he hesitated, she was devastated and threw herself off the cliff. After learning this, Zeus loses his desire for the star ring and lets Lili, Hiromi, and Lili’s mother leave. Lili accepts Hiromi’s love for her. In the conclusion, Lili’s mother takes over her fortune-telling business, and Lili continues to solve crimes with Hiromi’s assistance.

Development

Manga artist Natsumi Ando enjoyed astrology in her childhood and had a fondness for stars and Greek mythology. For File 2, which deals with a mystery in a piano school, Ando researched a local music school. The design for the Libra astral spirit originated from the winner of the Astral Spirit Design Contest; many of the design submissions were for the Libra, Pisces, and Cancer spirits.

Ando included references to Greek mythology in Zodiac P.I. in the names of the astral spirits. The astral spirit of Virgo, Demeter, takes her name from the goddess of the harvest, while the astral spirit for Capricorn, Parn, is a reference to the god Pan. Astrea, the astral spirit for Libra, is named after the goddess of justice. The twin astral spirits for Gemini take their names from twin brothers Castor and Pollux. The centaur Chiron is alluded to in the name of the astral spirit for Sagittarius. The name of astral spirit for Taurus is a reference to the woman Io. The astral spirit for Pisces and the spirit for Aquarius take their names from the goddess of love and Ganymede, respectively. Other references include stars. Ando named Antares, the astral spirit of Scorpio, and Regulus, the astral spirit of Leo, after the Antares and Regulus stars, respectively.

Release

Written and illustrated by Natsumi Ando, Zodiac P.I. appeared as a serial in the monthly manga magazine Nakayoshi from the April 2001 issue to the January 2003 issue. It published the series in four bound volumes from November 6, 2001, to March 4, 2003.

In North America, Tokyopop licensed the series for an English-language translation. It published the series from July 8, 2003, to December 9, 2003; the translation has since gone out of print. Zodiac P.I. has also been translated into other languages, such as Finnish, German, and Italian.

 

Film Friday- Clannad

Film Friday- Clannad

Clannad is a 2007 Japanese anime fantasy-drama film directed by Osamu Dezaki and based on the visual novel of the same name developed by Key. Toei Animation announced at the Tokyo Anime Fair on March 23, 2006 that an animated film would be produced, and was released in Japanese theaters on September 15, 2007. The film is a reinterpretation of the Clannad storyline which centers on the story arc of the female lead Nagisa Furukawa. It was the final film directed by Dezaki before his death in April 2011.

A promotional campaign took to the streets of Akihabara on March 10, 2007 transported in a large black bus with the words “Film version Clannad” (劇場版CLANNAD, Gekijōban Clannad) painted on the sides. A group of young women cosplaying in the female high school uniform from Clannad emerged from the bus to hand out flyers and pink and white colored thundersticks to passersby to promote the film.

Plot

Tomoya Okazaki is a male third-year high school student who does not feel at home anymore. He used to play basketball, his distant father works the night shift, and his mother died in an accident when he was a child. He simply goes to school in Hikarizara for no reason and does not have any interest in school activities. One day, Tomoya meets a third-year girl from his school early in the year named Nagisa Furukawa. Nagisa is repeating her last year due to illness most of the previous year, and she does not know what to do. Tomoya suggests she finds something new to do at school, and she comes up with restarting the Drama Club. By the time the sakura trees are done blooming, Nagisa has already started hand-making posters advertising the drama club’s reformation, with an old group mascot called “The Big Dango Family”. Tomoya and his good friend Youhei Sunohara, who used to play soccer, help Nagisa with putting them up around the school, but the student council president, Tomoyo Sakagami, and Kyou Fujibayashi, quickly go around using red paint to deface the posters and write ‘invalid’ on them because of school policy. This angers Youhei greatly and he beats up one of the student council members despite Tomoyo and Kyou’s warning; Tomoya also takes a stand for Nagisa.

Kouko Ibuki, the teacher who had been the adviser for the drama club before it disbanded, gets involved by telling Nagisa that if she can gather more members then she will talk to the school about reforming the club. Tomoya and Youhei try again by this time making copies of hundreds of posters and putting them all around the school, but no one joins the club. In the end, Nagisa gets Tomoya and Youhei to sign up, and she reassures them that she will not ask them to act on stage. The drama club is reformed, and with a month left until the school festival. Nagisa decides to do a soliloquy based on a dream she has had ever since she was a child; meanwhile, Tomoya and Youhei will work backstage with the music and lights respectively. Nagisa gets to writing the script, and invites Tomoya and Youhei over to her house for dinner, though only Tomoya comes, due to Youhei taking up a part-time job at an electrical company with Yusuke Yoshino; a former musician revealed to be Kouko’s fiancé. At Nagisa’s house, which turns out to double as a bakery, Tomoya meets her energetic parents Akio and Sanae. Tomoya is challenged to a baseball match with Akio to see if Tomoya’s a man worthy for Nagisa, but cannot throw the ball due to an injured shoulder he received from his father in a bad fight, and even gets to stay overnight after being heavily persuaded by Akio.

Like Nagisa, Tomoya has also had a recurring dream ever since he was a child. In his dream, he initially is disembodied in an illusionary world where he is the only thing “alive”. He finds a discarded human-sized doll and uses it as a body to travel around the world on an old bicycle. After some searching, he finds a large sakura tree known as the “Tree of Promises” where he believes he will meet the person he has felt is with him in this illusionary world.

When the school festival finally begins, Nagisa reveals that she has not finished the script, but still wants to go on with the play since the story is still within her. Nagisa has her performance in the evening, so in the meantime Nagisa hangs out with Tomoya and Youhei. During lunch, she tells them her story why she wanted to do drama was due to her parents formally having been theater actors, but they both had to give up acting after Nagisa was born. Nagisa wants to do drama so as to continue her parents’ dreams in her footsteps. For the play, Sanae gives Nagisa her wedding dress to use as her costume, much to Akio’s surprise. Nagisa starts with her monologue without a hitch, and during her recitation Kouko gives stage directions to Tomoya and Youhei via headsets. Gradually, Tomoya comes to realize that the story Nagisa is reciting is the same dream that he has had, and is shocked to find that Nagisa also had the same dream of the illusionary world. At the play’s conclusion, Tomoya believes that he and Nagisa were meant to be together and confesses his love to her.

Shortly after the festival, Nagisa’s health falters once again and she has to take another leave of absence from school, meaning it is not until a year after Tomoya’s class graduated that Nagisa is able to graduate high school as well. After this, Tomoya and Nagisa start living together in a small apartment in town while Tomoya is recruited full-time at Yusuke’s electrical company as well, Nagisa works part-time as a waitress at a local family restaurant, and Youhei becomes a businessman in Tokyo. Eventually, Nagisa becomes pregnant, but her doctor informs her family and Tomoya that if she gives birth to the child, due to having weak constitution, she may die in the process. After the meeting, they agree on telling Nagisa. Tomoya and Nagisa’s parents take her to the beach where she decides the name Ushio for the child. Despite the doctor’s warning, she insists that she will be fine. One winter night, Nagisa finally gives birth to a baby girl Ushio and Nagisa dies giving birth. This causes Tomoya to go into deep depression, during which he does not go to work, or even visit his daughter who is now being raised by Nagisa’s parents.

For the past five years, Tomoya’s friends try to get him out of his depression, but Tomoya is very stubborn. Then one rainy night, Tomoya’s father Naoyuki Okazaki comes over and tells Tomoya that he is putting Ushio in the same relationship he did when his mother died, which greatly stuns him. Later, Naoyuki requested Tomoya’s friends: Youhei, Tomoyo, Kyou, Kouko and her husband Yusuke to take him out on a retreat for a few days in order to break his depression, and they take Tomoya out of his house so fast he does not even know what is going on. Once they tell him on the train, Tomoya is dead set on going back home but Yusuke convinces him to stay. When they arrive at their destination, Tomoya searches for another platform at the station, anticipating this, Akio and Sanae were waiting for him with Ushio. Just as Tomoya begins to walk away, his friends arrive blocking his way, then Tomoya turns around back at Ushio, she runs towards him holding a stuffed dango. She trips midway which makes Tomoya leap out and catch her. Picking her up with them smiling, he is able to see the continuation of his old dream once more, and sees Nagisa under the Tree of Promises smiling lovingly at him and Ushio.