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Author: Lynn Rainey

I'm the Young Adult Librarian at the West Regional Branch of the Mobile Public Library. I've been an otaku for about twenty years from starting the original Sailor Moon on Cartoon Network back in the mid-1990's.
Film Friday- Kaguya-sama: Love is War

Film Friday- Kaguya-sama: Love is War

Kaguya-sama: Love Is War is a Japanese romantic comedy manga series by Aka Akasaka. It began serialization in Shueisha’s seinen manga magazine Miracle Jump in May 2015 and was transferred to Weekly Young Jump in March 2016. In North America, the manga is licensed in English by Viz Media. A 12-episode anime television series adaptation by A-1 Pictures aired in Japan between January and March 2019, and a 12-episode second season premiered between April and June 2020. An OVA episode will be released in 2021, and a third season has been announced. It was also adapted into a live-action film directed by Hayato Kawai, which was released in Japan in September 2019. The anime series is licensed in North America by Aniplex of America. As of April 2021, the manga had over 15 million copies in circulation. In 2020, Kaguya-sama: Love Is War won the 65th Shogakukan Manga Award in the general category.

Media

Anime

An anime television series adaptation was announced by Shueisha on June 1, 2018. The series is directed by Shinichi Omata under the pseudonym Mamoru Hatakeyama and written by Yasuhiro Nakanishi, with animation by A-1 Pictures. Yuuko Yahiro is providing the character designs, while Jin Aketagawa is the sound director. Kei Haneoka is composing the series’ music. The series aired from January 12 to March 30, 2019, broadcasting on MBS, Tokyo MX, BS11, Gunma TV, Tochigi TV, Chukyo TV, and TV Niigata. The series ran for 12 episodes. Masayuki Suzuki, Rikka Ihara, and Yoshiki Mizuno performs the series’ opening song “Love Dramatic feat. Ihara Rikka”, while Halca performs the series’ ending theme song “Sentimental Crisis”. Aniplex of America have acquired the series in North America, and streamed the series on Crunchyroll, Hulu, and FunimationNow. In Australia and New Zealand, AnimeLab simulcasted the series within the region. The series is licensed by Muse Communication and released on Netflix in Southeast Asia. A second season titled Kaguya-sama: Love Is War? was announced on October 19, 2019. The staff and cast returned to reprise their roles. It aired from April 11 to June 27, 2020 on the Tokyo MX, Gunma TV, Tochigi TV, BS11, Abema TV service, MBS and TV Niigata. The second season will feature Kaguya’s character song “Kotae Awase” and a key visual with the new characters Miko and Osaragi as they join the returning main characters of the series. Suzuki returned to perform the season’s opening theme “Daddy! Daddy Do!” with Airi Suzuki, while Haruka Fukuhara’s “Kaze ni Fukarete” (“Blown by the Wind”) was used as the ending. The season received its world premiere prior to Japanese broadcast at Anime Festival Sydney on March 8, 2020. Funimation acquired exclusive streaming rights for the season in late March; the company began airing an English dub for the second season on July 25, with the first season dub streaming on March 9, 2021. In Southeast Asia, Muse Communication released the season on Netflix. On October 25, 2020, an original video animation episode and a third season were concurrently announced for production during the “Kaguya-sama Wants To Tell You On Stage” special event. There will be three episodes in the OVA bundled with the manga’s twenty-second volume, which ships on May 19, 2021.

Live-action film

The film premiered in Japan on September 6, 2019. Sho Hirano was announced for the role of Miyuki Shirogane, and Kanna Hashimoto was announced for the role of Kaguya Shinomiya. Hayato Kawai directed the film, Yūichi Tokunaga wrote the screenplay, and principal photography was conducted in March to April 2019. A sequel to the film was announced on January 6, 2021. It will be shown in Japanese cinemas on August 20, 2021. Hirano, Hasimoto, Nana Asakawa, and Hayato Sano, actors of Chika Fujiwara and Yu Ishigami respectively, are confirmed to return to reprise their roles.

Kaguya Shinomiya

The titular character of the series, Kaguya is the vice president of Shuchiin Academy’s student council. She is known for her beauty, intelligence and wealth, her family owning one of the largest business conglomerates in Japan. Due to being born into a high-class family, the manner Kaguya was raised caused her to be prideful, cold and calculating; but underneath her personality traits, she is really an innocent, kind and fair-minded teenage girl at heart. Her social status and upbringing also causes her emotional suffering due to loneliness and isolation. In spite of her intelligence and resources, she is surprisingly inept at utilizing social media and digital technology (although she excels at older, analog methods of input such as typewriter). She is also quite naïve when it comes to romance and sexuality, and had to be taught how to utilize fashion and femininity to her advantage. To make Miyuki confess his love directly or indirectly, she usually plans ahead to tilt the circumstances in her favour. Apart from engaging in student council work, she is in the Archery club.
Akasaka said that he modeled Kaguya to be like Kaguya-hime in that both are princesses at the start, but have something deeper about their character later. He made both Kaguya and Miyuki to have similar personalities at first, both proud and intellectual but later revealing to be more like “goofy idiots” on the inside. He would later have the two diverge in tendencies, with Kaguya being more like a “bad girl”. Akasaka also said that while Kaguya has a dark side to her, he didn’t want people to hate her so he tries to keep the positive and negative emotions balanced.

Miyuki Shirogane

is the student council president of Shuchiin Academy. He is famed for being the top student of the school who has also placed second overall in national mock exams, attributed to his studying all the time, hence his messy hair, dark circles around his eyes, and glaring look. Like Kaguya, he is inexperienced with romance and relationships. Miyuki struggles with physical sports involving skills and has a paralyzing fear of bugs, especially cockroaches. Because his father, formerly a factory owner, is unemployed and his mother – who left the family when he was a child – does not support them, he and his younger sister Kei often take part-time jobs. A running gag in the series is how he always imagines Kaguya looking down on him and saying “How cute.”, and refrains to confess his feelings for her in fear of being rejected in such way.
Akasaka said that he initially thought about naming him Mikado, after the Emperor in the Kaguya-hime story, but found that he liked Otomo no Miyuki better. He developed Miyuki to begin like a twin in personality and character to Kaguya, and would later diverge to a “good boy”. He likes that he can portray him as calm and composed on the outside, but his mind would be racing on the inside.
Manga Monday- Kaguya-sama: Love is War

Manga Monday- Kaguya-sama: Love is War

Kaguya-sama: Love Is War is a Japanese romantic comedy manga series by Aka Akasaka. It began serialization in Shueisha’s seinen manga magazine Miracle Jump in May 2015 and was transferred to Weekly Young Jump in March 2016. In North America, the manga is licensed in English by Viz Media.

A 12-episode anime television series adaptation by A-1 Pictures aired in Japan between January and March 2019, and a 12-episode second season premiered between April and June 2020. An OVA episode will be released in 2021, and a third season has been announced. It was also adapted into a live-action film directed by Hayato Kawai, which was released in Japan in September 2019. The anime series is licensed in North America by Aniplex of America.

As of April 2021, the manga had over 15 million copies in circulation. In 2020, Kaguya-sama: Love Is War won the 65th Shogakukan Manga Award in the general category.

Plot

In the senior high school division of Shuchiin Academy, the student council president and vice president, Miyuki Shirogane and Kaguya Shinomiya, appear to be the perfect couple. Kaguya is the daughter of a wealthy conglomerate family, and Miyuki is the top student at the school and well-known across the prefecture. Although they like each other, they are too proud to confess their love, coming up with many schemes to make the other confess.

Halfway through their senior high life, Kaguya and Miyuki finally admit their feelings for each other and start dating. The story then shifts to cover their budding relationship, while also dealing with their own personal issues and those of their schoolmates.

Media

Manga

Aka Akasaka launched the series in the June issue of Shueisha’s Miracle Jump magazine on May 19, 2015. The series last chapter in Miracle Jump was published in its February 2016 issue on January 19, 2016. The manga was then switched to the publisher’s seinen manga magazine Weekly Young Jump on March 24, 2016. A special chapter ran in the debut issue of Young Jump Gold on May 18, 2017.

North American publisher Viz Media announced their license to the series during their panel at San Diego Comic-Con International on July 20, 2017.

A spin-off manga by Shinta Sakayama, titled Kaguya-sama wa Kokurasetai: Dōjin-ban, was launched on Shueisha’s Tonari no Young Jump website on June 14, 2018, and it was serialized on the second and fourth Thursdays of the month. The spin-off finished on June 25, 2020. Shueisha released four tankōbon volumes between December 19, 2018 and July 17, 2020.

A yonkoma spin-off, written by G3 Ida and titled Kaguya-sama o Kataritai, launched in Weekly Young Jump on July 26, 2018. The yonkoma focuses on two newspaper/press club girls who idolize Kaguya and the gang but have no clue what really goes on inside the student council. Shueisha released the first collected tankōbon volume on March 19, 2019. As of February 19, 2021, four volumes have been released.

Reception

Kaguya-sama: Love Is War had over 6.5 million copies in circulation as of April 2019, over 8.5 million copies as of October 2019, over 9 million copies in circulation as of December 2019, over 13 million copies in circulation as of October 2020 and over 15 million copies in circulation as of April 2021. It was the ninth-best-selling manga in 2019, with over 4 million copies sold. The series won the 3rd “Tsugi ni Kuru Manga Awards” in the comics division for manga published in print book format in 2017. In 2020, along with Aoashi, the manga won the 65th Shogakukan Manga Award in the general category. On TV Asahi’s Manga Sōsenkyo 2021 poll, in which 150.000 people voted for their top 100 manga series, Kaguya-sama: Love Is War ranked #50.

Rebecca Silverman of Anime News Network gave the first two volumes of the manga a positive review, calling it “one of the more unique rom-com premises out there”. She noted that the second volume was better than the first, indicating development on the part of the author, and commenting that it boded well for the lastingness of the series. She was more ambivalent about the art, saying that it lacked polish and that faces in particular tended to suffer.

At the 2020 Crunchyroll Anime Awards, the Kaguya-sama: Love Is War anime was selected for Best Comedy, Best Couple, and Best Ending Sequence (“Chikatto Chika Chika”). The character Chika Fujiwara was nominated for Best Girl in the awards. At the 2021 Crunchyroll Anime Awards, the second season of the Kaguya-sama: Love Is War anime was selected for Best Comedy, and the main character of the series, Kaguya Shinomiya, was selected for Best Girl. The anime’s opening “DADDY! DADDY! DO!” by Masayuki Suzuki was nominated for Best Opening Sequence in the awards.

Production

Conception

Akasaka was writing the manga Instant Bullets for Young Jump and wanted to come up with another series. In an interview on Livedoor News, Akasaka said the original plot for Kaguya-sama was more of a fantasy and game of death, but his editor wanted something more mainstream and, at the time, Young Jump did not have a casual romcom series. It was Akasaka’s first manga in the romcom genre.

Akasaka set the series in high school as it was a time when he did not have much experience with dating and romance himself. He was thinking of high school relationships while smoking some food, and came up with the concept of wanting to reclaim some of his emotions of his youth in a fantasy. He envisioned “two tsunderes who like each other having battles of the mind”. He thought that was a very common concept, but was surprised to find that readers were telling him that his premise was innovative. Also at first, he wanted to do more intellectual battles like Death Note but the theme changed more to “clashing of romantic emotions”. He has also cited School Rumble as an influence on his work.

Character design

The characters’ names were from The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter. He liked princess stories, and Kaguya-hime was one of the most famous princess stories. In developing the characters, he said that Kaguya and Miyuki initially have the same personality and thought process, like twins, which made their exposition to the reader easier to understand. He then developed more divergence between the two. Other characters were developed in the same manner, starting as shallow and template-like, but being filled with realistic feelings and drawn from the experience of the author and of others he knew. He especially liked contrasting characters whose internal personalities differ from their external portrayal.

Development and themes

In developing a chapter or story, Akasaka would think about emotions first and then write about experiencing the emotions, such as what Kaguya would feel if she were jealous. He would then arrange the characters and events around that emotion. When he thinks of some emotion that he hasn’t developed into a story yet, he writes it on a sticky note or notebook to be used later.

Akasaka said that he originally wanted to make a manga that would help office ladies relax, but since he is an otaku, it seems to follow in that. He also believes the manga is more about providing the reader with something exciting and conveying meaningful messages about human relationships rather than to showcase a number of character gags and reactions.

Akasaka said that Miyuki and Kaguya’s becoming third-year students marks the second half of the story. When asked about the ending, he said he does not know whether he will go with the bad ending as with Kaguya-hime, but wouldn’t mind if it did. He is also considering giving each character a curtain call chapter like they do in the dating sims.

 

Film Friday- Himouto! Umaru-chan

Film Friday- Himouto! Umaru-chan

Himouto! Umaru-chan is a Japanese manga series by Sankaku Head. It began serialization in Shueisha’s seinen manga magazine Weekly Young Jump on March 14, 2013. It has been collected in twelve tankōbon volumes. An alternative version was serialized for two chapters in Shueisha’s monthly magazine Miracle Jump in 2012. An anime television series adaptation aired in 2015. A second season titled Himouto! Umaru-chan R aired from October to December 2017, while a sequel series titled Himouto! Umaru-chan G was released in November 2017.

 

 

Characters

Umaru Doma 
A high school girl with beautiful looks, top grades and excellence in everything. She reverts to a secret lifestyle at home, where she wears a hamster hoodie and is really a die-hard otaku. While indoors, she is drawn in a chibi manner, later calling herself Komaru (Umaru’s sister) when Kirie catches her in the persona. She lives with her brother Taihei. She wears a cap while at the amusement arcade, where she is a well-known gamer who goes by the initials UMR. She wears a mask to hide her identity from Sylphynford.
Taihei Doma
Umaru’s older brother working at the company. He lives in a 1DK apartment. The siblings move in a year before the series. He is described as having a kind and methodical personality. He reprimands Umaru for being lazy.

 

 

Nana Ebina
Umaru’s buxom classmate living in the ground-floor apartment near the siblings. She is very shy, and is originally from Akita Prefecture, occasionally reverting to dialect when she is nervous. Because of her breasts, she has a lack of confidence as people look at her. The first person to look her in the eyes is Taihei, whom she later has a crush on and gets flustered whenever he gives her compliments. Nana’s brother works at a restaurant in Tokyo. Taihei suspects he might have met him on his business trip. She appears in the spin-off manga “Akita Imokko! Ebina-chan”, after having placed first in a Niconico Seiga poll among other characters.
Sylphynford Tachibana
One of Umaru’s classmates. She is very openly competitive and considers Umaru a rival in academics and sports. She becomes friends with Umaru’s persona with hopes of beating her at school, and later gets along with her friends. She is half-Japanese and German.

 

 

Kirie Motoba
A classmate and a petite girl with frightening eyes to scare others. She is shy and has a great admiration for Umaru. She becomes friends with Komaru, thinking she is her sister. She is a servant calling her Master. She considers Ebina a rival for Umaru’s affection. She is a member of the swim club, and is good at other sports like tennis. She aspires to be a picture book author.
Takeshi Motoba
Kirie’s brother with an afro. His nickname is Bomber. He likes to slack off at work. He and Taihei became friends since high school, but he was not as studious. He gets jealous when sees Taihei hanging out with the girls, but when he meets Komaru, he feels she is cute too. He tries to interact with Kirie, but she gets annoyed from him. Later when he meets Umaru in her outdoor persona and Ebina, he becomes very nervous and shy. He thinks Komaru and Umaru are two different people, and cannot recognize his sister during the trip.
Alex Tachibana
Sylphynford’s brother. He works in Taihei’s department. He is part German and has relatives from Europe. He enjoys playing video games. He knows of Umaru’s dual personality. He later reveals that when he was in middle school, he was a shut-in. He later moved to Japan to work with Kanau.

 

Manager Kanau
Kanau Kongou  is the boss of Taihei, Bomber and Alex, described in Young Jump magazine as beautiful and excellent. She met Taihei and Bomber at high school ten years ago. She is very fond of Taihei, but gets annoyed by Bomber. Kanau is a single person and living on her own. Umaru becomes upset of her. Taihei reveals that she is the daughter of the president, a year younger than Taihei, and that they attended different schools. She has a younger sister Hikari.
Hikari Kongō
A top student from the Gifted Youth Program with a hairpin and Kanau’s sister. It is hinted that she interacted with Taihei, before knowing the set of constellations that he tried to show Umaru. She refers to Taihei as a big brother.
Kōichirō Ebina
Nana’s older brother and restaurant chef. He left home when the latter was seven.

 

 

 

Manga Monday- Himouto! Umaru-chan

Manga Monday- Himouto! Umaru-chan

Himouto! Umaru-chan is a Japanese manga series by Sankaku Head. It began serialization in Shueisha’s seinen manga magazine Weekly Young Jump on March 14, 2013. It has been collected in twelve tankōbon volumes. An alternative version was serialized for two chapters in Shueisha’s monthly magazine Miracle Jump in 2012. An anime television series adaptation aired in 2015. A second season titled Himouto! Umaru-chan R aired from October to December 2017, while a sequel series titled Himouto! Umaru-chan G was released in November 2017.

Plot

Umaru Doma is a high school girl who lives with her older brother Taihei. At school, Umaru appears to be the ideal student with good looks, top grades and many talents. However, she transforms into a kid-sized layabout and spends time at home feeding her video game and food addiction, much to Taihei’s dismay. Throughout the series, Umaru uses her alternative personality to make friends with others, while at home she throws tantrums about Taihei not buying her things.

Media

Manga

The manga first appeared in Shueisha’s monthly magazine Miracle Jump in 2012 for two chapters: first in the 10th issue on August 16 and again in the 11th issue on October 16. It was serialized in Weekly Young Jump from March 14, 2013. A total of Twelve tankōbon volumes were published. A spin-off focused on Nana Ebina, titled “Akita Imokko! Ebina-chan” that is currently running on Niconico Seiga website and other platforms after ranked first on the website’s popularity poll. Seven Seas Entertainment released the manga in English. The manga ended serialization on November 9, 2017. A sequel manga titled Himōto! Umaru-chan G began serialization on November 30, 2017 and ended on April 19, 2018.

Anime

An anime television series adaptation is produced by Doga Kobo. The series was directed by Masahiko Ohta and written by Takashi Aoshima, with character design by Aya Takano and sound direction by Yasunori Ebina. It was broadcast on the Asahi Broadcasting Corporation in Japan from July 9 to September 24, 2015, and was simulcast worldwide by Crunchyroll. The opening theme is “Kakushin-teki Metamarufōze!” performed by Aimi Tanaka, while the ending theme is “Hidamari Days” performed by Tanaka, Akari Kageyama, Haruka Shiraishi and Yurina Furukawa. The series is licensed in North America by Sentai Filmworks. An original video animation was bundled with the manga’s seventh volume on October 19, 2015, with another to be bundled with the tenth volume of the manga in Q2 2017. In the Weekly Young Jump magazine’s 20th issue of 2017, a second season of the anime series titled Himouto! Umaru-chan R was announced for fall 2017 with the same cast. The opening theme is “Nimensei Ura Omote Life!”performed by Tanaka. The ending theme is “Umarun Taisou” performed by Sisters, the voice actresses of the four main girls. The second season was simulcast on Anime Strike in the United States, on Hidive outside of the US, and on AnimeLab in Australia and New Zealand. Sentai Filmworks has announced on September 27, 2017 that they have licensed Himouto! Umaru-chan R. In the UK, MVM Films announced they had licensed Himouto! Umaru-chan R. In the Philippines, Umaru-chan was broadcast in Tagalog on the Hero and Yey! pay TV channels.

Video game

A PlayStation Vita sister-raising simulation game developed by FuRyu, titled Himōto! Umaru-chan: Himōto! Ikusei Keikaku, was released on December 3, 2015.

Reception

The manga had sold 2.2 million copies in November 2015. It had sold 2.7 million copies by March 2017.

 

Film Friday- Restaurant to Another World

Film Friday- Restaurant to Another World

Restaurant to Another World is a Japanese light novel series written by Junpei Inuzuka, with illustrations by Katsumi Enami. Shufunotomo released five volumes of the series. An anime television series adaptation by Silver Link aired from July 3 to September 18, 2017. A second season has been announced.

Main Staff

Master
The owner of the Western Restaurant Nekoya. A single man in his middle age, he is the grandchild of a couple who opened the restaurant, and inherited it when his grandfather died 10 years ago. An outstanding culinary master, he enjoys cooking for the eclectic group of patrons that visit every Saturday. Resulting from the mingling of so many diverse beings within one space, the restaurant has become a neutral region, since none of the guests — whatever their personal differences — want to miss out on the Master’s cuisine. His grandmother, Koyomi (also known as Yomi, a heroine from the other world) entrusted him with the key to the door; should he decide to close the door between both worlds, he is told that he must break the key.
Aletta
A demon girl hailing from the Demon Kingdom on the other world’s Eastern Continent. When the Demon God was vanquished by the legendary Four Heroes, the power he had once bestowed upon his demonic subjects waned, and as a result Aletta was born no different from humans except for the goat horns on her head. Rejected by the human world and ending up a vagrant, she discovered the Nekoya’s interdimensional entrance and began working every Saturday as a waitress; she is well-paid beyond a typical salary in her world as the Master has no need of its currency. She later finds additional work as Sarah Gold’s housekeeper.
Kuro
One of the other world’s six ancient dragons imbued with death, a power which inadvertently killed every mortal being that happened to cross her path. To avoid killing innocents, she banished herself to the world’s shattered moon. By chance, she found the door of the Nekoya appearing in her vicinity, entered the restaurant and, naive to human customs owing to her long isolation, ended up consuming so much chicken curry that her old friend, the “Red Queen”, prompted the Master to hire her as a waitress to pay off her food bill. To interact with the staff and patrons, “Kuro” adopts the form of a black-haired elf girl, but usually communicates via telepathy instead of speaking aloud. Later, she was taught how to speak vocally to prevent others from freaking out. She unofficially serves as the restaurant’s guardian, should a situation escalate. Of the diners, only Altorius and Alexander are aware of her true identity.
Daiki Yamagata
The now-deceased previous owner of the Nekoya and the current Master’s grandfather. He is shown in flashbacks when the Master reflects upon the older customers who became his grandfather’s regulars. He gave the restaurant to Master, who was also his apprentice. He met Koyomi near the end of (or just after) World War II; Yomi would serve as a waitress, and the two eventually fell in love.

 

 

Yomi
A female warrior from the other world, and a member of the legendary Four Heroes. During their battle with the Demon God over seventy years ago, she fell through an interdimensional wormhole and wound up on Earth, where she married the Master’s grandfather and ran the Nekoya with him. Initially, only Altorius, one of her comrades, knew about this secret. According to him, she is still alive on Earth despite her advanced age and visits her grandson from time to time. Furthermore, its implied she retains some of her magical ability. She holds the key to permanently stop doors to warp and a fail-safe, but decided to entrust it to her grandson, seeing what progress the restaurant has become; should her grandson decide to close the door, he must break the key.

 

Manga Monday- Restaurant to Another World

Manga Monday- Restaurant to Another World

Restaurant to Another World is a Japanese light novel series written by Junpei Inuzuka, with illustrations by Katsumi Enami. Shufunotomo released five volumes of the series. An anime television series adaptation by Silver Link aired from July 3 to September 18, 2017. A second season has been announced.

Plot

The Western Restaurant Nekoya is a restaurant situated in a mundane corner of an undisclosed Tokyo shopping district which offers a lot of Japanese versions of Western dishes. It opens during usual business hours though closed during holidays and weekends. But secretly it is also open on Saturdays, as on this particular day it creates doorways to another world inhabited by elves, dragons, animal men and other fantastic creatures, who enter the restaurant and partake of its exotic food, with many of them becoming regular patrons.

Manga

A manga adaptation illustrated by Takaaki Kugatsu, launched in Square Enix’s Young Gangan magazine. The manga shares the same first chapter about menchikatsu as the original web novel, but the second chapter is different. Crunchyroll published the manga digitally in English beginning on July 2, 2017. The manga is also licensed by Yen Press.

Light novel

The web novel was initially serialized by Junpei Inuzuka on the user-generated content site Shōsetsuka ni Narō from January 4, 2013, onwards. Following the web novel’s publication, Shufunotomo acquired the series for print publication. The first light novel volume, with illustrations by Katsumi Enami, was published on February 28, 2015, under their Hero Bunko imprint. As of March 2019, five volumes have been published. Seven Seas Entertainment has licensed the novel.

Anime

The author reported in a September 7, 2016, blog entry on the Shōsetsuka ni Narō website that an anime adaptation project of the light novel series was in the works, later revealed to be an anime television series. The series aired from July 3 to September 18, 2017, on TV Tokyo, and was simulcasted by Crunchyroll. Funimation has licensed the series in North America. Masato Jinbo directed the series and supervised scripts at Silver Link, with Takao Sano and Keiichi Sano adapted the original character designs for animation. The opening theme is “One in a Billion” by Wake Up, May’n, while the ending theme is “Chiisana Hitotsubu” by Kiyono Yasuno.

On April 22, 2021, it was announced that a second season had been greenlit for production.

 

Film Friday- Uta no Prince-sama

Film Friday- Uta no Prince-sama

Uta no Prince-sama is a Japanese multimedia franchise by Broccoli. The original game of the same name was first released on the PlayStation Portable on June 24, 2010, and since its release, the game has spawned multiple sequels and rhythm game spin-offs. The series has also been adapted into several manga series.

An anime adaptation by A-1 Pictures began airing in 2011, titled Uta no Prince-sama: Maji Love 1000%, which was then followed by three sequels, a 2019 animated film titled Uta no Prince-sama: Maji Love Kingdom, and a 2022 animated film titled Uta no Prince-sama: Maji Love ST☆RISH Tours.

The franchise has been well received in Japan, with thousands of music CDs sold and charting on mainstream music charts. The games have been awarded “Best Consumer Game” in Dengeki Girls’ Style Otome Game Awards 2011.

Plot

With dreams of becoming a composer and someday writing a song for her favorite idol, Haruka Nanami enters the Saotome Academy, a prestigious performing arts school made up of students who are either vying to become an idol or a music producer. Haruka becomes acquainted with six of her classmates, who are all competing to become idols. For her project, she must team up with another student as an idol-producer team, and if they are successful, they will join Shining Agency after graduation. In addition, romance is strictly prohibited at their school.

Gameplay

Uta no Prince-sama is a comedy and romance visual novel in which the player assumes the character of Haruka Nanami. Uta no Prince-sama follows a branching plot line with multiple endings; depending on the decisions that the player makes during the game, the plot will progress in a specific direction.

There are seven main plot lines that the player will have the chance to experience, three which are initially available (four in All Star). Throughout gameplay, the player is given multiple options to choose from, and text progression pauses at these points until a choice is made. To view all plot lines in their entirety, the player must replay the game multiple times and make different choices to change the plot progression. The player must also complete various minigames, which affect the different endings.

Anime

The March 2011 issue of Newtype magazine announced that an anime television adaptation franchise would air during the summer. Titled Uta no Prince-sama: Maji Love 1000%, the series was produced by A-1 Pictures, with Yuu Kou directing the series, Tomoko Konparu supervising the scripts, and Mitsue Mori adapting the game’s original character designs. The anime series began its broadcast run on Tokyo MX, Gunma TV, and Tochigi TV on July 2, 2011 (July 3, 2011 at 12:00 AM). The video streaming service Niconico simulcasted the series to audiences in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa.

The second season premiered on April 4, 2013, under the title Uta no Prince-sama Maji LOVE 2000% on TV Aichi. The first season was released on January 7, 2014, on DVD/Blu-ray subtitled-only format.

A third season began airing on April 4, 2015, under the title “Uta no Prince-sama Maji LOVE Revolutions. On June 27, 2015, following the broadcast of the last episode of the third season, the ending message revealed that a fourth season had been confirmed.

The fourth season, titled Uta no Prince-sama Maji LOVE Legend Star, began airing on October 2, 2016. Sentai Filmworks has licensed the first and second seasons for a release in 2014, and has also licensed the third and fourth seasons.

Stage plays

Uta no Prince-sama has also inspired a series of stage plays, with the characters playing roles in a stage production and select characters appearing in certain plays. Music of the stage productions were later released onto CD. The first series, titled Gekidan Shining, featured the stage plays Masquerade Mirage, Tenka Muteki no Shinobu Michi, and Joker Trap from 2013 to 2014.

The second series, titled Theatre Shining, featured the stage plays Bloody Shadows, Pirates of the Frontier, and Everybuddy.

The third series, titled Shining Masterpiece Show, was screened at Gallery AaMo in Tokyo from February 23 to April 15, 2018, with each of the three stage plays rotating every month. The plays featured were Lost Alice, Trois: Ken to Kizuna no Monogatari, and Lycoris no Mori.

Films

During the Uta no Prince-sama: Maji Love Live 6th Stage event, the staff announced that an anime film titled Uta no Prince-sama: Maji Love Kingdom has been green-lit. Uta no Prince-Sama: Maji Love Kingdom is produced by A-1 Pictures and directed by Tomoka Nagaoka, with Takeshi Furuta serving as chief director. The rest of the main staff and cast from the anime series are returning to reprise their roles. The film was released in theaters on June 14, 2019. The film grossed ¥1.72 billion at box office upon its release. An English subtitled version was screened at Anime Expo 2019.

It was announced on March 27, 2021 that the a new anime film Uta no Prince-sama: Maji Love ST☆RISH Tours has been green-lit, and is set to premiere in 2022. A-1 Pictures is returning to produce the film, with Elements Garden composing the music.

Manga

Uta no Prince-sama was adapted into several manga series. The first two manga adaptations, Uta no Prince-sama and Uta no Prince-sama Debut, were illustrated by Utako Yukihiro and serialized in Sylph. The gag comic, Uta no Prince-sama PP was illustrated by Kotoko Ichi and serialized in Comic B’s Log. Alongside of that, several manga anthologies were also released with contributing fan artists.

 

Manga Monday- Demon Love Spell

Manga Monday- Demon Love Spell

Demon Love Spell is a manga series by Mayu Shinjo about a shrine maiden that finds herself falling for a demon that feeds on passion and love. Shinjo initially wrote Demon Love Spell in 2008 as a two part installment manga for Margaret magazine, but chose to serialize the series in 2009 due to the story’s popularity. In 2012 Viz Media licensed the manga with the intention to publish it in English through their Shojo Beat imprint and released the first volume in December of that same year.

Synopsis

The series follows Miko, a young shrine maiden living with her family. She’s frustrated that she’s unable to contribute much to the family business, as she has little apparent supernatural abilities and cannot easily see or banish spirits. Miko eventually runs into Kagura, an incubus that has been feeding on the female students at Miko’s school. She manages to seal him, but in the process turns him into a chibi, lower powered version of himself. Miko initially tries to keep him secret from her family, but they inevitably discover Kagura but allow him to remain with Miko due to his small size. Meanwhile, Kagura has shown the ability to enter Miko’s mind while she’s sleeping, where he is able to assume his full size. Kagura uses this as an opportunity to attempt to seduce Miko, with some success.

Reception

Critical reception for the series has been mostly positive, with the School Library Journal commenting that for the story material the manga was “quite clean, consisting mostly of cheeky innuendos and a few abstract dream sequences in which sex is insinuated but not graphically depicted”. Anime News Network gave overall positive reviews for the first two volumes, praising the series’ artwork and remarking that Miko was a stronger female character than some of the ones Shinjo had written in the past. In contrast, U-T San Diego reported that a Comic-Con panel had named the manga one of their five worst manga releases for 2013.

Film Friday- SK8 the Infinity

Film Friday- SK8 the Infinity

SK8 the Infinity is a Japanese original anime television series produced and animated by Bones that aired from January 10 to April 4, 2021 on ABC and TV Asahi’s ANiMAZiNG!!! programming block. A comedy manga spin-off started serializing on the Young Ace Up manga website on January 11, 2021. A manga adaptation of the television series started releasing on the BookLive! e-book store on March 5, 2021.

Plot

In Okinawa, a group of hardcore skaters participate in a secret, no-holds-barred competition after midnight known as “S”, racing each other on skateboards down a winding road carved out of an abandoned mine and occasionally forming rivalries, also known as “beefs”, with each other. Reki, a high school sophomore and hardcore skater, takes new transfer student Langa to S one night, and ends up pulling him into the world of skateboarding.

Media

Anime

On September 13, 2020, it was reported that Hiroko Utsumi and Bones were working on an anime television series project. Further details were not revealed until the following week. On September 20, 2020, the series was officially announced. Utsumi will direct the series, while Ichirō Ōkouchi will oversee the series’ scripts, Michinori Chiba will design the characters and serve as chief animation director, and Ryō Takahashi will compose the series’ music. The series aired from January 10 to April 4, 2021 on ABC and TV Asahi’s ANiMAZiNG!!! programming block. The opening theme song is “Paradise” performed by Rude-α, and the ending theme song is “Infinity” performed by Yūri. Aniplex of America licensed the series outside of Asia and streamed it on Funimation, AnimeLab, and Wakanim in their territories. In Southeast Asia, the series is licensed by Muse Communication, who streamed it on Bilibili. Funimation produced a simuldub for the series. The series ran for 12 episodes.

Manga

A comedy manga spin-off by Toriyasu, titled Sk8 Chill Out!, started serializing on Kadokawa Shoten’s Young Ace Up manga website on January 11, 2021. A manga adaptation of the television series by Kazuto Kōjima released on the BookLive! e-book store under their Nino imprint starting on March 5, 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.