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Film Friday- The Twelve Kingdoms

Film Friday- The Twelve Kingdoms

The Twelve Kingdoms is a Japanese series of fantasy novels written by Fuyumi Ono and illustrated by Akihiro Yamada. The first entry in the series called The Twelve Kingdoms: Sea of Shadow was published by Kodansha in Japan in 1992; the last Kodansha volume was released in 2001. In 2012 the series was resumed under the Shinchō Bunko line from Shinchosha. Shinchosha has also begun reprinting the older volumes with new cover and interior art from Akihiro Yamada. The first new publication of the series in six years was announced for a 2019 release date.

The Chinese mythology-influenced books were adapted into an anime television series by Pierrot in 2002. It aired on Japan’s NHK from April 9, 2002 to August 30, 2003, and totaled 45 episodes.

The novels were licensed in the United States by Tokyopop and the first four volumes were released between March 2007 and November 2010 as part of their Pop Fiction line. Subsequently, the English license reverted to Kodansha. The entire anime series has been released on DVD and Blu-ray in the United States by Media Blasters, which are now out of print. Now, the license is transferred to Discotek Media for a complete series Blu-ray released in 2019.

Overview

The Twelve Kingdoms is a series of novels that focus on a world inspired by Chinese mythology, where twelve different kingdoms exist under the rule of an individual chosen by the Tians. The series does not exclusively focus on one character, though the stories of Youko Nakajima, the protagonist of the first novel, and Taiki, the protagonist of the second book, are most prevalent in the series.

Characters

One of the major stories of the series centers around a red-haired girl named Youko Nakajima from Japan who is suddenly transported to the world of the Twelve Kingdoms and searches for her destiny. However, neither the series nor the anime concentrates solely on Youko and they do tell stories of other characters. The anime uses Youko as a framing device for telling other stories while the novels do not.

Each of the Twelve Kingdoms has a monarch and a Kirin, a mythological beast who first selects and then serves the monarch of his or her kingdom and can assume human form. Though only a few rulers and Kirin are in the main focus of the story, many are encountered in the series and play a significant role.

The novels focus on several characters other than Youko, including Taiki, a timid rare black Kirin who serves the ruler of Tai, and Enki and Shouryuu, the Kirin and King of En respectively. Other major characters include Keiki, the Kirin of Kei who brings Youko to the Twelve Kingdoms; Gyousou, a general chosen by Taiki to become King of Tai; Shushou, the Queen of Kyou; Shoukei, the disposed princess of Hou, and Suzu, a peasant girl who is unexpectedly transported from Japan to the Twelve Kingdoms.

Anime adaptation

Plot

The anime casts Yoko Nakajima, a Japanese girl who is suddenly transported to another world and eventually discovers that she is the empress of the kingdom of Kei, in the role of the main character; however, in the novels, Yoko is only one of many main characters and her story is focused upon in only two novels.

The anime focuses on the Kingdom of Kei and the events surrounding it. Several of the other countries are introduced, the most prominent being Kou, En and Tai, while Kyou, Hou, Sai and Ryuu play a minor role compared to the other three. The rest of the kingdoms are only introduced by name and a brief description of the current ruler and taiho. The anime also introduced the characters Asano and Sugimoto to accompany Yoko to the Twelve Kingdoms. Their role is to externalize some of Yoko’s problems that were internal in the novels.

Kingdom of Kei inhabitants

Youko Nakajima

is a sixteen-year-old honors student in Japan who lives an ordinary life. Her primary worries are her naturally red hair (it was speculated by some students and a teacher that Youko might’ve dyed her hair red) and an inexplicable recurring dream that haunts her. When a man named Keiki suddenly appears at her school, he bows at her feet, swearing loyalty to her and offering protection. The school is attacked by a giant bird and she reluctantly accepts his oath. He gives her a sword and transports her across the Void Sea to the Twelve Kingdoms, where she ends up in the Kingdom of Kou.

Youko is initially confused by the changes that have been brought onto her including a complete change in her appearance that she cannot see herself and being stranded in an unknown land with no means of returning home. These changes cause her to cry constantly, lapse into a state of helplessness, and complain about interfering in other beings’ lives no matter what the situation. As she searches for Keiki, she finds herself constantly battling against Youma and being betrayed by civilians of Kou many times. While Youko becomes wary of trusting others, she eventually comes to befriend and trust a hanjyu named Rakushun. They escape to the Kingdom of En where Youko learns that she is the heir to the throne of the kingdom of Kei. Although she is initially reluctant, Youko accepts the position through her growth in the story. In a later story arc as the newly appointed queen, Youko learns of several problems in her kingdom including a revolt in the Province of Wa. Subsequently, she is pulled into the search for Taiki when the Tai general Risai beseeches Youko’s help in finding him.

As the ruler of Kei, she is given the regnal name of Sekishi (Red Child), because of her bright red hair and because her councillors initially view her as a child. Despite being a weak character to begin with, appearing very withdrawn and not wanting to do anything that would bring attention to herself, Youko grows in strength and maturity, becomes empathetic towards the people around her, thinking articulately about her actions (especially as queen) and continues to do so until the end of the series.

Keiki

is a Kirin and the Saiho of Kei. Like all Kirin, Keiki abhors violence and prefers peaceful resolutions. Keiki appears as a very quiet and unemotional type, however does have caring qualities, especially seen towards the Kirin Taiki. In spite of being gruff and somewhat unapproachable, he is actually very sincere and loyal to Youko.

Before meeting Youko, Keiki had taken a long time before selecting Youko’s immediate predecessor, Joukaku, to become the ruler of Kei. However, she was an ineffective ruler and fell in love with Keiki; her jealousy resulted in irrational acts including expelling all the women from the country and executing those who remained. Keiki contracted Shitsudou and in order to save his life, Joukaku abdicated her throne and killed herself after a short reign of six years and was posthumously known as Yo-ou (the Prophet). Cured of his illness, Keiki set out immediately to find a new monarch for Kei.

He eventually finds Youko Nakajima, who had been living as a taika in Japan without any knowledge of the Twelve Kingdoms, and forcibly brings her back to the Twelve Kingdoms. They are separated on arrival and Keiki is captured and enchanted by Kourin, the kirin of Kou, so that he is unable to speak, summon his Shirei, or return to human form. Forced to appear before Joyei, Joukaku’s sister and pretender to the throne of Kei, Keiki remains a prisoner of the false ruler until Youko, aided by the King of En, rescues him and frees him from his enchantment. After liberating Kei, Keiki continues to advise Youko on statecraft and politics.

Aozaru

is the physical manifestation of the sentient spirit of the scabbard of the Suigūtō  (the Water Monkey Sword). The sword is a royal treasure to the kingdom of Kei and can only be wielded by the kingdom’s rightful ruler – as such, Youko is the only one who can draw the sword from its sheath. The sword was forged from a water demon that a previous great ruler of Kei had defeated while the scabbard was created from a long-tailed monkey demon. From the scabbard hangs a large jewel that can heal the one who holds it.

The sword is not only capable of killing demons and sages and breaking substances like metal chains, but is also capable of presenting visions of the past, future, and things in the distance. The sword and scabbard must be kept together, otherwise the phantasms of the sword appear unchecked while the spirit of the scabbard is free to act as it wishes. When Youko loses the scabbard during an attack by Kikis, it appears in the form of Aozaru, the blue monkey, and taunts her with her doubts while the sword presents her with visions of things she does not wish to see. Eventually, Youko, overcoming her own doubts, kills the monkey and picks up the dead scabbard. Because she has killed Aozaru, the sword can be drawn from the sheath by anyone, though it can be wielded effectively only by Youko.

Seikyou

has long served as the Chosai, the top administrator, of Kei. Seikyou works to convince Youko that Koukan, the leader of the province of Baku, is a threat to her. After an assassin plots to kill Youko, Seikyou advises Youko that Koukan planned it and that she should execute him, but Keiki advises her to listen to Koukan before acting. When Youko orders Koukan to report, Seikyou has him attacked, forcing him to flee. Seikyou continually seeks to confuse Youko, telling her that Gahou is corrupt but advising that no action be taken against him, even though Seikyou secretly supports Gahou. He repeatedly seeks meetings with her when Keiki is not present so that the kirin cannot advise her. Youko, citing Seikyou’s attempts to manipulate her and his failure to better safeguard her life, demotes Seikyou and appoints Keiki as chosai. When Youko leaves to study with Enho, Seikyou takes advantage of the situation to usurp Keiki’s authority. When the rebels become a threat to Gahou, Seikyou sends a royal army force under general Jinrai to Shisui to scare the rebels into surrendering, unaware of Youko’s presence in Wa because she told everyone in the court except Keiki that she was going to En. Seikyou’s plan fails because Youko appears to take control of the royal forces and she redirects them against Gahou. After Shoukei convinces Youko that Seikyou is the mastermind behind the plot, Youko has him arrested.

 

Film Friday- Hayate the Combat Butler

Film Friday- Hayate the Combat Butler

Hayate the Combat Butler is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Kenjiro Hata. It was serialized in Shogakukan’s Weekly Shōnen Sunday magazine from October 2004 to April 2017. Shogakukan released 52 volumes in Japan from February 2005 to June 2017. Viz Media publishes an English edition in North America. The manga is about a boy who starts a new job as a butler and the events he experiences with his employer. The style of the manga has a comedic gag with a slight harem feel and constantly breaks the fourth wall. The series includes numerous references to other anime, manga, video games, and popular culture.

A 52-episode anime adaptation of the manga by SynergySP aired between April 2007 and March 2008 on TV Tokyo. A second, 25-episode anime season by J.C.Staff aired between April and September 2009. Bandai Entertainment licensed the first anime series in 2008, but the series went out of print in 2012. An anime film adaption produced by Manglobe was released in August 2011. A third, 12-episode anime television series by Manglobe, based mostly on an original story not seen in the manga aired between October and December 2012. A fourth anime season aired between April and July 2013. Sentai Filmworks has licensed all four seasons of the anime.

Anime

The Hayate the Combat Butler 52-episode anime aired on TV Tokyo in Japan between April 1, 2007 and March 30, 2008, produced by animation studio SynergySP and with music by Kōtarō Nakagawa. The series also aired on the CS television network Animax starting on October 25, 2007, where it received its satellite television premiere, and was shown uncensored. The series was licensed in North America by Bandai Entertainment in 2008, but in February 2012, the company stopped releasing titles beyond February 7, and in April of the same year, the rights to the series were dropped, making the releases out of print. Sentai Filmworks has since re-licensed the series for a digital and home video re-release.

An original video animation episode was released on March 6, 2009 in DVD and Blu-ray formats. A second anime season of Hayate the Combat Butler, titled Hayate the Combat Butler!! (an additional exclamation mark) aired 25 episodes between April 4 and September 18, 2009, produced by animation studio J.C.Staff. Unlike the first season, the second season retcons the events of the first season by claiming at the onset that a month has passed since Hayate became Nagi’s butler. Furthermore, the second season is more faithful to the manga than the first season. On July 21, 2010, Animax Asia began airing the second season, including the OVA, with English dubbing done again by Red Angel Media along with Cantonese and Mandarin dub. The second season has been licensed by Sentai Filmworks.

An anime film adaptation, produced by Manglobe and directed by Hideto Komori titled Hayate the Combat Butler! Heaven Is a Place on Earth, was released in Japanese theaters on August 27, 2011. The film was licensed for streaming and home video release by Sentai Filmworks in August 2015. A third anime television series, titled Hayate the Combat Butler: Can’t Take My Eyes Off You and produced by Manglobe, aired 12 episodes between October 4 and December 20, 2012. Instead of being a sequel to the 2009 anime series, Can’t Take My Eyes Off You features a new story written in part by the original creator Kenjiro Hata and is mostly based on his original ideas that never made it to the manga. Despite that, the third season takes place chronologically nine months after the beginning of the first, and six months after the second, eventually becoming part of the main series canon. The third season has been licensed by Sentai Filmworks and was released on DVD and Blu-ray on April 28, 2015. A fourth anime television series, titled Hayate the Combat Butler: Cuties, aired between April 8 and July 1, 2013, and is basically composed of short stories, each one focused on one of the main characters from the manga. The fourth season has been licensed by Sentai Filmworks. A three-part OVA series produced by Manglobe was released as part of the series’ tenth anniversary between June 18, 2014 and December 16, 2014.

Characters

Hayate Ayasaki 
Hayate is the title protagonist 16-year-old butler of the Sanzenin family. Hayate Ayasaki has had to work to support his parents’ bad habits since the age of nine, always moving from job to job, before he was found out to be underaged. The experience gained in those days does mean, however, that of all the characters, he possesses the most extensive practical knowledge of how the world operates. Hayate’s dad refused to get employed, while his mother is a compulsive gambler, and the whereabouts of his older brother, Ikusa, were unknown. These events led to their bankruptcy—they abandoned Hayate and made an attempt to sell him to the Yakuza to ease their financial burdens on Christmas Eve, a debt of 156,804,000 yen. With not many choices left to him, Hayate conspired to kidnap someone to get ransom money. He found a girl, Nagi Sanzenin, and told her that he would kidnap her. However, Nagi mistook his words for confession of love, so he was later employed as Nagi’s new butler. As a butler, Hayate is capable of all aspects of housework, but it is his ability in repelling attacks from almost anything (despite his bad luck) that makes him a “combat butler”. He once demonstrated a skilled use of firearms (being able to wield an MG3 single-handedly) and is practically invincible with physical powers far surpassing that of any normal human being. In the beginning of the story, Hayate often mentioned Nello and Patrasche from the novel A Dog of Flanders, and compared his miserable situation to the characters’ life.
In addition to looking poor and needy, Hayate can also appear to be extremely feminine. This has led to him being forced to wear girls’ clothing or cosplay in feminine outfits such as nekomimi, a maid and so on. Later on, this female alter-ego is given a name: Hermione Ayasaki. He has been forced to cross-dress at other times.
Hayate had a girlfriend named Athena, who was responsible for teaching him cleaning and swordsmanship, as well as for building his strong body. Athena taught him that he must be economically strong if he wants to date with a girl. They had a falling out after his parents pawned an “engagement” ring she gave him. In chapter 239, after being asked by Hinagiku how he feels about Athena, Hayate describes Athena as “Not like the others,” and ultimately tells Hinagiku that he is in love with Athena. Athena would soon be possessed by King Midas and attack Hayate. Isumi and Sakuya explained to Hayate about Athena’s possession and the importance of the King’s Jewel. However, Hayate was unable to choose whether to keep the stone for Nagi’s inheritance or to destroy it to save Athena. In the end, it was Nagi who made the choice, noticing Hayate’s troubles. She destroyed the King’s Jewel and Hayate was able to beat King Midas and rescue Athena. Both of them quickly embraced each other, after a long time since 10 years ago. Athena told Hayate of what happened after he left, about how a man came to save and free her from The Royal Garden. Hayate immediately recognized the man as his brother Ikusa. After these events, he tells him that she is the one he loved (in past tense), and he comes to deciding he wants to protect Nagi. Hayate would go back to Mykonos for one more day of vacation before returning to Japan.
Back in Japan, Hayate had to deal with the problem of Nagi losing the inheritance of the mansion. In the end, Hayate met Klaus who showed him an old house, “Violet Mansion” where they will settle in. After that, Athena appeared again in chapter 300, to ask Hayate where his brother was. She told him that she would appear again, and that he should act like they had never met before. She also stated that Hayate was the one she trusted most. When Hayate saves Ruka from a moving truck and apologizes to her for lying to her thinking that he was a girl from their first meeting, and soon Ruka falls in love with him. Recently Hayate, Linn, Tama discovered a mystery room (in chapter 368) partitioned in the storage room. After Isumi disables the barrier, Hayate discovers that the room holds the same coffin he saw in the Royal Garden 10 years ago. Shortly after that, Yozora shows up and burns the coffin whilst battling Isumi briefly. He later hosts a welcome party for the Violet Mansion tenants. Ruka offers to help pay off his debt along with hers before proclaiming her love for him, though Hayate declares he will continue to be Nagi’s butler until she is a happy grown mistress. After the school excursion competition in America, Hayate wins the prize to pay off his debt though choose otherwise to remain as Nagi’s butler. When the anniversary of their first meeting comes, the truth of the relationship is exposed due to Hayate’s parents intervention, leading Hayate to painfully regret and wishes they never met and arrives in a world where Ayumu rescued him instead of Nagi while caught in the King’s Jewel’s dream world. Ayumu gives Hayate a newfound resolve then went to Nagi and reassures her that the fun things and his desire to protect her were real. After the battle for the Sanzenin inheritance ends, Nagi bravely fires him, which prompts Hayate to find what he wants to do with his new life, after two years he encounters a self-sufficient Nagi in the same place he met her, and tells her that even when he’s not her butler anymore the desire of protecting her and wanting to be by her side hasn’t changed.
Currently there are a total of 12 people in love with Hayate, many of which he has no clue to their true feelings due to his dense nature. They are: Hinagiku, Ayumu, Ruka, Izumi, Isumi, Maria, Nagi, Sakuya, Athena, Konoha, Yomi, and Kotetsu (Homosexual). However, Hayate has only shown interest in Hinagiku, Ayumu, Maria, Athena, Ruka and Nagi in the very end of the manga.
Nagi Sanzenin
The main female protagonist Nagi Sanzenin, 13-year-old, biracial, is the only heir to the Sanzenin fortune. She is short-tempered, spoiled, immature, but kind and cute. She has an otaku-level hobby with manga, anime and video games, and draws her own manga. Nagi has a large crush on Hayate, and she thinks that Hayate loves her since they first met. She sometimes tries to make him take an interest in her in many ways. She gets really jealous when Hayate makes some good statements on other girls. However, Hayate never understands why Nagi is mad at him, until finally Chiharu spoke about Nagi’s feelings (in chapter 553) to him.
Nagi’s only surviving family is her grandfather, whom she greatly dislikes. She regards Maria as an older sister figure. Nagi’s mother, Yukariko, is shown in volume 12 of the manga. She cares for her family and friends, but she doesn’t want to show her concern directly, she usually shows her concern with “formal words”. Because of her pampered existence, she lacks any worldly knowledge and is even incapable of looking after herself. Nagi is mortally afraid of the dark (due to an incident with Isumi), and so shares her bed with Maria at night. Since going outside is very dangerous because of her status, Nagi favors staying at home, not liking company in general. Hayate managed to convince Nagi that sports is good for her body, and she is able to get into 2nd place on the Hakuō freestyle marathon thanks to Hayate’s absorbing training and her huge amount of love for him.
While Hayate always reminded her to gather experiences on the outside world, she always thought that will be boring or she will always get lost and risk being kidnapped. Because of her family’s wealth, she became the prime target of criminal organizations. Maria always states to her that without Hayate she will always get lost or in danger. Nagi disliked being a target and spent most of her days indoors playing video games and watching TV and hence slowly becoming a hikikomori. She begins to go to school more often after Hayate transfers to her school. Despite her laziness, Nagi is a highly intelligent student. She skipped grades and is currently in the first year of high school and in the same class as Hayate.
In Shimoda, Nagi decided to take Hayate and Maria on a trip to visit a mysterious meteorite that seems to enhance growth, along with other special powers. Nagi decided to help the alien, Maya, to find its misplaced spaceship. Nagi and Maya find the spaceship at the Saginomiya’s place. Nagi accidentally boards on the spaceship, luckily Hayate saves her. When Maya sends Hayate and Nagi home, Hayate encounters Nagi’s mother, Yukariko, in a dream and finds out the reason why Nagi comes to Shimoda every year is to remember the anniversary of her mother’s death.
On the other hand, in Episode 52, during Golden Week, Nagi, Hayate, and Maria travel to Mykonos Island. Hayate got summoned back to the past when he jumped into the sky to get Nagi’s hat back. At that time, Nagi feels uncomfortable going outside, because the Sicilian Mafia is after her. However, Hayate manages to defeat the Mafia but he made a few holes on Nagi’s hat. Nagi doesn’t mind and said that the holes are proof that Hayate saved her life. After this incident, Nagi falls for Hayate even more because he has vowed to protect her in the past, present and future. Both Nagis (The one in the present and the one from the past) fall for Hayate deeply. During Hayate’s struggle to make a choice whether to destroy the King’s Jewel to save Athena, Nagi sensed Hayate’s dilemma and decided to destroy the king’s jewel out of her own accord so that Hayate could now protect her truly, and not her fortune. She came across Athena on the last day of Golden Week. After coming back from Golden Week trip, Nagi was forced to leave her mansion due to her forfeiting her inheritance after she destroyed the King’s Jewel. Later Nagi, Hayate, and Maria stayed at Yukariko’s Violet Mansion and started new life.
Trying to sell her doujinshi to the public, Nagi went to show her hard work to Ashibashi-sensei but was shocked to realize her hard work was not good enough. Making a bet to sell out her doujinshi at the last Doujinshi convention, Nagi gets help from both Chiharu, Hayate, and Kayura in coming out with ideas to create her own doujinshi compare to Ruka her rival. After the Comisun event, Nagi decide to make a comeback at the Tokyo Big Sight to where the biggest doujinshi competition will be held there. Believing that having supernatural experiences will help create a concept manuscript for a new manga, Nagi takes an itinerary to Kyoto, but later got lost on the empty streets of Hokkaido until she’s found late at night by Dr. Kurosu. Nagi determined to win the competition for Hayate’s sake when Ruka confronts her feelings for him. As Nagi’s manga, “30 Days of Soul Burning“, is being sold and read, she soon realize what she had sincerely desire in her life.
Back home, Nagi is informed by her grandfather, that she can be reinstated as the heir should she brings him a King’s Jewel. After a failed attempt to obtain it from Hayate’s brother, Nagi orders Hayate to steal the Jewel in possession of Mikado instead. Despite knowing that he was robbed, Mikado accepts it back and agrees to have her become the Sanzenin heir once again. On the next Christmas Eve, Nagi finds out Hayate’s true feelings and falls into great depression, and without Maria, her broken spirit unlocks the King’s Jewel power awakening in a dreamworld where Hayate loves her for real. After reconciling with Nagi, Hayate made it so she won’t suffer the same fate as her mother, rescuing her but staying in the dreamworld as he couldn’t leave, back in the real world a tearful Nagi shouts Hayate’s name, and he appears by her side thanks to their strong bond. Nagi gives Hisui the “Loto’s Key” and the inheritance, saying she doesn’t need it anymore as she is gonna earn her own money, but wishes to eat cake with Hisui sometime, after that she fires Hayate freeing him of his duty to protect her, telling him to live as he wants and love whoever he wants, Hayate accepts and leaves a tearful Nagi. After a timeskip of two years a now self-sufficient Nagi attends a normal middle school, living with Chiharu and Kayura who have failed to pay next year’s tuition for Hakuou Academy. On another Christmas night, Nagi’s about to get kidnapped in the same place she was rescued by Hayate, but this time she takes care of the situation herself, an observing Hayate surprised at her growth and tells her that even when he’s not her butler anymore, his desire of protecting her and wanting to be by her side hasn’t changed, and that there is “something he needs to tell her,” in which a smiling Nagi happily replies that “the night is young”, locking hands after that and walking together, implying that this time their feelings are mutual and not a misunderstanding.

 

Wednesday News- January 15, 2020

Wednesday News- January 15, 2020

Final Fantasy VII Remake Game Delayed to April 10- https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2020-01-14/final-fantasy-vii-remake-game-delayed-to-april-10/.155335

Takashi NoguChi Launches Kōdō Wolf  Racing Manga- https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2020-01-14/takashi-noguchi-launches-kodo-wolf-racing-manga/.155282

Demon Slayer Manga Takes 19 of Top 20 Spots on Amazon’s Weekly Ranking- https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2020-01-14/demon-slayer-manga-takes-19-of-top-20-spots-on-amazon-weekly-ranking/.155344

La-Mulana 1 & 2 Games’ Trailer Streamed- https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2020-01-14/la-mulana-1-and-2-games-trailer-streamed/.155338

Fate/stay night Anime Director Yuji Yamaguchi Passes Away- https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2020-01-14/fate-stay-night-anime-director-yuji-yamaguchi-passes-away/.155277

Anime

  • Clockwork Planet Essentials BDP
  • Dragon Ball Super Part 10 BD
  • Dragon Ball Super Part 10 DVD
  • Gamers! Essentials BD
  • Knight’s & Magic Essentials BD
  • Magical Girl Spec-Ops Asuka BD
  • The Price of Smiles BD

Manga

  • 1122: For a Happy Marriage GN 4 (Digital Only)
  • Ace of Diamond GN 24 (Digital Only)
  • Case Closed Graphic Novel (GN) 73
  • Domestic Girlfriend GN 23 (Digital Only)
  • Do You Love Your Mom and Her Two-Hit Multi-Target Attacks? GN 2
  • Ex-Enthusiasts: Motokare Mania GN 2 (Digital Only)
  • Farewell, My Dear Cramer GN 6 (Digital Only)
  • GE – Good Ending GN 1 (Digital Only)
  • Giant Killing GN 18 (Digital Only)
  • Himouto! Umaruchan GN 8
  • Hina Matsuri GN 6
  • Hitorijime My Hero GN 6
  • If I Could Reach You GN 3
  • Knights of Sidonia Master Edition GN 4
  • The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess GN 6P
  • Persona 5 GN 1
  • Pokémon Sun & Moon GN 6
  • Shadow Student Council Vice President Gives Her All GN (Digital Only) (
  • Shigeru Mizuki‘s Kitaro: The Trial of Kitaro GN 4
  • Splatoon GN 8
  • Star Wars: The Legends of Luke Skywalker GN
  • To Love Ru Darkness GN 14
  • Uzaki-chan Wants to Hang Out! GN 2
  • Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches omnibus GN 21-22P
  • Yo-kai Watch GN 13
  • Yowamushi Pedal GN 13

Other

  • Atelier Ayesha: The Alchemist of Dusk DX PS4, Switch, PC game
  • Atelier Dusk Trilogy Deluxe Pack PS4, Switch, PC game
  • Atelier Escha and Logy: Alchemists of the Dusk Sky DX PS4, Switch, PC game
  • Atelier Shallie: Alchemists of the Dusk Sea DX PS4, Switch, PC game
  • Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot PS4, Xbox One, PC game
  • If It’s for My Daughter, I’d Even Defeat a Demon Lord Novel 9 (Digital Only)
  • Infinite Stratos Novel 11 (Digital Only)
  • Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation Novel 5 (Digital Only)
  • Orangeblood PC gameC
  • Seirei Gensouki – Spirit Chronicles Novel 8 (Digital Only)
  • Tokyo Mirage Session #FE Encore Switch game
  • The Underdog of the Eight Greater Tribes Novel 1 (Digital Only)

 

Film Friday- Honey and Clover

Film Friday- Honey and Clover

Honey and Clover is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Chica Umino. It is also known as HachiKuro and H&C. It is published by Shueisha, initially serialized from June 2000 to July 2006 in the magazines CUTiEcomic, Young YOU, and Chorus, and collected in ten bound volumes. The series depicts the lives and relationships of a group of art school students who live in the same apartment building. In 2003, the manga won the 27th Kodansha Manga Award for shōjo.

The series was adapted as an animated television series by J.C.Staff, initially broadcast on Fuji TV in two seasons from April to September 2005 and June to September 2006. The series was also adapted as a live action movie, which was released in theaters in Japan on July 22, 2006, and two separate live-action television dramas in 2008, one broadcast in Japan on Fuji TV from January 8, 2008 to March 18, 2008 and the other broadcast in Taiwan on CTS beginning on May 25, 2008.

Anime

The anime television series was produced by J.C.Staff and consists of 36 episodes in broadcast in two seasons on Fuji TV in the Noitamina programming block. The first season was directed by Ken’ichi Kasai, and consisted of 24 episodes that aired from April 14, 2005 and September 29, 2005 plus two DVD-only episodes. The second season was directed by Tatsuyuki Nagai, and consisted of 12 episodes that aired between June 29, 2006 and September 14, 2006.
Both seasons were rebroadcast in Japan by the anime CS television network Animax, which also later broadcast the series across its respective networks in Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, and other regions. The series was first broadcast in English on Amimax’s Southeast Asia network starting August 1, 2006.
The anime featured numerous sponsors, including clothing brands We, Adidas, Head Porter, Visvim and Sally Scott, as well as Weider in Jelly in the second season.
Funimation got the broadcast rights to Viz Media’s dub and it premiered on the Funimation Channel on September 19, 2009. Viz Media have subsequently released the entire series across three DVD collection sets. In Australia, the anime is distributed on DVD by Madman Entertainment. In May 2019, Discotek Media announced the license of the series.

Main characters

Yūta Takemoto
A second-year art student, age 19 at the start of the series, living in the same apartment complex as Mayama and Morita. Takemoto is the main character and acts as the point-of-view of the series, and often as narrator of episodes. He is depicted as the most mellow of the main characters. He falls in love with Hagu immediately after being introduced by his professor but keeps his feelings to himself through most of the series. Because of his inability to act upon his feelings as freely as Morita, Takemoto decides to act as a brother-figure to Hagu, giving her friendly support when needed, for example, building her sophisticated dollhouses at her request. Later in the series, as a result of his conflicted emotions, Takemoto develops a stomach ulcer, forcing him to repeat a year of school. Early in the series, he questions his vocation as an artist, but over the series he becomes comfortable with himself. After a bicycle trip to Cape Sōya, the northernmost point in Japan, Takemoto gains the confidence to tell Hagu how he really feels. Although Hagu does not accept him, Takemoto admits that just meeting her and the time they spend together has influenced him.
Hagumi Hanamoto
Usually called “Hagu” by her friends, she is an 18-year-old first-year art student at the start of the series. She is depicted as appearing and acting several years younger than her true age. Despite her appearance, she is a gifted artist and her work is highly praised by art professionals. She is shy and very nervous when interacting with people, to the point of becoming physically ill from stress, with the result that other art students think she is strange. She was raised by her grandmother in a sheltered environment, where she learned to draw sketching the ever-changing view from her porch. When Morita and Takemoto first meet Hagu, they both immediately fall in love with her, although they express it in different ways. Hagu spends most of the series unaware of their feelings for her, seeing them as friends. After Takemoto confesses his feelings for her, she begins avoiding him, and at the end of the series she admits she loves Morita. However, she returns to Shūji because she cannot imagine a life without drawing.
Shinobu Morita
A sixth-year art student, age 24 at the start of the series, in the same apartment complex as Takemoto and Mayama. Morita is depicted as a perpetual student, unable to graduate because of persistent absenteeism. This is mainly due to his work, which forces him to go missing for several days, after which he sleeps for at least 48 hours. Morita is considered mysterious by the other students, prone to bizarre behavior such as creating a version of Twister with too many colors. He is a perceptive person who cares for his friends Takemoto and Mayama but often expressing himself tactlessly, and who is not generous with his money and food. He also expresses his desire for Hagu in quirky ways, such as forcing her to dress up as a mouse because he likes cute things. Later in the series, he departs for a year in America, and eventually the others learn he has been moonlighting as an award-winning CGI artist.
Takumi Mayama
A fourth-year art student, age 22 at the start of the series, in the same apartment complex as Takemoto and Morita. He acts as a senpai (senior) to Takemoto and tries to help Morita get up for early morning classes. Early in the series, Mayama helps Rika Harada out with various errands at her design firm, Harada Design, during which time he develops feelings for Rika. The series initially leaves unclear whether Mayama takes advantage of Rika’s disability to fulfill his desires, but it is later shown that Rika reciprocates his feelings. At her urging, Mayama begins working for a different design firm, but after it breaks up, near the end of the series, he returns to work for Rika. Despite Yamada’s throwing herself at him, Mayama considers her only as his close friend, but he becomes protective of her when a colleague with a reputation for playing girls develops an interest in her.
Ayumi Yamada
A third-year art student, age 21 at the start of the series, specializing in ceramic arts. She is well-known by other students for her pottery and her nickname Tetsujin “Iron-lady” for running 6 km to school every morning to help her dog lose weight. She is depicted as a beautiful young woman, who catches the attention of her male friends and coworkers. Yamada is deeply in love with Mayama, but he does not return her feelings and repeatedly encourages her to find someone else. Later in the series, she is angered by Mayama’s sudden protectiveness when he tries to shield her from his former boss, Nomiya. Yamada is close friends with Hagu, who addresses her by first name. At the end of the series, Yamada continues as a graduate student in art, while making pottery for Harada Design.

Wednesday News- January 8, 2020

Wednesday News- January 8, 2020

Yen Press Licenses That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime: The Ways of the Monster Nation Manga- https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2020-01-06/yen-press-licenses-that-time-i-got-reincarnated-as-a-slime-the-ways-of-the-monster-nation-manga/.155096

Review: Vinland Sagahttps://www.animenewsnetwork.com/review/vinland-saga-episodes-1-24-streaming/.155028

Makoto Fugetsi, cocho’s Granblue Fantasy Manga Ends- https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2020-01-07/makoto-fugetsu-cocho-granblue-fantasy-manga-ends/.155126

Plunderer Anime Runs for 24 Episodes- https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/daily-briefs/2020-01-07/plunderer-anime-runs-for-24-episodes/.155109

The Winter 2020 Anime Preview Guide- https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/preview-guide/2020/winter/.154997

Anime

  • Berserk Complete Series BDP
  • Black Clover Season 2 Part 2 BD/DVD
  • A Certain Magical Index Season 3 Part 2 BD/DVD
  • Dagashi Kashi Season 2 Essentials BD
  • ENDRO! Complete Series BD
  • The Girl in Twilight BD
  • Hinomaru Sumo Part 1 BD
  • Pokémon – Diamond and Pearl: Battle Dimension Complete Collection DVD
  • Space Dandy Complete Series Classics BD
  • Spice & Wolf Complete Series BD
  • Yu-Yu Hakusho Season 3 Steelbook BD
  • Zombie Land Saga Season 1 BD/DVD
  • Zombie Land Saga Season 1 Limited Edition BD/DVD

Manga

  • Akashic Records of Bastard Magic Instructor Graphic Novel (GN) 8
  • Animeta! GN 2
  • Anonymous Noise GN 18
  • Bakemonogatari GN 2
  • Black Clover GN 19
  • Chio’s School Road GN 7
  • Daytime Shooting Star GN 4
  • Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba GN 10
  • Don’t Call Me Dirty GN
  • Dr. Stone GN 9
  • Dungeon Builder: The Demon King’s Labyrinth is a Modern City! GN 1
  • Grand Blue Dreaming GN 9
  • Haikyu!! GN 36
  • Harem Days The Seven-Starred Country GN 13 (Digital Only)A
  • An Incurable Case of Love (Koi wa Tsuzuku yo Doko made mo) GN 2A
  • Kaguya-sama: Love is War GN 12
  • Legend of the Rainbow GN 3 (Digital Only)
  • The Magic in this Other World is Too Far Behind! GN 3 (Digital Only)C
  • Marginal Operation GN 2 (Digital Only)
  • My Room Is a Dungeon Rest Stop GN 1
  • The Promised Neverland GN 13
  • The Seven Deadly Sins GN 36 (Digital Only)
  • Snow White with the Red Hair GN 5P
  • Tales of Berseria GN 2
  • Tomo-chan is a Girl! GN 6

Other

  • An Archdemon’s Dilemma – How to Love Your Elf Bride Novel 3
  • Arifureta – From Commonplace to World’s Strongest: Zero Novel 2
  • Demon Lord, Retry! Novel 2 (Digital Only)
  • Der Werwolf – The Annals of Veight Novel 6 (Digital Only)
  • Full Metal Panic! Collector’s Edition Omnibus Novel 1 (hardcover)
  • In Another World With My Smartphone Novel 18 (Digital Only)
  • Infinite Dendrogram Novel 4
  • Magic User: Reborn in Another World as a Max Level Novel 1
  • Monster Hunter World: Iceborne PC game
  • Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation Novel 4
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion TV Animation Production Art Collection Artbook (hardcover)
  • Otherside Picnic Novel 2 (Digital Only)
  • PERSONA 5 the Animation The Artworks Material BookA
  • Sword Art Online Novel 18
  • There Was No Secret Evil-Fighting Organization (srsly?!), So I Made One MYSELF! Novel 2 (Digital Only)An

 

Film Friday- MÄR

Film Friday- MÄR

Märchen Awakens Romance, officially abbreviated as MÄR), is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Nobuyuki Anzai, serialized in Shogakukan’s Weekly Shōnen Sunday from January 2003 to July 2006. MÄR follows 14-year-old junior high student Ginta Toramizu who is transported into a fantasy-based world known as MÄR-Heaven. As Ginta ventures in the world of MÄR-Heaven, he encounters allies and antagonists.

An anime television series adaptation titled MÄR Heaven was broadcast in Japan on TV Tokyo from April 2005 to March 2007.

In North America, Viz Media has licensed both the MÄR manga and anime for an English-language release.The manga was published between July 2005 and June 2007. The anime aired first in July 2006 on Toonami Jetstream, an online service from Cartoon Network, and then on the network itself, as part of the Toonami programming block in December 2006.

A sequel entitled MÄR Omega by Anzai and illustrated by Kōichirō Hoshino was published in Weekly Shōnen Sunday from July 2006 to June 2007.

Anime

An anime adaptation titled MÄR Heaven, produced by SynergySP premiered in Japan on TV Tokyo on April 3, 2005 where it ran for 102 episodes until its conclusion on March 25, 2007.

In North America, the anime was licensed by Viz Media and aired on Cartoon Network’s online broadband service Toonami Jetstream in July 2006, and the series premiered on their television programming block Toonami,on December 23, 2006. It also premiered in Canada on YTV channel on June 1, 2007. Viz Media began releasing the series to DVD on June 12, 2007, with each disc containing 4 episodes. Four volumes were released before Viz delisted the series in favor of other titles. In June 2011, the first 52 episodes were available on Netflix’s Instant streaming service.

Ginta Toramizu

A fun-loving, care-free boy with a ponytail who uses Babbo as his ÄRM. Ginta is a fourteen-year-old boy as a 2nd year student in Japan. He has always had a daydreaming problem; falling asleep in class happens on a regular basis. Ginta’s dreams are about a fantasy world in which he is the hero. On many occasions he tells Koyuki, the only person who believes that his dreams are real, about the dreams and how one day he will go to the place he sees when he’s asleep. Many of his classmates and teachers pick on him for sleeping in class and Ginta often ends up getting beat up or running around the school as punishment.
Ginta’s mother doesn’t like to hear of his dreams because of his father who disappeared about six years ago. He had the same dreams as well and she is worried that Ginta will leave her. She writes fairy tales, or märchen, for a living. She also playfully beats Ginta up for playing too many video games and slacking off at school.
One day, however, Ginta was sent to the fantasy world he dreamed of, MÄR Heaven. Being originally from another world (Earth) he was originally weak and nerdy (a stereotypical otaku) until he arrived in MÄR-Heaven, where he gained superior physical ability, 20/20 eyesight, and his path happened to coincide with that of the ÄRM of legend Babbo.
Ginta later finds out that he was brought to the fantasy world by a boy named Alviss so that he can save the world from the Chess Pieces. He uses the unique ÄRM Babbo, which was used by the head of the Chess Pieces six years prior, to create Team and defeat the Chess once and for all. He harbours a secret crush on Koyuki, who eventually reciprocates his feelings as she journeys with Ginta as Snow.

Babbo

is a unique ÄRM that was first wielded by Phantom and is later wielded by Ginta. He resembles a metal kendama. He contained the soul of the previous Elder of Caldia.

Babbo has many forms:

  • Babbo Version 1A: Hammer Arm – Babbo becomes a gauntlet over the user’s hand with a metal ball at the end. The base of the gauntlet has the same design as the hammer part of Babbo’s normal form.
  • Babbo Version 1B: Dagger Arm – Babbo becomes an extension for the first version where a dagger appears in the place of a metal ball.
  • Babbo Version 2: Bubble Launcher – Babbo turns into a gun that Ginta wields. This form can shoot exploding bubbles. Ginta uses this for long range attacks.
  • Babbo Version 3: Gargoyle – Babbo turns into a giant Gargoyle creature that levitates with a giant crystal as his lower waist and holds a ring in his mouth. He can use the ring to fire a strong beam that uses a lot of magical power. Because this version is a Guardian ÄRM, Ginta can’t move when he uses it, but it also is very dangerous…if he is reckless with it, Ginta’s spirit energy will be crushed (he may also lose his sanity).
  • Babbo Version 4: Alice – Babbo turns into an angelic female Holy ÄRM that uses healing magic, which is effective for counter-attack and protection against Darkness ÄRMs. Babbo becomes embarrassed after the transformation.
  • Babbo Version 5: Cushion Jelly – Babbo turns into a giant jelly that protects Ginta and absorbs all physical attacks used by the enemy. This form will also render Ginta motionless.
  • Babbo Version 6: Puss in Boots – Babbo turns into a larger version of Puss in Boots where he gains immense speed, has a knife hidden in one of his boots, and the ability to use ÄRM like Fresh Bonito (a Weapon ÄRM that resembles a fish that is actually strong) and Mr. Replacer (a unique ÄRM that resembles a doll that can substitute for Ginta when he is about to be attacked).
  • Babbo Version 7: Unification – Ginta used this form to get his father’s mind back into his body.
  • Babbo Version 8: Reverse Gatekeeper Clown – Exclusive to the manga, Babbo turns into a form that resembles Gatekeeper Clown that allows a certain number of people to go through by the dice that it rolls. Ginta and his dad used it to go back to Earth following the defeat of Caldia’s Orb.
  • Babbo Version 8: Omega Gargoyle – Exclusive to the anime, Babbo turns into a golden version of Gargoyle where it is strengthened by the hopes and dreams of everyone on MÄR-Heaven.

Dorothy

The beautiful 16-year-old Princess of Caldea who is also a witch of immeasurable power, and the younger sister of Diana: Queen of Chess Pieces (the former princess of Caldia). She is the step-aunt of Snow (although she and Snow have some trouble accepting this) and thus, she bears the responsibility to put a permanent rest to Diana’s actions in accordance to the laws of their birthplace, the magic kingdom Caldea. She is first to appear walking up to Ginta. Since she saw the great strength of Ginta, she asked him to help her get ÄRM. When he refused, she offered up a Weapon ÄRM that was completely useless. Ginta agreed not knowing a thing about the ÄRM, so they enter the cave of where the ÄRM is sealed. Later, when they arrive at the ÄRM’s location they have to face a powerful Guardian ÄRM, Brikkin. As Dorothy fights it with her Guardian ÄRM Flying Leo, Ginta gets the ÄRM who calls himself Babbo, then Flying Leo breaks, and so with Babbo he beats the Guardian Brikkin. Later they argue over Babbo to the point when Dorothy tried and failed to pick up Babbo because it was too heavy thus Ginta got Babbo. Disappointed she flew away on the Nature ÄRM Zephiroth’s Broom.

Dorothy has an interest in stealing any uncommon ÄRMs she comes across (which is also her other duty on Kaldea’s behalf), heaping up into a wide variety for her collection, but she seems to prefer Guardian ÄRMs and Wind-themed ÄRMs in battle. Dorothy’s moods can vary from the sweet, kind-hearted girl to the pitiless, cruel fighter who could kill her enemies without any second thought. She also has a notably large crush on Ginta, leading her to smother him with attention, much to Princess Snow’s dismay.

During the last Chess battle with the Chess Pieces, when she was against Chimera, part of her dress were ripped away to expose a majority of her left breast (but not enough to expose her nudity), while a portion of the dress at her right hip was exposed too. Many viewers also commented on the ‘intentional’ attention on her breasts, when her breasts shake when Dorothy was surprised at Chimaera’s Ghost ÄRM, a close up at her breasts at a view slightly behind Dorothy, and when Ugly Hag was touching her breast while she was struggling against a pair of Ogre Hands. There is also a joke-skill that Dorothy has, called mostly ‘Defy Gravity’, made out when Chimera takes Dorothy’s leg and turns her upside down, but her dress does not slip down to reveal a likely genital (since it was speculated that with no brassiere, there will be no undergarments). This fact is also supported as the story never shows undergarments, as when Pinocchio uses his multiple hands to grab both of Dorothy’s legs and spreads them, while pulling her towards a chainsaw to cut her into half from between the legs, only her lap and thigh can be seen, with a slip of the dress between her legs.

Dorothy is inspired from the Wizard Of OZ from her name being the same as the main character except instead of defeating a witch she is one. She also has allusions to it from her ÄRM including: Scarecrow who is pretty dumb like the scarecrow from the original was supposed be, Rain Dog which is named TOTO like Dorothy’s from the wizard of Oz, Flying Leo a combination of the cowardly lion and the flying monkeys & Ring Armor which looks the tin man. And Like her counterpart she also has to kill a witch although in this case it’s her sister and not the wicked witch of the west.

Dorothy’s ÄRM consists of:

  • Andarta – A Dimension ÄRM that allows Dorothy to teleport to anywhere that she has been.
  • Antidote Tonic – A Holy ÄRM used to cure poisons.
  • Broom of Zephyrus – A Nature ÄRM that takes the form of a metal broom that is always seen near Dorothy. Besides using it as her mode of transportation, Dorothy can shape the wind with it.
  • Crazy Quilt – A Guardian ÄRM that takes the form of a loud-mouthed whimsical puppet with dirty clothes and no legs.
  • Flying Leo – A Guardian ÄRM that summons a flying lion.
  • Ring Armor – A common Guardian ÄRM that summons a living suit of armor that is often used to test an enemy’s strength.
  • Ring Dagger – A Weapon ÄRM that Dorothy uses when she doesn’t want to use up her Broom of Zephyrus.
  • Rock Giant Golem – A Guardian ÄRM that resembles a giant suit of rock armor. It originally guarded Babbo until it was defeated and ended up in Dorothy’s possession.
  • Scarecrow – A Guardian ÄRM that takes the form of a scarecrow whose hat can turn into a drill.
  • Toto – A Guardian ÄRM that is the name of a Rain Dog (a three-tailed dog) that can eat absolutely anything.
  • Watching Bird – A Dimension ÄRM that takes the form of a purple hummingbird that can watch anything and send the hologram of what it sees back to the user where it is shown on the ground.
  • Zipper – A Dimensional ÄRM that summons a zipper that Dorothy uses to store her extra ÄRM.

 

Wednesday News- January 1, 2020

Wednesday News- January 1, 2020

Review: GeGeGe no Kitaro Episodes 76-86 Streaming- https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/review/gegege-no-kitaro/episodes-76-86/.154882

Ultraman Tops Netflix’s Most Watched Anime in Japan in 2019- https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/interest/2019-12-31/ultraman-tops-netflix-most-watched-anime-in-japan-in-2019/.154902

Funimation Reveals Results of ‘Decade of Anime’ Fan Polls- https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/interest/2019-12-31/funimation-reveals-results-of-decade-of-anime-fan-polls/.154809

angela Perform My Next Life as  a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! Anime’s Opening Song- https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2019-12-31/angela-perform-my-next-life-as-a-villainess-all-routes-lead-to-doom-anime-opening-song/.154938

Crunchyroll Reveals Most Watched Anime of the Decade by Region- https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/interest/2019-12-31/crunchyroll-reveals-most-watched-anime-of-the-decade-by-region/.154915

Anime

  • Haikyu!! 3rd Season Premium Box Set BD/DVD

Manga

  • 10 Dance Graphic Novel (GN) 5
  • GTO: Paradise Lost GN 11 (Digital Only)
  • Hotaru’s Way GN 11 (Digital Only)
  • How NOT to Summon a Demon Lord GN 6
  • The Island of Giant Insects GN 1 (Digital Only)P
  • Kakafukaka GN 9 (Digital Only)
  • Kakegurui – Compulsive Gambler GN 11P
  • Kounodori: Dr. Stork GN 12 (Digital Only)
  • Legend of the Rainbow GN 2 (Digital Only)C (Digital Only)
  • Machimaho: I Messed Up and Made the Wrong Person Into a Magical Girl! GN 4C
  • Magia Record: Puella Magi Madoka Magica Side Story GN 1A
  • Sacrificial Princess and the King of Beasts GN 8Pl
  • To Be Next to you GN 1 (Digital Only)
  • Waiting for Spring GN 12C
  • What Did You Eat Yesterday? GN 14A

Other

  • The Alchemist Who Survived Now Dreams of a Quiet City Life Novel 2
  • Combatants Will Be Dispatched! Novel 2
  • Full Metal Panic! Novel (Digital Only)C
  • The Irregular at Magic High School Novel 14
  • Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? Novel 14P
  • Miniature Final Fantasy book (hardcover)
  • Our Last Crusade or the Rise of a New World Novel 2C
  • Outbreak Company Novel 12 (Digital Only)
  • Owarimonogatari Part 1 Novel
  • Seraph of the End: Guren Ichinose: Catastrophe at Sixteen Novel 1
  • Spice & Wolf Novel 21

 

Film Friday- Kuroko’s Basketball

Film Friday- Kuroko’s Basketball

Kuroko’s Basketball, known in Japan as Kuroko no Basuke, is a Japanese sports manga series written and illustrated by Tadatoshi Fujimaki. The English rendering The Basketball Which Kuroko Plays also appears in the artwork of the Japanese version. It was serialized in Weekly Shōnen Jump from December 2008 to September 2014, with the individual chapters collected into 30 tankōbon volumes by Shueisha. It tells the story of a high school basketball team trying to make it to the national tournament.

By April 2014, Kuroko’s Basketball had 27 million copies in circulation. It was adapted into an anime television series by Production I.G that began airing in 2012, with a second season that began airing in October 2013 and a third season that began airing in January 2015. A sequel manga by Fujimaki titled Kuroko’s Basketball: Extra Game began serialization in Jump Next! on December 29, 2014. Viz Media has licensed the manga for publication in North America. An anime film adaptation of the Kuroko’s Basketball: Extra Game manga premiered in Japan on March 18, 2017. In December 2015 a stage play adaptation was announced, set to open on April 2016, followed by more stage adaptations.

Anime

An anime adaptation based on the manga is produced by Production I.G. The series premiered on April 7, 2012 and ended on September 22, 2012. On April 5, 2012, Crunchyroll announced that they would simulcast the anime as part of their spring lineup of anime titles. As of September 22, 2012, the anime ended with a total of 25 episodes. The second season premiered on October 6, 2013 and ended on March 29, 2014, also with 25 episodes. The third season premiered on January 10, 2015  and ended on June 30, 2015, with a total of 25 episodes. Three compilation films that compiled the anime series’ Winter Cup arc opened in Japan in 2016. The first compilation film opened on September 3, 2016, titled Winter Cup Compilation ~Shadow and Light~, the second compilation film opened on October 8, 2016, titled Winter Cup Compilation ~Beyond the Tears~, and the third compilation film opened on December 3, 2016, titled Winter Cup Compilation ~Crossing the Door~.

An animated film adaptation was announced at the KuroBas Cup 2015 event on September 20, 2015. The film, titled Kuroko’s Basketball The Movie: Last Game, will adapt the Kuroko’s Basketball: Extra Game manga. It was released in Japanese theaters on March 18, 2017. The staff and cast from the previous seasons returned to reprise their roles in the film.

Characters

Seirin High

Seirin High’s basketball team was founded only the year before the manga; despite this setbacks and only including freshmen, the team made it all the way to the final league in that year’s Inter-High school tournament. This year, the team’s notable newcomers include Tetsuya Kuroko, the main character of the manga, as well as Taiga Kagami.

Tetsuya Kuroko
He is the “phantom” sixth man of the “Generation of Miracles”(Teiko Middle School’s basketball team). Kuroko is Seirin’s secret weapon. Although he was an essential member of his middle school basketball team, unlike his former teammates, Kuroko is largely unknown. This is because he is so small, frail, unnoticeable, distressingly slow, and easy to miss. However, he is greatly respected by everyone. Kuroko capitalizes in the skill of misdirection, using himself as a relay to redirect his teammates’ passes to another free player and make virtually unstoppable steals, getting the ball to and between his teammates faster than opponents can react, while at the same time remaining “invisible” to his opponents. His near-invisibility makes him highly susceptible to on-court injuries however, and is not effective indefinitely. If he is left in play too long, opponents grow used to his misdirection tactics; as such, he must be placed on the bench at varying points in any match to prevent this. He mostly plays the position of a small forward based on defensive matchups and substitution strategies, but in recent chapters of the manga his position is listed as a questionmark. This is because Kuroko is difficult to place in one of the five basketball positions, his role in the team applies to none of those, but mostly as a pass-first point guard based on size and passing abilities but his dribbling and playcalling ability is not as advanced or polished as an average point guard. As revealed by Aomine and later in the Teiko arc, Akashi was the one who taught Kuroko his playing style. Also, his misdirection is inspired from the book “Techniques in Guiding Lines of Sight” and developed it due to his sharp observation skills. Because he has learned new skills like the “Phantom Shot” and the “Vanishing Drive”, his lack of presence wears out, because these skills require to hold the ball and the crowd turns their attention on the one who holds it. This the reason why Akashi didn’t teach him how to develop his basketball skills.[3] During the second season of the anime series and the eleventh volume of the manga, he developed a new technique, called the “Vanishing Drive”. Midorima explains the mechanics of the skill during Seirin’s second match against Touou; the move itself is basically a cross-diagonal move (a duck-in) to where the opponent’s eye field can’t see. Kuroko bends over in a specific angle at drives following a specific route, that the opponent’s eyes can’t follow. Kazuya Hara of Kirisaki Dai Ichi has speculated that Kuroko uses blinking to bypass the defense, but this has been proven wrong. The real Vanishing Drive is a collaboration with Kagami. Similar to Kuroko’s misdirection, Kagami draws the attention of the opponent to him, just for a second, and that makes it possible for Kuroko to pass his opponent successfully. This technique is effective enough to pass through the defenses of Midorima and Takao (who possesses the Hawk Eye). The only one so far who has beaten it, is Aomine. Because of the two’s mutual understanding about basketball, closing his eyes (making Kagami’s misdirection ineffective) and by following Kuroko’s breath, Aomine was able to crush down the Vanishing Drive. During the game against Tōō Academy, Kuroko performed his Ignite Pass Kai, a new, upgraded version of his Ignite Pass, which is a very powerful pass that pushes the ball at a blinding speed that it even flies past Aomine’s hand when he tried to block it. Midorima stated that the Ignite Pass Kai is much like a bullet being fired out of a gun. Kuroko’s special ability is the Misdirection Overflow, where when Kuroko’s misdirection runs out on him, his teammates have the ability to do the Vanishing Drive. This technique is specially created to decrease the accuracy of shots. However, when this happens Kuroko is just a regular member on the court without any special talents. He also is helped by Aomine on his shooting skills, creating a shooting style that uses misdirection- the Phantom Shot. The essence of this technique is to use the palm of his hand to thrust the ball forward, although this will mess up the shooting posture. Furthermore, because of the strange shooting position, the ball looks lower than a usual shot. Instead of shooting above one’s head, the Phantom Shot releases from the chest. The opponent naturally looks lower because of the ball’s position, so his view is limited. By following a fast release, Kuroko can shoot the ball through the opponent’s field of vision, like a floater with less arc, with the ball seemingly disappearing in thin air. Apart from his lack of presence, Kuroko acquired his own version of the Emperor Eye- the Quasi-Emperor Eye- that is different than Akashi’s in the sense that Kuroko’s Emperor Eye cannot predict the movements of his opponents (which Akashi’s Emperor Eye can), but rather the teammates whom he is familiar with. However, due to his long-term observation of his teammates and the trust he built up with them, his Quasi-Emperor Eye can predict movements one step ahead of Akashi’s. He also uses this to change his passing routes and his teammates passes if he sees the ball will be stolen. When Kagami reaches the Zone’s 2nd gate, the gatekeeper is none other than Kuroko himself. Kuroko respects but doesn’t like Midorima because of his way of thinking; Midorima also has similar feelings toward Kuroko. Kuroko considers himself a “Shadow”, whose goal is to help his “Light” achieve greatness. Kuroko calls Kagami “his Light”. He also has a tendency to speak and act completely deadpan, and a running gag involves his teammates, thinking they are alone, talking to themselves only for Kuroko to answer them, apparently having been in the area long before they arrived. However, despite his initially kind personality, he gets extremely furious at the sight of dirty play, when his teammates are already injured by foul methods in the Kirisaki Daiichi game. His aura changes so drastically, even Kagami got scared when he saw him get angry. When he gets angry, it gets very hard to beat him, as he is filled up with fighting spirit. Also, when the situation worsens, he seems to turn talkative.
Taiga Kagami
A naturally gifted basketball player, Kagami easily makes his way into Seirin’s starting line-up as a freshman power forward. He has been said to be equal to the Generation of Miracles, even some of the Miracles themselves. When he first returned to Japan, he was disappointed by its relatively low level of basketball skill compared to that in the United States. However, since starting high school, Kagami has been spurred on by his desire to compete with the “Generation of Miracles”. While he is a powerful all-around player, Kagami’s unique skill is his ability to jump at impressive heights, his jump is said to get higher and higher as a match progresses. This skill facilitates not only his most common move, the dunk, but also allows him to defend well against taller players. At, he has a poor shooting which forces him to rely on his jumping power to dunk. But as time progresses, he trained his left hand and significantly improved this, enabling him to pass the ball to Kiyoshi at the last second against Touou and win. When he makes a jumpshot, he also stays in the air longer than the blocker, making it almost unblockable. The drawback to this capability is that his body is still underdeveloped thus he often injures himself. Having trained extensively since the InterHigh school championships, he is capable of dunking from the free-throw line: a feat that put him on the same league as the Generation of Miracles. The result of his training is that he is able to jump high enough to touch the top of the backboard. He is also able to jump from far away in a difficult position and still be able to block a shot. Facing Touou a second time, Kagami displayed a never-before-seen skill: a high-level tactical battle. This is a very realistic simulation of a basketball one-on-one in one’s minds by reading his opponents subtle feints or moves. Kagami used this to play a simulation of a one-on-one against Aomine and accurately determined that he would lose, forcing him to pass the ball to Izuki and withdraw from his one-on-one against Aomine. Like many of the other developed characters, Kagami hosts a signature move. It is called Meteor Jam and was taught by the basketball coach he shared with Himuro in America, Alex Garcia. The technique possesses enough power to even penetrate through Murasakibara’s defense, however, the wrinkle to this technique is that it requires massive jumping power to throw the ball into the hoop and thus can only be executed in the Zone. As Kuroko has chosen Kagami as his new “Light”, Kagami is also bolstered by Kuroko’s techniques. Kuroko is the one normally to calm Kagami down, normally with hits or punches to get Kagami focused. Like Aomine, he also has the rare power to enter the “zone”. In this state, his speed, strength and jumping power are greatly augmented that he can keep up with Aomine, overpower Murasakibara who is stronger than him (even blocking his full-powered Thor’s Hammer) and leap even higher to block Himuro’s Mirage Shot. Kagami’s seemingly wild reflexes is compared to a tiger by other players. Apart from basketball, he is a great cook, and taught Riko how to cook curry when she came for his help. He is also a glutton and is able to eat at least five times a normal meal. It is worth noting that Kagami is the only Zone user to have entered it more than once in a match and the only player to have opened the Zone’s second gate, known as the “Direct Drive Zone”, the Zone’s true form. Schoolwork greatly contrasts Kagami’s well-polished basketball skills: it is seen that his grades in every subject are atrocious, including English, even though he has lived in America.
Junpei Hyūga
Captain of the Seirin team, Hyuuga is a clutch shooter, his capabilities escalating immensely when the team is in a pinch. Along with Hyuuga’s change in skill comes a change in personality; normally Hyuuga is a collected and calm individual, but when he isn’t, he becomes heated and rude. This is called “clutch time” and happens primarily when the match intensifies but he has been seen acting like this outside of games. He is the best shooter on the team, regularly making three-point shots throughout the course of a game. Prior to the addition of Kuroko and Kagami, he was one of the centerpieces of the Seirin team’s ‘run and gun’ play style, catching balls scooped by Kiyoshi near the net to shoot as three-pointers. He is also seen being able to shoot a three-pointer two meters from the three-point line. His special move is called “Barrier Jumper”, in which he takes a quick jab step away from the opponent and successfully make a jumpshot. The downside of this technique is that, when used repeatedly, the defender starts to adjust to its timing. Near the end of the 4th quarter of the Seirin vs Rakuzan match, he manages to perfectly copy Mibuchi’s “Earth Shot”. Notably, he is the only player in the series so far to receive a technical foul (for excessive complaining) and out of all the players in Seirin, he has the highest shooting success rate. Also, prior to the four fouls he received in the finals against Rakuzan, he is also the only player who has almost never been seen subbed out once. This is most probably due to him being the captain and the only shooting guard in the team. He is very big on respect for the seniors.
Shun Izuki
Acting as the team’s “control tower”, Izuki is always calm and collected. While he has no special physical abilities, he has the “Eagle Eye”, a mental skill that helps him visualize the court from any point of view and make accurate blind passes. Izuki’s special move is called Eagle Spear, in which he steals the ball from an opponent using his arm to knock it away in their blind spot. His Eagle Eye helps him in doing so, associated with his ability to think ahead before the opponent. His Eagle Eye has developed to the point that he can pass through Yosen High’s Eagle Wall and predict Hayama’s Lightning Dribble. However, his Eagle Eye has a blind spot unlike the Hawk Eye, which Mayuzumi takes advantage of. He loves puns, a running gag being that he makes them quite frequently much to the chagrin of his teammates.
Shinji Koganei
Considered a jack of all trades, master of none, Koganei is a fairly skilled all-rounder, having started playing basketball during his first year in high school. This is driven home when his coach denotes his special skill as ‘being able to shoot from any point on the court, with a so-so accuracy rate’; a decidedly normal ability. He serves as the sixth man of Seirin’s team, often coming off the bench for the other players, and has the most energetic personality out of all the players on the team. He is, however, quite intelligent, ranking in the top 20% of his class, though he does not excel in any particular subject. Players compare Koganei’s seemingly wild reflexes to that of a feral cat. He is the only non-prodigal player to possess this skill, having acquired it from his experience in playing tennis.
Rinnosuke Mitobe
A stalwart player, Mitobe is very quiet and reserved. Although he is never shown speaking (except for in VOMIC), Koganei seems to understand his gestures and expressions perfectly. A hard worker with excellent defensive skills, he is also an accomplished hook shooter. He lives in a small house with a very large family, and is tasked with making and serving breakfast. He was the team’s starting center while Kiyoshi was injured.

 

 

Satoshi Tsuchida 
While a regular member of the team in his first year, Tsuchida now sees little game-time due to the addition of Kuroko and Kagami. Good with rebounds, he is apparently not quite as skilled as the other regulars, but remains a key component of the old team’s playing style.

 

 

Teppei Kiyoshi 
The progenitor of Seirin’s basketball team and its former ace, Kiyoshi is the last of the original Seirin team members to be introduced, due to a hospitalization for a knee injury he received during a game. Rumored to be very capable, his preferred position is point guard, but since their team lacked any other player with the body size to play center, he offered to fill that hole. On Koganei’s suggestion, he tried to play both, despite the inherent impossibility. With big hands that allow him to palm the ball with ease, Kiyoshi possesses impressive ball-handling skills for a center (he has been seen successfully shooting a three-pointer during their match against Yosen), and an uncanny sense of timing that allows him to make a move, observe his opponents’ reaction, and then counter it in the last second, all in the blink of an eye. This ability is referred to as the Right of Postponement. Because of his large hands, he uses these for something entirely different: rebounding. Instead of jumping towards the ball with both hands, he has gained the ability to grab the ball with only one hand. This gives him the advantage of recovering the ball in the air quicker and with a longer extension. This technique is dubbed “Vice Claw” and it allows him to compete and beat taller players during rebounds. He has obtained this skill after strengthening his hand muscles by catching a big rock. He is renowned and respected by many players in the realm of high-school basketball, and is one of the few players to have held his own against the Generation of Miracles during their peak. While he is currently able to play, the knee injury he sustained during his freshman year was quite severe: formally speaking it required surgery, but the process would make him unable to play basketball for the rest of his high school career. He instead opted to rehabilitate without invasive procedures, though he would only be able to do so for one year at the most. Despite this setback, he vows to make the most of the time he has. Although Hyuuga thinks he is weird, he respects Kiyoshi greatly. Kiyoshi is the most optimistic of his teammates, often offering encouragement with a big smile.
Among high school basketball players, he is one of the “Five Uncrowned Kings”, a group of five prodigal players, though overshadowed by the Generation of Miracles, of similarly great prowess and skill. It was recently discovered that the only ones who can mirror the growth of the Uncrowned Kings are Hyuga and Izuki. Known for his stabilizing presence and extreme unpredictability due to the Right of Postponement, Kiyoshi is known as the “Iron-Heart”.
Riko Aida
the team’s coach, is a second-year student. One reason for her unique position as a student coach is her ability to immediately scan and evaluate the physical capabilities of players at a glance. She gained this ability from going to work with her father, who works as a sports trainer, and spending her time looking at the muscles of athletes and their related data. She is very devoted to her job as coach, so she diligently researches other teams to devise strategies against them. Riko even uses her father’s sports facilities for the team’s unique training, which eschews weights for activities like practicing in the pool and drilling basics. Nevertheless, while extremely intelligent, her emotions are often flighty, switching from intensely heated to happily nonchalant at the drop of a hat. Her punishments on her team are very harsh. She is a very bad cook, almost always adding supplements in the team’s dishes.
Tetsuya #2 
Kuroko’s pet dog found in the streets. He was taken in by the team as a sort of mascot, picking up the name Tetsuya #2 for his eerily similar eyes to Kuroko. He is an Alaskan Malamute pup that now wears a Seirin jersey numbered #16. Though Kagami is the only one reluctant to accept their new teammate, he eventually does after the dog proves to be surprisingly helpful and saving Kagami from a possible injury from torn shoes. He now joins the team wherever they go, most often hiding in a bag carried by Kuroko.

 

Film Friday- The Rose of Versailles

Film Friday- The Rose of Versailles

The Rose of Versailles, also known as Lady Oscar or La Rose de Versailles, is a Japanese shōjo manga series written and illustrated by Riyoko Ikeda. It has been adapted into several Takarazuka Revue musicals, as well an anime television series, produced by Tokyo Movie Shinsha and broadcast by the anime television network Nippon TV. The series remains incredibly popular in Italy.

The Rose of Versailles focuses on Oscar François de Jarjayes, a girl raised as a man to become her father’s successor as leader of the Palace Guards. A brilliant combatant with a strong sense of justice, Oscar is proud of the life she leads, but becomes torn between class loyalty and her desire to help the impoverished as revolution brews among the oppressed lower class. Also important to the story are her conflicting desires to live life as both a militant and a regular woman as well as her relationships with Marie Antoinette, Count Axel von Fersen, and servant and best friend André Grandier.

It features elements of the yuri genre embodied in the relationship between Oscar and her protégée Rosalie Lamorlière, the secret daughter of the scheming Madame de Polignac. Rosalie refers to Oscar as her first love. Many of the court ladies also greatly adore Oscar, openly admiring her at parties and become very jealous when she brings female companions to them.

Anime

In 1979, The Rose of Versailles was released in Japan as a 40-episode (and 1 recapitulation) animated television series, which ran from October 1979 to September 1980. Besides Japan, the series has also been broadcast in several other countries of Europe and Latin America under the title of Lady Oscar. The anime was directed by Tadao Nagahama (episodes 1-18) and Osamu Dezaki (episodes 19-40), who brought a cinematic approach to the series. Shingo Araki was the animation director and co-character designer along with Akio Sugino and Michi Himeno. Kōji Makaino was in charge of the soundtrack.

The production staff included the most recognized animation professionals then, who contributed in the making of the 40 episodes of the anime. In spite of the difficulties they had to go through, the staff could continue with their work and took advantage of the problems. The most important of said incidents was the change of direction at the middle of the project, which marked a notable difference between the first half of the anime (directed by Tadao Nagahama) and the second one (directed by Osamu Dezaki).

The anime was finally aired on October 10, 1979 in Japan on the channel Nippon TV. From this point on, the series would be aired every Wednesday until September 3, 1980, with the airing of the last episode.

Films

There have been two films based on the Rose of Versailles series. A third film was in pre-production 2007-2009 at Toei, but later reports claim it has been cancelled.

Lady Oscar

Lady Oscar is a 1979 film, written and directed by Jacques Demy, with music composed by Michel Legrand. Lady Oscar is a French-Japanese co-production, and was shot in France. Frederik L. Schodt translated the entire manga series into English as a reference for the producers of this film, but gave the only copy of the translation to them and it was lost.

Inochi Aru Kagiri Aishite

Inochi Aru Kagiri Aishite (I’ll Love You as Long as I Live) is a film that summarizes the whole anime. It was released first on video on May 21, 1987 and received a theatrical release on May 19, 1990.

Main characters

Oscar François de Jarjayes

is a beautiful woman who was raised as a boy by her father. She is educated in such diverse arts as fencing. Eventually, she commands the Imperial Guard of Queen Marie Antoinette. She has no reason to pretend to be a man because most of those at Versailles know that she is a woman. Oscar falls in love with Hans Axel von Fersen, a Swedish count. But Fersen has eyes for the queen only, and treats Oscar like a friend without knowing her true feelings for him. When the revolution begins, André tells Oscar that he loves her, and she realizes that she loves him too.

André Grandier

is the friend of Oscar and the grandson of her nanny, André and Oscar learned the arts of fencing and horsemanship together when they were children. As they grew up, Oscar became the Dauphine’s guard and the class gap between them widened.

André is secretly in love with Oscar, but he never tells her until both of them decide to help the insurgents when the French Revolution begins. Oscar initially refuses his extreme advances, but later realizes she does not want to marry any other men for fear of hurting him, before realizing she also loves him back, but did not understand the nature of her love at first.

Later in the series, André loses sight in his left eye in order to save Oscar who had been captured by the Black Knight; his condition slowly worsens until he is completely blind. André is a very sensitive and passionate man, suffering for his unrequited love for Oscar but being unable to quench his desire for her and vocally siding with the commoners in their plight.

Sadly André dies from a stray bullet the day after Oscar’s declaration of love, able to share only one night of passion with the woman he lived for.

Marie Antoinette

married the Dauphin to seal the alliance between his grandfather Louis XV and her mother, Empress Maria Theresa of Austria, when she was 14. After her marriage, she realizes that Madame du Barry, King Louis XV’s mistress, is against her. The princess, horrified by what she had heard about du Barry, decides to never speak to her. Meanwhile, she meets Count von Fersen, who becomes her lover.

Madame du Barry, always plotting against Marie Antoinette and Oscar, fulfills her desire to be greeted by her. After the death of Louis XV, Madame du Barry is forcibly removed from Versailles and sent to a convent.

Marie Antoinette, after several conflicts with her husband, starts feeling lonely. Fersen, who had left France on Oscar’s advice, returns. Rumors swirl about the Queen and the Count, and Fersen leaves again. A depressed Marie Antoinette befriends the Duchess de Polignac. Polignac leads Marie Antoinette to her downfall. Marie Antoinette is described as a “lively, silly girls of shoujo manga”.

Hans Axel von Fersen

is a handsome Swedish aristocrat who comes to the court of Versailles and becomes involved in a forbidden romance with queen Marie Antoinette. It is revealed in the series that Oscar also has strong feelings for Fersen.

Rosalie Lamorlière

is the adoptive daughter of a commoner named Nicole Lamorlière. She is described as “a stereotypical good girl, sweet, obedient and timid”. Her biological mother is the Duchess de Polignac, referred to as Martine Gabrielle. Nicole tells Rosalie the truth when she is dying after being hit by a carriage. Rosalie swears that she will kill the person in the carriage that killed her mother. She tries to kill Oscar’s mother, Lady Jarjayes, because she thought Lady Jarjayes was in the carriage, but Oscar stops Rosalie. Oscar decides to help her, and she teaches Rosalie the art of fencing, manners, history, and other courtly skills. Rosalie comes to admire and love Oscar greatly.

Rosalie tells Oscar about Martine Gabrielle. At a party, Rosalie recognizes the Duchess de Polignac and tries to kill her, but Oscar stops her and tells her that killing her won’t bring her mother back, and if she killed her, she would be executed. Later Oscar and André discover the true identity of Martine Gabrielle and her relationship to Rosalie.

Rosalie ambushes Polignac’s carriage in front of Polignac’s daughter, Charlotte, but Oscar stops her. After an incident where Charlotte loses her mind and commits suicide, the Duchess de Polignac goes to Jarjayes’s Mansion and tells Rosalie that if she didn’t come with her, she would tell the authorities that Oscar was the protector of the sister of Jeanne of Valois-Saint-Rémy, the mastermind of the “Affair of the Diamond Necklace”. Rosalie decides to go; soon, she realizes that the Duchess de Polignac intends were to marry her to the Duke of Guiche, Charlotte’s ex-fiancé and cause of her suicide. She escapes, and marries Oscar’s friend, Bernard Chatelet and meets Oscar again during the Storming of the Bastille.

After the storming of the Bastille, the people burst into Versailles and take Marie Antoinette prisoner. Marie Antoinette and her family are taken to a prison, where Rosalie serves the queen as a servant, telling her all she knew about Oscar. Marie Antoinette, before the day of her execution, gives Rosalie a rose she made out of cosmetic paper, and tells her to paint it with Oscar’s favorite rose color. After The Rose of Versailles ends, she appears in its sequel, Eikou no Napoleon – Eroica.

 

Film Friday- Code Geass

Film Friday- Code Geass

Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion, often referred to simply as Code Geass, is a Japanese anime series produced by Sunrise. It was directed by Gorō Taniguchi and written by Ichirō Ōkouchi, with original character designs by Clamp. Set in an alternate timeline, the series follows the exiled prince Lelouch vi Britannia, who obtains the “power of absolute obedience” from a mysterious woman named C.C. Using this supernatural power, known as Geass, he leads a rebellion against the rule of the Holy Britannian Empire, commanding a series of mecha battles.

Code Geass was broadcast in Japan on MBS from October 6, 2006 to July 29, 2007. Its sequel series, Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion R2, ran as a simulcast on MBS and TBS from April 6, 2008 to September 28, 2008. The series has also been adapted into various manga and light novels with the former showing various alternate scenarios from the TV series. Bandai Entertainment also licensed most parts from the franchise for English release in December 2007, airing the two TV series on Adult Swim. Most manga and light novels have also been published in North America by Bandai. A compilation film trilogy that recapped the events from both seasons of the anime series, with altered storylines for various characters, was released in 2017 and 2018. A new film, titled Code Geass: Lelouch of the Re;surrection, taking place after the Zero Requiem of the recap films’ universe, was released in theaters on February 9, 2019.

The anime television series has been well received in Japan, selling over a million DVD and Blu-ray Disc volumes. Both seasons have won several awards at the Tokyo International Anime Fair, Animage Anime Grand Prix, and Animation Kobe event. Critics have praised the series for its narrative, characters, strong voice acting, large audience appeal as well as the cross conflicts shown among the main characters and the moral questions presented.

Plot

Lelouch vi Britannia is an exiled Britannian prince, son of Emperor Charles zi Britannia and his royal consort Marianne vi Britannia. Lelouch has a sister, Nunnally vi Britannia. Marianne was brutally murdered in the palace and Nunnally, who witnessed the murder of their mother, was so traumatized she lost both her sight and ability to walk. Lelouch is furious with his father, believing his father failed his mother and sister by turning a blind eye to their mother’s death and failing to pursue their mother’s killer.

Lelouch and Nunnally are sent as political pawns to Japan to lull the Japanese government into a false sense of security. After the siblings are sent to Japan, Japan is attacked and defeated by Britannia. With the ruins of Japan as a background, Lelouch vows to his Japanese friend Suzaku Kururugi that he will one day obliterate Britannia as an act of vengeance against his father.

Seven years later, Lelouch (now going by the name Lelouch Lamperouge), is now a popular yet withdrawn student at Ashford Academy. Lelouch becomes involved in a terrorist attack and finds a mysterious girl called C.C. (C2), who saves Lelouch’s life from the Britannian Royal Guard, by making a contract with him and granting Lelouch a power known as Geass. This power, also known as the “Power of Kings”, allows him to command anyone to do whatever he wants, including bending their will to live, fight, or die on his behalf. This power can affect an individual just once and only through direct eye contact. Lelouch decides to use his Geass to find his mother’s murderers, destroy the Britannian Empire, and create a better world where Nunnally can live happily. In the process, Lelouch becomes Zero, a masked vigilante and the leader of the resistance movement known as The Black Knights, gaining popularity and support among the Japanese on his way towards the rebellion of Britannia. However, this does not come without a cost. Caught up in a conflict where he does not know the full extent of his powers, Lelouch will have to battle Suzaku, a resistance member named Kallen Stadtfeld, the strongest army in the world, his own half-siblings, and many others in a battle that will forever change the world.

Main characters

Lelouch Vi Britannia

the Eleventh Prince of the Britannian Imperial Family and seventeenth in line for the throne. His father is the Britannian Emperor, Charles zi Britannia, and his mother was Marianne vi Britannia. For questioning his father’s cold apathy of his mother’s assassination and his sister Nunnally’s disablement, Lelouch and Nunnally were sent to Japan as political hostages. Taken into the residence of the Prime Minister of Japan, Lelouch and Nunnally soon formed a strong friendship with the Prime Minister’s son, Suzaku Kururugi. When Britannia invaded Japan, he went into hiding with his sister, taking refuge with the Ashford family. Seven years later, he discovers C.C., who grants him a Geass that allows him to command any person to follow his subsequent order. Seeking to build a peaceful world for his sister even though all she wants is to be with him, he begins to orchestrate a revolution, pursuing the destruction of Britannia under the guise of his masked alter-ego, Zero. As Zero, he creates a military force known as the Black Knights, formed from the members of a group originally known as the Japanese Resistance.

Suzaku Kururugi

is Lelouch’s childhood friend and son of Japan’s last prime minister, Genbu Kururugi. He murdered his father when he was a child in the belief that it would end the war between Britannia and Japan, but only paved the way for Japan’s conquering. Traumatized, he also begins to find a way to liberate Japan. However, in stark contrast to Lelouch, he claims to support reformism and that achieving results by wrong or illegal methods is meaningless, wanting to change Britannia from within. As such, he is aligned against Zero’s Black Knights, but nevertheless intent on changing the Britannian Empire for the better. In reality, however, this is an illusion, as Suzaku actually wishes to be KIA in order to atone for his father’s death. Suzaku is an Honorary Britannian and part of the Britannian army, later becoming the pilot of the experimental Knightmare Frame Lancelot as a member of the R&D Division. In the second season, Suzaku is granted a position in the Knights of the Round by the Emperor for his capture of Zero. At the same time, however, he becomes a repeatedly hypocritical antivillain, focusing on publicly exposing and killing Lelouch in an attempt to avenge the death of his girlfriend, Euphemia, and is not above murdering and torturing others to get his way. Over the course of the second season, he slowly starts to see the error in his ways, and eventually becomes part of the Zero Requiem.

C.C.

is an immortal “witch” who bestows the power of Geass upon Lelouch under the condition he grants her greatest wish, later revealed to be for Lelouch, let alone anyone, to kill her. She oversees Lelouch’s activities and assists in his plans in order to ensure that he remains alive to fulfill their contract. She is the main female protagonist of the series. Lelouch often refers to her as the witch and himself as the “demon lord”. She is seen to be quite close to Lelouch and advises him whenever he is feeling lost. C.C. often comes to get Lelouch out of a tough situation when his identity is about to be revealed. Despite this, she routinely gets on his nerves, often sneaking out without his permission or ordering Pizza Hut (which sponsors Code Geass in Japan) with his credit card.

Kallen Kouzuki

is a half-Britannian, half-Japanese teenage girl. Her father is Britannian and her mother is an Eleven; her father comes from a prestigious Britannian family, known as the Stadtfeld family, which Kallen benefits from. She attends the Ashford Academy, where she pretends to be a sickly, milquetoast student to explain her prolonged absences and changes her appearance. She later becomes a member of its student council and one of the school’s most outstanding students. In school, she is known by her legal name but she prefers her mother’s maiden name, and goes by the alias Kallen Kōuzuki (紅月カレン Kōzuki Karen) during her revolutionary activities. Kallen is initially a member of a Japanese resistance cell led by Ohgi, using her brother’s death as motivation, and later joins Zero’s Black Knights. She is the group’s most talented pilot and on par with the Knights of the Round. Throughout the series, her devotion to Zero is unmatched among any of the other members of the Black Knights, almost being Lelouch’s female counterpart. Conversely, she dislikes Lelouch, despite constant remarks from others about intimacy in their relationship, and is dismayed when her Knightmare rival, Suzaku, reveals that Lelouch and Zero are the same person. However, when she learns more about Lelouch’s noble desires via C.C. and Nunnally, she helps protect his identity and ultimately develops feelings for him.