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Manga Monday- So I’m a Spider, So What?

Manga Monday- So I’m a Spider, So What?

So I’m a Spider, So What? is a Japanese light novel series written by Okina Baba and illustrated by Tsukasa Kiryu. The story is about a girl who was reincarnated as a dungeon spider, and her struggle for survival. The series has received a manga adaptation, and an anime television series adaptation by Millepensee premiered in January 2021.

Plot

In another world, the Hero and the Demon King continue to oppose each other. The grand magic from the Hero and the Demon King crosses over worlds and explodes in the classroom of a certain high school.

The students who died in the explosion are reincarnated in that alternate world. the protagonist, who has the lowest standing in the class, was reincarnated as spider. This is a story of she who has become a spider doing whatever she can in order to live.

Media

Light novels

Okina Baba originally serialized the series as a web novel on the user-generated content site Shōsetsuka ni Narō starting on May 27, 2015. Fujimi Shobo acquired the series for print publication, and published the first light novel, with illustrations by Tsukasa Kiryu, in December 2015. Yen Press announced during their panel at Sakura-Con on April 15, 2017 that they had licensed the series.

Manga

Asahiro Kakashi launched a manga adaptation of the web novels in the Kadokawa Shoten’s Young Ace Up manga website on December 22, 2015. The manga is also licensed by Yen Press.

Anime

It was reported on July 6, 2018 that the series would receive an anime adaptation, according to an early look at the wraparound jacket band on the fifth volume of the manga adaptation. The report was confirmed at Kadokawa’s booth at Anime Expo later the same day, and it was announced that the adaptation would be a television series. Originally set to premiere in 2020, it was rescheduled to premiere on January 8, 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The two-cour series is animated by Millepensee and directed by Shin Itagaki, with Okina Baba and Yūichirō Momose overseeing the series’ scripts, and Kii Tanaka designing the characters, and Shūji Katayama composing the series’ music. Jōtarō Ishigami is producing the series. The opening theme song is “keep weaving your spider way” performed by Riko Azuna, while the ending theme song is “Do Your Best! Kumoko-san’s Theme” performed by I (Aoi Yūki). It is licensed by Crunchyroll outside Asia. Medialink has licensed the series in Southeast Asia, and is streaming it on their Ani-One YouTube channel and Bilibili.

Reception

The light novels and manga had a combined 1.2 million copies in print as of July 2018. The light novels ranked third in the tankōbon category in the Kono Light Novel ga Sugoi! 2017 rankings, and second in the 2018 rankings.

Manga Monday- Wise Man’s Grandchild

Manga Monday- Wise Man’s Grandchild

Wise Man’s Grandchild is a Japanese light novel series written by Tsuyoshi Yoshioka and illustrated by Seiji Kikuchi. It began serialization online in January 2015 on the user-generated novel publishing website Shōsetsuka ni Narō. It was acquired by Enterbrain, who have published eleven volumes since July 2015 under their Famitsu Bunko imprint. A manga adaptation with illustration by Shunsuke Ogata began serialization on Kadokawa Shoten’s Young Ace Up website from March 2016. It has been collected in thirteen tankōbon volumes. An anime television series adaptation by Silver Link aired from April 10 to June 26, 2019.

Plot

A young salaryman who died in an accident was reborn in another world filled with magic and demons. As a baby, he was picked up by the patriot hero “Sage” Merlin Wolford and was given the name Shin. He was raised as a grandson and soaked up Merlin’s teachings, earning him some irresistible powers. However, when Shin became 15, Merlin realized, “I forgot to teach him common sense!” Diseum, king of the Earlshide Kingdom, recommends Shin to attend his Magic Academy, on the agreement of not using Shin for political warfare. In the capital, Shin rescues two girls, Maria and Sizilien, from thugs, and later he would inaugurate a club that consist of him and others.

Media

Light novel

Tsuyoshi Yoshioka originally started the series as a web novel. The series was acquired for print publication by Enterbrain, who published the first light novel on July 30, 2015.

Manga

A manga adaptation, illustrated by Shunsuke Ogata began serialization on Kadokawa Shoten’s Young Ace Up website since March 2016. Thirteen tankōbon volumes have been released as of February 4, 2020.

Manga Monday- Ascendance of a Bookworm

Manga Monday- Ascendance of a Bookworm

Ascendance of a Bookworm is a Japanese fantasy light novel series written by Miya Kazuki and illustrated by Yū Shiina. It was serialized online between September 2013 and March 2017 on the user-generated novel publishing website Shōsetsuka ni Narō. It was later acquired by TO Books, who has published 25 volumes since January 2015.

A manga adaptation of the first part with art by Suzuka was serialized online via Niconico Seiga website between October 2015 and July 2018. It was collected in seven tankōbon volumes by TO Books. Both the light novel and manga are published in English by J-Novel Club. An anime television series adaptation by Ajia-do Animation Works premiered the first part from October 3 to December 26, 2019, with the second part airing from April 5 to June 21, 2020. A two-part OVA episode released on March 10, 2020. A third season has been announced.

Plot

The story follows Motosu Urano, a book-loving post-secondary student and soon-to-be librarian who ends up crushed to death beneath a pile of books during an earthquake. With her dying breath, she wishes to be reincarnated in a world where she can read books forever. Urano awakens in the body of a weak, five-year-old girl named Myne in a world where books are scarce and only available to elites. Myne, retaining her memories from her previous life, decides to create and print her own books so that she can read again.

Media

Light novels

It was originally published by Miya Kazuki as a free-to-read web novel on Shōsetsuka ni Narō in 2013 until it was acquired by TO Books which published the first volume in print in their TO Bunko imprint with illustrations by Yū Shiina in January 2015. As of June 2020, the series will have accumulated over 23 volumes, divided into five parts.

Manga

A manga adaptation was published by TO Books and follows similar format as the novels. Part 1, subtitled If there aren’t any books, I’ll just have to make some!, was illustrated by Suzuka, serialized in Comic Corona from October 2015 to July 2018, and was compiled into a total of seven volumes. Suzuka continued to illustrate Part 2 subtitled Become a Shrine Maiden for Books! which began serialization in Comic Corona on September 24, 2018 and currently has a total of three volumes. Part 3 subtitled Spread the Book on your Territory! is illustrated by Ryo Namino and began serialization in Comic Corona despite Part 1 still being ongoing at the time. Part 3 currently has three volumes.

Other

Five fan books were published by TO Books and released on March 10, 2017; December 9, 2017; November 10, 2018; January 10, 2020; and November 10, 2020. TO Books has also published four Drama CDs that were released on September 9, 2017; June 9, 2018; June 10, 2019; and December 10, 2019.

Reception

The light novel series has over 1 million copies in print. The series ranked fifth in 2017 and first in 2018 and 2019 in Takarajimasha’s annual light novel guide book Kono Light Novel ga Sugoi!, in the tankōbon category.

Manga Monday- The Quintessential Quintuplets

Manga Monday- The Quintessential Quintuplets

The Quintessential Quintuplets is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Negi Haruba. It was serialized in Kodansha’s Weekly Shōnen Magazine from August 2017 to February 2020. The series follows the daily life of a high school student Futaro Uesugi who is hired as a private tutor for a group of quintuplets, Ichika, Nino, Miku, Yotsuba and Itsuki Nakano, who perform poorly academically. At the very beginning of the story, it is indicated Futaro will marry with one of the Nakano quintuplets but the identity of the bride is unknown until near the end of the story.

An anime television series adaptation produced by Tezuka Productions aired from January to March 2019 on TBS and other channels. A second season by Bibury Animation Studios premiered in January 2021.

The series is published in English by Kodansha USA under the Kodansha Comics imprint. The anime series is licensed in North America under a Crunchyroll–Funimation partnership.

The series is a commercial success, being the 5th best selling manga in 2019, and the 3rd best selling manga in the first half of 2020 in Japan. In 2019, the manga won the award for the shōnen category at the 43rd annual Kodansha Manga Awards.

Plot

High school student Futaro Uesugi is an academically gifted student that leads a difficult life — his mother has died, he has no friends, and on top of all that, his father has incurred a large amount of debt.

An opportunity presents itself when the rich Nakano family transfers to his school. Futaro is promptly hired as a highly-paid tutor. However, much to Futaro’s dismay, he discovers that his five charges — identical quintuplet sisters of varied personalities — have no interest in studying at all and have abysmal grades. Some of the quintuplets are against having Futaro, whom they view as a stranger, in their apartment, but Futaro’s diligent tenacity gradually convinces those girls to accept him and to improve their grades.

Throughout the series, Futaro develops special relationships with each of the quintuplets. Through a flashforward, it is revealed that he eventually marries one of them, but her true identity is only revealed near the end of the series.

Media

Manga

The Quintessential Quintuplets is a manga series written and illustrated by Negi Haruba. Before the serialization, a one-shot manga of the same name had been published in 2017 issue 8 of Kodansha’s Weekly Shōnen Magazine on August 9, 2017, and received positive comments. On December 4, 2019, Haruba announced that the series would end on its 14th tankōbon volume. The series finished on February 19, 2020.

The series has been published in English by Kodansha USA under their Kodansha Comics imprint digitally since June 28, 2018, with a line of physical releases beginning publication on January 1, 2019. As of August 2020, all fourteen digital volumes have been published.

The “all-colour” version of the manga series began serialization in Kodansha’s online manga platform MagaPoke (Magazine Pocket) on February 26, 2020. Currently 9 tankōbon volumes have been published.

Commercial

In October 2017, a television commercial for the manga was released where Ayane Sakura voiced all five girls.

Anime

An anime television series adaptation was announced in the combined 36th and 37th issue of Weekly Shōnen Magazine on August 8, 2018. The series is directed by Satoshi Kuwabara and written by Keiichirō Ōchi, featuring animation by Tezuka Productions, character designs by Michinosuke Nakamura and Gagakuga, and music by Natsumi Tabuchi, Hanae Nakamura, and Miki Sakurai. The series aired from January 10 to March 28, 2019 on the TBS, SUN, and BS-TBS channels. The series ran for 12 episodes. Crunchyroll streamed the series with Funimation providing the English dub as it airs.

A second season was announced in a special event for the first season on May 5, 2019. Kaori is replacing Satoshi Kuwabara as the director of the season, and Keiichirō Ōchi is returning to write the scripts. Bibury Animation Studios is replacing Tezuka Productions as the animation studio. The season was originally scheduled to premiere in October 2020, but due to issues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic the anime premiered on January 8, 2021.

For the first season, Kana Hanazawa, Ayana Taketatsu, Miku Itō, Ayane Sakura, and Inori Minase performed the opening theme song “Quintuplet Feelings” as the group The Nakano Family’s Quintuplets, while Aya Uchida performed the ending theme song “Sign”.

For the second season, The Nakano Family’s Quintuplets will perform the opening theme song “Gotōbun no Katachi” and the ending theme song “Hatsukoi”. Bilibili is streaming the second season in Southeast Asia.

Games

Characters from the series appeared in a collaboration event in the mobile game Venus 11 Vivid!! from May 25 to May 31, 2019.

The first mobile game based on the series The Quintessential Quintuplets: The Quintuplets Can’t Divide the Puzzle Into Five Equal Parts has been released in 2020.

A visual novel titled Gotoubun no Hanayome ∬: Natsu no Omoide mo Gotoubun is currently in development by Mages for the PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch consoles. It features an original story in the deserted island setting, and is currently planned for release on March 25, 2021 in Japan.

Exhibitions

Multiple exhibitions were held across Japan starting from 2019, including Tokyo, Osaka, Niigata and Nagoya. Besides, an overseas exhibition was held in Taipei, Taiwan in July 2020.

Reception

Sales

The manga series has 2 million volumes in print as of January 2019. By February 2019, the manga series had over 3 million volumes in print.

In Japan, The Quintessential Quintuplets was the 5th best selling manga in 2019 and the 3rd best selling manga in the first half of 2020, coming after Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba and One Piece.

Critical response

The Quintessential Quintuplets received positive reviews, most notably for its romantic comedy and harem elements. Paul Jensen of Anime News Network found the series enjoyable and rated a 4 out of 5 to the series, as he commented “The jokes are funny, the characters range from tolerable to likable, the fanservice doesn’t go overboard, and there’s no creepy or obnoxious plot point to spoil the party. There’s nothing revolutionary about it, but it does a lot of basic things well without showing any major flaws, and that’s enough to make this premiere good clean (well, clean-ish) fun.” Patrick Frye of Monsters And Critics noted that there was “little to no ecchi shenanigans or degrading fan service and the girls move beyond the initial stereotypes and become fleshed-out characters that create a fun dynamic with the main character, Futaro Uesugi. Audiences are tired of watching a lucky everyman stumble his way through unlikely scenarios. Instead, Futaro’s no-nonsense attitude wins the day.” Kyle Rogacion of Goomba Stomp praised the plot of the anime but criticized its art style and fanservice gags. The series has a current score of 4.6 out of 5 stars on Crunchyroll as of November 2020.

Awards and nominations

The series was nominated for “Next Manga Award 2018” organized by Niconico. Receiving 16,106 votes, the series eventually ranked eighth overall. In May 2019, it won the award for Best Shōnen Manga at the 43rd annual Kodansha Manga Awards, alongside To Your Eternity. On the award ceremony of the 43rd annual Kodansha Manga Awards, as one of the judges, Ken Akamatsu praised The Quintessential Quintuplets as “the ultimate complete version of harem bishōjo romantic comedy” with “very high quality of illustration”.

Manga Monday- Toilet-Bound Hanako-kun

Manga Monday- Toilet-Bound Hanako-kun

Toilet-Bound Hanako-kun is a Japanese manga series by Iro Aida. It has been serialized in Square Enix’s shōnen manga magazine Monthly GFantasy since 2014. It has been collected in fifteen (and ongoing) tankōbon volumes. The manga is licensed in North America by Yen Press. An anime television series adaptation by Lerche aired from January to March 2020.

Manga

Toilet-Bound Hanako-kun is written and illustrated by Iro Aida. The series started in the July 2014 issue of Square Enix’s Monthly GFantasy, published on June 18, 2014. Square Enix has compiled its chapters into individual tankōbon volumes. The first volume was published on May 22, 2015. As of January 8, 2021, fifteen volumes have been published.

In North America, Yen Press announced in July 2017 that they would publish the manga digitally. In July 2019, Yen Press announced the print release of the series.

Anime

An anime television series adaptation was announced in the April issue of Monthly GFantasy magazine on March 18, 2019. The series is animated by Lerche and directed by Masaomi Andō, with Yasuhiro Nakanishi handling series composition, and Mayuka Itou designing the characters. Hiroshi Takaki is composing the music. It premiered from January 9, 2020 to March 26, 2020 on TBS, SUN, CBC, and BS-TBS. Chibaku Shōnen Band performed the series’ opening theme song “No.7”, while Akari Kitō performed the series’ ending theme song “Tiny Light.” The series has run for 12 episodes. Funimation has licensed the series for a simuldub.

Plot

Kamome Academy is famous for its rumors regarding its Seven Wonders and supernatural occurrences. Nene Yashiro, a first-year high-school student who loves the occult and wishes for a boyfriend, summons the Seventh and most famous Wonder, “Hanako-san of the Toilet”, a girl who allegedly haunts the bathroom and can grant wishes for the right price. Upon summoning her, Yashiro discovers that “Hanako-san” is nothing like the rumors say; Hanako is a boy. With a turn of events, she is spiritually bound to Hanako and becomes his assistant, helping him destroy evil supernaturals and change rumors in order to maintain the balance between the spirit world and the human world. Along the way, Yashiro learns about her connection to the spirit world and the dark secrets regarding Hanako and his past.

 

Manga Monday- Daytime Shooting Star

Manga Monday- Daytime Shooting Star

Daytime Shooting Star is a Japanese shōjo manga written and illustrated by Mika Yamamori. It ran in Margaret from 2011 to 2014. A live-action film adaptation of the same name was released in 2017, as well as a collaboration clothing line with Earth Music & Ecology in 2014.

Plot

Suzume Yosano’s parents move to Bangladesh when her father’s job gets transferred there, while Suzume herself moves to Tokyo to live with her uncle, Yukichi. On her way to her uncle’s house, a strange man helps her when she gets lost, and on her first day of school, she learns that he is her homeroom teacher, Satsuki Shishio.

Media

Manga

Daytime Shooting Star is written and illustrated by Mika Yamamori. The series first was announced on May 3, 2011. The manga was serialized in the bi-weekly magazine Margaret from May 20, 2011 to November 2014. The chapters were later released in bound volumes by Shueisha under the Margaret Comics imprint.

In honor of the 50th anniversary of Margaret, Yamamori collaborated with Momoko Koda, the author of Heroine Shikkaku, to release the crossover comic Heroine Shooting Star. Heroine Shooting Star was released in Mini Margaret, a booklet that was distributed as a magazine gift in the May 20, 2013 issue of Margaret. In 2014, Yamamori collaborated with Suu Morishita, the author of Hibi Chōchō, to produce two crossover comics, Hibi Shooting Star and Daytime Chōchō.

To promote the live-action movie, Yamamori released Daytime Shooting Star: Side Story Blue in the February 3, 2017 issue of Margaret. It was followed up by Daytime Shooting Star: Side Story Red in the March 28, 2017 issue of Margaret.

In 2018, Viz Media announced at the New York Comic-Con that they were licensing the series for English distribution, with all comics published under the Shojo Beat imprint.

Live-action film

In mid-September 2016, the live-action film adaptation was announced. The film stars Mei Nagano as Suzume, Shohei Miura as Shishio, and Alan Shirahama as Mamura. The film was released in Japan on March 24, 2017 in 272 theaters and opened at #5 on opening weekend. The film’s theme song is “Hayaku Aitai” by Dream Ami.

Yamamori released Daytime Shooting Star: Side Story Blue in the February 3, 2017 issue of Margaret and Daytime Shooting Star: Side Story Red in the March 28, 2017 issue of Margaret to promote the film. Nagano and Shirahama were also featured in a collaboration commercial as their characters to cross-promote handbags from Samantha Vega, a sister brand of Samantha Thavasa.

Reception

The series has 1.93 million copies in print and 500,000 in paid digital copies.

Characters

Suzume Yosano
moves from the countryside to Tokyo to live with her uncle while she goes to high school. When she was in middle school, she saw a shooting star during the daytime and is convinced that she can see one again. She skips classes and hangs out on the rooftop frequently at school, often leaving poor grades. When she arrives to her new school, she is assigned to sit next to Mamura in class. She meets Shishio, who she discovers to be her homeroom teacher, when she is en route to her uncle’s house. She eventually falls in love with him. Since he knows her uncle, the two see each other fairly often. She confesses her feelings, but is rejected. Unable to get over him, she confesses once more. This time Shishio accepts and they date in secret. This only lasts a short time, since Shishio thinks their love for one another was not really love. Feeling upset and rejected, Suzume becomes depressed, to the point where she runs away back to the countryside. Mamura tries to make her feel better by taking her to an aquarium she went to with Shishio. At first she rejects going, but begins to realize why Mamura is taking her. She begins to see how much Mamura cares for her, and realizes she is in love with him. She runs to his house and confesses to him, which he accepts. They begin to date afterwards.

Satsuki Shishio
Suzume’s homeroom teacher. He somewhat reluctantly falls in love with Suzume. After she confesses to him for a second time, he agrees to date her in secret. Eventually Shishio asks Suzume what she would do if he stopped teaching. Suzume replies with “I’m going with you,” to his surprise, so he says he was just kidding. Shishio and Suzume’s relationship is inadvertently discovered by Suzume’s uncle Yukichi to which he disapproved. Shishio realizes the gravity of his situation then says they should just quit “it”—their relationship—and just go back to having a normal student-teacher relationship. He says that her love for him was just “admiration,” and she does not really love him at all. However, he realizes he still loves her, but cannot be with her. This angers Mamura that Shishio hurt Suzume, leaving their relationship often constricted. By the time he tries to get back together with her, she is already dating Mamura.

Daiki Mamura
Suzume’s classmate who sits in front of her. He is a gynophobe. Upon discovering this, Suzume uses it to blackmail him into being her friend. Once he becomes friends with her, he begins to get more used to being around girls and starts to develop feelings for Suzume. He is fairly jealous of Shishio and Suzume’s relationship (romantic or not) and becomes protective and supportive in the times Suzume is hurt emotionally. Despite his feelings, Mamura decides to keep them hidden only revealing them when he discovers Shishio’s decision to cease his relationship with Suzume. When they move up to second year of high school, Mamura becomes popular with the underclassmen much to the chagrin of Suzume. Suzume’s friends come up with the idea to have Mamura and Suzume pretend to date in order to make the underclass girls leave him alone. When he takes her to an aquarium he confesses his feelings for her, to which she is unsure how to react. Upon going home, Suzume realizes she is in love with him and accepts his confession and the two begin to date. Mamura’s appearance was based on model Kentaro Sakaguchi.

Yuyuka Nekota
is very blunt, which she believes makes it hard to get along with others. She hides behind a cute exterior that is friendly and outgoing in order to make friends. Initially, Yuyuka was only pretending to be nice in order to get closer to Mamura, but the two later become honest friends. She eventually confesses to Mamura, who rejects her, saying that he has feelings for Suzume. She is comforted by Togyuu Minagawa, whom she slowly develops feelings for. As friends with Suzume, she often gives relationship advice.

 

Manga Monday- Sleepy Princess in the Demon Castle

Manga Monday- Sleepy Princess in the Demon Castle

Sleepy Princess in the Demon Castle is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Kagiji Kumanomata. It has been serialized in Shogakukan’s Weekly Shōnen Sunday magazine since May 2016, with its chapters collected in seventeen tankōbon volumes as of December 2020. An anime television series adaptation by Doga Kobo aired from October to December 2020.

Media

Manga

Sleepy Princess in the Demon Castle is written and illustrated by Kagiji Kumanomata. The series started in the 2016 issue #24 of Shogakukan’s Weekly Shōnen Sunday published on May 11, 2016. Shogakukan has compiled its chapters into individual tankōbon volumes. The first volume was released on September 16, 2016. As of December 18, 2020, seventeen volumes have been released.

Viz Media announced in September 2017 that they had licensed the series in North America. The first volume was released on June 12, 2018.

An official fanbook of the series was released on October 16, 2020.

Plot

Sshhh! Princess Syalis is trying to get a good night’s sleep. Some shut-eye. Forty winks. Catch some Z’s. Long ago in olden times when people and demons lived together in—well, disharmony, really—a demon king kidnaps a human princess and imprisons her in his castle. Bereft, the princess’s subjects beat their chests in anguish…until a hero arises to spearhead Project Rescue Our Princess! While waiting for her knight in shining armor, what’s an imprisoned princess to do…? Teddy-bear guards with bat wings are all very well, but her dungeon cell is bo-o-o-ring! So, she decides to wile away the long hours by sleeping. Now if only she could get comfortable…and didn’t suffer from insomnia…

 

Manga Monday- Didn’t I Say to Make My Abilities Average in the Next Life?!

Manga Monday- Didn’t I Say to Make My Abilities Average in the Next Life?!

Didn’t I Say to Make My Abilities Average in the Next Life?! is a Japanese light novel series written by FUNA and illustrated by Itsuki Akata. A manga adaptation by Neko Mint began serialization in 2016. Both the light novel and manga have been licensed in North America by Seven Seas Entertainment. An anime television series adaptation by Project No.9 aired from October 7 to December 23, 2019.

Media

Web novel

FUNA began serializing the story as a web novel on the user-generated novel publishing website Shōsetsuka ni Narō on January 14, 2016. As of November 3, 2020, 492 chapters of the web novel have been published.

Light novels

The series was acquired for print publication by Taibundo and Earth Star Entertainment, who published the first light novel, with illustrations by Itsuki Akata, in May 2016 under their Earth Star Novel imprint. Seven Seas Entertainment announced on September 11, 2017 that they had licensed the series.

Manga

A manga adaptation with art by Neko Mint began serialization online on Earth Star Entertainment’s Comic Earth Star website on August 5, 2016. Seven Seas announced on September 11, 2017 that they had licensed the manga.

Anime

An anime adaptation was announced via Twitter on February 26, 2018. The anime, later confirmed to be a television series, is directed by Masahiko Ohta, written by Takashi Aoshima, and animated by Project No.9, with Sō Watanabe as character designer and Yasuhiro Misawa as music composer. The series aired from October 7 to December 23, 2019 on AT-X, Tokyo MX, BS11, TVA, and ABC. Azumi Waki, Sora Tokui, and Masumi Tazawa performed the series’ opening theme song “Smile Skill=Sukisukiskill”, while Waki performed the series’ ending theme song “Genzai ↑ Banzai ↑”. The series is streamed by Crunchyroll worldwide outside of Asia.

 

Manga Monday- Antique Bakery

Manga Monday- Antique Bakery

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

Yoshinaga’s spinoff dōjinshi

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

Live-action TV drama

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

 

 

Korean live-action movie

Anime

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

Reception

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

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

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

Manga Monday- Jujutsu Kaisen

Manga Monday- Jujutsu Kaisen

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

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

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

Manga

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

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

Light novels

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

Anime

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

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

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

Plot

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

Reception

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

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

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