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Film Friday- Arata: The Legend

Film Friday- Arata: The Legend

Arata: The Legend is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Yuu Watase. It began serialization in Weekly Shōnen Sunday in October 2008. Its individual chapters has been compiled into twenty-four tankōbon volumes as of September 2015.

An anime television series adaptation produced by Satelight and Korean studio JM Animation aired from April to July 2013.

Main Characters

Arata Hinohara 
The main protagonist, along with Arata. Arata Hinohara is a shy high school freshman from modern-day Japan. He is athletic, and used to run track in middle school. He’s had life difficulties in trusting others that leaves his family worrying about him overtime. After being bullied by Kadowaki, betrayed by his friend Suguru, and feeling sorrowful, Hinohara is sucked into another world, Amawakuni, where he poses as the Arata from Amawakuni, who has been framed for the princess’ murder. Soon after his entrance into the new world, he becomes a Shō, one chosen to wield the Hayagami Tsukuyo, the god of light, in the form of a sword. He promises Kikuri to help restore her power. Having to escape Gatoya Island, after Hinohara purified Tsutsuga, he embarks on a quest to govern the world from war. Along the road, Hinohara begins understand what he really must believe in. He eventually falls in love with Kotoha. In the manga, Kadowaki had place a Kimon mark on Hinohara that tampers his emotions, until he matures enough to break it. When his Hayagami fully awakens, he gains three techniques which he can produce: ultimate-chain, flash-wave, and Sun-of-the-World; dispel darkness out of people’s hearts. He is also blessed with the title Emperor Of Hinowa. With this new revelation, “Arata’s” name for murdering the princess has been cleared throughout Amawakuni.
Arata
Arata, from Amawakuni, is outgoing, full of energy, and is bored easily. At birth, his grandmother Makari, claimed that he was a girl but still raised him as boy. He is part of the Hime Clan, which provides the princesses to maintain balance in the world. With no other girls to succeed the current princess, Arata poses as a girl to become Kikuri’s successor. At the succession ceremony, he witnesses Kikuri’s assassination and is quickly framed for murder. He runs into the Kando Forest, where he switch places with Arata Hinohara from modern-day Japan. He puts his best efforts in going to school and trying to adapt in the new world, especially the family he never had. He and Hinohara are able to contact each other once in a while link through the princess’ two charms which Kotoha had given them both. In the manga, Arata uses an odd cellphone strap infused with Amatsuriki to fight Harunawa in the real world. Now Arata looks to avenge his deceased family and protect Imina.
Kotoha 
Kotoha is Arata’s childhood friend, even though her family the Uneme Clan has served the Hime Clan for years. She wishes to help others, and has the healing powers that all women of Uneme Clan have. She accompanies Hinohara on his quest. Like almost everyone else in Awamakuni, she thinks that Hinohara is the Arata from the Hime Clan whom lost his memories after being “swallowed” by the Kando Forest, but later learns his true identity in chapter 41. In the anime, she figures it out when noticing his reactions to her and by the sudden appearance of Kadowaki. She had romantic feelings for Arata but shifts to Hinohara when Arata rejected her, and is the first person to have belief in Hinohara. As the series progresses, Kotoha’s healing powers have become stronger.
Kannagi
One of the Twelve Shinshō, he wields the Hayagami Homura, the god of fire. He incites the coup d’etat against the princess so that the Shinshō can use their Hayagami without limitations and frames Arata for the murder. Kannagi is determined to become emperor for the sake of Emisu, whom he loved. At first, he leads the manhunt for Arata, but later accepts Hinohara’s pity to accompany on his quest in order to get revenge on Akachi for killing all his Zokushō, and having his Hayagami stolen. Kannagi swore to Honi that he will make things right again. In chapter 119, he finally retrieves his Hayagami, along saving an orphan who resembles Emisu. After Akachi’s defeat, Kannagi now pledges to watch over the other Emisu and resume his desire to become emperor; though Hinohara understands him.
Mikusa
She is a strong warrior who disguised herself as a male her whole life due to circumstances and labeled as a fake member of the Hime Clan. At first, she tried to avenge Kikuri, but Hinohara was able to prove his innocence. She doesn’t trust others easily and is unsure how to respond to Hinohara and company in chapter 65. Mikusa does not know how to behave like a woman at first, but after developing affections for Hinohara, she starts to become more feminine. After deciding Hinohara’s group is trustworthy she opens up towards the others. The only person she shows a softer side to was Rami. It was discovered in chapter 105 that Mikusa had been found near Kando Forest by Kikuri and was adopted into the Hime Clan 15 years ago, meaning she’s the one who switched places with Imina and is Japanese.
Yataka
One of the Twelve Shinshō. He wields the Hayagami Zekuu, the god of void in the form of a mirror. He is able to reflect a person’s true character. He’s very proper and conducts himself in a professional and chivalrous manner. Yataka’s first formal meeting with Princess Kikuri was when she requested he bring her to her home to visit her dying mother. They soon became a couple afterwards and he began seeing the world as pure and beautiful. However, one day Kikuri left him without telling him. He believed Kikuri betrayed him and grew resentful. After finding out the truth behind Kikuri’s betrayal, Yataka suffered even more. Kotoha reveals to him that Kikuri must have suffered during this ordeal because she truly wished to be with him. Now convince of Kikuri’s reasons, Yataka tried to submit to Hinohara, but he rejected him saying he should instead atone for his actions. Okima takes his position for the time-being while Yataka accompanies Hinohara to help recover Kikuri.

 

Manga Monday- Arata: The Legend

Manga Monday- Arata: The Legend

Arata: The Legend is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Yuu Watase. It began serialization in Weekly Shōnen Sunday in October 2008. Its individual chapters has been compiled into twenty-four tankōbon volumes as of September 2015.

An anime television series adaptation produced by Satelight and Korean studio JM Animation aired from April to July 2013.

 

Reception

Rebecca Bundy of Anime News Network gave the first volume an overall B+ for “Great art and character designs; plus, Watase’s ability to create interesting lore is as sharp as ever.” She also noted, however, that the “Pathetic, cowardly main character makes everything involving him painful to read.” Deb Aoki of About.com notes that the plot is “fairly formulaic fantasy fare that’s just a bit too predictable to offer fans something truly fresh and new” but that the series has her “hooked.” Todd Douglass of Blogcritics.org says that the first volume is “strongly recommended,” despite some reservations. Christopher Nadolsk of Mania.com says that the first volume offers “an entertaining and eye-pleasing escapist fantasy read.”

Plot

In a mystical world called Amawakuni, a ceremony marking the new governing princess is about to occur for the first time in 60 years. Only a maiden from the Hime Clan may take this position, but a boy called Arata must pose for the role, due to the lack of females born to this family. During the ceremony, the Twelve Shinshō, wielders of special swords called Hayagami, led by Kannagi, betrayed Princess Kikuri and attempted to assassinate her and Arata (an eyewitness) in a competition to become emperor. Kannagi frames Arata for the princess’ murder, yet Arata manages to escape and into the Kando Forest.

Meanwhile, in modern-day Japan, an athletic boy named Arata Hinohara is starting his new life in high school. He wants to put memories of his difficult past behind him, but things aren’t going to be simple when Masato Kadowaki, the bully from his old school, emerges. Feeling the world is untrustworthy, Hinohara walks into an alley, and soon finds himself in Amawakuni, where the world mistakes him for “Arata.” Having to run to Arata’s house, Hinohara learns from Arata’s grandmother that he and the other Arata have “switched lives” according to legend about Kando Forest. When Kannagi searches the house, Hinohara comes across a rusted sword, activates its power, and becomes a Shō. The sword is a Hayagami named Tsukuyo.

Kotoha, Arata’s childhood friend, offers Hinohara the princess’ charm before he is arrested. In a jail cell, Hinohara contacts Arata via the other charm Kotoha had given him, where he discovers the truth from Arata, and are forced to take each other’s roles. At the Imperial Court, Hinohara is found guilty, and exiled to Gatoya Island. On the trip to the island, Kotoha tags along and gives him his Hayagami. Also because of the charm’s power he is able to talk to Kikuri (who is just barely alive). She then asks him to govern the world as otherwise there will only be war. After escaping Gatoya Island, Hinohara and Kotoha with their new friend Kanate, a former bandit, they head to the mainland on a quest to restore order and save the princess.

Meanwhile, Arata emerges from the forest and finds himself in Japan. He has a run-in with the police because he is shirtless but is saved by Nao, Hinohara’s sister, and is taken into Hinohara’s family mistaking him for their “Arata”. He adjusts to high school where he befriends a strange girl named Imina Oribe. Imina is later revealed a maiden from the Hime Clan who winded up lost on Earth 15 years ago. Harunawa, an agent of the mysterious Six Shinshō, is ordered to eliminate Imina to prevent her from becoming Kikuri’s successor. Together Arata and Imina search for information (prophecies) on how to stop the Six Shinshō’s ambition to rule both Amawakuni and Earth.

Traveling across the mainland, Kannagi reluctantly joins Hinohara’s group when a vengeful Akachi stole his Hayagami. Kotoha eventually learns Hinohara’s true identity as the duo becomes closer. Upon realizing the situation, Kadowaki is also summoned in Amawakuni and becomes a Shō as he activates a Hayagami, a spear named Orochi. Determined to fight Hinohara, Kadowaki repeatedly encounters him on his journey. Having two Shinshō members, Yorunami and Kugura submitted, Hinohara soon discovers his destiny as Emperor Of Hinowa – the origin of all Hayagami – he embarks with Mikusa and Rami, relatives from the Hime and Uneme Clan. Hinohara later confronts Yataka, a Shinshō who loved Kikuri. Yataka receives a change of heart, and accompanies Hinohara’s quest to redeem himself. Hinohara comes to know Mikusa is a fake maiden hiding from the Shinshō. After Kannagi retrieves his Hayagami from Akachi, Hinohara is lured into a conspiracy on Muroya Island by a fellow traveler Hiruha who has been manipulated by the Six Shinshō. Following Rami and Hiruha’s deaths, the gang resolves in defeating the Six Shinshō, those who are actually humans from Earth’s past.

The Six Shinshō and Kadowaki apparently become Hinohara’s most formidable opponents on his quest. As Hinohara tries to suppress his personal conflicts after Kotoha was seriously injured by his demon transformation when Kadowaki subjugated Kanate, Kadowaki also faces his own predicament. Nasuke, a rogue Shō helps Hinohara before submitting to him. Back on Earth, Harunawa soon goes on full out assault at school and infecting the city, in order to enlarge his demon powers. Imina harnesses her Amatsuriki abilities to counter the outbreak to protect Arata and the Hinohara family.