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Film Friday- Naruto

Film Friday- Naruto

Naruto is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Masashi Kishimoto. It tells the story of Naruto Uzumaki, a young ninja who seeks recognition from his peers and dreams of becoming the Hokage, the leader of his village. The story is told in two parts – the first set in Naruto’s pre-teen years, and the second in his teens. The series is based on two one-shot manga by Kishimoto: Karakuri (1995), which earned Kishimoto an honorable mention in Shueisha’s monthly Hop Step Award the following year, and Naruto (1997).

Naruto was serialized in Shueisha’s magazine, Weekly Shōnen Jump from 1999 to 2014, and released in tankōbon (book) form in 72 volumes. The manga was adapted into an anime television series produced by Pierrot and Aniplex, which broadcast 220 episodes in Japan from 2002 to 2007; the English adaptation of the series aired on Cartoon Network and YTV from 2005 to 2009. Naruto: Shippuden, a sequel to the original series, premiered in Japan in 2007, and ended in 2017, after 500 episodes. The English adaptation was broadcast on Disney XD from 2009 to 2011, airing the first 98 episodes, and then switched over to Adult Swim’s Toonami programming block in January 2014, starting over from the first episode. The English adaptation is still airing weekly on Adult Swim to this day. Besides the anime series, Pierrot has developed eleven movies and twelve original video animations (OVAs). Other Naruto-related merchandise includes light novels, video games, and trading cards developed by several companies.

Viz Media licensed the manga and anime for North American production and serialized Naruto in their digital Weekly Shonen Jump magazine. The anime series began airing in the United States and Canada in 2005, and in the United Kingdom and Australia in 2006 and 2007, respectively. The films and most OVAs from the series were also released by Viz, with the first film premiering in movie theaters. Viz Media began streaming the two anime series on their streaming service Neon Alley in December 2012. The story of Naruto continues with Naruto’s son, Boruto Uzumaki, in Boruto: Naruto Next Generations: Boruto wishes to create his own ninja way instead of following his father’s.

Naruto is the fourth best-selling manga series in history, selling 250 million copies worldwide in 46 countries. It has become one of Viz Media’s best-selling manga series; their English translations of the volumes have appeared on USA Today and The New York Times bestseller list several times, and the seventh volume won a Quill Award in 2006. Reviewers praised the manga’s character development, strong storylines, and well-executed fight scenes, though some felt the fight scenes slowed the story down. Critics noted that the manga, which has a coming-of-age theme, makes use of cultural references from Japanese mythology and Confucianism.

Anime

Part I

The Naruto anime, directed by Hayato Date and produced by Studio Pierrot and TV Tokyo, premiered in Japan on October 3, 2002, and concluded on February 8, 2007 after 220 episodes on TV Tokyo. The first 135 episodes were adapted from Part I of the manga; the remaining 85 episodes are original and use plot elements that are not in the manga. Tetsuya Nishio was the character designer for Naruto when the manga was adapted into an anime series; Kishimoto had requested that Nishio be given this role. Beginning on April 29, 2009, the original Naruto anime began a rerun on Wednesdays and Thursdays (until the fourth week of September 2009 when it changed to only Wednesdays). It was remastered in HD, with new 2D and 3D effects, under the name Naruto: Shōnen Hen . Episodes from the series have been released on both VHS and DVD, and collected as boxed sets.

Viz licensed the anime series for broadcast and distribution in the Region 1 market. The English adaptation of the anime began airing on September 10, 2005 and concluded on January 31, 2009, with 209 episodes aired on Cartoon Network’s Toonami in the United States. The episodes were also broadcast on SABC 2 (South Africa), YTV’s Bionix (Canada) and Jetix’s (United Kingdom) programming blocks, and were released on DVD on March 28, 2006. On August 25, 2017, Starz announced that they would be offering episodes of the series for their Video on Demand service starting September 1, 2017. The first 26 volumes contain four episodes; later DVD volumes have five episodes. Uncut editions were released in DVD box sets, each containing 12–15 episodes, with some variation based on story arcs. In the American broadcast, references to alcohol, Japanese culture, sexual innuendo, and the appearance of blood and death were sometimes edited but remained in the DVD editions. One of the censored scenes was the accidental kiss between Naruto and Sasuke, fitting in the long trend of removing content that alludes to homesexual relationships. Other networks cut more material, for example Jetix censored scenes with blood, strong language, and smoking. The series was also licensed to Hulu, Joost, and Crunchyroll, which aired the episodes online with the original Japanese audio tracks and English subtitles. On June 1, 2017, it was announced that an HD remaster version of the original Naruto television anime series would debut on Japanese TV on June 24, starting with the show’s first episode.

Part II

Naruto: Shippuden, developed by Studio Pierrot and directed by Hayato Date, is the sequel to the original Naruto anime; it corresponds to Part II of the manga. It debuted on Japanese TV on February 15, 2007, on TV Tokyo, and concluded on March 23, 2017. On January 8, 2009, TV Tokyo began broadcasting new episodes via internet streaming to monthly subscribers. Each streamed episode was available online within an hour of its Japanese release and includes English subtitles. Viz began streaming English subtitled episodes on January 2, 2009, on its series’ website, including episodes that had already been released as well as new episodes from Japan. In the United States, the English dub of Naruto: Shippuden premiered weekly on Disney XD from October 28, 2009, up until episode 98 on November 5, 2011.  Episodes 99 through 338 premiered uncut on the anime web channel Neon Alley until its shutdown on May 4, 2016. The anime started airing from the beginning on Adult Swim’s Toonami programming block on January 5, 2014, where it continues to air on a weekly basis.

The series was released on Region 2 DVD in Japan with four or five episodes per disk; there are four series of DVD releases divided by story arc. There was a special feature included with the seventh Naruto: Shippuden compilation DVD called Hurricane! “Konoha Academy” Chronicles. Kakashi Chronicles: Boys’ Life on the Battlefield was released on December 16, 2009; featuring episodes 119–120, the story revolves around Kakashi Hatake’s childhood.

The first North American DVD of the series was released on September 29, 2009. Only the first 53 episodes were made available in this format before it ended with the 12th volume on August 10, 2010. Subsequent episodes were released as part of DVD boxed sets, beginning with the first season on January 26, 2010. In the United Kingdom, the series was licensed by Manga Entertainment who released the first DVD collection on June 14, 2010.

Original video animations

Twelve Naruto original video animations (OVAs) have been released.

  1. Find the Crimson Four-Leaf Clover! (2002). Follows Team 7 as they help Konohamaru with his mission to retrieve a four leaf clover that makes a wish come true.
  2. Mission: Protect the Waterfall Village! (2003). Team 7 are on a mission to escort a shinobi to his hometown. This and the previous OVA were later released on DVD in Australia under the title Naruto Jump Festa Collection. The English localization of Mission: Protect the Waterfall Village! was released on DVD by Viz on May 22, 2007, in the US under the title Naruto – The Lost Story.
  3. Konoha Annual Sports Festival. (2004) Multiple groups of shinobi, including Team 7, participate in a sports competition where the award is a week break from missions. A short video released with the first Naruto movie; in North America, this was included on the Deluxe Edition DVD of the first film.
  4. Finally a clash! Jonin VS Genin!! Indiscriminate grand melee tournament meeting!! (2005) Fifth Hokage Tsunade creates a competition between Jonin (high level ninja) and Genin (low level ninja). Released on a bonus disk with the Japanese edition of the Naruto: Ultimate Ninja 3 video game for the PlayStation 2.
  5. Hurricane! “Konoha Academy” Chronicles (2008). This OVA follows Naruto Uzumaki and his peers as they live their lives in high school.
  6. Naruto: The Cross Roads (2009). Focuses on Team 7 after their encounter with Zabuza and Haku.
  7. Naruto, The Genie, and The Three Wishes!! (2010). While Team 7 are at the beach, Naruto finds a bottle and opens it to find a genie who grants three wishes.
  8. Naruto x UT (2011). Naruto is defeated by Sasuke and is pronounced dead; the events leading to the combat are shown in flashback.
  9. Chūnin Exam on Fire! Naruto vs. Konohamaru! (2011). Naruto and Konohamaru are participants in the Chunin Exams, and are matched with each other; they fight with no limits.
  10. Hashirama Senju vs. Madara Uchiha (2012). Tobi narrates the origin of Konoha. At the beginning ninja fought for their own clans. The most powerful among them are two clans: the Senju led by Hashirama, and the Uchiha led by Madara. This was distributed as part of the Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm Generations video game for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.
  11. Naruto Shippūden: Sunny Side Battle!!! (2014). In his sleep, Sasuke dreams of his brother Itachi making him breakfast repeatedly until it is perfect.
  12. The Day Naruto Became Hokage (2016). Naruto Uzumaki is officially the Seventh Hokage, but does not make it to the ceremony.

Films

The series was adapted into eleven films; the first three correspond to the first anime series, and the remaining eight correspond to the second series. Dates in the list below are for the original Japanese release; all the films were released in English, usually no more than three years later.

  1. Ninja Clash in the Land of Snow (2004). Team 7 travels to the Land of Snow to protect the actors during the shooting of the new Princess Fuun movie. The fourth original video animation, Konoha Annual Sports Festival, was included with the Japanese release of the film.
  2. Legend of the Stone of Gelel (2005). Naruto, Shikamaru, and Sakura go on a ninja mission involving them in a war between the Sunaga village and a large force of armored warriors. Unlike its predecessor, Legend of the Stone of Gelel did not have a theatrical release in the United States but was released in direct-to-video format instead.
  3. Guardians of the Crescent Moon Kingdom (2006). Naruto, Sakura, Lee, and Kakashi are assigned to protect the future prince of the Land of Moon, Hikaru Tsuki.
  4. Naruto Shippuden the Movie (2007). Naruto goes on a mission to protect the priest Shion, who starts to have visions of his death.
  5. Naruto Shippuden the Movie: Bonds (2008). Naruto and Sasuke join forces when ninja from the Sky Country attack Konoha.
  6. Naruto Shippuden the Movie: The Will of Fire (2009). Team 7 works to prevent Kakashi from sacrificing himself to end a world war.
  7. Naruto Shippuden the Movie: The Lost Tower (2010). Naruto is sent 20 years into the past as he explores a mystical tower to capture a rogue ninja, and discovers the Fourth Hokage, his father, alive in the timeline.
  8. Naruto the Movie: Blood Prison (2011). Naruto is framed for attempted murder of the Raikage; as he tries to break out of the prison, he discovers its secrets.
  9. Road to Ninja: Naruto the Movie (2012). Naruto and Sakura are sent to an alternate universe by Tobi and discover the meaning of companionship and parenthood. The story planning and character designs were created by Masashi Kishimoto.
  10. The Last: Naruto the Movie (2014). Naruto and his companions try to stop the moon from colliding with Earth. The film explains some loose ends involving the series’ mythology and focuses on Naruto and Hinata’s romantic relationship. The story and character designs were created by Masashi Kishimoto, who also served as chief story supervisor.
  11. Boruto: Naruto the Movie (2015). The film focuses on the children of the main characters, mainly Boruto Uzumaki, who trains with his father’s rival Sasuke to surpass him. The story, screenplay and character designs were created by Masashi Kishimoto, who also served as chief production supervisor.

In July 2015, Lionsgate announced they were developing a live-action Naruto with Avi Arad through his production company Arad Productions, with Michael Gracey directing, and Erik Feig, Geoff Shaveitz, and Kelly O’Malley producing. On December 17, 2016, Kishimoto announced that he has been asked to help develop the movie.

Main characters

Naruto

The protagonists of the Naruto series are Naruto Uzumaki, Sasuke Uchiha, Sakura Haruno, and Kakashi Hatake, who form “Team 7″of Konohagakure. After Sasuke Uchiha’s defection and Naruto’s departure from Konohagakure at the end of Part I, the team disbands. During Part II, the team reforms as “Team Kakashi” with two new members: Sai, who occupies Sasuke’s position, and Yamato, who becomes the acting Captain. During the Fourth Great Ninja War, Team 7 reunites to fight Madara Uchiha who later becomes Kaguya Ōtsutsuki. Once the War is over, Sasuke and Naruto have their final battle. After the fight ends, Team 7 is finally reunited permanently.

Naruto Uzumaki

 

is the titular protagonist of the series. He was the first character created by Kishimoto during the conception of the series and was designed with many traits from other shōnen characters.[7] He is often ridiculed by the Konohagakure villagers, as he is the host of Kurama, the Nine-Tailed Fox that attacked Konoha.[ch. 2] He compensates for this with his cheerful and boisterous personality, vowing to never give up on any goal he sets. In particular, Naruto has ambitions of becoming Hokage, the leader of Konohagakure, to gain the villagers’ respect and be able to protect both them and the world. Over the course of the series, Naruto befriends many foreign and Konoha people and eventually gains a sizable positive impact on their lives to the point where he gains worldwide fame. Naruto eventually achieves his dream of becoming Hokage, marries Hinata Hyuga and has two children named Boruto Uzumaki and Himawari Uzumaki.

Sasuke Uchiha

is Naruto’s rival. He was designed by Kishimoto as the “cool genius” since he felt this was an integral part of an ideal rivalry. Sasuke’s older brother, Itachi Uchiha, killed the rest of their family. Because of this, Sasuke’s sole desire is to kill his brother, and he develops a cold and withdrawn personality, seeing people as tools to further his goals, although also gaining the affection of most of the girls he knows, much to his annoyance. After he becomes a member of Team 7, Sasuke seems to begin considering his teammates precious to the point of risking his life to protect them, while focusing on revenge less than at the start of the series. Following an encounter and a subsequent defeat at the hands of his brother in Part I, however, Sasuke severs his ties and leaves the village to seek more power from a man named Orochimaru. By the events of the Boruto franchise, Sasuke has become a vigilante investigating the Otsutsuki clan while aiding Konohagakure.

Sakura Haruno

is a member of Team 7. While creating the character, Kishimoto has admitted that he had little perception of what an ideal girl should be like. As a child, Sakura was teased by other children because of her large forehead, a feature Kishimoto tried to emphasize in Sakura’s appearance. She was comforted by Ino Yamanaka and the two developed a friendship. However, as the two continued to grow, they became increasingly distant due to their shared affection for Sasuke Uchiha. During the early moments of Part I, Sakura is infatuated with Sasuke and resents Naruto Uzumaki, although Sasuke views her as “annoying” and Naruto has feelings for her. Her perception on Naruto eventually changes, however, and she comes to see him as a friend, while her feelings for Sasuke grow into deep love.

Kakashi Hatake

is the easygoing, smart leader of team 7, consisting of Naruto Uzumaki, Sasuke Uchiha, and Sakura Haruno. Kakashi had a dark past, but he didn’t let that affect him as an adult. he was a very vital key for Naruto’s success, training him to be a great ninja. Kakashi is a master of the Sharingan Mirror Wheel Eye, which he gained as a present from his late friend, Obito Uchiha. Kakashi’s original eye was restored late into part 2 of the series. Kakashi is killed by Pain (Nagato), But is revived when Nagato uses Rinne Rebirth to restore everything. Kakashi precedes Tsunade as the sixth Hokage, In the later parts of Naruto Shippuden.

Film Friday- Baki the Grappler

Film Friday- Baki the Grappler

Grappler Baki, known as Baki the Grappler in North America, is a manga series written and illustrated by Keisuke Itagaki. It was originally serialized in Weekly Shōnen Champion from 1991 to 1999 and collected into 42 tankōbon volumes by Akita Shoten. The story follows teenager Baki Hanma as he trains and tests his fighting skills against a variety of different opponents in deadly, no rules hand-to-hand combat.

The series was followed by three sequels in the same magazine; Baki, which was serialized from 1999 to 2005 and collected into 31 volumes, Baki Hanma, which was serialized from 2005 to 2012 and collected into 37 volumes, and Baki-Dou, which was serialized from 2014 to 2018 and collected into 22 volumes. A fifth series, also named Baki Dou but with Baki’s name written in katakana instead of kanji, began on October 4, 2018.

A 45-minute original video animation (OVA) was released in 1994. A 24-episode anime aired on TV Tokyo between January 8 and June 25, 2001, and was quickly followed by a second 24-episode series from July 22 to December 24, 2001. An Original net animation (ONA) was released on Netflix between June 25 and September 24, 2018, followed by a second season that was released on June 4, 2020. The third season is scheduled for 2021. The OVA was the first to be licensed and released in North America, in 1998 by Central Park Media, followed by the original manga series in 2002 by Gutsoon! Entertainment (incomplete), and finally both anime series in 2005 by Funimation Entertainment. Media Do International began releasing the second manga series digitally in August 2018. As of 2018, the first four Baki series had over 75 million copies in circulation.

Original video animations

A 45-minutes original video animation (OVA) was released in 1994. The story is a close adaptation of the first few volumes of the original manga, adapting the Karate Tournament arc (not adapted in the later TV series) and Baki’s fight with Shinogi Koushou, later adapted in the episode 18 of the Baki the Grappler TV series. It was licensed and released under the title Grappler Baki: The Ultimate Fighter in North America by Central Park Media on VHS on December 1, 1996 and on DVD on December 1, 1998. Manga Entertainment later released it in Australia and the United Kingdom.

A 15-minutes original animation DVD (OAD), referred to as Baki: Most Evil Death Row Convicts Special Anime, was included with the limited edition of the 14th volume of Baki-Dou on December 6, 2016. However, it adapts the arc of the same name from the second manga series, which is titled simply Baki. Created by Telecom Animation Film, it was directed by Teiichi Takiguchi and focuses on five inmates who break out of prison from around the world and travel to Japan.

Anime series

A 24-episode anime series aired on TV Tokyo between January 8, 2001 and June 25, 2001. It faithfully follows the original manga series, but changes the order of arcs, and does not adapt some of the chapters adapted in the preceding OVA. Notably, the anime was produced by Free-Will, a music record label. A second 24-episode series, titled Grappler Baki: Maximum Tournament as it tells the story from that part of the manga, aired from July 23, 2001 to December 24, 2001. All of the series’ music was written and composed by “Project Baki”, and all the theme songs performed by Ryōko Aoyagi. The first anime’s opening theme is “Ai Believe”, while its closing theme is “Reborn”. For the second series, “All Alone” is used as the opening and “Loved…” as the closing. Baki the Grappler: Original Soundtrack was released on March 27, 2003.

Both series were licensed for a North American English release by Funimation Entertainment. They released both series as one on 12 DVDs, each with four episodes, beginning on June 14, 2005 with the last released on February 27, 2007. Two box sets were released on January 23, 2007 and March 25, 2008, the first included volumes 1-6 (1st series), while the second included 7-12 (2nd series). A set including every episode was released on September 2, 2008.

Funimation’s English version was one of the launch-shows on their own television channel, Funimation Channel, which debuted on June 19, 2006. Baki was broadcast on weekends at 11:30pm, switching to the 10:00pm slot on September 4, 2006. Dubbed in English, the episodes were edited for time but do not appear to have been edited for content. The opening theme is the song “Child Prey” by Japanese metal band Dir en grey, who is signed to Free-Will.

In December 2016, it was announced that the “Most Evil Death Row Convicts” arc of the second manga series would be receiving an anime television adaptation. Titled Baki, like the second manga series, the 26 episode series is directed by Toshiki Hirano at TMS Entertainment with character designs handled by Fujio Suzuki and scripts overseen by Tatsuhiko Urahata. It began streaming on Netflix on June 25, 2018 in Japan, and started streaming on December 18, 2018 outside Japan. The series then started airing on several Japanese television channels beginning with Tokyo MX1 on July 1. Its opening theme song is “Beastful” by Granrodeo and its ending theme “Resolve” is performed by Azusa Tadokoro with lyrics by Miho Karasawa.

Netflix renewed the series for a second season on March 19, 2019. On March 5, 2020, it was announced that the main staff TMS Entertainment would be returning to produce the second season with the addition of a new character designer and art director. The 13 episode second season covering the “Great Chinese Challenge” and the Alai Jr. arcs was released exclusively on Netflix on June 4, 2020. Its opening theme song is performed by Granrodeo and its ending theme is “Dead Stroke” performed by Ena Fujita.

In September 2020, it was announced Hanma Baki – Son of Ogre will be adapted as the third series and the sequel to the second season of the Netflix series. Netflix is releasing it in 2021.

Video games

There have been a few video games based on the series. A fighting game developed by Tomy was released for the PlayStation 2 as Grappler Baki: Baki Saikyō Retsuden in Japan in 2000 and as Fighting Fury in the United Kingdom during 2003.

Main Character

Baki Hanma
has been training in martial arts since the age of three, and has trained under various teachers and coaches throughout his life. At the age of thirteen, he decided to take his training into his own hands and left the coaches to perform more intense training in the footsteps of his father, Yujiro Hanma. He later meets with his father and becomes disillusioned as to his father’s true character, and afterwards, aims to defeat and kill him. Baki first fought in the no-rules arena run by Mitsunari Tokugawa at fifteen, and went on to become its champion without losing once. Including techniques from many different martial arts, he does not adhere to any specific style. Fighting once a month, Baki thoroughly studies his opponent leading up to their match. He eventually develops the ogre/demon face on his back when fighting his brother, Jack, but manages to suppress it. Unlike Yujiro, Baki chooses to control his killing intent and fight his battles fair and honorably no matter what the outcome. Baki has encounters with all the escaped convicts in the second manga series. He is then faced with a new foe from the prehistoric era, Pickle the caveman, after Retsu and Katsumi are defeated by him. The outcome of the match between Baki and Pickle could be considered to have gone either way: Pickle was the one who was left standing after the fight with Baki, but inadvertently used a “weapon”, in the form of a martial arts technique, to beat him. As stated by the onlookers a “weapon” is a tool used by the “weak” against the “strong”, which would make Baki the true winner of the fight for having cornered Pickle. Subsequently, Baki’s wish to have dinner with his father like a normal family is granted. Yujiro Hanma goes to his house and eats the dinner prepared by his son, dispensing never before seen knowledge with class and proper mannerisms. As thanks for preparing the meal, Yujiro invites Baki to a dinner “in his own style” at Tokyo’s best restaurant. At one point during the dinner Baki asks Yujiro why he had to kill his mother; Yujiro refuses to explain his motives “to a resentful brat” and Baki grows confrontational. This triggers their final conflict, and the final part of the manga. The gruesome fight that ensues leaves Baki a broken mess despite using remarkable techniques that earn him the praise of his father. However, Yujiro recognizes Baki’s unique fighting spirit and acknowledges that he can no longer be so selfish as to call himself the strongest creature on Earth. To thank Baki he starts using imaginary cooking to prepare Miso soup. Baki plays along but says the soup is a little salty, which angers Yujiro, but when he “tastes” it himself he discovers that the miso was, in fact, salty. Baki claims the moral victory due to being able to get his father involved in his own fantasy. The conflict ends in a tie, both fighters recognizing each other’s greatness. In the fourth manga, he is still seen participating in arena fights and engaging in regular intensive training, but has become bored with his day-to-day life.

 

Film Friday- D. Gray-man

Film Friday- D. Gray-man

D.Gray-man is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Katsura Hoshino. Set in an alternate 19th century, it tells the story of a young Allen Walker, who joins an organization of exorcists named the Black Order. They use an ancient substance, Innocence, to combat a man known as the Millennium Earl and his demonic army of Akuma who intend to destroy humanity. Many characters are adapted from Hoshino’s previous works and drafts, such as Zone. The series is noted for its dark narrative; Hoshino once rewrote a scene she thought too violent for her young readers.

The manga began serialization in 2004 in the Weekly Shōnen Jump magazine, published by Shueisha. Production of the series was suspended several times because of Hoshino’s health problems. D.Gray-man made the transition from a weekly to a monthly series in November 2009, when it began serialization in Jump Square. In December 2012, the series went on indefinite hiatus. It resumed serialization in July 2015 after the release of Jump SQ.Crown, a spin-off from the magazine Jump SQ. After Jump SQ.Crown ceased its publication, the series was switched to Jump SQ.Rise, starting in April 2018. The manga’s chapters have been collected in twenty-seven tankōbon volumes as of August 2020. By March 2020, Viz Media had released 26 volumes in North America.

A spin-off novel series, D.Gray-man: Reverse by Kaya Kizaki, explores the history of a number of characters. The manga has been adapted into a 103-episode anime series by TMS Entertainment which aired from October 2006 to September 2008 in Japan and is licensed by Funimation in North America. A 13-episode anime series, D.Gray-Man Hallow, was produced by TMS Entertainment. It aired in Japan from July to September 2016 as a sequel to the first D.Gray-man anime series. Several items of merchandise have been produced, including two video games about the series.

The manga has become one of Shueisha’s bestsellers, with over 24 million copies sold. In Japan and North America, several individual volumes have appeared in weekly top-ten lists of bestselling manga. Although most reviewers found it similar to other shōnen manga, they compared its moments of originality and well-developed characters favorably to other series of the same demographic. Hoshino’s artwork has received mostly positive reviews; most critics have commented that her characters are visually appealing and that the Gothic elements in her art are pleasant to look at. However one critic of her artwork has said that Hoshino’s fight sequences can be difficult to follow.

Anime

In June 2006, Shueisha announced that the D.Gray-man manga would be adapted as an anime. Its first episodes were directed by Osamu Nabeshima and produced by Dentsu, TMS Entertainment, Aniplex, and TV Tokyo. TMS Entertainment provided the animation, while Aniplex provided the music. The series began airing on October 3, 2006 on TV Tokyo. The anime’s 51-episode first season, known as the “1st stage”, ended on September 25, 2007. The 52-episode second season, known as the “2nd stage”, began on October 2, 2007 and ended on September 30, 2008, for a total of 103 episodes. The anime adapts the manga’s storyline from the beginning and concludes after the destruction of the Black Order headquarters. The episodes were released by Aniplex on 26 DVDs from February 7, 2007 to March 4, 2009.

The English-language versions of the first 51 episodes was licensed by Funimation in May 2008, and released in North America on DVD from March 31, 2009 to January 5, 2010. The anime made its North American television debut on the Funimation Channel in September 2010. The first 51 episodes were released on four DVDs by Madman Entertainment from August 19, 2009 to May 13, 2010, and a DVD box set was released on June 6, 2012. In the United Kingdom, Manga Entertainment released the first season in four parts from February 22 to October 18, 2010. A box set was released on December 6, 2010. On June 30, 2016, it was announced that Funimation had acquired the rights to the anime’s second season. In August 2017, Funimation announced they would release the series’ second half on home media version starting on October of the same year. In August, Crunchyroll started streaming the first 25 episodes of the series.

A second TV anime series was announced at Shueisha’s 2016 Jump Festa. Hoshino called the new series a sequel of the first anime, rather than a reboot. It starts where the first series finished and ends with Allen’s departure from the Order. The new series, D.Gray-man Hallow, directed by Yoshiharu Ashino and written by Michiko Yokote, Tatsuto Higuchi, and Kenichi Yamashita, has character designs by Yosuke Kabashima and music by Kaoru Wada. Crunchyroll would stream the series as it aired in Japan. It aired on TV Tokyo from July 4 to September 26, 2016, and was broadcast on Animax Asia. Hallow‘s home-media release was delayed, and in March 2017, the official D.Gray-man Hallow website stated the home-media release was cancelled due to “various circumstances”.

Soundtracks

The music for the D.Gray-man anime series was composed by Kaoru Wada, and four CD soundtracks have been released in Japan by Sony Music Entertainment. The first, 34-track D.Gray-man Original Soundtrack 1 (including its first opening theme and the first two ending themes), was released on March 21, 2007. It was followed by the 32-track CD D.Gray-man Original Soundtrack 2, released on December 19, 2007, which includes the series’ second opening theme and its third and fourth closing themes. The series’ opening and closing themes were collected on a CD, D.Gray-man Complete Best, which was released on September 24, 2008. Its limited edition includes a DVD with credit-less footage of the series’ introduction and closing scenes and anime illustrations.

The third soundtrack, D.Gray-man Original Soundtrack 3 with 31 tracks, was released in Japan on December 17, 2008. It includes the series’ third and fourth opening themes, the fifth to eighth closing themes and the insert song “Hands Sealed With a Kiss” by Sanae Kobayashi. Another soundtrack, based on the Hallow sequel, was released on September 28, 2016. Entitled D.Gray-man Hallow Original Soundtrack, the release includes 40 tracks.

Video games

Two D.Gray-man adventure games, based on the first anime series, have been released. The first, D.Gray-man: Kami no Shitotachi, for Nintendo DS, was released in Japan by Konami on March 29, 2007 with Allen and his comrades as playable characters. The second, D.Gray-man: Sousha no Shikaku, was released for PlayStation 2 on September 11, 2008. In it, Allen trains in the Asian headquarters of the Black Order to regain powers lost after a previous battle so he can rejoin his allies to fight the Akuma and Noah. Allen and other series characters appear in the Nintendo DS fighting game Jump Super Stars and its sequel, Jump Ultimate Stars, and he is a supporting character in the fighting game J-Stars Victory VS.

Synopsis

Setting

Set in an alternate 19th century, the story focuses on an organization of exorcists, named the Black Order, as they defend humanity against the Noah Family, reincarnations of Noah and his twelve apostles whom bear hatred towards humanity and God led by a man known as the Millennium Earl. The exorcists’ main weapon against the Noah Family are sentient holy artifacts called Innocence. Innocence comes in a variety of forms, varying from everyday objects such as boots to grandfather clocks, to weapons such as swords and guns; regardless of their form, each Innocence possesses unique offensive and supportive abilities and will only work for the wielder of their choosing. Out of the 109 Innocence hidden and scattered throughout the world, one of them is the master Innocence; whichever side obtains this Innocence first will win the war. In contrast to the Innocence, the Noah Family’s weapons are derived from a power source known as Dark Matter. Dark Matter, grants the Noah superpowers, along with the ability to create and control demons.

Plot

The central character is Allen Walker, a new recruit to the Black Order who started training to control his Innocence after it destroyed the Akuma of his late guardian, Mana. The story begins in a villain of the week fashion, where Allen teams up with various members of the Black Order to search for Innocence while battling Noah’s demons on the way. Later, Allen and his friends are ordered to track down exorcist General Cross Marian, Allen’s missing teacher. Their search concludes with them stealing one of the Noah’s transportation device, referred to as the Noah’s Ark; this was made possible since Allen has been instilled the consciousness of Nea D. Campbell, the brother of Mana, and the exiled 14th member of the Noah Family, who the Earl wishes to have back. Cross reveals that Nea plans to use Allen as host upon reincarnating, effectively erasing Allen eventually. During the Third Exorcists insurrection story arc, Nea’s consciousness begins superseding Allen’s body. Now hunted by the Black Order, the Noah Family, and a humanoid Innocence called Apocryphos, Allen goes into hiding as he searches for a way to end Nea’s resurrection. During his journey, he realises that his late guardian, Mana, alongside Nea, has a strong link to the Millennium Earl. He then decides to journey to the place where Mana and Nea grew up to learn the truth about them, and their connection to the Earl. Following his escape, Allen is tracked by the Black Order, Apocryphos and the Noah. When Apocryphos is distracted by the Noah, the Earl finds Allen who is possessed by Nea. During this encounter it is revealed that the current Earl is Mana D. Campbell, Nea’s brother. Both were once the original Millennium Earl but were split and became enemies.

Film Friday- A Certain Scientific Railgun

Film Friday- A Certain Scientific Railgun

A Certain Scientific Railgun is a Japanese manga series written by Kazuma Kamachi and illustrated by Motoi Fuyukawa, which began serialization in the April 2007 issue of ASCII Media Works’ Dengeki Daioh magazine. The manga is a spin-off of Kamachi’s A Certain Magical Index light novel series, taking place before and during the events of that series. The manga is licensed in North America by Seven Seas Entertainment, who began publishing the series from June 2011. An anime television series adaptation by J.C. Staff aired in Japan between October 2009 and March 2010, followed by an original video animation released in October 2010. A second season titled A Certain Scientific Railgun S aired between April and September 2013. A third season titled A Certain Scientific Railgun T aired between January and September 2020. The anime is licensed in North America by Funimation.

Anime

A 24-episode anime television series adaptation, produced by J.C. Staff and directed by Tatsuyuki Nagai, aired in Japan between October 3, 2009 and March 20, 2010. The anime was collected into eight DVD and Blu-ray Disc sets released between January 29 and August 27, 2010, with each volume containing a short story series titled A Certain Magical Index: Kanzaki SS. The series was licensed in North America by Funimation, who released the series on DVD on April 16, 2013. A bonus episode was included with a visual book released on July 24, 2010, and an original video animation was released in Japan on October 29, 2010.

A 24-episode second season, also directed by Nagai, titled A Certain Scientific Railgun S, aired in Japan between April 12 and September 27, 2013. It was simulcast by Funimation, who released the series on DVD in North America in two parts on July 1, 2014 and August 19, 2014, respectively. Another bonus episode was released with a visual book released on March 27, 2014.

A third season titled A Certain Scientific Railgun T aired from January 10 to September 25, 2020. The third season ran for 25 episodes. Two bonus anime are set to be released from the third season’s first and fifth Blu-Ray/DVD volumes. Unlike previous seasons, the season was simulcasted on both Funimation and Crunchyroll, with Crunchyroll streaming the series in Japanese with English subtitles, and Funimation streaming the English dub.

Music

The anime adaptation of A Certain Scientific Railgun has five pieces of theme music, two opening themes and three ending themes. The first opening theme is “Only My Railgun” by fripSide, and the first ending theme is “Dear My Friend” by Elisa. The song “Smile (You & Me)” by Elisa, which uses the same tune as “Dear My Friend (Mada Minu Mirai e)”, is featured as the ending theme for episode twelve. The second opening theme is “Level 5 (Judgelight)” by fripSide and the third ending theme is “Real Force” by Elisa. “Only My Railgun” appears in Konami’s arcade music games Pop’n Music 20: Fantasia, Dance Dance Revolution X2 and Jubeat Knit. For the OVA, the opening theme music is “Future Gazer” by fripSide, the single of which was released on October 13, 2010, while the ending theme is “Special One” by Elisa, the single of which was released on October 27, 2010.

For A Certain Scientific Railgun S, it has six pieces of theme music, two opening themes and four ending themes. The first opening theme is “Sister’s Noise” by fripSide and the first ending theme is “Grow Slowly” by Yuka Iguchi, the latter of which was released on May 15, 2013. The song “stand still” by Iguchi is featured as the second ending theme for episodes 11 and 14. The second opening theme is “Eternal Reality” by fripSide and the third ending theme is “Links” by Sachika Misawa. The song “Infinia” by Misawa is featured as the fourth ending theme for episode 23.

For A Certain Scientific Railgun T, the first opening theme is “final phase” by fripSide and the first ending theme is “nameless story” by Kishida Kyoudan & The Akeboshi Rockets.

Main characters

Tōma Kamijō
is the main protagonist of A Certain Magical Index and an important side character in A Certain Scientific Railgun. He tends to stay away from trouble but possesses a strong sense of justice. He is an average student and knowledgeable about certain subjects yet is a failure in his esper studies. While he is an idealist for the hopes of other people, ironically he is cynical about himself possibly because of his powers.
His right hand contains a power called Imagine Breaker, an ability which negates all supernatural powers but also his own luck (“divine providence” as defined by Index). Because this ability cannot be detected through testing, he has been given the lowest esper rank, Level 0. Due to the nature of his power, the founder of Academy City considers him neither an esper nor a magician, but rather a normal person with a unique ability.
Throughout the series, he tries to live his life normally while still facing against the many adversaries from the worlds of science and magic and the conflicts that follow. Despite his very bad luck, he has managed to get the interests and hearts of many characters that are in love with him, which Aisa jokes about. The reason is not only to his personality, but he avoids the red thread of fate, according to Index.
In order to save Index from the need of a memory reset, he had activated her self-protection system and destroyed the spell responsible for her mind strain. However, he ends up having his memories destroyed when he comes into contact with the Feather of Light. Though he no longer remembers the past, he claims his heart has not completely forgotten the people he cares about. His memory loss is kept a secret known only to himself and a few others, including his doctor Heaven Canceller (who unknown to Tōma is Aleister’s personal physician), Terra of the Left (who manages to figure it out by himself), Mikoto (who learns about it from accidentally overhearing the conversation between Tōma and Terra), Fiamma of the Right (who, after learning about it, sends this information to Index using the mental link he established with her using John’s Pen mode), Index (who finds out from Fiamma), Seria Kumokawa, and Misaki Shokuhō.
One of the series’ main mysteries is the origin of Imagine Breaker, since it is neither an esper ability nor a magical ability. Later in the series, whereas Touma’s entire right arm is cut off a dragon head referred to as the Dragon King emerges. Within Christian Church, the dragon represents to be of Divine origin according to two members of Right Seat of Gods. Fiamma believes Imagine Breaker is the Holy Right, which holds the power of miracles and Terra hints Imagine Breaker’s full powers have yet to be unlocked; if it does, its powers would extend to Tōma’s whole body and beyond and the second about the meaning behind his surname ‘Kamijō’ as it means “The One Superior To God” for God’s Right Seat and “The One Who Cleanses God” for Kaori Kanzaki and Aleister.
Due to the troubles he faces with delinquents, Tōma is a skilled street fighter, is physically fit, and manages to outrun his opponents. As he faces espers and magicians, he combined his fighting skills (including using his powers) with his quick thinking to outmaneuver his opponents. Mikoto considers him to be extremely strong, having never beaten him despite having repeatedly challenged him (who before she beat him once during his fight to save Othinus from the entire world after she shocked him directly). However, his ability can only be effective when espers use their power on him directly, which is why he had a tough time against Accelerator, who uses his ability on projectiles.
He also has a sixth sense for incoming magic and esper attacks based on their AIM fields and Telesma flow and uses his powers to minimize the damage taken.
Index
is one of the main heroines from the magic side and the titular character of A Certain Magical Index. She is a young nun from Necessarius, a branch of the Church of England. Index is small in stature and has a petite build. About 15 years old, she has thigh-length, silvery-blue hair with very white skin and large green eyes. She also wears a white robe with golden embroidery sewed onto every edge of it, the Walking Church, that prevents any injury on her, but it is later destroyed by Tōma when he touched it with his right hand, which is why her uniform is stitched with golden pins. Her mind has been implanted with the 103,000 magical texts of the Index-Librorum-Prohibitorum as she possesses photographic memory, which makes sorcerers wonder if she really is human because just one Grimoires is poisonous to the mind, and one is more than enough to kill a person without the proper preparative.
Her sorcery name is Dedicatus545, “The devoted lamb protects the knowledge of the strong”. The Church says that the Grimoires take up 85 percent of her mind, so she only has 15 percent of memory space left to use in daily activities, which allows her to live normally for less than a year. However, all of this is revealed to be a lie after Tōma begins to question how the Church even got to numbers like 15% and 85% and finds out from his teacher Komoe that the human mind can store an unlimited amount of memories up to 140 years at least. This was purposely done as the Church planned to make the Grimoires harder to access by telling their underlings to perform “maintenance” on her mind in exactly one-year intervals once her memory has come to its “limit”; that way, she will not remember her close friends and accidentally and/or purposely reveal the contents of the Grimoires.
When she is being invaded by outsiders or injured, her self-protection system personality, John’s Pen, will be activated to allow her to use magic to cast high-class magic attacks such as St. George’s Sanctuary and Dragon’s Breath. Her self-protection system will use the Feather of Light to force a reset on Index’s own memory should a manual reset fail to be performed. Although she does not know that she has magical powers, she can easily identify the types of magic by seeing it or somebody describing it to her and know how to counter them. Her vast knowledge of the Index-Librorum-Prohibitorum within her mind makes her to be one of the most powerful characters so far and becomes very helpful to her friends in various situations using skills like Spell Intercept, and Sheol Fear.
She is often elated by a variety of things and is slightly ignorant and curious of modern technology. She usually is gentle and polite with people and has a kind nature, but is also a selfish spoiled brat when together with Tōma. She is also abusive towards him and hypocritical in nature, chiding him for doing things she doesn’t like, yet does the same things herself. She constantly jumps to conclusions without learning the circumstances first and constantly punishes Toma, wrongfully, by biting him or starting arguments with him, much to his confusion and exasperation. She also has a large appetite and uses any excuse to get food from anyone and likes watching an anime series called Magical Powered Kanamin. She has strong feelings towards Tōma and even confessed her love after hearing Tōma lost his memories because of her; however he avoided answering by changing the theme of the talk since he has no idea about what kind of feelings he used to have with Index.
When she returns to England, she is sought out by Fiamma who wants her knowledge and reactivates John’s Pen mode through her remote control spiritual item. Later during her stay at Necessarius Headquarters at St. George Cathedral, she learns the bitter truth about Tōma when Fiamma reveals Tōma lied to her about his memories, which sends her on a rampage and grows angelic “Crimson Wings” and corners Stiyl (who tries to restrain her) with ease just by flapping her wings. She also has displayed the ability to summon legendary weapons and artifacts to attack, such as the “Sword of Freyr”, the magic sword of the Harvest God from the Norse Mythology. After defeating Fiamma, Tōma releases Index’s mind from Fiamma’s control, apologizes to her, and both promises each other to meet again. At the end of volume 22, she returns to St. George Cathedral with Stiyl to learn what happened to Tōma.
In New Testament, Index eventually reunites with Tōma when he reappears in Academy City after the events of the Third World War.
Mikoto Misaka
is one of the main heroines from the science side in A Certain Magical Index, as well as the main protagonist and the titular character of A Certain Scientific Railgun. Despite her rich background, Mikoto had a typical childhood.
At a young age, she was discovered to be a Level 1 Electromaster, espers who have the ability to generate and control electricity, and see beyond the visible electromagnetic spectrum. She enrolled into Academy City to train her powers and worked very hard until her powers were ranked Level 5. As an electromaster, she can generate and manipulate electricity which she can use to shock opponents, hack into electronics like computer networks and security systems, and use electromagnetism to cling to surfaces or manipulate iron particles into a chain-sword whip. Mikoto’s signature move is her ability to shoot metal projectiles such as coins at high destructive speeds, hence her nickname, “Railgun”. If she is in a bad mood, she will sometimes let out bursts of electricity describing her emotional stress, usually resulting in power failures or in worse cases, a thunder storm that causes citywide blackouts.
Mikoto attends Tokiwadai Middle School. To most people, she is considered a proper lady, but in reality, she has a short-tempered, prideful, and improper attitude with some tomboyish tendencies and insecurities, a fact few other characters know. She is fond of cute, childish things, such as flowery pajamas and Gekota, the popular frog mascot franchise. Contrary to what she claims, she has a strong sense of morals and hates injustice. Mikoto has a one-sided rivalry with Tōma, who, even after experiencing permanent amnesia, nicknames her “Biri Biri”, ever since their first meeting before the events of the first novel when he first dissipated her electricity after he unsuccessfully tried to rescue her. Since that incident, she is always trying to have a proper match with Tōma and defeat him despite his many attempts to avoid conflict with her.
When Mikoto was young, she was tricked into giving the city’s scientists her DNA under the pretense of finding the cure for Duchenne muscular dystrophy; their actual goal to create military-grade combat clones of her. When it was discovered that the clones did not have the same power level as Mikoto, they were instead used in a project called “Level 6 Shift”, intended to make Accelerator the first level 6 esper by having him kill 20,000 clones. The events of how Mikoto tried to stop the project are briefly mentioned in the third novel and expanded upon in the Railgun manga. When all of her attempts failed, she contemplates letting herself be killed by Accelerator, as an unexpected variable to destroy Tree Diagram’s calculations. However, it is not until Tōma intervenes and beaten Accelerator, proving Accelerator to be really weak, that the project is canceled and the remaining 9969 surviving Sisters are spared.
After the events of the third novel, she eventually develops strong romantic feelings towards Tōma but is unable to express them due to her insecurities and the fact other girls are also interested in him, and he treats her like a tsundere. Even though she and Tōma tend to bicker and argue with each other, they share a friendly relationship. During the events of the 14th novel, she calls Tōma, who is on a trip to Avignon, France when he is attacked by Terra of the Left. Even though his cellphone is damaged, Mikoto is still able to listen in on the conversation on the other end and is shocked to hear from Terra that Tōma actually lost his memories and has been hiding this fact from his friends all this time. Confused, she confronts Tōma when he returns to Academy City in the 16th novel; she is relieved that Tōma still remembers the incident with Accelerator and the Sisters. After that, Mikoto overcomes her initial confusion regarding her concern for him and realizes she loves Tōma. She reappears in volume 20, when upon learning Russia might launch missiles against Academy City and seeing Tōma in a live TV report from Russia, Mikoto heads to Russia after hijacking a jet from the Academy City Invasion Force (incidentally, said jet was ordered to find and capture Tōma). After arriving in Russia, she and Misaka 10777 head towards a nuclear military base to stop the missiles from launching. Near the end of volume 22, she tries to rescue Tōma from the falling Star of Bethlehem but he stays behind in order to stop an Archangel. After the Star’s destruction, she tries to find him but only finds his cellphone strap.
During the Daihasei Festival, Misaka 10032 is kidnapped by Gensei Kihara whose scheme is to gather the requirements for his attempts to make Mikoto a Level 6. Gensei required Exterior, the giant cultivated brain used by Misaki in order to infect the Misaka Network with the electric virus and get around its defenses. His forced attempt in creating a level 6 involves sending Mikoto’s power out of control. At 53% of the theoretical limit her mind would transform into something from a different dimension. Afterwards, Mitori likely used the Exterior to guide Mikoto’s psyche. She brings out her fears and anger towards the city, and has her attack the Windowless Building, saying bad things would happen and someone will always get hurt. Mikoto complies and uses her newfound power to make an incredibly powerful beam of electricity descend from the overcast sky, though the Windowless Building survives. Tōma, allied with Sogiita Gunha, are confronted by Mikoto’s huge mass made of metal and rubble formed from various metal containing structures. Mikoto’s subconscious wakes up, but she has no control over her transformed body, as the great black sphere of energy continues to grow, and energy exudes from the ground. The sphere’s power was too great for Tōma’s right arm to bear and it is ripped from his body intact. At that moment, the Dragon Strike in the form of eight other dragons emerges, and then bites the black spheres and makes Mikoto’s transformation crumble. With Mikoto restored, Tōma comforts her by saying that there are people who are working to help her change bit by bit; she agrees with tears in her eyes.
After the Third World War, Mikoto returns to Academy City feeling depressed over failing to save Tōma, but is relieved when she is reunited with him, as he survived after returning to Academy City. Later, she was one of the few who were involved in an operation in Hawaii. She intended to enroll in Tōma’s school during the Ichihanaran Festival, though this was interrupted by Misaki Shokuhō.
Accelerator
is one of the main characters in the science side in A Certain Magical Index, as well as the main protagonist and titular character of A Certain Scientific Accelerator. He is the most powerful esper in Academy City, ranking at the top of the seven Level 5s in the city. His real name is unknown, though Accelerator recalls his surname was composed of two kanji characters and his given name consisted of three kanji characters. First appearing as an antagonist of the third light novel, he later becomes a main protagonist in the science side of the Toaru Majutsu no Index series in a notable number of volumes of the light novels. His name is written as “Ippōtsūkō”, meaning “One-Way Road”. His ability allows him to control any vector he touches including motion, heat, electricity, and wind. This allows him to perform various feats such as reflecting bullets, launching heavy objects, and even reversing the flow of blood in people’s bodies. Since his natural ability blocks all ultraviolet radiation, he has an appearance with white hair.
Accelerator’s unique ability makes him the subject of an experiment attempting to create the first Level 6 esper: according to the city’s best supercomputer, Tree Diagram (which was unprecedentedly destroyed by Index’s Dragon Breath), this feat could only be achieved by killing Misaka Mikoto, the Railgun, 128 times without a single failure. Since it was impossible to procure 128 Railguns, an alternative plan was formed to “level up” Accelerator by having him kill 20,000 skilled Level 3 espers: the Misaka clones. He willingly joins the experiment to gain a reputation as the most powerful and feared esper so that no one would be foolish enough to challenge him. His desire to achieve this goal leads him to kill many who got in his way. Mikoto tries to stop the experiment to save her sisters, but it is Tōma who finally does so and defeats Accelerator after discovering his weakness: Accelerator was physically weak because of his total reliance on his powers and his overconfidence in his esper abilities. Therefore, Tōma beat him with his Imagine Breaker and street-fighting skills.
After his defeat in volume three of the light novels, he reappears in the fifth novel where his past was also revealed. He was taken to Academy City at a young age when his powers were first discovered but because of the lack in their understanding of his powers, people fear him and in some cases tried to kill him. Due to the many attempts on his life and the numerous experiments performed on him, these events shaped Accelerator into a sadist and made it difficult for him to trust anyone except for Kikyou Yoshikawa, the only scientist who ever cared about him and saved his life. He also takes a more heroic and fatherly role by protecting a young girl named Last Order, the last Misaka clone who believes through the memories of the Sister clones who fought him that Accelerator is not bad person and actually never wanted to hurt the clones but tried to merely intimidate them into not fighting him, a theory Accelerator dismisses. In the aftermath of the incident, Accelerator is shot in the head by Ao Amai and acquires aphasia due to brain damage. The injury also affects his ability but Heaven Canceller jury-rigs a choker-like device to his brain, allowing Accelerator to tap into the Misaka Network to make up for his injury and function normally. He can also switch the transmitter to full power, restoring his ability for a maximum of 15 minutes at the beginning, but the time is later extended to 30 minutes by an update to the device. Toward the end of volume 13, Accelerator begins to “awaken” after nearly being killed by Amata Kihara and his aphasia is somehow temporarily cured. He truly “awakens” in volume 15, gaining black wings when fighting another “awakened” level 5, Teitoku Kakine. In the events of the 19th novel he meets Aiwass, a higher dimensional being, summoned to their plane of existence. Aiwass explains to him when AIM entities like him are manifested, Last Order is heavily strained and may die if left untreated. To help Last Order, who has collapsed from sustaining Aiwass, Accelerator follows Aiwass’ advice and heads to Russia during World War III in search of Index, unaware that he has met her before.
In Russia, after being ambushed by Russian mages, he acquires the “Goatskin”, a mysterious document sought after by both Academy City and the Russian government that has the knowledge about the Archangels and Heaven, and later runs into a Misaka Worst clone, learning that Aleister intends to eliminate Last Order, now obsolete to create a new Misaka network. Despite being more powerful than Misaka Worst, Accelerator is unable to bring himself to harm another Sister clone after the Level 6 experiment and becomes mentally unstable after the clone attempts to kill Last Order and later tries to kill herself. Accelerator goes on a rampage until Tōma arrives where he turns his frustration regarding Last Order’s condition onto Tōma and a fight ensues between the two. After Accelerator is defeated again, Tōma uses his Imagine Breaker to stabilize Last Order and leaves a note informing him of Index’s true whereabouts. Later, he joins forces with Elizarinian soldiers and Misaka Worst to find spies in their country, and fought Archangel Gabriel along with Hyōka, where after studying the Goatskin, he learns to understand the angel’s language and turning himself into an angel as a side effect. With his new powers, he is able to decode one of Index’s songs and was finally able to cure Last Order but is injured in the process.
After the Third World War, Accelerator is given his freedom with the help of Shiage, after he threatens the Academy City’s administration to leave him, Last Order and Misaka Worst alone and orders them to stop all illegal black projects in the city. However, both he and Shiage actions anger a new group of espers called the “Freshmen” who are aware of the existences of Magic and sees them as an obstacle in Academy City’s war against the Magic factions. After being helped by Tōma and Leivinia Birdway, the latter invites him to join the world of Magic.
Shiage Hamazura
is one of the main characters in the science side in A Certain Magical Index he is a former member of Skill-Out, a group of Level 0s who use various means to counter esper abilities, who accidentally gets caught up with the Dark side of Academy City. He is first introduced in the Side Story novels where he became the leader of his Skill-Out gang after Accelerator killed the former leader, his best friend Ritoku Komaba on the orders of the Board of Directors. On the same day he became the new leader, his gang was forced by the Board of Directors to kill Mikoto’s mother, Misuzu or face extermination. However, he and his gang were defeated by Tōma and Accelerator and they failed to kill Misuzu. Humiliated, he left the gang to his friend Hattori Hanzo and became a chauffeur and informant for Team ITEM where he fell in love with one of their members, Rikō Takitsubo.
During the 15th novel, Team ITEM is involved in a war between the various underground organization where Shiage helps them by providing transport by stealing cars around the city. But when Team ITEM is defeated by Team SCHOOL led by its leader, Teitoku Kakine, Shizuri Mugino, the leader of Team ITEM, wants revenge for being humiliated no matter what and forces an injured Rikō to use her powers to find Teitoku despite the fact that repeated use of her powers will kill her. In order to save Rikō, Shiage fights against Shizuri and despite the odds, he manages to defeat Shizuri by using her pride and powers against her. However, this unexpected incident becomes a thorn in Aleister’s plans as there was no way Shiage could defeat Shizuri as she is a Level 5. Seeing him as an unpredictable anomaly that will disrupt his future plans, Aleister puts a bounty on Shiage and orders the forces of Academy City’s dark side to kill him. Ironically, he is saved by Shizuri, who survived their battle and now has a sense of twisted love for him (declaring she will castrate him as her sign of affection). She lets him and Rikō escape Academy City by stealing a jet and shoots down his pursuers, declaring that he is her prey and hers alone.
Shiage and Rikō escapes to Russia only to find themselves in a war between Academy City and Russia. After being saved by Acqua of the Rear, Shiage and Rikō heads to the nation of Elizarina where Rikō is partially healed by Accelerator and aids Acqua. In order to protect a document called the Kremlin Report, Shiage and Rikō heads towards the same nuclear military base that Mikoto went while they were being chased by Academy City forces and later Shizuri. However Shizuri collapses from over-exhaustion as her fragile body is suffering from the effects of using too much Body Crystal, a dangerous drug that Rikō uses to activate her powers. Unable to see her this way, Shiage begs Shizuri to let go of her pride and see reason and be the Shizuri that use to care for her teammates which strokes a cord within her and makes peace with him as she protects him and Rikō from the rest of the invading Academy City forces. After capturing a member of the Board of Directors who led the Academy City forces and torturing him, he reveals to Shiage a document called the Parameter List, which reveals that the Academy City administration has been secretly interfering with the Power Curriculum Program and preventing most of the city’s students from gaining or raising their powers.
After the Third World War, Shiage is given amnesty and the assassination order on him removed thanks to Accelerator and makes a deal with the Academy City’s administration, where he will not expose the truth about the Parameter List and he, along with Rikō and Shizuri are allowed to return to Academy City to reform Team ITEM. However, his and Accelerator’s actions have made them enemies with a new group of espers called the “Freshmen” which is aware of the existence of Magic who sees both of them as an obstacle in Academy City’s war against the Magic factions. After Tōma and Leivinia help him and Accelerator against the “Freshmen”, Tōma introduces them to the world of Magic.

 

Film Friday- Digimon

Film Friday- Digimon

Digimon, short for “Digital Monsters”, is a Japanese media franchise encompassing virtual pet toys, anime, manga, video games, films and a trading card game. The franchise focuses on the eponymous creatures, who inhabit a “Digital World”, a parallel universe that originated from Earth’s various communication networks.

The franchise was created in 1997 as a series of virtual pets, akin to—and influenced in style by—the contemporary Tamagotchi or nano Giga Pet toys. The creatures were first designed to look cute and iconic even on the devices’ small screens; later developments had them created with a harder-edged style influenced by American comics. The franchise gained momentum with its first anime incarnation, Digimon Adventure, and an early video game, Digimon World, both released in 1999. Several anime series and films based on them have been released, and the video game series has expanded into genres such as role-playing, racing, fighting, and MMORPGs.

Anime

Television series

The Digimon anime series was produced by Toei Animation and Bandai of Japan. Beginning in 1999, an anime series was green-lit as the first of the Digimon films aired in theaters. Originally, Digimon Adventure was supposed to be a short film, but after the storyboard was finished, a request for the film to become a children’s television series was made. Several anime series have since been produced, with the first six series localized into English for release in Western markets.

Films

Several Digimon featurette films were released in Japan, with some of them seasonal tie-ins for their respective television series.

  1. Digimon Adventure / Digimon: The Movie (1999)
  2. Digimon Adventure: Our War Game! / Digimon: The Movie (2000)
  3. Digimon Adventure 02: Part 1: Digimon Hurricane Touchdown!! / Part 2: Supreme Evolution!! The Golden Digimentals / Digimon: The Movie (2000)
  4. Digimon Adventure 02: Revenge of Diaboromon (2001)
  5. Digimon Tamers: Battle of Adventurers (2001)
  6. Digimon Tamers: Runaway Locomon (2002)
  7. Digimon Frontier: Island of Lost Digimon (2002)
  8. Digital Monster X-Evolution (2004)
  9. Digimon Savers: Ultimate Power! Activate Burst Mode!! (2006)
  10. Digimon Adventure 3D: Digimon Grand Prix! (2009)
  11. Digimon Adventure tri. Chapter 1: Reunion (2015)
  12. Digimon Adventure tri. Chapter 2: Determination (2016)
  13. Digimon Adventure tri. Chapter 3: Confession (2016)
  14. Digimon Adventure tri. Chapter 4: Loss (2017)
  15. Digimon Adventure tri. Chapter 5: Coexistence (2017)
  16. Digimon Adventure tri. Chapter 6: Future (2018)
  17. Digimon Adventure: Last Evolution Kizuna (2020)

Distribution and localization

In the United States, Digimon Adventure premiered in August 1999 on the Fox Broadcasting Company. An English-language adaptation of the series produced by Saban Entertainment (later Sensation Animation), the series was broadcast on Fox Kids. Saban would dub the first four anime series in the franchise, which were collectively retitled Digimon: Digital Monsters. Some scenes from the original version were modified or omitted in order to comply with Fox’s standards and practices. The show also featured more jokes and added dialogue, along with a completely different musical score. As a cross-promotional stunt, 2001 and 2002 saw Digi-Bowl specials co-produced with Fox Sports; NFL on Fox commentator Terry Bradshaw provided interstitial segments in-between episodes as if the episodes were actually a football game.

The Walt Disney Company would acquire Saban during the third series, Digimon Tamers. Reruns of the first three series began airing on the cable network ABC Family, while the fourth series, Digimon Frontier, premiered on UPN as part of a deal between Disney and UPN. UPN aired the series until late August 2003, when they severed their ties to Disney. Frontier aired on ABC Family concurrently, and also aired in reruns on Toon Disney under the Jetix branding.

An English version of Digimon Data Squad, produced by Studiopolis, would premiere October 1, 2007, on Toon Disney. In September 2012, Saban Brands, a successor to Saban Entertainment, announced it had acquired the Digimon anime franchise. Saban would announce that they would be producing an English dub for Digimon Xros Wars, retitled Digimon Fusion, for broadcast on Nickelodeon in the United States starting September 7, 2013. After three episodes, the show was moved to Nicktoons starting October 13, 2013.

Previously, Funimation Entertainment had online streaming rights to subtitled versions of Digimon Adventure 02 and Digimon Tamers. Digimon Adventure, Adventure 02, and Tamers, would later begin streaming on Netflix in 2013 and 2014 with Japanese audio and English subtitles. Crunchyroll began streaming the English-subtitled version of Digimon Fusion outside Japan in November 2011. The English-localized version of its first season became available on Netflix starting September 13, 2014, with the second season arriving on March 8, 2016. After Crunchyroll acquired streaming rights to the dubbed versions and Funimation acquired rights to the subtitled versions, the dubbed versions of Adventure, Adventure 02, and Tamers were briefly removed from Netflix.

After the buyout of Saban Brands by Hasbro on 2018, the rights of Digimon in the United States are currently owned by Shout! Factory.

International

In Canada, the English versions of Digimon were broadcast on YTV, with the exception of Data Squad, which aired in Family Channel’s Jetix block. YTV would eventually acquire Digimon Fusion, but only the first 26 episodes were shown.

In the United Kingdom, Digimon first aired on Fox Kids. ITV’s children’s slot CITV would broadcast Adventure, Adventure 02 and several episodes of Tamers during after school hours from 2001–2002. The rest of Tamers aired on Fox Kids from 2002–04. Digimon Frontier was originally announced to be broadcast on Jetix, but the series was later dropped. The series eventually saw a release on October 29, 2018. From 2011, Digimon Data Squad airs on Kix!. According to Fox Kids’ (2000–03) and Kix’s (2010–) BARB Television ratings, Adventure, Adventure 02 & Tamers have been the most popular series’/seasons in the United Kingdom and was consistently in the weekly top 10 broadcasts for both channels for new episodes. Broadcast rights and merchandising sub-licensing rights for Digimon Fusion in the UK have been acquired by ITV Studios Global Entertainment. Digimon Fusion has aired since Spring 2014 on digital terrestrial channel, CITV.

Video games

The player battles with three Digimon: Rosemon, WarGreymon, and SkullGreymon. The opponent’s Digimon are Ninjamon, Centarumon, and SandYanmamon. Battling is an integral concept of the Digimon video game series and media franchise.

The Digimon series has a large number of video games which usually have their own independent storylines with a few sometimes tying into the stories of the anime series or manga series. The games consists of a number of genres including life simulation, adventure, video card game, strategy and racing games, though they are mainly action role-playing games.

In late 2009, Bandai created a webpage in Japanese showing a new game to be released in 2010 called Digimon Story: Lost Evolution, which uses the same engine as their predecessors Digimon World DS and Digimon World Dawn and Dusk and was released on July 1, 2010. In February 2010, a website for the online multiplayer game, Digimon Battle Online, was launched, showing it to be based primarily in the world of the Tamers saga and its characters.

On September 22, 2011, online game publisher Joymax announced the release of an MMORPG game called Digimon Masters, which was developed by the Korean publisher DIGITALIC.

In 2011, Bandai posted a countdown on a teaser site. Once the countdown was finished, it revealed a reboot of the Digimon World series titled Digimon World Re:Digitize. An enhanced version of the game released on Nintendo 3DS as Digimon World Re:Digitize Decode in 2013.

A new fighting game for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 was revealed in the summer of 2014, named Digimon All-Star Rumble. It was released in North America, Europe and Australia in November of the same year. Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth, a role-playing game in the Digimon Story sub-series, was released in 2015 for PlayStation Vita and PlayStation 4 in Japan. It has also been released with English subtitles in North America and the rest of the world in 2016.

Card game

The Digimon Collectible Card Game is a card game based on Digimon, first introduced in Japan in 1997 and published by Bandai. The third season (Digimon Tamers) utilized this aspect of the franchise by making the card game an integral part of the season. Versions of the card game are also included in some of the Digimon video games including Digital Card Battle and Digimon World 3.

 

Film Friday- Earth Maiden Arjuna

Film Friday- Earth Maiden Arjuna

Arjuna (Earth Maiden Arjuna) is a Japanese anime television series created by Shoji Kawamori. The series follows Juna Ariyoshi, a high school girl chosen to be the “Avatar of Time” and entrusted with saving the dying Earth.

Arjuna aired on TV Tokyo from January 9, 2001 to March 27, 2001, totaling 13 episodes. The DVD release (“Arjuna: Director’s Cut”) featured remastered video and sound, and a previously unbroadcast “Chapter 9”. Subsequent re-runs of the series on Animax include the DVD-only episode.

Plot

The story opens with Juna telling her boyfriend Tokio that she feels too cramped in the city, and deciding to take a trip to the Sea of Japan. On the drive, they get in an accident caused by a large, invisible worm-like creature and Juna dies. As her spirit leaves her body, Juna sees the dying Earth. The planet’s suffering is visualized by worm-like creatures similar to the one that caused the accident that killed her. Known as the Raaja, they vary in size, from microscopic bacteria to those entwining the planet. A young boy named Chris appears before Juna and offers to save her life if she will help the planet. She reluctantly agrees and is resurrected.

Supported by Chris, Tokio and SEED, an international organization that monitors the environment and confronts the Raaja, Juna must use her new powers to stop the Raaja from destroying Earth through humankind’s destruction of the environmental systems of the planet, and Chris can only hope that she can fully awaken her powers in time to save the world.

In the near end of the anime, Chris is revealed to be responsible for summoning several Raajas and was taking rampage all over in Japan, causing everything including their modern clothes, gadgets and accessories to be destroyed as well as food, water and electricity, and all the people are forced to wear traditional Japanese clothes and others became sick due to starvation and dehydration. This forces Juna to fight Chris and the Raajas for the sake of the people that she cares about when SEED tries to put her to safety. It is during this time that she finally understands how to fully awaken her powers, and saves everyone. When Chris is defeated and after realizing his mistakes, he dies and disappears. Juna, satisfied to see her friends and her boyfriend Tokio one last time before dying for the second time tells them to eat the Raaja, and Tokio discovers that the Raajas that she defeated was made by food and water nutrients as he grabs it stating that they can survive to live once more.

Characters

Juna Ariyoshi

Juna is a girl in the tenth grade, who is recognised by Chris to be the “Avatar of Time”, to save the planet. A magatama bead embedded in her forehead symbolizes her powers. Besides possessing powers due to her “Earth sympathy”, she is an ordinary teenage girl. She has a difficult time understanding her purpose, and is unsure how she is supposed to help the planet. Her personal life is also distressed, both with her mother and sister, and especially in her uncertain relationship with Tokio, whose thoughts she cannot figure out, and who similarly never manages to understand her feelings. While she attempts to succeed in her job, she cannot understand the message Chris is trying to explain until the very end, when she realizes the meaning of “becoming one with the target” that she repeats from the beginning of the series.

 

Chris Hawken

Chris is a powerful entity who appears in the body of a young boy. His efforts to revive Juna left him crippled, but he can still leave his body when the situation demands it. He is unerringly kind and patient with everyone, including Juna, despite her misunderstanding his words. He repeatedly admonishes Juna for trying to fight the Raaja (“Why do you kill?”), claiming he never asked her to do so.

 

Cindy Klein

Cindy is a young orphan whom Chris rescued, leading to her unwavering devotion to him. She is a telepath who acts as Chris’ translator. She seems to take an immediate dislike to Juna; she is arrogant and rude towards her and says negative things about her even when she’s not around. This is presumably because she feels that Chris’s crippled condition is Juna’s fault.

 

Tokio Oshima

Tokio is a normal teenage boy, addicted to video games and fast food. He is greatly concerned with Juna’s safety, not realizing he is powerless to protect her from the forces she must face. Though Tokio is witness to Juna’s tribulations, he cannot fathom what she is going through. Though he doesn’t understand Juna’s situation, he is very patient and does his best to help and protect her, even in the face of a Raaja attack.

 

Sayuri Shirakawa 
is a classmate and friend to Juna and Tokio. She knows nothing of Juna’s role as savior, but tries to help her deal with what she sees as nothing more than emotions from her confusing personal life. Although she never says it directly, it is very obvious that Sayuri is greatly infatuated with Tokio, even though Juna, her best friend, is dating Tokio. She tries to fight her own feelings, swinging between pushing Tokio away by setting him and Juna up, and raging at Juna for not appreciating his kindness. With Juna absent off fighting Raaja, Saiyuri can’t help herself from moving in on Tokio, but Tokio’s response to her is minimal.

Film Friday- Love Me, Love Me Not

Film Friday- Love Me, Love Me Not

Love Me, Love Me Not is a Japanese shōjo manga written and illustrated by Io Sakisaka and serialized in Bessatsu Margaret starting in June 2015. A live-action film adaptation is scheduled to premiere on August 14, 2020, while an anime film adaptation produced by A-1 Pictures is scheduled to premiere on September 18, 2020. Viz Media licensed the manga in English under their Shojo Beat imprint. The first volume was released in March 2020.

Anime film

On April 22, 2019, it was announced by Shueisha that the series will receive an anime film adaptation by A-1 Pictures. It was originally scheduled to premiere on May 29, 2020, but has been delayed to September 18, 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The film is directed by Toshimasa Kuroyanagi, with Erika Yoshida handling the film’s scripts, Yuu Yamashita designing the characters, and Yuuji Nomi composing the film’s music.

Live-action film

A live-action film directed by Takahiro Miki was released on August 14, 2020. It stars Eiji Akaso as Kazuomi Inui and Minami Hamabe as Akari Yamamoto. Riko Fukumoto plays Yuna Ichihara and Takumi Kitamura plays Rio Yamamoto.

Characters

Yuna Ichihara
A shy girl who loves to read romance shōjo manga, but has never experienced love herself. Her best friend, Sacchan, moves away after they graduate middle school, and Yuna worries that she will be alone in high school. However, when she unexpectedly meets Akari at the train station and befriends her. Due to Yuna’s wary and shy personality, she is initially suspicious of Akari following her home, when they are actually just neighbors in the same apartment building. She is in love with Rio, Akari’s step-brother.
Akari Yamamoto
Yuna’s apartment neighbor who is also a first year in high school. She initially has a boyfriend at the beginning of the series, but he later breaks up with her. Her step-brother is Rio, whom Yuna is in love with. She thinks that Yuna’s childhood friend, Inui, is a good guy and initially tries to push the two together but stops when she finds out that Yuna is in love with Rio. She eventually grows closer to Inui and falls in love with him. Akari’s mother married Rio’s father recent to the series beginning, and hates that her mother doesn’t trust her and Rio alone together. She does not know that Rio loves her.
Rio Yamamoto
Akari’s step-brother and the boy of Yuna’s affection. He is asked out by many girls but claims he only likes pretty faces, and rejects the girls. He knew Akari before his father married her mother and was in love with her. Akari’s mother knows this and is suspicious of Rio spending time alone with Akari. Rio develops a close friendship with Yuna early on in the series, often confiding in her when he found himself frustrated over Akari. He eventually falls for Yuna, but is hesitant to confess.
Kazuomi Inui
Yuna’s childhood friend. Akari describes him as a “good guy” and wishes that Yuna and him would get together. Inui has often been referred to as an “airhead” by Akari due to his carefree and sincere nature. He and Akari both develop feelings for each other, but he rejects her confession out of consideration for Rio’s feelings.

 

Film Friday- Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?

Film Friday- Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?

Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? and with English subtitle Familia Myth, is a Japanese light novel series written by Fujino Ōmori and illustrated by Suzuhito Yasuda. SB Creative has published fifteen volumes since January 2013 under their GA Bunko imprint.

It has received two manga adaptations as well as an anime television adaptation by J.C.Staff, which aired from April 4 to June 27, 2015. An OVA was released on December 7, 2016. A second anime season and an original anime film adaptation were both announced in February 2018. The film, titled Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?: Arrow of the Orion premiered on February 15, 2019. The second season aired from July 13 to September 28, 2019. A third anime season and an OVA episode were both announced on September 27, 2019. The third season was slated to air in July 2020 but was delayed to October 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Additionally, a spin-off light novel series titled Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? On the Side: Sword Oratoria began in January 2014, and another spin-off light novel series titled Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?: Familia Chronicle (illustrated by Nilitsu) began in March 2017. Both spinoffs have also received manga adaptations, and a television anime adaptation of Sword Oratoria aired from April 14 to June 30, 2017.

Anime

An anime television series adaptation by J.C.Staff began airing the broadcast night of April 3, 2015. The opening theme is “Hey World” by Yuka Iguchi, and the ending theme is “Right Light Rise” by Kanon Wakeshima. Crunchyroll has streamed the series internationally. Sentai Filmworks has licensed the anime for digital and home video release in North America with an English dub released in March 2017. An original video animation was released on December 7, 2016. The opening theme for the second season is “HELLO to DREAM” by Iguchi, and the ending theme is “Sayakana Shukusai” by Sora tob sakana. The opening theme for the third season is “Over and Over” by Iguchi, and the ending theme is by Sora tob sakana.

A second season of the anime and an original film adaptation titled Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?: Arrow of the Orion were announced on February 18, 2018, during the GA Bunko 2018 Happyō Stage at Wonder Festival. The film was directed by Katsushi Sakurabi, written by Fujino Ōmori, with animation by J.C.Staff and music by Keiji Inai. The film was released on February 15, 2019 in Japan. The second season aired from July 13 to September 28, 2019. Hideki Tachibana replaced Yoshiki Yamakawa as the director of the second season. The rest of the cast and staff reprised their roles. Hidive will be streaming a Dubcast for the second season.

A third season of the anime series and an OVA episode were both announced on September 27, 2019. The third season was originally scheduled to start broadcasting in July 2020, but the anime production committee delayed the broadcast to “October or later” due to the effects of COVID-19. On July 4, 2020, it was announced that the third season is scheduled to broadcast in October 2020. The OVA episode was released on January 29, 2020.

Video games

5pb. announced that they are developing a “dungeon action RPG” based on the light novels. It will be released on PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Nintendo Switch, and Microsoft Windows. The PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch and PC versions will be released in North America and Europe in 2020, and delayed from Spring 2020 to later this summer 2020.

DanMachi: Memoria Freese is a role-playing mobile game for the iOS and Android platforms, released in Japan in 2017, US in 2018 and EU in 2019. The game sold over 3 million copies in its first month, and has about 35 million registered users and more than 1 million subscribers as of March 2018. The game’s earnings are 40% higher in the United States than in Japan. Yoshitsugu Matsuoka, the voice actor of Bell Cranell, was recognized as the Guinness World Record holder for “the largest number of lines performed by a single voice actor in a mobile game” with this game in June 2019.

Bell Cranel

The light novel chapter sections often alternate between his narrative and a third-person perspective. He has white hair and red eyes and his weapon is a pair of daggers. Bell is the sole owner of the rare skill called Liaris Freese which accelerates his growth and development based on the strength and stability of his feelings, but also drawing the interest of those who are curious about the secret behind it, as he quickly grew from level 1 to level 2, and later to level 3, then level 4 in the span of only a few months. He later obtains another skill, Argonaut, which allows him to greatly empower his attacks on critical situations, born from his desire to become a hero. He aspires to become as strong as Ais so he can confess his feelings to her, leading him to instinctively run away whenever he encounters her, until they become friends. His dream is to have a chance encounter with a girl and become a hero just like in the stories he listened from his grandfather, who is later revealed to be the god Zeus himself.
After the events with Wiene, he becomes shunned and considered a traitor in the eyes of Orario for protecting the Xenos from extinction. As he works to help them he faces his most deadliest opponent, the girl he admires most. He is the primary wielder of the Hestia Knife (value 200,000,000 valis ). This weapon is a living weapon made by Hephaestus as a favor to Hestia to help Bell grow and will grow more powerful as he does. In the hands of anyone not of the Familia the knife is useless, but Mikoto was able to locate it using her skill since she is part of the familia and able to use it escaping the Ishtar compound.
His nickname is “Little Rookie”, though some also call him the vorpal rabbit (in reference to an exceptionally lethal creature in the lower 30’s of the Dungeon that while small and fast, can take out even the toughest adventurers).

Ais Wallenstein

is a beautiful and powerful swordswoman of the Loki Familia. Aliased the Sword Princess, she is a level 5 adventurer who has killed over a thousand monsters and has turned down just as many suitors. She finally achieved Lvl 6 after defeating floor 37’s boss Monster Rex alone making her the 4th Lvl 6 adventurer in Loki’s Familia alongside Finn, Riveria, Gareth. She has blond hair and golden eyes. Bell first meets her in the Dungeon when she saves him from a Minotaur that escaped from her group and fled to the upper levels. Although she generally shows a quiet, emotionless personality, she knows of Bell and has defended him from her peers, who joke about his ineptitude during the Minotaur incident. After properly having a conversation with Bell, Ais appears to have developed an interest for him, helping with his training, but curious about how quickly he develops. She can use wind magic to allow her to do 3 dimensional fighting. Ais is the main character of the sidestory series Sword Oratoria which focuses on her own adventures, including a little bit of her history, while also showing events from the main series through her own point of view.

Film Friday- Golden Kamuy

Film Friday- Golden Kamuy

Golden Kamuy is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Satoru Noda. The story follows Saichi Sugimoto, a veteran of the early twentieth century Russo-Japanese War, and his quest to find a huge fortune of gold left by the Ainu people, helped by a young Ainu girl named Asirpa. The Ainu language in the story is supervised by Hiroshi Nakagawa, an Ainu language linguist from Chiba University. The manga won the ninth Manga Taishō award in 2016.

An anime television series adaptation by Geno Studio premiered with two seasons from April to December 2018. A third season will premiere in October 2020.

The series has been licensed for an English-language release by Viz Media in 2016.

Anime

The opening theme is performed by Man with a Mission.

The anime television series adaptation is produced by Geno Studio. It is directed by Hitoshi Nanba and written by Noboru Takagi, with music by Kenichiro Suehir, art direction by Atsushi Morikawa, and CG direction by Yuuko Okumura and Yasutaka Hamada. Kenichi Ohnuki is adapting the character designs for animation, while Koji Watanabe designs firearms, Shinya Anasuma designs the props, and Ryō Sumiyoshi designs the animals. The series’ opening theme, “Winding Road”, is performed by Man with a Mission, and the ending theme, “Hibana” is performed by The Sixth Lie. Like with the manga, Hiroshi Nakagawa, an Ainu language linguist from Chiba University, works on the anime as an Ainu language supervisor.

The anime was announced in July 2017 in Weekly Young Jump, and aired for twelve episodes starting from April 9 to June 25, 2018 on Tokyo MX, ytv, STV, and BS11. Golden Dōga Gekijō, a series of 25-second animated shorts based on extras included in the Golden Kamuy manga volumes and Weekly Young Jump, is directed by Kenshirō Morii and produced at DMM.futureworks and W-Toon Studio. It premiered on April 16, 2018 online.

At the conclusion of the first season broadcast, a second season was announced and aired from October 8 to December 24, 2018. The second season’s opening theme, “Reimei”, is performed by Sayuri and My First Story, and the ending theme, “Tokeidai no Kane” is performed by Eastern Youth.

On July 7, 2019, it was announced that the series will receive a third season. On March 13, 2020, it was announced that the third season is set to premiere in October 2020.

The TV series is simulcast on Crunchyroll, and an English dub started streaming on Funimation starting on April 30, 2018. The series will also be released across three DVD and Blu-ray volumes in Japan, starting in July 2018; they had originally been planned to release starting in June, but were delayed one month to allow for improvements to the footage compared to the TV broadcast version. The Japanese home video volumes will include the Golden Dōga Gekijō shorts, including four episodes that are exclusive to the first volume. An original video animation (OVA) based on the manga’s “Barato” arc was released on DVD in a bundle with the manga’s 15th Japanese volume on September 19, 2018. A second OVA was released with the manga’s 17th Japanese volume on March 19, 2019. A third OVA based on the manga’s “Monster” arc was released with the manga’s 19th Japanese volume on September 19, 2019.

Characters

Saichi Sugimoto
A demobilized soldier and veteran of the Russo-Japanese War. He served a private first class in the 1st Division of the Imperial Japanese Army, and fought in the battle of 203 Hill. He was feared for his savage fighting style and amazing toughness on the battlefield, gaining the nickname “Immortal Sugimoto”. He seeks the gold to provide for Umeko, the blind wife of his dead comrade Toraji.

Asirpa
A young Ainu hunter who meets Sugimoto after saving him from a wild bear, and later partners with him to find the gold. She seeks to avenge her father, whom she believes was murdered by hunters searching for the gold. Her Japanese name is Asuko Kochoube.

 

 

Yoshitake Shiraishi 
A tattooed Abashiri convict and master escape artist. He is initially captured by Sugimoto, and later agrees to a truce after they need each other’s help to survive the bitter cold after they fall in a river. He is based on Yoshie Shiratori.

 

Film Friday- Chihayafuru

Film Friday- Chihayafuru

Chihayafuru is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Yuki Suetsugu. It has been serialized in Kodansha’s Be Love magazine since December 2007. It is about a school girl, Chihaya Ayase, who is inspired by a new classmate to take up Hyakunin Isshu karuta competitively. A 25-episode anime television series adaptation aired from October 2011 to March 2012. A 25-episode second season aired from January to June 2013. A 24-episode third season premiered in October 2019. Three live action film adaptations were released from 2016 to 2018.

The manga has won the Manga Taishō and the Kodansha Manga Award. Since its fourth volume was released in March 2009, it has regularly appeared on the Japanese Comic Ranking chart, and in 2016 was estimated to have over 16 million copies in print. Its popularity has boosted the profile of competitive karuta in Japan.

Anime

A 25-episode anime television series adaptation, produced by the studio Madhouse under the direction of Morio Asaka, aired on Nippon Television from 4 October 2011 to 27 March 2012. The screenplay was written by Naoya Takayama and character designs were by Kunihiko Hamada. The music was composed by Kousuke Yamashita, and the sound director is Masafumi Mima of Techno Sound. The series was simulcast by Crunchyroll. Animax Asia aired an English version of the anime from 13 February to 18 March 2013. The series was released in nine DVD and Blu-ray Disc volumes from 21 December 2011 to 22 August 2012. A Blu-ray Disc box set was released on 18 July 2013.

A second 25-episode season, Chihayafuru 2, aired on Nippon Television between 11 January and 28 June 2013, and was simulcast by Crunchyroll. An original video animation episode was released on DVD bundled with the special edition of the 22nd manga volume on 13 September 2013.

A 24-episode third season was originally announced to premiere on Nippon Television’s AnichU block in April 2019, with the main cast and staff reprising their roles, but was delayed and aired from 22 October 2019 to 24 March 2020.

Sentai Filmworks licensed the first two seasons of the anime series for home video release in North America. The series’ first episode premiered with English subtitles on the Hidive streaming service on 15 June 2017. Sentai Filmworks’ dub is streamed by Hidive starting from 29 August 2017. The first season was released on DVD and Blu-ray on 12 September 2017. In December 2019, Sentai Filmworks announced that they had licensed the series’ third season.

The first season’s opening and ending themes are “Youthful” by 99RadioService and “Soshite Ima” by Asami Seto respectively. 99RadioService released “Youthful” as a single on 30 November 2011. The original soundtrack with character song albums was released in two volumes on 18 January and 28 March 2012. The second season’s opening and ending themes are “Star” by 99RadioService and “Akane Sora” by Seto. The third season’s opening and ending themes are “Colorful” by 99RadioService and “Hitomebore” by Band Harassment.

Other

Kodansha released several guidebooks for the series, with the first released on 9 November 2011. It provided a study guide for the poetry and background for the story.

A 4-volume novel series, Chihayafuru: Chūgakusei-hen, was published by Kodansha under their KC Deluxe imprint between 9 September 2012, and 13 December 2013. The books were written by Yui Tokiumi and illustrated by Yuki Suetsugu and follow the middle-school years of the three protagonists. A manga adapting the novels, written by Tokiumi and illustrated by Oto Tooda, was published in Be Love from 13 October 2017 to 1 November 2018 and compiled into three volumes.

On 11 April 2015, it was reported that the series would be adapted into a live-action film. A live action film adaptation titled Chihayafuru: Kami no Ku was released on 19 March 2016, with a second film, Chihayafuru: Shimo no Ku, released on 29 April 2016. Starting on 20 February 2018, five webisodes titled Chihayafuru: Tsunagu were aired on Hulu Japan. Chihayafuru: Musubi, a third and final feature length film in the trilogy, was released on 17 March 2018.

A 3-volume novelization of the films, Eiga Chihayafuru, was published by Kodansha under their KC Deluxe imprint. The first two volumes were released on 11 March 2016 and the third on 13 February 2018. The books were written by Yui Tokiumi, based on screenplay by Norihiro Koizumi.

Another 3-volume novelization of the films by Yūki Arisawa, Shōsetsu Chihayafuru, was published by Kodansha under their Kodansha Bunko imprint in 2018. The first two volumes were released on 16 January and the third on 15 February.

Chihaya Ayase 
A determined high school girl who was inspired by Arata in elementary school to play karuta and to dream of becoming the “Queen” of karuta. She begins a karuta club at her high school with Taichi. She is first introduced to competitive karuta by her childhood friend, Arata. Karuta has remained as Chihaya’s passion despite being separated from Arata. She has an exceptional hearing ability that gives her an advantage in playing karuta. While she is beautiful, she is considered too weird, her classmates referring to her as a “beauty in vain”. She is crazy about karuta (her friends calls her “karuta baka”), to the point that she can be oblivious to other people’s feelings. Chihaya is the captain of Mizusawa Karuta Club. She works very hard at improving her karuta skills, and reaches Class A near the beginning of the series. She is a strong, passionate person who loves karuta and is dedicated to her teammates and friends. Chihaya shares a strong bond of trust and friendship with Taichi and appreciates his skill in leading the club, though oblivious towards his feelings for her. Chihaya cares deeply for Arata, despite their long-distance relationship. While on the telephone with Arata, she realizes that she will always love him and karuta.
Taichi Mashima 
A good-looking, all-rounded sportsman and Chihaya’s childhood best friend. His mother is very strict with him, telling him that he should stick to activities he can win at. He seems to have feelings for Chihaya although he had a girlfriend at the beginning, and is jealous of her feelings for Arata. Taichi is the president of Mizusawa Karuta Club. He is a talented student and an athlete, at the beginning of the series he claims to have outgrown ‘karuta’, but then, after watching Chihaya excelling and obviously having fun, he decides to help her form a karuta club. He has good analytical skills and a good memory when playing karuta, but he has very bad luck. Due to this, he ends up staying in Class B longer than supposed to. He has been in love with Chihaya ever since childhood (and eventually realizes his feelings) but never confessed to her. When Sumire tried to confess to Taichi, he tells her that he would rather have a relationship with the girl he loves than with a girl who loves him, indirectly indicating Chihaya. He cares for her very deeply, being there for her every time Chihaya gets upset or sad. He has serious character to make up for Chihaya’s comical character. As a child, Taichi was a rich, spoiled child and disliked Arata, making fun of him for being poor, but as soon as he, Chihaya, and Arata started to play Karuta together, they became friends. In love, Taichi still views Arata as his enemy.
Arata Wataya 
was a transfer student to Chihaya’s elementary school, grandchild of an eternal master karuta player, Arata inspires Chihaya to take up karuta. He has difficulty fitting in at Chihaya’s elementary school because of his Fukui dialect and passion for karuta, but Chihaya befriends him. His dream is to become a karuta Meijin. After graduating elementary school, he returns to Fukui to care for his grandfather. After returning to Fukui, he quits karuta because his grandfather died while Arata was competing in a karuta tournament to rise to A-rank. However, after Chihaya and Taichi visit him in Fukui, he regains his resolve to play competitive karuta again. He has beaten “The Queen” Shinobu Wakamiya and is aiming to beat “Master” Hishashi Suo to claim the position of “Master”. Arata cherishes his friendship with both Chihaya and Taichi, albeit romantically to Chihaya. Later in the manga, Arata confesses his love to Chihaya, also informing her of his move back to Tokyo. Arata then excuses himself, leaving Chihaya flustered and speechless.