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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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

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.


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.


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.

Film Friday- Peacemaker Kurogane

Film Friday- Peacemaker Kurogane

Peacemaker Kurogane is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated created by Nanae Chrono. It is unrelated to the Peace Maker manga by Ryōji Minagawa. The story begins in 19th century Japan before the Meiji Restoration, a chain of events that led to enormous changes in Japan’s political and social structure while the seeds of the revolution are being planted. The story follows the boy protagonist, Tetsunosuke Ichimura, who joins the Shinsengumi while seeking strength to avenge his parents’ death at the hands of a Chōshū rebel.

The prequel of Peacemaker Kurogane, Shinsengumi Imon Peace Maker  was published by Enix in the magazine Monthly Shōnen Gangan. Shinsengumi Imon Peace Maker was licensed in North America by Tokyopop.


An anime television series adaptation by Gonzo and produced by Geneon ran for 24 episodes, which aired on TV Asahi between October 7, 2003 and March 24, 2004. The US license for the anime is held by ADV Films under the title Peacemaker. The anime mostly follows the plot of the original manga Peace Maker, but also introduces characters that are only shown in Peacemaker Kurogane. The anime aired in the United States on Showtime Beyond, alongside Chrono Crusade. On June 25, 2010, anime distributor Funimation Entertainment announced on their online panel FuniCon 4.0, that they have acquired rights to the series along with 3 other ADV title, after ADV’s shutdown in 2009. The anime was broadcast in France by Déclic-Images. It was broadcast in Spain by Buzz Channel. It was broadcast in Saudi Arabia by space power, in the Philippines by QTV and Hero.

The anime uses two pieces of theme music. “You Gonna Feel” by Hav is the opening theme, while “Hey Jimmy!” by Hav is the ending theme of the anime.

Gonzo Digimation released the anime’s seven DVDs between December 21, 2003 and June 25, 2003. Gonzo Digimation released the DVD box set, containing all 7 DVDs, on December 22, 2004. ADV Films released the anime’s seven DVDs between September 14, 2004 and September 13, 2005. ADV Films released the DVD box set, containing all 7 DVDs, on November 15, 2005.

On April 14, 2016, it was announced that the manga would receive a new anime adaptation, which was later confirmed to be a two-part anime film that adapted a later arc of Peacemaker Kurogane. It is directed by Shigeru Kimiya and written by Eiji Umehara, with animation produced by White Fox and character designs by Sayaka Koiso. The first part titled Peacemaker Kurogane: Belief premiered in Japan on June 2, 2018. The second part titled Peacemaker Kurogane: Friend premiered on November 17, 2018.

Drama and animation CDs

On December 21, 2003, Geneon released an animation soundtrack CD for Peacemaker Kurogane. Geneon released a set of 5 Drama CDs for Peacemaker Kurogane. The first CD was released on December 21, 2003, the second CD on January 23, 2004, the third CD on February 25, 2004, the fourth CD on March 21, 2004 and the fifth CD on April 23, 2004 The songs were sung by Mitsuki Saiga, Yuka Imai, Joji Nakata, Takaya Toshi, Junichi Suwabe, Kappei Yamaguchi and Kenji Nomura. On November 25, 2005, Geneon released a Drama CD for the second season of Peacemaker Kurogane. The songs were sung by Mitsuki Saiga, Joji Nakata, Takaya Toshi, Kappei Yamaguchi, Kenji Nomura, Kousuke Torimi and Takahiro Sakurai.

On March 10, 2004, a soundtrack CD was released for the opening theme of Peacemaker Kurogane, “You Gonna Feel” by Hav.

Live-action TV

A ten-episode live-action TV series adaptation of the manga aired on TBS entitled Shinsengumi Peace Maker. It premiered on January 15, 2010, and concluded on March 19, 2010.



Tetsunosuke Ichimura
The protagonist of Peacemaker Kurogane who was historically an actual member of the Shinsengumi. He is short, strong-willed and often underestimated by his peers. Tetsu also has a cheerful, active and competitive personality. He joins the Shinsengumi in order to become strong and to avenge the death of his parents at the hands of a member of the Chōshū clan, and ends up working as a page to Hijikata. At the time in 1864, Tetsu had psychogenic dwarfism and has not grown physically for two years due to his emotional scar. He has been more-or-less adopted as a mascot/little brother figure by the senior members of the Shinsengumi. He cries a lot.
Tatsunosuke Ichimura
Tatsu’s over-protective, easily worried and rather high-strung older brother/guardian (also an actual member of the Shinsengumi). He is polite, soft spoken and down to earth. After the death of their parents, he had to take care of himself and his brother. He in accordance with his more pacifist outlook, works only as a bookkeeper for the Shinsengumi. He has tried to put all thoughts of revenge for his parents’ deaths out of his mind, but convincing his younger brother to do the same is a little more difficult. Tatsu has a habit of apologizing for his little brother.
Sōji Okita
The first unit captain of the Shinsengumi. He is deceptively delicate-looking and has an overall sunny disposition that occasionally borders on childishness, but displays frighteningly deadly skill in combat situations. He shares a strong bond with Hijikata and is also one of the only people who has a deep understanding of Tetsu. He takes Tetsu seriously and often practices with him. In addition, Okita loves children and is rarely seen without his piglet Saizo when he is off-duty. He is the Shinsengumi’s best swordsman. Although he denies it, Okita is diagnosed with tuberculosis later in the series.
Toshizō Hijikata
The Shinsengumi’s second vice commander, Hijikata hides his compassion behind a cold and ruthless front, and is known as “the demon of the Shinsengumi”. A brilliant strategist and fighter, Hijikata’s talent for battle is extraordinary. When dealing with enemies, his method is highly practical and often reckless. He counts Kondō, Yamanami, and Okita among his closest friends, and is a stern master to his page Tetsu. His hobby consists of writing haiku.
Sanosuke Harada
The tenth unit captain and the best spear fighter in the Shinsengumi. Sanosuke is best friends with Nagakura Shinpachi and Todo Heisuke, forming a trio known as “The Three Comedians”, whose chief hobby seems to be annoying Tetsunosuke. He has a scar on his stomach from a failed seppuku attempt and is very proud of it.


Shinpachi Nagakura 
The second unit captain of the Shinsengumi. He introduces himself to Tetsu as “Sanosuke’s keeper.” Like Tetsu, he is often underestimated by his height (and young appearance — he looks like a child, but is actually in his 20s). In fact, he is extremely skilled with his sword and is a swordsman of Okita’s level. He is also quite the joker, especially in conjunction with Sanosuke and Heisuke.
Heisuke Tōdō
The eighth unit captain of the Shinsengumi. Heisuke is the youngest member of Kondō’s group and the youngest captain of the Shinsengumi. Since he has a slight infatuation with small, cute animals, he always calls Tetsunosuke “Puppy Boy” (much to Tetsu’s dismay).



Hajime Saitō
The third unit captain of the Shinsengumi. The droopy-eyed and soft-spoken Saitō has a supernatural ability to sense ghosts, spiritual auras (which unnerves many of the other members), and is able to perceive information about future events. He has an inexplicable camaraderie with Okita. Also considered the best swordsman of the Shinsengumi at the same level of Okita Souji.


Keisuke Yamanami
The first vice commander of the Shinsengumi. Yamanami (often called “Sannan” by Kondō and Hijikata, which is an alternate reading of the kanji in his name) is a good-natured and thoughtful figure, providing a counterpoint to Hijikata’s blunt and Machiavellian tendencies. He also loves children and takes a shine to Tetsunosuke. He is beloved by his fellow Shinsengumi members, and, like Hijikata, is firmly opposed to putting a sword in Tetsu’s hands. He is carrying on a clandestine affair with a Shimabara courtesan named Akesato.
Isami Kondō
The commander of the Shinsengumi. Kondō is presented as a grandfatherly, slightly-clueless figure who is still fully aware of his and his organization’s goals. He opposes Hijikata’s mistreatment on Tetsunosuke.


Ayumu Yamazaki
The “den mother” of the Shinsengumi, Ayumu (most often known as “Ayu-nee”, or “big sister Ayu”) is the cook and housekeeper at the Shinsengumi compound. A pretty woman with a motherly nature, Ayumu is fully cognizant of what the people around her do for a living, and acts as a sort of big-sister figure to Tetsu. She is Susumu’s older sister, and, like him, a shinobi. She mentions in one episode them as being apart of the Oniwaban. While Susumu is based on the actual spy, Ayumu is a fictional character. She dies during the course of the anime by the hands of the Choshū clansmen.
Susumu Yamazaki
Ayumu’s younger brother, Susumu is one of the Shinsengumi’s spies, reporting directly to Hijikata. A skilled shinobi and information-gatherer, his nature emulates that of his superior’s. He often cross-dresses (quite convincingly) to gather information.
Okita’s piglet pet. He lives with his “family” at the Shinsengumi Headquarters. He also has a habit of chasing Tetsunosuke more often than anyone else.

Film Friday- Gurren Lagann

Film Friday- Gurren Lagann

Gurren Lagann, known in Japan as Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, is a Japanese mecha anime television series animated by Gainax and co-produced by Aniplex and Konami. It ran for 27 episodes on Japan’s TV Tokyo between April 1, 2007, and September 30, 2007. It was directed by Hiroyuki Imaishi, written by veteran playwright Kazuki Nakashima, both of whom would later collaborate on two more projects, Kill la Kill in 2013 and Promare in 2019, and had been in development since the participation of the famed animator in the Abenobashi mecha-themed episodes by the same studio. Gurren Lagann takes place in a fictional future where Earth is ruled by the Spiral King, Lordgenome, who forces mankind to live in isolated subterranean villages. The plot focuses on two teenagers, Simon and Kamina, who live in a subterranean village and wish to go to the surface. Using a mecha known as Lagann, Simon and Kamina reach the surface and start fighting alongside other humans against Lordgenome’s forces, before fighting the forces of their true enemy.

In North America, although initially announced to be licensed by ADV Films in 2007, the license was transferred to Bandai Entertainment in 2008 and then transferred to Aniplex of America in 2013. In the United Kingdom, it was licensed by Manga Entertainment in 2007, then transferred to Beez Entertainment in 2008, and then transferred to Anime Limited in 2013. The Sci Fi Channel acquired the broadcasting rights of Gurren Lagann and began airing the anime on July 28, 2008, as part of Sci Fi’s Ani-Monday anime block. The anime won several awards at the Tokyo International Anime Fair and the Animation Kobe and Japan Media Arts Festivals.

A manga adaptation was published by ASCII Media Works between 2007 and 2013. Bandai Entertainment licensed the manga and released it in English in North America. A series of four light novels was published by Shogakukan between 2007 and 2008. A Nintendo DS video game was released in October 2007, bundled with a special episode of the anime series. Two animated film versions were produced; the first premiered in Japanese theaters on September 6, 2008, and the second premiered on April 25, 2009.

Anime series

Produced by the animation studio Gainax and directed by Hiroyuki Imaishi, Gurren Lagann aired in Japan on TXN stations between April 1 and September 30, 2007. The anime has 27 episodes plus two specials, the first being the uncensored version of the sixth episode, and the second is episode 5.5, a bonus that came with the Nintendo DS game.

The English version had been previously licensed by ADV Films, but was later acquired by Bandai Entertainment. A subtitle-only version was released in three volumes in July 2008, and an official English dub with the first two volumes released on November 18, 2008 called “Gurren Lagann Set 01”. The show premiered on the Sci Fi Channel on July 28, 2008 as part of Sci Fi’s Ani-Monday anime block, airing two episodes each week (and three the final week). The European distribution branch of Bandai, Beez Entertainment, distributed the series in the UK and Europe but has gone out of print since January, 2012. In 2013, Anime Limited announced that they have the distribution license for Gurren Lagann on DVD and Blu-ray in the UK. In 2014, they released a limited Blu-ray Ultimate Edition on October 20, 2014, featuring the entire series, both film adaptations and the complete Parallel Works series, as well as a hardcover artbook. A standard edition Blu-ray containing the complete series was also released on the same day with the DVD release following later that year. The English version also aired on Animax across its English-language networks in Southeast Asia and South Asia starting on May 22, 2009. It was broadcast in Italy on Rai 4 between September 24, 2009 and April 1, 2010. Aniplex of America re-released the series in a limited edition DVD box set on May 9, 2013. A Blu-ray Disc box set, which includes both the television series and the two film adaptations, was released on June 26, 2013. Adult Swim began airing the series in English as part of the Toonami block on August 16, 2014.


Taku Iwasaki composed the show’s main background music. Four theme songs are used for the episodes; one opening theme and three ending themes. The opening theme is “Sorairo Days” by Shoko Nakagawa. Starting from episode 17, the second verse and chorus was used, as compared to the first verse and chorus used in the previous episodes. For episodes 1 through 15 the ending theme is “Underground” by High Voltage. “Happily Ever After” by Shoko Nakagawa was used in episode 16. “Minna no Peace” by Afromania was used for episodes 17 to 27.

Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann Character Song was released on July 25, 2007, by Aniplex, including image songs by the main voice cast, with songs sung by Tetsuya Kakihara (Simon), Katsuyuki Konishi (Kamina), and Marina Inoue (Yoko), the latter of which is a playable song in Dance Dance Revolution SuperNOVA 2. In addition, several music compilation albums have been released, most consisting of background music.

Main characters

is the main protagonist of Gurren Lagann. He is introduced as a fourteen-year-old digger from Giha village who is looked down upon by many of his peers for his timid and weak character. He greatly admires Kamina, one of his few friends in the village, and refers to him as his brother despite them not being related by blood. Simon spends much of the first quarter of the series following after Kamina, but gradually acquires his own fighting spirit and determination over the course of the series, acting on his own more often until his personality mirrors that of Kamina. His discovery of the Core Drill and the Gunmen Lagann are what set the events of the series in motion. Throughout the series, Simon primarily pilots Lagann (Japanese for “head/face”), which is capable of producing drills from any part of his body when he reacts to Simon’s Spiral energy. He uses this ability to combine with Kamina’s Gunmen, Gurren, to form Gurren Lagann. He can also take control of other Gunmen using this ability.
is a refractory youth from Giha village who dreams of leaving his underground home and going to the surface world, which he saw as a child. His extremely passionate and self-confident personality causes him to act as a foil for the more timid and weak-willed Simon, and serves to instill courage within Simon. He is known for wearing sunglasses along with a tattered cape that had belonged to his late father. He wields a nodachi he stole from the chief of Giha village and his catchphrase of “just who the hell do you think I/we am/are?!” becomes the battle cry of his group. Although Kamina is killed significantly early in the show, his actions greatly influence the entire series, as he founds Team Gurren (later renaming it Team Dai-Gurren) and acts as its leader to combat the threat of Lordgenome and the beastmen. Early in the series, Kamina hijacks a Gunmen he names Gurren (Japanese for “scarlet”), which he pilots while combined with Simon’s Lagann to form Gurren Lagann.
Yoko Littner 
is a young woman from Littner, a village neighboring Giha, and is introduced as a member of a small resistance against the beastmen. She helps introduce Simon and Kamina to the surface world, and becomes a member of Team Gurren soon after. She falls in love with Kamina early in the series, and thinks little of Simon until he begins showing signs of self-confidence. After Kamina’s death, she tries to help Simon cope and forms a sisterly relationship with him. Instead of piloting a Gunmen, she wields a high-powered energy rifle and uses her superb marksmanship and wise counsel to help her teammates.
Nia Teppelin 
is a major character introduced later on in the series. Having lived a sheltered life as the daughter of Lordgenome, the main antagonist of the first half of the series, she is ignorant of the war between the humans and Lordgenome until she is abandoned by her father and discovered by Simon. She is a very polite and naive girl who is curious about the world, and acts as a soothing influence for Simon following his depression caused by Kamina’s death. The two fall in love and become engaged at the start of the second half of the series, after which she is discovered to be an agent of the Anti-Spirals. During this time, Nia is taken over by a cold and uncaring personality called “Messenger Nia” and forced to fight Simon against her will until Simon rescues her. Because her existence is tied with that of the Anti-Spirals, however, she fades away with them after they are defeated, but keeps herself alive long enough to marry Simon.

Film Friday- Sakura Wars

Film Friday- Sakura Wars

Sakura Wars is a Japanese steampunk media franchise created by Oji Hiroi and currently owned by Sega. It is focused around a series of cross-genre video games. The first game in the series was released in 1996, with five sequels and numerous spin-off titles being released since then. The series—set during a fictionalized version of the Taishō period—depicts groups of women with magical abilities using steam-powered mecha to combat demonic threats.

The original Sakura Wars was an ambitious title for the then-in-production Sega Saturn. The first game’s overlap of the tactical role-playing, dating sim and visual novel genres prompted Sega to classify it as a “dramatic adventure”, a moniker which has endured during the series’ lifetime. Both Red Entertainment and Sega co-developed most of the games until 2008, when the series went on hiatus. Sega rebooted the series as sole developer because of fan demand. Recurring elements include anime cutscenes created by notable studios including Production I.G, and music by composer Kohei Tanaka.

The series has sold over 4.5 million copies as of 2010, and garnered both critical and popular acclaim. The original Sega console games have been voted among the most popular for the Saturn and Dreamcast. The Sakura Wars franchise includes numerous anime productions, manga, and other media projects such as stage shows. With the exception of Sakura Wars: So Long, My Love and the 2019 soft reboot, the video game series has not been released in English. Several of the anime series have been localized for English territories.

Related media

The Sakura Wars series met with considerable success, spawning a multimedia franchise and having its own themed cafe between 1998 and 2008.

Red Company and Sega have expanded the Sakura Wars series into various media. These include anime, manga, stage shows, several light novels, concerts and CD album releases of soundtracks. The latter have met with substantial commercial success. Despite a shared identity, Hiroi took care to keep each of these elements distinct and separate from each other. A dedicated themed cafe and merchandise store based in the Ikebukuro district of Tokyo, Sakura Wars Taisho Romando, opened in 1998. Taisho Romando remained open for ten years until it closed in March 2008.

A prominent feature was an annual stage show dubbed Sakura Wars Kayou Show supervised by Hiroi, for which new musical numbers were created by Tanaka The show featured the cast reprising their roles and performing stage shows drawn from the series. Each character had songs themed after their characters. The cast, which grew to include those of later games, remained for the entire run with the exception of actress Michie Tomizawa who retired from the series and her role as character Sumire Kanzaki in 2002. Tomizawa appeared as a guest in later revival concerts. The original stage shows ran regularly from 1997 to 2006. Since then, it has seen irregular revivals with both the first cast and later additions. The stage shows were originally meant to end in 2008 along with the franchise, but fan support allowed future revivals. A stage adaptation of the 2019 game was planned to run from March 5–8, 2020 at Sogetsu Hall. However, on February 26, 2020, Sega announced that the event would not take place because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The play will now be postponed to winter 2020 with precautions to protect the spread of the virus.

Hiroi wrote a manga adaptation of the first Sakura Wars, which began serialization in 2002. The original run finished in December 2008, but its popularity led to a second series continuing the narrative. Since 2003, the manga has been published as tankōbon by Kodansha. A comedy manga titled Sakura Wars: Show Theater, which featured comedy skits of characters from each main Sakura Wars location, was serialised between 2005 and 2009, and published by Kodansha in four volumes between 2006 and 2009. A manga adaptation of the 2019 game, Shin Sakura Taisen: The Comic, began serialization in 2019 by Shueisha. It was written by Ishii, and illustrated by Koyuri Noguchi.

A spin-off manga Sakura Wars: Kanadegumi was created by Chie Shimada, based on concepts from the Sakura Wars team, and published in the shojo magazine Hana to Yume published by Hakusensha. In contrast to the main series, it was aimed at a female audience and shifted the narrative to a male harem set-up; main protagonist Neko Miyabi is assigned to the titular Kanadagumi, and develops relationships with its five male members. Originally a two-chapter special published between November and December 2011, it was expanded into a full series in February 2012. The manga ran from 2012 to 2013. Between its debut and final issue, the manga inspired both an anime short and a dedicated stage show. It was published in four tankōbon by Hakusensha between September 2012 and July 2013.

Film and television

Multiple anime films, television series and original video animations (OVAs) have been produced that are based either on individual Sakura Wars games or on the series as a whole. The first was an OVA, titled Sakura Wars: The Gorgeous Blooming Cherry Blossoms. The OVA was released as four 30-minute episodes from 1997 to 1998, following the cast of the first game. A second OVA series, The Radiant Gorgeous Blooming Cherry Blossoms, was released as six 30-minute episodes from 1999 to 2000, relating side stories from between Sakura Wars and the end of Thou Shalt Not Die. Further OVA series based around the characters of Is Paris Burning? and So Long, My Love (École de Paris; Le Nouveau Paris; Sumire; New York, New York) were released from 2003 to 2007. The OVAs were produced by Radix Ace Entertainment until New York, New York in 2007, when production shifted by Anime International Company.

An anime television series based on the first game was co-produced by Red Company, Madhouse and Studio Matrix. The 25-episode series was broadcast on the Tokyo Broadcasting System from April 8 to September 23, 2000. While based on the first game’s narrative and preserving Hiroi’s vision, the series changed and added in several events. A major problem was remaining faithful to the source material within a TV format. In 2001, an animated theatrical film, Sakura Wars: The Movie, was released. The film takes place between Is Paris Burning? and Fall in Love, Maidens and features new character Ratchet Altair who would later appear in So Long, My Love. The film was animated by Production I.G; production took three years and was inspired by the wish to expand the series animation beyond what the short cutscenes and OVA projects had achieved. A second anime television series, titled Sakura Wars the Animation and serving as a sequel to the 2019 Sakura Wars, premiered on April 3, 2020. It is animated by Sanzigen, which helped create the animated sequences for the game.

In North America, the first two OVA series and the television series were localised by ADV Films. École de Paris and Sumire were dubbed and released by Funimation, The film was released in North America by Pioneer Entertainment in 2003, and later by Funimation in 2013. Funimation is streaming the 2020 anime for a simulcast release in North America and the United Kingdom.

Setting and characters

The Sakura Wars series is set during a fictionalised version of the Taishō period, with the chronology currently running from 1923 (Taisho 12) to 1940 (Taisho 29). The games are set in the cities of Tokyo, Paris and New York. The setting combines real locations with fantastical events and steampunk-based technology. The central conflict of the series is between demonic forces created by the ingrained darkness in human hearts. To combat this in Tokyo, the Japanese government created a unit of steam-based mecha called Koubu powered by spirit energy. While a few men are capable of using them, women form the main combat units because of their stronger spiritual power. This group is known as the Imperial Assault Force, based in a theater and working undercover as the Imperial Theater Revue. The group to which the protagonists belong is the Flower Division (Hanagumi), the main combat troop. Other groups make cameo appearances in the story if present.

The first four games follow the military and romantic exploits of Imperial Army officer Ichiro Ogami. Originally assigned to the Imperial Assault Force in Tokyo, he later traveled to Paris and trained the newly-formed Paris Assault Force before returning to Tokyo and commanding the two united Flower Divisions during the events of Sakura Wars 4. For So Long, My Love, the lead protagonist was changed to Ogami’s nephew Shinjiro Taiga, who is sent in place of Ogami to train the New York Combat Revue. The 2019 soft reboot of Sakura Wars takes place in 1940, twelve years after an event called the “Great Demon War” saw the destruction of all three original Flower Divisions. New divisions were created across the world and began competing with each other, with the newly-reformed Tokyo Flower Division being the main protagonists.

Film Friday- Beck

Film Friday- Beck

BECK is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Harold Sakuishi. It was originally serialized in Monthly Shōnen Magazine from 1999 to 2008, with the 103 chapters later published into 34 tankōbon volumes by Kodansha. It tells the story of a group of Japanese teenagers who form a rock band and their struggle to fame, focusing on 14-year-old Yukio “Koyuki” Tanaka, who until meeting guitar prodigy Ryusuke Minami was an average teen with a boring life.

It was adapted into a 26-episode anime television series, titled BECK: Mongolian Chop Squad, by Madhouse and aired on TV Tokyo from October 2004 to March 2005. A live-action film adaptation was released in 2010 and stars Takeru Satoh as Koyuki and Hiro Mizushima as Ryusuke. The series has also spawned three guidebooks, four soundtracks, a video game and a line of guitars.

The Beck manga was licensed for an English-language release in North America by Tokyopop. The first volume was published in July 2005, but the series was discontinued after the release of volume 12 in June 2008. In July 2018, ComiXology began releasing the series digitally. The anime was given an English-language release by Funimation from in 2007 to 2008.


The 26-episode anime television series was titled BECK: Mongolian Chop Squad, after the subtitle used by the band in the series in the United States, and aired on Japan’s TV Tokyo from October 2004 to March 2005. It was directed by Osamu Kobayashi, animated by Madhouse and produced by Takeshi Shukuri and Yoshimi Nakajima.

The anime has been dubbed and broadcast on TV networks in North America, France, Italy, Philippines and Thailand.

English adaptation

On Saturday, May 27 at Anime Boston 2006, U.S.-based anime distributor FUNimation Entertainment announced that they had acquired the license for the Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad anime. Taliesin Jaffe and Christopher Bevins are the directors of the English version. The first DVD was released in 2007, and the last in January 2008. The English dub was released by Revelation Films in the UK and Madman Entertainment in Australia and New Zealand.

Beck made its North American television debut on the Canadian music channel, MuchMusic, on March 9, 2007. The series finished on June 3. Despite the fact that this is a shōnen series, the show was rated TV-14 for its language and violence, but the DVD edition is rated TV-MA for strong language, including near-constant use of the f word in the first episode and frequently in subsequent episodes.

In the English adaptation, many songs were re-recorded with English lyrics. The sung lyrics of some English songs in the anime, such as “Moon on the Water” and “Follow Me”, were slightly altered to correct grammar, although the incorrect grammar still appears in the English subtitles. The Beatles’ song “I’ve Got a Feeling” has the lyrics replaced in the American DVDs.

Live-action film

A live-action film adaptation of the Beck manga was announced in 2009, with filming beginning in July. It was produced and directed by Yukihiko Tsutsumi, who has directed manga-to-film adaptations in the past (most notably the 20th Century Boys trilogy). It stars Takeru Satoh as Koyuki, Hiro Mizushima as Ryusuke, Kenta Kiritani as Chiba, Aoi Nakamura as Saku and Osamu Mukai as Taira. The actors were given proper training on their instruments for the 30 original songs that were written for the film.

Beck was released nationwide in movie theaters on September 4, 2010. Red Hot Chili Peppers and Oasis provide the opening and ending theme songs, “Around the World” and “Don’t Look Back in Anger” respectively.

Grand Funk Inc. was given the Japan Academy Prize for Outstanding Achievement in Music for its music work in the film. The movie was released on DVD and Blu-ray on February 2, 2011. The DVD came in “standard” and “luxury” editions, with the luxury edition including a bonus DVD.


Yukio “Koyuki” Tanaka

The main character; the series follows his rapid development from living a boring average life to becoming an outstanding guitarist and singer. Before meeting Ryusuke, he only listened to Japanese pop music, having never heard a foreign band before. He is the last member recruited into Beck (along with Saku), playing rhythm guitar and singing slower songs.

Ryusuke “Ray” Minami

A slacker, but incredibly talented guitarist, who inspires Koyuki to pick up the instrument. Ryusuke speaks better English than Japanese, having lived in New York for 8 years. He is the lead guitarist of Beck as well as its founding member. A large amount of the story revolves around him and his bullet-hole ridden Gibson Les Paul guitar, named Lucille (which is the same name as B.B. King’s famous black Gibson).

Maho Minami

Maho is Ryusuke’s younger half-sister and a talented singer. She is brash but emotionally fragile, and gradually builds a romantic relationship with Koyuki. Beautiful and fairly popular, Koyuki often has a hard time approaching her romantically. While she is obviously a gifted singer, Maho confides in Koyuki that she would actually like to be a film maker. She is also an amateur model.

Tsunemi Chiba

The main vocalist of Beck, Chiba’s vocals are more punk and rap-oriented than Koyuki’s and thus more fitting for the majority of Beck’s songs. He is easily the most volatile member of Beck, never shying away from a fight or hiding his feelings during dire situations. He is also very good at karate, which he uses in his performances. He originally took up karate because he was bullied severely in his younger days. When not busy with the band, he helps manage his family’s ramen shop; he says that if Beck doesn’t work out, he would open up a chain of ramen shops. Towards the end of the series, Ryusuke tells him that he should leave the band because he thinks he is not as passionate about music as the rest of the band. He complies, but quickly returns to play with the band. His appearance is based on Rage Against the Machine frontman Zack de la Rocha.

Yoshiyuki Taira

Beck’s bassist, Taira is the second member recruited by Ryusuke. Although he can sometimes seem uncaring or apathetic, he is actually the most mature of the band members and often offers helpful advice. He usually performs shirtless, much like the real-life person he is based on: Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. His main live bass is a white Music Man Stingray (a 1993-1996 model as identified from the type of bridge) with 3-band EQ and a trans bridge.
Saitou is a perverted middle-aged man and former Olympic swimmer who teaches Koyuki both guitar and swimming in exchange for Koyuki working for his business. Though he can be a demanding instructor, he opens up to Koyuki, even asking him for relationship advice on occasion.

Yuji “Saku” Sakurai

Saku is Beck’s drummer and the last member to join. He first becomes good friends with Koyuki at school, being the only person to talk to him while bully Hyodo instigated the entire class not to do so. He is closer to Koyuki than the other members of the band, and Koyuki often confides in him during moments of self-doubt. Towards the end of the series, he moves away to attend high school, but promises that he will return on the condition that Beck reunites. As Koyuki does reform Beck, he returns, telling the band that he essentially ran away from home to do so.

Film Friday- Reborn!

Film Friday- Reborn!

Reborn!, known in Japan as Katekyō Hitman Reborn!, is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Akira Amano. The manga is about a young boy, Tsunayoshi Sawada, who discovers that he is next in line to become boss of the Vongola family, a powerful Mafia organization. The Vongolas’ most powerful hitman, a gun-toting infant named Reborn, is sent to teach Tsuna how to be a boss. The manga’s chapters were serialized in Japan in Shueisha’s Weekly Shōnen Jump from May 2004 to November 2012 and have been published in forty-two tankōbon volumes. An anime adaptation of the series by Artland aired on TV Tokyo from October 7, 2006, to September 25, 2010. Viz Media licensed the manga and the streaming rights for the television series for an English-language release. Discotek Media licensed the home video rights for the television series for subbed-only releases. A number of video games, light novels, and other products were also created based on the series. Reborn! is one of the best-selling Weekly Shōnen Jump manga, with several volumes top sellers in Japan. Reviewers praised its humor, storylines, fights and the infant characters’ design. However, they said it grew more violent after volume eight, becoming a typical shōnen series.


The series was adapted into a 203-episode anime television series, produced by Artland and directed by Kenichi Imaizumi, which aired from October 7, 2006 to September 25, 2010 on TV Tokyo. Because the anime series was not licensed for distribution outside Japan, Funimation exercised power of attorney on behalf of the Japanese production company to remove fansubbed episodes of the anime from the Internet. To prevent copyright infringement, cease and desist notices were sent to fansub groups who were subtitling the series. On March 21, 2009 the anime website Crunchyroll began streaming subtitled episodes of the series in North America, with new episodes available within an hour after they were aired in Japan. In 2011, Viz Media licensed an uncut, subtitled version for streaming on Hulu and In Japan the complete series was released into DVD volumes by Marvelous Entertainment between January 26, 2007 and April 29, 2011. Five DVD box sets were released between June 17, 2009 and March 21, 2012 by Marvelous Entertainment in Japan. On July 18, 2018, Discotek Media licensed the show for home video release with two 2-disc SD on BD sets, the first 101 episodes on September 25, 2018, and then the other 102 episodes on October 30, 2018. An original video animation was produced under the same staff and cast and was released in October 2009 during the annual Jump Super Anime Tour. It was released by Pony Canyon on DVD on July 21, 2010, under the title Katekyo Hitman Reborn! Jump Super Anime Tour 2009: Vongola Shiki Shūgaku Ryokō, Kuru! The Complete Memory. The DVD version included a short version showed on the tour and a complete edition with new scenes.

Tsunayoshi Sawada

referred to simply as “Tsuna”, is the 14-year-old central character of the series. Because of his severely low self-esteem and lack of talent in any activity, Tsuna is known as “No-Good Tsuna” at his middle school, Namimori. After being informed that he is the heir to the Vongola Family, due in part to him being the great-great-great grandson of the first Vongola boss from 400 years ago, as well as the untimely deaths of the other candidates for the position, he is trained into becoming a mob-boss by the infant Vongola hitman Reborn. Tsuna is often shot by Reborn with a bullet that increases his physical abilities in order for him to fulfill his regrets. That state, which we call the dying will mode, is what gradually makes others see him in a better light. For the most part of the series, Tsuna rejects his position and wants nothing to do with the Mafia, however, due to the results of various conflicts involving himself and his friends, his own power matures and he eventually starts embracing his destiny. He is the Bearer of the Sky Ring.


is an Arcobaleno and the holder of the Yellow pacifier of the Sun. The titular character, Reborn is an infant hitman belonging to the Vongola Family. As the Vongola IX’s most trusted member, he becomes Tsuna’s home tutor and trains him into becoming a Mafia boss using torturous ways. He often shoots Tsuna with special bullets that enhances his abilities; these bullets are created inside his shape-shifting chameleon “partner” named Leon, who usually sits on Reborn’s fedora. No matter how strong the emotion, Reborn always keeps a straight face and handles many situations as calmly as possible. Reborn often says “Ciaossu” (a mix of the Italian “ciao” and the Japanese “ossu”, which is a casual male greeting). Later in the manga, this is revealed to be a mispronunciation of his real catchphrase, “chaos,” developed because he was unable to pronounce the consonants of “chaos” in his baby form. He randomly appears dressed as “another person” who no one except Tsuna and Dino recognizes, despite his disguises being obvious to the audience.