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Film Friday- Gokusen

Film Friday- Gokusen

Gokusen is a manga series by Kozueko Morimoto. The story follows Kumiko Yamaguchi, the granddaughter of a yakuza boss and teacher at an all-male private high school. In 2008, an SP manga was out, featuring some of Yankumi’s (Kumiko) old students who are by now working adults.

In 2002, the manga was adapted into a television drama with Yukie Nakama in the title role. A second series was produced in 2005. The third season of the (live action) series was aired as Nippon Television’s 55th Anniversary Program in 2008.

A 13 episode animated adaptation by Madhouse ran on Nippon Television from January 6, 2004 to March 30, 2004.

A movie as part of the drama series was released in Japanese theaters on July 11, 2009.

Characters

Kumiko “Yankumi” Yamaguchi
is a 23-year-old university graduate and is newly hired at Shirokin Gakuen. She is very idealistic and wants to inspire her students and help them graduate high school. Since the age of 7, when her parents died, Kumiko has been living with her grandfather, who is the head of an influential Tokyo Ninkyo group. Despite this strange upbringing and the bizarre mannerisms she has picked up from it like her use of yakuza slang and a habit of running from the cops when she sees them, Kumiko is a good-hearted girl who has a strong faith in her students even when they think the world is against them. Her belief in them and her combat skills help her earn their respect. They give her the nickname “Yankumi,” something she greatly likes. It is also revealed that she is attracted to men in a fundoshi; going into a trance when she saw Shin in one. In the 2008 SP manga, Yankumi finally returned Sawada’s feeling after Sawada saved her from a gang of bikers. A running gag for the drama series is that with each new series almost everyone has completely forgotten she is next in line to run the yakuza, even when asking a fellow teacher from a previous series he replied only with a puzzled look on his face. Another running gag is in the beginning of each new series, she is shown incapable of teaching unless she is teaching the delinquents of the school and, more often than not, scaring her students with her unusual behavior.

Shirokin High School

Shin Sawada
18-year-old Shin is the leader of class 3-D (17-year-old leader of 2–4 in the manga). He is cool, level-headed, smart, and somewhat introverted. Everyone in the class looks up to him. When he was in middle school, he punched a teacher for refusing to apologise to an innocent student the teacher had been unfairly harassing. He knows right away that something is not normal about their new teacher and keeps an eye on her. He’s the first one who found out Yankumi’s true identity and later confesses to her [in the manga’s last chapter] that he is in love with her. In the manga, he is given the alias of “Young Master Red Lion” from Kyou. Shin’s father is a high ranking police official. At the end of the series he wanted to become a Yakuza lawyer so to be with Kumiko, and when he confessed to her, it appeared that everyone knew of his feelings for her, even the teachers, except for her. In the drama, his father is a senator. An amusing aspect of this series is that whenever he thinks he’s on a mission to save Kumiko, he always gets beaten up and she continuously has to come to his rescue. He never returned in the sequels in the live-action series as he decided to go abroad as a social worker. While in the Special Manga 2008, Sawada is a top student of Toudai University and he has a stable life and job. As he’s seen taking Yankumi out for a movie with his own car and constantly with her, stating why he was so cooperative with her back then was because he liked her at first sight and set up their casual meeting to turn it into a date. For the first time he is shown with emotion when one of Yankumi’s new students tricks her into fighting a gang of bikers and he goes off to save her – he managed to save her.

Youichi Minami
He is one of Shin’s friends. He always gets into fights, like everyone else. He had gotten into a fight with Ichiro Tsuruta, and was beaten by him. Minami is the tough guy of the group. In the anime and manga he is often seen with Noda, indicating a close friendship. In the drama he was a ladies man, but in the anime/manga he was considered the ugliest.

 

Haruhiko “Uchi” Uchiyama
He is the guy with a weird purple hairstyle. In the drama, he has long hair that he bleached blonde. He’s also one of Shin’s friends. He was lost in Okinawa when they had a trip there and he gave Kumiko and Shin a lot of problems during that time. When they finally found him, Kumiko smacked him until his face was swollen. In the drama, he is a tough guy with a soft spot for his mother. His nickname is Uchi. In the manga, he is the first of the group to get a girlfriend when he starts a relationship with a horror-obsessed girl named Shiori. She constantly terrifies him with horror stunts. After a while, he seems to embrace her love of horror, even thinking about becoming a monster movie make-up artist.

Teruo “Kuma” Kumai
Large and tough, Kumai (called “Kuma”, or “Bear” by everyone) always seems to be getting into trouble. He’s either getting into fights, or being accused of theft, or being attacked by a rival school. Kuma and Shin are best friends. They grew up together, and Kuma calls Shin “Shin-chan”. Even Kuma’s mother was friends with Kumiko before she became a teacher. He is also the only former student of Yankumi’s shown in the second and third drama seasons. He eventually marries his first love and later becomes a father. Throughout the seasons he helps Yankumi when he sees her students getting into some kind of trouble and becomes a mentor to them as well. In each new series of the drama there is always a kid who greatly resembles Kuma in Yankumi’s class.

 

Takeshi Noda
He is also one of Shin’s friends. He was the one who thought of giving Kumiko “Yankumi” as her nickname. Takeshi Noda is a member of class 2–4. Although not typically a main cast member, in one episode (in the drama), he becomes obsessed with the teacher Shizuka Fujiyama. Hurt when she threw away a present he gave her, Noda takes a picture of her at her secret second job: hostess of a bar. He then sends the picture to the head teacher and almost gets Shizuka put on probation for a week, to be fired if class 3-D does not get at least a 30 on their English mid-finals. In the manga, he is the first of his classmates to figure out that Shin likes Yankumi and gets Shin to admit so. In the manga, he is much more involved than in the anime or drama. He is also much smarter in the manga, like one instance when Ms. Fujiyama was being stalked, Noda made many suggestions as to how the stalker could follow Ms. Fujiyama. One thing he has in common with his drama counterpart is his sense in fashion, as demonstrated in the chapter of the manga “Protect our F-cup”, where he dresses Yamaguchi in his sister’s clothing in which Uchiyama and the others (first in disgust) found that the outfit worked well with her. He is often seen with Minami in the anime and manga, indicating a friendship between them, possibly being best friends. In the anime and manga he is accused of being a thief (similar to Uchi’s situation in the drama).

Shizuka Fujiyama 
is another female teacher hired by Shirokin Gakuin at the same time as Yankumi. In the drama, Fujiyama teaches English. In the anime she teaches music. One of her students once attempted suicide and she learned a lesson because of that incident. She started a choir club in school. In the drama, Fujiyama wears her normal clothes all the time, but in the anime and manga she wears a tracksuit like Yankumi does. Fujiyama used to teach middle school students, and is very happy to be teaching at a high school. She jokes about which boys are cute, and whom she would sleep with. In the manga, she developed a crush on Kyo-san and tries to meet him, but she doesn’t believe he’s her “knight”. Since she daydreamed him younger looking.

Goro Sawatari
The School’s Vice-Principal is Yankumi’s main nemesis amongst the school staff. In episode 13 he was the 3rd person to find out about Yankumi’s secret only to realize that she resigned. Also he tried to use a camera when he witnessed a fight only to be caught by Kyo. He is only majorly featured in the drama and anime. In the drama, despite initially antagonistic towards Yankumi and her class, he was undeniably portrayed as more benevolent than his anime incarnation. His state of benevolence was shown to be more prominent in Gokusen 2, where among the last few episodes, he deliberately informed Yankumi that her class attempted to boycott their graduation unless she calls off her resignation. It would seem that the drama-version Sawatori has grown to respect the headstrong and dignified educator that Yankumi is, despite knowing that he also risked getting fired in the process (he was poised for promotion). He was later seen a month after graduation, apparently assigned to another school (claiming to have resigned from the last one). He has a wife in the drama who runs an arranged marriage business, though he is constantly seen enjoying himself with younger women. A running gag in the drama is that he is able to instantly retain his status as Vice-Principal with each new school, even leading Yankumi to question how he does that.

Gonzou Shirakawa
The School’s Principal. He does have a great knack for popping up suddenly at unusual times to point out useful information. In the manga and anime, the Koucho is this happy little bald guy who likes to wear bow ties. He knows that Yankumi is next in line to the yakuza, and discovered that was one of the main reasons he hired her, because he knew she would be able to easily handle that class.

Film Friday- Bungo Stray Dogs

Film Friday- Bungo Stray Dogs

Bungo Stray Dogs is a Japanese seinen manga series written by Kafka Asagiri and illustrated by Sango Harukawa, which has been serialized in the magazine Young Ace since 2012. The manga originated from Kafka Asagiri’s idea to gather multiple famous late authors and draw them as young adults and teenagers with supernatural powers. The series follows the members of the “Armed Detective Agency” and their everyday lives, mainly on the weretiger Atsushi Nakajima, who joins other gifted with supernatural powers and use them for different purposes including holding a business, solving mysteries, and carrying out missions assigned by the mafia.

Multiple light novels have been published. An anime television series adaptation by Bones aired in 2016 in two parts, the first part aired between 7 April 2016 and 23 June 2016, and the second part aired between 6 October 2016 and 22 December 2016. An anime film, Bungo Stray Dogs: Dead Apple, was released on 3 March 2018. A third season aired between 12 April 2019 and 28 June 2019.

Anime series

An anime television series adaptation produced by Bones was directed by Takuya Igarashi and written by Yōji Enokido. Nobuhiro Arai and Hiroshi Kanno served as the chief animation directors, while the former also served as character designer along with Ryō Hirata. Taku Iwasaki composed the series’ music. Kazuhiro Wakabayashi was the series’ sound director at Glovision. Additionally, Yumiko Kondou was the art director, Yukari Goto was the anime’s color designer, Tsuyoshi Kanbayashi was the director of photography and Shigeru Nishiyama was the editor. Granrodeo performed the anime’s opening theme, titled “Trash Candy”, and Luck Life performed the anime’s ending theme, titled “Namae wo Yobu yo”.

The series was split into two halves: the first half, containing twelve episodes, premiered on 7 April 2016 and ended on 23 June 2016, being broadcast on Tokyo MX, Teletama, Chiba TV, tvk, GBS (Gifu Broadcasting), Mie TV, SUN, TVQ Kyushu, and BS11. The second half, also containing twelve episodes, premiered on 6 October 2016 and ended on 22 December 2016. The series has been licensed for streaming by Crunchyroll. As for the second half, Screen Mode sung the opening theme titled “Reason Living” while Luck Life once again sung the ending theme titled “Kaze ga Fuku Machi”.

An OVA was bundled with the 13th limited edition manga volume, which was released on 31 August 2017.

On 21 July 2018, it was announced that the series would receive a third season. The cast and staff would reprise their roles from the previous two seasons. The third season premiered from 12 April 2019 and ended on 28 June 2019, being broadcast on Tokyo MX, TVA, KBS, SUN, BS11, and Wowow. Granrodeo performed the third seasons’ opening theme “Setsuna no Ai” and Luck Life performed the third season’s ending theme “Lily”. Funimation released the simuldub on May 17, 2019.

The anime is licensed in North America by Crunchyroll with home video distribution by Funimation, and in the United Kingdom by Anime Limited.

Theatrical films

At the Mayo(w)i Inu-tachi no Utage Sono Ni event on 19 February 2017, a film project based on the manga series was announced. Titled Bungo Stray Dogs: Dead Apple, the film premiered on 3 March 2018 with the staff and cast from the anime series returning to reprise their roles.

A new live-action film was announced in July 2019. It will be based on the stage plays from the series.

Atsushi Nakajima

In the story, he is 18 years old and used to live at an orphanage before the caretakers threw him out. Their words condemning him as “worthless” have since left trauma on him and drive his will to fight in order to find a reason to live, slowly gaining confidence as the series progresses. His ability is named Beast Beneath the Moonlight, which allows him to turn into a large white tiger with incredible strength, speed, regenerative capabilities and durability, although he has no control over it and retains no memory if he fully transforms (this lack of control is however repressed when he joins the Agency and the ability of the Agency’s president causes Atsushi to regain control over the tiger). Later, he learns to change his limbs to that of a tiger to enhance his physical abilities. Despite his lack of confidence, he has a pure and good heart and fights hard to protect others.

Osamu Dazai

A member of the Armed Detective Agency who takes Atsushi under his wing and is known for being a “suicide maniac” due to his wish to commit suicide and die comfortably one day, preferably with a beautiful woman. Under his carefree and relaxed demeanor, however, Dazai is extremely cunning, intelligent, skilled and brutal, once having been a feared executive of Port Mafia. His ability, No Longer Human, lets him completely nullify any supernatural ability by touch. In the main timeline, he is 22 years old.

Doppo Kunikida

Dazai’s partner, known for his meticulous planning, organisation and perfectionistic tendencies. He has a habit of writing and planning everything ahead in his signature notebook, with the front cover labelled “Ideals”. This notebook is linked to his ability, Lone Poet, which allows him to bring into existence any object he writes inside, as long as it isn’t larger than the notebook itself. Kunikida is, just as Dazai, 22 years old.

Ranpo Edogawa

The only Agency member without an ability and a self-proclaimed detective. Although he is 26 years old, and one of the oldest in the office, he lacks basic everyday skills, preferring to focus his intelligence on solving cases instead. His prodigious observational and deduction skills are nicknamed Super Deduction by him, which are supposedly activated when he puts on his glasses.

 

Film Friday- Inu x Boku SS

Film Friday- Inu x Boku SS

Inu × Boku SS, also known as Youko × Boku, is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Cocoa Fujiwara. An anime adaptation by David Production aired in Japan between January and March 2012. The anime has been licensed by Sentai Filmworks for streaming, and home video release in North America.

A 12-episode anime adaptation by David Production aired in Japan between January 12 and March 29, 2012 and was simulcast on Crunchyroll. An original video animation episode was released with the seventh Blu-ray Disc volume on September 26, 2012. The series has been licensed in North America by Sentai Filmworks. Hanabee Entertainment licensed the anime in Australia and New Zealand and released the series on Blu-ray and DVD in April 2013. MVM Films have licensed the series in the United Kingdom.

Characters

Ririchiyo Shirakiin
Part One
Room 4 tenant. Born 21st of February, she is 15 years old at the beginning of the story.
Ririchiyo is a young girl with long black hair and purple eyes, who is the descendant of an Oni. She leaves her home and moves into Maison de Ayakashi in order to live alone. She yearns to be independent and constantly worries about not being able to communicate with other people properly, due to her habit of rudely slighting people whenever they try to interact with her. As the daughter of a well-known and well-respected family, she felt she was only recognised for her family and not for herself; she was bullied by her peers and protected by her teachers and other adults who wished to be seen well by her family. This caused her to develop her bad habit and also incentivized her to move out. Her SS agent and servant is Sōshi Miketsukami, who has the blood of a fox-spirit. While at first she is exasperated by Sōshi’s extreme willingness to serve her and is reluctant to accept him as her SS, the two grow close and eventually fall in love, beginning a relationship. She dies at the age of 16 after Sōshi’s death, while fighting Mikoto and his army.
Part Two (23 years later)
A 15-year-old girl who moves into Room 1 of Maison de Ayakashi. Initially she has no memories of her past life due to the trauma of losing Sōshi. Unlike in Part One, she does not seem to be the victim of direct bullying, however she starts to distance herself from others when she learns that her peers were only friendly to her because they had to be.
After an encounter with the aged Renshō, she recovers some of her memories, but they are suppressed by Sōshi. Kagerō’s words causes her to remember everything, and her regret and her strong emotion of wanting to “go back” to their past are used by a yōkai called Sodehiki Mujina and she gets trapped along with Renshō in an ideal world that they created. Following this event, she decides to end her contract and relationship with Sōshi in order to sort out her feelings. Although struggling to come to terms with her past and current life, she resolves to uncover the truth about the “Night Parade of 100 Demons”.
Toward the end she learns that like her, Sōshi also has aspects that haven’t changed, and tells him that although she loves the Sōshi from her previous life, she still considers the Sōshi from her current life an important figure and that she still cares for him. While fighting Kuroe Karasuma, who loses her human self after being defeated by Mikoto, Ririchiyo is severely wounded and nearly dies. She gets Sōshi to scribe her letter to the past because of this.
Part Three
After receiving letters from the “if” world (where the “Night Parade of 100 Demons” took place) and Zange tells her what he saw in that future, Ririchiyo resolves to prevent the Night Parade from occurring. Due to the appearance of the time capsule from the future, the events following the burial of the time capsule do not occur and so she is not in a relationship with Sōshi. Rather, upon learning that Sōshi had died protecting Ririchiyo, she starts to distance herself from him.
The residents are notified on New Years that the “Night Parade of 100 Demons” has started, and Ririchiyo is taken back home by her father. However, realising how important her days at Maison de Ayakashi with the other residents were, she becomes determined to return to Ayakashi Hall, despite her father’s disagreement. Later she breaks into the Miketsukami house in order to rescue Sōshi (who was held captive there) and reconciles with him, asking him to tell her more about himself.
Ririchiyo seems to be physically weak throughout and has asthma to varying degrees of severity. Apparently, she is the weakest at arm wrestling out of the main female cast.
Sōshi Miketsukami
The assigned SS Agent to Ririchiyo and, in his own words, her servant and “Dog”. Sōshi is descended from the evil nine-tailed fox who was Sōshi’s past life. Ririchiyo helped him when she was little, although she’s initially unaware of it. Later on in the series, it’s revealed that his family had kept him under house arrest because they feared the powers of the kitsune, and in order to obtain freedom he learned to manipulate and appeal to others through obeying their whims. However, because of this, he was unable to form his own personality. It was not until he started corresponding with Ririchiyo through letters, under the guise of her fiance Kagerō, that he realized that he was in fact, capable of having emotion, and he began growing into his own person. He’s very calm, polite, and gentle to everyone he interacts with, but he bears particularly strong devotion to his Ririchiyo, blindly obeying her and protecting her with his life if the situation calls for it. He enters a relationship with her after she confesses her love for him, which was prompted by him reading a letter that detailed her feelings for him that she meant to put into a time capsule, but instead sent to him by mistake. What he wishes for is a family, which he never had. A notable feature is his heterochromia, in which his right eye is blue, while the other is dark gold.
He was killed in action at the end of Part 1 at age 23, protecting Ririchiyo from a band of evil yōkai. He is reincarnated but does not remember his previous life. After learning from Kagerō’s mother how important Ririchiyo was for the previous Sōshi, he researches about her and becomes Ririchiyo’s SS agent. After Ririchiyo regains her memories, she breaks her contract with him, in an attempt to protect him and also because she realizes he is not the same Sōshi she fell in love with.
Depressed because of how Ririchiyo break the contract with him, Sōshi is sulking in his room and still in contact with other SS agents such as Zange Natsume for a photo of Ririchiyo and other things. Because of his hatred, envy and jealousy towards his previous self because Ririchiyo loved and loves the previous him, Sōshi even tried to search for the time capsule his previous self left and destroyed it. Not having any memories from his previous life, he said and planned to destroy the thing the previous Sōshi left, which is a memory card. The memory card revealed to be full of Ririchiyo’s photos and letter from his childhood.
Sōshi, even though after cutting off his ties with Ririchiyo as her SS Agent, come to Ririchiyo’s rescue from the manipulated servant that is being controlled by the leader of the previous war. Before getting killed, Ririchiyo stepped in front of him and protected him, he remains besides Ririchiyo after being saved from dying. Because Ririchiyo said that even though she loves the previous him, he is also a very special person to her and that she is glad that he was born in this world. Sōshi said those words alone is enough and in return he’ll help her write a letter for the time capsule which they will send to the past for preventing their death.

Film Friday- To the Abandoned Sacred Beasts

Film Friday- To the Abandoned Sacred Beasts

To the Abandoned Sacred Beasts is a Japanese dark fantasy manga series written and illustrated by Maybe. The series is published by Kodansha in Japan and by Vertical in North America. An anime television series adaptation by MAPPA aired from 1 July 2019 to 16 September 2019.

Anime

An anime television series adaptation was announced on 5 February 2019. The series is animated by MAPPA and directed by Jun Shishido, with Shigeru Murakoshi handled the series composition, Daisuke Niinuma designed the characters, and Yoshihiro Ike composed the music. The series aired from 1 July 2019 to 16 September 2019 on Tokyo MX, BS11, and MBS. The opening theme song is “Sacrifice” by Mafumafu, while the ending theme song is “HHOOWWLL” by Gero×ARAKI. Crunchyroll streamed the series. It ran for 12 episodes. On 1 October 2019, Crunchyroll announced that the series would receive an English dub.

Characters

Hank Henriette 
Former Captain of the Incarnates who was left for dead near the end of the war. Two years later, he became a Beast Hunter, hunting down the surviving Incarnates across Patria before they cause more destruction. He is capable of transforming into a werewolf under moonlight, and fights with a giant spear.
Nancy Schaal Bancroft
The daughter of John William Bancroft, she holds Hank responsible for his death and tries to shoot Hank the first time she meets him. Schaal wields an elephant gun and reluctantly decides to help Hank in exchange for learning the truth of the Incarnates and what caused them to go insane.
Cain Madhouse
Formerly a nobleman named Cain Withers, he was Vice Captain of the Incarnates who betrayed Elaine near the end of the war, shooting her through the chest before fleeing with the surviving Incarnate soldiers. He is called the vampire Incarnate, the immortal king of blood and the night.
Elaine Bluelake 
A doctor whose research gave birth to the Incarnates, and also developed a means to kill them at the end of the war. However, she was shot through the chest by Cain before she could do the job. Her body was never found.
Claude Withers
A human and the Captain of Coup de Grace, an Incarnate Extermination Squad authorized by the government. He takes his job seriously and swears he will not smile until he has killed every Incarnate beast. Unknown to most people, he is the younger brother of Cain and has sworn to kill him for his rebellion.
Liza Runecastle
A spy from the Northern Union who feeds information to Hank about the Incarnates.
Miglieglia
A young white-haired girl with gold eyes and a black dress who travels with Cain.

 

Film Friday- Galaxy Express 999

Film Friday- Galaxy Express 999

Galaxy Express 999 is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Leiji Matsumoto, later adapted into a number of anime films and television series. It is set in a spacefaring, high-tech future in which humans have learned how to transfer their minds and emotions with perfect fidelity into mechanical bodies, thus achieving practical immortality.

The manga won the Shogakukan Manga Award for shōnen in 1978. The anime series won the Animage Anime Grand Prix prize in 1981.

Matsumoto was inspired to create Galaxy Express 999 by the idea of a steam train running through the stars in the novel Night on the Galactic Railroad by Kenji Miyazawa.

Film versions

Galaxy Express 999

The film version of Galaxy Express 999, released in 1979. Maetel and Tetsuro again set out for the home planet of the Mechanized Empire, visiting four planets. Planet Maetel is a mechanized world where machine bodies are made.

Godiego performed the film’s theme song “The Galaxy Express 999”.

Adieu Galaxy Express 999

Adieu Galaxy Express 999 is a 1981 sequel to the film adaptation. Adieu presents an entirely new storyline which takes place three years after the destruction of Planet Maetel. The Machine Empire now has even more of a stranglehold over the Galaxy. Rumors are afoot of Maetel becoming its new Queen. Tetsuro, now a fifteen-year-old freedom fighter, is shocked when a messenger brings him news that the 999 is returning, and that Maetel wants him to board it. Tetsuro narrowly makes his way to the 999 and departs Earth, now a battlefield.

Although Tetsuro finds that Maetel isn’t present on the 999, he does meet Metalmena, a machine woman who has replaced the waitress Claire. Also, a mysterious Ghost Train has been traveling the universe and nearly crashes into the 999. The 999 then pouts about the humiliation of being overtaken by the Ghost Train. The 999 heads to the planet La Metal, portrayed here as the birthplace of Prometheum and Maetel. Here Tetsuro helps in the resistance, befriending a cat-like teenaged-boy named Meowdar. While exploring the ruins of an old castle, Tetsuro discovers a portrait of a beautiful, blonde queen who looks very much like Maetel. He learns that it is, in fact, La Metal’s Queen Prometheum, even though she looks nothing like she did at their last confrontation. As the 999 departs, Maetel finally makes her appearance.

Shortly after leaving La Metal, the 999 is forced to dock at a station where Tetsuro meets a mysterious machine-man named Faust. When Tetsuro attacks him, Faust causes Tetsuro to drop into a flashback where he must relive his mother’s death. The 999 continues on to the planet Mosaic, the last stop before Great Andromeda, capital of the mechanized empire. Here Tetsuro finds the Ghost Train and is nearly killed.

The 999 finally makes its way to Great Andromeda where Faust greets Tetsuro once more. Meanwhile, Maetel travels down to the center of the planet where Prometheum’s consciousness still exists. Maetel is put in charge of the mechanized empire, just as the rumors said. But, again, she intends to put an end to the operations, and attempts to shut Prometheum’s machinery down. She reveals the horrible truth to Tetsuro that the energy the machine people use is actually drained from living human beings, and that they were transported there by the Ghost Train. Tetsuro is shocked to find his old friend Meowdar among a pile of dead, drained bodies. Metalmena shows indifference to Meowdar’s death, until Tetsuro reveals the source of the energy she has been existing on. As a patrol of guards comes to arrest the group, Metalmena, disgusted and enraged by what she has learned, attacks and destroys them, apparently at the cost of her own life.

Prometheum proves that she cannot be killed with just the flip of a switch, and all seems hopeless. At about the same time, a space anomaly called Siren the Witch approaches Great Andromeda, attracted to its abundant energy and absorbing all machine energy. With Great Andromeda collapsing, the 999 is set to depart, but Tetsuro must face Faust one last time. After dealing Faust a fatal blow, it is revealed to Tetsuro that Faust is actually Tetsuro’s father (In the manga and television series, it is never made clear what became of Tetsuro’s father). The 999 heads back to La Metal where Maetel and Tetsuro separate for the last time, and “the boy [Tetsuro] becomes a man”.

Two songs written and performed by Mary MacGregor, ‘Love Light’ and the ending theme “Sayonara” were used for the film. Kumiko Kaori recorded a Japanese version of the ending song.

Helen McCarthy in 500 Essential Anime Movies called it a “dense, fascinating story”.

Maetel Legend

This two-part OVA from 2000 serves as a prelude for Galaxy Express 999 and explains the series’ backstory. Maetel, the protagonist, is the daughter of Queen Prometheum of the Planet La Metal (both from Queen Millennia), a wandering planet, and one of the first civilizations to have mechanized their bodies. As Queen Promethium becomes fearful of the natural decline of her people’s lifespan on their freezing world, which has fallen out of orbit, she decides to mechanize them all, in order to enable her people to survive the harsh climate. The complete series was released on DVD by Central Park Media.

Space Symphony Maetel

Following on from Maetel Legend, this 13-part OVA from 2004 reveals that the newly created machine people of La Metal began to mechanise galaxy after galaxy against the will of many humans, and ended up creating rebellions and revolutions. Maetel is asked to return to La Metal to succeed her mother, only to discover the many hardships her mother has inflicted on the humans.

In this series, Captain Harlock and Emeraldas (Maetel’s sister) also appear, and work together to assassinate Prometheum, along with Maetel. Parallels with Galaxy Express 999 are prevalent. Instead of a boy who wants a mechanized body meeting her, she met a boy who has a grudge against Prometheum and detests being mechanized.

The final lines of dialog reveal that this is a prequel to the 1979 film Galaxy Express 999.

Galaxy Railways: Letter From An Abandoned Planet

This OVA series was released from December 30, 2006 to January 5, 2007 (on SKY PerfectTV!) in Japan. The story takes place between Seasons 1 and 2 of Galaxy Railways: Crossroad to Eternity, and presumably after the events of Galaxy Express 999: Eternal Fantasy, where the Earth has since been destroyed. The OVAs featured Maetel, Tetsuro, and the Conductor, with their original voice actors from the Galaxy Express 999 television series.

For unknown reasons, this series started production earlier than Galaxy Railways: Crossroad to Eternity, but was aired much later.

Characters

  • Tetsuro Hoshino
    The main character of Galaxy Express 999, Tetsuro is a poor Earth boy who witnessed his mother die at the hands of Count Mecha. With his mother’s dying wish being for him to obtain a machine body, Tetsuro embarks on the Galaxy Express with Maetel. Tetsuro has also been mentioned in the new Captain Harlock: Dimensional Voyage manga.

 

 

  • Maetel:
    The mysterious blonde woman who accompanies Tetsuro on the Galaxy Express 999. Maetel is in actuality the daughter of Queen Prometheum, ruler of the mechanized empire. In the movie version, Maetel is responsible for bringing youths from around the universe to the mechanized homeworld where they are turned into mechanized human components to serve the mechanized empire, whereas in the television series, she is grooming them to grow up to become generals in her mother’s imperial military. Maetel is secretly plotting with her father, Dr. Ban (who is contained within the pendant around her neck) to destroy the machine empire, and finally does so (in the movie) when it is Tetsuro’s turn to be turned into a bolt. Maetel’s soul exists in the body of a human copy, which she occupies until it grows old and she exchanges it for a new one. It is explained in the movie version that she occupies a clone of the body of Tetsuro’s mother, which explains the resemblance between the two.

 

  • Conductor
    The Conductor is the main crew member of the Galaxy Express 999. He is an alien being with an invisible body; only his eyes can be seen while he is wearing his conductor uniform. The Conductor prefers to go ‘strictly by the book’ and frequently cites the Galaxy Express rule book, but occasionally ends up bending the rules and getting into adventures with Tetsuro and Maetel.

 

  • Claire:
    The dining car waitress on the 999, Claire has a machine body made of clear crystal glass. Unlike others who gave up their humanity by choice, Claire was forced into this existence by her vain mother. She works on the 999 in order to save up enough money to buy back her human body, which is stored on Pluto.[7] Claire quickly befriends Tetsuro and sacrifices herself for him when a hallucination taking the guise of his mother tries to pull him out of the train. Her body is shattered, all that remains is a single glass tear which Tetsuro holds with him as a memento.[7] In the movie version, Claire has a somewhat larger role, but suffers the same fate, sacrificing herself for Tetsuro when Prometheum tries to kill him (a machine girl named “Mirai” (“Future”) has this role in the television series). Claire returns to life in both Eternal Fantasy and the new Galaxy Express manga published by Matsumoto in the 1990s.

 

  • Captain Harlock:
    Famous space pirates who are idolized by Tetsuro. Both have only minor cameos in the original manga and television series, but have significantly larger roles in the movies and assist in defeating the machine empire.

 

  • Antares:
    A well known bandit who sneaks aboard the 999 after their stop on the planet Titan. Antares despises machine people for the death of his wife and has many unexploded bullets lodged within his abdomen. He warns Tetsuro to “shoot first, ask questions later”.[9] In the manga and television series he lives in a large home with his many children; in the movie he lives on Titan with other bandits and many children orphaned by Count Mecha. In the movie version he assists Tetsuro in his quest to kill Count Mecha at the Time Castle, and is killed when the bullets in his body explode after taking multiple shots from the Count.

 

  • Count Mecha:
    The wealthy machine man who murdered Tetsuro’s mother. In the manga and television series, he is a minor aristocrat, and is killed by Tetsuro before he leaves Earth. In the movie version he appears to have considerably more power, and rules the Time Castle. Acquiring a machine body to get revenge on Count Mecha is Tetsuro’s primary motivation in the movie version, and he accomplishes his goal with the assistance of Antares while on the planet Heavy Melder.

 

  • Queen Prometheum:
    Maetel’s mother, and ruler of the mechanized empire. Once a gentle woman, Prometheum created the machine empire believing it would be good for humanity. Prometheum has considerably difference physical characteristics in each of her appearances, appearing as a humanoid in the television series and movie, and a two-faced head in the manga. Prometheum is destroyed with the destruction of Andromeda in the manga and television series, and killed by Claire in the movie version. Her spirit occupies the planet Great Andromeda in Adieu Galaxy Express 999 but perishes when that planet is destroyed by Siren the Witch.

 

Film Friday- Hamatora

Film Friday- Hamatora

Hamatora is a Japanese mixed-media project. The project began with a manga series written by Yukino Kitajima and Yūki Kodama as the character designer, while Yū Wazu is adapting the design to the illustration. The manga, Hamatora: The Comic, started serialization in Shueisha’s Young Jump magazine in November 2013. An anime television series, Hamatora: The Animation, by the studio NAZ premiered on TV Tokyo and ran for twelve episodes between January 8 and March 26, 2014. It was followed by a second series by Lerche starting in July 2014, Re:_ Hamatora. Additionally, a role-playing game titled Hamatora: Look at Smoking World developed by FuRyu was released in July 2014. Other related titles include a light novel and a stage play.

The series takes place in the year 2014 when selected humans called Minimum Holders have been discovered to possess supernatural abilities. The story focuses on Minimum Holder Nice who forms a detective agency called “Hamatora” based in Yokohama and he starts gathering a large number of allies such as his partner Murasaki and assistant Hajime as well as enemies including several criminals. The anime stars Ryōta Ōsaka, Wataru Hatano, Hiroshi Kamiya, Emiri Katō, Kiyono Yasuno, Jun Fukuyama, and Yuichi Nakamura among others.

The series has earned mixed criticism from publications for manga and anime. While the elements of mystery have been praised, the themes and animation have been less well received. It has also been often compared with X-Men for its plot and characters.

Anime

An anime adaptation titled Hamatora: The Animation was announced in the 2013 50th issue of Shueisha’s Young Jump magazine. The anime is produced by NAZ Animation Studio of Japan and began airing on TV Tokyo on January 8, 2014 with later airings on TVA, TVO and AT-X. While the anime ended on March 26, 2014, it has been hinted it would return in July 2014. The second season is to be titled Re: Hamatora Unlike the first season, it will be produced at Studio Lerche.

The anime is chiefly directed by Seiji Kishi. In addition, Hiroshi Kimura is also directing the anime, along with series composers and script writers Jun Kumagai and Touko Machida. The soundtrack music is composed by Makoto Yoshimori. Character designs are done by Yū Wazu, based on the original character designs by Blood Lad’s Yūki Kodama along with art direction by Fantasista Utamaro. The project was composed by Yukinori Kitajima. The story is set after the events of the manga, focusing on the already formed group of detectives known as Hamatora.

The series was simulcast-streamed by Crunchyroll with English subtitles in North America, Australia and other select parts of the world. Avex Group began releasing the series in Japan on Blu-ray and DVD volumes starting on April 25, 2014. The opening theme is “Flat” by Livetune feat. Yūki Ozaki. The ending theme is “Hikari” by Wataru Hatano.

There is also a radio program titled Hamatora From Cafe Nowhere where voice actors often interact. In March 2015, a film and a new television series were announced

Sentai Filmworks has licensed the first season for digital and home media release. The first season was released on Blu-ray and DVD on September 22, 2015 with both English and Japanese audio and English subtitles. Sentai Filmwworks has also licensed the second season for digital and home media release. The second season will be released on Blu-ray and DVD on January 26, 2015.

Video game

The game takes place in a port town of Kobe.

A Nintendo 3DS game developed by FuRyu titled Hamatora: Look at Smoking World was announced in December 2013. It was released in Japan on July 17, 2014. Directed by Shuuhou Imai, the game resemble the Tokyo Majin Gakuen role-playing game series. The combat is a turn based and require to input different commands to execute the Minimums. It takes place in the same fictional setting as both the Hamatora manga and anime but featuring a new story. It was made so that newcomers to the franchise will have access to it.

Set in a port town of Kobe, the protagonist is a transfer student named Souken who awakens his own Minimum and starts participating in fights against other students. Certain shopping districts were modeled after real-life areas, which the player will be able to see in stereoscopic 3D. The main cast from the Hamatora anime and manga series is also set to appear in the game. Preorders of the game include a Honey IC Sticker Card, that was designed using Honey’s tablet from the anime as a motif.

Stage play

In August 2014, the production company Eigeki ran a Hamatora play for 12 performances from August 16 to August 24 at the Haiyūza Theater Roppongi in Tokyo. Titled Hamatora The Stage: Crossing Time, the play focused on the Hamatora team aiding Art in solving a murder case.

Novel

A novelization titled Hamatora the Novel by Kenichi Fujiwara was to be published by Shueisha in July 2014.

Hamatora

Nice
The impulsive founder of the detective agency “Hamatora”, Nice works in the manga as the only detective with Hajime’s help whereas in the anime he is the half of the “Minimum Holder PI duo” along with his partner Murasaki. He is a former member from an academy of Minimum Holders who left to start a life as a detective, obtaining several allies. He is constantly in need of money, partly due to the fact that he does not care about the cost of a job request more than what it entails. He is a bit absent minded at times and rarely acts like his age.
Despite his seemingly carefree nature, Nice is a genius thinker and able to quickly assess information. He always wears a set of headphones around his neck which he uses to activate his Holder ability, known as Sonic Minimum in the anime and Cannon Ball in the manga, allows him to move at the speed of sound. In Re: Hamatora, using the Minimum causes a strain in his body. He is the top-ranked graduate of the Facultas Academy and went there alongside Art and Skill. His existence is regarded as classified information. He tried to abandon that place alongside Hajime in order to see the world, but was shot in the process; his life was saved by Moral, who transplanted Skill’s heart into Nice’s body, saving his life, and left shortly afterwards to discover Hajime has amnesia. He detests the academy due to how it judges people based on whether or not they have power and believes power should not be necessary to determine one’s worth. In the finale it is revealed Nice has Skill’s heart as well as his Minimum, allowing him to grant others Minimums.
Murasaki
The rather reserved other half of the “Minimum Holder PI duo” along with his partner Nice. He is originally an agent of Facultas sent to capture Nice, but ended joining him. He is a rational thinker and unlike Nice, prioritizes the cost of a job request over content. He has a bit of an existentialist outlook on things. His Holder ability known as Gravity Minimum in the anime and All or Nothing in the manga, is activated when he removes his glasses and greatly hardens his body, giving him super-human like strength. Using the Minimum in Re: Hamatora weakens his body. He is a prodigy who is ranked second among the Facultas Academy graduates. He dislikes how Nice always manages to surpass him and wishes to defeat him once in order to be acknowledged by him. In Re: Hamatora, Murasaki tries confronting Art but gets beaten up by Freenum. While he survives, his Minimum disappears, and returns to the group. In the finale, he recovers his Minimum.
Hatano has commented that while the series its share of comedy, there is also drama in some parts of the story that could result in the viewer becoming emotional. He compared the series with a festival due to the viewer’s feelings. He added “The story will be followed with that feeling, what end will be met the complex case intertwined.”
Hajime
A gluttonous girl who spends most of her time at the Nowhere Café. In the manga, she is Nice’s only ally and accompanies him to all of his cases. She is one of Hamatora’s founders. She suffers from memory loss. Hajime is a test subject from Facultas. She was the first person to survive to a certain experimentation by Moral and was kept in the secrets. In Facultas, she met Nice who named her as she was simply known as “success No.01” and invited her to see the world alongside leaving the academy.
Her Holder ability, while initially unexplained, makes her a strong combatant and is said to be able to rival Nice. Her Holder also heals her wound and is able to unleash a berserk state. By Re: Hamatora it is revealed the Minimum is known as the Nihilist Minimum triggered by despair which was first activated by seeing Nice nearly dying. It has the power of nullifying every other Minimum around her which cause her friends to go through sideeffects of their powers until they will lose it.

 

Film Friday – Glass Mask

Film Friday – Glass Mask

Glass Mask is a Japanese shōjo manga series written and illustrated by Suzue Miuchi, serialized in Hana to Yume from January 1976, and collected in 49 tankōbon volumes as of October 2012. The story has also been adapted into anime and a live-action television series. As of 2006, the collected volumes had 50 million copies in Japan, making it the second best-selling shōjo manga ever. The title refers poetically to the mask of faces that actors wear – while expressing emotions that are not their own, the mask they wear (their acting) is as fragile as glass. If the actors are distracted, their mask will “break” and show on stage the actors’ true feelings.

Anime

There have been several anime adaptions since the manga began its serialization. The first adaptation was a 23-episode TV series produced by Eiken in 1984 which was directed by Gisaburō Sugii with animation contributions from Shingo Araki and character designs by Atsuko Nakajima. The main voice cast featured Masako Katsuki as Maya Kitajima, Taeko Nakanishi as Chigusa Tsukikage, Minori Matsushima as Ayumi Himekawa and Nachi Nozawa as Masumi Hayami. The opening and ending theme, Garasu no Kamenand Pāpuru Raito was performed by Mariko Ashibe. This adaptation was broadcast by Nippon TV.

A three episode OVA, titled as Garasu no Kamen: Sen no Kamen wo Motsu Shōjo, was the remake of the first 3 arcs of the manga series. The OVA was released by TMS Entertainment in 1998. The voice cast from the 1984 series was not used and instead featured Megumi Ogata as Maya Kitajima, Keiko Toda as Chigusa Tsukikage, Naoko Matsui as Ayumi Himekawa and Jūrōta Kosugi as Masumi Hayami. The OVA was directed by Tsuneo Kobayashi with scripts written by Nobuaki Kishima, Tomoko Konparu and Yoshiyuki Suga as well as animation character designs by Satoshi Hirayama and Masako Gouto.

In 2005, TMS Entertainment, the company who produced the OVA began a TV series which was directed by Mamoru Hamatsu with series composition done by Toshimichi Saeki, animation character designs by Satoshi Hirayama and music composed by Tamiya Terashima. This adaptation was broadcast by TV Tokyo and there were 2 opening themes, Promise which was performed by Candy for episodes 1-26 and zero by Aiko Ikuta for episodes 27-51. There were 4 ending themes which were Yasashii Sayonara for episodes 1-13 by Aina, Step One by Sister Q for episodes 14-24, Sunao ni Narenakute by Splash Candy for episodes 27-39 and Hello Hello by Core of Soul for episodes 40-51. Like the other adaptations, the voice cast was not reused and Maya Kitajima was voiced by Sanae Kobayashi, Chigusa Tsukikage by Toshiko Fujita, Akiko Yajima as Ayumi Himekawa and Masumi Hayami was voiced by Toshiyuki Morikawa. The original voice actor for Maya Kitajima in the 1984 adaptation returned to voice Ayumi’s mother, Utako Himekawa.
The 2005 adaptation was licensed in North America by Sentai Filmworks, and distributed by Section23 Films. The first half of the season was released on DVD, on January 19, 2010; however, the second half of the season has been cancelled reportedly due to low sales.
In 2013, a 17-episode short flash series was launched by DLE. The series reimagined Maya and Ayumi as a pair of rival delinquent girls vying to become the new leader of the Crimson Goddess gang.
In 2016, a 13-episode parody version, which “re-imagines the manga and its characters in a school gag comedy focused on satirizing modern society”, and with the title 3-Nen D-Gumi Glass no Kamen, was broadcast on Tokyo MX starting on October 3.

Film

In 2013, an animated film dubbed It’s Glass Mask But… the Movie: Female Spy’s Love! The Purple Rose Has a Dangerous Scent!? was released. Like the flash series, the film was a parody which reimagined Maya and Ayumi as a pair of students who become junior spies after their mentor, Chigusa, is kidnapped.

Live-action

A live-action version adapted the first 38 volumes of the series in 1997, and continued in 1998 as “Garasu no Kamen 2.” Both productions starred Yumi Adachi as Maya Kitajima.

Characters

  • Maya Kitajima
    A talented young actress (a 13-year-old at the beginning of the story) who originally worked as a waitress in a Chinese restaurant alongside her mother. Her father died when she was a little girl and her mother, Haru (Louise in the French anime), who is mentally unstable, considers Maya useless due to Maya’s tendency to be sidetracked by anything to do with acting while in the middle of working). She is discovered by the former diva Chigusa Tsukikage and starts a promising, yet thorny acting career under the older woman’s wing. Her mother discourages her daughter from an acting career, believing that her daughter would be a laughingstock. She even refused to attend a school play Maya was in because Maya’s role was that of a pitiful and wretched minor character. So Maya gave the role more depth and sadness to a character who was originally meant to be portrayed as laughable and pathetic. Later on, Maya is given the opportunity to make a living as an actress. Tsukikage cuts off Maya’s ties with her mother, making the decision of becoming an actress. However, Maya is consistently given encouragement through an anonymous fan who sends her a bouquet of purple roses which is none other than Hayami Masumi, whom Maya shows an immense hatred towards, especially since he took malicious enjoyment in bringing down Tsukikage’s acting school. A few years later, Haru dies of Tubercolis and blindness, trautimizing Maya for many weeks. Maya’s talent for acting comes from both her natural skill and emotional personality, unlike Ayumi whose skills are more technically driven; in fact, Maya practically ‘becomes’ her characters when she plays, so brutal her training methods are and so intensely she performs. During the beginning of her training sessions, Maya has always displayed unconventional performances of the assigned tasks, such as laying on the floor to “sit on” a toppled chair. People often note how unremarkable Maya is until she takes the stage. In fact, the prodigy actress Ayumi comments that Maya knows how to captivate the audience, even though she isn’t aware of doing so. Despite having enormous potential and raw talent, Maya often doesn’t recognize her abilities. She thinks of herself as unremarkable and “useless”, as her mother constantly referred to her as, though she is compelled to pursue a career in acting because “acting is all she has”. She also harbors moments of inferiority in comparison to Ayumi, who is beautiful, talented, and rich. Despite all this, Maya doesn’t harbor any malice or ill will toward Ayumi, though Ayumi is secretly competitive toward Maya. Maya has three nicknames. One is “The Stage Storm,” referring to her innate ability to drown out other actors’ importance in a play even while in a bit part. Tsukikage refers to Maya as “the girl with a thousand masks” in tribute to her versatility whenever taking on character roles. And she is addressed as “little child” by Masumi Hayami, a diminutive nickname he’s given to her due to their broad disparity in age and height, to satirize her naivete, and eventually out of true affection.
  • Ayumi Himekawa
    Maya’s biggest rival, the honor-bound and noble Ayumi was born as the daughter of a very famous actress, Utako Himekawa (once the student of Tsukikage) and a successful director and producer, Mitsugu Himekawa, and has been touted as a prodigy from an early age. Ever since learning she got her first acting role just because of her family links, Ayumi has striven to shine on her own and never falls into arrogance. Ayumi becomes aware of Maya’s prodigious gift for acting when they first meet in a practice session; from then on she views the younger girl as a life-rival. She is ambitious enough to try to surpass her own mother, who is a widely recognized actress. People have jokingly told Utako that her daughter will steal the role of the Crimson Goddess from her. Even though Ayumi is young, she believes that she will re-vitalize the renowned role. Thus, she takes it upon herself to get as much experience as she can by trying out for any roles, including minor ones. At first, when Ayumi took on the role of Tom in The Prince and the Pauper, the children in attendance didn’t like the performance because they were used to seeing Ayumi as a beautiful young woman rather than a dirty and homely boy. Yet Ayumi soon draws the children’s favor by begging for “money” in a hat, to which the children offer her their candy. The people behind the stage were surprised that Ayumi would do such a thing, particularly since Ayumi generally would have thought such things beneath her. Her passion to become the Crimson Goddess is undeniable, however, as she continually strives for perfection to attain the role. Even though critics generally favour her over Maya, Ayumi is upset at being unable to reach the sort of emotional peaks Maya does when she performs.
  • Chigusa Tsukikage
    Maya’s mentor and a former street urchin. She once was a very talented and beloved actress, most notable for her role at the legendary play “Crimson Goddess” whose performance was so acclaimed that its author left the rights over it solely to her in his will, but she got horribly scarred in an onstage accident (a lamp lighter hit her and burned half her face off) and had to leave the acting scene, opening an acting school instead. She has very weak health and is hospitalized several times during the story. Yet she is a woman of unstoppable will, refusing to give the rights of “The Crimson Goddess” to Masumi Hayami and his father, as according to her, currently there is not an actress suitable for the main role. After finding potential in Maya, she takes her under her wing despite her mother’s objections and strives to shape her into the best actress ever, so she can contest with Ayumi for the leading role in “The Crimson Goddess”. Tsukikage understands that an actress’s face is her most important feature, and she covers Maya when Maya’s incensed mother tries to throw a kettle in her daughter’s face.
  • Masumi Hayami
    A abused stepson of the president of the Daito Entertainments, His real father died by accidentally falling off a building when he was 2 years old. He is brutally attempting to obtain the performance rights for “The Crimson Goddess” from Chigusa, efforts which ultimately lead to her acting school burned. When he sees Maya act as Beth in “Little Women” despite a high fever, he is impressed with her strong will and devotion to her acting dreams. He secretly sends her purple roses and financial support as encouragement (thus Maya refers to her anonymous fan as “The Purple Roses Man”; her friends call him Daddy Long-Legs), but acts mocking, cynical and even cruel in front of her to conceal his anonymous identity. Originally a normal, happy child, his cold exterior grew from the death of his mother, Aya, when he was a child, and his bad relationship with his stepfather Eisuke, who is responsible for the Crimson Goddess author’s death. As the manga proceeds, he becomes more and more infatuated with Maya and finally falls deeply in love with her. He doesn’t reveal either his alternate identity or his true feelings for many reasons, one of which is the belief that Maya hates him since he indirectly caused her mother’s death.

 

Film Friday- Tenchi Muyo!

Film Friday- Tenchi Muyo!

Tenchi Muyo! is a Japanese anime, light novel and manga franchise. The original series began with a six-episode OVA called Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-Ohki created by Masaki Kajishima and directed by Hiroki Hayashi, and released in Japan on September 25, 1992. The series was released by Pioneer LDC in the United Kingdom in 1994. As its popularity grew, it spurred a seventh episode titled Tenchi Muyo! Special: The Night Before the Carnival (also known as the Tenchi Special) and a stand-alone Tenchi Muyo! Mihoshi Special. A second OVA series was directed by Kenichi Yatagai that was released in 1994, and a third OVA series, also directed by Yatagai, was released in 2003.

A fourth OVA series was produced in Japan, with the first collection released on November 30, 2016. The following episodes were planned to be released with an interval of three months each, and the final part of the series arrived August 30, 2017.

On July 12, 2019, it was announced that a fifth OVA series is currently in development, with Masaki Kajishima again serving as chief director and Hideki Shirane writing and overseeing scripts.

A twenty-six-episode anime television series called Tenchi Universe was released in 1995 retelling and expanding upon the original six-episode story. Tenchi in Tokyo was created in 1997, and is another alternate version of the original story. The latest version of the series called Ai Tenchi Muyo!, was broadcast on Tokyo MX in 2014.

Spin-off series of Tenchi Muyo! were also created. Magical Girl Pretty Sammy is an example that was adapted into a manga series. The franchise has also spawned soundtrack CDs and other merchandise released both in Japan and in the United States.

Media

OVA

The first OVA was titled Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-Ohki and was created by Masaki Kajishima. The series was divided into 4 OVAs. The fourth OVA released its last episode on September 13, 2017.

TV series

After the first OVA series aired, AIC began looking into TV adaptations beyond the Mihoshi Special. In 1995 Tenchi Universe a 26-episode anime television series was created by Hiroshi Negishi, animated by AIC and produced by Pioneer. It was loosely based on the first six episodes of the OVA series and the Mihoshi Special. Two years later, another AIC production followed suit called Tenchi in Tokyo, which aired through 1997 and also ran 26 episodes. It borrowed characters and some plot devices from the previous incarnations, but with a noticeable art shift and very different concepts, such as centering on Tenchi’s high school and being a priest in Tokyo. The most recent series Ai Tenchi Muyo! aired in October 2014. The series commemorated the 20th anniversary of the franchise and was sponsored by the city of Takahashi, Okayama.

Films

An anime film titled Tenchi the Movie: Tenchi Muyo in Love, created by Hiroshi Negishi, is a continuation of the Tenchi Universe TV series. A second film, Tenchi the Movie 2: The Daughter of Darkness, was adapted from a novel written by Naoko Hasegawa. The third film, titled Tenchi Forever! The Movie, is the sequel to Tenchi Muyo in Love and was adapted into a manga titled Tenchi Muyo! In Love 2: Eternal Memory.

Novels

Kajishima has written several books based on the franchise, including the ongoing Tenchi Muyo! GXP: Galaxy Police Transporter novel series, the novels Shin Tenchi Muyo! Jurai, Shin Tenchi Muyo! Yosho, and Shin Tenchi Muyo! Washu, and recently, the Paradise Wars spinoff. There are also a number of dōjinshi by and interviews with Kajishima, as well as a companion book, 101 Questions and Answers of Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-Oh-Ki. Naoko Hasegawa wrote a series of thirteen light novels continuing from the first OVA series, starting with “One Visitor After Another: Hexagram Of Love” in 1993.

Seven Seas Entertainment has licensed the light novels Shin Tenchi Muyo! Jurai, Shin Tenchi Muyo! Yosho, Shin Tenchi Muyo! Washu for a North American release.

Video games

Numerous video games have been released based on the franchise, such as Tenchi Muyo! Game Hen for the Super Famicom.

Radio

A radio drama was released titled Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-ohki Manatsu no Carnival.

Stage play

On AnimeJapan 2019, it was announced on AIC Rights’ booth that a stage play based on the first season of Ryo-Ohki is in development, scheduled to premiere in 2019. On May 17th, the cast and staff was announced, with Kazuhiro Igarashi writing the script and Kazuma Sato starring as Tenchi Masaki. It is scheduled to go from July 17th to the 21st on the Shinjukumura Live venue, in Tokyo.

Spin-offs

The first Tenchi spinoff is the Magical Girl Pretty Sammy series, a magical girl series where Sasami is the lead character. The first use of Pretty Sammy was in the Tenchi Muyo! Sound File, a Japanese-only music video release. The same animation was used in the ending of the Tenchi Muyo! Mihoshi Special. In 1995, a three episode Pretty Sammy OVA series began, where Sasami, who is known as Sasami Kawai, magically becomes Pretty Sammy. The second Pretty Sammy series is a TV series, which came out in 1996, also known as Magical Project S. This series is in a separate continuity from the OVA series. Pretty Sammy also appears in the Mihoshi Special toward the end of Mihoshi’s story, and in an alternate reality sequence in the Tenchi Universe series.

Also created by Masaki Kajishima, the 1997 OVA series Photon: The Idiot Adventures is related to the Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-ohki universe, or more specifically, its recent installment, Tenchi Muyo! War on Geminar. Tenchi Muyo! War on Geminar copies a number of elements from Photon: The Idiot Adventures, such as Koros, Aho energy, having a princess named Lashara, and a young hero with such strong superhuman abilities he’s practically invincible.

The 1999 series Dual! Parallel Trouble Adventure is related to the Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-ohki universe, due to the blatant use of the “Lighthawk Wings” associated with the Jurai dynasty in Tenchi Muyo. The creator of both Dual! and Tenchi Muyo!, Masaki Kajishima, confirmed that Dual! does relate to Tenchi Muyo!, and is in fact an alternate version of the Tenchi Muyo! universe. Guardians of Order published a line of English-language Tenchi Muyo role-playing game books based on the various series in the Tenchi franchise starting in 2000.

Tenchi Muyo! GXP was released in Japan in 2001. The series takes place during the Kajishima version of the OVA continuity, and is set a year after the events of the third OVA series (despite being released first chronologically). The main character is Seina Yamada, a friend of Tenchi Masaki who accidentally joined the Galaxy Police. Many characters from Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-ohki make appearances in this series, including the use of Seiryo Tennan as a major character and a full-fledged Tenchi Muyo! crossover in episode 17.

Battle Programmer Shirase is a 2003 spin-off of the Pretty Sammy OVA and TV series, keeping the character Misao Amano from Pretty Sammy, and with the main character Akira Shirase, Misao’s great-uncle; however, it bears little in common with either Pretty Sammy series because it has neither magic, nor Sasami, nor Misao’s alter ego Pixy Misa.

Sasami: Magical Girls Club aired in Japan in 2006. The third spin-off featuring Sasami (known here as Sasami Iwakura) as the main character.

The most recent Tenchi spin-off series is called Tenchi Muyo! War on Geminar which follows the tale of Tenchi’s half-brother Kenshi Masaki as he finds himself in a foreign world that uses humanoid machines to fight their wars.

 

Film Friday- Wise Man’s Grandchild

Film Friday- Wise Man’s Grandchild

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

Anime

An anime adaptation of the series was announced in September 2017. The anime, which was later confirmed to air on television, is directed by Masafumi Tamura and written by Tatsuya Takahashi, featuring animation by Silver Link with character designs by Yuki Sawairi and music by Kow Otani. The series aired from April 10 to June 26, 2019 on AT-X, ABC, Tokyo MX and BS11. i☆Ris performed the series’ opening theme song “Ultimate☆Magic”, while Nanami Yoshi sang the series’ ending theme song “Attoteki Vivid Days.” Funimation has licensed the series, and produced a dub as it airs.

Shin Wolford
A Japanese salaryman who was killed by a truck and reborn into another world with his memories intact. Raised and trained by Merlin Wolford, Melida Bowen and Michel Collins, thereby making his magical and combat skills beyond S-rank. Shin can also create and modify magical gear to what can be considered National Treasure level equipment. Being raised in the woods however, his social and worldly skills are a bit lacking. He has leadership of his own Ultimate Magic Research Society and obviously top S-rank. Sicily was enamored with Shin from their first meeting and is overjoyed when she becomes his fiancée. Like his grandfather, Shin can cast magic without verbal or somatic components (since he considers aloud spell names embarrassing) and has created many unique spells like the gate and extra dimensional storage spaces. His element compress in water & heat, and his strongest arsenal is Hydrogen Bomb. Based on recollection of his previous world, Shin’s knowledge of science and astronomy revolutionize the world’s magic tools. Over the summer break, Shin and his grandparents did intensive training with the Ultimate Magic Research Society to prepare for massive demon outbreaks while deployed in a special unit called the Ultimate Magicians, hopefully to prevent other students from getting conscript into war. Soon afterwards, Shin’s (Earth-modern) appliances prompted in opening his own shopping mall. His title is Demon Lord, which he does not like.

August von Earlshide
The son of King Diseum and the crown prince, he also goes by “Aug” or “Gus” to his friends. He is respected by his peers and, like his father, considers one’s abilities to take precedent over their peerage, but does not use his influence unless necessary. Aug inherited his father’s traits. Shin and Aug have a cousin-like relationship. Aug enjoys watching when Shin gets in over his head during social actions and likes to manipulate Shin to act on his plan. He also keeps Shin prudent from introducing new magic and tools that would throw the world out of balance. Aug’s childhood friends, Julius and Thor, feel pressured because he talks to Shin casually. Even Elizabeth is irritated by their closeness until Aug ease her mind when he provokes Shin to confess to Sicily. His title is Thunder God and is the 2nd S-rank.

Sizilien “Sicily” von Claude
A beautiful, timid; soft-spoken blue-hair girl being called a Saint, and is the third daughter and fourth child of the Viscount Claude. Sicily is unassuming with what many consider the loveliest features. She is smitten with Shin the first time she meets him after he rescues her and Maria from a group of thugs. As she and Shin started going out she tends to be a little aggressive towards him and others. Sicily excels in healing magic and thanks to Shin’s tutoring her forte is now only second best to Shin’s. She is the 4th S-rank and received the title Holy Maiden for being a savior of Swedes Kingdom civilians increasing her popularity, including her and Shin’s engagement. She’s now targeted by Zest and his scout, as she is deemed to be Shin’s weakness.

Maria von Messina
A red-hair second daughter of a Countess and is a friend to Sicily. Maria is a very up front and vocal lady; she is also an obsessive fangirl of Merlin and Melida. She teases Sicily over her crush of Shin and tries to offer her support in their relationship. Due to her indifference, Shin doesn’t treat her as a nobleman’s daughter. Her title is Valkyrie and is the 3rd S-rank.

 

Film Friday- Barakamon

Film Friday- Barakamon

Barakamon is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Satsuki Yoshino. It started serialization in Square Enix’s Gangan Online February 2009 issue. The story follows Seishu Handa, a calligrapher who moves to the remote Goto Islands off the western coast of Kyushu, and his various interactions with the people of the island. An anime adaptation by Kinema Citrus aired in Japan between July and September 2014. Funimation has licensed the series for streaming and home video release. In February 2014, Yen Press announced they have licensed Barakamon for English release in North America.

A spin-off manga series Handa-kun started serialization in the November 2013 issue of Square Enix’s Monthly Shonen Gangan magazine. An anime television adaptation by Diomedéa aired in Japan between July and September 2016.

Anime

An anime adaptation by the studio, Kinema Citrus, began airing on July 5, 2014. Funimation has licensed the series for streaming and home video release. The opening theme song is “Rashisa” performed by Super Beaver, and the ending theme is “Innocence” by NoisyCell.

An anime television adaptation of the Handa-kun spin-off manga was announced on Square Enix’s Gangan Online website on February 1, 2016. It began airing on July 7, 2016 on TBS and CBC, and later began airing on MBS, BS-TBS, and TBS Channel 1. The 12-episode series was directed by Yoshitaka Koyama and produced by Diomedéa. Michiko Yokote, Mariko Kunisawa, and Miharu Hirami wrote the series’ scripts, while Mayuko Matsumoto designed the characters and Kenji Kawai composed the music. The opening theme song, titled “The LiBERTY”, was performed by Fo’xTails, and the ending theme song, titled “HIDE-AND-SEEK”, was performed by Kenichi Suzumura. Funimation has also licensed the series for streaming and home video release and plans a broadcast dub for the series.

Seishu Handa 
is a 23-year-old master calligrapher who dedicates his life to the art. His real name is Sei. After punching a gallery curator for calling his calligraphy “boring,” “rigid,” “academic,” and “bland.” , he is sent by his father to a small town in the Goto Islands to focus on his calligraphy as he waits out his “banishment”. He is typically childish and a short-tempered adult. He’s also easy to scare. He’s affectionately called “Sensei” by the people of the village area of town. As a teenager, he was equally popular among the boys and girls from his school but was under the impression that most of the school hated him when in fact, he was worshipped by others who misunderstood his methods from interactions with him. He eventually discovers the truth of his reputation and was dismayed to hear his best friend was teasing him the whole time. While Handa came to understand that, he was overwhelmed by the popularity.
Naru Kotoishi 
is a 7-year-old (6-year-old in the beginning) girl in her first year at a local elementary; she lives on the Goto Islands alone with her grandfather. Her personality is very energetic, curious, and childish. She visits Handa’s house every day to play. She is typically reckless, thinking after she does; this is shown by all the time she disobeys Handa.