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Film Friday- Kaguya-sama: Love is War

Film Friday- Kaguya-sama: Love is War

Kaguya-sama: Love Is War is a Japanese romantic comedy manga series by Aka Akasaka. It began serialization in Shueisha’s seinen manga magazine Miracle Jump in May 2015 and was transferred to Weekly Young Jump in March 2016. In North America, the manga is licensed in English by Viz Media. A 12-episode anime television series adaptation by A-1 Pictures aired in Japan between January and March 2019, and a 12-episode second season premiered between April and June 2020. An OVA episode will be released in 2021, and a third season has been announced. It was also adapted into a live-action film directed by Hayato Kawai, which was released in Japan in September 2019. The anime series is licensed in North America by Aniplex of America. As of April 2021, the manga had over 15 million copies in circulation. In 2020, Kaguya-sama: Love Is War won the 65th Shogakukan Manga Award in the general category.

Media

Anime

An anime television series adaptation was announced by Shueisha on June 1, 2018. The series is directed by Shinichi Omata under the pseudonym Mamoru Hatakeyama and written by Yasuhiro Nakanishi, with animation by A-1 Pictures. Yuuko Yahiro is providing the character designs, while Jin Aketagawa is the sound director. Kei Haneoka is composing the series’ music. The series aired from January 12 to March 30, 2019, broadcasting on MBS, Tokyo MX, BS11, Gunma TV, Tochigi TV, Chukyo TV, and TV Niigata. The series ran for 12 episodes. Masayuki Suzuki, Rikka Ihara, and Yoshiki Mizuno performs the series’ opening song “Love Dramatic feat. Ihara Rikka”, while Halca performs the series’ ending theme song “Sentimental Crisis”. Aniplex of America have acquired the series in North America, and streamed the series on Crunchyroll, Hulu, and FunimationNow. In Australia and New Zealand, AnimeLab simulcasted the series within the region. The series is licensed by Muse Communication and released on Netflix in Southeast Asia. A second season titled Kaguya-sama: Love Is War? was announced on October 19, 2019. The staff and cast returned to reprise their roles. It aired from April 11 to June 27, 2020 on the Tokyo MX, Gunma TV, Tochigi TV, BS11, Abema TV service, MBS and TV Niigata. The second season will feature Kaguya’s character song “Kotae Awase” and a key visual with the new characters Miko and Osaragi as they join the returning main characters of the series. Suzuki returned to perform the season’s opening theme “Daddy! Daddy Do!” with Airi Suzuki, while Haruka Fukuhara’s “Kaze ni Fukarete” (“Blown by the Wind”) was used as the ending. The season received its world premiere prior to Japanese broadcast at Anime Festival Sydney on March 8, 2020. Funimation acquired exclusive streaming rights for the season in late March; the company began airing an English dub for the second season on July 25, with the first season dub streaming on March 9, 2021. In Southeast Asia, Muse Communication released the season on Netflix. On October 25, 2020, an original video animation episode and a third season were concurrently announced for production during the “Kaguya-sama Wants To Tell You On Stage” special event. There will be three episodes in the OVA bundled with the manga’s twenty-second volume, which ships on May 19, 2021.

Live-action film

The film premiered in Japan on September 6, 2019. Sho Hirano was announced for the role of Miyuki Shirogane, and Kanna Hashimoto was announced for the role of Kaguya Shinomiya. Hayato Kawai directed the film, Yūichi Tokunaga wrote the screenplay, and principal photography was conducted in March to April 2019. A sequel to the film was announced on January 6, 2021. It will be shown in Japanese cinemas on August 20, 2021. Hirano, Hasimoto, Nana Asakawa, and Hayato Sano, actors of Chika Fujiwara and Yu Ishigami respectively, are confirmed to return to reprise their roles.

Kaguya Shinomiya

The titular character of the series, Kaguya is the vice president of Shuchiin Academy’s student council. She is known for her beauty, intelligence and wealth, her family owning one of the largest business conglomerates in Japan. Due to being born into a high-class family, the manner Kaguya was raised caused her to be prideful, cold and calculating; but underneath her personality traits, she is really an innocent, kind and fair-minded teenage girl at heart. Her social status and upbringing also causes her emotional suffering due to loneliness and isolation. In spite of her intelligence and resources, she is surprisingly inept at utilizing social media and digital technology (although she excels at older, analog methods of input such as typewriter). She is also quite naïve when it comes to romance and sexuality, and had to be taught how to utilize fashion and femininity to her advantage. To make Miyuki confess his love directly or indirectly, she usually plans ahead to tilt the circumstances in her favour. Apart from engaging in student council work, she is in the Archery club.
Akasaka said that he modeled Kaguya to be like Kaguya-hime in that both are princesses at the start, but have something deeper about their character later. He made both Kaguya and Miyuki to have similar personalities at first, both proud and intellectual but later revealing to be more like “goofy idiots” on the inside. He would later have the two diverge in tendencies, with Kaguya being more like a “bad girl”. Akasaka also said that while Kaguya has a dark side to her, he didn’t want people to hate her so he tries to keep the positive and negative emotions balanced.

Miyuki Shirogane

is the student council president of Shuchiin Academy. He is famed for being the top student of the school who has also placed second overall in national mock exams, attributed to his studying all the time, hence his messy hair, dark circles around his eyes, and glaring look. Like Kaguya, he is inexperienced with romance and relationships. Miyuki struggles with physical sports involving skills and has a paralyzing fear of bugs, especially cockroaches. Because his father, formerly a factory owner, is unemployed and his mother – who left the family when he was a child – does not support them, he and his younger sister Kei often take part-time jobs. A running gag in the series is how he always imagines Kaguya looking down on him and saying “How cute.”, and refrains to confess his feelings for her in fear of being rejected in such way.
Akasaka said that he initially thought about naming him Mikado, after the Emperor in the Kaguya-hime story, but found that he liked Otomo no Miyuki better. He developed Miyuki to begin like a twin in personality and character to Kaguya, and would later diverge to a “good boy”. He likes that he can portray him as calm and composed on the outside, but his mind would be racing on the inside.
Film Friday- Himouto! Umaru-chan

Film Friday- Himouto! Umaru-chan

Himouto! Umaru-chan is a Japanese manga series by Sankaku Head. It began serialization in Shueisha’s seinen manga magazine Weekly Young Jump on March 14, 2013. It has been collected in twelve tankōbon volumes. An alternative version was serialized for two chapters in Shueisha’s monthly magazine Miracle Jump in 2012. An anime television series adaptation aired in 2015. A second season titled Himouto! Umaru-chan R aired from October to December 2017, while a sequel series titled Himouto! Umaru-chan G was released in November 2017.

 

 

Characters

Umaru Doma 
A high school girl with beautiful looks, top grades and excellence in everything. She reverts to a secret lifestyle at home, where she wears a hamster hoodie and is really a die-hard otaku. While indoors, she is drawn in a chibi manner, later calling herself Komaru (Umaru’s sister) when Kirie catches her in the persona. She lives with her brother Taihei. She wears a cap while at the amusement arcade, where she is a well-known gamer who goes by the initials UMR. She wears a mask to hide her identity from Sylphynford.
Taihei Doma
Umaru’s older brother working at the company. He lives in a 1DK apartment. The siblings move in a year before the series. He is described as having a kind and methodical personality. He reprimands Umaru for being lazy.

 

 

Nana Ebina
Umaru’s buxom classmate living in the ground-floor apartment near the siblings. She is very shy, and is originally from Akita Prefecture, occasionally reverting to dialect when she is nervous. Because of her breasts, she has a lack of confidence as people look at her. The first person to look her in the eyes is Taihei, whom she later has a crush on and gets flustered whenever he gives her compliments. Nana’s brother works at a restaurant in Tokyo. Taihei suspects he might have met him on his business trip. She appears in the spin-off manga “Akita Imokko! Ebina-chan”, after having placed first in a Niconico Seiga poll among other characters.
Sylphynford Tachibana
One of Umaru’s classmates. She is very openly competitive and considers Umaru a rival in academics and sports. She becomes friends with Umaru’s persona with hopes of beating her at school, and later gets along with her friends. She is half-Japanese and German.

 

 

Kirie Motoba
A classmate and a petite girl with frightening eyes to scare others. She is shy and has a great admiration for Umaru. She becomes friends with Komaru, thinking she is her sister. She is a servant calling her Master. She considers Ebina a rival for Umaru’s affection. She is a member of the swim club, and is good at other sports like tennis. She aspires to be a picture book author.
Takeshi Motoba
Kirie’s brother with an afro. His nickname is Bomber. He likes to slack off at work. He and Taihei became friends since high school, but he was not as studious. He gets jealous when sees Taihei hanging out with the girls, but when he meets Komaru, he feels she is cute too. He tries to interact with Kirie, but she gets annoyed from him. Later when he meets Umaru in her outdoor persona and Ebina, he becomes very nervous and shy. He thinks Komaru and Umaru are two different people, and cannot recognize his sister during the trip.
Alex Tachibana
Sylphynford’s brother. He works in Taihei’s department. He is part German and has relatives from Europe. He enjoys playing video games. He knows of Umaru’s dual personality. He later reveals that when he was in middle school, he was a shut-in. He later moved to Japan to work with Kanau.

 

Manager Kanau
Kanau Kongou  is the boss of Taihei, Bomber and Alex, described in Young Jump magazine as beautiful and excellent. She met Taihei and Bomber at high school ten years ago. She is very fond of Taihei, but gets annoyed by Bomber. Kanau is a single person and living on her own. Umaru becomes upset of her. Taihei reveals that she is the daughter of the president, a year younger than Taihei, and that they attended different schools. She has a younger sister Hikari.
Hikari Kongō
A top student from the Gifted Youth Program with a hairpin and Kanau’s sister. It is hinted that she interacted with Taihei, before knowing the set of constellations that he tried to show Umaru. She refers to Taihei as a big brother.
Kōichirō Ebina
Nana’s older brother and restaurant chef. He left home when the latter was seven.

 

 

 

Film Friday- Restaurant to Another World

Film Friday- Restaurant to Another World

Restaurant to Another World is a Japanese light novel series written by Junpei Inuzuka, with illustrations by Katsumi Enami. Shufunotomo released five volumes of the series. An anime television series adaptation by Silver Link aired from July 3 to September 18, 2017. A second season has been announced.

Main Staff

Master
The owner of the Western Restaurant Nekoya. A single man in his middle age, he is the grandchild of a couple who opened the restaurant, and inherited it when his grandfather died 10 years ago. An outstanding culinary master, he enjoys cooking for the eclectic group of patrons that visit every Saturday. Resulting from the mingling of so many diverse beings within one space, the restaurant has become a neutral region, since none of the guests — whatever their personal differences — want to miss out on the Master’s cuisine. His grandmother, Koyomi (also known as Yomi, a heroine from the other world) entrusted him with the key to the door; should he decide to close the door between both worlds, he is told that he must break the key.
Aletta
A demon girl hailing from the Demon Kingdom on the other world’s Eastern Continent. When the Demon God was vanquished by the legendary Four Heroes, the power he had once bestowed upon his demonic subjects waned, and as a result Aletta was born no different from humans except for the goat horns on her head. Rejected by the human world and ending up a vagrant, she discovered the Nekoya’s interdimensional entrance and began working every Saturday as a waitress; she is well-paid beyond a typical salary in her world as the Master has no need of its currency. She later finds additional work as Sarah Gold’s housekeeper.
Kuro
One of the other world’s six ancient dragons imbued with death, a power which inadvertently killed every mortal being that happened to cross her path. To avoid killing innocents, she banished herself to the world’s shattered moon. By chance, she found the door of the Nekoya appearing in her vicinity, entered the restaurant and, naive to human customs owing to her long isolation, ended up consuming so much chicken curry that her old friend, the “Red Queen”, prompted the Master to hire her as a waitress to pay off her food bill. To interact with the staff and patrons, “Kuro” adopts the form of a black-haired elf girl, but usually communicates via telepathy instead of speaking aloud. Later, she was taught how to speak vocally to prevent others from freaking out. She unofficially serves as the restaurant’s guardian, should a situation escalate. Of the diners, only Altorius and Alexander are aware of her true identity.
Daiki Yamagata
The now-deceased previous owner of the Nekoya and the current Master’s grandfather. He is shown in flashbacks when the Master reflects upon the older customers who became his grandfather’s regulars. He gave the restaurant to Master, who was also his apprentice. He met Koyomi near the end of (or just after) World War II; Yomi would serve as a waitress, and the two eventually fell in love.

 

 

Yomi
A female warrior from the other world, and a member of the legendary Four Heroes. During their battle with the Demon God over seventy years ago, she fell through an interdimensional wormhole and wound up on Earth, where she married the Master’s grandfather and ran the Nekoya with him. Initially, only Altorius, one of her comrades, knew about this secret. According to him, she is still alive on Earth despite her advanced age and visits her grandson from time to time. Furthermore, its implied she retains some of her magical ability. She holds the key to permanently stop doors to warp and a fail-safe, but decided to entrust it to her grandson, seeing what progress the restaurant has become; should her grandson decide to close the door, he must break the key.

 

Film Friday- Uta no Prince-sama

Film Friday- Uta no Prince-sama

Uta no Prince-sama is a Japanese multimedia franchise by Broccoli. The original game of the same name was first released on the PlayStation Portable on June 24, 2010, and since its release, the game has spawned multiple sequels and rhythm game spin-offs. The series has also been adapted into several manga series.

An anime adaptation by A-1 Pictures began airing in 2011, titled Uta no Prince-sama: Maji Love 1000%, which was then followed by three sequels, a 2019 animated film titled Uta no Prince-sama: Maji Love Kingdom, and a 2022 animated film titled Uta no Prince-sama: Maji Love ST☆RISH Tours.

The franchise has been well received in Japan, with thousands of music CDs sold and charting on mainstream music charts. The games have been awarded “Best Consumer Game” in Dengeki Girls’ Style Otome Game Awards 2011.

Plot

With dreams of becoming a composer and someday writing a song for her favorite idol, Haruka Nanami enters the Saotome Academy, a prestigious performing arts school made up of students who are either vying to become an idol or a music producer. Haruka becomes acquainted with six of her classmates, who are all competing to become idols. For her project, she must team up with another student as an idol-producer team, and if they are successful, they will join Shining Agency after graduation. In addition, romance is strictly prohibited at their school.

Gameplay

Uta no Prince-sama is a comedy and romance visual novel in which the player assumes the character of Haruka Nanami. Uta no Prince-sama follows a branching plot line with multiple endings; depending on the decisions that the player makes during the game, the plot will progress in a specific direction.

There are seven main plot lines that the player will have the chance to experience, three which are initially available (four in All Star). Throughout gameplay, the player is given multiple options to choose from, and text progression pauses at these points until a choice is made. To view all plot lines in their entirety, the player must replay the game multiple times and make different choices to change the plot progression. The player must also complete various minigames, which affect the different endings.

Anime

The March 2011 issue of Newtype magazine announced that an anime television adaptation franchise would air during the summer. Titled Uta no Prince-sama: Maji Love 1000%, the series was produced by A-1 Pictures, with Yuu Kou directing the series, Tomoko Konparu supervising the scripts, and Mitsue Mori adapting the game’s original character designs. The anime series began its broadcast run on Tokyo MX, Gunma TV, and Tochigi TV on July 2, 2011 (July 3, 2011 at 12:00 AM). The video streaming service Niconico simulcasted the series to audiences in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa.

The second season premiered on April 4, 2013, under the title Uta no Prince-sama Maji LOVE 2000% on TV Aichi. The first season was released on January 7, 2014, on DVD/Blu-ray subtitled-only format.

A third season began airing on April 4, 2015, under the title “Uta no Prince-sama Maji LOVE Revolutions. On June 27, 2015, following the broadcast of the last episode of the third season, the ending message revealed that a fourth season had been confirmed.

The fourth season, titled Uta no Prince-sama Maji LOVE Legend Star, began airing on October 2, 2016. Sentai Filmworks has licensed the first and second seasons for a release in 2014, and has also licensed the third and fourth seasons.

Stage plays

Uta no Prince-sama has also inspired a series of stage plays, with the characters playing roles in a stage production and select characters appearing in certain plays. Music of the stage productions were later released onto CD. The first series, titled Gekidan Shining, featured the stage plays Masquerade Mirage, Tenka Muteki no Shinobu Michi, and Joker Trap from 2013 to 2014.

The second series, titled Theatre Shining, featured the stage plays Bloody Shadows, Pirates of the Frontier, and Everybuddy.

The third series, titled Shining Masterpiece Show, was screened at Gallery AaMo in Tokyo from February 23 to April 15, 2018, with each of the three stage plays rotating every month. The plays featured were Lost Alice, Trois: Ken to Kizuna no Monogatari, and Lycoris no Mori.

Films

During the Uta no Prince-sama: Maji Love Live 6th Stage event, the staff announced that an anime film titled Uta no Prince-sama: Maji Love Kingdom has been green-lit. Uta no Prince-Sama: Maji Love Kingdom is produced by A-1 Pictures and directed by Tomoka Nagaoka, with Takeshi Furuta serving as chief director. The rest of the main staff and cast from the anime series are returning to reprise their roles. The film was released in theaters on June 14, 2019. The film grossed ¥1.72 billion at box office upon its release. An English subtitled version was screened at Anime Expo 2019.

It was announced on March 27, 2021 that the a new anime film Uta no Prince-sama: Maji Love ST☆RISH Tours has been green-lit, and is set to premiere in 2022. A-1 Pictures is returning to produce the film, with Elements Garden composing the music.

Manga

Uta no Prince-sama was adapted into several manga series. The first two manga adaptations, Uta no Prince-sama and Uta no Prince-sama Debut, were illustrated by Utako Yukihiro and serialized in Sylph. The gag comic, Uta no Prince-sama PP was illustrated by Kotoko Ichi and serialized in Comic B’s Log. Alongside of that, several manga anthologies were also released with contributing fan artists.

 

Film Friday- SK8 the Infinity

Film Friday- SK8 the Infinity

SK8 the Infinity is a Japanese original anime television series produced and animated by Bones that aired from January 10 to April 4, 2021 on ABC and TV Asahi’s ANiMAZiNG!!! programming block. A comedy manga spin-off started serializing on the Young Ace Up manga website on January 11, 2021. A manga adaptation of the television series started releasing on the BookLive! e-book store on March 5, 2021.

Plot

In Okinawa, a group of hardcore skaters participate in a secret, no-holds-barred competition after midnight known as “S”, racing each other on skateboards down a winding road carved out of an abandoned mine and occasionally forming rivalries, also known as “beefs”, with each other. Reki, a high school sophomore and hardcore skater, takes new transfer student Langa to S one night, and ends up pulling him into the world of skateboarding.

Media

Anime

On September 13, 2020, it was reported that Hiroko Utsumi and Bones were working on an anime television series project. Further details were not revealed until the following week. On September 20, 2020, the series was officially announced. Utsumi will direct the series, while Ichirō Ōkouchi will oversee the series’ scripts, Michinori Chiba will design the characters and serve as chief animation director, and Ryō Takahashi will compose the series’ music. The series aired from January 10 to April 4, 2021 on ABC and TV Asahi’s ANiMAZiNG!!! programming block. The opening theme song is “Paradise” performed by Rude-α, and the ending theme song is “Infinity” performed by Yūri. Aniplex of America licensed the series outside of Asia and streamed it on Funimation, AnimeLab, and Wakanim in their territories. In Southeast Asia, the series is licensed by Muse Communication, who streamed it on Bilibili. Funimation produced a simuldub for the series. The series ran for 12 episodes.

Manga

A comedy manga spin-off by Toriyasu, titled Sk8 Chill Out!, started serializing on Kadokawa Shoten’s Young Ace Up manga website on January 11, 2021. A manga adaptation of the television series by Kazuto Kōjima released on the BookLive! e-book store under their Nino imprint starting on March 5, 2021.

Film Friday- Xam’d: Lost Memories

Film Friday- Xam’d: Lost Memories

Xam’d: Lost Memories, known in Japan as Xam’d of the Forgotten Memories, is an anime series, conceptualized by Bones and co-developed by Sony Computer Entertainment, Aniplex and Bones, which made its debut on Sony’s inaugural launch of the PlayStation Network (PSN) video download service at E3 in the United States on July 16, 2008, in Japan on September 24, 2008.

Plot

Sentan Island exists in a state of dreamlike tranquility, surrounded by the Yuden Sea, cut off from the war between the Northern Government and the Southern Continent Free Zone. Akiyuki Takehara lives on Sentan Island along with his mother Fusa. Despite his mother’s strained relationship with his father, Ryuzo, the town doctor, the bond between father and son remains strong.

One day the island’s tranquility is shattered, when Akiyuki, along with his best friends Haru and Furuichi, are caught up in an explosion on a school bus by a mysterious pale, white haired girl named Nazuna. The explosion produces a mysterious light which enters Akiyuki’s arm and a blue gem appears. With no time to understand what has happened, and a brief exchange between Nazuna and Akiyuki is transformed into a creature called Xam’d. As Xam’d, Akiyuki uses his newfound powers to fight off monstrous invading forces to save Haru, only to be stopped by a mysterious girl who offers him a choice: come with her and live, or stay and turn to stone. Accepting her offer, Akiyuki embarks on a journey of discovery that will take him to new lands, and help him understand the connection between himself and the world of Xam’d.

Media

Anime

The series received its television premiere across Japan on MBS, CBC, Tokyo MX and other Japanese broadcast networks from April 2009, featuring new opening and ending theme sequences. Xam’d: Lost Memories spanned a total of 26 episodes. On its launch week, its pilot episode was the most downloaded video on the PlayStation Network at E3. On June 24, 2010, Sentai Filmworks announced that it had sub-licensed the series for home video distribution across North America, where the first half season set was released on DVD and Blu-ray Disc on September 21, 2010. The second set was released on November 9, 2010 on DVD and Blu-ray.

Manga

The manga adaptation of the series, written by Masahiro Kawanabe, began serialization in Ace Assault and Shōnen Ace since December 9, 2008, after it began release on PSN Japan.

Music

The score to the series is composed by Michiru Oshima, known for her work on the Godzilla movie franchise and the Fullmetal Alchemist anime series. For both the 2008 PlayStation Network download distribution and the 2009 television broadcast, the Japanese electronic rock band Boom Boom Satellites performed the opening themes while Japanese-American vocalist Kylee made her debut performing the ending themes. For the PSN distribution, the opening was “Shut Up and Explode” from the Boom Boom Satellites’ 2007 album Exposed and the ending was “Vacancy”. For the syndicated TV broadcasts, the Boom Boom Satellites’ 2009 single “Back on My Feet” was used as an opening theme and Kylee’s songs “Just Breathe” and “Over U” were used as ending themes. For the TV broadcasts, both the old PSN and new TV themes were used in different combinations, each with different animation sequences.

Film Friday- Clannad

Film Friday- Clannad

Clannad is a 2007 Japanese anime fantasy-drama film directed by Osamu Dezaki and based on the visual novel of the same name developed by Key. Toei Animation announced at the Tokyo Anime Fair on March 23, 2006 that an animated film would be produced, and was released in Japanese theaters on September 15, 2007. The film is a reinterpretation of the Clannad storyline which centers on the story arc of the female lead Nagisa Furukawa. It was the final film directed by Dezaki before his death in April 2011.

A promotional campaign took to the streets of Akihabara on March 10, 2007 transported in a large black bus with the words “Film version Clannad” (劇場版CLANNAD, Gekijōban Clannad) painted on the sides. A group of young women cosplaying in the female high school uniform from Clannad emerged from the bus to hand out flyers and pink and white colored thundersticks to passersby to promote the film.

Plot

Tomoya Okazaki is a male third-year high school student who does not feel at home anymore. He used to play basketball, his distant father works the night shift, and his mother died in an accident when he was a child. He simply goes to school in Hikarizara for no reason and does not have any interest in school activities. One day, Tomoya meets a third-year girl from his school early in the year named Nagisa Furukawa. Nagisa is repeating her last year due to illness most of the previous year, and she does not know what to do. Tomoya suggests she finds something new to do at school, and she comes up with restarting the Drama Club. By the time the sakura trees are done blooming, Nagisa has already started hand-making posters advertising the drama club’s reformation, with an old group mascot called “The Big Dango Family”. Tomoya and his good friend Youhei Sunohara, who used to play soccer, help Nagisa with putting them up around the school, but the student council president, Tomoyo Sakagami, and Kyou Fujibayashi, quickly go around using red paint to deface the posters and write ‘invalid’ on them because of school policy. This angers Youhei greatly and he beats up one of the student council members despite Tomoyo and Kyou’s warning; Tomoya also takes a stand for Nagisa.

Kouko Ibuki, the teacher who had been the adviser for the drama club before it disbanded, gets involved by telling Nagisa that if she can gather more members then she will talk to the school about reforming the club. Tomoya and Youhei try again by this time making copies of hundreds of posters and putting them all around the school, but no one joins the club. In the end, Nagisa gets Tomoya and Youhei to sign up, and she reassures them that she will not ask them to act on stage. The drama club is reformed, and with a month left until the school festival. Nagisa decides to do a soliloquy based on a dream she has had ever since she was a child; meanwhile, Tomoya and Youhei will work backstage with the music and lights respectively. Nagisa gets to writing the script, and invites Tomoya and Youhei over to her house for dinner, though only Tomoya comes, due to Youhei taking up a part-time job at an electrical company with Yusuke Yoshino; a former musician revealed to be Kouko’s fiancé. At Nagisa’s house, which turns out to double as a bakery, Tomoya meets her energetic parents Akio and Sanae. Tomoya is challenged to a baseball match with Akio to see if Tomoya’s a man worthy for Nagisa, but cannot throw the ball due to an injured shoulder he received from his father in a bad fight, and even gets to stay overnight after being heavily persuaded by Akio.

Like Nagisa, Tomoya has also had a recurring dream ever since he was a child. In his dream, he initially is disembodied in an illusionary world where he is the only thing “alive”. He finds a discarded human-sized doll and uses it as a body to travel around the world on an old bicycle. After some searching, he finds a large sakura tree known as the “Tree of Promises” where he believes he will meet the person he has felt is with him in this illusionary world.

When the school festival finally begins, Nagisa reveals that she has not finished the script, but still wants to go on with the play since the story is still within her. Nagisa has her performance in the evening, so in the meantime Nagisa hangs out with Tomoya and Youhei. During lunch, she tells them her story why she wanted to do drama was due to her parents formally having been theater actors, but they both had to give up acting after Nagisa was born. Nagisa wants to do drama so as to continue her parents’ dreams in her footsteps. For the play, Sanae gives Nagisa her wedding dress to use as her costume, much to Akio’s surprise. Nagisa starts with her monologue without a hitch, and during her recitation Kouko gives stage directions to Tomoya and Youhei via headsets. Gradually, Tomoya comes to realize that the story Nagisa is reciting is the same dream that he has had, and is shocked to find that Nagisa also had the same dream of the illusionary world. At the play’s conclusion, Tomoya believes that he and Nagisa were meant to be together and confesses his love to her.

Shortly after the festival, Nagisa’s health falters once again and she has to take another leave of absence from school, meaning it is not until a year after Tomoya’s class graduated that Nagisa is able to graduate high school as well. After this, Tomoya and Nagisa start living together in a small apartment in town while Tomoya is recruited full-time at Yusuke’s electrical company as well, Nagisa works part-time as a waitress at a local family restaurant, and Youhei becomes a businessman in Tokyo. Eventually, Nagisa becomes pregnant, but her doctor informs her family and Tomoya that if she gives birth to the child, due to having weak constitution, she may die in the process. After the meeting, they agree on telling Nagisa. Tomoya and Nagisa’s parents take her to the beach where she decides the name Ushio for the child. Despite the doctor’s warning, she insists that she will be fine. One winter night, Nagisa finally gives birth to a baby girl Ushio and Nagisa dies giving birth. This causes Tomoya to go into deep depression, during which he does not go to work, or even visit his daughter who is now being raised by Nagisa’s parents.

For the past five years, Tomoya’s friends try to get him out of his depression, but Tomoya is very stubborn. Then one rainy night, Tomoya’s father Naoyuki Okazaki comes over and tells Tomoya that he is putting Ushio in the same relationship he did when his mother died, which greatly stuns him. Later, Naoyuki requested Tomoya’s friends: Youhei, Tomoyo, Kyou, Kouko and her husband Yusuke to take him out on a retreat for a few days in order to break his depression, and they take Tomoya out of his house so fast he does not even know what is going on. Once they tell him on the train, Tomoya is dead set on going back home but Yusuke convinces him to stay. When they arrive at their destination, Tomoya searches for another platform at the station, anticipating this, Akio and Sanae were waiting for him with Ushio. Just as Tomoya begins to walk away, his friends arrive blocking his way, then Tomoya turns around back at Ushio, she runs towards him holding a stuffed dango. She trips midway which makes Tomoya leap out and catch her. Picking her up with them smiling, he is able to see the continuation of his old dream once more, and sees Nagisa under the Tree of Promises smiling lovingly at him and Ushio.

Film Friday- Twin Star Exorcists

Film Friday- Twin Star Exorcists

Twin Star Exorcists is a Japanese shōnen manga series written and illustrated by Yoshiaki Sukeno. The manga has been serialized in Shueisha’s Jump Square magazine since October 2013, with individual chapters collected into twenty-four tankōbon volumes as of March 2021. The story revolves around Rokuro Enmado and Benio Adashino, a pair of young and talented exorcists, who (according to a prophecy) are destined to marry and have a child that will be the ultimate exorcist.

The series was adapted into an anime television series by Studio Pierrot, that ran from April 6, 2016 to March 29, 2017. The manga series has been licensed for an English language release in North America by Viz Media, publishing the first volume in July 2015. A video game was developed and published by Bandai Namco Entertainment for the PS Vita and released on January 26, 2017 in Japan.

As of December 2018, three light novels and two spin-off manga series have also been published and released in Japan.

Media

Anime

An anime television adaptation was announced on the January 2016 cover of Jump Square on December 4, 2015. The series is directed by Tomohisa Taguchi and written by Naruhisa Arakawa, with animation by Studio Pierrot. Additionally, Shishō Igarashi is serving as assistant director, Kikuko Sadakata is designing the characters, and Itsuko Takeda is serving as chief animation director. The series’ first opening theme song is “Valkyrie -Ikusa Otome-” by Wagakki Band, while the first ending theme is “Eyes” by Hitomi Kaji. The second opening theme, “Re:Call”, is performed by the idol group i☆Ris, while the second ending theme, “Yadori-boshi” is performed by the two-man group Itowokashi. The third opening theme, “sync” is performed by lol, while the third ending theme “Hide & Seek” is performed by Girlfriend. The fourth opening theme, “Kanadeai” is performed by Itowokoashi, while the fourth ending theme “Hotarubi” is performed by Wagakki Band.

The series began airing on April 6, 2016 on TV Tokyo and other TX Network stations, and later on AT-X and ended on March 29, 2017 with 50 episodes aired. Animax Asia aired the series with English Subtitles. Crunchyroll is simulcastin the series worldwide outside of Asia, and also released the series on Blu-ray + DVD with an English dub. Part 1 (Episodes 1-13) has been released on July 24, 2018 with a collector’s box to store the later three parts, and Part 2 (Episodes 14-26) on September 18, 2018. Part 3 (Episodes 27-40) was released on November 13, 2018, and Part 4 (Episodes 41-50) on January 8, 2019. Chinese streaming site iQiyi has listed the series with fifty episodes.

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

Video game

A video game adaptation of the series from Bandai Namco Entertainment was announced on September 3, 2016. The battle adventure game was released for PlayStation Vita, and features Rokuro as a playable character. It features an alternate setup with five different girls as candidates for the title of Twin Star, including Benio, Mayura, and three other characters designed exclusively for the game by original creator Yoshiaki Sukeno. The game was released to Japan on January 26, 2017.

Characters

Twin Star Exorcists

The Twin Star Exorcists are a couple of exorcists destined to be the parents of the “Miko”, the reincarnation of Abe no Seimei and the ultimate exorcist that is said to be capable of cleansing every kind of evil spirit. The Twin Star Exorcists also have a special, exclusive ability called “Resonance”, that allows them to combine their forces to increase the power of their attacks or access abilities that no other exorcist possess. It is also revealed that the Twin Stars are not proper exorcists, but rather “Vessels” made by Abe no Semei and Ashiya Doman. They do not have guardian spirits, but rather their powers come from the entire world around them. The Male Twin star, made by Semei, is a vessel for the Yang energy and the Female Twin Star, made by Doman, is a vessel for the Yin energy. Both energies normally act as polar opposites to each other, but it is only through a fusion of both powers that the Miko is born, who is not a reincarnation of any spirit, but rather an embodiment of the two powers in one form.

Rokuro Enmado
The main protagonist. A brash and headstrong 14-year old exorcist who once motivated to be the strongest and cleanse all Kegare and sins. Rokuro was found by Seigen in Magano when he was 6 and had no memory of his past, after which Ryougo took him in. However, Yuuto Ijika caused a tragedy at the Hiinatsuki Dormitory which forced Rokuro in taking the lives of his friends who had been forcibly corrupted. Following this, his right arm was corrupted as well and became part Impurity with great offensive power. This tragedy made him nearly abandon exorcism until he met Benio, who inspires him to fight as an exorcist again. Despite not liking the idea of being her groom at first, he later develops feelings for her. During the time skip, Rokuro elevates in his studies and training, making him popular in high school. Rokuro becomes head of the former Adashino House on Tsuchimikado Island. In the climax of Kegare escaping into reality, Rokuro and Benio are rejoined after a long separation. Benio’s fate as an Impurity doesn’t change Rokuro’s feelings for her. The pair live peacefully on the island in the process of four years. Rokuro soon obtains a fragment of Yuto’s yang energy that slightly awakens his own transformation. After persuading the islanders to make an exception of Benio’s misconduct, she and Rokuro officially get married. In the manga, it is eventually revealed that the Twin stars are not truly human, and Rokuro is a vessel for Yang energy. He was created by Abe no Seimei, in other words her son, so it appears as though his Guardian Spirit is Seimei, but in reality neither him nor Benio has a Guardian spirit. In the anime, he is actually the Hajo-ó (Cataclysm King or Star Destroyer King), an extremely powerful Impurity created by Abe no Seimei who is destined to wipe out humanity should they become a threat to the world.
Benio Adashino
The main heroine. A serious, 14-year old girl, she vowed to become the strongest exorcist and destroy all Kegare in order to avenge her parents’ death, who died protecting her. She wears a fox mask during battle. Upon meeting Rokuro she inspired him to return to being an exorcist, and despite not agreeing with the idea of becoming his bride, she secretly admires him for his tenacity, claiming that it is his sole redeeming quality. Benio has a taste for Ohagi. She admired her brother Yuuto until she learns his true colors. She loses both of her legs in the battle against Yuuto, but in the process, gets Impurity legs as replacements from Kamui (like Rokuro’s arm) increasing her speed abilities to fight beside Rokuro. After the time skip, both seem to have become even closer with Benio silently noting that she has fallen in love with him. When receiving Sayo’s enchantment, Benio’s guardian appears to be of a dark entity that rivals with the Basara Impurity and is revealed by Kuzunoha to be Ashiya Doman, Abe no Seimei’s archrival. She later loses her ability to exorcise and decides to stay while Rokuro leaves to Tsuchimikado Island ahead of her, but before that, she confirms her love for him and kisses him for the first time. She later learns from Chinu, the first impurity, that she has not actually lost her powers, but is awakening her real powers instead; the powers of Yin, as Benio is not a human, but an Impurity in a human’s skin. Experiencing the oppression of past Lunas and noticing a weren’t beside them, Benio unlocks her Impurity transformation and rejoins Rokuro just in time for their rematch against Yuuto. After the second time skip, Benio, gains an eyepatch similar to Yuto’s. Benio’s secret is eventually expose and place in custody. Rokuro busted her out and convinces the exorcist community to trust Benio again and accept their marriage.

 

 

Film Friday- Beet the Vandel Buster

Film Friday- Beet the Vandel Buster

Beet the Vandel Buster is a Japanese manga series written by Riku Sanjo and illustrated by Koji Inada. It takes place in a fantasy world where humans have been suffering from the attacks of the demon-like Vandels. (“Vandel” is a portmanteau of “vampire and “devil”.) Humans can fight back by becoming a Vandel Buster, a paid monster and Vandel assassin. The protagonist of the story, Beet, is a young boy who becomes a Vandel Buster to be like his heroes, the Zenon Warriors.

The manga was published in Shueisha’s Monthly Shōnen Jump in Japan from 2002 until September 2006, when Inada became ill. On December 17, 2015, it was reported that the manga will resume in the Spring 2016 issue of Jump SQ.Crown. The manga ran in Jump SQ. Crown until October 2016 and it is currently published in Jump SQ.Rise.

Viz Media published the first twelve volumes in English. An anime adaption was produced by Toei Animation and Dentsu and aired on TV Tokyo. It ran for 52 episodes, followed by a sequel, Beet the Vandel Buster: Excellion, which ran for 25 episodes. The anime was licensed in North America by Illumitoon Entertainment, who only released one DVD containing 4 episodes with an English dub track.

Main characters

Beet
The fifteen-year-old protagonist of the story, Beet is the leader of his own group of Vandel Busters, called the Beet Warriors. His dream is to end the dark century, and to kill all the vandels so they will stop killing humans. At the beginning of the series, he received five Saiga from the members of the Zenon Warriors, which are his major weapons in fighting vandels. He is strong when fighting monsters and Vandels but is weak when fighting humans. He also keeps mentioning that Poala will be his future wife.

 

 

Poala
Beet’s childhood friend, and the second person to join the Beet Warriors. She is a beautiful girl mentioned by Kissu and some other busters. Though beautiful, she is also an intelligent and wise girl, but often lets her anger towards others get the best of her. Poala is shown to be quite good with fire tengeki, but has trouble controlling its raw power. She is fairly skilled in tengeki. She is also known among Vandel Busters as Beet’s future wife.

 

Slade
Slade is a Vandel Buster and a rival of Beet’s whom he has known since his training journey. Like Beet, he is highly skilled in the use of spears, which has been developed by the 120 bouts he and Beet have fought. His main weapon is Wind Tengeki, which makes up his saiga, the Silent Grave. Despite his outward attitude towards Beet, he cares for him, but also believes he is too naive. He is also a friendly rival with Beet and hopefully a new member for the Beet Warriors.
Milfa
Milfa is a Broad Buster (BB) who is very upbeat, big fan of the Zenon Warriors and has a dream to either marry Zenon, Beet, or Kissu. She may even become a new addition to the Beet Warriors. She is especially skilled in the Lightning Tengeki, which also makes up her saiga, the Lightbolt Grasper.
Kissu
An old friend of Beet. He is a genius and master of tengeki, using his abilities to rival even the strongest busters. He is trying to redeem himself in his eyes and the eyes of Beet for teaming up with a Vandel, and Beet’s biggest enemy, Grunide.
Zenon
Beet’s older brother and leader of the Zenon Warriors. His saiga is the holy Excellion Blade, which was passed onto Beet. Upon meeting Cruss, Beet learns that Zenon used “the power beyond saiga” to handle Beltorze before being sucked into a dimensional rift. His current state and whereabouts are unknown.
Laio
Member of the Zenon Warriors. Laio’s fiery saiga is the Burning Lance, which was passed onto Beet. Taught Beet how to fight with the spear. After the encounter with Beltorze, his whereabouts became unknown.
Cruss
Member of the Zenon Warriors. Handsome and skilled with the power of water, uses the saiga ‘Crown Shield’ which he passed onto Beet. He had lost his memory until after the battle with the Vandel Garownewt. Told Beet what he remembered about the fight with Beltorze and helped him sharpen his skills with the Crown Shield saiga.
Bluezam
Member of the Zenon Warriors. To match his immense size, he wields the Boltic Axe, which was passed onto Beet. After the encounter with Beltorze, his whereabouts became unknown.
Alside
Member of the Zenon Warriors. His saiga is the Cyclone Gunner, which was passed onto Beet. After the encounter with Beltorze, his whereabouts became unknown.
The Winged Knight
A buster who saves Beet’s life when he encounters Garownewt. He also teaches Beet how to properly wield the saiga within him. His presence is an enigma, yet he seems to know the Zenon Warriors somehow.

Terms

Busters
Vandel Busters are often called Busters. To become a Buster, one applies at the Buster “house” to get a brand that indicates their level. Elders have the special ability to scan a buster’s eye to prove kills and advance levels. Levels are similar to RPG game level systems in that the more monsters or Vandels one kills, the higher one’s level. Levels are represented in Roman numeral like characters that represent numbers, with each line representing a level. The buster’s level is more a reflection of how much they have done, rather than how strong they are. Elders also give monetary rewards for slaying Vandels and Monsters, allow for the formal formation of groups, and give information. Each “house”, in each town, is under the jurisdiction of the Busters Association. (Similar to the vandel hotel)
Busters can work either individually or in groups. Buster are policed by a group known as the Broad Busters, commonly referred to as BB, and must have at least a minimum level of 40. Busters fight with Divine attack (energy in the forms of Air, Fire, Light, Thunder, and Water), or their own individual Saiga (A magic weapon made of divine energy), the ultimate weapon used to fight evil. Normally, a Buster is not able to produce a Saiga until they have mastered a certain level of divine attack.
Tengeki
Tengeki (called “Divine Power” in the English manga) is the main weapon that only vandel busters can use. It is described as “the ability to grasp heaven” because no one else besides busters can use it. The ability to use tengeki is activated when one first becomes a buster and receives their buster branding. Tengeki is assorted in five categories: fire, water, wind, lightning, and light. Each element is more powerful than another but weak against another. The order goes water puts out fire, fire “burns” through wind, wind cuts through lightning, and lightning shocks water. Light isn’t included in this because light is its own separate element and does not exist in the natural world. Below is a list of each tengeki and a summary of them overall.
Fire Tengeki: The Divine Power of Fire is characterized by its explosiveness and ability to burn through anything. Common attacks are fireballs, long bursts of flame, and focusing the flame into various shapes. Fire can also be focused through weapons to extend the user’s reach of where the flame hits. The highest level of attack, called “burst end,” focuses and compresses the fire tengeki into a ball that causes an enormous explosion when hit against something. Divine Fire is the best style for close range attackers, and it is the most commonly seen style among busters. Examples of Fire Saiga are Beet and Laio’s Burning Lance and Jiiku’s Blaster Edge. Most Fire Saigas are regular weapons that focus fire around the weapon, increasing the damage it can cause.
Wind Tengeki: The Divine Power of Wind is characterized by two things: its ability to cut and slice through vandels, and its ability to blow away monsters. Common attacks are creating blades of air focused to various degrees, which can slice through objects. Another common attack is to create tornadoes and hurricanes, which can blow opponents away. Wind Tengeki can also be focused through a weapon, either increasing its cutting ability or extending its reach. A high level attack, called Linear Gust, focuses Wind Tengeki to a great degree and the tengeki pushes through a monster’s body, piercing it and exploding from within its body. Divine Wind can also be focused by skilled users around the body, which results in a shield of wind all around the user. A high level defense technique is to focus the Wind in the normal way of a shield, but is focused so that when a vandel comes within reach of the shield, the air will slice up the vandel. Wind is mainly used in mid to long range attacks, but it can also be used at close range. Wind Saigas are commonly shown to compress air for attacks, like Alside’s Saiga Cyclone Gunner, which uses compressed balls of air for ammo. A close range example would be Slade’s Saiga Silent Gaive. Silent Gaive is a spear compressed to the limits, so it can cut through virtually any vandel. Wind is the second most common element seen.
Water Tengeki: The Divine Power of Water is very flexible and flowing. The most common attack for Divine Water is to focus the water into ice, and fire it at opponents, which leaves them frozen. Afterwards, they can be smashed into smaller pieces. Ice is also commonly focused into different shapes, like knives or needles, which are thrown at the opponent. A very high level attack associated with this is to focus the water in the air above the monster into needles, which can drop on the opponent. Another common attack is to focus and compress water into various shapes (most commonly seen is a stream of water) and fire it at opponents. This will either push the opponent back, or if focused enough, grind through the opponent. A high level attack, developed by Kissu, is called Frozen Wave of Divine Blue, which is a highly compressed arrow of ice tengeki. When it hits an opponent, it goes right through them, freezing them completely and destroying them in the process. Less commonly seen techniques, only associated with water, are healing powers. By focusing the water tengeki on a wound, highly skilled users can heal injuries. An example of a Water Saiga is Cruss’s and Beet’s Saiga Crown Shield. This shield is called “strongest shield in the world,” and it deserves that reputation. It can block many powerful attacks, and like water, it flows from offense to defense. If the user needs to attack (which is not very often, considering that it is a shield saiga), it can transform into a ball with a very very long chain attached to it, which can pound vandels into the dirt. Beet used this technique to kill the Phantom Beltorze. Another side technique associated with the crown shield is that it can cure poison by using water tengeki to push poison out of the body. Because of these techniques, water can be used for close range and long range attacks. However, it is mainly used for midrange attacks. Divine Water is the 4th most commonly seen tengeki.
Lightning Tengeki: The Divine Power of Thunder is characterized by its supersonic speed, repulsion/attraction of the electromagnetic force, eye blinding brightness and unpredictable movement. Common attacks include focusing lighting in the hand and throwing it like a ball, or conducting it through a weapon to increase its damage. Skilled users can focus their lighting tengeki in the air, causing lighting to hit opponents. A unique defensive technique shown by Milfia is to conducting lighting on yourself, super charging your body. This createa a rather nasty shock when anyone touches you, be it friend or foe. This technique is dangerous for those who are not very skilled, because if one messes their control of lighting it could go throw your body and stop your heart. Like other elemental saiga, lighting saiga have more than one side to them. For example, Beet’s and Bluezam’s Boltic Axe appears to be just a giant golden axe, but there is more to the saiga than that. The axe is easily capable of cutting through bedrock, which makes it handy for killing vandals. When Beet swings the axe, he is capable of letting out a condensed form of lighting tengeki that can cut through hard boulder. However, its greatest ability lies in the axe itself. When Beet’s life is in mortal peril, a seal in the axe opens up, and begins to suck anything and everything in the area into the void, acting as a black hole. This technique is so powerful, it drove off three seven star vandels from the area in seconds. Another example of a lighting saiga is Milfia’s Lightbolt Grasper. Basically a giant pair of pinchers, this saiga is able to grasp enemies and hold them down, making it easier for teammates to attack. In extreme situations, Lightingbolt Grasper is able to clamp onto enemies and drive stakes from the saiga into the ground. Then, Milfia fires off an incredibly condensed ball of electricity, which can be controlled to move vandels hundreds of feet into the sky.
Vandels
The Vandels are creatures that have a demonic appearance and whose sole purpose seems to be terrorizing humanity. Vandels have a base called the vandel hotel located at the end of the world. The dark house of sorcery is responsible for creating Monsters for the Vandels who order them as well as giving money and marble shaped “Stars” for killing humans and destroying towns. They also provide fortress construction for Vandels, luxuries, etc. The Vandels pay for monsters that they order and other things through dark currency (Humans use MG coins).
Vandels can use dark attacks to attack. Like Divine attacks, they can come in several forms: fire, water, wind, lightning, and sorcery. Vandels control the dark power with their horns, which is the hardest part of the vandel’s body. If the horn of a powerful vandel is severed, the uncontrolled dark power will accumulate inside his body. The moment the vandel dies, it cause an explosion that is five times as powerful as a first-class dark attack.
Vandels start out with one “Star” and like levels, more work is required to gain one Star if the Vandel already has several. Supposedly, the first Vandel to obtain eight Stars will become the new leader of the Vandels. The stars shatter when a Vandel is killed.
Each Vandel’s body is different, granting them all manner of unique abilities; weapon generation, monster storage, and being able to regrow an entire body from a golf ball sized “core” just to name a few. There is also much more variation in the first class dark attacks then in their divine counterpart. Rozzgoat’s version of Inferno looks like a giant centipede of fire with one eye but another Vandel’s Inferno would look completely different.
“The Eyes of Darkness” are the gods and creators of the Vandels. Outside of Shagi and some of the other workers at the vandel hotel, their existence appears to be unknown.
Encyclopedia of Monsters
All the monsters a Vandel can order are listed in this encyclopedia. It is also divided into sections like trees, caves, bogs, etc. The stronger the monster the more expensive it is. Low level monsters are like animals in both intelligence and appearance. They do not take instruction. They just obey instinct. Higher level monster are much smarter and/or stronger but do not reproduce naturally. They must either develop from weaker monsters, or be purchased.
In the past, Vandels could make their own monsters. Grineed, “The Clever Honcho of Deep Green” rediscovered the lost knowledge of creating monsters so that he no longer had to buy them from the Vandel Hotel. He died before passing on his knowledge.
Monsters can be “special ordered”. This means that they have abilities beyond what is normal for that kind of monster. An example is Dangol, a protector bug with human speech and intelligence, who served Grineed as a personal assistant and punching bag/stress release device. Another is Hazan, Beltorze’s Hound Knight, who was created in response to a demand for “a strong monster who will not be a burden.”
There are two basic philosophies on monsters. Some Vandels like to buy large numbers of cheap monsters while others prefer a small number of powerful monsters.
Saiga
Saiga are the trademark weapons of Vandel Busters. They are created from a Vandel buster’s divine force, and are generally gained in levels 30 and up. A Saiga is a Vandel Buster’s soul, and is best wielded by the owner or another who wields said Saiga with the whole of their soul. A Vandel Buster’s Saiga can be transferred to another Vandel Buster, or even a normal human to save their life. Upon it being transferred, that person can wield the Saiga at their own will, regardless of their prior training as a Vandel Buster, or lack thereof. Each Vandel Buster can only have one Saiga from their soul, unless the Saiga of another Vandel Buster is transferred to him or her. The Saiga reflects the owner’s fighting style, abilities, and overall soul. It also seems to represent the imagination and cleverness of the user. For example, in episode, a seemingly dumb man used a divine fire saiga in the shape of a sword, which doesn’t have any unique properties besides a regular fire saiga. On the other hand, Slade’s saiga represents his cleverness by making it invisible and being incredibly thin. Saiga can have several different forms, which can allow a Vandel Buster to fight in many different situations. For example, Cruss’ Saiga Crown Shield is a shield, which can turn into a flail-like weapon for offense. Another example is Alside’s Saiga Cyclone Gunner, which can change into different forms: a regular gun, a sniper mode, and a blade for close combat.
The five saiga of the Zenon Warriors are:

  • The axe “Boltic Axe”, the saiga of Bluezam,
  • The shield “Crown Shield”, the saiga of Cruss
  • The sword “Excellion Blade”, the saiga of Zenon,
  • The spear “Burning Lance”, the saiga of Laio
  • The gun “Cyclone Gunner” the saiga of Alside

Film Friday- Moriarty the Patriot

Film Friday- Moriarty the Patriot

Moriarty the Patriot is a Japanese mystery manga series written by Ryōsuke Takeuchi and illustrated by Hikaru Miyoshi, based on Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes series. It is a prequel, focusing on the youth of Holmes’ nemesis, mathematics prodigy, William James Moriarty. An anime television series adaptation by Production I.G aired from October to December 2020. The series is a split-cour anime, with the second half set to premiere in April 2021.

Anime

An anime television series adaptation was announced at the Jump Festa ’20 event on December 22, 2019. The series is directed by Kazuya Nomura at Production I.G, with Tooru Ookubo designing the characters and serving as chief animation director. Gō Zappa and Taku Kishimoto are in charge of scripts, and Asami Tachibana is composing the music. While the first episode was pre-screened on September 21, 2020, the series officially aired from October 11 to December 20, 2020 on Tokyo MX, BS11, and MBS. The opening theme song, “DYING WISH”, is performed by Tasuku Hatanaka, while the ending theme song, “ALPHA”, is performed by STEREO DIVE FOUNDATION. Muse Communication has licensed the anime in Southeast Asia and South Asia, and is steeaming it on its Muse Asia YouTube channel. Funimation also acquired the series to stream on its website in North America and the British Isles. The series will run for 24 episodes, with the 13-episode second half set to premiere in April 2021.

Stage play

Two stage musical adaptations ran in Japan between 2019 and 2020.

Characters

William James Moriarty
The middle Moriarty brother and a crime consultant. He possesses great intelligence and uses it to come up with the perfect crimes in hopes of ending the class system and reforming society. He helps victims of class-influenced crimes get their revenge by setting up a crime scene where their victims do the killing without leaving any evidence of their involvement behind. William was originally raised in an orphanage before being adopted by Albert and assumed the identity of the real William after he was killed through one of his crime schemes.

 

Albert James Moriarty
The oldest of the Moriarty brothers. He is the only true Moriarty of the brothers as he adopted William and Louis after witnessing how broken his real family is and came to believe in William’s dreams of remaking society.

 

 

 

Louis James Moriarty
The youngest of the Moriarty brothers. He was raised in an orphanage alongside William. As a child, he suffered from an unknown illness and would have died until Albert’s father was manipulated into getting him life saving surgery, curing his illness. He is devoted to William and obeys his every order.

 

Sherlock Holmes
Moriarty’s rival, he is a consulting detective who helps Scotland Yard with criminal cases that they can’t solve.

 

 

John H. Watson
Watson is a veteran who was a combat medic in the First Anglo-Afghan War as well as Sherlock’s flatmate who helps him solve cases.

 

 

Fred Porlock
An associate of William’s who is a master of disguise and martial arts, including the deadly use of knives and firearms. He acts as William’s spy and information gatherer and very rarely speaks unless delivering the information he has gathered. Despite his withdrawn personality, at heart he is quite gentle and kind, especially around children and hates when children are the victims of crimes.
Sebastian Moran
Sebastian is one of William’s associates. A career soldier who was encouraged to leave the army after he began turning to a life of crime. He is a firearms expert, able to hit his targets at quite extreme distances, especially with rifles and acts as William’s soldier, bodyguard and assassin. He has expressed a willingness to sacrifice his own life if William requires it and believes in his dream of a better society.

 

Mycroft Holmes
Sherlock’s older brother.

 

Irene Adler  
An associate of Holmes and Moriarty and expert cross-dresser and spy.