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Film Friday- Get Backers

Film Friday- Get Backers

The manga of Get Backers was adapted into an animated television series in 2002. The Studio Deen production aired on the Tokyo Broadcasting System from October 5, 2002 until September 20, 2003, for a complete run of 49 episodes. It was also dubbed in English and broadcast by the anime television network Animax across its respective networks worldwide. The series was licensed for an English-language release in North America by TokyoPop, which released 27 volumes between February 10, 2004 and December 2, 2008. It has since lost the license to the property, and all existing releases are now out-of-print.

Ban Midou

is one of the main protagonists in GetBackers. His name comes from his mother’s surname “Midou” and the “Ban” from Japanese word for Savage. The “ban” can mean “barbarian” or “uncouth/vulgar”. This is the result of the first meeting between Paul and Ban. When der Kaiser first introduced the infant Ban to Paul, Ban kicked Paul in the face while being held by him, causing Paul to insist that the Ban of Yaban suited the child perfectly. der Kaiser agreed.

Known variously as “The Man with the Evil Eye” and “The Genius of Battles”, he is the “B” in the GetBackers. He is 18 years old in the manga and 21 years old in the anime. He is one quarter German is the grandchild of the “Last Witch of the 20th Century”. Ban is a brother-like figure to Himiko Kudo after she came to terms with her brother’s death, and later it is revealed in volume 38 of the manga that Ban is actually related to her by blood through the Witch Queen.

In the GetBackers duo, he is the one who thinks of the plans for their moves. Initially, Ginji Amano was seen to be a sidekick to him (in fact, when they first formed their partnership, Ban insisted that Ginji was only his sidekick), but as the story progressed, Ginji gradually held his own in their missions, and Ban acknowledged him as an equal.

Ban is very intelligent, having studied fighting techniques, science, history, music, art and magic from a very young age as a result of being hunted in Europe by shamans during his childhood. More often surprises everyone with his knowledge and abilities, such as being able to play the violin. He also bears a striking resemblance to his father. In fact, in the arcs where his hair is “down” (“Venus de Milo” and “Kiryuudo” arcs), he looks like der Kaiser during his Getbacker days with Paul. Another trait which both father and son share is that while they may appear cold and ruthless on the surface, they are actually very warm and caring towards their friends.

Ban inherited his powers from his grandmother. Ban utilizes two main abilities. His primary technique is the Evil Eye, which allows him to force anyone he makes eye contact with watch a one-minute-long illusion. It should only be used three times per day and cannot be used on the same person again for the next 24 hours. Furthermore, while the illusion only lasts for one minute, should Ban will it, the one affected by the Jagan can be placed inside a time-warp zone via the illusion created by the technique, meaning that to them, one minute in real life could last up to several hours in the Jagan’s influence. It is rare for Ban to use the Evil Eye to defeat his opponents, preferring to use it to aid in the retrieval process or to give clients happy/nightmarish dreams; however, he has been shown to use it in defeating Takuma Fudou’s insight during the blank second.

If the user were to use the Jagan a fourth time within a 24-hour period they would receive a penalty for using it. After the fourth use the user disappears both from the physical world and from the memories of all who know him. With this in mind, Ban requested one final duel with Akabane Kurodou. After an intense struggle, the two manage to strike each other, causing Ban to collapse and Akabane to disappear. However, Akabane had not died, as assumed, but instead, implanted a surgical scalpel into Ban’s chest as a “final favor”, given to Ban for allowing Akabane to see his own limits. Akabane later explained that because having Ban disappear would be a pity, he attempted to fool the “Archive” by faking Ban’s death and delaying Ban’s disappearance from using his fourth Jagan just long enough for Ginji to reach Babylon City and resolve everything, thus saving Ban from disappearing.

His second ability is the Snakebite. Because he is a direct descendant of the Witch clan, and was born under the star of Asclepius, he possesses incredible superhuman strength, which gives him a gripping force of 200 kilograms in each hand. It is also shown that he is strong enough to break open the doors of an armored steel truck and punch hard enough to create large craters in the ground or break walls, occasionally even collapsing multistory buildings. Ban can augment the strength of his Snakebite by reciting a certain chant in order to draw power from Asclepius, with the resulting force being sufficient enough to devastate even the most formidable of opponents with just a single blow. The full extent of the Asclepius curse upon Ban is expressed through his entire right arm degenerating into a grotesque state not unlike a demon’s limb, granting Ban even greater power but at the risk of losing himself to his savage instincts. Later Ban manages to transcend the Asclepius curse and draw out his full potential on his own, which is reflected by the manifestation of a single angel wing behind his right shoulder.

In the “Get Back the Lost Time” arc, his skills grow by leaps and bounds due to his learning abilities. Against Natsuhiko, he manages to execute a new move, “Snake Kill”, using his left hand.

Anime News Network praised the style of the Jagan in the manga to be a “horrifying nightmare”. The Tokyo Pop translation of the Ban Midou dialogues has been criticized for making him sound like a gangster.

Ginji Amano

Ginji Amano is the “G” in the GetBackers. He is 18 years old in the manga. Ginji was formerly the leader of a gang called “The VOLTS” in the Limitless Fortress, the fearsome Lightning Emperor.

He received the title Lightning Emperor because of his ability to control electricity. This control grants him several unique abilities such as amazing regenerative power and the ability to become a human magnet and battery. Despite Ginji’s dark past, his demeanor is one of an unassuming, energetic, and friendly boy with a strong sense of justice. He makes friends easily, often without trying and is trusting and open to an almost naive extent. However, when exposed to remnants of his past, he has a tendency to revert to his darker “Lightning Emperor” persona. For comical purposes, he also turns droopy and super deformed, most likely designed after a Tarepanda. He’s frequently beaten up by Ban for doing stupid things. As a child, his guardian was Takeru Teshimine, then ruler of the Limitless Fortress. Ginji founded the “VOLTS”, a gang led by The Lightning Emperor, and “The Four Kings of the VOLTS” to protect the Infinity Fortress from the monsters of the Beltline. During the era of the VOLTS, only one man (Midou Ban) is known to have defeated the Lightning Emperor, though not in a fight of physical strength. All Ban did was show him that he was causing pain to many. While they were fighting, Lightning Emperor summoned lightning which resulted in a huge blast. Though Ban escaped from the blast, he was able to see the infinite energy flowing in the Lightning Emperor, which made it impossible to beat him. Then, Ban remembered that the Lightning Emperor only appeared after Ban attacked one of his friends. He then showed him that though the Lightning Emperor said that he would protect everyone, he himself killed many since many were caught up in the blast. After seeing the devastation he caused, the Lightning Emperor shrieked and expelled all the power within him, turning back into Ginji. Ban noticed that he has changed and did not deliver the killing blow to Ginji as he sat in front of him, his head bowed and crying.

Little is known of his past until the last volume of the manga where it is revealed that his mother, who Teshimine told Ginji was waiting for him in Babylon City, had created the world in which the GetBackers live. Her reason for doing this was that in the real world (Babylon City), Ginji had died as a child. Unbearably sad, she considered cloning him, but realized that it would not be the same child, she created a back-up of the world where he could live and grow.

When transformed into the Lightning Emperor, Ginji glows with a brilliant light and has bolts of electricity flowing around him. Although sharing the same body as that of Ginji, the Lightning Emperor is the polar opposite of the happy-go-lucky Ginji; his features harden and he becomes merciless towards almost anyone. He first came into being when Ginji was a young boy, as the Beltline Monsters invaded the lower levels of the Limitless Fortress. Ginji and a friend were attempting to escape from the hunters when Ginji’s friend was struck by an arrow. The whole invasion force was annihilated in an instant. From that point on, whenever Ginji is confronted with a difficult situation, emotionally or physically, the Lightning Emperor appears to make everything that troubles Ginji disappear. However, this ultimately causes more pain for the peaceful Ginji, as death is the last thing he wants.

In the “Get Back the Lost Time” arc, after the Lightning Emperor was successfully able to defeat the Voodoo King, it is revealed that the Lightning Emperor would never appear again as his reason for existing was over. The Lightning Emperor, who was born from the synchronization of Ginji’s rage and Mugenjou’s power, existed to defeat the person whose purpose was disrupting the plans of the “Archive” (the Voodoo King). His purpose was to protect the world without judgment from Good or Evil.

The source of the Lightning Emperor’s power is the limitless energy currents flowing through the Limitless Fortress, and as such, he draws as much power from them as he needs. Sometimes, though, this can put the Infinity Fortress in a bad situation if the Lightning Emperor calls for more power in a single instant than the tower is capable of producing. For this reason, he is dangerous to the “Brain Trust” in Babylon City who possess the “Archive” (the sum total of human knowledge past, present and future) as he could potentially erase the “Archive” if he blacked out the Limitless Fortress. Another reason why Ginji/the Lightning Emperor is so dangerous inside the Limitless Fortress is because his existence is “random” in the Babylon City Archives. This means his existence was not foretold and therefore his existence inside the Limitless Fortress changes all the prophecies made by the Brain Trust. The reason for this most likely has to do with his mother.

 

Manga Monday- Get Backers

Manga Monday- Get Backers

GetBackers is a Japanese manga series written by Yuya Aoki and illustrated by Rando Ayamine. The series was serialized in Kodansha’s Weekly Shōnen Magazine from 1999 until 2007, totaling 39 volumes. The plot follows the “GetBackers”, a group that retrieves anything that was lost. The team is primarily composed of Ban Mido, a man born with the illusionary technique “Evil Eye”, and Ginji Amano the former leader of a gang called “The VOLTS”, a powerful group in the dangerous territory called the Infinity Fortress in Shinjuku.

Manga

The GetBackers manga series is written by Yuya Aoki and illustrated by Rando Ayamine. The series was serialized and published by Kodansha’s Weekly Shōnen Magazine from 1999 in its 17th issue until its 12th issue from 2007, totaling twelve story arcs with the name of “Act” and a short number of side stories labelled as “Interlude” and “Birth”. The manga consists of 39 tankōbon with the first released on August 17, 1999, and the last one on April 17, 2007, while some of the last were also released in special editions. On February from 2009, Kodansha published a one-shot chapter from the series in their Magazine Special journal. An artbook of the manga titled G/B was released on March 15, 2005 by Kodansha. Additionally, a manga guidebook titled GetBackers The Last Piece was released on April 17, 2007 containing information about the series’ plot, characters, and popularity polls.

GetBackers is licensed for an English language release in North America by Tokyopop, who first announced it in the Anime Expo 2004 in July 2003. Tokyopop divided the manga in two parts: GetBackers featuring the first twenty-five and GetBackers: Infinity Fortress the following ones. GetBackers was published from February 10, 2004, to July 7, 2008. However, only the first two volumes of Infinity Fortress were released. On August 31, 2009, Tokyopop announced that they would not be completing the series as their licenses with Kodansha expired and Kodansha required that they immediately stop publication of all previously licensed series, including GetBackers. Because of this, the series is now considered to be out-of-print.

Plot

The series tells the story of Ginji Amano and Ban Mido, a pair of super powered individuals known as the “GetBackers”. The duo operates a freelance repossession service out of one of the seedier areas of Shinjuku, Tokyo. For a fee, they will recover any lost or stolen item for a client with “an almost 100% success rate”. The GetBackers’ job often leads them into bizarre and dangerous situations in order to “get back what shouldn’t be gone”. Their targets range from lost video games to misplaced components of an atomic bomb. The plot mostly revolves around their adventures, often complicated by the pair’s convoluted, individual pasts and a mysterious place known as the Infinity Fortress.

A conglomeration of disused, condemned buildings clustered together to form a self-contained habitat, Limitless Fortress is subdivided into three specific tiers – Lower Town, the Beltline and Babylon City. Lower Town is the lowest in altitude, with several layers extending below ground level. The Beltline, the most dangerous area of The Limitless Fortress, is ruled by Der Kaiser, Ban’s father. Babylon City, the upper most level of the Limitless Fortress, is said to be where the Brain Trust resides, and is the home of Ginji’s mother. In actuality, Babylon City is what one might consider the real world, with everything else being a virtual reality creation. Only those who have won the Ogre Battle may enter Babylon City and when that happens, they can change the world as they see fit. Both Ban and Ginji go to the Fortress with Ban wishing to rescue a kidnapped Himiko from Kagami, and Ginji finding a possibility to meet his mother. Going to the Beltline, the GetBackers encounter various warriors taking orders from a being known as Voodoo King from Babylon City. The Voodoo King seeks to obtain three “keys” which will help him unlock the gates from Babylon City sealed by Ban’s grandmother several years ago. After finding the three keys: Shido’s chimera spirit, Himiko’s mirror and the GetBackers, the Voodoo King is faced by Ginji, Thunder Emperor alter-ego attacks him in a clash which destroys the Voodoo King and making Raitei disappear forever as he existed to balance the scales. With Voodoo King gone, Raitei’s purpose was fulfilled and he disappeared forever. Following this, both Ban and Ginji face each other in Ogre Battle with Ban giving up, impressed with Ginji’s will. Ginji goes to Babylon City where he meets his mother from a parallel universe, who explains how she created the Fortress and its surrounding world. Following a discussion between the two of them, the Fortress’ world remains unchanged except that the virtual people living become real beings. Ban and Ginji continue their retrieval job, ending the series when requested to go on a mission that will lead them to meet Ban’s mother.

The plot of the anime adaptation of GetBackers follows the manga’s closely until the first season’s ending. The second season features various stand alone episodes focused in the GetBackers’ missions, while also two story arcs, the second ending the anime series with an open ending.