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Manga Monday- Sleepy Princess in the Demon Castle

Manga Monday- Sleepy Princess in the Demon Castle

Sleepy Princess in the Demon Castle is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Kagiji Kumanomata. It has been serialized in Shogakukan’s Weekly Shōnen Sunday magazine since May 2016, with its chapters collected in seventeen tankōbon volumes as of December 2020. An anime television series adaptation by Doga Kobo aired from October to December 2020.

Media

Manga

Sleepy Princess in the Demon Castle is written and illustrated by Kagiji Kumanomata. The series started in the 2016 issue #24 of Shogakukan’s Weekly Shōnen Sunday published on May 11, 2016. Shogakukan has compiled its chapters into individual tankōbon volumes. The first volume was released on September 16, 2016. As of December 18, 2020, seventeen volumes have been released.

Viz Media announced in September 2017 that they had licensed the series in North America. The first volume was released on June 12, 2018.

An official fanbook of the series was released on October 16, 2020.

Plot

Sshhh! Princess Syalis is trying to get a good night’s sleep. Some shut-eye. Forty winks. Catch some Z’s. Long ago in olden times when people and demons lived together in—well, disharmony, really—a demon king kidnaps a human princess and imprisons her in his castle. Bereft, the princess’s subjects beat their chests in anguish…until a hero arises to spearhead Project Rescue Our Princess! While waiting for her knight in shining armor, what’s an imprisoned princess to do…? Teddy-bear guards with bat wings are all very well, but her dungeon cell is bo-o-o-ring! So, she decides to wile away the long hours by sleeping. Now if only she could get comfortable…and didn’t suffer from insomnia…

 

Manga Monday- Didn’t I Say to Make My Abilities Average in the Next Life?!

Manga Monday- Didn’t I Say to Make My Abilities Average in the Next Life?!

Didn’t I Say to Make My Abilities Average in the Next Life?! is a Japanese light novel series written by FUNA and illustrated by Itsuki Akata. A manga adaptation by Neko Mint began serialization in 2016. Both the light novel and manga have been licensed in North America by Seven Seas Entertainment. An anime television series adaptation by Project No.9 aired from October 7 to December 23, 2019.

Media

Web novel

FUNA began serializing the story as a web novel on the user-generated novel publishing website Shōsetsuka ni Narō on January 14, 2016. As of November 3, 2020, 492 chapters of the web novel have been published.

Light novels

The series was acquired for print publication by Taibundo and Earth Star Entertainment, who published the first light novel, with illustrations by Itsuki Akata, in May 2016 under their Earth Star Novel imprint. Seven Seas Entertainment announced on September 11, 2017 that they had licensed the series.

Manga

A manga adaptation with art by Neko Mint began serialization online on Earth Star Entertainment’s Comic Earth Star website on August 5, 2016. Seven Seas announced on September 11, 2017 that they had licensed the manga.

Anime

An anime adaptation was announced via Twitter on February 26, 2018. The anime, later confirmed to be a television series, is directed by Masahiko Ohta, written by Takashi Aoshima, and animated by Project No.9, with Sō Watanabe as character designer and Yasuhiro Misawa as music composer. The series aired from October 7 to December 23, 2019 on AT-X, Tokyo MX, BS11, TVA, and ABC. Azumi Waki, Sora Tokui, and Masumi Tazawa performed the series’ opening theme song “Smile Skill=Sukisukiskill”, while Waki performed the series’ ending theme song “Genzai ↑ Banzai ↑”. The series is streamed by Crunchyroll worldwide outside of Asia.

 

Manga Monday- Antique Bakery

Manga Monday- Antique Bakery

Antique Bakery is a manga by Fumi Yoshinaga depicting the lives of four men who work in a small bakery. It was published in Japan by Shinshokan and in English by Digital Manga Publishing. The series won the 2002 Kodansha Manga Award for shōjo manga. The manga was adapted as a Japanese TV drama, with the title Antique or Antique Cake Store, that was broadcast on Fuji TV in 2001, an anime television series, airing on July 3, 2008 on Noitamina, and a Korean live-action film.

Yoshinaga’s spinoff dōjinshi

Fumi Yoshinaga has published spinoff dōjinshi of Antique Bakery, showing both “slash” stories involving characters shown to be straight in the manga series, but also showing stories which were only alluded to in the manga. Yoshinaga feels that these stories are too explicit for the shōjo manga demographic, and Akiko Mizoguchi points out that they are in the boys love genre and it would be “unheard of” for these stories to be published by another publisher, despite their popularity in the dōjinshi world. The existence of these stories has never been announced in Wings or in the books collecting Antique Bakery. There were seven available as of August 2003, increasing to fourteen dōjinshi as of 2011.

Live-action TV drama

The television series differs perceptibly from the story of the manga. While the four main male characters remain the same in many of their relationship dynamics, the BL/homosexual aspect of the original manga is significantly reduced to almost nothing. There is the notable addition of Momoko Itsuki, a female sports journalist who appears in the first episode of the series.

 

 

Korean live-action movie

Anime

Animated by Nippon Animation, it features opening and ending themes by popular band Chemistry. A subtitled US release by Nozomi Entertainment has been announced for April 2011.

Reception

Comic Book Bin’s Avi Weinrib enjoyed DMP’s scratch-and-sniff covers. Al Kratina found Antique Bakery “fluffy, light, and disposable”. Chris the 4th Pip thought the characters showed “surprising depth”.

Janet Houck, writing for Mania Entertainment, felt that the story of the first volume was choppy, using many flashbacks, and that the volume should have been given a higher rating due to its depiction of Ono’s backstory. David Welsh enjoyed the character-driven story, especially the Christmas story, which was rooted in a business perspective. Jessica Brooks of Anime Jump enjoyed that although food-themed manga is usually about food preparation, instead Antique Bakery is about customer satisfaction. She also noted that Ono’s homosexuality was essentially “played for laughs”, although she did not feel this was a negative. Tom Rosin, for MangaLife, felt that the first volume was “about cakes more than anything else”, and that he felt hungry after reading Tachibana’s sales pitches. Katherine Dacey, writing for Pop Culture Shock, felt that the main theme of the series was a “slice of life friendship story”. Johanna Carlson noted that the series is faux-yaoi. Robin Brenner, writing for TeenReads, noted that the series’ plot is not “the point” about this manga – the funny character interactions and elegant character artwork are.

The series won the 2002 Kodansha Manga Award for shōjo manga. The English edition of Antique Bakery was nominated for an Eisner Award in 2007, in the category “Best U.S. Edition of International Material – Japan”.

Manga Monday- Jujutsu Kaisen

Manga Monday- Jujutsu Kaisen

Jujutsu Kaisen is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Gege Akutami, serialized in Shueisha’s Weekly Shōnen Jump since March 2018. The individual chapters are collected and published by Shueisha, with thirteen tankōbon volumes released as of October 2020. In North America, the manga is licensed by Viz Media which publishes the series in print since December 2019. Shueisha publishes the series in English on the Manga Plus app and website.

A 24-episode anime television series adaptation produced by MAPPA premiered on MBS in October 2020. The anime is licensed by Crunchyroll for streaming outside of Asia, who premiered an English dub in November 2020.

As of October 2020, the Jujutsu Kaisen manga had 10 million copies in circulation, including digital versions.

Manga

Jujutsu Kaisen is written and illustrated by Gege Akutami. Akutami first published in 2017 a 4-chapter series in Shueisha’s Jump GIGA, titled Tokyo Metropolitan Curse Technical School, from April 28 to July 28, 2017. It was later published in a single volume, retroactively titled Jujutsu Kaisen 0, on December 4, 2018. Jujutsu Kaisen started in the 2018 14th issue of Shueisha’s Weekly Shōnen Jump, released on March 5, 2018. Its chapters are collected and published by Shueisha into individual tankōbon volumes. The first volume was published on July 4, 2018. Thirteen volumes have been released as of October 2, 2020.

Shueisha began to simulpublish the series in English on the app and website Manga Plus in January 2019. Viz Media published the first three chapters for its “Jump Start” initiative. In March 2019, Viz Media announced the print release of the series in North America. The first volume was published on December 3, 2019, and six volumes have been published in English as of October 6, 2020.

Light novels

Two light novels written by Ballad Kitaguni have been released under the Jump J-Books imprint. The first, titled Jujutsu Kaisen: Soaring Summer and Returning Autumn, was released on May 1, 2019. The second light novel, titled Jujutsu Kaisen: The Path of Roses at Dawn, was released on January 4, 2020.

Anime

An anime television series adaptation was announced in the 52nd issue of Weekly Shōnen Jump published on November 25, 2019. The manga author Gege Akutami and the main cast members appeared at Jump Festa ’20 on December 22, 2019. The series is produced by MAPPA and directed by Sunghoo Park. Hiroshi Seko is in charge of the scripts, Tadashi Hiramatsu designed the characters, and Hiroaki Tsutsumi, Yoshimasa Terui and Arisa Okehazama composed the music. While the anime had an advanced streaming debut on September 19, 2020, it officially premiered on MBS and TBS’s Super Animeism block on October 3, 2020. The series will run for 24 episodes. From episode 3 onwards the series includes post-credits anime shorts titled “Juju Sanpo”, which focus on the daily lives of the main characters. The first opening theme is “Kaikai Kitan”, performed by Eve, while the first ending theme is “Lost in Paradise feat. AKLO” performed by ALI. The second opening theme is “Vivid Vice”, performed by Who-ya Extended, while the second ending theme is “Give it Back”, performed by Cö Shu Nie.

The anime is licensed by Crunchyroll for streaming outside of Asia. Crunchyroll has released streaming dubs for the series in English, Spanish, Portuguese, French and German that premiered on November 20, 2020. The English dub will premiere on HBO Max on December 4, 2020.

In Southeast Asia, Medialink licensed the series and is streaming it on iQIYI

Plot

Yūji Itadori is an unnaturally fit high school student living in Sendai with his grandfather. He regularly avoids the track team due to his aversion to athletics, despite his innate talent for the sport. Instead, he chooses to join the Occult Research Club, where he is able to relax and hang out with his seniors, and leave school by 5:00 pm to visit his grandfather in the hospital. While he is on his deathbed, his grandfather instills two powerful messages within Yūji – “always help people” and “die surrounded by people”. After his grandfather’s death, Yūji interprets these messages as one statement – everyone deserves “a proper death”. He is then confronted by Megumi Fushiguro, a sorcerer who informs him of a high-grade cursed charm talisman at his school that Yūji recently made contact with. His friends at the Occult Club unsealed the talisman, a rotting finger, which attracted Curses to the school, creatures that are brought about through negative emotions and are strengthened by consuming magical powers present in sorcerers or such charms. Unable to defeat the Curses due to his lack of magical powers, Yūji swallows the finger to protect Megumi and his friends and becomes the host of Sukuna, a powerful Curse. Due to Sukuna’s evil nature, all sorcerers are required to exorcise him (and by extension, Yūji) immediately. However, despite being possessed, Yūji is still able to retain control over his body for the most part. Seeing this, Satoru Gojō, Megumi’s teacher, decides to take him to the Tokyo Metropolitan Magic Technical College to propose a plan to his superiors – postpone Yūji’s death sentence until he consumes all of Sukuna’s fingers, allowing them to kill him once and for all.

Reception

The series had 600,000 copies in circulation as of December 2018, 770,000 copies in circulation as of February 1, 2019, 1.1 million copies in circulation as of February 2019, 2 million copies in circulation as of June 2019, 2.5 million copies in circulation as of November 2019, 4.5 million copies in circulation as of May 2020, 6.8 million copies in circulation as of September 2020, and over 10 million copies in circulation (including digital copies) as of October 2020, having grown 400% in one year, and about 230% in a half year. Jujutsu Kaisen was the 5th best-selling manga series in 2020, with 6,702,736 copies sold.

The series ranked 1st on the “Nationwide Bookstore Employees’ Recommended Comics of 2018” by the Honya Club website. It won the 3rd annual Tsutaya Comic Awards in 2019. In 2019, the manga was nominated for the 65th Shogakukan Manga Award in the shōnen category. The series ranked 31st on the 2021 “Book of the Year” list by Da Vinci magazine.

Leroy Douresseaux of Comic Book Bin gave the first volume a score of 8.5 /10. Douresseaux praised the series for its characters, plots, settings, and internal mythology, and described it as a “combination battle manga and horror comic book”. Shawn Hacaga of The Fandom Post, in his review of the first volume, compared the series to early Bleach and praised it for its world, lore, characters and artwork, concluding that it is a “solid first volume”. Hannah Collins of Comic Book Resources found parallels between Yūji and Sukuna and Marvel Comics characters Eddie Brock and Venom. She also noted similarities to Bleach, Blue Exorcist and Tokyo Ghoul. Collins commended the manga and regarding its then recently announced anime adaptation concluded that Jujutsu Kaisen is a “darkly enjoyable action series that’s sure to be one to watch out for in 2020”. Rebecca Silverman of Anime News Network ranked the first volume as a C. Silverman praised the series’ use of Japanese folklore and yōkai elements, comparing this and Akutami’s art style to Shigeru Mizuki’s GeGeGe no Kitarō, but criticized the story for being “very generic”. She concluded; “It has the potential to be more as Akutami gets more comfortable with the serialization process and figures out precisely where the story is going, so it may be worth a second book to be certain. But as of this one, it’s just okay, making it the kind of series that gets damned with faint praise”.

Manga Monday- Log Horizon

Manga Monday- Log Horizon

Log Horizon is a Japanese novel series written by Mamare Touno and illustrated by Kazuhiro Hara. It began serialization online in 2010 on the user-generated novel publishing website Shōsetsuka ni Narō, being later on acquired by Enterbrain and published as a light novel in Japan since 2011. Yen Press began publishing an English translation in 2015. The series follows the strategist, Shiroe, and the other players of the long-lived MMORPG Elder Tale after they find themselves whisked away into the game world following a game update.

The novel has received four manga adaptations, with one based on the main story and the other three revolving around characters in the series. An anime television series adaptation animated by Satelight aired on NHK Educational TV between October 5, 2013 and March 22, 2014. A second season by Studio Deen aired between October 4, 2014 and March 28, 2015. A third season by Studio Deen is set to premiere on January 13, 2021.

Media

Light novels

Log Horizon began as a light novel written by Mamare Touno. It initially appeared in installments on the user-generated content site Shōsetsuka ni Narō (“So You Want to be a Novelist”) starting on April 13, 2010, and subsequently published in book form by Enterbrain since March 2011. Yen Press obtained the rights on its light novel imprint to release the novels in English from 2015.

Manga

The novel series has received four manga adaptations, all written by Mamare Touno. The first adaptation is illustrated by Motoya Matsu and titled, Log Horizon Gaiden: Honey Moon Logs It began serialization on January 27, 2012, and is published by ASCII Media Works in the Dengeki Daioh magazine. The second adaptation is illustrated by Kazuhiro Hara and titled Log Horizon. It began serialization on May 18, 2012, and was published by Enterbrain in the Famitsu Comic Clear web magazine. Yen Press obtained this manga for an English release. The third adaptation is illustrated by Koyuki and titled, Log Horizon: The West Wind Brigade. It began serialization on July 9, 2012, ended on March 9, 2018, and was published by Fujimi Shobo in the Age Premium magazine. Another manga illustrated by Sōchū and titled, Log Horizon Gaiden: Nyanta-honcho Shiawase no Recipe began serialization on December 21, 2012, ended on March 31, 2018, and was published by Enterbrain in the Comic B’s LOG magazine an collected in six volumes. A manga Log Horizon: Kanami, Go! East! illustrated by Kou was serialized in Comic B’s LOG from October 1, 2015, to December 1, 2016, and compiled in two volumes.

Anime

A 25-episode anime adaptation produced by Satelight aired on NHK Educational TV from October 5, 2013 to March 22, 2014. The series was streamed as a simulcast by Crunchyroll in North America and other select parts of the world.

A 25-episode second season produced by Studio Deen aired from October 4, 2014 to March 28, 2015. Both seasons have been licensed by Sentai Filmworks in North America for digital and home video release. For both seasons, the opening theme is “database” by Man with a Mission featuring Takuma. The ending theme for the first season is “Your song*” and for the second season it is “Wonderful Wonder World*”, both performed by Yunchi.

A 12-episode third season titled Log Horizon: Destruction of the Round Table has been announced, and was originally scheduled to premiere in October 2020, but was delayed to Winter 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The third season premieres on January 13, 2021. The third season is named after the title of Volume 12 of the web novel series and the official acronym is DORT. The staff and cast will reprise their roles from the second season. On October 5, 2020, Funimation announced they would stream the third season of the series.

Reception

Rebecca Silverman of the Anime News Network noted that the series has “its own unique take on what has become a subgenre of fantasy” when compared to the previous Sword Art Online and the earlier .hack series. With respect to the anime adaptation, Silverman noted that one of the major drawbacks was the artistry. She held the designs of the characters with small regard, calling them “somewhat bland and generic in design, which is a bit of an accomplishment given how many character creation options there apparently are”. She used the design of Akatsuki as an example, explaining that the character’s beauty has to be constantly reminded to the audience despite the fact that “she’s one of the less striking female characters on screen”. Another issue Silverman pointed out was the apparent overuse of Naotsugu’s perverted nature for comedic relief and finding that for some viewers he may be “line-crossingly obnoxious”. Despite these drawbacks, Silverman remarked that the “show shouldn’t be dismissed as ‘just another ripoff’ before giving it a chance” since “it has the potential to expand rather than rehash the basic premise of players trapped in a game”.

Manga Monday- Wotakoi: Love Is Hard For Otaku

Manga Monday- Wotakoi: Love Is Hard For Otaku

Wotakoi: Love Is Hard for Otaku is a Japanese webmanga series written and illustrated by Fujita. It was first posted on Pixiv on April 17, 2014. It began serialization in Comic Pool (a joint web manga publication project by Ichijinsha and Pixiv) on November 6, 2015. Ichijinsha began publishing the manga in print on April 30, 2015 and nine volumes had been published, with over 10 million copies printed (including digital edition) as of August 2020. An anime adaptation by A-1 Pictures aired from April to June 2018 on the Noitamina programming block.

The first volume was released on April 30, 2015 and eight volumes have been published as of December 2019. The manga is released in English by Kodansha Comics with each English volume containing two of the Japanese volumes.

Reception

The manga’s compiled book volumes have frequently ranked on Oricon. Volume 2 was ranked first, and sold up to 208,765 copies in its first week. Volume 3 was ranked fourth, and sold up to 209,102 copies in its first week. Volume 4 was ranked first, and sold up to 283,523 copies in its first week. The manga had up to 4.2 million copies in print as of July 20, 2017. The manga was ranked first in the 2016 edition of Kono Manga ga Sugoi! (This Manga Is Amazing!) guidebook. The manga was ranked ninth in the Zenkoku Shotenin ga Eranda Osusume Comic 2017 (Nationwide Bookstore Employees’ Recommended Comics of 2017) poll on February 1, 2017. It was nominated for the 41st Kodansha Manga Award in the Best General Manga category. In September 2017, it won the Web Manga General Election.

Shiro Sagisu, the music composer for the 2020 live-action film adaptation, was awarded the Sandro Forte Award For Best Motion Picture Score by Montreal’s 24th Fantasia International Film Festival.

Plot

The main characters are Narumi, an office working woman who hides her fujoshi lifestyle, and Hirotaka, a handsome and capable company man who is a game otaku. The two seem perfect for each other, but love is difficult for otaku.

Manga Monday- Naruto

Manga Monday- Naruto

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

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

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

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

Reception

Manga

Several reviewers commented on the balance between fight scenes and plot development; A. E. Sparrow of IGN and Casey Brienza of Anime News Network (ANN) felt that the result was a strong storyline, but Carl Kimlinger, also writing for ANN, suggested that there were too many fights, which slowed down the plot. Kimlinger liked the character designs, and approved of the fight scenes themselves which also drew positive comments from Rik Spanjers, who felt that the excitement of the scenes depends on Kishimoto’s skill in depicting action. Javier Lugo, writing for Manga Life, agreed, describing the artwork as “dramatic, exciting, and just right for the story he’s telling”.

The anime and manga magazine Neo described Naruto’s character as “irksome”, but considered that the series’ “almost sickening addictiveness” was due to the quality of the characterization, and in Briana Lawrence’s opinion the growth of the characters gave Part II an adult feel. In a review of volume 28 Brienza also praised Part II’s storyline and characterization, though she commented that not every volume reached a high level of quality.

The fights across the Part II received praise, most notably Naruto’s and Sasuke’s, resulting in major changes into their character arcs. Meanwhile, the final battle between these two fighters in the finale earned major praise for the choreography and art provided as well as how in depth the two’s personalities were shown in the aftermath. Some writers criticized Kaguya being the least entertaining villain, making the showdown between Naruto and Sasuke more appealing as a result. The finale earned nearly perfect scores from both ANN and Comic Book Bin, with the latter acclaiming the popularity of the title character.

Gō Itō, a professor in the manga department of Tokyo Polytechnic University, compared the series’ development to the manga of Dragon Ball, saying that both manga present good illustrations of three-dimensional body movements that capture the characters’ martial arts very well. Gō felt readers could empathize with the characters in Naruto via their inner monologue during battles.

The series also influenced the movie Scott Pilgrim vs. The World with director Edgar Wright saying he was inspired by how whenever there is a “killer move” in the manga, there is an impact in the background following any technique’s usage. When the manga ended, multiple authors from the magazine expressed congratulations to Kishimoto’s work. The fight scenes in general earned acclaim for how well written they are, something game developer CyberConnect2 took into account when developing the Naruto games.

Commercial performance

The manga has sold 250 million copies worldwide, making it the fourth best-selling manga series in history. More than half of the sales were in Japan, with the remaining sales from 46 other countries. It has become one of North American publisher Viz Media’s best-selling manga series; their translation of the series appeared on USA Today and The New York Times bestseller lists several times, and volume seven of the manga won the Quill Award for graphic novel in 2006. It was included in the fiction section of Teacher Librarian‘s recommended list for 2008, and School Library Journal described it as an essential manga for school libraries. Volume 28 of the manga reached 17th place in the USA Today Booklist in its first week of release in March 2008, only two places short of the record for a manga, held by Fruits Basket. The volume had one of the biggest debut weeks of any manga in years, becoming the top-selling manga volume of 2008 and the second best-selling book in North America. In 2010, Viz, the publisher, commented on the loyalty of readers, who reliably continued to buy the manga as the volume count went over 40.

In April 2007, volume 14 earned Viz the Manga Trade Paperback of the Year Gem Award from Diamond Comic Distributors. The manga was nominated for Favorite Manga Series in Nickelodeon Magazines 2009 Comics Awards. In February 2015, Asahi Shimbun announced that Naruto was one of nine nominees for the nineteenth annual Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize, and the following month Kishimoto was the winner of Rookie of the Year for the series in the Japanese government’s Agency for Cultural Affairs 2014 Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology Fine Arts Recommendation Awards. Responding to Naruto‘s success, Kishimoto said in Naruto Collector Winter 2007/2008 that he was “very glad that the American audience has accepted and understood ninja. It shows that the American audience has good taste […] because it means they can accept something previously unfamiliar to them.”

Naruto Shippuden has been ranked several times as one of the most watched series in Japan. The first DVD compilation released by Viz received a nomination from the American Anime Awards for best package design. As of 2019, Viz Media has sold more than 3 million Naruto anime home video units, while Naruto is also a top digital streaming performer on Hulu.

Plot

Part I

A powerful fox known as the Nine-Tails attacks Konoha, the hidden leaf village in the Land of Fire, one of the Five Great Shinobi Countries in the Ninja World. In response, the leader of Konoha and the Fourth Hokage, Minato Namikaze (with his wife Kushina Uzumaki) seals the fox inside the body of his newborn son, Naruto Uzumaki, making Naruto a host of the beast; this costs Naruto’s father his life, and the Third Hokage returns from retirement to become leader of Konoha again. Naruto is often ridiculed by the Konoha villagers for being the host of the Nine-Tails. Because of a decree made by the Third Hokage forbidding anyone to mention these events, Naruto knows nothing about the Nine-Tails until 12 years later, when Mizuki, a renegade ninja, reveals the truth to Naruto. Naruto then defeats Mizuki in combat, earning the respect of his teacher Iruka Umino.

Shortly afterwards, Naruto becomes a ninja and joins with Sasuke Uchiha, against whom he often competes, and Sakura Haruno, on whom he has a crush, to form Team 7, under an experienced sensei, the elite ninja Kakashi Hatake. Like all the ninja teams from every village, Team 7 completes missions requested by the villagers, ranging from doing chores and being bodyguards to performing assassinations.

After several missions, including a major one in the Land of Waves, Kakashi allows Team 7 to take a ninja exam, enabling them to advance to a higher rank and take on more difficult missions, known as Chunin Exams. During the exams, Orochimaru, a wanted criminal, invades Konoha and kills the Third Hokage for revenge. Jiraiya, one of the three legendary ninjas, declines the title of Fifth Hokage and searches with Naruto for Tsunade whom he chooses to become Fifth Hokage instead.

During the search, it is revealed that Orochimaru wishes to train Sasuke because of his powerful genetic heritage, the Sharingan. After Sasuke attempts and fails to kill his older brother Itachi when he showed up in Konoha to kidnap Naruto, he joins Orochimaru, hoping to gain from him the strength needed to kill Itachi. The story takes a turn when Sasuke leaves the Konoha village and when Tsunade finds out, she sends a group of ninja, including Naruto, to retrieve Sasuke, but Naruto is unable to persuade or force him to come back. Naruto and Sakura do not give up on Sasuke: Naruto leaves Konoha to receive training from Jiraiya to prepare himself for the next time he encounters Sasuke, while Sakura becomes Tsunade’s apprentice.

Part II

Two and a half years later, Naruto returns from his training with Jiraiya. The Akatsuki starts kidnapping the hosts of the powerful Tailed Beasts. Team 7 and other Leaf ninja fight against them and search for their teammate Sasuke. The Akatsuki succeeds in capturing and extracting seven of the Tailed Beasts, killing all the hosts except Gaara, who is now the Kazekage. Meanwhile, Sasuke betrays Orochimaru and faces Itachi to take revenge. After Itachi dies in battle, Sasuke learns from the Akatsuki founder Tobi that Itachi received an order from Konoha’s superiors to destroy his clan to prevent a coup. He accepted it on the condition that he would be allowed to spare Sasuke. Saddened by this revelation, Sasuke joins the Akatsuki to destroy Konoha in revenge. As Konoha ninjas defeat several Akatsuki members, the Akatsuki figurehead leader, Nagato, kills Jiraiya and devastates Konoha, but Naruto defeats and redeems him, earning the village’s respect and admiration.

With Nagato’s death, Tobi, disguised as Madara Uchiha (one of Konoha’s founding fathers), announces that he wants to capture all nine Tailed Beasts to perform an illusion powerful enough to control all humanity and achieve world peace. The leaders of the five ninja villages refuse to help him and instead join forces to confront Tobi and his allies. That decision results in a Fourth Shinobi World War between the combined armies of the Five Great Countries (known as the Allied Shinobi Forces) and Akatsuki’s forces of zombie-like ninjas. The Five Kage try to keep Naruto, unaware of the war, in a secret island turtle near Kumogakure (Hidden Cloud Village), but Naruto finds out and escapes from the island with Killer Bee, the host of the Eight-Tails. At that time, Naruto—along with the help of Killer Bee—gains control of his Tailed Beast and the two of them head for the battlefield.

During the conflict, it is revealed that Tobi is Obito Uchiha, a former teammate of Kakashi’s who was thought to be dead. The real Madara saved Obito’s life, and they have since collaborated. As Sasuke learns the history of Konoha, including the circumstances that led to his clan’s downfall, he decides to protect the village and rejoins Naruto and Sakura to thwart Madara and Obito’s plans. However, Madara’s body ends up possessed by Kaguya Otsutsuki, an ancient princess who intends to subdue all humanity. A reformed Obito sacrifices himself to help Team 7 stop her. Once Kaguya is sealed, Madara dies as well. Sasuke takes advantage of the situation and takes control of all the Tailed Beasts, as he reveals his goal of ending the current village system. Naruto confronts Sasuke to dissuade him from his plan, and after they almost kill each other in a final battle, Sasuke admits defeat and reforms. After the war, Kakashi becomes the Sixth Hokage and pardons Sasuke for his crimes. Years later, Kakashi steps down while Naruto marries Hinata Hyuga and becomes the Seventh Hokage, raising the next generation.

Manga Monday- Baki the Grappler

Manga Monday- Baki the Grappler

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

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

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

Manga

Main series

  • Grappler Baki ― Original series, serialized in Weekly Shōnen Champion from 1991 to 1999. Collected into 42 volumes, that encompasses The Champion, the Kid, and the Maximum Tournament sagas. From 2007-2008 it was collected into 24 deluxe edition volumes.
This series was licensed for a North American release by Gutsoon! Entertainment, who retitled it Baki the Grappler. They published the first 46 chapters in their English-language manga anthology magazine Raijin Comics. The magazine’s first issue was released on December 18, 2002, but in July 2004 it was discontinued. 4 collected volumes were planned but it is unknown if they were released.
  • Baki ― Second series, also serialized in Weekly Shōnen Champion from 1999 to November 24, 2005. Collected into 31 volumes, and encompasses The Prisoners, the Chinese Challenge, and the Alai Jr. sagas.
This series is licensed for English release by Media Do International, who released it digitally between August 2018 and August 2019. The company stated a future print release is possible and that they are interested in the original manga as well.
  • Baki Hanma ― Third series, again serialized in Weekly Shōnen Champion, began on December 1, 2005 and ended on August 16, 2012. Collected into 37 volumes, and encompasses the Oliva’s Fortress, The Prehistoric Menace, Retsu Kaiou’s Boxing, and the final confrontation of Yujiro and Baki.
  • Baki-Dou  ― Fourth series, serialized in Weekly Shōnen Champion from March 20, 2014 to April 5, 2018. It features Miyamoto Musashi who is challenged by various Baki characters after being revived into modern-day age. Collected into 22 volumes.
  • Baki Dou― Fifth series, began serialization in Weekly Shōnen Champion on October 4, 2018. It has the same name as the fourth, but with Baki’s name written in katakana instead of kanji. It features Nomi no Sukune. Collected into five volumes.

Gaiden

  • Grappler Baki Gaiden – Set immediately after the Maximum Tournament, it depicts a wrestling match between Antonio Igari and Mount Toba. Published in one volume in 1999.
  • Baki: Tokubetsuhen Saga  – Side story that develops at the same time as volume 15 of the second manga. One volume published in 2002.
  • Baki Gaiden: Scarface – Spinoff series, written and illustrated by Yukinao Yamauchi, depicting Kaoru Hanayama’s yakuza adventures. Ran from March 2005 to December 2007 in Champion Red, then from July 2009 in Weekly Shōnen Champion. Collected into 8 volumes.
  • Baki Hanma 10.5 Gaiden: Pickle  – Set after volume 10 of the third manga, it introduces Pickle. Published in one volume in 2008.
  • Baki Gaiden: Gaia  – Spinoff series, written and illustrated by Hitoshi Tomizawa, starring Gaia. Published in Weekly Shōnen Champion in 2009.
  • Baki Domoe  – Comedic spinoff, written and illustrated by Naoki Saito. Originally launched digitally on Weekly Shōnen Champion The Web in 2010, then serialized irregularly in Weekly Shōnen Champion and finally Bessatsu Shōnen Champion until October 2014. Collected into 3 volumes.
  • Baki Gaiden: Kizuzura  – Spinoff series, written and illustrated by Yukio Yamauchi, based on Kaoru Hanayama’s adventures in high school. Began in Bessatsu Shōnen Champion in July 2012. Collected into 3 volumes.
  • Baki Gaiden: Kenjin– Spinoff series, written and illustrated by Kengou Miyatani, representing and describing Doppo’s adventures. Began in Champion Red in June 2013. Collected into one volume.
  • Yuenchi: Baki Gaiden – A collection of tales that happen within the Baki world, written by author Baku Yumemakura, who includes characters from his own Garōden and Shishi no Mon novels, and illustrated by Keisuke Itagaki. Published in Weekly Shōnen Champion since in 2018.
  • Baki: Revenge Tokyo  is a special spin-off consisting of five chapters, each about one of the death row prisoners from “Most Evil Death Row Convicts” arc, that have been added to the Baki’s New Edition in 2018.
  • Baki Gaiden: Retsu Kaioh Isekai Tensei Shitemo Ikkō Kamawan! – Spinoff series, illustrated by Eiji Murai and crediting Itagaki and Sai Ihara with the original story. An isekai series depicting Retsu Kaioh reincarnated into another world. It will begin in the November 6, 2020 issue of Monthly Shōnen Champion.

Supplements

  • Grappler Baki: Red Dragon Side, Grappler Side – Compendium of the characters and events in the world of Grappler Baki, covers until volume 23 of the second saga.
  • Grappler Baki: Blue Tiger Side, Fighting Side – Compendium of every battle fought and its results in the world of Grappler Baki, also covers until volume 23 of the second saga.

 

Reception

As of 2018, the first four Baki series had over 75 million collected volumes in circulation. The Baki Gaiden: Scarface spin-off series had 3.5 million copies in print as of February 2019.

Allen Divers and Jason Thompson, both writing for Anime News Network, briefly described the series as “very compelling” and a “demented fighting manga”, respectively.

Anime News Network had four different writers review the first volume of the second manga series. Faye Hopper scored it the highest, four out of five, and wrote that she was captivated the entire read with its appeal lying in “its absurdity held up by its absolutely incredible artistry.” Amy McNulty gave it a 2.5 rating and also praised Itagaki’s art, but felt the character designs were not particularly memorable. She also wrote that the volume “succeeds in identifying the stakes, but it completely fails in anchoring the reader with characters to care about.” Rebecca Silverman and Teresa Navarro both gave it a 2 and noted its status as a “set-up book,” with each new character introduced in the same manner. Both Hopper and Silverman said that Baki reminded them of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure.

Reviewing the first 24 episodes of the 2001 anime, Mark Thomas of Mania Entertainment gave it a B− rating, stating that fans of shōnen and fight series would enjoy it, but others should look elsewhere. He felt it had plenty of good, realistic fight scenes, but fell short on the story. Explaining that despite a lot of story arcs, it ultimately feels like a setup for the second season. Thomas gave the same rating to the final 24 episodes, and “mildly recommended” the series. While he started to enjoy this set more thanks to its more action focus, he stated that not showing Baki’s final fight with Yujiro, which was built up the entire show, really ruined it for him.

The 2012 comedy film Graffreeter Toki is based on the March 2011 play of the same name, which in turn was inspired by Grappler Baki.

Plot

Baki Hanma is raised by his wealthy mother, Emi Akezawa, who also funds his training in the hopes that he can be a powerful warrior like his father, Yujiro Hanma. Around the start of the series, Baki outgrows traditional training and heads out to follow the path of his ruthless father’s training and meets many powerful fighters along the way. Eventually, Baki fights his father and is beaten without a challenge.

After being beaten, Baki travels around the world continuing his training. Years down the road he finds an underground fighting arena where he fights some of the most powerful fighters of various styles of martial arts. It is here he truly begins to hone his martial arts skills.

 

Manga Monday- D. Gray-man

Manga Monday- D. Gray-man

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

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

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

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

Manga

Written and drawn by Hoshino, the D.Gray-man manga began its serialization in Shueisha’s Weekly Shōnen Jump on May 31, 2004. The series went on hiatus several times due to issues with Hoshino’s health. Publication resumed on March 9, 2009. The series reappeared in the seasonal magazine Akamaru Jump on August 17. After its run in Akamaru Jump, D.Gray-Man resumed publication on November 4, 2009 in the monthly magazine Jump SQ. The manga began another hiatus on December 29, 2012, beginning serialization again on July 17, 2015 in the quarterly Jump SQ.Crown, until the magazine ceased its publication on January 19, 2018. The manga moved to the Jump SQ.Rise on April 16, 2018.

Individual chapters have been published in tankōbon format by Shueisha. The first complete volume was published on October 9, 2004, and the 27th volume was published on August 4, 2020. In the making of each volume, Hoshino originally wanted each cover to be focused on a single character. However, following the 9th compilation of the series, Hoshino changed her mind and instead decided to try different types of covers that feature multiple characters.

At the 2005 San Diego Comic-Con International, D.Gray-man was licensed for English-language publication in North America by Viz Media. The company published the first collected volume of the series on May 2, 2006 and the 24th volume on August 5, 2014. The 25th volume was released on May 2, 2017. Viz Media reissued the series in a 3-in-1 format, publishing eight 3-volumes-in-1 editions from July 2, 2013 to November 3, 2015. Madman Entertainment published Viz’s 24-volume English edition in Australia and New Zealand, from August 10, 2008 to September 10, 2014.

Books

A three-volume light novel based on the manga series, D.Gray-man: Reverse by Kaya Kizaki, was published by Shueisha. The first volume, published on May 30, 2005, focuses on Allen’s journey to the Black Order after he finishes his exorcism training, Yu Kanda’s mission to find a witch, and Asian branch head Bak Chan, who tries to learn how Komui Lee was elected European branch head (instead of himself). The second volume, published on July 4, 2006, is set in the Black Order. Allen and other characters attend a party, Lavi trains to be the next Bookman before he meets Allen, and the Millennium Earl searches for people to create Akuma. The third volume was published on December 3, 2010. Its first chapter follows Black Order scientist Rohfa’s search for Allen, with whom she is infatuated. In the second chapter, Allen lives with a circus as a child after he is abandoned by his parents.

Several other series-related books also exist published by Shueisha. The D.Gray-man Official Fanbook: Gray Ark was published on June 4, 2008, and TV Animation D.Gray-man Official Visual Collection: Clown Art on September 4. Three omnibus editions were published on November 13 and December 11, 2009 and January 15, 2010. They were followed by an illustrated book, D.Gray-man Illustrations Noche, on February 4, 2010. Noche was published by Viz Media on December 6, 2011. The artist’s book also contains two interviews with Hoshino and manga artists Osamu Akimoto and Takeshi Obata. D.Gray-man Character Ranking Book, a compilation of character popularity polls with character profiles by Hoshino and the one-shot “Exorcist no Natsu Yasumi”, was published on July 4, 2011. A new book, D.Gray-man Official Fan Book – Gray Log (Gray’s Memory), was released in Japan on August 4, 2017.

Reception

Popularity

The manga has been popular in Japan. One of Weekly Shōnen Jump‘s bestselling series, individual volumes have appeared on annual Japanese top-50 manga sales lists; in 2008, volumes 14, 15, and 16 were on the list. Later volumes were also Japanese bestsellers. In March 2019, the series had a Japanese circulation of over 24 million copies. Manga author Katsura Hoshino is grateful to the editors assisting her to the point of saying that she owes the series’ success to them.

Volumes of Viz’s English version of the series have appeared on bestselling manga lists in the New York Times and Nielsen BookScan. In its summer 2008 and Q3 2008 lists, ICv2 ranked D.Gray-man the 15th-bestselling manga property in North America. In 2009 and 2010, the series was North America’s bestselling shōnen property and the bestselling manga overall. It was ranked as the 24th and 23rd North American manga property on ICv2‘s Top 25 Manga list in 2011 and 2012, respectively.

Zassosha’s manga magazine, Puff, ranked the series the seventh-best long-story manga of 2006. In France, it received the Best Manga Series of 2006 award at the Anime and Manga 2007 French Grand Prix (organized by Animeland) and the 2006 Manga of the Year award from Webotaku. The anime DVDs have also been popular, ranking high on several Japanese animation DVD lists from 2007 to 2009, and the series was listed as a most-watched anime of the week. Its novelizations were also well-received; the second volume was the third-bestselling novel in Japan in 2006. D.Gray-man‘s characters have also inspired cosplay.

Critical reception

Manga

Reception of the series has been generally positive. In his review of volume one, Carlo Santos of Anime News Network said that certain plot points “come out of nowhere” and the story was kept from its full potential due to finding some points like the designs generic. However, he enjoyed the series’ quick-moving plot, exposition, and backstory. Sheena McNeil from Sequentialtart called it the best manga from 2006 based on its story and cast. A.E. Sparrow of IGN also reviewed the first volume, comparing the series’ antagonist to three of Batmans villains due to his likeability despite his role. Sparrow also enjoyed Allen’s characterization based on his tragic backstory. Calling the early volumes an “amateur comic”, reviewer Leroy Douresseaux of Coolstreak Cartoons noted that the plot and art improved significantly with each volume, whereas Otaku USA was amazed by the amount of different element such as horror, scifi, fantasy, among others to the point of making it an atypical manga from its genre. Ross Liversidge of the UK Anime Network enjoyed the first three volumes; Hoshino had “an excellent quality of storytelling” in juggling dark plot, light comedy and appealing characters. According to Brian Henson of Mania Beyond Entertainment, the series became better over time; although some elements seemed derivative, it developed a unique identity. Yussif Osman of Japanator said that the characters were some of the deepest seen in shōnen manga, citing Lavi’s backstory and the Noah Family.

Later volumes were also praised; Otaku USAs Joseph Luster appreciated the series’ battles and Allen’s development. The revelation that Allen would be an enemy of the Order and the 14th Noah was well received by Grant Goodman of Pop Culture Shock and Chris Beveridge of the Fandom Post. However, Goodman criticized early-volume reliance on comedy rather than plot. Beveridge and Erkael of Manga News were impressed with Kanda’s dark past Douresseaux liked Allen’s situation in volume 21 (due to the character’s connections with the Noah), and wanted to see more of that and less of Kanda’s fight with Alma Karma. Chris Kirby of the Fandom Post felt the constant mysteries across the series were entertaining, but lamented the continuous hiatus Hoshino had to take, leaving multiple fans disappointed in regards to future story events.

Hoshino’s art received mixed reviews. According to Casey Brienza of ANN, as of volume twelve, the battles were “practically unintelligible” yet liked the rest of the artwork. She described Hoshino’s drawing style as the “aesthetic yet dynamic, superbly beautiful yet super-violent” style made famous by female manga artists arising from the late-1980s and early-1990s dōjinshi subculture, citing Clamp and Yun Kōga as examples. Brienza also talked about Hoshino’s character designs, believing fans of both sexes would find them appealing. Douresseaux called Hoshino’s art “highly stylish” and reminiscent of work by Joe Madureira, Kelley Jones, and Chris Bachalo. Describing her backgrounds as eerie and Lovecraftian, Douresseaux wrote that Hoshino made appealing scenes that combined both gothic and violent elements. Brian Henson criticized changes made to the Viz Media version, such as the replacement of Japanese sound effects with less-appealing ones and awkward translations of character names.

Anime

According to Funimation Entertainment president and CEO Gen Fukunaga, the anime series was popular in Japan and the United States. Carl Kimlinger of Anime News Network reviewed the first episode, calling it derivative with “absolutely nothing original” but not boring. Noting that Allen’s use of the anti-Akuma weapon might seem clichéd, Todd Douglass Jr. of DVD Talk found its use in the anime entertaining. Active Anime’s Sandra Scholes and UK Anime Network’s Kevin Leathers enjoyed the anime series and, similarly to Douglass, found its small borrowings from other series appealing. Both reviewers praised Allen Walker’s characterization. Anime Insider‘s Kimberly Morales said that the series’ animation quality varied and although the story was appealing, voice actor Travis Willingham was miscast as Kanda. However, Morales liked the series and its cast overall. Tom Tonhat of Escapist praised the cast due to how it inspired multiple cosplaying and noted the impact of the Earl’s characterization as it involved about how the dead cannot be brought back to life.

UK Anime’s Kevin Leathers criticized its lack of entertaining story arcs, and Anime News Network’s Casey Brienza called the anime a poor adaptation of the manga. On the other hand, Neo enjoyed the direction of the episodes even though some are called “filler” based on how they allow to focus on the large cast. Allen’s English-language voice actor, Todd Haberkorn, said that anime sales were poor despite generally-positive reviews; he suggested that fans buy DVDs on sale to keep the series from being cancelled.

The anime’s sequel, D.Gray-man Hallow, was one of the most-anticipated anime series of summer 2016 by followers of Anime News Network and the Japanese web portal goo. Since he had not watched the original anime for some time, Alex Osborn of IGN appreciated the brief exposition in the sequel’s first episode to remind the audience of the plot. Although he enjoyed the interaction among the main cast, Osborn was confused by the revelation that Allen would become the 14th Noah and had to watch the scene again in order to understand it. In a later review, Osborn said he was amazed by Allen’s first possession by the 14th Noah; although it was “disturbing”, it enhanced the character’s development. Anne Laurenroth remarked Kanda’s character development in Hallow, particularly his fight against Alma Karma and his return to the Order in the finale. Laurenroth noted Hallow‘s poor animation and pacing but, although most of its episodes were grim, its final moments were upbeat. Manga Tokyo appreciated the black and white morality of the story when Allen is imprisoned by the Order he was working for and has to rely on the Millennium Earl’s comrades in order to survive. However, the reviewer felt that viewers needed more information than what the story was able to provide.

Manga Monday- A Certain Scientific Railgun

Manga Monday- A Certain Scientific Railgun

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

Media

Manga

A Certain Scientific Railgun is illustrated by Motoi Fuyukawa and started serialization in the April 2007 issue of ASCII Media Works’ Dengeki Daioh. The first volume was released on November 10, 2007 and as of October 11, 2018, 14 volumes have been published. North American publisher Seven Seas Entertainment began distributing the Railgun manga from June 2011.

Other media

A series of short light novel stories, titled A Certain Railgun SS, were included with the Japanese DVD and Blu-ray Disc releases of A Certain Magical Index and its second season.

A visual novel based on A Certain Scientific Railgun for the PSP was released on December 8, 2011 after facing several delays, and comes in a special edition which includes a Kuroko Shirai Figma figure. The opening theme for the A Certain Scientific Railgun PSP game is “Way to answer” by fripSide.

Reception

The opening theme for Railgun, “Only My Railgun”, won Best Theme Song at the 2010 Animation Kobe Awards.

Plot

In the futuristic Academy City, which is made up of 80% students, many of whom are espers possessing unique psychic powers, Mikoto Misaka is an electromaster who is the third strongest of a mere seven espers who have been given the rank of Level 5. The series focuses on the exploits of Mikoto and her friends; Kuroko Shirai, Kazari Uiharu, and Ruiko Saten, prior to and during the events of A Certain Magical Index.