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Manga Monday- I Want to Eat Your Pancreas

Manga Monday- I Want to Eat Your Pancreas

I Want to Eat Your Pancreas, also known as Let Me Eat Your Pancreas, is a novel by the Japanese writer Yoru Sumino. Initially serialized as a web novel in the user-generated site Shōsetsuka ni Narō in 2014, the book was published in print in 2015 by Futabasha. A manga adaptation ran from 2016 to 2017. A live-action film titled Let Me Eat Your Pancreas premiered in 2017, and an anime film adaptation titled I Want to Eat Your Pancreas on 1 September, 2018.

Manga

Izumi Kirihara began serializing a manga adaptation in Futabasha’s Monthly Action magazine on August 25, 2016, and ended the series on May 25, 2017. The chapters were compiled into two collected tankōbon volumes, published on February 10, 2017, and June 20, 2017. The manga is also licensed by Seven Seas, who released the first volume on January 22, 2019.

Novel

Yoru Sumino originally published the novel as a web novel on the user-generated content site Shōsetsuka ni Narō in 2014, before Futabasha republished it with cover art by loundraw on June 19, 2015. English publisher Seven Seas Entertainment announced their license to the novel on March 15, 2018, and it was released on November 20, 2018.

Plot

An aloof boy comes across a book in a hospital waiting room. He soon discovers that it is a diary kept by his very popular classmate who reveals to him that she is secretly suffering from a fatal pancreatic illness.

 

Manga Monday- Cheeky Angel

Manga Monday- Cheeky Angel

Cheeky Angel is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Hiroyuki Nishimori. The story revolves around the adventures of 15-year-old schoolgirl Megumi Amatsuka, a popular and beautiful tomboy that always get into fights with a secret: she used to be a boy. Originally serialized in Weekly Shōnen Sunday, it has been collected into 20 tankōbon volumes.

It was adapted as a 50-episode anime television series produced by TMS Entertainment, which was broadcast on TV Tokyo between June 2002 and March 2003.

In 2001, the manga won the 46th Shogakukan Manga Award for shōnen.

Manga

Cheeky Angel, written and illustrated by Hiroyuki Nishimori, was published in Shogakukan’s Weekly Shōnen Sunday on June 2, 1999 and finished on August 27, 2003. The individual chapters were compiled and published by Shogakukan into twenty tankōbon volumes, released between September 18, 1999 and September 18, 2003.

The manga was published in English by Viz Media. The first volume was released on July 7, 2004, and the final volume on January 9, 2008. Viz Media re-published the series digitally between May 12, 2005 and February 23, 2016.

Story

At the age of nine, Megumi is an aggressive boy prone to always fighting. One day he saves a strange man from a gang of other children. In return, Megumi receives a magical book. After accidentally bleeding on the book, a genie named Pierrot appears and offers to grant him a wish. Megumi wishes to become a strong man’s man. Pierrot, a trickster, inadvertently turns Megumi into a woman. Megumi, furious, throws the book into the riverbank. Believing the only way to reverse the spell is to retrieve the book, Megumi begins a 6-year-long search but is told that she can find the book if she attends Furinkan High School.

Manga Monday- E’s

Manga Monday- E’s

E’s is a Japanese shōnen manga series written and drawn by Satoru Yuiga. It was originally serialized in Monthly GFantasy from 1997 through 2005, and later published in 16 tankōbon volumes by Square Enix from March 18, 2003 to February 27, 2010. The series focuses on Kai Kudō, an “Esper”, who is recruited by an organization called Ashurum to become a soldier to purportedly save other psychics from regular humans. After a mission in Gald goes wrong, Kai finds himself living with a man named Yuuki and his adopted sister Asuka. As he learns more about Ashurum, Kai finds himself wondering what their true goals are, and worrying about his ill sister, who is under Ashurum’s care.

The series was adapted into a twenty-six episode anime series entitled E’s Otherwise by Studio Pierrot. It debuted in Japan on April 1, 2003 on TV Tokyo; the final episode aired on September 23, 2003. Two light novels and three drama CDs related to the series have also been released in Japan.

Broccoli Books licensed the manga series for English-language publication in North America in 2006. ADV Films licensed the anime series for North American broadcast and distribution, with the English dubbed version of the series airing on Anime Network.

Media

Manga

Written and illustrated by Satoru Yuiga, E’s was first serialized in GFantasy in 1997. The individual chapters were then compiled into 16 tankōbon volumes by Square Enix The first volume was released on March 18, 2003 with the final volume released on February 27, 2010.

The series licensed for an English-language release in North America by Broccoli Books. However Broccoli International USA closed down at the end of 2008 and stopped all printing in progress and have halted release of new works. As of October 2007, the company has published four volumes of the series. The series is also licensed for regional language releases in German by Carlsen Comics and in Chinese by Tong Li Publishing.

Anime

Studio Pierrot adapted the manga series into a twenty-six episode anime series entitled E’s Otherwise. Directed by Masami Shimoda, the episodes debuted in Japan on April 1, 2003 on TV Tokyo; the final episode aired on September 23, 2003.

ADV Films licensed the anime series for North American distribution in 2004. It initially released the series across 6 DVD volumes, with the first volume released on February 15, 2005 and the final volume released March 21, 2006. On December 12, 2006, the company re-released the entire series in a single five-disc box set. ADV Films also released the series in Germany, with German dubbing provided by Elektrofilm.

The anime series uses two pieces of theme music. “Jōhō” performed by Suitei-Shōjo is used for the series opening theme, while “Tonight/Midnight” by Chicochair is used for the ending theme.

Plot

Kai and Hikaru are protected by a corporation called ASHURUM, from a society that fears E’s. ASHURUM is 1 of the 12 corporations that rule the world. Found by Eiji, Kai was selected to be in ASHURUM’s special force AESES and had to undergo intensive training in different areas, such as combat, hacking, and psychic training.

When Kai had free time he visited Hikaru at the hospital. Hikaru’s condition never improved, however. After a year, Shen-long warned Kai that Eiji actually only wanted his sister, because she was said to possess amazing psychic powers, but she was not able to use them due to her illness. Shen-long then went on to tell Kai that Eiji was just hoping that Kai would have those amazing powers too.

Kai didn’t believe Shen-long and goes on a mission to Gald city, with the other E’s, to infiltrate a hideout of guerillas that is said to have been using E’s against their will. Kai finds some civilians caught in the middle of the battle. While trying to save a little girl, one of the civilians that is afraid of E’s, shoots and kills Kai’s partner.

Kai, still shocked from the death of his partner, tries to help the civilians, but meets up with Shen-long. In a rage, Shen-long unleashes a psychic blast that decimates half the city.

Later, Kai, washed up ashore, was found by a girl named Asuka. After being brought back to health, Kai was told by Yuuki, Asuka’s brother, that he would not have his psychic powers back to the level they were unless he goes back to ASHURUM. However, after spending some time in the city with its residents, Kai decides to stay with Asuka and Yuuki for a while. As it turns out, ASHURUM has been brain-washing Kai and the other E’s in order to make them more powerful. Eiji plans to use Hikaru to destroy the human race to ‘speed up evolution’ so that only E’s survive.

 

Manga Monday- Dr. Slump

Manga Monday- Dr. Slump

Dr. Slump is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Akira Toriyama. It was serialized in Shueisha’s anthology magazine Weekly Shōnen Jump from 1980 to 1984, with the chapters collected into 18 tankōbon volumes. The series follows the humorous adventures of the little girl robot Arale Norimaki, her creator Senbei Norimaki, and the other residents of the bizarre Penguin Village.

The manga was adapted into an anime television series by Toei Animation that ran on Fuji TV from 1981 to 1986 for 243 episodes. A remake series was created thirteen years after the manga ended, consisting of 74 episodes that were broadcast from 1997 to 1999. The series has also spawned several novels, video games and eleven animated films.

Dr. Slump launched Toriyama’s career. It was awarded the Shogakukan Manga Award for shōnen and shōjo manga in 1981 and has sold over 35 million copies in Japan. The manga was released in North America by Viz Media from 2004 to 2009. Discotek Media released the first five films in North America in 2014.

Manga

Akira Toriyama’s Dr. Slump was originally serialized in Weekly Shōnen Jump from issue No. 5/6 on February 4, 1980 to No. 39 on September 10, 1984. Its 236 individual chapters were collected into 18 tankōbon volumes under the Jump Comics imprint. It was reassembled as a 9-volume aizōban edition in 1990, a 9-volume bunkoban edition in 1995, and a 15-volume kanzenban edition in 2006. Viz Media licensed the series for North America in 2004, and published the first volume on March 3, 2005 with translation done by Alexander O. Smith and some censorship. All 18 original volumes have been released in North America as of May 5, 2009.

After Dr. Slump ended in 1984, its characters returned for an extended cameo in Toriyama’s next series Dragon Ball, in which Arale and Son Goku briefly team up to defeat General Blue during the Red Ribbon Army storyline. A Dr. Slump follow-up manga was written by Takao Koyama and illustrated by Katsuyoshi Nakatsuru, with supervision by Toriyama. It was serialized in V Jump from February 21, 1993 to September 1996 under the title The Brief Return of Dr. Slump. It was collected into four tankōbon volumes.

To promote the release of the first Dr. Slump – Arale-chan anime DVD box set, Akira Toriyama illustrated a special one-shot colored spin-off manga titled Dr. Mashirito – Abale-chan published in the April 2007 issue of Monthly Shōnen Jump. The story centers around an evil counterpart of Arale created by Dr. Mashirito Jr., named Abale.

Reception

As of 2008, the collected volumes of Dr. Slump had sold over 35 million copies in Japan alone. Only a year after its debut, the series was awarded the 1981 Shogakukan Manga Award for shōnen and shōjo manga. Viz Media’s North American release of the first volume of Dr. Slump was nominated for the 2005 Quill Award in the Graphic Novel category. The first anime adaptation of Dr. Slump was also popular, holding the coveted Saturday 6pm timeslot for five years. With a 36.9% average household rating, its December 16, 1981 episode is the third most watched anime since the television ratings group Video Research began keeping track on September 26, 1977. In 1982, it was voted the 13th Favorite Anime in Japanese magazine Animages fourth annual Anime Grand Prix. In 2001, Animage ranked it number 48 on its list of the Top 100 Anime. TV Asahi released two Top 100 Anime lists in 2005, in the web poll Dr. Slump ranked number 34, while a nationwide poll of multiple age groups named it number 29. The following year, a list created from polling 100 celebrities had it in the 25th position. A running gag in Dr. Slump that utilizes feces has been reported as an inspiration for the Pile of Poo emoji. Ian Jones-Quartey, a former producer of the American animated series Steven Universe and creator of OK K.O.! Let’s Be Heroes, is a fan of Dragon Ball and Dr. Slump, and uses Toriyama’s vehicle designs as reference for his own. He also stated that “We’re all big Toriyama fans on [Steven Universe], which kind of shows a bit.”

Mike Toole of Anime News Network called Dr. Slump “the greatest manga of all time”, filled with “parody, gags, and fart jokes that everyone from toddlers to grandparents can enjoy together”. Jason Thompson referred to Dr. Slump as the best series Toriyama has created, claiming it is better drawn and more creative than Dragon Ball. He also reports that it is considered “the last non-manufactured hit” by many in the Japanese manga industry, particularity among Weekly Shōnen Jump titles. In their review, Publishers Weekly stated “Toriyama has created his own demented sitcom, and his fantastic imagination and comic invention never let up”, “The [English] translation is a bit flat, but the uncommonly good storytelling more than makes up for it.” Eduardo M. Chavez of Mania Entertainment summarized Dr. Slump as a “quirky slap-stick comedy entirely based in fantasy.” He thinks that while Toriyama’s usual art style uses “SD” characters, Dr. Slump also shows hints that he can draw realistic. He noted that “little nuances”, particularity puns, are lost in translation from Japanese to English and expressed disdain for Viz’s censorship, saying it took away from the honesty of the series. Chavez feels that what the characters do never crosses the line into inappropriate; “The jokes might not be wholesome, but they are genuinely funny and harmless”; and went on to say that the series fills the void for “all ages manga” in bookstores and libraries.

Reviewing the first five movies, Carl Kimlinger of Anime News Network summarized Dr. Slump as “random silly adventures […] delivered with a lot of surreal nonsense humor, only the most basic sense of continuity, and not a whiff of substance or seriousness.” He felt that much of the humor comes simply from the visuals; stating that the vintage hand-done art and animation provide a “warmth” and “raises Slump’s visuals above” other anime. However, he called the background music “non-descript” and stated that the films are only for viewers who are familiar with the series, as they provide no exposition.

Plot

Dr. Slump is set in Penguin Village, a place where humans co-exist with all sorts of anthropomorphic animals and other objects. In this village lives Senbei Norimaki, an inventor. In the first chapter, he builds what he hopes will be the world’s most perfect little girl robot, named Arale Norimaki. However, she turns out to be in severe need of eyeglasses. She is also very naïve, and in later issues she has adventures such as bringing a huge bear home, having mistaken it for a pet. To Senbei’s credit, she does have super-strength. In general, the manga focuses on Arale’s misunderstandings of humanity and Senbei’s inventions, rivalries, and romantic misadventures. In the middle of the series, a recurring villain named Dr. Mashirito appears as a rival to Senbei.

Manga Monday- Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid

Manga Monday- Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid

Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Coolkyousinnjya. The series began serialization in Futabasha’s Monthly Action magazine in May 2013, and is licensed in North America by Seven Seas Entertainment. Two spin-off manga, one by Mitsuhiro Kimura and the other by Ayami Kazama, are serialized in Monthly Action. An anime television series produced by Kyoto Animation aired in Japan between January and April 2017. A second anime season has been greenlit.

The manga had over 1.2 million copies in print as of February 2018.

Plot

As office worker and programmer Kobayashi gets ready for work, she is greeted by a large dragon right outside her front door. The dragon immediately transforms into a human girl in a maid outfit, and introduces herself as Tohru. It turns out, that during a drunken excursion into the mountains the night before, Kobayashi had encountered the dragon, who claimed to have come from another world. Subsequently, Kobayashi had removed a holy sword from Tohru’s back, earning her gratitude. With Tohru having no place to stay, Kobayashi offers to let the dragon stay at her home and become her personal maid, to which she agrees.

Despite being efficient at housework, Tohru’s unorthodox methods of housekeeping often end up scaring Kobayashi and bringing more trouble than help. Additionally, Tohru’s presence attracts other dragons, gods, and mythical beings to her new home. One of these dragons, Kanna, shows up at Kobayashi’s door, demanding that Kobayashi return Tohru to the other world. It is then revealed that she’d been exiled from the other world, and having nowhere else to stay, Kobayashi takes her in and becomes her guardian. As both Tohru and Kanna settle into the human world, Kobayashi starts to think of them as family.

Manga Monday- Fire Force

Manga Monday- Fire Force

Fire Force is a Japanese shōnen manga series written and illustrated by Atsushi Ōkubo. It is published by Kodansha and has been serialized in the Weekly Shōnen Magazine since September 23, 2015, with the chapters collected into twenty-three tankōbon volumes as of May 2020.

An anime television series adaptation by David Production aired from July 5 to December 27, 2019 on the Super Animeism block. A second season is set to premiere in July 2020.

Manga

Fire Force is written and illustrated by Atsushi Ōkubo. It began its serialization in the manga magazine Weekly Shōnen Magazine on September 23, 2015. Its individual chapters have been collected into twenty-two tankōbon volumes by Kodansha as of March 2020, the first released on February 17, 2016. In a July 2019 interview, the creator stated that he expected the manga’s ending to be “probably Volume 30. It could change. But no more than 50”. In May 2020, Ōkubo announced that the manga is in its final stage, and he also commented that Fire Force would be his final manga.

The series is licensed for English-language release in North America by Kodansha USA, which has published the first volume on November 8, 2016.

Reception

As of January 2018, the manga had 1.8 million copies in print.

Gadget Tsūshin listed “Látom” in their 2019 anime buzzwords list.

Synopsis

Setting

The Great Disaster is an event that happened two hundred and fifty years before Year 198, with the world mostly consumed in flame with many nations destroyed and most of the planet rendered uninhabitable. The survivors took refuge in the Tokyo Empire, which remained mostly stable during the period despite Japan losing some of its landmass. The Tokyo Emperor Raffles I establishes the faith of the Holy Sol Temple as it and Haijima Industries developed the perpetual thermal energy plant Amaterasu to power the country. In Year 198 of Tokyo’s Solar Era, special fire brigades called the Fire Force fight increasing incidents of spontaneous human combustion where human beings are turned into living infernos called “Infernals”. While the Infernals are first generation cases of spontaneous human combustion, with more powerful horned variations known as Demons, later generations possess pyrokinesis while retaining human form. The Fire Force was formed by combining people with these powers from the Holy Sol Temple, The Tokyo Armed Forces and the Fire Defense Agency, and is composed by eight independent companies.

Plot

Shinra Kusakabe is a third generation pyrokinetic youth who gained the nickname “Devil’s Footprints” for his ability to ignite his feet at will. He joins Special Fire Force Company 8, which features other pyrokinetics who dedicated themselves to ending the Infernal attacks for good while investigating Companies 1 through 7 for potential corruption in their ranks. Shinra begins to learn that his younger brother’s abduction during the fire that killed their mother 12 years ago is caused by a mysterious doomsday cult that is behind the Infernal attacks. Company 8 and their allies oppose the White Cloaks and their Knights of the Ashen Flame, who seek certain individuals like Shinra and his brother (Sho) to enact a scheme to repeat the Great Disaster.

Manga Monday- Zatch Bell!

Manga Monday- Zatch Bell!

Zatch Bell!, also known in Japan as Golden Gash!, is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Makoto Raiku. It was published in Shogakukan’s Weekly Shōnen Sunday. The series follows mamodo Zatch Bell and his human partner Kiyo Takamine, as they try to win a tournament of Mamodo battles in order to make the former the king of the Mamodo world.

The manga was later adapted into a 150 episode anime television series titled Golden Gash Bell!! by Toei Animation. Konjiki no Gash Bell premiered on Fuji TV on April 6, 2003, and ran until March 26, 2006. In addition to an array of licensed merchandise, the series also spawned a series of video games and two animated films.

The Zatch Bell! manga has over 22 million copies in circulation. In 2003, it won the 48th Shogakukan Manga Award for the shōnen category.

Reception

As of June 2008, the manga had over 22 million copies in circulation. In 2003, the manga won the Shogakukan Manga Award for best shōnen title of the year. The Zatch Bell! anime series ranked twentieth in animage’s anime popularity poll in 2005. The anime ranked 64th of the Top 100 anime in 2005 according to a web poll conducted by TV Asahi.

Mania.com’s Jarred Pine’s review of the first volume said that the art style was odd yet crude. He also mentioned the art style and explosive action scenes with moments of humor save the series from being recycled material. Anime News Network’s Zac Bertschy review of the anime adaption described it as “…mind-numbingly over-the-top, so enthusiastically bizarre, that it’s difficult to not get sucked into its strange little world” but criticized how it was like a “battle your way to the top while learning important lessons about teamwork and courage” anime. He commented how the “sheer exuberance and energy” saves the show from being a bland anime and how it would be the perfect show for kids. IGN’s review of the series was mostly negative. IGN’s Jason Van Horn criticized the animation, plot, and dubbed voice acting. IGN’s JKB stated the books are more interesting than the animation.

Common Sense Media describes the story as “isn’t just about violence”. They also say that there is always challenges, adversities, and questions of identity that the characters face especially Zatch and Kiyo. They compliment how the characters often think aloud when talking about their painful experiences or flashbacks. They applaud on how each of the characters problems in the series are not far off on what kids deal with today. They criticized how the battles uses visuals, languages, sound effects, and dramatic effects that often get drawn out and sometimes become hard to watch. Overall, they said with the graphic violence and the internal struggles that the different characters face throughout the series some parents may not find Zatch Bell! appropriate for their children under ten years old.

Manga

Written and drawn by Makoto Raiku, Zatch Bell! premiered in Shogakukan’s Weekly Shōnen Sunday magazine on January 10, 2001. In December 2005, the series was put on hiatus due to the author injuring his hand. The series resumed its serialization on issue No. 11 of Weekly Shōnen Sunday in February 2006. The series finished its serialization on December 26, 2007. The manga spanned a total of 323 individual chapters and 33 tankōbon volumes.

The series was licensed for an English language release by Viz Media. The first two volumes of the series were released on August 2, 2005. Viz has discontinued the series after volume 25, released on June 9, 2009.

In March 2011, Makoto Raiku released a one-shot chapter of Zatch Bell to promote the re-release of the manga in a new bunkoban format by Kodansha. Sixteen volumes were published between March 8, 2011, and June 7, 2012.

In July 2018, Raiku began releasing a digital sixteen-volume “Complete Edition” of Zatch Bell through his digital publishing company BIRGDIN BOARD Corp. The re-releases consisted of new cover art drawn by Raiku himself, color pages from the original Weekly Shonen Sunday serialization, and a special bonus chapter in each volume called “Zatch Cafe” that features the characters from that volume’s cover. After successful sales and demand from fans, the Zatch Bell Complete Edition began to be released in kanzenban format through Kraken in July 2019, featuring everything that was contained in the digital release. There are no plans for an international release at this time.

Synopsis

Setting

Mamodo (魔物, Mamono, lit. “demon”) are mystical creatures with supernatural powers from the parallel Mamodo world. Every 1,000 years, one hundred Mamodo are transported to Earth to compete for the kingship of their world. Each Mamodo’s set of spells are sealed away in a spell book that requires a human companion to read aloud in order to cast them. Only one human can read that Mamodo’s book, whereupon he or she becomes its book owner and partner. Spells cast by the Mamodo produce various effects; along with direct attacks and defenses, there are also spells that temporarily enhance the Mamodo’s abilities, such as agility; render the enemy immobile, or even empower an object they carry. Spells in each book are typically different for each Mamodo, but there are others that carry identical spells—an example of this is Zatch Bell and his twin brother, Zeno Bell. The human and their Mamodo usually start out with one spell but unlock more through experience and hard work. Additionally, the spell book responds to the user’s strong emotions, so that a spell may be generated with greater energy and fervor. The object of the Mamodo battle is to eliminate opponents by burning their spell book. A Mamodo whose spell book has been burnt is then forced to return to the Mamodo world and lose all claim to the position as king. The last Mamodo standing without their book destroyed becomes the new Mamodo king for the next thousand years.

Plot

Taking place mostly in modern-day Japan, the story follows Kiyo Takamine, a 14-year-old boy in junior high school. His father, Seitaro Takamine, discovers an unconscious child named Zatch Bell while in a forest in England, and sends Zatch to live with Kiyo. Unlike the other Mamodo, Zatch lost his memory of the Mamodo world. Kiyo first learns about the spell book when he reads a spell causing Zatch to fire lightning from his mouth. As Kiyo and Zatch begin to encounter different Mamodos and learn more about the Mamodo battles, they discover that there are those who do not wish to fight and there are those who fight for the wrong reasons. After meeting a Mamodo named Kolulu and seeing how this kind Mamodo was forced to fight due to the power of her spells, Zatch decides to become a kind king in order to stop the battle from ever happening again. As the story progresses, Zatch and Kiyo meet other Mamodos that share similar views to them and become allies. They meet allies such as Megumi Oumi and Tia in which they specialize in defensive spells such as different types of shields. Kiyo and Zatch meet Folgore and Kanchomé (Canchome) who are both comic relief characters and they only have transformation spells such as Kanchomé being able to turn himself really big. Zatch met Kafk Sunbeam and Umagon earlier in England. Umagon is a Mamodo who specializes in transformation spells that can put armor around his body and increase his speed. Shery (Sherie) Belmont and Brago who was originally Zatch and Kiyo’s rival in the series later becomes their allies and he has gravity type spells.

As the number of Mamodos decreases, Zatch and his allies encounter a Mamodo called Zofis who takes control of several Mamodo who were sealed in stone tablets from the previous battle to decide the king. With Kiyo and Zatch needing more allies, they meet Dr. Riddles and Kido. They helped teach the main allies how to unlock new spells such as Zatch unlocking the sixth spell. Kiyo and Zatch with friends make their way to South America to fight off Zofis and the thousand year Mamodos. Many characters fell and got their book burned. The most notable one was Kido who was sent back to the Mamodo world after fighting Belgium E.O. Ultimately, Sherry and Brago came to help to fight Zofis. Zofis took control of Sherry’s friend Koko who Zofis makes her do evil things such as burning a whole town. Sherry and Brago beat Zofis but not without the help of Kiyo and friends. Sherry gets Koko back to normal and the battle in South America is over. After the battle against Zofis, the whole world is put in danger after a giant Mamodo named Faudo is brought to life by a Mamodo named Riou. Riou was looking for Mamodos that have enough strength to help activate Faudo. So he puts a curse on Li-en and Wonrei who Kiyo and Zatch befriend in the middle of the series. The protagonists make their way to Faudo to try to destroy it and to save their friends. The battle in Faudo was the toughest battle for the characters up to that point in the story. Kiyo almost died against Riou, and many of Zatch’s friends got sent back to the Mamodo world such as Wonrei. Faudo is then taken over by a Mamodo that looks like Zatch, who turns out to be Zatch’s evil twin brother Zeno Bell. Zatch and Zeno have a big fight inside of Faudo. Through Zeno’s flashback, he resented Zatch because their Father King Bell bestowed Zatch the power of Bao, which is Zatch’s strongest spell. Zeno at a young age had to train everyday and always got punished while Zatch lived with another family peacefully. Ultimately, Zeno comprehends that Zatch also suffered too and apologizes for what he has done to Zatch. Zeno gets his book burned and is sent back to the Mamodo world.

Finally, when the number of Mamodos have decreased to ten, an evil and powerful Mamodo named Clear Note appears. With Clear Note’s immense strength the protagonists have to train to fight against Clear Note in the King’s Festival. The King’s Festival is where the final ten Mamodo have to fight to be king. Most notably before the Zatch and Kiyo fought Clear Note, Kanchome got sent back to the Mamodo world when he was ambushed by Clear Note. With Kancome gone before the big fight it Kiyo, Megumi, and Sunbeam vowed to win against Clear Note for Kanchome and Folgore’s sake. Past Mamodos whom Kiyo and Zatch have encountered came to help out. They helped out in a form of spells because Kiyo’s spell book unlocked all of the Mamodo’s spells. Kiyo used Kido’s strongest spell, Wonrei’s strongest spell, and many more spells from their past allies After many sacrifices, Clear Note is defeated leaving Zatch and his ally Brago as the remaining Mamodos. After Kiyo’s graduation ceremony, Zatch and Brago battle and Zatch is crowned the Mamodo King. As a prize for helping Zatch become king, Kiyo is given two options: either getting a wish and forgetting about Zatch, or get nothing but keep his memories of Zatch. He chooses the latter option. Three weeks later, a letter is sent from the Mamodo to their human partners. Zatch’s letter reveals that all is well in the Mamodo world.

 

Manga Monday- Nodame Cantabile

Manga Monday- Nodame Cantabile

Nodame Cantabile is a manga by Tomoko Ninomiya. It was serialized in Japan by Kodansha in the magazine Kiss from July 2001 to October 2009 and collected in 23 tankōbon volumes. A two-volume sequel, called Nodame Cantabile: Encore Opera Chapter, which began serialization in the December 2009 issue of Kiss, was released in 2010. It is licensed in North America by Del Rey Manga. The series depicts the relationship between two aspiring classical musicians, Megumi “Nodame” Noda and Shinichi Chiaki, as university students and after graduation. It received the 2004 Kodansha Manga Award for best shōjo manga.

The series has been adapted as four different television series: as an award-winning Japanese live-action drama that aired in 2006 followed by a sequel television special that aired in January 2008, as an anime series spanning three seasons with the first broadcast in 2007, the second in 2008 and the third in 2010. Two live-action movie sequels to the Japanese television drama, with the same actors, were produced with release dates of 18 December 2009 and April 2010. In addition, several soundtrack albums of classical music have been released, as well as three video games. A South Korean drama live action adaptation aired on the KBS network in 2014.

In 2016 a one-shot epilogue chapter was published in the April edition of Kiss.

Manga

The Nodame Cantabile manga was written and illustrated by Tomoko Ninomiya. It was serialized by Kodansha in the biweekly josei (aimed at younger adult women) manga magazine Kiss from 10 July 2001, to 10 October 2009. The untitled chapters have been collected in 23 tankōbon volumes. It was licensed in North America by Del Rey Manga, which released 16 of the 23 volumes. In 2016 Kodansha USA announced that they received the rights to the series for digital release. It is licensed in France by Pika Édition, in South Korea by Daiwon C.I., in Thailand by NED Comics, in Indonesia by Elex Media Komputindo, and in Taiwan by Tong Li Comics. All volume covers feature Nodame with a musical instrument.

Starting in May 2008, Japanese serialization changed from biweekly to monthly because of Ninomiya’s pregnancy. Serialization went on hiatus starting October 2008 following the birth of her son and Ninomiya’s subsequent diagnosis of having carpal tunnel syndrome, but resumed again with the 10 March 2009 issue of Kiss on an irregular schedule depending on her continued recovery. In June 2009, the series went on hiatus again when Ninomiya was hospitalized with acute appendicitis, and resumed serialization in the 25 July issue. In July 2009, Asahi Shimbun reported that the manga was scheduled to end in the spring of 2010, coinciding with the release of the final live-action movie. However, the series ended with chapter 136 in the 10 October 2009 issue of the magazine.

Starting in late 2009, a sequel titled Nodame Cantabile – Encore Opera Chapter started running in the same magazine. It ended in September 2010. The numbering of the volumes follow right after the original series so they start at volume 24.

On 25 February 2016 in the April 2016 edition of Kiss, Ninomiya published, a one shot set five years after the last installment, it has been described as a final coda to Nodame and Chiaki’s story.

Reception

The manga of Nodame Cantabile received the 2004 Kodansha Manga Award for shōjo manga, and was a jury recommendation at both the 2005 and 2008 Japan Media Arts Festivals. It was a finalist for the Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize in 2005 and 2006, but did not win. In 2006, the English translation was named by the New York Public Library as one of the Books for the Teen Age. The series sold 2.8 million copies in 2008, making it the 8th best-selling manga series in Japan that year. Volume 17 was the third best-selling manga on the Oricon charts for 2007, and volumes 20 and 21 were the 6th and 7th best-selling manga on the Oricon charts for 2008, respectively, selling 1.2 million copies each. According to an Oricon survey men and women aged 10–40, Nodame Cantabile was the second “most interesting” manga series published during 2008. The series and its associated music albums are credited with increasing sales of classical music in Japan. As a whole, the series is a best-seller in Japan, having sold over 37 million copies as of March 2015.

The English translation of Nodame Cantabile has been praised for its quirky, interesting characters, sense of humor, and clean art. Dirk Deppey in The Comics Journal praised Ninomiya’s storytelling, saying she “has a solid sense of when to accentuate the highs and lows with just the right note, and understands that one can only do this by not hitting such notes very often”, resulting in “an understated soap opera” that is “a seamless and enjoyable storytelling experience.” Reviewers have called Ninomiya’s character development subtle, while noting it is the character interactions that drive the story, and that “each character has a real and lasting effect on others.” Reviewers also cite Ninomiya’s ability to depict “scenes of people playing music that no one can hear” and her sense of humor as factors in the series’ appeal. Ninomiya has been criticized for not handling transitions between storylines well, for sometimes letting the characters derail the story, and for art and backgrounds that are sometimes too plain. Matt Thorn criticized the English translation for inaccuracies of tone.

The live-action drama received the 2007 Japanese Drama Academy Awards for Best Drama, Best Lead Actress (Juri Ueno), Best Direction (Hideki Takeuchi), Best Music (Takayuki Hattori), and Best Title Song; the show was also recognized overseas as Best Miniseries at the 2nd Seoul Drama Festival. Juri Ueno also was named Best Newcomer at the Élan d’or Awards for her performance, and the next year was named Best Actress at the International Drama Festival in Tokyo Awards for reprising her role as Nodame in the television special. The New Year’s Special in Europe received an average household rating of 20.3% and 21.0% for the two nights it was broadcast in Japan, making it them the highest-rated drama episodes of the week. The first soundtrack album for the drama, Nodame Orchestra LIVE!, reached number seven on the Oricon album chart, breaking the record for highest ranked classical music album.

The opening episode of the anime series broke the record for audience share for its time-slot. The first DVD volume debuted at number 3 on the Oricon chart for anime the week it went on sale.

Although the anime has not been licensed in English, it has still received notice from English reviewers, who praised the character development and chemistry, the balance between drama and comedy, voice acting, and especially the music—both the performances and how it was presented. Reviewers did complain that the visual design of some secondary characters were too similar.

In 2006, a cafe based on Nodame Cantabile opened in Harajuku, Tokyo, including live music from the live-action drama and sets from the show.

Manga Monday- Basara

Manga Monday- Basara

Basara is a Japanese fantasy manga series written and illustrated by Yumi Tamura. The story takes place in a future Japan, reduced to a barren desert by a catastrophe at the end of the 21st century. The main character is Sarasa, a girl whose twin brother, Tatara, is prophesied to be the “child of destiny” who will bring back the country’s independence and stop the tyrannical rule of the Empire, namely the Red King. When Tatara is killed, Sarasa pretends to be him in order to keep the downtrodden from losing hope.

The manga was serialized in Shogakukan’s Bessatsu Shōjo Comic magazine from September 1990 to June 1998. Shogakukan collected the individual chapters into 27 bound volumes under the Flower Comics imprint from March 1991 to March 2000. The manga won the 38th Shogakukan Manga Award in the shōjo category in 1993. Viz Media licensed the manga for an English-language release in North America; they published 27 volumes from August 2003 to May 2008.

Basara was adapted into a 13-episode anime television series titled Legend of Basara, which aired in Japan from April to June 1998. It was produced by KSS and directed by Noburu Takamoto.

The manga was also adapted into several stage plays in Japan, the first of which premiered in 2012. A filmed performance was released on DVD in July 2013. The second stage play was performed at Theater 1010 in Tokyo from January 9 to January 14, 2014. The third stage play was performed at Kinokuniya Hall in Tokyo from January 25 to January 28, 2019.

Overview

In Basara’s post-apocalyptic setting, Japan has been controlled by a succession of corrupt and oppressive rulers of Saffron Clan. The current one is the Golden Emperor, a sovereign so obsessed with maintaining his power that he has had most of his children killed. He later appointed territories to the remaining children, allowing them to rule as subordinate kings and expend their energies in rivalries among each other, instead of trying to dethrone him. As a result, most of the Kings neglect the people they rule.

Though the peasants have been downtrodden for decades, they have not completely lost their rebellious spirit. Four swords named for the Ssu Ling gods—Byakko, Suzaku, Seiryū and Genbu—forged for fallen rebel leaders two generations past, are the symbols of underground resistance groups across Japan. The sword of Byakko is kept in Byakko Village, and according to a prophet, a child of fate who will lead a revolution will be born there. When twins are born—a girl and a boy—the prophet says that one of them is the child of destiny. Villagers believe the boy, Tatara, is the child of destiny, but ultimately the girl, Sarasa, is the leader. When the local ruler, the Red King, destroys her village and has her brother beheaded, she assumes his name and duty to lead her people in rebellion.

Sarasa undergoes psychological strain over having to pretend to be a boy. As such, she often visits hot springs to “let her hair down.” During these visits, she runs into a mysterious young man named Shuri, and they fall in love with each other.

Unknown to Sarasa, Shuri is really the Red King, upon whom she has sworn revenge for destroying her village and killing her family. The Red King is likewise unaware that Sarasa, in her alter ego, is the rebel leader he is trying to kill. As the story progresses, the pair’s relationship deepens even as their struggle becomes more bloody.

 

Manga Monday- The Prince of Tennis

Manga Monday- The Prince of Tennis

The Prince of Tennis is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Takeshi Konomi. The manga was serialized in Shueisha’s Weekly Shōnen Jump from July 1999 to March 2008. A total of 379 chapters were published and collected into 42 tankōbon volumes.

The manga was adapted into an anime television series directed by Takayuki Hamana, animated by Trans Arts and co-produced by Nihon Ad Systems and TV Tokyo. The anime was broadcast on TV Tokyo from October 10, 2001 to March 30, 2005, spanning a total of 178 episodes, as well as a theatrical movie. In April 2006, an original video animation (OVA) continuation of the anime began to be released on DVD. The beginning of the second OVA series was released on June 22, 2007, roughly three months after the end of the first. The second OVA ended on January 25, 2008, and the third and final OVA started on April 25, 2008.

In North America, Viz Media licensed both The Prince of Tennis manga and anime series for an English-language release.

The series developed into a media franchise and has had numerous other adaptations outside of the animated incarnation. Since April 2003, more than fifteen stage musicals have been produced for the series. An animated movie was released in 2005, as well as a live action movie in 2006. The franchise has also had a long-running radio show, numerous video games, well over 250 soundtracks and CDs, and other merchandise. As of January 2012, the manga had over 51 million copies in circulation.

A sequel titled New Prince of Tennis, began serialization in Jump Square in March 2009, with the story taking place several months after the end of the original manga.

Reception

The Prince of Tennis has become a successful franchise. As of March 2008, the first 40 volumes of the manga had sold over 40 million copies in Japan. As of January 2012, the manga had over 51 million copies in circulation.

Carl Kimlinger from Anime News Network reviewed the first DVD box set released by Viz Media, and commented that “Prince of Tennis is among the dregs of the genre.” They go on to say that it is “boring” and “lacks the human drama necessary to get audiences to care who wins or loses.” ‘Anime on DVD’, however, comments that the show “takes the usual themes in sports shows and applies them masterfully.” DVD Talk takes more of a nonchalant view, commenting that the “series is okay but not great” and that it has some charm, which will make you not regret watching it. Active Anime also gave praise to the series, saying that it “holds some surprising twists to the regular sports drama formula”, and praised the suspenseful matches and innovative techniques.

Despite the reviews, the series is popular in Japan. When TV Asahi, a television network in Japan, conducted a survey for the one hundred most popular animated television series, The Prince of Tennis anime came in twenty-seventh place. They also conducted an online web poll, in which The Prince of Tennis placed eighteenth. Nearly a year later, TV Asahi once again conducted an online poll for the top one hundred anime, and this time, The Prince of Tennis anime advanced in rank and came in eighth place. They also surveyed Japanese celebrities for their favorite anime, where the series only came in sixty-eighth out of the top one hundred.

Media

Manga

The Prince of Tennis is written and illustrated by Takeshi Konomi. The manga was first published in Shueisha’s Weekly Shōnen Jump in Japan on July 19, 1999. The series was put under hiatus when Konomi was injured in an accident during July 2006, but publication resumed in September 2006. The series finished on March 3, 2008, Shueisha collected its 379 individual chapters into forty-two tankōbon volumes published from January 7, 2000 to June 4, 2008.

In North America, Viz Media announced the acquisition of the series in February 2004. The first volume was released on April 21, 2004. As of July 5, 2011, the forty-two volumes have been published.

A 4-panel manga parody, entitled the Prince of After School, began on November 4, 2008 in Jump Square.

A sequel to the manga series, entitled New Prince of Tennis, was announced in the December issue of Jump Square, published on November 4, 2008. The series began serialization in Jump Square on March 4, 2009. The story is set several months after the end of the first manga, and features Ryoma returning to Japan after his stay in America.

Plot

The chapters of The Prince of Tennis manga series are written and illustrated by Takeshi Konomi, and were serialized in Japan’s manga magazine Weekly Shōnen Jump from July 1999 to March 2008. A sequel to the series entitled New Prince of Tennis began serialization in Japan in the monthly magazine Jump Square on March 4, 2009. The story centers around a cocky tennis prodigy named Ryoma Echizen, who, upon his father’s urging, enrolls in a private middle school called Seishun Academy (“Seigaku” for short), which, besides being famous for its strong tennis team, is his father’s alma mater. The storyline of the first manga series revolves around Seigaku striving to become the National middle school tennis champions, while the sequel takes place several months after their National victory.