Browsed by
Tag: manga monday

Manga Monday- Ai Yori Aoshi

Manga Monday- Ai Yori Aoshi

Ai Yori Aoshi is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Kou Fumizuki. The manga was serialized in Hakusensha’s Young Animal magazine from 1999 to 2005 and the chapters collected into 17 tankōbon volumes. It is a love story between two characters who have not seen each other in years, but were once childhood friends.

An anime television series adaptation was animated by J.C.Staff and directed by Masami Shimoda, with Kenichi Kanemaki handling series composition, Kazunori Iwakura designing the characters and Toshio Masuda composing the music. The anime was broadcast on Fuji TV in 2002. A second season titled Ai Yori Aoshi: Enishi was set two years later and aired in 2003. There are 37 episodes total, counting an alternate-continuity Christmas special. The anime was released in North America by Geneon and the manga was released in English by Tokyopop. Four visual novels were also released for the PlayStation 2 and Windows 98.

Manga

Ai Yori Aoshi began as a manga series written and illustrated by Kou Fumizuki. It was serialized in Hakusensha’s Young Animal magazine from 1999 to 2005 and the chapters collected into 17 tankōbon volumes. The first volume was published by Hakusensha in Japan on May 28, 1999, and the last volume was released on December 20, 2005. The manga was released in English by Tokyopop. The first book was released in January 2004 and the last book was released in October 2007.

The series has also been licensed in Europe (Non English Releases), Asia, and Middle America. In Europe, the series was licensed in French by Pika Édition, in German by EMA, and in Spanish by Norma Editorial. For Asia the series was licensed in Chinese by Jonesky, in Korean by Daiwon CI, and in Russian by Sakura Press. In North America the series has been published in Mexico by Grupo Editorial Vid.

Reception

Ai Yori Aoshi did well with its English manga release, with book one ranking number 45 on the top 50 Manga’s sold of that month. With an estimated 3,329 books sold, the series peaked at number 18 of 100 with Volume 6 but soon fell out of the top 100 list for the other releases. The last volume ended at number 66 out of 100 on the sales list.

As for reviews the manga has been described as “fun to read” and a “good solid romance story”. Adam Beck of Advanced media Network anime pointed out however that some volumes lack dialogue but a good dialogue translation was done by tokyopop.

Plot

Kaoru Hanabishi, a university student, is the eldest son of Yūji Hanabishi, the head of the Hanabishi Zaibatsu, and was set to take over the zaibatsu after his father retired. His mother, Kumi Honjō, and his father never married, making life difficult for both him and his mother. Kaoru’s father died when he was five years old. After that, Yūji’s father, Gen’ichiro Hanabishi, took Kaoru under his wing and began educating him for the eventual succession. However, Kaoru never felt at home in the Hanabishi family and exiled himself after his mother’s death. Day by day he felt alone, thinking that he was living life with no reason pushing him on.

There was, however, a person who loved Kaoru so much that she felt had to do whatever was necessary to be with him. Her name is Aoi Sakuraba. Aoi is the only daughter of the owner of the Sakuraba Dry Goods Store (later renamed to Sakuraba Department Store). Kaoru’s family and Aoi’s family had expected for Kaoru to marry Aoi, but after Kaoru left, the marriage was canceled. Both families had a friendly relationship, and unbeknownst to Kaoru, Aoi had been in love with him from the start. The Sakuraba family had already been searching for someone suitable, but Aoi was unwilling to marry someone else and walked out, chasing Kaoru.

Both were freed from their families’ affairs but did not know how to make their living. Miyabi Kagurazaki, Aoi’s caretaker, has Aoi live with her in a grand western-style summer mansion owned by the Sakuraba family, with Kaoru living in a house for servants next to it to prevent a scandal as with the previous. They are soon joined by Tina Foster, an American expatriate; Taeko Minazuki, a clumsy housekeeper; Mayu Miyuki, Kaoru’s childhood friend; and Chika Minazuki, Taeko’s cousin. The house is eventually converted to a dormitory and Aoi becomes its landlady.

Eventually, Miyabi helps Kaoru reconcile with the Hanabishis and patch up the original engagement. However, Kaoru’s half brother attempts to gain control of the Hanabishi Zaibatsu by proposing to Aoi. After Kaoru foils the proposal, Aoi abandons her family name and Kaoru gives the ownership of Hanabishi Zaibatsu to his half-brother. Five years later, Kaoru and Aoi are married.

 

Manga Monday- Great Teacher Onizuka

Manga Monday- Great Teacher Onizuka

Great Teacher Onizuka, officially abbreviated as GTO, is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Tooru Fujisawa. It was originally serialized in Weekly Shōnen Magazine from January 1997 to February 2002. The story focuses on 22-year-old ex-bōsōzoku member Eikichi Onizuka, who becomes a teacher at a private middle school, Holy Forest Academy, in Tokyo, Japan. It is a continuation of Tooru Fujisawa’s earlier manga series Shonan Junai Gumi and Bad Company, both of which focus on the life of Onizuka before becoming a teacher.

Due to the popularity of the manga, several adaptations of GTO were established. These adaptations include a twelve-episode Japanese television drama running from July to September 1998; a live-action film directed by Masayuki Suzuki and released in December 1999; and a 43-episode anime television series aired in Japan by Fuji Television and Animax from June 1999 to September 2000. Both the anime and manga have been licensed in North America by Tokyopop. A second live action series aired in Japan during 2012, and two more in 2014. It won the 1998 Kodansha Manga Award for shōnen category.

Reception

Great Teach Onizuka won the 1998 Kodansha Manga Award for the shōnen category.
In Manga: The Complete Guide, Jason Thompson refers to the series as “Shameless, frequently sexist and totally hilarious”. He adds “The rule of the manga is that every time Onizuka does something incredibly cool and heartwarming, he must immediately do something unbelievably retarded”. He praises the series for staying fresh through imagery, detailed art and pop culture dialogue even though the formula repeats itself. Lastly he states that it “approaches true social satire”. He gave the series four stars out of four.
In The Dorama Encyclopedia, Jonathan Clements and Motoko Tamamuro note that the subject and humorous approach to the series was well received by the teenage audience.
In The Anime Encyclopedia: A Guide to Japanese Animation Since 1917, Jonathan Clements and Helen McCarthy noted the use of computer cloud and water effects in the anime adaptation. While appreciating the advantages of the anime adaption allowing for more violence, they call the first live action adaption the “quintessential GTO”.

Manga

The series was published in Weekly Shōnen Magazine from January 8, 1997 to February 13, 2002. A total of 25 volumes were published between May 14, 1997 and April 15, 2002. The series was licensed in English by Tokyopop and was one of Tokyopop’s first releases in the “Authentic Manga” lineup of titles using the Japanese right to left reading style. In doing so the artwork remained unchanged from the original compared to previous publishing methods. The 25 English volumes were published between April 23, 2002 and August 9, 2005.
On 9 June 2009, a sequel to the GTO manga began releasing in Kodansha’s Weekly Shōnen Magazine, under the title GTO – Shonan 14 Days. North American publisher Vertical Inc began publishing GTO: Shonan 14 Days globally in English, as GTO: 14 Days in Shonan beginning January 2012 and has published all nine volumes. Vertical also continued and concluded the Shonan Junai Gumi manga series, from volume 11 onwards, as GTO: The Early Years in 2012.
A new manga series entitled GTO: Paradise Lost started in Kodansha’s Weekly Young Magazine on April 14, 2014. Fujisawa put the manga on hiatus in October 2017 due to a staff shortage. In May 2019, Fujisawa announced his plans to resume the series.
Kodansha USA currently publishes the manga in English in a digital format since 2017.

Production

When writing GTO, Fujisawa was influenced by the writing style of Kouhei Tsuka. The series was originally intended to run for 10 volumes, however it was extended at the request of the publisher. Fujisawa began to run out of characters as a result. When faced with writing block he would write stories without Onizuka.
Onizuka’s first name, Eikichi, was taken from musician Eikichi Yazawa. When developing Onizuka’s character for the series, Fujisawa sought to incorporate real character traits from Japanese gangs often referred to as “Yankees”. Onizuka’s look is modelled on such gang members and was not intended to convey an “American look”. Onizuka acts tough and confident but is actually shy and lacking in confidence to follow through on some of his desires. He is a simple character that stands by his own reasoning and principles and has his own conscience. Fujisawa gave him the viewpoint that you should take responsibility for your actions, something he sees as important.
Onizuka’s role in the school is to provide a bridge between the students and teachers. The character of Fuyutsuki reflects the point of view of the average teacher. Fujisawa highlights his own school experience where teachers were mostly focused only on a good performance record rather than the teaching itself. However he was able to take an interest in Mathematics because of the approach of his teacher. He used this experience to build the series.
Tatsuya Egawa has claimed that GTO plagiarized his debut manga, Be Free!.

Plot

Eikichi Onizuka is a 22-year-old ex-gang member and a virgin. While peeping up girls’ skirts at a local shopping mall, Onizuka meets a girl who agrees to go out on a date with him. Onizuka’s attempt to sleep with her fails when her current “boyfriend”, her teacher, shows up at the love hotel they are in and asks her to return to him. The teacher is old and unattractive, but has sufficient influence over her that she leaps from a second-story window and lands in his arms.
Onizuka, upon seeing this display of a teacher’s power over girls, decides to become a teacher himself. However, he earns his teaching degree, just barely, at a second-rate college. In his quest, he discovers two important things: he has a conscience and a sense of morality. This means taking advantage of impressionable schoolgirls is out of the question, but their unusually attractive mothers are a different matter. He enjoys teaching and, most of the time, he teaches life lessons rather than the routine schoolwork. He hates the systems of traditional education, especially when they have grown ignorant and condescending to students and their needs.
With these realizations, he sets out to become the greatest teacher ever, using his own brand of philosophy and the ability to do nearly anything when under enough pressure. He is hired as a long-shot teacher by a privately operated school, in Kichijōji, to tame a class that has driven one teacher to a mysterious death, another to nervous breakdown, and one other to joining a cult. He embarks on a mission of self-discovery by breaking through to each student one-by-one, and helping each student to overcome their problems and learn to genuinely enjoy life. He uses methods that would be unorthodox, against the law, and also life-threatening, yet somehow, he manages to succeed in educating and opening up his students.

 

Manga Monday- Hoshin Engi

Manga Monday- Hoshin Engi

Hoshin Engi, also known as Soul Hunter, is a Japanese manga series by Ryu Fujisaki. Hoshin Engi is inspired by the Chinese literary classic Investiture of the Gods, a shenmo novel. The story involves the Chinese mythology and history of China, in particular the last members of the In (Yin Dynasty aka Shang Dynasty) and the plot to overthrow them.
The manga series was serialized in Weekly Shōnen Jump magazine from 1996–2000 and compiled in 23 tankōbon volumes by Shueisha. Viz Media acquired the rights to the manga, with bimonthly releases starting June 5, 2007. The manga has been re-released and re-compiled into fewer larger volumes with new cover art, illustrations and afterwords. The 18 kanzenban volumes were released periodically between July 2005 and April 2006 in Japan only.
The story has been adapted into a 26-episodes anime series titled Senkaiden Hōshin Engi, broadcast on TV Tokyo in 1999 and released in North America on DVD as Soul Hunter in 2001. In January 2009, Shomei TV announced their intentions to remake the anime series if they received 10,000 signatures.
A new 23-episode anime television series adaptation titled Hakyū Hōshin Engi and featuring a new cast aired from January to June, 2018. Fujisaki also wrote a short manga series that was serialized in Weekly Young Jump from April to June, 2018.

Manga

Hoshin Engi is written and illustrated by Ryu Fujisaki. It is based on the Japanese translation novel by Tsutomu Ano of the Chinese literary classic Investiture of the Gods, published by Kodansha between November 8, 1988 and January 6, 1989. The manga series was serialized in Shueisha’s Weekly Shōnen Jump magazine from June 24, 1996 until November 6, 2000. The series was compiled into 23 tankōbon volumes published by Shueisha between November 1, 1996 and December 22, 2000. The manga has been re-released and re-compiled into fewer larger volumes with new cover art, illustrations and afterwords. The 18 kanzenban volumes were released periodically between July 4, 2005 and April 4, 2006 in Japan only.
In North America, Viz Media announced at the New York Comic Con 2007 that they had acquired the rights to the manga. The first volume was published on June 5, 2007, and the last volume on June 7, 2011.
In 2018, Fujisaki wrote a short manga series that was serialized in Weekly Young Jump from April 26 to June 14. A tankōbon volume was released on July 19, 2018.

Plot

The story is set in legendary China. A beautiful female fox spirit named Dakki is controlling the emperor Chū-ō  and the ruling In dynasty, and is using her power over him to do evil in the nation. An immortal-in-training named Taikōbō is chosen by the great immortal sages for the Hōshin Project — to seal away or destroy the evil demons that infest the world. In the course of his adventures, Taikōbō gathers other powerful companions and sets out to seal away the demons and eventually destroy the fox spirit Dakki.
There are significant plot differences between the novel, the manga series and the animated adaptations.

Manga plot

The 23-volume-long series follows the adventures of Taikobo and his trusty “Rei-jū” Sū-pū-shan. Taikobo was given a mission by Genshi-tenson. Taikobou’s mentor and the leader of the Sennin World – Konron to complete the Houshin Project.
The goal of the Hoshin Project, as explained by Genshitenson, is to trap Dakki and her minions in a ‘middle’ world between the Sennin World and the Human world, renamed ‘Shin’ (Deity or Gods) World, named ‘Shinkai’, Realm of the Gods. Taikobo’s mission is to hunt down the 365 people whose names were written on the Hoshin Scroll. As Taikobo defeats and seals off each of the 365 people on the scroll, their souls are instantly transported to the Hoshindai (a floating island made to trap souls) and sealed there until all the 365 souls are gathered.
At first, Taikobo refused to take up such a troublesome mission, but when threatened with expulsion from Konron, he quickly relented. After that, he was given a Pao-pei, Whip of the Gods, as his weapon along with Supushan.
Upon leaving Konron, Taikobou and Supushan immediately met up with the first person listed on the Houshin Scroll, the all-powerful Shinkouhyou and his Riding Beast – Kokutenko. After a short battle between the two Doushi, in which Taikoubou was easily defeated, Taikoubou suspected that the order of the Houshin Scroll is sorted according to strength (Shinkouhyou being the first on the list) and decides to avoid fighting him. Aiming for the core of the whole problem, he enters the capital, Chouka and defeating one of Dakki’s sisters, Ou Kijin (who reverted to her original form, a stone lute), he used her to enter the service of the emperor in order to spot Dakki’s weakness. Furious with her sister’s plight, Dakki contrives a plan to reclaim her sister. Taikoubou, overwhelmed by her guile, was defeated and was about to be thrown into the taibon (a pit full of poisonous snakes) along with some of the Kyou clan, when during a commotion caused by them, Buuseiou Ko Hiko saved him. It was then that he came to a realization that there was no way he could take on Dakki and her followers, on his own. That’s why he set off searching for strong fighters to join him on his quest to rid the world of Dakki. Taikoubou soon met up and joined forces with Nataku, Raishinshi, Kou-Tenka, and Youzen .
As the series progresses, Taikobo slowly realises that there is no hope in disrupting Dakki’s strangle hold on the Yin Dynasty or her influence over Chuuou. As such, he abandoned the kingdom and requested that Ki Shō  form a new Monarchy to rival the Yin, renamed the Shū Dynasty with their new emperor – Bu-ou, who is the second son of Ki Hatsu who had died due to self-starvation caused by Dakki serving him his son as a hamburger during his capture. Taikoubou then became the military advisor to Zhou, helping the Western Army conquer the lands once owned by Yin.
Bunchū, the senior advisor to the emperor Chū-ou in the country of Yin and also a pao-pei user, sees Taikoubou as an obstacle and sends out some of his best Doushi companions to attack Taikoubou and company. The ensuing fights between the two groups eventually lead to the involvement of almost all members of the 2 Sennin Worlds – Konron (where Taikoubou originates) and Kingou-tou (金鰲島) (where Bunchuu learnt his arts). At the climax of the Sennin war, both worlds were completely destroyed with hundreds of souls sealed into the Houshin Dai. And though Bunchuu was eventually defeated, Taikoubou lost many friends and his home in the process.
Eventually, after Taikoubou and the Zhou army successfully defeated Chuuou and officially declared the fall of the Yin Dynasty, Taikoubou and company decided to leave the Human world and return to what’s left of the Sennin world. It is then revealed to him that there is possibly a third Sennin World, one that belongs to Dakki, and is probably where she and the last of her minions fled to when the Yin country was finally conquered.
Genshitenson also reveals to Taikoubou that the real goal of Houshin Project isn’t just about defeating Dakki, it is about defeating the eternal being supporting Dakki throughout all her chaos years, one of the ancients.
The ultimate enemy of Houshin Engi – Jyoka is a “Jui Que”, one of 5 ‘aliens’ which landed on the Earth, millions of years ago. Jyoka had a dream to recreate her home world on Earth (which had self-destructed some time ago), but the other aliens disagreed and enclosed her in a glass cage. Later, she was able to move about in her “soul” form and direct the trend of history to her liking. This is when she met up with Dakki, and the two started working together to make Jyoka’s dream come true. Each time history diverted from what Jyoka wants it to become, she completely destroyed the civilization that existed and started all over again, like a child moulding a perfect sand castle. No one really knows how many civilisations Jyoka had destroyed throughout time in her pursuit to perfectly replicate her old home, but when asked why she’s trying to do this, Jyoka simply states that she would like to know what would have happened if her home planet had not made those simple mistakes that led to its own destruction.
After hearing the ultimate truth, the Sennins retaliated against Jyoka. Soon, she finally decided to destroy Earth once and for all, and find another world in order to replicate her old home. The battles raged for a while before the deceased Taikoubou (who had ‘died’ recently) reappeared in front of his comrades again. This time, it is revealed that he was once one of the “Jui Que” as well, the last of the 5 aliens and was left on this earth for the sole purpose of killing Jyoka once and for all. Using the energy of his friends as well as those souls trapped in the Houshin Dai, Taikoubou (now renamed ‘Fukki’) was finally able to defeat Jyoka and release the world from her influences.
Just prior to this happening, Dakki somehow managed to take over Jyoka’s body for a time and merged with the life energies of the Earth, becoming the mother of all life. After the fight with Jyoka ended, Jyoka selfishly asked Taikoubou to disappear together with her, afraid of being left alone again and since Taikoubou felt that he had done what he had set out to do, complies (also due to severe injuries in the last fight). When he was about to fade away, Dakki came and saved his life, thus reviving him.
In the epilogue, Youzen was made the Headmaster of the new Sennin World, with Choukei (Bunchuu’s only disciple) representing the Youkai (demons) and Nentou-doujin (ex-Juunisen, who helped defeat Jyoka) representing the Humans, supporting him. Genshi-tenson manages the ex-Houshindai, which houses all the souls which had been houshined, and dispatches them to the Human World if their help is needed. Since these souls are invisible to the Human eye, they are able to solve matters without being seen. When Supushan and Bukichi went to the Human World to update Buou on the happenings of the Sennin World, they found out that Taikoubou is still alive (he visited Buou before they arrived) and went in search for him but to no avail as Taikoubou seemed keen on avoiding them to the extent of following them behind their backs without them knowing, and somehow prevents the people they meet from revealing his whereabouts.
In the end, Supushan and Bukichi returned to the Sennin World to request Youzen’s help. While Taikoubou was lazing around, Shinkouhyou approached him and wanted a duel, but he left saying that it would be boring if his only rival were to perish so quickly by his hand. Taikoubou then disappeared to places unknown.

Setting

The fantastic world of Hoshin Engi encompass both the pre-historical world – in which primitive human society coexist with the revered divine gods and goddesses – and the futuristic world – in which highly technological weaponry, combat strategy, as well as futuristic visions, are employed. Paopei, the sacred weapons used by Doshi and Sennin alike, are versatile instruments created Sennin.
The Seven Super Paopei were the ones left from the Original People, and all the rest are copies made from those. Paopei can only be used by Sendou, those born with Sennin bones which are trained to be used to power paopei. If someone born with these bones is not trained, then they become a Tennen Doushi, and the potential of their skeleton creates almost super natural strength or speed; however, they would never be able to use a Paopei. It is possible to transplant Sennin bones into a normal human, as in the case with Younin, but it does not appear to be a common practice. There are such beings as “human Paopei,” that is, a living being created from a paopei. They all have a core they are built around, and can take extensive damage and be rebuilt so long as the core remains intact.
Besides paopei, there are spells, an ancient form a magic rarely used by the time series takes place. The only ones seen in the series are the peaches that can turn water into sake, Youzen’s transformation technique, and Nentou’s various fighting and healing abilities.

Novel Monday- The Twelve Kingdoms

Novel Monday- The Twelve Kingdoms

The Twelve Kingdoms is a Japanese series of fantasy novels written by Fuyumi Ono and illustrated by Akihiro Yamada. The first entry in the series called The Twelve Kingdoms: Sea of Shadow was published by Kodansha in Japan in 1992; the last Kodansha volume was released in 2001. In 2012 the series was resumed under the Shinchō Bunko line from Shinchosha. Shinchosha has also begun reprinting the older volumes with new cover and interior art from Akihiro Yamada. The first new publication of the series in six years was announced for a 2019 release date.

The Chinese mythology-influenced books were adapted into an anime television series by Pierrot in 2002. It aired on Japan’s NHK from April 9, 2002 to August 30, 2003, and totaled 45 episodes.

The novels were licensed in the United States by Tokyopop and the first four volumes were released between March 2007 and November 2010 as part of their Pop Fiction line. Subsequently, the English license reverted to Kodansha. The entire anime series has been released on DVD and Blu-ray in the United States by Media Blasters, which are now out of print. Now, the license is transferred to Discotek Media for a complete series Blu-ray released in 2019.

There are nine novels in the Twelve Kingdoms series, including two short story collections. The novels are illustrated by Akihiro Yamada. Some of the novels have been published in two volume editions such that the total number of volumes consists of twelve books (as released in Japan).

U.S. release

On May 11, 2006, U.S. publisher Tokyopop said in an interview with comic book news website Newsarama that it would be publishing the novels under its “Pop Fiction” imprint. The first book was released in March 2007. The first four books have been released; after the licensing rights to the series reverted to Kodansha, the English publication status of the fifth book and onward will be dependent on Kodansha USA.

Setting

The Twelve Kingdoms tells several stories from the world of the Twelve Kingdoms, located on a group of several islands in another dimension accessible from our world through portals created from naturally-occurring magic (though the other way around is normally impossible). The portals occur in the ocean waters of Japan and China, and every so often will end up dragging someone from our world from those waters to the kingdoms’ islands, and/or on rare occasion, pulling an unborn child from the kingdoms into our world, causing them to be born there. On the islands, magic works and societies similar to those of classical Japan and China exist. While the inhabitants of the kingdoms are aware of the existence of our world as the lands of Hourai (Japan) and Kunlun (China), the reverse is not true for any inhabitants of our world. The inhabitants of the kingdoms speak a different language than the languages of our world, both of which can be learned by either side. Only by through extraordinary circumstances can the two worlds affect each other to a respective certain extent.

In this world, there are a total of thirteen lands. At the center of the world lies the Koukai (the Yellow Sea) and Five Mountains where the Gods communicate their will to the Twelve Kingdoms of the world. Each of the Twelve Kingdoms possess their own ruler and its own Kirin, a divine creature which embodies the will of heaven and is entrusted to choose a kingdom’s ruler by Tentei: Emperor of Heaven, and serve as the ruler’s aide. The ruler will have immortal life as long as they keep the kingdom healthy and their heads are not severed from their body. If the ruler’s Kirin dies or is killed, the ruler will die within a year.

The Koukai, known as the Yellow Sea, is surrounded by four inland seas: the Black Sea in the north, the Blue Sea to the east, the Red Sea in the south, and the White Sea to the west. Eight of the Twelve Kingdoms (Kei, En, Ryu, Kyou, Han, Sai, Sou, and Kou) border at least one of these four seas, extending from the center like the petals of a flower. The remaining four kingdoms (Tai, Hou, Ren, and Shun) are not part of the central mainland and are isolated by the Kyokai  (Void Sea) which surrounds the lands of the Twelve Kingdoms.

 

Manga Monday- Hayate the Combat Butler

Manga Monday- Hayate the Combat Butler

Hayate the Combat Butler is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Kenjiro Hata. It was serialized in Shogakukan’s Weekly Shōnen Sunday magazine from October 2004 to April 2017. Shogakukan released 52 volumes in Japan from February 2005 to June 2017. Viz Media publishes an English edition in North America. The manga is about a boy who starts a new job as a butler and the events he experiences with his employer. The style of the manga has a comedic gag with a slight harem feel and constantly breaks the fourth wall. The series includes numerous references to other anime, manga, video games, and popular culture.

A 52-episode anime adaptation of the manga by SynergySP aired between April 2007 and March 2008 on TV Tokyo. A second, 25-episode anime season by J.C.Staff aired between April and September 2009. Bandai Entertainment licensed the first anime series in 2008, but the series went out of print in 2012. An anime film adaption produced by Manglobe was released in August 2011. A third, 12-episode anime television series by Manglobe, based mostly on an original story not seen in the manga aired between October and December 2012. A fourth anime season aired between April and July 2013. Sentai Filmworks has licensed all four seasons of the anime.

Manga

Hayate the Combat Butler is written and illustrated by Kenjiro Hata. It began serialization in Shogakukan’s Weekly Shōnen Sunday magazine on October 20, 2004, and concluded on April 12, 2017. Shogakukan published the chapters in 52 tankōbon volumes from February 18, 2005 to June 16, 2017. Viz Media publishes the manga in North America and released the first volume on November 14, 2006. The most recent English release is volume 34, on September 9, 2019. The English translations are done by Yuki Yoshioka and Cindy H. Yamauchi, and the English adaptation is done by Mark Giambruno.

Reception

Over ten million copies of the manga and other Hayate-related books have been sold in Japan as of January 2009. Carlo Santos of Anime News Network gave Volume 14 of the manga a C+, citing Hata’s overextension of a complex work with multiple simultaneous plotlines and constant scene changes. He does note that Sakuya’s birthday party as an example of the work’s strong point. Chris Beveridge of Mania.com gave part six of the anime an overall B rating. Although, in his opinion, the storyline and nature of the anime has not changed much, he was suddenly captivated. Beveridge sums up these feelings for the final episodes by noting that they “had a certain flavor and flow to them that left me pretty happy, which is a surprise after five volumes that left me feeling ambivalent at best.”

Plot

Hayate Ayasaki is an unlucky 16-year-old boy who has worked since childhood to make ends meet due to his parents’ irresponsible behavior. On Christmas Eve, he finds out his parents have run away from home while shouldering him with a massive ¥156,804,000 gambling debt. The Yakuza (from whom the money was borrowed in the first place) plan to settle the debt by selling his organs. While running away from the debt collectors, Hayate meets Nagi Sanzenin, a 13-year-old girl and the sole heir of the wealthy Sanzenin estate, and her maid Maria. Due to a misunderstanding, Nagi falls in love with Hayate. After he rescues Nagi from kidnappers, she hires Hayate as her new butler.

Aside from performing his ordinary duties as a butler, Hayate must fight to protect Nagi from harm, a difficult task since her life is always in danger because she is the target of individuals who covet her family’s fortune, and sometimes must deal with her extravagant requests, oblivious to Nagi’s true feelings for him. Later in the story, Hayate must juggle the feelings of several other girls, Ayumu Nishizawa, his former classmate; and Hinagiku Katsura, the student council president of Hakuō Academy. Hayate had a romantic relationship with a childhood friend, Athena Tennousu, who is chairwoman of the board of Hakuō Academy.

Due to the events of Golden Week, involving Hayate and Athena, Nagi ends up forfeiting her inheritance. With the last of her savings, Nagi and Maria move with Hayate to an old apartment building called “Violet Mansion” owned by her late mother Yukariko, and rents its extra rooms for income: having Chiharu Harukaze, the secretary of Hakuō Academy; Hinagiku, Ayumu, Athena (in child-form), Kayura Tsurugino, an “elite otaku”; and Ruka Suirenji, a pop idol who also develops feelings for Hayate, as its tenants.

After a series of adventures with the tenants, Nagi manages to reclaim her fortune. On an excursion in America, Hayate finally pays off his massive debt, but decides to keep working as Nagi’s butler, especially when the battle for the Sanzenin inheritance intensifies. Athena eventually regains full strength and Maria resigns as Nagi’s maid. On Christmas Eve, the “misunderstanding” of Hayate and Nagi’s relationship is exposed, creating a rift that leads to the final battle. Hayate rescues Nagi from the godly Royal Garden, but she decides to relinquish her status as an heir and concedes the rights to her cousin Hisui Hatsushiba, before firing Hayate to set him free. Two years later, a self-sufficient Nagi reunites with Hayate in the place they met for the first time, where he tells her that despite not being her butler anymore, he still wants to be with her, and that there is “something he needs to tell her”, before locking hands and walking together under the starry night sky.

 

Monday Manga- Honey and Clover

Monday Manga- Honey and Clover

Honey and Clover is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Chica Umino. It is also known as HachiKuro and H&C. It is published by Shueisha, initially serialized from June 2000 to July 2006 in the magazines CUTiEcomic, Young YOU, and Chorus, and collected in ten bound volumes. The series depicts the lives and relationships of a group of art school students who live in the same apartment building. In 2003, the manga won the 27th Kodansha Manga Award for shōjo.

The series was adapted as an animated television series by J.C.Staff, initially broadcast on Fuji TV in two seasons from April to September 2005 and June to September 2006. The series was also adapted as a live action movie, which was released in theaters in Japan on July 22, 2006, and two separate live-action television dramas in 2008, one broadcast in Japan on Fuji TV from January 8, 2008 to March 18, 2008 and the other broadcast in Taiwan on CTS beginning on May 25, 2008.

In 2003, the manga of Honey and Clover won the 27th Kodansha Manga Award for shōjo. About.com’s Deb Aoki lists Honey and Clover as the best new josei manga of 2008. Yū Aoi won the award for Best Actress at the 28th Yokohama Film Festival for her role as Hagumi Hanamoto in the live-action film.

Manga

The Honey and Clover manga was written and illustrated by Chika Umino and published by Shueisha. The first fourteen chapters were serialized in the josei (aimed at younger adult women) manga magazine CUTiEcomic from June 2000 to July 2001, when serialization moved to Young YOU. With the demise of Young YOU in 2005, it moved to Chorus, where it ran until July 2006. The 64 chapters were collected in ten bound volumes. The series was also issued in a ten-volume box set in May 2007.
The manga is licensed in North America by Viz Media, which began serializing it in Shojo Beat magazine in August 2007. It is also licensed in France by Kana, in Germany by Tokyopop Germany, and in Thailand by Bongkoch Comics.
In commemoration of the success of the live action drama series, a two-chapter spin-off was released from 2006 to 2008, again written and illustrated by Umino Chika, bringing the story to a final close.

Plot

Yūta Takemoto, Takumi Mayama and Shinobu Morita are three young men who live in the same apartment complex and are students at an art college in Tokyo.

One day, they are introduced to Hagumi Hanamoto, the daughter of a cousin of Shūji Hanamoto, an art professor, who has come to live with Hanamoto and has become a first year art student at the art school that everyone attends. Yuta and Shinobu both fall in love with Hagu, but Yuta hides his feelings and tries to be a friend to Hagu while Shinobu expresses his love in ways that seem only to scare Hagu, such as calling her “Mousey” and constantly photographing her. Hagu herself, though initially timid and afraid of company, gradually warms up to the three.

The group comes to include Ayumi Yamada, a master of pottery who is well known by her nickname “Tetsujin” (Iron Lady), who becomes very close to Hagu. When not at school, she helps run the family liquor store. While Ayumi is popular with many young men, she falls in love with Takumi, who does not recipocrate her feelings and considers her a very dear friend. Instead, Takumi pursues an older woman, Rika Harada, a widowed friend of Professor Hanamoto who runs an architecture studio she founded with her late husband.

The story follows these five characters in their love triangles, unrequited love, graduating from college, finding jobs, and learning more about themselves.

 

Manga Monday- MÄR

Manga Monday- MÄR

Märchen Awakens Romance, officially abbreviated as MÄR, is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Nobuyuki Anzai, serialized in Shogakukan’s Weekly Shōnen Sunday from January 2003 to July 2006. MÄR follows 14-year-old junior high student Ginta Toramizu who is transported into a fantasy-based world known as MÄR-Heaven. As Ginta ventures in the world of MÄR-Heaven, he encounters allies and antagonists.

An anime television series adaptation titled MÄR Heaven was broadcast in Japan on TV Tokyo from April 2005 to March 2007.

In North America, Viz Media has licensed both the MÄR manga and anime for an English-language release.The manga was published between July 2005 and June 2007. The anime aired first in July 2006 on Toonami Jetstream, an online service from Cartoon Network, and then on the network itself, as part of the Toonami programming block in December 2006.

A sequel entitled MÄR Omega by Anzai and illustrated by Kōichirō Hoshino was published in Weekly Shōnen Sunday from July 2006 to June 2007.

Manga

MÄR is written and illustrated by Nobuyuki Anzai. The series was serialized in Shogakukan’s Weekly Shōnen Sunday from January 22, 2003 to July 19, 2006. The series was compiled into fifteen tankōbon volumes published by Shogakukan between May 17, 2003 and August 11, 2006.

In North America, the series was licensed for an English language release by Viz Media. The first volume was released on May 3, 2005 and the fifteenth on September 18, 2007.

A sequel titled MÄR Omega, written by Anzai but illustrated by Kōichirō Hoshino, was published in Weekly Shōnen Sunday from July 26, 2006 and June 27, 2007. It was compiled in four tankōbon volumes published between December 16, 2006 and August 10, 2007.

Plot

Ginta Toramizu is a 14-year-old junior high student from Tokyo who is portrayed as a typical video game geek and underachieving student who is a fan of fairy tales. One day and without warning, he finds himself summoned to the mysterious world of MÄR-Heaven which he has only seen before in his dreams and in his mother’s books. In this fairy tale world, Ginta’s physical weakness is replaced with superior physical strength, incredible stamina and endurance, and being able to see without his glasses.

Upon meeting a mysterious 16-year-old witch named Dorothy, Ginta is introduced to the powerful magical accessories and weapons called “ÄRM” (pronounced air-um). Dorothy plans to steal the mysterious ÄRM Babbo from a trap-guarded cave, and brings Ginta along to assist her, intrigued by his unusual strength and abilities. Babbo is revealed to be an extremely special and unique ÄRM, as he possesses a will of his own and the ability to speak. Displeased with the fact that Babbo is so cumbersome, Dorothy gives Babbo to Ginta instead taking the guardian arm that guarded the chest, departing with a warning that others will try to steal Babbo from him.

He continues on a journey of discovery, reveling in this new world. When he encounters the farmer Jack and his mother who are troubled by two werewolf brothers, he finds that he misses the real world. Ginta resolves to find a way to reach home while enjoying as much of MÄR as he can along the way with Jack journeying with him.

However, it is not long before Ginta learns that the world of MÄR-Heaven is not as peaceful as it seems when he is attacked by thieves wishing to steal Babbo. Upon meeting Alviss (who summoned him to MÄR-Heaven using a ÄRM known as the Gate Keeper Clown), he learns of the sinister “Chess Pieces” and how they had tried to take over MÄR-Heaven six years earlier. Alviss reveals that he summoned Ginta in order to gain assistance from an “other-worlder” in the upcoming war, as was done previously, and that Babbo originally belonged to one of the knights of the Chess Pieces.

Gaining both allies and enemies, the series follows Ginta as he opposes the Chess Pieces led by Chess Piece King Orb, Queen Diana and her servant Phantom.

MÄR Omega

The story started 6 years after the second War Games, about Kai, the adoptive son of an ÄRM smith from Harnau City in MÄR Heaven, who idolizes Ginta and Babbo for defeating Phantom at the end of the 2nd War Games. He always wants a good ÄRM for himself, which is often ridiculed by others since Kai possesses no potential whatsoever of magic power, much to his personal dislike, since at the time throughout MÄR-Heaven ÄRMs are already in wide use (especially a new type called fake ÄRMs, activated without the need of magic power), and Kai himself inherited a magic stone from his dead parents, a memento highly suggested his family’s relation to the sorcerer kingdom Kaldea. When Kai was delivering ÄRMs to another city, he walked past a mountain and suddenly got attacked by a remnant of the Chess Pieces. While searching for cover from the Chess Pieces’s wind Nature ÄRM, Kai jumped into a pond and woke up the most unthinkable underwater resident – Babbo. Using the ÄRM Kai defeated the Chess Piece, one amazing yet inexplicable feat: how was he, a normal boy, be able to fight with the ÄRM up til then can only be wielded only the warriors of legend, Ginta and Phantom.

Leaving the question hanging, the two returned to Kai’s city, only to find themselves in an even tighter situation: among those who came to admire Babbo, there are Kai’s fake ÄRM user friends, and they were all out to take Babbo – to bring it to a sinister mysterious figure who was watching them the whole time. When the emergency arose, Kai had no choice but to resort to his last option – put the magic stone he owned into Babbo, and forth reborn to the world of MÄR-Heaven the most powerful Guardian recognized, Gargoyle. Gargoyle easily defeated the guardians and returned their owners’ consciousness, but then it was Kai’s turn to face trouble with his ÄRM: he lost contact with Babbo inside Gargoyle, and the monster would have ravaged the whole town if not for the timely restraint from Alviss with his familiar 13 Totem Poles attack, allowing Kai enough time to regain synchronization with Babbo, returning him to normal.

Saving everyone no time to ponder on what had happened, the Cross Guard’s young warrior’s unexpected arrival brought an even more unexpected truth: those fake ÄRM all used so at their own ease didn’t, indeed, require a proper amount of magic power from the users, but it sucked from them a worse fuel – their life energy, and through that, their minds could be controlled like a puppet dancing to death. It has not yet been revealed to why people used the fake ÄRMs or who made the fake ÄRM, however, as the one controlling everyone took a sudden desperate move to seal the town except Alviss, Kai, Babbo and Kai’s female friend Elise, introducing himself. Although he was easily defeated by Kai and Alviss, the town couldn’t be returned, and for that they had to consult Caldia -birthplace of all ÄRMs and magic users.

In Caldia, they were welcomed by Dorothy and a new male character named Inga into the Grand Elder’s palace. All answers for their questions were ready, coming down to a legend descending the magic kingdom for 300 years: the fake ÄRMs were not actually the work of many sorcerers, but rather only one’s – the dark magician with infamy for his experiments of human mind manipulation, went by the name of Unwetter. Babbo – the Elder of Caldia in his time – confronted the man and succeeded in consigning him and his malicious creations into oblivion, just before Babbo himself died, transferring his soul into the ÄRM and erasing every memory related to that accident. It’s unknown for the Grand Elder himself, however, as to why the supposedly sealed fake ÄRMs were once again spread throughout MÄR-Heaven now, how the supposedly dead Unwetter could be revived, and what purpose would be served with the claiming of Babbo. Either way, until these riddles could be solved, Babbo would be taken into custody, which of course met with Kai’s disagreement.

Relented, the wizard postponed the deal with Babbo… only if Kai could prove himself worthy of wielding it, inside Dorothy’s training Dimension ÄRM with Inga’s witness. They were not disappointed, however, as when facing with the danger of death, Kai suddenly unleashed all his dormant magic power – which was so powerful that it did not only confirm his relation to the magic kingdom, but also suggested a direct blood connection to Babbo. No sooner had they discovered that than the fake ÄRM users presented themselves before Caldia, to continue the accomplishment of their objective: take Babbo back to their master Unwetter.

Kai and crew are able to fight them back with the assistance of Inga. Inga is a descendant of Unwetter and by following Caldia’s law he must seek Unwetter out and kill him. Kai then finds out that he truly is a descendant of Babbo. Kai, Inga, and Elise all volunteer to go and find Babbo’s magic stones which would restore his memories of the Grand Elder who fought fake Arms and Unwetter 300 years prior to the story. The three are sent to Luberia to start their quest where they are to be helped by Nanashi (Dorothy says she’ll help). Kai beats Atmos and saves MÄR-Heaven.

 

Manga Monday- Kuroko’s Basketball

Manga Monday- Kuroko’s Basketball

Kuroko’s Basketball, known in Japan as Kuroko no Basuke, is a Japanese sports manga series written and illustrated by Tadatoshi Fujimaki. The English rendering The Basketball Which Kuroko Plays also appears in the artwork of the Japanese version. It was serialized in Weekly Shōnen Jump from December 2008 to September 2014, with the individual chapters collected into 30 tankōbon volumes by Shueisha. It tells the story of a high school basketball team trying to make it to the national tournament.

By April 2014, Kuroko’s Basketball had 27 million copies in circulation. It was adapted into an anime television series by Production I.G that began airing in 2012, with a second season that began airing in October 2013 and a third season that began airing in January 2015. A sequel manga by Fujimaki titled Kuroko’s Basketball: Extra Game began serialization in Jump Next! on December 29, 2014. Viz Media has licensed the manga for publication in North America. An anime film adaptation of the Kuroko’s Basketball: Extra Game manga premiered in Japan on March 18, 2017. In December 2015 a stage play adaptation was announced, set to open on April 2016, followed by more stage adaptations.

Manga

Written and illustrated by Tadatoshi Fujimaki, Kuroko’s Basketball was serialized in the manga anthology Weekly Shōnen Jump from December 8, 2008 to September 1, 2014. The chapters were collected and published into 30 tankōbon volumes by Shueisha, the first on April 3, 2009 and the last on December 4, 2014. Fujimaki began a sequel titled Kuroko’s Basketball: Extra Game in Jump Next! on December 29, 2014. At their New York Comic Con panel, North American publisher Viz Media announced their license to the manga. They began releasing the series in 2-in-1 editions in 2016.

Reception

The Kuroko’s Basketball manga had sold nine million units in Japan by September 2012. As of 2013, the manga had sold over 23 million copies. This number grew to 27 million by April 2014. Individual volumes frequently appeared on the lists of best-selling manga in Japan, and many editions have been in the 2012 Top-Selling Manga. Kuroko’s Basketball was the third highest selling manga series of 2013, with 8,761,081 copies sold in a year. DVD sales of the anime series have also been featured in the Japanese anime DVD ranking various times.

Plot

The basketball team of Teiko Middle School rose to distinction by demolishing all competition. The regulars of the team became known as the “Generation of Miracles”. After graduating from middle school, these five stars went to different high schools with top basketball teams. However, a fact known to few is that there was another player in the “Generation of Miracles”: a phantom sixth man. This mysterious player is now a freshman at Seirin High, a new school with a powerful, if little-known, team. Now, Tetsuya Kuroko – “the sixth member of the “Generation of Miracles”, and Taiga Kagami – a naturally talented player who spent most of middle school in the US, aim to bring Seirin to the top of Japan and begin taking on Kuroko’s former teammates one by one. The series chronicles Seirin’s rise to become Japan’s number one high school team. The Generation of Miracles include Ryota Kise, Shintaro Midorima, Daiki Aomine, Atsushi Murasakibara and Seijuro Akashi.

Seirin High team fought Ryota Kise’s team first in a practice match. Although Kise was capable of copying all of Kagami skills with added strength and speed, Kuroko’s abilities helped narrow the distance and eventually, Seirin won this game. They then met Shintaro Midorima in the preliminaries of Interhigh. The game was much more difficult, not only because Midorima and the last 3 members of “Generation of Miracles” are considerably stronger than Ryota Kise, but also Kuroko’s ability of misdirection was completely shut down by Takao’s Hawk Eyes. They managed to defeat team Shutoku but their winning streak ended after they lost badly to Touou Academy, whose basketball team contained the Ace of the “Generation of Miracles” – Daiki Aomine. After this game, they lost their remaining two matches against Senshinkan and Meisei, and were eliminated from the Interhigh. However, a new player arrives to join Seirin – Kiyoshi Teppei, the man who formed the Seirin Basketball team. They spent the entire summer training for the Winter Cup, even coincidentally meeting Shutoku while training.

In the preliminaries, they met team Shutoku again. This match ended into a tie, so Seirin needed to defeat team Kirisaki Daichi. Kirisaki Daichi’s captain was Hanamiya Makoto, a member of the Uncrowned Kings well-known for his underhanded methods to win a match. However, they won and gained a ticket to the Winter Cup.

In the first round, they met Touou – and Aomine – again. But with the awakening of Kagami and the Kuroko’ Misdirection Overflow, they finally defeated Daiki Aomine. In the quarter-final, Seirin won a tough match against the team of the Center of “Generation of Miracles” – Atsushi Murasakibara. They are set to play against their first rival – the team of Ryota Kise in semi-final. An extremely hard match against the power of Perfect Copy, Seirin won and came to the final. The final was where Seirin must fight team Rakuzan – the Emperor. This team’s Captain was the former Captain of the “Generation of Miracles” – Seijuro Akashi. The game ended with Seirin High’s victory and they were announced as this year’s champion.

 

Manga Monday- The Rose of Versailles

Manga Monday- The Rose of Versailles

The Rose of Versailles, also known as Lady Oscar or La Rose de Versailles, is a Japanese shōjo manga series written and illustrated by Riyoko Ikeda. It has been adapted into several Takarazuka Revue musicals, as well an anime television series, produced by Tokyo Movie Shinsha and broadcast by the anime television network Nippon TV. The series remains incredibly popular in Italy.

The Rose of Versailles focuses on Oscar François de Jarjayes, a girl raised as a man to become her father’s successor as leader of the Palace Guards. A brilliant combatant with a strong sense of justice, Oscar is proud of the life she leads, but becomes torn between class loyalty and her desire to help the impoverished as revolution brews among the oppressed lower class. Also important to the story are her conflicting desires to live life as both a militant and a regular woman as well as her relationships with Marie Antoinette, Count Axel von Fersen, and servant and best friend André Grandier.

It features elements of the yuri genre embodied in the relationship between Oscar and her protégée Rosalie Lamorlière, the secret daughter of the scheming Madame de Polignac. Rosalie refers to Oscar as her first love. Many of the court ladies also greatly adore Oscar, openly admiring her at parties and become very jealous when she brings female companions to them.

Manga

The Rose of Versailles is one of the most influential manga ever written. The manga was serialized in Shueisha’s Margaret in 1973, and became an instant success. It was published on 24 May 1982 and contains 10 volumes.

A lesser-known “sequel”, or spiritual successor, to this manga is Eikou no Napoleon or “The Glory of Napoleon”. Published in 1986, the manga has a few of the original characters but mainly focuses on the rise of Napoleon I of France and the First French Empire.

A short sequel ran in Margaret from April 2013 to February 2018.

In 1983, the first two volumes of The Rose of Versailles were translated into English by Frederik L. Schodt for the purpose of teaching English to Japanese speakers and released in North America by the North American branch of Sanyusha. The Rose of Versailles was the first commercially translated manga to be available in North America. A snippet of the translated manga was also included in Schodt’s Manga! Manga! The World of Japanese Comics book. Udon Entertainment has officially announced the publication rights, with a scheduled release for 2016. As of January 2018, Udon reported that most of the translation was complete and the series was going through editing. It will be published in early 2020 in hardcover.

Gaiden

The Versailles no Bara Gaiden series is a collections of short stories written by Riyoko Ikeda. These stories were published in two separate magazines in 1974 (first publication) after the serialization of the manga The Rose of Versailles, and 1984–1985 (second publication).

The gaiden stories were adapted into musicals in 2008–2009.

Reception

The Rose of Versailles is currently 14th on the list of all-time best-selling shōjo manga, having sold a grand total of 15 million volumes worldwide and 12 million in Japan only, a “nation-wide best seller”. In terms of circulation per volume, it is in fourth place with an average of 1,500,000 sales per volume. It is not well known in North America (except in Quebec) due to its age and lack of publicity, but remains a treasured classic in Japanese manga. The anime was ranked in the top 50 of a list of favourite anime series in 2005. So far, the manga and anime have been translated into Arabic, Turkish, Korean, French, Spanish, Italian, German, Indonesian and Chinese. The “immense popularity” of the 1974 Takarazuka musical gained widespread attention, including academic attention, for not only Rose of Versailles, but for the field of shōjo manga. The research that went into the setting of Rose of Versailles led some teachers to use it in their classrooms and purchase it for their school libraries, which was a “Japanese educational first”. The popularity of the manga also created a boom in the study of the French language and made France, particularly Versailles a popular tourist destination for Japanese travellers.

Moto Hagio believes the popularity of The Rose of Versailles influenced publishers to routinely collect serialized manga in paperback format.

Susan J. Napier has described the court of The Rose of Versailles as being “a particularly good example of idealized Western Otherness”. Tierney says that the aesthetics of The Rose of Versailles cannot be described as purely Japanese or Western. Deborah Shamoon says that Rose of Versailles can be used to track the development of shōjo manga from being “a genre for children to being one for older readers”. The bloody end of the main characters, while shocking, also whet the audience’s appetite for more serious stories. Shamoon sees the Oscar-André relationship as very different from the Cinderella-Prince Charming stories which “dominated” shōjo manga in the 1960s, where the female protagonist would lose her identity to her boyfriend. Shamoon considers that the Oscar-André relationship follows the pattern of pre-war dōseiai shōjo novels, which featured same-sex love between girls. Kazuko Suzuki says that after RoV, “several works” were created with “nonsexual” female protagonists like Oscar, who realize their “womanness” upon falling in love.

The Rose of Versailles is famous for having the first “bed scene” in manga that was depicted by a woman, which has had a “profound impact” on female readers, including fan criticism of the adaptation of this scene to the anime. Yukari Fujimoto has said that “for us junior and senior high school girls at that time, our concept of sex was fixed by that manga”.

Development

Ikeda’s editors were opposed to her idea of a biography of Marie Antoinette, and only its popularity among readers kept The Rose of Versailles in publication. Ikeda had read Stefan Zweig’s biography of Marie Antoinette in high school, and the first chapters focus on the queen, casting her as a shōjo heroine, and Du Barry as a rival. Oscar was created as a supporting character. Oscar eclipsed Marie Antoinette in popularity and due to reader feedback became the main character until her death. Ikeda was influenced by second-wave feminist ideas when creating The Rose of Versailles, using the French Revolution to depict the “inner revolution of the Japanese women” at that time.

Plot

The setting is in France, before and during the French Revolution. In the early part of the series, the main character is the young, flighty Queen of France, Marie Antoinette, however later the focus of the story shifts to a woman named Oscar François de Jarjayes. Oscar’s father, General Jarjayes, despaired over never getting a son (he had six daughters), and decided to raise his youngest daughter as a man. He trained her well in the arts of fencing, horsemanship and medieval combat. Oscar often practiced her skills with her best friend, companion and (technically) servant, André Grandier, whom she almost always defeated. André is the grandson of her nanny and thus they spent most of their time together in harmonic friendship; near the end of the story, this friendship blossoms into mutual love.

Oscar is the commander of the Royal Guard and responsible for the safety of Marie Antoinette, as well as the rest of the royal family. The story revolves around Oscar’s growing realization of how France is governed, and the plight of the poor. Another important storyline is the love story between Marie Antoinette and the Swedish Count Axel von Fersen. The affair between the two is the subject of rumours through all of France, endangering the Queen’s reputation and driving Oscar to request the Count to leave the country.

After the Count decides to leave and sign up for the American war of independence, Marie Antoinette becomes lovesick. She spends money in excess – expensive jewellery and clothes, attending balls every other night – to distract herself from pining for the only man she loved. This, in turn, weighs on the taxpayers of France, and poverty spreads throughout the country due to Marie Antoinette’s squandering of money. Both the Affair of the Diamond Necklace and the appearance of the infamous Gabrielle de Polastron, comtesse de Polignac are central plot events taken from history, as well as the French Revolution and the fall of the Bastille – all given interesting interpretations through the fictional character Oscar and her companions.

On July 14, 1789, the Taking of the Bastille, the crowds rebel but lack strategy, giving the military the advantage and making themselves easy target for cannon fire. However, Oscar and the regiment B then arrive to help organize the insurgents. During the following fierce battle, Oscar is shot and killed, but the Bastille eventually falls, symbolically striking down the French monarchy. After the Bastille is taken, the revolutionaries burst into the Palace searching for Marie Antoinette and her family. Many guards are killed and the royal family taken prisoner. Big trials are started for Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI, but finally, both are declared guilty and guillotined.

Manga Monday- Code Geass

Manga Monday- Code Geass

Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion, often referred to simply as Code Geass, is a Japanese anime series produced by Sunrise. It was directed by Gorō Taniguchi and written by Ichirō Ōkouchi, with original character designs by Clamp. Set in an alternate timeline, the series follows the exiled prince Lelouch vi Britannia, who obtains the “power of absolute obedience” from a mysterious woman named C.C. Using this supernatural power, known as Geass, he leads a rebellion against the rule of the Holy Britannian Empire, commanding a series of mecha battles.

Code Geass was broadcast in Japan on MBS from October 6, 2006 to July 29, 2007. Its sequel series, Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion R2, ran as a simulcast on MBS and TBS from April 6, 2008 to September 28, 2008. The series has also been adapted into various manga and light novels with the former showing various alternate scenarios from the TV series. Bandai Entertainment also licensed most parts from the franchise for English release in December 2007, airing the two TV series on Adult Swim. Most manga and light novels have also been published in North America by Bandai. A compilation film trilogy that recapped the events from both seasons of the anime series, with altered storylines for various characters, was released in 2017 and 2018. A new film, titled Code Geass: Lelouch of the Re;surrection, taking place after the Zero Requiem of the recap films’ universe, was released in theaters on February 9, 2019.

The anime television series has been well received in Japan, selling over a million DVD and Blu-ray Disc volumes. Both seasons have won several awards at the Tokyo International Anime Fair, Animage Anime Grand Prix, and Animation Kobe event. Critics have praised the series for its narrative, characters, strong voice acting, large audience appeal as well as the cross conflicts shown among the main characters and the moral questions presented.

Kadokawa Shoten has published four separate manga adaptations, each containing an alternate storyline. The first four of the manga series have been licensed for an English language release in North America by Bandai Entertainment. The first, Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion, by Majiko~! and originally serialized Monthly Asuka, focused on the protagonist of the series, Lelouch Lamperouge, with few differences from the anime’s basic storyline. The most noticeable difference from the anime version is the absence of the Knightmare frames. Its chapters were collected in eight tankōbon volumes released from December 26, 2008 to March 26, 2010. Bandai’s English adaptation of the series was published from July 29, 2008 to February 15, 2011.

The second manga is Code Geass: Suzaku of the Counterattack. It was written by Atsuro Yomino and serialized in Beans A magazine. It focuses on the character Suzaku Kururugi in an alternate reality, where he fights against the criminal organization known as the Black Knights. It was released in two volumes on June 26, 2007 and September 26, 2008. The first English volume was released on January 6, 2009, and the second followed it on October 13, 2009.

Code Geass: Nightmare of Nunnally, serialized in Comp Ace and written by Tomomasa Takuma, focuses on Lelouch’s sister, Nunnally Lamperouge who goes into searching her missing brother when her health is restored by an entity named Nemo. It was published in five volumes from June 26, 2007 to April 25, 2009. The English volumes were published from June 9, 2009 to March 23, 2010.

A fourth manga adaptation, Code Geass: Tales of an Alternate Shogunate, was serialized in Kerokero Ace. Set in an alternate 1853, Lelouch is the commander of the Shogunate’s military counterinsurgence brigade known as the Shinsengumi, which fights the Black Revolutionaries, a rebel group led by a masked individual known as Rei. It was released on a single volume on October 25, 2010, while the English version was published on May 10, 2011.

In late 2009, Bandai announced a new project greenlit for 2010. A manga, titled Code Geass: Renya of Darkness, was the first product announced. The story takes place in the same official Code Geass history as the anime, but in a different era with the anime director Goro Taniguchi scripting the story. The title character, Renya, is a 17-year-old boy who encounters a mysterious, perpetually young witch named “Reifū C.C.”, who has appeared in Japan’s historical Edo era to seek a new partner for a covenant. It began publication in the May 2010 issue of Shōnen Ace. Bandai Entertainment announced that it will publish the manga in English as with the other adaptions. On January 2, 2012 as a part of Bandai Entertainment’s announced restructuring, they have since, among other titles, revoked publishing of Code Geass: Renya of Darkness for English release.

The spinoff Code Geass: Oz the Reflection takes place between the first and second seasons of the anime television and is told from two perspectives. The photo story in Hobby Japan centers around Orpheus Zevon, a young terrorist with the Knightmare Frame Byakuen who is in pursuit of his lover’s killer. The manga in Newtype Ace revolves around Oldrin Zevon, a girl in the Britannia Empire’s anti-terrorist unit Glinda Knights who pilots the Knightmare Frame Lancelot Grail. The story of Oz the Reflection and Akito the Exiled takes place at the same time in between season 1 and 2 of the TV series.

Setting

In an alternative timeline, the world is divided into three superpowers: the Holy Britannian Empire (the Americas; also called Britannia), the Chinese Federation (Asia), and the European Union (Europe and Africa; previously known as the Euro-Universe, also known as Europa United in Akito the Exiled). The story takes place after the Holy Britannian Empire’s conquest of Japan on August 10, 2010 a.t.b., by means of Britannia’s newest weapon, the “Autonomous Armored Knight”, or “Knightmare Frame”. In turn, Britannia effectively strips Japan and its citizens of all rights and freedoms and renames the country Area 11 with its citizens referred to as Elevens.