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Manga Monday- Mushishi

Manga Monday- Mushishi

Mushishi is a manga series written and illustrated by Yuki Urushibara. It was serialized in Afternoon Seasons Zōkan from 1999 to 2002, and in Monthly Afternoon from December 2002 to August 2008. The individual chapters were collected and released into ten tankōbon volumes by Kodansha. Those volumes were localized to North America by Del Rey between January 2007 and August 2010. The series follows Ginko, a man who dedicates himself to keeping people protected from supernatural creatures called Mushi.

The Mushishi manga has been well received both by the public and critics. In Japan, it has frequently ranked in the weekly top ten list of best-selling manga, and the entire series has sold over 3.8 million copies. Both the manga and the anime have received several awards such as the Kodansha Manga Award and the Tokyo Anime Award, and numerous publications have praised them.

Manga

Written and illustrated by Yuki Urushibara, it debuted as an one-shot in Monthly Afternoon on January 25, 1999. Later, it was serialized in the Kodansha seinen manga magazine Afternoon Seasons Zōkan from 1999 to 2002. It moved to Monthly Afternoon on December 25, 2002 and was serialized until August 25, 2008. Kodansha collected the chapters into ten tankōbon, and published them under the Afternoon KC line from November 22, 2001, to November 21, 2008. On November 21, 2013, Kodansha started to re-release it under the aizōban format in their KC Deluxe line, concluding with the tenth on July 23, 2014.

At the 2006 Comic-Con, Del Rey Manga announced that it had licensed Mushishi for an English-language translation in North America. Del Rey published the first volume on January 30, 2007, and the last volume, a combined edition covering volumes 8 to 10, was released on July 27, 2010. Kodansha USA also released the manga in digital format between July 29, 2014, and August 12, 2014. The manga was also licensed in some countries such as in France by Kana, in Italy by Star Comics, in South Korea by Daewon C.I., and in Spain by Norma Editorial.

In addition, two additional chapters were published in the magazine on November 25, 2013 and December 25, 2013, respectively. They were encapsulated into a single tankōbon titled Mushishi Tokubetsu-hen: Hihamukage and released on April 23, 2014.

Film Friday- Love Live!

Film Friday- Love Live!

Love Live! School Idol Project is a Japanese multimedia project co-developed by ASCII Media Works’ Dengeki G’s Magazine, music label Lantis, and animation studio Sunrise. The project revolves around a group of nine schoolgirl friends who become idols in order to save their school from shutting down. It launched in the August 2010 issue of Dengeki G’s Magazine, and went on to produce music CDs, anime music videos, two manga adaptations, and video games. A 13-episode anime television series produced by Sunrise, directed by Takahiko Kyōgoku, and written by Jukki Hanada aired in Japan between January and March 2013, with a second season airing between April and June 2014. Both anime series and film are licensed in North America, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand by NIS America, MVM Entertainment and Madman Entertainment, respectively. An animated film titled Love Live! The School Idol Movie was distributed by Shochiku and released in June 2015. A follow-up project focusing on a new set of idols, titled Love Live! Sunshine!!, launched in 2015. A second film, Love Live! Sunshine!! The School Idol Movie: Over the Rainbow, was released in Japan on January 4, 2019.

Anime

A 13-episode anime television series produced by Sunrise, directed by Takahiko Kyōgoku, and written by Jukki Hanada aired in Japan on Tokyo MX between January 6 and March 31, 2013 and was simulcast by Crunchyroll. The opening theme is “Bokura wa Ima no Naka de” and the ending theme is “Kitto Seishun ga Kikoeru”; both are performed by μ’s (Emi Nitta, Aya Uchida, Suzuko Mimori, Yoshino Nanjō, Pile, Riho Iida, Aina Kusuda, Yurika Kubo and Sora Tokui). An original video animation episode was released on November 27, 2013. A second season aired on Tokyo MX between April 6 and June 29, 2014, also airing on TV Aichi, Yomiuri TV, and BS11, and was simulcast by Crunchyroll. The opening theme is “Sore wa Bokutachi no Kiseki” and the ending theme is “Donna Toki mo Zutto”; both are performed by μ’s. An animated film titled Love Live! The School Idol Movie was released in theaters on June 13, 2015. It was released on Blu-ray in Japan on December 15, 2015. A second film, Love Live! Sunshine!! The School Idol Movie: Over the Rainbow, was released in Japan on January 4, 2019.

Both anime series and the first film are licensed in North America by NIS America, who released the premium edition of the first season on Blu-ray on September 2, 2014 and an English dubbed version was released with the standard edition of the first season, along with the premium edition of the second season, on February 14, 2016, as well as the standard edition of the second season on April 12, 2016. The series also began airing on Mnet America from February 5, 2016. The film was released in North America by NIS America on June 28, 2016 in a premium edition, and July 26, 2016 in a standard edition, both with an English dub. MVM Entertainment released the first series in the United Kingdom on July 27, 2015 on DVD, with plans to release it on Blu-ray Disc in 2016 with an English dub. MVM Entertainment also released the second series in 2016. Madman Entertainment released the first season in Australia and New Zealand on June 10, 2015 on DVD.

Video games

A free-to-play game titled Love Live! School Idol Festival as developed by KLab and released by Bushiroad for iOS devices in Japan on April 15, 2013. The game is a collectible card game with elements of rhythm game and visual novel genres. A version for Android was also released. The game was localized into English and released worldwide on May 11, 2014 for both iOS and Android devices, and also received localizations available in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and South Korea. At the end of September 2016, the English version of the game added Korean support due to merging between the two servers. An updated version of the game titled Love Live! School Idol Festival All Stars, which will also feature members of Aqours as well as a new set of characters known as Perfect Dream Project, will be released in 2019.

A series of three rhythm-action video games developed by Dingo Inc., titled Love Live! School Idol Paradise, were released on August 28, 2014 for the PlayStation Vita. The three games were released as Vol. 1 Printemps, Vol.2 BiBi and Vol.3 Lily White. These games sold 88,169 physical retail copies altogether within the first week of release in Japan.

Rin Hoshizora became the new face of the Puyo Puyo games in 2015 as part of a campaign by Sega to market the popularity of the anime by giving her a place on all of their current franchises. A mobile gamed titled Puchiguru Love Live! revolves around the mini-stuffed dolls sold resembling the characters. It was released on April 24, 2018 for Android and iOS, and was shut down on May 31, 2019.

Manga Monday- Love Live!

Manga Monday- Love Live!

Love Live! School Idol Project is a Japanese multimedia project co-developed by ASCII Media Works’ Dengeki G’s Magazine, music label Lantis, and animation studio Sunrise. The project revolves around a group of nine schoolgirl friends who become idols in order to save their school from shutting down. It launched in the August 2010 issue of Dengeki G’s Magazine, and went on to produce music CDs, anime music videos, two manga adaptations, and video games. A 13-episode anime television series produced by Sunrise, directed by Takahiko Kyōgoku, and written by Jukki Hanada aired in Japan between January and March 2013, with a second season airing between April and June 2014. Both anime series and film are licensed in North America, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand by NIS America, MVM Entertainment and Madman Entertainment, respectively. An animated film titled Love Live! The School Idol Movie was distributed by Shochiku and released in June 2015. A follow-up project focusing on a new set of idols, titled Love Live! Sunshine!!, launched in 2015. A second film, Love Live! Sunshine!! The School Idol Movie: Over the Rainbow, was released in Japan on January 4, 2019.

Print media

A manga adaptation titled Love Live!, written by Sakurako Kimino and illustrated by Arumi Tokita, began serialization in the January 2012 issue of Dengeki G’s Magazine. The manga ended serialization in the magazine’s May 2014 issue and was transferred to Dengeki G’s Comic starting with the June 2014 issue. The first tankōbon volume was released on September 27, 2012, and three volumes have been released as of May 27, 2014. The second manga titled Love Live! School Idol Diary, written by Kimino and illustrated by Masaru Oda, began serialization in the June 2014 issue of Dengeki G’s Comic. The first volume of School Idol Diary was released on September 26, 2014.

A light novel series titled Love Live! School Idol Diary is written by Kimino and contains illustrations by Yūhei Murota, Natsu Otono and Akame Kiyose. ASCII Media Works published 11 volumes between May 30, 2013 and August 29, 2014. A fan book titled History of Love Live! was released on September 10, 2014, which features the Love Live! articles published between the July 2010 and February 2013 issues of Dengeki G’s Magazine.

Plot

Honoka Kōsaka is a girl who attends Otonokizaka Academy. When the school is scheduled to be closed due to a lack of applicants, Honoka becomes determined to save it. Honoka goes to UTX, where her little sister planned to go for high school, and sees a crowd watching a music video of A-Rise, UTX’s school idol group. Learning that school idols are popular, Honoka and her friends follow A-Rise’s footsteps and start their own school idol group called μ’s (ミューズ Myūzu, pronounced “muse”) to attract new students. Once they successfully prevent Otonokizaka Academy from closing, the girls from μ’s set their sights higher. They participate in Love Live, the ultimate school idol competition featuring the best groups in the country. Despite winning the competition, the girls from μ’s disband soon after for their own personal reasons, and because the third-years are graduating.

 

 

Film Friday- Angelic Layer

Film Friday- Angelic Layer

The manga was adapted into a 26-episode anime series produced by Bones titled Angelic Layer: Battle Doll which aired on TV Tokyo from April 1, 2001 – September 23, 2001. Seven volumes of videos were released by ADV Films on VHS and DVD in 2003. It was re-released in 2005 as a five volume box set. North American publisher Dark Horse Comics re-releases Angelic Layer in omnibus format in 2011. Sentai Filmworks will re-release the series under their Sentai Selects label on November 24, 2015. Anime Limited announced they would release the series in the UK in 2018.

Reception

Angelic Layer has received mixed reviews. THEM Anime Reviews on the other hand gave Angelic Layer a 5-star rating, noting that the character designs were well presented and the animation was colourful, also that Angelic Layer portrayed the concepts of friendship and how “through common interests, even very different people can be friends”. Angelic Layer won the Animation Kobe Award for TV Feature in 2001. Anime News Network however, was less kind, comparing it to Pokémon and Digimon, and calling it a glorified tie-in to “a toy you can’t purchase.”

Misaki Suzuhara

is a timid, sweet-tempered, and kind 12-year-old girl who has just moved to Tokyo to live with her aunt. In the manga she is more overreactive and easily excited. She had been living with her grandparents in Wakayama while she went to elementary school, but saved her money so she could afford to go to middle school in Tokyo. She worries about the fact that she is small and unathletic, and is sometimes mistaken for an elementary school student. She sees Angelic Layer as a way to prove that there is nothing wrong with being small. She started playing Angelic Layer after seeing the white angel Athena on a video screen outside of Tokyo Station (she was unaware that she was seeing her own mother’s angel). Her angel is Hikaru, and she is known as the “Miracle Rookie”. She is nicknamed Misakichi by her friend Tamayo.
In volume 7 of the manga Chobits, she is seen with Minoru and two other visitors at the hospital visiting Kaede.

Ichiro “Icchan” Mihara

nicknames himself Icchan to hide his true identity from Misaki. He is 28 years old and often acts eccentric, spontaneous, and immature for his age. He often jumps out of random places, shouting “Icchan go BOOM!”, to scare Misaki and Ogata. He is ingenious and dead serious when it comes to Angelic Layer. In the manga, Icchan is the president of the Piffle Company, creators of the Angelic Layer toys. In the anime, Icchan is the “father” and creator of Angelic Layer, having developed the game over seven years with the help of Shuko Suzuhara. Icchan was an employee at a hospital that was trying to treat Shuko’s neurological condition. They were developing the angels as part of their research into creating prosthetic limbs which could be controlled by brain waves. When the research funding was cut off, Icchan and Shuko created Angelic Layer in order to help fund further research.
According to volumes 7 and 8 of the Chobits manga, it is heavily implied that Icchan is the late husband of Chitose Hibiya and the creator of the persocoms. Since he and Hibiya could not have children, he made two special persocoms, the Chobits, to be their children. They were named Freya and Elda (later known as Chi). The Chobits were created using information gathered from the research performed for the Angelic Layer project. In the Chobits anime, Icchan only appears in one scene but is not explicitly named.
In a letter on Clamp’s website about Mugen no Yami – echo of the past, Clamp mentioned their “long time friend Ichirou Mihara”, who is the vice president of the video-game company Arika, so this is most likely the source of the character’s name.

Hatoko Kobayashi

is a 5-year-old known in the Angelic Layer world as the “Miracle Kindergartner”. She is Misaki’s best friend and Angelic Layer mentor. Even at a very young age, she is intelligent, mature, and hard-working. She is an expert at Angelic Layer, often winning her games in mere seconds. She wins all ten of her games at the Tokyo prefecture games, and is the defending champion of the Kantō regional games. She is fiercely competitive, and often works to increase her angel’s speed and power. She likes to poke fun at her brother Kotaro for his apparent ineptness when it comes to his crush on Misaki. Hatoko treats Misaki like her student rather than her nee-chan (sister). Hatoko’s angel is Suzuka.

Kotaro Kobayashi

is a 13-year-old middle school classmate of Misaki, whom he has a crush on, and Hatoko’s elder brother. He is always being assaulted by Tamayo and her various martial arts techniques, of which he has been a victim since he was four years old. He becomes jealous of Ohjiro’s advances towards Misaki, going so far as to try to attempt to play a quasi-match of Angelic Layer against Ohjiro, despite the fact that he had never played it before. His family owns a karate dojo. Kotaro has practiced karate himself, showing Misaki some of his knowledge in hopes that Misaki can use it to help Hikaru win. In the manga, he and Misaki fall in love and date. He resembles Hiromu Shinbo from Chobits.

Tamayo Kizaki

is 13 years old, and is a friend and classmate of Misaki. She nicknames Misaki “Misakichi” and is rather eccentric. One of her favorite activities is practicing her martial arts techniques on her unwilling friend, Kotaro. She always cheers for Misaki at Angelic Layer matches and defends her against those who question her ability. In the anime, it is revealed that Tamayo has always held intimate feelings for Kotaro, while in the manga, she only sees him as a close friend. She offers to be Misaki’s “second” in her national game match against the Angelic Layer Company’s angel when Hatoko is ill. Misaki accepts Ohjiro’s offer instead.

  • The martial arts Tamayo has mastered are wrestling, karate, K-1, kenpō, boxing, judo, capoeira, and taekwondo.
  • In the anime she ends up with Kotaro after telling him how she feels. In the manga, Tamayo falls in love with Ohjiro Mihara.

Ohjiro Mihara

is 15 years old and is Icchan’s younger step-brother. He has been involved with Angelic Layer for many years, in large part because it was what brought him and Icchan together after their parents married. Ohjiro competes in Kobe, and was the champion of the Kansai Regional games, as well as being the runner-up in the national tournament for two consecutive years.In the manga he is reassuringly asking what color are Misaki panties then running away. He has a desperate desire to defeat Shuko Suzuhara’s angel, Athena, to get over a childhood crush he had on her. His angel is Wizard. In the anime, he falls in love with Misaki.

Shoko Asami

is Misaki’s aunt and Shuko’s younger sister. She is 26 years old. Her hairstyle bears a resemblance to that of Takako Shimizu in Chobits. She demands that Misaki and her friends call her “Miss Shoko” instead of “aunt” (“obasan” in Japanese) because she is still “an attractive young newscaster.” She often covers Angelic Layer events for the local news station, where she works. Misaki lives with Shoko when she moves to Tokyo.

Shuko Suzuhara

is Misaki’s mother and Shoko’s elder sister. She is 31 years old. In the anime, it is explained that Shuko left Misaki at the age of five to be taken care of by her grandparents under the guise of work, when in reality she was going to Tokyo to search for a cure her neurological disease. This disease inhibits nerve signals from reaching to or from her legs. Ichiro Mihara was a doctor attempting to work with her to find a cure when the two started Angelic Layer as a way to do research and raise funds. Shuko, or “Shu” as she is called when playing Angelic Layer, is the undisputed champion with her angel Athena, having won the past three national championships. Over the past seven years, she has avoided meeting Misaki, as she is afraid of what Misaki would think of her. In the manga, Shuko has extreme anthropophobia / social anxiety disorder about socializing with those she loves. She works for the company behind Angelic Layer.

 

Manga Monday- Angelic Layer

Manga Monday- Angelic Layer

Angelic Layer is a manga series released by Clamp. The manga is published in Japan by Kadokawa Shoten, and in English originally by Tokyopop, but has since been re-licensed by Dark Horse Comics. It is the group’s first work to use a quite different art style unseen in any other CLAMP series, which uses a more distinctly pared down style. There is less emphasis on detail and more on accentuated posing and gestures. This kind of artwork would later be used in series like Chobits and Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle.

Angelic Layer takes place in the same universe as Clamp’s later work Chobits, which similarly deals with the relationship between humans, human-created devices, toys, and godlike power. Several characters also appear in Clamp’s Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle including most of the main characters, as well as the angel Blanche.

Plot

The primary protagonist is Misaki Suzuhara. Despite her short appearance she is a seventh grader who just moved to Tokyo to live with her aunt, Shouko Asami. After arriving in the city outside of Tokyo Station, Misaki watches a battle between two dolls on a big live-screen called Angelic Layer, a highly popular game in which players (called Deus) buy and custom-design dolls known as Angels that are moved by mental control when on a field called the “layer.”

Interested in learning about Angelic Layer, an eccentric man wearing a white lab coat and glasses, calling himself “Icchan“, encourages Misaki to purchase and create her own angel. She wants the angel to be “a short girl, but strong and happy”, and names it Hikaru, based on Hikaru Shidō from Clamp’s Magic Knight Rayearth (a manga in Angelic Layer’s world). Even though she’s clueless about the game, Misaki soon competes in tournaments and is assisted and watched carefully by Icchan. Later, Icchan’s identity is revealed as Ichiro Mihara, the co-creator of Angelic Layer.

Misaki begins studying at the Eriol Academy, an educational institution which include grades from kindergarten through high school. There she becomes friends with Hatoko Kobayashi, a very intelligent and mature kindergarten girl who is a famous Deus and an Angelic Layer expert. Her incredibly fast angel Suzuka is a favourite contender in tournaments. Misaki also befriends Hatoko’s older brother Kōtarō and his friend Tamayo Kizaki, a girl fascinated by martial arts. Both turn out to be Misaki’s classmates.

While adjusting to her new surroundings, Misaki is also gripped by her past. Her thoughts often dwell on her mother, whom she has not seen since pre-school. Eventually, Misaki learns that her mother was key in the development of Angelic Layer, which she worked on in an attempt to develop a perfect prosthesis for her multiple sclerosis, which has confined her to a wheelchair. Her mother is also the Deus of Athena and the champion of Angelic Layer.

The differences in the anime series: Misaki names her angel of her favorite doll from childhood. The ending to the manga also has different couplings. In the manga, Misaki’s mother does not have multiple sclerosis. Icchan plays an important role in the Chobits storyline, but this connection was reduced to a single scene in the anime; the Chobits anime was also made by a different company. Kaede’s younger brother Minoru is also a Chobits character.

 

Film Friday- Love Hina

Film Friday- Love Hina

A twenty-four episode anime adaptation of the manga series, produced by Xebec, aired in Japan from April 19, 2000, to September 27, 2000. It was followed by a bonus DVD episode, Christmas and Spring television specials, and a three episode original video animation (OVA) entitled Love Hina Again. The anime series, special, and OVA were licensed for release in North America by Bandai Entertainment. In July 2007, the license was acquired by Funimation, who released a boxset of the television series in February 2009. The series is also licensed in Australia by Madman Entertainment and in the United Kingdom by MVM Films.

In Japan, the television series was released on nine DVDs by Starchild Records between August 3, 2000 and April 2, 2001, and sold over 1 million copies. Love Hina is credited with being one of the first anime series to be available unofficially as a digitally produced fansub, with multiple groups working on the series. The popularity, and widespread availability of the series in this form meant that several potential licensors of the series such as ADV Films had concerns over licensing the series. The series was later licensed in North America by Bandai Entertainment, who released six DVDs between February 19 and November 19, 2002. In July 2007, Funimation Entertainment announced they had acquired the license to the series after Bandai’s license had expired. A new boxset of the television series across 4 discs was released by Funimation on February 24, 2009. It was then re-released as part of Funimation’s Viridian Collection on July 27, 2010. In the United Kingdom, the series is licensed by MVM Films, who released the series on six DVDs between September 6, 2004 and March 7, 2005, and as a boxset on May 14, 2007. In Australia and New Zealand the series is licensed by Madman Entertainment, who also released the series across six DVDs between September 18, 2002, and February 11, 2003. A box set was later released on December 3, 2003.

After the television series was completed, a Christmas special, Love Hina Xmas Eve: Silent Night, was produced and shown on December 25, 2000 on TV Tokyo. A DVD was released in Japan on July 4, 2001. It was then released in North America on December 3, 2002 and in the United Kingdom on November 7, 2005. The Spring Special Love Hina Spring Special: I Wish Your Dream was also shown on TV Tokyo on April 2, 2001. The DVD was released in Japan on August 1, 2001, in North American on March 18, 2003 and in the United Kingdom on May 16, 2005. Finally, an OVA series called Love Hina Again was released on DVD in Japan in 3 parts between January 26, 2002 and March 27, 2002. A CD single featuring the opening theme “Kirari Takaramono” and the ending theme “Be for Me, Be for You” was released on February 28, 2002. A solo version was used for the first episode, and a duet with Yūji Ueda was used for the third episode. The North American and United Kingdom releases of Love Hina Again grouped the 3 parts together on one disc and were released on September 2, 2003 and January 7, 2008 respectively.
After the end of the television series, Love Hina Final Selection was released, containing a summary of the series and “Love Live Hina”, a live concert featuring all of the main cast members.
The anime was later used as the source for a film comic, Love Hina Anime Comics, which told the anime story in comic form using stills from the show as the comic panels. The anime Comics series follows the story of the television series, unaired 25th episode, and the Xmas and Spring specials and each volume contains 3 exclusive trading cards. The film comics also contain anime production info.

Keitaro Urashima

is a 19/20-year-old second-year ronin studying to enter Tokyo University. As a child, the young Keitaro made a promise with a girl, based on a story the children overheard that two people who love each other will live “happily ever after” if they enter ‘Todai’. Keitaro is set on gaining entrance to Todai to fulfill the promise he made to his childhood friend, even though he cannot properly remember either her name or her face. Later, in volume 13, it is revealed that Todai may not even refer to Tokyo University after all.

After failing to pass the entrance exams on his second attempt Keitaro’s parents seem either unwilling, or unable, to let him continue living at home while he studies. He then receives a call from his grandmother. As a result, he travels to “Hinata Inn”, a hotel owned by his grandmother to find a place to stay and study. Following a misunderstanding where the residents believe him to be a burglar and peeping tom, Keitaro discovers the hotel is now a female-only dormitory.

To compound the confusion, Keitaro’s Aunt Haruka mistakenly assumes he has passed the entrance exams and is already a Todai student; consequently the residents agree he can stay. When he fails to correct her and is discovered to be lying, he is forced to leave until Haruka announces that the deeds to the inn have been transferred to Keitaro by his grandmother: Keitaro is, in fact, the new landlord.

Naru Narusegawa 

is a 17-year-old, just about to graduate from high school, and a resident of the Hinata Inn. She is very intelligent, having placed top in the nation in the college practice entrance exams at their cram school. She is popular, beautiful but constantly tries to hide this as she studies to gain entrance to Todai. However, she has an extremely fiery temper and has a tendency to inflict violent physical punishment (mostly on Keitaro). She arrived at the Hinata Inn as a result (she believes) of her friendship with Kitsune, who introduced her to Granny Hina. At that stage she does not remember staying at the Hinata Inn as a very young child.

Of all the girls at the Hinata Inn, she is most often the unwilling and unwitting victim of Keitaro’s clumsiness, which often results in her ending up naked, partially clothed, or placed in any number compromising positions. Keitaro invariably suffers as a result.

Despite initially taking a (literally) violent dislike to Keitaro, she comes to develop very strong feelings for him. The main part of her character arc is that she has great difficulty in admitting these feelings, both to herself, to the hopeless Keitaro and to the world in general. Due to this she often becomes annoyed or irritated with Keitaro when she believes he is not taking things seriously. Naru had repeatedly denied having feelings for Keitaro even when asked. Naru while speaking to Mutsumi has said “What could you possibly see in a guy like that? You probably don’t know this Mutsumi-san but he’s clumsy, stupid, and a total pervert that has no redeeming qualities whatsoever!”. She also says to Kanako she would definitely spy on him or sabotage any dates he did get but finds the idea of dating him herself disgusting. This comment and similar situations are played for laughs. When they do date, she hits Keitaro occasionally.. Like Keitaro, she strives to get into Tokyo University for two reasons: the first is a promise she made to her one-time tutor (and object of an enormous crush) Noriyasu Seta, the second is the dimly recalled promise made to someone whose name and face she cannot remember.

Wednesday News- July 31, 2019

Wednesday News- July 31, 2019

Nintendo Switch Console Sells 36.87 Million Units Worldwide- https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/daily-briefs/2019-07-30/nintendo-switch-console-sells-36.87-million-units-worldwide/.149524

Bakemonogatari Manga Enters Hiatus Due to Author’s Sudden Illness- https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2019-07-31/bakemonogatari-manga-enters-hiatus-due-to-author-sudden-illness/.149552

Monster hunter World: Iceborne Game Launches for PC in January 2020- https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/daily-briefs/2019-07-31/monster-hunter-world-iceborne-game-launches-for-pc-in-january-2020/.149558

Answerman: How Do Japanese Guest Get Invited To Conventions?- https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/answerman/2019-07-31/.149540

Anime

  • Elfen Lied Steelbook BD
  • Love Stage!! BD
  • Lupin the 3rd: Blood Seal of the Eternal Mermaid BD
  • Maken-Ki! Season 1 Essentials BD
  • New Cutey Honey OAV BD
  • Noragami Aragoto Classics BD
  • Pocket Monsters: Diamond & Pearl DVD
  • Sakura Quest Complete Series BD
  • Space Battleship Tiramisu Zwei Season 2 BD
  • Yowamushi Pedal Re:RIDE, Yowamushi Pedal Re: ROAD BD

Manga

  • The Alchemist Who Survived Now Dreams of a Quiet City Life GN 1 (Digital Only)
  • Asahi-sempai’s Favorite GN 5 (Digital Only)
  • Back Street Girls GN 12 (Digital Only)
  • Cocoon Entwined GN 1 (Digital Only)
  • D-Frag! Graphic Novel (GN) 13
  • Domestic Girlfriend GN 19 (Digital Only)
  • Dragon Zakura 2 GN 1-3 (Digital Only)
  • Drowning Love GN 13 (Digital Only)
  • Fairy Tale Battle Royale GN 3
  • Farewell, My Dear Cramer GN 1 (Digital Only)
  • Harukana Receive GN 4
  • High School Prodigies Have It Easy Even In Another World! GN 4 (Digital Only)
  • Hotaru’s Way GN 10 (Digital Only)
  • Insufficient Direction GN 1 (Digital Only)
  • Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? On the Side: Sword Oratoria GN 8 (Digital Only)
  • Kalyx GN 1 (Digital Only)
  • Killing Me! GN 1 (Digital Only)
  • Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid GN 8
  • Mob Psycho 100 GN 3
  • My Boy in Blue GN 11 (Digital Only)
  • My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! GN 1
  • My Sadistic Boyfriend GN 4 (Digital Only)P (Digital Only)
  • Precarious Woman Executive Miss Black General GN 4
  • Princess Resurrection Nightmare GN 4 (Digital Only)
  • Sacrificial Princess and the King of Beasts GN 6 (Digital Only)
  • Skull-face Bookseller Honda-san GN 1
  • The Slime Diaries: That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime GN 1 (Digital Only)Ple
  • So I’m a Spider, So What? GN 6 (Digital Only)C
  • Torture Princess – Fremd Torturchen GN (Digital Only)
  • To Love-Ru GN 15-16
  • UQ Holder! GN 17
  • Woof Woof Story – I Told You to Turn Me Into a Pampered Pooch, Not Fenrir! GN 1 (Digital Only)C (Digital Only)
  • Yuri Life GN (Digital Only)
  • Zo Zo Zombie (Zo Zo Zo Zombie-kun) GN 1-4 (Digital Only))

Other

  • Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash Novel 10
  • Harvest Moon: Light of Hope Special Edition Complete PS4, Switch game
  • London Detective Mysteria PC game
  • Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation Novel 2
  • Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation Novel 3C (Digital Only)
  • Seriously Seeking Sister! Ultimate Vampire Princess Just Wants Little Sister; Plenty of Service Will Be Provided! Novel (Digital Only)
  • Voices of a Distant Star Novel

 

Manga Monday- Love Hina

Manga Monday- Love Hina

Love Hina is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Ken Akamatsu. It was serialized in Weekly Shōnen Magazine from October 21, 1998 to October 31, 2001, with the chapters collected into 14 tankōbon volumes by Kodansha. The series tells the story of Keitarō Urashima and his attempts to find the girl with whom he made a childhood promise to enter the University of Tokyo. The manga was licensed for an English-language release in North America and the United Kingdom by Tokyopop, in Australia by Madman Entertainment, and in Singapore by Chuang Yi. Two novelizations of Love Hina, written by two anime series screenwriters, were also released in Japan by Kodansha. Both novels were later released in North America and the United Kingdom by Tokyopop.

The series has proved extremely popular around the world, both commercially and critically. In Japan, the manga sold over 16 million copies; over 1 million anime DVDs were also sold. The English release of the manga has been reprinted many times. Both anime and manga have received numerous industry awards in Japan and North America, as well as praise from critics.

Reception

Love Hina won the Kodansha Manga Award for best shōnen title in 2001. It was selected as the “Best Manga, USA Release” at both the 2002 and 2004 Anime Expo conventions. In 2003, the title was among the top ten graphic novels on Nielsen BookScan’s list and one of the first graphic novels to ever appear in the general trade paperback list. The pop culture website ICv2 voted Love Hina “Anime Product of the Year” in 2002.

Production

Initial sketches for the series were created between September and December 1997, after the completion of A.I. Love You. Early storyboards with initial character designs were created between December 1997 and January 1998, and further character designs and location sketches followed between January and April 1998. The last storyboards before serialization were created between April and August 1998.

Around six months before the start of serialization, character designs were still going through several revisions before being settled upon. Several characters underwent complete redesigns and name changes. At one stage the character Naru was named Midori, and she was supposed to fall through a hole in the floor naked, bump her head on Keitaro and lose her memory. Naru’s name was changed many times before the author settled on Naru Narusegawa, and her final design is similar to Saati Namba from A.I. Love You. Mitsune “Kitsune” Konno’s money-grubbing nature and her older, jaded, and more mature personality were originally intended to be used for Kaolla Su. Shinobu Maehara’s nature was settled on from the beginning of the series, however her physical appearance and age were extensively redesigned as the series concept was shaped. In her early design, Shinobu had a similar appearance to Forty Namba from A.I. Love You.

Throughout the run of the manga, the series used digital editing processes. After a rough sketch of a page was created, the page layout and basic detail were drawn and scanned into an Apple Macintosh. The major page elements were then shaded or filled with patterns, and elements that were drawn separately were added digitally to the page. The manga also used a series of “banked images”, which were basic line drawings of locations, such as a characters room. Instead of redrawing a location from scratch every time it was used, these banked images could be used as a base, and extra detail added to them depending on the requirements for the scene.

Both of these techniques lead to characters having white outlines when copied digitally onto the scene. Parts of Hinata Inn and other locations used were inspired by real life locations and designed from photographs collected during research.

Plot

The story is a shōnen comedy that takes place in the Kanagawa Prefecture, and centers on Keitarō Urashima and his attempts to fulfill a childhood promise that he made with a girl to enter the University of Tokyo together. However, he has forgotten the name of the girl he made the promise to and hopes to be accepted into the university in order to find her. Having failed the entrance exam twice and with his parents no longer willing to support him, he goes to stay at his grandmother’s hotel, only to find that it has been converted into a female-only apartment. The tenants are about to kick him out when his aunt appears and announces that his grandmother has given him the title to the apartments. Much to their dismay Keitarō becomes the new manager of the family-owned girls’ dorm Hinata House and must now balance his new responsibilities in addition to studying for the university entrance exam.

At Hinata House, Keitarō meets Naru Narusegawa, who is also studying to enter the university. Naru ranks first in the whole of Japan on the practice exams, and Keitarō convinces her to help him study. As the two of them grow closer through their studies, and after Keitarō accidentally reads a small section of Naru’s diary, he becomes increasingly convinced that Naru may be the girl with whom he made the promise. On the second day of the university exam, Keitarō asks Naru about the promise and is stunned when she tells him he is mistaken. Despite their studying, and Naru’s mock exam results, they both fail the exams. The pair then have an argument and independently run off to Kyoto to clear their heads. While on their trip they settle their differences and meet Mutsumi Otohime, who lives in Okinawa and is also studying for the university exams.

After returning from Kyoto, Keitarō and Naru decide to retake the exams. After a while, Mutsumi moves to Tokyo, and the three begin to study together. During this period, Naru becomes convinced that Mutsumi is Keitarō’s promised girl, but Mutsumi states that she made a childhood promise with Naru, not Keitarō. During the next round of university exams, Keitarō believes he has failed them once again and runs away before finding out his results. After learning of this, Naru chases after him without checking her exam results either, and they are followed by the rest of the residents of Hinata House who announce that Keitarō and Naru both passed the exams along with Mutsumi. Unfortunately for him, Keitarō has an accident at the University of Tokyo opening ceremony and is unable to attend classes for three months. After recovering from his injuries, Keitarō decides to study overseas with Noriyasu Seta. As Keitarō is about to leave, Naru finally confesses her feelings to him at the airport and decides to wait for him to return.

When Keitarō returns, he and Naru finally begin to express their feelings for each other. After they deal with new obstacles, Grandma Hina returns to Hinata House and reveals Naru is the girl of Keitarō’s promise. Three years later, a wedding ceremony (with a new girl, Ema Maeda, presented) is held at Hinata House for Naru and Keitarō as they finally fulfill their childhood promise to each other.

 

Film Friday- Soul Eater

Film Friday- Soul Eater

A 51-episode anime adaptation was directed by Takuya Igarashi and produced by Bones, Aniplex, Dentsu, Media Factory, and TV Tokyo; Bones and Aniplex were responsible for the animation and music production respectively. The scenario writer was Akatsuki Yamatoya who based the anime’s story on Atsushi Ōkubo original concept. Character design was headed by Yoshiyuki Ito, with overall art direction by Norifumi Nakamura. The anime’s conceptual design was done by Shinji Aramaki.

The episodes aired on TV Tokyo between April 7, 2008 and March 30, 2009, and two animated specials aired on May 29 and June 1, 2008. The episodes aired at later dates on TV Aichi, TV Hokkaido, TV Osaka, TV Setouchi, and TVQ Kyushu Broadcasting Co. The anime was regularly broadcast Mondays at 6:00 pm on TV Tokyo. The official Japanese website of the Soul Eater anime series announced that each episode would air in two versions: the regular Monday 6:00 pm version and a late-night Soul Eater Late Show version. Special footage was added at the start and end of the commercial break; the next episode preview was different from the regular version. The dual broadcast of the series was billed as the “world’s first evening and late-night resonance broadcast.” The “resonance” term refers to a story concept in which the characters, such as the heroine Maka and her living weapon partner Soul Eater, achieve maximum power by synchronizing their souls. The first DVD compilation volume was released on August 22, 2008 with the first three episodes. The second DVD compilation volume was released on September 25, 2008 with episodes four through seven. Each DVD volume was released in monthly intervals. The anime was licensed by Funimation, who released the series in four half-season DVD box sets starting with the first volume in February 2010.

MTV Portugal premiered Soul Eater on February 1, 2010. In the Philippines, Soul Eater aired in a Tagalog version over the cable channel Hero TV from April to June 2010. The anime made its North American television debut when it aired on the Funimation Channel on September 6, 2010; it aired on Adult Swim’s Toonami block in North America from February 17, 2013. The series is being rebroadcast by TV Tokyo under the title Soul Eater: Repeat Show as of September 30, 2010, featuring new opening and closing themes. It was broadcast in Italy on Rai 4 between September 2, 2010 and September 8, 2011. An anime adaptation of Soul Eater Not! aired in 2014.

Maka Albarn

is one of the main protagonists of Soul Eater. She is a young but dedicated student who takes after her mother, another prodigious meister. However, her relationship with her father Spirit is strained due to his constant flirtations with women, leading her parents to divorce. As such, Maka is obsessed with turning her weapon partner, Soul Eater, into a death scythe that will surpass her father. She collaborates well with Soul in battle, but sometimes gets frustrated at him when he does something foolish. When in danger, however, Maka does everything she can to keep Soul out of harm’s way.

The anime depicts Maka as the most mature and casual character out of the main protagonists. She is brave, strong-willed, hard working, humble, kind, and determined to do what is right, but hates injustice and can lose control of her emotions when her friends are in danger. She also at times tends to get annoyed with Soul due to his laid back personality, but they are still good friends at heart. She differs from most main protagonists in anime in that she has the characteristics most male main protagonists have, but is a female.

Because she has strong morals and a good sense of justice, she hates seeing her father cheating on women, and tends to be annoyed with Black Star at times due to his arrogant and self-absorbed personality. There are times when she gets ticked off, she does a “Maka Chop,” which is when she takes a hardback book and slams it down onto that persons head. Usually her father’s, Black Star, or Soul. In the anime, Maka was the only one who could defeat Asura, who was on the verge of destroying the world. Soul, Black Star, Death the Kid, their partners and Shinigami all failed to defeat him, but Maka defeated him all by herself because of her bravery. She confused Asura by proving to him she would never give up despite her being weaker and all her friends having been defeated, which made him doubt himself and confused him, allowing Maka to punch him, while he was distracted, with all her force and defeat him. In the manga, however, Maka used her courage as well as her determination to partner with Soul, Black Star, Kid, and Crona, using the weapon known as Brew to defeat the Kishin.

In the anime, Maka’s kindness and compassion shows often with Crona. She recognizes him as being misunderstood and mistreated. She wants to be his friend to help him because he’s been alone his whole life. She puts herself at risk of losing her sanity to help him and temporarily gives herself to the black blood in order to better understand him. Despite the others seeing him as an enemy because he’s helping Medusa, she feels he’s only helping Medusa because he had nothing else and was simply confused and misguided. She easily forgives him when discovering he was helping Medusa and spying on the academy, feeling Medusa had manipulated him into it. She loses control for the first time and violently kills Medusa with an Anti-Magic wavelength when Medusa almost kills Crona after he pushed Maka out of the way to save her.

Early in the story, Soul is infected with black blood during their first battle against Crona, which causes Maka to become infected as well, risking her going insane under the black blood’s influence. She later gains some control over the black blood by developing a soul wavelength inherited from her mother called the Anti-Magic Wavelength, which helps her resist the effects of insanity. She is also adept at a skill called Soul Perception, which allows her to detect the souls of other people and measure their strengths. After turning Soul into a death scythe, Maka gains the ability to combine the power of her uniquely shaped soul, called a Grigori soul, with Soul’s and grow angelic wings on Soul’s weapon form, enabling her to fly. Maka can fully synchronize with Spirit due to their bond as father and daughter. In the anime adaptation, Maka is shown to have demon weapon powers inherited from her father and mother, allowing her to conjure blades from her body while she is unconscious.

Soul “Eater” Evans

Soul Evans, nicknamed Soul Eater, is a demon scythe and the partner of Maka Albarn, and the main male protagonist. His weapon form has a red- and-black blade and an eye near its heel which expresses his emotions. He has a laid-back and nonchalant personality and tries to maintain a “cool” attitude, but often ends up embarrassing himself instead. He tends to bicker with Maka over unimportant things from time to time, but is fiercely loyal to her and has more than once displayed his will to die for his friends’ safety. After he is slashed in the chest by Ragnarok and infected with the Demon Sword’s blood, he fights to resist the madness-inducing effects of the blood, which is portrayed by the little demon who appears within his subconscious.

As a member of a renowned family of musicians, Soul is a talented pianist, but uses his discovery of his weapon powers as an excuse to break ties from the family tradition and pursue the goal of becoming the most powerful death scythe ever. He dislikes being compared to his older brother Wes, a famous violinist, and is reluctant to play music for other people. He can use this talent when resonating his soul wavelength with others, playing the piano within his soul to drastically enhance their power. He manages to become a death scythe after defeating Arachne with Maka and eating her soul, gaining the ability to use sound waves and sabotage enemies with his “Soul Hack” attack. In the aftermath of Asura’s defeat, overcoming his fear of using black blood, Soul becomes partnered to Death the Kid after he officially becomes the new Shinigami. Due to Kid’s agreement with the witches to make no more death scythes, Soul becomes the last death scythe created.

 

Manga Monday- Soul Eater

Manga Monday- Soul Eater

Soul Eater is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Atsushi Ōkubo. Set at the “Death Weapon Meister Academy”, the series revolves around three teams, each consisting of a weapon meister and (at least one) weapon that can transform into a humanoid. Trying to make the latter a “death scythe” and thus fit for use by the academy’s headmaster Shinigami, the personification of death, they must collect the souls of 99 evil humans and one witch, in that order; otherwise, they will have to start all over again.

The manga is published by Square Enix and was first released as three separate one-shots serialized in two Gangan Powered special editions and one Gangan Wing in 2003. The manga started regular serialization in Square Enix’s Monthly Shōnen Gangan manga magazine from May 12, 2004 to August 12, 2013. The manga has been licensed for distribution in North America by Yen Press. The English translation of Soul Eater was serialized in Yen Press’ Yen Plus manga anthology magazine starting in July 2008, and the first manga volume was released in October 2009. A manga series that runs alongside the main series, titled Soul Eater Not!, began serialization in Monthly Shōnen Gangan on January 12, 2011.

A single drama CD was produced on August 31, 2005, which came bundled with an art book. A 51-episode anime adaptation produced by Bones aired on TV Tokyo in Japan from April 2008 to March 2009; Funimation licensed the anime series for North American distribution. An action-adventure video game by Square Enix for the Wii was released in September 2008, and an action video game for the Nintendo DS was released in October 2008. Another action game was released in January 2009 on the PlayStation 2 and PlayStation Portable.

Plot

Soul Eater is set at Death Weapon Meister Academy  for short — located in the fictional Death City in Nevada, United States. The school is run by Shinigami, also known as Death, as a training facility for humans with the ability to transform into weapons, as well as the wielders of those weapons, called meisters. Attending this school are Maka Albarn and her scythe partner Soul Eater; assassin Black Star and his partner Tsubaki Nakatsukasa, who can turn into various ninja weapons; and Shinigami’s son, Death the Kid, and his pistol partners Liz and Patty Thompson. The goal of the school’s meister students is to have their weapons defeat and absorb the souls of 99 evil humans and one witch, which dramatically increases the power of the weapon and turns them into “death scythes” used by Shinigami.

Maka and Soul Eater battle the witch Medusa, who forces Crona, her child and meister of the demon sword Ragnarok, to collect non-evil human souls and eventually transform into a kishin, an evil god. Medusa and her cohorts attack DWMA to revive Asura, the first kishin who nearly plunged the entire world into madness before being sealed beneath DWMA by Shinigami. Despite the combined efforts of Maka, Black Star, and Death the Kid, Medusa’s group successfully revives Asura, who leaves to spread chaos around the world after a brief battle with Shinigami. After Medusa is seemingly killed by meister and DWMA teacher Franken Stein, while Crona surrenders to DWMA and enrolls there.

As a result of Asura’s spreading madness, Medusa’s sister Arachne comes out of hiding and reforms her organization, Arachnophobia, which poses a serious threat to DWMA. Shinigami calls in death scythes from around the world to aid in the fight against Arachnophobia. During this time, Medusa reappears with her soul possessing the body of a young girl, and forms a truce with DWMA so they can annihilate Arachnophobia together. The DWMA students and Medusa’s entourage infiltrate Arachnophobia’s headquarters, where Maka kills Arachne, only for Medusa to betray DWMA, possess Arachne’s body, and brainwash Crona into rejoining her. Meanwhile, Death the Kid is captured by Noah, an artificial construct created from the Book of Eibon. Following this, Maka uses Arachne’s soul to turn Soul Eater into a death scythe. The duo become part of the newly formed meister unit Spartoi along with their friends, who rescue Death the Kid and defeat Noah.

Crona resurfaces in a city in Russia, destroying it and the death scythe stationed there, before being provoked by Medusa into killing her and getting taken by insanity. Maka is ordered by Shinigami to hunt down Crona; while searching for Crona with her powers, she unwittingly detects Asura’s location on the cartoonish moon within the atmosphere. DWMA launches an attack on the moon to defeat Asura, aided by the witches after Death the Kid convinces them to establish a temporary alliance. During the battle, Crona absorbs Asura’s body before being overtaken by him. Maka, Black Star, and Kid eventually restore Crona’s sanity and defeat Asura by sealing him on the moon with his own blood; Crona willingly remains with Asura to keep him imprisoned, and Maka promises to one day rescue Crona. The DWMA forces return to Earth, where Death the Kid becomes the new Shinigami following his father’s death, and establishes a peace treaty with the witches.