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Film Friday- Spice and Wolf

Film Friday- Spice and Wolf

Spice and Wolf is a Japanese light novel series written by Isuna Hasekura, with illustrations by Jū Ayakura. ASCII Media Works has published 21 novels since February 2006 under their Dengeki Bunko imprint. ASCII Media Works reported that as of October 2008, over 2.2 million copies of the first nine novels have been sold in Japan. The series has been called a “unique fantasy” by Mainichi Shimbun due to the plot focusing on economics, trade, and peddling rather than the typical staples of fantasy such as swords and magic. Yen Press licensed the light novels and is releasing them in English in North America. ASCII Media Works has published three volumes of a spin-off light novel series titled Wolf and Parchment since September 2016.

A manga adaptation illustrated by Keito Koume began serialization in the November 2007 issue of ASCII Media Works’ seinen manga magazine Dengeki Maoh. The manga was licensed by Yen Press, which has begun releasing the volumes in English. A 12-episode anime adaptation aired between January and March 2008, plus a single original video animation (OVA) episode released in May 2008. A second OVA was released in April 2009 as a prequel to the second anime season Spice and Wolf II, which aired 12 episodes between July and September 2009. Both anime seasons were released in English by Kadokawa Pictures USA and Funimation. Two visual novels based on the series for the Nintendo DS were released by ASCII Media Works in June 2008 and September 2009.

Anime

An anime adaptation produced by the animation studio Imagin aired in Japan between January 9 and March 26, 2008 on the Chiba TV Japanese television network; twelve of the thirteen episodes were broadcast, with episode seven being a DVD exclusive. The episodes are being released in six DVD compilation volumes in Japan; volume one contains three episodes while the subsequent volumes contain two episodes each. The volumes were released between April 2, 2008 and August 29, 2008 by Pony Canyon in Japan; volume three contains an original video animation (OVA) episode in addition to episode six of the television broadcast. A Blu-ray Disc box set of the series was released on January 30, 2009. The series is directed by Takeo Takahashi, written by Naruhisa Arakawa, and character designs are provided by Kazuya Kuroda. Takahashi was quoted as being a big fan of the novels. The opening theme is “Tabi no Tochū” by Natsumi Kiyoura, and the ending theme is “Ringo Hiyori: The Wolf Whistling Song” by Rocky Chack; both maxi singles were released on February 6, 2008. The anime’s original soundtrack was released on March 12, 2008. The anime is licensed for release in English by Kadokawa Pictures USA and Funimation Entertainment, and a complete thirteen-episode DVD box set was released on December 22, 2009. The series made its North American television debut on November 16, 2010 on the Funimation Channel.

A second season of the anime titled Spice and Wolf II aired twelve episodes in Japan between July 9 and September 24, 2009. Most of the staff from the first season returned, except for Toshimitsu Kobayashi replacing Kazuya Kuroda as the character designer and chief animation director, and Spice and Wolf II is animated by Brain’s Base instead of Imagin. The voice actors from the first season retained their roles. Another OVA, animated by Brain’s Base, was released bundled with a picture book entitled Spice and Wolf: Wolf and Gold Wheat written and illustrated by the same creators of the light novels and was released by ASCII Media Works on April 30, 2009 under their Dengeki Bunko Visual Novel imprint. Funimation licensed Spice and Wolf II and released the series in English on August 30, 2011. The second season made its North American television debut on August 31, 2011 on the Funimation Channel. On September 11, 2012, Funimation released a Blu-ray/DVD combo pack of both seasons. The April 30, 2009 OVA is included on the season two disc as episode 00.

Kraft Lawrence
is a 25-year-old traveling merchant who goes from town to town buying and selling various things in order to make a living. When he was twelve, he became an apprentice to a merchant relative, and set out on his own at eighteen. His goal in life is to gather enough money to start his own shop, and he has already been traveling for seven years while gaining experience in the trade. He meets Holo one night and eventually agrees to her traveling with him. She helps him by providing her wisdom which helps to increase his profits and get him out of jams. As the series progresses, both Lawrence and Holo demonstrate a growing affection toward each other. Although Lawrence rarely shows different facial expressions, he truly cares for Holo. He shows his affection through his actions, such as when Holo gets captured by the Church and Lawrence completely panics.
Holo
is a wolf harvest deity originally from a place in the north known as Yoitsu, which draws parallels to the legendary land of Hyperborea. She made a promise with inhabitants from a town called Pasloe that she would ensure the town would have good wheat harvests year after year. However, as time went on, the townspeople slowly started to forsake Holo, regard her as unnecessary, and to resent the occasional bad harvests that Holo told Lawrence are necessary to rest the land. As such, Holo escapes from town in Lawrence’s wagon and started traveling with him to see how much the world has changed since she has been in Pasloe. Holo has chosen the form of a 15-year old girl, though she still retains her large white-tipped wolf tail, ears, and two sharp fangs. At times she can produce an ear-shattering howl. Her true form is that of a very large wolf which many people feared. In the anime she as a wolf looks to be about 30 feet high from the ground to her shoulders in episode 1, and about 10 feet high in the sewer in episode 6. In the novels she is large enough that she can carry Lawrence like a horse, and she can easily leap the walls of Ruvinheigen, but small enough to fit in Hans Remelio’s office with Remelio and Lawrence. In human form, she has a peculiar way of speaking, modeled after that of the oiran high-class courtesans. She is able to speak to humans as a wolf. Holo is fond of delicious food and alcohol, but especially loves something new in each novel. In volume 1 it is apples. In volume 2 it is apples preserved in honey. In volume 3 it is eel (i.e. lamprey). She takes pride in her tail and takes special care of it, constantly combing and maintaining it. In the novel, volume 1, page 65, it is described as hanging past the back of her knees. In the anime it is longer and reaches nearly to her ankles.
Holo refers to herself as “Holo The Wise Wolf”. She is typically very haughty and self-sufficient, though due to her isolation for hundreds of years in Pasloe, she gradually feels very lonely, and sometimes shows a more fragile side of herself. She relies on Lawrence for company as she fears loneliness, which is something that Lawrence is very aware of and tries to comfort her in his own way. Holo is also very aware of the different time spans that she and Lawrence have, as a human lifespan is like a blink of an eye for her kind. Holo is quite scared of that fact, but hides it with jokes. Although she jokes about her affections for Lawrence at first, she slowly but surely falls in love with him. At the end of the series, Holo settles down with Lawrence and they have a daughter, Myuri, who inherits her mother’s traits and is the main character of the sequel light novel Wolf and Parchment.

Light Novel Tuesday- Spice and Wolf

Light Novel Tuesday- Spice and Wolf

Spice and Wolf is a Japanese light novel series written by Isuna Hasekura, with illustrations by Jū Ayakura. ASCII Media Works has published 21 novels since February 2006 under their Dengeki Bunko imprint. ASCII Media Works reported that as of October 2008, over 2.2 million copies of the first nine novels have been sold in Japan. The series has been called a “unique fantasy” by Mainichi Shimbun due to the plot focusing on economics, trade, and peddling rather than the typical staples of fantasy such as swords and magic. Yen Press licensed the light novels and is releasing them in English in North America. ASCII Media Works has published three volumes of a spin-off light novel series titled Wolf and Parchment since September 2016.

A manga adaptation illustrated by Keito Koume began serialization in the November 2007 issue of ASCII Media Works’ seinen manga magazine Dengeki Maoh. The manga was licensed by Yen Press, which has begun releasing the volumes in English. A 12-episode anime adaptation aired between January and March 2008, plus a single original video animation (OVA) episode released in May 2008. A second OVA was released in April 2009 as a prequel to the second anime season Spice and Wolf II, which aired 12 episodes between July and September 2009. Both anime seasons were released in English by Kadokawa Pictures USA and Funimation. Two visual novels based on the series for the Nintendo DS were released by ASCII Media Works in June 2008 and September 2009.

Light novels

Spice and Wolf began as a light novel series written by Isuna Hasekura, with illustrations by Jū Ayakura. Originally, Hasekura entered the first novel in the series into ASCII Media Works’ twelfth Dengeki Novel Prize in 2005 and the novel won the Silver Prize. ASCII Media Works published 17 novels between February 10, 2006 and July 10, 2011 under their Dengeki Bunko imprint. The tagline for the novels is “Merchant meats spicy wolf.”, an example of Engrish. The author of the novels has commented that what “meats” in the tagline really means is kept a secret, alluding to a possible intentional misspelling of “meets”. In celebration of the series’ 10th anniversary, Hasekura began writing a sequel in the 49th volume of Dengeki Bunko Magazine, released on April 9, 2016. In 2016, publication of new books in the series resumed with the release of the eighteenth volume, along with the start of a spin-off series titled Wolf and Parchment: New Theory Spice & Wolf, focusing on the characters Cole and Myuri, Lawrence and Holo’s daughter.

In September 2008, the novels were licensed by Yen Press for distribution in English. The first volume was released in December 2009, and a new volume is released every four months. While Yen Press redesigned the cover of the first novel, a dust jacket retaining the original cover art was released to select online retailers, and Yen Press also bundled the same jacket in the December 2009 issue of their manga anthology magazine Yen Plus. Despite the different cover art, the illustrations within the novels remain unchanged. Yen Press later announced that future volumes of the series and reprints of the first volume would retain the original artwork while dust jackets would carry the new covers, citing that the redesigned covers were requested by retailers in order to appeal to a wider audience. Yen Press has also licensed the Wolf and Parchment series.

Internet radio shows

An Internet radio show hosted by Animate called Ōkamikku Radio aired ten episodes between December 7, 2007 and April 25, 2008. One episode was broadcast every other week on Friday, and the show was meant to mainly promote the anime series. The show is hosted by Jun Fukuyama who plays Kraft Lawrence in the anime, and Ami Koshimizu who plays Holo. The show contains eight corners, or parts to each broadcast which includes news about the series, comments and submissions from listeners, and a radio drama. A second radio show titled Ōkamikku Radio II aired ten episodes between June 10 and October 28, 2009 with the same producer and hosts.

Visual novels

A dating and business simulation visual novel based on the series was released on June 26, 2008 under the title Spice and Wolf: Holo’s and My One Year. The game is made by ASCII Media Works playable on the Nintendo DS. The player assumes the role of Kraft Lawrence as he travels around with Holo for a period of one year in the game. The story differs from that of the original novels or anime and is presented as an additional Spice and Wolf world. Ami Koshimizu provides the voice of Holo in the game. The game was released on the same day in limited and regular editions; the limited edition was sold at a higher price, but comes with a life-sized poster of Holo, among other things.

A second dating and business simulation visual novel was released on September 17, 2009 titled Spice and Wolf: The Wind that Spans the Sea. The game was again made by ASCII Media Works and playable on the Nintendo DS. The player once again assumes the role of Kraft Lawrence.

A virtual reality visual novel titled Spice and Wolf VR made by Spicy Tails, a dōjin group founded by Isuna Hasekura, was released on June 3, 2019 for Microsoft Windows supporting the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive VR headsets as well as the standalone Oculus Go headset. It was later released for the Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4 on September 5, 2019, supporting the Nintendo Labo VR Kit and PlayStation VR respectively. A port to the Oculus Quest headset has also been announced, as well as a sequel coming at an unknown date.

Reception

ASCII Media Works reported that as of November 2009, over 3.5 million copies of the first twelve novels have been sold. The light novel series has ranked three times in Takarajimasha’s light novel guide book Kono Light Novel ga Sugoi! published yearly: first in 2007, and fifth in both 2008 and 2009; in the 2007 issue, Holo won Best Female Character. The first manga volume of the English release in North America debuted at No. 4 on the New York Times Best Seller Manga list, while the third volume reached at No. 3.

In April 2008, the maid café Cafe with Cat in Akihabara, Tokyo, Japan hosted a specially themed event called Cafe with Wolf for a period of three days between April 4 and April 6. The event included three new items on the menu and tied in with the sale of the first anime DVD volume which went on sale on April 2, 2008. People who bought the DVD from the Comic Toranoana Akihabara Honten store (which is on the first floor below Cafe with Cat) and brought the receipt with them into Cafe with Wolf were entered into a lottery to win rare Spice and Wolf goods.

Manga Monday- Spice and Wolf

Manga Monday- Spice and Wolf

Spice and Wolf  is a Japanese light novel series written by Isuna Hasekura, with illustrations by Jū Ayakura. ASCII Media Works has published 21 novels since February 2006 under their Dengeki Bunko imprint. ASCII Media Works reported that as of October 2008, over 2.2 million copies of the first nine novels have been sold in Japan. The series has been called a “unique fantasy” by Mainichi Shimbun due to the plot focusing on economics, trade, and peddling rather than the typical staples of fantasy such as swords and magic. Yen Press licensed the light novels and is releasing them in English in North America. ASCII Media Works has published three volumes of a spin-off light novel series titled Wolf and Parchment since September 2016.

A manga adaptation illustrated by Keito Koume began serialization in the November 2007 issue of ASCII Media Works’ seinen manga magazine Dengeki Maoh. The manga was licensed by Yen Press, which has begun releasing the volumes in English. A 12-episode anime adaptation aired between January and March 2008, plus a single original video animation (OVA) episode released in May 2008. A second OVA was released in April 2009 as a prequel to the second anime season Spice and Wolf II, which aired 12 episodes between July and September 2009. Both anime seasons were released in English by Kadokawa Pictures USA and Funimation. Two visual novels based on the series for the Nintendo DS were released by ASCII Media Works in June 2008 and September 2009.

Manga

A manga adaptation illustrated by Keito Koume began serialization in the November 2007 issue of ASCII Media Works’ seinen manga magazine Dengeki Maoh. The first tankōbon volume was released by ASCII Media Works under their Dengeki Comics imprint on March 27, 2008; 16 volumes have been published as of February 2018. Yen Press licensed the manga series at New York Comic Con 2009, and began releasing the series in English in North America.

A manga adaption of Wolf and Parchment by Hidori began serialization in the July 2019 issue of Dengeki Maoh.

Plot

Spice and Wolf’s story revolves around Kraft Lawrence, a 25-year-old traveling merchant who peddles various goods from town to town to make a living in a stylized, fictional world, with a historical setting with European influences. His main goal in life is to gather enough money to start his own shop, and he already has been traveling for seven years while gaining experience in the trade. One night when stopped at the town of Pasloe, he finds in his wagon a wolf-deity named Holo who is over 600 years old. She takes the form of a 15-year-old girl, except for a wolf’s tail and ears. She introduces herself as the town’s goddess of harvest, who has kept it blessed with good harvests of wheat for many years. Holo has experienced increasing isolation and disillusionment at the townpeople’s move away from her protection towards their own methods of increasing the harvest. She is especially hurt at their forgetting of the promise made between her and a farmer when she arrived in the village and their criticism of her as a “fickle god” for needing to replenish the soil with smaller harvests. Because of these changes, she wants to go back to her homeland in the north called Yoitsu; she believes the people have already forsaken her and that she has kept her promise to maintain the good harvests. Holo also wants to travel to see how the world has changed while she has remained in one place for many years. She manages to bargain her way out of the village by making a deal with Lawrence to take her with him. As they travel, her wisdom helps increase his profits, but at the same time, her true nature draws unwanted attention from the Church.

 

Film Friday- Black Lagoon

Film Friday- Black Lagoon

Black Lagoon is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Rei Hiroe. It has been published in Shogakukan’s Monthly Sunday Gene-X since 2002, and eleven collected volumes have been released so far. It was later adapted into an anime television series by Madhouse, that aired from April to June 2006 for twelve episodes. A second season, subtitled “The Second Barrage”, ran for twelve weeks starting on October 2, 2006. A five volume original video animation series, titled Roberta’s Blood Trail, was released from July 2010 to June 2011.

In North America, Viz Media began releasing an English translation of the manga on August 12, 2008. The anime was dubbed and originally licensed in English by Geneon Entertainment in July 2006. Funimation has acquired the distribution rights to the series since a distribution agreement with Geneon in July 2008. Funimation later licensed the OVA, which also was licensed by Kazé in the UK, for release in spring 2013.

Anime

An anime adaptation of Black Lagoon covering 9 arcs of the manga was produced by Madhouse, Geneon Entertainment and Shogakukan and directed and written by Sunao Katabuchi, with Masanori Shino designing the characters and EDISON composing the music. The series aired for the first time on Chiba TV from April 8, 2006, to June 24, 2006 (and later on 15 other terrestrial stations), for twelve episodes. A second season, labelled Black Lagoon: The Second Barrage and consisting of twelve more episodes, ran for the first time on Sendai Television from October 2, 2006, to December 18, 2006. The second season focuses less on character development than the first season and more on the jobs they do. A five-volume original video animation titled Black Lagoon: Roberta’s Blood Trail that covered the El Baile de la muerte arc of the manga was released in July 2010.

In North America, Geneon Entertainment announced the license to the series in July 2006. In September 2007, Geneon announced that they had ceased in-house distribution of its series. On July 3, 2008, Geneon and Funimation announced an agreement to distribute select titles in North America. While Geneon would still retain the license, Funimation would assume exclusive rights to the manufacturing, marketing, sales and distribution of select titles. Black Lagoon was one of several titles involved in the deal.

The first season was released on three DVDs, each containing four episodes, between August and December 2006. The second season mirrored this, being released from January to June 2007. The Blu-ray Disc releases of the two seasons included a total of seven short omake specials, each no longer than five minutes, that depict the characters in various humorous situations. In 2010, the series was released in four, two for each season, boxsets from August to September.

Geneon’s North American dub was released on three DVD compilations, each containing four episodes, between May 22 and September 18, 2007. After being released individually, with volume one having a limited edition version containing a steelbook box that comes with a bonus disc with slots for all 3 volumes, the boxset of the entire first season was released December 30, 2008. The fourth bonus disc, available in the season one box set or the volume one steelbook edition, has a 15-minute behind the scenes with the English crew and voice actors, the “Red Fraction” music video performed by Mell, promotional videos, the creditless opening and ending, and Japanese opening. The Second Barrage volumes were released in the same manner, with the box set released in North America on April 14, 2009, case with episodes 13–24 on three discs with English/Japanese audio and English subtitles. The box set/steelbook version bonus disc includes promotional videos and the creditless opening and ending. At Anime Expo 2010, Funimation announced their licensing of the Roberta’s Blood Trail OVA, which was later released in 2013. The first and second seasons were re-released on Blu-ray Disc/DVD combo pack on December 4, 2012. A Blu-Ray release of all 29 episodes was released on June 4, 2019.

Geneon USA’s English dub premiered on G4techTV Canada as part of its Anime Current block on October 26, 2007 and STARZ Edge as part of its Animidnight late Tuesday night/Early Wednesday morning late-prime Japanese Anime programming block, began airing it on February 29, 2008 to American audiences. The series returned to American television on the Funimation Channel on February 15, 2013. The series began airing in Adult Swim’s Toonami block on March 22, 2014. The anime has also aired in Australia on the Sci Fi Channel, in Italy on MTV Italy, in Russia on 2×2 TV-channel, in Sweden on ZTV, on Animax in Spain and Portugal, and in Germany on Animax and Tele 5.

Reception

The anime series has received internationally positive reviews. With Chris Beveridge of Anime on DVD going so far as to say:

“To my surprise, knowing practically nothing about the show beyond a two minute clip at a convention, Black Lagoon manages to kick all kinds of ass. In English no less. The draw of a full bitrate 5.1 mix got me to watch it in English only to find that with most of the characters being western and in settings outside of Japan it works very well.”

Escapist Magazine contributor Tom Tonthat reviewed both seasons of Black Lagoon separately. Both seasons received a positive review with the stylized action scenes and the strong female characters’ being praised, while also criticizing the somewhat repetitive nature of the plot.

The Lagoon Company

The entire Lagoon Company. From left to right: Benny, Rock, Revy and Dutch.

The Lagoon Company is a mercenary/pirate group that is the main focus of the series, hired by the many criminal organisations operating in and around Roanapur to locate, acquire and smuggle items by sea.

Rokuro Okajima / Rock

the main character in the series. In the anime version, but not in the manga, he is also the narrator of the story.

He was a 25-year-old Japanese salaryman for Asahi Industries in Tokyo until he was taken hostage by the crew of the Black Lagoon during their raid on the ship he was on. He joined the Lagoon Company after his department chief Kageyama abandoned him (Kageyama declared him dead) in an attempt to cover up the smuggling operation in which Rock had been an unwitting participant. Rock is a caring and good-natured everyman despite being on the business end of guns from friend and foe alike, and often seems surprised at the dangers of the Southeast Asian crime world. He still wears his tie, dress shirt, and dress pants because although now a pirate, he still retains his business persona. He prefers to use words over weapons when interacting with others. Rock, after joining the Lagoon company, has wondered if he is experiencing Stockholm syndrome.

Within the Lagoon Company, Rock is usually responsible for account management, diplomacy, negotiation, interpretation, and the occasional errand. Having once worked in the resource investigation department of Asahi Industries, Rock is also skilled in geology. He is also a natural linguist, being effectively bilingual in Japanese, his native language, and English as well as being familiar with other languages, including Spanish, Romanian, and Russian. He also has a surprisingly high tolerance for alcohol, owing to the heavy-drinking lifestyle of a ladder-climbing salaryman. Rock’s charismatic personality has earned him the interest of several figures in Roanapur, including Balalaika, Mr. Chang, Rowan “Jackpot” Pigeon, Yolanda, Eda (who develops a crush on him), and young Garcia Lovelace. In many ways, Rock is the heart of the Lagoon Company, serving as a balance for his more callous teammates and as an average counterbalance in the world of darkness that is Roanapur. Dutch has stated that he believes Lagoon Company is complete with Rock not holding a gun, saying his bullets are the kind to ricochet back at them.

Despite his lack of combat experience, Rock has come through every adventure, kidnapping and firefight with only a few bruises, surviving personal confrontations with most of Roanapur’s most dangerous criminals at some point. Rock eventually begins to enjoy his life as a pirate and becomes even more comfortable with corruption. This comes to the fore when Mr Chang personally enlists Rock to locate Roberta before she is killed by US Special Forces, as he demonstrates a duplicitous, ruthless side of his personality clearly influenced by Revy and Roanapur. He devises a scheme to extract the US soldiers from the city to draw Roberta out, accounting even for Garcia’s loyalty, Roberta’s psychosis and the personal vendattas amongst the criminals, treating the entire plan like a gambling game. He is forced back towards kindness in the extra missing pages of chapter 76 after an angered Fabiola shoots him with a blank round. In “The Wired Red Wild Card” arc, he is last seen driving a car with Revy.

While Rock has a family in Tokyo, he does not have connection to them due to their somewhat cold attitude towards him. It was later revealed that he did not pass his college entrance exams on his first try, leading his family to lower their expectations of him. It is known that he has a father, a mother, and an older brother who was academically capable and thus attained a job in the Japanese government. He was born in the 49th year of the Shōwa period, according to the manga version, which corresponds to 1975-1976.

Revy

sometimes referred by her real name of Rebecca Lee, is the co-protagonist of the series. She does most of the fighting for the Lagoon Company. Very little is revealed about her past. Revy is a Chinese American approximately 20-22 years old from Chinatown, Manhattan, near Mott Street, who spent most of her youth as a criminal. Flashbacks throughout the series reveal that she may have honed her skills with firearms by shooting at cans, and that her first murder may have involved shooting her abusive father, using a pillow as a silencer. Revy is very confident, grumpy, aggressive, cynical, and emotionally unstable. Unlike Rock, she is undiplomatic, believing in the use of brute force and violence to get her way. In contrast to this, she is revealed to be highly ticklish. She is also a heavy smoker and drinker. Of all the characters in the series, Revy is recognized as the most foul-mouthed character, yelling constant profanity.

She is a sadistic killer without a conscience who will murder anyone at the slightest provocation, even unarmed civilians. She has a loving but bullying attitude towards Rock, the newest and most friendly crew member of the Black Lagoon; though she respects him later in the series, she is mostly threatening towards him, having nearly murdered him on two occasions and threatening him with death on several others. However, she does act to save Rock from critical situations, and later on she admits to considering Rock as family to Balalaika. It is likely that she is attracted to Rock, based on her reactions to Eda’s teasing, which appear to be jealousy. Her attraction is further suggested in the last scenes of Season 2 when Eda asked her if she had gotten anywhere with Rock, instead of denying it with a short comment as usual she said she rather not say causing Eda to laugh at her hopelessness when it comes to men.

Revy is also very protective of Rock. An example can be found in her anger and resolve to kill Chaka after he beats Rock. She has also lied or gone against her “nature” in order to save him; such as when he was kidnapped by Takenaka and she lied about him having the documents they required when she actually had them the whole time, or when she stood up to Balalaika when she held Rock at gunpoint after he opposed her plan to destroy the Washimine clan. She also went to Japan as his bodyguard (when Rock acted as Balalaika’s interpreter), but as pointed out by Benny the only real reason she went was to look after him because she was worried about him.

According to CIA agents on Basilan Island, Revy is still notorious in the NYPD (particularly at the fictional 27th Precinct).

Revy is one of the deadliest fighters in the series, whose skill with firearms and ability to dodge bullets is almost superhuman and unparalleled. There are only a few other characters, such as Roberta and Ginji, that can hold their ground against her in combat. In episode 11 of the first season Revy concedes to Mr. Chang that she does not possess his level of skill but hopes to attain it eventually. Her weapons of choice are a pair of modified Beretta 92FS’s; which are made out of stainless steel and had their barrels extended from 4.9″ to 5.9″ each (the 5.9″ is the combat MOD barrel) and also adapted for silencers. They are engraved with the words “9mm Sword Cutlass” on both sides, the Jolly Roger of the pirate Calico Jack (which is also inlaid into the ivory grips), and a manufacture inscription in Thai. Due to her ambidextrous marksmanship skills, she is nicknamed “Two Hands” by the denizens of Roanapur, which is based on Douglas E. Winter’s novel Run. Revy is also proficient in the use of other weapons, such as high-powered rifles and the M79 grenade launcher. Constantly living on the edge of life combined with the tragedies of her past, Revy has developed a rather bleak outlook on life, relying only on her own power, skills, and money.

Dutch

is the African American leader of the Lagoon Company and captain of the ex-U.S. Navy PT boat Black Lagoon. Age 30s-40s, he is a former Marine who fought in the Vietnam War. Shortly before the war ended (presumably in 1973), Dutch went AWOL, escaping to Thailand to work as a mercenary.

Dutch first appears where he scolds Revy for taking Rock as a hostage when she had no real plan for obtaining any ransom. Because of this, Dutch apologizes and tries to take care of Rock until they find a safe place to abandon him. As Rock later proves to be incredibly useful, Dutch allows Revy to invite him into the Lagoon Company. Dutch tends to stay away from the fighting associated with Lagoon Company’s activities. Instead, he gives orders and negotiates contracts with clients from the many criminal groups of Roanapur. However, Dutch is very capable in combat, skillfully wielding a Remington 870 Marine Magnum shotgun and a Smith & Wesson 629 revolver. Despite his amoral lifestyle, Dutch is polite and laid-back character, and most of the time, is very considerate. He has a close association with Balalaika of Hotel Moscow, having saved her life during one of Roanapur’s gang wars.

His body is heavily muscled, and he is always seen wearing a pair of sunglasses, typically dressed in camouflage pants and wearing a flak jacket. He appears to be in his 30s, but is most likely in his 40s, given his apparent military service in Vietnam given the setting of Black Lagoon in the 1990s. In the “Baile de los Muertos” saga in the manga, it is suggested that Dutch lied about his Vietnam service and could just simply be a mercenary with no past. However a U.S soldier advised Benny to be wary of Dutch, because a man like Dutch never lies without a serious reason.

Benny

is a dropout from a college in Florida where he studied until getting into trouble with the FBI and the mafia. About 25-year-old, Benny would have ended up dead if Revy had not saved him. He works as the Lagoon Company’s mechanic, computer specialist, and researcher. He also functions as the Lagoon’s driver and appears to be the owner of the 1969 Dodge Coronet R/T (later replaced with a 1965 Pontiac GTO) that Lagoon Company travels around Roanapur in. He is Jewish, or at least of Jewish descent as he puts it, and is often called “Benny-Boy” by Dutch. Benny joined the Lagoon Company two years before Rock after Revy rescued him. Benny has a level-headed and anxiety-free personality. He readily admits to Rock that the two of them are not gunfighters in any way, shape, or form. Unlike Rock, however, Benny is willing to turn a blind eye to Revy and Dutch’s barbaric methods. Benny also tends to be possessive of his computers and will not let anyone else touch them. In the second season, he met Greenback Jane and after impressing her with his computer abilities, began an online relationship with her. Jane returns to Roanapur following the teams completion of the Lovelace Incident and Benny meets up with her. Possibly based on Jake Adelstein.

 

Manga Monday- Black Lagoon

Manga Monday- Black Lagoon

Black Lagoon is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Rei Hiroe. It has been published in Shogakukan’s Monthly Sunday Gene-X since 2002, and eleven collected volumes have been released so far. It was later adapted into an anime television series by Madhouse, that aired from April to June 2006 for twelve episodes. A second season, subtitled “The Second Barrage”, ran for twelve weeks starting on October 2, 2006. A five volume original video animation series, titled Roberta’s Blood Trail, was released from July 2010 to June 2011.

In North America, Viz Media began releasing an English translation of the manga on August 12, 2008. The anime was dubbed and originally licensed in English by Geneon Entertainment in July 2006. Funimation has acquired the distribution rights to the series since a distribution agreement with Geneon in July 2008. Funimation later licensed the OVA, which also was licensed by Kazé in the UK, for release in spring 2013.

Manga

Written and illustrated by Rei Hiroe, a pilot chapter of Black Lagoon was published in Shogakukan’s Monthly Sunday Gene-X‘s April 2001 issue and the main series premiered in the May 2002 issue. Chapters run monthly and are later collected into tankōbon volumes by Shogakukan. The first was released on December 12, 2002, and to date eleven have been published, the last in 2018. The series first went on hiatus in May 2010. It resumed in January 2013, before being put back on hiatus in January 2014. In the January 2017 release of Monthly Sunday Gene-X, it was announced that the manga will resume in May 2017; it went on hiatus again in September 2018. The December issue of Monthly Sunday GX revealed that Hiroe would resume the series in spring 2019, however the series did not resume its publication as planned. In June 2019, Monthly Sunday GX announced the manga will resume in September.

The manga has been licensed for an English-language release in North America by Viz Media. The first volume was released on August 12, 2008. Black Lagoon has also received domestic releases in many other countries; in France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Mexico, Poland and Finland, by Kabuto, Carlsen, Jade Dynasty, Panini Comics, Chuang Yi, Haksan Publishing, Norma Editorial, Grupo Editorial Vid, Waneko and Punainen jättiläinen respectively.

Reception

As of February 2014, the first nine volumes of the manga had over 6 million copies in print in Japan. The first eleven volumes had over 7 million copies in print as of November 2018. About.com’s Deb Aoki listed Viz Media’s English release of Black Lagoon as the best new seinen manga of 2008, along with Gantz.

Plot

The story follows a team of pirate mercenaries known as the Lagoon Company, that smuggles goods in and around the seas of Southeast Asia in the early to mid 1990s. Their base of operations is located in the fictional harbor city of Roanapur in southeast Thailand near the border of Cambodia (somewhere in the Amphoe Mueang Trat district, likely on the mainland north/northeast of the Ko Chang island or on the island itself). The city is home to the Japanese Yakuza, the Chinese Triad, the Russian mafia, the Colombian cartel, the Italian mafia, a wide assortment of pickpockets, thugs, mercenaries, thieves, assassins, and gunmen. The city also has a large Vietnamese refugee population following the Vietnamese refugees exodus after the Communist takeover of Vietnam in 1975.

Lagoon Company transports goods for various clients in the 80-foot (24 m) Elco-type PT boat Black Lagoon. It has a particularly friendly relationship with the Russian crime syndicate Hotel Moscow. The team takes on a variety of missions—which may involve violent firefights, hand-to-hand combat, and nautical battles—in various Southeast Asian locations, even going as far as Phu Quoc island of Vietnam. When they are not working, the members of the Lagoon Company spend much of their down time at The Yellow Flag, a bar in Roanapur which is often destroyed in firefights.

 

Film Friday- Heat Guy J

Film Friday- Heat Guy J

Heat Guy J is a Japanese anime television series created and directed by Escaflowne director Kazuki Akane and animated by Satelight.

Heat Guy J was licensed and distributed in the U.S. in 2003 by Pioneer. It was re-released by Funimation in the fall of 2009. The first 13 episodes of the show also was broadcast on the cable channel MTV2. A one volume manga was created based on the series, and was licensed and distributed by Tokyopop. The show was picked up for a UK DVD release by Manga Entertainment starting in March 2006. It was packaged in double DVD sets to make up for the long delayed release of the series.

Characters

Special Services

  • Daisuke Aurora
    – Department of Security, Central Headquarters Special Services Employee, age 21

    Nicknamed “Dais” (or “Dice”). Cool and laid back, Daisuke is one half of the Special Services Bureau’s investigative team. He prefers action to paperwork, but when he’s not out on the street fighting crime, he’s often seen in various states of in-action.
    Although he never really shows it, Daisuke is quite compassionate and has a strong sense of justice. However, he has deep and painful memories of the vanishing of his mother and his father (a politician) being murdered by an android. The only memento of his father is a bullet pendant he wears around his neck.
  • J
    – Special Services Android, 3, Appearance of a 40-year-old Man

    An android with incredible power, J was created in cooperation between a government facility and a civilian enterprise; androids are illegal in Judoh, but a special exception is made for J, much to the dismay of wary city officials. Despite his hulking size, J can run at enormous speeds and packs a powerful punch. However, after prolonged bouts of action, J must cool himself down by venting a great deal of superheated air from pipes mounted on his shoulders, making a sound like a howling wolf. J is maintained by the Civilian Enterprises Sect technician Antonia Bellucci. It is said that J is modeled after Antonia’s father. This is probably why J seems to be so human sometimes, with a noble character and strong beliefs on things like how a man should act.
  • Kyoko Milchan
    – Department of Security, Central Headquarters Special Services Auditor/Accountant, age 21

    A young auditor and accountant for Special Services, Kyoko is strait-laced and always plays by the rules. This causes her stress when dealing with Daisuke, whom she often scolds. However, she eventually develops feelings towards Daisuke, after letting go of her crush on his brother Shun.
  • Shun Aurora 
    – Government Investigative Office of Department of Security, Central Headquarters General Manager, age 27

    Daisuke’s older brother and the General Manager of Special Services, Shun prides himself on his rational and logical thinking. Shun’s logical nature is usually in conflict with Daisuke’s more impulsive personality. This causes a gap between the two brothers, despite the fact that Shun raised Daisuke after their father’s death at the hand of an android. Another point of contention between them is Shun’s inability to forgive his mother for leaving their family when Shun was 9 and Daisuke 3. Shun is responsible for the partnership of his brother with J.
  • Phia Oliveira
    – Central Headquarters, General Manager’s Secretary, age 27

    Phia is Shun’s head secretary over at the Special Services office. She is very reliable although she seems to take enjoyment in seeing Shun and Daisuke argue.

Manga Monday- Heat Guy J

Manga Monday- Heat Guy J

Heat Guy J is a Japanese anime television series created and directed by Escaflowne director Kazuki Akane and animated by Satelight.

Heat Guy J was licensed and distributed in the U.S. in 2003 by Pioneer. It was re-released by Funimation in the fall of 2009. The first 13 episodes of the show also was broadcast on the cable channel MTV2. A one volume manga was created based on the series, and was licensed and distributed by Tokyopop. The show was picked up for a UK DVD release by Manga Entertainment starting in March 2006. It was packaged in double DVD sets to make up for the long delayed release of the series.

Manga

Coinciding with the anime series in 2002, a manga version of Heat Guy J was released. It was eventually distributed in the U.S. by Tokyopop in 2005. It was written and drawn by Chiaki Ogishima. While the main characters and general setup were similar to the anime, the manga has its own unique storyline and supporting characters. There is only one volume in the series, and it includes several pages of bonus material related to the show.

Plot

Heat Guy J chronicles the adventures of a young Special Services officer named Daisuke Aurora and his android partner known simply as “J”. The pair live and work in the fictional, futuristic Metropolis of “Judoh” (Jewde), where the understaffed and underfunded Special Services Division of the Bureau of Urban Safety has its headquarters.

 

Film Friday- Ai Yori Aoshi

Film Friday- 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.

Anime

An anime television series adaptation animated by J.C.Staff, written by Kenichi Kanemaki, and directed by Masami Shimoda premiered on Fuji TV from April 10, 2002, to September 25, 2002, spanning twenty-four episodes. Most of the music for the series was composed by Toshio Masuda. Three pieces of theme music were used in the anime series. “Towa no Hana” performed by Yoko Ishida is the opening theme. “Na mo Shirenu Hana” performed by The Indigo is the ending theme used for all the episodes except one; “I’ll Be Home” performed by Satsuki Yukino is the ending theme for eighteenth episode. In Japan, it was released across eight Region 2 DVD compilation volumes. The anime was licensed by Geneon for an English-dubbed release in North America.

A second season titled Ai Yori Aoshi: Enishi aired from October 12, 2003, to December 28, 2003, spanning twelve episodes. The second season of anime adaptation uses three pieces of theme music. “Takaramono”performed by Yoko Ishida is the opening theme. “I Do!” is the first ending theme performed by The Indigo. “Presence” performed by The Indigo is the second ending theme. The series was released across three Region 2 DVD compilations in Japan. Geneon also licensed the second season in North America for an English-dubbed release.
A fifteen-minute OVA known variously as “Episode 00”, “Beautiful Snow”, and “Enishi Christmas Special” was released on September 26, 2003. The special was dubbed and released in English on the first North American Enishi DVD release.
At Anime Expo 2010, Funimation announced that they had licensed both seasons, and re-released them in 2011. Funimation released the complete series under the Anime Classics label in July 2012.

Video games

KID Corp. published a PlayStation 2 video game based on the series in 2003, and was released in English for Windows PCs by Hirameki International. That game was re-released in 2005 by SUCCESS Corporation with bonus footage and mini-games.

Reception

The first anime season had mixed reviews from people. It has also been described however as a “split personality” anime as half of it wants to be a serious, dramatic romance with a dash of comedy and the other half wants to be a One Guy/Lots of Girls slapstick harem show. Despite that the artwork has been labeled as “stunning” with its artwork and the theme music got a good review.

Kaoru Hanabishi

The male protagonist of the series. Kaoru is a fairly average person and he does not fit the mold of the stereotypical male protagonist in most harem anime series; for instance, he does not struggle with his studies, nor is he prone to emotional outbursts. He is generally well liked and is a member of the photography club at Meiritsu University. He resents the Hanabishi clan for their inhumane treatment of himself and his mother, which was due in turn to that clan’s disapproval of his parents’ relationship. Kaoru’s mother and father never married, and he was an illegitimate child. His back is scarred from when he was tortured with bamboo cane for trying to prevent his grandfather from burning mementos of his dead mother. After exiling himself from the Hanabishi clan, Kaoru has led an average, if not lonely, life. When Aoi arrives, he is, at first, perplexed at her visit, not remembering almost anything prior. The idea of marriage takes him aback, but very quickly likes, and even looks forward to it. Eventually, Kaoru marries Aoi.

Aoi Sakuraba

The female protagonist of the series. Aoi is a generally demure girl often seen wearing an indigo kimono, and she addresses Kaoru as “Kaoru-sama”. Due to her sharp culinary and housekeeping skills, she is seen as an ideal Japanese woman. As a Sakuraba, Aoi was forced into an arranged marriage with Kaoru and because he left the Habanashi, she (having fallen deeply in love with him), chased after him. Unlike other female leads in harem anime, she works to control her jealousy and is generally successful. She is very devoted to Kaoru, however, and will do all in her power to prevent being separated from him. In the beginning, Aoi was willing to warm him when he had a fever, becoming nude in the process (she made sure he wasn’t looking). When Aoi, Kaoru, and Miyabi moved to the Sakuraba’s summer estate the public appearance Miyabi wanted was that Aoi would be the landlady, herself the manager, and Kaoru a tenant. When Tina Foster moved in, Aoi and Miyabi became a real landlord and manager. She has a “bad” habit of clutching things in her sleep. Eventually, Kaoru’s half-brother proposes to Aoi; when Kaoru stops the engagement, Aoi decides to abandon her family to be with Kaoru.

 

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.

 

Film Friday- Bungo Stray Dogs

Film Friday- Bungo Stray Dogs

Bungo Stray Dogs is a Japanese seinen manga series written by Kafka Asagiri and illustrated by Sango Harukawa, which has been serialized in the magazine Young Ace since 2012. The manga originated from Kafka Asagiri’s idea to gather multiple famous late authors and draw them as young adults and teenagers with supernatural powers. The series follows the members of the “Armed Detective Agency” and their everyday lives, mainly on the weretiger Atsushi Nakajima, who joins other gifted with supernatural powers and use them for different purposes including holding a business, solving mysteries, and carrying out missions assigned by the mafia.

Multiple light novels have been published. An anime television series adaptation by Bones aired in 2016 in two parts, the first part aired between 7 April 2016 and 23 June 2016, and the second part aired between 6 October 2016 and 22 December 2016. An anime film, Bungo Stray Dogs: Dead Apple, was released on 3 March 2018. A third season aired between 12 April 2019 and 28 June 2019.

Anime series

An anime television series adaptation produced by Bones was directed by Takuya Igarashi and written by Yōji Enokido. Nobuhiro Arai and Hiroshi Kanno served as the chief animation directors, while the former also served as character designer along with Ryō Hirata. Taku Iwasaki composed the series’ music. Kazuhiro Wakabayashi was the series’ sound director at Glovision. Additionally, Yumiko Kondou was the art director, Yukari Goto was the anime’s color designer, Tsuyoshi Kanbayashi was the director of photography and Shigeru Nishiyama was the editor. Granrodeo performed the anime’s opening theme, titled “Trash Candy”, and Luck Life performed the anime’s ending theme, titled “Namae wo Yobu yo”.

The series was split into two halves: the first half, containing twelve episodes, premiered on 7 April 2016 and ended on 23 June 2016, being broadcast on Tokyo MX, Teletama, Chiba TV, tvk, GBS (Gifu Broadcasting), Mie TV, SUN, TVQ Kyushu, and BS11. The second half, also containing twelve episodes, premiered on 6 October 2016 and ended on 22 December 2016. The series has been licensed for streaming by Crunchyroll. As for the second half, Screen Mode sung the opening theme titled “Reason Living” while Luck Life once again sung the ending theme titled “Kaze ga Fuku Machi”.

An OVA was bundled with the 13th limited edition manga volume, which was released on 31 August 2017.

On 21 July 2018, it was announced that the series would receive a third season. The cast and staff would reprise their roles from the previous two seasons. The third season premiered from 12 April 2019 and ended on 28 June 2019, being broadcast on Tokyo MX, TVA, KBS, SUN, BS11, and Wowow. Granrodeo performed the third seasons’ opening theme “Setsuna no Ai” and Luck Life performed the third season’s ending theme “Lily”. Funimation released the simuldub on May 17, 2019.

The anime is licensed in North America by Crunchyroll with home video distribution by Funimation, and in the United Kingdom by Anime Limited.

Theatrical films

At the Mayo(w)i Inu-tachi no Utage Sono Ni event on 19 February 2017, a film project based on the manga series was announced. Titled Bungo Stray Dogs: Dead Apple, the film premiered on 3 March 2018 with the staff and cast from the anime series returning to reprise their roles.

A new live-action film was announced in July 2019. It will be based on the stage plays from the series.

Atsushi Nakajima

In the story, he is 18 years old and used to live at an orphanage before the caretakers threw him out. Their words condemning him as “worthless” have since left trauma on him and drive his will to fight in order to find a reason to live, slowly gaining confidence as the series progresses. His ability is named Beast Beneath the Moonlight, which allows him to turn into a large white tiger with incredible strength, speed, regenerative capabilities and durability, although he has no control over it and retains no memory if he fully transforms (this lack of control is however repressed when he joins the Agency and the ability of the Agency’s president causes Atsushi to regain control over the tiger). Later, he learns to change his limbs to that of a tiger to enhance his physical abilities. Despite his lack of confidence, he has a pure and good heart and fights hard to protect others.

Osamu Dazai

A member of the Armed Detective Agency who takes Atsushi under his wing and is known for being a “suicide maniac” due to his wish to commit suicide and die comfortably one day, preferably with a beautiful woman. Under his carefree and relaxed demeanor, however, Dazai is extremely cunning, intelligent, skilled and brutal, once having been a feared executive of Port Mafia. His ability, No Longer Human, lets him completely nullify any supernatural ability by touch. In the main timeline, he is 22 years old.

Doppo Kunikida

Dazai’s partner, known for his meticulous planning, organisation and perfectionistic tendencies. He has a habit of writing and planning everything ahead in his signature notebook, with the front cover labelled “Ideals”. This notebook is linked to his ability, Lone Poet, which allows him to bring into existence any object he writes inside, as long as it isn’t larger than the notebook itself. Kunikida is, just as Dazai, 22 years old.

Ranpo Edogawa

The only Agency member without an ability and a self-proclaimed detective. Although he is 26 years old, and one of the oldest in the office, he lacks basic everyday skills, preferring to focus his intelligence on solving cases instead. His prodigious observational and deduction skills are nicknamed Super Deduction by him, which are supposedly activated when he puts on his glasses.