Browsed by
Tag: seinen

Film Friday- Overlord

Film Friday- Overlord

The anime television series adaptation by Madhouse consists of 3 seasons with 13 episodes each, with the first season airing from July 7 to September 29, 2015. Two compilation anime films recapping the events from the first season were released in Japan on February 25, 2017, and March 11, 2017, respectively. The second season ran from January 9 to April 3, 2018, with the third season premiering later the same year on July 10, 2018, after which the last episode aired on October 2, 2018.

A 13-episode anime television series adaptation by Madhouse aired between July 7 and September 29, 2015. The opening theme is “Clattanoia” by OxT, and the ending theme is “L.L.L.” by Myth & Roid. Both are bands of the musician Tom-H@ck. The anime adaptation covers light novel volumes 1 to 3. A 30-minute original video animation was bundled with the eleventh limited edition volume of the light novel series, which was released on September 30, 2016. Two compilation films acting as a recap to the anime television series were released in 2017; the first compilation film, titled Overlord: The Undead King, was released on February 25, 2017, while the second compilation film, titled Overlord: The Dark Warrior, was released on March 11, 2017. The films’ theme song, titled “Crazy Scary Holy Fantasy”, was performed by Myth & Roid.

A second season was announced at film screenings of the second compilation film. It premiered on January 9, 2018. It ran for a total of 13 episodes. Funimation has licensed the second season for a simuldub. The opening theme is “Go Cry Go” by OxT and the ending theme is “Hydra” by Myth & Roid. The second season of the anime adaptation covers light novel volumes 4 to 6.

A third season premiered on July 10, 2018. The opening theme is “VORACITY” by Myth & Roid, and the ending theme song is “Silent Solitude” by OxT. With 13 episodes as with the previous seasons, the third season of the anime adaptation covered light novel volumes 7 to 9.

A comedy crossover anime, Isekai Quartet featured characters from Overlord in a Chibi style, much like the OVA. It also featured characters from the light novel series KonoSuba, Re:Zero − Starting Life in Another World, and The Saga of Tanya the Evil, all published by Kadokawa Corporation. The anime began airing on April 9, 2019.

Great Tomb of Nazarick

The Great Tomb of Nazarick, usually referred to as Nazarick, is the guild headquarters of the guild Ainz Ooal Gown in YGGDRASIL. Because it was a PK guild, there were many attempts to conquer the dungeon, all of which ended in failure.

After Nazarick was transported to the New World with Ainz and its custom NPCs, who became sentient as a result, the former began strengthening the tomb and collect information to protect it from possible threats. However, the NPCs mistook his intentions as preparing to take over the New World and began making their own plans. By the time Ainz realized this it was too late and he had no choice but to play along. This eventually led to Nazarick becoming its own nation, the Sorcerer Kingdom.

Ainz Ooal Gown / Momonga
The protagonist/main character and the only remaining member of the Guild of Ainz Ooal Gown. Originally he was a simple salaryman playing a VR online game, but after he was transported to the New World, he decides to make himself a legend in hopes of finding his old guildmates. To facilitate his search, he changes his name from Momonga to Ainz Ooal Gown. While Ainz initially accidentally set Nazarick on a course for world domination after a comment he made was misinterpreted, he slowly grows into his role as a leader after deciding to create a kingdom where humans and non-humans are equal. As he has the form of a lich, he doesn’t need to eat or sleep, can’t be poisoned or killed by conventional means, but also suppresses his emotions and empathy. Because of his formerly high level in Yggdrasil, he can easily overpower even the strongest of magic casters in the new world and while he lacks the skills of natural warriors, he compensates for it with raw strength. Over time, he has learnt how to improve fighting with physical weapons, but his greatest asset remains his strength. Ainz also has access to a wide variety of instant death and summoning spells which, though ineffective against fellow players, work very well against the inhabitants of the New World. He also has an array of items he purchased with real money back in Yggdrasil, which give him abilities ranging from summoning extremely high level items (most of which belong to his guildmates) from the Guild’s bank to instantly casting a spell that usually has a long casting time. When Ainz travels as an adventurer, he uses the alias “Momon” which later becomes “Momon the Dark Hero”. In the CD drama #2, his real name is revealed to be Satoru Suzuki.

 

Manga Monday- Overlord

Manga Monday- Overlord

Overlord is a Japanese light novel series written by Kugane Maruyama and illustrated by so-bin. It began serialization online in 2010, before being acquired by Enterbrain. Thirteen volumes have been published since July 30, 2012. A manga adaptation by Satoshi Ōshio, with art by Hugin Miyama, began serialization in Kadokawa Shoten’s manga magazine Comp Ace from November 26, 2014. Both the light novels and the manga are licensed in North America by Yen Press, with a release date of November 8, 2016.

Reception

In June 2015, prior to the release of the anime and manga, the light novel series had about 600,000 copies in print in Japan with eight volumes. By August 1, 2015, the light novel and manga series had a total of 1 million copies in circulation in Japan. On August 4, a 600,000-copy reprint of the novels was announced. As of August 20, 2015, the nine-volume Overlord light novel series and two-volume manga series have, together, more than 1.5 million copies in circulation in Japan. As of September 18, 2015, Overlord light novel and manga has over 2 million copies in circulation. As of May 2016, the Overlord light novel series had 2.5 million copies in print. Overlord has since been named the top-selling light novel series of 2015. As of April 2018, the light novel and manga combined had over 7 million copies in print.

The light novel ranked first in 2017 in Takarajimasha’s annual light novel guide book Kono Light Novel ga Sugoi!, in the tankōbon category. It ranked fourth in 2018.

In reviewing the anime adaptation, Kotaku called the Overlord anime a “magnificent power fantasy” which “brings up a very relatable theme for anyone who has played an MMORPG before.” However, a review by Monsters and Critics claimed that “fans were not too happy with the CGI animation” produced by studio Madhouse for the third season and the “biggest disappoint was Overlord Season 3 Episode 12, which animated the epic scene showing the Dark Youngs.”

Plot

In the year 2126, a Dive Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game or DMMORPG called Yggdrasil was released. It stands out among all other DMMORPGs due to its unusually high ability for the player to interact with the game. After an intense 12-year run the game servers are about to be shut down. Within the game exists a guild, Ainz Ooal Gown, once consisting of 41 members and credited as one of the strongest guilds in the game. Now only 4 of the members remain, the other 37 having quit the game. Of those 4 only one, an elder lich character named Momonga, continues to play as the guild leader and maintaining their headquarters, The Great Tomb of Nazarick. He invites the remaining guild members but of those only one appears and only for a short while before leaving. While saddened by this, he accepts the reality that his friends have their other lives (both lives are real) to take care of and decides to stay logged in until the servers shut down.

When the shut-down time arrives, however, Momonga finds that the game hasn’t vanished. Instead it appears as if Yggdrasil has been recreated as its own reality along with its various NPCs having been brought to life while Momonga has been trapped in the form of his game avatar, leaving him unable to use the normal player functions, such as General Message, or even to log out. With no other option, Momonga sets out to learn if anyone from the real world is also in this new world with him. Taking on the name of Ainz Ooal Gown, a message to any other players, Momonga begins exploring the world in an attempt to figure out what has happened while searching for anyone or anything that could help him solve this mystery, while ensuring the safety of Nazarick.

 

Film Friday- Maria Holic

Film Friday- Maria Holic

Maria†Holic is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Minari Endō, the author of Dazzle. The manga was first serialized in the Japanese seinen manga magazine Monthly Comic Alive on June 27, 2006, and is published by Media Factory. The manga was initially licensed by Tokyopop in North America and picked up by One Peace Books in 2016 after Tokyopop lost the license in 2011. It has also been released digitally by BookWalker, Kadokawa’s online digital shopfront. The first anime adaptation animated by Shaft aired in Japan between January and March 2009. A second anime season, Maria†Holic: Alive, premiered on April 8, 2011. Both seasons of the anime series have been licensed by Sentai Filmworks.

Anime

An anime adaption directed by Akiyuki Shinbo and Yukihiro Miyamoto and produced by Shaft aired in Japan between January 5 and March 23, 2009 on Chiba TV, containing twelve episodes. The first episode of the anime was aired as a special broadcast on Animate TV from December 26, 2008 to January 4, 2009 and on AT-X on December 30, 2008. The anime series has been licensed by Sentai Filmworks and is being distributed by Section23 Films. The complete collection was released on DVD, February 23, Sentai Filmworks re-released the first season on DVD and Blu-ray with an English dub on January 28, 2014. The opening theme is “Hanaji” by Yū Kobayashi, and the ending theme is a cover version of Yellow Magic Orchestra’s 1983 single “Kimi ni, Mune Kyun” performed by Asami Sanada, Marina Inoue, and Yū Kobayashi, the voice actresses of the main characters.

A second anime season titled Maria Holic: Alive, under the direction of Akiyuki Shinbo and Tomokazu Tokoro, began airing on April 8, 2011. The first BD/DVD volume for Maria Holic: Alive, which contains unaired bonus footage, was released on July 27, 2011. Sentai Filmworks has licensed the second season and simulcasted the series on the Anime Network video website. The anime opening themes for Maria Holic: Alive are “Mōsō Senshi Miyamae Kanako” by Tomokazu Sugita (episodes 1 through 4) and “Runrunriru Ranranrara” by Yū Kobayashi, and the ending theme is a cover version of Linda Yamamoto’s song “Dōnimo Tomaranai” by Ame no Kisaki Gasshōdan. There is also a special ending song for episode 12, sung by Yū Kobayashi, titled “Don’t Mind, Don’t Mind!” and was released on the same single as the other theme songs of the anime.

Characters

Kanako Miyamae 
Kanako is the protagonist of the story. She is a second year high school transfer student to Ame no Kisaki, a Catholic-based all-girls academy. Kanako has an inherent fear of men which began in elementary school when a piece of her recorder and P.E. uniform were stolen. When coming into physical contact with any man, she instantaneously breaks out in hives. This has significantly contributed to her fear of boys. Kanako is almost solely interested in girls in regards to her ideal romantic relationships. She instantly and constantly suffers from nosebleeds—a visible indication of sexual perverseness frequently used in anime and manga. Her reason for transferring to Ame no Kisaki is to look for her one true love. Kanako begins her reflections on her situation with the phrase “Dear mother in heaven.” Kanako is also quite tall (standing at 175 cm or 5’9″), making her height (and her weight) emotional weak spots. She also takes constant verbal abuse from Mariya and his maid, Matsurika. She is often called a ‘pervert’, or ‘lesbian’, or other nicknames they happen to give her.
Mariya Shidō 
Mariya is the title character of the story. He is a cross-dressing boy who attends Ame no Kisaki as a girl as a means to win the chairmanship of both the all-male and all-female schools where his late grandmother served as the ex-chairman for both. He deeply respects and loves his grandmother and does not care about actually winning chairmanship. He simply wishes to honor his grandmother’s request. He appears to genuinely care about others though this facade is often hidden through some excuse he has crafted for himself. When Kanako first meets Mariya, she is instantly attracted to his playful femininity and kind attitude. He often teases Kanako by playing with his long blonde hair, speaking in a soft voice, and smiling sweetly. However, Mariya turns out to be quite sadistic in nature and generally adjusts his personality to reflect whatever situation he is in. Mariya’s beauty and feminine gestures are so convincing that the entire school, including the faculty, have no idea of his true gender. Mariya is quite short, reaching at most up to the height at the tip of Kanako’s nose (160 cm or 5’3″), and shorter than Matsurika. Because of the switching with his sister his original name was Shizu instead.

 

Manga Monday- Maria Holic

Manga Monday- Maria Holic

Maria†Holic is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Minari Endō, the author of Dazzle. The manga was first serialized in the Japanese seinen manga magazine Monthly Comic Alive on June 27, 2006, and is published by Media Factory. The manga was initially licensed by Tokyopop in North America and picked up by One Peace Books in 2016 after Tokyopop lost the license in 2011. It has also been released digitally by BookWalker, Kadokawa’s online digital shopfront. The first anime adaptation animated by Shaft aired in Japan between January and March 2009. A second anime season, Maria†Holic: Alive, premiered on April 8, 2011. Both seasons of the anime series have been licensed by Sentai Filmworks.

Plot

Maria Holic revolves around a high school girl named Kanako Miyamae, who is scared of boys and breaks out in hives if a boy touches her. During her second year of high school, she enrolls in an all-girls school hoping to find a female romantic partner. However, her ideal candidate, Mariya Shidō, turns out to be a sadistic cross-dressing boy.

Manga

Maria Holic is written and illustrated by Minari Endō. It started serialization in Media Factory’s seinen manga magazine Monthly Comic Alive on June 27, 2006. The manga concluded on November 27, 2014. 14 tankōbon volumes have been released in Japan, with the final volume being released on January 23, 2015. The manga was licensed by Tokyopop, and the first volume was available in September 2009. However, they only managed to publish the first six volumes before they lost the license. Kadokawa has released the entire series digitally in English via their website BookWalker. In 2016, One Peace Books started releasing a 3-in-1 omnibus version as well as individual volumes from volume seven onwards in English.

Drama CDs

A drama CD was released on July 25, 2008 and was produced by Frontier Works. A drama CD was also bundled with the limited edition of volume five of the manga.

 

Film Friday- Drifters

Film Friday- Drifters

Drifters is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Kouta Hirano. The manga started serialization in Shōnen Gahosha’s magazine, Young King Ours, on April 30, 2009. It centers on various historical figures summoned to an unknown world where their skills and techniques are needed by magicians in order to save their world from total destruction. An anime television adaptation aired between October 7, 2016 and December 23, 2016. A second season of the anime series has been announced.

Anime

A 150-second anime adaptation of Drifters was packaged with the final volume of the Hellsing Ultimate video series in December 2012. The short, produced under the supervision of Ryoji Nakamori, technical director Kazuya Miura, and animation director Masayori Komine, featured the voices of Yūichi Nakamura as Shimazu Toyohisa and Mitsuru Miyamoto as Murasaki, with music composed by Yasushi Ishii.

In the May 2015 issue of Young King OURs, it was announced that a Drifters anime adaptation was in the works. A production site for the anime has been released. It was announced on September 19, 2015 that the anime will be directed by Kenichi Suzuki, produced by NBCUniversal Entertainment Japan, animated by Hoods Drifters Studio, written by Hideyuki Kurata and Yōsuke Kuroda, and will feature character designs by Ryoji Nakamori. Yasushi Ishii and Hayato Matsuo will both compose the music together. The opening theme, “Gospel Of The Throttle 狂奔REMIX ver.”, is performed by Minutes til Midnight, while the ending theme, “Vermillion”, is performed by Maon Kurosaki.

The 12-episode series began airing on October 7, 2016 on Tokyo MX. A specially edited version of the first and second episodes with a runtime of 36 minutes was bundled with the manga’s fifth volume, and released on June 6, 2016. A special limited-pressing Blu-ray box set was released on December 30, 2016. The box set includes all twelve episodes (with added unaired footage), an exclusive box illustrated by Hirano, a 200-page animation sketch collection by chief animation director Ryoji Nakamori, a 52-page booklet, a bonus extras disc, and a two-CD original soundtrack. The bonus extras disc will contain an omake titled “Kokuō-sama Go-Ranshin“, promotional videos, and other materials. Customers who pre-ordered the box set from participating retailers before November 6, 2016 will receive an exclusive illustration card set. Additionally, the box set includes a form for advance ticket sales for an event that will be held on April 2, 2017, at Maihama Amphitheater in Chiba.

In Japan, the anime is exclusively streamed on the AbemaTV service simultaneously as the anime aired on Japanese television, starting on October 7 at 11:00 p.m. The series has been licensed by Funimation for streaming in English-speaking countries and home video and on-demand distribution for the U.S. Additionally, Funimation streamed Drifters in English beginning on November 6, 2016, at 10:00 p.m. ET. As part of Funimation’s partnership with Crunchyroll, Crunchyroll also streamed Drifters as it aired in Japan. Drifters was also broadcast on Aniplus Asia. Funimation released a DVD/Blu-ray combo package for Drifters on October 3, 2017. Universal Pictures UK acquired the series for the United Kingdom and Ireland, and will release it on October 8, 2018. Universal Sony classified the series for release in Australia and New Zealand, and will release it on October 17, 2018.

At the end of the anime’s twelfth episode, a second season was announced with the message “See You Again, Tokyo 20XX”. On October 10, 2017, it was announced the thirteenth and fourteenth episodes, the first two episodes of the second season will be released on December 23, 2017 on Blu-ray discs in regular and limited-edition versions. The limited edition includes an outer case illustrated by manga creator Kouta Hirano, a jacket illustrated by character designer and chief animation director Ryoji Nakamori, a bonus video, a drama CD, a 72-page booklet, and a “mystery disc.” A fifteenth episode was announced to be released with the manga’s 6th volume on November 30.

Ends

Members of the Ends. From left to right: Jeanne d’Arc, Gilles de Rais, Hijikata Toshizō, the Black King, Grigori Rasputin (partially unseen, second from left), Anastasia Romanova (partially unseen, first from left).

The opposing force in the unknown world and primary antagonists of the series, the Ends are, like the Drifters, mainly composed of powerful historical figures who died under unorthodox and often violent circumstances. Unlike the Drifters, however, the Ends are revered humans that have forsaken their humanity, and are thus capable of using supernatural powers. Most of the Ends are driven completely by an intense hate for humanity for the various betrayals each suffered back on Earth. They seem to have been brought into the new world by EASY, who is at odds with Murasaki.

EASY 
An arrogant and short-tempered young woman with long, black hair, and violet eyes. Apparently at odds with Murasaki, she is responsible for the Ends, an opposing force similar in origin to the Drifters. She primarily uses her laptop to keep tabs on the battles taking place in the other world. In the corridor, she is associated with and accompanied by darkness.
Black King 
The leader of the Ends. He claims that he once tried to “save” humans, but he has since shifted his agenda towards non-humans after humans “denied” his efforts. His identity has yet to be established, but he is shown to possess healing powers and the ability to multiply any life form he wishes, infinitely producing food or wood. He also has puncture scars in both of his palms. His ultimate goal is to eradicate all humans and create a new civilization of non-humans in a perpetual Dark Age, ensuring that they never advance far enough to become as destructive as humans, creating what the Black King believes will be a utopia. In order to achieve this, the Black King has instructed Rasputin to create a simple alphabet and a syncretic religion to allow the different non-human races to find a common ground.
Hijikata Toshizō
The former vice-commander of the Shinsengumi who died fighting in the name of the Tokugawa Bakufu during the Boshin War. Hijikata has the ability to use smoke to manifest ghostly images of members of the Shinsengumi and uses them to cut apart his enemies. He has become Toyohisa’s rival following a battle between the two that ended in a draw.
Jeanne d’Arc
The heroine of the Hundred Years’ War between France and England. Jeanne, who was driven insane after being burned at the stake, now desires nothing more than to see the world burn. As an End – with her Christian crosses now upside down – she has manifested the ability to manipulate fire. Surprisingly, she seems to be self-conscious of her (lacking) femininity, though this could be another result of her insanity. After being defeated by Toyohisa, Jeanne is able to flee the scene alive due to Toyohisa’s personal oath to never kill a woman, leading Jeanne to vow revenge.
Gilles de Rais
A French nobleman who was once one of Jeanne’s companions-in-arms, but was later executed for multiple cases of alleged murder, sodomy, and heresy. He possessed incredible strength and durability. He continued to accompany Jeanne to battle as a spearman, remaining loyal to her until his death. He was defeated by Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, whereafter he disintegrated into salt. An enraged Jeanne swears to avenge Gilles de Rais’s death. He is the first of the Ends to be killed in the series.
Anastasia Nikolaevna Romanova
The youngest daughter of the last Russian tsar, Nicholas II. Anastasia and her family were shot by a Bolshevik firing squad when Anastasia was seventeen. She has the supernatural ability to create blizzards. Anastasia is depicted as an emotionless woman with little interest in the war between the Ends and Drifters. She apparently has some attachment to Jeanne, as Rasputin noted that she was angered that Jeanne was hurt during her battle against Toyohisa.
Grigori Rasputin
A famous Russian mystic who once held a great influence over the Russian Imperial Court because of his ability to supposedly heal the Romanov’s hemophiliac heir, Alexei. He now serves the Black King as a spymaster for his army, and is often seen by Anastasia’s side. Similar to the Octobrists, Rasputin uses magic to possess others via the use of talismans, which he also uses for communication among the Black King’s army.
Akechi Mitsuhide
A former general and samurai who served under Nobunaga before his betrayal in 1582, resulting in the latter’s (historical) death during the Honnō-ji incident. He is eager to kill Nobunaga during the war between the Drifters and the Ends.
Minamoto no Yoshitsune
A ruthless general of the Minamoto clan and Nasu no Yoichi’s former commander. During the Genpei War, Yoshitsune resorted to dishonorable tactics to achieve victory, something Yoichi despises about him. Likewise, Yoshitsune mocks Yoichi for trying to follow the code of Bushido once they are transported to the new world to fight. His status as a Drifter or End is unknown, and he often remarks that he will go the side that provides him with the most amusement. Yoshitsune is currently aligned with the Black King’s army.

 

Manga Monday- Drifters

Manga Monday- Drifters

Drifters is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Kouta Hirano. The manga started serialization in Shōnen Gahosha’s magazine, Young King Ours, on April 30, 2009. It centers on various historical figures summoned to an unknown world where their skills and techniques are needed by magicians in order to save their world from total destruction. An anime television adaptation aired between October 7, 2016 and December 23, 2016. A second season of the anime series has been announced.

Drifters is serialized in the Shōnen Gahosha Young King Ours magazine and sold under the same publisher in Japan. It is licensed in North America by Dark Horse Comics, in France by Éditions Tonkam, in Germany by Panini Comics, in Italy by J-POP, in Taiwan by Tong Li Comics and in Poland by Japonica Polonica Fantastica.

Plot

Shimazu Toyohisa, while involved at the Battle of Sekigahara, manages to mortally wound Ii Naomasa, but is critically injured in the process. As he walks from the field wounded and bleeding, Toyohisa finds himself transported to a corridor of doors, where a bespectacled man at a desk waits for him. This man, Murasaki, sends Toyohisa through the nearest door where he wakes up in another world. There, Toyohisa meets other great warriors like him who have been transported as well, to be part of a group known as “Drifters”.

This world contains both native humans and a number of fantastical races, including elves, dwarves, and hobbits. However, the world is at war, with the humans waging a losing conflict against another group of great warriors, the “Ends”, who wish to take over the world and kill all of the Drifters. Under the Ends’ command are many terrible creatures, including giants and dragons, which they use to destroy everything in their path. At the start of the series, the Ends’ army has control of the northern part of the continent, and are trying to invade the south through a pivotal fortress at the northernmost tip of a nation called Carneades. Meanwhile, the “Octobrist Organization”, a group of human magicians native to this world, attempts to bring together the many individual Drifters to save their world from the brutal Ends.

Drifters

The titular Drifters are heroes, leaders, and great warriors from different eras and cultures that have been brought to an unknown world by Murasaki, where they are meant to fight the Ends. A common element to the Drifters is that, although they are driven by violence, victory, and conquest, most of them are not cruel and do not tolerate the hurting of innocents. Unlike the Ends, the Drifters have no magic abilities unless they were born with them, and therefore must largely rely on their technology and tenacity to survive.
Murasaki 
A mysterious and calm bespectacled man who is responsible for the appearance of the Drifters, using them as a means to right the wrong of the Ends’ conquest of the unknown world. He is seen sitting in the middle of the door corridor, smoking, and reading a newspaper that gives news of the events relating to the Drifters. In the corridor, he is associated with and accompanied by light.
Shimazu Toyohisa
The leader of the Drifters. Historically, he died in 1600 during the Battle of Sekigahara. When he first arrived in the new world, he was critically injured, only to be brought to Nobunaga and Yoichi’s hideout by the young elves, Marsha and Mark. Although impulsive and reckless, Toyohisa possesses a fearless, determined, and chivalrous spirit, assisting the elves and dwarves by liberating them from the Orte Empire. Born and raised in a war-torn era, Toyohisa has a keen sense for battle and tactics, though he remains unaware of these talents himself. Toyohisa primarily uses a nodachi in battle, though he is seen carrying a wakizashi. He also carries a Tanegashima on the back of his waist, which he only uses when his swords are infeasible to use against his enemies.
Oda Nobunaga
A famous warlord who conquered most of Japan during Sengoku period. He is known for being the daimyō who took the first step of unification of the Japan, and the first Japanese military commander to utilize arquebuses in battles, using one as his main weapon in battle as a Drifter. Historically, he died during the Honnō-ji incident, the mutiny conducted by Akechi Mitsuhide. As a Drifter, he has only aged six months since arriving in the new world. Nobunaga is highly ambitious and cunning, desiring to establish a multiracial federation in the new world with Toyohisa as their leader. Nobunaga acts as the group’s military strategist.
Nasu no Yoichi
A very effeminate man of nineteen. His full name is Nasu Suketaka Yoichi, though he is simply known as Nasu no Yoichi. Although he lived hundreds of years before Nobunaga and Toyohisa, Yoichi is the youngest in the group. Born as the youngest of eleven siblings, Yoichi is a powerful warrior and military commander who served Minamoto no Yoshitsune during the Genpei War. Yoichi’s exploits were recorded throughout Japanese history, including in The Tale of the Heike, though Nobunaga notes that Yoichi acts very differently from these historical accounts. During the Genpei War, he was forced to commit several dishonorable acts by Yoshitsune, despite having a strong belief of Bushido. Now as a Drifter, Yoichi resolves to maintain his honorable nature, and he is the most level-headed of the trio. Yoichi acts as the group’s archer, killing fleeing enemies.
Hannibal Barca
A famous Carthiginian military commander. Now a Drifter and elderly, he is first seen arguing with Scipio Africanus over the latter’s “plagiarism” of Cannae at the Battle of Zama. Despite nearly being killed by the Black King’s army, Hannibal still insists that victory is still possible. After being separated from Scipio, Hannibal becomes depressed and senile, but he is still able to articulate battle tactics to his fellow Drifters via indirect means. He acts as Nobunaga’s military advisor since being left in Toyohisa’s group’s care.
Scipio Africanus
Hannibal’s Roman adversary during the Second Punic War. As a Drifter, he is as old as Hannibal, who he is seen constantly arguing with, claiming that “a winner takes all” since he won at Zama. Nevertheless, Scipio respects Hannibal greatly. Originally traveling with Hannibal and the Wild Bunch gang, he was accidentally separated from them and is currently in the company of Naoshi Kanno and Tamon Yamaguchi.
Butch Cassidy
Leader of the Wild Bunch gang. He, along with Sundance Kid, was transported from Bolivia, and is now fighting against the Black King and his armies. Unlike his partner, Butch has a hot-blooded and wild personality. He favors the use of firearms, particularly a pair of pistols, in battle.
Sundance Kid
A member of Butch Cassidy’s Wild Bunch. He, along with Butch, was transported from Bolivia, and is now fighting against the Black King and his armies. Unlike his leader, Kid possesses a calm and collected personality. Kid favors the use of firearms in battle, such as shotguns and a Gatling gun.
Naoshi Kanno
During a battle with the Black King, with the Drifters’ side under attack by dragons, Japanese World War II fighter pilot Naoshi Kanno is transported into the world in his plane. When the dragons’ attacks trigger memories of the bombing of Tokyo, he attacks the dragons in anger. His plane later crashed and he soon found himself worshiped as a god by a tribe of anthropomorphic dogs, only to be found by Scipio, who decides to use his status to unite the various anthropomorphic animal tribes under him to bolster the Drifters’ army. He does not initially trust Butch or Sundance Kid, as they are American, but Butch manages to convince him that they are Bolivian instead. He is addressed as Sugano Nao in the Dark Horse translation, an alternate reading of his name.
Tamon Yamaguchi
An admiral of the Imperial Japanese Navy during World War II. Tamon arrived in the new world along with the aircraft carrier Hiryū, and has since formed an uneasy alliance with the leaders of Gu-Binnen, a merchant guild, assisting them against the war with the Orte Empire by leading the guild’s griffin naval forces.

 

Film Friday- Terra Formars

Film Friday- Terra Formars

Viz Media began publishing an English translation in 2014. Two original video animations (OVAs), abridging the Bugs 2 arc were released in 2014, and an animated television series, covering the Annex 1 arc was also shown in 2014. A live action film adaptation directed by Takashi Miike was released in 2016.

Anime

An anime adaptation produced by Liden Films began airing on September 26, 2014, and finished airing on December 19, 2014 with a total of 13 episodes. The anime is licensed in the United Kingdom by Kazé UK and in North America by Viz Media. Madman Entertainment acquired the series for release in Australia and New Zealand.

A sequel to the anime titled Terra Formars: Revenge was announced in November 2015, with changes to the series’ main staff and the main cast returning to reprise their roles. Liden Films and TYO Animations produced the sequel. The anime premiered on April 2, 2016.

An OVA adaptation of the manga’s Earth Arc was planned for a May 2017 release, but was delayed to an August 2018 release instead.

Film

A live-action film based on Terra Formars was developed with Takashi Miike directing. It was released on April 29, 2016.

BUGS 2

Shokichi Komachi 
is one of the three Japanese members of the BUGS 2 expedition sent to Mars and one of the only two who survived. Despite disliking conflict, has a strong sense of justice. When he was 15 years old, he saw his childhood friend Nanao’s stepfather abusing her and killed the man with his bare hands to protect her. After being released from juvenile prison, he underwent the bugs procedure to follow after her.
He was 22 years old when he was sent to the second expedition and after seeing almost all his companions killed by the Terraformars including Nanao, he swore to one day return and enact his revenge. He indeed returns 20 years later as the Japanese leader of Annex I’s squad 1. Komachi’s powers are based on the Asian giant hornet, giving him enhanced strength and the ability to inflict lethal doses of poison with his stings. He is mortally wounded by Joseph during their fight, but he manages to kill him thanks to an overdose of the transformation drug keeping his body together.
Ichiro Hiruma  
The other survivor of the BUGS 2 expedition when he was 18, Hiruma swore to never return to Mars after what happened. Being the eldest of eleven siblings, he tried to betray the rest of the BUGS 2 crew along with one of his comrades, Victoria Wood, in order to gain more money by bringing a roach egg, but the egg hatched faster than expected and killed Victoria. He was saved by Shokichi and they fiercely fought the rest of the roaches. He eventually becomes the Prime Minister of Japan and works to enforce his country’s position among the countries leading the Annex I mission. Hiruma’s powers are based on the sleeping chironomid that just like its larva, bestows him with a seemingly invulnerable carapace along enhanced strength.
Nanao Akita 
Shokichi’s childhood friend and love interest who, after her stepfather was killed by Shokichi, joined the BUGS 2 crew. All she wanted was a peaceful life with Shokichi after returning to Earth, but tragically she was the first victim of the Terraformars when one of the roaches snapped her neck, dying in Shokichi’s arms. Her powers were based on the silk moth, but died before being able to show them, until one of the Terraformars managed to copy her powers twenty years later.
Donatello K. Davis
The Captain of the BUGS 2 mission and Michelle’s father. His powers were based on the Paraponera clavata, an ant so ferocious that even Army Ants will steer clear of its path, and is believed to be the world’s strongest insect. He was capable of splitting in two the previously untouchable roaches with the pure strength of his arms or crush their heads with one hand. His power allowed him to fight off a horde of roaches singlehanded, giving time for his crew to escape. He was murdered by Victoria Wood. His daughter Michelle inherited his ant powers. Twenty years later, Michelle faces a roach that stole his powers.

 

Manga Monday- Terra Formars

Manga Monday- Terra Formars

Terra Formars is a Japanese manga series written by Yū Sasuga and Michio Fukuda. Illustrated by Michio Fukuda. It is serialized in Shueisha’s magazine Weekly Young Jump since 2011. Also, a spin-off manga titled Terra for Police started on May 10, 2014 in Jump X.

Reception

It was number one on the 2013 Kono Manga ga Sugoi! Top 20 Manga for Male Readers survey. It was placed second in Zenkoku Shotenin ga Eranda Osusume Comic 2013, a 2013 ranking of the top 15 manga recommended by Japanese bookstores. It was nominated for the 6th Manga Taishō. The 6th volume reached the number one place on the Oricon weekly manga chart in the week of August 19–25, 2013, with 317,248 copies. As of February 2015, Terra Formars 11 first volumes have sold over 10 million copies. As of August 2015, the series had sold 13 million copies. As of April 2018, the manga had over 16 million copies in print.

Plot

In an attempt to colonize Mars, 21st century scientists are tasked with terraforming the planet. Their goal is to seed the planet with a modified algae to absorb sunlight and purify the atmosphere, and cockroaches, whose corpses spread the algae across the planet as they feed.

Five hundred years later, the first manned ship to Mars lands and its six crew members are attacked by giant mutated humanoid cockroaches with incredible physical strength, later labeled “Terraformars”; the crew is wiped out after sending a warning back to Earth. Two years later, BUGS II, a multinational expedition of genetically modified humans, is sent to collect 10 samples of both sexes of roaches, and exterminate the mutated bugs to take control of the red planet. Only two survivors manage to return to Earth, one swearing to return and avenge their fallen companions. As a third expedition is assembled questions are raised about the true origin of the Terraformars and their connection with an unknown disease afflicting mankind, the Alien Engine Virus, or A.E. Virus. To fight the Terraformars’ strength and agility, members of the second and third expedition undergo genetic modification to inherit the characteristics of other organisms, only possible after having a special organ implanted with a 36% chance of surviving the surgery itself.

The third expedition ends with most of its crew members killed as well, be it by fighting the Terraformars, or amongst themselves in the multi-sided conflict between the various factions aboard the ship, each with own opposing interests. Despite that, the few survivors manage to collect enough samples for the research on a cure to the A.E. Virus and return home. However, a new fight against the Terraformars begins when it is revealed that the creatures arrived on Earth long before, and after multiplying on an alarming rate and adapting themselves far better to their new environment than they did to their homeworld, they start their plan to take over the planet.

 

Film Friday- The Rising of the Shield Hero

Film Friday- The Rising of the Shield Hero

The Rising of the Shield Hero is a Japanese light novel series written by Aneko Yusagi. Originally published as a web novel, the series has since been published by Media Factory with an expanded story-line featuring illustrations by Seira Minami. As of February 25, 2019, twenty-one volumes have been published.

The novel series was adapted into a manga series by Aiya Kyū and published by Media Factory, with thirteen volumes released as of April 23, 2019. Both the novel and manga series were licensed by One Peace Books and were published in North America starting in September 2015. The 25-episode anime television series adaptation produced by Kinema Citrus premiered in January 2019. The anime series is licensed in North America by the Crunchyroll-Funimation partnership.

Anime

An anime adaptation was announced in June 2017. The television series is produced by Kinema Citrus and directed by Takao Abo, with Keigo Koyanagi handling series composition, Masahiro Suwa designing the characters and Kevin Penkin composing the music. The series premiered on January 9, 2019 on AT-X and other channels. It will run for 25 episodes. The first opening theme is “RISE,” performed by MADKID, while the first ending theme is “Kimi no Namae” performed by Chiai Fujikawa. The second opening theme is “FAITH,” performed by MADKID, while the second ending theme is “While I’m Next to You” performed by Fujikawa. For episode 4, Asami Setō sang an insert song titled “Falling Through Starlight” as her character Raphtalia. Both Crunchyroll and Funimation are streaming the anime. Crunchyroll streamed the show in both the original Japanese version and the English dub. However, Funimation indefinitely delayed its release on its streaming service.

Main characters

Naofumi Iwatani 
Naofumi is the Hero of the Shield, he was a university student who was summoned from another world after finding a book about the Four Heroes. Originally an open minded person, he becomes cynical and mistrustful of others due to being looked down by his fellow heroes, subjected to religious prejudice from citizens, and being robbed and falsely accused of rape by Myne. It is only after Raphtalia defended him and proclaimed her loyalty that Naofumi began to slowly open up to those around him and realizing his mistakes. Viewing his role as a Hero burdensome, having been summoned against his will, Naofumi shows little remorse in using underhanded tactics to ensure the survival of his party despite the criticism of his fellow Heroes/allies. Generally reluctant to trust strangers, often asking to be paid upfront or using slave curses to prevent lying, he tries his best to live up to the expectations of those who have placed their faith in him or treat him as an equal.
After defeating Kyo and ending the threat of the Spirit Tortoise, Naofumi is given control of Raphtalia’s hometown. He soon plans to rebuild and make a makeshift army to fight against the Waves and remaining Guardian Beasts, purchasing the original displaced inhabitants and other slaves to repopulate. He often enjoys pretending to be the villain, much to Raphtalia’s annoyance and the amusement of his allies, and working as a merchant/craftsman in his spare time. Believing he’ll one day return home, he considers himself a foster parent to Raphtalia and Filo and desires to make sure they can protect themselves in his absence.
Although Naofumi has a slow start because of the public’s perception of him and being unable to attack enemies directly, he is still able to keep up with his fellow heroes and even outshine them due to unlocking a wide variety of shields that boost his allies and passive skills. Given his high defenses, he is able to shrug off most attacks and displays immunity to most poisons, being only vulnerable to attacks that use his stats against him such as Hengen Muso. His strongest shield, the Shield of Wrath, allows him to counterattack opponents with cursed flames that rise with his anger at the cost of temporarily decreasing his stats and threatening to allow his inner darkness to take control.
Raphtalia 
The Vassal Katana Hero and Tanuki Demi-human. Originally living in a village on Melromarc’s coast, Raphatalia was left orphaned in the wake of the first Wave to strike the world. Shortly after, she and her fellow villagers were captured and sold into slavery by Melromarc’s Royal Knights. First purchased by a nobleman, she is physically and emotionally tortured out of racial resentment towards Demi-humans and left a shell of her former self. Near death and suffering from panic attacks, she was sold back and later purchased by Naofumi who, unable to fight himself and spite towards Malty, desired to use her as his sword in the coming Waves.
Under Naofumi’s protection, Raphtalia becomes a skilled swordfighter and is able to find closure from her past traumas. Able to see past Naofumi’s cynical nature, she falls in love with him and does her best to help him overcome his resentment towards others and losing himself to the Shield of Wrath, even volunteering to have her slave curse re-applied after it is forcibly removed as a sign of devotion. It is later revealed that through her Tanuki herritage, she is a heir to the throne of Q’Ten Lo, her father having eloped to Meloromarc and putting her at odds with her distant relatives.
Technically a 10 year old girl, being a Demi-human, Raphtalia’s body is able to age to that of a young women as her levels increase. Due to this, she often gets annoyed when Naofumi treats her as his daughter or is oblivious to her feelings; the latter believing she is only focused on getting stronger. While traveling in Kizuna’s world, she is chosen as the wielder of the Vassal Katana (Sever Star Hammer in the Web Novel). She also specializes in Light/Dark magic and is able to turn herself and allies invisible or generate illusions.
Filo
A Filolial Queen. Hatching her from an egg purchased from the Slave Trader, Filo is the youngest of Naofumi’s allies. She is part of a monster species called Filolials that enjoy pulling carts, and having been raised by a Hero, develops into a Queen. As a Queen, she resembles a large flightless owl and possesses higher attack strength and speed than normal members of her species. In addition, she possesses the unique ability to shapeshift into a young blonde girl with wings, retaining the strength of her true form.
Young and boisterous, she has a short attention span, has a ravenous appetite, and often fights Raphtalia and Gaelion for Naofumi’s attention, much to his and others annoyance. Also highly impressionable, she has been shown to pick up on some of Naofumi’s habits much to Raphtalia’s distress. A capable learner, she is able to use advanced wind magic spells and many of the teachings of Hengen Muso with minimal instruction. Her skills are recognized by her Queen predecessor, Fitoria, and is given some of her power.
In spite of her sometimes overbearing personality, Filo is able to quickly make friends with others and takes other Filolials on as her underlings. True to her Filolial instincts, her favorite hobby is to pull a custom cart Naofumi made for her. While in Kizuna’s world, due to Filolial’s not existing, she is transformed into a species called a Humming Fairy, losing her strength in favor of being able to fly and cast magic through singing.

 

Light Novel Tuesday- The Rising of the Shield Hero

Light Novel Tuesday- The Rising of the Shield Hero

The Rising of the Shield Hero is a Japanese light novel series written by Aneko Yusagi. Originally published as a web novel, the series has since been published by Media Factory with an expanded story-line featuring illustrations by Seira Minami. As of February 25, 2019, twenty-one volumes have been published.

The novel series was adapted into a manga series by Aiya Kyū and published by Media Factory, with thirteen volumes released as of April 23, 2019. Both the novel and manga series were licensed by One Peace Books and were published in North America starting in September 2015. The 25-episode anime television series adaptation produced by Kinema Citrus premiered in January 2019. The anime series is licensed in North America by the Crunchyroll-Funimation partnership.

Light novel

Originally published as a web novel, the series has been re-written with an expanded story-line. The series is currently published by Media Factory and features illustrations by Seira Minami. As of February 25, 2019, twenty-one volumes have been published. The spin-off novel The Reprise of the Spear Hero were licensed by One Peace Books. The light novel series has over 3.3 million volumes in print as of December 2018, and the manga series has 1 million tankobon volumes in print as of January 2019.