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Manga Monday- The Rose of Versailles

Manga Monday- The Rose of Versailles

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

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

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

Manga

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

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

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

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

Gaiden

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

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

Reception

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

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

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

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

Development

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

Plot

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

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

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

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

Film Friday – Glass Mask

Film Friday – Glass Mask

Glass Mask is a Japanese shōjo manga series written and illustrated by Suzue Miuchi, serialized in Hana to Yume from January 1976, and collected in 49 tankōbon volumes as of October 2012. The story has also been adapted into anime and a live-action television series. As of 2006, the collected volumes had 50 million copies in Japan, making it the second best-selling shōjo manga ever. The title refers poetically to the mask of faces that actors wear – while expressing emotions that are not their own, the mask they wear (their acting) is as fragile as glass. If the actors are distracted, their mask will “break” and show on stage the actors’ true feelings.

Anime

There have been several anime adaptions since the manga began its serialization. The first adaptation was a 23-episode TV series produced by Eiken in 1984 which was directed by Gisaburō Sugii with animation contributions from Shingo Araki and character designs by Atsuko Nakajima. The main voice cast featured Masako Katsuki as Maya Kitajima, Taeko Nakanishi as Chigusa Tsukikage, Minori Matsushima as Ayumi Himekawa and Nachi Nozawa as Masumi Hayami. The opening and ending theme, Garasu no Kamenand Pāpuru Raito was performed by Mariko Ashibe. This adaptation was broadcast by Nippon TV.

A three episode OVA, titled as Garasu no Kamen: Sen no Kamen wo Motsu Shōjo, was the remake of the first 3 arcs of the manga series. The OVA was released by TMS Entertainment in 1998. The voice cast from the 1984 series was not used and instead featured Megumi Ogata as Maya Kitajima, Keiko Toda as Chigusa Tsukikage, Naoko Matsui as Ayumi Himekawa and Jūrōta Kosugi as Masumi Hayami. The OVA was directed by Tsuneo Kobayashi with scripts written by Nobuaki Kishima, Tomoko Konparu and Yoshiyuki Suga as well as animation character designs by Satoshi Hirayama and Masako Gouto.

In 2005, TMS Entertainment, the company who produced the OVA began a TV series which was directed by Mamoru Hamatsu with series composition done by Toshimichi Saeki, animation character designs by Satoshi Hirayama and music composed by Tamiya Terashima. This adaptation was broadcast by TV Tokyo and there were 2 opening themes, Promise which was performed by Candy for episodes 1-26 and zero by Aiko Ikuta for episodes 27-51. There were 4 ending themes which were Yasashii Sayonara for episodes 1-13 by Aina, Step One by Sister Q for episodes 14-24, Sunao ni Narenakute by Splash Candy for episodes 27-39 and Hello Hello by Core of Soul for episodes 40-51. Like the other adaptations, the voice cast was not reused and Maya Kitajima was voiced by Sanae Kobayashi, Chigusa Tsukikage by Toshiko Fujita, Akiko Yajima as Ayumi Himekawa and Masumi Hayami was voiced by Toshiyuki Morikawa. The original voice actor for Maya Kitajima in the 1984 adaptation returned to voice Ayumi’s mother, Utako Himekawa.
The 2005 adaptation was licensed in North America by Sentai Filmworks, and distributed by Section23 Films. The first half of the season was released on DVD, on January 19, 2010; however, the second half of the season has been cancelled reportedly due to low sales.
In 2013, a 17-episode short flash series was launched by DLE. The series reimagined Maya and Ayumi as a pair of rival delinquent girls vying to become the new leader of the Crimson Goddess gang.
In 2016, a 13-episode parody version, which “re-imagines the manga and its characters in a school gag comedy focused on satirizing modern society”, and with the title 3-Nen D-Gumi Glass no Kamen, was broadcast on Tokyo MX starting on October 3.

Film

In 2013, an animated film dubbed It’s Glass Mask But… the Movie: Female Spy’s Love! The Purple Rose Has a Dangerous Scent!? was released. Like the flash series, the film was a parody which reimagined Maya and Ayumi as a pair of students who become junior spies after their mentor, Chigusa, is kidnapped.

Live-action

A live-action version adapted the first 38 volumes of the series in 1997, and continued in 1998 as “Garasu no Kamen 2.” Both productions starred Yumi Adachi as Maya Kitajima.

Characters

  • Maya Kitajima
    A talented young actress (a 13-year-old at the beginning of the story) who originally worked as a waitress in a Chinese restaurant alongside her mother. Her father died when she was a little girl and her mother, Haru (Louise in the French anime), who is mentally unstable, considers Maya useless due to Maya’s tendency to be sidetracked by anything to do with acting while in the middle of working). She is discovered by the former diva Chigusa Tsukikage and starts a promising, yet thorny acting career under the older woman’s wing. Her mother discourages her daughter from an acting career, believing that her daughter would be a laughingstock. She even refused to attend a school play Maya was in because Maya’s role was that of a pitiful and wretched minor character. So Maya gave the role more depth and sadness to a character who was originally meant to be portrayed as laughable and pathetic. Later on, Maya is given the opportunity to make a living as an actress. Tsukikage cuts off Maya’s ties with her mother, making the decision of becoming an actress. However, Maya is consistently given encouragement through an anonymous fan who sends her a bouquet of purple roses which is none other than Hayami Masumi, whom Maya shows an immense hatred towards, especially since he took malicious enjoyment in bringing down Tsukikage’s acting school. A few years later, Haru dies of Tubercolis and blindness, trautimizing Maya for many weeks. Maya’s talent for acting comes from both her natural skill and emotional personality, unlike Ayumi whose skills are more technically driven; in fact, Maya practically ‘becomes’ her characters when she plays, so brutal her training methods are and so intensely she performs. During the beginning of her training sessions, Maya has always displayed unconventional performances of the assigned tasks, such as laying on the floor to “sit on” a toppled chair. People often note how unremarkable Maya is until she takes the stage. In fact, the prodigy actress Ayumi comments that Maya knows how to captivate the audience, even though she isn’t aware of doing so. Despite having enormous potential and raw talent, Maya often doesn’t recognize her abilities. She thinks of herself as unremarkable and “useless”, as her mother constantly referred to her as, though she is compelled to pursue a career in acting because “acting is all she has”. She also harbors moments of inferiority in comparison to Ayumi, who is beautiful, talented, and rich. Despite all this, Maya doesn’t harbor any malice or ill will toward Ayumi, though Ayumi is secretly competitive toward Maya. Maya has three nicknames. One is “The Stage Storm,” referring to her innate ability to drown out other actors’ importance in a play even while in a bit part. Tsukikage refers to Maya as “the girl with a thousand masks” in tribute to her versatility whenever taking on character roles. And she is addressed as “little child” by Masumi Hayami, a diminutive nickname he’s given to her due to their broad disparity in age and height, to satirize her naivete, and eventually out of true affection.
  • Ayumi Himekawa
    Maya’s biggest rival, the honor-bound and noble Ayumi was born as the daughter of a very famous actress, Utako Himekawa (once the student of Tsukikage) and a successful director and producer, Mitsugu Himekawa, and has been touted as a prodigy from an early age. Ever since learning she got her first acting role just because of her family links, Ayumi has striven to shine on her own and never falls into arrogance. Ayumi becomes aware of Maya’s prodigious gift for acting when they first meet in a practice session; from then on she views the younger girl as a life-rival. She is ambitious enough to try to surpass her own mother, who is a widely recognized actress. People have jokingly told Utako that her daughter will steal the role of the Crimson Goddess from her. Even though Ayumi is young, she believes that she will re-vitalize the renowned role. Thus, she takes it upon herself to get as much experience as she can by trying out for any roles, including minor ones. At first, when Ayumi took on the role of Tom in The Prince and the Pauper, the children in attendance didn’t like the performance because they were used to seeing Ayumi as a beautiful young woman rather than a dirty and homely boy. Yet Ayumi soon draws the children’s favor by begging for “money” in a hat, to which the children offer her their candy. The people behind the stage were surprised that Ayumi would do such a thing, particularly since Ayumi generally would have thought such things beneath her. Her passion to become the Crimson Goddess is undeniable, however, as she continually strives for perfection to attain the role. Even though critics generally favour her over Maya, Ayumi is upset at being unable to reach the sort of emotional peaks Maya does when she performs.
  • Chigusa Tsukikage
    Maya’s mentor and a former street urchin. She once was a very talented and beloved actress, most notable for her role at the legendary play “Crimson Goddess” whose performance was so acclaimed that its author left the rights over it solely to her in his will, but she got horribly scarred in an onstage accident (a lamp lighter hit her and burned half her face off) and had to leave the acting scene, opening an acting school instead. She has very weak health and is hospitalized several times during the story. Yet she is a woman of unstoppable will, refusing to give the rights of “The Crimson Goddess” to Masumi Hayami and his father, as according to her, currently there is not an actress suitable for the main role. After finding potential in Maya, she takes her under her wing despite her mother’s objections and strives to shape her into the best actress ever, so she can contest with Ayumi for the leading role in “The Crimson Goddess”. Tsukikage understands that an actress’s face is her most important feature, and she covers Maya when Maya’s incensed mother tries to throw a kettle in her daughter’s face.
  • Masumi Hayami
    A abused stepson of the president of the Daito Entertainments, His real father died by accidentally falling off a building when he was 2 years old. He is brutally attempting to obtain the performance rights for “The Crimson Goddess” from Chigusa, efforts which ultimately lead to her acting school burned. When he sees Maya act as Beth in “Little Women” despite a high fever, he is impressed with her strong will and devotion to her acting dreams. He secretly sends her purple roses and financial support as encouragement (thus Maya refers to her anonymous fan as “The Purple Roses Man”; her friends call him Daddy Long-Legs), but acts mocking, cynical and even cruel in front of her to conceal his anonymous identity. Originally a normal, happy child, his cold exterior grew from the death of his mother, Aya, when he was a child, and his bad relationship with his stepfather Eisuke, who is responsible for the Crimson Goddess author’s death. As the manga proceeds, he becomes more and more infatuated with Maya and finally falls deeply in love with her. He doesn’t reveal either his alternate identity or his true feelings for many reasons, one of which is the belief that Maya hates him since he indirectly caused her mother’s death.

 

Manga Monday- Glass Mask

Manga Monday- Glass Mask

Glass Mask is a Japanese shōjo manga series written and illustrated by Suzue Miuchi, serialized in Hana to Yume from January 1976, and collected in 49 tankōbon volumes as of October 2012. The story has also been adapted into anime and a live-action television series. As of 2006, the collected volumes had 50 million copies in Japan, making it the second best-selling shōjo manga ever. The title refers poetically to the mask of faces that actors wear – while expressing emotions that are not their own, the mask they wear (their acting) is as fragile as glass. If the actors are distracted, their mask will “break” and show on stage the actors’ true feelings.

After not publishing a new chapter of the story for more than two years, Miuchi re-launched Glass Mask in Hakusensha’s Bessatsu Hana to Yume magazine in July 2008. Miuchi has announced that she intends to end the series soon.

Plot

Glass Mask is a saga depicting the devotion of Maya Kitajima to the performing arts as a professional stage actress, and her competition with her skilled rival, Ayumi Himekawa. They are both pursuing the degree of acting proficiency and career success required to play the lead role of the legendary stage play “The Crimson Goddess” (“Kurenai Tennyo”). Maya is not particularly beautiful or smart in school, but her passion for acting is all-consuming, to the point where she literally puts her own life on the line several times for the sake of a role. Always told by her mother that she was good for nothing, Maya wants to prove to the world and to herself that she has worth. On the other hand, everyone expects the gifted and multi-talented Ayumi to succeed, so she is determined to reach the top on her own without the help of her prestigious parents.

As the story unfolds it encompasses the tangled human relationships of many characters, including Maya’s mentor, Chigusa Tsukikage, who discovered Maya’s tremendous talent for acting during her search for a successor capable of performing the role of “The Crimson Goddess”, and Masumi Hayami, the young president of Daito, who often interacts with Maya as a crafty and cold-hearted entrepreneur, while giving her faithful support and warm encouragement in the disguise of an anonymous fan (“The Purple Rose Person”, or “murasaki no bara no hito” as Maya calls him for his trademark gift of purple roses). Hajime Onodera, a director for Daito, wants the rights to “Kurenai Tennyo,” which were given to Tsukikage by the playwright; since Tsukikage refuses to sell him the rights, Onodera tries to drive Tsukikage’s acting school out of business through a series of nefarious schemes. Since Onodera is working for Hayami, Maya (unaware that Hayami is “The Purple Rose”) hates him. Though there is an age difference of eleven years, Masumi falls in love with Maya and gives her encouragement in subtle ways.

Spinoff – The Crimson Goddess

The play within Glass Mask, the Crimson Goddess, will be adapted in 2020 as a “creative opera”.

 

Film Friday- Ai Shite Knight

Film Friday- Ai Shite Knight

Ai Shite Knight is a shōjo manga created in the early 1980s by Kaoru Tada. An anime version of the story in 42 episodes was also produced in 1983-1984 by Toei Animation. A live action adaptation was also produced.

Anime

The anime version of “Ai Shite Knight” was produced by Toei Animation in 1983-1984, for a total of 42 episodes directed by Osamu Kasai, a veteran Toei director. The “Ai Shite Knight” anime presents some significant changes in the storyline and modifications in the characters’ stories, and covers only one part of the story narrated by Tada in the manga. It was developed to target a younger audience than that of the manga with some aspects toned down and simplified.

Famous voice actress and pop idol Mitsuko Horie provided the voice of Yakko in the anime. Isao Sasaki was the voice of Go, Katsuji Mori of Satomi, Takeshi Aono of Shige-San, and Yūko Mita of Hashizo. Masa Amamori provided the voice of Juliano. Mitsuko Horie also sang “Koi wa Totsuzen”, the song featured in the opening credits of each episode.

Characters

  • Yaeko (Yakko) Mitamura
Yaeko (Yakko) (born September 15) is 18 years old at the beginning of the story. Yakko works at her father’s okonomiyaki restaurant “Mambo” in Osaka as well as attending evening classes at the university. Yakko is a romantic and a little naive, and she is flattered by the attention paid to her by one of the regular customers of her father’s restaurant, handsome and long-haired Satomi Okawa. One day she casually meets two people that will change her life: Go Kato and his little brother Hashizo. Yakko soon discovers that Go and Satomi are friends and both members of an emerging rock band, “Bee Hive”. She is attracted to them both but soon realizes she will have to make a choice between them. She becomes Go’s girlfriend, although his career as a musician causes more than one problem for their relationship.
  • Go Kato
is the lead singer of “Bee Hive” and a student at the university. He lives with his little brother Hashizo in a small apartment and is trying to become a professional and successful musician. He is cocky but charming and has a reputation of being a playboy. However, when he falls in love with Yakko, he becomes totally devoted to her, although he has to struggle with juggling his musical career and romantic relationship.
Even though Isao Sasaki is a singer, Go’s songs are actually sung by Ai Takano in the anime.
  • Hashizo Kato
Hashizo’s real name is Hideki, but he was given the name “Hashizo” by his brother Go when he went to live with him after the death of his parents. Hashizo is Go’s half-brother, being the son of Go’s father and his mistress. After their death in car crash, Go decided to look after his baby brother although still very young himself, and they have been living together ever since. Hashizo is a very responsible little boy and, because of Go’s career as a musician, he spends a lot of time alone with his best friend, the cat Juliano. When he meets Yakko, he becomes very attached to her, and the “Mambo” becomes his second home.
  • Satomi Okawa
Satomi is Go’s best friend and the keyboard player for “Bee Hive”; he comes from a wealthy family and is an incredibly talented musician. Opposite to Go, he is calm and more introverted. He is also a university student and gives private keyboard lessons in his spare time. He falls in love with Yakko even before Go does, and when he finds out that Go is also after Yakko, he leaves the band for some time. He finally realizes that Yakko has chosen Go, and returns to the band. He helps Yakko and Go through difficult times as a good and faithful friend.

 

Manga Monday- Ai Shite Knight

Manga Monday- Ai Shite Knight

Ai Shite Knight  is a shōjo manga created in the early 1980s by Kaoru Tada. An anime version of the story in 42 episodes was also produced in 1983-1984 by Toei Animation. A live action adaptation was also produced.

Plot summary

“Ai Shite Knight” is set in Osaka and tells the story of Yaeko “Yakko” Mitamura, an 18-year-old girl working in her father’s Okonomiyaki restaurant. One day Yakko meets a little boy named Hashizo and his odd cat Juliano. Hashizo had lost both parents when still a baby and has been brought up by his elder brother Go. Go Kato is the lead singer of the emerging rock band “Bee Hive.” When Yakko meets Go and his friend and “Bee Hive” member Satomi Okawa, an unexpected series of events and a tangled romance unfold.

The main narrative of “Ai Shite Knight” is essentially a love story, but has interesting and innovative elements introduced to it by Kaoru Tada, most notably the portrayal of the Japanese music scene in the early ’80s. In creating characters such as Go, Satomi and their band “Bee Hive”, Tada was inspired by well-known bands of the time such as “The Stalin”, “Novela”, “Primadonna” and “44Magnum.” Tada also plays with sexual provocation and sexual ambiguity, mainly embodied by the character of “Kiss Relish” vocalist Kazuma Kataoka/Sheila, although these elements were considerably toned down in the anime version of the story.

 

Film Friday- Children of the Whales

Film Friday- Children of the Whales

Children of the Whales is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Abi Umeda. The manga is licensed in North America by Viz Media. An anime television series adaptation by J.C. Staff aired in Japan from October to December 2017, and was released globally on Netflix in March 2018.

An anime adaptation of the series was announced in the February 2017 issue of Mystery Bonita on January 6, 2017. The anime adaptation, which was later confirmed to be a television series, is directed by Kyōhei Ishiguro and written by Michiko Yokote, with animation by J.C.Staff, character designs by Haruko Iizuka and music by Hiroaki Tsutsumi. It aired from October 8 to December 24, 2017, on Tokyo MX and other channels. It ran for 12 episodes and will have two OVA. It was released globally by Netflix in March 2018. The opening theme song “Sono Saki e” is performed by singer-songwriter RIRIKO, while the ending theme song “Hashitairo” is performed by rionos.

Characters

Chakuro
The protagonist of the story. Chakuro is a Marked boy who works as an archivist for the Elders in the Mud Whale, hoping that his records will improve life for future generations. Curious and gentle, he sometimes dreams to see the world outside the Mud Whale and immediately befriends Lykos after finding her on the abandoned island.
Lykos 
A mysterious girl found on an island that was about to be scavenged by the Mud Whale’s people for resources. “Lykos” is not really her name, it is actually a term used to describe a mysterious creature that feeds off the emotions of anyone that comes near it. Chakuro simply calls her “Lykos” for convenience’s sake. At first, she is reluctant to speak to anyone but with Chakuro’s help, she learns to express herself more openly.
Ouni 
Another Marked one who is said to possess the greatest potential for thymia in the Mud Whale. He is the leader of the Moles, a group of young people who gained their name because they often break the rules of the Mud Whale and thus spent a lot of time imprisoned in the belly of the ship. Obsessed with leaving the Mud Whale, Ouni has earned a reputation as a troublemaker. When Lykos is found by Chakuro, Ouni sees the opportunity to escape the Mud Whale. He later awakens an unknown power after seeing Nibi die.
Suoh 
An Unmarked one who works as an assistant for the Council of Elders. He is Chakuro’s friend and Sami’s elder brother, he often gives them advice for how they can help the Mud Whale’s people. He often clasps his hands, which Chakuro notes is his way to suppress his emotions.
Ginshu 
A girl who often helps in the everyday activities of the Mud Whale’s people, as a member of the Vigilante Corps.
Liontari 
An imperial soldier of the Allied Empire who stands out for his excessive emotions.
Shuan 
A mysterious man and the leader of the Vigilante Corps.
Sami 
Chakuro’s friend and Suō’s younger sister. She seems to harbor feelings for Chakuro and becomes mildly jealous of Lykos upon seeing how close she and Chakuro become. When a mysterious group of soldiers attack the Mud Whale, she shields Chakuro from their bullets and dies. She returns as a spirit, kisses, and confesses her feelings to Chakuro before disappearing.
Kicha 
A girl, member of the Moles.
Taisha
An Unmarked woman and mayor of the Mud Whale.

 

 

 

 

Manga Monday- Children of the Whales

Manga Monday- Children of the Whales

Children of the Whales is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Abi Umeda. The manga is licensed in North America by Viz Media. An anime television series adaptation by J.C. Staff aired in Japan from October to December 2017, and was released globally on Netflix in March 2018.

Abi Umeda launched the series in the July 2013 issue of Akita Shoten’s shōjo manga magazine Monthly Mystery Bonita on June 6, 2013. The series has been collected into 13 volumes as of October 2018. Viz Media announced during their panel at Anime Boston 2017 that they have licensed the manga.

Synopsis

The story focuses on a boy called Chakuro, who lives on a giant vessel called a Mud Whale that drifts over the sea of sand. In the Mud Whale, society is divided into two kinds of people: the Marked, who can move objects with their minds using a strange power called “thymia”, at the expense of shortened lifespans, and the Unmarked, people who lack thymia but enjoy longer lifespans. Chakuro and his friends have never seen anyone from the outside world, and they spend their days yearning to explore and learn about it. In year 93 of the vessel’s exile, the Mud Whale encounters a lonely island and Chakuro finds a girl inside, starting an adventure that changes the lives of everyone.

 

Film Friday- Sensual Phrase

Film Friday- Sensual Phrase

Sensual Phrase is a shōjo manga series created by Mayu Shinjo. The manga was published by Shogakukan in Shōjo Comic between 1997 and 2000, and collected in 18 bound volumes. It was adapted as a 44-episode anime television series by Studio Hibari, and as a series of novels. The series tells the story of Aine Yukimura, a high school student who becomes the lyricist for a Japanese rock band, and her relationship with the band’s lead singer, Sakuya Ookochi.

To promote the anime, a real-life band was formed: Λucifer, the band the story focuses on. The rival band, e.MU, seems to have been active before the manga was created. Both bands continued after the anime ended before disbanding. In the series, Λucifer’s original name is Lucifer, changed to Λucifer (using the Greek letter lambda) when the band decides to go international. For the purposes of the article this second name, Λucifer, is used. Japanese names are given in Western order, with family name last.

Production

In her blog, Shinjo noted that though she was the actual creator of Sensual Phrase, she was one of the last to know that the series would be adapted into an anime, and that by the time she knew, Shogakukan had already made the decision to do the series. She was also unaware that there were talks about a film adaptation of the series until two years after the proposal was rejected. When the anime was rerun on AT-X, she learnt of this through the channel’s official website. She left Shogakukan in 2007, despite the company’s threat to take all of her earlier series, including Sensual Phrase, out of print if she did so. Shinjo contacted a lawyer, and the threat was never carried out.

Sensual Phrase was adapted as an anime television series by Studio Hibari. It was directed by Hiroko Tokita, with music by Susumu Akitagawa and character designs by Yumi Nakayama. There were multiple opening and closing theme tunes, some of them credited to fictional bands Λucifer and e.MU, for which real-world counterparts were created. The anime was broadcast on TV Tokyo in 44 episodes from April 20, 1999 to March 25, 2000. It was later released on 11 videos by Pony Canyon.

Aine Yukimura

The main female protagonist of the series, Aine is a shy but innocent high school girl who does not know how to hide her feelings. Her home life is rocky, her parents seem to ignore her, and she is mostly left to her own devices. Hurt by this emotional neglect and lacking confidence in herself, she clings to and relies on Sakuya to protect and defend her and feels guilty about her inexperience and doubts. When Sakuya tells her parents that Aine will be living with him, they realize they are losing their daughter to a dangerous world. Sakuya eventually convinces Aine’s father that he loves her and will protect her, so they can live together. Aine has to fight to find her own place within the record label, and prove herself repeatedly. She comes to be seen as important to Sakuya’s emotional wellbeing and to the band, and earns her place with her innovative concepts and her lyrics. Towards the series end, following her rape and the death of her friend, band producer Hitoshi Takayama, she grows up, matures, and becomes stronger.

Sakuya Ookochi

The main character of the series, Sakuya is the highly talented lead singer of Λucifer. Seventeen and still in high school, he is also the band’s youngest member. He transfers to Aine’s high school to get closer to her. While he respects and trusts Yuki, the only other band member he is close to is Atsuro. He is known for his striking blue eyes, inherited from his American father. Sakuya is also rude, physical, and does not care about life, even when he begins to sing with the band Lucifer. Sakuya has spent most of his young teenage years paying off his mother’s debt at the club where she worked. Like his mother, he sang and played the piano for club guests. But to make more money, he also worked as a male escort prostitute on the side. He was able to do this because he appears older than his years. His harsh childhood experiences have caused Sakuya to lose trust in people. But when he meets high school girl Aine, he shows a new caring and sensitive attitude towards others, especially to Aine. When she first starts working for them he tells himself that he is selfishly using her, but before long his true feelings emerge. ~ See Sakuya’s one-shot and Vol. 10, Lucifer’s Legend. Sakuya also makes an appearance in “Love Celeb” as Kirara’s producer.

 

Manga Monday- Sensual Phrase

Manga Monday- Sensual Phrase

Sensual Phrase is a shōjo manga series created by Mayu Shinjo. The manga was published by Shogakukan in Shōjo Comic between 1997 and 2000, and collected in 18 bound volumes. It was adapted as a 44-episode anime television series by Studio Hibari, and as a series of novels. The series tells the story of Aine Yukimura, a high school student who becomes the lyricist for a Japanese rock band, and her relationship with the band’s lead singer, Sakuya Ookochi.

Manga

Written and illustrated by Mayu Shinjo, Sensual Phrase premiered in Shōjo Comic in 1997, where it was serialized monthly until its conclusion in 2000. The individual chapters were collected and published in 17 tankōbon volumes by Shogakukan from June 1997 through January 2001. An additional volume was released on April 24, 2003 containing a sequel chapter to the story and additional unrelated short stories. Shogakukan republished the serialized chapters across six shinsoban hard cover editions in 2003, and re-released the original 17 volumes in 2006 with new covers

Sensual Phrase is licensed for English-language release in North America by Viz Media, including the special final volume. Viz Media published the first volume of the series on March 24, 2004; the final volume was released on February 13, 2007.

The series is licensed for regional language publication by Editorial Ivréa in Spain and Latin America, Pika Edition in France, Egmont Manga & Anime in Germany, and Star Comics in Italy. It was serialized in Germany in Manga Twister, and in Italy in Amici.

Light novels

Five novels based on the manga were published by Shogakukan:

  • 90-nichi no Densetsu, published December 1, 1999
  • Hong Kong Kyoushikyoku, published July 25, 2000
  • Ao no Meikyu, published November 26, 2001
  • Owarinaki Shinwa, published February 2001
  • Engage Song, published June 3, 2003

Plot

Aine Yukimura is a seventeen-year-old high school student who writes sensual song lyrics and hopes to become a songwriter. One day, two school friends talk her into entering her best lyrics into a contest. When someone bumps into her in the street, she drops her lyrics and is almost run over by a passing car. It is driven by Sakuya Ookochi, lead singer of the hard rock band Lucifer, which is known for its sensual lyrics. Aine does not know who he is, but falls in love. He makes sure she is not hurt, and gives her an all-access pass to that night’s show. After she leaves, he finds her lyrics and takes them back to the band with a plan in mind.

That night, Aine listens from the back of the audience. As she turns to leave, she hears Sakuya singing her lyrics. She runs to the stage to see if he is the driver of the car. She is swept off her feet. At first, people tell her Sakuya is never serious about women, and she thinks he might be toying with her. Later, he kidnaps her and convinces her to become the band’s lyricist, and she thinks he is playing with her but for business reasons, not romance. Sakuya then transfers to Aine’s high school, wanting to protect and work with her. Initially, he sees her as an innocent he can tease, but his feelings for her soon grow. Seeing her talent, and wanting to win the girl, Sakuya campaigns for Aine to become the band’s official lyricist. His manager initially objects, but relents on seeing the continued excellence of Aine’s lyrics. She becomes their lyricist, using the male pseudonym Yukihiko Aine to protect her identity and the band’s image.

Aine and Sakuya’s relationship gets off to a rocky start, when they do not communicate their real feelings. Aine tries to hide her feelings for Sakuya, thinking he sees the two of them only as co-workers. She believes he wants to preserve her virginal imagination so that she will continue to write hit songs for the band. This seems confirmed when he rejects her advances. Although Sakuya is not subtle by nature, he attempts to express his feelings for her by writing a ballad called “Little Bird” or “Love Melody”, but she continues to misunderstand. Finally, after filming the music video “Drug”, he corners her and confesses his feelings.

But beginning a romance and being the girlfriend of a high-profile star is not easy. As the series progresses, Aine finds herself the frequent target of Sakuya’s enemies, including rival bands and obsessed fans.

Ralph Grazer, Sakuya’s older half-brother, is an American media mogul who heads a business empire in the United States and is branching into Asian markets. Ralph has a grudge against Sakuya, whom he has never met although their father has pushed them to make contact. Ralph goes to Japan, and uses blackmail to force Aine to break up with Sakuya and work for him instead. Sakuya takes time out from the band to confront his biological father, the man had who had raped his mother. Sakuya travels to America to learn the family business, which gives him the knowledge and power to take Ralph’s position as head of the media corporation. Sakuya returns to Japan and forces Ralph to sign a contract under which he will recover his position in return for releasing Aine. Ralph, used to getting whatever and whomever he wants, is confused by this tactic and by Sakuya’s love for Aine. He returns to the United States to start over and relearn from their father. Ralph returns twice more in the manga, but no longer necessarily as Sakuya’s enemy.

Lucifer continues to grow, becoming a major hit. Renamed Λucifer, the band prepares to tour America and Europe. Sakuya and Aine attempt to balance their love and professional lives. Aine’s feelings for Sakuya and her ability to write lyrics are tested. The band hires Hitoshi Takayama as producer to prepare for international fame. At first, Hitoshi thinks Aine is nothing more than an outspoken groupie, with no place on band premises or in Sakuya’s life. But as he gets to know her he falls in love, hiding his feelings by pretending to be homosexual. As Hitoshi plans the band’s six-month move to England to set the stage for capturing European fans, he attempts to break up both Sakuya and Aine’s relationship and another couple, one of the band’s guitarists, Atsuro, and his girlfriend Yuuka. Yuki, another guitarist, soon puts a stop to this plan, letting Takayama know that band members owe their success to their families and lovers.

Kaito Yoshioka, president of a rival label, resents Λucifer’s success. He decides to use Aine to break up the band, and brutally rapes her in an attempt to break Sakuya. Hitoshi finds Aine and takes her to his home to try to comfort her, helping her avoid Sakuya out of shame, self-loathing and fear of being rejected. When Aine tries to commit suicide that night, Takayama tells Sakuya. Sakuya loses his voice and desire to sing, and leaves the band. Yuki realizes that the only way to protect the band is to sign with Sakuya’s half-brother Ralph’s label, taking the band international. Meanwhile, Sakuya tries to kill Yoshioka, but Ralph stops him. He reminds Sakuya that Aine needs him to be with her, not in prison. Ralph avenges Aine by having Yoshioka investigated for tax evasion and fraud, which destroys his company.

Aine is in a near-catatonic state, and Sakuya takes her into hiding to care for her. When she again attempts suicide, he cuts his own wrist telling her he will die with her if that is what she really wants. Aine snaps out of her depression and begins to heal emotionally. Takayama finds Sakuya, and with Yuki makes several attempts to persuade Sakuya to return to the band. Aine realizes that Sakuya is avoiding music and is afraid that she will be hurt again because of him. She convinces him to return to the world they both love. Takayama’s death in a car accident tramatizes and pushes Sakuya to rejoin the band and sign the contract. Ralph tells Sakuya that, when he takes over from their father, he wants Sakuya to head the company’s media business. Sakuya refuses, saying he would rather be a producer. After Takayama’s death, Λucifer performs its final concert in Japan before moving to New York City. While they are overseas, Aine studies to take Takayama’s place and become a producer. At the end of the series, Sakuya and Aine are married with a son. ~ See one-shot of Atsuro and Yuuka’s wedding, and one-shot ‘King Egoist’ in Love Celeb for the announcement of Sakuya and Aine’s second child ~

 

Film Friday- Full Moon o Sagashite

Film Friday- Full Moon o Sagashite

The manga is published in North America in English by Viz Media. The series was adapted into an anime television series produced by Nihon Ad Systems, which ended before the manga was completed, as well as an OVA distributed with an issue of Ribon. The anime series was broadcast on TV Tokyo and was also licensed for retail release in North America by Viz Media, though only the first 28 episodes were released.

Anime

The series was adapted as a 52-episode anime television series by Studio Deen, directed by Toshiyuki Kato. It was broadcast on TV Tokyo from April 6, 2002 to March 29, 2003. The adaptation follows the manga closely until Mitsuki’s first singing audition, before diverging. Several characters have different histories and personalities, and because the television series concluded before the manga was finished, the anime ended with a different resolution.
The television series is licensed by Viz Media, which released seven DVDs (the first 28 episodes), under the title Full Moon before putting further releases on indefinite hold, citing low sales potential. The songs are subtitled only, resulting in a dub that switches between English dialogue and Japanese singing.
Full Moon O Sagashite has two openings, and four endings. “I Love U” by The Scanty is used as the opening song for the first 26 episodes, while the group’s song “Rock ‘n’ Roll Princess” is used for the rest. Changin’ My Life performs all four ending themes: “New Future” used for the first six episodes and the last episode 52, “Myself” is used for episodes 7-26, “Eternal Snow” is used for episodes 27-42, and “Love Chronicle” is used in episodes 43-51.

OVA

Full Moon O Sagashite: Cute Cute Adventure is a ten-minute anime OVA that was distributed with the November 2002 issue of Ribon, the magazine in which the manga was serialized. It was produced by Studio Deen, and stars myco as Mitsuki and Chieko Honda as Meroko, as in the television series, but Hiromi Ōtsuda as Takuto. Set before the series ends, it features Takuto and Meroko trying to make their way to the studio in stuffed animal forms after Mitsuki accidentally leaves them home while rushing to work.

Humans

Mitsuki Kōyama
A 12-year-old girl who dreams of becoming a pop singer, but who has a tumor in her vocal cords which restricts her ability to sing. She grew up in an orphanage, and then later went to live with her strict grandmother, Fuzuki, who forbade her from singing. When Mitsuki learns that she’ll die if her vocal cords aren’t removed, she refuses the surgery, saying she is more afraid of never singing again than she is of dying. With Takuto’s help, she transforms into Fullmoon, a 16-year-old pop idol, completely free of cancer and able to sing. As Fullmoon, she is discovered by Seed Records during an audition, and in both the manga and anime she is depicted as releasing several hit singles. The anime ending theme songs are all supposedly sung by Fullmoon. Mitsuki chooses the stage name Fullmoon because mitsuki means “full moon” in Japanese, and because her childhood friend, Eichi Sakurai, wants to become an astronomer, and the name reminds her of him. Mitsuki decided to become a singer when she was ten years old, because she made a promise with Eichi that they would fulfill their dreams the next time they met.
Mitsuki desires to become a singer because she wants to tell Eichi that she loves him. Mitsuki lost contact with Eichi when he moved from the orphanage to America. In the manga, after he leaves, Mitsuki wanted to call him in America to tell him her feelings but later finds out on television that his airplane crashed right after takeoff in the ocean and sees his name on the list of the deceased. Although she knew about his death all along, she went into denial and pretended to not know due to her intense pain. Eventually, the shinigami find out about Eichi’s death, and Mitsuki is forced to admit to herself that Eichi is gone forever. In the anime, Mitsuki does not learn about Eichi’s death until two years later, when she travels to America with Ms. Oshige and Dr. Wakaoji. She finds out from his adoptive grandparents that Eichi and his adoptive parents died in a car crash. Upon learning his death, Mitsuki runs away and goes to Eichi’s grave, wanting to die and be with Eichi. Upon her return to Japan, she becomes extremely depressed and decides to give up on singing, despite numerous attempts to convince her otherwise. However, after Izumi’s attempt to take her soul and hearing Takuto talk about his memories and how he regrets committing suicide, Mitsuki decides to sing again so she can live her life to the fullest.
In the manga, it is revealed that Mitsuki can see the shinigami if there is a soul of a dead person surrounding her. Mitsuki realizes that the soul is Eichi, who has been watching over her since he died. She is hit with the Scythe of Fate, which removes Eichi’s soul from her body. In the anime, it is never explained why she can see the shinigami. Izumi offers a theory that her illness, which made her close to death, and her belief in escaping her impending fate, made her capable of seeing the shinigami.
Halfway through the series, Mitsuki realizes that she loves Takuto but feels guilty for it because she is afraid of forgetting Eichi. With the help of Meroko, she decides that she loves them both and is able to confess to Takuto, as well as accept that Eichi would have wanted her to be happy. By the end of the series, she is cured of her illness and is able to pursue a singing career and relationship with Takuto, but keeps Eichi in a special place in her heart. Mitsuki’s corkscrew hairstyle was inspired by Ai Kago of the group Morning Musume. Mitsuki herself is modeled on one of Arina Tanemura’s assistants, Airi Teito.
Eichi Sakurai 
Mitsuki’s childhood friend and first love. In the anime, he is six years older than her; in the manga, he is four years older. He is a kind and gentle boy, and dreams of becoming an astronomer. In the manga, Eichi used to hate the moon because it saw him cry after his grandfather’s death, but after meeting Mitsuki, he grew to love the moon. After his parents died, Eichi lived with his grandfather. When he died as well, Eichi moved to the orphanage where he met Mitsuki. They became fast friends, and he eventually fell in love with her, confessing his feelings just before moving to America. Mitsuki was heartbroken when he left, as she could not yet confess her true feelings to him. Part of the reason she wanted to become a singer was to find him.
In the manga, Eichi dies when his flight to America crashes, which Mitsuki learns when she watched the news of the crash and saw his name on the list of the deceased. In the anime, Eichi dies in a car accident a few months after moving, which Mitsuki doesn’t find out until she travels to America two years later. In the manga, Takuto’s first assignment was taking Eichi’s soul, but Eichi refused to depart the world and said that only one girl could take or release his soul. He becomes a ghost and watches over Mitsuki, which gives her the power to see shinigami. He stays with her until the end of the manga, when he sees that Mitsuki is happy with her career and with Takuto, and leaves with a smile and with tears in his eyes.
Takuto Kira 
is Meroko’s partner and trainee, and they are assigned to take Mitsuki’s soul. His shinigami costume is a cat outfit plus a backpack with wings, without which, as a trainee shinigami, he cannot fly. Takuto is capable of transforming into an anthropomorphic cat plushie. Moved by Mitsuki’s plight, he transforms her into the 16-year-old Fullmoon. Takuto falls in love with Mitsuki as the story goes on, and despite the 12 year age difference between them, they become a couple at the end. As the series progresses, he remembers his past as Takuto Kira, the lead singer of ROUTE:L, the band that both Mitsuki’s father and her doctor were in. After a malignant tumor in his throat took his voice, he attempted suicide by jumping from the top floor of the hospital, witnessed by Dr. Wakaōji. He remained in a coma for the next two years. In the manga, a twelve year-old Takuto named Mitsuki before she was born, and later met her at the orphanage when she was four years old and promised to protect her. At the end of the series, Takuto saves Mitsuki’s life, violating fate and his duty as a shinigami.
At the end of the manga, he is seen as a human again in the hospital, having lost three months of memories. Three years later, he reunites with Mitsuki during her concert. Mitsuki jumps off stage mid-song and confesses her feelings to him. They kiss amid cheers from the concert crowd. In the anime, the circumstances of Takuto’s death are changed: he is in a motorbike accident and dies rather than remaining in a coma. After being given a second chance at life, Takuto has no memory of his former lives as human or shinigami, but still carries the cat charm Mitsuki gave him. In the final scene, Meroko (now an angel) leads Mitsuki to Takuto. Mitsuki calls out to him, and he recognizes her.
Meroko Yui
is a rabbit shinigami with long ears, capable of transforming into an anthropomorphic bunny stuffed toy. Her shinigami costume in the manga is black; whereas, in the anime it is red. Meroko is particularly insecure in relationships. At one point she laments, “I’ve finally run away from love… but when I fell in love and lost it, I realized that there’s no place to run anywhere, anymore. Do I have to repeat this forever? Is this my punishment?” (bonus story in manga volume 3,A Kiss for Meroko). This insecurity gives her jealousy towards Mitsuki. Meroko is Takuto’s partner and has an unrequited infatuation with him. Her jealousy in the manga causes her to act out almost violently against Mitsuki. In the anime, she is more passive; however, the anime depicts her love for Takuto as being much deeper and more permanent than the manga (possibly because Izumi is a villain in the anime, while he is mostly a good guy in the manga.) Meroko is Izumi’s former partner; in the manga, it is Izumi who selects her unique costume so it will match his. Both the manga and the anime reveal that Izumi and Meroko kissed shortly before he betrayed her by ending their shinigami partnership. Meroko is forced to train Takuto as a replacement. The anime does not address Meroko’s past, while the manga does: As a human, Meroko was named Moe Rikyō (里匡 萌 Rikyō Moe), and was the best friend of Mitsuki’s grandmother, Fuzuki. Fuzuki was in an arranged engagement to another man, but both she and Moe fell in love with Seijuro Koga, a handsome violinist. However, Seijuro returned only Fuzuki’s affections and arranged things so the two could be engaged. Fuzuki’s loutish ex-fiancé was passed on to Moe, who, shocked by the new arrangements, sought out Fuzuki to verify the truth. At the same time, Fuzuki broke off her relationship with Seijuro and was giving him a final kiss when Moe arrived. The upset Moe ran away; soon afterwards, her new fiancé attempted to rape her. Feeling betrayed by her friend, Moe committed suicide. In the manga, Meroko learns Seijuro is Mitsuki’s grandfather and assumes Mitsuki is the descendant of Fuzuki’s betrayal. In a rage, Meroko tries to take Mitsuki’s soul with a whip, but Takuto intervenes. It is later revealed that Fuzuki did not marry Seijuro but later married another man, with whom she raised Hazuki Kouyama, Mitsuki’s mother; Seijuro married another woman, and their child was Aoi Koga, Mitsuki’s father.
Meroko eventually makes amends in the manga both by befriending Fuzuki in her rabbit form and by appearing silently as Moe, allowing Fuzuki a chance to explain and apologize although shinigami law prevents her from replying.
The manga ends with Meroko and Izumi reconciling their relationship as well as becoming shinigami partners once more because she realizes it was always Izumi whom she loved the most. In the anime, Meroko is exiled from the shinigami and resolves to become a ghost in order to save Takuto; in reward for this kindness, she is made into an angel and given Takuto’s soul to deliver a second chance.