Browsed by
Tag: shojo

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.

 

Manga Monday- Full Moon o Sagashite

Manga Monday- Full Moon o Sagashite

Full Moon o Sagashite  (literally “Searching for the Full Moon”) is a Japanese shōjo manga by Arina Tanemura. According to the furigana, the kanji 満月 in the title are read furu mūn (“full moon”) and not mangetsu or mitsuki, the Japanese words for the full moon. In North America, the series is officially titled Full Moon, although the full Japanese title is still shown on the front covers of all volumes.
The manga was serialized in Shueisha’s shojo manga magazine Ribon from January 2002 to June 2004 and collected in seven tankōbon volumes. The manga is published in North America in English by Viz Media.
Starting in January 2012, Full Moon O Sagashite was reprinted in four bunkoban volumes with new covers. The manga is licensed in North America in English by Viz Media as Full Moon, although the full title is given on the front cover.

Art book

On April 15, 2004, Shueisha released a seventy-page art book for the series entitled The Arina Tanemura Collection: The Art of Full Moon. Viz Media released an English language edition in North America on October 21, 2008.

Plot

Twelve-year-old Mitsuki Kouyama is a talented middle school girl who dreams of becoming a singer, but she is afflicted with sarcoma, which is curable only through a surgery that could ruin her vocal cords, and lose her ability to sing. The tumor in her throat already affects her ability to breathe well and sing loudly. Her grandmother also hates music and is completely opposed to Mitsuki’s wish to audition. Mitsuki’s dreams seem impossible to achieve, until one day she is visited by two shinigami, whom only she could see. The shinigami, Takuto and Meroko, inadvertently tip Mitsuki off that she has only one year left to live.
Mitsuki then realizes she cannot wait any longer to fulfill her dream, so she runs away from home and the shinigami, to try to audition for a singing competition. However, the shinigami stops her before she is able to audition. She moves Takuto, the male shinigami, to agree to a compromise: if Mitsuki promises to go quietly when her year is up, he would help her become a singer, so she could leave the world with no regrets. Takuto gives her the ability to transform into a completely healthy 16-year-old, so that she could meet the age requirements of the audition, and sing without hindrance.
Despite heavy competition, Mitsuki wins over the judges with her excellent voice and her enthusiasm for singing, sealing a contract with Seed Records. To conceal her true identity, she chooses the stage name “Fullmoon”.
Mitsuki had decided to become a singer two years before, when she was 10 years old. She had made a promise with Eichi Sakurai, a 16-year-old boy she met at her orphanage, that the next time they met, they would both be closer to their dreams. Eichi wanted to become an astronomer and Mitsuki wanted to become a singer. Shortly after, Eichi was adopted and emigrated to America before Mitsuki could express her feelings for him. Mitsuki hopes that by becoming a famous idol, Eichi would be able to hear her sing and realize her feelings for him. This is a tale of growing up, falling in love, awareness of life and death, and desire to move forward.

 

Film Friday- Itazura na Kiss aka Playful Kiss

Film Friday- Itazura na Kiss aka Playful Kiss

Itazura na Kiss is a Japanese shōjo manga series written and illustrated by Kaoru Tada. Itazura na Kiss was first serialized and published in 1990 by Shueisha through Bessatsu Margaret magazine. It became successful very quickly and became the manga series that Tada became known for in Japan. The manga became so popular that three live TV series have been made so far in 1996, 2005, and 2010, with a sequel of the 2005 drama in late 2007. In 2013, a remake of the Japanese live TV series, called Mischievous Kiss: Love in Tokyo, was made. Despite its success, the manga was never completed due to the unexpected death of the author in a house accident while she was moving to another house with her husband and son. However the manga series continues to be published with the permission of the artist’s widower. The series was recently adapted into three live-action films. A drama CD series was released in 2005–2006 and a 25 episode anime adaptation aired in 2008. In an interview, the author’s widower, Shigeru Nishikawa, revealed that the manga’s intended finale was to be conceptualized in the anime for the first time. Scripts regarding the plot of the anime closely followed the author’s planned ending.

Anime

Itazura na Kiss was adapted into a 25 episode anime by TMS Entertainment and shown on TBS from April 4, 2008 to September 25, 2008. The opening theme was “Kimi, Meguru, Boku” by Motohiro Hata, and the primary ending themes were “Kataomoi Fighter” by GO!GO!7188 and “Jikan yo Tomare (Stop Time)” by Azu featuring Seamo. Discotek Media licensed the anime and put it out on DVD in late 2014.

Films

  • Itazura na Kiss: The Movie – High School (2016)
  • Itazura na Kiss: The Movie – Campus (2017)
  • Itazura na Kiss: The Movie – Proposal (2017)
  • Fall in Love At First Kiss(一吻定情)(2019)A Taiwanese film adaptation starring Jelly Lin as Yuan Xiang-qin and Darren Wang as Jiang Zhi-shu. It will be released on 14th February 2019.

TV dramas

In 1996, Itazura na Kiss was first adapted into a Japanese television drama of the same title, which ran from 14 October to 16 December 1996 for 9 episodes every Monday at 20:00 until 21:00 JST. This version did not cover Kotoko’s and Naoki’s married life.
In 2005, it was adapted into two Taiwanese dramas, It Started with a Kiss and its sequel They Kiss Again, both starring Ariel Lin as not-so-bright Yuan Xiang Qin and Joe Cheng as the genius Jiang Zhi Shu.
In 2010, it was adapted into a South Korean drama series Playful Kiss starring Kim Hyun-joong of SS501 as the perfectionist Baek Seung-Jo and Jung So-min as the clumsy Oh Ha-Ni. The series consisted of 16 TV episodes and 7 webisodes.
In 2013, another Japanese remake aired on Fuji TV under the title Mischievous Kiss: Love in Tokyo. It starred Miki Honoka as Aihara Kotoko and Furukawa Yuki as Irie Naoki. At the end of 2014 was aired the sequel -Mischievous Kiss 2: Love in Okinawa- with both lead actors reprising their roles. The second season ended in March, 2015.
In 2015, it was adapted into a Thai drama series Kiss Me รักล้นใจนายแกล้งจุ๊บ. It starred Pirath Nitipaisankul and Sucharat Manaying, and aired on True4U.
In 2016, it was adapted into another Taiwanese drama, Miss in Kiss, starring Esther Wu as Yue-Qin and Dino Lee as Zhi-Shu. It has 48 episodes (30 minutes each) from December 8, 2016 – March 24, 2017.

Characters

  • Kotoko Aihara 
    is a ditzy and poor achieving high school student. She has been in love with the handsome and intelligent Naoki Irie since their first year in high school after hearing his speech at the opening ceremony. She eventually writes a love letter to Naoki, but is rejected right away. On the same day as her confession, Kotoko’s poorly constructed house is destroyed in a mild earthquake, and she and her father Shigeo are invited to stay at a house owned by her father’s close friend Shigeki. Arriving to the house, she is shocked to find out that Shigeo’s friend is the dad of Naoki, and that she will be living in the same house as him. In the beginning of their new life together, Naoki often teased Kotoko, but the two eventually warm up to each other. Naoki later realizes that he is in love with Kotoko and confesses to her, and the couple marry in their first year of college (the third year in the manga version). Kotoko is known as Kotoko Irie onwards. After coming back from her honeymoon with Naoki, Kotoko decides to become a nurse, so that she could be a wife fit for Naoki. After several years of marriage, Kotoko has a daughter with Naoki named Kotomi.

 

  • Naoki Irie 
    is the smartest and most handsome guy in his high school. He is rumored to have an IQ of 200, and is praised by his peers as being perfect all around. He receives a love letter from Kotoko, but rejects her before she finishes confessing, explaining that he despises “dumb girls.” When Kotoko and her father move in with Naoki and his father, he gives Kotoko many hardships and maintains a rather cold attitude towards her, although he secretly began to fall in love with her, because he believed that the trouble she caused made his mundane life more interesting. Though Naoki’s grades allow for him to attend any university of his choosing, he eventually decides to attend the same college as Kotoko. After his wedding to Kotoko, Naoki becomes a doctor.

 

Manga Monday- Itazura na Kiss aka Playful Kiss

Manga Monday- Itazura na Kiss aka Playful Kiss

Itazura na Kiss is a Japanese shōjo manga series written and illustrated by Kaoru Tada. Itazura na Kiss was first serialized and published in 1990 by Shueisha through Bessatsu Margaret magazine. It became successful very quickly and became the manga series that Tada became known for in Japan. The manga became so popular that three live TV series have been made so far in 1996, 2005, and 2010, with a sequel of the 2005 drama in late 2007. In 2013, a remake of the Japanese live TV series, called Mischievous Kiss: Love in Tokyo, was made. Despite its success, the manga was never completed due to the unexpected death of the author in a house accident while she was moving to another house with her husband and son. However the manga series continues to be published with the permission of the artist’s widower. On January 27, 2009, Digital Manga Publishing issued a press release announcing the acquisition of the license to publish Itazura na Kiss in English. They will be publishing the series in 12 omnibus editions; the first two are scheduled for November 2009 and March 2010, respectively. The last two volumes are available in their Akadot Retail store.

Plot

In this romantic comedy story, a high school girl named Kotoko Aihara finally tells a fellow senior named Naoki that she has loved him from afar since she saw him on their first day of high school. However, Naoki, a hottie “super-ikemen” (handsome male) who is smart and good at sports, rejects her offhand. Fate intervenes when a mild earthquake ruins Kotoko’s family house. While the house gets rebuilt, Kotoko and her dad stay at the home of her dad’s childhood bestfriend…whose son is Naoki. Naoki eventually falls for Kotoko and starts to have romantic, protective feelings for her.

 

Film Friday- Fruits Basket

Film Friday- Fruits Basket

The series was also adapted into a 26-episode anime series, directed by Akitaro Daichi. A new anime television series adaptation produced by TMS Entertainment and directed by Yoshihide Ibata will premiere in April 2019.

Anime

Directed by Akitaro Daichi, the twenty-six episode Fruits Basket anime series was animated and produced by Studio Deen. It premiered on TV Tokyo on July 5, 2001, with the final episode airing on December 27, 2001. Some parts of the plot deviated from the manga and were portrayed differently, such as Momiji and Shigure’s behaviors. Throughout production, Daichi and Takaya ran into disagreements, including the cast, coloring details, and Daichi’s storytelling style, leading Takaya to disliking the series.

The series was released in Japan in nine individual DVD volumes by King Records, with each volume containing three episodes except for the first volume, which contained two. The first volume was released on September 29, 2001, with subsequent volumes released on a monthly basis until the final volume was released on May 22, 2002. A series box set was released on April 25, 2007, containing all twenty-six episodes, as well a message card from Natsuki Takaya, a 60-page deluxe booklet, and a bonus Fruits Basket CD soundtrack.

Funimation aired the series with their English dub on the Funimation Channel as well as on Colours TV and also licensed it for Region 1 DVD release. It released it in the form of four individual volumes containing 6-7 episodes and a complete series box set. On November 20, 2007, Funimation re-released the series as part of their lower priced Viridian line, with the new release containing the complete series in a thin-packed box set, and then in August 1, 2017 on an upscaled Blu-ray in a standard and collector’s edition. In the United Kingdom, FUNimation originally distributed the series through MVM Entertainment, but then changed distributors in November 2006 to Revelation Films. Revelation re-released the four individual volumes under their label. They also released the series box set on January 22, 2007. MVM re-licensed the series in late 2011. In Region 4, the series was released as a complete series box set by Madman Entertainment on October 15, 2003.

A new anime adaptation has been announced. Funimation announced that the new adaptation would air in April 2019, and would adapt the entire manga. The adaptation will also include a new cast and staff, with TMS Entertainment handling the production. Yoshihide Ibata is directing the series, with Taku Kishimoto handling series composition and Masaru Shindou handling character designs. Funimation has also licensed the series for streaming and home video distribution.

Other

In 1999 the magazine Hana to Yume released a special Fruits Basket drama CD which had a four-chapter original story and short talk sections between each section. Released before the anime came out, this CD had a completely different voice cast. The CD was a promotional item with a limited run and is now unavailable. As well as the drama CD, there have been two music CD releases of Fruits Basket to coincide with the anime adaptation, Memory for You and Four Seasons (also known as Song for Ritsuko Okazaki).

Natsuki Takaya has created one art book and two fan books for Fruits Basket. The art book, containing 101 pages of illustrations, was published by Hakusensha on April 16, 2004. The first fan book, Fruits Basket Fan Book – Cat, which contained 192 pages of story summaries, character biographies, and activities, was published in Japan on May 19, 2005. Tokyopop released it in English on September 11, 2007. The second fan book, Fruits Basket Fan Book – Banquet, was published in Japan on March 19, 2007 and contained 187 pages; it was scheduled to be published in English by Tokyopop on April 27, 2010.

Fruits Basket has also resulted in the creation of a variety of merchandise, including plushies of the various zodiac animals, wall calendars, clothing items, key chains, wall scrolls, buttons, figurines, and school supplies. A collectible card game based on the series was also created and published by Score Entertainment which can be used for playing Dai Hin Min as well as other games.

In 2008, the all-male theatrical troupe Gekidan Studio Life announced it would be producing a theatrical adaptation of Fruits Basket, using only performers who would be making their stage debuts. The production is expected to run for two weeks at the Galaxy Theater in Tokyo starting February 25, 2009.

Tohru Honda
aged 16–18, is an orphaned high school student who, at the start of the story, lives in a tent before she encounters the Sohma family. More specifically, she begins living with Shigure, Yuki, and Kyo Sohma in exchange for housekeeping. She loves to cook, describes herself as an excellent housekeeper, and has an after-school job as an office janitor in an effort to pay her tuition fees and avoid being a burden to her grandfather. Throughout both the manga and anime series, it is noticeable from those around her that she has a good heart and genuinely cares about those in her life. Although knowing the Sohma’s curse, Tohru embraces the family and their secret.
Kyo Sohma
aged 16–18, is cursed by the cat, an animal not in the Chinese zodiac, but which legend says would have been if it had not been tricked by the Rat into missing the induction feast. In an author’s note, Natsuki Takaya described the character of Kyo as a powerful force that pulled the story of Fruits Basket along. In spite of his cold and aggressive nature, Kyo’s heart later softens upon realizing Tohru’s care for him be sincere. Their bond not only encourages Kyo to have a change of heart, but it also allows Kyo to trust in Tohru when he’s to expose what it means to be excluded from the zodiac.
Yuki Sohma
 aged 16–18, is the Rat of the Chinese zodiac and younger brother of Ayame. Yuki is depicted as an attractive, reserved, and accomplished young man with many admirers, but who finds being friendly difficult. He’s been able to confide to Tohru without problem and has expressed vulnerability as one who has the Sohma curse.

 

Manga Monday- Fruits Basket

Manga Monday- Fruits Basket

Fruits Basket, sometimes abbreviated Furuba, or Furuba, is a Japanese shōjo manga series written and illustrated by Natsuki Takaya. It was serialized in the semi-monthly Japanese magazine Hana to Yume, published by Hakusensha, from 1998 to 2006. The series tells the story of Tohru Honda, an orphan girl who, after meeting Yuki, Kyo, and Shigure Sohma, learns that twelve members of the Sohma family are possessed by the animals of the Chinese zodiac and are cursed to turn into their animal forms when they are weak, stressed, or when they are embraced by anyone of the opposite sex that is not possessed by a zodiacal spirit. The title comes from the name of a popular game played in Japanese elementary schools, which is alluded to in the series.

Manga

The 136 chapters of Fruits Basket were originally serialized in Japan by Hakusensha in Hana to Yume from July 1998 to November 2006. These were collected in 23 tankōbon volumes, with the final volume published in Japan on March 19, 2007.

The series is licensed in English in North America and the United Kingdom by Tokyopop and in Singapore by Chuang Yi. The Singapore edition is licensed to be imported to Australia and New Zealand by Madman Entertainment. All 23 English-language volumes have been released in North America and Singapore. In addition, Tokyopop released a box set containing the first four volumes in October 2007, and started re-releasing earlier volumes in “Ultimate Editions” combining two sequential volumes in a single larger hard-cover volume with new cover art. The first Ultimate Edition release met with mixed reviews, however, because they exactly reproduce the first two volumes without correcting changed page numbers or prior errors. As of June 2008, six Ultimate Editions have been released, covering the first twelve volumes of the series. After Tokyopop ceased publication, the series was re-licensed by Yen Press, with plans to release it as twelve omnibus editions corresponding Hakuensha’s collector’s editions.

Chuang Yi also publishes in Singapore a Simplified Chinese edition as well as English. In Europe, Fruits Basket is licensed in French by Delcourt, in Spanish by Norma Editorial, in Italian by Dynit, in Dutch by Glénat, in German and Swedish by Carlsen Comics, in Finnish by Sangatsu Manga, and in Polish by Japonica Polonica Fantastica, and in Danish by Mette Holm [Carlson Manga]. In Latin America, Editorial Vid has released the complete series in Mexico in Spanish, and Editora JBC has released the complete series in Portuguese in Brazil with the first volume released in April 2005.

On September 4, 2015, the first two volumes of Fruits Basket: Collector’s Edition were released in Japan under the Hana to Yume Comics Special imprint. It is to extend to twelve volumes in total. On the same day, a sequel series, Fruits Basket another, began serialization in HanaLaLaOnline. The series is planned to run for 2-3 volumes. Starting in June 2016, Fruits Basket: Collector’s Edition was released in English by Yen Press.

Plot

When high school student Tohru Honda’s mother dies in a car crash, Tohru decides to live with her grandfather. Renovations on the house and unsupportive and unkind family members cause her to move out of her grandfather’s house temporarily and, since she has nowhere else to go, Tohru begins living in a tent and supporting herself. That is, until she finds a home in the least likely of places, inhabited by her popular classmate Yuki Sohma and his cousin Shigure. The first day Tohru moves into the Sohma house, an orange haired teenager crashes through the roof of her new bedroom and starts attacking Yuki. This newcomer is Kyo, Yuki and Shigure’s aggressively angry cousin. Once Kyo loses quickly to Yuki, he tries to fight him again. When he’s about to attack, Tohru tries to stop him, but slips on an article of clothing, making her fall onto Kyo’s back. When this happens, Tohru discovers something big about the Sohmas.

The Sohmas live with a curse. Twelve members of the family (not including Kyo, who is the cat) are possessed by spirits of the Chinese zodiac and turn into their zodiac animal when they are weak, under stress, embarrassed, or when hugged by someone of the opposite sex.

When Tohru discovers the Sohmas’ secret, she promises not to tell and is allowed to keep living with them. Although the Sohmas’ curse is deeper and darker than Tohru realized, her presence and her acceptance of them soon becomes a large, positive influence on those possessed by the zodiac. She sets out to break the curse and, on the way, meets and discovers the Sohma’s vengeful zodiac spirits. Each has a different personality, just like the animals in the Chinese zodiac. One by one, Tohru’s existence changes the Sohma clan’s lives forever.

 

Film Friday- Princess Tutu

Film Friday- Princess Tutu

Princess Tutu is a Japanese magical girl anime series created by Ikuko Itoh in 2002 for animation studio Hal Film Maker. Inspired by ballet and fairy tales, particularly The Ugly Duckling and Swan Lake, the story follows a duck who is transformed into the mythical ballerina Princess Tutu in order to save the shattered heart of a storybook prince come to life.

The first season was broadcast in Japan in 2002 and the second in 2002 and 2003. It was also adapted into a two-volume manga. Both the manga and anime series were licensed by ADV Films in 2004 for distribution in North America, then by AEsir Holdings when ADV Films closed in 2009, but it’s upcoming Blu-ray Disc release will be distributed by Sentai Filmworks, as the latter two are parts of Section23 Films. The series explores the concepts of destiny and free will. Reviewers point out that although Princess Tutu is nominally a magical girl series, it is more of a “fairy tale set to ballet with a few magical girl elements mixed in,” and its use of dance in lieu of violence to solve conflicts carries “surprisingly effective emotional appeal.”

Anime

Princess Tutu was originally aired in two seasons. The first season, “Kapitel des Eies” (“Chapter of the Egg”), consisted of 13 half-hour episodes. The second season, “Kapitel des Junges” (“Chapter of the Fledgling”) in R2 DVDs, and “Kapital des Kükens” (“Chapter of the Chick”) in R1 DVDs, was aired as 25 quarter-hour episodes and one half-hour episode; to conform to the format of the time slot, each episode was halved. These were brought back together in the DVD release as 13 complete episodes.

North American DVD releases

In 2004 ADV Films announced that they had licensed the anime series for distribution in North America. ADV Films produced English adaptations for all episodes and, beginning in 2005, the series was periodically released as single DVD “volumes” that each contained several episodes. In 2007 the series was released as a complete DVD collection of all 26 episodes. In 2011 AEsir Holdings announced the licensing of the series and the release of a complete DVD collection of all 26 episodes distributed by Section23 Films. In 2018, as AEsir Holdings and Sentai Filmworks are parts of Section23 Films, the latter will release a complete Blu-ray collection of all 26 episodes on December 11, 2018.

Main characters

  • Duck 
    is a friendly, kind-hearted duck who was turned into a pre-teen girl by Drosselmeyer by a magical pendant. Like a duck, she is easily excitable, clumsy, and talkative. If Duck removes the pendant or quacks while talking, she transforms back into a duck, and must touch water while wearing the pendant to return to her human form. The pendant also allows Duck to transform into Princess Tutu
    As Princess Tutu, Duck is wise and graceful. According to Drosselmeyer’s writing, Duck/Tutu would turn into a speck of light and vanish if she confessed her love to Mytho. In the anime, despite her feelings for Mytho, she develops a close relationship with Fakir as the story progresses and they help each other out in their shared desire to protect Mytho and restore his heart. While it’s never explicitly confirmed if she actually does grow to have feelings for him, she does muse that Fakir gives her strength. In the manga, her feelings for Mytho are left open-ended, with Rue competing for his heart. Duck’s name in the manga is Ahiru Arima, which is retained in the English adaptation.

 

  • Mytho
    is the noble and kind Prince and protagonist of Drosselmeyer’s story “The Prince and the Raven”. He sacrificed himself to protect the weak and needy by shattering his own heart to seal away the monstrous Raven. Despite having become a popular senior at Gold Crown Academy (Kinkan Gakuen) and known throughout the student body to be a very talented ballet dancer, he possesses no emotions, and is largely dependent on his roommate and childhood friend Fakir for his well-being and survival. As Tutu restores his emotions, he finds himself both afraid of and drawn to her, holding a desire for her to return the rest of his heart and know what she thinks of him. He is later corrupted by The Raven’s blood that Kraehe put on one of his heart shards, and so attempts to steal girls’ hearts as a sacrifice to The Raven. While Mytho’s true personality does try to fight back against the corruption, as it progresses he becomes increasingly unstable and verbally abusive to Rue. In the end however, with her help he overcomes The Raven’s blood when the last heart shard is returned. Ultimately, because of this, he chooses Rue to be his princess. At the end of the anime, Mytho’s real name is revealed to be Siegfried, which, incidentally, is the name of the Prince in the ballet Swan Lake, from which the series borrows many plot elements.

 

  • Fakir 
    is Mytho’s roommate and a talented ballet dancer in his own right. Initially he is extremely possessive of Mytho, displaying a need to be in control of everything the prince does and discouraging his emotions as they are gradually restored in a forceful and almost abusive manner. He also acts rude or hostile towards anyone who appears to be growing close to Mytho, including Rue, Duck, and especially Princess Tutu. Eventually Duck learns that Fakir’s harsh behavior came about only because he wanted to protect Mytho from repeating the tragic events of the past, which he felt he could only do by preventing Mytho from regaining his heart. Duck however helps him realize that Mytho wants his heart back. Fakir is the reincarnation of the Knight in Drosselmeyer’s story, who died to protect the Prince; Fakir was even born with a birthmark on his chest that resembles a scar, which lies in the same place as the wound that killed the Knight. It’s later revealed that Fakir is a descendant of Drosselmeyer and inherited his ability to bend reality with his writing. He tried using his power to stop a raven attack when he was young, but failed and his parents were killed. This made him shut away the knowledge of this power until Duck convinces him to try again. When he chooses to pick up the pen once more, he eventually realizes that he can only successfully write stories about Duck. By the end of the series he has fallen in love with Duck, which is exemplified through his promise to stay by her side forever.

 

  • Rue
    is an advanced ballet student, and greatly admired by Duck and the other pupils. She is aloof, and only Duck dares to approach her and make friends. She has loved Mytho since childhood after he defended her from crows, and now takes advantage of his apathy to pretend they are a couple. Like Duck, she also has a magical princess alter ego, Princess Kraehe
    the daughter of the Raven. Her jealously interferes with Tutu’s attempts to restore Mytho’s heart, fearing that he will fall in love with someone else. Her father, The Raven, uses her as a means to revive him, but in the end she learns she is not a raven, but rather a human girl kidnapped as a baby during The Raven’s attack on the town. When it appears Mytho will give himself to The Raven, Rue sacrifices herself instead, admitting she had always loved Mytho. Touched by her selfless act, Mytho regains his heart and rescues her, asking her to be his princess. In the manga her name is Rue Kuroha, and is much colder and more cruel. Kraehe (also spelled Krähe) is the German word for “crow”.

Antagonists

  • The Raven 
    is the monster from Drosselmeyer’s story The Prince and The Raven and is one of the main antagonists of the anime. Unlike Drosselmeyer, The Raven was mentioned in the first half of the anime and only appears in the second half of the anime. Mytho shattered his heart to seal up The Raven, who then requires the sacrifice of young, beautiful hearts which he will eat to restore his form. He stole Rue from her parents as a child and raised her as his daughter, calling her Princess Kraehe. The Raven is cruel and abusive to Rue, and orders her to corrupt Mytho with The Raven’s blood. When Rue’s love for the Prince eventually lets him break free from the tainted heart shard, he rescues her and together they defeat The Raven. The character does not appear in the manga, albeit brief mention by Edel.

 

  • Drosselmeyer 
    is an elderly man with a long, white beard, and though he is long dead is one of the main antagonists of the anime. Author of The Prince and The Raven, he is bored with happy stories so he enjoys watching Duck, Fakir, Mytho, and Rue struggle with the tragic fates he wrote for them. He posthumously influences their lives via a machine in the clock tower. Drosselmeyer died after the angry townsfolk cut off his hands to stop him from warping reality with his writing, but he managed to bring the writing machine into existence by writing in his own blood. His name comes from the godfather of the children in the opening of Tchaikovsky’s other work The Nutcracker: one Christmas, Drosselmeyer gives a wooden doll to his niece Clara, who rejects its ugliness but later realises it is magical. He is not present in the manga.

 

Manga Monday- Princess Tutu

Manga Monday- Princess Tutu

Princess Tutu is a Japanese magical girl anime series created by Ikuko Itoh in 2002 for animation studio Hal Film Maker. Inspired by ballet and fairy tales, particularly The Ugly Duckling and Swan Lake, the story follows a duck who is transformed into the mythical ballerina Princess Tutu in order to save the shattered heart of a storybook prince come to life.

The first season was broadcast in Japan in 2002 and the second in 2002 and 2003. It was also adapted into a two-volume manga. Both the manga and anime series were licensed by ADV Films in 2004 for distribution in North America, then by AEsir Holdings when ADV Films closed in 2009, but it’s upcoming Blu-ray Disc release will be distributed by Sentai Filmworks, as the latter two are parts of Section23 Films. The series explores the concepts of destiny and free will. Reviewers point out that although Princess Tutu is nominally a magical girl series, it is more of a “fairy tale set to ballet with a few magical girl elements mixed in,” and its use of dance in lieu of violence to solve conflicts carries “surprisingly effective emotional appeal.”

Manga

A manga adaptation of the anime series was written by Mizuo Shinonome and published in Japan by Akita Shoten in the shōnen manga magazine Champion Red. Two tankōbon volumes of the manga series were published in 2003. The Japanese manga series was translated to English and published in North America by ADV Manga in two volumes.

Note: The English language manga continues to use the Japanese name “Ahiru” rather than the name “Duck” used in the English language version of the anime television series.

Plot

Once there was a writer named Drosselmeyer, who had the power to make his stories come to life. But he died before he could finish his final tale, The Prince and the Raven, leaving the two title characters locked in an eternal battle. After many years, the Raven managed to break free into the real world, and the Prince pursued him. To seal away the Raven’s evil, Prince Siegfried shattered his own heart with his sword, causing him to lose all his memories and emotions.

Drosselmeyer, now a ghost, decides the story must have an ending. He finds it in the form of a little duck, who has fallen in love with Mytho, the empty remainder of Siegfried. He gives her a magic pendant that can transform her, first into an ordinary human girl, then into the graceful ballerina Princess Tutu, another character in the story. As Tutu, it’s Duck’s job to find all the scattered shards of Mytho’s heart and return them to him.

But not everyone wants Mytho to get his heart back. Rue, the Raven’s daughter reborn as a human, has fallen in love with him too, and worries he might not return her feelings if he has a heart. Her desire to stop him from regaining his emotions unleashes her ability to transform into Princess Kraehe, Tutu’s evil counterpart. Fakir, the boy who found and took care of Mytho after he escaped the story, also tries to stop Tutu, fearing that the story progressing means the Raven will return and Mytho will have to risk his life fighting it again.

What’s more, Duck learns that part of Princess Tutu’s story is that she can never confess her love to Mytho, or else she’ll turn into a speck of light and vanish. However, it becomes clear that Mytho wants his heart restored, so despite Fakir and Kraehe’s interference, she persists.

Eventually Fakir accepts Mytho’s choice and decides to help Tutu, even discovering her true identity as a Duck and becoming good friends with her. He also learns he’s a descendant of Drosselmeyer, meaning he too has the power to make what he writes a reality. Rue finds out she’s not the Raven’s daughter, but a human child he stole to serve him.

After most of Mytho’s heart is returned to him, the seal trapping the Raven begins to break. Finally able to feel love again, Mytho realizes he loves Rue – just as the Raven kidnaps her. Duck discovers her pendant is the final shard, meaning she must give up her life as a human to return it. She eventually finds the courage to do so, and becomes a humble duck again.

Mytho and the Raven battle once more. When the fight turns bleak, Mytho considers shattering his heart to seal the monster away again. Duck begins dancing to show him he must not give up. As she does, Fakir writes a story about how she never stops, no matter how many times the Raven’s minions attack her. Together they create hope, which gives Mytho the strength he needs to rescue Rue and defeat the Raven. Mytho asks Rue to be his princess and they return to his kingdom inside the story. Duck and Fakir continue their relationship, even though she’s stuck in her duck form. With nothing left to do, Drosselmeyer departs in search of another story.

 

Film Friday- Kiss Him Not Me

Film Friday- Kiss Him Not Me

An anime adaptation by Brain’s Base aired in Japan between October and December 2016. An audio drama adaptation of the first chapter was released on January 13, 2015.

Anime

An anime television adaptation of the manga was announced in the Bessatsu Friend magazine’s April 2016 issue. Brain’s Base produced the anime, with Hiroshi Ishiodori directing, Michiko Yokote handled the series composition and Kazuhiko Tamura designed the characters. The series aired in Japan between October 6, 2016 and December 22, 2016 and simulcast by Crunchyroll, and Funimation streamed an English dub. The opening theme is “Prince×Prince” by From4to7, while the ending theme is “Dokidoki no Kaze” by Rie Murakawa. Anime Limited has licensed the series in the UK.

Characters

Main characters

Kae Serinuma 
A fujoshi in her second year of high school and part of the history club, who becomes excited over the sight of two boys together. Initially possessing a chubby appearance, Kae loses weight after a week of mourning over the death of her favorite anime character, becoming attractive as a result. Despite becoming the object of affection for several boys as a result, she still thoroughly enjoys her otaku hobbies and is unsure how to deal with the attention she gets from the boys.
Yūsuke Igarashi 
One of Kae’s classmates, who is part of the soccer club. He is characterized as “the boy next door” type and is the most competitive out of Kae’s suitors. He was polite with Kae before losing weight but he only became interested in her because of her appearance. After spending more time with Kae, he gets to know her more as a person, making him realize how admirable and interesting Kae actually is, and causing him to truly fall in love with her.
Nozomu Nanashima 
One of Kae’s classmates, who is categorized as a “bad boy tsundere” type. He used to be a soccer player when he was much younger, but lost confidence following an incident with Yūsuke. Although he portrays a tough exterior, he is actually quite soft-hearted and very kind when he wants to be. He has a younger sister and is good at housekeeping.
Shima Nishina 
An androgynous first year girl who is the descendant of a rich family and is skilled in both sports and arts. According to the boys, she is “Takarazuka-like prince type”. Like Kae, she is also a fujoshi and even runs her own dōjin circle. Having had trouble being respected for her art due to her family’s status, Shima came to admire Kae from even before her transformation after she complimented her work thus receiving the motivation to pursue drawing. She is bisexual in the manga, but the anime portrays her as having more of a platonic friendship with Kae rather than a romantic one although her actions do hint more towards romantic feelings. Her flirtatious personality does not change thus she is still considered a member of Kae’s harem, even as a girl.
Hayato Shinomiya 
is a first year student and member of the health committee, who started having a crush on Kae after she lost weight. He has an effeminate appearance, prone to blushing and getting flustered, and is often characterized as a tsundere by the other boys. He owns a female iguana named Thor, whom he cares for dearly.
Asuma Mutsumi
A third year student who is president of the history club and one of the few people who liked Kae before she lost her weight, but doesn’t realize it until later on in the series. While more laid back and less competitive than the other boys, he can become aggressive when someone picks on Kae. He’s very open minded and doesn’t seem to notice nor mind any of Kae’s otaku eccentricities.

 

Manga Monday- Kiss Him Not Me

Manga Monday- Kiss Him Not Me

Kiss Him, Not Me, known in Japan as Watashi ga Motete Dōsunda, is a Japanese romantic comedy shōjo manga series written and illustrated by Junko. It is published by Kodansha since 2013 on Bessatsu Friend magazine. Fourteen volumes compiling the chapters have been released so far. It is published online in English by Crunchyroll and the volumes will be published by Kodansha USA.

Reception

Volume 3 of the manga reached the 44th place on the weekly Oricon manga chart and, as of June 15, 2014, has sold 17,994 copies; volume 4 reached the 43rd place and, as of September 14, 2014, has sold 22,107 copies; volume 5 reached the 17th place and, as of January 18, 2015, has sold 41,112 copies.

The manga won Best Shōjo Manga at the 40th Kodansha Manga Awards. It was number four on the 2015 Kono Manga ga Sugoi! Top 20 Manga for Female Readers survey.

Plot

Kae Serinuma is a fujoshi, a female manga and anime geek who loves reading yaoi material and imagining men together in romantic relationships, both fictional and real. When one of her favourite anime characters is killed off, Kae is so shocked that she locks herself in her room for a whole week. When she eventually comes out, she discovers that she has lost a lot of weight. She becomes a beautiful girl that catches the eye of four boys at her school: Yūsuke Igarashi, Nozomu Nanashima, Hayato Shinomiya, and Asuma Mutsumi. Despite learning about Kae’s bizarre tendencies, the four boys, along with another fujoshi girl named Shima Nishina, all fall for Kae and begin competing with each other for her affection, much to Kae’s frustration as she wants them to fall in love with each other.