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Manga Monday- Zatch Bell!

Manga Monday- Zatch Bell!

Zatch Bell!, also known in Japan as Golden Gash!, is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Makoto Raiku. It was published in Shogakukan’s Weekly Shōnen Sunday. The series follows mamodo Zatch Bell and his human partner Kiyo Takamine, as they try to win a tournament of Mamodo battles in order to make the former the king of the Mamodo world.

The manga was later adapted into a 150 episode anime television series titled Golden Gash Bell!! by Toei Animation. Konjiki no Gash Bell premiered on Fuji TV on April 6, 2003, and ran until March 26, 2006. In addition to an array of licensed merchandise, the series also spawned a series of video games and two animated films.

The Zatch Bell! manga has over 22 million copies in circulation. In 2003, it won the 48th Shogakukan Manga Award for the shōnen category.

Reception

As of June 2008, the manga had over 22 million copies in circulation. In 2003, the manga won the Shogakukan Manga Award for best shōnen title of the year. The Zatch Bell! anime series ranked twentieth in animage’s anime popularity poll in 2005. The anime ranked 64th of the Top 100 anime in 2005 according to a web poll conducted by TV Asahi.

Mania.com’s Jarred Pine’s review of the first volume said that the art style was odd yet crude. He also mentioned the art style and explosive action scenes with moments of humor save the series from being recycled material. Anime News Network’s Zac Bertschy review of the anime adaption described it as “…mind-numbingly over-the-top, so enthusiastically bizarre, that it’s difficult to not get sucked into its strange little world” but criticized how it was like a “battle your way to the top while learning important lessons about teamwork and courage” anime. He commented how the “sheer exuberance and energy” saves the show from being a bland anime and how it would be the perfect show for kids. IGN’s review of the series was mostly negative. IGN’s Jason Van Horn criticized the animation, plot, and dubbed voice acting. IGN’s JKB stated the books are more interesting than the animation.

Common Sense Media describes the story as “isn’t just about violence”. They also say that there is always challenges, adversities, and questions of identity that the characters face especially Zatch and Kiyo. They compliment how the characters often think aloud when talking about their painful experiences or flashbacks. They applaud on how each of the characters problems in the series are not far off on what kids deal with today. They criticized how the battles uses visuals, languages, sound effects, and dramatic effects that often get drawn out and sometimes become hard to watch. Overall, they said with the graphic violence and the internal struggles that the different characters face throughout the series some parents may not find Zatch Bell! appropriate for their children under ten years old.

Manga

Written and drawn by Makoto Raiku, Zatch Bell! premiered in Shogakukan’s Weekly Shōnen Sunday magazine on January 10, 2001. In December 2005, the series was put on hiatus due to the author injuring his hand. The series resumed its serialization on issue No. 11 of Weekly Shōnen Sunday in February 2006. The series finished its serialization on December 26, 2007. The manga spanned a total of 323 individual chapters and 33 tankōbon volumes.

The series was licensed for an English language release by Viz Media. The first two volumes of the series were released on August 2, 2005. Viz has discontinued the series after volume 25, released on June 9, 2009.

In March 2011, Makoto Raiku released a one-shot chapter of Zatch Bell to promote the re-release of the manga in a new bunkoban format by Kodansha. Sixteen volumes were published between March 8, 2011, and June 7, 2012.

In July 2018, Raiku began releasing a digital sixteen-volume “Complete Edition” of Zatch Bell through his digital publishing company BIRGDIN BOARD Corp. The re-releases consisted of new cover art drawn by Raiku himself, color pages from the original Weekly Shonen Sunday serialization, and a special bonus chapter in each volume called “Zatch Cafe” that features the characters from that volume’s cover. After successful sales and demand from fans, the Zatch Bell Complete Edition began to be released in kanzenban format through Kraken in July 2019, featuring everything that was contained in the digital release. There are no plans for an international release at this time.

Synopsis

Setting

Mamodo (魔物, Mamono, lit. “demon”) are mystical creatures with supernatural powers from the parallel Mamodo world. Every 1,000 years, one hundred Mamodo are transported to Earth to compete for the kingship of their world. Each Mamodo’s set of spells are sealed away in a spell book that requires a human companion to read aloud in order to cast them. Only one human can read that Mamodo’s book, whereupon he or she becomes its book owner and partner. Spells cast by the Mamodo produce various effects; along with direct attacks and defenses, there are also spells that temporarily enhance the Mamodo’s abilities, such as agility; render the enemy immobile, or even empower an object they carry. Spells in each book are typically different for each Mamodo, but there are others that carry identical spells—an example of this is Zatch Bell and his twin brother, Zeno Bell. The human and their Mamodo usually start out with one spell but unlock more through experience and hard work. Additionally, the spell book responds to the user’s strong emotions, so that a spell may be generated with greater energy and fervor. The object of the Mamodo battle is to eliminate opponents by burning their spell book. A Mamodo whose spell book has been burnt is then forced to return to the Mamodo world and lose all claim to the position as king. The last Mamodo standing without their book destroyed becomes the new Mamodo king for the next thousand years.

Plot

Taking place mostly in modern-day Japan, the story follows Kiyo Takamine, a 14-year-old boy in junior high school. His father, Seitaro Takamine, discovers an unconscious child named Zatch Bell while in a forest in England, and sends Zatch to live with Kiyo. Unlike the other Mamodo, Zatch lost his memory of the Mamodo world. Kiyo first learns about the spell book when he reads a spell causing Zatch to fire lightning from his mouth. As Kiyo and Zatch begin to encounter different Mamodos and learn more about the Mamodo battles, they discover that there are those who do not wish to fight and there are those who fight for the wrong reasons. After meeting a Mamodo named Kolulu and seeing how this kind Mamodo was forced to fight due to the power of her spells, Zatch decides to become a kind king in order to stop the battle from ever happening again. As the story progresses, Zatch and Kiyo meet other Mamodos that share similar views to them and become allies. They meet allies such as Megumi Oumi and Tia in which they specialize in defensive spells such as different types of shields. Kiyo and Zatch meet Folgore and Kanchomé (Canchome) who are both comic relief characters and they only have transformation spells such as Kanchomé being able to turn himself really big. Zatch met Kafk Sunbeam and Umagon earlier in England. Umagon is a Mamodo who specializes in transformation spells that can put armor around his body and increase his speed. Shery (Sherie) Belmont and Brago who was originally Zatch and Kiyo’s rival in the series later becomes their allies and he has gravity type spells.

As the number of Mamodos decreases, Zatch and his allies encounter a Mamodo called Zofis who takes control of several Mamodo who were sealed in stone tablets from the previous battle to decide the king. With Kiyo and Zatch needing more allies, they meet Dr. Riddles and Kido. They helped teach the main allies how to unlock new spells such as Zatch unlocking the sixth spell. Kiyo and Zatch with friends make their way to South America to fight off Zofis and the thousand year Mamodos. Many characters fell and got their book burned. The most notable one was Kido who was sent back to the Mamodo world after fighting Belgium E.O. Ultimately, Sherry and Brago came to help to fight Zofis. Zofis took control of Sherry’s friend Koko who Zofis makes her do evil things such as burning a whole town. Sherry and Brago beat Zofis but not without the help of Kiyo and friends. Sherry gets Koko back to normal and the battle in South America is over. After the battle against Zofis, the whole world is put in danger after a giant Mamodo named Faudo is brought to life by a Mamodo named Riou. Riou was looking for Mamodos that have enough strength to help activate Faudo. So he puts a curse on Li-en and Wonrei who Kiyo and Zatch befriend in the middle of the series. The protagonists make their way to Faudo to try to destroy it and to save their friends. The battle in Faudo was the toughest battle for the characters up to that point in the story. Kiyo almost died against Riou, and many of Zatch’s friends got sent back to the Mamodo world such as Wonrei. Faudo is then taken over by a Mamodo that looks like Zatch, who turns out to be Zatch’s evil twin brother Zeno Bell. Zatch and Zeno have a big fight inside of Faudo. Through Zeno’s flashback, he resented Zatch because their Father King Bell bestowed Zatch the power of Bao, which is Zatch’s strongest spell. Zeno at a young age had to train everyday and always got punished while Zatch lived with another family peacefully. Ultimately, Zeno comprehends that Zatch also suffered too and apologizes for what he has done to Zatch. Zeno gets his book burned and is sent back to the Mamodo world.

Finally, when the number of Mamodos have decreased to ten, an evil and powerful Mamodo named Clear Note appears. With Clear Note’s immense strength the protagonists have to train to fight against Clear Note in the King’s Festival. The King’s Festival is where the final ten Mamodo have to fight to be king. Most notably before the Zatch and Kiyo fought Clear Note, Kanchome got sent back to the Mamodo world when he was ambushed by Clear Note. With Kancome gone before the big fight it Kiyo, Megumi, and Sunbeam vowed to win against Clear Note for Kanchome and Folgore’s sake. Past Mamodos whom Kiyo and Zatch have encountered came to help out. They helped out in a form of spells because Kiyo’s spell book unlocked all of the Mamodo’s spells. Kiyo used Kido’s strongest spell, Wonrei’s strongest spell, and many more spells from their past allies After many sacrifices, Clear Note is defeated leaving Zatch and his ally Brago as the remaining Mamodos. After Kiyo’s graduation ceremony, Zatch and Brago battle and Zatch is crowned the Mamodo King. As a prize for helping Zatch become king, Kiyo is given two options: either getting a wish and forgetting about Zatch, or get nothing but keep his memories of Zatch. He chooses the latter option. Three weeks later, a letter is sent from the Mamodo to their human partners. Zatch’s letter reveals that all is well in the Mamodo world.

 

Film Friday- The Prince of Tennis

Film Friday- The Prince of Tennis

The Prince of Tennis is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Takeshi Konomi. The manga was serialized in Shueisha’s Weekly Shōnen Jump from July 1999 to March 2008. A total of 379 chapters were published and collected into 42 tankōbon volumes.

The manga was adapted into an anime television series directed by Takayuki Hamana, animated by Trans Arts and co-produced by Nihon Ad Systems and TV Tokyo. The anime was broadcast on TV Tokyo from October 10, 2001 to March 30, 2005, spanning a total of 178 episodes, as well as a theatrical movie. In April 2006, an original video animation (OVA) continuation of the anime began to be released on DVD. The beginning of the second OVA series was released on June 22, 2007, roughly three months after the end of the first. The second OVA ended on January 25, 2008, and the third and final OVA started on April 25, 2008.

In North America, Viz Media licensed both The Prince of Tennis manga and anime series for an English-language release.

The series developed into a media franchise and has had numerous other adaptations outside of the animated incarnation. Since April 2003, more than fifteen stage musicals have been produced for the series. An animated movie was released in 2005, as well as a live action movie in 2006. The franchise has also had a long-running radio show, numerous video games, well over 250 soundtracks and CDs, and other merchandise. As of January 2012, the manga had over 51 million copies in circulation.

A sequel titled New Prince of Tennis, began serialization in Jump Square in March 2009, with the story taking place several months after the end of the original manga.

Anime

An anime television series animated by Trans Arts, co-produced by Nihon Ad Systems and directed by Takayuki Hamana, was broadcast on TV Tokyo from October 10, 2001 to March 30, 2005, spanning a total of 178 episodes.

In April 2006, an original video animation (OVA) continuation of the anime began to be released over a span of seven DVDs. The beginning of the second OVA series was released on June 22, 2007, roughly 3 months after the end of the first. The second OVA finished on January 25, 2008, containing six episodes over a span of three DVDs. The third OVA started on April 25, 2008, and finished on January 23, 2009. A fourth OVA titled “Another Story” was released on May 26, 2009, which included two episodes: “Fū’un Shōnen Atobe” which showed Hyotei’s current team’s freshman years, and “Naniwa no Ōjisama”, where Seigaku goes to Osaka for a practice match with Shitenhoji. The second DVD in “Another Story” was released on September 25, 2009.

On April 24, 2007, Viz Media released the first The Prince of Tennis box set in the United States. Viz Media has also opted to not include the Japanese opening and ending themes, instead using electric guitar music. However, the original music themes can be found in the DVD extras of disc 3. As of January 15, 2008, four box sets have been released by Viz. The four box sets contain the first 50 episodes of the series. In contrast, Japan has released a total of 45 DVD volumes for the entire 178 episodes of the anime series.

The New Prince of Tennis, a sequel anime that picks up where the previous series ended, ran from January 4, 2012 to March 28, 2012.

Musicals

Beginning in 2003, a series of Prince of Tennis musicals began. Each year sees two musicals based on the storyline come out in the summer and winter, with a ‘Dream Live’ performance each Spring, featuring numerous actors and past songs. Each storyline musical adapts a single arc of the manga, typically one specific match against a team. Due to the aging of the actors, all the main characters have been recast several times.

Films

Tennis no Ōjisama – Futari no Samurai is the first animated film of the series. It was released in Japan on January 29, 2005, and co-aired with a short movie, Tennis no Oujisama: Atobe Kara no Okurimono.

The Prince of Tennis: Tennis no Ouji-sama Eikoku-shiki Teikyū-jō Kessen! is the second movie directed by Shunsuke Tada. It was released in Japan on September 3, 2011.

On May 13, 2006, the live-action adaptation film, The Prince of Tennis, was released in Japan.

Video games

The Prince of Tennis franchise has spawned many different video games. The vast majority of these are either tennis games or dating sims, and they are spread across several different video game consoles. The first of these games was released for the PlayStation console on February 20, 2002, and is the only game which holds the simple Prince of Tennis title – all of the following game titles are preceded by the “Prince of Tennis” title. This was followed by Genius Boys Academy, which was released for the Game Boy Advance on April 25, 2002. Since then, several other video games have been released for different gaming consoles, including one more PlayStation game, three Game Boy Advance games, five Nintendo DS games, and thirteen PlayStation 2 games. The latest games to be released were Nintendo DS’s Girls, be gracious on March 5, 2009, followed by Boys, be glorious on March 26, 2009.

Additionally, characters from The Prince of Tennis appeared in the Shōnen Jump based video games Jump Super Stars and Jump Ultimate Stars. All of the games have so far only been released in Japan.

Dramas

There also are two Chinese dramas based on “The Prince of Tennis” story, with the titles of “The Prince of Tennis” and “Go for It! The Prince of Tennis”. The first is the first season, while the second is the second season. There are some differences due to localization for names and cultural themes, including all the characters being renamed, but is still recognizable from its story and the characters’ portrayal. The first season covers from when Ryoma first appears in the series up to the end of their equivalent of the Tokyo Prefecturals, while the second season picks up from the end of the first season and goes to the end of their equivalent of the Kanto Tournament. Due to being based off the anime, Josei Shonan is included. In addition, hints of the live-action movie is present.

A third Chinese drama, produced by Netflix in 2019, is called The Prince of Tennis. It is set in China. A reticent talented teenage tennis player returns to China after spending his childhood overseas–the show does not specify where he spends his childhood–but he is trapped under the shadows of his father who used to be a top tennis player. When he joins a high school in China, he learns the importance of friendship and teamwork, and perhaps even gains his self-identity.

Other media

The series has produced a half-hour weekly radio show, over 300 music CDs and a large selection of merchandise. Including a trading card game and figures. Three live events, “TeniPuri Perfect Live” in 2003, “The 100 song marathon” in 2008 and “Tenipuri Festa” in 2009, were held by the TeniPuri voice actors and Konomi Takeshi himself.

The 1986 J-pop song “Valentine Kiss” by Sayuri Kokushō was covered multiple times by multiple characters in the series. From February 2004 through February 2010, a total of nine different versions of the song were released (seven individually, and the final two together). The first one, featuring the character Keigo Atobe (voiced by Junichi Suwabe) reached No. 14 on the Oricon charts.

Manga Monday- The Prince of Tennis

Manga Monday- The Prince of Tennis

The Prince of Tennis is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Takeshi Konomi. The manga was serialized in Shueisha’s Weekly Shōnen Jump from July 1999 to March 2008. A total of 379 chapters were published and collected into 42 tankōbon volumes.

The manga was adapted into an anime television series directed by Takayuki Hamana, animated by Trans Arts and co-produced by Nihon Ad Systems and TV Tokyo. The anime was broadcast on TV Tokyo from October 10, 2001 to March 30, 2005, spanning a total of 178 episodes, as well as a theatrical movie. In April 2006, an original video animation (OVA) continuation of the anime began to be released on DVD. The beginning of the second OVA series was released on June 22, 2007, roughly three months after the end of the first. The second OVA ended on January 25, 2008, and the third and final OVA started on April 25, 2008.

In North America, Viz Media licensed both The Prince of Tennis manga and anime series for an English-language release.

The series developed into a media franchise and has had numerous other adaptations outside of the animated incarnation. Since April 2003, more than fifteen stage musicals have been produced for the series. An animated movie was released in 2005, as well as a live action movie in 2006. The franchise has also had a long-running radio show, numerous video games, well over 250 soundtracks and CDs, and other merchandise. As of January 2012, the manga had over 51 million copies in circulation.

A sequel titled New Prince of Tennis, began serialization in Jump Square in March 2009, with the story taking place several months after the end of the original manga.

Reception

The Prince of Tennis has become a successful franchise. As of March 2008, the first 40 volumes of the manga had sold over 40 million copies in Japan. As of January 2012, the manga had over 51 million copies in circulation.

Carl Kimlinger from Anime News Network reviewed the first DVD box set released by Viz Media, and commented that “Prince of Tennis is among the dregs of the genre.” They go on to say that it is “boring” and “lacks the human drama necessary to get audiences to care who wins or loses.” ‘Anime on DVD’, however, comments that the show “takes the usual themes in sports shows and applies them masterfully.” DVD Talk takes more of a nonchalant view, commenting that the “series is okay but not great” and that it has some charm, which will make you not regret watching it. Active Anime also gave praise to the series, saying that it “holds some surprising twists to the regular sports drama formula”, and praised the suspenseful matches and innovative techniques.

Despite the reviews, the series is popular in Japan. When TV Asahi, a television network in Japan, conducted a survey for the one hundred most popular animated television series, The Prince of Tennis anime came in twenty-seventh place. They also conducted an online web poll, in which The Prince of Tennis placed eighteenth. Nearly a year later, TV Asahi once again conducted an online poll for the top one hundred anime, and this time, The Prince of Tennis anime advanced in rank and came in eighth place. They also surveyed Japanese celebrities for their favorite anime, where the series only came in sixty-eighth out of the top one hundred.

Media

Manga

The Prince of Tennis is written and illustrated by Takeshi Konomi. The manga was first published in Shueisha’s Weekly Shōnen Jump in Japan on July 19, 1999. The series was put under hiatus when Konomi was injured in an accident during July 2006, but publication resumed in September 2006. The series finished on March 3, 2008, Shueisha collected its 379 individual chapters into forty-two tankōbon volumes published from January 7, 2000 to June 4, 2008.

In North America, Viz Media announced the acquisition of the series in February 2004. The first volume was released on April 21, 2004. As of July 5, 2011, the forty-two volumes have been published.

A 4-panel manga parody, entitled the Prince of After School, began on November 4, 2008 in Jump Square.

A sequel to the manga series, entitled New Prince of Tennis, was announced in the December issue of Jump Square, published on November 4, 2008. The series began serialization in Jump Square on March 4, 2009. The story is set several months after the end of the first manga, and features Ryoma returning to Japan after his stay in America.

Plot

The chapters of The Prince of Tennis manga series are written and illustrated by Takeshi Konomi, and were serialized in Japan’s manga magazine Weekly Shōnen Jump from July 1999 to March 2008. A sequel to the series entitled New Prince of Tennis began serialization in Japan in the monthly magazine Jump Square on March 4, 2009. The story centers around a cocky tennis prodigy named Ryoma Echizen, who, upon his father’s urging, enrolls in a private middle school called Seishun Academy (“Seigaku” for short), which, besides being famous for its strong tennis team, is his father’s alma mater. The storyline of the first manga series revolves around Seigaku striving to become the National middle school tennis champions, while the sequel takes place several months after their National victory.

 

Film Friday- Arata: The Legend

Film Friday- Arata: The Legend

Arata: The Legend is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Yuu Watase. It began serialization in Weekly Shōnen Sunday in October 2008. Its individual chapters has been compiled into twenty-four tankōbon volumes as of September 2015.

An anime television series adaptation produced by Satelight and Korean studio JM Animation aired from April to July 2013.

Main Characters

Arata Hinohara 
The main protagonist, along with Arata. Arata Hinohara is a shy high school freshman from modern-day Japan. He is athletic, and used to run track in middle school. He’s had life difficulties in trusting others that leaves his family worrying about him overtime. After being bullied by Kadowaki, betrayed by his friend Suguru, and feeling sorrowful, Hinohara is sucked into another world, Amawakuni, where he poses as the Arata from Amawakuni, who has been framed for the princess’ murder. Soon after his entrance into the new world, he becomes a Shō, one chosen to wield the Hayagami Tsukuyo, the god of light, in the form of a sword. He promises Kikuri to help restore her power. Having to escape Gatoya Island, after Hinohara purified Tsutsuga, he embarks on a quest to govern the world from war. Along the road, Hinohara begins understand what he really must believe in. He eventually falls in love with Kotoha. In the manga, Kadowaki had place a Kimon mark on Hinohara that tampers his emotions, until he matures enough to break it. When his Hayagami fully awakens, he gains three techniques which he can produce: ultimate-chain, flash-wave, and Sun-of-the-World; dispel darkness out of people’s hearts. He is also blessed with the title Emperor Of Hinowa. With this new revelation, “Arata’s” name for murdering the princess has been cleared throughout Amawakuni.
Arata
Arata, from Amawakuni, is outgoing, full of energy, and is bored easily. At birth, his grandmother Makari, claimed that he was a girl but still raised him as boy. He is part of the Hime Clan, which provides the princesses to maintain balance in the world. With no other girls to succeed the current princess, Arata poses as a girl to become Kikuri’s successor. At the succession ceremony, he witnesses Kikuri’s assassination and is quickly framed for murder. He runs into the Kando Forest, where he switch places with Arata Hinohara from modern-day Japan. He puts his best efforts in going to school and trying to adapt in the new world, especially the family he never had. He and Hinohara are able to contact each other once in a while link through the princess’ two charms which Kotoha had given them both. In the manga, Arata uses an odd cellphone strap infused with Amatsuriki to fight Harunawa in the real world. Now Arata looks to avenge his deceased family and protect Imina.
Kotoha 
Kotoha is Arata’s childhood friend, even though her family the Uneme Clan has served the Hime Clan for years. She wishes to help others, and has the healing powers that all women of Uneme Clan have. She accompanies Hinohara on his quest. Like almost everyone else in Awamakuni, she thinks that Hinohara is the Arata from the Hime Clan whom lost his memories after being “swallowed” by the Kando Forest, but later learns his true identity in chapter 41. In the anime, she figures it out when noticing his reactions to her and by the sudden appearance of Kadowaki. She had romantic feelings for Arata but shifts to Hinohara when Arata rejected her, and is the first person to have belief in Hinohara. As the series progresses, Kotoha’s healing powers have become stronger.
Kannagi
One of the Twelve Shinshō, he wields the Hayagami Homura, the god of fire. He incites the coup d’etat against the princess so that the Shinshō can use their Hayagami without limitations and frames Arata for the murder. Kannagi is determined to become emperor for the sake of Emisu, whom he loved. At first, he leads the manhunt for Arata, but later accepts Hinohara’s pity to accompany on his quest in order to get revenge on Akachi for killing all his Zokushō, and having his Hayagami stolen. Kannagi swore to Honi that he will make things right again. In chapter 119, he finally retrieves his Hayagami, along saving an orphan who resembles Emisu. After Akachi’s defeat, Kannagi now pledges to watch over the other Emisu and resume his desire to become emperor; though Hinohara understands him.
Mikusa
She is a strong warrior who disguised herself as a male her whole life due to circumstances and labeled as a fake member of the Hime Clan. At first, she tried to avenge Kikuri, but Hinohara was able to prove his innocence. She doesn’t trust others easily and is unsure how to respond to Hinohara and company in chapter 65. Mikusa does not know how to behave like a woman at first, but after developing affections for Hinohara, she starts to become more feminine. After deciding Hinohara’s group is trustworthy she opens up towards the others. The only person she shows a softer side to was Rami. It was discovered in chapter 105 that Mikusa had been found near Kando Forest by Kikuri and was adopted into the Hime Clan 15 years ago, meaning she’s the one who switched places with Imina and is Japanese.
Yataka
One of the Twelve Shinshō. He wields the Hayagami Zekuu, the god of void in the form of a mirror. He is able to reflect a person’s true character. He’s very proper and conducts himself in a professional and chivalrous manner. Yataka’s first formal meeting with Princess Kikuri was when she requested he bring her to her home to visit her dying mother. They soon became a couple afterwards and he began seeing the world as pure and beautiful. However, one day Kikuri left him without telling him. He believed Kikuri betrayed him and grew resentful. After finding out the truth behind Kikuri’s betrayal, Yataka suffered even more. Kotoha reveals to him that Kikuri must have suffered during this ordeal because she truly wished to be with him. Now convince of Kikuri’s reasons, Yataka tried to submit to Hinohara, but he rejected him saying he should instead atone for his actions. Okima takes his position for the time-being while Yataka accompanies Hinohara to help recover Kikuri.

 

Film Friday- Initial D

Film Friday- Initial D

Initial D is a Japanese street racing manga series written and illustrated by Shuichi Shigeno. It was serialized in Weekly Young Magazine from 1995 to 2013, with the chapters collected into 48 tankōbon volumes by Kodansha. The story focuses on the world of illegal Japanese street racing, where all the action is concentrated in the mountain passes and rarely in cities or urban areas, and with the drifting racing style emphasized in particular. Professional race car driver and pioneer of drifting Keiichi Tsuchiya helped with editorial supervision. The story is centered on the prefecture of Gunma, more specifically on several mountains in the Kantō region and in their surrounding cities and towns. Although some of the names of the locations the characters race in have been fictionalized, all of the locations in the series are based on actual locations in Japan.

Initial D has been adapted into several anime television and original video animations series by OB Studio Comet, Studio Gallop, Pastel, A.C.G.T and SynergySP. A live action film by Avex and Media Asia was released in 2005. Both the manga and anime series were initially licensed for English-language distribution in North America by Tokyopop (2002–2009), however, the anime license has since been picked up by Funimation, while the manga was relicensed by Kodansha USA in 2019.

Anime

Avex has released the anime in several parts called Stages. One noticeable feature is that it uses Eurobeat music as background music in race scenes, especially by Italian singers.

  • Initial D (referred to retroactively by fans as “First Stage”) — 26 episodes (1998)
  • Initial D Second Stage — 13 episodes (1999)
  • Initial D Extra Stage — 2-episode OVA side-story focusing on Impact Blue (2000)
  • Initial D Third Stage — a 104-minute movie (2001)
  • Initial D Fourth Stage — 24 episodes (2004–2006)
  • Initial D Extra Stage 2 — a 50-minute OVA side-story focusing on Mako and Iketani (2008)
  • Initial D Fifth Stage — 14 episodes (2012–2013)
  • Initial D: Final Stage — 4 episodes (TV), compilation movie (DVD/Blu-ray) (2014)
  • New Initial D the Movie – Legend 1: Awakening — feature movie (2014)
  • New Initial D the Movie – Legend 2: Racer — feature movie (2015)
  • New Initial D the Movie – Legend 3: Dream — feature movie (2016)

The Battle Stages are Musical Films serving as a compilation of the racing action scenes in the preceding series reanimated and remastered with more advanced CGI and stripped of all but minimal character dialog. It also features hidden battles that were only featured in the manga and not in the anime such as Keisuke’s race against Smiley,

  • Initial D Battle Stage — a 50-minute movie (2002)
  • Initial D Battle Stage 2 — a 1-hour movie (2007)
  • Note that Battle Stage 2 is a compilation of races from Fourth Stage with unchanged CGI, even for the hidden battles.

In 1998, Initial D was adapted into an animated television series produced by OB Planning and Prime Direction. The first episode premièred on Fuji TV on April 8, 1998. The initial series ran for 26 weekly episodes with the finale airing on December 5, 1998.

The second series, named “Second Stage”, aired from October 14, 1999 to January 20, 2000 with a one-week break over the New Year period. This was followed by animated feature film in 2001 and an OVA documenting all battles from the previous three stages, with the battles from First Stage being re-animated.

Initial D: Third Stage was a feature film covering the story arcs between the second and fourth stage, released in Japan on January 13, 2001. It earned a distribution income of ¥520 million ($6.52 million) at the Japanese box office.

In 2004, Initial D: Fourth Stage aired on SkyPerfecTV’s pay-per-view service, airing two episodes back-to-back every two months. 24 episodes were made until the final episodes were aired in February 2006.

Following Second Stage in 2000, Initial D: Extra Stage was aired as a spinoff to the original series. This story focused on the all-female Impact Blue team of Usui Pass and their point of view of the recent events of Second Stage and the upcoming Third Stage movie. This was followed by Extra Stage 2 in 2008, which look at the relationship between Impact Blue’s Mako Sato and Iketani of the SpeedStars (following on from the original side-story in the manga).

Eight years after the release of “Fourth Stage” in 2004, Animax aired “Initial D: Fifth Stage”. Animax has aired the series on a pay-per-view basis on SKY PerfecTV!’s Perfect Choice Premier 1 channel. The first two episodes aired on November 9, 2012. The rest of the episodes were broadcast two per month till May 10, 2013.

In 2014, “Initial D: Final Stage” became the latest installment in the anime series. Animax has aired its first two episodes on a pay-per-view basis on its own brand new ANIMAX PLUS channel, on May 16, 2014, on its new subscription VOD service, which allows subscribers to watch all the latest anime series. Initial D Final Stage will start right after where Fifth Stage left off. There are a total of four episodes that makes up this mini stage. The final two episodes were broadcast on June 22, 2014.

Since the anime’s original run, Japanese musical group m.o.v.e has performed all of the opening and some ending themes of the series. This followed on from the success of one of their first hits, “Around the World”, which was used as the first opening of First Stage. Their latest single to be used in the series is called “Outsoar The Rainbow” and it is used as Final Stage’s opening. They had another recent unreleased song, “Days”. It was played on the finale of “Final Stage”.

Like in the manga, Tokyopop change elements of the anime to suit Western audiences. As well as changing the names and used western slang, the company also changed the anime’s music from the series’ staple eurobeat tracks to originally developed tracks of rap and hip-hop via Stu Levy (DJ Milky), the Tokyopop CEO and an in-house musician.

In 2006, Funimation Entertainment announced that it would be distributing the DVDs of the anime (since Tokyopop’s original distributor went bankrupt). This new distribution was marked by slightly revised packaging and two box sets corresponding to the licensed seasons Tokyopop had dubbed, although the DVDs themselves were exactly the same as the original Tokyopop release.

Tokyopop had completed an English dubbed version of Third Stage, and reportedly screened it at the Big Apple Anime Fest on August 29, 2003. They briefly mentioned that their version of Third Stage would retain the original Japanese soundtrack, in contrast to their treatment of the anime series. This version of the film was never released on DVD, nor was it ever mentioned by Tokyopop past the original announcement.

At the New York Anime Festival 2009, Funimation Entertainment announced that it would be re-releasing and re-dubbing Initial D: First Stage, Second Stage, Extra Stage, Third Stage, and Fourth Stage. Their release included a brand new English dub and retained the original music from the Japanese in an uncut format. Funimation released the series out of order, with the Third and Fourth Stages releasing before the First and Second Stages. Funimation has not specified whether or not they will dub and release Extra Stage 2 (the first Extra Stage was included in the Second Stage box set) or either of the Battle Stages, nor have they made a decision about 5th Stage and Final Stage.

Live-action film

Fujino Store Tofu Shop in Gunma, which was renamed and modeled to Fujiwara Tofu Shop for the live-action film.

A live-action film based on Initial D was released on June 23, 2005 in Asia. The movie was jointly produced by Japan’s Avex Inc. and Hong Kong’s Media Asia Group. It was directed by Andrew Lau and Alan Mak, whose credits include the 2002 Hong Kong blockbuster Infernal Affairs. The adaptation featured Taiwanese singer Jay Chou as Takumi Fujiwara and Hong Kong stars Edison Chen as Ryosuke Takahashi and Shawn Yue as Takeshi Nakazato. Despite many changes to the original story, the movie was met with critical acclaim and was nominated for multiple awards, including Best Picture, at the Hong Kong Film Awards and Golden Horse Awards, winning many of them.

A sequel has been in discussion since the following year after the movie has debuted. However, a concrete conclusion could not be reached due to several obstacles which includes the storyline, filming locations, casts, and safety reasons. As of March 2015, director and producer, Andrew Lau, has once again reconfirmed in an exclusive interview that a sequel will surely follow but is tight-lipped on the release date. Jay Chou and Edison Chen will reprise their roles in the sequel.

Synopsis

The first battle of the series, Keisuke Takahashi (FD3S) vs. Takumi Fujiwara (AE86), as seen in the anime.

The protagonist, Takumi Fujiwara, is a student working as a gas station attendant with his best friend Itsuki. Itsuki is enthusiastically interested in being a street racer. The team he feels closest to and hopes to join is the Akina Speedstars, where the team leader Iketani Koichiro is also working at the same pump station. Unbeknownst to his colleagues, Takumi helps out his Father Bunta as a tofu delivery driver for his father’s store before sunrise each morning, passively building an impressive amount of skill of over 5 years behind the wheel of the family car, an aging Toyota Sprinter Trueno (AE86).

Shortly after the story begins, the Red Suns, a highly experienced racing team from Mount Akagi led by Ryosuke Takahashi, challenge the local Speedstars team to a set of races on Mount Akina. Dispirited after watching the Red Suns’ superior performance during a practice run, the Speedstars expect to lose. Later that night, the Red Suns’ #2 driver, Keisuke Takahashi, heading home after the last practice run, is defeated soundly by a mysterious Sprinter Trueno, despite driving a much more powerful Mazda RX-7(FD3S). An investigation into the identity of the driver leads to Bunta Fujiwara, Takumi’s father. While trying to do his best for the team on Mount Akina, Iketani suffers a crash and damages his car and injures himself. He is unable to take part in the race to represent his team. The Speedstars beg Bunta to help them defeat the Red Suns, and he initially refuses, later relenting to “maybe” show up at the race. At the same time, Takumi asks Bunta if he can borrow the car for a day to take a trip to the beach with a potential girlfriend (Natsuki Mogi), and Bunta seizes the moment by granting permission (plus a full tank of fuel) on the condition that Takumi defeats Keisuke.

On the night of the race, the Trueno does not show up, and the Speedstars enlist a backup driver (Kenji) for the first run. At the last moment before the race starts, the AE86 arrives. Takumi steps out of the car to the bewilderment of the Speedstars, who were expecting Bunta. He easily defeats Keisuke by utilizing a dangerous “Gutter run” (putting both the right/left tires into the gutters to prevent centrifugal force pushing the car outward) technique on the mountain road’s hairpin corners.

The Red Suns’ embarrassing defeat sets up the plot for the rest of the series: drivers from neighboring prefectures come to challenge Takumi and the “Legendary Eight-Six of Akina” and thus prove themselves as racers. Eventually, the plot moves away from Mount Akina as Takumi becomes bored with racing solely on that road. He joins an expedition racing team (Project.D) formed by the disbanded Red Suns and challenges more difficult opponents on their home courses in the pursuit of his dream to be “the fastest driver out there”.

 

Manga Monday- Initial D

Manga Monday- Initial D

Initial D is a Japanese street racing manga series written and illustrated by Shuichi Shigeno. It was serialized in Weekly Young Magazine from 1995 to 2013, with the chapters collected into 48 tankōbon volumes by Kodansha. The story focuses on the world of illegal Japanese street racing, where all the action is concentrated in the mountain passes and rarely in cities or urban areas, and with the drifting racing style emphasized in particular. Professional race car driver and pioneer of drifting Keiichi Tsuchiya helped with editorial supervision. The story is centered on the prefecture of Gunma, more specifically on several mountains in the Kantō region and in their surrounding cities and towns. Although some of the names of the locations the characters race in have been fictionalized, all of the locations in the series are based on actual locations in Japan.

Initial D has been adapted into several anime television and original video animations series by OB Studio Comet, Studio Gallop, Pastel, A.C.G.T and SynergySP. A live action film by Avex and Media Asia was released in 2005. Both the manga and anime series were initially licensed for English-language distribution in North America by Tokyopop (2002–2009), however, the anime license has since been picked up by Funimation, while the manga was relicensed by Kodansha USA in 2019.

Media

Manga

The first Initial D volume was released in Japan on November 6, 1995 and concluded on July 29, 2013. The manga has been translated officially into Chinese, French and English over its publication run. As of 2013, 48 volumes have been published.

The manga and anime were originally licensed for English releases in North America by Tokyopop. The company changed the names of the characters in the anime edition, and subsequently changed them in the manga to match. These name changes were to reflect the name changes that Sega implemented into the western releases of the Initial D A Stage video games due to name length limits. Tokyopop also cut out a character’s enjo kōsai relationship with another and edited sex scenes, appearing in volumes 1 and 9 in the original manga. In addition, “street slang” was interlaced in translations (a drift was described as “slammin'”, for example).

The manga also had some translation errors. One example was the technical term “Wastegate” (which is a mechanism used to regulate the boost pressure generated by a turbocharger) that was translated as “West Gate”. Another was an inaccurate explanation of how an engine’s displacement is calculated (the explanation given is how a ship’s displacement is calculated, which is totally different). Many of the explanations of automotive design and function, as well as the specification sheets of the various cars, were incorrect.

In August 2009, Kodansha announced that they would not be renewing their licensing agreements with Tokyopop, citing “tense relations” between the two companies. This meant that Tokyopop could no longer release new volumes of Kodansha manga properties, nor re-release Kodansha titles that were already printed. Tokyopop ceased the release of Initial D after volume 33, which was released on December 30, 2008. Volume 34 had a scheduled street date of April 7, 2009, but never released. In April 2019, ComiXology and Kodansha Comics announced that they have released volumes 1 to 38 digitally, while volumes 39 to 48 were released in July.

Reception

Commercial reception

As of July 2013, collected tankōbon volumes of the Initial D manga series sold 48 million copies. At an average price of ¥691, the manga has grossed approximately ¥33.2 billion ($416.09 million) in tankōbon volume sales. In addition, the total circulation of its manga chapters in Weekly Young Magazine issues between 6 November 1995 and 29 July 2013 amounted to approximately 1,037,447,413 copies, with those issues grossing approximately ¥228,994,579,120 ($2.856 billion) in sales revenue.

The Initial D anime series sold over 1 million DVD units in Japan up until 2008. At an average price of ¥5,184, video sales grossed approximately ¥5.2 billion up until 2008. Initial D Fifth Stage (2012) sold 157,598 home video units, grossing ¥408.3 million. In Japan, the live-action Hong Kong film sold 250,000 DVD units, grossing approximately ¥998 million ($13 million). In total, the franchise has sold approximately 1.41 million video units in Japan, grossing approximately ¥6.61 million ($83 million) in video sales revenue.

The Initial D Third Stage anime film grossed ¥520 million ($6.52 million) at the Japanese box office. The anime New Initial D the Movie trilogy grossed $2,660,288 at the East Asian box office. The live-action Initial D Hong Kong film grossed US$11 million at the worldwide box office. Combined, the Initial D films have grossed approximately $20.02 million at the worldwide box office.

Critical response

Initial D received praise. The Anime Review rated it A-, with the reviewer calling it “simply the best show I’ve seen in a long time.” Bamboo Dong of Anime News Network rated it B-, stating it “is the first time in a long while since I’ve been so fired up about a series, so I recommend to everyone to at least check this out.”

Some fans of Initial D reacted negatively to the Tokyopop’s extensive editing and changes made in the English-language version of the manga. Similar reactions were made towards their English dub’s script and voice acting, and the removal of the original music from the anime series. Tokyopop said that it was trying to Americanize the series so it could be aired on television, while at the same time keeping the Japanese spirit of the series.

According to Funimation officials, the re-release of the anime has “done well”. Reviews of the series note a marked improvement from the Tokyopop iteration, with most complaints leveled against the lack of anamorphic widescreen on the DVDs.

Initial D has drawn comparisons to the later Fast & Furious film franchise (debuted 2001), particularly Tokyo Drift (2006), for which Initial Ds consultant Keiichi Tsuchiya served as a stunt coordinator and stuntman and also made a cameo appearance in the film as a fisherman.

Story overview

The story is about 18 year old Takumi Fujiwara who is an average high school kid. His father, Bunta Fujiwara, owns a tofu shop and Takumi is the delivery boy. He uses his father’s Panda 1983 Toyota Sprinter Trueno GT Apex AE86 to do the deliveries. Takumi hated driving because he was forced to drive since he was in middle school. The deliveries train his extraordinary driving skills. His friends learn about his skills, and introduce Takumi into the world of Touge racing. Takumi eventually loves street racing, and driving altogether, and then he has only one priority: To become the best driver in the Gunma Prefecture.

 

Manga Monday- Arata: The Legend

Manga Monday- Arata: The Legend

Arata: The Legend is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Yuu Watase. It began serialization in Weekly Shōnen Sunday in October 2008. Its individual chapters has been compiled into twenty-four tankōbon volumes as of September 2015.

An anime television series adaptation produced by Satelight and Korean studio JM Animation aired from April to July 2013.

 

Reception

Rebecca Bundy of Anime News Network gave the first volume an overall B+ for “Great art and character designs; plus, Watase’s ability to create interesting lore is as sharp as ever.” She also noted, however, that the “Pathetic, cowardly main character makes everything involving him painful to read.” Deb Aoki of About.com notes that the plot is “fairly formulaic fantasy fare that’s just a bit too predictable to offer fans something truly fresh and new” but that the series has her “hooked.” Todd Douglass of Blogcritics.org says that the first volume is “strongly recommended,” despite some reservations. Christopher Nadolsk of Mania.com says that the first volume offers “an entertaining and eye-pleasing escapist fantasy read.”

Plot

In a mystical world called Amawakuni, a ceremony marking the new governing princess is about to occur for the first time in 60 years. Only a maiden from the Hime Clan may take this position, but a boy called Arata must pose for the role, due to the lack of females born to this family. During the ceremony, the Twelve Shinshō, wielders of special swords called Hayagami, led by Kannagi, betrayed Princess Kikuri and attempted to assassinate her and Arata (an eyewitness) in a competition to become emperor. Kannagi frames Arata for the princess’ murder, yet Arata manages to escape and into the Kando Forest.

Meanwhile, in modern-day Japan, an athletic boy named Arata Hinohara is starting his new life in high school. He wants to put memories of his difficult past behind him, but things aren’t going to be simple when Masato Kadowaki, the bully from his old school, emerges. Feeling the world is untrustworthy, Hinohara walks into an alley, and soon finds himself in Amawakuni, where the world mistakes him for “Arata.” Having to run to Arata’s house, Hinohara learns from Arata’s grandmother that he and the other Arata have “switched lives” according to legend about Kando Forest. When Kannagi searches the house, Hinohara comes across a rusted sword, activates its power, and becomes a Shō. The sword is a Hayagami named Tsukuyo.

Kotoha, Arata’s childhood friend, offers Hinohara the princess’ charm before he is arrested. In a jail cell, Hinohara contacts Arata via the other charm Kotoha had given him, where he discovers the truth from Arata, and are forced to take each other’s roles. At the Imperial Court, Hinohara is found guilty, and exiled to Gatoya Island. On the trip to the island, Kotoha tags along and gives him his Hayagami. Also because of the charm’s power he is able to talk to Kikuri (who is just barely alive). She then asks him to govern the world as otherwise there will only be war. After escaping Gatoya Island, Hinohara and Kotoha with their new friend Kanate, a former bandit, they head to the mainland on a quest to restore order and save the princess.

Meanwhile, Arata emerges from the forest and finds himself in Japan. He has a run-in with the police because he is shirtless but is saved by Nao, Hinohara’s sister, and is taken into Hinohara’s family mistaking him for their “Arata”. He adjusts to high school where he befriends a strange girl named Imina Oribe. Imina is later revealed a maiden from the Hime Clan who winded up lost on Earth 15 years ago. Harunawa, an agent of the mysterious Six Shinshō, is ordered to eliminate Imina to prevent her from becoming Kikuri’s successor. Together Arata and Imina search for information (prophecies) on how to stop the Six Shinshō’s ambition to rule both Amawakuni and Earth.

Traveling across the mainland, Kannagi reluctantly joins Hinohara’s group when a vengeful Akachi stole his Hayagami. Kotoha eventually learns Hinohara’s true identity as the duo becomes closer. Upon realizing the situation, Kadowaki is also summoned in Amawakuni and becomes a Shō as he activates a Hayagami, a spear named Orochi. Determined to fight Hinohara, Kadowaki repeatedly encounters him on his journey. Having two Shinshō members, Yorunami and Kugura submitted, Hinohara soon discovers his destiny as Emperor Of Hinowa – the origin of all Hayagami – he embarks with Mikusa and Rami, relatives from the Hime and Uneme Clan. Hinohara later confronts Yataka, a Shinshō who loved Kikuri. Yataka receives a change of heart, and accompanies Hinohara’s quest to redeem himself. Hinohara comes to know Mikusa is a fake maiden hiding from the Shinshō. After Kannagi retrieves his Hayagami from Akachi, Hinohara is lured into a conspiracy on Muroya Island by a fellow traveler Hiruha who has been manipulated by the Six Shinshō. Following Rami and Hiruha’s deaths, the gang resolves in defeating the Six Shinshō, those who are actually humans from Earth’s past.

The Six Shinshō and Kadowaki apparently become Hinohara’s most formidable opponents on his quest. As Hinohara tries to suppress his personal conflicts after Kotoha was seriously injured by his demon transformation when Kadowaki subjugated Kanate, Kadowaki also faces his own predicament. Nasuke, a rogue Shō helps Hinohara before submitting to him. Back on Earth, Harunawa soon goes on full out assault at school and infecting the city, in order to enlarge his demon powers. Imina harnesses her Amatsuriki abilities to counter the outbreak to protect Arata and the Hinohara family.

Film Friday- The Seven Deadly Sins

Film Friday- The Seven Deadly Sins

The Seven Deadly Sins is a Japanese fantasy manga series written and illustrated by Nakaba Suzuki. It has been serialized in Kodansha’s Weekly Shōnen Magazine since October 2012, with the chapters collected into forty tankōbon volumes as of September 17, 2019. The manga features a setting similar to the European Middle Ages, with its titular group of knights representing the seven deadly sins.

The series was adapted into an anime television series that ran for three seasons by A-1 Pictures and Studio Deen. A film titled The Seven Deadly Sins the Movie: Prisoners of the Sky premiered in August 18, 2018.

The manga has been licensed by Kodansha USA for English publication in North America, while the chapters are released digitally by Crunchyroll in over 170 countries as they are published in Japan. Netflix acquired the exclusive English streaming rights for the anime series while Funimation currently has the home video rights.

As of December 2018, The Seven Deadly Sins had over 30 million copies in circulation. The manga won the 39th Kodansha Manga Award for the shōnen category in 2015.

Anime

In April 2014, the 20th issue of Weekly Shōnen Magazine announced that The Seven Deadly Sins was being adapted into an anime television series. The series debuted on MBS and other Japan News Network stations on October 5, 2014. The staff was revealed in the combined 36/37 issue of the year: created by A-1 Pictures, directed by Tensai Okamura, written by Shōtarō Suga (Lagrange: The Flower of Rin-ne), with Keigo Sasaki (Blue Exorcist) providing character designs and Hiroyuki Sawano composing the music. The show’s first opening theme song is “Netsujō no Spectrum” performed by Ikimono-gakari for the first twelve episodes and the second opening theme is “Seven Deadly Sins” performed by Man with a Mission, while the first ending theme titled “7-Seven” is a collaboration between Flow and Granrodeo, the second ending theme from episode thirteen onwards is “Season” the major label debut of Alisa Takigawa.

A second anime series was confirmed on September 27, 2015 to air in 2016. This turned out to be a four-week anime television special featuring an original story by Nakaba Suzuki, titled The Seven Deadly Sins: Signs of Holy War, that began airing on August 28, 2016 on MBS and TBS. The special was produced by A-1 Pictures, directed by Tomokazu Tokoro, and written by Yuniko Ayana and Yuichiro Kido, featuring character designs by Keigo Sasaki. The music was composed by Hiroyuki Sawano and Takafumi Wada. Its opening theme song is “Classic” by the rock band Mucc and its ending theme is “Iroasenai Hitomi” by Alisa Takigawa. A commercial following the final episode confirmed a second anime series has been green-lit.

The first Seven Deadly Sins anime series was licensed for English release by Netflix as its second exclusive anime, following their acquisition of Knights of Sidonia. All 24 episodes were released on November 1, 2015 in both subtitled or English dub formats. The Signs of Holy War arc, labeled as “Season 2”, has also been licensed by Netflix and was released on February 17, 2017. On February 14, 2017, Funimation announced that they acquired the first anime for home video distribution for US and Canada and released the series on Blu-ray and DVD later in the year. Part One of the first season was released on Blu-Ray on May 15th, 2017 with Part Two being released June 20th the same year. The complete entirety of the first season was released on August 14th, 2018. Madman Entertainment is importing Funimation’s release into Australia and New Zealand, with a release scheduled for January 2019.

A second season, titled The Seven Deadly Sins: Revival of The Commandments, was announced at the “Nanatsu no Taizai FES” event in July 2017 and premiered on January 13, 2018. Takeshi Furuta and Takao Yoshioka replaced Tensai Okamura and Shōtarō Suga as director and series composer, respectively, while the other main staff members returned from the first season to reprise their roles. The Revival of the Commandments arc, labeled as “Season 3”, was released on October 15, 2018 on Netflix. The first opening theme song of the series titled “Howling” is a collaboration between Flow and Granrodeo, and first ending theme song is “Beautiful” performed by Anly. The second opening theme titled “Ame ga Furu kara, Niji ga Deru” by Sky Peace and second ending theme titled “Chikai” by Sora Amamiya.

A third season, titled The Seven Deadly Sins: Wrath of the Gods premiered on October 9, 2019 on TV Tokyo and BS TV Tokyo. The new season will be headed towards the story’s climax. The third season is animated by Studio Deen with Susumu Nishizawa and Rintarō Ikeda replacing Takeshi Furuta and Takao Yoshioka as director and series composer, respectively. Hiroyuki Sawano, Kohta Yamamoto, and Takafumi Wada are returning to reprise their roles as the music composers. The first opening theme song is “ROB THE FRONTIER” by Uverworld, and the first ending theme song is “Regeneration” by Sora Amamiya. The second opening theme song is “delete” by SID and the second ending theme is “Good day” by Kana Adachi.

A fourth season, titled The Seven Deadly Sins: Anger’s Judgement will premiere in October 2020 on TV Tokyo and BS TV Tokyo, with the main cast members reprising their roles.

Original video animation

An original video animation (OVA) titled “Ban’s Additional Chapter”was included with the limited edition of volume 15 of the manga, released on June 17, 2015. A second OVA composed of nine humorous shorts was shipped with the limited edition of the sixteenth volume of the manga, released on August 12, 2015.

Film

An anime film, titled The Seven Deadly Sins the Movie: Prisoners of the Sky, premiered in Japanese theaters on August 18, 2018. It is directed by Yasuto Nishikata and written by Makoto Uezu, featuring an original story by Nakaba Suzuki and Noriyuki Abe serving as chief director. The other main staff members returned from the anime series to reprise their roles in the film. The movie features three original characters called Sorada (voiced by Tsubasa Yonaga), Elatte (voiced by Haruka Tomatsu), and Bellion (voiced by Toshiyuki Morikawa). It was released later by Netflix in all regions on December 31, 2018.

Video games

A video game titled Seven Deadly Sins: Unjust Sin was developed by Bandai Namco Entertainment and released for the Nintendo 3DS on February 11, 2015. A game titled The Seven Deadly Sins: Knights of Britannia was developed by Bandai Namco for the PlayStation 4. It was released in North America and Europe on February 9, 2018. A mobile game titled The Seven Deadly Sins: Grand Cross of Light and Darkness was developed by Netmarble and released in Japan and Korea in June 4, 2019. On March 3, the game was released globally for Android and iOS.

Other media

Four light novels based on The Seven Deadly Sins have been published; The Seven Deadly Sins -Gaiden- The Seven Wishes of the Royal City from Old Times by Shuka Matsuda on December 17, 2014; The Seven Deadly Sins: Seven Days by Mamoru Iwasa on December 26, 2014; The Seven Deadly Sins: Seven Scars They Left Behind by Shuka Matsuda on October 16, 2015; and The Seven Deadly Sins: Seven-Colored Recollections by Shuka Matsuda on October 17, 2016. Vertical released Seven Scars They Left Behind in North America in May 2017, with Seven-Colored Recollections set to follow in March 2018.

An illustration collection titled Rainbow of Sin and an official fan book were both released on February 17, 2015, while a guidebook for the anime called Ani-Sin was released on April 17, 2015.

Main characters

Meliodas

The series’ male main protagonist and leader of the Seven Deadly Sins, who bears the sin of wrath as a Dragon symbol on his left shoulder. Despite being called the Sin of Wrath, displaying it whenever those dear to him are endangered or killed, Meliodas conceals his rage under the façade of a mellow trickster who is often seen fondling Elizabeth one way or another. When found by Elizabeth at the start of the series, who seeks his help in reuniting the Deadly Sins after their disbandment ten years prior, Meliodas reveals to be doing the same thing. Despite his adolescent appearance, Meliodas is actually a Demon who is over three thousand years old. Meliodas is later revealed to be the son of the Demon King and original leader of the Ten Commandants, possessing the fragment of his father’s soul embodying Love. But Meliodas turned his back on his people when he fell in love with the Goddess Elizabeth, killing two of his fellow Commandments and causing the Holy War to occur. The Demon King allowed the Supreme Deity of the Goddess race to curse Meliodas with immortality, with the Demon King cursing Elizabeth with perpetual death and reincarnation to make his son suffer every time he is reunited with her. Due to the curse’s nature, Meliodas’ soul ends up in Purgatory with the Demon King feasting on his emotions before reviving him, gradually reverting to his former self as a result.

After Elizabeth begins regaining her memories as the goddess Elizabeth, Meliodas resolves to become the new demon king to break their curses. He disbands the Deadly Sins and enters an alliance with Zeldris after promising to use his status to release his brother’s love Gelda, revealing to have absorbed the Commandment of Pacifism and intending to absorb the other commandments. Despite becoming a vessel for the Demon King before managing to force him out of his body, Meliodas freed him and Elizabeth from their curses though he would leave the living world because his power as a demon king. But the victory is short-lived as the Demon King possesses Zeldris and restores Elizabeth’s curse, prompting the Sins’ final battle with the Demon King. After killing his father, Meliodas sacrifices his demon king powers to completely destroy the commandments to prevent the Demon King from reviving.

As Seven Deadly Sins’ captain once revered by his kin as the most powerful demon, Meliodas is immensely powerful and agile. His signature ability is called Full Counter, which reflects magical attacks back at the attacker with far greater power, the only drawbacks being that he can only use it as a counter and that it is ineffective against physical attacks. Meliodas can also tap into his demonic power, manifesting versatile dark energy from his body to increase his offence and defence at the cost of entering a berserk state. Meliodas initially carried a sword hilt called the Dragon Handle before it was stolen by Helbram and later revealed to be a fragment of the Coffin of Eternal Darkness, which was used to seal away the Demon clan. He later regains his Sacred Treasure Demon Sword Lostvayne, a curved short-sword that allows him to create up to four weaker clones of himself that compensate for their lack in power by using Full Counter to its full potential.

Elizabeth Liones

is the main viewpoint character of the story and primary female protagonist, originally from the Danafor kingdom before it was destroyed and she was adopted by Baltra Liones as third princess of Liones. She becomes an ally of the Seven Deadly Sins when seeking their help after the Great Holy Knights seized control of the kingdom, serving as a waitress in Meliodas’ bar. Despite being frail and not a fighter, Elizabeth is very courageous and willing to protect others at the cost of her own health, like allowing Hendrickson to acquire her blood to free the Demon Race from the Coffin of Eternal Darkness. Still, being only a young teenager, she is fairly gullible and easily influenced, and always tricked by Meliodas’ jokes. She doesn’t seem to mind how often he caresses, molests, or harasses her sexually, however, and has even fallen in love with him due to a sense of familiarity with and nostalgia for him.

Elizabeth is later revealed to be the 106th reincarnation of the Goddess Elizabeth, Meliodas’ first love and daughter of the Supreme Deity of the Goddess Race. But their forbidden romance ended with her killed and cursed by the Demon King to reincarnate endlessly as a means to further punish Meliodas by forcing him to watch Elizabeth endlessly die in various ways and find her all over again. This enables Elizabeth to miraculously heal the living through her right eye’s tears, later manifesting abilities that only those of the Goddess Race possess at times of great stress. Elizabeth eventually regains full memory of her previous incarnations and her full Goddess power is unleashed, activating her curse to kill her three days as the second Holy War is able to commence. This forces Meliodas to take a gambit of acquiring his father’s power to break Elizabeth’s curse, with Merlin briefly restoring the curse in secret as a means to force Meliodas to kill his father.

Liz
Elizabeth’s previous incarnation, nicknamed Liz, initially was a warrior from an enemy country and prisoner of war, captured during a surprise attack on Danafall. But she was saved from execution by Meliodas and ended up in his custody as a Danafall knight, assuming he only wanted her for her body before eventually opening up and becoming Meliodas’ lover. Liz eventually died during the fall of Danafall. Mortally injured by Fraudrin, she told Meliodas with her final breath to never forsake his principles. Meliodas is later given Liz’s sword, which he initially refused to take, by Elizabeth and uses it until its blade eventually shatters.

Hawk

is a talking pig and Meliodas’s pet/companion, introduced as the Boar Hat’s ‘captain of the Order of Scraps Disposal’ as he eats the disgusting table scraps. Hawk found Meliodas in a ditch sixteen years prior, and the two established a mobile bar together, having been together ever since. They often engage in harmless banter, with Hawk frequently seen scolding Meliodas for his perverted actions towards Elizabeth. Though mostly serving as comic relief by acting overly arrogant, he yet aids Elizabeth and the Sins several times, utilizing headbutts and other modest attacks on weaker enemies and transporting wounded allies. In the Kingdom Infiltration Arc, Hawk sacrifices himself to block a fatal attack of Hendrickson’s aimed at Meliodas, and his death caused much anguish for Elizabeth and the Sins. But Hawk mysteriously revives from his remains as a piglet before regaining his normal size through excessive eating. Besides Meliodas, Hawk gets particularly well along with Ban and Merlin. Later, the latter equips him with a Balor Power Eye that allows him to detect the power level of anyone he sees.
During his training in Istal, Hawk learns that he temporarily acquires the traits of whatever magical creature he eats, obtaining their powers until he digests them. It is later revealed that Hawk is a denizen of Purgatory and the younger brother of Wild, the latest of the creatures that the Demon King used as a means of spying on Meliodas from Purgatory.

Manga Monday- The Seven Deadly Sins

Manga Monday- The Seven Deadly Sins

The Seven Deadly Sins is a Japanese fantasy manga series written and illustrated by Nakaba Suzuki. It has been serialized in Kodansha’s Weekly Shōnen Magazine since October 2012, with the chapters collected into forty tankōbon volumes as of September 17, 2019. The manga features a setting similar to the European Middle Ages, with its titular group of knights representing the seven deadly sins.

The series was adapted into an anime television series that ran for three seasons by A-1 Pictures and Studio Deen. A film titled The Seven Deadly Sins the Movie: Prisoners of the Sky premiered in August 18, 2018.

The manga has been licensed by Kodansha USA for English publication in North America, while the chapters are released digitally by Crunchyroll in over 170 countries as they are published in Japan. Netflix acquired the exclusive English streaming rights for the anime series while Funimation currently has the home video rights.

As of December 2018, The Seven Deadly Sins had over 30 million copies in circulation. The manga won the 39th Kodansha Manga Award for the shōnen category in 2015.

Plot

The Seven Deadly Sins are a band of knights in the land of Britannia who disbanded ten years earlier after being framed for plotting a coup of the Liones Kingdom, the Holy Knights who sequestered them then taking control in the wake of a rebellion they organized. Liones’ third princess, Elizabeth Liones, finds the Seven Deadly Sins’ leader, Meliodas, before they search out his comrades so they can clear their names and liberate Liones from the Holy Knights, who were manipulated by a demon named Fraudrin in unsealing the Demon Race from their prison. As the Sins fight against the Ten Commandments led by his brother Zeldris, Meliodas is revealed to be the Demon King’s cursed son whose destiny is tied to Elizabeth’s.

Media

Manga

Written and illustrated by Nakaba Suzuki, The Seven Deadly Sins began as a one-shot pilot chapter published on November 22, 2011 in Weekly Shōnen Magazine’s 52 issue of the year. The manga started serialization in the magazine’s 45 issue of 2012, released on October 10, 2012. The chapters have been collected into 40 tankōbon volumes as of February 17, 2020. The first of three planned story arcs was completed with chapter 100 and Suzuki has originally projected that the series would run for 20 to 30 volumes. The series is licensed for English language release in North America by Kodansha USA, who published the first volume on March 11, 2014. In February 2020, Suzuki posted on his Twitter account that the manga has “one more volume left” after volume 40. Suzuki has mentioned in an afterword that side stories are also planned for based on the remaining characters. The manga will be finished on March 25, 2020. As the series is published in Japan, it is also released simultaneously in English digitally by Crunchyroll in over 170 countries.

A special issue of Weekly Shōnen Magazine, published on October 19, 2013, featured a small crossover between The Seven Deadly Sins and Hiro Mashima’s Fairy Tail, where each artist drew a yonkoma (four-panel comic) of the other’s series. An actual crossover chapter between the two ran in the magazine’s combined 4/5 issue of 2014, which was released on December 25, 2013. Nakaba wrote a one-shot for the November 2014 issue of the shōjo manga magazine Nakayoshi, released on October 3, 2014. He also created a comedic one-shot depicting how Meliodas and Hawk first met that ran in the October 20, 2014 issue of Magazine Special. From February 24 to May 10, 2015, two more spin-off manga by Nakaba were available on the smartphone and tablet application Manga Box. Naku na, Tomo yo is about Hendrickson and Dreyfus’ younger years, while Gilthunder no Shinjitsu is set after the Vaizel Fight Festival arc and follows Gilthunder. An original 40-page manga by Nakaba Suzuki will be distributed during screenings of The Seven Deadly Sins the Movie: Prisoners of the Sky movie.

Spin-off manga

A comedic spin-off series by Juichi Yamaki, titled Mayoe! The Seven Deadly Sins Academy! and imagining the characters as high school students, ran in Bessatsu Shōnen Magazine from August 9, 2014 to October 8, 2016. It was collected into four tankōbon volumes. The Seven Deadly Sins Production, a comedic spin-off by Chiemi Sakamoto that imagines the characters as actors performing in a live-action TV show, ran in Aria from November 28, 2015 to October 28, 2017. It was collected into four tankōbon volumes.

A comedic yonkoma titled The Seven Deadly Sins: King’s Road to Manga and written by Masataka Ono that depicts King as an aspiring manga artist, began on February 20, 2016 in Magazine Special before transferring to the Manga Box app on February 1, 2017 and ending later that year. Its chapters were collected into three tankōbon volumes. A manga adaptation of Mamoru Iwasa’s novel Seven Days was serialized in Shōnen Magazine Edge from January 17 to September 2017 and shows how Ban and Elaine met in more detail. It is illustrated by Yō Kokukuji, titled The Seven Deadly Sins: Seven Days ~The Thief and the Holy Girl~ and was collected into two tankōbon volumes.

Reception

As of August 2014, the collected volumes of The Seven Deadly Sins had 5 million copies in circulation. By January 2015, this number had grown to 10 million sold. As of June 2018, the series has 28 million copies in circulation, and over 30 million copies in circulation as of December 2018. The first collected volume of the series sold 38,581 copies in its first week, ranking number 13 on the Oricon manga chart. Its second volume ranked 5 selling 106,829 in its first week, while its third debuted at number 4 with 135,164 copies. The thirteenth volume had the manga’s best debut week to date, selling 442,492 for first place on the chart. The series was the ninth best-selling manga of 2014, with over 4.6 million copies sold that year. For the first half of 2015, The Seven Deadly Sins was the number one best-selling series. It finished the year in second place with over 10.3 million copies sold, behind only One Piece. It was the sixth best-selling of 2016, with over 5 million copies sold, and the seventh of 2017, with close to 3.6 million copies sold. The 2014 edition of Kono Manga ga Sugoi!, which surveys people in the manga and publishing industry, named The Seven Deadly Sins the fifth best manga series for male readers. The title was named Best Shōnen Manga at the 39th Kodansha Manga Awards alongside Yowamushi Pedal. It was also nominated for the 2014 Manga Taishō award and as Best Youth Comic at the 42nd Angoulême International Comics Festival in France.

The North American releases of volumes two and four charted on The New York Times Manga Best Seller list at number seven and nine respectively. Rebecca Silverman of Anime News Network (ANN) gave the first volume a B grade, calling the art interesting and the story a “neat take on the basic knights-in-shining-armor.” She saw influence from Akira Toriyama in Meliodas and 1970s shōjo manga in the female characters. However, Silverman felt the art had issues with perspective and commented that Elizabeth lacked character development. Both Silverman and Danica Davidson of Otaku USA warned that Meliodas’ perverted actions towards Elizabeth, which are used for comedic relief, could possibly be misinterpreted by some readers. In a brief review, Jason Thompson claimed that the series follows common shōnen manga elements, making its plot twists and dialog predictable. He did however like the art and the series’ European setting.

The first DVD volume of the anime debuted at number one on Oricon’s Japanese animation DVD chart with 3,574 copies sold. With 32,762 copies sold of the five volumes released at the time, The Seven Deadly Sins was the 30th best-selling anime of the first half of 2015. Reviewing the first anime for ANN, Theron Martin felt that the series has a slow start with generic shōnen action fare but the storytelling picks up significantly in the second half. He had strong praise for the music and enjoyed the main cast and their interactions, but not the common archetypal villains. Martin noted that the art has a “semi-cartoonish look” that one would expect in a series that “skews a bit younger,” but The Seven Deadly Sins graphic violence and minimal fan service prove its “anything but a kiddie show.”

The novel The Seven Deadly Sins -Gaiden- Sekijitsu no Ōto Nanatsu no Negai was the 33rd best-selling light novel of the first half of 2015, with 61,939 copies sold.

In October 2017, Netflix revealed that The Seven Deadly Sins anime was the fourth most binge-watched show within its first 24 hours of release on their platform.

 

Film Friday- Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic

Film Friday- Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic

Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic is a Japanese fantasy adventure manga series written and illustrated by Shinobu Ohtaka. It was serialized in Weekly Shōnen Sunday from June 2009 to October 2017, with the individual chapters collected and published into 37 tankōbon volumes by Shogakukan.

An anime television adaptation by A-1 Pictures aired in Japan from October 2012 to March 2013 and a second season titled Magi: The Kingdom of Magic aired from October 2013 to March 2014.

In North America, the manga has been licensed for an English-language release by Viz Media and the anime series by Aniplex of America. It has also been licensed by Kazé in United Kingdom and by Madman Entertainment in Australia.

A spin-off series titled Magi: Adventure of Sinbad, written by Ohtaka and illustrated by Yoshifumi Ohtera, began serialization in Weekly Shōnen Sunday in May 2013, before being moved to Shogakukan’s website Ura Sunday, where it was published from September 2013 to April 2018.

In 2014, the Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic received the 59th Shogakukan Manga Award for the shōnen category. As of April 2016, the manga had over 23 million copies in print.

Anime

During the Shogakukan’s Jisedai World Hobby Fair ’12 Summer event, an anime television adaptation was announced on the event’s official website. The anime series, produced by A-1 Pictures began airing in Japan on October 7, 2012, replacing Mobile Suit Gundam AGE in the MBS/TBS’s 5:00 p.m timeslot, and finished on March 31, 2013. For the first 12 episodes, the opening theme song is “V.I.P.” by SID and the ending theme song is “Yubi Bōenkyō” by Nogizaka46. From episode 13 onwards, the opening song is “Matataku Hoshi no Shita de” by Porno Graffitti and the ending is “The Bravery” by Supercell.

Just after the end of the anime series, a second season titled Magi: The Kingdom of Magic was announced. The series started airing on October 6, 2013 at the same timeslot of the first season, replacing Space Battleship Yamato 2199, and finished on March 30, 2014. For the first 13 episodes, the opening theme song is “Anniversary” by SID and the ending theme song is “Eden” by Aqua Timez, while from episode 14 onwards, the opening theme song is “Hikari” by ViViD and the ending theme song is “With You/With Me” by 9nine.

The series debuted in North America on October 10, 2012 on Crunchyroll and Hulu, Aniplex of America licensed the series and its English-dub was streamed on Viz Media’s Neon Alley service. In December 2019, Funimation added the series to its streaming service. It has also been licensed by Viz Media Europe in Europe, Kazé in the UK (distributed by Manga Entertainment), and by Madman Entertainment in Australia.

Video games

Magi: Hajimari no Meikyū is a video game adaption of Magi released for the Nintendo 3DS platform. The game is produced by Bandai Namco Games and was released in Japan on February 21, 2013. The game got an update with more playable characters, a new dungeon and more story. A second titled Magi: Aratanaru no Sekai for 3DS, was announced in September 2013. The game was released on February 13, 2014.

Plot

After being secluded for his entire life, a boy called Aladdin travels the world with his “friend” Ugo, the Djinn contained within Aladdin’s flute, until he meets Alibaba Saluja, a young man aiming to one day explore the nearby dungeon Amon and claim its treasures. Aladdin and Alibaba eventually become friends, and conquer Amon together, despite facing the opposition of the ruthless Jamil and his slave warriors: Morgiana and Goltas. After a desperate fight, the two protagonist fend off Jamil and assist Morgiana in breaking the mental chains that bind her to her former master. Alibaba claims the dungeon while the Djinn Amon appears in front of Aladdin to briefly explain that he is a Magi and that Alibaba is his king’s candidate. However, they are interrupted by an outside force trying to close the dungeon off. Alibaba, Aladdin, and Morgiana escape the dungeon while Goltas resolves to die to atone for his sins along with broken former master, but not before cutting Morgiana’s shackles. For some reason, Aladdin ends up teleported to a distant land, far away from the others, where he learns what a Magi is, and that he is one. Having no news of his friend, Alibaba uses the treasure he obtained in Amon to free all slaves in the city, including Morgiana and returns to Balbadd, his homeland.

After having their own adventures in separate locations, Aladdin and Morgiana encounter a naked Sinbad, a famous king of the island country of Sindria, who has been stripped of his metal vessels. They eventually reunite with Alibaba in Balbadd, where they learn that he has joined the Fog Troupe, a cadre of thieves opposing the tyrannical rule of King Abhmad, Alibaba’s half-brother. Helped by Aladdin, Morgiana and King Sinbad, Alibaba manages to have the monarchy dissolved and establishes a republic in Balbadd. However, Balbadd ends up annexed to the Kou Empire, a powerful Eastern nation that plans to conquer the entire world under the pretense of putting an end to all conflict between the nations.

Following the events in Balbadd, Aladdin, Alibaba and Morgiana are brought to Sindria, where they train under members of Sinbad’s household to increase their abilities and help him with his mission to stop the mysterious organization, Al-Thamen, that works in the shadows to spread chaos throughout the world as part of an unknown agenda. The trio ends up befriending Hakuryuu Ren, a prince of the Kou Empire visiting Sindria and whom they help to conquer the dungeon Zagan. After confronting members of Al-Thamen, Aladdin and his friends go separate ways for personal reasons, promising to rejoin together in the future. Aladdin enrolls in the Magnostadt Academy, a place where magicians are treated as higher tier citizens than their normal human counterparts, to study magic and investigate the country’s ties to Al-Thamen, Alibaba leaves to train with the Yambala Gladiators in the Reim Empire in order to improve his swordsmanship and learn magoi manipulation so he can achieve his complete Djinn Equip, Hakuryuu returns to the Kou Empire, and Morgiana departs to the Dark Continent to fulfill her dream of visiting her homeland.

One year later, Aladdin and Alibaba are reunited during Reim’s campaign to conquer Magnostadt. After having helped defend the city, the Kou Empire launches a surprise attack. Hoping to prevent anymore magicians from falling in the battle, the city’s leader, Matal Mogamett, summons an army of Dark Djinns with a huge mass of Black Rukh stored in its deepest level to defeat the invaders for good. However, Aladdin reveals that by doing this, Mogamett unwillingly helped Al-Thamen to get closer to their main objective, which is to summon their god, Ill Ilah, whose advent will cause the world’s destruction. To prevent it from happening, Aladdin and his friends join forces with the Kou Empire, the Reim Empire and Sinbad’s confederation, the Alliance of Seven Seas, to stop the summoning.

A few months later, representatives from Kou, Reim and Sindria gather for a summit organized by Sinbad. At the summit, Aladdin reveals that mankind was originally several distinct species transformed by magic into humans whose origin was the world of Alma-Torran, located in another dimension. The former god of this world being Ill Ilah who had its magic stolen by Aladdin’s father, King Solomon, in order to create a destiny favorable to the people of Alma-Torran. Resisting this change, the members of Al-Thamen summoned Ill llah to the world so it could reclaim its magoi. This sapped the world of all life and forced Solomon to give his life to seal away Ill Ilah and Al-Thamen along with it. Solomon gave his magoi to Ugo, and Ugo stored all the magoi within the Sacred Palace and used it to create the current world, the Magi system, and transport everyone from Alma-Torran to this world.

However, the summit is interrupted when Hakuryuu Ren and Judar start a civil war in the Kou Empire. Aladdin and Alibaba fly to the center of the Kou Empire to talk sense into Hakuryuu, however, they realize that he has fallen into depravity. The two duos fight and Alibaba and Judar end up as casualties. Hakuryuu fights most of the war by himself using his newly obtained Djinn, Belial, but eventually runs out of magic and is forced to rely on Sinbad’s assistance. After the war ends, Sinbad realizes his plan of having almost all the world’s main powers assembled into a supranational union, the “International Alliance”, and ushering a new era of peace and prosperity to the world, while Aladdin, Morgiana and Hakuryuu take separate ways. Meanwhile, a revived Judar and Alibaba meet on the other side of the Dark Continent, where they encounter the Mother Dragon who decides to assist them in traveling back to the mainland, however this would be a long journey. While traveling back, the Mother Dragon reveals that Ill Ilah’s persona has been corrupted by David, the father of King Solomon and grandfather of Aladdin. He is also revealed to be connected to Sinbad and wants to become God of all.

Three years later, Alibaba reappears and reunites with his friends after they defeat Arba, apparently destroying Al-Thamen for good. However, Arba’s spirit turns to Sinbad, and together, they reach the Sacred Palace where Ugo resides. By defeating Ugo and claiming ownership of the palace, Sinbad declares that the souls of all living things on Earth will be sent back to the Rukh, ending the cycle of life and death, certain that there is no other way to attain eternal peace and happiness for all. Aladdin, Alibaba, Hakuryuu and Judar join forces to confront Sinbad, but just after they reach a compromise with him, David appears and takes control of the Sacred Palace, as returning all souls to the Rukh was his original plan. After joining together to defeat David and destroy the Rukh system, the world suffers massive changes and magic disappears, leading the nations to unite their efforts to create a better future.