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Manga Monday- Code Geass

Manga Monday- Code Geass

Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion, often referred to simply as Code Geass, is a Japanese anime series produced by Sunrise. It was directed by Gorō Taniguchi and written by Ichirō Ōkouchi, with original character designs by Clamp. Set in an alternate timeline, the series follows the exiled prince Lelouch vi Britannia, who obtains the “power of absolute obedience” from a mysterious woman named C.C. Using this supernatural power, known as Geass, he leads a rebellion against the rule of the Holy Britannian Empire, commanding a series of mecha battles.

Code Geass was broadcast in Japan on MBS from October 6, 2006 to July 29, 2007. Its sequel series, Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion R2, ran as a simulcast on MBS and TBS from April 6, 2008 to September 28, 2008. The series has also been adapted into various manga and light novels with the former showing various alternate scenarios from the TV series. Bandai Entertainment also licensed most parts from the franchise for English release in December 2007, airing the two TV series on Adult Swim. Most manga and light novels have also been published in North America by Bandai. A compilation film trilogy that recapped the events from both seasons of the anime series, with altered storylines for various characters, was released in 2017 and 2018. A new film, titled Code Geass: Lelouch of the Re;surrection, taking place after the Zero Requiem of the recap films’ universe, was released in theaters on February 9, 2019.

The anime television series has been well received in Japan, selling over a million DVD and Blu-ray Disc volumes. Both seasons have won several awards at the Tokyo International Anime Fair, Animage Anime Grand Prix, and Animation Kobe event. Critics have praised the series for its narrative, characters, strong voice acting, large audience appeal as well as the cross conflicts shown among the main characters and the moral questions presented.

Kadokawa Shoten has published four separate manga adaptations, each containing an alternate storyline. The first four of the manga series have been licensed for an English language release in North America by Bandai Entertainment. The first, Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion, by Majiko~! and originally serialized Monthly Asuka, focused on the protagonist of the series, Lelouch Lamperouge, with few differences from the anime’s basic storyline. The most noticeable difference from the anime version is the absence of the Knightmare frames. Its chapters were collected in eight tankōbon volumes released from December 26, 2008 to March 26, 2010. Bandai’s English adaptation of the series was published from July 29, 2008 to February 15, 2011.

The second manga is Code Geass: Suzaku of the Counterattack. It was written by Atsuro Yomino and serialized in Beans A magazine. It focuses on the character Suzaku Kururugi in an alternate reality, where he fights against the criminal organization known as the Black Knights. It was released in two volumes on June 26, 2007 and September 26, 2008. The first English volume was released on January 6, 2009, and the second followed it on October 13, 2009.

Code Geass: Nightmare of Nunnally, serialized in Comp Ace and written by Tomomasa Takuma, focuses on Lelouch’s sister, Nunnally Lamperouge who goes into searching her missing brother when her health is restored by an entity named Nemo. It was published in five volumes from June 26, 2007 to April 25, 2009. The English volumes were published from June 9, 2009 to March 23, 2010.

A fourth manga adaptation, Code Geass: Tales of an Alternate Shogunate, was serialized in Kerokero Ace. Set in an alternate 1853, Lelouch is the commander of the Shogunate’s military counterinsurgence brigade known as the Shinsengumi, which fights the Black Revolutionaries, a rebel group led by a masked individual known as Rei. It was released on a single volume on October 25, 2010, while the English version was published on May 10, 2011.

In late 2009, Bandai announced a new project greenlit for 2010. A manga, titled Code Geass: Renya of Darkness, was the first product announced. The story takes place in the same official Code Geass history as the anime, but in a different era with the anime director Goro Taniguchi scripting the story. The title character, Renya, is a 17-year-old boy who encounters a mysterious, perpetually young witch named “Reifū C.C.”, who has appeared in Japan’s historical Edo era to seek a new partner for a covenant. It began publication in the May 2010 issue of Shōnen Ace. Bandai Entertainment announced that it will publish the manga in English as with the other adaptions. On January 2, 2012 as a part of Bandai Entertainment’s announced restructuring, they have since, among other titles, revoked publishing of Code Geass: Renya of Darkness for English release.

The spinoff Code Geass: Oz the Reflection takes place between the first and second seasons of the anime television and is told from two perspectives. The photo story in Hobby Japan centers around Orpheus Zevon, a young terrorist with the Knightmare Frame Byakuen who is in pursuit of his lover’s killer. The manga in Newtype Ace revolves around Oldrin Zevon, a girl in the Britannia Empire’s anti-terrorist unit Glinda Knights who pilots the Knightmare Frame Lancelot Grail. The story of Oz the Reflection and Akito the Exiled takes place at the same time in between season 1 and 2 of the TV series.

Setting

In an alternative timeline, the world is divided into three superpowers: the Holy Britannian Empire (the Americas; also called Britannia), the Chinese Federation (Asia), and the European Union (Europe and Africa; previously known as the Euro-Universe, also known as Europa United in Akito the Exiled). The story takes place after the Holy Britannian Empire’s conquest of Japan on August 10, 2010 a.t.b., by means of Britannia’s newest weapon, the “Autonomous Armored Knight”, or “Knightmare Frame”. In turn, Britannia effectively strips Japan and its citizens of all rights and freedoms and renames the country Area 11 with its citizens referred to as Elevens.

Film Friday- Inu x Boku SS

Film Friday- Inu x Boku SS

Inu × Boku SS, also known as Youko × Boku, is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Cocoa Fujiwara. An anime adaptation by David Production aired in Japan between January and March 2012. The anime has been licensed by Sentai Filmworks for streaming, and home video release in North America.

A 12-episode anime adaptation by David Production aired in Japan between January 12 and March 29, 2012 and was simulcast on Crunchyroll. An original video animation episode was released with the seventh Blu-ray Disc volume on September 26, 2012. The series has been licensed in North America by Sentai Filmworks. Hanabee Entertainment licensed the anime in Australia and New Zealand and released the series on Blu-ray and DVD in April 2013. MVM Films have licensed the series in the United Kingdom.

Characters

Ririchiyo Shirakiin
Part One
Room 4 tenant. Born 21st of February, she is 15 years old at the beginning of the story.
Ririchiyo is a young girl with long black hair and purple eyes, who is the descendant of an Oni. She leaves her home and moves into Maison de Ayakashi in order to live alone. She yearns to be independent and constantly worries about not being able to communicate with other people properly, due to her habit of rudely slighting people whenever they try to interact with her. As the daughter of a well-known and well-respected family, she felt she was only recognised for her family and not for herself; she was bullied by her peers and protected by her teachers and other adults who wished to be seen well by her family. This caused her to develop her bad habit and also incentivized her to move out. Her SS agent and servant is Sōshi Miketsukami, who has the blood of a fox-spirit. While at first she is exasperated by Sōshi’s extreme willingness to serve her and is reluctant to accept him as her SS, the two grow close and eventually fall in love, beginning a relationship. She dies at the age of 16 after Sōshi’s death, while fighting Mikoto and his army.
Part Two (23 years later)
A 15-year-old girl who moves into Room 1 of Maison de Ayakashi. Initially she has no memories of her past life due to the trauma of losing Sōshi. Unlike in Part One, she does not seem to be the victim of direct bullying, however she starts to distance herself from others when she learns that her peers were only friendly to her because they had to be.
After an encounter with the aged Renshō, she recovers some of her memories, but they are suppressed by Sōshi. Kagerō’s words causes her to remember everything, and her regret and her strong emotion of wanting to “go back” to their past are used by a yōkai called Sodehiki Mujina and she gets trapped along with Renshō in an ideal world that they created. Following this event, she decides to end her contract and relationship with Sōshi in order to sort out her feelings. Although struggling to come to terms with her past and current life, she resolves to uncover the truth about the “Night Parade of 100 Demons”.
Toward the end she learns that like her, Sōshi also has aspects that haven’t changed, and tells him that although she loves the Sōshi from her previous life, she still considers the Sōshi from her current life an important figure and that she still cares for him. While fighting Kuroe Karasuma, who loses her human self after being defeated by Mikoto, Ririchiyo is severely wounded and nearly dies. She gets Sōshi to scribe her letter to the past because of this.
Part Three
After receiving letters from the “if” world (where the “Night Parade of 100 Demons” took place) and Zange tells her what he saw in that future, Ririchiyo resolves to prevent the Night Parade from occurring. Due to the appearance of the time capsule from the future, the events following the burial of the time capsule do not occur and so she is not in a relationship with Sōshi. Rather, upon learning that Sōshi had died protecting Ririchiyo, she starts to distance herself from him.
The residents are notified on New Years that the “Night Parade of 100 Demons” has started, and Ririchiyo is taken back home by her father. However, realising how important her days at Maison de Ayakashi with the other residents were, she becomes determined to return to Ayakashi Hall, despite her father’s disagreement. Later she breaks into the Miketsukami house in order to rescue Sōshi (who was held captive there) and reconciles with him, asking him to tell her more about himself.
Ririchiyo seems to be physically weak throughout and has asthma to varying degrees of severity. Apparently, she is the weakest at arm wrestling out of the main female cast.
Sōshi Miketsukami
The assigned SS Agent to Ririchiyo and, in his own words, her servant and “Dog”. Sōshi is descended from the evil nine-tailed fox who was Sōshi’s past life. Ririchiyo helped him when she was little, although she’s initially unaware of it. Later on in the series, it’s revealed that his family had kept him under house arrest because they feared the powers of the kitsune, and in order to obtain freedom he learned to manipulate and appeal to others through obeying their whims. However, because of this, he was unable to form his own personality. It was not until he started corresponding with Ririchiyo through letters, under the guise of her fiance Kagerō, that he realized that he was in fact, capable of having emotion, and he began growing into his own person. He’s very calm, polite, and gentle to everyone he interacts with, but he bears particularly strong devotion to his Ririchiyo, blindly obeying her and protecting her with his life if the situation calls for it. He enters a relationship with her after she confesses her love for him, which was prompted by him reading a letter that detailed her feelings for him that she meant to put into a time capsule, but instead sent to him by mistake. What he wishes for is a family, which he never had. A notable feature is his heterochromia, in which his right eye is blue, while the other is dark gold.
He was killed in action at the end of Part 1 at age 23, protecting Ririchiyo from a band of evil yōkai. He is reincarnated but does not remember his previous life. After learning from Kagerō’s mother how important Ririchiyo was for the previous Sōshi, he researches about her and becomes Ririchiyo’s SS agent. After Ririchiyo regains her memories, she breaks her contract with him, in an attempt to protect him and also because she realizes he is not the same Sōshi she fell in love with.
Depressed because of how Ririchiyo break the contract with him, Sōshi is sulking in his room and still in contact with other SS agents such as Zange Natsume for a photo of Ririchiyo and other things. Because of his hatred, envy and jealousy towards his previous self because Ririchiyo loved and loves the previous him, Sōshi even tried to search for the time capsule his previous self left and destroyed it. Not having any memories from his previous life, he said and planned to destroy the thing the previous Sōshi left, which is a memory card. The memory card revealed to be full of Ririchiyo’s photos and letter from his childhood.
Sōshi, even though after cutting off his ties with Ririchiyo as her SS Agent, come to Ririchiyo’s rescue from the manipulated servant that is being controlled by the leader of the previous war. Before getting killed, Ririchiyo stepped in front of him and protected him, he remains besides Ririchiyo after being saved from dying. Because Ririchiyo said that even though she loves the previous him, he is also a very special person to her and that she is glad that he was born in this world. Sōshi said those words alone is enough and in return he’ll help her write a letter for the time capsule which they will send to the past for preventing their death.

Manga Monday- Inu x Boku SS

Manga Monday- Inu x Boku SS

Inu × Boku SS, also known as Youko × Boku, is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Cocoa Fujiwara. An anime adaptation by David Production aired in Japan between January and March 2012. The anime has been licensed by Sentai Filmworks for streaming, and home video release in North America.

Inu × Boku SS was written and illustrated by Cocoa Fujiwara. It was serialized in Square Enix’s Gangan Joker online magazine between the May 2009 and March 2014 issues. Square Enix published 11 tankōbon volumes between April 22, 2010 and July 22, 2014. Yen Press licensed the manga and began publishing the series in North America in October 2013.

Plot

Part One “Prologue”

Volumes 1 to 4.

15-year-old Ririchiyo Shirakiin is anything but a normal girl — she’s an Atavist, a human with demon or yōkai ancestors, possessing similar powers to them and with the ability to be reincarnated if killed. Coupled with insecurities about herself and her most noticeable habit of a sharp tongue, she moves into the Maison de Ayakashi, better known as Ayakashi Hall or Ayakashikan (妖館), a high-security apartment building where people like her reside and are each guarded by their own Secret Service (SS) bodyguard. Despite not requesting for a bodyguard, she finds herself served by Sōshi Miketsukami, the descendant of a nine-tailed fox who devotes his life to her. Although initially unwilling to accept him as her bodyguard, the two grow close and Sōshi helps Ririchiyo suppress her bad habit as well as establish valuable connections with the residents at Ayakashi Hall. Ririchiyo also inevitably helps Sōshi become more emotional and to be more perceptive of the world, which he had not acquired due to his house arrest and isolation, and the two eventually fall in love and begin a relationship. Instead of fulfilling her goal to be alone, Ririchiyo has instead surrounded herself with supportive friends. Unfortunately, this sudden peace is interrupted when Karuta Roromiya, Kagerō Shoukiin’s SS, is attacked and heavily wounded by a fellow Atavist named Mikoto Inugami. Mikoto tries to recruit her for the “Night Parade of 100 Demons”, an army of Atavists that have lost their human sanity and have become senseless yōkai. Karuta eventually loses herself as well and becomes part of the army, attacking her friends. Sōshi is killed by Mikoto in front of Ririchiyo while trying to protect her.

Part Two “If”

Volumes 5 to 8.
Set 23 years after the end of Part 1. Nearly every one of the residents of Ayakashi Hall is revealed to have been killed because of incidents involving the “Night Parade of 100 Demons” and have reincarnated. Only Renshō Sorinozuka has survived, growing to be 41 years old. 15 year old Ririchiyo Shirakiin leaves her home and moves into Ayakashi Hall hoping to be alone, and to fix her bad habit of speaking and acting sharply, but meets Sōshi Miketsukami who becomes her SS. Ririchiyo initially has no recollection of her past life due to the trauma of his death, but slowly starts remembering after her encounter with Renshō. Once she remembers everything, Ririchiyo decides to break off her contract and relationship with the current Sōshi, realising that she loved the Sōshi in her previous life, not her current life. Soon the residents of Ayakashi Hall discover that after years of calm, the “Night Parade of 100 Demons” is about to start again, signalling that it has become an unstoppable cycle. While the residents of Ayakashi Hall work to stop Mikoto and the Night Parade, a middle schooler Banri Watanuki befriends Mikoto, not realising who he is. Later, after learning that Mikoto has gone back to 23 years ago using the Millenium Cherry Blossom Tree, the group decide to send a time capsule, containing letters, to the past.

“Interlude”

Volumes 8 and 9.
5 short stories, each focusing on one or more of the main characters. Set sometime during Part 1.

Part Three “Awaken in Spring”

Volumes 9 to 11.
The setting jumps back to 23 years ago, in the first timeline, where the group are about to bury the time capsule containing letters to their future selves. They dig a hole for the time capsule, only to find that there is already a box buried in the ground. Within the box, they find letters from themselves to themselves, but which they have no recollection of writing. With the help of Zange’s ability, they learn about their future, and decide to do all they can to defeat Mikoto and his army. As this timeline follows a different path from the first timeline, Ririchiyo and Sōshi are not in a relationship, and, because her letter told her that Sōshi had died protecting her, Ririchiyo decides to keep her distance from Sōshi. The group manage to prevent the attack on Karuta and all seems quiet for a while. Although most of the residents are called back home as Mikoto starts attacking other Atavists and Ayakashi Hall is no longer safe, they manage to regroup and return to Ayakashi Hall. And, after rescuing Sōshi from his house, where he was held captive, Ririchiyo and Sōshi reconnect and begin a relationship.
They learn that Mikoto is acquainted with Shimon Satorigahara, an elderly Atavist who is considered the leader of the Atavist community, with the ability to perceive the thoughts and memories of others. It is revealed that Mikoto had been repeating the “Night Parade of 100 Demons” over and over again in the same timeline, turning Atavists into senseless Yōkai and making them kill each other, in order to gift their bodies to Shimon, who can read their stories and memories for enjoyment. However Kagerō manages to gather Atavists from all over the country to fight Mikoto’s army, and Sōshi kills Mikoto, ending the “Night Parade of 100 Demons” and lifting his curse, causing the senseless Yōkai to return to their Atavist form. As Shimon reads Mikoto’s memories, she realises that Mikoto had loved her all along. The residents and their SS bodyguards continue towards a new life together, with everyone alive and well.

Film Friday- To the Abandoned Sacred Beasts

Film Friday- To the Abandoned Sacred Beasts

To the Abandoned Sacred Beasts is a Japanese dark fantasy manga series written and illustrated by Maybe. The series is published by Kodansha in Japan and by Vertical in North America. An anime television series adaptation by MAPPA aired from 1 July 2019 to 16 September 2019.

Anime

An anime television series adaptation was announced on 5 February 2019. The series is animated by MAPPA and directed by Jun Shishido, with Shigeru Murakoshi handled the series composition, Daisuke Niinuma designed the characters, and Yoshihiro Ike composed the music. The series aired from 1 July 2019 to 16 September 2019 on Tokyo MX, BS11, and MBS. The opening theme song is “Sacrifice” by Mafumafu, while the ending theme song is “HHOOWWLL” by Gero×ARAKI. Crunchyroll streamed the series. It ran for 12 episodes. On 1 October 2019, Crunchyroll announced that the series would receive an English dub.

Characters

Hank Henriette 
Former Captain of the Incarnates who was left for dead near the end of the war. Two years later, he became a Beast Hunter, hunting down the surviving Incarnates across Patria before they cause more destruction. He is capable of transforming into a werewolf under moonlight, and fights with a giant spear.
Nancy Schaal Bancroft
The daughter of John William Bancroft, she holds Hank responsible for his death and tries to shoot Hank the first time she meets him. Schaal wields an elephant gun and reluctantly decides to help Hank in exchange for learning the truth of the Incarnates and what caused them to go insane.
Cain Madhouse
Formerly a nobleman named Cain Withers, he was Vice Captain of the Incarnates who betrayed Elaine near the end of the war, shooting her through the chest before fleeing with the surviving Incarnate soldiers. He is called the vampire Incarnate, the immortal king of blood and the night.
Elaine Bluelake 
A doctor whose research gave birth to the Incarnates, and also developed a means to kill them at the end of the war. However, she was shot through the chest by Cain before she could do the job. Her body was never found.
Claude Withers
A human and the Captain of Coup de Grace, an Incarnate Extermination Squad authorized by the government. He takes his job seriously and swears he will not smile until he has killed every Incarnate beast. Unknown to most people, he is the younger brother of Cain and has sworn to kill him for his rebellion.
Liza Runecastle
A spy from the Northern Union who feeds information to Hank about the Incarnates.
Miglieglia
A young white-haired girl with gold eyes and a black dress who travels with Cain.

 

Manga Monday- To Abandoned Sacred Beasts

Manga Monday- To Abandoned Sacred Beasts

To the Abandoned Sacred Beasts is a Japanese dark fantasy manga series written and illustrated by Maybe. The series is published by Kodansha in Japan and by Vertical in North America. An anime television series adaptation by MAPPA aired from 1 July 2019 to 16 September 2019.

Manga

Manga artist duo Maybe launched the series in the July 2014 issue of Kodansha’s shōnen manga magazine Bessatsu Shōnen Magazine on 9 June 2014. The series took a one-month break in August 2015 (it was not published in the September issue on 8 August) before resuming serialization in the October issue on 9 September 2015.

North American manga publisher Vertical announced their license to the series on 27 August 2015, scheduling the release of the first volume for May 2016. Before they selected the series’ current title, Vertical was originally going to publish the manga as The Abandoned Sacred Beasts.

Ten volumes have been released as of July 2019, and the first volume was published in English in May 2016.

Reception

The first volume of the series reached 39th place on the weekly Oricon comics rankings, with 22,468 copies sold; the second volume reached 31st place, with 18,638 copies sold; the third volume reached 39th place, with 28,018 copies sold; and the fourth volume reached 24th place, with 32,728 copies sold.

Plot

100 years after settlers on the continent of Patria established a democratic nation, the discovery of an energy source called Somnium ore sparked a conflict. The nation of Patria split between the industrial Northern Union and the mining towns of the Southern Confederation, and began fighting a civil war. While the South had greater numbers, the North had a secret weapon: The Incarnates, soldiers who could transform into giant mythical beasts and single-handedly destroy enemy emplacements. However, when the war ended and a peace treaty was negotiated, the Incarnates were supposed to be destroyed. Instead, an officer named Cain betrayed his superiors and fled with the surviving Incarnates across the continent. Two years later, an Incarnate named Hank has made it his mission to hunt down the surviving Incarnates, assisted by a young woman named Schaal who blames him for killing her father.

 

Film Friday- Galaxy Express 999

Film Friday- Galaxy Express 999

Galaxy Express 999 is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Leiji Matsumoto, later adapted into a number of anime films and television series. It is set in a spacefaring, high-tech future in which humans have learned how to transfer their minds and emotions with perfect fidelity into mechanical bodies, thus achieving practical immortality.

The manga won the Shogakukan Manga Award for shōnen in 1978. The anime series won the Animage Anime Grand Prix prize in 1981.

Matsumoto was inspired to create Galaxy Express 999 by the idea of a steam train running through the stars in the novel Night on the Galactic Railroad by Kenji Miyazawa.

Film versions

Galaxy Express 999

The film version of Galaxy Express 999, released in 1979. Maetel and Tetsuro again set out for the home planet of the Mechanized Empire, visiting four planets. Planet Maetel is a mechanized world where machine bodies are made.

Godiego performed the film’s theme song “The Galaxy Express 999”.

Adieu Galaxy Express 999

Adieu Galaxy Express 999 is a 1981 sequel to the film adaptation. Adieu presents an entirely new storyline which takes place three years after the destruction of Planet Maetel. The Machine Empire now has even more of a stranglehold over the Galaxy. Rumors are afoot of Maetel becoming its new Queen. Tetsuro, now a fifteen-year-old freedom fighter, is shocked when a messenger brings him news that the 999 is returning, and that Maetel wants him to board it. Tetsuro narrowly makes his way to the 999 and departs Earth, now a battlefield.

Although Tetsuro finds that Maetel isn’t present on the 999, he does meet Metalmena, a machine woman who has replaced the waitress Claire. Also, a mysterious Ghost Train has been traveling the universe and nearly crashes into the 999. The 999 then pouts about the humiliation of being overtaken by the Ghost Train. The 999 heads to the planet La Metal, portrayed here as the birthplace of Prometheum and Maetel. Here Tetsuro helps in the resistance, befriending a cat-like teenaged-boy named Meowdar. While exploring the ruins of an old castle, Tetsuro discovers a portrait of a beautiful, blonde queen who looks very much like Maetel. He learns that it is, in fact, La Metal’s Queen Prometheum, even though she looks nothing like she did at their last confrontation. As the 999 departs, Maetel finally makes her appearance.

Shortly after leaving La Metal, the 999 is forced to dock at a station where Tetsuro meets a mysterious machine-man named Faust. When Tetsuro attacks him, Faust causes Tetsuro to drop into a flashback where he must relive his mother’s death. The 999 continues on to the planet Mosaic, the last stop before Great Andromeda, capital of the mechanized empire. Here Tetsuro finds the Ghost Train and is nearly killed.

The 999 finally makes its way to Great Andromeda where Faust greets Tetsuro once more. Meanwhile, Maetel travels down to the center of the planet where Prometheum’s consciousness still exists. Maetel is put in charge of the mechanized empire, just as the rumors said. But, again, she intends to put an end to the operations, and attempts to shut Prometheum’s machinery down. She reveals the horrible truth to Tetsuro that the energy the machine people use is actually drained from living human beings, and that they were transported there by the Ghost Train. Tetsuro is shocked to find his old friend Meowdar among a pile of dead, drained bodies. Metalmena shows indifference to Meowdar’s death, until Tetsuro reveals the source of the energy she has been existing on. As a patrol of guards comes to arrest the group, Metalmena, disgusted and enraged by what she has learned, attacks and destroys them, apparently at the cost of her own life.

Prometheum proves that she cannot be killed with just the flip of a switch, and all seems hopeless. At about the same time, a space anomaly called Siren the Witch approaches Great Andromeda, attracted to its abundant energy and absorbing all machine energy. With Great Andromeda collapsing, the 999 is set to depart, but Tetsuro must face Faust one last time. After dealing Faust a fatal blow, it is revealed to Tetsuro that Faust is actually Tetsuro’s father (In the manga and television series, it is never made clear what became of Tetsuro’s father). The 999 heads back to La Metal where Maetel and Tetsuro separate for the last time, and “the boy [Tetsuro] becomes a man”.

Two songs written and performed by Mary MacGregor, ‘Love Light’ and the ending theme “Sayonara” were used for the film. Kumiko Kaori recorded a Japanese version of the ending song.

Helen McCarthy in 500 Essential Anime Movies called it a “dense, fascinating story”.

Maetel Legend

This two-part OVA from 2000 serves as a prelude for Galaxy Express 999 and explains the series’ backstory. Maetel, the protagonist, is the daughter of Queen Prometheum of the Planet La Metal (both from Queen Millennia), a wandering planet, and one of the first civilizations to have mechanized their bodies. As Queen Promethium becomes fearful of the natural decline of her people’s lifespan on their freezing world, which has fallen out of orbit, she decides to mechanize them all, in order to enable her people to survive the harsh climate. The complete series was released on DVD by Central Park Media.

Space Symphony Maetel

Following on from Maetel Legend, this 13-part OVA from 2004 reveals that the newly created machine people of La Metal began to mechanise galaxy after galaxy against the will of many humans, and ended up creating rebellions and revolutions. Maetel is asked to return to La Metal to succeed her mother, only to discover the many hardships her mother has inflicted on the humans.

In this series, Captain Harlock and Emeraldas (Maetel’s sister) also appear, and work together to assassinate Prometheum, along with Maetel. Parallels with Galaxy Express 999 are prevalent. Instead of a boy who wants a mechanized body meeting her, she met a boy who has a grudge against Prometheum and detests being mechanized.

The final lines of dialog reveal that this is a prequel to the 1979 film Galaxy Express 999.

Galaxy Railways: Letter From An Abandoned Planet

This OVA series was released from December 30, 2006 to January 5, 2007 (on SKY PerfectTV!) in Japan. The story takes place between Seasons 1 and 2 of Galaxy Railways: Crossroad to Eternity, and presumably after the events of Galaxy Express 999: Eternal Fantasy, where the Earth has since been destroyed. The OVAs featured Maetel, Tetsuro, and the Conductor, with their original voice actors from the Galaxy Express 999 television series.

For unknown reasons, this series started production earlier than Galaxy Railways: Crossroad to Eternity, but was aired much later.

Characters

  • Tetsuro Hoshino
    The main character of Galaxy Express 999, Tetsuro is a poor Earth boy who witnessed his mother die at the hands of Count Mecha. With his mother’s dying wish being for him to obtain a machine body, Tetsuro embarks on the Galaxy Express with Maetel. Tetsuro has also been mentioned in the new Captain Harlock: Dimensional Voyage manga.

 

 

  • Maetel:
    The mysterious blonde woman who accompanies Tetsuro on the Galaxy Express 999. Maetel is in actuality the daughter of Queen Prometheum, ruler of the mechanized empire. In the movie version, Maetel is responsible for bringing youths from around the universe to the mechanized homeworld where they are turned into mechanized human components to serve the mechanized empire, whereas in the television series, she is grooming them to grow up to become generals in her mother’s imperial military. Maetel is secretly plotting with her father, Dr. Ban (who is contained within the pendant around her neck) to destroy the machine empire, and finally does so (in the movie) when it is Tetsuro’s turn to be turned into a bolt. Maetel’s soul exists in the body of a human copy, which she occupies until it grows old and she exchanges it for a new one. It is explained in the movie version that she occupies a clone of the body of Tetsuro’s mother, which explains the resemblance between the two.

 

  • Conductor
    The Conductor is the main crew member of the Galaxy Express 999. He is an alien being with an invisible body; only his eyes can be seen while he is wearing his conductor uniform. The Conductor prefers to go ‘strictly by the book’ and frequently cites the Galaxy Express rule book, but occasionally ends up bending the rules and getting into adventures with Tetsuro and Maetel.

 

  • Claire:
    The dining car waitress on the 999, Claire has a machine body made of clear crystal glass. Unlike others who gave up their humanity by choice, Claire was forced into this existence by her vain mother. She works on the 999 in order to save up enough money to buy back her human body, which is stored on Pluto.[7] Claire quickly befriends Tetsuro and sacrifices herself for him when a hallucination taking the guise of his mother tries to pull him out of the train. Her body is shattered, all that remains is a single glass tear which Tetsuro holds with him as a memento.[7] In the movie version, Claire has a somewhat larger role, but suffers the same fate, sacrificing herself for Tetsuro when Prometheum tries to kill him (a machine girl named “Mirai” (“Future”) has this role in the television series). Claire returns to life in both Eternal Fantasy and the new Galaxy Express manga published by Matsumoto in the 1990s.

 

  • Captain Harlock:
    Famous space pirates who are idolized by Tetsuro. Both have only minor cameos in the original manga and television series, but have significantly larger roles in the movies and assist in defeating the machine empire.

 

  • Antares:
    A well known bandit who sneaks aboard the 999 after their stop on the planet Titan. Antares despises machine people for the death of his wife and has many unexploded bullets lodged within his abdomen. He warns Tetsuro to “shoot first, ask questions later”.[9] In the manga and television series he lives in a large home with his many children; in the movie he lives on Titan with other bandits and many children orphaned by Count Mecha. In the movie version he assists Tetsuro in his quest to kill Count Mecha at the Time Castle, and is killed when the bullets in his body explode after taking multiple shots from the Count.

 

  • Count Mecha:
    The wealthy machine man who murdered Tetsuro’s mother. In the manga and television series, he is a minor aristocrat, and is killed by Tetsuro before he leaves Earth. In the movie version he appears to have considerably more power, and rules the Time Castle. Acquiring a machine body to get revenge on Count Mecha is Tetsuro’s primary motivation in the movie version, and he accomplishes his goal with the assistance of Antares while on the planet Heavy Melder.

 

  • Queen Prometheum:
    Maetel’s mother, and ruler of the mechanized empire. Once a gentle woman, Prometheum created the machine empire believing it would be good for humanity. Prometheum has considerably difference physical characteristics in each of her appearances, appearing as a humanoid in the television series and movie, and a two-faced head in the manga. Prometheum is destroyed with the destruction of Andromeda in the manga and television series, and killed by Claire in the movie version. Her spirit occupies the planet Great Andromeda in Adieu Galaxy Express 999 but perishes when that planet is destroyed by Siren the Witch.

 

Manga Monday- Galaxy Express 999

Manga Monday- Galaxy Express 999

Galaxy Express 999 is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Leiji Matsumoto, later adapted into a number of anime films and television series. It is set in a spacefaring, high-tech future in which humans have learned how to transfer their minds and emotions with perfect fidelity into mechanical bodies, thus achieving practical immortality.
The manga won the Shogakukan Manga Award for shōnen in 1978. The anime series won the Animage Anime Grand Prix prize in 1981.
Matsumoto was inspired to create Galaxy Express 999 by the idea of a steam train running through the stars in the novel Night on the Galactic Railroad by Kenji Miyazawa.

Plot

Anime and manga

An impoverished ten-year-old named Tetsuro Hoshino desperately wants an indestructible machine body, giving him the ability to live forever and have the freedom that the unmechanized don’t have. While machine bodies are impossibly expensive, they are supposedly given away for free in the Andromeda Galaxy, the end of the line for the Galaxy Express 999, a space train that only comes to Earth once a year.

The series begins with Tetsuro and his mother making their way to Megalopolis where they hope to get jobs to pay for passes for the 999. Along the way, however, Count Mecha and a gang of “human hunters” kill Tetsuro’s mother. Before she dies, she tells him to continue the journey they started, and to get a machine body to live the eternal life she couldn’t. Tetsuro tries to forge on toward the city alone, but is quickly overcome by the brutal cold and wind. As he succumbs, he cries out an apology to his mother for failing to fulfill her wish, and hopes that in his next life he will be born as a robot to begin with.

Tetsuro is surprised to awaken by the fireplace in the home of a beautiful woman, Maetel, who is the spitting image of his dead mother. Maetel tells him she had heard the entire incident with a long-range directional microphone she had been idly scanning around the area with. Maetel offers him an unlimited use pass for the 999 if he will be her traveling companion, to which Tetsuro agrees. She provides him with a gun and directs him to the Count’s residence, telling him that the Count and his henchmen will be too distracted with their revelries to defend themselves against a surprise attack. Tetsuro bursts in on them in their meeting hall and cuts them down with a spray of gunfire. With the Earth police in hot pursuit, Tetsuro and Maetel flee the planet aboard the 999.

Along the way, Tetsuro has many adventures on many different and exotic planets and meets many kinds of people, both human and alien, living and machine. Increasingly, Tetsuro realizes that a machine body won’t fix all of his problems. In fact, most of the machine people he meets regret the decision to give up their humanity.

Eventually, Tetsuro and Maetel reach the Planet Prometheum, the final stop for the 999. He is shocked by the cruelty and indolence of the machine people there, and witnesses a mechanized human committing suicide, an event to which the others react with scoffs and derision. He asks the dying man why he wished to end his life, and is told that eternal life on Prometheum is utterly empty of joy or purpose. When Tetsuro mentions the name of his traveling companion, the man is horrified and tells him that Maetel is in fact the daughter of Queen Prometheum, the supreme ruler of the Machine Empire, and that she is thoroughly untrustworthy. Testuro is outraged at having been kept in the dark and rushes off to confront Maetel. Maetel is at a loss for words, but a government spokeswoman inserts herself into their conversation and begins giving answers on Maetel’s behalf. Tetsuro is not impressed and he storms off in a blind fury.

Tetsuro doesn’t understand why he has been betrayed by Maetel, but Maetel has plans of her own, and seeks to destroy the mechanized civilization. With the help of her father, Dr. Ban (only named in the film), whose consciousness resides in a pendant she wears around her neck, Maetel destroys her mother and the planet. Afterwards, Maetel and Tetsuro return to the penultimate station on the Planet of Bats where Tetsuro tells Maetel his intention to return to Earth and lead it toward a new future.

Maetel, proud of Tetsuro for his decision to reject mechanization, tells him she has something to take care of and that he should board first. However, Tetsuro finds a letter from Maetel telling him that it was time for them to part ways. Maetel had secretly boarded the 777 (three-seven), a nearby train, with the intention of “leading another boy to his future”. However, it is unclear as to whether or not this means that the Mechanization Empire still exists elsewhere, or if Maetel will lead the boy to some other “future”. The series ends as the trains both depart the Planet of Bats.

New manga series and Eternal Fantasy

In 1996, Matsumoto began a new GE999 series, set a year after the original, in which the Earth is destroyed and Tetsuro sets out to discover the source of the “darkness” that threatens all life in the universe.

The film Galaxy Express 999: Eternal Fantasy was released in 1998. This film takes place one year after the events of the Galaxy Express 999 TV series and is the third film in the series, where Maetel and Tetsuro reunite to save the universe again from another evil. It also serves as a link between this film and The Galaxy Railways.

The Alfee performed the theme song “Brave Love: Galaxy Express 999 / Beyond the Win”.

Also, Space Battleship Yamato, from the Japanese show of the same name and the English version Star Blazers, which are both Matsumoto creations, makes a cameo appearance

The manga has been partially published in English by Viz.

Film Friday- Tenchi Muyo!

Film Friday- Tenchi Muyo!

Tenchi Muyo! is a Japanese anime, light novel and manga franchise. The original series began with a six-episode OVA called Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-Ohki created by Masaki Kajishima and directed by Hiroki Hayashi, and released in Japan on September 25, 1992. The series was released by Pioneer LDC in the United Kingdom in 1994. As its popularity grew, it spurred a seventh episode titled Tenchi Muyo! Special: The Night Before the Carnival (also known as the Tenchi Special) and a stand-alone Tenchi Muyo! Mihoshi Special. A second OVA series was directed by Kenichi Yatagai that was released in 1994, and a third OVA series, also directed by Yatagai, was released in 2003.

A fourth OVA series was produced in Japan, with the first collection released on November 30, 2016. The following episodes were planned to be released with an interval of three months each, and the final part of the series arrived August 30, 2017.

On July 12, 2019, it was announced that a fifth OVA series is currently in development, with Masaki Kajishima again serving as chief director and Hideki Shirane writing and overseeing scripts.

A twenty-six-episode anime television series called Tenchi Universe was released in 1995 retelling and expanding upon the original six-episode story. Tenchi in Tokyo was created in 1997, and is another alternate version of the original story. The latest version of the series called Ai Tenchi Muyo!, was broadcast on Tokyo MX in 2014.

Spin-off series of Tenchi Muyo! were also created. Magical Girl Pretty Sammy is an example that was adapted into a manga series. The franchise has also spawned soundtrack CDs and other merchandise released both in Japan and in the United States.

Media

OVA

The first OVA was titled Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-Ohki and was created by Masaki Kajishima. The series was divided into 4 OVAs. The fourth OVA released its last episode on September 13, 2017.

TV series

After the first OVA series aired, AIC began looking into TV adaptations beyond the Mihoshi Special. In 1995 Tenchi Universe a 26-episode anime television series was created by Hiroshi Negishi, animated by AIC and produced by Pioneer. It was loosely based on the first six episodes of the OVA series and the Mihoshi Special. Two years later, another AIC production followed suit called Tenchi in Tokyo, which aired through 1997 and also ran 26 episodes. It borrowed characters and some plot devices from the previous incarnations, but with a noticeable art shift and very different concepts, such as centering on Tenchi’s high school and being a priest in Tokyo. The most recent series Ai Tenchi Muyo! aired in October 2014. The series commemorated the 20th anniversary of the franchise and was sponsored by the city of Takahashi, Okayama.

Films

An anime film titled Tenchi the Movie: Tenchi Muyo in Love, created by Hiroshi Negishi, is a continuation of the Tenchi Universe TV series. A second film, Tenchi the Movie 2: The Daughter of Darkness, was adapted from a novel written by Naoko Hasegawa. The third film, titled Tenchi Forever! The Movie, is the sequel to Tenchi Muyo in Love and was adapted into a manga titled Tenchi Muyo! In Love 2: Eternal Memory.

Novels

Kajishima has written several books based on the franchise, including the ongoing Tenchi Muyo! GXP: Galaxy Police Transporter novel series, the novels Shin Tenchi Muyo! Jurai, Shin Tenchi Muyo! Yosho, and Shin Tenchi Muyo! Washu, and recently, the Paradise Wars spinoff. There are also a number of dōjinshi by and interviews with Kajishima, as well as a companion book, 101 Questions and Answers of Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-Oh-Ki. Naoko Hasegawa wrote a series of thirteen light novels continuing from the first OVA series, starting with “One Visitor After Another: Hexagram Of Love” in 1993.

Seven Seas Entertainment has licensed the light novels Shin Tenchi Muyo! Jurai, Shin Tenchi Muyo! Yosho, Shin Tenchi Muyo! Washu for a North American release.

Video games

Numerous video games have been released based on the franchise, such as Tenchi Muyo! Game Hen for the Super Famicom.

Radio

A radio drama was released titled Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-ohki Manatsu no Carnival.

Stage play

On AnimeJapan 2019, it was announced on AIC Rights’ booth that a stage play based on the first season of Ryo-Ohki is in development, scheduled to premiere in 2019. On May 17th, the cast and staff was announced, with Kazuhiro Igarashi writing the script and Kazuma Sato starring as Tenchi Masaki. It is scheduled to go from July 17th to the 21st on the Shinjukumura Live venue, in Tokyo.

Spin-offs

The first Tenchi spinoff is the Magical Girl Pretty Sammy series, a magical girl series where Sasami is the lead character. The first use of Pretty Sammy was in the Tenchi Muyo! Sound File, a Japanese-only music video release. The same animation was used in the ending of the Tenchi Muyo! Mihoshi Special. In 1995, a three episode Pretty Sammy OVA series began, where Sasami, who is known as Sasami Kawai, magically becomes Pretty Sammy. The second Pretty Sammy series is a TV series, which came out in 1996, also known as Magical Project S. This series is in a separate continuity from the OVA series. Pretty Sammy also appears in the Mihoshi Special toward the end of Mihoshi’s story, and in an alternate reality sequence in the Tenchi Universe series.

Also created by Masaki Kajishima, the 1997 OVA series Photon: The Idiot Adventures is related to the Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-ohki universe, or more specifically, its recent installment, Tenchi Muyo! War on Geminar. Tenchi Muyo! War on Geminar copies a number of elements from Photon: The Idiot Adventures, such as Koros, Aho energy, having a princess named Lashara, and a young hero with such strong superhuman abilities he’s practically invincible.

The 1999 series Dual! Parallel Trouble Adventure is related to the Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-ohki universe, due to the blatant use of the “Lighthawk Wings” associated with the Jurai dynasty in Tenchi Muyo. The creator of both Dual! and Tenchi Muyo!, Masaki Kajishima, confirmed that Dual! does relate to Tenchi Muyo!, and is in fact an alternate version of the Tenchi Muyo! universe. Guardians of Order published a line of English-language Tenchi Muyo role-playing game books based on the various series in the Tenchi franchise starting in 2000.

Tenchi Muyo! GXP was released in Japan in 2001. The series takes place during the Kajishima version of the OVA continuity, and is set a year after the events of the third OVA series (despite being released first chronologically). The main character is Seina Yamada, a friend of Tenchi Masaki who accidentally joined the Galaxy Police. Many characters from Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-ohki make appearances in this series, including the use of Seiryo Tennan as a major character and a full-fledged Tenchi Muyo! crossover in episode 17.

Battle Programmer Shirase is a 2003 spin-off of the Pretty Sammy OVA and TV series, keeping the character Misao Amano from Pretty Sammy, and with the main character Akira Shirase, Misao’s great-uncle; however, it bears little in common with either Pretty Sammy series because it has neither magic, nor Sasami, nor Misao’s alter ego Pixy Misa.

Sasami: Magical Girls Club aired in Japan in 2006. The third spin-off featuring Sasami (known here as Sasami Iwakura) as the main character.

The most recent Tenchi spin-off series is called Tenchi Muyo! War on Geminar which follows the tale of Tenchi’s half-brother Kenshi Masaki as he finds himself in a foreign world that uses humanoid machines to fight their wars.

 

Manga Monday- Tenchi Muyo!

Manga Monday- Tenchi Muyo!

Tenchi Muyo! is a Japanese anime, light novel and manga franchise. The original series began with a six-episode OVA called Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-Ohki  created by Masaki Kajishima and directed by Hiroki Hayashi, and released in Japan on September 25, 1992. The series was released by Pioneer LDC in the United Kingdom in 1994. As its popularity grew, it spurred a seventh episode titled Tenchi Muyo! Special: The Night Before the Carnival (also known as the Tenchi Special) and a stand-alone Tenchi Muyo! Mihoshi Special. A second OVA series was directed by Kenichi Yatagai that was released in 1994, and a third OVA series, also directed by Yatagai, was released in 2003.

A fourth OVA series was produced in Japan, with the first collection released on November 30, 2016. The following episodes were planned to be released with an interval of three months each, and the final part of the series arrived August 30, 2017.

On July 12, 2019, it was announced that a fifth OVA series is currently in development, with Masaki Kajishima again serving as chief director and Hideki Shirane writing and overseeing scripts.

A twenty-six-episode anime television series called Tenchi Universe was released in 1995 retelling and expanding upon the original six-episode story. Tenchi in Tokyo was created in 1997, and is another alternate version of the original story. The latest version of the series called Ai Tenchi Muyo!, was broadcast on Tokyo MX in 2014.

Spin-off series of Tenchi Muyo! were also created. Magical Girl Pretty Sammy is an example that was adapted into a manga series. The franchise has also spawned soundtrack CDs and other merchandise released both in Japan and in the United States.

Concept

Masaki Kajishima and Hiroki Hayashi, who both worked on the Bubblegum Crisis OVAs, cite the show as being the inspiration for Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-Ohki. In an interview with AIC, Hayashi described Bubblegum Crisis as “a pretty gloomy anime. Serious fighting, complicated human relationships, and dark Mega Tokyo.” They thought it would be fun to create some comedy episodes with ideas like the girls going to the hot springs, but it was rejected by the sponsors. He also said that there was a trend to have a bunch of characters of one gender and a single one of the other gender, and asked what if Mackey (Sylia’s brother) was a main character, reversing the Bubblegum scenario. This became the basis for Tenchi Muyo!.

In designing Ryoko, Kajishima and Hayashi were inspired by the American sitcom I Dream of Jeannie and wanted to use her in their works. In the first episode, Tenchi would open the sealed cave, which was a reference to the Jeannie’s bottle, and a “cute witch” would jump out. Hayashi said that Tenchi is “sort of” based on Mackey, and that after Tenchi and Ryoko, the other girls were designed to be characters to balance the picture in the very early concepts of the series, and that they are original characters.

Manga

Hitoshi Okuda wrote two manga series based on the OVA series. The first manga is titled No Need for Tenchi and was published by Kadokawa Shoten and serialized in Dragon Comic Jr. magazine from December 16, 1994 to June 9, 2000. The series was collected into 12 tankōbon volumes. The second series titled The All-New Tenchi Muyo! was also published by Kadokawa Shoten and serialized in Dragon Comic Age magazine from July 26, 2000 to December 9, 2005. The series was collected into 10 tankōbon volumes.

Film Friday- Barakamon

Film Friday- Barakamon

Barakamon is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Satsuki Yoshino. It started serialization in Square Enix’s Gangan Online February 2009 issue. The story follows Seishu Handa, a calligrapher who moves to the remote Goto Islands off the western coast of Kyushu, and his various interactions with the people of the island. An anime adaptation by Kinema Citrus aired in Japan between July and September 2014. Funimation has licensed the series for streaming and home video release. In February 2014, Yen Press announced they have licensed Barakamon for English release in North America.

A spin-off manga series Handa-kun started serialization in the November 2013 issue of Square Enix’s Monthly Shonen Gangan magazine. An anime television adaptation by Diomedéa aired in Japan between July and September 2016.

Anime

An anime adaptation by the studio, Kinema Citrus, began airing on July 5, 2014. Funimation has licensed the series for streaming and home video release. The opening theme song is “Rashisa” performed by Super Beaver, and the ending theme is “Innocence” by NoisyCell.

An anime television adaptation of the Handa-kun spin-off manga was announced on Square Enix’s Gangan Online website on February 1, 2016. It began airing on July 7, 2016 on TBS and CBC, and later began airing on MBS, BS-TBS, and TBS Channel 1. The 12-episode series was directed by Yoshitaka Koyama and produced by Diomedéa. Michiko Yokote, Mariko Kunisawa, and Miharu Hirami wrote the series’ scripts, while Mayuko Matsumoto designed the characters and Kenji Kawai composed the music. The opening theme song, titled “The LiBERTY”, was performed by Fo’xTails, and the ending theme song, titled “HIDE-AND-SEEK”, was performed by Kenichi Suzumura. Funimation has also licensed the series for streaming and home video release and plans a broadcast dub for the series.

Seishu Handa 
is a 23-year-old master calligrapher who dedicates his life to the art. His real name is Sei. After punching a gallery curator for calling his calligraphy “boring,” “rigid,” “academic,” and “bland.” , he is sent by his father to a small town in the Goto Islands to focus on his calligraphy as he waits out his “banishment”. He is typically childish and a short-tempered adult. He’s also easy to scare. He’s affectionately called “Sensei” by the people of the village area of town. As a teenager, he was equally popular among the boys and girls from his school but was under the impression that most of the school hated him when in fact, he was worshipped by others who misunderstood his methods from interactions with him. He eventually discovers the truth of his reputation and was dismayed to hear his best friend was teasing him the whole time. While Handa came to understand that, he was overwhelmed by the popularity.
Naru Kotoishi 
is a 7-year-old (6-year-old in the beginning) girl in her first year at a local elementary; she lives on the Goto Islands alone with her grandfather. Her personality is very energetic, curious, and childish. She visits Handa’s house every day to play. She is typically reckless, thinking after she does; this is shown by all the time she disobeys Handa.