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Film Friday- Great Teacher Onizuka

Film Friday- Great Teacher Onizuka

Great Teacher Onizuka, officially abbreviated as GTO, is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Tooru Fujisawa. It was originally serialized in Weekly Shōnen Magazine from January 1997 to February 2002. The story focuses on 22-year-old ex-bōsōzoku member Eikichi Onizuka, who becomes a teacher at a private middle school, Holy Forest Academy, in Tokyo, Japan. It is a continuation of Tooru Fujisawa’s earlier manga series Shonan Junai Gumi and Bad Company, both of which focus on the life of Onizuka before becoming a teacher.
Due to the popularity of the manga, several adaptations of GTO were established. These adaptations include a twelve-episode Japanese television drama running from July to September 1998; a live-action film directed by Masayuki Suzuki and released in December 1999; and a 43-episode anime television series aired in Japan by Fuji Television and Animax from June 1999 to September 2000. Both the anime and manga have been licensed in North America by Tokyopop. A second live action series aired in Japan during 2012, and two more in 2014. It won the 1998 Kodansha Manga Award for shōnen category.

Anime

A 43-episode anime adaption was produced by Studio Pierrot and was broadcast from June 30, 1999 to September 24, 2000. It was directed by Noriyuki Abe and Horiyuki Ishido.[30][31] Yoshiyuki Suga provided scripts, having also written scripts for the Live Action adaption.[20]

Tokyopop licensed the series for release in North America and released it across 10 DVDs between March 22, 2002 and September 16, 2003 and for American TV broadcast on Showtime’s SHONext channel in 2004 and Comcast’s Anime Selects on Demand network in 2006.[32][33] The series was re-released in a 7-disc box set by Eastern Star Studios on September 24, 2013.[34] Crunchyroll began streaming the series in January 2015.

Live-action

A 12-episode live-action Japanese television drama adaption directed by Masayuki Suzuki was broadcast from July 7, 1998 to September 22, 1998. The series starred Takashi Sorimachi as Onizuka and had an average audience share of 28.5% with the final episode recording a rate of 35.7%. The final episode was the 8th most watched broadcast in the Kantō region during 1998. Several changes were made for the live action adaption. For example, Fuyutsuki (Nanako Matsushima) is an eager teacher who supports Onizuka in the manga, whereas in the live action adaptation she initially dislikes Onizuka and wants to leave teaching to become an Air Hostess. A television special was broadcast on June 29, 1999. This was followed by a theatrical movie in January 2000. The film was successful at the box office grossing ¥1,320,000,000 becoming the 10th highest-grossing film of the year. The movie was released in North America by Tokyo Shock on July 26, 2005.
During 2012 it was announced that a new live action series would be broadcast in Japan. Produced by KTV and Media Mix Japan, the series ran from July 3, 2012 until September 11, 2012. Originally Jin Akanishi was to play the role of Onizuka, however he was forced to withdraw by his management. Instead Akira of Japanese band Exile was selected to play Onizuka. An Autumn special was broadcast on October 2, 2012, followed by a New years special on January 2, 2013 and a Spring special on April 2, 2013.
On March 22, 2014 a 4-part mini series aired in Taiwan, before being broadcast in Japan at a later date. The mini series places Onizuka in a Taiwanese school as part of a training program and is a joint Japan/Taiwan co production that contains both Japanese and Mandarin Chinese dialogue. The series has been announced for English subtitled release via the Crunchyroll streaming service. A new series set in Japan aired from July to September 2014.

Eikichi Onizuka

A 22-year-old, blonde-haired biker, and former bōsōzoku, Eikichi Onizuka is the protagonist of GTO. He graduated from a bottom-rung university by cheating and, as such, cannot get a decent job. His primary way of spending time is peeping up girls’ skirts at a local mall. He is very athletic and has a second dan black belt in karate.
Onizuka decides to become a teacher. His initial training is in the Musashino Public High School, where he meets Nanako Mizuki. His experience taming the rowdy gangs in his assigned class hardens his convictions that teaching is the way to go, and when he learns of Mizuki’s problems, he also decides to abstain from sexual experience with schoolgirls, opting to solve their personal issues for them, instead.
Unfortunately, he forgets to take the public teachers’ civil service exam; as a result, no public high school will accept him, but he is still eligible for private school teaching. He manages to get a job at the Holy Forest Academy, despite the objections of Vice-Principal Hiroshi Uchiyamada, whom he continues to aggravate well into his tenure. One of the conditions of having the job at Holy Forest is that he must sleep at the school – in the storage room at the top floor, with roof access – and it is here that Onizuka officially starts his career in teaching, when he stops Noboru Yoshikawa from committing suicide.
Onizuka is put in charge of class 3–4, a class so bad it has driven past teachers insane and one to death. Not only does he survive their brutal, bullying tactics, but he also befriends his students, and the backbone to the story of GTO consists of his unique experiences in turning his students around and learning lessons of his own.
Onizuka is capable of great feats of strength, such as arm-wrestling over 100 men of exponential strength, (sometimes 3 at once) in a row and winning. He is also an experienced martial artist, as Onizuka is capable of fending off multiple opponents, even if they are well-armed. However, it was revealed around chapter 190 that because of all the physical damage he sustained since he started teaching, it resulted in a clotted blood vessel in his brain, and that a jolt to his head could either turn him into a vegetable, paralyze him, or kill him.
In spite of his impressive fighting skills, Onizuka is often roughed up by his students, and others, whenever he behaves badly. It could be speculated that deep down, Onizuka knows when he’s acting immature, and allows others to keep him in line. An example of this is when he forces his students to dig for buried treasure during the Okinawa trip. Urumi Kanzaki kicks Onizuka into a hole, and later forces him to wear S&M garb and has him crawl around on all fours, with Urumi riding on his back. Another example is when Vice-Principal Uchiyamada has Onizuka over for dinner and hits him on the head with a wooden bench after finding out that he was acting lecherous with his daughter at a karaoke bar.
His mode of transportation is a Kawasaki Z750RS Z2 motorcycle, and is also the protagonist in the GTO prequel, Shonan Junai Gumi.
It is shown throughout the series that Onizuka is also very lucky, as he always manages to squeeze out of tight situations. An example of this is when he must raise 8 million yen to live up to a promise he made to the 3rd year students. He received what he believed to be a winning lottery ticket, but it turned out to be false. However, he was given a raffle ticket which he kept but didn’t expect for it to help his predicament, but ended up winning a Mercedes-Benz E-Class car worth the 8 million yen. He gave away the Mercedes in an act of kindness, and while it seemed unlikely for him to get the car back, it was returned to him in the last minute.

Manga Monday- Great Teacher Onizuka

Manga Monday- Great Teacher Onizuka

Great Teacher Onizuka, officially abbreviated as GTO, is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Tooru Fujisawa. It was originally serialized in Weekly Shōnen Magazine from January 1997 to February 2002. The story focuses on 22-year-old ex-bōsōzoku member Eikichi Onizuka, who becomes a teacher at a private middle school, Holy Forest Academy, in Tokyo, Japan. It is a continuation of Tooru Fujisawa’s earlier manga series Shonan Junai Gumi and Bad Company, both of which focus on the life of Onizuka before becoming a teacher.

Due to the popularity of the manga, several adaptations of GTO were established. These adaptations include a twelve-episode Japanese television drama running from July to September 1998; a live-action film directed by Masayuki Suzuki and released in December 1999; and a 43-episode anime television series aired in Japan by Fuji Television and Animax from June 1999 to September 2000. Both the anime and manga have been licensed in North America by Tokyopop. A second live action series aired in Japan during 2012, and two more in 2014. It won the 1998 Kodansha Manga Award for shōnen category.

Reception

Great Teach Onizuka won the 1998 Kodansha Manga Award for the shōnen category.
In Manga: The Complete Guide, Jason Thompson refers to the series as “Shameless, frequently sexist and totally hilarious”. He adds “The rule of the manga is that every time Onizuka does something incredibly cool and heartwarming, he must immediately do something unbelievably retarded”. He praises the series for staying fresh through imagery, detailed art and pop culture dialogue even though the formula repeats itself. Lastly he states that it “approaches true social satire”. He gave the series four stars out of four.
In The Dorama Encyclopedia, Jonathan Clements and Motoko Tamamuro note that the subject and humorous approach to the series was well received by the teenage audience.
In The Anime Encyclopedia: A Guide to Japanese Animation Since 1917, Jonathan Clements and Helen McCarthy noted the use of computer cloud and water effects in the anime adaptation. While appreciating the advantages of the anime adaption allowing for more violence, they call the first live action adaption the “quintessential GTO”.

Manga

The series was published in Weekly Shōnen Magazine from January 8, 1997 to February 13, 2002. A total of 25 volumes were published between May 14, 1997 and April 15, 2002. The series was licensed in English by Tokyopop and was one of Tokyopop’s first releases in the “Authentic Manga” lineup of titles using the Japanese right to left reading style. In doing so the artwork remained unchanged from the original compared to previous publishing methods. The 25 English volumes were published between April 23, 2002 and August 9, 2005.
On 9 June 2009, a sequel to the GTO manga began releasing in Kodansha’s Weekly Shōnen Magazine, under the title GTO – Shonan 14 Days. North American publisher Vertical Inc began publishing GTO: Shonan 14 Days globally in English, as GTO: 14 Days in Shonan beginning January 2012 and has published all nine volumes. Vertical also continued and concluded the Shonan Junai Gumi manga series, from volume 11 onwards, as GTO: The Early Years in 2012.
A new manga series entitled GTO: Paradise Lost started in Kodansha’s Weekly Young Magazine on April 14, 2014. Fujisawa put the manga on hiatus in October 2017 due to a staff shortage. In May 2019, Fujisawa announced his plans to resume the series.
Kodansha USA currently publishes the manga in English in a digital format since 2017.

Production

When writing GTO, Fujisawa was influenced by the writing style of Kouhei Tsuka. The series was originally intended to run for 10 volumes, however it was extended at the request of the publisher. Fujisawa began to run out of characters as a result. When faced with writing block he would write stories without Onizuka.
Onizuka’s first name, Eikichi, was taken from musician Eikichi Yazawa. When developing Onizuka’s character for the series, Fujisawa sought to incorporate real character traits from Japanese gangs often referred to as “Yankees”. Onizuka’s look is modelled on such gang members and was not intended to convey an “American look”. Onizuka acts tough and confident but is actually shy and lacking in confidence to follow through on some of his desires. He is a simple character that stands by his own reasoning and principles and has his own conscience. Fujisawa gave him the viewpoint that you should take responsibility for your actions, something he sees as important.
Onizuka’s role in the school is to provide a bridge between the students and teachers. The character of Fuyutsuki reflects the point of view of the average teacher. Fujisawa highlights his own school experience where teachers were mostly focused only on a good performance record rather than the teaching itself. However he was able to take an interest in Mathematics because of the approach of his teacher. He used this experience to build the series.
Tatsuya Egawa has claimed that GTO plagiarized his debut manga, Be Free!.

Plot

Eikichi Onizuka is a 22-year-old ex-gang member and a virgin. While peeping up girls’ skirts at a local shopping mall, Onizuka meets a girl who agrees to go out on a date with him. Onizuka’s attempt to sleep with her fails when her current “boyfriend”, her teacher, shows up at the love hotel they are in and asks her to return to him. The teacher is old and unattractive, but has sufficient influence over her that she leaps from a second-story window and lands in his arms.
Onizuka, upon seeing this display of a teacher’s power over girls, decides to become a teacher himself. However, he earns his teaching degree, just barely, at a second-rate college. In his quest, he discovers two important things: he has a conscience and a sense of morality. This means taking advantage of impressionable schoolgirls is out of the question, but their unusually attractive mothers are a different matter. He enjoys teaching and, most of the time, he teaches life lessons rather than the routine schoolwork. He hates the systems of traditional education, especially when they have grown ignorant and condescending to students and their needs.
With these realizations, he sets out to become the greatest teacher ever, using his own brand of philosophy and the ability to do nearly anything when under enough pressure. He is hired as a long-shot teacher by a privately operated school, in Kichijōji, to tame a class that has driven one teacher to a mysterious death, another to nervous breakdown, and one other to joining a cult. He embarks on a mission of self-discovery by breaking through to each student one-by-one, and helping each student to overcome their problems and learn to genuinely enjoy life. He uses methods that would be unorthodox, against the law, and also life-threatening, yet somehow, he manages to succeed in educating and opening up his students.

 

Film Friday- Hoshin Engi

Film Friday- Hoshin Engi

Hoshin Engi, also known as Soul Hunter, is a Japanese manga series by Ryu Fujisaki. Hoshin Engi is inspired by the Chinese literary classic Investiture of the Gods, a shenmo novel. The story involves the Chinese mythology and history of China, in particular the last members of the In (Yin Dynasty aka Shang Dynasty) and the plot to overthrow them.
The manga series was serialized in Weekly Shōnen Jump magazine from 1996–2000 and compiled in 23 tankōbon volumes by Shueisha. Viz Media acquired the rights to the manga, with bimonthly releases starting June 5, 2007. The manga has been re-released and re-compiled into fewer larger volumes with new cover art, illustrations and afterwords. The 18 kanzenban volumes were released periodically between July 2005 and April 2006 in Japan only.
The story has been adapted into a 26-episodes anime series titled Senkaiden Hōshin Engi, broadcast on TV Tokyo in 1999 and released in North America on DVD as Soul Hunter in 2001. In January 2009, Shomei TV announced their intentions to remake the anime series if they received 10,000 signatures.
A new 23-episode anime television series adaptation titled Hakyū Hōshin Engi and featuring a new cast aired from January to June, 2018. Fujisaki also wrote a short manga series that was serialized in Weekly Young Jump from April to June, 2018.

Anime

First series (1999)

Hoshin Engi was adapted into an anime television series titled Senkaiden Hōshin Engi, produced by Studio Deen and directed by Junji Nishimura. The 26-episodes series was broadcast on TV Tokyo between July 3 and December 25, 1999.
In North America, the series was first licensed by ADV Films in 2001 under the name Soul Hunter. In 2016, Discotek Media re-licensed the series for a single DVD collection release on June 28.
In January 2009, Shomei TV announced their intentions to remake the anime series if they received 10,000 signatures.

Second series (2018)

A new 23-episode anime television series adaptation titled Hakyū Hōshin Engi, produced by C-Station and featuring a new cast aired from January 12 to June 29, 2018. The series is directed by Masahiro Aizawa, with Natsuko Takahashi in charge of the series scripts, characters design by Yoshimitsu Yamashita and music composed by Maiko Iuchi. Crunchyroll streamed the series, while Funimation produced a simuldub.

Other media

A video game based on the manga was created for the PlayStation and the Wonderswan. Several audio dramas were released in 2005.
Four characters of Hoshin Engi appear in Jump Ultimate Stars for Nintendo DS. Out of these, only Taikobo can be controlled by the player. The other three appear as either support (So Dakki) or help komas (Otenkun and Subushan).

Anime plot

The 26-episode anime storyline somewhat follows the main plot of the manga, with the young (72-year-old) “doushi” (Apprentice to a Sennin) Taikoubou told to go from the Sennin (Immortal) world to Earth (and specifically Yin China) to hunt down 365 renegade evil spirits in order to bring down the fall of Queen Dakki, a Fox spirit who has enslaved the Emperor.
Taikoubou recruits Nataku, a human/weapon hybrid, and Raishinshi, a would-be vigilante, in his quest to hunt down Dakki. He is later joined by Youzen, the Tensai (Genius) Doushi of Kunlun and Kou Tenka, the son of the duke Kou Hiko. He also rides a talking ‘hippopotamus’ (actually a Reijuu) named Suppushan, who remains the most popular character of the series.
Ki Shou, the Lord of the West, is a man who is unwittingly destined to found the Zhou dynasty. Imprisoned for trying to stop Dakki’s evil, he suffers a grievous guilt when his son is murdered and served to him as a meal, causing him to refrain from eating. Escaping from his captors, he returns with an army to overthrow the Yin with the help of Taikoubou.
In the midst of this historical drama, the Immortal High Council (a group of three Immortals seemingly of a higher position than Genshi-tenson) is plotting some form of magical spell that requires the capturing of many souls, which made them deliberately lie about the purpose of the Houshin Project to Taikoubou.
The anime ends with Dakki’s death due to the combined efforts of Taikoubou’s group and Shinkouhyou, with the Juunisen making a short appearance near the end and no mention of Jyoka.

Taikobo
He is a disciple at Konronsan and Genshitenson’s best pupil. He received the Hoshin project from Genshitenson, and became a strategist to defeat the collapsing Yin Dynasty and to help the Buo of the Shu. Although he wears very strange clothes, he has the sharpest mind in Konron. Taikoubo was the son of the leader of the Kyo tribe, and was named Ryo Bo, but he lost his parents in a Yin human hunt. After twelve years on earth, he became a disciple, and with 30 years of study, attained Senin level power. Though, Taikobo is still an average Senin with a low rank, he is the personal disciple of the leader of Konronsan, Genshitenson, so his position in the Senkai (spirit world) is high. At the beginning of the story, he receives a retractable baton-shaped Paopei (Magic Tool) called Dashinben, which grants him the power to create and control wind. Later, because of the Orb of Revival, the Dashinben gets an upgrade, a larger shape and improved abilities. Eventually, his Dashinben is upgraded by fusing with the paopei ‘Kyokoki’ that can absorb Konronsan’s energy for recovery, and the super paopei, ‘Taikyokuzu,’ that negates all other paopei’s power,draw magic seals and can heal injuries. Basically, his speciality is fighting by wits, and using cleverness to swindle his enemies, so that sometimes even his allies boo him. His constant companion, main ally, and mode of transportation is the spirit beast, Supushan. Taikobo’s real age is at least 72 years old, and contrary to his boyish appearance, love of peaches and sweet things, and dislike of shots and medicine, his speech and mannerisms are that of an old man. His personality is aloof, and he has a strong belief in a peaceful human world. Additionally, he is left-handed, but during the fight with Inkou (the older), he lost his left arm up to the elbow. Soon after, he received an artificial arm created by Taiitsu Shinjin.
Although Taikobo is often criticized by other characters for being very ‘un-protagonist-like,’ he was voted first in a Jump magazine character poll twice. From time to time, the author changes his drawing into a simple shape, with a circle and two points for a head and a stick figure like body.
Suupuushan
Taikoubou’s spirit beast who has the appearance of a white hippo (his original design was more like a dragon). Suupuushan uses the inflection “~su” at the end of sentences. He has adult-like and serious personality. Originally, he lived in his birthplace in the Suupuu valley in Northern Europe with his parents, Suupuupapa and Suupuumama, but Suupuupapa, Genshitenson’s spirit beast, was greatly wounded in a battle with Chou Koumei, and was forced to retire. In order to support the family, a young Suupuushan went off to work. From the beginning, he carries the Orb of Revival, which he uses to come back to life in a temporary adult form after he was killed in the battle with Chou Koumei. In his adult form, his voice and speech patterns change, and, like all adults of his species, can eat paopei energy. The battle with Bunchuu activates a licence designating Supushan as an adult, and from that point forward, he is able to transform at will. Later, he receives a second Orb of Revival, recovered from the ruins of Kingo Island.

 

Manga Monday- Hoshin Engi

Manga Monday- Hoshin Engi

Hoshin Engi, also known as Soul Hunter, is a Japanese manga series by Ryu Fujisaki. Hoshin Engi is inspired by the Chinese literary classic Investiture of the Gods, a shenmo novel. The story involves the Chinese mythology and history of China, in particular the last members of the In (Yin Dynasty aka Shang Dynasty) and the plot to overthrow them.
The manga series was serialized in Weekly Shōnen Jump magazine from 1996–2000 and compiled in 23 tankōbon volumes by Shueisha. Viz Media acquired the rights to the manga, with bimonthly releases starting June 5, 2007. The manga has been re-released and re-compiled into fewer larger volumes with new cover art, illustrations and afterwords. The 18 kanzenban volumes were released periodically between July 2005 and April 2006 in Japan only.
The story has been adapted into a 26-episodes anime series titled Senkaiden Hōshin Engi, broadcast on TV Tokyo in 1999 and released in North America on DVD as Soul Hunter in 2001. In January 2009, Shomei TV announced their intentions to remake the anime series if they received 10,000 signatures.
A new 23-episode anime television series adaptation titled Hakyū Hōshin Engi and featuring a new cast aired from January to June, 2018. Fujisaki also wrote a short manga series that was serialized in Weekly Young Jump from April to June, 2018.

Manga

Hoshin Engi is written and illustrated by Ryu Fujisaki. It is based on the Japanese translation novel by Tsutomu Ano of the Chinese literary classic Investiture of the Gods, published by Kodansha between November 8, 1988 and January 6, 1989. The manga series was serialized in Shueisha’s Weekly Shōnen Jump magazine from June 24, 1996 until November 6, 2000. The series was compiled into 23 tankōbon volumes published by Shueisha between November 1, 1996 and December 22, 2000. The manga has been re-released and re-compiled into fewer larger volumes with new cover art, illustrations and afterwords. The 18 kanzenban volumes were released periodically between July 4, 2005 and April 4, 2006 in Japan only.
In North America, Viz Media announced at the New York Comic Con 2007 that they had acquired the rights to the manga. The first volume was published on June 5, 2007, and the last volume on June 7, 2011.
In 2018, Fujisaki wrote a short manga series that was serialized in Weekly Young Jump from April 26 to June 14. A tankōbon volume was released on July 19, 2018.

Plot

The story is set in legendary China. A beautiful female fox spirit named Dakki is controlling the emperor Chū-ō  and the ruling In dynasty, and is using her power over him to do evil in the nation. An immortal-in-training named Taikōbō is chosen by the great immortal sages for the Hōshin Project — to seal away or destroy the evil demons that infest the world. In the course of his adventures, Taikōbō gathers other powerful companions and sets out to seal away the demons and eventually destroy the fox spirit Dakki.
There are significant plot differences between the novel, the manga series and the animated adaptations.

Manga plot

The 23-volume-long series follows the adventures of Taikobo and his trusty “Rei-jū” Sū-pū-shan. Taikobo was given a mission by Genshi-tenson. Taikobou’s mentor and the leader of the Sennin World – Konron to complete the Houshin Project.
The goal of the Hoshin Project, as explained by Genshitenson, is to trap Dakki and her minions in a ‘middle’ world between the Sennin World and the Human world, renamed ‘Shin’ (Deity or Gods) World, named ‘Shinkai’, Realm of the Gods. Taikobo’s mission is to hunt down the 365 people whose names were written on the Hoshin Scroll. As Taikobo defeats and seals off each of the 365 people on the scroll, their souls are instantly transported to the Hoshindai (a floating island made to trap souls) and sealed there until all the 365 souls are gathered.
At first, Taikobo refused to take up such a troublesome mission, but when threatened with expulsion from Konron, he quickly relented. After that, he was given a Pao-pei, Whip of the Gods, as his weapon along with Supushan.
Upon leaving Konron, Taikobou and Supushan immediately met up with the first person listed on the Houshin Scroll, the all-powerful Shinkouhyou and his Riding Beast – Kokutenko. After a short battle between the two Doushi, in which Taikoubou was easily defeated, Taikoubou suspected that the order of the Houshin Scroll is sorted according to strength (Shinkouhyou being the first on the list) and decides to avoid fighting him. Aiming for the core of the whole problem, he enters the capital, Chouka and defeating one of Dakki’s sisters, Ou Kijin (who reverted to her original form, a stone lute), he used her to enter the service of the emperor in order to spot Dakki’s weakness. Furious with her sister’s plight, Dakki contrives a plan to reclaim her sister. Taikoubou, overwhelmed by her guile, was defeated and was about to be thrown into the taibon (a pit full of poisonous snakes) along with some of the Kyou clan, when during a commotion caused by them, Buuseiou Ko Hiko saved him. It was then that he came to a realization that there was no way he could take on Dakki and her followers, on his own. That’s why he set off searching for strong fighters to join him on his quest to rid the world of Dakki. Taikoubou soon met up and joined forces with Nataku, Raishinshi, Kou-Tenka, and Youzen .
As the series progresses, Taikobo slowly realises that there is no hope in disrupting Dakki’s strangle hold on the Yin Dynasty or her influence over Chuuou. As such, he abandoned the kingdom and requested that Ki Shō  form a new Monarchy to rival the Yin, renamed the Shū Dynasty with their new emperor – Bu-ou, who is the second son of Ki Hatsu who had died due to self-starvation caused by Dakki serving him his son as a hamburger during his capture. Taikoubou then became the military advisor to Zhou, helping the Western Army conquer the lands once owned by Yin.
Bunchū, the senior advisor to the emperor Chū-ou in the country of Yin and also a pao-pei user, sees Taikoubou as an obstacle and sends out some of his best Doushi companions to attack Taikoubou and company. The ensuing fights between the two groups eventually lead to the involvement of almost all members of the 2 Sennin Worlds – Konron (where Taikoubou originates) and Kingou-tou (金鰲島) (where Bunchuu learnt his arts). At the climax of the Sennin war, both worlds were completely destroyed with hundreds of souls sealed into the Houshin Dai. And though Bunchuu was eventually defeated, Taikoubou lost many friends and his home in the process.
Eventually, after Taikoubou and the Zhou army successfully defeated Chuuou and officially declared the fall of the Yin Dynasty, Taikoubou and company decided to leave the Human world and return to what’s left of the Sennin world. It is then revealed to him that there is possibly a third Sennin World, one that belongs to Dakki, and is probably where she and the last of her minions fled to when the Yin country was finally conquered.
Genshitenson also reveals to Taikoubou that the real goal of Houshin Project isn’t just about defeating Dakki, it is about defeating the eternal being supporting Dakki throughout all her chaos years, one of the ancients.
The ultimate enemy of Houshin Engi – Jyoka is a “Jui Que”, one of 5 ‘aliens’ which landed on the Earth, millions of years ago. Jyoka had a dream to recreate her home world on Earth (which had self-destructed some time ago), but the other aliens disagreed and enclosed her in a glass cage. Later, she was able to move about in her “soul” form and direct the trend of history to her liking. This is when she met up with Dakki, and the two started working together to make Jyoka’s dream come true. Each time history diverted from what Jyoka wants it to become, she completely destroyed the civilization that existed and started all over again, like a child moulding a perfect sand castle. No one really knows how many civilisations Jyoka had destroyed throughout time in her pursuit to perfectly replicate her old home, but when asked why she’s trying to do this, Jyoka simply states that she would like to know what would have happened if her home planet had not made those simple mistakes that led to its own destruction.
After hearing the ultimate truth, the Sennins retaliated against Jyoka. Soon, she finally decided to destroy Earth once and for all, and find another world in order to replicate her old home. The battles raged for a while before the deceased Taikoubou (who had ‘died’ recently) reappeared in front of his comrades again. This time, it is revealed that he was once one of the “Jui Que” as well, the last of the 5 aliens and was left on this earth for the sole purpose of killing Jyoka once and for all. Using the energy of his friends as well as those souls trapped in the Houshin Dai, Taikoubou (now renamed ‘Fukki’) was finally able to defeat Jyoka and release the world from her influences.
Just prior to this happening, Dakki somehow managed to take over Jyoka’s body for a time and merged with the life energies of the Earth, becoming the mother of all life. After the fight with Jyoka ended, Jyoka selfishly asked Taikoubou to disappear together with her, afraid of being left alone again and since Taikoubou felt that he had done what he had set out to do, complies (also due to severe injuries in the last fight). When he was about to fade away, Dakki came and saved his life, thus reviving him.
In the epilogue, Youzen was made the Headmaster of the new Sennin World, with Choukei (Bunchuu’s only disciple) representing the Youkai (demons) and Nentou-doujin (ex-Juunisen, who helped defeat Jyoka) representing the Humans, supporting him. Genshi-tenson manages the ex-Houshindai, which houses all the souls which had been houshined, and dispatches them to the Human World if their help is needed. Since these souls are invisible to the Human eye, they are able to solve matters without being seen. When Supushan and Bukichi went to the Human World to update Buou on the happenings of the Sennin World, they found out that Taikoubou is still alive (he visited Buou before they arrived) and went in search for him but to no avail as Taikoubou seemed keen on avoiding them to the extent of following them behind their backs without them knowing, and somehow prevents the people they meet from revealing his whereabouts.
In the end, Supushan and Bukichi returned to the Sennin World to request Youzen’s help. While Taikoubou was lazing around, Shinkouhyou approached him and wanted a duel, but he left saying that it would be boring if his only rival were to perish so quickly by his hand. Taikoubou then disappeared to places unknown.

Setting

The fantastic world of Hoshin Engi encompass both the pre-historical world – in which primitive human society coexist with the revered divine gods and goddesses – and the futuristic world – in which highly technological weaponry, combat strategy, as well as futuristic visions, are employed. Paopei, the sacred weapons used by Doshi and Sennin alike, are versatile instruments created Sennin.
The Seven Super Paopei were the ones left from the Original People, and all the rest are copies made from those. Paopei can only be used by Sendou, those born with Sennin bones which are trained to be used to power paopei. If someone born with these bones is not trained, then they become a Tennen Doushi, and the potential of their skeleton creates almost super natural strength or speed; however, they would never be able to use a Paopei. It is possible to transplant Sennin bones into a normal human, as in the case with Younin, but it does not appear to be a common practice. There are such beings as “human Paopei,” that is, a living being created from a paopei. They all have a core they are built around, and can take extensive damage and be rebuilt so long as the core remains intact.
Besides paopei, there are spells, an ancient form a magic rarely used by the time series takes place. The only ones seen in the series are the peaches that can turn water into sake, Youzen’s transformation technique, and Nentou’s various fighting and healing abilities.

Film Friday- Hayate the Combat Butler

Film Friday- Hayate the Combat Butler

Hayate the Combat Butler is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Kenjiro Hata. It was serialized in Shogakukan’s Weekly Shōnen Sunday magazine from October 2004 to April 2017. Shogakukan released 52 volumes in Japan from February 2005 to June 2017. Viz Media publishes an English edition in North America. The manga is about a boy who starts a new job as a butler and the events he experiences with his employer. The style of the manga has a comedic gag with a slight harem feel and constantly breaks the fourth wall. The series includes numerous references to other anime, manga, video games, and popular culture.

A 52-episode anime adaptation of the manga by SynergySP aired between April 2007 and March 2008 on TV Tokyo. A second, 25-episode anime season by J.C.Staff aired between April and September 2009. Bandai Entertainment licensed the first anime series in 2008, but the series went out of print in 2012. An anime film adaption produced by Manglobe was released in August 2011. A third, 12-episode anime television series by Manglobe, based mostly on an original story not seen in the manga aired between October and December 2012. A fourth anime season aired between April and July 2013. Sentai Filmworks has licensed all four seasons of the anime.

Anime

The Hayate the Combat Butler 52-episode anime aired on TV Tokyo in Japan between April 1, 2007 and March 30, 2008, produced by animation studio SynergySP and with music by Kōtarō Nakagawa. The series also aired on the CS television network Animax starting on October 25, 2007, where it received its satellite television premiere, and was shown uncensored. The series was licensed in North America by Bandai Entertainment in 2008, but in February 2012, the company stopped releasing titles beyond February 7, and in April of the same year, the rights to the series were dropped, making the releases out of print. Sentai Filmworks has since re-licensed the series for a digital and home video re-release.

An original video animation episode was released on March 6, 2009 in DVD and Blu-ray formats. A second anime season of Hayate the Combat Butler, titled Hayate the Combat Butler!! (an additional exclamation mark) aired 25 episodes between April 4 and September 18, 2009, produced by animation studio J.C.Staff. Unlike the first season, the second season retcons the events of the first season by claiming at the onset that a month has passed since Hayate became Nagi’s butler. Furthermore, the second season is more faithful to the manga than the first season. On July 21, 2010, Animax Asia began airing the second season, including the OVA, with English dubbing done again by Red Angel Media along with Cantonese and Mandarin dub. The second season has been licensed by Sentai Filmworks.

An anime film adaptation, produced by Manglobe and directed by Hideto Komori titled Hayate the Combat Butler! Heaven Is a Place on Earth, was released in Japanese theaters on August 27, 2011. The film was licensed for streaming and home video release by Sentai Filmworks in August 2015. A third anime television series, titled Hayate the Combat Butler: Can’t Take My Eyes Off You and produced by Manglobe, aired 12 episodes between October 4 and December 20, 2012. Instead of being a sequel to the 2009 anime series, Can’t Take My Eyes Off You features a new story written in part by the original creator Kenjiro Hata and is mostly based on his original ideas that never made it to the manga. Despite that, the third season takes place chronologically nine months after the beginning of the first, and six months after the second, eventually becoming part of the main series canon. The third season has been licensed by Sentai Filmworks and was released on DVD and Blu-ray on April 28, 2015. A fourth anime television series, titled Hayate the Combat Butler: Cuties, aired between April 8 and July 1, 2013, and is basically composed of short stories, each one focused on one of the main characters from the manga. The fourth season has been licensed by Sentai Filmworks. A three-part OVA series produced by Manglobe was released as part of the series’ tenth anniversary between June 18, 2014 and December 16, 2014.

Characters

Hayate Ayasaki 
Hayate is the title protagonist 16-year-old butler of the Sanzenin family. Hayate Ayasaki has had to work to support his parents’ bad habits since the age of nine, always moving from job to job, before he was found out to be underaged. The experience gained in those days does mean, however, that of all the characters, he possesses the most extensive practical knowledge of how the world operates. Hayate’s dad refused to get employed, while his mother is a compulsive gambler, and the whereabouts of his older brother, Ikusa, were unknown. These events led to their bankruptcy—they abandoned Hayate and made an attempt to sell him to the Yakuza to ease their financial burdens on Christmas Eve, a debt of 156,804,000 yen. With not many choices left to him, Hayate conspired to kidnap someone to get ransom money. He found a girl, Nagi Sanzenin, and told her that he would kidnap her. However, Nagi mistook his words for confession of love, so he was later employed as Nagi’s new butler. As a butler, Hayate is capable of all aspects of housework, but it is his ability in repelling attacks from almost anything (despite his bad luck) that makes him a “combat butler”. He once demonstrated a skilled use of firearms (being able to wield an MG3 single-handedly) and is practically invincible with physical powers far surpassing that of any normal human being. In the beginning of the story, Hayate often mentioned Nello and Patrasche from the novel A Dog of Flanders, and compared his miserable situation to the characters’ life.
In addition to looking poor and needy, Hayate can also appear to be extremely feminine. This has led to him being forced to wear girls’ clothing or cosplay in feminine outfits such as nekomimi, a maid and so on. Later on, this female alter-ego is given a name: Hermione Ayasaki. He has been forced to cross-dress at other times.
Hayate had a girlfriend named Athena, who was responsible for teaching him cleaning and swordsmanship, as well as for building his strong body. Athena taught him that he must be economically strong if he wants to date with a girl. They had a falling out after his parents pawned an “engagement” ring she gave him. In chapter 239, after being asked by Hinagiku how he feels about Athena, Hayate describes Athena as “Not like the others,” and ultimately tells Hinagiku that he is in love with Athena. Athena would soon be possessed by King Midas and attack Hayate. Isumi and Sakuya explained to Hayate about Athena’s possession and the importance of the King’s Jewel. However, Hayate was unable to choose whether to keep the stone for Nagi’s inheritance or to destroy it to save Athena. In the end, it was Nagi who made the choice, noticing Hayate’s troubles. She destroyed the King’s Jewel and Hayate was able to beat King Midas and rescue Athena. Both of them quickly embraced each other, after a long time since 10 years ago. Athena told Hayate of what happened after he left, about how a man came to save and free her from The Royal Garden. Hayate immediately recognized the man as his brother Ikusa. After these events, he tells him that she is the one he loved (in past tense), and he comes to deciding he wants to protect Nagi. Hayate would go back to Mykonos for one more day of vacation before returning to Japan.
Back in Japan, Hayate had to deal with the problem of Nagi losing the inheritance of the mansion. In the end, Hayate met Klaus who showed him an old house, “Violet Mansion” where they will settle in. After that, Athena appeared again in chapter 300, to ask Hayate where his brother was. She told him that she would appear again, and that he should act like they had never met before. She also stated that Hayate was the one she trusted most. When Hayate saves Ruka from a moving truck and apologizes to her for lying to her thinking that he was a girl from their first meeting, and soon Ruka falls in love with him. Recently Hayate, Linn, Tama discovered a mystery room (in chapter 368) partitioned in the storage room. After Isumi disables the barrier, Hayate discovers that the room holds the same coffin he saw in the Royal Garden 10 years ago. Shortly after that, Yozora shows up and burns the coffin whilst battling Isumi briefly. He later hosts a welcome party for the Violet Mansion tenants. Ruka offers to help pay off his debt along with hers before proclaiming her love for him, though Hayate declares he will continue to be Nagi’s butler until she is a happy grown mistress. After the school excursion competition in America, Hayate wins the prize to pay off his debt though choose otherwise to remain as Nagi’s butler. When the anniversary of their first meeting comes, the truth of the relationship is exposed due to Hayate’s parents intervention, leading Hayate to painfully regret and wishes they never met and arrives in a world where Ayumu rescued him instead of Nagi while caught in the King’s Jewel’s dream world. Ayumu gives Hayate a newfound resolve then went to Nagi and reassures her that the fun things and his desire to protect her were real. After the battle for the Sanzenin inheritance ends, Nagi bravely fires him, which prompts Hayate to find what he wants to do with his new life, after two years he encounters a self-sufficient Nagi in the same place he met her, and tells her that even when he’s not her butler anymore the desire of protecting her and wanting to be by her side hasn’t changed.
Currently there are a total of 12 people in love with Hayate, many of which he has no clue to their true feelings due to his dense nature. They are: Hinagiku, Ayumu, Ruka, Izumi, Isumi, Maria, Nagi, Sakuya, Athena, Konoha, Yomi, and Kotetsu (Homosexual). However, Hayate has only shown interest in Hinagiku, Ayumu, Maria, Athena, Ruka and Nagi in the very end of the manga.
Nagi Sanzenin
The main female protagonist Nagi Sanzenin, 13-year-old, biracial, is the only heir to the Sanzenin fortune. She is short-tempered, spoiled, immature, but kind and cute. She has an otaku-level hobby with manga, anime and video games, and draws her own manga. Nagi has a large crush on Hayate, and she thinks that Hayate loves her since they first met. She sometimes tries to make him take an interest in her in many ways. She gets really jealous when Hayate makes some good statements on other girls. However, Hayate never understands why Nagi is mad at him, until finally Chiharu spoke about Nagi’s feelings (in chapter 553) to him.
Nagi’s only surviving family is her grandfather, whom she greatly dislikes. She regards Maria as an older sister figure. Nagi’s mother, Yukariko, is shown in volume 12 of the manga. She cares for her family and friends, but she doesn’t want to show her concern directly, she usually shows her concern with “formal words”. Because of her pampered existence, she lacks any worldly knowledge and is even incapable of looking after herself. Nagi is mortally afraid of the dark (due to an incident with Isumi), and so shares her bed with Maria at night. Since going outside is very dangerous because of her status, Nagi favors staying at home, not liking company in general. Hayate managed to convince Nagi that sports is good for her body, and she is able to get into 2nd place on the Hakuō freestyle marathon thanks to Hayate’s absorbing training and her huge amount of love for him.
While Hayate always reminded her to gather experiences on the outside world, she always thought that will be boring or she will always get lost and risk being kidnapped. Because of her family’s wealth, she became the prime target of criminal organizations. Maria always states to her that without Hayate she will always get lost or in danger. Nagi disliked being a target and spent most of her days indoors playing video games and watching TV and hence slowly becoming a hikikomori. She begins to go to school more often after Hayate transfers to her school. Despite her laziness, Nagi is a highly intelligent student. She skipped grades and is currently in the first year of high school and in the same class as Hayate.
In Shimoda, Nagi decided to take Hayate and Maria on a trip to visit a mysterious meteorite that seems to enhance growth, along with other special powers. Nagi decided to help the alien, Maya, to find its misplaced spaceship. Nagi and Maya find the spaceship at the Saginomiya’s place. Nagi accidentally boards on the spaceship, luckily Hayate saves her. When Maya sends Hayate and Nagi home, Hayate encounters Nagi’s mother, Yukariko, in a dream and finds out the reason why Nagi comes to Shimoda every year is to remember the anniversary of her mother’s death.
On the other hand, in Episode 52, during Golden Week, Nagi, Hayate, and Maria travel to Mykonos Island. Hayate got summoned back to the past when he jumped into the sky to get Nagi’s hat back. At that time, Nagi feels uncomfortable going outside, because the Sicilian Mafia is after her. However, Hayate manages to defeat the Mafia but he made a few holes on Nagi’s hat. Nagi doesn’t mind and said that the holes are proof that Hayate saved her life. After this incident, Nagi falls for Hayate even more because he has vowed to protect her in the past, present and future. Both Nagis (The one in the present and the one from the past) fall for Hayate deeply. During Hayate’s struggle to make a choice whether to destroy the King’s Jewel to save Athena, Nagi sensed Hayate’s dilemma and decided to destroy the king’s jewel out of her own accord so that Hayate could now protect her truly, and not her fortune. She came across Athena on the last day of Golden Week. After coming back from Golden Week trip, Nagi was forced to leave her mansion due to her forfeiting her inheritance after she destroyed the King’s Jewel. Later Nagi, Hayate, and Maria stayed at Yukariko’s Violet Mansion and started new life.
Trying to sell her doujinshi to the public, Nagi went to show her hard work to Ashibashi-sensei but was shocked to realize her hard work was not good enough. Making a bet to sell out her doujinshi at the last Doujinshi convention, Nagi gets help from both Chiharu, Hayate, and Kayura in coming out with ideas to create her own doujinshi compare to Ruka her rival. After the Comisun event, Nagi decide to make a comeback at the Tokyo Big Sight to where the biggest doujinshi competition will be held there. Believing that having supernatural experiences will help create a concept manuscript for a new manga, Nagi takes an itinerary to Kyoto, but later got lost on the empty streets of Hokkaido until she’s found late at night by Dr. Kurosu. Nagi determined to win the competition for Hayate’s sake when Ruka confronts her feelings for him. As Nagi’s manga, “30 Days of Soul Burning“, is being sold and read, she soon realize what she had sincerely desire in her life.
Back home, Nagi is informed by her grandfather, that she can be reinstated as the heir should she brings him a King’s Jewel. After a failed attempt to obtain it from Hayate’s brother, Nagi orders Hayate to steal the Jewel in possession of Mikado instead. Despite knowing that he was robbed, Mikado accepts it back and agrees to have her become the Sanzenin heir once again. On the next Christmas Eve, Nagi finds out Hayate’s true feelings and falls into great depression, and without Maria, her broken spirit unlocks the King’s Jewel power awakening in a dreamworld where Hayate loves her for real. After reconciling with Nagi, Hayate made it so she won’t suffer the same fate as her mother, rescuing her but staying in the dreamworld as he couldn’t leave, back in the real world a tearful Nagi shouts Hayate’s name, and he appears by her side thanks to their strong bond. Nagi gives Hisui the “Loto’s Key” and the inheritance, saying she doesn’t need it anymore as she is gonna earn her own money, but wishes to eat cake with Hisui sometime, after that she fires Hayate freeing him of his duty to protect her, telling him to live as he wants and love whoever he wants, Hayate accepts and leaves a tearful Nagi. After a timeskip of two years a now self-sufficient Nagi attends a normal middle school, living with Chiharu and Kayura who have failed to pay next year’s tuition for Hakuou Academy. On another Christmas night, Nagi’s about to get kidnapped in the same place she was rescued by Hayate, but this time she takes care of the situation herself, an observing Hayate surprised at her growth and tells her that even when he’s not her butler anymore, his desire of protecting her and wanting to be by her side hasn’t changed, and that there is “something he needs to tell her,” in which a smiling Nagi happily replies that “the night is young”, locking hands after that and walking together, implying that this time their feelings are mutual and not a misunderstanding.

 

Manga Monday- Hayate the Combat Butler

Manga Monday- Hayate the Combat Butler

Hayate the Combat Butler is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Kenjiro Hata. It was serialized in Shogakukan’s Weekly Shōnen Sunday magazine from October 2004 to April 2017. Shogakukan released 52 volumes in Japan from February 2005 to June 2017. Viz Media publishes an English edition in North America. The manga is about a boy who starts a new job as a butler and the events he experiences with his employer. The style of the manga has a comedic gag with a slight harem feel and constantly breaks the fourth wall. The series includes numerous references to other anime, manga, video games, and popular culture.

A 52-episode anime adaptation of the manga by SynergySP aired between April 2007 and March 2008 on TV Tokyo. A second, 25-episode anime season by J.C.Staff aired between April and September 2009. Bandai Entertainment licensed the first anime series in 2008, but the series went out of print in 2012. An anime film adaption produced by Manglobe was released in August 2011. A third, 12-episode anime television series by Manglobe, based mostly on an original story not seen in the manga aired between October and December 2012. A fourth anime season aired between April and July 2013. Sentai Filmworks has licensed all four seasons of the anime.

Manga

Hayate the Combat Butler is written and illustrated by Kenjiro Hata. It began serialization in Shogakukan’s Weekly Shōnen Sunday magazine on October 20, 2004, and concluded on April 12, 2017. Shogakukan published the chapters in 52 tankōbon volumes from February 18, 2005 to June 16, 2017. Viz Media publishes the manga in North America and released the first volume on November 14, 2006. The most recent English release is volume 34, on September 9, 2019. The English translations are done by Yuki Yoshioka and Cindy H. Yamauchi, and the English adaptation is done by Mark Giambruno.

Reception

Over ten million copies of the manga and other Hayate-related books have been sold in Japan as of January 2009. Carlo Santos of Anime News Network gave Volume 14 of the manga a C+, citing Hata’s overextension of a complex work with multiple simultaneous plotlines and constant scene changes. He does note that Sakuya’s birthday party as an example of the work’s strong point. Chris Beveridge of Mania.com gave part six of the anime an overall B rating. Although, in his opinion, the storyline and nature of the anime has not changed much, he was suddenly captivated. Beveridge sums up these feelings for the final episodes by noting that they “had a certain flavor and flow to them that left me pretty happy, which is a surprise after five volumes that left me feeling ambivalent at best.”

Plot

Hayate Ayasaki is an unlucky 16-year-old boy who has worked since childhood to make ends meet due to his parents’ irresponsible behavior. On Christmas Eve, he finds out his parents have run away from home while shouldering him with a massive ¥156,804,000 gambling debt. The Yakuza (from whom the money was borrowed in the first place) plan to settle the debt by selling his organs. While running away from the debt collectors, Hayate meets Nagi Sanzenin, a 13-year-old girl and the sole heir of the wealthy Sanzenin estate, and her maid Maria. Due to a misunderstanding, Nagi falls in love with Hayate. After he rescues Nagi from kidnappers, she hires Hayate as her new butler.

Aside from performing his ordinary duties as a butler, Hayate must fight to protect Nagi from harm, a difficult task since her life is always in danger because she is the target of individuals who covet her family’s fortune, and sometimes must deal with her extravagant requests, oblivious to Nagi’s true feelings for him. Later in the story, Hayate must juggle the feelings of several other girls, Ayumu Nishizawa, his former classmate; and Hinagiku Katsura, the student council president of Hakuō Academy. Hayate had a romantic relationship with a childhood friend, Athena Tennousu, who is chairwoman of the board of Hakuō Academy.

Due to the events of Golden Week, involving Hayate and Athena, Nagi ends up forfeiting her inheritance. With the last of her savings, Nagi and Maria move with Hayate to an old apartment building called “Violet Mansion” owned by her late mother Yukariko, and rents its extra rooms for income: having Chiharu Harukaze, the secretary of Hakuō Academy; Hinagiku, Ayumu, Athena (in child-form), Kayura Tsurugino, an “elite otaku”; and Ruka Suirenji, a pop idol who also develops feelings for Hayate, as its tenants.

After a series of adventures with the tenants, Nagi manages to reclaim her fortune. On an excursion in America, Hayate finally pays off his massive debt, but decides to keep working as Nagi’s butler, especially when the battle for the Sanzenin inheritance intensifies. Athena eventually regains full strength and Maria resigns as Nagi’s maid. On Christmas Eve, the “misunderstanding” of Hayate and Nagi’s relationship is exposed, creating a rift that leads to the final battle. Hayate rescues Nagi from the godly Royal Garden, but she decides to relinquish her status as an heir and concedes the rights to her cousin Hisui Hatsushiba, before firing Hayate to set him free. Two years later, a self-sufficient Nagi reunites with Hayate in the place they met for the first time, where he tells her that despite not being her butler anymore, he still wants to be with her, and that there is “something he needs to tell her”, before locking hands and walking together under the starry night sky.

 

Film Friday- MÄR

Film Friday- MÄR

Märchen Awakens Romance, officially abbreviated as MÄR), is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Nobuyuki Anzai, serialized in Shogakukan’s Weekly Shōnen Sunday from January 2003 to July 2006. MÄR follows 14-year-old junior high student Ginta Toramizu who is transported into a fantasy-based world known as MÄR-Heaven. As Ginta ventures in the world of MÄR-Heaven, he encounters allies and antagonists.

An anime television series adaptation titled MÄR Heaven was broadcast in Japan on TV Tokyo from April 2005 to March 2007.

In North America, Viz Media has licensed both the MÄR manga and anime for an English-language release.The manga was published between July 2005 and June 2007. The anime aired first in July 2006 on Toonami Jetstream, an online service from Cartoon Network, and then on the network itself, as part of the Toonami programming block in December 2006.

A sequel entitled MÄR Omega by Anzai and illustrated by Kōichirō Hoshino was published in Weekly Shōnen Sunday from July 2006 to June 2007.

Anime

An anime adaptation titled MÄR Heaven, produced by SynergySP premiered in Japan on TV Tokyo on April 3, 2005 where it ran for 102 episodes until its conclusion on March 25, 2007.

In North America, the anime was licensed by Viz Media and aired on Cartoon Network’s online broadband service Toonami Jetstream in July 2006, and the series premiered on their television programming block Toonami,on December 23, 2006. It also premiered in Canada on YTV channel on June 1, 2007. Viz Media began releasing the series to DVD on June 12, 2007, with each disc containing 4 episodes. Four volumes were released before Viz delisted the series in favor of other titles. In June 2011, the first 52 episodes were available on Netflix’s Instant streaming service.

Ginta Toramizu

A fun-loving, care-free boy with a ponytail who uses Babbo as his ÄRM. Ginta is a fourteen-year-old boy as a 2nd year student in Japan. He has always had a daydreaming problem; falling asleep in class happens on a regular basis. Ginta’s dreams are about a fantasy world in which he is the hero. On many occasions he tells Koyuki, the only person who believes that his dreams are real, about the dreams and how one day he will go to the place he sees when he’s asleep. Many of his classmates and teachers pick on him for sleeping in class and Ginta often ends up getting beat up or running around the school as punishment.
Ginta’s mother doesn’t like to hear of his dreams because of his father who disappeared about six years ago. He had the same dreams as well and she is worried that Ginta will leave her. She writes fairy tales, or märchen, for a living. She also playfully beats Ginta up for playing too many video games and slacking off at school.
One day, however, Ginta was sent to the fantasy world he dreamed of, MÄR Heaven. Being originally from another world (Earth) he was originally weak and nerdy (a stereotypical otaku) until he arrived in MÄR-Heaven, where he gained superior physical ability, 20/20 eyesight, and his path happened to coincide with that of the ÄRM of legend Babbo.
Ginta later finds out that he was brought to the fantasy world by a boy named Alviss so that he can save the world from the Chess Pieces. He uses the unique ÄRM Babbo, which was used by the head of the Chess Pieces six years prior, to create Team and defeat the Chess once and for all. He harbours a secret crush on Koyuki, who eventually reciprocates his feelings as she journeys with Ginta as Snow.

Babbo

is a unique ÄRM that was first wielded by Phantom and is later wielded by Ginta. He resembles a metal kendama. He contained the soul of the previous Elder of Caldia.

Babbo has many forms:

  • Babbo Version 1A: Hammer Arm – Babbo becomes a gauntlet over the user’s hand with a metal ball at the end. The base of the gauntlet has the same design as the hammer part of Babbo’s normal form.
  • Babbo Version 1B: Dagger Arm – Babbo becomes an extension for the first version where a dagger appears in the place of a metal ball.
  • Babbo Version 2: Bubble Launcher – Babbo turns into a gun that Ginta wields. This form can shoot exploding bubbles. Ginta uses this for long range attacks.
  • Babbo Version 3: Gargoyle – Babbo turns into a giant Gargoyle creature that levitates with a giant crystal as his lower waist and holds a ring in his mouth. He can use the ring to fire a strong beam that uses a lot of magical power. Because this version is a Guardian ÄRM, Ginta can’t move when he uses it, but it also is very dangerous…if he is reckless with it, Ginta’s spirit energy will be crushed (he may also lose his sanity).
  • Babbo Version 4: Alice – Babbo turns into an angelic female Holy ÄRM that uses healing magic, which is effective for counter-attack and protection against Darkness ÄRMs. Babbo becomes embarrassed after the transformation.
  • Babbo Version 5: Cushion Jelly – Babbo turns into a giant jelly that protects Ginta and absorbs all physical attacks used by the enemy. This form will also render Ginta motionless.
  • Babbo Version 6: Puss in Boots – Babbo turns into a larger version of Puss in Boots where he gains immense speed, has a knife hidden in one of his boots, and the ability to use ÄRM like Fresh Bonito (a Weapon ÄRM that resembles a fish that is actually strong) and Mr. Replacer (a unique ÄRM that resembles a doll that can substitute for Ginta when he is about to be attacked).
  • Babbo Version 7: Unification – Ginta used this form to get his father’s mind back into his body.
  • Babbo Version 8: Reverse Gatekeeper Clown – Exclusive to the manga, Babbo turns into a form that resembles Gatekeeper Clown that allows a certain number of people to go through by the dice that it rolls. Ginta and his dad used it to go back to Earth following the defeat of Caldia’s Orb.
  • Babbo Version 8: Omega Gargoyle – Exclusive to the anime, Babbo turns into a golden version of Gargoyle where it is strengthened by the hopes and dreams of everyone on MÄR-Heaven.

Dorothy

The beautiful 16-year-old Princess of Caldea who is also a witch of immeasurable power, and the younger sister of Diana: Queen of Chess Pieces (the former princess of Caldia). She is the step-aunt of Snow (although she and Snow have some trouble accepting this) and thus, she bears the responsibility to put a permanent rest to Diana’s actions in accordance to the laws of their birthplace, the magic kingdom Caldea. She is first to appear walking up to Ginta. Since she saw the great strength of Ginta, she asked him to help her get ÄRM. When he refused, she offered up a Weapon ÄRM that was completely useless. Ginta agreed not knowing a thing about the ÄRM, so they enter the cave of where the ÄRM is sealed. Later, when they arrive at the ÄRM’s location they have to face a powerful Guardian ÄRM, Brikkin. As Dorothy fights it with her Guardian ÄRM Flying Leo, Ginta gets the ÄRM who calls himself Babbo, then Flying Leo breaks, and so with Babbo he beats the Guardian Brikkin. Later they argue over Babbo to the point when Dorothy tried and failed to pick up Babbo because it was too heavy thus Ginta got Babbo. Disappointed she flew away on the Nature ÄRM Zephiroth’s Broom.

Dorothy has an interest in stealing any uncommon ÄRMs she comes across (which is also her other duty on Kaldea’s behalf), heaping up into a wide variety for her collection, but she seems to prefer Guardian ÄRMs and Wind-themed ÄRMs in battle. Dorothy’s moods can vary from the sweet, kind-hearted girl to the pitiless, cruel fighter who could kill her enemies without any second thought. She also has a notably large crush on Ginta, leading her to smother him with attention, much to Princess Snow’s dismay.

During the last Chess battle with the Chess Pieces, when she was against Chimera, part of her dress were ripped away to expose a majority of her left breast (but not enough to expose her nudity), while a portion of the dress at her right hip was exposed too. Many viewers also commented on the ‘intentional’ attention on her breasts, when her breasts shake when Dorothy was surprised at Chimaera’s Ghost ÄRM, a close up at her breasts at a view slightly behind Dorothy, and when Ugly Hag was touching her breast while she was struggling against a pair of Ogre Hands. There is also a joke-skill that Dorothy has, called mostly ‘Defy Gravity’, made out when Chimera takes Dorothy’s leg and turns her upside down, but her dress does not slip down to reveal a likely genital (since it was speculated that with no brassiere, there will be no undergarments). This fact is also supported as the story never shows undergarments, as when Pinocchio uses his multiple hands to grab both of Dorothy’s legs and spreads them, while pulling her towards a chainsaw to cut her into half from between the legs, only her lap and thigh can be seen, with a slip of the dress between her legs.

Dorothy is inspired from the Wizard Of OZ from her name being the same as the main character except instead of defeating a witch she is one. She also has allusions to it from her ÄRM including: Scarecrow who is pretty dumb like the scarecrow from the original was supposed be, Rain Dog which is named TOTO like Dorothy’s from the wizard of Oz, Flying Leo a combination of the cowardly lion and the flying monkeys & Ring Armor which looks the tin man. And Like her counterpart she also has to kill a witch although in this case it’s her sister and not the wicked witch of the west.

Dorothy’s ÄRM consists of:

  • Andarta – A Dimension ÄRM that allows Dorothy to teleport to anywhere that she has been.
  • Antidote Tonic – A Holy ÄRM used to cure poisons.
  • Broom of Zephyrus – A Nature ÄRM that takes the form of a metal broom that is always seen near Dorothy. Besides using it as her mode of transportation, Dorothy can shape the wind with it.
  • Crazy Quilt – A Guardian ÄRM that takes the form of a loud-mouthed whimsical puppet with dirty clothes and no legs.
  • Flying Leo – A Guardian ÄRM that summons a flying lion.
  • Ring Armor – A common Guardian ÄRM that summons a living suit of armor that is often used to test an enemy’s strength.
  • Ring Dagger – A Weapon ÄRM that Dorothy uses when she doesn’t want to use up her Broom of Zephyrus.
  • Rock Giant Golem – A Guardian ÄRM that resembles a giant suit of rock armor. It originally guarded Babbo until it was defeated and ended up in Dorothy’s possession.
  • Scarecrow – A Guardian ÄRM that takes the form of a scarecrow whose hat can turn into a drill.
  • Toto – A Guardian ÄRM that is the name of a Rain Dog (a three-tailed dog) that can eat absolutely anything.
  • Watching Bird – A Dimension ÄRM that takes the form of a purple hummingbird that can watch anything and send the hologram of what it sees back to the user where it is shown on the ground.
  • Zipper – A Dimensional ÄRM that summons a zipper that Dorothy uses to store her extra ÄRM.

 

Manga Monday- MÄR

Manga Monday- MÄR

Märchen Awakens Romance, officially abbreviated as MÄR, is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Nobuyuki Anzai, serialized in Shogakukan’s Weekly Shōnen Sunday from January 2003 to July 2006. MÄR follows 14-year-old junior high student Ginta Toramizu who is transported into a fantasy-based world known as MÄR-Heaven. As Ginta ventures in the world of MÄR-Heaven, he encounters allies and antagonists.

An anime television series adaptation titled MÄR Heaven was broadcast in Japan on TV Tokyo from April 2005 to March 2007.

In North America, Viz Media has licensed both the MÄR manga and anime for an English-language release.The manga was published between July 2005 and June 2007. The anime aired first in July 2006 on Toonami Jetstream, an online service from Cartoon Network, and then on the network itself, as part of the Toonami programming block in December 2006.

A sequel entitled MÄR Omega by Anzai and illustrated by Kōichirō Hoshino was published in Weekly Shōnen Sunday from July 2006 to June 2007.

Manga

MÄR is written and illustrated by Nobuyuki Anzai. The series was serialized in Shogakukan’s Weekly Shōnen Sunday from January 22, 2003 to July 19, 2006. The series was compiled into fifteen tankōbon volumes published by Shogakukan between May 17, 2003 and August 11, 2006.

In North America, the series was licensed for an English language release by Viz Media. The first volume was released on May 3, 2005 and the fifteenth on September 18, 2007.

A sequel titled MÄR Omega, written by Anzai but illustrated by Kōichirō Hoshino, was published in Weekly Shōnen Sunday from July 26, 2006 and June 27, 2007. It was compiled in four tankōbon volumes published between December 16, 2006 and August 10, 2007.

Plot

Ginta Toramizu is a 14-year-old junior high student from Tokyo who is portrayed as a typical video game geek and underachieving student who is a fan of fairy tales. One day and without warning, he finds himself summoned to the mysterious world of MÄR-Heaven which he has only seen before in his dreams and in his mother’s books. In this fairy tale world, Ginta’s physical weakness is replaced with superior physical strength, incredible stamina and endurance, and being able to see without his glasses.

Upon meeting a mysterious 16-year-old witch named Dorothy, Ginta is introduced to the powerful magical accessories and weapons called “ÄRM” (pronounced air-um). Dorothy plans to steal the mysterious ÄRM Babbo from a trap-guarded cave, and brings Ginta along to assist her, intrigued by his unusual strength and abilities. Babbo is revealed to be an extremely special and unique ÄRM, as he possesses a will of his own and the ability to speak. Displeased with the fact that Babbo is so cumbersome, Dorothy gives Babbo to Ginta instead taking the guardian arm that guarded the chest, departing with a warning that others will try to steal Babbo from him.

He continues on a journey of discovery, reveling in this new world. When he encounters the farmer Jack and his mother who are troubled by two werewolf brothers, he finds that he misses the real world. Ginta resolves to find a way to reach home while enjoying as much of MÄR as he can along the way with Jack journeying with him.

However, it is not long before Ginta learns that the world of MÄR-Heaven is not as peaceful as it seems when he is attacked by thieves wishing to steal Babbo. Upon meeting Alviss (who summoned him to MÄR-Heaven using a ÄRM known as the Gate Keeper Clown), he learns of the sinister “Chess Pieces” and how they had tried to take over MÄR-Heaven six years earlier. Alviss reveals that he summoned Ginta in order to gain assistance from an “other-worlder” in the upcoming war, as was done previously, and that Babbo originally belonged to one of the knights of the Chess Pieces.

Gaining both allies and enemies, the series follows Ginta as he opposes the Chess Pieces led by Chess Piece King Orb, Queen Diana and her servant Phantom.

MÄR Omega

The story started 6 years after the second War Games, about Kai, the adoptive son of an ÄRM smith from Harnau City in MÄR Heaven, who idolizes Ginta and Babbo for defeating Phantom at the end of the 2nd War Games. He always wants a good ÄRM for himself, which is often ridiculed by others since Kai possesses no potential whatsoever of magic power, much to his personal dislike, since at the time throughout MÄR-Heaven ÄRMs are already in wide use (especially a new type called fake ÄRMs, activated without the need of magic power), and Kai himself inherited a magic stone from his dead parents, a memento highly suggested his family’s relation to the sorcerer kingdom Kaldea. When Kai was delivering ÄRMs to another city, he walked past a mountain and suddenly got attacked by a remnant of the Chess Pieces. While searching for cover from the Chess Pieces’s wind Nature ÄRM, Kai jumped into a pond and woke up the most unthinkable underwater resident – Babbo. Using the ÄRM Kai defeated the Chess Piece, one amazing yet inexplicable feat: how was he, a normal boy, be able to fight with the ÄRM up til then can only be wielded only the warriors of legend, Ginta and Phantom.

Leaving the question hanging, the two returned to Kai’s city, only to find themselves in an even tighter situation: among those who came to admire Babbo, there are Kai’s fake ÄRM user friends, and they were all out to take Babbo – to bring it to a sinister mysterious figure who was watching them the whole time. When the emergency arose, Kai had no choice but to resort to his last option – put the magic stone he owned into Babbo, and forth reborn to the world of MÄR-Heaven the most powerful Guardian recognized, Gargoyle. Gargoyle easily defeated the guardians and returned their owners’ consciousness, but then it was Kai’s turn to face trouble with his ÄRM: he lost contact with Babbo inside Gargoyle, and the monster would have ravaged the whole town if not for the timely restraint from Alviss with his familiar 13 Totem Poles attack, allowing Kai enough time to regain synchronization with Babbo, returning him to normal.

Saving everyone no time to ponder on what had happened, the Cross Guard’s young warrior’s unexpected arrival brought an even more unexpected truth: those fake ÄRM all used so at their own ease didn’t, indeed, require a proper amount of magic power from the users, but it sucked from them a worse fuel – their life energy, and through that, their minds could be controlled like a puppet dancing to death. It has not yet been revealed to why people used the fake ÄRMs or who made the fake ÄRM, however, as the one controlling everyone took a sudden desperate move to seal the town except Alviss, Kai, Babbo and Kai’s female friend Elise, introducing himself. Although he was easily defeated by Kai and Alviss, the town couldn’t be returned, and for that they had to consult Caldia -birthplace of all ÄRMs and magic users.

In Caldia, they were welcomed by Dorothy and a new male character named Inga into the Grand Elder’s palace. All answers for their questions were ready, coming down to a legend descending the magic kingdom for 300 years: the fake ÄRMs were not actually the work of many sorcerers, but rather only one’s – the dark magician with infamy for his experiments of human mind manipulation, went by the name of Unwetter. Babbo – the Elder of Caldia in his time – confronted the man and succeeded in consigning him and his malicious creations into oblivion, just before Babbo himself died, transferring his soul into the ÄRM and erasing every memory related to that accident. It’s unknown for the Grand Elder himself, however, as to why the supposedly sealed fake ÄRMs were once again spread throughout MÄR-Heaven now, how the supposedly dead Unwetter could be revived, and what purpose would be served with the claiming of Babbo. Either way, until these riddles could be solved, Babbo would be taken into custody, which of course met with Kai’s disagreement.

Relented, the wizard postponed the deal with Babbo… only if Kai could prove himself worthy of wielding it, inside Dorothy’s training Dimension ÄRM with Inga’s witness. They were not disappointed, however, as when facing with the danger of death, Kai suddenly unleashed all his dormant magic power – which was so powerful that it did not only confirm his relation to the magic kingdom, but also suggested a direct blood connection to Babbo. No sooner had they discovered that than the fake ÄRM users presented themselves before Caldia, to continue the accomplishment of their objective: take Babbo back to their master Unwetter.

Kai and crew are able to fight them back with the assistance of Inga. Inga is a descendant of Unwetter and by following Caldia’s law he must seek Unwetter out and kill him. Kai then finds out that he truly is a descendant of Babbo. Kai, Inga, and Elise all volunteer to go and find Babbo’s magic stones which would restore his memories of the Grand Elder who fought fake Arms and Unwetter 300 years prior to the story. The three are sent to Luberia to start their quest where they are to be helped by Nanashi (Dorothy says she’ll help). Kai beats Atmos and saves MÄR-Heaven.

 

Film Friday- Kuroko’s Basketball

Film Friday- Kuroko’s Basketball

Kuroko’s Basketball, known in Japan as Kuroko no Basuke, is a Japanese sports manga series written and illustrated by Tadatoshi Fujimaki. The English rendering The Basketball Which Kuroko Plays also appears in the artwork of the Japanese version. It was serialized in Weekly Shōnen Jump from December 2008 to September 2014, with the individual chapters collected into 30 tankōbon volumes by Shueisha. It tells the story of a high school basketball team trying to make it to the national tournament.

By April 2014, Kuroko’s Basketball had 27 million copies in circulation. It was adapted into an anime television series by Production I.G that began airing in 2012, with a second season that began airing in October 2013 and a third season that began airing in January 2015. A sequel manga by Fujimaki titled Kuroko’s Basketball: Extra Game began serialization in Jump Next! on December 29, 2014. Viz Media has licensed the manga for publication in North America. An anime film adaptation of the Kuroko’s Basketball: Extra Game manga premiered in Japan on March 18, 2017. In December 2015 a stage play adaptation was announced, set to open on April 2016, followed by more stage adaptations.

Anime

An anime adaptation based on the manga is produced by Production I.G. The series premiered on April 7, 2012 and ended on September 22, 2012. On April 5, 2012, Crunchyroll announced that they would simulcast the anime as part of their spring lineup of anime titles. As of September 22, 2012, the anime ended with a total of 25 episodes. The second season premiered on October 6, 2013 and ended on March 29, 2014, also with 25 episodes. The third season premiered on January 10, 2015  and ended on June 30, 2015, with a total of 25 episodes. Three compilation films that compiled the anime series’ Winter Cup arc opened in Japan in 2016. The first compilation film opened on September 3, 2016, titled Winter Cup Compilation ~Shadow and Light~, the second compilation film opened on October 8, 2016, titled Winter Cup Compilation ~Beyond the Tears~, and the third compilation film opened on December 3, 2016, titled Winter Cup Compilation ~Crossing the Door~.

An animated film adaptation was announced at the KuroBas Cup 2015 event on September 20, 2015. The film, titled Kuroko’s Basketball The Movie: Last Game, will adapt the Kuroko’s Basketball: Extra Game manga. It was released in Japanese theaters on March 18, 2017. The staff and cast from the previous seasons returned to reprise their roles in the film.

Characters

Seirin High

Seirin High’s basketball team was founded only the year before the manga; despite this setbacks and only including freshmen, the team made it all the way to the final league in that year’s Inter-High school tournament. This year, the team’s notable newcomers include Tetsuya Kuroko, the main character of the manga, as well as Taiga Kagami.

Tetsuya Kuroko
He is the “phantom” sixth man of the “Generation of Miracles”(Teiko Middle School’s basketball team). Kuroko is Seirin’s secret weapon. Although he was an essential member of his middle school basketball team, unlike his former teammates, Kuroko is largely unknown. This is because he is so small, frail, unnoticeable, distressingly slow, and easy to miss. However, he is greatly respected by everyone. Kuroko capitalizes in the skill of misdirection, using himself as a relay to redirect his teammates’ passes to another free player and make virtually unstoppable steals, getting the ball to and between his teammates faster than opponents can react, while at the same time remaining “invisible” to his opponents. His near-invisibility makes him highly susceptible to on-court injuries however, and is not effective indefinitely. If he is left in play too long, opponents grow used to his misdirection tactics; as such, he must be placed on the bench at varying points in any match to prevent this. He mostly plays the position of a small forward based on defensive matchups and substitution strategies, but in recent chapters of the manga his position is listed as a questionmark. This is because Kuroko is difficult to place in one of the five basketball positions, his role in the team applies to none of those, but mostly as a pass-first point guard based on size and passing abilities but his dribbling and playcalling ability is not as advanced or polished as an average point guard. As revealed by Aomine and later in the Teiko arc, Akashi was the one who taught Kuroko his playing style. Also, his misdirection is inspired from the book “Techniques in Guiding Lines of Sight” and developed it due to his sharp observation skills. Because he has learned new skills like the “Phantom Shot” and the “Vanishing Drive”, his lack of presence wears out, because these skills require to hold the ball and the crowd turns their attention on the one who holds it. This the reason why Akashi didn’t teach him how to develop his basketball skills.[3] During the second season of the anime series and the eleventh volume of the manga, he developed a new technique, called the “Vanishing Drive”. Midorima explains the mechanics of the skill during Seirin’s second match against Touou; the move itself is basically a cross-diagonal move (a duck-in) to where the opponent’s eye field can’t see. Kuroko bends over in a specific angle at drives following a specific route, that the opponent’s eyes can’t follow. Kazuya Hara of Kirisaki Dai Ichi has speculated that Kuroko uses blinking to bypass the defense, but this has been proven wrong. The real Vanishing Drive is a collaboration with Kagami. Similar to Kuroko’s misdirection, Kagami draws the attention of the opponent to him, just for a second, and that makes it possible for Kuroko to pass his opponent successfully. This technique is effective enough to pass through the defenses of Midorima and Takao (who possesses the Hawk Eye). The only one so far who has beaten it, is Aomine. Because of the two’s mutual understanding about basketball, closing his eyes (making Kagami’s misdirection ineffective) and by following Kuroko’s breath, Aomine was able to crush down the Vanishing Drive. During the game against Tōō Academy, Kuroko performed his Ignite Pass Kai, a new, upgraded version of his Ignite Pass, which is a very powerful pass that pushes the ball at a blinding speed that it even flies past Aomine’s hand when he tried to block it. Midorima stated that the Ignite Pass Kai is much like a bullet being fired out of a gun. Kuroko’s special ability is the Misdirection Overflow, where when Kuroko’s misdirection runs out on him, his teammates have the ability to do the Vanishing Drive. This technique is specially created to decrease the accuracy of shots. However, when this happens Kuroko is just a regular member on the court without any special talents. He also is helped by Aomine on his shooting skills, creating a shooting style that uses misdirection- the Phantom Shot. The essence of this technique is to use the palm of his hand to thrust the ball forward, although this will mess up the shooting posture. Furthermore, because of the strange shooting position, the ball looks lower than a usual shot. Instead of shooting above one’s head, the Phantom Shot releases from the chest. The opponent naturally looks lower because of the ball’s position, so his view is limited. By following a fast release, Kuroko can shoot the ball through the opponent’s field of vision, like a floater with less arc, with the ball seemingly disappearing in thin air. Apart from his lack of presence, Kuroko acquired his own version of the Emperor Eye- the Quasi-Emperor Eye- that is different than Akashi’s in the sense that Kuroko’s Emperor Eye cannot predict the movements of his opponents (which Akashi’s Emperor Eye can), but rather the teammates whom he is familiar with. However, due to his long-term observation of his teammates and the trust he built up with them, his Quasi-Emperor Eye can predict movements one step ahead of Akashi’s. He also uses this to change his passing routes and his teammates passes if he sees the ball will be stolen. When Kagami reaches the Zone’s 2nd gate, the gatekeeper is none other than Kuroko himself. Kuroko respects but doesn’t like Midorima because of his way of thinking; Midorima also has similar feelings toward Kuroko. Kuroko considers himself a “Shadow”, whose goal is to help his “Light” achieve greatness. Kuroko calls Kagami “his Light”. He also has a tendency to speak and act completely deadpan, and a running gag involves his teammates, thinking they are alone, talking to themselves only for Kuroko to answer them, apparently having been in the area long before they arrived. However, despite his initially kind personality, he gets extremely furious at the sight of dirty play, when his teammates are already injured by foul methods in the Kirisaki Daiichi game. His aura changes so drastically, even Kagami got scared when he saw him get angry. When he gets angry, it gets very hard to beat him, as he is filled up with fighting spirit. Also, when the situation worsens, he seems to turn talkative.
Taiga Kagami
A naturally gifted basketball player, Kagami easily makes his way into Seirin’s starting line-up as a freshman power forward. He has been said to be equal to the Generation of Miracles, even some of the Miracles themselves. When he first returned to Japan, he was disappointed by its relatively low level of basketball skill compared to that in the United States. However, since starting high school, Kagami has been spurred on by his desire to compete with the “Generation of Miracles”. While he is a powerful all-around player, Kagami’s unique skill is his ability to jump at impressive heights, his jump is said to get higher and higher as a match progresses. This skill facilitates not only his most common move, the dunk, but also allows him to defend well against taller players. At, he has a poor shooting which forces him to rely on his jumping power to dunk. But as time progresses, he trained his left hand and significantly improved this, enabling him to pass the ball to Kiyoshi at the last second against Touou and win. When he makes a jumpshot, he also stays in the air longer than the blocker, making it almost unblockable. The drawback to this capability is that his body is still underdeveloped thus he often injures himself. Having trained extensively since the InterHigh school championships, he is capable of dunking from the free-throw line: a feat that put him on the same league as the Generation of Miracles. The result of his training is that he is able to jump high enough to touch the top of the backboard. He is also able to jump from far away in a difficult position and still be able to block a shot. Facing Touou a second time, Kagami displayed a never-before-seen skill: a high-level tactical battle. This is a very realistic simulation of a basketball one-on-one in one’s minds by reading his opponents subtle feints or moves. Kagami used this to play a simulation of a one-on-one against Aomine and accurately determined that he would lose, forcing him to pass the ball to Izuki and withdraw from his one-on-one against Aomine. Like many of the other developed characters, Kagami hosts a signature move. It is called Meteor Jam and was taught by the basketball coach he shared with Himuro in America, Alex Garcia. The technique possesses enough power to even penetrate through Murasakibara’s defense, however, the wrinkle to this technique is that it requires massive jumping power to throw the ball into the hoop and thus can only be executed in the Zone. As Kuroko has chosen Kagami as his new “Light”, Kagami is also bolstered by Kuroko’s techniques. Kuroko is the one normally to calm Kagami down, normally with hits or punches to get Kagami focused. Like Aomine, he also has the rare power to enter the “zone”. In this state, his speed, strength and jumping power are greatly augmented that he can keep up with Aomine, overpower Murasakibara who is stronger than him (even blocking his full-powered Thor’s Hammer) and leap even higher to block Himuro’s Mirage Shot. Kagami’s seemingly wild reflexes is compared to a tiger by other players. Apart from basketball, he is a great cook, and taught Riko how to cook curry when she came for his help. He is also a glutton and is able to eat at least five times a normal meal. It is worth noting that Kagami is the only Zone user to have entered it more than once in a match and the only player to have opened the Zone’s second gate, known as the “Direct Drive Zone”, the Zone’s true form. Schoolwork greatly contrasts Kagami’s well-polished basketball skills: it is seen that his grades in every subject are atrocious, including English, even though he has lived in America.
Junpei Hyūga
Captain of the Seirin team, Hyuuga is a clutch shooter, his capabilities escalating immensely when the team is in a pinch. Along with Hyuuga’s change in skill comes a change in personality; normally Hyuuga is a collected and calm individual, but when he isn’t, he becomes heated and rude. This is called “clutch time” and happens primarily when the match intensifies but he has been seen acting like this outside of games. He is the best shooter on the team, regularly making three-point shots throughout the course of a game. Prior to the addition of Kuroko and Kagami, he was one of the centerpieces of the Seirin team’s ‘run and gun’ play style, catching balls scooped by Kiyoshi near the net to shoot as three-pointers. He is also seen being able to shoot a three-pointer two meters from the three-point line. His special move is called “Barrier Jumper”, in which he takes a quick jab step away from the opponent and successfully make a jumpshot. The downside of this technique is that, when used repeatedly, the defender starts to adjust to its timing. Near the end of the 4th quarter of the Seirin vs Rakuzan match, he manages to perfectly copy Mibuchi’s “Earth Shot”. Notably, he is the only player in the series so far to receive a technical foul (for excessive complaining) and out of all the players in Seirin, he has the highest shooting success rate. Also, prior to the four fouls he received in the finals against Rakuzan, he is also the only player who has almost never been seen subbed out once. This is most probably due to him being the captain and the only shooting guard in the team. He is very big on respect for the seniors.
Shun Izuki
Acting as the team’s “control tower”, Izuki is always calm and collected. While he has no special physical abilities, he has the “Eagle Eye”, a mental skill that helps him visualize the court from any point of view and make accurate blind passes. Izuki’s special move is called Eagle Spear, in which he steals the ball from an opponent using his arm to knock it away in their blind spot. His Eagle Eye helps him in doing so, associated with his ability to think ahead before the opponent. His Eagle Eye has developed to the point that he can pass through Yosen High’s Eagle Wall and predict Hayama’s Lightning Dribble. However, his Eagle Eye has a blind spot unlike the Hawk Eye, which Mayuzumi takes advantage of. He loves puns, a running gag being that he makes them quite frequently much to the chagrin of his teammates.
Shinji Koganei
Considered a jack of all trades, master of none, Koganei is a fairly skilled all-rounder, having started playing basketball during his first year in high school. This is driven home when his coach denotes his special skill as ‘being able to shoot from any point on the court, with a so-so accuracy rate’; a decidedly normal ability. He serves as the sixth man of Seirin’s team, often coming off the bench for the other players, and has the most energetic personality out of all the players on the team. He is, however, quite intelligent, ranking in the top 20% of his class, though he does not excel in any particular subject. Players compare Koganei’s seemingly wild reflexes to that of a feral cat. He is the only non-prodigal player to possess this skill, having acquired it from his experience in playing tennis.
Rinnosuke Mitobe
A stalwart player, Mitobe is very quiet and reserved. Although he is never shown speaking (except for in VOMIC), Koganei seems to understand his gestures and expressions perfectly. A hard worker with excellent defensive skills, he is also an accomplished hook shooter. He lives in a small house with a very large family, and is tasked with making and serving breakfast. He was the team’s starting center while Kiyoshi was injured.

 

 

Satoshi Tsuchida 
While a regular member of the team in his first year, Tsuchida now sees little game-time due to the addition of Kuroko and Kagami. Good with rebounds, he is apparently not quite as skilled as the other regulars, but remains a key component of the old team’s playing style.

 

 

Teppei Kiyoshi 
The progenitor of Seirin’s basketball team and its former ace, Kiyoshi is the last of the original Seirin team members to be introduced, due to a hospitalization for a knee injury he received during a game. Rumored to be very capable, his preferred position is point guard, but since their team lacked any other player with the body size to play center, he offered to fill that hole. On Koganei’s suggestion, he tried to play both, despite the inherent impossibility. With big hands that allow him to palm the ball with ease, Kiyoshi possesses impressive ball-handling skills for a center (he has been seen successfully shooting a three-pointer during their match against Yosen), and an uncanny sense of timing that allows him to make a move, observe his opponents’ reaction, and then counter it in the last second, all in the blink of an eye. This ability is referred to as the Right of Postponement. Because of his large hands, he uses these for something entirely different: rebounding. Instead of jumping towards the ball with both hands, he has gained the ability to grab the ball with only one hand. This gives him the advantage of recovering the ball in the air quicker and with a longer extension. This technique is dubbed “Vice Claw” and it allows him to compete and beat taller players during rebounds. He has obtained this skill after strengthening his hand muscles by catching a big rock. He is renowned and respected by many players in the realm of high-school basketball, and is one of the few players to have held his own against the Generation of Miracles during their peak. While he is currently able to play, the knee injury he sustained during his freshman year was quite severe: formally speaking it required surgery, but the process would make him unable to play basketball for the rest of his high school career. He instead opted to rehabilitate without invasive procedures, though he would only be able to do so for one year at the most. Despite this setback, he vows to make the most of the time he has. Although Hyuuga thinks he is weird, he respects Kiyoshi greatly. Kiyoshi is the most optimistic of his teammates, often offering encouragement with a big smile.
Among high school basketball players, he is one of the “Five Uncrowned Kings”, a group of five prodigal players, though overshadowed by the Generation of Miracles, of similarly great prowess and skill. It was recently discovered that the only ones who can mirror the growth of the Uncrowned Kings are Hyuga and Izuki. Known for his stabilizing presence and extreme unpredictability due to the Right of Postponement, Kiyoshi is known as the “Iron-Heart”.
Riko Aida
the team’s coach, is a second-year student. One reason for her unique position as a student coach is her ability to immediately scan and evaluate the physical capabilities of players at a glance. She gained this ability from going to work with her father, who works as a sports trainer, and spending her time looking at the muscles of athletes and their related data. She is very devoted to her job as coach, so she diligently researches other teams to devise strategies against them. Riko even uses her father’s sports facilities for the team’s unique training, which eschews weights for activities like practicing in the pool and drilling basics. Nevertheless, while extremely intelligent, her emotions are often flighty, switching from intensely heated to happily nonchalant at the drop of a hat. Her punishments on her team are very harsh. She is a very bad cook, almost always adding supplements in the team’s dishes.
Tetsuya #2 
Kuroko’s pet dog found in the streets. He was taken in by the team as a sort of mascot, picking up the name Tetsuya #2 for his eerily similar eyes to Kuroko. He is an Alaskan Malamute pup that now wears a Seirin jersey numbered #16. Though Kagami is the only one reluctant to accept their new teammate, he eventually does after the dog proves to be surprisingly helpful and saving Kagami from a possible injury from torn shoes. He now joins the team wherever they go, most often hiding in a bag carried by Kuroko.

 

Manga Monday- Kuroko’s Basketball

Manga Monday- Kuroko’s Basketball

Kuroko’s Basketball, known in Japan as Kuroko no Basuke, is a Japanese sports manga series written and illustrated by Tadatoshi Fujimaki. The English rendering The Basketball Which Kuroko Plays also appears in the artwork of the Japanese version. It was serialized in Weekly Shōnen Jump from December 2008 to September 2014, with the individual chapters collected into 30 tankōbon volumes by Shueisha. It tells the story of a high school basketball team trying to make it to the national tournament.

By April 2014, Kuroko’s Basketball had 27 million copies in circulation. It was adapted into an anime television series by Production I.G that began airing in 2012, with a second season that began airing in October 2013 and a third season that began airing in January 2015. A sequel manga by Fujimaki titled Kuroko’s Basketball: Extra Game began serialization in Jump Next! on December 29, 2014. Viz Media has licensed the manga for publication in North America. An anime film adaptation of the Kuroko’s Basketball: Extra Game manga premiered in Japan on March 18, 2017. In December 2015 a stage play adaptation was announced, set to open on April 2016, followed by more stage adaptations.

Manga

Written and illustrated by Tadatoshi Fujimaki, Kuroko’s Basketball was serialized in the manga anthology Weekly Shōnen Jump from December 8, 2008 to September 1, 2014. The chapters were collected and published into 30 tankōbon volumes by Shueisha, the first on April 3, 2009 and the last on December 4, 2014. Fujimaki began a sequel titled Kuroko’s Basketball: Extra Game in Jump Next! on December 29, 2014. At their New York Comic Con panel, North American publisher Viz Media announced their license to the manga. They began releasing the series in 2-in-1 editions in 2016.

Reception

The Kuroko’s Basketball manga had sold nine million units in Japan by September 2012. As of 2013, the manga had sold over 23 million copies. This number grew to 27 million by April 2014. Individual volumes frequently appeared on the lists of best-selling manga in Japan, and many editions have been in the 2012 Top-Selling Manga. Kuroko’s Basketball was the third highest selling manga series of 2013, with 8,761,081 copies sold in a year. DVD sales of the anime series have also been featured in the Japanese anime DVD ranking various times.

Plot

The basketball team of Teiko Middle School rose to distinction by demolishing all competition. The regulars of the team became known as the “Generation of Miracles”. After graduating from middle school, these five stars went to different high schools with top basketball teams. However, a fact known to few is that there was another player in the “Generation of Miracles”: a phantom sixth man. This mysterious player is now a freshman at Seirin High, a new school with a powerful, if little-known, team. Now, Tetsuya Kuroko – “the sixth member of the “Generation of Miracles”, and Taiga Kagami – a naturally talented player who spent most of middle school in the US, aim to bring Seirin to the top of Japan and begin taking on Kuroko’s former teammates one by one. The series chronicles Seirin’s rise to become Japan’s number one high school team. The Generation of Miracles include Ryota Kise, Shintaro Midorima, Daiki Aomine, Atsushi Murasakibara and Seijuro Akashi.

Seirin High team fought Ryota Kise’s team first in a practice match. Although Kise was capable of copying all of Kagami skills with added strength and speed, Kuroko’s abilities helped narrow the distance and eventually, Seirin won this game. They then met Shintaro Midorima in the preliminaries of Interhigh. The game was much more difficult, not only because Midorima and the last 3 members of “Generation of Miracles” are considerably stronger than Ryota Kise, but also Kuroko’s ability of misdirection was completely shut down by Takao’s Hawk Eyes. They managed to defeat team Shutoku but their winning streak ended after they lost badly to Touou Academy, whose basketball team contained the Ace of the “Generation of Miracles” – Daiki Aomine. After this game, they lost their remaining two matches against Senshinkan and Meisei, and were eliminated from the Interhigh. However, a new player arrives to join Seirin – Kiyoshi Teppei, the man who formed the Seirin Basketball team. They spent the entire summer training for the Winter Cup, even coincidentally meeting Shutoku while training.

In the preliminaries, they met team Shutoku again. This match ended into a tie, so Seirin needed to defeat team Kirisaki Daichi. Kirisaki Daichi’s captain was Hanamiya Makoto, a member of the Uncrowned Kings well-known for his underhanded methods to win a match. However, they won and gained a ticket to the Winter Cup.

In the first round, they met Touou – and Aomine – again. But with the awakening of Kagami and the Kuroko’ Misdirection Overflow, they finally defeated Daiki Aomine. In the quarter-final, Seirin won a tough match against the team of the Center of “Generation of Miracles” – Atsushi Murasakibara. They are set to play against their first rival – the team of Ryota Kise in semi-final. An extremely hard match against the power of Perfect Copy, Seirin won and came to the final. The final was where Seirin must fight team Rakuzan – the Emperor. This team’s Captain was the former Captain of the “Generation of Miracles” – Seijuro Akashi. The game ended with Seirin High’s victory and they were announced as this year’s champion.