Wednesday News- January 17, 2018

News-

Your Daily Streaming Reviews Schedule: Winter 2018- https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/site-news/2018-01-15/your-daily-streaming-reviews-schedule-winter-2018/.126439

Dragon Ball Super English Dub Adds Cast for ‘Future Trucks’ Arc- https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2018-01-16/dragon-ball-super-english-dub-adds-cast-for-future-trunks-arc/.126506

Review: Orange Limited Edition Blu-Ray/DVD- https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/review/orange/limited-edition-blu-ray/dvd/.126467

Anime-

  • Berserk Season 1 BD/DVD
  • Berserk Season 1 Limited Edition BD/DVD
  • The Cat Returns BD/DVD
  • The Cat Returns DVD
  • Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress Season 1 BD/DVD
  • Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress Season 1 Limited Edition BD/DVD
  • The Morose Mononokean BD/DVD
  • My Neighbors the Yamadas BD/DVD
  • My Neighbors the Yamadas DVD
  • Whisper of the Heart BD/DVD
    Whisper of the Heart DVD

Manga-

  • A Certain Scientific Accelerator GN 7
  • Chihayafuru GN 8 (Digital Only)
  • Children of the Whales GN 2
  • Deathtopia GN 8 (Digital Only)
  • Elegant Yokai Apartment Life GN 5 (Digital Only)
  • Fire Punch GN 1
  • Juana in the Seven Kingdoms of the Dragonewts GN 1
  • Kasane GN 9 (Digital Only)
  • Maria Holic GN 13
  • Mobile Suit Gundam Wing Endless Waltz: Glory of the Losers GN 4
  • My Monster Secret GN 9
  • Pandora in the Crimson Shell: Ghost Urn GN 9
  • The Prince’s Black Poison GN 2 (Digital Only)
  • Real Girl GN 11 (Digital Only)
  • RWBY GN
  • Terra Formars GN 20
  • Waiting for Spring GN 4
  • Wake Up, Sleeping Beauty GN 2

Other-

  • Digimon Story: Cybersleuth – Hacker’s Memory PlayStation 4/PlayStation Vita Game
  • Kirby: Battle Royale Nintendo 3DS Game
  • Playing to Win in a VRMMO Novel 6 (Digital Only)
  • Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition PlayStation 4 Game

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Manga Monday- Parasyte

Parasyte is a science fiction horror manga series written and illustrated by Hitoshi Iwaaki, and published in Kodansha’s Afternoon magazine from 1988 to 1995. The manga was published in North America by first Tokyopop, then Del Rey, and finally Kodansha Comics.

Manga

Parasyte was originally serialized in Japan in the Morning Open Zōkan from 1988 and switched to Afternoon after a few issues in 1990. It was collected into ten tankōbon volumes by Kodansha, and was later republished in eight kanzenban volumes. It was originally licensed for English translation and North American distribution by Tokyopop, which published the series over 12 volumes. The Tokyopop version ran in Mixxzine. Daily pages from the Tokyopop version ran in the Japanimation Station, a service accessible to users of America Online. The Tokyopop English-language manga went out of print on May 2, 2005. Del Rey Manga later acquired the rights to the series, and published eight volumes following the kanzenban release. Kodansha Comics later republished the volumes in North America between 2011 and 2012.

Characters

Main characters

Shinichi Izumi 
Shinichi is the protagonist of the manga, a thoughtful, compassionate high-school boy whose hand is infected with a Parasite and is repeatedly put into difficult positions. He must find a way to peacefully coexist with Migi, the Parasite which has taken over his hand, and reconcile his desire to protect humanity from the Parasites with his desire to keep his own Parasite a secret in order to avoid being killed or used as a laboratory specimen. Like a superhero with a secret identity, he must also find a way to explain away his Parasite-fighting activities, as well as the stress and grief they cause him, to his friends and family. While originally forced to have Migi fight for him, Shinichi later gains heightened abilities when trace cells of the Parasite course through his body, and fights his own battles, with the two having an advantage in both being able to act independently and work as a team. Shinichi’s retention of his humanity, despite gradually becoming emotionally distant as a side-effect of Migi’s cells, makes most of the other Parasites deem him a threat. After defeating Gotou, with Migi deciding to “go to sleep” indefinitely afterward, Shinichi attempts to live a normal life again while having an understanding of natural order from his experience.
Masanori Harada, a 20-year-old student, wrote to the editor of the Monthly Afternoon noted that Shinichi acts calm when he is threatened and that he is “not human anymore!” Iwaaki responded, stating that Shinichi is accustomed to “close calls” partly because Migi calms Shinichi down during battle. The statement and response were printed in the April 1993 Afternoon.
Shinichi is portrayed by Shota Sometani in the film.
Migi 
Migi is the Parasite which lives in Shinichi’s right hand, named after the Japanese word for “right” ( migi). Unlike “successful” Parasites, Migi has no desire to kill humans for sustenance, and is nourished by the food Shinichi eats. Migi is, like other Parasites, completely without emotion. His primary consideration is survival, and he has threatened (and in some cases attempted) to kill other humans who pose a threat to his and Shinichi’s secrecy. When he and Shinichi were first coming to terms, he even threatened to remove Shinichi’s other limbs in order to render him unable to place the two of them in danger. Migi can be reasoned with, however, and has just as much reason to be mistrustful of other Parasites as does Shinichi. On the other hand, unlike Shinichi, Migi has no inclination to place himself at risk in order to protect other humans from Parasites. But Migi gradually evolves over the course of the series, he becomes more human while able to temporarily separate from Shinichi’s body. After the final battle with Gotou, having been absorbed by the Parasite prior to his defeat, Migi’s composition is greatly altered to the point that enters a deep sleep though he briefly woke up to save Satomi without Shinichi’s realization.
Iwaaki explained that while Migi appears to be Shinichi’s weapon, in fact Migi is in control of the battle and orders around Shinichi. Iwaaki explained that Migi is easily able to order Shinichi since Shinichi is young and “needs guidance”, while Migi would find difficulty if he became a part of a politician or a president of a company since in that scenario Migi and his host would argue a lot.
An 18-year-old from Saitama Prefecture named “Midari” asked in the letters to the editor that if Migi took Shinichi’s left hand, if he would have been named “Hidari”. Iwaaki answered that it would be Hidari, but Iwaaki felt that the name would be similar to those of Bokuzen Hidari or Tenpei Hidari and the name would “bring to mind a doddering old man, so that wouldn’t have been a good idea”. Iwaaki then said that the first man to climb Mount Everest “had a name an awful lot like that…”
Migi is voiced by Sadao Abe in the film.
Satomi Murano
Shinichi’s best friend and love interest. She is a thoughtful, tender-hearted young girl who cares deeply for her friends. While Satomi and Shinichi are mutually attracted towards one another, their relationship is strained to the breaking point when Shinichi’s life is thrown in turmoil by the Parasites.
From the moment she is introduced, Satomi is depicted as being romantically attracted towards Shinichi due to his kind and sensitive nature. Consequently, she is utterly grief-stricken as she watches him grow ever more cold and withdrawn over the course of the story. Despite her best efforts to find out the reason behind Shinichi’s behavior , Satomi becomes increasingly estranged from him as he desperately strives to keep her in the dark about Migi and the Parasite threat. As a result, she begins to question whether any trace of the gentle, caring boy she originally fell in love with remains. After losing nearly all hope, Satomi’s faith in Shinichi is restored upon witnessing him cry freely while protectively cradling Reiko’s orphaned baby in his arms. Upon learning that Shinichi is part Parasite at the end of the series, Satomi firmly proclaims this does nothing to diminish his humanity because he still regards all life as precious.
Satomi is played by Ai Hashimoto in the film.

Film Friday- Hetalia: Axis Powers

As of January 8, 2010, the anime series’ international distribution is being handled by Funimation. The series was later adapted into drama CDs, and an anime series created by Studio Deen has also begun streaming online.

Anime

An anime adaptation of Hetalia: Axis Powers was announced on July 24, 2008. It is directed by Bob Shirohata (Gravitation, Diamond Daydreams) and is animated by Studio Deen. It was originally scheduled for broadcast on Kids Station on January 24, 2009 but was later canceled. The cancellation only affected the Kids Stations broadcasts; plans to make the series available through mobile phone and Internet streaming were not affected. The controversies arose when numerous Korean protesters called for the cancellation of the series, claiming that the personified character of Korea was an insulting representation of Koreans. Kids Station claimed that the Korea character does not appear in the anime and that it was “unaware of the criticism in Korea,” and cited “various circumstances” as being behind the decision to cancel its airing of the anime, but they did not provide further information as to the nature of these circumstances. A second 26-episode season of Hetalia: Axis Powers was announced on April 16, 2009, and a third was announced on December 10, 2009. As of March 7, 2010, the title of the anime has been changed to Hetalia: World Series. A fourth season had been announced for Hetalia and premiered on September 10, 2010. This season featured the new characters Denmark and Norway.

On January 8, 2010, Funimation announced it had acquired the rights to release the first and second seasons of Hetalia in the United States and Canada. Funimation later began streaming Hetalia on their website, Hulu, and YouTube with Japanese audio and English subtitles and announced that characters would have accents in the English dub. Via Twitter, Funimation clarified that the series was rated TV-MA due to “some instances of profanity, crude humor and adult situations”, and that they base ratings on entire series rather than individual episodes. The first DVD was released on September 14, 2010. Funimation have announced at Otakon 2010, that they have the license the Hetalia: World Series and will simulcast the episodes and release them on DVD in 2011. In the UK, the series will be distributed by Manga Entertainment.

Certain Animate stores will carry Hetalia-themed Purikura booths for a limited time, with a total of 10 anime sticker options.

The series has made its North American television debut on December 23, 2010 on the Funimation Channel.

The fifth season of Hetalia, titled Hetalia: The Beautiful World, was announced in the September 2012 edition of Comic Birz. It was announced that it would be produced by a new staff and utilize a new illustrative style. Romania also appeared as a new character. On June 21, 2013, Hetalia: The Beautiful World concluded. It was released in an English dubbed version on July 22, 2014 by Funimation.

A sixth season of Hetalia, titled Hetalia: The World Twinkle, was announced in the January 2015 edition of Comic Birz. It began airing in July 2015 and concluded in October 2015. It was released with an English dub on November 8, 2016 by Funimation.

Movie

A feature-length animated film adaptation was announced on September 23, 2009, and was released on June 5, 2010. The film is entitled Paint it, White! and the eight main characters as well as supporting characters such as Liechtenstein, Sealand, Prussia, Finland, Cuba, Hungary, Austria, Switzerland, Romano, Belarus, Ukraine, Greece, Poland, Canada, Iceland, Spain and Baltics are set to appear in the film – the main plot of the movie involves a vast majority of characters being transformed into grey-white faceless aliens called Pictonians. At Otakon 2010, Funimation Entertainment announced the license of the film. The English dubbed version made its premiere at the Anime Weekend Atlanta convention, taking place from September 30 to October 2, 2011. It was released on November 22, 2011, and each DVD came with a green bandana as a bonus.

Allied Forces

The Allied Powers consist primarily of the characters America, England, France, Russia, Canada, and China. These characters are often depicted as comically failing to reach consensus in their war meetings. The representations of countries that were also part of the historical Allies of World War Two make additional appearances.

America 

is an energetic young man. In the series, he was found by France and England (at first) before France left him in England’s care after America chose the latter over the former, then later grows distant from him which eventually leads to him fighting for his independence.

America is very similar in appearance to his brother, Canada, who is often mistaken for America. America has blond hair, starry blue eyes, glasses representing Texas, and a noticeable cowlick representing Nantucket. In the World War II sections of the anime and manga, America wears an American Army Air Force Officer uniform, and a vintage leather flight jacket. He is the self-proclaimed leader of the Allied Forces, and his catchphrase is “I’m the hero!”

Although his ideas for solving international problems are often absurd, and he is usually oblivious to the opinions of others, it has been stated that he acts this way purposely. America’s ideas and inventions are grand, but rarely go anywhere. He is often portrayed as loud, obnoxious, egotistical, immature, childlike and interfering with other characters’ businesses with little regard for whom his actions affect. Yet despite his misgivings, he is shown to be a kind-hearted person who cares deeply for his friends. He is also shown to be extremely intelligent in several fields.

He is a brave adventurer and natural explorer, wanting to try things no one has ever done before, and he usually spends his free time either trying new foods, being around friends, or making movies and has a fascination with superheroes which he aspires to be himself. He has a prominent case of phasmophobia, which is ironic considering his friendly acquaintance with an alien named Tony, who lives in his house.

America is frequently seen clutching a hamburger or eating while speaking, yet he is self-conscious of his unhealthy habits and tries several yet ineffective diets to stay healthy. He also has uncanny superhuman strength, being able to lift objects several times his size.

In the anime series, his voice actor is Katsuyuki Konishi in Japanese and Eric Vale in English, both of whom also voice Canada. As a child, America’s voice actress is Ai Iwamura in Japanese and Luci Christian in English.

United Kingdom

More commonly known as England or Britain is the personification of England and acting representation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. He is depicted as an irritable man with big, bushy eyebrows drawn with five lines. While before he was a zealous privateer, he is now a cynical and sharp-tongued gentleman some of his notable character traits include his terrible cooking skills, inability to hold his liquor, foul mouth, ability to see supernatural creatures, and (in)ability to perform magic curses on his enemies.

He is usually recognized for his rather large eyebrows, blond hair (more in a punk-like style), green eyes, and his green Royal Artillery Officer’s uniform. In the English release of the anime, when asked why they opted to choose the name “Britain” over “England”, Funimation explained that it was a request from the Japanese studio. Tokyopop, the English publisher of the manga, refers to him as “England.”

Britain is most antagonistic towards France, with whom he shares a long rivalry, and has strong mixed feelings towards America, his former charge.

In one strip he notes that he has an older brother named Scotland. Himaruya has confirmed that England represents both the United Kingdom and England, while Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales are his siblings. Among England’s other ‘relations’ are Sealand, a micronation whom England considers to be an annoying little brother due to his continued attempts to get other countries to recognize him as an independent country.

England’s voice actor is Noriaki Sugiyama, and his English voice actor was Scott Freeman but due to some legal issues, Funimation cut off all ties with him. He was replaced by Taliesin Jaffe in The World Twinkle.

France 

is an overly-romantic, carefree man. In the series, he is shown to have a long-held rivalry with England, whom he raised. He makes sexual passes at many characters. France explains away his long history of military defeats as a joke from God, but he believes he is gifted with his “charms” and his supreme cooking skills. He regards himself as the eldest brother among the European nations and is referred to as such by some of them, though he calls Spain his elder brother in turn. Most of the time he does not bother remembering to speak English, instead using French, the “Language of Love”. He has long blond hair, clear blue eyes, and usually wears a purple cathedral cloak.

In the anime series, he is voiced by Masaya Onosaka in Japanese and J. Michael Tatum in English.

Russia,

previously known as The Soviet Union, is the tallest of all the nations, and has a thick muscular body. He has wavy silver hair, purple eyes, a large nose, wears a thick winter coat and a silk scarf. Russia has a seemingly kind demeanor, but has suffered mental trauma following the strain of his bloody history, and as a result he has the innocence and cruelty of a child; sometimes he casts an aura of pure evil around him whenever such malicious thoughts enter his mind. He often terrifies the other countries without even trying, especially when he was the Soviet Union. He would abuse the Baltics and still stalks them in the modern day, especially Lithuania. Occasionally, he stalks China, while in a panda costume; and he holds a subtle rivalry with the Western nations, especially America. His primary target of resentment is General Winter, because despite using the cold to his advantage in war, he is also attacked by him every year. Russia has also been known to want Lithuania and other countries to become one with him. Russia also has two sisters: his older sister, Ukraine and his younger sister, Belarus. He becomes gloomy and depressed when either of them are on his mind because Ukraine left him to try to make friends in the EU and Belarus, is obsessed with the idea of forcing him to marry her. She seems to be the only other country which Russia fears. Russia happily promises that eventually “all will become one with Russia”. He dreams of living in a warm place surrounded by sunflowers, and vodka is his fuel. He says “kolkolkol” to threaten his subordinates when he is angered. Russia is often seen carrying a metal faucet pipe.

In the anime series, he is voiced by Yasuhiro Takato in Japanese and Jerry Jewell in English.

China 

is the oldest nation in the Allies, being depicted as immortal as well as being over four (or five) thousand years old, and is regarded as the eldest sibling among the East Asian nations. He is the big brother of Japan and often depicted with a panda. His boss was introduced as a green Chinese dragon with an intimidating appearance. During the fight between the Axis and Allies, he fights Germany and Japan with a wok and ladle, which became his weapon of choice which also serves as a stereotype that China serves good food. He is a big fan of Hello Kitty and tends to end his sentences with the suffix -aru, a Japanese racist stereotype of how Chinese people speak. However, he replaces the customary -aru with the suffix -ahen, which means opium, when speaking to England, as a reference to the Opium Wars. He is kind of disturbed by and distrustful of Russia, reflecting Tsarist Russia invaded China and occupied Vladivostock before.(Since it’s a comic mainly talking about stories until WW2, it doesn’t matter with the Russia-China Alliance after all.)

In the anime series, he is voiced by Yuki Kaida (who also voices for Taiwan) in Japanese and Clarine Harp in English.

Wednesday News- January 10, 2018

The Winter 2018 Anime Preview Guide- https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/preview-guide/2018/winter/.125962

Shelf Life: Squid Girlhttps://www.animenewsnetwork.com/shelf-life/2018-01-08/.126152

1st Tiger & Bunny Director Keiichi Sato Not Working on New Anime Series- https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2018-01-10/1st-tiger-and-bunny-director-keiichi-sato-not-working-on-new-anime-series/.126268

Review: Record of Lodoss War: The Grey Witch Novel 1- https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/review/record-of-lodoss-war/novel-1/.125958

Anime-

  • My-HiME Complete Series BD/DVD
  • My-Otome Complete Series BD/DVD
  • My-HiME OVA Series (My-Otome Zwei and My-Otome 0~S.ifr~)
  • Naisho no Tsubomi DVD
  • Naruto Shippuden Set 33 DVD Uncut
  • Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches BD/DVD

Manga-

  • Case Closed GN 65
  • Domestic Girlfriend GN 14 (Digital Only)
  • Fuuka GN 15 (Digital Only)
  • Grand Blue Dreaming GN 5 (Digital Only)
  • The High School Life of a Fudanshi GN 3
  • His Favorite GN 10
  • I am a Hero GN 5
  • I’m in Love and It’s the End of the World GN 3 (Digital Only)
  • Imperfect Girl GN 2
  • Infini-T Force GN 2
  • Kokkoku: Moment by Moment GN 4 (Digital Only)
  • Lovesick Ellie GN 2 (Digital Only)
  • Nurse Hitomi’s Monster Infirmary GN 7
  • Peach Heaven GN 13 (Digital Only)
  • Spirit Circle GN 2
  • The World’s Greatest First Love: The Case of Ritsu Onodera GN 9
  • Yokai Rental Shop GN 2

Other-

  • If It’s for My Daughter, I’d Even Defeat a Demon Lord Novel 4 (Digital Only)
  • Infinite Dendrogram Novel 4 (Digital Only)

Manga Monday- Hetalia: Axis Powers

Hetalia: Axis Powers is a Japanese webcomic, later adapted as a manga and an anime series, by Hidekaz Himaruya. The series’ main presentation is as an often over-the-top allegory of political and historic events as well as more general cultural comparisons. Characters are personifications of countries, regions such as Hong Kong and micronations with little reference to other national personifications. Both positive and negative cultural stereotypes form part of each character’s personality.

The main storyline’s events occur during World War II, but the vast majority of the comics take place during other historical events, modern holidays, or at no specific time whatsoever. The series often uses satire and light-hearted comedy to reinterpret well-known events as well as less common historical and cultural trivia. Historical, political, economic, and military interaction between countries is generally represented in Hetalia as social interactions and misunderstandings between the characters.

Himaruya originally created Hetalia as an online webcomic, and so far six tankōbon have been published by Gentosha Comics, the first on March 28, 2008, the second on December 10, 2008, the third on May 20, 2010, the fourth on June 30, 2011, and the fifth on July 31, 2012. English translations of the first two volumes have been published by Tokyopop in the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada. Both printed volumes published so far have topped The New York Times manga best seller list. As of May 2012 the English-language version of the manga was published by Tokyopop via Right Stuf Inc.

Manga

The original Hetalia: Axis Powers webcomic was adapted into six tankōbon and published by Gentosha Comics under the manga imprint Birz Extra. The first volume was released on March 28, 2008, the second on December 10, 2008, the third on May 20, 2010, the fourth on June 30, 2011, and the fifth on July 31, 2012. There is soon to be a seventh volume of the Hetalia manga books, although this seventh book will be the first volume of Hetalia: World Stars. Every tankōbon except the first were released as a standard edition and a special edition that included an extra small booklet. The first two volumes sold over a million copies by late 2009.

In January 2009 Anime News Network reported that the series would also begin serialization in Gentosha’s seinen manga magazine Comic Birz starting in the April issue, but this was later announced to be a publishing error. The Gentosha press release on which ANN had based their article actually referred to a new series by Himaruya, Chibisan Date. Amazon.com has listed Hetalia: Axis Powers as being licensed by Tokyopop for a North American release, with the first volume released on September 21, 2010. After Tokyopop withdrew from the English language market in 2011, Right Stuf has been publishing the Hetalia manga in English since May 2012. On July 7, 2013, Tokyopop announced via their Facebook page that Tokyopop and Right Stuf are teaming up to being out Hetalia Volumes 4 and 5 in Winter 2013.

Characters

So far, over 60 countries and territories have been depicted. There have also been historical figures depicted, such as (but not limited to) Maria Theresa, Roman emperors, Napoleon Bonaparte, Leonardo Da Vinci and Jeanne d’ Arc. There are also personifications of other figures, like General Winter, the United Nations, Italy’s tanks and every country’s Mr. Newspaper.

The following countries are the 8 main roles in this manga.

Axis Powers

The Axis Powers, the main characters of the Hetalia series. From left to right: Japan, North Italy, Germany

The Axis Powers group of characters consists primarily of Germany, Italy, and Japan (the Axis Powers of World War Two), who are also the protagonists of the series.

Italy Veneziano,

usually shortened to just Italy is the primary protagonist and the title character, portrayed as a bright, energetic, and mostly sweet young man. In the series, he is depicted at various points as the infant grandson of the Roman Empire and is recognized as one of the weakest characters in the series as well as a carefree and cowardly soldier who often surrenders without a fight, usually by waving a white flag. His artistry and love of pasta and pizza are references to stereotypical Italian culture. He uses his adorable ways and cute face to charm girls he meets. He is portrayed as a “loveable loser”. Despite looking weak and helpless, Italy is viewed as being strong as a child, being able to defeat Turkey single-handedly during his golden days. According to Himaruya, Italy is strong, but because of his cowardice he doesn’t show his strength.
Italy Veneziano represents the northern half of the country, while his older brother Romano represents the southern half. Hence, their full character names are Italy Veneziano and Italy Romano respectively.
In the anime series, both Veneziano and Romano are voiced by Daisuke Namikawa in Japanese. In English, Veneziano is voiced by Todd Haberkorn and Romano is voiced by Ian Sinclair. Young Italy, from a common segment on the show called Chibitalia, is voiced by Aki Kanada in Japanese and Brina Palencia in English.

Germany 

is viewed as a hard-working, efficient, bureaucratic, and serious man. In the series, Germany is primus inter pares among the Axis Powers, and takes responsibility for the training of Italy and Japan. He is tall, muscular, with blond hair and blue eyes (possibly a reference to the National-Socialist concept of an Aryan Master Race) and usually wears military fatigues, uniforms, or formal wear. Although he has a tendency to act aggressively to other characters he encounters (in particular Italy and Japan), he can sometimes show a kinder side to his personality. Another aspect of his character is his relative inexperience with relationships, leading him to be very by-the-book as a result of the belief that things will go wrong if he does not follow instructions to the letter. Despite this, as the series progresses, he forms a close friendship with Italy. In the anime series, he is voiced by Hiroki Yasumoto in Japanese and Patrick Seitz in English.

Japan 

is a reclusive and hard-working man. He seems to have a problem with others being in his personal space, for he gets uncomfortable if anyone touches him or gets too close, though he does seem to have gotten used to this to some extent. In the series, he is shown to be inexperienced with the Western world, and prone to culture shock; but he also finds fascination in the ways of other nations since he takes photographs of cultural oddities in other countries’ lands. A young man, his character design features dark brown eyes and black hair, common physical traits among Japanese people; and has the attire of an officer of the Japanese Navy. He often tries to adopt the cultures of other countries he meets such as France, or when other countries meet him such as America. He “senses the mood and refrains from speaking”. Generally quiet, he is often depicted with the attitude of a businesslike old man. In the anime series, he is voiced by Hiroki Takahashi in Japanese and Christopher Bevins in English. Young Japan is voiced by Alexis Tipton in English.

Film Friday- Fist of the North Star

Fist of the North Star was adapted into two anime television series produced by Toei Animation, which together aired on Fuji TV and its affiliates from 1984 through 1988, comprising a combined total of 152 episodes. Several films, OVAs and video games have been produced as well, including a series of spin-offs centering on other characters from the original story. English adaptations of other Fist of the North Star media have been licensed to other companies, including the TV series and the 1986 film.

Part 2

The peace that follows Raoh’s downfall does not last long and the world returns to turmoil several years later. Kenshiro rejoins his former travelling companions, Bat and Rin, in their battle against an oppressive Empire, fighting under the banner of the Hokuto Army. The Hokuto Army learns that the Empire has been taken over by an usurper named Jakoh, who has imprisoned the Celestial Empress and has been blackmailing her bodyguard, the Gento Kōken successor Falco, to do his evil bidding. The Hokuto Army fight their way into the central capital and free the Empress, who is in fact Rin’s long-lost twin sister Rui. With Rui now freed, Falco turns on Jakoh and kills him, foiling his ambitions.

However, Rin is taken captive by the remnant of Jakoh’s forces and is sent off to the mysterious Kingdom of Shura, a brutal land of warriors ruled by three overlords who have all mastered the ways of Hokuto Ryūken, a martial art which branched off from the same clan alongside Hokuto Shinken into the ways of darkness. Kenshiro defeats Han, the third-ranking overlord, who reveals that the Kingdom of Shura was Kenshiro’s birthplace. Moreover, Kenshiro also learns that Hyou, the second overlord, is his biological older brother, who lost his memories of Kenshiro after being separated as children and was corrupted into the ways of evil. Following a long gruelling battle, Hyou recovers his memories and reconciles with his long-lost brother. Kenshiro seeks out the highest-ranking and most powerful of the three overlords, Kaioh, who is in fact Raoh’s biological older brother. Kaioh plans a conquest to rule the post-apocalyptic world in the name of evil by wiping out the followers of Hokuto Shinken. With Hyou’s help, Kenshiro uncovers the sealed testament of the Hokuto Shinken founder, Shuken, which holds the secret to overcoming Kaioh’s ultimate technique.

Kenshiro emerges victorious over Kaioh and rescues Rin, leaving her under Bat’s care as he goes on an adventure with Raoh’s orphaned son Ryu. Meanwhile, a villain named Bolge appears, seeking revenge against Kenshiro for blinding him in a fight a long time ago. Bat brands himself with Kenshiro’s seven scars and fights in his place, only to be crucified by Bolge and tortured to near-death. Kenshiro rescues Bat, then fights and kills Bolge, while Rin regains her memories and professes her love to a recovering Bat. Afterwards, Kenshiro leaves and continues his role as the Post-Apocalyptic Savior, defending the weak and fighting off the greedy and violent, as the world finally begins to recover from the nuclear war.

Wednesday News- January 3, 2018

News-

Austin Film Critics Nominate your name., Blade of the Immortalhttps://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2018-01-02/austin-film-critics-nominate-your-name-blade-of-the-immortal/.125981

The Winter 2018 Anime Preview Guide- https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/preview-guide/2018/winter/.125962

SP  Baby GNs 1-2 Review- https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/review/sp-baby/gns-1-2/.125895

7 Favorite Anime Duos of 2017- https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/the-list/2017-12-30/.125322

 

Other Tuesday- Fist of the North Star

Novels

An original novel was written by Buronson and Tetsuo Hara titled Shōsetsu Hokuto no Ken: Jubaku no Machi which was published by Jump Novel in Japan on December 13, 1996. The novel was the basis of the later three-episode OVA series New Fist of the North Star. A novelization of the movie Legend of Raoh: Chapter of Love in Death written by Eiichi Sakaki was published by Tokuma Novels on March 10, 2006.

There has also been two cell phone novels released via the mobile site Hokuto no Ken DX. Raoh Gaiden, a novelization of the manga of the same name, and Kenshiro Gaiden, an original novel by Jotaro Higashi.

Live-action film

An American-produced live-action movie version of Fist of the North Star was released in 1995, directed by Tony Randel based on a script by Peter Atkins and Wynne McLaughlin. The movie, loosely based on the Shin storyline of the manga, stars Gary Daniels as Kenshiro, Costas Mandylor as Shin and Japanese actress Isako Washio as Yuria, with Malcolm McDowell as Ryuken and Chris Penn as “Jackal” (actually a renamed Jagi). It also featured a cameo by professional wrestler Big Van Vader as Goliath, and Kevin Arbouet as “Rao” (unrelated to the actual Raoh from the manga). The movie was released straight-to-video in the US and Japan (though it did receive a premiere on HBO). The Japanese dubbed version used the original voice actors from the 1980s anime series.

Video games

The four Hokuto no Ken video games for the Famicom.

Numerous video game titles based on the Fist of the North Star have been produced since the 1986 release of Enix adventure game, simply titled Hokuto no Ken for the PC-88. The earlier games in the franchise were released by Sega for the Mark III and Mega Drive and by Toei Animation for the Nintendo’s Famicom, Game Boy and Super Famicom. These titles included side-scrolling action games, role-playing video games and competitive-style fighting games. The two Sega titles were released overseas without the Hokuto no Ken license under the titles of Black Belt and Last Battle, while a couple of the Toei titles, namely Fist of the North Star for the NES and Fist of the North Star: 10 Big Brawls for the King of Universe for the Game Boy, had American releases with the license intact. Further games were released for the Sega Saturn, PlayStation, Arcade, PlayStation 2 and Nintendo DS among other platforms. In 2000, Konami released an arcade game based on the franchise titled Fighting Mania. Another arcade game, a 2D fighting game simply titled Fist of the North Star, was produced by Sega and Arc System Works in 2005. Both games saw international distributions, although the PS2 version of the fighting game was released exclusively in Japan. Tecmo Koei produced a Dynasty Warriors spinoff focusing on the events from the first half of the manga, titled Fist of the North Star: Ken’s Rage. It which was released in Japan on March 25, 2010, and later in North America on November 2, 2010, and Europe on November 5, 2010. A sequel, Fist of the North Star: Ken’s Rage 2, expanded on the first game and incorporated the events from the second half of the manga. It was released in Japan on December 20, 2012, and in North America on February 5, 2013. On August 25, 2017, Sega announced a new game, Hokuto ga Gotoku, for release in 2018 on PlayStation 4. The game is being developed by the team behind the Yakuza series and features similar gameplay and elements.

In addition to traditional video games, the franchise has inspired a series of typing software, an online MMORPG, and numerous pachinko and pachislot machines, mainly produced by Sega Sammy Holdings.

Reception and legacy

Fist of the North Star was one of Weekly Shōnen Jump’s most popular titles during the 1980s. It is one of the best-selling manga series in history, having sold approximately 100 million copies. In a poll conducted by TV Asahi in 2005, the Fist of the North Star anime series ranked 26 in a list of Top 100 Anime series. In a second poll in 2006, it ranked 89. In a celebrity version of the poll, it ranked 15.

Anime News Network was critical of the anime series, comparing it to “the Go Nagai steaming pile of crap Violence Jack“.

Berserk creator Kentaro Miura has named Fist of the North Star as the work that has had the biggest impact on his own.

Manga Monday- Fist of the North Star

Fist of the North Star is a Japanese manga series written by Buronson and illustrated by Tetsuo Hara. Serialized in Weekly Shōnen Jump from 1983 to 1988, the 245 chapters were initially collected in 27 tankōbon volumes by Shueisha. Set in a post-apocalyptic world that has been destroyed by a nuclear war, the story centers on a warrior named Kenshiro, the successor of a deadly martial art style known as Hokuto Shinken, which gives him the ability to kill most adversaries from within through the use of the human body’s secret vital points, often resulting in an exceptionally violent and gory death. Kenshiro dedicates his life to fighting against the various ravagers who threaten the lives of the weak and innocent, as well as rival martial artists, including his own “brothers” from the same clan.

The original manga was published in English by Viz Communications as a monthly comic book, and later by Gutsoon! Entertainment as a series of colorized graphic novels, although neither translation was completed.

Plot

Part 1

In the 1990s, civilization was ruined as a result of a worldwide nuclear war and many creatures died out. However, mankind survived and entered an age where the strong ruled over the weak, as the few survivors fought over whatever supply of food and uncontaminated water remained in the wasteland of the world.

Kenshiro, successor to the ancient assassination art of Hokuto Shinken, wanders into a village in search of water when he is caught in a trap and imprisoned by the local defense force. In prison, he befriends a young orphaned girl named Rin who nursed him back to health. When the village is attacked by a biker gang and Rin is taken hostage by their leader, Ken breaks free from his cell and rescues Rin, defeating the gang leader with his deadly martial art technique. Kenshiro leaves the village and continues his journey, now accompanied by a young boy named Bat. He becomes involved against the King organization after witnessing the many atrocities they have committed. As he infiltrates the gang’s stronghold in the city of Southern Cross, he finds out that the leader of King is his old nemesis, the Nanto Seiken master Shin, the man who engraved the seven scars on Kenshiro’s chest and kidnapped his fiancée Yuria. Kenshiro emerges victorious against Shin, only to find out from Shin that Yuria is no longer with him, having taken her own life in despair by jumping off the roof of Shin’s palace.

After Shin’s downfall, Kenshiro settles in an oasis where he is reunited with Rin, who wandered off searching for Kenshiro after leaving her village. Having acquired a reputation as a saviour after defeating other organizations such as the Golan army and Jackal’s gang, Kenshiro is hired by a certain village to serve as their guardian against the Fang Clan, a group of bandits who are terrorizing the locals. With the help of village leader Mamiya, a female warrior who bears a striking resemblance to his lost love Yuria, as well as fellow guardian Rei, the successor to the Nanto Suichōken style, Kenshiro succeeds in vanquishing the Fangs.

However, Kenshiro learns that his three former brothers-in-training in the ways of Hokuto Shinken are still alive and sets off on a journey to find them. He finds out that Jagi, the second youngest, seeks vengeance against him after being disfigured in a past altercation. Jagi is quickly eliminated and Kenshiro goes on to search for the second eldest, a gentle healer named Toki who surrendered the Hokuto Shinken succession after becoming terminally ill due to exposure to nuclear fallout. Kenshiro finds out that Toki is being kept prisoner in the dungeon city of Cassandra, which is controlled by a ruthless warlord known as the Ken-Oh (King of the Fist), who seeks to conquer the post-apocalyptic world by imprisoning everyone who could oppose him. Ken-Oh is in fact the eldest of the four Hokuto brothers, Raoh, who has broken the law of Hokuto Shinken by killing his master after refusing to surrender the succession. After freeing Toki, Kenshiro returns to Mamiya’s village to defend it from Raoh, but the long gruelling battle ends in a stalemate and the two warriors are forced to settle their differences another day. Rei is fatally wounded as a result of a previous battle with Raoh and he spends the last few days of his life tracking down his nemesis Juda, successor of Nanto Kōkakuken, who once tormented Mamiya in the past. After defeating Juda, Rei goes on to die, at peace with himself.

With Raoh still recovering from his wounds, another warlord, the Nanto Hōōken successor Thouzer, proclaims himself as the Holy Emperor, having enslaved children in order to construct a mausoleum for himself and his deceased master. Kenshiro joins a resistance movement led by the Nanto Hakuroken successor Shew, who sacrified his eyesight in the past to rescue a young Kenshiro. When Shew is captured and executed by Thouzer, Kenshiro confronts Thouzer and foils his ambitions. With Thouzer now gone, Raoh recovers from his wounds and goes on to resume his reign of conquest. Toki, who is on the verge of dying, uses his remaining strength to challenge Raoh as part of a childhood promise they made to each other, but is ultimately no match for him. Raoh can’t bring himself to land a killing blow on his own brother, and spare Toki’s life. With Toki no longer in condition to fight, Kenshiro is left as the only one who can defeat Raoh.

The Last General of Nanto appears and decides to side with Kenshiro in order to defeat Raoh, sending out her five guardians, the Goshasei, after Raoh. Kenshiro and Raoh both learn that the General’s true identity is Yuria, who was rescued by the Goshasei after her attempted suicide in Southern Cross and was hidden away. After a series of numerous events and battles, Kenshiro emerges victorious over Raoh and he is finally reunited with Yuria. However, the victory is bittersweet, as Yuria, having affected by radiation sickness, has only a few years left to live. Kenshiro leaves his friends and spends the final few years of Yuria’s life with her.

Film Friday- Say ‘I love you’

An anime adaptation by Zexcs aired between October 6 and December 30, 2012; the anime is licensed by Sentai Filmworks. A live action film was released on July 12, 2014.

Anime

An anime adaptation by Zexcs began premiered on Tokyo MX October 6, 2012. The series was later aired on tvk, BS11 and AT-X. It was later licensed by Sentai Filmworks for release in North America. The opening song is “Friendship” by Ritsuko Okazaki and the ending theme is “Slow Dance” by Suneohair.

Film

The wraparound jacket band of the 11th volume of the manga announced in 2013 that a live action film was greenlit for release in 2014. The film was both directed and written by Asako Hyuga. Haruna Kawaguchi and Sota Fukushi were cast as Mei Tachibana and Yamato Kurosawa respectively. The film was released in Japan on July 12, 2014. Its main theme song is “Happily” by One Direction.

Characters

Mei Tachibana
Voiced by: Ai Kayano (Japanese); Caitlynn French (English)Live-action Actor: Haruna Kawaguchi

Since Mei used to be constantly bullied as a child and her classmates blamed her for an accident she never did, she decides to never befriend anyone again and all she needed to survive was herself. At first, she is viewed by others as “freakishly gloomy” and someone who “doesn’t speak” but in addition to being anti-social and clumsy, she is also observant, kind, honest, supportive, and funny . As she eventually falls in love with Yamato Kurosawa, she starts to believe that not everyone is selfish and finally begins to have true friends

Yamato Kurosawa
Voiced by: Takahiro Sakurai (Japanese); Leraldo Anzaldua (English)Live-action Actor: Sota Fukushi

One of the most popular boys in his school. He was known for having kissed almost every girl in his school. When he first meets Mei, she kicks him. He then gives her his cellphone number. When a stalker harasses Mei, she calls Yamato for help and when he arrives, he kisses Mei to get the stalker to go away. Over time, Yamato falls in love with Mei and they start dating. He cares for Mei more than anything and her feelings matter the most to him. Asami describes Yamato as someone who thinks of others more than anyone else, protects what should be protected, and cares for others despite having his own problems to deal with. He even sleeps with Aiko because she was depressed. When it comes to his career choice, after encouragement from Mei, he decides to become a photographer, with help from Kitagawa.

Asami Oikawa
Voiced by: Risa Taneda (Japanese); Monica Rial (English)Live-action Actor: Rima Nishizaki

Mei’s classmate and friend who has complex feelings about her large chest. She hates it when people always stare at them and that no one seems to like her for who she is. She idolizes Yamato because he defended her from boys teasing her about her chest in middle school, and wishes for a prince of her own to protect her. She starts to date Kenji after he confesses he likes her for who she is, not just the size of her breasts.

Kenji Nakanishi
Voiced by: Nobunaga Shimazaki (Japanese); Greg Ayres (English)Live-action Actor: Tasuku Nagase

One of Mei’s classmates, and a good friend of Yamato’s. He is perverted and has a big crush on Asami. Using Mei’s help, He eventually confesses to her. The two become a couple.

Aiko Mutō
Voiced by: Yumi Uchiyama (Japanese); Carli Mosier (English) Live-action Actor Rika Adachi

A classmate of Yamato and Mei’s. She’s brazen and bad-mouthed, but has a nice and friendly side. She’s liked Yamato ever since he told her that her natural self was the prettiest, but he doesn’t reciprocate her feelings. She strongly believes that love requires self-sacrifice and effort, which prompts her to go to extreme lengths for her boyfriends, for example she used multiple cosmetics to look pretty despite breaking out for her old boyfriend. She lost 20 kg to try to get Yamato to become her boyfriend, but this caused her to have scars due to sudden weight loss. After Mei stands up for her, she learns to accept Mei as a friend and supports her through tough times. She ends up dating Masashi.

Masashi Tachikawa 
Voiced by: Junji Majima (Japanese); Clint Bickham (English)Live-action Actor: Ryosuke Yamamoto

Aiko’s lover and the only one she feels she can show her “entire” body to. He loved her even when she was fat.