Manga Monday- Excel Saga

Excel Saga is a manga series written and illustrated by Rikdo Koshi. It has been serialized in Young King OURs since 1995, and its individual chapters were collected and published in tankōbon volumes by Shōnen Gahosha. The series follows the attempts of Across, a “secret ideological organization,” to conquer the city of Fukuoka as a first step towards world domination. The title character of the series, Excel, is a key member of the group working towards this goal, while the city is defended by a shadowy government agency led by Dr. Kabapu.

Plot-

Believing the World to be corrupt, the secret organization Across plans to conquer the world. The first step in the plan for world domination is to begin by focusing on one city in order to minimize setbacks. Across consists of the leader of the organization, Il Palazzo, and officers Excel and Hyatt. Excel and Hyatt live in an apartment building in the city, along with their pet dog Menchi, who is also their emergency food supply, and are later joined by Elgala, another Across officer. Living in the neighboring apartment are three guys: Iwata, Sumiyoshi and Watanabe, and other building dwellers such as co-worker Matsuya, and later Ropponmatsu, who all work for the Department of City Security under Dr. Kabapu, who intends to stop Across. Eventually the members of Across begin making appeals directly to the City’s citizens before Il Palazzo publicly declares the existence of Across and its intentions to the public. Hyatt is captured and Excel and Elgala are later held in an immigrant detention center before being rescued by Il Palazzo, who begins the new phase of his plans.

Since its August 2003 release in North America, the manga has been among the 50 top-selling graphic novels on three occasions.

Film Friday- Boys over Flowers aka Hana Yori Dango

hana-yori-dango-anime

The manga has been adapted into a 51-episode anime series (which closely follows the manga) and an anime film. The manga has been licensed by Viz Media for publication in the United States. The manga series has also been adapted into live-action television drama series in both Japan and Korea, and in Taiwan it was also adapted into two live-action films.

In 1997, an anime series was produced by Toei Animation and broadcast by Asahi Broadcasting Corporation. It was shown from 8 September 1996 to 31 August 1997, with a total of 51 episodes. The storyline is closely based on the manga version with little changes to the storyline. The opening sequence for this anime series features Tsukushi dancing with F4 and the whole of the student population. The anime was originally licensed by Viz Media in 2003. Discotek Media has since rescued the anime.

Television series

Hana Yori Dango had been adapted into several live-television dramas:

  • 2001 – Meteor Garden on CTS, Taiwan
  • 2002 – Meteor Garden II on CTS, Taiwan
  • 2005 – Hana Yori Dango on TBS, Japan
  • 2007 – Hana Yori Dango Returns on TBS, Japan
  • 2009 – Boys Over Flowers on KBS2, South Korea.
  • 2010 – Meteor Shower on Hunan TV, China.
  • 2014 – Kaisi Yeh Yaariyan on MTV India, India

Films

In 1995, the manga was first adapted into a Japanese feature-length film entitled Hana Yori Dango. This film starred Yuki Uchida as the main character Makino Tsukushi.

Another film, entitled Hana Yori Dango Final, was released in theaters on June 28, 2008 This film is an ending to the Japanese TV series, with the actors from the television series reprising their roles. The film focuses solely on Tsukasa and Tsukushi’s adventure to retrieve the precious family heirloom: a tiara called “Smile of Venus” which was stolen by a mysterious man in black who was obsessed with sex games. A cameo appearance was made by Naohito Fujiki, who played Hanazawa Rui in the 1995 live-action film.

The film was a box office success in the Japanese box office, grossing a total of 7,750,000,000 yen. The DVD for the drama became the best-selling DVD in 2008, and is also the third Best-Selling Japanese Film DVD of all time.

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Wednesday News- January 25, 2017

News-Recap-Anime

News-

Funimation Announces Interviews with Monster Girls English Dub Cast- https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2017-01-25/funimation-announces-interviews-with-monster-girls-english-dub-cast/.111471

Zo Zo Zo Zombie- kin Manga Gets Special Anime- https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2017-01-25/zo-zo-zo-zombie-kun-manga-gets-special-anime/.111457

Sailor Moon Marks 25th Anniversary With Monster Hunter, Sanrio, More Crossovers- https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/interest/2017-01-25/sailor-moon-marks-25th-anniversary-with-monster-hunter-sanrio-more-crossovers/.111458

Anime-

  • Attack on Titan Season 1 BDP
  • ERASED Volume 2 BDC
  • Garo the Animation Season 2 Part 1 BD/DVDA
  • Infinite Stratos 2 Premium Edition BD Box Set
  • Triage X BD
  • Triage X DVD

Manga-

  • Akame ga KILL! GN 9
  • Big Order GN 1
  • A Certain Magical Index GN 8
  • Death March to the Parallel World Rhapsody GN 1
  • First Love Monster GN 6
  • Forget Me Not GN 6
  • Fruits Basket Collector’s Edition GN 9
  • The Girl From the Other Side: Siúil, a Rún GN 1
  • Horimiya GN 6
  • Immortal Hounds GN 3
  • The Isolator GN 1
  • Liselotte and Witch’s Forest GN 3
  • Murciélago GN 1
  • Nurse Hitomi’s Monster Infirmary GN 5
  • Rokka: Braves of the Six Flowers GN 1
  • Scum’s Wish GN 2P
  • Taboo Tattoo GN 5
  • Today’s Cerberus GN 2
  • Tohyo Game GN 2
  • Umineko When They Cry GN 15
  • Void’s Enigmatic Mansion GN 5

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Manga Monday- Kare Kano (His and Her Circumstances)

kare-kano-manga

Kare Kano (Japanese: 彼氏彼女の事情 Hepburn: Kareshi Kanojo no Jijō?, lit. “His and Her Circumstances”) is a manga series by Masami Tsuda. It was serialized in LaLa from 1996 to 2005 and collected in 21 tankōbon volumes by Hakusensha. It depicts the romance between “perfect” student Yukino Miyazawa and her academic rival Soichiro Arima, and the relationships of several of their friends.
The series is licensed and was published in English in North America by Tokyopop.

Plot-

Yukino Miyazawa is a Japanese high school first-year student who is the envy of classmates for her good grades and immaculate appearance. However, her “perfect” exterior is a façade, an egocentric charade she maintains to win praise. In the privacy of her own home, she is spoiled, stubborn, a slob, and studies relentlessly and obsessively to maintain her grades. On entering high school, she is knocked from her position at the top of the class by Soichiro Arima, a handsome young man whose very existence Yukino considers a threat to the praise on which she thrives, and she vows to destroy him. When Soichiro confesses that he has a crush on her, Yukino rejects him then boasts about it at home. Her observant little sister Kano points out that her rivalry with him comes from admiration, causing her to rethink her own feelings.

Before she can figure out if she hates or likes Soichiro, he visits her home and discovers her being herself. He uses the information to blackmail her into doing his student council work. At first Yukino accepts it, coming to realize that he is also not the perfect student he pretends to be. Tired of being used, Yukino revolts and Soichiro apologizes, and admits he still loves her and just wanted to spend time with her. Yukino realizes she loves him as well, and together they resolve to abandon their fake ways and be true to themselves, though she initially has trouble breaking her lifelong habit of pretend-perfection and her competitive ways.

As the series progresses, Yukino is able to open her true self to others and earns her first real friends beyond Soichiro. It is eventually revealed that Soichiro was striving to be perfect in order to avoid turning “bad” like the parents who abandoned him. Falling in love with Yukino, he is able to become more true to himself, but he also finds himself becoming increasingly jealous of Yukino’s change bringing new friends and new activities into her life, and of her having parts of her life that don’t involve him. When Yukino unknowingly hurts him, he becomes even more jealous and afraid, and begins to wear another façade of the “perfect boyfriend” in an effort to protect her from his “ugly” self.

The return of both of his parents into his life sends Soichiro into a dark area, but helps him finally break free to truly be himself as Yukino and their friends help him learn to lean on and trust others. The end of the series shows Yukino and Soichiro in their 30s, with their three children, and gives updates on the various friends they made along the way.

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Film Friday- Cowboy Bebop

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Cowboy Bebop is a 1998 anime television series animated by Sunrise featuring a production team led by director Shinichirō Watanabe, screenwriter Keiko Nobumoto, character designer Toshihiro Kawamoto, mechanical designer Kimitoshi Yamane, and composer Yoko Kanno. The twenty-six episodes (“sessions”) of the series are set in the year 2071, and follow the lives of a bounty hunter crew traveling on the Bebop (their spaceship). Cowboy Bebop explores philosophical concepts including existentialism, existential ennui, and loneliness.

The series premiered in Japan on TV Tokyo from April 3 until June 26, 1998, broadcasting only twelve episodes and a special due to its controversial adult-themed content. The entire twenty-six episodes of the series were later broadcast on WOWOW from October 24 until April 24, 1999. The anime was adapted into two manga series which were serialized in Kadokawa Shoten’s Asuka Fantasy DX. A film was later released to theaters worldwide.

The anime series was dubbed in the English language by Animaze and ZRO Limit Productions, and was licensed by Bandai Entertainment in North America and is now licensed by Funimation. In Britain, it was licensed by Beez Entertainment and is now licensed by Anime Limited. Madman Entertainment has licensed it for releases in Australia and New Zealand. In 2001, Cowboy Bebop became the first anime title to be broadcast on Adult Swim in the United States.

Cowboy Bebop became a critical and commercial success both in Japanese and international markets (most notably in the United States), garnered several major anime and science fiction awards upon its release, and received universal praise for its style, characters, story, voice acting, animation, and soundtrack. In the years since its release, critics and reviewers, from the United States in particular, have hailed Cowboy Bebop as a masterpiece and frequently cite it as one of the greatest anime titles of all time. Credited with helping to introduce anime to a new wave of Western viewers in the early 2000s, Cowboy Bebop has also been labelled a gateway series for the medium as a whole.

Plot

In 2071, roughly fifty years after an accident with a hyperspace gateway made the Earth almost uninhabitable, humanity has colonized most of the rocky planets and moons of the Solar System. Amid a rising crime rate, the Inter Solar System Police (ISSP) set up a legalized contract system, in which registered bounty hunters (also referred to as “Cowboys”) chase criminals and bring them in alive in return for a reward. The series’ protagonists are bounty hunters working from the spaceship Bebop. The original crew are Spike Spiegel, an exiled former hitman of the criminal Red Dragon Syndicate, and his partner Jet Black, a former ISSP officer. They are later joined by Faye Valentine, an amnesiac con artist; Edward Wong, an eccentric girl skilled in hacking; and Ein, a genetically-engineered Pembroke Welsh Corgi with human-like intelligence. Over the course of the series, the team get involved in disastrous mishaps leaving them out of pocket, while often confronting faces and events from their past: these include Jet’s reasons for leaving the ISSP, and Faye’s past as a young woman from Earth injured in an accident and cryogenically frozen to save her life.

The main story arc focuses on Spike and his deadly rivalry with Vicious, an enforcer for the Red Dragon Syndicate. Spike and Vicious were once partners and friends, but when Spike began an affair with Vicious’ girlfriend Julia and resolved to leave the Syndicate with her, Vicious attempted to have Julia kill Spike. Julia goes into hiding to protect herself and Spike, while Spike fakes his death to escape the Syndicate. In the present, Julia comes out of hiding and reunites with Spike, planning to complete their plan. Vicious, having staged a coup d’état and taken over the Syndicate, sends hitmen after the pair. Julia is killed, leaving Spike alone. His heartbreak feeds his desire to kill Vicious once and for all. Spike leaves the Bebop after saying a final goodbye to Faye and Jet. Upon infiltrating the syndicate, he finds Vicious on the top floor of the building. In a final battle, Vicious is killed and Spike severely wounded. The series ends as Spike descends the main staircase of the building into the rising sun. He falls to the ground, leaving his ultimate fate ambiguous.

This series was written to match the music for each scene so the music fits into the series very powerfully. Below are the opening and the ending theme for you to enjoy!

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Film Friday- Azumanga Daioh

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A television anime adaptation titled Azumanga Daioh: the Animation was produced by J.C.Staff and aired in Japan between April and September 2002, consisting of 130 five-minute segments compiled into 26 episodes. The compiled episodes were released on DVD and Universal Media Discs (UMDs) by Starchild Records, and an English-language version was produced by ADV Films. Prior to the series, a theatrical short and an original net animation were also produced. Several soundtrack albums were released, as well as three Azumanga Daioh video games.

Anime

The anime television series, Azumanga Daioh: the Animation, was produced by J.C.Staff and aired from the week of April 8, 2002 until the week of September 30, 2002. It was broadcast on TV Tokyo, TV Aichi, TV Osaka, and AT-X in five-minute segments every weekday, then repeated as a 25-minute compilation that weekend, for a total of 130 five-minute segments collected in 26 episodes. For the compilation episodes, the respective opening and ending themes were “Soramimi Cake” (Cake of Mishearing) and “Raspberry Heaven”, both performed by Oranges & Lemons. The compilation episodes, which were the only versions to include the title and credits sequences, were released on 6 DVDs in 2003 and 9 Universal Media Discs between 2005 and 2006 by Starchild Records, and a DVD box set of all episodes was released on June 24, 2009; the five-minute segments can be distinguished by their individual titles.

Besides the anime television series, there have been two other animated adaptations: The Very Short Azumanga Daioh Movie, a six-minute trailer released to movie theaters to publicize the upcoming television series, and Azumanga Web Daioh, a shorter original net animation made available for paid streaming on chara-ani.com beginning from December 28, 2000, then offered as a paid download for a limited time. Azumanga Web Daioh was originally intended to gauge whether there was enough interest to create a web-released anime adaptation; because of overwhelming demand, the original plan for web-release was changed to a television release. It featured different voice actors and music from the regular series.

In the United States, the anime television series was released in six DVDs on September 9, 2005, and then later in a five DVD volume “Thinpak” set, both by ADV Films. The sixth DVD volume included The Very Short Azumanga Daioh Movie. In 2009, Nokia offered the first five episodes of Azumanga Daioh on its Ovi phone service. Madman Entertainment licensed the series for release in Australia and New Zealand. As of September 1, 2009, all of ADV’s former catalog are transferred to AEsir Holdings, with distribution from Section23 Films. The series was later re-licensed in 2016 by Sentai Filmworks.

 

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Manga Monday- Review of XXXHolic Volume 1

xxxholic
Today’s post is on XXXholic volume 1 by CLAMP. It is published by DEL REY and is 176 pages long. The cover has the two main character looking smokey and mysterious. The intended reader is someone who is interested in huge plots, interesting characters, and very beautiful art. There is no language, no sex, and no violence. The story is told in third person but it sticks with Watanuki so we see what he sees. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the back of the book- Watanuki Kimihiro is haunted by visions of ghosts and spirits. Seemingly by chance, he encounters a mysterious witch named Yuko, who claims that she can help. In desperation he accepts, but realizes that he’s just been tricked into working for Yuko in order to pay off the cost of her services. Soon he’s employed in her little shop- a job that turns out to be nothing like his previous work experience!
Most of Yuko’s customer’s live in Japan, but Yuko and Watanuki are about to have some unusual visitors named Sakura and Syaoran from a land called Clow…
Review- In my great re-read slash finish for the first time I have just bought all of XXXHolic. I love the authors/artists CLAMP. The manga is full of Japanese lore and legends so I loved all the volumes that I had read. In this we get an idea about the world that Watanuki lives in. He is tormented by ghost and other spirits all his life. Yuko does explain that she can free him of this but she does not tell him how much that would cost. A lot of money but since Watanuki is a student without any family the way he can pay her is to work for her. Of course there is more going on than that and Yuko knows it. The art is some of the most beautiful of CLAMP’s in my opinion. I look forward to going on this journey with Watanuki all the way to the end this time.

I give this volume a Five out of Five stars. I get nothing for my review and I bought this manga with my own money.
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Character Special- Amelia Wil Tesla Seyruun

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Amelia Wil Tesla Seyruun  is a young priestess and the princess of Seyruun. She longs to be a “hero of justice” and quixotically pursues her quest for justice by following Lina and fighting those who appear to be villains. Amelia’s naïve tendency to believe whatever she is told sometimes leads her to mistake friend and foe. In the novels, Amelia is the same age as Lina, but in the anime and manga franchise, Amelia is a year younger than Lina and smaller (though very busty, much to Lina’s annoyance). Her perspective on good and evil matures significantly as the series progresses. Although Lina is often annoyed with Amelia for her naïveté, her desire to learn the Dragon Slave, and her larger bust size, eventually Lina comes to accept her as a friend and treats her like a little sister.

Most of Amelia’s lessons in justice and heroism came from her father Prince Philionel of Seyruun, the “ultimate pacifist”. After the murder of her mother, Amelia vowed never to use blades, though she once used the Sword of Light to channel the Ra-Tilt. Naga the Serpent is Amelia’s long-lost older sister, the crown princess Gracia. This is played to comedic effect in Slayers Evolution-R, with the amnesiac character “Nama” ironically alluding to the relation. Amelia becomes close friends with everyone in the group, but it is clear that early on she starts to develop feelings for Zelgadis. Their first meeting was not a very good one, but they become quite close as they tend to be paired during missions. Amelia teases him playing chess, or angrily beats him over his maltreatment of innocent forest animals, and gets away without so much as an angry glare.

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Wednesday News- October 12, 2016

News-Recap-Anime

News-

The Fall 2016 Anime Preview Guide- http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/preview-guide/2016/fall/.106925

Dragon Ball Super Begins Running in Europe, Middle East, Africa- http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2016-10-11/dragon-ball-super-begins-running-in-europe-middle-east-africa/.107481

Ghost in the Shell Arise Manga Artist Launches New Historical Manga- http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2016-10-09/ghost-in-the-shell-arise-manga-artist-launches-new-historical-manga/.107448

Anime-

  • Level E: Complete Collection S.A.V.E. Edition BD/DVD
  • Lupin the Third- The Woman Called Fukiko Mine: Complete Collection BD/DVD
  • One Piece: Collection 17
  • Hakuoki ~ Demon of the Fleeting Blossom~: Season 1 Collection BD
  • Wish Upon the Pleiades: Complete Collection DVD and BD
  • Pokemon- Master Quest: Complete Collection

Manga-

  • Case Closed Volume 60 (Manga) US
  • Cells at Work! 1 (Manga) US
  • Fairy Tail Master’s Edition Vol. 3 (Manga) US
  • Fate/Zero Volume 3 (Manga) US
  • How to Build a Dungeon: Book of the Demon King Volume 1 (Manga) US
  • I Am a Hero Omnibus Volume 2 (Manga) US
  • Land of the Rising Dead: A Tokyo School Girl’s Guide to Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse (Manga) US
  • Maga-tsuki 5 (Manga) US
  • Magi Volume 20 (Manga) US
  • Magika Swordsman and Summoner Volume 5 (Manga) US
  • Monster Hunter: Flash Hunter Volume 4 (Manga) US
  • Say I Love You. 16 (Manga) US
  • Super Mario Adventures (Manga) US
  • Sushi: Jiro Gastronomy (Book) US

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Wednesday News- October 5, 2016

News-Recap-Anime

News-

Funimation Announces Fall English Dub Line-Up- http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2016-10-04/funimation-announces-fall-english-dub-line-up/.107252

Pokemon Sun & Moon Games’ Trailer Reveals Evolved Starters, New Features- http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2016-10-04/pokemon-sun-and-moon-games-trailer-reveals-evolved-starters-new-features/.107249

Blue Exorcist: Kyoto Impure King Arc Anime Reveals January Premiere Date, More Cast- http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2016-10-02/blue-exorcist-kyoto-impure-king-arc-anime-reveals-january-premiere-more-cast/.107113

Anime-

  • BLOOD-C: Complete Collection (Blu-ray / DVD Combo) (S.A.V.E. Edition)
  • BLOOD-C: The Last Dark (Blu-ray / DVD Combo) (S.A.V.E. Edition)
  • Code Geass – Lelouch of the Rebellion: Season 1 Collection (DVD) and (Blu-ray)
  • Code Geass – Lelouch of the Rebellion (R2): Season 2 Collection (DVD) and (Blu-ray)
  • Code Geass – Lelouch of the Rebellion: Seasons 1 & 2 (Blu-ray CE)
  • JINSEI – Life Consulting: Complete Collection (Blu-ray / DVD Combo)
  • Strike Witches the Movie (Blu-ray / DVD Combo)
  • RE-KAN!: Complete Collection (DVD) and (Blu-ray)
  • Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children (Blu-ray Re-release)
  • Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV (DVD) and (Blu-ray) and (Blu-ray SteelBook)
  • Gundam Reconguista in G: Complete Collection (Blu-ray)
  • Mobile Suit Victory Gundam: Collection 1 (DVD) and (Blu-ray)
  • A town where you live (TV): Complete Collection (Blu-ray)
  • Naruto Shippuden: Set 28

Manga-

  • 7thGARDEN Volume 2
  • Assassination Classroom Volume 12
  • Black Clover Volume 3
  • Food Wars!: Shokugeki no Soma Volume 14
  • Golden Time Volume 5
  • Haikyu!! Volume 4
  • Honey So Sweet Volume 4
  • Kamisama Kiss Volume 22
  • Kuroko’s Basketball Volume 2
  • LDK 7
  • Magical Girl Apocalypse Volume 9
  • My Love Story!! Volume 10
  •   My Neighbor Seki, 8
  • My Pathetic Vampire Life Volume 1
  • Naruto (3-in-1 Edition) Volume 16
  • Naruto Shippuden Uncut Box Sets Volume 28
  • One Piece Box Set 3
  • Platinum End Volume 1
  • Pokemon Pocket Comics Box Set
  • Pokémon X•Y Volume 8
  • Princess Jellyfish 3
  • So Cute It Hurts!! Volume 9
  • The Demon Prince of Momochi House Volume 6
  • Twin Star Exorcists Volume 6
  • Yona of the Dawn Volume 2

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