Manga Monday- Fate/stay night

A manga series adaptation by Datto Nishiwaki was serialized in Kadokawa Shoten’s Shōnen Ace magazine between the February 2006 and December 2012 issues. In 2007, the manga was licensed for an English-language release in North America by Tokyopop. Fate/stay night is a Japanese visual novel developed by Type-Moon, which was originally released as an adult game for Windows. A version of Fate/stay night rated for ages 15 and up titled Fate/stay night Réalta Nua (Irish for “new stars”), which features the Japanese voice actors from the anime series, was released for the PlayStation 2 and later for download on Windows as a trilogy covering the three main story lines. Réalta Nua was also ported to the PlayStation Vita. On October 28, 2005, Type-Moon released a sequel to Fate/stay night, titled Fate/hollow ataraxia. Its plot is set half a year after the events of Fate/stay night.

Manga

The Fate/stay night manga, illustrated by Datto Nishiwaki, was serialized in Kadokawa Shoten’s manga magazine Shōnen Ace between the February 2006 and December 2012 issues. It is an adaptation of the Fate/stay night visual novel, and the manga combines the Fate and Unlimited Blade Works scenarios of the visual novel as well as elements from the Heaven’s Feel scenario while ultimately following the Fate scenario. The manga was licensed for an English-language release in North America by Tokyopop in 2007. In April 2011, Tokyopop announced that they were shutting down their North American manga publishing division, and volume 11 became the last volume to be released by Tokyopop. In 2014, Viz Media’s Viz Select imprint announced that they would be releasing the Fate/stay night manga digitally. Twenty tankōbon volumes were released in Japan between May 26, 2006 and November 26, 2012. A second Fate/stay nightmanga based entirely on the Heaven’s Feel route and illustrated by Task Ohna began serialization in the June 2015 issue of Young Ace.

Himuro no Tenchi Fate/School Life is a comedy 4-koma manga revolving around the normal life at school of the minor characters of Fate/stay night and Fate/Hollow Ataraxia, specifically the character Kane Himuro, classmate of Fate/stay night protagonist Shirō Emiya. It is serialized in Manga 4-koma Kings Palette and currently three volumes have been published by Ichijinsha.

A spin-off manga series Fate/Kaleid Liner Prisma Illya written and illustrated by Hiroyama Hiroshi was first serialized in Comp Ace in 2008 and later released into two bound volumes. The series features Illya as a main character where she’s living an alternate life as a school girl. However, she is chosen by the Magical Stick Ruby and is involved in a quarrel between Rin and Luvia. A sequel series titled Fate/Kaleid liner Prisma Illya 2wei! was serialized from 2009 to 2012 and released in five bound volumes. A third manga series titled Fate/Kaleid liner Prisma Illya 3rei!! began serialization in 2012.

Story

The seven sorcerers, known as Masters, are aided by seven beings known as Servants, reincarnations of legendary heroes from all times. These resurrected souls possess superhuman characteristics and wield powerful artifacts or abilities called Noble Phantasms, symbols of their heroism during life. Only one Servant can be summoned in each war from one of seven classes: SaberArcherLancerBerserkerRiderAssassin, and Caster, each representing their distinctive role in battle. The Servants are summoned by the power of the Grail itself and aid their Masters in doing battle, protecting them from harm and killing other Servants or Masters. In return for their aid, the Servants also seek their own wish from the Holy Grail, should their Master become victorious.Fuyuki City is the setting for a secret and violent war among competing magi. For the past two centuries, seven sorcerers have gathered and engage in a battle royale known as the Holy Grail War, each gambling his or her own life to obtain the Holy Grail, a legendary chalice capable of granting wishes. The past four Holy Grail Wars have typically occurred every fifty years or so. However, the fifth war has started prematurely, with the most recent concluding less than a decade ago.

Shirō Emiya is a serious yet helpful, hardworking, and honest teenager and a student at Fuyuki High, whose parents died in a fire years ago, around the time of the conclusion of the Fourth Holy Grail War. He was then adopted by Kiritsugu Emiya. When he was a child, his adoptive father told him how he had failed at his life ambition to become a “Ally of Justice”. Shirō affirms to his adoptive father that he intends to devote his life to achieving that distant ideal, much to Kiritsugu’s chagrin. To do this, Shirō pleads with a begrudging Kiritsugu to teach him sorcery; but being born without the capabilities of a magus, Shirō proves to be talentless in almost all the fundamental sorcerous disciplines. Kiritsugu dies in Shirō’s youth. From then on, he grows up as an orphan in the occasional company of Taiga Fujimura, his English teacher at Fuyuki High, and Sakura Matō, his underclassman.

After cleaning his school’s kyūdō dojo late one night, Shirō stumbles upon two Servants, Archer and Lancer, battling in the school courtyard. Upon accidentally revealing himself, Shirō runs away. To avoid compromising the war’s secrecy, Lancer hunts down and pierces Shirō’s heart with his Noble Phantasm, a long, red spear. Shirō is then discovered in a near-death state by Rin Tōsaka. For the sake of her sister Sakura Matō who has feelings for him, she uses an heirloom filled with concentrated magic to restore his damaged heart and leaves before he awakens. Shaken and dazed, Shirō picks up the heirloom and returns home only to be assaulted a second time by Lancer. Shirō weakly defends himself against Lancer using posters he strengthens with magic, but is soon overwhelmed by the powerful Servant’s attack. Before Lancer can inflict another fatal blow, a magical mark on Shirō’s hand begins to light up and a magical circle inside the shed begins to glow. A young woman clad in armor with an invisible sword appears in a flash of light and blocks Lancer’s attack. After driving Lancer away from Shirō, she introduces herself as the Servant Saber, and formally announces her intention to fight under Shirō for the Holy Grail.

Meanwhile, Rin has realized that Lancer will return to finish what he started and rushes to the aid of Shirō, only to discover that Shirō is safe and has gained his own Servant. From here on, the story splits into three paths known as routes, and those are: FateUnlimited Blade Works, and Heaven’s Feel.

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Manga Monday- Lovely Complex a.k.a. Love Com

Love Com, also known as Lovely Complex, is a romantic comedy shōjo manga by Aya Nakahara. It was published by Shueisha in Bessatsu Margaret from 2001 to 2006 and collected in 17 tankōbon volumes. The series is about the romance between a tall girl and a short boy who are treated as a comedy duo by their classmates. In 2004, it received the 49th Shogakukan Manga Award for shōjo.

The manga was written and illustrated by Aya Nakahara. It was initially serialized in Japan by Shueisha in the shōjo manga magazine Bessatsu Margaret from September 2001 to December 2006. The untitled chapters were collected in 17 tankōbon volumes. The manga is licensed in English in North America by Viz Media, with 16 volumes published as of January 2010. The Viz edition is licensed for distribution in Australia and New Zealand by Madman Entertainment, which released volume one in May 2008. The series is also licensed in France by Delcourt, in Italy by Planet Manga, in Mexico by Grupo Editorial Vid, in Spain by Planeta DeAgostini, in Taiwan by Tong Li Publishing, in Hungary by Mangafan and in Vietnam by TVM Comics.

Plot

Love Com is a love story between a boy and a girl in Sakai, Osaka. The girl, Risa Koizumi, is 172 centimetres (5 ft 8 in) tall—much taller than the average Japanese girl. The boy, Atsushi Ōtani, is 156 cm (5 ft 1 in)—way below the height of the average Japanese boy. Because of this, the pair are called the “All Hanshin Kyojin” after a popular comedy duo that has a similar height difference. The difference in their heights is extremely exaggerated (in the opening credits of the anime, for example, the top of Ōtani’s head doesn’t even reach Risa’s chin when it should be approximately level with her mouth.)

During summer school, a very tall student named Ryouji Suzuki (from another class) shows up and Risa immediately falls for him because he is tall. There is a girl that Atsushi likes as well, so Risa and Atsushi decide to put aside their differences and help each other get their love interests. Their efforts fail spectacularly as Suzuki and the girl whom Ōtani had a crush on – Chiharu Tanaka – end up becoming a couple. All is not lost though, since Risa and Ōtani become close friends. As they get to know each other better, Risa’s feelings for Atsushi begin to blossom, and her love life gets complicated from there on.

One notable fact about Love Com is that instead of speaking standard Japanese, almost all characters speak in Kansai-ben. Many native Osakan voice actors are employed in the anime. While having one or two characters speaking Kansai-ben is common in many anime shows, having all characters doing so is unusual in media produced for a nationwide audience.

Manga Monday- Haikyu!!

Haikyu!! is a Japanese shōnen manga series written and illustrated by Haruichi Furudate. Individual chapters have been serialized in Weekly Shōnen Jump since February 2012, with bound volumes published by Shueisha. The series was initially published as a one-shot in Shueisha’s seasonal Jump NEXT! magazine prior to serialization. As of April 2018, thirty-one volumes have been released in Japan. The manga has been licensed in North America by Viz Media. Haikyu!! has sold over 28 million copies.

Manga

Written and illustrated by Haruichi Furudate, the series has been serialized in Weekly Shōnen Jump since February 2012. As of December 2014, the series has sold over twelve million volumes. At their panel at New York Comic Con, North American publisher Viz Media announced their license of the manga and released the series in 2016.

Plot

Junior high school student Shōyō Hinata gains a sudden love of volleyball after seeing a national championship match on TV. Although short in height, he becomes determined to follow in the footsteps of the championship’s star player, nicknamed the “Little Giant”, after seeing his plays. He creates a volleyball club and begins practicing by himself. Eventually 3 other members join the team by his last year of middle school, pushing Hinata to persuade his two friends who are in different clubs to join just for the tournament. However, they are defeated in their first tournament game after being challenged by the championship favorite team, which includes the so-called “King of the Court” Tobio Kageyama, in the first round. Though Hinata’s team suffers a miserable defeat, he vows to eventually surpass Kageyama and defeat him. Fast-forward to highschool, Hinata enters Karasuno Highschool with the hopes of joining their volleyball club. Unfortunately for him, the very person he swore to surpass appears before him as one of his new teammates. At first Hinata and Kageyama are unable to work together, causing the team captain to kick them out of the club. The two decide to challenge the elder members of the team to a match, hoping that if they win they will prove they can work together and be allowed to rejoin. The team captain accepts the challenge, and working with another member of the team, Hinata and Kageyama win the match and are let back into the club. By combining the genius-like qualities of Kageyama with Hinata’s sheer athleticism, the duo create an invincible brand-new volleyball tactic. Their new combo allows them to get over their differences and creates a strange alliance between the two filled with fun and laughter for them and their teammates. Thus begins the Karasuno boys’ volleyball team’s journey to the top.

Manga Monday- Kaichou wa Maid-sama!

Maid Sama! is a shōjo manga series by Hiro Fujiwara. It was serialized in Hakusensha’s monthly shōjo manga magazine, LaLa. There are 18 published volumes under the Hana to Yume Comics imprint in Japan. At their Anime Expo 2008 panel, North American publisher Tokyopop announced its various newly licensed series and that Kaichō wa Maid-sama! would be titled Maid-sama!.

Maid Sama! is written and illustrated by Hiro Fujiwara. This series was serialized in Hakusensha’s shōjo manga magazine LaLa, and the serial chapters collected into volumes. The first volume was released on September 5, 2006.
Outside Japan, the series was once licensed by Tokyopop, and it’s been relicensed by Viz Media in North America, JPF in Poland, Pika Édition in France, Carlsen Verlag in Germany, Panini Comics in Italy, Mexico and Brazil, and Everglory Publishing Co in Taiwan. In Indonesia, the series was published by M&C Comic.
The series ended on September 24, 2013.

Plot

Once an all-boys school, Seika High, infamous for its rowdy students, has recently become a co-ed school. However, with the female population still remaining a minority even after the change over the recent years, Misaki Ayuzawa works hard to make the school a better place for girls. She puts a lot of effort into academics and athletics, and earns the trust of the teachers. Eventually, she becomes the first female student council president. Misaki has gained a reputation, among the male students body as a strict boy-hating demon dictator and as a shining hope for the teachers and fellow female students. However, despite her reputation, she secretly works part-time at a maid café in order to support her ill mom and sister by returning the huge debt their father had left them.

Unfortunately, Misaki’s secret is soon discovered by Takumi Usui, a popular boy at Seika High. Instead of exposing it to the school, though, Usui keeps it for himself and even becomes a regular customer at the café, much to Misaki’s chagrin. Known for being a genius in pretty much everything from academics to athletics and for having rejected numerous confession of his female peers, Usui takes a liking to Misaki because all the other girls only care about Usui’s looks. After going through various awkward situations, including being confronted by a forgotten childhood friend of hers, Misaki falls in love with Usui, who reciprocates, and the two soon become a couple.

However, their relationship is troubled by Usui’s difficult familial past coming back to haunt him. Being an illegitimate child of a wealthy English noble family, Usui technically cannot form a relationship with anyone not in his social standing, Misaki included. Misaki has to see Usui being forced to transfer to a prestigious rival school Miabigaoka, and then away from Japan completely when his family takes him back to England. By working through complicated and difficult ways, however, Misaki manages to find her way back to Usui, who concludes that he will continue his relationship with Misaki no matter what. At the end of the year, on graduation day, all the staff in Maid Latte come and Misaki finally reveals her secret also saying that she has no regrets. In the epilogue, after solving the differences with Usui’s family, Misaki and Usui finally hold their wedding ten years later.

Manga Monday- Fullmetal Alchemist

Fullmetal Alchemist is a Japanese shōnen manga series written and illustrated by Hiromu Arakawa. It was serialized in Square Enix’s Monthly Shōnen Gangan magazine between August 2001 and June 2010; the publisher later collected the individual chapters into twenty-seven tankōbon volumes. The world of Fullmetal Alchemist is styled after the European Industrial Revolution. Set in a fictional universe in which alchemy is one of the most advanced scientific techniques, the story follows two alchemist brothers named Edward and Alphonse Elric, who are searching for the philosopher’s stoneto restore their bodies after a failed attempt to bring their mother back to life using alchemy.

The manga was published and localized in English by Viz Media in North America, Madman Entertainment in Australasia, and Chuang Yi in Singapore. Yen Press also has the rights for the digital release of the volumes in North America due to the series being a Square Enix title. The manga has sold over 70 million volumes worldwide, making it one of the best-selling manga series. The English release of the manga’s first volume was the top-selling graphic novel during 2005.

Manga

Written and drawn by Hiromu Arakawa, Fullmetal Alchemist was serialized in Square Enix’s monthly manga magazine Monthly Shōnen Gangan. Its first installment was published in the magazine’s August 2001 issue on July 12, 2001; publication continued until the series concluded in June 2010 with the 108th installment. A side-story to the series was published in the October 2010 issue of Monthly Shōnen Gangan on September 11, 2010. In the July 2011 issue of the same magazine, the prototype version of the manga was published. Square Enix compiled the chapters into twenty-seven tankōbon volumes. The first volume was released on January 22, 2002, and the last on November 22, 2010. A few chapters have been re-released in Japan in two “Extra number” magazines and Fullmetal Alchemist, The First Attack, which features the first nine chapters of the manga and other side stories. On July 22, 2011, Square Enix started republishing the series in kanzenban format.

Viz Media localized the tankōbon volumes in English in North America between May 3, 2005, and December 20, 2011. On June 7, 2011, Viz started publishing the series in omnibus format, featuring three volumes in one. Yen Press has the rights for the digital release of the volumes in North America since 2014 and on December 12, 2016 has released the series on the ComiXology website. Other English localizations were done by Madman Entertainment for Australasia and Chuang Yi in Singapore. The series has been also localized in Polish, French, Portuguese, Italian, and Korean.

Light novels

Square Enix has published a series of six Fullmetal Alchemist Japanese light novels, written by Makoto Inoue. The novels were licensed for an English-language release by Viz Media in North America, with translations by Alexander O. Smith and illustrations—including covers and frontispieces—by Arakawa. The novels are spin-offs of the manga series and follow the Elric brothers on their continued quest for the philosopher’s stone. The first novel, Fullmetal Alchemist: The Land of Sand, was animated as the episodes eleven and twelve of the first anime series. The fourth novel contains an extra story about the military called “Roy’s Holiday”. Novelizations of the PlayStation 2 games Fullmetal Alchemist and the Broken AngelCurse of the Crimson Elixir, and The Girl Who Succeeds God have also been written, the first by Makoto Inoue and the rest by Jun Eishima.

Manga reception

Along with Yakitate!! Japan, the series won the forty-ninth Shogakukan Manga Award for shōnen in 2004. It won the public voting for Eagle Award’s “Favourite Manga” in 2010 and 2011. The manga also received the Seiun Award for best science fiction comic in 2011.

In a survey from Oricon in 2009, Fullmetal Alchemist ranked ninth as the manga that fans wanted to be turned into a live-action film. The series is also popular with amateur writers who produce dōjinshi (fan fiction) that borrows characters from the series. In the Japanese market Super Comic City, there have been over 1,100 dōjinshi based on Fullmetal Alchemist, some of which focused on romantic interactions between Edward Elric and Roy Mustang. Anime News Network said the series had the same impact in Comiket 2004 as several female fans were seen there writing dōjinshi

Setting

Fullmetal Alchemist takes place in an alternate history, in the fictional country of Amestris. In this world, alchemy is one of the most-practiced sciences; Alchemists who work for the government are known as State Alchemists and are automatically given the rank of Major in the military. Alchemists have the ability, with the help of patterns called Transmutation Circles, to create almost anything they desire. However, when they do so, they must provide something of equal value in accordance with the Law of Equivalent Exchange. The only things Alchemists are forbidden from transmuting are humans and gold. There has never been a successful human transmutation; those who attempt it lose a part of their body and the result is a horrific inhuman mass. Attemptees are confronted by Truth, a pantheistic and semi-cerebral God-like being who tauntingly regulates all alchemy use and whose nigh-featureless appearance is relative to the person to whom Truth is conversing with; the series’ antagonist, Father, and some other characters, claim and believe that Truth is a personal God who punishes the arrogant, a belief that Edward denies, citing a flaw in Father’s interpretation of Truth’s works.

Attemptees of Human Transmutation are also thrown into the Gate of Truth, where they receive an overwhelming dose of information, but also allowing them to transmute without a circle. All living things possess their own Gate of Truth, and per the Gaea hypothesis heavenly bodies like planets also have their own Gates of Truth. It is possible to bypass the Law of Equivalent Exchange (to an extent) using a Philosopher’s Stone, a red, enigmatic substance. Philosopher’s Stones can be used to create Homunculi, artificial humans of proud nature. Homunculi have numerous superhuman abilities unique among each other and look down upon all humanity. With the exception of one, they do not age and can only be killed via the destruction of their Philosopher’s Stones.

There are several cities throughout Amestris. The main setting is the capital of Central City, along with other military cities such as the northern city of Briggs. Towns featured include Resembool, the rural hometown of the Elrics; Liore, a city tricked into following a cult; Rush Valley, a town that specializes in automail manufacturing; and Ishbal, a conservative-religion region that rejects alchemy and was destroyed in the Ishbalan Civil War instigated after a soldier shot an Ishbalan child. Outside of Amestris, there are few named countries, and none are seen in the main story. The main foreign country is Xing. Heavily reminiscent of China, Xing has a complex system of clans and emperors, as opposed to Amestris’s government-controlled election of a Führer. It also has its own system of alchemy, called Alkahestry, which is more medical and can be bi-located using kunai; in turn, it is implied that all countries have different forms of alchemy.

Manga Monday- Shugo Chara!

Shugo Chara!, also known as My Guardian Characters, is a Japanese shōjo manga series created by the manga author duo, Peach-Pit. The story centers on elementary school girl Amu Hinamori, whose popular exterior, referred to as “cool and spicy” by her classmates, contrasts with her introverted personality. When Amu wishes for the courage to be reborn as her would-be self, she is surprised to find three colorful eggs the next morning, which hatch into three Guardian Characters: Ran, Miki, and Su.

Shugo Chara! is serialized in the magazine Nakayoshi and published by Kodansha in Japan. Del Rey has licensed the English language manga rights, releasing the first volume on March 27, 2007. It won the 2008 Kodansha Manga Award for best children’s manga.

Manga

In December 2005, Peach Pit announced that they were working on a new shōjo manga series called Shugo Chara! The first chapter was published in the February 2006 edition of Nakayoshi magazine. The first volume collection was then republished on July 6, 2006 by Nakayoshi publisher Kodansha. In addition to the regular volumes, the series is being released in limited editions in Japan, each of which include different cover art from the regular editions, metallic foil sleeves, and a set of postcards featuring Amu in various outfits and poses following the color theme of the dust jackets. Del Rey Manga announced that it acquired the English language rights to Shugo Chara! during Manga NEXT 2006 and released the first volume on March 27, 2007. Kodansha USA published the entire series in 2011.
The series was put on hiatus along with two other series, Rozen Maiden and Zombie-Loan, in December 2008 due to a sudden illness and hospitalization. One month later, Peach-Pit announced that all three series will resume and thanked their fans for the support during the illness. There is a spin-off manga series called Shugo Chara Chan!, featuring drawings by Mizushima Naftaren, which is in yonkoma (4-panel) comics style and focuses on Amu’s guardians. Currently there are three volumes. There is no special edition version of the spin-off series. The January issue of Kodansha’s Nakayoshi magazine confirmed on December 1, 2009, that Peach-Pit would be ending the Shugo Chara! manga in the next issue on December 28. A sequel series was later announced, titled Shugo Chara! Encore!, and ran between April and September 2010 issues of Nakayoshi.

Plot

The main protagonist of the story, Amu Hinamori, is a female student attending Seiyo Elementary. At first glance, her classmates refer to her attitude and appearance as “cool and spicy” and rumors speculate about her personal life. However, her real personality is that of a very shy girl who has trouble showing her true personality. One night, Amu wishes for the courage to show her “would-be” self, and the next morning, she finds three brightly colored eggs — pink, blue, and green — in her bed. These eggs hatch into three Guardian Characters, or “Shugo Charas”: Ran (pink), Miki (blue), and Su (green). The Guardian Characters aid Amu in discovering who she truly is and help fulfill Amu’s dreams. Amu’s life becomes much more complex, as she struggles to deal with her “would-be” selves and Seiyo Elementary’s Guardians, who each have a Guardian Character of their own. People with Guardian Characters can “chara-nari” (character transform) or “character change”. Each transformation has special powers, mainly for attacking or defending. Character changes have special powers too, but have more practical uses. Later on, they recruit Amu as the “Joker” to search for X Eggs and X Characters, the corrupted forms of people’s dreams, so the Guardians can purify their dreams. In Japanese, the egg is shortened.
Meanwhile, the Easter Company is extracting people’s eggs, in search of a special egg called the Embryo. The Embryo is believed to grant any wish to the one who possesses it. However, the process creates X Eggs and X Characters. Later on in the series, a fourth (yellow) egg named Diamond is born. Unlike Amu’s other Guardian Characters, she is only seen a few times in the series. Due to Amu’s mixed feelings before Diamond was born, she becomes an X character and is “stolen” by idol singer Hoshina Utau, who uses Diamond to character change for her concerts, planned by Easter as part of their plan to get the Embryo. Later on, Diamond is purified and becomes a regular Guardian Character. She would then appear in times of heavy crisis.

 

Manga Monday- My Hero Academia

My Hero Academia is an adventure manga series written and illustrated by Kōhei Horikoshi. It has been serialized in Weekly Shōnen Jump since July 2014, and 18 volumes have been collected in tankōbon format. The series has been licensed for English-language release by Viz Media, and began serialization in their weekly digital manga anthology Weekly Shonen Jump on February 9, 2015.

The story follows Izuku Midoriya, a boy born without superpowers in a world where they are the norm, but who still dreams of becoming a superhero himself, and is scouted by the world’s greatest hero who shares his powers with Izuku after recognizing his value and enrolls him in a high school for heroes in training.

Manga

My Hero Academia is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Kōhei Horikoshi. It began its serialization in the manga magazine Weekly Shōnen Jump in July 2014. As of November 2, 2017 the series been collected into sixteen tankōbon volumes. The series is licensed for English language release in North America by Viz Media, who published the first volume on August 4, 2015. As the series is published in Japan, it is also released simultaneously in English digitally by Viz Media’s Weekly Shōnen Jump. As of April 3rd 2017, 12 volumes have been released.

The manga was nominated for the 8th Manga Taishō in 2015.  Volume 1 reached the 7th place on the weekly Oricon manga chart with 71,575 copies sold. It sold out almost immediately on its first printing. Volume 2 reached the 6th place, with 167,531 copies and, by January 18, 2015, had sold 205,179 copies. As of March 2017, there were over 10 million copies of My Hero Academia in circulation. The story has been noted to take inspiration from elements in superhero comics, such as the aesthetics of its characters.

Main characters

Izuku Midoriya / Deku 
Nicknamed Deku (an alternate spelling of his name which could be interpreted as “one who can’t do anything”), he is a timid but kind boy who is extremely knowledgeable about heroes and dreams to be one himself like his idol, All Might, despite lacking a Quirk due to the trait required to have one being too diluted to be passed on in his family. However, when he steps up to save his childhood acquaintance Katsuki from an evil villain, All Might is inspired by his strength of spirit, and bestows upon him his Quirk “One For All”, a Quirk that becomes more powerful the more people it is given to, and results in the user being able to call upon great physical strength. Izuku must hide the nature of his Quirk and his connection to All Might to protect the secret of One For All, which many would want to steal. At first, Izuku was only able to use the full power of his strength for specific moments, resulting in him severely damaging whichever part of his body he used. However he has since learned to channel the power throughout his body rather than in short bursts, but currently can only withstand around 8% of it. He eventually managed to perfect its use in his legs, creating a kick-related fighting style unique from All Might’s punching style. He also begins to develop a mental connection to the previous users of One For All through the Quirk. Despite these limitations, he makes up for it with a keen sense of strategy (having written at least thirteen notebooks on other heroes, including his peers) and an instinctive desire to save people. He dislikes the nickname Kacchan has given him until Ochako, upon first hearing it, tells him that she assumed it was based on the word dekiru, roughly meaning “able to do it.” From this moment on, Izuku embraces the moniker, and ultimately adopts it as his Hero name.
Katsuki Bakugō 
Katsuki is one of Izuku’s childhood acquaintances and classmates in Class 1-A, whom Izuku calls Kacchan. He possesses the Quirk “Explosion”, which allows his palm sweat to become nitroglycerin and explode. He has made fun of Izuku for lacking a Quirk since childhood, despite them initially being close friends, and also the one who gave him his nickname as an insult. It was only after he grew up being praised by people around him for his Quirk and achievements that he became more egotistical and thought that others, particularly Izuku, are below him, becoming borderline sadistic and villainous. He started to bully and became truly hostile to Izuku when his attempts to reach out to Katsuki out of concern are misinterpreted by Katsuki into thinking he was looking down on him as someone in need of saving. In the beginning of the series, he thinks that he is the strongest hero, and dreams of becoming richer and more famous than All Might. He stops picking on Izuku after the latter’s attempt to save him from a villain, though he truly starts reflecting on himself only after Izuku defeated him in their battle training and seeing that many students possess greater and better skills than him.
Ochako Uraraka 
Ochako, spelled “Ochaco” in the anime, is Izuku’s best friend. Her Quirk is “Zero Gravity”, which allows her to make any object she touches with her fingertips float, although she will become nauseous if she uses the ability too much. Aside from Katsuki, she also refers Izuku as “Deku” but unlike the former, she calls him with his nickname out of affection, commenting that “Deku” gives the vibe of never giving up, and eventually switches to Deku-kun, a move that prompted him to accept the name. She comes from a family of construction workers, and because there is not much of a market for them, they are poor. Due to this, Ochako aspires to become a hero for money so she can give her parents an easy life, after her father dissuaded her from following their footsteps in order for her to achieve her own goals. Ochako originally meets Izuku prior to U.A.’s entrance exam, after she stops him from falling over when he tripped on his own foot. This caused Izuku to develop a large crush on her (as he had “talked” to a girl), to the point of blushing and stammering every time he is with her. Izuku eventually returns the favor by saving her during the entrance exam, and several other characters later deduce that Ochako returns Izuku’s feelings, given her anxiety when asked about it.
Tenya Iida / Ingenium 
The president of Class 1-A, a very studious boy who seems serious and scary at first glance, although he is just being honest and strict regarding qualifications to become a hero. During the entrance exam, he repeatedly chastises Izuku for what he perceives as disrespect. However, after he witnesses Izuku selflessly save Ochako during the exam, he comes to the (false) belief that Izuku deduced the true nature of the exam. Concluding Izuku is better than him, Tenya immediately apologizes for his behavior and befriends him, despite Izuku’s repeated attempts to tell him the truth. Tenya eventually becomes the class president after Izuku, who won by vote but was too nervous to hold the position, forfeited it to him. Tenya’s Quirk is “Engine”, which gives him super-speed via jet engines in his legs. He comes from a well-known family, who have been professional heroes for generations. His older brother in particular, Ingenium, inspired him to become a hero that will make his family proud. Originally using his own name as his Hero name, Tenya inherits his brother’s own name after he is crippled by Stain and forced to retire.
Shōto Todoroki 
A student in Class 1-A. His Quirk is “Fire and Ice”, which makes the left side of his body control fire and the right side ice, though over use of one side would cause him to overheat or become frostbitten respectively. He is considered the strongest student in the class. He is the youngest child of Endeavor, who was said to be the second top hero after All Might. However, his father only married his mother for her Quirk, in the hopes that he could sire a child who could exceed All Might, leading to an abuse-ridden childhood as all of his older siblings were unable to meet his expectations. Shōto’s mother soon became afraid that Shōto would become like his father, leading to her burning his not yet active fire side with scalding water in hopes of making his father uninterested in him. Because she was later institutionalized in a mental hospital for her actions, Shōto intends to become a top hero using only his mother’s Quirk instead of his father’s as his way to disavow the latter. During his fight with Izuku, Shōto finally started to try accepting his Fire Quirk as his own instead of his father’s. Afterward, he decided to overcome his inner struggle by meeting his mother, in the hope that they can get through their past together. So far Shōto has used his own name as his Hero name.
Toshinori Yagi 
The world’s greatest Hero, All Might’s real Quirk is unknown to the public and most people conclude that he has some strength-enhancing Quirk. He passes his quirk on to Izuku after seeing the boy’s bravery. He is a teacher at U.A. High School, doing his best to allow Izuku follow in his foot steps. His One For All Quirk enables him to pass on his powers to another, which he plans on doing as five years prior a fight with a Villain left All Might terribly injured to where he can only use his Quirk for three hours a day. This time limit later decreases gradually after passing his Quirk to Izuku, until it depletes completely. The nature of his Quirk is only known by Izuku, the school principal, Recovery Girl, and a select few other Pro Heroes (with Katsuki later finding it out), and must not be revealed at any cost in order not to destroy people’s symbol of peace. He is drawn in the style of American comic book superheroes rather than in the Japanese manga style of other characters, though the style changes to a more traditional manga form when he returns to his “true form”. After the final confrontation with his archenemy “All For One”, the same Villain who injured him, All Might succumbs to the point where he can only use his Quirk for a few seconds, and he retires from being a hero, dedicating himself solely to his duties as a teacher and to raise Izuku as his successor.

Manga Monday- Marmalade Boy

Marmalade Boy is a shōjo manga by Wataru Yoshizumi. It was published by Shueisha in the magazine Ribon from May 1992 to October 1995 and collected in eight tankōbon volumes.  The manga was published in English by Tokyopop, which also licensed the anime series. Tokyopop has since lost the license to the manga series, as Shueisha refused to renew it, leaving the releases out of print.

Marmalade Boy first premiered in the May 1992 issue of Ribon where it was serialized monthly until its conclusion in the October 1995 issue. The 39 unnamed chapters were collected and published in eight tankōbon volumes by Shueisha starting on December 12, 1992; the last volume was released February 20, 1996. Shueisha later republished the series in six special edition volumes. The first special edition volume was released on March 15, 2004, with new volumes published monthly until the final volume was released on August 11, 2004.

The series was licensed for an English language release in North America by Tokyopop. The individual chapters were serialized by the company’s manga anthology, Smile, from December 2001 through April 2002. Tokyopop released the first collected volume of the series on April 23, 2002, releasing new volumes monthly until the final volume was released August 5, 2003. It was one of the first manga series that Tokyopop released in the original Japanese orientation, in which the book is read from right to left, and with the original sound effects left in place. Tokyopop’s volumes of the series are out of print. Shueisha refused to renew the company’s license of the series after becoming part-owner of rival publisher Viz Media. It is also licensed for regional language releases in France by Glenat, in Mexico by Grupo Editorial Vid, in Spain by Planeta DeAgostini Comics, in Italy by Planet Manga, and in Germany by Egmont.

In the week of March 31, 2013, a sequel to Marmalade Boy titled Marmalade Boy Little went on sale in the year’s fifth issue of Cocohana. While Miki and Yuu make appearances, the new series, set 13 years after the end of the earlier one, focuses on Rikka Matsuura and Saku Koishikawa, Yuu and Miki’s respective sister and brother.

Novels

The final volume of original Japanese release of the Marmalade Boy Japanese light novels. Marmalade Boy was adapted into a series of Japanese light novels by Yumi Kageyama, with Wataru Yoshizumi acting as illustrator. The ten volume series was published under Shueisha’s Cobalt Bunko label from July 1994 through March 1996.

Plot

Miki Koishikawa’s ordinary life as a sophomore in high school is turned upside down when her parents suddenly announce that they are getting divorced in order to swap partners with a couple they met back in Hawaii. They seek her approval of the shocking change, and while at a restaurant during dinner where Miki meets the other couple as well as their teenage son Yuu Matsura, who is around her age, she reluctantly agrees to the arrangement. At first, Yuu appears to be a complete jerk who takes every opportunity to make fun of and tease Miki, but he actually turns out to be fun and attractive, and Miki finds herself falling in love with him. Little by little, she accepts her new family arrangement and opens up to Yuu as they become best friends.

After a while, Miki and Yuu’s relationship starts to become complicated because of the former relationships that they’ve had and developed with other characters. These include Miki’s long time classmate and former crush from middle school, Ginta Suou, and Yuu’s former girlfriend from his previous school, Arimi Suzuki. A secondary subplot develops when Miki’s best friend, Meiko Akizuki, herself starts to have her own problems because of the relationship she has gotten into with one of the school teachers, Shin’ichi Namura.

Throughout the series, Miki and Yuu’s relationship is further developed and tried, influenced by the other characters around them and the relationships that they develop with these characters.

Manga Monday- Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan

Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan, known in Japan as Nurarihyon’s Grandson, is a manga series written and illustrated by Hiroshi Shiibashi. The series was first published in Shueisha as a oneshot in 2007. The manga has been continuously serialized in the Japanese manga anthology Weekly Shōnen Jump since March 2008 and has been collected into 25 tankōbon volumes as of December 2012. Viz Media acquired the licensing rights for a North American release of the manga and anime adaptations.

Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan is written and illustrated by Hiroshi Shiibashi and has been serialized in the manga anthology Weekly Shōnen Jump since March 2008. As of December 4, 2012, the series has been collected into 24 tankōbon volumes by Shueisha, with the first being released on August 4, 2008. In the thirtieth issue (2012) of Weekly Shōnen Jump, it was announced that the manga would be leaving the magazine for the conclusion to its final story arc which will run in the seasonally published Jump NEXT! Starting on August 11, 2012 the first of three chapters will be published with a 64-page chapter, and will continue in October and December. The manga was licensed for an English language release by Viz Media who publishes the series chapter wise in its manga anthology Weekly Shonen Jump Alpha since the magazine’s launch on January 30, 2012, and in bound volumes since February 1, 2011. As of February 5, 2013, 13 English-language volumes have been released. The first tankobon was translated by localization company AltJapan Co., Ltd.

The covers of each volume make a continuing picture of all the characters.

Plot

Rikuo Nura is 3/4 human and 1/4 yōkai, in which he has a human form in the day but transforms into his yōkai form at night. He lives in a house full of yōkai along with his yōkai grandfather. Trying to escape his fate, he does good deeds in order to avoid becoming a yōkai, despite his grandfather’s wish that Rikuo succeed him as the Third Head of the Nura Clan. Rikuo is different because he helps humans. He eventually comes to terms with his yōkai blood and decides to take up the position of the Third Head of the Nura Clan. Multiple factions aim to stop him or usurp his position, and he must gather friends and allies, a new Hyakki Yakō under his banner of “Fear”.

Storyline

Gyuki’s Test Arc
The Kiyojuji Paranormal Patrol travels to Mt. Nejireme at the invitation of a supposed yōkai specialist. However, the invitation turns out to have been a trap by the head of the Gyuki Clan. Separated, the members of the Kiyojuji Paranormal Patrol must deal with yōkai of the Gyuki Clan and Rikuo ultimately faces Gyuki himself. Rikuo learns that Gyuki set up the trap because he didn’t want the Nura Clan, which he greatly cherishes, to suffer under the influence of a weak leader.The two clash and Gyuki is overwhelmed by Rikuo’s night form. Afterward, Rikuo decides to take up the mantle of Nurarihyon and officially become the next Nura Clan head.
Shikoku Arc
When one of the board members of the Nura Clan is attacked and killed, and Nurarihyon subsequently disappears without notice, the Nura Clan is thrown into chaos. Trying to keep them together, Rikuo encounters a rival faction from the Shikoku area who intend to take over the Nura Clan’s territory. Their leader, Tamazuki, is ruthless and willing to sacrifice his subordinates to further his own goals. Rikuo and his Hyakki Yakō battle with Tamazuki and his Hachijuuhakki Yakō (consisting of 88 demons, instead of the 100 of a Hyakki Yakō) and emerge victorious.However, Rikuo decides to spare Tamazuki after the battle at the request of his father – who Nurarihyon had gone to visit. Tamazuki is spared under the condition that he build a memorial in honor of the subordinates who died by his hand.
Past Arc
The story of Rikuo’s grandparents Nurarihyon and Yohime, the creation of the spirit blade Nenekirimaru and the battle against Hagoromo Gitsune 400 years ago.
Tono Arc
When Haguromo Gitsune resurfaces in Kyoto, Rikuo is determined to fight her and take revenge for his father’s death – as well as rescue Yura, who has gone to aid the rest of the Keikain family in protecting Kyoto. However, as he is still too inexperienced and weak, his grandfather asks the head of the yōkai Tono Village to take in and train Rikuo. After an encounter with one of the Kyoto Yokai, Rikuo comes to realize what sort of power the yōkai Nurarihyon possesses and, having grown stronger, leaves along with several Tono Yokai to return to the Nura House and prepare for the assault on Kyoto.
Kyoto Arc
Rikuo, along with the vast majority of the Nura Clan and several yōkai from Tono, invade Kyoto. Nearly all of the onmyoji barriers around the city have been destroyed by Kyoto Yokai, and the Keikain House itself struggles to fight against Hagoromo Gitsune’s forces. They ultimately join forces with Rikuo’s Hyakki Yakō to replace the fallen barriers and stop Hagoromo Gitsune from giving birth to a new evil.
Hundred Tales Clan Arc
After the battle with Hagoromo Gitsune’s forces and the resurrected Abe no Seimei, also known as Nue, Rikuo and the Nura Clan are challenged by the remnants of the Hundred Tales Clan and its executives. The clan was once led by a human named Sanmoto Gorozaemon who grew in power by spreading stories about yōkai and in turn created them. The group was destroyed by Rihan and the Nura Clan 350 years ago. Now, the clan is encroaching on the Nura Clan’s territory and working to revive Sanmoto’s main body, which resides in hell.
Gokadoin House Arc
Following the battle with Sanmoto Gorozaemon and his Hundred Tales Clan, it was revealed that the onmyoji sect known as the Gokadoin House is composed of Abe no Seimei’s descendants who used Seimei’s forbidden research on immortality to prolong their lives. When the Gokadoin house starts mobilizing to “purify” the land of yōkai and humans, Rikuo starts to establish an alliance between the various yokai clans throughout Japan.

Manga Monday- Ao Haru Ride

Blue Spring Ride is a Japanese shōjo manga series written and illustrated by Io Sakisaka. It began serialization in the February 2011 issue of Shueisha’s Bessatsu Margaret and ended in February 2015.

Manga

Blue Spring Ride is written and illustrated by Io Sakisaka. Serialization began in the February 2011 issue of Shueisha’s manga magazine Bessatsu Margaret. The first tankōbon volume was released on 13 April 2011, and the twelfth volume was released on December 12, 2014 along with the anime’s 13th and final episode. The manga series ended on 13 February 2015.

Tokyo Pop released a German translation of the first volume in December 2012 and, as of June 2014, has released seven volumes under the title Blue Spring Ride. Kana released a French translation of the first volume on 5 July 2013 and, as of July 2014, has released six volumes under the title Blue Spring Ride. Panini Comics released an Italian translation of the first volume in September 2013 and, as of May 2014, has released five volumes under the title Ao haru ride – A un passo da te. Tong Li Publishing released a Chinese translation of the first volume in January 2013 and, as of June 2014, has released seven volumes under the title 閃爍的青春. Waneko released a Polish translation of the first volume in February 2014 and, as of June 2014, has released three volumes under the title Ścieżki Młodości. Viz Media announced during their Anime Boston2018 panel that they will publish the manga in English. The manga has sold over 5.84 million copies as of 9 May 2014.

Plot

Futaba Yoshioka is a 17-year-old high school student who has an inferiority complex, as she has the need to fit with her female friends by acting brash towards the male students, due to a history of attracting the latter which made other girls jealous and ostracize her, as a result causing her to feel that her life is nothing interesting. She finally abandons her facade when she befriends fellow outcast Yuri Makita, who is adamant in keeping her “cutesy” personality in exchange for being ostracized. At the same time, Futaba is surprised when she reunites with Kou Tanaka, whom she befriended during middle school and with whom she had mutual love until he abruptly moved away to Nagasaki to live with his late mother. She is disappointed, however, as the new Kou is going with his mother’s surname “Mabuchi” and seems to be a completely different person than she knew back then, as he is now a rude, cold, and sneaky individual. Kou enrolls in the school under supervision of his brother, Yoichi Tanaka, who teaches at the school.

However, Futaba and Kou have to work together when they apply for the class representative positions, assisted by event representatives Yuri, the also-outcast Shuko Murao who harbors feelings for the elder Tanaka brother, and her admirer, Aya Kominato. The five attend the leadership training and are able to form a bond. After the training, Yuri realizes that she has fallen in love with Kou and confesses during summer festival, but is rejected. Instead, she decides to support Futaba’s attempt to woo him and ends up falling in love with Uchiyama, a member of the school band. Meanwhile, after an embarrassing first meeting, Futaba is admired by Toma Kikuchi, Uchiyama’s bandmate, who begins inroads to make her turn from Kou and fall for him. He gets his attempt when Kou’s middle school friend from Nagasaki, Yui Narumi moves to Tokyo and begs him to take care of her. This causes Futaba to think that anymore attempt to woo Kou is futile, and, after a formal rejection from him, accept Kikuchi’s confession.

Nevertheless, Futaba struggles to erase Kou from her mind and be serious in her relationship with Kikuchi. Kou, who is revealed to have always loved Futaba after all those years, realizes that Narumi is dragging him back and decides to end their relationship. As Futaba’s relationship with Kikuchi becomes complicated with Kou making moves towards her, she chooses to separate from Kikuchi at the end of the school year. With Kikuchi out of the picture for Christmas, Futaba agrees to meet Kou in the same place where they promised to meet years before until his transfer, but it is cut short when Kou is involved in an accident. At the hospital, Futaba and Kou declare their love for each other.

The new couple’s first task together is helping Kominato confess to Murao. At the start of the new school year, Tanaka also decides to move to the United States to pursue further education and discover new things, wishing his brother happiness out from sulking about their mother’s death. To assure his family that he is well, Kou reverts his surname back to Tanaka. The series ends with Futaba and Kou seeking refuge from the rain at a temple like they did years before, which Futaba interprets as the evidence that something interesting has finally started for her.