Anime 2010 Q3 & Q4

New anime

Amagami SS

Amagami (アマガミ Gentle Bite), is a dating simulation game developed for PlayStation 2 released on March 19, 2009. The anime adaptation  Amagami SS begun airing on July 1, 2010 with a planned 24 episodes.

Opening and ending themes are:

1. “i Love” by azusa DOWNLOAD
2. “Kimi no Hitomi ni Koishiteru (キミの瞳に恋してる)” by Shizuka Itou
3. “Kitto Ashita wa… (Surely Tomorrow…)” by Rina Satou DOWNLOAD
4. “Kitto Ashita wa… (きっと明日は…)” by Rina Satou
5. “Anata Shika Mienai (I Only See You)” by Hiromi Konno
6. “Anata Shika Mienai (あなたしか見えない)” by Hiromi Konno
7. “Koi wa Mizu-iro (恋はみずいろ)” by Yukana
8. “Koi wa Aserazu (恋はあせらず)” by Ryoko Shintani

Tachibana Junichi, a second-year high school boy, is put in an uneasy situation during Christmas due to a past incident. This Christmas will be his last chance to ask out a graduating senior Morishima Haruka, a popular senior student with many adoring fans.

OR he can ask out one of several other classmates. There is class representative Ayatsuji Tsukasa, a seemingly kind and friendly hard worker but is really a manipulative and cunning person. There is Sakurai Rihoko, a girl with a huge appetite, Tanamachi Kaoru his childhood friend, Nakata Sae and Nanasaki Ai.

Pick any or pick all, what’s there to lose? A guy can only wish.

Bakuman
Bakuman is a shonen manga written by Tsugumi Ohba and illustrated by Takeshi Obata. It was originally published August. 8, 2008 and is ongoing. The anime adaptation is produced by J.C. Staff with a run date of October 2, 2010 until Spring 2011. It has a scheduled 25 episodes for the anime series.

The opening and ending themes are:
1. “Blue Bird” by Kobukuro
2. “Bakurock ~Mirai no Rinkakusen~” (Bakurock ~未来の輪郭線~, Bakurock: Outline the Future) by Yakyim

The series follows a talented artist Moritaka Mashiro and an aspiring writer Akito Takagi, two ninth graders, who wish to enter the world of manga. After Mashiro accidentally leaves his notebook in class, with drawings depicting his crush on classmate Azuki Miho, Takagi tries to convince Mashiro to illustrate for his writings. Join him, or he will hold on to the notebook, or worse…

Reluctant and disillusioned by the fate of his uncle as a mangaka, Mashiro is sucked into the Takagi’s dream after his crush Miho reveals she too wants to be a voice actor for animes. They promise to marry each other only after achieving their dreams. So begins Mashiro long and arduous journey of becoming a famous mangaka. After three unsuccessfully launches or different titles, can Mashiro still stay strong and follow through?

Fortune Arterial: Akai Yakusoku

Fortune Arterial (フォーチュン アテリアル Fōchun Ateriaru) is an adult game developed by August and illustrated by Bekkankō for Windows PC in 2008. A PlayStation 3 game is being developed. The manga adaptation, illustrated by Sasaki Akane, was serialized from September 2007 to April 2008. A second serialization of the manga illustrated by Kodama Miki was released in November 2007. A series of six erotic light novels came after that, each focusing on a different heroine, between June 2008 and June 2009. The novel is written by Okada Runa and drawn by the original game artist. Apart from that, the series also produced five drama CDs from August to December 2008, each featuring a different heroine. This, in turn, led to an Internet Radio Show broadcasted biweekly since September 2009. An anime adaptation by Zexcs and Feel for the series will be aired October 2, 2010 with 12 episodes.

The opening and ending themes are:

1. “絆-kizunairo-色” by Lia
2. “I miss you” by Veil

The story revolves around Hasekura Kohei, who has never enjoyed a stable schooling life, what with his parents’ constant moves. They finally enroll him into a traditional and prestigious Christian boarding school on Tamatsu Island off-shore from mainland Japan. The English school, Shuchikan Academy (修智館学院 Shuchikan Gakuin), is a traditional 6-year education system with juniors and high-schoolers intermingling. Thinking he will finally settle into an uninterrupted school life he’s always dreamed of, he discovers that the students are all a little weird. What’s more, a student from a class next door, Sendo Erika, is in fact a vampire. Her brother Iori is the student council president and a vampire as well. The siblings are very popular in school due to their stature and beauty.

Hyakka Ryouran: Samurai Girls

Hyakka Ryōran Samurai Girls (百花繚乱 SAMURAI GIRLS) is a light novel series written by Akira Suzuki. It is adapted to anime by ARMS with designs illustrated by y Niθ. An advanced broadcast of the first episode aired on September 4, 2010. The anime series officially begins airing on October 3, 2010 with a scheduled 12 episodes. The OVA:Hyakka Ryōran Samurai Girls: A Maiden’s Happy Yet Embarrassing Pledge is released on November 2010 with 6 episodes (ending April 2011).

The opening and ending themes are:

1. “Last vision for last” by Faylan
2. “Koi ni Sesse Tooryanse (恋にせっせ通りゃんせ)” by Aoi Yuki, Minako Kotobuki and Rie Kugimiya

In an alternate reality, the Tokugawa Shogunate remains in power into the 21st century, thus isolating Japan from the rest of the world. It is loosely based on the Sengoku period of Japan, a time of war and chaos fought by warring leaders. Student councils in schools are tasked with oppressing its student.

Enter Yagyuu Muneakira, a 16-year-old high school student of a giant academy for children of military families at the foot of Mount Fuji. He rebels against the council with the aid of girls who carry the names of famous samurai heroes. The girls of one faction, Yukimura Sanada and Matabei Gotou rebel against the ruling student council Tokugawa Sen (Sen-hime) and Hattori Hazou (to name a few), while Yagyuu Jubei and Mineakira are caught in the middle.

Kuragehime
Kuragehime (海月姫, Jellyfish Princess) is a shojou manga written and illustrated by Akiko Higashimura since November 10, 2008 until present. The series received the Kodansha Manga Award for best shoujo manga in 2010. The 11-episode anime adaptation produced by Brain’s Base will run beginning October 15, 2010.
The opening and ending themes are:

1. “Koko Dake no Hanashi” (ここだけの話) by Chatmonchy
2. “Kimi no Kirei ni Kizuite Okure” (きみのきれいに気づいておくれ) by Sambomaster

Protagonist Tsukimi  (月海) is a jellyfish otaku (fan) who moves to Tokyo. into an all women-only apartment complex called Amamizukan, to become an illustrator. The residents are mostly fujoshi (diehard female otaku), NEETs (“Not in Education, Employment or Training” – unemployed, single, not in school 15-34-year-olds), and women who consider fashion their enemy – Amars. By chance, she bumps into a beautiful and fashionable woman who save a jellyfish. Tsukimi invites “her” to the Amamizukan only to discover that “she” is a cross-dresser evading his father’s business succession.

Legend of the Legendary Heroes

The Legend of the Legendary Heroes (伝説の勇者の伝説, Densetsu no Yuusha no Densetsu) is a light novel written by Takaya Kagami and illustrated by Saori Toyota. The first volume was published from February 25, 2002 to October 25 2006 with 11 volumes. It’s sequel, The Legend of the Great Heroes of Legend (大伝説の勇者の伝 説)was published in October 2007 with 8 volumes. There are two spin-off series: The Legend of Legendary Heroes Anyway (とりあえず伝説の勇者の伝説) from December 2002 to June 2007 with 11 volumes, and The Legend of the Black Fallen Hero (堕ちた黒い勇者の伝説) from December 2007 to September 2009 with 5 volumes. The series has also Drama CD, a manga adaptation with 3 bound volumes and a PSP video game released on February 18, 2010. A 26 episode anime adaptation premiered on July 1st, 2010 and is simulcasting on Funimation Entertainment in North America.

There is an opening and ending theme:

1. “LAMENT~やがて喜びを~” (LAMENT ~Yagate Yorokobi wo~) by Aira Yuki
2. “Truth Of My Destiny” by Ceui.

Main protagonist Ryner Lute is a lazy student of the Roland Empire Royal Magician’s Academy. The Empire goes to war against neighboring country Estabul, and uses the students to guard the front lines. Soon enough, they will learn that the war is a trap for Sion Astal, the heir of a nobleman, who is hated by his step brothers. Ryner loses his classmates to this senseless war, while Sion vouches to change their world for the better. At the command of a later crowned Emperor Sion, Ryner goes on a journey with Ferris in search of the relics of a “Legendary Hero.”  During the journey, he unravels conspiracy throughout Roland and its neighboring countries.

FULL STORY | legend of the legendary heroes

MM!
MM! (えむえむっ! Emu Emu!) is a romantic light novel written by Matsuno Akinari with illustrations by QP: flapper from February 2007 to present. Two years later, the manga adaptation was serialized. In 2010, a drama CD adaptation was released. The anime adaptation of the series with a scheduled 12 episodes will be aired beginning October 2, 2010.

The opening and ending themes are:

1: “HELP!! -Hell side-” by Ayana Taketatsu
2. “More-more LOVERS!!” by Natsuko Aso

The protagonist, Sado Taro, is a high-schooler with a masochistic sexual fetish, caused by Arashiko Yuuno, his long-time friend since middle school. Yuuno is an androphobia who can’t bare to be touched by a man (sounds suspiciously like the girl in Working!!)

To counter his condition, he joins the Volunteer Club to find a cure. There, he meets students who are in the same boat as him, all having mental problem(s) ranging from cross dressing to superiority complex. As if his environment in school isn’t bad enough, his mother, sister and cousin are all in love with him and want to have a relationship with him. Oh did I mention that he cross-dresses too and a fellow cross-dresser is infatuated with his female persona?

Nurarihyon no Mago

Nurarihyon no Mago (ぬらりひょんの孫 Grandchild of Nurarihyon) is a manga series written and illustrated by Hiroshi Shiibashi in 2007 with a total of 10 tankoubon volumes as of April 2010. A drama CD was also released in December 2009. The series is adapted into anime by Stuiod DEEN and will begin airing July 5, 2010 with a scheduled 24 episodes.

It’s opening and ending themes are:

1. “Fast Forward” by Monkey Majik
2. “Sunshine” by Monkey Majik (ep. 14-present)
3. Sparky☆Start” by Katate☆SIZE (ep. 1-13)
4. “Symphonic☆Dream” by Katate☆SIZE (ep. 14-present)

Nura Rikou  is one part youkai (demon) and three parts human. He lives with his youkai grandfather in a house filled with spirits that call him “Master.” He constantly does good deeds to escape his fate of becoming a demon himself, despite his grandfather’s wishes of his succession to the Nura clan.

However, he soon comes to terms with his demon blood and his place in the House of Nura. Factions arise to stop and overtake his position as Rikou gathers friends and allies to strengthen his claim to spread “Fear.”

Rikou looks innocent and kind enough, being all but 12 years old. His alter ego Nigh Rikou, on the other hand, is what the rest of the demon world are waiting for to appear and lead them on their fear parade.

At first glance, the premise of the story is akin to Shonen Onmyouji, where the grandson is forced to succeed and live up to the family name. However, one character exorcises demons, while the other is the demon himself. They both, however, live with an array of demons as friends.

FULL STORY | nurarihyon no mago

Ore no Imouto ga Konnani Kawaii Wake ga Nai

Ore no Imōto ga Konna ni Kawaii Wake ga Nai (俺の妹がこんなに可愛いわけがない My Little Sister Can’t Be This Cute), also known as Oreimo, is a comedic light novel series written by Tsukasa Fushimi and illustrated by Hiro Kanzaki. It was first published in August 2008. Seven months later, a manga adaptation was drawn by Sakura Ikeda and is ongoing. The 12-episode anime adaptation is produced by AIC and begin airing October 3, 2010. Four additional OVA episodes will be released in June and July 2011.

Seventeen-year-old Kyousuke Kousaka’s relationship with his fourteen-year-old sister, Kirino, is tumultuous, to say the least. It is so bad that they barely have any interactions minus the occasional greetings with spurned eyes. This changes when he happens upon an adult video entitled, “Imouto to Koishiyo! (Love with Little Sister!)” in the doorway of their home. As he searches for the owner of the video, he is shocked to find it belongs to Kirino.

Soon, she introduces him to her collection of moe anime and lolicon bishoujo games she has amassed secretly thanks to their anti-otaku policeman father.

Otome Youkai Zakuro

Otome Yōkai Zakuro (おとめ妖怪 ざくろ) is a supernatural and period manga written by Lily Hoshino since 2006 and is on-going. It is later adapted to anime by Aniplex. It airs October 4, 2010 with 13 episodes.

The opening and ending themes are:

1. “MOON SIGNAL” by Sphere
2. Hatsukoi wa Zakuro-iro (初戀は柘榴色)” by Mai Nakahara and Takahiro Sakurai (ep 1)
3. “Futari Sei (二人静)” by Kana Hanazawa and Satoshi Hino
4. “Junjou Masquerade (純情マスカレイド)” by Aki Toyosaki, Yui Horie and Yuki Kaji

In an alternate history of the Meiji period, humans and youkai co-exist. The youkais are fox-eared girls, called younin, who live in the youkai part of town, separated from the humans.

To promote and maintain harmony between the humans and youkais, the government set up a Ministry of Youkai to deal with interracial problems. The delegation consists of both humans and youkai, with Zakuro the half-human, half-youkai as part of the team.

Psychic Detective Yakumo

Psychic Detective Yakumo (心霊探偵 八雲 Shinrei Tantei Yakumo) is a mystery novel written by Manabu Kaminaga with illustrations drawn by Katoh Akatsuki since 2004 and is ongoing. The book has been adapted into two manga series, a live-action TV drama series with 13 episodes (2006), a stage play and recently an anime. The anime, produced by Bee Train with character designs by Minako Shiba, aired on October 3, 2010 with a scheduled 13 episodes.

The opening and ending themes are:

1. “Key” by Daisuke Ono
2. “Missing You” by Lisa Komine

College student Yakumo Saitou is born with different colored eyes. His red left eye gives him the ability to see spirits and ghosts. He believes the ability was given to him to help the spirits bound to earth find their peace. His brusque and unkept appearance turns away many humans, including Haruka Ozawa, a fellow student. However, she is forced to seek his aid when a friend is possessed by a spirit. He proves his abilities to her when he conveys messages from her dead older sister. The friend’s possession is only a prologue to the sinister happenings at their university.

Shiki

Shiki (屍鬼 Corpse Demon) is a horror novel by novelist Fuyumi Ono, originally published in 1998. A manga adaption illustrated by Ryu Fujisaki was serialized from December 2007 onwards. The anime adaptation by Daume begins broadcasting on July 8, 2010, with US simulcasting with Funimation Entertainment on their online video portal.

There is an opening and ending theme to the series:

1. Buck-Tick’s “Kuchizuke” (くちづけ, Kiss)
2. Nangi’s “Walk no Yakusoku” (walkの約束, Promise of the Walk)

 

In the small and quiet village of Sotoba, death mysteriously spreads across the village. Simultaneously, a strange family, the Kirishiki, moves into a long abandoned mansion of Kanemasa. A young resident of the village, Natsuno Yuuki, who despises living in the small town, begins to be pursued and surrounded by death. Country girl, Shimizu Megumi, who has a one-sided crush on him, goes missing, only to be found in the woods but later dies from a supposed anemic disease. The dean of the hospital, Toshio Ozaki thinks it’s an epidemic. But as the deaths increases, he begins to realize that the village may be attacked by vampires.

FULL STORY | shiki

Star Driver: Kagayaki no Takuto
Star Driver: Kagayaki no Takuto (STAR DRIVER 輝きのタクト Sutā Doraibā Kagayaki no Takuto) is a machinery action anime created and animated by BONES and produced by Aniplex. The characters are designed by Yoshiyuki Ito and Hiroka and Misa Mizuya. The anime first televised on Oct. 3, 2010, with Aniplex of America premiering the first episode at the New York Comic Con/Anime Fest on Oct. 9, 2010. It takes over the time slot of Sengoku Basara 2. It is scheduled for 25 episodes.

Pretty boy Tsunashi Takuto swims from the mainland to the island of Southern Cross Isle for a better life. He later enrolls into Southern Cross High School as a senior and befriends Agemaki Wako, a shrine maiden, and her fiancee Shindou Sugata. Beneath their school in an ancient ruin, lies the mysterious and gigantic humanoid robots (22 of them), Cybodies, which can only be activated by shrine maidens like Wako. A mysterious organization known as “Kiraboshi Juujidan” or Order of the Glittering Star Cross abducts Wako for the purpose of powering the robots, but Takuto goes to her rescue with his own Cybody Tauburn. They are soon caught in the web of secrets, while trying to prevent disasters or worse war!

Tono to Issho

Tono to Issho is a historical but comedic manga series by Ohba-Kai that parodies the daily lives and details the eccentricities of Japan’s top generals during the sengoku (Era of Warring States) period.

The OVA was released earlier this year on March 25, 2010.

The series is a spoof off famous territorial lords like Date Masamune and Uesugi Kenshin with their followers and historical events (throw in a Doraemon, earlier versions of Gundam and this could either be a disaster or something to astound). The anime aired beginning July 5, 2010 and is simulcasted on Crunchyroll. These are the same characters in the anime Sengoku Basara.

Continuing

Bleach (Season 14)

Bleach is an ongoing shonen manga series written and illustrated by Tite Kubo (Noriaki Kubo). The manga began since 2001 and was soon adapted to anime on Oct. 5, 2004. This series has even branched out to movies, CDs/OSTs, trading card game, video games for different consoles, books and even a musical.

The series is about a teenage boy, Kurosaki Ichigo, living in Karakura town, who lost his mother when he was young. In the process he was able to see dead people, and the soul reapers/shinigamis (死神) who come for them. He assumes the duty of shinigami when the official soul reaper sent to guard his town, Kuchiki Rukia, is unable to perform her duties when she is severely injured in a battle with a hollow trying to protect Ichigo. Rukia then transfers some of her reiatsu (霊圧 – spirit energy) to Ichigo to enable him to defeat the hollow, but he unwittingly absorbs all her energy. Because of her lost powers, she is stranded in the human world, unable to return to Soul Society.

After a few months, the Soul Society’s higher-ups receive word of Rukia illegally giving away her powers and sends a detachment to arrest her. She is returned to Soul Society to await her false trial and immediate execution thereafter. Together with his classmates who possess spiritual abilities, Chad, Orihime Inoue, Ishida Uryuu (a Quincy) and ex-shinigami captain Shihouin Yoruichi, they travel to Soul Society to rescue Rukia. Once there, Ichigo and his classmates battle Soul Society’s elite, from vice-captains to captains and successfully rescues Rukia.

Rukia’s execution was conjured up by Captain Sousuke Aizen (3), who faked his death, to usurp powers in Soul Society. He betrays his fellow shinigamis to ally himself with the strongest of hollows, the arrancar. Ichigo then joins forces with Soul Society’s ranking shinigamis when they realize that Aizen’s next target of destruction is his hometown. Orihime Inoue is kidnapped by Aizen’s subordinate and Ichigo and a few friends are forced to enter Hueco Mundo, the hollow’s world, to rescue Inoue. Now that the forces are split, there are less shinigamis defending Soul Society, Karakura town and rescuing Inoue.

Season 15 of Bleach (of the same manga written and illustrated by Tite Kubo) will begin airing on April 13, 2010 to present. It continues with the Shinigamis facing off the Arrancar in Karakura Town. Meanwhile Ichigo and his friends fend off the Arrancar to try to rescue Inoue yet again. Aizen shows he is not only a true villain, but a exceptionally powerfully one too.

The season’s opening and ending theme are:

1. miwa’s “chAngE” (ep. 266-291)
2. SID’s “Melody of the Wild Dance” (乱舞のメロディ, Rambu no Merodi) (ep. 292-present)
3. DIGGY-MO’s “Stay Beautiful” (ep. 266-278)
4. Universe’s “Echoes” (ep. 279-291)
5. SPYAIR’s “Last Moment” (ep. 292 -present)

Will Ichigo become stronger to save his friend(s), Soul Society and Karakura Town? That’s a lot of burden for such narrow shoulders. Also, Inoue has a serious job as the resident damsel in distress. Not only that, but she’s the ultimate dumb blond (with red hair), and irritating as hell. Stop being such a timid wuss. You give girls with big boobs a bad name!! Like Inuyasha, I’m forced to watch this, just because I’ve “gone through so much” with it. It started out really good. Unfortunately, it has also gotten bad very quickly. “Kono reiatsu…”

FULL STORY | bleach season 14

Fairy Tail

FairyTailFairy Tail is a manga created by Hiro Mashima serialized since Aug. 23. 2006 and is ongoing. Season 1 of the anime began airing on Oct. 12, 2009 and will end on September 27, 2010 with a total of 48 episodes. Even though it was initially meant for only one season, due to the popularity of the series, a second season was announced and will begin airing on October 2010. This series is also being developed as a game for PS by Konami.

Opening Themes:
1. “Snow fairy” by FUNKIST
2. “S.O.W. Sense of Wonder (S.O.W.センスオブワンダー)” by Idoling!!!DOWNLOAD
3. “Ft.” by Funkist (ep. 25-35)
4. “R.P.G. ~Rockin’ Playing Game” by SuG (ep. 36-42)
5. “Egao No Mahou – Airi” by Magic Party (ep. 49-60) DOWNLOAD
6. “Fiesta” by +Plus (61-present)

Ending Theme:
1. “Kanpeki gu~no ne (完璧ぐ~のね)” by Watarirouka Hashiri Tai (ep. 1-11)
2. “Tsuioku Merry-Go-Round (追憶メリーゴーランド)” by onelifecrew (ep. 12-24)
3. “Gomen ne Watashi” by Shiho Nanba (ep. 25-35)
4. “Kimi ga Iru Kara” by Mikuni Shimokawa (ep. 36-42)
5. “HOLY SHINE” by Daisy X Daisy (EP. 49-60)
6. “Be as One” by w-inds (61-present)

It begins with Lucy Heartfilia meeting Natsu Dragnell and his best friend, Happy a flying cat, who is searching for a dragon, Igneel. Turns out, Igneel is Natsu’s foster father, the one who raised him and taught him the skills of a dragon slayer. Shortly after their meeting, Lucy is abducted by a person posing as Salamander of Fairy Tail, only to be sold as a slave. Natsu rescues her and reveals that he is the real Salamander. He then brings Lucy into the land of Fiore, and she is accepted as a Fairy Tale Guild member. Soon after, the three become teammates, together with two more Guild members, Gray Fullbuster and Erza Scarlet. Of the lot, Lucy brings forth a saner and calmer side to the rest of the team, albeit being exceptionally klutzy.

This is a cute magician story about impatience while striving to better oneself and never giving up on one’s friends.

FULL STORY | fairy tail

Katanagatari

Katanagatari (刀語, Sword Story – Katana monogatari) is a light novel series written by Nisio Isin and illustrated by Take from January 2007 to December 2007 with a total of 12 volumes. The series was animated by White Fox and began airing on January 25, 2010. The anime is a monthly series of an hour-long episode each (not the usual weekly supplement of 30-minute airing). It is scheduled for a total of 12 episode.

The series is based on the retrieval of 12 katanas created by Shikizaki Kiki, a fictional swordsmith, which is spread across the land and owned by different characters. During the Edo era, under the Bakufu (幕府)/ Shogunate, the famed katanas are ordered to be found and returned to the imperial court, to prevent uprising against the emperor. Samurai general and self-named strategist of the emperor, Togame, sets out to collect the swords with the aid of one highly skilled swordmaster. Said swordsman, is the 7th head of the Kyotouryuu (swordless style) house of Japanese sword martial arts Yasuri Shichika. He has been living in exile with his sister, Nanami, and father, Yasuri Matsue, in the Island of Fushou. Ironically, even though he calls himself a swordsman, he doesn’t ever wield a sword. The Yasuri family has no talent in wielding swords.

The opening and ending themes are:

1. “Meiya Kadenrou (冥夜花伝廊)” by Minami Kuribayashi
2. “Tasogare no Gekka” (誰そ彼の月華) by Yousei Teikoku
3. “Refulgence” by Shoujobyo
4. “Senhon Senjo no Jinkyuu Uta” (千本千女の刃毬唄) by Aki Hata
5. “Kyomu no Hana” (虚無の華) by kukui
6. “Ai to Makoto” (愛と誠) by Yukari Tamura

The conversations are lengthy, if not unnecessary and self-serving. It is not your average manga art, a definite different style of drawing, with bright and vibrant colors. The storyline though is strong enough not to be detracted from the constant rambling. The fighting scenes and style is definitely not lacking. More fight less talk and the anime will definitely thrive.

FULL STORY | katanagatari

Naruto Shippuden (Season 8 & 9)

Naruto_SageNaruto began as a manga series by Masashi Kishimoto, which was later adapted to an anime series that started airing in 2002 until present. The anime, much like the manga, is split into two parts: the time split in the manga is simply named Part I & II while the anime is named Naruto and Naruto Shippuden. The second part of the series takes place two and a half years after the first part ends.

The series is about a young and rash ninja from Konohagakure, the Leaf Village named Uzumaki Naruto. The story unfolds as Naruto searches for recognition and acknowledgment from his peers and elders as he aspires to become the Hokage – leader of the village. As a baby, the Nine-Tailed Demon Fox (kyuubi) was sealed in him to protect Konohagakure (the Leaf Village). However, the villagers, who were very much afraid of kyuubi, transferred that fear to the infant and eventually the child. Naruto grew up hated and mistreated by Konoha’s residents throughout most of his childhood.

Naruto, together with Uchiha Sasuke and Haruno Sakura are placed in Team 7 lead by Hatake Kakashi. Even though the team seemed mismatched at first, the soon find that they complement each other. The noisy idiot, with the skilled genius and the quick-tempered thinker quickly become one. However, Sasuke has a one-track mind – he vows to avenge his family and clan by killing his beloved older brother. When the chance is presented upon him, he takes it and leaves the village forever. Naruto vows to bring Sasuke back to Sakura, but to do so, he have to become stronger.

Unfortunately for Naruto, he is not the only one with a goal in mind. The Akatsuki is out to capture him, to drain him off the sealed Demon Fox.

At the start of Naruto Shippuden, Naruto returns home from his training with Jiraiya, having learned the Rasengan developed by the Fourth Hokage. Sakura is well-versed in the arts of medical jutsu thanks to Tsunade. Sasuke may just have surpassed the group in skills, training under Orochimaru. History, it seems, is about to repeat itself. The dreaded Akatsuki is on the move, and Gaara, an old friend, is the first of many targets. Soon Team Kakashi gets a new team member as a replacement for a departed Sasuke. Everyone is suspicious of him because he is recommended by Danzou, the person vying for the Hokage seat. Team Kakashi’s new mission is to seek out Sasuke while getting acquainted with a recluse newbie, Sai. While tracking the death of Asuma‘s old friend, Konoha ninjas go up against two immortal Akatsuki members – Kakuzu and Hidan. Naruto improves on the rasengan and creates a new jutsu under the careful tutelage of Kakashi and watchful eyes of Yamato, called the Rasenshuriken. Shikamura learns the horror of wars and finally lives up to his fullest potential to avenge a beloved mentor. Finally, Sasuke overpowers and absorbs Orochimaru. Unfortunately, Jiraiya sacrifices his life to learn the truth of Pain, the puppet leader of Akatsuki. Sasuke forms team Hebi to avenge his clan, while Naruto is forced to become stronger just to get a brother home and avenge a beloved teacher and god-father.

The eight season of Naruto Shippuden (Part II of the manga by Masashi Kishimoto) began airing from March 2010 to present. Konohagakure will soon learn of the Sage’s demise. The village will have to fortify themselves against their enemy, just as Naruto will surpass his master to avenge him.

The season has a few opening and ending themes.

1. Flow’s “Sign” (ep. 142-153)
2. Azu’s “For You” (ep. 142-153)
3. Motohiro Hata’s “Toumei datta Sekai” (透明だった世界 – Transparent World) (ep. 154-179)
4. Nico Touches the Wall’s “Diver” (ep. 180-present)
5. OreSkaBand’s “Jitensha” (自転車 – Bicycle) (ep. 154-165)
6. Supercell’s “Utakata Hanabi” (うたかた花火) (ep. 166-179)
7. Domino’s “You Can Do It” (ep. 180-192)
8. Aqua Timez’ “Mayonaka no Orchestra” (真夜中のオーケストラ, “Midnight Orchestra”) (193-present)

This series gets better with each season. The storyline is so well-written and the characters very well-developed. It’s like peeling an onion – layers upon layers of tear-jerkers. Everyone’s rooting for you U-Zu-Ma-Ki Naruto! Ganbatte! Fight-O on!! Underdogs of the world unite. Perseverance, patience, friendship and loyalty are all good themes and moral to learn. You watch as all the characters grow from young tots to responsible and courageous teenagers, learning and flourishing with every new challenge thrown at them. Friends become foes, and enemies become allies. History is never learned but doomed to repeat itself. “Dattebayo!”

FULL STORY| naruto shippuden season 9

Returning

Arakawa Under the Bridge x Bridge

Arakawa Under the Bridge x Bridge (荒川アンダー ザ ブリッジ*2 Arakawa Andā za Burijji x Burijji) is a manga series written and illustrated by Nakamura Hikaru since December 2004. It was first adapted to anime from April 4 to June 27, 2010.

The series is renewed for a second season airing October 3, 2010.

It has an opening and ending theme:

1. “Cosmos vs. Alien” by Yakushimaru
2. “Red Coat” (赤いコート Akai Kōto) by Suneohair.

Ichinomiya Kou, has only one rule in life, “Never be indebted to anyone.” He lives by this rule until he almost drowns from an accident. He is rescued by a strange girl who believes she is an alien living under a bridge. She refuses his money to repay his debt, but instead, asks to be his lover. Unable to reject this request, Kou/Ric (his new name short for Recruit) begins his new life under a bridge and meets weird individuals who later are known as “denpasan” – for people living under the bridge.

The humor is dry, but the message hits home. The characters are weirdly interesting and the anime is very much priceless. The second season for the series gets even weirder, and sometimes quite nonsensical. Maybe it’s time to stop watching and writing about it.

FULL STORY | arakawa under the bridge x bridge

Baka to Test

Baka to testBaka to Test to Shoukanjuu (バカとテストと召 喚獣, lit. Idiots, Tests, and Summoned Beasts) is a light novel written by Inoue Kenji and illustrated by Haga Yui. It was first released on January 29, 2007 and has seen a total of nine written volumes. On October 30, 2009, the series was adapted to manga. The anime adaptation was soon released and began airing on January 7, 2010 with a total of 13 episodes.

The opening and ending themes are:

1. “Perfect-area Complete!” by Natsuko Asou
2. “Baka Go Home” by Milktub and BakaTest All Stars
3. “Hare Tokidoki Egao” by Hitomi Harada, Kaori Mizuhashi, Emiri Katou and Tomomi Isomura.

Protagonist Yoshii Akihisa is Fumizuki Academy’s certified idiot / “Baka” – hence the title of the series. The school and staff are stringent in dividing the students based on their academic performance. Students are sorted into classes ranging from A to F based on their entrance exam scores. Class A has only the élite students, and their classroom reflects their high standards, while Class F doesn’t even have proper desks and chairs, as the students resort to using orange boxes as desks and flattened sitting cushions for seating.

Akihisa, together with the rest of his F-Class classmates are embroiled in Summoned Being Wars for many reasons. For Akihisa, it is to get intelligent girl Himeji Mizuki back into the class where she belongs (Class A) since she failed her entrance exam miserable after falling sick. The others, like class rep Sakamoto Yuuji, just wants to prove to others that there are more to life that just being book smart. Perverted ninja Kouta Tsuchiya, bishounen Hideyoshi Kinoshita and tomboyish Minami Shimada just want privileges that goes along with winning each war.

Aside from this caste system, the students of the academy can also conjure up Summoned Beings (Shoukanjuu). The Beings are used for battles between classes to up each other’s standings. The state and prowess of each Summon Beings is based on the knowledge of the Being’s owner.

This is a silly, but entertaining comedic series. Akihisa is constantly used as a punching bag for everyone, except Himeji who finds him endearing. The love-hate relationship of the F & A Class reps is physically painful, yet emotionally soothing.

Second season is under development and will be January 2011.

FULL STORY | baka to test

Hakuouki 2

In 2008, Hakuouki Shinsengumi Kitan was released as a new generation of otomegame (simulation love games for girls) for PlayStation 2. The illustrations of characters was done by Kazuki Yone. Even though the game was yet to be released, a 15-page artbook was first produced by Dengeki called “Girl’s Style.” The series is part historical part fiction. Most of the characters are true Shinsengumi persons depicting their stations during the historical and political period.

The first season aired on April 4, 2010 with a 12 episodes.

The opening and ending themes are:

1. “Izayoi Namida” by Yoshioka Aika
2. “Kimi no Kioku” by Mao

Second season began airing October 4, 2010 entitled Hekketsu-roku.

The opening and ending themes are:

1. Maikaze by Yoshioka Aika
2. Akane Sora ni Negau by Mao

The story begins with young Yukimura Chizuru entering the city of Kyoto in search of her missing father. Unfortunately for her, she is met by criminals but is saved by the Shinsengumi, a special police force of the Shogunate. When they realize that she is the daughter of the doctor they are looking for, they decide to protect her until her father is found. At the height of the story, a cure must be found for a medicine, which although provides the taker with superhuman strength, turns the person into a monster. During their search, the Shinsengumi are also pitted against a changing of the guards: the Bakumatsu (late Tokugawa Shogunate) – final years of Edo period when the Tokugawa Shogunate came to a crashing end (1853-1867).

It’s been a while since a feudal era anime about samurais has been aired and has peaked my interest so (Rurouni Kenshin was the last and most memorable one. Coming in at second place would be Demon Eyes Kyo). It’s very exciting to look forward to this series every week. Each of the characters are heroic and very pleasing to the eyes, not to mention that the storyline – its historical aspects are very educational. Who says you can’t learn anything from TV these days? The only problem (that I can see happening, as the series progresses) will be how much Chizuru is going to get on the audience’s nerves by her half-hearted attempts but she will surely make her way into the hearts of the boys. I already dislike her. Another console war game-turned-anime that should be given a chance is Sengoku Basara.

FULL STORY | hakuouki 2

Kimi ni Todoke

kimi ni todokeKimi ni Todoke: From me to You (君に届け) is a romance manga written by Shiina Karuho and was first published in 2006. In 2008, it won the Best Shojo Manga award. The manga is ongoing, but in March 2009, the authoress took time off for her pregnancy, and resumed as of October 2009. This manga has since been adapted to anime on Oct. 6, 2009 with 25 episodes (which ended on March 30, 2010). The manga has also produced a series of light novels and a video game for Nintendo was released in October 2009. A live-action film adaptation of the series was also released in Japanese theatres on September 25, 2010 starring Mikako Tabe and Haruma Miura (Bloody Monday)

The opening and ending themes are:

1.  “Kimi ni Todoke” by Tanizawa Tomofumi
2. “Kataomoi” is by Chara

The series is about a girl, who is feared and misunderstood because of her appearance but finds an unlikely champion in the school’s most popular and outgoing boy. With this new attention, more people are drawn to her, and as the love grows between both of them, there are others who are jealous and, instead, throw a wrench in their new-found relationship.

The main protagonist, Kuronuma Sawako, who is called by her classmates as Sadako (from the Ring) is a painfully shy but honest person. In comes super popular and good-looking school idol, Kazehaya Shouta, who is not only well-liked, but is kind to Sawako. He takes her under his wing, teaching her to speak up for herself. With this new-found confidence, she earns two new friends: Yano Ayane and Yoshida Chizuru. After the seating arrangement in class is changed, where Kazehaya, Yano, Yoshida and a new boy Sanada Ryuu surround her, things begin to look up for her.

Another beguiling series, on the same line as Hatsukoi Limited and KimiKiss – Pure Rouge. Both characters are shy, but one’s been living under a rock for ages and suddenly sees the light of day.

Season 2 is scheduled for January 2011

FULL STORY | kimi ni todoke

Tegami Bachi: Reverse

Gauche, Steak, Niche & LagTegami Bachi or Letter Bee is written by Asada Hiroyuki and originally serialized in the now defunct Monthly Shonen Jump since January 2007 until February 2010. This shonen manga, entitled Tegami Bachi: Hikari to Ao no Gensou Yawa (Letter Bee: Light and Blue Night Fantasy) was adapted to anime in the fall of 2008. The television series soon premiered on October 3, 2009 and ran with 25 episodes. A second season of the anime, Tegami Bachi Reverse, began airing October 2, 2010. A drama CD, aptly named “Drama CD Tegami bachi,” on Jiggy Pepper was released on February 2009.

The opening and ending themes are:

1. Chisana Mahō (小さな魔法 Little Magic) is by Stereopony
2. Wasurenagusa (勿忘草 Forget-Me-Not) is by Piko

The series revolves around Tegami Bachi / Letter Bee, or to be exact, letter carriers, and their fight against armored insects, Gaichuu, to deliver letters in the surrounding land of Amberground. Gaichuu feeds on human hearts and are attracted to the letters that Letter Bees carry because the letters have “heart” in them too. Once a human is attacked and drained off its heart, it becomes a soul-less vessel that doesn’t respond or eat. That human then dies from starvation.

Gauche Suede is a Letter Bee (a postman) at the Bee Hive. He finds a boy of 7, Lag Seeing, marked as a letter to be delivered to the boy’s aunt, Sabrina Mary, in Campbell Litus. Lag’s mother was kidnapped and brought to a place called Akatsuki. Coincidentally this is the same place that Gauche’s sister, Sylvette, will be able to find cure for her paralysis. Gauche aspires to be the Head Bee to enable his sister to walk again one day. To that end, he goes out of his way to get his jobs done as efficiently as possible to hasten his climb up the ladder. He also reasons that because each letter carries with it the “heart” of the sender, the letters have to be protected and hand-delivered to their destination in one piece.

Little Lag, the underwear-less Niche and emergency food supply Steak are all ultra cute. However, the anime can sometimes be a sleep inducer. It did pick up towards the end, though, with the reappearance of the idolized hero, Gauche, who seems to have had an amnesia.

FULL STORY | tegami bachi reverse

Toaru Majutsu no Index II
Toaru Majutsu no Index (とある魔術の禁書目録(インデックス, A Certain Magical Index of Prohibited Books), is a sci-fi cum fantasy light novel written by Kazuma Kamachi and illustrated by Kiyotaka Haimura first published on April 2004. Three years later, it was serialized into manga that is ongoing. The first 24-episode anime adaptation, produced by J.C. Staff, aired on October 2008, followed by a second 24-episode season airing October 8, 2010. The second season will be streamed on Nico Nico Douga. A side story of the manga series, A Certain Scientific Railgun was serialized in 2007 and later adapted to a 24-episode anime, which aired on October 2009. An ova of Railgun will also be released on October 29, 2010 and a game for PlayStation will be released on January 27, 2011. Funimation is licensed for the series, which will be released in 2011.

The opening and ending themes are:

1. “No Buts!” by Mami Kawada
2. “Magic∞world” by Maon Kurosaki

The series is set in Academy City, a technologically advanced Academic city, which studies scientifically advanced superhuman students with magical powers. Their students are called espers, ranked from a level 0 up till 5. An esper is an individual capable of telepathy and other similar paranormal abilities.

Protagonist Kamijyou Touma is a level 0 esper at Academy City, located west of Tokyo. His right hand, the Imagine Breaker, can negate all magic and psychic powers, as well as his own luck. He finds a young nun named Index from Necessarius, a secret magic branch of the Church of England, hanging from his balcony railing. After saving her, he learns that she has been implanted with the Index Librorum Prohibitorum – 103,000 forbidden magical texts the Church had removed from circulation. His chance meeting with Index leads him into the secret world of science and magic, while uncovering the hidden truths of the Academy City and Index.

Of course, he goes on to amass a harem of not-quite-damsel-in-distresses, starting off with Index a nun, followed by a shrine maiden Himegami Aisa, a level 5 esper Misaka Mikoto and her 10,000 sisters Misaka Misaka, and finally an illusion called Hogyoku. “Fukou da!”

Recently Ended

Asobi ni Iku yo!

Asobi ni Ikuyo! (あそびにいくヨ! Let’s Play!) is a 11-volume light novel series written by Kamino Okina and illustrated by Houden Eizou. A manga soon followed in August 2006. The anime adaptation began airing on July 10, 2010 until Sept. 25, 2010 with 12 episodes.

Opening and ending themes are:

1. “Now loading…SKY!!” by Sphere
2. “Happy Sunshine” by Kanae Ito (eps 4,7) DOWNLOAD
3. “Kokoro no Madobe Nite (心の窓辺にて)” by Kana Hanazawa (eps 1,5) DOWNLOAD
4. “Omoide ga Jama wo Suru (想い出がジャマをする Memories Get in the Way)” by Haruka Tomatsu (eps 3, 6) DOWNLOAD

High school freshman Kakazu Kio of Okinawa is an orphan cared for by his uncle. During a memorial service for his family ancestors, the Tetsuya, he is introduced to a buxom teenager with cat ears and a tail. She immediately tells him she’s an alien on a mission. In fact, the only person who says they are who they are is Kakazu and this new alien girl named Eris. His friends, Manami (CIA wannabe) and Futaba (Momiji with superpowers owned by the Japanese government), and even school teacher (terrorist group) are not who they seem. Soon, the legion of aliens will descend upon earth to enjoy the earthly pleasures just as Eris has.

This is another one of those stories where the main protagonist is so innocently oblivious that he has everyone falling for him. One by one, he begins to collect and amass his harem as the girls appear in various degrees of nudity. Definitely a hentai cartoon.

Giant Killing

Giant Killing is an ongoing Japanese sports manga written by Masaya Tsunamoto that began in April 2007 currently on its 14th volume. Three years later, the series was adapted to a 26-episode anime by Studio DEEN. In the same year, it also won the Kodansha Manga Award for best general manga.

Japanese professional football league, East Tokyo United (ETU), is on a slump. Team moral is down, and even fan support is at an all time low. Everything is rolling downhill until a new coach and former teammate, Takeshi Tatsumi, is hired. There is a lot of bad blood in this new/old relationship in a league that is primarily family-owned.

There is an opening and ending theme:

1. “My Story ~Mada Minu Ashita e~” (My story ~まだ見ぬ明日へ~) by THE CHERRY COKES
2. “Get tough!” by G.P.S

Football fans, this is one that shouldn’t be missed. It’s about standing about when you have fallen. Being the underdog doesn’t mean anything unless you decide to give up.

This looks like a very promising series, very similar to Rookies. While Rookies is about high school baseball played by ruffians who are looked down upon by society, Giant Killing is about professional soccer players who have lost their love of the game, but learn to live up to their fullest potential. It is no coincidence that it coincides with the 2010 World Cup in South Africa either. It seems all the underdogs of the world are overtaking the “superpowers” of football. (As of early July 2010, the South American teams are out, and so has last year’s finalist Italy and France.)

FULL STORY | giant killing

High School of the Dead

High School of the Dead (学園黙示録, Gakuen Mokushiroku “Academy Apocalypse”) began as a manga series written by Daisuke Sato and illustrated by Shouji Sato since September 2006. It was on hiatus since 2008, but has since resumed with issue 24 on March 2010. An anime adaptation by Madhouse is scheduled for July 5, 2010, which will be shown in Japan and simulcast in the US through Anime Network. The season lasted until Sept. 20, 2010 with a total of 12 episodes.

There is an opening and ending theme:

1. “HIGHSCHOOL OF THE DEAD” by Kishida Kyoudan & The Akeboshi Rockets
2. “Kimi to Taiyou ga Shinda Hi” by Kurosaki Maon

A deadly virus overtakes the world, turning humans into zombies. In Fujimi High school, a few students: including the survivor of the initial outbreak, Komuro Takashi, and childhood sweetheart Rei, together with the school nurse join forces to survive the apocalypse. In trying to survive, Takashi, is forced to kill his best friend, Hisashi. Hisashi coincidentally Rei’s boyfriend and is particularly smart. After he is bitten and infected while protecting Rei, Takashi kills him after he turns into a zombie.

He realizes, the only way to kill a zombie is to take off its head – by bashing it in. Nothing special, yet. It’s your usual zombie flick with lots of blood and gore and eating of the innards. Let’s see where this goes from here in this explicitly violent and titillatingly sexual series.

FULL STORY | high school of the dead

House of Five Leaves

House of Five Leaves (さらい屋五葉, Sarai-ya Goyou)is a manga written and illustrated by Natsume Ono. It was serialized in Ikki magazine in July 2006 (until February 2010) and has a total of 7 volumes to date. Viz Media (in North America) later published it under Ikki’s imprint and is also released online on the Sigikki site. It was then adapted to anime by Manglobe and aired on April 15, 2010 with 12 episodes. The anime is licensed to FUNimation, which allows it to simulcasting from the noitaminA block on Fuji TV to its website at the same time that it is aired in Japan. It is also aired on Hulu and YouTube.

There is an opening and ending theme:

1. “Sign of Love” by immi
2. “All I need is…” by Rake

Masanosuke Akitsu is a shy and reticent ronin. Even though he is a highly skilled and loyal swordsman, his personality makes him unemployable by the lords. Destitute, he meets a charismatic but suspicious individual whose dealings are dubious. Yaichi of the “Five Leaves” hires the unassuming Akitsu as a front on one of his kidnaps, but they soon become a dynamic pair.

I guess they will be working together for a while. Two totally different people, meeting by chance. Akitsu, a quiet but skilled samurai, who has no qualms in sharing his past, tries to break out of his shell. Yaichi, an enigmatic man with a mysterious past, recruits an unsuspecting hungry samurai into the underworld of Five Leaves. The style and drawing of this series is not like anything done before. It stands out in its simplicity. The characters have filled in black circles for eyes. This series definitely has its promising moments.

FULL STORY | house of five leaves

Kaichou wa Maid Sama

Kaichou wa Maid sama! (会長はメイド様! – The Student Council President is a Maid!), is a shoujo manga written and illustrated by Fujiwara Hiro. The animation has aired starting April 1, 2010 with a total of 26 episodes.

The opening and ending theme of the series are:

1.”My Secret” by Saaya Mizuno
2.”Yokan (予感)” by Heidi (ep. 1-15)
3. “∞ Loop (∞ ループ)” by Heidi (ep. 16-present)

An all-boys school, Seika High School, has recently been co-ed and Ayuzawa Misaki is chosen to lead as the President of the Student Council. With the female population of the school, a dwindling minority, living in fear of the wild boys, Misaki takes it upon herself to reform the school to a safer environment for the girls. Unfortunately, she gains a reputation among the boys as an uptight male-hater.

Adding to her problems, Misaki has to take on a well-paying part-time job in a Maid Café due to her family’s financial situation. Her father left them (her mother, younger sister and her) with his debt and they are forced to live hand-to-mouth. Things take a turn for the worse when Takumi Usui, a popular and good-looking valedictorian who is constantly turning girls down, discovers her “after hours past time.”

The guy who rejects girls’ advances is being turned down by the one girl who doesn’t have any interest in guys like him but eventually changes her tune. The irony of the situation is not lost on me; being a man-hater, Misaki works in a Maid Café serving mainly men. This is an endearing series, on the same line as Kimi ni Todoke, Hatsukoi Limited and KimiKiss – Pure Rouge.

FULL STORY | kaichou wa maid sama

Occult Academy

The Occult Academy (世紀末オカルト学院, Seikimatsu Occult Gakuin) is a supernatural cum comedy anime television series produced by A-1 Pictures and directed by Tomohiko Oto. The series is scripted by Seishi Minakami of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood fame. The 13-episode anime premiered on July 6, 2010 in Japan and is simulcast by Crunchyroll an hour after the Japanese broadcast. It ended on September 27, 2010.

Opening and ending themes are:

1. “Flying Humanoid (フライングヒューマノイド)” by Shoko Nakagawa
2. “Kimi ga Iru Basho (君がいる場所)” by Ayahi Takagaki

Kumashiro Maya is the daughter of the former headmaster of Waldetein Academy, a private Japanese academy dedicated to the study of the occult. She returns to the fortress-like academy after her father dies (in 1999) leaving her to fend for herself, and to fend off his possessed corpse when he tries to kill her. It is said that in the year 1999, on the seventh month, a great King of Terror shall emerge. Together with Fumiaki Uchida, a mysterious time traveling agent from the year 2012, they have to prevent the apocalyptic Nostradamus Prophecies from happening. The predictions state that the school will be ground zero of the cataclysm that will destroy the world. They must discover what led to her father’s demise, and the key that triggers the beginning of the end.

Kuroshitsuji II

Kuroshitsuji (黒執事 – the Black Butler) is an ongoing manga written and illustrated by Yana Toboso since September 2006 and is ongoing with nine volumes to date. On October 2008 it made its premier as an adapted anime with 24 episodes. Season 2 of the anime, titled Kuroshitsuhi II, is released on July 1, 2010 with a total of 12 episodes. The series has also been adapted to a musical, entitled The Butler Friendship (その執事、友好, Sono Shitsuji, Yūkō) that ran from May-June 2009. A video game for Nintendo DS (Black Butler: Phantom Ghost), drama CDs (2007 & 2008) books (Black Butler Character Guide released in 2008 & Black Record in 2009) have also been developed for this series.

Season 2 follows a butler, Claude Faustus, and his master, Alois Trancy, and reprises the roles of Sebastian and Ciel. It’s the Trancy household against the Phantomhive estate. Who will reign supreme and become the Queen’s top dog? Soon enough, Claude kills off his master when he gets a taste of the Phantomhive blood. Will Sebastian still be able to protect his young master?

The opening and ending theme are:

1. “SHIVER” by the GazettE
2. “Bird” by Yuya Matsushita

FULL STORY | kuroshitsuji

Seitokai Yakuindomo

seitokaiSeitokai Yakuindomo (生徒会役員共, Seitokai Yakuindomo) is a shonen manga written by Tozen Ujiie. It made its debut on the May 2007 and is on-going. An anime adaptation with 13 episodes is scheduled for July 3, 2010.

Tsuda Takatoshi enrolls in a recently gender-integrated high school, and is asked to join the student council as the vice president and a male representative. His high school years will soon be very interesting with him as the only boy among three weird and perverted female student council officers.

The opening and ending themes are:

1. “Yamato Nadeshiko Education (大和撫子エデュケイション)” by Triple Booking
2. “Aoi Haru (蒼い春)” by Angela

This series is the exact opposite of Kaichou wa Maid sama where the president of the student council is the main protagonist, in a majority-led-boy school. In fact, Seitokai Yakuindomo is borderline hentai, not in its actions but in its thoughts and words. The student council president is constantly thinking up and saying pervy things to “catch” Takatoshi slipping up. He just rolls his eyes and shakes his head.

In fact, as the story progresses (into the second chapter) the anime is getting ridiculous. Maybe I should stop watching this.

FULL STORY | seitokai yakuidomo

Sengoku Basara Two

This anime takes place in warring Japan where many war lords, daimyos, and their loyal army fight to expand their territory and power, but only one man – the Devil King Oda Nobunaga – proves to be a much bigger threat than the others. The anime focuses on how the different war lords (notably Sanada Yukimura and Date Masmune) join forces and unite for a greater good. This anime has historical facts and figures in it. Season one (starting April 2009) had 12 episodes plus a movie.

The opening and ending themes are:

1. “Sword Summit” by T.M. Revolution
2. “El Dorado” by Angelo
3. “Fate” by Angelo

This anime is an adaptation from a video game for Playstation 2 called the “Devil Kings” known as 戦国BASARA in Japan (1995).

Second season for this anime will take over Fullmetal Alchemist’s time slot on July 11 2010. I welcome the fighting, and the English spewing warlord anytime. It is always nice to see old friends get back together again, especially in the comfort of your own living room.

FULL STORY | sengoku basara

Senkou no Night Raid

Senkou no Night Raid is an anime directed by Matsumoto Jun of Arashi fame. The 13-episode anime aired in Japan starting April 5, 2010. It is a historical piece set in Shanghai during the 1930s with plenty of action and the super-natural. After the First Sino-Japanese War, Russo-Japanese War and World War I, the Imperial Japanese Army is dispatched to Kwantung, west of Manchuria.

Japan was seeking an expansion into Manchuria (which was at that time leased to Japan as per the Treaty of Portsmouth) not as a colony but as an ally against foreign forces – namely the Russians. Others, of course, view the establishment of Manchukuo by the Japanese as an occupation of Chinese sovereign land by force. This incident and the ones thereafter, will soon lead to the Second Sino-Japanese War and subsequently World War II.

A military spy organization,”Sakurai Kikan,” is dispatched as one of the government’s chess pieces. The young members of the organization all have special powers, each contributing to the success of their missions.

There is an opening and ending theme:

1. “Promise” (約束) by MUCC
2. “To the Future…” (未来へ…) by HIMEKA

The use of Chinese dialogue and/or native speakers (other than the main characters) to the language is truly commendable. Hats off for the first try of MatsuJun. I know a lot of his fans must be in awe of this other side of him now. Even though the story was at first hard to grasp, it is quite entertaining to watch.

My major complain would be that the series does not elaborate on the historical aspects of the war. Many throughout the world know of the Japanese atrocities in most of Asia from the 1930s up until the end of World War II with the bombing of Hiroshima and consequently Nagasaki. But this black mark in their history has been conveniently erased by the Japanese themselves. It would have been a good opportunity to educate the (Japanese) audience of the darkest time in Japan’s history, yet, it is lacking.

FULL STORY | senkou no night raid

Uragiri wa Boku no Namae o Shitteiru

Uragiri wa Boku no Namae o Shitteiru (裏切りは僕の名前を知っている, Betrayal Knows My Name), also known as UraBoku, is a Shōjo manga by Odagiri Hotaru, making its debut in October 2005. The anime adaptation aired on April 2010 with a planned 24 episodes.

There is an opening and ending theme:

1. “Uragiri no nai Sekai made” by Rayflower
2. “Aoi Ito” by Rayflower

The main protagonist, Sakurai Yuki is an orphan with mysterious powers. When he touches others, he has the ability to read their past. Yuki strives for independence and hates to be a burden to anyone, yet is afraid of being alone. Unable to control this power, he errs on the side of kindness. A strange, but beautiful man (Luka Crosszeria) enters his life in his time of need, and Yuki feels like he’s met him before. Soon enough, a man claiming to be his older brother, Giou Takashiro, appears at the orphanage and whisks him away into the world of Duras, Zweilt Guardians and the past.

The series is a cross between the anime X and Loveless. Be forewarned that this series is not for those who are homophobic as it seems like the male characters have a tendency to show overly tender feelings towards their counterpart.

FULL STORY | uragiri wa boku no namae o shitteiru

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