Manga Creator Kana Hoshino Passes Away

Publisher Hakusensha has announced that manga creator Kana Hoshino passed away on April 28, 2021 due to an unspecified illness. She was 57 years old at the time of her passing.

Hoshino debuted with the “Tokyo wa Yoru no 7-ji” manga in Hana to Yume in 1982. She would be best known for the Ryokunohara Gakuen manga series, which would have multiple titles over the span of Hoshino’s career. The series would inspire the 1990 OVA adaptation Ryokunohara Labyrinth – Sparkling Phantom, the directorial anime debut of Narumi Kakinouchi.

She published many series in Hakusensha’s Hana to Yume and Bessatsu Hana to Yume magazines, including Myōko to Ao, Billy Emerado, and Kyōshitsu. The statement from Hakusensha reads, “[Hoshino] fascinated us with her works set in unique worlds overflowing with vibrancy and sensitivity, set on the stages of sci-fi and fantasy.”

Source: ANN

Pluto TV Adds the Mazinger Edition Z: The Impact Anime

The Fandom Post is reporting that Pluto TV has added all 26 episodes of the Mazinger Edition Z: The Impact anime. The series is available with the Japanese audio and English subtitles.

The story of Mazinger Edition Z: The Impact is described as:

What would you do if you had ultimate power thrust into your hands? As a normal high school boy, Kouji Kabuto never thought he would have to face that problem. But when your grandfather is a scientist known for having discovered the means to end the world’s energy crisis, just living a quiet life in a mansion isn’t going to last. Japanium, an ore capable of producing Photon Energy, promises to lead humanity into a bright future… though not everyone wants to use it for good.

The evil Dr. Hell is determined to use Photon Energy to power his malicious Mechanical Beasts, which would make him unstoppable. Darkness falls upon Kouji’s home town of Atami, the first city lit by Photon Energy, and the first step on the doctor’s quest for world domination. Not all is lost, however, as Kouji’s grandfather grants him the power of Mazinger Z – the ultimate fighting robot. Crushing Dr. Hell’s minions one by one, Kouji’s power is without limits, but there are still questions that plague him. Where did Dr. Hell find the Mechanical Beasts? What is the truth behind Japanium and Photon Energy? What really happened to Kouji’s parents, and why are the ruins of the ancient Mycenaean civilization at the heart of everything? Together with his friends, the Mazinger Corps., and the mysterious Kurogane House, Kouji must find the answer to these questions, and to the most pressing question of all: will he use his limitless power to become a god, or a devil?

Source: The Fandom Post

Seven Seas Entertainment Licenses the Kiruru Kill Me Manga

Seven Seas Entertainment has announced that it has acquired the license for the Kiruru Kill Me manga series by Yasuhiro Kano, the creator of the Shonen Jump manga Pretty Face. In this dark and wacky action comedy, one man falls head over heels for a hired killer–and orders a hit on himself, just to spend more time with her.

Aoi Nemo is a big-ticket businessman whose face has appeared on all the magazines, and there’s a price on his head. Coming to collect is Akaumi Kiruru, an assassin as deadly as she is beautiful. But the person who requested the hit was Aoi himself. From the moment he laid eyes on her, Aoi fell for this femme fatale, and he’ll do whatever it takes to spend more time with her: even if it means risking his own life. Don’t miss this zany comedy about losing your head over love.

Seven Seas will publish the Kiruru Kill Me manga series for the first time in North America in print and on digital platforms in single volume editions. Volume 1 will be released in October 2021 for $12.99 USA / $16.99 CAN.

Source: Seven Seas Entertainment

Seven Seas Entertainment Licenses The Two Lions Manga

Seven Seas Entertainment has announced that it has acquired the license for The Two Lions manga by Nagisa Furuya. Opposites attract in this friends-to-lovers Boys’ Love tale.

To escape his reputation as a misunderstood loner, Leo attends a university far from home. His attempts at making friends aren’t going so well until he meets someone who recognizes him—friendly and laidback Junpei, who went to the same high school as he did. Can Leo break out of his shell and navigate his new friendship as it grows into something more? This Teen-rated BL tale will warm your heart.

Seven Seas will publish The Two Lions manga for the first time in North America in print and on digital platforms in a single volume edition. The book will be released in December 2021 for $13.99 USA / $17.99 CAN.

Source: Seven Seas Entertainment

Seven Seas Entertainment Licenses the Cat in a Hot Girls’ Dorm Manga

Seven Seas Entertainment has announced, through its Ghost Ship imprint for older readers, the license acquisition of the Mature-rated manga series Cat in a Hot Girls’ Dorm by Haruki–a glimpse into the secret, sexy life of an all-girls’ dorm told from the POV of a mischievous cat.

Follow the everyday domestic “adventures” of ten residents of a women’s dormitory in this sexy manga series. The ladies adopt a cute cat off the street, and from that moment on, he’s sticking his nose in everyone’s business. Who’s dating who? Who’s into casual flings? Who’s into girls? The cat sees all.

Seven Seas will publish the Mature-rated Cat in a Hot Girls’ Dorm manga series for the first time in North America in print and on digital platforms in single volume editions. Volume 1 will be released in November 2021 for $13.99 USA / $17.99 CAN as part of Seven Seas’ Ghost Ship imprint.

Source: Seven Seas Entertainment

Seven Seas Entertainment Licenses the Necromance Manga

Seven Seas Entertainment has announced that it has acquired the license for Necromance manga series by Yuuki Doumoto, a thrilling fantasy romance between a hero and a priestess–that starts with the hero’s death.

Shibuki was cursed with undeath when he struck down the Demon King, and can no longer even touch Safi, his beloved priestess. To make matters worse, Shibuki learns that the Demon King survived. He gathers a group of adventurers to seek out the Demon King, defeat him once and for all, and remove the curse so Shibuki can embrace his beloved Safi once again.

Seven Seas will publish the Necromance manga series for the first time in North America in print and on digital platforms in single volume editions. Volume 1 will be released in October 2021 for $12.99 USA / $16.99 CAN.

Source: Seven Seas Entertainment

Seven Seas Licenses The Girl I Want is So Handsome! – The Complete Manga Collection

Seven Seas Entertainment announces the license acquisition of The Girl I Want is So Handsome! – The Complete Manga Collection by Yuama, a high school yuri comedy about a hyper first-year student and the hot, oblivious jock girl she’s crushing on. Read the whole story in one omnibus volume.

When Hinami bumps into an older girl named Shiki, she falls head over heels. Shiki is sexy, easygoing, and has an amazing undercut. In order to get closer to Shiki, Hinami starts lurking around the basketball club. But though Hinami’s crush is obvious to everyone else, it goes right over Shiki’s head. When Hinami tries to confess her feelings to Shiki, Shiki thinks Hinami wants to become the club manager. Can Hinami get Shiki to understand her true feelings?

Seven Seas will publish The Girl I Want is So Handsome! – The Complete Manga Collection for the first time in North America in print and on digital platforms in a single omnibus edition. The book will be released in December 2021 for $18.99 USA / $22.99.

Source: Seven Seas Entertainment

Demon Slayer – Kimetsu no Yaiba – The Movie: Mugen Train Has Earned US$41.9 Million in the United States

Box Office Mojo has reported that the Demon Slayer – Kimetsu no Yaiba – The Movie: Mugen Train film earned an estimated US$1.77 million at the United States box office last weekend, and has now earned an estimated $41.9 million. The film ranked at #4 in its fourth weekend.

FUNimation and Aniplex of America began screening the Demon Slayer – Kimetsu no Yaiba – The Movie: Mugen Train film in theaters in North America on April 23, 2021.

Source: ANN

Virtual Crunchyroll Expo Announces Its First Wave of Guests and Programming

Crunchyroll has announced the first wave of guests and programming for its upcoming virtual Crunchyroll Expo.

The first wave of guests includes:

  • Cherami Leigh: English voice actor for Asuna Yuuki in Sword Art Online, Sailor Venus in Sailor Moon, and Lucy Heartfilia in Fairy Tail
  • Okutsugu Kado: Japanese vegetable carver
  • Vampy Bit Me and Mario Bueno: Cosplay Cup Hosts

A premiere preview for the TONIKAWA: Over the Moon For You OVA has also been announced.

The virtual Crunchyroll Expo is scheduled to take place August 5-7, 2021. Registration for the event is open at crunchyrollexpo.com.

Source: Crunchyroll

Manga Review: Ranma 1/2 Omnibus Volume 10

Ranma 1/2 Omnibus Volume 10 is a new release for the Ranma 1/2 franchise, which includes the 19th and 20th volumes of the series. These omnibus editions are the first “unflipped” release of Ranma 1/2 in North America. These editions have also been “remastered,” with sharper images and a “spiffed up” translation.

Ranma 1/2 Omnibus Volume 10
Written by: Rumiko Takahashi
Publisher: Shogakukan
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: September 8, 2015

The volume numbers for this release are for the Japanese manga, not the original VIZ Media manga release for Ranma 1/2. The chapters that appear in this volume correspond with all of Volume 17 and all of Volume 18 of VIZ Media’s release of Ranma 1/2.

The volume opens with a three-chapter story where Kuno gets amnesia while training on an island known as Watermelon Island. Ranma and the group go the beach, because Ranma received a challenge letter from Kuno. When Kuno appears, with a watermelon stuck on his head, he has amnesia. Kuno has forgotten who he is and who everyone around him is. Although when he sees girl-type Ranma, he comes up with memories of times that never happened. Even as an amnesiac, Kuno pretty much acts the same. LOL! Ranma and Akane work at trying to help Kuno regain his memory, and their attempts are quite amusing. However, at one point when Ranma becomes girl-type, Kuno chases after her and they end up on Watermelon Island. Akane learns the truth behind Kuno’s training there, and tries to get there in order to save Ranma. Overall, this was an amusing story, and to me, it’s one of Kuno’s classic storylines.

This is followed by a five-chapter story that focuses on Ukyo. She is opening up a sauce she made 10 years earlier and has aged that long. Unfortunately, when she tastes it, it’s awful, and she loses confidence in herself as an okonomiyaki chef. But we learn through flashbacks that Ranma was there at the time Ukyo was making the sauce, and when she wasn’t looking, he accidentally knocked it over. He tried to make it like how he had seen her do it, but it was obviously wrong. Ranma feels guilty about this ordeal and starts acting nicer to Ukyo than normal. But as a form of punishment for herself, Ukyo gives up being an okonomiyaki chef and dedicates herself to being a woman and pursuing Ranma. Unfortunately, because Ranma doesn’t tell Ukyo the truth, this causes a lot of misunderstandings and hijinks. And since Ukyo is trying to stake her claim on Ranma, this causes Nabiki to tell a lie… that Akane and Ranma are actually married and that the engagement is a cover. This leads to some very awkward situations for Akane and Ranma trying to make it look like Nabiki told the truth. This story gains its humor from how one little misunderstanding snowballs into wild and crazy hijinks. For me, this is one of Ukyo’s classic stories in the Ranma 1/2 series.

Next is a one-chapter story that sees Happosai returning to the series. He had disappeared at the end of the Pantyhose Taro storyline, which I had kind of forgotten about. So when this was brought up in this chapter, I was like, “Oh yeah, Happosai did disappear in there, didn’t he?” Soun, Genma, and Ranma are hired to catch a living octopus trap… which turns out to the Happosai in disguise. Once the three of them realize the truth about the living octopus trap, they find themselves in an awkward situation, because they don’t want to people who hired them to know that they have a connection with Happosai. But seeing as how this is Ranma 1/2, there’s no way that this was going to stay hidden. The reader knows Happosai well enough to know that he isn’t going to stay quiet. The chapter had an expected ending, which includes Happosai returning to the Tendo household.

There is another one-chapter story, this time focusing on Gosunkugi. He is convinced by a salesman to buy a set of 12 magic paper dolls. The user writes a command on the doll and slap it onto someone’s back. His goal is to use these dolls to get Akane’s affection. But seeing as how this is Gosunkugi, the reader knows that he’s not going to be successful. Time and time again, he has bad luck, and things don’t work out the way that he expects them to. But it was nice to get a story focusing on Gosunkugi. He’s one of those characters that Takahashi introduced into the series to provide yet another love interest for Akane, but he doesn’t really get as much focus as the other characters who are interested in either Ranma or Akane. It’s easy for the reader to forget that he exists sometimes, since his appearances are so “hit and miss” in this series.

This is followed by another one-chapter story, and this one sees Happosai forcing Ranma to take an obedience pill (with Happosai taking the companion pill). Unfortunately, these pills have a magnetic attraction to each other, which allows Happosai to stay attached to Ranma. The only way to get Happosai off is to defeat him in a fight. But this isn’t as easy as it sounds. Yes, Ranma does succeed in getting Happosai detached from him by the end of the chapter, and it’s very amusing how Ranma pulls this off. This storyline declares that Happosai is back, and that he’s back in a big way.

And then there’s a six-chapter story (which makes up a good portion of the second half of the volume) that focuses on Ryoga. While on his travels, Ryoga has learned a move called the Shishi Houkou-dan, which he uses in a training fight against Ranma. Ranma, humiliated by this defeat, vows to learn the Shishi Houkou-dan… but there are those who are advising Ranma against it. It turns out it’s a move that utilizes the user’s negative emotions… and the more negative the emotions, the stronger the attack. The fight that Ranma and Ryoga ultimately have near the end of the story just keeps building until the climax is reached. It was great to have another storyline focused on Ryoga and seeing him and Ranma in a fight was fun to read.

The next two chapters see the return of the Ghost Cat. He kidnaps Shampoo to be his bride. When Ranma, Mousse, and Akane show up to rescue her, the Ghost Cat tells them that the only way to free her is if she kisses the person she loves. If she doesn’t, Shampoo will permanently become a cat at the end of the 108 New Year’s Bells. While Ranma agrees to kissing Shampoo, Mousse’s jealousy causes hijinks as time is running out. The ending of this story is quite amusing, especially when factoring in Ranma’s fear of cats. While I could have done without seeing the Ghost Cat again, at least this story was still amusing and fun to read.

Next is a one-chapter story where Ranma is having a dream of himself as girl-type on a date with an old man. It turns out that the old man’s grandson is looking for the person who’s having this dream. The old man is in the hospital and isn’t in good shape. The old man’s astral projection comes out, and girl-type Ranma goes on a date with him. The twist at the end of the story is very typical for Rumiko Takahashi’s storytelling, and it’s something that I really should have seen coming. I’d say that of the various stories included in this volume, this one is the strangest.

The final two chapters in this volume contain a sibling rivalry story between Kuno and Kodachi. It all begins with Kuno destroying Kodachi’s giant poster of Ranma, and she gets revenge by taking Kuno’s photo album of pictures of girl-type Ranma. Ranma goes to the Kuno estate to try to get the album away from Kodachi. However, readers know Kodachi well enough at this point that this isn’t going to be an easy feat for Ranma. The hijinks build over the course of this story, and the ending is amusing.

After dealing with the martial arts dining and the Nabiki storyline that ran a little too long in the previous volume, Ranma 1/2 Omnibus Volume 10 was a refreshing change of pace. I also appreciated how so many of these stories had a focus on the various love interests in the series (Kuno, Ukyo, Gosunkugi, Ryoga, Shampoo, and Kodachi). While Ranma and Akane played important roles in these various stories, the focus was more on these characters who don’t necessarily get as much focus as either Ranma or Akane.

I feel that this remastered volume of the Ranma 1/2 manga is worth picking up and adding to your manga library, even if you already own a copy of the series. This release of Ranma 1/2 is a much needed upgrade from VIZ Media’s original release of the series.

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