Anime Blog Posts That Caught My Eye This Week (November 27, 2020)

For my American readers, I hope you were able to have a good Thanksgiving, even in the midst of a pandemic. I was grateful to be able to share the day with my husband and kids. However, during this time of Thanksgiving, I am also thankful for the readers of my blog. Thank you for reading, liking, and commenting on my posts. 🙂

Here are the blog posts that grabbed my attention this week:

HBO Max to Stream the English Dub for the Jujutsu Kaisen Anime

HBO Max has announced that it will start streaming the English dub of the Jujutsu Kaisen anime as part of the streaming service’s “Crunchyroll Collection” starting on December 4, 2020.

The series premiered on October 2, 2020, and it will have 24 episodes. Crunchyroll is simulcasting the anime outside of Asia as the anime airs in Japan, and is also streaming dubs in English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, and German.

Crunchyroll describes the story of the series as:

Hardship, regret, shame: the negative feelings that humans feel become Curses that lurk in our everyday lives. The Curses run rampant throughout the world, capable of leading people to terrible misfortune and even death. What’s more, the Curses can only be exorcised by another Curse.

Itadori Yuji is a boy with tremendous physical strength, though he lives a completely ordinary high school life. One day, to save a friend who has been attacked by Curses, he eats the finger of the Double-Faced Specter, taking the Curse into his own soul. From then on, he shares one body with the Double-Faced Specter. Guided by the most powerful of sorcerers, Gojo Satoru, Itadori is admitted to the Tokyo Metropolitan Technical High School of Sorcery, an organization that fights the Curses… and thus begins the heroic tale of a boy who became a Curse to exorcise a Curse, a life from which he could never turn back.

Source: ANN

Bestia Manga Ends

The January 2021 issue of Kadokawa’s Shōnen Ace magazine has published the final chapter of Makoto Sanda, Aco Arisaka, and Kashiwa Miyako’s Bestia manga. Sanda, Arisaka, and Miyako launched the manga in Shōnen Ace in June 2018.

Yen Press is publishing Bestia in English, and describes the story as:

Chasing a faint memory from childhood, Asuka Tsukasa travels to London… and falls headlong into fantasy, intrigue, and the piercing gaze of a beautiful beast girl.

Source: ANN

Kodansha Comics and Right Stuf Inc. Team-up For CLAMP Oracle Card Set Holiday Gift-With-Purchase

Just in time for the holiday season, Kodansha Comics and Right Stuf Inc. are teaming up for a very special promotion honoring works by CLAMP – the legendary creators behind Cardcaptor Sakura, Chobits, and more – by offering an exclusive and limited-edition gift with purchase, the CLAMP Oracle Card set. Starting Sunday, November 29, 2020, fans who want to get their hands on a CLAMP Oracle Card set, only need to visit rightstufanime.com and order at least one CLAMP bundle or title from the list below to receive this deck FREE with purchase. These card sets will be available while supplies last, so be sure to get yours on the day of release.

The CLAMP Oracle Card set features 15 beautifully realized cards, packaged in a witchy black cloth bag, and uses divinatory meaning combined with artwork from classic CLAMP manga series, like Magic Knight Rayearth, Cardcaptor Sakura, Chobits, Tsubasa: RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE, xxxHOLiC & more, to help you reach answers to questions of love, career, friendship and beyond.

Starting November 29, 2020, purchase any of the qualifying items below from rightstufanime.com, to receive your Free! CLAMP Oracle Card set:

  • Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card (1-4) Manga Bundle
  • Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card (5-7) Bundle
  • Cardcaptor Sakura Collector’s Edition Hardcover Volumes 1-5
  • Cardcaptor Sakura Collector’s Edition Hardcover (1-3) Bundle
  • Cardcaptor Sakura Collector’s Edition Hardcover (4-5) Bundle
  • Chobits 20th Anniversary Edition Hardcover (1-2) Bundle
  • Tsubasa: RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE manga Omnibus (1-3) Bundle
  • Tsubasa: RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE manga Omnibus (4-6) Bundle
  • Tsubasa: RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE manga Omnibus (7-10) Bundle
  • Tsubasa: WoRLD CHRoNiCLE manga (1-3) Bundle
  • xxxHOLiC manga Omnibus (1-3) Bundle
  • xxxHOLiC manga Omnibus (4-7) Bundle
  • xxxHOLiC: Rei manga (1-4) Bundle
  • CLOVER (Hardcover Collector’s Edition)
  • Magic Knight Rayearth 25th Anniversary Box Set 1

Please note: Bundles listed will not be available until the start of the promotion.

For more information on this and other Kodansha USA Publishing titles please visit: https://kodanshacomics.com/.

Shojo Fight Manga Is Going on a Six Month Hiatus

This year’s 24th issue of Kodansha’s Evening magazine has announced that Yoko Nihonbashi’s Shojo Fight manga will go on hiatus due to the author’s poor health. The manga will resume in the magazine’s 11th 2021 issue on May 11, 2021, but will enter a new serialization schedule as a “short mini-series.”

Nihonbashi launched the manga in Kodansha’s Evening magazine in 2005.

Kodansha Comics publishes the manga digitally in English and describes the story as:

Ever since that day, Neri Oishi’s resolved not to make friends. She’s fifteen years old and plays volleyball at Hakuunzan Private Academy Middle School, which is known for producing top players of the sport. Neri’s doing everything she can to hold herself back, including hiding that she was the captain of a team that took second place in a national tournament when she was in elementary school. While she’s immersed in this team sport, why should Neri have to kill herself? What keeps her from quitting volleyball in spite of that? Get ready for an ensemble volleyball drama.

Source: ANN

Anime Spotlight: Ballad of a Shinigami

Ballad of a Shinigami (also known as Shinigami no Ballad and Momo, Girl God of Death) is a six-episode anime series based on a light novel by K-Ske Hasegawa. The anime was directed by Tomomi Mochizuki and was produced by Group TAC and Ginga-ya. The series aired on Japanese television from March 3-April 7, 2006. As of this writing, Maiden Japan holds the North American distribution license for Ballad of a Shinigami.

The series primarily focuses on a young-looking girl named Momo, who is a shinigami (a death god) who leads the souls of the deceased to the other side. She has long white hair, wears all white, carries a large black scythe, and her ID card to prove her identity as a shinigami. Unlike other shinigami, Momo tries to ease the suffering of people, whether they are alive or dead. One thing that she does is to convey messages from the dead to the living. Momo also cries a lot and says that she cries for the dead because they no longer can.

Momo has a familiar, which is a talking black cat named Daniel. Daniel wears a bell around his neck, and he has bat-like wings. Sometimes, the living can hear Daniel’s bell when he and Momo are nearby.

Each episode of Ballad of a Shinigami focuses on a character who has had someone close to them die before the start of the episode, or someone close to them dies during the episode. In the first episode, a character has to deal with the death of a friend. In the next episode, another character thinks he’s going to die after Momo tells him that he will soon. In the third episode, the main character wants to find a treasure left behind by his recently deceased grandfather. In the fourth episode, a middle school girl tries to keep her family going after her mother passes away. In the fifth episode, the main character is afraid that a ghost rumored to haunt an elementary school is the ghost of her recently deceased sister. And in the final episode, a girl tries to commit suicide and thinks she has died. In every case, Momo and Daniel play some kind of role in helping these people deal with their problems.

For the most part, the stories don’t have anything to connect them together… but there is one exception. In the fifth episode, we see the main character from the first episode reappear and interact with the main character of that episode. I wasn’t expecting to see any of the previous characters return, so this truly caught me off-guard. But I liked that unexpected twist, though.

In a lot of ways, Ballad of a Shinigami is a lot like Kino’s Journey when it comes to its storytelling structure. Outside of the first and fifth episodes, the remain four can be shown in any order and not mess up the timeline, since there isn’t an overarching story for this series. In both series, the main character is important, but isn’t necessarily the main focus of the story. Even though Momo isn’t the focus of the stories, she’s still a well-developed character in her own right. She isn’t simply just a no-personality observer who only pops up near the end of each episode.

When it comes to the animation, it looks good, but it does also look a little dated. This definitely doesn’t look current, and you can tell by looking at it that it was made around the mid-2000’s. That’s not a bad thing, though. Like I said, the animation does look good for its time period.

One other thing that stands out about this series is its opening theme song. It has a more “ethereal” sound to it musically, which works well for Ballad of a Shinigami. It should also be noted that the lyrics are all in English, and that the words of the song are a perfect fit for this series.

Overall, I enjoyed Ballad of a Shinigami. If you like character-driven stories that include elements of the supernatural, then you’ll probably enjoy this series.

Manga Review: Chainsaw Man Volume Two

Chainsaw Man Volume Two continues following Denji, a young man whose body is taken over by his demon dog, Pochita, which causes him to become the title character of the series.

Chainsaw Man Volume Two
Written by: Tatsuki Fujimoto
Publisher: Shueisha, Inc.
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: December 1, 2020

The beginning of this volume sees Denji defeating that Bat Devil that he encountered at the end of the previous volume. There were quite a few “action panels” in the first chapter, which cut down on the amount of dialogue that the reader has to read. Even though his partner, the Blood Fiend Power, tricked Denji into fighting the demon, he doesn’t get mad at her about it… especially after Power says she’ll let Denji touch her chest. However, when Power fulfills Denji’s desire later, he finds that attaining the dream of touching boobs wasn’t as fulfilling as he thought it would be.

When he confides this to Makima, she tells him that perhaps it was because he didn’t know the person all that well. Makima uses this to her advantage, though, and after toying with Denji, she asks him to take on the Gun Devil. She says that if he can kill the Gun Devil, she’ll grant him any wish of his choosing. While I got the feeling in the first volume that Makima was manipulative, I found her to be even more this way, especially with this particular scene. While Denj is obviously interested in her, I honestly can’t root for these two to get together. His feelings come from the fact that she’s the first person to acknowledge that he’s more than scum, and she just sees someone that she can manipulate and use for her own means.

We get a brief history of the Gun Devil, and it was interesting see the various locations that the backstory gives for where the Gun Devil struck and killed people. Most are countries (United States, Soviet Union, Canada, China, Mexico, India), but one thing stood out to me… Hawaii was included. Erm, Hawaii is technically part of the United States. Yes, it may be a chain of islands, but it’s still a state, so shouldn’t their numbers be included in the numbers for the United States? Yes, I’m being nitpicky, but this just made me do a double take.

With the Gun Devil Mission, Denji is assigned to work with Power, Aki, Himeno, Arai, and Kobeni. This section provides a little bit of backstory for both Himeno and Aki. It was nice to get to know a little more about Aki, since we first met him in the previous volume but knew next to nothing about him up to this point.

While the group finds a demon, it ‘s not the Gun Devil they’re looking for. Power manages to destroy it, but then the group finds itself trapped on the eighth floor of the building. It’s interesting to see how the various characters react to being stuck on this floor, especially after discovering that time seems to be standing still in this area of the building. Right at the end of the volume, there’s a great cliffhanger that will make readers want to see what happens when the next volume of the series is released.

The tone of the storytelling and the depiction of the characters is consistent between these first two volumes of the Chainsaw Man manga series. Denji is still the simple guy that readers were introduced to, and you find yourself feeling kind of sorry for him when you see how Makima is taking advantage of his simplicity. Perhaps his simplicity comes from naivete when it comes to dealing with members of the opposite sex, which makes it easy for him to be taken advantage of in this way. Denji isn’t necessarily the most likable of characters, especially for a protagonist, but there’s still just something about him that makes the reader care about him.

Chainsaw Man Volume Two perfectly continues the story of the characters and the world that they inhabit. It also does a good job at trying to expand the amount of characters and providing backstories for some of them. I can truly say that nothing felt boring in this volume, and that the cliffhanger at the end of it will keep readers interested in following the adventures of Denji and the other Devil Hunters.

Anime Spotlight: Amazing Nurse Nanako

Amazing Nurse Nanako is a six-episode OVA series that was released in Japan between July 5, 1999 and April 7, 2000. The anime was directed by Yasuhiro Kurdo and was produced by RADIX. Pioneer Entertainment held the North American rights for the series from 2000-2007. Since Geneon Entertainment (which had acquired Pioneer Entertainment during this time period) closed in 2007, no one has held the North American license for Amazing Nurse Nanako.

The protagonist of the series is Nanako Shichigusa, a very buxom and flighty 16-year-old girl who works as a maid at Dr. Kyogi Ogami’s hospital. Nanako tends to do things wrong and is very clumsy. Ogami usually treats Nanako in a cruel manner, such as yelling at her, threatening her, and subjecting her to physical abuse. However, during the climax of each episode, Ogami rescues Nanako from whatever predicament she’s managed to get herself into over the course of the story. A lot of the series revolves around Nanako and Ogami’s relationship. Amazing Nurse Nanako also has a plot that includes the American military, the Catholic church, and science fiction experiments.

Nanako is a cyborg experiment conducted by Dr. Ogami; however, she became too strong and his plan failed. It turns out the Nanako we meet in the series is the third clone of the original Nanako, who died at the age of 20 from a mysterious illness. So far, the previous two Nanako clones have died of the same mysterious illness at age 20. Dr. Ogami has made it his goal to try to cure the “Nanako illness.” It also turns out that the Pentagon and the Vatican are trying to resurrect Jesus for the Second Coming, and it has been decided that Nanako will be the one to undergo an operation to give birth to the new Jesus. However, Nanako is not aware that she is a subject for this experiment.

This series combines elements of humor, science fiction, and ecchi… unfortunately, it doesn’t really combine these elements well. And while the description above makes it sound like there’s a strong storyline in this series, this storyline only truly appears in the first, fifth, and six episodes. The other three episodes do tease out some backstory for Nanako and Ogami, but they primarily focus on filler.

Unfortunately, most of the series puts more emphasis on fanservice than on the actual story. The animators utilize as many opportunities as possible to make female characters’ breasts jiggle, as well as either having Nanako in revealing clothing or wearing nothing at all. I think there was potential for a decent story here, but the writers ultimately decided to make the story secondary to the fanservice.

To be honest, I found Nanako to be an annoying protagonist. She spent a lot of her screen time crying, whining, and yelling. It didn’t help that I watched the English dub of Amazing Nurse Nanako, and the English dub actress for this character just overdid it. To be honest, I only recognized one of the English dub actors’ names when I saw the credits, and this was the only person who seems to have continued going in anime voice acting. And of all the voice actors in this English dub, this particular voice actor was the best of the group, so I’m glad to see they had a career that flourished after this abomination.

I also hated Ogami. He was always abusive to Nanako in some way, shape, or form… and it was being played for laughs. This. Is. Not. OK. And speaking of the comedy in this series, I have to say that I thought the humor fell flat and it just wasn’t funny.

To sum it up, I have to say that Amazing Nurse Nanako was anything but amazing. Instead, it was a flaming pile of crap. If you’re a fan of ecchi, you might find something to enjoy about this series. If not, then avoid this anime like the plague.

Manga Creator Takao Yaguchi Passes Away

Anime News Network is reporting that manga creator Takao Yaguchi passed away on November 20, 2020 due to pancreatic cancer He was 81 years old at the time of his passing. His daughter Kaoru made the announcement through her father’s Twitter account, and added that her father had been ill for half a year since he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in May 2020.

Yokote was born in 1939 in Akita prefecture. He is best known for his Tsurikichi Sampei fishing manga, which ran in Kodansha’s Weekly Shōnen Magazine from 1973 to 1983, and had 65 compiled book volumes. It inspired a television anime series that ran from 1980 to 1982. The manga also inspired a live-action film in 2009. The Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology gave him the Regional Person of Cultural Merit Award in 2009. This year marked his 50th year as a professional artist.

Yaguchi and Katsumi Tatsuzawa recently ended the Versus Gyoshin-san! manga on July 7, 2020. The manga was a spin-off of Tsurikichi Sampei.

Source: ANN

Tubi TV Adds the Genie Family 2020 Anime

The Fandom Post is reporting that Tubi TV has added the Genie Family 2020 anime to its service. The series is available in its original Japanese with English and Spanish subtitles.

The show is based on the idea by Tatsuo Yoshida and was directed by Hiroshi Sasagawa. Tatsunoko Production was behind the animation producing for the 52-episode run that aired from 1969 to 1970.

The story of Genie Family 2020 is described as:

A young boy finds a bottle in his attic with a genie who can be summoned by sneezing. Unfortunately, the genie isn’t very good, and his wishes have a tendency to go wrong…

Source: The Fandom Post