VIZ Media Presents an Exciting Selection of Anime and Publishing Titles for the Holidays

VIZ Media offers fans a diverse collection of titles to add to their wish lists this holiday season. Featured anime titles include Season 2 of the acclaimed Netflix Original Anime Series Castlevania as well as the series finale of Sailor Moon, available for the first time ever on home video in the U.S. Fans can also enjoy a limited edition of Transformers: A Visual HistoryY celebrating the franchise’s 35th anniversary, and a deluxe Dragon Ball art book. Additional offerings come from fan-favorite series including Bleach, Boruto: Naruto Next Generations, One Piece, RWBY and much more.

Anime Gift Selections:

CASTLEVANIA SEASON 2
Blu-ray MSRP: $29.98 U.S. / $34.99 CAN
DVD MSRP: $24.98 U.S. / $29.99 CAN

Trevor Belmont, last survivor of his house, is no longer alone, and he and his misfit comrades, Sypha Belnades and Alucard race to find a way to save humanity from extinction at the hands of the grief-maddened Dracula and his sinister vampire war council.

Season 2’s special features include production animatics, storyboards, art gallery and more.

SAILOR MOON SAILOR STARS PART 2
Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack MSRP: $69.99 U.S. / $81.99 CAN
DVD MSRP: $39.99 U.S. / $51.99 CAN
Available November 12, 2019 (Part 1 Available Now)

Although the popularity of the Idol group Three Lights is off the charts, Usagi hasn’t realized that Seiya, Yaten and Taiki are the Sailor Star Lights. But with the number of Phage growing in the city, the purpose of star seeds is the biggest mystery that needs to be solved. Could the mysterious Chibi-Chibi hold the answer? The tide is turning, but not in Usagi’s favor. Her allies are being overpowered, and altered timelines are confusing the fate she knows to be true: Mamoru is her true love, Neo Crystal Tokyo is her future kingdom and her fellow Guardians will be her eternal protectors…right? The ultimate battle with the chaotic Sailor Galaxia lies ahead, and the fate of all existence lies in the balance.

Special features include cast interviews, trailers, opening & ending songs, and art gallery.

JOJO’S BIZARRE ADVENTURE: DIAMOND IS UNBREAKABLE Part 1
Blu-ray MSRP: $69.99 U.S. / $81.99 CAN
DVD MSRP: $39.99 U.S. / $51.99 CAN

It’s 1999, and Jotaro Kujo has just arrived in the idyllic Japanese town of Morioh—only this time, he’s not hunting DIO and his henchmen. His search for the illegitimate child of Joseph Joestar has brought him face-to-face with Josuke Higashikata, a Stand-wielding, butt-kicking high schooler who happens to be afraid of turtles. But behind Morioh’s tranquil facade is an invisible evil slowly eating away at the peace and well-being of its residents. Bizarre happenings are becoming commonplace, and the Joestar clan must rise to the occasion if they and the town of Morioh are to survive.

MEGALOBOX Limited Edition Blu-ray
MSRP: $69.99 U.S. / $81.99 CAN

Bored, resigned, and unfulfilled, a young man with neither name nor past survives by fighting in underground matches of a sport called “Megalobox,” a form of boxing that utilizes powered exoskeletons. Calling himself JNK.DOG, he feels trapped in a world of crime, poverty, and ecological collapse. All that changes when he has a chance encounter with Yuri, the reigning king of Megalobox. Now, obsessed with proving himself, JNK.DOG becomes a man driven to do whatever it takes to fight his way to the top of the rankings and take on the champion.

Also available:

BLEACH 1-4 Blu-ray Sets; Set 5 available December 3rd, 2019
MSRP: $54.97 U.S. / $63.99 CAN

BORUTO: NARUTO NEXT GENERATIONS 1-3 Blu-ray & DVD Sets
Blu-ray MSRP: $44.98 U.S. / $52.99 CAN · DVD MSRP: $39.99 U.S. / $51.99 CAN

Deluxe Book Gift Selections:

DRAGON BALL: A VISUAL HISTORY by Akira Toriyama
MSRP: $34.99 U.S. / $46.99 CAN
Available November 12, 2019

A comprehensive art book showcasing manga art, additional promotional material, creator commentary and notes/sketches/posters, from throughout the history of the original Dragon Ball series. This hardcover book with dust jacket comes protected in an upscale slipcase.

TRANSFORMERS: A VISUAL HISTORY by Jim Sorenson
Limited Edition MSRP: $99.99 U.S. / $125.00 CAN
Available November 12, 2019

The deluxe limited edition comes packaged in a beautiful collector’s box with an exclusive variant cover design and five gorgeous and frame-ready prints.

One of the world’s most popular franchises, Transformers has been delighting fans since 1984. Now, in this deluxe hardcover celebration, Hasbro reveals behind-the-scenes production sketches, beautifully polished final art, and everything in-between. From the obscure to the iconic, this book features packaging artwork, animation models, video game designs, comic pages, and, for the first time ever, production artwork from all six Paramount live-action films. Lovingly curated by Transformers expert Jim Sorenson, this is the most comprehensive collection of Transformers imagery ever assembled.

THE WORLD OF RWBY by Daniel Wallace
MSRP: $39.99 U.S. / $53.99 CAN

The definitive companion to the hit animated series, The World of RWBY is the ultimate celebration of a pop-culture phenomenon. Go behind the scenes with exclusive commentary from Rooster Teeth and explore the show’s creation through in-depth interviews with the writers, animators and voice artists. With comprehensive analysis of key characters and iconic episodes, and showcasing stunning visuals from the series, this is the must-have book for RWBY fans around the world.

Also Available

ONE PIECE COLOR WALK COMPENDIUM: WATER SEVEN TO PARAMOUNT WAR by Eiichiro Oda
MSRP: $39.99 U.S. / $53.99 CAN

EVANGELION ILLUSTRATIONS 2007-2017
MSRP: $34.99 U.S. / $46.99 CAN

Manga Box Set Gift Selections:

ASSASSINATION CLASSROOM COMPLETE BOX SET by Yusei Matsui
MSRP: $189.99 U.S. / $249.99 CAN
Rated “T+” for Older Teens

The complete bestselling Assassination Classroom series is now available in a boldly designed, value-priced box set. Includes all 21 volumes of this unique tale of a mysterious, smiley-faced, tentacled, superpowered teacher who guides a group of misfit students to find themselves—while doing their best to assassinate him. Action-packed, hilarious, and heartwarming, this title is famous for moving fans to tears through their laughter. Includes an exclusive, full-color, mini “yearbook” filled with images of favorite characters in different art styles and contexts (previously unreleased in the English editions).

DRAGON BALL COMPLETE BOX SET by Akira Toriyama
MSRP: $139.99 U.S. / $179.99 CAN
Rated “T” For Teens

The Dragon Ball Complete Box Set contains all 16 volumes of the original manga that kicked off the global phenomenon. Also includes an exclusive double-sided poster and collector’s booklet featuring fun Dragon Ball trivia and guides as well as an interview with its legendary creator.

DRAGON BALL Z COMPLETE BOX SET by Akira Toriyama
MSRP: $219.99 U.S. / $279.99 CAN
Rated “A” For All Ages

The Dragon Ball Z Complete Box Set contains all 26 volumes of the manga that propelled the global phenomenon that started with Dragon Ball into one of the world’s most recognizable and best-selling manga. Also includes an exclusive double-sided poster and collector’s booklet featuring fun Dragon Ball Z trivia and guides as well as an interview with Akira Toriyama.

VIZ Media Announces September 2019 Anime and Manga Releases

In September 2019, science fiction fans are invited to dive into the home media release of Infini-T Force, the superhero-action series that unites the four legendary heroes Gatchaman, Polimar, Casshan, and Tekkaman. All twelve episodes of the series will be available in one Blu-ray set.

In partnership with The Pokemon Company International, the Pokemon: Black & White Movie Collection home media release arrives with four feature films that will delight Pokemon fans of all ages.

New publishing debuts for September 2019 kick off with the Assassination Classroom Complete Box Set, which collects Yusei Matsui’s hit action comedy about a tentacled teacher with superpowers and a heart of gold.

VIZ Signature debuts for September 2019 include Cats of the Louvre, the latest masterpiece from Eisner Award–winning creator Taiyo Matsumoto. No Guns Life is a cyberpunk series in which the protagonist’s head is replaced with a giant gun… and his memories erased. In the action-packed comedy The Way of the Househusband, a former yakuza legend desires to walk the straight and narrow. Finally, Levius debuts as a complete hardcover edition of the science fiction action series about cyborg arena fighters.

New Home Media Releases for September 2019:

INFINI-T FORCE: THE COMPLETE SERIES
Blu-ray MSRP: $44.98 U.S. / $52.99 CAN
Available September 10, 2019

When an interdimensional attack plunges the defiant, thrill-seeking teen Emi into a city-wide assault, a band of mysterious heroes from lost worlds appears to save her. But it seems both heroes and villains have their sights on The Case, a magical object with transmutational powers, currently in Emi’s possession. Only the combined strength of Gatchaman, Casshan, Polimar and Tekkaman could be enough to stop the man known as “Z” from destroying not only Emi’s world, but countless others.

POKEMON: BLACK & WHITE MOVIE COLLECTION
Blu-ray MSRP: $24.98 U.S. / $29.99 CAN · DVD MSRP: $19.98 U.S. / $24.99 CAN
Available September 17, 2019

Sets each contain the following four Pokemon animated feature films on two Blu-rays or two DVDs:

POKEMON THE MOVIE: BLACK—VICTINI AND RESHIRAM and POKEÉMON THE MOVIE: WHITE—VICTINI AND ZEKROM

When Ash and his friends enter a battle competition in Eindoak Town, they meet the Mythical Pokémon Victini, who becomes their newest friend. But disaster strikes when the misguided wanderer Damon seizes Victini for his own plans. Can Ash prove himself a hero and earn the help of the Legendary Reshiram—or Zekrom—to rescue Victini and save Eindoak Town? Two legends… and two versions of the story. Follow them both in Pokemon the Movie: Black—Victini and Reshiram and Pokemon the Movie: White—Victini and Zekrom. It’s twice the Pokemon adventure.

POKEMON THE MOVIE: KYUREM VS. THE SWORD OF JUSTICE

Ash and Pikachu, along with their friends Iris and Cilan, are on a train headed to the next stop on their journey. From the train, Ash spots an injured Pokemon they don’t recognize. They’re planning a rescue when the train is attacked by the Legendary Kyurem. The Mythical Pokemon Keldeo is on a mission, to rescue its friends—Cobalion, Terrakion, and Virizion, the Legendary Pokemon known as the Swords of Justice—from Kyurem’s icy clutches. But Kyurem has other ideas, and when it transforms into Black Kyurem or White Kyurem for greater power, things look grim.

POKEMON THE MOVIE: GENESECT AND THE LEGEND AWAKENED

A vast Pokemon habitat amid the hustle and bustle of the big city seems like the perfect new home for a group of five Genesect. The arrival of these Mythical Pokemon quickly becomes a problem, though: their nest threatens the city’s power supply, and they keep attacking those who approach it. When the Genesect are joined by the Legendary Pokemon Mewtwo—who sympathizes due to its own origins—things only become worse, and the confrontation quickly rages out of control. Can Ash and friends stop these two powerful Pokemon before they destroy the city?

New Publishing Releases for September 2019:

ASSASSINATION CLASSROOM COMPLETE BOX SET by Yusei Matsui
MSRP: $189.99 U.S. / $249.99 CAN · Rated “T+” for Older Teens
Available September 3, 2019

The complete bestselling Assassination Classroom series is now available in a boldly designed, value-priced box set. Includes all 21 volumes of this unique tale of a mysterious, smiley-faced, tentacled, superpowered teacher who guides a group of misfit students to find themselves—while doing their best to assassinate him. Action-packed, hilarious, and heartwarming, this title is famous for moving fans to tears through their laughter. Includes an exclusive, full-color, mini “yearbook” filled with images of favorite characters in different art styles and contexts (previously unreleased in the English editions).

CATS OF THE LOUVRE by Taiyo Matsumoto
MSRP: $29.99 U.S. / $39.99 CAN · Rated “T” for Teens
Available September 17, 2019

The world-renowned Louvre museum in Paris contains more than just the most famous works of art in history. At night, within its darkened galleries, an unseen and surreal world comes alive—a world witnessed only by the small family of cats that lives in the attic. Until now.

NO GUNS LIFE by Tasuku Karasuma
MSRP: $12.99 U.S. / $17.99 CAN · Rated “T+” for Older Teens
Available September 17, 2019

After the war, cyborg soldiers known as the Extended were discharged. Juzo Inui is one of them, a man whose body was transformed, his head replaced with a giant gun. With no memory of his previous life—or who replaced his head and why—Inui now scratches out a living in the dark streets of the city as a Resolver, taking on cases involving the Extended.

THE WAY OF THE HOUSEHUSBAND by Kousuke Oono
MSRP: $12.99 U.S. / $17.99 CAN · Rated “T+” for Older Teens
Available September 17, 2019

A former yakuza legend leaves it all behind to become your everyday househusband. But it’s not easy to walk away from the gangster life, and what should be mundane household tasks are anything but.

LEVIUS By Haruhisa Nakata
MSRP: $34.99 U.S. / $46.99 CAN · Rated “T+” for Older Teens
Available September 17, 2019

It’s the 19th century, and the world has entered the Era of Rebirth, recovering from the devastating flames of war. The sport of mechanical martial arts has galvanized the nations. Cybernetically augmented fighters turn their blood into steam and their bodies into brutal fighting—and killing—machines. Young Levius is one of those arena battlers, hell-bent on winning in order to simply survive.

Anime Blu-ray Review: Assassination Classroom Season One

Assassination Classroom Season One includes all 22 episodes of the first season of the anime. Audio options include the original Japanese with English subtitles and the English dub.

Assassination Classroom Season One
English Publisher: FUNimation Entertainment
Format: Blu-ray
Release Date: August 14, 2018

A powerful alien octopus creature destroys 70% of the moon and claims that within a year, he will destroy Earth. However, he offers a chance for mankind to avoid this fate. He declares that he wants to be the teacher for class 3-E at Kunugigaoka Junior High School, and the Japanese government offers the class a 10 billion yen reward to the student who can kill the teacher before the year is up. Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as it sounds, since the alien can move at Mach 20. Also, as part of the agreement, the teacher is unable to harm the students in any way. By the end of the first episode, the students give the alien the name of “Koro-sensei.”

Class 3-E is known for containing the students with the lowest grades and is shunned from the rest of the school. In fact, their classroom is in an old rundown building that’s nowhere near the actual school building itself. Among the students, the focus is placed on Nagisa Shiota. He’s the one who is observing their teacher and taking notes on anything he notices.

But Koro-sensei isn’t the terrifying monster that he appears to be at first. As he works with his students, we see that he cares about trying to help them succeed in the classroom. As the series progresses, the students start developing a relationship with Koro-sensei. However, this development doesn’t stop them from trying to assassinate their teacher.

Two new staff members join the class over the course of the series. First is Karasuma from the Ministry of Defense becoming Class 3-E’s new P.E. teacher. Irina Jelavic is a female assassin sent to try to take down Koro-sensei, and she ultimately becomes the class’ part-time foreign language teacher.

Assassination Classroom also shows how much the students in Class 3-E are snubbed by their higher-ranking peers. But through Koro-sensei’s guidance and encouragement, his students start gaining more confidence and ultimately start taking on Class 3-A for various reasons.

I read the first volume of the manga before seeing the first episode of the anime series, so I already knew what to expect when it came to the story. But when I read what the basic premise of this series was on the back cover of the first volume of the manga, I have to admit that I thought it sounded a little strange.

When the first episode started, I noticed how effectively the first scene was able to establish the tense mood in the classroom. This scene also did a great job at building up the suspense as the teacher headed to the classroom. The manga tries to do this as well, but the mangaka is limited by the panels and the fact that he can only use visuals to convey his story. The additional images, along with the music and sound effects, allow the anime to more effectively convey the mood of this scene.

As I continued watching the anime and I recognized storylines that I had already seen from reading the manga, I appreciated how well the anime adapted its original source material. Before I knew it, I found myself genuinely enjoying Assassination Classroom, and I especially enjoyed seeing how the dynamic between Koro-sensei and his students evolved over the course of the series.

The Blu-ray video for this set has 1080p High Definition 16:9 (HD Native), and the audio includes Dolby TrueHD: English 5.1 and Dolby TrueHD: Japanese 2.0. I had no complaints about either the video or audio quality of this release.

Two discs in the set include bonus feature. The second disc has Episode 0 “Meeting Time,” which sees Koro-sensei telling a story about his first meeting with Karasuma. When it opens, it feels different than what you expect from the series, but by the end, it has the tone and humor that viewers know from the series.

There is a roughly 20-minute interview with some of the cast members. To be honest, I remember that Sonny Strait, the ADR Director, and a couple of other people were part of this feature but I don’t really remember what it was they were talking about. Sigh. If it had been more interesting, I might have remembered some of it. The previews for the next episode were not included with the episodes on the disc and were instead included in the bonus features. I’m at a loss as to why FUNimation decided to do it this way. Especially with the format of the next episode previews, it would have worked better to have included them as part of the episode. There is a textless opening and closing song, a U.S. trailer for Assassination Classroom, as well as trailers for other FUNimation Entertainment releases.

The fourth disc includes “Top 10 Moments,” where some of the voice actors and the ADR director talk about the top 10 moments in the first season of Assassination Classroom. This was much more interesting and more memorable than the cast interview on the second disc. This disc also has textless versions of both versions of the opening in this section of the season, as well as a textless closing. The previews for the episodes in the second half are also included, as well as another U.S. trailer for the series and trailers for other FUNimation Entertainment releases.

Even if the bonus features weren’t quite as impressive as I’d hoped, this set is still worth it in order to have the first season of Assassination Classroom in my anime home video library.

VIZ Media Announces New Manga Acquisitions to Debut in Fall 2019

VIZ Media announces new manga publishing acquisitions set for release in Fall 2019.

New fall titles joining the VIZ Signature imprint include Cats of the Louvre, the latest masterpiece from Eisner Award-winning creator Taiyo Matsumoto. Acclaimed author Osamu Dazai’s No Longer Human is adapted into chilling graphic novel form by horror manga creator Junji Ito.

Additional acquisitions include Levius, a hardcover deluxe edition of the science fiction battle manga and its ongoing sequel series, Levius/Est. The Way of the Househusband is an action-packed comedy about a former yakuza legend trying to lead a law-abiding, domestic life as a househusband. And in No Guns Life, a gritty new action series, a former soldier with a cyborg body finds the war never ends for people with bodies like his. Finally, the Assassination Classroom Complete Box Set rounds out the new releases, collecting all 21 volumes of the hit high school action-adventure-comedy from Shonen Jump.

More information on each of these titles will be announced in the near future.

CATS OF THE LOUVRE

A surreal tale of the secret world of the cats of the Louvre by Eisner-Award winning creator Taiyo Matsumoto. The world-renowned Louvre museum in Paris contains more than just the most famous works of art in history. At night, within the darkened galleries, an unseen and surreal world comes alive – a world only witnessed by the small family of cats that live in the attic. Until now…

NO LONGER HUMAN

Plagued by a maddening anxiety, the terrible disconnect between his own concept of happiness and the joy of the rest of the world, Yozo Oba plays the clown in his dissolute life, holding up a mask for those around him as he spirals ever downward, locked arm-in-arm with death. Osamu Dazai’s immortal—and supposedly autobiographical—work of Japanese literature, is perfectly adapted here into a manga by Junji Ito. The imagery wrenches open the text of the novel one line at a time to sublimate Yozo’s mental landscape into something even more delicate and grotesque. This is the ultimate in art by Ito, proof that nothing can surpass the terror of the human psyche.

LEVIUS

It’s the 19th Century and the world has entered the Era of Rebirth, recovering from the devastating flames of war. The sport of Mechanical Martial Arts has galvanized many nations. Cybernetically augmented fighters turn their blood into steam and their bodies into brutal fighting—and killing—machines. Young Levius is one of those arena battlers, hellbent on winning so he can simply survive.

LEVIUS/EST

In this ongoing series that picks up where Levius ended, things look bleak in the aftermath of the Mechanical Arts arena battle. A new arrival inspires a sense of hope – but she might also signal the end of everything.

THE WAY OF THE HOUSEHUSBAND

It’s a day in the life of your average househusband – if your average househusband is the legendary yakuza the “Immortal Dragon.” Yes, this former yakuza legend has left it all behind to become your everyday househusband. But it’s not easy to walk away from the gangster life, and what should be mundane household tasks are anything but.

NO GUNS LIFE

After the war, cyborg soldiers known as the Extended were discharged. Juzo Inui is one of them, a man whose body was transformed, his head replaced with a giant gun. With no memory of his previous life—or who replaced his head and why—Inui now scratches out a living in the dark streets of the city as a Resolver, taking on cases involving the Extended.

ASSASSINATION CLASSROOM COMPLETE BOX SET

The complete box set collection includes all 21 volumes of Assassination Classroom along with a premium two-sided color poster and a 32-page full-color mini artbook.

Ever caught yourself screaming, “I could just kill that teacher”? What would it take to justify such antisocial behavior and weeks of detention? Especially if he’s the best teacher you’ve ever had? How about blowing up the moon and threatening to do the same to Mother Earth—unless you take him out first? Plus a reward of a cool 100 million from the Ministry of Defense.

12 Days of Anime: Day 11

For today, I’m going to be focusing on manga instead of anime. In 2018, I managed to finish six manga series, and this post is going to share with you what I finished over this past year.

Black Rose Alice

In May 2018, I finally finished the Black Rose Alice manga series. At the end of it all, it was a decent enough manga series, but I wouldn’t rank it among my favorite manga. To be honest, I would only recommend this series to readers who enjoy shojo manga that features vampires, and don’t mind the fact that the series doesn’t truly have an end.

Assassination Classroom

In May 2018, I also finished the Assassination Classroom manga. This is a fantastic manga series, and I would highly recommend it to manga readers who appreciate stories with humor that evolve into something more serious as the series progresses.

Kiss of the Rose Princess

I must have been busy reading manga during May 2018, because that was also the month that I finished the Kiss of the Rose Princess series. While this isn’t a manga title that I will personally be in a hurry to read again, I think it could appeal to shojo manga readers who enjoy magical or supernatural elements in the manga stories that they read.

Say I Love You.

In July 2018, I read the final volume of Say I Love You. Overall, I enjoyed reading the series. Admittedly, it can get a little more on the saccharine side the closer it reaches its conclusion, but I found I could overlook that since I had been following these characters and had been invested in them for so long before the series took that turn. If you enjoy shojo romance manga, you might find that you enjoy Say I Love You.

xxxHoLic

In September 2018, I finished reading the final volume of xxxHoLic. Overall, this is a pretty solid series, except for the last three or four volumes. By that point, there’s time skipping going on. I understand why the time skipping is going on, but to me, it felt like the strength of the story started diminishing when the time skips began. And I admit that I’m not entirely sure if I liked the ending of the series or not. While it makes sense from what CLAMP established, I ended up feeling a little gypped.

Voice Over! Seiyu Academy

In November 2018, I read the final volume of Voice Over! Seiyu Academy. For me, personally, the concept of the main character taking on a secret identity and not revealing this to the person they’re interested in kind of reminds me of the 1980’s cartoon, Jem (except for the fact that these characters are in high school, and that there’s no holographic technology used to disguise the main character). But the relationship that develops between Senri and Hime (as Shiro) doesn’t feel forced and comes across as convincing to the reader. In some respects, the ending is a predictable and maybe a little on the cliché side, but it works for the story that Minami developed over the course of the 12 volumes. But I think that adding the element of voice acting does help makes this series feel a little less like a typical high school shojo manga story.

12 Days of Anime: Day 9

As an anime fan, it shouldn’t be terribly surprising that I would have anime items (DVDs, Blu-rays, and soundtracks) on my Christmas wishlist. It’s a rather long list (LOL!), but I thought I would share the items that I’m most hoping to find under the tree this Christmas.

Anime Blu-rays and DVDs

Assassination Classroom Season 1

I really liked the Assassination Classroom anime series when I watched it as a simulcast, and I would love to have this in my anime home video library. I’m grateful that FUNimation Entertainment released complete season sets for the series on Blu-ray earlier this year, so now I can ask for one set for each season instead of two sets.

Free! Iwatobi Swim Club Season 1 Collection

Watching Free! -Dive to the Future- over the summer as a simulcast reminded me of how much I enjoyed the series. I’d like to finally start adding it to my anime home video library.

Haikyu!! Season 1 Complete Collection

I really enjoy the series and want to add it to my anime home video library. I’d love to have it available on physical media to watch whenever I want while I keep hoping and waiting for another season.

Shirobako Collection 1

I really liked this series when it aired as a simulcast, and I would love to add it to home anime home video library. I think my husband and son would both get a kick out of this one if they watched it.

Snow White with the Red Hair: The Complete Series

This was another series I enjoyed watching as a simulcast and would like to add to my anime home video library. I especially loved Shirayuki and how she was a great female character with a lot of agency. To be honest, I think my daughters would enjoy this series.

Star Blazers: Space Battleship Yamato 2199 – Part One

This was a fantastic reboot of the original Space Battleship Yamato, and it deserves a spot in my anime home video library. I think my husband would also enjoy this reboot as well.

Yuri!!! On Ice: The Complete Series

This was such a well-done anime. I enjoyed it so much that I binge watched it within a very short amount of time, which is unusual for me. I would love to add this to my anime home video library so I can watch this whenever I want on a bigger screen.

Anime Music

“History Maker” single by Dean Fujioka

This is the opening theme song for Yuri!!! On Ice. This is such a fantastic song, and for me, is among some of the best anime opening theme songs I’ve ever heard. I would love to add it to my music library.

Yowamushi Pedal Theme Song Album

This is a CD that compiles various theme songs from the Yowamushi Pedal anime series. The series has a lot of great themes, and it would be awesome to have them on a single CD.

Yowamushi Pedal O.S.T. 1

This is the first CD of background score music for Yowamushi Pedal. There’s a lot of great score music in this anime, and it’s music I can see myself listening to outside of the series.

Manga Spotlight: Assassination Classroom

Assassination Classroom is a 21 volume manga series written by Yusei Matsui. The series was published in North America by VIZ Media.

Assassination Classroom
Written by: Yusei Matsui
Publisher: Shueisha Inc.
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Dates: December 2, 2014-April 3, 2018

A powerful alien octopus creature destroys 70% of the moon and claims that within a year, he will destroy Earth. However, he offers a chance for mankind to avoid this fate. He declares that he wants to be the teacher for class 3-E at Kunugigaoka Junior High School, and the Japanese government offers the class a 10 billion yen reward to the student who can kill the teacher before the year is up. Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as it sounds, since the alien can move at Mach 20. Also, as part of the agreement, the teacher is unable to harm the students in any way. The students end up giving their new teacher the name of “Koro-sensei.”

Class 3-E is known for containing the students with the lowest grades, and the members of the class are shunned from the rest of the school. As part of being shunned from the rest of the school, their classroom is located in an old rundown building that’s nowhere near the actual school building itself. Among the students, the main focus is placed on Nagisa Shiota. He’s the one who is observing their teacher and taking notes on anything he notices.

But Koro-sensei isn’t the terrifying monster that he appears to be at first. As he works with his students, it becomes clear that he actually cares about trying to help them succeed in the classroom. As the series progresses, the students start developing a relationship with Koro-sensei; however, this development doesn’t stop them from trying to assassinate their teacher.

Two new staff members join the class over the course of the series. First is Karasuma from the Ministry of Defense becoming Class 3-E’s new P.E. teacher. Irina Jelavic is a female assassin sent to try to take down Koro-sensei, and she ultimately becomes the class’ part-time foreign language teacher.

Assassination Classroom also shows how much the students in Class 3-E are snubbed by their higher-ranking peers. But through Koro-sensei’s guidance and encouragement, his students start gaining more confidence and ultimately start taking on Class 3-A for various reasons.

But truths about Koro-sensei are revealed over the course of the series, and these revelations force the students to start rethinking their feelings for their teacher and for their mission to assassinate him. Not only does the story progress, but many of the students also go through some incredible maturation as people as well. By the end, Assassination Classroom becomes a very emotional series. Even though I knew how the story would end since I had already seen the anime, I was still tearing up at certain points in the climax. It shows just how well-written this series is.

Even though I had already seen the anime, I was pleased to discover that the manga included some stories that ended up being skipped over in the anime adaptation. While some of these stories did provide additional character development for some of the characters who weren’t focused on as much in the anime, I understood why these stories had to be cut. When the animation studio only has so many episodes to tell the story of the whole manga, some stories had to be sacrificed in order to tell the entirety of the overarching story. As someone who was familiar with the anime, I found that these manga exclusive stories added a little something and gave me additional bonus stories to get to know some of the characters better.

Assassination Classroom is a fantastic manga series, and I would highly recommend it. My only disappointment is that the final volume of the series had to be padded out with side stories that were published in Weekly Shonen Jump, as well as a one-shot by Yusei Matsui that isn’t related to Assassination Classroom, since there were only two chapters left that hadn’t already been put into a book format. The Assassination Classroom side stories were OK, and the one-shot was just kind of “meh.” But I would definitely recommend the main Assassination Classroom series to manga readers who appreciate stories with humor that evolve into something more serious as the series progresses.