FUNimation Entertainment to Add More Titles to Its Streaming Service on June 3, 2021

FUNimation Entertainment has announced that it is adding the following titles from Gonzo and TMS Entertainment on June 3, 2021:

  • Bananya Season 1: Available subtitled and with an English dub in the Unoted States and Canada
  • Bokurano: Available subtitled in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Ireland, Brazil and Mexico; on AnimeLab in Australia and New Zealand; and on Wakanim in France and Germany
  • ItaKiss: Available subtitled in the United States and Canada
  • Magic Knight Rayearth: Available subtitled and in English dub in the United States and Canada
  • The Pilot’s Love Song: Available subtitled in the United States and Canada
  • Yowamushi Pedal: Available subtitled in the United States and Canada
  • Yowamushi Pedal GRANDE ROAD: Available subtitled in the United States and Canada
  • Yowamushi Pedal Re:RIDE: Available subtitled in the United States and Canada
  • Yowamushi Pedal Re:ROAD: Available subtitled in the United States and Canada
  • Yowamushi Pedal: The Movie: Available subtitled in the United States and Canada

Source: FUNimation Entertainment

Amazon Prime Adds the Second Season of the Magic Knight Rayearth Anime

The Fandom Post is reporting that Amazon Prime has added the second season of the Magic Knight Rayearth anime to its service. As of this writing, the second season is only available in its English dubbed form. It is also only available for streaming with no purchase or rental options for non-Prime members.

The story of Magic Knight Rayearth is described as:

Three young girls, Hikaru, Umi, and Fuu, are transported to a magical world called Cephiro during a field trip to Tokyo Tower. They are soon greeted by Master Mage Clef, who explains to them that they have been summoned to become the Legendary Magic Knights and save Cephiro. The girls are less than enthusiastic about this idea, and only want to return home. Clef further explains that they must seek out the three Rune Gods to help them fight. He bestows armor and magical powers to each of them. They learn from Clef that High Priest Zagato has kidnapped the Pillar of Cephiro, Princess Emeraude. The Pillar of Cephiro has the sole responsibility of keeping Cephiro alive and in balance with her prayers. Without Princess Emeraude, Cephiro would fall into ruin. Hikaru, Umi, and Fuu must fight off Zagato’s henchman and find the Rune Gods if they ever want to get back home. They soon learn that friendship and loyalty are the only things they can rely on in the crumbling Cephiro.

Source: The Fandom Post

Amazon Prime Adds the Magic Knight Rayearth Anime

The Fandom Post is reporting that Amazon Prime is now streaming the first season of the Magic Knight Rayearth anime series. According to the report, the season is only available in its dubbed form. The series is available for streaming only with no purchase or rental options for non-prime members.

Discotek Media license rescued Magic Knight Rayearth in 2015.

The story of Magic Knight Rayearth is described as:

Three young girls, Hikaru, Umi, and Fuu, are transported to a magical world called Cephiro during a field trip to Tokyo Tower. They are soon greeted by Master Mage Clef, who explains to them that they have been summoned to become the Legendary Magic Knights and save Cephiro. The girls are less than enthusiastic about this idea, and only want to return home. Clef further explains that they must seek out the three Rune Gods to help them fight. He bestows armor and magical powers to each of them. They learn from Clef that High Priest Zagato has kidnapped the Pillar of Cephiro, Princess Emeraude. The Pillar of Cephiro has the sole responsibility of keeping Cephiro alive and in balance with her prayers. Without Princess Emeraude, Cephiro would fall into ruin. Hikaru, Umi, and Fuu must fight off Zagato’s henchman and find the Rune Gods if they ever want to get back home. They soon learn that friendship and loyalty are the only things they can rely on in the crumbling Cephiro.

Source: The Fandom Post

Manga Nominees for the 2020 Eisner Awards

Comic-Con International has announced the nominees for this year’s Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards.

Kousuke Oono’s The Way of the Househusband is nominated in the Best Humor Publication category, while Kabi Nagata’s My Solo Exchange Diary (Volume 2) is nominated in the Best Reality-Based Work category. Gou Tanabe’s H.P. Lovecraft’s At The Mountains Of Madness (Volumes 1 and 2) manga is nominated alongside Stan Sakai’s Usagi Yojimbo: The Complete Grasscutter Artist Select comic for Best Adaptation from Another Medium. Shin’ichi Abe’s That Miyoko Asagaya Feeling is also nominated with Sakai’s comic for the Best Archival Collection/Project—Comic Books award. Additionally, Sakai is nominated for Usagi Yojimbo in the Best Lettering category.

Five manga titles are competing for the Best U.S. Edition of International Material—Asia award (the sixth nominee is Keum Suk Gendry-Kim’s Grass):

  • BEASTARS by Paru Itagaki
  • Cats of the Louvre by Taiyo Matsumoto
  • Magic Knight Rayearth 25th Anniversary Edition by CLAMP
  • The Poe Clan by Moto Hagio
  • Witch Hat Atelier by Kamome Shirahama

Voting is open to all comic book industry professionals until June 18, 2020, and the winners will be announced in July 2020. The announcement noted that the selection process took two months longer than normal as the judges stayed in their homes during “lockdown” instead of interacting in person. The results in all categories are normally announced in a gala awards ceremony at San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC) in July 2020. However, the organizers cancelled this year’s event due to the COVID-19 pandemic. SDCC will instead hold the “Comic-Con@Home” event this summer.

This year manga creators Moto Hagio and Keiji Nakazawa are among the 14 nominees for the Will Eisner Comic Awards Hall of Fame.

Source: ANN

Manga Review: Magic Knight Rayearth Omnibus Volume Two

Article first published as Manga Review: Magic Knight Rayearth Omnibus Volume Two by CLAMP on Blogcritics.

Magic Knight Rayearth Omnibus Volume Two collects volumes four through six of CLAMP’s manga series into one volume. Dark Horse Manga has the North American distribution rights for the series, and this omnibus edition was released in 2012. There isn’t a rating published anywhere for this volume; however, I would recommend Magic Knight Rayearth to manga readers who are thirteen years of age and older.

Magic Knight Rayearth Omnibus Volume 2
Written by: CLAMP
Publisher: Kodansha
English Publisher: Dark Horse Manga
Release Date: April 24, 2012

This volume opens with Hikaru, Fuu, and Umi (the three Magic Knights) thinking of the land of Cefiro and what happened at the end of the first volume. The three girls gather at Tokyo Tower, where they wish to return to Cefiro. The bright light that took them to Cefiro in the first volume appears, and the three return to Cefiro. Clef the guru is surprised by their arrival, because only the pillar is supposed to be able to summon the Magic Knights; since the pillar is now dead, no one knows how the girls returned to Cefiro.

The Cefiro they return to is a world that is now falling apart, since there is no longer a pillar to protect the land. Also, worlds outside of Cefiro can now access the land. Hikaru, Fuu, and Umi taken on their role as Magic Knights again, and declare that they will do what they can to help Cefiro. Lantis, the younger brother of Zagato, has returned to Cefiro. Hikaru finds her self falling for Lantis, which adds another layer to the story.

There are three worlds trying to invade Cefiro for different reasons. Eagle Vision, Geo Metro, and Zaz Torque are from the world of Autozam. The environment in their world is being destroyed, so they want to seize the pillar system and return with it to Autozam. Lady Aska is a spoiled ruler from Fahren, and she wants to become the pillar in order to become the princess and to fill the world with candy. Tata and Tatra are from the world of Cizeta, and they want to become the pillar in order to expand their territory.

Unfortunately, Cefiro doesn’t have much time, and a new pillar must be found as soon as possible. Only the one who has the strength to be the pillar can find the road to the pillar. In the climax of the volume, one of the Magic Knights and one of the other characters have to fight each other to determine who the next pillar will be.

Overall, I have to say that I thought the story in the second omnibus was a little stronger than the story in the first omnibus. While the first omnibus had to establish the world of Cefiro and the “Hero’s Journey” of the Magic Knights, there were parts in the first omnibus that felt like where obstacles were overcome a little too easily for our protagonists.

As I read this second omnibus, I never felt that anything happened “too easily” for our characters. In fact, I found myself riveted to the story and to the action in this volume. This volume is very action-packed, so it made me want to keep on reading. Admittedly, I could tell early on which of the Magic Knights would be considered strong enough to be the next pillar of Cefiro, there were still surprises to be revealed during the climax.

While the art in the second omnibus volume of Magic Knight Rayearth employs some of the typical shojo tropes, there were definitely more panels that were action-packed and were depicted with tropes more associated with the shonen genre.

If you’re a fan of Magic Knight Rayearth, you will definitely want to read this omnibus volume to see how the adventures of the Magic Knights continue. For me personally, Magic Knight Rayearth is one of the better shojo manga series that I have read.

I wrote this review after reading a pre-release digital copy that I acquired through the NetGalley.com website.

Additional post about Magic Knight Rayearth:

Manga Review: Magic Knight Rayearth Omnibus Volume One

Article first published as Manga Review: Magic Knight Rayearth Omnibus Volume One by CLAMP on Blogcritics.

Magic Knight Rayearth Omnibus Volume One collects the first three volumes of CLAMP’s manga series into one volume. Dark Horse Manga has the North American distribution rights for this series, and they released this omnibus edition in July 2011. There isn’t a rating published anywhere for this volume; however, I would recommend Magic Knight Rayearth to manga readers who are thirteen years of age and older.

Magic Knight Rayearth Volume 1
Written by: CLAMP
Publisher: Kodansha
English Publisher: Dark Horse Manga
Release Date: July 19, 2011

The series begins when three Japanese schoolgirls go on a field trip to Tokyo Tower with their respective schools. Hikaru is a young-looking fourteen-year-old who goes to a public school, Fuu is a fourteen-ywar-old girl who goes to a private school, and Umi is a rich fourteen-year-old girl. After a chance encounter between these three at Tokyo Tower, there’s a bright flash of light; the three girls are whisked away to another world.

They encounter a guru named Clef, and the girls learn that they are in a land called Cefiro, which is a world of magic and monsters. According to Clef, the girls have been summoned by Princess Emeraude as the legendary Magic Knights and save her from her imprisonment by Lord Zagato. The girls also learn that the only way they can return to their world is to save Cefiro. The stories in this omnibus follows the girls’ adventures as they learn about Cefiro and what it means to be the Magic Knights, as well as their quest to save Princess Emeraude.

Magic Knight Rayearth employs many of the artistic tropes associated with the shojo manga genre, but instead of being in the usual school setting, they are being utilized in a fantasy world or swords and sorcery. Since this is the second series I’ve started reading by the CLAMP collective, I was also glad to see that the collective doesn’t rely on one art style for all their work; for me, there’s no way to confuse the art style of Magic Knight Rayearth with the art style of Chobits.

In a lot of respects, the story of Magic Knight Rayearth contains a lot of the elements one would expect in “the Hero’s Journey” for a sword and sorcery story. However, I’d like to say, without giving away any spoilers, that the ending actually caught me by surprise. As a reader, I was led to believe throughout this volume that there was a definite way that the quest is supposed to end; however, when the end of the quest is reached, I learned that some things were not as they seemed to be.

Unfortunately, I do have to complain that there was one section near the end of the omnibus where I felt the dialogue “hit me over the head” a little too much and that it felt preachy. However, I’m trying to keep in mind that there’s a chance that this preachy dialogue was more due to the translation than to CLAMP’s original writing. There were also a couple of times where I felt some things happened a little too easily for the three heroines.

Even with its faults, Magic Knight Rayearth is still one of the better shojo manga titles that I have personally read.

I wrote this review after my older daughter checked out a copy of Magic Knight Rayearth Omnibus Volume One through the King County Library System.

Additional post about Magic Knight Rayearth: