VIZ Media Announces July 2020 Manga Releases

VIZ Media has announced the company’s manga releases for July 2020.

From Shonen Jump:

Act-Age Volume 1
by Tatsuya Matsuki

On Sale Date: July 7, 2020
Age Rating: Teen
Price: USA $9.99

Is there a method to Kei Yonagi’s madness when it comes to acting? The young actor has a family of siblings to feed, but she finds herself struggling with her psychological demons when playing a role. Her desperate acting catches the eye of a famous director, Sumiji Kuroyama, who’s looking for raw talent to mold. Can he help Yonagi navigate the cutthroat world of acting without losing her sanity?

Bleach: Can’t Fear Your Own World Volume 1
Original Concept by Tite Kubo, Written by Ryohgo Narita

On Sale Date: July 7, 2020
Age Rating: Teen
Price: USA $14.99

The Quincies Thousand Year Blood War is over, but the embers of turmoil still smolder in the Soul Society. Tokinada Tsunayashiro, elevated to head of his clan after a slew of assassinations take out every other claimant to the title, has a grand plan to create a new Soul King. His dark ambitions soon sow the seeds of a new total war across the realms, but all is not lost. There is one unlikely Soul Reaper who holds the key to defusing the conflict—Shuhei Hisagi, Assistant Captain of the Ninth Company and reporter for the Seireitei Bulletin.

Kaguya-sama: Love is War Volume 15
by Aka Akasaka

On Sale Date: July 7, 2020
Age Rating: Teen
Price: USA $9.99

Turns out confessing your feelings is the easy part of a romantic relationship… Next you have to figure out how to behave in a relationship. Kaguya retreats behind the protective ice shield she built to protect herself years ago. Miyuki believes only an ideal version of himself is worthy of love. Ai/Haski, as usual, is caught in the middle. Will our two notstar-crossed lovers ever learn to let go and just be?

Before you can love someone else, you have to love yourself.

One-Punch Man Volume 20
by ONE, Art by Yusuke Murata

On Sale Date: July 7, 2020
Age Rating: Teen
Price: USA $9.99

Immediately before the big Monster Association battle, the Class-S heroes hold a strategy meeting. Unfortunately, they just aren’t in sync, and when Amai Mask barges in, the situation only gets worse. Thankfully, King appears just in time to boost their morale—and it’s a good thing, too, because the big
monster battle begins.

Seraph of the End Volume 19
Story by Takaya Kagami, Art by Yamato Yamamoto,
Storyboards by Daisuke Furuya

On Sale Date: July 7, 2020
Age Rating: Teen+
Price: USA $9.99

Shinoa fights for her life at the Demon Army headquarters where the First Progenitor, Shikama Doji, is trying to possess her. Ferid’s solution to the problem? Kill her before she’s turned and possessed. With all of the pieces in place and the First’s resurrection all but complete, the vampires and the Hyakuya Sect both converge on Shibuya. Meanwhile, trapped in his own mind with Asuramaru, Yuichiro’s missing past is finally revealed to him.

Haikyu!! Volume 39
by Haruichi Furudate

On Sale Date: July 7, 2020
Age Rating: Teen
Price: USA $9.99

It’s Little Giant versus Little Giant in the quarterfinal game against Kamomedai, and the Little Giant of the past that both Hinata and Korai look up to is watching in the stands. Karasuno struggles against Kamomedai’s iron-tough defense, as their blockers are just as infamous as Date Tech’s, if not more/ Will Karasuno find a way to open a hole in Kamomedai’s wall?

Dr. Stone Volume 12
by Riichiro Inagaki, Art by Boichi

On Sale Date: July 7, 2020
Age Rating: Teen
Price: USA $9.99

The Kingdom of Science is now in uncharted waters. Motivated to find out the meaning behind the cryptic message they intercepted, Senku and a select few prepare for a long overseas voyage. And what they find on the first stop on their journey might provide a clue behind the mysterious petrification that ended civilization.

Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaina Volume 14
by Koyoharu Gotouge

On Sale Date: July 7, 2020
Age Rating: Teen
Price: USA $9.99

Tanjiro’s sword is still not ready. The swordsmith Haganezuka tries to concentrate on finishing while Tanjiro and his friends engage the two upper-rank demons, Hantengu and Gyokko, in a ferocious battle. Hantengu continues to create different forms to attack the Demon Slayers. Meanwhile, the Mist Hashira Tokito regains his memories of the past and confronts Gyokko, but what will these memories reveal?

From Shojo Beat:

Snow White with the Red Hair Volume 8
by Sorata Akiduki

On Sale Date: July 7, 2020
Age Rating: Teen
Price: USA $9.99

Shirayuki and Zen finally have “the talk” about their future together. Then, a heavy rain forces the party to take shelter at an inn after seeing off Sakaki. But just as night falls, Obi slips away.

Daytime Shooting Star Volume 7
by Mika Yamamori

On Sale Date: July 7, 2020
Age Rating: Teen
Price: USA $9.99

Suzume has moved to Tokyo and is living with her uncle. Suzume and Mr. Shishio take a trip together for the first time. But something weighs heavily on Mr. Shishio’s mind. Meanwhile, Suzume’s worried about being caught on a romantic outing with her teacher.

Prince Freya Volume 2
by Keiko Ishihara

On Sale Date: July 7, 2020
Age Rating: Teen
Price: USA $9.99

Freya finds her charade as Prince Edvard difficult to maintain while battling treacherous Tyrish nobles and her own crushing grief. With the help of her dear friend Alek and her new guardian Sir Julian, however, she’s determined not to give up. But will her new resolution and impulsive nature send her straight into the jaws of danger?

An Incurable Case of Love Volume 4
by Mak Enjoji

On Sale Date: July 7, 2020
Age Rating: Mature
Price: USA $9.99

At long last, the Dark Lord has been defeated. Wait—it can’t be that easy.

Nanase became a nurse to chase after Dr. Kairi Tendo. Nanase hears that Kairi has requested to study abroad. She is shocked by the news and tells him she doesn’t want to be apart, but Kairi’s response makes her uneasy.

Love Me, Love Me Not Volume 3
by Io Sakisaka

On Sale Date: July 7, 2020
Age Rating: Teen
Price: USA $9.99

Akari begins to see Kazuomi in a different light. But Kazuomi seems completely uninterested in love, and he’s very different from Akari’s usual type. Rio learns that Akari is attracted to Kazuomi, and Rio’s state of mind makes Yuna’s heart ache.

Takane & Hana Volume 15
by Yuki Shiwasu

On Sale Date: July 7, 2020
Age Rating: Teen
Price: USA $9.99

Takane’s mother shows up from London and causes a stir. The big question is, can she possibly accept Hana’s role in Takane’s life? Things don’t look promising, but perhaps a trip to the amusement park can mend the strained relationship between mother and son.

From VIZ Media:

Radiant Volume 12
by Tony Valente

On Sale Date: July 14, 2020
Age Rating: Teen
Price USA $9.99

Traveling to Bôme to recover the Nemesis that Grimm has stolen, Seth, Melie, Doc and Ocoho are separated during confrontations with both a Nemesis and a member of the Mesnie, eaters of the Infected. But this is not their only problem: the presence of General Inquisitor Sargon aboard their aircraft suggests that a meeting of Inquisition senior officials will soon take place in Bôme, an event sure to pile more troubles onto the Infected.

Persona 5 Volume 3
by Hisato Murasaki, Based on the video game by Atlus

On Sale Date: July 14, 2020
Age Rating: Teen+
Price: USA $9.99

Ann has a new admirer… kind of. His name is Yusuke Kitagawa and he is an aspiring artist apprenticed to master painter Ichiryusai Madarame. Enthralled by Ann’s beauty, Yusuke is determined to use her as a model for a painting. But a new palace appears and it soon becomes apparent that it belongs to none other than Madarame himself, who has been plagiarizing his students’ art for his own gain. Will Yusuke have the will to rebel and join Akira and his friends to defeat the evil painter?

Record of Grancrest War Volume 7
Original Story by Ryo Mizuno, Story and Art by Makoto Yotsuba, Character Design by Miyu

On Sale Date: July 14, 2020
Age Rating: Mature
Price: USA $9.99

It’s all been building to this point. Siluca and Theo’s plans, their hopes and their dreams—all are going to be put to the test in this final volume. Can the genius mage and upstart Lord pull off one last win, or will this be the end of everything they hoped to accomplish?

Splatoon: Squid Kids Comedy Show Volume 1
by Hideki Goto

On Sale Date: July 14, 2020
Age Rating: All Ages
Price: USA $9.99

New Inklings take center stage as they and their friends embark on hilarious escapades in the world of Splatoon, the hit video game series from Nintendo.

From VIZ Signature:

Mujirushi
by Naoki Urasawa

On Sale Date: July 21, 2020
Age Rating: Teen+
Price: USA $19.99

Kamoda will do anything to earn a quick buck, even if it means skipping out on his taxes to take his wife on a luxury cruise. But when a random tax audit bankrupts his family, Kamoda soon discovers his wife has taken that cruise after all—only without Kamoda or their daughter Kasumi.

Desperate to provide, Kamoda invests in a scheme to massproduce masks of controversial American presidential candidate Beverly Duncan. But a lackluster election kills their sales potential, burying Kamoda under a mountain of masks and debt. On the verge of despair, Kamoda discovers a sign that leads him to the Director, an art fanatic who vows he can make all of Kamoda and Kasumi’s dreams come true.

Mobile Suit Gundam Thunderbolt Volume 14
by Yasuo Ohtagaki, Concept by Hajime Yatate and Yoshiyuki Tomino

On Sale Date: July 21, 2020
Age Rating: Teen+
Price: USA $14.99

The Nanyang Alliance desperately tries to evacuate their Psycho Zakus from the Taal volcano base under intense pressure from the attacking Federation forces. To cover the retreat, Daryl Lorenz and the members of his team try to hold off Io Fleming and his unit. But this face-off was always going to come down to Io and Daryl, whose rivalry has only intensified since they first dueled in the Thunderbolt Sector. Each will accept nothing less than total destruction of the other, but victory always comes at a price.

BEASTARS Volume 7
by Paru Itagaki

On Sale Date: July 21, 2020
Age Rating: Teen+
Price: USA $12.99

Red deer Louis has always been the prime candidate for Cherryton Academy’s next Beastar, but now he has dropped out of school to run a gang of lions. When his greatest rival, gray wolf Juno, tries to convince him to return to school, their relationship takes an unexpected turn. Meanwhile, gray wolf Legoshi’s relationship with dwarf rabbit Haru is changing too. Will they grow closer or farther apart? Then, Legoshi is blindsided by a huge, mysterious assailant. What new skills will he need to learn to protect himself, let alone his friends?

Hell’s Paradise: Jigokuraku Volume 3
by Yuji Kaku

On Sale Date: July 21, 2020
Age Rating: Mature
Price: USA $12.99

A group of sinister beings have lived on this island for several lifetimes, tinkering and experimenting on humans and the local fauna to further the goals of their dark sciences. Who are these otherworldly individuals that rule this beautiful and deadly island and how will Gabimaru manage to kill them to achieve his goal?

RWBY: The Official Manga Volume 1
by Bunta Kinami

On Sale Date: July 21, 2020
Age Rating: Teen
Price: USA $12.99

Ruby takes her first step on the road to becoming a Huntress by enrolling at Beacon Academy, eager to take on the battery of tests, challenges and difficulties that follow. Ruby knows her talents will take her to her goal, but is she ready to clash with Weiss Schnee, haughty scion of the Schnee Dust
Company?

No Guns Life Volume 6
by Tasuku Karasuma

On Sale Date: July 21, 2020
Age Rating: Teen+
Price: USA $12.99

Andy Wachowski was the genius who developed the basic theory of Extension technology. But once he saw what became of his creation he turned against it, becoming the leader of the anti-Extended terrorist organization Spitzbergen. Now, in an attempt to control Juzo Spitzbergen threatens Tetsuro. Berühren’s Resolvers Pepper and Gun Slave Unit Seven are after Juzo as well. Juzo has plenty of cases to deal with now— it’s just too bad he’s not getting paid for any of them.

Levius/est Volume 5
by Haruhisa Nakata

On Sale Date: July 21, 2020
Age Rating: Teen+
Price: USA $12.99

The main event of the Southern Slam tournament is Levius’s title fight against “the Emperor,” Oliver E. Kingsley, but first Natalia must face off against A.J.’s brother Balthus. Zack and Bill are ringside to help, but the Amethyst corporation’s experiments have turned Natalia’s opponent into a dreadful new kind of weapon.

Children of the Whales Volume 15
by Abi Umeda

On Sale Date: July 21, 2020
Age Rating: Teen+
Price: USA $12.99

Chakuro, Suou and Shuan boarded the battleship Karcharías hoping to convince Orca to release Ouni and Lykos. But instead of rescuing their friends, they are now caught up in Orca’s plan to destroy the Mud Whale and all its residents in order to unleash an apocalypse that will overthrow the Nouses and create a parallel world where humans will never again feel pain or sadness. When words prove useless against Orca’s sophistry, will the team from the Mud Whale be forced to use violence?

From Shonen Sunday:

Case Closed Volume 75
by Gosho Aoyama

On Sale Date: July 14, 2020
Age Rating: Teen+
Price: USA $9.99

Conan and Rachel discover that someone is posing as Detective Moore and doing good deeds… but why? A string of threatening notes left on cars gives Detective Chiba the chance to solve a case alongside his childhood crush, new police-recruit Naeko Miike. And a shocking death at a wedding party reveals a startling secret. But when Conan’s investigation of the wedding leads him to an undercover detective working on the same case, he finds himself on the trail of an even bigger mystery…

RIN-NE Volume 34
by Rumiko Takahashi

On Sale Date: July 14, 2020
Age Rating: Teen+
Price: USA $9.99

When some late exorcism fees are finally deposited in Rinne’s account, he informs Sakura that he’ll pay off all his debts to her. Meanwhile, after a fight with her parents over her credit card, Ageha runs away to stay at Rinne’s place. When Sakura hears about the new living arrangements, she gets the wrong impression. Can Rinne set her straight?

Anime Blu-ray Review: Snow White with the Red Hair The Complete Series

Snow White with the Red Hair The Complete Series combines the Blu-ray releases for Snow White with the Red Hair and Snow White with the Red Hair Season 2 into one set. The set includes both an English dub and the original Japanese with English subtitles.

Snow White with the Red Hair The Complete Series
English Publisher: FUNimation Entertainment
Format: Blu-ray
Release Date: October 16, 2018

Shirayuki, an herbalist in a small medieval village, becomes the target of Prince Raj. The prince wants her to become his concubine because of her unusual red hair. Shirayuki is rightfully offended by this, so she decides she’s going to run away. Shirayuki’s not entirely happy about the color of her hair because of all the attention it gets her, since people like to gawk at it and bring attention to it. She cuts off some of her hair and leaves it behind, then crosses the border into the neighboring kingdom of Clarines.

As she wanders, Shirayuki comes across a fancy house, but no one is home when she knocks. She falls asleep outside, and when she wakes up the next morning, she sees a boy about her age jumping over a nearby wall. He’s so distracted when he sees her that he trips and injures himself. After some convincing, Shirayuki and Zen become friends. It’s soon revealed that Zen is a prince of Clarines, who is often accompanied by his retainers, Mitsuhide and Kiki. But Zen sees both Mitsuhide and Kiki as friends in addition to his attendants.

When Prince Raj forces Shirayuki to return to their kingdom, Zen saves her and makes it clear to Raj that he needs to leave her alone. Shirayuki moves to Clarines, and she works at becoming an apprentice court herbalist.

Unfortunately, there are those in Clarines who object to Zen’s friendship with Shirayuki. This includes lords in the kingdom and Zen’s older brother, Izana. One of the lords against Shirayuki hires a young man by the name of Obi to do what it takes to keep Shirayuki and Zen apart. But after Shirayuki stands up to this lord, Obi becomes a retainer for Zen, along with Zen’s longtime friends Mitsuhide and Kiki. After earning Zen’s trust, Obi is given the task of watching over and protecting Shirayuki. By the end of the first season, our two main characters realize that they have feelings for each other. But it appears that Obi might also have feelings for Shirayuki.

The second season of Snow White with the Red Hair opens with a character named Mihaya reappearing, bearing news that a mysterious boy named Kazuki is out to kidnap Shirayaki. On top of this, Prince Izana informs Shirayuki that she is invited to a ball in her home country of Tanbarun and he forces her to attend. By returning to Tanbarun, Shirayuki must be around Prince Raj, which is rather awkward. But Shirayuki makes it her goal to try to find a way to improve her relationship with him. But as Shirayuki is making progress on her goal, she is kidnapped. Zen and Raj must team together to try to rescue her. A little over half of the season is focused on this story arc, and by the end of it, Shirayuki learns something amazing in the middle of all the awkwardness and confusion.

After an episode that provides a small bit of backstory for Obi, the remainder of the season focuses on trying to figure out the future of Shirayuki and Zen’s relationship.

When I watched the first episode of the series, I thought the animation in Snow White with the Red Hair looked rather nice. I especially loved seeing how lush the backgrounds looked. I was truly convinced that I was watching something that takes place in medieval times. While the characters have typical shojo designs, the artistry of the animators helps to make them not look as average as they might have. And as the series progresses, the quality of the animation doesn’t appear to noticeably decline in quality.

I could also tell that Shirayuki would be a character that I would like. She is sweet, helpful, beautiful, and she also has agency. She’s not going to let people with sexist ideas push her around, and she’s willing to be her own independent person. She retains a lot of these traits throughout most of the series but becomes a little more willing to put her guard down around Zen after they acknowledge their feelings for each other.

The obsession over Shirayuki’s hair and her treatment by some in the court is very relatable to viewers, since it resonates so much with the various kinds of prejudice we see in the real world. But Shirayuki handles this all with grace and can hold her own.

At the beginning of the second season, I admit that when the story arc with Prince Raj first started, I was a little annoyed about having to see him again. However, the arc was very well done, and it tied up the loose end of the awkwardness of Raj and Shirayuki being around each other. Also, this provided some very needed character advancement for Raj, which helped to make him a more tolerable character than he had been in the first season. And it turns out that Raj plays an important role in the direction that Shirayuki and Zen’s relationship takes at the end of the final episode.

The episode that provided some backstory for Obi was also nice to see. While it may not have provided much backstory, it was just enough to better understand him as a character.

The final three episodes see Shirayuki having a couple of life-changing events happen to her, as well as trying to figure out how she feels about Zen and if their relationship can ever have a future. But throughout the series, even in her moments of doubt, Shirayuki still displayed the agency that I appreciated seeing during the first season of the series.

The second season of Snow White with the Red Hair was the perfect continuation of the first season. Many loose ends were tied up by the end of it, and at least a couple of characters made great strides in their progression. The series ended pretty much as I expected it to.

In the end, while Snow White with the Red Hair is a shojo series that focuses on love and relationships, it never gets so sweet and sappy that it becomes saccharine.

The Blu-ray video has an aspect ratio of 1.78:1. Audio includes Japanese Dolby TrueHD 2.0 and English Dolby TrueHD 5.1. I had no complaints about either the audio or the video quality of this release.

The first disc in the set includes commentary for Episode 9. The second disc includes commentary on Episode 11. Also on this disc are promotional videos and a commercial collection for the first season of the series, along with textless opening and closing songs and trailers for other FUNimation releases.

The third disc in the set includes commentary on Episode 16. The fourth disc includes commentary for Episode 23. Also on this disc are a promotional video and a commercial collection for the second season of the series, along with textless opening and closing songs and trailers for other FUNimation releases.

It’s a little disappointing that FUNimation didn’t go to a little more effort for the bonus features. I’m surprised they didn’t try to do any interviews with the English dub actors. It would have been nice to have gotten their perspectives on their characters and their characters’ development outside of the episode commentaries. If not that, then something that’s a little more interesting than just the standard fare.

Even though the bonus features are a little on the underwhelming side, this set is still worth getting and adding to your anime home video library if you’re a fan of the Snow White with the Red Hair anime series.

Top 20 Selling Manga for May 2019

NPD BookScan has announced the top 20 selling manga for May 2019:

  1. One-Punch Man Volume 16 by ONE and Yusuke Murata
  2. Berserk Deluxe Edition Volume 1 by Kentaro Miura
  3. Dragon Ball Super Volume 5 by Akira Toriyama and Toyotarou
  4. My Hero Academia Volume 1 by Kohei Horikoshi
  5. My Hero Academia Volume 2 by Kohei Horikoshi
  6. My Hero Academia Volume 18 by Kohei Horikoshi
  7. JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Part 4 – Diamond Is Unbreakable Volume 1 by Araki Hirohiko
  8. One Piece Volume 90 by Eiichiro Oda
  9. Smashed: Junji Ito Story Collection by Junji Ito
  10. My Hero Academia Volume 3 by Kohei Horikoshi
  11. Black Clover Volume 15 bu Yuki Tabata
  12. My Hero Academia Volume 4 by Kohei Horikoshi
  13. My Hero Academia Volume 17 by Kohei Horikoshi
  14. My Hero Academia Volume 5 by Kohei Horikoshi
  15. My Hero Academia Volume 16 by Kohei Horikoshi
  16. Snow White with the Red Hair Volume 1 by Sorata Akiduki
  17. My Hero Academia Volume 15 by Kohei Horikoshi
  18. Sailor Moon Eternal Edition Volume 4 by Naoko Takeuchi
  19. Uzumaki by Junji Ito
  20. Tokyo Ghoul Volume 1 by Sui Ishida

Source: The Fandom Post

VIZ Media Delivers New Anime and Manga Releases for May 2019

VIZ Media announces three new home media and manga publishing titles scheduled for May 2019 release.

Pokemon The Series: Sun & Moon—Ultra Adventures Complete Collection arrives on Blu-ray and DVD in May 2018. Under license from The Pokemon Company International, the collection includes all 48 episodes from Pokemon The Series: Sun & Moon—Ultra Adventures across six discs. Manga releases for May 2019 include JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Part 4 – Diamond Is Unbreakable, the latest saga of Hirohiko Araki’s award-winning multigenerational action adventure, and the new shojo series, Snow White with the Red Hair.

New Home Media for May 2019:

POKEMON THE SERIES: SUN & MOON—ULTRA ADVENTURES COMPLETE COLLECTION
Blu-ray MSRP: $49.99 U.S. / $57.99 CAN · DVD MSRP: $44.98 U.S. / $52.99 CAN Available May 21, 2019

When Ash sees the Legendary Pokemon Solgaleo and Lunala in a dream, he makes a promise to them. But when he wakes up, he can’t remember what it was. Will the strange Pokemon called Nebby help jog his memory? Along with their new friend and the rest of the students at the Pokemon School, Ash and Pikachu explore the Aether Foundation, an organization dedicated to Pokemon conservation and care. But it may not be as innocent as it seems, and Ash and his friends will have to work together to protect the people and Pokemon they care about as they face a mysterious power like nothing they have ever seen.

New Publishing Releases for May 2019:

JOJO’S BIZARRE ADVENTURE: PART 4 – DIAMOND IS UNBREAKABLE
By Hirohiko Araki

MSRP: $19.99 U.S. / $26.99 CAN · Rated “T+” for Older Teens
Available May 7, 2019

In April 1999, Jotaro Kujo travels to a town in Japan called Morioh to find a young man named Josuke Higashikata, the secret love child of his grandfather, Joseph Joestar. Upon finding him, Jotaro is surprised to learn that Josuke also possesses a Stand. After their strange meeting, the pair team up to investigate the town’s proliferation of unusual Stands.

SNOW WHITE WITH THE RED HAIR By Sorata Akiduki
MSRP: $9.99 U.S. / $12.99 CAN · Rated “T” for Teens
Available May 7, 2019

Shirayuki is an herbalist famous for her naturally bright-red hair, and the prince of Tanbarun wants her all to himself. The prince from the neighboring kingdom, Zen, rescues her from her plight, and thus begins their love story.

List: My Favorite Anime Redheads

This time, my list will be focusing on my five favorite red-haired anime characters. Like usual, instead of being a Top 5 list, I am sharing my choices in alphabetical order by first name.

Asuka Langley Soryu

She’s one of the leading ladies of Neon Genesis Evangelion, and she has a strong personality. When she’s first introduced, she’s a little annoying. But as she starts having to work with Shinji (especially the training for the two of them to be able to work together in sync), the audience starts seeing that there’s more to this character. When her backstory is revealed, it’s heartbreaking, and it makes the viewer more understanding of why Asuka acts the way she does.

Mikoto Mikoshiba

Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun boasts quite a cast of characters, and Mikoshiba stands out among the crowd. Not only does he have his bright red hair, but his personality is also over the top and hilarious. He acts like he’s so confident when it comes to girls, but when they pay attention to him, he’s completely shy. All the time he’s spent playing dating sims hasn’t helped him at all in the real world. But he’s helpful to Nozaki in the creation of his manga, especially since, unbeknownst to Mikoshiba, he is the inspiration for the heroin of Nozaki’s story.

Renji Abarai

Renji is one of the Soul Reapers from Soul Society, and he’s a loyal friend to Rukia. When we first meet him, he comes across as a tough guy who wouldn’t want to be regarded as an ally with Ichigo and his friends. But after Rukia is saved from Soul Society, the audience starts seeing that Renji has a softer side to him. Unfortunately, as the anime continued and became riddled with more and more “filler” stories and episodes, he started coming across as more of a comic relief character. But in the episodes that come from the original manga source material, the audience sees that Renji has an awesome Bankai and that he’s a respectable fighter in his own right.

Shirayuki

Shirayuki is an herbalist in a small medieval village. In the world that this story is set, having red hair is a very unusual thing. Prince Raj decides he wants her as his concubine because of her hair, but Shirayuki is rightfully offended by this. She runs away into a bordering kingdom, where she becomes friends with Zen, a prince in the kingdom. What I love about Shirayuki’s character is that she’s sweet, helpful, beautiful, and has agency. She isn’t going to be the damsel in distress who always needs to be saved. While she may not always be able to take care of herself, she’s not constantly relying on others to take care of her.

Shoukichi Naruko

Naruko may be the loud-mouthed member of Sohoku High School’s bicycle racing club, but he’s a very funny and amusing character. The interactions between him and Imaizumi are always fun to watch because of how much they try to compete against each other. And the interactions between Naruko and Tadokoro are also enjoyable. But Naruko also has a serious side to him, which he’s most likely to show to Sakamichi. As Yowamushi Pedal has progressed, we start seeing some evolution of Naruko’s character, but he still retains the amusing charm that he was introduced with.

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.

VIZ Media Announces New Shojo Beat Manga Series Snow White with the Red Hair

VIZ Media announced its latest publishing acquisition, Snow White with the Red Hair, during its official panel held at Anime Weekend Atlanta

The series, by creator Sorata Akizuki, is rated “T” for Teens and joins the Shojo Beat imprint scheduled to launch in Summer 2019. The ongoing series, which has been published in Japan since 2007, also spawned a popular anime adaptation.

In Snow White with the Red Hair, Shirayuki is an herbalist with bright red hair. Raj, the prince of her kingdom, catches word of her beauty and demands that she marry him. But she refuses and runs away. While on the run, she meets a mysterious brave young man named Zen who turns out to be the prince of the neighboring kingdom. Zen insists that Shirayuki moves to his kingdom and so her journey to become a court herbalist begins.

VIZ Media Licenses the Snow White with the Red Hair Manga

VIZ Media has announced that it has licensed Sorata Akiduki’s Snow White with the Red Hair (Akagami no Shirayuki-hime) manga. The first volume is scheduled to be released in Spring 2019.

Akiduki began the manga in Hakusensha’s LaLa magazine in its September 2006 issue, and Hakusensha published the 19th volume in Japan on June 5, 2018. As of June 2018, the manga had 4.4 million copies in print.

Source: ANN

Crunchyroll Announces Two More Simulcasts

Crunchyroll has announced that it is streaming the Fist of the Blue Sky Regenesis and the third season of the Shōnen Ashibe GO! GO! Goma-chan anime as they air in Japan.

Fist of the Blue Sky Regenesis debuted on Crunchyroll on April 2, 2018 at 1:30 p.m. EDT, and the simulcast is available to users in North America, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Iceland, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Russia, Central America, and South America, including the Caribbean.

The simulcast of the third season of the Shōnen Ashibe GO! GO! Goma-chan anime began on April 3, 2018 at 7:00 a.m. EDT. The series is available to users worldwide except in Asia.

The site also announced the streaming dates and regions for its stream of The Legend of the Galactic Heroes: Die Neue These anime, will debuted on April 3, 2018 at 9:00 a.m. EDT. The simulcast is available for users in the United States, Canada, South Africa, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Iceland, and Central and South America.

Crunchyroll also added the following catalog titles from FUNimation Entertainment:

  • Black Lagoon – available in the United States and Canada
  • Black Lagoon: Roberta’s Blood Trail – available in the United States and Canada
  • Claymore – available in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, and South Africa
  • Snow White with the Red Hair – available in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, and South Africa

Source: ANN

List: My Favorite Fantasy Anime

Well, for this list, I’m moving away from the animal theme. This time around, I’ll be taking a look at five of my favorite fantasy anime. However, rather than being a Top 5 list, this list will be presented in alphabetical order.

Log Horizon

While the main thrust of this series focuses on characters suddenly finding themselves inside the world of a game, the game in question happens to be in the fantasy genre. The writing of this series really captures the feel and essence of fantasy storytelling. One of the things that really attracted me to this series is seeing how our characters from the real world adapt to the fantastical elements that they find themselves having to rely on in order to make it through the world of the game; over the course of the series we see magic potions, magic spells, griffons, and other elements traditionally associated with the fantasy genre.

But this series’ ultimate strength is in its characters, and their relationships. The writing and story were also strong, and I was always left wanting more at the end of each episode. I also have to give the series some credit for including gaming elements with explanations that don’t bog down the story terribly much. The only drawback is the fact that second season of the series still had a lot of loose ends left. There was obviously an attempt to leave the door open for a future season, which still hasn’t materialized yet. But even with this drawback, I still enjoy Log Horizon for its storytelling and its fantastical elements.

The Seven Deadly Sins

The Seven Deadly Sins is set in a medieval style world, specifically in a region known as Britannia. The Seven Deadly Sins is a band of knights that disbanded after being accused of plotting to overthrow the Liones Kingdom. Ten years have passed since the disbanding of the Seven Deadly Sins, and the Holy Knights have staged a coup, captured the king, and are now tyrannical rulers of the kingdom. Elizabeth, the third princess, embarks on a journey to find the Seven Deadly Sins so she can ask for their help to take back the kingdom.

Right from the description, you can tell that this a fantasy series: royalty, knights, and a medieval style world. But it’s not a simple story being presented here; it’s got compelling storytelling with twists, turns, and surprises that keep the audience interested in what’s going to happen next. This fantasy series also has characters who the audience becomes interested in from the time they’re introduced, but many of them have character development moments that make the audience care about them even more. And the animation in this series really captures the look and feel of a medieval world.

As of this writing, I have seen both The Seven Deadly Sins and The Seven Deadly Sins: Signs of Holy War. And with the relatively recent announcement of another season of the anime, as well as an anime film, coming out in 2018, I’m looking forward to seeing what will happen to the characters and to the fantasy world that they inhabit.

Slayers

Slayers features a 16-year-old sorceress named Lina Inverse, who loves money, treasure, and food, and uses her magic in a reckless, yet comedic manner. She is accompanied on her adventures by Gourry Gabriev, a wandering swordsman with a powerful sword. Unfortunately, Gourry isn’t exactly the sharpest tool in the shed. Their party also includes Princess Amelia, a character named Zelgadis who is a mixture of human and demon, and Gourry’s friend Sylphiel.

Of the five anime that I included on this list, Slayers is definitely the most comical. Our sorceress heroine has a ridiculously powerful spell that she seems to keep forgetting just how powerful it is, Princess Amelia is a self-proclaimed Lady of Justice, and Gourry the swordsman is a brave, yet dumb, knight. But to me, the charm of this series is the fact that it’s a fantasy series that takes its tropes and exaggerates them for comic effect. While the other series I included in this list have occasional humor in them, Slayers is meant to be a comedy through and through.

Snow White with the Red Hair

The protagonist of this series is Shirayuki, a red-haired herbalist in a small medieval village. She becomes the target of Prince Raj, due to the fact that her red hair is very unusual in the world that they inhabit, and he wants to make her his concubine. Shirayuki is rightly offended and runs away. When she enters the neighboring kingdom of Clarines, she encounters Prince Zen. The two of them forge a friendship that blossoms into something more as the series continues. After Zen saves Shirayuki from Raj, she stays in Clarines and works at becoming an apprentice court herbalist.

The first thing that grabbed me about Snow White with the Red Hair was the animation, especially the lush backgrounds. The next thing that attracted me to this series was Shirayuki. I love how much agency she has. While she’s sweet, helpful, and beautiful, she’s not going to let people with sexist ideas push her around. She’s also very independent. Yes, Shirayuki ultimately finds herself dealing with potential romance, but this part of the story doesn’t dull her as a character as much as it could have.

The writing for Snow White with the Red Hair also helps to make it one of my favorite series. The characters are relatable and go through some development over the course of the series, and the story progresses in a logical way.


The World is Still Beautiful

The main character is a girl named Nike, who is the fourth sovereign daughter of the Rain Dukedom and has the power to call forth the rain. The Sun King, the ruler of the Sun Kingdom, sends a message to Nike’s father saying that he won’t invade their land if he offers the hand of one of his daughters in marriage. Nike ends up being the one chosen to become the Sun King’s bride because she loses a game of rock-paper-scissors. When she meets the Sun King, she learns he is named Livius and that he is younger than her. At first, they don’t like each other, but as they get to know each other, their feelings change. Of course, there are various obstacles that get in the way of their budding relationship.

Much like Shirayuki in Snow White with the Red Hair, Nike is another female character with agency. However, their stories are very different. The World is Still Beautiful utilizes its fantasy setting and elements effectively, and it combines these elements with strong storytelling. There were one or two spots where the story kind of stumbles a little, but for the most part, the episodes were well written.