Akira Miyashita Ends Shin!! Otokojuku Manga + Preps New Work

Mangaka Akira Miyashita’s manga Shin!! Otokojuku’s final chapter was published in Nihon Bungeisha’s Weekly Manga Goraku magazine in its 2,659th issue on April 26. While Shin!! Otokojuku met its end Miyashita is envisioning a new beginning as Weekly Manga Goraku revealed that he is prepping a new work.

Shin!! Otokojuku launched in Dec. 2016, and is the origin story for the franchise. It tells the story of the establishment of the Otokojuku school and the founder and principal Heihachi Edajima.

After its prequel is Sakigate!! Otokojuku, the original 34-volume manga that ran in Shueisha’s Weekly Shonen Jump magazine (1985-1991). The story focuses on private school Otokojuku and its students who are juvenile delinquents who were expelled from their previous schools. Japanese chivalry is taught through military and feudal fundamentals. Those who survive it and the violence become true men. It has inspired an anime series, a film, a live-action adaptation, and many spinoff manga.

Miyashita other works in the franchise include Akatsuki!! Otokojuku – Seinen Yo, Taishi o Idake, a 25-volume sequel manga (2001-2010), Goku!! Otokojuku, an eight volume sequel manga (2014-2016) and was the final entry in the Otoko Juku trilogy, and Otokojuku Gaiden: Kurenai!! Onnajuku, an all-female spinoff by Michi Saitou containing five compiled volumes and was launched in Goraku Egg web manga site (2015-2017).

Sonic the Hedgehog’s Director Announces Design Changes Due to Negative Criticism

Jeff Fowler, the director of Paramount Pictures’ Sonic the Hedgehog live-action adaptation film, announced on Thursday via Twitter that fans have been heard, and that design changes will be made to Sonic by the teams at Paramount and Sega to make the “character the BEST he can be”.

The official trailer for the film was uploaded earlier this week by Paramount Pictures on YouTube. It garnered over 23 million views and counting, but has accumulated more dislikes than likes.

A simple search on social media about Sonic and you will find loads of negative reactions, memes, and edits of Sonic’s character design.

While others are concerned for all the overworked animators and other employees health.

The film is set for release in November, but with requests for these drastic changes might push back the release date.

Source: Jeff Fowler via Twitter

Newsweek Japan Names Kizuna AI Globally Respected Japanese Person

Virtual Youtuber Kizuna AI has been rising in popularity worldwide due to being one of the first virtual YouTubers out here, and to have achieved such success as a video personality to pop idol. In fact, this virtual person has gained so much popularity that she has been added to Newsweek Japan’s most recent publication on the list of the top 100 globally respected Japanese people.

AI is part of the division Rest of the Best: From Scholars to Actors: Japanese People Who Surprised the World which highlighted artists, writers, actors, and creators of all sorts. AI made it alongside others including Detective Conan creator Gosho Aoyama, One Piece creator Eiichiro Oda, fictional character Sailor Moon, Metal Gear creator Hideo Kajima, former Nintendo president Satoru Iwata, music groups Babymetal and Maximum The Hormone, and more.

The April 30th edition of Newsweek Japan is available now!

Sources: Newsweek Japan

Kenshi Yonezu Creates Children of the Sea Theme Song

Children of the Sea official website announced on Wednesday that 28-year-old Japanese singer-songwriter Kenshi Yonezu will provide his new song “Umi no Yuurei” (Ghost of the Sea) as the upcoming film’s theme song. It will be Yonezu’s first song to be featured in a film as the theme song with him as main vocalist.

Yonezu kept a good connection with award-winning manga author and artist Daisuke Igarashi since the “Louvre No. 9—Manga, the 9th Art” exhibition, in which he helped create the theme song for, in 2016. He also wrote, composed, and produced “Uchiage Hanabi”, the theme song for anime film Fireworks, Should We See It from the Side or the Bottom? In 2017. It was sung by DAOKO with Yonezu as guest vocalist.

“I think I was the first to read the original, and I remember that I was overwhelmed by that greatness. If I read it now, the shock at that time is not old at all, and it brings new discoveries. If it is to be made into a film, it would be very exciting to realize that what I wanted to make a song would be realized today. The last few months have been a question-and-answer session as to whether something that works well as well as the original one would really make it. I am looking forward to the day the movie premieres in theaters,” said Yonezu.

VIZ Media provided synopsis for Children of the Sea: “When Ruka was younger, she saw a ghost in the water at the aquarium where her dad works. Now she feels drawn toward the aquarium and the two mysterious boys she meets there, Umi and Sora. They were raised by dugongs and hear the same strange calls from the sea as she does.”

Ayumu Watanabe (After the Rain, Gurazeni) will be directing the film at animation studio Studio 4°C (Tekkonkinkreet, The Golden Age Arc TRILOGY). Kenichi Konishi (Tokyo Grandfathers, The Tale of the Princess Kaguya) is the animation director and character designer. Joe Hisaishi of Studio Ghibli is the film’s music composer.

The adaptation Children of the Sea is set to premiere in Japan on June 7th. GKIDS will screen the film in North American theaters in Japanese and English in 2019.

Sources: Children of the Sea official website, VIZ Media

MONOGATARI Series Second Season Complete Blu-Ray Box Set Releases in June

Aniplex of America announced on Friday that the MONOGATARI Series Second Season will be released as a complete Blu-Ray box set for the first time ever on June 25 for $219.28 (USD).

The complete box set will include all 28 episodes starting with NEKOMONOGATARI <WHITE>, plus HANAMONOGATARI, ONIMONOGATARI, KABUKIMONOGATARI, OTORIMONOGATARI, and KOIMONOGATARI. The box set will come with 6 Blu-Ray discs encased in a rigid box exclusively illustrated by character designer and chief animation director Akio Watanabe. It will also include special features such as the TV Version Ending, TV Omnibuses I-III, a collection of promotional videos and commercials as well as textless opening and ending.

The MONOGATARI series is based on the popular light novel series by author Nisioisin, and was produced by studio SHAFT who brought us March Comes in Like a Lion, Nisekoi, and Puella Magi Madoka Magica.

These stories take place after the end of summer vacation when the apparition of the bee had left and the apparition of the phoenix avoided any consequences. Now that Koyomi Araragi and the girls are entering their new school terms, they are once again about to encounter supernatural being but this time, they may not be so easy to deal with.

Tsubasa Hanekawa, Mayoi Hachikuji, Tsuruga Kanbaru, Nadeko Sengoku, Shinobu Oshino and finally Hitagi Senjyogahara. The girls’ loneliness, their confessions, and their departures…Revisit their mysterious journey once again!

MONOGATARI Series Second Season Complete Blu-Ray box set will be available June 25. Find out more and pre-order now at RightStufAnime.com

Source: Press release

Smartphone RPG Magia Record Releases This Summer in the West

The game that has been available in Japan since August 2017 that is finally coming to the West this summer is role-playing smartphone game Magia Record: Puella Magi Madoka Magica [Side Story]. Aniplex of America announced the news at its industry panel at Sakura-Con on Friday. The company also launched a website for the game along with uploading a trailer with English subtitles and a promotional video for new character Iroha Tamaki.

Spinoff of the anime series Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Magia Record is set in a burgeoning city called Kamihama. Drawn by a mysterious power, Magical Girls gather in this city to live and battle without turning into something else. Battling brings about a new power derived from Witches which the Magical Girls can obtain as powerful final forms called Doppels. Magical Girls from two towns cross paths: New character Iroha Tamaki (voiced by Momo Asakura) who became a Magical Girl to venture out and find, save, and cure her little sister Ui who needs to be cure from an illness, and Homura Akemi (voiced by Aoi Yuuki) who arrives in Kamihama to save her friend Kaname.

The free-to-play RPG will be available this summer for iOS and Android.

Sources: Magia Record Official Website, Aniplex of America’s YouTube channel

REVIEW: Hitoribocchi no Marumaru Seikatsu (Episode 1)

WHAT IS IT?

Based on the comedic slice of life 4-koma manga is one of spring’s 2019 anime Hitoribocchi no Marumaru Seikatsu. It was directed by Takefumi Anzai, and produced by animation studio C2C. We follow along new middle school student Hitori Bocchi who struggles with crippling social anxiety. Childhood friend Kai Yawada makes Hitori promise her that she will attempt to befriend all of her peers in her class, and until then Kai and Hitori cannot be friends.

GIVE US THE DEETS!

What Hitori goes through is very much accurate and relatable for those who struggle with social anxiety. From dreading the first day of school thanks to mandatory ice breakers to struggling with putting yourself out there and making friends (and doing so in the most awkward way possible). The show is rather hilarious listening to Hitori’s internal voice and how she chooses to act in nerve wrecking situations. For instance, when Hitori attempted to conversate with classmate Nako Sunao she had written down dialogue on herself to go by so she would not screw up. The show is paced well by already showing you the anxious nature and characteristics of the protagonist from the jump. She is also already being put in uncomfortable situations. We also see that Hitori is already developing as a character right from the first episode.

ART & ANIMATION

The bright and bubbly art style and fun and lighthearted tone of the show goes hand in hand. For a short slice of life anime as such it is a good combo and fits the vibe of the show. It also has a mixture of CGI that meshes well with the 2D animation.

IS THIS SHOW LIKE ANY OTHER?

There are a handful of series who took the approach of creating a socially anxious protagonist with the most well-known being WataMote. Hitoribocchi is much more lighthearted compared to WataMote and it is obvious that we should be rooting for Hitori rather than her being a laughingstock and treated as a joke like Tomoko. Other than WataMote viewers relating to Tomoko it also made viewers feel sorry for her, whereas with Hitori not only can some viewers relate to her but also feel proud of her for improving herself even in the slightest.

VERDICT

The first episode already sets the relaxing and laidback tone thanks to the atmosphere of the cherry blossom trees and the sound of soft piano music. The initial tone juxtaposes the humorous and fun that presents itself later in the show. This is a good show to start watching on the side to switch things up, especially if you are the type to mainly watch action packed shounen. Not only does it fit with the current season but also it will put you in a chill mood and have you laughing and leave you with a smile on your face. 9.5/10

Crunchyroll Games Announces New Smartphone Game Attack on Titan TACTICS

After Bungo Stray Dogs: Tales of the Lost Game and Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? MEMORIA FREESE comes Attack on Titan TACTICS by Crunchyroll Games. Crunchyroll announced on Thursday that it will be releasing KAYAC’s Attack on Titan TACTICS, a free-to-play tactical role-playing smartphone game for iOS and Android devices.

Players will be able to choose from over 38 characters to form a team with a variety of unique roles, abilities, and skills where they will use weapons and set traps to defend the city and combat Titans. TACTICS will feature the voice cast of the anime and “exclusive interact chats”.

DeNA originally announced the game in September for release in winter 2017. The game just released in Japan on Thursday by DeNA. DeNa is offering campaigns that offer in-game rewards such as Crystals and five-star characters to celebrate the launch.

Pre-registration is available in the United States, Canada, and Australia.

Crunchyroll and VRV Re-Adds First Season of Attack on Titan, My Hero Academia, and Overlord

Anime streaming services Crunchyroll and VRV re-added the first seasons of Attack on Titan, My Hero Academia, and Overlord.

Crunchyroll removed the first seasons of those titles in February, yet the second and third seasons remained. Crunchyroll was “working through the rights for season one of both titles” and will “share any additional details soon,” Crunchyroll told AnimeNewsNetwork.

Attack on Titan and My Hero Academia were some of the Funimation-licensed anime that remained on Crunchyroll even after Crunchyroll and Funimation ended their partnership to share content in November.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Debuts Persona 5’s Joker + New Features

Nintendo’s version 3.0 update for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate will debut Joker, a character from Persona 5, along with new functionalities, a new stage, and music. It will be available in North America Wednesday, April 17, and in Japan Thursday, April 18.

Joker will have the ability to build up a Persona meter, which will allow players to “unleash the rebellious spirit growing inside you” to summon his main persona Arsene from Persona 5. Arsene can help Joker with counters and a glide jump ability.

The Mementos stage will include cameos from many of the other Phantom Thieves. The stage’s base color will change depending on the music being played.

Players can get the Fighters Pass or just get Challenge Pack 1 for Joker, the Mementos stage, and music from the Persona series.

Nintendo streamed a new video for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate on Tuesday previewing gameplay and new content including the debut of one of its first of the five DLC fighters (part of its Fighter Pass) Persona 5’s Joker, tracks from Persona 3, 4, and 5 such as “Mass Destruction”, “Battle Hymn of the Soul”, “Reach Out To The Truth”, “Time To Make History”, “Last Surprise”, “Wake Up, Get Up, Get Out There”, and more, plus additional functionalities such as Stage Builder mode, Video Editor mode, and Smash World integration.

Stage Builder mode, introduced in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, allows players to create custom stages where they can battle and share with others. Version 3.0 will have new stage elements where players can layer and add decorative elements. Players can build via handheld mode or TV mode.

Video Editor mode will allow players to import, edit, and share videos on their Nintendo Switch. Videos can be shared and staged in a new Shared Content mode. Players can upload and download Mii Fighters, custom stages, upvote creations, and follow creators.

Smash World will be integrated onto the Nintendo Switch Online app. By searching through fighters and recommendations, it will allow players to view stages and videos without the need to start up the game. Players can also queue stages from the app to have them ready to download next time players want to play. In-game notifications can be checked, while Spirit teams can also be created via the app.