Cowboy Bebop

Cowboy Bebop is a 1998 Japanese anime series made by Sunrise. In a production team led by Director Shinichirō Watanabe, screenwriter Keiko Nobumoto, character designer Toshihiro Kawamoto, mechanical designer Kimitoshi Yamane, and composer Yoko Kanno.

There are twenty six episodes nor are sessions of the series set in the year 2071 when humanity has colonized the entire Solar System with a terraformed Mars as the center of human civilization The story begins with the introduction of bounty hunters Spike Spiegel an exiled former hit man of the criminal Red Dragon Syndicate, and Jet Black a former ISSP (Inter Solar System Police) officer who retired following a mob hit that cost him his arm, as they travel on Jet’s starship, the Bebop. it was all about the adventures, misadventures and tragedies of a bounty hunter crew traveling on the Bebop, their starship is named Cowboy Bebop explores philosophical concepts including existentialism, existential ennui, loneliness, and the past’s influence.

The characters of Cowboy Bebop

The bounty hunting crew of Cowboy Bebop

The series was premiered on Japan on Channel TV Tokyo’s 18:00 timeslot originally occupied by Kodomo no Omocha, from April 3 until June 26, 1998. the channel only broadcasted twelve of its episode due to its controversial adult-themed content. So the entire twenty six episode of the anime series was later on broadcast on WOWOW from October 24 until April 24 1999. Two manga series were adapted here which were serialized in Kadokawa Shoten’s Asuka Fantasy DX. It was a film that has been released in to the theaters worldwide.

Animaze and ZRO limit Production helped in dubbing the whole anime series in English language and was licensed by Bandai Entertainment in North Americw and is now licensed by Funimation. For English releases in the United Kingdom, it was licensed by Beez Entertaiment and is now licensed by Anime Limited Madman Entertainment has licensed it for releases in Australia and New Zealand. In 2001, Cowboy Bebop became the first anime series title to be broadcast on Adult Swim in the United States.

Both in Japanese and international markets, most notably in the United States Cowboy Bebop became a critical and commercial success. Critics and reviewers worldwide particularly in the United States gave a good feedback and hailed Cowboy Bebop as a masterpiece and frequently cite it as one of the greatest anime series of all time. Japanese Publication received a universal praise for its style, characters, story, voice acting, animation, and the soundtrack.

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Flame of Recca

Flame of Recca , when translated into English, Rekka no Hono is a manga series

that was created by Nobuyuki Anzai. Eventually it had an anime series adaptation

that lasted 42 episodes by Studio Pierrot. Flame of Recca has also received two video

game adaptations; Flame of Recca for the Game Boy Advance and Flame of Recca

Final Burning for the PlayStation 2.

Recca with his supporting crew

Recca with his supporting crew

Flame of Recca is all about the life of a teenager, Recca Hanabishi, who is crazy about

the world of ninjas. This so much so that he declares to be ninja too. He always

gets into brawls due to his public declaration that whoever gets to beat him up will

receive his services as a devoted ninja. Notwithstanding this, Recca finally pledged

his devotion and services as a ninja to Yanagi Sakoshita who is a girl that has the

power to heal any injury and this is credited to her kindness and compassion. Recca

eventually finds out that he is also special and that he can manipulate flames. He

also gets to know that he’s the child of the 6th head of the Hokage, a ninja clan which

became extinct thanks to Oda Nobunaga during 1576. This happened about four

hundred years before the present day of the anime.

The Hokages had magical artifacts called madōgu and are called “psychic devices”

or “elemental weapons” in the English translation of the series. These Madōgu give

their wielders extraordinary powers like enabling the wielder to control one of the

elements. One such device is the Fūjin that gives its holder the power to control the

wind. Aside from elemental control, some madōgu enhance their wielder’s strength

or skills like the Dosei no Wa that increases physical power of whoever holds it.

Oda Nobunaga assaulted the Hokage in 1576 in order to steal these weapons. Also,

the main bad guy of the series, Kōran Mori, is looking for a madōgu that will give

the power of immortality. Recca, together with his friends, become ensnared in

Mori’s pursuit of immortality as he originally attempted to kidnap Yanagi because

he thought that her healing abilities will help him attain eternal life. This lead the

group to participate the Ura Butō Satsujin, a tournament where the fighters that use

madōgu assemble to fight each other. Although the fighting tournament theme has

been repetitively used in a lot of anime before, one particular example is the Ghost

Fighter series; Flame of Recca brings to the table ninja moves couples with fireballs

and fire dragons. What can be cooler than that?

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Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny

One of the more famous series of Gundam due to both negative and positive reasons, Mobile Suit

Gundam SEED Destiny is an anime television series that is a sequel to Mobile Suit Gundam SEED.

Produced by Sunrise, it has retained most of the staff from the previous series, Gundam SEED, and it

includes the Director Mitsuo Fukuda. SEED Destiny starts two years after the first season. The plot is

about a new character Shinn Asuka. He is a soldier from ZAFT, an organization that is made of humans

that were genetically enhanced and are called Coordinators. On the brink of another war against the

regular human race or the Naturals, the series dwells on Shinn and other familiar character’s as well

as various returning characters’ participationin the war. Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny lasted for

50 episodes and was airing in Japanese televesion sets from October 9, 2004 to October 1, 2005 on the

Japan News Network television stations Tokyo Broadcasting System and Mainichi Broadcasting System.

Gundam SEED Destiny has seen a lot of different manga adaptations and light novels that were

published by Kodansha and Kadokawa Shoten. Del Rey Manga was the publisher and license provider

of the first manga. Bandai Entertainment has also licensed the series to be realeased in North America.

Bandai has also published the Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny series in DVD and Blu-ray volumes.

Aside from all these, different varieties types of merchandise were released. These include CD

soundtracks and various video games.

The gundam units in SEED Destiny

The gundam units in SEED Destiny

The series Gundam SEED Destiny was so big and popular in Japan that it sold more than one

million DVD volumes and the soundtracks of the series were ranking at the top of the charts. It was so

well received that it was awarded the Animage Anime Grand Prix awards for best anime in the 2004

polls and even the polls the following year. Part of the success can be attributed to the characters as it

was seen that in both years, the characters Athrun Zala, Kira Yamato, and Lacus Clyne have been ranked

among the highest in the most popular characters category. In the same awards event, the OVA and the

final episode of the series had won in their own categories. Overall reviews were positive but the series,

Gundam SEED Destiny has been receiving flak for several things. One was the confusion that viewers

experienced when determining who was the lead character. It seemed that Kira stole the spotlight

from Kira towards the end of the series. It was also compared to the original series due to the public’s

perception of it having a weak ending to an epic series.

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Spirited Away

Probably one of the most iconic animated movies of recent time, Spirited Away or Sen to Chihiro no

Kamikakushi is a Japanese animation fantasy film that was written and directed by the legendary Hayao

Miyazaki. Spirited Away, produced by Studio Ghibli, first came out in 2001. The movie’s cast consists of

Hiiragi, Miyu Irino, Mari Natsuki, Takeshi Naito, Yasuko Sawaguchi, Tsunehiko Kamijō, Takehiko Ono and

Bunta Sugawara. Spirited Away follows the story of Chihiro Ogino (played by Hiiragi), a quiet girl aged

at 10 years old. She has just moved in to a new neighborhood but getting familiar with the place is

the least of her problems as ,due to a series of events, she finds herself lost in the spirit world. After her

mother and father were magically changed into pigs by the witch Yubaba, Chihiro has decided to work at

Yubaba’s bathhouse in order look for a way to escape the spirit world with her parents and return to the

normal world.

Chihiro with his transformed parent

Chihiro with his transformed parent

The Director Miyazaki also wrote the script and he decided to base film on the 10 year old daughter of

his good friend that visited his home every summer. During the conception phase of the movie, Miyazaki

was also part of the development of two personal projects that were eventually rejected. Having US$15

million to spend, the production of Spirited Away started in 2000. During production, the director

surmised that the movie would last over three hours so he decided to remove certain parts of the story.

Regarding the translation of the movie, Pixar director John Lasseter, who is a big fan of Miyazaki, was

offered by Walt Disney Pictures to lead the English translation for Spirited Away’s release in America.

Lasseter designated Kirk Wise as director and Donald W. Ernst as producer of the English adaptation

of the movie. The screen writers, Cindy Davis Hewitt and Donald H. Hewitt, had written the English-
language dialogue that matched the characters’ original movement of the lips even though they were

speaking in Japanese.

Released on July 20, 2001, Spirited Away became the most successful film in the history of Japan, It

grossed more than $274 million worldwide. The movie had beaten Titanic, the highest grossing film

worldwide at that time, in the Japanese box office. Receiving critical acclaim by international critics,

Spirited Away is recognized as one of the best films of the 2000s’ decade and also one of the best

animated films of all time. This was proven when the film won an Academy Award for Best Animated

Feature at the 75th Academy Award. It also received the Golden Bear at the 2002 Berlin International

Film Festival.

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SHINGEKI NO KYOJIN

When it comes to animated entertainment, the Japanese know their shit. As a

matter of fact, they are the hometown of all things anime. One such notable anime

that has been stirring up the scene lately is Shingeki no Kyojin or when translated in

English, Attack on Titan. Apparently, it is the new kid on the anime block and it is

making loud noises. Although fairly new, Shingeki no Kyojin has been racking up

fans from all over the world. Websites that stream the anime gets thousands of

views per episode and it is yet to become a ‘mainstream’ anime.

IG Port’s Wit Studio produces the anime and the director is Tetsurō Araki.

The songs in the series were composed by Yasuko Kobayashi and the music was

done by Hiroyuki Sawano. The characters were designed by Kyoji Asano. Shunichiro

Yoshihara is the art director while Jin Aketagawa is the sound director. The anime

version of Shingeki no Kyojin first showed in April 6, 2013 and the last episode was

aired in September 28, 2013 .

Eren, together with Mikasa and Armin

Eren, together with Mikasa and Armin

The anime is based on a Japanese manga series created by Hajime Isayama.

This manga started to appear in Kodansha’s Bessatsu Shōnen Magazine on

September 9, 2009. As of today, the whole manga series is compiled in 13 tankōbon

volumes. Shingeki no Kyojin is set in a universe wherein the human race is force to

live inside cities bounded by towering walls. All this is because of the Titans which

are humongous human-like creatures that consume people with no apparent

reason. The main guy is Eren Yeager who is always protected and saved by his

adopted sister, Mikasa Ackerman together with their buddy Armin Arlert. These

three lives were eternally altered after the arrival of a Colossus Titan that destroyed

their whole town and killed Eren’s mother. Swearing vengeance and pledging to

regain the world from the Titans, Eren, Mikasa and Armin join in the Military.

Eventually, they joined the Survey Corps—a group that has soldiers who are

considered to be the best of the best in battling the Titans outside the walls.

If the description isn’t enough to impress you, then you should imagine

people swinging around in the air using a steam-powered mechanism strapped

around their legs and torso that shoots out ropes with anchors at the ends. Imagine

Tarzan swinging around an urban jungle battling monstrous titans with two large

blades in each hand. Add a shit load of blood, gore and good scriptwriting and there

you have two sentences that sum up why this anime is making a name for itself in

the anime scene.

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The Vision of Escaflowne

The Vision of Escaflowne or Tenkū no Esukafurōne in Japanese is a Japanese animated television series.

Running at 26 episodes, the anime was produced by Sunrise Studios and directed by Kazuki Akane. The

series first showed in Japan on April 2, 1996 on TV Tokyo and the very last episode aired on September

24, 1996. Animax, the anime satellite channel of Sony, also showed the series in Japan and on its

various networks all over the world. The anime is all about a high school girl named Hitomi, who gets

teleported from Earth to the mysterious planet Gaea. All this happened when a strange boy named Van

materializes out of thin air on the high school track while he was fighting a live dragon. In this new world

called Gaea, Hitomi is stuckin the middle of a war where Zaibach Empire is on a conquest to rule the

entire planet Gaea. Van, the King of Fanelia, with the help of Allen who is an Asturian Knight, controls his

magical medieval robot called Escaflowne in the battle to defeat the Zaibach Empire. Hitomi’s inheren

fortune-telling powers develop in Gaea as she becomes the answer to waking up Escaflowne and to

stopping Zaibach’s domination over the planet.

During the production of the anime, two different manga adaptations were in development and

released: a shōnen version of the story, The Vision of Escaflowne and a shōjo retelling entitled Hitomi—

The Vision of Escaflowne. Also, another shōjo version named Escaflowne—Energist’s Memories was

released as a single volume during 1997. The story was also adapted in a series of six light novels written

by Yumiko Tsukamoto, Hajime Yatate, and Shoji Kawamori. The OVA, Escaflowne: The Movie had been

released on June 24, 2000, but it is very different to the original series. In the movie, Van was portayed

as a hot-headed man while Hitomi was a suicidal type of girl, both of which are far from their original

personalities in the anime series.

Van and Hitomi

Van and Hitomi

Although critically acclaimed, The Vision of Escaflowne did not gain popularity in Japan as much as the

producers had expected. Outside of Japan, however, it was a different story as it was considered to

be a hit worldwide. In North America, it overtook Gundam on video tape sales and the 1st volume of

the English DVD release version of The Vision of Escaflowne became the 4th

September of 2000. The anime series was also quite popular South Korea where it consistently achieved

high ratings on television.

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Mobile Suit Gundam 00

The Gundam Meisters of Celestial Being

The Gundam Meisters of Celestial Being

Whenever one thinks about anime and robots, usually the animated series of

Gundam is what comes to the mind and one of its latest installments is the

Mobile Suit Gundam 00. It is the eleventh installment of the long running Gundam

franchise of Sunrise studio. Composed of two seasons Mobile Suit Gundam 00

takes place on Earth in the very distant future. The story focuses on the feats of

the fictional revolutionary private organization called the Celestial Being and its

determination to purge the entire world of war and chaos. They do so using a band

of special and highly advanced robotic mobile suits called “Gundams”.

Seiji Mizushima is the director and Yōsuke Kuroda wrote the storyline and

script. Yun Kōga designed the unique characters of the series that spanned 25

episodes. The first season was formally announced by Sunrise in a trailer that was

showed on June 2, 200. The first season was aired on the Mainichi Broadcasting

System and Tokyo Broadcasting System from October 5, 2007 up until March 29,

2008. The second season began on October 5, 2008 and ended on March 29, 2009.

A sequel to the series was done via a movie, which was released in Japan on DVD

and Blu-ray on December 25, 2010. Mobile Suit Gundam 00 is the very first Gundam

series to receive widescreen and in high-definition animation treatment.

The story takes place during 2307 AD and because of the exhaustion of fossil

fuels, the human race needed to an alternative source of power. This was found in

the form of colossal arrays of solar power harvesters that orbit the Earth. Three

orbital elevators brace these mechanisms. Each of which belongs to one of the

three “power blocs” on the planet. These major powers are the Union, controlling

the area nearby North America; Human Reform League , comprising of China, Russia

and India; and AEU, which governors mainland Europe. Because the almost infinite

source of energy benefits only the main powers and their associates, war was

present around the globe especially between lesser countries that fight for fuelsand

energy. Countries that were initially prosperous due to their fossil fuels have sunk

into poverty. All this disorder caused the creation of a private military organization,

called Celestial Being. This group is committed to eliminating war and uniting the

human race through the use of four Gundams. The series has four mobile suit pilots

that are called Gundam Meisters. The main hero, Setsuna F Seiei, a quiet Gundam

pilot who grew up in the war-torn Republic of Krugis fights the chaos of the world

using his Gundam and his determination of attaining true peace.

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One Piece

If you are looking for an anime series that combines super powers that

are gained from eating magical fruits, pirate adventure on the seas and weird yet

effective comedy, then One Piece is probably for you. It is a Japanese manga series

that was created by Eiichiro Oda. It first appeared in Weekly Shōnen Jump in August

4, 1997. Shueisha prints each chapter in tankōbon volumes and its 1st release was

on December 24, 1997. On the other hand, the 73rd volume was released in March

2014. One Piece is all about the adventures (and misadventures) of Monkey D.

Luffy, a youngster that has a body that has the characteristics of rubber due to his

unintentional ingestion of a “Devil Fruit”. This fruit grants its eater mystical powers

in exchange for their ability to float in water. Luffy eventually makes his own crew

of pirates which he named the Straw Hat Pirates and goes on exploring the seas to

look for the ultimate treasure called One Piece. He embarks on this mission so that

he might, someday, be the next Pirate King.

Luffy and his pirate crew

Luffy and his pirate crew

One Piece starts with the execution of Gol D. Roger, the person recognized

as the King of the Pirates or Kaizokuō. Before dying, Roger reveals that his grand

treasure, the One Piece is up for the taking to any person who can find it. This

caused the start of the Great Pirate Era and innumerable pirates sail out Grand Line

to in search of the One Piece.

The chapters in the manga received an original video animation or OVA

adaptation, which was produced by Production I.G in 1998. A year after, Toei

Animation became the producers of the anime series that had its first broadcast

in Japan in 1999. The anime is still ongoing as of now and has over 600 episodes.

Funimation Entertainment licensed the anime series of One Pieces for the English-
language release in the United States of America, though it was initially licensed and

distributed by 4Kids Entertainment.

Regarding reception, One Piece has garnered extensive substantial praise,

mainly for its art, characterization, comedy, and storyline. A number of the manga

volumes have surpassed publishing records. Some of these records include the

highest initial print run of any book in the whole country Japan. It is also the very

1st book to have sold over three million copies in the history of Oricon. As of last

year, the manga series of One Piece had more than 345 million volumes being

circulated in the entire world, thus securing its place as the best selling manga series

ever.

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