YuYu Hakusho

Yoshiro Togashi creates the Japanese manga series YuYu Hakusho, also called “Ghost Files” or “Poltergeist Report”. It is around November 1990 when Togashi started to create YuYu Hakusho basing the series on his influence of the Buddhist mythology and his interests in horror movies. There are two different ways of spelling the said manga series. The first one is “YuYu Hakusho” which is spelled by the Viz Media Manga while the second one is “Yu Yu Hakusho” which is spelled by the other English distributions of the franchise. The story revolves around an irresponsible teenager named Yusuke Urameshi. When a car hit him, he was trying to save a little kid’s life, but he died in the process. Although, he was brought to life soon after Koenma learned that Yusuke has a strong spirit. Koenma is the son of Enma who is the ruler of the underworld. After reviving him, he recruited Yusuke as an “Underworld Detective” where he must investigate the supernatural phenomena including demons and apparitions in the human world. As the story goes on, the story becomes more concentrated on martial arts battles and challenges.

 

The main cast of YuYu Hakusho

The main cast of YuYu Hakusho

Originally, from December 1990 to July 1994, the manga series was published in Shuesisha’s Weekly Shonen Jump. The series has 175 chapters piled in 19 tankobon volumes. While in North America, from January 2003 to January 2010, the series ran in Viz’s Shonen Jump. Because of its success, the series was adapted in a television series having 112 episodes. The television series was directed by Noriyuki Abe and co-produced by Fuji Television, Yomiko Advertising, and Studio Pierrot. Originally, from the 10th day of October 1992 to the 7th day of January 1995, the television series aired on Fuji television network in japan. Afterwards, in 2001, Funimation Entertainment licensed the series in North America where cartoon network is the one who aired the manga series. It was also broadcasted in different countries around the globe such as Japan, Eastern Europe and other parts of Asia in an anime satellite television network called Animax. YuYu Hakusho franchise has already produces two animated films, a series of original video animations (OVA), computer games, music albums, and other merchandises.

Since YuYu Hakusho has been a huge success, it has already sold more than fifty million copies in japan alone.  At the same time, it won the prestigious Shogakukan Manga Award for Shonen Manga in 1993 and the Animage Anime Grand Prix prize for being the best anime in 1994 and 1995. The television series has a huge number of television viewers in Japan and in the United Stated of America. It has mostly received positive reviews by the critics in North America. Although, some critics said that the series is becoming too repetitive.

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Shakugan no Shana

Yashari Takahasi wrote a Japanese light novel series, which is illustrated by Nizi Ito, called Shakugan no Shana, also known as Shana. From November 2002 to November 2012, 26 novels were published by ASCII Media works under their Dengeki Bunko imprint. The story revolves around a high school boy who negligently got tangled with a very old conflict concerning the forces of balance and imbalance in existence. This high school boy name is Yuji Sakai. As he was trying to go through the challenges that he has to face, he met a fighter for the balancing force and gave her a name Shana. The series embodies both fantasy and life elements into the story.

Shakugan no Shana

Shakugan no Shana

ASCII Media Works had published two manga adaptations in two shonen manga magazines called Dengeki Daioh and Dengeki Maoh. JC Staff also adapted the series to 3 seasons having 24 episodes each in an anime television series, an original video series (OVA) having four episodes, an animated film, and another OVA stand alone episode for 7 years from the year 2005 to 2012. Originally, the first television series for release was licensed by Geneon in North America. Afterwards, the licensure was transferred to Funimation so they were the ones who licensed the later anime series. The series received a lot of praise for its story elements and its progress but some critics said that the series has problems with the story’s pacing. Other than films, a PlayStation 2 game was also brought in the market last March 2006. After a year, it was also brought to Nintendo DS games. With the novels, when both novel and the first manga series were licensed in North America by Viz Media, it stopped publishing earlier than expected.

The parallel universe to the human world called Crimson realm is the place where people take up residence in. Shakugan no Shana focuses on a very old conflict concerning those who crashed Crimson Realm. The population of Crimson realm includes the Crimson Denizens who has the power in a biological entity and activities as a drive for one’s existence where they could just manipulate that power of existence. There are Denizens who have strong powers that really stand out compared to other Denizens. They are known as the Lords of the Crimson Realm. Although, there are other Denizens stronger than the Lords.  They are known as the Gods.  While for the bad Denizens, they are not concerned with the balance of the Crimson Realm and the human world. Instead, they get the power of existence from the human beings so they could use it for their own agendas. To fight and prevent the bad Denizens, Flame haze is formed so they could maintain the balance of the two worlds. If it means killing Denizens who are disturbing the balance, the flame haze will do so. In order to become a flame haze, the lords contract the human beings. Denizens and Flame haze have powerful magic spells called Powers of Unrestraint, also called Unrestricted Spells or Unrestricted Methods. They use this power to fight with the bad denizens. One spell that they use is called the seal. It makes a space for the Crimson realm and the human world while the time is stopped.

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Saiyuki

Kazuya Minekura created a manga series called Saiyuki. In the year of 1997 to 2002, the series is serialized in G-Fantasy. The Chinese novel called Journey to the West (Xiyouji) influenced the storyline of the anime series. Tokyo kids introduced the original video animation (OVA) of Saiyuki. After a year, Studio Pierrot adapted the anime series. After another year, a film titled Gensomaden Saiyuki: Requiem was debuted in theaters in Japan. Because of its success, they filmed a sequel titled Gensomaden Saiyuki: Kibou no zaika. The graphics of the film is actually acquired from an interactive game.

The four bad-ass heroes of Saiyuki

The four bad-ass heroes of Saiyuki

The film titled Saiyuki; Saiyuki Reload has two sequels and prequels each. The sequels include Saiyuki Reload Blast and Saiyuki Reload while the prequels include Saiyuki Gaiden and Saiyuki Ibun. Studio Pierrot produced Saiyuki Gaiden as well as the original video animation of it (OVA). In addition, some of the chapters in Saiyuki Gaiden were adapted to the original anime. Sentai Filmworks used original voice actors from Gensomaden Saiyuki.

The story of Saiyuki revolves around four anti heroes: the monk Genjyo Sanzo (or just “Sanzo”), the monkey king Son Goku, the half-demon Sha Gojyo, and the man who turned into a demon Cho Hakkai (formerly known as Cho Gonou). The Sanbutsushin (the Three Aspects of Buddha, who relay the orders of heaven) dispatched these heroes to India to stop the resurrection of the Ox Demon King named Gyumaoh. Their quest involves obstacles that involve inept assassins, bad weather and personal problems. The villains, Gyokumen Koushou (Gyumaoh’s concubine, a demon) and a mad scientist, Dr. Nii Jianyi (a human) continue to try and revive Gyumaoh. The experiment involved a mixture of science and dark magic which spawned the “Minus Wave,” which infected all of the demons in Shangri-La which shattered the peace that once existed between the demons and humans.

The series Gensoumaden Saiyuki is licensed by ADV films who distributes the 50 episodes throughout North America. These episodes contain a large amount of material added from the anime. The sequels, however, were turned over to Geneon in North America and these sequels were called “Saiyuki Reload and Saiyuki Reload Gunlock” and each consisted of 25 and 26 episodes each. Saiyuki Reload starts off deviating from the manga for its first thirteen episodes but then is faithful from the fourteenth episode onwards. On the other hand, Saiyuki deviates from the start until halfway then it also deviates from the finale. Due to the changes in licensing for each of the series, the English voice casts are all different throughout each series. The aura of each series changes noticeably after the first.

 

Rozen Maiden

Peach-Pit wrote and illustrated one of the more popular Japanese manga series called Rozen Maiden.The Monthly Comic Birz serialized each issue from September 2002 to July 2007. Each individual chapter was collected and released in eight different volumes by Gentosha. These volumes were then localized in North America by the company Tokyopop from March 2003 to June 2007. The main character Jun Sakurada is a middle school student who became isolated from society after he was persecuted by his classmates. During his isolation from society, he was chosen to become the master of a Bozen Maiden named Shinku. These Bozen Maiden dolls are magical sentient objects who fight against one another to achieve perfection: Alice.

The maidens of Rozen Maiden

The maidens of Rozen Maiden

 

The Bozen Maiden series received a sequel under a different name called Katakana. This release was serialized in Shueisha’s Weekly Young Jump between April 2008 to January 2014. The series has been abel to create spin off manga and novel stories, art books, along with four different anime series. These are titled Rozen Maiden, Rozen Maiden: Träumend, Rozen Maiden: Ouvertüre, and Rozen Maiden: Zurückspulen.The producers for Bozen Maiden was the Tokyo Broadcasting System, however Nomad was the animation studio for the first three series and Studio Deen for Zurückspulen. Due to its popularity, the  anime was able to garner in three video game titles and several audio disc releases.

The first two anime series for release in North America were licensed by the Geneon Entertainment USA in 2007, which was later signed to Funimation as the main distributor after bankruptcy in September 2007. In 2011, Sentai Filmworks were able to acquire the licenses for the first two series including the additional third series which were made available for viewers to stream at the Anime Network. Later on another company called Crunchyroll received streaming rights for the first two series. Sentai Filmworks acquired the fourth series only for digital and home video release, while Crunchyroll still had streaming rights,

The volumes released by Tokyopop of the Bozen Maiden series have been aired on ICv2’s monthly top one-hundred selling graphic novels. Most reviews tended to be positive with praise for its balance in drama and comedy. The anime, however, received mixed receptions towards its first series and Träumend was mostly negative.

The story of the Bozen Maiden involves a distinctly legendary doll maker named Bozen who created seven bisque dolls that became sentient beings through the power of a gem called Rosa Mystica. Since their creation, Bozen sent off each doll to find different masters and to one day fight against each other to gain their Rosa Mystica. This competition is called the Alice Game. When a doll is able to obtain all seven Rosa Mysticas they will be able to become a perfct doll and be named Alice who will then be reunited with Bozen. Each Bozen Maiden have a name and they are: Suigintou, Kanaria, Suiseiseki, Souseiseki, Shinku,Hinaichigo, and Kirakisho.

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Pani Poni

Hekiru Hikawa created a Japanese manga series called Pani Poni, which also has an anime adaptation known as “Pani Poni Dash!” Unlike most of the other manga series, Pani Poni applies the genre parody to its story by referring to Japanese and American pop culture in many different ways. In the story, it revolves around 1-C, a class of first year students, and their teachers in Japan. Between the November 2000 and October 2011 issues, Manga magazine Square Enix’s G Fantasy serialized the manga series as the chapter was also compiled in 17 tankobon volumes. At the same time, there are  also other translated versions of manga from Chingwin Publishing group in Taipei, Taiwan and Haksan Culture Company in Seoul, South Korea.

The characters of Pani Poni

The characters of Pani Poni

Between July 3, 2005 and December 25, 2005, Pani Poni Dash had 26 episodes that were featured in Japan on TV Tokyo. While in North America, Funimation got to license the anime series Pani Poni Dash so the episodes were also aired in North America. Not only did it have television episodes, it also had a number of drama CDs that was made based on the television and manga series. At the same time, a special Original Video Animation (OVA), also containing a DVD box set that has the anime episodes was put out in the market last April 15, 2009. Once there was a complete DVD box set, Funimation released it last March 10, 2009. Not only did it get licensed it North America, ADV Films published it in United Kingdom, Mighty Media in Banciao City, Taiwan, and TVee.co.kr in South Korea

Pani Poni Dash!’s story is around a child named Rebecca Miyamota who is an excellent homeroom teacher but she can also be a shenanigan to her class 1-C. She teaches in a school called Peach Moon Academy, which also has other first year classes since the sections are from 1-A to 1-D, where she has to teach first year high school students.  She is considered to be the youngest graduate at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).  There are also space aliens in the anime story where the aliens are watching Rebecca but the aliens ruin the story from time to time. There are a lot of catastrophes that happened with the high school students and the teachers including Rebecca. In the school’s field trips and the teacher’s lounge, it is where the topical allusion came from.  All the satire, Internet, anime, games, and other popular culture are sourced out from those places. It is also where the jokes and entertainment rely.

 

Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon

Naoki Takeuchi created a Japanese shojo manga series called Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon. Later on, it was retitled to Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon. From the year 1991 to 1997, the anime series was serialized in a shojo manga magazine called Nakayoshi having 52 individual chapters that was compiled in 18 tankobon volumes. The anime series focuses on the life and adventures of Usagi Tsukino and her various group of friends called the Sailor Soldiers who will be battling against different villains who aim to destroy the earth.

The 1st uniform of Sailor Moon

The 1st uniform of Sailor Moon

Toei Animation produced the anime series that adapted the tankobon volumes. From the year 1992 to 1997, Sailor Moon was then broadcasted in Japan. At the same time, Toei Animation made three films, three television specials, and three short films. Another Toei film titled Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Crystal, which has a quicker tempo in the adaptation, was featured on the streaming service named Niconico in 2014. Because of its huge success, a number of different organizations developed different types of merchandises such as novels, trading cards and video games, action figures, musical theater productions, films, and other collection of music that are based on the anime.

Mixx entertainment licensed the manga series translated in English language in North America. In 2004, Toei Company was able to produce a television adaptation of the series namely Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon. From the year 2003 to 2004, the anga series was broadcasted. While in 2011, Kodansha Comics USA earned the right to put the manga series out. In North America, Viz media was able to license the whole anime series for an English language version but previously, DIC Entertainment and Cloverway Inc. licensed and dispersed the anime series.

Sailor moon has become one of the most successful manga and anime series since the first release. The anime series has received numerous critical acclaims that turned people heads towards the anime. The anime is known for its magical genre as well for the team of magical girls. Sailor moon gave a different perspective for the magical girl genre because before, magical girls are known for not using their powers to fight the devil.

The anime series starts by introducing a 14-year-old schoolgirl named Usagi Tsukino. A talking cat named Luna reveals the identity of Usagi as a Sailor Moon, a pretty magical soldier dressed in a sailor suit whose destiny is to save the earth from evil forces. Usagi, together with Luna, formed a team of Sailor Soldiers to find Princess Serenity and the Legendary Silver Crystal. As they go on to their adventure, they met a number of people: Ami Mizuno who rose as Sailor Mercury, Rei Hino who is a local shrine maiden then rose as Sailor Mars, Makoto Kino who rose as Sailor Jupiter, and Mamoru Chiba who rose as Tuxedo Mask and also assisted them in their journey. A cat named Artemis joined as well with Minaki Aino, a young ambitious woman, who rose as Sailor Venus.

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Kamichu

Besame Mucho created a Japanese anime television series called Kamichu, which is a shorter title for the original title called Kamisama de Chugakusei meaning “A Deity As A Middle School Student” in English. Besame Mucho is a pen name shared among his other colleagues namely Tomonori Ochikoshi, Koji Masunari, and Hideyuki Kurata. The story revolves around the life of a teenage goddess namely Yurie Hitotsubashi together with her friends. At the same time, the Shinto religion has a big influence on the storyline. Animax, an anime television network, has broadcasted the anime series, which is the first English language broadcast, in different parts of the world such as Japan, East Asia, Southeast Asia, and South Asia.

Mitsue, Yurie, and Matsuri

Mitsue, Yurie, and Matsuri

A shonen manga magazine called dengeki daioh had two tankobon volumes of the anime series that was also adapted as a manga series. In North America, Both Geneon Entertainment and Funimation Entertainment allocated particular titles. Funimation Entertainment has the only rights for the marketing, manufacturing, sales, and the allocation of particular titles while Geneon Entertainment will only keep the license. One of the various titles that are in the deal is Kamichu. Although, the rights of the series has expired last august 2011. Despite its expiration, Kamichu was awarded Excellent Prize for their animation at Japan Media Arts Festival in 2005.

While with the anime series, it contains sixteen episodes. TV Asahi was in charge with broadcasting 12 episodes wherein they omitted episodes 8, 11, 13 and 16. The sixteen episodes were released in the official DVD release. Some of the titles of several of the episodes were named after Japanese pop songs from the 1980’s and 1990’s. The opening theme songs was played by Maho Tomita, called “Fair Weather, Followed by Fair Weather” (Hare Nochi Hare!?) and the closing theme song was played by MAKO and is called “Ice Candy”(Aisu Kyandī).

The story starts from spring of 1983 all the way to spring 1984, Kamichu is set in the city of Onomichi, Hiroshima prefecture, which is found near the shores of Japan’s Inland Sea. The anime shows many real temples and landmarks, which are real locations in and around the city, which are loyally replicated.

The petite, shy, main character named Yurie is an ordinary middle school girl who finds out that she can manifest into a kami, a kind of god believed to be part of the Shinto sense. Her powers are unknown to her nor what kind of god she is, and she Is nicknamed Kamichu, which stands for kami (god) and chūgakusei (“middle school student”). The plot puts Yurie through a journey where she meets many other spirits and divine beings where she learns how the gods are in order to become a greater God. Yurie develops into a strong god and a good person.

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Galaxy Angel

BROCCOLI created a bishojo sciencie-fiction, anime, manga, and dating sim series called Galaxy Angel  (Gyarakushī Enjeru). On July 2000, broccoli introduced Project G.A., a multi-platform project. In the anime’s games and ordinary manga, it has a heavy plot where romance and action are evident while in the anime and the Galaxy Angel Party; it involves a comedic story in another universe.

Galaxy_Angel_girls

A game titled Galaxy Angel II Zettai Ryoiki no Tobira is part of the game trilogy. It was released last June 2006. In the game, Rune Angel Troupe was assigned to be the new cast of the game. At the same time, another function involves the connection of the Brave Heart frame to whoever Angel. Some of the Galaxy Angels are the sisters Apricot Sakuraba and Milfeulle Sakuraba. The Galaxy Angel II series consists of a number of games as well as with the original Galaxy Angel. Also, it made a manga adaptation and a spin-off where the genre is comedy. In the next year, it was followed up with the second game called Galaxy Angel II Mugen Kairo no Kagi. Because of its successful reputation in games and in anime, the beginning of the manga series established in a video game universe is prompted.

As the anime was boosting in its career, a musical was started based on the anime in Japan. Last March and December 2005, Galaxy Angel: The Musical was premiered. They casted the same cast they got in Galaxy Angel II

From the 7th day of July 2001 to the 29th day of September 2001, the anime series was featured in japan on an anime channel network called Animax. BROCCOLI, Bandai Visual, and Madhouse produced the anime series. Later on, it continues the series with a number of sequels so the second (“Z”), third (“A”, “AA”, and “S”) and a fourth (“X”) series were featured. Each of the features shows 2 episodes with 15 minutes each. Most of the time, the titles of the series have something to do with food. Animax featured the first series but TV Osaka and different TXN Stations featured the series after the first. Animax is the network that featured Galaxy Network in English language as well as with the other manga series in different parts of the world such as in Southeast and South Asia. While in the USA, Bandai Entertainment released the DVDs of the anime series.

The story focuses on a bunch of young and adult women called the Angel Troupe who do government humanitarian missions where they look for the Lost Technology. It is a plot device to arrange senseless jokes that are covered with overflowing esoteric Japanese puns for the show. Most of the gadgets are in the ordinary such as rice cookers or sticks but don’t underestimate it because it could have extraordinary powers such as its destructiveness and mutating capability.

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