Fullmetal Alchemist

Fullmetal Alchemist , or Hagane no Renkinjutsushi, which actually translates as “Alchemist of Steel” is a Japanese manga series written and outlined by Hiromu Arakawa. It was serialized in Square Enix’s Monthly Shōnen Gangan magazine between August 2001 and June 2010; the distributor later gathered the individual chapters into twenty-seven tankōbon volumes. The universe of Fullmetal Alchemist is molded after the European Industrial Revolution. Set in an anecdotal universe in which alchemy is one of the best amongst the most progressive scientific procedures, the story takes after the Elric siblings Edward and Alphonse, who are looking for a philosopher’s stone to restore their bodies after a failed endeavor to bring their mother once again to life using alchemy.

The series investigates social issues. Scar’s backstory and his scorn of the state military references the Ainu individuals, who had their territory taken by different people.this incorporates the results of guerrilla warfare and the measure of fierce fighters a military can have. A portion of the individuals who took the Ainu’s property were initially Ainu; this incongruity is referenced in Scar’s utilization of speculative chemistry to murder chemists despite the fact that it was taboo in his religion.the Elrics being vagrants and embraced by Pinako Rockbell reflects Arakawa’s convictions about the ways pop culture ought to treat vagrants. The characters’ commitment to their occupations reference the need to work for food.the arrangement likewise investigates the idea of proportional trade; to get something new, one must pay with something of the equivalent worth. This is connected by alchemists when making new materials and is likewise a conviction the Elric siblings take after.

Fullmetal Alchemist is one example of a Japanese manga series that has become very popular in South Korea; it’s interesting to see the latter embrace so much of Japanese culture, even as tensions remain hot over the controversial issue of Korean comfort women. Although there is a long history of problems between the two countries, the issue has become particularly complicated by obvious politicization by both governments, including the U.S. Government.

The manga was distributed in English by Viz Media in North America, Madman Entertainment in Australasia, and Chuang Yi in South Korea. It has been adjusted into two anime TV series, two animated movies all enlivened by Bones studio—and light books. Funimation named both TV series and movies into English and discharged them for North America; these were appropriated in different locales by a few different organizations. Viz Media limited the light books, and Funimation and Destineer have confined the video games. Unique video activities, video games, supplementary books, collectible card games and a mixed bag of action figures and other merchandise have been focused around the series’ characters.

The Elric brothers with Hommonculi

The Elric brothers with Hommonculi

The Fullmetal Alchemist manga has sold more or less 61 million volumes starting 2013. The English arrival of the manga’s first volume was the top-selling graphic novel throughout 2005. In two TV Asahi web surveys, the anime was voted the most well known anime ever in Japan. At the American Anime Awards in February 2007, it was qualified for eight grants, named for six, and won five. Commentators from a few media aggregations had positive remarks on the arrangement, especially for its character development.

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One Piece Film:Z

Bouncing back for the 12th One Piece Movie is Luffy and the Strawhat Pirates crew. One Piece Film: Z was released in 2012 and was directed by Tatsuya Nagamine. Based on the shōnen manga series One Piece by Eiichiro Oda, the film retains the anime series vibe by casting the regular television cast of Mayumi Tanaka, Kazuya Nakai, Akemi Okamura, Kappei Yamaguchi, Hiroaki Hirata, Ikue Otani,Yuriko Yamaguchi, Kazuki Yao and Chō. Aside from these familiar voices, the movie also features Hōchū Ōtsuka as the main antagonist Zephy. His character, an ex-naval Admiral, is accompanied by his subordinates that are voiced by Ryoko Shinohara and Teruyuki Kagawa. This 12th addition to the One Piece movies, like Strong World, had heavy involvements of the creator of the entire series, Eiichiro Oda.

The strawhats are up against Zephyr or commonly known as Z. He is a formidable ex-admiral of the marines who then becomes the leader of the Neo Navy. He is able to get his hands on the dangerous Dyna Stones. These weapons of mass destruction explode when they are exposed to air and Z plans to use these to destroy the 3 End Points or the 3 volcanoes in the New World that act as bridges to other lava sources. Once successful, he will be able to flood the New World with lava and end the golden era of the pirates.

The Strawhats blinging out on Armani

The Strawhats blinging out on Armani

An interesting part of the film is a scene where the entire cast is shown wearing Armani Exchange suits. This may be a promotional campaign that was done together with the creator of One Piece, Eiichiro Oda. He was also the one who picked the Armani outfits. These costumes are not just drawn designs as the Armani Exchange branch in Shibuya sells some of the suits seen in One Piece Film:Z.

When it came to music, the movie’s theme songs are covers of Nickelback’s “How You Remind Me” and Joan Jett’s “Bad Reputation”, which were both performed by the Canadian rocker Avril Lavigne. Oda sent Avril a personal that expresses his gratitude after he was impressed by her cover of How You Remind Me. The film’s soundtrack that total to 30 tracks was released on December 12, 2012 by Sony Music Entertainment Japan.

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One Piece: Strong World

It is very hard not to like the human rubber captain of the Straw-hat Pirates, Luffy. Maybe that’s why One Piece has had several full length animated films. The tenth one is Strong World and it was released in 2009. The movie has Naoto Takenaka who plays the role of Shiki, the evil captain of his own pirate crew. He abducts Nami in order to force her into joining him in his conquest to rule over the East Blue. Our hero, Monkey D. Luffy and his Straw-hat crew embarks on an epic battle against Shiki as they try and stop his evil plot.

Movie poster of One Piece: Strong World

Movie poster of One Piece: Strong World

Directed by Munehisa Sakai, this 10th film addition is based on the shōnen manga series One Piece by Eiichiro Oda who was heavily involved in the project. The creator of the series personally supervised the production of Strong World. Oda was also the one who wrote Strong World’s original story while providing over 120 pages of sketches and rough drawings. Aside from these personal touches, he also included his own name on the film’s credits to show his wanting of a film unique from the nine that came before it. It can be said that this film is very loyal to the core of One Piece as Sakai, the film’s director that used to direct the One Piece anime television series.

When it came to box office success, Strong World was viewed 820,000 times on 188 screens all over Japan on the first weekend of showing. This resulted in a per-screen average of 5,520,000 Japanese yen or approximately 62,200 US dollars. This is a record for a nationwide-released film in Japan. The film was also reported to rake in gross revenue of ¥1,038,000,000 or approximately $11.7 million. The first day was the strongest as they gained ¥553,000,000 or approximately $6.24 million while the next biggest day was on the second with ¥485,000,000 or approximately $5.47 million. These numbers placed Strong World above Ponyo which took in ¥1,025,000,000 or approx. $11.55 million, and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, which made ¥990,000,000 or approximately $11.2 million, on their first weekends of showing.

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Zoids Chaotic Century

For those who love anime, animals and mechs, you should definitely watch Zoids: Chaotic Century. It is simply titled as Zoids in Japan and it is the first part of out of four anime series. Aside from having an action-filled series, the anime rocks because it is based on the Zoids awesome line of mecha model kits that were produced by TOMY. Zoids: Chaotic Century is a rough adaptation of the manga series Kiiju Shinseiki Zoido. The manga was written and illustrated by Michiro Ueyama and it was serialized in CoroCoro Comic. The anime adaptation of the series was done by XEBEC and it aired on the television sets of Japan from September 4, 1999 until December 23, 2000 on TBS Network. Even though Chaotic Century was the first series to be created it was the second series to have an English dubbed version and screened in the West. The first series to get an English adaptation was the second installment, Zoids: New Century.

The characters of Zoids Chaotic Century

The characters of Zoids Chaotic Century

The plot of Chaotic Century revolves around the adventures of a teenage boy named Van Flyheight. His action-filled journey begins when he stumbles upon an enigmatic girl named Fiona who was accompanied by an Organoid named Zeke. Van finds out that Zeke and other Organoids have the ability to combine with a Zoid. By doing so, the Zoid becomes stronger and faster and with this unique ability in his hands, Van and Fiona venture together to find out more about the mysterious past of Fiona. While they are travelling, the pair encounters several new faces. One is a transporter named Moonbay and the other one is Irvine. The latter is a mercenary who, at first, impedes the group’s journey but eventually joins them in their journey. While they are travelling across the Helic Republic, a new war emerges between the Helic Republic and the Guylos Empire. At the beginning of the journey, Van pilots the Shield Liger. It is a lion-type Zoid that has the ability to generate a shield at its front. His liger eventually evolves into a more offensive Zoid, the Blade Liger. Van, piloting his Zoid that is equipped with a pair of laser blades, cuts through the toughest armor to fight for justice and peace.

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Zoids New Century

The second series of the Zoids universe is the New Century. This anime television series was produced by Shogakukan, Inc. in 2001. Athough it was the second series, it was the first one to get an English adaptation and be released in countries outside Japan under Viz Media. The anime series is composed of 26 episodes that last around 25 minutes each episode.

The timeline of New Century Zero occurs a long time after the events of Zoids: Chaotic Century. The Zoids are not machines of war anymore and they are just used in battle-competitions and tournaments that is being admiisted by the Zoid Battle Commission. This group appears to be a significant power on Planet Zi. It is known for possessing a lot of armed Zoids while having their own orbital platforms that are serviced by their own launch facilities. They also have access to their own orbital based weapons systems.  The series revolves around the Blitz Team, specifically the adventure of the Liger Zero and Bit Cloud. New Century Zero follows the rise of the Blitz Team as they win in competitions of the Zoid Battle Commission while avoiding conflict with the criminal organization called the Backdraft Group.

The Liger Zero in Panzer Armor

The Liger Zero in Panzer Armor

The main Zoid of the entire series, the Liger Zero, was originally classified as useless because of its inability to be piloted by anyone. Surprisingly, Bit was able to control it and it was able to showcase its prowess at close quarters combat. Although it appears to lack any sort of weaponry, the Liger Zero uses its superheated “Strike Laser Claw” attack effectively to win several battles. Eventually it was retrofitted with the CAS or the Changing Armor System. This new installation enables it to switch to one of three immensely powerful armors. The first is the Jager Liger unit that has ion boosters equipped for maximum speed and agility. The next is the Schneider Liger which is installed with several blades for better close combat abilities. Lastly there is the Panzer Liger that is equipped with heavy armor, cannons, and missiles for handling multiple enemies at once. As the Blitz Team continue their journey, they discover that Liger Zero is part of a special group of Zoids called the Ultimate X Zoids which are equipped with a system that allows them to learn and adapt. 

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Crush Gear Turbo

Joining the group of anime series that cater to toy merchandise is Crush Gear Turbo. The anime series, produced by Sunrise, was based on a manga. The series was composed of 68 episodes and it was first shown all over Japan on the anime television network Animax. The anime series spanned from October 7, 2001 up until January 26, 2003. A sequel was made and it was titled Crush Gear Nitro. It was also first shown in Japan by Animax. The series Crush Gear Turbo revolves around people who flung their mechanical vehicles into a large arena where they fight and “crush” each other. The series also gave birth to a line of toys that were based on the “gears” or toy cars used in the series.

The Garuda Eagle

The Garuda Eagle

The conceptualization of Crush Gear Turbo started in March 2001 and it was intended to premiere by October 2001. The producer of Crush Gear Turbo, Naotake Furusato was given a prototype of the toy car that runs on a motor powered by AA batteries. Unlike most toy cars, this one doesn’t run straight and instead goes around in circles. This behavior makes increases the chances of these toys crashing into each other. Furusato made use of this concept to create the series Crush Gear Turbo. He also claimed that the initial plan of Sunrise was to “genuinely adopt the use of 3D graphics.” Furusato stated that by going 3D, the animators are given the ability to “brilliantly express the stage presence of the Gear Fights.” This medium of animation also allowed the use of unrealistic effects such as explosions and smoke.  Furusato also stated that the 3D Production Chief Mitsuo Fukuda had advised him to go with this medium because there are several aspects of the series that can reach their full expression in 3D. Hence it was advised to go this route in order to reach “full effect.” In the end, the producer went on to use 3D which resulted in the battle scenes to look “a little bit unique.” The result of all these was an anime series that was both fun and exciting. It also was a bit refreshing from the usual 2D anime series that was popular during that time.

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Beyblade

Kids from the 90’s would probably be familiar with the anime Beyblade. The series was based on a Japanese manga that was written and illustrated by Takao Aoki. Aside from providing manga goodness, the series also aims to promote the sales of spinning tops called “Beyblades”. The manga was first serialized in CoroCoro Comic from 2000 up until the December of 2003.  The plot of the series revolves around kids that formed teams in order to fight against one another using their Beyblades.

The main characters of  Beyblade

The main characters of
Beyblade

The anime adaptation came in the form of a three season anime television series. The very first season lasted 51 episodes and was produced by Madhouse . The series was first shown on Japan on TV Tokyo in January 8, 2001 and lasted until December 24, 2001. The second season was produced by Nihon Animedia and had the title of Beyblade V-Force. It also spanned 51 episodes that first aired on January 7, 2002 up until December 30, 2002. The third season is called Beyblade G Revolution and was produced by the same company that produced the second season. This lasted one episode more than the two previous seasons as it aired in Japanese televisions from January 6, 2003 up until December 29, 2003. The distribution rights in the United States, which includes English adaptation, broadcast and release, was acquired by Nelvana.

Aside from being a television hit, the Beyblade franchise gave birth to a cult that went bananas when the iconic spinning top toy was launched worldwide. There had been plans of developing a fourth season titled Metal Fight Beyblade series. This new season brought in new merchandise such as the Metal Fight Beyblade Zero-G or the Beyblade Shogun Steel. It is a lone of toys that is composed of Beyblades from the anime including Samurai Ifraid W145CF, MSF Shinobi Saramanda SW145SD, MSF Pirates Orojya 145D, Thief Phoenic E230GCF, Guardian Reviser 160SB, MSF Archer Gryph C145S, Pirates Killerken A230JSB, and many more are being released in Asia. These toys were initially developed and manufactured by Takara Tomy and they were first released in 2000. The package include a Beyblade launcher that is responsible for the spinning power of the Beyblade as it is released in a Beystadium where the last spinning top wins.

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Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods

For the generation that has lived and breathed Hamekame waves, one thing that shouldn’t be missed is Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods. This would the 18th Japanese animated feature film of the Dragon Ball series and it is numbered as the 14th to carry the Dragon Ball Z branding. This latest Dragon Ball masterpiece was released in theaters on March 30, 2013 and It is the first ever Dragon Ball movie in 17 years to have a theatrical release. The movie that preceded it was the 10th anniversary movie in 1996. The movie is also a pioneer in its own right for being the first Japanese film to have screenings in IMAX Digital Theaters.

Poster of Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods

Poster of Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods

Adding to the epicness of this new movie is the fact that Battle of Gods is the first and only film in the Dragon Ball series to be included in the official Dragon Ball storyline. The events of the film are set during the time skip found in chapter 517 of the original manga and to make it more legitimate, the original creator of the series, Akira Toriyama, had made sure to leave his mark in the film. The general story of this new movie revolves around Beerus, the God of Destruction. This immensely powerful creature, once knowing of the loss of the galactic overlord Frieza at the hands of Son Goku, has began to seek the hero that is worthy of being an opponent. Together with his companion named Whis, Beerus sets his sights on earth in order to find Goku and challenge him to a duel that is fit to be called a battle of the gods.

The distribution rights of Battle of Gods in America was bought by Funimation. They then created an English dubbed version which first aired in North American cinemas in August 2014. The distribution rights to Australia went to Madman Entertainment and they had screened the movie at the 2013 Japanese Film Festival in Australia. They also have set to screen the English dubbed version to limited theaters in August 2014. Manga Entertainment had acquired the rights to release the film in the United Kingdom in November 2014.

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