World Trigger: Episode 37 – “A Hero and a Partner”

World Trigger is set in Mikado City, where a “gate” to a different world opens one day and monsters known as Neighbors start appearing from it. Earth’s weapons don’t work against these monsters, but a mysterious group appears and starts fighting against the Neighbors. The group, known as the Border defense agency, creates a defense system against the Neighbors that emerge from the gates. Four-and-a-half years later, a 15-year-old boy named Osamu meets a strange boy named Yuma; Osamu is secretly a member of Border while Yuma turns out to be a Neighbor.

Episode 37 opens with Osamu regaining consciousness and seeing his mother and a sleeping Chika nearby. This is the first time the audience has been introduced to Osamu’s mother, and it becomes a running gag for her to be mistaken as Osamu’s sister due to how young she looks. The first thing Osamu’s mother does when he gains consciousness is to scold him about needing to connect more intimately with people because he got seriously hurt and Chika didn’t weep for him. But the thing is, when Osamu’s mother interacts with him throughout the episode, she comes across as distant and not intimately connected with him. I mean, her first concern wasn’t whether or not her son was all right, it was the fact that Chika wasn’t weeping over him. I think it’s safe to say that Osamu picked up some of her attitudes from growing up around her.

The first half of the episode sees Osamu and the audience getting caught up on what’s happened in the time he was unconscious, which was a little over a week. At first, we see Osamu trying to guess who came by to see him; I think this was in the manga, but it was done in such a way in the anime to stretch it out in order to fill air time. Usami shows up later and tells Osamu about the various Border members who received Distinguished Service Awards, and this included Osamu. I know that this was done this way in the manga, so it actually wasn’t included to fill out time. But as Usami announces various people, previously seen footage runs in the background. This reminds the audience of what happened, but it’s also a way for the animators to not have to animate quite as much for the episode. But as we see, Osamu doesn’t believe he should be receiving an award, because they’re giving him credit for actions that Replica did.

Karasawa from Border gets permission from Osamu’s doctor to take him out of the hospital to a press conference being held by Border. The organization has to try to deflect criticism for the six Border agents who died in headquarters and the 32 C-Rank agents who were kidnapped by the Neighbors. Osamu learns that in order to protect Border, it was decided to turn him into a scapegoat, since his actions early on the series most likely tipped off the Neighbors about the fact that C-Ranks don’t have Triggers. But what a crappy thing for the Border higher-ups to do: giving Osamu an award, and then turn around and use him as a scapegoat to try to save their own necks. The episode ends with Osamu walking into the press conference.

From the preview for the next episode, it appears the press conference will conclude and that the B-Rank Wars arc will be getting underway. From what I can tell, there’s probably about 20 chapters left before the anime catches up with the manga. There are still 13 more episodes remaining, and knowing what some of these chapters are from reading them in Weekly Shonen Jump, I’m not quite sure how they can make these remaining chapters last for 13 more episodes. Also, I don’t really see a good place for the anime to cut off with at Episode 50, since the B-Rank Wars are still underway in the manga. And with the mangaka having to take somewhat frequent breaks from the manga due to his health, there may not be too much more progression in the story before Toei catches up. It’s going to be interesting to see how Toei deals with adapting the manga going forward.

Five Best Fathers in Anime

Originally written for WatchPlayRead.com

With June being the month of Father’s Day, I thought it would be a great idea to do a list about fathers in anime. But unlike the mothers, you can easily find men who can be considered the best fathers and men who can be considered the worst fathers. The fathers will be split into two different lists between the next couple of months. This list will focus on the five best fathers in anime, and the list for July will focus on the five worst fathers in anime.

This list features the five best fathers that have appeared in the anime that I have personally seen. Like the list with the mothers, I’m having a hard time ranking these five men into numbers, because I can’t truly say that any of them are better than the others.

Tatsuo Kusakabe (My Neighbor Totoro)

Tatsuo Kusakabe is the father to Satsuki and Mei. In the story, he and his daughters move into an old house out in the country to be closer to the girls’ mother, who is in the hospital recovering from a long-term illness. Throughout the movie, Tatsuo has to serve in the role as a single father.

In the film, we see Tatsuo trying to juggle work and single fatherhood, as well as trying to cope with the fact that his wife is recovering from illness. Yet he never shows any of his worries to his two young daughters. Instead, we see him finding time to spend with them and making sure that they get to have fun with him. Tatsuo puts on such a brave face, even though we know that he has to have some worries involved with his situation.

Choza Akamichi (Naruto)

Choza is the father of Choji Akamichi. Early on in the series, Choji is sensitive about this weight, and was put down a lot when he was young due to not being good at a popular children’s game. When Choji is down about not having friends, Choza knows just the right words to say to his son to help cheer him up.

Choza is a gentle and caring man, and he also seems to have wisdom and an understanding of the world. But most of all, he has a deep love for his son. We also get to see that Choza treats Choji’s friend Shikamaru kindly, as well as setting a wonderful example for Choji on how to treat others and interact with them. Choza is willing to reprimand his son when it’s needed, but he has the right balance of love and discipline to raise Choji and help him grow into a respectable young man.

Shikaku Nara (Naruto)

Shikaku is the father of Shikamaru Nara. Over the course of the series, Shikaku is seen giving advice to his son and helping Shikamaru regain his sense of worth after he lost someone very close to him. But unlike Choza, Shikaku can be rougher when dispensing his help and advice.

One of the most powerful scenes to appear in the Naruto Shippuden anime is when Shikamaru is having trouble coping with the death I mentioned earlier. While Shikaku’s methods for helping his son cope seemed rather harsh on the surface, the viewer realizes later that Shikaku did what he needed to do in order to get a message across to Shikamaru.

It was also revealed in the series that Shikaku was one of the few parents who didn’t order his son to stay away from Naruto Uzumaki; instead, he encouraged Shikamaru to make up his own mind as to whether or not he wanted to be friends with the boy that almost everyone else shunned.

Tatsuo Saeki (Gingitsune Messenger Fox of the Gods)

Tatsuo is the father of Makoto Saeki, the main character of the series. He serves as the priest at the Saeki Shrine, which belongs to his deceased wife’s family. Both his wife and daughter possess the ability to see Gintaro, the fox herald of the shrine, since they are from the Saeki bloodline; but since Tatsuo married into the family, he is unable to see the herald. But when he sees Makoto speaking with Gintaro or whenever she talks about the herald, he never disbelieves her or says anything that makes it seem like he thinks she’s pretending. He supports his daughter as a shrine maiden, including her ability to speak to something that he is unable to see.

Tatsuo has been raising Makoto as a single father since she was around four years old. He never begrudges his situation, and in fact, comes across as a rather positive and patient person most of the time.

Later in the series, Tatsuo takes in Satoru Kamio, the successor of the Kamio Shrine who had been raised by relatives who mistreated him after his parents died. Not only does Tatsuo take Satoru in to serve as a mentor, he also tries to be a kind of father figure to a boy that he’s not even related to. The love he shows for his daughter and the patience he shows to Satoru are very admirable.

Kuririn (Dragon Ball Z)

Kuririn becomes the father of Marron close to the end of the series. Once she’s born, Kuririn settles down in order to help raise her. While we see Marron’s mother, Android 18, spending some time with their daughter, it’s definitely Kuririn who takes on a lot of the actual responsibility for raising and taking care of Marron. It seems like the division of labor between Kuririn and Android 18 is that Kuririn is in charge of taking care of most of Marron’s needs, while Android 18 is the one in charge of protecting Marron when she’s in danger. But when Kuririn is seen with Marron in the anime, it’s easy to tell just how much he loves her.

The Osomatsu-kun Manga Is Getting a Third TV Anime Series After 27 Years

Studio Pierrot has opened a website to reveal that Fujio Akatsuka’s Osomatsu-kun gag manga is getting a third television anime series. The new series, titled Osomatsu-san, will be the first television anime in 27 years, and it follows the characters after they’ve become adults.

The staff are creating the new anime to commemorate what would have been Akatsuka’s 80th birthday (Akatsuka passed away in 2008 at age of 72).

It has been announced that Takahiro Sakurai will provide the voice for Osomatsu.

Studio Pierrot is animating the series, and Yoichi Fujita is directing. Shū Matsubara is in charge of series composition, Naoyuki Asano is designing the characters, and Yukari Hashimoto is composing the music.

The original manga and “high tension comedy” TV anime centered on the Matsuno household, which has six naughty and mischievous sons (who are sextuplets). All of the sextuplets, including the eldest Osomatsu, are all in love with the same girl, Totoko. The original series followed the family when the sons were 10 years old.

Other classic characters from the original manga such as Iyami, Chibita, Dekapan, Hatabō, and Dayōn will appear in the new series.

The first 56-episode series aired in Japan in 1966-1967. Akira Shigino directed the series, and Mainichi Broadcasting, Studio Zero, and Children’s Corner produced the series. Studio Pierrot animated the second 86-episode series, which aired from 1988-1989. Shigino served as chief director.

Source: ANN

Two Cast Members Announced for the Noragami Aragoto Anime

The official website for Noragami Aragoto, the second television anime season for the adaptation of the Noragami manga, has announced two new cast members:

  • Hisako Tōjō is Aiha
  • Takanori Hoshino is Kugaha

FUNimation Entertainment simulcast the first season as it aired in Japan in 2014, and it describes the story as:

Yato may just be a minor god now, but he’s determined to make it big and he’s got a plan. Unfortunately, things just don’t seem to be going his way. He doesn’t have a single shrine dedicated to him, his partner has just quit, and now he’s got to find a new divine weapon. Just when things look bleak, he meets a girl named Hiyori and changes her life forever.

The series will premiere in Fall 2015, and it will adapt the manga’s popular Bishamon arc and will reunite the staff and cast from the first season.

Source: ANN

More Cast Members Announced for the Food Wars! Anime Series

The official website for the Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma television anime series has revealed more cast members. The new cast includes:

  • Junichi Suwabe is Akira Hayama
  • Saori Goto is Nao Sadasuka
  • Asami Seto is Miyoko Hōjō

J.C. Staff is animating the series, which adapts Yūto Tsukuda and Shun Saeki’s Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma comedy manga. The story focuses on Sōma, who works with his dad at his family’s restaurant. His dad is a culinary master, and he often hosts cooking battles with his father. His father then enrolls him in an elite culinary school that is very difficult to enter, and the graduation rate is only about 10 percent.

The show premiered on April 3, 2015 and Crunchyroll is simulcasting the series as it airs in Japan. Sentai Filmworks has licensed the series for home video.

Source: ANN

Shonen Jump to Launch New Sports Manga Series in Its 33rd Issue

This year’s 32nd issue of Shueisha’s Weekly Shonen Jump magazine has announced that manga creator Masahiro Hirakata will launch a new sports manga series titled Best Blue in the magazine’s next issue, which Shueisha will publish in Japan on July 13, 2015. Hirakata previously published a one-shot manga with the same title in Shueisha’s seasonal Jump Next!! magazine in February 2014.

The magazine teases:

Swim through the center of youth!
A blue summer comes to Jump!

Aim for the legend! A boy swims alone on a remote island. But he will have a destined meeting in Aono!

Hirakata previously published his Shinmai Fukei Kiruko-san (Rookie Policewoman Kiruko-san) manga series in Weekly Shonen Jump, launching it in November 2012, and ending it in May 2013. Shueisha published the manga’s third and final compiled book volume in Japan in July 2013.

Source: ANN

Manga Review: “Magi” Volume 12

Originally written for WatchPlayRead.com

Magi Volume 12 focuses on Aladdin, a young man who is a Magi and has the ability to gather the Magoi of Rukh to power his magic.

Magi Volume 12

Written by: Shinobu Ohtaka
Publisher: Shogakukan
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: June 9, 2015

Volume 12 opens with Yamraiha finishing off a battle with a member of Al-Thamen. How Yamraiha brings about the conclusion of this battle is actually rather surprising, but it turns out to be very effective.

However, a lot of Magi Volume 12 actually focuses on Sinbad and what he goes through. He is being surprised by the arrival of Judar, a Magi working for Al-Thamen as the oracle of the Kou Empire. The two of them exchange heated words, with Judar declaring that he wants to destroy Sindria. As a representative of the Kou Empire, this could be perceived as the empire declaring war on Sinbad. This event creates a tense undercurrent that basically runs throughout the rest of the volume.

A princess of the Kou Empire has fled to Sindria and is being protected by Sinbad. We see several interactions between Sinbad and the princess throughout this volume, and these scenes almost lead the reader to believe that perhaps Sinbad might have an interest in her. Unfortunately, there’s a scene near the end of the volume that appears to squash this potential relationship.

Aladdin and the others return to Sindria, and shortly after their arrival, Hakuryu suffers a side effect from being bitten by a snake: his hand falls off and Ithnan manifests himself from the hand. Ithnan casts a curse on Sinbad and Alibaba. Yamraiha discovers the curse is just corruption being caused by magic, but she doesn’t know the formula to dispel it. Even though he is cursed, Sinbad is able to chase down and defeat Ithnan. But even with Ithnan’s defeat, it ultimately takes Aladdin’s power to heal Alibaba.

At the end of Volume 12, Aladdin makes a big decision that will have a major impact on the direction that the story is headed.  This decision includes both heading to a new location and leaving his current friends behind. But after what happened in Sindria, it’s really not surprising that Aladdin decides to take this step.

Magi Volume 12 has some emphasis on action, but the majority of the story focuses more on interactions between characters. A lot of the character interactions focus on Sinbad, which I thought was a good thing. I appreciated getting to see more of Sinbad, because it helped me to start better understanding him as a character. I also thought that the Kou Empire princess, along with her brother who is in Sindira with her, added interesting layers to the story.

When it comes to the art, it appears that many of the newer characters introduced into the series have more detail to their designs than Aladdin. However, I noticed in this volume that Alibaba’s design feels different compared to how he looked in earlier volumes of the series. Perhaps this noticeable change in his design is to signify that he has changed and progressed as a character.

Magi Volume 12 should be able to captivate long time readers of the series, especially when it comes to Sinbad’s various character interactions. This volume makes some important revelations and introduces forthcoming changes that should make the story an interesting read for the fans.

The reviewer was provided a review copy by VIZ Media