Chi’s Sweet Home Manga to Resume on April 9, 2015

This year’s 18th issue of Kodansha’s Weekly Morning magazine is announcing that Kanata Konami is resuming her Chi’s Sweet Home manga in the next issue on April 9, 2015. The next new weekly chapter will feature a color opening page.

The magazine had announced in July 2014 that the weekly manga would go on hiatus until Spring 2015. It had explained that Konami was conducting research for the manga.

Chi’s Sweet Home focuses on a kitten who gets lost after walking out into the real world for the first time. A boy named Yohei Yamada discovers her, but the Yamada family’s apartment building prohibits pets. After failing to find a new home, the Yamadas decide to defy the rules and raise Chi themselves. Most of Chi’s coming-of-age stories revolve around the Yamadas or the cats, dogs, and the occasional rabbit that live in the neighborhood.

Vertical licensed Chi’s Sweet Home in 2009, and the company will release the 12th manga volume in North America on August 18, 2015.

The manga inspired two television anime series in 2008 and 2009. Crunchyroll simulcast the second television anime series Chi’s New Address in various countries as it aired in Japan.

Source: ANN

One Peace Books Adds The Rising of the Shield Hero Manga

Anime News Network is reporting that One Peace Books has licensed Aiya Kyu’s manga adaptation of The Rising of the Shield Hero (Tate no Yusha no Nariagari) light novel series. The company plans to release the first volume of the manga on November 17, 2015.

Online retailer Amazon describes the story as:

Naofumi Iwatani, an uncharismatic otaku who spends his days on games and manga, suddenly finds himself summoned to a parallel universe! He discovers he is one of four heroes equipped with legendary weapons and tasked with saving the world from its prophesied destruction. As the Shield Hero, the weakest of the heroes, all is not as it seems. Naofumi is soon alone, penniless, and betrayed. With no one to turn to, and nowhere to run, he is left with only his shield. Now, Naofumi must rise to become the legendary Shield Hero and save the world!

Source: ANN

Former KARA Idol Kang Jiyoung Cast in 19th Detective Conan Film

The official website for the 19th Detective Conan film, Detective Conan: Goka no Himawari (Detective Conan: Sunflowers of Inferno), has announced that the film has cast Kang Jiyoung, a former member of South Korean pop girl group KARA. She will play a guide in an art museum, the setting of the film.

The film’s story centers on Conan as he tries to track down Kaito Kid, who supposedly steals a replica of one of Van Gogh’s Sunflowers paintings during an auction. A real version of the painting depicted was owned by a Japanese collector, until it was destroyed during World War II. A version of the painting depicted in the movie was recently recreated.

Kobun Shizuno is directing the film, Takeharu Sakurai is writing the script, Katsuo Ono is composing the music.

Detective Conan: Goka no Himawari will open in Japan on April 18, 2015 and will feature Kaito Kid.

Source: ANN

Ayumi Shiina to Draw Baby Love One-Shot Sequel Manga in June 2015

The May 2015 issue of Shueisha’s Ribon magazine is announcing that Ayumi Shiina will draw a 32-page one-shot sequel to her Baby Love shojo manga in the magazine’s next issue, which Shueisha will publish in Japan on May 1, 2015. The manga’s title is “Baby Love -10 Years After-.”

The original manga’s story begins when Seara falls in love with Shuhei, when both are still children. Though Shuhei rejects Seara, Shuhei says that he will consider her if Seara grows up to be a beautiful woman. Years later, Seara finds a way to live in Shūhei’s house, and tries to win his heart.

Studio Ghibli Documentary Is Now Streaming on Netflix

Netflix is now streaming The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness, a documentary that focuses on Studio Ghibli, Hayao Miyazaki, Isao Takahata, and Toshio Suzuki. It was filmed during the production of The Wind Rises and The Tale of the Princess Kaguya.

The documentary was directed by Mami Sunada, who is famous for her 2011 documentary film Ending Note that focused on her dying father from cancer, and recently filmed the promotional video for Yumi Arai’s “Hikoukigumo,” which was used as the theme song for Miyazaki’s The Wind Rises.

Source: Crunchyroll

Anime Spotlight: Log Horizon 2

Introduction

Log Horizon 2 is the second season of the Log Horizon television anime series. Studio Deen produced the second season instead of Satelight; however, both seasons are directed by Shinji Ishihara. The series aired on Japanese television from October 4, 2014-March 28, 2015.

As of this writing, Sentai Filmworks holds the North American distribution license for Log Horizon 2.

About Log Horizon 2

The Log Horizon franchise tells the tale of what happens when players of the MMORPG game, Elder Tale, mysteriously find themselves actually inside the game after the 12th expansion, “Novasphere Pioneers,” is added. The main character of the series is Shiroe, and he is joined by his two companions Naotsugu and Akatsuki. As the first season progressed, Shiroe helped to establish alliances between guilds by forming the Round Table, helped to introduce commerce and new ideas to the game’s world, and he even formed his own guild called Log Horizon which included many of Shiroe’s friends as its members.

Of course, not everything went smoothly. The Round Table found itself entangled in issues involving the People of the Land and the nobles, as well as taking on goblin forces that attacked and caused chaos.

The second season sees the Round Table in a dire financial state since the high costs of maintaining Akihabara has just about depleted their funds. Shiroe, Naotsugu, and Regan meet with Kinjou of the Kunie Clan to try to make a financial agreement. After Kinjou refuses to help, Shiroe plans to go to the source of the world’s gold that’s sealed away in the Depths of Palm. In response, Kinjou issues a challenge of clearing a massive raid blocking the gold source to prove their worth to the Kunie Clan. Shiroe assembles a raid party to take on the challenge.

While Shiroe is away, Akatsuki finds herself pondering on her lack of strength and wanting to acquire a “Teaching” skill in the hopes of improving her worthiness to Shiroe. While this is going on, someone is going through Akihabara and murdering people. At the same time, Crusty disappears without a trace while tracking down goblins.

The two main storylines come together with Shiroe accomplishing his goal and Akatsuki proving her worth when she helps to take down the mass murderer in Akihabara.

Next we see the younger members of Log Horizon, along with Serara, being sent on a quest to obtain materials for a special magic bag for adventurers. While they’re on their quest, they meet Roe 2 (who turns out to have ties with Shiroe), as well as Dariella (who is Nureha from Plant Hwayden in disguise). Isuzu and her musical abilities are also focused on during this storyline, since they are treating the trip as a performance tour as well as a quest. While in the town of Safil, a swarm of wyvern monsters attack, and the young adventurers find themselves taking on the wyverns as well as encountering the Odyssey Knights, a group of adventurers that is obsessed with returning to their own world. Tohya especially finds himself at odds with the Odyssey Knights.

The final story arc is set in motion when Roe 2 has Minori deliver a letter to Shiroe that gives some information as to how they may have ended up in the game and what they might potentially be able to do to return home. This includes the discovery of an abandoned broadcast building in Shibuya and having to defeat a raid boss there in order to have access to the broadcast equipment.

My Impressions of Log Horizon 2

With the change in animation studios between seasons, I wasn’t sure what to expect in regards to the animation. After watching the first episode, it appeared that Studio Deen strove to keep the character designs as similar as they possibly could to the first season. While the new designs were very close, I could still detect some minor differences. And comparing what I remembered of the backgrounds of the first season to what I saw in this episode, I have to say that I thought the overall animation of the first season was better than what I saw here. That’s not to say that Studio Deen was producing terrible animation, though; I’m just saying that the animators for Satelight seemed to put a little more effort into the detail and look of the series in comparison to what I saw from Studio Deen.

At first, I didn’t care for Tetra, one of the new characters introduced in this season. This particular character grated on my nerves for the most part, although I learned to tolerate this character’s presence by the end of the season.

One thing that Log Horizon 2 succeeded at was bringing back characters that had all but disappeared early on in the first season or bringing characters that had been hiding more in the background for most of the series out into the foreground. In both cases, the characters became integral to the story and received some much needed character development.

A group of characters that includes Kanami, Coppelia, Leonardo, and Erius, was introduced in Episode 14. Unfortunately, they basically disappear from the series until right near the end of the final episode. This kind of frustrated me, because I had expected them to play a bigger role in the series than they did.

My biggest disappointment in Log Horizon 2 was the fact that Plant Hwayden and most of the characters involved in this group really weren’t very developed during this season. And for the most part, they didn’t seem to play that big of a role. But with what was seen near the end of the final episode, it appears that Plant Hwayden could play an important role later on in the story.

At Episode 21, I had become concerned with the pacing of the story, because it appeared there were several loose threads hanging out there and I thought the final four episodes couldn’t even begin to wrap them up. At the end of the final episode, though, several of the loose threads had been taken care of. In the process, some of those loose ends that were taken care of opened a new loose end, but the episode was written in a way where a foundation was laid for the story to continue and the viewer didn’t feel like the series was stopping in the middle of a storyline.

Conclusion

There was no announcement about a third season at the end of Episode 25, so it doesn’t look like it will be continuing anytime soon. While it’s a little frustrating to know that some loose ends still exist out there, this season managed to resolve several of the larger loose ends that it had. From what I’ve heard, the anime caught up with the light novel source material, so perhaps at some point when the light novel has gotten far enough ahead, a third season could be considered. I’d definitely watch a third season if it ever happens.

Even with some of my pacing concerns for this season, I still enjoyed Log Horizon 2. I’m definitely going to miss watching this series every week, and I’m hoping to start picking up the first season on home video at some point so I can re-watch the series again from the beginning.

English Dub Clips Streamed for Harlock: Space Pirate

Ketchup Entertainment is streaming two English dub clips and their Japanese language counterparts for its March 31, 2015 release of the 3D anime film Space Pirate Captain Harlock via DVD, Digital HD, and Video on Demand. The release, under the title Harlock: Space Pirate, will have both English dubbing and subtitles.

Ketchup Entertainment screened the film in 3D with English dubbing at the AMC Universal CityWalk in Los Angeles on March 25, 2015. The film also played on March 26, 2015 at the AMC Van Ness 14 in San Francisco, and at the AMC Loews Village 7 in New York City.

Shinji Aramaki’s CG film adapted Leiji Matsumoto’s classic Captain Harlock manga with Toei Animation’s highest production budget ever at the equivalent of more than 30 million U.S. dollars. Shun Oguri and Haruma Miura star in the Japanese voice cast as the title pirate and the new character Yama, respectively.

Source: ANN