VIZ Media Announces the Release of One Piece Manga Box Set 2

VIZ Media delivers a special treat to fans with the latest Box Set installment for the world’s most popular manga series – One Piece.

The One Piece Manga Box Set 2 will be released on November 4, 2014 and is rated “T” for Teens. The set contains Volumes 24-46, which comprise the series’ third and fourth story arcs – Skypiea and Water Seven – and will carry an MSRP of $185.99 U.S. / CAN. The Box Set also features a full-color poster and special ONE PIECE mini-comic.

As a child, One Piece main character Monkey D. Luffy dreamed of becoming King of the Pirates. But his life changed when he accidentally ate the Gum-Gum Fruit, an enchanted Devil Fruit that gave him the ability to stretch like rubber. The only drawback? He’ll never be able to swim again – a serious handicap for an aspiring sea dog! Years later, Luffy sets off on his quest to find the “One Piece,” said to be the greatest treasure in the world…

“This new release from VIZ Media continues the venerable ONE PIECE saga in lavish box set form and is a pirate’s treasure for any manga fan,” says Alexis Kirsch, Editor. “Catch all the action as the Straw Hats search the exotic sky island of Skypiea for hidden gold and then journey to Water 7, a wondrous water metropolis constructed upon the ruins of a sunken city. Jump aboard for fantastic adventures with manga’s favorite band of pirates!”

ONE PIECE © 1997 by Eiichiro Oda/SHUEISHA Inc.

When Supernatural Battles Became Commonplace: Episode 2 – “Misconception”

When Supernatural Battles Became Commonplace focuses on the five members of Senko High School’s Literary Club. Jurai Ando has a case of “chunibyo” (eighth grade syndrome), Tomoyo Kanzaki is bemused by Jurai’s antics, Hatoko Kurshikawa is a polite girl who takes Jurai’s antics seriously, Sayumi Takanashi is the club’s president, and Chifuyu Himeki is the niece of the advisor who hangs out with the club. One day, Jurai is pulling one of his antics and claiming that his arm’s hurt due to possessing a superpower. They’re all surprised when light suddenly manifests from Jurai’s hand and spreads across the Literary Club’s room. Six months later, they discover that student council president Mirei Kudo has also mysteriously acquired powers.

The superpowers themselves aren’t actually used at any point during Episode Two. They get referenced in a letter that Jurai writes to Mirei to give a name to her ability. Unfortunately, he accidentally users the word “Lover” instead of “Robber,” and Mirei misinterprets this to be a love letter.

The majority of Episode Two sees Jurai not trying to correct this misconception so he can come across as “cool.” The humor is derived from seeing the usually stern Mirei acting so goofy due to being in love. There’s also a humorous scene right at the beginning in the Literary Club room when Jurai is asking the girls to come up with superhero nicknames. The humor comes from Jurai’s reactions to the names that the girls come up with, since so few truly fall into the “cool superhero” category. While this scene served as the setup for Mirei coming into the club room, I personally thought that this particular gag had overstayed its welcome. It would’ve been stronger if it had been a little shorter.

It seems that for the most part, When Supernatural Battles Became Commonplace is focusing on having characters fall into certain character types instead of developed personalities. However, at the end of the episode, we did get to see Jurai have a serious conversation with Tomoyo as he mulls over what happened in this episode. This was the most serious I’ve seen him up to this point, so I hope that this is a sign that maybe the writers will allow these characters to start to grow out of the character types that they currently are.

It appears that Episode Two was meant to be more of a character development episode than anything else. Not only were the superpowers never used in this episode, there was also nothing to tie back to the overarching story that was hinted at with the end of Episode One with the person watching from the shadows. Hopefully we’ll see some advancement in the overarching story soon, because I’d hate for this to end up being like Kanojo ga Flag wo Oraretara, which was a series that established an interesting premise but ended up putting more focus on the character types and the gags than on the actual overarching story.

Personally, I thought that Episode Two wasn’t quite as strong as Episode One had been. I’m hoping that maybe this was a temporary slump and that the series will return to the level that it had been at with Episode One.

Anime Biography: Noboru Ishiguro

Noboru Ishiguro was born on August 24, 1938 in Tokyo, Japan. His credits over the course of his career included directing, storyboarding, writing, and serving as a production manager. He also provided the voice of Shoh Blackstone in The Super Dimension Fortress Macross anime series. In 1978, Ishiguro founded the Artland studio.

During the 1960s, Ishiguro provided key animation for Kyojin no Hoshi, wrote for the Pinch to Punch television anime series, directed Sabu to Ichi Torimono Hikae, and directed Yokai Ningen Bem.

In the 1970s, Ishiguro storyboarded Cho Denji Robo Combattler V, was the chief director for Hyoga Senshi Gaislugger, episode director and writer for Itazura Tenshi Chippo-chan, produced Kunimatsu-sama No Otoridai, storyboarded Little Lulu, directed five episodes of Lupin III: Part II, directed Manga Nihon Emaki, storyboarded Samurai Giants, storyboarded Sinbad the Sailor, directed Space Battleship Yamato, directed Tonari no Tamageta-kun, storyboarded UFO Robo Grendizer, and provided animation supervision on Wansa-kun.

During the 1980s, Ishiguro directed and storyboarded the 1980s Astro Boy anime television series, directed the Hoshi Neko Fullhouse OAV (as well as being the original creator, writing the screenplay, and writing the lyrics for the theme song), directed Koiko no Mainichi, directed and storyboarded the Legend of the Galactic Heroes OAV, directed the Legend of the Galactic Heroes: My Conquest is the Sea of Stars anime film, directed the Locke the Superman: Lord Leon OAV, came up with the original story for the Megazone 23 OAV (he directed the first episode and supervised the second and third episodes), directed Ninja Robots, was an animation director on the Phoenix 2772 – Space Firebird anime film, directed the Season of the Sun special, directed the Seishun Anime Zenshu special, directed The Super Dimension Century Orguss, directed The Super Dimension Fortress Macross series and The Super Dimension Fortress Macross: Do You Remember Love? film, storyboarded the A Time Slip of 10000 Years: Prime Rose anime film, directed Toppo Jijo, and directed and storyboarded Yume Miru Toppo Jijo.

Ishiguro’s credits in the 1990s included supervision on the Bubblegum Crash OAV, storyboarding on Bucket de Gohan, directed the Heavy anime film, supervision on the Ki*Me*Ra OAV, directed the Legend of the Galactic Heroes: A Hundred Billion Stars, A Hundred Billion Lights OAV, assistant director for the Legend of the Galactic Heroes: Overture to a New War film, directed Mikan Enikki, and served as an animation supervisor on the Tottoi anime film.

In the 2000s, Ishiguro was a production manager on Bokura ga Ita, supervised Katekyo Hitman Reborn!, served as a production manager on Mushi-Shi, directed the Pattenrai!! – Minami no Shima no Mizu Monogatari anime film, directed the Ten Tokyo Warriors OAV, and directed Tytania.

Sadly, it was reported by Studio Nue co-founder Haruka Takachiho that Noboru Ishiguro passed away on March 20, 2012 at a hospital in Kawasaki City at the age of 73. Ishiguro is survived by his wife, Yumi.

References

“Noboru Ishiguro.” Anime News Network. http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/people.php?id=8366

“Yamato, Macross Director Noboru Ishiguro Passes Away.” Anime News Network. March 21, 2012. http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2012-03-21/yamato-macross-director-noboru-ishiguro-passes-away

Anime Kobe Awards Announces Winners

The winners of the 19th Animation Kobe Awards have been announced:

Individual Award: Seiji Kishi (director)
Special Award: Kyoto Animation
Anime Work Award: Puella Magi Madoka Magica The Movie Part 3: Rebellion
Anime Work Award: Love Live! School Idol Project
Theme Song Award: “Sidonia” by Angela

I couldn’t become a hero, so I reluctantly decided to get a job Is Now on Hulu

The Fandom Post is reporting that the I couldn’t become a hero, so I reluctantly decided to get a job anime is now available for streaming on Hulu. However, only the twelve episodes from the TV broadcast are included; the OVA episode is now available. The series is currently only available in its original Japanese audio with English subtitles.

Hulu Plus subscribers can watch the series on their TV and mobile devices.

VIZ Media Launches New Paranormal Shojo Manga Series Kiss of the Rose Princess

VIZ Media announces a thrilling new paranormal shojo manga adventure with the launch of Aya Shouoto’s Kiss of the Rose Princess on November 4, 2014.

The new series will be available for the first time digitally as well as in print under the Shojo Beat imprint. Kiss of the Rose Princess is rated “T” for Teens and will carry a print MSRP of $9.99 U.S. / $12.99 CAN.

A digital version of Kiss of the Rose Princess Volume 1 also will debut on November 4, 2014 for $6.99 (USD/CAN) from VIZManga.com and through the VIZ MANGA App for the Apple iPad®, iPhone® and iPod® touch, Android-powered smart phones, as well as through the Nook, Kobo, Kindle, iBooks and Google Play stores. Future editions of the 9-volume series will be released in-print and digitally on a bi-monthly basis.

Anise Yamamoto has been told that if she ever removes the rose choker given to her by her father, a terrible punishment will befall her. Unfortunately she loses that choker when a bat-like being falls from the sky and hits her. Anise is granted four cards representing four knights whom she can summon with a kiss. But now that she has these gorgeous men at her beck and call, what exactly is her quest?!

“Aya Shouoto uses her stunning artwork in KISS OF THE ROSE PRINCESS to bring us a tale of a modern princess and her four handsome knights in this reverse-harem series,” says Nancy Thistlethwaite, Editor. “Our reluctant but fearless heroine must pledge herself to save the world from the Demon Lord, but what will happen if she falls in love with one of her knights? Don’t miss the start of this exciting new series in November!”

KISS OF ROSE PRINCESS Volume 1 ©Aya SHOUOTO 2009

Chaika – The Coffin Princess – AVENGING BATTLE: Episode 2 – “A Wizard’s Pride”

Chaika –The Coffin Princess- AVENGING BATTLE is the second season of the Chaika –The Coffin Princess- television anime series. The first series followed a girl on the run named Chaika, who claims to be the daughter of Arthur Gaz, the deposed leader of the Gaz Empire. She’s trying to gather her father’s remains in order to give him a proper burial; however, her father’s remains are a very powerful source of magic fuel so being able to gather them is no easy task. Chaika is joined by two saboteurs named Toru and Akari, as well as by a dragoon named Fredrica. It’s revealed during the first series that there are a lot of girls running around who claim to be Chaika and are trying to gather Emperor Gaz’s remains; however, the Chaika we know strongly insists that she’s the real one.

Episode Two sees Chaika, Toru and Akari trying to go up against Claudia, one of the eight heroes that fought against Emperor Gaz and has some of his remains. It takes a little while, but Chaika is eventually able to get a hit in on her; Claudia respects their agreement and turns over Gaz’s remains. In addition, Claudia also tells them about Gaz’s treasure that’s purportedly hiding on an island and provides information on the other heroes.

When it comes to the heroes we’ve encountered so far, I have to say that Claudia is my favorite; she seems so down-to-earth and personable compared to the others we’ve seen in the series up to this point. I hope there’s an opportunity to see her again later in the series.

As we see throughout this episode, there are two other references made to the island with Gaz’s treasure during this episode. The first is when Guy appears in front of Red Chaika and her group and tells them about it, and the other is when Vivi learns about it while Gillette’s things are being examined and explained to her. At this point, I feel rather safe in saying that the series is heading toward this island and whatever may be hiding there.

Later in the episode, Chaika has a memory of being beheaded, but knows that if this is true, she would have to be dead. This leads Chaika to make the decision to go the island in the hopes of learning who or what she truly is. And Vivi was given the job of continuing Gillette’s mission of finding Chaika, so her journey will have to lead her to the island as well. And since Guy gave Red Chaika information about it, I’m sure that she and her group will head there as well. I’d be surprised if there isn’t some kind of major conflict that takes place on the island.

The more I see of this Guy person, the more convinced I am that he’s not on the “up-and-up”; he definitely knows something that he’s hiding from everyone. I suspect that he may know the truth about Chaika. I’m almost thinking that the real Chaika is actually dead, or that Vivi is the real Chaika that somehow transformed into another appearance. As much as I’d like for the Chaika we’ve come to know and love be the real one, I suspect that she isn’t.

It also looks like the scene is being set for Chaika and Red Chaika to encounter each other again. Red Chaika gets remains from one of the heroes earlier in the episode, and Chaika and the others come to him at the end and learn that Red Chaika already has them. Toru’s worried about Red Chaika getting ahead of them, but I predict that both groups will encounter each other again sooner rather than later.

Episode Two builds nicely off of the story that was established in Episode One. So far, this appears to be a strong continuation of the first Chaika – The Coffin Princess- anime, and I hope the series continues to be this strong as it progresses this season.