VIZ Media’s Perfect Square Imprint Launches LBX (Little Battlers Experience) Manga Series

VIZ Media delivers sci-fi battle robot action in a BIG way with the launch of the new manga series – LBX (Little Battlers eXperience). The action kicks off in the first two volumes of the series from the company’s Perfect Square imprint on November 4, 2014. Future volumes will each be released on a bi-monthly basis.

LBX (Little Battlers eXperience) is a hot new action/sci-fi/mecha property based on the LBX video game, a series of role-playing action games created by Level-5, with manga, an anime, and planned forthcoming toys and games debuting this fall.

Created by Hideaki Fuji, the LBX (Little Battlers eXperience) manga series is rated ‘A’ for All Ages. Volumes 1 and 2 will be released on November 4, 2014 and will be available with a print MSRP of $9.99 U.S. / $12.99 CAN each.

Welcome to the world of Little Battlers eXperience! In the near future, a boy named Van Yamano owns Achilles, a miniaturized robot with super strong power. But Achilles is no ordinary LBX. Hidden inside him is secret data that Van must keep out of the hands of evil at all costs.

In Volume 1, “The New Dawn Raisers,” Van loves Little Battlers eXperience, also known as LBXs, the hottest toy in present-day 2050. And it’s kind of cool that his dad invented them! But now a secret organization is coming after Van to procure the secrets that might be hidden inside his own LBX robot, Achilles!

“In Japan, the LBX (LITTLE BATTLERS EXPERIENCE) world is super popular and has video games, broadcast anime, an animated film and toys and collectibles. We’re looking forward to being part of the team that brings LBX to North American fans of all ages with the manga series,” says Joel Enos, Editor. “It’s fast-paced, exciting, and has robots that battle on command! You really can’t go wrong with that!”

DANBALL SENKI © 2011 Hideaki FUJII /SHOGAKUKAN © LEVEL-5 Inc.

When Supernatural Battles Became Commonplace: Episode 3 – “Rendezvous Point”

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.

Episode Three introduces two new characters to the series. The first is Shizumu Sagami, a handsome boy that Jurai doesn’t get along with who’s constantly being dumped by girls due to his otaku behavior. We got to see Shizumu briefly in a couple of scenes, which was just enough to establish the type of character that he is. Hopefully he’ll become more important later.

The other new character is Hajime Kiryu, Tomoyo’s older half-brother who has chunibyo interests like Jurai. Jurai meets Hajime when he returns to the Literary Club room to get his notebook that he’s nicknamed “Bloody Bible,” and finds Hajime reading it. Jurai and Hajime seem to hit it off, and this seems to explain how Tomoyo knows how to handle Jurai and his interests. But while Jurai and Hajime are hanging out, Hajime gets a phone call; we only hear Hajime’s side of the conversation, but it sounds like he has something going on that could be tied in with the powers of Jurai and the others. Could Hajime potentially be the guy that was hiding in the shadows at the end of Episode One?

At one point, we see Tomoyo and the other girls talking about Jurai and how he’s really given thought to their various powers with the warnings that he’s given to some of them. Tomoyo seems to dismiss this, but I think that she believes it as well. There’s definitely been effort with this series to develop Jurai as a character, and adding Hajime starts giving Tomoyo a little more to work with. And through a story that Hatoko shares with the other girls, we also get to see that Hatoko isn’t quite as ditzy as she seems to be portrayed up to this point. I appreciate the effort that’s being taken to try to develop these characters beyond just being character types in this episode, and hopefully this will continue.

Between what we see right at the end of Episode Three, as well as from the preview for Episode Four, it appears that Chifuyu will be the main focus of the next story. Hopefully this will help to provide some more character development for her.

The early part of the episode seemed to be a little more on the “fanservice” side than we’ve seen in the series up to this point; the fanservice included shots of the female teacher that Jurai was meeting with at the beginning, as well as a couple of shots that we see during the tennis matches Jurai and the others are having on the tennis court that Chifuyu created in the club room. Fortunately, the fanservice wasn’t too terribly bad and didn’t distract too much from the story.

Overall, When Supernatural Battles Became Commonplace is still showing signs of promise, and I hope that I’ll continue enjoying this series as it progresses over the next few weeks.

Promotional Video for the Harmony Anime Film

A promotional video has aired for the Harmony anime film that’s scheduled to open in Japanese theaters in 2015. The film is based on Project Itoh’s novel of the same name.

I am embedding the video below, and I apologize in advance to any of my readers who are unable to view the video due to region blocking.

TV Spot for The Last -Naruto the Movie-

A new TV spot for the forthcoming anime film, The Last -Naruto the Movie-, is now airing in Japan. The film is scheduled to open in Japanese theaters on December 6, 2014.

I am embedding the spot below, and I apologize in advance to any of my readers who are unable to view it due to region blocking.

Anime Biography: Rintaro

Rintaro was born as Shigeyuki Hayashi in Tokyo, Japan on January 22, 1941; he has also worked under the pseudonym of Kuruma Hino. Rintaro works as a freelance director, and is a co-founder of animation studio Madhouse.

Rintaro began his anime career at the age of 17, when he worked at Toei Animation as an in-between animator for the 1958 film, Hakujaden. A few years later, he would work at Mushi Productions under Osamu Tezuka; Rintaro’s first directing job was the fourth episode of the classic anime series, Astro Boy. After leaving Mushi Productions in 1971, Rintaro became a freelance director. For over 30 years, Rintaro has served on the staff of a number of anime television series, OVAs, and films.

Over the years, Rintaro has worked on: Hakujaden, Shonen Sarutobi Sasuke, Nezumi no Yomeiri, Tales of a Street Corner, Astro Boy, Astro Boy: Hero of Space, Kimba the White Lion, Jungle Emperor Leo, Jungle Taitei Susume Leo, Sabu to Ichi Torimono Hikae, Moomin, Alakazam the Great, Space Pirate Captain Harlock, Galaxy Express 999, Arrow Emblem Grand Prix no Taka, Hoshi no Ko Chobin, Wanpaku Omukashi Kumu Kumu, The Littl’ Bits, Adieu, Galaxy Express 999, Jetter Mars, Ganbare Genki, Manga Nihon Mukashi Banashi, Dr. Slump, Dash! Kappei, Harmagedon, The Dagger of Kamui, Bobby’s Girl, Toki no Tabibito – Time Stranger, Phoenix: Karma Chapter, Neo-Tokyo – Labyrinth, Take the X Train, Matasaburo of the Winds, Bride of Deimos, Kaze no Matasaburo, Spirit Warrior, I Am Son Goku, The New Adventures of Kimba the White Lion, A Wind Named Amnesia, Dragon Warrior, Down Load – Namiamidabutsu wa Ai no Uta, Battle Angel, Final Fantasy: Legend of the Crystals, Doomed Megalopolis, Peacock King, The Diary of Anne Frank, X, X – X2 double X, Pet Shop of Horrors, Reign: The Conqueror, Metropolis, Alexander: The Movie, Space Pirate Captain Harlock: The Endless Odyssey, Master Keaton, Paradise Kiss, Paranoia Agent, Tenjho Tenge: Ultimate Fight, 48 x 61, and Yona Yona Penguin. Metropolis was nominated for Best Film at the 2001 Festival de Cine de Stiges.

Rintaro has said he is a fan of science fiction. As his influences, he has listed American westerns, gangster films, film noir, and French films; he has also cited Osamu Tezuka as an influence on his work. Rintaro is also a founding member of the Japan Animation Creators Association (JAniCA), an animator labor group in Japan. He has also lectured at Kyoto Seika University.

References

“Awards for Rintaro.” Internet Movie Database. http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0727336/awards

Berkwits, Jeff. “Interview: Animation legend Rintaro reinvents the city to build a better Metropolis.” Sci Fi.com Science Fiction Weekly. http://web.archive.org/web/20080505093621/http://www.scifi.com/sfw/issue248/interview.html

Llewellyn, Richard. “Rintaro Filmography.” Animated Divots. http://www.animated-divots.com/rintaro.html

“Oshii to Take Guest Post at Tokyo Keizai University.” Anime News Network. January 11, 2008. http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2008-01-12/oshii-to-take-guest-post-at-tokyo-keizai-university

“Rintaro.” Anime News Network. http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/people.php?id=2617

“Rintaro, Madhouse to Animate 2008 Penguin CG Movie.” Anime News Network. May 24, 2007. http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2007-05-24/rintaro-madhouse-to-animate-2008-penguin-cg-movie

Staff Announcement for the Blood Blockade Battlefront Anime

The December issue of Shueisha’s Jump Square magazine is announcing the staff and cast of the anime adaptation of the Blood Blockade Battlefront manga.

BONES is producing the anime, and Rie Matsumoto is directing. Kazunao Furuya is writing the script, and Toshihiro Kawamoto is designing the characters.