News and Entertainment

Weekly Puzzle #92



Daily Puzzle! What anime is this from? Bonus point if you can name the episode.

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Japanese Mythology & Folklore: Yokai - Eritategoromo



Do I wear the clothes or do they wear me?!

襟立衣
えりたてごろも

TRANSLATION: standing-collar clothes

APPEARANCE: Eritategoromo is a a Buddhist high priest’s kimono that has transformed into a yokai. It still looks mostly like the high-collared ceremonial robes of a priest, however the long, pointed collar has transformed into a long, pointed nose, and it has sprouted eyes and a beard.

ORIGIN: Eritategoromo was once the kimono which was worn by Sōjōbō, King of the Tengu, who lives on Mount Kurama, north of Kyoto. Sōjōbō is a fearsome, powerful, wise, god-like monster, with the strength of 1000 ordinary tengu. He is a master swordsman, and was responsible for training a number of famous legendary heroes of Japan, such as Minamoto no Yoshitsune. Though he is an ascetic yamabushi and great teacher, like any tengu, Sōjōbō has an evil side too: he is said to feed on children who wander too deep into the mountains.

Sōjōbō was not always a tengu. He was born a human, and became a well respected high priest. He was also proud, and he mistakenly believed that he had achieved satori, or enlightenment. Though he expected to become a Buddha when he died, he transformed instead into a demonic tengu. Even as a tengu, the proud Sōjōbō continued to live as a Buddhist priest, training daily, and wearing his ornate priestly vestments. Either due to Sōjōbō’s extreme pride, or due to being worn by a magical tengu, some spirit became attached to his high-collared robes and they transformed into this yokai.


Weekly Puzzle #91



Daily Puzzle! What anime is this from? Bonus point if you can name the episode.

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JDO Field Trip: Hachikyo



This exacting restaurant will charge a fine for every grain of rice you've left behind

Shaming wasteful children into realizing that food is not a thing to be taken for granted is the job of every parent with the luxury to do so. The Hachikyo restaurant in Sapporo, Japan has also taken on the task of teaching wasteful people to appreciate their food, but with a much different (and possibly more effective) strategy than the old "starving kids in Africa" standard.

In Hachikyo, you are allowed to eat only after you agree to the restaurant's rules. That is, if you leave even one grain of rice on your bowl, you will have to pay a fine, but that is merely the beginning.

Before the waiters serve their specialty, tsukko meshi (Salmon Roe) they serve the rice. You are not to eat any of the rice, or push the rice down in the bowl before the tsukko meshi is served on top. Disturbing the rice is grounds for having your tsukko meshi revoked.

After a short time, the waiters begin to serve the tsukko meshi. As they spoon the salmon roe onto your rice, they yell out an old sea shanty, in which the diners have to yell back. This, combined with the tight, shanty-like atmosphere, kind of makes you feel like you're getting your food right off the docks.

At first, the threat of a fine for leftover food and the hoops you have to jump through to get served in the first place seems like a way to take advantage of people's limited appetites and limited patience, but there's actually a rather altruistic goal in mind. The owner, Hitoshi Sugita, says that the reason for the fine is not for profit, but to pay respects to the fisherman who provided the tsukko meshi in your bowl. Fishing is a dangerous and potentially deadly profession, so you either pay respects to the fishermen with your stomach or your wallet.

Fines and rituals aside, Hachikyo offers a huge bowl of stsukko meshi for about 1,890 yen (about $20), which is a pretty decent deal considering the amount you eat; just be sure to clean your plate, or be ready to pay up.


Japanese Mythology & Folklore: Yokai - Dorotabō



Muddy rice field monk

泥田坊
どろたぼう

TRANSLATION: muddy rice field monk
HABITAT: unused, overgrown fields
DIET: none; survives on vengeance alone

APPEARANCE: Dorotabō are the transformed ghosts of old men who toiled so hard on their rice fields, only to see them lie in waste by a neglectful owner after their death. They appears as one-eyed, three-fingered humanoid figures rising out of the mud at night. It is said that the five fingers of the human hand represent three vices and two virtues: anger, greed, ignorance, wisdom, and compassion. The ghostly dorotabō appears with only the three fingers representing the vices, because he is a spirit of vengeance and rage, angry at the vices which now shame his life’s work.

BEHAVIOR: Dorotabō roam the overgrown fields, calling out in a mournful voice, “Give me back my rice field!” They haunt their fields night after night, preventing sleep and otherwise causing feelings of unease to the new inhabitants of their lands. They continue haunting until the wasteful owners changes their ways or give up and flee, selling the field to someone who will take proper care of it.

ORIGIN: Most of Japan’s land is bound up in inhospitable mountain ranges where farming is impossible, so the land that is usable by humans is extremely valuable. Families can save for a life time just to buy a small plot of precious farmland in hopes to leave it to their offspring after they die. Of course, children do not always follow their parents’ wishes, and a prodigal son who forsakes his father’s hard-earned fields in favor of vices like gambling and drinking is usually the cause of this eerie specter.


Funimation Reveals Black Butler: Book of Circus & Book of Murder Anime's Casts



Release Dates

North American anime distributor Funimation announced at its Katsucon panel on Saturday the English dub casts and the home video release dates for the Black Butler: Book of Circus television anime series as well as the Black Butler: Book of Murder video anime series.

Black Butler: Book of Circus will ship on April 19 in a limited edition Blu-ray Disc/DVD combo as well as in a standard edition. The dub cast, under ADR director Ian Sinclair and ADR engineer Donald Shults, is as follows:​

J. Michael Tatum as Sebastian
Brina Palencia as Ciel
Matthew Mercer as Joker
Tia Ballard as Beast
Mikaela Krantz as Doll
Michael Sinterniklaas as Dagger
Spike Spencer as Snake
Vic Mignogna as Peter
Rachel Robinson as Wendy
Christopher R. Sabat as Jumbo
Alex Organ as Doc

Funimation had announced in July 2014 that it had acquired the streaming and home video rights for Black Butler: Book of Circus.

Funimation describes the story.

In Victorian London, the breathtaking performances of the Noah's Ark Circus have captured the attention of people all across the city. But the spell of magic and wonderment woven under the big top is not without consequences. Children have suddenly begun to vanish, and some suspect these mysterious performers are responsible. In an attempt to get to the bottom of these disturbing disappearances, the dashing duo of demon butler, Sebastian Michaelis, and his young master, Ciel Phantomhive, will infiltrate the circus and uncover whatever darkness may lie at its core!

Crunchyroll, Daisuki, and Funimation all streamed the 10-episode series as it aired in July-September 2014.

If you want to read more concerning Black Butler: Book of Murder please click the read more button down below.


Spice & Wolf Light Novel Series 10th Anniversary



Gets Sequel

Holo & Lawrence's story resumes on April 9 in Dengeki Bunko Magazine

The 48th volume of Kadokawa's Dengeki Bunko Magazine is revealing on Wednesday that author Isuna Hasekura is writing a sequel to his Spice & Wolf light novel series to celebrate both the series' 10th anniversary, and the 10th anniversary since his novel writing debut with the first Spice & Wolf novel in February 2006. The sequel will appear in the 49th volume of Dengeki Bunko Magazine, which Kadokawa will ship on April 9. The announcement features an illustration of Holo by the novel series' illustrator Jū Ayakura, with the text "The story of Holo the Wise Wolf and the peddler Lawrence is set in motion once more!!"

The novel series' story centers around the travels of the merchant Kraft Lawrence, who strikes a deal with the wolf god Holo that sees him transporting the homesick god back to her remote northern homeland. Along the way, Lawrence conducts business along many towns and cities, illustrating medieval trade, commerce, and religion. Holo, in both human and wolf form, often becomes a decisive factor in his endeavors, and their relationship grows as they travel.

Hasekura published 17 volumes for the novel series from 2006 to 2011. Yen Press is publishing the light novels in North America, and it published the 16th volume last December. The novels were adapted into two television anime series, as well as an ongoing manga by Keito Koume in Kadokawa's Comic Dengeki Maoh magazine. The first 13-episode anime series premiered in 2008, while the second 12-episode series premiered in 2009. Funimation released the first series on DVD in 2009, and on Blu-ray in 2011, and it released the second series on Blu-ray and DVD in 2011. Funimation re-released both series together in one package in a DVD/Blu-ray Disc pack in 2012.Yen Press is publishing the manga in English, and it shipped the 11th volume last September.

Hasekura also worked on the Billionaire Girl manga, as well as the World End Economica visual novel series. Hasekura visited last year's Anime Expo as a guest, and will hold a Q&A panel at the AOD convention in California on Saturday.


Noblesse Vampire Comic Gets Anime Adaption



Production I.G

The digital comic publisher Line Webtoon announced that Production I.G (Psycho-Pass, Ghost in the Shell) animated a 30-minute short of the online Korean comic Noblesse by Jeho Son and Kwangsu Lee. Shunsuke Tada (Kuroko's Basketball, Tsubasa Tokyo Revelations, STARMYU) and Kazuto Nakazawa (animation director on Kill Bill, Samurai Champloo) directed Noblesse: Awakening animation, which is debuting on the Crunchyroll streaming service and Webtoon's own website.

Line Webtoon describes the story:

Son and Lee launched the comic in Line Webtoon in Korean in 2007, and it now has almost 400 chapters which have garnered over 2 billion page views. The first chapter of its first comic spinoff, Noblesse: Rai's Adventure, is also debuting on Thursday alongside the animated short. The 10-episode spinoff will be available for a limited time within the Line Webtoon website and app (viaiOS or Android).

The animated short is the first video content from Line Webtoon.​


Buddy Strike Manga in Shonen Jump Ends



Kaito's Final Chapter

This year's 10th issue of Shueisha's Weekly Shonen Jump will publish the final chapter of Kaito's (Cross Manage) baseball manga Buddy Strike. The manga's final page also mentions that Shueisha will publish the manga's one compiled volume in Japan in April. Sadly it looks like this power pitching teenagers baseball story has reached it's final inning.

The manga, which launched last November, follows a "no control" pitcher and a catcher who is called a "god of death."

Viz Media published the first three chapters of the series simultaneously in English in its Weekly Shonen Jump digital anthology as part of its "Jump Start" initiative. The company describes the series as follows:

It is said that there is a legendary catcher who can turn any pitcher he forms a battery with into a star. But this catcher requires something in return — the pitcher's soul. That is why the catcher is also known as the Grim Reaper. The pitcher will throw his soul into each pitch until that pitcher dies. But for down-on-his-luck pitcher Ryo Arakami, this may be the deal he was looking for after all!

Kaito published the five-volume Cross Manage lacrosse manga in Weekly Shonen Jump from September 2012 to July 2013. Kaito had originally published the manga as a one-shot in both Jump Next! and Weekly Shonen Jump before turning it into a series.​

Viz Media published the manga digitally in its Weekly Shonen Jump digital manga anthology. The company also published the manga's extra chapter in English digitally simultaneously with the chapter's release in Japan. Viz Media also released the five compiled volumes digitally.​

Weekly Shonen Jump is launching two new manga in February. Tadahiro Miura will launch Yuragi-sō no Yūna-san (Yūna of Yuragi Manor) in the 10th issue, and Koyoharu Gotōge will begin Kimetsu no Yaiba (Blade of Demon Destruction) in the 11th issue on February 15.​


Viz Media Releases Judas Manga Digitally



Releases February 23rd

Viz Media announced on Tuesday that it will release Suu Minazuki's Judas manga digitally. The first volume is slated for February 23.

Viz Media describes the manga:

Judas, cursed for his sins, is the spirit of Death – he is without form, and has enslaved young Eve to carry out the most heinous of acts. Together in spirit and body, they must slay 666 people so that Judas can regain his humanity. Using Eve as his vessel of destruction, Judas' dark, blood-soaked journey will leave a trail of sin, death, and – hopefully for Judas – redemption.

Minazuki (Sora no Otoshimono, Gou-dere Sora Nagihara) serialized the manga in Kadokawa's Monthly Shōnen Ace magazine from 2004 to 2006. Kadokawa published five compiled book volumes for the series. Tokyopop previously published all five volumes in English from 2006 to 2008.​


Zelda: Twilight Princess Manga's Debut



Semimonthly Schedule

The official website of manga creator duo Akira Himekawa revealed on Tuesday that their new manga The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess will begin serialization on Shogakukan's MangaONE app on Monday, February 8 at midnight. Shogakukan revealed that the manga will serialize every other week and presented a visual, confirming the manga's title.

Akira Himekawa also revealed that their earlier manga of The Legend of Zelda will get a "Perfect Edition" release, and it will contain manuscripts of the manga that have never been published before. It will be published in five volumes. Akira Himekawa's official website will provide more information in the future.​

The new work will be the pair's return to drawing The Legend of Zelda manga after an eight-year hiatus.​

The duo previously revealed a picture announcing a new Legend of Zelda manga in July, and had said at the time that they planned to debut the manga in 2015.​


Anime, Manga Stars Come Out to Pay Respects



To Late Shigeru Mizuki

Prolific manga creator Shigeru Mizuki, the mind behind award-winning works like Onward Towards Our Noble Deaths, and Showa: A History of Showa Japan (Comic Showa-Shi) and the favorite Kitaro passed away at the age of 93 in November. A large memorial service was held at the historic Aoyama Funeral Hall in Minato, Tokyo.

The service was hosted by Mizuki's wife and chief mourner Nunoe Mura and close friends, mystery writer Natsuhiko Kyogoku and polymath Hiroshi Aramata.

The memorial's floral display included a smiling picture of Mizuki surrounded by his beloved characters. The arrangement included a chrysanthemum native to the Shimane Peninsula that grew visibly from Mizuki's home and tropical flowers to invoke the jungle of Rabaul, Papua New Guinea. Shizuki was in a field hospital in Rabaul after he was drafted into the Imperial Army during the second World War. He would contract malaria during his tour and lose his left arm during an Allied air raid. He was the only survivor of his unit.

Aramata stated before the service started that they chose the picture of Mizuki smiling because "He was a person that made people happy when they spoke to him. He was like a "happiness mushroom." Mizuki is one of Japan's treasures." His wife thanked Mizuki for 53 years of marriage and said she will thank him in person when they see each other again soon in the afterlife. She commented that her life with Mizuki was fun, even when they two struggled in poverty together. She said she looked forward to rejoining him as "now I cannot even see him in my dreams."

Kyogoku added that Mizuki has joined the world of his creations. "I hope the feelings from our hearts stretch across the border," he said.

Mizuki's works touched many within the industry. Takao Saito (Golgo 13), actress Masako Nozawa(Dragon Ball Z, Gegege no Kitarō), and former Monthly Manga Garo magazine editor Tetsuo Matsuda all spoke during the service. Attendees included singer and personality Shoko Nakagawa (Hakaba Kitarō), actor Tadanobu Asano, actor Eiji Wentz (live-action Kitaro), actor Osamu Mukai (GeGeGe no Nyōbō), and actress Nao Matsushita (GeGeGe no Nyōbō).​

A second service open to Mizuki's many fans also took place and drew in over 8,000 people. Aoyama Funeral Hall installed a "yōkai postbox" for fans to deliver their messages to Mizuki.


MPD-Psycho Manga's 'Last Chapter'



Debuts on Thursday

The March issue of Kadokawa's Young Ace magazine (cover shown right) is publishing the "Last Chapter" of Eiji Ohtsuka and Shou Tajima's MPD-Psycho manga on Thursday. However, the magazine will publish the manga's "The End+One" chapter in the magazine's next issue, which Kadokawa will ship on March 4.

The 21st volume of Ohtsuka and Tanaka's series reported in December 2014 that the manga would end in the 22nd volume. Tajima then said on his official Twitter account last May that the manga will end with the 23rd volume. The 22nd volume shipped in Japan in July.

Ohtsuka and Tajima's manga about a detective with multiple personalities launched in 1997. Dark Horse Comics licensed the series in 2006 and the company has released 11 compiled volumes. The manga inspired a live-action television series by Takashi Miike that BCI/Eclipse released on DVD in North America and Crunchyroll streamed the series on its website.

Ohtsuka is also currently working on The Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service manga and its spinoff Matsuoka Kunio Yōkai Taiji with artist Hosui Yamazaki, as well as the Todenka: Dai Ni Jū Go Setsu manga with Nato Kio.

North America's Dark Horse Comics published the 14th volume of The Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service last July.​


Cardcaptor Sakura Celebrates 20th Anniversary





The March issue of Kodansha's Nakayoshi magazine is revealing on Wednesday that CLAMP's Cardcaptor Sakura manga is getting a "new project" to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the manga. Details of the project will be announced on a later date.

Additionally, the issue announced that NHK's BS Premium will rebroadcast the Clow Card Arc of the Cardcaptor Sakura anime in April, starting on April 6.

The same issue also announced that Rin Miasa (Usotsuki Ōji to Nisemono Kanojo, Goshimei Arigatou Gozaimasu!) will begin publishing a new manga titled Dōkyūsei ni Koi o Shita in Nakayoshi's April issue.

Cardcaptor Sakura ran in Nakayoshi from May 1996 to June 2000, and Kodansha published 12 volumes of the manga from November 1996 to July 2000. Tokyo pop released the series in English in two editions and Dark Horse Comics released the series in omnibus format.

An anime adaptation produced by Madhouse aired in Japan from April 1998 to March 2000. A film titled Cardcaptor Sakura: The Movie premiered in Japan in 1999, and Cardcaptor Sakura: The Sealed Card followed in 2000.

NIS America licensed the anime in 2014 and re-released it in a Blu-ray Premium Edition and DVD Standard Edition in North America.​

NIS America describes the story:
Ten-year-old Sakura lives a pretty normal life with her older brother, Toya, and widowed father, Fujitaka. At least she did, until the day she returned home from school to discover a glowing book in her father's study. After opening the book and releasing the cards within, Sakura is tasked with collecting each of these magical cards, while trying to live the life of a normal fourth grader. In the monumental task of collecting all the cards, Sakura must rely on her friends and family, and decide what she finds most important in life.

Discotek licensed Cardcaptor Sakura: The Movie, which was previously owned by Geneon, in 2013 and released it on home video the following year. Geneon released Cardcaptor Sakura: The Sealed Card on DVD in 2003 with a new dub cast.​


Iga no Kabamaru Manga After 32 Years



Yuu Azuki Draws Sequel

Yuu Azuki announced on Sunday that she will publish a sequel manga to her Iga no Kabamaru manga titled Iga no Kabamaru Sorikara. Shueisha will ship the book volume on February 25. The manga will be the first Iga no Kabamaru story that Azuki has drawn since ending the manga 32 years ago. The sequel's story takes place after the manga's finale after Kabamaru and Hayate return to their ninja training in the mountains.

The original manga centered on an Iga ninja named Kagemaru, nicknamed Kabamaru for his appetite. He was raised by his grandfather alongside Hayate, and trained to be ninjas in the mountains. When their grandfather passes away Kabamaru moves to Tokyo with a girl his grandfather knew, and tries to adjust to an urban lifestyle after living all his life in the mountains, and is eventually involved in the rivalry between two private schools.​

Azuki drew the manga from 1979 to 1984 in Shueisha's Bessatsu Margaret and Weekly Margaret magazines. The manga was adapted into a 24-episode television anime series in 1983.​