The committee also named Mangaman, Barry Lyga and Colleen Doran‘s graphic novel about a manga character trapped in an American high school in the realworld.
These lists are presented annually at the ALA’s Midwinter Meeting. Each book is recommended for ages 12-18 and meet the criteria of being “both good quality literature and appealing reading for teens.”
Oricon: 503.61 million copies sold last year, 99.0% of 2010’s total
The market research firm Oricon reported on Tuesday that Japan’s comic (manga) sales totaled 271.71 billion yen (about US$3.533 billion) during the 2011 fiscal year. About 503.61 million copies of comics sold in Japan last year, and that was 99.0 percent of the total from 2010.
Despite selling fewer copies, the total revenue from comic sales did increase from the year before. In 2010, the total revenue from comic sales was 270.67 billion (about US$3.519 billion) yen, also a small increase from 270.31 billion yen (about US$3.515 billion) in 2009.
Oricon reported that the total revenue from all book sales, including the comic/manga, bunko, and general book categories, was 1.112 trillion yen (about US$14.46 billion) in Japan in 2011. That number was 99.3 percent of the total from 2010. About 1.287 billion copies of all books sold in Japan last year, which was a one percent drop from 2010.
The research firm cited the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake disaster (Higashi Nihon Daishinsai) and the resulting production interruptions and material shortages as possible causes for the slight decrease in total book sales. Oricon expects sales totals to increase as Japan continues to recover from the March 11 earthquakes and tsunami.
In 2011, the top-selling manga by series in Japan wereOne Piece (37,996,373 copies), Naruto (6,874,840 copies), and Blue Exorcist (5,223,712 copies). Oriconreported that top-selling manga by volume were One Piece #61 (3,382,588 copies), One Piece #62 (3,207,568 copies), and One Piece #63 (3,073,175 copies).
SANTA MONICA, CA (January 26, 2012) – Celebrating the Release of Puella Magi Madoka Magica Vol. 1 in North America,Aniplex of America is having a special Meet and Greet Event with the English Voice Cast of the series. Fans will get to share the excitement of Madoka Magica with the English Cast just days after the release of the First Volume (February 14th). This Meet and Greet event will be held on Friday February 17th at 8:30 PM at Anime Jungle #1 in Los Angeles’ Little Tokyo.
The Madoka Magica Meet and Greet event is open to the public and is a great opportunity for fans to meet the English Cast in person and show their love for the series. Fans will have the opportunity to have their questions answered from the English Cast. In addition, there will also be an autograph session for fans that have purchased the first volume of the series and bring their proof of purchase to the event.
The First Volume of Puella Magi Madoka Magica will be available on February 14th (Valentine’s Day). The second and third installments of the series are now available for pre-order at Right Stuf.com. Each volume will be released in three formats: a Limited Edition Box Set, and Regular Edition Blu-Ray and DVD. Each Limited Edition Box Set will include the Blu-ray, DVD and Soundtrack CD composed by Yuki Kajiura.
About Puella Magi Madoka Magica
Originally airing in Japan from April through June, 2011, Puella Magi Madoka Magica is an original story developed into TV series by Gen Urobuchi of Nitro+ (togainu no chi), directed by Akiyuki Shinbo (Goodbye Zetsubo Sensei, Bakemonogatari, Arakawa Under the Bridge) and produced by Aniplex‘s Atsuhiro Iwakami (The Garden of Sinners, Bakemonogatari, Oreimo, and recently project Fate/Zero). Puella Magi Madoka Magica follows the story of a 14 year old girl named Madoka Kaname. Madoka is offered the opportunity of gaining magical powers if she agrees to make a contract with a strange little being named Kyubey. Kyubey will also grant Madoka one wish, but in exchange she shall risk her life by accepting the responsibilities of fighting witches. Little does Madoka know what the real risks of making a contract has in-store for her.
About Aniplex of America Inc.
Aniplex of America Inc. (Santa Monica, California) is a subsidiary of Aniplex Inc. (headquartered in Tokyo, Japan), a group of Sony Music Entertainment (Japan) Inc. and leading provider of anime content and music production and distribution in Japan. Aniplex of America has launched fan-favorite DVD and Blu-Ray releases such as Gurren Lagann the Movies, Durarara!!, R.O.D series, The Garden of Sinners and Baccano! The company’s ever-growing line-up of shows includes our most recent titles, Blue Exorcist, Rurouki Kenshin OVA and Movie, and Puella Magi Madoka Magica.
About Anime Jungle
Anime Jungle first opened its doors in the Little Tokyo Mall of Los Angeles in 2001. Anime Jungle is very pleased to bring to the American public Japanese anime, Tokusatsu, and Independent Films. We have thousands of different products and special collector items, and sincerely hope we’ll have the chance to serve you sometime!
FMA, Gundam 00 band’s March 25 concert moved to main venue due to high demand
The J-Rock band L’Arc-en-Cielannounced on Wednesday it will perform at Madison Square Garden in New York City on March 25, making it the first Japanese band to headline a concert at the main venue. The concert was originallyslated for March 23 at the smaller Theater at Madison Square Garden, but the concert has been pushed back and moved to the larger venue due to high demand.
Those interested in attending the concert can purchase tickets starting on January 28.
The band is playing in New York as part of its “L’Arc-en-Ciel World Tour 2012.” Other locations and dates for that tour include:
As the “Blue Exorcist” vol. 2 continues to introduce more characters, feature even more action-packed episodes in combination with its beautiful visual style, “Blue Exorcist” is shaping up to be one of my favorite anime series to catch on DVD for 2012! The series has gotten better and better with each episode and is recommended!
DVD INFORMATION: Japanese Dolby Digital 2.0, 16:9 LB, Dolby Digital
COMPANY: Aniplex Inc.
RATED: Suggested 13 and Up
RELEASE DATE: January 24, 2011
Based on the manga by Kazue Kato
Directed by Tensai Okamura
Series Composition by Ryota Yamaguchi
Music by Hiroyuki Sawano
Character Design by Keigo Sasaki
Art Director: Masatoshi Kai
Chief Animation Director: Keigo Sasaki
Anime Production: A-1 Pictures
Featuring the following voice talent:
Jun Fukuyama as Yukio Okumura
Kana Hanazawa as Shiemi Moriyama
Kazuya Nakai as Ryūji Suguro
Nobuhiko Okamoto as Rin Okumura
Ayahi Takagaki as Kuro
Eri Kitamura as Izumo Kamiki
Hiroshi Kamiya as Mephisto Pheles
Keiji Fujiwara as Shirō Fujimoto
Koji Yusa as Renzō Shima
Rina Satou as Shura Kirigakure
Tetsuya Kakihara as Amaimon
Yuuki Kaji as Konekomaru Miw
“Assiah, the realm of humans, and Gehenna, the realm of demons. Normally, these two dimensions would never intersect, but having possessed all material substances, the demons are now intruding on the material world. But among the human race, there are those who can exorcise such demons.” – the Exorcists.
Rin Okumura and his twin brother Yukio have been raised by Shiro Fujimoto, an eminent priest, so it comes as a shock when Rin discovers their biological father is actually Satan! As the border between “Assiah” (the human world) and “Gehenna” (the demon world) is crossed by evil, Rin vows to become the ultimate exorcist and defeat his own father. To hone his raw skills, Rin enters True Cross Academy to train with other exorcist candidates.
As the “Blue Exorcist” series (vol. 2) continues to introduce more characters in adventurous settings and its exciting action-paced format and beautiful visual style, “Blue Exorcist” is shaping up to be one of my favorite anime series to catch on DVD.
“Ao no Exorcist” (Blue Exorcist) is an anime adaptation of a manga series written and illustrated by Kazue Kato, a mangaka who won a Tenkaichi Manga Award back in 1999 at the age of 19 and won a Tezuka Award in 2000 for his manga “The Witch and the Rabbit”. Kato is also known for his 2006 manga series “Robot Usakichi” (Space Traveler Robo & Usakichi).
“Blue Exorcist” was serialized on Jump Square Magazine by Shueisha since April 2009 and is still an ongoing manga series (as of January 2012, there have been a total of 30 chapters released).
With the popularity of the manga series, an anime adaptation was produced by A-1 Pictures with Hitoshi Okamura as the producer. The series began back in April 2011 and 25-episodes have aired in Japan. And now the second volume of “Blue Exorcist” will be released on DVD courtesy of Aniplex.
The anime series revolves around a hotheaded teenager named Rin Okumura. Both he and his brother Yukio have been raised by Father Fujimoto at the Cross Academy Town – Southern Cross Boys Monastery. While Yuki shows great intelligence and is attending school at True Cross Academy to become a doctor, Rin is quite the opposite. He tends to get himself in trouble, fights a lot and is continually told by Father Fujimoto to find a job.
Unfortunately for Rin, finding and holding onto a job is difficult. But one day, while working at a supermarket, he sees a monster in a girl’s scarf. He tells Father Fujimoto of what he has seen and Father Fujimoto starts to fear that something is happening. One day, Rin encounters a group of thugs and its leader that he had beaten up earlier and suddenly sees him turn into a demon. The demon tells Rin that satan is waiting for him and immediately, Father Fujimoto is there to save him and exorcise the demon. Fortunately, Father Fujimoto is there to help but it is all revealed to Rin about why he can see monsters.
It’s the fact that he is not truly human. He is the son of a human woman and satan. And the monsters he have seen, it is explained to Rin that in the world, there is Assiah, the realm of humans, and Gehenna, the realm of demons. Both are not supposed to come in contact with each other but they have and as an exorcist, it is his duty to send the demons back to where they belong. And satan wants to reunite with his son.
To protect Rin, Father Fujimoto gives him the Kamkakushi key, so he can hide anything. And he is also given the Koma Sword, a magic sword passed down from generation to generation and a sword where Rin’s powers have been sealed since birth. Rin’s flame resides inside the sword and is sealed by the scabbard. If he draws it, he will assume his demonic nature and will never be able to live as a human again.
One day, he and Father Fujimoto try to prepare for an imminent attack and tells Rin that he must seek shelter where satan can’t get to him but Rin takes it as his father trying to get rid of him forever. In return, Rin said some hurtful things to Father Fujimoto and the pain that Father Fujimoto felt was enough for satan, the demon to possess him.
Satan shows up to claim his son and attacks Father Fujimoto. Satan reveals that he created Rin from a human woman in order to create a container that would be powerful enough to hold him.
But it’s something that Father Fujimoto will not let happen to the boy, he looked at as a son. In order to save Rin, Father Fujimoto risks his own life to keep satan away and is killed in the process.
Now Rin mourns for the one person he knew as his father and when Mephisto Pheles, a friend of Father Fujimoto comes to visit, he tells him that they represent the Knights of the True Cross and they exorcise demons. And Rin has two choices, they will kill him, or he kills the demons. Instead, Rin tells him that he could care less about being human or a demon, he wants to become an exorcist like Father Fujimoto and avenge him and that means defeating his own father.
So, from that point on, Rin must be trained to become an exorcist and will have to follow special rules (which includes not revealing his true nature). But the first thing that he will need to do is enroll at the same school that his brother Yukio attends. When Rin sees his brother, Yukio is in the top of the class and that he is a special leader that people follow at the school and he is no longer the scrawny younger brother he once knew.
As Rin is now a student at the Knights of the True Cross, many of the elders are not too thrilled because Rin is the son of Satan and because Rin tends to be more of a hothead, they are not too sure if he can fit into the Academy. But Rin is determined to make good on his promise to his deceased father and to protect people, but most of all, to kill satan.
With volume 2 of “Blue Exorcist”, the story continues as Rin continues to study along with his classmates and each are trying to be Esquires, in order to take on various missions. But others at the Academy and the higher ups want to test Rin and find out if he is a person that can be taught and eventually fight with the other exorcists in defeating demons and satan himself.
While people question a demon being an exorcist, for Rin, he makes a goal that one day, he will become a Paladin (highest level of exorcism) like his adoptive father, Father Shiro and prove that because he is satan’s son, that having a caring father like Shiro can make a big change in the life of a person, even if they are a demon.
“Blue Exorcist Vol. 2″ features episodes 8-13 on one DVD. Here is a spoiler-less summary of each episode:
EPISODE 8 – Now a Certain Man Was Sick – When the class is punished because of Kamiki and Bon’s argument, the students are attacked by a ghoul.
EPISODE 9 – Memories – The students learn that the ghoul attack was part of their Esquire exam. Meanwhile, Neuhaus is planning to test Rin.
EPISODE 10 – Black Cat – Father Shiro’s familiar, a demon cat named Kuro has gone crazy when he finds out that Shiro has died. Not believing any of it, the Academy considers killing it. But Rin can read the cat’s true feelings.
EPISODE 11 – Demon of the Deep Seas – Rin, Izumo and Shima are sent on their first mission as Esquires to find out about attacks made by the Kraken. The three meet a boy who awaits his father who went to face the Kraken six months earlier.
EPISODE 12 – A Game of Tag – The Esquires must look for the ghost of a child haunting Mephisto Pheles’ amusement park. But Rin is attacked by the higher demon named Amaimon.
EPISODE 13 – Proof – Rin encounters Shura Kiragakure, a high level exorcist and former apprentice of Father Shiro.
NOTE: Also, included with this volume 2 is the OVA “Kuro’s Trip Away” which came with the final Japanese Blu-ray/DVD release.
VIDEO & AUDIO:
“Blue Exorcist” is presented in 16:9 lb and Japanese Dolby Digital 2.0 with English subtitles. The anime production is well-done. The surrounding environments are well-detailed, painted nicely, while the character designs are vibrant, clear and I wouldn’t be surprised if this series is given the Blu-ray treatment in the near future because it looks very good on DVD.
If anything, character designer Keigo Sasaki (“Night Raid 1931″, “Sengoku Basara”) does a great job of bringing the characters from Kazue Kato’s manga series to life, while art director Masatoshi Kai (“Akira”, “Dead Girls”, “Earthian”, “Red Garden”) did a wonderful job in bringing the series to life with the scenery and painted backgrounds.
I’m pretty impressed of how this anime looks visually.
As for audio, audio is clear coming from the front channels. I personally had my receiver set to stereo on all channels for a more immersive soundtrack. But dialogue is understandable and English subtitles are easy to read.
“Blue Exorcist, Vol. 2″ features the following special features:
Unaired Special Episode – Kuro Runs Away From Home – Kuro is upset that Rin teases him about food and Yukio tries to discipline him about his cat poop. So, Kuro decides to runaway from home and realizes that perhaps living with Rin and Yukio is better than living without them.
URA-EX (Bonus Short Movies) – Featuring three short omake anime stories (about 1:20 per omake) that are shown after an episode is completed.
Web Previews – Featuring the “next episode” previews voiced by various demon characters (about 17 seconds each).
Textless OP – Blue Exorcist opening theme without text.
Textless ED – Blue Exorcist ending theme without text.
Credits – Text based credits
“Blue Exorcist” Vol. 2 comes with a slipcover case, 2-sided reversible cover, exclusive 2-sided poster and an O-sleeve with key visual art.
Highly entertaining, enjoyable and action-packed, “Blue Exorcist” has proved itself to be an exciting series, but the episodes featured in the second volume is much better in storyline compared to the first seven episodes. I love where this series is headed and the additional characters featured, really make “Blue Exorcist” an anime series worth watching.
In my last review, I did have a few comparisons to the series “Naruto” as he was the person no one wanted to be around, mainly because he had a demon inside him but yet, he vowed to fight for those he cares about and one day to become the village leader. For “Blue Exorcist”, Rin is similar in the fact that he is misunderstood, is a demon, but he wants to fight for those he cares about and to become a Paladin like the man who raised him.
And both share the similarity in that village leaders are concerned with Naruto (having the demon inside him) and for Rin of “Blue Exorcist”, you have exorcists who were wiped out by satan, also concerned that what if Rin turns out to be evil and is uncontrollable.
But despite the similarities and the fact that these students must work together on missions, there are some twists as people responsible for watching over Rin, may have their own personal agenda. Also, unlike “Naruto” which was geared towards children, there is a lot of violence in this series, to the point where Rin is often stabbed by a sword. Granted, he is healed but there is a bit of blood and violence at times.
As for the overall series, the character designs are actually pretty cool, especially the costume designs for the characters. Also, the art backgrounds for this series is nicely detailed and range from pastels to really vibrant colors. Something you typically don’t see in a TV Series. And as for special features, the fact that this second volume DVD includes the OVA of “Kuro Runs Away From Home”, is actually a wonderful treat for fans who don’t have to wait until the final volume to watch this OVA (and including this episode on vol. 2 of the DVD release is relevant, since we are introduced to Kuro in episode 10). And keeping with aniplex’s dedication to swag, fans will be delighted with the inclusion of a poster, 2-sided reversible cover and O-sleeve with key visual art.
“Blue Exorcist” has a good balance of humor, action and an interesting concept in balance with awesome animation and beautiful art backgrounds. While the action may be it a bit too visual for younger anime viewers (as this is suggested for 13 and up), I have to admit that I’m now hooked to the series as I felt these episodes are much better than the episodes of the last volume because these episodes include more characters.
The official website for the Anime Contents Expo (ACE) revealed the lineup of titles that will be featured at the event. The event will be held for the first time next year from March 31 to April 1. That weekend happens to be one week after next year’s Tokyo International Anime Fair (March 22-25). The inaugural outing for the ACE event will be held at Makuhari Messe in Chiba east of Tokyo.
This year’s Anime Contents Expo was cancelled six days after the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake (Higashi Nihon Daishinsai) disaster of March 11. If it had been held, it would have run during the same weekend as TokyoInternational Anime Fair, which was also cancelled this year.
The title lineup for the event is as follows (note: not all titles are anime-related):