Afro Samurai

Afro Samurai (アフロサムライ Afuro Samurai?) is a Japanese dōjinshi manga series created by Takashi Okazaki, originally featured in the NOU NOU HAU[2] dōjin magazine. It was adapted into a 5-episode anime miniseries directed by Fuminori Kizaki and produced by Japanese animation studio GONZO. The first episode was shown online on January 1, 2007 and premiered on Spike TV on January 4, 2007 on at 11:00pm EST. The anime series has since gone on to air in the UK, where it premiered on Adult Swim on May 4, 2007[1], and Japan, where it was broadcast on Fuji Television. It also premiered on MTV in Australia in August 2007.[2]

A new season has been announced for 2008 on Spike TV.[3] Takashi Okazaki said in the new season Afro “loses his way, gets tired of all the killing” and he “wakes up to his destiny, which is to be the world’s number one warrior.”

The anime series features noted American actor Samuel L. Jackson as the voice of the titular character and his sidekick, as well as one of the co-producers, and also features Ron Perlman and Kelly Hu as character voices. Wu-Tang Clan member RZA produced the original hip hop musical score,[4] which was released on compact disc by Koch Records on January 30, 2007 in both uncut and edited versions. The series was also licensed for North American distribution by Funimation, who released two versions: a SpikeTV version and an unrated directors cut on DVD. Both were released on May 22, 2007. In August 2005, Japan-based game developers Namco announced they would be releasing Afro Samurai related video games.[5]

The cost of each episode is estimated at one million dollars[6], which is a record for GONZO.

There are plans to produce a live-action Afro Samurai movie, also starring Samuel L. Jackson as the title character[7], although production has not yet begun.

A video game adaptation of the series has been announced and will be released on the Xbox 360 and the Playstation 3.

Plot summary

The TV anime series is set in a “futuristic, yet feudal Japan,” and stars a samurai named Afro for his hair. The story follows Afro as he tries to avenge his father’s murder.[8] In the world of Afro Samurai, it is said that the one who becomes “Number One” will rule the world, wielding powers akin to a god. Someone becomes Number One by killing the previous Number One and taking his ceremonial headband. However, the only rule in this world is that only the “Number Two” (also designated by a sacred headband) is allowed to fight the “Number One.” The downside of this is that anyone (and typically everyone) can challenge and try to kill the Number Two, to gain the right to move forward and challenge Number One. Afro Samurai’s father was the old Number One, until he was challenged by a gunman, “Justice” (who was then Number Two), who fought him in a duel to become the new Number One. At the time the gunman challenged his father, Afro had only been a child. The gunman severed his father’s head right in front of the young Afro. Now an adult, Afro Samurai is the current Number Two and a master swordsman; he travels the road seeking revenge on Justice, the current Number One. Lengthy flashbacks interspersed throughout the story detail how Afro rose from frightened boy fleeing the death of his father, to master swordsman, and eventually to become the current “Number Two”, while the story in the present deals with the adult Afro making his way to the mountain top keep of the “Number One” to duel Justice, while at the same time the mysterious cult known as the “Empty Seven Clan” sends various agents to kill Afro and take his Number Two headband.[9]

The Adventures of Mini-Goddess

The Adventures of Mini-Goddess, also known as Ah! My Goddess: Being Small is Convenient (ああっ女神さまっ 小っちゃいって事は便利だねっ Aa Megami-sama: Chicchaitte Kotoha Benridane?), is a 48-episode TV series featuring super deformed versions of Urd, Belldandy, and Skuld of Oh My Goddess! fame in a comedic super deformed style. The series aired from early 1998 through early 1999.[citation needed]

It premiered as a part of the omnibus show Anime Complex on WOWOW and is distributed in North America by Pioneer Entertainment (now Geneon Entertainment). This series departs the most from the basic manga storyline, and indeed, shares next to no continuity with the previous series. [1]. However, in several volumes of the manga series (and in a collective volume of its own) several episodes of the show had their debut as short comic strips.

Notably, this is one of the few times Kikuko Inoue was not able to do Belldandy’s voice work throughout, as she was on maternity leave for the first thirteen episodes.

Plot Outline

The series basically revolves around the three goddesses and their rat companion Gan-chan’s adventures in their temple home. The goddesses remain constantly in miniaturized form, for apparent freedom of space and in order to properly interact with Gan-chan. Most of the humor in the show is centered on the relationship of the goddesses – particularly Urd and Skuld – with Gan-chan. From episodes 25 and 26 (“Chu Hard“) on, Marller joins the cast and provides additional hilarity with her futile attempts to eliminate the goddesses once and for all.

Most of the original characters from the mainstream series are not featured, although in one episode Keiichi has a small vocal cameo, and the ninja trio created by Marller – Kodama, Hikari and Nozomi – appear as antagonists in the double episode “Rules of the Ninja“.

The Adventures of Hello Kitty & Friends

The Adventures of Hello Kitty and Friends (Traditional ChineseHello Kitty 愛漫遊)is an HKICT award winning[citation needed] collection of 52 episodes animated using CGI, that embraces themes of happiness, family and friendship intended for kids to watch with their family and friends. It is produced from 2006 to present by Sanrio Digital and Dream Cortex.

Although the show is aimed at children between the ages of three to ten, it is popular for men and women of all ages.[citation needed]

Each episode features a mini musical performance, with original songs written and composed by Greg Chun from Hollywood.

Overview

The series focuses on core values established more than 30 years ago by Sanrio such as: happiness, family values, friendship, and educational values.

  • Unlike the older series, which were short and cute episodes, this is an educational TV series that targets both the children and their parents.
  • The animation works together with real actors in teaching children from age two to six about words, simple math, shapes, colors and foreign languages like Chinese & Japanese.
  • The series offers an entertaining way for children to learn about social interaction and behavior while following the adventures of Hello Kitty.
  • Hello Kitty establishes a new image, giving children more things to learn from, rather than just being sweet and cute.

Episode List

Episode Title Episode Summary
1 A Colorful World Hello Kitty and friends learn that world is made up of many fascinating colors.
2 Our New Friend Dear Daniel Kitty and the gang befriend a shy new student.
3 XO Man Begins Badtz-Maru reveals a “super” alter-ego.
4 The Magic Chisel The kids portray a classic fable about greed.
5 Keroppi’s Best Friend Keroppi is driven to invent a best friend.
6 Happy Earth Day The Twin Stars teach the kids a lesson about conserving the environment.
7 The Case of the Broken Vase Keroppi learns the importance of telling the truth.
8 A Fair Share Badtz-Maru discovers his selfish ways have consequences.
9 My Melody’s Missing Smile The kids try to find out why My Melody is unhappy.
10 V.I.P. (Very Important Pochacco) Pochacco puts on a show in a quest for fame.
11 Give Me a Brake Keroppi’s new car proves quite a handful.
12 There’s No Space Like Home Kitty and the gang have an adventure in outer space.
13 Lost and Hound When the kids get lost, Badtz-Maru and Daniel think they know the way home.
14 March of the Badtz-Maru’s Badtz-Maru journeys to the South Pole to be with his penguin friends.
15 Tall Order Part One Keroppi finds a novel solution to being vertically challenged.
16 Tall Order Part Two Keroppi learns there are advantages to being small.
17 Run My Melody, Run My Melody is nervous about her big race.
18 Where’s Santa? Part One A missing Santa Claus has the children worried that Christmas may be cancelled.
19 Where’s Santa? Part Two Kitty and friends help Santa save Christmas.
20 Hide and Seek The kids play a game of Hide and Seek around the school with surprising results.
21 A Fish Story Kitty bonds with a new pet.
22 Election Badtz-Maru and Daniel vie for class president.
23 A School Day A typical school day presents challenges for the kids.
24 Café Cinnamoroll Kitty and the gang help a shy new friend open a new business.
25 The Big Game The kids learn the importance of teamwork.
26 Power Outage The Twin Stars give up their powers to see what it’s like to be regular kids.

Fullmetal Alchemist

Fullmetal Alchemist (鋼の錬金術師 Hagane no Renkinjutsushi?, lit. “Alchemist of Steel”), commonly abbreviated as FMA or Hagaren, is an ongoing Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Hiromu Arakawa. The story centers around a fictional universe in which alchemy is one of the most advanced scientific techniques, resulting in different technological developments. The world of Fullmetal Alchemist is based on the countries of Europe during the Industrial Revolution period as well as several experiences from the author’s life. The plot follows the adventures of two brothers, alchemists named Edward and Alphonse Elric, who want to recover parts of their bodies they lost in an attempt to bring their mother back to life.

The manga is serialized in Square Enix’s Monthly Shōnen Gangan magazine and was adapted into an animated television series and a movie sequel. The manga is still running in Japan, and nineteen bound volumes have been released so far, while sixteen have been released in the United States. The anime, on the other hand, is finished, and consists of fifty-one episodes and a full-length movie sequel, which have been released in English in all English-speaking DVD regions. In addition, there are several spin-off novels, original video animations (OVAs), and video games. Merchandising of Fullmetal Alchemist, such as collectible card games, action figures, soundtracks, and supplementary books, have also been released. Concert performances of the series have also been made in Japan during December 2004.

The franchise has seen high popularity in both Japan and North America. As of March 2008, the Fullmetal Alchemist manga has sold over 30 million volumes in Japan. The English release of the manga’s first volume was the top-selling graphic novel during the year 2005. The series’ animated adaptation won the AnimageTV Asahi web polls, the anime was voted #1 most popular anime of all time in Japan. It was nominated in six of the eight categories for which it was eligible at the American Anime Awards in February 2007, winning awards in five of them. Anime Grand Prix prize in 2003. In two

Plot

Edward and Alphonse Elric are brothers living in the village of Resembool in the country of Amestris (アメストリス Amesutorisu?). Their father, Hohenheim, left home when Edward and Alphonse were still very young. Years later, their mother, Trisha Elric, dies of a terminal illness. After their mother’s death, Edward becomes determined to bring her back through the use of alchemy, an advanced science in which an object can be reformed into something completely different. They learn of the Human Transmutation, a forbidden art in which one attempts to create a human who had died. However, this attempt failed, ultimately resulting in the loss of Edward’s left leg and Alphonse’s entire body. In a desperate effort to save his brother, Edward sacrifices his right arm to affix his brother’s soul to a suit of armor. After that, Edward’s left leg and right arm are fitted with two sets of automail, a type of advanced prosthetic limb.

Edward sets out to become a State Alchemist (国家錬金術師 Kokka Renkinjutsushi?), which are alchemists employed by the State Military of Amestris. State Alchemists are identified by their Fuhrer-issued silver pocket watches and the unique titles assigned to them upon becoming a State Alchemist. Becoming a state alchemist would enable Edward to use the extensive resources available to them to discover a way to restore what he and Alphonse had lost, but it also turns him into a “weapon” of the military, who are famous for destroying almost all Ishval’s population in a past Civil War. The brothers eventually learn of the Philosopher’s Stone, a legendary stone that is said to allow the holder to completely bypass the law of Equivalent Exchange, and set off in search of it as a means to restore their bodies. Along the way they discover that the Philosopher’s Stone requires human lives to create it, and find others who seek it as well, doing almost whatever they can to get their hands on it. They become attacked by the homunculi, a group of human-like creatures that carry pieces of the Philosopher’s Stone inside themselves. They are named after the seven deadly sins and act as primary villains in the series.

A man known simply as “Father” is the creator of all the homunculi and commands them from behind the curtains of the High Command of the country Amestris. He was originally a small ball of shadows inside a round flask with the nickname of “homunculus” created with the blood of Hohenheim. He goads a king into performing Human Transmutation, resulting in the destruction of the country Xerxes. As a gift for helping him, Father made Hohenheim immortal by rebuilding his body with half the souls of the population of Xerxes; he used the other half to create a body for himself in the likeness of Hohenheim. It is suspected that Father plans to use Amestris as a gigantic transmutation circle to create a Philosopher’s Stone, but the homunculus Envy hints that, although close, this is not the whole truth.

Fate/stay night

Fate/stay night (フェイト/ステイナイト Feito/sutei naito?) is a Japanese eroge visual novel game created by Type-Moon, which was originally released on January 30, 2004, for the PC. It has been adapted into an anime television series, which was animated by Studio Deen and aired between January 6, 2006, through June 16, 2006.

The official announcement and teaser trailer of the anime were first shown at the Rondo Robe 2005 “-Gate to Date-“ event in Japan on June 26, 2005, and a curtain-raiser DVD was released in Japan during November 2005.[1] An all-ages version of Fate/stay night, titled Fate/stay night Réalta Nua, was released for the PlayStation 2 on April 19, 2007, and features the seiyū from the anime series. The series has been adapted into a manga series, which began serialization in the monthly Shōnen Ace magazine.

Plot

Fate/stay night chronicles a two-week period in the life of Shirō Emiya, an amateur mechanic who attends school called Homurabara Gakuen in Fuyuki City. Ten years ago, Shirō was caught in a massive fire hazard that incinerated his parents and consumed a large portion of the city; as he was dying, an enigmatic man discovers and treats him. This man, Kiritsugu Emiya, decides to adopt him, though the two maintain a distant relationship because of Kiritsugu’s frequent departures from Fuyuki City. One moonlit night, Kiritsugu and Shirō had a discussion outside of their home, and Shirō discovers a fact about his father that Kiritsugu was actually a mage.

I have a secret that I haven’t told you— I’m a Magi.

Through their conversation, Shirō learns of his foster father’s failed life ambition to become a “Hero of Justice” (正義の味方 Seigi no Mikata?), a guardian of mankind who could protect the weak and innocent. Touched by Kiritsugu’s conviction, Shirō affirms to his foster father that he intends to devote his life to achieving that distant ideal, much to Kiritsugu’s chagrin. To do this, Shirō pleads with a begrudging Kiritsugu to teach him sorcery (魔術 Majutsu?); but Shirō proves to be talentless in almost all the fundamental sorcerous disciplines.

Kiritsugu warns his son that the life of a sorcerer is one that leads to destruction, but if he is truly set on benefiting people, he should apply his knowledge in secret and hone his craft in private. After Kiritsugu dies, Shirō becomes frustrated with his progress, feeling inadequate about his good deeds through sorcery and is unsure of how to orient his future to contribute more.

Unknown to Shirō, Fuyuki City is the setting for a secret and violent war among competing magi. For the past two centuries, seven sorcerers have gathered and engage in a Battle Royale, each gambling his or her own life to obtain the Holy Grail, a legendary chalice capable of granting wishes. The past four Holy Grail Wars have typically occurred every sixty years, with the most recent concluding a decade ago, but the fifth war has eerily started prematurely.

Each of the sorcerers, better known as Masters, is aided by one of the seven summoned spiritual familiars known as Servants, who are the reincarnations of legendary souls from all across time. These resurrected Epic Spirits (英霊 Eirei?), possess superhuman characteristics and wield powerful artifacts or abilities called Noble Phantasms (宝具 Hōgu?). A Noble Phantasm’s hidden abilities may be released by invoking its true name, but casual brandishing of a Noble Phantasm is best avoided, for symbolic Noble Phantasms usually belie a Servant’s identity, diminishing that Servant’s competitive advantage. Specific legends may be summoned with the aid of catalysts, which are artifacts, ideas, or experiences similar or of value to the desired Servant. Only one Servant can be summoned in each war from one of seven classes: Saber, Archer, Lancer, Berserker, Rider, Assassin, and Caster.

As only astral entities (i.e. Servants) are physically capable of retrieving the Holy Grail, Master and Servant are forced to cooperate. Masters control Servants with three Command Mantra (令呪 Reiju?), which are crystallized miracles issued by the Holy Grail that manifest on a Master’s body. When activated, Command Mantra permit a Servant to accomplish an incredible feat, or alternatively provide Masters with the authority to issue an irrevocable and absolute order to a Servant. When all three Command Mantras are used up, Servants are no longer obliged to serve their Masters, and as such, may freely choose to turn upon their ex-partner. In the event of a Master’s demise, a Servant may choose to bind him or herself to another Master; if a Servant is slain, a Master may ally with a wayward Servant or pursue sanctuary with the Holy Grail War’s impartial supervisor, who is traditionally a delegate of the Roman Catholic Church.

The Holy Grail materializes fully only when there is one Servant left standing; therefore, it is not necessary to vanquish Masters in order to win the war. However, as many Servants possess powerful Noble Phantasms and are grueling to defeat, many participants have chosen instead to eradicate Masters, who are responsible for maintaining a Servant’s presence through the supplication of Mana.

After cleaning his school’s kyūdō (archery) dojo late one night, Shirō stumbles upon two Servants, Archer and Lancer, battling in the school courtyard. To avoid compromising the war’s secrecy, Lancer hunts down and pierces Shirō’s heart with a spear. For an unknown reason, Shirō’s classmate, Rin Tōsaka, uses an heirloom filled with concentrated magic, Mana (魔力 Maryoku?), to resuscitate him. Shaken and dazed, Shirō returns home only to be assaulted a second time by Lancer. Shirō weakly defends himself against Lancer, but is soon overwhelmed by the powerful Servant’s attack, and is sent flying into his shed’s storage room. Cornered, Shirō prepares for the worst; but before Lancer can inflict another fatal blow, a young woman outfitted in alabaster armor blocks Lancer’s spear. After driving Lancer away from Shiro, she introduces herself as Saber, and greets him with the words:

I ask of you, are you my Master?