Shoujo-filled Anime Week in Review: From Nisekoi to Infinite Stratos

Fans of the manga, Nisekoi (ニセコイ, False Love), will be delighted to hear that an anime adaptation is slated for the works. Written by Naoshi Komi (古味 直志), Nisekoi is the usual shoujo manga with the harem plot. The story revolves around the high school boy, Raku Ichijou, who is set to become the heir of Yakuza group. In come Chitoge Kirisaki, daughter of rival gang and a confusing yet hilarious love triangle involved.

Around 6 volumes with over 75 chapters have already been released among various manga platforms. There have been no other details regarding the debut of the anime.

Next up is Infinite Stratos slated for a second season this Fall. In the announcement on the official website, second season of TV Anime Infinite Stratos will start airing on October 2013. The broadcast of a second season was made just last month and new heroines have already been mentioned. The latest new heroine has already been aired on the website namely Tatenashi Sarashiki (更識 楯無). It’s another harem in the works but still worth the watch with cute girls plus Charlotte back on track.

A quick synopsis of Infinite Stratos is as follows: “Japan engineered an armed powered exoskeleton “Infinite Stratos” (IS) and it became the mainstream of weapons. Orimura Ichika is a 15 year old boy and accidentally touches an IS placed in the IS pilot training school. He is found to be the only man who can operate IS and forced to enter the training school. Ichika’s busy school life surrounded by girls has begun.”


Last but not the least is Henneko: The “Hentai” Prince and the Stony Cat. With twelve episodes slated, episode five has already been released. Staying true to classic manga perverse humour, the story is that of a typical high school student who wishes away his tendency to lie. The hilarity begins when the mysterious cat statue instead forces him to say everything on his mind in pure honesty. Of course, a girl comes along to heighten the fun.

It’s the usual harem/ service filled-moe plus comedy that Japan anime never runs short of.


The Sequel to ‘Marmalade Boy’ will be a New Series Starting March 28th

It was announced that the sequel to Yoshizumi Wataru’s popular manga “Marmalade Boy“, titled “Marmalade Boy little” will begin serializing with the May issue of monthly manga magazine “Cocohana” (Shueisha).

“Marmalade Boy” is a love story between Miki and Yuu who happen to start living together after both of their parents divorce and remarry by swapping partners.

It was previously serialized on Ribbon (Shueisha) during 1992 ~ 1995, and it also received TV anime adaptation in 1994. There was also a live-action drama adaptation in Taiwan in 2001.

The sequel “Marmalade Boy little” will be set 13 years later from the last episode of the “Marmalade Boy”. It will feature Miki and Yuu’s little sister and brother. Reportedly, the characters from the previous series, including Miki and Yuu will gradually be making appearances in the sequel.

The May issue of Cocohana will be released on March 28th.

Kis-My-Ft2′s Tamamori Yuta starring in “Nobunaga no Chef”

Nishimura Mitsuru and Kajikawa Takuro’s manga “Nobunaga no Chef” is getting a live-action drama series next season, starring Kis-My-Ft2’s Tamamori Yuta (22). Although he co-starred in the TBS drama “Ikemen Desu ne” last year, this will be his first time as the sole lead of a drama series.

Tamamori will play the role of Ken, a French chef who is transported back in time to the Sengoku period, where he winds up becoming a chef for Oda Nobunaga. Nobunaga will be played by Oikawa Mitsuhiro (43).

Other cast members include Shida Mirai (19) as Natsu, a female swordsmith posing as a boy who helps out Ken; comedian Gori (40) as Toyotomi Hideyoshi; Ukaji Takashi (50) as Mori Yoshinari; comedian Takeyama Takanori (41) as Tokugawa Ieyasu; Kitaro (64) as Inoue, another of Nobunaga’s chefs; and Masana Bokuzo (42) as Ashikaga Yoshiaki.

“Nobunaga no Chef” will air on Friday nights at 11:15pm on TV Asahi, beginning in January 2013.

Yukiru Sugisaki New Manga Series – 1001 (Knights)

It was announced on Thursday that D.N.Angel’s Yukiru Sugisaki will be launching ‘1001 (Knights)’ manga series in the next issue on June 23.

Inspired by the Middle-Eastern folk tale collection, Arabian Nights, this manga tells the story of twins, Naito and Yuta, who travel to Dubai to search for their missing father. They come across a peddler and suddenly, they wake up in the Arabian world of One Thousand and One Nights.

To manga readers out there who are looking for something a bit more unique and fresh, 1001 (Knights) might just be the manga series for you.

Erika Sawajiri to star in adaptation of “Helter Skelter” manga

Actress Sawajiri Erika is confirmed to be making her return to the big screen with a live-action adaptation of Okazaki Kyoko’s manga “Helter Skelter.” The movie will be just the second feature film directed by photographer Ninagawa Mika, who directed “Sakuran” in 2007.

Sawajiri has not starred in a movie since “Closed Note” in 2007, due to her unprofessional conduct at a PR event for the film. She recently has begun regularly appearing in television commercials again, and she also is starring in a mobile drama that begins next month.

“Helter Skelter” began publication in 2003, and the following year it won the Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize. The story revolves around a woman named Ririko (Sawajiri), a top model in the entertainment industry. However, her perfect beauty has been attained entirely through plastic surgery, a secret that she cannot reveal to anyone.

Ninagawa said that she has been wanting to adapt “Helter Skelter” since even before she worked on “Sakuran.” Producer Uda Mitsuru also revealed that he first talked with Sawajiri about starring in the movie about three years ago, before the adaptation rights had been obtained and the screenplay had been written.

Because the original manga includes mature topics such as sex and drugs, there is some speculation that Sawajiri may have a nude scene in the film. A source familiar with the matter neither confirmed nor denied the possibility.

The supporting cast includes Omori Nao as a prosecutor investigating an incident at the clinic where Ririko underwent surgery, Terajima Shinobu as Ririko’s manager, Mizuhara Kiko as a younger model, Kubozuka Yosuke as Ririko’s boyfriend, Momoi Kaori as the president of Ririko’s agency, and Harada Mieko as the head of the clinic. Ayano Go, Arai Hirofumi, Suzuki Anne, Terajima Susumu, and Aikawa Sho have also been cast.

“Helter Skelter” opens in theaters on July 14, 2012.

Saito Takumi takes lead role of “QP” show

The popular manga “QP,” written by “CROWS” author Takahashi Hiroshi, is being adapted as a live-action drama series this fall. The show will star actor Saito Takumi (30) and will be directed by Miike Takashi, who also directed the live-action “CROWS ZERO” movie.

The lead role was originally given to actor Takaoka Sousuke (29), but the casting was changed after Takaoka had to resign from his management agency over controversial remarks he made on Twitter.

The main character of the manga was Ishida Kotori, also known as “QP,” the most powerful gangster in his area. The drama will shift its focus onto Azuma Ryo, Kotori’s close friend who has some hidden ambitions.

The series will be broadcast on NTV at 12:59am late on Wednesday nights. The first episode, scheduled for October 5, will start half an hour later at 1:29am.

“Koko ga Uwasa no El Palacio” to be TV drama

Aoyagi Takao’s comedy manga “Koko ga Uwasa no El Palacio” (also known as “Welcome to the El-Palacio”) is being turned into a live-action television series. TV Tokyo will broadcast the show this fall, though the time slot has not yet been announced.

“Koko ga Uwasa no El Palacio” is a popular series that is currently being published in Shogakukan’s Gessan magazine since 2009. The third collected volume was released this past May.

The story revolves around a man who loses his memory in a traffic accident and wakes up surrounded by the women of the El Palacio – a female professional wrestling group. Unable to regain his memory, he ends up living with the El Palacio and becoming their referee.

Details such as the cast assignments have not yet been revealed.

“Asukou March!” adds Matsuzaka Tori to it’s cast

Actor Matsuzaka Tori (22) is confirmed to be in the cast of the drama series “Asukou March!” that was announced last month, starring actress Takei Emi (17). This is the second time that Matsuzaka and Takei have worked together, as they previously played siblings in Amami Yuki’s “GOLD” last year.

The “Asukou March!” drama is adapted from Akiyama Kaori’s manga “Asukou March! ~Kenritsu Asuka Kougyou Koukou Koushinkyoku~,” which tells the story of a teenage girl named Nao who ends up in a technical high school (nicknamed “Asukou”) where there are only 3 girls out of 150 students.

Matsuzaka plays Nao’s classmate Aruto, though his character is said to differ from the original manga. Once a popular child actor, he now attends “Asukou” while lying about his age in order to work at a host club. Despite Matsuzaka being 22, his character in the drama is only 15. This is Matsuzaka’s first time playing a high school student.

“Asukou March!” will air on Sundays at 11:00pm on TV Asahi, starting in April.

French Kiss and the pillows perform themes for “SKET DANCE”

Shinohara Kenta’s manga “SKET DANCE” has an anime adaptation coming up this spring, and the artists for its theme songs were revealed on Monday. AKB48 sub-unit French Kiss will be handling the show’s opening theme, while rock band the pillows is in charge of the ending.

“SKET DANCE,” which is serialized in Shueisha’s Weekly Shonen Jump, is a shonen manga about a three-member high school club known as the “Campus Support Group” that deal with random problems that come up around campus.

Both French Kiss and the pillows were natural choices for the show’s theme songs. Starting with the third episode, French Kiss member Kashiwagi Yuki is voice acting as Rumi, the sister of the lead character Bossun. The main characters also form a band called The Sketchbook that does a performance of the pillows’ well-known song “Funny Bunny.”

The titles of the theme songs have not yet been announced. More details will be revealed before the anime premieres on April 7 on TV Tok

Kodansha and Dai Nippon Printing to buy Vertical

Japanese publishing major Kodansha announced Wednesday that it will team with Dai Nippon Printing to buy a 93 percent stake in the New York City-based American publishing startup Vertical, best known for publishing Japanese fiction and manga in English.

Founded by former Nikkei editor and reporter Hiroki Sakai in 2001, Vertical has made ample additions to the English canon of Japan’s “God of Comics” Osamu Tezuka, including acclaimed works like Black Jack and Buddha, which will be released as an animated film in Japan this May.

As one of Japan’s biggest publishers, Kodansha is following the lead of Shueisha and Shogakukan, which co-own the North American manga and anime distributor Viz Media. Kodansha once licensed its manga to a series of North American publishers, including Viz, Dark Horse Comics, Tokyopop, and Random House’s Del Rey imprint. After those license agreements expired, Kodansha moved on to the Vertical deal.

Read the rest of the story: Kodansha, ‘Kokoro’ lead Japanese literary news.