12 April, 2007

New Anime/Sypnosis: Bleach

Bleach (ブリーチ, Burīchi?, romanized as BLEACH in Japan) is an ongoing manga series written by Tite Kubo. Since its debut in 2001, Bleach has been adapted into an anime series, two OVAs, an anime film, a rock musical, and numerous video games. Compilation volumes of the manga have sold over 36 million copies in Japan.

Bleach follows the lives of Ichigo Kurosaki, who is a high school student with the ability to see ghosts, and a shinigami (Soul Reaper or, literally, "death god") named Rukia Kuchiki, who crosses paths with Ichigo while hunting an evil spirit known as a hollow. Rukia is wounded during the ensuing confrontation with the spirit and is left with no choice but to transfer her powers into Ichigo. Thus the adventures of Ichigo and Rukia begin. Together they search for hollows and perform soul burials on wayward souls, cleansing the spirits and sending them to Soul Society. The early parts of the story focus mainly on the characters and their pasts, rather than the actual occupation of the shinigami. As events unfold, the story begins to delve deeper into the world of these gods of death on the "other side" called Soul Society.

Ichigo Kurosaki is a rough-and-tumble teenager who has always had the special ability to see spirits. The story begins with the sudden appearance of an oddly-dressed stranger in Ichigo's bedroom. This stranger is the shinigami Rukia Kuchiki, who is surprised at his ability to see her. Their resulting conversation is interrupted by the appearance of a hollow, an evil spirit. After Rukia is severely wounded during battle trying to protect Ichigo, she decides to transfer half of her powers to Ichigo, hoping to give him the opportunity to face the hollow on an equal footing. Ichigo unintentionally absorbs almost all of Rukia's powers during the attempt instead, allowing him to defeat the hollow with ease.

The next day, Rukia turns up in Ichigo's classroom as a transfer student. Much to his surprise, she now appears to be a normal human. She theorizes that it was the unusual strength of Ichigo's spirit that caused him to fully absorb her powers, thus leaving her stranded in the human world. Rukia has transferred herself into a gigai — an artificial human body — while waiting to recover her abilities. In the meantime, Ichigo must take over her job as a shinigami, battling hollows and guiding lost souls to the afterlife.

11 April, 2007

Features: Ryoma Echizen (Prince of Tennis)

Ryoma is a first year student at Seishun Academy, where he begins attending immediately after his arrival in Japan after residing in the United States. Although only a first year in middle school, Ryoma had already earned notoriety through winning four consecutive titles in the American Junior Tennis tournaments – all in a little over a year. Due to his nearly invincible tennis play, Ryoma has earned the label 'prodigy' by the age of twelve. His looks and confidence make him highly popular with girls, although he seems not to notice, having his focus exclusively on tennis.
He is an all-court tennis player with many special shots and abilities. One of Ryoma's greatest talents is his ability to learn new techniques after only seeing them performed a few times.
Although he is left-handed, his famous Twist Serve is only effective when delivered from the dominant hand of his opponents (i.e. he uses his right hand when serving against right handed players). He occasionally plays tennis with his right hand as either a handicap for weaker opponents or a way to test his opponent's abilities. When the need for returning at a difficult angle or distance arises, Ryoma also incorporates the use of "nitoryū" or ambidexterity.
His catchphrase in the Japanese anime is "mada mada dane," literally meaning "no, not yet." In Prince of Tennis's English dub, this is translated as "You still have a ways to go." Having been brought up in the United States, Ryoma is fluent in English, and in the manga and the match with Sanada in the anime, he says "You still have lots more to work on."
Ryoma can be quite cocky and arrogant at times, but is always able to back up his statements with his tennis skills. Often before a match, Ryoma will provoke his opponent. In the beginning of the series, Ryoma was not taken seriously by the other students at his school, and especially at Seigaku tennis club. It was only after he had beaten two of Seigaku's regulars that he gained respect with fellow club members.
Ryoma is quiet by nature, but always stands up for himself and others, even if it involves confronting an upperclassman. He is unafraid almost to the point of recklessness, but rarely gets angry or out of control. Much of the time, he is serious, quiet, and untalkative.
Sakuno Ryuzaki, Ryoma's friend and coach Sumire Ryuzaki's granddaughter, has a crush on him, but because he is so aloof and she is so shy, he does not recognize her feelings for him and treats her much the same as he treats the other freshmen students. The manga hints that this may change, as Ryoma shows signs of jealousy after Sakuno befriends Shitenhouji's Kintarou Tooyama.
At the beginning of the series, all of Ryoma's tennis skills were a copy of his father's. With the help of his team captain, Kunimitsu Tezuka, Ryoma realizes his need to develop his own style of tennis if he intends to reach his goal and defeat his father.
With each match, it becomes apparent that Ryoma not only brings his potential to the front, but that he is constantly reaching a new point in the state of self-actualization – especially so during crucial points in a match. Although he views each opponent as a stepping stone of advancement, Tezuka soon becomes the wall that Ryoma has set up for himself in order to achieve actual greatness.
Although Ryoma has a rather tunneled vision as to whom he considers a rival (Tezuka and his father), there are many that view the first year as just that. One of the more notable examples of this in the anime is Kevin Smith, the son of the tennis coach George Smith, who was defeated by Nanjiro Echizen in defense of George's pupil Rinko Takeuchi, who'd later become Ryoma's mother, fifteen years ago. Kevin appeared later in the series in the "friendly" match between the U.S. and Japan; Kevin became obsessed with wanting to play Ryoma because of their pasts, whereas in the beginning Ryoma regarded Kevin's threats with a rather unconcerned attitude until he saw him play against Yamabuki's Jin Akutsu in the streets. Tezuka was unimpressed with Ryoma's attitude toward the matches, and as a result, Ryoma was forced to earn his place as a reserve player.

10 April, 2007

New Anime/Sypnosis: Alice Academy on Kapamilya Network

Gakuen Alice or Alice Academy is the story of a 10-year old girl, Mikan Sakura, who is devastated when her best friend, Hotaru Imai, transfers to a special school for "genius" kids in Tokyo. Mikan runs away from home to seek out her dear friend, and finds that the school Hotaru transferred to, Alice Academy, is specifically for children who each have a special power called an "Alice". After a teacher at Alice Academy, Narumi, discovers that Mikan has a unique Alice, she is admitted into the school. The story is primarily about Mikan and her experiences at the academy.

The Alice Academy is allegedly located somewhere in Tokyo, beside a huge gorilla billboard. The size of the school grounds resembles the dimensions of a sprawling estate, reminiscent of the CLAMP School in CLAMP School Detectives. The grounds are enough to contain three levels of school (elementary, junior high, senior high), as well as Central Town, where shops managed by Alice-bearing artisans sell goods resulting from their Alices. The Academy has its own monetary system, the Rabbit (Rt). One Rabbit equals 100 yen. There is a forest in the middle of the estate.

The school has its own set of student representatives in addition to the top brass of the school.

Rerun/Sypnosis: Pokemon Series on Kapuso Network

Pokémon is an anime metaseries that is based on the Pokémon video game series. It was created in Japan and was then adapted for the North American television market. The series, known in Japan as Pocket Monsters (ポケットモンスター, Poketto Monsutā?), is a part of the Pokémon franchise. Pokémon is the longest running and most successful television show based on a video game series.

The metaseries appeared outside Japan before the video games did, and has since spawned several movies. It is aimed at younger viewers but many other devoted fans of all ages enjoy the anime as well. Originally a single series, Pocket Monsters, it has since been spun off to three: Pocket Monsters: Advanced Generation, and subsequently Pocket Monsters Diamond & Pearl, continue the story of Pocket Monsters, while Pokémon Sunday (formerly Shūkan Pokémon Hōsōkyoku) is a series of stories revolving around some of the recurring characters.

The main series tells the story of Ash Ketchum (Satoshi) and his quest to become a Pokémon Master. However, unlike in the video games, he is given a Pikachu as his first Pokémon under unusual circumstances. Much of the series focuses on the friendship between Ash, Pikachu, and the various Pokémon and Trainers along the way.

Throughout the run of the show the subject matter changes. In the early episodes, the show is more comical and whimsical (light and airy). It uses “goofy” humor (or “cute” humor when it comes to Pikachu, who does wacky things in between important scenes). As the show progresses and as Ash becomes more of a mature and leader-type character, the main course of the show becomes more or less serious, and its previous comical nature (for the most part) changes into comic relief, attributed mostly to Team Rocket.

English-language episode titles tend to be a play on common words or phrases in pop culture (e.g. “I Feel Skitty”, “Where’s Armaldo?”) rather than phrases or short sentences from other anime (e.g “Tetsusaiga, the Phantom Sword” from Inuyasha, “Byakugan vs. Shadow Clone Jutsu!” from Naruto) although early episode names were mostly translations of their Japanese counterparts.

For details
Visit Wikipedia Encyclopedia

08 April, 2007

Top Anime Programs for December 2006

According to AGB Nielsen Media Research TOP 50 DAYTIME PROGRAMS
Total Individual, AGB Nielsen Media Research NUTAM Panel

Rank 04 -- 7.9 -- GHOSTFIGHTER (GMA)
Rank 25 -- 5.3 -- ONE PIECE (GMA)
Rank 30 -- 4.7 -- KNOCKOUT (GMA)
Rank 34 -- 4.5 -- SAINT SEIYA (GMA)
Rank 35 -- 4.4 -- DRAGONBALL (GMA)
Rank 43 -- 4.0 -- NARUTO SEASON 4 (ABS-CBN)
Rank 45 -- 3.9 -- DORAEMON (GMA)
Rank 46 -- 3.9 -- CARDCAPTOR SAKURA (GMA)

For Full Details
See AGB Nielsen Media Research

Japan's Favorite Anime

TV Asahi has published a list of Japan's favorite TV anime

Those who are in bold are programs shown/ airing/will going to be airing in the Philippines

1 Fullmetal Alchemist (TV)
2 Neon Genesis Evangelion (TV)

3 Pani Poni Dash! (TV)
4 The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya (TV)
5 Negima! (TV)
6 Gundam (TV)
7 Bleach (TV)
8 Prince of Tennis (TV)

9 Rozen Maiden (TV)
10 Strawberry Marshmallow (TV)
11 Shana (TV)
12 Dragonball (TV)
13 Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha (TV)
14 Eureka 7 (TV)
15 Yu Yu Hakusho (TV)
16 Overman King Gainer (TV)
17 Naruto (TV)
18 Slam Dunk (TV)
19 Kyo Kara Maoh! (TV)
20 Inu Yasha (TV)

For top 100
Visit Anime News Network Website

06 April, 2007

Sypnosis: Naruto vs. Samurai 7

Naruto (ABS-CBN)

Twelve years before the events at the focus of the series, the nine-tailed demon fox attacked Konohagakure. It was a powerful demon indeed; a single swing of one of its nine tails would raise tsunamis and flatten mountains. It raised chaos and slaughtered many people, until the leader of the Leaf Village – the Fourth Hokage – defeated it by sacrificing his own life to seal the demon inside a newly-born child, whose origins are as yet unknown. That child's name was Naruto Uzumaki.

The Fourth Hokage was celebrated as a hero for sealing the demon fox away. He wanted Naruto to be respected in a similar light by being the containment vessel for the demon fox. The village he grew up in, however, mostly shunned Naruto; they regarded him as if he were the demon fox itself and mistreated him throughout most of his childhood.

A decree made by the Third Hokage made it so that the other villagers were forbidden to mention the event to anyone, even to their own children. However, this did not stop them from treating Naruto like an outcast. Although their children did not specifically know why their parents treated Naruto the way they did, they learned through example to despise the boy. As a result, Naruto grew up as an orphan in a lonesome atmosphere without friends, family, or acknowledgment. He could not force people to befriend him, so he sought acknowledgment and attention the only way he knew – through pranks and mischief. However, that soon changed after Naruto graduated from the Ninja Academy by using his Multiple Shadow Clone Technique to save his teacher, Iruka Umino, from the renegade ninja Mizuki. That encounter gave Naruto two insights: that he was the container of the demon fox, and that there was someone besides the Third Hokage who actually cared for and acknowledged him. His graduation from the academy opened a gateway to the events and people that would change and define his world, including his way of the ninja for the rest of his life.

Naruto maintains a balance between drama and comedy, with plenty of action interspersed. It follows Naruto and his friends' personal growth and development as ninja, and emphasizes their interactions with each other and the influence of their backgrounds on their personalities. Naruto finds two friends and comrades in Sasuke Uchiha and Sakura Haruno, two fellow young ninja who are assigned with him to form a three-person team under a very experienced sensei named Kakashi Hatake. Naruto also confides in other characters as well that he has met through the Chunin Exam. They learn new abilities, get to know each other and other villagers better, and experience a coming-of-age journey as Naruto dreams of becoming the Hokage of the Leaf Village.

Naruto places strong emphasis on character development. Almost all outcomes are a result of decisions, character, and personality; very few things happen just because of chance. At first, emphasis is placed on Naruto, Sasuke, and Sakura, who are the members of Team 7. However, other characters are developed, such as Kakashi, Guy, and Jiraiya, as well as Naruto's peers in the other Genin teams and other villages.

Several major villains came into play as well, the first being Zabuza Momochi, a missing-nin from the Kirigakure, and his partner, Haku. Later, in the Chunin Exam arc, Orochimaru is introduced as an S-Class missing-nin at the top of the Leaf Village's most wanted list. Later, a mysterious organization called Akatsuki begins to pursue Naruto in order to take the demon fox inside him and harness its power.

Samurai 7 (GMA7)

Samurai 7 tells the story of a rice village, Kanna. Every year during the harvest a group of bandits come and steal away almost all of the rice that had been harvested that year. Not only that, the bandits are becoming more demanding, now taking women and children in addition to rice.
The elder of Kanna Village has decided that to protect the village they must hire samurai to fight against the bandits. However, the village has no money and thus must find samurai willing to protect the village for a payment of rice. Three members of the village leave to attempt to recruit samurai. They travel to the city and search for samurai willing to work, and after finding several samurai and having a few encounters with the local government they return to Kanna village to prepare defenses against the bandits.
The samurai train the villagers in the use of bows, build walls, and construct a giant ballista to defend the village against the bandits. After successfully defeating the bandits, the samurai then launch an attack upon the capital to defeat a power hungry ruler who has recently risen to power. After heavy casualties for the samurai, and the near-destruction of Kanna village, the capital is finally defeated.

Samurai 7 will be aired April 9, 2007, 5: 30 PM after One Piece! at GMA Swak Pack! replacing Flame of Recca, competing with Naruto in ABS-CBN's Hero Zone. This is going to be a good fight!