Anime & Manga
3rd Live-Action Kingdom Film’s Trailer Reveals Anne as Shi Ka
The official website for the live-action films of Yasuhisa Hara‘s Kingdom manga revealed a new trailer for Kingdom: Unmei no Honō (Flames of Destiny), the third film, on Thursday. The trailer reveals Anne (Anne Watanabe) as the pivotal character Shi Ka (Zi Xia).
The film will open on July 28.
The film covers the manga’s Shi Ka (Zi Xia) arc and the Battle of Bayou — the first time Shin (Xin) and Ō Ki (Wang Qi) stood on the battlefield together, to fend off the invasion by the mighty Chō (Zhao) from the north.
Kento Yamazaki, Ryō Yoshizawa, Takao Osawa, and Kanna Hashimoto all reprise their respective characters Shin (Xin), Ei Sei (Yin Zheng), Ō Ki (Wang Qi), and Ka Ryō Ten (He Liao Diao), respectively from the two previous films. Nana Seino, Hiroshi Tamaki, and Kōichi Satō from the second film also reprise their respective characters Kyо̄ Kai, Sho Hei Kun (Lord Changping), and Ryo Fui (Lu Buwei).
Shinsuke Satō (live-action Gantz, Death Note Light up the NEW world, Bleach) returns as director. Hara and Tsutomu Kuroiwa (One Piece Film Gold, live-action Black Butler, GANTZ:O) return to write the script.
The first film opened in Japan in April 2019 and sold 506,861 tickets to earn 690,219,500 yen (about US$6.17 million) in its first three days. The film eventually earned a cumulative total of 5.73 billion yen (about US$53.2 million). Funimation screened the film at Anime Expo in July 2019, and screened the film in theaters in the United States and Canada in August 2019.
The second film Kingdom II: Harukanaru Daichi e (To Distant Lands) opened in Japan in July 2022. The film sold 527,000 tickets in its first two days, and earned 797 million yen (about US$5.75 million) to rank at #1 in its opening weekend. The film has earned 5.16 billion yen (about US$37.8 million), making it the highest-earning Japanese live-action film in Japan in 2022.
Hara’s historical manga centers around the slave boy Xin and his dream of becoming a great general for the state of Qin. Xin helps Ying Zheng, the young Qin king who shares his desire to unify China, rise to power within the state. Xin does all he can to become a superior commander of an army capable of defeating the Seven Warring States.
The record-setting manga launched in Shueisha‘s Weekly Young Jump magazine in 2006.
The manga’s first television anime adaptation premiered in 2012, and a second series premiered in 2013. Funimation streamed both series in North America and released both anime series on DVD in 2016. The third anime series premiered in April 2020. The show went on hiatus after four episodes due to COVID-19, but then resumed airing in April 2021. The anime restarted its airing from the first episode. Funimation streamed the anime as it aired in Japan.
The fourth series premiered on NHK General in April and aired for 13 episodes. Crunchyroll streamed the anime as it aired in Japan. The anime’s fifth series will premiere in January 2024.
Sources: Kingdom live-action films’ website, Comic Natalie
Anime & Manga
Capcom Streams MegaMan NT Warrior Anime on Twitch, YouTube
CAPCOM announced on Monday that it will stream the first two seasons of the MegaMan NT Warrior (Rockman.EXE) anime, based on the company’s Mega Man Battle Network games, on its Capcom U.S.A. Twitch channel from Tuesday-Friday. Episodes will stream on each of the four days from 1:00 p.m. EDT to 10:00 p.m. EDT.
CAPCOM will upload episodes on YouTube after they stream on Twitch.
The anime premiered in 2002, and the first two seasons follow Mega Man Battle Network 1 & 2. The Kids WB block aired the series in the West in 2003.
The anime got multiple sequels in Japan, including Rockman.EXE Axess, Rockman.EXE Stream, Rockman.EXE Beast, and Rockman.EXE Beast+.
Mega Man Battle Network Legacy Collection, a collection of the Mega Man Battle Network 1-6 Game Boy Advance games, will launch for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and PC via Steam on April 14. The collection will feature 10 games (including alternate versions): Mega Man Battle Network, Mega Man Battle Network 2, Mega Man Battle Network 3: Blue/White, Mega Man Battle Network 4: Red Sun/Blue Moon, Mega Man Battle Network 5: Team Protoman/Team Colonel, and Mega Man Battle Network 6: Cybeast Gregar/Cybeast Falzar. The collection will also be available digitally as two separate volumes. The first volume will include Mega Man Battle Network 1-3, and the second volume will include 4-6.
The first Mega Man Battle Network game, an RPG spinoff of the Mega Man platformer games, launched for GBA in 2001. The second game launched in 2001 in Japan and in 2002 in the West. Starting with the third entry, the games had two versions each. Mega Man Battle Network 3 launched in 2002 in Japan and 2003 in the West, the fourth game debuted in 2003 in Japan and 2004 in the West, the fifth entry launched in 2004 in Japan and 2005 in the West, and the final game in the mainline series launched in 2005 in Japan and 2006 in the West.
Source: Press release
Anime & Manga
Bushiroad President Takaaki Kidani Steps Down as BanG Dream! Franchise’s Executive Producer
Bushiroad president and founder Takaaki Kidani announced at the BanG Dream! franchise‘s “Garupa 6th Anniversary Fan Festa in Akihabara” event on Saturday that he is stepping down as the franchise‘s executive producer.
Kidani had been leading the BanG Dream! project for nine years since its conception. For the past two years, he had already been entrusting the project to other developers.
Bushiroad appointed Kidani as chairperson in June 2020. During that time, he also returned to his former position as a representative director alongside the company’s previous president Yoshitaka Hashimoto.
Kidani had previously stepped down from the representative director position at a stockholder’s meeting in October 2017, and took a position as board member of the company. He stepped down from the position so he could directly lead and manage the production of content better in the company’s following three or four years, which the company called a “decisive” period. Kidani was focused on and directly responsible for developing the company’s intellectual property.
Kidani founded Bushiroad in 2007. The company owns a number of cross-media franchises, some of which originate from its card games. Bushiroad‘s Cardfight!! Vanguard and Future Card Buddyfight series have both inspired long-running television anime series, and its Luck & Logic card game inspired two television anime series. Bushiroad also owns the Weiß Schwarz anime crossover card game. The company owns the Tantei Opera Milky Holmes franchise, as well as the BanG Dream! franchise, both of which have television anime series. The company owns the Revue Starlight franchise, and both BanG Dream! and Revue Starlight have active smartphone games. Additionally, the company owns the New Japan Pro Wrestling promotion.
Bushiroad launched the BanG Dream! multimedia project in January 2015.
The main BanG Dream! television anime’s first 13-episode season premiered in January 2017, and Anime Network Online and Crunchyroll streamed the first season as it aired in Japan. The anime’s second season premiered in January 2019. Sentai Filmworks licensed the anime, and HIDIVE and Crunchyroll both streamed the series as it aired.
The BanG Dream! 3rd Season television anime debuted in January 2020. Sentai Filmworks licensed the season, and HIDIVE and VRV streamed the series as it aired. The BanG Dream! Poppin’ Dream! anime film continued the story from the third season, and it opened in Japan in January 2022. The franchise‘s Morfonica band got a two-episode anime in July 2022.
The franchise also includes the BanG Dream! FILM LIVE and BanG Dream! FILM LIVE 2nd Stage films, the two-part BanG Dream! Episode of Roselia films, as well as several web anime spinoff series.
Sources: Famitsu.com, Gamer via Otakomu
Anime & Manga
Live-Action Drops of God Show Premieres on April 21
Entertainment news magazine Variety reported on Sunday that Drops of God, the new internationally co-produced, multilingual live-action television series of Tadashi Agi and Shū Okimoto‘s The Drops of God (Kami no Shizuku) manga, will premiere on April 21.
Apple TV+ has acquired the eight-part series and will broadcast and stream it worldwide simultaneously in 2023.
The official title in Japan is Kami no Shizuku/Drops of God. (Similar to the title in Japan for the second Fullmetal Alchemist television series, the live-action series’ title includes both the Japanese and English titles of the manga.)
Legendary Television is handling worldwide distribution outside of France and Japan. Hulu Japan will exclusively stream the series inside Japan alongside its world premiere. The series filmed over 10 months in France, Italy, and Japan.
The series is a collaboration between U.S., French, and Japanese companies. Legendary Television, Dynamic Television, France Televisions, and Hulu Japan are backing the project, and are producing the project with Adline Entertainment. Oded Ruskin (Absentia, No Man’s Land) is directing the series, and Quoc Dang Tran (Marianne, Parallel) wrote the scripts. Dynamic’s Klaus Zimmermann (Borgia, Trapped) is producing the series.
As previously announced, Tomohisa Yamashita (pictured left) and French actress Fleur Geffrier (Elle) star in the series. The announcement noted that Geffrier’s character is named Shizuku Kanzaki, the protagonist of the manga. A previous announcement noted that rival character Issei Tōmine would be the show’s protagonist, but an earlier report in 2021 from entertainment news service Variety described the series as having a female protagonist, with Geffrier playing the role.
Variety describes the story of the TV series:
The story involves a woman who discovers that her estranged father has left her the world’s greatest wine collection in his will. But, to claim her inheritance she must compete against a Japanese man who her father regarded as a son and may have been more.
Siblings Shin and Yuko Kibayashi — under the pen name Tadashi Agi — launched The Drops of God manga with artist Okimoto in Kodansha‘s Morning magazine 2004. A live-action series based on the manga aired in Japan in 2009. The manga ended in June 2014, and the 44th and final compiled book volume shipped in July 2014. The manga’s final arc, titled Marriage ~Kami no Shizuku Saishūshō~ (Marriage ~The Drops of God Final Arc~), launched in May 2015, and it ended in October 2020.
Comixology and Kodansha USA Publishing have released the manga in English digitally.
Throughout its serialization, the manga had famously boosted the sales of wines profiled in the story. The French wine magazine La Revue du vin de France has recognized the manga, giving it the magazine’s top award in 2010. The New York Times also profiled the manga in its Dining and Wine section in 2008.
Source: Variety (Marta Balaga)
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