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High Card Anime Reveals More Cast Members, Opening Song Artist

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Kadokawa revealed more cast members for the anime of the poker-themed High Card multimedia project on Friday. The staff also previously announced the opening theme song artist. The new cast members include (Note: Character name romanizations are not official.):


Toshihiko Seki as Norman Kingstadt, the CEO of Who’s Who Inc., a high-tech car manufacturer. His charisma leads him to make frequent media appearances in his striking high fashion, yet he is also a talented manager. While seen as vain and immature, his straightforward nature is admired by those under him. While he treats his childhood friend Theodore as a rival, Theodore does not share the sentiment.

Shunsuke Takeuchi as Brist Blitz Broadhurst, one of Norman’s private secretaries and bodyguards. He is straight-laced, serious, and pragmatic to the extreme, constantly nagging Norman about overtime pay, hazard pay, and work regulations. He assists Norman in collecting cards, but has no passion for the cards himself, considering it strictly business.

Mie Sonozaki as Brandy Blumenthal, one of Norman’s private secretaries and bodyguards. While seemingly calm to the point of nonchalance, she makes sure any job started is a job finished. She thinks Norman would be a good CEO if not for his obsession with the cards, and while this frustrates her, Norman nevertheless has her respect.

The band FIVE NEW OLD will perform the anime’s opening theme song “Trickster.”

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Previously announced cast members include:

Kadokawa describes the story:

After discovering that his orphanage was on the brink of closing due to financial stress,
Finn, who was living freely on the streets, set out for a casino with the aim of making a fortune.
However, nothing could have prepared Finn for the nightmare that was awaiting him.
Once there, Finn encountered a car chase and bloody shootout caused by a man’s “lucky” card.

Finn will eventually learn what the shootout was about.
The world order can be controlled by a set of 52 X-Playing cards
with the power to bestow different superhuman powers and abilities to the ones that possess them.
With these cards, people can access the hidden power of the “buddy” that can be found within themselves.

There is a secret group of players called High Card, who have been directly ordered by the king of Fourland
to collect the cards that have been scattered throughout the kingdom,
while moonlighting as employees of the luxury car maker Pinochle.
Scouted to become the group’s fifth member, Finn soon joins the players on a dangerous mission to find these cards.

“All you need in life are manners, dignity, and the will to bet on your own life.”

However, Who’s Who, the rival car maker obsessed with defeating Pinochle,
and the Klondikes, the infamous Mafia family, stand in the way of the gang.

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A frenzied battle amongst these card obsessed players, fueled by justice, desire, and revenge, is about to begin!

Are you ready?

It’s Showdown!!

Publisher TMS, author Homura Kawamoto (Kakegurui franchise), his younger brother Hikaru Muno (Kakegurui novel) are credited with the original work, and Ebimo is credited as the original character designer.

The anime’s staff members are:

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The anime will premiere in January 2023.

The project will ship its first drama CD volume on December 3. Publisher Kadokawa, anime studio TMS Entertainment, and entertainment company Sammy Corporation are presenting the poker-themed project. The companies previously revealed that the project will include anime, manga, and novels.

The High Card -♢9 No Mercy manga launched on Square Enix‘s Manga UP! service on August 31. The project’s original character designer Ebimo draws the manga.

Kawamoto and Muno also worked on the Build Dive -#00000 (Code Black)- television anime together as part of the Build Divide multimedia project with media company Aniplex, card game design company Yūhodō, and animation studio LIDEN FILMS.

Source: Press release

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Hidekaz Himaruya’s Hetalia World Stars, Sōri Club Manga Take Short Break

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2 Manga series take break due to Himaruya’s poor health


Manga creator Hidekaz Himaruya announced on Twitter on November 30 that their two manga series Sōri Club (Prime Minister Club) and Hetalia World Stars will take a break due to Himaruya’s poor health.

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Sōri Club did not have a new chapter in Shueisha‘s Jump SQ. magazine’s January 2023 issue, which released on Friday. The manga will resume serialization in the magazine’s February 2023 issue on January 4.

Hetalia World Stars will not have new chapters on the Shonen Jump+ service on December 8 and 15, and will return on December 22.

Himaruya launched the Sōri Club manga in the Jump SQ. magazine in January 2021. Shueisha published the manga’s first compiled book volume in April 2021. The manga’s fifth volume will release on January 4.

Himaruya’s Hetalia World Stars manga is the latest manga in the franchise. The manga launched on Shonen Jump+ on the same day the online manga service launched, but it went on hiatus in April 2018. The manga resumed serialization in April 2021. Shueisha published the manga’s sixth compiled book volume on September 2.

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The manga also inspired a new anime adaptation, which debuted in April 2021.

Himaruya’s original Hetalia – Axis Powers manga takes the archetypal characteristics of countries and regions throughout the world, and anthropomorphizes them as (mostly) bishōnen characters. Right Stuf released the manga in North America in collaboration with its former English-language publisher, Tokyopop, and its Japanese publisher Gentosha Comics.

Hetalia The World Twinkle, the sixth anime season inspired by Himaruya’s manga, premiered in Japan in July 2015, and Funimation streamed the series as it aired. Funimation has released all the anime seasons and the Hetalia Axis Powers: Paint it, White! film in North America. The franchise has also inspired a series of stage musicals in Japan. The latest musical ran in December 2021.

Source: Hidekaz Himaruya‘s Twitter account






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World is Still Beautiful’s Dai Shiina Launches New Manga Mini-Series

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Manga centers on ordinary girl trying to make it in entertainment industry


The first 2023 issue of Hakusensha‘s Hana to Yume magazine revealed on Monday that manga creator Dai Shiina will launch a new manga mini-series titled Shining Star (Kagayakeru Hoshi) in the magazine’s second 2023 issue on December 20.

The manga is about an ordinary girl born into a family of world-famous performers, and she tries to be a star in her own right in the dazzling world of entertainment.

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Shiina wrote two one-shots for the Soredemo Sekai wa Utsukushii manga (pictured right) in 2009 and 2011 in Hana to Yume, and then launched the full series in the same magazine in 2012. The series ended in May 2020.

The manga inspired a television anime adaptation in April 2014. Crunchyroll streamed the series as it aired with the title The World Is Still Beautiful. Sentai Filmworks licensed the anime and released it on Blu-ray Disc and DVD in 2015.

Shiina also wrote the two-volume Fushigi no Maria-kun manga and the one-volume Arashi to Doctor manga.

Source: Hana to Yume 2023 issue 1




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The First Slam Dunk Anime Film Tops Box Office on Opening Weekend

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The First Slam Dunk, the new anime film of Takehiko Inoue‘s Slam Dunk basketball manga, ranked at #1 in its opening weekend. The film sold 847,000 tickets and earned 1,295,808,780 yen (about US$9.50 million) over the weekend.

The film opened in Japan on Saturday. The movie has IMAX screenings in 40 cinemas all over Japan, and Dolby Atmos screenings in 34 cinemas. The movie will get Dolby Cinema screenings starting on December 10.

Inoue personally directed the film at Toei Animation and wrote the script. Among the listed staff members are character designer/animation director Yasuyuki Ebara (Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress) and technical directors Katsuhiko Kitada (Attack on Titan episodes, Major: Yūjō no Winning Shot), Naoki Miyahara (Digimon Adventure, Popin Q), Toshio Ōhashi (LayereD Stories 0), and Yū Kamatani (Looking for Magical DoReMi, Precure Super Stars!).

Daiki Nakazawa directed the CG, and Yūta Ogura produced the CG. Kazuo Ogura directed the art. Yota Tsuruoka directed the sound with Koji Kasamatsu.

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Makoto Shinkai‘s Suzume (Suzume no Tojimari) film dropped from #1 to #2 in its fourth weekend. The film sold 555,000 tickets over the weekend, and earned 747,513,070 yen (about US$5.48 million) from Friday to Sunday. The film has now sold a cumulative total of 5.61 million tickets for 7,595,005,820 yen (about US$55.69 million). It is now the #87 film of all time at the Japanese box office.

The film opened at #1 on November 11 and sold 1.33 million tickets and earned 1.88 billion yen (about US$13.49 million) in its first three days.

The film sold 38.7% more tickets and earned 47.4% more than Shinkai’s acclaimed your name. film, which earned 1,277,960,000 yen (about US$12.51 million at the time) in its first three days. It also sold 14.8% more tickets and earned 14.4% more than Shinkai’s previous film Weathering With You, marking the strongest opening three days of Shinkai’s films.

Actress Nanoka Hara voices the heroine Suzume Iwato in the film. SixTONES idol group member Hokuto Matsumura (live-action Liar × Liar film’s Tōru, live-action xxxHOLiC film’s Shizuka Doumeki) made his voice acting debut in the film as Sōta Munakata, a young man who embarks on a journey with Suzume as the “Door-Closing Master.”

Shinkai (your name., Weathering With You) directed the film and wrote the screenplay. He is also credited with the original story. Masayoshi Tanaka (your name., Weathering With You) designed the characters. Kenichi Tsuchiya (your name., Garden of Words) was the animation director. Takumi Tanji (Children Who Chase Lost Voices) was the art director. CoMix Wave Films and Story Inc. produced the movie. TOHO is distributing the film. RADWIMPS scored the film. Seattle-based Hollywood film composer, Kazuma Jinnouchi (Ghost in the Shell: SAC_2045, RWBY: Ice Queendom) scored the film alongside RADWIMPS. TikTok performer Toaka performed one of the film’s theme songs “Suzume.”

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime: Scarlet Bond (Tensei Shitara Slime Datta Ken: Guren no Kizuna-hen), the franchise‘s anime film, dropped from #2 to #4 in its second weekend. The film earned 154,622,540 yen (about US$1.13 million) from Friday to Sunday, and has earned a cumulative total of 720,168,880 yen (about US$5.27 million).

The film opened in Japan on November 25, and ranked at #2 and sold 225,000 tickets for 297 million yen (about US$2.14 million) in its opening weekend. It sold 313,000 tickets for 416 million yen (about US$3.19 million) in its first three days.

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Fuse, the author of the original light novel series, drafted the film’s brand-new original story. The story centers on a new country named Raja, located to the west of Tempest. Rimuru and his companions get involved in a long-running conspiracy that swirls around a woman with a mysterious power. Rimuru and his commander Benimaru also encounter another ogre survivor named Hiiro, who used to hold Benimaru in high regard.

Crunchyroll will screen the film in all major global territories (excluding Asia) in early 2023. The film’s rollout overseas will start in December, and will eventually include the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Canada, France, Germany, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and South and Central America.

The One Piece Film Red anime dropped from #4 to #7 in its 18th weekend at the Japanese box office. The film earned 39,196,700 yen (about US$287,300) from Friday to Sunday. The film has now earned a cumulative total of 18,609,882,490 yen (about US$136.4 million).

One Piece Film Red opened in Japan on August 6. The movie has become the franchise‘s highest-selling and highest-earning film installment, in terms of both the number of tickets sold and yen earned at the box office. The film has also topped Top Gun: Maverick to become the highest-earning film to open in Japan so far this year. The anime is both the #6 all-time highest-earning anime film in Japan and the #9 all-time highest-earning film in Japan.

Crunchyroll released One Piece Film Red in the United States and Canada on November 4, and in Australia and New Zealand on November 3. The film earned an estimated total of US$9,475,251 in its first three days in the United States to rank #2 overall in the U.S. box office for the weekend.

The film centers on a new character named Uta, Shanks’ daughter. Kaori Nazuka is the speaking voice of Uta, while Ado is the character’s singing voice. Ado also performs the film’s theme song “Shinjidai” (“New Genesis”). Goro Taniguchi (Code Geass, One Piece: Defeat The Pirate Ganzak! special) directed One Piece Film Red. Tsutomu Kuroiwa (One Piece Film Gold, One Piece: Heart of Gold, GANTZ:O, live-action Black Butler) wrote the screenplay, and One Piece manga creator Eiichiro Oda himself served as executive producer.

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Sword Art Online the Movie -Progressive- Kuraki Yūyami no Scherzo (Scherzo of a Dark Dusk), the second film in the Sword Art Online the Movie -Progressive- anime film series, dropped from #9 to #10 its seventh weekend. The film earned 21,543,976 yen (about US$157,800) from Friday to Sunday, and has earned a cumulative total of 1,076,475,134 yen (about US$7.88 million).

The second film opened for regular screenings in Japan on October 22 but opened on IMAX and 4DX screenings one day earlier on October 21.

The film features a returning cast. In addition, Kaede Hondo plays Liten, and Yūsuke Kobayashi plays Morte. Ayako Kohno (unit director on Black Butler: Book of the Atlantic, High School Fleet, The Seven Deadly Sins the Movie: Prisoners of the Sky) returned to direct the film at A-1 Pictures, and Kento Toya (Sword Art Online: Alicization – War of Underworld, The Seven Deadly Sins: Revival of The Commandments) returned to design the characters. Yasuyuki Kai again served as action director, and Yuki Kajiura returned to compose the music. Eir Aoi performed the theme song “Shinzо̄” (Heart).

The live-action film of Katsutoshi Murase and Welzard‘s Karada Sagashi (Body Search) horror manga dropped off the top 10 in its eighth weekend.

TOHO‘s 4K remastered screening of the 1982 Space Adventure Cobra – The Movie anime ranked at #5 in the mini-theater ranking in its opening weekend. TOHO opened the film on December 2.

Sources: Kōgyō Tsūshin (link 2, link 3), comScore via KOFIC



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