Posts Tagged Manga
Imai Kami’s premier manga, Needless, concluded with Chapter 114 in June of 2013, following a cherished 10 year run. In December 2013, Imai Kami’s other long-running manga of 7 years, Shirasunamura, also concluded. At the time Needless concluded, Kami expressed interest in taking a well-deserved break before returning to draw the latter half of Needless with his planned continuation called Needless 2. However, since that summer, Kami has been quiet as a mangaka, only working on 4koma comics for Arcadia magazine and releasing an art book in 2014. It wasn’t until January 2015 when I discovered that Kami had been working on a new manga in Arcadia magazine, Shoukan! Kengou Gakuen, with the first volume being available in February. Unable to find any useful information online, I waited patiently for the manga to be imported from Japan. Imai Kami’s new manga, Shoukan! Kengou Gakuen will be the focus for Day 1 of my 12 Days of Anime for 2015.
12 Days of Anime (2015) – Day 2 – Speaking with Hiromi Katou, Character Design for Needless, at Sakuracon
Hiromi Katou is a gifted and experienced talent, having a successful career in the anime industry through a variety of roles. Among his notable accomplishments, he was the character designs for Guilty Crown, Kobato., and Hakkenden, the animation directors for Beck, Gunslinger Stratos, and Fantasia Doll, and a key animator for Death Note, Azumanga Daioh, Shingeki no Kyojin, and many more. However, his most distinguished achievement, to me at least, is that he was the character design for Needless, which you might guess from previous posts is my favorite anime. I was extremely fortunate that Hiromi Katou was invited as a guest for Sakuracon this year and made sure to visit his Q&A panel, so that I could ask him some questions regarding Needless. So, for Day 2 of my 12 Days of Anime, I’ll recall my time with Hiromi Katou and the answers he provided about his experience with Needless.
Plastic Memories is nowhere near my favorite anime of 2015, but it deserves recognition and praise for having one of the best anime endings of 2015… or rather, having an ending at all. Though, I never found myself genuinely invested in the characters, the story, or the setting (though I will make fun of the berserk zombie-bots at ultra-specific times whenever I have the chance), I want to highlight Plastic Memories in my 12 Days of Anime series because it had something I wish every anime had: a conclusion. Plastic Memories actually had an end to its story and its series… and not one of those bullshit anime endings where everything resets at the end. No, Plastic Memories had the courage to have a genuine finish, a final episode that left me feeling fulfilled and absolute, and above all, satisfied.
Art books are arguably my favorite item of anime merchandise (of which, I own 18). And Imai Kami is undoubtedly my favorite manga artist. So when the Imai Kami Visual Collection, Nirai Kanai, was announced to be sold in June 2014, I was positively ecstatic. For the first time, there would be a printed compilation of his various works from both Needless and Shirasunamura, as well as other works in magazines and online sources. However, there was a major bonus to this art book that made it even more unique and exceptional among its peers. Since its completion as a doujinshi in 1999, Imai Kami’s first printed work, the 330 page BLACK SPOT, was being reprinted and bundled with the art book. After 15 years, the work that originated Imai Kami’s career and was the foundation and basis for my favorite manga, Needless, was finally available to the public. Without a doubt, the Imai Kami Visual Collection is the best thing to happen to me in 2014.
Back, during the Summer anime season, for week 11: defining acute mountain sickness and understanding its role in Yama no Susume Second Season, why I absolutely love the development of Asseylum in Aldnoah.Zero, questioning the balance of character development and death in Akame ga Kill!, and thoughts on changing the name of Hanayamata to Hanayamatasa.
During the twelfth week of the season: my reflections on why Ping Pong the Animation had an excellent ending and why Ryuugajou Nanana no Maizoukin had an appropriate ending but one that left me unsatisfied, an analysis on the finale of Akuma no Riddle with a focus on Tokaku’s and Haru’s relationship (*Spoilers*), and thoughts on the utilization of the setting and the background art in Mushishi Zoku Shou.