Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Weekly Shounen Sunday #21/22 Editorial section.

This week's question asks "What are three words you'd use to describe yourself?" 

Ponkotsu-chan kenshochuu (Tsubasa Fukuchi): This series was prepared about a year ago along with Saike!! I'm happy to be back again! 
Major 2nd (Takuya Mitsuda): I'm back. For more details check out WEB (Sunday).
Maiko-san chi no Makanai-san (Aiko Koyama): Careless, absentminded, and laid back.
Detective Conan (Gosho Aoyama): A murderer, romcom, manga artist (lol)
Komi-san ha Komyusho-desu (Tomohito Oda): Smiling, lazy, apathetic!
Imouto Rireki (Kei Nishimura): Serious, Gutsy, Weak. I'll be looking forward to seeing you in Sunday Super!
Amano Megumi wa Suki darake! (Nekoguchi): Serious, caring, pervert.
switch (Atsushi Namikiri): Abdominal Pain, cold, HAPPY.
Kimi wa 008 (Syun Matsuena): Self taught, heretic, overdoing it.
Maoujo de Oyasumi (Kagiji Kumanomata) Bears, Lazy, droopy.
Souboutei Kowasubeshi (Kazuhiro Fujita): Stupid Bald Fantasy. Uwahahahah!
Hoankan Evans No Uso ~Dead or Love~ (Mizuki Kuriyama): Red, Black, grid pattern.
Daiku No Hatou (Michiteru Kusaba): Without breaks, unpopular, insecure.
Tonikaku cawaii (Kenjiro Hata): Romanticist, Studious, Otaku (According to my editor Hara.)
Aozakura Bouei Daigakkou Monogatari (Hikaru Nikaido): Sushi, Udon, Hot pot.
Be Blues! (Motoyuki Tanaka): Sleepy, monomaniac, fickle.
RYOKO (Kaito Mitsuhashi): Pudding, Glasses, Bird head. (TN- Assume he means his hair and not a "bird brain.")
Undine ha Kyou mo Koi wo suru ka? (Shinya Misu): Dreamy, Arrogant, Enigmatic.
Anonatsu 1959 (Ashibi Fukui): Serious, simple, glasses.
Gofun go no Sekai (Hiroshi Fukuda): Ambitious, Energetic, Awkward.
Fire Rabbit!! (Aya Hirakawa): "Manga" and "Hat" and "Glasses" I suppose~?
Zettai Karen Chilren (Takashi Shiina): Violent, Greedy, Anguish, Rage, Laziness, Vanity, Lust....ah, that's seven.
Sokyuu no Ariadne (Nobuhiro Yagi): Land, sea and air.
Chrono Magia: Infinity Gear (Takeshi Azuma): Violent, Lazy, lusting.
Tantei Xeno to Nanatsu no Satsujin Misshitsu (Teppei Sugiyama) SE*YU, Chocolate, Laziness 
(TN- Nooot ausre what that first one is. Maybe "Seiyu"? for voice actors? But that doesn't make sense.)
Youkai Giga (Satsuki Satou): Sign, Cosign, Tangent.
Tokaichi Hitoribocchi Nouen (Yuuji Yokoyama): A sloth with poor memory and a timid temperament.

That's uh...quite the lineup there. What's up with some of you people and naming the seven sins though, haha....I think Oda's (not that one) is the biggest mood of the week though. I feel like I can identify with that. Though really, Kusaba's worries me a bit. I mean it's likely he's being kind of tongue-in-cheek of his whole situation but...hrm. Also yes, as you read Nishimura is leaving weekly Sunday and heading to super --an unnamed sickness is keeping them from keeping up with the weekly schedule and thus a move is in order. It's intriguing on the level that rather than a hiatus, they're just moving it out. I wonder if it's a thing where Nishimura's sickness is one they don't think they'll be able to recover from, or that Imouto Rireki while cute and everything already has plenty of competition in this magazine, and with new series getting ready to start they figure the easier thing to do is to make room? I'd figure a little bit of both, but sucks to see this happen, but I'm glad the series won't be out forever on hiatus right after it's first volume release a lot like RYOKO. Fukuchi's back too, and holy crap he was working on this alongside Saike's finale? He's a madman, and I hope he's not overdoing it with his new series which I'll go into next! (And yes I realize a lot of these aren't just three words. I went more for matching the meaning than trying to keep with conventions.) 

Okay, listen. I'm Monkey for Fukuchi. Memes aside, he really is the only author I'll give a free pass for --this series is going right into the editorial group without having to pass a three chapter test first. (Though really I'm not going to be adding anything else from the new series even if I do really like them, unless a bunch of series here end all at once, and even then I'd probably just close the editorial section...gasp, well we don't have to worry about that right now.) But yesssssss Fukuchi is back and he's brought himself a rather odd serial this time around --his words when finishing Saike were that his next series would "Be like Saike, but not really". Which left me scratching my head as to what exactly that means. Now that Ponkotsu-chan kenshochuu is here, it all makes sense, and my worries that Fukuchi would leap into the romcom bubble are allayed for now. In fairness this series could dip into that territory with ease, but at least from this first chapter the spirit of Fukuchi rages strong and that's all I can ask for. 

Though yes, the premise! Mito is a guy who looks, well, frankly terrifying due to inheriting some awful genes from his parents. Though the only thing he wants is to be helpful to people, his looks scares everyone away. All except Yumesaki, a girl who's got a natural talent for being clumsy, and as of three days ago suddenly developed super powers? The "Kenshochuu" in the title means "under investigation" and that's exactly what this series is --Mito and Yumesaki investigate the powers she has and try to figure out what to do with them. You'll notice I said "powers" (plural), and that wasn't a mistake for once! See, it seems Yumesaki gets a new power every day and Mito in his bid to help her out investigates them and keeps track of how they work to keep her out of trouble. This time around she creates mini helicopters on anything she touches, including herself. 

For now at least, all we know is that her powers are connected to a being called "God" who texts her every day to give her an update on what today's power is. It's like...Ueki meets Takkoku meets Saike! I'd love it if this series really is a accumulation of all of Fukuchi's works until now which means maybe crossovers?? I'm getting ahead of myself. I could honestly see Saike showing up at some point to give them pointers on Yumesaki's powers though. Heck this feels like it could be taking place while Saike is doing his thing elsewhere. Mito is a pretty pure hearted guy --he doesn't even consider Yumesaki anything other than a friend in need until he really gets a good look at her and realizes...she's cute, like really cute. Wait, an unpopular guy like him getting to spend time with a cute girl every day? It's like...a date! An extremely Fukuchi-like date, but a date! Nah, Mito's too straight laced to think of things that way, though he can't help let his mind wander a bit, making him a little different than Fukuchi's other protagonists who don't let matters of the flesh really get to them that much --I can see Mito being a bit more releatable in that regard, cause who wouldn't at least notice a cute person hanging out with them every day? 

It's nice to see even with the quick turnaround that Fukuchi's art has stayed as wonderful as it was in Saike. 

Although so far this is very Fukuchi, that's not to say there's absolutely no romcom elements in it. Yumesaki is pretty clumsy despite her best efforts, and it's Mito who encourages her to just keep being herself --there are things only she can see if she is herself after all. Yumesaki figures Mito doesn't remember his words of encouragement, but they have left a huge impression on her, so perhaps sometime....though for now Mito's playing the dense (though less so than his contemporaries) shounen lead, and Yumesaki is keeping her feelings close to her chest. 

Ah but it just wouldn't be Fukuchi without the wild and crazy twist, and here it is. See that crater above? "God" told Yumesaki that a meteor a thousand times bigger than the one that made that hole is going to hit earth in one year. Yumesaki didn't mention this to Mito because she didn't want him to worry, but the whole reason God is giving her powers every day is to find the one that will stop the meteor from destroying earth. This...sounds a lot like Saike's ending except we're replacing one natural disaster with another. Another intriguing thing here is that with a year set up as the timeline for the series, this could be as short or long as Fukuchi (and Shougakukan) need it to be. It's actually a little ingenious --Fukuchi can make it a little longer if the series is popular, or shorten it if cancellation looms and it wouldn't be too strange either way. Typically speaking Fukuchi's series aren't long anyway (I remember reading at one point that he usually goes for about 3 years per series and moves on), which would work pretty decently for a series like this. I'd imagine probably we'll see other people chosen by God, and all kinds of complications down the road, especially since Mito is slowly becoming aware of his feelings for Yumesaki --though which route Fukuchi will take with the series is up in the air. Will it be weird but played pretty straight romcom? Or will he stick with what he knows and eventually make it a battle comedy? The sky is the limit (avoid those meteors though!) and I'm happy to have Fukuchi back in Sunday and the blog. 

I'd say not much happens in this week's Souboutei but...really not much happening in this manga is probably a whole volume of something else. It might be better to say that Fujita focuses on the immediate aftermath of Rokurou being shot, and Seiichi (along with everyone else) seeking revenge for their fallen friend. 

Seiichi especially gets some pretty epic screen time as he literally kicks the head off of Rokurou's assailant. It's all so visceral and very much from Fujita's era --ultra violence that looks really cool. I had thought maybe he had calmed down a bit from those days, but it turns out he was just crouching and looking for a moment to leap and remind these kids in this magazine that Dad's still got some things to show them. Though when it's like this there really isn't much for me to say other than yowza is that artwork fresh. 

The calvary is all here to save Seiichi just as his billowing rage of vengeance peters out, but is it already too late? Was the price of their stalwart actions the life of their comrade? Not only that but Rokurou was the one ace in the hole they had against the house, and now they're completely surrounded without a hope in the world to save them. Fujita slowed way down to give us that boost of vengeance fueled adrenaline, but after it all runs out we're just left with despair. This can't be Rokurou's last stand can it? 

A new character on chapter 100? It's as if Kuriyama knows they're here to stay and is letting it all hang out. If you want to see the color page you'll have to check out the twitter, but we've got us another gunslinger girl by the name of Sharon Reimi (Don't quote me on that romanization, like I've said, it's more of an art than a science.), and while she's not the first to be of the fairer sex and pack heat, she's the first to challenge Evans to a duel, and I gotta say I love that. She's taken 99 names and wants Evans to be 100. However, she makes the mistake of saying she wants the strongest out of the two (Pheebs and Evans) to take her on which sparks their competitive side --something that has shown itself in glimpses recently but has been mostly toned down for romantic-ish elements. Great to see that Kuriyama has brought it back though. 

They almost completely forget about Sharon and argue amongst themselves over who's better at gun-slinging and Sharon in the end interprets this as being too scared to step up. Evans sees through how this is all going to go down and tries to convince Sharon to back out --it could take days for them to decide just who's the stronger between the two, but Sharon just takes this as a challenge, and decides she'll stick around until they've come to an agreement. I already think she's a great addition to the cast --you've got Pheobe who's in love with Evans and thus won't oppose him too much, Abby who's too oblvious to really notice much of anything, and now Sharon who's hot blooded content has just swung this series back into being an actual western. Evans is too prideful to say that he really doesn't want to do this contest thing with Sharon, but every time he leaves it to someone else to decline for him, (like Ted who brings them the news of a heist in progress), they sort of encourage him to take the duel instead, hah. Sharon then ups the ante and says that she'll do whatever Evans wants if he wins, and that's enough to get his mind back in gear (and his lustful desires in full force.) 

A shame for Sharon that even with his back turned Evans is that good. Though even with his victory, the only thing he asks from Sharon is to train herself and come back for another duel. He's not saying he doesn't think he can win now, but he'd hate to see Pheebs get hurt, not that she needs his protecting. Of course next time if she really is going to do whatever he asks then he's going all in. I'm not sure if we'll see Sharon again next week or if this is only the beginning of a longer duel, but I think she's an excellent addition to the cast. I hope if she isn't in the next chapter then she'll be back soon. 

Mitsuhashi and Fujita are really amping up the despair this week in their manga aren't they? Both RYOKO and Souboutei even had the same set up in a way, except RYOKO's was a lot more deceptive --Ryoko and the gang gather together and even find Rere so it seems as if a safe escape is in the cards, but then super powered Kogarashi finds them and stomps everyone flat without a second thought. Then to make matters worse it's implied that Parsley has somehow gained control over the Dragon Broccoli, and yikes. It's hard to really say how things could possibly be worse for our heroes. Though to backtrack a little --Rere is still struggling over actually killing someone (though with Kogarashi being alive I guess she needn't worry about that now.) and it's a direction for her character I wasn't expecting. I can definitely believe she hasn't killed anyone (foodstuffs on the other hand) before, but I would imagine at least she's seen enough up until now for it not to affect her as much as it did here, though in fairness watching someone die and killing them are two different practices. What's really got me is Kogarashi might just be the character with the most development in the series so far --more than Ryoko herself! To me this is per the course since villians usually do lift works on their shoulders as they are the reason the hero does anything and have to function as characters on their own, but Kogarashi getting as many flashbacks as he has is interesting. This week was Parsley bringing him back from the dead on a whim and making him the man we see before us now. Is Mitsuhashi showing us all this so that we'll understand him? Pity him? It isn't clear really, but for now the fight is on and things are looking really bad for everyone. Ryoko's fourth volume is due out next month and I have to wonder if we'll see many more after that. The series doesn't feel as if it's barreling toward a conclusion, but my sense is tingling and I hate to admit that it's rarely been wrong in cases like these. 

It's returning faces in new places this week in Xeno. Though we get a little bit of resolution between Ayla and Xeno at the start, I'm still a little bit disappointed in how the last case was wrapped up so quickly. Though at this point it's pretty likely that Xeno is on the chopping block so I can understand, but I do wish that Ayla's character development wasn't the one sacrificed to meet the series "quota" of seven doors. Number 6 is on a ship in the sea, and with it's appearance we have the return of Amada from the Military police who we met some time ago. She's none too pleased to see Xeno again, but she figures if he's here then it must be important, and yup soon enough someone gets murdered. So far it's fitting the Xeno formula to a tee, and with time seemingly running out for the series it seems odd that they'd slow down now. 

Except a new face brings in a new tribulation --Sugizaki who's the commander of this ship happens to know Xeno's real name --"Tomorrow", and he knows about where Xeno was raised. That's not all --the ship has been commandeered by the Japanese Government, and their orders are to not let anyone leave --as the chapter ends saying that this is only the beginning of a revolution they've all become trapped in. With one more door left, I can't help but wonder if this is going to be a long arc like the ones before it, or will we get something truncated? With Yuugami ending and Imouto Rireki moving that might have bought the series a little more time which may be why the series at least for now hasn't felt rushed, but how long can Sugiyama and Nanatsuki stick around without overplaying their hand? 

It's raining out so the kids have to stay in and play, which means Osaki can't do her special training this week in Youkai giga. It's also the return of Makoto who can still see Youkai despite being an adult which adds a new layer to things --her son Minoru can see Kuro (though he's not mentioned anything about Osaki), but she can see them both. Usually in these stories it's when one grows up that they lose the "gift", but she's retained it even through adulthood. That being said I like how she treats Kuro and Osaki as her children as well, it's kinda cute. The youkai and children (though they're all like children to me) settle on drawing during this rainy day, and Kuro despite itself realizes that the more time it spends with Osaki, the more time it wants her to be around. Hmm....that's about it for this week, but Kuro getting attached to someone other than it's master and his family....though that being said, where is master and what is he doing now? 

This week's Sunday (Wednesday) Diary is from Fukuchi himself! Although Sunday hasn't directly said that Ponkotsu-chan kenshochuu is a romcom, Fukuchi himself says it is --he basically admits that after drawing a series about a protagonist who dies over and over again for four years, he decided he wanted to do a romcom or something lighter for his next work. I'm surprised but apparently it's been ten years since his last foray into romantic comedies --Takkoku was serialized in Sunday Super. (The protagonists of said manga are pictured on the page.) The rest is him advertising Takkoku to buy digitally (which I have~) if you'd wanna read more and his promise he'll do his best with this serialization. It doesn't seem as if it'll have a schedule like Saike's so I suppose it'll run weekly rather than a volume and then stopping, which is cool but I'd rather Fukuchi take on what he can than commit to something that'll end with another lengthy hiatus. Still Ponkotsu chapter one was a joy so I'll leave my pessimism aside (as hard as that is since that's my oracle), and just enjoy this series. Welcome back Fukuchi!

And that's it for this combined issue's editorial! There won't be an issue next week so I'll be able to rest...nah, that's for the weak and while I'm weak too I'd like to at least struggle against it. I'm hoping to have something to keep you guys entertained while the magazine is away, so stay tuned for that! The issue coming out May 8th will contain the return of the legend --Rumiko Takahashi so I'm essentially contract bound to cover it here (For the first 3 chapters at any rate), so stay tuned for that too! Until then, enjoy that week off but don't forget to keep an eye here! 

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Detective Conan: Fist of Blue Sapphire interview starring Kappei Yamaguchi.

Surprise!! Bet you weren't expecting be fair I really wasn't either (and this isn't what I was talking about in regard to "new things on the blog", but) I figured I had a little free time and in all fairness Conan is a fairly huge part of Shounen Sunday. Not to mention the movie is doing gangbusters at the box office so I'd might as well hop in on this! Note: While I'm an okay-ish translator or so I hope I am by no means an expert so there may be small mistakes. Don't be shy and speak up if you see them, I don't bite, or fight. (Though do try to be kind, I'm sensitive.) The interview itself is here if you want to see it in Japanese. It's fairly interesting stuff and I hope you all enjoy it!

It's totally like it's “Die Hard” now.

---You've seen “Fist of Blue Sapphire” Today for the first time. (This interview was conducted April 2nd before the on stage greeting.
{Tweet: If the Conan mass media comes then Wakana-chan will come too so it'll be a tale of going to see a movie with Ran~^^}
Kappei (To be known as K): I saw it, and it was awesome! The footage wasn't complete when we did the recording so there wasn't any music or sound effects was incomplete. So when I got to see the whole thing completed I thought that it was really exciting. Moreover it felt like the scale for this movie had become even bigger. Like...superhuman almost. (Laughs).
--Right? It felt like there were so many surprises in the second half that came one after another. I think I'd need more than one viewing to process it all. (Laughs).
K: I feel the same way. When we were doing the recording It was hard to tell how the artwork would turn out. “Huh? Wait how is this supposed to be? Whoa, that's really how it went down?” Was a lot of the talk between everyone. Though it's because it's a work that went past it's limits that it was so much fun. It's totally like “Die Hard” now. (Laughs).
---Totally. (Laughs) The Action scene have an impact that feel like they exceed the deduction scenes.
K: Of course there are highlights to look out for to solve the mystery, but you really would get that impression from how flashy this movie is. Though since Kid showed up this time I think that the movie being full of flash was a good thing.
--Kaitou Kid last appeared in a movie in 2015 “Detective Conan: Sunflowers of Inferno” --so 4 years ago. How did you feel when it was decided he'd be a main character in this film?
K: I was surprised to see that he was back so soon. Every year at the end of the movie they have a small preview for the next one, --which would have been “Zero's Enforcer” last year. During the recording of that movie it had already been decided that Kid would be the lead for the next one. Which was about a year and a half beforehand. I thought there'd be a little more time before we'd see him again.
--- “Detective Conan” is an anime that has been long loved nationwide, but for six years since 2013 the box office revenues for the movies has only been rising, and it feels like in recent years they've really garnered a lot of attention. So for Kid to be the star of a movie with timing like this...
K: Even with the box office revenues rising, the staff puts all they've got into making the movies, so while it comes off as them working hard for an award it was still a fun atmosphere during recording this time around as always.
---Even looking back at the contents of the movie itself, it seems the recording studio is a fun place.
K: Although “Conan” is the type of series where all kinds of cases happen, the recording sessions themselves proceed with a congenial air. We usually record the lines for the movie in one day, so this year too we were recording from early morning till midnight. We were engrossed in recording the whole time, but the impression after it was all done was just how much fun it was.
“Kyogoku is the complete opposite from Amuro”
--In this movie Makoto Kyogoku is the key person. This is the first movie where Kyogoku has been in this position...
K: Kyogoku sure is cool, right? I don't dislike how awkward he is. I feel like he's the type that as long as he has Sonoko and Karate he really doesn't need anything else. However, since he is fully dedicated to Sonoko, he finds it hard awkward to express his affections. Amuro who was the main character in “Zero's Enforcer” is different –Kyogoku is the complete opposite from Amuro.
---He's pure and just a little bit airheaded –his charm is quite different than Amuro's, huh?
He puts the 'man' in manliness. (laughs). After seeing this movie I feel like the amount of Kyogoku fans will grow a bit. However, I feel like at this point he's no longer human. (laughs). At the climax his aura is incredible –it's almost as if he's a character from another genre completely. I think Kid will personally want to avoid getting involved with him. (laughs).
--Because whenever Sonoko thinks of Kid, she refers to him as “Kid-sama” and her eyes light up, Kyogoku bares his jealousy at Kid and faces him down, right?
K: That's right. It's probably why he wants Sonoko to be quiet a bit (laughs). However, in this movie Kid and Kyogoku have a scene where they fight, but they do a good job of avoiding each others attacks. Maybe Kid's a worthy opponent?
---He would need quite the technique to dodge those attacks, huh?
K: That's right. It's why I think that Kid's actually pretty strong.
“Kid's trust in Conan”.
--This time around Kid and Conan have a scene where they fight on a united front. For the movie “The Lost Ship of the sky” Conan's voice actress Minami Takayama mentioned during recording that “Perhaps Kid and Conan are getting to close –maybe they need to back off a bit”. For this movie, what would you say the distance between Conan and Kid is?
K: I think they've got a good sense of distance. I don't think it's easily defined whether they're really close or far apart...I think they've just got a good sense of mutual trust in each other. I think the foundation for this is the sense of distance maintained between a “phantom thief” and a “detective”. Once I got to see the completed movie, I really thought once again that they have a good sense of distance.
--During the recording did you talk to Ms. Takayama about what she thought of this?
K: In the movie there are a lot of scenes where Conan and Kid are gathering info together. Because of this conversations would come up like “How do we go about explaining this” and so on. Since the characters themselves have so much trust in each other, there are things that go without saying between them. If there are parts of the script where it does feel like Conan and Kid are relying on each other a bit too much, we change the nuance in the lines and the pretext, and if need be discuss changing the wording. She and I would talk about that quite often during recording.
--- Even without relying on Conan, Kid does and thinks his own way.
K: Kid is a pretty sharp guy, so if there comes a time where one would wonder why he wouldn't be able to arrive at the truth on his own, We discuss the nuance of the lines. Conan's specialty is his deductions, so I think that's what Kid relies on and trusts Conan to do.
--There are scenes where Conan and Kid fight on a united front in the series, but this movie is the longest time they've been in each others company.
K: That's right. They're together the whoooole time. It was Kid who brought Conan to Singapore after all. Though he's really cruel bringing him along in a suitcase (laughs.)
--He couldn't have possibly used just the suitcase, (laughs). Though despite things Conan and Kid have a history with each other, and it feels like through their long interactions that their relationship is slowly beginning to change.
K: When Kid first appeared in “Detective Conan” he already occupied the position of being a worthy rival. I think “The lost ship of the sky” more or less confirmed it? I think a bit of Kaito Kuroba that dazzles in the “Detective Conan” series is what has changed a little bit. At the beginning when they first met, Kid said “A phantom thief is an artist who steals dazzling game, while a Detective looks at those traces and overly criticizes them, you know?” Though this time around he says “The magician clenches his fist as if he's hiding something, and it's a Detective's role to guess what's hiding in it before the fist opens, right?” Although it's just one line it shows a whole lot of change. So I think within Kid there is a define amount of trust for Conan.
“Are Kaitou and Shinichi good friends? ….I dunno about that. (laughs)”
--What is Kid like personally? From when we first met him to now, it feels like parts of his visage have changed, right?
K: In this movie, there's not as much talk of Kid in general, really. When Kid and Conan are together, they're in a neutral state so I feel like there's way more contact with the Kaito Kuroba side of himself.
--When Kid first appeared in “Conan” it felt like he had a more enigmatic air about himself.
K: That's right. Lately he doesn't even say “Ladies and Gentleman” anymore. (laughs).
--Ahaha (Laughs). It's true he doesn't say that much anymore.
K: More than before it feels like there's a pronounced showing of the part of him that is Kaito Kuroba. A lot like there was in “The lost ship in the sky”. I feel like it really broke down then...right around the time where he was petting that goat. (laughs).
--On that note, when one looks at Kid, it kind of feels like he and Shinichi might become good friends..
K: Maan....I wonder about that. How would that work? (Laughs) Ultimately I feel like one would pursue and the other would be pursued.
--I see. On that note, in “Detective Conan” you voice Shinichi Kudo and Kaitou Kid to characters who have the same appearance. When you're voice acting what kind of things are you thinking to keep them separate?
K: That's mostly intuitive for me now. It's not really like I do much to distinguish them voice-wise, it's more like “This is the essence of Shinichi Kudo” vs “This is the essence of Kaitou Kid”, and I compartmentalize the little things that way. Because of Kid's appearances I've found that Shinichi isn't actually calm and collected character, but he's actually the hot blooded type. Meanwhile I'd have to say that Kid is those cool and suave parts left over from Shinichi. So when I look at Shinichi as a hotblooded character I think that surprisingly “This works out”.
--It's true that overall Shinichi gives the impression of being is a fairly straightforward guy while Kid is a bit more aloof. I do get that feeling from your performance.
K: And I think that everyone watching picks up on that difference too. When I'm acting for Shinichi I do think of him as having a straightforward gaze as he talks. Meanwhile Kid feels more like he's looking down from above. That's the kind of feeling I go with when I'm voice acting.
“A familiar yet nostalgic new costume for Kid”.
--The other day on the Friday Road Show! The “Last Magician of the Century” was broadcast, and it was a buzz on social media. A lot of fans were talking about “Kid being their first love.”
K: ….Figures back then everyone really loved Kid huh? (Laughs) I was thinking to myself that Kid sure had a lot of fans when he was more pompous.
--It had a lot to do with the mysterious air of pompousness he had. He was to a the childlike mind the hero of a shoujo manga. It was that Kid who captured the hearts of many perhaps.
K: Though jumping from a First grader's veranda and saying “I'm a magician who's grown tired of flying and am resting my wings” is kind of....(laughs). I watched it again and couldn't help chuckling to myself.
--I think Kid is at his coolest when he's like that though. (laughs). This is how he became many young girls' “first love”, and that love stays with them even now. What do you think is the reason for Kid's enduring popularity?
K: It's gotta be the white silk hat, and the tuxedo with the white cape. It's that visage of Kid that's super cool, right? Aoyama-sensei's artwork of Kaito Kuroba from “Magic Kaito” has been the same since it's inception. Kaitou Kid's character design has been set like that for a while now. I think the outfit he created has made him an icon of sorts, through it being a nostalgic design while also feeling new even now. Today when I was watching the movie I was thinking to myself Kid's costume really does shine. I think from even his silhouette that his character exudes charm.
--Kid's existence really captures the eyes. When he appears the whole scene is dazzling.
K: When Japan thinks “famous detectives” Kousuke Kindaichi and Goro Akechi come to mind, but right now if you were to take a man on the street interview and ask people “what do you think a famous detective is” a lot of folk would probably answer “Conan” I think. It does feel like it's become something that huge, but there's an awareness that Kid appearing in “Conan” is a part of it's major success. At the same time if you asked “What do you think a phantom thief is” the amount of folks answering “Kaitou Kid” is on the rise.
“Upon seeing the movie, the most curious thing is...”
--So asking once again, what are the highlights of the movie?
K: There are a whole lot. Since the setting is overseas, the film is overwhelmingly beautiful. All of the finer details are painstakingly drawn and honestly after seeing it I really want to go to Singapore. (laughs). I really think the staff approached drawing this movie with a lot of zeal. Beyond that, there's the story of Kid and Conan spending a lot of time together and fighting a united fight. Though that's one part of the film, another is Kyogoku and Sonoko's story really ting things together. Oh and the villain characters have their charm too, but it's interesting that even with all these different viewpoints the feel of the story itself doesn't change. Actually it's a little surprising how few characters show up in this. I think that is a factor as to why the story is pretty easy to understand. Though the biggest highlight this time around would have to be the action scenes.
--They have a lot of intensity don't they?
K: During the second half I was clenching my sweaty palms. I really enjoyed the heart-stopping action. Especially the ones starring the man who has exceeded humanity itself, Kyogoku (laughs). His mentality was drawn really well too, so take notice of that if you can. One can see his weak side as well, and despite everything you'd think “Oh wow he really is just a high school student, huh” and feel a bit relieved. Though the thing that got me most curious during the preview showing was the ending scene where everyone was returning to Japan...was Conan really in the suitcase that whole time? I'm so curious. (laughs).
--It's true we didn't even get to see Conan in the ending. (Laughs).
K: You asked me about the highlights yet I feel like that's not the answer I should have given. (laughs).

Friday, April 19, 2019

Weekly Shounen Sunday #20 (2019) Editoral section

This week's question is "Tell us something that you've been really proud of lately!"

Fire Rabbit!! (Aya Hirakawa): I made it through the winter without getting sick.
Anonatsu 1959 (Ashibi Fukui): I fell asleep immediately after getting into my futon.
Yuugami-kun ni wa Tomoadachi ga inai (Jun Sakurai): I started muscle training!
Detective Conan: Zero's Tea time (Takahiro Arai): I had something to do in a nearby town and made it home with impeccable timing --right before a downpour.
Komi-san wa Komyusho Desu (Tomohito Oda): My marriage partner is really cute. (This is all lovey-dovey talk though.)
Maojo de Oyasumi (Kagiji Kumanomata): The first tenth volume in my life is about to be released! Go buy it. (Direct pitch.)
Kimi wa 008 (Syun Matsuena): I'm pretty good with blades...Like razors for example. If I don't have a whetstone, then I suppose the underside of a tea bowl works...
Gofun go no Sekai (Hiroshi Fukuda): I got through all of last year without catching a cold!
RYOKO (Kaito Mitsuhashi): I've got a good sense of direction. When I went to a town I'd never been to before I didn't have any major problems.
Tonikaku Cawaii (Kenjiro Hata): I met and got an autograph from Tsukino Mito-san! (TN- A virtual youtuber.)
Maiko-san chi no Makanai-san (Aiko Koyama): I finally swam 25 meters!!
Imoto Rireki (Kei Nishimura): I upgraded my living situation and moved to Osaka!
Amano Megumi ha Suki darake (Nekoguchi): My achievement of drawing 15 volumes of manga. Though the actual work behind it is hhhhhaard. (Lol).
Sokyuu no Ariadne (Nobuhiro Yagi): I was able to eat spicy food.
Be Blues! (Motoyuki Tanaka): I don't have anything to be proud of.
Chrono Magia: Infinity Gear (Hikaru Muno): My daughter and I exploded onto the scene on s*lash mountain. (TN- Most likely "Splash Mountain --a ride in Tokyo Disney Land.)
switch (Atsushi Namikiri): I didn't get depressed when I missed a TV show I really wanted to watch. 
Undine wa kyou mo Koi wo Suru ka? (Shinya Misu): Am I allowed to say it here?'s that tomorrow my very first volume comes out!! (TN- Though it's more like yesterday at this typing..)
Souboutei Kowasubeshi (Kazuhiro Fujita): I remembered to eat Kimchi with Natto in it! That'll clear up my blood circulation for sure.
Aozakura Bouei daigakkou monogatari (Hikaru Nikaido): I haven't done anything to be proud of.
Zettai Karen Children (Takashi Shiina): My cat is adorable.
Hoankan Evans no Uso ~Dead or Love~ (Mizuki Kuriyama): Utamaru-san read the letter I sent in on the radio. (TN- Utamaru is a Japanese rapper.)
Daiku no Hatou (Michiteru Kusaba): One of my former assistants created an anime movie by themselves. 
Tantei Xeno to Nanatsu no Satsujin Misshitsu (Kyouichi Nanatsuki): I've now gone over a year without smoking. 
Youkai Giga (Satsuki Satou): I have obtained a body that will under no circumstances become any thinner.
Tokaichi Hitoribocchi Nouen (Yuuji Yokoyama): I can now use my right hand to eat with chopsticks!!

Oh Oda (not that one). I'm happy to hear you're lucky in love. I almost thought that was a marriage announcement until I read it over again, haha. The authors proud of their manga achievements are endearing too. For those who say they don't have anything particular to talk about, that's fine. Still to be in a magazine like sunday and not have any health issues is a good thing too. Though I feel like Namikiri's is really the most relatable this week even though with streaming I'd imagine not missing shows is easier than ever, hmm...Also Kusaba....who's your assistant? I'm extremely curious! Could it be Shi--

One of the things I'm beginning to really appreciate about RYOKO is the disparity between the outlandishness of the premise and how the characters are handled. Like, I wouldn't go as far as saying that how Ryoko and her friends are portrayed in the manga is realistic --I'd be crazy to do so. However, the characters who have recieved flashbacks have all faced adversity that is palatable in the basis of reality --from Rere losing her sister while being in prison for a crime she was innocent of, to Ryoko's family hanging on to their home and each other as long as they can --prioritizing their bond and the dinner table, to Kogarashi's extended flashback this week --the premise is as out there as it gets but the reactions, the stories, the depiction of life after a disaster feels very human. I realize my spiel loses a little bit of effectiveness in the middle of a rescue arc of all things, but I still see wisps of Mitsuhashi's "humanity" behind the audaciousness of the artwork and story. RYOKO really is a full serving, and I can only hope it's fourth volume in May has an uptick in sales that matches how great the story has been so far. 

The chapter itself is Kogarashi's backstory and thankfully he really wasn't killed off by Rere last week --he is the quintessential blood knight with a tragic backstory so don't go in really expecting anything new per se, but don't write it all off. Due to his mother and her much younger husband getting in an accident that claimed the life of the latter and left the former unable to care for herself, Kogarashi worked two jobs and is berated by the husband's family who in their grief unfairly blame his mom for taking away their beloved relative. Not only that but his mother is fairly ungrateful for his care, and he's burning himself at both ends to provide for her. This leads right up to the point where the foodstuffs attack the train and leave him for dead which we saw several chapters ago --though the lines are slightly different. Where before he was depicted as having a screw loose as he asks Parsley if he can do the killing all over again, this time he wonders why he was saved, and upon seeing Parsley wants to be saved again. Kogarashi is turning out to be a much more complex and nuanced character than his initial appearances let on and I'm really enjoying his development. 

Another interesting point that several characters have mentioned or thought is how Ryoko hasn't lost enough or at least hasn't lost things in a certain way to really understand the reality of her situation. In a way this is true --she has lost her neighborhood, her former way of life and ostensibly her mother but really those things are auxiliary to what Rere and Kogarashi have been through. Though their different approaches --Rere backing Ryoko up and Kogarashi seemingly determined to break her are worlds apart. I'd imagine that Kogarashi just cannot stand to see Ryoko with what he never had --a loving family, and that's why he's determined to unleash the beast within her, but after this chapter I feel like he's almost doing this as a cautionary measure. "You could become like me if you lose everything" or something to that effect. At the end of the chapter the source of his power is revealed --Parsley's aroma, and he injects it into himself directly at the (un) reasonable cost of his humanity. Kogarashi no longer thinks of himself as human anyway so he doesn't care, and it seems we are going to get that showdown between he and Ryoko after all. This arc has had it's twists and turns but we're getting to the heart of things (the title page even advertises this chapter as such). Though between a rotted heart and one that remains steadfast, who will win? 

Rokuro the lynchpin?! It's more likely than you'd think. At least, that's what Fujita wants us to believe. Fair enough since the boy has the power to ward off the thralls of the Souboutei, and thus is the thing standing between our heroes and certain doom. It's still interesting to me how when compared to other Fujita manga (that I have read) how Takoha is still the least super powered protagonist of them all. Even this far into the series he's not recieved any kind of supernatural powerup to keep him in line with the others, and isn't particularly smart or courageous --his power really is that he's a nice guy and there's a certain amount of satisfaction to that. You don't have to be super powered to make a difference. --Ah, Saike said that too didn't it? It's a lesson worth repeating! Though it might be because Takoha doesn't have super powers that he's able to notice something is off about the enemy's attack formation. They know he's able to control the thralls if they get near him, yet they come at the group in droves. If they can't get to him close up then....

A shot from a distance will do. Rokuro being shot is sad enough but now their one advantage is gone, and the group really might be at their wits end. 

One more chapter till 100 and maid Pheebs is how Evans says farewell to the double digits. I approve, Kuriyama! It's great how Pheebs seems to have all of these friends that do different things --she's simply watching over a restaurant that's maid themed for a buddy and despite her refusal to wear the uniform, she happens to try it on when Evans shows up and you know what that means. Though it's not even as if Evans minds really, in fact he's rather enthusiastic about it --not that we'd know since rather than say something normal like "You look nice" or "That dress looks good on you", he says "I'm looking for a bad guy, help me find him (while wearing that.)". Guys, really, really?

Though no I don't mean to sound exasperated. It really is hilarious how things snowball this week, and Pheebs really is cute in that outfit. Not that she's worried about this --see, I think one of the (many) things that makes Evans so hilarious as a series is the amount of misplaced priorities everyone has. Pheebs steps in to help Evans but when a gun is pulled on her, rather than being worried about y'know, being shot she's more concerned with being caught in her dress in public. Though things get really dicy when she realizes the culprit stole her gun from the dressing room. Evans lends her a hand and they bust the guy before he can use her gun for criminal means, but again Evans just can't be straight --he buys Pheebs the dress mentioning that she moves pretty well in it considering everything, and she just complains it's an annoyance (while secretly being overjoyed). Next week, a color page and Evans reaches it's 100th chapter! 

Ayla isn't the cold hearted killer she thought she was, and that's actually a little disappointing? I'll get to that in a moment, but first the good: her time with Xeno has made her a more confident person and I like how that's depicted in this chapter. Although she's his assistant I do think they bring a sense of equilibrium to each other, and more than that --I honestly think they've gotten to the point where they're essential to one another. The case itself goes by pretty quickly --and one could say that Xeno is still in fine form even without Ayla backing him up, but there's something much more appealing to the two working together --he the logic and she the emotional core (helps she's also got awesome reflexes and is great to have on your side during a fight!) Kuze wants to find the culprit to this act right away, but Xeno thinks that there isn't one --in fact Kuze might be only acting like there was one to strengthen the power of the organization. What if in fact the boss was being violent toward his wife and in self defense she shot him dead? It'd make the organization look bad if that were the case, but if he were murdered by someone else like a rival or enemy then...

Kuze has had enough of the show and tries to kill Xeno, but Ayla protects him. It's then that he declares she's no longer his daughter and way back during her "exam" she wasn't the one who made her first kill, but it was him with a sniper rifle from behind, so ultimately Ayla has only taken one life --the one she did in the last case to protect Xeno. Admittedly I'm not fond of this angle because it really takes a lot of the bite out of her character development and reeks of taking an easy way out due to the series probably ending soon. Intellectually I understand, but I still would have preferred the path where Ayla works through her past and becomes stronger from it rather than taking a "you didn't really do that, so it's fine" card. The revelation is also supposed to endear us to Kuze (as much as one can be endeared to an assassin) but it falls off the mark there too because we really don't know much about him as a person. It's not a complete loss though as now I can really believe that he is her father due to him going through such lengths to tell her she's no good at an assassin and is better off with Xeno. 

The sixth murder room is out at sea! Kuze reveals that he knows where it is as a parting gift, and I'm actually surprised that we're still going at this. I would have thought by now that they'd find a way to throw six and seven together....Maybe Nanatsuki really did intend for the series to run it's course in this time and the series not doing so hot in sales and the TOC haven't actually impacted anything. Either way next week Xeno's heading out to dangerous waters, and I admit I'd really like to know what Kai has to do with boats. 

This week's Youkai giga features the Kuneyusuri, a youkai that is said to be the cause of fence rattling noises. The chapter itself is about two women who work tending a garden and wonder if their hard work is being noticed by the owners of the house. A Kuneyusuri comes out after they complete the fence work and you'd think at least it would appreciate their hard work but instead it sorta runs around the fence a bit and then runs away until one of the ladies catches it. She tries to convince it to cling to the fence and do it's thing but instead it hangs onto her leg and adorably won't let go....but as the other lady points out, it seems to be having a way great time there rather than where it should be...

And that's it for issue #20's editorial post! Fukuchi starts a new series in the very next issue, and yes through my infinite bias i will be covering it here. Though in fairness I think new series will all get the three week preview here before being features on the twitter. It's just a lot more likely anything Fukuchi does will stay here.  I hope you're looking forward to the new stuff as much as I am! Until next issue, take care.