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Kekkaishi DVD Set 1 (a J!-Ent Anime DVD Review)

September 7, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

“Kekkaishi Set 1″ is the first DVD collection from a fun, supernatural action series for all ages.”

Image courtesy of © Yellow Tanabe/Shogakukan, Yomiuri TV, Sunrise, VIZ, All Rights Reserved.

DVD TITLE: Kekkaishi Set 1

DURATION: 325 Minutes

DVD INFORMATION: 16:9 WIDESCREEN, JAPANESE & ENGLISH STEREO

COMPANY: VIZ

RATED: 13+

Release Date: June 21, 2011

Original Manga by Yellow Tanabe

Directed by Kenji Kodama

Music by Taku Iwasaki

Art Direction Shigemi Ikeda

Character Design by Hirotoshi Takaya

Produced by Koji Nagai/Naohiro Ogata

 

Featuring the following voice talent:

Hiroyuki Yoshino/Vic Mignogna as Yoshimori Sumimura

Rie Saito/Laura Bailey as Tokine Yukimura

Takeharu Oonishi/Troy Baker as Madarao

Masanori Ishii/Wally Wingert as Hakubi

Yohei Tadano/David Lodge as Shigemori Sumimura

Mayumi Tanaka/Barbara Goodson as Tokiko Yukimura

Saya Kazuki/Colleen O’Shaughnessey as Yurina Kanda

Houko Kuwashima/Colleen O’Shaughnessey as Yomi Kasuga

Kouichi Touchika/Tom Fahn as Patissier

Masako Nozawa/Mona Marshall as Mother-san

Atsushi Miyauchi/Patrick Seitz as Masamori Sumimura

Yoshimori Sumimura is a 14-year-old student at Karasumori School. Following a tradition come down through generations, he is the 22nd Kekkaishi of the Sumimura clan. But he’s also constantly fighting with his rival, Tokine Yukimura – a Kekkaishi herself and his childhood friend – about who is the rightful heir to the magical barrier arts. Protecting people from danger and growing stronger, Yoshimori will battle the forces of evil and protect the school grounds again tonight!

“Kekkaishi” follows the adventures of Yoshimori Sumimura and Tokine Yukimura, two young Kekkaishi who are normal junior high and high school students by day, and guardians against the supernatural by night. Their families have been Kekkaishi for generations and they are the latest in both families.  Kekkaishi have magical powers to form barriers (kekkai) around ghosts and demons (ayakashi) and can trap them and vanquish them if needed.

Their school happens to be in Karasumori, where various supernatural beings show up at night so it is their duty to keep the area safe. Because of this, Yoshimori can be found asleep in class most of the time. The Sumimuras and Yukimuras are somewhat rival clans, but Yoshimori and Tokine grew up together both as friends and rivals. Tokine is the older of the two and much more skilled and serious. Yoshimori is quicker to act than think which usually gets him in trouble. He is less technical, buy possesses the power and potential to become stronger. They share a brother/sister type of relationship, but Yoshimori’s feelings for Tokine may be stronger than she may realize…

 

“Kekkaishi Set 1″ focuses on the following main characters:

Yoshimori Sumimura – Yoshimori is a young Kekkaishi and the main character of the series. He is currently a junior high school student at Karasumori Academy. He is slightly clumsy and in general likes to act before he thinks. Tokine is his childhood friend and fellow Kekkaishi. They both go to school and live normal lives during the day and then protect Karasumori at night from any ghosts or ayakashi, resulting in him to sleep in class all the time. When they were younger, he was saved by Tokine when they were fighting an ayakashi resulting in her getting hurt. Since then, he swore that he would protect Tokine no matter what and to make sure no one got hurt in Karasumori again. His hobby is making sweets and his dream is to one day make the perfect candy castle for Tokine.

Tokine Yukimura – Tokine is another Kekkaishi and childhood friend of Yoshimori. She is slightly older than Yoshimori and the more serious of the two. She somewhat sees Yoshimori as a younger brother as well as a pest, asking him to keep his distance from her while they’re at school. When she was younger, she lost her father and at times, that still affects her. Just like Yoshimori, she spends her days attending Karasumori Academy and spends her nights as a Kekkaishi guarding Karasumori from evil. Despite feeling like Yoshimori is a pest at times, she still cares for him and sees his potential to become stronger and hopes that he sees it himself one day.

Madarao – Madarao is the ayakashi dog companion that serves Yoshimori.

Hakubi – Hakubi is the ayakashi dog companion that serves Tokine.

Shigemori Sumimura – Shigemori is Yoshimori’s grandfather and the head of the Sumimura household. He is quite loud and obnoxious, but takes his job as a Kekkaishi seriously.

Tokiko Yukimura – Tokiko is the head of the Yukimura household and Tokine’s grandmother. She is a colleague of Shigemori, however she seems to have some scorn towards the Sumimura family because of things that happened in the past.

Yurina Kanda – Yurina for the most part is just a normal girl that is in Yoshimori’s class; what makes her different is the fact that she can see ghosts. She relies on Yoshimori whenever she sees ghosts since she can’t do anything herself and she’s not able to tell the difference between a human and a ghost.

Yomi Kasuga – Yomi is a demon tamer from The Shadow Organization that is taken into the Yukimura household for a short while. She seems to have worked with Tokine’s father in the past and seems to be hiding something…

Patissier – The Patissier is a friendly ghost that had no idea that he was dead until Yoshimori befriends him.

Yumeko Hananokouji/Mother-san – Mother-san is a kind woman that acts as a counselor to spirits that haven’t passed on yet. Yoshimori always refers ghosts to her to get advice.

Masamori Sumimura – Masamori is Yoshimori’s older brother who is affiliated with the Shadow Organization.

“Kekkaishi Set One” features a total of 13 episodes on three DVDs. Here is a spoiler-less summary of each episode:

DISC 1:

  • Episode 1- Scars – Yoshimori gets a harsh wake-up call concerning his duties at a young age.
  • Episode 2- Yoshimori & Tokine – Yoshimori and Tokine have to balance being students by day and Kekkaishi by night.
  • Episode 3- The Beautiful Demon Tamer – The Yukimura house gets a visitor named Yomi, but she seems to have some secret.
  • Episode 4- Her Treasure – Yomi may lose the one thing she treasures because of decisions she made.

DISC 2:

  • Episode 5- The Sweet Ghost – Yoshimori runs into a friendly Patissier ghost who has no idea he died.
  • Episode 6- Night Blooms of Karasumori – Yoshimori’s classmates try to sneak into the Karasumori Academy grounds at night, not knowing the dangers.
  • Episode 7- The Best Cake in the World – Yoshimori tries to help the Patissier to move onto the next world.
  • Episode 8- A Day in the Life of Yoshimori – Yoshimori tries to become a better Kekkaishi.

DISC 3:

  • Episode 9- A Dangerous Teacher – A dangerous teacher lurks in Karasumori Academy.
  • Episode 10- Shikigami Chocolate Battle – Yoshimori uses shikigami to try to get the legendary chocolate cake…
  • Episode 11- Koya & Madarao – Something from Madarao’s past comes back to visit.
  • Episode 12- Sealing the Demon Dog – Madarao and Koya settle things.
  • Episode 13- Masamori Sumimura Chief of the Night Troops – Masamori, Yoshimori’s older brother, appears.

VIDEO & AUDIO

“Kekkaishi Set 1″ is presented in 16:9 and audio options include both Japanese and English.  “Kekkaishi” is still a fairly new anime so all the animation looks great. There’s a bit of CG included with all of the kekkai being used in the series. The animation looks like what you would expect to see in a recent anime and it looks nice, but I don’t think anything makes it stand out from other recent anime.

The Japanese and English voice acting is both great and both casts are full of notable voice actors. The Japanese cast includes Hiroyuki Yoshino, Rie Kugimiya, Mayumi Tanaka, and Masako Nozawa. The English cast includes Vic Mignogna, Laura Bailey, Troy Baker, Barbara Goodson, and Colleen O’Shaughnessey.  Jpop fans will probably enjoy the ending theme that is sung by Koshi Inaba from B’z as well.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

Special features included in this DVD set are: Production Art, Episode 11 & 12 Storyboard Art, Clean Opening, Clean Ending, Japanese Cast Credits, Kekkaishi Trailer and other VIZ trailers.

“Kekkaishi” is a fun action-packed series dealing with the supernatural. The anime is a total of 52 episodes and this set contains the first 13 episodes of the series.

The target audience would be teenage boys or guys in general, but I think that this series is one that a broad audience can enjoy. The rating is 13+, but I think younger kids could enjoy this too. There is some blood and violence, but nothing too extreme so far. The humor as well as the relationship between Yoshimori and Tokine could appeal to a female audience as well.

Like many other action series to come from Shonen manga, they do well with mixing action and humor together.  I think so far the strongest element in this series for me is the comedy aspect of the series.  The interaction between Yoshimori and Tokine is fun to watch but so far my favorite characters in the series are actually their companion ayakashi, Madarao and Hakubi.  The comments that come out of their mouths are some of the best that I’ve seen so far.

Kekkaishi is a fun series, but at this point in the show, I don’t see anything particularly unique to set it apart from other shonen action/comedy series. That’s not exactly a bad thing; people who enjoy Shonen Jump and Shonen Sunday series will probably enjoy this as well. I definitely did. I think people who enjoy “Inuyasha” and or “Bleach” will particularly enjoy this show.

I do enjoy the series so far, but because I have seen so many Shonen Jump and Shonen Sunday series, I would like to see a little more development as the series goes along. I am aware that it’s still very early in the series so there’s plenty of opportunity for more plot development and so far the series is interesting enough to keep the audience wanting to know what happens next. Another minor con I found in this series is a bit more personal: I’m not the biggest fan of the character designs. The character designs aren’t the worst I’ve seen, it’s just not my favorite.

Supernatural, funny, and full of action: “Kekkaishi” is bound to entertain a huge audience. If you enjoy shows like “Inuyasha” or “Bleach”, anything supernatural or other Shonen series, definitely check this series out.


VIZ Media: Get Ready for Summer Reading Fun w/ All New 3-in-1 Manga Editions!

April 21, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

New Omnibus Releases Announced For BLEACH, FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST, KEKKAISHI And NARUTO


San Francisco, CA, April 21, 2011 – VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), one of the entertainment industry’s most innovative and comprehensive publishing, animation and licensing companies, kicks off the summer reading season with the release of new 3-in-1 omnibus editions for several best-loved manga (graphic novels) series. NARUTO and KEKKAISHI both launch on May 3rd, and BLEACH and FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST go on sale June 7th. Each of the new omnibus releases bundles 3 complete manga volumes into a handy summertime reading companion.

NARUTO 3-in-1 Edition Vol. 1 • Rated ‘T’ for Teens •
MSRP: $14.99 U.S. / $16.99 CAN • Available May 3rd
Naruto is a young shinobi with an incorrigible knack for mischief. He’s got a wild sense of humor, but Naruto is completely serious about his mission to be the world’s greatest ninja! It’s training day and no one takes Naruto seriously at Ninja Academy. Especially not the other students, who all are competing to be the best ninja ever and some day lead Konoha, the Village Hidden in the Leaves. Naruto and his classmates are about to embark on an adventure that takes them far beyond Ninja Academy, beyond Konoha, beyond anything they ever imagined. What is Naruto’s true destiny? The epic story that has sold millions worldwide begins now! For more information, please visit the official NARUTO website at www.Naruto.com.

KEKKAISHI 3-in-1 Edition Vol. 1 • Rated ‘T’ for Teens •
MSRP: $14.99 U.S. / $16.99 CAN • Available May 3rd
By night, teenager Yoshimori Sumimura is a “kekkaishi”–a demon-hunter who specializes in creating magical barriers around his prey. By day, Yoshimori’s got other demons to battle: an addiction to sweets and a seriously crotchety grandfather! Yoshimori’s pretty neighbor and childhood friend, Tokine Yukimura, is also a kekkaishi, but their families are feuding over who is the true practitioner of the art. Now the two rival kekkaishi must do battle with amphibious demons, the ghost of a pastry chef, charming demon-charmer Yomi and her pet demon Yoki, embittered demon-dog Koya – and more! More information on KEKKAISHI is available at: www.viz.com/kekkaishi.

BLEACH 3-in-1 Edition Vol. 1 • Rated ‘T’ for Teens •
MSRP: $14.99 U.S. / $16.99 CAN • Available June 7th
Ichigo Kurosaki has always been able to see ghosts, but this ability doesn’t change his life nearly as much as his close encounter with Rukia Kuchiki, a Soul Reaper and member of the mysterious Soul Society. While fighting a Hollow, an evil spirit that preys on humans who display psychic energy, Rukia attempts to lend Ichigo some of her powers so that he can save his family; but much to her surprise, Ichigo absorbs every last drop of her energy. Now a full-fledged Soul Reaper himself, Ichigo quickly learns that the world he inhabits is one full of dangerous spirits, and along with Rukia – who is slowly regaining her powers – it’s Ichigo’s job to protect the innocent from Hollows and help the spirits themselves find peace. The paranormal action-adventure begins now! More information on BLEACH is available at Bleach.viz.com.

FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST 3-in-1 Edition Vol. 1 • Rated ‘T’ for Teens •
MSRP: $14.99 U.S. / $16.99 CAN • Available June 7th
Alchemy: the mystical power to alter the natural world, somewhere between magic, art and science. When two brothers, Edward and Alphonse Elric, dabbled in these powers to grant their dearest wish, one of them lost an arm and a leg…and the other became nothing but a soul locked into a body of living iron. Now they are agents of the government, slaves of the military-alchemical complex, using their unique powers to obey their orders…even to kill. But their powers aren’t unique. The world crawls with evil alchemists. And in pursuit of the ultimate alchemical treasure, the Philosopher’s Stone, their enemies are even more ruthless than they are! More information on FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST is available at: www.viz.com/fullmetal-alchemist.

First Half of April VIZ Manga App Updates, Incl. ABSOLUTE BOYFRIEND, KEKKAISHI and More!

April 5, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

VIZ Media continues the expansion of its digital manga manga (graphic novel) library available exclusively for the VIZ MANGA APP for the Apple® iPad™ mobile device with several new series that will premiere during the first half of April.

The latest update features the launch of the shojo series ABSOLUTE BOYFRIEND and the fantasy-action of KEKKAISHI on April 4th. Another popular shojo manga series, BLACK BIRD, and the supernatural adventure BLUE EXORCIST will premiere on April 11th. The VIZ MANGA APP is available for free through the iTunes Store and all manga volumes are generally available for purchase and download in the U.S. and Canada within the application for $4.99 (U.S. / CAN) per volume. More than 100 manga volumes are now available for download.


ABSOLUTE BOYFRIEND (rated ‘T+’ for Older Teens) is the romantic shojo drama created by Yuu Watase (ARATA: THE LEGEND, FUSHIGI YUGI, CERES: CELESTIAL LEGEND). Rejected way too many times by good-looking (and unattainable) guys, shy Riiko Izawa goes online to sign up for a free trial of a mysterious Nightly Lover “figure.” The very next day a cute naked guy is delivered to her door, and he wants to be her boyfriend! Has Riiko died and gone to heaven? The cute guy turns out to be sweet, smart, a great cook, and lots more. And he looks like a million bucks, which is what he’s going to cost Riiko if she doesn’t return him in time…


KEKKAISHI (rated ‘T’ for Teens) is an action series created by Yellow Tanabe. By night, junior high student Yoshimori Sumimura is a “kekkaishi” – a demon-hunter who specializes in creating magical barriers around his prey. By day, Yoshimori’s got some other demons to battle: an addiction to sweets and a seriously crotchety grandfather! Yoshimori’s pretty 16-year-old neighbor and childhood friend, Tokine Yukimura, is also a kekkaishi, but their families are feuding over who is the “true practitioner” of the art. In the opening volume, Yoshimori couldn’t care less about catching demons… until he realizes that his apathetic attitude is taking a toll on his friendship with Tokine. Just as he decides to take matters into his own hands, a couple of amphibious demons and the pesky ghost of a pastry-chef show up to complicate matters!

BLACK BIRD (rated ‘T+’ for Older Teens) is the award-winning shojo manga series by Kanoko Sakurakoji. There is a world of myth and magic that intersects ours, and only a special few can see it. Misao Harada is one such person, and she wants nothing to do with magical realms. She just wants to have a normal high school life and maybe get a boyfriend. But she is the bride of demon prophecy, and her blood grants incredible powers, her flesh immortality. Now the demon realm is fighting over the right to her hand…or her life!

BLUE EXORCIST (Rated ‘T+’ for Older Teens) was created by Kazue Kato and introduces Rin Okumura, a boy who is the son of a famous exorcist but never knew his real father. One day a fateful argument with Father Fujimoto, the priest who raised Rin, forces the boy to face a terrible truth – the blood of the demon lord Satan runs in Rin’s veins! Rin swears to defeat Satan, but doing that means entering the mysterious True Cross Academy and becoming an exorcist himself. Can Rin fight the demons and keep his infernal bloodline a secret? It won’t be easy, especially when drawing his father’s sword releases the demonic power within him!

April updates also include new additions to 12 other popular VIZ Media series currently available. Readers should check the app regularly, as new additions and free Chapter 1 previews of forthcoming manga series for the iPad are also featured.

Twenty-four series will be available on the VIZ Manga App; additional new manga volumes available the weeks of April 4th and April 11th include:

April 4th:
DEATH NOTE Vol. 10
DRAGON BALL Z Vol. 3
NARUTO Vol. 20
ONE PIECE Vol. 20
OTOMEN Vol. 5
OURON HIGH SCHOOL HOST CLUB Vol. 5
ROSARIO + VAMPIRE Vol. 3
RUROUNI KENSHIN Vol. 10

April 11th:
BLEACH Vol. 12
CAPTIVE HEARTS Vol. 4
CLAYMORE Vol. 7
D. GRAY MAN Vol. 8
DRAGON BALL Z Vols 4
NARUTO Vol. 21
ONE PIECE Vol. 21

For more information on the VIZ MANGA APP, please visit www.VIZ.com/apps/ <http://www.viz.com/apps/> .

Free KEKKAISHI Episode to Download, from VIZ Media

June 2, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

The news keeps coming! Episode 1 of the new Shonen Sunday anime series, KEKKAISHI, is available for FREE download for a limited time!

The special promotion to celebrate the domestic launch of KEKKAISHI on Adult Swim is available through our Download-to-Own (DTO) partners iTunes, Xbox Live’s Zune Marketplace, PlayStation®Network and Amazon Video on Demand through June 17th!

Based on the hit manga series, the fun-filled supernatural action adventure stars junior high school student Yoshimori, a “kekkaishi” (or barrier master) by night, guarding the Karasumori region and exterminating the supernatural creatures that are drawn to the area night after night… But by day, he has other demons to contend with, like an obsession with cake making and a seriously crotchety grandfather!

VIA Media’s KEKKAISHI to air on Adult Swim beginning on May 29th

March 31, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

What’s new on television?
The fun-filled supernatural action adventure KEKKAISHI!
 
VIZ Media has licensed 52 episodes of the popular Shonen Sunday KEKKAISHI anime series to Adult Swim for domestic broadcast. KEKKAISHI will begin airing on May 29th.

KEKKAISHI is based on the hit manga series by Yellow Tanabe (published in North America by VIZ Media).
A story of mystical forces powerful in the region known as Karasumori. For over 400 years, it has been the duty of a clan of “kekkaishi”—barrier masters—to guard this land and exterminate the supernatural creatures that are drawn to it night after night.

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