The chupacabra, a goat sucking cryptoid said to inhabit the Americas. CHU-BURA, a Japanese rock song from the band KELUN. Thanks to Manga Entertainment, there is proof that one of these now exists within the UK – and best yet, it poses no known risks to goat-kind. Yes, series nine of Bleach is here and it brings with it a single opening theme, and it would become Kelun’s most popular track to date.
Back in 2006 the band was known by a very different name. UTARI. The line-up was almost identical to today, with Ryousuke Kojima supplying the vocals, guitar and piano work, Satou Shuusake dropping bass-lines and Masahiro Kajitani keeping everything together on drums. Under that name the trio released a debut EP and were soon rocking up the Oricon indie chart.
By the following year the band made the transition to a major label, signing with Sony Music Entertainment. They emerged with a new name, continuing their activities, this time under the banner of KELUN. Within months their first major CD hit the shelves, entitled Astral Lamp. It featured six tracks, two of which became theme songs. First, opening track ‘SIGNAL’ was used as the sixth ending to the anime series Gintama. Then, album track ‘HEART BEAT’ as the opening theme to the live action vamp-boy drama RH Plus.
The CD peaked at 78 in the charts, and was followed up with their debut single ‘SIXTEEN GIRL’ – which may or may not be an Engrish prophecy as to how many people would buy it. Either way, it failed to enter the top 100 despite heavy tie-ins with various television shows.
Thankfully KELUN were third time lucky with their follow up single. It was CHU-BURA, and for Bleach fans, the CD came with two songs from their favourite franchise; the title track, from series nine, and the grammar defying B-side ‘Boy’s Don’t Cry’, which featured as the opening to the PSP action RPG Bleach: Soul Carnival. The single rocketed the band into the charts, landing them a respectable position at 20 in its opening week on sale – still KELUN’s highest ever ranking. Unfortunately, bassist Satou left the band just before the single hit, being quickly replaced by new boy Yukito, completing the group’s current line-up.
CHU-BURA’s success couldn’t have been better timed. Two months after its release KELUN dropped their first full length album, fresh off the success of the track. The whopping 17-track self-titled beast of an album included the single, plus alternative versions of ‘SIXTEEN GIRL’ and ‘SIGNAL’ from their first major EP. It seemed like they were set, they’d finally made it. And then the sales figures came in; KELUN (the album) got as high as 140 in the chart. From there, besides one collaboration single in 2009, the band disappeared from the limelight without a trace (their homepage has also been deleted). A shame, but at the least the legacy that is CHU-BURA lives on in Bleach.
Every ten years, seven magicians compete with them for a secret war in order to possess the Holy Grail. After this battle, the magician winner will have the right to see a heightened desire. Emiya Shiro is an ordinary high school boy except that he is the adopted child of a very powerful magician died. Emiya does not have the talent of his father but to cultivate a very specific, it can repair items. But the day he finds himself facing a battle between two wizards, it will awaken the power that lies dormant in him as a young woman's beauty as devastating as its power: Saber. The order of seven magicians is now met, the war begins.
Andrew Osmond has the technology… to watch Mardock Scramble
In Mardock Scramble: The First Compression, the young heroine is burned to a crisp, then remade Frankenstein-style. Fifteen year-old Balot is blown up in a car by her sugar-daddy Shell, a serial-killer. Then a seedy scientist rescues Balot’s charred body, plops it into an underground vat and refashions her as a super-avenger.
In the West, we’re still inclined to think of anime as coming out of manga, as naturally as eggs from chickens – one line into a Mardock Scramble piece and we’re already talking about eggs again). In Mardock’s case, both the manga and anime are alternative versions of a novel by Tow Ubukata, published as a trilogy in Japan and collected into one volume by the publisher Haikasoru. It’s comparable to what happened with Battle Royale, a novel which spawned a live-action film and an even more lurid manga.
Andrew Osmond on the controversy of Miyazaki's last feature
As Miyazaki’s film itself makes clear, Horikoshi was a cog in Japan’s military machine at the time of the country’s most aggressive expansion. This was when Japan was moving into China, proclaiming what it called the “Greater East Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere,” which really meant Japanese imperialist supremacy in East Asia.
Some of you may have heard that the US release of the hotly anticipated Evangelion 3.33: You Can (Not) Redo has been delayed. Unfortunately we can now confirm that this has had a knock-on effect for the UK DVD and Blu-ray release and as a result we have been forced to amend the release date. We are very sorry for this but it is beyond our control.
Andrew Osmond finds Emperor Hirohito in Japanese animation
The Sara storyline in Fam the Silver Wing seems to echo a view – many would say a myth – of Hirohito, encouraged not just by the Japanese but also by the victorious Americans when they rebuilt the country. Namely, it was the story that Hirohito was a helpless figurehead, at the mercy of his warmongering government.
What's been added to the Black Flag spin-off comic?
You can never go wrong with pirates. There’s the romance of the open sea, and the rebellion of taking what you want, and the adventure of looking for buried treasure. And in the Japanese magazine Monthly JumpX, there is the massive marketing synergy of being able to put Assassin’s Creed IV on the cover.
The literary history of the Arabian Nights that underlies Magi is fascinating. The one point that any Magi fan should know to sound erudite is that three of the show’s main characters, Aladdin, Alibaba and Sinbad, are named after famous Arabian Nights heroes. However, none of these heroes were actually in the original collection.
The start of an action anime series is often a bewildering experience, dropping the viewer into a whirlwind of unfamiliar folk having very big fights. K’s like that, but luckily the main character starts the show as baffled as us. Yashiro Isana is a bit different from the standard schoolboy hero