As the current One Piece manga editor, this series has been ruling my life during the last few months. I'm sure you've heard already that VIZ Media is releasing a megaton of One Piece manga during the first six months of 2010. We’re going all the way up to volume 54 by July and we’ll be very close to where the anime is, especially if you are reading the series in SHONEN JUMP magazine. So be sure to check out your local bookstore and get your pirate fix!
I’m actually not that familiar with the anime version of the series, so I’d love to hear comments from the fans that follow both versions. I’ve watched the first 30~40 episodes, but that was way back in 2003 or so. I do remember that I loved the intro/outro songs. From what I see online, the anime is done very well. I don’t catch many people complaining about the filler episodes, and it just seems to me that the anime team at Toei does a great job keeping the anime as amazing as the original manga version.
One recent promotion that really got me hyped was a chapter that ran in the last Japanese Weekly Shonen Jump issue of 2009. The chapter was called “Chapter 0: Strong World” and set up all the back-story for the latest One Piece movie which is also called Strong World. The movie hit Japan over the holidays (if you’re in Japan, check it out and tell me what it’s like!). It’s so cool that the One Piece franchise can intertwine the manga and animated versions in this way and it made me really want to see the movie!
Usually theatrical versions of popular anime shows have nothing to do with the main story… but this new Strong World movie has roots in the manga story and looks like it could be an awesome experience. Hopefully we see in it the US soon!
-- Alexis Kirsch (Editor of the One Piece manga)
You know about the SHONEN JUMP Card Tournament that's going on this spring and summer (and if you don't check out the official site) -- you know, the tourney that offers some free prizes, even if you aren't competing. But how do you earn those prizes, you ask? Simple. Get the three new Naruto Shippuden CCG trading cards now available (not that you'd need extra incentive to get three cool new cards, but nothing wrong with something extra on top). All the official details, including links to the rules, are below. Have fun!
To discuss this and other Naruto games, visit the naruto.com forum.
Official Press Release:
VIZ MEDIA ANNOUNCES A TRIO OF NEW TRADING CARDS FOR THE OFFICIAL NARUTO SHIPPUDEN COLLECTIBLE CARD GAME FROM BANDAI
VIZ Media delights fans with the announcement of the forthcoming release of three exclusive new NARUTO trading cards for Bandai America’s official NARUTO SHIPPUDEN Collectible Card Game (CCG).
In April, the first card featuring the series’ main character, Naruto Uzumaki, will be included in Bandai's Series 17 Hobby Booster Boxes. Another exclusive card featuring Sakura Haruno will be bundled as a special bonus in Volume 48 of the NARUTO manga series (rated ‘T’ for Teens), set to be published in June. A third card will feature Kakashi Hatake and will be included in the August issue of SHONEN JUMP magazine, the best selling monthly manga anthology in North America. The issue hits retailers on July 6th, 2010. These cards will only be available as exclusives for these products.
Fans that collect all three NARUTO cards are eligible to receive a special fourth card at one of Bandai's numerous SHONEN JUMP Championship Tournament locations. This fun tournament allow players to test their skills against other opponents to win special prizes, and culminates in the National Championships to be held at the Gen Con Indy taking place in Indiana on August 7th and 8th.
In addition, attendees at selected Tournaments will have a chance to win the special fourth card with the autograph of Masashi Kishimoto, author of NARUTO.
NARUTO SHIPPUDEN CCG, Bandai America's top selling collectible card game, is a game of strategy where players construct card decks of Ninja that use their powerful Jutsu to complete missions and protect their villages. The NARUTO SHIPPUDEN CCG currently has hundreds of tournaments held each week at local hobby retailers throughout the United States. For the most up to date information on the NARUTO SHIPPUDEN CCG and to see the official rules, Naruto CCG SHONEN JUMP Championship Tournaments or Bandai America Inc., please visit: naruto.viz.com/sjtourney. Or www.bandaicg.com/shonenjump. For more information on NARUTO and NARUTO SHIPPUDEN please visit www.NARUTO.com.
Nothing like a little friendly competition between teammates, right? Well, not exactly -- in this week's fresh episodes of The Prince of Tennis, Ryoma and Fuji, surely the two coolest cats on the team, take each other on, and the competitive fire hits a blistering pace! Best line from episode 39 comes courtesy of Fuji (check out around the 6:58 mark to see it in context): "I enjoy watching other people suffer even more!" Who knew that behind that kind smile lurked such a mean streak? (heh heh) And what exactly is the "brown bear"? No, a wild animal isn't running amok on the court, but one of Fuji's signature shots will! Yep, intrasquad matches are definitely more than just fun and games...
Catch the rest of the Prince of Tennis series in the Prince of Tennis section!
Episode 39: The Brown Bear
Inter-team practices are held before the Metropolitan Matches, and Ryoma and Fuji face off, each bringing out his most formidable moves to topple.
Episode 40: A Duel in the Rain
Ryoma and Fuji’s match continues on with ferocity and the rest of the inter-team match up starts! Tezuka counters Momoshiro’s smashes easily. Kaido’s snake threatens to overpower Kawamura, and Oishi tests Kikumaru's stamina.
We have a break in our usual Naruto Shippuden episode schedule this week (don't worry, next week we have a double-episode spectacular), but in the meantime, why not catch up with the new Naruto Shippuden Vol. 8 DVD? First, the "rescue Gaara" saga comes to a stirring, bittersweet conclusion, and then Naruto gets to meet up with some old Leaf Village buddies (including a shy, blushing Hinata, natch). And then, as you might guess from the DVD cover, we get to meet the newest member of Naruto's team, a certain reserved ninja who has a way with ink and making brutally cutting statements... Get a copy for a discount at the VIZ store, and while you're there check out the other Naruto DVDs, manga and games. And sound off about the series in our naruto.com discussion forum.
DVD Volume Synopsis:
Supported by Naruto's powerful chakra, Granny Chiyo performs the Reanimation Ninjutsu to revive Gaara, but the cost is high. Back in the Leaf Village, Kakashi must spend time in the hospital to recover from his use of the Mangekyo Sharingan. With two open spots on Team Kakashi, Naruto is prepared to recruit some of his friends from the village. But unbeknownst to him, the replacements are being chosen by the village elders, and at least one of them he's really going to hate!
Features: Episodes 31-34
When is a win a loss? Hikaru is about to find out this week in the latest nailbiting episodes of Hikaru no Go, as a showdown with his undefeated buddy Isumi in the Pro Exams takes an unexpected turn. Even though Hikaru is the hero of the story, you have to feel a bit for Isumi -- it can't help when a cocky young kid like Ochi tells you during a break in the action that your opponent has been judged to be the best young talent in the game... But lest you think it's all seriousness this week, we get the delightful sight of Sai leading a workout routine! I'm sure it takes a lot of Japanese viewers back to pre-class exercises in grade school... Check out the latest episodes at the Hikaru no Go section.
Episode 39: An Ill-Fated Moment
Ready to take on an undefeated Isumi, Hikaru knows he’s in for a tough match. But as the match progresses, it starts to look like Isumi’s the one who’s on the ropes. Can he beat Hikaru or will the pressure finally get to Isumi?
Episode 40: Where Are the Victories?
With the pressure mounting, Isumi makes a wrong move forcing him to resign and forfeit the match. As a result of how the match ended, both Isumi and Hikaru’s game head downhill as they both run right into a losing streak.
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