Anime and manga portal
Anime (アニメ) refers to the animation style originating in Japan. It is characterized by distinctive characters and backgrounds (hand-drawn or computer-generated) that visually and thematically set it apart from other forms of animation. Storylines may include a variety of fictional or historical characters, events, and settings. Anime is aimed at a broad range of audiences and consequently, a given series may have aspects of a range of genres. Anime is most frequently broadcast on television or sold on DVDs and other media, either after their broadcast run or directly as original video animation (OVA). Console and computer games sometimes also feature segments or scenes that can be considered anime.
Manga (漫画) is Japanese for "comics" or "whimsical images". Manga developed from a mixture of ukiyo-e and Western styles of drawing, and took its current form shortly after World War II. Manga, apart from covers, is usually published in black and white but it is common to find introductions to chapters to be in color, and is read from top to bottom and then right to left, similar to the layout of a Japanese plain text. Financially, manga represented in 2005 a market of ¥24 billion in Japan and one of $180 million in the United States. Manga was the fastest growing segment of books in the United States in 2005.
Anime and manga share many characteristics, including: exaggerating (in terms of scale) of physical features, to which the reader presumably should pay most attention (best known being "large eyes"), "dramatically shaped speech bubbles, speed lines and onomatopoeic, exclamatory typography..." Some manga, a small amount of the total output, is adapted into anime, often with the collaboration of the original author. Computer games can also give rise to anime. In such cases, the stories are often compressed and modified to fit the format and appeal to a wider market. Popular anime franchises sometimes include full-length feature films, and some have been adapted into live-action films and television programs.
Madlax is a 26-episode Japanese anime television series produced in 2004 by the Bee Train animation studio. Kōichi Mashimo directed Madlax and the soundtrack was composed by Yuki Kajiura. The DVD version was released by ADV Films in North America and the United Kingdom and by Madman Entertainment in Australia and New Zealand.
The story revolves around two young women who seemingly have little in common and do not know of the other's existence at the beginning. The titular Madlax is a legendary mercenary and assassin in the fictional civil war-torn country of Gazth-Sonika, who cannot remember her past or indeed her real name before twelve years ago, when the war started. The other protagonist is Margaret Burton, the sole heir of a wealthy aristocratic family in the peaceful European country Nafrece. Twelve years before the story begins, an airliner Margaret and her mother were on crashed over Gazth-Sonika, and its passengers, as well as Margaret's father who led the rescuers, have been missing ever since. Margaret, however, mysteriously traveled back to Nafrece on her own, losing her memories prior to her return; the only thing she recalls is a single word, "Madlax". With this thread linking the two girls, they both independently start investigating the powerful crime syndicate Enfant after its enigmatic mastermind shows interest in both of them.
Belldandy (ベルダンディー) is a character in the popular manga Oh My Goddess! (OMG) and in the anime Ah! My Goddess. She was created by Kosuke Fujishima as one of three Goddesses who come to Earth to reside with Keiichi Morisato, and she serves as his love interest. She is depicted as a beautiful and powerful young woman, with strong nurturing tendencies, a trusting and innocent character, and an extremely kind heart. Belldandy is accidentally summoned from heaven by Keiichi in order to grant him a wish and stays when Keiichi wishes for "a goddess like you to be by my side forever". The stories follow Belldandy as she builds a relationship with Keiichi, using her powers (which include teleportation, telekinesis and levitation) to help both Keiichi and his friends while keeping her true identity a secret.
Her first appearance was in Afternoon in August 1988, and the manga has now been running for more than 20 years and has over 200 chapters. Belldandy has also featured in a novel, two TV series, a movie, and in an OVA series. The character has gained considerable respect throughout the various formats, as evidenced by her appearance as one of the most popular characters in the Newtype and Animage polls. The concept of Belldandy draws loosely from Norse mythology, with "Belldandy" being a transliteration of the Old Norse Verðandi, one of a trio of Norns. She is joined by characters representing the other two of the trio of Norns — her sisters Urd and Skuld.
The episodes of the 2007 Japanese animated television series Blue Drop: Tenshitachi no Gikyoku are directed by Masahiko Ohkura and animated by the Japanese animation studios Asahi Production and BeSTACK, with the 3D modeling done by Gonzo. They constitute a prequel to the storyline of the Blue Drop manga by Akihito Yoshitomi. The plot of the episodes follows Mari Wakatake's relationship with the enigmatic Hagino Senkōji, a member of an alien race known as the Arume, and the prelude to an invasion by the Arume.
The episodes aired from October 2, 2007 to December 25, 2007 on Chiba TV and KBS Kyoto, with AT-X, Mie TV, Tokyo MX TV, TV Kanagawa, TV Saitama, and TV Wakayama showing the episodes at later dates. The AT-X broadcast started much later than its counterparts, with the first episode airing in November, while most other stations started showing the episodes in October. Unlike most Japanese anime, the titles of the episodes are given in English instead of the customary Japanese, and each episode title is the name of a flower that is shown in that particular episode.
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