Lupin the Third: Part 5
Long-time anime fans might be familiar with Lupin III. He’s been around since his first appearance in Weekly Manga Action in 1967. If you’re not familiar, Lupin, also known as Arsène Lupin III, is a master thief the grandson of Arsène Lupin, the gentleman thief of Maurice Leblanc’s series of novels. After several manga, two versions of an animated pilot film, five animated television series, eight theatrically-released animated films, two live-action films, five OVA works, twenty-six animated television specials, two musicals, music CDs, and video games, Lupin is still popular 50 years later.
Lupin III, considered the world’s greatest thief, is known for elaborate schemes and announcing to his victims ahead of time that’s he about to commit an act of thievery. Lupin III works with team of close allies including Daisuke Jigen, an expert marksman who can accurately shoot a target in 0.3 seconds, Goemon Ishikawa XIII, a samurai and master swordsman whose sword can cut anything and was initially an enemy of Lupin III, and Fujiko Mine, a femme fatale, professional criminal and burglar, Lupin’s love interest, and sometimes his competitor. Another recurring character is Inspector Koichi Zenigata of the ICPO, who has been chasing after the team for decades in an attempt to capture and arrest them for their crimes.
April 2018 sees the release of Lupin the Third: Part 5 which will place the titular character in a more modern setting, having him using cellphones, internet, and other current technology while still keeping the classic style of action loved by fans of the series.
Gundam Build Divers
The Gundam series has a long, popular, and storied history. Starting with Mobile Gundam Suit in 1979, the MGS series alone has enough content you could make a career out of covering just the manga alone. With over 30 TV series, 27 OVAs, 27 movies, novels, 200 manga, and over 80 video games, the franchise as made a huge mark in anime culture. Just Google “gundam” and go nuts.
Enter Gundam Build Divers. The spiritual successor of Gundam Build fighters, the latest offering is an anime series about a virtual game that involves the use of Gunpla in what is called the Gunpla Battle. Gunpla Fighters are supplied with GP Base which stores information pertaining to each fighter. When the GP Bases are set, the Battle System disperses “Plavsky particles” which react only to the plastic material of Gunpla and animate them into the game. The Battle System creates a holographic landscape that simulates a battlefield from different Gundam series, and the battle begins once the Gunpla Fighters set their Gunpla to be scanned by the Plavsky particles.
Gundam Build Divers takes place in the near future where Gunpla Battles are held in a new massive multiplayer online game called “Gunpla Battle Nexus Online”. Players are immersed into a virtual world and fight other players around the world. The main character, Riku Minami, a 14-year-old student, along with a team of misfits is on a quest to emulate the top Gunpla Diver Kyoya Kujo.
Gundam Build Divers arrives in April 2018.
Tokyo Ghoul is an anime television series adapted from the manga series written and drawn by Sui Ishida. The setting of the story is an alternate universe where ghouls secretly exist right alongside humans. Their appearance is identical to humans, but they can only exist by consuming human flesh. They hide their true appearance to keep from being exposed and captured by the law. Ghouls are exceptionally stronger, faster, resilient, have a built-in defense mechanism in the form of an organ, and have the ability to regenerate from damage. Other traits of ghouls include the white of their eyes turning black that when they are excited or hungry.
In the manga, Ken Kaneki, a college student who, while dating Rize Kamishiro, who turns out to be a ghoul, barely survives her attack. Ken ends up in critical condition and recovers in a hospital only to discover he’s underwent a surgery that transformed him into a half-ghoul due to some of Rize’s organs being transferred into his body. Because of this change, gains the same requirements for survival: he must consume human flesh. He meets a group of ghouls who run a coffee shop called “Anteiku”. They take him in and show him how to cope with this drastic transformation as he struggles to not only fit into the ghoul society, but also tried to keep his new identity hidden from the humans around him.
The anime first aired in between July 4 and September 19, 2014 as a 12-episode television series A second season, titled Tokyo Ghoul √A aired between January 9, 2015, and March 27, 2015.
Tokyo Ghoul:re releases in April of 2018.
Full Metal Panic! Invisible Victory
Based on the first three novels of Full Metal Panic which follow Sousuke Sagara, a member of a covert anti-terrorist private military organization known as Mithril with orders to protect a sprightly high school girl named Kaname Chidori, Full Metal Panic! Invisible Victory is the fourth installment of the anime series.
The story starts with Sousuke, the main character, who is sent to pretend to study at a school where he’s assisted by two other partners, Kurz Weber and Melissa Mao. Social interaction is not his best quality as he’s had very little experience being around other individuals outside of a military setting. People view him as a bit of a maniac due to his interpretations of every day life and situations from the perspective of combat or military. Kaname, the young girl that he’s protecting, eventually discovers that Sousuke is protecting her, but, for her safety, he never reveals the reason why.
If you’re looking to catch up and start from the beginning, the first series, Full Metal Panic!, originally aired in 2002 after its original air date was canceled because of the September 11 attacks.
The second and companion series Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu was released in 2003 and was a departure from the tone of the first series. Gone is the mecha combat and political intrigue and in its place is romantic comedy aspects of Full Metal Panic!, crude humor, and focus on the romantic tension between Sousuke Sagara and Kaname Chidori.
Full Metal Panic! The Second Raid aired in 2005 as 13 episodes and is the direct sequel to the original anime series. The series is based on the Ending Day by Day novels and takes place three months after the events at the end of Full Metal Panic!.
Full Metal Panic! Invisible Victory premiers in April 2018.
Sword Art Online: Alternative Gun Gale Online
Sword Art Online started as light novel series created by Reki Kawahara. The setting is a span of several virtual reality worlds, beginning with the titular world Sword Art Online. Each world is built on a game engine called the World Seed.
In 2022, the main character, the development director and game master Akihiko Kayaba, creates and releases a virtual reality massively multiplayer online role-playing game called Sword Art Online. Players can login online and experience gameplay using NerveGear, a helmet that stimulates the user’s five senses using their actual brain activity. Using this connection to their minds they can control their in-game characters. Things go horribly wrong when players discover that they are unable to log out and are instructed by Kayaba that they must beat all 100 floors of Aincrad, a steel castle which is the setting of SAO, if they want to be released and able to logout of the game. To add to the dangers, if you die in the game or remove the NerveGear, players die in real life.
Enter a player named Kazuto “Kirito” Kirigaya, one of 1,000 testers in the game’s previous closed beta. Kirito has extended VR experience and uses his skills to defend other beta testers from discrimination. Kirito decides to cut himself off from the larger groups takes on the game as a lone player. Kirito meets and befriends a young girl named Asuna Yuuki, whom he eventually builds a relationship with and later marrys in-game. The duo discovers the identity of Kayaba’s secret ID and they join forces to confront and battle him.
A game based in Gun Gale Online, Sword Art Online: Fatal Bullet, was released for the PS4, Xbox One and Windows on February 23, 2018.
Sword Art Online: Alternative Gun Gale Online will premiere on April 2018.
Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lupin_the_Third, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gundam_Build_Divers, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tokyo_Ghoul, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Full_Metal_Panic!, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sword_Art_Online, https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/anime/upcoming/tv