|Saber Marionette J|
(Seibā Marionetto Jei)
|Genre||Adventure, Romantic comedy, Science fiction, Harem|
|Anime television series|
|Directed by||Masami Shimoda|
|Produced by||Noriko Kobayashi|
|Written by||Mayori Sekijima|
|Studio||Hal Film Maker|
|Licensed by||Bandai Entertainment|
|Original network||TV Tokyo|
|Original run||October 1, 1996 – March 25, 1997|
|Written by||Satoru Akahori|
|Illustrated by||Yumisuke Kotoyoshi|
|Published by||Kadokawa Shoten|
|English publisher|| Tokyopop |
|Magazine||Monthly Dragon Age|
|Original run||October 1996 – November 1999|
|Written by||Satoru Akahori|
|Illustrated by||Tsukasa Kotobuki|
|Published by||Fujimi Shobo|
|Imprint||Fujimi Fantasia Bunko|
|Original run||April 1995 – July 1, 1999|
|Saber Marionette Radio|
|Original run||April 17 – July 3, 1997|
|Saber Marionette J: Battle Sabers|
|Developer||Tom Create, Co.|
|Released||March 28, 1997|
Saber Marionette J (セイバーマリオネットJ, Seibā Marionetto Jei) is a Japanese anime produced by Hal Film Maker, aired on TV Tokyo from October 1, 1996 to March 25, 1997. It is the first installment of the Saber Marionette franchise. The show was localized in North America by Ocean Productions and into six other languages by various companies.
In between production, Saber Marionette J spun off into other media. A manga serialized in Kadokawa Shoten's Dragon Age magazine ran from October 1996 to November 1999,and was collected into five volumes. A concurrent radio drama was broadcast and the show's original soundtrack was published by Kings Records. The show was also the basis for a PlayStation fighting game called Saber Marionette J: Battle Sabers, developed and published by Tom Create.
Otaru Mamiya is an 18-year-old day laborer living on his own in the fictional city state of Japoness. Employed as a fish peddler and running a morning's catch, he is hit by a car driven by Mitsurugi Hanagata, an acquaintance, spoiling his merchandise and sparking a fight the two agree to take elsewhere.
Traveling to a gully outside of the town, the boys continue their quarrel on a bridge where a skilled Otaru makes quick work of his opponent. In an unfortunate turn of events however, Otaru, balancing himself on a fence post which breaks off, is dumped into the river below where he is helplessly washed away.
Moments later, having drifted ashore in a small pond, Otaru finds himself at a rural athenaeum, the Japoness Pioneer Museum. He curiously explores the decrepit building, falling through a trapdoor and into a secret underground basement where he finds and awakens an encapsulated marionette. She introduces herself as Lime, embracing the dumbfounded boy with a laugh and revealing an unprecedented ability to express emotion.
The prologue of Saber Marionette J is set sometime into the 22nd century,when Earth's population has grown to such a magnitude that humanity cannot feasibly continue without colonizing space. The initial stages of the project make a promising effort of moving civilization into orbit, however it is during travel to a planet name Terra II that a transport vessel, the Mesopotamia, experiences a catastrophic fate, destroying all but a lone escape pod of people who plunge to the surface below. Of the handful of survivors however, only six males survive the crash, a ratio that both cripples their manpower and leaves them unable to reproduce.
Marooned and without communication, the men turn to genetic engineering as a method to produce clones of themselves, enough to populate the planet and sustain habitation. The effort is critically fruitful, and over a course of three centuries, each of the survivors and their successors establish individual settlements in the form of six city-states.
In spite of the remarkable success however, notwithstanding even advancements in technology, Terra II remains uninhabited by women. An effort to substitute this absence is made with the manufacture of feminine androids name marionettes ; creations that, while they serve their purpose, operate without sapience, emotion, or free will.
Saber Marionette J contains several groups of notable themes, mainly in the names of characters and locations. The focal heroines, Lime, Cherry, and Bloodberry, are named after fruits, while their counterparts, Tiger, Luchs, [a] and Panther are named after animals, specifically of the family Felidae (using the German words and pronunciations for tiger, lynx, and panther due to their Galtland origins). Ieyasu Tokugawa, the fictional shogun of Japoness, derives his name and appearance from Tokugawa Ieyasu, while Gerhardt von Faust, führer of Galtland, is an allusion of Adolf Hitler whose name may be derived from Faust, a character of German folklore.
The city-states established by the male survivors are also based on the political and developmental histories and periods of countries. Japoness is a reminiscence of feudal Japan,Galtland portrays the totalitarian regime of Nazi Germany, Peterburg is structured after Soviet Russia, New Texas is representative of the modern United States, Xi'an paints the image of Imperial China and Romana takes after the Roman Empire. The letters that affix the titles of the franchise have also been explained to represent the city-state in which a particular series is set in. Saber Marionette R, for example, takes place in Romana while Saber Marionette J, occurs in Japoness.
Besides the show's botanic, animal and historic references, as well as its generally comedic overtones, Saber Marionette J briefly explores deeper motifs as well. One such motif, outspoken by Mitsurugi, is the discriminatory notion that marionettes are of no importance to humans beyond their menial labor, and should be disenfranchised to the affection or privileges of people. This idea becomes more recurrent later in the series when Otaru finds himself growing closer to the girls and questions himself for it. Another visited theme is the exploration of life, its senescence, and death. These truths have a major impact on the girls' developmental identity as they come to terms with themselves and humans.
Saber Marionette J follows the life and adventures of Otaru Mamiya (間宮 小樽, Mamiya Otaru, voiced by Yuka Imai in its original Japanese and by Brad Swaile in its English dub), an obstinate young man, who through mishap and predestination, goes from a nondescript street vendor to a national hero and sensation. During the onset of the series, Otaru comes into the inadvertent acquisition of three marionettes; Lime (ライム, Raimu, v.b. Megumi Hayashibara and Maggie Blue O'Hara), a wildly effervescent girl with a knack for mischief; Cherry (チェリー, Cherī, v.b. Yuri Shiratori and Erin Fitzgerald and Nicole Oliver), the gentle and soft-spoken mind with gifted culinary skills; and Bloodberry (ブラッドベリー, Buraddoberī, v.b. Akiko Hiramatsu and Saffron Henderson), a bold and voluptuous woman with vigor matched only by her libido. Warranted by their unique ability to show mood and temperament, it is explained that each of the girls possess a heart-like technology, known as a maiden circuit, that empowers them with emotion. Mitsurugi Hanagata (花形 美剣, Hanagata Mitsurugi, v.b. Takehito Koyasu and Samuel Vincent), the effeminate gay acquaintance who has a crush on Otaru and whose reckless driving more or less sets the premise of the show, also bands together with the group on their travels and as their neighbor when his mansion is burned down.
The show's focal antagonists and their endeavors are fronted by Gailhart von Faust (ゲルハルト・フォン・ファウスト, Geruharuto fon Fausto, v.b. Hikaru Midorikawa and Paul Dobson), the megalomaniac dictator of Gartlant who campaigns to conquer his neighboring sovereigns in order to control all of Terra II. Like Otaru, Faust is supported by his own trio of marionettes, collectively known as the Saber Dolls, who are structurally villainous counterparts to Lime, Cherry and Bloodberry: Tiger (ティーゲル, Tīgeru, v.b. Urara Takano and Venus Terzo), the tenacious and emotionally subservient leader; Luchs (ルクス, Rukusu, v.b. Yuko Mizutani and Erin Fitzgerald and Colleen Wheeler), an intelligent and accomplished strategist; and Panther (パンター, Pantā, v.b. Kikuko Inoue and Samantha Ferris), a loud and vicious blonde. In a complementing fashion, each of these girls also possess maiden circuits.
Saber Marionette J was reproduced into seven languages through a joint cooperation of different companies. Bandai Entertainment announced on October 12, 2000that it would be publishing the series on DVD, itself dubbed into English by Ocean Productions. Bandai went on to announce that the series would be released in a chronological fashion, succeeded by Saber Marionette J to X . Scheduled for release in February 2001, in addition to the standard Japanese and English dubs, Bandai announced around August 7, 2000 that the DVD releases would also contain Spanish; dubbed by Alebrije Entertainment, broadcast by Animax Latin America and Locomotion where it was also known by the name Chica Marioneta J.
Animax's branches in South Korea and Brazil also broadcast the series respectively in Korean and Portuguese, the latter having been produced by the São Paulo-basedstudio Master Sound where it was also known as Garotas Marionetes. Anime House, a company situated in Cologne, published the series in German; while Beez, the European off-shot of Bandai Visual, handled distribution in France.
A few months before the release of the anime,a manga iteration of Saber Marionette J began to circulate in Kadokawa Shoten's Monthly Dragon Age written by series creator Satoru Akahori and illustrated by Yumisuke Kotoyoshi. The series ran from October 1996 to November 1999, being collected in five volumes by the company from January 1997 to December 1999. Besides its native release, Editora JBC, a Tokyo-based Portuguese publisher, announced on March 8, 2010 that it has secured the rights to the series.
In a similar fashion to the animated series, the Saber Marionette J manga was localized into other languages. Notably, Tokyopopannounced in 2003 that it had acquired the publishing rights to the series and that the first volume would be released in July of that year. Madman Entertainment, an Australian publisher, additionally published the manga in Oceania from May 19, 2004 to March 5, 2005. Editorial Ivrea, an Argentina-based publishing company, published the series in Spanish.
A total of 14 light novels were made about the series, written by Satoru Akahori and illustrated by Tsukasa Kotobuki.The books were printed by Fujimi Shobo between April 1995 and July 1, 1999.
The complete soundtrack of Saber Marionette J was reproduced for distribution when the anime was still in production. The initial release, titled "Japones ginei shisyu sonoichi" (Japones Recitation Poem Collection 1)", was made on December 21, 1996 and contained 17 tracks by King Records. A sequel release, containing 24 tracks, was made on April 9, 1997.
Two audio dramas were made of the series. The first, released direct to commercial disc, was published from January 24 to May 22, 1995 as a four-disc set by King Records under their StarChild label, each containing 4 tracks with additional bonuses. These tracks would later be broadcast on October 21.The second audio drama was aired on TBS on Thursdays and was based on the aforementioned novels. Broadcasts were made from April 27 to July 3, 1997.
Tom Create, a small Tokyo game developer, produced a fighting game of the series titled Saber Marionette J: Battle Sabers (セイバーマリオネットJ：バトルセイバーズ, Seibā Marionetto Jei: Batoru Seibazu), published by Bandai Visual on March 28, 1997 for the PlayStation. Featuring Lime, Cherry, Bloodberry, the Saber Dolls, and a new marionette name Apple, the player is able to fight against a CPU or, with another controller, a second player. At the beginning of each round, player's are also allowed to choose two special abilities to buff their characters. The game featured an alternate version of the anime opening and was released in a limited and regular edition, the former bundled with figurines and special edition portraits of the characters.
Saber Marionette J was met with mostly positive reception. THEM. Anime Reviews gave the series a 5 out of 5 stars, calling it "Top-notch animation, involving story and memorable characters make this one of the greats. If there was a flaw to be found here, it was too small to notice."Industry aggregator Mania.com editor Chris Beveridge rated each of the three North American releases a B, averaging a predictable story, an overall solid release, but that "Saber Marionette J was decent if unexceptional in total."
On Anime News Network, the show retains a median "Good" rating, averaging a 7 out of 10; the first VHS was also given a B+.Less favorable reviews criticized the cliche plot, character voices and less than crisp artwork. On Latin America the show turned a cult classic because of its airing on Locomotion and later Animax Latin America.
Gundam is a Japanese military science fiction media franchise/media mix. Created by Yoshiyuki Tomino and Sunrise, the franchise features giant robots, or mecha, with the name "Gundam". The franchise began on April 7, 1979 with Mobile Suit Gundam, a TV series that defined the "real robot" mecha anime genre by featuring giant robots called mobile suits in a militaristic setting. The popularity of the series and its merchandise spawned a franchise that includes 50 TV series, films and OVAs as well as manga, novels and video games, along with a whole industry of plastic model kits known as Gunpla which makes up 90 percent of the Japanese character plastic-model market.
Marmalade Boy is a shōjo manga series by Wataru Yoshizumi. It was published by Shueisha in the magazine Ribon from May 1992 to October 1995 and collected in eight tankōbon volumes. The series was adapted by Toei Animation as a 76-episode anime television series which aired on TV Asahi and Fuji TV Original in 1994 to 1995 and Re-Released in 2004 to 2005. This was followed by a prequel theatrical anime movie in 1995. The series was also adapted as a 30-episode live-action television series that was broadcast in Taiwan in 2002. In mid-August 2017, a live-action film adaptation was announced, which was released in Japan on February 27, 2018.
Mobile Suit Gundam SEED is an anime series developed by Sunrise and directed by Mitsuo Fukuda. The ninth installment in the Gundam franchise, Gundam SEED takes place in a future calendar era, in this case the Cosmic Era, the first to do so. In this era, mankind has developed into two subspecies: Naturals, who reside on Earth, and Coordinators, genetically enhanced humans capable of amazing feats of intellect who emigrate to man-made orbital colonies to escape persecution by natural humans. The story revolves around a young Coordinator Kira Yamato who becomes involved in the war between the two races after a third, neutral faction's space colony is invaded by the Coordinators.
Crest of the Stars is a three-volume space opera science fiction novel written by Hiroyuki Morioka with cover illustrations by Toshihiro Ono. This was followed by a second, ongoing novel series, Banner of the Stars and a series of books collecting short stories set in the same universe known as Fragments of the Stars. Beginning in 1999, the novels were adapted into anime and manga series, the first of which ran for 13 episodes on WOWOW. A recap movie, Crest of the Stars Special Edition, was also released in 2000.
Tokyopop is an American distributor, licensor and publisher of anime, manga, manhwa and Western manga-style works. The German publishing division produces German translations of licensed Japanese properties and original English-language manga, as well as original German-language manga. Tokyopop's US publishing division publishes works in English. Tokyopop has its US headquarters near Los Angeles International Airport in Los Angeles, California. Its parent company's offices are in Tokyo, Japan and its sister company's office is in Hamburg, Germany.
.hack//Legend of the Twilight is a science fiction manga series written by Tatsuya Hamazaki and drawn by Rei Izumi. The twenty-two chapters of .hack//Legend of the Twilight appeared as a serial in the Japanese magazine Comptiq and published in three tankōbon by Kadokawa Shoten from July 2002 to April 2004. Set in a fictional MMORPG, The World, the series focuses on twins Rena and Shugo, who receive chibi avatars in the design of the legendary .hackers known as Kite and BlackRose. After Shugo is given the Twilight Bracelet by a mysterious girl, the two embark on a quest to find Aura and unravel the mystery of the Twilight Bracelet.
Saber Marionette is a science fiction humor/adventure series created by Satoru Akahori featuring android girls. It has been produced in the form of anime, manga, and light novels.
Fate/stay night is a Japanese adult visual novel developed by Type-Moon and originally released for Windows on January 30, 2004. A version of Fate/stay night rated for ages 15 and up titled Fate/stay night Réalta Nua, which features the Japanese voice actors from the anime series, was released in 2007 for the PlayStation 2 and later for download on Windows as a trilogy covering the three main story lines. Réalta Nua was also ported to the PlayStation Vita, iOS and Android. The plot focuses on a young mage named Shirou Emiya who becomes a warrior in a battle between "Servants" known as the Holy Grail War. Through each route, Shirou bonds with a heroine and confronts different mages who participate in the war.
Clamp School Detectives a.k.a. CLAMP Campus Detectives is a manga series by Clamp, which was adapted into a 26-episode anime series, produced by Bandai Visual and Studio Pierrot. The manga series was serialized in Kadokawa Shoten's Monthly Asuka manga magazine between January 1992 and October 1993, spanning three tankōbon, while the anime premiered in Japan on TV Tokyo between May 3, 1997 and October 25, 1997.
Pita-Ten is a Japanese manga by Koge-Donbo. It was serialized in the shōnen manga magazine Dengeki Comic Gao! between the October 1999 and August 2003 issues and was later collected into eight tankōbon volumes. The eight volumes were localized for North America by Tokyopop; Madman Entertainment used Tokyopop's translations for distribution in Australasia. The plot follows Kotarou Higuchi who becomes acquainted with the angel Misha, and the demon Shia.
Eureka Seven, known in Japan as Psalms of Planets Eureka seveN, is a 2005 Japanese anime series created by Bones. The series was directed by Tomoki Kyoda, with series composition by Dai Satō, character designs by Kenichi Yoshida and music by Naoki Satō. Eureka Seven tells the story of Renton Thurston and the outlaw group Gekkostate, his relationship with the enigmatic mecha pilot Eureka, and the mystery of the Coralians. The fifty episode series premiered in Japan on MBS between April 17, 2005 and April 2, 2006 and was subsequently licensed by Funimation in North America, Madman Entertainment in Australia and New Zealand and by Anime Limited in the United Kingdom for English home video releases.
Brain Powerd is a Japanese anime television series created by Sunrise. The series is set on a future, decimated Earth after the discovery of a mysterious, alien spacecraft dubbed "Orphan". A group of researchers scour the planet for Orphan's disc plates using mecha called "Antibodies" in order to revive the craft, an event that would result in the utter destruction of all lifeforms on Earth. The protagonists Yu Isami and Hime Utsumiya must utilize a special Antibody called "Brain Powerd" to counter the Orphan plans and save humanity. Brain Powerd was directed and written by Gundam creator Yoshiyuki Tomino. The series features mecha designs by Mamoru Nagano, character designs by Mutsumi Inomata, and music by Yoko Kanno.
Chibi Vampire, originally released in Japan as Karin, is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Yuna Kagesaki. The story is about an unusual vampire girl, who instead of drinking blood must inject it into others because she produces too much. Chibi Vampire first premiered in the shōnen magazine Monthly Dragon Age in the October 2003 issue, and ran until February 2008. The individual chapters were published by Kadokawa Shoten into fourteen collected volumes. Later an anime series for "Chibi Vampire" was also produced in 2005. This anime series has a somewhat similar but different story and ending.
Chobits is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by the Japanese manga collective Clamp. It was published by Kodansha in Weekly Young Magazine from the 43rd issue for 2000 to the 48th issue for 2002 and collected in eight bound volumes. Chobits was adapted as a 26-episode-long anime television series broadcast on TBS from April to September 2002. In addition, it has spawned two video games as well as various merchandise such as figurines, collectable cards, calendars, and artbooks.
Zegapain (ゼーガペイン) is a Japanese anime television series created by Sunrise. The series premiered in Japan on April 6, 2006 on TV Tokyo and also later aired on BS Japan and AT-X. On October 2, 2007, Bandai Entertainment released the first Region 1 volume of Zegapain with the last volume released on August 5, 2008. Following the 2012 closure of Bandai Entertainment, Sunrise announced at Otakon 2013, that Sentai Filmworks has rescued Zegapain, along with a handful of other former BEI titles. As part of the 10th anniversary of the series, a new theatrical film titled Zegapain Adaptation was released in Japanese theaters on October 15, 2016.
Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion, often referred to simply as Code Geass, is a Japanese anime television series produced by Sunrise. It was directed by Gorō Taniguchi and written by Ichirō Ōkouchi, with original character designs by Clamp. Set in an alternate timeline, the series follows the exiled prince Lelouch vi Britannia, who obtains the "power of absolute obedience" from a mysterious woman named C.C. Using this supernatural power, known as Geass, he leads a rebellion against the rule of the Holy Britannian Empire, commanding a series of mecha battles.
Saber Marionette J Again, also known as Saber Marionette J: Plasmastic Crisis or Saber Marionette J+, is the 1997 sequel to the 1996 Japanese anime series Saber Marionette J. It is a six episode OVA which continues the story of its predecessor, following the eventful life of Otaru Mamiya and his three marionettes Lime, Cherry and Bloodberry.
Saber Marionette J to X, also known as Saber Marionette X, is a 1998 Japanese anime television series, the last part of the Saber Marionette J series, and a sequel of Saber Marionette J Again. Like the previous ones, it was created by Satoru Akahori. The 26 episode saga began airing in Japan on October 6, 1998 to March 30, 1999. It is licensed by Bandai Entertainment.
Haruhi Suzumiya is a Japanese light novel series written by Nagaru Tanigawa and illustrated by Noizi Ito. It was first published in 2003 by Kadokawa Shoten in Japan with the novel The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, and has since been followed by 11 additional novel volumes, an anime television series adaptation produced by Kyoto Animation, four manga series, an animated film, two original net animation series and several video games.