Honey and Clover News

Honey and Clover is a franchise comprised of 3 anime series, 1 manga series
From Anime Vice
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Man, they better not burn me on this... 
Man, they better not burn me on this... 
I woke up at around noon today with the sun beaming in through my windows, the sound of birds chirping and a knowledge that it's way too hot outside to enjoy any of it.  I hopped on my laptop a little bit later and made my usual rounds.  I decided to check out Hulu and I saw the same thing I also see: a super huge list of recommendations for me.  I usually ignore stuff like this unless it's from Netflix (every media company should use their recommendation engine or whatever it's called) but today I decided to be different. 
 
Every week I write an article about good shows you can watch online and as of right now, I'm a little bit less than 50% through the initial list of series that I came up with.  I need more anime watch, and hopefully enjoy, so that I can continue doing this for than another month.  I'm usually extremely picky and eccentric about what I will watch because I find anime descriptions to be extremely misleading, but like I said today I'm going to be different. 
 
Today I'm going to wade through this list of recommendations and watch two back-to-back episodes from five shows.  I'm picking the 5 solely from gut reaction to seeing a picture and what I've heard about it from others. 
 
Ikkitousen 
 Man, I hope looks can be deceiving...
 Man, I hope looks can be deceiving...
I've heard that this show is nothing but over the top fan service and violence.  That stigma has always turned me off but they say I'll like it because I liked Shikabane Hime, which also threw as many panty shots and decapitations at you as possible.  The girl with green hair is kind of cute so I think i'll give it a shot.  It's gotten three seasons it so it can't be that bad, right? 
 
Shuffle 
My first impression is yuri porn.
My first impression is yuri porn.
"Recommended to you because you liked Nana."  They've just set themselves up for something they can't possibly live up to imo.  Judging a book solely by its cover makes me think that this is yuri porn.  I clicked the link and saw a guy in a hospital, which gave me hope that maybe this show will be heart-wrenching, which could be really good or really bad if done poorly. 
  
Ghost Hunt 
All I know is that it's probably about hunting ghosts. 
All I know is that it's probably about hunting ghosts. 
I've heard people talk about this show being good, although I can't recall when or where I've heard this.  The only thing I know about the show is that it probably involves hunting ghosts (go figure) and whenever I start to type Ghost Hound into the Anime Vice search engine, this pops up.  They say I'll like it because I like Jyu-Oh-Sei... maybe that means it's got a nice mix of action and somber romance.
  
Black Blood Brothers
 Cool hat, check.  Cool sword, check.
 Cool hat, check.  Cool sword, check.
All I know is that this show is about vampires or demons.  The guy in the picture has on a cool pair of gloves and his hat reminds me of a character from Guilty Gear fighting game so it gets the thumbs up.  He's also holding a sword, so maybe there'll be some good fights in it as well.  They say I'll like it because of Shikabane-Hime.  Hopefully that means violence, gore and sad moments. 
 
Honey and Clover 
The little girl seems odd, but I think I'll like this 
The little girl seems odd, but I think I'll like this 
Now this I have heard something about and I believe at one point in time I was really interested in watching it, but for some reason I never did.  Oh, I think it was in a thread about Spice and Wolf and someone was saying that these shows were both good romances and it was funny how they had a X and Y style name with food in the title. 
 

Final Verdict 

I've been chronicling my adventures in the comments section but here's a wrap-up.  Realistically, I believe I've found 2 shows that I'll definitely finish: Black Blood Brothers and Honey & Clover.  I plan on finishing Ghost Hunt, but I feel like it could end up as a show that I drop 60% through.  I think Ikki Tousen will be a guilty pleasure show that I'll get around to.  Shuffle... I don't know.  My gut tells me that it will eventually develop into something that I like, but at 20+ episodes who knows if that'll happen 2 or 10 episodes from now.  Either way, I've got something to watch on a rainy day or when I'm sick.
 
Overall, I'm glad I forced myself to check out some series that I missed.  Only one of them was bad, but it was so bad it's good.  The rest of them ranged from solid to really good and I feel satisfied that I at least gave them all a shot.
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VIZ MEDIA LICENSES FIVE TOP ANIMATED SERIES TO

FUNIMATION CHANNEL FOR US TELEVISION LAUNCH  

San Francisco, CA, April 16, 2009 – VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), one of the entertainment industry’s most innovative and comprehensive publishing, animation and licensing companies, has announced that five of its animation series will launch on the FUNimation Channel, the premiere anime network from FUNimation Entertainment and OlympuSAT, and will debut in late Spring and Summer 2009.  Titles include BUSO RENKIN, HONEY AND CLOVER, HUNTER X HUNTER, MONSTER, and NANA. 

The series that will be debuting on FUNimation Channel are: 

NANA (drama/relationship/comedy, TV-MA)

Based on the popular manga by Ai Yazawa, NANA follows the adventures of two girls both named Nana. While they share the same name, they couldn't be more different. Nana Hachi Komatsu follows her boyfriend to Tokyo in the hopes of making a new start, while Nana Osaki, who arrives in the city at the same time, is a punk rock beauty who has the ambition of making it big in the world of rock and roll. Although these two young women come from different backgrounds, they quickly become best friends while chasing their happiness and dreams.  For more information on NANA please visit www.nana.viz.com. 

HONEY AND CLOVER (drama/relationship/comedy, TV-14)

Based on the popular manga by Chica Umino, HONEY AND CLOVER is a romantic comedy about a group of art school students who try to find their way. But when an innocent and talented 19-year-old girl enters their lives, things get a lot more complicated as love triangles result. For more information on HONEY AND CLOVER, please visit www.honeyandclover.viz.com. 

Naoki Urasawa’s MONSTER (Suspense, TV-MA)

What would you do if a child you saved grew up to be a monster? An ice-cold killer is on the loose, and Dr. Kenzo Tenma is the only one who can stop him! Tenma, a brilliant neurosurgeon with a promising future, risks his career to save the life of a critically wounded young boy named Johan. When the boy, now a coldhearted and charismatic young man, reappears nine years later in the midst of a string of unusual serial murders, Tenma must go on the run to uncover the story of Johan and stop the monster he set loose upon the world. Conspiracies, serial murders, and secret government experiments set against the grim backdrop of the former East Germany are masterfully woven together in this compelling psychological suspense.  
 

BUSO RENKIN (Action/Fantasy, TV-14)

High school student Kazuki Muto thinks he's saving a girl from a monster, but it turns out that he's the one who needs saving! Kazuki is killed while fighting a homunculus, a malevolent creature that feeds on humans. The girl, Tokiko Tsumura, revives him by replacing his heart with an alchemical device called a kakugane. With this device Kazuki can create his own Buso Renkin, an alchemical weapon in the form of a huge lance, capable of destroying homunculi. With his new weapon in hand, Kazuki decides to join forces with Tokiko to eliminate the homunculi and destroy their master, the strange and eccentric Papillon Masked Creator!  

HUNTER X HUNTER (Action/Fantasy, TV-14)

Hunters are a special breed, dedicated to tracking down treasure, magical beasts, and even humans. But such pursuits require a license, and less than one in a hundred thousand can pass the grueling qualification exam. Gon might be a country boy, but he has high aspirations. Despite his aunt's protest, Gon decides to follow in his father's footsteps and become a legendary Hunter. The journey begins on the long, arduous road to the Exam Hall, where he meets Leorio and Kurapika, two applicants with the same determination. Gon and his two companions must now prove their worth and earn the right to call themselves Hunters! 

“We are thrilled to partner with FUNimation to debut these exciting series on its premiere 24-hour digital anime network,” says Bill Germain, Director, Programming & Music Sales, VIZ Media. “The multi-faceted plots and dynamic characters that made all these titles so successful as manga translates wonderfully with depth and color to their anime counterparts, adding a captivating new visual dimension to the storylines. We look forward to fans taking full advantage of all the flexibility and convenience of VOD to explore these new series on the FUNimation Channel.”

About VIZ Media, LLC

Headquartered in San Francisco, CA, VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), is one of the most comprehensive and innovative companies in the field of manga (graphic novel) publishing, animation and entertainment licensing of Japanese content. Owned by three of Japan’s largest creators and licensors of manga and animation, Shueisha Inc., Shogakukan Inc., and Shogakukan-Shueisha Productions, Co., Ltd., VIZ Media is a leader in the publishing and distribution of Japanese manga for English speaking audiences in North America, the United Kingdom, Ireland, and South Africa and is a global ex-Asia licensor of Japanese manga and animation. The company offers an integrated product line including magazines such as SHONEN JUMP and SHOJO BEAT, graphic novels, and DVDs, and develops, markets, licenses, and distributes animated entertainment for audiences and consumers of all ages. Contact VIZ Media at 295 Bay Street, San Francisco, CA 94133; Phone (415) 546-7073; Fax (415) 546-7086; and web site at www.VIZ.com. 

About the FUNimation Channel

The FUNimation Channel was conceived as a vehicle to expose a wider audience to the unique storytelling style and graceful animation inherent in the Japanese style of animation. In addition, it provides anime and entertainment fans direct access to FUNimation Entertainment’s exclusive portfolio of leading anime titles as well as top titles from other U.S. anime companies. FUNimation Channel in affiliation with OlympuSAT offers video providers across the nation the FUNimation Channel linear feed as well as top syndicated & multiplatform transactional programming.

For a full list and descriptions of these series and others, or for more information on the FUNimation Channel, its availability or how to get it, visit www.funimationchannel.com 

About FUNimation Entertainment

FUNimation® Entertainment, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Navarre Corporation, is the leading company for Japanese animation in the United States. FUNimation is known for acquiring top-rated anime series from Japan and for being the market share leader for home video sales of anime in the United States. The company has a proven formula for launching and advancing brands, and manages a full spectrum of rights for most of its brands including broadcasting, licensing, production, internet, and home video sales and distribution.  

About OlympuSAT

OlympuSAT, Inc. is the nation’s top owner and service provider of independent television networks.  Currently the company represents more than two dozen diverse channels through their Hispanic, Digital I and Faith & Families Packs.  OlympuSAT facilitates technical related services including satellite and uplink along with affiliate sales and marketing services.  Additional services provided to networks include, as needed, master control, advertising sales and traffic and billing services.   The OlympuSAT network portfolio is distributed via Intelsat Galaxy 23.  An affiliate of Ocean Communications, OlympuSAT is based in West Palm Beach Florida, serving homes nationwide www.olympusat.com. 

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VIZ MEDIA ANNOUNCES ANNUAL ART ISSUE OF SHOJO BEAT MAGAZINE 

April 2009 Issue Covers Visual Arts And Techniques Taught By Leading Manga Creators Well As Fashion, Crafts And More 

San Francisco, CA, March 11, 2009 VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), one of the entertainment industry’s most innovative and comprehensive publishing, animation and licensing companies, has announced an exciting issue for its annual Art Issue of SHOJO BEAT magazine, expected to hit newsstands nationwide on March 17. In addition to the next installments of the currently serialized shojo manga series CRIMSON HERO, HONEY AND CLOVER, HONEY HUNT, HARUKA: BEYOND THE STREAM OF TIME, SAND CHRONICLES and VAMPIRE KNIGHT, this special issue will allow readers to explore the latest trends in Japanese kawaii artwork, evaluate the approaches of top shojo manga creators and more!   

The special April 2009 Art Issue of SHOJO BEAT, a continual favorite with readers takes a broad approach to art, focusing not only on visual arts but also fashion, crafts, and cooking. “The Fine Art of Kawaii” spotlights five key Japanese artists who have captured the often elusive cutting-edge of cute. "Manga Art Schooled” analyzes the varied and distinctive art styles of five master shojo manga creators including Matsuri Hino (VAMPIRE KNIGHT), Arina Tanemura (The Gentlemen's Alliance †, FULL MOON), and the talented female artists who compose CLAMP (X/1999). Readers and budding artists can gain tremendous insight into each of these artists’ styles and understand and apply these unique techniques to their own work. Finally, “Cooking: Feast for Your Eyes" will offer up 10 easy and creative tips for artistic food plating.  

“We are excited to present SHOJO BEAT’s annual Art Issue knowing the tremendous interest it generates among our very creative readers,” says Narasu Rebbapragada, Senior Editor, Shojo Beat Magazine. “Research has shown that SHOJO BEAT readers draw regularly or are similarly creatively inclined, so we‘re confident that this year’s issue combining fun and savvy articles will again be a huge success!”  

The issue also contains an exclusive preview of Rinko Ueda’s TAIL OF THE MOON PREQUEL: THE OTHER HANZO(U), whose story is a prelude to the popular romantic ninja comedy TAIL OF THE MOON. 

For more information on Shojo Beat magazine, which is rated T+ for older teens, please visit www.ShojoBeat.com.

About VIZ Media, LLC

Headquartered in San Francisco, CA, VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), is one of the most comprehensive and innovative companies in the field of manga (graphic novel) publishing, animation and entertainment licensing of Japanese content. Owned by three of Japan’s largest creators and licensors of manga and animation, Shueisha Inc., Shogakukan Inc., and Shogakukan-Shueisha Productions, Co., Ltd., VIZ Media is a leader in the publishing and distribution of Japanese manga for English speaking audiences in North America, the United Kingdom, Ireland, and South Africa and is a global ex-Asia licensor of Japanese manga and animation. The company offers an integrated product line including magazines such as SHONEN JUMP and SHOJO BEAT, graphic novels, and DVDs, and develops, markets, licenses, and distributes animated entertainment for audiences and consumers of all ages. Contact VIZ Media at 295 Bay Street, San Francisco, CA 94133; Phone (415) 546-7073; Fax (415) 546-7086; and web site at www.VIZ.com.
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