Can Oni-chan be an onii-chan?
It is October, the month of Halloween where one night the veil of normality is lifted and all across the globe creatures beyond the veil visits the earth, some say. In the spirit of Halloween, we explore one of Japan’s most interesting folklore creatures – the oni. It is a devilish-looking creature, but is it naughty or nice? Let us find out together. We also look at yummy oni-inspired food, listen to a rocking AMV and learn some oni words. We are also your monthly source of anime news, so expect some anime news from the past month! Itadakimasu.
There are great anime released in Japan this month! Do not forget to take a look at our Top anime Recommendations for the Japan Fall season!
Chojigen Kakumei Anime – Dimension High School (Super-Dimensional Revolution Anime – Dimension High School)
A new original hybrid (Live-action/anime) series titled Chojigen Kakumei Anime – Dimension High School (Super-Dimensional Revolution Anime – Dimension High School) was revealed earlier this month. Yuuichi Abe (Girl in Twilight) is directing the anime and animator Izumi (Touken Ranbu) is the Character Designer.
Cast members confirmed to the project include Takuma Zaiki, Shōhei Hashimoto, Takahide Ishii, Takeo Ōtsuka and Toshiyuki Someya. The school fantasy features five high school boys that are whish away across dimensions to an anime world. The story will show their lives in the real world as well as the anime world. Chojigen Kakumei Anime – Dimension High School will premiere in January.
Dokyonin wa Hiza, Tokidoki, Atama no Ue. (My Housemate Is on My Lap, But Sometimes on My Head)
Set to premiere in 2019, Dōkyonin wa Hiza, Tokidoki, Atama no Ue. (My Housemate Is on My Lap, But Sometimes on My Head) is an upcoming anime based on the heart-warming manga written by Minatsuki and illustrated by As Futasuya. Cast members confirmed for the anime include Hiro Shimono, Kensho Ono, Shun Horie, Haruka Yamazaki, Chika Anzai, Yoshiki Nakajima, Ayumu Murase and Kenjiro Tsuda.
The anime is directed by Kaoru Suzuki (DIVE!!) and Deko Akao (Flying Witch) is in charge of series composition. Character Designer is Masaru Kitao (Death Note) is designing the characters and Kotoringo (In This Corner of the World) is composing the music.
The story is about reclusive novelist Subaru Mikazuki who takes in a stray cat and names it Haru. The anime features their everyday lives and each episode will have both a ‘Subaru’ and a ‘Haru’ segment, showing the episode from each character, human and feline’s respective perspectives.
GeGeGe no Kitarō
In September Toei Animation opened preregistration for a smartphone app game based on GeGeGe no Kitarō, a popular supernatural manga/anime. The game is going to launch on iOS and Android devices and is titled Yuru~i GeGeGe no Kitarō: Yōkai Dotabata Daisensō (Lax GeGeGe no Kitarō: Yōkai Slapstick Big Battle).
This tower defence-style game is jointly developed by PONOS and DeNA and will use the same system as PONOS’ The Battle Cats game. In the game, gamers can summon characters and attack enemy based with a ten-man-team but there is a “Hyakki Yagyō” (Parade of Yōkai) mode that will allow gamers to call a large number of yokai at once. Characters will have the ability to evolve, changing their appearance and level up as well. The game will be free to play with in-app purchases options.
The manga GeGeGe no Kitarō centres around the last survivor of the Ghost Tribe named Kitarō as he goes on adventures with other ghoulish creatures and yokai from mainly Japanese Folklore such as a rat-man, a cat-girl and a host of other interesting characters.
Jump Force (News Update)
Once again more characters from the world of anime have been added to the roster for the upcoming Jump Force game. This month it was revealed that Hunter X Hunter’s Kurapika and Killua and Yusuke Urameshi and Toguro from Yu Yu Hakusho are bound for Jump Force as well. The list of characters we knew about already reads like a ‘who is who’ list of fan-favourite heroes:
Naruto: Naruto and Sasuke
Dragon Ball Z: Goku, Frieza, and Vegeta
One Piece: Luffy, Zoro, Sanji, Blackbeard, and Sabo
Bleach: Ichigo, Rukia, and Aizen
Hunter x Hunter: Gon and Hisoka
Yu-Gi-Oh!: Yūgi Mutō
Death Note: Yagami Light and Ryuk
Jump Force is the game that will bring together epic heroes from the Shonen Jump Weekly manga. The game will be a 3D brawler/fighter where the player would be able to create three-character tag teams from different series. The game is being developed by Spike Chunsoft and it will launch on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC (via Steam) in 2019. Oh, and there is more! It has been announced that a closed beta is coming to the PS 4 version in Japan from October 12 to 14, ahead of the February launch.
Bandai Namco Entertainment describes the game as:
“Universes collide as legendary manga heroes and villains are transported to our reality. Massive battles fill epic locales as good and evil clashes, while humankind hangs in the balance.”
Tidbits from the realms of anime
Kawaii Kulture: Oni
October is the month where Halloween is celebrated in many forms, in many cultures, in many different ways, and for that reason, dark tales from Japanese legends and lore are perfect to use for ghostly tales at Halloween parties and for Halloween costume balls. Tales of yurei (ghosts) and yokai are aplenty to get ‘lost’ into, and some of them may cause you to look over your shoulder on dark ominous nights. In Japan, the oni is a fascinating creature that deserves to be looked at. The creature is even part of some interesting idioms and proverbs in Japan such as: “Oya ni ninu ko wa oni no ko”, which translates to “a child that does not resemble its parents is the child of an oni”… which may explain that cousin that misbehaves a lot…right?
Oni is seen as a type of yokai, and the name Oni is loosely translated as ‘demon’, ‘devil’ or ‘ogre’. They are generally depicted as horned, fanged, lion clothed weapon-carriers with red, blue, brown or black skin and some say their historic origins may stem from the Rakshasa from Indian Buddhist traditions. There is even a school of thought among scholars that oni was entirely a concept stemmed from Buddhist myth.
Oni may seem like evil and scary monsters but in Japanese folklore, they can have redeeming traits, oni can be agents of good or evil. This also reflects in their popular culture as oni populates as both heroes and villains in anime and manga. Here is a list of six examples of oni from anime and manga, but there are many more to meet in anime:
Urusei Yatsura, the female lead character is an oni alien.
Ranma ½, Katsumi Tendo was possessed by a mischievous oni.
In the Dragon Ball franchise, King Yemma is an oni which runs the Check-In Station in the Other World, some of his staff are oni. The character Dabura is also a good example of an Oni.
Gouki and Shura from Yu Yu Hakusho
Tekki from Momo Kyun Sword
Odanna, the owner of the Tenjin-ya in the Hidden Realm in Kakuriyo no Yadomeshi is an oni
Spread the Word & Word of the Month: Oni
Oni, our word of the month, can mean ‘demon’, ‘devil’ or ‘ogre’.
Here is a sentence you can practice this month: In Japanese folktales, there are oni – Nihon no minwa ni wa, oni ga dete kimasu.
Since the moon is by some seen as a supernatural force lets also practice the Japanese word for moon – tsuki. The word ‘Tsuki’ is used a lot in Japanese names such as ‘Tsukiko’ which means ‘Child of the Moon’ (Perfect name for a girl) and ‘Tsukiro’ giving Tsuki a masculine suffix –ro, which then can translate to ‘Son of The Moon’.
Traditional Recipe of the month: Easy Miso Ramen & Spicy Ramen Noodles (Oni Heat)
Easy Miso Ramen
Ramen can be an elaborate dish that takes days to prepare but if you are hungry and want to whip up a quicker version there are ways to achieve it. YouTuber Mr Donkey shows us how to make easy, delicious, nutritious affordable ramen in our own homes.
Here are his ingredients, the dish when prepared is enough to dish up for two people. He uses Pork (or bacon) 100g, Bean Sprouts 1/2 of a bag, Dried Bonito 1 small bag, Sesame oil 2 teaspoons, Water 600 cc, Chicken soup stock paste 1 teaspoon, Ground Ginger 1 Clove, Ground Garlic 1 Clove, Soy Sauce 2 Table Spoons and Miso 3 Table Spoons.
His process is quite easy. First, you cook the meat with sesame oil and the dried bonito. After the meat has been cooked, water, chicken broth stock, ginger and garlic are added. Then boil it further, removing the skim that forms in the process. Then you add the soy sauce and miso. Lastly, the bean sprouts are added and after they are ready, the dish is done. Itadakimasu!!
Spicy Ramen Noodles (Oni Heat)
Since this bento is about Oni, we also must share food with you that is on another level, as in Oni Level. Another word for devil is oni in Japanese and YouTuber Mark Wiens and his Camerawoman/wife visited a ramen restaurant in Tokyo where he sampled the one spiciest ramen in Japan, the Devil Level Ramen, and a bowl of ramen that may just burn even a devil to ashes! The restaurant is Karashibi Miso Ramen Kikanbo is and as you watch the video you will notice all the oni masks on the wall and the ‘hellish’ dark dungeon theme of the restaurant. Mark Wiens was very trippy on the burn near the end. This quote says it all:” Wow. I don’t think I am going to lick out this bowl, but I am at the bottom. I can fully see the devils on the side of the bowl.”
October Anime Challenge – Kyoukai no Kanata
We thank all who participated in our September Anime Challenge which was the fantasy comedy anime Zero no Tsukaima. Our anime challenge for October is Kyoukai no Kanata also known as Beyond the Boundary outside Japan. (Shout out to Kirito for choosing this month’s challenge anime) It is based on a series of light novels written by Nagomu Torii, illustrated by Tomoyo Kamoi. The light novel series won an honourable mention in the 2011 Kyoto Animation Award competition. Three volumes of the series have been published so far. The Kyoukai no Kanata anime series ran from October to December 2013, followed by an OVA (Original Video Animation) in July 2014 and a two-part movie in March/April 2015.
The series starts with Akihito Kanbara saving his school friend Mirai Kuriyama from committing suicide. All of a sudden Mirai stabs him with a sword formed from her own blood! That is how it is discovered that Akihito is an immortal. He is a half-youmi, the offspring of a youmi, supernatural entity and a human. Akihito learns that Mirai is an Ikaishi, a spirit world warrior, a special warrior that protects humans from being affected by youmu. He discovers that Mirai is the last surviving member of her spirit hunting clan. Akihito becomes Mirai’s world as he helps her to gain confidence to kill youmu (and to hopefully stop her for trying to kill him for practice!)
Birthday of the month – Kirito (Sword Art Online)
We all know Kirito as the main protagonist of Sword Art Online. He was chosen as one of the thousand beta testers for the closed beta of Sword Art Online, the first ever VRMMORPG for the NerveGear. His real name is Kirigaya Kazuto and he shortened it to Kirito to use as his gaming name. We meet Kirito at age 14 (beginning of Aincred Arc) and at the time of the Phantom Bullet Arc he is 17. A man of few words, He is an absolute gaming genius. He prefers to be a ‘solo player’ (Not belonging to any guild in-game). During the series Sword Art Online, we see how he selflessly goes out of his way to save people, especially after the happenings in the game Sword Art Online.
His weapons of choice in Sword Art Online are as follows: Anneal Blade on the 1st Level, Queen’s Knightblade on the 9th Level, Elucidator on the 50th level, Dark Repulser that was forged by Lisbeth, and Holy Sword Excalibur that Kirito obtained from the “Calibur Quest”.
It is no wonder that Kirito is a two-time first place winner for the Top 10 Male Characters in the Kono Light Novel ga Sugoi! awards (for 2012 and 2013), and that he placed third in 2011 and 2014! He is just the type of hero that draws one in with his determination, sense of honour and selflessness.
Kirito (October 7th) shares his birth month with his friend Silica from Sword Art Online, whose birthday is on the 4th. More October birthdays include Naruto Uzumaki (Naruto) on the 10th and Orochimaru (Naruto) on the 27th.
AMV of the Month: Berserk x Slipknot
There is good and bad oni and in anime, there is one dark champion that is the bane of oni’s existence, the mercenary Guts from the anime Berserk. Our AMV this month feature scenes from the anime movie: Berserk – Golden Age chapter I – Egg of the High King and the music is the song ’The Devil and I’ from the metal band Slipknot.
Anime Day: COSPLAY GHOULS!
This Anime Day (October 13th), will be a day of ghouls and goblins, oni and rokurokubi as we delve into the realm of supernatural mystery and spine crawling anime screenings. Expect anime series like Shiki, Paranoia Agent, Hell Girl, and Death Parade and movies like Parasyte Live Action as you ‘chill’. And there is more!
We are also hosting our very first horror-themed cosplay and there are sugoi prizes for the best dressed on the day. We hope you are working on your costumes as the competition is going to be fierce. To find out the rules and prizes, visit our meetup page where all will be… unveiled.
Schedule for the day
12h00 – Horror screening starts
16h00 – Cosplay competition
20h00 – Screening ends
Entrance is free! Grab your ghost and ghoul spray, cosplay costume, a friend, some popcorn (free at the door but first come, first serve) and join us at Cool Runnings in Centurion for a super sugoi day. There are loads of food and drink specials to be enjoyed at Cool Runnings on the day. The event will run from 12:00 PM to 20:00 PM.