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Arata: The Legend

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Title: Arata: The Legend  
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Subject: Sōichirō Hoshi, Yuu Watase, Katsuyuki Konishi, Viz Media, Kow Otani, Daisuke Namikawa, Ayahi Takagaki, Nobuhiko Okamoto
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Arata: The Legend

Arata: The Legend
Shogakukan.
アラタカンガタリ 〜革神語〜
(Arata Kangatari)
Genre Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Romance
Manga
Written by Yuu Watase
Published by Shogakukan
English publisher
Demographic Shōnen
Magazine Weekly Shōnen Sunday
Original run October 2008 – ongoing
Volumes 21 (List of volumes)
Anime television series
Directed by Kenji Yasuda
Woo Hyun Park
Music by Kou Otani
Studio Satelight
JM Animation
Licensed by
Network TV Tokyo, TVA, TVO, AT-X
Original run April 9, 2013 July 1, 2013
Episodes 12
Anime and Manga portal

Arata: The Legend (アラタカンガタリ 〜革神語〜 Arata Kangatari?), a Japanese manga written by Yuu Watase that began serialization in the manga magazine Weekly Shōnen Sunday in 2008. The first volume of the series was released in Japan on January 16, 2009.[1] The series has twenty-one volumes and is still serialized in Shōnen Sunday.[2] The series is Watase's first shōnen series. It is licensed by Viz Media as part of their Shōnen Sunday imprint.

An anime TV series adaptation produced by Satelight and Korean studio JM Animation began airing on April 9, 2013. [3]

Plot

In a mythical world where humans and gods co-exist, a ceremony marking the new governing princess is about to occur for the first time in 60 years. Only a girl from the Hime Clan may take this position, but the lack of females born to this family means that a boy called Arata must pose for the role. During the ceremony, the Twelve Shinsho, the wielders of special swords called Hayagami, led by Kannagi, betray the princess by trying to kill her and Arata. Arata escapes and runs into the Kando Forest. He emerges from the forest and finds himself in the alley in present day Japan. He has a run-in with the police because he is shirtless but is saved by Nao, a girl who claims to be his sister.

Meanwhile in modern-day Japan, a boy named Arata Hinohara is starting his new life in high school. He wants to put memories of his difficult past behind him, but things aren’t going to be simple when Kadowaki, the bully from his old school, emerges. Kadowaki's bullying continues, and Hinohara discovers that his friend, Suguru, allied with Kadowaki and covered his desk with glue. Feeling angry and betrayed, he walks into an alley, and soon finds that is no longer in Japan, but rather a new world, Amawakuni, the other Arata's home. He is helped by Arata's grandmother and Kotoha, Arata's childhood friend. When Kannagi searches their house, Hinohara comes across a rusted sword and activates its power and becomes a sho. The sword is a Hayagami, or god, named Tsukuyo.

Kotoha gives Hinohara a stone (michihi no tama). He is arrested, and in a jail cell, talks to Arata through the stone. He discovers the truth behind the princess' assassination, and both realize that they are in each other's worlds and being mistaken for each other. Hinohara is speedily tried, found guilty, and exiled to Gatoya Island, a place compared to a living hell. On the trip to the island Kotoha tags along and gives him his Hayagami. Also because of the stones power he is able to talk to the princess (who is just barely alive) and she asks him to govern the world as otherwise there will only be war and bloodshed.

On the Gatoya, he meets two friends, Kanate and Ginchi, who try to steal his belongings and Kotoha. Kotoha soon disappears, and Hinohara, desperate to find her, trades everyday items from Japan for information. He discovers that Tsutuga, the warden of Gatoya Island, is a sho, and confronts him. Hinohara learns that Tsutuga was betrayed and empathizes with him. Tsutsuga decides to give his Hayagami to Hinohara, and becomes one with his Hayagami. Hinohara uses his new power to then restore the island. He and Kotoha escape with their new friends, Kanate and Ginchi, to the mainland to restore order and save the princess.

Characters

Main Characters

Arata Hinohara (日ノ原 革 Hinohara Arata?)
Voiced by: Nobuhiko Okamoto
Arata Hinohara is a shy, quiet high school freshman from present day Japan. He is athletic, and used to run track in middle school. After being betrayed by his friend Suguru, Hinohara is sucked into another world, Amawakuni, where he poses as the Arata from Amawakuni, who has been framed for the princess' murder. Soon after his entrance into the new world, he discovers that he is a sho, one chosen to wield a Hayagami, a god in the form of a sword. He promises the princess to help restore her power and embarks on a quest to save the princess. He eventually falls in love with Kotoha.
Arata (アラタ Arata?)
Voiced by: Yoshitsugu Matsuoka
Arata, from Amawakuni, is outgoing, full of energy, and becomes bored quickly. At birth, his grandmother, Makari, claimed that he was a girl but still raised him as boy. He is part of the Hime clan, which provides the princesses to maintain balance in the world. With no other girls to succeed the current princess, Arata poses as a girl to become the princess' successor. At the succession ceremony, he witnesses the princess' assassination and is quickly framed for murder. He runs into Kando forest, where he switches places with Arata Hinohara from present-day Japan.
Masato Kadowaki (門脇 将人 Kadowaki Masato?)
Voiced by: Ryohei Kimura
A former friend of Hinohara in middle school, where they both were on the track team. In high school, he and Hinohara have the same class. He hates Hinohara because he believes that Hinohara looks down upon him, and constantly bullies Hinohara. He causes everyone to turn against Hinohara, including his best friend Suguru.
Kotoha (コトハ Kotoha?)
Voiced by: Ayahi Takagaki
Kotoha is Arata’s childhood friend, even though her family the Uneme clan has served the Hime clan for years. Like almost everyone else in Awamakuni, she thinks that Hinohara is the Arata from the Hime clan and that he lost his memories after being "eaten" by the Kando Forest. She has the healing powers that all women of Uneme clan have. She accompanies Hinohara on his quest. She also fall in love with Hinohara based on a manga.
Princess Kikuri (キクリ Kikuri?)
Voiced by: Hibiku Yamamura
Kikuri is the current princess of Amawakuni and has been in that position for 60 years. She governs Amawakuni and leads the Twelve Shinsho. At Arata's succession ceremony, the Twelve Shinsho, led by Kannagi, betray her and attempt to assassinate her. She clings to life with the last of her power, the Amatsuriki. She communicates with Hinohara and asks him to bring his Hayagami to her, in a last attempt to bring order to and prevent chaos in the world.
Kannagi (カンナギ Kannagi?)
Voiced by: Yuki Ono
One of the Twelve Shinsho, he wields the Hayagami Homura, the god of fire. He incites the coup d'etat against the princess so that the Shinsho can use their Hayagami without limitations and also frames Arata for the murder. At first, he leads the manhunt for Arata but later decides to accompany Arata on his quest in order to get revenge on Akachi.
Kanate (カナテ Kanate?)
Voiced by: Junko Minagawa
He was part of a band of thieves and acts like an older brother to another orphan, Ginchi. He and Ginchi were prisoners of Gatoya Island, along with Kotoha and Arata. Hinohara saves him from Tsutsuga, the warden of the island, and they later become friends. After Tsutsuga submits to Hinohara, Kanate escapes Gotoya Island in a ship with Ginchi, Hinohara and Kotoha.
Imina Oribe (織部 実名 Oribe Imina?)
Arata's schoolmate. She is part of Hime Clan that supposed to be killed 15 years ago but failed because she switched places and now living in present-day Japan.
Yataka (ヤタカ Yataka?)
Mikusa (ミクサ Mikusa?)
Rami (ラミ Rami?)

Twelve Shinshou

Akachi (アカチ Akachi?)
Voiced by: Tatsuhisa Suzuki

One of the Twelve Shinsho and a former friend of Kannagi. He and Kannagi grew up together as close friends, but they were separated during a mutiny by the villagers when he held off the mutineers to let Kannagi escape with his half-sister Emisu. Following the death of Emisu, he has developed a strong hatred for Kannagi.

Yorunami
Voiced by: Sōichirō Hoshi
Kugura (クグラ Kagura?)
Voiced by: Go Inoue
Yataka (ヤタカ Yataka?)
Voiced by: Mamoru Miyano
Isora
Kikutsune (キクツネ Kikutsune?)
Shimu
Ikisu
Ameeno
Harunawa (ハルナワ Harunawa?)

Other

Suguru Nishijima (西島 優 Nishijima Suguru?)
On the first day of school, Hinohara saves him from being falsely accused of being a pervert on the subway. They become friends, but he later betrays Hinohara by covering his desk and chair with glue.
Hiruha (ヒルハ Hiruha?)
Miyabi (ミヤビ Miyabi?)
Teko (テコ Teko?)

Manga

Main article: List of Arata: The Legend chapters

Written and illustrated by Yuu Watase, chapters of Arata: The Legend have been serialized in Shogakukan's Weekly Shōnen Sunday magazine since October 2008. As of now, Shogakukan has released seventeen tankōbon volumes. The first volume was published on January 16, 2009[1] and seventeen on December 2012.[2] It is licensed in English by Viz Media as part of their Shonen Sunday imprint.

Reception

Rebecca Bundy of Anime News Network gave the first volume an overall B+ for "Great art and character designs; plus, Watase's ability to create interesting lore is as sharp as ever." She also noted, however, that the "Pathetic, cowardly main character makes everything involving him painful to read."[4] Deb Aoki of About.com notes that the plot is "fairly formulaic fantasy fare that's just a bit too predictable to offer fans something truly fresh and new" but that the series has her "hooked."[5] Todd Douglass of Blogcritics.org says that the first volume is "strongly recommended," despite some reservations.[6] Christopher Nadolsk of Mania.com says that the first volume offers "an entertaining and eye-pleasing escapist fantasy read."[7]

References

External links

  • Arata section at the author's website (Japanese)
  • Arata: The Legend at Viz Media
  • Arata: The Legend at Viz Media's Shonen Sunday site
  • Anime News Network's Encyclopedia
  • Anime News Network's Encyclopedia
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