The Five Star Stories
The Five Star Stories is a manga series created by Mamoru Nagano, building on his work on the anime series Heavy Metal L-Gaim. The story is staged at an alien cluster of four major planetary systems. Amaterasu, the immortal emperor of the Grees Kingdom on the planet Delta Belune, is destined to rule the whole Joker System, he and Lachesis, his bride and fatima, an artificial life-form, are the main characters of this epic story. An anime film adaptation of the first volume, directed by Kazuo Yamazaki, was released in 1989; the Five Star Stories takes its name from the Joker Star Cluster. The star cluster is made up of four stars: Eastern, Western and Northern; the "fifth star" is a large comet named Stant that passes through that sector of space every 1,500 years pulling with it its own collection of orbiting planets. In the distant past the Farus Di Kanon Empire, now known as the "Super Empire", controlled all 4 solar systems of the Joker Cluster, they enjoyed a level of technology much higher than is known and sent explorers to the far reaches of the Joker Cluster.
Around the year 9000 AD the empire collapsed due to internal strife. The explorers were called home and what remained of civilization focused on survival. Much technology and knowledge was lost by the time the imperial families of Amaterasu and Hathuha gathered and established the JC era. JC stands for "Joker Calendar" and was meant to give a common frame of reference to all nations to help foster a lasting peace; the JC calendar was adopted but the dream of peace was never realized. The first story of The Five Star Stories begins in JC 2988. At this time interstellar travel is common and genetically engineered "fatimas" are well established as necessary co-pilots of the fearsome mortar headds that dominate the battlefields. Warfare between nations is commonplace and few still hope for peace. Mortar headds are the combat mainstays of the Joker Universe, they are mecha which require superhuman reflexes and skill to control, are therefore only utilized by headdliners with Fatima copilots. Fatimas are humanoid creatures genetically engineered for a life of service on the battlefield.
Fatimas are necessary copilots for mortar headds and mentally merge with the computer systems of these devastating machines to control weapons and other vital processes. As such, Fatimas are designed to have computational skills rivaling any computer; as of the 2013 May issue of Newtype, the setting of FSS has changed to fit the lore of Mamoru Nagano's 2012 film Gothicmade. MH has been renamed GTM, while Fatimas have been renamed AF. So far, 14 volumes of manga have been published since 1986. There is an English version of the manga available, published by Toyspress, a company co-founded by the author; each volume of the English version contained 2⁄5 of the equivalent Japanese volumes. To date, 26 volumes of the English version have been produced, covering Japanese volumes 1 through 10. Volumes 11 onwards have yet to be translated and the status of future English versions is unknown at this time; the major story arcs of the manga are: A film adaptation of The Five Star Stories covers the events in the first arc of the manga, Destiny Three Fates: Lachesis.
It was created by Sunrise, directed by Kazuo Yamazaki, produced by Haruki Kadokawa, premiered in Japan on March 11, 1989. It was re-released in 2002 in DVD format; the licensing rights are owned by ADV Films, an English version was released in March 2005. According to Oricon, reboots of the first three volumes have all ranked within the top 30 best-selling manga of during their release week: Book I at number 11 selling 31,471 copies, book II at number 23 selling 30,958 copies, book III at number 15 selling 38,437 copies; the manga had over 8.5 million copies in print as of January 2018. Official website The Five Star Stories at Anime News Network's encyclopedia The Five Star Stories on IMDb
GAINAX Co. Ltd. is a Japanese anime studio famous for productions such as Neon Genesis Evangelion, Royal Space Force, Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water, Kare Kano, FLCL, Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi, Gurren Lagann, which have garnered critical acclaim and been commercially successful. Evangelion has grossed over 150 billion yen, or 1.2 billion USD. In a discussion at the 2006 Tekkoshocon, Matt Greenfield claimed Evangelion had grossed over 2 billion USD; the company is headquartered in Tokyo. Until Neon Genesis Evangelion, Gainax worked on stories created in-house, but the studio has developed anime adaptations of existing manga like Kareshi Kanojo no Jijou and Mahoromatic. Series produced by Gainax are known for their controversial twist endings; the Animage Anime Grand Prix has been awarded to Gainax for Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water in 1991, Neon Genesis Evangelion in 1995 and 1996, The End of Evangelion in 1997. The studio was formed in the early 1980s as Daicon Film by university students Hideaki Anno, Yoshiyuki Sadamoto, Hiroyuki Yamaga, Takami Akai, Toshio Okada, Yasuhiro Takeda and Shinji Higuchi.
Their first project was an animated short for the 20th Annual Japan National SF Convention known as Daicon III, held in 1981 in Osaka, Japan. The short film is about a girl who fights monsters and spaceships from early science fiction TV shows and films until she reaches a desert plain and pours a glass of water on a dried-out daikon radish, which resurrects itself, grows into a huge spaceship, beams her aboard. Though the short had an ambitious scope, the animation was low-quality; the group made a much bigger splash with the short they produced for the 22nd Annual Japan National SF Convention, Daicon IV, in 1983. Starting with a better animated recap of their original 1981 short, the short moves to the girl as a grown woman, wearing a bunny suit and fighting an wider range of science fiction creatures while surfing through the sky on the sword Stormbringer; the action was all set to the Electric Light Orchestra song "Twilight", though the group's failure to properly license the song would prevent the short's official release on DVD.
The Daicon IV short established Daicon Film as a talented new anime studio. The studio changed its name to Gainax in 1985, basing the term "Gainax" on an obscure Tottori Prefecture term for "giant", with the English suffix -x added because it sounded "good and was international". Gainax's first work as a commercial entity was Royal Space Force: The Wings of Honneamise, released in 1987. Honneamise was critically acclaimed and a classic anime movie; the next release, the 1988 OVA Gunbuster, was a commercial success and put Gainax on a stabler footing to produce works like Nadia and Otaku no Video. During this period, Gainax produced a number of items such as garage kit and adult video games. In 1995, Gainax produced their best known series, the commercially successful and critically lauded Neon Genesis Evangelion. In the wake of Evangelion's success, Gainax was audited by the National Tax Agency at the urging of the Tokyo Regional Taxation Bureau on suspicion of committing tax evasion on the massive profits accruing from various Evangelion properties.
It was revealed that Gainax had concealed 1.56 billion yen worth of income which it had earned between the release of Evangelion and July 1997 by paying related companies various large fees, ostensibly to pay for animation expenses, but immediately withdrawing 90% of the sums from the other company's accounts as cash and storing it in safe deposit boxes. Gainax president Takeshi Sawamura and tax accountant Yoshikatsu Iwasaki were arrested on July 13, 1999 and jailed for accounting fraud. Yasuhiro Takeda defended Sawamura's actions as being a reaction to Gainax's perpetually precarious finances and the shaky accounting procedures internally: "Sawamura understood our financial situation better than anyone, so when Evangelion took off and the money started rolling in, he saw it as our one and only opportunity to set something aside for the future. I guess he was vulnerable to temptation at that point, because no one knew how long the Evangelion goose would keep laying golden eggs. I don't think he purposely set out with the goal of evading taxes.
It was more that our level of accounting knowledge wasn't up to the task of dealing with revenues on such a large scale." In 2004, Gainax marked their 20th anniversary with the production of Diebuster, the sequel to Gunbuster. Gainax's most recent successes on television have been the popular anime series Gurren Lagann and Pant
The Pacific Ocean is the largest and deepest of Earth's oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic Ocean in the north to the Southern Ocean in the south and is bounded by Asia and Australia in the west and the Americas in the east. At 165,250,000 square kilometers in area, this largest division of the World Ocean—and, in turn, the hydrosphere—covers about 46% of Earth's water surface and about one-third of its total surface area, making it larger than all of Earth's land area combined; the centers of both the Water Hemisphere and the Western Hemisphere are in the Pacific Ocean. The equator subdivides it into the North Pacific Ocean and South Pacific Ocean, with two exceptions: the Galápagos and Gilbert Islands, while straddling the equator, are deemed wholly within the South Pacific, its mean depth is 4,000 meters. The Mariana Trench in the western North Pacific is the deepest point in the world, reaching a depth of 10,911 meters; the western Pacific has many peripheral seas. Though the peoples of Asia and Oceania have traveled the Pacific Ocean since prehistoric times, the eastern Pacific was first sighted by Europeans in the early 16th century when Spanish explorer Vasco Núñez de Balboa crossed the Isthmus of Panama in 1513 and discovered the great "southern sea" which he named Mar del Sur.
The ocean's current name was coined by Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan during the Spanish circumnavigation of the world in 1521, as he encountered favorable winds on reaching the ocean. He called it Mar Pacífico, which in both Portuguese and Spanish means "peaceful sea". Important human migrations occurred in the Pacific in prehistoric times. About 3000 BC, the Austronesian peoples on the island of Taiwan mastered the art of long-distance canoe travel and spread themselves and their languages south to the Philippines and maritime Southeast Asia. Long-distance trade developed all along the coast from Mozambique to Japan. Trade, therefore knowledge, extended to the Indonesian islands but not Australia. By at least 878 when there was a significant Islamic settlement in Canton much of this trade was controlled by Arabs or Muslims. In 219 BC Xu Fu sailed out into the Pacific searching for the elixir of immortality. From 1404 to 1433 Zheng He led expeditions into the Indian Ocean; the first contact of European navigators with the western edge of the Pacific Ocean was made by the Portuguese expeditions of António de Abreu and Francisco Serrão, via the Lesser Sunda Islands, to the Maluku Islands, in 1512, with Jorge Álvares's expedition to southern China in 1513, both ordered by Afonso de Albuquerque from Malacca.
The east side of the ocean was discovered by Spanish explorer Vasco Núñez de Balboa in 1513 after his expedition crossed the Isthmus of Panama and reached a new ocean. He named it Mar del Sur because the ocean was to the south of the coast of the isthmus where he first observed the Pacific. In 1519, Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan sailed the Pacific East to West on a Spanish expedition to the Spice Islands that would result in the first world circumnavigation. Magellan called the ocean Pacífico because, after sailing through the stormy seas off Cape Horn, the expedition found calm waters; the ocean was called the Sea of Magellan in his honor until the eighteenth century. Although Magellan himself died in the Philippines in 1521, Spanish Basque navigator Juan Sebastián Elcano led the remains of the expedition back to Spain across the Indian Ocean and round the Cape of Good Hope, completing the first world circumnavigation in a single expedition in 1522. Sailing around and east of the Moluccas, between 1525 and 1527, Portuguese expeditions discovered the Caroline Islands, the Aru Islands, Papua New Guinea.
In 1542–43 the Portuguese reached Japan. In 1564, five Spanish ships carrying 379 explorers crossed the ocean from Mexico led by Miguel López de Legazpi, sailed to the Philippines and Mariana Islands. For the remainder of the 16th century, Spanish influence was paramount, with ships sailing from Mexico and Peru across the Pacific Ocean to the Philippines via Guam, establishing the Spanish East Indies; the Manila galleons operated for two and a half centuries, linking Manila and Acapulco, in one of the longest trade routes in history. Spanish expeditions discovered Tuvalu, the Marquesas, the Cook Islands, the Solomon Islands, the Admiralty Islands in the South Pacific. In the quest for Terra Australis, Spanish explorations in the 17th century, such as the expedition led by the Portuguese navigator Pedro Fernandes de Queirós, discovered the Pitcairn and Vanuatu archipelagos, sailed the Torres Strait between Australia and New Guinea, named after navigator Luís Vaz de Torres. Dutch explorers, sailing around southern Africa engaged in discovery and trade.
In the 16th and 17th centuries Spain considered the Pacific Ocean a mare clausum—a sea closed to other naval powers. As the only known entrance from the Atlantic, the Strait of Magellan was at times patrolled by fleets sent to prevent entrance of non-Spanish ships. On the western side of the Pacific Ocean the Dutch threatened the Spanish Philippines; the 18th cen
Tokyopop is an American distributor and publisher of anime, manga 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 LAX in California, its parent company's offices are in Tokyo and its sister company's office is in Hamburg, Germany. Tokyopop was founded in 1997 by Stuart J. Levy. In the late 1990s, the company's headquarters were in Los Angeles. While the company was known as Mixx Entertainment, it sold MixxZine, a manga magazine where popular serials like Sailor Moon were published weekly. Mixxzine became Tokyopop before it was discontinued. Capitalizing on the popularity of Sailor Moon, Mixx created the magazine, Smile, a magazine, half girls’ magazine, half shōjo manga anthology, continued the Sailor Moon story after being discontinued in Mixxzine.
Cultural anthropologist Matt Thorn praised Stu Levy for opening up an untapped market for cartoons with the publication of Sailor Moon. Before Sailor Moon, the belief among entertainment executives was that "girls don't watch cartoons." Due to Sailor Moon’s immense popularity, Tokyopop discontinued the serial from its magazines, released it separately as its first manga graphic novel. They engineered prominent book distribution via retail stores, standardized book trim size, created a basic industry-wide rating system, developed the first-ever retail manga displays and introduced the world of graphic novels to an audience of teenage girls. Together with Diamond, Tokyopop offered retailers free spinner rack displays for Tokyopop manga, thereby increasing the visibility of the medium in bookstores. Tokyopop licensed and distributed Japanese anime. In 1996, Mixx Entertainment acquired the rights to the anime biopic of Japanese poet Kenji Miyazawa, Stu Levy produced and directed the English version of the anime film, entitled “Spring and Chaos.”
The film was directed and scripted by Shoji Kawamori, who created Super Dimensional Fortress Macross and The Vision of Escaflowne. Taste of Cinema ranked “Spring and Chaos” thirteenth in its list of Top “25 Weird Animated Movies That Are Worth Your Time.” From 2000 to 2004, Tokyopop released multiple film and television projects such as Street Fury, which Stu Levy created, GTO, Rave Master, Reign: The Conqueror Tokyopop released English version DVDs for: Initial D, Marmalade Boy, Saint Tail, Samurai Girl: Real Bout High School, Vampire Princess Miyu, Brigadoon, FMW, High School Ghostbusters. In 2002, Tokyopop launched its line of 100% Authentic Manga, printed in the original Japanese right-to-left format and included the original Japanese printed sound effects. In Japan, all published manga is written to read from right to left, but when an English translation was published in the U. S. however, the common practice was to use computer-reversed or mirror images that allowed the books to read from left to right.
This compromised the integrity of the title's original artwork. Tokyopop's decision to release 100% authentic right-to-left manga not only maintained the integrity of the original artwork, but it enabled Tokyopop to release most graphic novel series on a frequency three-to-six times faster than the current industry standard. Tokyopop volumes hit the shelves monthly, bi-monthly or quarterly versus the six months or longer typical of competitors, it allowed Tokyopop to sell books for an industry-leading price point of $9.99 per book, at a time when most competitors charged $12.99 to $16.99 per book. Tokyopop was the first U. S. publisher to adopt such a sweeping policy. While some Japanese manga artists had required that the English versions of their manga be published from right to left, Tokyopop was the first American publisher to unilaterally announce that it would maintain the original format for all of its future manga titles. An "authentic manga" how-to guide was included in each graphic novel to keep readers from accidentally reading the final page first, the authentic manga featured special packaging.
Tokyopop launched their Global Manga publishing program in 2003 via the introduction of its "Rising Stars of Manga" talent competition. The competition called for American manga artists to submit 15-25 page English-language stories of any genre; the top 10 entries, as judged by Tokyopop editors, received cash prizes and were published in an anthology of the winning works. The grand prize winners were given the chance to pitch full-length manga projects to Tokyopop for a chance to become professional manga-ka. Tokyopop launched its first "Rising Stars of Manga" contest on August 15, 2002 and ended it on December 16, 2002, with more than five hundred American artists submitting their 15–25 page, English-language stories; the 5th Rising Stars of Manga competition added the People's Choice award, where the top-20 finalists had their entire entries judged by the fans on the Tokyopop website. “We are pleased to open up the Rising Stars judging to the fans," commented Tokyopop editor Rob Valois. "Since so many people have been vocal on the message boards and at industry conventions, we’re offering them all a chance to shape the future of manga.
I’m excited to see how the fans’ favorite will compare to our own."Tokyopop held eight Rising Stars of Manga competitions between 2002 and 2008, as well as one in the UK in 2005. Several Rising Stars of Manga winners went on t
Yoko Kanno is a Japanese composer and musician best known for her work on the soundtracks on anime films, television series, live-action films, video games, advertisements. She was born in Miyagi Prefecture, Japan, she has written scores for Cowboy Bebop, Darker than Black, Macross Plus, Turn A Gundam, The Vision of Escaflowne, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, Wolf's Rain, Kids on the Slope and Terror in Resonance, has worked with the directors Yoshiyuki Tomino, Shinichirō Watanabe and Shōji Kawamori. Kanno has composed music for pop artists Maaya Sakamoto and Kyōko Koizumi, she is a keyboardist, is the frontwoman for the Seatbelts, who perform many of Kanno's compositions and soundtracks. Yoko Kanno was born March 1963 in Sendai, Japan, her earliest experiences with music came from attending church with her parents. She studied keyboard from a young age on both the piano in her home and the organ at her kindergarten. In elementary school, she began participating in composition contests, but in high school, Kanno began to take more of an interest in literature than in music.
After high school, Kanno attended Waseda University. In her free time, she would transcribe music for various student groups at Waseda, it was during this time that Kanno, whose parents had only allowed her to listen to classical music, was introduced to rhythm by a friend of hers who played drums in a school band. She spoke of this experience in an interview with Akihiro Tomita: I thought my friend was a genius. I had heard drums on the radio before, but it was like I had never noticed them. I see drums performed live, was able to experience a beat for the first time. I joined the band elective. During her time with this band, she began to study the style of popular music. While at Waseda, Koei, a Japanese video game company, asked Kanno to compose the soundtrack to Nobunaga's Ambition; the game turned out to be a hit, Kanno's music career was launched. Yoko Kanno's soundtrack themes include "Kiseki no Umi", "Voices", "Tank!", "Yakusoku wa Iranai", "Gravity", "Inner Universe" and Stand Alone Complex O.
S. T. In regards to making the Stand Alone Complex soundtrack she said: I had this image of a formal and rigid'manly' world for the original comic. So I tried to think of ways to destroy that world; the theme I had in mind was,'be human.' It represented the sentiment of'why don't we take it easy and be more like a human being?'—instead of being a workaholic salaried man working for his company. Or be it Tachikoma wishing to become human. I wanted to express these'tangible fuzziness,' sort of. For the opening theme song called'inner universe,' I had an image of digital bits and composed a score consisting of recurrent quick beats. Having composed in various genres, including blues, jazz, J-pop, she was once asked if she favored a particular genre: Ah... I hear everyone talk about how many genres like classical and others, but I don't divide music by genre when creating. I don't create by saying,'I must create a classical piece here,' or'I must create a jazz piece here.' When I create music, I don't consider at all which genre I like best, but what the scene or the anime calls for, like a love or a mood.
There isn't one genre I like more than the others. I find all of them satisfying and all inspire me in different ways. Since she works in the animation industry, she only receives instructions and storyboards from directors which helps her with composing. However, it is uncertain, she once said that this is a way she likes to work, for she does not have to deal with rules during composing. In reference to this, she once stated: In my case, the creators talk to me and ask me to do a soundtrack a year or two before the animation is finished. At that time, I think of the plot in my brain, when the characters' names—everything about the characters—has not been decided yet; this is when the title has not be decided yet. She was the lead member of the project band called Seatbelts, which regrouped in the year of 2004 to compose the soundtrack of the PlayStation 2 Cowboy Bebop video game, released in Japan in 2005, she has composed for Koei games released during the late 1980s to early 1990s and for Napple Tale, a Dreamcast game.
Due to her close involvement in the Cowboy Bebop anime, the game released by Bandai features her work. Apart from anime and games, Kanno composes for live-action films and television commercials; some popular brands she has composed for are Canon, DoCoMo, Fuji Xerox, Seven-Eleven, Nissan, Shiseido and MasterCard to name a few. Grand Funk Inc. is her recording studio of choice in producing for these two media. Contributions to films started in the 1990s but only since 2002 has there been a trend towards the medium. Most of the latter were shown in international film festivals, she attended Otakon and Anime Expo in 1999, as well as Anime Expo New York in 2002. In 2010, she made a surprise appearance at Anime Expo. Yoko Kanno performed her solo PianoMe concert at Otakon 2013. On many of Kanno's tracks, a woman named "Gabriela Robin" was credited as a lyricist and vocalist, but whenever these songs were performed in concert, either Maaya Sakamoto or Origa would perform them instead. In a 2009 written interview, Robin proclaimed that she would perform for the first time live at Kanno's 2009 Tanabata Sonic concert, but at the end of the concert, which featured Kanno directing the Warsaw Philharmonic, Kanno turned to the audience
The term mecha may refer to both scientific ideas and science fiction genres that center on giant robots or machines controlled by people. Mechas are depicted as humanoid mobile robots; these machines vary in size and shape, but are distinguished from vehicles by their humanoid or biomorphic appearance and size—bigger than a human. Different subgenres exist, with varying connotations of realism; the concept of Super Robot and Real Robot are two such examples found in Japanese anime. The term may refer to real world piloted humanoid or non-humanoid robotic platforms, either in existence or still on the drawing board. Alternatively, in the original Japanese context of the word, "mecha" may refer to mobile machinery/vehicles in general, manned or otherwise; the word "mecha" is an abbreviation, first used in Japanese, of the word "mechanical". In Japanese, mecha encompasses all mechanical objects, including cars, guns and other devices, the term "robot" or "giant robot" is used to distinguish limbed vehicles from other mechanical devices.
Outside of this usage, it has become associated with large humanoid machines with limbs or other biological characteristics. Mechs differ from robots in that they are piloted from a cockpit located in the chest or head of the mech. While the distinction is hazy, mecha does not refer to form-fitting powered armor such as Iron Man's suit, they are much larger than the wearer, like Iron Man's enemy the Iron Monger, or the mobile suits depicted in the Gundam series. In most cases, mecha are depicted as fighting machines, whose appeal comes from the combination of potent weaponry with a more stylish combat technique than a mere vehicle, they are the primary means of combat, with conflicts sometimes being decided through gladiatorial matches. Other works represent mecha as one component of an integrated military force, supported by and fighting alongside tanks, fighter aircraft, infantry, functioning as a mechanical cavalry; the applications highlight the theoretical usefulness of such a device, combining a tank's resilience and firepower with infantry's ability to cross unstable terrain and a high degree of customization.
In some continuities, special scenarios are constructed to make mecha more viable than current-day status. For example, in Gundam the fictional Minovsky particle inhibits the use of radar, making long-range ballistic strikes impractical, thus favouring close range warfare of Mobile Suits. However, some stories, such as the manga/anime series Patlabor and the American wargame BattleTech universe encompass mecha used for civilian purposes such as heavy construction work, police functions or firefighting. Mecha see roles as transporters, advanced hazmat suits and other R and D applications. Mecha have been used in fantasy settings, for example in the anime series Aura Battler Dunbine, The Vision of Escaflowne, Panzer World Galient and Maze. In those cases, the mecha designs are based on some alternative or "lost" science-fiction technology from ancient times. In case of anime series Zoids, the machines resemble dinosaurs and animals, have been shown to evolve from native metallic organisms; the 1868 Edward S. Ellis novel The Steam Man of the Prairies featured a steam-powered, back piloted, mechanical man.
The 1880 Jules Verne novel La Maison à vapeur featured a steam-powered, mechanical elephant. One of the first appearances of such machines in modern literature was the tripods of H. G. Wells' famous The War of the Worlds; the novel does not contain a detailed description of the tripods' mode of locomotion, however it is hinted at: "Can you imagine a milking stool tilted and bowled violently along the ground? That was the impression, but instead of a milking stool imagine it a great body of machinery on a tripod stand." Ōgon Bat, a kamishibai that debuted in 1931, featured the first piloted humanoid giant robot, Dai Ningen Tanku, but as an enemy rather than a protagonist. The first humanoid giant robot piloted by the protagonist appeared in the manga Nuclear Power Android in 1948; the manga and anime Tetsujin 28-Go, introduced in 1956, featured a robot, controlled externally by an operator via remote control. The manga and anime Astro Boy, introduced in 1952, with its humanoid robot protagonist, was a key influence on the development of the giant robot genre in Japan.
The first anime featuring a giant mecha being piloted by the protagonist from within a cockpit was the Super Robot show Mazinger Z, written by Go Nagai and introduced in 1972. Early uses of mech-like machines in the United States include Kimball Kinnison's battle suit in E. E. "Doc" Smith's Lensman novel Galactic Patrol, the Mobile Infantry battle suits in Robert Heinlein's Starship Troopers, the film The King and the Mockingbird. In Japan, "robot anime" is one of the oldest genres in anime. Robot anime is tied in with toy manufacturers. Large franchises such as Zoids and Gundam have hundreds of different model kits; the size of mecha can vary according to the story and concepts involved. Some of them may not be taller than a tank, some may be a few stories tall, others can be as tall as a skyscraper, some are big enough to contain an entire city, some the s
A light novel is a style of Japanese novel targeting high school and middle school students. "Light novel" is a Japanese term formed from words in the English language. Light novels are called ranobe or, in the West, LN; the average length of a light novel is about 50,000 words, the equivalent size of an American novel, light novels are published in bunkobon size with dense publishing schedules. A distinguishing characteristic of light novels is that they are illustrated with anime and manga art style being adapted into such media, they are published in separate book volumes, while some of them have their chapters serialized in anthology magazines before collection in book form, comparable to how manga are published. Light novels are an evolution of pulp magazines. To please their audience, in the 1970s, most of the Japanese pulp magazines, which had changed from the classic style to the popular anime style covers, began to put illustrations at the beginning of each story and included articles about popular anime and video games.
The narrative evolved to please the new generations and became illustrated with the popular style. The popular serials are printed in novels. Light novels are chosen for adaptation into anime and live-action films, some of them are serialized in literary magazines such as Faust, Gekkan Dragon Magazine, The Sneaker and Dengeki hp, or media franchise magazines like Comptiq and Dengeki G's Magazine. Publishing companies are searching for new talent with annual contests, many of which earn the winner a cash prize and publication of their novel; the Dengeki Novel Prize is the largest, with over 6,500 submissions annually. They are all labeled as "light novels" and are published as low-priced paperbacks. For example, the price for The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya in Japan is ¥540, similar to the normal price for trade paperbacks—light novels and general literature—sold in Japan. In 2007 it was estimated that the market for light novels was about ¥20 billion and that about 30 million copies were published annually.
Kadokawa Group Holdings, which owns major labels like Kadokawa Sneaker Books and Dengeki Books, has a 70% to 80% share of the market. In 2009, light novels made ¥30.1 billion in sales, or about 20% of all sales of bunkobon-format paperback books in Japan. There are many licensed English translations of Japanese light novels available; these have been published in the physical dimensions of standard mass market paperbacks or similar to manga tankōbon, but starting in April 2007, Seven Seas Entertainment was the first English publisher to print light novels in their original Japanese Bunkobon format. Other English-language publishers that license light novels are Tokyopop, Viz, DMP, Dark Horse, Yen Press and Del Rey Manga; the founder of Viz Media, Seiji Horibuchi, speculates that the US market for light novels will experience a similar increase in popularity as it has in the Japanese subculture once it becomes recognized by the consumer audience. Most light novels are published by Japanese writers, with few exceptions.
For example, Yū Kamiya, author of No Game No Life, is a Japanese-Brazilian writer who lives in Japan and publishes his novels through major Japanese publishing labels. Popular literature has a long tradition in Japan. Though cheap, pulp novels resembling light novels were present in Japan for years prior, the creation of Sonorama Bunko in 1975 is considered by some to be a symbolic beginning. Science fiction and horror writers like Hideyuki Kikuchi or Baku Yumemakura started their careers through such imprints; the 1990s saw the smash-hit Slayers series. Some years MediaWorks founded a pop-lit imprint called Dengeki Bunko, which produces well-known light novel series to this day; the Boogiepop series was their first major hit which soon was animated and got many anime watchers interested in literature. Dengeki Bunko writers continued to gain attention until the small light novel world experienced a boom around 2006. After the huge success of the Haruhi Suzumiya series, the number of publishers and readers interested in light novels skyrocketed.
Light novels became an important part of the Japanese 2D culture in the late 2000s, with series such as A Certain Magical Index selling large amounts of copies with each volume release. The number of light novels series put out every year increases illustrated by the most celebrated artists from pixiv and the most successful works are adapted into manga, anime and live action movies. Since the mid 2000s with the advent of the internet, publishers began to contact authors of popular stories on their blog, website or sites for publication of novels like the biggest one Shōsetsuka ni Narō to adapt those works into print edition for the Light Novel format with an editor and illustrator. Popular works like Sword Art Online, That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime, Overlord, Re:Zero and Konosuba were popular web novels that got contacted by a publisher to distribute and publish those stories in print format. List of light novels List of light novel labels Novel Visual novel Young adult fiction Light Novels @ Reddit