Naruto, Bleach and Death Note: uncut, original and online

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VIZ Media announced that original uncut versions of “Naruto”, “Bleach” and “Death Note” will be available on Hulu.com. For free.

The episodes carry English subtitles. Hulu is an online video service.

“Naruto” and “Death Note” launched in the United States on Hulu this week. “Bleach” and new episodes of each title will be added regularly on Hulu. (I’m assuming “Bleach” episodes aren’t on there yet.)

Here’s a synopsis of the shows by VIZ Media for those who haven’t heard about these series.

“Naruto” (http://www.hulu.com/naruto) Created by Masashi Kishimoto, the series depicts the adventures of a young boy named Uzumaki Naruto who trains to become a ninja. The boy is cursed with the spirit of a nine-tailed fox demon and is forced to live a bullied life discriminated against by his fellow villagers. Naruto is resilient and undaunted in his quest to become a master ninja and his determination often inspires those around him. Through amazing adventures, the young ninja learns the importance of friendship, teamwork, loyalty, hard work, creativity, ingenuity, and right vs. wrong. Dedicated website at www.naruto.com.

“Death Note” (http://www.hulu.com/death-note) is based on the manga series of the same name. Light Yagami is an ace student with great prospects but is bored out of his mind. All of that changes when he finds the Death Note, a notebook dropped by a rogue Shinigami death god. Any human whose name is written in the notebook dies, and now Light has vowed to use the power of the Death Note to rid the world of evil. But when criminals mysteriously begin dropping dead, the authorities send the legendary detective L to investigate, and he is soon hot on the trail of Light, who must now reevaluate his one noble goal. Dedicated website at www.deathnote.viz.com.

“Bleach” is the story of 15-year-old Ichigo Kurosaki who was born with the ability to see ghosts. When his family is attacked by a Hollow – a malevolent lost soul – Ichigo encounters a Soul Reaper and absorbs her powers. Now he has dedicated his life to protecting the innocent and helping the tortured souls find peace. Dedicated website at www.bleach.viz.com.

Shoujo Attack: Time traveling princess with a magic cane

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A recent addition to VIZ Media’s Shoujo Beat Manga lineup is “Time Stranger Kyoko” which is definitely aimed for the teen and pre-teen crowd.

It is now the 30th century and for some inexplicable reason, earth’s countries decided to band together and just become one kingdom called Earth Nation. It’s ruled by a king who keeps himself young thanks to the latest technology (plastic surgery, I suppose) and has a weird cat/android pet named Chocola.

His heirs are his twin daughters: Kyoko and Ui Suomi. But Ui has been asleep since she was a baby. She’s actually trapped in time.

Kyoko has been attending a local school incognito because she refuses to take the throne. She’s watched over by Sakataki Jin and his older brother, Hizuki Jin, who are the last members of the Dragon tribe. They’re dragon/human hybrids.

We meet Kyoko just before her 16th birthday bash which she refuses to attend because she thinks she won’t be able to go to school and mingle with the commoners anymore. This despite her father telling her people are rioting and want her to take over her responsibilities.

She comes off as very selfish in the first chapter of Volume 1 and I must say, Kyoko did not endear herself to me when her father offered her an out and she grabbed it. If she wakes up her sister Ui, the younger twin can take over the royal mantle and she would be free. In a side note, the author, Arina Tanemura, took the time to explain to readers Kyoko probably sounds selfish but she isn’t really. Uh huh, right.

To wake up her sister, Kyoko must start the giant clock underneath Ui’s bed. In order to do that, she must find the 12 God stones scattered around the planet along with the 12 telepaths who can use the stones. The first stone was easy since it and a pocket watch were hidden undernearth the clock.

When The Destroyers, a band of thieves led by a guy called Witzig, appears outside the school gates, Kyoko finally unveils who she is to protect her classmates. The time stone that she couldn’t activate then starts yakking at her and turns into the Scorpion Cane which can manipulate time. She whacks Witzig on the head and the smitten fool retreats.

Witzig would pop in and out of later chapters often riding his giant pet snake. He’s obviously the comedy relief.

Kyoko learns more of what the cane can do in other adventures and readers learn the history of the Dragon Tribe and why its last two surviving members ended up as bodyguards to this teenage princess.

Our heroine also adjusts her goal from fobbing off her duties to a younger sibling to waking up said sister who she believes is in distress.

The character designs are classic shoujo meaning huge eyes, small mouth and lots of long wavy hair. Except for the chapter about the Dragon Tribe’s demise, volume 1 is mostly light on drama and heavy on the comedy.

So if you’re looking for a soap opera-like manga, this is not the series for you.

News from VIZ Media

VIz Media sent me this announcement today.

“Blue Dragon”, the fantasy action series based the Xbox 360 role playing video
game, is now available on DVD. Volume 1, which contains five episodes, hit store shelves this week and has a price tag of $14.98.

As the company’s press release tells it: The “Blue Dragon” animated series is a classic adventure story of magical Shadow powers, flying air fortresses, and unbounded heroism!

Brought together by fate, Seven Soldiers of Light must awaken the Shadow within themselves in time to overcome a despotic power and bring peace to their land. Their ensuing journey through a rich fantasy world is also an internal journey to awaken the great power within each of them.

The Xbox 360 game “Blue Dragon” was developed by Hironobu Sakaguchi who is the creator of Final Fantasy.

The game and animated series feature characters designed by Akira Toriyama, the creator of the Dragon Ball series of manga .