With the spring anime season coming closer and closer with each new day, it is important for me to not miss out on making as many previews as possible and erase the shame of not making even one for the previous season. Hence, this is the second preview for this season – Arata Kangatari. A very promising fantasy/current-day anime that is based on Yuu Watase’s original manga series published in Shogakukan’s Weekly Shounen Sunday magazine.
Arata Kangatari is starting on 8th April 2013.
The story of this anime revolves around several young characters. Two important events are simultaneously happening in two different, alternate dimensions of the same world. Arata Hinohara is a young student in a modern-day Japanese high school. He has just enrolled into a new place, changing ambiance from a past life he would rather forget. Unfortunately for him, the very boy who previously bullied him reappears and not only his torment is restarted, but also Arata discovers that the friend he trusted the most, Suguru, is in fact assisting Kadowaki the bully into turning Hinohara’s life into a living hell.
After discovering this truth, Arata runs away and follows an unknown path and somehow ends-up into a whole other place – the world of Amawakuni.
At the same time in Amawakuni, tumultuous events are happening as a very important ceremony has just gone as wrong as it could have. Tradition has it that every 60 years a governing princess is chosen from the Hime clan. This time, though, there are no girls in the clan and instead a young man named Arata has to pretend to be one in order to protect the tradition. Unfortunately for him, though, the very ceremony turns into a massacre as the current princess Kokuri is murdered right next to him and he is even chased out of the world, suspected of committing the act himself, as far as… Hinohara’s strange Japan.
While both boys, rather resembling one another are in a different world than their own and have to make some sense out of their current situations, they are suddenly helped by the other one’s family and friends. Japan’s Arata is met and assisted by the grandmother in the Hime clan, but not only – he finds out that he can wield a heavenly Haygami sword named Tsukuyo, making him a Shinshou. The current Twelve Shinshou are not only the most influential people in the world, but also the ones who murdered the old princess.
Meanwhile in Japan, ‘Hime’ Arata is saved from the police by a girl who claims to be his sister.
Arata Hinohara (voiced by Nobuhiro Okamoto) is a strong-willed and kind-hearted first-year high school student. At home he lived with his sister and mother in Japan and is having a hard time running away from an old ‘friend’’s tight grasp.
Masato Kadowaki (voiced by Ryouhei Kimura) is a former classmate of Hinohara from the junior high school days. His attitude towards Arata is extremely aggressive and is feared by the main character so much that Hinohara even runs away from school because of him.
Suguru Nishijima is the former ‘best friend’ and a classmate of Hinohara. After being threatened by Kadowaki, however, he chooses to betray his friend instead of help him.
Arata’s mother has always been with him, supportive of all his decisions and watching over him even during his ‘high-school refusal’ stage.
Nao Hinohara is Arata’s sister. She is a junior high school student and is very supportive of her brother as well. She cares for him and is especially preoccupied when he leaves for school.
Arata (voiced by Yoshitsugu Matsuoka) is the boy chosen to pretend to be a princess. He is straight-thinking and concentrated, but also keeps a secret. How will he manage in the modern world, we will have to watch and witness for ourselves.
Kotoha (voiced by Ayahi Takagaki) is the person from Amawakuni who will assist the Japanese Arata into filling in for the missing representative of the Hime clan.
Kanate (voiced by Junko Minagawa) is a former member of a Amawakami group of bandits. After being captured, he was sent to the Gotoya imprisonment facility. As a character, he is cheerful and constantly positive, a sworn protector of Ginchi.
Kannagi (voiced by Yuuki Ono) is the first of the Twelve Shinshou, wielders of the special swords of Amawakami. He is the owner of the fire-sword ‘Kaen’; he is the guardian of the territory called Kagutsuchi. He is the one behind the attempted assassination of the hime, which ended up with her being seriously injured. He also framed Arata for it.
Akachi (voiced by Tatsuhisa Suzuki) is another one of the Twelve Shinshou heavenly sword wielders. He is the master of the ‘earthly’ sword, also a guardian of Haniyasu. He and Kannagi have known each other for much longer than it seems at first glance.
Yorunami (voiced by Hoshi Souichirou) is a third known member of the Twelve Shinshou. He wields the ‘water’ sword and a governor and protector of the Mitsuhame region. This man is a perfectionist and wants the ideal out of himself and his subordinates. Because of his appearance, he is often mistaken for a female.
Makari is the grandmother of Arata. She was also a participant in the ceremony when the princess was to be changed.
Kikuri (voiced by Hibiki Yamamura) is the Queen. She is also the one in charge of the special force unit of wielders of the heavenly swords.
Director: Kenji Yasuda (Shugo Chara!) and Woo Hyun Park
Series Composition: Mayori Sekijima (Pandora Hearts, Skip Beat!)
Music: Kou Outani (Hakuouki, Gundam Wing)
Original creator: Yuu Watase
Character Design: Lee Seong Shin and Masahiro Aizawa
Sound Director: Tsuyoshi Takahashi
Director of Photography: Maki Ueda and Soo-Yeon Lee
Theme Song Performance:
Opening Theme Song by Sphere (Bakuman)
Ending Theme Song by OLDCODEX (Kuroko no Basuke)
Images and video: ©渡瀬悠宇・小学館／アラタカンガタリ製作委員会