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Thursday, December 9, 2010

What is Toei Animation's "Masami Kurumada Project"?

What's Ring ni Kakero 1, you say? Well, I'll get to reviewing the anime soon (and going off of this news much sooner than I had originally planned), but it's the anime adaptation of Saint Seiya creator Masami Kurumada's first hit manga. Professional manga translator Andrew Cunningham lovingly calls it "The Giant Robo of Boxing Anime", and I can't argue with that description.

Anyway, when you go to this webpage there's a bunch of Japanese, obviously, but here's what I can get from it:
1. There will be something Ring ni Kakero 1-related at the upcoming Jump Festa 2010.
2. Toei Animation will be revealing the "Masami Kurumada Project" on December 18 from 12:00-12:30.
3. There will also be a Ring ni Kakero 1 talk session at that time with Masakazu Morita and Takeshi Kusao, the voices of main characters Ryuji Takane and Ishimatsu Katori, respectively.
4. There will also be "surprise news" regarding "that title".

Now consider that Ring ni Kakero 1: Shadow, the 6-episode third season of the Ring ni Kakero 1 anime, was officially announced at Jump Festa last year after Kurumada himself hinted on his blog of a new season at the beginning of 2009. I've also heard rumors that Toei is planning on animating Saint Seiya Next Dimension, the officially canon sequel/prequel to Saint Seiya (it's a little complicated to explain how it's both a prequel and a sequel), for 2011. This idea that Toei has big plans for Kurumada's works next year, with Ring ni Kakero 1 seemingly a part of it, definitely leads one to believe that not only might we actually get a Next Dimension anime... But we'll be getting a Season 4 of Ring ni Kakero 1!

For those who don't know why a Season 4 of Ring ni Kakero 1 is making me so excited, it's mainly because it would be the anime adaptation of the big plot point that all of the previous seasons were heavily hyping: The World Jr. Boxing Tournament! I'll do my best to explain why I really love this anime, and why it is, by far, my most wanted North American anime license in my reviews, but I'm just going to say right now that if you enjoy straight-up shonen action, if you enjoy Saint Seiya, Dragon Ball Z, or any other shonen fighting title, and if you can accept a good dose of over-the-top in your sports anime then you have to check out Ring ni Kakero 1!

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