Black Cat (manga)

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Black Cat
Black Cat Manga.png
Cover of the twentieth English volume of Black Cat, published by Viz Media on May 5, 2009
ブラックキャット
(Burakku Kyatto)
Genre Action, Adventure
Manga
Written by Kentaro Yabuki
Published by Shueisha
English publisher
Demographic Shōnen
Magazine Weekly Shōnen Jump
English magazine
Original run July 10, 2000June 14, 2004
Volumes 20 (List of volumes)
Anime television series
Directed by Shin Itagaki
Studio Gonzo
Licensed by
Network Animax, TBS
English network
Original run October 6, 2005March 30, 2006
Episodes 24 (List of episodes)
Light novel
Written by Tomohito Ōsaki
Published by Shueisha
Original run March 10, 2003October 24, 2005
Portal icon Anime and Manga portal

Black Cat (Japanese: ブラックキャット Hepburn: Burakku Kyatto?) is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Kentaro Yabuki. It was originally serialized in Shueisha's Weekly Shōnen Jump from July 10, 2000 to June 14, 2004, with the chapters collected into twenty tankōbon volumes. The story centers on a man named Train Heartnet who withdrew from an elite group of assassins called the Chronos Numbers to become a bounty hunter.

The series was adapted into a twenty-four episode anime series by Gonzo studio, which originally aired on Tokyo Broadcasting System channel from October 6, 2005 to March 30, 2006, and later by Animax. The manga was licensed for English-language publication in North America by Viz Media and by Madman Entertainment in Australasia. Funimation Entertainment licensed the anime for an English dub and North American broadcast on their own Funimation Channel, with Madman releasing it in Australasia and MVM Films in the United Kingdom.

Plot[edit]

Chronos, an organization bent on world peace, rules one third of the world's economy. To maintain the balance of the world, Chronos is therefore essential, and there is a need for people to protect Chronos. Thirteen special elite assassins each possess unique orichalcum-forged weapons and are called the Chrono Numbers, assassins who work for Chronos. When the thirteenth Chronos Number Train Heartnet, also known as the infamous Black Cat, meets a Sweeper (licensed bounty hunter) named Saya Minatsuki, Train's morals and values are changed from those of Chronos's to those of his own. Instead of killing his victims like he is ordered to, he merely uses Hades (his orichalcum gun) to stop them instead. This leads to tension between him and the Chronos Elders, the leaders of Chronos, and eventually culminates in Train's departure from the organization. Creed Diskenth, a Chronos assassin, resents the way that Saya changed Train's life, and murders her.

Two years later, Train is an easygoing Sweeper, traveling with his partners Sven Vollfied (who possesses a special eye that allows him to see a few seconds into the future) and Eve (who contains millions of nanomachines in her body, allowing her to transform herself at will), when Creed appears before Train once more. Creed, now with followers known as the Apostles of the Stars and power that rival anyone alive, including the Numbers, vows to get Train to join him. Train must choose his friends and new life, or revenge, as Creed threatens to undermine Chronos and start his own world revolution.

Production[edit]

Six months before Black Cat began, Kentaro Yabuki's one-shot version titled Stray Cat was published. While it already included Sweepers and Tao, Train and Sven were Delivery Men instead.[1] With Black Cat he wanted to expand on ideas he used in his previous serial Yamato Gensoki; an assassin betraying an organization, and the use of chi or life energy.[2] His weekly schedule was four days to write the chapter and two to draw it, taking one day off.[3] According to Yabuki, Black Cat's main theme is Train's journey to find freedom.[citation needed]

When the manga ended serialization, Yabuki expressed desire to make a sequel labeling this series as "Part 1". As he was not sure if there could be a sequel, he still remarked that the characters of Train Heartnet and Eve may appear in other titles he will create in the future.[4]

Media[edit]

Manga[edit]

Written and illustrated by Kentaro Yabuki, Black Cat was originally serialized in Japan by Shueisha in Weekly Shōnen Jump from July 10, 2000 to June 14, 2004.[5][6] One hundred and eighty-five chapters were collected into twenty tankōbon volumes by Shueisha. The first volume on January 6, 2000, with the final volume released on October 14, 2004.[7][8] The series was re-released in twelve bunkobon format volumes, published from September 16, 2005 to February 17, 2006.[9][10] Black Cat has also been published as part of the Shueisha Jump Remix series of magazine-style books. Nine volumes were released between March 24, and July 19, 2008.[11][12]

It was licensed in English in North America by Viz Media as they first announced at the 2005 San Diego Comic-Con International.[13] The first volume released on March 7, 2006 with the final volume released on May 5, 2009.[14][15] Madman Entertainment published Viz's English release in Australia and New Zealand,[16] from September 10, 2008 to June 10, 2009.[17][18] The series is also licensed for regional language releases in Chinese by Tong Li Publishing,[19] in Dutch by Glénat Benelux,[20] in French by Glénat,[21] in German by Carlsen Comics,[22] and in Italian by Star Comics.[23]

Anime[edit]

Gonzo studio adapted Black Cat into a twenty-four episode anime series, directed by Shin Itagaki.[24] It was broadcast on Tokyo Broadcasting System (TBS) from October 6, 2005 to March 30, 2006.[25] Episode fifteen was not broadcast by TBS, but only included in the DVD release in Japan.[26] On its airing on Animax all episodes were broadcast.[27] The series was released across twelve Region 2 DVD volumes from December 21, 2005 to November 22, 2006 by Animate. Each volume was also published by GDH in Premium Edition which included various extras.[26] The DVD volumes were gathered in a limited release DVD box set by Sony Pictures Entertainment on April 23, 2008.[28]

The anime was licensed for an English-language dubbed release by Funimation Entertainment in June 2006.[29] The episodes were later broadcast on the Funimation Channel.[30] The series was then released across six Region 1 DVD volumes released between December 19, 2006 and July 24, 2007.[31][32] The DVDs were gathered in a box set and released on March 18, 2008.[33] On May 29, 2012, Funimation re-released the box set in a "Super Amazing Value Edition" (S.A.V.E.) edition.[34] Madman Entertainment distributed a box set of the series in the PAL region on September 17, 2008,[35] while MVM Films released it on November 15, 2010 in the United Kingdom.[36]

CDs[edit]

The cover of Black Cat Original Soundtrack Nikukyu

In 2005, there were three drama CDs, simply titled Black Cat 1-3, released by Shueisha on February 28, July 1, and October 4, respectively.[37][38][39] An internet radio program was broadcast from March 30, to September 28, 2006, by the Onsen and hosted by Takashi Kondō and Misato Fukuen, the voice of Train and Eve respectively.[40][41] Later, Frontier Works collected in into three CDs and released on October 21, November 18, and December 16, 2006.[42]

An anime soundtrack entitled Black Cat Original Soundtrack Nikukyu was released on March 15, 2006 by EMI Music Japan.[43] It contains the anime's background music that was composed by Taku Iwasaki, and the three pieces of theme music used for the series: the opening theme "Daia no Hana" (ダイアの花?, lit. "Diamond Flower") by Yoriko, the first ending theme "Namida Boshi" (ナミダボシ?, lit. "Tears of Stars") by Puppypet, and the second ending theme "Kutsuzure" (くつずれ?, lit. "Blisters") by Ryōji Matsuda.[44][45][46]

Other media[edit]

Tomohito Ōsaki wrote three light novels based on the series. Simply titled Black Cat and Black Cat 2, the first two were released on March 10, and August 25, 2003.[47][48] Titled Black Cat: Hoshi no Zanshou (BLACK CAT 星の残照?, lit. "The Star's Afterglow"), the last one, was released in Japan on October 24, 2005.[49] There have been two video games based on the series released in Japan. Black Cat: Kikai Shikake no Tenshi (BLACK CAT 〜機械仕掛けの天使〜?, lit. "The Mechanical Angel") was released for the PlayStation 2 on March 30, 2006 by Capcom.[50] Black Cat: Kuroneko no Concerto (BLACK CAT 黒猫の協奏曲?, lit. "The Black Cat's Concerto") was released for the Nintendo DS on June 21, 2007 by Compile Heart.[51] Characters of the Black Cat series have also made appearances in the games Jump Super Stars and Jump Ultimate Stars.[52][53] In Japan, various other types of merchandise were released, including action figures, plush dolls, key chains, clothing, cosplay pieces, and a trading card game by Movic.[54]

Reception[edit]

As of November 2005, Black Cat's twenty volumes sold over 12 million units in Japan.[55] Volumes from Viz's English publication of the series have also been featuring in best-selling manga rankings such as The New York Times[56][57] as well as Nielsen BookScan.[58] During 2006, Black Cat was North America's 9th best manga property according to ICv2.[59] In ICv2's Top 50 Manga, Black Cat was listed as the 15th manga property from North America during the first half of 2008.[60] In ICv2's Top 25 Manga Properties Q1 2009, it was the 22nd best manga property from North America during 2009's first quarter.[61]

The Black Cat anime premiered in Japan with a 3.4 percent television viewership rating.[55] In 2005, Japanese television network TV Asahi conducted a "Top 100" online web poll, and Black Cat placed 93rd.[62] In the subsequent year, it ranked 17th in a "Top 20" poll conducted by Japanese anime magazine Animage.[63] Navarre Corporation cited the DVD releases of Black Cat as the main reason for Funimation's profit increase during the last quarter of 2006.[64] The anime was listed as North America's 22nd anime property in summer 2008.[65]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Yabuki, Kentaro (2007) [2002]. Black Cat 8. Viz Media. pp. 168–215. ISBN 978-1-4215-1037-8. 
  2. ^ Yabuki, Kentaro (2006) [2001]. Black Cat 3. Viz Media. p. 1. ISBN 978-1-4215-0607-4. 
  3. ^ Yabuki, Kentaro (2007) [2002]. Black Cat 9. Viz Media. p. 1. ISBN 978-1-4215-1038-5. 
  4. ^ Yabuki, Kentaro (2009) [2004]. Black Cat 20. Viz Media. p. 212. ISBN 978-1-4215-2379-8. 
  5. ^ Yabuki, Kentaro (July 10, 2000). 1. "黒い猫と呼ばれた男" [The Man Called Black Cat]. Weekly Shōnen Jump. Black Cat (in Japanese) (Shueisha) (32). 
  6. ^ Yabuki, Kentaro (June 14, 2004). 185. "気ままな明日へ" [A Carefree Tomorrow]. Weekly Shōnen Jump. Black Cat (in Japanese) (Shueisha) (29). 
  7. ^ "Black Cat 1 (ジャンプコミックス)" (in Japanese). Shueisha. Retrieved September 1, 2009. 
  8. ^ "Black Cat 20" (in Japanese). Shueisha. Retrieved September 1, 2009. 
  9. ^ "Black Cat 1 (集英社文庫)" (in Japanese). Shueisha. Retrieved February 12, 2014. 
  10. ^ "Black Cat 12" (in Japanese). Shueisha. Retrieved February 12, 2014. 
  11. ^ "【廉価版】Black Cat (1)". BookOffOnline. Retrieved February 13, 2014. 
  12. ^ "【廉価版】 Black Cat 死闘、終結!! 編 9(9)". BookOffOnline. Retrieved February 13, 2014. 
  13. ^ "New Viz Manga". Anime News Network. July 18, 2005. Retrieved October 10, 2009. 
  14. ^ "Black Cat, Volume 1". Viz Media. Retrieved February 12, 2014. 
  15. ^ "Black Cat, Volume 20". Viz Media. Retrieved February 12, 2014. 
  16. ^ "Viz Media & Madman Entertainment Join Forces". Madman Entertainment. Archived from the original on April 24, 2009. Retrieved April 24, 2009. 
  17. ^ "Black Cat (Manga) Vol. 1". Madman Entertainment. Retrieved February 13, 2014. 
  18. ^ "Black Cat (Manga) Vol. 20". Madman Entertainment. Retrieved February 13, 2014. 
  19. ^ "黑貓 (第20集)" (in Chinese). Tong Li Publishing. Retrieved February 12, 2014. 
  20. ^ "Black Cat - Glénat" (in Dutch). Glénat Benelux. Retrieved February 12, 2014. 
  21. ^ "Black Cat - Tome 20" (in French). Glénat. Retrieved February 12, 2014. 
  22. ^ "Mehr Orientierung für Sie und Ihre Kunden" (in German). Carlsen Comics. Retrieved February 12, 2014. 
  23. ^ "Black Cat n. 20" (in Italian). Star Comics. Retrieved February 13, 2014. 
  24. ^ "Black Cat Anime". Anime News Network. May 10, 2005. Retrieved October 10, 2009. 
  25. ^ "TVアニメーションブラックキャットHP - Story" (in Japanese). Tokyo Broadcasting System. Retrieved February 13, 2014. 
  26. ^ a b "TVアニメーションブラックキャットHP - DVD" (in Japanese). Tokyo Broadcasting System. Retrieved February 13, 2014. 
  27. ^ "Animax Southeast Asia's official daily schedule for April 2007". Animax. Archived from the original on April 22, 2007. Retrieved May 13, 2007. 
  28. ^ "Black Cat DVD Box Limited Release". CDJapan. Retrieved April 26, 2009. 
  29. ^ "FUNimation Gets Black Cat". ICv2. June 13, 2006. Retrieved October 8, 2009. 
  30. ^ "Funimation Channel Adds MoonPhase, Peach Girl, Suzuka". Anime News Network. March 3, 2008. Retrieved October 11, 2009. 
  31. ^ "Black Cat, Vol. 1 - The Cat Out of the Bag". Amazon.com. Retrieved April 26, 2009. 
  32. ^ "Black Cat, Vol. 6 - Cat's Nine Lives". Amazon.com. Retrieved April 29, 2009. 
  33. ^ "Black Cat: The Complete Series". Amazon.com. Retrieved April 26, 2009. 
  34. ^ "Black Cat: The Complete Series - S.A.V.E.". Funimation Entertainment. Retrieved February 13, 2014. 
  35. ^ "Black Cat Collection (Slimpack)". Madman Entertainment. Retrieved February 13, 2014. 
  36. ^ "Anime Catalogue > Black Cat". MVM Films. Retrieved February 13, 2014. 
  37. ^ "Black Cat ドラマCD" (in Japanese). Shueisha. Archived from the original on March 9, 2005. Retrieved February 13, 2014. 
  38. ^ "Black Cat ドラマCD 2" (in Japanese). Shueisha. Archived from the original on February 14, 2006. Retrieved February 13, 2014. 
  39. ^ "Black Cat ドラマCD 3" (in Japanese). Shueisha. Archived from the original on June 26, 2006. Retrieved February 13, 2014. 
  40. ^ "インターネットラジオ「RADIO BLACK CAT」 放送開始!" (in Japanese). J-Blackcat.com. Retrieved February 13, 2014. 
  41. ^ "2006/9/28配信分" (in Japanese). Onsen. Archived from the original on October 22, 2006. Retrieved February 13, 2014. 
  42. ^ "「RADIO BLACK CAT」ラジオCD発売決定!!" (in Japanese). Gonzo. Retrieved February 13, 2014. 
  43. ^ "Black Cat Original Soundtrack "Nikukyu"" (in Japanese). Oricon. Retrieved February 13, 2014. 
  44. ^ "Black Cat Original Soundtrack Nikukyu" (in Japanese). CDJapan. Retrieved February 12, 2014. 
  45. ^ "TVアニメーションブラックキャットHP - Staff & Cast" (in Japanese). Tokyo Broadcasting System. Retrieved February 12, 2014. 
  46. ^ Credits from
    "LOVE猫" (in Japanese). Black Cat. Episode 13. January 19, 2006. Tokyo Broadcasting System.

    "気ままな猫" (in Japanese). Black Cat. Episode 23. March 30, 2006. Tokyo Broadcasting System.

  47. ^ "Black Cat (Jump J Books)" (in Japanese). Shueisha. Retrieved February 12, 2014. 
  48. ^ "Black Cat 2" (in Japanese). Shueisha. Retrieved February 12, 2014. 
  49. ^ "Black Cat 星の残照" (in Japanese). Shueisha. Retrieved February 12, 2014. 
  50. ^ "BLACK CAT ~機械仕掛けの天使~" (in Japanese). Jp.playstation.com. Retrieved February 13, 2014. 
  51. ^ "BLACK CAT 黒猫の協奏曲" (in Japanese). Nintendo.co.jp. Retrieved February 13, 2014. 
  52. ^ "Black Cat - キャラクター紹介" (in Japanese). Nintendo. Retrieved February 12, 2014. 
  53. ^ "Jump Ultimate Stars - Black Cat" (in Japanese). Nintendo. Retrieved February 12, 2014. 
  54. ^ "TVアニメーションブラックキャットHP - Goods" (in Japanese). Tokyo Broadcasting System. Retrieved February 12, 2014. 
  55. ^ a b "GDHDH グループ中間決算説明会" (in Japanese). Gonzo. November 21, 2005. p. 14. Retrieved February 13, 2014. 
  56. ^ "New York Times Manga Best Seller List, March 1–7". Anime News Network. March 13, 2009. Retrieved October 14, 2009. 
  57. ^ "New York Times Manga Best Seller List, May 10–16". Anime News Network. May 22, 2009. Retrieved October 14, 2009. 
  58. ^ "BookScan's Top 20 Graphic Novels for January 2009". ICv2. February 5, 2009. Retrieved October 14, 2009. 
  59. ^ "Manga Releases Up 16% in 2007". ICv2. February 7, 2007. Retrieved October 14, 2009. 
  60. ^ "ICv2 Top 50 Manga--Summer 2008". ICv2. September 8, 2008. Retrieved October 14, 2009. 
  61. ^ "'ICv2 Insider's Guide' #65: Top 25 Manga Properties Q1 2009". ICv2. June 10, 2009. Retrieved October 14, 2009. 
  62. ^ "Japan's Favorite TV Anime". nime News Network. October 13, 2006. Retrieved February 13, 2014. 
  63. ^ "第28回アニメグランプリ [28th Annual Anime Grand Prix]". Animage. June 2006. Retrieved April 14, 2012. 
  64. ^ "Navarre Q4 Report: Profits Up 24.9%". Anime News Network. February 13, 2007. Retrieved October 14, 2009. 
  65. ^ "ICv2 Top 25 Anime--Summer 2008". ICv2. September 8, 2008. Retrieved October 14, 2009. 

External links[edit]