Master of Martial Hearts

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Master of Martial Hearts
絶対衝激〜プラトニックハート〜
Genre Action, Martial arts
Original video animation
Directed by Yoshitaka Fujimoto
Studio Arms Corporation
Licensed by
Released October 29, 2008February 25, 2009
Runtime 30 minutes
Episodes 5
Manga
Written by Atsushi Kuragami
Published by Futabasha
Demographic Seinen
Magazine Comic High!
Original run September 2008January 2010
Volumes 3
Portal icon Anime and Manga portal

Master of Martial Hearts, originally titled Zettai Shougeki: Platonic Heart (絶対衝激〜プラトニックハート〜 Zettai Shōgeki: Puratonikku Hāto?), is a 2008-2009 Japanese original video animation series created by ARMS and Shochiku. It concerns a high school girl who gets involved in a series of fights against other young women where the prize is a Martial Heart (Platonic Heart in English subtitled and the Japanese version),[1] a jewel that can grant any wish.[2] On January 7, 2010, Funimation Entertainment announced that they have licensed the OVA series in English. The series was released in North America on August 10, 2010.[3]

Development[edit]

The series is based on a video game Zettai Shōgeki - Platonic Heart.[3] The characters are designed by Jin Happobi who has illustrated adult games such as Boin.[2] ARMS, who produced fan service titles such as Queen's Blade made the characters distinct and more realistically proportioned.[1] The musical score was done by Masaru Kuba.[1] The series was directed by Yoshitaka Fujimoto, who had worked on the comedy Girl's High.[3]

A website was launched for the series on July 2008.[2]

Characters[edit]

An image of the contestants in Zettai Shougeki II: All but one are in the original Zettai Shougeki and in the OVA Master of Martial Hearts - From left to right: Hayakawa, Saki, Yu, Rin, Miko, Aya, Aoi (exclusive to ZSII), Natsume, Suma, Emi, Rei, Getsurei

Main[edit]

  • Aya Iseshima (伊勢島 綾 Iseshima Aya?) in in her second year in high school. In the OVA, she is a generally cheerful and pleasant girl who has a crush on her best friend's brother, but has angsty moods where she mopes and whines.[4] She is pulled into the tournament when Miko drops out and mysteriously disappears. She is a capable fighter, leaving learned some techniques from her mother, but when she fights she can turn into a maddening rage. She is voiced by Kaori Nazuka in the Japanese version, and by Anita Neukar in the English dub.
  • Natsume Honma (本間 棗 Honma Natsume?) is Aya's best friend. Throughout the OVA she gives Aya advice. Although she acts supportive, in the final episode, she betrays her; she reveals that she, her brother, and Miko have all conspired to get revenge on Aya and her family. Natsume's mother is Kumi, the sister of Yumi Kazuki, Miko's mother. Natsume is voiced by Satomi Akesaka in the Japanese version, and by Cherami Leigh in the English dub.
  • Miko Kazuki (香月 美子 Kazuki Miko?) is a teenage girl who is a shrine maiden. In the OVA she is initially appears in a fight against a young woman dressed as a flight attendant. After Aya helps her out in the match, Miko explains that she is participating in a tournament where the prize is a wish, but seeing that her wish of making friends was fulfilled by Aya and Natsume, she tries to withdraw from the tournament. However, that night she mysteriously disappears. She later appears at the end of the series as a vengeance-filled enemy of Aya as her mother, Yumi Kazuki, and her mother's sister, Kumi, were involved in a previous tournament with Aya's mother that ruined their lives. Miko reveals that her father was Shigeyuki Iseshima, who is Aya's father. Even though Aya believed Shigeyuki died in a car accident, in fact he stabbed Yumi Kazuki on Miko's fourth birthday and then was killed by Kumi the same day. Miko had been looking for Suzuko and the daughter, who she did not know, until she encountered Natsume. The plan was formed after she met Natsume. Miko is voiced by Ai Nonaka in the Japanese version, and by Alexis Tipton in the English dub.

Supporting[edit]

  • Haruki Honma (本間 治基 Honma Haruki?)
    • Natsume's brother. Aya has a crush on him. In fact he is in a relationship with Miko. Tatsuhisa Suzuki voices him in the Japanese version and Ian Sinclair voices him in the English dub.
  • Suzuko Iseshima (伊勢島 涼子 Iseshima Suzuko?)
    • Aya's mother. Her maiden name was Kanō. She won the previous tournament, dooming Kumi and Yumi Kazuki to sexual slavery. In the final episode infiltrates the hideout of Miko, Haruki, and Natsume, kills the guards, and pours flammable liquids. She sets the area on fire and confronts the three perpetrators to save Aya's life. After telling the trio unknown details about the actions of their grandfathers and Kumi, she snaps the necks of Haruki, Miko, and Natsume when they try to attack her. She bandages Aya's wounds, apologizes her, and helps her flee the building. Suzuko stays in the burning building and checks Aya's phone, left behind, to see that the pieces of the Martial Heart have not been completed. At that moment the fire grows more intense and the area where Suzuko is begins to collapse. Naoko Matsui voices her in the Japanese version and Shelley Calene-Black voices her in the English dub.

Competitors[edit]

For the Zettai Shougeki: Platonic Heart video game the following women were listed in the lineup on the official site as competitors along with the main three girls.[5]

  • Azusa Suma (須磨 梓 Suma Azusa?) is Aya's chemistry teacher. Her attack moves are in the form of calling out a chemical formula and then using the related combination of punches and kicks.[6] Although she criticizes Aya for not studying, she has reservations about attacking her. In the OVA, her motivation for fighting in the tournament is to find her missing father. She is voiced by Akemi Kanda in the Japanese dub[7][8] and by Luci Christian in the English dub.
  • Rei Kakizaki (柿崎 怜 Kakizaki Rei?) is a flight attendant. In the OVA she had worked since high school to care for her brother, since her parents were no longer alive. Her brother fell ill with an incurable disease and she wanted to get money through the tournament to give her ill brother medical treatment. By the end of the series, Rei's brother had died but she had become insane and Miko points out that it is impossible to let her know that her brother is dead. Her weapons in her fight against Miko are a handbag with blades and a spiked scarf.[9] She is voiced by Yuhko Kaida in the Japanese dub and Carlotta Tinklegoatee in the English dub.
  • The Daimonji Sisters, in the OVA, wanted Aya to ally with them. A body double of Haruki, working for Miko, was manipulating them. They are:
  • Rin Hiroishi (広石 倫 Hiroishi Rin?) is a Japanese idol singer which also dresses as a maid. Ui Miyazaki and Kristi Bingham are her voice actresses.
  • Ryu Getsurei (劉 月麗 Ryū Getsurei?, also "Geturei" , Pinyin: Liú Yuèlì)
    • A Chinese person with a Japanese mother, Getsurei is a psychic who can see into her opponents' minds. In the OVA she has a fight with Aya in Yokohama. There she tells Aya about the plot involving Miko. Aya, having been provoked by her opponent, kills Getsurei in a fit of anger. Her voice actresses are Kana Ueda and Monica Rial.
  • Izumi Hayakawa (早川 泉 Hayakawa Izumi?)
    • In the OVA Hayakawa is working with Miko and her group. At the end she betrays her masters and tries to strangle Miko but is shot by the real Haruki. Hiromi Hirata and Wendy Powell are her voice actresses.

Other contestants include:

  • Megumi Shimoyama (下山 恵 Shimoyama Megumi?)
    • A mechanic who appears only in the OVA version. She is a fighter wanting the Martial Heart. Her voice actresses are Yuko Masuda (増田 悠子 Masuda Yūko) and Maria Daniel.
  • Aoi Ishikawa (石河 葵 Ishikawa Aoi?)
    • A new character who appears in Zettai Shougeki: Platonic Heart II, a video game.[10]

Others[edit]

  • Takumi Yoshida (吉田 琢磨 Yoshida Takumi?)
  • In the OVA there is a fake Haruki who works with Hayakawa for Miko and her group. He gets plastic surgery in order to meet Aya; he has plastic surgeries in order to meet women who he wants. In the final episode he and Hawakawa confront Miko to take Aya from her, but the real Haruki shoots Hayakawa and him dead. His voice actor is Tatsuhisa Suzuki, the same as the real Haruki.
  • Kumi Honma
    • In the OVA Kumi and her sister Yumi Kazuki had been sold into sexual slavery to a man overseas after she lost the Martial Heart tournament to Suzuko Kanō. Her vocal cords were destroyed to prevent her from screaming, and she has a noticeable scar on her neck. She escaped from her overseas master and used sign language and writing to tell her children what happened. She conditioned them to seek revenge. Suzuko reveals that Kumi had killed Shigeyuki Iseshima after he killed her sister Yumi. In the series, Kumi has a habit of cutting pictures of Aya with a razor blade. At the end of the series she rings her doorbell and sees a scene frightening to her.
  • Yuzuri Ayame (菖蒲 譲 Ayame Yuzuri?)
  • Shinobu Kokūzō (虚空蔵 しのぶ Kokūzō Shinobu?)

Media[edit]

OVA[edit]

Previews were presented in "blog parts" (miniature applets for blogs) that showcased the bodies of the various characters.[2] Shochiku released the first volume of the series in Japan on October 25, 2008.[2] Subsequent episodes have been released monthly.

The opening theme of the series is "Tatsumaki Wave" (タツマキWAVE?) by Little Non. The closing theme for episode 5 is "Zero Gravity" also by Little Non. The OVAs were released in Japan between October 29, 2008 and February 25, 2009.

No. Title Release date
1 "Destiny Sprints Into Motion"   October 29, 2008
Aya Iseshima is walking home with her best friend Natsume Honma from their high school, when they walk right into the middle of a fight between a teenage girl dressed as a shrine maiden and a young woman dressed as a flight attendant. The priestess looks like she is in trouble, so Aya beats up Rei Kakizaki, the flight attendant. The priestess is thankful and introduces herself as Miko Kazuki. She has been fighting in a tournament in which the prize is a gem called the Martial Heart (Platonic Heart) which can grant a wish. Aya, Natsume, and Miko become friends, and since Miko's wish of making friends is now granted, she withdraws from the tournament. However, later that night, Aya discovers Miko's apartment has been ransacked with Miko nowhere to be found; she realizes that the Martial Heart not only grants the wish of the winner, but also banishes the losers. 
2 "A Reason to Fight"   November 27, 2008
Aya's new friend Miko disappears without of trace and it seems she never existed. Aya now has to compete so she wish her friend back but her next opponent is her favorite teacher, Azusa Suma. 
3 "Three Sisters, Sworn Enemies"   December 20, 2008
Aya tries to find her new friend but no luck. So she decided to go to a local pool to calm her down. Just then she faces off against another opponent, Yu Daimonji, a lady cop in a bikini. Aya has to face Yu's sisters, Saki the geisha and Emi the nurse. 
4 "Silently, Like Secrets"   January 28, 2009
Aya is in a sea of turmoil as she wonders whether it was really Haruki Honma, Natsume's brother, she saw as the leader of the martial heart and her semifinal match is in a maid cafe. Her opponent is Rin Hiroishi. 
5 "Flames"   February 25, 2009
Aya faces her final opponent, Ryu Getsurei, a lady in red who says she is a clairvoyant who can see her heart. Getsurei tells Aya that the tournament is nothing more than a game, a trick by Miko. Angered, Aya defeats Getsurei, but not before the woman claims that Aya's heart has become "a sheet of darkness". Aya seems to snap and beats the woman to death, still hitting her after she has died. Miko appears and tells her that since Aya won she got her wish and Miko has returned. Miko takes Aya into a warehouse where all of her past opponents are being held. All of Aya's past opponents have gone insane and Miko says they are now "perfect women" that people would pay a lot for. While Miko is to explain why, a man who was pretending to be Haruki, who had used plastic surgery to disguise himself, and Izumi Hayakawa appear and finish explaining the reason. They worked for Miko and decided to betray her by choking her. She is saved by Natsume and the real Haruki: both are also in on the plan. They tell her that they were the ones who organized the entire Martial Hearts tournament as a way to take revenge on Aya's family. Before Aya was born her father, Shigeyuki Iseshima, and her mother, Suzuko Iseshima, set up the original Martial Hearts tournament and sold all the women who lost into slavery. Two of those women were sisters, one being Miko's mother Yumi Kazuki and the other being Natsume's mother Kumi. Yumi was given to Aya's father as a mistress and on her fourth birthday she witnessed him kill Yumi. Kumi had her throat slashed, effectively muting her, and was sold to a man overseas. Years later she was able to escape and tell her children her story. When Natsume and Miko met they realized that all their suffering came from Aya's family and chose to hold another tournament so they could destroy Aya. They shoot Aya twice but before they can further mutilate or kill her explosives go off throughout the building and it catches on fire. Suzuko appears, having set off the explosives, and tells everyone they are all caught in a web of vengeance. Aya's parents started the Martial Hearts tournament to seek revenge on Natsume and Miko's mothers, since their fathers were the evil men who killed their families, and now their daughters are caught in the web of revenge as well. Haruki and the girls attack her. Suzuko kills the three. She bandages up Aya and tells her she will atone for Aya's sins, staying in the burning building as a wounded Aya makes her escape. Later the audience sees Natsume's mother Kumi at home, carving up pictures of Aya, when the doorbell rings. When she answers it her eyes go wide in terror and she lets out a silent scream before the scene immediately cuts to black. 

Other media[edit]

Atsushi Kuragami, who did Debiru Naebiru, has serialized a manga version for Futabasha's Comic High! magazine with its debut on August 22, 2008.[2]

Slotter Mania V: Zettai Shougeki Platonic Heart II, a pachinko-style game featuring characters from the series, was released for the PS Vita.

Ten companies have planned to expand the franchise into mobile devices, music CD and other merchandise.[2]

Reception[edit]

The OVA series received negative reviews from critics. Theron Martin of Anime News Network likens the series to Ikki Tousen where women fight each other with "clothes-shredding attacks" but wrote that Master of Martial Hearts has more extreme fan service such as exposed breasts. The plot "exists almost entirely to give excuses for staging cosplay-like battles."[1] Stig Høgset of THEM Anime Reviews found the show "a pretty simple and terrible story with a really awkward and dumb plot twist at the end, it's just impossible to recommend this show for anyone." He instead recommended other titles for those who are "up for the whole 'sexy girls chopsocky' thing." [11] Mike Ferreira of the Anime Herald wrote that it is "without a doubt, one of the most offensive, vile pieces of crap to pass through my DVD player. It makes Ikki Tousen look like The Gentleman’s Guide in comparison. There are absolutely no redeeming qualities to speak of, and everything just seems to go to extremes to repulse the viewer."[4] Bamboo Dong of Anime News Network praised Funimation for "cutting one of the funniest and most attention-grabbing trailers in recent anime history. Their coinage of 'Boobs, butts, and burgers' is genius," however, "Considering the terrible storyline, the complete lack of characterization, the lackluster animation, and the ear-splitting music, and the complete disregard for science, there is no redeeming feature of this show. Unless, of course, you want something to whack off to."[12] Chris Beveridge of Mania.com found the story to be formulaic with awkward pacing, and leading to a spectacular train wreck of the final episode.[13]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Martin, Theron (August 6, 2010). "Master of Martial Hearts DVD". Anime News Network. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "Zettai Shougeki ~Platonic Heart~ Video Anime Green-Lit". Anime News Network. 2008-07-07. Retrieved 2009-03-15. 
  3. ^ a b c "Funimation Entertainment Acquires Master of Martial Hearts From Shochiku". Anime News Network. 2010-01-07. 
  4. ^ a b Ferreira, Mike (July 2, 2011). "Review: Master of Martial Hearts". Anime Herald. 
  5. ^ http://web.archive.org/web/20081228045742/http://zettai.jp/#/index/character
  6. ^ http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/shelf-life/2010-08-02
  7. ^ http://www.aristocrat.co.jp/slot/zs2/images/chara/c9.png
  8. ^ http://archive.is/txfcU
  9. ^ http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/review/master-of-martial-hearts/dvd
  10. ^ "c7.png." Zettai Shougeki: Platonic Heart II. Retrieved on October 9, 2013.
  11. ^ Hogset, Stig (2008). "Master of Martial Hearts". THEM anime reviews. 
  12. ^ Dong, Bamboo (August 2, 2010). "Shelf Life - Mixed Martial Hearts". Anime News Network. 
  13. ^ Beveridge, Chris (August 10, 2010). "Master of Martial Hearts Complete Set". Mania.com. 

External links[edit]