|Genre||Historical, Political, Science fiction, War|
|Written by||Kaiji Kawaguchi|
|Published by||Kodansha (Japanese and English)|
|Original run||2000 – 2009|
|Anime television series|
|Directed by||Kazuhiro Furuhashi|
|Written by||Kazuhiro Furuhashi
|Music by||Toshihiko Sahashi|
|Licensed by||Geneon Entertainment USA|
|Original run||October 7, 2004 – March 31, 2005|
Zipang (ジパング Jipangu?) is a Japanese manga written and illustrated by Kaiji Kawaguchi. It was first serialized in Kodansha's Weekly Morning magazine from 2000 until 2009, and published in 43 volumes. Its popularity has extended to middle schoolers who enjoy history. Four volumes have been translated into English by Ralph McCarthy for the Kodansha Bilingual Comics library (ISBN 4-7700-2908-X, ISBN 4-7700-2909-8, ISBN 4-7700-2910-1, ISBN 4-7700-2911-X).
A modern Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, the guided missile destroyer, JDS Mirai (みらい, meaning "future"), is en route to participate in a military exercise with the United States Navy near Hawaii. In the vicinity of Midway Island it encounters a strange meteorological phenomenon that throws it back through time to the eve of the Battle of Midway of World War II. After rescuing an Imperial Japanese Navy commissioned officer, Takumi Kusaka, the “Mirai” and its crew go on to affect the course of history itself.
- Yosuke Kadomatsu (角松 洋介, Kadomatsu Yōsuke) Voiced by: Tetsu Inada
The protagonist of the series. Executive Officer (X.O.) and second in command aboard the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force escort vessel JDS Mirai (DDG-182). He takes over the position of captain after Captain Umezu is injured. He always respects human life, and the action of saving Kusaka's life took priority over the implications this would have on the course of history. He felt responsibility for however history may have been changed because of Kusaka, and tried but failed to stop Kusaka's actions. Due to changes in history, Kadomatsu's father as a child was killed in a car accident, turning Kadomatsu into a man who doesn't exist, an anomaly within the alternate past. After obtaining information that Kusaka is going to Manchuria to secure oil supplies, he decides to leave Mirai and embarks on a journey to stop Kusaka. While attempting to protect Puyi, he is shot by Kusaka and seriously injured. From then on, he begins a campaign in which he utilizes military power and whatever information he possesses to save as many lives as possible that would otherwise have been lost during the war. After the New Guinea evacuation operation, he is ousted from the ship following a coup by Kikuchi. Shortly after, Kadomatsu manages to regain control of Mirai with help from Momoi and Kisaragi.
- Masayuki Kikuchi (菊池 雅行, Kikuchi Masayuki) Voiced by: Takanori Hoshino
Gunnery Officer and third in command aboard the JMSDF vessel JDS Mirai (DDG-182). Kikuchi has been best friends with Kadomatsu and Oguri ever since they were in the same batch during their time at the Japan Maritime Academy. He has a strong sense of justice and does not like taking lives. Kikuchi is usually calm in making decisions, rarely breaking out a sweat when he faces extreme situations. During early volumes of the manga, Kikuchi proposed the Mirai crew to avoid changing the past as much as possible. After events of the battle with the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier, USS Wasp, Kikuchi changes his stance on attacking enemy targets, putting the reason that Mirai is put in danger and they are doing it for self-defence. After realising that changing the past is inevitable and viewing Kusaka's beliefs to create a stronger Japan, Kikuchi stages a mutiny aboard Mirai and takes over as captain, working alongside Kusaka to attack India. However, he is injured during Japanese army withdrawal at Tarawa lagoon island and takes refuge in Palau. At this time, Kadomatsu manages to regain control of Mirai, with Kisaragi making a deal with Kikuchi and allowing him to escape inland with Momoi. Kikuchi is last seen working with Kisaragi, preparing for the final battle to end the world war.
- Kouhei Oguri (尾栗 康平, Oguri Kouhei) Voiced by: Yuji Ueda
Navigation Officer aboard the JDS Mirai (DDG-182). Oguri is best friends with Kadomatsu and Kikuchi during their time in the Maritime Academy. He is joint third in command alongside Kikuchi aboard Mirai. Oguri is the most outspoken of the three of them, but he is also impulsive when making decisions. In contrast, his personality is opposite to Kikuchi. When Kusaka was initially rescued, Oguri proposes that they should release information to him, without thinking of the consequences. He often goes into debate with Kikuchi on whether it's right to attack their own people from the past out of self-defence, or taking innocent lives even though Mirai is being attacked by enemy forces, changing the past as a result. When Kadomatsu goes after Kusaka in Manchuria, Oguri and the rest of the crew set up C4 explosives around Mirai in any case the ship is about to be captured. When Kikuchi stages his mutiny and ousts Kadomatsu as captain, Oguri is ordered by Kadomatsu to stay on board Mirai to keep an eye on Kikuchi's actions, even though he wished to leave with Kadomatsu together.
- Saburo Umezu (梅津 三郎, Umezu Saburo) Voiced by: Yuusaku Yara
Captain and first in command of the JDS Mirai (DDG-182). Umezu takes care of his crew and puts the safety of his men as first priority. Over the years, he is given the nickname "Hiruandon" (昼行灯), which means "one who does not stand out", by people who worked with him, as he is a modest person who does not get too much attention around himself. When Mirai was confirmed to be mysteriously brought into the past, Umezu proposes the crew not to get involved with events during the 2nd World War so as not to change history. Umezu is wise in making reasonable decisions whenever Mirai is under attack or whether the crew should join in battle with the old Japanese army. During the operation to rescue Japanese Army Defense Corps in the Aleutian Islands, Umezu is seriously injured when Atlanta-class light cruisers attack Mirai head on. He is later hospitalised in Yokosuka, and relinquishes his position of captain to Kadomatsu for the time being. When Umezu receives news that Kusaka is planning to build the atomic bomb, he travels to Nanjing with Kisaragi to stop him, but fails to do so and dies in his attempt.
- Sachiko Momoi (桃井 佐知子, Momoi Sachiko) Voiced by: Yoshiko Iseki
Rank of Lieutenant and medic aboard the JDS Mirai (DDG-182). Momoi is the only female crew member on the ship. She is responsible for the first aid and care of the crew on board Mirai. She is much more neutral to viewpoints and does not go into debate over changing events in history, as she holds her top priority over first aid. When Kikuchi mutinied and wrestled control over the ship from Kadomatsu, Momoi is disappointed by the crew splitting up and planned to leave with Kadomatsu just like Oguri wanted to. In the end, Kadomatsu convinced her to stay on to look after the crew's well-being. Later on Kusaka managed to capture Mirai, Momoi took care of Kikuchi when he is injured during the army withdrawal. When Kadomatsu sneaked on board with Kisaragi to retake the ship, Momoi initially refused to help when she learned of the pair's plans. However, when she learned of Kusaka's plans to build the atomic bomb and the recent death of Captain Umezu at his hands, pushed her resolve to help them take back the ship. Later, she and Kikuchi escaped together in Palau and accepted Kisaragi's offer to work together to put an end to the world war.
- Mamoru Satake (佐竹 守, Satake Mamoru) Voiced by: Takashi Matsuyama
Rank of Lieutenant and pilot of the MVSA-32J VTOL aircraft Umidori (Seagull) aboard the JDS Mirai (DDG-182). Satake is at times serious and sometimes fail to abide regulations. When Mirai appeared in the past just days only, Satake and his gunner, Mori, were assigned by Kadomatsu on a reconnaissance mission around Ogasawara. But Satake made the mistake of flying the Umidori only 500 feet (150 m) above the islands, getting the attention of 2 Type 2 Floatplane fighters. During the ensuing battle, Mori was killed, and Satake blames himself for making unsafe decisions. Later when Satake provides support for the Japanese army withdrawal in New Guinea, he unfortunately encountered the U.S. aviation corps. However, Satake stayed behind to defend the area from B-25 bomber planes in order to allow the Japanese army to retreat and perished in the battle.
- Mori (森, Mori) Voiced by: Makoto Tomita
Rank of 3rd Ensign and gunner of the MVSA-32J VTOL aircraft Umidori (Seagull) aboard the JDS Mirai (DDG-182). Mori is an enthusiastic and energetic young man at age twenty. He was assigned along with Satake on a reconnaissance mission by Kadomatsu to Ogasawara. Mori displayed doubts when Satake made the decision to fly the Umidori 500 feet (150 m) above the islands, but trusts in the man to keep both the gyrocopter and them safe. When Type 2 Floatplane fighters discovered their presence, he is killed by shots sprayed into the cockpit of the Umidori by the enemy fighters. The first crew member of Mirai to die since their arrival in the past.
French Translation of the manga is in progress, edited by Kana. Volume 27 was released at the beginning of February 2010.
An anime adaptation of Zipang was produced by Studio Deen and directed by Kazuhiro Furuhashi. The Tokyo Broadcasting System broadcast the anime series in Japan from October 7, 2004 to March 31, 2005. Since a Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force official on active service was involved in the production, some unnatural scenes were cut from the anime version.
- The Final Countdown, a 1980 American film similar in premise to Zipang
- Zipang (manga) at Anime News Network's Encyclopedia
- Zipang (manga) at the "Weekly Morning" site (Japanese)
- Zipang (anime) at the "Weekly Morning" site (Japanese)