DVD cover for Bandai Entertainment's Region 1 release of Volume 6 featuring Ryuho (left) and Kazuma (right)
|Genre||Adventure, Science fiction|
|Anime television series|
|Directed by||Gorō Taniguchi|
|Written by||Yōsuke Kuroda|
|Music by||Kōtarō Nakagawa|
|Network||Animax, TV Tokyo|
|Original run||July 4, 2001 – December 26, 2001|
|Written by||Yōsuke Kuroda|
|Illustrated by||Yasunari Toda|
|Published by||Akita Shoten|
|Magazine||Weekly Shōnen Champion|
|Original run||October 4, 2001 – June 20, 2002|
|Written by||Kazuho Hyodo|
|Illustrated by||Hisashi Hirai|
|Original run||May 10, 2002 – May 10, 2003|
|s-CRY-ed Alteration Tao|
|Directed by||Gorō Taniguchi|
|Written by||Yōsuke Kuroda|
|Music by||Kōtarō Nakagawa|
|Released||November 19, 2011|
|s-CRY-ed Alteration Quan|
|Directed by||Gorō Taniguchi|
|Written by||Yōsuke Kuroda|
|Music by||Kōtarō Nakagawa|
|Released||March 10, 2012|
s-CRY-ed (Japanese: スクライド Hepburn: Sukuraido?), also known as s.CRY.ed or Scryed, is a 26 episode Japanese anime TV series, produced by Sunrise, directed by Gorō Taniguchi and written by Yōsuke Kuroda, which first aired in Japan on TV Tokyo and Animax. The music for the series was composed by Kōtarō Nakagawa. The series is set in an alternative time where in Kanagawa Prefecture a phenomenon granted a 1% of its people supernatural powers known as "Alters". The plot follows a young Alter mercenary known as Kazuma as well as Ryuho, a man working for the Alter special forces known as HOLY who become rivals as their areas clash.
The concept of the series originated in 1999 when Taniguchi was working in Infinite Ryvius and wanted to create another series that would carry themes similar from it as well as new ones centered mostly on how people adapted to the 21st century. A manga adaptation, drawn by Yasunari Toda, was serialized in Akita Shoten's Weekly Shōnen Champion. A novelization by Kazuho Hyodo has been written. Additionally, a two-part recollection film was released by Sunrise. Both the anime and the manga have also seen an English release.
S-CRY-ed has been popular in Japan often appearing in polls made by Japanese magazines and once took third place in the Anime Grand Prix awards. Critical reception to the series has been generally positive with reviewers noting while initial episodes might be simple, the plot becomes more interesting across the latter ones. However, the reviewers were divided in which language was the series more appealing: The original Japanese or the English dub.
Set several years after "The Great Uprising", a future geological phenomenon in the Kanagawa Prefecture near Tokyo, people have developed a power granting them the ability to deconstruct, reshape, and crystallize matter at a molecular level using only thought and willpower. These people have come to be known as "Alter" users. With only 1% of the newborn generations receiving such special power, though this number rises steadily as the series progresses, some feel a superiority over normal humans. There are two opposing forces of alters: the Native Alters, a group of Alter users who live outside the central city and avoid any relationships with the government; and HOLY, an organization of Alter users that are a subgroup of an organization called HOLD. HOLD functions as the Mainland government's super police force of the Lost Ground, while HOLY, composed exclusively of Alter users, serves as the "special operations" group, aiding HOLD in performing dangerous missions that might require the help of an Alter user.
The series primarily focuses on Kazuma, a native alter user who makes his living as a mercenary so that he and his close friend, Kanami Yuta, can live together. When Kazuma's friend, Kunihiko Kimishima, gives him a mission to defeat another native alter user, a man known as Ryuho from HOLY goes to capture Kazuma. Kazuma is beaten up and ends in the city where Ryuho beats up Kazuma after asking him about an Alter user who killed his mother and dog, later dubbed as "Crystal". Using a woman named Mimori Kiryu as a hostage, Kazuma manages to return to his house thanks to Kimishima. As Kazuma keeps doing works with Kimishima, he encounters other HOLY members. When native Alter users are captured by HOLY, Kazuma enters a forest where he finds the Alter user Ryuho wants dead, Crystal. After fighting this person, Kazuma's Alter receives a power up.
The series progresses through the initial introduction of the Alter power to a wider understanding of the politics and reason for "The Great Uprising". "The Great Uprising" is later revealed to be caused by a similar event in a parallel universe where all creatures are independent thinking Alters. After Kinishima dies while helping Kazuma during of his fights, Kazuma goes on a rampage against HOLY. Shortly afterwards, Kazuma and Ryuho battle after. During the battle, they open a gateway to the parallel universe, causing another uprising and attracting the attention of the Mainland government.
Both Kazuma and Ryuho are thought to be dead after the fight. While Kazuma hides in underground fights, Ryuho suffers amnesia. With help from an old friend, Straigth Cougar, Kazuma recovers his will to protect Kanami who is searching for him. Additionally, Ryuho recovers his memories while fighting HOLY users attacking natives and ends up becoming one of Kazuma's allies. The Mainland sends its agent, Kyouji Mujo, to the Lost Ground in an attempt to exploit the power of the parallel universe for economic gain. Mujo develops delusions of grandeur after becoming the de facto head of the Lost Ground government and absorbing the crystal entity from "the other side" to add to his already formidable Alter power. Both he and the Crystal entity are defeated by the separate efforts of Kazuma and Ryuho, respectively as both increase their Alters' powers by taking energy from the parallel world. The Mainland once again attempts to exert control over the Lost Ground by sending in a fleet of refined Alter users under their control, but they are defeated by Kazuma and Ryuho.
After defeating the Mainland forces, Kazuma and Ryuho engage in one final battle to settle their rivalry. As one of them is about to declare victory, the screen fades to white. An epilogue, taking place years later, Kazuma and Ryuhou remain the protectors of the Lost Ground, defending it from Mainland invaders. An older Kanami, who now has full control over her alter, awaits their return.
Creation and release
According to series' director Gorō Taniguchi, the idea of s-CRY-ed originated in 1999 when he was working in the series Infinite Ryvius. One of Infinite Ryvius's themes was people communicating with each other. For s-CRY-ed the staff wanted to show people already in their own paths, focusing more in individualism. With s-CRY-ed starting in the early 21st century, Taniguchi said the cast would already be adapted to the new times resulting in s-CRY-ed taking more themes from Infinite Ryvius. S-CRY-ed is basically a combination of one English word and Japanese. The first lower-case "s" is a representation of the Japanese word “su” which means something in it is natural form and not artificial. "Cry" comes from the English, and the last "ed" represents a person. With all the combined, the staff of the studio Sunrise wanted to express the idea of how people react or interact when they are in their most natural state. They had that word when the project was in its early phase of production. It was just a kind of name that was given to be temporary, but the staff ended up using it for the title.
When asked by the staff of the magazine Animerica if the anime was influenced by Western superheros like Spider-Man or Batman, Taniguchi denied that influence. Instead, he said his inspirations for s-CRY-ed were other works he made for Sunrise the rest of society was not meant to be twist to classic superheroes but instead how each individual could adapt to their own places. While s-CRY-ed is notorious for its amount of action series, Taniguchi believes everything he wanted viewers to see was presented. In order to distinguish the HOLY members, the Sunrise staff made research in regards to what they could make. Taniguchi said the outfits are meant to resemble prison outfits.
In Japan, the series was released in 2001 between July 4 and December 26 for a total of twenty-six episodes. These were collected in a total of nine DVD volumes between November 25, 2001 and July 25, 2002. A DVD box containing all episodes was released on January 25, 2008 whereas a Blu-ray box was made available on October 26, 2011.
The anime was licensed by Bandai Entertainment in early 2003. Starting in 2003, Bandai released the show in North America as six individual Region 1 volumes, followed by a complete six-disc box set in November 2004. An Universal Media Disc version of the first volume was released on October 11, 2005. Bandai's European branch Beez Entertainment published the series in the United Kingdom. The release was in a total of six DVD volumes released between June 6, 2005 and February 27, 2006.
Later, the series premiered on Adult Swim in the United States on May 28, 2005, after select episodes had been aired on Adult Swim's Video On Demand service for nearly a year. On September 27, 2005, Bandai re-released s-CRY-ed under the Anime Legends banner, in three two-disc volumes, followed by the Anime Legends Complete Collection on October 24, 2006. Following the 2012 closure of Bandai Entertainment, Sunrise announced at Otakon 2013, that Sentai Filmworks has rescued S-CRY-ed, along with a handful of other former BEI titles. In Australia, the series is licensed by Madman Entertainment.
The music of S-CRY-ed was composed by Kōtarō Nakagawa. Its original soundtrack was released on November 21, 2001 whereas two drama CDs were released on December 19 of the same year. For the first twenty-five episodes the opening and ending are "Reckless Fire" by Yasuaki Ide and "Drastic My Soul" by Mikio Sakai, respectively. However, for episode twenty-six, "Reckless Fire" is replaced by "Drastic My Soul" whereas the ending theme is "Tabidachi no Kane ga Naru" ("The Bell of Setting out for a Journey Will Ring") by Mikio Sakai. There are also three insert song starting with "All I Need Is Love" by Sakai for episodes fourteen and seventeen, "Magma" by Ide for episode nineteen and "Discovery" by Sakai. Both the singles of "Reckless Fire" and "Drastic My Soul" were released on August 22, 2001.
On April 8, 2011 Sunrise announced on the official s-CRY-ed Japanese website the series would be re-released and remastered in a two movie release comprising the entire series and promised new footage, titled "s-CRY-ed Alteration" as part of the "s-CRY-ed 10th anniversary Project". During its release, TAO took fifteenth place in the Japanese box office earning US$141,055 on nine screens for a per-screen average of US$15,673. In the following week the film fell off the charts. The blu-ray of the first part was released on February 24, 2012. It sold 6,624 units in its release week. By its second week of release it reached 7,726 units.
The second part, QUAN, was released on March 10, 2011. Its blu-ray volume was released on July 27 of the next year. The blu-ray format of the second part sold a total of 6,543 units in Japan. The films also had a single CD including the new version of "Reckless Fire" alongside "SPIRITS" which was released on March 7, 2012. Additionally, another CD drama was released for the films on the same date as the single CD.
A manga of the series has been written by Yōsuke Kuroda and illustrated by Yasunari Toda in the magazine Weekly Shōnen Champion between October 4, 2001 and June 20, 2002. The manga was collected in a total of five tankōbon volumes. Tokyopop licensed this series in October 2002. They released the manga in 2003 between March 11 and November 4.
Additionally, a light novel series has been written by Kazuho Hyodo and illustrated by Hisashi Hirai in Dengeki Bunko. They have been released between May 10, 2002 and May 10, 2003. Additionally, Kazuma has appeared in the crossover role-playing game Heroes Fantasia.
In Japan, the series has been popular. Anihabara! listed S-CRY-ed as its top three anime series twice during 2001. In 2002, it took the same place in a poll by Animage. In the Animage's Anime Grand Prix awards, S-CRY-ed took the third place in the series category. Kazuma also took second place, being defeated by Inuyasha's title character. In a TV Asahi regarding the top hundred Japanese fans enjoyed, s-Cry-ed took the 51th place. In March 2010, Kazuma was ranked nineteenth best male anime character of the 2000s by the Japanese magazine Newtype. The blu-ray box of the series sold a total of 6,172 units during its release week in Japan.
The anime series has mostly received positive reception by publications for manga and anime. DVD Verdict's Mac McEntire said that while the first volume lacked depth, its action scenes made the series appealing as well as it characters despite their tendency to shout their attacks. In the same volume's review, John Sinnott from DVD Talk also said the fight scenes were good, also remarking it has more "plot" in contrast to other fighting series. He also found the two protagonists, Kazuma and Ryuho, appealing noting the two have multiple similarities that had yet to be explored. In regards to the series' language, he expressed preference on the Japanese cast over the English one. Seb Reid from UK Anime Network has enjoyed the anime series but unlike Sinnot he cited the English dub as "enjoyable". Additionally, he also found the series' beginning enjoyable noting that while the series might be simplystic, the reviewer found a theme of "freedom" hidden in the series, mostly seen through Kazuma's personality. While agreeing with Reid in regards to the plot to the point of comparing Kazuma to Han Solo from the Star Wars franchise due to their anti-heroic traits, Anime News Network's Zac Bertschy disliked the English dub. Bertschy also found the main plot confusing. The reviewers also compared the series positively with the famous Clamp's series X. Bryan Morton from Mania Beyond Entertainment noted the morality of some characters such as Ryuho who has several motives for his cold personality such as his quest for revenge. Despite not liking the series' fights for some issues with the animation, he recommended the series for fans of Dragon Ball Z, a series famous for its fight scenes. In a later review, Morton noted that Kazuma's character started being developed as he not only used it to fight Ryuho, but to protect people from the Lost Ground. Despite still saying he disliked the series for its focus on battles, Morton noted S-CRY-ed "has grown on" him. Danielle D'Ornellas from Animefringe noted how many characters the anime covered including both the protagonists and the antagonists, making the viewers to pick which side would they root for. While not amazed by the animation, D'Ornellas said "strictly from an animation perspective, s-CRY-ed is average". She also found the English cast enjoyable while the music reminded her of a popular anime, Cowboy Bebop.
The development of the series surprised some reviewers. Reid was amazed by how the plot of the series changed until its ending to the point of calling it an "Excellent end to a superior series" despite having been able to predict most of the plot twists in the series. Justin Rich from Mania noted how similar both Kazuma and Ryuho became across the series with the exception of their upbringings and commented they still keep clashing every time they see. Both Rich and Norton from Mania shared mixed feelings regarding the finale as Kyouji Mujo's fight was found anticlimatic. Additionally, the former liking the conclusion and the latter found it disappointing. Nevertheless, both of them found the final fight between Kazuma and Ryuho highly appealing. Don Houston from DVD Talk enjoyed how was developed the relationship between Kazuma and Ryuho similar to "buddy films" as both, while still clashing against one on another, they came to respect them too. However, he said that he still recommended fans to buy the DVD box rather than single volumes due to the latter's high prices. In his review of the final volume, Houston stated that while the series started as "generic" its development allowed him to enjoy more of the show. However, he stated plot could have been finished in less than twenty-six episodes.
In an IGN article by Ryan Clements titled "The Anime We'd Love To Play" S-CRY-ed was included. Clements commented that while the anime suffered from pacing and animation issues, both the cast and the powers were entertaining remarking the rivalry between Kazuma and Ryuho. In the 2007 book Manga: The Complete Guide author Jason Thompson found the manga "Over-the-top" as an adaptation of the anime series. Thompson found it similar to Jojo's Bizarre Adventure based on the "enjoyably weird, exaggerated" art which is also one of the series' main appeal.
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