Noragami – A Stray That Found a Shrine in America

Noragami Volume 1 cover.

In New York, publishing is a god here. There are many publishers who call the Big Apple their home and conduct business here on a daily basis. That being said manga publishers are no exception. This year at New York Comic-Con, there was a larger emphasis put on comics, especially manga. While Masashi Kishimoto of Naruto fame drew a lot of attention with multiple appearances in New York City leading to NYCC, Kodansha Comics continued to show off their plans for this decade’s giant hit (pun intended), Attack on Titan. They also brought attention to a manga series that’s become a surprise hit for them since its debut in the United States.

Adachitoka’s Noragami: Stray God debuted in America last year in print and the anime was streamed before the manga’s release on FUNimation. The 1st volume of the manga sold very well and surpassed sales expectations for Kodansha. This year, Kodansha brought the series’ editor, Yohei Takami, to New York Comic-Con for their panel and an autograph session at FUNimation’s booth. Noragami is a title that cleverly brings the world of Japanese mythology to a modern urban setting and makes gods feel more human than anything else.

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The Simpsons’ Halloween Special, Animation Tribute

– Oct. 20, 2014, S. Barton
The Simpsons’ Treehouse of Horror XXV ended with a surprising all star animation tribute. In it’s third installment, The Others, (a parody of the 2001 horror film staring, Nicole Kidman), The Simpsons clash with their original 1987 incarnations. America’s famous family got their start as a series of animated shorts on The Tracey Ullman Show in 1987, before getting their own animated series in 1989.

As the story come to a close, Lisa then says,“I just had a worrisome thought: If there can be two incarnations of The Simpsons, why couldn’t some evil marketing entity produce millions of others?!”

Her fears are then realized, with a pop-culture reference of epic proportions; as multiple versions of The Simpsons’ line up to enter the family home.The creators of the show had a little fun as each version pays homage to a variety of animated films and series.

This included an assortment of anime references to: Pokemon (Maggie as Pikachu), Attack on Titan (Lisa as Misaka), Naruto (Bart as Naruto), Bleach (Marge as Rangiku), One Piece (Homer as Zoro), and Studio Ghibli’s, Spirited Away(Santa’s Little Helper as Haku). This isn’t the first time The Simpsons’ have referenced anime. In Married to the Blob,(Season 25, Episode 10), is entirely dedicated to Japanese pop-culture and US Comic-Con couture, it also included a special sequence to honor legendary Japanese animator/director, Hayao Miyazaki. (see article here)

In total, the ending pays tribute to: claymation, Anime, Adventure Time, South Park, Archer; a mini-tribute to french animator,Sylvain Chomet (Triplets of Bellevile, 2003). Last but not least, LEGO’s, Despicable Me, and finally, The Simpsons animal incarnation from Treehouse of Horror 13, The Island of Dr. Hibbert.

How many references did you spot?