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Toji no Miko (『刀使ノ巫女』? lit., "Sword-Wielding Shrine Maidens") is an original concept by Project Gokaden that spawned an anime series, a mobile game, and several adaptations based on the anime series. The concept is based on shrine maidens given duties to defend civilians against otherworldly beings using Japanese swords with special powers.

Original Concept

Armor concept

Initial concept art for the S-Equipment and uniforms for the Five Traditions schools.

Initial planning for what would be the Toji no Miko concept began on 2013, when Yoshinori Shizuma, known at that time for contributing character designs for the browser-based game Kantai Collection, and scriptwriter Tatsuya Takahashi, known for his works in both anime series and visual novels, created a concept based on girls wielding Japanese swords after Takahashi was inspired by the artwork posted by Shizuma on his personal blog. On Winter of 2015, director Koudai Kakimoto joined the development of the project.

Between 2015 and the release of the first promotional video of the anime series on August 2017, the original concept had undergone several changes. Both the uniforms of the schools under The Five Traditions and the designs of the okatana holster system were changed in several aspects, notably the change in sleeve style and modifying the okatana holsters so that they are less bulky. Additionally, the story moved from the protagonists defeating civilians possessed by Aradama to a story involving a controversial attack against the current leader of the Toji system.

Since its release, the story of the anime series is considered as the main canon, with most other media adapting this story.

Story

Since ancient times, shrine maidens, through their Okatana, cleanse grotesque beings called Aradama who threaten the human world. These girls, wearing their swords and uniforms as their main attire, are called Toji. Officially, they perform police duties under the Special Task Team. They are formally authorized to own okatana as public officials, and they are also female students who study in one of five middle-and-high integrated training schools throughout Japan.

Despite spending a normal school life, these girls, upon the call of professional duty, wield their swords, manifest paranormal powers and fight to protect humanity.

This spring, Toji who were chosen as the very best in the five schools in throughout Japan are assembled in an established tournament that faces off techniques against each other. As the event approaches, among the various Toji who toil themselves in training, there is one remarkably strong spirit that would stand out, one girl whose techniques would shine.

At whom does she, who poises her okatana, face the point of her sword?[1]

Media

Anime Series

Main article: Toji no Miko (anime series)

An anime series based on the Toji no Miko concept was released between January 5 and June 22, 2018. The series was written by Tatsuya Takahashi and directed by Koudai Kakimoto, with Yuuko Yahiro designing the characters based on Yoshinori Shizuma's original character designs, soundtrack by Yukari Hashimoto and production by Studio Gokumi.

The 24-episode series is divided into two major story arcs: Instigation Arc (胎動編 Taidou-hen?), which covers Episodes 1 to 12, and Uproar Arc (波乱編 Haran-hen?), which would cover Episodes 13 to 24.

The anime series was released on Crunchyroll under the localized name Katana Maidens: Toji no Miko.

Manga

An ongoing monthly manga series based on the story of the anime is published on the Gekkan Shounen Ace magazine starting October 26, 2016. The manga series is written and illustrated by Sakae Saitou. This manga series serves as an alternate retelling of the anime, following the story closely while changing certain details or adding new scenes.

Aside from the main manga series, there are two parody spin-off 4-koma manga series based on both the anime and the Toji no Miko mobile game Toji no Miko: Kizamishi Issen no Tomoshibi. The first 4-koma series is TojiYon, which offers a comedic twist to introducing the world and characters of Toji no Miko. The second is Toji no Tomo, which initially teases the main characters of Toji no Miko: Kizamishi Issen no Tomoshibi before the game's release and eventually shifted to introductions of the characters and game system after the game entered official release. Both TojiYon and Toji no Tomo were published on the official sites of the anime series and the mobile game respectively. Toji no Tomo was later adapted into a fully voiced web animation series on June 28, 2018, with episodes hosted both on YouTube and the mobile game official site.

Music

Yukari Hashimoto composed the official soundtrack of the anime series, while the voice actresses of the six main characters of the anime performed the two opening theme songs and two closing theme songs of the anime. The soundtrack used in the anime series was later released as a two-volume compilation soundtrack album entitled "Toji no Miko Original Soundtrack: Oto-tsuzuri" on April 4 and June 27, 2018 respectively.

The first opening theme song is "Save you Save me", used in Episodes 1 to 12, followed by "Shinkakei Colors", used in Episodes 13 to 24. The first closing theme song for the series is "Kokoro no Memoria", used in Episodes 2 to 11, followed by "Mirai Epilogue", used in Episodes 13 to 20, 22 and 23. The insert song "Ima Kono Mi ga Hateyo tomo" was used in Episode 12, and "Chinkon no Nocturne" was used in Episode 21 as closing theme songs.

A six-part character song CD series entitled "Toji no Miko Character Song CD Series: Miko no Uta" was released between February 21 and April 25, 2018. Each of the character song CDs features one of the six main characters of the anime series performing an original song, as well as solo versions of "Save you Save me" and "Kokoro no Memoria".

Drama CD

A drama CD series entitled "Toji no Miko Special Drama CD Series" was released along with Volumes 2, 4 and 6 of the DVD and Blu-ray releases of the anime series. The drama CD series is set during the time before or after certain episodes as indicated by their episode number (e.g., "Episode 0.5" to denote a drama CD track set before Episode 1).

Games

A mobile game based on the Toji no Miko concept entitled Toji no Miko: Kizamishi Issen no Tomoshibi was released by Square Enix on March 18, 2018. The game uses elements of command-style turn-based combat and features not only the characters of the anime series but also five original characters, all of which can be customized with the use of in-game costumes. The story of Toji no Miko: Kizamishi Issen no Tomoshibi is set parallel to the plot of the anime series, with numerous references to developments in the anime while the original characters, as members of an organized Investigation Team, are involved in various missions within the setting.

Another mobile game based on Toji no Miko, entitled Toji no Miko: Netherworld Rebellion, was announced in China, with an ongoing pre-registration campaign. The developers of the game revealed that the mobile game would be a massively-multiplayer online action role-playing game that would allow players to relive the story of the anime series. Unlike the limited 3D elements of Toji no Miko: Kizamishi Issen no Tomoshibi, teasers suggest that the game would be in full 3D, including in-dialogue scenes.

Stage Play

Toji no Miko entered a collaboration with the idol group SKE48's smartphone game SKE48 Passion for You ~Love and Passion Will Save the World~ to release a stage play based on the Toji no Miko concept. The stage play, with a working title of AiiA Presents Toji no Miko, the Stage Play, will be released on November 10 to 14, 2018. The cast will be determined by a "request ranking".

External Links

References

  1. "Studio Gokumi Reveals Toji no Miko Original Anime Project", Anime News Network. May 15, 2017.