Shadow Star, known in Japan in full as Mukuro Naru Hoshi Tama Taru Ko (骸なる星･珠たる子 Mukuro Naru Hoshi·Tama Taru Ko?, The dead star and the jewel of a girl) and abbreviated as Narutaru (なるたる), is the name of a Japanese manga and of the anime series which was based on the manga. The series was created by Mohiro Kitoh and was originally serialized in the magazine Afternoon. When asked about the manga, Mohiro Kitoh stated that he had about 80% of the entire thing planned out from the beginning. When he was asked about the anime series, he stated he was grateful it was made. In the United States, it was licensed by Dark Horse and serialized in Super Manga Blast!.
The 13-episode anime adaptation was broadcast in 2003 on the Japanese television station Kids Station. The anime was licensed by Central Park Media and released as Shadow Star Narutaru, and has played on Comcast's Anime Selects multiple times. In 2007 it ran on the Illusion on Demand television network. Central Park Media released the title under their "U.S. Manga Corps" line, on 4 DVDs, and later re-released the DVDs in a box set. Central Park Media filed for bankruptcy in 2009, and the DVDs have since been out of print.
The protagonist of the series is a twelve-year-old girl named Shiina Tamai. She bonds with a starfish-shaped "dragonchild" (baby "shadow dragon") whom she calls Hoshimaru. The series is mainly about the interaction between Shiina and other young people who have also bonded with dragons.
The manga, especially the original Japanese version, is known for the gruesome material that appears as the plot progesses. Despite the young main characters, cute monster designs, and initial appearances of a shōjo or Pokémon-esque series, the story quickly takes on a much darker and more disturbing tone, with later volumes involving some graphic depictions of gore and sexual violence. The English- and German-language versions of the manga have some edited scenes; entire pages of content were removed from the seventh volume of the English-language release.
Note: The titles of the individual volumes refer to the English translation, which gave names to the individual volumes.
- 1: Starflight // Chapters 1-4 (Japanese 1-5)
- 2: Darkness Visible // Chapters 5-10 (Japanese 6-13)
- 3: Shadows Of The Past // Chapters 11-15 (Japanese 14-20)
- 4: Nothing But The Truth // Chapters 16-20 (Japanese 21-23)
- 5: A Flower's Fragrance // Chapters 21-23 (Japanese 24-28)
- 6: What Can I Do For You Now? // Chapters 24-28 (Japanese 29)
- 7: Victim's Eyes, Assailant's Hands // Chapter 29 (Japanese 30-38)
- 8: Japanese 39-44
- 9: Japanese 45-48
- 10: Japanese 49 & 50
- 11: Japanese 51-61
- 12: Japanese 62-67
There are twelve volumes total in the Japanese releases, of which the seven listed have been translated to English. The English volumes end at different spots than the Japanese volumes. This was a result of Dark Horse's arrangement of the manga's chapters, which were spaced differently in the Japanese and English releases. The same treatment was given to Oh My Goddess! in its initial distribution.
There have been no new announcements for future English releases. English volumes 8 and 9 (Japanese volumes 7 and 8) and part of English volume 10 (Japanese volume 9) have been translated in Super Manga Blast!, and starting with the magazine's 54th issue, the manga was translated in its original right-to-left reading format; this lasted until SMB was cancelled five issues later. These chapters have not been printed as stand-alone graphic novels as of yet, nor has Dark Horse announced any plans to further translate Shadow Star.
The anime adaptation consisted of 13 episodes, each running for 24 minutes, and adapted the storyline of the first 6 volumes (7 volumes of the American release) of the manga.
Reception of the anime
- Central Park Media website about Shadow Star
- Narutaru site at Kid's Station (Japanese)
- Shadowstar Official site on Illusion on Demand (Archive)
- Shadow Star Narutaru (anime) at Anime News Network's Encyclopedia
- Shadow Star (manga) at Anime News Network's Encyclopedia
- Shadow Star at the Internet Movie Database
- ANIMEFringe article about Shadow Star