Recently, Crunchyroll announced several lineups for their Winter 2022 dubs, one of which is the Orient English dub. The 12 episode Orient TV series launched on Crunchyroll on February 23, and it started airing in Japan on AT-X and TV Tokyo back on January 6, 2022.
For anime fans new to Orient, the series is an adaptation of the shounen manga by Shinobu Ohtaka. Between May 2018 to January 2021, it was serialized in Kodansha’s Weekly Shōnen Magazine. And as of February 2021, the series appeared in Kodansha’s Bessatsu Shōnen Magazine.
Currently, there are 14 volumes of the tankōbon published in Japan. And Kodansha USA released the English language translation of the first volume in digital form in April 2020.
The manga enjoys a reasonable amount of popularity. Nevertheless, reception has been lukewarm due to it not breaking new ground for a shounen series, according to critics and fans. Yet, it’s decent enough to appeal to middle-grade readers, and the artwork and story do improve as the series matures.
Set in Japan’s Sengoku period, Orient is an adventure fantasy. The story follows the exploits of the three main characters, namely: Musashi, Kojiro Kanemaki, and Tsugumi Hattori. In Musashi’s case, he works as a miner. But he is miserable as he knows that he is mining rocks for his overseers; demons that have enslaved Hinomoto and its people.
Unfortunately, his peers don’t share the same view and consider their demon overlords as liberators who freed them from samurai rule 150 years ago.
One day, new graduates arrive at the mine, and they witness the horrific treatment of the mineworkers by the demons. And the leader of the demons causes havoc at the quarry, putting Musashi’s life at risk. Fortunately, the Takeda samurai clan saves him in the nick of time. And from that point on, Musashi yearns for adventure and to form his own samurai clan.
The Japanese voice cast of the Orient TV anime series is as follows (English voice cast in parentheses):
The voiceover director for the English dub is Chris Cason, and the TV series director is Tetsuya Yanagisawa, with the latter having directed High School DxD and Seireitsukai no Blade Dance. A.C.G.T. is the animation studio, and Avex Pictures is handling production. Here’s hoping that the Orient English dub will satisfy shounen fans in an already crowded market. Stay tuned!