While it isn’t exactly a household name, Sorcerous Stabber Orphen is an incredibly prolific and long-running Japanese franchise. From light novels to manga to anime and even a PlayStation 2 video game, young anti-hero Orphen has been through it all. Now, to ring in the 25th anniversary of the long-running multi-media franchise in style, a brand new anime adaptation of the series is coming to Japanese airwaves early next year.
The newest trailer for the upcoming Sorcerous Stabber Orphen anime adaptation reveals that eager fans will be able to catch the show when it premieres on AT-X on January 7th, 2020, at 11:00 p.m. Japanese Standard Time. After that, the series will be broadcast across Japan according to the following TV schedule:
- AT-X: every Tuesday on the 23:00 time slot starting on January 07, 2020.
- BS Fuji: every Tuesday on the 24:30 time slot starting on January 07, 2020.
- Tokyo MX: every Wednesday on the 22:00 time slot starting on January 08. 2020.
- WOWOW: every Wednesday on the 24:00 time slot starting on January 08, 2020.
Something worth noting is that Japanese TV schedules work a little differently than standard American broadcast schedules. Their TV programming schedules count early-morning programming as technically being late-night shows from the previous day, so that the 24:30 time slot on Tuesday is technically a Wednesday morning time slot at 12:30am JST.
Along with the new trailer for Sorcerous Stabber Orphen, we’ve also got announcements of some new cast members joining the upcoming anime adaptation. From first to last, the new Sorcerous Stabber Orphen animation is set to feature Kenjiro Tsuda as Wall Kahlen, Hiroyuki Yoshino as Hydrant, and Nobuhiko Okamoto as Swain.
They’ll be featured alongside veteran voice actor Showtaro Morikubo, who is reprising his role as the title character Orphen that he first played back during the original anime adaptation of the series. The rest of the voice cast for the anime is as follows:
- Rumi Okubo as Cleao
- Yūsuke Kobayashi as Majic
- Marie Mizuno as Volkan
- Mai Fuchigami as Dortin
- Daisuke Namikawa as Childman
- Yōko Hikasa as Azalie
- Shizuka Itou as Letitia
- Taito Ban as Hardia
- Rikuya Yasuda as Komikuron
- Tomoaki Maeno as Forte
The opening theme song of Sorcerous Stabber Orphen is titled Calling U, and it’s performed by the group buzz★Vibes, which is a music unit led by the Orphen voice actor himself, Showtaro Morikubo. The ending song, Unpedictable Days, will be performed by Fuchigami. The anime itself is being handled by well-known anime production company Studio Deen, where it’ll be directed by experienced anime director Takayuki Hamana. He’s previously worked on Libary War, Mushibugyo, and the iconic series The Prince of Tennis. Script supervision and writing are being handled by Reiko Yoshida, an experienced writer who previously worked on Girls und Panzer, K-ON!, Violet Evergarden, and Yowamushi Pedal. Character designs are being handled by another Yowamushi Pedal veteran, Takahiko Yoshida, who also worked on Big Windup! and Cells at Work! Character designs will be based on the original novel illustrations by Yuuya Kusaka.
The original light novel series was licensed by J-Novel Club back in 2018 for localization and overseas distribution. The company describes the story as follows:
Orphen is a Sorcerer drop-out from the prestigious Tower of Fangs. His journey to save Azalie, a girl he looked up to like a sister, has brought him to the bustling city of Totokanta. Here they are reunited for the first time in five years. But what is the truth behind her monstrous transformation, and just what secrets lurk behind the Sword of Baldanders…?
In Japan, Sorcerous Stabber Orphen was started way back in 1994 by author Yoshinobu Akita and illustrator Yuuya Kusaka. The series was published by Fujimi Shobo in Monthly Dragon Magazine through their Fujimi Fantasia Bunko label, and ended up running for a total of 20 novels. The series ended in 2003, but to mark the 25th anniversary of the series, Yoshinobu Akita announced that he plans to write a new novel for the series that is set to release on December 25th of this year.
Eventually, the author of Sorcerous Stabber Orphen launched a manga version of his series. Yoshinobu Akita teamed up with artist Hajime Sawada to launch the Sorcerous Stabber Orphen manga in March of 2005. The first volume was released in 2005 by ADV Manga. The original manga only ran for six volumes, but a number of spinoff manga series have launched in the time since then. One of these manga is an ongoing adaptation handled by Yoshinobu Akita and illustrator Muraji that launched back in March 2017. In July of 2018, the manga was licensed for English distribution by Seven Seas Entertainment.
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen an anime adaptation of Sorcerous Stabber Orphen, though. The original anime series was produced by TBS and Bandai and launched in Japan way back in 1999, with a North American release on DVD by ADV Films a couple years later in 2001. It ran for 24 episodes, with a second season coming along soon after that, which ran for an additional 23 episodes. The series was released in North America by Sentai Filmworks in a special box set in 2009.
Sorcerous Stabber Orphen even ended up getting a big-budget home console adaptation back in 2000 by Kadokawa Shoten. It was a role-playing game released on PlayStation 2 that featured a brand new story and setting rather than a strict adaptation of the original story. Diehard fans likely have a soft spot for the game, but overall reviews of the RPG experience were mixed.