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Karneval (manga)

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Written by  Tōya Mikanagi
Demographic  Josei
Studio  Manglobe
Published by  Ichijinsha
Directed by  Eiji Suganuma
Magazine  Monthly Comic Zero Sum
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English publisher  Madman EntertainmentYen Press
Original run  August 28, 2007 – present
Genres  Action fiction, Adventure fiction, Fantasy
Music by  Shiro Hamaguchi, Keiji Inai
Publishers  Madman Entertainment (AUS), Yen Press (NA), Ichijinsha
Similar  Black Butler, Pandora Hearts, Inu x Boku SS, Blue Exorcist, Sekai‑ichi Hatsukoi

Karneval (カーニヴァル, Kānivaru) is a Japanese manga series by Tōya Mikanagi which originally started serialization in the monthly Josei Manga magazine Monthly Comic Zero Sum published by Ichijinsha on August 28, 2007. There are currently sixteen volumes released in Japan. A 13-episode anime adaptation by Manglobe aired between April and June 2013.


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Nai searches for someone important to him, with only an abandoned bracelet as a clue. Gareki steals and pick-pockets to get by from day to day. The two meet in a strange mansion where they are set up, and soon become wanted criminals by military security operatives. When Nai and Gareki find themselves desperate in a hopeless predicament, they encounter none other than the country's most powerful defense organization, "Circus".

Main characters

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Nai ()
Voiced by: Hiro Shimono (Japanese); Sean Michael Teague (English)Nai is the main protagonist of the story. He is an unusually naïve boy who appears to be 12-14 years old. He claims to have always been living with a man named Karoku in a forest near Karasuna. When Karoku does not appear one day, Nai ventures outside and finds a trail of blood leading from their home to the sea, and a left-behind bracelet (Circus I.D.). Feeling scared and lonely, he sets out to try finding Karoku with only the abandoned bracelet as a clue. He eventually meets Gareki, who saves Nai from a mansion where a Varuga woman named Mine was keeping him captive. This marks the beginning of their travel together. Despite his unworldly ways, he has an acute sense of hearing that is more well-developed compared to other people's. Akari, a research doctor at Circus reveals that Nai has the cellular structure of a human and a "niji", a small, delicate creature found in the forest he came from, and that these cells have managed to coexist unlike the Varuga. He also said that Nai is successfully existing as a new species and that if they were to describe the person who accomplished this, they would certainly be called a genius and that to produce a being like Nai, the creator must have been very devoted.
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Gareki (花礫)
Voiced by: Hiroshi Kamiya (Japanese); Greg Ayres (English)A 15-year-old boy who gets money by robbing rich people's mansions. He's very intelligent and sharp, his strong point being his knowledge of mechanics. He is also a skilled shooter and likes to carry around a gun. Gareki distrusts people and isn't very sociable, stating that he hates associating with others. However, despite his arrogant and distant attitude, he does have a more caring side that he doesn't like showing, seeming to have a soft spot for his friends on the second ship and Nai. He originally thought to use Nai for his robbing schemes but later joins him to find Karoku. When Nai tells Gareki about Karoku knowing that they were together, Gareki realizes that Karoku wants to keep him away from Nai. Gareki works with the Circus organization to help defeat Kafta and Varuga, who killed Tsubaki and Yokata.


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Yogi (與儀)
Voiced by: Mamoru Miyano (Japanese); Christopher Bevins (English)The Second Ship's Fighter Yogi is an eccentric 21-year-old man who's always bright and cheerful. He is Hirato's subordinate. Despite his age, he tends to act like a child. He wears a white allergy patch on his left cheek, that, when removed, causes him to become extremely violent, as well as changing his hair color. While he states that battles make him nervous, he is still a skilled fighter. During the Circus' public shows he usually wears a cat costume named "Nyanperona" and hands out candy to children. His weapons are two thorn-like épées, and the name of his special attack is Dornkiste (German for "thorn chest"). He calls Nai "little Nai". He looks after Gareki and Nai with Tsukumo. Though Yogi cares for everyone, he has a soft spot for Gareki.
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Tsukumo (ツクモ)
Voiced by: Aya Endō (Japanese); Jād Saxton (English)Another fighter of the Second Ship's crew, and Hirato's subordinate. She is always wearing a serious expression on her face, is down to earth, and very dedicated. Tsukumo is a skilled acrobat and her beauty is complimented by both men and women. She is the most level-headed out of the group, and tries to be the shoulder to lean on even though she has a hard time understanding others emotions. Tsukumo is close to Nai, and cares about his well-being. She hated insects ever since she was a child, which was shown when Yogi mentioned that the species "niji" has a diet of primarily insects.
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Hirato (平門)
Voiced by: Daisuke Ono (Japanese); Ian Sinclair (English)The Second Ship's Captain. A very polite 27-year-old man who doesn't take his work too seriously, but does his job well. His smile can be deceiving and people have a hard time figuring out his true intentions and feelings. Upon taking Gareki and Nai on board his ship, he entrusts them to Yogi and Tsukumo. His weapon is a cane, and the name of his special attack is Vakuum (German for "vacuum").
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Eva (イヴァ, Iva)
Voiced by: Yōko Honna (Japanese); Jessica Cavanagh (English)The Second Ship's 25-year-old Lieutenant. She appears to be soft and feminine when she's with women but acts masculine when she's with men. She is very fond of Tsukumo.
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Akari ()
Voiced by: Daisuke Hirakawa (Japanese); David Matranga (English)A doctor working for the government. He's a complete workaholic; a fact which often grates on the nerves of the people around him. He doesn't seem to have a good relationship with Hirato and Yogi seems to be slightly scared of him. It is implied that he is wealthy. Due to the reserved, unfeeling and stoic front he puts up most of the time he is rather disliked by many, yet he is actually a very gentle person who cares for living beings, Nai being one of them.
Jiki ()
Voiced by: Yuichi Nakamura (Japanese); Aaron Dismuke (English)A soft-spoken botanist who also First Ship's fighter. Jiki seems to have feelings for Tsukumo from the Second Ship and he does not get along very well with Eva.
Tsukitachi ()
Voiced by: Koji Yusa (Japanese); J. Michael Tatum (English)The First Ship's Captain. An easygoing member of Circus who does not care about the small things. He often comes off as being quite rude, but he is simply being straightforward with his observations. He is the same age as Hirato.
Kiichi (キイチ)
Voiced by: Eri Kitamura (Japanese); Alison Viktorin (English)The First Ship's fighter. A female member of Circus who is strong-willed, a sore loser and perfectionist. She considers Tsukumo her rival.
Azana (アザナ)
Voiced by: Nobuhiko Okamoto (Japanese); Jerry Jewell (English)Akari's long-haired assistant, originally stationed in Life Division but occasionally help in Research Tower. He's very gentle and a bit of a klutz. His face is usually littered with band-aids. His family was killed by Varuga.


Karoku (嘉禄)
Voiced by: Sōichirō Hoshi (Japanese); Vic Mignogna (English)The person that Nai is looking for. He is 18 years old, and is described by Nai as a gentle person, but their connection is still unknown. He is still alive, but his location is unknown. At the end of the second episode of the anime, however, it is implied that Karoku is held somewhere by Kafka. He is seen in a dark greenhouse full of roses with Eliška, the young granddaughter of a rich industrial who is implied to be the leader of Kafka. He sends messages to Nai through brain waves. He calls Nai his "special child". During the incident at Smokey Resident, it is revealed that there are two Karokus; one that appears to be Karoku but is not, and one that is the original Karoku. Gareki and Nai rescue the presumably dead original Karoku but Akari brings him back to life. When revived, he has no memories of who Nai is. After Nai protects him from dying, Karoku remembers Nai again.
Eliška (エリシュカ, Erishuka, alt. Eleska)
Voiced by: Satomi Satō (Japanese); Tia Ballard (English)The 14-year-old granddaughter of Palnedo, the CEO of Gald. She grew up in an environment where she was treated like a princess, and as a result she was brought up to be a selfish girl who does not know how to be considerate towards others. She is revealed to have feelings for the fake Karoku. At one point when she hears Karoku say there is a special child in circus, she believes him to be talking about Tsukumo, which makes her feel jealous. She seems to be unaware of Uro and her grandfather's true intentions and schemes.
Uro (黒白)
Voiced by: Junichi Suwabe (Japanese); Brandon Potter (English)An associate related to Kafka whose powers are immense but yet to be revealed as of chapter 60 in the manga. Outwardly he acts as an escort and caretaker for Eliška and her grandfather, but controls and orders Varuga behind the scenes.
Palnedo (パルネド, Parunedo)
Voiced by: Masashi Hirose (Japanese); R Bruce Elliott (English)The grandfather of Eliska and a rich CEO of Gald.
Kagiri (夏切)
Voiced by: Toshiyuki Toyonaga (Japanese); Tyson Rinehart (English)
Kiharu (麒春)
Voiced by: Tomoaki Maeno (Japanese); Jason Liebrecht (English)


Meiga (迷呀)
Voiced by: Toru Okawa (Japanese); Scott Freeman (English)
Miné (ミネ, Mine)
Voiced by: Sanae Kobayashi (Japanese); Anastasia Muñoz (English)
Delmen (デルメン, Derumen)
Voiced by: Yoshihisa Kawahara (Japanese); Ray Hurd (English)
Nima (ニマ)
Voiced by: Hiromi Igarashi (Japanese); Cynthia Cranz (English)


Yanari (八莉)
Voiced by: Mutsumi Tamura (Japanese); Lara Woodhull (English)
Tsubaki (ツバキ)
Voiced by: Yōko Hikasa (Japanese); Caitlin Glass (English)A young woman who saved and raised Gareki for some time.
Tsubame (ツバメ)
Voiced by: Sayuri Yahagi (Japanese); Lindsay Seidel (English)Tsubaki's younger sister and Yotaka's twin sister.
Yotaka (ヨタカ)
Voiced by: Miyu Irino (Japanese); Josh Grelle (English)Tsubaki's younger brother and Tsubame's twin brother.
Tokitatsu (時辰)
Voiced by: Katsuyuki Konishi (Japanese); Greg Dulcie (English)Hirato's older brother.


On August 22, 2014, North American manga publisher Yen Press announced the license of the manga, with the first volume to be published on March 24, 2015. Yen Press is releasing Karneval volumes in a 2-in-1 omnibus format.


An anime adaptation was announced in April 2012. The anime premiered on April 3, 2013 on ABC. It was later licensed for streaming by Funimation in North America and premiered on their streaming service April 8, 2013 at 12:35pm EST. The anime was released by Bandai Visual on Blu-ray and DVD volumes with English subtitles, with the first volume being released on May 28, 2013.

The opening theme is "Henai no Rondo" (偏愛の輪舞曲) by Granrodeo while the ending theme is "Reason" by Kamiyu.


A drama CD titled Karneval Circus was released on March 25, 2010 on the Frontier works label. An internet radio show premiered on January 25, 2013 on, with Hiro Shimono, the voice of Nai as the host.


Karneval (manga) Wikipedia