Karneval (manga)

This article is about the manga/anime. For the European carnival celebrations, see Carnival in Germany, Switzerland and Austria.

Cover of Karneval volume 1 as published by Ichijinsha, featuring Nai.
Genre Action, Adventure, Fantasy
Written by Tōya Mikanagi
Published by Ichijinsha
English publisher
Demographic Josei
Magazine Monthly Comic Zero Sum
Original run August 28, 2007 – present
Volumes 16
Anime television series
Directed by Eiji Suganuma
Music by Shiro Hamaguchi
Keiji Inai
Studio Manglobe
Licensed by
Network ABC, Tokyo MX, AT-X, BS11
English network
Original run April 3, 2013 June 26, 2013
Episodes 13

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.


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

Nai ( 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.
Gareki (花礫 Gareki)
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 smaller children 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.


Yogi (與儀 Yogi)
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.
Tsukumo (ツクモ Tsukumo)
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.
Hirato (平門 Hirato)
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").
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.
Akari ( 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 ( 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 ( 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 Kiichi)
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 Azana)
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 Karoku)
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 Uro)
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 Kagiri)
Voiced by: Toshiyuki Toyonaga (Japanese); Tyson Rinehart (English)
Kiharu (麒春 Kiharu)
Voiced by: Tomoaki Maeno (Japanese); Jason Liebrecht (English)


Meiga (迷呀 Meiga)
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 Nima)
Voiced by: Hiromi Igarashi (Japanese); Cynthia Cranz (English)


Yanari (八莉 Yanari)
Voiced by: Mutsumi Tamura (Japanese); Lara Woodhull (English)
Tsubaki (ツバキ Tsubaki)
Voiced by: Yōko Hikasa (Japanese); Caitlin Glass (English)
A young woman who saved and raised Gareki for some time.
Tsubame (ツバメ Tsubame)
Voiced by: Sayuri Yahagi (Japanese); Lindsay Seidel (English)
Tsubaki's younger sister and Yotaka's twin sister.
Yotaka (ヨタカ Yotaka)
Voiced by: Miyu Irino (Japanese); Josh Grelle (English)
Tsubaki's younger brother and Tsubame's twin brother.
Tokitatsu (時辰 Tokitatsu)
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.[1][2] Yen Press is releasing Karneval volumes in a 2-in-1 omnibus format.

Volume list

No.Japanese release dateJapanese ISBNEnglish release dateEnglish ISBN
1 March 25, 2008ISBN 978-4-7580-5341-9March 24, 2015[2]ISBN 978-0-316-38309-7
  • Score 1: "Opening"
  • Score 2: "Wanted"
  • Score 3: "Noise"
  • Score 4: "Circus"
  • Score 5: "Black Sheep"
  • Score 6: "Hide & Seek"
2 September 25, 2008ISBN 978-4-7580-5369-3N/A (Part of omnibus volume 1)
  • Score 7: "Tears"
  • Score 8: "Your Body"
  • Score 9: "Research Tower"
  • Score 10: "Niji Forest"
  • Score 11: "Eva"
  • Score 12: "In Karasuna"
3 April 25, 2009ISBN 978-4-7580-5409-6July 21, 2015[3]ISBN 978-0-316-26347-4
  • Score 13: "Flightless Wings"
  • Score 14: "Look At The Sky"
  • Score 15: "Mermaid's Bottle"
  • Score 16: "Rinoru"
  • Score 17: "Lost Yukkin"
  • Score 18: "Conflict"
4 September 25, 2009ISBN 978-4-7580-5444-7
  • Score 19: "Oath"
  • Score 20: "Small Voices"
  • Score 21: "First Ship"
  • Score 22: "Unique Environment"
  • Score 23: "Gentle Person"
  • Score 24: "Your Own Place"
5 March 25, 2010ISBN 978-4-7580-5492-8
  • Score 25: "Vantnam"
  • Score 26: "Yanari"
  • Score 27: "Kidnapping"
  • Score 28: "A Warm Home"
  • Score 29: "Unsolvable Formula"
  • Score 30: "Decision"
6 October 25, 2010ISBN 978-4-7580-5552-9
  • Score 31: "The Action Begins"
  • Score 32: "Smoky Mansion"
  • Score 33: "The Warfront Expands"
  • Score 34: "Niji"
  • Score 35: "Karoku"
  • Score 36: "Our Own"
7 April 25, 2011ISBN 978-4-7580-5588-8
  • Score 37: "Kuronomei"
  • Score 38: "Awakening"
  • Score 39: "Within Memories"
  • Score 40: "Until It Reaches You"
  • Score 41: "Distances"
  • Score 42: "Beneath the Starry Sky"
8 October 25, 2011ISBN 978-4-7580-5655-7
  • Score 43: "Rejection"
  • Score 44: "Moving Forward"
  • Score 45: "Meeting"
  • Score 46: "Beautiful Girl"
  • Score 47: "Thorny Shackles"
  • Score 48: "Reconstruction"
9 April 25, 2012ISBN 978-4-7580-5698-4
  • Score 49: "Choices"
  • Score 50: "Nai"
  • Score 51: "Defenseless"
  • Score 52: "Holding Hands"
  • Score 53: "Comrade"
  • Score 54: "Beside Me"
10 October 25, 2012ISBN 978-4-7580-5747-9
  • Score 55: "Halo"
  • Score 56: "Embrace"
  • Score 57: "Hunger"
  • Score 58: "Territory"
  • Score 59: "That Silver Colored"
  • Score 60: "Two Are One"
11 April 25, 2013ISBN 978-4-7580-5803-2
  • Score 61: "Game of Tag"
  • Score 62: "A Wonderful Country"
  • Score 63: "The Lonely Prince"
  • Score 64: "I Found You"
  • Score 65: "Message"
  • Score 66: "Thoughts"
12 October 25, 2013ISBN 978-4758058575
  • Score 67: "The Price of Happiness"
  • Score 68: "Invitation"
  • Score 69: "Fellow Soldiers"
  • Score 70: "A World of Dreams Arrives"
  • Score 71: "That Snow That Does Not Disappear"
  • Score 72: "Truth Or Lies"
13 April 25, 2014ISBN 978-4758059060
  • Score 73: "A New Scenery"
  • Score 74: "Retracing Steps"
  • Score 75: "Needle Of Invasion"
  • Score 76: "State Of Emergency"
  • Score 77: "Beautiful Light"
  • Score 78: "With His Hand"
14 October 25, 2014
  • Score 79:
  • Score 80:
  • Score 81:
  • Score 82:
15 April 25, 2015
16 October 24, 2015
17 April 25, 2016


An anime adaptation was announced in April 2012.[4] The anime premiered on April 3, 2013 on ABC.[5] It was later licensed for streaming by Funimation in North America and premiered on their streaming service April 8, 2013 at 12:35pm EST.[6] 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.[7]

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

Episode list

No. Official English title
Original Japanese title
Original air date
1 "Opus 1: Rainbow Colored Flower Fuse"
"Nanairo Shirube Hanasen" (なないろ導花線) 
April 3, 2013 (2013-04-03)
Nai is being held by a varuga named Miné, when Gareki drops in. Taking Nai with him, their adventure is only beginning as the train they jump aboard to leave town proves to be train full of trouble. In doing so, Nai attracts the attention of both Circus and Kafka. 
2 "Opus 2: Fortune Cat"
"Fōchun Kyatto" (フォーチュンキャット) 
April 10, 2013 (2013-04-10)
Nai is sought after by human agents of Kafka, but Nai and Gareki are saved just in time by Yogi. Taken to Airship Two, they end up being left aboard with only Yogi and Tsukumo to guard them when Circus is called in to investigate a crime. The investigation proves to be a decoy as a varuga seeks to abduct Nai. 
3 "Opus 3: Illusory Picnic"
"Maboroshi Pikunikku" (幻ピクニック) 
April 17, 2013 (2013-04-17)
Karoku communicates with Nai telepathically, telling him to send away Gareki before he breaks. Circus discovers that cellularly, Nai is not wholly human, but a chimera of a human and a Niji. Yogi, Nai, Gareki, and some Circus scientists head to the Rainbow Forest, the only place Niji are found, to learn more about Nai's origins. 
4 "Opus 4: Evening Swallow"
"Yoima Tsubame" (宵待燕) 
April 24, 2013 (2013-04-24)
Gareki is saved from a varuga that has swallowed him by the serendipitous appearance of Eva. A hidden notebook with technical information is found when the place Nai lived with Karoku is searched. Nai, Gareki and Yogi visit Karasuna, the town Gareki used to live in. While there, we learn of Gareki's past as they meet acquaintances of him, Tsubame and her twin bother Yotaka. 
5 "Opus 5: Clown Prescription"
"Piero no shohōsen" (ピエロの処方箋) 
May 1, 2013 (2013-05-01)
Yogi fights Yotaka, while ordering Gareki to escort Nai to town, but Gareki stays. While running away, Nai runs into Tsubame and Meiga. Meiga reveals that he is the one responsible for turning Yotaka into a varuga as experimental test subject. Tsubame was able to temporarily restore consciousness in Yotaka. When Meiga turns Yotaka back into a monster, Yotaka asks Gareki to kill him, and he is killed by Hirato. 
6 "Opus 6: Wings of Morning Light"
"Asahi no Tsubasa" (朝陽の翼) 
May 8, 2013 (2013-05-08)
7 "Opus 7: "Sigh of the Mermaid" and the Three Caballero"
"Māmeido no Tameki to Sannin no Kishi" (マーメイドの溜息」と三人の騎士) 
May 15, 2013 (2013-05-15)
Gareki has locked himself in his room after his family incident. Yogi thinks of an amazing idea -- Let's go to the parade! At the parade, as they walk along, Nai wonders what it's like to care for someone and wonders when he will see Karoku again. In the middle, Kiichi orders Yogi to go find a missing, malfunctioning rabbit robot, so Gareki has to dress and act as Nyan-peru! Failing to find the malfunctioning robot, Circus continues and begins their play, Tsukumo as the mermaid. During the play, Tsukumo is locked in a sealed jar filled with water, and she disappears. However, their plan goes wrong after the robot seals up the other side of the jar. Nai hears her silent screams with his super-sensitive ears, and they run off to save her from the theater. They succeed in breaking the bottle off stage while Iva continues the play as the ex-girlfriend of the main character. Afterwards, Akari sensei is heading towards his office when he meets Hirato. They go on "vacation" to the very cold land of Rinoll. 
8 "Opus 8: Silvery Box"
"Shirogane no Kushige" (白銀の匣) 
May 22, 2013 (2013-05-22)
Circus goes to Rinoll, the ice crystal city. Hirato sends them a warm snowman, Yukkin, which was invented in the Research Tower. Back on the ship, the Circus council discusses Nai and Gareki's circumstances, Nai being an experimental specimen. They enter a vacation house to check up on it, when leaving, Yuukin becomes trapped in a hole and is found by strangers. Nai runs off to find Yuukin, and we learn that the strangers were enemies of Circus who were trying to hide evidence left in the vacation house. Nai, Yogi, and Gareki fall into the hole, which turns out to be man made and leads to the mansion. They find a small, moving box. Yuukin travels and finds Tsukumo, unaware of the enemies close by. They confront her, but the rest of the Circus group returns after bombing the surface with one of Gareki's devices. Tsukumo and Nai run away, while Yogi and Gareki continue to fight. However, the two men are blinded by the enemies' gadget, Yogi is knocked down. Strange thorns begin to circulate around Yogi's body and he begins to laugh manically while crying. His hair turns silver and surrounds the area with a snowstorm. 
9 "Opus 9: Blue Rose"
"Aoi Bara" (蒼い薔薇) 
May 29, 2013 (2013-05-29)
10 "Opus 10: Tears of the Wild Beast Tamer"
"Mōjū-shi no Namida" (猛獣使の泪) 
June 5, 2013 (2013-06-05)
11 "Opus 11: Ice Cream Parade"
"Aisukurīmu Parēdo" (アイスクリームパレード) 
June 12, 2013 (2013-06-12)
Tsukumo and Hirato visits the Lindain Group's president, a 42-year-old man. They discuss about companies who are harboring monsters. Meanwhile, Yogi, Gareki, and Nai are off to play in the city and go to a Nyanperona shop. Gareki is pissed off and starts yelling that Nyanperona is fake, when they promptly run away. However, a strange kid named Yanari follows them and says that he is positive that Yogi dresses up as Nyanperona, telling them to help him find a pasta shop. We learn in the next few scenes that information has been leaking out of Circus. Then it goes back to the touring group, where they meet the guide of the city, Rissun, who leads them towards the right direction. As they walk, Nai tells Yanari that when you make a friend, you feel all warm inside. We learn that Yanari is actually looking for his mother's house, but then enters to realize that she was dead. Nai grabs Yanari's arm and he begins to cry into Nai's chest. Meanwhile, Hirato asks Gareki if he wants to become a child of Circus. The group sends Yanari off and leave. Onboard, Yanari calls Nai about Karoku and says that a girl named Erisyuka has mentioned Karoku before. Nai brings juice to Gareki, but collapses. He later wakes up again to tell Tskumo that Karoku is at the smoky mansion. Circus begins to head off to save Karoku. 
12 "Opus 12: Niji's Promise"
"Niji no Yakusoku" (ニジの約束) 
June 19, 2013 (2013-06-19)
Second Ship and First Ship of Circus are off to save Karoku. They manage to take over the security system and take over the mansion, but they can't find Karoku!Karoku is shown with another person talking about Nai coming. Nai remembers his days as an animal with Karoku and reaches for the sky, where the forest opens a rainbow gate, assumedly to Karoku. 
13 "Opus 13: Karneval"
"Kānivaru" (カーニヴァル) 
June 26, 2013 (2013-06-26)
Circus tries to get into the Rainbow gate, but only Gareki and Nai get through. They see Karoku and Nai runs up to hug him, but Gareki suddenly can't move. He realizes that something is wrong and struggles to shout at Nai. Nai looks back and realizes that the real Karoku is lying in a death-like state on the ground. They eventually complete the mission and bring Karoku back, where he is saved by Akari but stays unconscious. Gareki decides to leave and study to become a member of Circus and they bid a sad farewell to him. After the credits, Karoku is seen awake in the hospital bed, watching a bird fly away from his window. 


A drama CD titled Karneval Circus was released on March 25, 2010 on the Frontier works label.[8] An internet radio show premiered on January 25, 2013 on animate.tv, with Hiro Shimono, the voice of Nai as the host.[9]


  1. "Yen Press Adds Touya Mikanagi's Karneval Manga". Anime News Network. August 22, 2014. Retrieved April 19, 2015.
  2. 1 2 "Karneval, Vol. 1". Amazon.com. Retrieved October 13, 2014.
  3. "Karneval, Vol. 2". Amazon.com. Retrieved April 5, 2015.
  4. ""Karneval" Confirmed As Upcoming Anime". SeventhStyle. April 24, 2012. Retrieved April 25, 2012.
  5. "Karneval Anime Slated to Air Next Spring". Anime News Network. 2012-10-20. Retrieved 2012-10-21.
  6. "Funimation to Stream Karneval TV Anime". Anime News Network. April 4, 2013. Retrieved 4 April 2013.
  7. "Karneval Anime BD to Have English Subs in Japan". Anime News Network. February 11, 2013. Retrieved 4 April 2013.
  8. "大人気コミック「カーニヴァル」が、フロンティアワークスより豪華声優陣でドラマCD発売決定!!" (in Japanese). Animate.tv. October 29, 2009. Retrieved April 19, 2015.
  9. "アニメイトTVニュース 2013年1月25日、「カーニヴァルRadio」配信開始!" (in Japanese). Animate.tv. 28 December 2012. Retrieved 4 April 2013.
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