Answerman
Alphabet Soup

Jul 25th 2001

Answerman: Alphabet Soup

So Pioneer finally released their long-awaited Akira special edition this week. I've always perceived this film as a stepping stone for anime fans - something you see when you're first getting into anime and eventually move beyond. People use the film as an example of “adult” animation; certainly it's opened a lot of eyes over the past 14 years or so. It had a huge impact in America, and made a lot of otaku. Apparently this new edition of the film is selling ridiculously well; the fans who embraced it years ago and have since moved on still look back on it with fondness. I was brought into anime by Urusei Yatsura back in the early 90's… I watched Akira after having seen shows like Tenchi Muyo! and Maison Ikkoku; to me, Akira was something I'd already moved past. Maybe I'll find some insight in this new version as to why so many people love this film.

Enough ranting. On to the questions:


hey answerman,
Could you list all the series and episodes of Initial D? I recently got acquainted with this awesome series and I'd love to know just how many episodes and movies there were. Thanks! ^^
-John

Ah yes, Initial D. I watched a few episodes of this; I wondered idly if the main character had 2 or 3 guys standing by his sink in the morning, watching him brushing his teeth, saying “Ooooooh! Sugoi na! SUUPAH BURASHU TEKUNIIKU!!” since they said something similar every time he turned a corner. Anyway, here's the list:
Initial D: First Stage, 26 episodes.
Initial D: Second Stage, 13 episodes.
Initial D: Extra Stage, 2 OVA episodes.
Initial D Hachi-Roku Special, a live-action segment focusing on the car used in the film.
Initial D: Third Stage, movie.


Hi,

I was just wondering why some companies (ADV comes to mind) acquire licenses and just sit on them for year(s) before actually starting on production? I don't get why they would buy something just to shelf it and decide to work on it year(s) later.

BTW, is the Rurouni Kenshin TV series out on DVD yet? How many episodes per disc?

Thanks for your time.

There are a couple reasons anime companies announce something a year or so before they release it. One, there's a production schedule to be met. Announce the title, get the buzz out, scare off the fansubbers and start working on the title. A year later when anticipation has built to a simmering, anxious boil, release the show and sell a million of 'em. It takes about a year to finish production work on a complete TV series, so you have to allow a lot of time for production to finish. Pioneer Entertainment recently broke this mold with Gatekeepers, announcing that they had the license to the show only a few months before the first DVD is scheduled to hit shelves. I'm not sure what their strategy is with this; waiting so long on Gatekeepers meant that several fansubbing groups had adequate time to finish the series and get it out there, long before the US release was even announced. Basically it all boils down to the business philosophy of the individual companies. ADV licenses a ton of stuff, announces it all at once, scares off a bunch of fansubbers and then waits half a year to a year to release anything. They aren't losing money; the show's age in Japan (As long as it isn't reflected in animation quality..) doesn't seem to be an issue in the US DVD market, so it really doesn't matter when something comes out here, so long as it comes out. Hardcore otaku are just impatient, that's all. Kenshin TV has been out on DVD for a long while. They're going through the Kyoto arc right now; episode count per DVD ranges from 4 to 5.


I read recently on a piece of news that ADV announced a 3rd Slayers OVA series. There hasn't been any more details about this. I know the first two OVA series was based on the manga in which it is based on but where did The Slayers OVA series come from. Have they made another manga it may be based on? And for Fushigi Yugi OAV series, the first three episodes aren't based on the manga but the last six episodes were. Are the last six episodes based heavily on the manga like the TV series?

ADV said that there was a new 5-part OVA being released in Japan. I haven't heard anything about a new OVA, but a new movie that people are calling “Slayers 5” is supposed to show up in Japan this Christmas. I suspect ADV might have things a little backwards, but it's entirely possible that both a movie and a new OVA series are being released. It happened back in 1999 with Slayers Gorgeous and Slayers Excellent. I think you answered your own question, as far as Fushigi Yuugi is concerned. The final six episodes of the Fushigi Yuugi OAV series are indeed based on the manga.


What is this New Cutey Honey series that A.D. Vision just announced? It's different from Shin Cutey Honey and Cutey Honey F, right?

It's a New Cutey Honey OAV series, unrelated to Cutey Honey Flash or Shin Cutey Honey. To this day, I think “Cutey Honey” is the lamest title ever for an anime series. Wait, scratch that, the lamest title ever for an anime series has to be “An A Plus for the Fashion Boy.”


Have you any news on whether or not there will be more episodes of Hand Maid May? The "finale" (episode 10) certainly left things wide open, and the "special" (episode 11) seemed to push the story even further towards more adventures.

Any info would be appreciated. Thanks!

No word yet on more Hand Maid May but the show was quite popular in Japan. The 11th episode you saw was a direct result of that popularity - it was released on video only and was intended to keep interest in the series afloat. I'd imagine that they'll do a complete TV series here eventually; perhaps if the show proves to be equally popular in America.


Hey Answerman, I was the one that fell for the Excel Saga joke. ADV NEEDS TO RELEASE IT NOW! Even though I love them and almost everything they put out... THEY ARE SADISTS! SADISTS I TELL YOU! HAHAHA! Okay, on the the questions....

Ya know El Hazard ( I hope you do.) I saw the first eight episodes of the TV series (dubbed) and I really liked it ( I saw it a long time ago) and I was wondering what is exactly the correct order to watch the series in. I know that there is an OAV, the wanderers (TV) and alternative world (is that OAV or TV). I just wanna know because I think I am going to invest in that series now and I dont want to spoil myself!

2. Is the wanderers going to be released on DVD? The other 2 series have so hopefully it will be

Jordan

Alright, people, Excel Saga is funny and all, but it isn't the greatest damn show ever made. It might be out by February, with more special extra crap than you can shake a stick at. ADV is working really hard to make this something for the fans, so really, I wish all this complaining about having to wait a little longer would stop. Again, it's a funny show, not the be-all-end-all of anime. Sheesh. As for your other questions, there are two El Hazard timelines; TV and OVA. Watch the original OVA series, then El Hazard 2, which is the sequel. Then watch "El Hazard: The Alternative World" which is the TV sequel to the OVA timeline. The Wanderers is basically an extended TV version of the original OVA series, a'la Tenchi Muyo!. It's being released on 4 DVDs in the winter of this year. Thanks to several readers who pointed out that The Alternative World is in the OVA timeline, not the TV timeline.


Hi Answerman!

My anime group is finally going to start watching Kenshin! I was wondering however, after seeing all these VCD "uncensored" etc.etc. on Ebay, if what Media Blasters is releasing is the full uncut Kenshin? So confused over here now. People have also mentioned a "fighting style" and "summer" special. Will those be released as well? And what is this about an un-aired episode? One more question....sorry.... has/ will anyone release the 28 volume manga series in English? I would LOVE to read it!

Arigatou gozaimasu!
Sario-chan ^_^x

Don't waste your time with the VCDs on Ebay, they're a waste of time. Media Blasters' release is unedited and complete. There's a “fighting special” which was essentially a clip show of Kenshin's fights. The “summer special” was another clip show, intended to recap the show up to that point and show off a few combat clips. I doubt they'll be released, since few people care about watching clip shows; but, given how anal a lot of fanboys are, Media Blasters might be releasing the specials. They were never released on LD, though. They may show up, they may not. I can't imagine Media Blasters not having licensed them. The 95th episode, which is basically a true “ending” to the TV series, didn't air on TV and instead was offered only on Laserdisc. I can't imagine Media Blasters not releasing this on the final Kenshin DVD. The manga series hasn't been licensed yet but I'd imagine it will be eventually.


I recently watched the 6 episode OAV of Saber Marionette J and I loved it. However, it bothers me that I haven't heard anything about Bandai releasing this OAV on DVD format like they are with Saber Marionette J to X and SM Girls Saber Marionette R. I've also seen the first half of Saber Marionette J to X and it's obvious that the Saber Marionette J OAV should come before J to X in terms of story continuity. So my question is, do you know what in the heck Bandai is planning to do with the OAV's? Are they even going to release it over here? And also, what is the connection between Saber Marionette R and the other series? It seems to me like it's a completely different series.

The OVA series, called “Saber Marionette J Again”, is being released on DVD by Bandai eventually. It's out on VHS already, so if you're desperate, you can always buy that. Just be patient; it is coming out. As for Saber Marionette R, according to a hardcore Saber Marionette fan, the only real connection between the two are character names, the basic relationship concept between the main characters, and the final few minutes of the final SMR OVA episode. Watch it closely, you might see what he means.


I have a few questions for you

1) Is there any new anime coming to Fox/WB/CN or any other network for that matter?
2) Is Saber Marionette any good?
3) Will ADV be releasing the Evangelion movie(s)?
4) Do you think Bandai will be able to eventually re-dub animes like Sailor Moon and Dragon Ball Z for people that crave foul language?

1. Yes. Medarot (changed to “Medabot”) will be airing on Fox.
2. Sorta.
3. No. Manga Entertainment will.
4. No.


I just bought an Evangelion VCD that is being shipped now from a company in Malaysia. Their web site insists the product is sanctioned but as a consumer I have no way of knowing if that is true or not.. I ended up trusting the company because the shopping cart engine they used was a company based in America called CCNOW.

I like anime and I want to support the companies that create it; the last thing I want to do is buy a pirate copy. (A fan sub is a different story since I view fan subs as a way to make anime more popular.)

If it is indeed a pirate copy, I WILL ask for my money back but how can I verify if a VCD is sanctioned or pirated?

Tony

Here's a simple rule: Don't buy VCDs. They're either bootlegs or made specifically for the few third world markets where VCD actually became a viable media. If you want to support anime, wait until you can walk in to your local video retailer and buy it off the shelf. VCD quality sucks, anyway.

See y'all on Friday.


Got a burning question that you can't seem to answer? Maybe the Answerman can help you! Contact the Answerman at answerman (at animenewsnetwork.com) with your questions, and read his new columns every Wednesday and Friday! Maybe your question will be answered!



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