Answerman
Night of a Thousand Ninjas

Aug 8th 2002
Okay, last week we were cooking with gas, the week before we tried electric, so this week, it's barbeque.

Right. Let's begin.




Answerman,

What's the difference between shounen ai and yaoi?

Love,
Murakilovestsuzuki

It's pretty simple. Shounen ai is exactly what the name says – “boy love”. Examples include Gravitation, Seimaden, Earthian, and Mirage of Blaze. These titles focus on the story, the relationships between the characters, and character development, rather than sex. Yaoi concerns itself only with sex. It's basically gay porn. Examples include Level C, Kizuna, Boku no Sexual Harassment, and Fish in the Trap. It's like the difference between shounen romance, like Love Hina or Ai Yori Aoshi, and hentai, like La Blue Girl or Cool Devices. Yaoi is porn, Shounen Ai is relationship drama.



I have a friend who has the Cowboy Bebop limited edition set numbered 9050. My question is why is his set numbered over 9000? I thought there were only 9,000 copies made. Can his set be a fake? I hope you can answer this question for me. Please reply back to me when you get a chance. Thank you for your time.

Thanks to Jerry Chu over at Bandai for fielding this question. According to Mr. Chu, there were 15,000 Bebop box sets made, so your friend got one in the final third or so. Fakes are available on Ebay, although the genuine article goes for something like 500 dollars on occasion. Your friend has the genuine article, but fakes do exist, so if you're in the market for a box set, be careful.



Answerman,

I recently had the chance to watch the anime Hellsing. In episode 6, I think, where the Valentine brothers go on their rampage, I noticed something odd. Every so often, when the Valentine brother with the piercings (I think his name was Yan...) talks, parts of his speech are censored with a beep. I can easily tell from the contexts of his speech that he's definitely saying some explicit stuff, but I've never seen an anime where speech was censored. Was this done in the original version, or is this just the work of a fansubber? And if it was indeed censored like this in Japan, then why was it? Censoring explicit words on American TV is commonplace, but such a thing happening on Japanese TV is new to me. Plus they have some harsh words in some other series like GTO, and that seemed to be ok...

Thanks,
K. Miyazaki

They occasionally censor strange things in Japan; witness what happened to Cowboy Bebop, which had several fan service-y shots of Faye hacked out for the Japanese broadcast. These same scenes were left in when the show was aired on Cartoon Network. Give the voracity with which Yan swears, I can only imagine that they felt he was going way overboard with it and decided to bleep him. Admittedly, there's a lot of swearing in anime, but Yan takes the cake. Even Cho's filthy mouth in Rurouni Kenshin didn't go as far as Yan did (Especially with his comments towards various females). I heard they aren't bleeping Yan for the dub, which should be interesting to hear.



Answerman,

I've been a fan of the Berserk anime for a while now and shortly after watching the series all the way through, I began trying to get my hands on some of the manga. I've been able to find a few volumes in English, translated by fans, but most of it still seems to only be available in Japanese. Is there anywhere I can get my hands on the rest of the English-translation Berserk manga, even fan translations?

Thanks,
Justin

Unfortunately, I have to stop pointing people to fan translations. I've been informed that it's become as much a problem as fansubs, and since I don't tell people where to get fansubs, I can't tell you where to get the rest of Berserk translated. What I can tell you is that the manga doesn't have a US licensor yet, and we're all kinda waiting around for someone to pick it up. Yeah, it's violent, but Mirua is a total genius and Berserk is his magnum opus. It's brilliant, breathtaking and deserves a US release more than almost any other manga title I can think of (aside from Angel Sanctuary, Blame!, or Tenjou Tenge).



Do you remember Softcel? The ADV Film subsidiary that released hentai titles such as the Angel of Darkness, F3, and End of Summer to name a few? What happened to them? Are they still in business? Thanks.

Softcel spun off in to its own company a while back. ADV made the announcement at an AX a year or two ago. I'm not sure what the details behind the whole thing were, but I suspect it's because ADV wanted to distance itself from the adult titles and establish itself as a more “legit” purveyor of Japanese animation. Disney kinda does the same thing, actually. There are a large number of pornography distributors working under Disney, but they don't claim any affiliation so they don't stain the brand name. I'm not saying ADV has anything to do with Softcel anymore, but they could be sorta doing the same thing. It's all speculation. Officially, Softcel is its own company. They've recently been getting their act together, and are releasing F3 on DVD sometime soon.

And that's it for today. Seeya next week, folks.

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