Answerman and Ms. Answerman: The Return of the Queen

Sep 10th 2002
So, I'm getting closer and closer to that 100th column. I'm still in the planning stages, but it should be pretty cool. Any opening remarks, Ms. Answerman?

I told you that you were getting old...



This is going to probably be a bad question, but I digress. I noticed that when you and Mrs. Answerman was talking about your favorite anime, it was more a list of dramatic series then comedic series. I have also noticed that when my more devoted friends talk about anime, they are almost always drawn to Cowboy Bebop, Hellsing, Neon Genesis Evangelion, or the like.

I like good dramas myself (Princess Mononoke is one of my all time favorite movies), but I often want to see more of the comedies (Love Hina for example, like it or not). Is there a prejudice against comedic anime among fans in America? And do you have any recommendations of an anime that combines both drama and comedy well?

Thanks
Jeff

Personally, I feel there are very few anime comedies that aren't just tired retreads of the same 5 or 6 jokes over and over again. I mean, think about it… the bulk of anime comedy revolves around a perverted guy who letches on women constantly and gets hit over the head because of it. Or a really bitchy girl who goes around smacking any guy who looks at her for more than a second. Or it's the same slapstick-or-ecchi jokes over and over again. Excel Saga is, of course, the first thing that comes to most fans' minds when they think comedy. By and large, Excel Saga is a clever parody, but it overstayed its welcome and has been hyped so much at this point, there's no way it can possibly live up to fan expectations. That having been said, I'd almost say that comedic anime are certainly very popular among anime fans, but due to the fact that they almost always feature fluffy stories that don't really go anywhere new, they're pretty much disposable and people tend to forget them after a while. The dramatic series pack much more of a punch and people remember them for years afterwards; hence why we're still getting Fushigi Yuugi OAVs but you'll probably never see another new episode of something like Hanaukyo Maid Tai (thank god) or Jungle wa Itsumo Hare Nochi Guu. As for anime series that combine comedy and drama well, check out Full Metal Panic!, which is both funny and very serious at the same time and manages to balance the two out very well. Although it leans a bit more towards comedy, check out Sorcerer Hunters. It's both funny and serious (Even though the main character is the aforementioned perverted guy who letches after women and gets hit over the head for it.) and again provides a decent balance.

I have to agree that it can get tiring after a while since the comedy is all the same things over and over again. Even with Full Metal Panic!, the whole 'caught outside with her underwear and she beats them up' has been overdone. Inuyasha has a mix of comedy and drama, though both the comedy and drama sometimes get dull after a while (you can only laugh at Kagome going 'Osuwari!' (Sit!) so many times) and Miroku wanting to have the babies of every pretty woman he meets. Rurouni Kenshin also is a good mix of comedy and drama (Strangely enough I never get tired of 'ORRROO') and as Mr. Answerman said, Bakuretsu (Sorcerer) Hunters is another good one even if the whole 'perverted guy chasing after girls' gets old and you just want them to get to the plot. Furi Kuri is another good one, though the comedy runs more along strange comedy then 'haha' comedy. Fruits Basket is another good choice for some very unique humor, if you can take the slightly twisted plots mixed in with WAAAAY too cute characters and subplots.

Yeah, FLCL is more funny “what?” than funny “ha ha”. Then again, I think Excel Saga is more funny “turn this off, please” than funny “ha ha”.

Excel Saga tried to be funny, and things that try to be funny just come out being really fake. There is a lot of hype over Excel Saga but I find the main characters annoying and the whole concept of 'eating the dog' to be funny for the first half second after seeing it. If we really want to watch the whole 'unable to take over this place' plot line, stick with Pinky and the Brain......seems the American cartoonists CAN do something right (for once).

Pinky and the Brain. Word up.



Hello.

Is there any word about Kaori Yuki's “Angel Sanctuary” being translated into English? I've seen the OVA and hear that the manga is even better. Thanks.

DJT

Correction: the Angel Sanctuary OAV series sucks. It really sucks. If you've read even a page of the manga, you'd know that the anime sucks. It does no justice to Yuki's masterwork, hacking even the details of the story down so they could cram it in to 90 minutes. They focus way too much on Setsuna's obsession with his sister and not nearly enough on what really makes the story interesting. Unfortunately, the manga hasn't been licensed for publication in the US yet. Us Angel Sanctuary fans will just have to wait, I suppose.

In other words, the OVA messed with a story that has angels in it...thus they feel the wrath of Mr. Answerman..



Hi Mr. and Ms. Answerman,

Recently Enoki Films licensed "Captain Tsubasa" series currently running in Japan http://www.enokifilmsusa.com/library/capt_tsubasa_np.htm
Can you please squeeze out info from them about which countries in North America are they willing to launch this property and in what format (DVD, VHS, Tv series)?

Thanx in advance and keep up the good work :)

Enoki Films doesn't actually distribute their titles. Instead, they license products from Japan and sell them to American companies (including Saban and the various anime companies). They survive as a middle-man of sorts, between the Japanese and the American companies. There's really no way to tell right now what their plans are for ol' Cap'n Tsubasa, but it might see release here eventually. Road to 2002 is very new, so it's got a decent chance of a future here. There's a new soccer show out in Japan called Whistle! that's being fansubbed right now. It's not as popular as The Prince of Tennis, but it's holding its own. You might see that one show up before Tsubasa makes it to US shores. PS: If you were at any TRSI panels last year, they regularly mentioned on their contracts, Kare Kano's name was listed as "Tales of North Hills High".. Well, now you know why.

The only sports related anime I've ever seen was Princess Nine. If I want to watch sports, I'll turn on the TV and watch it there. I really have no interest in seeing it in anime.

Oh, don't lie! You were captivated by all 453 episodes of Slam Dunk! Admit it!

Only if you admit you actually sat through 22 episodes of Chobits...

…curse you.



I have a question about the Full Metal Panic! manga. I read one chapter of it in the first english Newtype magazine. I thought it was really cool and pretty funny. My question is: Has it been liscenced yet? And if it has do you know when it will be released?
Thanks

It's in the English Newtype, dude. That means it's been licensed by Newtype. It'll be released when the first Newtype comes out. Am I getting paid enough for this job?

Um...the first Newtype has already come out though, unless they consider the issue handed out at Expo as a 'special' issue. I read it as well and really liked the manga. *goes and finds a cooking pot and hits Mr. Answerman over the head with it* Jeze...be nice to these people...they're the reason you're almost at your 100th mark...

But what would happen to my reputation for being a jerk?!



Answerman,

You said in this week's column that Love Hina is just like Tenchi where all 5 girls fall in love with the main character (the loser), and that's why you absolutely hate it. I don't mean to flame you on this topic, but I think you're overdegrading the show. I mean, in the anime version of the show, only 2 characters (Naru and Shinobu) are in love with Keitaro. Things are hinted with everyone else, but they don't really amount to anything. I mean, everything is so vague in the anime. Mutsumi is an exception because she acts that way with everyone. Now if you were talking about the Love Hina manga then you're completely right. Everyone does fall in love with Keitaro, without a doubt. But I really can't see Love Hina as a 5-girl harem thing, especially with Motoko and her violence (in what kind of a harem do you get your butt kicked every day?).

On a seperate note, can you tell me why anyone that's prominent in the online anime community hate Tenchi? I thought it was pretty good, despite its flaws. It's not my absolute favorite, but I feel there are other, much worse shows, that should get bashed more. It just seems like there's a bandwagon for Tenchi-bashing going on. Kinda like how all the hardcore Gundam fans bash the snot out of Gundam Wing just because it has "pretty boys". (the story might've been a ripoff of the One Year War, but that by itself makes it good, no?)

Thanks!

Love Hina. Curse that show. It's a harem show, whether you want to believe it or not. Every character comes on to or hints that they want to either sleep with or date Keitarou at one point or another in the show. Even if it's in jest, even if it's just for one episode, it's enough to label it a harem show. Dorky guy with many beautiful women equals harem show. Check out the review IGN did for Love Hina and you'll see my point. As for Tenchi, it's a tired franchise that is currently being run into the ground over and over again by Pioneer (who apparently let the rights to GXP slip through because the show was so low in quality… most Tenchi fans will agree on that one, too). The classic Tenchi Muyo! OVA series is still quality in my eyes, but it's time to move on. It's old news, everyone's seen it, it's part of anime history, please let it die, for the love of God. I don't know too many people in the anime community that claim to absolutely hate Tenchi, but there's ill will towards it right now, mostly because of Tenchi Muyo GXP, which as I said, was a major letdown. Hardcore Gundam fans hate Gundam Wing because it introduced something unfamiliar and “icky” in to their fandom, something most hardcore fans would never have seen or dealt with otherwise (namely, females.).

I've never really been able to sit through much of either Love Hina or Tenchi. I'm also not the type of audience those shows are shooting for. If it was 5 guys over one girl, then I might go for it. I can promise you though that the same people who trash Love Hina will also trash the 5 guys one girl as well. Those shows go 'here are pretty girls/guys' and all they have going for them are panty shots/bouncing breasts or shounen-ai love. Though at least the pretty boy shows have SOME plot at times (ex: Yami no Matsuei). What do you think, Mr. Answerman? *and has the pot ready in case he brings up WeiB Kreuz cause she already KNOWS that it has no plot*

Well, WeiB Kreuz….

*CLANK!*

Alright, alright. Well, every show has a pretty boy these days. I mean, even shows that are obviously geared towards men have bishounen in them, like .hack//SIGN or Chobits. Those shows have bishounen (not the really super flowery feminine ones, but bishounen nonetheless) and they have plots (Well, sort of. .hack//SIGN has a story. Chobits.. well..). I guess if you're talking about harem shows aimed at women, Fushigi Yuugi is the best example of that, and I found the TV series pretty interesting. It had a decent storyline that went on for a while. I've never seen a harem show aimed at men that had a really strong storyline. It's mostly episodic fluff, like Ai Yori Aoshi, Love Hina, or Tenchi.

.hack//SIGN's geared for men? It seems to be geared towards a more gender-neutral audience, as long as they've roleplayed before. Though the redhaired woman DOES have a skimpy outfit, the bluehaired one with the wings seems to be closer to cardcaptor sakura. So it seems to be more of a mix...

You could be right. See you later, folks.

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