Answerman & Ms. Answerman: Search and Destroy

Sep 13th 2002
I'm being chased by a school of ninjas I managed to anger with last week's comments about Gundam, so this column is going to have to be quick. I had no idea today's ninja liked Gundam so much. They seem pretty angry, though, and they have shurikens…

Next week, look for the premiere of Anime News Network's new Q&A column, “Ask Ms. Answerman”!.

…Thanks, hon.



Hello Answerman,

Your column is pretty damn hip. I enjoy it a lot, anyway enough blowin smoke up your ass hehe. I know you enjoy berserk just as much as the next sword toting fellow, which brings me to my first question WHO SINGS THE SONG AT THE END OF EACH EPISODE? That song is killer man, not only does it suit the series to a proverbial "T" I find it extremely mellow, and of course kick ass. Also what's your favorite Gundam series, saga, cartoon etc.. I think G-Gundam is the best out of all of them even though it is more directed to kids, it's just cool man. My last question (I swear) Where can I get some Full Metal Panic! anime? and does the title have anything to do with the classic Stanley Kubrick War film, or did the creators have no knowledge of the movie?

Peace ,and stay the opposite of low
FD2k

The song at the end of Berserk is called “Waiting so Long”, and it's by a group called the Silver Fins. I do so love the Engrish lyrics to those songs. Here's an excerpt from the opening, titled “Tell Me Why”, by the PENPALS.

Feel no shame about shape
weather changes their phrase
even mother will show you another way

So put your glasses on
nothing will be wrong
there's no blame, there's no fame, it's up to you

If anyone out there can maybe tell me what the hell they're trying to say with this, please email me. As for Gundam, the only one I ever slightly enjoyed was The 08th MS Team, and that's because it didn't put me right to sleep. I find Gundam series to be incredibly dull. Full Metal Panic! has absolutely nothing to do with Stanley Kubrick's masterpiece Full Metal Jacket, so I'm sorry to disappoint you. ADV licensed that one so you're gonna have to wait until they release it over here.


Eh...how many opening and closing songs make sense, even when translated though? But all the music for Berserk rocks! As for Gundam um...I sat through the first 6 or 7 episodes of Gundam Wing and that's all the Gundam I've seen. Mecha isn't quite my thing...



HI ANSWERMAN AND MISS ANSWERMAN:

I HAD A QUESTION ABOUT THE NAME OF A JAPANESE ANIME SERIES. NO OTHER SITES, NOR PEOPLE KNOW THE NAME OF IT... AND I WONDERED IF YOU'D KNOW... ITS A TV SERIES I BELIEVE, IT' A LOVE STORY BETWEEN HIGH SCHOOL GIRL AND GUY WHO STIRRED UP THE IDEA THAT THEY WERE BROTHER AND SISTER. THEY LOVE EACH OTHER IN THE MOVIE BUT SINCE THEY BELIEVED THAT THEY MIGHT BE RELATED, DID NOT GO ON WITH THE LOVE UNTIL THE END OF THE MOVIE WHEN THEY FOUND OUT THAT THEY WERE NOT BROTHER AND SISTER. THEY CAME TO BELIEVE THAT THYE WERE BRO & SIS, WHEN THEY FOUND OUT THAT THEY'RE PARENTS HAD SWAPPED PARTNERS IN THE PAST AND HAD GOTTEN PREGNANT AFTER. IF U KNOW THE TITLE OF THIS PLEASE PLEASE LET ME KNOW. THANKS SO MUCH. =)

-CONNIE

HI CONNIE:

YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT THE MUCH-MALIGNED SHOUJO DRAMA SERIES MARMALADE BOY. IT WAS ONE OF THE FIRST ANIME I EVER SAW FANSUBBED AND I USED TO LIKE IT A LOT AMAZINGLY ENOUGH. I WATCHED ALL SEVENTY SIX EPISODES BEFORE I REALIZED THAT IT WAS MELODRAMATIC PAP AND PEOPLE HAD A GOOD REASON FOR DISLIKING IT, ESPECIALLY TOWARDS THE END WHERE YUU GOES TO AMERICA AND MEETS A BUNCH OF MORONIC AMERICAN KIDS. SOUNDS LIKE YOU SAW THE MOVIE VERSION, THOUGH, WHERE YUU FALLS IN LOVE WITH MIKI BEFORE THEIR PARENTS GET MARRIED AND THE WHOLE NOT-QUITE-INCEST-BUT-STILL-CREEPY THING STARTS. HOPE THIS ANSWERED YOUR QUESTION. IT WAS CAPS-TASTIC! =)

-ANSWERMAN


Hi Connie:

Strange that Mr. Answerman was able to sit through 38 hours of a shoujo series that Ms. Answerman could not stand 5 minutes of. And ignore the usual jerk-mode that he goes into, he's grumpy.

-Ms. Answerman


HI MS ANSWERMAN:

DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF CAPS!

-ANSWERMAN


Hi Mr. Answerman:

Do not underestimate the power of a baseball bat.

-Ms. Answerman


…Alright, I'll stop.



Answerman-

I can see what you're getting at when you say that the comedy plots in most anime are overused. Slayers comes to mind for me with overused plots... And I also agree that Excel Saga is overrated. I personally find Excel Saga hilarious, but there's so many in-jokes that only the people most knowledgeable about Japanese culture would find them funny. It's definitely not for everyone. But one funny anime that you seem to have completely left out is GTO: Great Teacher Onizuka. It probably wouldn't be classified as a comedy anime, but my friends and I find it absolutely hilarious. Plus it actually has a great and original plot. Where else do you find a story about a former gang leader turned high school teacher (whose purpose in teaching is to get to the girls?) Ranma ½ is also another great comedy series in my mind. The anime seems diluted, but the manga is a masterpiece. On the other hand, Bakuretsu (Sorceror) Hunter was a huge disappointment to me. I understand that the manga is a lot better, but that anime wasn't very funny, didn't have too good of a plot, everything was repetitious like it came from a recipe, and just seemed to dragged on. Compared to that, the Tenchi Muyo! OVA is so much better. The comedy aspect might be old (not really though if it was among the first anime you saw), but I enjoyed the animation and the whole setup of the universe (with the GXP, the Jurai battle fleet, etc.) Personally, I'm looking forward to the 3rd installment of the OVA that's supposed to come out sometime.

Now, here's my actual question though: you seem to promote a lot of shoujo anime, like Utena and Fushigi Yuugi. Isn't there any pride issue held among male anime fans against watching anime made for teenage girls? This is the way I feel... those anime were made for girls, and it just doesn't work for a guy. It's like wearing cloth made for girls. Maybe I'm just weird, but that's the way I feel... and hearing shows like Utena and Fushigi Yuugi being highly recommended to the general anime fanbase just felt a little weird. This comment was prompted because I recently was exposed to Fushigi Yuugi at my school's anime club meeting and the sparkly bishounen (and he really did have sparkles... why?) made me feel really unmanly. I suppose there's different levels of otakudom (a lot of people in Japan frown down upon even Love Hina for what you call its "harem" atmosphere)... but then there's people who watch hentai without shame. So anyways, to sum it all up, do you feel that it's normal your average male anime fan to go around watching anime made for what might as well be the Japanese equivalent of N'Sync groupies?

Sorry for writing so much-- if you feel that this e-mail is too long to post, you don't have to post it... I'd appreciate it though if you could just give me a reply.

Sincerely,
Kaoru Miyazaki

Of course it's normal. If you think for some reason watching a show intended to be viewed by Japanese women undercuts your masculinity, you have some issues. I personally don't care who the intended audience is; quality programming is quality programming. Utena is a masterpiece regardless of who they expected it to sell to. Look at something like Titanic. The movie was a romance, but everyone went and saw it, male and female both. Obviously the story was more traditionally suited for what we'd consider a woman's taste, but audiences were filled with both men and women. What you watch doesn't determine how much you identify with your gender stereotype. Just because you're male doesn't mean you have to sit around watching Fist of the North Star and Street Fighter II V and then urinate on a stack of Sailor Moon tapes just to prove that you're a man. Watch what you want to watch. Fushigi Yuugi makes us all a little uncomfortable, though, so I can sympathize with you there. If you don't like flowery bishounen, fine, but don't dislike it simply because you know it wasn't made with you in mind as the consumer. I still buy action figures, and those are supposed to be for children. I sure as hell don't care.

My word!! I'm worried now...so when I watch things like Berserk and Hellsing, does that mean I become unwomanly? Jeze...I guess watching shows more geared towards men automatically ups my testosterone level until I can no longer feel like a true woman. Really though...are you THAT uncomfortable with your mascuility (sp) that you can't even watch a few cute guys without thinking there's something wrong with it? If you just don't like those types of shows that's fine, but you shouldn't feel 'unmanly' because a few cute guys go after a single girl...

Hey, I think the whole ‘jerk’ thing has started to rub off on Ms. Answerman. Cool!

Hard to compare a star in brightness to the sun...



Dear Answerman and Ms. Answerman,

I recently watch the amazing Hoshi no Koe (The voices of a distant star). This film expressed more feeling and emotion in its 25min than most anime on the market today. I just wanted your opinions on it as well as whether it was licenced or not?

Yeah, ADV picked that little one up. Everyone's been making a big stink about it since some guy made it on his Macintosh at home. It's impressive for a homebrew project and it was neat to watch, but I found it a little empty and short. I mean, it's cute and all, but it's only 25 minutes long, and I feel SaiKano has taken what Hoshi no Koe could have been and ran pretty far with it. You just can't have a whole lot of story and character development in a half hour, and I feel that was Hoshi no Koe's failing.

I don't know...it was a little empty and short, incredibly depressing too, but I like the idea of how the passage of time is expressed and how empty their relationship really is, even if they still cling to each other. Surprised people like it though....waaay too depressing for my taste. Kind of like watching the two episodes of the last Rurouni Kenshin OVA...it sucks the life right out of you.

Alright, alright. That's it for this week. See you all
on Tuesday.

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