Ms. Answerman: Rebecca Kenkaku Romantan

by Rebecca Bundy, Mar 28th 2003
I'm back! Hopefully Mr. Answerman wasn't too hard on you guys.


Dear Answer people,

This question regards manga. I was introduced to manga with the Silent Möbius and Battle Angel Alita(GUNNM) series. I found them enjoyable despite the criticism from my friends who feel American comics beat out Japanese Manga(as if). Anyway the question(s):

1)I'm currently awaiting the release of X/1999 vol 9. How much further along is the manga in Japan? Will this manga run until it loses popularity or can I hope to see a dignified ending to this series anytime soon? I was somewhat let down to hear that the TV series had an ending despite the manga being ongoing.

2)I haven't touched the Berserk! TV or Manga series yet but I'm interested. In your opinion does the animated version do the manga justice or am I just better off saving my (limited) money and getting the manga??

LAST QUESTION(I promise)
Do most manga translations remain true to the source material or are some totally rewritten like some bad dubbed anime titles??

1. To date, 18 volumes of X/1999 have been released in Japan. The manga will run until the series ends, but popularity does play an important role in whether or not the series continues to be published. If people stop buying the manga, then the series will stop being published since the company would lose money creating and distributing the manga.

2. In my opinion, I think that the TV series does the first arc in the manga series justice. Obviously there will be more character development in the manga, but the series follows the manga fairly accurately in plot. The only problem with the TV series is that it ends suddenly and a lot of questions are left unanswered. Buy the TV series first, and if you enjoy it then buy the manga. This is definitely a series, both TV and manga, that is worth the money.

3. Manga translations, like TV subs and dubs, vary depending on the translators and the company that they work for. Manga translations have an advantage over dubbed translations, since the font for the translations can be changed to fit the dialogue bubbles. Dub translations must fit the movement of the characters mouths, so even originally accurate translations have to be changed around. Though there aren't many ‘bad’ official manga translations that I know of, many change around the dialogue to fit modern slang and thus aren't accurate translations.



Hey Answerman,
Just wondering if there is a specific order to watch this show in.
With the TV shows (Slayers, Next, and Try) and all the movies,
the OVA's etc, I was unsure as to the correct order to watch this
in if there is one. I have been looking around on the Net to see
if there was a page that would list the order but so far, no luck.
Thanks,
Phil

Only the TV series is in chronological order, so you'll want to watch Slayers first, then Slayers Next, then finally Slayers Try. The movies and OVA's are independent and can be watched at any time. It's important to know though that in all the movies (save for Premium) and OVA's, Lina hasn't met Gourry yet. For any who are curious, the movies (in order of when they were produced) are Perfect, Return, Great, Gorgeous, Premium and the OVA's are Slayers Special 1-3 and Slayers Excellent 1-3.


My roommate left town this weekend, so I had myself a marathon from her DVD
collection. Watching the first half of Sorcerer Hunters left me with a few
questions:

- There is a trailer on the second or third DVD for "Spell Wars", which
looks like Sorcerer Hunters. Is this an OVA, or a TV sequel? Or was this
an alternate title at one point? (Every now and then in the previews, Dota
says, "On the next episode of Spell Wars, the Sorcerer Hunters' revenge...")

- The dub seems to be a yaoi fangirl interpretation of the original. More
than once, Gateau and Marron have been talking, and the subtitles will be
absolutely innocent conversation, and in the dub, they allude to a
relationship the two have. Later, Carrot is talking to Zaha Torte, and
says, "My brother's gay, and he and Gateau have a thing going on, though I
think the big guy's bi..." ADV's website also seems to support this -
"There are hints that he [Gateau] has a thing for Marron." Is this a case
of ADV having rights to interpretation and running with them?
Thanks for any help you can give in unconfusing me ^_^
Koshka

Spell Wars is a fancy title for episodes 15-26 of Sorcerer Hunters, probably done to make consumers believe that they could pick up the series at episode 15 and start watching there. This was also a US change in title, not a Japanese one as far as I know.

Not a single issue of the manga series goes by without Gateau making at least one pass at Marron. Gateau (as well as other men, including Marron's father) comment on how pretty Marron is since he looks identical to his mother, Apricot. Gateau finds Marron very attractive for his beauty, but this attraction is skin deep and never develops past a gag that's common in the series. Carrot's not against making fun of his little brother, which would explain the ‘my brother's gay’ comment. As for Marron, save for dressing up once or twice as a woman (which he pulls off very well) to sneak into places, the only males he ‘loves’ are his brother and father. All of Gateau's advances are ignored with a sweatdrop by Marron.



Answerman,
I enjoy reading your column. I was curious about something and maybe
you can help me out. I have collected just about all of the Rurouni Kenshin
series on DVD. I noticed that all of the boxes have a different symbol on
them. Do these symbols have any significance of are they just random
symbols? Thanks for all your help.
Brian

The symbols are on either side of the DVD title, they're the crests of important Japanese Samurai families. The pre-kyoto arc DVD box designs border the title, the Kyoto arc box design is centered behind the title, while the post-kyoto arc box designs are at the bottom of the vertically placed title.


Answerman:
I have recently been watching Rurouni Kenshin and Samurai X. What puzzled
me was the signifigance of the scar that Kenshin has. I vaguely remember
that some character in Dragon Ball has the same scar and was wondering if
this is some symbol in Japanese culture. Thanks
Robert

Yamcha has a scar similar to Kenshin, though the meanings are very different. In Rurouni Kenshin, the scar symbolizes the past that will always haunt Kenshin. In Dragon Ball, Yamcha's scars are likely there to show that he's been in a lot of fights and survived some pretty nasty wounds. In anime, high-ranking army men or people whose characters have had a lot of experience with serious fighting are normally designed with scars on their bodies. Scars in general show that a character is mortal and doesn't come out of fights without taking a little damage themselves.

That's it for today! Keep sending the questions in, or I'll bring back Mr. Answerman to deal with you all.

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