Answerman vs. Ms. Answermanby Zac Bertschy, Aug 15th 2003
Ms. Answerman is out sick this week, so I'm back here covering for her. I think Rebecca's rant last week was largely misunderstood; she was complaining about the quality of parenting in America, and her comments about broadcast regulations were mostly sarcasm. I've been to one too many hard R movies lately with 9 year olds in the audience. There is something wrong with you if you decide to see “House of 1000 Corpses” with your 8-year old son. Hell, even ‘The Matrix Reloaded’ has stuff in it that's just too much for little kids. I mean, if you're a parent, you're welcome to raise your kid however you see fit; but the fact of the matter is, they have a rating system for a reason and it seems some parents are too ignorant or irresponsible to abide by it. I don't think Rebecca is in favor of government-sponsored censorship, I think she's in favor of good parenting, which is not what we're seeing lately.
Enough of that crap. On to the questions.
In order to make me satisfied, you must answer my questions, three.
In the column before last, you lauded Pokémon for their "wide variety
of unique voices." So, riddle me this: How can you consider a cast to have
a wide variety when the five main human characters are covered by three people?
Don't get me wrong. They're doing a decent job, but how can you applaud their
diversity when there seems to be a lack of it?
I'm sure this last few questions have thrown you for a loop, so I'll make the last question short and sweet. It's actually something that I've wondered for as long as I have been watching anime (which is about 6 years)
What's with all the technicolor hair with anime characters?!?!
Well, I deleted your first question, so I suppose you'll never be satisfied. As for your second question, Rebecca obviously thinks that the voice acting in Pokemon shows ‘diversity’ regardless of how many voice actors they have doing the characters. In your opinion, having three people do five voices is a lack of diversity. Obviously the results are different according to Rebecca's ear. You'll live, son, you'll live.
As for your last question, the answer is simple. That's what Japanese artists like, from a design standpoint. It also makes the characters easier to differentiate (except when the all have fluorescent blue hair. You needed me to tell you that?
I just became a fan of FLCL/Fooly Cooly but recently found out there is
only six episodes and two volumes in manga format. Are there plans to
release more of the series or is that all?
There is no more FLCL. I'll say this once more so people don't write in asking about it anymore.
There is no more FLCL. No more. None.
I realize that by the very nature of providing a preview for a TV show, a limited amount of spoilers are going to be presented, but most anime series tend to just show enough to give you the flavor or gist of the first part of the episode without spoiling anything else. However, Noir seems to be a bit different.I was just watching disk 5 with my wife when I noticed on the preview after the final episode on the disk that it looks like highlight text for spoiler<spoiler> Kirika was the one that killed Mirielle's(sp?) parents in Corsica. </spoiler> The scene wasn't long, but given that it focuses on one of the main “cliffhanger” elements of the episode, it seemed awfully odd to give that much away to people who are paying attention. So, I'm going to be avoiding the next-episode previews for Noir for the rest of the run. Any other series that I should avoid the next-episode previews for due to heavy spoiler content
OK, here's the thing. The Japanese prefer to know the major plot points ahead of time so they can enjoy the episode more the first time they view it. This is similar to the French phenomenon where many French moviegoers watch the end of the film before the beginning so they can adequately take in and analyze the film without being concerned or excited about the ending. They already know what happens, so they can concentrate on the depth of the entire film. The Japanese are much the same way; witness some of the episode titles for Rurouni Kenshin. “The Sakaba sword breaks! Kenshin's in trouble!”. Obviously this gives away a major plot point in the upcoming episode, but the concept of ‘spoilers’ doesn't really exist in Japan and France, at least for the majority of film consumers. They already know Kenshin's sword breaks, so they can concentrate on what happens in the rest of the episode, and pay attention to the various and sundry subtleties. It's a different culture with different customs.
What is the Five Star Stories manga like? I have only seen the model kits and figures of this series, and they have blown me away. They're beautifully designed (unfortunately really expensive, too) and I would definitely be interested in a manga series with these mecha in it. How many volumes of FSS have been made, is it still running in Japan, and is there an anime series as well?
The Five Star Stories manga is beautiful but dry “mecha with politics” type stuff, a'la some of the earlier Gundam shows. I haven't read the comics myself but lots of people love them; I certainly can appreciate the amazing character designs. Volume 11 of the Five Star Stories manga came out in April of this year, and the story has been running for 17 years in the pages of Newtype. There's a highly confusing anime movie that only makes sense if you've read the manga, so if you manage to get your hands on it, be aware that you'll have trouble understanding what's really going on. No word yet on any sort of TV series, but I wouldn't totally rule out the possibility.
I saw in your last column that Yoshiyuki Sadamoto has
done character designs for anime series, and I know about
his art book, but has he finished the Eva manga yet? Viz
just released volume 6 not long ago, and I was wondering
how many more volumes there are left
I'm not totally certain how many volumes are left in the Evangelion manga, but I don't think the story has completed yet in manga form. Viz will obviously continue to release the Evangelion manga in America, although how quickly, I don't know.
What with the continued upswing in anime's popularity across the world, are more original anime being produced (i.e. not manga-based)?
Also—and my sincerest apologies if this is an oft-asked question—in the first
episode of RahXephon, was that a veiled Evangelion reference
by Ayato when he's looking at his painting (that really, REALLY looks like Asuka in her yellow dress)?
Thanks for the knowledge!
To answer your first question, I don't know that anime being more popular has caused more ‘original’ anime series to be produced. I don't think there's really any direct corollary between anime being popular and what they base it on. A large number of titles are based on previously existing manga, and the rest are original productions (or based on novels). The number fluctuates over the years but I don't think there's any single factor that determines what percentage of new anime series are original works.
Secondly, it might be, but it's hard to tell. RahXephon has a number of nods to Evangelion, but since the creators never came out and said “Yes, Ixtli looks like that because she's supposed to look like Asuka”, I can't say. I figured it was intended to be simplistic and ‘pure’ looking. For a show as complicated as RahXephon is, I think it's a bit unfair to simply break it down into “what's like Evangelion and what isn't”.
I was wondering if any of you have heard of a possible U.S. release for the Pita-ten anime series? Also, I know that TokyoPop has licensed the manga series, but I was wondering if they have set a release date yet. Any help is welcome. Thanks.
There's no release date yet for Pita-Ten. They just announced the series. Don't expect a release date for anything until at least 3-6 months after the license is announced. Nobody's officially said anything about the anime, either, but Synch-Point did say (at Otakon) that it may has been licensed by someone else.
Dear Ms. Answerman,
Why did they continue Onegai Teacher in a radio drama instead of an OVA or another season? It seemed popular enough to spinoff Onegai Twins. So why didn't they just continue witht the original one?
I'm assuming it's because they wanted to go in a different direction. Creating new characters and new situations will generally attract new viewers and bring about new merchandising opportunities, and it'll allow the world they've created to grow a little more rather than stagnate and focus on the same stuff for another season. Frequently, creative decisions are made to prevent stagnation; perhaps they felt that they've told the story they meant to tell with Onegai Teacher and were more interested in building up the Onegai Twins storyline. Either that or they wanted to allow a different set of cute girls to take the spotlight for a while so as to drag in fanboys who didn't find the girls from Onegai Teacher to their liking. Take your pick.
Does the cat in Trigun have some sort of reason to be the series?
Nightow has said on many an occasion when this (particularly pointless) question has come up. The cat serves no purpose. It's a running joke. Like Menchi in Excel Saga (although with a bit less purpose), or the cat in Azumanga Daioh, the cat in Trigun serves no definable purpose, other than to inexplicably become a fan favorite by virtue of having no definable purpose. The cat also becomes something of a "mascot" for the series (and, incidentally, provides Pioneer with several choice marketing options, represented by the much-loved, mysteriously-soiled Kuroneko plush dolls you see peeking out of the tops of every filthy backpack at any given anime con). So, to answer your question in the bluntest of manners, no.
Dear Ms. Answerman,
I was wondering if you might be able to help me in some small minute way. As a fan of the series Serial Experiments Lain, I had fallen in love with the song Duvet by Boa, and so scoured the world, or well Kazaa actually, to find more music by this band, which apparently had some other titles associated with Lain. However in my searches I came across another band by the same name, yet with a far different style, and of a different nationality (I have heard it is Korean but I may be wrong) also associated with the same series, and so my question comes to you. What is the nature of the two Boas? Did only one band work on the project, and the other only get their music confused as part of the project, did both bands work on the project, or is it something else? I eagerly await for your help in this matter.
You're talking about two separate bands and some mislabeled MP3s. BOA, the one from Europe, recorded ‘Duvet’ for Lain. The MP3s you downloaded by the Korean BOA are mislabeled. People are dumb. The Korean BOA has nothing to do with Lain. They simply share the same name as the European band. Make sense?
OK, that's all for now. The missus will return next week.
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