Ms. Answerman: Holiday Cheer

by Rebecca Bundy, Dec 12th 2003

I'm finally back from the world of Thanksgiving vacations and my yearly appointment with the flu, only to have Answerman go on hiatus for the holidays. After that, Answerman will return to its usual 10 questions provided that people keep sending in questions. So keep them coming!

With the holidays comes the holiday traffic that's infamous for clogging up freeways and forcing people to arrive at the airport three hours ahead of time if they're not traveling light. Even if you're not traveling during the holidays, the lines have grown longer at the airports in the past years, forcing people to shuffle around in their socks or slippers while making their way through the metal detectors which (luckily) are not turned up high enough to register the trace amount of metal on jeans. While I was waiting in one of these lines recently, I reminisced about the time when lines were short and find myself actually comfortable with the added 15 minute wait. This isn't because I'm somehow secure in the knowledge that the passenger sitting two rows behind me can no longer pull out a nail file and use it against me as a weapon. It's actually because I no longer fit the ‘high potential for doing drugs’ profiling that commonly occurred at airports. It wasn't the fact that my bag was dragged away from the conveyer belt to be wiped by their little drug tester that bothered me, but the fact that it happened nearly every time I tried to fly out of an International airport that irritated me to no end. Statistics speak loudly, and to be the target of profiling is insulting to anyone who is caught under its disdainful eye. For anyone who has ever been a target of racial, age, or sexual profiling, I send out my deepest sympathies. But since it's the holidays, for those of you who are traveling via airplane who will have to deal with the long glares of strangers who work at the airports, just give them a cheery "Happy Holidays" to remind them that their suspicions are unfounded and that the holidays are about enjoying each others company.

Dear Answerpeople ,
I've only started watching anime for a short while now and I have noticed some things, mostly in humorous shows, that I don't quite get. First, I've seen that when some characters (female characters mostly) get into a fight they will pinch each others cheeks and sometimes even stick their thumbs in each others mouths and pull at their cheeks (Love Hina Again, Kare Kano and Tenchi OVA come to mind). Does anyone actually do this? Or is it a slapstick kinda thing only the Japanese laugh at? I'm also curious about the bandana thing characters put on their heads and tie in a knot under their noses when they want to sneak around. Again, do people do this? Thanks alot.

Playful forms of fighting that involve pinching cheeks and pulling their mouths open are (to my knowledge) not done in real life. I'm sure that there are a few annoying people out there who imitate the anime and actually do this to their friends in an attempt to be cute or funny, but I doubt their friends find it as funny as they do. In anime it's used as slapstick, but I've seen American anime fans laugh at these types of scenes, so it's not something that “only the Japanese laugh at”.
As for the bandana being tied under their nose, I'm not exactly sure where this comes from (movies, anime, people do this in real life) but it normally means that the character is either being sneaky or is trying to steal something, normally something small like freshly baked cookies that their mother is saving until after dinner. I personally think that characters look like a tanuki with the bandana on (normally they make a sly, cat-like face when trying to steal something), so I've always believed that they were trying to imitate this trickster.

Is TokyoPop going to release all 76 episodes of Marmalade Boy and the short movie, or just the first 19 episodes?

They plan on releasing the entire series in collection sets, 18-19 episodes at a time. Selling it in chunks is a nice way to get more bang for your buck ($100 dollars seems like a lot, but it's actually cheaper per episode than some series which cost $25 for 3-4 episodes), but it also means that fans will be waiting through longer dry periods while the next set is being produced. For those slow times, head to your local book or comic store and pick up the eight volumes of the Marmalade Boy manga TokyoPop has released.

I LOVE Naruto (it's my favorite series of all time), but after watching a
few episodes I started wondering about something. When ever Naruto speaks in
the series, he ends most of his sentences with what sounds to me like
"da-tey vio" (that's the best I can do phonetically :-) ) Does that have any
special meaning in Japanese? I watch a lot or anime and I have never heard
another character say those words at the end of most of their sentences. The
only thing I can think of that is similar is when I found out Kenshin would
say something like "de gosaruna" after most of his sentences which meant
"that you are" or "that it is" or something like that. Hope i was clear
enough and thanks for the quick japanese lesson/answering my question :-)

“datte wa yo” is an emphatic expression used when Naruto is especially aggressive, defensive, excited, or any other extreme to add emphasis to what he says. Since Naruto is normally more aggressive or expressive, he uses “datte wa yo” at the end of his sentences quite often. Kenshin on the other hand uses “de gozaru” because it's an older (and much more polite) version of “desu” that was rarely used during the Meiji era. I've never liked the use of “that you are/it is” in English translations because it emphasizes the fact that Kenshin sounds weird when he uses “de gozaru” while ignoring the fact that he's also being exceptionally polite.
Some other examples of different endings would be Chichiri from Fushigi Yugi, who ends his sentences with “no da” (this is more of a character quirk), and cat characters who can speak Japanese ending their sentences with “nyaa”, a cat-like sound.

I've a very simple question for you that I have been unable to find a clear cut answer for
Are David Lucas and Steven (Jay) Blum the same person? They sound almost identical, both preformed the roles of Spike in Cowboy Bebop (one in series, one in movie). I'm aware he may have other aliases as well. Can you shed some light on this?

These are definitely two different aliases for the same person. Steven/David uses one name for his union work, while the other one is used for non-union, though I'm not exactly sure which one is which. These are his only aliases that I know of.

Hiyers =) After months of reading your column, I actually have a question to ask ^^
I'm wondering in Yami no Matsuei and Berserk, what volume of the manga the anime stops at. That is, if the anime plots follow the manga plots (I'm fairly certain Berserk does, and I'm pretty sure about Yami). The reason I'm asking is because I've seen them both, and would like to read the continuation — but I really don't know where to start in the manga ^^; I already finished up Kenshin by reading the manga, and would like to do the same for the others =) Thanks in advance for any help!

For Yami no Matsuei, the anime follows the manga up through volume 8, so you'll want to start there. The Berserk anime doesn't start following the manga until volume 3, so you'll want to read the first short arc where Gatts meets up with Puck, then skip ahead to volume 13 to catch where the anime abruptly ends and learn about what actually happens to Caska and Gatts. I haven't read the first 8 volumes of Yami, but I know for Berserk that things do happen in the manga that don't happen in the anime and certain things are explained in greater detail. If you're reading this and don't know that Ricket isn't killed (spoiler, highlight to read), I'd suggest you pick up the volumes that the anime covers. If you know this and other things that only happen in the manga, you should still buy these volumes once they've been translated into English. Neither of these series have been finished, though Yami is most likely destined to end up on the incomplete manga list since the mangaka, Matsushita Youko, has stopped drawing Yami and its uncertain whether or not she'll continue the manga at a later time.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS EVERYONE!! ~From the Answerpeople and Answerkitties

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