Ms. Answerman: The Award Goes To...

by Rebecca Bundy, Mar 11th 2005



I'd like to ask a favor from everyone who reads Answerman. I rarely order anime DVDs/manga online since there are numerous places in the area that sell all the anime/manga I need. This makes it hard to recommend online sites to people since I have no way of knowing how safe and/or reliable these places are. At the bottom of this column is a ‘Discuss this in the forum’ link. If you've purchased anime/manga online from a site and felt they did a satisfactory job with your order, please click on this link and provide the site address and reason why you recommend it.

What I'm looking for:
Sites that sell LEGAL COPIES of licensed anime DVDs, VHS, manga, CDs, games, or Japanese things.
Sites that sell LEGAL COPIES of Japanese goods for the various categories above, for people who are looking for titles not available in the US/English.

What I'm NOT looking for:
Sites that have bootlegs/subs/scanlations/etc for sale.
Company sites. If someone is looking for a title that's licensed by Viz, it makes sense to check their site first.

With that done, onto another 10 questions!



Dear Ms. Answerman,
Lately, i've been wondering something. Not to sound too perverted or anything, but why is it, the anime form of a show generally cuts out most or all of the nudity that is in the Manga? I've recently seen Saber Marionette J, and when I bought the book, well, I was a bit surprised. The same goes for Love Hina and Negima. Why is this sort of thing done? The same people who watch the anime are most likely the same people who are going to read the manga, so it shouldn't be a problem... Is it the artists? Do they not want to draw nudity and fanservice in there anime, or something?
Thanks.
Sincerely,
X_Sensei_X

The laws regarding what can be put on paper are different from what can be broadcast on TV. Berserk netted itself an extremely late timeslot due to its nudity, blood, and story while remaining true to the manga. Other series cut out ‘unnecessary nudity’ to get an earlier timeslot in the hopes of getting a larger audience who don't have to stay up until 2:30am (or set their VCRs to record) to see their favorite shows. Anime companies aren't worried about the fans of the series since they'll be watching it anyways. Their main goal is reaching a newer, wider audience who will then go out and buy the manga, toys, and any other goodies that are released.
Truthfully, I've never understood why so many people get worked up over nudity being edited out. Does the fact that Kagome's tits never grace the screen make the Inuyasha anime worse as far as story and character development goes? No, it doesn't. If it did, a manga artist could simply refuse to let their series be animated without the nudity (which does happen).



dear answer man,
Do you know if there will be anymore dvd releases of Wolf's Rain or Angel Sanctuary? My daughter is very interested in them both and would like to buy more dvds of them. Also do you have the Japanese version of it released? What other DVD's or Graphic novels do you have that are simular to Angel Sanctuary and Wolf's Rain? If it is possible can you send me a list of a few good manga's.
Thank you
Melissa

Both of these series are over and done with, though it's always possible that someone will try to make an Angel Sanctuary series that follows the original closer. If you're interested in the graphic novels, both series are available in English. As for recommendations, try Descendants of Darkness (available in DVD and manga) or X/1999 (anime, movie, and manga). If your daughter is of an age where nudity and pounds upon pounds of blood is acceptable, Berserk and Hellsing (both anime and manga) are two titles I'm always telling new anime fans to see.


Dear Ms. Answerman:
I just recently read the news article about Adult Swim splitting off from Cartoon Network at the end of March. The article says, and I quote:
For ratings purposes, Turner Broadcast will split Adult Swim from Cartoon Network at the end of this month. The split will see two seperate networks, Cartoon Network and Adult Swim, carried on the same cable channels at different times of the day.
I'm a little confused as to what this means. I think maybe it's because I'm afraid of losing Adult Swim. It's got some awsome stuff on right now. What does this mean for people who have satelite TV? What does this mean for people who have cable. Can you please help?
Yours Truly,
Christopher A. Biocca.

No one is losing Adult Swim and you don't have to worry about ordering or paying for a new channel. What this means is that Turner Broadcast will now recognize Adult Swim as a separate entity from Cartoon Network. This means that the ratings for Adult Swim will not affect Cartoon Network's ratings, and vice versa. It's purely for statistical reasons and will not affect your viewing habits.



I would just like to know why there are no English subtitles for the Anime shown on AXN-Asia??? Especially for the Anime that used to have subtitles, like Samurai X and Gensōmaden Saiyuki.
I would kindly like to request that you show Anime with English subtitles for the convenience of the viewers who do not know the Japanese language.
I am a huge fan of AXN and Anime, and I am looking forward to AXN showing new anime and sequels to the Anime that they have already aired on tv.
AXN IS THE BEST!!!!!!!!!!
I think AXN is a great entertainment channel and i wish it lots of luck for the future.
Thank You.
From,
A huge fan of AXN.

First ANN is confused with The Anime Network, and now it's AXN? As for your question, Animax (the anime block on AXN-Asia) is aired with dual audio (original language and the native language) and it's up to the cable providers to either allow for both options (you choose the language with your remote) or limit it to only one for all viewers. Subtitles are only available in certain areas around the world, so you're probably stuck watching either the dub or original Japanese without subtitles.


When animes come to the United States are the DVD's edited? I know some DVD's say they are uncut and unedited but are they really? I bring this up because I am very concerned about the Naruto series when it gets released on DVD here because now that it is licensed it is only a matter of time so will the dvd's be unedited? I know Naruto is not some over the top anime series like Gantz and Elfen Lied but I am concerned because it's obvious that Naruto will be targeted at a younger audience to make more money. So although it is far from the most violent or anything like that I don't want things to change because it is targeted for kids because. Like when Kakashi does Chidori and Haku takes the hit that part was pretty bloody and so on.

I'm going to ignore your concerns regarding Naruto and focus instead on your original question. Japanese anime companies give US anime companies the ‘unedited’ version that the Japanese can buy on DVD. In most circumstances, however, companies ‘edit’ what's originally shown on TV before releasing it to DVD. Normally these are technical edits, such as sound, that are necessary for the DVD format. Once in a while there are small cuts and/or additions made during this transfer process, so those who watch the original TV episode will see a slight difference when it's released on DVD. Since this copy is what is generally given to US companies, Americans will see the ‘new and improved’ version.
There have also been a few cases where the US company received the TV version instead of the DVD version. When these were released 'undedited' and fans noticed a difference between the Japanese and English DVDs, they accused the company of editing the show.
What the company decides to do with this version is up to them. If something is unedited, then it's going to be extremely close to the original. I say close and not exact because there are always going to be differences when translations are involved, but it's close enough to be considered unedited. If they decide to release an edited version, they won't say ‘unedited’ since that can get them into a lot of trouble for false advertising.


It has been about 11 months since the announcement was made that there would be a live action Witch Hunter Robin to come to SciFi. I found this online and wondered what "midseason 2005 and beyond" meant. Does the "beyond" make it an iffy thing? I mean, there hasn't been anything said since it was announced...

It means that the WHR series SciFi is working on is still in development. If it had been dropped, it would've been moved to the ‘dropped from development’ list. All of the shows listed under ‘in development’ are iffy, since anything could happen between now and then. The ‘beyond’ part doesn't mean that the show is or isn't going to be released, only that no air date has been set.



My first "set" of questions deals with the Ghost in the Shell franchise. I've seen most of the first movie, haven't seen the second movie, watch SAC every Saturday on AS, and haven't read any of the mangas. My question is how do they all tie in together. I know (I think) that the first movie is based on the first GitS manga, but that's where I get lost. Is the second movie based on the second manga? And does it have the same characters (both the 2nd movie and the manga)? And in the first SAC, every few episodes deal with the Laughing Man. Was that an original creation for SAC or is that from somewhere else? And is the 2nd SAC just carrying on from where the 1st one left off or is there a big difference? Also, are the Tackikoma shorts included on the US releases of SAC, or, if not, is there any indication that they will be included on their own DVD? And I don't see any plans from Manga or Bandai to release the 2nd season. Do they own the licenses for that, also?
I know I asked alot of questions, and I would love you so much if you could possibly answer all of them.
Thank you!
Nicole

The original manga series introduces Section 9, the Puppetmaster, ‘ghosts’, and the entire world where the boundaries between man and machine are blurred. The first movie is based on the manga and focuses entirely on the Puppetmaster story. The two seasons of Stand Alone Complex spin new tales, focusing on the Laughing Man and Kuze Hideo, along with various other cases for Section 9 to solve. Innocence tackles a new enemy as well while Batou and Togusa steal Kusanagi's spotlight. The second manga series is the only GitS media I haven't read/watched, but from what I've been told it strays the farthest from the original and stars characters that aren't in any of the other GitS stories. Finally, the Tachikoma shorts are included on the DVDs and play after the ending credits for each episode.
The second season, appropriately named 2nd Gig, is licensed and will begin airing on Cartoon Network this fall.



hi miss answerman
i was wondering are there any animes bases off the famos outlaws Jessie james or billy the kid
thanks agine
sign
rken

Jessie James lives on in spirit as members of Team Rocket, but Billy the Kid is a no-show in the anime department. The closest thing to a western anime would be Trigun, but it's not a popular genre in anime.



Dear Ms. Answerman,
I have two questions regarding names. In America, we put our surnames last (John Smith), but in Japan, they put their surnames first (Smith John). I assume that is to place emphasis on one's heritage?
Secondly, this fact makes me very confused about names in anime. When something is dubbed, are the names switched during "Americanization?"
What about when you are reading credits for an anime show or movie in
English, are they flipped?
Thanks,
Murphix

It used to be that the surname was connected to the position or job your family held, as well as any honor or dishonor that your family had earned. Commoners didn't even have surnames until the Meiji Restoration and generally used their birthplace, product sold, or father's name to distinguish themselves when necessary. When the change was made, most adopted a historical name or made one up.
The actual presence of a surname was also a method of subjugation, since anyone with a surname was considered property of the Emperor (which makes no sense if commoners didn't have surnames, unless they weren't considered individual property and instead were a lump sum). Traditionally, the Emperor only has a first name, thought this practice has changed since the end of WWII.
For both dubs and subs, the names are switched to match our cultural standard. This includes credits and any articles that are written about them. If you're looking for the English translations for various Japanese novels, you'll find that their names have been switched too. If it's in English and does not involve a Japanese class (my professors generally used the surname first) then you should assume that the names have been swapped.



Hi Rebecca!
Along with being an avid reader of all of the great columns at ANN, I also regularly read the Ask John column of AnimeNation. A few weeks ago, someone asked a question that immediately sparked my interest. The questioner asked if the American anime industry was dying, siting examples such as the layoffs at Central Park Media, FUNimation's merger with Minnesota-based Navarre, and Bandai's recent decline in sales. With these, and other recent announcements that are too numerous to mention, do you believe that the American anime industry is dying, or is it doing the opposite and growing?
Thanks,
biliano

I'd say that the American anime industry has reached a middle ground. With a number of big hits in the 90's and early 2000's encouraging interest in anime, various companies rushed out to license and release whatever they could get their hands on in the hopes of getting a greater return. The problem with this rush was that the market became inundated with too many titles, many of which just weren't popular enough for companies to make a significant profit. People are no longer impressed with how ‘leet’ anime is and instead hold off purchasing a title until they're certain that it's worth the money. The anime companies, however, are still going full steam and are rushing past the anime fans who are taking it slower.
When companies realize that the demand now is different from what it was five years ago, they'll find ways to adjust. There's still a demand for anime and as long as there are people willing to pay for it, there'll be an anime industry.

[Editor's Note: The decline in sales at Bandai was attributed to Bandai America Inc. The company that sells toys, models and video games. No statement was made about Bandai Entertainment, INC.'s sales (the anime subsidiary).]

In light of the upcoming oscars, it would be hilarious if you reviewed and rewarded each letter this week instead of answering them...
Probably not though :P
Joey

Doing this for 10 questions (or even 5) might be a bit much, but I thought I'd give out an extra special “Most Annoying/Strangest Email” award for the final question. The nominees are:

Naruto: When Will the DVDs Be Released?
News from Inuyasha?
On1ine Prescr1ption
I DRAW ANIME AND HAVE NEAT IDEA, HOW CAN I TURN IT INTO AN ANIME??
New Anime Network 24/7

The runner up is...
New Anime Network 24/7

hello i have a question for you guy, we need have a new network that show anime all day for 24 hour a day and 7 days of week so we can watch anime all day on the new network instead of Cartoon Network and kids morning channel and also every day from midnight we can need watch hentai, but children under age 14 are unwatchable to see

I reread this ‘statement’ a few times in the hopes of finding a question. Maybe the question mark was eaten by the same email virus that consumed a few other words that, if they had been included, would've made this statement readable? I'm sure they're all living happily in lala land along with whatever point this person was trying to make.

And the winner is...
News from Inuyasha?

hi answerman
do you have any news from Inuyasha?

Yes I do! I just got off the phone with his publicist and she tells me that he's doing fine even though Naraku is still alive. He's excited that the anime is finally over and hopes that the flood of mail regarding his relationship with Kagome will die down. As for the law suit against the fan who snapped a picture of him bathing nude at the beach, she says that they're settling it out of court.


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