Hey, Answerman!

by Zac Bertschy, Nov 10th 2005


Anyone else notice that Madonna is groovin' on a DDR machine in her latest video? Wild.

Well, let's get right to it. No time for monkey business.


Okay, I'm studying Japanese, and using Anime and Manga to round out the study day (it doesn't substitute for hard drilling on verb conjugations and such, but it's a lot easier to pay attention to ear-training or reading when you WANT to understand what's being said/written.)

Anyway, I liked the Azumaga Daioh manga and Anime, and decided to follow Azuma Kiyohiko into Yotsuba&!-To!.  I bought a subscription to Dengeki Daioh magazine...

Here's the story list:
http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/manga.php?id=4379
An interesting mix, to say the least:
Blood Alone (manga)
Figure 17 (manga)
Futakoi Alternative (manga)
Gunparade Orchestra (manga)
Gunslinger Girl (manga)
Hayate Cross Blade (manga)
Ichigo Mashimaro (manga)
Kagihime Monogatari - Eikyuu Alice Rondo (manga)
Kamichu! (manga)
Kasimasi - Girl Meets Girl (manga)
Kokoro Library (manga)
Nananana (manga)
Ninin ga Shinobu-den (manga)
Onegai Teacher (manga)
Popo Can (manga)
Shakugan no Shana (manga)
Tsukihime (manga)
Yotsuba&! (manga)

Some of them pretty definitely Shoujo-ai, a few a little more mature adventure-with-romance, some male adolescent ideal-girlfriend fantasy, a pretty serious study of male culture dominating and using females (nevermind the higher purpose,) a group of overly cute girls doing overly cute things, and a six-year-old who might be in need of Ritalin if she weren't so damned funny.  Quite the mix

My question - What demographic is this magazine being aimed at?

I'd just like to know...

You know, you'd be surprised; target demographic is always really tricky, especially since fans just love to argue about who exactly the target market is for anime and manga series. There's a large (and vocal) contingency of people who will cry bloody murder if you say "Well, Pokémon is for children"; they'll argue that they love Pokémon, and they're adults, so that means it must be intended for adults. I'm sure you can see the faulty logic there, but nevertheless, demographics are a controversial subject. In fact, no matter what I tell you about the demographic for Dengeki Daioh, I guarantee you people will argue it.

Regardless, all of those titles are aimed squarely at the "seinen" crowd, mostly high school and college-aged males (think 18-25). It has a shonen sort of flavor to it; the publication started out as a pure seinen magazine and eventually drifted a little younger, towards the shonen market, but I'd say right now it's a mix of the two. Even titles like Azumangah Daioh and Yotsuba&!amp;! are aimed squarely at this (admittedly vague) demographic; sure, they're cute and seem like they might be appropriate for younger women, but by and large they appeal primarily to older boys and young adult men.


I've been wondering something about older anime series for awhile.  Frequently in older anime series, at the start of a new scene the screen jerks a bit.  What's the deal with this and why did it happen?

Good eye there. What you're talking about is commonly referred to as "frame jitter", and it's most famously seen in the un-retouched version of Neon Genesis Evangelion, as well as Fushigi Yuugi and Utena. It's an error introduced during film splicing by the show's editors; a single frame will "jump" at the top of a new scene after being spliced together with the rest of the film. "Splicing", if you didn't know, is the act of taking two seperate pieces of cut film and taping (or cementing) them together. The jitter is usually caused by poor film alignment or sloppy splicing; given the budget on most anime series, it's not really surprising to see it on older anime series. Since digital animation techniques eliminate the need for film splicing, you don't really see much jitter these days.


I've got a quick question about background music for anime. I'm under the impression that the reason some animes have different soundtracks when they're localized, is because the dubbing companies have to pay extra for the music used in the series, and sometimes they just find it easier to make new music themselves. I was just wondering if there was any truth to that and if not, why would a dubbing company have new music made to replace the old?

Music replacement generally happens for a number of different reasons, but there are two very common ones.

The first and most obvious is that sometimes the music rights for a series are simply too expensive or unattainable; take a show like Kodocha, where the licensing fees for the original opening sequence couldn't be attained, so FUNimation had to go with the second season opening. Likewise, one of the reasons Macross 7 - the "comedy" Macross series about a maverick rock band - will probably never be licensed is because the show's numerous rock songs are owned by so many different companies that the music rights would make the show's licensing cost go through the roof. Oftentimes in order to license a song that's in a series, you have to go to the music company that owns the song, like Sony or avex mode. Their asking price might be a little too rich, considering you're already paying a ridiculous amount just for the animation.

The other reason - and this one's kinda tragic - is that many times, especially when it's being edited for Saturday morning (or after school programming or whatever), the show winds up in the hands of a "creative executive" whose job it is to determine how to make the show more marketable or more appealing to American children. Sometimes these "creative executives" start fixing things that aren't broken; they change the opening theme to an annoying rap song (go ahead and guess which show I'm talking about here) or switch all the background music around so it's substantially more bombastic or ridiculous. These are the same people responsible for shows like "Cardcaptors". It's kind of a shame, really; I've never seen a children's anime that had objectionable or inappropriate music but it almost always gets changed. I think a lot of it has to do with the executive wanting to leave his or her "thumbprint" on the series, something that proves they had a hand in its creation. Kinda sad, really.


Ok, here's the thing. I love the Marmalade Boy manga series!!! I read them all in, like, two days! What I want to know is this: is the anime version of it available here in the states, or is it only in Japan? I really love this story and I would love for you to answer it!

Yeah, Tokyopop's been releasing the show in box sets for some time now. Just go over to Amazon.com and type in "Marmalade Boy". The DVD sets will be available there.


Last week I answered a question about the misspelling in the title of Chrono Crusade. Here's the original Q&A:

Got a question for ya about a certain Crusade series.  It is a widely known fact that there are two different spellings for the title and main character of said series: In Japan, Chrno, in the states, Chrono.  Im not hear to ask about which is officially right or any other opinion crap like that, but Ive heard a number of different stories as to why there is a difference.  So I was wondering, what's the real story behind it?  Thanks :)

This actually happens a lot when Japanese creators (and Japanese manga editors) who don't speak or read English very well use English in their comics. They misspelled "Chrono". When ADV licensed the title, they fixed it. That's it. That's all there is to it. Frequently, if you pay attention to background signs and random English words in anime and manga you can catch more than a few misspellings.

This answer opened a big can of worms; apparently a bit of misinformation has circulated around out there about how it wasn't a spelling mistake, they had to change the name due to copyright problems with Square's now-ancient Chrono Trigger franchise. Case in point:

Answerman,

Just thought I would chime in on an issue regarding Chrno Crusade. In a recent column you stated the reason that the series is titled "Chrno Crusade" instead of "Chrono Crusade" is a simple spelling error. I recently attended Nekocon and a voice actor familiar with the series stated that it was actually misspelled on purpose in order to avoid potential copyright disputes with Squaresoft over the Chrono Trigger/Cross series. It was corrected when brought over to the US. I'm not sure if this VA has any more idea what he's talking about than you (and I typically trust your information), but his explanation seems more believable to me than to think that an author would make such a big spelling error.

I've heard this explanation before but it just isn't true. This site's editor-in-chief (and my boss) Christopher Macdonald, aka Tempest, asked Daisuke Moriyama himself at Anime Boston 2005 and Moriyama confirmed that it was in fact a typo that made it to the printers before anyone caught it. They chose to just run with it rather than fix the typo; believe it or not, English mistakes in Japanese productions are extremely common. Most of the time if you look at the signage in the background of any given anime series you'll see countless mistakes and misspelled words. The Japanese like to use English but it is a foreign language to them and thus sometimes quality control isn't so good. Heck, there's a volume of Love Hina out there with a bunch of Christmas banners lining the streets that all have a picture of Santa Claus and say "SATAN". You'd think someone would catch that before millions of copies were printed, but nope. You might also want to take a look at the number of times Cagliostro is misspelled in Castle of Cagliostro. Mistakes in English are very common, and since Moriyama himself provided the info, I'm gonna go with that.


[What I don't know (didn't ask, sorry) is if the spelling mistake existed in all of Moriyama's original drafts, or just the one document that was used to make the logo. Or even who was responsible for the mistake, Moriyama, an assistant, and editor or.... -ed]

One other thing about the Chrono Trigger thing; for those of you who firmly believe this, why would Square choose to only protect their apparent copyright over the word "Chrono" (which you can't actually copyright anyway) in Japan? Why would they allow the series to be released in America with the proper spelling, where the profit potential is much higher?

And that's one to grow on.


Now this, I think, is uncalled for!

your kittens are fat and smelly

but i still like them.

in my spaghetti.

yum :D

I wish there were some way of making an angry face over the internet that didn't include emoticons. Instead I shall refute your claim, sir, with a photo of a kitten who is neither fat nor smelly..


See, look, he's even exercising.



The Inuyasha box set sure did bring out the gutter-minded fangirls. I got more unprintable submissions about Kagome's bicycle seat than ever before.

That said, today's winning caption is courtesy of Jeremy Brannon :

 

And the runners-up:

Kagome:  "That wasn't very nice what you did."
Inuyasha:  "It's not my fault he dressed up like a fire hydrant!"
- Traypaniel Teagle II

Funny stuff, folks. Keep it up! Here's this week's screenshot:

Didn't win this time? Need the sweet nectar of victory to wash the bitter taste of defeat from your mouth? Then it's your job to come up with the funniest caption possible. It could be dialogue, or a line or two explaining what's happening, or anything you like; it just has to make me laugh! A few words of warning:

1. Keep it clean. I won't tolerate any profanity beyond "damn" or "hell". Unless it's ridiculously funny and kinda subtle, refrain from potty humor or overt sexual references.
2. Humor that's only funny if you've seen the show the screencap is from is inherently not funny. The joke should be something anyone looking at the picture can understand.
3. The deadline for that week's contest is always Wednesday at midnight. Winners will be announced in this space every week, and they'll also be notified by email.
4. Winners will recieve their prizes anywhere from 4-6 weeks after they're announced.

5. Entrants outside the US and Canada are inelligible, unless you have a US or Canadian address I can mail the prize to.

This week's prize? Thar she blows:

That's right ! It's ADV's thinpak box set of the entire first season of Kaleido Star, 26 episodes of Gonzo's kinda-girly masterpiece about some chick who wants to join the circus! It's on shelves now, but it can be yours for FREE if you're funny enough. Email your captions to [email protected]

See you next week!

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