Hey, Answerman!

by Zac Bertschy, Mar 17th 2006


I've no patience for introductions this week, so let's just get busy.


Rumors are floating around the FMA forum on fanfiction.net that the movie "Conqueror of Shambala will get a theatrical release in 2007;  and FUN-imation has licensed the movie. I've looked around anime new network for more info, but this is so new, maybe it hasn't been confirmed yet.   What is the straight story, please?  Thank you.

There is no 'straight story' yet because there's no story at all. Funimation has indeed licensed the film, but they've said nothing at all about a theatrical release, but they did mention that it'll be out on DVD the same day as the final volume of the series, in October (which is a really excellent release idea; now fans don't have to wait to find out what happens!).
They might elect to do a brief theater run, a'la what they're doing now with Dragon Ball Z: Fusion Reborn, but given the truncated DVD release window, I'm skeptical about that.
Ooops, it turns out that Lance Heiskell of Funimation has hinted in online posts that there will be a theatrical release. So stay hopeful, but remember it still isn't oficially guaranteed.



Recently in your column you responded to someone's question as to why an anime season costs more than say a season of the Simpsons.  My question is why can't anime companies put there content on itunes or a similar service? Comedy Central recently started offering subscriptions to the Daily Show for $9.99 a month, roughly 16 episodes.  So why couldn't an anime company in Japan offer new seasons of there shows for $20 to $30 a season based on number of episodes.  An episode could air in Japan give them a month to subtitle it then put it on itunes.  This would also circumvent the problem of fansubbing because this content would be offered in the United States. The way I see it they would get money we would get new anime everyone is happy.

The whole iTunes thing has been knocked around for quite some time, and the same economics I outlined last time apply to this issue as well.

Anime is vastly more expensive for stateside licensors to release; they can't afford to offer a series for $1.99 an episode because their cost per episode is far greater than that. Anime fans would have to expect to pay somewhere around $4.99 (or more) per. It's the same reason the DVDs are more expensive; it costs ABC virtually nothing to put Lost up on iTunes, and the $1.99 they get per download is pure profit. What's more, since the relative quality of video downloads on iTunes is fairly low, they can count on those sales eventually turning in to DVD sales... whereas with anime, the per-episode cost basically makes the series cost as much - if not more than - the DVD you'd buy at the store, which of course would be much higher quality. Why bother with iTunes when you're paying the same for a lower-quality release?

The other thing your theory doesn't take into account is the fact that subtitled-only releases are geared towards a very niche audience. Dubs are vastly more popular than subs; any anime company looking to break even on an iTunes deal would have to offer a dubbed version, since it'd outsell the sub by a pretty large margin.

Economically, iTunes is problematic (but not improbable) when it comes to anime. As for fansubs, you're probably never going to find a 'replacement' for fansubs that involves the exchange of money. Too many people download them because they're free, not because they're especially enthusiastic about the show. You might slow it down a bit and the honest fans would likely be happy to pay a nominal fee, but there are still going to be a large chunk of people who simply refuse to pay for anything.



I know not many people care about this anymore, but I do.  Now that 4Kids doesnt have pokemon anymore, is there any chance at all that it might have a subtitled, unedited release?  I know it's made for young children and not alot was changed, but it still was changed a litte.  I have always wanted to see pokemon uncut, and subtitled, But I knew 4Kids would probably never do that, and unlike show like OnePiece and Tokyo Mew Mew, fansubs are pretty much nonexistant for this show.  Ever since PokemonUSA has gotten the license, I haven't really heard much about how they were planning to release it.  Do you know if there is any chance at all, even a tiny one, that it could finally have an unedited release?  I am hoping against hope for this.  Thank you for reading my question.

Short answer: No.

Longer answer: It isn't necessarily 4kids that kept an unedited, subtitled release of Pokemon away from the market; you can blame the market itself for that. The potential customer base for such a thing is absolutely miniscule; unless they wanted to lose a whole lot of money, I just can't see that happening.

While kids' shows like Pokemon and Magical DoReMi and Digimon do have adult fans (very vocal adult fans, as well), the reality of the situation is that as much as these folks say they'd like uncut, subtitled versions of these series, the market just wouldn't support the release. If we look at what happened with Shaman King and Yu-Gi-Oh!, fans were asking for subbed DVDs for years and upon release didn't actually buy them (or there simply wasn't as much interest in these as the internet might have suggested). I have no reason to think that a series that skews even younger than those two - a'la Pokemon - wouldn't meet a similar fate.


Now to the question ..... I am interesting on expanding my website to have Trailers, etc ... but before I do that is there any legal issues regarding putting trailers up for download on your site? I mean I am trying to promote their show .... And if it is illegal is there someone whom I can contact to get rights to place those trailers on my website?

The easiest way to go about doing this would probably be to simply contact the companies that have trailers you'd be interested in hosting and asking them nicely. It's a promotional tool, I'm sure they'd want as many people as possible checking the trailers out. I wouldn't bother doing it without permission; asking first is a great way to establish a relationship with PR folks, who will likely give you even more promo material to host on your site.

Not so much a question, but sound advice from this guy:

I don't have a question, but instead, I'd like to make a statement. For months of reading your column, I've seen dozens of poorly thought out ideas for anime and manga sent in to you. Most are very basic and cliche storylines about adventure and magic, and most of them will never be published, ever. However, I'd like to tell you a different type of story. For the last 8 years, I've been working on a story. It started out crude: the cliched story of a group of bounty hunters and one of their destinies. I too wanted it make it into an anime, not actually doing anything myself, but living under the dream that if I sent it into a company, they'd make it for me because it was so good. But no, I didn't send it into a company. I kept it my own, and I kept working on it. I decided that I'd make it better, so the company I sent it to wouldn't change the story any. A year or two later, it was mine. No way was I going to send it ! in to a company: I would make it a manga, by myself. Years later, I kept working on the story, building up the story and characters and history. It's been 8 long years of working in my spare time. The story is no longer a simple action/comedy manga about bounty hunters. Through my growth as a person, the story has evolved to a much greater epic about a man's conflict in defining good and evil in his life. No longer a manga dream, but a reality in the form a novel. Five novels, actually; each around 800 pages long. Recently, I was offered a publishing opportunity, and I turned it down for now. The story is mine, and I've hardly begun. It'll be longer and greater than I ever could have imagined those years ago, and only when I feel I've had my fun writing it will I choose to publish it. The point of this letter is this: Kids out there who have a story to tell, don't let others get you down, but don't feel you can do it all yourself. You can get published if you want to, but you have ! to be passionate about your story. It can't just be a whim or passing thought if you truly want to tell it. Love your story, and make it yours.

Good advice, pal. The only thing I have to add to this is that turning down a publishing opportunity for your first novel is generally a bad idea. Generally, you're lucky if your tenth idea attracts publisher interest; unless the deal skews wildly in favor of the publisher, as a novice writer, take the opportunities given to you and build your career. You won't get anywhere being too protective of your story; ultimately, you want people to read it, right?






Who saw this one coming?

oh god whu did VIZhave to get my beloved BLEACH they witll just bucher it to pieces and change all the names and take out all the violence, please tell me this is all a nightmare

I'm not sure why but every time a popular show gets licensed there are people who feel it's their duty to have some bizarro kneejerk overreaction to the announcement. Why do people think Viz is going to 'butcher' Bleach? Why do people always assume that the fansub is 'pure' and the commercial version is somehow lacking? I don't get this attitude at all. Viz is even releasing uncut Naruto DVDs - a show aimed at a younger audience than Bleach. Why assume they won't do the same thing?

I suppose I don't understand because I don't seem to live on the same planet as these people. Anyway, here's a kitten.






Win Answerman's Stuff is currently on hiatus; we have a lot of exciting new contests coming up over the next month or so, and I'd like to catch my breath and disperse all the prizes from the last few rounds. Keep an eye on the front page over the next few weeks; we've got some really exciting stuff planned for you!

See you next week!


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