- Dragonball Z s2
- Kamisama Kiss
So the first dubbed Naruto DVD comes out this week. I'm looking forward to hundreds of emails saying "This Naruto DVD I bought doesn't have the Japanese version on it! BLASPHEMY!". I figured I'd head this one off at the pass:
Is Viz releasing an uncut Naruto DVD set? YES. YES, A THOUSAND TIMES YES. If you want the subtitled version, don't buy Tuesday's release. If you're cool with the dub, it's a good DVD for the price (plus it comes with a free poster and a stack of Shonen Jump ads; it's like buying a Disney DVD!).
Anyway, on with the show.
So that silly little kneejerk reaction to Bleach this week got me thinking about a similar reaction I felt when I heard Tsubasa was snapped up by Funimation, and thought it'd be a good opportunity to ask about Tsubasa's localization prospects.
Now, before any Funimation fans get mad at me, I know Funimation has improved a lot since the old days, and one can hardly blame them for making DBZ (already a fairly vapid and shallow property) nearly unwatchable, since that's pretty squarely the fault of the series itself....though I'm still not fond of the voice ensemble they've got, at least we know now that Tsubasa will be coming over, right? Anyway, my question's not about the quality of the dub—it regards Funimation's seeming buddy-buddy relationship with Cartoon Network.
Namely, what would you say are the chances of Tsubasa ending up picked up by either Toonami or Adult Swim? I know CLAMP isn't usually the sort of thing you'd expect to see on Cartoon Network (barring that abominable "Card Captors" dub they ran for a while), but Tsubasa's much more accessible to CN's usual demographic. Only problem I really see is whether or not the fact that a lot of the fans won't get a lot of the crossovers will make a big difference. How big a concern do you think that would be for Cartoon Network?
Also, just as a general question since we're already on the subject of CLAMP, do you think there's a chance that shoujo anime might start to show up more on mainstream television in the future? I know a lot of us still don't get channels like The Anime Network or Imaginasian (myself included), so our only options for televised shoujo are the children's properties on the WB and Fox. Still, I seem to recall Cartoon Network had stopped showing Sailor Moon (before the license ran out) specifically because its ratings were *too* high (in the wrong demographic for that timeslot, of course—it'd be silly to cancel a show that was getting high ratings in the demographic they wanted), and I guess they just couldn't get the right sponsors for that timeslot, so apparently the audience was there, as of a few years ago. I would think it had only grown with the rest of the anime market.
So Dragon Ball Z is "vapid and shallow", but Tsubasa Chronicle, a standard adventure series that doubles as a gimmicky cash grab for CLAMP is high art?
I kid, I kid. Although Tsubasa put me to sleep a lot faster than Dragon Ball Z did. Which ties into my answer to your first question.
Having seen some of the Tsubasa anime series (which was unfortunately handled by Bee-Train, which means endless loops of Yuki Kajiura music and slow pans across spare backgrounds), I can tell you the show simply doesn't have the common characteristics of something that'd be seen on Cartoon Network. There isn't a heavy focus on action and, as you said, the series plays somewhat as a giant in-joke for longtime CLAMP fanatics; your standard 12-year old is going to have no clue who these people are. Sure, it functions also as a fairly simple adventure story, but by and large the main appeal here are the repurposed CLAMP characters. Personally, I don't see it happening, but anything's possible. If it aired anywhere, I'd wager it might appear on Toonami (or at 5 in the morning, a'la .hack//SIGN).
As for your final question there, it's a bit complicated. The future of shojo anime on American TV relies heavily on the popularity of what's playing now. Tokyo Mew Mew hardly set the Neilsen ratings on fire, and Magical DoReMi didn't seem to kick up a lot of dust either. The problem is that girls also love shows that are commonly seen as being geared towards boys; I know just as many girls who watch Naruto on Toonami as I do boys. The same logic applies to series like Fullmetal Alchemist, Samurai Champloo and whatnot. On the flip side, boys won't watch shows aimed at girls; while Suzie might love Rurouni Kenshin, you'd have to duct tape Billy to the chair to get him to sit through Pretty Cure. Unless there's a Major breakout hit - or a cable channel takes a risk and decides to start airing Kodocha or Fruits Basket (although with FUNimation's recent announcement, this may happen sooner rather than later) and they prove to be successful, you're going to be stuck with whatever 4Kids gives you for a while.
Also, I'm not familiar with your Sailor Moon story there but I know the show isn't aired anymore because Cartoon Network had exhausted the episodes they had and let the broadcasting license expire back in 2003. Although there are a handful of Sailor Moon fans who will argue otherwise, the show's decline in recent years is due to fading popularity and the increasing age of the series rather than some grand conspiracy. Still, I've put in an inquiry with my contact over at the network and I'll update next week when and if they get back to me.
No flake, just a kitten.
We're still on hiatus! If you've won something in the Answerman column in the past month or so (or longer) and haven't received it yet, please drop me an email with your name, address, and the prize you won. I'll double check my records and get it out to you if it hasn't been shipped yet. Our regular contest will return in April.
See you next week!