Hey, Answerman!

by Brian Hanson, May 22nd 2009

Hi I'm Brian! I'm the Answerman. I am very, very tired right now, so let's cut to the chase. So to speak.


Greetings, I was wondering if there is a way for ANN to contact companies like Funimation or Viz regarding a middle east channel called "Space Toon/Space Power" (the name appears in some ANN pages like the Hunter X Hunter page where it says "2003 (Middle East - Spacetoon Broadcast)" in "Vintage"), this channel is not only broadcasting Animes which it does not license, it also went as far as broadcasting Ova's like Hunter X Hunter's and Movies like Detective Conan's, no matter how you we look at it there's something Illegal about this since Ova's never get broadcasted on TV, if it is beyond your power to deliver this notice to a company that could act and maybe sure that Channel (it especially broadcasts Animes licensed by Funimation) then could you please recommend a course of action that I should take? I can't just ignore this matter now that I'm aware of it, Thank You Very Much.

I admire the concern, definitely, but that's not really Funimation's problem. If Hunter X Hunter and "Case Closed" were airing somewhere in North America without Viz or Funimation's consent, then yes, they should of course be notified and they would take whatever course of action necessary to take care of it.

Unfortunately, Funimation's license for their shows really only applies to the US. For the most part, Japanese licensors are mostly concerned with extending their properties to Asia, Europe, Australia, and North America. Because, let's be frank here, they're first-world countries. They know that there's a large enough demographic of confused young people in those territories willing to fritter their time and money away buying DVDs and books and toys and such. And considering that the current global economic climate has made it difficult to market shows even in THOSE territories, you can be sure that the Japanese companies aren't terribly concerned with how their properties are handled elsewhere.

That's not to say that they don't care about their shows in other parts of the world. I'm sure if they were notified that their shows were being aired without their consent, they would take all the necessary steps to, in a perfect world, allow their shows to be aired legitimately. More than likely, though, they'd simply be pulled from the air.

So, really, the Japanese license holders are the ones to be notified of this. My gleeful optimism hopes that people on the Japanese side of the industry pay attention to what I print in my column every week, because it helps me sleep at night to think that actual Important People read what I have to say. Either way, the ball is in their court on this one.


Hi,

I am a junior in high school and I am currently working on a project for my journalism class about anime. I just need some simple information about anime. I know that I can just look up information about it, but my teacher requires that I have a source. I would really appreciate it if you could help. Perhaps, if you are too busy with all the emails that you receive, you could have someone else help me, but help is greatly needed either way.

By "sources" I'm going to assume that your journalism teacher, being a journalism teacher, wants you to source relevant books, instead of internet sites and circumspect Wikipedia entries. Fair enough.

There have been quite a few books written by rather intelligent folks in the anime industry that I can name off the top of my head, though some of them are several years old at this point. Regardless, it'll give you a place to start looking.

The Anime Encyclopedia is probably your best bet if you're looking for a legitimate source for anything. I have a litany of issues with it - mainly with the snarky, dismissive tone that occupies half of the synopses of the various titles, which is at tremendous odds with the otherwise educational mood of the thing - but it's the most exhaustively informative book on anime in North America, bar none. Provided, of course, that you're not trying to source something beyond the year 2006, since that's when it was last updated.

Anime From Akira to Howl's Moving Castle is less exhaustive, but definitely as informative. Susan Napier is a really engaging writer, and manages to exude a calmly philosophical dialog about anime's major works. It's scope is pretty limited, focusing on only a few dozen titles, but, again, it's a great place to start if you're also looking for an educated critique of anime from a social standpoint.

The last one I want to throw out there is Fred Patten's Watching Anime, Reading Manga. The other books I've mentioned deal mostly with anime itself, while Fred's book has a lot of interesting anecdotes and stories about anime fandom, and its various incarnations throughout the years.

Between the three of those, you should probably have enough material to cover your average high-school journalism project. You *should* be able to find at least the Anime Encyclopedia at your local library, and I know I've seen the other two at mine. Good luck and Godspeed! By the way, when it's done, email me your grade. I'll post it. Unless it's terrible and you don't want me to.

Nerdy Personal Note: For *my* junior-year research project, I wanted to write a paper contrasting the evolution of American animation with Japanese animation. I worked on it non-stop for over a month and had to stop when it reached page 20 or so, and I remarked to my teacher that I was still only half-finished, and tried to convince her to give me more time to work on it. She didn't, but I still got an A. I wish I still had it, honestly - It had probably the most effort and research I've ever poured into anything I've ever written.


I have two somewhat involved questions, so I'm going to divide this email into two parts.
Part1: I've been reading the Peace Maker manga (haven't gotten to the Peacemaker Kurogane volumes yet) and I honestly can't decide whether I like the manga or not. On the one hand, the characters are interestingly written, the story is likewise interesting, and the art is nice to look at. On the other hand, the characters appear and disappear seemingly randomly, the story is kind of confusingly presented, and the art is also confusing. But it's about the Shinsengumi, so I keep reading it. Anyway, I know there is an animated version of the series, which I haven't found anywhere so far; my question is, is the anime version enough better than the manga to justify hunting it down?

Part 2: I have been a manga/anime fan for 5 years now, and I have noticed something peculiar. With regards to shonen manga/anime, the female characters, including the series' heroine, tend to be assertive (sometimes even violent), self-reliant and strong-minded (examples: Gintama, Martian Successor Nadesico, Rurouni Kenshin.) Shojo series, on the other hand, tend to present their heroines as being either passive, limp-wristed and meek, or as being dumb, flighty and constantly in need of rescue from situations caused by the aforementioned dumbness and flightiness (examples: Fushigi Yugi, Fruits Basket, Tail of the Moon.) My question is, why are series aimed at girls so often giving them such useless characters to identify with? It doesn't seem as if guys have a problem accepting the idea of strong females, as one rarely encounters a female character of the useless type in a shonen series. So why are girls consistently given such pathetic wusses as their "reader's stand-in"?

You jerks and your two-part questions! I should start charging extra for these two-part things. I realize that I charge nothing, so I should start charging DOUBLE-nothing. Yeah.

Part 1: Peace Maker the anime is okay. I think. Actually, I wrote a passive-aggressive pan of the show when I first started writing about anime, over at Anime Jump! So rather than repeat myself I'll just let you read what I thought of the show when I was 19.

Part 2: I regard the typical, nebbish, Mary-Sue-esque protagonists of Shoujo as kindred spirits of the bland, forgettable, Gary-Stu-esque dudes who star in every lame harem anime targeted towards lonely men. It's purely wish-fulfillment, is what I'm getting at. Girls enjoy projecting themselves into a vampire-related love triangle just as much as dudes who wish that they were the guy in that show who falls into boobs often. Is it sad? Yes. For the most part, though, it's harmless. My guess is that Miyazaki holds a copyright on strong-willed engaging heroines in anime, so everyone else just kinda backs off.




Another week, another curiously odd email!

Dear Answerman,

Why do you pretend you're not white? Usually its the minorities who like to pretend they're another race (you know its true, like how black guys used to do that painful thing with their hair you know what I'm talking about) or are you afraid with a name like Caucasian Answerman people would think you're racist?

I don't really think Hey, Answerman! is the proper forum to discuss current attitudes towards racism, be it perceived or otherwise. So I drew a doodle.


Of course, a quick plug: I just updated my personal website with a bunch of lousy cartoons, so Click Here and enjoy, maybe! Warning: naughty, NSFW language abounds.





Convention season starts in only a matter of weeks, so let's see how you guys responded to last week's question, which was...


Starting us off, Shareece has wing problems:

Dear Answerman,

When I first read your question, I jumped at the possiblities! I have three costumes that have been on my cosplay list for over 5 years, just because they would cost so much! So let's kick this pig!

1. Blue Fashion Dress from Paradise Kiss. This one has been on here forever! The dress alone would cost at least $200 to make, and than the beads for the hand beading at least $100, and than the wig. Oh, the wig of DOOM! Would be $100. As you can see this is just a guessament, and would put many people in the red.

2. Complete Tradtional Kimono Kitsune from Stephanie Kao. Since this one will be not just all of the silk and kimono, but also the wiring, and the fake fur, and many other things, the cost would kick me in the tail. (I know, bad fox pun.) But it would be so cool, if I could get it done.

3.Last but not least, Steel Angel Kurumi, Demonic Kurumi. I would like a try at wings again. Wings in general cost alot of money since feathers are spendy, unless you want to tackle a live turkey on your own. Though the actual outfit is easy and on the low for cost, the wings tip it way over the affordable side. Last time I tried wings, it cost me $300, so these ones, I would go beyound just to make sure that they look and work right.

Ah, but money is a fickle thing. :) Anyways! Thank you for your time and read you later!

Caris McCoolness wants to look awesome:

If only if only time and money were no boundary. Still, if they weren't, oh the things i could do. I would create all the costumes for all the major characters of Escaflowne, the show, not that movie...thing. I would make myself a Hitome costume, and then hire a bunch of scientist. They would create a working Escaflowne for me that can actually turn into a dragon, and I would fly around on it in my costume, looking completely awesome.

David is a Knight of the Zodiac:

Hi, Answerman,

My name is David and I'm a long-time read, first-time writer to this column.

The moment I read the question I knew exactly what cosplay I want to make since I have been wanting to make it for a long time due to various reasons. Time and money are certainly two reasons. The third reason is the necessary cosplay-making skills that I need to be make it, which would be the Sagittarius Gold Coth from Saint Seiya (http://darkdiamond.net/wp-content/uploads/2008/03/saint-seiya-sagitarius-armor-thumb.jpg). As you see, it's very elaborate and I only started cosplaying since 2006 and made several already, but imo not skillful myself to undertake such a project. I'm gradually improving my skills though, esp my Gourry cosplay.

I've been watching Seiya since it first came out in 1986 when I was 6-7 in Taiwan and could not forget those cool cloth/armors, esp the gold ones. I didn't care much for the plot then and don't care much for it now either as I'm currently rewatching Saint Seiya, but man, those cloth are so slick, tough, and powerful. Since money isn't an issue, I would also make the cloth out of metal, like aluminum, since fabric or Wonder plastic don't do it justice.

I think I'll do it sometimes soon before job and family take over or worse, being too old to wear it: I sure don't want to be that middle-ager, wearing armor that are meant for much young ones.

Ryan has a dream. A robotic dream:

With those resources I'd chart a trip to New Zealand to request the help of either Weta Workshop or Stan Winston Studio, and using third party components make the most comfortable Evangelion Unit-Two costume possible. As a mecha fan its always been a dream to do a tribute to at least one of the robots, cyborgs, cyber punks, etc. I've grown up watching. Yelling "Heck ya!" when you finally wear that (fake but awesome looking)four-eyed heat/movement sensor equipped helmet for the first time!

Most of all though cosplay as one of the evangelions guarantees something... no blocky and awkward limb armor parts that make you trip or exhaust you moving three feet! So unleashed with that gift all the outward armor panels would be a durable aluminum composite. LED lights for the unit designations on the top part of the arm and wrists, as well as the four eyes inside and the heat sensors on the side of the helmet. Now for the skin tight 'cloth' armor worn under the external plates was doomed to end up a compromise of something stitched up. Until a year ago, when Speedo showcased their LZR swimsuit(all the parts of the suit welded together, meaning almost no noticeable seams!) at the Beijing Olympics. So with that flowing amount of money I'm sure Speedo wouldn't mind producing a custom LZR patterned after Eva Two's 'cloth' armor with a few steel hard points attached on extra to keep the armor pieces from falling off. Lastly a solar panel system like those showing up in some back packs(not kidding) installed in the shoulder armor racks to power the LEDS.

Had this idea in my head since age 14, and at 20 have been working in innovations I've seen in the news, read about, and tested even in the case of the solar backpack. Unfortunately until I win the lottery or something, these ideas will remain an amusing daydream.

Everyone wants to have some kind of working dang robot thing. Including supermarioman:

Claus Valica from Last Exile. With a working full scale version of his vanship. Buzzing convention center in small plane with transparent fiberglass wings = Awesome.

Rounding it out tonight are three concise, one-sentence answers that hopefully require no explanation. Although, in Ian Strope's case, it probably does:

ED 209. There'd be so many ropes and foot levers inside of that thing.

Michael wants to be:

The dream cosplay project if time and money were no object? Two words: PERFECT CELL!

Lastly, and most importantly, Olivia wants to be the most important cultural figure of the 20th and 21st centuries combined:

Three words:

Chairman freakin' Kaga.

For next week's Answerfans, reader Raichu Five Two Six actually gave me a really great suggestion that I changed a bit. Thanks dude! Unless you're not a dude, and in fact a lady.




Now you've got this week's question, and it's time to get answerin'.

For those of you new to Hey, Answerfans!, I'll explain the concept.


Believe it or not, I'm genuinely curious what you think.

That's right; as much as I love the sound of my own voice, I do love to listen to what other people have to say on a subject. I'm finding that over the last few years, the attitudes, reasoning and logic that today's anime fans use eludes, confuses or astounds me; I hve so many questions for you, and I'm dying to hear what you have to say in response.

Welcome to Hey, Answerfans!

Basically, we're turning the tables. Each week I'm going to ask you a question, and I want you to email me your answer. Be as honest as you can. I'm looking for good answers; not answers I agree with or approve of, but good, thoughtful answers
. People feel passionately about these subjects and I'd like to see that in the responses I get. I'll post the best answers I get, and maybe some of the crappy ones. Sometimes there may only be one or two good ones; sometimes five or more. It all depends on what I get in my inbox! Got it? Pretty simple, right? Start writing those answers and email them to answerman [at] animenewsnetwork dot com.

We do have a few simple ground rules to start with.

Things To Do:

* Be coherent.
* Be thoughtful.
* Be passionate.
* Write as much or as little as you feel you need to to get your point across in the best possible way.

Things Not To Do:

* Respond when the question doesn't apply to you. For instance, if your email response starts with "Well, I don't do whatever you're asking about in the question... " then I'm going to stop reading right there and hit delete. * Be unnecessarily rude or use a lot of foul language.
* Go off-topic.

And there we go, another Answerman in the can. And now to move my sunken, shallow figure hopefully to sleep. But most likely I will end up on YouTube or Facebook or some other nefarious internet invention. I'll be around next week to lob answers at you, so be there!


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