Hey, Answerman!

by Brian Hanson, May 22nd 2010

Yes indeedy, it's time for another Hey, Answerman! Welcome back, y'all.

I'll be taking the next week off so I can visit family in Maryland, and then embarrass them with stories about how I'm the fourth or fifth most-popular combination of anime writer and playwright living in the Southwestern United States. And then they'll ask me how come I never went to Art School, and I'll be all like, "LIFE IS MY ART SCHOOL" and get really defensive about everything for no reason.

Yep, another day at the Hanson household. Anyway, I do believe you had some questions I answered.


How come Funimation has so many re-releases? I've had this question bouncing around in my head since the Funi People ANNcast a while ago when Lance made a comment about how too many people wait for the boxsets to be released. My first thought immediately after hearing that was, "You guys release a complete collection 6 months after the second half is out and then you re-release it 3-4 more times after that, all the while knocking off about $10 each time. How can people not wait? We know a cheaper version is coming, it just becomes a waiting game."

Since I haven't been apart of the anime community for very long (about 2 years), I went back and looked at some older releases of Right Stuf, ADV, Geneon and Bandai and noticed that the boxsets came out 1-3 years later and there weren't any or very little re-releases. From an outside perspective, that seems like a much better idea. Force people to pick up the singles/half sets, milk those for all they're worth, then pick up the scraps on the patient stragglers with a boxset after a year or two and then a re-release it a year or two after for the newbies who missed it. Funimation, however, goes: release the singles/half sets, release a complete collection a couple months later, release a Viridian Collection and then release an S.A.V.E. They also throw in blu-rays and combine seasons/ovas/movies. It just seems more detrimental than helpful because not a lot of people will buy the first run due to them waiting for the cheap release coming sooner rather than later. I don't know if this is "proof", but if you just browse the AoD forums, you'll see a lot of "I'll wait for the boxset/VC/S.A.V.E." comments and I'm sure that's something Funimation doesn't want to hear.

Waiting for boxsets is something I can totally sympathize with. I know I felt kind of dinged when I sprung for the initial half-season sets for Fullmetal Alchemist, only to see the actual season sets come out less than a year later. Caveat emptor, I guess.

But! Waiting for a cheaper boxed set of something that's a proven hit, like FMA, is a completely different animal than waiting it out for a show that's something of a commercial risk. Case in point: Big Windup!. Everybody who decided to sit it out and see if or when Big Windup! would, pardon the pun, wind up as a cheaper collection were partly responsible for the show being the sales disappointment it was. Who knows, we may even still see a Big Windup! Viridian collection somewhere down the line - but you know what we WON'T be seeing? The second season.

The whole notion of anime in boxsets is still a pretty recent invention of the US anime market, one that's been met with a lot of resistance from the Japanese side of things, where high-priced single-volume releases are still the norm. And Funimation's a pretty savvy company, so I'd have to assume that their weirdly staggered release schedule for their titles has to be working for them in some way, otherwise they wouldn't be bothering with them. Even then, though, those initial sales are still rather important, especially for titles that are a bit of a risky venture. Let's just say that Company A licenses Show B, but only the first season, and you REALLY LOVE Show B and want to support it so the second season can come stateside. In that case, buy the hell out of that first print run of Show B and love it and cherish it and sing it sweet songs at night, because the only good that waiting will do in that case is to show Company A how unenthusiastic the fans for Show B are.

And if you multiply Show B by the cosine of Company A, and the sun is directly facing due East and it's 6:00 on a Tuesday, what will the temperature be in Prague? Show your work.


Hey Answerman!

How come the staff of J-Popcon, the largest anime con in Denmark, decided it was a good idea to bring Vic Mignogna to the next convention!!? I don't get the reasoning behind it, I simply don't.

Simple, my Danish friend! J-Popcon is a large anime con, and Vic Mignogna is a very well-known name to anime fans in the English speaking world. You certainly know who he is, and there's probably going to be hundreds of others in attendance that will know him as well.

You can have your opinions about Vic Mignogna, and God knows everybody seems to, but he's quite a popular figure in the Western Anime realm, and let it be said that the guy really knows how to work a crowd. I think that's about as fitting a reason to book a guest for an anime convention, even one in Denmark.


Answerman,

I regularly lurk anime forums but I have begun to notice something odd. People are suggesting that one should watch English dubbing with their anime even going as far as complaining when an English track isn't present on a R1 DVD. As a person who for so long has just defaulted to the subtitles this unnerved me a bit as I'm sure you can imagine. Now don't get me wrong if a dub sounds good I wouldn't protest watching it but the concept of willfully watching anime in English is just so alien to me. I guess, my question is or in this instance they are. When did this start? Am I just blind and it's always been this way or is it a new thing? Is it backlash against years of nerds obsessed with Japan or something that just happened naturally? Am I backward for starting with subtitles without thinking of checking to see if the dub is good?

From what I've noticed, there's two types of people who're freaking out about the no-dubs-on-DVDs-anymore thing: there are more casual fans who were exposed to anime entirely through dubs, via Toonami and Adult Swim and what-have-you, and the idea of watching anime without a dub is so alien and strange to them that it acts as a deterrent. And then there are the people who are pretty diehard DVD collectors, who've gotten so used to every DVD they own having bilingual English/Japanese audio tracks that they're now feeling kind of cheated. Even though they might usually default to the subtitle track, the inclusion of a dub was a nice option to have that they no longer can depend on.

I'm sure there might be one or two misanthropic, self-hating anime fans who hate said "nerds obsessed with Japan," but largely I think this issue is one that's developed pretty naturally. For about 10 years now, since DVDs started to become commonplace, people were quite used to having the choice of a sub, or a dub. And now for a lot of new and upcoming titles, that choice is simply gone, and for a lot of people who either chose to watch things dubbed or simply enjoyed the option of having that choice itself are feeling left out in the cold. Whenever there's a pretty drastic change in the status quo, no matter what it is, you can rest assured that people are going to have some problems with it. And for the past decade, it's been a sort of a given that you can watch your anime with an English dub or with subtitles, and when you make a sort of radical decision to keep costs down in order to stay financially afloat in this troubled economy, that's going to cause a lot of conflicted reactions amongst even the most staunchly dedicated anime fans.





If you listened to ANNCast last week, you'll recall that Zac and I had some stern words about a certain sick individual and our decision NOT to post his bitter, foul garbage across the internet. I guess he listens to the podcast, because he wrote back! And he was just as impotently angry and sour and epitomizing of human failure as ever before. I'm not going to post the whole thing, heavens no; he doesn't deserve an audience as vast and numerous as my readers. But here's a little taste:

Answerman.

Why should I care what you people at Anime Fictional News Service think? What? If you posted what I wrote, I would be as popular online as "Penguintruth"? Who is that again? So as a grown man, your job is to watch animation from Japan and answer question from people under 18, while calling said "job" a news service [just like Radio Disney, except more people listen to Radio Disney than you].... And I'm the one called "a flake"? Fine, like I care.



Mercy! I do believe it is now time for HEY, ANSWERFANS. Extraneously capitalized for extra emphasis. So, last week's question was...


Willag begins this week with a lengthy screed against vampires and the nuns who love them:

**WARNING! THIS POST HAS SPOILERS FOR THE ANIME AND MANGA OF “CHRONO CRUSADE”**

Single biggest disappointment? That's easy: the anime adaption of Chrono Crusade.

Chrono Crusade is my favorite manga series ever. I remember stumbling across it in B&N and buying it with my Christmas money just purely based off the cover, the art style, and the fact that it was set in 1920s America. Best impulse buy ever (and I rarely do impulse buys). From the beginning chapter I was hooked.

I love everything about it: the plot, the characters, the humor, the drama, the art style, the nuns with guns… but most importantly, I loved Rosette, Chrno, and their partnership. Rosette was the first female in anime that I really, really admired. All of her abilities were gained through hard work and determination; she had a strong passion for life; she hated to give up; she had an “act now, think later” mentality; she was greedy, impatient, stubborn, impulsive, hot-headed and yet also compassionate, sympathetic, loyal, and trusting.

I mentioned being hooked from just first chapter? In it, Rosette and Chrno fight off a guardian idol that was taken from a foreign country, whose intention behind killing all of the crew on board the ship was to return home. Rosette sees its memories before she finally puts it to rest. It was clear that she was disgusted with the monster for what it did; and yet, later on, she loosens the seal on the pocket watch to allow Chrno to send the guardian idol home again. This is a glimpse into Rosette's character. She loves her life, she treasures every second of it, and yet she willingly gives up a bit of her lifetime out of sympathy. I didn't understand that moment and what it truly signified until I got to the end of the first volume, but once I did it made me admire her all the more.

The anime never had that scene. If the monster had any motivation other than to kill for the sake of killing, we never see it. It's simply nothing more than a plot device to show “demons = evil” & “God's children who fight demons = good”. Not only do we miss out on a really good Rosette scene, but the characters have been reduced down to simple representations of Good vs. Evil… as we see in several following episodes as well. Oh goody.

I think almost all of the antagonists were flogged with the Card Carrying Villain syndrome. Any sort of humanistic traits, flaws, or well-intentions were beaten to death and replaced with a stupid, cop-out stereotype. All of the depth to the characters is gone – wham, bam, screw you ma'am.

Oh, and it's not just the villains who had an Adaptation Decay. The rest of the cast were flanderized to their simplest, most annoying traits. Rosette was the loud, blow-things-out-of-proportion hothead; Chrno was the meek, submissive wimpy man-child; Satella was the cardboard fanservice boob woman; and, Azumaria was the ditzy, whiny klutz. GRARGH!

Oh, and this is only the first six episodes. This reaction, the constant desire to smack everyone in the face including myself, can only be considered a mild annoyance to what I felt later on. The first six episodes at least had occasional moments of decency (#5 got the creepy factor down good) mixed in with all of the fanservice, annoying characters, and stupid humor. But then episode 7 – oh god episode 7 – that's when the sh*t officially hit the ceiling. For those of you who've seen it then I bet you can imagine what exactly pissed me off so much. I had half the mind to chuck my tv out the window and break my dvd player, but I was too busy yelling obscenities at the screen to put much effort into anything else.

And then the rest of the series went downhill from there. Why I continued buying and watching it I don't know. It was like a train wreck I couldn't turn away from.

So much was wrong about the anime, but it was the bastardization of Rosette's character that was the hardest pill to swallow. A strong, admirable character is reduced to a catatonic doll played by the strings of fate.

Daisuke Moriyama ended up expressing his opinion on the differences and similarities between the anime and manga: the themes were the same – Rosette and Chrno's bond and the loss of time – but how they were approached were different. “With the anime, you have these currents of time and fate, and the challenge to see how far these personal feelings of ‘trust’ can run through all that […] But I think the manga centers more on Rosette's individual ideology, with a focus on things like how the potential strength of will she possesses can actually change her current situation.” This makes total sense to me… the characters were manipulated with a ruthless disregard for their development in order to further the plot. Pad the anime with the three F's (flawed farking failure) – fluff, filler, and fanservice –to help offbeat the drama and crapfest of Christian themes, and we end up with a failed adaptation.

And to think, I had initially been so excited when I heard about the anime and I had a lot of hopes for it. Piece of crap.

Your loyalty will one day be rewarded, Ahren:

Well if you really want to know what anime series I thought was the most disappointing, then I'll explain... I have seen about a hundred different series. Series of all kinds. I watched all of " When They Cry ", and I highly enjoyed it. The gruesome murders hardly bugged me at all!

(Note: I was a horror movie fan before I became more dedicated to anime. ) I saw the entire series of " Neon Genesis Evangelion " and both the movies that were releaseed on DVD, and I took the endings quite calmly. I've seen " Saikano " and thought it was sad but sweet. I've seen series that I thought were complete crap and series that I thought were incredible. But none of these series caused me much disappointment. However, that all changed after I watched a series on January 17th 2009.

While I was reading an article about "When they Cry " on wikipedia a series came up called " School Days ", I became very curious. So I decided to check this series out on you tube. I still believe to this day that watching that series was the biggest mistake of my life. The first couple of episodes I found only mildly amusing. I finished the last episode and that's when my misery began. The ending was not only greatly disappointing, but absolutely horrifying! In fact I was so upset by the ending that I couldn't sleep that night. This is coming from someone who has celebrated Easter by watching " The Exorcist "!!

I thought that the main character was nothing but a selfish irresponsible jerk whose kindness was only superficial. I thought the other main characters were also selfish, but I don't believe they deserved what they got. To me it seemed like the makers of this anime knew it would be regarded as a dime a dozen harem comedy and decided to do something completely insane to make it unforgettable. I won't forget it no matter how hard I try. Seriously, couldn't they have thought of a more profound or meaningful ending than that. This ending makes Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet seem like a comedy of irony!

Anyway, School Days caused me such disappointment and depression that I'll never be the same. After finishing it, the part of me that knew how to fall in love died! Now I can only understand true love when its in works of fiction. In real life the concept of falling in love confuses me now. I used to think true love was a beautiful thing. Who would believe that a simple 12 episode anime would change my life views so much. Even hanging out with my 2 friends who are a married couple is a bit strained as their public displays of affection never bothered me before, but after watching " School Days " they now confuse me greatly. It feels like they speak a language that I can't understand.

Anyways I am now a broken person compared to what I was. The scary thing is that if School Days is ever released here on DVD, then I would still buy it because I have a severe loyalty to the anime industry!!

May we all grow old and wise together, Derek:

In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice I've been turning over in my mind ever since. “Whenever you feel like revisiting anime,” he told me “just remember that you used to be young and dumb.” In that vein, I'm going to say that Elfen Lied was incredibly disappointing the second and third time I saw it. That was one of the first shows I ever saw, and after the 'OH-MY-GOD-DID-I-JUST-SEE-THAT-RIGHT?' First viewing, I promptly rated it masterpiece and began stealing more anime. After about a year of refining my palate, and realizing that anime was affordable because it was not 1995 and I had a job, I started buying things. I began with what I had downloaded and eventually found myself with a copy of Elfen Lied. In my excitement I popped it into my DVD player and prepared myself for a rollicking good time. Only, it never came. After 4 days of my disc a day viewing rate I said to myself, “That was OK. Right?” and moved on with my life. Then, about a year after that I decided it was time to give it another go. I got about half way through and just stopped. I came to the realization that this show was not very good, and that I used to be younger and dumber.

Honestly I'm pretty sure that anybody about to watch Eiken KNOWS what they're getting into, so they cannot possibly be disappointed, but good lookin' out, Rex:

Good question this week, I am sure you will be hearing alot of words about Eiken.

But my beef is with Funimation. Sorry Funimation I like you guys a lot, you put out alot of very good shows, but since I bought these two titles I feel I have more right to complain they the people who just download free of the Internet.

The 1st is Shattered Angels. This show is like a bad smoothie that you put too many different ingredients in and now you don't want to drink it. It's got beautiful boys/ beautiful girls, the loli character and the older guy who is in love with her, the macho guy with a scar on his face, the insecure girl, the princely guy, the jealous girl who loves the princely guy, some quasi mecha action, an apocalyptic event that happened years ago, a shadowy school government with it's own para-military enforcement branch, and a conspiracy to re-enact the apocalyptic event. It's animation is good, but with too many characters and plot elements going on, nothing ever pans out. A disappointing waste of time and money.

The 2nd would be Murder Princess. It's characters look like they belong on t-shirts in Hot Topic. There is a screwy plot about how they used to have great technology but don't use it anymore. At at the end of our two main characters who have body swapped have not swapped back, and they don't really seem to care. I think they could have used more than 6 episodes to explain things a little better and reach a better conclusion, But I know Funimation had no say in the length of the show.

Sorry Funi, Everything else I've bought from you has been good, but these two were disappointing.

I wish Casshern taught me about irony when I was a kid, Luffy1545:

This question is an easy one for me. The single most disappointing anime or manga that I have ever experienced is, without a doubt, Casshern Sins. This sad tale begins with a simple Youtube curiosity due to what I perceived as a well-directed scene happening in episode 8 where the character Janice sings a song called "A Path." Although it was discovered completely by accident on Youtube, I was very intrigued by the scene. It was emotional, well-thought out, well-composed, and incredibly dramatic as Casshern went from man to possessed-demon machine as he unwillingly slaughtered robots bent seemingly on his destruction.

In my intrigue, I researched the series on Wikipedia (the source of all truth and knowledge) and on Anime News Network (the other source of all truth and knowledge) and saw that it had an interesting plot and was animated by studio Madhouse (respectively), one of my favorites.

I then watched the first 8 episodes. While the visuals were gripping, I soon found all of my interest, intrigue, and excitement for finding a new series dissolving into complete and total boredom. If I may throw out an outline for EVERY SINGLE EPISODE....

Pan yet another post-apocalyptic desert city. Pan slowly to Casshern. VERY slowly.
Casshern: I found a new city. Gosh, I wish I could remember who I am. That, and I hope that someone kills me once I find out. Oh wait, I'm immortal and can't die anyway. How tragic am I.
Random citizen-bots: Ruin ruin ruin ruin ruin.... we're all going to die, no hope left, blah blah blah. Isn't hope just grand? Citizens continue to mope for the next 20 minutes.
Bad robots: Look, you guys! It's Casshern! Apparently, if we eat him we can avoid ruin! Let's eat him!
Casshern: If that means you are going to kill me, then dig in, boys!
Robots attack Casshern. After a couple of punches to the face, his eyes glow some color, a mask appears and he mercilessly slaughters all the robots in question in a ten-second-long action sequence. If we are lucky. Casshern: Well, phooey. I guess I ruined all the robots who were trying to avoid ruin by ruining me.
Casshern turns and faces camera dead-on. Casshern: See kids? IRONY! BEAUTIFUL, TRAGIC IRONY!!!
Only a lot less-exciting.

And that is what happens every single episode without fail. Turns out that in the end, the 2 and a half minute sequence to the part in episode 8 with the the song "A Path" is better than the entire series. What a colossal disappointment.

I wasn't kind on Gurren Lagann on last week's ANNCast, but even I don't "hate" it, Mr. Jarin:

I know the entire internet is going to hate me for this, but the most disappointing anime I've ever seen is Gurren Lagann. When I first heard about the show, I didn't give it much attention because I'm not a fan of mecha anime. However, when I heard all of the rave reviews and saw pictures of the mecha, I decided to give it a try. The first half of the series was okay, though I didn't like the scratchy animation and the characters seemed a little annoying (especially Kamina). The (spoiler alert!) death of Kamina was actually welcomed by me, since I couldn't stand his forced coolness and preaching of awful advice (not realizing that he'd show up in flashback every single episode afterwards). The actions sequences were okay and the character designs were interesting, so I stuck around. Then, during the fight with Lord Genome, things started to go downhill as the series became more melodramatic and more ridiculous, while the characters got even more annoying. As someone who prefers villains over protagonists, I was disappointed when the Beastmen, which at least at some variety among them, were replaced by an army of ugly mass-produced mecha. That hit the "I hate mecha anime" chord because the reason for my dislike of the genre is that the robots all look the same. Of course, I was willing to overlook this to see how the series ended.

I should have quit while I was ahead. As soon as the series went into space, it just turned completely ridiculous, and not the good kind of ridiculous like you see in a lot of comedy anime. It was just stupid. The mecha piloted by other mecha were bad enough, but then practically every episode from then on has some new version of Gurren Lagann that's more ridiculously huge than the last appear. Seeing a mecha piloted by a mecha piloted by a mecha piloted by a mecha is just too horrifically stupid to describe. Then they followed by pointlessly killing all of the side characters that I never cared about in the first place to try and jerk a few tears, while also not killing the one character I wanted to die more than any other (I HATE Atenborough!!). I'm not going to care about a bunch of characters who may have well just been nameless background characters, especially since I couldn't for the life of me remember any of their names. I'm glad I didn't bother to learn. The series' emphasis on all the theoretical physics and such was an interesting choice, but not enough so to justify all of the over-the-top nonsense that occurs. The villains also turned out to be the typical "wants to destroy humanity because humanity is evil"-type that are a dime a dozen these days, a cliche that I think we've all seen far more than one too many times.

The worst part of the series is that it takes itself so seriously. I'm all for wackiness and the like, but only if it's done for the sake of comedy. When the fate of universe hangs on a battle between two horribly drawn mecha the size of a galaxy, I just don't see why I should care. The series is so full of itself and crammed to the bursting with forced badassery that it thinks it can get away with riding on a ridiculous plot, personality-less characters that don't learn anything or change at all by the end, and not having any real conclusion. But, though I may be the only one in the entire world to say it, I'm going to say it loud and proud.

I HATE GURREN LAGANN!

SUSAN HATES PANTY SHOTS!

For me it would be the anime adaptation of Rosario to Vampire. The manga had it's perverse moments but wasn't the FOCUS of the series. It was a genuinely interesting/funny story about a guy who accidentally enrolled in a school specifically for monsters and the vampire who knew his secret.

I was really excited when I found out it was getting an anime adaptation. Oh the horror. What I got was pretty much one extended panty shot. I've grown accustomed over the years to fanservice, and even though I'm female so it doesn't have it's intended effect on me, it generally doesn't bother me. But there's a limit. It actually went well out of it's way, sometimes with ridiculous camera angles, just to make sure there were enough panty shots per frame. It's not an exaggeration to say that I don't think hardly a minute goes by without a schoolgirl's undies on display. Ugh. Plus on top of that all the characters more or less lost their personality traits to turn into the fantasy of the audience this sort of show attracts. It's just one more example of what could have been a great show instead playing to the lowest common denominator (I'm looking at you, The Familiar of Zero...though at least you had enough plot to be tolerable). And honestly? I think that's one of anime's biggest problems today.

And now, B.J. says more on the topic of Final Fantasy Unlimited than most anybody has said about it since 2004:

Something tells me I've been asked this before in a different way because I'm going to harp on a series that I've harped on before: Final Fantasy Unlimited.

When you walk into the anime section of any store (that still sells anime that is; then again, this happened to me some years ago) and you see that there's a Final Fantasy title, your mind explodes at the possibilities. FINAL FANTASY?!?!?! AS ANIME!?!?!?!? Of course, as I checked out each volume from my library, I was slowly and surely worn away into complete disappointment. The writers threw in a handful of allusions from the game franchise and dumbed it down as if it was Conan the Time Detective, and it ended so bizarrely and inadequately. I know that there were light novels and stuff that continued the story but nothing I saw in that series made me want it to continue. I personally think FF:Mystic Quest was better than FF:U.

For a second place I'd go with Jing: King of Bandits. The manga was off-the-wall incredible and unique that I figured the anime would be stellar. What I got was something that could have been animated in Flash. All of the life and energy of the comic was boiled down to stiff, unimaginative animation. I still haven't seen the OVA, which may be better, but I think Jing deserved something more than what I saw.

I agree with Ben on both of these. You and I agree, Ben. (we agree on things)

There have been a fair number of disappointing anime titles I've seen, but in a split decision, Tenchi Muyo OVA 3 (a.k.a. Tenchi Muyo: Ryo-Ohki) edges out Martian Successor Nadesico: The Prince of Darkness on the basis of sheer hype alone. Allow me to explain:

Back in 2000, when Geneon was called Pioneer and Cartoon Network had the Toonami block, there was a series called Tenchi Muyo. It was the hottest thing since Dragonball Z and Sailor Moon were put together on the same network (on the same block, no less), so hot that shortly after the last episode of the Tenchi trilogy aired in late September 2000 (that would be Tenchi In Tokyo), the fan hype machine was put into motion. Speculation ran rampant as to where the series was going to go from there; fan sites poured over art books and Japanese novels, looking for some sort of inkling as to how the original Tenchi Muyo OVA series would continue (and possibly conclude). Even I got caught up in the fan frenzy, going so far as to write a Tenchi Muyo/Dragonball Z fanfic (see September 11, 2009's Answerfans for more). Years pass, and finally, in 2003 (after being teased by Tenchi Muyo GXP one year earlier), the first episode of the third Tenchi Muyo OVA series had landed. Not wanting to spoil the surprise, I waited and watched Funimation's release two years later. When I heard that Petrea Burchard would not be back as Ryoko in the new series' dub, I was taken aback. How could someone who's voiced an anime icon reject the role that made her a star? Little did I know what I was getting myself into (and how right Ms. Burchard was to back away from the project).

After watching the first three episodes in 2005, I thought things were going smoothly. Sure, they "officially" re-named Tenchi's mom Kiyone (thereby erasing my favorite space cop from mainstream continuity; of course, since that was the name of Tenchi's mom in the original novels, I wasn't that surprised), and introduced some green-haired gal named Noike (who seemed innocent enough), but re-introductory episodes usually start off a little choppy, right? Besides, it was comforting to see the old voice actors and actresses back in fine form for the first time in years (as well as seeing all the main characters in new, high-quality animation). That comfort would quickly turn to displeasure.

Two years later, after a protracted delay, Funimation released the final four episodes on DVD. I'll spare the details and get right to the point: those last few episodes left me with more questions than answers. (Why are the Tenchi gals serving the galaxy's rarest sake to criminals? Did Z just blow up a huge chunk of Earth? What's the deal with Z's back-story, anyways? How in the world did Tenchi pull himself together after getting split in half? Ayeka's grandmother was manipulating everything?! Tenchi's mom is suddenly a practical joker?!? Kagato is really a hermaphrodite?!?! WHY DOES MY HEAD HURT SO MUCH?!?!?) It felt like (creator) Masaki Kajishima tossed continuity (and common sense) aside and phoned in a half-baked plot just to get things over with. (Never mind the fact that, thanks to that series, Noike is now a part of my anime dart board; she came off like an ill-conceived self-insertion character.) The real tragedy isn't the fact that the series failed to capitalize on all the potential it had going for it, or that it gave the entire Tenchi continuity a black eye it may never recover from; it's that the omake episodes were more entertaining than the regular series. (If that's not tragic, I don't know what is.)

In summation, Tenchi Muyo OVA 3 was such an unmitigated disaster that Masaki Kajishima should be forced to pen a REAL sequel (one born from the heart, not sheer laziness).

As for why Martian Successor Nadesico: The Prince of Darkness finished a close second, I can sum it up in one sentence: Live, from the space battleship Nadesico, it's the "I'm Ruri Hoshino and You're Not" Show, not-starring a brain-dead Akito Tenkawa and a comatose Yurika Misumaru!

And now we end with Caleb. Oh, Caleb, always looking for that silver lining in the darkness:

...Vampire Knight. People kept recommending it to me, so I decided I might as well watch a single episode, right? What's the harm in that?

Literal rundown of Vampire Knight episode one: before the opening sequence even starts, there are two or three major plot points. After the opening, there are maybe two or three more, and the remainder of the episode is pretty boys acting pretty and ditsy girls acting ditsy until the ending credits roll. I was so confused afterwards that I sat blinking at my screen for a minute or two, but more importantly, the show left me feeling utterly uncaring about the characters or the plot. If the next episode slaughtered half the cast a la Umineko no Naku Koro ni, I'm not really sure I would've cared all that much.

Ending song is nice, though. That was pretty much the only highlight.

Did you guys get your bitchin' out and over with? Good, because I've got a much more personal question for next time:


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 have 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.

See you guys in a fortnight! Godspeed and good luck and such! And remember to keep my inbox a-flowin' with question-and-answer goodness while I'm gone, so keep sending stuff to answerman(at)animenewsnetwork.com!


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