Anime Central 2001 ACen 2001: TRSI
by George Phillips, May 11th 2001
Jeff Thompson opened the Right Stuf panel with a sad announcement: There will be no more "Jeff Thompson" Right Stuf Catalogs. Yes, folks, it's true. Jeff has located others who have the immense anime-tracking skills necessary to design the huge catalog year after year, and still make it look good.
On Right Stuf's plate this year is Assembler Insert, Boogiepop Phantom, and Kareshi Kanojo no Jijou (Kare Kano).
Jeff had a lot to say about Boogiepop Phantom. With an incredible audio folio and a unique style of animation, Jeff expects this horror series to do very well in America. Casting is underway for the English dub, and some new voice actors may be showcased in this title.
Of course, what everyone wanted to hear about was Kare Kano. First of all, Jeff stated that Kare Kano will be called "His and Her Circumstances" and will certainly not be called "Tales from North Vale High", although the latter title was listed on the Japanese contracts.
Every episode of Kare Kano is littered with kana and kanji (Japanese writing), and many fans expressed concern over possible overlays or digital alteration. These concerns have been addressed, as Jeff has said the Japanese writing will remain intact. "There really is no other way," Jeff beamed, "I have no intention of replacing any kanji on this show. This is a Japanese show, and it will always be a Japanese show. Thank you." Kare Kano will indeed provide a subtitle track for the kanji, as well as the voices.
One other unique aspect of the show is the preview for each new episode. In the Japanese version, voice actresses were filmed reciting the preview lines instead of showing upcoming animation. The English dub will actually recreate this effect by filming the English voice actresses reading their lines. TRSI hopes to take advantage of the "alternate angle" feature of DVDs for this effect.
Of course, the Tylor OVA Boxed set has not been forgotten. Jeff asked the crowd for ideas for bonus items for the boxed set. The idea of Tylor Sunglasses was passed around, as well as a music CD or a Tylor "Smile" button.
Not all of TRSI's deals go their way, however. As Synch-Point announced earlier this year, they had acquired FLCL. TRSI had aimed to purchase this title, but was informed by IG that it was to be released as a co-production between Synch-Point and IG. A popular title amongst fansubbers, DNA^2, was turned down when the Japanese company was unable to locate masters from which to produce quality videos. Although Laserdiscs are available, the loss in video quality would be significant even when down sampling to DVD.