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Ms. Answerman and the Order of the Bootlegs

by Zac Bertschy,
We've got a fairly good group of questions this week. Let's get started!

Hi Ms. Answerman,
I am in the process of intoducing a friend, who also happens to be a film
and literature teacher, to anime. She likes comics and is interested in
anime. I want to perk her interest, but, because I have heard that women
percieve anime differently than men, I have been wonding if some of the
anime that I like would offend her or turn her off. Anyway I wanted to ask
you, as a woman, what anime do you think would be best to show her in this
situation? What is your opinion of fanservice? And are there any types of
anime that turn you off (mech, gore, etc)?

Truthfully I'm not sure that men and women perceive anime differently. If Zac and I listed off our favorite series, easily half of the shows listed would be the same. Since your own list of favorites was not included in this email, I can't comment on whether or not your friend would like the anime you do, but since you're asking about fanservice I'm going to go out on a limb and say she won't enjoy it. There might be some women out there that like these types of shows, but normally it's because they see them as ‘cute’ shows. I personally do not like shows that focus on fanservice. Call me strange if you'd like but for some reason I have trouble thinking dirty thoughts about 15 year old girls and getting chances to peek at their underwear. As for other types of shows, I have my favorite genres, but if a show is good, I'll watch it.
As for recommendations, I'd suggest showing her any of Miyazaki's films (my personal favorites being Spirited Away and Princess Mononoke). As a film and literature teacher, she'd probably get a lot out of these films. They also include strong female characters, something that most women enjoy to see in film and anime.

Hi Ms. Answerman,
After wandering through bookstores lately, I've noticed an upsurge of
shounen-type manga compilation magazines such as Shounen Jump and Raijin
('manga for the thinking man', apparently). Do you know if there are any
plans in the works for a release of a shoujo manga magazine? Thanks.

There used to be a shoujo manga magazine called SMILE, but this magazine has been out of print for a while now. Animerica Extra publishes Fushigi Yugi, Utena, and Chicago every month but it isn't exclusively shoujo. There are a lot of shoujo series being translated and published as graphic novels, so I'd suggest buying those as well. Sadly, I haven't heard anything about a new shoujo manga magazine. Considering the amount of shoujo manga that finds its way onto the shelves at comic book stores, someone will hopefully get the idea and follow in Shonen Jump's footsteps.

I have a question concerning CDs produced by "Sonmay." I know that these
CDs are considered to be "gray-market" CDs and that they are produced in
Taiwan and are cheaper than their Japanese counterparts, but what exactly
are they? Are they illegal, and if they are how in the world are they able
to be sold in the first place? I want to support the people that make my
anime possible, but these CDs don't hurt my pocket book so much. I'm just
at a loss to whether I should buy them or not. Thank you for any info.

If you don't live in Taiwan, the CDs are illegal. The companies there are able to make a profit by making copies off of the official Japanese CDs. Though the CDs themselves are packaged to look official, their prices give them away. They're probably sold over here because no one officially holds the rights to the CDs themselves in the US. Many people prefer to pay less for their CDs, especially in a world where most of this stuff can be downloaded for free, but it's up to the person to decide whether or not they wish to buy them.

ms. answerman
hello, in many anime like hellsing and evagelion and many more i have seen
the symbol of the eye. dose it have any certain meaning.
Robert Dent

Yeah, it's scary. If you saw a bunch of eyes suddenly fill random spots upon a man's body (Hellsing), you'd be scared. Eyes, such as third eyes, have represented terrible curses or distinguish a person as evil (RG Veda), or are present on those who have the ability to tell the future (X 1999). Normally though these are the only things ‘eyes’ are used for, aside from the two most characters have on their faces.

Hello, just wanted to say love the site, and I just had one quick question.
Lately I've been buying these anime sets online, there like box sets that fold out. there cheaper then there counter parts and seem to work just fine on my DVD player I've gotten Love Hina for 29.99 full season and Neon Genesis Evangelion and both movies for around 59.99. I just wanted to know is there anything wrong with these, and am I hurting the anime industry by buying these. thank you for your time

As with the CDs above, if something seems too good to be true, it probably is. DVD's are a different issue, however, since these have been licensed in the US and are illegal to buy or sell. Of course, if you got the official full seasons of these series off of ebay from someone who didn't want it anymore, that's one thing. Buying things that are ‘cheaper then their counter parts’ is another.

If you're going to the expo in Anaheim, keep your eyes open for all of us at ANN. Until next time!

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