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Ms. Answerman: The Internet Question Massacre

by Rebecca Bundy,

As I'm writing this, Zac is plowing through the huge list of shows (16 total) that will find their way onto the seasonal Preview Guide. Since his creative juices will be tapped for the guide, the Answerman column will not have pictures this week. For those of you who cannot live without a weekly dose of Zac's wit, check out the Preview Guide once it comes out. I, unfortunately, will not be contributing to the Guide this time around. I know that people like to read different first impressions about a show, so I'm going to sneak in a few of my own thoughts on two of the shows that have recently hit Japan's airwaves.

Peace Maker Kurogane - I introduced the manga to this series in a previous Answerman column in preparation (and anticipation) for the anime. I'm glad to report that as a fan of the manga, the anime has lived up to my greatest expectations. The animation is beautiful and I love the fact that the character designs are the same (for the most part) as the manga. The voices are incredible, using veteran VAs like Kappei Yamaguchi (Inuyasha, Inuyasha) and Yuuji Ueda (Sanosuke, Rurouni Kenshin, though he doesn't play Sanosuke in this series) alongside newer VAs (some of which I can't even find their names in hiragana or romanji). Did I mention that it's about the Shinsengumi? A+ for keeping with historical features as well as incorporating fictional ones to make an incredible story (assuming that the series continues to follow the manga, that is). The only thing I didn't care for was the music, mostly because it oftentimes didn't fit what was actually going on in the show. Other than this, Peace Maker is a must see for anyone!

Bottle Fairy - If you're not a fan of cute things that are there for no other reason than to be cute, then I suggest you avoid this one like the plague. The animation is nearly flawless, though it'd have to be with characters this simple in design. Aside from this, the show has nothing to offer except promise of more episodes with the fairies spending their day by being cute. There isn't any plot that I can see, though there's the (unlikely) possibility of one showing up in the future. All in all, if you can make it through one episode without laughing or twitching, then you're made of stronger stuff then I am.

With those two previews out of the way, it's time for the questions!

Ms. Answerman,
I know you probably got this a bunch of times. Are Teen Titans and Batman Beyond considered Animes. I notice some Japanese writing in the background and with Teen Titans in particular, a japanese singer doing the OP & the ED. I hope that I am not stupid to assume that it is.
Eddie S.

From an American standpoint, Teen Titans and Batman Beyond are NOT considered anime since both were created by WB Animation and not a Japanese company. Both, however, are similar to anime in design and do incorporate Japanese elements (such as kanji) in them (In one episode of Batman Beyond, the neon sign upon one of the buildings was the kanji for 'building'). The opening for Teen Titans (creatively named 'Teen Titans Theme') was performed by Puffy AmiYumi. You can find the song here (http://www.puffyamiyumi.com), though I'd suggest you make sure you're speakers aren't up too high before checking it out. On a side note, the VA for Raven in Teen Titans also was the VA for Bubbles in The Powerpuff Girls. Even though parts of the animation for Batman Beyond may have been outsourced to Japan and other parts of Asia (the animation for Return of the Joker was done in Japan), the designs, the script and the directing were all provided in America. It should be noted that in Japan, yes, they would be 'anime', since all cartoons are 'anime' in Japan. In America, we use the word 'anime' to mean 'Japanese animation', so no, Teen Titans and Batman Beyond, while heavily influenced by anime, are not considered anime.

Hey, Answerperson!
How's it going? I have a few questions concerning manga (and they won't have to do with licensing, I promise). Anyways, is the Digimon manga released by Tokyopop editted like the anime was? And can you give me any info (i.e. number of volumes, mangaka, a place I could buy the Japanese version) on the Ushio and Tora manga?

Though I don't have the original and translated Digimon in front of me, I'm going to have to say that they didn't. Why? Manga normally isn't edited. That isn't to say that the manga hasn't been tweaked a little. Some companies believe that "'tude" should be added in the English versions, normally because they think this will attract more people within the manga's target audience (tweens and younger). Since Digimon has the same type of audience, I wouldn't be surprised if such changes have been made. I also wouldn't be surprised if I get a lot of email for my use of 'tweaking' since many believe that this is in fact editing. For me, it's just one of the many decisions that have to be made during the translation (or editing) process.

Kristien Brada-Thompson or Tokyopop confirms for us, "the Digimon manga series TOKYOPOP publishes is a translation of the original manga, which was created in Chinese. To my knowledge there has been no further editing other than to keep the character names consistent with those in the TV series."

As for Ushio and Tora, this series runs for a whopping 33 volumes. The mangaka, Kazuhiro Fujita, seems to like longer series since his following manga, Karakuri Circus, lasted for 18 volumes.

Has their been any news as to where in the Wolf's Rain tv series the OVAs take place? Are they all a continuation of where the series left off or just bonus episodes?

As spoiler-friendly as Japanese anime is, it's normally hard to find information on any series until a few weeks before it's released. All I know is that the OVA will contain four episodes. Hopefully it'll bring some closure to the Wolf's Rain story since the TV series ended (like countless other series) without a solid ending.

I have heard rumors that a RahXephon movie was (or still in) production that was to be released in the spring. I wanted to know if any press release has been stated about what it might be about; before, after, or during series? And if so, when do you expect it to be out here in the states? Thanks a lot!!
Angel Torres

The RahXephon movie was released in the spring of 2003 and has been licensed by ADV. Though they haven't announced a release date yet, it'll probably come out some time next year. The movie will include only 20 minutes of new footage and will open with Ayato and Haruka together when they were young before they were separated.

Dear Ms. Answerman, I have a bit of a gripe with the Sunrise's production of Outlaw Star. I often think that I am looking to closely into this but it has bothered me for a long time now and I finally had to come to you about this. It seems to me that starting with the third to last episode (number 24) the animation was handed over to someone else and I don't mean this is a nice way. Because its crap and it makes me angry that they gave up on a good looking anime right when they had me on my knees waiting for the ending. This has implication to me about what kind of studio Sunrise is that they can give up on quality when they already have the people watching, hence why the first episodes look so good. Can you take a look at it yourself and tell me what happened before I watch it one more time and pull my hair out. BTW I love your column. Thank you

I'm a little confused as to why you're upset. You got an ending, correct? It's not uncommon for series to run out of money towards the very end, so they're forced to make ends meet by cutting back on the quality of animation. Instead of tearing your hair out the next time you sit down to watch it, be happy that they were able to finish those last episodes and enjoy the story. It's also not uncommon for series to end prematurely due to financial restraints and leave the audience without an ending.

I was looking on ebay and I found a box set of gundam seed 1-24 eps for like 25 bucks from hong kong. I know these are bootlegs or with some horrible subtitles but any idea on when bandai will released seed to the us in dvd.. would it be worth it to get this to see seed cause I'm very excited to see it?

Trust me, don't waste your 25 dollars on those horrible Hong Kong bootlegs. Bandai hasn't made any announcements concerning release dates yet, but you can bet that they'll be out sometime next year. Find a jar of some sort, put the 25 dollars in it, and know that the money will be put to MUCH better use once the first DVD is released.

Dear Ms. (0r Mr.) Answerman:
Hopefully you don't find my question as annoying as I'm sure many are...
#1: What is the word on the Gunbuster Sequel? We know that GAINAX announced it for release in 2004, but there's been no details so far. Do you know anything more?
#2: As for another possible project, has there been any truth to rumors of an Escaflone sequel?
#3: Finally, are there any current anime projects that would be considered joint US-Japan projects (such as the Animatrix and the anime sequence in Kill Bill). I'm curious if the Japanese are working with their US distributors more for developing content.
Many thanks!

1) Zac was asked this same question back in January of 2002. Sadly enough, the answer he had then is the answer I have to give you now. "What kind of "news" did you want on Gunbuster 2? They're making it. It's in pre-production. Nothing else has been said."
2) These rumors have been going around since the last movie was released. There is no truth to these rumors yet, but it's still possible that another movie will be made in the future.
3) You'd better believe it. Then again, this is nothing new. The Japanese and US relationships when it comes to joint productions have steadily increased over the years with no end in sight. The most recent forays into the anime genre are live action movies based on popular anime movies (such as James Cameron's Battle Angel movie).

Ms. Answerman
Why is it that Cartoon Network has such a limited selection of anime broadcasting?

Last time I checked, the Cartoon Network was not the Anime Network. If you want a 'wider' variety of anime shows, move to a city where you can order the Anime Network. As for the Cartoon Network's 'limited selection', I think you should head over to their web page (www.cartoonnetwork.com) and look at their TV schedule. For Thursday, October 16th, they have around 6 hours worth of anime (not counting the repeated episodes for those on the west coast). I don't understand how this is a 'limited' selection.

I just finished watching my Chinese Giant Robo DVD's and as much as I love them I REALLY would like a version with comprehensible subs. So what is going on with the release of a US version? Also why the hell did Watanabe spoiler:have to kill Spike and his girlfriend at the end of the Cowboy Bebop series? That's just too damn depressing... oh well I guess the untraditional endings are part of what I love about Anime.

Updated Answer Manga Entertainment stated at Nan Desu Kan earlier this month that they had lost the rights to Giant Robo and that some other, unspecified company would be releasing it in a box set.

As for the Cowboy Bebop ending, it's because Watanabe wanted to annoy the hell out of his fans after they bugged him to make 13 more episodes. Seriously though, it's because that's how he wanted it to end. It was a creative decision. End of story.

I'm hoping that you can help me with a few questions about "Fushigi Koala Na Blinky," better known in the United States as "Noozles." Back in the 1980s, I would watch this Anime, and recently, I was able to find an old VHS tape of the English dub.
My questions are as follows,
1.) Did this series ever get a subtitled release in the United States?
2.) How did the series do in Japan?
3.) Is there a Manga for it?
4.) Is there any chance of the tapes to go into print in the United States again?
5.) Is the series still popular?
These questions have remain unanswered for a long time. I appreciate any help.
Take care,
Hollie Perkins

1) No, it didn't. Considering how old it is, there's little chance it'll ever be released with subtitles.
2) Good enough to get noticed by someone in America, since it found its way onto Nickelodeon in 1988 (4 years after it was released in Japan).
3) Nope, nothing, but it's possible that it's not out on the web because it's just too old for online manga distributors to offer anymore.
4) I'm not quite sure why you're asking if they'll be in print "again". Amazon.com has new and used tapes for sale. Though I'm sure the box that they're in has gathered a large layer of dust by now.
5) Still popular? Maybe by the few people who are prone to buying things for their nostalgic value, but aside from this, no.

Until next time!

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