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Ms. Answerman
The Cat in the Column

by Rebecca Bundy,

Due to a slight shortage in usable questions, I'll only be doing five questions this week. Hopefully next week the column will return to the usual ten questions. Read on!

> Dear Answerman,
> I know you get pelted with these "Is X series coming
> back" questions all the time, but this is driving me
> nuts: The US just (officailly) got the Martian
> Successor Nadesico Motion Picture, and to be honest
> without spoiling it for anyone it's QUITE open ended.
> I've run search after search and found nothing else on
> the subject. So here's the question: Is there another
> Nadesico series in the works? Movies? OAV? Anything?
> This question is as much for me as it is for my
> girlfriend, it's her favoite series. Anything you can
> give is greatly appreciated!
> Thanks in advance,
> Matt, CO.

We do get those types of questions all the time, but ‘X’ normally refers to Hellsing or Berserk. This isn't an invite to send in piles of emails asking “well, I'm not asking about Hellsing or Berserk, but when is this coming out?”, but its okay when people ask serious questions about series that haven't been recently answered before in the column.

With that aside, I'll still be giving you the same answer that I give most people who write in asking about their favorite series: there aren't any known plans to make another series, OVA, or movie. Many series are left open because they want to leave it open so that audiences can come to their own conclusions, there wasn't enough time/money to get it all in, or they hope to make more but aren't sure if it will be popular enough. Though the US has only recently gotten the movie, it's been out in Japan for a few years now, so it's unlikely that more will ever be made since the hype behind the series/movie has died down.

Hi Answerman, I was wondering if there was any word on a new upcoming print
of the Bebop dvds. You see, I was going to order the complete collection on
amazon since they were offering a really good deal on it but I was to late
and now the deal is gone and I only have two choices. First, to buy all the
dvds individually at 26.98$US each (the package deal was for 100$!!!) or buy
the 3 discs set that everyone is selling and I heard was maybe a bootleg
version or something like that.
So if another version of these dvds is coming out in the near future I'd
wait for it rather than spending almost double on the set.
Thank you, Sébastien

The only legal version of the Cowboy Bebop series comes on six DVDs, so the “all 26 episodes on three DVDs for $31.95 imported” means that these are bootlegs. Anyone who has ever bought legal imported DVDs from Japan knows that they're expensive, average around three episodes per DVD (if you're lucky. The first DVD for Saiyuki Reload only has the first episode on it!), and are rarely region free. I also looked over the list that amazon.com had and I'm surprised that they'd support illegal copies being broadcast like that. They seem proud to announce that they all have English subtitles, but the 3-disk sets selling on ebay for the same price say English/Chinese subtitles. These, my friend, are hongkong bootlegs, which are infamous for their ability to translate the Japanese into Chinese, then translate the Chinese into some grotesque butchering of the English language that makes Engrish seem like a godsend. Trust me on this when I tell you that you'll be wasting 30 dollars and probably end up hating the series because the translations make no sense (and give you headaches in the process). I will never understand why anyone would think that they're getting some sort of deal by buying these piles of ****. Even AJ subs are better then these things.

If you've decided to toss out the idea of buying bootlegs after that rant, but still don't like the idea of paying $150 dollars for the series, head over to ebay and look for the DVD's. The limited edition box set sells for a LOT more then $150, but there are people selling all six DVDs for under $100 dollars. If you're not sure which ones are bootlegs and which ones aren't (there are a LOT on ebay which aren't), check to see how many DVDs are being offered (the bootlegs offer the series on three or four DVDs) and which languages are included as subtitle options (if Chinese is listed, it's NOT Bandai's DVDs). If you keep these things in mind, you'll soon be the proud owner of a legal copy of the Cowboy Bebop series.

Hello Answerman/woman,
What makes a successful anime title? I mean, if a title is liscenced how
many units is the cutoff point for a "big hit?" Does the anime industry have
sales status like the record industry has, i.e., gold albums, platinum
albums, etc? I would assume it has a big influence on a titles' future,
especially if that title has a sequel, movie, spinoff, or huge franchise
behind it already established in Japan and has yet to hit the West coast
here. Thank You again for your time!

There isn't any cutoff point that I know of for all anime in general in the US. Smaller companies, who have minimal expenses when it comes to an individual title, would consider a title successful if it brings in a profit that is equal to or greater than the profit they expected to make. For larger companies, if a title made the same amount of profit it might not be considered successful since the larger company would've put more time, force, and resources into the project. Thus, the cutoff point for a “big hit” fluctuates depending on the company.

Likewise, a title's future depends upon the company that holds the rights to it. Even if a certain title performs well, the company might have their money tied up in other projects and cannot afford to license a sequel/movie/etc. Sometimes problems come up that keep companies from obtaining licenses. Any number of things could happen that would hinder or end the future of a title in the US. Huge franchises behind it that were established in Japan will not guarantee the future of a series either. Titles such as Naruto and One Piece are incredibly popular in Japan, but the only time they've spent in the US has been in manga form. Companies then have to consider whether or not they'll branch out into music, toys, or any other number of forms that merchandise for a particular show can take. Would Pokémon or YuGiOh be as popular as they are today if not for the card games, toys, and the long list of gameboy games? There's a lot a company has to consider, and what makes it a “big hit” depends on whether or not the company gains what they set out to obtain with a particular title.

Hello Answerpeople,
What's the word on the new Appleseed CG movie? It was announced as a Spring
2003 release, possibly licensed by Columbia, but nothing since.
Thank you,

Truthfully I'm not sure what's going on with this movie. It was announced as a Spring 2003 release, but since spring has come and gone, I'm guessing that the movie has either fallen FAR behind schedule, been dropped completely without any announcement, or the release date was announced as 2003 when it should've been 2004.

Dear Answerperson,
Will American audiences ever get to see episode 27 of Chobits? I
notice that the 6th volume of Chobits has only 4 episodes, making only 24
out of 27 episodes that get released here. I understand that one of the
episodes cut out was a recap episode called "Summomo and Shinbo Talk". That
doesn't bother me that much. I really like those special episodes at the end
of series, and i hate to think that i wont get to see the special Chobits
episode, especially since i really love the series. If this episode doesn't
get released on the 6th disk, do you think Geneon Entertainment would
release the single episode on a disk?
Thank you very much,

A lot of people don't like recap episodes and are annoyed when they pay for a DVD that's 25% recycled. On the other hand, there's also a lot of people who want their DVDs to include everything. Geneon came up with a fairly intelligent way to please both groups. The 27th episode, called “Hibiya and Kotoko Tell the Story”, will find its way to American audiences on an additional DVD that Pioneer is releasing with the 3 recap episodes.

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