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Are you ready for the Fan Girls?

by Zac Bertschy,


Ms. Answerman is out again this week. Yes, I know, it's been a while since she's handled this column, but she'll be back... for all of one week, when Answerman goes on hiatus for the holidays. Anyway, let's get down to business.


I've had some nagging thoughts about this first question. Hopefully you can make the voices go away, heh. Now...I have a feeling you've been asked the question "When is Naruto going to get licensed/translated/whatever" many times, but fear not, this question doesn't have anything to do with that (but if you have any new news on that, it'd be great to hear).

Anyway, my first question is about pronounciation. I can pronounce most of the people's names in Naruto fairly easily, but one name keep on annoying me. How do you pronounce Sasuke? i pronounce it "Sah-sue-kay." If i am way way off the mark here, i'd like to know.

The other question is about Inuyasha. Now, i heard somewhere that the 1st movie is going to be dubbed starting in January and premiere at the Anime Expo in California. Any solid evidence of this?

Thanks a bunch.

The easiest way to learn how to pronounce names in anime is to listen to the Japanese dialogue and mimic them. You're pronouncing Sasuke correctly. You can also shorten it a little bit and say “Sahss-kay”, since that's what they say in the show occasionally. It's funny how people can be confused over things like this, especially when they have the reference material right there in front of them. I want to smack people who say “Evan-jelly-on” who then argue that it's the same pronunciation as the English word “Evangelism”, even though in the show they very clearly say “Eeh-von-gell-ee-on”, with a hard G sound. Always go with what they say in the Japanese version; that will be considered ‘correct’ (even if it isn't really correct).

As for your second question, Viz hasn't made any announcements regarding the Inuyasha movies and as far as I know, they're still writing up the contracts to license them for release in the US. If they did dub the movies for release next year, you can bet that one or more of them will premiere at either AX or Otakon. Better start lining up now!

I just caught Vampire Hunter D on the Action Channel and it I was pumped
cause it was this movie and akira that got me into anime. I rushed and
watched Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust a masterpiece in my opinion. Any news
on any more coming out? Is the series dead after these two? if they make
another one just like bloodlust it should be a hit. Thanks!

I wouldn't say the series is ‘dead’, but then, I wouldn't call it a series, either. Vampire Hunter D is a series of novels that they've adapted a pair of anime from, but there was never any promise of there being a serial storyline carried out over several movies or OVAs or what-have-you. When someone makes a feature film, that's it; it's an encapsulated story, intended to start and stop within the film's running time. Basically, don't automatically expect a sequel to everything. I though Bloodlust was pretty good for a closed storyline and I don't think they need to make another one at this point; neither do they it seems, since there are no apparent plans for more Vampire Hunter D to be animated any time soon.

Sometimes, when a show ends, it's a good thing. Not everything needs 38290 sequels, which is what we as anime fans seem to have come to expect. I get people asking me when more Escaflowne will be made. Do we really need more Escaflowne? The series ended pretty well and there was a movie version. There really aren't any more stories to be told in that universe, but a lot of anime fans seem to just blindly ask for more simply because they enjoyed it. It's a nice sentiment, but if you think about it for a few minutes, what's better: a series that ends nicely, with dignity, or one that goes on forever, with no end in sight?

Dear Answerman...or woman...or whoever...

Ok, I've been pitifully whining this question to my friends for ages, and I'm hoping now I've found someone who'll do something other than shove a DVD in my face and tell me to shut up.
Why isn't there more shoujo on TV? I mean, don't get me wrong, I'm not the type that goes for crap like Hamtaro, or Sugar Princess Fairy, or drool like that. But the last shoujo series seen on Cartoon Network, one of the best suppliers of anime to people with small or nonexistant anime budgets, was Cardcaptors, and that was how long ago? Latley Toonami of itself has turned into a ten-year-old boy show. It used to be a programming block with something for everyone, with shows like Tenchi, Outlaw Star, Sailor Moon, Gundam Wing, and now I'm seeing nothing but robots and fighting anime. Ruroni Kenshin was the one ray of hope I had, and now it's in reruns. Adult Swim is better, but still, why won't they consider something like Magic Knight Rayearth? You'd think they'd be all over that. There's plenty to choose from, and if these couldn't be shown on Toonami then Adult Swim would actually be better: Fushugi Yugi, Blue Seed, Boys over Flowers, anything with a strong ! female character. Please help me and answer this burning question for me please!!!

Lady Chaka

I think you're a little confused, Ms. Chaka. Rurouni Kenshin is a shonen series, make no mistake. It's filled with action and has characters typical of other shonen titles. The fact that it has a large female following doesn't make it a shoujo series, it just makes it especially popular with females. Blue Seed is the same way, although less popular with women than men; it's undoubtedly a show aimed at young men. As it stands, you have Inu-Yasha, which is vastly more popular with girls than with boys (for the same reasons Kenshin is), and coming up you'll have Witch Hunter Robin and Wolf's Rain, shows so excellent that it won't matter who they're ‘supposed’ to appeal to. Consider yourself very lucky. Cartoon Network has chosen some of the absolute best new anime series for their Adult Swim block.

As for some of your other choices, the reason CN goes with things like Witch Hunter Robin and Inu-Yasha is because they have things that statistically appeal to both men AND women. While I know plenty of guys that love Boys Over Flowers, that series is unabashedly aimed at women and will turn away a lot of viewers, simply because there's no action at all. Magic Knight Rayearth has not aged well and looks very old; I don't think CN would be interested in that. Fushigi Yuugi has the same problem Boys Over Flowers does (focusing more on relationship issues than anything else), although I think it has a better shot since it does have a bit of action in it. Basically, CN tends to go for quality series. Shows they know they can sell to the widest possible audience. Watch Witch Hunter Robin in 2004 and you'll see what I mean. I think if you focused a little less on what's directly aimed at you and instead just watched what was good, you'd be a little less perplexed.

Hi anwserman! I'm 17 and will be away to college next year. Are there anime
clubs in college? Or does it depend on the college? I have been told that
some members of anime club share fansubbd with one another. Is it true or

Most every college campus in America has an anime club at this point. I ran my college's anime club for a few years (together with Ms. Answerman), and we did all the usual things college anime clubs do. What you'll want to do is visit your school's website and check their club roster. If it's a state university, they're required to have a complete list of all student associations. Chances are the anime club will stick out like a sore thumb, so you shouldn't have trouble finding the right name. Once you do find them, make sure the club is still intact and holding functions; consider sending an email to the club's president to ask about their planned activities. As for fansubs, everyone in college is broke, so yes, you can expect them to be swapping bootlegs back and forth like candy. It happens in every anime club I can think of. Whether or not you choose to participate is entirely up to you, though. Good luck! Anime clubs can be either highly annoying or highly rewarding, depending on your outlook. Be prepared to swat away your school's most obnoxious otaku, but you'll probably also meet a handful of cool people. It's always a mixed bag, so just take it one step at a time.

What exactly is a fangirl? I keep hearing that when people refer to who watches shounen anime. I watch mostly what would be considered guy anime, because I rather watch that then some stupid girl in a sailor outfit. I also like football over figure skating. It's also hard for me to think I am part of the few. So is fangirl a label for those like myself.

Fangirl is the female version of Fanboy, which is basically your average media nerd. Fanboys are a slightly different beast; the term is considered derogatory, referring to someone who obsessively consumes things like movies and anime and TV series and comic books without actually creating anything of his own and usually lacking basic social skills. There used to be a stereotype that they couldn't land girlfriends, either, but since the advent of the fangirl, that notion has mostly gone the way of the Dodo. Fanboys also tend to obsess over female tv/film/anime characters, live in their parents' basements, work crappy retail jobs in software stores and generally don't do much with their lives aside from consume media. It's a stereotype, and thus is basically an insulting and exaggerated representation of what you'll actually find at an anime club or in a comic book store (although, as with all stereotypes, certain people do fit the description to a tee.)

Fangirls are basically the same things, except minus the male body parts. They have a reputation for being excessively shallow, watching anything for the ‘cute guys’, even if what they're watching is undeniably awful (WeiB Kreuz, anyone?). They objectify homosexuals and write tiresome fanfiction with nearly every male anime character sodomizing every other male character. They screech and yell and ‘glomp’ people at conventions, usually without asking if it's okay, push their way around the convention floor like they own the place and then act like it's ‘cute’ that they're rude and obnoxious. Fangirls also get jealous over someone else liking the same character they do, so they wind up claiming ‘possession’ of one character or another. As far as taste in anime goes, they tend to like long-running shonen action series most; Kenshin, Gundam Wing, Naruto, Saiyuki, those sorts of things. Any series that lends itself to featuring many attractive male characters will be automatically worshipped by fangirls. As with fanboys, this is mostly an insulting and exaggerated stereotype, but there are people out there who fit this description perfectly.

Constructs like these are always based on the most extreme social specimens. People throw around the terms 'fanboy' and 'fangirl' pretty liberally, and most of the time, it's intended as an insult. As for you, I wouldn't worry about it. You like anime, and you identify with typically ‘male’ pursuits. That doesn't make you a fangirl. When you start writing yaoi fanfiction, then you may need to worry.

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