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Ms. Answerman
Year of the Monkey

by Rebecca Bundy,

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I'm back, and just in time for the Chinese new year! For those of you who were born in the year of the Monkey, Chinese astrology tells us that you're intelligent, witty, outgoing and well-liked by everyone around you. At the same time, you're distrustful of all the people around you and tend to take advantage of all the attention. For everyone else, the spirit of the Monkey will fuel a desire to search out new experiences and knowledge, oftentimes at the cost of your responsibilities. As long as you don't get out of hand, this year promises to be a great one for everyone! And even if it's not a good year, you can still count on hearing the answers to your pressing anime questions answered every week. Shall we get started?

Hello Ms. Answerman,
While watching Adult Swim, I saw a flashcard mentioning falling down wells. It said something like; "What's with falling down Japanese wells? Either you have to fight a bunch of demons or you die in seven days." I can see that they're refering to Inuyasha with the 'fight a bunch of demons' part, but what are they refering to in the second part, if anything?
Thanks for your help.

They're referring to The Ring, which was an adaptation of a very similar Japanese movie called Ringu. Watch the video, get a phone call, and then die seven days later when the little girl comes crawling out of her well. There's also a novel (which the Japanese movie was based off of) and a manga that was recently released by Dark Horse Comics. On a side note, wells in Japanese literature tend to be dark and dangerous images since a person could fall in and be swallowed up by the darkness below.

Dear answerman,
Ragnarok Online anime will be coming this year, there are rumors that Gonzo will be involved in making the anime. Is this true? and will the story be based on manga or the game itself?
From fellow anime fan:
Joseph of the Philippines

Gonzo's going to be involved in this project, which is supposed to be based off of the game itself. Ragnarok online was a cute and enjoyable MMORPG that was in beta testing (thus free) until the summer of last year. You run around, kill creatures which are oftentimes cute and fuzzy, loot stuff from their dead little bodies, rinse, then repeat.
If the anime is anything like the game, it'll run for 24 episodes, put up a notice in the 25th that informs the audience that they must now go out and buy the DVDs for the first 24 episodes, then mail in proof that they bought them all before they could view the last two episodes. Also, instead of wrapping up the series, they'll make the 26th episode a recap episode and announce that a final 27th episode may or may not come out, depending on whether or not it suits their own needs.

A bunch of random questions for you:
1) How do you pronounce titles like X/1999 (X slash 1999?) and Ranma 1/2 ( Ranma one half, Ranma and a half?)? I know this is nitpicky, but I want to make sure other people actually understand what shows I am talking about.
2) Is there any chance at all of Tokyopop ever licensing the Sailor V manga? Sailor Moon was a popular manga in the US in the past, and its publisher Tokyopop would be the most likely company to release Takeuchi's other work. However, I know it is an older series. NOTE TO ALL SAILOR MOON FANS: Go to the Tokyopop website and vote for Sailor V to be translated as part of their January licensing survey! I already did this, but I don't want to get my hopes up if chances are slim.
Thanks for answering this weird assortment of questions!

1) Most people say “X TV” or “X 1999”, and Ranma ½ is pronounced “Ranma one half”. I'm sure there are people out there who pronounce it with “slash” or “and a half”, but most people with half a brain will understand what you're talking about. Wanting to know how to pronounce something isn't nitpicking, but I should warn you that certain subjects (such as the spelling of Tessaiga from Inu Yasha) might result in a deluge of angry fans who believe whole heartedly that their way is the right way. If you mispronounce something and people give you a lot of trouble for it, just walk away.
2) There's always a chance that it could get licensed, but it depends on whether or not they can still make money off of a mostly dead franchise. They'd also have to get the rights for the manga, something that becomes more and more difficult as a series ages. If enough people ask for it on their website, then they might license it.

Dear Answerman,
I'm a composer and would like to write music for Anime. The question is,
where or to whom should I send my demos?

Well Rob, this question goes into the long list of “I want to break into the Japanese anime industry, how do I do it?” questions that we regularly get. If you want to write music for anime, then you need to become a huge success over here in the States. As far as I know, musicians, composers, and bands are approached by the Japanese companies interested in hiring them. They should be able to walk into any major music store in Japan and buy one of your CDs. If they can't, and you're still set on writing music for anime, I'd suggest you send your demos to someone more local and work your way up the ladder.

The attached picture is from "Daa! Daa! Daa!". Every once and a while, this
thing will appear above the house for no reason. Apparently no one thinks
it's out of the ordinary since no one seems to mind it's presence (or
they can't see it).
I have seen quite a few shows and have not come across anything exactly
like that other than Chiyo-chans alien like father (Sakaki-san's dream)
from Azumanga Daioh. Who, also likes to float around from time to time.
Is this figure unique to Daa! Daa! Daa! or is a guest appearance from
another show? Is there a vintage of anime where this
kind of thing was common (unidentified floating objects)? Am I making a
mountain out of a mole-hill?
Thank you for your time,


I've never seen this little guy before, though he vaguely resembles the hordes of Hello Kitty friends that inundate Sanrio stores. As for random floating objects, the only one that comes to mind is the little cloud Goku uses in Dragon Ball to fly around on. Otherwise, I'd have to say that you're reading too deeply into this one little random character. It's okay, you're not the only one (the black cat from Trigun comes to mind).