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Ms. Answerman
Column Girl

by Rebecca Bundy,

Tired of the same old series filled with violence and jiggle issues? Alright well I'm sure some of you aren't, but for those of you who are, there's hope. Maria-sama ga Miteru is a quiet, beautiful shoujo-ai series that recently started airing in Japan. There's little fighting aside from a kendo match and a few slapped faces. Bouncing breasts take a backseat to pretty girls in sailor school uniforms, and character designs rely on simple and natural looks for all of the characters. The story, which focuses on the relationships between soeurs (an older student who chooses a younger to watch out for at school) as well as those within the student council, is rich with fundamental relationship issues such as miscommunication, jealousy, admiration, and love. Yumi, who's become a part of the student council through her older soeur, Sachiko, is sweet and shy without being annoying. Her relationship with the sometimes emotionally distant Sachiko emphasizes that relationships aren't always going to be perfect, while the relationships between the other sisters provide a wide range of situations and interactions that are far more meaningful then 30 minutes of endless fighting. As can be expected, the show is a little slow at times and expects you to relax and enjoy the soft music and wonderful animation, so if you find yourself bored after the first four episodes this probably isn't the show for you. For those of you who can sit back and smell the roses, you won't be disappointed with this show.
And now, onto the questions!

I recently have decided to take a vested interest in watching all of Bubblegum Crisis, but noticed a second(?) season to the remake of Bubblegum Crisis: Tokyo 2040, Bubblegum Crisis: Tokyo 2041. So, my question is this: what is the current status of 2041? I've read up a bit, and obviously the Eva movie is sucking at ADV's funding, so is it a question of funding, or something more? Please use your infinite wisdom to shed light upon this dark and confused quandry of mine!
- RG

As far as I can tell, BGC: 2041 is still in the “Active Production” stage, which it's been in for over a year and a half. I've looked around and the only things out there are the usual rumors and wishful thinking. As for funds, it's possible that they're still looking for sponsors and haven't caught any bites. Maybe ADV wanted a package deal with BGC and Farscape: The Animated Series? Your guess is as good as mine.

Dear Ms. Answerman,
I'm a big fan of Scrapped Princess, so when I heard by way of a fansubbing group that it had finally been licensed, I was ecstatic. Problem is, the article that the group got their information from (which can be found here: http://www.icv2.com/articles/news/4383.html ), though from a trustworthy source, does not explicitly say that Scrapped Princess has been licensed, and none of the other newsites I read have reported the license. A number of forums have also stated that Scrapped Princess was licensed—they do not, however, say who holds the license. I hate to bother you all with another licensing question, but I'm very anxious to find out whether or not Scrapped Princess has actually been licensed (and, if it has, who has it and what the details of the release are).

The supposed licensing of Scrapped Princess is up in the air right now. As of writing this, there hasn't been any official statement made on the status of this series, aside from the fact that NuTech has first dibs on any unlicensed titles by Ken Groove Productions. This could mean one of three things; First, NuTech has licensed it but hasn't announced it yet. Second, someone else bought the rights to this series before NuTech signed the licensing agreement and they haven't announced it yet. Third, NuTech will(has) pass(ed) on Scrapped Princess and someone else will likely snag the title. For now, you'll have to wait until something is officially announced.

Unless I've been misinformed, the first "Ghost in the Shell" feature achieved, at best, a modest take at the Japanese box office. Inspite the manga's already established fanbase, it didn't do as well as one would have thought it would. Then why would Production I.G opt to create a sequel, "Innocence," to a movie that didn't garner them any real profit? Granted, the second GitS manga met the same or better success of its predecessor and the "Stand Alone Complex" TV series is a huge hit, but still, receipts for this new GitS film seems to be following in the foot steps of its prequel.

You cannot judge a movie on the box office numbers alone since most movies bring in a lot of money with DVD sales. They're also making a good deal of money (Or enough to satisfy them) off of the rights for the movie being licensed in the US. Let's not forget the TV series, which has a second season coming in the near future, as well as a video game to help boost interest in this title. There's still plenty of money to be made off of this title.

Ms. Answerman,
I thoroughly enjoyed "Last Exile" on TechTV, but I was curious as to why they decided to air it when the series is still in production. Why not just wait and air all twenty-six episodes when they are finished instead of half now and half in 2005? This is when TechTV says it will probably be able to air the rest, according to their website.
Lee McManus

While it might make sense to wait until they can deliver the entire series, TechTV probably wanted to gain an audience early on who might stick around and watch shows while they wait for the rest of the series to be aired. This will also boost interest in the series early on while it's still a hot product. People are more likely to drop 20$ every few months instead of 100+ all at once next year, so the early publicity works in favor for both TechTV and Geneon.

Why do I never see any good rants against anime DVDs with only 3
episodes per DVD? Sure this must annoy other people. I gotten to the point where I simply don't buy any DVDs with less than 5 episodes. And it's also annoying that places like Amazon make it hard to tell how many episodes are on a DVD, so you have to go dig up the info elsewhere sometimes.

There have been countless rants against series that include two or three episodes per disk. Normally the reason for the low episode count is purely financial; buying the rights to and distributing a series can cost a pretty penny and companies need to make money so they can stay in business. If you think we've got it bad, try looking at the episode count on DVDs for the same series in Japan. And if you're still upset over the episode count, just don't buy those series.

Dear Answerperson,
I was wondering if there was any information about when exactly Twelve Kingdoms was going to be released in a boxed set. Looking in the archives of this site, (in an attempt not to ask a question I could have found the answer for myself) all I was able to find out was that a boxed set was planned. Has there been any news since then, or is it still too early to be asking?
Thank you!
P.S. I always look forward to this column. I discovered Peacemaker Kurogane because of a recommendation I read here, and am enjoying it very much. J

I spoke to Frank Pannone, Production Coordinator at Media Blasters about this and they said that there are no plans at this time.
P.S. I'm glad that some people out there actually read my openings. I decided to write about Maria-sama ga Miteru after this email, so thanks for letting me know that my recommendations are being taken To Heart!

Dear Answerperson,
I just recently got the two Card Captor Sakura Movies, and I was wondering, if one wanted to watch the series (the Japanese version, that is) in order, which episodes should the movies come after?On that note, do you know of any good websites that feature episode/movie guides or chronologies for multiple anime?

You can watch the first movie whenever you'd like, regardless of how many episodes you've seen. It includes the characters you've come to know and love, but it stands apart from the events of the series so that fans and newbies alike can sit down and enjoy it. This is normally done when a series is still being produced, so the movie and/or the current story in the series do not affect each other. As for the second movie, it's meant to bring closure to the events that happened within the series (ie: Sakura and Lee's love for each other). You'll want to watch the entire series before popping the second movie into your DVD player.
Go to google.com and type in the name of the series and “episode guide” or “episode summary” to look for guides to specific series. For general guides, I visit http://www.animetique.com/index1.asp before I go to google, since they've got a decent number of thorough episode guides on their site, including series that are airing in Japan right now.

I thought I read something on ANN that some company had picked up the rights to the new Tenchi OAVs, but the only concrete information was that the company was not Pioneer. Do you have any new information on who has the rights and - more importantly - when we can expect to see a U.S. release of the new episodes?

It was thought that FUNimation had the rights to the new OVA, but the comment that lead to this confusion referred to GXP and not the OVA. There hasn't been any news on who has the rights to this but I'm guessing that whoever has it is waiting for convention season to announce this.

Hello There,
Several months ago Manga Entertainment announced the release of a Box Set of the Evangelion Movies, only to postpone it a few months later.... Do you know anything about it? Hasn't it been mentioned in the recent anime conventions?
Thanks a lot,

The boxset was supposed to be released last November after numerous delays were made. I've also found rumors of it coming out at the end of February, but considering that March has come and gone it obviously wasn't released then either. There haven't been any recent announcements as to when it's going to finally be released, so you'll probably have to shell out the money for both movies individually.

Greetings. I have a couple questions for you. First, I've noticed a similarity in masks used by Yoshimitsu (from Soul Calibur II) and Hannya (from Rurouni Kenshin). What exactly are these masks of? Do they hold some special significance in and of themselves? Second, it seems that when a character is wandering around lost (usually in the wilderness), they are chewing on a stick with two round leaves at the end of it. (reference Sanosake on road to Kyoto, specifically) I've seen this symbolism in other situations, which I don't recall offhand. Does this plant have a particular name, or is it just some flora at random? Thank you for your time.

They're Noh masks, which are used in Noh theatre to represent a character who's supposed to be a demon. That and they're pretty creepy. Would you want to face off against someone with a mask like that on their face?
As for the twig in Sano's mouth, I'm not sure which plant that specific twig came from or if it's meant to be some generic flora. Sano's love of the greenery is probably used to express his wandering habits and life of solitude. Walking all day without someone to talk to could become pretty boring, so having something to chew will at least give Sano something to focus on. He's also drawn with a fish bone instead of a twig in his mouth. The bone is supposed to make him look like a badass, but I think that Watsuki also did it to make him look silly.

[Update: A fansub URL originally included in the article has been removed. -C]

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