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Ms. Answerman: The Whole Five Questions

by Rebecca Bundy,

The snow has melted, the tress are starting to bloom, and a new season of anime shows beckons us to curl up in front of our monitors and sift through the piles of garbage in hopes that one or two series will bring us 25 minutes of joy each week. But really...who wants to suffer through the bad stuff? Isn't it just easier to let someone else do the dirty work and benefit from their misery and loss of an afternoon? At the same time, who's to say that one man's pile of waste isn't another man's fertilizer?
Ragnarok isn't one of those shows that are difficult to judge. If you haven't played the online game or are/were an iRO newbie, you aren't going to enjoy this series. For those of you who have, I should warn you that the animation quality is going to make your eyes hurt. The transition from cel to digital color was a welcomed one in the way of quality animation, but Ragnarok made me long for the days when a show actually had an excuse to look choppy. Ragnarok has none. I watched the first episode wishing they had used footage for the game instead. Animation aside though, this show has a lot of charm in the painstaking measures taken to translate every aspect of the game into the anime. I could not stop laughing when the hapless group of adventurers was pounded on by a horde of goblins. Merchants crowded the area around the fountain in Prontera and a creature summoned by a Dead Branch turned out to be too powerful for the summoner to handle (though a poring would've been funny). The second episode will take place in the poorly lit dungeon of Culvert, known for it's infestation of thief beetles and kill-stealers. The characters wear the traditional clothes meant for their profession, and though they lack definition now they'll hopefully gain some after the first 4-8 wacky episodes are out of the way.
For the trip down memory lane, this series is a must-see. If this is all the show has to offer, however, it'll quickly be dumped for more worthwhile series. A warning for anyone who's tempted to give this game a try; there's a reason so many of us have our fair share of horror stories about the game.

Hey Ms. Answerman, just wondering if anyone in the US had grabbed Tsukihime yet for release over here, or if there was going to be a second season in Japan. Thanks.

There hasn't been any news of a second season. With the convention season starting up, however, you won't have to wait long to find out if Tsukihime will be finding its way over here. Give it a few months and keep your eyes on the news page. If it hasn't been announced by then, there's a pretty good chance that it won't be unless politics over licensing fees and agreements are holding it up.

I have been arguing with several people on the other forums about production companies and licenses. Geneon USA supposedly is listed as one of the production companies to Hanaukyo Maids in the credits. My understanding is when a company purchases the copyrights to a show they are considered to have obtained the license to it. Just because Geneon USA helped in the production doesn't mean they have the license yet. I understand that it is very likely that Geneon will get the license for it since they helped in the production.
I also have not heard from any credible source that Geneon USA has purchased the copyrights/license to Hanaukyo Maids.
I guess what I am asking is can you just say Geneon USA has the license just because they are listed as one of the production companies.
My view is until Geneon USA publicly announces the purchase of the copyrights to the show. The show is not licensed even though they may be listed as one of the production companies. What is your view on this.

This issue has caused a lot of questions, and even more rumors, to spread like wildfire across the net. If a company has not officially announced the rights to a series, they do not “officially” have it. This isn't to say, however, that a company cannot take measures to ensure that their property isn't being distributed once the deal has been sealed. If you keep up with anime news in general, you'll notice “official rumors” pop up when a fansubbing group is asked to stop distributing a series. This normally happens when a company is waiting to announce a title at a convention.
Having their name in the credits doesn't result in an “official rumor", but it does fulfill the “there's a good chance” prerequisites. In the case of Hanaukyo Maids, Geneon will have the first (and possibly only) chance to license it. Until they make it official, and the show doesn't fall onto the “official rumors” list, it should be treated as though it hasn't been licensed.

I have noticed that in a few animes that people employed as writers like to taunt the editors of their articles, (see Shigure from Fruits Basket and Sana's mother from Kodocha) and I was wondering if this had any significance other than humor.

If you've ever picked up a shoujo manga title (or others, but shoujo has the most from what I've seen) and flipped to the end, you'll most likely find an extra section where the mangaka talks to his/her audience. In most jobs in Japan, the corporate life is very strict and joking around with your boss rarely happened (unless of course you were out with them sharing drinks and women). The mangaka/editor relationship, however, is a lot closer and normally involves constant pestering from the editor while the mangaka tries desperately to maintain a life outside of work. I'm guessing this is the same for novelists, since they probably report to one or two editors instead of a full blown corporation.

Dear Ms. Answerman, (or should it be Answerma'am? heheheheh... that was lame, I know)
You've answered questions in past articles about these three-DVD box sets that aren't actual box sets, but bootlegs. I've been looking for actual box sets, preferabbly used as I'm a college student and could stand to save some money, but after searching places like eBay, it's hard for me to tell what is a real box set and what is a bootleg and/or non-U.S. Regional set. This search is also impeded by the fact that some series have multiple box set releases. Is there any way to know for sure (or as least pretty sure) if something is the real deal or not? I don't know if this is a question up your alley or not, but you're the only Anime Q&A I've found.

There's really no safe way to tell since anything can be faked or lied about on ebay. There are, however, a few tricks you can use to weed out the obvious bootleggers. Multiple auctions for the same set by the same buyer is a big one since you're looking for people who are trying to sell off an unwanted(needed) collection. Try visiting the Encyclopedia on ANN to find out how many DVDs are in the official set and ignore those that offer you cheap completed sets with fewer DVDs. If there are multiple box sets for a series out, do a little bit of research to find the DVD count for each. Lastly, search out the auctions that still have a week to go and email the seller to find out if they're legit or not. If they don't respond, it's their own loss.

I've got a question about Gunparade March. Although the conclusion of the series was...somewhat satisfying, it never really concluded the main story. Has there been any buzz in Japan about the possibility of a second season for Gunparade March down the road, or is the series just going to be left as is?

I haven't heard anything about a second season of Gunparade, but ADV recently announced that they had the rights to the manga. There's a good chance that the manga will bring greater closure to the story since anime series are oftentimes unable to include everything that happens in the manga.

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