Ms. Answerman: Ice-cream Making Dragons Unite!

by Rebecca Bundy,

Dear Ms. Answerman,
This may not have relevance to anime or manga at all, but I've been reading your columns for quite a while and really enjoy the inclusion of movies in your titles. I myself have taken a big interest to movies over the past few years and have been watching a lot of titles I never would have taken the consideration to watch before such as Shawshank Redemption, Raging Bull, and Shindler's List just to name a few. My question to you is what are some of your favorite movies?

Since this question doesn't deal with anime, I've decided to answer it in my ranting section. Stargate holds a special place at the top of my "favorite movies of all time" list. My family and friends refuse to watch it with me because I cannot help but mutter every single line (both those in English and Egyptian, sadly enough) a few seconds before the actors speak. A few other favorites (in no particular order) are Bend it like Beckhem, the Lord of the Rings trilogy, the Harry Potter movies, Shakespeare in Love, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Sleepy Hollow. I use movies for most of the column titles so that I don't have to come up with randomly scented animal mascots (not that there's anything wrong with that, mind you). Imaginary animal mascots who make ice cream, on the other hand...

And now onto the anime questions!

Much has been made in the West about the importance of bowing in Japanese society, yet I almost never see it depicted in anime. Has bowing been overrated by Western journalists (like when they told us it was a great honor to be allowed to call someone -san), or do they just skip the bowing in anime?

Bowing used to be a daily habit in everyone's life. I'm not exactly sure when it changed, but full bows toned themselves down into quick nods of the head in recent years. Walk into any Japanese store/restaurant/etc that is run by native Japanese and you'll notice they nod their head in greeting and in parting. In corporate businesses, however, bowing is still extremely common and expected (especially when meeting someone for the first time). You don't see this animated much because there just aren't that many shows out there that focus on the businessman.
Full, hands-and-knees-on-the-floor bowing has nearly gone the way of the dodo. You only see this in formal rituals (such as tea ceremonies) or if the person is really trying to emphasize an apology. The latter, if done in public, can humiliate not only the person bowing but also the person being bowed to. This you still see happen in both anime and manga.

I know that Funimation is releasing Fullmetal Alchemist, which kinda worries me. First, is Funimation going to keep all the openings and endings? The reason i ask is because there are several rumors that relates to this. First rumor is that when it airs in CN, they are only going to show the 2nd opening throughout the whole series. The second rumor i heard was that Funimation might completely remove the Melissa OP (The first OP) from the dvd release. I just wanted to know if its true. Secondly, is it true that the first boxset would contain a CD of the OST or possible the op/ed collection? And is this is the only merchandise that will be added to the boxset? I'm asking because if this is true, i'm going to go buy the fullmetal alchemist watch (The one ED has when he got his alchemist license).

First, you shouldn't be worried about FMA just because Funimation is releasing it. I watched the dub for the first episode at Otakon and it sounded fine. Worrying only hinders your ability to enjoy this truly wonderful series.
The first rumor is true, so you'll have the one opening for all episodes shown on CN. The second rumor is just a rumor. I've confirmed with Funimation that all the openings will be included on the DVDs. As for the OST, who knows? Funimation hasn't finalized all the extras for the set yet, but they are thinking of some pretty cool stuff, so keep your fingers crossed.

Dear Ms. Answerman,
are there any sports manga dedicated to the great English game of Cricket?

Considering how much the Japanese love sports-related series, I figured that there had to be at least one series out there about Cricket. Maybe the main character was raised in England and, upon returning to Japan, wanted to start a Cricket club at his/her school. Maybe they'd have some crazy times trying to raise money to compete overseas with other English schools. Sadly enough, I couldn't find one.

Dear Answerperson,
As I'm sure you've seen all of Love Hina and read the manga, and as you know compared to the manga the anime, well the anime sucks...hard. I'm pretty sure that Love Hina was a hit in Japan and I was wondering if they were going to ressurect Love Hina and make it based closer to the manga. 26 episodes just isn't enough to show the greatness of the manga. Theres just so much of the manga that isn't shown in the series. They could even call the new series Love Hina Once Again.

Truthfully I haven't seen all of Love Hina because well... I didn't like it. While I understand that some people think Love Hina is the be-all-end-all, I have trouble believing that after a TV series, an OVA series, two seasonal specials, and a manga series that you'd still want more. Can't you be happy with the fact that you have access to the manga and can enjoy its greatness while others, like Witch Hunter Robin fans, must live on without one? As far as know, though, the Love Hina saga has died out in Japan and its fans have moved onto newer things. The Negima TV series (based on the manga by Love Hina's mangaka) is set to air in January, so you might want to catch that when it comes out.

Dear Ms. Answerman,
How would you respond to people who say Argento soma and Rahxephon are rip offs of Evangelion and Eva is all superior?
Hunter C.

It really depends on who I'm talking to. If these people are friends of mine, I would point out that while there are general similarities at first glance, there are a lot of “little” things (such as the characters, plot, and story) that make all of these series unique. While it's possible that the later two did borrow some inspiration from Evangelion, it does not mean that they are rip-offs. If I watched a movie on vampires and then decided to write a book about vampires, it would not necessarily mean that I was ripping off the movie. People find inspiration in everything they see and do. Instead of putting down the later series, fans of Evangelion should be happy knowing that their show will inspire anime writers and directors for years to come.
If these people are random obsessive anime fans, then I'd tell them that Evangelion is just a rip-off of Gundam (according to how they wish to label shows) and that they shouldn't make generalizations about series they haven't watched.

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