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Ms. Answerman
Sky High

by Rebecca Bundy,

Yet more previews.

A beautifully animated and extremely adorable first episode that finally gave me a respite from all of the boobie shows. Assuming the animation quality doesn't drop four episodes in and they find a nice balance between episodic godly events and a conflict beyond Yurie learning how to control her powers, it should become a must-see for this year. Like many good series (Emma comes to mind), this show isn't going to be for everyone. If you can't stand the fact that Yurie is snuggle-worthy and blushes about a dozen times during the first episode, you probably won't like it.

Soreyuke! Gedou Otometai (Akahori Gedou Hour - Rabuge)
Who wouldn't want to see two women living together and fondling each other for no apparent reason? Let's throw in the fact that their night jobs as super heroes don't pay the bills, so they moonlight as horrible comedians who never get a laugh! Seriously though, the first half of this episode was like watching a train wreck where the passengers come running out while on fire and continue to run around until they die. The second half, as strange as it is, is COMPLETELY different from the first half. A family of girls, who are descendants of generic bad guys in masks, want to be evil. They try to use magic to do bad but end up doing good on accident. It's enjoyable in that “thank the gods the first half is over” sort of way, but it doesn't make up for the fact that the episode was mind-numbingly bad at worst and tolerable at best.

Amaenaide yo!!
This season is seriously the most wasteful and single-minded season that I have ever seen. Generally the Japanese manage to find a balance so that there's something for everyone, but this season is almost completely focused on pleasing the horny, lonely otaku.
Amaenai features one guy and any number of girls all in a monastery/shrine together. The one guy though is a bit of a dunce when it comes to spiritual abilities, unless a girl strips in front of him. Then his powers are awakened and they rush out of him in one giant sexual metaphor that's obviously this show's one and only gag. Of course there's plenty of breast fondling by both sexes, one dimensional characters of varying hair colors and lengths, and uh well... that's about it. If you're that interested in seeing breasts, go download porn. It'll take up less space on your hard drive and is slightly (depending on your age) more legal than downloading fansubs.

i've looked all over and can't find the info i'm looking for. i just wanted to know if there is plans to make a third Vampire Hunter D movie. i watch the first two religiously and was just hoping. thanks for your time.

I'm pretty sure I've mentioned this before, but if you can't find something on the internet it's either A) too obscure or B) doesn't exist. I know from experience that looking for certain Japanese things can be hard to find if I'm not up to dragging out my dictionary and slogging through Japanese sites, but something as big as a third movie for Vampire Hunter D would be easy to find if there were OFFICIAL plans to make it. It's possible that people are talking, but until something official is released, there won't be a third movie. Luckily, Dark Horse is releasing the novels for VHD, so you'll have plenty of D related material to keep yourself busy with.

Hello Answerman,
I noticed that the Inuyasha Season 2 Box Set has finally been announced. Has there been any information as to what is in the deluxe edition? I'd like to know what I'm in for before I preorder it.
Also, are there any plans for Viz to bring out an Ani-Manga version of the second Inuyasha movie like they did with the first one?

Generally it's a good idea for companies to announce what's so special about their special/deluxe/etc merchandise when they first announce a release date. Sadly enough this doesn't happen as often as it should, so there's no way to know exactly what will be included. In the past, Viz has included toys and a calendar in their SE stuff, but it could be anything from a nicer looking box to T-shirts. If you're going to preorder it, I'd suggest you wait until it gets a little closer to the November 8th release date.
As for the ani-manga, I'd say that there's a good chance that a second one will be released, assuming of course there was enough interest in the first one. If the sales were pretty poor for the ani-manga for the first movie, they may not do it again even though the second movie is vastly superior to the first.

Hello to Ms. Answerman!
I noticed that several anime series (chrno crusade and Scrapped Princess being two) have - in addition to cd's, cd singles, and various other types of "music-from-show" related releases - audio dramas.
Now, I'm as capable as the next person of finding out what materials are on these drama cd's and finding places to purchase them at, so I don't have any problems there. ;)
But I was wondering....what is it that inspires some companies to make audio dramas while others do not? Is it mostly a money issue, or is the decision made based on popularity? Is it practically guaranteed that the script will adhere to the major points of the series and add something relevant to it, or is that something decided by each specific anime? (e.g. - do most companies take the opportunity to branch off into an 'alternate universe' storylines?) How common are they in Japan, and are they increasing/decreasing in popularity?(I won't ask you if there's a good way to predict a series making it onto an audio drama, as I doubt there is^^;;)
But the last and final and greatest question related to this topic: What started the whole "audio drama" convention in Japan? Was it the radio series of America during the early half of the 19th century, or was it something else?
Thanks for your time!

Audio dramas, especially based on popular manga series, are quite common in Japan and, considering they're still around, are popular enough. This is due to the fact that it's cheaper to make an audio drama since you don't have to worry about the visual aspect, only about paying the voice actors salaries, renting a studio, and distributing it. The specifics as to what goes on the CD is generally up to the mangaka, but most of the time the material is either comedic, dramatic or a mixture of the two. I'm not sure there's a big demand for ‘alternate universe’ storylines, but throwing the characters into another world would lead to a lot of interesting situations. It's rare for drama CDs to add details or information that the manga doesn't cover unless the mangaka really wanted such information to be told and didn't have room for it on the pages. Mostly they're just fun things for fans of the manga to buy and listen to, especially since a lot of manga out there is never animated. I'm not sure if they're increasing, but I'd say that the audio drama isn't going to be going anywhere anytime soon.
I actually can't find a lot of information on the earlier Japanese radio dramas. Most, if not all, was probably pro-Japan, pro-family, pro-unity, and heavily monitored by the Japanese government. Since the US played a big part in mid-to-late 19th century Japanese history, I'd say there's a good chance that the US had some part in it. Likely it was the desire to have everything modern that brought about the audio dramas on the radio. Nowadays though you're much more likely to find them only on CDs.

This may have been asked before, I'm not sure. My question is in regards to the various Cutie/Cutey Honey series. I know these series include 1973's Cutie Honey TV, 1994's Shin Cutey Honey OAV, 1997's Cutey Honey Flash (as well as the movie), 2004's Re: Cutie Honey OAV, and, of course, 2004's live action Cutie Honey movie. Out of all of these series, only 1994's Shin Cutey Honey is available in the United States (through ADV Films). Why is that? Why is such a classic series, one of the earliest shoujo series, being ignored in the U.S.? You'd think there would be companies clamoring for it right and left. I can maybe understand why the live action movie hasn't been licensed for U.S. release. But what reason is there for U.S. anime companies ignoring the rest of the series? It's a classic! And it's so much better than a lot of the more recent anime series.

Quality is only one part in the licensing process. Newer stuff, while it might not be as good as the classics, looks newer and companies feel that it will sell better than the classics. The longer a series sits simmering on the stove, the more likely it is to be passed over by companies. It's possible that companies (such as ADV) have tried and that there were problems with negotiations, contracts, and costs.
There is a bit of hope, though, since some older titles have been getting a bit of love and attention in the past year. I wouldn't hold my breath on it, but it's always a possibility that Cutey Honey will be picked up.

I've been hearing about "novel" releases of manga recently (specifically from Tokyopop). Does that mean they are releasing a completely text-based book, or is it another type of manga? (albeit one with more words than pictures)

These novels are either completely text-based or include a couple of pictures/drawn pages that relate to the story. I've seen these a lot when buying doujinshi and they'll even pop up in regular comics since it tells a lot more story in less space and less time. I definitely wouldn't call these manga or even “another type of manga”, mostly because the pictures (if there are any) are thrown in just to give the readers a small change of pace here or there. Sometimes they'll start out with one or two pages of manga and then go straight into the story. Other times they'll just be character drawings or a single shot from a scene in the book. For TOKYOPOP specifically, they mention that The Slayers and Clamp School novels have a handful of pictures in them along with the text. The just released .hack//AI buster novel has 10 full page illustrations.

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