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Ms. Answerman: Five Questions Later

by Rebecca Bundy,

Gun x Sword
Can we say Trigun? This is a very generic “meet the characters as they deal with mundane episodic events that have no real bearing on the rest of the series” first episode. It'll probably follow up with two or three more episodes of the same nature before getting to the meat of the story. As to how delicious or rancid that meat is, it's hard to say just from the first episode alone. The animation is extremely clean, though, so it'll be worth it to at least give this series a chance.

Full Metal Panic! TSR
Nothing new to see here people, move along. Seriously though, if you're a fan of FMP then you're going to be watching this. If you're not and have been wondering if you should watch it, this first episode is perfect for you. It gives a general overview of Mithril, the key figures who fight for them, and touches upon a problem (an unknown government selling hi-tech weapons to smaller militaristic nations) that'll probably lead the way into a larger story. It's one of the few ‘mecha’ shows that I really enjoy, so it'll be nice to see where the second season takes things.

Wow, two decent shows this time!

Subject: When is the next Anime Expo for NY
I went some where on the net and Heard it was cancelled , then another site said it was moved, need answers asap

AXNY itself was a one-time even run in conjunction with the Big Apple Anime Fest in 2002. There never were plans for more. As for BAAF itself, it was canceled for 2005 and there have been no announcements made as to whether or not there'll be one in 2006 (or anytime in the future for that matter). BAAF 2003 had a lot of money problems, so it's possible that the venue will be dropped completely. I'm not sure why you'd need an answer ASAP, but if you're thinking about going to Otakon instead if BAAF isn't going to run this year then I suggest you register for Otakon ASAP.

It seems that almost everyone on the planet is of the opinion that Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust was originally made in english. Reviews of the movie on the Anime News Network website even reiterate this. When they say this, I assume that they mean that it was animated with an english script in mind first, and then later dubbed into japanese.
I have watched this movie in japanese with subtitles and in english, and I absolutely stubbornly REFUSE to believe that the english version is the original. The dialogue has all the characteristics of any other english dub of a japanese anime, mouth-flap problems and superfluous dialogue and all.
So, what gives? Are people confused because apparently Vampire Hunter D was released in english only in north america? Am I just misunderstanding, and what they really mean is that the english dub, based off the japanese script, was made simultaneously and happened to be released first, or something? OR, am I just completely wrong? I'd love to know what the real deal is, since it's hard to find any information beyond
what someone has "heard." Thanks!

This is very old news but it should probably be answered since the novels are just starting to come out and renew interest in this oldie-but-goodie franchise.
Bloodlust was made with the English track, animated to fit the English track, and released in Japan with an English track and Japanese subtitles. The mouth-flap synchronization problems probably come from the fact that the artists were working with a foreign language and awkward, long sentences. The original script WAS written in Japanese originally though, which is why the English sounds like a translations. The English translation then became the main script and was used for the original release. Calling it a dub though would be wrong since the Japanese is technically dubbed over the original English.

Hey! I am a big fan of the Witch Hunter Robin series. I own all 6 of the DVD's and am about to start watching through them again. I'm wondering if there is any talk of making more episodes, or a new story arc. Robin didn't die in the end, so I figure there's room for more.
Also, can you reccomend a couple of animes that are similar to this series that I should check out?

It's a real shame that more of this series wasn't made. At the same time, it's always good to run across a well-rounded series that wasn't run into the ground by a bad second season or movie. Witch Hunter Robin is one season only and there aren't any official plans to make anything more in Japan. In the US, Sci-Fi is sitting on plans to release a live action Witch Hunter Robin series, but I'm guessing they're having trouble finding room for it in-between all of their cruddy animal/creature/whatever-attacks-happless-group-of-people-who-now-must-fight-to-survive movies. Even then, there's no way to know if it'll turn into a Stargate SG-1 or an Earthsea.

I was just wondering, Is there any reason why manga is always released episodically, and not as a whole story? I mean, look at Shirow Masamune and his Ghost in the Shell 1 and 2. The whole story was in one book, instead of 7 or 8 volumes. Is it less profitable to release it that way?

Profit is always an issue whenever it comes to selling something. An exceptional manga that runs for one or two volumes won't make as much as a decent manga that runs for 10. The length is really up to the mangaka and how popular the manga is. A series that's set to run for 20 volumes might be cut short due to low sales and popularity. Another series might be so incredible that people are talking about it years later yet it'll have a short run. If the mangaka decides to write a shorter story, it'll be shorter. The same goes for a longer one.
Some might think, then, that writing a longer series would be the best way to go financially; lots of time to build up an audience that, assuming the quality doesn't drop, will continue to buy the manga until the end. The problem arises with burn-outs, which happen a lot to mangaka after years and years of sleepless nights before deadline and working on the same story without any room to try new things. Creativity is another issue. Shorter series allow for many different types of stories and characters, while longer ones lock the mangaka into the same routine with the same characters that never (or slowly) change. You could be an incredible artist or story teller, but you'll turn people away from future series if you stop writing a series before it properly ends.
Oftentimes though, the longer series still tell a ‘whole story’. They might have episodic breaks to tell short stories in-between, but there's still a main story to be told.

Dear Ms. Answerman,
I was just wondering this one day. Even though you answer questions about anime and anime related things, why do your article titles revolve around English movies? Shouldn't they be somewhat related to anime?
Just Curious

Originally, I used to use the titles from one of the series mentioned in a question. Sometimes I'll also use something relating to one or two questions as well. The movie titles came about during the summer when there were always a number of big shows coming out each week.
Unfortunately, after 5 years worth of Answerman and Ms. Answerman columns, there are only so many puns you can use and only so many anime series that people write in about. That's generally why I default to using movie titles along with a tag that somehow merges questions, answers, or anime fandom into it.
If people are interested, I'll take suggestions for a random title for next week's column. I'll gather the top five, write them down on pieces of paper, crumple them up into balls, then see which one Answercat and Answercat Jr. like the most. The winner will get credit and go down in the Answerman Hall of Fame.

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