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Hey, Answerman!

by Zac Bertschy,

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Believe it or not, last week wasn't some kind of fluke; I'm supposed to do this every week now. Can you believe that? Every week, slavishly reading your letters. It's almost as if I don't have anything better to do. That said, this week we've got some real whoppers in here.

I have a question regarding the upcoming Hellsing Ultimate OAV that has been bugging me for a while now. I've tried looking around online, only to find very mixed and uncertain results that don't really say much of anything. Basically, is this OVA going to simply be a sequel to the TV series that picks up straight away with the start of the manga's Millennium Arc, or will it in fact be a complete retelling of the Hellsing story from the very start? As I said, the sources I've checked have gone both ways (or neither way at all), and such things as ANN's own Encyclopedia listing it as a sequel, yet giving a voice credit to pre-Millennium villain Jan Valentine, really don't help matters any.

The answers to most of your questions can be found in an interview written by some terrible hack writer named Zac Bertschy in the latest issue of Anime Insider. Kouta Hirano basically says that they're starting over from the beginning, and re-animating the entire manga from start to finish, at a pace of one or two episodes per manga volume. What that means is that we get to see Alucard tear apart the Valentine brothers again, which is really cool. Also there'll be 100 percent less Incognito, which is even cooler. Maybe this time Seras' breasts won't change size in every frame, either; who knows, the sky's the limit!

You're right about the sheer amount of rumors and speculation floating out there in internet land, that's for sure. Hell, I heard that they've replaced the Alucard character with the Count from Sesame Street. That's plausible, right? "TWO! TWO eviscerated undead Nazis! Ah-ah-ah!"

My Question: Do you know of cases of english subtitling being migrated directly from the english track instead of being translated from the japanese audio (In case of english only DVD's this dosnt matter)? You see I really sometimes worry about this, I and a massive Subtitle fanatic I just cannot bring myself to listen to anime in english accept in rare exceptions. So naturally I wounder am I missing some of the origonal japanses dialog. I understand how tough translation is in a language which is structured so differently. Still my adverse desire for the origonal mean I would want to know if im reading enligh audio and tranlated japanese.

What you're referring to are called "dubtitles", and they're actually pretty rare because hardcore anime fans absolutely hate them. Generally when the hardcores find out something's been dubtitled, they raise a huge stink (and rightfully so; what's the point of subtitles if they're not an exact translation?) and the company catches hell for it, so for the most part, your average anime company will try their hardest to avoid it. There was a pretty big outcry over the fact that the recent uncut Yu-Gi-Oh! DVDs were dubtitled, considering fans had been waiting forever to get their hands on a totally authentic, 100 percent original version. The best way to find out if something you're watching (or want to buy) is dubtitled is to check around on anime forums and see what people say about the disc; if it's dubtitled, believe you me, they'll say so. In addition, if you want to check your library for dubtitled discs, just turn the English language track on and watch it with subtitles. If the subs match the dub absolutely word for word, odds are there's some dubtitlin' goin' on.

If you want to see a REALLY terrible translation, though, download some of those zero-day fansubs that hit the internet like 2 minutes after the show has aired. I doubt some of those kids subtitling these shows even speak English or went to school. Crikey.

Lately I've become rather nostalgic for the Digimon series I used to watch on Fox Kids. Reruns on ToonDisney, however, don't really do it for me. I was wondering if you know of any plans for whoever owns the rights to Digimon to release it on DVD. I'm aware that the first season, and possibly the second are on VHS, but they are hard to come by. Are there any plans to release seasons 1, 2, and 3 on DVD? If not, do you know who I could write to to request a DVD release? (Disney/Buena Vista, Fox? etc.) Thanks!!!

We all get nostalgic for shows we used to watch all the time; I'd give my left arm for a complete box set of Samurai Pizza Cats. They should dub more shows like that. Sometimes screwing around with a generic anime results in a much funnier and more entertaining product (check out ADV's Ghost Stories dub for an example). Odds are I'll never see the Pizza Cats again, though, since it's probably me and three others who even remember that show. We're more likely to get a Botsmaster box set. Maybe it'll come with limited edition 3D glasses for "Laser Time!"

...But I digress. Your problem is that Digimon is about as popular as POGs or, say, those snap bracelets kids used to use to cut their wrists open. It had a few moments in the sun near the end of the Pokémon craze, and that's about it; interest in the property is pretty low. They'll run those reruns into the ground, I'm sure, but the odds of a DVD release - at least, a DVD release that isn't just a handful of episodes on a budget-priced disc aimed at small children - is pretty unlikely. That doesn't mean you can't make it happen, though! The first series was released on DVD by a distributor called Alliance Entertainment; I know the property has changed hands a few times over the years (with the exception of the videogames and CCGs; those have always been in Bandai's iron grip), but you may want to send them an email to inquire about future releases.

I've recently purchased volume 14 of "Blade of the Immortal" and I was wondering if you knew what the current status of the series is in Japan.

Sure thing. The manga's up to volume 17 in Japan and it's still running in Kodansha's Afternoon KC anthology. There haven't been any new volumes released there lately but there'll be one or two before the end of the year, most likely.

Hm. Well, that's pretty much all I had to say on that. Who wants another kitten photo?

Aww, look, they're friends.

Maybe I should change the title of this column to "Gay, Answerman!"

I'm turning 26 on Oct 10, and plan to celebrate with a shopping trip—to Suncoast, of course! I look around all the time for yaoi and yuri anime, because that typical boy-meets-girl stuff bores me (with a few exceptions). I know a few, like Fake, Gravitation, Descendants of Darkness, Mirage of Blaze, Kyo kara Maoh!, um... Oh, and I'm planning to scoop up Sukisho as soon as it hits the shelves next month. Can you recommend any more titles? Can you recommend anything really good, where they do more than exchange meaningful glances? Is there anything truly
perverted out there?

I'll be nice; you seem like a reasonable person, but let me set the record straight:
I am not homosexual, and cannot recommend to you a good gay porn title. You have my apologies. There are some questions I just can't answer, and "which anime gives me the hottest man-on-man action" is one of them.

Happy Birthday, though.

Well, last week's Win Answerman's Stuff competition got off to a roaring start. The sheer volume of entires I recieved was staggering. Some of them were even good!

In any case, this week's winner is Curtis Snider of Edmonton, Canada. They sure do breed 'em funny up north.

Like, ha-ha funny, not like "special" funny.

Here's Curtis' caption:

And here's our runner-up, whose fabulous prize package includes that special feeling you get when you know you almost won but didn't:

Girl: You smell like cabbage.
Man: You're really short.
Girl: ...touche...touche.

-Justin Neal

Didn't win this time? Well, here's your chance to win again!

If you want a chance to win a DVD, or some manga, or whatever else I happen to have laying around, do me a favor and bust out the comedy gold!

Here's this week's screenshot:

And it's your job to come up with the funniest caption possible. It could be dialogue, or a line or two explaining what's happening, or anything you like; it just has to make me laugh! A few words of warning:

1. Keep it clean. I won't tolerate any profanity beyond "damn" or "hell". Unless it's ridiculously funny and kinda subtle, refrain from potty humor or overt sexual references.
2. Humor that's only funny if you've seen the show the screencap is from is inherently not funny. The joke should be something anyone looking at the picture can understand.
3. The deadline for that week's contest is always Wednesday at midnight. Winners will be announced in this space every week, and they'll also be notified by email.
4. Winners will recieve their prizes anywhere from 2-4 weeks after they're announced.

5. Entrants outside the US and Canada are inelligible, unless you have a US or Canadian address I can mail the prize to.

What's this week's prize? Thar she blows:

That's right, it's a copy of Kodocha Volume 1! It's the fun-filled romantic comedy everyone bootlegged for years, and now it's available on DVD for $29.98, but it can be yours for FREE if you're funny enough. Email your captions to [email protected].

See you next week!