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Hey, Answerman!

by Zac Bertschy,

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Well, thanks to a stroke of good luck, everything's back to normal this week, so we have a winner for the caption contest and a brand new Flake of the Week. You guys really know how to shine in a crisis situation!

I ask the questions what are the points that one should make in the age old anime argument sub vs dub i have always been on the side of dub while i can see many points are quite true and valid my stomach turns when people say "because i want the pure emotion and translations than that hack and butchered versions made by comapnies to take all the money from your pockets" which i am sure you know that covers alot of anime fans that go so far as to hate subtitles made by companies and they only go for fansub thinking they are better than all. i always make the case that these people are usualy in college studying japanese and no subtitles are purer than dub since its the same idea.

The people you're talking about arguing with are a new breed of "fan" (although I hesitate to call them that) out there right now, created mostly by the proliferation of anime via bittorrent. They make a number of wacky claims, like anime companies are all evil behemoths who exist solely to drain your wallet, that all commercial translations are incorrect, that dubs "butcher" the spirit of the original Japanese version and that anime is created under some bizarre bohemian ideal that it should be totally free and readily available to anyone who wants it. Their general attitude is that anyone trying to make a buck off of anime is an evil capitalist pig-dog who disrespect and mutilate their untouchable sacred artwork.

These people live in a fantasy world that does not exist outside the internet. Basically, what they're arguing is a fairly ridiculous set of ideals that justify the fact that they steal anime rather than pay for it. It's the ultimate excuse to not have to pay for anything; everything the companies do is wrong, anime should be free for everyone, fan translations are always better, etcetera. All of these "beliefs" point to one thing: not paying for anime. It's way past simply "dub versus sub", an argument that should have gone the way of the dinosaur when DVDs first started becoming popular, since 99 percent of DVDs released present the show in both languages. Those people claiming to understand the "pure emotion and feeling" of anime in Japanese probably don't even speak the language; if they're taking it in college, even a few semesters of Japanese isn't enough to really understand the full range of emotion since you're only going to be speaking at a 2nd or 3rd grade level, and even then, there's no guarantee your listening comprehension will be up to par. The whole "pure emotion and feeling" argument is just another excuse to not pay for anime.

The people who argue this way are, frankly, pretty despicable and hypocritical. They tout themselves as being the world's biggest anime fans, stalwart chosen protectors of the creator's original vision, and yet they are also the least likely to actually support the shows they claim to love so much by paying for the legit DVD release. They behave as though the ultimate show of affection and support for someone's art is to steal it, slap your lame fansub group name all over the title sequence (Like #ANIME-SOX PRESENTS CHRONO CRUSADE), use gaudy fonts and half-assed translations to subtitle the show and then give it to as many people as possible for free. This attitude makes absolutely ZERO sense and I await the day when some of these people start using even an ounce of common sense, climb down off whatever self-righteous pedestal they've built for themselves and maybe ditch the bullcrap communist nonsense they spew about how anime should be free for everyone.

Real anime fans support the shows they love by buying the legitimate DVD release. Period.

Alright look. I love Berserk. It's at least in my top 4 anime of all time. I realize that it will never have a season 2. I will realize that my anime
needs for this show shall never be satiated. I know that I now have to turn to the somewhat satisfying manga for all my Berserk storyline needs. But!! I need to hear it from an expert such as yourself! What's the story behind it's cancellation, if there even is one? What are, in fact, the chances of a season two, no matter how slim they may be?

Oh boy!

OK, normally I wouldn't bother answering this question for the 800 billionth time, but apparently now people think Berserk was cancelled, so I need to correct that.

For starters, there's no guarantee that they'll never make another season of Berserk. It's possible that they're waiting until Miura's finished with the manga, which I believe is currently on hiatus for a while, so it could be some time before they even consider producing another season. Secondly, the show wasn't cancelled, it just ended like every other anime series. Furthermore, the manga isn't "somewhat satisfying", it's actually a great deal better than the anime; around volume 13 you'll see where the anime ends, and to give you an idea of how much more story there is, the Japanese release is approaching 30 volumes. Believe you me, there's a LOT more to the story. As cool as another season would be, the manga's good enough. Be thankful there's more to read. But, as has been said at least 50 times in this column, there's no news regarding a second season of Berserk, and there probably won't be for a long time, if at all.

I promise I won't answer this question again for at least a week.

Hi!  I was wondering if Fullmetal Alchemist the movie was released in Japan yet, and if so if you guys knew the approximate time it will take to get to the U.S.  Thanks  a lot!

Yeah, it sure has. Titled Fullmetal Alchemist: The Conqueror of Shambala, the film was in the box office top 10 for three weeks before sliding off the charts. A US release is guaranteed, but don't expect to see it until after FUNimation is done releasing the TV series on DVD.

Hm. That's really all there is to say about that. I suppose I should fill this answer out with something, though.

There, that'll do.

 I am an esteemed fan of the Newtype magazine stateside. I also fancy the analysis and exploration in anime and films in general. What do you think a guy should do to try to join an established anime magazine in terms of helping to explore anime and write reviews and coverage for it? Credentials, Classes, any advice at all? Thanks for your input.

Good question. I've been getting a few inquiries about writing for anime magazines lately, so I'll answer this one as broadly as I can.

Every anime magazine on the market today accepts freelance work, which is what you're going to need to do if you want to write for Newtype USA. The best way to get noticed - or to build a resume you can submit to them, since most anime magazines will accept unsolicited resumes and writing samples from potential freelancers - is to start publishing your work on the web. This very site routinely hires freelancers to write reviews; so does Anime on DVD and any number of other websites out there (although payment will vary from site to site). I'd suggest publishing reviews, columns and other articles on the web, even if you have to do it in a personal blog, for at least 6 months before contacting a magazine; you're going to want a solid base of writing samples you can submit if you really want to impress them, and the writing practice will help you tremendously.

Newtype I know usually requires its freelancers to pitch articles, which means you need to come up with something you'd like to write about and submit the idea to them for approval. Anime Insider does things a little differently; they decide all the content themselves, and then farm it out to freelancers who write the articles. When approaching Newtype for work, make sure you have a couple of article ideas in mind, and make sure you know what issue they're working on next so you can pitch ideas that are appropriate for the issue's release frame. If you're interested in writing for Anime Insider, there's a catch-all email address on their website. I'd recommend sending your resume, a polite and professional letter explaining your intent and some writing samples there if you want them to consider you.

This is all of course assuming you have talent for writing, though, and to that end I'd highly recommend taking a few journalism classes and a creative writing course. The most important skill you can have when writing for any magazine is learning to write in their voice; the magazine isn't interested in your voice, they're going to need you to write in their specific style, so make sure you've read plenty of issues of the magazine you want to work for before attempting to write for them. This is actually a fairly difficult skill to master, so I recommend lots of practice and research.

Writing for anime magazines is a very rewarding pursuit and if you work hard enough at it and have enough skill and talent, the odds that you may one day be hired by one are pretty high. Normally when they're hiring new staff, magazines will look at their established, reliable freelance base and choose candidates from that pool first. Establishing yourself as a capable, competent freelance writer will put you at the front of the line when the time comes to hire staff.

Good luck!

It never ends.

ok last week you said naruto is being pronounced right in the Cartoon Network butcher version and you need to know that you are wrong, also what they did to naruto is a travesty and a crime, they made it into a show for kids, it is a show for adults. you should publisdh this letter and also correct your old answer, they do not pronounce naruto right.

Ah, now I know why they call 'em "Narutards".

I'm not going to bother responding to the rest of this letter, but I will point out that Naruto is not, nor was it ever intended to be, a show for adults. Something having blood and dealing with themes like death and abandonment (and then being fansubtitled by 13-year olds who think adding a bunch of unecessary swear words is totally awesome) does not make a show "adult". There are episodes of The Smurfs that deal with death and abandonment; something tells me you wouldn't argue that The Smurfs is a mature show for mature adults who are mature. Naruto is written to appeal to children, generally around age 10 and up. You can tell because it's a show about spunky kid ninjas who have amazing adventures learning important life lessons like being true to yourself and the value of teamwork; also, it's published in an anthology clearly targeting children. Duh.

So, last week we hit a little speed bump, but we're back and cooking with gas this week!

Today's winning caption is courtesy of Charles Johnson:


We had a few runners-up, too, which is surprising given the sheer number of people who sent in the same "it's a zit" or "say hello to my little friend" jokes. One of 'em is another one from Mr. Johnson:

"Arrr, Matey! Me parrot is sick this week, and the temp agency sent this
thing as a replacement!"
- Charles Johnson

"When the fangirls said they wanted some 'man on man action', I don't
think this was quite the scenario they had in mind..."
- Denise Bagley

"The picture I e-mailed you was me, but I cropped it a little. So, still want to go out?"- Romeo D. Mejia

Funny stuff, folks. Keep it up! Here's this week's screenshot:

Didn't win this time? Need the sweet nectar of victory to wash the bitter taste of defear from your mouth? Then 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.

This week's prize? Thar she blows:

That's right! It's Princess Tutu, one of the girliest shows ever, guaranteed to make you question your masculinity and make you develop an affinity for pink frilly things. It's on DVD from ADV now for $29.95, but it can be yours for FREE if you're funny enough. Email your captions to [email protected].

See you next week!