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Hey, Answerman!

by Zac Bertschy,

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I'd like to point out that the "First Person" sequence in the recent DOOM movie is one of the silliest and dumbest things I've seen in an action movie in a long, long time. That is all.

Hello.  I was interested in getting the series Super GALS!, which according to your encyclopedia entry on this show, ran for 52 episodes.  However, it seems ADV Films has released only the first 26 episodes on DVD as of now.  Will ADV be releasing the second half of Super GALS! episodes anytime soon?

Every single time I've ever been to a convention I wind up at the ADV Films panel and every single time someone asks about Super GALS! and every single time the answer is the same: "We can neither confirm nor deny", which has become a catchphrase that now gets used at other industry panels when fans ask unanswerable questions.

Basically, ADV had only ever licensed the first half of Super GALS!. The show wasn't exactly a runaway smash hit success, so when the time came to consider the second season, one has to assume they thought twice. The last ADV panel I was at, they reminded the audience that if they wanted to see the second season at any point in the future then they needed to run out and buy the new thinpak box set of the first season to show their support for the series; it's pretty basic economics, really. So, if you're aching to see the second season, pick up the thinpak set and convince your friends to buy it, too.

Alternately you can always just learn Japanese and import the R2 DVDs...

Update: Actually, you can't. No R2 DVDs for season 2 were ever released in Japan. Thanks to everyone who pointed this out in the forum.

My question stems from the discussion i had on a message board regarding sayings by some anime fans in other forums that the Super Robot genre is dead (shows like Mazinger Z, Getter Robo, and Go-Lion aka Voltron for example). Though i disagree that the Super Robot genre is dead as shows like Goddanar, Overman King Gainar and the new Gaiking anime have came up in Japan, i do acknowledge the fact that many of the popular mecha shows today are from the Real Robot genre (i.e. Gundam, Evangelion, Full Metal Panic! and Macross) and that not that many of the Super Robot genre would reach out to the English audience, let alone be popular (i'd rest my case if there is one Super Robot show as of late that has been otherwise).
So my question is what do you think of today's Mecha anime? Will we see shows that follow the formulas of Mazinger Z, Giant Robo, and Gaogaigar, yet reach out to many of the anime fans today? Sorry if this letter is quite long, but i'd like to hear your thoughts of the matter.

I wouldn't say the genre is dead, but it certainly has changed a lot. Sentai-style Super Giant Robot shows, at least as a genre for kids, seems to have mostly died off, making way for the Narutos and the Zatch Bells and the One Pieces of the world. The genre itself seems to have sort of transformed into something aimed at older otaku, people who grew up when the genre was in its heyday. Nowadays, the only super robot shows I've seen are of the T&A variety, like Goddannar and Gravion. Unless the newer anime versions of Transformers counts, which I'm not sure it does.

It makes sense, really; kids these days seem to prefer ninjas and pirates to robots (but the pendulum will swing back once more I'd wager), so they started making Sentai-style robot shows for older viewers who'll watch not only for the nostalgia, but also for the fan service.

In my opinion, I vastly prefer the "Real Giant Robot" shows (although I've never heard them referred to that way), even though starting with Fafner they've begun to get really repetitive, since they're all trying to get just as close to being Evangelion as they can without actually being Evangelion. I thought RahXephon was genius, probably the best example of the genre, with the little-seen Brain Powerd being the worst. Overall I'd say the Giant Robot genre, be it "super" or "real" needs another EVA-style kick in the pants in order to generate something innovative.

I know you are a busy person, but I was wondering if you know when Aria volume four is going to be released in the U.S.?  I really enjoy this manga and I am looking forward to the newest one.  Thank you for your time.

I'm kinda surprised at the number of ADV-related questions this week!

Aria, like a lot of other ADV Manga titles, is officially on hiatus. What that means is that we really don't know when the next volume is coming out; it kinda depends on sales of the books that are on the shelves right now. I asked Chris Oarr, ADV's PR guy, and he had this to say:

"Right now, Aria is on hiatus. We're all big fans of the book, and we love the artwork, and the fans are all very dedicated; we just wish there were more fans! Here's hoping the books that are on shelves right now find a home somewhere.

So there you have it. There's a brand-new Aria anime airing right now in Japan; if the show gets licensed, perhaps a surge of renewed interest in the title will bring the manga back.

    It's true that Air Master and Slam Dunk got cancelled because of low quality DVD's, which were the result of lack of market research, but I would like some clarification on something if you can give it. Because the two titles in question got cancelled, some people say/think/assume that Toei America "closed up shop". I however, believe that they haven't. Can you clarify as to whether or not Toei America is still operating? Much obliged.

Toei hasn't made any official announcements (and probably won't, to save face), but I'd consider them basically finished. The next volumes of Slam Dunk and Air Master were solicited but never delivered and the two shows haven't had anything new scheduled in months, so I'd consider Toei's brief venture into the R1 DVD market dead and gone.

It's no surprise, really; Toei barged into the market with a heretofore unseen level of hubris and arrogance and managed to shoot themselves in the foot by releasing a totally subpar product that was largely seen as an insult to fans. Any company that goes that far to ignore common sense and good business advice deserves failure.

This past week I wrote this review of Tokyopop's recent AmeriManga A Midnight Opera and had some rather harsh things to say about the content of the book and the competency of its author. The article generated more than a few replies, but this one I feel greatly sums up the general counterpoint to the review:

"With a recent review you all did on a OEM I was wondering if you have found any OEM that were decent, and quite possibly great. While with
Peach Fuzz I don't honestly know because its on my list to get, Dramacon is another story. Its the best OEM I've read to date and one I genuinely love. So I hope that you will do a review. Whether you'll agree with me or not its definitely worth a read. So please review these two as I think Peach fuzz has a chance and I know Dramacon rules."

Good points! The review wasn't really saying that all OEL (original English language) manga sucks, but it did point out the fact that A Midnight Opera is a good example of what's wrong with a lot of OEL manga and that most of what's on the shelves is stunningly mediocre. I have yet to read Dramacon, but I've heard nothing but glowing things about it so I'll have to check it out. OEL manga definitely has a lot of potential, but there just isn't much out there on the shelves right now that can hold a candle to most native Japanese stuff.

Man, I haven't had a good flake in weeks! I suppose it's time for yet another kitten photo.

Christ, I feel like I need an insulin shot now.

The Full Metal Panic! box set generated more captions than all the other contests I've run. I've never recieved that many entries before.

That said, today's winning caption is courtesy of Roque Ja:


And the runners-up:

"It was the most inappropriate time for him to fart."- Nicole Crossman

"Don't you think we're taking this staring contest a little too far?" - Jason Brazzillo

"Wow.  Yours really is bigger than mine." - Ryan Koonce

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 defeat 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 the Tsukihime Complete Collection from Geneon! The entire bizarro vampire story based on a porno game (minus the porn), and it can be yours for FREE if you're funny enough. Email your captions to [email protected].

See you next week!