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Hey, Answerman!

by Zac Bertschy,

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I'm not sure how much longer I can go without another new episode of LOST. Curse you, ABC!

Let's get down to business, shall we?

Sorry to pick on you, but I was on your website and if possible for you to help us out please? I am a Head Promoter of a new big club night starting in England.With a Japanese Name. I have always loved, been drawn to and still watch today Anime and Manga cartoons, films and comics. I love the way that something so beautifully drawn can come alive in colour on screen and book. My question is that on my flyer's and posters for my new club night, I would love to have Manga / Anime images from films, cartoon comics. Is this something that I need to get copyright before I can produce? I love the kind of images from "TACTICS" DVD Anime, Manga?
Do you know how I go about getting copy write if I have too? I would like one image from the DVD or comic, and do the same for the next month's club nights.

The Japanese are sticklers for copyright. They get pretty riled up if they see their art on something they didn't approve or doesn't have the appropriate copyright. Admittedly the world of club flyers is pretty rife with copyright infringement anyway; I don't think I've ever seen a club flyer that actually had copyright information on it for whatever image they were using. Generally I think the attitude is that the odds an executive from Toei is going to ever see your flyer are pretty low so most club promoters just do whatever they like.

If you're interested in going about it legally, I'd suggest finding the American (or European) company that owns the license for the series and asking them about it. They'll be able to provide you with copyright info and also potentially give you permission to use the art in the first place. If the artwork you want to use has no American or European licensor, then I'd suggest finding art that does. It'll just be easier for you in the long run.

The other option is to hire one of the many talented fan artists out there on the web and comission an original piece for your flyer. It's an easy (and cheap) way to get great anime-style artwork that you won't have to worry about in terms of copyright infringement.

Good luck with your club! If you want to name a drink after me, my favorite brand of Vodka is Ketel One so try and use that in the mix. I won't mind, seriously.

Hey there! My question is about the Naruto dub. Um, before we start, I'd like to state for the record that I actually really LIKE the dub (Eep! Heresy! Please don't let the Narutards burn me at the stake!). One thing I've been wondering though... why does Naruto say "Believe it" all the time? Is that a translation or substitute for something he says in the Japanese? I know that anime characters often have signature phrases, but my ear for Japanese wasn't good enough to pick up any recurring phrase back when I was watching the fansubs. (Still wouldn't be, most likely. This week, my class is learning how to say what TIME it is! Yay!)So, does "believe it" have an equivalent in the Japanese, and if so, what is it? Or did somebody on the translation team just say "You know what this kid needs? A catch phrase!"

In the original Japanese version, Naruto has a speaking pattern wherein he ends most of his sentences with a flourish, "Dattebayo!". It's just like Chichiri in Fushigi Yugi, who ended most of his sentences with "No Da", or Rurouni Kenshin, who says "de gozaru yo". In Naruto's case, it's a dialect, a little phrase intended to make him sound rough around the edges. It doesn't really mean much of anything; if you really wanted to assign a translation to it, I suppose "Don't 'cha know" would be close enough.

The problem is, it's difficult to get those speech patterns right in English, since we don't really have an equivalent in our language. Generally people don't end their sentences with "ya know" or "am I right?" all the time, and if they did they'd likely be punched in the face for being an annoying git. It just doesn't sound very natural. Basically, Viz decided to translate Naruto's various "Dattebayo!"s into "Believe it!" which yes, does seem like a catchphrase. It's an approximation of the way he talks in Japanese, and it's pretty understandable why they chose to go that way. It's a lot better than forcing a speech pattern, which would just sound awkward (see the Kenshin dub for an example of why forcing speech patterns is a bad idea).

Got a question for ya about a certain Crusade series.  It is a widely known fact that there are two different spellings for the title and main character of said series: In Japan, Chrno, in the states, Chrono.  Im not hear to ask about which is officially right or any other opinion crap like that, but Ive heard a number of different stories as to why there is a difference.  So I was wondering, what's the real story behind it?  Thanks :)

This actually happens a lot when Japanese creators (and Japanese manga editors) who don't speak or read English very well use English in their comics. They misspelled "Chrono". When ADV licensed the title, they fixed it. That's it. That's all there is to it. Frequently, if you pay attention to background signs and random English words in anime and manga you can catch more than a few misspellings.

I kinda feel like I should be ashamed for actually liking Gantz, because people seemed to have been paying more attention than me concerning the plot and characters. I like it because aliens get blown up real good and it's graphic. Am I a dummy for liking Gantz?

No, your friends are lying.
Gantz has a decent story but let's face it, the real lure of the show is the gratuitous sex and violence on display at all times. Heck, I love Gantz (although the manga is way, way better than the anime), and the story's not bad, but I'm not going to pretend I don't get my share of sick thrills at how depraved the show is at times. Don't feel bad; you're just being honest with yourself!

 A while back Ms. Answerman did a short piece on why some manga shows up earlier on store shelves than others, and she gave this response:

"It's a little strange to see a title a whole month before its release date, but it's not unheard of. Titles are generally shipped ahead of time and the boxes are marked with when they're supposed to be opened, but it's rare for all stores to always wait until that marked date. A really good example of this is Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Even though it was made very clear that lawsuits would be brought up against any store that put the books out early, a few still managed to slip into buyers hands because the stores/employees ignored the dates on the boxes.
For the less popular titles that make up 99.99% of the books out there, putting a book on the shelf early is not an unusual sight. Employees want to get the work done faster and in one large clump, so they put things out a few days to a week early so that the work is done. For the title to show up a month in advance, it's possible that Tokyopop had everything ready and shipped it out early so that they also wouldn't have to deal with it later."

I got this response from a concerned reader:

"In your July 26 column, you answered a question about graphic novels put on the shelves before their release dates.  I know you weren't intending to be offensive, so I didn't take it personally when you indicated that book store employees break the law for convenience. However, I wanted to try to correct that misconception. 
I am a book store employee and the resident expert in graphic novels.  When I started my job at the book store, I was shocked that sometimes graphic novels come to us as much as six weeks early.  However, they do not come in boxes with release dates, so they are shelved immediately like all the other books that arrive in boxes not labelled with strict release dates. 
Apparently, the book stores have contracts with the publishers, and the publishers are the ones who specify what release dates the stores must adhere to strictly.  At our store, we are fastidious about abiding by these contracts. 
For some reason, no graphic novel publishers ask us to put things out strictly according to release dates.  I don't actually know why, but I think it has to do with added expense to the publisher from labelling and shipping the boxes.  Not even DelRay, with their monetary clout, requires us to abide by scheduled release dates for graphic novels.  (However, DelRay also sends their books very close to—and sometimes after—the release dates.)  (Update: Recently, DelRay has begun asking us to abide by some of their release dates on their most popular titles.)
I can't speak for any other store, but at our store, we don't disregard our legally binding release date contracts. 
When I began working, I was irritated by this situation, even though we were not breaking any law or legally binding contract, but I have come to accept the situation for what it is: a gift.  For graphic novels especially, release dates are usually a ballpark figure.  They get pushed back and moved up all the time.  The publishers (who do the moving) are very aware of this, and so are the book sellers.  So the next time you're at a store, and you're given the gift of, say, Fruits Basket 11 four weeks early, accept the gift with a smile, and know that you're not purchasing something illegally.
I need to remain anonymous, if you don't mind, and I'd appreciate if you could post this information in a column to clear up any misunderstanding.
As an aside to you, Ms. Answerman, I would advise that in the future you check with book stores and with publishers first before answering a question like this.  From what I understand, you have the industry contacts to be sure you're printing correct information.  This site is a popular one, and people take what you say at face value.  It's a good idea to be certain the information you pass along is correct. 
In addition, it's kind of risky to indicate that book stores are engaging in illegal activity when a specific store is named in the question. 
I don't know if you have had personal experience with this situation in a book store, but I am proud of the integrity of our store, and I wouldn't want readers who actually purchase manga from us to feel like they were doing something bad or aiding illegal activity by purchasing manga whenever it is available on the shelves. 
Yeah, it all sounds stuffy and a bit idealistic that I'm taking this all so seriously, but it's my job, and I love it, and I don't want its reputation to be tarnsished."

I don't think she was calling bookstore employees criminals for putting manga out before the release date, but thanks for the clarification anyway.

If I don't get a good flake soon I'm gonna have to change this section to "kitten photo of the week".

Thanks to reader Quinn Palmer for the photo!

You people sure do like box sets. Every time I give one away it generates a ton of mail.

That said, today's winning caption is courtesy of Ray Campos:


And the runner-up:

Girl: "You know, I think the taxi driver knew all along that we never
intended pay."
- Sebastian Sandoval

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 4-6 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:

HOLY CRAP! It's Viz's entire second season of Inuyasha, 27 episodes of Rumiko Takahashi's wildly popular fantasy action series! You can watch Inuyasha and his friends fail to kill Naraku again and again for FREE if you're funny enough. Email your captions to [email protected].

See you next week!