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Hey, Answerman!

by Zac Bertschy,

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Well, the long weekend is already behind us and now the grisly, shambling spectre of Christmas is looming ahead, waiting to devour us whole. That said, the holidays are coming up, so in the upcoming weeks, watch for a few fun little changes prepared for the column!

Hello.  I recently purchased Volume 1 of Stellvia with the special Collector's Box.  This box contained four thinpack DVD cases, three of which were empty and the fourth containing the disc of Volume 1.  My question is this:  How should one get the rest of the discs?  Does Geneon intend for us to buy the remaining discs in the full-size DVD cases and then throw away said cases so the discs can be put in the thinpack cases, or can Geneon ship you the discs alone in a special order?

You know, I've never really understood Geneon's release strategy with stuff like that. They do it all the time; R.O.D -The TV-, Kyo kara Maoh! (to name a few) both have boxes where you're apparently supposed to buy the next volume, toss the case out and put the disc in the special edition box. It seems really strange and wasteful to me; why not just offer a regular ADV-style box, so you can keep all the artwork that comes on the individual discs? I know when I pay $30 for something, I'm not usually inclined to throw out the packaging.
It seems like those Geneon boxes are gimmicky for the sake of being gimmicky... or they're trying to offer a special edition box without having to fight retailers for more shelf space.

That said, your best bet is to just buy the discs as they come out and decide whether or not you want to use the special edition box or not. I don't see any options on Geneon's website for buying their titles disc-only, and I don't see any other e-tailers offering anything like that, so you're just going to have to make the decision yourself.

Personally, I'd have just skipped the special edition box in the first place.

I am a NOOB when it comes to Anime. I orginally got into pokemon when they were still on Kohto, the first time, and then I got into Yu-Gi-Oh!, Then i started getting into mangas. Mainly Battle Royal, Warrio of Toas.. etc... To make a long story short... I am now obesseded with Anime, however there are certian ones that arnt that great (insert annoying anime here) *cough*Inuyasha*cough* anywhoo... I noticed your post about the Yu-Gi-Oh! mangas. Well i am still a fan of Yu-Gi-Oh! and this lead me to discover a non-release "Yu-Gi-Oh! Season Zero."  As you know this is the true first season of yugioh and dosnt really deal with Duel Monsters and is more dark and closer to the first 7 Manga also. My question is Do you know If and Where i could find Yu-Gi-Oh! Season Zero or if there is rumors that it will be lincensed and relased in the States. 4Kids said they wont do it becuase its to dark and violent. So if you! have any info i would greatly apperacite. I'll even take false hope.

Ah yes, the infamous "lost season" of Yu-Gi-Oh!. People like to throw around the words "dark" and "violent" when describing that season but it's still a kid's show about a spunky lad who's really good at a card game (that you kids at home can play too!). It's a little "darker" than the newer stuff, I suppose, but it's still fairly innocuous. Still, I get a chuckle when someone tries to convince me that shows like Pokemon and Digimon are "really dark and serious and mature!". Right, that episode where Squirtle tries to find his mother is just too intense for kids. There's nothing wrong with liking these shows, but let's call a spade a spade, shall we?

There's no US licensee for the title and I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for one, either. Yu-Gi-Oh! just isn't nearly as popular as it used to be. Those uncut DVDs 4Kids released a while back didn't sell so well, and considering the people who presumably would have bought those would be the primary market for a "Season Zero" release, it doesn't make much sense from a marketing standpoint.
But, if you're interested in finding out what happened in those episodes, there's a really thorough guide to the entire season in issue #11 of Anime Insider. It's an old one, but you might be able to order it directly from their website (www.wizarduniverse.com).

little question about the difference between "manga" and "manhwa". For some time now I have seen the word "manhwa" flying by, I even read some. But what is the real difference between a "manga" and a "manhwa"? Is it just the way it is written, or is there more?

This is a really complicated question, so get ready, because this is going to be a really long answer.

Ready? Here we go:

"Manga" refers to Japanese comics. "Manhwa" refers to Korean comics.

Seriously, that's it.

The differences are primarily cosmetic; manhwa reads left to right, while manga reads right to left. Unless it's an OEL manga, if you're reading left to right, odds are it's manhwa (you can also tell by checking out the author's name). There's also a long-standing argument that the real difference between the two is that manhwa is of consistently lower quality than manga is, and is generally really derivative and unoriginal. I've read a few good Korean comics in my day, but I'd have to say this observation isn't totally off the mark.

The Fruits Basket manga was being released monthly and the volumes were top sellers every time. Why did Tokyopop suddenly start releasing them 4 months apart without any warning?

The Fruits Basket manga was originally released once every two months, and for a brief time there during the summer they switched to a monthly schedule; now they're waiting 4 months in between volumes. I can't pretend to know what Tokyopop's release strategy is, but it probably has something to do with the fact that the manga's still going in Japan, where they're up to volume 17; if they kept going at a volume per month they'd catch up to the Japanese early next year and then you'd be waiting an indeterminate amount of time for the next volume. From a marketing standpoint, it's better to have a slow, steady release scheme - once every two months, once every four months, or what-have-you - than a chaotic one that depends entirely on the Japanese release.

I went to a website that said that Trigun had a lot of filler episodes and they did not mention anything about Fullmetal Alchemist or Cowboy Bebop
having any filler episodes. Does Cowboy Bebop and Fullmetal Alchemist have filler episodes?

Depends on your definition of "filler", I suppose. Most people consider "filler" to be one of two things: either they're episodes that don't follow the manga storyline, or they're episodes that don't have anything to do with the main plot. By that standard, most of Cowboy Bebop is "filler" since there is an arching plot but only 6 episodes or so actually deal with it; the rest of them are standalone stories that serve to develop the characters a bit.

Trigun does indeed have a lot of filler since the story doesn't really kick in until the last half of the show, but Fullmetal Alchemist, to my recollection, doesn't have a single episode that isn't dedicated solely to the main plot.

I never thought I'd see the day when someone complained about photos of kittens.

I love your kitten photos, as they're cute and all (not to mention that they're my favourite kind of pet).
But can't you expand beyond JUST cats?
How about photos of cats with other animals, eg. hamsters, dogs, fish...even ligers! (No, that's not a spelling mistake)
Otherwise I will just have to send a flake your way, and I'm not talking about the dandruff kind either! ;-)

From the forums:
I've had some pretty bad experience with kittens. True story: My mom was bit by a kitten who attacked her and had to go to the hospital. You think you can put a picture of a puppy up for once? They're much cuter and I think they deserve just as much respect as kittens. The puppy from Elfen Lied is adorable.

You know, I'm just not really a dog person. But apparently David Hasselhoff (Sorry, "The Hoff" as he is now being called) is!

There, see? Puppies.

So, after a brief hiatus last week, I'm ready to give out free stuff in exchange for laughter.

But here's the problem. NOT ONE of the entries you guys sent me was good enough for the win. Seriously. I guess the picture just wasn't really condusive to comedy gold.

So I'm going to give you one more chance to win the SaiKano box set. Here's a new screencap:


But let's keep things fresh, shall we? SaiKano's been sitting here for weeks now and I'm getting tired of looking at it, so this week I'm not offering just one prize, but TWO! That's right!

Here's the screencap for the second prize:

Yes, one person can win both prizes, so write just one, write two, write a hundred captions for both screenshots, it doesn't matter! Just be funny and you win! 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, well, in addition to last week's SaiKano box, this week I'm also giving this puppy away:

That's right! It's ADV's super-mega-incredible Robotech: The Protoculture Collection! All 85 episodes of Robotech and SEVEN DISCS of crazy extras in one giant handsome box set. It's on shelves now, but it can be yours for FREE if you're funny enough. Email your captions to [email protected].

See you next week!