Hey, Answerman!

by Zac Bertschy,

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Man, the holiday movie season is really bearing down on us this week. Within the next 7 days or so we've got both the Chronicles of Narnia movie AND Peter Jackson's mega-budget remake of King Kong. Sometimes I'm really glad to be a nerd; Hollywood tends to cater to my taste. My taste including giant monkeys and dinosaurs, of course.

Oh, also we have a new logo this time for ANN's Fuccons week. It's a one-time-only event, though, so savor the change now before I go back to my boring old one.

Now that Elfen Lied TV is complete, is there news that the OVA is coming too? Also, will Eat-Man '98 and Clamp School Detectives see the light of day on DVD?

No announcements have been made regarding either of those titles, but if I recall correctly, Elfen Lied did pretty well for ADV, so you might see an OVA release sometime down the road. The final DVD doesn't have the special OVA episode 14, but that doesn't mean it won't see its own release some other time.

As for the second part of your question, Eat-Man '98 was actually released in a complete collection, with all 12 episodes, over 5 years ago in April of 2000. This is a really, really old DVD set - when the technology was still new. You might be able to find a copy of it on eBay or through resellers on Amazon, but finding a copy of this new in a store somewhere is going to be nearly impossible. I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for a re-release, either; Eat-Man was never a big success here.

CLAMP School Detectives was one of Bandai's original "Anime Village" releases, back when they issued those bizarre clamshell cases and had stuff like Escaflowne and Saber Marionette J. Unlike those two shows, CLAMP School never really found much of an audience and I believe the license expired long ago, which is the primary reason you'll never see it on DVD here... unless someone else licenses it, of course. You can still find the VHS tapes, though, if you knock around eBay long enough.

Bleach has lots of great episodes, at least one really good video game tie in and Bleach merchandise has been a big seller at every anime con
I have been to.  It seems odd to me, and others that I have talked to, that no one has sewn up the license for this series yet.  Is there
some reason for this? Are you sick of licensing question yet?

Here's the thing: the anime industry doesn't really operate exactly as it used to in the early '00s. Bleach is a Viz title (and a major cash cow for them). It doesn't have to be "licensed"; it's owned by Viz's parent company, Shueisha. They don't have to "license" titles. If you see it in Shonen Jump, odds are (unless they decide to license it out to another American company, which does happen from time to time and has happened in the past) Viz will eventually be releasing it on TV and DVD. Now, to be fair, this is a relatively recent phenomenon; Viz is now focusing on developing franchises based on Shonen Jump properties, and obviously, licensing out what's sure to be a smash hit anime would be kind of a mistake.

It would be a fair assumption on your part that Viz currently owns Bleach. There's a small chance that they'll license the title out to someone else, but given their current marketing strategy, I highly doubt that will happen.

Is there any new news on when the next volume of Tenchi Muyo is coming out? I checked the japanese and english websites and nothing. Your my only hope.

They haven't even announced the second volume yet, man. I'm sure it's coming, but I have no idea when. I'm sure they'll make an announcement sometime inside the next few months, and then you'll know.

Hmm. That's really all I had to say on that subject.

I've read a couple of manga titles and have seen their respective animes and I have wondered why is that when a manga is readapted to an anime that it can be completely changed.  A couple of examples are Trigun and S-Cry-Ed, the manga and the anime are pretty much completely different.  I can understand why this happens with anime like Rurouni Kenshin, where the anime runs out of original material, but why completely change a manga's story?

Well, there are several schools of thought on this one. It depends on what sort of creative decisions the director of the anime series makes. Generally, when a manga-ka signs off on an anime series, they leave it completely in the director's hands; sometimes they have a more direct role in the anime production but that's pretty rare. Mostly, it's all on the director and the screenwriter to create a story.

They can go one of two ways: either make something that's slavishly close to the original story or try and come up with a condensed (or in some cases entirely new) tale using the same characters and basic story outline. Fans generally go one of two ways; either they're happy to see new stories with characters they love, or they get all up in arms about the changes made. I've never really understood why people get so mad over minor (heck, sometimes major) changes; if I've already read the manga, why do I want to see the exact same story over again? Personally, I like a little fresh content, if it's done right. One of the major problems with that attitude, though, is that rarely is the "new" anime storyline better or even on par with the manga content.

Again, it's not really a matter of "why do they allow this to happen", it's more about the choices made during pre-production and initial development.
If you don't like the anime version of the story, read the manga, and vice versa.

I have a question about Twelve Kingdoms, because of the reviews on your website I bought the first box set and liked it so much that I bought the
second set too.  I have heard that show is based on some novels, are there any plans for it to be translated to english in the future?

You heard right, the anime series Twelve Kingdoms is based on a very popular and very long-running series of Japanese novels by an author named Fuyumi Ono. There are eleven so far, plus an anthology of short stories; the most recent one was published back in 2001. As of this writing there are no official English translations or any plans to do so, but there are plenty of resources out there on the web, including some completed fan translations of the novels. Given the growing interest in popular Japanese literature here in America, I wouldn't be surprised to see the series released here eventually.

Oh, god, am I sick of getting these emails.

hello i saw your website you have all episodes of GUNDAM for sale
i wondering how to buy from you and what price

I'm also sick of these: Hello, I am working with a merchandising company and I wanted to get a rate sheet from you on how much it would cost to license images and sound from AKIRA from your website. Please contact me.

Okay folks, the encyclopedia is not a store, it isn't a list of licenses we own, it's just an encyclopedia. If we actually did have a store that sold nearly every anime title ever made or own the license rights to that much anime and manga, I can assure you we'd all have much bigger houses and perhaps monocles and top hats.

Nowhere in the encyclopedia does it say that we own or sell any of that stuff. Where do these guys come up with this?

Also, the kittens are on hiatus this week. They'll be back next week, perhaps wearing festive hats or spinning dreidels.

Okay! We finally have some winners here.

The first caption comes courtesy of someone who asked me to call him "thecactusman17":


And, if you recall correctly, we also had a second prize last week. Andrew Dieseker won that one, with this caption:

Runners-up for Robotech (surprising, since about 9/10ths of the captions I got were "cockpit" jokes)
"You do realize a turquoise scarf is the international symbol for a man who has never made it to first base?" - Kathy Sasaki

Normally this is where I'd post a new screenshot for this week, but Anime News Network currently has three - that's right, THREE - contests running. Now, I'm all for giving out free stuff, but I'd much rather you dump your creative energies into those and keep the comedy fires burning for next week, when I give away the Evangelion Platinum thinpak box set and a couple manga books to go along with it.

Sound good? Then come back next week!