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Hey, Santaman!

by Zac Bertschy,




recently i found a Chrono Trigger song, the black omen, that i have been in love with since i heard it back in the day. i have made an awesome drum 'n' bass remake but i dont want to break any copyright laws. what are the rights to these songs? who can i talk to about getting permission? help me answerman!

Well, you're in an interesting position. On one hand, if you want to strictly follow copyright law, you'd have to get permission from Square Enix, which I can basically guarantee you will not happen. They're not really in the business of granting free license to use their work, even if it is solely for fan reinterpretation.

On the other hand, these guys, Overclocked Remix, have been doing really high-quality video game remixes for years now and nobody's ever cracked the whip on them. I think by and large, video game (and anime) companies know that fan remixes of their music really isn't a big deal; nobody's making any money off these things and it's not like people don't buy the CD soundtracks because they can just listen to the remixes.

If you want to follow copyright law to the letter, petition Square Enix for the license, but if you don't, I doubt they'd care or notice.

Hello! Lately, two things have crossed my mind that I've been meaning to find out somehow, so I thought I'd ask you. First, do you know if the song used for episode 24 of Maison Ikkoku, "Alone Again, Naturally" was sung specifically for the show by Gilbert O'Sullivan, or did they just use the song?

My other question is about the manga/anime Beck (Mongolian Chop Squad). I don't know very much about it, but I was wondering if it involves the singer Beck (from the US) at all, or is it just a coincidence that its called Beck and involves musicians?

Hey, lots of music questions these days. I'm just happy none of them involve Manneheim Steamroller. Seriously, who likes that garbage? Call it a picayune complaint if you like, but's like some dude bought a Casio synthesizer from Radio Shack and then made millions doing mediocre remixes of Christmas songs. Every time I hear it in a store it makes me want to punch the nearest mall Santa.

For your first question, "Alone Again, Naturally" by Gilbert O'Sullivan was the #1 pop song in the US back in the stone age when dinosaurs and cavemen coexisted in a harsh landscape fraught with primitive peril (otherwise referred to as 1972). It stayed atop the Billboard charts for 6 solid weeks. The producers of Maison Ikkoku were a little desperate around the time episode 24 aired thanks to sagging ratings, so they changed the opening theme - it didn't really take, so they switched it back. It was used only once more in the show, during a scene in episode 27. As far as I know, they simply used the original recording; O'Sullivan never recorded a special version just for the show.

As awesome as a manga about Beck (like, 'Guero' Beck, not anime Beck) would be, no, the manga has nothing to do with him. Regardless, the manga is still pretty awesome.

Not as awesome as it would be if it had the real Beck in it, though.

'ello.  I've been wondering about this for a while and I have not gotten really good answers about it. It's about American companies that license anime; and before you delete this bad boy it's not about the dubbing or subbing issues that people have.  The only issue I have is...why do some (not all) companies decide to kill a tv series original intro sequence and music and put in something totally American?  I guess a primary example would be Funimation and Dragon Ball Z-GT.  They take out all the original music and intros and put in something that's pretty shoddy, I mean the very first DBZ American intro (before Funimation got all the rights to it) was better than this.  Ok, enough of my fanboyisms.  All I'm saying is, doesn't it cost them more money to add additional music into anime shows?  The funny thing is Funimation kept Dragon Ball's themes and music intact (! with the exception of translating the intros and endings into English, but that's not a big problem) and the same with Yū Yū Hakusho and Blue Gender.  Bottomline:  Why the heck do companies do this kind of stuff? Last question (honest):  If the Shadow Skill TV series sells well in the US, do you think ADV will also pick up the license of the manga that inspired the OVAs and the TV series?

Honestly, nine times out of ten it's purely a marketing choice. Someone at 4Kids or Nelvana or wherever decides that kids will respond much more favorably to some kind of rap song or just an instrumental tune than a song sung in a language they don't recognize or understand. Sometimes it's because they simply can't get the music rights to the opening theme, either because of a crazy licensing fee or an unwilling record label. Yes, it costs them more money to produce their own music for the intro, but they're hoping it pays off by being more marketable to your average American kid. Usually this only happens with anime that's on during standard timeslots for children's programming - after school, Saturday mornings or any time before 11pm or so on Cartoon Network.

As for Shadow Skill, well, ADV's been quiet on the manga front lately, but apparently next year you can expect some major developments. There's been no announcement yet regarding the Shadow Skill manga (or even any hint that it might get published here by ADV or anyone else) but at this point, absolutely anything is possible.

Air and Kanon happen to be two of my top 5 favorite animes.  It's been in fansubs for quite some time, i think, and noone has picked it up to distribute over here.  What would it take to get these series licensed?

I get asked about Air and Kanon and Kimi ga Nozomu Eien and about a hundred other "based on a porno game but we took all the porno out so now it's mostly just sad girls in snow" anime series all the time; doesn't seem like any of them are getting licensed, does it?

I think it has a lot to do with the very limited marketability of these shows. Generally, they appeal to a fairly small niche within anime fandom; older men who like a little romance and not a lot of action. They're quiet and understated and rely heavily on the viewer's appreciation of (or attraction to) the female characters. These days, anime companies are a little more inclined towards licensing shows that have a broader appeal - something they think might be a mass-market success. I think if those series had been released 2 years ago, they'd be on shelves now, but as it stands, the extremely limited marketability of titles like that limit their chances of seeing a stateside release.

 How come in manga when girls dress as boys or boys dress as girls, they're never found out sooner (Hana-Kimi, W-Juliet, Girl Got Game, Fushigi Yugi had Nuriko cross dressing and Hotohori mistaken as a woman, Kill Me Kiss Me is manwha but still asian, and more)? Is this just for the story or do Japanese people consider many of themselves androgynous? I know that I at first thought T.M. Revolution was a woman in one photo...  

Well, the physical characteristics of their faces does make it somewhat easier for many asians to cross-dress.

But I'd put the answer down to something significantly simpler: the ruse needs to continue for the story to continue.

Oh, god.

i am a fan of tsubasa. I watch a lot of episodes of it. But i didnt watch
episodes when he playes with hyuga.But this is the time when hyuga can broke
the wall with the ball.
Can i gett all episodes? Can you help me  please?

Yeah, let me help you steal anime. I'm known for being really helpful in that regard.

This question has me depressed. I think I need a kitten photo.

There, that's better.

Well, there was no contest last week, and I promised some EVA swag this week, so do me a favor and try to caption this sucker:


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.

And, since it's the holidays and all and I'm in the mood to give, I'm giving the winner of this week's contest not one but TWO prizes! First, you get this:

Yep, that's ADV's Evangelion Platinum Edition thinpak box set, alright! 26 episodes of the most argued-about and obsessed-over anime ever made! And that's not all, in addition to the box set, I'm also handing out this:

It's the Notenki Memoirs, the story behind the show and the men who created it. Both of these awesome items are on shelves now, but they can be yours for FREE if you're funny enough. Email your captions to [email protected].

See you next week!

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