Hey, Answerman!

by Zac Bertschy, Feb 17th 2006

I'll be the first to admit I'm kind of a sucker for the Academy Awards. I really get into it; I handicap the winners, try and see every film nominated for something and usually I put a little money down to beat the odds. But this year's ceremony has me especially interested. Why? Is it because Howl's Moving Castle is up for the Best Animated Feature award?

No, it's because I want to see how the Academy is going to perform "It's hard out here for a pimp" from the film Hustle & Flow. Just the thought of it makes me chuckle.

Anyway, let's get down to bidness.


I was wondering if you would be able to help me understand Anime a little better so I can relate with my daughter a little bit better.
I have tried to sit and watch it with her, but I find myself falling out of interest rather quick. I have bought her just about every video that has come out. To me it seems very violent with some sexual content that I personally don't believe should be brought up in front of children. I guess I am being a little resistive and maybe being a little close minded. I am sure that there is some type of point that is being put out, but what is Anime's whole purpose? Is it something that they are just trying to become wealthy from, or is there a point about life that they are trying to get across to kids?

Dude, how old is your daughter?

Unless she's 18 or older, I gotta tell you; buying virtually every anime that comes out and watching it with her is a really, really, really bad idea.

Anime isn't a genre, it's a medium. What that means is that all sorts of stories are told in the medium, and within that medium there are genres, like sci-fi, fantasy, drama, horror, action, etcetera. You can't say "what is the point of anime?" because it's like saying "what's the point of television"? The subject matter tackled by anime is just as vaired and wildly different as what you see on American television. Sometimes the "point" is to fuel a marketing machine, or sometimes it's to express the writer or director's creativity.


There are shows for adults and shows for children and shows for everyone in between. Those shows that have surprisingly violent and sexual imagery? Odds are they weren't designed for kids in the first place. Remember, something being animated doesn't mean it's for kids. And here I thought we were kinda past this mode of thinking since Adult Swim and Family Guy came around...

That's one of the great things about anime; it's so wildly diverse that you can find basically anything you'd like in the genre. Want substance? Watch Paranoia Agent, Gankutsuou, Fullmetal Alchemist, or any of Miyazaki's movies. In it for the entertainment? Watch Full Metal Panic! or Naruto or any of the countless others designed just to keep you glued to your seat. In short, what you need to consider is that blanket statements don't really apply to anime in general and it sounds like you need to do a little more research before buying something, if all you're watching is hypersexualized violent garbage.
Okay, completely sidestepping the validity of fansubbing, I wanted to ask about the new series, Fate/stay night.  As far as I can tell, no one is
working on a fansub for this title.  Is that because the series has already been licensensed?  Or does it have more to do with the fact that this title
is very likely to be picked up, and so not really worth starting a fansub of it?

Yeah, Geneon licensed it before it even began airing. I'm sure some unscrupulous jerkbag is fansubbing it anyway, but Geneon is releasing it. It's a pretty hotly anticipated title, since it's based on the popular game by the folks who brought you Tsukihime.

Also, this question is not an invitation to send me links to Fate/stay night fansubs or post fansub links in the forum.
So don't do that.
I viewed an anime many years ago that was airing on cartoon network in the US. It involved a bounty hunter with bright red hair that used an antique gun as his weapon of choice which used antique shells with extraordinary power. He had one job that got too crazy and even with his deep fear of flying into space, he was forced to go into space. He joined up with other bounty hunters/space pirates and went on many missions with their special ship. My problem is I have no idea of the name. If you could help me at all I would greatly, greatly appreciate it. Thanks.

You're talking about Outlaw Star. It's still available on DVD from Bandai Entertainment.

Man, y'all are lobbing me softballs this week! What's with all the easy questions?

so is the release date that sony put out for Final Fantasy: Advent Children FINAL FINAL FINAL because I have been waiting forever to see this and they keep pushing it back. they owe us fans this movie and i havent downloaded it yet so they better get it to me on time this time, i am so tired of waiting!!! so please can you help!!

The April release date that Sony announced recently is actually the first official release date we've ever had. At E3, which isn't officially open to the public, Sony said it would come out in North America at the same time as Japan, but they never specified an exact date. After backtracking on that statement, Sony has never officially announced a release date until now. Every other date has been speculated by retailers and journalists, or unoficial information from inside Sony. There never really was a publicly promised release date for the film until now and I have no reason to believe they're going to miss that target date.

Also, the fans haven't been waiting that long. Sqaure announced that the film was going into production years ago, and it takes about 3-4 years for the average heavy-duty CG film to finish production. I mean, that's how long it normally takes Pixar or Dreamworks to finish a movie, so why would Square's film, which is just as long (in fact, it's slightly longer) take a few months?

The amount of bellyaching and moaning over the situation with Advent Children's release is staggering. I've never seen fans get so up in arms over something; it's either a really massive entitlement complex problem or people just REALLY LOVE to complain when their cartoons aren't delivered on time. I mean, yeah, we all want to see Advent Children, but is it really worth screaming at the top of our lungs every time a new announcement is made? No, it isn't. At the end of the day it's just a CG movie.


I was just wondering...what do you think the chances are that someone will come out with a decent, christian-based manga? I know there's one out there right now ('Serenity' I think...) but I personally couldn't even get through the first ten pages. It would be nice if someone were to create one that wasn't so in - your - face about it.


That's an interesting question. Depends on what you mean by "Christian" manga; do you mean comics that have characters that are Christian, or a comic that espouses the Christian virtues?

By and large, Christian entertainment, for whatever reason, has always been about beating the viewer over the head with heavy-handed Christian moral lessons and saying over and over again that Jesus is the lord and savior, etc; I've never understood why it (or what little I've seen of it; I'm not a religious man at all) always seems to be so preachy, as though the message comes first and
everything else, including character, storyline and plot are all secondary and are only written in so they can further the "Christ is Lord" message.

To be frank, unless there's a major shift in the way Christian media outlets produce entertainment, you'd be better off reading manga that simply follows basic Christian virtues without actually being Christian. You know, like helping your fellow man and all that. There are plenty of those.





This is probably the best letter I've ever had.

GET YOUR ASS TO MARS QUAID

I been DREAMIN'
Of GOIN' to MAHZ
where MYOO-TANTS
drive
PLASTIC CARS
So I GO DEAH
You know de REST
De best paht is the girl with
THREE BREAST


Alright, alright, we've officially derailed. Maybe this kitty bundle will fix everything.

...no? Crap.






I'd like to say something about last week's contest.

The amount of hilarious creativity you folks are putting into these cliche anime entries has me completely floored. The stuff y'all are sending in is absolutely priceless.

That said, I realize that last week I never established a deadline, so I'm going to extend this thing for another week. I have people sending in artwork and others actually recording theme songs for their fake shows. Seriously. That's the level of work I'm getting here. I'm amazed.

So, I'm extending the contest until next Wednesday. Here are last week's rules, in case anyone forgot:

As some of you may have noticed, I get a lot of emails from people asking me how to contact anime companies in Japan about producing their AMAZING anime idea!

And, as it happens, pretty much everything they send me is as hacky and cliche as possible. But hey, rather than get depressed by it, let's have a contest!

So here are the rules this week:

I want you to come up with the most overcooked, lame, cliched, been-there-done-that anime premise you possibly can, in 300 words or less. All I need is a plot summary. Give the show and your characters names and tell me as much as you can in 300 words or less about your over-the-top, ridiculously cliched show.

But it's not solely about mining for cliches; I'm going to be on the lookout for people who really manage to cram as many hackneyed ideas as they can into their story. Writing quality is absolutely vital and if you make me laugh, there are bonus points involved. Don't just rush through it, either; put some real thought into it. Here's an example of what we're looking for:

Kotoko is your average mild-mannered chump who's struggling to get into Osaka university; the one problem? Every time DD-cup breasts are smashed into his face by his pervert teacher, he's magically transported to a world where buxom schoolgirls pilot giant robots against the invading Izujo menace! To make matters worse, in this fantasy realm, Kotoko is the commander of an elite squadron of anti-Izujo android sex maid mecha pilots, who all live in a dormitory under his watch!

You can see where I'm going with this. Be sincere! The more your synopsis convincingly sounds like the back of an anime DVD, the more you're likely to win. Bonus points will be rewarded for creativity, too; submit fanart, fake DVD covers, heck, fake merchandise! Go all out! It's up to you how much effort you put in to this contest, but how much effort you put in will determine your fate.

Remember, the more creative and outlandish you get the more likely you are to win. Also, I'm increasing the stakes. In addition to last week's prizes, which include the following:



I'm also gonna throw these in:

 

That's right! You get not one, not two, not five but EIGHT prizes for winning this challenge! The winner gets all of the above mentioned prizes AND the first four volumes of Viz's smash hit Death Note manga!

So create! Make me laugh! Put your heart into it!

And I'll see you next week!


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