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Hey, Answerman!

by Zac Bertschy,

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Well, we were on hiatus last week and the withdrawal was almost too much to bear. They had to chain me to the bed, lock me in my bedroom and leave me only with a bottle of water and a book on how being addicted to answering reader mail will shave years and years off my life, and destroy my personal relationships.

So, like any junkie worth his salt, I pretended to clean up. They let me out, and now I here I am, having fallen completely off the wagon.

I have heard rumors that Ergo Proxy will be in high definition. is this true, and can we expect to see it in HD on this continnent onTV or DVD?

Well, the answer to that question depends on a few things. Firstly, I have no idea what you mean by simply "high definition"; do you mean the upcoming HD-DVD and Blu-Ray formats? Because as of right now, I can't answer that question. Do you simply mean 16x9 widescreen? If that's your question, then the answer is, of course, yes, just like countless other shows presented in anamorphic widescreen. Anime has been presented this way for years now, and it's nothing new.

As for HD anime on TV, well, we probably have a long way to go on that. The closest you're going to get to that right now are the occasional anime films that pop up on HBO or Showtime; none of the networks that show a lot of anime (like Cartoon Network) have HD-capable channels yet, so you might be waiting a while. As it stands, I don't think any of the major networks that have HD channels (like NBC, ABC or CBS) would show anime. Especially something as confusing and wierd as Ergo Proxy.

But hey, keep on dreamin'.

Is there any possibilities that there will be any One Piece movies sent to the US?

Yeah, probably, and they'll also probably be all hacked up and terrible by the time they make it over here. The One Piece movies are in general pretty disposable one-shot stories that are fairly hit-and-miss, but after being put through 4Kids' editing machine, they'll be much worse for the wear. Since they're burning through the episodes at an amazing clip (cutting out 40 percent of them in the process), they'll probably have to either release a movie here sometime in the near future or cut them up into half-hour sized episodes and show them that way.

Normally I don't complain about TV dubs, but man, that One Piece dub is really just godawful. I don't see how anyone can sincerely complain about the Naruto dub or any of the Adult Swim dubs when all they have to do is compare it to the tragic One Piece dub for an example of how awful whatever they're complaining about could have been.

I know little or nothing about this:
But here goes:
It says:
TBS has announced the premiere dates for the broadcast of the 2nd season of Ah! My Goddess TV anime series. TBS: April 6, MBS: April 22, BS-i: April 27.
which leads me to look for station TBS in my online guide & look for it on the internet:

As it seems to be{after much looking}:
talking about some TBS station that must only be able to be viewed in Japan
& NOT the TBS station that can be viewed in America{Dish Network}.

Ah yes, the Japanese TBS channel, confusing millions of anime fans with basic cable for years and years now. The Japanese TBS stands for Tokyo Broadcasting System, and it has absolutely nothing to do with the American TBS, which stands for Turner Broadcasting System, your home for endless sitcom reruns. I get this question a lot, actually.

That's not to say you'll never see the second season of Ah! My Goddess here in the US. Media Blasters is still releasing the first season; unless the show simply didn't sell enough, I'd wager the second will be out here soon enough (if not from Media Blasters, then someone).

I figured that since you're something of a Gankutsuou fan, you could answer me this:

See, my absolutely adoration of Dumas' Count of Monte Cristo made me go out and buy the Gankutsuou animation volume 1.  I enjoyed lots of the things Gonzo did with it, like the visuals and character designs and some of the French and such...

But uh... Comte in outer space?  Monte Cristo actually as a vampire (from what I could tell)?  I mean, I don't find it TOO particularly distracting (at times I don't even remember that the series IS "sci-fi" because I love the story and am so Monte Cristo-ed), but... where did THAT come from?

Was it just some kind of ploy to get more people to watch it, marketing it as a "sci-fi" series?  Was it some crazy symbolism, like saying post-Napoleonic France was some kind of "exotic, foreign realm" or something?  What?  I don't feel that it really enhances anything about the series at all...  I... really can't make heads or tails out of it...

I've actually heard on more than one occasion from "fans" of Dumas' original work (I hesitate to call them "fans"; it's like saying "Well I've been hearing from A Tale of Two Cities fans that..." it's classic literature, somehow it seems wrong to designate oneself as a "fan" of it) that Gankutsuou is some kind of bastardization, because it changes a lot of the original story and has more than a few fantastical elements in there.

Honestly, I can't really get my head around this line of thinking. Yes, the series' director - Mahiro Maeda, one of the few working directors in anime today actually willing to take so many artistic challenges - took a lot of liberties in his version of the tale, but Gankutsuou is hardly an 'adaptation' of the original work. It's more of a re-imagining, like Tim Burton's remake of Planet of the Apes (minus all the suck). Expecting it to be anything more than one artist's take on the story, for better or worse, is a road to ruin. I have no reason to believe that Gankutsuou is the way it is for any reasons other than purely artistic ones; having met Maeda several times and interviewed the man, he isn't the type to simply slap a bunch of gimmicky crap onto a classic story to get it to sell. He made the series he saw in his head. This is what creative people do.

You know, a whole lot of people seem to thrive on complaining about changes made to film and television adaptations of books and novels, and frankly, I don't see the point. Maybe it's because I'm so immersed in film as a medium, but in my mind, if it's a good book AND a good TV show or movie, then what's the problem? No, the adaptation of Alan Moore's V for Vendetta did not include every single panel of the original graphic novel, but it was still an excellent film that maintained the spirit of the book while creating something marvelous for the film medium. Adaptation means 'change', after all. Unless the reworked version completely lacks the spirit of the original work and instead creates something completely new (that also isn't very good or worthwhile), I simply shrug when people complain about excessive changes from the source material. What's the point? Just enjoy the book for what it is, and enjoy the series for what it is. Life's too short.

But, regardless of all that, people will still cry bloody murder when even a single word is interpreted "wrong" in the film version of a beloved book, so attempting to stem the internet fury of these self-appointed guradians of the original text is a completely sisyphean task.

Although it gives me life, there are days where the Internet shows its true colors as a vile entity of pure ignorance and I spiral into shame and regret.

Dear Answerman,

I got some bad news. I Just read a comment on the Ban Anime Now Petition. Here Goes.

"My fellow Americans, I have read many of your comments and concerns, I feel that if we want to eradicate this evil that is plaguing America we have to come together and voice concerns such as you have my fellow Christians. I am working to pass a new law that bans every type of questionable animation that comes into America. It is our duty as Americans to see that our children are not subjected to these evil images that will plague our childrens minds. I thank you for your time and opinions. - George Bush."

Is this really the hurtful truth or did some impersonator trying to pull our leg? Is Anime really going to end right now?

Josh Taylor

Mother of God.

People are still actually buying into this "ban anime petition" garbage that's been roaming around the internet for years.

Here's a tip, Josh: The "Ban Anime Now" petition is a hoax started by a bunch of bored IRC kids who have some bizarro persecution fantasy going on where everyone in the country hates them for enjoying Japanese cartoons. This petition is almost like roleplaying for them, where they get to pretend that someone actually did start an internet petition (which always work, by the way) to "ban anime in America", which if it succeeded would not only be a massively unconstitutional but downright absurd and surreal.

The reality is, of course, that outside of bizarro fringe groups nobody listens to anyway, you'd be hard pressed to find a group or an individual that has sincerely made a statement about "banning anime". Nobody cares if you like anime, nobody cares about that fake petition, there is no cultural war being waged on anime. Nobody cares.

Furthermore, I'm trying to understand why in the world you would believe this to be a real quote. Something tells me that the President of the United States is too busy worrying about his low approval ratings and the war he started to bother leaving comments on an internet petition.

To illustrate my point, let's have a pop quiz:

On any given weekday, George W. Bush is most likely to be found doing one of the following:

A. Attending a White House Press Conference
B. Reading over that day's presidential briefings
C. Planning his appearance schedule
D. Receiving updates on the Iraq war
F. Reviewing the immigration legislation that recently passed the Senate
G. Vacationing at his ranch in Texas

H. Writing poorly-written, unfiltered comments by himself on a fake, obscure internet petition about banning Japanese cartoons

What was your answer? Here's a tip: THE ANSWER IS NOT H.

In fact - and this is not sarcasm or even a dig at the President - I wouldn't be surprised if he doesn't know what the word 'anime' means. I'd wager most people his age don't and don't care, especially not
someone with higher priorities in life, like say, the leader of the free world. Besides, I may not hold our President's intelligence in very high esteem, but I'm going to assume he can at least use proper punctuation and grammar, none of which can be found in that stupid "quote".

THINK, people. Think.

We're still on hiatus, but get ready: within the next few weeks, Anime News Network will be launching our most exciting contest yet! So keep your eyes peeled.

Oh, I nearly forgot. Here's a cute animal.

See you next week!