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Hey, Answerman!

by Zac Bertschy,

Some people call me a space cowboy.

Some call me the gangster of love.

...actually, that's a lie, nobody calls me that.

What ever happend to Lost Universe getting release? ADV did have it, right? Did they just drop it for no good reason? Is there any chance of us getting releases? Knowing ADV, a nice Thinpak of all 26 would be good. With Slayers getting new attention when FUNi releases it, it'd make sence to have its sister series out there!

As far as I know, ADV hasn't announced a Lost Universe thinpak yet, but that doesn't mean one isn't coming. I wouldn't hold my breath, though. The show was never very popular - it's kind of a poorly-animated Slayers-esque comedy in space that didn't have a big fan following before reaching the states (and then never really picked up much steam afterward, either). The original DVDs were only issued once, and never re-released.

Again, that's not to say it won't happen, though.

I've never sent you a question before but I hope you have a chance to answer.  Is there any chance of Jigoku Shoujo AKA Hell Girl getting licensed and dubbed for a release?  If it did get licensed, do you know who might put it out?  This series has become a favorite of mine and no matter how hard I search, I can't find even a rumor about it being licensed.  Hope you can help me.  Thanks!

You know, I was nearly about to say "Well, Geneon's name is in the production credits.." but upon further investigation, it actually isn't. So far, this series has no licensor, although someone might announce it this summer. There's really only one other show on the market that resembles this title, and that's Requiem from the Darkness, which didn't sell very well so I'm not sure Jigoku Shoujo is a sure bet either way.

It's funny how much the market has changed lately; not too long ago, everything that was even remotely new and popular was getting licensed. Now, previous surefire winners like Jigoku Shoujo are really in doubt, and it's anyone's guess as to who exactly might license any given title.

Why is it that there is so little adult manga licensed in america? You can buy hentai in Suncoast and shrink rapped   yaoi manga at borders, so why hasn't anyone brought over any more H manga?

This is a tricky question, but a fair one. The market for hentai manga in America simply hasn't been explored yet, and there are a number of good reasons why. Basically, hentai on DVD is something you can easily keep contained; kids who rifle through the stacks won't see anything racier than what's on the cover, and usually the covers on hentai DVDs are censored. When it comes to manga, it's a whole different ballgame; shrinkwrapping manga is basically a token gesture provided by the manga publishing industry that does absolutely nothing to actually keep kids out of inappropriate manga, but it makes the retailers feel better and they can point to the shrinkwrap as a security measure when Angry Soccer Mom #3454 decides to try and blame the store for having racy comics in the "kids section". If a little kid were to pry open the latest volume of Negima, the worst thing he's going to see is a pair of panties and maybe a topless girl, and that's about it. If he opens up Super Semen Crusader Girl vol. 8? Well, use your imagination. It's a little more scarring, I think.

You can argue that yaoi is just as bad as standard hentai, but retailers and parents alike have very little knowledge of what exactly yaoi is. These books are on the shelves until someone accidentally hands them over to a library or some 9-year old girl is allowed to buy it, and once the parents of the world catch on, these books will probably be forced out of major retail chains and sold only online or in adult shops. That hasn't happened yet; yaoi is still a big question mark to most people, so it's allowed in the manga section for now. This is aided by the fact that normally, the covers for yaoi manga are just a bunch of pretty guys standing around brooding, so they don't look any different from normal manga. At first glance, it's hard to tell if you're looking at a shojo drama or a hardcore yaoi title. This isn't the case with most hentai manga; the covers are really explicit (...not that I'd know) and they don't really censor much out (again, not that I'd know about that sort of thing).

I think given the nature of standard hentai manga, in order to get it in regular stores they'd have to open an adults-only section, which adds an aire of seediness that most retailers find undesirable (note the lack of a porn section in any major video store chain), just to keep it firmly out of the hands of children browsing the manga section. And that isn't going to happen, so until a boutique publisher starts licensing hentai manga en masse and selling it through adult shops and websites, as it stands, hentai manga just doesn't really have a place in the status quo.

I have always wondering about the pronunciation of names in anime. Such as Tasuki in Fughigi Yugi, or Ritsuka in Loveless. It seems that even though they are spelled with the u, it is never pronounced. Why is that?

Interesting question; it's pretty simple, really. Like every other language, Japanese does not require you to enuncuate every syllable. In fact, Japanese is especially designed to be spoken very quickly; so Tasuki becomes Tass-ki, because that's what sounds natural. If they were enunciating every last syllable (as they do for dramatic effect or to show frustration), it'd sound like Ta-Soo-Kee.

Let me put it this way: when you say the name "Christina", is your first instinct to say "Christ-ee-na", or "Chr-steena"? Probably the latter, right? When pronouncing "Mountain Dew", do you say "Mount-n Doo" or "Moun-tain Dew"? "Kit-ten" or "Kit-n"? It's just a natural way of speaking; most people don't enuncuate every syllable, since it's faster and easier to speak without doing so. Same goes for Japanese.

Here's this week's rant about reverse discrimination, courtesy of Lauren Chicoine . A reminder: the following is in no way representative of the opinions of Anime News Network, Zac Bertschy, or anyone else save the person who wrote it.

Quiz time: (Note: the word otaku will be used in its non-Japanese sense, meaning simply an anime fan, not a crazed, maid-worshipping, societal leper.) You - a non-anime fan - are in an elevator with three strangers. One is wearing khakis and a Final Fantasy X-2 t-shirt, looks rather un-athletic and pale and has a that squinty look people get after staring at a computer monitor for too long. The second individual is wearing jeans and a black t-shirt of appropriate size, has a somewhat unusual haircut (but not strange enough to stop traffic) and could stand to lose 20 pounds. The third person is wearing a casual business suit and looks to be of the corporate persuasion.

Who would you be more likely to feel a little afraid of if they announced they were an anime fan? That's right: the person in the business suit. It's as if they are disguising their “true” nature and have some awful secret lurking beneath their deceptively normal exterior. Why are they hiding their penchant for Japanese animation? What kind of double life do they lead, when their day is spent in the corporate world and their night in the otaku's?

Imagine these three individuals are on their way to join an anime club. They get off the elevator at the same time, enter the clubroom at the same time and present themselves to the group of fellow fans one by one. Otaku being just as judgmental as most every other segment of the population, the person in the business suit once again is regarded with distrust, dislike and a little fear. The reasons may be similar, but they also may include feelings of jealousy, superiority or inferiority.

Let's rewind an hour or two. The person in the business suit is getting ready to head out to this club meeting and must decide whether to first run home to put on their street duds, namely a t-shirt (with or without an anime emblem) and jeans. They stick with the business suit simply because it will be a pain to go back to their apartment and change. When they find themselves at the meeting completely out of place in terms of their appearance, they are quite pleased that they did NOT change because - just like otaku who proudly display their Hellsing satchels - they have nothing to hide, be ashamed of or deny is a part of who they are.

The next time you, the anime fan, run into someone who doesn't match your idea of what an otaku should be like, remember that going out of one's way to flaunt a hobby can be pretty unnecessary for some people. This is not because they're embarrassed or lack self-confidence, but because they have no need to change into what others think they are supposed to be.

Whew. So what do you think? Does Lauren have a point? Sound off on our forums and let the discussion begin!

If you have a rant of your own and would like to see your work in this space, just follow the rules below and you could be the next featured fan in RANT RANT RANT!:

Welcome to the newest segment in Hey, Answerman: RANT RANT RANT!

What I'm looking for are your best and brightest rants: no shorter than 300 words, on any topic you like related to anime. I'm expecting decent writing, and a modicum of sensibility. Send me a well-written and thoughtful rant that's a decent length, and I'll print it in this space, regardless of whether or not I agree with it, with no further commentary from me. The goal is to provide a more visible and public space for those of you with intelligent things to say about anime, the industry, anything you like related to the subject; discussion in our forums will surely follow.

The rules? Well, here they are:

1. No excessive swearing. "Damn" and "Hell" are fine, anything stronger than that needs to be excluded or censored.
2. Personal attacks will not be tolerated.
3. The word "Rant" must be in your email subject line.
4. Your rant must be at least 300 words, and use proper spelling and grammar. Internet speak, like 'lol' or 'u' instead of 'you' will not be tolerated.

Remember, your editorial doesn't have to be negative at all - feel free to write whatever you like, so long as it's on-topic. We're looking for solid, well-stated opinions, not simply excessive negativity.

Send your rants to [email protected], and watch this space next week for our first installment!

I saw this little tidbit in the forums:

"Also, when's Answerman gonna cut it out with this hiatus crap and start offering prizes again? It's really annoying to see "we're still on hiatus," week after week. What is he doing that he can't pick out some random DVDs he doesn't want and throw them up on the site?"

Hey, I'm a busy guy. I wish I could tell you what I had up my sleeve, but it's still under wraps. Just be patient. Here's a kitten to help you feel better.

Anyway, we're still on hiatus. Remember, if you've won an Answerman prize in the last month or two and haven't received your item yet, email me with your name., mailing address and the prize you won and I'll look in to it.

See you next week!

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