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Hey, Answerman!

by Zac Bertschy,

Alright, alright, I'm on a tight schedule here so let's get moving, shall we?

I am a yaoi fangirl.  I won't deny it.  Over the years I have collected most of the yaoi mangas that have been published.  I enjoy the increased range of manga that
have been published in the last few years.  Now comes my question, do you think that shota manga will ever be published in the U.S.?  Or would it be deemed to much of a risk due it is controversial genre?

I hope not.

Don't get me wrong - you're free to enjoy whatever (admittedly creepy) stuff you like. But just like our extended (and extended and extended) conversation a few months back about lolicon anime, shouta manga isn't going to be doing any of us any favors, especially since it isn't any different in spirit. Can you imagine the furor it would cause when someone's mother discovers she's buying comics that are chiefly about little boys being molested? Good god. I mean, sure, they'd get solid business from former senator Mark Foley and Michael Jackson, but it'd be a publicity nightmare.

I would image at some point some of the less risque titles will be brought over; hell, some of 'em already have. Stuff like Loveless is on shelves now, and some consider titles like Loki Ragnarok to appeal to the shouta crowd. I think in general shouta gets kind of a free pass from a lot of fans because it isn't all that popular or visible in anime fandom; yaoi fangirls have the bonus of appearing as though most of what they read concerns adults, even if that isn't really true. I think if the true nature of shouta really got out - meaning people started to sincerely understand that it isn't any different from lolicon stuff - yaoi fandom would probably have kind of a problem on its hands. We have many, many people who violently oppose the proliferation of lolicon material throughout anime fandom, but there isn't really anyone speaking out against shoutacon stuff. That would probably change.

So for the time being,
no, I think most US publishers are smart enough to stay away from it for now. But who knows what'll happen in the future? Tokyopop is already getting away with publishing some pretty racy (although not pornographic) lolicon manga, so it could be just around the corner.

I've tried looking everywhere for an answer, so i hope i get lucky here. Do you know anything about when the Fullmetal Alchemist Complete Collection box set comes out?

You know, this is kind of amazing to me. You've come up with a box set that hasn't been announced and currently does not exist in any way, shape or form - not even a hint at a convention or a vague press release - but you're asking when it comes out.


There is no "Fullmetal Alchemist Complete Collection box set". It doesn't exist yet, and hey, we don't even know that it'll be called that! Yeah, down the road - and we're talking years down the road when the heat on the show has evaporated completely and they decide to eke out a few dollars more from the title - they'll probably put out a big deluxe all-inclusive box set. But the final volumes of the series and the movie were all released last month, for cripes' sake. They don't just immediately cannibalize sales of the individual volumes by releasing a box set so soon after the last DVD comes out. It's not like they're in a race to start losing money, especially on a property that's still as popular as Fullmetal Alchemist.

I wouldn't bet on anything like that happening until 2008, maybe holiday 2007. But that's pure speculation on my part. I have no idea when they'd consider releasing something like that.

I noticed in the encyclopedia that there are 38 episodes in Princess Tutu.  I'm renting them from Netflix and I'm loving it and was hoping to get an ADV Thinpak when/if they release one...  But they've only released 26 episodes and I don't see anymore releases any time soon..
Are they taking a break between seasons or is that all we've got rights to so far?

You're a little confused, but the show's episode count is confusing, so there you go. Princess Tutu only has 26 episodes; there isn't any more than that, but many of the episodes in the show's second half are noted as being "part one and two". For an example, episode 17 is listed as having two parts, but it's still a normal 23-minute episode. ADV has released the entire series at this point.

Also, you should sincerely consider buying the individual Princess Tutu DVD volumes. If you shop online and look for bargains, odds are you won't end up paying full price for 'em anyway. With a show like Princess Tutu - a niche little genre show that was in danger of being discontinued there for a while - it really is completely fan-supported. You can't rely on 100,000 strangers to support the show financially for you; it's up to you to show ADV films that you appreciate the series enough to buy the individual volumes and encourage them to release more shows like it.

With a show like, say, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, there's a legion of people out there already waiting in line to buy... so it isn't as imperative that you buy the show to show your support for the release. It's important, yes, but people like you who appreciate smaller shows like Princess Tutu are realistically the only people who are buying the DVDs, so picking them up as they come out or afterward is really important. Yeah, we all like a good bargain and we all want to wait for the cheaper boxset to come out, but if EVERYONE who bought Princess Tutu decided to "wait for the cheaper box set", let me tell you something - no way in hell would the entire series have ever been released here. Small, fan-supported shows like Tutu and others really do need the fans there to
support it.

 Hello answerman I was wondering what you think about any american companies selling doujinshis here. I know manga is getting more popular so it seems likely that  fan comics could pop up for the popular series. Please tell me what you think thanx!

This is an interesting question, and a difficult one to answer.

I think the short answer is basically "no"; the attitude toward things like that being published here is different than what it is in Japan. They're a lot more lenient there toward doujinshi because they see it as a fan expression, and they consider doujinshi sales to help the show's popularity. Only a few times have mangaka come out against dounjinshi, and usually they only do so when they personally object to some of the stronger adult depictions of their characters. It's basically an accepted practice there.

Over here, though, the copyright issue is a much bigger deal and having a gigantic convention that sold nothing but unlicensed porno comics based on popular anime shows would likely be shut down for a variety of reasons. The legality of it is just too questionable. Another big thing to consider is that in Japan, doujinshi is almost exclusively self-published; serious companies like Kadokawa won't touch the stuff with a 10-foot pole. The same rule applies here; you will see fans selling self-published doujinshi (just check out any artist's alley) but the odds that a company like Dark Horse would suddenly start trying to publish Fullmetal Alchemist smut are basically zero. It isn't going to happen.

But, the capacity for self-published works by fans, provided they aren't going out of their way to profit from the publication as much as possible, remains pretty large.


I was wondering if there was a site where Zentrix was downloadable?
If yes please could you provide the site where it is.

There is nothing in the history of this column that suggests I'd be willing to provide you with a place to download anime for free. Nothing.

Here's this week's rant, courtesy of "Nathalie", and for once it isn't about fansubs, the industry, or dubs versus subs! 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.

I'd like to say I'm a huge fan of Cardcaptor Sakura. I've read all the manga, seen all of the anime, have a huge poster of Sakura and Syaoran on my wall, and go out of my way to find good fanfiction on it. Most of all this is due to my scarily obsessive adoration for the character Syaoran/Shaoran/Xiao Lang/Li/Lee (did I miss any of the various incarnations of his name?). I mean, what's not to like? He's cute, strong, protective, nice (when he wants to be), and can use magic, which is always a plus.  Also, he has various faults such as selfishness, stubbornness, cockyness, and a complete lack of romantic skills which make him a believable character. Granted, he's a bit young, but that was all fixed with Tsubasa Chronicle's version of him, right? Haha. Wrong.

Tsubasa Chronicles Syaoran is the worst thing CLAMP has ever done. I can forgive them for having Misaki end up with Oojiro in the anime version of Angelic Layer, and for not finishing X/1999 and Clover, but not for ruining their best character ever in a mediocre cross-over used as a marketing ploy otherwise known as Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle. Perhaps I wouldn't be so bitter toward Tsubasa if CLAMP had managed not to ruin Syaoran. After all, in Tsubasa Chronicles/ Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle, not only is Syaoran's character design ugly (what's up with the incredibly large limbs?), but the characterization is just horrendous. And the reason why he's so problematic is that he HAS no problems, personality-wise. He's everything CCS Syaoran was, minus all of the negative character aspects. Unfortunately, part of the reason why Syaoran was such a likable person in CCS was due to his faults, since they made him that much cuter and believable (especially his romantic cluelessness. I mean, who didn't laugh at least once at his antics around Sakura?). Tsubasa Syaoran completely ruins this image, though. He never blushes, stumbles, or randomly gets defensive over his feelings. Also, he never acts cocky, stubborn, or really anything other than kind. He is a totally unbelievable and selfless character, the complete opposite of CCS Syaoran. He is the epitome of "blah," and I hate him for it.

Now, I KNOW that CCS Syaoran and Tsubasa Syaoran are not supposed to be the exactly the same. I understand that. Different situations have made essentially the same person behave slightly differently and all. But having a person display NONE of the faults found in his alter-ego is just wrong and untrue to the character. I mean, even having met Sakura earlier on would not have totally altered Syaoran's personality, and I very much doubt he'd lose his inability to deal with crushes no matter where he came from and no matter what his background was. That being said, Tsubasa Chronicles Syaoran is a horribly boring and uninteresting character who ruined Tsubasa Chronicles for me. Well, that and the fact that the story wasn't that interesting. But that's a different story altogether. And now, if you'll excuse me, thinking so much about Tsubasa Syaoran has made me terribly upset and now I must go partake in some activity dealing with CCS to cleanse my mind.

Whew. So what do you think? Does "Nathalie" 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!

No contest this week; please check out our Naruto: Director's Chair contest. See you next week!

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