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Hey, Answerman
Rainbows 'n Kittens!

by Zac Bertschy,

Welcome to a special edition of Hey, Answerman!

As you may have noticed, things have been a little controversial around here for the past few weeks, resulting in some serious negativity and mud-slinging and name-calling, and it's barely let up since.

In the spirit of defusing all that anger and tension, this week's edition of Hey, Answerman! will focus entirely on positive things. What's more positive than rainbows and kittens?

NOTHING. And anyone who says otherwise is an empty-headed moron.

Hey, Answerman. I have a confession: I subscribe to Shonen Jump. It's a remnant of my old HOMGFANGIRL years and sometimes amuses me slightly. Plus, it means I can look into hugely popular series like Naruto and Yū Yū Hakusho in a totally legal (if laughably localized) way.

I noticed recently that VIZ plans to remove Shaman King from the magazine just before the Shaman Fight begins. It seems strange that such a hugely popular manga would be cut and subsequently replaced- though the cover says "The World's Most Popular Manga", I have a feeling it'll be something previously obscure and unknown like Hikaru no Go.

My question is this: why the cutting of Shaman King? Do companies like VIZ that publish manga anthologies in America liscence the entire title at once, or do they pay for individual chapters- somehow making VIZ feel that Shaman King is not worth the stream of money needed to keep it in their magazine?

Saying you subscribe to Shonen Jump shouldn't be a "confession." It's a hugely popular magazine that people of all ages read. I mean, yeah, the manga is all aimed at younger folks, but it has a broad appeal. Nothing to be ashamed of.

As for Shaman King, well, it may not be as blisteringly popular as you might think. People dig it for sure, but it was never a juggernaut here in the states; Viz probably has some hot new series to slide in and can accelerate the Shaman King graphic novel release, which means you might get more of it even faster.

Manga companies license a series, meaning they don't pay for individual chapters, rather the property as a whole. When Del Rey licenses Negima, they don't pay $10,000 for chapter 1 and $7500 for chapter 2, they license the entire run for US release.

Isn't that great? Thumbs up!

My name is Jesse. I've read the manga "Juvenile Orion - Aquarian Age" and I'm very fond of it. I was wondering if you knew whether or not there is to be an anime. If there is, when is it's scheduled release? If there is not one, then what needs to be done to have one? I've practiced voice acting for a while and have acted on stage, so if the only thing holding up progress is the lack of voice actors, I'm more than willing and able to help. I would be very appreciative if you give me this information. Thank you for your time.

You're a little late to the party, but that's OK!

There is indeed a Juvenile Orion anime; a couple of 'em, in fact. There's Aquarian Age - Sign for Evolution, a TV series released here by ADV Films a few years back, and an Aquarian Age movie, released here by Synch-Point. Both of them are still in print and should be easy to find at any online retailer. Be warned, though; while they take place in the same universe (and come from the same card game), the anime version and the manga version are quite different. Thanks to forums user bayoab for the correction. Everyone's happy!

It's great that you want to be a voice actor! Keep chasing those dreams, kid!

Why do the Japanese seem to love destroying Tokyo so much?

For the same reason American filmmakers love destroying New York. It's an iconic location, something nearly everyone recognizes, and it's a guaranteed spectacle if it gets destroyed in a movie.

Great question! Here's a kitten!

Hey Answerman, you had a huge controversy 2 weeks ago with lolicon manga. I'm wondering, what do you think will happen if it becomes mainstream and popular here in America?

Oh boy. I knew I'd get one of these this week.

Still, this must be the moment some of you have been waiting for.

Ready for it? Here's my answer...

This guy rocks!

Hey Answerman, isn't life great?!

You bet it is! High-fives for everyone!

Originally I wasn't going to put a rant in this edition of the column but I figured that would be unfair. So instead I just chose one that I felt would give people something to talk about. This one sure fits the bill there! Have fun with this one, it's a doozy!

It comes courtesy of Jared Hussen. 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.

Ya, this might fall under the 'stereotypical' category, but I thought the question of why we watch anime and how it affects us needed some clarification...

Every time I look at a cute girl, the first thing I think of nowadays is something along the lines of "she would look awesome in nekomimi" or "I so wish she would call me onii-chan", and I can't help but blame anime for this. 

But can I?  One could also say that the world condition is causing the creation of anime themes and the way women are viewed in anime.  I guess the issue I'm trying to bring to the forefront is regarding weather anime shapes our ways of thinking, or is it ourselves that change, and that the anime we enjoy is simply hitting the 'sweet spot' that aligns with our ways of thought?

All my friends around me constantly tell me that anime has ruined my life, changed me, yadda yadda.  All the merchandise doesn't help.  PVC figures, posters, bed sheets (who doesn't want to dive into bed with...umm never mind), etc. just compound the issue.  I respect the fact that the non-otaku doesn't find our lifestyle appealing, but what bothers me is how they say the anime caused me to change as opposed to saying I've changed on my own accord.  It's more like finding a way of expression rather than being manipulated.

The portrayal of anime girls exemplifies this perfectly.  Why do nekomimi, meido, vampire girls, lolis, or any other type of cutesy anime girl appeal to today's male anime viewer so much?  I argue that it's due to the changing role of females in society.  No one can deny that as we become more modern, females are becoming equal to males in the job market, at schools, in social situations, etc.  This noticeable contrast from the traditional role of women that men were accustomed to is, in my mind at least, causing a want for things to be the way they were.  Now don't get me wrong, I am not sexist...I am all for women's rights.  I guess an appropriate analogy would be a close friend changing personalities suddenly. 

I grew up with my mom making me chocolate chip cookies, my next door female friend wanting me to protect her, and my schoolteacher always very polite. Now, I turn on the TV to find Hillary Clinton attempting to ruin our country, get yelled at by female store clerks, and can't find a girlfriend that is willing to roast anything besides my own hide.  At the end of the day, by God I think I'll watch me some Mahoromatic.

It's more than just female portrayal.  For want of individualism, action animes fit the bill.  For want of respite, slice-of-life animes like To Heart do just the trick.  Bottom line, has anime affected my life? Yes.  Has it caused me question my values? Yes.  Has it brainwashed me into sexist bigoted egomaniac?  Not quite; it only reaffirms what I already feel.otherwise I probably wouldn't be watching it in the first place.  I guess this isn't as much a 'rant' as it is an explanation to the people that regard us as crazy. 

What?  You don't want to play Halo!??  Naa, I think I'll watch Magipoka, listen to some Momoi Haruko, and play some Touhou thank you very much.  I think I quite enjoy "ruining" my life.

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

That said, we've had a lot of complaints about the rant section lately - generally, we're getting rants over and over again based on the same few topics: fansubs, dubbing, lolicon, and "I hate anime fans who do [X]". I'm just as sick of those as you guys are, so as an incentive to write better rants, here's what we're doing.

What I want are rants - or essays - or whatever you'd like to write, really (please don't get hung up on the dictionary definition of "rant" while you're writing) - that are about subjects OTHER than one ones listed above. I want well-thought out, careful writing. I want subjects we haven't covered a million times.

Here's what I don't want:

* Responses to previous rants about lolicon/dubbing/fansubs/anime fans who suck a lot
* 200 words about how awesome Dragon Ball is
* New rants about lolicon/dubbing/fansubs/anime fans who suck a lot
* Anything that's really, really boring.

The next rant I publish will
either conform to these guidelines or we simply won't have one that week. Rather than always publishing a rant - which I've been doing in the past, even if the rant was awful - I'll simply skip the section. Sound good?

Well, there's more. The author of the next rant to be published - which will only happen if it's good enough and follows these guidelines - will receive a prize box chock full of anime and manga straight from my own collection. I won't announce exactly what the prize is, but suffice to say, it's an incentive to do your best.

The rules as they are won't change:

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 500 words, and use proper spelling and grammar. Internet speak, like 'lol' or 'u' instead of 'you' will not be tolerated.
5. If you send me something that's already been published on your blog or on another site, I'm just going to delete it. Likewise, requests that I link to your blog or another site if I print your rant will also result in your email being sent straight to the trash.

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

Welp, that's it for this week! See you next time!

I'm going to go drink heavily now.

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