The Lowdown on Ruroni Kenshin

by Justin Sevakis,
Here at ANN we've gotten dozens of e-mails from concerned fans who have read in a certain other online anime magazine (which shall remain nameless unless you ask about it on rec.arts.anime.misc or something) that all attempts to sell it to the American market are dead (meaning, depending on who you ask, that the fansubs are no longer contraband). THIS IS TOTALLY, 100% FALSE!!! We could just shoot the other group that so irresponsibly passed on this little bit of unresearched mis-information. For the record, here is the whole story on Kenshin, according to what our sources at Sony and other places have told us before:

1. KENSHIN IS BEING CONSIDERED BY SEVERAL COMPANIES! Both ADV Films and Central Park Media could not comment on the series' status when questioned about it at Project A-kon 10 the weekend of June 4. When a company cannot comment on a series, they are almost certainly in negotiations to license it (there wouldn't be a reason not to comment otherwise).

2. DO NOT WORRY ABOUT HAVING TO DEAL WITH SAMURAI X, the crappy dub from TAJ Productions that brought "localization" to new lows. This dub was produced by Sony in the hopes of selling it to an American television syndicate or a network (who, needless to say, weren't interested). After that failed, the rights to the dub were sold to English-speaking overseas markets and Sony started working on the established anime companies. They will almost certainly produce a subtitled version and re-dub the series faithfully.

3. DO NOT WORRY ABOUT EVEN CALLING IT "SAMURAI X"! Sony is being very flexible on the name of the series, and whoever gets it will probably change it back to something remotely resembling the Japanese title, like "Wanderer Kenshin" or something to that effect.

4. THE FANSUBS ARE STILL CONTRABAND!! Do not pass along the Hecto, Shinsen Gumi, or whatever other fansubs of the series or movie are out there. Sony has already reserved the rights for the American marketplace, and therefore the series is considered "licensed".

There... hope that clears up any misconceptions about the status of the series. The next time some web page that you think is well established shoots their big fat mouth off, check here before you start assuming things.

-Justin Sevakis

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