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And a Happy New Year: 10 License Requests for 2010

In case you'd forgotten these.

A lot of really fun stuff came out or was licensed in 2009, but not eeeeverything. Here are some items that I feel someone needs to pick up the slack on. In some cases, they could/should have been licensed ages ago...I've also mentioned whether I think it's likely that they'll get picked up, and who might license it. I've got ten each for manga and anime.

These aren't all-inclusive or even "top" 10 lists, mind, so be sure to include your own license requests in the comments below. Oh, and these are in alphabetical order, by the way.


    GE ~Good Ending
 GE ~Good Ending
GE ~Good Ending. This shounen romance was recommended to me by a friend and I picked up a few copies of Weekly Shonen Magazine and really enjoyed Kei Sasuga's art. The story is neither particularly unique nor completely boring, but it looks like there's a lot to play with in the characters: a shy young man wants to get close to his crush, and a gorgeous classmate makes it her mission to pick him up and help him out. This is a Kodansha title so it could go to Del Rey, or perhaps Kodansha would publish it themselves...then again, it might stay unlicensed. Who knows? LIKELIHOOD: 5/10 LIKELY LICENSEE: Del Rey Manga/ Kodansha.

    Gegege no Kitarou
 Gegege no Kitarou
Gegege no Kitarou. Credit goes to David Welsh for pointing out that this one is unlicensed, but Kitarou is a classic manga and it's responsible for a lot of Japanese peoples' views on what youkai look and act like-- and that includes uber-popular shows like InuYasha, for example. Having learned some about Shigeru Mizuki's classic manga at the New People Center and from the popularity of its recent movie, I'd really like to get a chance to read the manga myself. LIKELIHOOD OF LICENSE: 5/10 LIKELY LICENSEE: Del Rey Manga/Kodansha.

    Gurren Lagann Gakuen-hen
 Gurren Lagann Gakuen-hen
Gurren Lagann Gakuen-hen. I was impressed that I liked the main Gurren Lagann manga so much, but let's face it: a lot of us are itching for new content, not rehashes of old (even if it's well-done). So how about this version of Gurren Lagann, in which the characters are all Japanese students? It also doubles as a sort of parody of the Shinji Ikari Raising Project (and the Neon Genesis Evangelion episode that inspired it). LIKELIHOOD OF LICENSE: 7/10 LIKELY LICENSEE: Bandai Entertainment.

    Hataraki Man
 Hataraki Man
Hataraki Man. I hear a lot of debates about Moyoco Anno's works, and having enjoyed a few episodes of the Hataraki Man anime back in the day, I'd really like a chance to see that work first-hand myself-- I'm much more interested in the trials and tribulations of a workaholic female journalist (ahem) than in the cuties of Sugar Sugar Rune or the love life of the young woman in Happy Mania (though I'm sure they're strong works too). LIKELIHOOD OF LICENSE: 4/10 LIKELY LICENSEE: Del Rey Manga/Kodansha.

    Hetalia Axis Powers
 Hetalia Axis Powers
Hetalia Axis Powers . A zany comedy featuring countries personafied, generally with a vaguely World War II aesthetic. With its own cult fandom-within-a-fandom, I can't help but be curious about this manga, whose anime has turned into such a popular item as well. Published by Gentosha in Japan, who I believe has worked mostly with TOKYOPOP (Rozen Maiden, Gravitation). LIKELIHOOD: 9/10 LIKELY LICENSEE: TOKYOPOP.

    Suzumiya Haruhi-chan no Yuuutsu
 Suzumiya Haruhi-chan no Yuuutsu
(The) Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi-chan. See what I said above about Gurren Lagann: this manga is selling WAY better than the manga based on the Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya novel/anime is. Why? Because it's cute, funny, and new material! So let's get this one out here too. It'd probably be a great tie-in with the second season and movie, cough cough...LIKELIHOOD OF LICENSE: 7/10 LIKELY LICENSEE: Yen Press

    Ookiku Furikabutte
 Ookiku Furikabutte
Ookiku Furikabutte (Big Windup). I really enjoyed FUNimation's release of the anime, about a young man who would be pitcher but, while he has perfect control of the ball, has no idea what pitch to pick when and lacks a bit of speed and power...until he meets the catcher of his dreams. I'd really like to read the original manga as well! Yet another Kodansha title, so...LIKELIHOOD OF LICENSE: 6/10 LIKELY LICENSEE: Del Rey Manga/Kodansha

    Princess Knight
 Princess Knight
Princess Knight. A perennial entry on these lists, Princess Knight is one of Osamu Tezuka's most well-loved works and one of the hardest to find in English, although Kodansha International did release a bilingual edition in 2001-- out of print and hard to find now. VIZ published a "preview" in the July 2007 Shojo Beat, but since it's owned by Kodansha, competitor to VIZ owners Shogakukan and Shueisha, it's unclear whether VIZ would be given the opportunity to do a full release. Honestly, I'd bank on this on coming out as a Kodansha Comics release someday, but if Kodansha doesn't plan to do that, I hope Vertical gets it.. LIKELIHOOD OF LICENSE: 4/10 LIKELY LICENSEE: Kodansha

    Saint Oniisan
 Saint Oniisan
Saint Oniisan. I've talked ab out this manga before, several times: Jesus and Buddha take a vacation after the turn of the millennium and become roommates in modern Japan for a bit. A surreal but very sweet comedy, for some reason readers assume it's too "risky" to license in the US. I think it's just too hotly contested...LIKELIHOOD OF LICENSE: 9/10 LIKELY LICENSEE: Del Rey Manga/Kodansha, with a possible surprise from Vertical.

    Urusei Yatsura
 Urusei Yatsura
Urusei Yatsura. This is another more classic manga: Rumiko Takahashi's first series of length, and in many peoples' opinion her best. (In mine: definitely a favorite.) VIZ released some of it a while back under the title LUM but never finished it, and I know I'm not the only person who would REALLY like to see some more of it come out, or at least reprints of the original English releases-- especially with all the Rumiko Takahashi blitzing of Rinne and InuYasha the Final Act. Technically it is "licensed," however, so we'll say LIKELIHOOD OF RELEASE: 5/10 LIKELY RELEASER: VIZ Media.

Honorable Mention: Rose of Versailles. I just ran out of room, honestly, but let's face it, anyone with any interest in shoujo manga probably wants to read Rose of Versailles, or perhaps should. It's a Shueisha title, so LIKELIHOOD OF RELEASE: 2/10 LIKELY LICENSEE: VIZ Media.


Aoi Bungaku Series. Look, this retelling of four works of Japanese literature is animated by Madhouse and features some of anime's greatest directors and designers, include Death Note's Takeshi Obata, Bleach's Tite Kubo, and Gunslinger Girl's Morio Asaka, to name only a few. Why wouldn't we want it? That said, it may not be very accessible to the mainstream anime fan, so I'm betting it'll go to one of the studios that aims more niche. LIKELIHOOD OF LICENSE: 5/10 LIKELY LICENSEE: Media Blasters or Nozomi Entertainment.

Bakemonogatari. Immensely popular. Brought to you buy Shaft and Akiyuki Shinbo a la Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei and others. And it's based on a NisiOisiN light novel series? Sold. Done. Let's do this. And unlike Zetsubou I don't think it's QUITE as intensive in dialogue and background text and whatnot, so it's probably actually dub-able. Section23 picked up MariaHolic and the last rumor was that Media Blasters might have Zetsubou, so let's see...LIKELIHOOD OF LICENSE: 9/10 LIKELY LICENSEE: Free-for-all. Could be anyone.

Bokurano. In the tradition-- if you can call it a tradition --of Ender's Game, Bokurano takes the idea of kids taking on the responsibility of saving the world and takes it to its natural-- and dark, and cruel --conclusion. VIZ is releasing the manga, so now let's get into the anime, which has a somewhat different ending as I understand it. LIKELIHOOD OF LICENSE: 7/10 LIKELY LICENSEE: VIZ, but if they decide not to go for it, FUNimation will take it.

    Dragon Ball Kai
 Dragon Ball Kai
Dragon Ball Kai. Dragon Ball Z, minus all the filler episodes and minus all the filler junk within episodes? The only mystery is why FUNimation isn't already printing this; it's like solid gold bricks to them. But perhaps they're waiting for the current Dragon Ball Z release first? LIKELIHOOD OF LICENSE: 9/10 LIKELY LICENSEE: FUNimation.

Kaiba. I hate to throw around terms like "absurdist" and "surreal" in the same sentence, but both can be used to describe this futuristic take on the human condition and our views of our identities, set in a world where people who can afford to will upload and download memories into the bodies of their choosing. Might do better with the art house crowd than the mainstream anime viewers though...LIKELIHOOD OF LICENSE: 3/10 LIKELY LICENSEE: ...

Minamike. A cute, goofy comedy about three orphaned sisters makin' it on their own. It's more about their wacky selves than about them being orphans or loving each other, and that's what makes it a great comedy. I'd love to see someone pick this one up, even though I'm sure it's more of a B- or perhaps even C-tier title to anime licensors...LIKELIHOOD OF LICENSE: 6/10 LIKELY LICENSEE: I could see this going to Section23, unless it goes to FUNimation as part of a larger package. If they pass it up, perhaps Media Blasters or Nozomi will run with it.

    Revolutionary Girl Utena
 Revolutionary Girl Utena
Revolutionary Girl Utena (TV). FUNimation rescued the license of the movie from Central Park Media, but there have been so many different releases-- and some of them are hard to find and really expensive to boot. How about a nice affordable slimpack for those of us who'd like to (finally) get around to watching? LIKELIHOOD OF LICENSE: 4/10 LIKELY LICENSEE: FUNimation.

    Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei
 Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei
Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei. Rumor has it that Media Blasters picked up this title, but we haven't heard any word lately, so I still want it to get picked up. Unfortunately the sheer speed of the dialogue combined with all that stuff in the background means that companies that rely heavily on dubs (FUNimation, VIZ) seem unlikely to expend the effort. LIKELIHOOD OF LICENSE: 8/10 LIKELY LICENSEE: Media Blasters, but Nozomi, Section23, and Bandai are all candidates as well.

    Taishou Yakyuu Musume
 Taishou Yakyuu Musume
Taishou Yakyuu Musume. This was a title I was really excited about for the summer '09 season, and then I heard absolutely nothing about it. At the time I was in a big baseball phase (thank you San Francisco Giants and Big Windup), plus the music in the trailer was super cool and jazzy. So, how about someone taking this one on? LIKELIHOOD OF LICENSE: 4/10 LIKELY LICENSEE: FUNimation, licensor-of-all, or perhaps Section23, although with this one I can also picture Nozomi snatching it.

Valkyria Chronicles. Maybe it's just lingering guilt over never playing more than a couple of hours of the game, but it was so pretty! And I love Marina Inoue! And it's sort of AU historical fiction, which is also awesome. I'm kind of surprised no one's picked this one up yet. LIKELIHOOD OF LICENSE: 7/10 LIKELY LICENSEE: Could go to anyone.

HONORABLE MENTION: K-On!. I feel obligated to point out that K-On! is still completely unlicensed, though it's easy to forget considering how many people have watched the show in its entirety (cough, cough). LIKELIHOOD OF LICENSE: 9/10 LIKELY LICENSEE: Bandai did well with Kadokawa's Haruhi property, but Lucky Star didn't sell quite as well, so it could go to BEI, but they could shift to someone else instead.

Whew! Hope you guys enjoyed the list, and be sure to share your own license requests in the comments!
JJOR64on Jan. 1, 2010 at 11:37 a.m.
Nice list.  I would love  to see Minami-ke and Bakemonogatari licensed as well.  DBZ Kai will most likely get licensed because hey, it's DBZ.
giaon Jan. 1, 2010 at 12:02 p.m.
@JJOR64: Yeah, DBK isn't a matter of if, but when.
Dream moderator is online on Jan. 1, 2010 at 12:17 p.m.
Hasn't there seriously been enough milking of Dragon Ball Z from Funi considering the many re-releases they have done?
Still, I wouldn't mind getting Minami-ke and Utena. Utena would be worth getting at a more reasonable price so I don't have to put up an arm and a leg just to buy it from online.
Sigueon Jan. 1, 2010 at 12:36 p.m.
Bakemonogatari, Bokurano and Kaiba are all great series. Of the three, I imagine Bokurano would be the easiest to dub. While I enjoyed Kaiba a lot, I can't help but doubt anyone would take the risk of licensing it.
N15PCAon Jan. 1, 2010 at 12:38 p.m.

I've watch anime to Hataraki Man a few years back and I was a little disappointed at the ending of the show.  Having said that I like the show up in till that point.  I hope manga has better ending to it.  Has manga to Hataraki Man ended in Japan yet? 
I have all the box set Utena.  It one of the few shows that I paid 300 bucks for and it was well worth it. 
I agree with you on Taishou Yakyuu Musume all the way.  Please someone pick this title up.   
I also hope someone pick up the rights to Aoi Hana and Sasameki Koto. 
I know this show is from the 2008 seaon but someone pick up the rights to Golgo 13.  I really love that show. 
You didn't think you would see someone have Sasameki Koto and Golgo 13 on the same list of animes that some would want to come over stateside. 
I always though the Maison Ikkoku was Rumiko Takahashi's best work.  At least in the manga verison of Urusei Yatsura you don't have to hear that really bad Disco music that's in the Urusei Yatsura anime.
GodLen staff on Jan. 1, 2010 at 12:45 p.m.
For anime I want Legend of the Galactic Heroes. 
For manga I want  onani master kurosawa. 
Quarkboyon Jan. 1, 2010 at 1:20 p.m.
@N15PCA: With regards to Hataraki Man, 
 When Moyoco Anno went on leave for health issues last year she put the manga on indefinite hold and I do not believe she has restarted it.  It's been sitting in limbo for two years now, unfinished.  That probably precludes it from getting a license, I'm afraid, although the chapters are mostly pretty stand alone.   
Anno seems to be working more lately on manga (just not this one) so she might start it up again sometime.  She seems to mainly write essays on women's lifestyle and edit magazines at the moment.
Nikoon Jan. 1, 2010 at 2:23 p.m.
Only 9/10 for DBK?  I'm positive FUNi will release it. Just not soon since they just started the dragon boxes.
constanzadellarosaon Jan. 1, 2010 at 6:07 p.m.
Manga category: Lum, Princess Knight, Kitarou and Saint Oniisan (which I found extremely funny). I skipped the Gurren Lagann one because I read the first two volumes of Shinji Ikari Raising Project, which really disappointed me. And It surely will be published.
Anime: Aoi Bungaku, Utena (AWESOME) and Sayonara Zetsubou- Sensei. K-On surely will be released. More DB? Really?
Nebson Jan. 1, 2010 at 7:45 p.m.

Personally I think the odds of FUNimation licensing DragonBall Kai this year are much closer to 1/10.  
Wait, let me rephrase that a bit.  Actually I wouldn't be surprised if Funi had licensed Kai even before it debuted in Japan, & are currently just sitting on it quietly.  But there's NO WAY they'll start releasing DBK here in the states until after they finished their current release of DBZ, the DragonBox.  A month or 2 after the final DragonBox volume comes out, & I guarantee you Adam Sheehan will be announcing at the next big con that they got Kai, but it wont be any sooner than that.  At their current rate, DragonBox is due to finish sometime in 2011, so expect a formal licensing announcement on Kai next year or in early 2012.

Konandaon Jan. 1, 2010 at 9:15 p.m.

You forgot Canada in the Hetalia image. Everyone forgets Canada...

Hope you're happy he's disappearing now.
Hope you're happy he's disappearing now.

Anyway great list. I would add Summer Wars for an anime series (well technically a film) and I kind of want to know what happens to the heroines in Saki so even though it's only 6 volumes and as of at the moment is probably still pretty close to the anime. That said it would still be cool to see what's in the manga so far.

DoctorDazzaon Jan. 1, 2010 at 9:16 p.m.
Yeah, I doubt that Bakemonogatari will be licensed in the coming year. 
As much as it's made of awesome and 2chan memes, it's very hard to translate. It's very Japanese. Companies like Funi and Viz want shows that appeal worldwide. A lot of casual anime watchers wouldn't understand a thing. 
Gosh, even I had hard a hard time understanding that conversation between Hitagi and  Koyomi in the last (aired) episode the first time round. Unless they do MAJOR translation notes as an extra, you'd be hard pressed to find people to buy it.
FoxxFireArt moderator on Jan. 2, 2010 at 12:24 a.m.
Gurren Lagann Gakuen-hen:
I read this online from fan subs. I would like to get this collection. It's a funny twist on things. I like how Yoko keeps commenting on being not that much older then Simon. That scene when Kamina walks in on Simon, Yoko and Nia all in bed is funny.
This could be pretty funny. Sort of like the Shana-tan minis they would add to Shakugan no Shana. It's always nice to have a new official story then the very same thing from before. It doesn't work out really well when it comes to animes turned into manga, but it's the reverse for mangas made into animes. When you read the manga first. It's fun to watch your favorite scenes animated, but annoying when they drastically alter the main manga story, ala Mai-HIME. The manga and animes are so drastically different. It makes me even wonder why they called them the same thing.  

Valkyria Chronicles:
As to who will be licensing this. Please, don't be VIZ. Please. Oh, please; OH, PLEASE!!
I'm pleased to see that none of the series I'm interested are being touched by VIZ. Some new series are going to be released that they haven't mutilated. Why can't they just go the way of John DeLorean already?
giaon Jan. 2, 2010 at 7:44 a.m.
@Dream: As far as companies go, there is never "enough" milking of something as long as people are still buying it =P But seriously, I am intrigued to try out Kai as a way to potentially actually get into DBZ at last.
@Konanda: I didn't "forget," I didn't make that image! ;) Summer Wars is definitely something I want to see.
@DoctorDazza: VIZ-- and this comment will also do as a response to @FoxxFireArt: --is NOT a huge-volume licensee* of anime, in terms of number of titles. VIZ releases pretty much only those titles that they think will really, really do well, and anything that does not, they cancel. None of these titles were super obvious potential-mainstream hits based on Shogakukan or Shueisha properties, so none of them seemed to be likely for VIZ. And none of the manga is Shogakukan or Shueisha (which IS odd, now that I think of it), so nothing goes straight to them.
*Oh, man, I just realized I used the term "licensor" when I SHOULD be using "licensee." @_@
Lanon Jan. 2, 2010 at 10:55 a.m.
Nice list. I would love to read Princess Knight and Rose of Versailles. I've got to sit down and watch the shows too though. Would love Utena to be released in a nice, complete, digitally restored set; I picked up what was supposedly an "import" from the local BME for $10, quite certain it's a fansub though not bad quality. I would squee with fangirlish glee to the high heavens if K-ON! is licensed!
giaon Jan. 2, 2010 at 11:10 a.m.
@Lan: I would really, really, really love to read (more) Princess Knight. T_T
damswedonon Jan. 2, 2010 at 11:31 a.m.
this is where i scream Why Didn't Anyone Put Out An Anime Based On Battle Royale Last Year?
thank you, i will be doing the same thing this time next year.
FoxxFireArt moderator on Jan. 2, 2010 at 8:44 p.m.
Well, nice to see I'm being replied to in a 'by the way' manner. lol
This information just reinforces my enmity toward VIZ. If they are only so intent on accepting what they believe will be highly popular and cancel anything that doesn't. Why wont they cancel that blight they refer to as Case Closed and let someone else have a crack at it who will be less likely to molest it further? Someone who will starts from Volume 1 with the proper names so I can start collecting it the way I have wanted for years. 
No way in hell I will waste my money on such an inferior product that is filled with alteration and poor translations. They obviously care little for the series since their editors don't can't these mistakes. Which is why when it comes to Detective Conan, I only support online subtitle groups, and I wont even touch the series here on AnimeVice at all. I utterly refuse to use the English names that had been thrust upon them.
Gundampilotspazon Jan. 3, 2010 at 12:02 a.m.
Taishou Yakyuu Musume was a fun little show. It balanced Moe with a portrait of the historical period in an odd way. Plus this was how the first episode started:
chronoclaston Jan. 3, 2010 at 9:52 p.m.
Kaiba, Revolutionary Girl Utena (the recent HD remaster), and Bokurano are the anime from that list that I really hope somebody licenses. I'm surprised Funimation has yet to license Bokurano after all this time since it's a Gonzo show.
One thing I found incorrect though: "FUNimation rescued the license of the movie from Central Park Media", they've never announced that. Do you have a source? Because otherwise I'm pretty sure it's still sitting unlicensed along with the TV series.

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