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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.
 

Manga

    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.


Anime

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
 Bakemonogatari
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
 Bokurano
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
 Kaiba
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
 Minamike
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!
FLStyleon Jan. 5, 2010 at 5:15 a.m.
@gia: I demand you go play Valkyria Chronicles right away! And then buy the Selvaria DLC because it has a good little side story to it, the other DLCs can be ignored. Also, isn't it funny how everyone wants Marina but she wants nobody! She was my only first choice for each mission, well apart from Ted, "Hi I'm Ted!" *Headshot* haha good times. As it happens I've barely touched the anime version, I hope it isn't drastically altered from the game, they do use the game's soundtrack for it from the small amount I've seen which is an instant win as far as I'm concerned.
John_Martoneon Jan. 5, 2010 at 10:10 a.m.
@chronoclast said:
" 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. "
Yet how likely is Kaiba. I mean, I'm dying for it as much as the next person, but its just a mess for a localizing studio to touch. While I'm not adverse to the idea of it being dubbed, I assume the work versus final product will leave it only seeming possible for sub only studios.
 
Oh yeah, and do, do, do, do want HD remasters on Utena.
 
@FLStyle said:
" @gia: I demand you go play Valkyria Chronicles right away! And then buy the Selvaria DLC because it has a good little side story to it, the other DLCs can be ignored. Also, isn't it funny how everyone wants Marina but she wants nobody! She was my only first choice for each mission, well apart from Ted, "Hi I'm Ted!" *Headshot* haha good times. As it happens I've barely touched the anime version, I hope it isn't drastically altered from the game, they do use the game's soundtrack for it from the small amount I've seen which is an instant win as far as I'm concerned. "
can't... bring... myself, to beat Valkyria Chronicles. Damn you monolithic super tank!
kratos1010on Jan. 5, 2010 at 1:41 p.m.
I would love if they licensed the Gurren-hen manga. It's really good, from what I've seen. I totally agree with a bunch of the anime, especially Bakemonogatari. That one was excellent.
 
On a similar note, why is Toradora STILL unlicensed?
Count_Zeroon Jan. 6, 2010 at 5:45 a.m.
I would love to see Patlabor (TV & OVAs) and Armored Trooper Votoms, rescued from the wreckage of Central Park Media's demise. Patlabor would most likely be licensed by Bandai since they've already got the movies.  Votoms might get licensed by Media Blasters, unless Funimation licensed it for streaming.

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