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My Personal Top Five Should-Be-Licensed List

Five manga and/or anime that I think American companies need to pick up.

How many anime fan old-bies do we have here? By which I mean, people who have been anime geeks for at least ten years? Anyone? I ask because it used to be that lists of shows and manga that we wanted to have licensed and published and in our hot little hands were as commonly discussed as favorite colors.

But as more shows, even oftentime mediocre (or worse) ones, started to be licensed and the boom went on, these lists were less typical. Even when I was getting into anime, around the same time as more companies were entering the fray and expanding (read: almost 13 years ago now), it was less of an issue than it had been a few years prior. In the last five years it feels like more anime has gone licensed than un.

That said, if the industry continues to shrink in the tight economy, we might once again find ourselves in a situation where we have consistent licensing wishlists.

Inspired by this idea and a couple of items I mentioned earlier today, I thought I'd pull together my personal list for items that should be licensed. In no particular order.

1) Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei (anime) – One of the ones I talked about earlier. I know it'd be a tough show to do: in all probability it'd be nearly un-dubbable, and it'd appeal pretty much only to the hardcore otaku. Who, in North America, is usually also a hardcore downloader. But I know I'd still love to get a nice box set of the DVDs for each season, or maybe everything to date-- preferably with some kind of bonus feature. I'm thinking a that also has a convention badge holder. I would totally use something like that at Expo. Or anywhere, really.

2) Saint Onii-san (manga) – Also mentioned earlier, I can't fathom why this one hasn't been picked up yet. It's Kodansha, so I suppose it's possible that the Japanese publisher is holding back for a theoretical eventual entrance into the US manga market...but if not, I'm lookin' at you, Del Rey! It's hysterical, it's pretty accessible (some westerners may not pick up on all of Buddha's jokes, but hey, that's what translation notes are for), and I doubt that anyone outside of the smallest, most fringe groups would find it offensive enough to make any kind of fuss over.

3) Kaiba (anime) – No, it's not a Yu-Gi-Oh! spinoff. This gorgeous Madhouse anime was created and directed by Masaaki Yuasa, who is known for directing extremely off-beat series like Cat Soup and Mind Game. This series is no exception: the art style looks kind of like super-day-glo, high-contrast Tezuka stuff, and the story is set in a dystopian future where humans can upload their memories into chips that can be implanted into various bodies as they see fit. Never compromising on the goings-on by what might be more palatable to viewers, the world is as dark and dingy as it is bright and beautiful. It's a show that might play better with an art house crowd than with most anime fans-- but I'd want to buy it either way. (Actually, I can totally picture a Kaiba short story, if there was such a thing, airing as part of Spike & Mike's Twisted Animation Festival.)

4) Zettai Karen Children (both) – The anime might be tough to release in the US, since it's a superhero series featuring little girls that isn't exactly FOR little girls (it's not adult, but there's some relatively adult humor-- probably PG-13-level). The manga might be an easier thing to handle, though, and it's absolutely hilarious. The world setting features ESPers, and an organization that trains and pays some of the ESPers to deal with ESPers who wreak havoc with their powers. The series focuses primarily on a group of three girls with powers that tend to mesh well with one another, and their new handler-- the latest in a string of handlers who are driven nuts by the girls' various demands and childishness fused with their immense power.

5) Spice and Wolf (anime) – Okay, the manga and novels have been licensed, so I probably shouldn't whine about this series. but Horo's amazing voice and unique speech pattern-- she actually speaks in the style of an oiran courtesan, a sort of proto-geisha during the Edo era. She's amazing to listen to, and I'd like to do more of that. Also, the story is really Kaiba, I could see Spice and Wolf playing well to certain non-otaku as well as hardcore anime fans: fantasy fans. Of the items on my list, this is the one I think I have the best shot at getting to cross off someday.

Okay, that's MY top five. What are yours?
Nikoon April 19, 2009 at 11:11 p.m.
Just anime? Ok, but in no particular order:

Yakitate Japan
GaoGaiGar Final
Re: Cutie Honey
Legend of the Galactic Heroes
Every unlicensed Gundam and Macross

Rathanyon April 20, 2009 at 1:35 a.m.

I want Himitsu: Top Secret, both the anime and manga.  Yay for slightly futuristic fornesics that delves deeply into the unique Japanese take on personal privacy.  

Also, yeah, Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei *needs* licensing.  

okandon April 20, 2009 at 1:44 a.m.
I agree completely with Zetsubou Sensei.

It would be worth it even if the discs are Region 1 and thus unplayable over here.
HeeroYuyon April 20, 2009 at 4:59 a.m.
Kara no Kyoukai and Gundam X

Those are the only two shows that I can think of that are so high on my list they truly without a doubt deserve to be licensed.
Hell, Kara no Kyoukai should get a movie theater running too if it could...
yuetheguardianon April 20, 2009 at 6:52 a.m.
in my opinion zetsubou should be licenced by adv or possibly anime works, ADV strictly for their wonderful "advidnotes" system used such reference filled anime as Pani Poni Dash, Excel Saga, and Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi

oddly enopugh my lkist is short  simular to a few of yours in no paticular order

Zetsubou Sensei- I love this series enough to drive me in despair from lack of anime liscencing.
My Balls(manga)- a hilarius manga I beleive I discovered thanks to anns right turn only, about a boy with a demon queen that is sealed in his balls, unable to get excite the demons and fate just seems to want the boy  to release her.
My barbaric girlfriend(manga)-One of the books thta like my balls is probobly no a series any manga company would be interested in, a boy and girl get body swapped by the girls crazy dad, however since the boy is feminine and the girl is agressive, people on the outside see this as an improvment, and now she doesn't want to return to her body, and his best friend is now coming on to him.
Gundam x- echoeing heero there,  I love gundam x to death, and pray for either of the main x gundam to be playable in an english gundam game. With almost evry gundam released why not bring the order shows that never made it state side too.
Cardcaptor Sakura (anime) and this time done right, with geneon out of the picture I think Funimation should snag the liscense for cardcaptor sakura, possibly redubbing it from the begining. with a blu-ray release that makes me drool this will be one series to convince me to buy bluray,

honorable mention- Tsubasa tokyo revalations, and xxxHolic Kei
giaon April 20, 2009 at 7:52 a.m.
Niko: I had anime AND manga in my list :)

Yue: I don't know if we're likely to see many ADV anime licenses in the future-- at the current moment they're mostly just repackaging their older titles into collections. My personal assumption is that it's to build up funds for an eventual comeback.

On the other hand-- a lot of people may have missed that at Otakon '08 ADV announced the license for Indian Summer (aka Koharu Biyori), an OVA, which they put out in March of this year. So it's possible...

As for My Barbaric Girlfriend-- that already IS licensed :) Has been twice, actually! IIRC, it was originally liicensed by ADV, was dropped when their financial difficulties caused them to let a bunch of licenses expire, and picked back up by TOKYOPOP. It's been released under the name "Your and My Secret." :D I LOVE Ai Morinaga's works <3 You should also pick up Media Blasters' releases of the two volumes of Strawberry-chan, which is a very off-the-beaten-path manga by Morinaga about a high school dorm kid's pet frog. Absolutely hilarious. ^_^

Holic and Tsubasa are probably both guaranteed. CLAMP does rather well here. :)
Radicalpatrioton April 20, 2009 at 9:01 a.m.

Yes, free up trade hassles and get more anime/music products available in the U.S. I personally don't care about any dubbing or language issues. Go for it!

Nikoon April 20, 2009 at 9:36 a.m.
gia said:
"Niko: I had anime AND manga in my list :)""

This is what I get for posting when I should be sleeping. Then I'll have to add Kamen Rider Spirits to my list. That and all unlicensed Gundam manga too (particularly Crossbones Gundam). And while it's not a manga, the Gundam Unicorn novels.
Schwindelmagieron April 20, 2009 at 9:47 a.m.
My list would have to be...(this is a mix of anime AND manga)

Nurarihyon no Mago (manga)
Kuroshitsuji! (...the manga and eh, the anime too I guess)
Until Death Do Us Part (manga)
Higurashi no Koro Ni Kai ...(unless Funimation of course has picked this up already. o:)
AND! FINALLY, perhaps D.Gray-Man should be turned over to someone else, I was very disappointed with how Funimation handled the series, it even went so far as to pronounce some important things incorrectly. eg. Mugen with Myoogen or how it sounds.
kratos1010on April 20, 2009 at 9:48 a.m.
I've seen Zetsubou and I'm watching Spice and Wolf now. They will probably be licensed soon, but I agree that they should be ASAP.
MoonStormon April 20, 2009 at 9:59 a.m.
My suggestions:
michiko to hatchin - It good and would do real well in a US relesse
Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei - god yes but it would be hard
 Kaiba - Yes Yes Yes
Chaos;HEAd (TV)- It really is a crazy set up. It will F*** with your mind.
Spice and Wolf - (howls)
deanbcurtison April 20, 2009 at 11:30 a.m.
The old licensing game, 'tis always fun.  Apart from the aforementioned and completely awesome Zetsubo, I'll chime in with mine.  Although, I'm counting out sequels of existing licensed properties because of their quasi/expected status.  Without that, I 'd list every ounce of the Higurashi series, especially the yonkoma.


Hidamari Sketch
Sketchbook Full Color'S
Kara no Kyoukai 
Rose of Versailles


Strawberry Shake Sweet
Transistor Tea Set
Kuroon April 20, 2009 at 1:03 p.m.
paplooon April 20, 2009 at 1:16 p.m.
Dean-- as I'm often evil to point out, Rose of Versailles is available on R1 DVD, just in french/japanese form The boxes are quite nice, and include a booklet of artwork, though one of the discs' coverart wasn't scanned right [ a bit lowres]. Still quite nicely designed, and oodles cheaper then Japanese R2 discs.

5 anime we should have- I'm really up for pretty much any license, and long for the day we'll see Ebichu the House Keeping Hamster on DVD, but these strike me as better ideas-
- Re:Cutie Honey OVA- someonelse mentioned it, but yeah, wierd they haven't released it yet considering we got the live action movie
- Akazukin Cha Cha- one of the shojo hits of the 90's that's been overlooked while cohorts like Wedding Peach, Kodocha, Boys Over Flowers, Marmalade Boy, Saint TailSailor Moon, Rayearth and others found their way here despite much fandom "they'd never do that"-ing. It just seems odd to me that this is one of the few 90's shojo anime to get overlooked, even by kids broadcasters [apparently a dub was made for Cartoon Network in Asia in english].  I think it could be doable via subbed boxsets.
- Hellsing Ultimate OVA Vol.5-7- It's unclear what Funi/Geneon are up to, so it might very well be licensed already, but it'd be nice if they clarified things.
- Pretty Cure- some dvds'ld be nice for that dub that's on YTV at 8:00 am folks. The dubs done, and appears mostly unedited, and there's existing subs thanks to Toei's streaming efforts, so a lot of the hard works done, and it's just a matter of shuffling together a menu and packaging. Even just a couple massmarket dubonly dvds would be nice to see to give us something ephemeral.
- Rumic World OVA's- if anything needed a license rescue, these'ld be the nicest to get. With 2 from VIZ and the rest from CPM in vhs days, they'd make a nice addition for anyone if they were on DVD.....

5 Manga we should have- I'm not really up on untranslated stuff as some since I don't bootleg, but stuff I'd like to see....
- Hell Teacher Nube-- I have some japanese trades, and love the concept/artwork. This'ld make a fun addition to SJ!
- Tokimeki Tonight- if VIZ is ever on a retrobinge, I wouldn't mind seeing this vampire/werewolf/supernatural themed dorky shojo classic
- Princess Knight- I know there's bilingual editions from Kodansha, but I'd love to see one of the editions of PK get an english tradition. I have the french dub of the anime on dvd, and it's pretty fun.
- More Yumi Tamara Manga- c'mon VIZ, you could do it.
- Cluster- Sure Tomoyo Akiyama's manga are total insane messes, but I want the one that started it all, back when she was still working fulltime with CLAMP. 

Gia re:ADV- They just picked up the first Appleseed CGI movie. I imagine we'll still see stuff from them, just not in the volume of past years, but still pretty regularly as they've been releasing at least one or two new titles a month.  It seems their current strategy is to do subtitled releases for brand-new shows, and license rescue out of print titles with pre-existing dubs.

Supposedly, we'll be seeing more live action titles too for their Switchblade line.
Zeouterlimitson April 20, 2009 at 1:26 p.m.
Obviously I would love to own Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei, it certainly would be my personal choice if not one I'd consider smart.
giaon April 20, 2009 at 1:53 p.m.
Paploo: Oh, man, I meant to post about that Appleseed thing! I'll fuse that in with the Indian Summer review I hope to do later on :)
deanbcurtison April 20, 2009 at 2:27 p.m.
Paploo, you are a card.  Never change.
WillyFourEyeson April 20, 2009 at 2:54 p.m.
Yes, yes, a thousand times yes to four out of five of those. I've never heard of Saint Onii-san, but the other four (Zetsubou, Kaiba, Spice & Wolf, and Zettai Karen) sound like definite winners.
Elfieon April 20, 2009 at 3:21 p.m.
I want Nodame Cantabile to be licensed already.
transgojoboton April 20, 2009 at 5:13 p.m.
I'm easy to please:

RideBack (anime)

RideBack (manga)
Tetsuwan Birdy [the Mighty] (manga) - free Masami Yuuki! Somebody! ANYBODY!
Patlabor TV/OVA - CPM is on life-support; someone needs to swoop in and rescue their catalogue
Patlabor (manga) - this will never happen because Viz will sit on it and not let anyone else touch it (boo!)

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