Anime Vice News

Quick Picks 01/07/10

The first Quick Picks of 2010: with tons of hentai!

Seriously, who declared it hentai DVD release week without consulting me? That was rude. There's a lot of hentai out this week (50% of the anime releases I found were smut), which is awesome, but I wasn't allowed to focus on them :( But that's okay, because there was a lot of other good stuff this week, mostly manga. One Piece speedup, anyone?

FoxxFireArt moderator on Jan. 7, 2010 at 12:54 p.m.
Well the One Piece blitz has started. I talked about that in a blog post back in October HERE. I talked about how VIZ seems intent on removing as much Japanese culture from manga as possible. 
It's another example of VIZ being the piss poor publisher they are.
"If you can't do it right. At least do it poorly but faster." That's the VIZ business model.
sora_thekey moderator on Jan. 7, 2010 at 12:54 p.m.
Hmmm Don't know why but Pettite Princess Yucie... caught my eye.... 
oh and I have to get Natsume's book of Friends Manga!!!
Devillyon Jan. 7, 2010 at 1:02 p.m.
Wecker Signa >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Akiballion
Slimon Jan. 7, 2010 at 1:46 p.m.
Tentacle Porn is always good for teh moneys they bring in.
giaon Jan. 7, 2010 at 1:55 p.m.
@FoxxFireArt: You know, it's interesting-- I'm reading Natsume Yuujinchou's first volume, and in one spot they've actually left in the word "kekkai" (barrier) in its Japanese form, which seems odd since it's not a word that every otaku would necessarily know.
@Slim: Indeed.
JJOR64on Jan. 7, 2010 at 3:15 p.m.
FoxxFireArt moderator on Jan. 7, 2010 at 3:29 p.m.
That is peculiar that they would just have it so erratic. Just shows how little that company has it together. It seems like editing isn't exactly a strong suit. There is no consistency with them. It's either they hardly change a thing; or, in the case of Detective Conan, alter things to the point where it's not even the same story anymore. They even kept Shakugan no Shana's title in it's Japanese form.
If you look at how they publish Detective Conan. They change all the reoccurring character roles to European style names, but when it come to the suspects in each case. They keep the Japanese names. In a way, it's unintentionally bigoted. It basically says that all the thieves and killers are Japanese, but all the heroes are of European decent. I have yet to hear one good excuse as to why out of all the series they publish. They chose this one to alter so drastically. I've heard rumors, but each is as silly as the next.
Fixing it wouldn't even be like how they had to republish Dragon Ball, due to their art alterations years ago. With Detective Conan it's just a change in the text and fixing some translation errors. It's a shame, because it's a fabulous series that I would love to collect. It's just that what they publish is not the story I want. 
It pisses me off to a degree that VIZ doesn't seem to alter any of it's newer licensed mangas while the older publication that I would want to collect above all manga is just felt twisting in the wind.
I would be interested in this One Piece increase of publication, but I'm not going to lift my VIZ wide boycott for anything. There are plenty of online groups that do translations and other US publishers that do a good job.
Djmon Jan. 7, 2010 at 4 p.m.
Oh, yes.  Akiballion does sound swell.  Oh, yes.  Yes, it does.  Somebody get Funimation on the line.
Strongbadman47on Jan. 7, 2010 at 4:07 p.m.
giaon Jan. 7, 2010 at 4:32 p.m.
@FoxxFireArt: I'm not sure it's technically fair to call it "erratic." Different books have different audiences; One Piece, for example, reaches a much broader audience, while their thinking was probably that Natsume would be purchased primarily by those much more interested and in the know when it comes to youkai and other Japanese folklore. I don't know if they're correct, which is why I mentioned it in my review
But every publisher will make different decisions for different titles: most manga goes "unflipped" now because the core manga audience wants it that way, but some titles-- several Tezuka releases come to mind --are still published "flipped" because those manga also reach out to an audience of comics aficionados and historians who aren't as comfortable with reading right to left are interested in buying them.
Which isn't to say you can't have your own opinions of VIZ, of course, and I've had my own problems with some of their editing in the past, but I just wanted to point out the difference between being "erratic" and making decisions based on your audience rather than having a blanket policy. :)
@Djm: Why call FUNimation when it's already licensed? Check the release calendar I painstakingly compile each week; it's being released in North America by Switchblade =P
@Strongbadman47: HEAR HEAR! <3
Addfwynon Jan. 7, 2010 at 5:28 p.m.
Nothing here that necessarily strikes my fancy, I may try reading Natsume but I find I can usually only consume any one series in one form (Anime, Manga, or Drama) before it just seems a bit repetitive to me. 
I keep meaning to get into One Piece, but then I look at just how much One Piece exists, and I can't make myself do it.
AHR staff on Jan. 7, 2010 at 5:32 p.m.
@Addfwyn: yeah, I feel overwhelmed by One Piece too.  I picked up the first book recently and read one page and thought, "Am I really going to read thousands of pages of this?  How bout no?" 
Konandaon Jan. 7, 2010 at 7:51 p.m.

That girl is supposed to be 17. Ah right it's anime I forgot for a second. -_-'  

Question is are those online groups actually providing revenue back to the original creators?

FoxxFireArt moderator on Jan. 7, 2010 at 7:57 p.m.
Well, they alter content based upon no discernible pattern or reasoning. At times their publications have incorrect translations. Their editors border on negligent. Pretty much the definition of erratic. 
The series that they chose to so drastically alter is most likely the one where the names actually have some meaning to the characters. To give a similar example. It would be like publishing Sayonara Zatsubou Sensei and changing the character's names.

Yeah,...judging an entire series based upon a single page is always the way to go for fine reading. -__-
giaon Jan. 7, 2010 at 8:37 p.m.
@Konanda said:

Question is are those online groups actually providing revenue back to the original creators?"

Not directly, if at all. There are those who would argue that scanlation groups give some titles enough name recognition that they get licensed and then people buy them, but it's impossible to know how many would have sold were there no scanlations vs how many sold with them in existence. But people who scanlate things like One Piece that will sell regardless-- and similarly people who fansub stuff like Naruto --aren't providing anything for the original creators, to be sure.
@FoxxFireArt: It can be tough to do that well, though. In Sailor Moon the character's name is Usagi Tsukino-- literally "rabbit of the moon." But they couldn't name her Moon Rabbit, and if they left it in Japanese no one would have picked up on it (without doing their own research, which you generally shouldn't expect an audience to do). So she became Serena, which is derived from Selene, who was the moon in Greek mythology (Artemis was goddess *of* the moon, Selene was actually the moon, like Apollo was god of the sun but Helios was the sun, etc).
In the manga version, though, they call her "Bunny," which keeps the literal meaning of the name but loses the moon connotations. So there was really no way to win on that one. :\
FoxxFireArt moderator on Jan. 7, 2010 at 11:02 p.m.
No, but it's the only place you can get the proper story since they wont publish it properly in the U.S. What would be the point in paying for a flawed product with nothing more then the hope that they would go back and fix their alterations? Why should I be paying twice for something they should be doing in the first place. I would love to support these series in the US. Which is why I buy mangas from the other publishers who do a proper job.
If you are that hard up to support the creators. I would suggest importing the actually Japanese manga. It's a good excuse to learn another language. That's what I'm doing.


They could of just called her Usagi Tsukino. Much in the same way they use the name Sakura Haruno. They could of still called her "Bunny" as her nickname among friends. Who ever said they need to translate a Japanese name into it's English equivalent? How is that a valid excuse for the alteration of Detective Conan? No one suggested calling Naruto "fish paste".  A person who is that turned off by Japanese names isn't going to be watching or reading manga and anime to begin with. They are casting away anime/manga fans to attract people who don't like anime/manga to begin with. What publisher in their right mind purposely avoids their built in target audience?
The majority of the Detective Conan characters have been named after characters from detective or literary history.

Ai Haibara's Name

An example would be Ai Haibara:
Her real name is Shiho Miyano. It was professor Agasa's idea to create her secret identity name in the same fashion of how Shinichi took the name Conan Edogawa. His name comes from two detective authors Sir, Arthur Conan Doyle and Edogawa Rampo. 
The Hai 灰(grey) in Haibara 灰原 comes the detective novel called "An Unsuitable Job for a Woman" by P.D. James. The lead character is named Cordelia Grey.
The Ai 哀 in her name comes from another detective novel series "V.I. Warshawsky" by Sara Paretsky. It comes from the "I" in "V.I.". Agasa wanted her to use the "Love" form of Ai 愛, but she used the "Sorrow" Ai 哀. 
How her name was picked was even explained in the book after it was revealed who she was in the dialog. The problem is that the VIZ version renamed her "Anita Hailey". Since how her name was explained as part of the dialog in the manga. They tried to force the name to fit into the original inspiration names and it made no sense at all. Somehow they tried to reason that Hailey came from Cordelia Grey, and Anita came from V.I. Warshawsky. It made no flippin' sense. There wasn't even a note in the back of the volume to explain things. This is just one example. An editor must of seen this made no sense and just let it go anyways.

Detective Boys/Kids

Then there is the name given to the group of kids. In the Japanese version they call themselves the Shounentantei少年探偵 and the badges they all wear say, in English, "Detective Boys". The VIZ version called them "The Junior Detective League". You possibly could reason that it's not a P.C. name, but then why did they seem to go out of their way to make a name as far off the original as possible? Why not "Detective Kids" or "Kid Detectives". It couldn't be a dub issue. It takes twice as long to say "The Junior Detective League" then it would "Detective Kids".

Detective Conan and the 14th Target (2nd movie)

Another example is present in the second movie for the series Detective Conan and the 14th Target. In the movie there are serial attacks and killings. It's eventually discovered that all the victim names have numbers in their names and align with a deck of cards. People are being attacked in descending order. The suspect was a former card dealer who Kogoro had arrested back when he was still with the police.

When FUNimation dubbed the second movie. They had much of the cast with European style names. They got around the meaning by using the ridiculous concept that everyone's 'middle' names just happen to have numbers in them. What made things so confusing is that the issue of the names and numbers is shown with the kanji on the screen. So, all these random European people just happen to have Japanese middle names. In that act, they completely undercut the over riding concept of the entire movie.

It appears someone on AnimeVice agrees with me about the name changes to some degree. Just check out the Detective Conan section. All the names with the exception of the kids are the Japanese names. I know for a fact some time ago there were profiles that had the characters' English named versions. Now, those English name profiles are no longer on the site. That's not something your average member could of done. I had no hand in that. I haven't touched or talked about any of those profiles. I only discovered this a few days ago.
AHR staff on Jan. 7, 2010 at 11:20 p.m.
@FoxxFireArt:   I'm also a big proponent of judging books by their covers.  
giaon Jan. 8, 2010 at 8:08 a.m.
@FoxxFireArt: At the time that Sailor Moon came out, no one in Sailor Moon's target demographic-- roughly 8 to 12-year-old girls who were in no way shape or form familiar with anime, manga, or potentially ANYthing Japanese --was going to be very excited about a name like Usagi. I suspect some of the reaction would have been, "Why do they keep calling her 'soggy'!? She doesn't look wet to me! *click*" Remember that this was something like 13-14 years ago, pre-Pokemon in the US, and awareness of these things was much, much lower-- and even know it's not all THAT great.
I'm all for keeping things as close to the Japanese as possible-- when I'M the target market. But I'm no more offended by them renaming all the Conan or Pokemon characters than I am by how insipid most cartoons for kids are these days. Why would I be? *I* am not their intended audience. With a manga/show like Conan, why would they limit themselves to the niche otaku market when they could conceivably have reached a broader youth audience, one not so familiar with anime and Japanese culture? I don't think it really worked out for them that way, so they may have made a poor choice in WHICH target demographic to aim for...but the editorial decisions they made for that title are consistent with the target they HOPED to reach.
Well, lord knows we've had this discussion often enough and I don't seem able to convince you that a company is not "worthless slime" (I think my favorite epithet you've used) just for trying to make money-- as all companies do --in a recession AND in a market that has been slumping extra-low for a couple of years. Not to mention a market where people will hate them and call them names no matter WHAT they choose to do ;)
FoxxFireArt moderator on Jan. 8, 2010 at 9:22 a.m.
I hate them because ultimately the changes they make effect the STORY. With Pokemon and Sailor Moon. The changes made no effect on the story. It's this series where little details are seriously important to explaining the narrative. On what planet does a person think that a 'murder mystery' doesn't hold value in little details? Very few series have it where the character's names bare a certain level of importance in the narrative. Yet it was this series they chose to drastically alter.

How is the base market of manga fans a niche when you are publishing manga? If you can't get the fans, how do you expect to get anyone else? I'm not saying they need to keep in all the honorifics and only use Japanese phrases at times. That would be otaku niche. I'm talking about the character's NAMES. Names where I have shown in the previous post have actual meaning to events in the series. You keep making it sound as if I will only accept a near literal translation of the series when all I have ever asked for are the character's proper names.
Do you honesty believe that the real fans would support Naruto, Bleach, or One Piece if they had changed everyone's names to the extent they did for Detective Conan? You would probably still have people buying them, but they wouldn't sell nearly as well.  Do you think fans would go to a Spider-man movie if they changed Peter Parker's name? Yet, don't they make Spider-man movies for Spider-man fans?

If your alterations ultimately effect or contradict the STORY, then they go too far. That has been shown to happen in the Detective Conan alterations repeatedly. The whole Anita Hailey out of Cordelia Grey and V.I. Warshawsky in Volume 18 made no sense at all. That is just one example. What they do with the alterations hurts the story. Though they insist that you buy this or you get nothing. I know for a fact that they pressured one Detective Conan fan site to remove the older volume chapters.
There will be one chapter coming up in a later volume where the entire solution to the puzzle they are challenged with is dependent on the the Japanese names of the kids who are part of the main cast. I could explain in detail what I mean. With the names they have been given. There is nohope of making an understandable translation.

Don't try to bring recession into this. This series had been published in the US long before that began. It is no excuse to explain their negligence in this area. They were insane if they were trying to target Detective Conan to young children. It's a "murder" mystery series that often shows graphic depictions of murder scenes and dead bodies. People are often killing friends, loved ones, or employers in sometimes gruesome ways. The first case in the first volume had a man who's head was graphically cut off by an ex-girlfriend. Volume 8 had a man gored on a statue after he was thrown off a building. Blood was spraying everywhere. A later Volume has a woman who slices her ex boyfriends neck with a straight razor because she didn't like the idea of anyone else cutting his hair. Might as well be sitting the children around to watch an episode of Black Lagoon.
VIZ deserves the ridicule, because I have yet to see another who makes this level of alteration where it hurts the story. They could of realized the mistake early and decided to change things. Instead they are about 20 volumes in and just going on ahead. If they would only publish the series right. I would buy every volume and I know a lot of people who would like to do the same.
giaon Jan. 8, 2010 at 10:02 a.m.
@FoxxFireArt: Think about it this way: Pokemon is bought by a small segment of the "manga" base, and a bunch of kids who don't buy OTHER manga, but like Pokemon, and the latter numbers are higher than the former. If they targeted the manga entirely at the manga base, leaving in honorifics and the original names and Pikachu mating stuff and whatnot, then they may alienate the young kids who are fans of the games and the anime who aren't used to that sort of thing, and it would diminish their sales.
I see your point about story, but what about times when such a process is done well-- case in point, Shin-chan? They don't just Americanize jokes, they completely change the stories of some episodes, from what I understand. But people love it. So, is it okay when it's done well, or is it always worthy of ridicule?

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