Dear Lag Seeing,
Before we begin, no, we do not know each other. However I've heard all about you and your adventures throughout your dark planet; so far away from the sun. Maybe it's strange to chance upon a letter from yet another distant star, or maybe it's exciting. You always have that sense of curiosity and adventure in you anyway. You chase after the happiest ending to each day that you can muster, even if most of the time you end up in tears. Sometimes, I can't blame you for that.
Remember Darwin? Yeah I would have cried like a baby too. In any case, even with your extra sensitive self, I admire how headstrong you are; so bent on keeping every vow and promise you make. Be warned, though; while it is a strength, it is also a great weakness. Sometimes the outcome of keeping a promise may not be what it seems. Then again, you almost never seem to look back on yesterday; the things that hurt you in the past. Amber ground is a dark place, but even the darkness holds beauty, somewhere, somehow.
I think that among that darkness, you Lag, are a beauty to behold. You are a ray of light that shines so much brighter than that man made star. I pray to hear more of your adventures so that I may be inspired day after day to continue towards my own goal just as you do; without hesitation. You look forward to tomorrow no matter how you feel at the end of the day so long as you've helped a soul that needs aid. Continue forth on your journey with your head held high, and keep this letter as a reminder that you have touched the hearts of many on Amberground, and even beyond that into the far reaches of space.
Notes from the author:
My entry above is a representation of the overall theme from Tegami Bachi: a letter. However, it does not seem to completely capture all the elements that I love about this show. First the name: Tegami Bachi. The name has a ring to it, don’t you think?
Next, the artistry from this particular series is simply amazing. As an aspiring anime artist/ illustrator, one thing I look for in anything I watch is how well the art is done and how well it is carried out, how continuous it is throughout a series, and how well it suits the story. The style of Tegami Bachi, and most anime in general, isn't completely unique, but everything has a flair of its own. In Tegami Bachi, one thing I love the most is the constant night that befalls Amberground, and the way that affects the colors used. Everything is toned down and given that extra attention to note that there is no natural light, and specific things are emphasized by an ominous glow or light that we know, comes from the heart. The character designs are done well; even a person who knows nothing about Tegami Bachi could tell who the lead characters are.
Then there’s Gauche Suede. Gauche Suede was probably the whole reason I started watching the series. I saw him on the banner for the show, and I said to myself “he is so very pretty” He looks serene and peaceful, and now that I have seen much of the series, that all that he ever was. In a sense, he is just like an older, much less tearful Lag Seeing. Part of me thinks they are related, but I suppose for now, that's just a mystery. Two other characters I really enjoyed, even though they only showed up briefly,were the gatekeepers to the bridge to Yuusari, the twins Signal and Signaless. I only wished that we could find out more about them. Ever since I saw them, I wondered how and why they were chosen for that job, and what happened to their eyes.
Tegami Bachi has a wonderful story, in my honest opinion, I really like that the main part of the story is based off of a delivery service; its just not what the characters the audience follows around are doing. I thought that was one fairly unique, and very likeable trait of this show. Everyone likes variety, and Tegami Bachi certainly offers just that.
Manga Publisher Shueisha announced that Naruto has become their 5th highest selling manga, with 100,400,000 copies printed and sold in Japan. Its 51st volume was released on Friday April 30th. The other manga series that Naruto joins in the top five include (from highest selling downward) Kochikame, Dragonball, Slam Dunk, and One Piece. All of these series are notable not only for passing its 100 millionth issue, but also being mainstays of the popular Shonen Jump serials.
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Winter Sonata "No Cut" DVDs Announced
Japanese publisher Avex announced that the two "no cut" DVD boxsets for the Winter Solstace anime will be released on August 25 and September 22. The "no cut" features will include complete and uncut episodes of the anime as well as both the exclusive live action finale and the anime finale. The first boxset will include an episode "0" and the first 13 episodes along with a "making of" special, cast shots, and poster, while the second set will have the final 13 episodes and a "making of" special of the final scene. Winter Sonata is an anime based on the 2002 K-Drama of the same name and stars Yong Joon Bae and Ji Woo Choi from the original drama. It's notable for being a Japanese produced anime with an all Korean cast.
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Gainax looking for animators
Gainax will soon be animating a new anime feature and needs the help of a lucky art student. The show being designed will take place in Great Britain between 1900 and 1930. The position is part-time and lasts from May to October, three days a week. While it's not necessary that you be Japanese to fill the role, it will be necessary that you speak enough Japanese to communicate in your daily business with the studio. If you're interested in the position, visit Gainax's web site to respond to the job request at http://www.gainax.co.jp/company/news/0180.html.
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Yawara remains yet incomplete in the US
In 2008, AnimEigo had licensed and distributed the first 40 episodes of the anime Yawara on DVD. Now, two years later, AnimEigo CEO Robert Woodhead states that they have yet to license the remainder of the series. The news was released via Woodhead's own Twitter account(http://twitter.com/AnimEigo/status/13081209833). Yawara is an anime adaptation based on the manga entitled Yawara! A Fashionable Judo Girl written by Naoki Urasawa.
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Japanese Doujin Games on US PlayStation Network
Three Japanese doujin games will be localized for American audiences on the PlayStation Network for PlayStation 3 consoles. Rockin' Online partnered with Sony Online Entertainment, LLC to bring us these titles. The three games will be simultaneously released in a trilogy on May 18th. The games being localized are Gundemonium Recollection, GundeadliGne, and Hitogata Happa, all part of the Gundemonium Collection. This marks the first series of doujin games to be brought to the US PlayStation Network.
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TheCW4Kids to be retitled Toonzai
4Kids Entertainment and The CW will be rebranding their TheCW4Kids Block. The new name of this same block will be referred to Toonzai, airing between 7:00 AM and 12:00 PM. While Yu-Gi-Oh! and Sonic X will still remain in the line-up, the line-up will also include the new Dragon Ball Z Kai. The change will take place during the 2010 - 2011 season.
When you think about anime in this day and age, it seems like there’s no escaping it. Although it still remains a mystery to most people outside of Japan, there’s no denying that the anime community is stronger and more public today than it was nearly 30 years ago. Back in the 1980s cartoons, and by association anime, were seen as nothing more than cheap kid’s fare that at best would launch a new toy line, and thus a mature space opera of a series would’ve been seen as inconceivable for the time. Most other producers who would’ve tried to adapt the Macross saga would’ve found innumerable ways to chop it down into kiddie fare, but the producer I will talk about today decided that the audience deserved a much more mature story.
This man is Carl Macek, producer of the legendary Robotech saga and one of the more controversial figures in the American anime publishing industry. He would later go on to produce US adaptations Leiji Matsumoto’s Captain Harlock and Galaxy Express 999 before co-founding Streamline Pictures with Jerry Beck in 1988. Working with many of the writers of Robotech, Streamline Pictures released numerous adaptations of titles such as Robot Carnival, Crying Freeman, Wicked City, Doomed Megaopolis, and the first dubs of Laputa: Castle in the Sky, Castle of Cagliostro, the first Fist of the North Star film, and Akira. His most recent activity included screenwriting for Bleach’s English dub as well as consulting for Robotech: the Shadow Chronicles before his passing, solidifying his involvement with the anime industry. Macek passed away on April 17, 2010, leaving behind a legacy felt by many early generation anime fans in America.
Although Macek is responsible for introducing anime to the US during the mid 80s, his dubs are rather controversial in that the adaptation tends to stray far from the original source material to suit an American palette. Opinions about his methods of localization are split amongst anime fans who knew his work best. Supporters of his work consider him to be a pioneer who decided to take anime seriously when nobody else would, while detractors deem him responsible for creating “hack-and-slash” dubs that gave no respect to the original anime. However you may have felt about the man’s work, there is no denying that without his hand in producing Robotech, anime in the US would’ve been considerably different than it is right now.
For many of the younger viewers out there who never grew up with Robotech, you might be wondering what the big deal is with the series in the first place or why Macek’s role in its production is so important. There are probably even some of you out there who never heard of Robotech, or even consider it nothing more than an inferior version of Macross. However, one must understand that at the time when Robotech first came out anime was far less common than it is today. In addition to that the American perception of cartoons (and by extension anime) was less than stellar with most people thinking it to be nothing more than cheap kiddie fare at worst and a glorified toy commercial at best. In contrast, Japan’s perception of animation as a medium rather than a kid’s show allowed their series to reach into far more mature themes, something that most American producers would never deem to be fit for kids. However, Carl Macek was a rare breed of producer that paid proper respect towards the original Japanese source material and fought his hardest to create a series that would not only attract kids due to giant robots, but introduce a dramatic space opera that would resonate with audiences for generations to come.
Despite the fact that Robotech was spliced together from three completely different anime series and the characters Westernized for the sake of an American audience, what stayed were the serious consequences of an intergalactic war. In an age of animation where good and evil was always clear-cut and everything ended on a happy note, an anime series that showed ambiguity and casualties of war was a shock to the system. While there was money to be made from the merchandise that the series would generate, its surprisingly mature story not only brought the kids in, but for once proved that even those who were “too old” for cartoons could sit down and watch the drama unfold. For an American audience Robotech was unlike any cartoon for its time, and it got them to think that perhaps this newfangled “anime” is much more than just cheap kiddie stuff. While it did not create the anime boom that Pokemon would create a good 13 years later, Robotech pioneered the path for the early generation of anime fans to follow, and for that we can thank the late Carl Macek for his efforts.
Macek’s respect for anime is what made him notable during the early days of the industry, and it continued until the day he died. Though there may still be naysayers who would criticize his rehashing of anime consider this: At his final visit to Animation on Display in San Franciso, he shared a story in which DiC approached him to localize Sailor Moon. While he took into consideration aspects of Sailor Moon that are undeniably not kid friendly, his version of the show stayed as close to the source material as possible. When DiC insisted that he move the setting from Japan to somewhere in the US Macek gracefully declined any further involvement, since he firmly believed that American kids could grasp a story that took place in Japan and that Tokyo was indeed a key part of the plot. Who knows what could have happened if Macek was able to stick as closely as he wanted to the original source material? Perhaps we’d get a very different perception of Sailor Moon than the one we have now.
Macek’s mindset may not have been popular with the executives in the early days, but it would leave an impact for future generations of anime fans. The idea of cartoon that can be every bit as dramatic as Star Wars or Star Trek was one that led many early anime fans to seek out and discover the many treasures Japan had to offer. While anime did come to the US slowly but surely, the fans wanted to see the kind of variety and maturity that Americans at large may not have been ready for. Even in the wake of DBZ and Pokemon anime would still be seen as kids’ fare, but fans of Robotech would know just what anime would truly be capable of.
Now when you take a look at anime today, much has changed and all for the better. Dubs and localizations of anime have increased in quality, distributors have kept as close to the source as possible, and anime fans everywhere are proving that just because something is foreign doesn’t mean that it can’t be successful. It’s thanks to a pioneering mind such as Carl Macek that Americans were opened up to a world where cartoons can tell a serious story fit for young and old alike. He was among the first to respect anime for what it can be, and he will not be the last by a longshot.
Although Yamamoto won against the first generation Rain Guardian, Asari Ugetsu, he ended up being disqualified. Yamamoto is shocked. The rest of the crew doesn’t understand why he was disqualified, though Asari Ugetsu says that Tsuna should know why. Tsuna thinks about it but can’t quite figure it out. Yamamoto is hard on himself and becomes even more depressed. Then, Colonnello says that Yamamoto must solve this problem himself or it will have been for naught.
Anri and several others are attacked by the slasher. Each night someone is attacked, someone called Sinsong appears on the web, writing mysterious messages. "Today. Cut. Did Cut. More. Stronger. Love. Wish. Wish. Is. Want." Mikado is bothered by the rumors that the Slasher attacks are being perpetrated by the Dollars, and asks Celty for help. Who is the Slasher and what are they after? Celty starts to get closer to the truth, but...
Word of the Day
wktkが止まらない (pronounced: wah-koo-tei-kah-ga to-ma-ra-na-ee): this word somewhat symbolizes "wakuwakutekateka" which is an onomatopoeia of a sort. You would say it when you excitedly anticipate something.