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Death Note Movie (oh please don’t get lost in translation!)

First and foremost, I must apologize profusely for my absence this week. I will leave it as such- pinched nerves are just about the most horrible experience I have ever had in my life. Needless to say, typing has not been a priority.

In any case, this big news is way on my radar. WB wants to do a Death Note American live action release- this  could be a real boon (or bane) to the US anime fanbase. I consider this slightly different from my previous worries (see: Cowboy bebop, Full Metal Panic) in that 1) the story has easy & obvious US appeal and is largely do-able without being super cheesy and 2) the Japanese live action films are as cheesy as it comes so it’s not disgracing something new that I love. Death Note is such a great story; I would really love to see more kids into it (any excuse to talk about it at work!).

That’s all for now- my fingers are not yet fully functional and this is a total drag. On another note, I will be away starting next Wednesday so no posts for next week!

-OL

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Manga company hopping on the legal translation bandwagon

http://www.akihabaranews.com/en/news-18019-Get+Translated+Manga+Officially+and+Online,+Yep,+It+Will+Soon+be+Possible!.html

Okay, this would be much bigger news if this was a company like TokyoPop. But still, just like FUNimation I consider this a step in the right direction. Shogakukan (think Doraemon, Ranma, Yakitate!!! Japan) will be publishing offical manga translations online. Again, I’m definitley happy to hear this. For one, as a librarian this is a big help- it’s a step towards getting my collection person to actually budget for a new release title if she can read some of the volumes online beforehand. But the biggest thing for me is once again the ability to access those titles that will never see the US shores.

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FUNimation’s new take on fansubbing

http://www.examiner.com/x-3885-Anime-Examiner~y2009m4d20-Anime-in-a-recession

Fansubbing is a big part of the anime community and one that, like all other forms of online media sharing, has been a persistant headache (and source of cease and desist letters) for the media industry. Although many fansubbers are altruistic and stop releasing fansubs and seeding torrents once a title is licensed in NA, this of course does not limit the distribution of the title even once the dub is on the air (to be fair- my impression of dubs is less than glowing and I see the appeal in wanting to watch with the original audio without waiting for a DVD release).  Although there isn’t a huge excuse for widely distributed titles such as Bleach and Naruto, fansubs have traditionally been a haven for lesser known titles that never see their way to American soil (see my review on Ghost Hound which, if not imported, will not see the light of day in the states).

Well, FUNimation is taking a different approach to the entire situation. With the new version of Fullmetal Alchemist (AKA can’t wait can’t wait can’t wait!), they will be releasing free professional subs on their website less than a week after the initial episode airs in Japan. This is positively brilliant. The home company will be providing quality subs at almost the same speed as any fansubber and will be drawing in traffic to their website on a high attention release. Unless they absolutely butcher the subs, there is no real reason for any fansub group to pick up the title, and even if they do it will be easier to find the actual release than the fansub. The only drawback is the lack of downloads (to which I chuckle quietly since within two weeks people will have that figured out) but nonetheless, bravo FUNimation. I love to see a company work with the fan base instead of against it.

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Casting asians as asians??? My stars!

http://splashpage.mtv.com/2009/04/09/leonardo-dicaprio-to-cast-japanese-pop-group-smap-in-ninja-scroll/

As if it’s not painfully obvious by now with my running dialogue about terrible miscasting of anime characters, I have a special distaste in the deepest cockles of my heart for the use of sub-rate caucasian actors and actresses playing inherently asian roles (okay, you can count Spike out because he’s not asian, but Keanu is going to suck big time anyway).

Well, here comes a bit of different news for once. For an upcoming live action adaptation of Ninja Scroll, the five members of Japanese idol band SMAP are being considered. I’ve seen several Japanese films where the members have acted (granted, as is noted in the article all five have not been in theatrical releases together before but I don’t see that as having much of an effect, especially stateside where no one but the super otaku has a damn clue who they are) and they are quite good at their roles. Moreover, I’m just ecstatic to hear that there is an actual consideration that an asian can accurately play an asian role. It’s not that it’s always a big deal, but in the case of something like Ninja Scroll or Avatar, the very fact that the characters *are* asian is a big part of the story.

This is not to say that the film adaptation won’t stink. I’m quite confident that it will- so confident, in fact, that if it even succeeds in the slightest I’ll consider it a success. In fact, I don’t see a live action adaptation of Ninja Scroll thriving over here at all which will be a bit depressing considering it’s one of those classics. But hey, there’s a little hope, right?

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Next up on the big screen- Full Metal Panic

http://www.aceshowbiz.com/news/view/00023348.html

Continuing with the classic hollywood theme of not being original in any way, shape, or form, the great manga/anime series Full Metal Panic is now being

You can't seriously be considering Zac Efron...

You can't seriously be considering Zac Efron...

picked up for a live-action theatrical release by Mandalay. For those not in the know, FMP is a action/comedy about young military nut who is stationed protecting a high school girl (of course meaning that he has to go through the motions of a “normal” life in high school, hence the comedy aspect). It’s not one of my all-time greatest titles but it’s definitely up there on the list and definitively taught me the Japanese word for “ouch” (itai!). Hence my immediate dread when I read something like “Zac Efron has shown his interest in this movie”. Zac Efron? Really? I just threw up in my mouth a little. Why oh why do they insist on ruining the things I love so dearly?

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More Ace Attorney manga= 1 happy librarian

http://kotaku.com/5196642/ace-attorney-in-weekly-manga-form

When I say I am an otaku, I mean that it all of it’s seedy, sweaty nerd forms (I kid, I kid). I’m a huge video game fan, and in particular I do my otaku best by absolutely loving many different Japanese game series. One of my all-time favorites is the Ace Attorney series, the latest addition of which just came out in Japan (Edgeworth based game, can’t wait can’t wait can’t wait!). For those out of the know——- man you are missing something great——- this is a series of point and click legal adventure games (though it’s a lot more like CSI in game form- you’re doing the investigating and the trials and the characters are incredibly indearing… you have to try it).

Last year, the first Ace Attorney casebook manga was released in NA (and I was lucky enough to score a copy at the New York Anime Festival). The volume was very true to the heart of the video game series, with all the characters we love and the humor we came to expect from any Ace Attorney installment. Well, the good news is that along with the release of the new game comes a weekly manga insallment! Shuukan Young Magazine will be publishing it starting in April, which (hopefully) means we’ll be seeing it stateside (though there is no official release date for the game in NA as of yet).

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RIP- Anime Insider

*sigh*

This is going to be the second big loss that my YA periodical collection has suffered this year. First EGM ceases publication (leaving me with a big hole to hopefully fill assuming we get refunded for the year- not a lot of neutral ground gaming mags) and now my ever-popular, always in circulation Anime Insider. In fact, Wizard has already unceremoniously pulled it from their website- so much for the listing on my guide to anime clubs. It’s not that it was entirely unexpected given the cuts that Wizard has been making recently. It’s just that they kind of owned the anime news mag market since the demise of Newtype. Yes, I get Shonen Jump, but that does not come close to filling the slot that Anime Insider served. Plus they had some of the greatest pictures to use for decoration by my manga rack once they were ready for discard! Grrrr. I hate seeing such a high use periodical go down in flames, but I guess the people just aren’t buying. I sincerely hope we get a refund for the balance of the year, but even if we do I don’t see many good replacements. 😦

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