Random Thoughts 04

So I’m sitting here listening to some anime tunes on a rare day where we aren’t just being tsunami’d with problems. As such, I thought I’d take advantage of this rare opportunity to post.

Item 1: Well, those who were furious at FUNimation for releasing Dragon Ball Z – Season One – Vegeta Saga (Uncut) in widescreen format when it was first announced and stated they wouldn’t be purchasing are in for more bad news. Anime News Network is reporting that sales of the remastered DBZ season 1 are kicking bottom according to Nielsen Video Scan. Sales are so good that it has made FUNimation’s #1 spot in the R1 anime world even better.

For those who don’t know, DBZ was initially done in the standard TV 4:3 size, so making it widescreen, while picking up stuff you wouldn’t have seen on the left and right side, you lose material at the top and bottom of the image to make it widescreen. Naturally, fans of DBZ were very, very angry and accused FUNimation of screwing the franchise again (back in the day, FUNimation made some big mistakes with DBZ and since then have learned from their mistakes to be otaku-friendly with the subtitles and casual-fan-friendly with the dubs of all their licensed titles (not distributed ones such as Full Metal Panic: The Second Raid)).

Now, I’m not a DBZ fan and have no desire to watch this shounen classic. I’m not sure if FUNimation decided to do the widescreen on their own or if Toei forced it on them (Toei is notorious for forcing stupidity on American licensor’s because they think they know best). However, I thought that while FUNimation would sell some DVD sets, I didn’t think sales would be as good as they are. I was never more thankful that FunHack told me to not worry about the DB forum that FUNimation runs after the announcement of the series being remastered and re-released in widescreen. FUNimation decided to let fans rant, and man were there some angry fans.

I still think sales would have been slightly better if the 4:3 ratio had been used, but no matter who decided to go widescreen (FUNi or Toei), the gamble has paid off in huge sales. Money speaks louder than angry fans on message boards.

Item 2: Speaking of Toei, looks like they are bound and determined to cut out the usual R1 middlemen and release anime in R1 themselves according to AWN. Now this isn’t the first time Toei has attempting to cut out American licensor’s and do things themselves. However, their first attempt ended in complete disaster. So why go through this again?

Clearly, cutting out FUNimation, ADV, Geneon, and the other companies means more profit for Toei. However, I still don’t think Toei understands the American market yet, at least not completely. The proof will be in how they handle the Digimon franchise, which will be their first re-attempt in the R1 market. Will there be DVD’s with unedited, uncensored Japanese audio w/ accurate subtitles? Only time will tell.

Item 3: I love the Negima! manga despite its lolicon ecchi fanservice and the fact that Del Rey hosed the first volume (they do the series properly now). When news came from Japan that an anime adaptation would be done, I was pretty happy. Then I watched the thing and ended up not so happy. So, the Japanese come out with an all-new Negima!? with an original story based on characters and situations from the original manga. It has been silly fun, but ratings for it were apparently in the tank in Japan.

So, what new news do we get from Japan? Well, apparently Akamatsu-sensei has announced in his blog that there’s going to be a live-action Negima! title.

What the…?!

Seriously, what the heck are the Japanese thinking here? Most of the Japanese foray’s into live-action adaptations of anime/manga have not been very good. Honey and Clover was pretty good, but titles like Sailor Moon, the original Maison Ikkoku movie, and You’re Under Arrest were awful. I’ll be checking out the new live-action TV series for Maison Ikkoku very soon (later this week, Lord willing) but unlike MI which does lend itself to a good live-action adaptation, Negima! does not in my mind. After all, in several years of producing the manga, I don’t think a year has even passed story-wise. So that means that something will have to be done story-wise to accommodate teenaged girls who will be rapidly growing up.

Further, will the Japanese cast non-Japanese actors in the role of Negi? Mana? Eva? Somehow, I doubt it.

I’m sure I’ll check it out when it shows up on TV, but I have no confidence in it being anything other than a cringe-fest disaster.

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One Response to “Random Thoughts 04”

  1. Anonymous says:

    i was hoping for the regular tv dbz but the widescreen is pretty good

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