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Animefringe at One - Omake
Unused Editorial for August 2000
By Steve Diabo (Kaneda)

Together, we can make all these hopeless petitions go away!

Hi there, folks. Welcome to the August edition of ANIMEfringe. I hope you're having a good time as our guest this month. In this, my first editorial, I'd like to talk about a few ignorant people and the hopeless, useless, waste-of-time petitions they pour so much blood, sweat and tears into.

What exactly is a petition? Well, a petition is basically any sort of proof, legally-binding or otherwise, that a lot of people want something that someone else is not quite willing to let them have. That's pretty much all there is to it. It's a pressure tactic thing. But, who's petitioning what, you ask?

Well, let's begin with the bunch of folks who are petitioning for a subbed release of Princess Mononoke. Certainly a just and noble cause -- I'm not going to argue that Princess Mononoke wasn't one of the greatest anime movies, if not THE greatest, I have ever seen. I do happen to believe that the North American masses deserve a copy of Mononoke in its original Japanese. But it just ain't a-gonna happen. Why's that? Well, there are actually a couple reasons why there will never be a bilingual release of the movie:

First off, the movie was dubbed by a company that does NOT handle anime releases quite like, oh, say, ADV or Manga Video. We're talking about Miramax Pictures here. These guys have different priorities than your typical North American anime production house. They made their big, shiny 'English Adaption,' with such lofty names as Claire Danes, Minnie Driver, Jada-Pinkett Smith, yadayadayada... And, because of a rather uninterested North American population (don't worry, they'll see the light one day... <g>), the movie didn't even earn back the money it took to produce for the North American audience. So why would Miramax risk even more financial loss releasing a second videotape, with the original Japanese audio, with English subtitles? Good God... MONEY! CATCH IT!! IT'S FLYING AWAY!!!! Besides, Miramax is a proud company that did a lot to Princess Mononoke. Why would they release a copy of the movie that they barely even touched? Certainly not to please a few Otaku who will probably just make their own copies of the tape and pass it along to their friends...

And that about sums it up. But Otaku are smart, they know this, and they're using Otaku Power to get Miramax to do it. But it just ain't a-gonna happen! These freedom-fighting Otaku seem to ignore the hard facts.

Anyway, moving away from the hot potato that is Princess Mononoke, let's talk about a few things that maybe I've just noticed.

One day, not too long ago, I was surfing some anime site somewhere, and some real bright crayon was holding a FURIOUS petition... for an all-anime cable channel. Well, fiddle dee dee. You know, sometime someone ought to count how many Otaku there are in the US and Canada. I'd love to work with the number to emphasize the fact that SOME PEOPLE JUST DON'T THINK IT THROUGH.

Ahhh! Eeeee! Ohhhh! We can DO it! Imagine, an all-anime cable channel... show your support and sign the petition! Sure, gimme the pen. I'll sign it: "You're a bozo."

Come on, we're smarter than this. Do I even have to explain why, in this day and age, this is a very ill-fated idea? I just FINISHED explaining why Princess Mononoke didn't fly in the theaters in this country. Take that fun fact, and apply it to this situation here. Ratings won't exactly soar like rockets in flight. But where are they gonna get the anime to put on the air, anyway? How many animes are actually on the air in the US today? What, like 8? 10? Surely you don't expect a good all-anime cable channel to rerun the same episode of Gundam Wing 14 times a day, because that's what'll happen. And as for other anime that is only available on videotape and DVD from an anime production house -- do you expect these guys to just take a product they're selling for 20 or 25 bucks a piece and put it on the air for anyone to watch or even tape for free? Yeah, that's what I thought, too.

So, my new Otaku friend, next time you wanna take a stand, be counted, start a revolution, whatever... sit down with a few of your Otaku friends and have a good, THOUGHTFUL discussion. Examine every facet of the circumstances, and from that, determine whether your cause is a worthy one or not. It may save you a lot of time and heartache.

In the meantime, don't be afraid to sign a petition you think you believe in. You have nothing to lose. And who knows, sometimes strange things happen. As it stands right now, with anime being given more exposure and becoming more and more mainstream, anime is an unstoppable freight train. In a few years, not only will anime be given a lot more respect in North America, but I share the belief that anime will become a huge part of American media culture, right up there with the dumbass sit-com and the infomercials with the short british guy in the red bowtie. So, the idea of an all-anime cable channel, while only a pipe dream today, might be a possiblity in the not-so-distant future. OTAKU POWER!

Steve Diabo (Kaneda)
Editor Guy

Why this editorial wasn't used:
On July 1, 2000, Steve got an idea to finally bring an Editorial section into Animefringe. He got a forwarded e-mail about a petition and just went on to rant about anime petitions in general. We would have ran this nice editorial if one thing hadn't of happened just days later... that's right the Princess Mononoke petition DID work. This fact completely made Steve's editorial loose credibility and thus we dropped it.
It wasn't until September when Mia joined the team that we asked her to do an in-depth article on the whole petition scene. You may recognize a few points from this editorial in Mia's article because Adam sent Mia a ton of research and later made a few edits to her article to make it clearer.

Original Material © 1999 / 2001 Animefringe, All Rights Reserved. You know what's a funny word? Beefalo. 
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