animefringe may 2003 / mail desk
Mail Desk

Hey all you cats and kittens and other myriad forms of vertebrates! This is Holly, the local CONTENT EDITOR OF DOOM! We're back with another installment of Animefringe's fabled Mail Desk, fully equipped to rock your socks.

This month, we have a ... well, interesting batch of questions for you. Remember, however, you can ask *anything* your little heart desires. I'm practically omnipotent. I know how to use Google! Seriously though, I either know the answers to any question you can possibly think of, or I know where to find them. Try me. I'm daring you.

Submitting your message is easy -- just click here to access the Mail Desk Correspondence Page, where you can send a message directly to me for immediate glossing over, eventual careful reading and probable reply!

Dear Animefringe,

First of all I love your magazine. I've even been reading back issues, since I discovered it. Anyway, I'm writting because, I'm an anime fan (obviously), and a girl. I like to wear anime themed t-shirts, but I mostly have to conform to buying bootleg tee's, because of the notorious absence of anime tee's aimed at girls (or anyone who isn't large, x-large, or in very rare ocasions, medium. And trust me, the medium, is really a slightly smaller large.) This makes me mad. I feel completely ignored. I stopped wearing big tshirts, a long time ago. I much prefer tank tops, baby tee's or at least a normal small tshirt. I am (and I assume others as well) ostraziced from the people who can wear these tee's. I wrote to Fashion Victim, but they told me that girls don't buy anime tshirts (ejem! sexism...). This letter is going on too long, isn't it? I'm sorry. It just bothers me to no end. Isn't there anything that can be done? Do we have to keep buying bootlegs most of the time? Thanks for reading my looooooooooong complain.
Anyway, have a great life (Because, why stop at a day).

Dear T-Shirt Girl,

I agree with half of what you are saying. My experience has always been that the shirts are either bigamungous or "I might have fit into that before I hit puberty!" However, RightStuf has a nice selection of anime tees all the way from the teeny size small babydolls and tanks all the way up to size XXXL. Off the top of my head, some of the anime t-shirts I saw there that were designed for girls sported images from Ah! My Goddess!, the Evangelion "NERV" logo in both babydoll and spaghetti tank, and Dirty Pair. They also had a large selection of shirts in Medium, and to a lesser degree, Small sizes for normal adult tees. Their site came up third on my Google search for "anime tshirt babydoll" ...so you might want to try doing a little bit of looking around before you start picketing. ^_^ Thanks!


Dear Animefringe,

I was intrigued by the editorial on the Renewal of Evangelion. What strikes me about all the ink spilled on EVA, is that nobody ever considers "Occam's Razor," in which the simple explanation is to be preferred over the complex. In this case, all the holes in the plots and storylines seem to indicate the truth to the rumor that Gainax ran out of money and cobbled an ending together for a 26 episode series that needed a full 39 to do justice to. Personally, I don't think Gainax deserves any more of my money. It was a great series up until episode#20, and then fell apart. If Gainax wanted to retell the story beginning with Episode#21, then sure, I'd consider it. However, despite all the hype showing up saying how wonderful this will be, this really seems to be nothing more than a cynical attempt to bring in money by a company who hasn't made a decent anime since Kare Kano.

Dear Gainax Cynic,

Well, this is really a matter of personal opinion. But since you've offered yours, I will offer mine in return.
As for the rumors regarding Eva's initial proposed length -- well, this argument really falls apart, for me. Twenty-six episodes is the length of a standard one-season television series in Japan. Trigun, Cowboy Bebop, Fruits Basket, Escaflowne, Love Hina, Excel Saga each individual Slayers season, and many many more, all are precisely 26 episodes in length. Twenty-six episodes is standard length for most series. Shows that run for two seasons, such as Fushigi Yuugi, are generally 52 episodes (26 x 2). Other series run for a half-season, these are generally 13 episodes. Examples include Gravitation and Serial Experiments Lain. There next increment of series length seems to be six episodes, like Photon, Shamanic Princess, FLCL, and Golden Boy. Given that most series fall into these general length guidelines, or near to them, I really don't see where the number 39 comes from, except that it's 26 (a standard season) plus 13 (a half season) -- and I can't think of any other series that have purposely run for a season and a half, except for possibly the very old Mysterious Cities of Gold -- but I don't have the numbers in front of me, so I can't say for sure.
I, personally, liked Evangelion quite a bit as just the original 26 episodes. I thought it was a fabulous series with a very mentally engaging ending. The movie wasn't really necessary, but it was a blast to watch. Even if all Gainax is doing is touching up the animation and soundtrack, I would still buy it. It's a fantastic series and it deserves a makeover, because it is starting to look a little dated. Kare Kano is relatively recent and was also a beautifully executed work. There are many fans out there who may not own the Eva series yet, and this is a great chance for them to get in on the ground floor. There's also another group who may only have it on VHS, and this is a great chance for them to upgrade to DVD. If you think it's just a money-grab, that's fine -- you're entitled to your opinion. If you don't think Gainax deserves any more of your money, then don't buy it.


Dear Animefringe,

Was that stuff bout being shutdown from DOJ a joke??? Cause i am gullable and need to know thanks

Dear Paul,

Yes. April Fool's.


Dear Animefringe,

What exactly is going to be in Renewal of Evangelion? Is it a re-make, director's cut, some new story? I'm kinda lost. Thanks!

Dear Inquisitor,

My minions .. er, coworkers .. tell me that it's going to be a Director's Cut of sorts with some new footage and surround sound and other goodies. Oh, here... This is from our Briefs section in our March issue.

AnimeNation reports that Gainax has announced yet another Evangelion release, "Renewal of Evangelion". The latest release of the popular series, will consist of 10 DVD discs, with all 26 TV episodes and extended "Director's Cut" versions of episodes 21-24, along with new edits of the Death and Rebirth movies. The visuals will be remastered for the previously released material. The box set will also contain a bonus disc of textless openings and closings, trailers, and a "a never before released 'live action version of the film.'" The box set is marked for a June 25th for 39,000 yen. Individual discs from the set will also be released, in July.
March will see a 1500 yen sneak preview disc, containing a remastered version of the first episode and a music video for the opening, "Zankoku na Tenshi no Teze."


Dear Animefringe,

Hi! I'm a big fan of Studio Ghibli's works, and I just wanted to know if the upcoming anime releases from Disney still contain the original soundtrack with no remake of any original japanese music. I've contacted Disney themselves... and they said the information was not known. Silly them ^^ Those dvds are being released this month afterall, so how could they not know? Well, I hope you can help! Anyways, great job on Animefringe! It's a great online anime magazine :)

Dear Ghibli Purist,

Firstly, thanks for your compliments! Secondly, from what I understand, the DVDs are being released fully as bilingual -- meaning that they will have an option for the original, uncut, unedited Japanese soundtrack.

Dear Animefringe,

So since I have nothing better to do right now... well in fact I do but let's not dwell on what I should be doing. I thought I write and tell you what I think a movie should do. Kind-a what makes a movie really good.
First of all it should have a good story or storyteller. Something that pulls you in... deep with in the movie. The key that only relates you with a creator or scene. But not in the normal way like in most movies. You should feel it and to become part of it. But not only to say, "Hay I had that happen" or "I know what she must be feeling" No! I am talking about feeling. The feeling of a movie is when you cannot only imagine the power of a creator but for a brief second you can feel it. Were in a slight moment you think or even know you could just raise your hands and stop a cannon shot with pure mind power. (Akira) Or to feel shots rip apart your body as you try to save the young girl. (Wolf Brigade) Sometimes it is a simple scene that draws us in. Makes us reach a leave we could not other wise reach. Scenes that take us to place just like our dreams and world we know might just lie beyond our sight. You can feel like you are there when a creator is standing on the front of a starship or on the verge of a new world. How their sight becomes yours and you are ready to take that next step.
But not all good scenes make good movies. Lots of movies have great moments and then turn to crap or just get to stupid. A good movie will simplify leave you wanting. Wanting the next movie in the series to come out. Or the feeling you can take on the world, fly, or just have a rush of energy that have no idea what to do with. That is a good movie. Movies are made in many ways. Stories are told in from so many points of view. Graphics and art styles add to a movies power. But I believe in the end it is just one creator story with a colorful world around him that we grab and become. The whole mix of it all throwing in to one person in the movie and then we become them for an hour or more.
Jason B.

Dear Jason,

You're right. A great example of this, for me anyway, is the scene in Grave of the Fireflies when they set free all of those fireflies in their little cave, and everything is bathed in that soft, beautiful light. And then, there's the shock of the following morning, when all that was once light and awe-inspiring is reduced to piles of lifeless husks on the ground. A brief glow of beauty, and then horror. Doesn't that seem to be the way of things sometimes?

Dear Animefringe,

I am somewhat new to anime ( about 6 months ) My biggest problem is that i bought a few titles in the past that I thought looked good ,but stunk -Where I live we have very limited acces to anime- basically only cartoon network, which recently seems just to humor the little tykes ( not real happy with adult swim either )Is there any way to see previews for anime on sample dvds- I bought a movie based on someone elses review a few weeks ago and its probably the worst movie i ever saw, Id like to judge myself wether a movie dvd is worth my cold hard bucks- by the way this is my first time visiting your on line magazine- I am more than impressed ! Keep up the good work ,

Dear Tony,

I'm sorry to hear about your bad experience. There are a lot of ways to preview things, of course: If you have friends who are in to anime, consider borrowing the first volume of something from them and test it out. If the city you live in has a cool comic book store, many of them have anime videos and DVDs available for rent. You only pay a couple bucks and you get to watch it before you buy anything. Larger national video rental chain stores also have anime selections, but they are typically not as good. You can also read reviews online and/or get recommendations from friends, and then try downloading the first episode from a peer-to-peer filesharing community for trial purposes, to see if you like it. If you do, you can go and buy it. If you don't, then you can just delete it. Please, however do not download entire series that have are commercially available in the country that you live in, because this undermines the support for the companies that are cool enough to bring us anime domestically and is also illegal. Try those... Hopefully, you'll find something in that list of suggestions that works for you. :) Thanks for reading, glad you like our 'zine!

Dear Animefringe,

i wanted to say your review of the akira ost sucks. i think reviews are stupid to begin with.. you pick apart every little thing you can find.. and i think it's retarded. why share a negative opinion?? i think it's stupid.. that's all.

Dear Review Naysayer,

Well, reviews are basically just opinions on something, right? So if we like something, we have a good opinion of it, we recommend it to others. If we don't like something, we have a negative opinion of it, we warn others of the pitfalls. If I find it to be a negative experience to thrust my hand into a pit of burning coals, I'm going to warn people of my negative opinion of that activity. People can then choose to accept or refuse my opinion. I gave "Thrusting my Hand Into A Pit of Burning Coals" a negative review. Someone else, on the other hand, might really dig that blistering sensation, and vote YES to that activity. It's all a matter of opinion. If you think sharing a negative opinion is stupid, then why are you sharing your negative opinions about reviews? In any case, I'm sorry you weren't happy with our review. Have a nice day...

Dear Animefringe,

Hi. Just subscribed to the mag, and I already have a question. I'm fifteen and am constantly told that I am obessesed with Kurumi from Steel Angel Kurumi. I have her picture, in different poses and clothes of course, plastered all over my room, and I write fanfics about me being her master insted of Nakahito (or Nako). So, tell me, does this make me a lecherous freak who really wants a girlfriend and just can't get one or do all otakus do this? Even if it is wierd, I do get a sense of enjoyment from it. Thanks for answering my question.

P.S Can you send me a few pics of Kurumi for my collection? Omakes are particularly good. Thanks again!

Dear Kurumi Fanboy,

I wouldn't say it makes you a lecherous freak, but I wouldn't say that all otaku do this, either. I would call you an exceptionally dedicated Kurumi fanboy. As long as you understand that Kurumi is not a real person and don't compare real-life women to Kurumi (and find them lacking!) it's perfectly okay to have a healthy fantasy life. Now, if these were pictures of a real live girl you had plastered all over your room and were writing stories about, that would be called "stalking," or "damn scary." But since you can't really stalk an anime character, go for it. As long as you're aware of the difference between fantasy and reality, then I'd say you have no problems, except possibly latent sexual repression. But you're young yet... P.S. Yes, I am a swashbuckling corrupter of innocents, but this one actually makes me question my morals. ^_^

Dear Animefringe,

What would be the best place to buy manga in massive amounts?
--Big Mac

Dear Big Mac,

Japan. Gimme another one! I'M SMART! But seriously, manga is damn near everywhere now. I wouldn't be too shocked to find manga in the book section at Chevron. Your local comic book stores are a good place to check, but the Waldenbooks/Borders chains of bookstores have started carrying a very healthy selection, so definitely try there.

Dear Animefringe,

Concerning Auron of FFX fame; what's up with the arm-in-a-sling act? Is he just trying to cop out for some cheap sympathy votes? Or is the muscley limb of justice labelled "For Ass-Whoopin' Only: Use With Care"? Perhaps it has something to do with alternate Thursdays?
Danke. ~Quaver

Dear Quaver,

I think he's all just like "I can take you one-handed, fool!" And of course, he keeps his other arm in the sling 'cause it's comfortable. And stuff. Yeah. Hush about the alternate Thursday's thing, that was supposed to be our little secret...

Final note from Holly: There were some letters I wasn't able to get to this month, sorry, but I'll try to address them next month. :D Have a great May!