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Mail Desk

Hello and welcome once again to the newest edition of Animefringe's Mail Desk. I'm Holly, your fabulous host, back again with a new batch of letters for you. Last month was my birthday, but I didn't get any Happy Birthday letters. ;_;....hehehe..Oh well, I suppose it's OK, since I didn't tell you. ^_~

Anyway, we had some very interesting letters last month, and this month doesn't look any different. Lets get right to it...

Dear Holly, who I have travelled to from far across the anime desert with a question,

I totally agree with the idea that girls love anime and boys are so ignorant of it. I unfortunatly, have a problem. The school I go to, has many kids, many silly kids who haven't even heard of Gundam wing, Cardcaptors, Digimon (they've heard of that one but they don't know anything about Digimon frontier ^-^)

I Love anime and I love everything about anime. I admit that I haven't seen a lot of anime (I'm trying) but when I'm at school, even if I start mumbling the words to Wada Koji's-The last element, I get a strange look. Of course there are SOME people who enjoy anime in my school but even they only rely on the english versions on cartoon network and Fox kids. I have two questions for you,

1) Can you give me a few good names of some good anime I can look up. These are the anime I already know: Ranma, Sailor moon, Pokemon, Digimon adventure, Tenchi muyo universe and in tokyo, Gundam wing, outlaw star, cowboy beebop, escaflowne, gundam x,Digimon zero 2, Digimon tamers, digimon frontier, digimon chronicles. I know a few more but not very well

2) What can i do about the kids at my school. There is no point trying to get em into anime, they're the kind of kids who believe that Sean paul is Buff and Jordan cute (Soz for people who do like them ^-^) All I want to do is to be able to enjoy anime at school without people going through my bag or trying to look at my stuff.

Dear Lonely Anime Fan,

First of all, I don't think it's true that girls love anime and boys are "ignorant" of it. From your letter, I get the impression that I am significantly older than you are (I just turned 24 in January!) and in my age group, it seems to be that there are a lot more male fans than female fans, though that is changing as anime slowly becomes more and more mainstream. So don't worry... as you and your contemporaries get older and the climate of anime fandom shifts, I'm sure that you'll start seeing things change around you.

As for your first question, that really depends on how old you are -- If I recommend something that's more geared towards older viewers, I don't want your parents coming after me looking for blood ^_^;;; So, I'll make my recommendations by age group:

For shows mainly intended for younger views like many of the ones you mentioned, like Pokemon, Digimon, and Cardcaptors, try the following: Detective Conan, Nurse Angel Ririka, Little Snow Fairy Sugar, Legendary Angel Wedding Peach, Angelic Layer, Mahou Tsukai Tai/Magic Users Club, Mahou no Stage Fancy Lala/Fancy Lala, Saint Tail, Yu-Gi-Oh!, Nadia, Azumanga Daioh, and even shows like Fruits Basket (one of my personal favorites!), Magic Knight Rayearth, and Ah! My Goddess (and its spinoff, The Adventures of Mini-Goddess) are probably OK for you.

For shows more geared towards high schoolers and older, try these: Trigun, Record of Lodoss War, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Inuyasha, Excel Saga, Sakura Wars, Martian Successor Nadesico, Revolutionary GIrl Utena, Urusei Yatsura, Slayers, FLCL/Furi Kuri/Fooly Cooly, Marmalade Boy, All Purpose Cultural Cat Girl Nuku Nuku, Hellsing, Serial Experiments Lain, Photon, Key the Metal Idol, and maybe even more risque shows like Love Hina, Hand Maid May, and Chobits are things you might want to try.

Of course, these are just my personal recommendations and there are more than I just don't have time to list, so ask around on anime message boards or at your local comic book store.

In response to your second question, from my own personal experience, I would say that the other kids at your school aren't poking through your stuff simply because you like anime, but it's probably more because you're different from them. I could be wrong, since I don't know all the details of your school life, but that's my guess. If you don't want to try to get them into it, then blow them off -- if they bug you that much, then maybe it's time to either tell an authority figure or start hanging out with different people. Why not make friends with some of the people who have a smaller exposure to anime than you do and invite them to your house to watch some of the stuff they have never seen before? If you make more people like the things that you like, then it's more likely that the other kids will leave you alone. And sorry, I don't know who Sean Paul and Jordan are - I guess I am getting too old @_@ Anyway, I hope that helps.. feel free to write again, if you like. :D


Dear Animefringe,

Do you accept freelance submissions, if so do you have any guidelines such as word limits of a particular subject within anime (such as hentai) which you do not cover.

Lesley Smith

Dear Lesley,

Yes, we do! If you're interested in writing for us, send me an email with what you're interested in writing about and the kind of article you want to write. Word limits vary by article type, so I'd need more info about what you want to write. We don't have any subject restrictions and will accept articles about hentai, as long as they are tastefully written. You're also welcome to write about anything Japanese, from culture, music, and food to anime, manga, video games, toys, and collectible items. Article types include features/specials, reviews, humor, and editorials.

You can send any submissions or questions directly to me, holly at animefringe dot com, or via the maildesk letters link. ^_^


Dear Animefringe,

I've been a frequent reader of your website for some time now, an I was wondering: do you take review submissions?

-Raz Greenberg

Dear Raz,

Please see my response to the letter right before yours. :)


Dear Animefringe,

Give me an interesting reply to this e-mail without using the letter u! if you can...

Do you recommend any particular websites for anime and manga? i imagine you get this question an awful lot but im having trouble finding good sites!

Jon, UK

Dear Jon,

I love it when a reader gives me a challenge. OK, here it goes!

When looking for good anime sites, Google is always a good place to start. One can also look at last month's Animefringe Top 25 special and see what readers voted the top 25 anime and manga websites in 2003. Otherwise, it's hard for me to say, since I don't know what kinds of sites a given person might be looking for. For news, one might try a site like Anime News Network. For merchandise, fans may want to try this site that I cannot say the name of, for it contains a forbidden letter. :P Someone looking for information can always try the company websites as well, like the TOKYOPOP homepage.

Hope that helps!
P.S. YAAAAAAY I did it! I'm the coolest EVER! ^__________^

Dear Holly-sensei,

I am overjoyed to know that you have safely returned from where ever you have been abducted to.YAAAAAAAAAAAYAAAAAAAAAAAAY*ahem*
Anyway, I have yet another question; how do mangakas have their mangas so neat? Do they type the words in on a computer then print it out??

Sincerely, Zachyre Van Buren
p.s.: I'll bet the honorable ninja of cool kicked her abducters butts

Dear Zachyre,

Indeed, I have returned safe and sound. NOONE CAN STOP ME! BWAAAHAHAHHAAHHAHAHAHA!

In response to your question, I went to one of our local manga experts, Animefringe's own Adam Arnold. Here's his response:

(Since we weren't sure if you meant the Japanese production side or the American, we've decided to cover them both!)

In the old days, back when manga companies would drive to a manga-ka's house/studio and pick up the finished pages, an actual layout artist at the magazine would actually cut and paste printed snippets of dialogue onto the actual manga-ka's finished pages (there is a story in Secret Comics Japan that shows this very process being displayed). Now though, some manga-ka actually use computers to add screen tones and even lettering overlays to their finished pages via computers. If this is not done the manga-ka themselves, then someone at the magazine works from the manga-ka's finished script to do it.

Over on the American side, manga is frequently scanned from copies of the tankoubon that the Japanese give to the American companies. The artwork is then imported and cleaned up in Adobe Photoshop. Most notable in this process is the fact that ALL the original dialogue is removed from the word balloons. The letterer/layout person is then called upon to take the script and insert the dialogue back into the balloons with an industry grade layout program (like Quark).

Sound effects are another matter. Some companies don't touch them, some add small translations around them and others get a touch-up artist to redraw the sound effects in English and those are then cut and pasted onto the artwork.

Wow, that's a lot of info - Thanks, Adam! Hope that answers your question, Zachyre!


Editor Holly,

What would you recommend to increase the number of members in our anime club? The club is open so membership fees are not the problem. We are constantly showing the best and latest anime as we use an online rental store for our viewings. However our membership seems to cap out at around four to six members even during our heyday of 2002. Do you think it is just the cold of winter keeping people at bay or is there something more we should be doing? We meet weekly Tuesdays at 6:00 P.M. and go until between 10:00 P.M. and midnight.

Would advertising in the local want-ads help? Perhaps a flyer campaign? But rather than list my mere suggestions I would care to hear what you and other anime readers/club members think.

Sean Robinson

Dear Sean,

Well, it's hard for me to know how to answer your question; there are just too many mitigating circumstances. How large is the space you hold your meetings in? How hard is it to locate? What's the proximity to nearby convenience stores or fast-food establishments? What's the bathroom situation? What kind of equipment do you use for viewing (i.e., regular television, projector, big-screen television)? Are you showing subs or dubs? What's the age group of your club? Is the issue that people come once or twice but don't keep coming, or that people just aren't aware that it exists? What do you do to welcome new members and retain current members? How large is your community?

If you're holding your meetings in a small room, watching anime on a television, then your club probably can't really effectively support more than 4-6 members. Other reasons you may have difficulty with club membership is if you're in a small community, if your location isn't convenient to snacks and restrooms, if all your club members are all in a very limited age group, are all of one sex, or are all friends with each other (this might make certain prospective members feel uncomfortable or out of place unless you go out of your way to make them feel welcome), if you're showing only certain genres of anime or only dubs, etc.

If you have a large regular meeting location with convenient access to food, drinks, and restrooms and equipment suitable for viewing by a larger group of people, then there are a few things you can do:

1) Make sure any new people that come in are made to feel welcome. Introduce yourself, make them feel at home. Maybe your club can sponsor an event once a month where any first-time meeting attendees get a free slice of pizza and a cola.
2) Make sure your club members have a say in what the club watches.
3) Vary your content. Make sure you show things from different genres. Find out if the members prefer subs or dubs, maybe show a little of each. Spice up the time between episodes by showing anime music videos. Schedule time for breaks so that people can run out and get drinks and snacks or hit the restroom without missing anything important.
4) Start an email list. Every week a few days prior to your meeting, send out a reminder email with a meeting schedule with an episode list (6pm - Ai Yori Aoshi ep 8) and perhaps a map or directions to your location and notification of any special upcoming events, like a local anime convention.
5) Put up flyers. The flyer should have the name of your club, location and meeting times, and contact information like a telephone number or an email address. Also, list the kinds of anime that you will be showing (nothing too specific, unless you are willing to update your flyers on a regular basis) and any special promotions your club might have (Join us! All new club members are entitled to free pizza the first Tuesday of every month. First come first serve!). Make tabs at the bottom with the name of the club and an email address or phone number on each tab so that interested people can just quickly pull off a tab and take it home with them. Post your flyers in good locations - comic book stores, high schools, and colleges usually have bulletin boards you can put things up on.
6) Get perks for your members. Maybe give away small prizes at your meetings. Ask local anime and manga retailers if they can work out some sort of discount for card-carrying members of your club. Use your imagination!

Hope that helps - feel free to write back!


Dear Animefringe,

This site seems really cool, but.... uh.... what the heck is going on in this whole site? Could ya give me some help?

Dear Clueless,

Uh... It's a monthly online magazine about anime, manga, and various related subjects. What's so hard to understand? Maybe I don't get your question... #_#


That's all for this month - if you've sent a letter and it didn't appear this month, look for it next month! Keep those letters coming... You know I always *love* a challenge. ^_^

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