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In This Issue

Contents 2
Features 3
Chasing Otakuism 6
Anime Briefs 7
Reviews 8
Web Showcase 15
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Animefringe Editorial:
A Look to the Future
By Jake Forbes

2001 was a huge year for the otaku community. Consider the following: No less than three new companies entered the anime publishing arena; the DVD format dominated VHS, meaning the days of dub-only are over; 6 anime films received theatrical screenings around the country (albeit it limited engagements); manga output nearly doubled; Music games finally gained acceptance in America, and attendance at all major conventions jumped an average of 50%, while new conventions opened to great success. No matter how you look at it, this is a good time to be an otaku. So, with all the advancements of the last year, can next year be as exciting? You bet it can! Come with us as Animefringe gazes into our crystal ball to see what the surprises 2002 holds.


One or more major players in the industry will disappear as increased competition makes it tougher to have a hit series.
A major Hollywood studio will license the Cowboy Bebop movie, causing other studios to get into anime licensing blindly, driving out smaller companies. These films will be poorly marketed, be commercial failures, and the studios will lose interest by the end of 2002, returning things to the status quo.
In order to reach out to a younger, hipper demo, ESPN 2 will try releasing The Prince of Tennis anime series. Beer-drinking men will not respond well to the sexy, animated tennis stars and an executive will lose his job.
Consumers and anime producers will have to chose between more subtitle-only episodes on DVDs or fewer sub/dub episodes, as increasing production costs and competition put an end to the trend of increased sub/dub episodes per disc.
Someone will finally re-release Robot Carnival on DVD and many 19-25 year old anime fans who watched this on TV 10 years ago will rejoice.
As Fox and Kids WB phase out cartoons, the Pokemon-clone anime series will fade out of public awareness.
An anime studio will create a series about kids that compete to have better televisions to watch card game duels about monster battles based on videos games inspired by toys. It will be an instant hit, and Neo-Mega-TV Adventure Stars based TVs, Cards, GameBoy games and toys will flood stores.
Cartoon Newtork will team up with a Japanese anime company to create original anime programming.


One of the major American comics publishers will jump on the manga-licensing bandwagon.
Someone will recognize the growing demand for yaoi manga and the several yaoi series will be released to surprisingly good sales.
CLAMP will create a series which combines the adorable smut of Chobits and Miyuki-chan with the adorable commercialism of Cardcaptor Sakura and Angelic Layer, which will be called Customizable Lingerie Fighter Meiko.
Viz/Shogakukan will realize that they're sitting on a potential goldmine with Doraemon and they will begin releasing to series to fill the kid's gap that Pokemon/Dragonball formerly filled.
The $2.95 monthly manga comic will all but disappear as companies experiment increasingly with alternative methods of releasing manga.
Japanese publishers will suddenly decide to publish all manga left-to-right like American comics, making American publishers who are printing right-to-left feel very silly.


Sony will release the hard drive and modem for the PS2, but both will fail miserably as game developers are reluctant to take the risks of making games that really take advantage of the peripherals, but isolate the majority of gamers who don't upgrade. X-Box, which has both built in, will only be able to scratch the surface of network gaming, making online RPGs and shooters that are basically identical to the current PC online world. Nintendo will do nothing with online games in 2002, but will announce a Miyamoto developed online game at the Tokyo Game Show that will make everyone in Japan and America want a Gamecube with a modem.
Dance Dance Revolution will fade out of popularity as early adapters move on, and Konami never supported it for widespread acceptance.
Virtual dog walking will fill the gap left open by the fading away of DDR.
Square will lose mega-bucks on Final Fantasy XI as the online networks aren't established to make it work, so they will slip out Final Fantasy XII before Christmas 2002.
Nintendo will reveal that the reason that Mario wears that funny backpack in Mario Sunshine is because it's a jetpack that lets him keep up with the other playable character in the game, Sonic the Hedgehog.

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Original Material 1999 / 2002 Animefringe, All Rights Reserved.
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