Friday, July 29, 2011

Madoka Magica to be Dubbed!

Aniplex of America, perhaps best known at this time for charging a small fortune for the Garden of Sinners movies, has just made a lot of magical girl anime fans happy with the announcement of an English dub for the absurdly popular Puella Magi Madoka Magica making this only the second dub the company has done by their own will. (They'd re-released some dubbed series but only Durarara! had a dub they were paying to produce.)

Personally, this is a big shock to me because despite the insane popularity of this series right now, it's a magical girl anime and so far in the US such anime have apparently died sales wise if they weren't called Sailor Moon. Some suggest that mainstream male fans are afraid of their macho points dropping if they watch magical girl anime while female anime fans often prefer more shonen or yaoi-esque titles. Others claim that merely using the words "magical" or "princess" in the title of an anime dooms it to being considered a series for pre-pubescent girls. Regardless, this turn of events leads me to think there are 3 possible explanations for this English dub being announced:

First, that Aniplex is convinced the massive online fan popularity of Madoka Magica will translate to big sales and/or they've gotten so much pro-dub feedback on this one that they decided to dub it despite all of the previous failures of magical girl series.

Second, Aniplex isn't aware of the previous failures and/or does not understand that they'd probably get better sales dubbing Blue Exorcist and Oreimo. They simply believe that western the fans will flock to it like the Japanese fans.

Or third, someone made a contract.


Frankly, I think the third choice is the most likely.

As I see it, Madoka Magica will not actually sell well despite the huge fan popularity. The reality is that many of the fans online who practically worship this series probably won't bother buying it. They've already got it subbed and downloaded onto their hardrives and for far too many anime fans in general, that's more than enough. The reality Aniplex of America will likely soon discover is the same harsh one that the other anime companies have learned before: magical girl series don't sell well in the US.

Or I could be wrong. Madoka Magica is a harsh deconstruction of many of the tropes and plot elements of a typical magical girl series. It does not bode well though that even a beloved classic power house of a magical girl series like Card Captor Sakura can't even get a dubbed full release here.

Then again, I was wrong about this series getting a dub at all so what the hell do I know? I can't lose my head over these things. I should just be happy about this news!

Anyway, we know Blue Exorcist and Oreimo fans who wanted a dub are screwed and sub fans will pay a hefty price for these releases despite that. Compare Aniplex of America sub-only sets with releases from other companies and you have to ask yourself why the cost is higher for sub-only from them when they are the US arm of the Japanese company that OWNS the series to begin with. A licensor incurs costs licensing but a US branch incurs more to license? That seems unlikely.

Oh well, some fans like paying higher prices for less content. And don't forget those pretty boxes! Ignore that fans just a few years ago said "screw the box I want my anime to be cheaper!" Ignore it like the NASA data on CO2. I guess the feelies consisting of sixteen ending card postcards, a double sided poster and a 24 page booklet of character designs will have to try and make fans feel like it was worth it. (Wow, remember when we used to get LE sets that came with swag plus bilingual releases?)

Then again, there are fans who will jump for joy to pay more because the releases are more like the Japanese releases. (Ah, anime fans are just weird. Complaining about costs when it's a license by Americans but praising expensive releases when the Japanese come over and do it.)

Well, this bit of con news is certainly welcome to me one way or the other. I love magical girl series and this one will get into my collection! Maybe I'll even help some of you, my readers, to add it to your collections on the cheap? Hmm, maybe I will. You'll have to talk to my partner in this plan. . . .


He can be very persuasive. Don't miss out, plan ahead to save for the release of Madoka Magica!


Sunday, July 24, 2011

Anime to Beat The Heat With +Contest Update

Greetings and salutations my fellow anime fans and friends! This month has been so blindingly hot that your blogger host has occasionally found himself half dead! The rest of the time I was either running family errands or becoming a bit addicted to Funimation's website. (Some Summer vacation, I think I'll have more free time when I go back to law school!)

Anyway, seeing as how most of us are likely suffering in this heatwave (wow, just a few months ago we were having record cold) I thought it wise and prudent and reasonable and some other words that make it sound like this post is more thought out than it really is that I should make a list of a few anime series that I think can help you beat the heat!

After all, if you can't use anime to make your life's problems more bearable, what's the point of watching it at all?


First up is Kanon!

Before you even finish the first episode, you'll feel cooler thanks to the heavy emphasis on snow as a motif! Virtually every outdoor scene is fluffy white with sparkles of ice. If you imagine yourself as the characters, you'll feel cooler in no time flat.

Imagine eating ice cream with Shiori outside in the snow. The real world may be blazing hot but Kanon's world is nice and cool. Every gentle breeze carries a nostalgia for the winters of your past and each girl is a soothing balm to the soul.

Of course, you may end up crying, but that's the price you have to pay for snowy winter in July!

But if Kanon's not your cup of tea. . . .


How about a hefty dose of Kamichu!

Yurie can teach you all the ways to relax and veg out in the heat! From helping adults rediscover their summer memories to curling up on the floor for a nap, Kamichu is the series where a student goddess can teach you all about living your life lazily.

Join in on a beach trip that's more than the usual fanservice-filled beach episode, take laziness to a whole new level and spend some time with a sweet goddess-in-training.

Kamichu is a series that reminds you not to go outside and die of the heat. Don't forget to make a donation to Raifuku shrine though!

Of course, sometimes summer heat can be worth the trouble. There are hot springs and beaches and even public baths that are well worth visiting. So maybe you'd like to head out in the heat with. . . .


the girls of UFO Ultramaiden Valkyrie!

Let Valkyrie take you on a tour of the best bath house this side of Tokyo! Join Sanada for a great hot spring bath after nearly freezing to death! Don't allow Laine to drive you to the beach but enjoy a day there after taking your own vehicle!

If there's one thing the cast of UFO Ultramaiden Valkyrie knows, it's how to enjoy themselves on a hot day. Of course, fanservice here isn't remotely optional and you will probably be required to see some flashy transformation sequences. Maybe this is what summer is really all about?

So that's a few anime to help you beat the heat! Hopefully, we can all avoid dying from this heat wave that is making all of us realize the horrors of our local electric companies jacking up rates during the summer months! (Yes, they commonly do this and no the extra cost isn't just from your air conditioner.) Make sure you drink lots of water (soda and tea can dehydrate you!) and you stay out of the sun as much as possible. If you start feeling dizzy or disoriented, get to a shady place or inside, drink water and have it poured on you! Watch out for your older relatives and little kids. They're especially vulnerable.

Contest Update: I've decided to extend the entry deadline AGAIN for the Top 5 contest as I can currently decide the winner with a coin toss. (Maybe this was a bad contest after all?)

If you do want to enter, please use this

Contest Entry Link!

Join me next time, same blog channel, same blog idiocy!