Mail Desk

by Janet Crocker

Welcome to yet another edition of Mail Desk, the game where you send in mail and I reply! We received a lot of congratulatory emails this month for our fifth anniversary, as well as suggestions for more Then and Now comparisons. Rest assured that all emails are read and carefully screened by our pet ninjas. Now onwards and into the mailbag!

Dear Animefringe,
Hello, I am a long time reader... well, I've actually been following AnimeFringe since the first year and I have been a fan ever since. The quality of your magazine has been constant for the past five years. I'd like to congratulate you on your 5 year anniversary and I hope to see AF last for another 5 years. Thanks for producing such a great publication. Cheers!


Thanks Myk!

It's great to hear from long-time readers and know that our hard work doesn't go unnoticed!


My name is Peter Tatara. I'm a senior in Ithaca College in Ithaca, New York. I'm also President of Ithaca College's Anime Society. This past semester, the Anime Society and I -- calling ourselves Experimental Amateur Hero Productions -- wrote, directed, and produced a series of eight anime-inspired shorts titled "Johnny Robo". These eight five-minute episodes pay tribute to and are a parody of everything from "Power Rangers" to Pro Wrestling to Buster Keaton. We've had the first episode screened on local television with the entire series to air in the spring. The first episode is also online on our website ( ), and the entire series is now available for $10 on DVD. (We are in the process of investiaging a BitTorrent release for most or all of the series, but we're waiting -- amid other reasons -- to see if BitTorrent will still exist after the MPAA is through with it.) We're very excited over the response "Johnny Robo" has received thus far, and we're looking at making it available to as many people as we can.

To this end, Experimental Amateur Hero Productions, the Anime Society of Ithaca College, and I would like to inquire as to if Animefringe would care to mention "Johnny Robo" in an upcoming update. We'd very much like to provide further information or interviews if you'd be interested in writing a larger feature.

I'm a big fan of and freqent visitor to Animefringe, and you'll find Animefringe is listed in our site's links. I encourage you to visit the "Johnny Robo" website ( ) and download the first episode ( ). If this is something you'd like to promote or be a part of, I'd love to hear from you.

Thank you,
Peter Tatara

Hey Peter!

Thanks for the email and Johnny Robo does look ...interesting. It's great to see fans taking their love to the next level: fan movies. I'd love to see you guys get your collected shorts out on the con circuit.


Dear Animefringe,
Comment ŕ-ton le robot ?

Ah... yes... The robot. Johnny's doing good.


Greetings, Animefringe, and Happy New Year

This is in response to the January article with Jonathan Klein (, or this comment in particular:

"And while I don't mean to put down anybody's right to watch a show in Japanese only (because I even produce the subtitles, so I appreciate people watching our subtitle work), but the English language version fans should let their opinions known too. If anybody tells you that you're not an anime fan simply because you like to listen to your anime in English, they're dead wrong. Watching and listening to anime is an experience designed to entertain, amuse and even move you emotionally. Whatever language you choose to have that experience is up to you as long as you enjoy it."

As a dub fan myself, I'm a little put off by certain "purists" who demand that any anime broadcast on TV should have kept the original Japanese and used subtitles. This may not be all the prosubbers out there, but how many five year olds do you think would sit there and watch Pokémon like that? Not too many. I'm 31, and I'd rather watch "Case Closed" (why did you take it off, CN, why?) in a language I understand. Not that I won't watch a sub, as my library includes Dancougar and some Transformers and other fansubs. But I find it easier when I know what the heck people are talking about. However, the majority of the viewing public, few of who would even come close to the "otaku" banner as US fans seem to use it, would want to sit through that, and the larger the demographic, the more advertiser dollars Adult Swim and the Fox Box are going to get.

Maybe it's because I don't really call myself an "anime" fan (I don't even consider it a "genre")as much as a fan of good stories ("good" being up to personal opinion, of course). There aren't enough of those coming out of Hollywood, who thinks making a "mature" cartoon (yes, I'm talking to you, Comedy Central! Now put the Tick back on!) or live shows (NYPD Blue, this means you) means loading it up with as much sex, gore, cursing, and whatever other "taboo-breakers" they can sneak behind the FCC's back. (Sure this shows up in anime, sans FCC, but I don't watch that, either.) I'm also turned off by reality TV, except for some nostalga recollection shows, but that's a whole other rant.

What I do like about anime is that they're not afraid to try and tell a good story, and try to break story barriers rather than taboos. I was pleasently surprised to find myself liking shows like Tenchi Muyo (except for "Tokyo") and Ruroni Kenshi, and suprised the friend who showed "Oh! My Goddess" to me by all but begging to see the final episode, having been left at the cliffhanger. (He had been making VHS copies of his laserdisc, with the series out of print at the time.) I'm as proud to say that Magic Knights Rayearth or Casshan:Robot Hunter is my library as much as I am Spider-Man 2, Star Wars, or Prince of Egypt. (Of course, I say the same for "Steel" and "Star Kid", so draw your own conclusions as to my mental state.

However, I don't want to spend my time trying to figure out cultural references that have nothing to do with my "sphere". Sure I watch quite a few animes, and have been a Godzilla fan since I was a kid, and if a story takes place in Japan, some cultural references is understandable. However, puns and in-jokes that are part of the story will fly over my head and ruin my enjoyment. Plus, I'm not much of a multitasker (that's what computers are for:), so trying to follow the dialog, the signs, the explanations of the dialog and signs, and the action without having to hit rewind and pause five times makes it easier to enjoy the story.

Try telling any of that to the "purists" (a fanatic wing of the subbers side, and I'm sure there are dubber equivalents) will have a fit if the story isn't in the original form and deviates in the slightest from the original. This pretty much keeps me out of anime discussions on the general message board I frequent, because I got sick of reading "they took the curses out of Yu Yu Hakusho", "Kenshin was bleeding more than that in the original", or "Roll's Netnavi isn't Maylu, dang it!" all the time. I thoroughly enjoy the stories as they're presented, and that should be what it's all about!

Although I wouldn't mind seeing if "Saint Saiya" is an improvement over "Knights of the Zodiac."

Hey Troy,

Whew! I think you've gotten the word out, speaking for those who prefer dubbed anime and are tired of being branded as some sort of traitors to the great anime cause of bringing more shows over the seas. Speaking to voice actors has made me realize that they work a lot to keep the characters as true to their original form as possible, unlike the bad dubs of the 80's. (Let's just agree that those were bad time for cartoon vocals in general.) People need to chill and just be happy that we do have the option of subbed or dubbed on most DVDs, because having the ability to choose is always good.


Dear Animefringe,
I just read the first volume of Uzumaki from my library. It's like one, long, bad fanfic and it's truely the worst thing I've ever read. What EXACTLY is the plot supposed to be? Does it actually develop one? Otherwise, I'm just going to burn in. Well, not really but,it's pretty horrible.


Dear N,

Adam theorizes that the plot is something like this: The entire town gets invaded by spirals, and a series of compoundingly weirder stories occur that all tie together at the end. Anything more about the ending would ruin it, but it does have a point.

So hang on, N! It sounds like a terrible ride, but the journey might be worth it in the end!


Dear Animefringe,
In the article about then and now, I absolutely loved the reference to Evangelion.
That was hillarious and so true...

Heck, all of the article was true. I enjoyed reading it.

Thanks Happytcupmonkey!

I think Evangelion might possibly be the universal anime, its plot pondered upon by otaku monks on distant mountaintops. If/when someone makes a revelation, I'm sure that everyone will know within days.


Dear Animefringe,
Please review Animal Crossing for the gamecube! I usually find your reviews very helpful!

Dear Edward Thompson,

We'll see.


Dear Animefringe,
In your January 2005 installment, a reader asked where they could find Mermaid Melody, and Ridwan said it was only available on fansub. This is only partially correct. The first season (Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch) has been licensed by ADV, as announced at A-Kon 2004. The second season (Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch Pure) has not yet been acquired by anyone for Region 1 release.

However, given ADV's recent run with shoujo series (pushing back the release date for Kaleido Star: New Wings, no information at all on season 2 of Super Gals, giving Princess Tutu a cover reminiscent of "Lord of the Rings"), it may be quite some time before the first season sees the light of day in North America.

Helpfully yours,

Thanks Corey!

We ain't perfect, but we have heart!


Dear Animefringe,
Animefringe is great! I was just wondering if there is any way to become a writer and/or help with it's e-publication. Thanks.

Mandy B.

Well, Mandy B, it's easy!

Type up a sample review (use our published reviews as an example), save it as a text file, and send it to Janet (aka me). I will reply to you in a day or so, and if you have writing talent and anime soul, you'll become a contributor.


And that wraps up another month of anime and manga goodness! Same time, same Animefringe channel!

Discussion / Feedback

Wanna drop our Mail Desk a line? Click here to send a message!
Currently Viewing: pg.27