Friday, January 18, 2008

Fearless 2008 Anime Forecast

Bleach © Tite Kubo, Studio Pierrot, TV Tokyo, Viz Media.

1. Piracy will remain a HUGE problem in the Asian region. This is simply because anime distributors still do not realize the fact that the U.S. is not THE market in the world. Anime distributors and intellectual rights protectors have been running after violators in Asia, but are there any efforts being done to meet the high demand for anime in this region? NOTHING! So please, before you blame fansubbers for ruining the anime market, distributors should do a marketing survey of the region. You'll be surprised. Although the average anime fan buys pirates, they would still choose to buy originals...IF IT IS AVAILABLE AND REASONABLY PRICED.

2. The "Dubs vs Subs Debate" will continue to rage on not just in 2008, but beyond. It remains to be seen when all anime fans will realize that, whether they be Pro-Sub or Pro-Dub, in the eyes of the great anime gods, one of them being Osamu Tezuka, EVERYONE is created equal.

3. Constant vigilance will be observed against fans who don't have the common sense NOT to copy what they see in anime. One is reminded by how quickly anime producers canceled the airing of the final episode of School Days, after a Japanese teen hacked her father to death, lest copycats surface. Then, there's the serial killer running around in Sweden or some other European country, who's been leaving notes saying "I am Kira" in the crime scenes. I know people take anime seriously, but this is ridiculous.

4. Long-running anime series will continue to be HUGE hits among the fans. But one has to wonder how long the creator and the writers could stretch the storylines any further. I mean, just look at Naruto. Will it take another 100+ episodes of Shippuuden before Naruto is able to beat some sense into Sasuke's revenge-addled brain? And how about Detective Conan? I truly pity Shinichi Kudo that he is unable to enjoy the perks of teen life (namely girls!) because, after so many, many years, he still remains stuck inside Conan Edogawa's diminutive form. There's also Luffy and the Going Merry gang in One Piece. I won't be surprised if they decide to quit searching for the One Piece and decide to join The Amazing Race instead. Oh, the pairings that could result, although I already foresee that neither Nami or Robin would want to pair up with Sanji (He's stuck with Zoro! He he he!). As for D-Grayman, I really, really doubt if Allen Walker will be able to find Marshall Cross Marian this year. Thankfully, I don't have that problem with Bleach. I'd probably watch Bleach until Ichigo becomes a doddering old Shinigami.

5. Anime producers will come to realize that they are trying the patience of anime fans by creating shows out of ongoing manga, but leave them hanging after 13 to 26 episodes. So, expect new seasons of Alice Academy, Code Geass, the much delayed Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, Claymore, Gunslinger Girl, and, yes, Jigoku Shoujo, although I don't know how they could bring back Ai Enma after that neat closure in Season 2. Oh, please don't let the new Hell Girl be that creepy kid Kikuri! And to those who are sure to ask about it in the "Comments" section, the premieres are for JAPAN, not on Animax. Your chances of watching these anime on Animax will be in 2009 at the LATEST.

6. American film producers will continue to turn to anime for future big screen projects. Of course, you have the highly anticipated movie version of Speed Racer. Actor Tobey Maguire is producing the movie version of Robotech. There's also the CGI animated feature Gatchaman. I've heard that the Slam Dunk movie is in post production in Taiwan. But the movie project that is giving me the hives is the big screen version of Dragonball. It's hard enough imagining veteran actor Chow Yun-Fat playing a funny pervert like Master Roshi, but Emy Rossum as Bulma??? After watching The Phantom of the Opera, my skin breaks out in goosebumps at the thought of Bulma singing "That's All I Ask Of You" to Goku. Urrgggh!


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