2 -- I will respond; I'll ask you five questions.
3 -- You'll update your journal with my five questions, and your five answers.
4 -- You'll include this explanation.
5 -- You'll ask other people five questions when they want to be interviewed.
These questions are from sirxavier85:
1. In your opinion, what is it that makes the original Macross series better than Macek's version? Why?
Quite a few reasons:
- It's made for an Japanese audience, not for an American one. While some Japanese-ness remains (most notably, the death of Roy Fokker) to set Macross apart from the American cartoons of that day (G.I. Joe, MASK), the Macek version has been more Americanised. For me, the Japanese-ness of Macross was the appeal.
- The role of Protoculture. In Macek's version, Protoculture is a fuel-source. In the original version, Protoculture is... a culture! This changes the whole story of the interaction between the humans and the Zentraedi, and makes much more sense in the original version.
- Dubbed versus subbed -- the Japanese voice actors are simply better than their American counterparts.
- Minmei's shower scene in episode 4 was cut out of the Macek version.
2. What got you into writing anime reviews?
Prior to getting a Journal, I didn't write reviews.
We watch an ungodly amount of anime -- everyone who reads my Journal knows that. As such, it's quite a big part of my life, and thus needs a place in my Journal. I started out writing these 'reviews' mostly for myself and for the benefit of some friends of mine who might not have
seen the series in question yet.
I never receive much feedback to these reviews, so I didn't think much of it, until I found out that people did read them and even based their anime viewing decisions on these pieces. Especially ashi surprised me with his very positive feedback to my reviews. This prompted me to take these reviews much more serious. The basic format I use hasn't changed (the first review I did, of Ai Yori Aoshi used that format), but I try to make the reviews a bit more objective and informative. The fact that I like a series or not doesn't give you enough information to decide whether you would like it, so I tend to use more objective terms in describing a series. Still, a review is a personal view on something, but I like to think that I can also explain why I did or did not like a particular series.
3. Of all the anime series out there, which is your favorite and why?
Really tough one. Really tough one. Going by the ratings I gave each series, I'd have to say Last Exile -- but while it's a good series, it has too many rough edges to qualify as the best. Same with RahXephon, or pretty much any series out there.
When forced to choose, I think I'll have to stick with Kokoro Library here. It's a bishoujo series, with a 'plot' that doesn't kick in until episode 11 (of a 13-episode series). I put 'plot' between quotation marks, because it's not really much of a plot, and it moves slower than continental drift. Absolutely nothing happens in the series, and that gives it a purity and focus on character that I really, really like.
4. To the best of your knowledge, what's the general demand for anime like in the Netherlands (i.e., is it considered popular among a variety of age groups, is there a generally favored genre)?
Anime is even more of a niche product in the Netherlands than it is in the US. Fox Kids shows lots of dubbed anime, but that's all for kids:
Pokemon, Shin-chan, Yu-gi-oh, Beyblade, stuff like that. Yorin had Cardcaptors. All of this stuff are Dutch dubbed versions of the
(sometimes butchered) American versions of the series. Merchandise for the Fox Kids-series is mildly popular and sometimes used as premiums to get kids interested, for instance the Beyblade cutouts that were packaged with Lays crisps a while back. Pokemon cards were huge, like
pretty much everywhere, but the fad has died down.
As such, anime is seen as targeting the demographic of 10-year old boys. Those who do know a bit more about anime think of Akira and Legend of the Overfiend, but that's pretty much it. There is a demand for anime in the Netherlands, because people 'graduate' from the kids' series into the more serious fare, but it's by no means mainstream.
This is a shame, because there is a treasure trove of good anime out there that could draw in more audiences. Look at, for instance, 12-year
old girls. There are very, very few programmes aimed at this demographic on Dutch television. A series like Pretear or Princess Tutu would
certainly be of interest to this group. They are literate enough that you can get away with a subbed version, so no high dubbing costs. It's a shame the public broadcasters haven't tapped into this market yet.
5. Finally, as a Dutch citizen, what is your personal view on the acts and current trends of the American government and its people?
Frankly, I'm concerned. While the US claims leadership in the world on many issues (and rightly so), the current administration does not seem to understand that this leadership comes with a responsibility towards the rest of the world. Before the war in Iraq, the Bush administration seemed to wipe their collective asses with the idea of international diplomacy, judging by the way they treated those who didn't buy into their war-talk. The objections of allies were not listened to -- but now that Iraq needs to be rebuilt, everybody is supposed to chip in on the bill (which, as far as I understand things, are bills from American companies that have been awarded reconstruction-contracts by the Bush administration).
The erosion of civil liberties are also a matter of concern to me, too. With the apparent dismissal of 'habeas corpus'
from the US judiciary system, you can be arrested and be shipped to Syria to be tortured, without a lawyer and without anyone knowing
where you are. That just sounds too much like razzias and death squads for comfort. I will not visit the US until a fair and just
jucidiary system has been re-instated. It is quite ironic that the Bush administration claims to defend democratic freedoms from terrorists,
while abolishing those very same democratic freedoms.